Dr. Craig cuts through postmodern sophistry in 3 minutes.

 

Many philosophers like to confuse the average Christian with word games and logical tricks. The first of these tricks is Loki’s Wager.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loki’s_Wager

Loki’s Wager, a form of logical fallacy, is the unreasonable insistence that a concept cannot be defined, and therefore cannot be discussed.[1]

Loki is a Jötunn or Áss in Norse mythology, who once made a bet with some dwarves. It was agreed that the price, should Loki lose the wager, would be his head. Loki lost the bet, and in due time the dwarves came to collect the head which had become rightfully theirs. Loki had no problem with giving up his head, but he insisted they had absolutely no right to take any part of his neck. Everyone concerned discussed the matter; certain parts were obviously head, and certain parts were obviously neck, but neither side could agree exactly where the one ended and the other began. As a result, Loki kept his head indefinitely, although his lips were stitched shut as punishment for getting out of the bet with tricky wordplay.

One may overcome the fallacy either by establishing a reasonable, working definition of the term in issue, or by showing that the other party is being unreasonable and avoiding the argument.[2]

Loki’s Wager is used to prove that all reality is a social construct. For example, the clever philosopher might ask: “What is a beard?” To some extent, a beard is a social construct insofar that it takes a certain amount of facial hair to grow one. How much facial hair is required? The cutting-off point is arbitrary, therefore all of physical reality is arbitrary. My mountain is your mole hill. Everything is based on the perspective of the observer and how they define it. Quantum physics is usually invoked to make the whole lie smarter.

Take the color wheel for example. When does orange become red? When does red become purple? Since purple turns into blue and purple is just darker red, red is just a shade of blue. All of the colors are the same. There are no real colors. There is just one big color we make arbitrary distinctions out of.

color-wheel.jpg

This view sounds very attractive. Reality is sometimes socially constructed. Cell phones, digital watches and trading cards are all social constructs. However, Craig makes the important point that reality is fixed on a fundamental, permanent level. Just try to consume rat poison. No matter how many people vote to socially construct the reality that rat poison is safe to eat, eating rat poison is lethal. Firing a gun into the mouth will always be lethal no matter how many people socially construct it otherwise.

Some of the most recent discoveries in physics have shown that reality becomes probabilistic on the quantum level of electrons. Depending on how an experiment is designed, electrons will behave like waves or particles. The observer collapses the wave-function by observing. Human observation changes reality, which means that reality is affected by the conscious mind observing it.

Philosophers will try to invoke these new discoveries to build the case for metaphysical relativism. Reality is dependent on how we observe it, therefore the human mind shapes reality and socially constructs it.

This is still false, because physicists believe that electrons exist whether or not any humans are there to observe them. This assertion also starts to dip into insanity, because the metaphysical relativist must assert that zebras would not have stripes if there were no humans to observe them.

Reality exists whether or not humans are alive. If all humans died tomorrow, the earth and its zebras would still exist. Perhaps the zebras could collapse the electron wave-function for us, but it is doubtful that reality works this way. The physical world does what it does whether or not humans are there to observe it. Human observation can change what is there, but it does not radically alter it on a fundamental level nor does it bring it into existence. That is God’s job.

 

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