My Devil’s Advocate Unbelievable Debate with Michael Ruse is now available online. You can listen to it here. I wrote out some statements in advance, but unfortunately given the time constraints (the clock moves way faster on radio; it’s a proven scientific fact!; I think it has something to do with relativity theory) I had to toss most of it. In particular, on the fly I had to fold my argument from evil into my argument from cosmic indifference. Too bad. I had a good argument from evil.
As the careful listener will hear (or as you all will hear since I’m pointing it out), my first argument against Christianity is laid out as a formal argument with premises in support of the conclusion that Yahweh is not God. By contrast, I don’t offer a formal argument to support my defense of cosmic indifference. Was that an oversight? Did I run out of time?
No. There’s an important reason for that. The fact is that I don’t find any of the formal arguments for the non-existence of God based on evil or indifference to be persuasive. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing more to be said. As we navigate the world, we all form (reasonable) beliefs based on the way things seem to us.
So consider, for example, the old solipsist debate. Smith may have no formal argument that persuades him of the falsity of solipsism. But as he reflects on the solipsistic interpretation of reality over-against the non-solipsistic interpretation, he finds himself persuaded of the latter. With that, he joins David Hume in an evening of backgammon and merriment with the friends that he is now persuaded actually exist.
I pursued a similar method in my argument from cosmic indifference (rushed though it may have been). The argument consisted of an evocative description of world history which seems more plausibly interpreted in accord with atheism rather than theism.