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Hitchens refutation of the design argument

phantom
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11/12/2012 2:03:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Hitch always seems to have the same response to design arguments. I noticed it in his debate with Craig, then with Hannity and other places. The problem is, I think it largely evades the argument and remains too unscientific.

His rebuttal goes along the lines of the following. The universe is full of exploding stars, black holes and imploding galaxies, and our universe itself will one day reach 100% entropy. He also mentions other flaws. In his opinion, they are supposed to discredit the idea of a designer and in a way they do, but it still falls very short.

His objection does nothing to refute the design argument really. It doesn't address the evidence given for the argument. I see it as an evasion. If there is evidence of a designer, you should refute the evidence presented rather than throwing other points about as if they refute it. Also, it's a little fallacious to presume from our limited perspective that the universe is so flawed it can't have been designed. I mean, who knows what a god would do if he created the universe? And entropy is a physical law. Is it reasonable to say that god could create a universe that wouldn't suffer these fates? And why would he want to anyway? According to most theistic worldviews, life on this planet is supposed to be finite so God would have to exert a lot of extra power to make it last when there's no reason too. You could also add the point that any possible Gods' plans are completely unknowable, therefore it is fallacious to assume such arguments disprove the design argument.

I have other problems with him too. Sometimes I like him a lot. Other times he has me shaking my head. Overall I find him overrated.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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11/12/2012 4:39:01 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 2:03:30 PM, phantom wrote:
Hitch always seems to have the same response to design arguments. I noticed it in his debate with Craig, then with Hannity and other places. The problem is, I think it largely evades the argument and remains too unscientific.

His rebuttal goes along the lines of the following. The universe is full of exploding stars, black holes and imploding galaxies, and our universe itself will one day reach 100% entropy. He also mentions other flaws. In his opinion, they are supposed to discredit the idea of a designer and in a way they do, but it still falls very short.

His objection does nothing to refute the design argument really. It doesn't address the evidence given for the argument. I see it as an evasion. If there is evidence of a designer, you should refute the evidence presented rather than throwing other points about as if they refute it. Also, it's a little fallacious to presume from our limited perspective that the universe is so flawed it can't have been designed. I mean, who knows what a god would do if he created the universe? And entropy is a physical law. Is it reasonable to say that god could create a universe that wouldn't suffer these fates? And why would he want to anyway? According to most theistic worldviews, life on this planet is supposed to be finite so God would have to exert a lot of extra power to make it last when there's no reason too. You could also add the point that any possible Gods' plans are completely unknowable, therefore it is fallacious to assume such arguments disprove the design argument.

I have other problems with him too. Sometimes I like him a lot. Other times he has me shaking my head. Overall I find him overrated.



Hitchens was amazing at attacking religion, I applaud him for that. However, his arguments with regards to God's existence were lackluster. Anyway, the design/ fine-tuning argument is weak because there is 0 evidence that the universe could have taken different constants. Imagining that there could have been different combinations of constants, doesn't all of a sudden, magically, make that assumption true with nothing to back it up. There has to be evidence, or a good reason at least to support this claim. Also, if there could have been other combinations of constants, there is 0 evidence that they would be as many combinations as imagined by scientists and philosophers. For example, lets say you have a number generator that can only spew out numbers 5, 8, 3, 12, 89, 578, and 906 (and this number generator has enough room for only 3 digits). Now, without knowing that only 7 different numbers could pop out, we would imagine 999 possibilities, when there were only 7...All these outrageously low odds of our universe turning out the way it is, are based on, in reality, nothing at all. I think it's self evident that was have 0 idea how many other constant combinations there "could have" been, meaning, fine-tuning/ design arguments are based on zilch.
phantom
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11/12/2012 9:08:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
@RationalThinker, Good points. Exactly the kind of thing Hitchens should have reverted to.

I do agree, he was very intelligent in some of his arguments against religion. I find that he was too engrossed and sure about his belief, and too anti-theist though. Some of the time it seemed his anti-religion nature effected his arguments not in a good way. It's like when he says he finds the idea that a being is watching and monitoring us constantly throughout the day a horrible thought. That hardly bars me against religion at all. It does give some intellectual discredit to it for sure, but not anything psychologically significant. Like who would really care that much? You're just one in 6 billion people to God. It wouldn't impose any sense of loss of privacy to me and weigh that with the prospect of an after-life and I'd hardly give it a thought. I also can't respect his deep contempt. I think it's rather unfortunate that the atheist community looks up to him so much because it breads intolerance. Many atheists want to be like him and so mock and ridicule religion to the extreme. But what's worse is a lot of them don't have the intellect to do so in any intelligent way. Hitchens and Dawkins seem to be the leading atheists of the day, and I find it unfortunate. I respect those who are respectful. Hitchens was far from that so I find myself disliking him in a few ways.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
MouthWash
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11/12/2012 10:43:03 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Who cares about Dawkins and Hitchens? They're celebrities, not intellectuals. I don't even bother to refute their followers anymore. It's like explaining to Bieber fans why their idol has no talent.
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
stubs
Posts: 1,887
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11/12/2012 11:16:54 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 10:43:03 PM, MouthWash wrote:
Who cares about Dawkins and Hitchens? They're celebrities, not intellectuals. I don't even bother to refute their followers anymore. It's like explaining to Bieber fans why their idol has no talent.

Bieber has talent tho...
Nur-Ab-Sal
Posts: 1,637
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11/12/2012 11:18:09 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 11:16:54 PM, stubs wrote:
At 11/12/2012 10:43:03 PM, MouthWash wrote:
Who cares about Dawkins and Hitchens? They're celebrities, not intellectuals. I don't even bother to refute their followers anymore. It's like explaining to Bieber fans why their idol has no talent.

Bieber has talent tho...

Try again.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
muzebreak
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11/12/2012 11:24:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 10:43:03 PM, MouthWash wrote:
Who cares about Dawkins and Hitchens? They're celebrities, not intellectuals. I don't even bother to refute their followers anymore. It's like explaining to Bieber fans why their idol has no talent.

Actually, they're both. That's why Hitches is celebrated as one of the greatest writers of our time, and Dawkins one of the greatest biologists. The problem is that they both stepped into areas that they either didn't fully comprehend or were simply not ready to argue in. This was facilitated by their rise to fame in the debating circuit and as speakers.
"Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through the system with their wonder and enthusiasm for science intact." - Carl Sagan

This is the response of the defenders of Sparta to the Commander of the Roman Army: "If you are a god, you will not hurt those who have never injured you. If you are a man, advance - you will find men equal to yourself. And women.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.
Nur-Ab-Sal
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11/12/2012 11:59:49 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.

Even worse is Dawkins. The "Who designed the Designer" argument totally misses the point.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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11/13/2012 12:03:29 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 11:59:49 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.

Even worse is Dawkins. The "Who designed the Designer" argument totally misses the point.

WLC has a great counter point to that argument as well... Oh how I adore the mind of WLC.
bossyburrito
Posts: 14,075
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11/13/2012 12:13:35 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/12/2012 11:59:49 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.

Even worse is Dawkins. The "Who designed the Designer" argument totally misses the point.

Why?
#UnbanTheMadman

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Nur-Ab-Sal
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11/13/2012 12:14:58 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 12:13:35 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:59:49 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.

Even worse is Dawkins. The "Who designed the Designer" argument totally misses the point.

Why?

It's completely irrelevant.

For instance, if we grant (which I don't) that God was created, does that refute anything about the teleological argument?
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/13/2012 12:17:10 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 12:14:58 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:13:35 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:59:49 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.

Even worse is Dawkins. The "Who designed the Designer" argument totally misses the point.

Why?

It's completely irrelevant.

For instance, if we grant (which I don't) that God was created, does that refute anything about the teleological argument?

It leads to infinite regress.

It's not a good argument at all except for the fact that it brings into question the origin of God but then we're getting into mere speculation.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Nur-Ab-Sal
Posts: 1,637
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11/13/2012 12:20:14 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 12:17:10 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:14:58 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:13:35 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:59:49 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.

Even worse is Dawkins. The "Who designed the Designer" argument totally misses the point.

Why?

It's completely irrelevant.

For instance, if we grant (which I don't) that God was created, does that refute anything about the teleological argument?

It leads to infinite regress.

It's not a good argument at all except for the fact that it brings into question the origin of God but then we're getting into mere speculation.

The teleological argument doesn't state anything like "everything must be designed," so there's no inherent infinite regress flaw.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
phantom
Posts: 6,774
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11/13/2012 12:23:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 12:20:14 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:17:10 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:14:58 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:13:35 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:59:49 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.

Even worse is Dawkins. The "Who designed the Designer" argument totally misses the point.

Why?

It's completely irrelevant.

For instance, if we grant (which I don't) that God was created, does that refute anything about the teleological argument?

It leads to infinite regress.

It's not a good argument at all except for the fact that it brings into question the origin of God but then we're getting into mere speculation.

The teleological argument doesn't state anything like "everything must be designed," so there's no inherent infinite regress flaw.

I was taking the infinite regress from your hypothetical assumption that God was created. Dawkins argues that theistic logic leads to an infinite regress because God would need a designer and then whatever designed God would need a designer and so on. So if you concede the first point that God is designed, it essentially leads to the problem of infinite regress.
"Music is a zen-like ecstatic state where you become the new man of the future, the Nietzschean merger of Apollo and Dionysus." Ray Manzarek (The Doors)
Nur-Ab-Sal
Posts: 1,637
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11/13/2012 12:24:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 11/13/2012 12:23:59 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:20:14 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:17:10 AM, phantom wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:14:58 AM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/13/2012 12:13:35 AM, bossyburrito wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:59:49 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 11/12/2012 11:44:34 PM, ConservativePolitico wrote:
Hitchens makes no good points in this clip whatsoever. He babbles about how the Universe isn't as pretty as he would like it and how that somehow disproves God's entire existence.

Hitchens is stuck up, overrated and not very well spoken. I find him to be more irritating than he is an intellectual threat.

Even worse is Dawkins. The "Who designed the Designer" argument totally misses the point.

Why?

It's completely irrelevant.

For instance, if we grant (which I don't) that God was created, does that refute anything about the teleological argument?

It leads to infinite regress.

It's not a good argument at all except for the fact that it brings into question the origin of God but then we're getting into mere speculation.

The teleological argument doesn't state anything like "everything must be designed," so there's no inherent infinite regress flaw.

I was taking the infinite regress from your hypothetical assumption that God was created. Dawkins argues that theistic logic leads to an infinite regress because God would need a designer and then whatever designed God would need a designer and so on. So if you concede the first point that God is designed, it essentially leads to the problem of infinite regress.

I see what you're saying now.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.