RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 64 Arif Ahmed Cambridge, “There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow…These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence!”

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

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Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Today I look at Arif Ahmed but here are some of my earlier posts:

Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart EhrmanIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldAlan Guth, Jonathan HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganStuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

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Arif Ahmed has been a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy since October 2011 at University of Cambridge

Books

In  the third video below in the 148th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

Below is the letter I wrote to Dr. Ahmed and in the letter is his quote that I responded to with evidence.

Dr. Arif Ahmed, University of Cambridge, Philosophy Dept,

February 23, 2015

Dear Dr. Ahmed,

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been   Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Harry Kroto (1939-), Edward O. WIlson(1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn Branch, and Ray T. Cragun(1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Here is a quote I ran across recently from you:

 There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow. That is committing your life to something or taking a drug which is comitting your life to something. These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence. These are the cases we demand evidence the most strongly and it seems to me that religious belief if it is genuine is the case then that demand is the same and even raised to higher degree.
In this letter I want to discuss this issue of faith and evidence and your statement above is a good starting point on this very issue. I AGREE THAT ONE SHOULD NOT “MAKE A LEAP IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE.” Francis Schaeffer has a wonderful story that he tells on this same subject and I wanted to share with you later in this letter.
Many secularists have claimed that Christians do not even have the right to have a place at the table. However, the vast majority of great scientists of the last 500 years did hold the view that we live in an open system and they did not hold the view of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. Recently I read the article ANSWERING THE NEW ATHEISTS, by  KerbyAnderson,  Sunday, January 30 th, 2011, and that article notes:

Are science and Christianity at odds with one another? Certainly there have been times in the past when that has been the case. But to only focus on those conflicts is to miss the larger point that modern science grew out of a Christian world view. In a previous radio program based upon the book Origin Science by Dr. Norman Geisler and me, I explain Christianity’s contribution to the rise of modern science.{27}

Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow also point out in their book that most scientific pioneers were theists. This includes such notable as Nicolas Copernicus, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, Francis Bacon, and Max Planck. Many of these men actually pursued science because of their belief in the Christian God.

Alister McGrath challenges this idea that science and religion are in conflict with one another. He says, “Once upon a time, back in the second half of the nineteenth century, it was certainly possible to believe that science and religion were permanently at war. . . . This is now seen as a hopelessly outmoded historical stereotype that scholarship has totally discredited.”{28}

.Do religious people have a blind faith? Certainly some religious people exercise blind faith. But is this true of all religions, including Christianity? Of course not. The enormous number of Christian books on topics ranging from apologetics to theology demonstrate that the Christian faith is based upon evidence.

But we might turn the question around on the New Atheists. You say that religious faith is not based upon evidence. What is your evidence for that broad, sweeping statement? Where is the evidence for your belief that faith is blind?

Orthodox Christianity has always emphasized that faith and reason go together. Biblical faith is based upon historical evidence. It is not belief in spite of the evidence, but it is belief because of the evidence.

The Bible, for example, says that Jesus appeared to the disciples and provided “many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

Peter appealed to evidence and to eyewitnesses when he preached about Jesus as “a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22).

The Christian faith is not a blind faith. It is a faith based upon evidence. In fact, some authors contend that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.{7}

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Francis Schaeffer also has discussed the nature of proper Christian faith with this story below:

Suppose we are climbing in the Alps and are very high on the bare rock, and suddenly the fog rolls in. The guide turns to us and says that the ice is forming and that there is no hope; before morning we will all freeze to death here on the shoulder of the mountain. Simply to keep warm the guide keeps us moving in the dense fog further out on the shoulder until none of us have any idea where we are. After an hour or so, someone says to the guide, “Suppose I dropped and hit a ledge ten feet down in the fog. What would happen then?” The guide would say that you might make it until the morning and thus live. So, with absolutely no knowledge or any reason to support his action, one of the group hangs and drops into the fog. This would be one kind of faith, a leap of faith.

Suppose, however, after we have worked out on the shoulder in the midst of the fog and the growing ice on the rock, we had stopped and we heard a voice which said, “You cannot see me, but I know exactly where you are from your voices.  I am on another ridge. I have lived in these mountains, man and boy, for over sixty years and I know every foot of them. I assure you that ten feet below you there is a ledge. If you hang and drop, you can make it through the night and I will get you in the morning.

I would not hang and drop at once, but would ask questions to try to ascertain if the man knew what he was talking about and it he was not my enemy. In the Alps, for example, I would ask him his name. If the name he gave me was the name of a family from that part of the mountains, it would count a great deal to me. In the Swiss Alps there are certain family names that indicate mountain families of that area. In my desperate situation, even though time would be running out, I would ask him what to me would be the adequate and sufficient questions, and when I became convinced by his answers, then I would hang and drop.

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What kind of evidence is today that would convince you that God exists and the Bible is true? I submit to you that Biblical Archaeology is a field that has advanced tremendously in the last few decades and I propose you look in that area. Did you know that Charles Darwin was looking for evidence that confirmed the Bible’s accuracy back in the 19th century and this is one of the exact areas that he mentioned.

Darwin wrote in his Autobiography in 1876:

“But I was very unwilling to give up my belief; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

Just like Darwin you need to ask yourself this same question but you will be doing it almost a century and a half later: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Obviously Darwin was hoping that archaeology would provide some hope for the accuracy of the Bible. Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

AFTER ADEQUATE AND SUFFICIENT QUESTIONS OF YOURS BEING ANSWERED THEN YOU CAN BECOME CONVINCED AS SCHAEFFER’S STORY POINTS OUT.

This might interest you that my good friend in Little Rock  Craig Carney has an uncle named  Warren Carney who lives in Dayton, Tennessee, and  Warren was born in 1917 and he is last living witness of the Scopes Monkey trial. His father took him to the trial every day since they lived in Dayton and it was the biggest happening in the town’s history. Also I attended the funeral of Dr. Robert G. Lee (1886-1978) at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis and he is the minister who presided over William Jennings Bryan’s funeral in 1925. Of course, William Jennings Bryan took on Clarence Darrow at that famous trial. Below is an excerpt from the CD I sent you from Adrian Rogers on DARWINISM and it mentions some evidence presented by evolutionists in favor of Evolution. DOES THIS EVIDENCE FROM EVOLUTIONISTS EVEN COMPARE TO THAT I HAVE PUT FORTH CONCERNING THE ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE?

ADRIAN ROGERS FROM HIS MESSAGE ON “DARWINISM”:

The evolutionist can’t explain the steadfastness, the fixity, of the species. Now, what does the Bible say about the species? Well, Genesis 1, verses 11–12: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit”—now, listen to this phrase—“after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11–12). You continue this passage. Ten times God uses this phrase, “after his kind”—“after his kind,” “after his kind”—because like produces like.

Now, the evolutionist must believe that reproduction does not always come kind after kind. There has to be a mutation—or a transmutation, rather—between species—that you can become a protozoa; and then you can become an un-segmented worm; and then you may become a fish; and then you may become a reptile, and move from one species to another. Now, all of us know there is such a thing as mutation. If you have roses, you can get various varieties of roses. If you have dogs—canines—you can have everything from a poodle to a Great Dane, but they’re still canines; they’re still dogs. The scientists have bombarded fruit flies with gamma rays or some kind of rays to cause mutations, and they get all kinds of strange fruit flies. But, they never get June bugs; they’re still fruit flies. You see, there are variations and adaptations that God has built, but you never have one species turning to another species. You never have a cat turn into a dog that turns to a cow that turns to a horse. You just don’t have that.

Now, men have tried to do that. I heard, one time, about a marine biologist who tried to take one of these beautiful shell creatures called an abalone and cross it with a crocodile. What he got was a crock of baloney. And, anytime anybody tries this, that’s exactly what they come up with.
Now, you say, “Pastor Rogers, why are you so certain about the fixity of the species, the steadfastness of the species?” Number one: because the Bible teaches it, and that’s enough for me. But, let’s move beyond that. We’re not talking about theological reasons now; we’re talking about logical reasons. Friend, if this is true, you would expect to find transitional forms in the fossils. There are billions of fossils; there are trillions of fossils— multiplied fossils. In not one instance—are you listening?—in not one instance do we find a transitional form. None—there are none.

Now, there are some people who will attempt to show you a proof of these, but I can tell you that eminent scientists have proven that these are not true. You would think that if man has evolved for millions and billions of years, and that life has evolved from one-celled life, some amoeba, to what we have today, that, in the fossils in the earth, we would find these transitional forms. But, they’re not there. The people talking about finding the missing link… Friend, the whole chain is missing—the whole chain is missing. Now, you ask them to prove it—that that is not true; and, they cannot come up with evidence. Well, you say, “But Pastor, they seem to have the proof. What about these ape-men? What about these people who lived in caves—these cave dwellers?” We have cave dwellers today. People have lived in caves through the years. “But, what about these things that we see in the museum? What about these creatures in this Time-Life advertisement?” Those are the products of imagination, and artistry, and plaster of Paris.

Some years ago—in 1925, I believe it was—in Tennessee—Dayton, Tennessee— we had something called The Monkey Trial. Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan were in a court case. A teacher had taught evolution in school, and there were people who sued that evolution should not be taught in school. Now it is reversed— you’re sued if you don’t teach evolution in school. But, there was a great debate, and Clarence Darrow, who was a very brilliant lawyer, was presenting evidence for evolution. Part of the evidence that Clarence Darrow presented was Nebraska Man, and he had all of these pictures.

Now, what had happened is there was a man named Harold Cook. And, Harold Cook had found a piece of evidence, and out of that piece of evidence the artist had created this half-man, half-ape—this Nebraska Man. Well, what was it that Clarence Darrow used as evidence that Harold Cook had discovered? It was a tooth. I didn’t say, “teeth”; I said, “tooth.” He had a tooth; and, with that tooth, he had devised a race—male and female.

I was interested in reading, in my research for this message, where a creationist went to the University of Nebraska, where they have the campus museum. And, since he’s named Nebraska Man, they have the replica of Nebraska Man there, in the museum. So, this creationist went in there and said, “I want to see Nebraska Man.” So, they took him in there, and in a case were the skull and the skeleton of Nebraska Man. And, the creationist said, “Are these the actual bones of Nebraska Man?” “Oh,” he said, “no, they’re not the actual bones.” “Well,” the man said, “where could I see the actual bones?” “Oh,” he said, “well, we don’t have the bones. These are plaster of Paris casts of Nebraska Man.” “Well, you must have had the bones to make the cast.” The man in charge seemed embarrassed. “We don’t have any bones. All we have is a tooth.” That’s Nebraska Man. And, what they had done was to take a tooth, take some imagination, take an artist, take plaster of Paris, take some paste and some hair, and glue it on him—make a male, make a female, make a civilization called Nebraska Man out of one—one—tooth.

 What about the Piltdown man? I, in college, was introduced to the Piltdown man. Where’d we get his name? Well, Charles Dawson, in Piltdown, England, found in a gravel pit a piece of a jaw, two molar teeth, and a piece of a skull. For 50 years, this was known as “the Piltdown man,” but it was later shown to be a hoax. And, The Reader’s Digest, in 1958, said this—and I quote: “The great Piltdown hoax was an ape only 50 years old. Its teeth had been filed down and artificially colored.” Well, we laugh at that, and we say anybody could have a joke pulled on him. Yes, but friend, the scientists took this and put it in the museum for 50 years. Do you see how anxious man is to make a monkey of himself? I mean, it was a hoax.

Is your faith in the evidence that supports the theory of evolution comparable to the faith I have in the Word of God being true and God creating the world? Recently I ran across the term “Implicit Faith” and I thought of your view that evolution must be true and we have to be living in a closed system. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer. I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—

By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,—and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

 He now says who can accept the miracles? But notice again this is an argument from presuppositions, because what this means is that he has accepted the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system which I say is the basic presupposition  of modern man. So therefore since he has accepted a closed system he assumes there is no miracle, but that doesn’t mean he has any evidence that there were no miracles. It doesn’t mean he  is at ease as a man because he has ruled these things out. Darwin is a man in tension. Does  the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system explain the wonder of the universe and secondly the mannishness of man? He himself feels caught on these two great hooks of the real world. In others I would say, “DARWIN your presuppositions don’t even satisfy you. You rule miracles on the basis of your presuppositions but your belief of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system does not even satisfy you.” Darwin went to his death unsatisfied and yet  he was forced to give up his own presuppositions but he never gave them up. It seems to me you have the old man Darwin perspiring in his tension that you can only think of Paul’s conclusion in Romans 1, that when men deliberately turn away from the truth that is there, the external universe and the mannishness of man, God gives them up to an unsound mind. If there even was anybody that ever demonstrated this it was Darwin himself  at the end of his life. It is a position that Darwin holds with implicit faith. You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. 

There was an amazing man by the name of  H.J.Blackham (1903-2009) and he was the former president of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION. Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop quoted him in their book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79

One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

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To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)

IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

 

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

ADRIAN ROGERS ON DARWINISM

 

 

Is Belief in God More Reasonable than Disbelief – Arif Ahmed vs William Lane Craig

WILLIAM LANE CRAIG DEBATES ARIF AHMED: DOES GOD EXIST?

I thought that I would summarize a debate that occurred at Cambridge University between Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Arif Ahmed. Everyone knows Dr. Craig, but I should say that Arif Ahmed is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at Cambridge University.

The full MP3 is available here.

Below, I’ve summarized the two opening speeches from each debater.

Here is Dr. Craig’s opening speech: (1:24)

Craig’s case for God.

1) The origin of the universe (3:10)
– an eternal universe is not compatible with mathematics
– the impossibility of an actual infinite in nature (cites David Hilbert)
– an eternal universe is not compatible with science
– the big bang theory requires space and time to come into being out of nothing (cites PCW Davies)
– even radical alternative theories require an absolute beginning (cites Stephen Hawking)
– atheists must believe that the origin of space and time came from nothing and by nothing (cites Anthony Kenny)

Argument:
P1.1) Whatever begins to exist requires a cause
P1.2) The universe begin to exist
C1.3) Therefore, the universe requires a cause

What can the cause be:
– it must be eternal, because it caused time to exist
– it must be non-physical, because it caused space to begin to exist

Why must the cause of the universe be a person instead of a force?
Only minds can exist non-physically
– the only non-physical entities we know of are abstract objects and minds
– but abstract objects can’t cause physical effects
– therefore, the cause universe is a personal mind

Only minds can cause effects in time without antecedent conditions
– causally prior to the universe’s beginning, there were no antecedent conditions
– the only entity capable of acting freely, not based on antecedent conditions, are free agents
– therefore, the cause of the universe is a free agent

2) The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe (9:15)
– the fine-tuning of the universe is supported by science
– the constants and quantities given in the big bang can take any of a range of values
– the actual values are within a extremely narrow range that supports the requirements of life
– he gives the example of the fine-tuning of the gravitational constant
– he gives the example of the fine-tuning of the weak force

Argument:
P2.1) The fine-tuning is either due to law, chance or design
P2.2) It is not due to law, because the numbers are independent of the law
P2.3) It cannot be due to chance, the life-permitting band is tiny compared to the possible values
C2.4) Therefore, the fine-tuning is due to design

3) Objective moral values are plausibly grounded in God (12:41)
– objective moral values are values that exist and are binding regardless of what individuals think
– objective moral values cannot be rationally grounded on an atheistic worldview (cites Michael Ruse)
– atheists can recognize moral values and act on them, but they cannot explain their origin and existence
– atheists can only appeal to personal or cultural preferences to say what is right and wrong
– the existence of objective moral is undeniable

Argument:
P3.1) If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist
P3.2) Objective moral values do exist
C3.3) Therefore, God exists

4) The resurrection of Jesus implies that God exists (16:04)
– if the resurrection of Jesus happened, then it would be a miracle, implying that God exists
– three facts are recognized by the majority of scholars
– the tomb was found empty after his death (cites Jacob Kramer)
– individuals and groups saw Jesus after his death (cites Gerd Ludemann)
– the belief in the resurrection of Jesus was totally unexpected (cites N.T. Wright)
– naturalistic explanations of these facts have been rejected by the consensus of scholars

Argument:
P4.1) The 3 minimal facts are established
P4.2) The hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead is the best explanation for these facts
P4.3) The hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead entails that God exists
C4.4) Therefore, God exists

5) God can be known directly by personal experience (20:02)
– God can be experienced just like you experience a relationship with human persons

Dr. Ahmed’s first opening speech: (22:10)

Rebuttal to Craig’s case for God.

0) Craig is wrong about faith and reason (25:20)
– Craig’s book Reasonable Faith, he makes a number of statements about faith and reason
– He writes that Christianity is not accountable to reason if reason goes against Christianity
– He writes that the truth of Christianity is knowable without rational arguments
– He writes that even if there are no reasons to believe, and many reasons to disbelieve, humans are still obligated to believe
– Question for Craig: is Christianity reasonable or isn’t it? Do reasons matter or don’t they?

1) Response to Craig’s first argument: the origin of the universe (28:27)
– what mathematicians say about the contradictory nature of subtraction and division for actual infinities is wrong
– what cosmologists and physicists say about the beginning of time is wrong, every event follows another one, there is no first event
– even if the universe is 15 billion years old, the act of Creation requires time and there was no time prior to the supposed beginning of the universe for God to act in
– the cause of the universe need not be a personal agent
– all minds are made of matter so a mind cannot be the cause of the universe, because all the people who pre-suppose materialism like me think that minds must be made of matter
– it is impossible for a person to act outside of time,because all the persons I know act in time
– why did God wait 15 billion years before creating humans and relating to them? – i wouldn’t have done it that way

2) Response to Craig’s second argument: the fine-tuning of the creation (32:38)
– where do these probabilities that Craig is using come from?

3) Response to Craig’s third argument: the moral argument (34:07)
– I have personal preferences about what counts as right and wrong, and they are superior to God’s preferences
– moral intuitions are not a good way of discovering objective moral values, so therefore objective moral values don’t exist

4) Response to Craig’s fourth argument: the resurrection (36:00)
– the number of eyewitnesses is not enough, because groups number of eyewitnesses can be fooled by illusions, as in David Copperfield illusions
– the Gospels contradict themselves, e.g. – the story of Matthew’s earthquake and walking dead isn’t in Mark – so that’s a contradiction, so the Gospels are not reliable sources for Craig’s 3 minimal facts

5) Response to Craig’s fourth argument: personal experience (37:30)
– there are many different religious experiences because there are many different religions
– if lots of people disagree about something, then no one can be right

Ahmed’s case against God.

1) Absence of evidence is evidence of absence (39:00)
– if there is are no reasons to believe in God, then this alters reality to make it true that he doesn’t exist

2) The inductive argument from evil (40:04)
– some evil is gratuitous – events cause people to suffer, and has no benefit that I can see, based on my limited knowledge in time and space and my personal preference of what counts as a benefit and what doesn’t
– God would not have allowed people to suffer, because God’s job is to make us feel happy in this life

3) Belief in God makes people evil (41:52)
– all genuinely religious people are very immoral, according to my personal preferences about what counts as right and wrong

Further study

In case you are wondering about his inductive argument from evil, please read this summary on the problems of evil and suffering, which is taken from my list of arguments for and against Christian theism.  Keep in my mind that I am a software engineer with two degrees in computer science… not philosophy!

Craig mentions a paper by the late William P. Alston of Syracuse University in his rebuttal to the inductive problem of evil. The paper lists six limitations on human cognitive capacities that make it difficult for humans to know that some instance of  apparently gratuitous evil really is gratuitious – that God has no morally sufficient reason for permitting this specific instance of evil.  Since Ahmed is making the claim that some evil is gratuitous, he bears the burden of proof.

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