The Numerous Errors of Prophet of Zod

Estimated Reading Time: 25 Minutes

Atheists don’t have any real arguments I suppose. That might be why they just fill their videos with insults, instead of arguments. Prophet of Zod is no exception, just another rant, numerous philosophical errors, and an attempt to see how many times he can insult theists. I am always amazed that they think they can insult their way to victory, but that is what they constantly do as if they are cut from the same mold. Now given my busy life my contributor Kyle Alander has helped me in response to Zod and we will show his errors.

Zod tried to respond to my god of the gaps video and it was quite unfortunate at how bad he was at this. He made a bunch of philosophical errors (including not understanding what methodological naturalism is), and made conflicting claims and basically proved my original video correct (that atheists just assume their worldview).

He begins already upset that I started my video by noting “It seems a common reply to the arguments from natural theology is to cry “god of the gaps.””

I am not sure how he can miss the double standard here. He has already said in the opening minutes of his video my name “Inspiring Philosophy” is ironic for what I do and said my video is bullshit, but then begins to whine about how childish I am that I said some atheists cry god of the gaps. This is just a perfect example of atheists turning molehills into mountains. I’m surprised that when you throw out insults all day you’re shocked someone throws them back at you. He throws out a bunch of insults and condescending remarks throughout his entire video, but is so upset I said some atheists “cry” god of the gaps.

He then asks that if we think “The point is skeptics shout out the phrase [god of the gaps] as a thoughtless knee-jerk reaction?”

To answer his question, yes. That is basically what I get in comments and why I put the screenshots up. It is a thoughtless knee-jerk reaction, that doesn’t really address our arguments or evidence, and that is what Zod does throughout his video. He never addresses the evidence, just assumes naturalism is true and any evidence for theism is just appealing to the mystery (more on this later).

He then says about the gods of the gaps fallacy, “I’ve never seen any pattern of this argument being employed as a last resort.” Well, I don’t care what you have seen, Zod. I have seen it (which is why I screenshot them and put it in my video). Typically, I present the evidence and the inference to theism then I get a bunch of arguments where the skeptic confuses possibility with probability, throws out red herrings, or just avoids the evidence altogether. Then after I keep asking for a better explanation all I get is “god of the gaps.” If he needs to stop the video to make a note about his experience it really makes me question where this response is going.

He then rants for a little while about pedantic issues. Then around 5:30 he said, “I have a feeling these are artificially distinct categories (science and metaphysics) and that any attempt at using a metaphysical theory to prove God will be built on unexplained physical observation.” Now it is my turn to be nitpicky. I have said this a thousand times. No argument can prove God exists. We argue theism is the most logical inference or the best explanation of the data. That is all. Atheists constantly want to straw man this and assume we are trying to prove God, instead of what natural theology actually aims to do. We are not trying to prove God exists we are arguing theism is the best explanation of reality from observed data. Why is that so hard to understand? It is not about proof and never has been.

At 6:30, Zod really goes off the rails. He says, “So let me get this straight, according to you if you claim that a physical process needs to be explained by a current miracle that occurs within that process that’s god of the gaps, but if you claim that the same physical process or the culmination of all physical processes must be explained by God miraculously setting the universe into motion, that’s not god of the gaps. Seriously, that’s what you’re going for?”

To reply, yes. I really shouldn’t have to say more than that, because that is the truth. There is pretty big difference Zod just brushed over and I am surprised he missed it. Putting a miracle into a physical process is unlikely given that physical processes can explain themselves in naturalistic ways. But as even atheist Thomas Nagel says, in his book, “Mind and Cosmos” (Pages 13-33), that doesn’t explain why there are physical processes, to begin with. (1) If you think the answers to the arguments from natural theology are actually naturalistic then please provide a better explanation after we have given the arguments for theism. Don’t just assume metaphysical explanations are the same a scientific ones. They are not, and that should be obvious.

Zod then shoots himself in the foot with an analogy. He says (I’m paraphrasing) picture a domino that we see fall over. One person says God must have pushed that over. A second person says I don’t think God pushed it over but maybe he pushed the original domino over which led to that one. It is an odd analogy because you can see screen changes and thus the analogy changes. In the first clip there is just one domino that fell over (probably from wind):Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.15.31 AM.png

Then he switches to a second clip where you see him literally push over a bunch of dominoes that lead to the first:
Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.15.53 AM.png

Then says both people are doing the same thing. No, Zod, in your own analogy they are not doing the same thing.

In the second we see him push them over, whereas, in the first, the one domino just falls over by itself. So the analogy is awkward, at best, and if we take the analogy as it stands it actually work against his point (since in the second there was an intervention that caused the dominos to fall over). Zod didn’t mean for it to be understood this way, but the actions of the analogy he set up, speak louder than how he wants us to interpret it.

Zod says, “Both of these people are doing the same thing. They’re looking at a mystery and coming up with the same premature, totally unjustified theory that God did it.” Ironically, as I said, if we took his analogy literally (with him as the divine intervener) then it actually does make sense to say God did it since we have good evidence of intervention in this second example. But let’s use his analogy to make a point about how natural theology works and why crying ‘god of the gaps’ whenever the atheist wants to is a bad argument.

In the first scenario, Zod set up we just saw one domino fall over. It could have been wind, an uneven table, perhaps hidden magnets, or a number of other things. The fact is from just watching the domino fall over we don’t have enough evidence to conclude why it fell. Now with his second analogy, we do have good evidence to suggest human intervention caused the line of dominos to fall. We saw him do it. So it is absurd for Zod to use this analogy and say they are the same. His own analogy works against him. In the second scenario, we have good evidence to infer intervention.

Likewise, this is how the arguments from natural theology work. We do not appeal to a mystery as he asserts. We actually present evidence to infer a theistic conclusion as the best explanation. If the atheist disagrees with our argument then he can either remain agnostic or offer a better explanation of the data. For example, with this domino scenario let’s say if we zoomed out and saw there was no human hand that pushed them over, it was a glove attached to a swinging board. Then we would have new and more evidence to replace the previous inference with a better one. Atheists don’t do this when it comes to arguments for God’s existence. They never offer a better inference. They just cry god the gaps, assume naturalism is already true, and caricature theistic arguments like Zod did throughout his entire response. The fact is the first domino scenario is not the same as the second, just like theistic arguments are not the same as crying “god did it.” For theistic argument, we do have independent evidence to make our conclusion (like with the second domino examples). They are not just different forms of the same thought process. In the first scenario there is not enough evidence to make a valid conclusion, and in the second we do have independent evidence.

If that is the wrong conclusion then atheists need to explain why, not just caricature, and say it is the same as saying “god did it.” Ironically, his own analogy works against him.

If atheists don’t have a better non-theistic explanation, they resort to saying “I don’t know,” since we may not have enough data and therefore should not draw any conclusions. However, then they also admit they truly do not know and lack a position to argue from. So they do not know the best explanation but they also do not know if the theist is right. So they cannot say, “I don’t know but I know it is wrong to infer theism.” Otherwise, that refutes their own claim that they “don’t know” so they cannot have their cake and eat it too. The whole thing is circular and self-defeating.

To further explain what I mean lets quote Zod just after this at 8:10. He says, “In other words, God didn’t push the current domino we just looked at all the dominoes that fell and assumed he must have pushed the first one. That’s what this is saying and labeling it as metaphysical or philosophical doesn’t do shit to change the fact.”

Well, Zod, it depends on the type of evidence we have in each case. Again, even in your own analogy, we do have enough evidence to infer an outside intervener knocked the line of dominos over. Would it not be silly to cry intervener of the gaps with your analogy? We all saw you push it over, right? When it comes to the arguments for theism you don’t just get to cry they are same as the first domino, especially if the evidence is different in each scenario. That should be blatantly obvious. So this is why we present evidence and philosophical arguments from different angles for why a necessary mind is the best explanation of the data. We have evidence we rely on and when you just say it is the same as the first domino you are just crying god of the gaps and not addressing our arguments or evidence. So in a sense, this video proves my point about abusing the god the gaps. Zod is just ignoring the evidence used in theistic arguments and presenting a caricature.Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.20.00 AM.png

Zod then gives a visual and inadvertently shows what all theoretical physicists, historians, and philosophers do is silly. He gives us a circle which he says contains everything we know, and everyone outside of it is an unknown mystery (in this area he lists the beginning of the universe and what might be outside the universe). This was defined poorly because the lines between these two categories are not black and white. In fact, we don’t really speak in these absolute terms. We tend to speak of probability and likelihood. There is no fine line between things we know and don’t know since new data can give us reason to change our current limited explanations. Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 9.37.12 AM.png

Zod says of his visual, “of course, anything we can prove to anybody else lies within the circle, and by contrast, any claim we make about what’s outside the circle is totally silly because it’s made up and you can’t prove a word of it to anyone.” He says theistic arguments are attempts to fill in this area outside of the circle with guesses. This really shows how little he has thought about this. So we have to prove something? What does that even mean? Prove in a mathematical sense, scientific, historical? All of these areas have different levels of what constitutes a justified claim.

By his logic, unless we can prove something it is just silly and made up. Let’s test this. Can he prove he is not a brain in a vat? Can he prove Caesar crossed the Rubicon? Can he prove humans and chimps have a common ancestor? The fact is none of these things can be proven. Instead, actual experts talk about probability and likelihood, based on evidence.

For example, it is more probable modern humans evolved from an early species called Homo Habilis. We have not observed this and we don’t know all the transitional species in between, but we still conclude this based on the evidence. So which category does that go in? Based on the most current data, we infer quantum physics and relativity are valid scientific theories, however, we don’t know how they work together and physicists are still trying to sort this out. Which category should they go in? I don’t think Zod thought this one through and it shows how poorly thought out his video is. By his logic, all of theoretical physics is totally silly because it’s made up and you can’t prove a word of it to anyone. Theoretical physicists posit many things outside of the universe (multiverse, brane cosmology, quantum fields). Is this all silly? Historians posit theories to explain things in the past we cannot observe. Can anything that happened in the past be proven? I guess Zod thinks historical investigations are silly.

Philosophy of science also demonstrates science is not so much about proof and observations as it is about theories, data, and shaping principles. This old idea science is about inductivism has been dead for decades. We have moved far beyond this understanding of science. (2)

But we all know it is only silly for atheists when theists use the same line of reasoning to infer God exists. Unless Zod explains why theistic arguments (arguing from data to the most reasonable explanation) are any different, his whole argument here is special pleading. But so far all he has done is caricature the arguments we present instead of actually explaining why they are different.

Zod then really go off the rails. He puts an umbrella on the screen and says materialism covers methodological and philosophical naturalism. This is just wrong, there is no other way to put it. Materialism is not technically the same thing as philosophical naturalism, let alone an umbrella that includes methodological and philosophical naturalism. Materialism properly defined is a philosophical claim that all that exists is matter and that mind reduces to it whereas something like non-reductive physicalism mind does not reduce to matter but is rather an emergent property. (3)Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.22.04 AM.png

A good example is how the philosopher of mind, David Chalmers is one who writes on the hard problem of consciousness and he argues against materialism, however, he himself is a property dualist (and therefore a naturalist). So then materialism would not cover over all forms of philosophical naturalism since David Chalmers, himself is a naturalist but not a materialist. (4)

The second problem in this video is you can be a materialist and a methodological naturalist. But you can also be a materialist and reject methodological naturalism. The problem is (as any freshmen philosophy student will tell you) methodological naturalism is not a metaphysical worldview, is a strategy for studying the world and nothing more. In other words, it is not a conclusion like theism or philosophical materialism (or naturalism) is it is an attempt to tell us how we ought to go about studying reality.

He then says I don’t allow for this position (methodological naturalism) and I’m lumping all non-theistic positions with philosophical naturalism and creating a false dilemma. The fact that he thinks this show he doesn’t understand metaphysics or what methodical naturalism is. First, I definitely did not say all non-theistic positions are philosophical naturalism, that is just a lie or a very bad misrepresentation. So there is no false dilemma. I only used materialism as an example in my original video as something that would be a non-theistic explanation. I did not say it is only one or the other.Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.01.32 AM.png

Second, what we are talking about is comparing metaphysical worldviews. Methodological naturalism is a strategy some have as a part of their metaphysical worldview. It is not comparable in this case. You can be a theist and methodological naturalist. You can be a philosophical naturalist and not methodological naturalist or you can be both. It is not a third category that competes with philosophical naturalism and theism. The fact that he doesn’t know this and confuses this says a lot, and yet, he says I am the one being sloppy.

After this, I was confused because his terminology became even more sloppy. Starting at 12:10 he seems to be conflating materialism with methodological naturalism now, which would be absurd. He is throwing around a lot of terms that were never properly defined (or improperly defined). He refers to what he just went over and says I confused materialism and philosophical naturalism. However, his original image of the umbrella demonstrated he thought materialism covered methodological and philosophical naturalism (which is not even true). Maybe I am missing something here, but it hard to follow since his terminology has changed. It is hard to figure out what his definitions are.

Previously, he seemed to think he could separate methodological naturalism from philosophical naturalism as completely separate and opposing theories, but now I think he is conflating materialism with methodological naturalism, which is absurd. A quick google search should have revealed to him these are not the same thing. Materialism is a metaphysical worldview that all that exists is matter, as I explained, and methodological naturalism is a strategy for studying reality. (5)

Zod then says, “God the gaps arguments are problematic because when faced with a mystery about how the universe works they jump the gun and import purely guessed at information from out here (points to screen where unknowns mysteries are). Materialism never does any such thing. He wants us to think not only that materialism assumes everything outside a realm of observation is physically but that it draws on this assumption to explain things it can’t within the universe like theists do when they import assumptions about God.”

Again, I don’t think he thought this one out. He is, again, conflating materialism with methodological naturalism, which is what is really silly. Materialism is not even the same thing as naturalism, let alone an umbrella that covers methodological and philosophical naturalism. That is just wrong. Other than that, it is just the same old caricature of natural theology and what the aim is.

He then says, “Even philosophical naturalism just assumes everything operates by the same rules as the natural universe, an assumption that provides no supernatural nonsense to fill gaps with anyway and just encourages actual scientific inquiry.”

I need to stop here and point out how absurd this is. Is the implication theism hinders scientific inquiry? How many scientists in the past have been Christians? Also, the definition of philosophical naturalism doesn’t include the idea one ought to encourage scientific inquiry. It is a philosophical belief and doesn’t say anything about what ought to be done with science.

Second, he has finally gotten to the place where he proves my point, that when atheists cry god of the gaps they are employing circular reasoning. Anything that he deems “supernatural nonsense” must be a god of the gaps, because he knows naturalism is already true, so any evidence that doesn’t lead to naturalism must just be a gap filler. This is what I mean about the god the gaps being a circular argument. They always show us they just assume naturalism is true and no evidence could ever lead to theism because they know naturalism is already true.

After this, he just repeats a lot of the same flawed logic we have already addressed.

Then at 16:22 he shoots himself in the foot. He takes issue with my example of gravity that I used in my original video, that crying god of the gaps is as bad as crying gravity of the gaps. He says, “Do I need to explain that [gravity] is a parsimonious model for summing up phenomena we’ve actually observed and does not rely on imparting any random guesses about what lies outside the universe.”

So of course, he doesn’t represent the arguments from natural theology correctly again (at this point I doubt he ever read anything on philosophy of religion) and doesn’t even get the point. Again, theism is a model or a (metaphysical) theory of reality, like how gravity is a model that explained observable phenomena. It would be absurd to suggest gravity is wrong because it is not proven, and is only just the best and most parsimonious explanation of observable phenomena. However, earlier in his response he strongly implied theists cannot prove God exists. What I am pointing out, for atheists like him, is we are not claiming we can prove God exists, we are saying it is the most parsimonious model for summing up phenomena we’ve actually observed and does not rely on imparting any random guesses about what lies outside the universe. If he has a better model then let’s hear it. But just caricaturing theism shows he doesn’t or cannot understand the arguments we have presented, let alone offer a better explanation.

At 17:03 he says if scientists invoke gravity the same way theistic philosophers invoke God then upon seeing things fall they forgo scientific investigation. Then he says scientists would say, “well, obviously the gravity monster loves us so much and doesn’t want us to go into space so it can protect us and by the way, the gravity monster happens to be what I learned in Sunday school.”

First, Zod seems to think that theism entails that God is involved in a physical process (such as the Greek gods like Zeus), however, as my video already explained theistic explanations don’t invoke a miracle in physical processes. This was the whole point of me explaining the correct way to present a God of the gaps and why Christians should accept all of nature as God’s work. Did Zod even pay attention to my original video?

Second, once again we need to understand the differences between something that would be outside space-time (such as God) and something in space-time. Gravity requires physical objects and therefore requires classical space-time to exist. So a gravity monster would require space-time unless Zod can show why space-time is the only thing that is real and fundamental and nothing can exist outside it then he may have a case, however, we already explained in another video why space-time is emergent and not fundamental.(6)

Third, the last point involving Sunday school, Zod seems to think theist are indoctrinated into belief in God and have a biased toward it. For one, everyone has a biased, Zod himself has videos that criticize religion. Should I just accuse him of brainwashing his audience to be anti-theist?

Finally at 17:50 we get his first (erroneous) attempt to address the arguments from natural theology. He argues something like divine hiddenness. He says, “I wonder why [God] would let all these arguments sit dormant for thousands of years while unconvinced people went to hell for lack of access to them.

First off, this shows how little he knows about philosophy. Contingency, teleological, and moral arguments are thousands of years old. Has he never even heard of a guy named Plato? Second, all I said in my video was new data has strengthened our case, not that there was no evidence prior to the new data. He doesn’t even address the data or offer a better explanation. Thirds, my next video will be on hell, so I’ll address that then, but no one goes to hell for lack of information (John 9:41; 15:22). Either way, this is just an appeal to emotion, not a reasonable rebuttal, and it supports my point atheists cannot deal with the evidence and offer a better explanation.

At 19:12, Zod says, “Non-theists do not depend on future people filling gaps in our knowledge and the fact that you think we do betrays a weakness in your own thinking.”

I think Zod needs to get out more. I heard this objection in the very first online debate I ever was in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWBvfchqiXQ

(It is towards the end).

Does Zod expect us to take his word that non-theists have never used this line of reasoning? I included in the video because I hear it all the time. If he doesn’t use this line of reasoning why is he getting so upset by this? It should not affect him unless he thinks he represents all non-theists.

Zod then goes on a rant about how it is an ancient superstition to want an answer everything, like why the universe exists. Zod, I don’t care if you don’t have an answer or don’t want to answer these questions. All it tells me is theists have the best explanation since atheists cannot offer a better one. You can remain ignorant or not follow the evidence where it leads. I choose to seek the truth, you do you.

Towards the end of my original video I said, “Thus, when a non-theist cries “god of the gaps” they are not really addressing any arguments for God’s existence, but admitting to us all they are just assuming their worldview that God doesn’t exist, and any evidence for God cannot possibly mean God exists.”

Zod then replies to this in his video around 22:00, “No, the problem is there is no evidence for God, which is why your best attempt at proving his existence relies on telling us that it automatically and for unobserved reasons explains unsolved mysteries.”

Okay, so based on his last two comments, he first said he doesn’t know the answers to these questions and doesn’t think we have to have answers, but now he knows the answer is not God. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either you are agnostic or you know the answer is not theistic and you have a better explanation of the data. Pick one, Zod. You can believe all you want there is no evidence for God, but we will keep presenting our arguments and wondering why atheists have to rely on caricatures (like he did this entire video) and are unable to offer a better explanation.

Second, here he is again, proving my original video correct. He just assumes naturalism is true and evidence which could lead to theism is just an unsolved mystery. His logic is, if the answer is not naturalistic it must be wrong or an unsolved mystery. In other words, naturalism is true so there is no evidence for God, therefore naturalism must true. Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 3.02.15 PM.png

So before we wrap up, Zod says his metaphysical worldview “explains anything.” Okay, then put your money where your mouth is. Explain how the brain creates consciousness, where space-time came from, why there is something rather than nothing, etc. If for some reason he ‘does not know’ then as pointed out above, he shouldn’t be arguing against the theistic position.

It’s important to understand the distinction between science and metaphysics, as naturalism and theism are both metaphysical theories (again, methodological naturalism is a strategy, not a worldview). These metaphysical theories have different ontologies, which is the nature of what things are. Under naturalism, everything is physical, natural, material or non-mental at the fundamental level. Under something like idealism, everything is a mental ontology, and under substance dualism, you have both mental and material ontologies. All of these theories argue from the same data found in science. Science studies the world and we learn how it works, however, one can make a metaphysical argument from science and I have done this in previous videos to make a cumulative case from science. Science itself still works regardless of these metaphysical views. Scientific theories explain certain phenomena in the universe like how evolution is specific to biology but not physics whereas metaphysical theories explain all of the scientific theories as a whole and the universe as a whole, as well as its ontology. So we only argue theism is the best metaphysical explanation of reality just as a biologist would explain why evolution is the best explanation of biology. You cannot prove theism or evolution, only infer them as the best explanation. This is not complicated.

If Zod replies or wants to debate more, my guess is he will not be able to offer a better explanation of the data used in natural theology, but will just rely on more appeals to emotion, arguments to random possibilities, or continue to assume his conclusion of naturalism.
UPDATE:

Round 2 with Zod, his new response to this blog post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8XKkONxoew

Zod said this would be his last response, so even if it is not, he is right about one thing, there is no use in keeping this going. So this will be just going over a couple of problems.

Zod begins his second response an insult rampage of my blog, “For the most part, his response a tedious and disorganized mess of unremarkable apologetics comebacks, including standard shift….” You get the idea. As I said atheists have to rely on insults instead of addressing our arguments.

He then takes issue with the analogy of the dominos (mentioned above). Zod basically said I didn’t understand it or misrepresented it. Well, I did understand what he was getting at, which is why in my blog response I said (above), “Zod didn’t mean for it to be understood this way, but the actions of the analogy he set up, speak louder than how he wants us to interpret it.”

Now Zod tries to go on clarifying the analogy, which is a waste of time. As I already admitted, I took the analogy on a different way in order to illustrate a point, and you can read that above. He didn’t respond to my re-use of the analogy and so there is nothing really more to say. Zod didn’t seem to quote the part of my blog where I admitted I was changing this to make a point, so this is a clear quote mine on his part. Ironically, he ends his video by saying I don’t have a basic reading comprehension level.

Zod, then admits he made errors in the section of his video on methodological naturalism, and hats off to him for accepting that. However, he says in that in my original video that my “presentation is shrouded in linguistic vagary and his shady use of language slips between lumping atheists of multiple philosophical approaches and then using one of these approaches to response us all.”

I would like for Zod to back up this quote of his. My original video was not attacking all atheists, it was attacking atheists that cry ‘god of the gaps’ in response to natural theology. Not all atheists do that, which is why I never said ‘all atheists.’ Also, where (in my original video) did I lump all philosophical approaches? I never brought up methodological and philosophical naturalism until Zod thought they were separate ideas in his response. My video was simply pointing out that crying ‘god go the gaps’ is assuming non-theism is already true (circular reasoning). I am not saying all non-theists are materialists, and it seems Zod keep implies I did. I used materialism as an example and here are the lines from my original script:

First Quote: “For example, materialism is a metaphysical theory of reality, not a scientific theory. Materialism is the idea all that exists is matter and the complex arrangements of matter. This cannot be proven by science, only inferred philosophically. Now if a materialist were to argue from something we observe in science (conservation of matter) was evidence in favor of materialism it would be absurd for me to reply they are just trying to explain that with a materialism of the gaps, and this is how ridiculous it sounds when a non-theist attempts to argue a god of the gaps in response to the arguments from natural theology or the metaphysical theory of theism. It is not actually arguing from a gap in a natural process, but arguing for a metaphysical theory of reality which attempts to explain why there are natural processes or what is the best way to explain reality.”

Second Quote: “What they have done is assume their worldview is correct (say something like materialism) and therefore any data or evidence that the theist provides must really not imply God’s existence, because they have assumed materialism is already true. So it must just be a gap filler until a materialistic explanation comes along.”

Zod, as you can see, I was just using materialism as an example in order to illustrate my point. I don’t care what you argue from, crying god the gaps in response to our arguments and evidence is simply assuming we are wrong from the get-go, and not providing a better explanation of the data. Zod, please stop taking that out of context. You claim I misunderstood you, but that goes both ways. Nowhere did I claim all non-theists are materialists or naturalists.

Zod then concludes by saying he doesn’t really want to go into all-too-familiar arguments with me, when in reality that is what we theists are dying to do. We really want to have a rational conversation about the evidence and see if atheists have a better and more parsimonious, philosophical worldview. But we rarely get that, instead, we get atheists claiming god the gaps, which is a circular argument, and inadvertently ignoring our evidence and points. If you don’t want to engage with our arguments, fine, but that shows us we have the best explanation of reality because you cannot offer a better inference, and if you can’t deal with our arguments it shows us why you insist on crying god the gaps when confronted by any evidence. I would love to have a live discussion with Zod over my arguments and see if he has a better inference, but sadly, he doesn’t seem to want to do that, and just keep claiming god the gods, and thus, assume his worldview is already true.

Zod then ends by saying that I can’t understand him on a basic reading comprehension level. As I opened my original blog with, atheists typically rely on insults and talk down to theists. But remember at the end of the day we have the best explanation of reality, and I back that up to remind that atheists do not and they have not offered a more parsimonious explanation for our arguments.

 

 

Endnotes

  1. “Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False” https://www.amazon.com/Mind-Cosmos-Materialist-Neo-Darwinian-Conception/dp/0199919755. Accessed 24 Nov. 2018.
  2.  “Philosophy of Mind – By Branch / Doctrine – The Basics of Philosophy.” https://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_philosophy_of_mind.html. Accessed 24 Nov. 2018.
  3. “For and Against Method” https://www.amazon.com/Against-Method-Scientific-Lakatos-Feyerabend-Correspondence/dp/0226467759
  4.  “The Character of Consciousness (Philosophy of Mind): David J ….” https://www.amazon.com/Character-Consciousness-Philosophy-Mind/dp/0195311116. Accessed 24 Nov. 2018.
  5.  “Naturalism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).” 22 Feb. 2007, https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/naturalism/. Accessed 24 Nov. 2018.
  6.  “The Emergent Universe – YouTube.” 6 Jul. 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFEBOGLjuq4. Accessed 24 Nov. 2018.
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27 thoughts on “The Numerous Errors of Prophet of Zod

  1. Just to fix something up: “Then says both people are doing the same thing. No, Zod, in your own analogy they are not doing the same thing.

    In the second we see him push them over, whereas, in the first, the one domino just falls over by itself. So the analogy is awkward, at best, and if we take the analogy as it stands it actually work against his point (since in the second there was an intervention that caused the dominos to fall over). Zod didn’t mean for it to be understood this way, but the actions of the analogy he set up, speak louder than how he wants us to interpret it.”

    I don’t believe that was his point. His point was that both people people are assuming that God did it, but the second one just illustrates that theist’s like it more because there’s more to it. He’s talking about both people are doing the same thing, NOT that the dominoes are.

    Regardless of that, the analogy was terrible, as it was missing the point. As ypu said, This would be right if we were automatically saying, “yeah, God did it and I know he did, because I just ya know, like the idea.” (THAT is Gods of the Gaps), But of course this isn’t your point. Your point was, “Judging from all the current models we have, God seems to be the most likely explanation for it so far from the data. So I’ll go with that as of now unless someone gives me a better explanation to account for it.” It’s somewhat aggravating how they act like there isn’t a distinction. This can be said for any models. I guess any Multiverse Theorist on the Multiple Universe’s model to explain the Univeses beginning just uses the “Multiverse of Gaps” XD. After all, there isn’t any evidence for it. However, Some things alludes to it such as if one measures the spatial curvature and see it’s pretty much flat, and no large-curvature regions show themselves on a scale approaching that of the Universe we can observe. And it does make kinda sense: As we see planets and planets, galaxies and galaxies. and the next best thing from this pattern is Universes and Universes.

    neat idea certainly, but I wouldn’t say anyone of them are just appealing to the, “Multiverse of Gaps” from this, just like I wouldn’t say, “God of Gaps” either, as we’re just taking the best data or allusions, and going with that as of now. It of course, only becomes that when someone just says it’s that way, for no reason whatsoever.

  2. “This old idea science is about inductivism has been dead for decades”

    Disagree completely. Science most certainly has the necessary element of induction, it is not the only element, else we would simply call science, induction, and be done with it. But the way this is phrased makes it sound like science is not a necessarily inductive practice at many stages along its process, which seems demonstrably false.

    • That is not what inductivism means. Inductivism is a traditional model of the scientific method that is typcailly attributed to Francis Baco​n and says all science consists of is observation and inductive conclusions. Modern philosophers of science have noted it is far more complicated than that. I did not deny that science contains important elements of inductions. All I said was inductivism​ is most likely wrong, a more eclectic model is probably a more accurate description of what science is.

  3. How did you fail to understand the domino analogy?
    It was a clear illustration of the point made seconds before.
    The first shot set up the phenomenon under discussion- the falling domino.
    The second shot- the one with one domino being pushed over by the mysterious gloved hand is played alongside the commentary of the first person offering his explanation.
    The viewpoint of the commentary changes to the second person as the “prohibited” sign appears and the shot cuts to the row of dominoes.
    It was obvious.
    And it begs the question about what else you misunderstand.

    • Did you actually read the post, or just believe what Zod told you to think in his second reply? Well, I did understand what he was getting at, which is why in my blog response I said (above), “Zod didn’t mean for it to be understood this way, but the actions of the analogy he set up, speak louder than how he wants us to interpret it.”

      I already admitted I agree I took the analogy a different way in order to illiterate a point, and you can read that above. He didn’t respond to my re-use of the analogy so there is nothing really more to say. Zod didn’t seem to quote that part of my blog, so this is a clear quote mine on his part. Ironically, he ends his video by saying I don’t have a basic reading comprehension level.

      Also, you end your comment bordering on a slippery slope fallacy​​​ so I would be careful​. I’ll be updating this blog tonight in response to his second video. I have almost finished it.

      • Baye’s theorem gets touted around a lot these days, by theists who try to use it to argue for god, and ironically by people like Richard Carrier, who try to use it to prove the opposite.
        I mentioned it as a rhetorical flourish- but you do use a form of “probability theorem” that you pretend has some kind of mathematical certainty in its construction. All through our correspondence, and indeed in your videos, you use the term “most likely”. That’s a synonym for probability- so how are you establishing that probability?
        The answer is that you don’t. You just use language to make it seem like your conclusions follow from the evidence you give ( which is what I was referring to when I said

        “When you say “just not 100% for sure”- you’re painting a picture that your argument is at least 90% for sure, maybe 60-70% at least- but in fact, you haven’t justified a single Bayesian percentage point.”

        But your evidence is weak- far too weak to make the conclusion that your answer is “most likely”.
        I have repeatedly shown you why your reasoning is unjustified- and all you have done in response is to say that I haven’t.
        So I didn’t point out that the absence of Celtic written text that gives the date of Samhain is not a point in your favour, because there are no Celtic written sources of anything?
        Your entire video about Halloween was constructed out of suggestive language and inferences based on vague and misleading data.
        Nowhere is this clearer than your category error when it comes to Christian v pagan, and christian v european. You equivocate two different concepts- as I pointed out before – “european” is not just a description of a place”
        To which you doubled down by replying that
        “– And there are European customs in that place, obviously.”
        You cannot use the term “european customs” as a juxtaposition to “christian customs”.
        “European”- in the sense you are trying to avoid making plain, is a cultural term, and covers all sorts of disparate cultural traditions that derive from… wait for it…. the pagan cultures that the various germanic and celtic peoples of the western palearctic lived by.

        I know you don’t really understand evolution in the biological sense- but you must recognise the evolution of ideas and cultures in a sociological sense. You must be aware of how different cultures interract and absorb each other and influence each other. You seem to want to frame Christianity in an isolated position that sprang out of nowhere, and had no historical influences that shaped it- but that’s simply not the case- shit, man- the bible is the most obvious proof here. We know for a fact that the bible draws from earlier middle eastern religious texts when it comes to things like the flood story. And we know that the Christian testament has the Jewish Old testament as its starting point.
        So why is it such a bizarre notion to you that early Christian traditions were shaped by the cultures that christianity was exposed to- these cultures being the pagan ones already in place that were gradually transformed by christianity until little of the original values and meanings remained.

        The American Indians had their own religious concepts that we would call pagan. But through centuries of exposure to the White Christians, they incorporated the Christian stories and outlook. BY the end of the 19th century, at their most desperate time, a cult grew up among the Lakota that fused the ghost dance with the idea that Jesus was going to come back and save them from the Whites.
        So are you going to deny that culture changes by cross pollination, and that “new religions” develop through an evolution of existing ones?

        “– That and the evidence shows the date came from the east of Briton, and their own writings never claim they were copying pagans, and Celtic writings suggest all saints day was not in November early on. Don’t cherry pick my evidence.”

        I’m not sure what you mean here. Which date are you talking about? Who’s writings “never claim they were copying pagans” If you mean Christian writings- would you really expect to find some great tome telling the story of how a bunch of early christian bishops deliberately stole pagan festivals? If that is what you’re getting at, it’s just another really weak point like the one you make about lack of original Celtic sources.
        And what do you mean by “Celtic writings suggest…” surely you mean early Irish Christian sources.
        I’m not sure how all this amounts to “cherry picking”.

        You say you care what the scholars say. So what do they say?
        They recognise that there are neolithic and bronze age stone structures all across Europe that clearly show that various peoples across Europe had a reverence for the celestial map above us. They know that there were significant times of the year- the solstices and equinoxes- the lunar cycle- even the fact that a physical “year” is a thing.
        They recognise that festivals do occur at various times throughout the year, and that traditions and rituals associated with these festivals have obvious correlation of meaning. Have you taken on harvest festivals by the way? I’d like to see you argue that they’re nothing to do with earlier pagan observance of the yearly cycle, but just another invention of the christians to thank god for his bounty.
        Obviously there’s a lot we don’t know, and a lot of interpretation that may change with new information- but you cannot simply reject it all by saying “we haven’t got solid written proof in Cuchulain’s own red hand that Samhain was on a certain date- so all the rest of it is not evidence”

        The thing is you basically admitted that Halloween does have pagan origins.
        “they are European customs that developed over time.”

        You said you “don’t make claims for which there is no evidence.” well, that’s not entirely true is it.
        Your whole halloween video is one big claim based on a “lack of evidence” as evidence.
        You say we don’t know why All Saint’s day was moved- but we do know it wasn’t to subvert an earlier pagan ritual according to you.
        You say there’s no written Celtic evidence- but we do know it had no influence on the idea of celebrating significant dead ancestors that forms the basis of the christian celebration of that nature and of that time of year.
        Incidentally- what do you know about the differences and similarities of the broadly defined “germanic” peoples and “celtic” peoples. Do you know that in terms of religion and culture, there are parallels with the Greeks and Romans in that they worshipped the same sort of gods, just by different names. They all had the same world to start from- so they all, broadly speaking, looked to the same natural cues. So even the idea that Samhain was a Celtic thing, and they weren’t doing the same kind of thing in the Black Forest at the same time- is pretty naive. Do you know where I’m going with this?

        One last thing- you said

        “Why? And I never said God fit into the equation or that would change quantum mechanics. I said the current data from there implies a theistic outlook.”

        Can you tell me how asserting that the current data to implies a theistic outlook is not “fitting God into the equation”?

      • “That’s a synonym for probability- so how are you establishing that probability?”
        – What has the most explanatory power, scope, is the least ad hoc, most plausible, and illuminating. These are typical measurments for historical and philosophical investigation.

        “The answer is that you don’t. You just use language to make it seem like your conclusions follow from the evidence you give”
        – Yes, I do, and my positin is easy to address, just provide a better explanation that incompasses all the data with fewer assumptions (Occam’s Razor).

        “But your evidence is weak- far too weak to make the conclusion that your answer is “most likely”.
        I have repeatedly shown you why your reasoning is unjustified- and all you have done in response is to say that I haven’t.”
        – No you haven’t. You just keep telling yourself it is weak instead of demonstrating it. If you want to show the argument doesn’t work give a better explanation of the data.

        “Your entire video about Halloween was constructed out of suggestive language and inferences based on vague and misleading data.”
        – Why is it misleading? You have not explained. Stop stating the conclusion you want and talk about the evidence.

        “You cannot use the term “european customs” as a juxtaposition to “christian customs”.”
        – What are you talking about? All I did was explain where certain thigns came from, customs in Europe. I never compared or contrasted them to Christianity.

        “I know you don’t really understand evolution in the biological sense”
        – If you are going to start getting rude I am going to end this conversation.

        “but you must recognise the evolution of ideas and cultures in a sociological sense. You must be aware of how different cultures interract and absorb each other and influence each other.”
        – Yep, now show how Halloween was absorbed from a pagan idea. Until then I’ll trust a scholar like Ronald Hutton over you, who has no evidence.

        “So why is it such a bizarre notion to you that early Christian traditions were shaped by the cultures that christianity was exposed to”
        – Okay, please give some evidence, don’t assume it based on an assiaction fallacy. I don’t care if Halloween goes back to paganism, but I want some data first.

        ” If you mean Christian writings- would you really expect to find some great tome telling the story of how a bunch of early christian bishops deliberately stole pagan festivals? ”
        – Yes, actually. As even Tim O’Neill notes, Christians were ready to attack each other back then. Just look at orthodox/catholic disputes, or even catholics that attacked t​he Pope at times. They were ready to attack each other over minor things. Blending pagan ideas would have been at the top of their list to pull up.

        “You say you care what the scholars say. So what do they say?”
        – As I quoted in my video, Ronald Hutton agrees with me there is no evidence Halloween came from paganism.

        “They know that there were significant times of the year- the solstices and equinoxes- the lunar cycle- even the fact that a physical “year” is a thing.”
        – As far as we can gather from Pliny the Elder, Snorri, and Bede the celts and Norse calculated festivals according to the cycles of the moon.

        ” but you cannot simply reject it all by saying “we haven’t got solid written proof in Cuchulain’s own red hand that Samhain was on a certain date- so all the rest of it is not evidence””
        – I am not rejecting it, I am saying there is no evidence Christians got the idea of Halloween or All Saint’s day from pagans. That is all I am saying.

        “The thing is you basically admitted that Halloween does have pagan origins.
        “they are European customs that developed over time.””
        – European is not synonymous with pagan, and these came long after paganism died out, anyway.

        “Your whole halloween video is one big claim based on a “lack of evidence” as evidence.”
        – Ironic claim, given you still have not given evidence it was pagan.

        “You say we don’t know why All Saint’s day was moved- but we do know it wasn’t to subvert an earlier pagan ritual according to you.”
        – There is no evidence it was.

        “You say there’s no written Celtic evidence- but we do know it had no influence on the idea of celebrating significant dead ancestors that forms the basis of the Christian celebration of that nature and of that time of year.”
        – Source, please.

        “Can you tell me how asserting that the current data to implies a theistic outlook is not “fitting God into the equation”?”
        – In the same way you keep saying there is data that implies​ Halloween is saimhain. The difference is I gave evidence and sources, and you have not.

      • [“That’s a synonym for probability- so how are you establishing that probability?”
        – What has the most explanatory power, scope, is the least ad hoc, most plausible, and illuminating. These are typical measurments for historical and philosophical investigation.]
        …..Yes, but how do you measure the scope/plausibility. You present your videos as though they have data being put into some mathematical equation – but in fact it’s just your personal preferences.

        [“Your entire video about Halloween was constructed out of suggestive language and inferences based on vague and misleading data.”
        – Why is it misleading? You have not explained.]
        …..You’re kidding, right? The first thing I said about your halloween video was that you made a statement about celtic written sources that, to the uninformed, would be taken the wrong way, leading them to believe that the lack of mention of Samhain was an omission from a body of work, rather than the truth of there being no body of work to omit anything from. Flat earthers use the same tactic when they complain that NASA didn’t leave a massive “we landed here” sign on the Moon.

        [– What are you talking about? All I did was explain where certain thigns came from, customs in Europe. I never compared or contrasted them to Christianity.]
        …..So this couple of sentences came from your response on Dec 3rd.
        “– No, Halloween is a developed tradition, which is what I said in the video. It is not Christian but came from Christian holidays. It is mostly European and American traditions.”
        In the video you said “not from paganism but from European traditions in Christian Europe”(5 min).
        You framed Christian festivals as Christian, but when referring to things like the Danse Macabre, you merely said “European” or “French”. The furthest you went in acknowledging the link with the people of Europe and their Pagan roots was when you quoted from authors who used terms like “Celtic Europe”.
        The whole video was about European traditions that have folkloric beginnings- and you even mentioned Thanksgiving to me to show that traditions need not be religious in nature, ( thus planting the seed that non christian traditions have no religious beginnings). The thing is you spoke of All Saint’s Day in a Christian context, but ignored any non Christian religious context in other traditions- instead using the term European. I suspect even using the term folkloric might have opened the door to paganism too wide for your liking.

        [“I know you don’t really understand evolution in the biological sense”
        – If you are going to start getting rude I am going to end this conversation.]
        ….A cheap dig I know. Unnecessarily snarky. But I watched your video about evolution and naturalism, and you strawmanned the hell out of evolution, – you failed to get the definition of evolution correct, and proceeded to apply an “everything is for survival” interpretation that was not even academic doctrine when the phrase “survival of the fittest” first cropped up a hundred years ago.
        Maybe that should be left for another time.

        [” If you mean Christian writings- would you really expect to find some great tome telling the story of how a bunch of early christian bishops deliberately stole pagan festivals? ”
        – Yes, actually. As even Tim O’Neill notes, Christians were ready to attack each other back then. Just look at orthodox/catholic disputes, or even catholics that attacked t​he Pope at times. They were ready to attack each other over minor things. Blending pagan ideas would have been at the top of their list to pull up.]
        …….Different factions attacking each other is not the same thing as the whole lot keeping quiet about something that would affect them all. Internecine squabbling does not change the fact that Christianity derives from non-Christian roots as I pointed out ( flood narratives from Babylon, New testament from Old) and I notice you haven’t addressed. I mentioned Harvest festival as well.

        [– As I quoted in my video, Ronald Hutton agrees with me there is no evidence Halloween came from paganism.]
        …..Does Hutton say that? Your video mentions that he thinks there might have been ceremonies on the day- despite lack of written sources. And you reframed the question as “was Samhain a celebration of the dead?”, which is not the same thing as “Was Samhain an influence on later Halloween tradition?”
        I’ve not read Hutton’s books, but it sounds like you are using his work to support your argument because it counters a strawmanned idea of Samhain of your own creation.
        In essence you say that Samhain wasn’t a celebration of the dead- look, Hutton agrees- therefore Samhain is nothing to do with Halloween- which isn’t just about celebrating the dead.
        So you commit a fallacy of composition by rejecting the connection based on one loose wire that you gave too much significance to in the first place, if not planting it yourself to more easily show the connection is false.

        [“They know that there were significant times of the year- the solstices and equinoxes- the lunar cycle- even the fact that a physical “year” is a thing.”
        – As far as we can gather from Pliny the Elder, Snorri, and Bede the celts and Norse calculated festivals according to the cycles of the moon.]
        …..You just agreed with what I said. We do of course have the physical evidence of the henges and burial mounds etc. It’s funny how you didn’t mention all this when you used the “no specific day” argument. Again, I brought up earlier that we wouldn’t expect there to be one, what with the lack of a Julian let alone Gregorian calendar.

        [” but you cannot simply reject it all by saying “we haven’t got solid written proof in Cuchulain’s own red hand that Samhain was on a certain date- so all the rest of it is not evidence””
        – I am not rejecting it, I am saying there is no evidence Christians got the idea of Halloween or All Saint’s day from pagans. That is all I am saying.]
        ……You are rejecting it by saying there’s no evidence. And I notice that now you’ve added “All Saint’s Day”- which is odd because I never asserted that All Saint’s Day was anything other than a Christian holy day. And lets not forget that the video is entitled “Halloween is not pagan”- if that’s not a rejection I don’t know what is.

        [– European is not synonymous with pagan, and these came long after paganism died out, anyway.]
        ……Correct. Nor is it synonymous with Christian. But folkloric traditions don’t spring up from nowhere. They don’t all have a convenient finite starting point like Thanksgiving. While the responses to the Black Death occurred well after the establishment of Christianity in Europe- they are characterised by patently non-biblical activities that have their roots in the folklore of the people who made that transition from pagan to Christian. When you sit down to enjoy a nice joint of roast pork, you are embracing the Norman invader- but your Saxon heritage still lingers in every pig you see. ( too obscure? just in case you didn’t get the reference, english retains earlier words for animals despite later Norman French ones establishing themselves. I’m saying that there is no cut off point that you can point to where everyone in Europe stopped being pagan and forgot about all things pagan once they started reading the bible).

        [“Your whole halloween video is one big claim based on a “lack of evidence” as evidence.”
        – Ironic claim, given you still have not given evidence it was pagan.]
        ……which is ironic, since you haven’t given evidence it wasn’t pagan.
        You’re still dead set on your criteria of “you can’t say I’m wrong until you come up with somethiing better”. This just is not the case. I can easily tell if someone’s not speaking english, without having to know what language they are in fact speaking.

        [“You say we don’t know why All Saint’s day was moved- but we do know it wasn’t to subvert an earlier pagan ritual according to you.”
        – There is no evidence it was.]
        …….Argument from silence. My point here is that if we don’t know why it was changed, how can you say for certain it had nothing to do with appropriation- a well known and readily observed social practice utilised by those in power to solidify their control.

        “You say there’s no written Celtic evidence- but we do know it had no influence on the idea of celebrating significant dead ancestors that forms the basis of the Christian celebration of that nature and of that time of year.”
        – Source, please.
        ……You. I’m paraphrasing you. That’s what you asserted in the video. Maybe I worded it badly or not accurately enough.
        I’m repeating what I said to begin with that you cannot use a lack of written celtic evidence to claim that no link between Samhain and what we know as Halloween exists.

        [“Can you tell me how asserting that the current data to implies a theistic outlook is not “fitting God into the equation”?”
        – In the same way you keep saying there is data that implies​ Halloween is saimhain. The difference is I gave evidence and sources, and you have not.]
        …..I think you misunderstood me here. You baulked at my assertion that you were fitting God into the equation, before stating, in different words, that you were fitting God into the equation. It wasn’t a judgement on how you did it.
        But speaking of how you did it…. You started off this last response by bringing up Occams Razor.
        When discussing the “creation” of the cosmos, one assumption fewer would be not bringing God into the picture.
        And I’m not sure if you misspoke when you answered the statement, “You just use language to make it seem like your conclusions follow from the evidence you give”, with “– Yes, I do,”.
        Did you really mean to admit that you are spinning a yarn that does not follow the evidence necessarily, but merely sufficiently ( and at times not even sufficiently)?
        You’re admitting that you shape the evidence to suit your desired conclusion, rather than going where the evidence leads.

      • “You present your videos as though they have data being put into some mathematical equation – but in fact it’s just your personal preferences.”
        – That is such a lie I don’t even know where to begin. Never once have I said or implied it like a mathematical equation. If you can’t refute my argument I guess you resort to straw man arguments. This is why this will be my last response. You are not even trying.

        Second, personal preferences? Then it should be easy to refute, instead of mischaracterizing. But all you do is mischaracterize and name-call.

        “that the lack of mention of Samhain was an omission from a body of work, rather than the truth of there being no body of work to omit anything from.”

        “The first thing I said about your halloween video was that you made a statement about celtic written sources that, to the uninformed, would be taken the wrong way, leading them to believe that the lack of mention of Samhain was an omission from a body of work”
        – Where did I say that? Why don’t you actually quote me? What I said was, “First, there are no ancient texts which say Samhain was a celebration of the dead or that pagan religious ceremonies were held on this day. As scholar Ronald Hutton notes in his studies of ancient Britain. Our best sources suggest Samhain was a celebration to mark the onset of winter and they most likely believed supernatural encounters could happen.”

        You are reading way too much into what I said and running wild with it, very dishonest and again shows me why this conversation is a waste of valuable time. I never said the phrase, “Celtic written sources.” This dishonesty is astounding.

        “Flat earthers use the same tactic when they complain that NASA didn’t leave a massive “we landed here” sign on the Moon.”
        – That doesn’t compare at all, and you know it. You took what I said out of context, have no sources Halloween came from Samhain, and yet think I am the one being dishonest. The difference is I am going on the sources and evidence we do have, you are not.

        “The whole video was about European traditions that have folkloric beginnings- and you even mentioned Thanksgiving to me to show that traditions need not be religious in nature, ( thus planting the seed that non christian traditions have no religious beginnings).”
        – And yet, you have still have given one measly shred of evidence they are originally pagan religions celebrations. It amazes me how you demand an unreasonable amount of evidence yet never give an ounce of evidence to support your claim of Saimhain influence. The dishonesty is astounding.

        “The thing is you spoke of All Saint’s Day in a Christian context, but ignored any non Christian religious context in other traditions- instead using the term European.”
        – Because there is no evidence of it, kid. If there is evidence why not provide it instead of appealing to random speculation?

        “I suspect even using the term folkloric might have opened the door to paganism too wide for your liking.”
        – Evidence, please. Stop appealing to random speculations and assuming that is evidence. You would be laughed at by scholars for assuming that is evidence.

        “you failed to get the definition of evolution correct, and proceeded to apply an “everything is for survival””
        – Oh, look, another straw man. What video do you speak of? Being vague on purpose? It sounds like you are referring to my video on the EAAN, which I was not defining evolution (because there are multiple theories of evolution). I was talking about naturalism in the video. So cut the straw man tactics.

        “Different factions attacking each other is not the same thing as the whole lot keeping quiet about something that would affect them all.”
        – Sure, it is all a conspiracy. If there is evidence why not provide it instead of appealing to random speculation? Real historians use actual evidence, not talk of conspiracy theories. Another point as to why you have no evidence and this conservation is a waste of time. Clearly, you just like to believe things without evidence, because the conspiracy you made up fits your conclusions.

        “I mentioned Harvest festival as well.”
        – Did you know the fact that you mentioned something doesn’t magically make it actual evidence of anything?

        “..Does Hutton say that?”
        – Hutton says, “It had not, however, started in Ireland, where the Felire of Oengus and the Martyrology of Tallaght prove that the early medieval churches celebrated the feast of All Saints upon 20 April. This makes nonsense of Frazer’s notion that the November date was chosen because of ‘Celtic’ influence; rather, both ‘Celtic’ Europe and Rome followed a Germanic idea. The origins of that idea are lost; it may be simply that some northern churchman felt the need of a spectacular feast at the opening of winter, at a time when some form or merriment was badly needed.” (The Stations of the Sun, Page 364).

        “In essence you say that Samhain wasn’t a celebration of the dead- look, Hutton agrees- therefore Samhain is nothing to do with Halloween- which isn’t just about celebrating the dead.”
        – No, I am also saying there is no evidence it was a celebration of the dead, evidence in that you cannot give me any evidence to support your claim it was. I’m still waiting on that alleged evidence, kid. And making up conspiracy theories is not evidence.

        “So you commit a fallacy of composition by rejecting the connection based on one loose wire that you gave too much significance to in the first place, if not planting it yourself to more easily show the connection is false.”
        – OMG, that is not a fallacy of composition. Do you even know what you are talking about? A fallacy of composition is when you try to say a part of something is true for the whole of something. By me, pointing out there is just no evidence to support the idea Halloween came from Samhain, in no way creates a fallacy.

        “We do of course have the physical evidence of the henges and burial mounds etc”
        – Which you have not identified and have not said what they say. You have only spoken vaguely about paces which you refuse to name. Scholars do not say these are connected to Saimhain because there is not enough evidence to make a connection.

        “You are rejecting it by saying there’s no evidence. And I notice that now you’ve added “All Saint’s Day”- which is odd because I never asserted that All Saint’s Day was anything other than a Christian holy day.”
        – And you should realize Halloween came long after All Saints day. We have no evidence it directly came from Samhain or was celebrated along with All Saints day 1000 years ago. Again, where is your evidence, kid?

        “But folkloric traditions don’t spring up from nowhere. “
        – Yes, they do. They sometimes come from random town customs that people made up or developed for fun. This seems to be what happened with hiding Easter Eggs. Also, I tracked the traditions as best I could, like the dance of death like came from pages survivors in France. Dressing up on Halloween developed from Guy Fawkes day as well. So I gave origins for this customs and all you do is ignore that, and throw out ad hoc, unnecessary speculations that they came from paganism. Again, where is the evidence, kid?

        “they are characterised by patently non-biblical activities that have their roots in the folklore of the people who made that transition from pagan to Christian.”
        – Evidence, please.

        As far as we can tell they came from black death fears. If that is wrong, give evidence, not baseless assertions.

        “I’m saying that there is no cut off point that you can point to where everyone in Europe stopped being pagan and forgot about all things pagan once they started reading the bible).”
        – I never said that, so stop with the straw man tactics.

        “which is ironic, since you haven’t given evidence it wasn’t pagan.”
        – The burden​ is on you, kid. You made the claim now back it up. We are still waiting.

        “You’re still dead set on your criteria of “you can’t say I’m wrong until you come up with somethiing better”.”
        – Yep, so why can’t you?

        “Argument from silence”
        – You really don’t know how logical fallacies work, do you? An argument from silence is only used when you dismiss one source because you think another source should have mentioned it as well. Pointing out there are zero sources for your claim is not an argument from silence, it is fact.

        “My point here is that if we don’t know why it was changed,”
        – I know, and I quoted Hutton who agrees. The problem is you don’t get assert a conspiracy theory that is was to take over Samhain, without evidence.

        “how can you say for certain it had nothing to do with appropriation”
        – I didn’t. Are you even listening? I just said there is no evidence that was the reason.

        “I’m repeating what I said to begin with that you cannot use a lack of written celtic evidence to claim that no link between Samhain and what we know as Halloween exists.”
        – I can say there is no evidence of a link because that is the truth. Yo have no evidence of a link.

        “When discussing the “creation” of the cosmos, one assumption fewer would be not bringing God into the picture.”
        – It is if the only explanation you can come up with creates far more assumptions and ends up violating Occam’s Razor. You don’t get to just assume theism is ad hoc without giving a more parsimonious explanation.

        “Did you really mean to admit that you are spinning a yarn that does not follow the evidence necessarily, but merely sufficiently ( and at times not even sufficiently)?”
        – What does that even mean? There are always other possibilities for any explanation. I’m pointing out theism is the best explanation, and like with Saimhain you can’t offer a better and more parsimonious explanation, which is why I’m done with this conversation.

        “You’re admitting that you shape the evidence to suit your desired conclusion, rather than going where the evidence leads.”
        – You just love the straw man arguments, don’t you?

  4. I read all the parts of the blog pertinent to your address of the domino analogy- including the addendum.
    The worrying thing is that in this response to me, you just admitted you (deliberately?) misrepresented the analogy a different way, and proceeded to “rebut” this strawman of your own invention.
    I watched Zod’s first video, and was somewhat amazed that it was possible to misunderstand the analogy he made. As I have just outlined above, it is a pretty clear synthesis of commentary and illustration- but even in your addendum you have failed to grasp the intent, in part thanks to a huge amount of begging the question…..

    “Judging from all the current models we have, God seems to be the most likely explanation for it so far from the data. So I’ll go with that as of now unless someone gives me a better explanation to account for it.”

    This just isn’t the case- and before you respond with, “well, you materialists do the same thing by inserting nature as the cause”… no. Science doesn’t insert anything that is unwarranted. It only deals with things it can measure because that’s all it can deal with. It’s not that science assumes “no god”, it just cannot give evidence either way.

    What Zod was comparing in the domino analogy was two slightly nuanced approaches to the “god did it” explanation given by theists. In the first example it was a simple “God explains why this phenomenon happened”, and in the second, it was the slightly less visceral “god initiated the process that led to the phenomenon”.
    He was saying that both are versions of the same proposition- the insertion of god into the “chronology of causation” – finding a gap and forcing god in there without proper justification.
    Proposing God is not the same as proposing a multiverse. For a start, proposing a multiverse isn’t going to affect anyone’s morality or perception of the great philosophical questions. But the main difference is that “the multiverse” is a hypothetical answer put forward to explain data, whereas “God” is your starting point, from where you take data and cherrypick and misrepresent it so it comports with your vision.
    You can’t help yourself it seems. This domino problem illustrates your modus operandi perfectly. You don’t have the excuse that your misinterpretation was a mistake anyone could make- because other people had no problem understanding it, and you freely admit to reinterpreting it in a different way to suit your own point ( I’m being charitable here as we both know you didn’t purposely change what the analogy was about – you just failed to understand it properly the first time- it’s clear in the way you wrote about it in the initial post).

    As for my “slippery slope” fallacy.
    Maybe you didn’t pick up on the subtlety. To be clear I really am stating that this failure to grasp the domino analogy is indicative of your failure in your broader apologetics. It’s one thing to make a mistake- but to double down on that mistake when it has been pointed out to you, as you have done here, smacks of dishonesty.
    I chose to comment on your failure to get the domino analogy because it wasn’t a philosophical topic or about a tenet of your faith. It was an unequivocal, binary, “right/wrong” provable example.
    You could admit your mistake and learn from it- but instead you bizarrely claim that you “didn’t make a mistake, and after you realised your mistake you found Zod was the one who made it.”
    Trump really has infected your society hasn’t he.

    • so that means you didnt read the entire blog and just looked at the Domino analogy like a dumb cuck lol IP crashed that idiot to the Ground if you really belive Zod won shit you are just trash at debating and dont see the Facts clearly

      no if we speak in literal Terms IP didnt misrepresent anything Actions speak louder than words if he cant Show his case to be true then he is a fucking dumb cuck and cant Show with actual proof that his Claim is true wich is the shifting of the burden of proof fallacy wich HE COMMITED THEN

      it cant be a strawman since it is the actual Actions that proceded into IP making a rebutal About it it is like saying ”the sun is flat and i can Show this with an analogy but the analogy he uses as proof for his Claim Proofs the oposite” wouldnt you then Point that out to him and no Zod even in the original meaning would be wrong as IP already addresses lil Internet Atheist

      nowhere did he beg the Question sorry but you Need to proof your Point you dont seem to be a great skeptic since you just take such blatant bullshit like Zod as actual accurate in a literal sense zod got cucked

      what an idiot you are first of Materialist Arent or dont Need to be great science fanboys because science debunsk the case of materialism and IP showed that too not only that but your fucking Argument is soooo trash that you actually assume science didnt Show proof of god even if it did in Quantum Physics and the many diffrent philosophical Background of said experiements that were done on it so stfu and Show proof of your dumb Claim

      OMG LOL you are basically autistic ma nigga not only do you just make yourself look like a dumb cuck you probably are one LMFAO

      ”bEcAuSe MoRAlItY changes the biblical god isnt good enough” but the multiverse is YOU DUMB FUCK NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS GET THAT INTO YOUR HEAD

      not only are you a dumb cuck but a dumb Feminist without Facts but only here ”fEeLinGs” LMFAO go kys ma nigga

    • “The worrying thing is that in this response to me, you just admitted you (deliberately?) misrepresented the analogy a different way”
      – No, I used it in a different way to illiterate a point to make about the real differences between gaps in natural processes and natural theology. I didn’t deliberately misrepresent it since I admitted I was taking it in a different direction. We are allowed to used analogies to, you know.

      “but even in your addendum you have failed to grasp the intent, in part thanks to a huge amount of begging the question…..”
      – Second, begging the question is when one assumes the argument is true from one premise. I did not do that anywhere. You don’t get to just assert logical fallacies, you have to demonstrate them.

      “This just isn’t the case- and before you respond with, “well, you materialists do the same thing by inserting nature as the cause”… no. Science doesn’t insert anything that is unwarranted. I”
      – I’m going to stop you right there and remind you science is not materialism Don’t equate your philosophical worldview with science. That is absurd.

      “It only deals with things it can measure because that’s all it can deal with.”
      – Science does not. You cannot measure things in the past. You are taking the definition of science young earth creationists make up. Science deals with far more than observations since we cannot observe the past, sub-atomic realm, inside black holes.

      “It’s not that science assumes “no god”, it just cannot give evidence either way.”
      – Why? Because you already know naturalism is true? Why cannot science give evidence for various theories?

      “He was saying that both are versions of the same proposition- the insertion of god into the “chronology of causation”
      – And as I said in my reply, it depends on the type of evidence we have in each case. You don’t get to just make hasty generalizations and ignore the evidence for different circumstances, as he has done.

      “finding a gap and forcing god in there without proper justification.”
      – Finding a gap? Why is it a gap? A gap for what? A later naturalistic explanation? See what I mean? Crying ‘god of the gaps’ is assuming the conclusion you want, that no evidence can lead to theism because it is just a gap until we get a naturalistic explanation to confirm the conclusion you already have of naturalism.

      “For a start, proposing a multiverse isn’t going to affect anyone’s morality or perception of the great philosophical questions.”
      – What? Are you being serious now? The moral implications of theory mean we cannot study the evidence for it? That is putting the cart before the horse… You don’t get to make up the rules and presuppose naturalism because you are afraid of the moral implications. That is a very odd admission on your part.

      “whereas “God” is your starting point, from where you take data and cherrypick and misrepresent it so it comports with your vision.”
      – You have already demonstrated you presuppose naturalism is true because you are worried about the moral implications, so you are accusing me of your own psychological projection. Also if I cherry picked something you have to demonstrate that, not assume the conclusion you want.

      “You don’t have the excuse that your misinterpretation was a mistake anyone could make- because other people had no problem understanding it,”
      – Again, I already said numerous times now I took it in a different direction to make a point.

      “and you freely admit to reinterpreting it in a different way to suit your own point”
      – Yeah, and? I am allowed to do that, you know.

      “To be clear I really am stating that this failure to grasp the domino analogy is indicative of your failure in your broader apologetics.”
      – Now that is a slippery slope fallacy, so way to do on the fallacious logic.

      “It’s one thing to make a mistake- but to double down on that mistake when it has been pointed out to you, as you have done here, smacks of dishonesty.”
      – You are assuming it is a mistake when I already admitted I repurposed it. You clearly don’t know how the principle of charity works. You would rather assume deliberate misrepresentation then deal with the actual circumstances, yet I am the one who denies the ​evidence? It was not a mistake, I said in my first response I was using it in a different way. So if you keep saying it was a misrepresentation you are making things up.

      • I’d like to preface this reply by saying That I think you seem to be a perfectly amicable feller, and I am not merely shouting at you to insult the nearest theist. If it wasn’t for this religious sticking point I would have no problem with you whatsoever. You seem pretty intelligent- which is why I find it perplexing that you make such obvious mistakes ( I will back this assertion up). That makes me wonder about your intellectual honesty, for want of a better term – but as I said you seem very amenable, which would suggest you aren’t making these mistakes deliberately.
        Either way, I see this as a clash of ideas, and not a personal attack- but I will not refrain from using a tone that might be misunderstood (lacking as it will the nuance of the human voice) to be insult for insult’s sake. Maybe it’s my cultural roots but I enjoy (attempting) to emulate witty if cutting sardonicism. It’s to be read while imagining me raising an eyebrow while peering down my nose and flicking cigarette ash on the nearest cat. Theatrical Sanctimoniousness.

        Let me start with the lowest of low hanging gooseberries…..
        On at least three occasions in your post you used the word “illiterate”. The irony is so palpable I can feel my keyboard begin to rust.
        A brain fart no doubt ( I myself still remember an occasion at school when I wrote “Protistute” instead of “Protestant”. I was 10 – I didn’t know there was a significant difference between the two ideas I was conflating), but none-the-less it comically illustrates my concerns that you are failing to see your own mistakes.
        To illustrate/iterate this point- you claimed that Zod was lumping philosophical and methodological naturalism under the umbrella of materialism. In fact HE was accusing- or at least suspecting YOU of doing this. It’s something I’ve noticed you do in the past ( your evolution video of a few weeks ago, where you- sorry- unnecessary rabbit hole).
        You accused him of conflating ideas during a section where he was explaining that those very ideas are not the same.

        Which is why I still think you really didn’t quite understand the cinematic devices at play in the domino analogy.
        You wrote something along the lines of “but we can clearly see your hand”. The fact that you justified your position with “actions speak louder than words” clearly shows that you didn’t understand that “The Hand Of Zod” was acting as a marionette’s strings- yes we can see it, but we understand it isn’t there.
        But the point of the analogy is exactly that the hand is not really there- it only exists in the mind of the theist.
        To reframe the analogy, just by saying “look- we can clearly see the hand” is in fact you making Zod’s point yourself.
        The hand is not there- yet you claim it is. But in the cinematic reality of those shots- the hand you claim is real, the rest of us know for certain does not exist.

        [“This just isn’t the case- and before you respond with, “well, you materialists do the same thing by inserting nature as the cause”… no. Science doesn’t insert anything that is unwarranted. I”
        – I’m going to stop you right there and remind you science is not materialism Don’t equate your philosophical worldview with science. That is absurd.]

        I freely admit that I was using non specific colloquial definitions of “materialist” and “science”.

        [“It only deals with things it can measure because that’s all it can deal with.”
        – Science does not. You cannot measure things in the past. You are taking the definition of science young earth creationists make up. Science deals with far more than observations since we cannot observe the past, sub-atomic realm, inside black holes.]

        Again, for want of brevity and so as not to interrupt my train of thought, I was perhaps too vague.
        I thought you would understand that the word “measure” has various wide ranging definitions, and broader connotations.

        [“It’s not that science assumes “no god”, it just cannot give evidence either way.”
        – Why? Because you already know naturalism is true? Why cannot science give evidence for various theories?]

        But what’s this? Apparently [science] can now investigate the non-natural? News to me!
        Maybe my own fault for being vague- but “giving evidence for various ( I presume you mean supernatural) theories” is not quite the same as collating data points, looking under rocks, testing chemicals- you know, all that “sciency stuff”.
        All we have before our eyes ( literally and somewhat metaphorically- I am including touch, taste, hearing etc) is the physical world.
        The physical world just “IS.”
        By which I mean it isn’t “IS made by God” or “IS not made by God”.
        It’s the base from where we start. I am now going to use the term “Natural” as shorthand for the world around us.
        Natural is not Atheist or Theist. But unfortunately for you, there is no extra step required to explain “Natural” in terms of Atheism- whereas there is to explain it in terms of a Theistic paradigm.
        The great problem facing the theist is that the most parsimonious or axiomatic position is this “Natural”- and the “Atheist worldview” happens to look exactly the same.
        So when an atheist starts by presuming the “Natural world” as a starting point, he is not starting with atheism. He is not begging the question.
        But when a theist, like yourself, starts with the assumption of God and “holds that assumption until proved wrong”- it is begging the question.
        This may seem unfair- but it’s simply the way it is.
        I presuppose only that “the natural” exists- not that materialism ( place holder for all non theist paradigms) is true. But because those two positions are so similar in outcome, you confuse them- one’s a knowledge claim and one’s a belief claim- and while I grant you it is not always clear to discern which is being touted, it remains the case that this is the reason why there is no such thing as a “materialism of the gaps”.

        [“For a start, proposing a multiverse isn’t going to affect anyone’s morality or perception of the great philosophical questions.”
        – What? Are you being serious now? The moral implications of theory mean we cannot study the evidence for it?]

        That’s not what I said.
        I was stating the fact that “the multiverse” doesn’t have a moral connotation to it, whereas the existence of God does. I was making the point that a multiverse hypothesis is not a “weapon” used in the Theism/Atheism conflict. It has no other concern other than to try to explain measurements.

        Let me try to be as clear as I can. You make a false comparison when you assert that starting from a theistic interpretation of reality is the same as starting from an atheistic interpretation of reality, because there are steps you have to make in a theistic interpretation. You don’t have to take any steps to get from “The reality before us” to atheism, because they look exactly the same. You don’t have to interpret anything, it is just there in front of us as “raw data”. The mere process of “interpretation” is the extra step- the unparsimonious departure along the road of assumption, guesswork and supposition. You yourself claim that you are not giving proof, just an interpretation that you think best fits. Unfortunately for you, the atheist doesn’t have to take that first step- and those of us who are aware that proof is not possible, do not take that first step. It may appear that we have taken that first step, because that step doesn’t change the picture before us in the same way that it changes for you.
        Incidentally- I think you’re being a tad disingenuous when you claim to not be offering proof, “only evidence”. Likewise with your condemnation of Zod for using the word. We all know that there’s a colloquial shorthand at play here- we all know by now about solipsism, and we all know that “giving evidence for” is a euphemism.

        And lastly the slippery slope again. It’s not a fallacy if it’s an assertion that one instance illustrates a common problem within your entire dialectic. I maintain that your treatment of the domino analogy contains examples of things that characterise your general approach- misunderstanding the thing at hand, reformulating the analogy and then claiming the new (strawman) reformulation is incoherent, etc,etc. You can argue about whether or not you are guilty of these “crimes”, but you cannot argue that it’s a slippery slope fallacy. Ironically, the fact that you have mis-applied the fallacy just adds to the argument that I’m right.

        ps
        as for atheists slinging around insults- have you read the other response to me? I might be offended if it wasn’t so comically inept.

      • “On at least three occasions in your post you used the word “illiterate”. The irony is so palpable I can feel my keyboard begin to rust.”
        – Yeah, I never said I was perfect. I went back and fixed those because I make spelling errors al the time.

        “In fact HE was accusing- or at least suspecting YOU of doing this.”
        – Which was very odd, since I never claimed that in my video. I made it clear I was just asking atheists you cry god of the gaps, and used various philosophical views to point this out. Methodological naturalism had nothing to do with that.

        “It’s something I’ve noticed you do in the past ( your evolution video of a few weeks ago, where you- sorry- unnecessary rabbit hole).”
        – Again, where did I bring up the terms in the video?

        “You accused him of conflating ideas during a section where he was explaining that those very ideas are not the same.”
        – I know they are not the same and if you read my blog I never said he conflated philosophical and methodological naturalism, only materialism and methodological naturalism, which he agreed to in his second response.

        “was acting as a marionette’s strings- yes we can see it, but we understand it isn’t there.”
        – Again, I don’t care who you or he want us to understand it. That was not the point of reusing it to explain the differences in natural theology.

        “The hand is not there- yet you claim it is.”
        – Well, technically, it was which is why I was able to repurpose it.

        “I freely admit that I was using nonspecific colloquial definitions of “materialist” and “science”.”
        – But you can’t, even if you are being colloquial. That would be to assume science already confirms the worldview you want.

        “I thought you would understand that the word “measure” has various wide ranging definitions, and broader connotations.”
        – I am a victim of reading too much philosophy of science, people like Karl Popper, Tomas Kuhn, Imre Lakatos. We have to be careful with our words as they can say more than we realize. But then what did you mean, by” measure”? Because if you define it too broadly I can use it as part of natural theology then.

        “Apparently [science] can now investigate the non-natural? News to me!”
        – Yes, for example, theoretical physicist Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara using science and mathematics to build models beyond space-time. Brane Cosmology or the multiverse are beyond the natural realm (space-time). If these ideas are not scientific then I don’t know what is. Science does go beyond the observable and natural realm now. The reality is as philosopher of science Joshua Moritz notes, the line between science and philosophy is blurred.

        “Maybe my own fault for being vague- but “giving evidence for various ( I presume you mean supernatural) theories” is not quite the same as collating data points, looking under rocks, testing chemicals- you know, all that “sciency stuff”.”
        – They are not the same, you are correct. Collecting data is just that, but it won’t tell us which theory is true. For example, Evo-devo and neo-Darwinists researchers work with the same genetic evidence and have different theories on how evolution occurs. There is an interesting debate between both sides. So both sides collect the same data and have different theories on how to interpret it.

        Science is really three things: Data, theories, and shaping principles. We see the world through our shopping principles, which determines how we study data. We then use the data to make theories and then new theories can adjust shaping principles. Evo-Devo is a fairly new theory and is determining how scientists look at the genetic data now (new shaping principles).

        “But unfortunately for you, there is no extra step required to explain “Natural” in terms of Atheism- whereas there is to explain it in terms of a Theistic paradigm.”
        – Here is where we need to define what Occam’s Razor means because (maybe without realizing it) that is what you are saying, that the natural posits less. True, it does. But Occam’s razor is we do not multiply entities beyond necessity, not that we just do not multiple entities. If naturalism could explain everything theism can, then we should be naturalists, but I have found naturalism cannot explain so much and so in order to be parsimonious we have to posit theism. Naturalism cannot explain emergent space-time, consciousness, big bang, morality, and a plethora of other pieces of data.

        “So when an atheist starts by presuming the “Natural world” as a starting point, he is not starting with atheism. He is not begging the question.”
        – Shouldn’t we start with agnosticism and see where the data leads and figure which theory can explain more data with less to posit?

        “But when a theist, like yourself, starts with the assumption of God and “holds that assumption until proved wrong”- it is begging the question.”
        – Agreed, which is why I do not do that. I argue from the evidence that theism is most likely true and I challenge everyone to provide me with a better inference.

        “I presuppose only that “the natural” exists- not that materialism “
        – What is natural? Would quantum wave-functions be natural? Since space-time is emergent would it emerge from something natural, and if so what?

        “I was stating the fact that “the multiverse” doesn’t have a moral connotation to it, whereas the existence of God does. I was making the point that a multiverse hypothesis is not a “weapon” used in the Theism/Atheism conflict.”
        – With all due respect, so what? We don’t put the cart before the horse, we ought to follow the evidence where it leads regardless of the moral implications. Honestly, I accept human evolution, even though emotionally, I don’t like knowing I am related to chimps, which I find ugly and terrifying. But I need to follow the evidence where it leads regardless of the implications. I don’t like the fact that anthropogenic climate change is real, because it has terrifying implications for the future and what we do now, but that evidence suggests it is true, so we ought to follow the evidence where it leads. Lets put aside what we consider to be emotion weapons and try to follow the evidence.

        “Unfortunately for you, the atheist doesn’t have to take that first step- and those of us who are aware that proof is not possible, do not take that first step.”
        – Right, you don’t have to come with me, but to quote the late Anthony Flew when he became a deist, “I am interested in truth.” You can believe what you want, but my challenge i​s still open, give a more parsimonious explanation for the data presented otherwise, theism is the best explanation of reality.

        “Likewise with your condemnation of Zod for using the word. We all know that there’s a colloquial shorthand at play here”
        – Fair enough, which is why I said I was being nitpicky. But proof says too much and I want to be clear I am not claiming that.

        “as for atheists slinging around insults- have you read the other response to me? I might be offended if it wasn’t so comically inept.”
        – Yeah, ignore whoever that is, not worth your time.

      • I’m going to try to focus on just a couple of things- or this whole to and fro is going to get too bloated to deal with.

        [“Zod didn’t mean for it to be understood this way, but the actions of the analogy he set up, speak louder than how he wants us to interpret it.”]

        Actually they don’t- you just misread it- but that’s not my point here- or is it?

        [“Likewise with your condemnation of Zod for using the word. We all know that there’s a colloquial shorthand at play here”
        – Fair enough, which is why I said I was being nitpicky. But proof says too much and I want to be clear I am not claiming that.]

        The thing is – you do want people to take the insinuation of proof. You have been at pains to show me that you ignored the literal meaning of Zod’s analogy and deciphered it in a different way. You are well aware of the problem of connotation and denotation.You are well aware of the effects of your narrative building – and you know that your audience, when they hear you say “evidence”, actually hear you say “good evidence”.
        So when you insist that when you say that you “argue from the evidence that theism is most likely true and I challenge everyone to provide me with a better inference”, it’s not the same as “starts with the assumption of God and “holds that assumption until proved wrong”” – we both know better.

        You mentioned the line between science and philosophy being blurred.
        But there is still a line, and you take advantage of the blurriness by sometimes pretending it’s not there, and other times moving it to to enclose different subjects that have no right to be lumped. You basically compared the theist/atheist debate to evo devo v neo darwinism in order to establish it as a valid scientific venture- but in the process you mischaracterised evolutionary biology as more philosophy than science, and framed the theist/atheist debate as more scientific in the process.

        All the your videos that I’ve seen attempt to give evidence for God- but in your response to Zod, you make it clear that you think you’ve established your case sufficiently to show that God exists (else why believe in him, right?), but Zod’s response is that you’ve jumped the gun- that your evidence is established fallaciously. Simply saying that Zod is wrong, because my evidence shows him to be wrong…. is begging that question again.

        Without making this into a whole essay, I want to draw your attention to your process of “giving evidence” by referring to a video you made recently about Halloween.
        One of the first bullet points you made was to cast shade on the history of Halloween by stating that there is no ancient celtic source with which we can establish precedent.
        This is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order. For a start, if someone said that about the gospels, you would “cry” fallacy of argument from silence. But it’s what you are silent about here that maes the argument disingenuous. You must know that the early Celts had no written records of anything, let alone rites and rituals, and therefore any lack of contempory celtic literature on the subject is not a “suspicious clue that should cast doubt on the origins of halloween”.

        That is just one of many “mistakes” that plague your evidence building, and ultimately make that evidence not worth the paper it’s written on. Whether by design or just oversight (for instance the other day you spoke about the religious demography of India, and grossly mischaracterised it in order to dismiss the idea that we believe the gods of our cultural backgrounds), you have simply not made a case strong enough to warrant the position of “holding to God until someone tells me something better”- because quite frankly, from this starting point, that “something better” doesn’t need to do more than avoid false assertions to be more valid than your foundation built from unjustified “bricks”.

        One last thing on the “god of the gaps”. You can’t deny it’s modern meaning- but to be fair, thanks to the advancements in our knowledge, your arguments aren’t so much “god of the Gaps” as “god of the space beyond the furthest block”. The theist has to keep one step beyond the “limits of the known”. You’ve been pushed so far away that you are left to conjure God in the vague notions of the quantum and the multiverse, where opposition to your position is necessarily ephemeral since nobody can justify a firm position on anything in that realm. The god of the gaps thrives in the areas of ignorance- no more so than right at the present limits. You asked me, in not so many words, how can I make the assertion that what is beyond space time natural. The answer is that i don’t, but since everything else within my scope is natural, Occam would tell us to start with the familiar and see how it differs , not wildly plant your flag and tell us to “prove that it’s no different from everything else- until then, I say it is different!”

      • “But there is still a line, and you take advantage of the blurriness by sometimes pretending it’s not there, and other times moving it to enclose different subjects that have no right to be lumped.”
        – Such as?

        “You basically compared the theist/atheist debate to evo-devo v neo-Darwinism in order to establish it as a valid scientific venture”
        – I have been adamant on my channel and blog that I am presenting a metaphysical worldview. You are reading way too much into that. I used that as an example.

        “but in the process, you mischaracterized evolutionary biology as more philosophy than science”
        – How? I simply noted there is more to science than falsification and observation. So what? That is not mischaracterizing, that is explaining philosophy of science by an example.

        “but Zod’s response is that you’ve jumped the gun- that your evidence is established fallaciously”
        – I am aware of that and I am still asking why he is justified in saying that without explaining why the evidence doesn’t lead to theism or offer a better inference. For example, when YECs say the earth is 6000 years old and then attempt to give evidence by pointing to the grand canyon as evidence of a global flood, I didn’t just say they jumped the gun, I offer a better explanation of the grand canyon, that is was carved out by a river over millions of years.

        When ancient alien theorists try to say Puma Punku was built by aliens and the city is evidence of aliens I do not just say they jumped the gun. I explain why it is most likely humans built it (evidence of pounding stones at the city, human pottery, half-completed columns).

        So when you or Zod says I jumped the gun but cannot explain why, how, or offer a better inference, your argument is a baseless assertion and just more circular reasoning (assuming naturalism). Give me a better explanation like we do with ancient aliens, or YECs, don’t just assume the conclusion you want and ignore the evidence.

        “Simply saying that Zod is wrong, because my evidence shows him to be wrong…. is begging that question again.”
        – No, that is not begging the question. Begging the question would be assuming God exists because theism is true. Arguing from the evidence is the exact opposite of begging the question and is how you are supposed to argue. So let me get this straight, if i don’t use evidence then theism is unjustified, but if I do use evidence you think I am begging the question? So no matter what I do, theism cannot be true? The irony is that is begging the equation for naturalism. You assume it is true regardless of the evidence.

        “One of the first bullet points you made was to cast shade on the history of Halloween by stating that there is no ancient celtic source with which we can establish precedent. This is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order. For a start, if someone said that about the gospels, you would “cry” fallacy of argument from silence.”
        – Okay, sorry but I need to correct you again. An argument from silence is not noting there are no sources to claim something. For example, there are no Egyptian sources that say aliens built the pyramids, so that is a valid argument from silence to note aliens did not build the pyramids.

        An argument from silence is a fallacy when you dismiss one source because it is not mentioned in another. For example, “Suetonius mentions how Emperor Claudius expelled all the Jews from Rome, but Tacitus doesn’t mention it, so the silence of Tacitus shows Suetonius made it up.” That is a fallacious argument from silence.

        By me noting there are no Celtic sources to establish the date of Samhain that is not a fallacy. It would only be a fallacy if we had one Celtic source and I used that to silence from other sources to dismiss the one Celtic source. Since we have 4 gospels and several epistles, it is not a valid argument from silence when it comes to NT studies.

        “let alone rites and rituals, and therefore any lack of contempory celtic literature on the subject is not a “suspicious clue that should cast doubt on the origins of halloween”.”
        – And so we cannot assume anything about their rituals, other than what we get from second-hand sources. As of now, we have no evidence Saimhain was on October 31. You don’t get to assume it was unless you have evidence. Plus, I offered a better explanation on the origins of Halloween. Why is my theory wrong because of the silence of the Celts?

        “you have simply not made a case strong enough to warrant the position of “holding to God until someone tells me something better”
        – Again, why? Why not address my evidence for theism instead of red herrings?

        “The theist has to keep one step beyond the “limits of the known”. You’ve been pushed so far away that you are left to conjure God in the vague notions of the quantum and the multiverse”
        – You do realize going back to Plato that has been the argument, right? This is not a modern idea. For thousands of years, we have asked what or who created the cosmos. Don’t confuse the creator God thesis, with naturalistic pagan deities. They were never the same thing.

        “The god of the gaps thrives in the areas of ignorance- no more so than right at the present limits”
        – See, there you go again assuming naturalism–“those are areas of ignorance because there is no naturalistic explanation, but naturalism is true, so the evidence cannot be anything other than naturalistic, so they must be areas of ignorance by default.”
        And you say I am begging the questions…

        “You asked me, in not so many words, how can I make the assertion that what is beyond space time natural. The answer is that i don’t, but since everything else within my scope is natural, Occam would tell us to start with the familiar and see how it differs , not wildly plant your flag and tell us to “prove that it’s no different from everything else- until then, I say it is different!””
        – That is a fallacy of composition or an argument from personal incredulity, however you want to say it. Either way, you still are not offering a better explanation for the data for theism. Until then, theism is still the best explanation, and all the hand-waving you want to do (instead of addressing our arguments) will not hold water.

      • let me make this clear…

        “if i don’t use evidence then theism is unjustified, but if I do use evidence you think I am begging the question?”

        No – I’m just stating that you haven’t shown that your evidence is sound, or in many cases valid- and in some cases it’s non-existent. I’m simply saying that the things you claim as good evidence, you have not amply shown to be good evidence.
        I take it you count argumentation as a form of evidence- which is why I picked out the case of the missing Celtic sources.

        “An argument from silence is not noting there are no sources to claim something.”

        I know that- but that is how you framed the lack of original source documents. And it’s not strictly speaking only to do with absence in one document that does appear in others. Wikipedia outlines it simply as based on the absence of statements expected to be present. You frame the bullet point as though the lack of an origin story in Celtic literature is crucial- without telling your audience the reason for that lack of origin story is that there is no Celtic literature in which to appear. Even in this latest reply, you dismiss the Celtic origin because there is no original source, and anyway, you’ve got a “better” Christian source. You downplay any reliability of the secondary sources we do have, in order to let your contrary sources shine all the more brightly.
        This is why I mentioned the gospels. We don’t have the originals of them either- yet somehow the reliability of the secondary gospel sources does not suffer in your eyes in the same way that 1st millenium Celtic sources do.
        You do a similar thing with the date- of course we have no direct proof that Samhain was on the 31st. Why would we? with all the shifting calendars throughout history, allied to the fact that the Celts used an informal structure of the year based on natural phenomena (and incidentally there are stone structures associated with ancient Celtic rites and rituals that line up with the sun and stars that add physical support to the timing of Samhain), so that is another arm of your argument that simply does not hold any weight.
        “Because we don’t know exactly, we don’t know anything” is what that boils down to, and that’s pretty weak.
        So In actual fact it’s you who are bringing up all the red herrings.
        To “disprove” Theism, I don’t have to offer anything better, I just have to show that you haven’t made your case.

        It’s been a while since I watched your halloween video, so I don’t remember the details clearly- but one of your points was about who moved “all saints day” or something- which seemed to be irrelevent, and the second half of the video discussed all the other influences that added to the modern (american) halloween. What I found odd here was that you gave no explanation of the costumes and games and pumpkin carving etc that rooted any of them in a christian perspective.
        Yes, they are things found within the various christian communities that contributed to the whole- but none of these practices have any biblical context.
        Your whole argument seems to be that Halloween is close enough to All Saints day, and All Saints day was established before all the later medieval Halloween shenanigans- ergo Halloween is Christian. The only way this has any chance of being correct, is of course to ignore Samhain- and with it the likely significance of that time of year to all bronze-age pagan cultures in Europe.
        Your argument stands or falls on the Celts- and you dismiss them on the very weak excuse of a lack of original written documents and a failure of the ancient Celts to record the exact date in a calendar that wasn’t invented until a thousand years after they carved their first turnip ( i think it was turnips -we didn’t have pumpkins for obvious reasons).

        [“The theist has to keep one step beyond the “limits of the known”. You’ve been pushed so far away that you are left to conjure God in the vague notions of the quantum and the multiverse”
        – You do realize going back to Plato that has been the argument, right? This is not a modern idea. For thousands of years, we have asked what or who created the cosmos. Don’t confuse the creator God thesis, with naturalistic pagan deities. They were never the same thing.]

        Not sure what you mean here. The very fact that we’ve been asking the question means that the answer lies beyond the “limits of the known”.

        [“The god of the gaps thrives in the areas of ignorance- no more so than right at the present limits”
        – See, there you go again assuming naturalism–]

        No, I’m not assuming naturalism. As an example – We didn’t understand how the continents arose- which allowed various supernatural hypotheses to flourish. We now know about plate tectonics, and the supernatural has had to skulk away to ply its trade in another “area of ignorance”.
        It’s not a fallacy of composition, as I’m not adding lots of things up to prove atheism, I’m simply subtracting all the little things that theists have used to prove God. I doubt that by removing all the available bullets from the theist magazine we can eventually prove “no god”- but each removal lessens the strength of the “yes god” argument never-the-less.

        “We see the world through our shopping principles”

        Finally we are in agreement! This is a typo from an earlier response- but I think it stands up to socio-political economic critical theory.

      • “saying that the things you claim as good evidence, you have not amply shown to be good evidence.”
        – Again, my response is the same: why? You need to do that by giving a better explanation. For example, the grand canyon is not good evidence a global flood because it can be better explained by millions of years or erosion. You need to do the same with natural theology.

        “Even in this latest reply, you dismiss the Celtic origin because there is no original source, and anyway, you’ve got a “better” Christian source. You downplay any reliability of the secondary sources we do have, in order to let your contrary sources shine all the more brightly.”
        – Yes, exactly, I have a better explanation on where Halloween came from. If I am wrong, give evidence of a better explanation. Second, throwing sources on the inference doesn’t show the inference is wrong or improbable. If that is all you can do, why is the inference I presented worst than the alternative, that is came from paganism? You need evidence, not just trying to poke holes in a theory.

        “yet somehow the reliability of the secondary gospel sources does not suffer in your eyes in the same way that 1st millennium Celtic sources do.”
        – The difference is we don’t have Celtic sources. We do have gospel accounts that date back to the 2nd century when the originals would have still existed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rml5Cif01g4&list=PL1mr9ZTZb3TW70EEo4e2onJ4lq1QYSzrY

        These hasty generalizations always ignore the details.

        “Because we don’t know exactly, we don’t know anything” is what that boils down to, and that’s pretty weak.
        So In actual fact it’s you who are bringing up all the red herrings.”
        – History always deals in probability. All I said was Halloween is probably a Christian and European tradition that developed over time, and probably did not come from paganism. We don’t know for sure, but we know probably based on the day we do have. That is how I argue.

        “To “disprove” Theism, I don’t have to offer anything better, I just have to show that you haven’t made your case.”
        – No, you:
        1. Focused on an unrelated example (Halloween).
        2. Did not show my probabilistic argument is wrong, just not 100% for sure.
        3. Did not offer a more probable explanation.
        4. Still have not addressed the evidence for theism.

        “What I found odd here was that you gave no explanation of the costumes and games and pumpkin carving etc that rooted any of them in a christian perspective.”
        – Because there is no evidence they came from Christianity. They do not appear until America in the 20th century. Costumes have a slight precursor in the Dance of death on all saints day.

        “they are things found within the various christian communities that contributed to the whole- but none of these practices have any biblical context.”
        – You can have European traditions that are not religious or pagan. People do that all the time, like Thanksgiving.

        “Your whole argument seems to be that Halloween is close enough to All Saints day, and All Saints day was established before all the later medieval Halloween shenanigans- ergo Halloween is Christian.”
        – No, Halloween is a developed tradition, which is what I said in the video. It is not Christian but came from Christian holidays. It is mostly European and American traditions.

        “The only way this has any chance of being correct, is of course to ignore Samhain- and with it the likely significance of that time of year to all bronze-age pagan cultures in Europe.”
        – What sources show Samhain influences later American and European customs?

        “you dismiss them on the very weak excuse of a lack of original written documents.”
        – No, I note there just are no sources to connect Halloween to Samhain. If I am wrong,​ give me evidence.

        “Not sure what you mean here. The very fact that we’ve been asking the question means that the answer lies beyond the “limits of the known”.”
        – No, The idea of a creator from contingency arguments is not new. It is not like Zeus was debunked so we had to posit a different, more, powerful God. Andrew Lang and Wilhelm Schmidt suggest the creator moral God is the oldest religion in the world.

        “As an example – We didn’t understand how the continents arose- which allowed various supernatural hypotheses to flourish. We now know about plate tectonics, and the supernatural has had to skulk away to ply its trade in another “area of ignorance”.”
        – Good, now do that with the current arguments. Don’t just assume the same applies. If there is no supernatural inference from emergent space-time and consciousness then give a naturalistic explanation like you did with plate tectonics. Don’t just assume there is a naturalistic one, because that is assuming your conclusion.

        ‘It’s not a fallacy of composition, as I’m not adding lots of things up to prove atheism, I’m simply subtracting all the little things that theists have used to prove God.”
        – Okay, start with emergent space-time. What is a better explanation than this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFEBOGLjuq4

      • There was a time when we thought the universe was eternal….
        And Christians said, “see! that proves God created it, because he is eternal”.
        Then we found out that the universe as we know it had a finite beginning….
        And Christians said, “see! that proves that God created it, because only he could exist before the universe began!”.

        I hope you see my point here. To make it clear, I think it is the sign of a weak argument that simply jumps in as an explanatory device no matter how the evidence changes, and no matter how contradictory new ideas are to the old ones.
        There was a time when it was taken for granted that everything consisted of earth, air, fire and water. And phlegm for some reason.
        And that was part of God’s wonder.
        But then we discovered oxygen and carbon and zinc- and things became less magical.
        When we discovered that the atom was not the smallest basic constituent of the universe- we didn’t suddenly rush back to proclaiming God. And when i say “we”, I mean scientists.

        I can see why you find the idea of quantum and the emergent space time as appealing- but I think you are confusing the “map with the place” in your understanding of what the physicists are saying. You are reading the analogous language being used to describe these nascent ideas, as literal. Wave functions being mathematical information – no, they are just understood in terms of maths, to better convey what is happening.
        You have made an unjustified leap based on a misreading of the statement that the universe emerged from “information”, to assert that this “information” must have come from a “mind”, since all information comes from a mind.
        I dispute that definition. Nothing is information until it is read as such – by a mind. This doesn’t mean that a mind is the only source of information.
        At best this revolution in physics gets us to a pantheistic reality- and certainly nowhere near christianity.

        Which brings us to Samhain.
        When the Romans settled in Britain, they came across local deities. In the south west, one such god was Sulis. There was a sacred spring associated with Sulis, and the Romans liked it so much they built baths around it, and the resulting city became Aquae Sulis ( modern day Bath). But more than just acknowledging Sulis, the Romans incorporated the local religion into their own, and Sulis became Sulis Minerva.

        For you to say that there is no reason to suppose the medieval Christian desire to establish a celebration that coincided with the age-old marking of the end of the harvest, has nothing to do with the various pagan celebrations that had already established that time of year as significant – is ridiculous.
        You don’t even offer a reason behind the transferal of All Saint’s Day from Spring to the end of Autumn. You certainly don’t offer a rebuttal to the obvious paradigm that the new faith of Europe was simply re-purposing existing traditions in the same way humans have always done.
        In fact even in your last response you don’t claim the halloween traditions as being Christian.
        So if they aren’t Christian- what are they? You said that halloween is probably Christian and european- but “european” is not just a description of a place – it has a cultural element that you simply ignore.
        These traditions don’t simply spring out of nowhere.So unless you can prove that Samhain is a fictional invention, and that the alignment of the winter solstice with carved niches in ceremonial Celtic Stone Circles – is mere coincidence, then your assertion that “it probably has nothing to do with the pagans” is simply unjustified. I can’t wait for your treatise on why leprechauns are really the Christian apostles.

        [“To “disprove” Theism, I don’t have to offer anything better, I just have to show that you haven’t made your case.”
        – No, you:
        1. Focused on an unrelated example (Halloween).
        2. Did not show my probabilistic argument is wrong, just not 100% for sure.
        3. Did not offer a more probable explanation.
        4. Still have not addressed the evidence for theism.]

        I should have been clearer here. Instead of “theism” I should have written “your arguments” perhaps. I chose to concentrate on the halloween argument as it is a historical one not a philosophical one, and as such can be measured against actual physical reality rather than notions neither of us can show to be true.
        When you say “just not 100% for sure”- you’re painting a picture that your argument is at least 90% for sure, maybe 60-70% at least- but in fact you haven’t justified a single bayesian percentage point.
        The more probable explanation is the one you’re trying to debunk- and may I remind you that your only point against it is that there are no Celtic writings from pre-christian times, and the 1st millenium records that do mention Samhain are….unreliable because they don’t reference a specific date?
        You surely don’t deny that Samhain existed as a thing- or what it marked. You cannot deny the very physical evidence of celtic stonework that establishes the date.

        You said something strange here-

        “You can have European traditions that are not religious or pagan.”
        Why is “paganism” not religious? You wouldn’t call the Romans not religious- or the Jews. It’s pretty well understood that religion is a part of human culture, and has been for as long as we can tell.
        And bringing up Thanksgiving is another red herring. It would be like me bringing up Veterans day in a conversation about the origins of Divali. It’s a non-sequitur. It smacks of the “dog in the manger”- you seem to be suggesting that if we christians can’t claim it- neither can the pagans because there are things in the world that aren’t religious.

        As I said before- “giving a better explanation” is not the only method of showing that your explanation is wrong.
        In the case of halloween, not only have I showed that your explanation is unjustified, but there is in fact an already existing better explanation- that everyone already accepts (no, not an argument from authority or ad populum, simply a statement of fact).

        Returning to the more general theistic argument- you keep accusing me of assuming my conclusion, or at the very least making the gambler’s fallacy. I’m just noting that in all these previous cases, “proof of god” has been shown to be unconvincing, and “god’s necessity” has been shown not to be the case. So the parsimonious approach is not to assume God, until you can justify that claim.You cannot assume god and expect to have your paradigm hold sway until “something better” comes along- especially in the cosmological and quantum fields, because in these areas, we don’t know enough to even start considering how a god does or does not figure in the equation.
        What is clear is that what I said about theism retreating into the “areas of ignorance” is pretty on the nose, given your attention to quantum physics, and I don’t know enough about those areas to fight that battle in the dark- Atheism holds the battlefield at the end of the day, and I see no point in sending out the vanguard at night, where all that await both sides is confusion.

      • “I hope you see my point here. To make it clear, I think it is the sign of a weak argument that simply jumps in as an explanatory device no matter how the evidence changes, and no matter how contradictory new ideas are to the old ones.”
        – The question still remains if you have a better explanation of the current data, not how you think the past has unfolded. As far as I have read, early authors like Augustine did argue the universe had a beginning.

        “When we discovered that the atom was not the smallest basic constituent of the universe- we didn’t suddenly rush back to proclaiming God”
        – The existence of atoms is not direct evidence of theism, like what I laid out in my videos.

        “Wave functions being mathematical information – no, they are just understood in terms of maths, to better convey what is happening.”
        – No, we have done experiments to show the wave function is real, not just an epistemic tool: https://www.nature.com/articles/nphys3233
        That is what Bohr advocated but evidence shows it is more than just a tool we made up. Also, you can read Henry Stapp, Fred Kuttner, Bruce Rosenblum, Richard Con Henry. They do not think this is just metaphorical language.

        “I dispute that definition. Nothing is information until it is read as such – by a mind. “
        – The wave function is a mathematical probability. It becomes the physical particle upon collapse. Surprisingly, you have it backward. the evidence suggests there is mathematical information in the absence of a contingent mind to observe it. So you cannot just assume a materialistic outlook and that there is no information until we make it be. I am going on what the evidence shows not assuming what I want.

        “At best this revolution in physics gets us to a pantheistic reality- and certainly nowhere near christianity.”
        – I challenged that already: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xki03G_TO4

        “For you to say that there is no reason to suppose the medieval Christian desire to establish a celebration that coincided with the age-old marking of the end of the harvest,”
        – As Ronald Hutton noted this is wasn’t a British idea (All Saints day) it was a Germanic idea that eventually spread.

        “You don’t even offer a reason behind the transferal of All Saint’s Day from Spring to the end of Autumn.”
        – Again, as Hutton noted, we simply do not know why. So I don’t make claims for which there is no evidence.

        “You certainly don’t offer a rebuttal to the obvious paradigm that the new faith of Europe was simply re-purposing existing traditions”
        – Evidence, please. Where is the evidence in ancient sources they did this with All Saints day?

        “So if they aren’t Christian- what are they?”
        – As I explained in the video, they are European customs that developed over time.

        “You said that halloween is probably Christian and european- but “european” is not just a description of a place”
        – And there are European customs in that place, obviously.

        “These traditions don’t simply spring out of nowhere.”
        – No, and I gave the reason why they came about. Are you seriously suggesting they came from paganism even though you have offered no textual evidence? Where is the evidence they date back that far?

        “So unless you can prove that Samhain is a fictional invention”
        – I never said that. I said it had nothing to do with Halloween or All Saints day. Are you even listening?

        “is mere coincidence, then your assertion that “it probably has nothing to do with the pagans” is simply unjustified.”
        – What is unjustified is your assertion there is paganism. Again, where is your evidence other in ancient sources? Many ancient cultures tracked the stars and sun, that doesn’t magically transfer to mean they celebrated holidays on because of celestial events and then the Christians hijacked these dates. You need real evidence to make that claim.

        “When you say “just not 100% for sure”- you’re painting a picture that your argument is at least 90% for sure, maybe 60-70% at least- but in fact, you haven’t justified a single Bayesian percentage point.”
        – What? Because we cannot. Bayes theorem can only be used when we have a quantity to calculate in. We can calculate the probability of rainfall next year based on past amounts. We cannot do that historical evidence for which we have no quantity to calculate in, because we end up assigning subjective percentages to everything, and that is not how Bayes theorem is supposed to work.

        “The more probable explanation is the one you’re trying to debunk- and may I remind you that your only point against it is that there are no Celtic writings from pre-christian times, “
        – That and the evidence shows the date came from the east of Briton, and their own writings never claim they were copying pagans, and Celtic writings suggest all saints day was not in November early on. Don’t cherry pick my evidence.

        “You cannot deny the very physical evidence of celtic stonework that establishes the date.”
        – Where? What do these stones say? And are you assuming too much?

        “you seem to be suggesting that if we christians can’t claim it- neither can the pagans because there are things in the world that aren’t religious.”
        – I am saying if you think the pagans can claim it give evidence via sources.

        ‘In the case of halloween, not only have I showed that your explanation is unjustified,”
        – If that was true you would not need to say it, you could let your arguments do your talking.

        “but there is in fact an already existing better explanation- that everyone already accepts.
        -I don’t care about popular opinion. I can what scholars say. You still have not given evidence to support this. You say there are stones that align with the winter solstice, so what?

        “I’m just noting that in all these previous cases, “proof of god” has been shown to be unconvincing”
        – I don’t care what you are subjectively convinced by, I care about evidence and what the best explanation. So far you have not given one, but you can believe or​ be convinced of whatever you want.

        “You cannot assume god and expect to have your paradigm hold sway until “something better” comes along- especially in the cosmological and quantum fields, because in these areas, we don’t know enough to even start considering how a god does or does not figure in the equation.”
        – Why? And I never said God fit into the equation or that would change quantum mechanics. I said the current data from there implies a theistic outlook. I am not saying we have to insert God into QM and I never said that. And you can be agnostic, I don’t care, but you have not shown my inference is wrong or not the best explanation.

        “What is clear is that what I said about theism retreating into the “areas of ignorance” is pretty on the nose, given your attention to quantum physics, and I don’t know enough about those areas to fight that battle in the dark”
        – I love how you have to keep complimenting your arguments and pat yourself on the back.

        ‘Atheism holds the battlefield at the end of the day”
        – Except you still have not offered a better inference, yet constantly have to tell yourself you won. I don’t care what you think, I care about data and arguments.

  5. IP’s biggest error is that he jumps to conclusions and submits assertions as evidence. As I have stated a non-falsifiable assertion is not evidence. Evidence is used to prove what’s true. If you can’t prove an assertion to be true or false, the assertion can’t prove anything. Scientists perform experiments to falsify their theories. If a theory is proven false, it is revised.

    • Why on earth would you equate assertions with evidence? Assertions, claims, inferences are made on evidence typically.

      And that is not how science works. That is Karl Popper’s old but not really accepted in philosophy of science. Thomas Kuhn and Imre Lakatos have shown science is far more than just falsification. It also involves probability, inferences, shaping principles, induction, abduction, conversions, etc. For example, there are multiple theories of how evolution can happen (neo-Darwinism structuralism, niche construction, evo-devo, etc.) You cannot prove these false by experimentation since all the data can be compatible with these theories. The same applies to different interpretations of quantum mechanics. So science has to deal with parsimony and probability at times like history and metaphysics have to.

      Second, as I said in my original video, this is about metaphysical worldviews, which is based on probability and parsimony (which theory can best explain the data). You don’t get to just equate your worldview with science, as that is not what science is.

  6. “You can believe what you want, but my challenge i​s still open, give a more parsimonious explanation for the data presented otherwise, theism is the best explanation of reality.”
    Being the diligent student of philosophy that you are, surely you cannot fail to recognize an argument from ignorance. Lack of knowledge of a more parsimonious explanation does not in any way give credence to your (not really an) explanation as being ‘the best.’

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