This is just one of his responses to William Lane Craig, which I also mentioned previously, but I thought it was particularly good.
Warning: This does require concentration. It was late at night when I watched this the first time, and my brain-power was so lacking that I had to listen to it again the next day in order to fully understand what he's saying here. :)
But this fits in very well with my post about proving God through philosophy. Note that Craig himself wasn't convinced that his god exists due to his study of philosophy. No, he was already a Christian, so he was just trying to find a way to justify what he already believed, what he'd probably been taught since infancy.
As Scott Clifton says, Craig isn't using philosophy in a bottom-up attempt to determine the truth. Instead, he decided what the truth was first - it was what he'd been raised to believe, what he wanted to believe - and now he's using a top-down attempt to find a reason to justify that belief.
Craig was apparently smart enough to realize there was no good evidence backing up his beliefs, so he turned to philosophy. But does that help? Or is it just that it's easier to fool people with philosophy? (As I noted previously, most philosophers are atheists themselves, so they certainly don't find Craig's arguments compelling.)
Scott Clifton points out some of the fallacies of Craig's argument, and I find that interesting. But who does find that argument compelling? I doubt if he convinces any atheists. Does anyone turn to Christianity because of William Lane Craig's Kalam Cosmological Argument?
If you don't understand philosophy, Craig's argument might sound compelling, but are you really going to change your mind thanks to an argument you don't understand? And if you do understand philosophy, you're going to see the flaws in it (as I already noted, philosophers themselves generally don't agree with Craig).
But this isn't really the point anyway, is it? You see, William Lane Craig is making a very good living consoling Christians by making it appear - to them, at least - that their beliefs have some sound backing, if not in science, at least in philosophy. (And he's consoling himself, too - assuming that he believes what he says.)
Craig's fans already believe in Christianity. They don't need to be convinced of anything. What they want is someone who will tell them that they're smart for believing what they already believe - almost always, what they've been raised to believe. That's why Craig is so popular.
Well, it's always easy to believe what you really want to believe. Everyone is susceptible to that, even very intelligent people. (One of the strengths of the scientific method is that, although none of us likes to be wrong, we don't have any problem demonstrating that other people are wrong. That's one of the reasons why the scientific method works.)
I don't have a particularly high opinion of philosophy, just because it isn't grounded in the real world like science is. Arguments can be logical - certainly, arguments can seem logical - without necessarily being true. Science is grounded on evidence. Scientists have to demonstrate that their arguments actually match up to reality.
Still, I can enjoy a good philosophical argument like this. At the very least, it's probably a useful exercise for my brain, don't you think? (Like all those ads I keep seeing over and over again on YouTube? Hmm,... you get them, too, right? I hope those aren't just targeted at me!)
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It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong - Richard Feynman
The general root of superstition is that men observe when things hit, and not when they miss, and commit to memory the one, and pass over the other. - Sir Francis Bacon
When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Speculation is perfectly all right, but if you stay there you've only founded a superstition. If you test it, you've started a science. - Hal Clement
No matter how many times a theory meets its tests successfully, there can be no certainty that it will not be overthrown by the next observation. This, then, is a cornerstone of modern natural philosophy. It makes no claim of attaining ultimate truth. In fact, the phrase "ultimate truth" becomes meaningless, because there is no way in which enough observations can be made to make truth certain and, therefore, "ultimate". - Isaac Asimov
The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion. - Treaty of Tripoli, passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate and signed by President John Adams (1797)
I don't doubt the sincerity of dowsers, but even after we've demonstrated that they can't produce results that are any better than chance they'll still go away believing in their abilities... It is like the mother whose son is caught shoplifting on tape. She wonders why someone would want to frame her child by producing a fake video. - James Randi
During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church ... imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. - Mark Twain
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. - Bertrand Russell
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. - Friedrich Nietzsche
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This is not about proof. Science does not use proof. We favor evidence, and the work consists largely of the slow accumulation of evidence in support of ideas, not magically potent proofs that establish an idea as unassailable. - PZ Myers
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The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence. Science is simply common sense at its best - that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic. - Thomas Huxley
There is no absurdity so obvious that it cannot be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to impose it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity. - Arthur Schopenhauer
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