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WalterP last won the day on October 20 2019

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About WalterP

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    Armchair astronomer under marmalade skies.

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?

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  1. Many thanks Josh! Imo, providing a link to this thread is ok. But only up to a point. I stand by what I wrote yesterday about keeping things short and sweet in a debate. Well, my actual words were these... A debate is won if an argument can be kept simple enough for the audience to understand. If they can't follow it, then the debate is effectively lost. Anyway, what I mean to say is that there's a hell of a lot of complex information in this thread and simply directing the Craig fan here may not be the short, sharp hammer blow you want. There's too much here to take in easily, spread across five pages. It's not a problem for me because I knew what I was dealing with before I joined Ex-C. It's not a problem for you and Disillusioned either, because you guys are fairly well grounded in things cosmological. But since the Craig fan is likely to have received their understanding from reading WLC's discourses at Reasonable.com, they'll probably have just as faulty understanding of cosmology as he does. So, what to do about that? Well, as far as I can see, if you want to win the debate, you have to keep things as simple as possible. See my quote, above. Giving them all of this thread to slog through won't do that. But for starters, what about hitting them with this six-liner? 1. WLC's claim that science 'proves' the universe had an absolute beginning relies completely upon Hawking and Penrose's 1970 Singularity Theory paper. 2. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1970.0021 The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology. 3. This paper's proof only applies if the universe has a cosmological constant with a negative or a zero value. 4. The universe has been observed to have a small, but positive cosmological constant. https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.07482 5. Therefore WLC cannot use Hawking and Penrose's 1970 Singularity theory as a proof that the universe had an absolute beginning. 6. The terms and conditions of Hawking and Penrose's proof are violated by the universe itself. ...and on the seventh day Walter rested, for he saw that all he had made in the six days was good. Seriously tho' Josh, these six lines should be enough. The Craig fan can follow the links under their own steam or Google 'cosmological constant' for themselves. The info's all there for them to find. If they quibble over anything, then you can direct them to this thread and hit them with more data. The whole kit and caboodle. That sound ok to you? Walter.
  2. Now here's where you and I differ, Justus. If someone told me that they couldn't understand what I was saying, I wouldn't leave it to a third party to explain what I meant. I'd do it myself. But since you can't be bothered to explain yourself to me, I'll match you and not be bothered about what you were trying to say. That makes us even.
  3. Ok Josh, I'll cede your points about how the Skeptic should interact with the Christian. But I wonder if you are looking to me to prepare this e-book or pdf for wider dissemination? I certainly had no idea or intention of doing such a thing when I joined this forum. When I found Ex-C and read through BAA's many threads I realized that there was a ready audience here for my research into WLC's misuse of the H - P singularity theory. The subjects of Christian apologetics and of Cosmology are very popular here. My research happens to cover both of those bases and so it's a perfect fit for the audience here. But taking my work elsewhere? I'm really not at all sure about that. Respectfully, Walter.
  4. Posted 9 hours ago If the identity of this 'who' is to be found in the Bible, then that's another invalid circular argument, Justus. Nope Justus is not 'who', but do you really think you would be able to find 'who' it is if it is in the Bible without hearing 'who' it is since a person doesn't know they don't even know something until they first learn of that which they didn't know. So how did you come to the knowledge that if you made a claim there was a onus upon you to substantiate your claim with evidence? If you claim that you had no idea that if you made a claim that the onus is upon you to substantiate that claim with evidence, then if the onus is upon you to substantiate a claim you make then where did you get the idea from that the onus was upon you? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sorry Justus, but there are just too many clauses in your sentences for me to pick out what you actually mean by them. Try again or give up?
  5. You are the one using the scripture to justify your belief that the word of God requires the believer to answer your question about why they believe. My response was merely citing the reason why I believe your circular argument is invalid. I didn't reply because I had to, but because I wanted to. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Justus, I cited I Peter 3:15 "to sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and be ready always to give an answer to every man that ask you a reason of the hope that is in you." As an Ex-Christian I have no religious or supernatural belief that these are the word of God. Therefore, since I was simply quoting scripture and not using scripture to validate scripture, I was not making any kind of circular argument. So, you are mistaken in your belief that I was making a circular argument. But if you want to believe otherwise, so be it.
  6. That's true, people aren't jumping in much. But the question to ask is how popular are Craigs debates? They seem to reach a pretty big audience. In those debates it could be pointed out that, simply put, Craig is basing his claims on old, falsified theoretical cosmology. An opponent can pin down with this in front that audience if the info makes it to one of the potential opponents. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I take your point Josh, but there's still a catch. As I will now illustrate with an excerpt from a fictional debate. Christian: 'Science proves that the universe had an absolute beginning, just as described in the book of Genesis.' Skeptic: 'That's false. You make that claim on the back of a refuted and discarded theory of cosmology.' Christian: 'Please explain how this theory has been refuted.' Skeptic goes on to explain about... The Riemannian equations of the space-time manifold in the Hawking - Penrose singularity theory. How conformal geometry allows the complete mapping of the space-time curvature in the presence of extreme gravitational fields. The necessity of non-Euclidean geometry when describing Friedmann's solutions to general relativity. The use of diffeomorphic equivalence relations in the calculations of the stress tensor. How the causal relationships between different points in a Minkowski space-time are used in the H - P theory. How the coordinate vectors of an asymptotically flat space-time converge into a 'conformal infinity'. Six hours later, having laid the groundwork, the Skeptic launches into the main thrust of his argument. He goes on for the next six hours to cover... The extrapolated projections of how the three kinds of Friedmann universe are expected to evolve. The use of E=mc2 when it comes 'weighing' the mass-energy content of the universe. The gravitational potential of dark matter and how this affects the rotation curves of galaxies. Why the observed abundance of only baryonic matter cannot explain how our universe is expanding. The theorized nature of the quantum vacuum and how its ground state is never zero. Why the point values of dark energy are not diluted by cosmic expansion. Finally, the Skeptic closes his argument with an hour-long explanation of the universe's positive cosmological constant and how this refutes the H - P theory. That's one way a debate could pan out, Josh. The Christian puts the Skeptic on to the back foot again and again by repeatedly asking him to explain why this and why that and so on. If the Skeptic tries to keep things simple by claiming that the H - P theory has been refuted, all the Christian has to do is toss the ball back to him, asking him to justify his claim. How has it been refuted? The onus is then on the Skeptic to say how and that means diving into the complexities of the theory. As far as I can see it's a unwinnable debate for the Skeptic. A debate is won if an argument can be kept simple enough for the audience to understand. If they can't follow it, then the debate is effectively lost. It doesn't matter if the Skeptic has the truth and the facts on his side. So long as the Christian outflanks the Skeptic with tactics like this, they can't lose. Is it fair or moral to do this in a debate? No, of course not. But that doesn't stop deeply-committed believers from doing whatever it takes to bring new converts into the kingdom of god, does it? Are you familiar with the 'Gish Gallop', Josh? Same kind of thing. A tactic to win by tying up the opposition and preventing them from making their arguments properly. Ok, enough from me. Over to you for your thoughts and reactions. Walter.
  7. I do think that you should try to get this information through to Penrose if you can. Or at least someone else who can use all of this information in a debate with WLC. Because even though he's likely to dig in his heels (per the link above), the public deserves to see a detailed analysis of where exactly Craig is wrong and why. We can only reach so many people here. And this deserves mass exposure. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hello again Josh. You say that the public deserves to know. I dunno. In this forum there are how many members? Several thousand? But you, me and Disillusioned seem to be the only ones with what it takes to grasp what's involved. Please don't think for a moment that I'm being elitist here! No. It's just that a combination of intense interest, dogged persistence and science knowledge is needed to 'get' these complex and subtle concepts. Without wishing to sound rude or obnoxious to the other members, only we three seem to have these necessary qualities. I'm sorry for any offence caused, but that's just how it seems to me. As far as I can tell Josh, this thread is hyper-specialized and is of interest only to those members with the above qualities AND a keen interest in Christian apologetics. If that's so within Ex-C, then I really can't see how a detailed and difficult-to-understand analysis of Craig's failed cosmology is going to be of much interest to the wider public. Just calling it as I see it. Thank you. Walter.
  8. Thank you Disillusioned. Fyi, I think I can destroy the "fine tuning" argument too. BAA was onto this and locked horns with OrdinaryClay on the issue. When the going got tough said Christian refused to answer his questions and scrammed. Christian fine tuning apologetics depend on two misconceptions. One about the nature of the universe and the other about how the Copernican Principle should be used. Unscramble those two misconceptions and the fine tuning argument falls apart. Thank you. Walter.
  9. Disillusioned wrote... The issue of morality is one that was particularly important to me in my initial deconversion, in no small part because of the arguments of WLC (and CS Lewis as well). @WalterP has basically destroyed Craig's cosmological argument. I think that what I've presented here, together with my previous morality thread, essentially dispenses with his moral argument. If so, that's two of his five favorite arguments which have been soundly refuted. I'm hoping that members here will find this to be of some value. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Hello Disillusioned. I'd just like to check something with you please. You say that I've destroyed Craig's cosmological argument. Let's compare notes here. I submit that I've destroyed his claim that the science has 'proved' that there was an absolute beginning of the universe. The Hawking - Penrose singularity theorem gave him that 'proof', but that theory has now been refuted by evidence and discarded by both of its authors. Therefore, Craig's Kalam Cosmological Argument or KCA is also destroyed. That argument's second premise (the universe began to exist) cannot hold up without the H - P theorem. So, when you said that I destroyed Craig's cosmological argument, were you actually referring to the KCA, Disillusioned? Oh and btw, with his moral argument on the way out, what are Craig's three other favourite arguments? I'm curious. Thank you. Walter.
  10. . Posted 13 hours ago by Justus Yes it does and not they don't, and neither do then need to because the scriptures called them to repentance, not to faith. Using scripture to justify scripture is a circular argument Justus. All circular arguments (including scriptural ones) are invalid. Do you know who it is that those who are told to sanctify by being ready always to give an answer to every man that ask for the substance of the thing hoped for in them, the evidence of the things unseen. If the identity of this 'who' is to be found in the Bible, then that's another invalid circular argument, Justus. So you aren't an ex-Christian? What the Redneck Prof said.
  11. Hello. I'm currently checking the theoretical work of Roger Penrose, specifically in connection with cosmological constant, which is known as Lambda. A few days ago I took this book out on loan from my local library. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cycles-Time-Extraordinary-View-Universe/dp/0099505940 Published in 2010, this is Penrose’s formal exposition of his own cosmological theory, Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, which is a proposal that our universe is just one of an eternal cycle of universes. Here is what Penrose has to say about Lambda, the cosmological constant, in this book. Part 2: The oddly special nature of the Big Bang 2.1 Our expanding universe Page 61. "The time-dependence of the actual universe’s expansion, that observation reveal, is indeed in striking accordance with the equations of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, but apparently only if two somewhat unexpected ingredients are incorporated into the theory, now commonly referred to under the (somewhat unfortunate) names of ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’." "Both of these ingredients will have considerable importance for the proposed scheme of things (Penrose’s Conformal Cyclic Cosmology theory) that I shall be introducing the reader to in due course." "They are now part of the standard picture of modern cosmology, though it must be said that neither is completely accepted by all experts in the field." "For my own part, I am happy to accept both the presence of some invisible material – dark matter – of a nature that is essentially unknown to us, yet constituting some 70% of the material substance of the universe, and also that Einstein’s equations of general relativity must be taken in the modified form that he himself put forward in 1917 (thought he later retracted it) in which a tiny positive cosmological constant Lambda (the most plausible form of ‘dark energy’) must be incorporated." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My Comments Now this is highly significant. Without any kind of equivocation, Penrose shows his hand. He is happy to accept that a positive cosmological constant MUST BE incorporated into Einstein's equations of general relativity. This runs directly and diametrically counter to WLC's promotion of the Hawking - Penrose singularity 1970 theory. WLC is stuck in the 70's, but Penrose has taken note of the 1998 observations that refute his own theory and has moved on. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Page 64. (Penrose discusses the three kinds of Friedmann universe; closed, flat and open and how they all begin in a ‘singular’ state. That is, an initial singularity where the curvature of space-time is infinite. Then he writes this.) "Since around 1998, however, when two observational groups, one headed by Saul Perlmutter and the other by Brian P. Schmidt, had been analysing their data concerning very distant supernova explosions, evidence has mounted which strongly indicates that the expansion of the universe in its later stages does not actually match the evolution rates predicted from the standard Friedmann cosmologies that are illustrated in Fig. 2.2." "Instead, it appears that our universe has begun to accelerate in its expansion, at a rate that would be explained if we were to include into Einstein’s equations a cosmological constant Lambda, with a small positive value." ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- My Comments Here Penrose recapitulates his position, as related in his earlier book, The Road to Reality. He accepts that the cosmological constant has a small, but positive value - thus invalidating his own 1970 theory. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Part 3: Conformal Cyclic Cosmology 3.2 The structure of CCC Page 161. ‘It is perhaps significant that the two so-called ‘dark’ quantities (‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’), that have gradually become apparent from detailed cosmological observations in recent decades, both appear to be necessary ingredients of CCC.’ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ My Comments Here Penrose goes further than just accepting a positive cosmological constant. He declares that it appears to be a necessary ingredient of Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, his own theory to explain our universe. More than that, his discarded singularity theory, which he and Stephen Hawking published in 1970 had a definite beginning of space and time - the initial singularity. Penrose's CCC theory is the total opposite. In CCC our universe is merely one iteration in an eternal and unending cycle of universes. In CCC there is no beginning and no end. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/roger-penrose-interview-part-1/ In 2016 William Lane Craig interviewed Roger Penrose and the Conformal Cyclic Cosmology was a topic of their conversation. As far as I know the subject of the positive cosmological constant was not discussed. Thank you. Walter.
  12. I've just voted 'Other'. As I mentioned elsewhere, my main concern is the smooth running of this forum. If politely advising Christians about the concept of burden of proof helps do that, then I'm happy. How they conduct themselves here isn't really an issue for me. If matters get out of hand there are adequate procedures in place to deal with that. That's all I really have to say on this. Thank you. Walter.
  13. @WalterP, another suggestion might be for you and @TEG to collaborate on creating a thread which would outline your ideas concerning the burden of proof and the respective links. The thread could then be pinned here in The Den and new christians encouraged to read it. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks for this, RedneckProf. I'll speak to TEG and see what he thinks. Oh and if we go ahead, I suppose we'd better submit the content to you Mods first for approval, right? Thank you. Walter.
  14. If they don't take the admonition from their own Bible to be ready with an answer, why would they take the advice of Wikipedia? Every Christian who comes here wanting us to prove them wrong gets informed that the burden of proof is on the one making the claim. They simply do not accept it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes, I know this Florduh. But even if they are unwilling to accept it, at least by providing them with this info we've covered the necessary bases and can't be accused of withholding vital stuff from them. Another benefit of doing it will be that it will expose Christian non-accepters more quickly and easily. So, I'm proposing this idea more for the smooth running of the forum than for any other reason. Thank you. Walter.
  15. I was thinking along these lines too. I was raised in a toxic faith, so I tend to go grizzly bear when someone’s evangelistic efforts start to get annoying. It would be nice if the evangelists had some advance warning. (I don’t mean about me in particular . . . .) A modest proposal: Some notes for believers visiting ex-christian.net: Who we are We are not poor, wayfaring unbelievers; we are ex-christians. Some of us were ordained ministers; some of us can read the bible in its original languages. We have heard the sermons, we know the arguments. And our reason for being here is not to argue with you; so sometimes visitors with evangelism on their minds do not get the welcome they expect. Most of us thought long and hard about giving up our faith, and an emotional appeal is not going to bring us to the altar. Some of us experienced religious trauma and have very negative opinions of christianity in particular, and religion in general. And some of us still believe in god, or gods, and have our reasons for having left christianity for another religion. How it works From the forum guidelines: “These forums exist for the express purpose of encouraging those who have decided to leave religion behind. It is not an open challenge to Christians to avenge what they perceive as an offense against their beliefs.” We are not here to convert you; and if you are here to convert us, the burden of proof rests on you. When you assert that god exists, or that the bible is true, we are going to ask for objective evidence, and we will subject your assertions to reasoned argument. And many of us can and will give you many reasons why we do not believe in god or the bible. Please note that your conviction that god exists is not evidence. And before you start endlessly prolonging an argument while innocently professing to enjoy discussing christianity, please look up the definition of an internet troll. And do you really want to go there “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance . . . .” Hebrews 6:4-6 https://www.ex-christian.net/guidelines/ https://www.ex-christian.net/forum/29-frequently-asked-questions-and-topics/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burden_of_proof_(philosophy) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_troll ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Good work there, TEG. As mentioned above, I'll be confining myself to directing them to the Burden of Proof link, should I see the need. Thanks. Walter.
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