bookmark_borderWilliam Lane Craig Endorses My Argument from Scale against Theism!

He doesn’t mention by name, of course, and may not have even had my argument in mind, but the sort of Bayesian considerations he raises support my Bayesian argument from scale, in two ways. First, he agrees with me about the “direction” the evidence points (against theism). Second, he agrees with me about the “magnitude” of that evidential support (very weak). (The words “direction” and “magnitude” are not Craig’s words, but were inspired by David Schum, who pointed out long ago that evidence has “vector-like” properties.)
To be fair to Craig, he claims that this naturalistic evidence is greatly outweighed by other theistic evidence. But, as is typical of so many people who make such claims, he merely claims that. What he does not do is present an argument for that.
Regardless, this is progress. Next we need to get Craig to finally admit that facts about evil / pain / suffering also count against theism.
See his post here.

bookmark_borderAn Argument from Scale — Poster Style

HT: Adam Taylor

As a nitpick, theism by itself does not say anything about God
having a personal relationship with anyone. Only sectarian versions of
theism, such as Christian theism, make such claims.

Putting that aside, another worry I have about this graphic is that it seems to attack a caricature of what theists believe. God could have multiple purposes for creating the universe; I don’t see any reason to think that even Christian theism says that the sole reason for the universe’s size is human beings.

Jewish and Christian theism do teach that man is created in the image and likeness of God. (Islam may teach that also; I don’t know.) So on Jewish and Christian theism, humanity does have a special kind of significance. But, on the assumption that we are created in the image of God, I don’t see why it would follow that the size of the universe should be on a human scale. The image of God doctrine, as I understand it, seems to be about humanity’s role on earth and the attributes which differentiate humans from non-human (Earthly) life, not the size of our earthly domain compared to the size of the universe.

ETA: Also, if Wikipedia is correct that “the diameter of the observable universe is estimated at about 28 billion parsecs (93 billion light years),” then the post is wrong when it says the universe is “13.75 billion light years across.”

See Also:

Index: The Evidential Argument from Scale

bookmark_borderScalar Connection to Meaning of Life?

Because I’ve written so much about arguments from scale lately, the following statement in Dennis Prager’s op-ed on atheism and consolation caught my eye.

“‘And we promise to work for more gun control. But the truth is we don’t
have a single consoling thing to say to you because we atheists
recognize that the human being is nothing more than matter, no different
from all other matter in the universe except for having
self-consciousness. Therefore, when we die, that’s it. Moreover, within a
tiny speck of time in terms of the universe’s history, nearly every one
of us, including your child, will be completely forgotten,
as if we
never even existed. Life is a random crapshoot. Our birth and existence
are flukes. And you will never see your child again.'” (emphasis mine)

This sounds very similar to the temporal aspect of arguments from scale: humans do not enjoy a temporally privileged position in the universe’s history.

Continue reading “Scalar Connection to Meaning of Life?”