In His confidence, he says:
I’m going to attempt to hamstring the damn thing (it’s only a concept, so I can be as brutal as I like), by pointing out a huge deficiency in the theory.
Creators are bound by the same laws as their creations.
Bear with me here: I can keep this simple.
An architect needs design a building according to specifications. Read: laws of physics. More often than not, the building itself will go upwards. The shape of said building can vary widely, but it would be a foolish builder indeed, to hoist a skyscraper into the sky in the shape of a sail (especially in, say, Chicago, the windy city). It could be done, theoretically, but the cost would be enormous. There are of course other factors brought into consideration: cost, materials, foundation (location, location, location is apparently not restricted to retailers), earthquake safety regulations (in any area prone to such variables), etc.
But of course, the law of gravity comes first.
Everything about this example is certainly true; but RA, seems to fail to make the distinctions I made above and is equivocating natural and supernatural creation, the crux of the teleological argument
The point here is simple enough: every watch made by a human is restricted by the same laws the creator of said device is prone to. Heat, leverage, gravity (have I mentioned gravity yet? Sorry), pressure, in short, long laundry lists of physical law. Oh, and of course, time.
P1: The Laws of Physics affect Physical Things
P2: God is not a Physical Thing
C: Therefore, God is not affected by The Laws of Physics
Secondly, as I pointed out to RA, in his post, the laws of physics are contingent on the existence of the universe. For the sake of argument, if God created the universe, he is not contingent upon it—he would have existed prior to it (in order to create it); hence, before the laws of physics. Thus, if God existed prior to the beginning of the universe, He is not bound the laws of physics, which are contained only within the universe.
Continuing with RA’s argument:
I couldn’t help but express amusement at the above analogy. Really, go ahead and throw God off the Empire State building!. If you throw a bird off the roof it will fly away, how much more could God do? Anyway, my above refutations address this.
If you throw the watchmaker and the watch off the Empire State building, not only will they fall at approximately the same rate, the end result will be remarkably similar on impact: the insides will go everywhere. One will be more liquid, but both will come apart at the seams.
Likewise, the creator will eventually wear out. As will the watch (though the latter may last somewhat longer, contingent on its design, how often it needs to be wound, when the battery wears out, etc).
RA continues his argument against God with the “Where, then, is this mysterious stranger…” rant, but I’ll spare the digression since it’s an entirely different issue.
Of course, I pointed out the deficiency of RA’s argument, but he had some objections to what I had to say. Lets see:
Ah, I see: you thoroughly ignore the way things are, as opposed to your romantic notions. How...very typical. There had to be some structure, for this non-existent deity to build from: materials, a greater creator, a creator before that...infinite regressionWho’s next? RA is over confident. Obviously RA does not understand what I was saying (I thought it was simple). To further explain, God can create 'ex nihilo', this is neither a philosophical or theological problem. Moreover, since God is “outside” the universe, ‘ergo’, He is eternal, hence there’s no problem of gods after god’s ad infinitum (categorical fallacy).
…if we look at the example of the architect, the architect existed before the building, ergo, the builder isn't bound by the same laws as the building is? Sorry, sophistry doesn't get the kewpie doll.Who's next?
I also pointed out that the ‘universe had a beginning’ so, if God designed it, He’s not confined by it (He’s outside of it).
Following, RA tries to squirm out of his dilemma and makes a foolish mistake and says: “Most amusing. However, as far as anyone knows, matter has always existed.” In addition he adds his sardonic slogans to try to deflate my argument (never addressing it) throughout our exchange:
“Your argument is fairly non-existent, as far as I can tell. Subtract a deity, & you have nothing”These are some great treasures for the “Atheist Tool Box” as my friend Jim Jordan documents. Of course, it’s difficult not to exchange smut for smut; so I may have slipped out a couple good ones.
“Sorry, sophistry doesn't get the kewpie doll. Who's next”
“I'm reminded of all those Frankenstein movies & their clones: "You can't kill/harm your creator! I gave you life!" Dunno why it reminds me of that. It just does. & I apologize if you take issues w/my calling things the way I see them.”
“There's no real issue - there's no real god - we're just here. Get used to it”
“stop wasting people's time w/your claptrap”
“It’s here [the universe]. Stop trying to reverse the argument. Prove there's a god - conclusively , I might add. I'm not the 1 making ridiculous claims here.”
“Approach this argument by subtracting your deity, and the house of cards comes tumbling down. Please try to do better.”
“All my arguments are pared down to this: everything just is. You're the 1 doing the special pleading here.”
“You missed. God NEVER EXISTED”
“Hey, I'm not swimming in that ole river in Egypt. Need a towel?”
“I'm not answering your questions because very simply, I don't believe in a deity”
“Hey, I go by the Lockian dictum: reality is measured by the 5 senses. All else is guesswork.”
“I'm not sure I really care about your questions.”
“Hey, the post speaks for itself. Res ipsa loquitor” [Latin gives the full affect]
“I'm pretty much guessing now, but I'd put you in high school. Am I close?”
Now, back to the universe (pun intended) RA says in response:
“Neither did I say the universe had no beginning - my EXACT words were matter. Until you can give me proof that matter DIDN'T exist prior (what did your sky daddy create it all out of, anyways), stop wasting people's time w/your claptrap.”My response was that if matter is contained within the universe and the universe had a beginning then matter had a beginning; elementary logic. If your going to claim that matter was “always there” then your claiming the universe is “always there”.
RA doesn’t really want to fess up to his flawed argument; he retorts with:
"Unless you can give me CLEAR proof of an example where a creator stands OUTSIDE the laws of physics, w/o positing an unprovable deity. You've proven nothing."So RA, wants me to prove God stands outside the universe (where I guess he completely ignored everything I have present thus far); however I cannot posit God. So RA wants me to do the following:
Prove A is outside of B
However, you cannot posit A
So I guess RA is asking for me do X and simultaneously refusing to let me do X.
At this point, RA makes the same mistakes over and over, he says: “If matter has always existed (until this can be proved otherwise, then perhaps the universe has always existed?” I have a niece in 8th grade that can tutor anyone who thinks the universe is stagnate.
The discussion ended fruitlessly; I suspected it would. RA, refused to support his claims and offered to surrender if, and only if A. I could provide empirical proof that there is indeed an entity that exists outside of the boundaries of natural (physical) law.B. Provide an example, real-world, where a creator exists independently from the same natural laws as the (designed) creation.
So, I guess I’m back to square 1—never mind!