Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A Powerful Argument

In Hands Off Our Logic, God-Boy, I mentioned the fact that Craig refers to his god as “enormously powerful”.  I noted that “power” is time related and want to address a possible wriggle manoeuvre that Craig and his disciples might try.  Possibly, they might argue, Craig is using a different definition of “power”, the “power” that would be necessary to make the universe out of nothing:

If Craig is using a magic version of these concepts, then he’s doing an argument like this:

In The Last Day of the Dinosaurs, the renowned palaeontologist Mathew Wedel holds forth on “how these majestic creatures went extinct”.

(Note that there is no clear indication that Wedel is responsible for the quote that I attributed to him.  Even if he is, it’s a mine-quote, and more than likely it’s a misattributed mine-quote that I took from an inappropriate source, namely tvtropes.org in an article which has a link to a complaint by Wedel that he had been totally misquoted by the production company responsible for the Discovery channel show mentioned.)

“Majesty” derives from the existence of royalty, but where did this “majesty” come from?  It couldn’t have come from human kings and queens because they were not around during the time of the dinosaurs, and dinosaurs had no kings and queens.

(Note that this is a misuse of the term “majestic” and of authority.)

Therefore, when seen as part of a cumulative argument, this shows that there must be a beginningless, uncaused, spaceless, timeless, immaterial, enormously powerful, and sovereign, Personal Creator of the universe!

(Note that this is a very minor change from Craig’s own words as uttered during his debate with Stephen Law.)

In his argument about the creation of the universe however, Craig is specifically talking physics.  In physics, power is the rate at which energy is transferred, used or transformed.  So “enormously powerful” means having the capacity to transfer vast quantities energy (or, alternatively, more modest quantities of energy over very short periods of time).  Hang on a second though … what is energy?  Energy has the SI unit “joule” and 1 joule is 1 kilogram multiplied by the square of 1 metre divided by the square of 1 second.  Both power and energy imply the existence of time and space.

So how did we end up with a spaceless and timeless being who is also “enormously powerful”?

I’ll leave it up to the apologists to provide an answer.  I won’t try to stuff more words in their mouths.

(And, if I am to be completely fair, I have to acknowledge that this simple physics based critique may be unreasonable since I am taking Craig’s gibberish far more seriously than is truly warranted.)

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