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?
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.
"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.