Eric Hovind meets James Randi
James Randi was interviewed by Eric Hovind and Sye Bruggencate at the Reason Rally 2012 in Washington, DC. They seem to believe that it went well, because they uploaded it to their YouTube account "creationtoday".
Eric Hovind: I am a believer. I am a Christian. If I were to ask you if it were impossible for God to exist what would you say?
James Randi: Of course not.
Eric Hovind: So it's not impossible.
James Randi: Oh I am not trying to prove negatives. I am asking you to prove the positive. If you say there is a God, prove it to me.
Eric Hovind: Ok. Well, it is my position as a Christian that without God we actually can't know anything. Would you can say we know things or is it impossible to know things.
You can't know anything without God? Anything? This is where you may begin to wonder if he's serious or just choosing his words poorly.
James Randi: I know a lot of stuff. 2 + 2 = 4. 2 + 3 = 5. I can go on forever doing this.
Eric Hovind: Right. So we do have knowledge. Is it possible that our knowledge can be wrong?
James Randi: Well of course. But you can prove it. Put two stones down there in the walk, put two beside it, count them up, it'll count to four. Put another on there, it'll count to five. You can test it. It's evidence. And you can test any kind of a claim, if it's a reasonable claim that can have a proof.
Eric Hovind: But everything that we've tested so far, it's possible that it could all be wrong?
James Randi: No.
Eric Hovind: It's not possible that what we know now could be wrong.
James Randi: No. Not by definition. We know what two is, we know what the other two is, we know what plus means, and equals, we know what that means. And we add them together and we get five.
Eric Hovind: Thank you.
Some Guy: I think what he was asking is that it's possible we could be wrong. And that's certainly true. We can be wrong about things. We revise our positions in light of new evidence.
James Randi: Well not things that are defined.
Some Guy: Ya but I don't think he was just talking about math though. Right? You were talking in general.
Nope. He really does mean anything/everything.
Eric Hovind: All knowledge... is it possible... because we have to admit out of all of the knowledge in the universe, we got a very finite amount right?
James Randi: Well yes absolutely.
Eric Hovind: So out of the vast majority that we don't have, could something out there prove wrong what we know.
James Randi: Well lots of things are proved wrong every day, of course.
Eric Hovind: So everything we know could be proven wrong.
He is really hung up on there being a possibility that everything we know can be proven wrong. But... if that were the case, where does that leave the Christian god?
James Randi: No not everything that we know. There are certain things that are defined. 2 + 2 = 4. We have decided that is a fact and we have tested it any numbers of times and it has proven to be true.
Eric Hovind: Awesome. Hey thank you very much. This is my friend Simon do you mind if he does one more interview.
I think it's safe to say that whatever he was trying to accomplish with his interview, was not accomplished. It sounded like he wanted Randi to agree that everything could be proven wrong. But he didn't agree, and was passed on to the next interviewer.
Sye Bruggencate: I think that you use a lot of reason in your life. But my question to you sir is how do you know your reasoning is valid.
James Randi: When you think about what?
Sye Bruggencate: About anything. Your ability to reason.
James Randi: I don't know that it is valid until I test it.
Sye Bruggencate: But you test your reasoning using your reasoning.
James Randi: Yes.
Sye Bruggencate: And that's viciously circular.
James Randi: Yes. We're talking in a circle here now. 2 = 2 = 2 = 2 = 2. We can do that forever.
Sye Bruggencate: But you're using your reasoning to validate your reasoning. Don't you see a problem with that?
What is funny is that this guy is using reasoning right now. His argument is that Randi uses reasoning to validate his reasoning, therefore his reasoning is invalid. What is his reasoning that his own reasoning is valid? God did it?
James Randi: No I don't see any problem with that.
Eric Hovind: Your solution is revelation.
2+2=4 is revelation, not good reasoning.
Sye Bruggencate: That's right. So if I say God exists because God exists, you would have a problem with that.
James Randi: I have a problem with that because I don't see evidence of that.
Sye Bruggencate: I know but the thing is, what is the evidence that your reasoning in valid?
James Randi: We're talking in circles now. This is very juvenile and I don't get involved in juvenile arguments.
Sye Bruggencate: You see that's what happens when people get challenged to the basis of their reasoning. I appreciate the work you do sir but we have to be able to justify our reasoning in order to come to rational conclusions.
According to Sye, Randi has not justified his reasoning that 1 + 1 = 2. He has not shown any valid evidence for it. Randi does not understand that 1 + 1 = 2 cannot make sense without God.
Sye has been preaching, for quite some time now, that atheists arguments are "viciously circular", and that his arguments are "virtuously circular". According to him, circular reasoning is rational if you're a Christian, but irrational if you're an atheist.