Hi all,

 

I'm new here on Atheistnexus. I was a believer (in one deity or another) for years, most recently a fundie (Xtian), up until a few years ago.

 

Although, I started questioning my beliefs (including the belief in any supernatural deity) about 12 years ago, it was a long process to evolve to where I formally "came out" as atheist about 1.5 yrs ago.  Finally, I feel free.

 

I also find I spend as much time/energy researching atheism and scientific points of view now, as I did poring through religious texts and commentary. I want to be as well-versed in my "new" belief system as I was in the old one (if not better) because I think it's important to understand why you believe what you believe. As I'm sure most can understand, things are so much clearer when not clouded by looking through a theist/religious filter (brainwashing) all the time.

 

Anyway, I found this video recently and it appears on the surface to be sound but I was wondering what you think of it. Does this man's argument have any holes in it, or does it stand up under scrutiny?

 

Thanks,

Roland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KxHD6o259I

Views: 96

Replies to This Discussion

He moves fast, but there is probably nothing technically wrong with it. I just don't like the idea of atheists having to prove anything. The burden of proof should always be on the believer. For us to say that we are confident god does not exist (strong atheism) comes across close-minded, even if in practice that is true. The best argument in my opinion is that all their (xians) arguments lack evidence and hence fail.
Thanks Matthew, I agree.
The arguments in this video are not particularly good.

First off, it's doubtful that "proof" can be applied for the existence or nonexistence of a god. Proof in philosophy is generally for mathematics and logic, not existential or empirical claims.

Some arguments he makes:

At 1:10, he invokes Occam's Razor, which is not a "proof" for or against a hypothesis, it is a way of weighing the likelihood of its validity.

@1:30 - "Actual infinities cannot subsist within the universe" - there's no possible way of knowing this.

@2:25 - "There is no outside the universe, the universe is existence" - since he's defining the universe as "all existence", then of course there can be no "outside" - however the universe goes far beyond our known universe, and scientists believe that the "multiverse" includes portions of the universe that have very different physics rules.

I could go on, but it's rather complicated to analyze these arguments. While he's raising interesting questions and concerns, he's overreaching by claiming that these are in any way "proofs".

Some of the best videos to watch regarding atheist arguments would be the Atheist Experience podcast with Matt Dillahunty. A good book would be Atheism: The Case Against God by George Smith.

George, that's a good point about Occam's Razor. Thanks!

 

I've seen several of Matt Dillahunty's podcasts. I like them. I haven't read that book though. I'll try to watch for it.

Wow, that man talks fast!

 

I'm not much for making sense of philosophy, but if only I understood what's meant here by "infinite" I might at least stand a chance. Anyway, the video seems to make two claims about the properties of (non)infinite things. The second one sounds a little strange to me, or maybe I'm missing something. Or maybe I'm just too un-philosophical.

0:52-0:55 Non-infinite things are non-beginningless... which I guess just means that non-infinite things have a beginning?

1:30-1:35 Infinite things cannot exist within the universe... ?

 

Maybe there are some philosophers out there in the group who could clear that up... and the rest of the argument too for that matter. :)

 

But for what it's worth, one problem I have with the argument is here:

1:07 This falsifies the existence of God since it is a violation of Occam's Razor to needlessly multiply explanations...

And that is, just because a hypothesis (like the one in 1:00 - 1:06) "violates Ocamm's razor" doesn't mean it's false.

 

Well, good luck.

Round Peg, his point about an infinity not being able to exist within the universe (even though it's a stretch, because we don't know whether the universe is finite or infinite) is based on the principle that two infinities cannot simultaneously occupy the same space and time.

 

And that's a good point about Occam's Razor. I missed that the first several times I watched it, but I totally agree. Occam's Razor isn't an irrefutable absolute law.

So does "Is your God infinite?" really mean "Does your God occupy an infinite amount of space and/or time?

"two infinities cannot simultaneously occupy the same space and time"

 

I'm think I'm still unclear on what is meant by "infinity". Here's why. Take for instance a two dimensional space (say, the x-y plane). To the left of the x-axis there is an infinite amount of space. To the right of the x-axis, there is also an infinite amount of space. Could not two "infinities" share the infinite space of the x-y plane, each by occupying a different side of the axis?

 

Also, physics tells us some pretty weird things about the properties of space and time...

"Could not two "infinities" share the infinite space of the x-y plane, each by occupying a different side of the axis?"

 

I don't think so, because the dividing line (between the two sides) would be the end of one side and the beginning of the other. I think in that case, neither side would be truly infinite.

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