Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Presuppositionalism vs. Objectivism: How Objectivism Prevails

In the final episode of his commentary on the exchange between presuppositionalist Sye Ten Bruggencate and atheist Justin Schieber, internet apologist Chris Bolt summarizes the presuppositionalist strategy as follows:
You demonstrate the impossibility of the contrary by an internal critique… This is where the real meat of the transcendental argument comes in… This is where we ask the unbeliever things like how do you account for logic, science, and morality in your worldview. The big three. And there are lots of other things of course that you might ask. This is where we demonstrate the inconsistencies in the unbeliever’s worldview. And when we do that, we are demonstrating the impossibility of the contrary. [8:48-9:20]
Did you get that?
The “real meat of the transcendental argument” is demonstrating what presuppositionalists call “the impossibility of the contrary” by means of an internal critique, specifically one which supposedly uncovers “the inconsistencies” within a non-Christian’s worldview. Bolt suggests a few areas of philosophical inquiry where this method can be applied, namely: how does the non-Christian “account for” logic, science, and morality? He also indicates that this method can be applied to numerous other areas of thought.

I have always understood that the “transcendental argument” which presuppositionalists champion is supposed to prove that the Christian god exists. After all, it’s typically referred to as “the transcendental argument for the existence of God,” or TAG for short. But “the real meat of the transcendental argument” as Bolt conceives of it is geared towards exposing inconsistencies in non-Christian worldviews. Even if this is successful in one particular case or another, it’s puzzling how one might think that the conclusion “Therefore, God exists” might follow from such findings. In fact, it strikes me as a wildly overdrawn non sequitur. Perhaps there are some “potatoes” to go along with “the meat” of the argument, and maybe even some gravy and peas, and therein lies the part that proves the existence of the Christian god.

Even more puzzling, the strategy which Bolt describes seems geared toward eliciting a wholesale concession on the part of the non-Christian. It is almost as if questions like “How do you account for logic?” or “How do you account for morality?” are supposed to pester the non-Christian into throwing up his arms in defeat and replying, Duh, I donno. Must be God did it! If the presuppositionalist case of the existence of the Christian god or the alleged truth of the Christian worldview did not depend so inherently on people’s philosophical ignorance, why is it so focused on finding it?

Of course, it may be the case that presuppositionalists are simply presupposing that all non-Christian worldviews have fatal inconsistencies plaguing their inner structure, truth sets, inferences, etc., and therefore bent on finding anything that might confirm this assumption, even if it must be manufactured on the basis of caricature or simply putting words into their opponents’ mouths. It’s hard not to suspect that this is the case when examining a presuppositionalist critique of a non-Christian position, for far too often such critiques tend to be little more than express fault-finding expeditions bent on construing anything the non-Christian position affirms into a most obvious error that astute thinkers would naturally avoid.

Presuppositionalists present themselves as rather foolish oddities in this respect. For one, they posture themselves as though they were truly concerned about the philosophical coherence and logical integrity of a worldview, while relying on an apologetic method which often consists of little more than canned, one-size-fits-all objections cast in the form of catchy sound bites and shallow slogans. But even worse, underlying this charade is the unself-conscious cockiness of apparently finding satisfaction in theistic confessions as actual solutions to the philosophical problems they raise in their criticisms of non-Christian positions.

For instance, presuppositionalists would on the one hand denounce as logically inconsistent, self-defeating or philosophically incoherent any worldview which looks at the world around us, identifies certain general facts which are available in any perception of the world as fundamental starting points, and builds its theory of knowledge and moral doctrines on the basis of general, indubitable facts about man’s nature that pertain to these issues, and treats man’s requirements for living on earth as relevant factors in developing a view of man’s purpose in life, all the while resting on the claim that an invisible magic being which we can only access by means of our imaginations, somehow addresses these issues without the need for further illumination. If credibility is something that thinkers must earn, presuppositionalists must be lobbying for raising the agitprop minimum wage.

But when it comes to putting the braggadocio of presuppositional apologetics to the test, it remains stubbornly unclear what internal problem they think they can find in Objectivism. Objectivism does not affirm belief in the supernatural, and in fact rejects supernaturalism as mere fantasy. Of course, this by itself is enough to put the presuppositionalist on alert. But in contrast to Christianity, which espouses a metaphysics of supernaturalism, faith in revelations from supernatural sources, the ethics of self-sacrifice and ultimately a collectivistic rendition of political theory (as the implications of its moral premises are taken to their logical conclusion), Objectivism affirms an objective metaphysics, reason in epistemology, rational self-interest in ethics, and individual rights in politics. It seems that anyone who elects to oppose Objectivism tells us a lot about himself by this choice.

Specifically in regard to the kinds of questions which Bolt raises in the section of his podcast quoted above, Objectivism has an integrated, non-contradictory and logically incontrovertible approach to each of the issues which presuppositionalists seek to challenge non-believers on. And depending on what “account for” may mean (a vague expression which presuppositionalists typically do not explain, and when it is defined, it is not uniform among various practitioners of presuppositionalism), Objectivism offers answers to the presuppositionalist challenge which will withstand anything they might throw at them.

Observe:
Question: How does Objectivism account for logic?
Answer: Objectivism accounts for logic by the axioms, the primacy of existence, and the objective theory of concepts.
Question: How does Objectivism account for science?
Answer: Objectivism accounts for science by the axioms, the primacy of existence, and the objective theory of concepts.
Question: How does Objectivism account for morality?
Answer: Objectivism accounts for morality by the axioms, the primacy of existence, and the objective theory of concepts.
For some insights on how the axioms, the primacy of existence and the objective theory of concepts work together to provide an account for logic, science, and the Objectivist view of morality, see the following:
Etc.
So the questions for presuppositionalists at this point are: What inconsistencies are lurking in Objectivism’s accounts for these issues? Where’s the inconsistency? Where does the presuppositionalist show that there are inconsistencies here? How can anyone, including the presuppositionalist, even reason without assuming the truth of the axioms, assuming the primacy of existence, and making use of concepts?

Recently a Christian visitor to my website announced “I reject everything rand says” [sic], referring of course to the philosopher Ayn Rand (see r_c321’s 18 July comment to this blog). Such sweeping dismissals, which are by no means unusual among zealous apologists for theism, strike me as utterly irresponsible. But so be it. Let the theist identify who he is. But how far is he prepared to go with such hyper-generalized renunciation?

Let’s take a look specifically at the Objectivist axioms, and consider how the presuppositionalist commitment to disprove non-Christian worldviews would play out when deployed against Objectivism.

Does the presuppositionalist contend that the axiom of existence is false? To do so would be to say that there is no reality. But this would not only deny the apologist’s own existence, but also the existence of his listeners, and even the god he expects others to worship. So this does not seem like a very fruitful stance for the apologist to take.

Is the presuppositionalist prepared to argue that existence is not fundamental? What could be more fundamental than existence? If the theist proposes something else as fundamental, is he saying that it does not exist? Can he identify what he thinks is fundamental, and explain why existence is not a factor? Can he point to something that is fundamental that is other than something that exists? What comes before existence, and how does the theist distinguish what he proposes as coming prior to existence from something he’s simply imagining? How do the rest of us make that distinction?

Does the presuppositionalist contend that the axiom of identity is false? To do so would be to deny that a thing is itself, that to exist is to have nature, that A is A. Is the presuppositionalist prepared to argue that existence has no identity? If so, then he would be saying that everything that exists has no identity and that anything which does exist is not distinct from anything else that exists. How would his own god-beliefs sustain such a self-defeating commitment?

Does the presuppositionalist contend that the axiom of consciousness is false? To do so would be to deny the reality of consciousness, the very faculty that the apologist would be using in proposing such a contention. As we saw with the axioms of existence and identity, to deny the axiom of consciousness is blatantly self-defeating. And yet, apologists for the Christian worldview seem to have no qualms with making statements like “I reject everything rand says.” This can only be translated as a rejection of, among other fundamental truths, the axiom of consciousness, as well as the previous two axioms discussed above.

Perhaps the theist is willing to backpedal a bit and grant the truth of the Objectivist axioms (indeed, after grasping the fact that they would need to be true even to question them, he should reconsider his blanket rejection), but instead contend that the primacy of existence is untrue. The primacy of existence is the recognition of the fact that the objects of consciousness exist independent of the conscious activity by which one is aware of those objects, and has system-wide implications and applications for one’s worldview (such as the recognition that wishing or wanting something to be the case does not make it so).

The alternative to the primacy of existence is the primacy of consciousness, which is the view that the subject of consciousness holds metaphysical primacy over its objects. This assumption can be expressed in the view that existence (either some or all) finds its source in conscious activity (such as creating things by willing them into existence), that the identity of objects depends on some activity of consciousness (such as the belief that a thing is what the subject wants or determines it to be), that wishing or wanting makes it so, etc.

So is the presuppositionalist willing to argue that wishing makes it so? If not, why not? And how can his worldview as a whole maintain consistent fidelity to the position he takes in responding to this question? If he holds that wishing doesn’t make it so, how does he account for this without granting the primacy of existence? How does he know that wishing doesn’t make it so? What implications do his answers to these questions have for his god-belief? Doesn’t he think that reality conforms to his god’s wishes? Or, does he want to bog down the discussion with a debate as to whether or not his god has wishes in the first place, in order to evade the issue? (See for instance Wishing and the Christian Deity.) If he doesn’t like the use of the word “wish” here, let’s replace it with a related word which Christians apply to their god all the time: want. Ask: Does wanting something to be the case, make it a reality? If I want a million dollars in my wallet, will a million dollars suddenly fill my wallet? If not, why not, unless of course the primacy of existence is true? And if the primacy of existence is true, why would the apologist dispute it? When the apologist says that his god exists, is he rejecting the primacy of existence and telling us that his god exists simply because he wants it to? It’s likely that this is not the case. On the contrary, the theist likely wants us to accept his claim as though his god exists independent of any psychological activity which his mind performs, i.e., that his god exists independent of consciousness. Thus he’s making use of the primacy of existence right there, and if he is contending that Objectivism is false, he’s assuming the truth of what Objectivism teaches just in affirming his god-beliefs.

What’s important to note in the conflict between presuppositionalism and Objectivism, is the fact that the presuppositionalist has to assume the truth of the Objectivist axioms and the primacy of existence in any account he or she may propose for these areas of inquiry, even though the worldview which presuppositionalism is intended to defend – namely Christianity – is expressly antithetical to them. (I’ve demonstrated this in numerous entries on my blog, but for starters newcomers can read more on this issue here, here and here.)

The situation facing presuppositional apologists is just as bad when it comes to the issue of concepts, for their worldview has no theory of concepts to begin with, and any understanding of concepts that they may have or think they have of concepts, would have to come from outside their worldview. In essence, as presuppositionalists themselves like to put it, they must “borrow” from a non-Christian worldview to the extent that they might propose any understanding of concepts.

This fact puts them in an even more insurmountable predicament when it comes to mounting an internal critique on the Objectivist worldview. For how are they going to uncover internal conflicts within the Objectivist worldview when they not only must assume the truth of the Objectivist axioms and the primacy of existence, but have no Christian-specific understanding of concepts which can help them navigate this uncharted region of their own worldview?

Naturally, for the presuppositionalist even to consider embarking on an internal critique of the objective theory of knowledge, he would need to know something about it. Of course, he’s not going to learn about the objective theory of concepts by reading the bible. I mean, let’s be serious. What does the bible have to say about concepts in the first place? Apologists eager to learn more about the objective theory of concepts should study (not just read, but study) Ayn Rand’s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. If they do not have a copy of this invaluable text, they might want to start with Allan Gotthelf’s paper Ayn Rand on Concepts.

In the meantime, presuppositionalists are invited to explain how their worldview can have anything of value to contribute to the area of epistemology when in fact their worldview has no theory of concepts in the first place. This I would like to see, along with an informed example of an internal critique by an able presuppositionalist seeking to uncover inconsistencies in the Objectivist account for logic, science and morality.

I shan’t be holding my breath.

by Dawson Bethrick

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156 Comments:

Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

While reading your latest blog entry (another great piece of writing, by the way), a thought occurred to me with regard to Christians' attempts to establish their god. And that is: They can't get there from here -- with "there" being the supernatural and "here" being reality. There is no "there" there.

The Christian's only option, as you've expounded, is imagination. Once fantasy takes hold, then what helps sustain it is "Faith as Hope in the Imaginary" (Incinerating Presuppositionalism: June 5, 2008).

Ydemoc

August 02, 2011 10:14 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

So, nature is uniform because existence exist. that's it. that's the answer. Great.

Where you aware of your existence before reading Rand?

Thanks for the mention always an honor and pleasure.


Ydemoc,

What is your theory of the origin of the universe?




H.A

August 02, 2011 1:37 PM  
Blogger Rocky Rodent said...

One of the things I find oddest about the presuppositionalist approach is its insistence that there is no 'neutral ground' between believers and non-believers, yet it also assumes that the principle of consistency is able to determine the truth (or not) of any given worldview. Seems to be a contradiction to me.

Additionally, as Prof. Gene Witmer pointed out in his overview of presuppositionalism, what happens when we apply the same criterion to the Christian worldview (CW)? Your blogs have highlighted several inconsistencies in the CW - e.g. the incarnation, the trinity etc - and the solutions I've seen (the Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy has a summary of several on the incarnation, for example [plus critiques of each solution]) all seem to have serious weaknesses; the best I could say for the proposed solutions is that they are merely less plausible than the idea that the doctrines are contradictory, but to be frank they seem to be either a failed enterprise or leave the problem unanswered, the latter of which should lead the believer to agnosticism rather than the certainty they claim if they were being consistent.

Usually when this is pointed out it gets met with a lot of handwaiving (case in point: Sye TenBruggencatte's response to one of your blogs) as opposed to rejecting the CW or admitting they don't have the certainty they claim to have based on their own evaluative principle, but then that doesn't really surprise me given the nonsense presuppositionalists are prepared to believe in the first place.

Anyway, I look forward to working my way through your latest article!

August 02, 2011 2:19 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, r_c321.

You wrote: "What is your theory of the origin of the universe?"

For an answer to this, I will defer to Dawson, who wrote in the comments section of his blog entry entitled, "Lord Oda on Faith" (October 2, 2007):

"...Anyway, I don't have a theory of the “origins” of the universe because I don’t think the concept ‘origin’ properly applies to the universe. To ask what the origin of the universe is, is essentially to ask what the origin of existence is. For on my view 'universe' means the sum total of all existence. Existence is eternal – something has always existed. I certainly don't think existence originated in non-existence. Either we start with existence (as I do), or with non-existence and then try to figure out how existence got here. But once you posit a *cause* of existence, you are already positing existence and thus double-crossing the very assumption that generated the alleged need for an explanation in the first place. It's another instance of having your head up your assumptions, as Price might put it.

Also, I certainly do not think that the universe is the result of the activity of some magic consciousness. I’ve never seen any good reasons whatsoever to suppose this is the case."

Dawson covers this topic numerous times in several places throughout his blog. Give his work a read some time. Or don't.

Ydemoc

August 02, 2011 4:45 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc,

So, In other words you really don't know much. Great

I happen to like dawsons answer which is actually a stolen concept. He simply took God out of the answer and kept the rest of the idea. Thanks

It is quite amazing how God speaks things into existence.

August 02, 2011 5:23 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide wrote: “So, nature is uniform because existence exist. that's it. that's the answer. Great.” [sic]

I’m glad you find this satisfactory.

Can you find anything wrong with this answer? If you think it’s somehow insufficient, can you explain why?

My view, at minimum, is that nature is uniform independent of conscious activity, that consciousness does not give nature its uniformity. Do you feel otherwise? Do you have any argument which can establish that nature needs a consciousness to give it uniformity? If so, what is that argument?

Nide: “Where [sic] you aware of your existence before reading Rand?”

Yes, I was. Everyone is. But, like most thinkers throughout history, I did not explicitly grasp the proper relationship between my awareness and what I am aware of.

* * *
In response to Ydemoc (who quoted me on the notion of an “origin” of the universe - good find, btw, Ydemoc!), Nide wrote: “So, In other words you really don't know much. Great”

I’m guessing with retorts like this, that Nide has no substantive objection to what has been posted in response to his question. Great.

To tease out some understanding here, perhaps we can ask him: Do you think existence finds its source in non-existence? If no, then it seems you agree with the essence of the position that I laid out in the passage that Ydemoc quoted from my blog. If yes, then perhaps you agree with my analysis: your god is non-existent.

See how the razor cuts right to the chase?

Nide: “I happen to like dawsons answer which is actually a stolen concept.”

I have no doubt that you like stolen concepts, Nide. Your worldview pumps them out by the dozen. But how does my answer to the question about the notion that the universe has an origin, commit the fallacy of the stolen concept? What concept am I using while denying or ignoring its genetic roots? Can you identify this?

Nide: “He simply took God out of the answer and kept the rest of the idea."

On the contrary. I’ve simply applied the primacy of existence to the question. Again, if you think existence finds its source in non-existence, why not put forward your case for this thesis? That’s the only thesis you have to get behind if you reject my answer.

Nide: “It is quite amazing how God speaks things into existence. “

Like Harry Potter flying on a broomstick. Pure fiction.

Regards,
Dawson

August 02, 2011 6:23 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson wrote: "In response to Ydemoc (who quoted me on the notion of an “origin” of the universe - good find, btw, Ydemoc!)..."

Thanks, Dawson. It's always a pleasure to locate quotes of yours that are right on point.

And your "Great" response to r_c321's response to me made me chuckle.

People who do not read your stuff are really missing out. Oh well.

Ydemoc

August 02, 2011 7:00 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Nide? No that's my brother Sir. What part don't you get.

You said: I’m glad you find this satisfactory.

Not for a second. Nature is Uniform because God made it uniform. Genesis states this clearly.

Since seeing is believing for you. Did you see God not existing?

Let me try and give you some clarification on the phrase "account for" For example, you know that tomorrow the sun will rise and set, however, if asked why you will simply reply by saying "it's like that because existence exist" In others words it's always been like that. Which is begging the question.

You said: Yes, I was. Everyone is. But, like most thinkers throughout history, I did not explicitly grasp the proper relationship between my awareness and what I am aware of.

I am happy I never was one of those thinkers.


You said: If yes, then perhaps you agree with my analysis: your god is non-existent.

Not for a second. I will ask you again did you see God not existing?


You said: "On the contrary. I’ve simply applied the primacy of existence to the question. Again, if you think existence finds its source in non-existence, why not put forward your case for this thesis? That’s the only thesis you have to get behind if you reject my answer.

I will say it once again I reject EVERYTHING rand says.

Actually, God is eternal and the world we live in is not. It has it's beginnings.

Rand is actually wrong about the world we live in. It is not eternal. I would love to see her try and prove that our world is eternal.

So, it's actually not even a stolen concept it's rather a false statement.

Yes, Ydemoc is still clueless. Thinking Dawson's thoughts gets you NO where.

Ydemoc,

Have you seen God not existing?

August 02, 2011 7:30 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi r_c321,

What am I clueless about?

Why does thinking Dawson's thoughts get me "NO where"?

r_c321 wrote: "Have you seen God not existing?"

Translation: Have you ever seen the non-existent not existing?

Why is this question important for me to answer for you? Do I smell hints of "The Impossibility of the Contrary?"

Tell me, how could one ever see, taste, hear, touch, or smell the non-existent? One doesn't "see" the non-existent. You have only one avenue here, r_c321, and it lies within your imagination - double entendre intended.

Ydemoc

August 02, 2011 8:27 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc said: "What am I clueless about?"

Everything.

You said: Translation: Have you ever seen the non-existent not existing?

Well, you would have to show that God does not exist first.

Which you have not been able to show.

You said : Why is this question important for me to answer for you?

So, I can show how clueless you are. I already have so don't worry about it.

August 02, 2011 8:48 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, r_c321:

You claimed I was "clueless." I then asked you:

"What am I clueless about?"

You wrote: "Everything."

Honestly, r_c321, even you can do better than this. Are your thinking skills so warped that you are unable to recognize how silly your response is? If I was clueless about "everything," wouldn't that include the sentences I wrote in my last comment to you, which you seemed to have no difficulty in identifying as valid communication, since you answered them? Your habit of making sweeping generalizations only reveals your sloppiness.

I wrote: "Translation: Have you ever seen the non-existent not existing?"

r_c321 responded: "Well, you would have to show that God does not exist first. Which you have not been able to show."

I am under no obligation to do any such thing. It is you who has that burden. Have you been able to show that pink unicorns made of peanut butter aren't living on Mars?

I wrote: "Why is this question important for me to answer for you?"

You wrote: "So, I can show how clueless you are. I already have so don't worry about it."

I never worry about that which is non-existent. I do worry, sometimes, about *people* who do exist and who take the non-existent so seriously that they are willing to fly planes into towers or kill doctors or burn so-called witches or use their religion to justify enslaving others.

Perhaps you aren't among those I've listed. Perhaps you are like a heckler in a comedy club, who shouts out to impress his friends, or who does it because he thinks he's adding to the show. All the while, deep inside, the heckler wishes it was he who was on stage. But he's too insecure to give it a go. Does this sound familiar, r_c321?


Ydemoc

August 02, 2011 9:27 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

I haven't been to mars. So, I can't give you an answer.

Why aren't you under any obligation?

Why won't you make disctions between Islam and Christianity and other so called "Christians" is it because your clueless about them?

What does a comedy club have to do with any of this?

Are you seriously taking the position that you don't have to proof anything? I guess you take everything you know for granted. So, in other words you just know because you know. Amazing

August 02, 2011 9:48 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide wrote: “Nide? No that's my brother Sir.”

It should be clear that I don’t believe you. Your mistakes speak louder than your objections.

I will continue to address you as Nide. You won't be able to stop this.

Nide: “Nature is Uniform because God made it uniform.”

In other words, on the Christian view, nature is not inherently uniform. This can only mean that confidence in inductive generalizations is impossible. It’s your worldview. You live with the fallout.

Nide: “Genesis states this clearly.”

In other words, in a contest between reason and a storybook, the storybook wins with you. Got it.

Nide: “Since seeing is believing for you.”

Where have I ever affirmed this equation? Is your position so weak that you need to put words into your opponents’ mouths?

Nide: “Did you see God not existing?”

I think Ydemoc hit it on the head: I don’t need to see the non-existent not existing. I don’t need to see square circles not existing to know that they are impossible. Reason teaches me this.

Nide: “Let me try and give you some clarification on the phrase ‘account for’ For example, you know that tomorrow the sun will rise and set, however, if asked why you will simply reply by saying ‘it's like that because existence exist’ In others words it's always been like that. Which is begging the question.”

Why do you suppose that the statement “existence exists” is properly translated as “it’s always been like that”? Are you sure that there is no other way to apply the axiom of existence to such questions? How would you know?

Also why do you think the answer “it’s always been like that” (which I have not given in regard to the question at hand) begs the question? Is it simply because you read it in some apologetics book? Or, do you have some real understanding to impart here?

[Continued…]

August 03, 2011 12:33 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: “Yes, I was. Everyone is. But, like most thinkers throughout history, I did not explicitly grasp the proper relationship between my awareness and what I am aware of.”

Nide: “I am happy I never was one of those thinkers.”

So what is the proper relationship between awareness and the objects of your awareness, if not the primacy of existence? Remember: you’ve already stated that you reject whatever Rand says. Rand held that the primacy of existence is the proper relationship between consciousness and its objects. So you must reject this. Let’s explore this. What is the alternative to the primacy of existence if not the primacy of consciousness (which is what you've assumed when you say that your god makes nature uniform)? What does the bible say about this issue?

I wrote: “If yes, then perhaps you agree with my analysis: your god is non-existent.”

Nide responded: “Not for a second. I will ask you again did you see God not existing?”

I answered your question above. But I do not see where you have answered my question. So I will ask you once again:

Do you think existence finds its source in non-existence?

Yes or no?

Nide: “Rand is actually wrong about the world we live in. It is not eternal. I would love to see her try and prove that our world is eternal.”

If by “world” you mean existence as such (which is what Rand means when she says that existence is eternal), then why would anyone need to present an argument per se for this? What is the alternative to existence being eternal? If you think existence is not eternal, that it had a “beginning,” can you explain this?

Here's Peikoff on the matter:

"Existence exists, and only existence exists. Existence is a primary: it is uncreated, indestructible, eternal." (“The Philosophy of Objectivism”
lecture series (1976), Lecture 2)

I take it as a corollary to your wholesale rejection of whatever Rand says, that you also reject whatever Peikoff says.

Nide: “So, it's actually not even a stolen concept it's rather a false statement.”

It’s a false statement to say that existence is eternal? You must think so since you have already stated twice that you reject everything Rand says, and Rand held that existence is eternal. Where did existence come from then? How do you know?

Regards,
Dawson

August 03, 2011 12:41 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You said: I will continue to address you as Nide. You won't be able to stop this.

Fine. if you want to act like a 2 year old. Go right ahead my friend.


You said: "In other words, on the Christian view, nature is not inherently uniform. This can only mean that confidence in inductive generalizations is impossible. It’s your worldview. You live with the fallout."


Actually, your wrong again. I can tell you why it is uniform and you can't as you have shown.



You said: Why do you suppose that the statement “existence exists” is properly translated as “it’s always been like that”? Are you sure that there is no other way to apply the axiom of existence to such questions? How would you know?


1. Because that is the way I understand it.
2. No. The axiom is a cop out.
3. How do you know the sun will rise/set tommorow? Is it simply your axiom . Please I would love to know.

You said: Also why do you think the answer “it’s always been like that” (which I have not given in regard to the question at hand) begs the question? Is it simply because you read it in some apologetics book? Or, do you have some real understanding to impart here?



1. Because it doesn't answer anything.
2. No, Sir, I didn't read it in some book. I am only using my God giving abilities to reason to give a proper answer.

3. Yea, I actually do. Since God has created reason it only follows that with out Him I would Know nothing. I realize this more everyday.


You said: "Rand held that the primacy of existence is the proper relationship between consciousness and its objects."


Yea, and so did many people way before her.


You said: Do you think existence finds its source in non-existence?

NO. The problem is God Exist and you can't prove he doesnt.


You said:If by “world” you mean existence as such (which is what Rand means when she says that existence is eternal), then why would anyone need to present an argument per se for this? What is the alternative to existence being eternal? If you think existence is not eternal, that it had a “beginning,” can you explain this?


Sure. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. thats it. thats the answer.


You said: "It’s a false statement to say that existence is eternal? You must think so since you have already stated twice that you reject everything Rand says, and Rand held that existence is eternal. Where did existence come from then? How do you know?


No, you tell me or is that axiom you hold?

In other words the atheist says "we can't prove or give a reason for what we know so we will just hold to axioms." Amazing

I am glad those aren't my problems.

August 03, 2011 6:46 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: "In other words, on the Christian view, nature is not inherently uniform. This can only mean that confidence in inductive generalizations is impossible. It’s your worldview. You live with the fallout."

Nide responded: “Actually, your wrong again.”

How so? If you think nature needs to be *made* uniform, then clearly you can’t think it’s *inherently* uniform. If nature were inherently uniform, then it wouldn’t need to be *made* uniform. Do you ever examine your own position critically?

Nide: “I can tell you why it is uniform and you can't as you have shown.”

My point on the matter is that, on my view, the uniformity that nature exhibits is not something that is placed there by an act of consciousness. This is the issue that needs to be clarified with respect to your position. I think it’s clear already: you think that an act of consciousness is required to *make* nature uniform, which can only imply that nature is not *inherently* uniform on your view. How do you disagree with this?

I asked: “Why do you suppose that the statement ‘existence exists’ is properly translated as ‘it’s always been like that’?”

Nide responds: “1. Because that is the way I understand it.”

Your understanding is extremely limited. In fact superficial and deficient of familiarity with the view you have rejected.

I asked: “Are you sure that there is no other way to apply the axiom of existence to such questions?”

Nide responded: “2. No.”

Okay, no, you’re not sure. Got it.

Nide: “The axiom is a cop out.”

How do you mean? How is the recognition that there is a reality that exists independent of consciousness “a cop out”? Is it a cop out because you *want* it to be a cop out? For you to be consistent with what you’re saying, you’d have to affirm this.

I asked: “How would you know?”

Nide: “3. How do you know the sun will rise/set tommorow? Is it simply your axiom . Please I would love to know.”

I know through the application of the law of causality to the relevant data sets involved in the question. That’s how I know. It’s called inductive reasoning. Do you not know how to do this? Or are you not aware of how your mind works?

[Continued…]

August 03, 2011 7:31 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked: “Also why do you think the answer ‘it’s always been like that’ (which I have not given in regard to the question at hand) begs the question?”

Nide: “1. Because it doesn't answer anything.”

That’s not what the fallacy known as begging the question means. Apparently you’re just repeating something you’ve picked up and don’t really know what it is you’re saying.

I asked: “Is it simply because you read it in some apologetics book?”

Nide: “2. No, Sir, I didn't read it in some book. I am only using my God giving abilities to reason to give a proper answer.”

The abilities that your god has given you are quite poor. You’re simply giving more reasons to validate rejection of your worldview (not that we need any more, but confirmation from the horse’s mouth is always noteworthy).

I asked: “Or, do you have some real understanding to impart here?”

Nide: “3. Yea, I actually do. Since God has created reason it only follows that with out Him I would Know nothing. I realize this more everyday.”

That’s an interesting thought: your god “created reason.” So, it must not have had any reason when it first created it. So how did it create it? How could you have any confidence that it’s at all reliable, since it was creating in the absence of reason? It seems that your view is quite compatible with the supposition that with your god you still know nothing. I realize this more every time you comment here.

I wrote: “Rand held that the primacy of existence is the proper relationship between consciousness and its objects."

Nide: “Yea, and so did many people way before her.”

For example?

I asked: “Do you think existence finds its source in non-existence?”

Nide: “NO.”

Then you agree with Objectivists: existence does not find its source in non-existence. But wait, that’s what Rand said. And earlier you stated (twice in fact, if not more) that you reject everything she said. You strike me as one very confused and frivolous person, Nide.

Nide: “The problem is God Exist and you can't prove he doesnt.”

I already proved this. Here a simplified version of my argument:

Premise 1: If the Christian god is imaginary, it is not real and does not exist.
Premise 2: The Christian god is imaginary.
Conclusion: Therefore the Christian god is not real and does not exist.

Your god is imaginary, Nide. Therefore it is not real. Therefore it does not exist. Q.E.D.

I wrote: If by ‘world’ you mean existence as such (which is what Rand means when she says that existence is eternal), then why would anyone need to present an argument per se for this? What is the alternative to existence being eternal? If you think existence is not eternal, that it had a ‘beginning’, can you explain this?”

Nide wrote: “Sure. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. thats it. thats the answer.”

Ah, so you *do* think existence is not eternal. Interesting. And that existence was created. Even more interesting. This can only mean that you think that existence finds its source in non-existence. But above you denied this. So again you contradict yourself. Hmmm…

I’m glad these aren’t my problems.

Regards,
Dawson

August 03, 2011 7:35 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hello again, r_c321.
r_c321 wrote: "Well, you would have to show that God does not exist first. Which you have not been able to show."

I wrote: “I am under no obligation to do any such thing. It is you who has that burden. Have you been able to show that pink unicorns made of peanut butter aren't living on Mars?”

To which r_c321 replied: “ I haven't been to mars. So, I can't give you an answer.”

You also weren’t in the tomb with Jesus when the bible story says he rose from the dead. Yet you seem to have no difficulty affirming that. Interesting. Interesting how inconsistent your standard is when faith and imagination underscore everything.

You see, for there to be the possibility of such a being existing on Mars, we would have to have some evidence for such a creature existing there, and no evidence against such a creature living there. I can safely say, without having been to Mars, that given what we know about life and Mars, and applying this standard, there is no such creature, just as there was no rising from the dead, walking on water, turning water into wine; nor any talking donkey or serpent; nor any bodies rising from their tombs and strolling through any city.

r_c321 wrote, regarding my lumping Islamic acts of terrorism in with similar acts by Christians: “Why won't you make disctions (sic) between Islam and Christianity and other so called "Christians" is it because your clueless about them?”

There are many things about these religions that I do not know, just as I suspect that you are ignorant of many things Hindus believe. What I’m not ignorant of is the fact that at the most fundamental level, all these religions subscribe to a primacy of consciousness metaphysics. And any distinctions between them are merely superficial.

r_c321: “What does a comedy club have to do with any of this?”

This is a nice set-up line that affords many responses, such as: You’re bombing; you’re getting the light, it’s time to get off stage; you need better material, etc.

Less seriously though, I was comparing you, as a Christian on this blog to a harmless heckler in a comedy club. By my not lumping you in with those religious extremists, I was making a “distinction” r_c321, between you and them. A distinction that you claimed I failed to make. Was I wrong to do this? Was I too charitable?

Like a heckler, you are harmless enough, perhaps entertaining at first, but after a while -- by your failure to grasp what is coming from the stage (what those on this blog have attempted to explain to you) -- you’re really missing the main show.

A slight tangent, I’ll admit. But why should you, of all people, have any problem with tangents?

r_c321 wrote: “Are you seriously taking the position that you don't have to proof anything? I guess you take everything you know for granted. So, in other words you just know because you know. Amazing”

If I was reading a manuscript and checking for errors, I suppose I would have to “proof” it. But since I’m not, I guess you meant “prove” here? (And I’m the clueless one? Plank/eye anyone?)

The answer to your question is no, I am not taking that position. No, I do not take everything for granted.

As far as your assertion “ ... you just know because you know,” again, no, that is not my standard. But what on earth could you, a Christian, possibly have against this standard?

Ydemoc

August 03, 2011 8:00 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You wrote: "Ah, so you *do* think existence is not eternal. Interesting. And that existence was created. Even more interesting. This can only mean that you think that existence finds its source in non-existence. But above you denied this. So again you contradict yourself. Hmmm…"

God is eternal. God created our existence. Our world is not eternal. what part don't you get?


You said : Premise 1: If the Christian god is imaginary, it is not real and does not exist.
Premise 2: The Christian god is imaginary.
Conclusion: Therefore the Christian god is not real and does not exist.


Once again this doesn't disprove God. Why do you keep repeating this?


You said: That’s an interesting thought: your god “created reason.” So, it must not have had any reason when it first created it. So how did it create it? How could you have any confidence that it’s at all reliable, since it was creating in the absence of reason? It seems that your view is quite compatible with the supposition that with your god you still know nothing. I realize this more every time you comment here.


Let me rephrase what I said since you like to distort things.

God, when he created us, granted us the ability to reason. God has eternally been reasonable.

That is what it means to be created in his image.

You said: "How so? If you think nature needs to be *made* uniform, then clearly you can’t think it’s *inherently* uniform. If nature were inherently uniform, then it wouldn’t need to be *made* uniform. Do you ever examine your own position critically?

Nature is not eternal it was created uniformly.
So, your objection is invalid because nature has a beginning.

You said: "hen you agree with Objectivists: existence does not find its source in non-existence. But wait, that’s what Rand said. And earlier you stated (twice in fact, if not more) that you reject everything she said. You strike me as one very confused and frivolous person, Nide.


So, your saying no one knew this before Rand?



You said: "I know through the application of the law of causality to the relevant data sets involved in the question. That’s how I know. It’s called inductive reasoning. Do you not know how to do this? Or are you not aware of how your mind works?


Your answer is circular. As, I have shown allready.

So, in others words you saw the sun rise/set today so you believe it.

How about on friday(which you haven't seen) will the sun rise/set
or has it always been that way?

You said: "That’s not what the fallacy known as begging the question means"

Ok. I am open to correction. Tell me what does it mean?


I’m glad these aren’t my problems.



Ydemoc,

You said: "You also weren’t in the tomb with Jesus when the bible story says he rose from the dead. Yet you seem to have no difficulty affirming that. Interesting. Interesting how inconsistent your standard is when faith and imagination underscore everything.




Yea, thats because I wasn't around 2000 years ago. As you have pointed out.


Do you accept the writings of plato?

You said: "just as there was no rising from the dead, walking on water, turning water into wine; nor any talking donkey or serpent; nor any bodies rising from their tombs and strolling through any city.

Do you know this because you know this?



You said: "all these religions subscribe to a primacy of consciousness metaphysics"

Says who Ydemoc?


You said: "As far as your assertion “ ... you just know because you know,” again, no, that is not my standard. But what on earth could you, a Christian, possibly have against this standard?

1.What is your standard?

2. Because it's a vicious circle that doesn't answer anything.

Can you show me where I have said God exist because God exist or The bible is true because It says so?




1 cor 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

August 03, 2011 10:27 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You said:How so? If you think nature needs to be *made* uniform, then clearly you can’t think it’s *inherently* uniform. If nature were inherently uniform, then it wouldn’t need to be *made* uniform. Do you ever examine your own position critically?

Nature is not eternal it actually has a beginning. Nature is uniform because that is the way God purposes it to be. In fact, he is the only reason it is uniform because the sun would not be rise/set without God's power.

He is the cause of it and since we have his word that promises the sun to rise/set we can confidently go outside tomorrow and not worry that it will fall on our heads.

and If he chooses otherwise he has every right to do so. It's his creation. So, you can pout all you want there is nothing you can do about it.


In your world you can only hope that nature will be uniform. So, that tomorow the sun won't fall on your head.

You mentioned the law of causality.

So, how or what makes the sun rise/set?


You said:How do you mean? How is the recognition that there is a reality that exists independent of consciousness “a cop out”? Is it a cop out because you *want* it to be a cop out? For you to be consistent with what you’re saying, you’d have to affirm this.


No, its actually you that want it to be a cop out.
Because you can't give a reason for the uniformity of nature.




Premise 1: If the Christian god is imaginary, it is not real and does not exist.
Premise 2: The Christian god is imaginary.
Conclusion: Therefore the Christian god is not real and does not exist.


Is this another of one your axioms?

You said: "Ah, so you *do* think existence is not eternal. Interesting. And that existence was created. Even more interesting. This can only mean that you think that existence finds its source in non-existence. But above you denied this. So again you contradict yourself. Hmmm…
contradict myself ?



God exist and has always eternally existed.
He spoke us and our world into existence.

What part don't you get?



Ydemoc,

You said: "If I was reading a manuscript and checking for errors, I suppose I would have to “proof” it. But since I’m not, I guess you meant “prove” here? (And I’m the clueless one? Plank/eye anyone?)


Have you ever made a typo error?



You said: "As far as your assertion “ ... you just know because you know,” again, no, that is not my standard. But what on earth could you, a Christian, possibly have against this standard?


So, what is your standard?

Actually, I have a lot against it. Since I don't argue in that fashion.

Can you please point me to a time when I have done so?

August 03, 2011 12:53 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: "Ah, so you *do* think existence is not eternal. Interesting. And that existence was created. Even more interesting. This can only mean that you think that existence finds its source in non-existence. But above you denied this. So again you contradict yourself. Hmmm…"

Nide: “God is eternal.”

One can characterize the imaginary any way he wants. I can characterize Blarko the WonderBeing as eternal. It’s still imaginary.

But meanwhile, you’re evading the question. The question is: Is existence eternal, or not eternal? Which is it? Your commitment to an irrational worldview has made you completely wishy-washy on the matter. You’re not able to address this simple question.

Nide: “God created our existence.”

Just as one can characterize the imaginary any way he imagines, one can attribute any activity he wants to what he imagines. Just as you’re doing here. But again, you’re failing to address the question.

Nide: “Our world is not eternal. what part don't you get?”

I get it, Nide. You think existence is not eternal. That’s what I’m getting from you. That’s why you think there needs to be a creator. But in doing so you’re committing the fallacy of the stolen concept. What part don’t you get?

I wrote: “Premise 1: If the Christian god is imaginary, it is not real and does not exist. Premise 2: The Christian god is imaginary. Conclusion: Therefore the Christian god is not real and does not exist.”

Nide responded: “Once again this doesn't disprove God.”

Actually it does. Read the conclusion again. It states: Therefore the Christian god is not real and does not exist. See that part?

Nide: “Why do you keep repeating this?”

Two reasons. One, you continue to say things like “The problem is God Exist and you can't prove he doesn’t,” and two, you can’t refute it. All you ever do is simply deny it. But you have no cogent rebuttal.

I wrote: “That’s an interesting thought: your god ‘created reason’. So, it must not have had any reason when it first created it. So how did it create it? How could you have any confidence that it’s at all reliable, since it was creating in the absence of reason? It seems that your view is quite compatible with the supposition that with your god you still know nothing. I realize this more every time you comment here.”

Nide: “Let me rephrase what I said since you like to distort things.”

“…distort things…”? Moi? Not at all. You plainly stated that your god “created reason.” I did not distort this. I simply pointed out how inane such a statement is. Now you want to modify your position, which supposedly finds its source in an omniscient, infallible supernatural mind.

[Continued…]

August 03, 2011 2:40 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “God, when he created us, granted us the ability to reason. God has eternally been reasonable.”

Okay, here are three assertions of yours which you fail to prove. You don’t even offer arguments for either. Are we supposed to accept all this on your say so?

Nide: “That is what it means to be created in his image.”

Says who? Says the one who imagines his god this way?

Again, you offer nothing more than assertions. No arguments. No reasons to support what you say. That’s what we’d expect if your position were rooted in the imagination.

But it’s good at least that you see the baffling stupidity of saying your god “created reason.” It was enough for you to completely back away from what you had earlier claimed. Score!

I asked: "How so? If you think nature needs to be *made* uniform, then clearly you can’t think it’s *inherently* uniform. If nature were inherently uniform, then it wouldn’t need to be *made* uniform. Do you ever examine your own position critically?”

Nide: “Nature is not eternal it was created uniformly.”

Nature “was created uniformly”? The question is whether or not nature is *inherently* uniform. You had stated quite plainly: “Nature is Uniform because God made it uniform.” One can only infer from this that your answer to my question could only be: nature is not inherently uniform on your view.

But when the question comes up, you seem unwilling or unable to address it squarely on.

Now you say that nature isn’t eternal, that it was created, and that it was “created uniformly.”

Again you commit the fallacy of the stolen concept. Creating something involves causality. But causality is a law of nature. Now can there be any law of nature outside of nature? You make use of a concept while denying its genetic roots. That’s the fallacy of the stolen concept. You’re trying to use concepts without an informed understanding of their hierarchical relationship to each other. You’re trying to have your cake, and eat it, too, which is another hallmark of an irrational worldview.

Nide: “So, your objection is invalid because nature has a beginning.”

Since you claim that “nature has a beginning” and that it was “created,” you’re only confirming that my objection is spot on.

I wrote: "Then you agree with Objectivists: existence does not find its source in non-existence. But wait, that’s what Rand said. And earlier you stated (twice in fact, if not more) that you reject everything she said. You strike me as one very confused and frivolous person, Nide.”

Nide: “So, your saying no one knew this before Rand?”

I haven’t stated this. I’m simply trying to integrate your wholesale rejection of “everything Rand says” with your own statements, to see if your words and your position can be integrated without contradiction. It’s a rudimentary test for philosophical integrity. You’ve stated quite plainly and entirely explicitly that you “reject everything Rand says,” indeed, as if you were proud of this. Then I go and note few things which Rand said. By your own words, you’re saying you reject these things, since you made it plain that you “reject everything Rand says.” I’m simply checking for coherence. So far I’m finding none. Should we be surprised that you continually fail to address straightforward questions directed to you on this and other matter?

[Continued…]

August 03, 2011 2:41 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: "I know through the application of the law of causality to the relevant data sets involved in the question. That’s how I know. It’s called inductive reasoning. Do you not know how to do this? Or are you not aware of how your mind works?”

Nide: “Your answer is circular.”

How so? Do you know what “circular” means? Are you saying that one should abandon the application of the law of causality in estimating future outcomes? That would probably not be a first – Christians have gone on record saying the darnedest things. But it’s so bafflingly stupid that it’s hard to suppose anyone would seriously object to it. So I just want to make sure here: Is that what you’re saying? If not, what specifically are you trying to say in regard to what I’ve stated?

Nide: “As, I have shown allready.”

Actually, you haven’t shown this. I checked. This was the first time the details of the inductive process have been discussed at this level. You’ve nowhere shown the application of the law of causality to data sets is circular. You would have to use the very same process even to try to show circularity here!

Nide: “So, in others words you saw the sun rise/set today so you believe it.”

I sense that I’m having a discussion with someone who has basically zero understanding of the inductive process.

Nide: “How about on friday(which you haven't seen) will the sun rise/set or has it always been that way?”

Using my method, I hereby predict that the sun will “rise” on Friday. Let’s see if I’m wrong. The whole world will know.

I wrote: "That’s not what the fallacy known as begging the question means"

Nide: “Ok. I am open to correction. Tell me what does it mean?”

So far, Nide, you’ve not at all demonstrated to me that you’re open to correction on anything. Though you have started backing away from some of your more obviously troubling positional affirmations. But you’re still not allowing yourself to absorb the proper understanding here. There are good resources on informal fallacies throughout the web. I trust you’re able to google some of them. Go now and embark on your own education.

Nide: “I’m glad these aren’t my problems.”

You know what they say… Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

But in fact, your position has MANY problems. We’ve not even scratched the surface, and already your worldview shows that it can only come crumbling down with the slightest of pricks.

[Continued…]

August 03, 2011 2:42 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Ydemoc wrote: "just as there was no rising from the dead, walking on water, turning water into wine; nor any talking donkey or serpent; nor any bodies rising from their tombs and strolling through any city.”

Nide responded: “Do you know this because you know this?”

I have nowhere ever seen Ydemoc make a case for his own statements on the basis that you suggest here, Nide.

But let’s consult John Frame on the matter. He’s a well-respected (in Christian circles) Christian apologist. His own stated view on how people know things is: “We know without knowing how we know.” Yep, read ‘em and weep. These are his own words. See here.

This is coming from a highly credentialed representative of the Christian worldview and the “proper” way to defend it. It’s nothing short of utter embarrassment.

Suppose Ydemoc’s answer to your question were: “Well, I know without knowing how I know.” Would you find this at all palpable? Please, let us know.

Ydemoc wrote: "all these religions subscribe to a primacy of consciousness metaphysics"

Nide: “Says who Ydemoc?”

Says rationally guided inquiry into the matter.

I wrote: “How so? If you think nature needs to be *made* uniform, then clearly you can’t think it’s *inherently* uniform. If nature were inherently uniform, then it wouldn’t need to be *made* uniform. Do you ever examine your own position critically?”

Nide: “Nature is not eternal it actually has a beginning.”

Prove it.

Nide: “Nature is uniform because that is the way God purposes it to be.”

The only way to understand this is to assume the law of causality. But the law of causality is a natural law. So again, your position requires us to make use of something before it existed. It’s like saying you’re going to invent the first photocopier by using a photocopier. You have the cart before the horse. A classic stolen concept. It’s an instance of self-contradiction at the fundamental level of your own position.

[Continued…]

August 03, 2011 2:43 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “In fact, he is the only reason it is uniform because the sun would not be rise/set without God's power.”

Now that’s a clear example of begging the question. You’re assuming the truth of what you’ve been called to challenge in supporting the very position you’ve been called to challenge. You can’t get any more circular than this! It also confuses the genus-species relationship. The problems just multiply in your “careful” handling of the matter.

Nide: “He is the cause of it”

“cause”? That’s a law of nature. How could it be available for use prior to existing? ::facepalm::

Nide: “and since we have his word that promises the sun to rise/set we can confidently go outside tomorrow and not worry that it will fall on our heads… and If he chooses otherwise he has every right to do so. It's his creation.”

Which just confirms the Objectivist analysis of your religion, namely the conclusion that it rests on the primacy of consciousness. Case closed.

But notice the broader implications of your position. The rising and setting of the sun is an easy one. Let’s try something a little less self-evident. How about the proposal that a group of dogs are reading Basho in the original Japanese some place. How would your worldview assess the truth value of this proposal? How could it rule out such a notion? Since you apparently think that applying the law of causality to the data we discover in the world is “circular,” and since you hold that your god created the uniformity of nature and “has every right” to suspend nature’s uniformity, how could you know one way or the other here? Please show us how your metaphysical commitments can be applied to establish a reliable and confident epistemology.

Nide: “In your world you can only hope that nature will be uniform.”

Actually, that’s your worldview, Nide. Since the uniformity of nature according to your worldview depends on the will of an invisible magic being which reserves the “right” to revise it whenever it “chooses.” You can only hope that it maintains nature as it has up til now. But unless you're omniscient and have full knowledge of your god's "plan," you have no idea what to expect next. Gravity could suddenly reverse itself, because your god chooses it to be so, according to his unfathomable "eternal plan." Baseless hope is all your worldview offers on the matter.

By contrast, since Objectivism essentially holds that nature is *inherently* uniform, specifically that it is uniform independent of anyone’s conscious activity, no amount of hoping either way will make any difference. Nature will continue to have its identity, regardless of what anyone hopes, imagines, worries, etc.

I’ll go with Objectivism, thank you.

[Continued…]

August 03, 2011 2:47 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: ”How do you mean? How is the recognition that there is a reality that exists independent of consciousness ‘a cop out’? Is it a cop out because you *want* it to be a cop out? For you to be consistent with what you’re saying, you’d have to affirm this.”

Nide: “No, its actually you that want it to be a cop out.”

I “want” the axioms to be a cop out? What in the world could lead you to think this? What have you been smoking?

Nide: “Because you can't give a reason for the uniformity of nature.”

I’ve already stated that on my view, nature is *inherently* uniform. It’s essentially the law of identity applied generally to all of existence. Since to exist is to be something, the uniformity of nature is simply a consistent corollary to the axiom of existence. What you’re asking is what “causes” nature to be uniform. But as I’ve already pointed out, this commits the fallacy of the stolen concept. Something would have to exist, have identity and be able to act in order to cause anything, and yet that’s what the law of causality is: the law of identity applied to action. So your position cannibalizes itself while mine avoids such unnecessary problems.

I wrote: “Premise 1: If the Christian god is imaginary, it is not real and does not exist.
Premise 2: The Christian god is imaginary.
Conclusion: Therefore the Christian god is not real and does not exist.”

Nide asked: “Is this another of one your axioms?”

No. It’s called an argument. Arguments elucidate the inference from a set of premises to the conclusion which they imply when integrated logically.

And since my argument’s conclusion has been soundly established, I am free to incorporate this truth – namely the truth that your god is not real and does not exist – in subsequent inferences. I can do this because I’ve earned it.

Regards,
Dawson

August 03, 2011 2:48 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

How *everything* r_c321?

I wrote, regarding r_c321's use of the wrong word: "If I was reading a manuscript and checking for errors, I suppose I would have to “proof” it. But since I’m not, I guess you meant “prove” here? (And I’m the clueless one? Plank/eye anyone?)"

r_c321 wrote: "Have you ever made a typo error?"

Indeed I have, many of them in fact. Some even in comments I've made to you. I've made other kinds of errors also. I was just pointing out the irony of you using a wrong word in a sentence, yet calling *me* clueless. Did you not get that? It was also meant to be somewhat lighthearted. Did you not get that, either? If you didn't, that's okay, I won't call you clueless -- at least not in this round of exchanges.

I wrote: "As far as your assertion “ ... you just know because you know,” again, no, that is not my standard. But what on earth could you, a Christian, possibly have against this standard?

r_c321 wrote: "So, what is your standard?"

My standard for knowledge is, as Rand puts it, "... a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation." ("Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology," p. 35)

r_c321 wrote: "Actually, I have a lot against it. Since I don't argue in that fashion."

You have "a lot against it"? You mean you have a lot against a standard of knowledge being "you just know because you know"? That's good to hear that you're against that.

Of course, as Dawson pointed out, John Frame probably wouldn't have a lot against it.

Neither would one very devout Christian (Calvinist) I happen to be acquainted with, who when asked how he knows he has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, replied, "I just know because I know."

I asked him about people of other faiths saying that they know Allah is the true God, or that Mormonism is the correct religion, and he said, flatly, "They're wrong."

You guys - Frame, my acquaintance, and the multitudes of others from various denominations - should all get together sometime (maybe at some conference) and work this stuff out so you can all be on the same page.

r_c321 wrote: "Can you please point me to a time when I have done so?"

I do not recall having accused you of using the standard of "knowing because you know." In fact, if you re-read what you wrote, you will see that it was you accusing me of using such a standard. I just expressed surprise that you didn't use such a standard, since so many apologist seem to. It's good to see you're bucking the trend.

Ydemoc

August 03, 2011 8:50 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Premise 1: If the Christian god is not imaginary, it is real and does exist.

Premise 2: The Christian god is not imaginary.

Conclusion: Therefore the Christian god is real and does exist.”

WOW!!!! I just proved the christian God exist. Never knew it would be that easy. Amazing


You said: "But it’s good at least that you see the baffling stupidity of saying your god “created reason.” It was enough for you to completely back away from what you had earlier claimed. Score!

Good Job. Thank you for pointing out where that position would lead. Do you mind if I borrow it?


You said: But let’s consult John Frame on the matter. He’s a well-respected (in Christian circles) Christian apologist. His own stated view on how people know things is: “We know without knowing how we know.” Yep, read ‘em and weep. These are his own words. See here.


I have no idea who John Frame is.
If I have argued in this way could you show me where?




Can the inductive process be performed without your senses?


So, in other words you have observed that the sun has always rised and set. Therefore, naturally it will always be that way. That's just the way the sun acts.

Is this your position?

If God showed himself to you would you believe he exist.

You said: “cause”? That’s a law of nature. How could it be available for use prior to existing? ::facepalm::


Ok, What causes the sun to rise and set?
So, by nature it's just the way it is. How do you know nature won't change on friday?

Is it because existence exist and existence has always been that way?


Which one is it?

Can you prove that the sun has always existed and that it somehow knows it's purpose and knows to rise and set?

How do you know it has the power to control itself?

or is that the axiom again?


Have Fun.

August 03, 2011 9:22 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc,

You said: "My standard for knowledge is, as Rand puts it, "... a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation." ("Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology," p. 35)

So, if what you observes makes sense you believe it?


You said: Neither would one very devout Christian (Calvinist) I happen to be acquainted with, who when asked how he knows he has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, replied, "I just know because I know."

Well, I would answer by saying.
1. Hatred of Sin
2. Desire to pray and read the bible.
3. Desire to be around other Christians
4. Desire to not sin anymore
5. Desire to be obedient to Christ
6. Conviction of sin and remorse for sinning and a desire to repent and ask the lord for forgiveness.

Is this good enough for you?


You said: "I asked him about people of other faiths saying that they know Allah is the true God, or that Mormonism is the correct religion, and he said, flatly, "They're wrong."


I am not religious so I can't really help you here.
Religion can't save you only Jesus could.

So, I wish them the best and Hope they don't work too hard.

August 03, 2011 9:52 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

I will respond in time. At the moment, I'm a little too tired.

Ydemoc

August 03, 2011 10:10 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide wrote: “Premise 1: If the Christian god is not imaginary, it is real and does exist.
“Premise 2: The Christian god is not imaginary.
“Conclusion: Therefore the Christian god is real and does exist.”

Then commented: “WOW!!!! I just proved the christian God exist. Never knew it would be that easy. Amazing”

Not very. While your argument is certainly valid (which is a formal concern), it has one small problem: Its second premise is untrue. Consequently it is not a sound argument.

Mine, on the other hand, is not only formally valid, but it is also sound – i.e., it has true premises as well as valid structure. Therefore the conclusion of my argument cannot fail to be true.

Nide: “I have no idea who John Frame is.”

You need to get to know who the big players are on your side. Frame is a former student of Cornelius Van Til, and according to his Wikipedia entry, Frame is “especially noted for his work in epistemology,” as well as other interests. It’s really hard to see how someone who can throw his hands up and exclaim, “We know without knowing how we know” can be “especially noted for his work in epistemology,” as if he had contributed anything of value to the discipline.

Nide: “If I have argued in this way could you show me where?”

Well, I can’t, but primarily because you tend not to present any arguments in the first place. You simply assert your view and reject everything else. But people on your side are doing enough damage without your help. You’re just making it all the easier.

Nide: “Can the inductive process be performed without your senses?”

I’ve never experienced awareness without my senses. I would wonder how someone could reason inductively (or any other way) without first being aware of things.

Nide: “So, in other words you have observed that the sun has always rised and set. Therefore, naturally it will always be that way. That's just the way the sun acts. Is this your position?”

If you examine my writings on induction, you will find that on my view of induction, repetition of something adds no new information about the causality of a phenomenon. I was born in the 1960s and have been around for the sun’s “rising” well over 16,000 times. But on an objective understanding of induction, I do not need to appeal to this repetitive cycle for my inference that the sun will “rise” on Friday. If I were an astronaut and I came to a planet that I had never visited before, and that planet had a similar relationship to a star that ours has to the sun, I wouldn’t need to observe the planet’s sun “rising” for 16,000, 1600, or even 16 times to infer future activity. The Objectivist analysis of induction is powerful, efficient and dynamic, miles ahead of the Humean crowd that relies so deeply on repetition for merely probable results.

[Continued…]

August 03, 2011 11:49 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “If God showed himself to you would you believe he exist.”

If your god is real, why wouldn’t it show itself to me? After all, it showed itself to Saul of Tarsus. Does your god play favorites? Apparently so. Not only does it show itself only to a few individuals throughout history, but as we found out in an earlier discussion it loves only some people, and not others. Favoritism seems alive and well with your god.

But suppose something extraordinary did show itself to me. Here’s the question that would need to be answered before even considering yours: how would I identify whatever it was that showed itself to me as the Christian god, and not something else? How would I be able to discern that it’s the Christian god, and not Blarko, or an evil demon pretending to be the Christian god? Supernatural entities are notoriously clever and crafty. How would I know that I wasn’t being deceived? I guess one could resort to Frame’s “We know without knowing how we know,” but once such ignorance is recognized in one’s epistemological process, it’s hard to see how anyone could walk away with any confidence in identifications made on such a basis.

So I’d say the problem is nowhere near as cut and dry as you present it. Indeed, there’s an enormous tangle of epistemological issues that would need to be sorted out, and the Christian worldview is no match for them. Indeed, what Christians call “epistemology” is really nothing more than a set of rationalizing devices masquerading in the garb of philosophic jargon. It’s utterly worthless.

I wrote: “’cause’? That’s a law of nature. How could it be available for use prior to existing? ::facepalm::”

Nide: “Ok, What causes the sun to rise and set?”

The natures of the entities involved in the question, namely the sun (including its gravitational pull on the earth), the earth’s rotation on its axis (due to its own inertia as well as the gravitational pull of the sun), and the relationship between the two (including the fact that the earth orbits the sun). These are the factors contributing to the causality of what we call the “rising” and “setting” of the sun. See, no supernatural beings involved. None needed whatsoever.

Nide: “So, by nature it's just the way it is.”

There are specific players involved, namely the sun and the earth, and the relationship which conjoins them.

Nide: “How do you know nature won't change on friday?”

While it is theoretically possible that a celestial body could travel into the earth’s orbit around the sun and disrupt it, such that, for instance, the earth stopped rotating, I would need at least some evidence that such an event might occur in order to cause me to question whether or not the present relationship between the earth and the sun will continue, and I don’t have any such evidence. So I see no need to take it seriously.

Besides, and more importantly, the proper model of human knowledge recognizes that knowledge is acquired on the basis of evidential input from the world around us, as discovered by a process of reason, not as a process of eliminating arbitrary postulations proposed as legitimate “possibilities” which have no evidential basis whatsoever to begin with. It’s like asking: How do you know your computer won’t suddenly turn into a lion and eat you for breakfast? One does not need to devote his time and energy to disproving the arbitrary in order to have knowledge of the real. On the contrary, knowledge is acquired by training the sights of our reason on the real, and recognizing that the unreal does not take precedent over the real.

Are you starting to see how important it is to epistemology that one’s metaphysical bases explicitly distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary? Perhaps not yet?

Regards,
Dawson

August 03, 2011 11:49 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

I got some sleep, woke up, and wrote a response to your latest comments to me. Enjoy.

I wrote: "My standard for knowledge is, as Rand puts it, "... a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation." ("Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology," p. 35)

r_c321 wrote: “So, if what you observes makes sense you believe it?”

If I have correctly identified a fact of reality, either through *perceptual* observation or by a process of reason, why wouldn’t it make sense? I wouldn’t necessarily use “belief” here, for the idea of believing means accepting something as a fact of reality that falls well short of certainty.

To expand on this a little, I quote from: Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, p.156...

“[Man’s] senses do not provide him with automatic knowledge in separate snatches independent of context, but only with the material of knowledge, which his mind must learn to integrate. . . . His senses cannot deceive him, . . . physical objects cannot act without causes, . . . his organs of perception are physical and have no volition, no power to invent or to distort . . . the evidence they give him is an absolute, but his mind must learn to understand it, his mind must discover the nature, the causes, the full context of his sensory material, his mind must identify the things that he perceives.”

(continued)

August 04, 2011 9:19 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Additionally, I quote from Dawson, who wrote, way back on July 30th, 2006, in his blog entry, “Responding to Chris”:

“...I have no choice about my reliance on sense perception, because this is part of my nature. My awareness of the world is made possible by sense perception. Everything I know about the world finds its ultimate basis in sense perception. Theists want to play a little game at this point, asking something like “Did you perceive with your senses the fact that everything you know about the world finds its ultimate basis in sense perception?” But if they practice a little more care in grasping what my statement says, they should see that I did not claim that every truth I know is a truth that I perceive directly. The ultimate basis of knowledge is sense perception, but through the formation of concepts I can build a body of knowledge upon that basis. Because I am able to form concepts, I am not bound to the perceptual level of awareness; I am able to develop broad abstractions which take the perceptual awareness of the world as their basis. I need this perceptual basis in order to build a body of knowledge in the first place. Knowledge of what? Knowledge of the world, of reality, of things that exists. Knowledge requires reason, which is the faculty which integrates and identifies what we perceive. It is not bound exclusively to the empirical level, for concepts are not empirical.

Yes, I do require facts, evidence and logic, because knowledge of the world is based on facts, evidence and logic. I want knowledge, so I go by the facts, the evidence and the logic that connects them together. I have found no gods there. Theists tell me that I need something in addition to these, namely something they call 'faith', which they treat as a kind of faculty like reason, but which operates completely mysteriously, even to the user. What’s noteworthy is that the products of faith contradict the products of reason, so there’s no valid way to integrate the two. Also, different people claim to know different things by means of faith, so those who claim to know things by faith quite often tend to disagree with each other, unless of course they're reciting from the same playbook. Since it remains completely unclear what faith's 'processes' are (supposing it has any processes to begin with), there’s no way to determine whether a mistake has been made, or whether its basis is true, or whether its conclusions (if they can be called that) in fact rest on their stated basis in a rightful manner (we can’t say “validly” here because validity is a property of rational thought, not of faith-mongering). So appeals to faith only complicate things, and bring us no closer to actual knowledge of the world. Besides, if one is honest, he has no need to resort to faith to substantiate his position. Either he knows on the basis of reason, or he simply doesn't know - he merely "believes," and even this is questionable. “

(continued)

August 04, 2011 9:20 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

I wrote: “Neither would one very devout Christian (Calvinist) I happen to be acquainted with, who when asked how he knows he has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, replied, "I just know because I know."

r_c321 wrote: “Well, I would answer by saying.
1. Hatred of Sin
2. Desire to pray and read the bible.
3. Desire to be around other Christians
4. Desire to not sin anymore
5. Desire to be obedient to Christ
Conviction of sin and remorse for sinning and a desire to repent and ask the lord for forgiveness. Is this good enough for you?”

So you know that you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because of all the things you listed? What data informs the things you listed and this so-called “knowledge” you have? Is it the facts of reality? Or is it stories from a book? Does the data that you accept as true contradict any of your previously validated knowledge?

As an aside, it’s noteworthy that “desire” is a prominent feature of your standard for “knowing” that the Holy Spirit dwells within you.


You said: "I asked him about people of other faiths saying that they know Allah is the true God, or that Mormonism is the correct religion, and he said, flatly, "They're wrong."


r_c321 wrote: “I am not religious so I can't really help you here. Religion can't save you only Jesus could.”

I see. So given that you’re not religious, would that mean you also don’t consider Christianity a religion? Would you say it’s more of a “personal relationship”? If so, I guess the Establishment Clause of the Constitution wouldn’t apply to you, would it? I guess it would only apply if it read, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a *personal relationship*, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”

Ydemoc

August 04, 2011 9:23 AM  
Blogger Nide Corniell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 04, 2011 3:55 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You said: "The Objectivist analysis of induction is powerful, efficient and dynamic, miles ahead of the Humean crowd that relies so deeply on repetition for merely probable results."

So, in other words we should really be suspicious
about those that hold to the the Objectivist analysis of induction. Since they only need to observe something once to get an answer. Is this correct?


You said: "The natures of the entities involved in the question, namely the sun (including its gravitational pull on the earth), the earth’s rotation on its axis (due to its own inertia as well as the gravitational pull of the sun), and the relationship between the two (including the fact that the earth orbits the sun). These are the factors contributing to the causality of what we call the “rising” and “setting” of the sun. See, no supernatural beings involved. None needed whatsoever.


Ok, let's talk about gravity.

Is gravity autonomous?
or is there a force acting on it?

These forces that you mention do they exist because
existence exist?

Has it always been this way?

or is it the axioms or the primacy of existence or concepts?

How do you know gravity won't stop being gravity tomorrow?



You said: "While it is theoretically possible that a celestial body could travel into the earth’s orbit around the sun and disrupt it, such that, for instance, the earth stopped rotating, I would need at least some evidence that such an event might occur in order to cause me to question whether or not the present relationship between the earth and the sun will continue, and I don’t have any such evidence. So I see no need to take it seriously."


So, you could be wrong about nature not changing on friday?

Is it only a possibility or are you certain?


Ydemoc,

You said: "If I have correctly identified a fact of reality, either through *perceptual* observation or by a process of reason, why wouldn’t it make sense? I wouldn’t necessarily use “belief” here, for the idea of believing means accepting something as a fact of reality that falls well short of certainty."

So, are you certain about everything you know. In other words you can't be wrong about anything you know. Is this correct?


You said: "So you know that you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because of all the things you listed? What data informs the things you listed and this so-called “knowledge” you have? Is it the facts of reality? Or is it stories from a book? Does the data that you accept as true contradict any of your previously validated knowledge? As an aside, it’s noteworthy that “desire” is a prominent feature of your standard for “knowing” that the Holy Spirit dwells within you.



1. Yes
2. What do you mean by data?
3. Not only is it factual but it's a reality.
4. They are not stories. Are you Certain?
5. Waiting for an explanation of data

I am happy that you brought up my mentioning of desires.

Do you have desires?

How do you know what you like?

Do you love anybody and how do you know?

Is it just a mental thing that you are certain about?

Are desires and knowledge incompatible?


Have fun.



You said: "I see. So given that you’re not religious, would that mean you also don’t consider Christianity a religion? Would you say it’s more of a “personal relationship”? If so, I guess the Establishment Clause of the Constitution wouldn’t apply to you, would it? I guess it would only apply if it read, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a *personal relationship*, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”


I would say it's a personal relationship. However, there is a lot more to it.



Farewell

August 04, 2011 3:56 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: "The Objectivist analysis of induction is powerful, efficient and dynamic, miles ahead of the Humean crowd that relies so deeply on repetition for merely probable results."

Nide: “So, in other words we should really be suspicious about those that hold to the the Objectivist analysis of induction. Since they only need to observe something once to get an answer. Is this correct?”

Who is the “we” that you have in mind here, and why do you think “we” should be suspicious because a discovery of a rational method of learning about the world around us has been made? I don’t see how that follows. If you and your gang are opposed to knowledge, then yes, I can see why you’re antagonistic. But suspicion is not the emotion you feel; what you’re experiencing is called fear.

Human beings formulate correct inductive judgments about the world around them after a single instance all the time, and they very often do so in the proper manner. Take for instance your hot stove top. You touch your hot stove with your finger, and you experience pain. I can’t speak for you, but for me, I only have to do that one time to formulate the generalization: touching the surface of a hot stove will result in pain. In fact, this is so easy that a toddler can do it. Why do grown thinkers have such a problem understanding it?

I suppose you could reject the Objectivist approach to induction, since you’ve already determined to “reject everything rand says” [sic], in which case I suspect you’ll be joining the Humeans, like Greg Bahnsen (who never questions Hume’s epistemological premises), and proceeding on the basis that one needs to repeat an activity ad nauseum in order to formulate at best only a probable generalization, one which cannot be accepted with any certainty. So, be my guest, go burn your finger on a hot stove top 7500 times and come back and tell me that touching a hot stove top with your finger will only probably result in pain some of the time, but we can’t be sure of this, since it’s only a statistical probability. Meanwhile, your finger is burnt down to a nubbin. That’ll look really smart.

The point is that an exact repetition of some action will provide us with no *additional* facts. The usefulness of repetition is in ensuring that we have our controls right (such as in experimentation – a science thing, you won’t learn about this in the bible), ensuring that we’ve observed all the relevant facts, and to test the truth or our generalizations. But as my example shows, a single instance can and often does supply enough opportunity to gather all the needed data to formulate basic generalizations, assuming of course that that instance provides us access to the causality of the effect we’re seeking to generalize.

[Continued…]

August 04, 2011 4:33 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “Ok, let's talk about gravity. Is gravity autonomous? or is there a force acting on it?”

I don’t understand your first question – “Is gravity autonomous?” You’ll need to clarify this. But you might want to ask a scientist, since this appears to be a science question rather than a philosophical question.

Nide: “Has it always been this way?”

You need to be specific. Has *what* always been *what* way?

Nide: “How do you know gravity won't stop being gravity tomorrow?”

Think, Nide: to what specifically does “tomorrow” refer? This is a crucial aspect of your question. Consider the underlying constants which must be in place for the concept “tomorrow” to have the meaning you assume it has. You will find your answer here, if you’re careful to integrate properly. It’s right there under your nose, but you still don’t see it. Your devotion to mysticism has sealed them shut.

Nide: “So, you could be wrong about nature not changing on friday?”

Nothing I’ve stated suggests that nature can or will change. Nature will continue to be what it is, because it exists. Again, to exist is to have a nature; if A exists, it must be A. Even if a celestial object – a comet or asteroid for example – were to disrupt the relationship between the earth and the sun, causality still rules the day. Nature has not changed. In fact, it’s what nature does. Change is simply the identity of the result(s) of a specific action or set of actions; it is what causality produces.

But if you think I’m wrong, either about the sun coming up on Friday or about nature changing, please produce your counter-evidence.

In the meantime, it is Friday morning here in Thailand, and the sun is already coming up. So again my method is vindicated.

What else do you want? What results of value has your “method” produced that mine cannot?

Nide: “Is it only a possibility or are you certain?”

I am certain.

Regards,
Dawson

August 04, 2011 4:35 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson

Your example of a single instance of inductive inference made my smile. I remember back in 1976 at the age of 5 a adult told me not to touch the hot iron, so of course I did just that and got contact blisters all over my hand. Guess what I have taken active steps to avoid all the years sense that day? Anyway I hope all is going well for you over in Thailand. I visited Malaysia back in 1999 when I was in the navy, found it a very interesting and different place.

August 04, 2011 8:32 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ok, I am talking about more complex things here. At that point you should have thanked God that he created you with the ability to feel pain so that you would avoid frying your little fingers. Some things are self-evident as you have pointed out.


I am not against Knowledge. The point that presuppers are making is that( as I have already stated) the unbeliever can't give a reason for what he knows. In others words the unbeliever knows because he knows or it's just the way it is. existence exist because it exist. it's always been that way. Which doesn't answer anything.


So, if the sun never rose again that would not be nature changing but only a cause of nature?

Would you still say that nature is uniform at that point?

What is nature?


You say your certain about the future but you haven't seen the future. How is this possible in your world view?

Is it the axiom or the primacy of existence or the concepts that assure you?

Has the future always been like the future?

Has the past always been like the past?

In a jury do you think they would accept your process of induction or would you have to use another method?


Have Fun because Justin certainly is. Looks like he still on the injured list.

August 04, 2011 9:23 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

I wrote: "If I have correctly identified a fact of reality, either through *perceptual* observation or by a process of reason, why wouldn’t it make sense? I wouldn’t necessarily use “belief” here, for the idea of believing means accepting something as a fact of reality that falls well short of certainty."

r_c321 wrote: “So, are you certain about everything you know. In other words you can't be wrong about anything you know. Is this correct?”

Why wouldn’t I be certain of the knowledge I have? Why wouldn’t I be certain about everything I know? I wouldn’t call it knowledge if I wasn’t certain about it. It wouldn’t qualify as knowledge at that point. Since it would fall short of knowledge, I might call it something else, like maybe “belief” or “speculation” or “superstition” or “suspicion” or “hypothesis” if I wasn’t certain about it. If I were religious -- or, if you prefer, in a “personal relationship” with the imaginary -- I might even call it “revelation” or the “Holy Spirit.” But I certainly wouldn’t call it knowledge.

r_c321 wrote: “In other words you can't be wrong about anything you know. Is this correct?”

If it is validated knowledge, what is there to be wrong about? I can be wrong about many things I *believe.* And I can be wrong about something I only *claim* to know. I can be wrong about things that fall well short of knowledge. But it doesn’t make sense to speak of being wrong about knowledge. Maybe you’ll find this helpful. I copied it from Dawson’s blog entry, “Bolt’s Loose Screws,” September 4, 2009. But it is written by Leonard Peikoff:

…one cannot demand omniscience. One cannot ask: “How do I know that a given idea, even it if has been proved on the basis of all the knowledge men have gained so far, will not be overthrown one day by new information as yet undiscovered?” This plaint is tantamount to the declaration: “Human knowledge is limited; so we cannot trust any of our conclusions.” And this amounts to taking the myth of an infinite God as the epistemological standard, by reference to which man’s consciousness is condemned as impotent. (Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, pp. 171-172)

August 04, 2011 9:45 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

(continued)

My above comment and the following are in response to r_c321.

I wrote: "So you know that you have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because of all the things you listed?

r_c321 wrote: “1. Yes”

Then you need a new standard for knowledge, because that ain’t it.

I wrote: “What data informs the things you listed and this so-called “knowledge” you have? Is it the facts of reality? Does the data that you accept as true contradict any of your previously validated knowledge?”

r_c321 wrote: “2. What do you mean by data?”

I could have used the phrase Dawson has used in the past, which is “objective inputs.” As Dawson explains, this is what I mean:

“Evidence from reality gathered according to the norms of reason (which entails compliance with the primacy of existence – i.e., objective).”

r_c321 wrote: “3. Not only is it factual but it's a reality.”

Not according to the standard I subscribe to. Talking donkeys are reality? Dead bodies popping out of graves and walking in a city is reality?

I wrote: “Or is it stories from a book?”

r_c321 wrote: “4. They are not stories. Are you Certain?”

Yep. I am certain they are stories.

r_c321 wrote: “5. Waiting for an explanation of data”

Given above.

I wrote: “As an aside, it’s noteworthy that “desire” is a prominent feature of your standard for “knowing” that the Holy Spirit dwells within you.”



r_c321 wrote: “I am happy that you brought up my mentioning of desires. Do you have desires?”

Yes.

r_c321 wrote: How do you know what you like?

The first thing I do is make my choice among things that exist. I do that by means of reason, with my consciousness, which also exists. Introspection is helpful in this regard.

(continued)

August 04, 2011 9:48 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321 wrote: Do you love anybody and how do you know?

Yes. I know the same way I know anything, as I explained above. As Rand writes:

“Love is a response to values. It is with a person’s sense of life that one falls in love—with that essential sum, that fundamental stand or way of facing existence, which is the essence of a personality. One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person’s character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gestures, which create the style of his soul—the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable consciousness. It is one’s own sense of life that acts as the selector, and responds to what it recognizes as one’s own basic values in the person of another. It is not a matter of professed convictions (though these are not irrelevant); it is a matter of much more profound, conscious and subconscious harmony.” (“Philosophy and Sense of Life,” The Romantic Manifesto, 32)


r_c321 wrote: “Is it just a mental thing that you are certain about? Are desires and knowledge incompatible?”

See above. Also consider this:

“An emotion is an automatic response, an automatic effect of man’s value premises. An effect, not a cause. There is no necessary clash, no dichotomy between man’s reason and his emotions—provided he observes their proper relationship. A rational man knows—or makes it a point to discover—the source of his emotions, the basic premises from which they come; if his premises are wrong, he corrects them. He never acts on emotions for which he cannot account, the meaning of which he does not understand. In appraising a situation, he knows why he reacts as he does and whether he is right. He has no inner conflicts, his mind and his emotions are integrated, his consciousness is in perfect harmony. His emotions are not his enemies, they are his means of enjoying life. But they are not his guide; the guide is his mind. This relationship cannot be reversed, however. If a man takes his emotions as the cause and his mind as their passive effect, if he is guided by his emotions and uses his mind only to rationalize or justify them somehow—then he is acting immorally, he is condemning himself to misery, failure, defeat, and he will achieve nothing but destruction—his own and that of others.”
“Playboy’s Interview with Ayn Rand,” March 1964




I wrote: "I see. So given that you’re not religious, would that mean you also don’t consider Christianity a religion? Would you say it’s more of a “personal relationship”? If so, I guess the Establishment Clause of the Constitution wouldn’t apply to you, would it? I guess it would only apply if it read, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a *personal relationship*, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”


r_c321 wrote: “I would say it's a personal relationship. However, there is a lot more to it.”

Well, you didn’t really answer my question: If Christianity is a “personal relationship,” how do you square that with the Establishment Clause? Also, how do you square “personal relationship” with the fact that you never see the one you’re having a relationship with? Does he call you on your cell phone? Does he text? Does he visit you in person? When he talks to you, does he speak in English? Or is it Greek? Or Aramaic? When you envision this person (savior) that you have a personal relationship with, does he look as depicted in “The Last Supper”?

Ydemoc

August 04, 2011 9:49 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Have Fun because Justin certainly is. Looks like he still on the injured list.

Not sure what this is even supposed to mean? However chew on this. No one in my 40 years of existence has done more to damage the credibility of the followers of Christ in my mind then you. I truly and honestly believe you are about as intelligent as a sack of hammers and wish to have no further contact with you at all. I will continue to interact with Dawson and there is no need for you to address me about anything. I simply don't have the patience to deal with crazy people.

August 04, 2011 10:15 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson

My roommate came up with this little gem after discussion we had on Hume's attack on induction. and I quote "the inability to come to terms with the world without certainty in knowledge is the sign of a weak mind"

It occurred to us that a way to deal with TAG might go something like this

Presupper: "you cant account for logic, morality, etc without god. ie you cant be certain of anything.

rational person:Knowledge is inherently contextual, as therefore is certainty. Your idea of certainty is only relevant within a theist context, and therefore cannot be used as an argument for theism. This fallacy is known as petitio principii

or put simply we don't buy into your need for absolute certainty, its not a problem for us. If tomorrow I wake up and find a black swan, ill deal with it then.

August 04, 2011 10:53 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin,

So, not only am I stupid but crazy.
Amazing. Is this the way you intend to convince theist that they should convert to atheism?

You said: "This fallacy is known as petitio principii or put simply we don't buy into your need for absolute certainty, its not a problem for us. If tomorrow I wake up and find a black swan, ill deal with it then.


So, in other words you really don't know anything your just living by faith. Great.

Extremely glad this ain't my problem.

August 05, 2011 6:22 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “Ok, I am talking about more complex things here. At that point you should have thanked God that he created you with the ability to feel pain so that you would avoid frying your little fingers.”

Why didn’t your god just make us with fry-proof fingers in the first place? Why create creatures with any vulnerabilities to begin with? What’s the “logic” behind that? As I’ve pointed out before, a creator which is said to be perfect could create only perfect creatures. Corruptibility is not an attribute of something that is perfect. And yet, corruptibility seems to be the one attribute of man that Christianity is completely fixated on.

Nide: “Some things are self-evident as you have pointed out.”

Actually, in regard to the example that I gave (burning your finger once on a hot stove), the generalization that one draws from this is not self-evident, because the one doing the generalizing is not perceiving all hot stoves, nor is he touching all hot stoves. It only seems self-evident because we have automatized the inductive process with innumerable successes by the time we’ve reached adulthood. But the truth of the generalization is far from self-evident. On the contrary, the generalizing process of induction involves integrating what has happened in a specific instance of cause and effect with an entire class of objects. One does this by means of concepts. One needs to have formed the concepts 'pain', ‘hot’ and ‘stove’ (as well as many others) before he could formulate the generalization “touching a hot stove will result in pain.” Inductive generalization is specifically a conceptual process. That’s why, when presuppositionalists ask for me to give my “account for” induction, I always point to the objective theory of concepts along with the axioms and the primacy of existence. The pain we feel when we touch a hot stove is immediate. But the generalization that we will experience pain whenever we touch the hot surface of any stove is not self-evident. This is an inductive generalization.

Nide: “I am not against Knowledge.”

That you would even feel the need to say this tells us something’s up. What else could one infer? You’ve stated several times, and quite proudly, that you “reject everything rand says” [sic], even though it’s clear from your ignorance of Objectivism that you know virtually nothing about her views. This is not the behavior of someone who seeks to increase his understanding of the world. Your actions do not stem from a pro-knowledge, pro-reason attitude. Not in the least. Justin, who’s always been a most reasonable, charitable and patient man, has been pressed beyond his limits by your unteachable persona here, so much so that he doesn’t even want to continue corresponding with you. That does not speak well for you at all.

I will speak for myself: You are certainly making no positive points on behalf of the Christian worldview – no, not one – by your conduct in my blog’s comments sections. Quite the opposite: given how you comport yourself, I’d have nothing to do with Christianity, even if I didn’t already know any better.

[Continued…]

August 05, 2011 6:35 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “The point that presuppers are making is that( as I have already stated) the unbeliever can't give a reason for what he knows.”

The presuppositionalists are not only completely wrong about this, but what they propose as an alternative for man to acquire knowledge (to the extent that they even identify one) is even worse than ignorance – it completely misdirects the mind and undercuts all confidence in one’s own intellect.

Objectivism promotes an epistemology of reason. It does so on the basis of the recognition that reality is what it is independent of conscious activity, that reality does not conform to wishing, emotions, imagination, ignorance, etc., but in fact is absolute. And yet presuppositionalists unashamedly oppose it, which can only mean that they think reason is bad epistemology and that reality in fact does conform to wishing, emotions, imagination, etc. If they’re not against knowledge, against reality, against man, why would they oppose Objectivism? They certainly do not show that Objectivism is flawed in any way. So it must be something else.

Nide: “In others words the unbeliever knows because he knows or it's just the way it is.”

Your statement here confirms the very appropriateness of the following paragraph from my blog entry above:

>> Of course, it may be the case that presuppositionalists are simply presupposing that all non-Christian worldviews have fatal inconsistencies plaguing their inner structure, truth sets, inferences, etc., and therefore bent on finding anything that might confirm this assumption, even if it must be manufactured on the basis of caricature or simply putting words into their opponents’ mouths. It’s hard not to suspect that this is the case when examining a presuppositionalist critique of a non-Christian position, for far too often such critiques tend to be little more than express fault-finding expeditions bent on construing anything the non-Christian position affirms into a most obvious error that astute thinkers would naturally avoid. <<

You will not be able to find any quotes from us saying “I know because I know” or “I know because it’s just the way it is.” That’s why you need to distort our words and lead your deliberately misrepresentative interpretation in with “in other words…”

Why not take your mystic-colored goggles off and actually consider what we have to say about the world, man’s nature, knowledge, reason, and the rest? If we’re so wrong, what will it hurt you to deal with our position as we inform it instead of knocking down some manufactured caricature of it?

Meanwhile, I’ve already quoted presuppositionalism’s surviving heavy (in more ways than one), theologian John Frame affirming the view that “we know without knowing how we know.” Why do you spit and stammer against a position which advocates objective reality and reason, and yet ignore something utterly confounding like this that originates on the Christian side of the fence??????

Indeed, I think this was one of Frame’s characteristically candid moments. I can cite others, but in regard to epistemology this is an all-time, award-winning whopper.

[Continued…]

August 05, 2011 6:41 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “existence exist because it exist.”

This is just more misrepresentation. Find anywhere in the Objectivist literature that states “existence exist[s] because it exist[s].” Objectivism nowhere attempts to characterize existence as a product of some prior cause. One cannot say “existence exists because” anything. Objectivism recognizes that such a maneuver hinges on a stolen concept: you cannot rationally apply the concept ‘cause’ outside the context of what exists. Objectivism holds that “existence exists – and only existence exists.” (Leonard Peikoff “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy,” Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 109.)

Nide: “it's always been that way. Which doesn't answer anything.”

What is the question that you think is being left unanswered, Nide? Depending on what it is, it might not be a valid question. There are such things as fallacious questions. I can give you some examples if you like.

Nide: “So, if the sun never rose again that would not be nature changing but only a cause of nature?”

It would be an entity changing in its relation to another entity. It would not be a change to nature as such.

Nide: “Would you still say that nature is uniform at that point?”

Of course, because nature would not be contradicting itself. A would still be A, just as there would need to be some cause for the earth’s relationship with the sun to be altered.

[Continued…]

August 05, 2011 6:45 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “What is nature?”

Objectivism answers this question:

“What is nature? Nature is existence—the sum of that which is. It is usually called “nature” when we think of it as a system of interconnected, interacting entities governed by law. So 'nature' really means the universe of entities acting and interacting in accordance with their identities.” (Leonard Peikoff, “The Philosophy of Objectivism” lecture series (1976), Lecture 2.)

How does the bible answer this question? Where does it answer it? Book, chapter and verse, please.

Nide: “You say your certain about the future but you haven't seen the future. How is this possible in your world view?”

Here you seem to be putting a lot of words into my mouth. There are some things that I’m certain of for the future. I’m certain that so long as I am alive, I will need to breathe air and consume nourishment. I am certain that human beings of the future will experience pain when they touch a hot stove top. I am certain that mountains will continue to exist after I die. I am certain that H2O will have a liquid form under certain atmospheric conditions. I am certain that the statute mile will continue to be 5,280 feet tomorrow, next year, and 20 years from now. I'm certain of these things by means of reason. If you think reason is invalid as a means by which man can acquire knowledge, please present your case. But make sure you don't try to piggyback on reason in presenting your case, because this will only undermine it.

But there are many things that I don’t have certainty on. For instance, will my daughter have a fever tomorrow? Will I develop a toothache in the next 12 months? Will my car need a new set of tires by New Year’s 2012? Will Mt. St. Helens erupt in the next 10 years? Will there be a worldwide coffee shortage in 2036? Will Keith Richards pass away before his next birthday? Etc. I make no claim to certainty on these, and many other things, which are future projections.

Really, is there anything that you can find that is genuinely unreasonable about my position? So far you haven’t found anything.

[Continued…]

August 05, 2011 6:51 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “Is it the axiom or the primacy of existence or the concepts that assure you?”

Reason does not apply either the axioms, the primacy of existence or objectively formed concepts in isolation to one another. It is an epistemologically integrated enterprise.

Nide: “Has the future always been like the future?”

Has the future *of what* always been like the future *of what*? What is it that you’re trying to ask, and – more importantly – why are you seeking to ask it?

Nide: “Has the past always been like the past?”

Seriously, how do you expect me to answer this question? Should I throw my hands up in distressed ignorance and exclaim “Duh, I donno, Must be God did it!!!”? You ask so many questions, and yet avoid addressing almost all that have been posed to you. And yet you’re the one who claims to have an omniscient, infallible supernatural mind on your side. It seems that you should be the one with all the answers, and able confidently to address every question posed to you without evading or distorting or asking questions in response to questions. But you don’t have an omniscient, infallible supernatural mind on your side. All you have is a faith and a complicit series of bluffs.

Nide: “In a jury do you think they would accept your process of induction or would you have to use another method?”

I’ve served on a jury before. And even though I was not elected as the foreman, I was quickly singled out by the group as the one with the sharpest judgment on the case we were deliberating. So given that firsthand experience, I’m happy to say that the folks in my jury recognized the reasonableness of my arguments. And I presented many!

Regards,
Dawson

August 05, 2011 6:54 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Justin wrote: “rational person: Knowledge is inherently contextual, as therefore is certainty. Your idea of certainty is only relevant within a theist context, and therefore cannot be used as an argument for theism. This fallacy is known as petitio principia… or put simply we don't buy into your need for absolute certainty, its not a problem for us. If tomorrow I wake up and find a black swan, ill deal with it then.”

Theistic apologist have, and will continue, to make a huge deal over certainty. They have to, because a mind settled on a rationally defensible conclusion is ultimately anathema to religion’s pogrom against the human mind.

Needless to say, the theist’s conception of certainty is radically different from mine. For the theist, certainty is a directive to which reality is supposed to conform. It’s just another expression of the primacy of consciousness which underlies their worldview.

But this causes a terrible dilemma for the theist. On the one hand, he will taunt non-believers for any uncertainty they might have, and gleefully so, improperly equating anything less than complete certainty with an indication of system-wide defects.

On the other hand, any certainty that the non-believer might have is considered by the theist as a serious threat that needs to be cut down. Theists don’t like non-theists to be certain about anything, since certainty indicates confidence in one’s own verdicts, and this brings out the theist’s insecurities. His insecurities are a private hell resulting from his own harrowing view of the world, but something he desperately hides from the world, especially from critics of Christianity. In his inner dialogue, the theist’s reaction to a non-theist’s certainty, if it could be broadcast, might go like:

“How can that atheist be so certain! This is intolerable! He thumbs his nose at God, and has all this certainty. And yet I pray, read God’s word, obey his commandments and live my life in total subjection to His law, and yet I’m racked with uncertainty. He needs to be put in his place!”

You will notice that a non-theist’s certainty is typically characterized as an expression of hubris and vanity. Christians, for instance, can’t stand it when non-Christians are certain about something, especially if it has anything to do with something their religion seeks to assimilate.

Theists do not conceive of certainty as something that results from fact-gathering efforts performed firsthand by a mind seeking information about reality, but rather as something that one is privileged to *receive* as a result of signing on to some confessional commitment. Certainty is not something one earns as a result of mental labor, but rather something that is dispensed as a booby prize for sacrificing one’s own intellect. What they call "certainty" ends up being nothing more than a determination to pretend that a fantasy is reality.

Regards,
Dawson

August 05, 2011 7:10 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “Is this the way you intend to convince theist that they should convert to atheism?”

I don’t know of anyone who wants you to “convert to atheism,” Nide. I don’t think any atheist wants you, least of all probably Justin. And so far as I’m concerned, I’m perfectly happy with theism keeping you locked in its labyrinthine grips. They can have you!

May we each get what we deserve.

I’m certainly counting on it.

Regards,
Dawson

August 05, 2011 7:18 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

It just keeps getting better. Apologists who can present an argument refuse to come and discuss with us. When I ask so called apologists to "throw down the gauntlet" and mention this blog, they want nothing to do with it. One apologist I spoke to in particular took a gander over the fence at what was in store for him here, and then proceeded to claim that he was "too educated" to refute Dawson, and further made elitist, childish jabs. They do nothing but evade and will not directly deal with any criticisms.

August 05, 2011 1:09 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

Nide you should really have some respect and learn how to present an argument. But, unlike your affiliates constantly do to me and others who post here, I highly doubt Dawson is going to block you. Also we are not elitist like your "all talk no action" Van Tillian buddies.

Why don't you go ask DPMosteller or Sye Ten Bruggencate to assist you and help you stop the slaughterhouse of Van Tillian fallacies here?

I have tried to get them to come and help you out but they are backing down like yellow tinted Gallus Domesticus.

You are failing miserably on your own. Although hilarity continues to ensue with almost all of your posts.

August 05, 2011 1:19 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc,

You wrote: "If I have correctly identified a fact of reality, either through *perceptual* observation or by a process of reason, why wouldn’t it make sense?

It would make sense. Only if you have done it correctly. Are you aware when you don't do it correctly and is there a possibilty that you could be deceiving yourself?

You said: " If I were religious -- or, if you prefer, in a “personal relationship” with the imaginary -- I might even call it “revelation” or the “Holy Spirit.” But I certainly wouldn’t call it knowledge.

Well, the bible calls it knowledge. Would you label the writings of plato as knowledge?


You said: "If it is validated knowledge, what is there to be wrong about?


Let me ask. Is your rejection of the christian God knowledge or a belief?

Also, The unbeliever can't come to the knowledge of God with his senses. Unless he is regenerated by the holy spirit and it is granted to him. If this is true would you agree then that you are deceiving yourself when you say God doesn't exist?


You said" Then you need a new standard for knowledge, because that ain’t it.


The standard for knowledge is God.
So, by rejecting God you are rejecting Knowledge.

You are using your God given ability to reason. To reject the one that has given you that reason.

Your rejecting reason with reason.
It's utter absurdity.

Don't you see a problem here?


You said: "Not according to the standard I subscribe to. Talking donkeys are reality? Dead bodies popping out of graves and walking in a city is reality?


Is anything to hard for the Lord?

If God is the creator and the giver and taker of life why wouln't he able to do these things?

Do you find it absurd that some parrots can learn to say certain phrases?


Continued.......

August 05, 2011 1:56 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

AJ, talk is cheap. How do you know the sun will rise/set next week?

Did dawson tell you?

August 05, 2011 1:59 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You said: Yep. I am certain they are stories.

How about plato is he a fairy tale?





Continued...

August 05, 2011 3:02 PM  
Blogger reasonable_sanity said...

r_c321 asked: How do you know the sun will rise/set next week?

The answer is quite simple. The sun neither rises nor sets, but provides this illusion due to the fact that we live on an oblate spheroid that is rotating. Our frame of reference is the surface of the oblate spheroid, sans the poles, wherein the rotation provides the illusion of the Sun making an arc across the sky, appearing to rise and set. In reality, the Sun is stationary, but due to our reference, it appears to moves across the sky. The Earth is the one moving (via rotation).

Now that we've established this fact, it would require an exterior force from outside the system to stop the planet from rotating (which would cause extreme destruction to everything on its surface, not even accounting for the effects of the force itself). As noted, this would provide the necessary information to more than effectively presume that the sun will "rise/set" for millenia to come.

The theist is the one with the problem here because his/her "god" could magically "will" the planet to stop rotating (and kill everything in the process, or induce more magic and miraculously suspend all laws of physics so that life is preserved), or extinguish the Sun (which would provide a wholly different set of problems), thereby ceasing the illusion of the Sun rising/setting.

I have no idea why theists believe this is such a problem, unless they are looking at it from their perspective of a magical being that can do as it pleases.

August 05, 2011 6:48 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

RS,

Thank you for the science lesson. I really appreciate.

I have a question for you.

Has the earh always rotated around the sun and if so how do you know?

Has it always been like this in the past?

Are you absolutely certain that in the future it will continue to rotate?


By the way I am not worried about it ever stopping. I have an all- powerful God that upholds it by the power of his word.

Actually, it's been this way since the day he spoke his creation into existence.


continued.........

August 05, 2011 9:07 PM  
Blogger reasonable_sanity said...

Rc you're welcome for the science lesson.

Rc: Has the earth always rotated aroud the sun?

No, the earth orbits around the sun. It rotates on its axis. Always? No, not until about 4.5 billion years ago when it began its accretion. Once the accretion process began, then yes, rotation began.

Rc: and if so how do you know?

Rc it's known as conservation of angular momentum. Any body that is under gravitational influence experiences this. It becomes more paramount given mass and distance, which, interestingly enough are fundamental with gravitational influence.

Rc: Has it always been like this in the past?

No, again the Earth began it's accretion process no less than 4.5 billion years ago. Always? No, but always since the accretion process began? Yes.

Rc: Are you absolutely certain that in the future it will continue to rotate?

Yes, unless acted upon by a force that is external to the system. I already explained this.

Your god does not uphold the fact that the earth will continue to rotate unabated. In fact, according to your god, he stopped it in place at one time. If you believe your god, he could do it again, thus again ensuring your uncertainty.

Rc: Actually, it's been this way since the day he spoke his creation into existence.

No. According to your bible lore, he stopped the earth's rotation, as the sun stood still in the sky. This only further illustrates the theists problem with this question. I know the Earth will not cease rotating unless an external force acts upon it. You can't know from one day to the next whether or not your god will "will" it to stop.

August 05, 2011 9:50 PM  
Blogger reasonable_sanity said...

I should add that the particles that were involved in the accretion were indeed experiencing rotation. When I stated rotation began, I was speaking of the accreted Earth.

August 05, 2011 9:54 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

I have written just a few responses to your latest comments to me. I have been writing further responses to your other questions and comments. In the meantime...

You still have not answered my question about the Establishment Clause, have you?

r_c321 wrote: Let me ask. Is your rejection of the christian God knowledge or a belief?

Strictly speaking, here is how your sentence translates: “Is your rejection of Gobblygooky knowledge or belief?” The appropriate answer to such “questions” is, “Huh?” But I’ll play along for a little bit longer. 



r_c321 wrote: “Also, The unbeliever can't come to the knowledge of God with his senses.”

Right, that’s what believers tell me. Welp, there goes reading the bible! Or listening to preachers! Or seeing Jesus on the road to Damascus! Or poking a finger in Jesus’ wounds! To paraphrase (or perhaps this is a direct quote) what Dawson has said in his blog, “God belief - It’s non-sensical!” Hey, might make a great bumper sticker!

r_c321 wrote: Unless he is regenerated by the holy spirit and it is granted to him. If this is true would you agree then that you are deceiving yourself when you say God doesn't exist?

Where did you learn this? Did you use your senses? Did you hear it somewhere? Read it?

What would you think I should say to a Muslim who comes up to me and says “Unless he is regenerated by Allah and it is granted to him. If this is true, would you agree then that you are deceiving yourself when you say Allah doesn’t exist?”

I would tell him the same thing I would tell you: You’re speaking nonsense.

I wrote: "Not according to the standard I subscribe to. Talking donkeys are reality? Dead bodies popping out of graves and walking in a city is reality?


r_c321 wrote: "Is anything to hard for the Lord?

If God is the creator and the giver and taker of life why wouln't he able to do these things?"

In a previous exchange (with Dawson, I believe) in the comments section dated July 9, 2011, 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."

Then on July 11th, 2011 in the comments section of Dawson's blog entry entitled, "Considering Tony's Offerings," I asked r_c321:

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

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

Now, r_c321, would you mind explaining how you square your assertion that "... God can not and will not do the absurd..." with this statement: "Is anything to hard for the Lord?

If God is the creator and the giver and taker of life why wouln't he able to do these things?"

If talking donkeys and zombies aren't absurd, then "absurd" has lost all meaning.






r_c321 wrote: “Do you find it absurd that some parrots can learn to say certain phrases?”

No. I find it entertaining. However, if the parrot was living next door to me, I think after a while, I would find it annoying.

If you are attempting to equate a trained parrot vocalizing select phrases to the “talking” donkey of the bible, you might want to have another look at your storybook, specifically Numbers 22:28 - 22:30:

22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?
22:29 And Balaam said unto the ass, Because thou hast mocked me: I would there were a sword in mine hand, for now would I kill thee.
22:30 And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? And he said, Nay.

They have a conversation! Not just select phrases. 
*That* is absurd.


Ydemoc

August 05, 2011 10:27 PM  
Blogger Nide Corniell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 06, 2011 6:52 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Ydemoc,

You wrote "Yes. I know the same way I know anything, as I explained above. As Rand writes:"


Honestly, I find Rand repulsive and extremely bizarre. Actually, God is love so that's another false statement by her.

You think we could survive without emotions, feelings, desires?



You said: " Well, you didn’t really answer my question: If Christianity is a “personal relationship,” how do you square that with the Establishment Clause? Also, how do you square “personal relationship” with the fact that you never see the one you’re having a relationship with? Does he call you on your cell phone? Does he text? Does he visit you in person? When he talks to you, does he speak in English? Or is it Greek? Or Aramaic? When you envision this person (savior) that you have a personal relationship with, does he look as depicted in “The Last supper."

1. Well, by definition Christianity is a religion. So, it's squares with the establishment clause. The problem is people's ignorance and misunderstanding of what christianity or true religion is. Have given those terms some really bad implications etc.

2. These are a bunch of ridiculous questions. But I will answer them.

It's a personal relationship because God is personal.
God has a will, emotions, and intellect. Remember I told you this?. I talk and pray to Him and through his word(the bible) he speaks to me and by the work and power of the holy spirit this is all made possible.

The bible doesn't give a physical description of Jesus. So, I can't give you an answer.

Dawson,

You said: Justin, who’s always been a most reasonable, charitable and patient man, has been pressed beyond his limits by your unteachable persona here, so much so that he doesn’t even want to continue corresponding with you. That does not speak well for you at all.



This is pretty funny. thanks for the laugh.
Actually, I am the one that has been patient and charitable. I have answered hundreds of questions.
Justin is a little sore because He couldn't the pressure. Personal attacks are a sign of defeat and not being able to deal with the arguments.



continued

August 06, 2011 6:53 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “Honestly, I find Rand repulsive and extremely bizarre.”

Can you at least explain why?

I pointed out in a recent comment, one with which you have not so far interacted, that Objectivism (Rand’s philosophy) promotes an epistemology of reason. Is this what you “find repulsive and bizarre”? If not, what is it specifically about Rand that you find “repulsive and bizarre”? Why don’t you tell us what specifically turns you off about Rand?

Can you articulate the content of your resentment?

Regards,
Dawson

August 06, 2011 8:25 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Sir,

You said: "Can you at least explain why?

1. Her rejection of God.
2. Her theory of ethics and morality
3. existence exist. Our existence( us and the world around us) has a beginning and end.

You have 2 choices.

1. God exist, which according to Romans 1 EVERYONE knows, he created the world and us and made us in his image. We are able to know things about the world we live in because God has created us with cognitive abilities. All wisdom and knowledge are found in him. So, without him we couldn't know anything or give a reason for what we know.

or

2. I'm here I don't why or how am here but I'm
here. I know. I don't how I know. I just know

Your choice.

August 06, 2011 11:30 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You said"’Ive served on a jury before. And even though I was not elected as the foreman, I was quickly singled out by the group as the one with the sharpest judgment on the case we were deliberating. So given that firsthand experience, I’m happy to say that the folks in my jury recognized the reasonableness of my arguments. And I presented many!

I am happy that you have served on a jury. Your a great citizen. However, this is not what was asking.

How about you answer the question.

You honestly think that if you tried to come to a verdict at first glance people are going to take you seriously?

Let's say you did and later it was found to be a false verdict. What then?

You ever make mistakes?


Have Fun

August 06, 2011 12:11 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321 wrote: Actually, God is love so that's another false statement by her.

Again with the "God is love" line. But how could this be? As Dawson writes in "The Double Whammy" in his blog entry, dated April 6, 2008:

"The problem with this move is that love is not an independently existing entity, while the Christian god is supposed to be extra-mental, extra-psychological, existing independent of human cognition. When I die, for instance, my loving will stop, and so will my other psychological experiences. But what Christian is going to say that his god stops existing when he does? Again, as I've stated, just by pointing to psychological phenomena as analogous to their god, theists essentially give away the game. They're basically telling us that their god is imaginary without coming out and openly admitting this to be the case."

Ydemoc

August 06, 2011 1:14 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

A few comments back, r_c321 wrote: “Also, The unbeliever can't come to the knowledge of God with his senses.”

I wrote: "Right, that’s what believers tell me. Welp, there goes reading the bible! Or listening to preachers! Or seeing Jesus on the road to Damascus! Or poking a finger in Jesus’ wounds! To paraphrase (or perhaps this is a direct quote) what Dawson has said in his blog, “God belief - It’s non-sensical!” Hey, might make a great bumper sticker!"

I'm revisiting this because I think it is an amazing admission by r_c321: The unbeliever cannot come to knowledge of God with his senses.

Apparently you need no sense to come to knowledge of god.

And to be precise about the earlier quote I attributed to Dawson, here's what he wrote in his blog entry entitled, "A Response to Vytautas," dated January 6, 2008:

"I would point out that, by describing their god as something non-sensible, and making the kinds of claims to knowledge that they do, Christians show how nonsensical their beliefs are. If you have no means of achieving awareness of your god, then by what means could you know that it exists?"

Ydemoc

August 06, 2011 1:57 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

In response to a series of questions I asked regarding his having a "personal relationship" with his god, r_c321 wrote: "2. These are a bunch of ridiculous questions."

You have no basis for calling *anything* ridiculous, not if you claim as knowledge such things as talking donkeys, waking on water, talking serpents, walking across a supernaturally parted, yet muddy sea bed, strolling zombies...

The primacy of consciousness metaphysics which you subscribe to, and which gives rise to your accepting as knowledge such storybook notions, has destroyed your thinking skills to such an extent that you wouldn't know ridiculous if it slapped you in the face. But, given your metaphysics, you would probably claim that could happen, too.

Ydemoc

August 06, 2011 5:14 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Ydemoc,

I’m continually amazed at your ready access to my past writings and ability to find all these quotes you’ve been posting from blogs that I’ve written. It’s as though you had everything archived encyclopedically. You’ve been posting passages from blogs that I haven’t even read in several years. It shows that many of the objections and evasive tactics that theists will try to deploy have already been answered.

Great work! I wish I had everything at my fingertips as you apparently do. You seem so organized!

Regards,
Dawson

August 06, 2011 5:29 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide stated that he finds “Rand repulsive and extremely bizarre,” without explaining why. I asked if he could explain himself. He listed three reasons. Let’s take a look:

Nide: “1. Her rejection of God.”

Many people reject god-belief, including numerous individuals with whom Nide has been corresponding in these comments. So if Nide finds Rand “repulsive and extremely bizarre” for rejecting the god he worships in his imagination, he must find me and others who are participating in these discussions “repulsive and extremely bizarre” as well. Is Nide the type of person who makes it a point to seek out, go to and engage in discussion those whom he considers “repulsive and extremely bizarre”?

Of course, it is only rational to reject a set of beliefs which deliberately confuse the imaginary with the real. So I’ll go with Rand on this one.

Nide: “2. Her theory of ethics and morality”

It’s true that Rand developed a potent ethical theory in her philosophy that many thinkers have found controversial. Her ethical theory is a theory which applies reason to man’s task of living life, and is based on something called values. It is a theory which recognizes the fact that man needs values in order to live, that his values are not automatically given to him by his environment, that he must act in order to achieve and/or preserve them, and that he must use his mind in order to identify what values he needs and the actions which he must take in order to achieve them.

Nide does not specify what he finds offensive about Rand’s “theory of ethics and morality” that explains why he finds her “repulsive and extremely bizarre.” But since he lists her ethical theory as one of the three reasons why he finds her so distasteful, I can only surmise that he objects to the idea of applying reason to chosen action and the idea of moral values, and alternatively endorses the idea that man should instead sacrifice himself instead of live and enjoy his life, for whatever reason (one that he probably would not want to articulate anyway – indeed, he hasn’t so far). So I guess we just need to consider the source here.

Nide: “3. existence exist. Our existence( us and the world around us) has a beginning and end.”

In the case of Nide’s third reason for calling Rand “repulsive and extremely bizarre,” it’s hard to understand (again) what exactly Nide finds so untoward about Rand’s views. For one, he misquotes her – it’s “existence exists”not “existence exist” – and then writes “our existence (us and the world around us) has a beginning and end.” Also, he does not explain what specifically he finds objectionable.

Is Nide denying the truth of Rand’s axiom, existence exists? Does he think there’s no existence, that there’s no reality? This would represent a position which is rather bizarre in itself, for the axiom would have to be true in order for one to deny it.

As for “our existence,” I have nowhere seen a statement by Rand to the effect that we are eternal. She was quite forthright in recognizing that human beings are biological organisms, that we are born, live for a while, and then die. Her entire moral theory acknowledges this from beginning to end. So I don’t know what Nide would find so “repulsive and extremely bizarre” about this.

As for “the world around us,” this is vague, and could mean several things. Does it mean the earth? Where does Rand ever say that the earth has always existed and always will exist? I’ve never read anything to that effect in her writings. Does “world” mean the entirety of existence? If so, then of course, this is eternal, for existence does not find its source in non-existence. To fault Rand for the view that existence is eternal, is to deny the eternality of anything that exists along with the sum of existence. It seems rather bizarre, if not completely thoughtless, for a Christian to object to the view that existence is eternal, for he wants us to believe that the god he imagines is eternal. So again, Nide comes across as quite confused in his assessments.

Regards,
Dawson

August 06, 2011 5:41 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide stated: “You have 2 choices.”

The two choices that he listed are:

“1. God exist” [sic]

and

“2. I’m here I don’t know why or how am here but I’m here. I know. I don’t know how I know. I just know.”

For one, Nide provides no reason for supposing that these are in fact the only two alternatives available, nor do they at all seem mutually exclusive. In fact, one could believe that there is a god and still not know why he is here or how he is here or how he knows what he knows. I have already quoted Vantillian apologist John Frame going on the record stating “we know without knowing how we know,” and he’s a well-known defender of theism. So Frame satisfies both the first choice that Nide lists and at least part of the second choice.

Also, it seems that theists would not know the specifics as to why they themselves are in existence. The bible itself was written thousands of years ago and does not list the names of believers alive today and say “this is why I created you, Nide” or “this is why I created you, John Frame.” It seems that, since the theist essentially holds that he was put into existence by an act of choice (his god presumably *chose* to create him specifically), that there is a “why” behind his creation. But where does the believer turn to discover the answer to this question? It’s not going to be in the bible. Does he claim to have some private revelation? Is he sure he’s not confusing himself with the god he worships in his imagination when he ventures into answering such questions?

Similarly with the “how” of creation. As Ricky Gervais put it when he was analyzing the opening passage of the book of Genesis, which includes the biblical “account” of creation, “it doesn’t go into much detail.” I’ve asked Christians how their god created the universe, and the answer I’ve typically gotten is something to the effect “God does not reveal the process by which he creates.” This is simply an admission in the likes of “I don’t know,” which is one of the alternatives that Nide offers in opposition to his god-belief. Indeed, it seems that if one embraces a god-belief, he not only retreats into his imagination, but he becomes stranded on the shores of perpetual ignorance.

But even worse, Nide’s view that we have a “choice” about all this, whether his “God exist” [sic] or not, only tells us that his god-belief is simply subjective and irrational. On Nide’s view, one can “choose” that “God exist” [sic], or not. He grants human consciousness the same power his worldview attributes to its god. Nide's whole approach here summarily confirms my analysis that theism is ultimately imaginative in nature.

[Continued…]

August 06, 2011 5:49 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide had asked: “In a jury do you think they would accept your process of induction or would you have to use another method?”

I responded: “I’ve served on a jury before. And even though I was not elected as the foreman, I was quickly singled out by the group as the one with the sharpest judgment on the case we were deliberating. So given that firsthand experience, I’m happy to say that the folks in my jury recognized the reasonableness of my arguments. And I presented many!”

Nide now retorts: “I am happy that you have served on a jury. Your a great citizen. However, this is not what was asking. How about you answer the question.”

I think I have answered the question. I answered from firsthand experience, having served on a jury. None of the members in the jury that I served on questioned my process of induction; indeed, from what I could tell, they were applying roughly the same method themselves. So I’m not sure why you find my response dissatisfying. Perhaps you meant to ask something different? If so, you might want to rephrase your question.

Let me just say, however, that for anyone who wants to question the method of induction which I use, I’m prepared to explore the matter with them. I would urge anyone questioning my inductive process to familiarize himself with the objective theory of concepts, for this is a key component in my inductive reasoning. It is the fulcrum upon which my generalizing rests. If you want to raise objections to my inductive process, it’s probably the theory of concepts which it incorporates that you find offensive. In which case, I simply challenge you to identify an alternative theory of concepts. Where would you go to find one? The Christian worldview has no theory of concepts. So what are you going to do?

[Continued…]

August 06, 2011 5:53 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “You honestly think that if you tried to come to a verdict at first glance people are going to take you seriously?”

Let’s see. Have I ever stated that I come to all my verdicts “at first glance”? I don’t remember doing so.

But Romans 1 says we’ve all done this. It says that we all know that the Christian god exists because its “invisible attributes” are “clearly seen.” Remember? While it still remains to be explained how something “invisible” can be “clearly seen,” this is the very passage that you continually cite in defense of your god-belief (as though it did any good). And now you’re questioning me whether people would take me seriously if I “tried to come to a verdict at first glance”?

Your own bible is apparently making the claim that *everyone* who has ever lived, who is living now, and who will ever live, has or will “come to a verdict at first glance” that allegedly tells them that the Christian god is real and that everything in the universe was created by it. Now if it’s a stretch to think that I can quickly come to a verdict inductively about some specific facts that have been carefully presented to a jury in the form of a developed argument in the process of a trial, how much more of a stretch is it to say that all human beings come infallibly to the conclusion that an invisible magic being exists and created the world at some unspecified time in the past through an act of will, simply by looking at anything in their surroundings, such that they are “without excuse”?

Again, Nide, you seem to be painfully unaware of what your own worldview advocates, and you’re projecting your worldview’s errors onto mine and faulting my worldview as if it committed them, when in fact it doesn’t, and when in fact those errors plague your own worldview.

Fucking amazing!

Regards,
Dawson

August 06, 2011 5:57 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

I should be thanking you for writing such great stuff!

But you are very perceptive.

As a joke, I was going to tell you that I have a photographic memory, and that everything you've written I'm able to recall in a flash.

In actuality, I've read your stuff quite a bit. So whenever I come across something you've written that I think is interesting, informative, or addresses particular points -- that either I've wondered about or that I've seen/heard apologists make -- I simply grab the text, and put the text clipping in my Theism/Philosophy folder.


I can search through this folder for key words, and it will bring up corresponding text clippings that contain the word I'm looking for.

I can also do this with Google, by typing in your name or the name of the blog and the word or phrase I'm looking for.

Sometimes I start out writing a response to something, and then I think, "I wonder what Dawson said about this?," and I do a search, find what you said, and it helps clarify my thinking and/or supports what I'm trying to say.

Dawson wrote: "It shows that many of the objections and evasive tactics that theists will try to deploy have already been answered."

Indeed. I was reading through some of your older stuff today, and much of it was on point with this latest barrage by r_c321.

By the way -- not to toot my own horn -- wait, yes actually, maybe to toot my own horn -- lately I've made a few text clippings of some of the stuff I've written.

Keep up the great writing!

Ydemoc

August 06, 2011 6:11 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

As far as being organized? I suppose to some extent I am, but I wish I would've taken more care when making the text clippings, because many of them have no date. So I have use phrases from the text clipping, along with the name of your blog, and use them together as a search string in Google to verify the date.

It all started out like, "Oh, this is interesting. I'll make a text clipping of it." I didn't plan ahead like I should have. But I've made some adjustments along the way.

Ydemoc

August 06, 2011 6:24 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

You wrote, in your above comments: "Indeed, it seems that if one embraces a god-belief, he not only retreats into his imagination, but he becomes stranded on the shores of perpetual ignorance."


This is the kind of thing I would text-clip. You have so many gems like this.

And may I also say that I find an added benefit of quoting your earlier stuff is that it might encourage others to go back and take a look at what you have written.

It's well worth the read, people!

Ydemoc

August 06, 2011 6:42 PM  
Blogger Nide Corniell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 06, 2011 7:14 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

You said: "Fucking amazing!"

Looks like the pressure is getting to be too much.
You can quit anytime you want. You say a whole lot of nothing.

Ydemoc,

You said: "If talking donkeys and zombies aren't absurd, then "absurd" has lost all meaning.

Can you find me the passage that says a zombie was talking?


You said: "They have a conversation! Not just select phrases. 
*That* is absurd.


Is it absurd because it's absurd?



You qouted Dawson: ""The problem with this move is that love is not an independently existing entity, while the Christian god is supposed to be extra-mental, extra-psychological, existing independent of human cognition. When I die, for instance, my loving will stop, and so will my other psychological experiences. But what Christian is going to say that his god stops existing when he does? Again, as I've stated, just by pointing to psychological phenomena as analogous to their god, theists essentially give away the game. They're basically telling us that their god is imaginary without coming out and openly admitting this to be the case."


These are a bunch of false statements.

1. He said: "love is not an independently existing entity".

Yes it is. God


2. Dawson has never died so how does he know this?

Is it the axiom, the primacy of existence, or the theory of concepts?


3. God exist whether I do or not.

I Can't wait to see how he dodges this one.


You said:"I would point out that, by describing their god as something non-sensible, and making the kinds of claims to knowledge that they do, Christians show how nonsensical their beliefs are. If you have no means of achieving awareness of your god, then by what means could you know that it exists?"

1. There is a big difference between general revelation and specific revelation.

2. By the work of the holy spirit. I have said this many times. what part don't you get?



You said: "You have no basis for calling *anything* ridiculous, not if you claim as knowledge such things as talking donkeys, waking on water, talking serpents, walking across a supernaturally parted, yet muddy sea bed, strolling zombies...


I have never read of any zombies in the bible. So, I will wait for you to cite the passage.

August 06, 2011 7:17 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

One more thing: I think I came across your writings while reading through comments on "Debunking Christianity." I was there looking to defend my position regarding evolution against a relative of mine who insisted (and, sadly, still insists) that evolution is false.

I had Anton Thorn's site bookmarked. But the site wasn't accessible through geocities any longer. (I'm now able to access it through reocities)

Anyway, having been a reader and fan of Rand since the mid 80's, when I went to your site and started reading your stuff, I was hooked.

I had never before seen Objectivism applied so thoroughly toward the refutation of theism.

Ydemoc

August 06, 2011 7:28 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@ Dawson and Ydemoc

My roommate introduced me to a new concept. Liars for Christ. These are people that will stoop to any moral low to advance their "faith". For them the ends always justify the means. This concept seems to fit our current situation. r_c321 has by his own admission told us that he cant give us an argument for the existence or even the necessity of god. We have all asked him why he is here then and what he hopes to achieve. His latest posts I believe reveal this. His goal is not to convince us of anything. His goal is to be a time vampire, to divert time and energy away from a more fruitful discussion and advancement of knowledge. Like some socially stunted adolescent that keeps passing gas in a room until no one can stand it and leaves he hopes to derail us from having a meaningful dialog. This man has shown himself thru his words here on this blog to be a disingenuous immoral goldbricker who's only goal here is to be an asshole. Well he has achieved that in spades. And if we should choose to ignore him he will claim victory as if he has done something of note, besides completely embarrass himself in our eyes. Regardless of what we do he will never waver from his current strategy of not arguing but posturing, not only is it the only thing has to offer it is also in keeping with his character, or lack there of. So with that out of the way, Dawson have you had some time to look over Dalillama's email about objectivist ethics, that would be a more fruitful discussion.

August 06, 2011 7:46 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin,

Thank you for the kind words.




Matt 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.

1 pet 4:14 "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

August 06, 2011 9:16 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

false piety is just that

August 06, 2011 10:01 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Justin,

Interesting insight into the motivations of r_c321.

I think I touched upon a similar thought in an earlier comment, and although it was in a different context -- that being the benefits of quoting Dawson's archived material being a catalyst to get others to investigate it themselves -- I think it may apply here with regard to interaction with r_c321.

And my thought is that maybe interaction with r_c321 may encourage any fence-sitting readers who happen to be lurking, observing the goings-on here, to investigate Dawson's writings as well, and come the conclusion that theism has no basis in reality.

It wouldn't take much effort on any fence-sitter's part, for as others have pointed out, r_c321 seems a poor defender of the faith. Who knows how many he's turned away already? (Come to think of it, why an omnipotent, omniscient being need defending in the first place. Oh, wait, I know why -- because it isn't true!)

Ydemoc

August 07, 2011 12:38 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

That is actually an on running joke in my circle of friends. Surly an all powerful and all knowing god could hire a better PR department :) If rc's antics cause fence sitters to investigate the issues, well I guess he serves some useful purpose as far as our concerns go. Mostly he just reminds me of those kids back in school that enjoy being obnoxious. They know people resent them for it and it just fuels their need to be even more obnoxious. Incidentaly Ydemoc I am perfectly willing to put aside the verbal attacks if he would actually debate in "good faith" and start acting like an adult. If however he will not reason with us, what does that leave? Like Rand said faith and force are corollaries. On the Internet force just means being a forum troll. How does one deal with a troll, calling them out on it and mocking them. Anyway I really want to move beyond this. Dalillama and I have gone around the issue of objective morality. His major contention it seems to me is that Rand miss identified mans fundamental nature, thus tho her moral argument is valid, it is not sound for a key premise is false. This could be wrong or not, but I think we could find out with some debate on the matter.

August 07, 2011 1:07 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Justin,

Yes, “liars for Christ.” It’s a shoe that fits Christian apologists very well. I’m sorry to say that I’ve encountered only two or three Christian apologists on the internet who do not deal in misrepresentation, evasion and rationalization as their stock in trade. Many add to this arsenal condescension, name-calling and defamation of character. I had once compiled a list of presuppositionalist gimmicks. I should locate that and see if it’s worth posting. It might be helpful for folks in detecting the devices which apologists utilize in their bamboozling efforts.

I’d say that your assessment of Nide’s behavior is right on target. The image of the obnoxious adolescent constantly sneering at everything anyone says, regardless of its truth or wisdom, comes to mind nearly every time I see one of his posts. It strikes me as a mystified species of nihilism. It’s nice to have a record of sustained interaction with a defender of Christianity, for most abandon the discussion shortly after it gets rolling. Then again, if I were a defender of Christianity, I’d prefer that folks like Nide simply take a vow of silence. Christianity is already in stark retreat in the west; folks like Nide and their parade of stale, self-effacing platitudes only makes matters worse for theists.

As for Dalillama’s e-mail about Objectivist morality, I don’t recall seeing it. Either it is still in my inbox unopened, I opened it and did not recognize the sender, or it went to my junk mail. I get mountains of private e-mail, some legitimate but much illegitimate, so it’s very possible that I’ve missed it. Perhaps he could send it again? Better yet, let me know the sender’s e-mail address, so that I can add it to my friendly list.

Regards,
Dawson

August 07, 2011 2:07 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: "Fucking amazing!"

Nide responded: “Looks like the pressure is getting to be too much.”

Looks like this was all you read, for if you had read what came before this point in my comments, you should have enough sense to figure out that I was reacting to astonishment, not to pressure.

If you are trying to insinuate that I’m under pressure because of your silliness, you really are trying to flatter yourself. You’ve given me what many bloggers dream of. If anyone had any doubt that Christians are irrational, the evidence is here for all to see.

Nide: “You can quit anytime you want.”

Quit what?

Nide: “You say a whole lot of nothing.”

You say a whole lot of nothing.

I wote: "love is not an independently existing entity".

Nide: “Yes it is. God”

I see. So when I say I love pizza with Canadian bacon, I’m really saying that I god Canadian bacon? Now that’s a rather strange alteration of English.

Nide: “Dawson has never died so how does he know this?”

How do you know that I’ve never died?

Nide: “God exist whether I do or not.” [sic]

One can say this about anything one imagines. For example: Blarko exists whether I do or not.

Nide: “I Can't wait to see how he dodges this one.”

Dodge? What do I need to dodge? Are you saying it’s impossible for me to imagine that Blarko exists whether I do or not?

I wrote: “I would point out that, by describing their god as something non-sensible, and making the kinds of claims to knowledge that they do, Christians show how nonsensical their beliefs are. If you have no means of achieving awareness of your god, then by what means could you know that it exists?"

Nide: “1. There is a big difference between general revelation and specific revelation.”

What’s the “big difference between general revelation and specific revelation,” and how does it answer my point? You’ve already stated that “the unbeliever can't come to the knowledge of God with his senses.” This of course does not eliminate the imagination. I cannot come to a knowledge of Blarko by means of my senses. But I can imagine Blarko. So again, Nide, you’re just confirming my analysis all over again. (What is this, about the 60th time now?)

Nide: “2. By the work of the holy spirit.”

This doesn’t help either. I can imagine that anything is “the work of the holy spirit.” In fact, Christians do this all the time.

Nide: “I have said this many times. what part don't you get?”

What I don’t get is how someone can perpetuate his choice to be so dishonest about reality and what he believes as you have. Quite frankly, I’ve often figured you’re just a poser, not a real Christian, but someone trying to make Christians look bad. I’m still not 100% convinced. It’s hard to fathom that someone genuinely trying to defend Christianity would do as bad a job as you’re doing. But then again, I have actually seen worse.

Regards,
Dawson

August 07, 2011 2:16 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson

I will let him know and we should have some emails off to you tomorrow.

"Christianity is already in stark retreat in the west"

I don't know about the rest of the country but out here in the Pacific Northwest, their are hardly any in the under 30 crowd that take Christianity seriously. When I was growing up being raised without any religious indoctrination was a oddity tho I lucked out. Now it is common.

August 07, 2011 2:36 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson,

you have seen worse! wow....

I had not considered that we have been Poe'd, as in Poe's law. If so bravo Nide, you had me going.

August 07, 2011 2:44 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Dawson Said: "How do you know that I’ve never died?

Well, Have you died?

August 07, 2011 3:35 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: "How do you know that I’ve never died?

Nide asks: “Well, Have you died?”

Just by asking, you confess that you in fact did not know what you were talking about when you stated “Dawson has never died.”

I asked how you know this. You do not identify the means by which you could know this. You never answer such questions, even though Christians typically tell us that their worldview's truth is preconditional to knowledge as such in the first place. So what gives here?

Perhaps you’ve just automatically (read: thoughtlessly) assumed this. If so, why? On your worldview, it’s certainly possible that I’ve died and been resuscitated. You do believe that power exists, don’t you? What good is a power if it is never put to use?

So again, I ask: how could you know?

Now it is interesting that you made this statement (“Dawson has never died…”) in phrasing the question of how I could know that my loving will stop when I die. This question, along with its lead-in “Dawson has never died,” suggests that I need to experience death firsthand in order to know that my ability to love will cease when I die. But what demonstrable facts could possibly justify such an assumption? As one might expect, Nide nowhere makes any effort to justify this assumption, even though it is key to his question.

I have never smoked crack cocaine, but do I really need to smoke it in order to know that its effects are dangerous? Does an individual need to consume psilocybin in order to know that it can cause its users to hallucinate? Does one need to jump out of an airplane to know that one will feel like he’s falling when he skydives? Does one need to pour gasoline over his body and set himself on fire to know that such an action will produce excruciating pain?

Likewise, does one really have to have died in order to know that conscious activity such as loving something is impossible once one does die?

Integrating facts discovered in reality in accordance with the primacy of existence and the principles of logic allows us to expand our knowledge beyond what we perceive directly. This is basic Objectivist epistemology 101.

While Nide has no idea whether or not I’ve died before, he has no rational basis for assuming that I need to have died in order to know that loving is impossible once one dies.

Perhaps on his view dead people continue to love. But what could possibly justify this? How could dead people love anything? They're dead!

Let him who thinks loving is still possible for a person when he dies, govern his life according to this assumption, and reap its “rewards.” Forget about trying to convince those who know better. Just live your life as if that were true, and see what happens. Personally I don’t want to watch.

Regards,
Dawson

August 07, 2011 4:19 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Justin wrote: “I don't know about the rest of the country but out here in the Pacific Northwest, their are hardly any in the under 30 crowd that take Christianity seriously. When I was growing up being raised without any religious indoctrination was a oddity tho I lucked out. Now it is common.”

My experience mirrors yours almost to a T. Prior to moving to SE Asia, I lived on the Pacific West Coast of North America all my life, mostly in California. While I know of communities where church attendance is still an important part of one’s life, today it is the exception rather than the norm. And those who are still church-goers typically do not call attention to their religiosity. It is as though religious persons on the USWC have come close to being ashamed of their religious beliefs, since the Aristotelian elements in western culture demonstrate its futility and frivolity so undeniably and eloquently.

I remember an interview with Bill Gates, a west-coaster, and the subject of religion came up. He said something to the effect that spending one’s time in church on Sundays is a waste of time. Of course, it is a waste of time. But I remember not only how this caused a big stir among the church-going crowd, but also has obviously such a point is taken in the west. One need not even say it.

In SE Asia, things are radically different. It’s like a completely different universe here. This part of the world has never experienced a renaissance; it has never experienced a cultural shift resulting from the infusion of the Aristotelian outlook. There is technology here, but it’s almost like Neanderthals walking around with cell phones. In the mornings, the locals here go out to bow to monks who walk up and down the street with a bowl tucked under their arms expecting them to be filled by passers-by with food and other goods. People will often get on the ground before the monk and bow in obeisance while the monk chants some mystical incantation over their heads. They’re blessed for the day and go on. School students are marched out into courtyards to stand for 45 minutes reciting chants and repeating the same verses everyday, with no variation whatsoever. One might be inclined to ask “What does all this accomplish?” But “accomplish” is the wrong demand to put on chosen action in SE Asia, that is until people return to work. The mystical aspects of the eastern worldview are starkly at odds with the goal-orientedness of daily commerce, which ensues after one has perfunctorily placated the culture’s mystical compulsions. The culture here is at a crossroads; the people need to make a decision: allow their mysticism to imprison them in primitive stagnation, or openly turn to reason, which would require abandoning a vast cultural heritage with which the locals are still in love. Either choice will be painful for the people, either immediately or in the long run. They need to take their pick. It’s fascinating to observe.

Regards,
Dawson

August 07, 2011 5:13 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Does one really have to endure page after page of your junk and blabbering to get a simple answer to a simple question. How about you answer the question. Afraid of the consequences aren't you?

August 07, 2011 6:11 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

Dawson said:
"I’m sorry to say that I’ve encountered only two or three Christian apologists on the internet who do not deal in misrepresentation, evasion and rationalization as their stock in trade. Many add to this arsenal condescension, name-calling and defamation of character. I had once compiled a list of presuppositionalist gimmicks. I should locate that and see if it’s worth posting."

All of the apologists I try to debate with block me. Name calling and elitism seems to be the most common I run into. Even though I follow their rules to the T and use no bad language or blasphemies they still block me. A presuppositional apologist who doesn't evade seems like a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron, a married bachelor.

Do you remember which ones did not evade? I'd be interested to read the exchange.

I vote a huge yes for the "gimmickry" post.

August 07, 2011 6:32 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

Nide321 said:
"Does one really have to endure page after page of your junk and blabbering to get a simple answer to a simple question. How about you answer the question. Afraid of the consequences aren't you?"

You can't be serious. What's really funny is that we who post here know your arguments ( well presup. arguments anyway , I think I've only seen one argument from Nide from his countless satirical posts ) yet you still don't seem to have the first clue about what Objectivism teaches. Do you even know the axioms of Objectivism? If you don't, how do you expect to refute something that you don't have the first clue about?

It seems you are refuting "A" when you do not even understand what "A" is.

To reiterate:
We know what Christianity teaches. We have read the stories. We know the ten commandments, jesus etc.
We know the "backbone" of your worldview.

My question to Nide/RC321:
Do you know the axioms of Objectivism? Can you name them and define them? This is a very easy question for one who has only scratched the surface of Objectivist Epistemology.

If you do not know the axioms, why are you trying to refute them without even having a smidgen of an understanding as to what you are refuting?

August 07, 2011 6:44 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

AJ,

Let me give you the presup argument in a flash.

Romans 3:4 "Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."


See that?


That automatically renders your worldview as false.
Therefore I don't have to interact with it. I just simply have to expose it. As I have already.

August 07, 2011 8:32 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,

I wrote: "If talking donkeys and zombies aren't absurd, then "absurd" has lost all meaning.

r_c321 responded: “Can you find me the passage that says a zombie was talking?”

Later, r_c321 added: “I have never read of any zombies in the bible. So, I will wait for you to cite the passage.”

This is hilarious! Apparently a talking donkey isn’t quite absurd enough for him to dismiss the bible stories as fantasy -- and asks that I find a passage in the storybook that says a zombie was talking. Talking donkeys -- not absurd. But the walking and talking dead!?! why, that’s just silly!!

Here is the definition of zombie from thefreedictionary.com:
------------------
2.
a. A supernatural power or spell that according to voodoo belief can enter into and reanimate a corpse.
A corpse revived in this way.

On the same page, the thesaurus at thefreedictionary.com lists the meaning of zombie as:

Noun 1. zombie - a dead body that has been brought back to life by a supernatural force
-------------------
Now, do I really need to cite passages for you from the bible where zombies (dead bodies brought back to life by supernatural force) are walking and talking? According to the bible, was Jesus not brought back to life by a supernatural force? Did he not walk around after his death on the cross and talk to his disciples?

Furthermore, Mathew 27: 52-53 says that when Jesus died on the cross:

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Though this passage in Mathew gives no indication whether or not these reanimated corpses said, “Howdy pardner!” to anyone while strolling about, it, and the stories of Jesus appearing and talking to his disciples clearly qualifies as instances of zombies in the bible.

Ydemoc

August 07, 2011 8:54 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

"Romans 3:4 "Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."


See that?


That automatically renders your worldview as false."

Can you explain how that "automatically renders my worldview false"?

I'm guessing you can't...in fact, I wish I could make bets on your posts because I could make a ton of cash.

Once again you did not answer my questions...How can you refute a worldview when you don't even know it's first principles?

what are the Objectivist axioms? Please break them down and show how they are fallacious.

Ydemoc said:
"Apparently a talking donkey isn’t quite absurd enough for him to dismiss the bible stories as fantasy -- and asks that I find a passage in the storybook that says a zombie was talking. Talking donkeys -- not absurd. But the walking and talking dead!?! why, that’s just silly!!"

haha Nide must be a comedian...I'm telling you he's Edward Currant.

August 07, 2011 9:28 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson and Ydemoc

Man he rakes them fallacies up quick

"Let me give you the presup argument in a flash.

Romans 3:4 "Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

mmm.... lets see

(the bible said so, so it is)
1. Appeal to authority

(the bible is true because it says it is)
2. Begging the question or circular reasoning

(makes a statement of fact by the statement referring to the statement without adding any real semantic information.
3. pure self reference

(expects us to believe “all men are lairs” but that this does not in turn apply to him)
4. special pleading

This guy could not reason his way out of a wet paper bag. Logic fail... fail.... fail.... FAIL!

August 07, 2011 10:01 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 07, 2011 10:06 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

ActionJackson,

"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the comedy stylings of r_c321!"

I've watched a few of Currants' videos, and they certainly are humorous, wittingly so. I've responded to numorous comments by r_c321, many of which were humorous, unwittingly so. And there lies the difference.

And this is why after about 2 minutes after being introduced on a comedy stage -- if not sooner -- his material would be greeted, not with laughter, but by deafening silence.

Of course, this could all change in an instant if he decides he needs a partner, such as a live, talking donkey that delivers punchlines, while he plays the straight man.

Then he and the donkey would be a sensation.

Ydemoc

August 07, 2011 10:10 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

NideRC321 said:

Romans 3:4 "Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

next,

Justin said:

"(expects us to believe “all men are lairs” but that this does not in turn apply to him)"

actually Justin I disagree, I think it must apply to him since the bible clearly says "Let God be true and every man a liar."

Which leads me to believe that, since on Nide's view every man is a liar, he's been lying the whole time he's been posting here. All that stuff about the bible, even that post about lies...were all lies.

August 07, 2011 10:12 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

Ydemoc said:
"Of course, this could all change in an instant if he decides he needs a partner, such as a live, talking donkey that delivers punchlines, while he plays the straight man."

or maybe he would blow Gabriel's trumpet on stage.

August 07, 2011 10:14 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 07, 2011 10:18 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

or exorcise the trouser demon by way of holy milking.



couldn't resist.

August 07, 2011 10:20 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

ActionJackson,

I wrote: "Of course, this could all change in an instant if he decides he needs a partner, such as a live, talking donkey that delivers punchlines, while he plays the straight man."


ActionJackson wrote: "or maybe he would blow Gabriel's trumpet on stage."

And all the while, in between toots on the trumpet, the donkey makes jokes about r_c321 having his head up his ass. Now that is something I might pay to see!


Ydemoc

August 07, 2011 10:25 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321,


I wrote, regarding the absurdity of a donkey talking to its owner, as contrasted with a trained parrot uttering select phrases: "They (the donkey and its owner) have a conversation! Not just select phrases. *That* is absurd.


r_c321 wrote: “Is it absurd because it's absurd?”

A talking donkey is absurd because, given what we know about the nature of donkeys (and snakes for that matter), they do not have the ability to carry on intelligent *conversations*. To assert otherwise, you place yourself in the realm of mysticism, not reality.

Ydemoc

August 07, 2011 10:42 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Here's something that I've thought about:

Given the fact that the bible has stories of miraculous events throughout the old testament and new testament; and given that we are told Jesus performed many miracles during his ministry; and that his disciples evidently knew he was born a virgin, why would anyone be at all astounded or surprised that he rose from the dead? It would seem that this event would be par for the course, a "What do you expect?" moment.

But that's not what Mark 16 indicates. This chapter of the bible tells us that Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome "...fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid."

Why were they amazed? Did they not really believe in talking donkeys and talking snakes? Or living inside a whale?

Just curious.

To me it has all the earmarks of bad fiction.

Ydemoc

August 07, 2011 11:04 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

bad fiction,yes indeed. Almost as if several different authors over several years each with their own political ax to grind...... oh wait..... never mind

August 07, 2011 11:10 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Hey fellas,

Having Fun?

Actually, I have a big smile on face.

As you continue to prove God by using the cognitive abilities that god has granted you.

So, Keep talking your doing good.



1 Cor 1:20 "New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

August 07, 2011 2:20 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 07, 2011 2:55 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@everyone

"As you continue to prove God by using the cognitive abilities that god has granted you."

fallacy: begging the question.

1 Cor 1:20 "New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

fallacy: appeal to authority

he remind me of the black knight from Monty Python's in search of the holy grail

"Its only a flesh wound! come back here you coward!"

@Dawson

I have a book I would like to recommend to you. The Political Mind by George Lakoff. It gives valuable insight into the authoritarian mind set as displayed by Nide.

August 07, 2011 3:24 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321 wrote: "Hey fellas, Having Fun? Actually, I have a big smile on face."

Are you're smiling at our pointed humor? Or is your reaction more akin to what Jonathan Edwards expressed when he wrote:

"[T]he sight of hell torments will exalt the happiness of the saints forever.... When they see others, who were of the same nature and born under the same circumstances, plunged in such misery, and they so distinguished, O it will make ...them sensible how happy they are. A sense of the opposite misery, in all cases, greatly increases the relish of any joy or pleasure."

Ydemoc

August 07, 2011 4:03 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

"Imagine a person who comes in here tonight and argues 'no air exists' but continues to breathe air while he argues. Now intellectually, atheists continue to breathe - they continue to use reason and draw scientific conclusions [which assumes an orderly universe], to make moral judgments [which assumes absolute values] - but the atheistic view of things would in theory make such 'breathing' impossible. They are breathing God's air all the time they are arguing against him."
— Greg L. Bahnsen


How devastating.





Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

August 07, 2011 4:05 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321, quoting Bahnsen, wrote: ""Imagine a person who comes..."

This is priceless! After all the talk of god belief being nothing but imaginary, and r_c321's futile attempts to defend against this idea, he leads off his latest comment with a quote that he thinks is will knock it out of the ballpark, and the first word of the quote instructs us to "imagine." Devastating indeed!

August 07, 2011 4:14 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

the problem for those that advance TAG is that it is just a assertion. Their is no actual sound argument, sometimes not even a valid one. Furthermore they just keep repeating it over and over again as if that made it true. Actually I suspect that to them it is so self evidently true that they cant even conceive that it is not to anyone else. The authoritarian mindset cant conceive of a non authoritarian one. The Nides of the world cant think outside the box of their authoritarian metaphysically subjective mind set and so we end up talking past one another. And on those rare occasions when they can grasp a rational world view they recoil in fear, or as RC said revulsion. There is almost no common ground other then to keep hammering on the fact that in his day to day comportment thu life his everyday decisions are mostly based on an objective metaphysics.

August 07, 2011 4:25 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

It's time for a new entry boys as I have knocked this out the ball park(thanks Ydemoc).

I'll leave you with a classic quote from Dr. bahnsen

" the unbeliever’s thinking results in ignorance. In his darkened, futile mind, he actually hates knowledge and can gain only a ‘knowledge falsely so called’ as Paul says at the end of I Timothy. To the extent that he actually knows anything, it is due to his unacknowledged dependence upon suppressed truth—the suppressed truth of God within him—and this renders the unbeliever intellectually schizophrenic. By his espoused way of thinking, he is actually opposing himself and showing the need for a radical change of mind that he might have a genuine knowledge of the truth.” (Bahnsen)

August 07, 2011 6:51 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

“The Christian’s thinking results in ignorance. In his darkened, futile mind, he actually hates knowledge and can gain only a ‘knowledge falsely so called’ as Christians themselves like to say of non-Christians. To the extent that the Christian actually knows anything, it is due to his unacknowledged dependence upon suppressed truth – the suppressed truth of the primacy of existence – and this renders the Christian intellectually schizophrenic. By his espoused way of thinking (belief in the supernatural, reliance on faith, denial of the primacy of existence, failure to account for concepts, appeal to revelation from imaginary beings, etc.), the Christian is actually opposing himself and showing the need for a radical change of mind that he would have to make in order to have non-contradictory knowledge of the truth.” (Bethrick)

Regards,
Dawson

August 07, 2011 7:07 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

talk about projection, damn

August 07, 2011 7:12 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Bahsen Burner keep on thinking makes me smile everytime.


Romans 1:25 "For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen"

Gal 6:7 "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.


Blessings,
Rand Burner

August 07, 2011 7:34 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"
Romans 1:25 "For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen"

oh shit, its the bible guys, gigs up! Man you win just stop reading that thing to us!


Rand Burner?

seriously try to be a little more original. try out Randroid wrecker, has a nice ring to it.

August 07, 2011 7:46 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin,

God always wins. I am only thinking after him.


Blessings,
Randroid Wrecker



2 Cor 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

August 07, 2011 8:21 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide,

When you have an argument to present, feel free to post a comment.

Regards,
Dawson

August 07, 2011 8:29 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"God always wins. I am only thinking after him."

Right, no autonomous reasoning for you. This attitude is anathema to my world view and pointedly illustrators the fundamental difference between us. I think for myself. I will not surrender my mind to anyone. As Geddy Lee once said, my mind is not for rent to any god or government. Furthermore I resent that you want me too,tho you are powerless to compel me. I have no doubt however that in an earlier age men such as you would have used force to compel me. Perhaps mind wrecker should be a better tag line for you. Tho it is encouraging to see you can take advice.

August 07, 2011 8:37 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson

250 posts later and he still doesn't have one, I would not hold your breath.

August 07, 2011 8:43 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Dawson,

No problem. Keep up the good work.

Justin,

Thanks for the kind words.

Blessings.



John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

August 07, 2011 8:57 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

I just want to clarify something I wrote. It is from the comments section of “Considering Tony’s Offerings,” dated July 11, 2001:

I wrote: “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.”

This appears somewhat inconsistent with what I wrote on August 6, 2011:

“As a joke, I was going to tell you that I have a photographic memory, and that everything you've written I'm able to recall in a flash.

In actuality, I've read your stuff quite a bit. So whenever I come across something you've written that I think is interesting, informative, or addresses particular points -- that either I've wondered about or that I've seen/heard apologists make -- I simply grab the text, and put the text clipping in my Theism/Philosophy folder.

I can search through this folder for key words, and it will bring up corresponding text clippings that contain the word I'm looking for.

I can also do this with Google, by typing in your name or the name of the blog and the word or phrase I'm looking for.”

As I stated above in my former post, I can recall *some* of your stuff from memory (shorter quotes, but certainly not in a flash, hence the joke in the latter post).

And, although it is true, that which I can’t recall from memory, I do a search for -- either on Google, your own blog, or my Theism/Philosophy folder, I didn’t elaborate on this in my former post as I did in my later post.

I hope I didn’t leave you (or haven’t left you) with the impression that I was being dodgy by initially not giving full details of my method of quoting you. At the time, I considered giving full details, but thought it might be a bit much, and chose to wait if and when the subject came up, which it did.

In any event, thanks again for all your great writing!

Ydemoc

August 08, 2011 11:06 AM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

I'm open for business boys. Your welcome.

http://romansoneexposingatheism.blogspot.com/2011/08/considering-atheisms-offerings.html

August 08, 2011 7:47 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

mmmmm..... lets see be productive writing software or go to some website run by a irrational juvenile man that clocks himself in false piety. No thanks.

@Dawson

Did you see my post about George Lakeoff,I really do think it is a book worth reading.

August 08, 2011 9:13 PM  
Blogger r_c321 said...

Justin,

irrational and juvenile?

You said: "let's see be"

Of course since in your wordview anything can happen
and Logic is an option. You can talk this way. My latest blog entry actually was Inspired by you. I encourage you to respond. Just try and be coherent I would appreciate it. No baby talk. Thanks

August 08, 2011 10:01 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@r_c321

I said once that I was done talking to you and despite myself I got sucked back into this. Go ahead claim victory, get in the last word. I for one am done with you. Get bent.

August 08, 2011 10:09 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide wrote: “I'm open for business boys. Your welcome. http://romansoneexposingatheism.blogspot.com/2011/08/considering-atheisms-offerings.html

Welcome to the world of blogging, Nide. You have a long ways to go. My prediction is that you won’t last very long, unless you do like so many other Christian apologetics blog, and assemble a “staff” to give the impression that you have the numbers on your side. Very few Christians seem to do it very long on their own, and those who do tend to be rather kooky (Rick Warden, for example). But you’ve demonstrated that you’re pretty kooky, so at least you have that going for you.

My advice: simply quoting a few passages from Bahnsen isn’t going to cut it. People can read Bahnsen if they want to. Indeed, many of his articles are available for free on the internet. So why not try to put together some original thoughts of your own? I realize that might be very difficult, unlikely even, for Christians. But that’s what I would advise. Otherwise, why would anyone want to visit your site? You have to think about that.

Also, if you’re going to post an entry reacting to something someone else says, the proper thing to do is to quote that person’s remarks, so that you give your readers what the person said in his own words. It’s also good to post a link directly to the page where the quote can be found. When I read your first blog entry, I had no idea whom you had in mind. When you now say that it was Justin you had in mind, it just made me wonder all the more.

Another bit of advice: quit hiding behind a characterless moniker. A characterless moniker is fitting only for a characterless person. I’ve never understood why so many Christians seek to hide their identity, especially if they’re out there preaching their Jesus to everyone. I can only suspect that they’re ashamed of something, and don’t want their friends, family and/or co-workers to know about their ignominious behavior on the internet. If you choose to remain anonymous, you’ll never make a name for yourself. No one’s going to say “Oh, did you see r_c321’s latest argument? Man, that guy simply bulldozes those nasty atheists like no one else!” Your readers won’t even know if you’re a man or a woman. Instead, you’ll simply ensure that you’ll be discarded on the side of the road before it ever gets out of town.

Now in the off chance that you ever decide to post an actual argument on your blog, please feel free to come back here and link to it. There may be some readers here who might enjoy examining it.

One last point... Don't forget to review your work before publishing it. Edit your blogs before you hit that publish button. Avoid obvious errors like using "your" when you really mean "you're". You can't expect your readers to think they've found more quality in your writing than what you've put into it.

Regards,
Dawson

August 09, 2011 12:39 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Justin,

You wrote: "Did you see my post about George Lakeoff,I really do think it is a book worth reading."

Yes, I saw you mention this author in one of your recent comments. I have not read Lakoff's book, and I'm not sure how I'd get a copy of it in this part of the world (without paying an arm and a leg of course). But I will put it on my wish list.

Regards,
Dawson

August 09, 2011 12:42 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen'sFan said...

Dawson,

Thanks for the advice and kind words. I'll be paying tribute to you soon. Without you none of this would be happening. Thanks

Justin,

You will be fine. Your only a brain in a jar.


blessings

August 09, 2011 9:11 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321, Hezekiah, Bahnsen Fan, Nide, et al. that may be forthcoming:

With your new blog, various monikers, and mostly silly retorts... with a supernatural source guiding your every word... and still you believe that this supernatural force isn't the author of confusion?


Ydemoc

August 09, 2011 9:32 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen'sFan said...

Ydemoc,

I will also be paying a tribute to you soon.

You are more than welcome to raise your objections at my blog.


blessings.

August 09, 2011 10:05 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

wow, nide/ rc321 started a blog!

how "devasting!" [sic]

August 09, 2011 10:42 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ydemoc,


http://romansoneexposingatheism.blogspot.com/2011/08/does-god-have-cell-phone.html

Congrats.

August 09, 2011 12:50 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 09, 2011 6:10 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

r_c321 or Hez -- can I call you Hez for short? -- I was really looking forward to being the very first person to comment on your blog (not really), but then you went ahead and chopped up my quote. You didn't quote everything I had asked. Why didn't you? What are you afraid of?

Here is how you quoted me on your blog:

""Well, you didn’t really answer my question: If Christianity is a personal relationship, .............................................. how do you square “personal relationship” with the fact that you never see the one you’re having a relationship with? Does he call you on your cell phone? Does he text? "

But here is the full question, quoted in it's original context:

I wrote: "I see. So given that you’re not religious, would that mean you also don’t consider Christianity a religion? Would you say it’s more of a “personal relationship”? If so, I guess the Establishment Clause of the Constitution wouldn’t apply to you, would it? I guess it would only apply if it read, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of a *personal relationship*, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”


r_c321 wrote: “I would say it's a personal relationship. However, there is a lot more to it.”

I wrote: "Well, you didn’t really answer my question: If Christianity is a “personal relationship,” how do you square that with the Establishment Clause? Also, how do you square “personal relationship” with the fact that you never see the one you’re having a relationship with? Does he call you on your cell phone? Does he text? Does he visit you in person? When he talks to you, does he speak in English? Or is it Greek? Or Aramaic? When you envision this person (savior) that you have a personal relationship with, does he look as depicted in “The Last Supper”? "

See the difference?

By the way, I didn't understand the rest of your post. It wasn't clear to me about the texting thing -- I wasn't sure if you were saying that because you and I text each other, that that qualifies us as having a "personal relationship." Can you fix that also? Then maybe I'll type something on your blog.

Ydemoc

August 09, 2011 6:17 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ydemoc,

We can address these issues on my blog. I know what you said. However, I only quoted what was relevant.

I was talking about me and God. Just a little sarcasm my friend.

Let me fix it for you on here. Since, you're so afraid to leave your little safe haven.



I said: "Did you get that?  Yea, Ydemoc we(me and God) are actually texting each other as I write this. Amazing isn't.


Blessings.

August 09, 2011 6:30 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 10, 2011 11:54 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

I see that Hez's blog is no longer available. That sure was short-lived. But perhaps this is only temporary -- perhaps he created another.

Or maybe someone alerted him to James 3:1, "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."

August 10, 2011 11:56 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Dawson,

Here is your tribute enjoy.

http://paulsapologetic.blogspot.com/2011/08/dawsons-folly.html

Ydemoc,

I made some revisions to make it easier for you to find me.


Anyday my friend. http://paulsapologetic.blogspot.com/

August 10, 2011 12:21 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 10, 2011 12:48 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Addressed to any and all apologists for christ

It has occured to me that in order to have any hope of a meaningfull dialog much less a debate that certian ground rules must be agreed to before hand. I have outlined 3 conditions that I have that would have to be acceptetd before a discussion could take place. If the apologist can not accept these then no dialog will take place, and that is ok. I can live with not having had such an dialog that could result if these conditions are not strickly adhered too.

1. Do you agree to the fact that in principle you could be wrong. That reality, not one's own imagination, wishes, or dictates of some authority is the final court of appeal.

2. That reason and reason alone is the way to convince someone of a proposition. That reason is the only way to validate knowledge. That one's arguments should be free of any fallacies.

3. If one of your arguments is show to contain a logical fallacy that you will stop using said argument. Futher you will not only stop using the argument with me but with anyone else again. This is required if you are an honest person and I will only debate with honest persons.

@Dawson

yes, I had not considered the difficulties in getting a out of print book shipped to Thailand, sorry about that. Any thoughts on the ground rules?

August 10, 2011 2:09 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Justin,

At lunch me and my dog were having a conversation and suddenly the hamburger we were sharing turned back into a cow and ran away. Unbelievable isn't it.

Honesty?

It would be nice if you would quit "borrowing" from God.

August 10, 2011 3:59 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Hezekiah

unless you can agree to the 3 conditions I have laid out, there is nothing for us to discuss at this time

have a nice day

August 10, 2011 6:15 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

let me put this another way, I would be perfectly willing to debate weather or not my world view barrows from the Christian world view. I would be open to examining the arguments for this, if and only if you agree to my 3 reasonable ground rules.

August 10, 2011 6:29 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Yea, I agree.

http://paulsapologetic.blogspot.com/

Whenever. You are more than welcome.

August 10, 2011 7:03 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

I must say I am pleasantly surprised. However I must ask if you really understand what you are agreeing to? Do you in principle accept that you could be wrong? That in fact it might be that logic and morality do not presuppose god and that if you arguments are shown to be invalid you will cease using them? Do you understand simply quoting the bible in and of it's self does not constitute an argument, or at the very least is an example of blatant appeal to authority fallacy? Also you will note that Dawson has never audited the posts of commenters here. Will you extend the same courtesy? Would you say that if either party breaks these rules that the discussion does not go further unless it is to get the party to once again adhere to them?

I have posted this on your blog that you have referenced in your last post as well.

August 10, 2011 7:27 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson

Nide and I are going to continue the discussion over on his blog, in the mean time have you received Dalillama's email on morality?

August 10, 2011 7:46 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hello Justin,

Sorry for my delay in responding. I had to go to Cambodia on business this week, and it was quite an arduous journey there and back, and while there I had few conveniences (though it was overall a fascinating adventure).

I have received Dalillama's message and have worked up a reply to much of it, though I have more to do before I'm ready to send it out.

Okay, I'm going to try to take a breather now!

Regards,
Dawson

August 12, 2011 1:20 AM  

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