1) “Humans have a natural desire to satisfy their curiosity and seek purpose and answer the “why” questions of life.”
Of course. All of what you said is intuitive, and I competently agree.
However it doesn’t answer the question.
I asked how do we know there is a “why”?
We desperately want one. I desperately want a “why”. But I’ve found nature does not necessarily conform to what I want or need to be true. Is your experience different? Does the fact that we would like something to be true, even need it to be true, somehow make it true? If something makes you happy, makes you live longer, that makes it true? Is that the argument you’re trying to make?
Is there any reason, any evidence, that there either is, or even must be, a “why”?
2) “There is no reason atheists should consider personal testimonies invalid.”
First, the success of science alone suggests that when they discount personal testimony, they may know what they’re doing.
Further, I will remind you that you discount the millions of LIVING witnesses to the Hindi Sathya Sai Baba. Why do you discount the testimony of Hindus, but begrudge science discounting yours?
Third, courts DO accept witness testimony. But it’s notoriously unreliable, and physical evidence is considered FAR, FAR superior to it. In 73% of the 239 convictions overturned by the Innocence Project, eyewitness testimony was what led to the conviction (in a third of those cases there were two or more mistaken witnesses). The science, the DNA evidence, was far superior. And the numbers get far, far worse when you broaden
And this isn’t a mystery, we know why this is. We know how the human mind plays tricks on us. It’s been studied and documented. We actually rewrite our own memories to suit our psychological make up.
Jennifer Thompson-Cannio was raped. She identified Ronald Cotton as her rapist out of a lineup (TWICE), willing to bet her life (and his) that she had the right guy. She REMEMBERED him. She saw his face, saw him raping her (and still does). After ten years in jail, DNA evidence found the real rapist. He was exonerated. Jennifer and Ronald became best friends, and today they go around lecturing together about the unreliability of eyewitness testimony.
But again, if you’re willing to accept the testimony of millions of Hindus, I be a touch more persuaded by your argument.
3) “The presence of a multiverse does not suggest we have infinite regress. It merely adds years to the date of the present universe and in no way mitigates the need for an uncaused cause”
I never said it removes the uncaused cause argument. I said that in your original post, where you said there was no evidence for a multiverse, that you were wrong. And you were wrong, I gave you the evidence, and you haven’t addressed that point. You’re trying to guess my next point and head it off at the pass. You guessed incorrectly.
4) “This is the opinion of the Humanist Codex. Authors, philosophers, builders, economists, artists, and entrepreneurs would likely beg to differ.”
No, I don’t think they would. They’d have to be kind of silly to, and I’d expect them to back it up at the very least (and if you think I’m wrong, examples of why would be great).
In the last 350 years we’ve more than doubled the average human lifespan, cut infant mortality 100 fold, increased human luxury and free time, cured polio (look up JUST HOW BAD that was), eradicated whooping cough-measles-mumps and rubella, discovered electricity, invented electronics, pasteurization, immunization, refrigeration, sterilization, antibiotics, put a human being on the moon and brought him back—ALIVE, reduced the chances of a mother dying in childbirth from 30% to less than 0.01%, cured cancers and diseases, invented plastic, internal combustion, heating and air conditioning….
That’s just a tiny, minuscule slice of what science has done.
a) Which part of this is my opinion?
b) Which field do you think has acomplished more?
I’ll stand by what I said… I think most authors, philosophers, builders, economists, artists and entrepreneurs would have to be a little silly to say they’ve had that kind of success. But I’m happy for you to show me why I’m wrong.
5) “What existed prior had to have consciously powered matter, space, and time”
Why? Why must something consciously have to have powered it? What universal law states that? You’ve reiterated your position, but you haven’t answered the question. Let me ask again… Why must consciousness have to have come first?
6) “When a handyman lays tile on a bathroom floor and the tile cracks and acts contrary to the handyman’s design, is the tile as smart as the handyman?”
Is the handyman omniscient? Did he make the hammer, the air, the Newtonian force itself which, when applied to the tile, would cause it to crack exactly in a way an all knowing handyman would complete foresee? If not, then I agree with you, the tiles and cracks are contrary to his design. But God is, last I checked, is not a handyman. Nothing… and I mean nothing, can POSSIBLY be counter to God’s design. Right? Otherwise how is he God?
6a) “Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk.”
Risk? What risk? It’s not a risk, God knows everything. He knows which humans will rise to the challenge, and which will fail. The fact that C.S. Lewis can even use the word “risk” here indicates a complete incomprehension of the problem If God is omniscient, there’s no “risk”, because there is no situation in which he doesn’t already know the outcome. Right? How is it a risk if you know what’s going to happen?
While I hope I’ve accurately and sufficiently addressed your rebuttals to #2, #4, and #6, it seems to me that you actually did not answer the questions I asked in #1, #3, and #5. I sincerely look forward to an answer on those questions, if possible.
Thank you for your time.