Thursday, October 27, 2011

Has the Primacy of Existence Been Refuted?

Theists who are aware of Objectivism are right to be concerned with the devastating implications which the principle of the primacy of existence has for their religious worldview. So it should come as no surprise when Christian apologists try to find some way of destroying the primacy of existence.

Once such attempt was recently executed by Christian apologist Dustin Segers, who posts under the moniker “Dusman” on various blogs. Segers’ comments can be found in this episode of a podcast program called Fundamentally Flawed. In this blog I will examine Segers’ four-point attempt to refute the primacy of existence.

This will not be the first time that I have interacted with comments made by Segers. In fact, Segers and I discussed various issues relevant to the “belief vs. unbelief” debate back in 2006 on the Unchained Radio discussion forum, which are apparently no longer posted on the web. My transcript of our discussion has been available on my website here for several years now. Astute readers who examine that record will notice that, back then, Segers was not familiar with the philosophical distinctives of Objectivism. It will be borne out in my present analysis of his attempt to take down the primacy of existence, that he has not grown in understanding of Objectivism in the intervening years.

In the Fundamentally Flawed podcast, Segers begins his criticism of the primacy of existence at about the 17:10 mark. I have transcribed his comments here:
[Begin: 17:10]…what this is getting to is the primacy of existence, which is the fundamental objection given by Objectivist atheism. And it basically says this. It says uh uh that a consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms. Before it – meaning the I, the self – could identify itself as consciousness, it – the I – in other words, the self – had to be conscious of something.
The problem is that that’s false. One of the first things that a conscious mind is conscious of is itself. So the argument fails to show a contradiction.
The second thing is it’s self-refuting. Because when Ayn Rand made that argument, she refutes her own primacy of existence by presupposing the primacy of her own consciousness in order to argue against the primacy of consciousness.
And thirdly it begs the question. She’s assuming her own conclusion implicitly in her premise. She’s basically saying a consciousness that isn’t conscious of anything but itself is a contradiction in terms because it isn’t conscious of anything.
Fourthly, it’s also self-refuting because it makes the same mistake that logical positivism made in the middle of the 20th century because it claims a priori that the only way we can know things is through the five senses when that proposition isn’t known through the five senses.
So there are four refutations of this argument that we don’t necessarily have to have a primacy of consciousness in order to make sense of existence. [End: 18:46]
Those who have a solid grasp of Objectivism will see right off that Segers seems quite unclear on just what the primacy of existence holds. Specifically it appears he’s confusing the principle of the primacy of existence with the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness – i.e., the principle that the notion of a consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is contradictory. The two are not the same, and I will make this clear below. The result is that Segers produces no arguments at all against the primacy of existence. Beyond that he makes several errors while trying to interact with the latter principle, with which he does attempt to interact.
First, let us clarify the distinction between the principle of the primacy of existence on the one hand, and the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness on the other.
The primacy of existence has to do with the relationship between consciousness and its objects. It specifically holds that the objects of consciousness exist independent of the activity by which a subject is conscious of those objects. This is not identical to the view that consciousness conscious only itself is a contradiction.
I have already written extensively about the primacy of existence – what it is and how it defeats theism. Readers who are unfamiliar with it can see the following entries on my blog:
Readers may also find the following articles on my website helpful:
It should be clear from listening to Segers’ comments that he says nothing about the proper relationship between consciousness and its objects, and thus offers no criticisms whatsoever of the primacy of existence.
To be sure, however, the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness, which is what Segers’ comments actually pertain to, does in fact pose its own challenges to the theistic worldview. I have already shown how this is a problem for theism here:
Attentive readers of this last entry will note that my framing of the problem of divine lonesomeness assumes the truth of the Objectivist view that consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms. It does not set out to vindicate this premise since to date all theists I know of who have interacted with Objectivism have readily granted it. For instance, the late John Robbins (hailing from the “Clarkian” camp of presuppositionalists) makes use of this premise in order to argue against tabula rasa in this article (showing that he does not understand what is meant by tabula rasa very well). Also, Patrick Toner, in his critique of Objectivist atheology, grants the truth of this premise without question (see specifically pp. 212-213).
Given these and other precedents which I have seen over the years, I was a bit surprised when Seegers set out to disprove the view that the notion of a consciousness conscious only of itself is self-contradictory. It’s puzzling to find such fundamental conflict between individuals who we’re supposed to believe are guided by an infallible supernatural source.
On a broader note in this regard, Segers provides no indication that he genuinely understands the point Rand was making. He recites what the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness states, but he does not seem to have given the matter much consideration. Indeed, we already saw that he’s confused the secondary objectivity of consciousness with the primacy of existence. Unfortunately, it seems he’s denied himself a chance to learn a fundamental truth about consciousness and philosophy. This is a consequence of a zeal to protect a confessional investment at all costs – apologists tend to leap before they look, and the outcomes are often rather embarrassing. For instance, Segers seems not to have considered the physiological preconditions which make conscious possible (as a theist, he likely denies that consciousness has such preconditions in the first place), nor does he seem to grasp the absurd implications of the alternative to Rand’s thesis – i.e., a consciousness in a void. The fundamental reason why the notion that a consciousness that has only itself as its sole object is inherently contradictory, never seems to dawn on Segers.
Let me say a few words then about the nature of consciousness and how it secures the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness. This will help readers better understand what this principle holds and why Segers’ attempted refutation of it fails.
The principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness holds that consciousness can in fact be its own object (where ‘object’ denotes something one is aware of), but only after it has content other than itself. Objectivism recognizes that consciousness is not an independently existing entity, but in fact a particular type of activity performed by a biological organism. I have already posted a discussion of mine in which I defend the view that consciousness is in fact biological (see my blog The Biological Nature of Consciousness). Speaking on the nature of consciousness as it pertains to philosophy, Rand wrote:
Awareness is not a passive state, but an active process. On the lower levels of awareness, a complex neurological process is required to enable man to experience a sensation and to integrate sensations into percepts; that process is automatic and non-volitional: man is aware of its results, but not of the process itself. On the higher, conceptual level, the process is psychological, conscious and volitional. In either case, awareness is achieved and maintained by continuous action.
Directly or indirectly, every phenomenon of consciousness is derived from one’s awareness of the external world. Some object, i.e., some content, is involved in every state of awareness. Extrospection is a process of cognition directed outward—a process of apprehending some existent(s) of the external world. Introspection is a process of cognition directed inward—a process of apprehending one’s own psychological actions in regard to some existent(s) of the external world, such actions as thinking, feeling, reminiscing, etc. It is only in relation to the external world that the various actions of a consciousness can be experienced, grasped, defined or communicated. Awareness is awareness of something. A content-less state of consciousness is a contradiction in terms. (Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, p. 37)
Various scientific experiments have vindicated this view (for instance, in his three-part lecture The Metaphysics of Consciousness, philosopher Harry Binswanger discusses various scientific experiments, some of which he himself participated in, which explored the physiological aspects of consciousness). Consciousness at its lower levels consists of physical action, such as the response of the retina to light, while on the cognitive activity at the conceptual level is also a type of activity. Consciousness at all levels is active in nature.
The axiom of consciousness holds that consciousness is consciousness of something - i.e., that consciousness always involves an object. This is a first-level recognition which one grasps when he focuses his awareness on his conscious activity: whenever he is consciousness, there will always be something he is conscious of. What he is conscious of is known in Objectivism as the object of his consciousness. Where there is no object, there is no consciousness.
To be an object of consciousness, the object first has to exist. One cannot be conscious of something that does not exist (save of course in the confines of his imagination). And just as one cannot be conscious of a thing unless it exists, one cannot be conscious of an activity until it happens. Since consciousness is essentially an action performed by an organism, the action of consciousness would need to happen before it could be available as an object of any consciousness, including its own. In other words, an organism cannot be conscious of its own consciousness until it has performed those actions by which it is conscious of something; before this, it’s simply not available as an object to be conscious of.
This is true for the three basic levels of consciousness which man possesses, namely the level of sensation, of perception, and of conceptualization. One could not be conscious of one’s own sensations until he has sensed something; only then could his sensory activity be available as an object of his own consciousness. Similarly with perception: one could not be conscious of one’s own perception until he has perceived something; only then could his perceptual activity be available as an object of his own consciousness. Lastly, one could not be conscious of one’s own conceptualization until he has conceptualized something; only then could his conceptual activity be available as an object of his own consciousness.
So there are three fundamental facts about the nature of consciousness to consider here:
1. Consciousness requires an object.
2. Consciousness is essentially active in nature.
3. Consciousness cannot be its own object unless it exists, which means: until it happens.
It is for these reasons, as explained above, that conscious can in fact be an object of itself, but only as a secondary object – it must have an object distinct from its own activity before its own activity can itself be an object of its own activity. Thus Objectivism is correct in affirming that the notion of a consciousness conscious only of itself is a contradiction in terms: it would constitute an affirmation of consciousness while ignoring the nature of consciousness. Thus the notion commits the fallacy of the stolen concept.
Notice something else which is often overlooked. When we think about our own conscious activity, the conscious activity about which we’re thinking is always in relation ultimately to some object other than itself. Take for example any instance in which you thought about your conscious activity. I’m thinking now about the time I was planning a trip to Hong Kong. The object of my present thinking is my planning of a trip to Hong Kong. My planning activity was itself a conscious activity, but notice that it had an object independent of that activity – namely Hong Kong and the various constraints involved in traveling there. In fact, I cannot think of any instance of conscious activity which did not have an object independent of that activity. If Segers or anyone else can think of one, I would have to ask: what would qualify that activity as conscious activity rather than, say, vegetative activity? Here’s where you will find a lot of blanking out among those who still want to say Objectivism is wrong on this point.
So, to put the matter in a nutshell and hopefully bring it home for those who may still be having a hard time understanding this, we can safely say: it is perfectly fine to speak of consciousness, and in so doing, consciousness is an object of our speaking – i.e., it is an object of consciousness at that point. But since consciousness requires and object, the very idea of consciousness of consciousness forces the question: Consciousness of consciousness of what? To answer this by saying “consciousness of consciousness of itself” is essentially to say: “Consciousness of consciousness of consciousness,” which in turn forces the obvious question: Consciousness of consciousness of consciousness of what? To continue lengthening the chain by adding more instances of “of consciousness” to answer this question, is to confess that one really has no answer, but insists on there not being any object independent of consciousness itself. At which point we can wonder why, but it couldn’t be important – no evasion of reality ever is.
Now that the Objectivist position has been more fully elucidated, and its affirmation of the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness validated, let us examine Segers’ attempts to vindicate the view that the notion of a consciousness conscious only of itself is non-contradictory. 
His first objection is as follows:
The problem is that that’s false. One of the first things that a conscious mind is conscious of is itself. So the argument fails to show a contradiction.
Segers flatly declares the Objectivist principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness “false,” but provides no proof for this. He asserts that “one of the first things that a conscious mind is conscious of is itself,” but he provides no support for this whatsoever. Indeed, in order to overturn the Objectivist view, he would have to do more than show that one’s own mind is merely one of the first things that one is conscious, but rather that it is in fact the first thing it is conscious of. And no, imaginative scenarios which posit unrealistic hypotheses of what “could” happen in some “possible world” (i.e., in some imaginary realm) will not do here. Objectivism holds to the primacy of facts, not imagination, so it is facts that will need to be brought to bear against Objectivism if one is going to be able to mount an internal critique here.
In cross-examining Segers’ claim that “one of the first things that a conscious mind is conscious of is itself,” my first question in response to this is: How does he know this? Of course, Segers does not anticipate such a question, for he provides no indication of how he could know it. But indeed, how could one know that the first object one is aware of when he begins his awareness as such, is his own mind? What content would be there? What exactly is it that he would be aware of at this stage of experience? Segers apparently does not object to the view that consciousness does in fact require an object – that consciousness is consciousness of something (which means the issue of metaphysical primacy – i.e., the question of the proper orientation in the relationship between consciousness and its objects – is unavoidable and inevitable). But has he considered how a mind might have awareness of itself, especially before it’s been conscious of something independent of itself? By what means would a nascent conscious mind be conscious of itself? Segers does not say. How could there be a mind there unless it had accrued content in the first place, and thus could be identified as a repository of knowledge, memories, projections, inferences, and the such? Segers is so anxious to declare Objectivism false that he doesn’t dare consider the issues in an adult manner. Perhaps he senses that if he did, he’d find only good reasons to concede to Objectivism here, and he clearly doesn’t want to do that.
What’s noteworthy here is Segers’ acknowledgement, embedded in his statement, that there is in fact a sequence of stages in the conscious process. This is clear when he says “one of the first things that a conscious mind is conscious of….” Segers does not seem to be challenging the premise that a consciousness starts in some way. That this premise even seems intuitively true on the face of it is due to the fact that consciousness is active in nature, as we saw affirmed by Rand above.
When an organism first begins its life, it is initially conscious of that with which it first comes into sensory contact. This wouldn’t be a “mind.” It couldn’t, even on the Christian’s view, since “mind” is not something that one can be aware of through the senses. The Christian will likely want to contend against the view that an organism will first be conscious of things by means of sensation, for if he concedes this premise, then he must concede any objection against the position that consciousness conscious only of itself is a contradiction in terms. But since this would only prove fatal to theism in the long run (again, see my blog on the problem of divine lonesomeness), the Christian is pleased to depart from the realm of fact and fantasize alternatives.
But let’s consider the mind that is conscious only of itself, and of nothing else. Let us ask: What would qualify a consciousness conscious only of itself as a consciousness in the first place? What would it be conscious of? Of its own consciousness? Consciousness of what? Blank out. Segers calls it a “mind.” So let us ask then: what content would this mind have at this initial stage of experience? If it has any content, what would be the nature of that content? If that content is distinct from the mind’s own conscious activity, then Segers needs to rethink his objection (of course, we’ve already seen reasons why he should do so). What would be the source or origin of that content? If Segers is right, then it could not have gotten that content through some prior conscious contact with something, for the nature of Segers’ objection requires that this would not have taken place. Either the mind of which a consciousness is allegedly first aware has content – and thus requires an explanation of where that content came from and how it got there – or it has no content, in which case it needs to be explained what exactly this consciousness is supposedly conscious of, and how it qualifies as a “mind.” Neither option holds any promise of surviving scrutiny, for either alternative ends up committing the fallacy of the stolen concept: a mind that begins with content already in place would be a mind that could not have acquired its content by any objective means – for it did not “acquire” its content through conscious activity. Alternatively, a mind that begins with no content cannot qualify as a mind, for it would have no content to be mindful of.
Let us turn now to Segers next objection to the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness:
The second thing is it’s self-refuting. Because when Ayn Rand made that argument, she refutes her own primacy of existence by presupposing the primacy of her own consciousness in order to argue against the primacy of consciousness.
Segers charges that, in formulating the view that consciousness conscious only of itself is a contradiction in terms, that she was somehow “presupposing the primacy of her own consciousness.” But Segers does not show where Rand did this, nor quote her words in order to show that his charge against her is at all accurate.
Contrary to what Severs asserts, it is not possible for Rand to be “presupposing the primacy of her own consciousness” with respect to the present matter, for she is simply identifying facts that she’s observed. Identifying the facts that one observes does not imply that one is “presupposing the primacy of [one’s] own consciousness.” Rand would happily acknowledge, as consistency with her metaphysics would require, that the facts she was identifying obtained independent of her preferences, feelings, ignorance, limitations of understanding, imagination, desires, memories, etc., i.e., that their factuality did not depend on her own conscious activity in regard to them. The only way that Rand could be legitimately accused of “presupposing the primacy of her own consciousness” would be if in fact Rand argued as though the facts of reality were what she wanted them to be, that the facts conformed to her conscious dictates, that she had the power to command reality to obey her will. Rand certainly was not arguing on the basis of the assuming that the facts obey her consciousness, and no one – including Segers – has shown that she was. Segers doesn’t even try to!
What’s more, Segers has already shown that he does not have an informed grasp of the issue of metaphysical primacy to begin with, for, as I showed above, he has confused the secondary objectivity of consciousness with the primacy of existence itself. Besides, if Segers were right that the primacy of existence is false, and therefore the primacy of consciousness were right, then why would Rand be wrong in assuming the primacy of her own consciousness? Segers might say that in doing so she was being inconsistent with her own metaphysical premises. But the burden would be upon Segers to show that this would be a problem if the primacy of existence were false, as he has asserted. Any attempt to show that inconsistency is somehow a defect in one’s view would necessarily assume the truth of the primacy of existence (Segers surely wouldn’t be saying it’s a defect because he wants it to be so, would he?), which would simply undermine his own objection.

In fact, Segers’ does not realize how his own criticism depends on Rand being right, or how the success of his criticism would only mean that Rand would be correct in saying whatever she says regardless of why she said it. This is the beauty of Rand’s argument: to argue against it both assumes the truth of her position, and also implies that there could be no legitimate gripe against what she says if her opponents were correct. It is this kind of self-securing position that makes presuppositionalists green with envy when it comes to Objectivism.
But Segers does not stop there. His next objection proceeds as follows:
And thirdly it begs the question. She’s assuming her own conclusion implicitly in her premise. She’s basically saying a consciousness that isn’t conscious of anything but itself is a contradiction in terms because it isn’t conscious of anything.
In order to show that Rand begs the question with regard to either the primacy of existence (the actual primacy of existence, which Segers does not even criticize) or the secondary objectivity of consciousness, Segers would have to restate the allegedly question-begging argument that Rand supposedly gave on behalf of either position, using her own words (and not those manufactured for the purpose of finding fault), and show that their respective conclusions depend on premises which assumed the truth of those conclusions. Segers has not done this. If in fact she did do this, and Segers were aware of it, it would be puzzling for him not to support his charge with documentary evidence.
In the case of the primacy of existence, Rand held this recognition to be axiomatic (cf. Philosophy: Who Needs It, p. 24). If Rand is correct that the primacy of existence is in fact axiomatic, she could affirm it on the basis of its axiomatic nature alone, and thus she would not need to infer it as a conclusion from a prior set of premises. In other words, Rand was in fact not begging the question when she affirmed the primacy of existence, any more than one is “begging the question” when one sees a tree before him and says, “that’s a tree.” An axiom is not a conclusion in a proof; it is not something that one needs to argue to. Quite simply, then, since Rand did not need to argue on behalf of the primacy of existence, there is simply no opportunity for her to beg the question in the first place. Had Segers more familiarity with Objectivism (i.e., if he knew what he was talking about), he would know this much. Thus his very charge against Rand here shows that he’s acting on the basis of ignorance, not knowledge.
In her novel Atlas Shrugged, Rand characterized an axiom as follows:
An axiom is a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others, whether any particular speaker chooses to identify it or not. An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it.
The fact that existence holds metaphysical primacy over consciousness is foundational to knowledge. It is the principle which makes reason possible. Reason operates by gathering facts, identifying them conceptually and integrating them in a logical hierarchy. For this to be possible, one must acknowledge the objectivity of facts at the outset – i.e., that facts are what they are independent of one’s own conscious activity, whether it be one’s own preferences, fantasies, emotions, wishing, resentment, etc. It is the primacy of existence which underwrites the recognition that wishing doesn’t make it so. Consequently, to deny the primacy of existence is tantamount to affirming that wishing does make it so. Thus it should not come as any surprise when theists seek to undermine the primacy of existence – it’s devastating to their god-belief!
But what about the secondary objectivity of consciousness? Did Rand beg the question in any argument that she might have put forth on behalf of establishing this truth? Again, Segers does not quote Rand and show us where Rand actually did beg the question, or commit any other informal fallacy for that matter. Rand simply put two and two together and came up with four. She started with the axiom of consciousness – namely the recognition that consciousness is consciousness of something – and noted the fact that consciousness is essentially a type of action. Moreover, since one cannot be aware of an action until it happens, conscious activity in regard to some object independent of itself must take place before consciousness itself could be available as an object of itself. As such the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness is essentially the product of an integration of immediately available facts, namely those which I have just identified.
Piecing together what Segers says to arrive at what he thinks Rand’s supposed argument for the secondary objectivity of consciousness, I think it’s clear that he thinks the premise that “consciousness isn’t conscious of anything” somehow figures into Rand’s thinking (for Segers explicitly identifies this as the offending premise in what he takes to be a question-begging argument). But clearly Rand did not think that “consciousness isn’t conscious of anything.” She couldn’t be more explicit: “Some object, i.e., some content, is involved in every state of awareness” (Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, p. 37). For Rand, contrary to Segers’ construal, consciousness is consciousness of something. Rand herself offered support for this view by pointing out that “before [a consciousness] could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something [other than itself]” (“Galt’s Speech,” Atlas Shrugged). And even though Segers quotes this statement in his recitation of Rand’s position, he has failed to integrate it into the broader view which Rand is affirming. Indeed, he has replaced it with a premise of his own making (“consciousness isn’t conscious of anything”) which Rand nowhere ever affirmed.
My exploration of the secondary objectivity of consciousness above vindicates Rand’s discovery that a consciousness would need to have awareness of some object distinct from its own activity before that activity could itself be an object of its awareness. As we saw, the axiomatic recognition that consciousness requires an object is key to this discovery about consciousness. Another key discovery is the fact that consciousness is essentially a type of activity, and as such, it cannot be an object of consciousness until it happens. So Rand does not beg the question here either, for she is not attempting to prove that “a consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms” from some a set of premises which conceptually reduces to this conclusion.
But I must say that, in terms of presuppositionalism itself, I’m often taken aback by the charge of begging the question from this brand of apologist. Indeed, one can detect among them a fickle attitude towards circularity in argumentation. It almost seems that presuppositionalists think circularity is acceptable when it occurs in their own arguments, but objectionable when it (supposedly) occurs in arguments offered by non-theists. It is clear from what Segers states here, for instance, that he finds the instance of circularity in an argument (even if it doesn’t actually exist) to be an instance of fallacy.
No less than the renowned popularizer of presuppositional apologetics Greg Bahnsen sought explicitly to excuse instances of circularity in one’s reasoning. In a footnote in his major opus on Vantillian apologetics, Bahnsen wrote:
’Circularity’ in one’s philosophical system is just another name for ‘consistency’ in outlook throughout one’s system. That is, one’s starting point and final conclusion cohere with each other. (Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings & Analysis, p. 170.n42.)
Segers himself has weighed in on this matter, essentially agreeing with Bahnsen. In an entry on his blog devoted to the question Is Circular Reasoning Always Fallacious? Segers clearly affirms that there are times when circular reasoning is not fallacious, and even holds that “Circular reasoning is unavoidable to some degree when proving one's ultimate standard.” (If you’re thinking, “My, that’s rich!” – you’re not alone, but it will have to wait for a future blog entry all its own.) Segers goes on to say that the Christian god “uses a non-fallacious type of circular reasoning when He makes an oath,” and believes that “clearly some degree of circular reasoning is necessary when proving one's ultimate authority.” On this view, a Blarko-believer’s argument for the existence of Blarko the WonderBeing which contains premises assuming Blarko’s existence, cannot be dismissed on the basis that it commits an informal fallacy!
Segers elaborates on the matter as follows:
…all circles aren't necessarily fallacious. Begging the question is often considered a fallacy because it is usually arbitrary. But it can be non-arbitrary if it goes beyond a simple circle (i.e., the Bible is true because it says so) and uses additional information to support its conclusion. If the ultimate authority is first assumed and you find out later you have good reasons for it because without it you cannot make sense out of anything, then its perfectly legitimate to reason in a circle.
And here I thought circular reasoning was objectionable because it seeks to bypass legitimate rules of inference! I suppose the question at this point becomes: How does one determine when begging the question “goes beyond a simple circle”? How – and when – does the use of “additional information to support its conclusion” divest a question-begging argument of its offending fallacy?
With Segers’ enlightening comments in mind, we can now ask: If Rand in fact begged the question in favor of the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness, why suppose it’s the fallacious kind of begging the question, and not the non-fallacious kind of begging the question that Segers finds perfectly acceptable, even “unavoidable”?
The upshot for Segers’ third objection then is:
(1) he’s not accurately represented Rand’s rationale for affirming the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness in justifying his charge that she begged the question in defense of it;
(2) he has not shown that Rand actually committed anything which his own analysis of circularity considers fallacious (i.e., he has not shown that any part of Rand’s position on the matter is “arbitrary” – whatever this concept could mean or be objectionable in the context of Christianity); and
(3) he has not shown that the facts which can be brought to bear on the matter do not themselves “go… beyond a simple circle.”
By Segers’ own criteria regarding question-begging arguments, even if he could legitimately establish that Rand begged the question (and he can’t), one could legitimately (on Segers’ own assumptions) say: “Well and good!” and not be bothered by the matter. For Segers has handed us an “excuse,” something which his own apologetic method loves to claim, in a display of feigned triumph, that men are universally without.
Segers’ then gives his final objection:
Fourthly, it’s also self-refuting because it makes the same mistake that logical positivism made in the middle of the 20th century because it claims a priori that the only way we can know things is through the five senses when that proposition isn’t known through the five senses.
Objectivism is not logical positivism. Nor does Objectivism inherit the errors and fallacies to which the logical positivists committed themselves. It really doesn’t matter how many different sense modalities man has. Say he had fourteen sense modalities instead of five. The same principle would still apply: he would still have awareness of objects by some means, and those means would be sensory in nature. Such a consciousness, if it also had the ability to form concepts as man in fact does, would still be able to formulate conceptual knowledge from the basis of sense perception, as man in fact does, and there’s no reason to suppose that it would be able to make discoveries about the nature of knowledge it thus forms. Man possesses five sense modalities, and he has the ability to form concepts from perceptual input. He also has the ability to discover facts about the nature of knowledge thus formed, by means of introspection. Such discoveries are performed firsthand as part of experience, and the knowledge formed from identifying the objects discovered in that experience and integrated according to an objective process (namely concept-formation, a process of abstraction, as laid out in Rand’s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology), would be a posteriori knowledge, not a priori knowledge.
If man has the ability to form knowledge conceptually, then the knowledge he thus forms and the process by which he forms it can themselves be objects of his awareness, too. Remember that an object is what a consciousness is conscious of. This can be a particular concrete (such as a rock, a chair, a person, etc.), a process (such as the earth orbiting the sun, tying one’s shoe, writing a letter, forming concepts, etc.), an abstraction (such as the concept ‘man’, the concept ‘freedom’, etc.), a proposition, etc. So why cannot the sum of his knowledge be an object of his conscious activity? Why cannot the nature of his knowledge be the object of his probing inquiry? The theist might say, “But you don’t have awareness of your knowledge and its nature by means of sensation!” which is well and good. But then again, we don’t claim to in the first place. So what value has the theist added by interjecting this?
Of course, when we speak about the general nature of knowledge, one issue which should be clarified at the outset is: Knowledge of what? Just as consciousness needs an object, so does knowledge. For the Objectivist, knowledge is knowledge of reality acquired through an objective process. For the theist, “knowledge” is really a blurring of the distinction between reality and imagination while granting primacy to the imagination and confusing its products with reality. It lacks an objective process, and cannot develop by means of an objective process.
One of the inestimably valuable philosophical advantages which Objectivism has over a theistic worldview, such as Christianity, is the fact that Objectivism has a theory of concepts. Indeed, it is the objective theory of concepts, and this theory explains in step-by-step fashion how the human mind generates conceptual knowledge from perceptual input.
If we are capable of tracking the course of the development of our knowledge, and even discovering the proper methods by which knowledge is discovered and validated, why would it be so objectionable to formulate general truths which denote what we have discovered about knowledge? If we understand that knowledge is knowledge of reality, that there is a distinction between reality and imagination (the primacy of existence, wishing doesn’t make it so, etc.), and that the proper methodology by which we develop our knowledge of reality begins with objective input from reality (i.e., via the senses) and proceeds by means of a process of abstraction (as analyzed by the objective theory of concepts) by which we form concepts on the basis of perceptual input, why would the general recognition that (legitimate) knowledge of reality is ultimately based on sensory input? Obviously this is not an a priori declaration, but in fact an inescapable fact which we discover as we explore the nature of knowledge beginning at its roots.
Critics of Objectivism often make the mistake of assuming that, since Objectivism recognizes that knowledge of reality begins with sense perception, that Objectivism must therefore hold that all knowledge is therefore confined to the perceptual level of awareness. This is a most superficial non sequitur, and ignores the enormous data that Objectivism brings to bear in enlightening our understanding of the conceptual level of awareness. Quite simply, Objectivists do not claim to know that all knowledge is ultimately based in sense perception because they perceived this to be the case by means of the senses. We have the conceptual level of consciousness, and we have the objective theory of concepts to validate this recognition. It would be a most futile effort to attempt a refutation of this, as the Objectivist demolition of skepticism has shown (see for instance David Kelley’s The Evidence of the Senses which demonstrates how skeptical arguments against the senses crumble into a debris field of stolen concepts).
Presuppositionalists, however, adhere to a worldview which has no theory of concepts to begin with (you certainly won’t find such a theory in the bible), so they are in the dark when it comes to understanding the relationship between the conceptual level of consciousness and sense perception. It is in this systemic darkness to which their religious worldview holds them hostage that they generate superficial objections which trade illicitly on mischaracterizing their non-Christian targets.
So contrary to Segers’ accusation here, Objectivism does not argue on some a priori basis that “the only way we can know things is through the five senses.” We do not have to prove that man must be the way that he is any more than we have to prove that he couldn’t have been otherwise. All we need to do is discover what actually is the case, and this includes understanding his nature as a living organism possessing a consciousness capable of conceptual integration as well as the nature of knowledge produced by such means. Imaginary alternatives have no philosophical value, nor do they need to be treated as though they did have philosophical value.
In conclusion, we can see without a doubt that Segers’ efforts to refute the primacy of existence fail. For one thing, he never interacts with the primacy of existence in the first place. He has confused a different principle for it and, while proceeding to fire off objections to that other principle, believes he is in fact refuting the primacy of existence when in fact he isn’t. He ends up attacking the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness and leaves the primacy of existence completely intact.
Meanwhile, the four objections which Segers brings against the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness also fail. To summarize:
- His first objection is that this principle is “false” because “one of the first things a conscious mind is conscious of is itself.” This amounts to simply a flat denial with no argumentation, no evidential support to validate his counter-claim, and an announcement that he has in fact not seriously explored the matter intelligently.
- His second objection is that Rand defied the very principle she affirmed “by presupposing the primacy of her own consciousness in order to argue against the primacy of consciousness.” Unfortunately, Segers nowhere shows where Rand actually did this, and I contend that he won’t be able to because this charge is in fact not true. Even worse, it’s not clear that Segers would even recognize when someone was proclaiming something on the primacy of one’s own consciousness, for his comments on the matter reveal that he simply does not grasp what the issue of metaphysical primacy pertains to in the first place.
- Segers’ third objection is that Rand begged the question in her argument for the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness. But this fails because Segers does not even interact with the rationale Rand herself gives (and which Segers himself restates in his quote of Rand) on behalf of this principle. In place of Rand’s own stated reason for her position, Segers inserts a different premise – one which she in fact did not affirm – in order to raise the objection that she begged the question. I provide ample support for the position which Rand affirmed to buttress her own, so it should be clear that the recognition that a consciousness must be conscious of something other than itself before it could have itself as an object does not rest on informal fallacy. I also question why a presuppositionalist like Segers would find a question-begging argument objectionable in the first place, since presuppositionalism infamously excuses such arguments.
- Segers’ final objection is that Rand’s position must be an instance of a priori knowledge when Objectivism rejects the very notion of a priori knowledge. While it is true that Objectivism rejects the very notion of a priori knowledge, the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness is not affirmed, nor need it be affirmed, as being known a priori. I have provided a number of factors which together guarantee this principle as knowledge known through experience, i.e., a posteriori and not a priori.
So now that the principle of the secondary objectivity of consciousness has been soundly vindicated, the theist must now wrestle with its implications for theism. As I noted at the beginning of this blog, I have brought these out in an earlier posting, Before the Beginning: The Problem of Divine Lonesomeness. Also, for information on how the primacy of existence (a principle which Segers does not in fact even touch) has fatal implications for theism, I direct readers to the several links to blog entries of mine which elaborate on the topic.
by Dawson Bethrick

Labels: , , ,

143 Comments:

Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Hello Dawson,

Good to see that your good.

Found something you said really interesting:


"Theists who are aware of Objectivism are right to be concerned with the devastating implications which the principle of the primacy of existence has for their religious worldview. So it should come as no surprise when Christian apologists try to find some way of destroying the primacy of existence."


This is hilarious. Thanks I been waiting for some of your humor. By the way It's ok to dream "big" there Dawsy boy.

I don't know what Christian apologist you're referring to but existence can't be destroyed. Existence exists: YHWH.


P.S. Ydemoc has missed you. He hasn't been to stop talking about you.



Thanks

October 27, 2011 10:39 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Nide

Confusing the principle of the primacy of existence, a conceptual framework which is what Dawson was referring to with existence as a whole. Way to go Nide. You are correct that existence exists, a necessary tautology. This tautology however has nothing to say about what actually does exist, thus there is no implication that god exists to be found with in it.

October 27, 2011 11:07 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson

I just saw some images online of the flooding over there. I sure hope you are OK and everything is well with you.

October 27, 2011 11:10 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Hello Justin,

Do you exist?

Are you an object of my conscious or subject?

Honestly, I enjoy objectivism I have picked many pointers from it to refute "atheist" and so called "Christians" and other religions.

October 27, 2011 11:20 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"Do you exist?"

Nope, I am entirely a creation of your imagination.

"Are you an object of my conscious or subject?"

well obviously I am a part of the subject, you the one and only solipsist.

This is what is called sarcastic humor:)

October 27, 2011 11:30 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Justin,

Once again.

Are you an object or subject of my conscious I could be talking to God here I really wanna know?

October 28, 2011 12:02 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

Great to see a lengthy post from you Dawson...It's been a while! I can't wait til' I have time to read it!

October 28, 2011 9:28 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hello all,

Yes, I’m alive and kicking. In fact, doing quite well, I’m happy to report. Nide, since you’re still hanging around wondering what to do with your life, you can think I’m back from the dead if you like. By the way, when are you going to recant your pantheism? Or are you going to continue clinging to your heretical viewpoints?

Justin wrote: “I just saw some images online of the flooding over there. I sure hope you are OK and everything is well with you.”

Thanks for your concern. I’m well out of harm’s way where I am. I’ve rented a bungalow in the seaside resort of Cha’am. Although I don’t have access to my library of books and DVDs, or perpetual internet service, I’m as comfortable as one could possibly hope given the crisis that has gripped this country. Bangkok is suffering its worst flooding in 50 years, and in some places I personally know people who have had to wade through chest-deep waters outside their front door. It makes New Orleans during Katrina look like a mere bucket spill.

I spend my days here frolicking on the beach with my daughter, perfecting my mastery of the Thai language, and feasting on delicious seafood – I’m still full from dinner two nights ago! Of course, I still miss hot water, carpeting, and dark beer (Justin – don’t take Deschutes for granted!).

(By the way, Justin, I LOVE the hair! And the crazed look! Reminds me of my own look back in the ‘80s when I played bass for a popular west coast speed metal band. Ah youth!)

But as you can see, I still haven’t lost it for Objectivist atheology, and I’m happy to keep folks like Nide anxious to convince us that it’s got him in laughter mode. I’m reminded of Monty Python: if you’re dying, why carve “Aahhhh…”? Why not just say it? Similarly with Nide: If you’re laughing, why write about? Why not just enjoy the laugh? Believe me, everyone else here is wholly capable of enjoying the humor without you trying to manufacture it. Indeed, if anyone wants to know something really quite amazing as well as humorous, e-mail me and ask me about Dustin Segers’ blog. It’s more than even I ever anticipated! I wish you could've seen it!

I’m hoping to have more blogs on the way soon!

Regards,
Dawson

October 28, 2011 9:42 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

Thanks for the great post and the update!

Ydemoc

October 28, 2011 9:50 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Dawson,

There is nothing to recant it's all a subject of your conscious. You are failing to make the discintion between what's real and imaginary. Actually, it's an error in your epistemology. Objects exist independent of one's mind.

Interesting isn't Dawsy? I have learned more than what you have been giving me credit for.


Are you really surprised that I am still around?

What's wrong can't get me to go away?

Ever watch "what about bob"?

You remind me of "Dr. Leo Marvin" it's hilarious.

Hezekiah? He's never gone you seeeee!!!!

It's really funny.

Great post.

By the way

Is All knowledge based on perception?


P.S. Ydemoc is really happy to see that your back from the dead.

October 28, 2011 12:59 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Dawson

thanks for the compliment. Nide asks

"Is All knowledge based on perception?"

In my discussion with him I tried to make a distinction between conceptual knowledge and what maybe a limited amount of instinctive knowledge. Wonder what you think of this. Do you recall my example of experiments done that show that most newborns are afraid of heights. This would of course not be conceptualize by said newborn but still, seems to me it constitutes knowledge as such.

October 28, 2011 3:33 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Justin,

Do those infants fear without their senses?


By the way God was conscious of God. So, Dawson is wrong about God being lonely.


P.S. Justin are you an object or subject?

October 28, 2011 4:50 PM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

Just finished reading the new post...great stuff as usual.

My Favorite quotes, "nuggets", and misc. of the post:

""(If you’re thinking, “My, that’s rich!” – you’re not alone, but it will have to wait for a future blog entry all its own.)"

looking forward to this post, I hope you have more lengthy, hard hitting posts coming up! : ]

"For the Objectivist, knowledge is knowledge of reality acquired through an objective process."

Which makes me wonder...has a Theist ever claimed that he learned his theism without his senses? He had to read, and/ or listen and discover it through his senses first. ( although I know some, like Sye, claim they have been made certain through "revelation" )Originally though, they learned of it (theism/religion/bible stories etc.) through sense perception.


"Of course, when we speak about the general nature of knowledge, one issue which should be clarified at the outset is: Knowledge of what?"

This was really eye opening as I think many philosophers and theists alike throw around terms like "knowledge" and "consciousness" without defining what it is pertaining to.

"the objective theory of concepts, explains in step-by-step fashion how the human mind generates conceptual knowledge from perceptual input." [paraphrased]

I don't know of any other epistemology that does this, nor do I see any alternative.


"Critics of Objectivism often make the mistake of assuming that, since Objectivism recognizes that knowledge of reality begins with sense perception, that Objectivism must therefore hold that all knowledge is therefore confined to the perceptual level of awareness. This is a most superficial non sequitur, and ignores the enormous data that Objectivism brings to bear in enlightening our understanding of the conceptual level of awareness. Quite simply, Objectivists do not claim to know that all knowledge is ultimately based in sense perception because they perceived this to be the case by means of the senses. We have the conceptual level of consciousness, and we have the objective theory of concepts to validate this recognition."

Fascinating! I would like to know/ learn more on the process of how we can validate that recognition with the O.T. of concepts.


"We do not have to prove that man must be the way that he is any more than we have to prove that he couldn’t have been otherwise. All we need to do is discover what actually is the case, and this includes understanding his nature as a living organism possessing a consciousness capable of conceptual integration as well as the nature of knowledge produced by such means. Imaginary alternatives have no philosophical value, nor do they need to be treated as though they did have philosophical value."

Nor can they be tested, or percieved outside of the imagination.

Great stuff!

October 29, 2011 10:21 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hi. Have you interacted with the concept of the trinity (three eternal distinct consciouses that make up the triune God) and how this relates to the primacy of existence? If so, can you direct me to that source. Thanks.

October 29, 2011 3:05 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi Peter,

Dawson has interacted many times with the Christian concept of "the trinity." Here is just one of those interactions:

"Does Logic Presuppose the Christian God? Part II: Reasons Why Logic Cannot Presuppose the Christian God, #4: The Trinity" July 8, 2009

(if you go to the side of the blog home page, you should see the date for July 2009. Click on that and it should take you to the page where you'll find the aforementioned essay. This particular essay is a part of a series, which is also available on Katholon.com. Or you can paste this into your browser - http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2009_07_01_archive.html ---- and then scroll down to about the middle of the page where you will find his writing on this topic)

Dawson has also written (and this may come from the same essay as above -- I'm not sure):

"...which I’ve not seen the literature address explicitly, is: how many consciousnesses are we talking about? Is the Trinity one consciousness, or three consciousnesses? How could one discover this? Or could it be discovered? Christians tend to claim that they can only know what their god has “revealed” to them about itself, suggesting that one could not discover these things without such spoon-fed information. I have not found any text which directly speaks to this, but it seems a most basic question. Often we see statements to the effect that the Christian god is

three unique persons, each one with individual personality traits… Trinity does not mean three gods exist who together make up God. That would be tritheism. God is one…. There is only one God, but within that unity are three eternal and co-equal Persons – all sharing the same essence and substance, but each having a distinct existence… There’s no question that the Trinity is one of the great mysteries of God and the Bible. Yet that should not keep us from trying to understand it and what it means for us. (Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz, Knowing God 101: A Guide to Theology in Plain Language, p. 57)

If “three unique persons” entails three distinct consciousnesses (and why wouldn’t it? Doesn’t a unique “Person” have its own consciousness?), it seems that we are in fact dealing with polytheism. But Christians will vehemently deny this interpretation. As the statement above asserts: “Trinity does not mean three gods exist who together make up God.” But since “God” as such supposedly includes these “three unique persons,” this doctrine suggests that “God” is more than any of its “three unique persons” considered individually. After all, for example, what would the Son be without the Father and the Spirit? But this view is also apparently rejected, for we are told that “each person in the Godhead is both equal to and the same as the others” (Ibid., p. 58). What’s more, “each Person in the Trinity is equal to God,” such that:

God the Father is God
Jesus the Son is God
The Holy Spirit is God (Ibid., pp. 58-59)

Given that the members of the Trinity are “unique persons,” and each of these members is equated with “God,” I count three distinct gods there. How about you?

But no, Christians insist that the Christian god is only one god: “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God, the Lord is One” (Deut. 6:4)."


Ydemoc

October 29, 2011 5:08 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

To Dawson's Secretary,

Has Dawson dealt with God's omnipresence?

October 29, 2011 6:49 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2011 7:13 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "To Dawson's Secretary,
Has Dawson dealt with God's omnipresence?"

I am not Dawson's secretary. But yes, I think Dawson has dealt with the invalid concept of omnipresence and how believers characterize their imaginary deity with having such powers -- though I don't know if he's devoted an entire blog entry to this topic.

Ydemoc

October 29, 2011 7:17 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Dawson's Secretary,

Yes you are see the name?

October 29, 2011 7:43 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "Yes you are see the name?"

I'm sorry. I don't get it. Maybe you can clarify? And once you do clarify, I'm sure it will have me doubled over from laughter.

Ydemoc

October 29, 2011 8:38 PM  
Blogger Nide Corniell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 29, 2011 8:41 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ok,

Here you go:

http://fundamentally-flawed.com/pods/?p=episode&name=2011-09-30_episode_13.mp3


This is hilarious.

October 29, 2011 8:43 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity,

Sorry. I still don't get what the FF podcast has to do with your calling me Dawson's secretary. Care to fill me in so that I can at least evaluate whether or not what you are attempting to say qualifies as being humorous enough to share in your laughter? Spell it out for me.

Ydemoc

October 29, 2011 9:03 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

What made you think I was laughing?

You are his secretrary.

If it hurt your feelings I'll recant but I'm surprised you're not happy about it.

October 29, 2011 9:22 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "What made you think I was laughing?"

Oh, I see now -- these were two separate thoughts. You weren't implying that the "Dawson Secretary" thing was funny, but just that the FF thing was. I, uh, think I get it now. But what was hilarious about the FF thing?

Trinity wrote: "You are his secretrary."

That's news to me.

Trinity wrote: "If it hurt your feelings I'll recant..."

My feelings aren't hurt. Thanks for your concern, though. And there is no need to recant. You can go on imagining things all you'd like. No one is stopping you. When your imaginings start affecting my feelings, I'll let you know.

Trinity wrote: "...but I'm surprised you're not happy about it."

Well, since your assertion is based on a false premise and a figment of your imagination, I'm really not surprised at all that you would react emotionally to something that has no basis in reality. It's par for the course for you.

Ydemoc

October 29, 2011 9:40 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ok,

So, when you call YHWH names like immoral, murderer, monster and so on. Is it emotional or intellectual?

October 29, 2011 9:53 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "So, when you call YHWH names like immoral, murderer, monster and so on. Is it emotional or intellectual?"

My evaluation of those that follow and take seriously the teachings of an imaginary deity, a deity that instructed its followers to rip open pregnant women, kill children, take virgins, sic bears on kids that called Elisha a bald head, told followers how to treat slaves; followers who themselves have engaged in the burning of "witches"; torture, murder (see for instance Calvin), the slandering of Jewish people which laid the foundation for the Holocaust, etc., etc, etc., is an intellectual evaluation that gives rise to the emotion of disgust. From this evaluation (and this is just the tip of the iceberg) and the rightful sense of disgust, I say these things. There is no dichotomy here. Sorry, try again.

Ydemoc

October 29, 2011 10:12 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity,

That's all for this evening. More tomorrow, after you get back from your place of imaginary-being worship.

Ydemoc

October 29, 2011 10:16 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Where did YHWH command HIS people to rip pregnant women open, kill children etc.?

Can you cite the book, chapter, and verse?


By the way did you read about what the caanaties where doing I'm wondering why you haven't commented on that?



Also can you cite where YHWH told John Calvin to do anything?

October 29, 2011 10:21 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "Where did YHWH command HIS people to rip pregnant women open, kill children etc.?"

According to you, WE are all his people, right? He owns all of us, yes? But some of us just suppress this knowledge, correct?

Furthermore, your god controls everything that comes to pass, right Trinity? Why would he have to "command" it? Why? When it is all unfolding according to his plan?

Trinity wrote: "Can you cite the book, chapter, and verse?"

Why is this necessary? If your god controls EVERYTHING that comes to pass? Why?

But since you asked here are things he commanded and things he did himself:

Noah and the Flood

Everyone on earth was killed, including pregnant women, old women, old men, babies, etc., EVERYONE except Noah and his clan. Really, need I list any more?

Hosea 13
13:16 Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

Hosea 9

9:16 Ephraim is smitten, their root is dried up, they shall bear no fruit: yea, though they bring forth, yet will I slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.

Hosea 10

10:14 Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Betharbel in the day of battle: the mother was dashed in pieces upon her children.


2 Samual
12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
12:15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
12:16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
12:17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
12:18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died.

Exodus 12

12:29 And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

Exodus 22

22:18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

2 Kings

2:23 And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.
2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

(continued)

October 30, 2011 2:03 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Deuteronomy 13

13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people

Deuteronomy 2

2:33 And the LORD our God delivered him before us; and we smote him, and his sons, and all his people.

2:34 And we took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed the men, and the women, and the little ones, of every city, we left none to remain:

Deuteronomy 22

22:23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
22:24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

(May I also add that it is "conceivable" that these virgins who slept with other men, may have been, at the time of their execution, PREGNANT!)

Hosea

13:16: "The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open."

(Trinity, who would be orchestrating such atrocities, other than all-powerful, non-imaginary deity that you read about in your storybook? And who would be carrying out your god's plan with swords?)

Trinity wrote: "By the way did you read about what the caanaties where doing I'm wondering why you haven't commented on that?"

Why don't you tell me what they were doing? But before you do, Trinity, what difference does it make to you WHAT they were doing? How could what they were doing make any DIFFERENCE to you, since you believe that everyone is a sinner and deserves death, right? So why make any distinction whatsoever? Everyone is vile and depraved just by virtue of the fact that they are even ALIVE, right? They all deserve to die. Everyone. Right?

Trinity wrote: "Also can you cite where YHWH told John Calvin to do anything?"

Was John Calvin not guided by the the so-called "Holy Spirit?" Does your god not control EVERYTHING that comes to pass? Is not every killing that has ever taken place not a part of his plan? How can you say it isn't?

Finally, please explain to me how you able to differentiate between the actions of a non-imaginary evil being and a non-imaginary all-good deity, if the supposedly all-good non-imaginary deity tells his followers to do all the hideous things listed above (and much, much more that I haven't listed) Don't these kinds of atrocities and killings and slave-holding instructions etc., etc., etc., sound an awful lot like something the non-imaginary *evil* being would do?

Ydemoc

October 30, 2011 2:04 AM  
Blogger Nide Corniell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 30, 2011 11:08 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ydemoc said: Everyone on earth was killed, including pregnant women, old women, old men, babies, etc., EVERYONE except Noah and his clan. Really, need I list any more?"

Reponse: Genesis 6: 5 The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And the LORD was sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. 7So the LORD said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

You qouted hosea:

Do you even know what's the book about?

October 30, 2011 11:12 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

You qouted samuel


2 Samual
12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
12:15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
12:16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
12:17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
12:18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died.



Well, some context would be nice here you go:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Samuel+11&version=ESV



You qouted exodus 12. Some context would be nice here too:

Pharoa was giving plenty of warnings he brought it upon himself and his people.


You qouted 2 kings:


I higly doubt they were "children" a word study would be nice. However, they brought it upon themselves.

Deut 13:


What would you do if another man tried to break up your family by seducing your wife?





By the way. You keep claiming God is imaginary. The burden is on you. You ever going to present an argument or proof?

Is it because you can't perceive him?



cont.

October 30, 2011 11:32 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity,

Yes, it is indeed very difficult to distinguish between the actions of a non-imaginary evil being and the actions of non-imaginary all-good deity, especially when the supposedly all-good non-imaginary deity tells his followers to do such hideous things as:

1 Samuel 15

15:3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.


Wow. And even this all-good non-imaginary deity was none too pleased that Saul didn't quite follow through with what what he ordered!

15:9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.

15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

15:11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

Exodus 15

15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Numbers 31

31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

(Hmmm. I wonder how one could tell if a woman had slept with a man? Could one of the ways be to see if she had children or was PREGNANT? Or maybe they just used the primitive practice of looking inside all the women to see if their hymen was broken. Can you tell me how they knew the virgins from non-virgins, Trinity?)

Deuteronomy 3

31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Deuteronomy 12

12:27 And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.

(Hmmm. Not exactly sure what to make of this sort of cannibalistic characteristic of your non-imaginary deity. Care to explain? Is cannibalism a reflection of your god's character and actions? I guess your god has a "morally sufficient reason" for all these actions. Funny, it all strikes me as him having a "morally INSUFFICIENT reason." But let's move on...)

(continued)

October 30, 2011 11:42 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Judges 9

9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:

(Hmmm. What other non-imaginary being also sends evil spirits?)

Judges 20

20:48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.

1 Samuel

16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

16:15 And Saul's servants said unto him, Behold now,an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

16:16 Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before thee, to seek out a man, who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall play with his hand, and thou shalt be well.

(What "morally sufficient reason" might god have for sending an immoral (i.e., evil) spirit? Or am I taking this out of context?)

1 Samuel

22:19 And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.
22:20 And one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David.

Psalm 2

2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

2:8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

2:9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Anyway, there's much, much more where these came from.

Ydemoc

October 30, 2011 11:43 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "By the way. You keep claiming God is imaginary. The burden is on you. You ever going to present an argument or proof? Is it because you can't perceive him?"

Is your non-imaginary deity self-evident, Trinity? He's this being that you claim exists immediately available to the senses, like a wall would be if I ran into it, like the ground I touch when I walk, like the nose on my face? Please, tell me, and then point him out to me. If god's presence isn't sensed in such a fashion, please tell me then:

57. What stands between me and direct perception of your alleged non-imaginary deity?

57a. Why is it that whenever I directly perceive something, there is nothing else that stands between me and my direct perception of that something?

57b. If there is an impediment between me and my direct perception of something, with that something being your god, Satan, or anything else, how could one call whatever it is I am impeded from perceiving "directly perceivable" as you have done in your past comments? (e.g., "God is existence," "God has made himself directly known to all our senses.")

And please also tell me how you distinguish between between the actions of a non-imaginary evil being and the actions of non-imaginary all-good deity, especially when the supposedly all-good non-imaginary deity given the atrocities we read your god doing in your storybook.

Trinity, does Satan have a "morally sufficient reason" for doing what he does? And what does the phrase "morally sufficient reason" mean to you?

I look forward to your cogent response.

Ydemoc

October 30, 2011 12:02 PM  
Blogger Nide Corniell said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 30, 2011 1:29 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ydemoc,

Qouted: Judges

"20:48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to."



I wonder why? let's see what they did here is the part you ignored:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2019&version=ESVUK


You asked: What stands between me and direct perception of your alleged non-imaginary deity?



Maybe because he's invisible.



Continued: " Why is it that whenever I directly perceive something, there is nothing else that stands between me and my direct perception of that something?


How about love, happiness and so on. Can you directly percieve those?



By the way are you a vegetarian?



You qouted numbers 31. So, why did The LORD command moses to do what he did?


You qouted 1 samuel:


Yea, its called divine judgement on the rebellion of men. Saul brought upon himself.


I really would appreciate if you gave some context.



P.S. What would you do if another man tried to break up your family by seducing your wife?

October 30, 2011 1:30 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

I had quoted from Judges "20:48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to."

I did this to answer Trinity's request that I produce something that said his all-loving, non-imaginary deity had commanded his people to slaughter others.

Trinity thinks it is important that I understand the context of this quote and others which Trinity has chosen not to interact with. But like I stated before, I think it is quite plain to see that with or without context (whatever that could possibly mean), that the actions of the allegedly all-good, non-imaginary deity of the bible is indistinguishable from the actions of an all-evil, non-imaginary deity.


Trinity continues: "I wonder why? let's see what they did here is the part you ignored: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2019&version=ESVUK"

How ironic. I'm being accused of dropping context; meanwhile, the entire foundation of bible rests on a primacy of consciousness metaphysics, if it were true, there would be no such thing as "context." At its foundations, the bible is a complete reversal of reality. It is really "contextless." Interesting.

I had asked: "57. What stands between me and direct perception of your alleged non-imaginary deity?"

Trinity wrote: "Maybe because he's invisible."

I'll say! May I also add "imaginary" and "magic" as descriptors? Also, I find your use of the word "maybe" an indication that you yourself really aren't certain of what you are saying.

But this doesn't really answer my question. Read it again. I asked what would you say would stand between me and my direct perception of your god. Are you saying that nothing is standing in my way? This answer it seems to me would be quite heretical, for don't you think that there is, at the very least, an evil force at work standing between me and your god? (Good luck trying to answer what stands between me and my direct perception of this "evil force" -- let me guess, "maybe" it's invisible, too, right?)

Trinity, if your god is invisible, how can you maintain, as you did that "God is existence," "God has made himself directly known to all our senses"? These are your words -- did you misspeak?

And, if as you maintain "God is existence" then this would seem to mean that he is not invisible, for existence as such is not invisible. Everywhere I look, everything I do I run into existence. I have DIRECT CONTACT with existence all of the time. Furthermore, your claim here only tells me (a) what your god is not (b) that to have arrived at the concept "invisible" one would have to first differentiate it from what? Things which are "visible" (c) the faculty by which you aware of your deity is not one of our five senses, as you claimed was the case in earlier comments (d) labeling your god as "invisible" places it on par with things like "the wind" and "gravity"; yet these are measurable and are easily detectable by interaction with reality. If I try to jump and dunk a basketball, I am unable to do so, because of gravity. I can also feel the wind against my skin. But your god is not supposed to be just one existent among others, nor is supposed to be inferred from reality, is it?

I had written: "Why is it that whenever I directly perceive something, there is nothing else that stands between me and my direct perception of that something?

(continued)

October 30, 2011 4:02 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "How about love, happiness and so on. Can you directly percieve those?"

Again, this doesn't really answer my question. When I directly perceive an automobile, is there something I don't know about that is standing between me and my perception of that automobile? If there is, why call the automobile "directly perceivable" as you have done in your comments? And if something is blocking my perception of the automobile, why would not that impediment itself be perceivable?

Besides, with your citing love, happiness, and so on, you are giving away your game, Trinity. Consider: "...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." (Dawson Bethrick)

Trinity wrote: "By the way are you a vegetarian?"

Why do you ask?

Trinity wrote: "You qouted numbers 31. So, why did The LORD command moses to do what he did?"

Good question. Why don't you tell me why your alleged all-good, non-imaginary deity commanded Moses to do what he did. And then tell me how such a command from this all-good, non-imaginary deity is distinguishable from what an all-evil, non-imaginary deity might command Moses to do. Once you do that, then tell me how the answer you give is distinguishable from an answer one might give for what an imaginary deity might command someone to do? You've got your work cut out for you. Good luck!


Trinity wrote: "You qouted 1 samuel:
Yea, its called divine judgement on the rebellion of men. Saul brought upon himself."

How is "divine judgment" different from what an all-evil, non-imaginary deity might do?

Trinity wrote: "I really would appreciate if you gave some context."

See above. I know you would appreciate it, and I'll try. But if biblical context is that important to you, why don't you supply the context? You seem to know it, so supply it for me. Educate me. However, there are many bible verses I quoted, (and I could have quoted many, many more), yet you only addressed a few. Why is that? Were they difficult to explain away, no matter what the context?

Trinity wrote: "P.S. What would you do if another man tried to break up your family by seducing your wife?"

I wouldn't like it too much, and I would do something to put an end to it. But what if I came to you and said, "Trinity, there's a man that is trying to break up my family by seducing my wife. And Trinity, I've tried talking to the man, and I've tried reasoning with the man, and I've tried suing the man, but it isn't working. So I prayed about it, and god spoke to my heart. The god you and I believe in told me to go over to this man's house and kill (not murder!) him, his pregnant wife, his male children, his friends, and his neighbors. But god spoke to my heart, telling me that I should keep his dogs and his daughters for my own."

If I told you that, would you believe that an all-loving, non-imaginary deity told me to do that?

Ydemoc

October 30, 2011 4:06 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Hello ydemoc,

Everyone that God killed or ordered to be killed rightly deserved it. They brought it upon themselves.

It's called divine justice/judgement. "The wages of sin are death" - The apostle Paul


The burden is on you. For example, did you read Judges 19? Here it is again:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2019&version=ESVUK



You called God a cannibal(even though God never ate anyone) but that's why I asked if you are a vegetarian. So, are you?



I remember talking to Dawson about love. And I remember telling him he was wrong.

God is love. He is the source of it and since you were created in his image you can feel love.

By the way is love imaginary?

You asked: "If I told you that, would you believe that an all-loving, non-imaginary deity told me to do that?


No. God would never tell you to kill anyone. Times change.


There is nothing standing in between you and God. Everytime you make a moral judgement, love, get happy and so on shows that you do know YHWH.

Good luck to you.

Once again the burden is on you. You are the one making all the accusations.



P.S. God is invisible and you need to repent.

October 30, 2011 4:59 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "Once again the burden is on you. You are the one making all the accusations."

Not true. Your storybook is the ultimate trumped-up indictment, an entire book filled with page after page, falsely charging man and accusing him of every evil under the sun.

Man, this puny little creature with limited knowledge. Me, all-loving, all-powerful, non-imaginary creator of the universe and this evil little know-nothing creature known as Man. Me, all-loving, all-powerful, non-imaginary creator of EVERYTHING. Me, unable or unwilling to stop, and even contributing my fair share to all the evil in the world, until my grand plan is carried out to its completion.

Yes, all that man is accused of in your "Book of False Accusations" -- from the Fall to Revelation, and all that he has done -- is all a product his making, all a part of his "grand plan."

Can you tell me how you distinguish his grand plan from an all-evil, non-imaginary deity, please?

Trinity wrote: "It's called divine justice/judgement. "The wages of sin are death" - The apostle Paul"

There is nothing "divine" nor "just" about the atrocities we read about your, allegedly, all-loving, non-imaginary deity ordering or committing. If you maintain there is, you have no basis for the concepts "divine" nor "just," for you have severed any ties to what makes such concepts possible. Especially, when your god rigs everything from the beginning by making the "wages of living" a sin.

And we also find that the wages of so-called "sin" that your all-good, non-imaginary deity ordered were, in many cases, god's good favor. It pleased him to see all the killing, slavery, infanticide, etc., did it not? For he does what he does for his good pleasure, does he not? How could all of that violence not please him?

And please, would you mind telling me how you can tell the difference between an all-good, non-imaginary deity doing what he pleases versus an all-evil, non-imaginary deity doing what he pleases, if the products of both deities end up in atrocities and death? Once you do that, would you then mind telling me how your answer that you give is distinguishable from an answer one might give for an imaginary deity doing what he pleases? You CONTINUE to have your work cut out for you. Good luck!

I asked: "If I told you that, would you believe that an all-loving, non-imaginary deity told me to do that?

Trinity responded: "No. God would never tell you to kill anyone. Times change."

Wow. The contradiction contained in this sentence is breathtaking. Do you not see it, Trinity? Let me help you out: If, as you say, "times change," what is to keep times from changing again to where your god, would, in fact tell me to kill someone? What is to keep your god from "changing the times" without notice? Your use of "times change" doesn't not assist you here.

Remember now, god also told his "peeps" back in the day that the "covenant" with them would never be broken, ever, did he not? And we are all his "peeps," are we not? So it appears, times do indeed change, more than you would probably prefer.

Furthermore, do you know the mind of your god so well that you can make the kind of statement you make here? Talk about presupposing!!!

Also, let's suppose you're right, that god would never tell me to kill anyone -- (I guess all those soldiers who fought and killed in all the wars the past two centuries were not being led by god, hmmm?), would you then say if I went ahead and killed that that killing would not be a part of your god's plan? You've got some things to really think about here, Trinity.

Trinity wrote: "P.S. God is invisible and you need to repent."

The invisible and non-existent look and act very much alike.

Ydemoc

October 30, 2011 6:32 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Hello Ydemoc,

God didn't rebel against man. Man rebel against God.

You're the problem Not God. I said this already.

And since you have said in the past that you want to live. You can thank God he spared noah's life.

Unless of course you want to recant?


You said and asked: "Wow. The contradiction contained in this sentence is breathtaking. Do you not see it, Trinity? Let me help you out: If, as you say, "times change," what is to keep times from changing again to where your god, would, in fact tell me to kill someone? What is to keep your god from "changing the times" without notice? Your use of "times change" doesn't not assist you here."


Contradictions don't exist in reality. We have his revealed word which is closed. He's bound to his word.



You mentioned a covenant and some soldiers mind proving a source, verse, chapter etc.?



P.S. Westminster Shorter Catechism Project


Westminster Shorter Catechism
Question 7

Q: What are the decrees of God?
A: The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.1


Ephesians 1:11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.
Acts 4:27-28. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
Psalm 33:11. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Ephesians 2:10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Romans 9:22-23. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.
Romans 11:33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

October 30, 2011 7:39 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "You mentioned a covenant and some soldiers mind proving a source, verse, chapter etc.?"

Etc? What more do you need than what you asked for?

Exodus 31

13 'Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying: Verily ye shall keep My sabbaths, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may know that I am the LORD who sanctify you.

(there is that pesky word "generations" again. I wonder what it means in this context?)

16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.

Exodus 12

14 And this day shall be unto you for a memorial, and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.

17 And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall ye observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance for ever.

(Trinity, what does "throughout your generations" and "for ever" mean?)

Deuteronomy 4

2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Deuteronomy 13

1 All this word which I command you, that shall ye observe to do; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

2 If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams--and he give thee a sign or a wonder,

3 and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee--saying: 'Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them';

4 thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God putteth you to proof, to know whether ye do love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

(Hmmm. Prophet? Sign? Wonder? Sounds a lot like someone you claim to have a personal relationship with)

(Hmmm. Not add or diminish? Interesting.)

And here is your ETC. (and if you have any problems with it, take it up with him. These aren't my problems, they're yours):

(continued)

October 30, 2011 8:54 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

"A Primer: Why Jews Can't Believe in Jesus" (By Bruce H. James 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004)

I. The concept that there is a "New Covenant" that replaces the various Covenants between G-d and the Jewish people, is illegitimate.

A. The Torah as a Contract

The Torah (the Five books of Moses, i.e. Genesis through Deuteronomy), which constitutes the basis of Jewish Law and the prophecy of Moshe Rabeinu (Moses our teacher), tells us in several places that it is also an "Everlasting Covenant" between Israel and the All Mighty. In the 28th and 29th Chapters of Deuteronomy we see a summary of the terms (also described in Leviticus) of the contract. It instructs us that if we observe the mitzvot (commandments described throughout the Torah), we would receive manifold blessings, but if not there would be series of punishments, each increasingly worse. But at any time, the Torah says, we can "cure" (a legal term for resolving any breach of contract) our breach of contract by doing tshuva (repentence) and once again observing the mitzvot.

B. The Torah Cannot Be Replaced

In the Book of Deuteronomy G-d tells us that He has given us the complete Torah and that, "Lo bashamayim hee" (It shall not come from Heaven), there would be no further revelations related to the Law or amendments to the Contract. Deut. 30:12. See also Deut. 4:2 ("Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your G-d which I command you.")

C. There Have Been Many "New Covenants," But None Has, or Can Replace the Torah

The Covenant at Mt. Sinai was not the first, nor the last covenant between G-d and the Jewish people. See, e.g. Gen. 8 (with Noah); Gen. 17 (with Abraham); Gen. 28:10-22 (with Jacob); Joshua 1 (with Jewish people who crossed into Israel). In every case, the prior covenant was not replaced, but merely reaffirmed, expanded or codified existing practice. Not one of those covenants is or has ever been "obsolete." Yet, missionaries claim that the Torah ? G-d's Covenant with the Jewish people as a whole -- has been superceded by a "New Covenant" and replaced by a "New Testament." Hebrews 8:13. In support of their position they refer to the Jeremiah 31:31-34 where the prophet predicted that there would be a "new covenant" in the Messianic Age. Indeed, Jeremiah did make such a prediction, but the verse implies no rejection of the Covenant of the Torah (aka "the Law"), but rather says that the Law shall be "inscribed in the hearts" of the Jewish people (i.e. they will not have to study the Law, as before, but all of its details will be known "by heart" and practiced by every Jew without question.

(continued)

October 30, 2011 8:55 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

D. The "New Testament's" Differing Views of the Torah

The main source for missionaries in their claim that G-d has supplanted Judaism with Christianity is the Christian Bible. Yet, it appears to be an unreliable source and the result of a tortured editing process between the followers of Paul, and those of James, the half-brother of Jesus. This is especially apparent with regard to their different views of Torah law. The Epistles of Paul say not only that the Torah was replaced by the "New Covenant," but that is also something that was "obsolete" (Heb. 8:13), "kills" (2 Corin. 3:6) and a "curse" (Galatians 3:13). This is not only an insult to the Jewish people, but an insult to G-d! Missionaries who follow these teachings (nearly all of them as far as I can tell) suggest that G-d knew, when He gave the Torah to the Jewish people, that they would never be able to fulfill it. Put another way, G-d created doomed His Chosen people from the start and that He had no intention to fulfill all of the promises He made in His contract with them. This is absurd. Why would G-d do that? Was the Omniscient G-d only playing with us? This view of Paul that the Torah was impossible to follow is directly contradicted by the Torah itself. The Torah, it says, "is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off." Deut. 30:11. King David called the Torah Laws "perfect," "sure, making wise the simple," and "pure, enlightening the eyes." Ps. 19:8-9. Compare Paul's comments with those by Jesus and James. Jesus, himself accepted the Torah as obligatory, saying that not only was the Written Torah eternal, but accepted the understanding of the Pharisees (the rabbis whose teachings would be later recorded in the Mishna, which is part of the Talmud) that the Written Torah is supplemented by an Oral Torah which provides details about how to fulfill the commandments, and that these regulations were taught by Moses and passed down from generation to generation. In Matt. 23:2-3, Jesus says that the Pharisees "sit in the seat of Moses; therefore all they tell you, do and observe." His brother James, too, required strict observance of the Torah Law in its entirety. James 2:10-11. These conflicting testimonies, along with numerous explicit contradictions between the Christian Bible and the Hebrew Scriptures, makes the Christian Bible suspect either as an accurate historical account or as the Word of G-d.

(continued)

October 30, 2011 9:00 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

II. Judaism believes in One G-d.

A. G-d is One.

As every Jewish child learns, "Shema Yisroel, HaShem Elokeynu, HaShem Echad" ("Hear or Israel, the Lord is G-d, the Lord is One"). Deut. 6:4. This is a very simple and fundamental concept. G-d is One.

B. The Trinity.

Christians give lip service to the Shema, but their theology says that there is a Trinity -- G-d, Jesus (the "son of G-d") and the "Holy Ghost." They will try to teach you that this Trinity of three entities is really just one, like a "bunch of grapes" is one. But the Torah is very precise in its language. Throughout the Torah if echad is to be applied to a bunch of something, the word "agudat," or a form of the word, would be used. Christians cite to Gen. 1:5 ("v'ai yehi erev, v'ai yehi boker, yom echad" -- ". . . and there was evening and there was morning one day") to suggest that echad modifies morning and evening and puts them together into a "bunch." Clearly, it only modifies the word "day." Similarly, they quote Numbers 13:23 which describes how the Israeli spies cut down a branch with one ("echad") cluster of grapes. But here, too, echad modifies the word "cluster" and not grapes. In the Shema, echad modifies the word "G-d" and means precisely what it says -- "one." Moreover, if the Torah wanted us to know that G-d was more than One it would have told us then about the Trinity instead of making a specific point that there was only One G-d.

***end quoted material***

You guys fight it out amongst yourselves. Because you both subscribe to a primacy of consciousness metaphysics, you're both wrong.

Trinity, it's interesting how your religion evolved from Judaism. Hmmm. Evolution -- see the connection?

Ydemoc

October 30, 2011 9:01 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

In a previous comment, Trinity questioned what I had written, and I think, in this particular case, he was right to do so.

I had written: "Also, let's suppose you're right, that god would never tell me to kill anyone -- (I guess all those soldiers who fought and killed in all the wars the past two centuries were not being led by god, hmmm?), would you then say if I went ahead and killed that that killing would not be a part of your god's plan? You've got some things to really think about here, Trinity."

Trinity is correct in any confusion he may have had in reading this particular part of my previous comment. The fault is mine (or is it his god's fault if my lack of clarity is predestined part of this god's grand plan?), for I was not clear in this point I was trying to make. But let's roll the tape back a little and see where this all began:

Trinity had written to me in a previous comment: "P.S. What would you do if another man tried to break up your family by seducing your wife?"

I suppose I should've asked him here if this seduction was a part of his god's grand plan, but I didn't.

Instead I wrote: "I wouldn't like it too much, and I would do something to put an end to it. But what if I came to you and said, 'Trinity, there's a man that is trying to break up my family by seducing my wife. And Trinity, I've tried talking to the man, and I've tried reasoning with the man, and I've tried suing the man, but it isn't working. So I prayed about it, and god spoke to my heart. The god you and I believe in told me to go over to this man's house and kill (not murder!) him, his pregnant wife, his male children, his friends, and his neighbors. But god spoke to my heart, telling me that I should keep his dogs and his daughters for my own.'

If I told you that, would you believe that an all-loving, non-imaginary deity told me to do that?"

(continued)

October 30, 2011 10:53 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 30, 2011 10:57 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

To which Trinity responded:

"No. God would never tell you to kill anyone. Times change."

I suppose I should've asked him here how he knows that, but I didn't. Instead I wrote my point about soldiers, and in what I wrote I was trying to make the point that in many wars that have been fought -- the last two centuries came to mind -- there have been many Christians involved. This is indisputable. In these wars then, there were obviously Christians doing the killing. This means that there would have to have been Christians killing not only non-believers and people of other faiths, but also fellow Christians as well. All the while, these Christian soldiers on all sides of the conflicts were, no doubt, uttering prayers to their allegedly non-imaginary deity. And, generally speaking, I have seen and read enough to conclude that many of these soldiers were asking their allegedly non-imaginary all-loving deity for guidance, survival, and victory.

Furthermore, in the bible it says in Exodus 15:13:

"The LORD is a man of war; the LORD is his name."

My point is that, for believers to deny that their god would not speak to someone's heart, hence leading them to kill others, flies in the face of common common sense. I used war as an obvious example.

Have there been no Christians who joined the military because the "Lord spoke to their heart" and told them that doing so would be the right thing to do? And if they end up killing someone while in the military, am I supposed to believe that their god moved them to join the military, but, when combat ensued, this god did not move them to survive and be victorious over others through killing, including the killing of other Christians?

I think not.

Furthermore, was it not this alleged non-imaginary, all-loving deity who orchestrated all these conflicts in the first place, according to his grand plan?

As a result of this unfolding of god's grand plan according to his pleasure, with all its killing etc,, the question then becomes, not could god move someone to kill another, but, according to Christianity's own beliefs of a grand plan and god controlling everything that comes to pass, how could this god *not* move someone to kill another, when any kind of killing takes places?

I trust that clears things up.

Ydemoc

October 30, 2011 11:05 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Throughout his comments, Trinity has been attempting to equate his god with love, citing this allegedly all-loving, non-imaginary deity (or is it deities?) as the source of the human capacity to do so.

A few posts back he wrote: "God is love. He is the source of it and since you were created in his image you can feel love."

It's interesting here that he doesn't cite his god as the source of hate, rage, pain, disgust, envy, jealousy, grief, sorrow, etc. He has pretty much focused on his god being the source of positive emotions, such as love and happiness. Why is that, even though the bible tells us his god is a "jealous god," does it not? Jealous of what? What could an all-powerful, self-sufficient, fully complete in every way, what could such a being have to be jealous of? And if it is jealous, does this make Trinity's god the source of jealousy? How about hate? Is god "hate"?

In any event, I'm sure Trinity will be pleased to know that Dawson has left no stone unturned when it comes to this particular brand of assertion and/or inquiry on the part of apologists.

In the blog entry, "The Double Whammy," (April 6, 2008) Dawson is asked by someone with the moniker "TruthTRUTH":

"I would pose this question to you, my friend: Do you believe in love? Rage? Envy? Of course you do. But please, distinguish to me where the love ends and your imagination begins."

Yes, TruthTRUTH's question is very similar to questions Trinity has asked numerous times in his comments:

"By the way is love imaginary?"

In this case then, the title of Dawson's blog entry "Double Whammy"? is quite apt, for it deals with both TruthTRUTH and Trinity in one fell swoop. Here's how Dawson answers:

"Okay, I’ll explain it to you. Both the emotions which you list and imagination are faculties of consciousness, and thus have some commonality as such. But emotions and imagination are distinct from each other. First let’s look at emotions. Emotions are non-volitional reactions to new information that we learn as we understand that information relates to our values. If new information promotes my values (e.g., my wife bought me a new pair of pants, I’m getting a big tax refund this year, my daughter said her first words, etc.), my emotions respond positively: e.g., gratitude, relief, excitement, joy, etc. If the new information reveals a threat against my values (e.g., my wife got into an auto accident, I have to pay big time in my tax return, my daughter hurt her finger), my emotions respond negatively: concern, worry, anxiety, panic, frustration, etc. The new information is something I discover (rather than imagine), and the values they impact are actual (not imaginary).

Now let’s look at imagination: Imagination is the volitional process of selectively rearranging inputs we have discovered in ways that we do not perceive. Let's look at an example. I imagine a skyscraper that is 400 stories tall. Although I have seen skyscrapers, there is no such thing as a 400-storey skyscraper in existence, but I can imagine one nonetheless. My imagining it is a volitional process: I can choose to vary the inputs at this point, since I own the imagination, since it is a function of my consciousness. I can imagine the skyscraper being 410 stories, or 267 stories, or anything else I wish. I can imagine it has panorama elevator banks, that it has bay windows, that it is glass and steel, that it has gargoyles mounted on the corners, that it is square, or domed, or a jumble of different shapes. I can imagine it existing in a big city such as New York or Singapore, or in the middle of a barren desert, or even on the moon. Since I am in control of what I imagine, I can vary its attributes as I please."

(continued)

October 31, 2011 11:31 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

"Emotions do not respond to our volition in this manner. If I get a bill from my doctor for $100,000.00 for a routine check-up, I can't help but feel at the very least baffled by this. I certainly wouldn't experience joy, nor could I choose to be happy about this. I may initially suppose it's a mistake and experience amusement, but if I initially thought it was legitimate I couldn't choose to feel joy; joy is not an emotion one experiences when he learns that something is threatening his values. Emotions are non-volitional in this sense, unlike imagination. It is because of this fact - that emotions are involuntary - that certain commands contained in the bible indicate to me that its authors did not have a very good understanding of the human mind. The commandment that we "love our neighbor as ourselves" is a case in point. Love is not subject to commands. I cannot choose to love my neighbor when I know that he abuses his children, can't hold a job, beats his wife, lets his dogs poop on my lawn, etc. I can say I love him, but this would be a pretense, a lie, and I'm simply too honest for that. If I don't love someone, I'm not going to say I do love him. And someone like I just described, I would not love, even if an invisible magic being demanded that I love him.

So there is a significant distinction here between the emotions one feels and the things he imagines. However, in both cases, we have awareness of these things directly and immediately, and understand them through introspection. They are not entities that exist apart from us; they are an integral part of our experience. You won't learn about these things from the teachings in the bible. For more information on this, see my blog Lord Oda's Problem With Pain."

(continued)

October 31, 2011 11:33 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

A little later, Dawson revisits this topic, writing:

"Now back to the topically relevant point at hand: Isn't it curious how Christian apologists treat emotions as if they were analogous to their god? This is the card that TruthTRUTH plays while objecting to the challenge that he as a theist demonstrate that his god is distinguishable from something he is only imagining. Clearly he thinks there is some commonality between his god as an object of knowledge and his cognitive functions as an object of knowledge. What exactly makes them so similar? Theists tend to think of them as similar because our thoughts and other mental functions are said to be "immaterial," and coincidentally so is "God." In his debate with Gordon Stein, Greg Bahnsen similarly groups his god and what he called "abstract entities" into the the same general category, the common denominator being that both "abstract entities" and "God" are "immaterial entities." To say that something is "immaterial," however, is unhelpful in informing us of its identity, for it only tells us what something is not, not what it is. So again, if the Christian god is comparable to "mental entities," how is it distinguishable from something that the mind fabricates? The "immaterial" label also emphatically raises the question: How do we have knowledge of something that is "immaterial"? An even more primitive consideration would be: By what means do we have awareness of something that is "immaterial"? This question is topically relevant because we are constantly being told by Christians that we should not expect to perceive their god by means of our senses, and the reason for this is that it is "immaterial" and thus not subject to sense perception. These questions have been stubbornly difficult for theists to address in any clear manner, and I suspect there are good reasons why it's been so difficult.

By objecting to the challenge that I have raised against theism, theists are essentially saying that their god is not merely a thought or fantasy of theirs. And yet, their first line of defense is to compare the nature of their god to the nature of thoughts and other mental phenomena (such as emotions). Both are said to have the same characteristic - "immateriality." But what distinguishes them? This is the question I have posed. They treat their god as if it were an entity which exists independent of human cognition. But that's just the point in question here, so asserting this to be the case would simply beg the question and fail to move the theist closer to addressing the challenge that's been put before him."

Like Trinity, TruthTRUTH continues, asking Dawson:

"Try explaining to someone how anguish feels after a loved one passes away. Its very difficult to do, yet we all recognize the existence of anguish in our world today."

Dawson responds:

"This is a learning experience which most individuals have faced to one degree or another by their early adulthood. Anyone who has lost anything - especially if it is a prized possession - understands firsthand the kind of emotion that accompanies such loss. But I want to make an important point here: our emotions are integrally bound to our values, and values are selfish in nature (see here; Christians are notoriously reluctant to admit this fact). If you lose something that you value, your emotions consequently respond accordingly: you feel grief, sadness, disappointment, etc., to one degree or another. Our emotions respond according to how our circumstances affects us personally. That's because we are not indifferent about our values. If values were selfless, as many Christians have insisted to me, then I wouldn't care what happened to them, I'd be indifferent about them. It's because values are selfish that what happens to our values effects our emotions the way it does."

(continued)

October 31, 2011 11:34 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Again, TruthTRUTH, like Trinity, continues on:

"When you're at a McDonald's thinking to yourself, "Hmmm, do I want a Big Mac or just a Coke?" are you simply "imagining" these thoughts, or are they real?"

Dawson's answer?

"The thoughts are real - they are a function of one's consciousness, and consciousness is real. But the Big Mac and Coke that I'm think about in my mind are imaginary. My hope is that, whatever I do end up getting in the order I place is significantly like what I imagined. They are distinguishable though: actual burgers and fries will fill my stomach, but imaginary ones will not. But I've learned to be careful here at fast food joints. For instance, I don't like pickles and I don't like whipped cream. When I imagine a burger, I don't imagine any pickles in it. But many places add pickles as a standard part of the burger's build. Just because the burger I imagine has no pickles, does not mean that the burger I'm served will have no pickles. Again, existence holds primacy over consciousness. So I have to remember this in my orders. Also, I love milkshakes, but while the milkshake I imagine has no whipped cream, many places as a matter of routine top their milkshakes off with whipped cream, which I find annoying. So I have to keep this in mind when ordering."

A little later, Dawson explains:

Thoughts are a function of one's consciousness, and consciousness is an attribute of human beings. I do not deny that human beings exist, or that they are conscious, so I certainly don't dispute that human beings can think. But this is not analogous to the theistic claim. Theists are not saying that their god is merely a thought (if so, they would be openly conceding my criticisms of theism). Rather, they claim that their god is an independently existing entity, a being which is "extra-mental" as one might say. So apparently it is supposed to be like other entities (such as rocks, flowers, automobiles, etc.) in that it exists independent of human consciousness, but it is also supposed to be like thoughts and emotions in that it is "immaterial" or "non-physical" or "incorporeal." Many theists suggest that we can "know" this god by consulting some kind of "internal witness" provided by the presence of a "Spirit" which presumably infallibly testifies of its existence and will for one's life in his "heart."

Unfortunately, one could make this kind of claim about anything he imagines. For instance, I can imagine that an invisible magic being - call it Bathuko - resides in my "heart" and guides my steps in life. I can easily interpret everything in my experience to conform with this imagination. If the phone rings, for instance, my choice to answer it and say hello are in accordance with Bathuko's will. If my boss invites me to a meeting, my choice to accept the invitation and attend the meeting is in keeping with Bathuko's will. After all, if Bathuko created my "heart" in the first place (I'm free to imagine this as well), then why wouldn't I suppose that what my "heart" decides to do is in keeping with Bathuko's will? I can also imagine that things that happen outside my control are actually being controlled by this same invisible magic being. If I get a raise in my salary, it's Bathuko's way of rewarding me and encouraging me to continue following his will. If I am struck with cancer, it must be Bathuko's will that I learn certain lessons in this life. If I am cured, it was Bathuko's will, not the chemotherapy I underwent, which effected the cure. Etc."

(continued)

October 31, 2011 11:35 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

"But the problem with all this is that the Christian god is supposed to be independent of any human mind, such that it would still exist even if there were no human beings to know of its existence. So using thoughts as an example case, as many theists commonly do, in fact only confirms that my criticisms are well placed. And since the Christian god does whatever the believer says it does (notice how quick believers are to explain why their god won't heal amputees, for instance), the likelihood that his god is simply a figment of his imagination is simply too compelling to ignore."

Trinity also keeps harping on how it is my burden to prove that his god is imaginary. Let me defer to Dawson again, who writes from the same blog entry:

"I'm under no obligation to disprove any claim, especially if the person issuing the claim can't prove it in the first place. Moreover, if he claims that something exists but fails to identify a clear and reliable method by which one can distinguish between the thing he claims exists and what he may merely be imagining, then I reserve the liberty to take solace in the fact that he may very well be delusional. Besides, it's not a matter of understanding the nature of what is claimed; theists use concepts to describe their god, concepts whose basis could only be the real world in which we live to the extent that those concepts are legitimate. So as long as those concepts have objective meaning, I have no problem understanding what is being claimed. The problem arises in that they use these concepts, concepts which originate in the finite, corporeal, natural and corruptible realm to describe something that is supposed to be infinite, incorporeal, supernatural and incorruptible. Legitimate concepts find their legitimacy ultimately in what we perceive and the process by which we formed those concepts. Concepts whose basis is the natural world and the natural process we use to form them could have no reference to something that allegedly exists in some alleged realm contradicting the natural world."

Trinity, like TruthTRUTH, has been answered. "Double Whammy" indeed!

Ydemoc

October 31, 2011 11:36 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

"Trinity, like TruthTRUTH, has been answered. "Double Whammy" indeed"



Not Really.

God is invisible. My claim is that you know God exists. Which I have shown already. You are the one saying he is imaginary. The burden is on you. I am still waiting for an argument from you. You ever going to present it?


Before I respond to your other post. Here is a question:

What's the difference between "Ydemoc is home" and "A is B"?

October 31, 2011 2:08 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote, for the umpteenth time:

"God is invisible. My claim is that you know God exists. Which I have shown already. You are the one saying he is imaginary. The burden is on you. I am still waiting for an argument from you. You ever going to present it?"

Trinity should re-read in its entirety (if he even has read the whole thing to begin with) Dawson's blog: "A Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist" (July 15, 2011). There he will find an answer to his question regarding an argument as to his worship of an imaginary being.

For further education, I recommend Dawson's "Is the 'Immaterial' Actually Imaginary?" (June 24, 2009) and "The Imaginative Nature of Christian Theism," (May 7, 2010).

As for the question of who has the burden:

"The atheist has no burden of proof because no one needs to prove that the non-existent does not exist. If the Christian god does not exist, no one needs to prove that it does not exist; in that case it simply doesn’t exist, and people either accept this or live in denial, hoping that it does exist. Again, the theist is asserting the existence of an entity, an entity which he says exists beyond our ability to perceive (so we have no means by which we can have direct awareness of it), beyond our ability to measure (so we could never know how to integrate it conceptually into the sum of our knowledge), beyond our ability to prove (for proof requires evidence, and legitimate evidence is finite while the Christian god is said to be infinite). We are expected to accept as knowledge something that we could never know, given the characteristics Christians use to describe their god. At best, we can only use our imaginations to "know" such a being, and yet it needs to be borne in mind that the imaginary is not real. So not only does the theist bear the burden of proof, he also boobytraps any attempt at proof given the nature of his god-belief claims. This accounts for why so many theists resent the burden of proof being put on their shoulders: deep down they know it's a hopeless task, because deep down they know their claims are simply not true." (Dawson Bethrick)

"Proof requires measurability, and the supernatural is "beyond measure." The supernatural is, according to Bahnsen, "whatever surpasses the limits of nature" (Always Ready, p. 177). Whatever "the supernatural" might be, it must be so unlimited that it is beyond any means of measurement. This already puts it outside the realm of rational knowledge, for it violates a basic principle of concept-formation, namely that the measurements belonging to units integrated into a concept "must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity" (ITOE, p. 12). So whatever it is that theists call "supernatural," it cannot be integrated into the sum of human knowledge (since by its very description it defies a fundamental rule of knowledge integration), and yet we are expected to accept it as knowledge." (Dawson Bethrick)

And the "Whammies!" just keep on comin'!


Ydemoc

October 31, 2011 2:56 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc
Hey sorry I have been been away. Busy with Halloween festivities. I was going to reply to Nide's latest but you beat me to the punch and in better form as well:) Keep up the good work!

October 31, 2011 3:11 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Justin wrote: "Hey sorry I have been been away. Busy with Halloween festivities. I was going to reply to Nide's latest but you beat me to the punch and in better form as well:) Keep up the good work!"

Thanks, Justin! It's always a pleasure to be able to read and refer to Dawson's writings when answering questions from Trinity.

As Dawson mentioned months ago, many of the more intelligible questions that Trinity and other apologists ask have already been answered within his writings.

And I look forward to your continued responses to Trinity as well.

Ydemoc

October 31, 2011 4:29 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Hello Dawson,

"And the "Whammies!" just keep on comin'!"

Not really. You're rant doesn't apply here. If my argument was that God exists then yea. However, the argument is that you know he exist.

Is it because you can't see him?

Do invisible things exist?






P.S. What's the difference between "Dawson is home" and "A is B"?

October 31, 2011 6:04 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "You called God a cannibal(even though God never ate anyone) but that's why I asked if you are a vegetarian. So, are you?"

No. I am not a vegetarian, but I am also not a big red-meat eater, and haven't been for quite some time. But I do enjoy fish, chicken, turkey, egg whites, yogurt, etc.

Anyway, you say that your god never ate anyone. Okay. But I'm not sure biblical references to your eating of not eating anyone matters that much. Because, given how Christians and the bible describe their god, your god, is, in fact, has to be a cannibal. Consider:

A god that not only knows EVERYTHING, and thought of EVERYTHING, and created EVERYTHING would have to have known, conceived of, and created cannibalism, right? Do you think that if you had the chance to ask your god what human flesh tastes like, that he could not tell you exactly what it tastes like, even without having physically tasted it? Given his miraculous powers, he could make you yourself taste it without you even physically eating anything, could he not?

Also, the fact that your god created everything, this would have to include any incidents of cannibalism from the dawn of time, would it not? Including the following incidents that we read about in the pages of your storybook:

"I also will do this unto you... You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it." -- Leviticus 26:16

"And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat." -- Leviticus 26:29

"And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters." -- Deuteronomy 28:53

"And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them." -- Deuteronomy 28:57

"Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire: no man shall spare his brother. And he shall snatch on the right hand, and be hungry; and he shall eat on the left hand, and they shall not be satisfied: they shall eat every man the flesh of his own arm." -- Isaiah 9:19-20

"And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine." -- Isaiah 49:26

(continued)

October 31, 2011 6:36 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

"And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend." -- Jeremiah 19:9

"Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers." -- Ezekiel 5:10

"I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another." -- Zechariah 11:9

"This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him." 2 Kings 6:28-29

"The hands of the pitiful women have sodden their own children: they were their meat." -- Lamentations 4:10

"Who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron." -- Micah 3:2-3

"Heap on wood, kindle the fire, consume the flesh, and spice it well, and let the bones be burned. Then set it empty upon the coals thereof, that the brass of it may be hot, and may burn, and that the filthiness of it may be molten in it, that the scum of it may be consumed. She hath wearied herself with lies, and her great scum went not forth out of her: her scum shall be in the fire. -- Ezekiel 24:10-12

Yes, for a non-cannibalistic, all-loving, non-imaginary deity, your god sure seems to know about and inspire quite a bit of cannibalism. And I haven't even mentioned transubstantiation.

Ydemoc

October 31, 2011 6:36 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Hello Ydemoc,

The burden is on you. How about an argument?

October 31, 2011 6:51 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

So the question becomes not is your god a cannibal, but how can your god *not* be a cannibal?

Ydemoc

October 31, 2011 6:54 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "The burden is on you. How about an argument?"

See above.

Ydemoc

October 31, 2011 7:01 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

So, no argument?

October 31, 2011 7:19 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity, you have been answered, time and time again, not only by Dawson, but also by Justin, ActionJackson, Robert, Dylan, Drew, PatternRecognition, Caffeine Addicted, Secular Walk, me and others.

If you need clarification of any of the answers you have received thus far, here is a list of Dawson's writings. Why don't you give them a read and educate yourself.

Ydemoc


235. The Storybook Worldview - July 21, 2010

234. The Biological Nature of Consciousness - June 25, 2010

233. Was I Ever a Presuppositionalist? - June 22, 2010

232. A Response to David Smart on Arrogance - June 18, 2010

231. Answering Hutchinson’s Critique of Objectivism - June 11, 2010

230. Is Atheism Inherently Arrogant? - June 4, 2010

229. TAG: Precariously Straddling the Horns of a Nasty Dilemma - May 21, 2010

228. My Suppressed Comment Regarding TAG on Choosing Hats - May 19, 2010

227. The Imaginative Nature of Christian Theism - May 7, 2010

226. If Knowledge Then Non-Theism - April 4, 2010

225. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Five - March 26, 2010

224. Bolt's Pile of Knapp, Pt. 5 - March 23, 2010

223. Bolt's Pile of Knapp, Pt. 4 - March 22, 2010

222. Bolt's Pile of Knapp, Pt. 3 - March 21, 2010

221. Bolt's Pile of Knapp, Pt. 2 - March 20, 2010

220. Bolt's Pile of Knapp, Pt. 1 - March 19, 2010

219. Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Irrefutable Evidence that Christianity is True! - March 13, 2010

218. John Robbins and the Foreclosure of His Critique of Objectivism - March 11, 2010

217. Causality as a Necessary Relationship - March 10, 2010

216. Humean Causality and Presuppositionalism - March 5, 2010

215. The Uniformity of Nature - February 12, 2010

214. How Theism Violates the Primacy of Existence - February 5, 2010

213. Are Non-Christians Unable to "Account For" Their Counting? - January 9, 2010

212. The Argument from Predication - December 26, 2009

211. Kreeft on the Design Argument - November 21, 2009

210. Bolt on Evidence and the Need to Take a Claim Seriously - October 14, 2009

209. Chris Bolt on Hume and Induction - October 7, 2009

208. Natural Revelation: Direct Apprehension or Inference? - September 11, 2009

207. Can the Water in My Drinking Glass Turn into Merlot? - September 9, 2009

206. Bolt's Leaking Boat - September 6, 2009

205. Bolt's Loose Screws - September 4, 2009

204. Chris Bolt's Questions - September 1, 2009

203. Response to MadMax - August 31, 2009

202. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge – Part 9: Supernatural Deception - August 28, 2009

201. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge – Part 8: The “Impossibility of the Contrary” - August 26, 2009

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:15 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

200. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge – Part 7: Rival Epistemologies - August 25, 2009

199. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge – Part 6: RK on the Christian’s “Certainty” - August 24, 2009

198. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge – Part 5: Exodus 3:14 - August 21, 2009

197. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge – Part 4: RK on Man’s “Warrant” for Using Logic - August 20, 2009

196. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge – Part 3: RK’s “No Brute Facts” Claim - August 19, 2009

195. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge - Part 2: RK's Axioms - August 18, 2009

194. RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge - Part 1: Overview of RK's Epistemology - August 13, 2009

193. A Rejoinder to Chris Bolt - July 26, 2009

192. Chris Bolt on the Conditions of Knowledge - July 24, 2009

191. The Concept of Chance: Right and Wrong Uses - July 10, 2009

190. Does Logic Presuppose the Christian God? Part II: Reasons Why Logic Cannot Presuppose the Christian God, #4: The Trinity - July 8, 2009

189. Does Logic Presuppose the Christian God? Part II: Reasons Why Logic Cannot Presuppose the Christian God, #3: Contradictions in Christ - July 6, 2009

188. Does Logic Presuppose the Christian God? Part II: Reasons Why Logic Cannot Presuppose the Christian God, #2: Christianity’s Lack of Concept Theory - July 4, 2009

187. Does Logic Presuppose the Christian God? Part II: Reasons Why Logic Cannot Presuppose the Christian God, #1: Christianity’s Lack of Objectivity - July 2, 2009

186. Does Logic Presuppose the Christian God? Part I: Examining the Presuppositionalist Viewpoint - June 29, 2009

185. Is Existence Merely an Attribute? - June 26, 2009

184. Is the "Immaterial" Actually Imaginary? - June 24, 2009

183. Demystifying Universality - June 22, 2009

182. Theistic Misuse of the Concepts of Meaning, Value and Purpose - June 19, 2009

181. The "Necessary Being" vs. "Contingent Being" Argument - May 22, 2009

180. Non-Cognitivism or Metaphysical Primacy: What's the Better Strategy? - May 15, 2009

179. "Ultimate Questions" - April 28, 2009

178. Q and A on Atheism - April 7, 2009

177. Three Questions on the Resurrection - April 4, 2009

176. Was Jesus a Great Moral Teacher? - April 1, 2009

175. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Four - March 26, 2009

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:18 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

174. A Response to Josh Ratliff on the "Creed" in I Corinthians 15 - March 24, 2009

173. Legends, Lüdemann, and Inductive Inference - March 23, 2009

172. Pass the Pepto Baptismal: The "Hell Being Community" at Wat Phai Rong Wua - March 21, 2009

171. Was Adam Created Perfect? - March 19, 2009

170. Off to Asia! - February 6, 2009

169. Do Objectivists Try to Define God Out of Existence? - January 1, 2009

168. The Inherent Subjectivism of God-belief - December 26, 2008

167. Could the Christian God Be Rational? - December 7, 2008

166. Thoughts on Recent Comments by Vytautas - December 6, 2008

165. Rival Philosophies of Fact - November 9, 2008

164. A Reply to Tennant on Theistic Foundationalism vs. the Objectivist Axioms - October 24, 2008

163. Paul's Ignorance of the Earthly Jesus, Part 3: Claims 8-14 - September 24, 2008

162. Paul's Ignorance of the Earthly Jesus, Part 2: Claims 1-7 - September 23, 2008

161. Paul's Ignorance of the Earthly Jesus, Part 1: Prologue and Preliminary Basics - September 22, 2008

160. Geisler-Turek Reflux - September 21, 2008

159. Another Response to David, Part 7: The Anatomy of Legend and the Ruse of Revelation - September 17, 2008

158. Another Response to David, Part 6: Signs of the Legend - September 16, 2008

157. Another Response to David, Part 5: Paul's Knowledge of Jesus - August 29, 2008

156. Another Response to David, Part 4: Paul, Q and Groping Traditions - August 28, 2008

155. Another Response to David, Part 3: The Usual Pagan Suspects - August 27, 2008

154. Another Response to David, Part 2: The Witness of Paul - August 26, 2008

153. Another Response to David, Part 1: The Charge of Strawman - August 25, 2008

152. In Response to David on I Corinthians 15:3-8 - July 29, 2008

151. Is I Corinthians 15:3-8 'Too Early' to Be Legend? - July 27, 2008

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:19 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

150. [SIC] - July 13, 2008

149. Before the Beginning: The Problem of Divine Lonesomeness - July 11, 2008

148. Dodging the Subject-Object Relationship - June 21, 2008

147. Stolen Concepts and Intellectual Parasitism - June 13, 2008

146. Faith as Hope in the Imaginary - June 5, 2008

145. God the Father: A Father of Love? - May 16, 2008

144. The Double Whammy - April 6, 2008

143. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Three - March 26, 2008

142. Quixie on Witherington on Doherty - March 16, 2008

141. Presuppositionalism and the Evasion of the Burden of Proof, Part 3 - February 4, 2008

140. Presuppositionalism and the Evasion of the Burden of Proof, Part 2 - February 3, 2008

139. Presuppositionalism and the Evasion of the Burden of Proof, Part 1 - February 1, 2008

138. The Imaginative Basis of Vytautas' God-Belief, Part 5 - January 18, 2008

137. The Imaginative Basis of Vytautas' God-Belief, Part 4 - January 17, 2008

136. The Imaginative Basis of Vytautas' God-Belief, Part 3 - January 14, 2008

135. The Imaginative Basis of Vytautas' God-Belief, Part 2 - January 13, 2008

134. The Imaginative Basis of Vytautas' God-Belief, Part 1 - January 11, 2008

133. A Response to Vytautas - January 6, 2008

132. Van Til vs. Bahnsen - January 2, 2008

131. My Chat with a Presuppositionalist - December 27, 2007

130. D. James Kennedy's Impotent Jesus - November 26, 2007

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:22 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

129. Lord Oda's "Problem with Pain" - October 4, 2007

128. Lord Oda on Faith - October 2, 2007

127. Singhing the Greg Bahnsen Blues - September 25, 2007

126. Roadmap to Bahnsen on the Supernatural - September 23, 2007

125. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 18: Final Assessment and Conclusion - September 21, 2007

124. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 17: "Naturalism versus Supernaturalism as Worldviews" - September 19, 2007

123. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 16: "No Predictability" - September 17, 2007

122. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 15: "Further Difficulties" - September 11, 2007

121. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 14: "Philosophical Self-Deception" - September 9, 2007

120. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 13: "Double Standards and Begging the Question" - September 7, 2007

119. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 12: "Logical Positivism" - September 5, 2007

118. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 11: "The Case Against Metaphysics" - September 3, 2007

117. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 10: "Pure Motives?" - August 31, 2007

116. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 9: "Suprasensible Reality" - August 29, 2007

115. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 8: "Ultimate Questions" - August 27, 2007

114. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 7: "Distinguishing Appearance from Reality" - August 25, 2007

113. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 6: "The Christian Metaphysic" - August 23, 2007

112. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 5: "A Comprehensive Metaphysic" - August 21, 2007

111. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 4: "Fundamental Distinctions" - August 19, 2007

110. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 3: "Defining the Metaphysical" - August 17, 2007

109. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 2: "The Reproach of the Transcendent" - August 15, 2007

108. Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" Part 1: Introduction - August 13, 2007

107. The Presuppositionalist View of Man’s Consciousness - August 1, 2007

106. The Role of Imagination in Christian God-Belief - July 17, 2007

105. The Problem of Saul - June 30, 2007

104. The Moral Uselessness of the 10 Commandments - May 22, 2007

103. A Succinct Summary of My Worldview - May 21, 2007

102. Answering Ecualegacy, Pt. 4 - May 20, 2007

101. Answering Ecualegacy, Pt. 3 - May 17, 2007

100. Answering Ecualegacy, Pt. 2 - May 15, 2007

99. Answering Ecualegacy, Pt. 1 - May 13, 2007

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:24 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

98. Jet's Flimsy Denials - May 2, 2007

97. More Piqued Pike - April 29, 2007

96. Pike's Pique - April 28, 2007

95. Pike on Concepts and Omniscience - April 27, 2007

94. Would an Omniscient Mind Have Knowledge in Conceptual Form? - April 24, 2007

93. Christian Reaction to Virginia Tech - April 22, 2007

92. Virginia Tech - April 18, 2007

91. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Two - March 26, 2007

90. Inerrancy... Christian Style - March 24, 2007

89. Common Ground Part 7: Consequences of Division - March 22, 2007

88. Common Ground Part 6: Cooperation - March 20, 2007

87. Common Ground Part 5: Ethics - March 18, 2007

86. Common Ground Part 4: Epistemology - March 10, 2007

85. Common Ground Part 3: Metaphysics - March 8, 2007

84. Common Ground Part 2: The Standard of Evaluation - March 6, 2007

83. Common Ground Part 1: What Do Believers and Non-Believers Have in Common? - March 4, 2007

82. Exapologist's Message to Non-Theists - February 17, 2007

81. The Ominous Parallels Between Presuppositionalism and Drug Addiction - February 6, 2007

80. Faith as Belief Without Understanding - January 1, 2007

79. Paul's "Necessary Propositions" - December 24, 2006

78. Theism and Subjective Metaphysics - December 19, 2006

77. Apologetic Evasion Overload - December 17, 2006

76. Reveling in Reversals - December 15, 2006

75. Paulianna Apologetics - December 13, 2006

74. Chronic Manatism: Boy Wonder and His Invisible Magic Being - December 11, 2006

73 Wishing and the Christian Deity - December 9, 2006

72. The Axioms and the Primacy of Existence - December 7, 2006

71. "Do unto others..." - November 23, 2006

70. Those Delicate Christian Sensibilities - October 28, 2006

69. Is the Expression 'Invisible Magic Being' "Pejorative"? - October 22, 2006

68. Gods and Square Circles - October 12, 2006

67. Frame's Summary of Van Til's OMA - September 30, 2006

66. Christianity: The Imaginary Friend's Network - August 29, 2006

65. Responding to Chris - July 30, 2006

64. Theism and Its Piggyback Starting Point - July 28, 2006

63. Slam Dunk! - July 12, 2006

62. A.S.A. Jones on the Age-Old Rock Question - July 9, 2006

61. Metaphysical Subjectivism and Christianity's Cartoon Universe, Pt. 2 - July 6, 2006

60. Metaphysical Subjectivism and Christianity's Cartoon Universe, Pt. 1 - July 5, 2006

59. See, I told you so! - July 3, 2006

58. Carr vs. Cole - June 29, 2006

57. A Response to Paul - June 26, 2006

56. Steve's Persisting Haysiness - June 24, 2006

55. The Strengths of the Cartoon Universe Analogy - June 22, 2006

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:25 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

54. Steve's Hays-ty Reaction to the Cartoon Universe Premise of His Worldview - June 21, 2006

53. Hays on the Cartoon Universe Premise of Theism - June 19, 2006

52. Seeing Through the Hays - June 6, 2006

51. Manata Overboard: Adrift and Without a Paddle - June 2, 2006

50. Did the Author of I Peter See the Risen Jesus of the Gospels? - May 27, 2006

49. Jason and the Halluci-Nots - May 12, 2006

48. Basic Contra-Theism - May 4, 2006

47. Christian Insecurity: A Case Study - May 2, 2006

46. Manata's Powers of Flawgic - April 26, 2006

45. Hitler vs. Mother Theresa: Antithesis or Symbiosis? - April 7, 2006

44. Responding to Pavielle - March 29, 2006

43. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year One - March 26, 2006

42. Confessions of a Vantillian Subjectivist - March 23, 2006

41. Calvindude's Defense of Christianity's Moral Bankruptcy - March 16, 2006

40. Rational Morality vs. Presuppositional Apologetics - March 9, 2006

39. Will the Real TAG Please Stand Up? - March 1, 2006

38. In the beginning... - February 23, 2006

37. Presuppositionalism and the Argument from Ignorance - February 3, 2006

36. Dear Sal - January 10, 2006

35. With Minds of Children - December 28, 2005

34. Bahnsen's Poof Revisited - November 28, 2005

33. Bahnsen's Three Charges of Prejudice - November 23, 2005

32. What Happened to Paul? - November 14, 2005

31. Tape Loop Apologetics - November 1, 2005

30. Probing Manata's Poor Understanding of the Axioms - October 4, 2005

29. Reckless Apologetic Presumptuousness - September 24, 2005

28. Is the Contrary to Christianity Truly Impossible? - September 18, 2005

27. Christ Jesus: Still a Jumble of Contradicitons - August 18, 2005

26. Christianity and the Worship of Contradiction - August 4, 2005

25. Only Two Worldviews? - July 24, 2005

24. Is the Assumption of the Christian God Axiomatic? - June 26, 2005

23. Can Reformed Christians Count? - June 7, 2005

22. Is Human Experience Evidence of the Christian God? - June 6, 2005

21. No "might be" About It: I AM an Atheist - June 2, 2005

20. Is Man "Created in the Image of God"? - May 31, 2005

19. Cooking with Gene's Arbitrary Presuppositions - May 22, 2005

18. Arbitrary Presupposition vs. Reasoned Conclusion - May 20, 2005

17. I Don't Believe It - May 9, 2005

16. Five Hundred Anonymous Witnesses - May 8, 2005

15. The Real Genesis Creation Account - May 6, 2005

14. Difficulty Keeping the Party Line Straight - May 2, 2005

13. Paul's Argument from Desperation - April 21, 2005

12. From the Horse's Mouth: Apologists Shooting Themselves in the Foot - April 20, 2005

11. Putting Paul's TAG to the Geusha Test - April 15, 2005

10. Do I Borrow My Morality from the Christian Worldview? - April 14, 2005

9. Omnipotence and Sovereignty in the Cartoon Universe - April 4, 2005

8. The "God's Good Pleasure" Principle and the Cartoon Universe Premise - April 2, 2005

7. Paul's Empty Sling - April 1, 2005

6. Thus Saith the Lord and His Spokesman: "Shut Down Thy Mind!" - April 1, 2005

5. The Cartoon Universe of Theism - March 30, 2005

4. Christianity vs. Objective Morality - March 29, 2005

3. Bahnsen's Poof - March 28, 2005

2. John Frame vs. the Human Thinker - March 27, 2005

1. Presuppositionalism vs. Causality - March 26, 2005

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:26 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

And from Katholon.com

Aquinas' 'Five Ways' and the Primacy of Consciousness (14 kb) - This short essay shows how Aquinas' famous arguments for the existence of a god do not adequately deal with the issue of metaphysical primacy and can only be accepted on the basis of the primacy of consciousness view, which is false.

Christianity and Circular Reasoning (10 kb) - An open letter to the webmaster of the Who Is Jesus? website considering the essay What if Christians are guilty of circular reasoning?

Hearn's "Objective Morality": A Critique (49 kb) - An interaction with Mr. Brian Hearn's essay Objective Morality, which attempts to show that Christian morality is objective.

A Response to Ron Rhodes (78 kb) - A critique of Rhodes' Strategies for Dialoguing with Atheists, which is supposed to be a kind of primer for Christians who want to reinforce their low opinion of atheists.

The Primacy of Existence: A Validation (16 kb) - A brief guided tour of the conscious experience which explains and demonstrates the truth of the primacy of existence principle. (Originally posted on the Apologetics.com Discussion Forum.)

Bahnsen's Poof (31 kb) - An examination of Greg Bahnsen's non-argument for the existence of God presented in his opening statement at his over-celebrated debate with atheist scientist Gordon Stein in February, 1985. (Originally published on the All Bahnsen List in May 2004; reproduced on Katholon in memoriam of the would-be debate on its 20th anniversary.)

The Evader (23 kb) - A short one-act play illustrating the essence of my dialogue with presuppositional apologist Paul Manata that resulted after it was pointed out to him that Bahnsen never really did put forth an argument in his debate with Dr. Gordon Stein.

The Contra-Pike Files (481 kb) - All my posts (140 pages) to Christian apologist Peter Pike's Calvin Board when he was hosting it back in the spring of 2003. The Calvin Board is no longer up, and Peter has recently confirmed to me that there is no archive of the messages that were posted to it available. But at least my work did not go into a void. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:29 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Reckless Apologetic Presumptuousness (43 kb) - Originally posted to my blog Incinerating Presuppositionalism on September 24, 2005, this essay details the vast differences between the Jesus of the Pauline letters and the Jesus of the gospels, and shows how even tutored Christian apologists seem completely oblivious to them. Features a list of details taken from the gospels that are nowhere even hinted at in the apostle's many letters.

Gods and Square Circles (253 kb) - My response to Jason Dulle, who sought to take me to task for comparing belief in god with belief in square circles.

Bahnsen on "Knowing the Supernatural" (424 kb) - Originally published in 18 installments on my blog, this is a comprehensive examination of the 31st chapter of Greg Bahnsen's book Always Ready, "The Problem of Knowing the 'Super-Natural'." Never again shall Christian apologists accuse non-believers of an "unjustified bias" against supernaturalism and think they can get away with it. Also available in PDF format

Stolen Concepts and Intellectual Parasitism (45 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this paper discusses the differences between the fallacy of the stolen concept and the vice of intellectual parasitism, and their twin roles in Christian theism.

Dodging the Subject-Object Relationship (33 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this paper examines how Christian theism attempts to evade the implications of the subject-object relationship which provides the foundations of human knowledge.

The Problem of Divine Lonesomeness (61 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this essay points out two fatal implications of the notion of a creator deity like that described by Christianity.

Would an Omniscient Mind Have Knowledge in Conceptual Form? (35 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this essay argues for the conclusion that an omniscient mind would not have its knowledge in the form of concepts.
Pike on Concepts and Omniscience (32 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this essay is a comprehensive interaction with Peter Pike's reaction to my essay Would an Omniscient Mind Have Knowledge in Conceptual Form?.

Pike's Pique (39 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this paper interacts with another reaction by Peter Pike to my essay Would an Omniscient Mind Have Knowledge in Conceptual Form?. It just gets more embarrassing for Mr. Pike at this point.
MorePiqued Pike (32 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this paper interacts with yet another reaction by Peter Pike to my essay Would an Omniscient Mind Have Knowledge in Conceptual Form?. With this installment, Pike seemed to have learned his lesson and stopped embarrassing himself.

The Role of Imagination in Christian God-Belief (35 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this essay explores the fundamental role which the believer's imagination plays in his religious experience and worldview.

The Moral Uselessness of the 10 Commandments (17 kb) - Another essay which originally appeared on my blog, showing why the 10 commandments, so often cited by Christian apologists as an example of the Christian worldview's "authority" in matters pertaining to morality, are morally useless to rational individuals.

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:31 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Basic Contra-Theism (26 kb) - Also originally appearing on my blog, this is an easy-to-follow primer on fundamental reasons why it is irrational to suppose that the universe was created by a supernatural consciousness.

Could the Christian God Be Rational? (15 kb) - Originally published on my blog, this paper explores the common Christian claim that the Christian god is rational. I point out several clear reasons why this could not be the case, given the other attributes which the Christian god is said to possess.

Do Objectivists Try to "Define God Out of Existence"? (35 kb) - First published on my blog, this article interacts with the claim, repeated by a Christian apologist, that, from his point of view, Objectivists appear to be "defining" the Christian god out of existence. I explain why this is not the case, and also point out some delicious counter-points in the meantime.

The Inherent Subjectivism of Theism (66 kb) - In this paper which comes from my blog, I present a solid argument for why theism is inherently subjectivism (just as the title suggests!). I include a critique of my argument written by a Christian, as well as my rejoinder to his criticisms.

How Theism Violates the Primacy of Existence (170 kb) - First published on my blog here, this is a companion piece to The Inherent Subjectivism of Theism. This paper explains exactly how theism violates the metaphysical primacy of existence, a premise which must be assumed even in denying it. In this very sense, theism inherently rests on a fundamental instance of the stolen concept fallacy.

Does Logic Presuppose the Christian God? This five-part essay examines the presuppositional case for the view that logic presupposes the Christian god, finds that case to be insurmountably wanting, and offers four fundamental reasons why the logic could not presuppose the Christian god.

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:33 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Rival Philosophies of Fact (67 kb) - Cornelius Van Til writes: "I would not talk endlessly about facts and more facts without challenging the unbeliever's philosophy of fact" (A Christian Theory of Knowledge, p. 293). In this paper I set the Christian "theory of fact" against that found in Objectivist philosophy side by side, giving both a fair hearing and determining which is the only theory which "makes sense."

The Imaginative Nature of Christian Theism (61 kb) - Known as "the Dreadful Thirteen" to Christian believers, this paper details 13 devastating reasons showing why Christian theism is inherently based on imagination.

A Critique of Sye Ten Bruggencate's www.proofthatgodexists.org (96 kb) - A brief but comprehensive examination of Christian apologist Sye Ten Bruggencate's website which seeks to prove the existence of the Christian god.

Dawson Takes On CARM:

CONTRA CARM (index) - Seven articles which comprehensively demolish several essays found on the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry website.

Also see...

Incinerating Presuppositionalism: (index) Archives of my blog (in PDF format).

Dawson's Posts (index) - Click here to read my 67 posts to the Theism vs. Atheism Web

The Cartoon Universe of Christianity (index) - Click here to read the transcripts of all 11 of my blog articles on the cartoon universe analogy.

RazorsKiss on the Christian God as the Basis of Knowledge (index) - A thorough interaction with one presuppositionalist's attempt to defend the view that the Christian god is the necessary precondition for knowledge.

Resourses on the Problem of Induction (index) - A series of articles devoted to David Hume's problem of induction, the nature of causality, and the failure of the presuppositionalist attempt to use this problem against non-Christians.

The Argument from Metaphysical Primacy: A Debate: An indepth exchange between myself and amateur apologist Paul Manata concerning an argument I presented proving that Christianity assumes subjectivism in its metaphysics. Watch as Mr. Manata tries to wriggle out of some very persistent tight spots.

The Axioms and the Primacy of Existence: A comprehensive rebuttal to amateur apologist Paul Manata who sought to employ a most perfidious disunderstanding of the relationship between the axioms and the primacy of existence principle as a means of critiquing Objectivism and its rejection of theism.

Contra Dusman: My posts to a thread in the Unchained Radio forums.

Bolt's Pile of Knapp: My interaction with Chris Bolt's reaction to my blog The Uniformity of Nature. Bolt, a presuppositionalist apologist, found it necessary to post a response to my position on the uniformity of nature because my position poses a lethal threat to the presuppositionalist tactic of challenging non-believers to "account for" the uniformity of nature in the interest of answering David Hume's "problem of induction."

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:34 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Paul, the Historicity of the Gospel Jesus, and Early Non-Christian Testimony: My comments in a thread which developed in response to Bart Willruth's blog Where is the 800 pound gorilla? on Debunking Christianity in which I defend my own take on the legend theory against the challenge which early non-Christian testimony is supposed by Christians to bring against it.

A Reply to Anderson: On Realism, Conceptualism and the Objectivist Theory of Concepts: My response to James Anderson's comments which he posted to my blog Frame's Summary of Van Til's OMA. In his ignorance of the Objectivist theory of concepts, which my analysis of John Frame's summary of Cornelius Van Til's "One-Many Argument" assumes, Christian apologist James Anderson sought, unsuccessfully, to uncover a significant internal inconsistency between Objectivism's primacy of existence principle and the understanding of "universals" assumed in my blog entry.

The Transcendental Nature of Presuppositional Argument: My transcription of section 7.4 of Greg Bahnsen's Van Til's Apologetic: Readings & Analysis, pp. 496-529.

In the beginning...: Undoubtedly this picture probably best represents what happened when men began to believe in a god.

Calvinism vs. Arminianism in the New Testament: On page 19 of his book The Mind of the Bible Believer, Edmond Cohen lists 133 verses "clearly militating in favor of Calvinism" and 23 verses "clearly militating in favor of Arminianism." On this page you will find those collections of NT verses in all their glory

The "Maverick Philosopher" on Objectivism: An internet writer who calls himself "the Maverick Philosopher" wrote a series of blogs criticizing brief statements made by Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff. In this article, an edited version of a comment I made to this blog of mine in January 2009, I review those criticisms.

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:36 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

The "Hell Being Community" at Wat Phai Rong Wua: My photographic documentary of a hell "theme park" at a large temple in Suphanburi province, Thailand. These photos were taken in February of 2009. This is what "Buddhist hell" is apparently supposed to be like.

John Calvin vs. Ayn Rand Or, The Theological Theatrics of John Robbins: Journalist Jim Peron's review of John Robbins' book Without a Prayer: Ayn Rand and the Close of Her System.

Has Objectivism Been Refuted?: Philosopher Bryan Register's review of John Robbins' book Without a Prayer: Ayn Rand and the Close of Her System.

Slick's Fuss: A Review of CARM's "Is Atheism Viable?" (30kb) - In this essay, I interact with Matt Slick's essay Is Atheism Viable?, which is a typical Christian attempt to denigrate those who do not buy the bull. Slick even put up a response to my interaction! (Note that Slick does not include links back to my article.)

Slick's Folly: A Review of CARM's "I lack belief in a god" (40kb) - This is a comprehensive response, in the form of a dialogue, to Matt Slick's essay "I lack belief in a god", an essay intended to establish the view that atheism is not justified on the grounds of a lack of evidence.

Slick's Foolery: A Review of CARM's "I don't' see any convincing evidence for the existence of God" [sic] (22kb) - Another point-by-point response to Matt Slick, this time to his essay "I don't' see any convincing evidence for the existence of God", which is intended to revise the concept of evidence in order to allow virtually anything to qualify as evidence for the existence of Slick's god.

Slick's Sleight of Hand: A Review of Matt Slick's Rebuttal to My Criticism (238 kb) - A very long, very comprehensive responssse to Matt Slick's Another response to criticism of "Is Atheism Viable?", an essay which Slick wrote (apparently in haste) in response to my essay Slick's Fuss (above).

(continued)

October 31, 2011 8:37 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Obliterating Slick's Straw Man (45 kb) - Here is Dawson's response to Slick's Atheism, Evolution, and Purpose, which is a version of the tired, outworn assertion that purpose in life necessarily points to the Christian god.

Slick's Version of TAG (58 kb) - A thorough rebuttal to Matt Slick's attttempt to defend the so-called "transcendental argument for the existence of God," which is showcased in his essay The Christian Worldview, the Atheist Worldview, and Logic. This is the "argument" (more accurately, a series of unconnected assertions) which tries to conclude that a specifically non-Christian worldview (and especially a worldview which is not theistic in nature) cannot "account for the laws of logic." The background assumption is, of course, that the Christian worldview, with its assertion of a mighty ruling consciousness, can "account for the laws of logic." In meticulous fashion, I show why this kind of argument can only fail.

Examining CARM's "Entropy Argument" (30 kb) - Here is my full answer to Matt Slick's Entropy and Causality used as a proof for God's existence, a variation of the cosmological argument that attempts to construe natural physical concepts into evidence for the supernatural.

October 31, 2011 8:38 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Oh, and I forgot a few:

236. Is the Christian God’s Existence “Self-Evident”? - July 25, 2010

237. Nocterro’s Anti-Objectivist Pseudo-Terrorism - July 31, 2010

238. A Critique of Sye Ten Bruggencate’s www.proofthatgodexists.org - August 27, 2010

239. My Squabble with Andrew - September 3, 2010

240. A Reply to Andrew Louis - September 5, 2010

241. Another Reply to Andrew Louis - September 7, 2010

242. Andrew Louis’ Persisting Confusions - September 11, 2010

243. Rick Warden’s Critique of Objectivism - October 7, 2010

244. Some Thoughts on Presuppositionalism and the Problem of Evil - October 22, 2010

245. A Knock at the Door - November 17, 2010

246. Was Ayn Rand “Dead Wrong”? - December 7, 2010

247. Does the Double Slit Experiment Refute the Primacy of Existence? - January 29, 2011

248. Thoughts on Gallup’s Religious Wellbeing Polls - February 25, 2011

249. On “Justifying” the “Inductive Principle” - March 16, 2011

October 31, 2011 8:41 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Gadget,

When you're ready to present an argument feel free to contact me.

October 31, 2011 8:42 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

of course it goes without saying that he will not actually investigate even a fraction of this nor objectively and critically ponder them. In his own words he said we should be conformists, in other words no principle of error correction in his thinking. Contempt prior to investigation is the guiding principle for him.

October 31, 2011 8:46 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Oh, and not to mention...

Friday, April 29, 2011
Imagine There's a Heaven

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
The Argument from the Unity of Knowledge

Thursday, June 02, 2011
Considering Tony's Offerings

Friday, July 22, 2011
Nide's Snide

Friday, July 15, 2011
A Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist

Saturday, August 27, 2011
STB: One Year and Still Waiting…

Friday, August 12, 2011
Five Years and Still Waiting...

Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Presuppositionalism vs. Objectivism: How Objectivism Prevails

Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Answering Nide's Questions about the Uniformity of Nature

Thursday, October 27, 2011
Has the Primacy of Existence Been Refuted?

October 31, 2011 8:46 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

speaking of argument or lack there of. Nide keeps claiming that we already know god. That is a claim to fact and he has presented no argument for it. Just repeating it over and over, that being the fallacy of Ad nauseam.

October 31, 2011 8:49 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Justin,

You are correct in your assessment regarding Trinity, but I had fun doing it, and if there are any fence-sitters lurking, perhaps my listings of Dawson's writings will spark an interest, and they will investigate.

Ydemoc

October 31, 2011 8:50 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Justin wrote: "speaking of argument or lack there of. Nide keeps claiming that we already know god. That is a claim to fact and he has presented no argument for it. Just repeating it over and over, that being the fallacy of Ad nauseam."

Good point, Justin. In one sense he's right: We already know what is imaginary is indeed imgaginary.

Ydemoc

October 31, 2011 8:53 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 31, 2011 8:57 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

and of course the real question is not whether god is imaginary or not, but how as rational beings using logic alone to gain knowledge are we supposed to be able to distinguish god from the imaginary.

October 31, 2011 8:57 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

correction, I should have said using reason alone to gain knowledge, subtle difference in meaning, but important none the less.

October 31, 2011 9:01 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

For Justin,

1. If the "atheist" lives like nature is uniform, He knows God exists.

2. The "atheist" does live like nature is uniform.

3. Therefore, He knows God exists.


Justin since Ydemoc is a little retarded. Maybe you can show him what an argument is or provide one for him. I would really appreciate it. Thanks

October 31, 2011 9:30 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 01, 2011 5:47 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Nide

you conclusion is just a restating of the second part of your first premise, thus the argument commits the fallacy of circular reasoning. The argument is invalid.

November 01, 2011 5:49 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

It's only circular in your mind Justin.

Can you provide an argument for Ydemoc?

November 01, 2011 6:33 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

I posted in haste this morning. Strictly speaking it is premise one that is the heart of the argument and it is that very premise that is not a given, It must be argued for. If it can be successfully argued for then the argument you posted is valid. But as it stands its conclusion is essentially just the first premise and thus it begs the question until premise one can be substantiated. Saying that it is only circular in my mind without actually trying to defend it is a weak reply. It is also a subtle ad hominem. Try again Nide.

November 01, 2011 7:38 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Everyone
Nide says that my assessment of his argument being circular is only in my mind. In other words I am mistaken in my assessment and it is not an objective fact that it is circular. Circular reasoning or begging the question is defined as having one or more of your premises being your conclusion. The conclusion of Nide’s argument, what he wants to convince us of is that we already in some way implicitly presuppose in some way god in the very act of thinking logically, in other words reason. Here is his first premise

If the "atheist" lives like nature is uniform, He knows God exists.

This premise is in fact his argument restated in a condensed form. Thus he is presupposing at the outset his desired conclusion. According to the rules of informal logic this would be an example of circular reasoning, A is A. The question now is, is Nide honest enough to stop asserting he has already shown that we presuppose god for clearly if this argument is the best he can provide to demonstrate that claim he has failed completely.

November 01, 2011 8:20 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Justin,

1. Only the Christian God keeps nature uniform.
2. Atheist live and act like nature is uniform.
C. Therefore, the atheist knows the Christian God.

November 01, 2011 8:34 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

That is much better, however I would reword the conclusion to say "Therefore, the atheist implicitly presupposes the existence of the christian god" The argument is now valid, but is it sound? I would dispute the first premise of your argument.

"1. Only the Christian God keeps nature uniform."

This is not a given and must be argued for. This is not perceptually self evident nor axiomatic. No scientific knowledge supports this assertion either. So I await you argument for premise one.

November 01, 2011 8:46 AM  
Blogger ActionJackson864 said...

"No scientific knowledge supports this assertion either. "

quote of the day here Justin.

I'll take this a step further: No scientific study or facts have ever supported the existence of any deity.

There has never been any conclusive scientific evidence for a deity throughout history...ever.

November 01, 2011 9:05 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity,

You performatively contradict yourself with your very first premise. You are making a truth statement, a statement about facts of reality. But concepts, statements and ones ability to make them are grounded upon certain fundamentals (Existence, Consciousness, and Identity, Primacy of Existence Principle). Yet, the CONTENT of of your claim ("God keeps nature uniform) attempts to undercut that which makes all statements of fact possible. You PERFOMATIVELY assume the truth of the Primacy of Existence by even making a statement, yet the CONTENT of your claim assets the opposite of the Primacy of Existence.

As Thorn writes: "Your worldview derails intelligibility from the very get-go, at its very foundation, by reversing the subject-object relationship. Your worldview essentially teaches that the object is something that the subject creates at will. Take the universe for example: you say that your god created the universe by an act of will. This reduces to utter subjectivism: the subject creates its objects, that is, consciousness holds metaphysical primacy over existence.

My worldview, on the other hand, affirms the very opposite principle, the primacy of existence principle. The object is what it is, regardless of the intentions of the subject. The subject doesn't create its objects, it discovers and identifies them. You cannot completely deny this in the case of man, but you completely deny it in the case of the god you claim exists. Thus, your worldview attempts to have its cake (the primacy of consciousness) and eat it, too (the primacy of existence) when you say all this is "true." The very concept of truth presupposes the proper orientation of the subject to its objects, which is the primacy of existence principle. But what you're claiming to be true reduces to the primacy of consciousness view, which is invalid. Since this internal contradiction is so central to everything in your worldview [88], you have no worthwhile worldview to the degree that it is consistent with its initial premise..." (Anton Thorn)

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 9:20 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

You stole my thunder, man I was going to wait a little while longer before hitting him with the stolen concept fallacy buried deep in his argument. However so right you are. If god makes everything uniform then there is no law of identity as such and no way to make factual claims. We have asked him before what the relationship is between the object of consciousness and the subject of consciousness is. He never answered.

On a tangent, I’d like to raise what I see as a lingustistic problem with the primary argument from existence. The choice of words, subject and object can lead to confusion because of how those words are used in common usage. We are used to speaking of the thing we are thinking about to be the subject and if it is something physical out there in external reality we call it an object. However in the argument from existence we speak of the subject as being the actual process of consciousness and what it is thinking about, its content to be the object regardless of weather it is a external physical object or not. To those you do not know the terminology of objectivism this can be confusing.

November 01, 2011 9:38 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ydemoc and AJ,

How about an argument?

By the way God is existence.

Justin,

Premise 1 "Only the Christian God keeps nature uniform."

Can't be argued for. It has to be taken for granted.

If you disagree the burden is on you and you will need to present an argument.


But here is another argument while you prepare yours.

1. God is existence
2. Existence is an axiom.
3. Axioms can't be argued for without begging the question or circular reasoning.

C. Therefore, God can't be argued for and the one stealing concepts is the Objectivist.




P.S. Justin what's the difference between "Justin is home" and "a is b"?

November 01, 2011 9:41 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 01, 2011 10:00 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

“Justin,

Premise 1 "Only the Christian God keeps nature uniform."

Can't be argued for. It has to be taken for granted.

If you disagree the burden is on you and you will need to present an argument.”

Sure, you are making a claim that is not perceptually self evident, nor is there any evidence for but you expect me to take it on your say so, and to add insult to injury you demand that I give you a argument for rejecting an arbitrary claim. Like a pushy salesman that demand that I give a reason for not wanting to buy his product, how disingenuous. No Nide, I am not going to give you an argument for rejecting the arbitrary for logically I have no such burden. Tough luck kid.


But here is another argument while you prepare yours.

1. God is existence
2. Existence is an axiom.
3. Axioms can't be argued for without begging the question or circular reasoning.

C. Therefore, God can't be argued for and the one stealing concepts is the Objectivist.

God is existence reduces god to something not what your bible claims him to be. Existence is the sum total of all that exists. Thus god ceases to be a personal volitional being and becomes the uncaring impersonal universe. No super natural powers, not infinite knowledge, just objective existence.


P.S. Justin what's the difference between "Justin is home" and "a is b"?


relevence?

November 01, 2011 10:08 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Additional considerations. The assertion that god is existence is essentially pantheism and that is heretical to christian dogma. Furthermore pantheism is only one step away from atheism, so come on over Nide, its nice over here:)

November 01, 2011 10:20 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Justin,

Is the uniformoty of nature perceptually self evident?



"God is existence reduces god to something not what your bible claims him to be. Existence is the sum total of all that exists. Thus god ceases to be a personal volitional being and becomes the uncaring impersonal universe. No super natural powers, not infinite knowledge, just objective existence"



This is why I asked "Justin what's the difference between "Justin is home" and "a is b"?"


By the way have you ever accepted indirect evidence or proof?

Or

Your thoughts.


P.S. There is nothing arbitrary about what I am saying. Actually, it's a tactic that "atheist" enjoy using to escpae the burden that is on them.

November 01, 2011 10:27 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

If Nide does not think his claims are arbitrary consider these substitutions.

Only the Blarko keeps nature uniform

Blarko is existence.

November 01, 2011 10:27 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"Is the uniformoty of nature perceptually self evident?"

sense existence is identity, yes it is perceptually self evident. It is obvious that to be is to be something.


"By the way have you ever accepted indirect evidence or proof?"

yes, like I said I am not a logical positivist. I accept evolution tho I have never witnessed it in action. The evidence for it tho is convincing. Can you do likewise with your claims?

November 01, 2011 10:30 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"This is why I asked "Justin what's the difference between "Justin is home" and "a is b"?"

sorry Nide I still do not get what you are driving at here. Both myself and my home have identity and further it is part of my identity at at a certain time I am at home. Prehaps you could clearify this somewhat

November 01, 2011 10:33 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"P.S. There is nothing arbitrary about what I am saying. Actually, it's a tactic that "atheist" enjoy using to escpae the burden that is on them."

some one that simply lacks for whatever reason a belief in god as opposed to someone claiming god does not exist, has no burden at all to justify there lack of belief. I Nide am not claiming god does not exist, what I am claiming is that I dont believe in him. I am not going to justify this to you, ever so I suggest you get over it. Remember it is no sweat off my back if you disagree with me, it is you on the other hand that seems to be really bothered by my lack of agreement with you on the matter of god.

November 01, 2011 10:40 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Oh, what you are claiming may not be arbitrary but you have not shown why that would be the case. Shall I list off all of your logical fallacies again for everyones benefit?

November 01, 2011 10:43 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: ""This is why I asked "Justin what's the difference between "Justin is home" and "a is b"?"

Justin wrote: "sorry Nide I still do not get what you are driving at here."

Yes. Please explain yourself for us, Trinity. What are you driving at? Spell it out. Although I enjoy doing your work for you, and explaining things back to you in a manner that we both can understand, maybe this time you can do it for us.

So what are you driving at?

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 10:45 AM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ok,

"Justin is Home"

Does this mean that you and your house are exactly the same thing?

Does it express equality?


By the way are you saying that fossils, skeletal remains etc. assume evolution?

P.S. Is God Imaginary?

November 01, 2011 10:45 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

"Justin is Home"

Does this mean that you and your house are exactly the same thing"


A is A in no way is ment to convey that everything is equivalent to everything else. Only that a thing is what a thing is. Existence is existence (the sum total of everything). My home is my home (the place I live) Justin is Justin, a male member of the species homo sapiens sapiens. When you say god is existence, that is somewhat equivalent to saying Justin is the human race. I am a volitional consciousness singular being, the human race is not. That would be a false equivocation.


“By the way are you saying that fossils, skeletal remains etc. assume evolution?

I am not qualified to defend the theory of evolution, nor I am even going to try to convince you. I frankly don't care if you accept it or not. The point I was making is that from what I have read I am convinced of it as a valid and sound claim to fact even tho I have never perceptually precieved it in action. There are many other such things as well.

“P.S. Is God Imaginary?”

For me that is not the question. The question is how can I distinguish god from the imaginary. If I can not the claim that he is real is arbitrary and I will ignore it as such.

November 01, 2011 11:11 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

One's imagination, if granted priority status, can be a most powerful force in an individual's life. Having jettisoned the virtues of rationality and objectivity, those who fail to distinguish between knowledge and imagination are doomed to confuse the two. Just as there is no compromise between food and poison, there is no compromise between truth and falsehood, between the world of facts and the realm of the imaginary, or between reality and whim. The elevation of one's wishes, desires or hopes above the facts of reality is in essence what religion is all about. So long as men run from the effort of rational thought and reject the facts of reality as absolutes, there will always be a demand for religion." ("Dear Apologist: An Exploration of the Goal of the Apologist's Effort," Anton Thorn, http://www.oocities.org/athens/sparta/1019/WhyObjAth/Dear_Apologist.htm)

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 12:11 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

I am giving some thought to rewording the primary argument from existence to use terms in common usage to cut down on confusion. I will run it by us later in the week. Kind of trying to run 5 projects at once right now:)

November 01, 2011 12:16 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 01, 2011 2:53 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

you said

"You performatively contradict yourself with your very first premise. You are making a truth statement, a statement about facts of reality. But concepts, statements and ones ability to make them are grounded upon certain fundamentals (Existence, Consciousness, and Identity, Primacy of Existence Principle). Yet, the CONTENT of of your claim ("God keeps nature uniform) attempts to undercut that which makes all statements of fact possible. You PERFOMATIVELY assume the truth of the Primacy of Existence by even making a statement, yet the CONTENT of your claim assets the opposite of the Primacy of Existence."


we can make it much simpler. Given the stolen concept fallacy you have exposed it is clear that the very statement "God exists" is a contridiction.

November 01, 2011 2:54 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Justin,

You are right. But every time I think about stating it so succinctly as you have done, I find myself thinking, "Wait. I should probably spell it out in detail so the person making the claim "God exists" will be able to follow my reasoning behind labeling it a stolen concept and hence a performative contradiction."


Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 3:14 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Is Ydemoc ever going to present an argument, seriously?

The burden is on you.

November 01, 2011 3:21 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Nide

could you be more specific, a lot of ground has been covered, an arguement for what exactly?

November 01, 2011 3:28 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Justin,

Have you ever mozied over to Debunking Christianity and read some of Dawson and Roberts posts? They're great.

Here's the link in case you're interested. Robert is the main blog entry, and Dawson posts in the comments:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2008/06/faith-vs-reason-role-of-imagination-in.html

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 4:46 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Justin,

Ydemoc is an embarrasment. He, continually, accuses and asserts without bothering to give an argument, a proof etc. wishing doesn't make it so. Actually, he contributes nothing to the conversation. He's a heckler and that's why he shouln't be taken seriously. Gadget lost his credebility a long time ago but when your deluded as he is one should not be surprised at his gimmicks.

Justin you said: "I am not qualified to defend the theory of evolution, nor I am even going to try to convince you. I frankly don't care if you accept it or not. The point I was making is that from what I have read I am convinced of it as a valid and sound claim to fact even tho I have never perceptually precieved it in action. There are many other such things as well."


Justin this is hilarious becuase this is the same thing you pick on Christians for. Christians also read and are convinced even though, for example, they didn't see God speak the world into existence.


Justin do you believe in the invisible because God is invisible?

November 01, 2011 5:13 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "Ydemoc is an embarrasment."

I, uh, think that this is more of an auto-biographical statement on your part.

Trinity wrote: "He, continually, accuses and asserts without bothering to give an argument, a proof etc. wishing doesn't make it so."

Not true. I have given many, many proofs. You have just failed to acknowledge them. They were there all along with you, but you just failed to acknowledge them. You know they are there, but you just suppress your knowledge of them.

Trinity wrote: "Actually, he contributes nothing to the conversation."

Incredibly auto-biographical on your part.

Trinity wrote: "He's a heckler and that's why he shouln't be taken seriously."

Another auto-biographical statement. It is you who is a heckler and doesn't take himself seriously. For how could you, when you base your self-esteem on, and you hand your identity over to, something that is merely a product of your imagination? That is about as clownish as you can get.

Trinity wrote: "Gadget lost his credebility a long time ago but when your deluded as he is one should not be surprised at his gimmicks."

Trinity, you are being less than honest by singling me out as lacking in credibility and being deluded, for don't you as a Christian think that all atheists lack credibility and are deluded?
Can non-believers have any credibility in your eyes to begin with? Aren't all non-believers deluded?

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 5:58 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

More assertions by Ydemoc and like usual no argument, no proof. Simply nothing. Good work Gadget

November 01, 2011 6:11 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "More assertions by Ydemoc and like usual no argument, no proof. Simply nothing."

What!?! You must be kidding!?! I've supplied proofs! All you have to do is acknowledge that I have, then you will understand them. For my proofs have made themselves known to you whether you acknowledge them or not. Yes, these proofs are invisible, "immaterial", unmeasurable, and beyond the scope of your senses, but they are there nonetheless. And once you accept their existence you will see that they have been there all along. They have been with you like footprints in the sand, carrying you along while you weren't able to carry yourself. And all you have to do is believe in them. Once you do, they will regenerate your entire being, so that you will be able to not only see their existence but their truths.

Trinity wrote: "Good work Gadget."

Thanks.

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 6:37 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Gadget,

When I imagine your "proofs" how is what I am imagining not imaginary?


Is it by faith?

November 01, 2011 6:52 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "When I imagine your "proofs" how is what I am imagining not imaginary?"

Exactly!!!

Trinity wrote: "Is it by faith?"

This is really too much. Here we have Trinity actually affirming within his own inquiry, the title of one of Dawson's blog entries: "Faith as Hope in the Imaginary" Thursday, June 05, 2008.

Do you need some more rope, Trinity?

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 7:05 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 01, 2011 7:14 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Do you need some more stupidity?

Answer the question:

Trinity wrote: "When I imagine your "proofs" how is what I am imagining not imaginary?"

Is by faith?

November 01, 2011 7:15 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Nide

"

Justin this is hilarious becuase this is the same thing you pick on Christians for. Christians also read and are convinced even though, for example, they didn't see God speak the world into existence."

First off I'll put aside for the moment the vast difference between accepting something based on the results of the scientific method as opposed to accepting ancient writing on faith. The real point here is that I did not come barging into your blog Nide proclaiming evolution to be true and your rejection of it to be in error. I said I don't care if you accept it or not and I meant it. Nide I don't lose any sleep at night knowing you don't agree with me. You don't see me or other atheists banging on your door early Sunday morning trying to spread the good news of evolution do you? You on the other hand seem right put out over the fact that I don't accept your god claims. So lets keep that in mind shall we. I brought up evolution solely for the reason of furnishing an example of something that I accept exists that is not perceptually self evident.


"Justin do you believe in the invisible because God is invisible?"

There are things that are invisible that I accept exist. My acceptance however is based on the scientific method and its results and has nothing at all to do with god or whatever you or anyone else has to say about what he is or is not. Or to put it another way, I have reasons for why I accept them not faith. Faith being the acceptance of things without or counter to reason.

November 01, 2011 7:22 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Ydemoc

for your viewing pleasure

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dW-bt_1LzY

November 01, 2011 7:33 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Justin,

That's an erroneous defenition of faith.I gave the definition of it. I'm not sure why your not using it. Don't embarrass yourself like Ydemoc. Let's be honest here. This morning you refused to give an argument. Let's play fair.

November 01, 2011 7:33 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Justin,

I almost missed this:

You said: "There are things that are invisible that I accept exist.

In other words your saying God doesn't exist.

Well, the burden is on you unless you want to clarify or reword?

November 01, 2011 7:38 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Nide

It is really simple, either you have reasons or you do not. If you have reasons then present them, I have no time for faith.

November 01, 2011 7:39 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 01, 2011 7:41 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Nide

"You said: "There are things that are invisible that I accept exist.

In other words your saying God doesn't exist."

how on green earth do you come to that conclusion based on what I said? Non sequitur!

November 01, 2011 7:42 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Trinity wrote: "Do you need some more stupidity?"

Why? Are you selling?

Trinity wrote: "Answer the question: "When I imagine your "proofs" how is what I am imagining not imaginary?"

I answered you.

Trinity wrote: "Is by faith?"

Let's see... When you imagine my proofs, is it by faith that what you are really imagining is my proofs?

Well, I would say so! For it certainly isn't via direct evidence is it? For if you are imagining that I have presented proofs (when I haven't presented any) what other recourse do you have but an appeal to faith that I have, in fact, presented proofs. Did you rely on my testimony? Maybe you shouldn't do that; you do this with the bible and it's spokespeople too, don't you?

Essentially, what we have you admitting to through your careless inquiries is the following: You know that the non-existent (my proofs) exists via faith and that faith allows you to claim the existence of things that are not really there (i.e., the imaginary). Amazing.

But perhaps this isn't what you meant, (except for the part where you asked me if I needed more stupidity). Would you care to clarify?

Justin, am I missing something here, or did Trinity just unwittingly checkmate himself?

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 7:42 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

To All,

Just in case you haven't noticed, Dawson has a new post up -- and it's a doozy!

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 7:44 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Ydemoc you are , seriously, an embarrassment. Nice way of manufacturing an opportunity to try and redeem yourself. You ran your course.

Justin,

Maybe tommorrow you'll present the argument you refused to give earlier today. Great night

November 01, 2011 7:58 PM  
Blogger Hezekiah Ahaz said...

Cool. let me go bug Dawson it's funny.

November 01, 2011 7:59 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Justin,

You wrote: "for your viewing pleasure
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dW-bt_1LzY"

Thanks for that! I just got done watching it and it was great! The guy sitting in the chair and railing was funny. And then when they went to SLC -- great! Those guys have a lot of balls.

Ydemoc

November 01, 2011 9:52 PM  

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