Sunday, February 22, 2009

Not Slick Enough

Last week, I heard an argument from yet another deluded fool claiming that he can prove the existence of gods. The deluded fool's name is Matt Slick, and the argument is known as the Transcendental Argument for god. If you're interested, you can find it on his website, here. I really recommend against wasting your time on it, however. It basically states that logical rules exist in the Universe, that they are the same over space and time, and that requires some kind of external mind to observe them.

Slick called in to the Atheist Experience TV show, and claimed that he could offer a proof of the existence of a god. He then went on to engage in religious-hand-waving, what he called 'philosophical proof' of a god. When the hosts failed to acknowledge that his wonderful reasoning proved his case, he accused them of not doing their homework on the philosophy of the argument.

I find his case to be absolutely pathetic, for several reasons.

1. Slick is a Christian, and in the Bible, the Christian god did all kinds of obvious and amazing things which clearly revealed its presence. It slayed children, parted seas, released plagues, flooded the entire Earth, spoke to damn near everybody, etc. And now, the best these idiots can come up with is hand-waving, 'philosophical proofs' (when has philosophy ever proven ANYTHING about existence in the real world?), and using a bunch of big words to dazzle people into agreement or confusion. What a totally lame attempt to prove the existence of something which he believes used to reveal itself all the time. If it ever did exist, I think it's clearly dead by now.

2. Even if Slick is right in many of his assertions, it doesn't prove anything. It is at best a model to suggest that such a thing might exist. One would have to actually detect a god in order to claim proof. I suspect that Slick knows this, and is just being a dishonest scumbag. He'd probably reply that his god cannot be detected, as it is supernatural. You know what other kind of things can't be detected? Things that don't exist! That puts this god in a not-so-impressive crowd. There is a very good reason why there is no such thing as a 'Nobel prize for god proofs'. I've posted on this topic before, right here.

3. The whole part about requiring an outside observer kinda smells like something that I've encountered before. It was the 19th-century belief that all waves required a medium to travel through. This resulted in scientists hypothesising the existence of something called 'the aether'. The aether was a substance which existed throughout the Universe, and provided the medium for light to travel through. It was reasoned that the aether had to exist, otherwise light couldn't travel over distances. It also provided an absolute reference frame for the Universe, by which all velocities and energies could be measured. Experiments failed to detect this aether, and the idea was replaced with the 1905 publication of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity. We learned that light requires no such medium, and that there is no such thing as an absolute reference frame (or an outside observer by which all else could be measured). This may have sounded crazy at the time, but it's true, and the concept has passed all experimental tests. The brutal truth for Slick is that nobody has demonstrated his assertion, about requiring an outside observer, to be true.

4. I wonder if Slick would say that it is even possible to have a universe in which the laws of logic are different or non-transcendent. If he says no, then his argument really boils down to another version of "the Universe is here, therefore god(s) exist". If he says it is possible, then I wonder if he could describe what it might look like. How could a thing possibly be something that it isn't? Does it require a god for something to not be something that it wasn't just a moment ago? Creepy.

So, another idiot waves his hands and fails to impress me. I'm being totally honest, not trying to be funny, when I say that I find this argument less convincing than Ray Comfort's banana argument.

1 comment:

Pinkydead said...

Big problem.

Even though Matt Dilahunty, to my mind was clearly correct in distinguishing between a "Logical Absolute" and the "Conception of a Logical Absolute", you can be sure that Matt Slick will still maintain his claim that no atheist can disprove his TAG.