15 comments on “Rabyd Apologetics – Cause and Effect

  1. I’d say that this video has a fairly unsophisticated view of both the naturalist understanding of causality and the classical theological understanding of God’s temporality and eternality.

    • Perhaps, It is probably too short to get all that in. It covers the basics of the problem without getting too much in depth. It does however lay out the basics of the problem that is faced by both theists and atheists in relationship to cause and effect.

      Good observation on the theology side. I have a lot of different views most theists don’t like on God’s temporality and eternity but I also have similar problems with this idea if the universe is cast in the role of God.

      Being it is unsophisticated though you should be able to refute it easily enough. 🙂

      • Regarding theology, I’ve got no problem with differing points of view on God’s temporality and eternality. Even William Lane Craig tends to butt heads with most theists, on these subjects. However, I’m sure you would agree that claiming God might have come from nothing (intimated at around 2:17 of the video) should send up some theological red flags.

        As regards a refutation, causality is a description of localized phenomena within space-time. It is not cogent to attempt to apply a description of specific temporal events to the whole of space-time. This is analagous to drawing a line on a graph and asserting that, since the line has a slope, the whole Cartesian plane must also have a slope. It’s a form of the composition fallacy.

      • Honestly, I’m not sure that this video can really be saved. It’s a poor-man’s version of the Kalaam Cosmological Argument, which is itself an argument that I have never found to be very good (even when I was still a Christian).

        In general, though, rather than imagining an irrationally antagonistic atheist straw-man, the video’s author might have done well to pull some actual quotes from atheists (providing sources for these quotes) for discussion. Even better, he could have opened a dialogue with an actual atheist rather than simply inventing what he supposes would be that atheist’s responses.

        Imagine that an atheist had made a video which depicted a mathematically-illiterate bumpkin with a Mississippi drawl bumbling through a defense of the doctrine of the Trinity. Imagine that one of the lines in the video involved the bumpkin saying, “If the Bible says it, I absolutely believe that 3=1!” You would rightly take offense at such a ridiculous portrayal, despite the fact that there actually are some people who would say and have said such a thing. Such a video would be arrogant, unnecessarily vitriolic, and completely self-serving.

        The video in this article is just like that.

      • Yeah, that was my thoughts on it as well. However, I have heard some atheists make some of these claims about causation and effect. I am not sure exactly how straw man it is if we get past the obvious attempt to diminish the character of the atheist to grumpy and dull.

  2. Well, it’s always funny to see who believers want to see atheists (as morons who are so stupid that they can be easily countered), but there’s a word for this… straw-man. But, please continue to discuss imaginary opponents, it’s kind of cute.

    • If so prove straw man here. I would like to hear it. I find sometimes when skeptics claim straw man they really don’t have a return argument or simply don’t feel like they should waste their time.

      By the way I dislike the tone of this video casting the atheist as kind of a grumpy idiot. I am sure more sophisticated answers could be found but that does not mean the reasoning at its core is false. The video is really just a discussion starter for me.

  3. If I were the atheist, I would have answered ‘I don’t know’, since we don’t have enough data to say why or how the universe began. I also would have done it without all of the personal attacks on the believer. The video was really badly done. It was hard to watch, to tell you the truth.

    The argument that the universe has always existed is usually given in response to the theist claim that god (their specific god) has always existed. If the theist can make that claim, then you can easily cut god from the equation and simply use the same argument about the universe.

    Of course, even without that, if the universe must have been created, then what created god?

    Another god?

    Then what created that god?

    And so on to infinity.

    • I too disliked the tone of this video. I also thought it was incomplete at best as both theists and atheists would have problems with it. The point I was trying to get an answer to was do we all end up with an uncaused cause that we can’t explain? If so what are the implications of that?

      • My view would be that we don’t know as well so we really shouldn’t be make bold claims either way. I think saying there is a God is just as difficult as saying there isn’t one. We simple don’t have enough to go on which is why I find fundamentalists on both sides a little hard to deal with. 😉

        I will have to read the article after I get done writing for the day.

      • I don’t think most atheists bother with the deistic version of god. Many of the other gods come with a holy book we can examine. The theist in the video took a deistic stance, which I think is dishonest of theists when they’re really trying to argue for their specific god.

      • I think we are in agreement about the deistic stance of this video. He isn’t arguing for a specific God so much as God as a concept. It could be Odin for all he cares. In general most theologians would consider belief in God or divine causation to be a starting point and then argue for their specific God of their scriptures or tradition being the God that is described by that concept.

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