Jeff Lowder presents one of the strongest rebuttals against theism, and cases for naturalism I have so far seen

Jeff Lowder of The Secular Outpost debated Frank Turek 22nd september in Kansas. From this debate (video is not available yet), Jeff has compiled a narrated presentation of his powerpoint slides used in the debate, which I think now amounts to one of the strongest cases for naturalism and against the type of theism offered by the likes of William Lane Craig, I have seen to date.

It is long but if you are interested in this sort of thing, it is definitely worth a watch:

113 Replies to “Jeff Lowder presents one of the strongest rebuttals against theism, and cases for naturalism I have so far seen”

  1. Kantian Naturalist Kantian Naturalist
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik: It’s actually KN who ran away. He couldn’t survive the video for more than three minutes.

    You call it “running away”, I call it “having very little time for other people’s bullshit”. Hell, I barely have enough time for my own bullshit.

  2. Erik
    Ignored
    says:

    Kantian Naturalist: You call it “running away”, I call it “having very little time for other people’s bullshit”. Hell, I barely have enough time for my own bullshit.

    No, Rumraket calls it “running away”. I’d say that “very little time for other people’s bullshit” is a fair excuse. I use it myself occasionally.

  3. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik: Your two questions:

    1. Hey Erik, why did you run away?
    2. Where aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare youuuuuuu?

    When I am present to answer the second question, it self-evidently follows that I didn’t run away.

    I will answer to any further sensible questions you may have. On the actual topic, which is Jeff Lowder’s way of tackling theism.

    It’s actually KN who ran away. He couldn’t survive the video for more than three minutes.

    Meanwhile, has the debate itself been uploaded somewhere?

    Erik, you are still not defending your claims that my “alternative” position contain multiple contradictions.

    I would like you to point them out to me, because if it is really true I’d like to fix it. Like you, I don’t want to believe in something self-contradictory. But I’m not aware that I do. Can you help me out? Please don’t spend any more work trying to dodge substantiating your claims, please help me instead. Will you do that little Erik?

  4. Erik
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: Erik, you are still not defending your claims that my “alternative” position contain multiple contradictions.

    My claim is that you (more correctly, Jeff Lowder) have no alternative position in the first place. You have nothing but disconnected rebuttals to theism. “Disconnected” meaning that the rebuttals have no regard to mutual compatibility. And those rebuttals are not even applicable to holistic theism, so they can be considered as rebuttals only with some wishful thinking involved.

    You agreed to some of my points when you said, ” If all you mean by that is that Lowder has ONLY addressed quasi-scientific arguments of the type advanced by Craig and some ID proponents, it’s wrong. If you mean he’s MOSTLY addressed those, so what? Is one required to address in equal amounts, any and all cases for theism? That would be pretty hard to do for a single person.”

    Further, you claim that metaphysical naturalism provides an alternative, while simultaneously you say that it “is not a religion, [therefore] solutions to intellectual problems must be sought elsewhere: In moral philosophy, in science and so on.” Which is in effect an admission that metaphysical naturalism is no alternative to theism. Theism namely incorporates moral philosophy quite centrally.

  5. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik: My claim is that you (more correctly, Jeff Lowder) have no alternative position in the first place. You have nothing but disconnected rebuttals to theism. “Disconnected” meaning that the rebuttals have no regard to mutual compatibility.

    Right, so now you’ve claimed this. Given that you’ve yet to even support this claim, I will simply dismiss it until you manage to present supporting evidence that substantiates the claims. As in evidence that make the claims rationally believable.

    Additionally, you’ve now claimed that the position advanced by Jeff Lowder (and me) “have no regard to mutual compatibility”. This implies you think there is mutual contradictions between at least some of them. You’ve yet to show this. This is ALSO just claims you make.

    This very post of your’s I’m responding to, is a response to me askign you to SUBSTANTIATE the claim of mutual contradictions. Yet you do not point out EVEN A SINGLE ONE.

    How many times are you going to repeat the claim that either the there is “no regard to mutual compatibility” or that I “contradict yourself at every turn” without showing this? Erik, will you start to actaully put up soon or will this just be endless claims from you? If the latter I think I know a way for us both to save a lot of time.

    And those rebuttals are not even applicable to holistic theism, so they can be considered as rebuttals only with some wishful thinking involved.

    They are rebuttals to mainstream christian apologetics. Whether they fit your personal brand of theism is absutely irrelevant to whether they are effective rebuttals to that which they purport to rebut. The video in the OP was NOT offered as The One Proof against all of Theism(TM).

    I’m going to go out on a limp though and guesstimate there are far more adherents to the views and arguments expressed by apologists like Bill Craig and Frank Turek, than there are adherents to the personal brand of theism of Erik-who-posts-on-The-Skeptical-Zone.

    You agreed to some of my points when you said, ” If all you mean by that is that Lowder has ONLY addressed quasi-scientific arguments of the type advanced by Craig and some ID proponents, it’s wrong. If you mean he’s MOSTLY addressed those, so what? Is one required to address in equal amounts, any and all cases for theism? That would be pretty hard to do for a single person.”

    Yes and what a trivial thing to agree on. I take it YOU agree with the last part, right?

    Further, you claim that metaphysical naturalism provides an alternative

    As an answer to the question what exists and what is the nature of the world? Yes, it is an alternative to personal theism.

    I did not say it constituted an alternative in the sense of a complete set of doctrines for how to live your life or what the purpose of existence is.

    while simultaneously you say that it “is not a religion, [therefore] solutions to intellectual problems must be sought elsewhere: In moral philosophy, in science and so on.” Which is in effect an admission that metaphysical naturalism is no alternative to theism.

    No, for the reasons just mentioned. It is an alternative in a narrower sense.

    If the statement “The natural world is a closed system and nothing outside of it affects it” is true, then that alone does not tell you how to live or what the purpose of your existence is. Nor does it purport to.

    Theism namely incorporates moral philosophy quite centrally.

    If by ‘incorporates’ you mean it makes blanket assertions about moral truth, value and grounding, sure.

  6. Erik
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: Right, so now you’ve claimed this. Given that you’ve yet to even support this claim, I will simply dismiss it until you manage to present supporting evidence that substantiates the claims. As in evidence that make the claims rationally believable.

    Let’s see again what my claim is: My claim is that you (more correctly, Jeff Lowder) have no alternative position in the first place. You have nothing but disconnected rebuttals to theism.

    Jeff Lowder’s position – namely, naturalism, is not an alternative position to theism, because in your own words, naturalism “is not a religion, [therefore] solutions to intellectual problems must be sought elsewhere…” Elsewhere than naturalism, evidently.

    The point is, if naturalism does not give the answers to the questions that theism answers, then naturalism is not an alternative to theism.

    Similarly, everything else that you ask has been answered in this thread. You just don’t like the answers.

  7. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik: Let’s see again what my claim is: My claim is that you (more correctly, Jeff Lowder) have no alternative position in the first place. You have nothing but disconnected rebuttals to theism.

    No, that’s not all you’re claiming. You’ve been blathering about contradictions. But okay, I see that you’re now backtracking on that, fair enough if you no longer believe that.

    Jeff Lowder’s position – namely, naturalism, is not an alternative position to theism, becausein your own words, naturalism “is not a religion, [therefore] solutions to intellectual problems must be sought elsewhere…” Elsewhere than naturalism, evidently.

    Obviously the claim “the natural world is all there is” does not in itself say anything about things like morals, politics, purpose and so on. But there are naturalistic theories of each of these, they are just not entailed by mere naturalism.

    The point is, if naturalism does not give the answers to the questions that theism answers, then naturalism is not an alternative to theism.

    The situation between naturalism and theism with respect to answering questions is the same. Theism is the claim that there is an immortal, eternal and uncreated divine person called God, that created the universe. This alone does not answer any questions about morals, how to live our lives, how to build a society and so on. You need additional theistic theories to do that.

    The difference between naturalism and theism is that, historically, theism usually comes packaged in book-form, complete with a host of additional theistic theories of morals, politics, purpose and so on. But they’re not intrinsic to theism, theism comes in many forms and theism alone is not these additional theories. It’s when this packaged deal, complete with rituals for prayers and commandments for how to live, is offered, it becomes a religion.

    In this sense naturalism is not a religion, because it usually doesn’t come with this package. Though technically, such naturalistic religions exist. Some versions of marxism seem to have taken on a bona fide religious aspect in it’s adherents.

    Similarly, everything else that you ask has been answered in this thread. You just don’t like the answers.

    No, it really has not. And you are now running away from claims you have made, I suspect because you know you can’t defend them. Particularly the claim that the position advanced by Jeff and myself contains multiple contradictions. I believe the term used was “contradict yourself at every turn”. Which is remarkable, given your failure to point out even a single one. But hey, as I said above, it is fair if you’ve changed your mind and is retracting the claim that there are any contradictions.

  8. Erik
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: Obviously the claim “the natural world is all there is” does not in itself say anything about things like morals, politics, purpose and so on.

    And that’s the admission I need from you so that I can say that naturalism is not an alternative to theism. You admitted it several times now, case closed.

  9. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik: And that’s the admission I need from you so that I can say that naturalism is not an alternative to theism. You admitted it several times now, case closed.

    Why don’t you read further? You have this bad habit of stopping at the first disagreeable sentence you find and skipping all clarification.

    Have you heard of the principle of charity?

  10. Erik
    Ignored
    says:

    Rumraket: Why don’t you read further? You have this bad habit of stopping at the first disagreeable sentence you find and skipping all clarification.

    First acknowledge this one thing. And fix the pointed post too, while you are at it.

    I should laugh back at you for not knowing how to quote, and just leave you like this. You deserve nothing better for now.

  11. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik: Rumraket: Why don’t you read further? You have this bad habit of stopping at the first disagreeable sentence you find and skipping all clarification.

    First acknowledge this one thing.

    Acknowledge what? Why don’t you answer the many many questions I ask of you? Why don’t you defend your claims?

    What are you so afraid of?

    And fix the pointed post too, while you are at it.

    I can’t restore it to it’s original form, my edit does not contain all you originally wrote. I will just edit out my own words and let the rest remain, that’s all I can do now.

    I should laugh back at you for not knowing how to quote, and just leave you like this. You deserve nothing better for now.

    Right, because it’s not like the edit button is right next to the quote-in-reply button.

  12. Erik
    Ignored
    says:

    Good job fixing my post. Had you not mangled it, you would not have needed to fix it.

    Rumraket: Acknowledge what? Why don’t you answer the many many questions I ask of you? Why don’t you defend your claims?

    You have trouble acknowledging the simplest of things: I say naturalism is not an alternative to theism because it does not provide answers to the questions that theism answers, and you say that naturalism does not answer the same questions. Quite clearly you are proving my point, yet you fail to acknowledge it.

    Consider this: Physics and literature don’t answer the same questions. Would you say they serve as alternatives to each other just fine?

    So long.

  13. Rumraket Rumraket
    Ignored
    says:

    Erik: Had you not mangled it, you would not have needed to fix it.

    What would I do without these gold nuggets? Clearly I would have been lost.

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