52: Arguments for the Existence of God

Irreligiosophy The long wait is over … we return with an episode discussing the various arguments for the existence of God, including a new one given by Mormon Apostle Boyd K. Packer, who claims he got it directly from God himself. Join us as we trash the ontological, cosmological, kalam cosmological, and teleological arguments for God’s existence and offer a refutation of Packer’s pro-God argument with a dope counter-argument we got straight from our boy Satan.

In addition to the Mims Carter Skunk Dick of the Week (sponsored by the Bacon Gospels), this episode also features the debut of a new pilot episode screenplay, written by Leighton and myself, which we hope will be picked up by a major television network or motion picture studio. It’s called “Martyrman.”

Give it a listen here. And don’t worry, we’ll be back with the Scientology episode next week (hopefully).

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15 Responses to “52: Arguments for the Existence of God”

  1. Thank God(?) ! The Delirium Tremens had begun setting in.

  2. Hey, great episode, but I really hope you do a second part to this.

    Two comments: 1) the fine-tuning argument and the argument from design/complexity
    — As you said, the fine-tuning argument only works on a general level because there are a lot of things that don’t really look as if they were tuned for our existence: you mentioned extreme cold or heat, but there’s also invisible, deadly gasses, poisonous critters, diseases, earthquakes, etc.

    But that also extends to the argument from design because if God had designed us, he’d be a pretty sloppy designer. The go-to thing is probably the blind spot in the eye, but there’s birth defects, menstrual cramps, and loads of other “design flaws” where a perfect being should have been able to do better work.

    2) The argument from salt (?)
    — I’d have said something different to the last objection with an objective physical cause: what about happiness? What does love feel like? What does it feel like to be angry? What’s the recognized observable cause for hate? For awe? So I’d argue not every experience we have necessarily has to have a clear cause you can point to, least of all a cause that is the same for all people. And then my question would be: even if you claim you experience God – not how does it feel, but how do you know it’s God? How do you know it’s not just an empty stomach?

  3. I don’t blame the computer, I’d have picked Glenn Beck too.

    I’m waiting for someone to refute the, “There is a painting, clearly there is a painter” notion of logic with a Jackson Pollock or some other nonsensical piece of post-modern piece of modern art.

  4. As usual another great informataining podcast!

    I for one am excited about the prospect of another chapter of Kent Hovind’s Doctoral Thesis! The first chapter of that masterwork of a text was simply mindblowing.

  5. I wasn’t joking about buying you a beer. As proof I have bought you a beer as a sort of good faith offering. Will that donation cover you both?

    As far as the actual podcast goes I would like to mention an argument I hear quite often that you didn’t mention (at least I don’t recall it being mentioned and I realize that you couldn’t get to them all) and that is the morality argument. Without god, morals wouldn’t exist.
    I think the best argument is that we evolved the morals that our societies have as a survival mechanism. Perhaps I am incorrect in this thinking, but it seems logical to me. Please correct me if I am wrong.

  6. We will probably revisit the various arguments again. We didn’t go into as much detail as I would have liked (we didn’t talk at all about artifice vs complexity in the argument from design, for example) and there are lots of other arguments I’d like to cover: the argument from morality, Pascal’s Wager, the transcendental argument, the argument from beauty, and on and on.

    As far as the “argument from the taste of salt,” there actually is a “fear center” in the brain: control monkeys with intact fear centers scream and cry when a snake is introduced in their vicinity. Monkeys who have that brain tissue removed will allow snakes to crawl all over them with nary a peep. Lesions in the inhibitory center of the frontal lobe will likewise cause all sorts of personality changes (ie, the famous case of Phineas Gage). It’s not a far leap to propose a “happiness center” (and indeed there is a reward center of the brain targeted by sex, chocolate, and narcotics) and centers for other emotions in the more primitive portions of the brain, such as the amygdala.

    But maybe the next time we cover these it will be more from a “here are some arguments you’ll actually hear from people in the real world” perspective.

  7. At about 50 minutes into the podcast something weird happened…

    Great podcast, keep up the good work.

  8. Chuck: Yeah, I’m pretty sure there is a physiological change in our bodies for happiness, love etc. But can you really describe the feeling? And more importantly, does the same object or subject really evoke the same feeling in everybody?

    In other words: “What makes you feel love?” – “My wife” – “Well, your wife doesn’t make me feel love, so how do you know it’s not just “your” god?”

  9. Chuck, the “mixing of the senses” you were referring to is called synesthesia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia

    It’s not really a disease, more of a neurological condition. I happen to have it myself, and I can tell you, it is damn distracting at times.

    Great podcast as usual, guys! Please don’t make us wait too long for the next one! Please, this crazy man is begging you!

  10. somewhere in greece February 26, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Please, oh please, do a podcast on “Twilight” and I will buy you a crate of beers. Or the Zoloft for Leighton (which I am sure he will need after the first chapter).

    Great show, as always, I hope you revisit the arguments for the existence of god at some point. I have heard some of them, but since my personal philosophy can be summed up as “whether god(s) exist or not, I don’t get to be a skunk dick” I haven’t bothered with the deconstruction of those arguments and this episode was one of the most informative ones you have made.

    Keep up the good work!

  11. Miscarriages are now illegal in Utah.

    ffffffffuuuuuu-

    I can’t even make fun of this.

  12. somewhere in greece February 27, 2010 at 7:23 am

    I had hoped you were joking.

    Well, I supposed all these women with, say, antiphospholipid syndrome should just head on to jail because to get pregnant means they will miscarry and chances are high even with treatment.

    Copulating fools

  13. I saw a story on a blog about a woman who was arrested after she fell down the stairs and miscarried afterwords, and this was not in Utah but in Iowa.

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2010/02/15/its-illegal-37-states-for-a-pregnant-woman-fall-down-stairs

  14. Accidentally falling down the stairs or getting into an accidental car wreck should NOT be punishable by law. That is ludicrous. However, the law (which is stupid, I think) was proposed because of a girl paying someone to beat her to cause a miscarriage. If there were not so much religious pressure and judgement on unwed mothers I think this sort of thing would hardly exist. Yet another reason religion sucks.

  15. Just a gentle reminder guys, but you have until tomorrow night to get the new episode up. I have not forgot and I will buy you a beer. The deal remains.