Methodology on God : Matt Dillahunty is Bad · Others Commented under Matt's Video · More answering other comments · Methodology on God : Lynne Atwater is Worse
In this video, that is:
Matt Dillahunty - A believer calls in and get destroyed - Atheist Experience
Atheist favorites | 15.III.2017
Note : the video is here from 2017, but I think the show was on air in 2013.
- If you believe in Heliocentrism, Millions of Years, for that matter Evolution (most atheists do), I consider you as unduly gullible:
Creation vs. Evolution : Does an Extraordinary Claim Require Extraordinary Evidence?
2:34 If you consider Christianity is not based on evidence that is demonstrable, you are ignorant.
3:04 You demonstrated some kind of gravity, not necessarily that it was the Newtonian one.
And by appealing to reason about what you demonstrated, you also demonstrate you believe in universal validity of reason and that this applies even to the reason of men. Who are not eternal and sometimes foolish (even pretty often).
This validity is only explicable if reality is not ultimately based on impersonal forces.
But the alternative is a person or a set of persons (three to be precise) is the foundation of every other reality there is, including atoms and (if any) electrons and quarks.
And how would such a person or rather set of three persons not be God?
Ergo, some kind of God (in fact the Christian one) exists.
Thank you for demonstrating that, or at least that that is what you are ultimately implying when you reason to prove gravitation.
Oh, you took offense at my saying the God thus proven is precisely three persons, and the Christian one?
Well, how do you prove the gravitation your pen showed is the Newtonian or Einsteinian rather than the Aristotelic one?
3:14 If faith in watching a pen drop is not equivalent to faith in God, faith in dropping pen proving there is natural law is.
- 3:54 No, you describe a phenomenon when you say an object finding itself with no support above ground level (like fingers let go) or above other intervening level (like your table), will accelerate at c. 10 m/s:s or 10 m/s2. Towards a direction intuitively called down.
You are then leaving out the behaviour of objects offering air resistance. If parachutes behaved like that, nothing else to them, they wouldn't save lives.
So, you say it is because of air resistance parachutes don't behave like that. Now you have no longer just described a behaviour, but suddenly reasoned about an actual cause.
But this reason about an actual cause in one case implies some actual cause in the other case too, so you have proven there has to be some kind of gravitation.
A N D by the fact that you are appealing to universally valid reason, you are demonstrating that you are not considering your thought to be based ultimately on non-rational particles (this is not CSL's original wording before Anscombe debate, it is his revised wording after it).
This in turns means the non-rational particles are based on sth which can sense reason, i e on a person.
And it can't be you or me, we weren't here long enough and we are not reasonable 24/24, 7/7, etc, we sometimes sleep and we sometimes are drunk or sth other.
4:02 Your claim on not using gravity as causal agent but only as a description while eluding some points if true, is not true.
It is verbiage meant to camouflage an inconsistency in your position.
4:05 oh, you have stated "attraction" of items, but that is not a behaviour, it is not always borne out (at least to our observations), and you have also stated "mass", now you are chosing Newtonian or Einsteinian causality over Aristotelic ... no, you are very definitely beyond a mere description of what can be observed when watching falling objects.
The acceleration pattern as such can be so observed, if you tie a long paper strip and let it drop with strip going through a fast whatever it is called that makes holes at set time intervals.
But when you say "attraction" or "mass" or even "item" you are going beyond mere observation, you are reasoning about causality.
4:23 Again, bodies falling at a certain acceleration is a phenomenon, but once you state "mass" or "attraction" you are beyond phenomenon and into causality.
4:35 "I don't say it is the mass" (even of earth?) "that is attracting the pen"
Physicists often do say that, don't you trust your scientists?
Plus, you contradicted what you just said:
4:17 "I believe that bodies of mass attract each other"
If you say the mass of the pen is also attracting the earth, though very much less so, you are, once again, saying that mass, per se invisible, is doing an attraction act, per se invisible, of which the result is, however, visible : the pen that is dropped accelerates towards the table.
So, you have in fact, even if you denied it later on at 4:35, stated you believe in invisible things because of visible phenomena - which you only do because you are causally analysing the visible phenomenon by an invisible cause.
Good job, we Theists do that too ...
4:39 "demonstrating a phenomenon for your God"
You reasoned. This is a phenomenon to show reality is based on personal rather than impersonal bases, ultimately.
Plus miracles, attested.
You could not reason in a way to prove them wrong or even "highly improbable" without making assumptions (in this case negative ones) about causality. If you are really agnostic about causalities, you must take miracle reports at face value.
If there is anything beyond appearances or phenomena you are not agnostic about, you must admit there is reason, which argues there is a God ... which could with some further analysis, or based on the miracles, be the kind of God who sometimes does miracles.
- 4:45 "has there been a conformed demonstrable miracle"
If St Bernadette hallucinated, how do you account for the highly peculiar pattern of the hallucinations? No fever or excited pulse, as the doctor could verify, started on a certain date involved rendez-vous, ended on a certain date. No difference in her physical health status or mental capacities before, during or after, she was a peasant girl, but clearly not mad.
If St Bernadette hallucinated, how do you account for her finding a well when following orders of the "hallucination"?
If St Bernadette hallucinated, how do you account for the healings that happened after this?
If you cry out "the whole story is a Jesuit fabrication" you are not describing the evidence, the phenomena, you are describing residual Protestant prejudice.
4:50 "where, when"
From 11 February to 16 July 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of "a Lady".
Lourdes is in Hautes Pyrénées:
1858 France was under the régime of Napoléon III, which favoured freemasonry. Even if the Catholic Church was protected and had a status (like Anglican Church in England, except papacy is a foreign power involved), the state did not really favour miracles or the Church proclaiming there was actual proof for Her beliefs.
If the Catholic Church had wanted to pull off a fraud, She would not have been in a position too.
- 5:14 "every time we"ve investigated miracles, we have failed to confirm them"
OK, you talk of investigating miracles, or you talk of investigating the paranatural?
Those are different things and different research teams are involved.
For medical miracles one of the research teams are doctors who have done medicine - and who know from med school how diseases can be cured.
And when they were cured in a way that they can't be cured. In other words, the phenomenon usually classified as miracle.
- 6:39 - 6:46 "because science is the single most consistently demonstrable reliable pathway to discerning what we most best understand about"
A vast claim about "science" and no phenomenon to back that one up.
6:52 "examining evidence in the light of critical thinking"
OK, and some other kind of thinking than the one you call critical, nay even some other application of same kind of thinking than the one you include is not providing light to examine evidence?
That is sectarian faith in science.
- 7:46 "do you know what changed people's minds? evidence not faith! - yes, but had that evidence not come ..."
Are we supposed to change our minds all the time, to the least suggestion of sth being a piece of evidence?
Or can we have faith in what we reasonably consider we already have evidence for?
8:09 "science doesn't tell you about truth"
Nice verbal juggling, but not born out the least by your behaviour, since you behave as if you had and George lacked the truth about some matter.
8:16 without absolutes, how do you even temporarily, provisorily check out what is "best" about anything, including provisoric models?
- 8:37 If your positions is really just tentative, why do you rule out the possibility in advance of finding a belief about truth ... true?
Faith being very much about what evidence we have for God becoming Man (and staying so after Resurrection) 2000 years ago, it is very much about evidence.
You misdefine faith in order to build up a difference you can construe as a "high ground".
- 9:15 Not believing but accepting (nice verbal juggling again) the scientific theories because they are "demonstrably the best models that fit the evidence"
- 1) With regards to us moving around in universe or on a ball that is over four billion years old, no, it is not demonstrable;
- 2) By invoking "demonstrably" (as well as by invoking best and by calling phenomena "evidence" - linguistically that tends to me "evidence for sth one is proving") you are again invoking the universal validity of reason, which is so damning to all forms of naturalism, including obsiously its most pronounced form, Western Atheism.
9:30 "Because you don't have the evidence to back up your beliefs"
Thanks for skipping the verbal juggling, and noted, again, you are very clearly not only overconfident in scientists but also over suspicious of whatever evidence Christians may have.
- 10:00 I wonder why the lady (not knowing what Matt Dillahunty's "sidekick" is called, sorry) is taking up two sides in a jury and presenting the one as basing their conclusion on evidence and the other as pointing out one who looks guilty.
Obviously, no sane juror is considering some suspect looks guilty if he does not think evidence points to guilt.
Both sides in that jury are equally basing their conclusion on evidence.
As they are presented with same evidence, one of them is either looking at it the wrong way or they have different criteria on what evidence is sufficient for pronouncing guilt.
I'd like to have a known case (historic or even in pop culture) where the ones voting for innocence are saying more of "the evidence points to".
Have you read the excellent book Manalive, by Chesterton? Yes? No?
In it, there is a jury, and the ones most often invoking the "evidence" are those who want to pronounce someone criminally mad. In the end, it is a fairly happy comedy overall, it's a clear "not guilty" vote by nearly everyone except the plaintiff.
The ones claiming Innocent Smith is innocent are the ones not content to look at evidence, but who want to actually scrutinise the details of the evidence in order to see if the evidence was really pointing where it was supposed to point.
I also wonder, why she (sorry Maam, don't know your name), is taking up the parallel of a criminal case, since :
- "innocent unless proven guilty" only applies there, not on disputes (like contractual lawsuits), where both sides are required to provide evidence
- "innocent unless proven guilty" is not the universal, but only a very civilised way of looing at criminal courts.
Also, "innocent" is not always a prely negative claim, as we saw from a recent criminal procedure in Australia. Cardinal Pell was required to prove he could not have done sth with two choir boys. First he seemed to have a case, then someone testified if two sneaked back into the sacristy after all had been on parade and in civil clothes, they might not have been noticed. So, he was condemned partly because of that and partly because his lawyer (an atheist of Jewish faimly background) changed his mind and started to believe his client guilty and started to plead that instead of what his client was actually pleading.
New blog on the kid : Is Pell Innocent and Betrayed by Lawyer?
- 10:20 Oh, the point was to compare Christians to very dishonest or criminally insane jurors who are prepared to hang a man because he looks guilty, with no regard at all to the evidence.
Nice push, rhetorically, but it only works with very uneducated people who know very little of Christianity.
Plus, it might reflect some kind of "paranoia" (not sure what to call that kind of historic prejudice, but it's about as absurd as the psychiatric diagnosis paranoia, not that I am making one) about Inquisitors and Pogroms.
I mean, that kind of very emotional pleading about what side to take in an argument about facts, not about suspects and their guilt, is not very well calculated to keep the debate on a sane level.
10:25 You are also comparing the Christian to someone who's very alone, someone who is up against "everybody else".
One day, Christians may be that, in places we already are, but overall, no, we historically aren't. It's you atheists who are a historic clear minority and oddity who are up against how everybody else sees the evidence.
- Back to Dillahunty:
11:29 "we could both be mistaken"
You mean either of us could be. Supposing "God" means the same in both sentences "you believe there is" and "I believe there isn't" the relation is a contradictory one, where not only only one can be right, but also only one could be wrong.
"how do we determine which of us is most likely correct"
Well, by looking at the evidence and seeing in good logic what it proves.
Wait, you don't believe in God, so maybe you don't believe logic proves anything?
Well, if so, you have shown some capacity so far of disregarding that belief and on occasion arguing as if you believe in logic.
Why not do that instead of assuring the caller he has no evidence?
- 12:03 Here Matt goes ugly.
- 1) First how do we determine whether your truthclaim is correct - as in Matt and George together are .... judging George. Sounds somewhat lightly or even heavily suggestive of psychiatry.
- 2) George gives a an answer which might be helpful in such a context, you need to see at the evidence and see what it means to you.
- 3) Matt declares that as tantamount to opinion.
No, not really. You see, Christians and Atheists do not form a jury together with Christians in the dock.
Therefore, while there are universal rules about logic, there is no need in practise that Christians and Atheists apply them like, or that they apply them together with each other in such a manner as to apply them alike.
If George is politely intimating that Atheists could be using their logic wrong, he is not wrong and he is also not invoking opinion.
- 12:38 "He arguably determined whether or not we should believe your claim."
It can indeed happen that some Atheist is refused any grace he would need to convert to Theism. But this is not simply because he happened to be an Atheist. It is a special punishment.
The argument is from a Calvinistic view of God, in which grace cannot be resisted and in which an unbeliever is presumed predestined to unbelief and to Hell. This view is as false as Atheism, if not worse.
So, one more, it is not as if George were making a claim and Matt Dillahunty with the lady at his side weren't. Matt & Co. have been making several wild claims, directly or by implication of their comparisons throughout the video so far, and it isn't even over yet.
I am one not believing their claims to be calmly judging after the evidence, I did quite a lot of answers already yesterday, and instead of seeing any of them responded to, so far, I have seen some sectarian supporters of Matt hide my comments with more recent ones. Arguably a bit like when he was pastor and an atheist arguing was interrupted by pastor Dillahunty's flock's Halleluiah's ... if that's not how he did it back then, I have seen the tendency.
12:57 "[not] preaching that there is no God."
Well, you have been somewhat preachy more than once, so far.
If you just argued there is no God, that need not be preachy, but you have been that.
13:11 "[Theists] assert that a God exists, atheists do not believe [that]"
Western Atheism does believe more than one other thing instead of God existing. In common, between all or near all atheists.
How many believe earth is 4.5 billion years old, without any historic evidence for that?
Again, if you believe in Heliocentrism, Millions of Years, for that matter Evolution (most atheists do), I consider you as unduly gullible:
Creation vs. Evolution : Does an Extraordinary Claim Require Extraordinary Evidence?
- 13:29 "first they have to define their God and say where they believe he exists before we can have a discussion"
In that case, you have never had such a discussion, you have systematically interrupted callers well before they could even get that far.
And you are again taking the somewhat impolite show of telling the opponent how you want him to conduct his side of the debate.
The Atheists involved in Socratic Club back in the day of C. S. Lewis must be blushing, if any is alive and seeing you.
14:10 "I have asked you repeatedly"
I have responded repeatedly. Wait, what did I say one or two comments ago?
I am one not believing their claims to be calmly judging after the evidence, I did quite a lot of answers already yesterday, and instead of seeing any of them responded to, so far, I have seen some sectarian supporters of Matt hide my comments with more recent ones.
Hmmm, this video channel is not Dillahunty's. It's a fan of his.
Dillahunty is perhaps less sectarian.
14:30 I think the caller did give a reason why he was not the Christian best qualified to take a debate with Dillahunty.
Not quite sorry he did finally.
- 1) I can get into a written debate (I have no qualms about telling an opponent sth he will arguably consider laughable, or no qualms is over the top, but less qualms than many);
- 2) after seeing Matt's oral performance, I am wise enough to avoid an oral debate.
So, here is my written comment, and we'll see if he responds in written debate.
- 14:52 "[does your methodology have any] demonstrable accuracy, is there a way to measure his good your method attested can we determine how accurate your method is"
First, Matt was very impolite in first verifying George's methodology was one Matt would reject and then go on and ask George why he wants to use it himself, not why he'd want Matt to use it, but why George is using one Matt wouldn't use. George has no reason to take Matt as either his Pope or his Bible.
Second, depends. Depends on how reasonable someone (Matt or other reader) is in determining it.
I suspect, to the satisfaction of Matt's opinion, I wouldn't.
I could say "logic has a good record" (Pascal was fairly logical and invented the wheelbarrow, another fairly logical person, Roger Bacon, invented the corrective glasses).
But on one hand, Matt could pretend, it was not "logic" but "science" which helped Pascal and Bacon to their inventions.
But even more, there is no logical way to determine whether logic (per se) is accurate or not. You can logically consider someone's logic inaccurate, because it is illogic. Like, you detect a quaternio terminorum, an undistributed middle, and some more like that. But this already presupposes that logic (as such) is accurate.
Which brings us to, logic can be supposed as accurate, not because it can be logically proven so, but because everyone is so using it.
One can of course point to all results, but the problem is, I could claim Pascal and Bacon invented because of what was logic in their outlook, Matt could hijack their success as a proof of the modern "scientific method". And at the same time pretend it is the same scientific method which also gives us 4.5 billions of years, Earth rotating around axis, orbitting around Sun and orbitting with Sun around the galaxy's centre.
These don't logically belong together.
- I may add more later, but for now I think I'll stop the video at 14:52, or, more logically, have stopped it there, and publish the so far comments.
- did some more next day, after coming into debates (see link to next one above or here).
- 15:08 "that is either that you can't even determine if it's accurate"
I think determining accuracy of your method is fairly usually one of the last concerns one has.
One is not an idiot because one uses a method which so far has not been shown to one's own satisfaction to be inaccurate.
Plus, if it has, one usually doesn't throw it away, one refines it. It wasn't inaccurate because it was the wrong method, it was inaccurate because one used it carelessly.
If your determination that what you call science is accurate is, it gave us lots of functioning and some of it fairly useful things, let me tell you two things at once:
- 1) the inventors were not wasting their time in determining if their method was accurate : some wanted to know how accurate their method was and how it could be made more accurate, fine, that's another kettle of fish, none wasted their time determining if their method was accurate;
- 2) the inventors were using theorems much more testable than some assumptions behind what you would call the scientific world view.
In order to invent sth, knowing that at typical height above centre of earth the typical acceleration of free fall is c. 1 m/s2 is much more useful than to know whether it happens because:
- heavy things want to get to centre of universe (as per Aristotle)
- masses attract each other proportionately to magnitude of mass attracting, without regard to magnitude of mass being attracted, and inversely to square of distance (as per Newton)
- mass bends space and "attraction" really is only "a geodesic in space" (as per Einstein, as far as I got him).
Plus, the question actually does open up to a wider one : is reason reasonable?
If it is, what is a universe like in which reason can exist?
If it isn't, why do you make claims about the universe at all (and yes, atheism both is and involves further ones)?
15:16 "it's like using a ruler where the numbers are all over the place and you have no idea if this ruler is accurate or not"
There is really no ruler that looks like that, all numbers being over the place.
There are however rulers in different measures.
- metre system
- English feet
- French pied du roi (previous to metre system)
- any number of different Medieval foot measures other than British and named French, also out of use.
You cannot say one ruler is more accurate than the other, since they do not refer to same measurement systems.
However, if you measured things with whatever ruler was available, as long as you measured things with same ruler, you would have accuracy within the system of your measurements.
For instance, you want to build a house with proportions 7 m to 5 m.
Your ruler is a foot measure, but you know 3 feet are a yard which is approximately a meter.
So, you use it to measure 21 by 15 feet. That the house will be somewhat smaller han 7 * 5 in the metre system is not important, it still has the exact proportion you intended.
You want its height to accomodate the tallest person in the company? Fine, if you measure him in that ruler, add appropriate space in that ruler and then also measure the vertical space in that ruler, you'll be fine. Figuring out whether the ruler is accurate or there is a more accurate ruler is waste of time.
ANY method used consistently is autocorrective of some practically relevant initial errors.
I think, even the most naive atheist method would be so, but atheists manage to remain so by being inconsistent about method.
Like Dillahunty was when one moment claiming he was "describing a phenomenon" and making no causal claim and other moment precisely making causal claims involved in Newtonian gravity.
But start with certain wrong assumptions that override any method you could have, which atheism often does, neglect consistency of method, and your method won't autocorrect.
15:22 "six inches" is a phrase.
It is different between :
- six inches in British system,
- six inches in former French system
- six inches in decimal feet from Prussia (where half a foot would be five inches)
- six inches in some abandoned Medieval foot measure.
But six inches here or there is often only important in relation to other measures, and as long as it is by same ruler, you will usually be fine.
A little advisory here : not quite so on the market place, if you try to sell an object in US and claim it is six inches on one side, it had better be six inches in the American system.
But if you are on the market place, you also have access to standardised rulers.
Another advisory here : ideas are NOT just a market place. Insofar as they are, atheists are notorious sinners, fraudsters, in redefining ideas so it suits their agenda.
- 15:48 Matt uses the word "admit" of not having a "demonstrably reliable method" ...
Earlier on he has said he considers "science" such.
In other words, the caller fairly correctly asked how he could be so certain science was a "demonstrably reliable method" or (alternative interpretation) how he could be sure the science truths he believes in are good science.
Either way, this is perfectly in line with his initial question, and Matt is dishonest to consider it as caller trying to deflect on him.
So, x has not done each and every intellectual exercise y considers essential, y concludes x has no right to ask anything about y, or challenge y about anything .... everything becomes a question of y imposing that intellectual exercise on x.
And "you're the one who claims God exists" and adding "no I didn't claim God doesn't exist, I only don't believe the claim he does" is not doing it. Not with me and should not do it with anyone else.
16:08 Especially, as Matt has tried to push burden of proof on Christians, refuse them opportunity to coherently argue their proofs and use this "burden of proof thing" to - as here - deny them the right to give him a taste of his own medicine.
Not every argument a Theist makes is directly a claim God exists, there are related subjects where atheists do have a legitimate burden of proof.
The "why is this so hard for you" line is so dishonest, the sidekick definitely smirks at humiliating someone over it, at 16:38.
Oh, Tracy was the name .... [Tracie Harris]