RationalWiki's 2019 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2020.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $2200Goal: $3000

Talk:Creationist escape hatch

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

I expanded one of the sections thinking that we may as well offer the tools needed to show up the escape hatches for what they are. Of course, the "god is outside of everything so can't be observed or known" one is probably the easiest in that respect and certainly the one that is most cemented in my mind. Scarlet A.pngmoral 16:13, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure how we would do that exactly. Most of the escape hatches are non-falsifiable and based on dogma. Short of just pointing that out, I'm not sure how to refute them. Tetronian you're clueless 16:41, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps that is because some of them >gasp!< might actually be true? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:46, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I highly doubt it. I suppose the answer is that they are based upon blind faith rather than reason and proof, and that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, which they cannot produce because their arguments are non-falsifiable. Tetronian you're clueless 16:52, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
There are true statements whose truth can never be proven or argued. One can say that these statements are outside the purview of science, but make no further judgments on them from the scientific standpoint. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 16:57, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Um. How do you know they are true then?--BobNot Jim 17:01, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I know you're familiar with the old saw at CP and elsewhere that there are 2 kinds of truth. That which science gets at readily and that which is a matter of religious faith. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:07, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC) Gödel's incompleteness theorems. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:08, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(Bunch of EC's) Aren't you abusing it though? See negative proof. Tetronian you're clueless 17:13, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
It appears that you are instead saying, "X is false because there is no evidence that X is true." Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:18, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Yay! We're back to Father Christmas!--BobNot Jim 17:21, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
But you could falsify Santa Claus by putting a bear trap up your chimney. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:25, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
But only Santa knows who's naughty or nice. You'd have to put a bear trap up every chimney on earth. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:29, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Listener, what is your opinion on non-falsifiable hypotheses? You seem to be saying that they are acceptable, in which case you should be a pyrrhonist. But, instead of saying that non-falsifiable hypotheses are possibly true, you are arbitrarily saying that they are true. Tetronian you're clueless 17:47, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Where? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:54, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
When you said that "There are true statements whose truth can never be proven or argued" (from above). Tetronian you're clueless 17:57, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

There may be true statements that can't be proven, but I doubt there's any which apply to creationist escape hatches. Please stop feeding TalkerX. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:02, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

(EC) That is not an arbitrary claim. Kurt Gödel proved it. Whether the proposition that "God exists" is one of those statements is admittedly a separate question, but absent a proof, it is altogether up in the air. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:05, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Oh come on Neveruse, it's just a lively discussion.
@Listener: In that case, I'm confused: what is your position on this whole thing? Do any of the "escape hatches" fall into the "true-but-beyond-science" category? Tetronian you're clueless 18:07, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I know, but take it somewhere else. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:13, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC) If a creationist uses one of these they are probably using it fallaciously, since they have tied the existence of God up with definite falsifiable claims. "Goddidit" is possible, like Last Thursdayism, but I have had long debates with creationists in which I have repeatedly reminded them (paraphrase) "All you have to do is say 'Goddidit' and you're home free." God being outside of time is also possible, but not applicable to creationism. The antediluvian earth being different is not really an escape hatch, while the rest are logical fallacies. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:17, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
If I remember right, Philip used God being outside of time and space as a reason what humans couldn't die before the Fall. Sterile dystopian 18:21, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
A textbook example of a fallacious use, then. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:24, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I could be wrong, but the dichotomy under subsection "God is outside of time or is not subject to natural laws" seems to have an essential flaw to me. The escape hatch it is trying to disprove can in fact be used upon it: if a God could freely violate natural law, then there's no reason it couldn't make its violations un-observable. In short, the argument is only bulletproof if you assume your conclusion. Is it really a good idea to do that in an article talking about why you shouldn't do that...? --Doppleganger (talk) 20:02, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Then what would be the difference between an unobservable violation and no violation at all? Obviously, should a hypothetical God choose to violate the laws of physics, such things would be observed as a violation of the laws of physics. If there are no violations observed, then there have been no violations. Therefore, the difference between a God that doesn't act upon the universe because such a thing isn't real and what religious apologists claim to say by this is exactly the same thing. It's effectively a tacit admission that God just doesn't do anything. Scarlet A.pngpostate 20:45, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

And the problem is?[edit]

I must say that many of these Arguments look good to me. If God did not Make the World Who Did? Listener X is right, making fun of these Arguments does not make them Go Away.--Tolerance 18:13, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Tolerance, you proceed from a false assumption when you use who in your question: "If God did not Make the World Who Did?" --Edgerunner76Save me Jebus! 18:16, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC)No, they're silly because they're ultimately recursive and there is no evidence for them bar assertion. Who made the world? Is it possible it that it made itself, or was produced naturally? Yes. If God made it, what made God? If God "was always there" or "God made himself" then why can't this equally apply to the universe? Most of them are on this list because they're intellectually lazy, none of them are good. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:18, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Why should an Eternal Being need a Creator? Why should He be Limited?--Tolerance 18:31, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
And WHY can that not apply to the universe as well, rather than just making some special pleading on behalf of something you think already exists? There's no reason a "god" of any kind should have that property bar the fact that you arbitrarily decided to believe in one of thousands and you start applying those properties. There are plenty of reasons an omnipotent being could be limited, the omnipotence paradox for a start provides numerous problems. But undoubtedly you're going to say that "He" can just be outside of logic and pass straight through it. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:35, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(1) One can claim that God is "outside of logic," but that would deprive them of the use of logic when arguing for the existence of God.
(2) Since time is part of the universe, there is no time when the universe did not exist. Therefore, the universe is eternal. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:38, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty uneasy with saying the universe is eternal. Only in some definitions of the word, and I don't know of any that are scientific. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:41, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC)Good point with the first one, I hadn't thought of it that way before. I'd expand the second one by defining "the universe" as everything there is and everything else is in the imagination. Therefore you can't have an outside of it that is real, because outside it isn't real. It might be a "higher plane of existence" (or some suitable hand-wavy term) and operate by entirely different laws (or even no laws) but it'd still be part of the universe. And when something is real and part of the universe, it is - although on in principle, I have to stress this because there are countless practical limitations - within human understanding (although not necessarily comprehension, such as with particle-wave duality or extra proposed dimensions). Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:44, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Neveruse: It means that because "eternal" means "for all time" and because "all time" only exists in the universe, then the universe has always been around for "all time" and therefore is "eternal". But I think that's more semantic soup than anything else. Scarlet A.pngmoral 18:45, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
There is noting in the Definition of the Univeerse which makes it Eternal. God is Eternal By Definition. --Tolerance 18:46, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
When I think "eternal", I think "without beginning or end". When I think about existing for all time, I think "everlasting". God is not eternal by definition. Semantics, indeed. Your god maybe, but not gods in general. I'd prefer the specificity of saying "existing for all time". — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:47, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
(EC) The definition of the universe encompasses time. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:50, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
The universe had a beginning, therefore it is not eternal. QED, by some definitions. "existing for all time". — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 18:53, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
There are cyclic models of the universe, in which time moves in a circle rather than along a geometric ray. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 19:08, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
And in those models, you could say the universe is eternal. Was that the model you were operating under? You fucking love to talk, so why not just say the extra words "existing for all time"? — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:10, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
IF something can be Eternal, God can be Eternal.--Tolerance 19:38, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Gods can be eternal, but they are not eternal by definition. Your god may be eternal by definition, that doesn't mean all gods are. I suppose when you say "God" you're talking about your god, so I guess I see where the confusion came from. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 19:44, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Whose other God would I be talking about? In my opinion there is only one. And HE is Eternal.--Tolerance 19:47, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

If the universe had a beginning, and that includes space and time, then if it had an end, that ends space and time, then the universe will exist for all of time, there is no time when the universe did not exist, and thats eternal, no matter how long it actually is. Its very interesting to consider that maybe there are more dimensions than 4 and that something exists in them outside of the 4 we need but still within a bigger framework. Hamster (talk) 03:21, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Hand waving[edit]

These Objections are really just Hand Waving. There are Things science won't be able to Explain. Claiming otherwise is just Hubris. Obviously God is not subject to the Laws He Created. The Earth Must Have Been different before the Fall. Trying to create special arguments to Worm Around these questions will not convince anybody. --Tolerance 20:28, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

There are Things science won't be able to Explain. Claiming you know how to explain them is just Hubris. — Sincerely, Neveruse513 / Talk / Block 20:30, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

The Fall of Man, Universe and everything else[edit]

The Fall as explanation is not really new , maybe some people are just starting to use it. God made a perfect world and when Adam broke his commitment to God, God withdrew perfection , and everything began to decay and die. The gradually lessening of lifespans after Adam , and accelerated after the Flood clearly shows that process. Tyranasaurus Rex used those serrated teeth to open coconuts originally (yes hard to believe but true) and then had to learn to eat other animals. Hamster (talk) 03:39, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

From the evidence available, natural laws explain much of what can be observed (and there will always be things 'inexplicable to present knowledge' - eg the motion of the planet Mercury before the Theory of Relativity, and the flight of the bumblebee while only fixed-wing-technology was understood). While the Big Bang and certain other areas are likely to remain partly inexplicable, why have so large a discontinuity (and why not have the universe resting on the back of a giant turtle?)

If God is omnipotent - why were Adam and Eve created in such a manner that they would be able and willing to break their commitments to God? Why not allow them free will but with a 'natural tendency' to choose to operate the way God wishes?

Why not involve Satan or Edensnake? 212.85.6.26 (talk) 14:45, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I was a bit tired… Feel free to rework it…[edit]

My paragraph (the last one) could very likely be written much better, and most of the section can be removed, because it attempts to deal with refuting/disproving the argument, and hence has already fallen into the trap of illegally shifted burden of proof.
But I was too tired. :/

It did hurt too much to let it stand though. S sorry if it’s a bit bad. ;)
If you want, you can rework the entire section, based on a resolution of not even falling for it.

188.100.238.158 (talk) 13:25, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

The only thing I can add on it is that when you say something like "hasn't been show to exist (through reliable observation)" you a) put yourself directly in the firing line for unknown unknowns and the science was wrong before trope, and b) haven't fully qualified your idea of "exists", and so it may be seen as circular logic to suggest that reliable observation equals "exists" because "exists" equals reliable observation. Scarlet A.pngsshole 02:17, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Were You There?[edit]

I was reading the 'Were you there?' section, and I saw good responses to the arguments, but when it mentioned Ham's "canned" argument, there was no response to that. I was wondering if any of you had an answer, and if so, if you could add it to the page. — Unsigned, by: 173.72.162.61 / talk / contribs

One would assume that was blindingly obvious. Scarlet A.pngbomination 02:33, 17 December 2013 (UTC)

Gödel again[edit]

Referring to Gödel in this context seems to mean that God is relatively trivial axiomatic system, where arithmetic is possible. That's definitely a better definition than most I've seen. Sorte Slyngel (talk) 21:03, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I forgot to mention, that given Gödel you have a great variety of choices for defining God. I hereby declare God to be the real numbers with their associated axioms. Disprove that one if you can. :-) Sorte Slyngel (talk) 22:01, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

Reversing the escape hatches[edit]

  • Goddidit etc - Why? (Get suitable small child to come up with the follow on questions).
  • Biblesayso - have a few rentaquotes to hand (especially from the 'apocrypha and other books not presently included
  • God is outside time - so God cheats at solitare?
  • 'Were you there?' works both ways.
  • X has never been disproven - bring in various 'retired gods', the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a rainbow's worth of invisible unicorns etc.
  • Science has no explanation for X - science has no #present# explanation for X (as with the 19th century debate on the coal-fired sun - nuclear power was an unknown unknown).

Any more? Anna Livia (talk) 17:04, 18 April 2018 (UTC)