Wow, but this is awful. Don’t watch it unless you’re feeling masochistic.
It’s a snotty, arrogant punk kid filmed in annoying style claiming that he has disproven atheism and that all science is based on theology. I think he might be something like a freshman philosophy major who has just discovered the problem of induction.
The problem of induction is a real one, all right; we can’t logically support one of the fundamental tools of science, the idea of making general inferences from specific observations. You might think, well, it’s worked so far and we’ve got all these successful instances of science deriving useful principles from data, but that’s an example of inductive reasoning itself, and you’re trying to demonstrate that that kind of reasoning is valid, so you can’t use induction to prove induction. It’s an interesting philosophical problem, it has more or less stumped greater thinkers than me for hundreds of years, and no, I sure don’t have an answer.
One reason that the video is so awful is that here is this hugely difficult problem, and snotty punk kid is offering ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS for a solution. Uh, right. Imagine, I’m sitting here with the solution to a well-known thorny and fundamental problem in philosophy … and I’ve just been waiting for an arrogant Christian to offer me one week’s pay to publish it. Did you know I also have the protein folding problem solved, and I’ll publish it as soon as the church down the street gives me a plate of cookies? Here’s a greater inducement: publish your solution to the problem of induction right here in the comments, and I guarantee that you’ll be able to stop by any philosophy department at any university in the world and the faculty will line up to buy you a beer. That will add up, you know.
The acclaim as a philosophical god among scholars might also be worth something.
The other reason it is annoying is that the snotty punk kid is babbling out some rather fatuous logic of his own; he’s demanding that others accomplish an extremely sophisticated philosophical task, while exhibiting no awareness of his own inane reasoning and unexamined epistemology. One general assumption of scientific induction is that we live in a lawful universe (an assumption that we cannot demonstrate inductively, as already said). What young master Snottypunk does to get around the problem for himself is to declare by simple fiat that he has a different assumption, that there is a divine lawgiver, who enforces the lawfulness of the universe, and that the source of his information is the book of Genesis.
It’s a cheat. He has absolutely no logical, philosophical justification for this divine precondition he has pulled out of his butt, but then he turns around and thinks that he’s got atheists over a barrel and demands that they justify the use of induction without Jesus. What? Why can’t I just invent an accidentally linear seam in the fabric of the 18th dimension that imposes regularity in our dimension by subspace resonance? It’s total nonsense, but it’s a justification that’s on a par with waving your hands over an ancient Hebrew sky-god. How about if I pretend there is a subatomic particle (or maybe a sub-quantum force; does it matter?) called the Regulon that compels lawful behavior in other particles/forces. Again, it’s pseudoscientific magical BS, but it’s as good as Snottypunk’s excuse. I know! A variant on the anthropic principle—the universe is lawful, because if it weren’t, we wouldn’t be here to speculate about why induction seems to work.
I don’t think any of my explanations will convince any philosopher anywhere to buy me even a single beer, but oh, well.
The challenge this kid is offering is a pretentious joke. He has even less of a philosophy background than I do—he’s got a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, and he’s a typical Texas son of Republican privilege, full of himself and stuffed to the snoot with unquestioned arrogance. His name is Kelly Tripplehorn, and I thought I’d heard of him before … and I have. Behold the deep thoughts of Mr Tripplehorn.
You know, even if you do solve the problem of induction, I wouldn’t trust that pompous weasel to cough up. At least I’ll buy you that beer, though, so don’t hold back.