Sunday 5 August 2012

I waste my time for you — Debate: Does God Exist?

This isn't the first time I've live-commented on Facebook while watching or listening to some online media or other. In line with my recent decision to repost (or archive — knowing how volatile other fora can be) my stuff from Facebook, here's my reaction to a 2004 debate linked to in the CFI group.
Debate - Does God Exist? Hare Krishna Monk vs Stephen Law (1-0)

Here's the YouTube blurb:
"They Said It Was Chance"

Open Discussion on the Existence of God between
HH Sivarama Swami and Dr Stephen Law at University College, London
And here are the comments posted in the Skepticule Extra Facebook group:

  • Fergus Gallagher What does "(1-0)" signify?
    4 hours ago ·

  • Paul Jenkins Don't know. I haven't watched it yet. (It looks suspiciously like a score...)
    4 hours ago ·

  • Fergus Gallagher Indeed it does.
    4 hours ago ·

  • Paul Jenkins I'm nearly half way through this now — just started with audience questions.

    HH Sivarama Swami has rather odd ideas about induction and deduction. Stephen Law is running his Evil God Challenge, based on an agreed definition of "God", but the discussion is now floundering as that definition becomes indistinct.

    Also (unless I misheard him) HH Sivarama Swami seems to be claiming that personal revelation can be proved experimentally.
    3 hours ago ·

  • Paul Jenkins We're now into what I would characterise as the "karma of the gaps in our understanding of causality" argument. (Or to put it another way, total BS.)
    2 hours ago ·

  • Paul Jenkins The swami seems to be conflating "order" and "structure" with "moral goodness". He has a very loose definition of God, which he appears to think allows him to make sweeping generalisations about God's character. Stephen Law, on the other hand, has been specific in repeatedly tying the definition down to omnipotence and omnibenevolence, which allows him to run his EGC to show that theodicies and the mystery card simply don't work.

    Then there's the argument about free will, which is a whole other kettle of worms.
    2 hours ago ·

  • Paul Jenkins Good summing up by Stephen Law. Show of hands: 62 to 17 (with 14 abstentions) in favour of HH Sivarama Swami.

  • Paul Jenkins The swami repeated his claim to have performed an experiment to show the existence of God, and that it was repeatable, but did not cite any peer-reviewed papers to back up his claim. Bizarrely he also claimed that those who have performed the experiment do not need to debate the matter — so what was he doing here?

  • Fergus Gallagher I didn't know SL had developed his EGC way back in 2004

  • Fergus Gallagher Worth watching?

  • Paul Jenkins Meh. I waste my time for you ;-)

  • Fergus Gallagher True secular altruism.