Hawking's determinism attacked by Greg Koukl

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Hawking's determinism attacked by Greg Koukl

Post  RonH on Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:57 pm

Hi All,

(Refer to The latest Stand To Reason podcast, "Where was God on 9/11?", Start of the second hour or Chapter 5 of 14.)

Anybody heard this podcast?

According to Koukl, (paraphrasing):

Hawking says in The Grand Design that, in principle, given the state of the universe at one time, the laws of physics alone can tell us the state at any time in the future or past.
Given this claim (that determinism is true), Koukl would like to ask Hawking:
"If physics is everything, then what do we make of your book?"

Koukl taunts:
"If everything is determined by the laws of physics then indeed, the order of the words on the page of your book is also determined by the laws of physics."

He goes on. It's probably a good summary of what apologists will be saying about the book and about determinism every chance they get for a while.

Next Sunday William Lane Craig will weigh in on the show which can be streamed live.

They accept calls from listeners. It would be nice to hear a solid response on the show!

I think the RD determinism podcasts covered issues here. But I think this specific instance is pretty important and would like to work out a specific response in discussion here.

Anyone game?

RonH

RonH

Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-02-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Hawking's determinism attacked by Greg Koukl

Post  Aught3 on Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:22 pm

His argument just sounds like an appeal to consequences. If determinism is true something caused the words to appear on the page, that's a trivial statement of fact. If he wants to show that freewill exists or that the determinism/indeterminism dichotomy has a third option then make a proper argument.
avatar
Aught3

Posts : 80
Join date : 2009-09-25
Location : New Zealand

http://www.indoctrinatingfreethought.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Hawking's determinism attacked by Greg Koukl

Post  RonH on Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:34 pm

Aught3 wrote:His argument just sounds like an appeal to consequences. If determinism is true something caused the words to appear on the page, that's a trivial statement of fact. If he wants to show that freewill exists or that the determinism/indeterminism dichotomy has a third option then make a proper argument.

Thanks for your reply aught3.

I don't think he mentions free will. He talks about the book.
He makes out that Hawking is self-defeating.
It's a favorite tactic.

Koukl asks what reason there is to thing what's written in the book is true since they were determined by the laws of physics and not the mind of an author.
When I first heard the question, it sounded hard.
Now I see a couple of things.
First the words can be both determined by the laws of physics and the product of a mind.
The mind orders the words in a special way that depends on the nature of the mind and the nature of the subject.
Whether there is truth in the words that end up in the the book depends on the construction of the mind.
There is reason to think the mind might be built in such a way as to order the words in a way that corresponds to reality.
Evolution would favor a senses and neurobiology that comport with reality.
Certainly, it could build a brain that did the right things (for survival) for the wrong reasons (false ones).
But that would be the hard way.
It is simpler that I avoid the tiger because it is dangerous than for some false reason - even if the false reason would also protect my safety.

RonH

Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-02-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Hawking's determinism attacked by Greg Koukl

Post  Aught3 on Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:08 pm

But what I'm saying is that even if the words were determined to appear in the book, that doesn't mean that they are wrong. Now, I haven't actually read the book so I'm going to have to assume that Hawking makes a satisfactory argument for his position. Whether he made that argument because of 'the laws of physics' or because of 'the mind of the author' doesn't matter. Hawking's argument is still on those pages and a proper refutation would actually address those words.
avatar
Aught3

Posts : 80
Join date : 2009-09-25
Location : New Zealand

http://www.indoctrinatingfreethought.blogspot.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Hawking's determinism attacked by Greg Koukl

Post  RonH on Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:24 am

Aught3 wrote:But what I'm saying is that even if the words were determined to appear in the book, that doesn't mean that they are wrong. Now, I haven't actually read the book so I'm going to have to assume that Hawking makes a satisfactory argument for his position. Whether he made that argument because of 'the laws of physics' or because of 'the mind of the author' doesn't matter. Hawking's argument is still on those pages and a proper refutation would actually address those words.

Thanks Aught3. You're right. And you don't need to have read the book. Koukl admits he hasn't.
He questions any argument or conclusion produced deterministically if I 've heard him correctly.

But, as you say, the source (deterministic machine or monkeys banging on typewriters) of the arguments made in the book (or elsewhere) makes no difference to their validity or soundness.
Arguments stand or fall on their merits - not on who the author is or whether his actions are deterministic.
Kind of like how you can generate a hypothesis any way at all. A dream. A guess. An analogy. Doesn't matter. What matters is what happens when you test the hypothesis.
I think this gets really to the main point Koukl was trying to make... and defeats it.
Indeed, claiming that a conclusion should be believed (or doubted) because of the nature of the arguer is is often a fallacy.
I'm going to have another listen.

RonH

Posts : 3
Join date : 2010-02-07

Back to top Go down

Re: Hawking's determinism attacked by Greg Koukl

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum