Courageously Demanding Real Answers to Vague Questions

thriving_on_vague_objectives_coverFrom Chris Hallquist’s “William Lane Craig Exposed”:

Craig writes, “If the Many Worlds Hypothesis is to commend itself as a plausible hypothesis, then some plausible mechanism for generating the many worlds needs to be explained.” To which I reply, “If the God Hypothesis is to commend itself as a plausible hypothesis, then some plausible mechanism for generating the god must be explained.”

Hallquist quickly adds to this that it is “somewhat tongue-in-cheek”, but I’m not sure if this helps him.

After all, it is either a good objection or it isn’t, and his response to Craig assumes that God needs to be generated somehow. And this is to say that he’s refuting a god that no one is proposing.

And, as many know, Richard Dawkins makes the exact same mistake in what he calls his “central argument” against theism. For all the bravado about “reason” and “evidence”, all the actual arguments put forward by this group seem to have been dealt with.

Personally, I find it astonishing that so many people seem to think that “disproving” a god that no one actually believes in is a reason to reject all forms of theism. This is no different, and certainly no more scientific, than rejecting gravity on the grounds that the Earth isn’t flat.

But perhaps Hallquist knows this, and is instead suggesting that the “many worlds” (usually called the “multiverse”) are eternal in the same sense that God is said to be by Craig.

If so, this is still a very poor argument.

Not only are the universes in the multiverse contingent, meaning that they need an external explanation while God is self-explained, but the multiverse cannot be extrapolated to past infinity. That is, it cannot be eternal. More than this, it would be this universe that would have to be eternal to answer Craig’s challenge. 

Either way we choose to take Hallquist, his argument is circular. He should be showing us why there is no significant difference between God and the multiverse in terms of explaining the universe we observe. Instead, he’s simply asserting this, and leaving us to guess at whether he means to say that God is like the multiverse, or that the multiverse is like God.

This leaves one to suspect that he simply doesn’t understand the difference, but that is a far cry from showing us that there is no difference. It is one more piece in a mounting pile of evidence that Hallquist doesn’t understand the idea he’s trying to refute. Far too often, the New Atheists confuse mocking an idea for offering a rational argument against it. 

And this is why they should study theology and philosophy, rather than simply attack them out of ignorance. 

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