Me and my father were trying to figure out why no intelligent atheist has called out any christian on The First Law of Thermodynamics arguement? The first law (according to Wikipedia, however most definitions will tell you the same) "The law expresses that energy can be transformed, i.e. changed from one form to another, but cannot be created nor destroyed.", should not be an argument FOR a god, but against it. How can a timeless, outside of the universe god create something which by definition cannot be created? We then understood that theists would say "He is god he can do whatever he wants." But that begs the question; If god is outside of space and time, then he is timeless and unchanging because change requires time. Then this means such a being would not be able to act upon something in the physical universe because to change and create, requires time.
Then this begs the question; How can the universe be caused then? All we know is the universe has been expanding for a finite amount of time. This does not mean it wasn't there before expansion; so without space/time expanding; There would be no cause because cause and effect occur within space/time. This led us to the conclusion that because cause and effect occur within space/time and require a flowing time stream; That the universe then should not have a cause it simply is? Why has nobody used this against Mr. Craig?
We are looking for criticism so please find the flaws in our logic.
Please understand that no disrespect is intended with this reply but I personally feel this argument is somewhat pointless. What you are discussing is a subject understood by so very few there is little impact of the whole of society. While it is obvious Mr. Craig is doing his very best to employ volumes of pseudoscience, the bulk of the populace (myself included) understand so little of the subject as to afford it little response not to mention thermodynamics is still (unless I am mistaken) a work in progress, that is to say the understanding of it from the perspective of even the scientific community is somewhat limited in comparison to, say gravity for instance. Challenging the god topic to is rather pointless from the perspective of one's desire to make the world a better place since disproving a negative is not possible, we would better serve our fellow man, I think challenging the doctrine. But congratulations to you if you understand thermodynamics, that subject is beyond my capacity.
On a side note, I once asked a priest if he really believed the ceremonial wafers actually became the body of christ to which he replied "yes of course" I then asked him if jesus came in any other flavors such as flaming hot of barbeque. The silence was spectacular.
What you are discussing is a subject understood by so very few there is little impact of the whole of society. While it is obvious Mr. Craig is doing his very best to employ volumes of pseudoscience, the bulk of the populace (myself included) understand so little of the subject as to afford it little response
Craig doesn't write for the general populace. he writes for philosophers at the highest levels. an inability to, or a disinterest in, engaging at that level doesn't mean that the arguments automatically don't have merit. and if we don't engage them we can't argue they don't have merit. and if we come up against a philosophically-minded theist who proposes them the only response we'd be capable of is "i can afford little response to that which i understand so little of." but the theist would rightly respond, "then you can't really call yourself an atheist if you admit to ignoring arguments that might otherwise establish the truth of theism on logical grounds."
not to mention thermodynamics is still (unless I am mistaken) a work in progress, that is to say the understanding of it from the perspective of even the scientific community is somewhat limited in comparison to, say gravity for instance.
actually it's the other way right around. thermodynamics is perhaps the most established principle of science we have. indeed, it's so established that Sir Arthur Eddington was prompted to say about the Second Law "If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations-then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation-well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." (1928: 75)
Challenging the god topic to is rather pointless from the perspective of one's desire to make the world a better place since disproving a negative is not possible, we would better serve our fellow man, I think challenging the doctrine.
you may not be able to disprove god but you can surely establish the concept as vanishingly improbable. but you do that by engaging the arguments. as for serving our fellow man, i completely agree. but the theist would argue, and if she's right about theism then she's right about this, that the greatest service we can do to our fellow man is to make them aware of the existence of an ultimate salvific reality. establishing that theism is wrong then plays a not insignificant role in getting people to move on to actually serving our fellow man rather than simply thinking we are while doing nothing, which is what theism does.
But congratulations to you if you understand thermodynamics, that subject is beyond my capacity.all you actually need is an understanding of the arguments and the barest understanding of the laws of thermodynamics that are involved. you don't need anything like an expansive understanding of the science of thermodynamics. i certainly don't have that and i get along serviceably well. :)
but thousands of the faithful turn up to listen to Craig speak on just these sort of things. he teaches them to justify their faith with these incredible rationalizations based on flawed science and questionable metaphysics.
sure, an audience of the average faithful would be asleep. but they're not the people that are interested in defending their faith on philosophical grounds in the first place.
on what basis do you not see them following his discussion? i've had numerous theists use his arguments in debates, sometimes on this very forum.
if you mean that Joel Osteen reaches a greater number of people then surely you're right. but if you mean that Joel Osteen has a greater impact when it comes to the forcefulness of the arguments he employs then that's clearly wrong for Osteen's arguments are dispatched with a derisive laugh while addressing Craig's require familiarity with a great many scientific and metaphysical concepts.
yeah, nor did i say it was of course. i said that if you're talking about impact in the sense of greatest number of people reached then Osteen reigns supreme versus Craig, but that if you're talking about the forcefulness of the arguments then Craig rules. i didn't say that it's forcefulness of the arguments that gives Osteen his appeal. that's to do with his message (the prosperity gospel) and his charisma as a public speaker. but then Craig has a message (your faith can be justified on reason and argumentation in the same way any other belief can be [should be]) and he has charisma as a public speaker too.
anyway, as far as blowing up abortion clinics is concerned, i wouldn't think that fans of Osteen are doing that at all anyway, but certainly you're right that fans of Craig are not.
not sure what you mean by "the first law of thermodynamics argument" and, whatever that is, it's connection to Craig.
if you're referring to Craig's championing of the Kalam Cosmological Argument and whether or not the First Law conflicts with the Kalam then i would say that the simple answer to that is that the First Law applies within the universe once it exists, not to the universe itself before it exists.
but of course an equally powerful point against Craig's assertion that everything that begins to exist has a cause can be formulated on that same principle. just as we have no reason to think that the First Law applies to the universe as a unit before it exists as opposed to within the universe once it exists, we also have no reason to think that our day to day perception of cause and effect would apply to the universe. we can grant that our day to day cause and effect would seem to indicate that the universe had to have a cause while also admitting that we have no reason to think that that intuition, based, as it is, on our day to experience of our slow macro world, applies to near-light-speed quantum world we would have to consider when we talk about the origins of the universe.
the problem with countering with a cause-and-effect-centered strategy is that you can only move to that IFF you've dealt with Craig's argument against the existence of actual infinities. Craig points to several thought experiment intuition pumps, such as Hibber's Hotel, to argue that an actual infinite could not exist. and as you'd need an actual infinite to be able to exist in order to have an infinitely existing universe, if an actual infinite could not exist then an infinitely existing universe could not exist.
as for why no one has used these sort of things against Craig, i'm not sure who you're reading but you'll probably recognize the same line of thought in Why I Became an Atheist where John Loftus (2008: 84) says:
In a published exchanged with Wes Morriston, Craig claims that ["everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence"] is an obvious "metaphysical intuition." But Craig is trying to explain more than the origins of space/matter/energy, for along with it he's also trying to explain the beginning of time itself. And it simply is not an obvious intuition to conceive of an event prior to the first event in time. It seems a better intuition would be that the universe has always existed since time now exists, for there would be no "time" at which the universe began to exist independently of the time that originates with the universe.
and also when Loftus then quotes (ibid) Graham Oppy when transitioning to talk about Craig's (and many theist's) claim that God is outside of time before creation:
If there is a dimension analogous to time that can be used to measure God's existence outside of time, then either (1) God has a beginning in that dimension, or else (2) God has always existed in that dimension. Following the lead of Craig's remarks in connection with the universe, it seems that the first option leads to the suggestion that there is a cause of God's existence, and the second option leads to infinite regress. But, if there is no dimension analogous to time that can be used to measure God's existence outside of time, then it seems to me doubtful that we even understand the suggestion that God existed outside of time.
we could also cite Richard Carrier who, in his Sense and Goodness Without God, says (2005: 84-85; emphasis in the original):
Due to our daily experience within time and within an acting universe, our assumptions often mislead us into false ideas about what must be the case with regard to the whole.... So although it seems that everything must have a cause, therefore the multiverse must have a cause, there is no real basis for such a generalization. The only reason to believe that anything has a cause is that we observe it to be so. But what we are observing is what is inside a universe, inside time. There is no reason to believe the same expectations should hold outside the universe, outside time. In fact, we have a good reason to believe they should not hold: causation is by definition a temporal concept. For something to be a cause of something else, it must precede it in time. But if there is no prior point in time, there obviously cannot be a cause- such a thing is logically impossible.
finally, to end with just one more example, Graham Oppy in his Arguing About Gods says (2006: 149):
[W]e now have to confront the question of whether it is plausible to claim that there is strong empirical support for the universal generalisation that everything that begins to exist has a cause for its beginning to exist, on the current construal of “begins to exist”. The answer to this question seems plainly to be negative. In experience, we only ever meet with objects whose coming into existence is preceded by times at which those objects do not exist. Nothing in experience bears on the question of the causal antecedents of objects that begin to exist at t = 0. So, on the current account of what it is for something to begin to exist, the key premise in Craig’s fifth sub-argument should be rejected: it is not true, on this account of what it is for something to begin to exist, that there is “the strongest support that experience affords” for the claim that everything that begins to exist has a cause of its beginning to exist.
there are more of course but these should suffice to show that there are philosophers answering Craig powerfully and decisively.
"The law expresses that energy can be transformed, i.e. changed from one form to another, but cannot be created nor destroyed."
I find this one to quite often be expoused by agnostics/apologetics (they read more books that Xians). This is how I it always seem to continue for me:
Agnostic: Thermodynamics and all other laws of nature only applies inside our universe. We have no empirical proof to state the same outside of it. One can argue that God exists outside of this universe.
Response: "One can argue" is not a statement of fact. But on the other side, inside this universe, there is no empirical evidence for divine intervention either.
Then, if they want to hide it outside and non-impacting on our universe, you remind them that only things that can actually exist in this universe are worth believing in because they will not leave it when they die via implications of the law they started with. Then you offer them a God without impact and no afterlife.
Using science to prove God tends to skip quite a few beats.