Thursday, June 02, 2011

Considering Tony's Offerings

A visitor to my blog named Tony recently posted a somewhat lengthy comment on my previous blog. Although Tony made no attempt to defend Van Til’s “argument from the unity of knowledge (which is the topic of the blog to which he posted his comment), I’m grateful that he did submit his thoughts on my blog. I’m always happy when new presuppositionalists seek to challenge me. It makes for such great sport!

I have written a response to Tony below.

Tony writes:
I find that you use the personal pronoun ‘I’ repeatedly in your blog as though it has genuine intrinsic meaning.
No, it has *objective* meaning. It does not have meaning apart from any referential context, and I don’t use it as if it had meaning apart from any referential context.
But if you pause and think carefully—reflecting deeply and using only your naturalistic, materialistic worldview assumptions about the nature of reality
I’m an Objectivist, Tony, not a materialist or “naturalist” (which has numerous definitions). If you’re going to critique Objectivism, it would be to your advantage to know a few things about it, especially the basics. It is certainly not a form of materialism. Materialism denies the axiom of consciousness. Objectivism explicitly affirms it from its foundations, and at no point denies it.
you will find that you cannot even validate, in terms of your own worldview, your own personal existence
I’m not even sure what this is supposed to mean. Existence is metaphysical. It exists regardless of what I can or cannot do epistemologically. Existence is not something that anyone needs to “validate.” The concept ‘validate’ simply doesn’t apply in such a context. Validation applies to epistemology, not to metaphysics. Specifically, we validate our *identification* of reality, not reality as such. Reality is what it is regardless of what we think, do, imagine, wish, command, or emote. That’s the primacy of existence.
…let alone "incinerate" presuppositionalism.
If you think you can rescue presuppositionalism from the glowing embers you’ll find in my archives, go ahead and knock yourself out.
In fact, you actually “incinerate"...yourself.
Can you elaborate on this point, Tony? How exactly do I incinerate myself? Identify the steps by which you think I’ve done this. Give me your point by point analysis.
It seems in blogging about metaphysical and epistemological matters, you should be able validate (in terms of your own materialistic worldview assumptions) the personal existence of you yourself, the blogger.
I’ve addressed this concern above. Not only have you made the mistake of ascribing a materialistic worldview to me (which means: you leapt before you looked), you’ve made the mistake of assuming that the concept ‘validate’ applies to existence. It doesn’t. You don’t even try to validate this assumption. Why not?
So consider. The next time you embrace a loved one, how do you know that ‘he’ or ‘she’ is actually there?
That’s an easy question to answer. I know this by means of reason. Reason is the faculty by which we identify what we have awareness of by means of the senses. Would you propose that one could know this by some means other than reason? If so, please explain.
Yes, matter is there. Neurons are there. Chemicals are there. But where is the loved one? What (not who) are you affectionately embracing?
So, you’re supposing we can be sure that matter is there, neurons are there, and chemicals are there, but not the loved one we embrace? Why would you adopt such an absurd view of the world?
If you are honest, given your worldview assumptions, you are actually only embracing matter—any personal nuance in the understanding of, and relating to, your loved one can only be but an irrational figment of your materialistic worldview's imagination.
This reasoning commits the fallacy of the stolen concept. It explicitly denies the axiom of consciousness (by assuming materialism) while performatively making use of it (by granting my ability to imagine, which requires consciousness) at the same time. It does not describe my worldview at all, Tony. If you really think it does, you only show that you know next to nothing about it.

Think about it, Tony: you say that on my worldview’s own assumptions, I’m “only embracing matter.” Presumably on your view this is not enough for me to say I’m actually embracing a loved one. Something must be missing, right? So what besides matter is needed, if not consciousness? My worldview explicitly affirms the axiom of consciousness as one of its foundational recognitions. What else do you think is needed, and why? Why isn’t consciousness sufficient to complement matter, if that’s what you’re implying?
Dawson, do you see it? You are living in world of make-believe—the very kind of world you accuse Christians of inhabiting.
What am I imagining as real that is not real, Tony? What “make-believe” am I living in? You make the charge, so please be specific, and cite some evidence for your indictment. Are you saying that my loved ones are not real? Are you saying I’m wrong for acknowledging the fact that my loved ones possess the faculty of consciousness? If so, I’d say you’re the one who’s imagining. If you’re trying to say something else, you’ll need to try again for clarity’s sake.
Moreover, no amount of wordsmithing or verbal tap-dancing will cause wooden Pinocchio to become a real little boy.
I agree. Just as no amount of obfuscation, evasion, appeals to ignorance or arguments that essentially seek to lead one to throw up his arms and say “Duh, I donno, must be God did it!” will transform an imaginary deity into an actually existing thing. Indeed, any flaws in my worldview are irrelevant to a serious case for validating the claim that the Christian worldview is true or that a god exists. My worldview could have all kinds of flaws, and your god could still be imaginary. So if you want to validate your belief that your god is something more than just a figment of your imagination, you need to focus on presenting that validation, not on finding some fault in my worldview.

Put it this way: the conclusion that your god is real does not logically follow from the premise that my worldview is somehow flawed. You need an argument. But you don’t present one.
Sadly, in embracing loved ones, you embrace the metaphysical ashes of your own (and their) incineration.
You grant far too much power to mere assumptions, Tony. Whether my worldview can or cannot support the view that my loved ones are fully functioning human organisms possessing consciousness (ostensibly the indispensible requirement for personhood), its failure – whether real or merely supposed – to support this view would not be sufficient to turn them into ashes. They would still continue to be real; they would still continue to be what they are, in spite of my worldview’s faults. Reality does not revise itself to conform to a thinker’s philosophical errors. Again, that’s the primacy of existence. Why is this principle so hard for people to grasp?
Other than the existence of the personal, Triune God of the Bible, how do you account for your personal relationships, much less your own personal existence?
I guess this is where I’m expected to throw my hands up in defeat and exclaim, “Duh, I donno, must be God did it!” But that’s not what I do, nor do I need to. No one needs to surrender his intellect in this manner.

In answer to your question, I must point out that I have no need to “account for” my existence. Any attempt on my part to provide such an “account” would require that I exist in the first place. So it’s unclear why such effort would even be expected, let alone needed. Even if my account were flawed, my effort to provide one could only indicate that I do in fact exist, since my very existence is preconditional to my applying effort to anything. So unless you can clarify your question in such a way that avoids such obvious absurdity as it implies, given the way you have stated it, I submit that it is a non-issue.

Now In regard to my personal relationships, I “account for” them by referencing the axioms, the primacy of existence and the objective theory of concepts. If you want to present some case to the effect that these three platforms are insufficient to the task, please go right ahead. But make sure you don’t assume their truth in the process, for that would only undercut your case and bolster mine.
Yet, He indeed does exist, and that is the only reason you do not intellectually, and relationally, implode...by unconsciously borrowing from the capital of Christian theism.
By “unconsciously borrowing from the capital of Christian theism,” I’m guessing you mean that I am unknowingly or even surreptitiously making use of specifically Christian assumptions – assumptions that can be only Christian in nature, for whatever reason – in order to sustain my intellectual interaction with the world around me. Is that at least close to what you’re saying?

If so, can you cite for me what those specific Christian assumptions are, and explain how they must necessarily be Christian in nature, and also point out where you think I’m making use of them in my intellectual interaction with the world around me? In other words, don’t just make the charge, Tony, follow through with it and provide some relevant support for it.
You have been created in His image, Dawson, and that is something that is not changing…no matter what part of the world you visit.
I can imagine that some invisible magic being has created me in its image, Tony. Your task is to show that what I am imagining when I imagine this, is actually real. How are you going to do that? For until you do this, why shouldn’t I acknowledge that the imaginary is in fact merely imaginary, and not real? Got any good guesses here?
But more than merely existing, God loves you Dawson,
I can imagine this with you all day, Tony. But that won’t make it real. If you want me to think that your god is real, you’ll need to explain how I can reliably distinguish it from something you’re merely imagining. Until then, you offer no reason for me to suppose that it is not imaginary. Even in my case, I know of no alternative to imagining your god. I cannot perceive it, I cannot deduce its existence from rationally informed premises, I cannot infer it from what I do know to be factual. So you have your work cut out for you if you want me to “believe.” Pointing out errors in so-called “non-Christian worldviews” does nothing to meet these challenges. One may be a non-theist and his worldview may be full of holes. But it would not logically follow from this that Christianity is true and/or that the Christian god is real. Surely you must understand at least this, no?
and sent His Son, in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, to conquer sin and death personally on your behalf
And people have been sinning and dying ever since. Some conquest!
—so that you may find true Life in Him.
The “true Life” you speak of is a life lived on the basis of imagination, Tony. I can imagine your god gives me “true Life,” or that Blarko the WonderBeing gives me “true Life.” Both fantasies are on equal footing, metaphysically speaking. Neither have any truth value, neither have any basis in reality.

By the way, Tony, a couple questions for you, since you bring this matter up. Can you tell me how the Christian worldview defines the concept ‘life’? Also, how does the Christian worldview account for life in the first place? Consider these questions for extra credit.
I pray that you find Him in SE Asia…perhaps that is why He has directed your pathway there.
Two things. For one, as the old song goes, nothing fails like prayer. In fact, prayer is the refuge of those who have given up on the ability of their own minds. It’s like hoping – on its own, it accomplishes nothing.

Second, I was not directed to SE Asia by the will of a being that is merely imaginary, but by my own choices and actions. See how you have to deny reality in order to treat the imaginary as if it were real?

by Dawson Bethrick

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206 Comments:

Blogger Justin Hall said...

As always I wish I had your skill with words :) I look forward to how he answers you. A question of my own. I corrected one of my posts in reply to Tony when I realized that even tho I am directly aware of my emotional state its not really thru any of the primary scenes, so we cant really say its a precept. How would one classify it then. Does it fall under just plain self awareness?

June 02, 2011 10:26 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Thanks for your kinds comments, Justin. It's a pleasure like no other to tackle these issues.

In relation to your question, it's true that we are directly aware of our emotions, since we experience them directly and immediately. Emotions are inescapably firsthanded in nature. I cannot feel your emotions with you, nor can you feel mine. We are very isolated in this sense. Just as we experience pain directly. In fact, some emotions are painful, in their own way. Grief, for instance. Intense frustration. Anger. Our emotions are an integral part of our conscious experience.

We identify the emotions we feel when we focus our attention on them we feel them, or on our memory of what we felt emotionally. We do this by means of introspection (self-awareness). You're right that our emotions are not percepts, since they are not concretes that we perceive independent of our consciousness. They are in fact part of our conscious experience. Anger is not blue, fuzzy and three inches long, and joy is not yellow, squishy and oval. I would classify them as a part of consciousness, even a form of conscious experience. They are epistemological in the sense that they accompany our value judgments as their result in our conscious experience.

I'd agree this needs some fine-tuning in order to avoid cerain inferences that are not intended. But as a first stab at it while I'm in a hurry to get some place, I hope it answers your question?

Regards,
Dawson

June 02, 2011 11:41 PM  
Blogger Paul Baird said...

You can tell when a poster has just read a pamphlet before posting their 'devastating' critique of your OP.

:-)

June 02, 2011 11:53 PM  
Blogger kablame said...

Dawson and Tony (but mostly Dawson).

Please pardon this, but due to space constrictions this “comment” to your postings will have to come in two parts.

PART 1

I have been sitting here watching you two banter for a little while and feel compelled to make a couple few comments.

First to Tony: I agree with what you are saying. By and large, I think you are right on… and if Dawson would let you get a word in edge wise, actually process what you are saying, then, I would hope (as a grown man) he might speak with more reserve. Alas, perhaps he is young and when he realizes that his worldview does NOT comport with reality (perhaps through a *personal* existential trauma of some kind) he may be willing to listen. In the mean time, Tony - read more! You have lots of good stuff; you just need a wider set of footnotes than Bahnsen.

Now onto Dawson: Your world view IS declarative… descriptive… non-explanatory… and finally arbitrary. (Note: I use those adjectives in a fully Trinitarian sense).

In one sense, you kind of remind me of Descartes. Perhaps that is giving you too much credit though. Anyway, he had this goofy idea… we all know it, “I think, therefore I am.” (The only thing that could be objectively said is “thinking exists, therefore thinking is”… Anyway, a bunch of self-referential non-sense. Note here: he arbitrarily used “I” just like you arbitrarily use “I” for “consciousness” in arbitrary a “referential context”. Don’t forget too, his struggle with what is mediated and what is mediate. Not to mention his rabbit trail of our all being in someone else’s dream… But alas I digress.

As a brief side note: How ethnocentric is your worldview? What about the animists in the Himalayas, or the “eastern” forms of logic? Don’t they too use “objectivity”. Again, this is a *side* note, but MIGHT your worldview be a result of what the West has spewed out… and you are just a byproduct of its enculturation?

In another sense, you remind me of Bertrand Russell. Again, I think I am giving you too much credit – but bare with me – there is at least one similarity… When he was called to account for the _uniformity of nature_, he could only *describe* it… “the sun rises and it sets… it will do so tomorrow and the next day, etc.” Yes, that is a *description* of it – BUT – how do you ***account*** for it. What makes the sun set? The laws of nature? What/Who governs those? How do we know they won’t change tomorrow, next moth, next year, next decade, etc?! Now, I mentioned that you two shouldn’t be compared… and one reason among many was that he had the humility to at least acknowledge that he could not account for it and saw that as a true weakness in his worldview… but I am sure that other reasons abound – I just don’t know you well enough.

June 03, 2011 3:52 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Kablame,

Dawson has written extensively on the points you raise. For example:

http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2010/02/uniformity-of-nature.html

Give it look. It's a good read.

Ydemoc

June 03, 2011 4:42 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

-What makes the sun set? The laws of nature? What/Who governs those? -

here we go again, a denial of identity, yet again...

June 03, 2011 5:00 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

wow this is getting good...*grabs popcorn and beer*

The thing that really makes me laugh about the presuppers is that they never tackle the axioms, and start bringing up Descarte or "naturalism" etc. like Ravi Zacharias does and straw man the arguement. Then we see Dawson explain everything in detail about the axioms, though he has already written about it extensively in previous posts.

I have yet to hear an apologist explain how he can differentiate his god and something he may merely be imagining.

Furthermore, how do you know that people who are the leading cause of the African witch Children phenomenon are not recieving revelation from God and Jesus as they claim to be?

How is their revelation different from yours? They claim to receive "knowledge from infinity and beyond" from Jesus/Jehova etc. in turn justifying their child torture (yet very profitable) business.

Better still, how do you know that Fred Phelps of the Westboro church is not "serving god through revelation" with his lovingly Christian protests as he quotes scripture to justify them?

You can not. That is the problem. The Abrahamic religions whether Islam, judaism or Christianity all share an arbitrary starting point which can not be validated by anyone beyond their *imagination* *cookie monster voice*

June 03, 2011 6:46 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

also, the Phelps and the African torture preachers claim to have a personal relationship with god and quote scripture to justify all their wacky and horrible behaviors. How does a Christian know they are not right? well I guess they just pick bible verses they like and tell them they are wrong b/c of the verses they quoted, then Phelps pulls out his bible and quotes the verses he likes, then the African Child torturers quote verses about Jesus and justify child abuse and well that's it, then everyone goes to heaven who believeth in him the son of god zombie jesus. : ] haha

apologists feel free to explain how your interpretation is better than the African's or Phelps's

June 03, 2011 6:51 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@actionjackson864

I could not agree more, I am going to sit back and watch. Reminds me of the good old days of Paul Manata.

June 03, 2011 7:47 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

If you pick up the pen and try to say Consciousness has more significance than saliva, urine or gas, it’s ‘you’ who then become the Cartoonist, irrationally writing his own make-believe story in the face the brute facts! Go ahead and hug your loved ones and act as if it’s more than what it is…given your worldview they then only become the cartoon characters in your imaginary comic strip of make believe. You who pride yourself in carefully using “reason” so as not to be taken in by the “imaginary”, have been imagining all along! By embracing such flaw thinking you have “incinerated” yourself and all those around you, Dawson. How can this be? (Hint: You will ‘never’…as in never ever…get from the impersonal to the personal nor from the imaginary to the real—and be able to make a distinction between the two…apart from the God of the Bible.)

By the way, it is you, Dawson, not me, who needs to understand the ‘essence’ of Objectivism (which IS a form of materialism…as has just been set forth using your own worldview assumptions. Moreover, while I’m thinking of it, Justin, it is you, not me, who has not been listening…nor thinking clearly or rationally. You ARE a materialist…caps are for emphasis, not yelling).

Dawson, please, surely you jest in thinking I had to “knock myself out” in searching through the “smoldering embers” of your archives. I’ve blown your entire house of cards down with one little puff because you think and reason only at a penultimate level. You haven’t even begun to touch Bahnsen and the others. Far from embers being in your archives, there are ice cubes and cobwebs. Your six years of “incinerating “ has been and remains all in vain and inconsistent to your own tenets.

June 04, 2011 8:07 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Dawson,

Thanks for the lengthy reply. I appreciate your efforts, though you never sufficiently addressed the basic things I set forth to you right out of the starting blocks (e.g., the matter of “I”). Because you didn’t do that, all that you wrote following that is flawed and ultimately meaningless. What I wrote to you still stands unanswered…every bit of it (by the way, your “referential context”…which was never defined…does not and cannot give you (the “I”) “objective” meaning, let alone “intrinsic” meaning (see below).

Though I sense in your reply you feel that you ‘hit it out of the park’ and rounded the bases to the cheering of the crowd, you haven’t even made it safely to first base.

In all due respect, Dawson, it is apparent that you and your followers do not understand worldviews and the nature of them—what they are, how they form, develop and function (a field I have studied for decades in multiple cross-cultural settings overseas). Your lack of understanding leads to the fatal flaw in your reasoning and thinking at only a penultimate level (e.g., talking about “axioms”) and not at a more foundational and ultimate level. This is a key weakness of so-called Objectivism.

Starting points matter, including origins. So given your non-theistic/anti-theistic worldview, the origin of existence (or if you prefer not to think of ‘origin’, the is-ness of existence) is by the nature of the case impersonal in nature; it is naturalistic, that is, there is no divine hand to be found. What is simply is.

Now, according to your own words, besides matter…Consciousness also exists. So I have one question for you: Does Consciousness exist ‘apart from’ the physical body? If you say “yes”, this leads into a religious realm (even if a quasi-Hinduistic realm) where I believe you’d rather not tread…not to mention it also having ramifications for Consciousness after the physical body dies. If you say, “No”, then Consciousness is contingent on the physical body (impersonal matter). So the same physical body (whose five senses you use to subjectively reason as an Objectivist) that produces gas, saliva, urine, etc. also has as a byproduct ...Consciousness. There can be no other conclusion, given your worldview assumptions about the origin of existence or is-ness of existence, than the conclusion that Consciousness is ‘a byproduct of impersonal matter’. Only dishonesty or sloppy reasoning and logic that are not tight would conclude otherwise. Given your worldview, Consciousness is nothing more than (and can BE nothing more than in its essence)…nothing…more…than…a byproduct of impersonal matter (i.e., materialism). Period. Verbal tap-dance all you desire to try to give Consciousness more significance than saliva or urine, but it is what it is…on the basis of your own worldview.

If you pick up the pen and try to say Consciousness has more significance than saliva, urine or gas, it’s ‘you’ who then become the Cartoonist, irrationally writing his own make-believe story in the face the brute facts! Go ahead and hug your loved ones and act as if it’s more than what it is…given your worldview they then only become the cartoon characters in your imaginary comic strip of make believe. You who pride yourself in carefully using “reason” so as not to be taken in by the “imaginary”, have been imagining all along! By embracing such flaw thinking you have “incinerated” yourself and all those around you, Dawson. How can this be? (Hint: You will ‘never’…as in never ever…get from the impersonal to the personal nor from the imaginary to the real—and be able to make a distinction between the two…apart from the God of the Bible.)

June 04, 2011 8:08 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

I will wait for Dawson to post, just wanted to make a point. I believe I understand why Tony claims I am a materialist. He can confirm this if he wishes. We have a dichotomy, either consciousness is rooted somehow in matter or it is supernatural. If consciousness is a process that is physically dependent on matter, in this case a brain, then that is materialism. This of course is a much wider definition of materialism then that provided by objectivism.

I suspect that the response to it not being supernatural is that you cant understand how matter can give rise to self awareness. However this is just the fallacy of incredulity. Further more the preponderance of evidence is that self awareness is dependent on matter.

Lastly as Ive stated before, it does not matter how consciousness arises, it is self evident to the being that is conscious. Claiming that god did it, does not help us understand how it arises any more then saying god did it helps us understand the weather. It is not an answer, it is an admission of epistemological defeat.

I am self aware, it has been clear to me from my earliest memories that the world exists apart from my self. Others act as if they are self aware as well, reason dictates I treat them as such. I dont need to invoke god to rationalize any of this.

June 04, 2011 6:06 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

By the way, it is you, Dawson, not me, who needs to understand the ‘essence’ of Objectivism (which IS a form of materialism…as has just been set forth using your own worldview assumptions. Moreover, while I’m thinking of it, Justin, it is you, not me, who has not been listening…nor thinking clearly or rationally. You ARE a materialist…caps are for emphasis, not yelling).

Dawson, please, surely you jest in thinking I had to “knock myself out” in searching through the “smoldering embers” of your archives. I’ve blown your entire house of cards down with one little puff because you think and reason only at a penultimate level. You haven’t even begun to touch Bahnsen and the others. Far from embers being in your archives, there are ice cubes and cobwebs. Your six years of “incinerating “ has been and remains all in vain and inconsistent to your own tenets.

A couple more things. Given your worldview assumptions, it would be more accurate to say “consciousness-awareness” rather than “self-awareness” in your communications (cf., your recent post with Justin). In using “self” you imply personhood when you have no warrant to do so based on your worldview assumptions. Your implication of ‘personhood’ is one-hundred percent arbitrary.

You are also flawed in your thinking by making a false dichotomy between metaphysics and epistemology. This is quite straightforward. Stay focused here, Dawson, focused like a laser beam. I’m trying to help you. You cannot talk about how you know what you know (epistemology) ‘without at the same time’ talking about what it is (metaphysics) you know. Your theory of being is what it is because your theory of knowing is what it is and vice versa. The two are inextricably bound. This is another one of your flaws in thinking that you have objectively arrived at an “objective” epistemology. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Finally, I do know who I am and what the real world is (as distinct from the imaginary). I, (as you, Justin, Rocky, etc.) am created in the image of the eternal, personal Triune God. Because He is who He is, there was never a time when Personhood, Communication/Speech, Relationship, and Love did not exist. They are intrinsic to what is. They are eternal because He is eternal. I, as you, am referenced to Him, therefore I, as my loved ones and all other human beings have genuine intrinsic value, purpose and meaning…it is not arbitrarily ascribed or self-referenced as you suggest via your materialistic, subjective “Objectivism.” I am not confused about my identity, my emotions or my relationships…and neither you nor your friends need be either as suggested by the tortuous mind games you had to play in your exchange with Justin. Wow!

Dawson, I have spoken here forthrightly and with passion, not in anger. Please understand. I care for you as for all men. It would have been irresponsible to leave things unsaid. Nevertheless, based on your feedback (including your mocking God (your ‘god’) and your evident anger toward Him), I suspect you don’t genuinely care what I say here, so I’ll leave it at that.

Nevertheless, more importantly, might I close by sincerely suggesting you read the Gospel of John? Please do so and ask the God of the Bible to speak to you; He will…you were made for Him and are loved by Him.

Wishing HIS best for you,
Tony

June 04, 2011 6:20 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

…and neither you nor your friends need be either as suggested by the tortuous mind games you had to play in your exchange with Justin. Wow!


excuse me, but I fail completely to understand the point you were making, could you help me out and rephrase please. What torturous mind games?

June 04, 2011 6:44 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Oh and one more question, did I or did I not correctly describe your view of materialism?

June 04, 2011 6:45 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 04, 2011 6:51 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

I deleted my last post because after reading the post I was replying to again it became clear that it was addressed to Dawson only and not the both of us

June 04, 2011 8:02 PM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

Why do religious people only talk about human consciousness? Only humans must have a soul, from their perspective. Chimps, elephants, dolphins are all zombies according to these people. When a chimp gets said, angry or decide to act morally, what is it that is performing the action? Brain cells or a "soul"?

June 05, 2011 1:10 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Luiz

Because in their unbounded arrogance, that wish for the whole of existence to be for there benefit. They really do and truly believe all of this was made for us.

June 05, 2011 2:29 PM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

From what I gather, the religious think that the "soul" is responsible for sef-consciousness in humans.But we know for certain that what makes us conscious of ourselves are certain structures in the brain, absent in other conscious creatures. When removed, people will act like irrational animals. So what's the big deal? And why didn't Tony include other conscious animals in the set of Dawsons affective relationships?

June 05, 2011 3:07 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Luiz

agreed, the preponderance of evidence is that conciousness or self awareness arises from and is fundamentally dependent on matter. The fundies argument in general appears to be an appeal to incredulity. They cant fathom that identity is what it is and that things act in accordance with theirs. To them its either chaos or the magic of god, a true false dichotomy.

Also on another point and an important one. Notice how Tony has not addresses objectivisms axioms of existence, identity and conciousness. If he wants to invalidate objectivism, he should start there. Nor has he answered my question about our possible misunderstanding over what materialism is and is not. Frankly his responses to Dawson border on the non sequitur. Id really like for him to explain what was so tortuous about Dawson's reply to my earlier question.

June 05, 2011 6:20 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

man I wish I could edit a post after posting without deleting. Uh, yeah addresses, I ment addressed of course.

June 05, 2011 6:24 PM  
Blogger Drew said...

Tony States:

"If you pick up the pen and try to say Consciousness has more significance than saliva, urine or gas, it’s ‘you’ who then become the Cartoonist, irrationally writing his own make-believe story in the face the brute facts!"

What is meant by "significance" here? Significant to who or what or why?

I see in Tony's commentary an expression of soul-body dichotomy, or mind-body dichotomy, a basic premise of the religious/Christian world view.

For the record, materialism (contra Objectivism) also accepts the soul/mind-body dichotomy, but lands firmly on the "body" side, rather than the "soul" side that is of concernt to Christians etc.

June 07, 2011 8:51 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

To Tony, I second Dawson in his appreciation for your cogent commentary. Though I vehemently disagree with your position, I was once fully in agreement with your perspective, fought against the views that Dawson presents, and eventually changed my mind. My life and happiness have benefitted greatly with a new appreciation for reason and confidence in my mind.

June 07, 2011 8:54 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

Lastly, I wanted to point out that Tony's comparison with Descartes is fundamentally misrepresents the Objectivist position, though his misunderstanding is forgivable because of the unfortunate confusion around the term "axiom".

Objectivism begins with the axioms of existence, identity, and consciousness NOT as points to further deduce certain conclusions that are properly in the arena of further philosophical or scientific inference---this being the method of Descartes deductive approach. Existence, identity, and consciousness are the fundamental starting points of any INDUCTIVE inference; they cannot be escaped, if one wants to remain within the realm of reason. The problem is that any religious viewpoint, in some way or another, is an attempt to do just that--- e.g. God exists, or he does not, the presupper says he does, but when asked for his identity, an evasive appeal to non-identity, or that he is "everywhere" (read nowhere i.e. nonexistant) is the response.

June 07, 2011 9:04 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Drew wrote:

"Existence, identity, and consciousness are the fundamental starting points of any INDUCTIVE inference; they cannot be escaped, if one wants to remain within the realm of reason. The problem is that any religious viewpoint, in some way or another, is an attempt to do just that--- e.g. God exists, or he does not, the presupper says he does, but when asked for his identity, an evasive appeal to non-identity, or that he is "everywhere" (read nowhere i.e. nonexistant) is the response."

Right, Drew. To me, it is as if religious people like Tony are attempting to "leapfrog" back over the axioms to some prior starting point. The problem is when they do this leapfrogging, they have nowhere to land (except on something supplied by their imagination).

Ydemoc

June 07, 2011 9:48 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

Agreed with Drew, excellent points. Like trying to pick up a chair you are sitting in. Presuppositionalism is just a case of projection. They are guilty of the very thing they accuse everyone else of.

June 07, 2011 10:03 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

Kablame said:

"As a brief side note: How ethnocentric is your worldview? What about the animists in the Himalayas, or the “eastern” forms of logic? Don’t they too use “objectivity”. Again, this is a *side* note, but MIGHT your worldview be a result of what the West has spewed out… and you are just a byproduct of its enculturation?"

Unfortunately, the view presented here is not uncommon. Putting aside the fallacy of self-exclusion (e.g. by ascribing cultural or ethnic determinism to another's views to undercut their validity, one demolishes the capacity for objectivity and truth, including the truth of the appeal to "ethnocentrism").

The appeal to subjectivism goes hand in hand with the religionist's appeal to the existence of a transcendent being. I've seen this pattern before in these debates: once the mystic starts losing footing on the premise that only the Christian world view can explain existence and morality, instead of admitting defeat, and surrendering to the ostensible truth of the existence and identity axioms, they switch to nihilism and head down a path to destroy the possibility of knowledge at all!

June 08, 2011 4:24 AM  
Blogger Dylan said...

Tony: "You will ‘never’…as in never ever…get from the impersonal to the personal nor from the imaginary to the real—and be able to make a distinction between the two…apart from the God of the Bible."

Oh, I get it. Here I was thinking there's been thousands of years worth of philosophical dialogue on the subject, but in fact the only way to distinguish reality from imagination is to appeal to a concept which itself is indistinguishable from imagination. That makes so much sense, I just drooled on my bib.

June 09, 2011 1:59 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Hello Dawson and everybody. Good comments as always. This sort of discussion is similar to those related to attacks and defenses of inductive reasoning. Those who claim existence is fundamentally random such that no confidence can be placed in A=A identity often appeal to group consciousness stemming from collectivism. Evasion of A=A is the common trait between religious mystics like Tony and mystics of muscle like Chairman Mao. What frightens me more is difficult for me to decide, for while mystics of muscle ostensibly embrace science, they reject rationality. But religious mystics reject science while embracing a false rationality. Both can be quite dangerous, and this prompts me to respect Peikoff's judgement that the religious are probably a greater threat to freedom in America than are the communists.

Perhaps Tony will come back around and tell the blog how it is that if the evidence from the senses (and their extension by instrumentation) of existence is not trustworthy, then how is it that the evidence of Sensus Divinius is to be trusted?

The claim made by Christian mystics that they have a superior mode of knowing is just as trustworthy as are the claims of Joseph Smith and his buddies that a magic messenger named Moroni showed Smith were the golden plates were buried and subsequently translated the text of the book of Mormon. The Mormon claims are just as good as the claims made by Muhammad that a magic messenger showed up with a flying horse and took him to the realm of Allah for a guided tour. The take away is that talk is cheap. Tony and his buddies should put their money where their mouths are, that is so to say 'Put up or shut up'.

I request that Tony obey the text of Mark 16:18 with a demonstration of how he can drink deadly cyanide Kool-aid and not suffer harm due to super-natural intervention of his god.

Jonestown Massacre pics

This is not hate speech. This is tough love. Tony's world view carries a load of offensive consequences. The bloody history of his fellow coreligionists gives me pause and warrant to invoke the alleged Christian history of miracles. If Tony were to reject this challenge on the grounds that Mark 16:9-21 is a spurious appendices, then he is in the position of confronting the fact that his Bible is non-inspired and the Catholic Synods and Councils that determined the Canon were naturalistic/materialistic operating from the axiom. The horns of the dilemma compel choice between two undesirable actions.

Many Thanks to the Readers and Dawson.

June 23, 2011 11:24 AM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

@Drew
they switch to nihilism and head down a path to destroy the possibility of knowledge at all!

This has been exactly my observation for some time.

June 24, 2011 12:53 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Tony and or kblame: where are you? Why won't you respond to the questions? Is it that you fear being exposed as a person why predicates their life plan upon fantasies? Can you answer Dawson's question he has asked other Christian theists for the preceding six years? That being can Tony or kblame demonstrate some means whereby I or Dawson or some other non-Christian rational thinker can reliably distinguish between your god belief and god fantasy? In theist vs atheist debate, it is often pointed out that there is no evidence at all for the existence of any god or especially the Christian gods. (Christiany's doctrine of the trinity, invoked several times by Tony, does stipulate three=one, but this cannot be, so all Christians subscribing to the doctrine of the trinity while giving lip service thereunto actually believe tri-theism or tri-modalism.) Theists generally reply to the lack of evidence observation with a charge of inapplicability ostensibly stemming from a presumption that existence does not exist or that existence is so random that the a=a law of identity is a mere symbolic thought convention. However, in making such appeals to nihilistic skepticism, a religious acolyte or apologist must take recourse to use of Objectivism's metaphysical axioms, for neither they nor anyone else can step outside of reality and look back to compare existence with non-existence to ascertain that their premised non-existence or randomness prevails. That is why Presuppositionalism has been and will continue to be incinerated.

Tony, kblame, I have no disrespect for you personally however much I disagree with you, and I look forward to your comments. I enjoy friendly gentlemanly conversation.

June 25, 2011 6:36 AM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

"I enjoy friendly gentlemanly conversation"
There is nothing friendly in trying to spoil the big and some times years long effort someone is doing to delude himself in wishful thinking or telling people their parents were just preposterouly wrong about this "god" spook rsrs

June 25, 2011 2:39 PM  
Blogger Drew said...

@Robert and Luiz: I used to struggle, and sometimes still do, with separating the discussion of ideas and "taking it personally". Your ideas are, by and large, what define you as a person. Someone produces a blog called "Incinerating Objectivism" or "Ayn Rand the Sophomoric Slut" and I would take it personally and I suppose "gentlemanly" would be impossible. Having said that, and unlike many of our intellectual opponents, Dawson does not engage in ad hominum or make sweeping unsubstantiated claims, to my knowledge.

June 25, 2011 5:37 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

In my experience, presuppers get really cranky when they realize that Ravi Zacharias, Van Til, Bahnsen, WLCraig etc. cannot provide answers to the questions that Ayn Rand and Dawson Bethrick raise in objection to their blundering fallacies.


: ]

June 25, 2011 7:59 PM  
Blogger Luiz Claudio said...

@Drew
Ayn Rand and Objectivism is often vilified and I don't feel the least offended. If any of those accusations are found to be true, why would truth disturb me? Am I not just a mind trying to find truth about reality? But believers are playing a very different game. They are deluding themselves to believe imagination is real, throug a sistem that helps them blurr the two. Saying you are an atheist is offensive because you work as a spoiler, who remembers wishing doesn't make it so, contradictions cannot be real, minds are object dependent, finite knowledge is all knoledge you can get, parents make mistakes, etc. The problem is a white elephant in the room: the preposterouness of misticism and how gullible any of us can be. Some people I know don't mind my being atheist, so long as I don't touch the subjetc with them so they don't have to think about it, question their reasons for believing, and discover there is no daddy in the sky. Being a manace is offensive

June 25, 2011 8:42 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Luiz: Hello Sir, I hope you and your family are well and prospering.

Luiz > "There is nothing friendly in trying to spoil the big and some times years long effort someone is doing to delude himself in wishful thinking or telling people their parents were just preposterouly wrong about this "god" spook rsrs."

Perhaps you're correct, and I should take time to evaluate my premised assumptions about how I wish to relate to religious minded people. If I am indeed not friendly towards them as persons, then I suppose I should disrespect them by refusing to communicate with them about these issues. However, coupled with that sort of disrespect would be an undercurrent of animosity towards religion in general. That I cannot bring myself to model in my behavior. I like religion generally. It allows people to enjoy their lives in a sense of community with others. Problems with evangelical Christianity stem from ecclesiastical insistence that acolytes hold what are obvious myths as true facts. Mental dissonance then can only be resolved by disowning the key that opens the door to the social club of church community. Emotional incentives supportive of a believer’s self-esteem are hard to jettison. Religious minded people find great satisfaction and meaning in their god fantasies. To induce such persons to be more rational, they must first be taught how they themselves are completely responsible for their own happiness and generation of their self-esteem. Being on a trajectory of lifelong learning and self-improvement for one’s own sake is far more satisfying than submitting to a silent and hidden god via piety and ritual purity. If they realize the crutch of religion is not needed, they will be more likely to summon the hero within so as to live a noble life.

June 27, 2011 10:27 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Drew: Hello Sir, I appreciate your comment and find myself in substantial agreement.

Drew > "I used to struggle, and sometimes still do, with separating the discussion of ideas and "taking it personally". Your ideas are, by and large, what define you as a person. Someone produces a blog called "Incinerating Objectivism" or "Ayn Rand the Sophomoric Slut" and I would take it personally and I suppose "gentlemanly" would be impossible. Having said that, and unlike many of our intellectual opponents, Dawson does not engage in ad hominum or make sweeping unsubstantiated claims, to my knowledge."

A state of affairs Objectivists and secular people in general should seek to avoid, so I think, would be a devastating civil war in the United States where religious people hunt down and forcibly convert or kill non-believers. Followers of Rand are a small minority; we would not survive such a war. Its happened elsewhere; it can happen here. We should thus seek to inculcate an attitude of respectful tolerance in those with whom we debate or discuss these philosophy of religion ideas. One of my goals in these discussions is to maintain a friendly and gentlemanly demeanor while being straight forward in standing up for what I know to be true in appropriate circumstances.

(Digression:) I seek to live and operate in all my endeavors more in accordance with Branden’s Six Pillars of Self-Esteem. To help facilitate that I’m catching up on the reading. One area wherein I often fail is in maintaining an objective view of the various doctrines with regards to historical sources. To fix that I'm currently reading Robert Eisenman’s “James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of Early Christianity and the Dead Sea Scrolls.” Its and amazing book. I hope Tony and kblame will read it. What passes for Christianity in the Twenty-first Century is nothing like First Century Pre-Jewish War Torah observant Messianic Judaism of the Jesus and James cult. (Digression over.)

I rescued one of Anton Thorn’s interesting essays, The Issue of Metaphysical Primacy, from the internet archives and posted it to my blog here. This is why Presuppositionalism can’t be considered rational.

The Issue of Metaphysical Primacy

Best Wishes and Regards to All

June 27, 2011 10:56 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

@ActionJackson864 said...

"In my experience, presuppers get really cranky when they realize that Ravi Zacharias, Van Til, Bahnsen, WLCraig etc. cannot provide answers to the questions that Ayn Rand and Dawson Bethrick raise in objection to their blundering fallacies."

@Luiz "Saying you are an atheist is offensive because you work as a spoiler, who remembers wishing doesn't make it so, contradictions cannot be real, minds are object dependent, finite knowledge is all knoledge you can get, parents make mistakes, etc. The problem is a white elephant in the room: "

Of course you're both correct, and it reminds me of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Thessalonica that kicked off final destruction of the ancient Greeco-Roman civilization. Theodosius and friends got revenge of the Goths for destroying a Roman army at Battle of Adrianople in 324. When some future Christian fascist leader realizes his support rests on keeping deluded people deluded, don't think he or she won't sacrifice the non-believers. The lesson is to first replace the mental emotional supports that hold up a person's self-esteem and then deconstruct the mythological superstitions holding them back. This isn't a hysterical wacky idea considering the African Witch Children pointed out by Action Jackson

June 27, 2011 11:11 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Correction Battle of Adrianople in 324 should have been listed as in 378 CE.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Adrianople

June 27, 2011 11:33 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Dawson we ALL know that if Dr.bahnsen was alive he would roast you like a duck. Its easy to pick on a dead man.

July 06, 2011 9:56 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

@r_c321

So what you are saying is that the forcefulness of an argument is dependent on the person delivering it---their style, rhetorical method, etc...---rather than the content of the ideas? Do you rely on the perceptual method and emotionalism, rather than the conceptual and cognitive approach, when determining truth and falsehood in other areas of life? Did Bahnsen reveal something to you in secret in his lifetime, that is a slam dunk for presuppositionalism, that is not available in any of his written works? If so, please share.

July 06, 2011 1:18 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

I think Dawson is reading the wrong chapters In Dr. Bahnsen's book. I think he needs to read the chapter on the Foolishness of unbelief.

Cognitive and conceptual?

Your borrowing from the christian world view once again.

Thank you. Praise The Lord his mercy endures forever.

July 06, 2011 1:28 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hello “r_c321” or whoever you are.

Thank you for taking some of your time to post your thoughts on my blog. It appears you have some real passion for your god-belief, yea even for your faith in Greg Bahnsen. But leave it to presuppositionalism to bring out the childishness in a person. Your comments have a particularly juvenile tone to them.

For one, contrary to what you’ve insinuated, I’m not “picking on a dead man.” Dr. Bahnsen is a published author of works on Christian apologetics. I am not “picking” on him, but rather interacting with his “arguments” (to the extent that they can be called that). Similarly, if someone critiques the ideas of Bertrand Russell (as Bahnsen himself did on numerous occasions in his writings), he’s not “picking” on the guy. To characterize one’s interaction with the ideas of a man who happens to be deceased in this manner is simply childish, and embarrassingly so: if I’m guilty of it, Bahnsen was guilty of it before me. What’s his answer to your question?

Further, it’s hard to take someone seriously when he says something like “we ALL know that if Dr. Bahnsen was alive he would roast you like a duck.” It’s easy to say what someone would do if he had the opportunity he’ll never have. Meanwhile, you have the opportunity to interact (“pick on”?) my writings, but you forgo this opportunity and instead opt out for childish remarks like this. Where are the grownups in your apologetic camp? Why do only the runts come to me?

I have asked numerous Christians over the years to explain to me how I can reliably distinguish between what they call “God” and what they may merely be imagining. So far no apologist has been able to answer this question. How do you think Dr. Bahnsen would address it? How would Bahnsen address my justification of the induction principle? I have given what I surmise would be his response. But you offer nothing. Why?

Speaking of runts, I will try to get my responses to Tony and “kablame” posted on my blog this weekend.

Regards,
Dawson

July 06, 2011 2:46 PM  
Blogger Paul Baird said...

Dan wrote:

"how I can reliably distinguish between what they call “God” and what they may merely be imagining."

and that is why they lose despite all of the pseudo logical/philosophical crap that passes for their line of argument.

Transcript of my third debate with Sye Tenbruggencate is here - http://patientandpersistent.blogspot.com/2011/06/annotated-transcript-of-third-debate-on.html

July 06, 2011 2:51 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Paul wrote: “Dan wrote:”

Actually, that was me, Dawson. I unintentionally sent that post from my my new Google account here in Thailand. My Thai co-workers, who are numerous, have a torturously difficult time saying “Dawson.” So I have taken on a nickname, which is customary in Thailand anyway, which they can pronounce, by shortening “Dawson” to merely “Dan,” which I’m still not used to – and probably never will be: when someone calls “Dan,” I almost never realize they’re calling me! It’s actually kind of humorous. I didn’t realize how closely Google accounts are associated with Blogger accounts. Rather annoying to be honest. Anyway, I will try to keep my blogging life separate from work account going forward.

Paul continued: “and that is why they lose despite all of the pseudo logical/philosophical crap that passes for their line of argument.”

It’s an issue that they seem entirely unable to address with even a modicum of seriousness. Even with all their “arguments” and, as Paul rightly puts it, their “pseudo logical philosophical crap” (or *actual* crap, given what it is), we are at the end of the day still stuck with merely our imaginations as the human means of apprehending their god. I am left with no alternative but my imagination to fathom what they call “God.” It seems that this should concern apologists, for it’s a dead give-away that our leg is being pulled. But when the question is posed to them, they seem quite content to ignore it. Just as Tony has. I explained in my blog entry above, that his “task is to show that what I am imagining when I imagine this, is actually real.” So far, he has not taken up this challenge, which should be a snap if his god were truly real.

Now back to my sweltering in SE Asia…

Regards,
Dawson

July 06, 2011 3:05 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Dawson says: how I can reliably distinguish between what they call “God” and what they may merely be imagining?

God says: Romans 1:18-20

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

If people would, Like Dr.Bahnsen says, think God's thoughts after him they would not fall trap to foolish assumptions.

Dawson, the people would like to know your credentials.

Thankyou

July 06, 2011 4:17 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked: “how I can reliably distinguish between what they call “God” and what they may merely be imagining?”

r_c321 replies: “God says: Romans 1:18-20”

Unfortunately, this reply does not explain how I can *reliably* distinguish between what the Christian believer calls “God” and what he may merely be imagining. I can *imagine* that a god exists, and that it authored the writings found in the Christian bible. I can also imagine that an invisible magic being has “made known” to me what I imagine, as the passage which r_c321 requires of the believer. In fact, just to contemplate any of this, I *must* use my imagination. So no progress is made here. In fact, it only demonstrates the severity of the problem which the Christian faces when trying to address my challenge.

But even worse, in attempting to address my challenge, r_c321 points to a passage from “scripture” which contains a contradiction. Romans 1:20 says that “God’s invisible qualities” are “clearly seen.” But if something is “clearly seen,” then it cannot rightly be called “invisible,” for that which is invisible cannot be seen at all, by virtue of its being invisible!

But, I can *imagine* these qualities which Christianity attributes to its god, and I can pretend that what I am imagining is something that I “have… clearly seen,” when in fact I’ve not seen anything supernatural at all. But that's imagination and pretense at work.

Moreover, I can look at everything around me – trees, mountains, rivers, rocks, dirt, etc. – and *imagine* that they were “created” or “made” by an invisible magic being. But again, that’s my imagination at work. It’s not understanding based on a rational approach to reality, for a rational approach to reality does not confuse imagination with reality.

So unfortunately for r_c321, and other Christians who might appeal to passages like Romans 1:18-20, the problem still persists, and my challenge goes unanswered.

r_c321 states: “If people would, Like Dr.Bahnsen says, think God's thoughts after him they would not fall trap to foolish assumptions.”

The expression “think God’s thoughts after him” is essentially code for *imagining* that one’s thoughts conform to those of an imaginary being. It’s an attempt to sanctify one’s confusion of his own imagination with reality while hiding the fact that he has confused his imagination with reality from himself. Hardly a formula for a reliable understanding of the world.

r_c321 states: “Dawson, the people would like to know your credentials.”

For which “people” do you speak? Anyone who wants to know my “credentials” can freely explore the writings I have made available on my blog and my website. I have put my work forward for all to see. Those are all the “credentials” I need. Where is your work? What “credentials” do you have to offer?

Regards,
Dawson

July 06, 2011 5:32 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Well, If the bible said what YOU wanted it to say then yes there would be contradictions. However, it does not you purposely misqouted the text to prove your foolish assumption.

Let me give you a hand.

The text said God's Invisible qualities, which are, his eternal power and nature are CLEARLY seen IN what has been created.

In other words we see the effect of his power and nature. That being the moon, sun, stars. We both know that you can't see power or a nature but you can see their effects.

That is a lot different then what you tried to present by ignoring the rest of the verse.

This is the reason the We presuppose God because I can provide you with all the evidence, of God's existence, there is in the world and you will simply ignore and reject it. I would be simply wasting my time.

Romans 3:4 New American Standard Bible (©1995)
May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, "THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED."

July 06, 2011 8:51 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “Well, If the bible said what YOU wanted it to say then yes there would be contradictions. However, it does not you purposely misqouted the text to prove your foolish assumption.”

Where or how did I misquote the passage in question? I’m reading what it states. It is not a matter of what I “want” it to say. My wanting did not put the words there.

r_c321: “Let me give you a hand. The text said God's Invisible qualities, which are, his eternal power and nature are CLEARLY seen IN what has been created.”

Right. That’s what it says, and I’ve stated no differently. It’s saying that something that is “invisible” is also “clearly seen.” I’m just pointing out the fact that, if something is in fact “seen” (whether clearly or not), it could not, by definition, be invisible, even if it’s in something else. For instance, I see the Coca Cola in the coke bottle. I see the coke clearly, and it’s in something else. It’s not invisible.

r_c321: “In other words we see the effect of his power and nature.”

That’s not what the text says – see, you’re the one who’s inserting words into what the passage states, in order to draw buttress your own foolish assumptions. The passage says nothing about seeing the *effect* of your god’s attributes. It clearly states that the Christian god’s attributes *themselves* are “clearly seen,” even though they are characterized by the same passage as “invisible.” Utter foolishness. That’s not my doing. It’s foolish on its own. It’s simply a contradiction, flat and simple.

r_c321: “That being the moon, sun, stars. We both know that you can't see power or a nature but you can see their effects.”

Yes, I can see the moon, the sun, stars, etc. But the passage does not say that we’re seeing in these things some “effect” of your god’s attributes. It’s saying that we see its attributes proper. Big difference there.

But your reading of the passage, in spite of its inaccuracy with what the text actually states, plays even further into my broader point, which you still don’t address. Yes, I can see the moon, the sun, stars, etc. And, I can *imagine* that they were made by some supernatural power. Even on your reading, which seeks expediently to avoid the obvious contradiction contained in it, leaves us with no alternative but to *imagine* the god you worship and its powers. It’s just more worship of the imaginary. And you call me foolish?

r_c321: “That is a lot different then what you tried to present by ignoring the rest of the verse.”

The “rest of the verse” nowhere contains the word “effect” so far as I can see. And yet, that’s a word which you’ve inserted into your interpretation of it, and which is crucial to your attempt to alleviate what is clearly a contradiction in the passage. That’s not my problem.

r_c321: “This is the reason the We presuppose God because I can provide you with all the evidence, of God's existence, there is in the world and you will simply ignore and reject it. I would be simply wasting my time.”

I’d say that Christians are in a lifelong habit of wasting their time, long before they ever seek to convince rational individuals of their god-belief. But you may, if you don’t give up so easily, go ahead and trot out whatever “evidence” you think you may have for your god. I’m guessing that whatever real thing you resent as evidence, be it the earth’s rotation around the sun, photosynthesis, or human rationality, we will still have no recourse but to *imagine* your god behind it. If you think I’m wrong, then please, show where I’m wrong.

Regards,
Dawson

July 06, 2011 10:53 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

R_321 > Cognitive and conceptual? Your borrowing from the christian world view once again.

Theism has no epistemology or theory of concepts. Any attempt at proof or knowledge claims must be made upon a foundation of Ayn Rand's Objective Metaphysical Axioms. Any attempt to deny Objectivism's Metaphysical Axioms falls to a stolen concept fallacy, for to deny existence exists or A=A or that consciousness is awareness of an object must presuppose these.

R_321 appeals to scripture do not work with atheists. We do not believe your god is real. You are not warranted in assuming any form of an ontological argument is valid or sound. Excellence, greatness or any other superlative adjective are subjective value judgments, and while existence exists, as metaphysical precondition for instantiation, it is not a property of anything. Hence all versions of the ancient ontological argument fail. There is no way to conclude your god or any other exists by reasoning alone. Apologists for theism have no epistemic justification for employment of teleological or cosmological arguments either in light of Hume's demolition of Paul's ancient argument from design in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/design.html#critique

and the irrefutable truth of Evolution Theory. Modern science shows that cosmic origins of the inappropriately named Big Bang were entirely natural and uncaused quantum events. Lacking ontological, teleological, or cosmological arguments proponents of theism or deism must take refuge in their imagination and fantasize god notions supported by imaginary miracles and religious experience. Dawson's apropos question remains unanswered. How can a rational minded thinking person reliably distinguish the difference between an apologist's god belief and mere god fantasy?

July 07, 2011 9:35 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ok, Dawson I showed you that you were wrong. So, by rejecting my explanation of the text you only prove my point. Thanks

Why is it that atheist love to appeal to rationality when you can't even account for it?

How can you reject the immaterial but at the same time appeal to it.
now thats a contradiction your position is self-defeating.

Robert said: How can a rational minded thinking person reliably distinguish the difference between an apologist's god belief and mere god fantasy?

I said : Easy answer by the work of the holy spirit.

Dawson I have a couple of questions.

Is power visible or invisible?
Is a nature visible or invisible?

July 07, 2011 9:56 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"Why is it that atheist love to appeal to rationality when you can't even account for it?"

Could you please provide a sound arguement in defense of this claim. I have listened to theists make it over and over again over the years, but have yet to hear a valid and or sound defense of it.

July 07, 2011 10:35 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

also, could you clarify what you mean by "account for"

July 07, 2011 10:36 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Dawson: Thanks for your hard work in keeping up this blog.

r_c321 Since you're citing Paul's views in a context where you are indicating you think this comes from your fantasy god, do you think Romans 9 where the ecclesiastical redactor asserts the doctrine of predestination is true? If so, then how do you know you are among the elect? If you appeal to your personal religious experience or Holy Spook epistemology, how can you think them trustworthy to validate your hope in light of the fact that the religious experiences of others involved in non-christian faiths are just a veritable to them as yours is to you? Appeals to miracles will not help you either because in the non-natural presumptive filter of supernaturalism there cannot be any casualty. Under Christian theism there cannot be a casual linkage between an event and a subsequent effect because supernaturalism is the abrogation and negation of all that is natural, that being the way in which existence operates. By seeking to escape the limitations the law of identity, A=A, imposes on existence via casualty the theistic mystic strips their worldview of ability to have knowledge, use logic, have morals, discern cause and effect. Thus it is clear that advocates of Christianity must steal the necessary prerequisites for cognition from naturalism or Objectivism. Theistic apologists have no way to tell whether they were or were not just created last Tuesday with a full set of false memories for the amusement of a non-natural, immaterial and non-corporeal being or to distinguish if they are simply brains in a vat or simulations on a computer or victims of a Cartesian demon. An appeal to faith won't help you because hypostasisation of hope is a self delusion because consciousness is not a stand alone thing that exists independent of existence. Instead and as Ayn Rand recognized consciousness is awareness of an object in existence. Dawson has written on this extensively. That which is perceived in existence constitutes the objects of thought while what we imagine or generate within our brains are the subjects of thought. Theism and mysticism in general thrives by reversing object of thought and subject of thought priority on a metaphysical and epistemological basis.

July 07, 2011 10:57 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin, since you reject the immaterial and rationality is immaterial you oppose yourself when you appeal to rationality.

Therefore, you can not give a reason for it or make rational judgements because you reject it.

Robert said: "supernaturalism is the abrogation and negation of all that is natural"

I said: Well, I dont reject the natural So, your wrong again.

Since God is a supernatural being ,that created the natural world, it makes sense that he can intervene in the natural world perform and allow for miracles since he created the world.


Robert said: That which is perceived in existence constitutes the objects of thought while what we imagine or generate within our brains are the subjects of thought.


So, are the objects of thought in existence material or immaterial?

Robert said: "in the non-natural presumptive filter of supernaturalism there cannot be any casualty"

I said: How do you know this have you been to the Super-Natural world?

July 07, 2011 1:14 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 07, 2011 1:41 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Appealing to holy spook epistemology is begging the question, for the issue before us is how can a person who’s only means of acquiring knowledge is by reason, that is a rational person, reliably distinguish any difference between a Christian’s god belief and what they may merely be imagining about their god. By reliably distinguish is meant to have knowledge of any difference. Since your god is only in your fantasy world, then none of the rational and objective minded blog users in this conversation can acquire knowledge of what is going on in your mind by means of your god fantasy. By asserting Christian god belief is self validating you only acknowledge Dawson’s point that Christian god belief is only imaginary. Consider the absolute failure of Christian philosophers to define god. Since all the notions of the various alleged attributes of the Christian god have been shown to be either incoherent or contradictory relative to some other alleged attribute, then there is no actual cognitive content to the word “God” such that it is only a purely self referential empty symbol that has no meaning. Self-contradictory notions or allegations cannot actually exist. In contradistinction, that which is part of existence is in principle comprehensible and detectable by some means of sensory perception or instrumentation and cannot be shown to be self-contradictory.

R_c321 has ignored my point about the ontological argument he or she assumes true as an unstated enthymeme where I typed:

“ You are not warranted in assuming any form of an ontological argument is valid or sound. Excellence, greatness or any other superlative adjective are subjective value judgments, and while existence exists, as metaphysical precondition for instantiation, it is not a property of anything. Hence all versions of the ancient ontological argument fail. There is no way to conclude your god or any other exists by reasoning alone. “

This is typical Christian evasion asserted in effort to continue begging the question.

More Later.

July 07, 2011 1:44 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “Dawson I showed you that you were wrong. So, by rejecting my explanation of the text you only prove my point. Thanks”

No, you failed to show that I was wrong, because you failed to show where the text in question includes the word “effect,” which is crucial to your interpretation of the text in showing that it does not contain a contradiction. On my plain reading of the text, which inserts no new words not already contained in the text, I pointed out that the notion of “clearly seeing” something that is at the same time said to be “invisible” is self-contradictory. You have not shown that a plain reading of the text can avoid the contradiction that I have detected.

r_c321: “Why is it that atheist[s] love to appeal to rationality when you can't even account for it?”

What do you mean by “account for” and how do you know that atheists cannot “account for” rationality? What do you mean by “rationality”? This is not a word that I find anywhere in the Christian bible. Jesus appealed to faith. He never appealed to rationality. What could a Christian possibly mean by “rationality” when his worldview depends integrally on confusing the imaginary with what is real?

If “account for” is a legitimate philosophical demand, my worldview “accounts for” rationality – to the extent that such a requirement is philosophically legitimate – by reference to the axioms, the primacy of existence, and the objective theory of concepts. Rationality is a conceptual faculty of the human mind, and presupposes the objective orientation between the subject of consciousness and its objects (i.e., the primacy of existence). There’s nothing supernatural about any of this.

Meanwhile, how can a Christian “account for” a conceptual faculty when his worldview has no theory of concepts???????? You ignore this question. Why?

r_c321: “How can you reject the immaterial but at the same time appeal to it.”

What do you mean by “immaterial” and by what means are you aware of its alleged existence? How do you distinguish what you call “immaterial” from something you may merely be imagining?

R_c321: “now thats a contradiction your position is self-defeating.”

You have made the charge that my position contradicts itself, and yet you have not shown where or how it does this. You need to deliver the goods on your accusations. But true to the presuppositionalist program of point-and-bluff, you don’t. Why have you chosen to adopt such a substance-deficient paradigm of intercourse?

Robert asked: “How can a rational minded thinking person reliably distinguish the difference between an apologist's god belief and mere god fantasy?”

r_c321: “I said : Easy answer by the work of the holy spirit.”

In other words, by appealing to the imaginary. You make no progress in validating your worldview. On the contrary, you continue to demonstrate its inherent futility.

r_c321: “Dawson I have a couple of questions. Is power visible or invisible? Is a nature visible or invisible?”

What do you mean by “power”? Is the “power” of what specifically visible or invisible? What do you mean by “a nature”? Is “a nature” of what specifically visible or invisible? You need to inform your questions with more content, for as they are, they are vague and ambiguous.

Again, we are still waiting for the Christian to explain how we can *reliably* distinguish between what he calls “God” and what he is likely merely imagining. Appealing to the very thing in question fails to address this question.

Regards,
Dawson

July 07, 2011 2:35 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321 wrote: “Since God is a supernatural being ,that created the natural world, it makes sense that he can intervene in the natural world perform and allow for miracles since he created the world.”

Then all reliable basis for induction is out the window, given such presuppositions. By affirming the existence of an invisible magic being that supposedly has the power to “intervene in the world” and revise it at will, the Christian view explicitly grants metaphysical primacy to a form of consciousness (“God’s will”). This can only mean that rational inquiry into the nature of the world around us is, in the final analysis, impossible, and that any effort to identify the world with any assuredness by rational means is futile. This is precisely how Christianity undermines man’s rational faculty, and enslaves him to the debilitating holy terror which is the historic trademark of the Christian view of the world. This is why folks like Tony and r_c321 cannot hold their own in even a simple debate in a blog comments forum.

On an objective understanding of the world, which consistently distinguishes between imagination and reality, one can reliably hold that rocks do not sing, for on such an orientation it can be determined that rocks lack the faculty which makes singing possible. This requires a sound theory of concepts, which is possible only on the objective orientation with the world made possible by consistently adhering to the primacy of existence.

But on the Christian view, which affirms the existence of an invisible magic being, affirms the primacy of consciousness and has no theory of concepts, there is no basis for justifying such determinations. For on the Christian view, which allows for a supernatural, omnipotent consciousness’ meddling with the objects populating the universe, there would be no way for a human being to know whether the god which Christians worship is endowing rocks somewhere in the universe with the faculty needed for singing and causing them to sing. The Christian, then, by adopting a worldview premised squarely on faith, has no basis for anything beyond sheer ignorance about the world, regardless of what he thinks he may be determined by his own immediate empirical investigations into its workings. His own worldview undermines all such attempts to understand it by stacking the deck against him with the ultimate wild card. And when we factor in Christianity's belief in demons and devils, we can only conclude that his is a world fraught with mischievous one-eyed jacks!

I’m glad these aren't my problems!

Regards,
Dawson

July 07, 2011 3:08 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Robert: “Dawson: Thanks for your hard work in keeping up this blog.”

You’re welcome, Robert. While it can be hard work just finding time in my precarious, shifting and overloaded schedule to spend on this, it is truly a pleasure of unrivaled proportions! Exposing presuppositionalism’s intellectual bankruptcy is the ultimate indoor sport for me.

Well, one of them anyway!!!

Okay, I have to run off to work now! More later, as time allows.

Regards,
Dawson

July 07, 2011 3:16 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321, Dawson, Justin, Drew, Paul and all others: Greetings.

I finally made it back, and I need a shower and a nap. In lieu of posting a new article I ask r_c321 to read Anton Thorn's essay on the issue of metaphysical primacy I had posted last week. Ctrl F up to

The Issue of MetaPhysical Primacy

and give Thorn's work a read. r_c321 should do this because this is the central and main issue in the argument between theists and those who do not imagine a god for themselves.

July 07, 2011 9:13 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321 The main thrust of all presuppositional apologetics is an attempt to show atheist or more generally non-Christian thinkers are inconsistent in their reasoning. However there is nothing inconsistent in thinking the Christian god a delusional fantasy in the minds of Christian believers because there are no reasons to think the Christian god real and very good reasons to think it is impossible.

Although I've posted the following text several years ago, I think it is apropos to the current conversation.

The following text is paraphrased from George H. Smith's book,

“Atheism: The Case Against God” p.41.

To exist is to exist as something. To be something is to have a specific nature. That is to have a particular identity. The Laws of Identity A=A and Non-Contradiction A =/= ¬A entail that any ontological being must posses specific determinate characteristics. To have such characteristics is a consequence of being part of nature. But the theistic God is asserted to be super-natural, and that is to be exempt from the uniformity of nature. Herein lies the contradiction fatal to any claim of knowledge about God. Having specific determinate characteristics imposes limits, and those limits would restrict the capacities of the alleged super-natural being. Such restriction then renders the alleged super-natural being subject to the causal relationships that denote the uniformity of nature in actual existence and disqualify it from being God. To escape this contradiction, the religious mind proposes to somehow imagine a God lacking any definite attributes or properties. But a postulated existent devoid of properties or attributes is indistinguishable from nothingness and is incompatible with the concept of existence. For God to have characteristics necessarily means God must have definite characteristics. That is to say that God would then necessarily be limited, for to be A is to also not be ¬A. Any being with characteristics is then subject to the uniformity of nature imposed by those capacities. For a super-natural being to differ from natural existence, it must exist without a limited identity and nature. This amounts to existing without any nature or identity at all. If humanity is to have meaningful discourse about God, we must presuppose it to have properties by which is can be identified. By asserting that God is super-natural theism stipulates existence apart from the uniformity of nature and eliminates any possibility of assigning definite
characteristics to God. But by assigning definite characteristics to God, theism brings its God within the natural realm and renders it not-God. Something cannot be both A and ¬A. God then cannot exist, and any claim of knowledge of God is indistinguishable from fantasy of God.

*********************
The validity of induction and uniformity of nature in conjunction with the brute fact that existence exists independent of any form of consciousness means r_c321's god is only a delusional fantasy in his/her mind.

July 08, 2011 6:38 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

The interested reader my find Dawson's blog at
The Axioms and Primacy of Existence

of use in understanding the issue in contention between theistic philosophers/apologists and rational thinkers.

July 08, 2011 6:44 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321 Please direct your attention towards Michael Martin's essay Does Induction Presume the Existence of the Christian God?

July 08, 2011 12:10 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

I read some of the works you referred me to.

I will give some prelimanary answers.

First I reject the assertion that God merely exist in my head.

I see the Works of his "hands" everyday.

For anybody to reject something they have not seen takes a lot of work.

For example seraching the entire universe. Which they can not do.

So, saying I dont have enough evidence to believe is a lot wiser than making an absolute statement which you can not hold on to.

So, Dawson I think you have a bigger problem than me.


Also, I am still waiting for my questions to be answered.

Thank you

July 08, 2011 1:51 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

"First I reject the assertion that God merely exist in my head."

ok then, explain to us:

“how we atheists can reliably distinguish between what you call “God” and what you may merely be imagining?”

explain that. show us where we are wrong. You will be the first if you can. (but you cant!) No Apologist has ever explained and/ or proven this true.

"I see the Works of his "hands" everyday."

like what? please explain.

"For anybody to reject something they have not seen takes a lot of work. "

I have never seen a unicorn...I reject that they exist. that was pretty easy.

July 08, 2011 2:09 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Why does god have to shown himself to you?

That was easy? You must have traveled the entire universe and not found one unicorn. Your conclusion is false and actually quite foolish.

The moon, sun, stars etc. those are his works.

How can atheist reliably distinguish between God and what I may be imagining? thats easy you can't

July 08, 2011 2:47 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

"That was easy? You must have traveled the entire universe and not found one unicorn. Your conclusion is false and actually quite foolish."

so, its not foolish to believe in unicorns?

O MAN.

This has GOT to go down in the hall of fame for apologist arguments...this guy must be joking...like Edward Current or something...I'm not as patient as Dawson in dealing with someone like this (nor are my posts as educational and insightful as his) so I'll let Dawson or anyone else take it from here...but this did give me a good laugh.

July 08, 2011 7:12 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “First I reject the assertion that God merely exist in my head.”

Rejecting the fact that something you can only imagine is imaginary, does not make your god real.

You claim that a god exists. Fine. But then you belittle other human beings for not believing in something that you can only imagine. We cannot perceive your god. We cannot touch it, we cannot acquire awareness of it by any means other than imagining it.

If you think there is some way to have awareness of your god other than by imagining it, you need to identify this other way, explain how it works, and open it up to investigation. If you’re truly confident that your god is real, I don’t understand why this challenge would offend you.

r_c321: “I see the Works of his ‘hands’ everyday.”

It’s important that you appreciate the problem which statements like do nothing to address. You see natural, finite, material, mutable objects in the world, like trees, houses, people, fences, telephone posts, grass, clouds, highway systems, rivers, etc. When you see these things, having direct perceptual awareness of them, you are perceiving things that are natural, finite, material and mutable. And yet you somehow think that these things are evidence of something that is supernatural, infinite, immaterial, and immutable. You need to explain how something that is natural, finite, material and mutable can serve as evidence of something that contradicts these qualities. I.e., how is A evidence of non-A in the respect that you seem to say it is?

Aside from this challenge, it firmly appears that you’re seeing normal everyday things in the world and *imagining* that a supernatural being is somehow behind them. As Van Til would say, “back of” everything he saw in the world. Keep in mind that it was imagination and emotion which sparked Van Til’s lifelong devotion to an invisible magic being. It was not reason, argument, evidence, even plausible inference. It was pure childhood fantasy that scared him halfway to death. See his “Why I Believe in God” – he tells us this in his own writings.

What theistic apologists who want to berate non-believers for their non-belief need to do, is demonstrate that they are not merely imagining their god. Simply saying “I reject the assertion that God merely exist[s] in my head” does not demonstrate to anyone that your god is anything other than imaginary. Saying that you “see” its handiwork in the actual world does not help either. We can all imagine that the world was created by a supernatural being. I can imagine that it was created by Blarko the WonderBeing just as easily as you can imagine that it was created by the Christian god. But you haven’t moved beyond your imagination. It’s still something we can only imagine!

[Continued…]

July 08, 2011 7:27 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “For anybody to reject something they have not seen takes a lot of work. For example seraching the entire universe. Which they can not do.”

For one thing, most Christians tell me that their god is not part of the universe in the first place. If that is true of your god, then obviously the universe is the wrong place to look for your god. Again, we can imagine anything exists outside the universe. And we can imagine that anything exists in some part of the universe to which we have no access.

Your reasoning implies that we are to entertain the suggestion that your god is hiding in some part of the universe to which we have no access. Then on what basis do those who claim that their god exists in those unreachable regions of the universe, affirm that it exists? Like us, they have no access to these nether regions, and yet we’re supposed to entertain the suggestion that you know something we don’t. Yet you cannot identify the means by which you allegedly know this, nor can you explain how we can reliably distinguish this alleged means of knowledge you have from your imagination. Big problem there.

But even more to the point of your statement here, it does not, contrary to what you affirm (without any argument), “take a lot of work” to reject some existence claims. For instance, I reject the claim that square circles exist. Perhaps you do too (but then again, maybe not). But neither of us have scoured the entire universe to be “certain” that no square circles are hiding some place. And yet, I don’t believe the claim that they exist, and I’m certain that they don’t exist.

Similarly with your god, and for very similar reasons. See for instance my article Gods and Square Circles.

Other examples could easily be cited. I have not seen a giraffe that speaks English. But I would reject the claim that there is such a thing. I have not seen the individuals who built the Mayan pyramids, but I would reject the claim that they were built by Brad Pitt. I have not seen the core of planet earth, but I would reject the claim that it’s a paradise that would make Tahiti pale in comparison. So contrary to what your reasoning suggests we do, we ought not simply open up our minds to the arbitrary given the fact that we can’t go chasing through the universe to ensure that the arbitrary is not hiding somewhere in it. That’s not how the human mind works. We don’t accept claims until we have some comprehensive data set that’s impossible to acquire in the first place that can rule them out. We have reason, and with reason we have all that we need to rule out the arbitrary. You most likely do this on a daily basis yourself, but your worldview’s affirmations are inconsistent with this practice. They are irrational.

Meanwhile, if you still insist that it “takes a lot of work” to reject your god, well I’ve already done that work. And it remains unrefuted to this day. So I’m free and clear on this count.

[Continued…]

July 08, 2011 7:27 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “So, saying I dont have enough evidence to believe is a lot wiser than making an absolute statement which you can not hold on to.”

My rejection of god-belief is not something that I “can not hold on to.” My atheism is absolutely and rationally defensible. I’ve done my homework on this, and I’ve presented it for the world to see, free of charge. If you want to say that I “can not hold on to” my position, well, you have a lot of work to do yourself. So you better get started – there’s a lot of material waiting for you.

r_c321: “So, Dawson I think you have a bigger problem than me.”

In the matter that we have been discussing, you have not shown my position to be at all problematic. You’ve not even interacted with it. So enough with the tough talk. It’s time to get down to business and explore the issues that I have raised in my writings. That is, if you want to challenge me.

r_c321: “Also, I am still waiting for my questions to be answered.”

Which questions? If they were questions that needed more clarification, have you provided that clarification so that they can be answered?

Also, I’m still waiting for you to address some of my questions. For instance:

1) Was Greg Bahnsen “picking on” Bertrand Russell when he critiqued Russell’s writings?????

2) How can something that is “invisible” be “clearly seen”?

3) How can Christianity account for the conceptual level of human cognition when it doesn’t even have a theory of concepts?????

4) What do you mean by “rationality”?

5) How do you know that atheists cannot “account for” rationality?

6) What could a Christian possibly mean by “rationality” when his worldview depends integrally on confusing the imaginary with what is real?

7) What do you mean by “immaterial” and by what means are you aware of its alleged existence?

8) How do you distinguish what you call “immaterial” from something you may merely be imagining?

These should help guide the remainder of the discussion.

Regards,
Dawson

July 08, 2011 7:29 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

AJ: “This has GOT to go down in the hall of fame for apologist arguments...this guy must be joking...like Edward Current or something...I'm not as patient as Dawson in dealing with someone like this (nor are my posts as educational and insightful as his) so I'll let Dawson or anyone else take it from here...but this did give me a good laugh.”

I know what you mean. I mentioned at the beginning of my discussion with r_c321 that it’s hard to take seriously folks who display such juvenile antics as he does. He comes across as a troll. Nevertheless, I enjoy interacting with the *issues* - regardless of the questionable character of the messenger.

It is interesting that r_c321 wrote the following:

“How can atheist reliably distinguish between God and what I may be imagining? thats easy you can't.”

Has r_c321 come to a realization? Or perhaps there was never anything genuine here to begin with?

Yes, the entertainment grows rich around here!

Regards,
Dawson

July 08, 2011 7:35 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

1) Was Greg Bahnsen “picking on” Bertrand Russell when he critiqued Russell’s writings????? No, he was only exposing his foolishness

2) How can something that is “invisible” be “clearly seen”? I answered this. You misquoted the text to make your case your question is invalid.

3) How can Christianity account for the conceptual level of human cognition when it doesn’t even have a theory of concepts????? you need to clarify your question is vague and ambiguous

4) What do you mean by “rationality”? Thinking God's thoughts after him.

5) How do you know that atheists cannot “account for” rationality? Because you reject God

6) What could a Christian possibly mean by “rationality” when his worldview depends integrally on confusing the imaginary with what is real? So, what is real?

7) What do you mean by “immaterial” and by what means are you aware of its alleged existence? anything that is not material and by the word of God

8) How do you distinguish what you call “immaterial” from something you may merely be imagining? I cant unless God the holy spirit by his word does it for me.

I answered your questions now answer mine

July 08, 2011 10:53 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked: “1) Was Greg Bahnsen “picking on” Bertrand Russell when he critiqued Russell’s writings?????”

c_c321 replied: “No, he was only exposing his foolishness”

Okay. So you admit that it’s possible to interact with the writings of someone who is now dead, and that interaction is not rightly characterized as “picking on” that dead person. Very good! You’re making progress.

By the way, when I critique Bahnsen’s views, I’m not “picking on” him, as you insinuated. Rather, I’m exposing his foolishness. See for instance here and here.

I asked: “2) How can something that is ‘invisible’ be ‘clearly seen’?”

c_c321 replied: “I answered this. You misquoted the text to make your case your question is invalid.”

No, I didn’t misquote the text, and you accused me of this before and have not been able to show *where* I misquoted it. Again, an unsubstantiated accusation. It’s a bad habit most presuppositionalists seem to have.

In fact, it is you who has adulterated the text in question, for you have changed it to say that what is “clearly seen” are the “effects” of your god’s invisible attributes. But the text nowhere says this. It says that your god’s “invisible attributes” are “clearly seen.”

Moreover, by trying to change the meaning of the text, it seems that you agree with me that saying that something is “clearly seen” while simultaneously characterizing what is “clearly seen” as “invisible,” is incoherent. You don’t want the text to be read this way, even though that’s what it states on plain reading.

I asked: “3) How can Christianity account for the conceptual level of human cognition when it doesn’t even have a theory of concepts?????”

c_c321 replied: “you need to clarify your question is vague and ambiguous”

You don’t understand the question because your worldview has no theory of concepts. Let’s start there, and see if you agree: Does Christianity have its own theory of concepts – i.e., an integrated, systematic explanation of the nature and formation of concepts as the building blocks of human thought? Yes or no. If yes, please cite the book, chapter and verse[s] in the Christian bible where this is laid out. If your worldview does not have its own theory of concepts, how can your worldview account for human thought?

Recall that you had stated (in your 6 July comment above): “Cognitive and conceptual? Your borrowing from the christian world view once again.” [sic] If Christianity doesn’t even have a theory of concepts in the first place, how can anyone be rightly accused of “borrowing” his understanding of concepts from the Christian worldview? Blank out.

[Continued…]

July 09, 2011 3:47 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked: “4) What do you mean by ‘rationality’?”

c_c321 replied: “Thinking God's thoughts after him.”

Okay, good. We’re making progress here, too. So on this rendering of ‘rationality’ (which I have never seen in a serious philosophy text), one which explicitly divorces it from independent human thought and seats it squarely on the primacy of consciousness, why do you think a non-Christian would need to “account for” rationality when clearly he does not operate on the premise that he needs to read the mind of an invisible magic being in order to identify the features of the world?

Would it be rational (as you have informed this notion) to believe that rocks can sing? How would you discover “God’s thoughts” on the matter such that you could “think” them “after him”? By what means could you acquire access to the “thoughts” of a supernatural being?

I asked: “5) How do you know that atheists cannot ‘account for’ rationality?”

c_c321 replied: “Because you reject God”

But suppose that atheists have something completely different from “thinking God’s thoughts after him” in mind when they use the concept ‘rationality’. Suppose they have in mind something along the lines of volitional adherence to reason in all identification of the world (a philosophical, rather than a storybook-based, understanding of ‘rationality’). Would you say that they are still unable to “account for” rationality as they understand it? If so, what would be your argument for this? (Or, do you not have one?)

I asked: “6) What could a Christian possibly mean by ‘rationality’ when his worldview depends integrally on confusing the imaginary with what is real?”

c_c321 replied: “So, what is real?”

That’s a good question. How does the bible address it? Please cite specific book, chapter and verse.

I asked: “7) What do you mean by ‘immaterial’ and by what means are you aware of its alleged existence?”

c_c321 replied: “anything that is not material and by the word of God”

Is something that is imaginary material or immaterial?

Also, how does “the word of God” serve as a means of awareness? What precisely do you mean by “the word of God,” if not the writings found in the Christian bible? So far as I can tell, writings and pronouncements are not a means of awareness. But given what I have asked and the answer you have provided in response to my question, it appears that you’re saying that a set of writings is your means of awareness. If that’s what you’re saying, can you explain this in detail? If that’s not what you’re saying, can you clarify your response such that it avoids this interpretation?

[Continued…]

July 09, 2011 3:49 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked: “8) How do you distinguish what you call ‘immaterial’ from something you may merely be imagining?”

c_c321 replied: “I cant unless God the holy spirit by his word does it for me.”

This seems systemically problematic for your position. Is “God the holy spirit” also immaterial? If so, and you admit that you cannot distinguish what you call “immaterial” from something you may merely be imagining unless “God the holy spirit does it for” you, then even you should see the very strong possibility that you may be blurring the distinction between what is real and what is imaginary by appealing to something “immaterial” to help you make such distinctions. You seem to be caught in the vortex of a most vicious circularity.

But I’d really like to know more about this. For instance, how does “God the holy spirit” make such distinctions for you? Is this something you are aware of internally, in your mind? Or is it provided to you in some tangible form, like an inscription on clay tablets? If it’s the latter, do you have any that you can show us? If it’s the former, how do you distinguish your own fallible attempts at identifying reality from the workings of “God the holy spirit” that you apparently think are delivered to your mind from some supernatural dimension? How do you distinguish what you call “God the holy spirit” from something you may merely be imagining? It seems that, if you wanted to be certain that you were truly being guided by “God the holy spirit,” that you’d have some systematic means of distinguishing between the deliverances of “God the holy spirit” and your own faltering mentation. Otherwise, it seems you’d have no way of knowing whether your thoughts, beliefs, impressions, inferences and conclusions were products of your own fallible, fallen effort, or the guidance of “God the holy spirit.” How do you know that what you might think is guidance from “God the holy spirit” is not really from the devil or other mischievous spook out to deceive you? How do you certify something you think is from your god and thus ensure yourself that it’s not from some nefarious source?

R_c321 then wrote: “I answered your questions now answer mine”

You’ll have to restate your questions (you can number them too, as I have, assuming there’s more than one) so that I know which questions in particular you want me to address.

In the meantime, there’s another question that you still have not addressed:

What “credentials” do you have to offer?

Regards,
Dawson

July 09, 2011 3:50 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

I encourage you to keep interacting with Dawson. As you can see, he is thorough, cordial, and truly interested in your answers to his questions.

Perhaps if you put in as much time and thought into your responses to Dawson's questions as he has to your questions, then it will make for an informative and enjoyable read for you, me, and all fans of this blog.

Ydemoc

July 09, 2011 8:47 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

The problem is God can not and will not do the absurd as you claim he does by making things invisible visible.

So, your claim is invalid qualities inherently are invisible. They cannot be seen therefore the bible cannot be saying what you would like it to.

If you approached the bible honestly you would not have those problems. You have an agenda that blurs your ability to deal with the text in a meaningful way.

Dawson asked: Does Christianity have its own theory of concepts – i.e., an integrated, systematic explanation of the nature and formation of concepts as the building blocks of human thought?

Absolutely, Genesis through Revelation you have a lot of work to do so get started.


Dawson asked: How do you know that what you might think is guidance from “God the holy spirit” is not really from the devil or other mischievous spook out to deceive you? How do you certify something you think is from your god and thus ensure yourself that it’s not from some nefarious source?

Well, since you said the devil does not exist it can't be him.

Therefore, it is God.

July 09, 2011 10:52 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

I have the king James bible right here at my desk, could you provide me the chapters and verses that define what a concept (or what ever the bible refers to them as) is, how they are formed and validated?

I am curious because I have read the whole thing, tho not at once, and I can not recall it provided anything along those lines. Perhaps I have been reading the wrong version of the bible?

Telling me to read the whole things is well unnecessary. If I told you that in Lord of the Rings, Gandolf faced down Sauramon, I would not ask you to read all 1000 plus pages, I would give you the chapter and maybe even the page number. I would like something like that please.

July 09, 2011 11:30 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

oh and in response to my earlier question to you. You are mistaken, my world view does not reject the immaterial out of hand. Immaterial at base just means that which is not material. I acknowledge many things that fall into that category. Thus I don't think your answer was appropriate.

July 09, 2011 11:35 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin what does the lord of the rings haveyou to do with anything?

Also, what evidence do you have to prove your case against God?

I thought atheist were materialist you just reduced yourself to absurdity how can you believe and not believe something at the same time.

I hope Dawson can save you from this one. Maybe he will write another 10 page paper about this.

July 09, 2011 10:15 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

I used Lord of the Rings because like the bible its long and largely concerned with imaginary events and persons.

As for what evidence I have to prove my case against god, this presumes I have a case to make. What I have is a lack of belief in god, this is not the same thing as a case against god. A person never needs a reason to not believe a proposition not rooted in the perceptually self evident, what the person needs is a reason to believe. This means the burden is on you.

r_c321 "
I thought atheist were materialist you just reduced yourself to absurdity how can you believe and not believe something at the same time."

Clearly you thought wrong. I am an atheist in the scene that I lack a belief in god, and yet i am not a materialist. Further you appear to be assuming that if someone is not a materialist then they are automatically a theist. This is obviously not warranted. In fact Id go so far as to say based on your posts that you know next to nothing about what I believe. This dose not stop you from make very presumptuous statements that only make you look foolish. Here, try this, why don't you ask me what I believe about something before trying to rudely shove words in my mouth.


Also, I still have my bible here, could I have a reference please, I am busy compiling cinelerra and cant be expected to read the whole darn thing, that to is rude.

July 09, 2011 10:30 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321 wrote: “The problem is God can not and will not do the absurd as you claim he does by making things invisible visible. So, your claim is invalid qualities inherently are invisible. They cannot be seen therefore the bible cannot be saying what you would like it to.”

My plain reading of Romans 1:20 has nothing to do with what I “would like” it to say. My likes and dislikes have nothing to do with the discussion. You characterize my analysis of the text in this way in order to distract from the heart of the matter. If your position were so defensible, you wouldn’t feel the need to do this.

Again, I’m simply going by what the text actually states. Here’s what it states:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

It clearly states that something “invisible” (“God’s invisible qualities”) have been “clearly seen.” So the contradiction is there, flat and simple. You can deny this all you like, but it won’t change the facts.

If qualities were in fact “inherently” invisible as you seem to be saying (and without any argument), then it would be an unneeded redundancy for the passage in Romans to state that those qualities are“invisible.”

Of course, there are even stronger reasons to reject the view that qualities are invisible. Endless counterexamples can be cited to dispel such a view. My car, for instance, has a very good paint job, with many fine qualities, including thorough coverage, consistent sheen, evenness of texture, etc. I know that these are clearly visible qualities, because I see them when I examine the paint on my car. They are qualities that are clearly visible. Similarly, I can examine the quality of a photograph, because its qualities are visible. I can inspect the qualities of the printouts from my printer, because they are visible qualities. Why suppose that qualities are inherently invisible? You offer no reason for supposing this.

By saying that qualities are *inherently*invisible, you make matters worse for the supposed coherence of Romans 1:20. For it clearly states that “God’s invisible qualities” are “clearly seen,” and yet we’re supposed to believe that the qualities that are “clearly seen” are in fact invisible, and inherently so on your stated view. Again, you affirm a text that contains a contradiction, and your efforts to evade the contradiction in this text accomplish nothing of value in solving the problem.

How can the bible say that “God’s invisible qualities… have been clearly seen,” and Christians affirm this to be the case, but when it’s shown that the bible clearly contains a contradiction, believers suddenly become blind to it?

How can I be “without excuse” when I consistently recognize the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination, and consequently acknowledge honestly that the imaginary is not real, and yet the Christian is supposedly not “without excuse” when he affirms as true a passage from his bible that clearly contains a contradiction, and his effort to smooth it over continue to fall flat on its face?

[Continued…]

July 10, 2011 12:15 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “If you approached the bible honestly you would not have those problems.”

This is a backhanded way of accusing me of dishonesty when dealing with the text in question (namely Romans 1:20). Where have I been dishonest in dealing with this passage? What specifically have I stated about the passage that is demonstrably untrue?

I asked: “Does Christianity have its own theory of concepts – i.e., an integrated, systematic explanation of the nature and formation of concepts as the building blocks of human thought?”

r_c321: “Absolutely, Genesis through Revelation you have a lot of work to do so get started.”

“Absolutely”? Christianity “absolutely” has its own theory of concepts? And it’s presented throughout the Christian bible, from cover to cover? Like Justin, I too have read the entire bible. I do not recall reading any passages which discuss the nature of concepts, or the process by which they are formed. In fact, I don’t recall seeing the word ‘concept’ anywhere in the bibles that I have examined. A search for this word in my concordance yields no finds. So you must be seeing something that I’ve missed. If so, since you seem to know so much about what’s in the bible, can you direct me to any specific passages which lay out a theory of concepts? How does the bible define the word ‘concept’, and where does it do this?

If you cannot do this, then be honest and admit it. Stop trying to hide and obfuscate. If Christianity has its own theory of concepts, then let’s examine it. But to examine it, we need to know where to find it. So that’s your first task, if you want to defend the view that we borrow our understanding of the conceptual level of awareness from Christianity.

This is important, because human knowledge is in fact conceptual in nature. Consequently, a worldview which lacks a theory of concepts cannot rightly be said to “account for” knowledge, let alone claim to be the “only worldview” which can do this.

[Continued…]

July 10, 2011 12:15 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked: “How do you know that what you might think is guidance from ‘God the holy spirit’ is not really from the devil or other mischievous spook out to deceive you? How do you certify something you think is from your god and thus ensure yourself that it’s not from some nefarious source?”

r_c321: “Well, since you said the devil does not exist it can't be him.”

This response gives me zero confidence that you can answer my question. It is you who have claimed that “God the holy spirit” performs certain cognitive tasks for you. I’ve asked how you can reliably distinguish between guidance allegedly from the god you claim provides you with cognitive support on the one hand, and influences disguised by demons and devils to deceive you on the other. Saying that “since [I] said that the devil does not exist” (where did I say this, by the way?) is pure obfuscation. This is not about what I believe, but about what your worldview affirms and the explanations you provide in response to my inquiries into the features and details of your worldview. Presumably you believe that there are devils and demons in addition to your god, do you not? The bible affirms the existence of such things (do you really need me to cite chapter and verse for this?). And you affirm the truth of everything that the bible states, right? So this is a significant problem for you to disentangle.

R_c321: “Therefore, it is God.”

This doesn’t follow, even on Christianity’s premises. For Christianity indeed affirms the existence of devils and demons and other wicked spirits. Suppose your pastor inquires into your life and the choices you make, asking how you could know that the impulses you acted on were in fact from the Christian god and not from the devil, and you reply to him: “Well, Dawson Bethrick said that the devil doesn’t exist, so it can’t be from the devil. Therefore, it must be from God!” Do you think your pastor is going to find such “reasoning” persuasive?

c_c321, whoever you are, you have not pressed a single point in our discussion yet which can survive even light scrutiny. And yet you continue your campaign of balderdash in spite of your dismal record of failure. I submit that you are one very confused and foolish individual. If you prefer to continue in foolishness, then Christianity is the perfect home for you.

Regards,
Dawson

July 10, 2011 12:16 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin so you are presuming God doesn't exist?

Dawson the word good is it abstract or concrete?

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

That's says a lot about the human thought process and how concepts are formed.

July 10, 2011 6:21 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321 asked: “Dawson the word good is it abstract or concrete?”

I’d be happy to discuss this question with you. But first, since Christians expect us to take the Christian bible as authoritative in all things having to do with knowledge, I’d like to know how the bible addresses this question. What does the bible say about this? How does the bible answer your question? Please cite book, chapter and verse in your response. Then, explain your interpretation and how it applies to the question you have posed to me.

r_c321 quoted Jeremiah 17:9, which states: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

r_c321 then wrote: “That's says a lot about the human thought process and how concepts are formed.”

I’m afraid I don’t see what this verse is saying about concepts, either about their nature or their formation. Can you elaborate? What do you interpret this verse to be saying in regards specifically to concept-formation? How does it apply, for instance, to the formation of the concept ‘length’ or ‘rock’? What justifies your interpretation of what this verse allegedly says about concept-formation and how does it apply to the concepts which are used in the verse itself (e.g., “heart,” “deceitful,” “wicked,” etc.)?

I’m still waiting to see what passes as a specifically Christian theory of concepts. How much patience do I need to have for this?

Regards,
Dawson

July 10, 2011 1:29 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

I presume god does not exist in the sense that I resume that pink unicorns don't exist. I'll be the first to admit I might be wrong, that pink unicorns do in fact exist, but until I see evidence from them I will not seriously entertain the idea that they are real. Same goes for god.

July 10, 2011 2:04 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Further more, in the case of god I am not even sure what it is that I would be believing in any case. I can conceptualize a horse with a single horn and a pink color. I cant conceptualize a disembodied conciousness without accepting contradictions that pink unicorns do not have.

July 10, 2011 2:09 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You want to know how the bible defines the word good?
The definition of good in the bible is God.

You should be afraid John 3:36 says
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son wilnot see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Also, Hebrews 10:31 says It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

So, Dawson you and your friends have the bigger problem.

July 10, 2011 3:44 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin I appreciate your answer.
That's a lot wiser than, for example, Dawson who claims he is absolutely sure and the only evidence he has are his writings and philosophy books.

July 10, 2011 3:49 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

sounds like ad baculum to me, and any empty one at that. What was it that Rand said, faith and force are corollaries.

July 10, 2011 3:50 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

r_c321 you may appreciate my answer, however I doubt it will bring any comfort to those who wish to spread the word of god. Where as I acknowledge that knowledge is contextual and fallible, I however know for a 100% absolute fact that I do not currently believe in god.

July 10, 2011 4:45 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321 > "Also, what evidence do you have to prove your case against God?"

Surely you jest. It is not possible for the onus of the burden of proof to be on the non-believer for it is the god-believer who is making the positive claim. Claims of immaterial gods and super magic beings are extraordinary claims and so require extraordinary evidence to be admitted into the realm of the possible. I've observed you've presented Didly-Squat in the way of evidence to support your claims, as seemingly confused as they appear. I also note that I fail to see where you prove the gods of the other religions do not exist. Along that line, simply appealing to your alleged god belief will not do to establish either truth for your claims or falsity of claims stemming from others who follow non-Christian religions. Nor can repeating your belief in your god or bible establish your god as real or that your bible as its word. To win this discussion you must present actual evidence and proper argument. So far you have done neither.

However, be that as it may, I offer a short list of books wherein the God of Christianity is shown to be a fantasy as in not actually real or part of material existence. T

Atheism: A Philosophical Justification

The Impossibility of God

The Non-Existence of God

The Improbability of God

The Miracle of Theism: Arguments forand Against the Existence of God

God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist

The Fallacy of Fine Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us

Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason Cornell Studies in the Philosophy of Religion

Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity

The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails

These books and many more in this genre treat this topic with the respect and serious attention it deserves. Tossing about pity aphorisms to evade and dodge the legitimate questions of Dawson and his readers does nothing to advance your case. There simply is not any evidence for your god's existence, nor do any of the traditional classical arguments remain unrefuted. That's why you have to take refuge in argument from religious miracles, experience and scripture. The former two are in no way convincing as the miracles and experiences of those in other religions are just as veritable to them as your's seem to you and no more believable than yours. The latter has no power to change the mind of an atheist. We don't believe your god is real or that your book of religious stories has metaphysical merit. Some parts of the Bible are right nice poetry like Song of Solomon, Job, Ruth, Ecclesiasticus, or interesting stories Maccabees 1 & 2 and Enoch and so forth. But lets face it the Bible is deeply flawed as a guide to living and is so wrong and self-contradictory it cannot be the work of a super being that communicated via ESP to human authors. Thus arguing from the Bible only makes a Christian apologist look dumb.

July 10, 2011 5:23 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321 wrote: “You want to know how the bible defines the word good?”

That is not what I asked. I asked you to state how the bible answers your own question. Recall that you had asked: “Dawson the word good is it abstract or concrete?”

How does the bible answer this question, and where does it provide an answer to this question?

r_c321 wrote: “The definition of good in the bible is God.”

Where does the bible do this? When you say that something is good, how does it relate to the imaginary realm of your god-belief? If something tastes good, are you saying that it tastes like your god????

r_c321 wrote: “You should be afraid”

I don’t fear something that you’re merely imagining.

r_c321 wrote: “Also, Hebrews 10:31 says It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Bring it on, I says. Let’s see this terrifying god you want me to fear in my imagination. If your beliefs were rational, you would not need to resort to threats. But this is all you have in the final analysis. That’s why you avoid addressing questions directed to you and resort to fear-talk. You don’t even explain how Jeremiah 17:9 informs a theory of concepts!!! Why not??? Can you explain how the verse you quoted relates to concept-formation? You said yourself that it “says a lot about the human thought process and how concepts are formed.” What specifically do you think it says about “how concepts are formed”?????

r_c321 wrote: “Justin I appreciate your answer. That's a lot wiser than, for example, Dawson who claims he is absolutely sure and the only evidence he has are his writings and philosophy books.”

You just can’t stand the fact that I hold my verdicts with unflinching certainty. It burns you up to no end. You wish you were as certain in your beliefs as I am in my worldview's premises and conclusions. You need to learn to deal with it.

Regards,
Dawson

July 10, 2011 5:44 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You just can’t stand the fact that I hold my verdicts with unflinching certainty. It burns you up to no end. You wish you were as certain in your beliefs as I am in my worldview's premises and conclusions. You need to learn to deal with it.

That is quite comical that was a good laugh.Thanks


Im not threating you God is you need to deal with him not me.


Robert said: But lets face it the Bible is deeply flawed as a guide to living and is so wrong and self-contradictory it cannot be the work of a super being that communicated via ESP to human authors. Thus arguing from the Bible only makes a Christian apologist look dumb.

Prove it

July 10, 2011 6:31 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

In an earlier comment, I attempted to appeal to your potential for carrying on a thoughtful and well-informed exchange with Dawson.

It's apparent to me that you either lack such potential or are being willfully evasive. Your answers and responses to Dawson are all over the map, and your own questions to him are barely coherent - both in content and in grammar.

Do you not see the time and thought Dawson puts into his responses? Why not do the same with yours? The least you could do is use proper punctuation.

Ydemoc

July 10, 2011 6:53 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

R_c321 wrote: “Im not threating you God is you need to deal with him not me.”

I’m sure you’re intelligent enough to figure out that statements like this will fall far short of persuading me that your religion has any truth to it.

Indeed, it seems that, if the Christian god were real and really wanted me to believe in it, it would do for me what it is said to have done for Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. The Christian god could simply appear before me in all its glory and convert me on the spot. This would be vastly more effective than sending utterly fallible human agents – many of whom simply end up embarrassing themselves as you have in our discussion. But since it does not appear before me, and instead I learn of this god only from other human beings, I can draw a variety of conclusions – e.g., it’s simply not real, but in fact imaginary, as I have argued; it doesn’t want me to convert; it makes terribly ineffectual choices, etc. – none of which bodes well for the Christian worldview, or at any rate leaves me in fact with more than sufficient “excuse” for disbelieving it all. This is on top of the fact that Christianity can’t account for knowledge (since it has no theory of concepts)!

Regards,
Dawson

July 10, 2011 8:40 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc, because I don't have the time two give a 2 page response. It doesn't matter what I or anybody else presents it will be rejected. Why waste my time? Dawson is convinced that his position is irrefutable.

Dawson, It is actually the atheist who cannot account for Knowledge anything he knows it's because God has allowed him to know. Men take their limited knowledge and boast and become arrogant like a fool would.

Colossians 2: 2-3 says , 2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

I'm not here to convert or persuade you in fact I can't. The holy spirit is the only one that can.

Dawson, are you fallible? because if you are why should we believe anything you say? How are we supposed to determine the truthfulness of your claims? There may be the possibility that you are wrong. Please let us know.

Also, what are the " terribly ineffectual choices" that you claim God makes? I would love to know.

You seem to know a lot about this God you claim doesn't exist.

July 10, 2011 9:37 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"Dawson, It is actually the atheist who cannot account for Knowledge anything he knows it's because God has allowed him to know. Men take their limited knowledge and boast and become arrogant like a fool would."

care to back that up with an argument, you know, something like premises, followed by inference, leading to the conclusion stated above?

July 10, 2011 10:02 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

I gave the scripture. ALL knowledge is hidden in Jesus Christ. The little knowledge that Dawson has that he distorts and twist. Belongs to the Lord

Happy?

July 10, 2011 10:24 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 10, 2011 10:57 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 10, 2011 11:21 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “It doesn't matter what I or anybody else presents it will be rejected.”

How do you know? I’ve accepted many things that others have presented. But I will reject your mysticism, since it’s irrational. And I suspect this is what bothers you. You probably aren't bothered by my rejection of Hindu mysticism.

r_c321: “Why waste my time?”

Do you think you’re accomplishing anything else here? Granted, you are providing ample entertainment for my readers. Like a court jester. But it’s become tiresome, for you seem not even to be trying to make any points on behalf of your worldview. You don’t even explain how your worldview can account for knowledge when in fact it has no theory of concepts.

r_c321: “Dawson is convinced that his position is irrefutable.”

Do you think an individual should hold to a position that he thinks is refutable? It’s true that I am convinced that my position is irrefutable. And I do so for a plethora of good reasons, one of which is the fact that my position is true. Many have attempted to refute my position, and I have shown through patient, painstaking labor how my position prevails against such efforts.

r_c321: “Dawson, It is actually the atheist who cannot account for Knowledge anything he knows it's because God has allowed him to know.”

I suspect that you wouldn’t know what an account for knowledge is if it hit you up the side of your head. As I pointed out earlier in this discussion, human knowledge is conceptual in nature. How can a worldview which has no theory of concepts account for human knowledge? This is one question which you have avoided time after time. You have made the claim that a certain verse in the bible somehow “says a lot” about how concepts are formed. But you have not explained how the verse in question says anything about concepts. You’ve been asked to explain this, but you have not answered. I can only surmise that you’ve abandoned that view.

r_c321: “Men take their limited knowledge and boast and become arrogant like a fool would.”

Take r_c321 for example.

[Continued…]

July 11, 2011 5:23 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “I'm not here to convert or persuade you in fact I can't. The holy spirit is the only one that can.”

So what value do you think you personally add to the discussion then?

r_c321: “Dawson, are you fallible?”

Yes. I’ve nowhere suggested otherwise. All of us are fallible.

r_c321: “because if you are why should we believe anything you say?”

Simply being fallible does not indicate that any particular claim or position that a person affirms is wrong or false. I am happy to have my position evaluated. And I am here to address questions and contentions which thinkers may pose in response to what I have argued. I offer what I argue on the basis of its own merits, not on the basis of my personality, “authority” or any other extraneous factor. If what I say turns out to be true, I’d expect that those who are devoted to the truth would accept it.

Are you fallible? If so, why should we believe anything you say? You don’t even try to defend your view. You simply assert it as if you expect readers to accept your claims on your own say so while stuttering through the discussion in a most unprepared manner.

r_321: “How are we supposed to determine the truthfulness of your claims?”

How do you determine the truthfulness of any claim? I do not expect anyone to accept what I claim on the basis of my own say so. That is why I *argue* for my verdicts. I present my work. I present the steps of the inferences which lead to the conclusions that I have drawn, and make it available for anyone to examine. If you are sincere in seeking to determine the truthfulness of my claims, I’d expect that you’d be willing to examine the defenses I’ve presented for those claims, and to examine them honestly. And if you think I’m wrong on some point, I’d expect that you’d be able to *explain why* you think I’m wrong, rather than simply asserting that I’m wrong and trying to threaten me. Threats don’t make a position true.

r_c321: “There may be the possibility that you are wrong. Please let us know.”

If you think I’m wrong on some point or another, present your case. Be ready to discuss it.

r_c321: “Also, what are the ‘terribly ineffectual choices’ that you claim God makes? I would love to know.”

If your god chooses to send utterly fallible and embarrassing representatives like you on its behalf, instead of appearing before people personally as the book of Acts claims it did for Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, then clearly it’s making a terribly ineffectual choice. That is, if its intention is to bring souls to Christ. If its goal is to make its earthly representatives look like unteachable, self-effacing fools, then it’s right on course, and the joke is on you.

r_c321: “You seem to know a lot about this God you claim doesn't exist.”

Yep, sure do. People have been telling me about their gods since I was a wee lad. I listen with a critical mind. That bothers a lot of Christians.

Regards,
Dawson

July 11, 2011 5:29 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321 "Prove it"

A List of Biblical Contradictions

Bible Inconsistences

New Testament Contradictions

Introduction to the Bible and Biblical Problems

Contradictions in the Bible

1001 CONTRADICTIONS & DISCREPANCIES in the CHRISTIAN BIBLES

r_c321: your tersely worded challenge while easy to accomplish indicates you seem to be tending towards frustration. That is understandable as your position is so weak much like your fantasy god that cannot do anything in reality but can accomplish anything in the realm of your imagination. Take my advice, relax and have fun. This is your only life. Don't waste it on silly nonsense like theism. Living for now on a trajectory of life long self improvement and education makes each day meaningful. On the other hand, living in fear of an imaginary fantasy god in hopes of an impossible reward after death robs your life of meaning, significance and forces you to abase and abuse your own mind. No honest person can actually believe the ridiculous nonsense that passes as the many doctrines of the thousands of different Christian sects. I posted a link to John Loftus' book "Why I Became an Atheist" above. Buy a used copy of that and read it. Loftus was a former apologist. He has 2 Masters degrees in Divinity and Theology and was a student of Willian Lane Craig. The guy is reasonably smart; his book is not dumb. Honestly consider his case without the knee jerk defensive posturing. You'll be a better person for it.

This is my last post to this thread. I have a lot of stuff to do and much reading to catch up upon. Thanks to all the blog posters and to Dawson. I will be around for the next thread when it appears. I wish all well and good fortune and health.

July 11, 2011 8:13 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Robert said: "Take my advice, relax and have fun. This is your only life. Don't waste it on silly nonsense like theism. Living for now on a trajectory of life long self improvement and education makes each day meaningful.

That is exactly what Satan would love me to believe.

I understand your faith in atheism.

Jesus said it best " What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

1 John 2: 16 says 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

You also claimed " On the other hand, living in fear of an imaginary fantasy god in hopes of an impossible reward after death robs your life of meaning, significance and forces you to abase and abuse your own mind.

You would have to prove this and your assertion that I am some how frustated.

Dawson said: "If what I say turns out to be true, I’d expect that those who are devoted to the truth would accept it.

So, are you implying that you could be wrong?

Dawson said:"If your god chooses to send utterly fallible and embarrassing representatives like you on its behalf, instead of appearing before people personally as the book of Acts claims it did for Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, then clearly it’s making a terribly ineffectual choice. That is, if its intention is to bring souls to Christ."

God had his purpose for Paul. He could appear to you in that same manner if he wanted to.

However, Hebrews 1:1-2 says God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

Dawson, thanks for allowing me to share the gospel on your blog.

July 11, 2011 10:05 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

It's good to see you've made some progress in cleaning up your punctuation. Thank you. It adds much clarity. Now, on to what you wrote...

r_c321 wrote: "God had his purpose for Paul. He could appear to you in that same manner if he wanted to."


God "wants?" Have you given any thought to what "wanting" something implies? Does it not imply a lack of something? How could an all-powerful and all-knowing being lack anything? What needs or wants could it possibly require?

Similarly, can this all-knowing, all-powerful being that you claim exists have faith? Can it believe? Can it learn? If it has a plan, did it evaluate this plan? Can it choose? In what way can these types of actions even make sense when applied to an all-knowing, all-powerful being?

Ydemoc

July 11, 2011 10:29 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

.r_c321: In my last post, I stated it was to be my last post. However, your reply shows how troubled your mind is, and I feel pity for you. Consider the following.

1. In possible worlds talk, new possible worlds constantly come about by occurrence of some event. If my little dog decides to lick his testicles and does so for a while and then decides to stop and scratch his fleas, a new possible world has come about. If Dawson eats something that disagrees with his tummy (Thai home style cooking perhaps? Grin. ;-) and subsequently passes gas, a new possible world has come about. Likewise for each random quantum event such as spontaneous emission of quantum particle pairs from the quantum vacuum that then annihilate emitting energetic photons or for each radioactive atomic decay new possible worlds come about.
2. .r_c321’s god is defined as being omniscient meaning in part knowing all logically knowable facts or true propositions.
3. .r_c321’s god is defined as a rational being that acts in harmony with the principle of final causation.
4. It is not logically possible for r_c321’s god to know the outcome of authentically random quantum events and hence it cannot be the creator of such events as it is not rational to do so because lacking a means by which to impose order on random quantum events, r_c321’s god would not utilize such events to accomplish its ends if indeed it was the case that it existed. (from 3.)
5. .r_c321’s god is defined as a necessary being that exists in all possible worlds and is creator of all possible worlds.
6. Since the possible worlds brought about by random quantum events are not created by r_c321’s god, then it is not necessarily creator of such possible worlds.
7. If r_c321’s god is not creator of a possible world then it does not exist in that possible world.
8. There are some possible worlds that are not created by r_c321’s god and in which it does not exist.
9. Since r_c321’s god does not exist in some possible worlds it is not a necessary being that exists in all possible worlds.
10. (9) contradicts (5) -> r_c321’s god does not exist.

As I noted before the onus of burdens of extraordinary evidence reside on theist who make extraordinary claims. r_c321 has provided zero evidence in support of his beliefs. His claim that astronomically observed objects constitute evidence for his claims is false. Existence and that which exists are evidences of existence not some god or other. I think r_c321 has failed to interact with the argument from the fact of existence or take note of the issue of metaphysical primacy of existence over consciousness. All in all I think r_c321 a very sloppy and unprepared debater. If I were a god, and one of my worshippers preformed as poorly as r_c321, I would turn him into a newt.

This really is my last post to this thread.

July 11, 2011 11:03 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Well, Robert after what you said "If my little dog decides to lick his testicles".

It is not hard to see who is really the one with the sick mind.

Ydemoc, you asked:

Have you given any thought to what "wanting" something implies?

Yes, let me restate what I said.
God could choose to reveal himself in that manner if it was his will and good pleasure.

How could an all-powerful and all-knowing being lack anything? What needs or wants could it possibly require?

He doesnt lack anything or need anything. He does things for his will and good pleasure. God is self-sufficent.


Similarly, can this all-knowing, all-powerful being that you claim exists have faith? Can it believe? Can it learn?

No to all three. God is all-knowing as you have stated.

There is nothing that he does not Know.

If it has a plan, did it evaluate this plan?

Yes, he has a plan of redemption for his people. God the father sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for them. Yes, he evaluted this plan and it pleased him.


Can it choose? In what way can these types of actions even make sense when applied to an all-knowing, all-powerful being?

Yes, the bible talks about God choosing.

Let me ask you a question is there a problem with God choosing?

If yes could you please explain.

Thanks.

Dawson, thanks for letting me continue sharing the gospel on your blog.

July 11, 2011 1:00 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

Thanks for your responses. As to the question you pose to me, you wrote:

"Let me ask you a question is there a problem with God choosing? If yes could you please explain."

Yes, I see a major problem with how anyone could posit the idea of an all-knowing being choosing anything. Dawson explains in his exchange with CalvinDude (available either this blog and/or on Katholon)

Dawson wrote: "It [the Christian god] would have no need to act whatsoever, so whatever action it is said to take would be utterly arbitrary, i.e., for no rational purpose whatsoever."

CalvinDude responded:

"That does not follow. If God does something because He wants to do it, it is not arbitrary. He has His purpose. Whether we understand His purpose or not is completely irrelevant to the point. If He has a purpose, whether He discloses it to us or not, then His actions are not arbitrary."

Dawson wrote: "This is another example of how theists ignore the genetic basis of the concepts they try to employ in their religious defenses. Chosen action that is purposive is by definition goal-oriented. Objective goals are identified on the basis of facts (i.e., states of affairs which obtain independent of one’s awareness, intentions, preferences, etc.) relevant to one’s needs (e.g., man’s biological needs). If an entity had no needs, then what could possibly ground its choices and actions? CalvinDude has not proposed a credible alternative.

Consider a rock: what needs can one say it has? To consider the question, ask: What would happen if the rock does nothing? Will it “die”? No, it will not die because it is not alive in the first place. So we can be pretty sure that it has no biological needs, since it is not biological. Does it have mineral needs? How would one argue that it does have mineral needs? What are those mineral needs, and how are they satisfied? Does the rock act in order to satisfy these alleged needs? No, rocks do not have a means of acting on their own, nor do they need to. So rocks apparently have neither needs nor the ability to act on their own. Would CalvinDude ignore this context and say that rocks still act because they have a purpose? Given what he says about his god, there seems to be nothing to prevent him from saying this about rocks since he apparently thinks it is perfectly legitimate to say that something acts with purpose even if he cannot identify what that purpose is. But it won’t do simply to assert that a rock has a purpose of its own, especially if a context vital to the concept ‘purpose’ is absent. Similarly, it will not do merely to assert that the Christian god has a purpose given that its purported nature is missing the fundamentals which give the concept ‘purpose’ its meaning and validity.

Indeed, to say that something acts in the interest of achieving a chosen goal can only mean that the acting something is conscious and that there’s a reason why it would choose to act. But even if we suppose that a non-biological being could be conscious, what reason would an immortal, indestructible and perfect conscious being have to pursue a goal? Since pursuit of a goal logically implies a lack or deficiency of some sort (such as a man’s pursuit of food indicates the need to fill his stomach; he would not need to do this if his stomach were always automatically full), the claim that the Christian god is capable of pursuing a goal essentially denies the attributes ascribed to the Christian god by Christian theology. Thus we have a stolen concept. Consequently, to say that its choices and actions are not arbitrary because they are purposive, is to beg the question of Christian theology."

Does this help answer your question?

Ydemoc

July 11, 2011 1:28 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: "If what I say turns out to be true, I’d expect that those who are devoted to the truth would accept it.”

r_c321 replied: “So, are you implying that you could be wrong?”

Not at all. I’m implying that there is a certain attitude which befits those who have made the choice to embrace what is true about the world, while those who have chosen to align themselves toward a mystic faith will ignore the truth in preference for the prescriptions dictated by their faith. A worldview which blurs the distinction between reality and imagination, for instance, will undermine an individual’s interest in embracing the truth to the extent that he seeks to preserve his faith in such a worldview. Such is Christianity: it encourages its believers to invest themselves emotionally in beings that they can only imagine and pretend that those imaginary beings are actually real and in fact responsible for everything else that is real. A good example is the creation myth: we can all *imagine* that a conscious being “created” the planets, stars, solar systems, dirt, etc. But that’s merely imagination. It tells us nothing about what is truly the case.

R_c321: “God had his purpose for Paul. He could appear to you in that same manner if he wanted to.”

Of course, one can say this about anything that is merely imaginary. The reason why Blarko the WonderBeing doesn’t appear to you is because Blarko hasn’t chosen to. But the Blarkist will assure us that Blarko could do this if Blarko wanted to.

It’s easy to ascribe goals, intentions and choices to imaginary beings. It happens in fiction all the time. Take the New Testament for instance.

Let me ask you: do you think that one should be concerned in his worldview to distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary?

I do not find this concern expressed in the bible. For instance, in the gospel narratives, I do not ever see Jesus teaching his disciples how to distinguish between the imaginary and the real. Nor do I find any such teaching in the writings of Paul, the most prolific writer in the NT.

I’d think that any *adult* thinker could understand the fundamental difference between imagination and reality, and would want to make sure that he has not confused what he imagines with what is real.

But when one adopts a worldview involving belief in deities, angels, demons, devils, and other supernatural beings, things that we have no alternative but to *imagine*, how does one ensure that he hasn’t confused what he imagines with reality? How do Christians make sure that what they are calling “God” and “Jesus” and angels, demons and devils, are not simply things that they have imagined, but are in fact real in spite of the fact that their imagination is their sole psychological interface with such beings? How do you ensure yourself that you god is not merely imaginary? Is there some process that you go through to make sure that you’ve not fallen prey to your imagination, or is it just not a concern? If there’s a process for ensuring that you have not simply confused your imagination with reality, what is that process, and how do you execute it? Tell us about it, and let’s see if it works on things that are undeniably imaginary.

If you do not have a process to explain, I can only guess that it’s not a concern, and that you may have very well confused what you imagine with what is real.

c_c321: “Dawson, thanks for allowing me to share the gospel on your blog.”

It is good to see you begin to exhibit a little more gratitude. It would be nice to see an explanation of how the verse in Jeremiah that you quoted bears on concept-formation. You’ve had plenty of opportunity to explain this, but you have ignored it. Why?

Regards,
Dawson

July 11, 2011 2:01 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Wow, Ydemoc, that brings back memories! Thanks for posting it.

Ol’ “Calvindude” (i.e., Peter Pike) – he’s still out there trying to convince himself that what he imagines is real.

From a more recent post of mine:

“Moreover, it is questionable at best to suppose that the Christian god could value anything at all, let alone someone else’s experiences. Unlike biological organisms (such as human beings), the Christian god is said to be immortal, indestructible, eternally existing, impervious to harm. The Christian god has no physical body whose skin can be lacerated or whose bones can be broken, whose organs can become diseased or whose heart can stop. It does not need food, it does not need water, it does not need to shelter itself from the elements, it does not need any incentive to continue existing, because it cannot die and does not need motivation to take actions necessary to allow it to continue existing. The Christian god, given what Christianity claims about its nature, could simply sit on its hands for all eternity in unending idleness, and still be what it is. It would have no reason to be anything but utterly indifferent to anything else that exists. In short, it would have no metaphysical basis for valuing anything at all, which can only mean that the theist has no objective basis for assuming that it does value anything at all. And Christian soteriology implicitly concedes this point: the Christian god has no onus to save anyone, but does so out of purely arbitrary choice (cf. Psalms 115:3). So when the theist assumes that his god values anything, that his god is the basis of values, or that his god’s existence is a precondition for anyone else valuing anything, he is committing the fallacy of the stolen concept, which invalidates such pronouncements. (For more in depth argument on behalf of these points, see Anton Thorn’s article Why an Immortal Being Cannot Value.)”

(from Theistic Misuse of the Concepts of Meaning, Value and Purpose)

And there’s more where that came from.

Regards,
Dawson

July 11, 2011 2:18 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc, It helps thank you but since I am a christian, as expected, I will side with calvin dude.

The problem with Dawson he continously tries to reduce god to absurdity. His deep hatred for god blinds him from dealing with the issues honestly like most atheist.

Why does God have to bow his knee or answer to anyone?

This only shows the sinful and wicked nature of men.

God out of his good will and pleasure acts.

This seems to make Dawson "burn" inside. Since Dawson is convinced he has it all figured out.

Dawson's bevaior is actually quite consistent with what paul says in Romans 1

"And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them."


More Later

July 11, 2011 2:33 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321 wrote: “He doesnt lack anything or need anything. He does things for his will and good pleasure. God is self-sufficent.”

What could this possibly mean? What does it mean for a being which has no needs and lacks nothing, to “do things for his will and good pleasure”? What objective basis could it possibly have for choosing one thing over any available alternatives? How could its alleged will not be purely arbitrary, given the underlying context of the attributes which Christians ascribe to it?

Ydemoc asked: “Similarly, can this all-knowing, all-powerful being that you claim exists have faith? Can it believe? Can it learn?”

r_c321 replied: “No to all three. God is all-knowing as you have stated.”

It’s interesting how theists will tell us that their god is omnipotent, and then when their claims are examined a little more closely, they begin to tell us things that their god *cannot* do. And yet notice that man can do the things listed here which theists say their omnipotent god cannot do. Man can have faith, he can believe, he can learn.

An omniscient (“all-knowing”) being cannot *discover* new facts. Consequently, it could not know the pleasure of discovering new knowledge. Already there’s something that man can know, but an omniscient mind could not know. Aside from being merely imaginary, the idea of an omniscient mind is inherently incoherent. Any way you slice it, it keeps coming up stolen concepts.

Again, I have asked r_c321 to present to us a specifically Christian theory of concepts. He told Drew earlier in the discussion that when he (Drew) spoke of conceptual and cognitive, that he was “borrowing from the Christian world view.” If this were the case, I’d expect that Christianity has something unique to offer insofar as our understanding of the nature and formation of concepts are concerned. But where is it? Where would Christians who want to know more about the conceptual level of cognition go to find out more about it? Is it in the book of Jeremiah? Is it in Isaiah? The Psalms? In the Pauline epistles? Where?

Regards,
Dawson

July 11, 2011 2:35 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

R_c321 wrote: “Dawson's bevaior is actually quite consistent with what paul says in Romans 1 "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper…”

Right. I express great concern for distinguishing what is merely imaginary from what is real. And Christians consider this the mark of “a depraved mind.” Expressing concern for the distinction between what is real and what is merely imaginary, is “to do those things which are not proper,” according to Christianity.

Got it.

Regards,
Dawson

July 11, 2011 2:39 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

Regarding posting your older stuff, as I've commented before: it's a pleasure to read, to learn from, and now to reference. You have so much valuable stuff (and "home run" quotes) here on your blog. That which I'm unable to recall from memory is easily accessed with a simple search string.

r_c321 wrote regarding Dawson's quote about the idea of a omniscient, omnipotent being: "It helps thank you but since I am a christian, as expected, I will side with calvin dude."

r_c321, are you siding with Christianity because it's more reasonable? Or because that's what you're duty-bound to do?

r_c321 wrote: "The problem with Dawson he continously tries to reduce god to absurdity. His deep hatred for god blinds him from dealing with the issues honestly like most atheist."


Assuming this is true, that Dawson is trying to reduce god to absurdity, on your worldview, why should you have a problem with this? It seems to me this would fit in perfectly with what theists might call "God's plan" with Dawson just playing the part of the "Absurd Atheist."

And as far as his "deep hatred"? I don't know how one can hate that which is non-existent.

Ydemoc

July 11, 2011 6:02 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Dawson said: "Got it."

I said: GOOD!!!


Dawson said: "It’s interesting how theists will tell us that their god is omnipotent, and then when their claims are examined a little more closely, they begin to tell us things that their god *cannot* do. And yet notice that man can do the things listed here which theists say their omnipotent god cannot do. Man can have faith, he can believe, he can learn.
An omniscient (“all-knowing”) being cannot *discover* new facts. Consequently, it could not know the pleasure of discovering new knowledge. Already there’s something that man can know, but an omniscient mind could not know. Aside from being merely imaginary, the idea of an omniscient mind is inherently incoherent. Any way you slice it, it keeps coming up stolen concepts."

I said: This is another one of your foolish ploys to try and reduce God to absurdity.

Evidentally, atheist don't understand what omnipotence means when is it ascribed to god.

God will not do the absurd. I said this allready.


Dawson, what is a concept?

Dawson, what is the theory of concepts?

Dawson, how I can reliably distinguish between your atheism and what you may merely be imagining?

Dawson, is the word good abstract or concrete?

July 11, 2011 6:12 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, r_c321,

You wrote: "God will not do the absurd."

How can this possibly be, according to your worldview? Do you not think it absurd the notion of talking snakes, talking donkeys, zombies, and unicorns? Do you not think it absurd to take seriously such notions? If these things are not absurd, then what is?

By the way, how can the being who, according to theists, created everything - including the very idea of absurdity - not do the absurd?

Ydemoc

July 11, 2011 6:27 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

The infinite has no specific identity, nuff said:)

July 11, 2011 7:35 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

R_c321 said:

"Well, Robert after what you said "If my little dog decides to lick his testicles".

It is not hard to see who is really the one with the sick mind."

why do you think this statement means Robert has a "sick mind"?

R_c321 said:

"Can it (god) choose? In what way can these types of actions even make sense when applied to an all-knowing, all-powerful being?

Yes, the bible talks about God choosing."

If god is "all knowing" then he cannot choose...because he already knew what choice he was going to make...thus god is on auto pilot and does nothing but what it already knew it was going to do.

its obvious R_c321 is way over his head as he still has yet to deal with any of the questions we raise.

July 11, 2011 8:58 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “This is another one of your foolish ploys to try and reduce God to absurdity.”

I have no idea what a Christian could possibly mean by “absurdity,” or what he’d have against it. He worships invisible magic beings and has adopted a worldview which claims that a supernatural realm exists beyond the grave, that the universe was created by an act of consciousness, that a tiny number of ancient individuals were chosen by an invisible magic being receive “revelations” and write them down, that this invisible magic being incarnated itself in the form of a human being who was crucified and resurrected, that men were raised from the dead, that water was turned into wine, that men walked on water, etc., etc., etc. If these things are not absurd in the Christian’s mind, what is?

On a rational understanding of the world, these things are recognized to be fictions, and adults pretending that they are true accounts is absurd. Christianity is inherently absurd from a rational perspective to begin with.

So no, I don’t try to “reduce God to absurdity.” I don’t need to. I simply expose the absurdities already in the beliefs by bringing them to the light of day. The absurdities are already there.

r_c321: “Evidentally, atheist don't understand what omnipotence means when is it ascribed to god. God will not do the absurd. I said this allready.”

On a rational understanding of reality, your god’s signature calling card is doing the absurd. E.g., raising people from the dead, parting the sea, turning water into wine, waging bets with the devil, instructing its faithful followers to kill their children, etc., etc., etc.

Alternatively, on a Christian understanding, this is essentially saying that your god can’t do something that human beings can do, for clearly many human beings do absurd things (like sacrifice their lives for an invisible magic being). So again Christianity tells us that its god is omnipotent, and yet hastens to qualify this by saying it can’t do things which human beings can do. How can this be?

r_c321: “Dawson, what is a concept?”

How does the bible answer this question? If Christianity alone can account for human knowledge, it should at least be able to answer this basic question. But you keep avoiding it.

r_c321: “Dawson, what is the theory of concepts?”

What is the distinctively Christian theory of concepts? Where can we find it? If the Christian worldview is the only worldview that can account for human knowledge, how does Christianity account for concepts? Where is this account? Where can we find it?

r_c321: “Dawson, how I can reliably distinguish between your atheism and what you may merely be imagining?”

Very easily in fact. But reference to the primacy of existence.

r_c321: “Dawson, is the word good abstract or concrete?”

Words are symbols, either visual or auditory. As such, words are concrete. The question should concern what words symbolize. How does the bible address this question? Where does it address it?

Regards,
Dawson

July 11, 2011 9:33 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

So, In other words you are saying I can hold the word good in my hand?

Your answer is extremely foolish and evasive. Can you provide a reference that says the word good is concrete?

July 12, 2011 4:35 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321 asked: “So, In other words you are saying I can hold the word good in my hand?”

Not all concretes are something you can hold in your hand. Can you hold a sounding melody in your hand? How about a cloud? Or electromagnetic waves?

r_c321 opined: “Your answer is extremely foolish and evasive.”

Not if words are distinct from the concepts they symbolize (and they are).

What’s foolish is holding to a worldview that enshrines the imaginary. What’s evasive is claiming that the Christian worldview accounts for knowledge, while avoiding the question of where a theory of concepts can be found in the Christian bible.

r_c321 asked: “Can you provide a reference that says the word good is concrete[?]”

Absolutely. I’d be happy to. Here you go:

“In order to be used as a single unit, the enormous sum integrated by a concept has to be given the form of a single, specific, perceptual concrete, which will differentiate it from all other concretes and from all other concepts. This is the function performed by language. Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes. Language is the exclusive domain and tool of concepts. Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept…” (Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, p. 10-11)

Regards,
Dawson

July 12, 2011 5:18 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ok, I didn't ask you about a melody or waves.

I asked you a specific question that you are unwilling to answer because you know the consequences.

I understand your faith in atheism and how you will use any extreme to try and justify it.

It amazes me how the same demands you try and place on the bible you are unwilling to meet. This is something that atehist are really good at.

July 12, 2011 9:13 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

He did answer your question. I have the very book he quoted from. An introduction to objectivist epistemology and can confirm that the statments quoted by Dawson do indeed appear in the book.

July 12, 2011 12:28 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

I am not asking if that statement is in the book or not.

I am asking a specific question which he is refusing to answer.

Is the word good itself abstract or concerete yes or no?

July 12, 2011 12:40 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

If you mean concreate in the sense that you can hold it in your hand, then I would say that what you present here is what we call a false dichotomy.

July 12, 2011 12:49 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

also, i think you are still confusing a concept for its referent. As well as possibly confusing a word its self, just a sound with what it means. You know both Dawson and myself have taken the time to read the bible, maybe you should read an introduction to objectivist epistemology

July 12, 2011 12:52 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “Ok, I didn't ask you about a melody or waves.”

You didn’t have to. I pointed to those as other examples of concretes which we do not hold in our hands, like rocks and pencils. I’ll clarify my point: the meaning of “concrete” does not mean “can be held in your hand,” as you seem to think. The dictionary defines ‘concrete’ as follows: “representing or applied to an actual substance or thing, as opposed to an abstract quality.” It says nothing about something being held in one’s hand.

On my view, concepts are abstractions, and words are different from concepts. Words are visual and auditory symbols, and thus things we see and hear. We see and hear concretes, not abstractions. Just as we hear melodies when we listen to a piece of music. The melody we hear in a piece of music is not itself an abstraction; it is something specific, physical, perceptible. Like words spoken to us by another person.

I don’t know why you’re having a difficult time with this. Perhaps you can clarify your question if you think I’ve misunderstood. One thing that might help is for you to answer the question that I have posed to you: How does the bible address the question you want me to answer? Where does it answer this question? Or: does it? I’m guessing it doesn’t have anything to say on this. But I’ll let you correct me if you think I’m wrong on that.

r_c321: “I asked you a specific question that you are unwilling to answer because you know the consequences.”

What do you mean “unwilling to answer” your question?????? I answered “words are concrete.” This is a broad generalization, and includes specific words, such as the specific word you inquired about, namely the word ‘good’. Not only did I answer your question, you called my answer “extremely foolish.” You nowhere explain why my answer is “extremely foolish.” You just announce it, and offer no reason for your stated assessment. Now you say I haven’t answered your question. Amazing! Are you 14 years old?

r_c321: “It amazes me how the same demands you try and place on the bible you are unwilling to meet.”

Entirely the opposite. You’re placing demands on non-believers that your bible cannot meet! You want us to answer all kinds of questions (e.g., “is the word good abstract or concrete?”) that your bible nowhere addresses. And yet you make the claim that only the Christian worldview accounts for the conceptual level of cognition, and that everyone else is borrowing from it when they use their cognitive faculty. You’re the one who is evasive. You’re the one who holds your opponents to a higher standard than your bible will ever be able to meet.

You are one very confused individual. This is what happens to the human mind under the influence of Christianity. It’s on record here.

Regards,
Dawson

July 12, 2011 2:35 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

yes or no?

July 12, 2011 2:40 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

We see the effects of abstractions.
We dont see the abstraction itself.

Your conclusion is absurd

So, You have never held a pencil in your hand?

My age is irrevelant and arguing in that manner is really foolish.

Answer the question

July 12, 2011 2:46 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “We see the effects of abstractions. We dont see the abstraction itself.”

These are your words. I’ve asked several times for you to present what the bible says on this matter. You need to do that and stop evading.

r_c321: “Your conclusion is absurd”

Why do you think so? What specifically did I write that you think is absurd, and why?

Again, what could you possibly mean by “absurd”? I’ve asked this question to you already. You haven’t explained what you mean by “absurd” or why, given your worldview’s presuppositions, you’d have a problem with anything rightly assessed as “absurd.” You’re evading again!

r_c321: So, You have never held a pencil in your hand?”

Yes, I have. Many times. Just this morning in fact. Why would you ask this?

r_c321: “My age is irrevelant and arguing in that manner is really foolish.”

My question about your age really has to do with your maturity level. It was not an argument. Questions and arguments are not one and the same. (I really wish presuppositionalists in particular would understand this someday.) You act like you’re 14. Your maturity level is that of a 14-year-old. I suspect it’s a result of your devotion to Christianity, which teaches that individuals must “become as little children” if they are to proceed along with the salvation plan (cf. Mt. 18:3 et al.). You have “become as a little child” on behalf of your fixation on pleasing an imaginary being.

r_c321: “Answer the question”

I’ve answered enough questions from you. Now it’s time for you to answer mine, or move on.

Regards,
Dawson

July 12, 2011 2:58 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You misrepresented another bible text. Salvation is neither gained nor lost but I know your just being a good atheist.

July 12, 2011 3:10 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “You misrepresented another bible text.”

I have not misrepresented the bible or Christian practice, and you provide no reason for supposing I have. But I’m happy to defend what I’ve stated. Observe:

1) The bible clearly and unequivocally states that believers are to “become as little children” in order to satisfy the salvation plan it lays forth for eternal cosmic security. I cited specifically Matthew 18:3 which puts the following words into Jesus’ mouth:

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

It says this explicitly. I am in no way misrepresenting the bible by simply quoting it. If you think I am, then you have arbitrarily excised this passage from the bible, for it is clearly there.

2) Christian practice involves obediently following what the bible teaches. Consequently, since believers are to obey what the bible teaches, and the bible clearly teaches that believers are to “become as little children,” I’d say you’re right in line with the biblical salvation program. More and more you’re acting like a little child.

This is your worldview, r_c321. If you’re going to affirm it, you need to live with what it teaches. It’s not my problem that the bible tells believers to “become as little children.” I’m just pointing it out.

It’s odd that non-believers would need to remind believers of what their religion teaches.

r_c321: “Salvation is neither gained nor lost”

I’m afraid this is unclear. Are you saying that sinners can’t be saved according to your understanding of Christianity? Please explain. Use more than 6-word sentences for a change. Try actually elaborating your view for once. Offer some real content, if you have any.

r_c321: “but I know your just being a good atheist.”

Atheism is the absence of belief in gods. It’s good that you recognize that atheism is good.

Regards,
Dawson

July 12, 2011 5:47 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “You misrepresented another bible text.”

I have not misrepresented the bible or Christian practice, and you provide no reason for supposing I have. But I’m happy to defend what I’ve stated. Observe:

1) The bible clearly and unequivocally states that believers are to “become as little children” in order to satisfy the salvation plan it lays forth for eternal cosmic security. I cited specifically Matthew 18:3 which puts the following words into Jesus’ mouth:

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

It says this explicitly. I am in no way misrepresenting the bible by simply quoting it. If you think I am, then you have arbitrarily excised this passage from the bible, for it is clearly there.

2) Christian practice involves obediently following what the bible teaches. Consequently, since believers are to obey what the bible teaches, and the bible clearly teaches that believers are to “become as little children,” I’d say you’re right in line with the biblical salvation program. More and more you’re acting like a little child.

This is your worldview, r_c321. If you’re going to affirm it, you need to live with what it teaches. It’s not my problem that the bible tells believers to “become as little children.” I’m just pointing it out.

It’s odd that non-believers would need to remind believers of what their religion teaches.

r_c321: “Salvation is neither gained nor lost”

I’m afraid this is unclear. Are you saying that sinners can’t be saved according to your understanding of Christianity? Please explain. Use more than 6-word sentences for a change. Try actually elaborating your view for once. Offer some real content, if you have any.

r_c321: “but I know your just being a good atheist.”

Atheism is the absence of belief in gods. It’s good that you recognize that atheism is good.

Regards,
Dawson

July 12, 2011 5:48 PM  
Blogger Nide Corniell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 12, 2011 6:09 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Actually, Jesus said only God is good ALONE.
So, you are wrong again. You are so ignorant of what the bible actually teaches it's amazing.

Psalm 14: "1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good.
2 The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand,
Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one."

Good Night.

July 12, 2011 6:12 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

How are you? Is everything okay?

Whoever authored Psalm 14 apparently didn't consider the future admonition - on threat of damnation, mind you - not to call anyone a "fool." (See Mathew 5:22).

Ydemoc

July 12, 2011 6:24 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide Corniell wrote: “Actually, Jesus said only God is good ALONE.”

So what?

Nide continues: “So, you are wrong again.”

Are you directing this to me? If so, where was I wrong before?

Nide then wrote: “You are so ignorant of what the bible actually teaches it's amazing.”

Interesting. So when r_c321 says that I’m a “good atheist,” he’s actually in conflict with statements which the bible attributes to Jesus. Got it.

Nide quoted Psalm 14: "1 The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’.”

Tell us, Nide: Is what men imagine *real*? If I imagine an invisible magic being, is it real? Does it really exist if I imagine it does?

I really don’t care if Christians call me a fool. Their own bibles consider all human beings liars and fools. Even believers are characterized as fools. And as you mentioned above, it says that no one is good but the god that Christians imagine. So we have to consider the source, since no real argument has been offered. It’s just a characterization, and any 14-year-old is capable of that. The bible never seems to rise higher than such a base level.

But if we rely on reason instead of slander, here’s a simple argument to consider:

Premise 1: That which is imaginary is not real.
Premise: 2: If something is not real, it does not actually exist.
Premise 3: If the god of Christianity is imaginary, then it is not real and therefore does not actually exist.
Premise 4: The god of Christianity is imaginary.
Conclusion: Therefore, the god of Christianity is not real and therefore does not exist.

If the premises in this argument are shown to be true, one would need to be a fool to deny its conclusion. So if you want to deny it and avoid utter folly, you need to show that at least one of its premises is false. Which premise can you show to be false?

Nide wrote: “Good night.”

Yes, go back to sleep.

Regards,
Dawson

July 12, 2011 6:26 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 12, 2011 6:38 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Only premise 4 can be in dispute unless r_c321 has completely surrendered his mind. I wonder how he will attack it. First cause argument? or some form of X requires god, there is X, therefore god. However it will have to be argued that X actually does require god and only the Christian god, where will the rabbit hole lead?

Ok just for fun here it goes Dawson. God must exist because the universe is orderly and unless some ruling conciousness was constantly maintaining it, it would fall apart into chaos. I show as an example of this the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Also no other god or being can be responsible because the bible never mentions them, not even blarko. I invoke the one free circular argument cause.... what... what do you mean you have never heard of that, I just made it up right now.


Sorry I just cant take this discussion seriously anylonger

July 12, 2011 6:45 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321 wrote: "Good Night"

Nide, night, r_c321.

Just some mildly amusing word play.

Ydemoc

July 12, 2011 6:45 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

what... not going to try and take down my unassailable argument? :)

July 12, 2011 6:53 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi, Justin,

I was just commenting on the fact that r_c321's real name (evidently) is "Nide." I had written a little something earlier that I wasn't satisfied with. When I re-posted it with slight edits, it ended up posting on the heels of your post.

Ydemoc

July 12, 2011 7:02 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

no worries, I am just being silly

July 12, 2011 7:05 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

1 is false. God is not imaginary
You're entire argument falls on it's face.
Nice try.

I'm doing well Ydemoc thank you.

King David wrote it. I understand your concern and for now I can give you a preliminary response.

I would encourage you to consult a few different versions and compare them before you make a decision so you can get a better understanding of the text.

Calling someone a fool because they are stubborn and hard-headed is a lot different than calling someone a fool with hate in your heart and murderous intentions.

In Psalm 14 I believe it carries the meaning in the former.

Dawson is not "stupid" he is stubborn.

If you look at the context in Matthew 5 you would see the latter meaning.

Lord willing this will help.

July 12, 2011 7:20 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Nide is not my
name. I accidentally signed in with someone else account.

July 12, 2011 7:22 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@r_c321

I think you meant to dispute premise 4, not 1, correct? And if premise 4 is incorrect why? what argument do you have. In jest I have done more to advance your case.

July 12, 2011 7:27 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

If on the other hand you are in fact disputing premise one, well I am left speechless. There really would no longer be any, if there ever was a common ground to allow for a meaningful discussion. A Freudian slip perhaps?

July 12, 2011 7:34 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin, No Comment.

July 12, 2011 7:40 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

oh come on r_c321. I am going to assume you dispute 4 even tho you typed 1, heck everyone makes a typo, why is god not imaginary? Please understand, I grew up in an atheistic household, I was 6 six years old before I even heard of god. How am I, someone not raised to assume god is real like some sort of axiom to know that he is real? How would you convince some stranger from a far off land that does not even have the concept of god?

July 12, 2011 7:50 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

R_c321: “1 is false."

I see. So that which is imaginary, in your view, is *real*?

Or was that just a typo?

I suggest you use greater care in both your thought and your communication.

r_c321: "God is not imaginary You're entire argument falls on it's face. Nice try.”

Two questions to help you with this:

1) Do you understand the fact that the imaginary is not real? (I have to ask this given your response to premise 1 of my argument.)

2) When I imagine your god, how is what I’m imagining not imaginary?”

Regards,
Dawson

July 12, 2011 7:57 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

I can't convince anyone. that takes the work of the holy spirit



Justin can you prove number 4?

July 12, 2011 8:06 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

4 is the concept denoting any grouping of 4 existents. the groupings can be perceptually self evident thus not requiring proof. Proof comes in when one is talking about what cant be perceptually detected, you know like god.

July 12, 2011 8:14 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

1 is implying God. That is why I reject it.
as your following premise show.

Yes, if something can proven not to be real then it is imaginary.


I have no idea what you are asking in 2.

July 12, 2011 8:17 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

r_c321 if you cant convince us, only the holy spirit, whatever that is, even in principle, then why are you here discussing this with us?

July 12, 2011 8:19 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Thanks for your responses.

r_c321 wrote: "King David wrote it. I understand your concern and for now I can give you a preliminary response."

King David wrote it? Are you certain of this? And why would you be giving me just a "preliminary" response? Why not a final response?


r_c321 wrote: "I would encourage you to consult a few different versions and compare them before you make a decision so you can get a better understanding of the text."

Why would I need to consult different versions of the Bible (or passages of different Bibles) to get a better understanding? Suppose people in the middle ages who had access to only one version of the Bible (or from what I've read, no access at all) came to reject Christianity because of certain passages that were not understood properly? What would you say about that? That it's just part of "God's Plan?"


r_c321 wrote: "Calling someone a fool because they are stubborn and hard-headed is a lot different than calling someone a fool with hate in your heart and murderous intentions."

Does the Bible *explicitly* make this distinction? Does it say what what you just said above?

And if you aren't Nide Corniell, then who is? (Not that it's any big deal, it's just curious, that's all)

Ydemoc

July 12, 2011 8:23 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “I can't convince anyone. that takes the work of the holy spirit”

In other words, your god-belief cannot be established on the basis of reason, but must be forced on a person by a supernatural being. Reason, logic and argument have nothing to do with it. One needs to be cosmically coerced, or he won’t believe at all. That’s the only way I can truly understand this.

On your view, then, if I don’t believe, it’s “God’s will” that I don’t believe. Consequently, your attempts to badger me into believing – calling me foolish and stubborn, issuing threats, making baseless charges about my position, etc. – must be contrary to your god’s will, since you’re essentially saying that the current state of affairs – which is precisely the way your god wants them to be – is somehow wrong and needs to be corrected. To be consistent with your own underlying premises, we can only conclude that you’re essentially criticizing your own god’s handiwork.

r_c321: “can you prove number 4?”

I take it that you mean premise 4 of my argument, which states: “The god of Christianity is imaginary.”

This is an introspectively self-evident observation. It’s in the same category as “I’m thinking of the concept ‘category’ now.” When theists tell me about their god, I have no alternative but to use my imagination to consider what they say about it. I’m guessing that you won’t deny the fact that I can imagine your god. For instance, when the bible characterizes its god as telling Abraham to prepare his son Isaac as a burnt offering, or when it characterizes it as angry with the wicked, etc., I can imagine these things. I’m hoping at least you won’t deny this much.

But that leads us right back to your problem: how do I distinguish what the bible calls “God” from something that is merely imaginary? This is why I asked you the following question:

When I imagine your god, how is what I’m imagining not imaginary?

I do not see that you have addressed this question.

Furthermore in response to your question about premise 4, I have already posted an entry on my blog which cites no less than 13 points of evidence in favor of it. See here: The Imaginative Nature of Christian Theism

I posted a link to this blog entry earlier in our discussion. I take it you haven’t read it. It continues to stand unrefuted to this day.

Regards,
Dawson

July 12, 2011 8:58 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc, Absolutely In Matthew 23:17 Jesus called the Pharisees Fools.

The disction is clearly seen and understood.

Dawson, It is not merely "God's will" that you believe him. It is his Command Acts 17 says this clearly. The problem is you can't and don't want to. Romans 1 and 8 says this clearly.

Men are slaves to the desires of their wicked hearts.

God in his infinite wisdom and mercy was pleased to save a people for himself.

God the father draws men unto himself through Jesus Christ and by the holy spirit raises them from "spiritual deadness"

Because of this great work by the holy spirit you will repent and be given the faith to believe In God.

July 13, 2011 12:11 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

r_c321: “Dawson, It is not merely ‘God's will’ that you believe him. It is his Command Acts 17 says this clearly.”

Then clearly the holy spirit is not in line with “God’s will,” for here you’re saying that your god wants me to believe it’s real, and earlier you said that only the holy spirit can convince me (which means: you have no persuasive argument for its existence), and yet I don’ believe it. So there’s conflict in the high heavens. Not my problem. As you yourself admit, there’s nothing I can do about it.

r_c321: “The problem is you can't and don't want to.”

If it’s the case that I *can’t* believe your god is real, then my wants have nothing to do with it. I would love to be able to fly like a bird, but no amount of wanting has anything to do with it. I can’t fly like a bird, no matter how much I want it.

But since you included the word ‘want’ here, you’re just giving away the fact that your belief is really ultimately based on your wants, and you’re trying to project this attitude onto me. Doesn’t work. I govern my mind on the basis of the primacy of existence. I recognize that reality does not conform to conscious intentions.

Let's say I "want" to believe your god is real. Would belief based on wanting it to be real, be a true belief? Just because I want it to be true?

But clearly you're not dealing honestly in this discussion. For I have already pointed to numerous reasons for supposing that your god is merely imaginary. Do you think I should believe that something I am imagining is real????

R_c321: “Romans 1 and 8 says this clearly.”

Yes, and as we saw, Romans 1 contains a blatant contradiction that you’ve been unable to resolve.

r_c321: “God in his infinite wisdom and mercy was pleased to save a people for himself.”

Your god doesn’t seem to choose very many winners.

r_c321: “Because of this great work by the holy spirit you will repent and be given the faith to believe In God.“

Who will?

I still haven’t seen your answer to my question, so I’ll ask it again:

When I imagine your god, how is what I’m imagining not imaginary?

If you have an all-knowing god on your side that has filled you with its holy spirit, why do you choose to ignore simple questions directed to you?

Regards,
Dawson

July 13, 2011 12:29 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

Hello, again.

r_c321 wrote: "Calling someone a fool because they are stubborn and hard-headed is a lot different than calling someone a fool with hate in your heart and murderous intentions."

I wrote: "Does the Bible *explicitly* make this distinction? Does it say what what you just said above?"

r_c321 then replied: "Absolutely In Matthew 23:17 Jesus called the Pharisees Fools. The disction is clearly seen and understood."

I'm afraid I nowhere see an *explicit* distinction. In fact, it seems intention has nothing to do with it. In Mathew 5:22 it appears that even uttering the words, "Thou fool" makes one in danger of hell fire.

Yet Paul, in 1 Cor. 15:36 utters the word "fool." And in Galations 3:1, he calls them "fools."

There are many, many more passages in the bible that use this word. It seems one has to do "apologetic acrobatics" to twist out of these inconsistencies.

Ydemoc

July 13, 2011 8:23 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Dawson said: "Then clearly the holy spirit is not in line with “God’s will,” for here you’re saying that your god wants me to believe it’s real, and earlier you said that only the holy spirit can convince me (which means: you have no persuasive argument for its existence), and yet I don’ believe it. So there’s conflict in the high heavens. Not my problem. As you yourself admit, there’s nothing I can do about it."

1. You misqouted me I said God COMMANDS every man to believe I never said God WANTS every man to believe. Can you explain yourself?

At least use the right quotaion before making your assumptions.

2. God the father and God the holy spirit are in complete agreement. The problem is your bias towards christiny that doesnt allow you to deal with the issues honestly.

Why are you talking to me about birds?

Let me restate what I said,

You are not able to believe and You have no desire to believe.

I answered your objection to romans 1 but once again your bias is not allowing you to deal with the text honestly. At the point your just being a faithful atheist.


Dawson said: When I imagine your god, how is what I’m imagining not imaginary?

I answered this allready but your faith in atheism blinds you from accepting my answer.

Ydemoc said: It seems one has to do "apologetic acrobatics" to twist out of these inconsistencies.

The problem is the way atheist interpret the bible is not only wrong but its dangerous.

Atheist love to ignore context and messages.

I could take anybody's writing and make them say anything I want by taking a qoute from here and a quote from there and stick them together.

So, at that point I disagree with you. You are not dealing with the text honestly.

Atheist are so desperate to discredit God and his word that they would do anything it takes even if it means being dishonest.

July 13, 2011 10:15 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

So god commands things he does not want? Also if an all powerful being commands that every man believe,why is it that not every man believes?

July 13, 2011 11:09 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Hello friends: I have a bit of spare time this lunch break and saw the new messages in the mail. I would like to comment again. I hope this is ok with Dawso. Sir, if you wish I will delete this comment.

r_c321 Presuppositional apologetics are purposed towards showing that atheists are inconsistent in their thinking. However, none of the arguments put forth by professional and well trained Calvinist Christian commentators to that end work because there is nothing inconsistent about thinking your god either impossible or so improbable as to be not worthy of consideration while concluding that morality, logic, conceptualization, uniformity of nature and human consciousness are axiomatic facts of material existence. The articles and books I've linked to make this case abundantly clear. Therefore, you are not welcome to help yourself to premising that your god is either possible or probable. To make your case you must first establish your god is possible in reality or actual existence. You have not done this. I am quite certain neither you nor any other god believer of any religion or faith can accomplish that task because no one can demonstrate that the alleged attributes of their god or gods are coherent or not somehow mutually contradictory. So once again you and those who think like you bear the onus of the burden of proof. To shoulder that you must first define your god or gods in coherent ways and demonstrate such definitions apply to the entities professed as gods rather than to notions of the gods and that such definitions are in harmony with the facts of material existence.

Since no religious apologist can define their god or gods coherently arguments from non-cognitivism can be used to justify strong atheism.

The Argument From Non-Cognitivism

Also, I advise you to maintain a proper decorum in your interactions with the blog. Some of your messages border on insulting or ad hominem attack. This tactic will not work for you because most of the readers of Dawwon's blog are followers of Ayn Rand' Philosophy of Objectivism. You might enjoy one of her books that is in the public domain.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

No insults or smearing and snarky insinuations will cause an Objectivist to be sympathetic to your non-case. Only facts from material existence properly argued as evidence for the ridiculous claims of Christian mystics and apologists could sway an Objectivist. However, there are no such facts. Additionally there are very good reasons to think all the gods including the one fantasized by yourself are impossible.

In light of the fact that so far you have failed to make any of your points and are losing this discussion, why not just deconvert. Pray this prayer to yourself.

I, say your real name, do solemnly promise and affirm to myself that I renounce and repudiate all forms of Christian belief. The gods of Christianity are false. I deny they are possible. I reject the absurd notions of Christian mysticism and renounce the doctrines and creeds of the many thousands of Christian sects and denominations as delusional fantasies. I promise to live my life for myself and to value those whom I love. I will never ask another man or woman to live for me because I am the sanction of my existence and the reason for my life.

If you will earnestly pray this prayer to yourself and mean it, your life will be so much better. For to live free of the bondage of religious superstition is precious beyond belief.

July 13, 2011 11:13 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Man, I still cant rap my brain around the idea of an all powerful being commanding that which he does not want.

July 13, 2011 11:19 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin, you are confused.

Men don't believe because they have no desire to.
They are slaves to their sinful nature.
Their will is enslaved to sin.
Men love their sin they must choose to sin.
There are no alternatives.

Command and Want don't carry the same meanings.

July 13, 2011 11:22 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Robert, did you come up with this or rand?

Robert I'm happy to see you are back.

I have question a few days ago you said the bible is a flawed guide to living.

Are murder,lying,cheating, etc. moral or immoral?

July 13, 2011 11:47 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

Hi, again.

r_c321 wrote: "I could take anybody's writing and make them say anything I want by taking a qoute from here and a quote from there and stick them together."

And Christians do this all the time. Flip from one part of the bible to another and tie everything together in a sermon. They take things out of context on a regular basis.

Additionally, it seems ripping quotes from the Old Testament, along with blatant context-dropping, was the preferred style for writers of the gospel, especially when it came to so-called prophecy passages, e.g., Virgin Birth, Messiah's arrival.

Furthermore, yes you could take quotes from writings and stick them together and make them say anything you want, but I don't think I was doing that. I was simply showing a few of the numerous passages in both the Old and New Testament where Jesus, Paul, and others called people "fools," and how this language contradicts Jesus' own admonishment about doing so.

One would think that the bible, being the Word of God, would be absolutely clear on these types of things. Where it would be so precise and exact that no rational person could doubt it. But given Christianity's various off-shoots it's infighting throughout history, this seems not to be the case.

Another way of saying this: You never any rational people fighting over whether or not the moon exists. If the God were as plain as the moon, or gravity, or the nose on my face, or any other existent that can be perceived, what's there to fight about? Why all the hiding? Unless, of course, he's not really there, but only in one's imagination to begin with.

Ydemoc

July 13, 2011 11:57 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

Dawson has some great stuff here on his blog that deals directly with the question you posed to Robert.

Take a scroll through his archives, in Year One and Year Two there are entries such as:

"Do I Borrow My Morality from the Christian Worldview?" (4/14/2005)

"The Moral Uselessness of the 10 Commandments" (May 22, 2007)

and

"Rational Morality vs. Presuppositional Apologetics" (3/9/06)


These are just a few of Dawson's writings on the subject.

Enjoy!

Ydemoc

July 13, 2011 12:13 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc, I looked at Dawson's "The Moral Uselessness of the 10 Commandments"

I am not surprised one bit.

Dawson is only being a faithful atheist.

He must be an atheist he has no other choice.

July 13, 2011 12:50 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked: When I imagine your god, how is what I’m imagining not imaginary?

r_c321 responded: “I answered this allready but your faith in atheism blinds you from accepting my answer.”

I checked the comments record again. I do not see where you have answered this question. Please repost your answer to my question if you have one.

I’ll ask it once again:

When I imagine your god, how is what I’m imagining not imaginary?

How do you answer this?

Regards,
Dawson

July 13, 2011 2:25 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Read Romans 1 the answer is there.

July 13, 2011 2:35 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked:

When I imagine your god, how is what I’m imagining not imaginary?

R_c321 answered: “Read Romans 1 the answer is there.”

I read Romans 1. It does not answer my question.

My question remains unanswered.

Wanna try again?

Regards,
Dawson

July 13, 2011 2:40 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Then neither will I

July 13, 2011 2:43 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: “I read Romans 1. It does not answer my question.”

r_c321 replied: “Then neither will I”

And that’s because you can’t answer my question. Romans 1 never did answer it. Apparently you were hoping to drag the discussion off-topic.

It’s undeniable: when I imagine something, what I am imagining is imaginary.

When I imagine five-armed, seven-headed, 12-footed purple aliens wearing Superman underwear, what I am imagining is imaginary. It is not real, it does not exist.

Similarly, when I imagine the Christian’s god, what I am imagining is in fact imaginary. It’s not real. It does not actually exist.

To defend theism against these elementary points by denying either a) the unreality of the imaginary, or b) the fact that I must imagine what the Christian calls "God" in order to consider what he says about it, would be to give away its imaginative nature. But to fail to answer it is to concede the point as well.

So the theist has been checkmated: his king has nowhere to move, he has lost the contest altogether.

Regards
Dawson

July 13, 2011 2:55 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Go, Dawson Go.

July 13, 2011 5:38 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

To all who have replied to r_c321,

Forgetting for the moment that the very notion of "god belief" falls within the same category, is it apparent to others as it has to me that, for the most part, the substance of r_c321's responses have been nothing more than "arbitrary?"

Ydemoc

July 13, 2011 8:18 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

"is it apparent to others as it has to me that, for the most part, the substance of r_c321's responses have been nothing more than "arbitrary?""

most definitely. he reminds me of a little child who says "nuh uh cuz my daddy says blah blah" He didn't address anything Dawson or anyone said in any effort to prove his points or move his argument forward. Just assertions and off topic bible verses that had nothing to do with the argument he originally raised. Well it wasn't really even an argument, it was:

"Dawson we ALL know that if Dr.bahnsen was alive he would roast you like a duck. Its easy to pick on a dead man."

When Bahnsen spent a great deal of his time in apologetics doing the very thing R_c321 accused Dawson of doing i.e. Bertrand R..

The only thing that was "roasted like a duck" or should I say...INCINERATED... was R_c321, his non arguments and childish comments. oh and Presuppositionalism was {roasted|incinerated} as well...as it always is here on the BBBspot.

: ]

July 13, 2011 9:03 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

ActionJackson864,

Perhaps r_c321's intention throughout his series of exchanges was not to explore or learn anything, nor to present any real arguments in defense of his position; but, instead, to fulfill his Christian obligation to witness, thereby satisfying some self-imposed (albeit, imaginary) psychological need.

July 13, 2011 9:19 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc, arbitrary?

For ActionJacksion

"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

July 13, 2011 10:34 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321: good morning.

You asked "Are murder,lying,cheating, etc. moral or immoral? "

I've already addressed this issue in regards to Presuppositional apologetics by noting and linking to Michael Martin's articles published on Infidels.org. See his reply to Butler at Butler's Defense of TAG and Critique of TANG

If you are interested in reading about Objectivism get a used copy of Objectivism The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff especially chapters 7 and 8 regarding ethics and virtue.

Morality like logic and the uniformity of nature arise as axiomatic facts of material existence. See my blog at Logic arises from material existence This argument works equally well for morality.

Ayn Rand wrote extensively regarding morality.

"What is morality, or ethics? It is a code of values to guide man’s choices and actions—the choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life. Ethics, as a science, deals with discovering and defining such a code.

The first question that has to be answered, as a precondition of any attempt to define, to judge or to accept any specific system of ethics, is: Why does man need a code of values?

Let me stress this. The first question is not: What particular code of values should man accept? The first question is: Does man need values at all—and why?" ~ “The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 13

Do you need morality and why are the questions that determine what follows. Starting with content of an ethical codex is not logical because doing so is arbitrary.

But all this is a further evasion on your part. Your job here is to validate your basal premise that it is possible for your alleged god to exist in reality.

July 14, 2011 6:25 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321: I typed "Your job here is to validate your basal premise that it is possible for your alleged god to exist in reality."

I think this is not a doable task because to show your god is possible you must first inductively adduce attributes from observations of your god. However, as your god is not observable by any means either directly or indirectly via circumstantial facts or inferences argued as evidence, then no such attributes can be adduced. This is why you and all other theists of whatever religious faith argue deductively from premises constructed of concepts stemming from imaginary beings. Take the modal versions of Anselm's ontological asserted by Plantenga, Malcomb, or Hartshorne. These Christian philosophers imagine their god as a necessary being that exists in all possible worlds and that Anselem's principle is valid. But necessary in the sense used by P, M, H means logically deductively following from true premises via valid inference. The problem with their arguments is that there are no premises for Christianity's god that stem from inductive or empirical observation. Rather all their premises are ultimately sourced in their imaginations. Anselem's principle that maximal greatness entails instantiation fails for the reasons pointed out by Hume and Frege, but not so much Kant. See The Non-Existence of God by Nicholas Everitt chapter three on the ontological arguments.

You problem is to define your god not from your imagination but from facts stemming from empirical inductive observations. Then you can go about the business of proving your observations are valid. Trying to infer your god from existence, cosmic origins, teleological design or anthropic principles does not work because science provides better explanations than theology. That's why so many would be apologists seek to show non-believers are inconsistent in their thinking. But as I have pointed out several times, there is nothing inconsistent in thinking logic, morality, the uniformity of nature or science stem from material existence and at the same time not believing in any of the many imaginary gods people dream up to make themselves feel better without having to work for their self-esteem.

July 14, 2011 7:09 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321: "Robert, did you come up with this or rand?"

The text in my message just prior to the one where you asked the above question was thought up and typed by me. My education throughout the course of my life contributed to the ideas I so ineptly expressed. Usually a person can determine if I am the author of the text in question by how quickly they fall asleep when reading. If they find themselves suddenly awakened when their head falls onto their keyboard or desk top, then I am very likely to have been the author.

Further to the ethics issue, I recommend Ethics Without God by Kia Nielsen Even if a person completely rejects Rand and her followers, Nielsen does a pretty good job of showing there are still many ways to construct well reasoned moralities with measurable standards of value.

July 14, 2011 10:37 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Robert, thanks for your response. I feel I have adequately gave a reason for the existence of god. However,I am willing to discuss it further.

I have a question you pointed me to Michael Martin's article.

In the article he says "A major position of my argument against the objectivity of Christian ethics has to do with the difficulties of objectively deciding what moral principles God has revealed, given conflicting religious traditions, and the problems of rationally choosing between conflicting interpretations within a single religious tradition.

What is he specifically refering to when he says there are conflicting traditions and conflicting intreperations when it comes to the morals of God?

Also, if possible, can you give me a synopsis of Kia Nielsen's book.

Thanks.

July 14, 2011 11:59 AM  
Blogger Drew said...

I am surprised nobody took r_C321 to task for the repeated charge that Dawson is just being a "faithful atheist" or the admonishing tone when refering to his opponents' "faith in atheism".

I'm always befuddled by the Christian apologists' use of the concept "faith," as if it were an epithet, when debating atheists. I mean, isn't the believer's position, in essence, that faith is *good*? So why belittle an opponent's "faith" when faith is exactly what the apologist is "arguing" for? I've heard this so many times. It drives me crazy. Besides, having "faith" in atheism (or "faith in reason" as another shibboleth uttered by mystics and especially Christians) is such an abuse of language and concepts, that it can only be interpreted as a deliberate means of obfuscating the issues. You can't have "faith" in reason; faith is the belief in something in the *absence* of reason. You can't have "faith" in atheism since it is simply the absence of belief in god: to have "faith" in a *non-belief* is a glaring contradiction.

This thread is super entertaining though. Thanks r_c321 for giving me a chuckle.

I can't remember what Rand's exact quote was, but I am reading here the manifestation of something to the effect: faith is not a short-cut to knowledge, but a short-circuiting of the mind.

July 14, 2011 2:21 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Drew, r_c321 makes so many cognitive errors with each utterance that you just cant get them all. Its like fighting a hydra. I lost interest in this when he replied that only the holy spirit can convince me of gods existence. Basically an admission that he has no argument and does not consider reason to be a means of requiring knowledge of god. What is the point of discussing anything with someone that wont debate in good faith, no pun intended.

July 14, 2011 2:52 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Drew I am happy that you find me amusing. Thanks

Can you provide a reference for what you said about faith or is this another case of atheism redefining things?


Luke 1:1 "1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught."

July 14, 2011 5:23 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@r_c321

faith is believing something either in the absence of reason or against it.

This is the definition used by objectivists, not atheists per se.. Atheism is not a world view or belief system, it is the lack of a belief in god. Thus it does not provide definitions for anything

If you disagree and assert that faith can incorporate reason, they why not just get to the reason? Is there a logical argument for god or not?

July 14, 2011 6:45 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321: You typed "I feel I have adequately gave a reason for the existence of god." ~ I have reviewed all your postings in this thread and conclude your 'feeling' is inappropriate because you have provided no legitimate arguments or factual data that can be interpreted as evidence. Your citation of Paul in Romans in reference to the ancient argument from design was thoroughly refuted by David Hume in his "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" and this was 70 years approximately before Darwin published "Origin of Species". See the link to Paul Tobin's Rejection of Pascal's Wager site I posted above and repost here.

http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/design.html#cr

r_c321 typed "I see the Works of his "hands" everyday." ~ This like most else you wrote is gross question begging and unworthy of response.

r_c321 typed " You must have traveled the entire universe and not found one unicorn. Your conclusion is false and actually quite foolish." ~ It is not foolish to actively disbelieve or believe to be impossible notions that are self contradictory and thus incoherent. Such is the case with your god. It is like a square circle. You seem to be unaware of the strong refutations of the imaginative based notions that comprise the alleged attributes of your god. Read "The Impossibility of God", "The Non-Existence of God", and "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification". Links are posted above.

r_c321 typed "1 is false. God is not imaginary You're entire argument falls on it's face. Nice try." ~ More question begging. Dude, you're a one trick pony and you bore me. To establish that a proposition is probably true or certainly true, one must show by argument that factual data comprises evidence that the proposition is in harmony with the facts of reality and that there is a chain of causality from the proposition to a either an inductive logical conclusion that the proposition is probably true or a deductive syllogism stemming from true premises via a valid inference to a valid and sound conclusion. Try to make an argument for your case and stop question begging. Its embarrassing.

The faithful atheist thing is ridiculous. A person cannot have faith in non-belief. You probably really mean faith in naturalism or materialism. However, Dawson is neither a naturalist or materialist. He is an Objectivist. Read Leonard Peikoff's book I linked to above.

I recommend Robert Eiseman's book "James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Christianity" His work will change the way you think about the New Testament.

Yddmoc's comment that your comment " is it apparent to others as it has to me that, for the most part, the substance of r_c321's responses have been nothing more than "arbitrary?" has merit.

To reiterate, "In light of the fact that so far you have failed to make any of your points and are losing this discussion, why not just deconvert. Pray this prayer to yourself.

I, say your real name, do solemnly promise and affirm to myself that I renounce and repudiate all forms of Christian belief. The gods of Christianity are false. I deny they are possible. I reject the absurd notions of Christian mysticism and renounce the doctrines and creeds of the many thousands of Christian sects and denominations as delusional fantasies. I promise to live my life for myself and to value those whom I love. I will never ask another man or woman to live for me because I am the sanction of my existence and the reason for my life.

If you will earnestly pray this prayer to yourself and mean it, your life will be so much better. For to live free of the bondage of religious superstition is precious beyond belief." ~ Robert Bumbalough

July 14, 2011 7:51 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 14, 2011 7:58 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321: You typed "I feel I have adequately gave a reason for the existence of god." ~ I have reviewed all your postings in this thread and conclude your 'feeling' is inappropriate because you have provided no legitimate arguments or factual data that can be interpreted as evidence. Your citation of Paul in Romans in reference to the ancient argument from design was thoroughly refuted by David Hume in his "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" and this was 70 years approximately before Darwin published "Origin of Species". See the link to Paul Tobin's Rejection of Pascal's Wager site I posted above and repost here.

http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/design.html#cr

r_c321 typed "I see the Works of his "hands" everyday." ~ This like most else you wrote is gross question begging and unworthy of response.

r_c321 typed " You must have traveled the entire universe and not found one unicorn. Your conclusion is false and actually quite foolish." ~ It is not foolish to actively disbelieve or believe to be impossible notions that are self contradictory and thus incoherent. Such is the case with your god. It is like a square circle. You seem to be unaware of the strong refutations of the imaginative based notions that comprise the alleged attributes of your god. Read "The Impossibility of God", "The Non-Existence of God", and "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification". Links are posted above.

r_c321 typed "1 is false. God is not imaginary You're entire argument falls on it's face. Nice try." ~ More question begging. Dude, you're a one trick pony and you bore me. To establish that a proposition is probably true or certainly true, one must show by argument that factual data comprises evidence that the proposition is in harmony with the facts of reality and that there is a chain of causality from the proposition to a either an inductive logical conclusion that the proposition is probably true or a deductive syllogism stemming from true premises via a valid inference to a valid and sound conclusion. Try to make an argument for your case and stop question begging. Its embarrassing.

The faithful atheist thing is ridiculous. A person cannot have faith in non-belief. You probably really mean faith in naturalism or materialism. However, Dawson is neither a naturalist or materialist. He is an Objectivist. Read Leonard Peikoff's book I linked to above.

I recommend Robert Eiseman's book "James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Christianity" His work will change the way you think about the New Testament.

Yddmoc's comment that your comment " is it apparent to others as it has to me that, for the most part, the substance of r_c321's responses have been nothing more than "arbitrary?" has merit.

To reiterate, "In light of the fact that so far you have failed to make any of your points and are losing this discussion, why not just deconvert. Pray this prayer to yourself.

I, say your real name, do solemnly promise and affirm to myself that I renounce and repudiate all forms of Christian belief. The gods of Christianity are false. I deny they are possible. I reject the absurd notions of Christian mysticism and renounce the doctrines and creeds of the many thousands of Christian sects and denominations as delusional fantasies. I promise to live my life for myself and to value those whom I love. I will never ask another man or woman to live for me because I am the sanction of my existence and the reason for my life.

If you will earnestly pray this prayer to yourself and mean it, your life will be so much better. For to live free of the bondage of religious superstition is precious beyond belief." ~ Robert Bumbalough

July 14, 2011 8:01 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321: This is getting redundant, but, citing bible verses to people who are strong atheists gets you nowhere. There is no magic power in the words of the bible. If there was you would not be having this discussion. There would not be web sites like this. Why Won't God Heal Amputees If you had super magic powers as the gospel writers made Jesus promise his followers, as in John 14:12, Matt 21:21, Luke 17:6, Mark 9:23, then you would be resurrecting rotted corpses from the dead, magically growing legs back onto solders who got em blown off by IED's in the wars, or magically bringing the World Trade Center back from scattered rubble. You can't do none of that stuff because your god is imaginary. Don't think so? Then try making some kind of argument that your god, whatever the heck you think it may be is possible rather than an incoherent jumble of contradictory fantasy notions.

Also you completely ignored my argument. Consider carefully.

1. In possible worlds talk, new possible worlds constantly come about by occurrence of some event. If my little dog decides to lick his testicles and does so for a while and then decides to stop and scratch his fleas, a new possible world has come about. If Dawson eats something that disagrees with his tummy (Thai home style cooking perhaps? Grin. ;-) and subsequently passes gas, a new possible world has come about. Likewise for each random quantum event such as spontaneous emission of quantum particle pairs from the quantum vacuum that then annihilate emitting energetic photons or for each radioactive atomic decay new possible worlds come about.
2. .r_c321’s god is defined as being omniscient meaning in part knowing all logically knowable facts or true propositions.
3. .r_c321’s god is defined as a rational being that acts in harmony with the principle of final causation.
4. It is not logically possible for r_c321’s god to know the outcome of authentically random quantum events and hence it cannot be the creator of such events as it is not rational to do so because lacking a means by which to impose order on random quantum events, r_c321’s god would not utilize such events to accomplish its ends if indeed it was the case that it existed. (from 3.)
5. .r_c321’s god is defined as a necessary being that exists in all possible worlds and is creator of all possible worlds.
6. Since the possible worlds brought about by random quantum events are not created by r_c321’s god, then it is not necessarily creator of such possible worlds.
7. If r_c321’s god is not creator of a possible world then it does not exist in that possible world.
8. There are some possible worlds that are not created by r_c321’s god and in which it does not exist.
9. Since r_c321’s god does not exist in some possible worlds it is not a necessary being that exists in all possible worlds.
10. (9) contradicts (5) -> r_c321’s god does not exist.

My time is up for tonight. More later.

July 14, 2011 8:01 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

r_c321: You typed "I feel I have adequately gave a reason for the existence of god." ~ I have reviewed all your postings in this thread and conclude your 'feeling' is inappropriate because you have provided no legitimate arguments or factual data that can be interpreted as evidence. Your citation of Paul in Romans in reference to the ancient argument from design was thoroughly refuted by David Hume in his "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" and this was 70 years approximately before Darwin published "Origin of Species". See the link to Paul Tobin's Rejection of Pascal's Wager site I posted above and repost here.

http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/design.html#cr

r_c321 typed "I see the Works of his "hands" everyday." ~ This like most else you wrote is gross question begging and unworthy of response.

r_c321 typed " You must have traveled the entire universe and not found one unicorn. Your conclusion is false and actually quite foolish." ~ It is not foolish to actively disbelieve or believe to be impossible notions that are self contradictory and thus incoherent. Such is the case with your god. It is like a square circle. You seem to be unaware of the strong refutations of the imaginative based notions that comprise the alleged attributes of your god. Read "The Impossibility of God", "The Non-Existence of God", and "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification". Links are posted above.

r_c321 typed "1 is false. God is not imaginary You're entire argument falls on it's face. Nice try." ~ More question begging. Dude, you're a one trick pony and you bore me. To establish that a proposition is probably true or certainly true, one must show by argument that factual data comprises evidence that the proposition is in harmony with the facts of reality and that there is a chain of causality from the proposition to a either an inductive logical conclusion that the proposition is probably true or a deductive syllogism stemming from true premises via a valid inference to a valid and sound conclusion. Try to make an argument for your case and stop question begging. Its embarrassing.

The faithful atheist thing is ridiculous. A person cannot have faith in non-belief. You probably really mean faith in naturalism or materialism. However, Dawson is neither a naturalist or materialist. He is an Objectivist. Read Leonard Peikoff's book I linked to above.

I recommend Robert Eiseman's book "James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Christianity" His work will change the way you think about the New Testament.

Yddmoc's comment that your comment " is it apparent to others as it has to me that, for the most part, the substance of r_c321's responses have been nothing more than "arbitrary?" has merit.

To reiterate, "In light of the fact that so far you have failed to make any of your points and are losing this discussion, why not just deconvert. Pray this prayer to yourself.

I, say your real name, do solemnly promise and affirm to myself that I renounce and repudiate all forms of Christian belief. The gods of Christianity are false. I deny they are possible. I reject the absurd notions of Christian mysticism and renounce the doctrines and creeds of the many thousands of Christian sects and denominations as delusional fantasies. I promise to live my life for myself and to value those whom I love. I will never ask another man or woman to live for me because I am the sanction of my existence and the reason for my life.

If you will earnestly pray this prayer to yourself and mean it, your life will be so much better. For to live free of the bondage of religious superstition is precious beyond belief." ~ Robert Bumbalough

July 14, 2011 8:02 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

part 1) r_c321: You typed "I feel I have adequately gave a reason for the existence of god." ~ I have reviewed all your postings in this thread and conclude your 'feeling' is inappropriate because you have provided no legitimate arguments or factual data that can be interpreted as evidence. Your citation of Paul in Romans in reference to the ancient argument from design was thoroughly refuted by David Hume in his "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion" and this was 70 years approximately before Darwin published "Origin of Species". See the link to Paul Tobin's Rejection of Pascal's Wager site I posted above and repost here.

http://www.rejectionofpascalswager.net/design.html#cr

r_c321 typed "I see the Works of his "hands" everyday." ~ This like most else you wrote is gross question begging and unworthy of response.

r_c321 typed " You must have traveled the entire universe and not found one unicorn. Your conclusion is false and actually quite foolish." ~ It is not foolish to actively disbelieve or believe to be impossible notions that are self contradictory and thus incoherent. Such is the case with your god. It is like a square circle. You seem to be unaware of the strong refutations of the imaginative based notions that comprise the alleged attributes of your god. Read "The Impossibility of God", "The Non-Existence of God", and "Atheism: A Philosophical Justification". Links are posted above.

r_c321 typed "1 is false. God is not imaginary You're entire argument falls on it's face. Nice try." ~ More question begging. Dude, you're a one trick pony and you bore me. To establish that a proposition is probably true or certainly true, one must show by argument that factual data comprises evidence that the proposition is in harmony with the facts of reality and that there is a chain of causality from the proposition to a either an inductive logical conclusion that the proposition is probably true or a deductive syllogism stemming from true premises via a valid inference to a valid and sound conclusion. Try to make an argument for your case and stop question begging. Its embarrassing.

The faithful atheist thing is ridiculous. A person cannot have faith in non-belief. You probably really mean faith in naturalism or materialism. However, Dawson is neither a naturalist or materialist. He is an Objectivist. Read Leonard Peikoff's book I linked to above.

I recommend Robert Eiseman's book "James the Brother of Jesus: The Key to Unlocking the Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Early Christianity" His work will change the way you think about the New Testament.

Yddmoc's comment that your comment " is it apparent to others as it has to me that, for the most part, the substance of r_c321's responses have been nothing more than "arbitrary?" has merit.

To reiterate, "In light of the fact that so far you have failed to make any of your points and are losing this discussion, why not just deconvert. Pray this prayer to yourself.

I, say your real name, do solemnly promise and affirm to myself that I renounce and repudiate all forms of Christian belief. The gods of Christianity are false. I deny they are possible. I reject the absurd notions of Christian mysticism and renounce the doctrines and creeds of the many thousands of Christian sects and denominations as delusional fantasies. I promise to live my life for myself and to value those whom I love. I will never ask another man or woman to live for me because I am the sanction of my existence and the reason for my life.

If you will earnestly pray this prayer to yourself and mean it, your life will be so much better. For to live free of the bondage of religious superstition is precious beyond belief." ~ Robert Bumbalough

July 14, 2011 8:06 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Robert

That is very interesting argument, and to honest, not sure I completely understand it. I am currently slogging thru a book on quantum physics and might have some questions for you soon if you don't mind.

July 14, 2011 9:40 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

:) meant to say "and to be honest"

July 14, 2011 9:40 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Dear Justin,

I never know what you are saying.

Robert,

I asked you some questions and you ignored then decided to go on a tirade attacking the bible.

So, the gospel writers made Jesus make promises.
That's simply amazing and a first I never heard that one.
That is really innovative. Are you an engineer by trade?

Also, can you please point me to the verse where it says that Christians would be able to bring back the word trade center from rubble? Please I would love to know.

This is why I know the bible is true. When you have to go to those extremes to try and discredit something it only attest to it's truthfulness. I understand your faith in atheism is strong but at least be honest.

Luke 1:1 one of the greatest statements in the bible.

July 14, 2011 10:03 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@r_c321

can you understand these two simple questions?

1. Is there a sound logical argument that ends in, and therefore god?

2. What section, chapter or verse in the bible explains what concepts are, how they are formed and validated.

I know you will refuse to answer or otherwise evade. Which is a real shame, because I honestly would like to know the answers to both questions. If there is a god, I'd like to know. If the bible can provide valuable insight in epistemology I'd like to know.

July 14, 2011 11:48 PM  

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