MUST-LISTEN: William Lane Craig takes on prominent atheist Daniel Dennett

This audio records a part of the Greer-Heard debate in 2007, between prominent atheist Daniel Dennett and lame theistic evolutionist Alister McGrath. Craig was one of the respondents, and this was the best part of the event. It is a little bit advanced, but I have found that if you listen to things like this over and over with your friends and family, and then try to explain it to non-Christians, you’ll get it.

By the way, this is mostly original material from Craig, dated 2007, and he delivers the speech perfectly, so it’s entertaining to listen to.

Craig presents three arguments for a Creator and Designer of the universe:

  • the contingency argument
  • the kalam cosmological argument
  • the teleological argument

He also discusses Dennett’s published responses to these arguments.

Dennett’s response to Craig’s paper

Here is my snarky paraphrase of Dennett’s reponse: (I haven’t been snarky all day!)

  • Craig’s three arguments are bulletproof, the premises are plausible, and grounded by the best cutting edge science we know today.
  • I cannot find anything wrong with his arguments right now, but maybe later when I go home it will come to me what’s wrong with them.
  • But atheism is true even if all the evidence is against it today. I know it’s true by my blind faith.
  • The world is so mysterious, and all the science of today will be overturned tomorrow so that atheism will be rational again. I have blind faith that this new evidence will be discovered any minute.
  • Just because the cause of the beginning of time is eternal and the cause of the beginning of space is non-physical, the cause doesn’t have to be God.
  • “Maybe the cause of the universe is the idea of an apple, or the square root of 7”. (HE LITERALLY SAID THAT!)
  • The principle of triangulation might have brought the entire physical universe into being out of nothing.
  • I don’t understand anything about non-physical causation, even though I cannot even speak meaningful sentences unless I have a non-physical mind that is causing my body to emit the meaningful sentences in a non-determined manner.
  • Alexander Vilenkin is much smarter than Craig and if he were here he would beat him up good with phantom arguments.
  • Alan Guth is much smarter than Craig and if he were here he would beat him up good with phantom arguments.
  • This science stuff is so complicated to me – so Craig can’t be right about it even though he’s published about it and debated it all with the best atheists on the planet.
  • If God is outside of time, then this is just deism, not theism. (This part is correct, but Craig believes that God enters into time at the moment of creation – so that it is not a deistic God)
  • If deism is true, then I can still be an atheist, because a Creator and Designer of the universe is compatible with atheism.
  • I’m pretty sure that Craig doesn’t have any good arguments that can argue for Christianity – certainly not an historical argument for the resurrection of Jesus based on minimal facts, that he’s defended against the most prominent historians on the planet in public debates and in prestigous books and research journals.

I was in the second row at the Baylor Conference on intelligent design when Guth debated Craig on the origin of the universe. Guth admitted afterwards that the universe did require a cause.

I do not recommend purchasing the whole 2007 debate, because McGrath is a squish. You’re better off with the 2005 and 2008 sets. The 2006 one is OK, but not great. I don’t have the 2009 one yet, but it looks good.

 

How Obama rewards his most prolific fundraisers with crony appointments

Story from the Washington Times. (H/T Verum Serum)

Morgen at Verum Serum writes:

These top fundraisers are known as “bundlers”. Since campaign finance laws restrict any one individual from donating more than $2400 to a single candidate, these bundlers achieve prominence within a campaign by soliciting for and then – you guessed it – bundling up individual donations received via their extended network of friends, family, business contacts, etc. While exact figures are not available, the top bundlers within the Obama campaign each delivered in excess of $1 million in campaign contributions, and there were nearly 50 bundlers who were responsible for at least $500K in donations.

As the Times notes, it’s somewhat of a Washington tradition for an incoming President to appoint choice ambassadorships to key political donors and allies. While this may be the case, for a President who declared a “new era” of accountability, and who championed ethics reform while in the Senate, a look at the appointments made to date reveals what I think is a surprising level of cronyism on the part of this Administration. And notably, many of these appointments extend outside the relatively ceremonial realm of diplomatic posts.

What sort of positions are they talking about? Just harmless ambassadorships?

Special Counsel to the President
Chairman, FCC
General Counsel, Dept. of Energy
Deputy Asst. Attorney General
Associate Attorney General
Under-Secy. for International Trade
Chairman, Corp. for Nat’l & Community Service
Asst. Attorney General, Civil Div.

By my calculation, nearly half of the top level of Obama campaign bundlers have been rewarded with some sort of role within the government.

And it gets worse:

Robert Wolf is the Chairman/CEO of investment bank UBS and given his influence on Wall Street may in fact be the largest bundler of them all. Significantly, Wolf’s firm seems to be mired in several tax-related scandals; and they were also a key counter-party recipient of  funds from AIG, courtesy of the U.S. tax payer. However, apparently all this was not enough to deter the President from naming Wolf to his Economic Advisory Council.

Verum Serum has the full list of donors, the total funds raised by each one, and the appointments.

What do you expect from the affirmative action President, whose private-school education was paid for by his rich grandmother?

Democrat Waxman believes that opposing Obama’s energy tax is equivalent to opposing America

Check out this Politico.com post. (H/T Hot Air)

Excerpt:

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who has had an eventful couple of weeks to say the least, believes House Republican opposition to climate change legislation and the stimulus indicates they’re cheering against the good ol’ US of A.

“It appears that the Republican Party leadership in the Congress has made a decision that they want to deny President Obama success, which means, in my mind, they are rooting against the country, as well,” the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman told WAMU radio host Diane Rehm on Tuesday morning, promoting his new book, “The Waxman Report.”

All the lies they spoke about that Christian fascist Bush was just so much projection, foreshadowing how they themselves would deal with “unpatriotic” dissent.

Al Gore and Goldman Sachs

In a related story, repeat college drop-out Al Gore (NOT A SCIENTIST) equated his war on global warming to the war against Nazism.(H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

Al Gore today compared the battle against climate change with the struggle against the Nazis.

…Speaking in Oxford at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by The Times, Mr Gore said: “Winston Churchill aroused this nation in heroic fashion to save civilisation in World War II.”

And he has good reason to do so, given that his personal fortune has skyrocketed from $2 million to over $100 million. Oh, don’t let those tolerant Democrats fool you. If you oppose their greed and lust for power, then you’re worse than Satan. How dare you assert your rights to liberty and prosperity against the power of their oligarchy?

And he isn’t the only one who is ready to cash in. The employees of investment firm Goldman Sachs donated tons of money to Democrats, and they are positioned to strike it rich if cap-and-trade passes. Steve Milloy writes that “Goldman Sachs has spent millions of dollars lobbying for cap-and-trade legislation in anticipation of making billions of dollars at the expense taxpayers and consumers.”

The war on small business

Here is a Fox News article that describes how the cap-and-trade bill championed by Democrats like Waxman and Gore destroys small businesses. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

David McArthur, vice president of the 52-year-old family operation, a Gateway City institution, is one of a growing number of business owners and taxpayers nationwide who are mobilizing against the so-called cap-and-trade bill, which would levy harsh fines on energy consumption that harms the environment.

McArthur told FOXNews.com that every aspect of his business relies on the forms of energy targeted by the American Clean Energy and Security Act, and that his congressman, Carnahan, was supporting “a direct tax increase on small business” by voting for it.

“We make (our product) with electricity, we bake it with gas, we refrigerate and freeze it with electricity and we distribute it with gas and oil,” said McArthur, who said he worries that high prices could cost his company up to $15,000 a year in an industry with a very tight margin for profit.

This is cause-and-effect, people. There is a reason why Cuba and North Korea are poor today – they voted in radical leftists just like Obama. This is the way the world actually works.

Obama’s energy tax ships jobs overseas

The Times Online reports that India and China decided against crippling their economies for the myth of global warming. (H/T Hot Air)

Excerpt:

As world leaders sat down for a working lunch at the start of a three day meeting of the G8, it emerged that negotiations had failed to reach agreement on halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Summit negotiators, who do the hard bargaining before the heads of state arrive to complete the agreements, failed to make progress on the issue in talks that continued late last night. China and India are understood to have blocked any mention of the target in the draft communiqué, insisting that the developed economies should promise to cut their own emissions sharply by 2020 before asking developing nations to commit to a long term target.

The breakdown in negotiations has undermined President Obama’s chances of producing a diplomatic coup when he chairs talks on climate change at a meeting of the 17-nation Major Economies Forum tomorrow.

Where do you think all our manufacturing jobs will go when it becomes expensive to manufacture goods here?

Meanwhile, WattsUpWithThat reports that Prince Edward Island in Canada is seeing the first frost ever in July.

Democrat Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says we may need another massive stimulus

Budget Deficit
Budget Deficit

The first two spending bills didn’t work, so we just need to keep trying harder to spend our way out of debt!

Check out this story from Reuters. (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Excerpt:

U.S. leaders should be open to the possibility of a second stimulus package to jolt the economy out of a recession still causing job losses, House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Tuesday.

…President Barack Obama led the charge for a two-year $787 billion stimulus package that his fellow Democrats who control Congress pushed through the House and Senate in February and he has argued it would help create or save up to 4 million jobs.

Create 4 million jobs? He’s lost 2.5 million jobs so far. Maybe he doesn’t know what the word create means?

foundry_recovery_plan_full

Michelle Malkin lists a few more of the Democrats in favor of more government spending.

Excerpt:

As you all have heard, Laura D’Andrea Tyson, the Clinton economic adviser now on Team Obama, has floated a second stimulus plan. Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island has echoed the call. Other Democrats are open to it.

Only 10 percent of Porkulus One has been spent, misspent, or gone untracked, but who’s counting?

I’ve uploaded two documents for your perusal this morning: The first is a GAO report on stimulus spending by states and localities, which will be released this morning at a House oversight hearing.

You can read the whole thing here.

Bottom line: The funds are not being spent on what they’re supposed to be spent on. States made up their own criteria for spending. School and transportation bureaucrats preserved their own jobs instead of “stimulating” others.

The second document is a GOP memo dissecting the failures of Porkulus One.

You can read the whole thing here
.

Michelle lists a few of the key findings from the second document.

National Debt
National Debt

Why didn’t the massive Democrat spending spree work?

This is lesson one of Economics 101. When government spends money, the money comes out of the private sector. Government is not even close to allocating capital and producing wealth as efficiently as the free market system.

Ed Morrissey explains:

Here’s where we get into the “saved or created” dodge of the Obama administration.  The Porkulus money may have “saved” jobs, but they were government jobs, not the private sector.  Most government employees have union representation, primarily by the SEIU.  The only jobs Porkulus may have saved were those of bureaucrats in state government, and mostly to make sure the unions stay on the side of the Democrats.

None of that money went into promoting growth in the private sector, which is why unemployment skyrocketed.  Capital stayed out of the market, in part because of fears of confiscatory tax increases and in part because of the amount of regulation threatened by the Obama administration, and what capital was left will get eaten up by the cost of Porkulus eventually.  And the GAO says it will take months just to get effective reporting on how that money gets spent, regardless of where it goes.

Obama’s support is now virtually 50-50 according to Rasmussen Reports.But he won’t care, because he’s the Obamessiah! As long as the left-wing fascists and terrorists love him, who cares what economically-literate peons like us think?

Turkish TV show offers prizes for convincing atheists to convert

I would be very happy if everyone could comment on the following story from CNN.

Excerpt:

A Turkish television show is offering contestants what it claims is the “biggest prize ever” — the chance for atheists to convert to one of the world’s major religions.

The show, called “Tovbekarlar Yarisiyor,” or “Penitents Compete,” features a Muslim imam, a Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi and a Buddhist monk attempting to persuade 10 atheists of the merits of their religion, according to CNN Turk.

…Ahmet Ozdemir, deputy director of Turkish channel Kanal T, which will air the show from September, said the program aimed to “turn disbelievers on to God.”

“People are free to believe anything they want. Our program does not have a say,” he said, according to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.

But the Muslims don’t approve:

But the show has been condemned by Turkish religious leaders. The head of the country’s supreme council of religious affairs, Hamza Aktan, told CNN Turk that it was “disrespectful” to place different faiths in competition with each other and accused Kanal T of using religion to boost ratings.

Wow, the Muslim theologian doesn’t like to debate! I wonder why?

My take is that this is a very positive thing, and we need a lot more of it.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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