Sunday, December 09, 2012

Michael David Rawlings and the Primacy of a Bad Attitude

Christians are notorious for having hurt feelings when their god-belief claims are not accepted as the truths they affirm on their mere say so. Their feelings are hurt even more when their “arguments” are exposed as the silly collections of incoherence that they are. But in spite of their hurt feelings, some Christians keep coming back for more punishment, pushing the same nonsense like a dog coming back to its own vomit, apparently expecting that his next iteration of the same nonsense, perhaps in a new guise, will somehow slide under the radar of philosophical detection. I have bad news for the believer: it won’t.

Christian apologist Michael David Rawlings is no exception to this frequently encountered quagmire. He has come posting on my blog under the guise of wanting to learn about Objectivism and peddling a highfalutin perspective on Christianity backed up by “credentials” which he never specifies. His pockets are loaded to bear with reality-denying assumptions and ten-cent theological jargon to give the impression that he has the answer to the age-old question, “Where’s the beef?” In practice, Michael Rawlings doesn’t even really try to back up his assertions. On the contrary, he simply gets furiously angry when others don’t accept what he says on his mere say so. And this is a guy who says that Christianity does not affirm the primacy of consciousness when human consciousness is involved.

As the discussion has moved along, Michael has made less and less effort to contain his contempt and keep his bad attitude at bay. He has no qualms expressing his spite for atheists. On 7 Dec. he wrote:
Atheists really are notoriously bad thinkers, you know, and dishonest too boot. After all, atheism is a form of psychopathy.
I’m immediately reminded of several points Cohen makes in his expose of the Christian devotional program’s second device, “Discrediting ‘The World’”:
For the believer, there are three kinds of people, and the devotional program prescribes a clear-cut mode of conduct toward each. There are: (1) ordinary unbelievers, (2) believers, and (3) missionaries of a conflicting or competing “false” gospel. The Bible presupposes relatively little depth of contact between believers and ordinary unbelievers. The objects of evangelism, unbelievers are often referred to collectively as “crops” of various kinds to be “harvested,” or “fish” to be “netted.” Precious little is said on handling contacts with them. One very crucial specific instruction on evangelization is given by Jesus to the apostles: “And whosever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.” [Luke 9:5] The context of the instruction indicates peripatetic movement of the apostles from one place to another, spending little time in one place. Abundant numbers of evangelistic contacts, not depth, are being mandated. If one does not get an immediate positive response, one is not to persist. When the believer is in the presence of an unbeliever, it is to preach and “witness,” not to listen. (The Mind of the Bible-Believer, pp. 172-173)
Note this last statement: “When the believer is in the presence of an unbeliever, it is to preach and “witness,” not to listen.” This may go a long way in explaining why Michael never seems quite able to integrate the points I have presented into his understanding of what is being discussed.

On a related note, Cohen points out the following:
The substance of the nonbiblical view confronting the believer becomes completely irrelevant. Inasmuch as all merely human views are inherently defective, the argumentum ad hominem becomes a fair argument, and the blow is softened by that argument’s equal validity and “impartial” applicability against all, including the Christian if he weakens and lets his thinking stray outside biblical premises. Critical thinking about human affairs is simply despaired of as futile. While the Bible does not explicitly say that independent thinking is the cardinal sin – to do so would give away the game – … it is the crux of any biblically authentic definition of sin. (Ibid., p. 179)
So while Michael has made certain verbal gestures to the effect that he’s interested to learn more about certain aspects of Objectivism, a “nonbiblical view confronting” him, his actions speak louder than this. Throughout the following expose, we will see numerous instances where Michael rams his head against the unshakable principles of Objectivism while ever failing to come to grips with their implications in regard to Christian god-belief.


Christianity and Its Adherence to Metaphysical Subjectivism

Central to much of my discussion with Michael David Rawlings is the issue of metaphysical primacy, i.e., the relationship between the subject of consciousness and any objects it is said to be conscious of. While this is the most fundamental issue in philosophy (since philosophy is the attempt to provide a comprehensive view of life and reality, and necessarily involves consciousness, and therefore its objects; in his book Ayn Rand’s Theory of Knowledge, Porter writes: “I think the primacy of existence is the most important issue in philosophy” – p. 198), it is never addressed in any self-conscious manner anywhere in the Christian bible. And it is not something you’ll find commonly addressed in theological and apologetic texts. As I pointed out in a comment to the previous blog, “We don’t see Christians saying, ‘Hey, that’s got to be false since it contradicts the primacy of existence’.” And we certainly do not see this anywhere in the Christian bible.

So when the issue of metaphysical primacy is raised in objection to Christianity, we can expect a mixture of confusion and hostility on the part of the Christian attempting to defend his mystical worldview from this type of criticism. It cuts to the very foundation of any worldview, and it quickly exposes a number of fundamental inconsistencies lurking in the believer’s worldview. It gets even messier when another Christian steps in and makes pronouncements underscoring the presence of previously undetected inconsistencies inherent in the theistic view of the world.

Michael asks: “Where does the Objectivist get the idea that existence has primacy over consciousness?”

The answer is simple: We get it from reality, by observing reality, by identifying what we observe, by grasping the nature of the subject-object relationship. We certainly do not get it from the bible. The bible nowhere affirms the primacy of existence, even in the case of human consciousness (contrary to assertions made by Michael himself, as we will see below); on the contrary, the Christian bible repeatedly and emphatically affirms the primacy of consciousness. The primacy of consciousness affirms the metaphysical primacy of the subject of consciousness over its objects. This is known as metaphysical subjectivism, since it holds that the objects of consciousness conform in some way to the subject of consciousness. The alternative to this is metaphysical objectivism, i.e., the consistent and explicit recognition of the fundamental fact that the objects of consciousness exist and are what they are independent of the conscious activity by which the subject is conscious of them. Hence, Objectivism, the Philosophy of Reason.

Examples of metaphysical subjectivism in the bible are abundant, and include the doctrine of creation, the doctrine of divine sovereignty (everything in the universe conforms in terms of identity and action to the will of the supernatural ruling consciousness), the doctrine of miracles, the doctrine of salvation through faith (belief and confession, as opposed to “works,” lead to “spiritual cleansing”), the doctrine of prayer, the doctrines of angels and demons, and many, many more.

Michael has made statements to the effect that such “power over existence” is reserved only for Christianity’s god. He states “Nowhere in scripture is it asserted that a finite mind (subject) can have primacy over an existent (object),” where “finite mind” is supposed to denote human consciousness as well as the consciousnesses imagined by Christians to belong to demons and angels. Presumably it also denotes the conscious faculties possessed by non-human animals, like dogs, cats, elk, weasels, ladybugs, etc.

Unfortunately, Michael offers no biblical citations which make any explicitly statement about the orientation between consciousness and its objects, particularly with regard to human consciousness; its authors will only strike those informed on the matter as utterly oblivious to it. Indeed, one gets the impression that Michael has not examined the content of the Christian bible now that he has become at least somewhat familiar with the issue of metaphysical primacy. Meanwhile, certain passages in the New Testament attributing the cause of diseases to demons, for instance, are a clear-cut case of affirming metaphysical subjectivism on the part of consciousnesses other than the Christian god itself.

Then of course there’s Matthew 17:20, which puts the following statement into Jesus’ mouth:
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
I have pointed this passage out to Michael at least twice now, but in spite of his volumes of contemptuous screed, he has not addressed it. Going by his statements alone, one might never suspect that I ever referenced it. And yet, it provides explicit evidence contrary to his own affirmation regarding the human mind, the primacy of consciousness, and what the bible states.

Other examples would include Peter walking on water by merely believing that he can (here the physics of relative density between the human body and a body of water conform to the contents of one’s beliefs, an obvious case of metaphysical subjectivism), merely thinking lustful thoughts resulting in guilt of adultery, the various “ask and ye shall receive” passages in the gospels, faith healings, etc.

If Michael doesn’t think that these qualify as examples of a “finite mind” having “primacy over an existent (object),” one can only wonder what he thinks would qualify as such. That he insists that the bible nowhere portrays a “finite mind” as enjoying metaphysical primacy over the objects of its consciousness, only suggests that he has not grasped the issue of metaphysical primacy very well.

But Michael seems to think that Objectivists have no justification in affirming the primacy of existence consistently. He listed two propositions:
1. Existence has primacy over our consciousness.  
2. Existence has primacy over consciousness.
He then writes: “These are not the same propositions at all. The latter is not contained in the inherent imperative of the original question. It’s a gratuitous insertion unwittingly perpetrated by a finite consciousness in spite of existence. It didn’t ‘hear’ that. It tells itself that. Once again, a univocal existence cannot tell us anything we don’t already know; we would necessarily have to be the tellers in that case. But that’s absurd as this would violate the imperative that is proposition one.”

Again, Michael is operating here on the question-begging basis of two false dichotomies: on the one hand, there is the dichotomous division of existence into “univocal” vs. “analogical” realms. Operating on the primacy of consciousness, Christianity divides reality into two opposing realms: the realm of concretes, flesh, blood, finite consciousness and reason; and the realm of “transcendence” which man can access, not by means of reason and objective input from reality, but by means of introspecting the contents of scripturally guided imagination. At no point in the bible do we find a philosophically charged concern for distinguishing between reality and imagination at the foundation of knowledge. Religious imagery, constructed from various allegorical tropes and selectively culled into the indoctrinated imagination of the believer, seems immediately real to the believer given the fact that it does reside in his imagination and his ability to distinguish between reality and fiction has been systematically crippled. Given Christianity’s assumption of the primacy of consciousness, the bible could offer no consistent guide on this fundamental distinction. To do so would be directly fatal to its religious impulse.

In fact, however, there is one reality, and that’s all. Existence exists. There is no objective justification for positing some supernatural or “transcendent” realm as something real when in fact it is merely imaginary. The assumption of the primacy of consciousness lying at the root of Christianity assures us of this fact. A belief system premised on the primacy of consciousness cannot contain its subjective influences to one aspect of that belief system; it corrodes the entire artifice. Many believers sense deep down the fact that there is no objective basis to their belief system, but they choose to suppress it, submerging it into the darker labyrinths of mystic delusion and pretending that the immediacy of imagination cancels out this concern. In the final analysis, however, the Christian’s belief in such a realm comes from a sacred storybook, not from facts he observes in the world around him; even on his own terms, his “religious truths” are not something that can be discovered by reason: according to Christianity, they need to be “revealed” from an agent imagined to exist in that “transcendent” realm. Blur the distinction between the real and the imaginary: that is the primary gimmick of religious inculcation.

On the other hand, there’s the false notion that there is such a thing as an “infinite consciousness,” which is implied by Michael’s continued references to “finite consciousness.” Michael knows that the notion of an “infinite consciousness” is not accepted among those he’s trying to persuade, and yet he’s offered no sustainable justification for continuing to affirm such a notion. It is a fantasy, an imagination which is as incoherent as “pure five.” We’ve already been through this. But Michael can’t make his points without making use of already discredited ideas. He apparently thinks the fact that well-known thinkers throughout history have endorsed this idea should be sufficient basis for anyone else to accept it. It’s not.

Also, the Objectivist affirmation of the primacy of existence as a general, absolute principle is in no way “gratuitous.” If Michael were truly concerned with avoiding worldviews premised on gratuitous notions, he would have rejected Christianity long ago. By contrast, the Objectivist view finds only confirmation of the primacy of existence in every species of consciousness objectively observable, whether it is human consciousness, canine consciousness, bovine consciousness, avian consciousness, reptilian consciousness, etc. All evidence supports the primacy of existence. The only alternative is something we must imagine, but the imaginary is not real.

Moreover, the consistent affirmation of the primacy of existence in no way violates any objectively knowable facts. I explained to Andrew Louis, who also piped into the discussion, that appealing to facts implicitly acknowledges the primacy of existence, and thereby the truth of Objectivism, since such an appeal implicitly recognizes that statements about reality need factual support to substantiate them, and also that such appeals imply awareness of the fact that wishing doesn’t make it so – i.e., implicitly denying the primacy of consciousness. Indeed, there is no objectively available evidence of a consciousness to whose contents reality conforms. Again, this is a fantasy, an imagination that has run away with itself.

So it should be clear that Objectivism’s affirmation of the primacy of existence is (a) supported by evidence, (b) internally consistent, and (c) unchallenged by any legitimate evidence to the contrary. Very simply, there is no evidence to the contrary. The very proposition that there is evidence for a position or against it, assumes the primacy of existence to begin with for the reasons indicated above. So even an attempt to cite evidence to the contrary would imply the truth of the primacy of existence. There is no escape for the theist here. Assuming the truth of a principle in an effort to deny or undermine it, does not lead to non-contradictory conclusions.

So no, it is not the case that human consciousness “tells itself that” as though this were some arbitrary position one simply prefers to be true. Here we can see that Michael’s would-be objection itself assumes the truth of the primacy of existence, the very view which he is seeking to undermine: what possible objection would one have to the view that a position is true because one prefers that it is true, if not the fact that it violates the primacy of existence? Blank out. On the contrary, the primacy of existence is not something we simply affirm as a result of preferences; rather, it is something we discover repeatedly without exception throughout nature, and subsequently identify on this basis. It is thus a fundamental recognition. It is not confined merely to human beings. It is the consistent testimony of the facts we discover in the case of any actual consciousness. Discovering facts and identifying them by means of consciousness are operations consistent entirely consistent with the primacy of existence. There is no inconsistency between object, method and identification on the part of Objectivism here.

Michael wrote: “God is talking to us all the time. God is talking to Dawson when He tells him that the only thing that may be extrapolated from the question’s inherent imperative is the first proposition. The second is an illusion.”

We can all imagine a supernatural being “talking” to us and telling us what Michael gratuitously asserts here. Jim Jones did this. David Koresh did this. Marshall Herff Applewhite did this. Michael can call the phantasm he imagines “God,” the Muslim can call the phantasm he imagines “Allah,” the Lahu tribesman can call the phantasm he imagines “Geusha,” and the Blarkist can call the phantasm he imagines “Blarko.” But either way you slice it, it all comes up imagination. Unlike Christianity, Objectivism recognizes explicitly the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination. “Revelation” in one form or another is the mode of “knowledge” affirmed by all expressions of mysticism, for mysticism assumes the impotence of human consciousness when it comes to knowledge: man is depraved, impotent, incompetent, soiled and besmirched; he cannot overcome the “noetic effects of sin” on his own. So any knowledge that he does possess must come from some supernatural, omniscient source; he must “think” his god’s thoughts “after him,” fancying his imagination as a means of reading a supernatural mind. On such a view, knowledge is not something man discovers through his own cognitive effort. Driven by the primacy of consciousness, believers are in fact just making it all up on the basis of storybook motifs which are accepted as non-negotiable, indispensable absolutes at the basis of his “system.” It all seems “logical” because a semblance of logic is applied to tie tangents, speculations and other cognitive wanderings to the bedrock of these storybook motifs. Logic is a formal concern which any worldview can adopt; but whence comes the content? For Objectivism, the content comes from reality. For religion, it comes from a reality-denying storybook. Appeals to logic, then, cannot immunize a position from scrutiny; a microwave will heat horse manure just as well as last night’s leftovers. On the religious view, man, given his fallibility and non-omniscience, can only wind up with error if he relies on his own mind. What is missing in all this is the very epistemology man needs in order to identify and integrate the reality in which he actually exists, namely reason.

Michael writes: “Passive entities don’t know or say anything. Persons do. Since I don’t have primacy over existence and a univocal existence cannot know or tell me anything about itself, what is this existence that has primacy?”

Metaphysical primacy as Objectivism informs it does not mean reality “saying anything” or “telling anything.” Saying and telling are actions of consciousness. Nor does the primacy of existence imply that consciousness is “passive.” As I’ve pointed out to Michael before, consciousness is a type of activity; the primacy of existence recognizes this outright and explicitly. Indeed, that consciousness is a type of activity speaks to the very point of affirming the primacy of existence: it tells us that, regardless of what action consciousness takes, the only right action with regard to truthful knowledge about reality must be constrained, volitionally – i.e., by means of self-regulation, by the recognition that the objects of consciousness exist and are what they are independent of whatever action one’s consciousness might perform. This is why the primacy of existence is found at the root of the recognition that “wishing doesn’t make it so.”

The existence that has primacy is every thing, existent, attribute, etc., that actually exists, including consciousness itself (as an actually existing attribute of some organisms and also as a secondary object). “Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification” (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged). It’s not a matter of anything “say[ing] anything” or “telling me anything about itself,” as though existence were itself a conscious entity. That’s absurd. (And such absurdity is religion.) Rather, it is a matter of some entities in existence possessing a faculty of consciousness, particularly those capable of conceptual knowledge, and those entities being aware of things that exist, including themselves, and the cognitive actions they take to identify and integrate the things they perceive according to what they perceive by means of concepts. This is called reason. Notice that Michael’s analysis does not allow for reason. It systematically and gratuitously leaves reason out of the entire equation.

Michael summarily equates this existence with a supernatural consciousness, gratuitously asserting “It’s a Person.” He offers no factual substantiation in support of this assertion. Rather, he puts on display for us his own primacy-of-consciousness “epistemology”: Michael has appointed himself the “teller,” telling us what reality is, offering no explanation of “how” he “knows” this and presumably having no need to do so. He just pulls it “out of thin air,” as in the case of all mystical “revelations” before it. There’s no application of reason in all of this. It is not an issue of discovery on Michael’s part, for if it were, he would gladly point to the facts which informed his discovery. Rather, it is an exemplification of how his worldview infests its “epistemology” with the primacy of consciousness: it’s “true” because he believes it, and he believes it because he imagines it, and the worldview which he has accepted does not allow him to consistently distinguish between what he “knows” and what he imagines, for it does not allow him to consistently distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary. Without imagination, there would be no Christianity. And an epistemology which restrains one’s imagination to what is rational (i.e., an epistemology constrained by the primacy of existence) would never allow what Michael affirms as “truth” to be accepted as such. This is why authors and characters of the bible repeatedly appeal to faith instead of reason. Michael has been careful to ignore the role of faith throughout his asseverations since by doing so he thinks he avoids giving away the game. But we know better than this, and we won’t be suckered in by his apologetic suppression of faith, even though they lurk in the background all along. It’s all about maintaining a façade.

Michael says: “God is talking to us all the time. Dawson only listens to himself.”

Here’s an example of Michael’s faith spilling into his pretense of rationality and his personal resentment of me clouding his judgment. He can’t contain these because they cannot be constrained once Christianity’s mystical premises have been accepted. Michael is a victim of his own worldview’s self-immolation on the pyre of fideism. Indeed, contrary to what Michael states here, Dawson listens to many people, people who claim all kinds of things. Dawson considers what he hears others say according to the strictures of reason, and those who propose things that are contrary to reason resent this. Also, Dawson knows that there is a fundamental difference between reality and imagination, and he knows that many who think they are hearing the voice of a supernatural being are in fact merely imagining things and misidentifying what they think they’ve heard as a “voice” from some transcendent realm, just as some middle aged housewife on the outskirts of Albuquerque, New Mexico, will insist that the burn patterns on a tortilla are really the image of Jesus miraculously looking back at her in the heat of her religious hysteria. It’s imagination provoked by irrational fear, guided by religious suggestion and tailored to suit religious expectation, that leads to Michael’s “Twilight Zone abruptions of crazy” as well as to the middle-aged housewife’s “interpretation” of religion-confirming burn marks on a tortilla.

And Michael thinks what I say is embarrassing? Wow! Just wow!

Michael writes: “Until you show me otherwise, I have no reason to believe that you haven’t been disingenuous. All of your arguments against the existence of God, for example, amount to you obviating your own conclusions with the nonsense that God is B when in fact divine perfection is A!”

Since Michael first inserted himself into my blog’s comments, all he has presented are subjective assertions about this god he’s enshrined in his imagination. And now he’s expecting me to prove that I’m not being disingenuous? There is really only one “argument against the existence of God” that I have shared with Michael in my discussion with him, and that is the following (from this blog):
Premise 1: That which is imaginary is not real.  
Premise: 2: If something is not real, it does not actually exist.  
Premise 3: If the god of Christianity is imaginary, then it is not real and therefore does not actually exist.  
Premise 4: The god of Christianity is imaginary.  
Conclusion: Therefore, the god of Christianity is not real and therefore does not actually exist.
I do not see where Michael has interacted with this, even though I cited this very syllogism back on 9 Nov. in the comments of this blog. So if he’s been reading, he has no excuse but to be aware of it. And yet it is the only argument I’ve proposed which seeks to establish the conclusion that the Christian god does not exist.

If Michael thinks he can demonstrate that his god is real rather than imaginary, let him try. It is this very task that he would need to take up in order to sustain the charge that my argument with obviating its own conclusion “with the nonsense that God is B when in fact divine perfection is A!” And yet back on 7 Nov., in this blog’s comments, Michael already announced:
I have no interest in proving the Christian God's existence to anyone or proving that the Bible is a direct revelation from Him. That's silly. Each person will decide what he will or will not believe for himself.
So if he sticks with his previously stated policy, he’ll never be able to make the case for his accusation against me.

BTW, the conclusion of my argument from divine lonesomeness is that Christianity “begins with a starting point of divine solipsism, which is, according to a rational worldview, the ultimate expression of subjectivism” – this is not the same as a conclusion affirming that the Christian god does not exist. Even here, when I spell out the nature of my own argument’s conclusion, Michael seems to have confused himself. Even worse, Michael’s own explicit affirmation that “according to Judeo-Christianity, ultimately, consciousness does have primacy over existence,” can only mean that his “divine perfection” ultimately reduces to divine solipsism.

Michael recently stated: “Dawson is not merely failing to listen carefully in regard to his arguments against God’s existence. He is intentionally pretending not to understand. He is well past the point of mere errors of cognitional transitions.”

And yet, the only argument that I have proposed which seeks to argue “against God’s existence” is the argument I quoted in full above – namely the argument which concludes that the Christian god does not exist on the basis of the sub-conclusion that it is merely imaginary. I posted the above argument back on 9 Nov. in the comments of this blog where my discussion with Michael began. But Michael has not interacted with this argument. He has completely ignored it. Should this surprise us? I trow not.

Instead, he has focused on another argument of mine, one which he apparently believes can be answered by reciting nonsense phrases like “divine perfection” and “the eternally existing now!” which, when examined, are exposed as simply destroying the very concept of consciousness to begin with, namely by completely obliterating its objective context while retrofitting it with imaginary attributes that carry emotional weight in believer’s minds (like “omniscience,” “omnipotence,” “omnipresence” coupled arbitrarily with consciousness), all the while detaching the concept of consciousness from reality, denying its active nature in order to project it outside the “time-space continuum,” and making what Michael himself has called “Twilight Zone abruptions of crazy” such as “The American Revolution is occurring for God right now, as is the creation of the cosmos within which it was fought . . . not merely in His mind, but as actual existents apart from Him” as an attempt to provide his god with some mind-independent object prior to it creating anything independent of itself. And while such blathering is simply bewilderingly incoherent, it ignores the point, which I raised, that Michael’s own affirmation of the primacy of consciousness can only entail that, for the Christian god, there could be no mind-independent objects for it to have awareness of in the first place. As pointed out above, Michael’s “divine perfection” reduces to divine solipsism, and a mountain full of garbage comes along with it. All of this pours hot coals on Michael’s already fuming head as he erupts with another episode of fits and tantrums, name-calling and condescension.


Michael’s Confused Yammering about Infinity

In regard to our disputes over the notion of an “actual infinity,” I stated:
Indeed, I really have no idea what an “infinite consciousness” could be. It is literally and utterly nonsensical.
Apparently Michael thinks that I’m being dishonest by stating this, when in fact it is not a falsehood at all. This is an autobiographical statement, a statement about my own understanding. I do realize and understand that Christians affirm the notion of an “infinite consciousness.” But it does not follow from this that the notion of an “infinite consciousness” has conceptual integrity so far as I can tell, and I’ve presented good reasons for dismissing it. For instance, I indicated Objectivism’s primary reason for denying the notion that an actual infinity does or can exist. Here I quoted Dr. Peikoff:
”Infinite” does not mean large; it means larger than any specific quantity, i.e., of no specific quantity. An infinite quantity would be a quantity without identity. But A is A. Every entity, accordingly, is finite; it is limited in the number of its qualities and in their extent; this applies to the universe as well. As Aristotle was the first to observe, the concept of ‘infinity’ denotes merely a potentiality of indefinite addition or subtraction. For example, one can continually subdivide a line; but however many segments one has reached at a given point, there are only that many and no more. The actual is always finite.” (Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, pp. 31-32).
Michael had replied to this by saying:
The always finite number of segments for a finite consciousness has no bearing on the issues of identity and actuality proper.
I responded with a needed correction:
Well, the notion of segments is only introduced in the sense of dividing something, an area where Objectivism holds that the concept ‘infinite’ has at least some legitimacy (the other being the ability to continue adding to something). It is not fundamental. Entities are fundamental. That is where Rand/Peikoff are working from. Entities have identity. (I’m guessing we both would agree on this?) Where we seem to part ways is over the implications that identity has for finitude. The Objectivist view makes complete sense to me: to be actual is to be specific, and the specific is always finite. The view you seem to be proposing – which seems to have in mind no definable identity that I can grasp at this point – defies rational comprehension.
Notice that the points I outline here are completely consistent with the statement I make above, just prior to the Peikoff quote.

Notice also that Objectivism is not denying the hypothetical potential, which is what mathematicians have in mind, to continue adding or dividing units without end. What needs to be emphasized is that this is a conceptual process, and therefore not a metaphysical fundamental; the potential to continue adding or dividing segments does not denote a concrete entity that exists in reality apart from the mental process of conceptual integration. What is metaphysically fundamental are entities – concretes that exist apart from and prior to conceptual activity. It is here where Objectivism affirms that “the actual is always finite.” And it is here where the theist needs more than his mere say-so to substantiate his assertion of the existence of an “actual infinite.” And indeed, it is here where Michael has not succeeded in substantiating his position or his objections against Objectivism on this matter. This should be clear to anyone who reads the quote from Peikoff carefully and considers the distinctions he makes in that quote against the reactions which Michael has offered in response to that quote. This will be important to keep in mind below.

Michael had also stated:
Simultaneously, the finite mind readily apprehends that any divisible entity may be divided without end. That is a perfectly rational, mathematical axiom. It follows, infinity is that which is indivisible, immutable and has no beginning or end. That’s its identity expressed philosophically.
To which I responded:
Even if we grant that “it follows” from the assumption that “the finite mind readily apprehends that any divisible entity may be divided without end” that “infinity is that which is indivisible, immutable and has no beginning or end” (and I’m not even sure I would grant that without more context to support it), it does not follow that the concept ‘infinity’ so-defined denotes something that is actual. And that’s the dispute we seem to be having.
Michael seems to have anticipated in some way the point I was making here, for he also stated:
As for infinity’s actuality, on the contrary, what we have here is a very strong reason to believe that some actual realm of origin exists beyond the divisible realm of the finite, something that can divide the divisible without end. Otherwise, we are aware of a mathematical axiom that is impeccably cogent if not inescapable, yet gratuitous?! That’s odd. That’s very, very odd. . . .
The “mathematical axiom that is impeccably cogent if not inescapable,” suggests correspondence to the hypothetical ability to continue adding and/or dividing entities which actually exist. This is a conceptual operation, just as all mathematics is. If this mathematical axiom has an objective basis, then it affirms the primacy of existence. If it is thought to denote some kind of conscious agent which only “exists” in one’s imagination, then it springs from the primacy of consciousness and has no bearing whatsoever on what actually exists. Michael needs to decide. Neither alternative poses a positive outcome for his god-belief, since the primacy of consciousness is its (his god-belief’s) fundamental premise.

In response to Michael’s overall statement, I wrote:
I’m not sure I follow. Again, suppose that I’m dense as a pile of bricks here. You seem to be saying that our ability (in this realm) to divide a divisible entity without end (and here Binswanger would disagree that this ability is itself actual or realizable; he considers it merely hypothetical) is “a very strong reason to believe that some actual realm of origin exists beyond the divisible realm of the finite.” Am I reading you correctly? If so, it’s not at all clear what you think this “very strong reason” is, unless it’s a disguised appeal to ignorance or incredulity.
Notice that I was asking Michael for clarification here, since in a previous statement he wrote “the finite mind readily apprehends that any divisible entity may be divided without end.” But in reaction to my request for clarification, he comes back with more nauseating fumes of contempt:
Our ability? Who said anything about our ability in this regard? The obvious meaning of the phrase “something that can divide the divisible without end” is that we, you and I, can’t! which makes all the difference in the world. Oh, you followed that alright as your misrepresentation is the very essence of your evasion. “Dense as a pile of bricks”? Did I say that? I misspoke. Let me revise that. Liar. Punk. Whore. Snake. Coward. Sociopath
Simply asking the guy for clarification will get you this. But this is typical of Michael’s proclivity for outbursts: he uses one little tiny thing – in this case my words “our ability” – as an occasion to let loose his already amply-exhibited contempt. But notice how Michael passes on the opportunity to provide more information regarding any argument he may have on the matter at hand. It should be clear that my question is concerned with how we can infer that there is what he has called “a very strong reason to believe that some actual realm of origin exists beyond the divisible realm of the finite.” If it’s not “our ability” to divide a divisible entity without end, is it our conception of such a potential that constitutes “a very strong reason to believe that some actual realm of origin exists beyond the divisible realm of the finite”? He says that “we” have this “very strong reason.” But what precisely is that “very strong reason”? It’s not clear from what Michael does write. Perhaps Michael means that the fact that “the finite mind readily apprehends that any divisible entity may be divided without end” is this “very strong reason” to suppose that there is an actual infinite which “can” do the dividing he has in mind. If so, it’s not at all clear how this apprehension on our part constitutes a “very strong reason to believe that some actual realm of origin exists beyond the divisible realm of the finite, something that can divide the divisible without end.” His following statement – that “Otherwise, we are aware of a mathematical axiom that is impeccably cogent if not inescapable, yet gratuitous?! That’s odd. That’s very, very odd” – does not, so far as I can tell, translate into support for his assertion that we have a “very strong reason to believe” what he says. That something strikes us as “odd,” is not justification for appealing to some invisible magic being as the “answer” to the supposedly problematic issue that’s being called “odd.” Perhaps it is in Michael’s mind, but it’s not on an objective orientation to reality.

Seriously, this guy Michael does not come across as a worthy spokesman for what he styles as both the creator of the universe and “Truth and Love.” If anything, it seems he should exhibit more patience, if not a thicker skin. But this is to be expected from Christians when their bluff is called. They have nothing else but emotion to go on, and when it spills out as it has in Michael’s case, it’s clear that this is all he really has to go on. All his theological jargon is merely part of the grandiose self-important façade he’s trying to maintain.

Picking up on my previous line of thought, I wrote:
As for our awareness of what you call “a mathematical axiom,” Objectivism would say that this is implicit in the very process of concept-formation. (This might explain why it seems appropriate to call it an axiom.) Rand notes:
”A concept is not formed by observing every concrete subsumed under it, and does not specify the number of such concretes. A concept is like an arithmetical sequence of specifically defined units, going off in both directions, open at both ends and including all units of that particular kind. For instance, the concept ‘man’ includes all men who live at the present, who have ever lived or who will ever live. An arithmetical sequence extends into infinity, without implying that infinity actually exists; such extension means only that whatever number of unit does exist, it is to be included in the same sequence. The same principle applies to concepts: the concept ‘man’ does not (and need not) specify what number of men will ultimately have existed – it specifies only the characteristics of man, and means that any number of entities possessing these characteristics is to be identified as ‘men’.” (Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, pp. 17-18)
So far from suggesting that “infinity” really exists, or that an actual entity can in fact be “infinite,” the mathematical axiom which you have mentioned really points to our ability to conceptualize, not to something existing in some supernatural realm. Again, I can’t over-stress the importance of a good theory of concepts. I’ve found no theory of concepts in the bible, not even a bad one. But again, perhaps I’m just dense.
Far from interacting with any of this in an adult manner, Michael has shown no indication that he grasps the points that I’ve presented here, let alone showing them to be faulty in any way. And yet he continues to proceed as though the notion of an “infinite consciousness” is perfectly sensible, even going so far as suggesting that its axiomatic.

In fact, however, certain statements of Michael’s only indicate that he has not understood the Objectivist position at all very well. For he continued, stating:
What does appear to be an instance of circular reasoning is Peikoff’s notion that only the finite can exist. He seems to be arguing that because consciousness can only apprehend the potentiality of infinity, but not its realization, infinity doesn’t exist. More at, infinity allegedly has no identity that consciousness can pin down with anything but a referent and, therefore, cannot be said to have any discernable actuality. But that appears to suggest that some sort of consciousness is imposing a constraint on existence.
In response to this, I found it necessary to quote the passage from Peikoff again (see above) and point out the following:
Notice that [Peikoff] says that “an infinite quantity would be a quantity without identity.” He bases this observation directly on the definition he just gave, namely that ‘infinity’ “means larger than any specific quantity.” Since the actual always exists in some (i.e., specific) quantity, the actual is therefore always finite. He’s not saying that anything here which suggests or implies that consciousness puts some kind of constraint on what can or cannot exist. He cites the “potentiality of indefinite addition or subtraction,” not to prove his point (since it’s not based on this), but to demonstrate it in action: “however many segments one has reached at a given point, there are only that many and no more,” i.e., finite.
Clearly Peikoff is contrasting the actual with mere potentiality and notes that the actual is always finite by reference to the definition of ‘infinite’ and to the fact that any actual thing is specific, meaning its attributes exist in some specific quantity. In no way is Peikoff denying the potential to continue adding or dividing units, as the mathematical axiom holds. The mathematical axiom does not state or imply that an actual infinite exists, and mathematics does not require such to be the case. The mathematical concern is answered by the Objectivist theory of concepts, as I pointed out above. It’s a conceptual matter.

But it still appears that Michael has not understood the Objectivist position on the matter. This impression persists when we read the following belligerent comment by Michael:
For example, [Dawson’s] nonsense about the mathematical axiom of division! Are you friggin’ kidding me? That’s a basic, necessary, indispensable mathematic imperative. We cannot even begin to comprehend mathematics, let alone deal with calculi of algebra, geometry, trigonometry or calculus without accepting the obviously rational fact of a linear scale of numeric infinity on either side of the “0”. What do you think the implications of PI and the apparent impossibility, albeit, constructional necessity of squaring the circle are? Peikoff and Dawson are prattling lunacy! No wonder Objectivism is not respected by the academic community at large. Pseudo-mathematical blather! And you drooling idiots are giving him a pass on that?
Notice that nothing I wrote in the previous exchange seems to have sunk in for our friend Michael. Nothing in the passage that I quoted from Peikoff or what I have stated denies either the availability or the usefulness of the concept of infinity in mathematics. There is no indication in either my comments or the Peikoff quote that mathematics must dispense with the concept of infinity. So what is Michael fussing about here? What specifically is he calling “lunacy”? Michael has not been able to secure any rational case for the notion that an actual infinite can or does exist. And yet he still finds it necessary to lash out at me and others personally in spite of my efforts to clarify my position and correct some of his misunderstandings on the matter. Truly his behavior is inexplicable.


The Anti-Conceptual Implications of Christianity’s “God”


Michael writes: “1. First you argue that God cannot have an actually existent object by imagining Him to be an entity trapped inside the space-time continuum, obviating your conclusion. Rather, you began by arguing that he is not trapped inside the continuum and then shift your premise to the other without notice. When you’re shown that your god, your B, could not possibly be what is conceptually understood in the history of philosophical and theological proofs to be an entity of divine perfection existing outside the space-time continuum, you respond as if you don’t understand.”

I’ve explained all this repeatedly, and still Michael is flailing away at his own confusion. He cites “what is conceptually understood in the history of philosophical and theological proofs to be an entity of divine perfection existing outside the space-time continuum,” and yet even this characterization betrays a profound ignorance of the nature of concepts. Theology is riddled with stolen concepts, floating abstractions, and other anti-conceptual notions which ultimately reduce to the primacy of consciousness metaphysics which Michael has denied on the part of human consciousness. And yet it’s present throughout his theology, infecting every morsel of what he accepts as religious ‘knowledge’. And here we have a prime example of this.

He makes use of the concept ‘consciousness’; on an objective orientation to reality (i.e., on one which consistently adheres to the primacy of existence metaphysics), this concept has meaning, and its meaning cannot simply be wiped away in order to make room for the imaginary. But the context in which Michael projects consciousness completely strips it of meaningful content. He likely doesn’t grasp this point since he is so accustomed to misappropriating concepts on behalf of mystical notions which can have meaning only in the confines of religious imagination, and of course he wants to think this is perfectly legitimate. It’s not. The “consciousness” he imagines in the “transcendent” realm is loaded with gratuitous denials of what we know about consciousness by objective methodology. For instance, his god-consciousness is not active (it couldn’t be since it’s “outside” time); it is not dependent on biological structures (it’s magical, like Puff the Magic Dragon); it has no existential purpose (it doesn’t need to identify things that it needs to live – it’s indestructible, immortal, eternal, in need of nothing), etc. It’s “pure five.” It’s nonsense. My argument has only helped to expose these gratuitous departures from reality.

I explained this in an earlier comment where I stated:
To illustrate this, consider an analogous, though more benign example. On a rational view, the concept ‘five’ denotes a number following the number four and preceding the number six, and it assumes equal measure in its units. But suppose someone comes along and says there’s an ultimate “pure five,” and this “pure five” can do all kinds of things that the concept ‘five’ as we know it cannot do, but at the same time it’s clear that he does not think it follows four, it does not precede six, its units are not equal in measure, it is not half of ten, and it is not the square root of 25. It’s “pure five,” so we would be fools to expect it to be like “ordinary five.” On this basis he affirms such “Twilight Zone abruptions” as “five plus four are sixty-two” and “five times five times five are one.” Naturally you and I would find this completely absurd, given its blatant anti-conceptualism. But this is essentially what Objectivists see happening in the case of the Christian’s (mis)use of the concept ‘consciousness when he projects it into this “transcendent” realm he imagines: he takes a concept that is perfectly legitimate in “this” realm and applies it to a realm which is fundamentally different from (if not opposed to) ours, all the while denying its biological nature, it need for genuinely mind-independent objects, its biological purpose, its active nature, etc. It is clearly a case of anti-conceptualism, and given its fundamental (axiomatic) importance, it is far more devastating to one’s philosophy than the fellow who affirms the “pure five” described above.
Christianity’s affirmation of a time-transcending consciousness is directly analogous to the notion of “pure five” as described here. It is an attempt to have one’s cake, and eat it, too. It is expressly anti-conceptual, and theologians have been trying to get away with this kind of “Twilight Zone abruption of crazy” for centuries. Notice the results: theologians incessantly bickering among themselves on every little conceivable tidbit and implication that can be drawn from it. The fact of the matter is that theologians are simply going off in the direction that their imaginations, weighted as they are by their own biases, preferences, mental distortions and anti-conceptual extrapolations, might happen to take them. They departed from reality long ago and are simply running each other over on their own ‘wheels of confusion’.

Also, as I have pointed out, and Michael still seems not to grasp, the fact that his ascribing metaphysical primacy to his god-consciousness can only mean that ultimately there are no mind-independent objects for it to be aware of. He ends up simply chasing his own tail here, since these are problems of his worldview’s own anti-conceptual making, and in his frustration he seeks to lash out at me and others personally, as though this will somehow make the problem go away and/or make us come around and nod our heads in mindless agreement with his worldview. Indeed, none of this mess in Michael’s worldview is my doing. But still he gets sore at me. Observe:

Michael huffed: “Fine. You’re not a liar, you’re stupid.”

No, I am not a liar. As for being stupid on these matters, I’ve been listening to Christians all my life. It is not my fault that they cannot connect their mystical claims to reality. I simply point this out. There may be some stupidity here, but it’s not on my part. Also, I am not a mind-reader. If Michael has something in mind that I am failing to understand after repeated efforts on my part to get his story clear, concise and consistent, I am not the blame for this. It is Michael’s worldview which affirms the primacy of wishing over facts, anti-conceptual mishandlings of otherwise perfectly good concepts, floating abstractions, stolen concepts, unargued assertions about the nature of reality, and apparently condones his belligerent and increasingly foul-mouthed fits of condescension.

And while he states explicitly here that I am not a liar, he later came back and repeatedly called me a liar. He cannot seem to get his own ad hominems straight. As we saw above, he found it necessary to label me as follows:
Liar. Punk. Whore. Snake. Coward. Sociopath.
Why is it that the Christian worldview must always be represented by folks who apparently cannot resist the urge to resort to schoolyard bully tactics? Outbursts like this do nothing either to vouch for Michael’s credibility or support his contentions. On the contrary, they can only undermine both.

Michael continued: “2. When you are shown that the limitations of finite consciousness (your god, your B, in fact, yourself nancing about and spouting stupidities) are categorically distinct things from the issues of identity and actuality; when you’re shown that infinity is a definitive, axiomatic, mathematical principle of necessity: you respond as if you don’t understand!”

See, Cohen is right: “When the believer is in the presence of an unbeliever, it is to preach and ‘witness’, not to listen.” I addressed Michael’s feeble attempts to refute Peikoff’s argument, and I explained the conceptual basis of the concept of infinity – i.e., as it is legitimately understood. It is apparent that it was Michael who has not understood. He confused Peikoff’s example of application with his proof. Then he proceeded to indulge in gratuitous, self-serving assertions which completely ignored the points raised against his imaginary “infinite consciousness.”

Michael huffed again: “You’re not a liar, you’re stupid!”

There there. Perhaps Michael thought that this outburst would make him feel better. It didn’t. His contempt is unsatiable.

Michael wrote: “3. When you are shown that your god, your B, is bound by volition rather than nature and, therefore, that the construct of perfect divinity could not possibly or logically be this strawman of yours, you respond as if you don’t understand.”

Here Michael is in need of correction again. For one thing, he seems to be confusing me with Rick Warden. Moreover, Michael has failed to understand my point that his assertion of the primacy of consciousness cannot be consistently maintained since it can never be complete, making it necessary to borrow from the primacy of existence. Michael even gives me the rope to hang him with in his very objection here. The view that his god is bound by its nature is evidence precisely of this: it did not create its own nature; its nature is not a product of its own conscious activity; its nature is not bound by its volition. Affirming that something is bound by its nature is an implicit affirmation of the primacy of existence, even in the confines of an imagination bent on leaving reality completely behind, as in the case of theism. And yet, on top of this, Michael states that “according to Judeo-Christianity, ultimately, consciousness does have primacy over existence.” He has inconsistent metaphysics coming out his ears, and he doesn’t even realize it. But he still wants to say I’m the stupid one.

Michael continued: “4. When you are shown – what was, in fact, self-evident all along, i.e., that ultimate existence relative to divine perfection (A!) necessarily is divine consciousness, that the two are one and the same thing – you still defend following claptrap of B as if you don’t understand!”

Quoting me: [Y]ou have one foot on the primacy of existence, and another on the primacy of consciousness. Now, perhaps I should have worded it this way, but I didn’t expect my point to raise your ire as it has.”

My point is completely accurate, and it’s so clear and obvious that it’s troubling that he continues to kick against the pricks in such a huffy manner as he does. Michael is the one who has proposed an “analogical” model of reality, where the primacy of existence applies to human consciousness in “this” realm, and that “ultimately, consciousness does have primacy over existence” originating in some “transcendent” realm. His attempts to compartmentalize all this only worsen the matter; they cannot be integrated without contradiction. Either he is simply in denial over this point, or he simply has not grasped it yet. But there’s no question that the primacy of existence and the primacy of consciousness are incompatible and mutually exclusive. There’s also no question that the primacy of existence is the orientation between the subject of consciousness and its objects found in all instances of consciousness in the non-imaginary realm of existence.

Michael goes on: ‘No. You shouldn’t have uttered this stupidity at all. But I offered you an olive branch, an opportunity recant unsustainable arguments due to your failure to grasp this particular aspect of the problem and to do so with dignity. Instead, you respond with more of the same idiocy and have the temerity to make me out to be the bad guy, the one who doesn’t get it. LOL! You are beyond my ire. It’s my contempt with which I regard you now.”

Michael’s contempt has been variably evident from the very beginning of his participation in this discussion. It is nothing new. I strongly doubt that I am the cause of his contempt. His contempt is likely something he’s been carrying around for many years, and he’s simply looking for new victims to cast it on. I am not a victim, and Michael will never be able to victimize me. I still stand solid and sure, and that will only take his contempt to new heights. It is not my problem.

Michael’s worldview, premised as it is on the primacy of consciousness, can only lead to the primacy of a bad attitude in its adherents. Michael is a living example of this.

Michael says that “The problem of existence and, therefore, the construct of divine perfection is objectively self-evident to all. In other words, the idea of God objectively exists in and of itself; it imposes itself on our minds without our willing that it do so. It’s axiomatic. It resides at the base of knowledge, and the atheist proves this every time he opens his yap to deny that there be any actuality behind it.”

In order to accept any of this “claptrap,” I would have to ignore and systematically deny the fundamental distinction, which I know exists, between reality and imagination. I can imagine Michael’s god just as I can imagine the Lahu tribesman’s Geusha. But nothing will ever be able to alter the fact that what I’m imagining is not real, no matter what labels we want to fix it (e.g., “divine perfection,” “the eternally existing now!” etc.).

Michael writes: “In his stupid argument against theism (‘Divine Lonesomeness’), Dawson necessarily acknowledges that the idea of God refers to a Being Who existed prior to all other existents as the Creator of all other existents apart from Him, WHICH OBVIOUSLY INCLUDES THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM!”

This is like saying “God caused causality.” It is utterly incoherent. Prior to this creative act, there could be no action whatsoever, since causality is the identity of action. Similarly with the notion of creating “THE SPACE-TIME CONTIUUM.” This attempt to rebut the argument incoherently (and gratuitously) posits consciousness outside of time. But as I pointed out, consciousness is a type of activity, and activity implies time – i.e., action over time. On the view Michael proposes, there could be no conscious activity prior to his god creating “THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM,” including its own alleged conscious activity. It’s just more fantasy bottled up and put out for sale as “philosophy.” It’s completely anti-philosophical, completely anti-rational, completely anti-conceptual.

When Michael states: “Dawson simultaneously argues the eternally existent now and argues against it, proving it’s [sic] cogency as encompassed by the construct of divine perfection.”

Now Michael is straw-manning me. I did not “argue the eternally existent now”. Michael is confused. I simply explained why the notion is incoherent given the attempt to package it with consciousness. All this has gone straight over Michael’s head, and he has allowed his contempt to prevent him from understanding all of this. Michael’s devotion to a set of imaginary constructs informed by notions completely devoid of objective content while using the cover of legitimate concepts which have been gratuitously ripped from their rational context, has set the tone of his mission to accomplish nothing in particular in his discussion with me, save perhaps to find a new object for his growing contempt.

Michael then flares his nostrils: “Dawson, the nincompoop of nincompoops is arguing that the idea of a self-subsistent Creator Who resides outside and independently of the space-time continuum is irrational because this idea of a self-subsistent Creator Who resides outside and independently of the space-time continuum would not have an actually existent object to apprehend apart from Himself in His timeless because He doesn’t reside outside and independently of the space-time continuum!”

Actually, the incoherence in Michael’s god-belief is even worse. He makes use of the concept ‘consciousness’ while denying its genetic roots, including the temporal implications of action. Consciousness is a type of activity. But positing consciousness “outside and independently of the space-time continuum” can only mean the consciousness in question is not capable of any action. But in this state of being “outside and independent of the space-time continuum,” Michael still treats it as though it were capable of action, namely creating the space-time continuum in the first place. It all collapses into stolen concept upon stolen concept, which is the hallmark of mystical incoherence. But we should use caution here: pointing this out will only leave mystics roasting in their own fumes of contempt. Want evidence? Observe Michael’s behavior in the comments of my blog.

Instead of regaining lost ground, Michael simply digs his hole deeper and deeper.

Michael gratuitously asserts: “The possibility of God’s existence cannot be rationally denied out right. It cannot be done! Any such argument will always entail an inherent, self-negating contradiction!”

For one, if there is no rational justification for positing “the possibility of God’s existence” in the first place, then there’s no need to deny it: it is simply inadmissible at its first mention. And of course, there is no rational justification for positing “the possibility of God’s existence.” There is no “inherent, self-negating contradiction” in pointing any of this out. Nor is there any “inherent, self-negating contradiction” in the following anti-theistic argument:
Premise 1: That which is imaginary is not real.  
Premise: 2: If something is not real, it does not actually exist.  
Premise 3: If the god of Christianity is imaginary, then it is not real and therefore does not actually exist.  
Premise 4: The god of Christianity is imaginary.  
Conclusion: Therefore, the god of Christianity is not real and therefore does not actually exist.
The Christian’s god is a figment of his imagination, informed by a storybook worldview which likens the universe to a cartoon.

Michael fumes: “So Judeo-Christianity has no epistemology, eh? Well, one thing’s for sure, unlike Judeo-Christianity, no atheistic system of thought can point to a rationally coherent foundation for its epistemology.”

Actually, Objectivism can: we have the primacy of existence. This is not a principle that one will learn about in the pages of Leviticus or the First Epistle to the Corinthians. It is completely incompatible with the religious view of the world, and yet one must assume it even in denying it. So Michael is simply spouting absolute falsehoods here.

What Michael does next is an attempt to assimilate Objectivist principles as if they properly belonged to Christianity. I guess I can’t blame him: since Objectivism’s principles are undeniably true, one could only hope that they were on his side. But Objectivism’s principles are clearly not on any theist’s side. He has to deny them, even though such denial is self-refuting and incoherent.

Meanwhile, Michael’s newly adopted sidekick Nide piped in with the following comment: “These fellows haven’t been reflecting. They need to search their souls. Where the soul is, there you will find God.”

In other words, one must turn the focus of his awareness inward to “find God.” Talk about slips of the tongue! This is a dead give-away that what the Christian calls “knowledge of God” is really just his own imagination. He turns his focus inward, to his imagination, and that is where he “finds God.” But Objectivists have been pointing this out for decades. No wonder Michael’s contempt continues to break the bounds of adult civility in our discussion. He’s performatively making my case for me.

Michael writes: “The impression comes to us immediately and all at once: either (1) matter has always existed in some form or another, in some dimensional estate or another, or (2) it was caused to exist by a being who has always existed, a necessarily transcendent being of unlimited genius and power. In other words, the First Cause is either inanimate or sentient, immanent or transcendent.”

Michael’s false dichotomy here notwithstanding, what the Christian needs to do is demonstrate the objective validity of the notion that matter was created by an act of consciousness. Surely we can imagine this. But imagination is not fact. If Michael has any evidence to support the assumption that matter can be created by an act of consciousness, he is welcome to present it. But if he has no such evidence, then he should come out of the closet on the matter and openly concede that he does not.

As for me, I know of no evidence to support the notion that consciousness can create matter. Which means: I have no legitimate basis to accept such a notion as a distinct possibility. Simply imagining it is not a sufficient basis to accept it as a real possibility, let alone an actual phenomenon. Throughout my discussion with Michael David Rawlings, I have repeatedly pointed out to him that, given its emphatic affirmation and adherence to the primacy of existence, Objectivism explicitly recognizes the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination. Michael has consistently avoided interacting with this point, and we should not be surprised by this: Christianity is all about building up phantasm-constructs in the imagination of the believer which compel him through fear and break his spirit as a human being. Without these imagined phantasm-constructs, Christianity is absolutely contentless. So acknowledging the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination will only be fatal to Christian theism. So Michael’s aversion to interacting with this point is to be expected: it’s the one pin-prick that brings the whole artifice of Christianity crashing down on itself.


Inconsistent Metaphysics at the Root of the Christian Worldview

One of the observations I had made in my discussion with Michael is the fact that Christianity cannot maintain a consistent stance on the issue of metaphysical primacy. Above we have already saw Michael’s admission that “according to Judeo-Christianity, ultimately, consciousness does have primacy over existence.” He insists that “God’s primacy over existence is absolute.” So Michael admits outright that Christianity affirms the primacy of consciousness metaphysics. The primacy of consciousness is the root of metaphysical subjectivism, since it grants metaphysical primacy to the subject of consciousness in the subject-object relationship. So by affirming the primacy of consciousness, Michael admits that the essence of Christian metaphysics is subjective in nature. It’s a worldview essentially premised on the view that wishing makes it so.

Another Christian commenter, Rick Warden, sought to refute my argument that Christianity affirms the primacy of consciousness by claiming that the dogmatic premise that the Christian god did not create itself can only mean that the primacy of existence is the proper metaphysical orientation of Christianity. Of course, it is easy to see that Warden’s line of argument is a non sequitur: it would not follow simply from the premise that the Christian god did not create itself, that the primacy of existence is thereby consistently affirmed throughout Christianity.

But Warden’s objection did introduce a point which I have made in past writings, namely that even with respect solely to the Christian god, the Christian cannot maintain a consistent metaphysics. The issue here is very simple, and it should not be difficult for Michael or any other Christian to grasp. Keep in mind that Christians say that their god is conscious. So there are two things to consider here: one, the orientation between the Christian god as a subject and anything it is said to have created, such as a flower, as an object of its consciousness; and two, the orientation between the Christian god as a subject and itself as an object of its consciousness. Neither of these considerations should, so far, be controversial for the Christian: the Christian maintains that his god created the flower and has awareness of it, that the flower is an object of his god’s awareness; and Christians typically hold that the Christian god is self-aware, that it can have itself as an object of its own awareness, just as we can. So the Christian should not be protesting the setup of our examination, unless of course he’s afraid of where it may lead and is simply not emotionally prepared for what may come.

Michael’s response to this line of inquiry has consisted of reciting a mantra phrase, namely “divine perfection,” and charging that my line of inquiry does not accurately take into account whatever this is supposed to mean. He says that “the construct of divine perfection… is universally self-evident,” and yet, even if this were true (it’s not; if Michael actually thinks it’s self-evident, it’s because this notion is so entrenched in his imagination that it seems immediate to him; one has direct, introspective awareness of things he imagines), it would not obviate my line of inquiry since the Christian god is still maintained to be conscious of the things it is said to have created as well as of itself.

Indeed, note the line of argument proposed by Rick Warden: Warden insisted emphatically that the primacy of consciousness is not the proper metaphysics of Christianity. This is in direct contradiction to explicit statements made by Michael. In opposed restricted senses, both are correct: on the one hand, Warden is correct that a consciousness not creating itself implies the primacy of existence, though it would not follow from this that other statements about this consciousness are consistent with the primacy of existence; on the other, Michael has affirmed outright that “according to Judeo-Christianity, ultimately, consciousness does have primacy over existence” and that “God’s primacy over existence is absolute.” The fact of the matter, however, is that neither of these two Christians can hold the metaphysical position they have affirmed consistently. True, the Christian god is portrayed as a consciousness enjoying metaphysical primacy over the objects it has created: it created the flower, it determined how many petals it has, it determined its quantity of pistols and stamens, it determined when and where it would grow, and how long it would live, etc. So the primacy of consciousness is the metaphysics involved in the subject-object relationship of the Christian god’s consciousness when the object under consideration is something it is said to have designed and created. It is in the context of such a relationship that the Christian god’s wishing makes it so.

But when the Christian god is the object of its own awareness, when the relationship under consideration is that of the Christian god’s self-awareness, as Warden was concerned about, the picture changes fundamentally. Here the Christian cannot maintain the primacy of consciousness, since, as Warden pointed out, Christianity holds that the Christian god did not create itself. And clearly it did not design and create its own nature, whatever that nature might be. Its nature as a “divine perfection” is not something it wished into being at some point. So when the subject-object relationship of the Christian god’s consciousness has itself as its own object of awareness, the primacy of consciousness cannot be maintained. Here the Christian has no choice but to borrow the primacy of existence from the Objectivist and apply it internally within Christianity, where it, too, cannot be consistently maintained.

This metaphysical inconsistency is apart from and in addition to the metaphysical inconsistency we saw above with respect to how the Christian worldview treats human consciousness. Recall above that Michael had insisted that “Nowhere in scripture is it asserted that a finite mind (subject) can have primacy over an existent (object).” And yet, we have already seen sufficient indication “in scripture” where the primacy of consciousness is unmistakably affirmed in the case of human consciousness.

Michael’s belligerent denials and repeated resorting to name-calling on both of these topics can only indicate that he has not fully grasped the issue of metaphysical primacy in terms of the subject-object relationship, which is an open question when any conscious activity is in play, whether that conscious activity is actual (as in the case of human consciousness) or imaginary (as in the case of theism). Or, alternatively, it indicates that he does grasp these points, but resents their implications for his position and consequently finds it necessarily to aim his hostility at those who point it out. Neither alternative justifies his frequent resorting to name-calling and other hostile actions, such as commanding other commenters to “shut up.” Such behavior only suggests that he cannot handle the truth and is frustrated by repeated attempts to confront him with the truth. Nor does such behavior rescue his worldview from the internal collapse of its debilitating stolen concepts.

When I stated that “I really have no idea what an ‘infinite consciousness’ could be,” Michael replied:
Really? Now, were you suffering from this bout of amnesia before or after you premised your argument on it in “Divine Lonesomeness”? that is, before you switched your premise in your futile attempt to make your argument work, a bit subterfuge that evinces a very good understanding of the distinction between them and, thus, their respective identities.”
Here Michael is both confused and incoherent. One can cite a notion in an argument while confessing that it really has no meaning, especially when that notion is not native to one’s own position and its meaningless has been shown to be a sufficient reason to dismantle objections raised against that argument which rely on re-affirming the notion in question as though it were conceptually valid. There is no “amnesia” on my part in any of this. My point in the above statement is to emphasize the fact that, from what I know to be true, the notion of an “infinite consciousness” not only has no referent in reality, it is literally incoherent. There really is nothing incongruous between this and earlier statements I’ve made. But Michael, as evidenced by his frequent fits of belligerence and eruptions of name-calling, is clearly in desperation mode, so he’s anxious to turn any statement I make, no matter how incidental or passing, into something it isn’t. Observe:

When I point out that the notion of an “infinite consciousness” is “literally and utterly nonsensical,” Michael replies:
Right. And Aristotle and Moses were buffoons. But tell me something, genius, since you don’t grasp the axiomatic, mathematical necessity of infinity (you know, the pertinent imperative you left out of my argument), how did you refute you the A of divine perfection? Are you saying that you don’t grasp the mathematical axiom and so that’s why you left it out? Or are you imply [sic] that you do get it, but need not directly refute it?
See how Michael wants to read much, much more into what I state here? For one, I have never stated that Aristotle was a “buffoon.” This is Michael’s own interpretation – his eisegesis - of my position. Objectivists do not affirm everything attributed to Aristotle in the writings that have survived and have been attributed to him. Objectivists acknowledge that he did not fully extinguish the mystical implications in many ideas that he accepted from his forebears and affirmed in his own teachings. Do Christians affirm everything Aristotle taught or is thought to have taught? Indeed, Nide (who now posts as “Richard” – Michael’s adopted sidekick) has gone on record stating “Aristotle was wrong about much. It always amazes me that people take him seriously.” Is Michael expecting everyone to take everything Aristotle said seriously? I’ve never made such an assertion. Indeed, whence comes Michael’s belligerent attitude?

As for Moses, the character in the Judeo-Christian storybook, there is much in its stories that make him look like a buffoon. Indeed, the bush that was burning on the top of Mt. Sinai must have been cannabis. If Moses really existed as described in those stories, he was just one in a long line of primitive witch doctors. Michael is welcome to worship at his feet if he so chooses.

As for “the axiomatic, mathematical necessity of infinity,” the mathematical use and application of the concept ‘infinity’ in no way assumes or implies that “infinity” is some conscious, transcendent agent that created the universe and has the ability to revise the identities of its contents willy-nilly. The “argument” for such a notion rests on non sequiturs and a hugely false theory of concepts. There is no objective relationship between the concept of infinity as it is used in mathematics and the Christian god whatsoever. And Michael hasn’t shown any. My, how surprising!

With this, we can be assured that the headstone for Michael’s Christianity can be lowered into place. The decomposing cadaver of his worldview has caused quite a stink, but time has come to lower the casket into the bowels of the earth now that the final nail has sealed it shut.

by Dawson Bethrick

Labels:

941 Comments:

Blogger Richard said...

But it's true Dawson. Aristolte was imagining a bunch of stuff. This is the guy that influenced your "philosophy of reason."

In fact, his teacher, Plato admitted that he may have been imagining things. Now, we know were Aristotle got his imaginative nature.

December 09, 2012 6:37 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

It would help you look a bit better if you read more than a few lines and made sure you understand what Dawson said about them. It's obvious from what you say that you did not read Dawson's OP too carefully. Not even the parts mentioning Aristotle.

It would also help if you thought carefully about the meaning of the word "influence" and whether that means what you think it means.

Why on Earth do people like you like presuming to have any upper hand if you can't be careful enough and go beyond your stupid rhetorics and actually try and understand something?

December 09, 2012 7:16 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Hey photo,

Understand what?

The fact that Aristole was imagining things?

December 09, 2012 7:30 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Dawson,

That was quite the long read. But it was worth it. Thanks.

December 09, 2012 8:58 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, Michael,

My comment and question on the previous thread may have been overlooked, buried amidst a flurry of other comments. Just in case that happened and you're interested in addressing it, here it is again:

I wrote: "To be honest, I was beginning to feel a little left out in that I hadn't been directly labeled a dolt, meathead, oaf, simpleton, idiot, etc., etc., etc. But then I noticed Richard's comment and all my concerns evaporated.

Anyway, would you mind briefly sharing your understanding as to why it is that theologians chose to apply "analogical reasoning" to god and/or god belief? According to you, what was their main purpose for doing so?"

Thanks.

Ydemoc


December 09, 2012 9:30 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hi photo,

Thanks for reading! I realize it’s long, but there were a lot of thoughts that came to mind while considering Michael’s anger-laden comments. My internet was down beginning sometime Friday afternoon before I got home from work. Apparently a tech from our internet carrier was setting up service for a neighbor’s house, and he ended up switching connections with that house – so that house got our service, and we didn’t get any. The tech did not return to fix the error until late Sunday. I had to use the 3G connection on my iPhone to catch up with all the fireworks!

I'm curious to see how Michael responds to your questions about the "divine perfection" being "self-evident." Here’s your question again, from the previous thread:

<< I read all six "explanations" about infinities and math. All of them lack any mathematical/reality/whatever connection to both, actual infinity, and to "divine" anything. None of your explanations jump as being self-evident and axiomatic. Actually they depend on many other things (just see how many times you tried to explain it, yet it does not become any more evident, that should tell you that something is wrong with your definitions/understanding of what axiomatic and self-evident mean). >>

He made a statement to the effect that he had already explained it five times prior to this, but frankly I find that quite puzzling.

[continued…]

December 10, 2012 12:35 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

He’s said some other strange things about his “construct of divine perfection,” notably in reply to freddies_dead. On 8 Dec., he wrote: "The construct itself is universally understood. I don't own it."

A bit later he also stated: "The construct is universally self-evident. It has nothing to do with scripture. freddies doesn’t know what it is, and he accused me of something without bothering to confirm anything firsthand." (8 Dec.)

It's really hard to see how all this fits together. He says that "the construct itself is universally understood," which he simply asserts; he gives no reasons for supposing that's the case. Then he says that "freddies doesn't know what it is," which completely defies his claim that it's "universally understood."

As for "the construct of divine perfection" being "universally self-evident," this too is in need of explanation.

Recall my own statements, back on 30 Nov., pertaining to the need for Michael to identify his ultimate starting point:

<< You might also tell what your worldview’s starting point is. By this I mean a *conceptually irreducible* primary. Really, this would cut out a lot of extraneous digressions and contentious disputing. It would go to the heart of the matter. If your worldview does indeed have a theory of concepts, you should understand what a conceptually irreducible primary is. You should be able to explain why you think the starting point you identify is conceptually irreducible. You should be able to identify the means by which you are aware of it. If you have to infer it from something else, then it’s clearly not fundamental – other knowledge came before it. So this would be a good exercise for you and any other thinker to work on. >>

Certainly the notion "divine perfection" is not *conceptually irreducible.* What does “divine” mean? If it needs to be defined in terms of more fundamental concepts, then clearly it’s not conceptually irreducible. Ditto for ‘perfection’. Also, if “the construct of divine perfection” is self-evident, by what means does anyone supposedly have awareness of it? For it to be self-evident, we would need to be directly aware of it, such as when you perceive an object right in front of you. Is Michael aware of this construct by extrospectively looking out into the world? If so, what does “divine perfection” look like? Taste like? Smell like? Feel like? Can it be weighed? Can it be heated or cooled? Can it fit into the back of a Toyota Camry? Or, does he acquire awareness of it by turning the focus of his awareness inward? If so, how does he distinguish his mode of awareness from his imagination? How can we distinguish his mode of awareness from what may merely be his imagination? Questions questions, but so far I’ve not seen them addressed at all.

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 12:35 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Photo,

You also wrote: “There's also a few mistakes/equivocations in the math itself, just where you jump, because the parts you miss before jumping into ‘therefore infinities are indivisible and have no beginning no end’ should be talking about zero, rather than infinity, and there's no connections yet to reality nor with divinity.”

Great point, especially the part that how Michael’s conclusion “should be talking about zero, rather than infinity.” Very good catch! I think you’re entirely right. You’re also right that he has yet to connect any of this to reality. Perhaps he thinks it’s “self-evident.” If so, his notion of ‘self-evident’ is light years away from mine, and while I’ve explained mine, I don’t believe I’ve seen him explain his. Of course, that’s probably my fault. After all, he seems to think I’m a “Liar. Punk. Whore. Snake. Coward. Sociopath.”

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 12:36 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

By the way, photo, I have to say, I really enjoyed your comment, back on 4 Dec., regarding theologians and their reliance on eisegesis in their efforts essentially to hijack elements from secular philosophies in order to give them the appearance of having a footing in “scripture.” That’s a keeper! I’m pinning it to my wall!

On that note, we still have not seen what Michael apparently thinks is a distinctively Christian theory of concepts. He scoffed at the mere raising of this question with his “LOL!” as if I were a complete ignoramus for doing so. But I raised this question, if you recall, over a month ago, when the discussion was just starting out, and here we are, well into December, and Michael still has given no hide nor hair of where we can find theory of concepts laid out in the bible. Is it in Lamenations? Is it in Hosea? Is it in Numbers? Is it in II Peter? I Corinthians? Luke-Acts perhaps? I’m still waiting.

Indeed, much of Michael’s contorted thinking on many of the topics discussed so far can be tracked back to a very confused understanding of concepts. So I’m very curious to see what this theory of his looks like. As I mentioned to Michael previously, I’m not interested in what some 9th or 18th century theologian has produced. As you’ve indicated, I’m not asking for eisegesis here. I’m asking for what the bible has to say on the matter. If it doesn’t address the topic of concepts – what they are, how they are formed, how they are defined, how they unite the units which they denote, how they can be integrated into higher abstractions, etc. – then Michael should just admit this. Erupting onto the scene with fits of name-calling and slanderous statements only makes matters worse for him. It doesn’t harm me at all.

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 12:50 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo,

You write: "I read all six "explanations" about infinities and math. All of them lack any mathematical/reality/whatever connection to both, actual infinity, and to "divine" anything. None of your explanations jump as being self-evident and axiomatic. Actually they depend on many other things (just see how many times you tried to explain it, yet it does not become any more evident, that should tell you that something is wrong with your definitions/understanding of what axiomatic and self-evident mean).

There's also a few mistakes/equivocations in the math itself, just where you jump, because the parts you miss before jumping into "therefore infinities are indivisible and have no beginning no end" should be talking about zero, rather than infinity, and there's no connections yet to reality nor with divinity."

These are bald statements, not arguments. They are useless, meaningless nonsense.

Real arguments begin by accurately stating the argument you intend to disprove, they begin with a demonstration that you correctly understand what the argument you're challenging asserts.

You start with one specific argument at a time, communicating with the arguer to make sure that you‘re not misinterpreting anything, leaving out anything, and the Socratic method in this sort of setting is the very best approach.

Then, once terms are mutually and objectively established, if you can, you show how the argument is wrong.

Your crap is pure sophistry. Anyone can say anything, can claim anything out of context.

All we're reading here is your opinion about something, your interpretation of something that in and of itself in not in evidence that we might all objectively assess whether or not you know what you're talking about.

You say I’ve got this all wrong? Really?

Well, step inside the objectivity of the Socratic method with me, and let’s see how well your opinions and interpretations of things not in evidence holds up.

I need to run an errand. You give that some thought, and I’ll be back with you shortly. Give me one hour.

December 10, 2012 10:47 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Say, Dawson, I noticed that once again, you're trying to set up an impression in the minds of the readers of this discussion that attacks the man, instead of letting the arguments speak for themselves. Bad form, Dawson. It’s the stuff of a snake.

December 10, 2012 10:51 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo,

So you’re saying that I haven’t shown how infinity and perfection are corollaries, or how infinity is perfection in the philosophical or theological sense, which, of course, is what I’m actually talking about.

Given that you are STILL insisting that I misread freddies, I’m not sure that it will do any good explaining it to you again. But I will try.

First, freddies’ post unmistakably follows the following order of argumentation:

1. He states that Dawson makes “a good point” in regard to the theist’s alleged inability to maintain the primacy of consciousness over existence (a point that I did address and utterly destroyed).

2. Then freddies quotes Dawson’s argument (you know, the “good point” made by Dawson that I did address and utterly destroyed.)

3 Then freddies asks ME if I thought Dawson wouldn’t notice, in essence, the vapidity of the theist’s position and MY evasion of Dawson’s so-called “good point” (once again, the “good point” that I did address and utterly destroyed).

DUH!

In the construct of divine perfection, ultimate existence (the very ground and origin of all that exists) and divine consciousness are necessarily and logically one and the same thing! The expression that divine consciousness has primacy over existence is merely an operational expression that goes to the IDENTITY of the consciousness that has primacy over existence as opposed to the consciousness that does not have primacy over existence: namely, created, contingent, finite consciousness.

Dear Lord! This observation is just barely more complex than the expression that 2 + 2 = 4. And you wonder why this “asshole,” as you put it, treats you ninnies with his contempt. Dawson and Peikoff make baby talk about an inescapable mathematical axiom (never mind the related implications of Pi and the problem of squaring the circle!) and you wonder why I treat you ninnies with contempt.

freddies made no reference whatsoever to the argument in which I address Dawson’s point and utterly destroyed it. freddies never once addressed the merits of my counterargument in which I did address Dawson’s point and utterly destroyed it. Hence, apparently, freddies was not aware of the fact that I did address Dawson’s point and utterly destroyed it. Apparently, freddies had only read Dawson’s point and had not read the post in which I did in fact address it and utterly destroyed it. If that is not the case, than why is the argument in which I did in fact address Dawson’s point and utterly destroyed it not directly mentioned or addressed by freddies in any way, shape or form in his original post so that we would have IN EVIDENCE some sign that freddies was aware of the counterargument in which I did in fact address Dawson’s point and utterly destroyed it.

Is that expressed emphatically clear enough for you now? Never mind, the question is rhetorical. Go ahead and just lie like you did before. LOL!

Even my 8-year-old grandniece could follow the logic of this observation. Why can’t you? Knock, knock, anybody home? freddies doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He jumps up in the middle of a discourse and spouts nonsense about a “good point” that the theist supposedly can’t counter and one that I supposedly evaded. You know, the point that I did in fact address, and not only that, I utterly destroyed it!

Shut up with your idiocy that I misread or misunderstood freddies. And now, for the third and last time, I addressed your claim that I misread or misunderstood freddies’ and utterly destroyed it.

December 10, 2012 11:54 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo,

As for infinity and perfection, the logical formulation: divine infinity = timelessness = indivisibility + (omnipotence, omnipresence, omniscience) = perfection.

Now, to explain this to you, we will employ the Socratic method of discourse . . . or not, for that’s the only way I’m going to go back over what I’ve already proven logically and mathematically. It’s up to you.
___________________________________________

Let us begin.

The Objectivist claims that the only things that can exist are finite. Infinity supposedly has no discernable identity and, therefore, can have no actuality. In other words, the nature of potentialities (the potential things or musings or calculi of consciousness) do not have actuality because the indefinable potentialities of consciousness cannot have primacy over the actualities of existence.

Peikoff argues that for consciousness infinity can never be anything more than an indefinable potentiality. Using Aristotle’s illustration, Peikoff shows that no matter how many times consciousness divides a line, the number of segments will always be a finite number. The idea that a line can be divided an infinite number of times has no actual substance. It’s merely a potentiality; i.e., this implied or theoretical infinity, its nature, has no ground or actual substance or reality in existence. On the other hand, the number of divided segments is always finite, concrete. Those are actual.

(Now, bear in mind that Aristotle -- like Moses and Daniel and Isaiah and others before him, indeed, virtually every other thinker of note in the history of philosophy and theology -- extrapolate from this a conclusion that is 180 degrees the opposite.)

Question: What is the implied, underlying presupposition of this argument? Can you identify it? Can you name it (articulate it) for all to hear and see?
mccasser939

December 10, 2012 11:55 AM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

I have noticed that whenever some comment challenges your presumptions or gives you something you had not thought about you say something similar to:

These are bald statements, not arguments. They are useless, meaningless nonsense.

You have done this repeatedly, and as Dawson would put it, your complain is autobiographical. You come here, make a ton of bald statements, then instead of explaining where that shit comes from, you continue with more and more bald statements. When you finally try a few explanations, but they fail, you melt down in tears and tantrums.

So I wonder if it is worth my time to try and show you exactly where you are jumping in your presentations of what you claim to be self-evident axiomatic crap (the divine perfection shit). If you can't understand the plain English I used on those paragraphs that you copied, and thus qualify them as "useless, meaningless nonsense," I have to wonder if I can expect you to understand any further words?

they begin with a demonstration that you correctly understand what the argument you're challenging asserts

I did that. I said that it seemed that you think that because we can make mathematical abstractions about infinity therefore divine perfection, but asked for clarification/explanations in case I missed something. I added those paragraphs to avoid seeing you repeat the same non-sequiturs you had already presented. Yet, you seem rather taken aback because I won't buy into the jumps and hidden assumptions that you must hold in order to go from "any object could be divided ..." to therefore "divine perfection." So I wonder how much you rather not read, or read and pretend not to understand to avoid having to explain your gratuitous assumptions.

Your crap is pure sophistry.

The moment you said that my paragraphs were unintelligible you lost the right to qualify them in any other way. Either you can't understand them, or you understand and can demonstrate how the paragraphs are pure sophistry.

You say I’ve got this all wrong? Really?

Nope. I said that your explanations have unwarranted jumps. That they had non-sequiturs. That you should try to fill in those gaps if you expected us to see what you assumed to be self-evident. That maybe your definitions of self-evident and axiomatic need some work.

So, in summary, unless you can show me that you might understand the words I write, I see no point in trying to help you see where is it that you jump. I would be happy to do so, but if what I wrote was hieroglyphics to you, yet others have shown that the paragraphs were understandable (despite a mistake in your number of explanations, which was five, not six), then how can I expect you to understand if I put a sign at each point where you make a "leap of faith" in your diatribe?

Being the charitable guy that I am, I will take it very well if you just say you are wrong, that my English was not that bad, but that you would like to know where those leaps of faith are in your "explanation." Disregarding my attempt at helping you advance a bit further than you did in your previous five "explanations" as "useless, meaningless nonsense" was not precisely useful.

So? Will you be able to follow if I just put marks in your paragraph? Or was all of this meaningless nonsense to you and thus there's no point in continuing?

December 10, 2012 12:26 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Dawson,

Thanks for following my words. I thought you had retired from the conversation. After all, it had developed into Mike's tantrums and there's not much one could do after people show such levels of incomprehension.

Best.

December 10, 2012 12:34 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

are you a randian?

December 10, 2012 1:13 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Ydemoc,

Ah. Don't feel left out. I'll start asking you questions.

Apparently you read the drubbing I gave Dawson’s inherently contradictory, indeed, self-negating arguments against God’s existence. Why are you still spelling God with your ungrammatical pejorative g? The construct of divine perfection (an entity of first, uncaused cause residing outside and independently of the space-time continuum) doesn’t go to the anthropological conceptions of myth. It goes to the historic, inescapable problem of origin, objectively and universally understood by all.

Also, what does the term “god,” as you put it, refer to in terms of origin? Can we apply the term “god” to your eternally existent universe? If not, why not? And if your ill-defined existence has not always existed than how did it come to be? Would the original first cause be “god,” whatever that might be, or does the chain of cause-and-effect go back without end, you know, into the realm of infinity that according to the Objectivist cannot have identity and, therefore, cannot existence? But wait a minute. If there is no original, uncaused cause or no impossible chain of infinite cause-and-effect, how did you and I come to be? We do exist don’t we, you and I, along with everything else around us?

I’m just wondering because for some reason Dawson seems to think that Peikoff’s eternally existent, uncaused universe explains things better than an eternally existent, uncaused deity that resides outside and independently of the universe. Given the obvious absurdity of Dawson’s muse (the premise of “Divine Lonesomeness”) , what’s the difference between an eternally existent, uncaused universe and an eternally existent uncaused deity in terms of necessity?

Answer: None!

How does imagining that consciousness might have always existed (another obtuse Dawsonianism), help the Objectivist’s argument? And if consciousness didn’t always exist than how did something that supposedly has primacy, yet has no awareness at all, produce something arguably greater than itself?

Dawson the Obtuse never actually addressed these problems in any way, shape or form that overthrows God’s existence! His bloviations tell us nothing new. Indeed, he necessarily acknowledges -- proves! -- that the problem of origin with its inherent, inescapable alternatives are logical imperatives that cannot be rationally denied.

December 10, 2012 1:19 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

I do not even know what Randian means.

December 10, 2012 1:29 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Photo,

You wrote: “Thanks for following my words. I thought you had retired from the conversation. After all, it had developed into Mike's tantrums and there's not much one could do after people show such levels of incomprehension.”

Yes, Michael’s fits and episodes of hysteria and contempt are making it impossible to hold a discussion with him. His increasing inability to comprehend, or insistence to continue disunderstanding, is also making it impossible to hold a discussion with him. And yet, he still has the temerity to make statements like:

<< Say, Dawson, I noticed that once again, you're trying to set up an impression in the minds of the readers of this discussion that attacks the man, instead of letting the arguments speak for themselves. Bad form, Dawson. It’s the stuff of a snake. >>

Good grief! This is the same guy who’s got a growing track record of resorting to foul-mouthed epithets, name-calling, schoolyard bully talk and downright slanderous personal attacks. Amazing!

Then he asks: “what’s the difference between an eternally existent, uncaused universe and an eternally existent uncaused deity in terms of necessity?”

His answer: “None!”

Well, if he really thinks this, then what’s all his fuss about?

Really, this guy is amazing. His mind full-bore sold-out to his mysticism, and a sure sign of this is his uncontainable flaring of contempt that erupts whenever he’s called to explain himself. This just goes back to an earlier question I posed to Michael a while back, and to which I still have yet to see an answer that goes to explaining his irrational behavior: what exactly is his purpose here?

I’m reminded of something Francois Tremblay might say: “Stop feeding the trolls!”

There’s Michael’s “LOL!”

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 1:50 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Photo,

So you're saying that you have no responsibility to first demonstrate that you properly understand the arguments you claim to be this or that out of context or out of evidence, eh?

Those were your claims, not mine. I have already put down my arguments for all to see. I have already demonstrated more than once that I understand the opposing argument as well.

You have yet to directly demonstrate do either.

We don't even know if you properly understand Pickoff’s argument or if you grasp his underlying presupposition.

I mean, I don't understand. What's the problem, photo?

Since, as you say, my arguments don't make any sense, you shouldn't have any problem with answering my question in the above about Peikoff's argument and the questions that will follow. Right?

Tantrums?

It's seems to me that you just threw one . . . and still you have yet to directly demonstrate that you grasp either argument.

December 10, 2012 1:51 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Richard,

Do you smell bluster and attacking the man from the atheists around here or arguments?

I'm smellin' the stench of the former. How about you?

December 10, 2012 1:53 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael wrote: “Can we apply the term ‘god’ to your eternally existent universe? If not, why not? And if your ill-defined existence has not always existed than how did it come to be? Would the original first cause be ‘god’, whatever that might be, or does the chain of cause-and-effect go back without end, you know, into the realm of infinity that according to the Objectivist cannot have identity and, therefore, cannot existence? But wait a minute. If there is no original, uncaused cause or no impossible chain of infinite cause-and-effect, how did you and I come to be? We do exist don’t we, you and I, along with everything else around us?”

Michael’s line of inquiry here simply shows that he’s unfamiliar with the basics of Objectivist 101. Objectivism does not hold to the view of causality assumed in all this. Objectivism rejects the event-based view of causation, and rather goes with the entity-based view of causation. Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around.

No wonder this guy is as lost as he is. He needs a complete rehabilitative education, but his appalling attitude has already ruled this out as a complete impossibility at this point.

Wow! Just wow!

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 1:55 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael writes: “The idea that a line can be divided an infinite number of times has no actual substance.”

Indeed. What in the world is “an infinite number”? What number is that? How much is it? What number comes right before it? Is there a number that comes after it?

Again, wow! Just wow!

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 1:57 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

what’s the difference between an eternally existent, uncaused universe and an eternally existent uncaused deity in terms of necessity?

That the deity seems very hard to tell apart from mere imagination. The universe is right there. Whether it is eternally existent and uncaused might be a question, but that the universe is right there is undeniable. It seems like your "Answer none!" was kinda hasty.

How does imagining that consciousness might have always existed (another obtuse Dawsonianism)

No idiot, this is your imagination, not Dawson's. Remember that the primacy of consciousness is all yours. Thus, if you don't like it, it is your worldview that you should therefore be rejecting.

And if consciousness didn’t always exist than how did something that supposedly has primacy, yet has no awareness at all, produce something arguably greater than itself?

It is "then" Michael. It is a good question. How did indeed consciousness arise. But knowing or not knowing how this happened does not justify giving what looks imaginary, your god, any more credibility.

Dawson the Obtuse never actually addressed these problems in any way, shape or form that overthrows God’s existence!

You did not ask Dawson where and how did consciousness arose. As for proving, it is up to you to prove that your god is not imaginary. It is up to you to show how one can distinguish a god that we can only imagine from an imaginary god.

His bloviations tell us nothing new. Indeed, he necessarily acknowledges -- proves! -- that the problem of origin with its inherent, inescapable alternatives are logical imperatives that cannot be rationally denied

You mean the millions of alternatives we can imagine? Why, again, give credence to beings that you can only imagine? As I said, since your standard is that whatever we can imagine is a reasonable explanation, then there's as many alternatives as humans could imagine. One stupid god. Many stupid gods, many smart gods, one smart god, the spilled milk of some goddess, anything goes. By your standards, Michael, all of these should be "inherent, inescapable alternatives."

As Dawson would put it: I'm so glad that these are not my problems.

So what? Can't you tell me if you need help finding those gaps in your "explanation" about divine perfection? Is it too much for your ego to acknowledge that you did understand but might need more specifics? Wasn't ego one of those capital sins?

December 10, 2012 1:58 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Ydomec,

But you asked me another question about the operational dynamics of objectivity. . . .

Let’s start with this massive tumor of confusion:

photo writes: "You have to find both, analogical and univocal together with "knowledge" and in relation to Christian BullShitters (CBS: synonym to theologians and apologists)."

First of all, do you understand his meaning? 'cause I don't. I’m asking because in your response to photo in the above you implied that you did. Oh, never mind, Ydomec, that’s a rhetorical question, for you obviously really don’t understand at all.

What I can tell you, insofar as there might be an ascertainably coherent intent in this mess, is that knowledge is a by-product of analogy’s inherent objectivity.


photo: "They do not include equivocal."

False.

Analogical and univocal reasoning/expressions are dimensional in character. Equivocal reasoning/expressions are analogically parallel in nature. In the most basic and positive sense, equivocal reasoning/expressions are metaphoric. Essentially, the latter are subsumed under the banner of analogy; however, they (the analogical and the equivocal) may be considered separately in terms of nature. (And the negative connotation of the term "equivocal" is something different altogether.)


photo: “The trio has something to do with philosophy in general, but not with Christianity in particular.”

Right. This statement evinces that photo is just babbling about something he really doesn’t understand at all.

“The trio” have to do with the fundamentals of objective logic in and of themselves relative to the issue of identity as comprehensively expressed in the law of identity proper, the law of contradiction and the law of the excluded middle. (This has already been explained to you, Ydomec.) As such, they apply to all the major branches/disciplines of knowledge: theology, philosophy, literature, history, mathematics and science. They are universally indispensable, not subjectively constrained in any way. In other words, their relationship to any given discipline (philosophy being just one of them) is one of primacy over them, not one of contingency to them.

photo: “Analogical, per Van Til is the classic pressupo canard ‘thinking God's thoughts after him.’ With Van Til ‘univocal’ is the way "God" thinks (independently). I found that other CBS had different definitions for these, but no clear explanation.”

False.

Van Til’s notion is only marginally related to the application of analogical reasoning within the general/universal framework of identity proper. His idea is a specific construct defining the nature of the relationship between God and the believer. In this sense, the analogical merely refers to the Subject-object relationship (the two levels of being), and the univocal refers to the direction in which wisdom flows (from independent, self-contained divinity to the dependent or contingent believer). In other words, these terms adhere to Van Til’s model in their more basic, grammatical sense.

In other words (making it clear so that photoidiot can’t pretend to have been misread again), analogical proper “per Van Til is [not] the classic pressupo canard ‘thinking God’s thoughts after him’.” Van Til is perfectly understands the dynamics of analogical proper, while photoidiot does not.

December 10, 2012 1:59 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

[Continued . . .]


photo: “Since this ass-hole named Michael says that we think "univocally" he might have something different in mind. So far he just won't define his terms, despite apologists from different schools would disagree on their meaning (so much for "orthodox").”

LOL!

False.

They are not this asshole’s terms. They’re referents denoting the inherent operations of reason relative to the universal framework of identity that binds us and all disciplines to the objective laws of logic, and I have been defining them in excruciating detail all along. The so-called “disagree[ments] on their meaning,” which photo alleges without direct citation so that we might behold the extent of his confusion, obviously go to specific constructs as applied to various aspects of doctrine unrelated to the general issue of identity proper. Van Til’s construct, for example, is orthodox and does not conflict with the “higher” application of these operations.

Ydemoc, you write to photoidiot in response to his blather: “Thanks for that information. With my limited knowledge on this particular matter, it certainly helps increase my understanding of what's really going on with such terms.

Emphasis mine. LOL!

I strongly suggest that you think again, and should you find yourself believing too much of anything photoidiot says, have your head examined. Start with an MRI. You might have a tumor.


Finally, your question: “Anyway, would you mind briefly sharing your understanding as to why it is that theologians chose to apply ‘analogical reasoning’ to god and/or god belief? According to you, what was their main purpose for doing so?”

They apply the objectivity of analogical reasoning to their discipline for the very same reason that mathematicians, philosophers (with the exception of Objectivists, apparently), scientists, historians and literary critics apply it to theirs. Objectivity is indispensable to critical thought and exegesis.

Seriously, Ydomec, why are you having such a difficult time with this? My first explanation should have alerted you to the universal nature of analogical reasoning; should have satisfactorily dispelled in you mind Dawson’s earlier (stupid, idiotic, doltish, simpleminded, boorish, dopey, foolish, inane, trivial) implication that I was referring to something subjectively doctrinal. (LOL! Dawson, you’re such a fool!) The application is universal and necessary. It’s not the product of or tied to any given discipline, system of thought or belief. It has primacy over these things! It’s an inherent operation of the fundamental laws of logic. It just so happens to be the case that Judeo-Christianity is an analogical system of thought, one among many others distinct from it—some valid, some not. (Naturally, analogical reasoning entails the making of distinctions or contrasts as well, as these inherently obtain in the process of identifying likenesses in comparisons.)

Now, I still have the same outstanding question asked of you earlier: given that the analogical subsumes the univocal and is the essence of objectivity, what does that tell you about the ultimate nature of realty?

Is it univocal as the Objectivists (or any atheist, really) must hold, or is it analogical?

By the way, this is why atheists are notoriously bad thinkers and accounts for their pathological intellectual dishonesty. No one escapes the imperatives of analogy. The atheist just pretends he doesn’t see them when they confront him and overthrow his banalities. Instead of abandoning his obviously unsustainable stance, he lies to himself and others.

END

December 10, 2012 2:00 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Did you say something, Dawson?

December 10, 2012 2:01 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Trying to rouse Richard’s participation, Michael wrote: “Do you smell bluster and attacking the man from the atheists around here or arguments? I'm smellin' the stench of the former. How about you?”

Michael, you ask about the “problem of origin.” The stench you’re finally smelling originated with you.

Let me hold up a mirror for you:

“You’re outside you mind.” [sic]

“Just how seared is your conscience?” (this appears three times, written exactly the same way each time)

“…don’t be surprised that when you waste my time on these false and egotistic irrelevancies that you soon find your pants down around your ankles with your ass hanging out before God and everybody.”

“…despite your shenanigans…”

“It’s you who has his pants down around his ankles again!”

“Your babbling incoherently, Dawson.”

“Like a good sycophant, you’ve been rooting around in Dawson’s poop shoot, getting all confused and dizzy from the fumes.”

“Liar. Punk. Whore. Snake. Coward. Sociopath.”

ETC.

Michael, you don’t need our help. You’ve managed to reduce your god-belief to mere bluster all by yourself. You’re not making your religion appear at all attractive to rational adults. I suppose if someone came along and said to himself, “I want a worldview which allows me to act like a complete juvenile idiot throwing around pieces of ten-gallon jargon and pretending to be all intelligent, using three- and four-word nonsense phrases as though they had some magical power to dispel every argument under the sun,” he might want what you’re having. But as has been the case with Nide for over a year now, it appears we have another court jester to kick around.

As I’ve stated before, Christians are the entertainment.

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 2:06 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael asked: “Did you say something, Dawson?”

I had just explained that your horrendously bad attitude, since it holds your ability to think captive, is making it impossible to have an adult discussion with you. You rant and rail and spew forth slander when you should be engaging your critical faculties. But they have apparently been squelched to infinity=zero in your crucifix-sucking orgies of mystical abandon.

Michael, let me ask: Do you really approve of slander?

To answer this, should we go by your words, or by your actions?

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 2:15 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

So you're saying that you have no responsibility to first demonstrate that you properly understand the arguments you claim to be this or that out of context or out of evidence, eh?

I did not say that. My comment is up there "for all to see." What do you mean by out of context? Show me how my comment takes yours out of context.

Those were your claims, not mine.

That your explanations contained non-sequiturs and hidden assumptions? I told you what I understood, and asked you to clarify if I was right. What did you do? Tantrum then demands for me to show that I understand. I tried to show that I understood then asked if I was in the right direction. SInce you said you explained five times already, I tried to help you do better by asking you to show the assumptions you made in order to jump from one thing to the next. So, if attempting to show that I understand, and asking for feedback develops in this crap, then what do you want?

I have already put down my arguments for all to see.

And it has failed because you won't clarify where the jumps come from.

I have already demonstrated more than once that I understand the opposing argument as well.

No, you haven't. All you do is dismiss everything as "bald statements and meaningless nonsense." That's far from attempting any understanding.

You have yet to directly demonstrate do either.

Again, if I try and instead of clarifications I get my questions/clarifications dismissed instead of answered, how on Earth could I show you that I understand? You are no help.

We don't even know if you properly understand Pickoff’s argument or if you grasp his underlying presupposition.

Why should I care about this? I am talking to you and trying to understand what you are saying, and where your assumptions come from.

I mean, I don't understand. What's the problem, photo?

The problem is that you don't read what we say. You jump over and assume. What about you re-read my comments and acknowledge that I was indeed trying to see, asking you, if I understood your argument about divine perfection?

Since, as you say, my arguments don't make any sense, you shouldn't have any problem with answering my question in the above about Peikoff's argument and the questions that will follow. Right?

Again, why should I care. I wanted to know if I understood your explanation about divine perfection. Why do you want me to become someone else but who I am?

It's seems to me that you just threw one . . . and still you have yet to directly demonstrate that you grasp either argument.

Which is impossible if all I will get is dismissals because my questions are not arguments and, by your standards, questions and clarifications, for not being arguments, are therefore "meaningless nonsense."

So, how much more will you read improperly this time?

December 10, 2012 2:23 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Photo,

You wrote: “I told you what I understood, and asked you to clarify if I was right. What did you do? Tantrum then demands for me to show that I understand. I tried to show that I understood then asked if I was in the right direction. SInce you said you explained five times already, I tried to help you do better by asking you to show the assumptions you made in order to jump from one thing to the next. So, if attempting to show that I understand, and asking for feedback develops in this crap, then what do you want?”

Michael really exemplifies the patience of Job, doesn’t he? Or the longsuffering of a saint?

Michael wrote: “We don't even know if you properly understand Pickoff’s argument or if you grasp his underlying presupposition.”

Photo responded: “Why should I care about this? I am talking to you and trying to understand what you are saying, and where your assumptions come from.”

Michael displays an alarming pattern in all this: the more the spotlight of inquiry is trained on his position, the more he grumbles that he’s already explained it numerous times and waxes in hostility in response to further inquiries. He’s hiding something, and since his earlier efforts to get us to simply nod in mindless agreement did not work, he’s out of ammo. He doesn’t know what to do next other than to start berating the people asking the questions. This is the results of a worldview based on fear when its attempts to disguise itself as scholarly and philosophical brilliance are shown to be mere illusions. The guy is down for the count.

Yes, be glad that these are not your problems! They are so unnecessary.

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 2:34 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

Univocal, analogical and equivocal are used differently in philosophy and in the many forms of your religion to the point that there has been strong disagreement between theologians about how those terms apply to knowledge. All I did was guide Ydemoc through the searching because he could not find definitions that were clearly compatible with the ways you were using them. When "knowledge" is put there in the search box we get religious web sites as the top matches. Among these there is mention of arguments among theologians because of differing use.

Maybe you should take a step beyond whatever your sources might be and understand that philosophy is not exactly what they teach you in theology. Maybe you need to be a bit better informed that there's an external world. One that goes beyond your fantasy land. A world where philosophy is not just whatever your theologians and apologists have deformed to assault the unprepared mind with equivocations.

As for having defined your terms exhaustively. "LOL! False!" [how can you write that way and not feel nauseated of yourself?] You did not define these terms in the "is math christian" thread. Nowhere did you define these terms in the second thread. It is only here that you try and define them. So please. Don't humiliate yourself. Remember that you presume that your intellect is enormous. At least try to act accordingly.

December 10, 2012 2:47 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Dawson,

Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around

Wow, exactly. These godbots keep coming with their "historic, inescapable problems" ignoring completely that their arguments are loaded with hidden assumptions, that they are problems deriving from their own worldview, and want us to solve them for them. Then they act angry because we won't buy into their crap. They imagine problems to justify their belief in that god they can only imagine (words stolen from you by me, I'm afraid). Then they want us to disentangle their own mess.

Thanks by the way for quoting Cohen. I had a similar view about Christians ("The substance of the nonbiblical view confronting the believer becomes completely irrelevant ..."). Only mine with different wording and incomplete thoughts. Christians are convinced that they are right. Thus they truly don't care what any of us has to say. They already "know" that we are wrong. So they scan quickly to see where they can insert whatever tactics they have learned to "show us the truth." So we should not be that surprised that they pay little if any attention.

Best to you Dawson. I don't think there's much more we can do about Michael. Surely his next "answer" will be just as useless and as loaded with his assumptions about what we wrote - his eisegesis - rather than help carry on a conversation. Good night.

December 10, 2012 3:16 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

Are you an "objectivist"?


December 10, 2012 3:56 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael,

Dawson is right. It's been a year.

However, I'm still waiting for him to proof that I'm not imagining him.

Also, I am waiting for him to proof that his senses arent deceiving him.

He claims that we percieve reality with our senses. But how is it that this isn't something that he is merely imagining?


It's interesting that he has ignored how the founder of his philosophy(Aristotle) was wrong about way too much.



Objectivism is dumb. Its like my professor once said:

Don't read Ayn Rand. Read real philosophy.


How hilarious.


Michael there is an extremely hilarious review of her book somewhere on line. ill post the link soon.


P.S. it's funny how objectivism can't even get pass over some of the more basic problems of philosophy.


December 10, 2012 4:15 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

What's the point f answering your question if you are going to keep asking it?

December 10, 2012 4:16 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael,

http://www.epinions.com/review/Introduction_to_Objectivist_Epistemology_by_Ayn_Rand/book-review-30E2-EB75595-398D1CBA-prod1?sb=1

enjoy.


December 10, 2012 4:20 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael writes: “[freddies_dead] states that Dawson makes “a good point” in regard to the theist’s alleged inability to maintain the primacy of consciousness over existence (a point that I did address and utterly destroyed).”

But recall the methodology Michael himself laid out as the proper way of interacting with an argument. He wrote:

<< Real arguments begin by accurately stating the argument you intend to disprove, they begin with a demonstration that you correctly understand what the argument you're challenging asserts… You start with one specific argument at a time, communicating with the arguer to make sure that you‘re not misinterpreting anything, leaving out anything, and the Socratic method in this sort of setting is the very best approach… Then, once terms are mutually and objectively established, if you can, you show how the argument is wrong. >>

But Michael didn’t do any of this in regard to my *observation* that the Christian cannot consistently maintain the primacy of consciousness over existence. Indeed, just by asserting the primacy of consciousness over existence, he’s making a truth claim, which can only mean he’s secretly borrowing from the primacy of existence. So there’s that.

But even more focused on simply Michael’s god, which he affirms to be a consciousness, it’s clear that he has not grasped the matter at hand. His insistence that the bible never grants metaphysical primacy to human consciousness, when in fact it does this repeatedly, only shows that Michael still has yet to grasp the issue of metaphysical primacy to begin with. In the case of his god, since he claims it is a conscious being (whether it “has” consciousness or simply “is [a] consciousness” are of no pertinent consequence here), the issue has to do with respect to the relationship between the Christian god as a conscious subject and any objects it may be aware of. There are essentially two categories of objects to consider: first, the relationship between the Christian god as a subject and any object it is said to have ‘created’; and second, the relationship between the Christian god as a subject and *itself* as an object of its own awareness.

Rick Warden was quick enough to recognize that, in the case of the latter category – the Christian god as an object of its own consciousness (since it’s said to be capable of self-awareness) – the primacy of consciousness does *not* obtain. Warden insisted that the primacy of consciousness does not obtain because the Christian god did not create itself. So when the Christian god is the object of its own consciousness, the primacy of existence obtains. But clearly this is not the case when the things it is said to have created and continues to “sustain” in the “immanent” realm are the objects of the Christian god’s consciousness. Here it’s clear: the primacy of consciousness obtains, as Michael has already confessed.

To hold that the primacy of consciousness is absolute and without exception, i.e., consistent, the Christian would have to affirm the view that the Christian god is itself a creation of consciousness. In other words, he would have to show that the primacy of consciousness obtains absolutely in the case of the Christian god being an object of its own consciousness. And of course, if that’s the case, this points right back to the believer’s imagination as the consciousness which created the Christian god.

There’s no escape from this dilemma for the Christian, but neither alternative has favorable implications for his worldview.

But don’t get me wrong. Freddies_dead was spot on when he wrote: “You've stated that your worldview affirms that consciousness holds primacy and I deny it on that basis.” The primacy of consciousness is a self-contradiction. Any worldview which grants metaphysical primacy to consciousness is to be rejected on just this basis.

Yes, I’m glad these aren’t my problems!

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 4:22 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: “Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around.”

Photo responded: “Wow, exactly. These godbots keep coming with their ‘historic, inescapable problems’ ignoring completely that their arguments are loaded with hidden assumptions, that they are problems deriving from their own worldview, and want us to solve them for them.”

And recall, Michael said (on 21 Nov.) that Objectivism “reflects Hume's empiricism almost to a tee.” Hume clearly adopted the event-based view of causality and never seems to have questioned it. Objectivism rejects it since it does not tie causality to the identity of entities. There’s so much wrong to what Michael had stated here that it’s hard to know where to begin correcting him.

Photo: “Best to you Dawson. I don't think there's much more we can do about Michael. Surely his next ‘answer’ will be just as useless and as loaded with his assumptions about what we wrote - his eisegesis - rather than help carry on a conversation.”

What’s past is prologue. Michael’s shown a pattern of “interaction,” and it seems to become baser with his every return. He’s not interested in correction. He’s not interested in understanding. As Cohen points out:

“The believers are ‘protected’ by their eventual inability to understand what the unbelievers are talking about. Being closed off to outsiders’ influence and conditioned to disparage them as foolish, inconsequential slaves of Satan are both facilitated in the process.” (The Mind of the Bible-Believer, p. 187)

Cohen’s analysis reads like a blueprint of every Christian who ever comes here. It’s almost haunting how accurately he calls it.

Regards,
Dawson

December 10, 2012 4:22 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

Do you consider yourself an ass?

December 10, 2012 4:24 PM  
Blogger Toby Jacobs said...

Dawson, there's no slander in truth. You're not being real. But I will hold up my end of the bargain.

Earlier you made a comment, quoting Peikoff, about the irreducible primary of Christianity. Indeed, that would be God; however, that goes to the transcendent, not to the irreducible primary of Christianity's epistemology, more at it's starting point, which goes to universal imperatives objectively evident to all.
________________________

So, Dawson, Paul’s observation does not objectively define you or touch you? You prove the truth of his words every time you open your yap to deny the undeniable.

[1] The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, [2] who suppress [a.] the truth by [b.] their wickedness, since [3] what may be known about God is plain to them, because [4] God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world [5] God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, [6] being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and [7] exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being. . . .


1. The attitude that one can violate the life and the rights and the property of others in violation of the moral aspect of the law of identity (i.e., perpetrate the depravity of initial force, treat others as one would never wish to be treated oneself) without consequence, either in this world or the next.

2.

a. The truth =
the ramifications of the construct of divine perfection (an entity of first, uncaused cause residing outside and independently of the space-time continuum) that goes to the historic, inescapable problem of origin, objectively and universally understood by all.

b.Their wickedness = the denial of the undeniable alternatives of the historic, inescapable problem of origin, objectively and universally understood by all.

3. What may be known about God is plain to them = not any subjective, personal encounter with God or some inscrutably mystical calculation, but once again, the ramifications of the construct of divine perfection (an entity of first, uncaused cause residing outside and independently of the space-time continuum) that goes to the historic, inescapable problem of origin, objectively and universally understood by all, coupled with both the rational and moral imperatives of the law of identity.

December 10, 2012 4:30 PM  
Blogger Toby Jacobs said...

Opps. I see that I'm still signed on as my alternate ego for Twitter.

One moment.

December 10, 2012 4:36 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

[Continued . . .]

4. God has made it plain to them = that which is universally apparent to all accountably mature, human consciousness: once again, the ramifications of the construct of divine perfection (an entity of first, uncaused cause residing outside and independently of the space-time continuum) that goes to the historic, inescapable problem of origin, objectively and universally understood by all, coupled with both the rational and moral imperatives of the law of identity.

5. God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen = ditto.

6. being understood from what has been made = accountably mature human consciousness.

7. exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being = Contradictorily claiming that existence has primacy over their finite consciousnesses while they in fact think to exert their vanities against rationally undeniable, universal imperatives, for example, the inherently contradictory pretense that finite existents are exempt from the problem of cause-and-effect (something from nothingness, the reductio ad absurdum of the irreducible mind or the infinite regression of origin) or the indivisible perfection of infinity as it would necessarily apply to a transcendent first cause inherently apparent from the mathematically axiomatic principle of division.


And, yes, Dawson, quite obviously, an eternally existent Being of unlimited power and genius Who necessarily exists outside and independently of the space-continuum He created (You know, the very conceptualization to which you must necessarily hold as your premise in “Divine Lonesomeness,” you dolt!) apprehended and arrange the composition of the universe from the most infinitesimal thing in the very instance He created the universe out of nothing but his sheer will! And He can divisionally reduce it back down--bit by bit--from its most comprehensibly complex expression, past the infinitesimal, to the nothing it was before. Zap! Child’s play. Done in an instant.

Recall, that you mockingly asked about how the infinite mind might infinity divide the finite when you, once again, stupidly and unwittingly, jumped from your very own original premise of timelessness by which you thought to overthrow the imperative of the eternally existent now, the inherent ramification that you foolishly overlooked, to the premise of finite contingency: you know, the jump that destroys the veracity of your argument and logically proves the cogent necessity of the indivisible perfection of divine infinity . . . or a gratuitous axiom.

Make up you mind, Dawson. Stop jumping around. It will not fix the problem in your arguments. God’s existence cannot be rationally denied out right. It can’t be done! Such blather is not the stuff of reason at all; it’s the blind faith of sheer religious fanaticism. LOL!

In the above, I wrote that I need only copy and paste the destruction of your arguments. I was wrong. Instead, in addition to that, what I need to do is rub your nose in it again and again, rather, wield it like a two-by-four against your thick skull.

December 10, 2012 4:39 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 10, 2012 5:04 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Dawson,

Isn't it quite fitting that Michael wrote the crap above just after you cited Cohen's "The Mind of the Bible-Believer":

“The believers are ‘protected’ by their eventual inability to understand what the unbelievers are talking about. Being closed off to outsiders’ influence and conditioned to disparage them as foolish, inconsequential slaves of Satan are both facilitated in the process.”

The incompetence displayed in Michael's numerous posts find a new low in his latest: cite bible, perform some eisegesis, consisting on bald statements (which, according to Michael himself, cannot be but meaningless nonsense), failure to show that he properly understands Dawson's arguments (which Michael demands, but won't provide), and then claim that's all that he needs to copy and paste "the destruction of your [Dawson's?] arguments."

On top of that talking about thick skulls. Stupidity and projection seem to be Michael's game. As I said, not much we can do.

Good night to all.

December 10, 2012 5:25 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, Michael,

Thanks for your lengthy and informative responses. You've asked me a lot of interesting questions, most of which I do not have the time to devote to answering. But there certainly is lots there to think about and digest, that's for sure!

Right off the bat I would like to say that I stand by what I said: Photo's information did help to "increase my understanding of what's really going on with such terms." His response inspired me to ask questions I wasn't asking and to look in places that I hadn't been looking. To me, this qualifies as helpful information which increases my understanding. And his subsequent responses continue to help, as do yours.

As for my getting an MRI brain scan to check for a tumor, that's not a bad suggestion! -- for everyone, actually -- whether they be a slow learner, "braniac," or something in between!

Anyway, as far as these terms are concerned, I admit being a bit of a slow learner (I certainly hope it's *not* because of a brain tumor, though! I mean -- wow! Talk about a bummer for me, huh?!)

Anyway, my (probably very, very naive) question to you is: Could analogical reasoning also be applied to justify belief in Islam or Mormonism or Hinduism?

Also, given what you wrote above about Van Til and analogical reasoning, was Richard correct or incorrect when he wrote back on December 1, 2012:

"Analogical reasoning = thinking God's thoughs after him."

"Univocal reasoning = thinking Santan's thought after him."


Thanks.

Ydemoc






December 10, 2012 6:25 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Richard,

I see that Dawson wrote, essentially, "blah, blah, blah, blah, *fart*, blah, blah, *hiccup*, blah, blah" against the irrefutable fact of freddie’s' and photo's idiocy, not to mention his own. But wait. I did mention it.

So let's you and I talk about truth. After all, what is one to do with a lunatic who necessarily understands an idea in one instance ("Divine Lonesomeness"), but not in the next?

Aristotle, eh?

Well, I got to tell ya, I've got more respect for Aristotle than you do. Actually, Aristotle's empiricism is nothing like the apparent abject reliance on sensory perception sported by Objectivism, not to mention the Objectivist’s refusal to consider the merits of rational propositions premised on the problem of origin. Oh, he sees them alright. It’s just that he simply relegates them to fantasy due to a certain, shall we say, pathological insincerity and a naive realism raised to the infinite power. That’s clear from the above. But most all atheists do that anyway. Look, atheistic reasoning in general, and from what I’ve seen here, that of Objectivist atheism in particular, is cult-like, the black-and-white think of a slammed-shut door.

First, Aristotle's system of thought was not univocal, but analogical. Remember, He held that God must be and believed that one could extrapolate the eternal forms and ideas from the material world in a systematically integrated hierarchy of knowledge premised on percepts. He wasn’t wrong about that, and his logic was impeccable. It’s just that unaided human reason and knowledge almost exclusively derived from a foundation of mere percepts will never get one to the higher truths of the “forms and ideas”. Look, Plato got a lot of things wrong too, according to Judeo-Christianity, in his approach starting from the rational forms and ideas, but again, his stuff was that of unaided human reason as well. His errant extrapolations pertain to politics and ethics.

On the other hand, Plato was much more cautious, i.e., more prudent when it came to natural philosophy. Sure, Aristotle got a lot of things wrong (e.g., a geocentric cosmos, spontaneous generation, elemental being, animal morphology), but his logic was faultless. His premises were the problem.

The acquisition of reliable truths require time and experience and a balanced, rational-empirical approach to epistemology guided by revelatory knowledge. Technological advances that extend the reach of sensory perception help too, but again, we’re talking about the by-product of time and experience. n sensory perception.

December 10, 2012 6:41 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Ydemoc,


Analogy, analogical reasoning: (1) (Aquinas) Thinking in language that is neither literally true (univocal), nor unrelated to the subject matter (equivocal), but which bears a genuine resemblance to that subject-matter. (2) (VT) Thinking in subjection to God’s revelation and therefore thinking God’s thoughts after him.


Univocal: (1) (Aquinas) Language that describes its object literally. (2) (VT) Thinking autonomously rather than analogously (q.v.), as if one were divine.


http://www.frame-poythress.org/a-van-til-glossary/

December 10, 2012 7:23 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael,

I hear ya.

However, Aristotle's god is clearly not YHWH.

If you have read Van Til's defense of the faith, you'll know that he hammered the catholic church for their reliance on Aristotle.






December 10, 2012 7:34 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo,

You write: "I told you what I understood, and asked you to clarify if I was right."

And I told you the first that you’re understanding is wrong. The overwhelming majority of the corpus of philosophical and theological thought is telling that your understanding is wrong. But that apparently doesn't give you any pause.

It should be rather obvious that I'm not saying the sort of things you're attributing to me. I wouldn't agree with them either. The things you think I'm saying are laugh-out-loud stupid!

There is an extrapolation being made from a mathematical axiom, the constituencies of which do not apply to God in the same way as they apply to the finite. You're missing the contextual transition completely.

It's the very same extrapolation made by Moses, Daniel, Isaiah, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, St. Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley. . . .

Dude, the ideas you're attributing to me and these men could not possibly be right. The retarded idea about linear division (you mentioned 0), for example, that you're attributing to me and these men could not possibly be right.

I'm not saying anything different. So you're imagining that these men are saying the most incredibly stupid things. How could that be? These men are intellectual giants.

So, yes, I'm telling you that you're understanding is all wrong, and I invited you to a Socratic breakdown of the matter as the best means of getting at it.

BTW, "The infinities" (plural in this case) would apply to the divine attributes, so I may not have made the transition clear in that instance. That’s part of the problem. That’s my fault, I guess. Go with what I wrote in other places: "infinity is that which is indivisible, immutable and has no beginning or end" as applied to the transcendent. I assumed that you guys were following that transition from what I said the first time the matter was raised about Aristotle's particular rendition of this extrapolation. In these instances, I'm talking about the transcendent, not the finite in any sense.

But if you’ll just go along with me on this, photo, the Socratic method can sort this out. The question I asked is not a trick question. The answer is important to understanding what I and these men are saying.
______________________________________

Let us begin.

The Objectivist claims that the only things that can exist are finite. Infinity supposedly has no discernable identity and, therefore, can have no actuality. In other words, the nature of potentialities (the potential things or musings or calculi of consciousness) do not have actuality because the indefinable potentialities of consciousness cannot have primacy over the actualities of existence.

Peikoff argues that for consciousness infinity can never be anything more than an indefinable potentiality. Using Aristotle’s illustration, Peikoff shows that no matter how many times consciousness divides a line, the number of segments will always be a finite number. The idea that a line can be divided an infinite number of times has no actual substance. It’s merely a potentiality; i.e., this implied or theoretical infinity, its nature, has no ground or actual substance or reality in existence. On the other hand, the number of divided segments is always finite, concrete. Those are actual.

(Now, bear in mind that Aristotle -- like Moses and Daniel and Isaiah and others before him, indeed, virtually every other thinker of note in the history of philosophy and theology -- extrapolate from this a conclusion that is 180 degrees the opposite.)

Question: What is the implied, underlying presupposition of this argument? Can you identify it? Can you name it (articulate it) for all to hear and see?




December 10, 2012 8:25 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Richard,

No, Aristotle's God was not YHWH. LOL! That's for sure, but he got the extrapolation right.

And, yes, I agree. The Catholic Church should not have assumed his cosmology especially! That turned out to be a real bummer. LOL!

December 10, 2012 8:31 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Dawson,

You write: "Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around."

Of course it does.

Given that that observation is self-evident, universally understood by all . . . long before Rand came along, what's your point?

Zoom! Right over your head.


Wow! Just wow! You sillyass.

December 10, 2012 8:41 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Ydomec,

No. Everything that photo has said on this matter is confused, wrong and misleading.

Sorry, I don't recall that in Van Til. You’d have to ask Richard. But if that's what Van Til wrote, he’s using the terms in a more doctrinal sense rather than in the more general/universal sense of the terms.

December 10, 2012 8:56 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Dawson,

You write: "Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around."

Of course it does.

Given that that observation is self-evident, universally understood by all . . . long before Rand came along, what's your point?

Zoom! Right over your head.


Wow! Just wow! You sillyass.

December 10, 2012 9:23 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Dawson writes: "Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around."

photo writes: "Wow, exactly." These godbots keep coming with their "historic, inescapable problems" ignoring completely that their arguments are loaded with hidden assumptions. . . ."



Michael writes: Of course causality presupposes existence, you idiots. Given that that observation is self-evident, universally understood by all . . . long before Rand came along, what's your point?

Zoom! Right over your heads.

December 10, 2012 9:39 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Dawson writes: "Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around."

photo writes: "Wow, exactly." These godbots keep coming with their "historic, inescapable problems" ignoring completely that their arguments are loaded with hidden assumptions. . . ."



Michael writes: Of course causality presupposes existence, you idiots. Given that that observation is self-evident, universally understood by all . . . long before Rand came along, what's your point?

Zoom! Right over your heads.

December 10, 2012 9:39 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Dawson writes: "Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around."

photo writes: "Wow, exactly." These godbots keep coming with their "historic, inescapable problems" ignoring completely that their arguments are loaded with hidden assumptions. . . ."



Michael writes: Of course causality presupposes existence, you idiots. Given that that observation is self-evident, universally understood by all . . . long before Rand came along, what's your point?

Zoom! Right over your heads.

December 10, 2012 9:39 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo,

You write: "I told you what I understood, and asked you to clarify if I was right."

And I told you the first that you’re understanding is wrong. The overwhelming majority of the corpus of philosophical and theological thought is telling that your understanding is wrong. But that apparently doesn't give you any pause.

It should be rather obvious that I'm not saying the sort of things you're attributing to me. I wouldn't agree with them either. The things you think I'm saying are laugh-out-loud stupid!

There is an extrapolation being made from a mathematical axiom, the constituencies of which do not apply to God in the same way as they apply to the finite. You're missing the contextual transition completely.

It's the very same extrapolation made by Moses, Daniel, Isaiah, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, St. Paul, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley. . . .

Dude, the ideas you're attributing to me and these men could not possibly be right. The retarded idea about linear division (you mentioned 0), for example, that you're attributing to me and these men could not possibly be right.

I'm not saying anything different. So you're imagining that these men are saying the most incredibly stupid things. How could that be? These men are intellectual giants.

So, yes, I'm telling you that you're understanding is all wrong, and I invited you to a Socratic breakdown of the matter as the best means of getting at it.

BTW, "The infinities" (plural in this case) would apply to the divine attributes, so I may not have made the transition clear in that instance. That’s part of the problem. That’s my fault, I guess. Go with what I wrote in other places: "infinity is that which is indivisible, immutable and has no beginning or end" as applied to the transcendent. I assumed that you guys were following that transition from what I said the first time the matter was raised about Aristotle's particular rendition of this extrapolation. In these instances, I'm talking about the transcendent, not the finite in any sense.

But if you’ll just go along with me on this, photo, the Socratic method can sort this out. The question I asked is not a trick question. The answer is important to understanding what I and these men are saying.
______________________________________

Let us begin.

The Objectivist claims that the only things that can exist are finite. Infinity supposedly has no discernable identity and, therefore, can have no actuality. In other words, the nature of potentialities (the potential things or musings or calculi of consciousness) do not have actuality because the indefinable potentialities of consciousness cannot have primacy over the actualities of existence.

Peikoff argues that for consciousness infinity can never be anything more than an indefinable potentiality. Using Aristotle’s illustration, Peikoff shows that no matter how many times consciousness divides a line, the number of segments will always be a finite number. The idea that a line can be divided an infinite number of times has no actual substance. It’s merely a potentiality; i.e., this implied or theoretical infinity, its nature, has no ground or actual substance or reality in existence. On the other hand, the number of divided segments is always finite, concrete. Those are actual.

(Now, bear in mind that Aristotle -- like Moses and Daniel and Isaiah and others before him, indeed, virtually every other thinker of note in the history of philosophy and theology -- extrapolate from this a conclusion that is 180 degrees the opposite.)

Question: What is the implied, underlying presupposition of this argument? Can you identify it? Can you name it (articulate it) for all to hear and see?

December 10, 2012 9:41 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Dawson,

I wrote, summarizing the core of Peikoff's argument: “The idea that a line can be divided an infinite number of times has no actual substance.”

You responded: "Indeed. What in the world is “an infinite number”? What number is that? How much is it? What number comes right before it? Is there a number that comes after it?"

I don't know. That's the point. The number of segments will always be finite for me. Why are you mocking me? Do you know something about an exact figure or number that I’m not aware of?

By the way, Aristotle is not the first person to make this observation. Peikoff's got that wrong. Aristotle is the first to make it in regard to a line in a formal philosophical argument. The apprehension that the number of units of any divisible thing so divided will always be finite was observed by biblical personages and others before him. The essence of the observation in and of itself is self-evident, axiomatic. Nobody owns it. There's hardly anything rocket-sciencey about it. Right?

But what does the finite number of segments for any finite consciousness have to with the mathematical axiom that any divisible thing may be divided without end?

December 10, 2012 10:49 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I wrote: “Michael, let me ask: Do you really approve of slander?”

Michael (as “Toby Jacobs”) responded: “Dawson, there's no slander in truth.”

Notice Michael does not answer the question. This is representative of so much of his side of the discussion. But of course, many have already recognized this.

Michael: “You're not being real.”

Michael, you’re not being real.

Michael wrote: “Earlier you made a comment, quoting Peikoff, about the irreducible primary of Christianity. Indeed, that would be God; however, that goes to the transcendent, not to the irreducible primary of Christianity's epistemology, more at it's starting point, which goes to universal imperatives objectively evident to all.”

Here’s what I wrote on 30 Nov.:

<< You might also tell what your worldview’s starting point is. By this I mean a *conceptually irreducible* primary. Really, this would cut out a lot of extraneous digressions and contentious disputing. It would go to the heart of the matter. If your worldview does indeed have a theory of concepts, you should understand what a conceptually irreducible primary is. You should be able to explain why you think the starting point you identify is conceptually irreducible. You should be able to identify the means by which you are aware of it. If you have to infer it from something else, then it’s clearly not fundamental – other knowledge came before it. So this would be a good exercise for you and any other thinker to work on. >>

Your “God” has way way way too many assumptions packed into it to come close to serving as a starting point. It certainly is not conceptually irreducible, even though we all know you will insist until you’re utterly blue in your face that it is. You clearly don’t know the meaning of the term.

By the way, how’s that biblical theory of concepts coming? I still haven’t seen one whit of one since you were first asked about this back on 4 Nov.

Keep in mind, what I’ve asked about is very specific. I’m asking what your worldview’s *conceptually irreducible* starting point is or might be. While you’re at it, you might want to show how your worldview’s starting point does not assume the truth of my worldview’s starting point. Good luck with that. But please try. Give us some more entertainment.

Also, question for you: you say that Christianity’s starting point, whatever it eventually turns out to be, “goes to universal imperatives objectively evident to all.” Since according to your worldview, “ultimately, consciousness does have primacy over existence” (your words), what could the word ‘objective’ possibly mean in the context of a worldview which ultimately denies the primacy of existence? Also, how would you know what is “objectively evident” (whatever that means on your view) “to all”? Are you simply taking some ancient storybook’s word on this? Or have you done some kind of survey? If you’re essentially regurgitating something that the bible says, then you’re not offering any proof. Indeed, you’re just reciting claims that need to be argued for. Again, good luck with this.

[continued…]

December 11, 2012 1:52 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

You quoted a section from Romans 1 and did precisely what photosynthesis predicted: you gave us your own eisegetical interpretation of elements in that passage, really making no effort to connect your interpretation to anything in that passage. (You have simply asserted your interpretation as though you expect us to accept it as an accurate interpretation on your say so.) Really, it’s all a long-distance stretch, which we’ll see below.
But first, I just wanted to know how you sort out the contradiction contained in this passage. Did you think no one notices it? It says “God’s invisible qualities… have been clearly seen.” Tell me, Michael, how can one say that something that is “clearly seen” is invisible? If I said I saw an invisible man, you’d say I was contradicting myself. Indeed, it would be quite hard to reconcile the matter. And who’s doing all this “clearly seeing” of “invisible qualities”? Presumably everyone. Well, I can tell you for myself, I haven’t seen any invisible qualities. If I saw them, on what basis could I say that they’re “invisible”?

The subsequent clause, “being understood from what has been made,” does not undo or reverse the preceding contradictory statement. It’s worse if it’s now trying to say that these “invisible qualities” are merely *inferred* from things that we do see – like rocks, trees, clouds, animals, etc. – as this would conflict with the claim that these things are “clearly seen.” And if they’re all so “clearly seen,” why is there so much disagreement among Christians themselves on the meaning, implications and value of these “invisible qualities”?

[continued…]

December 11, 2012 1:53 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

In your interpretation of the initial statement of the passage from Romans (“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people”), you wrote:

“The attitude that one can violate the life and the rights and the property of others in violation of the moral aspect of the law of identity (i.e., perpetrate the depravity of initial force, treat others as one would never wish to be treated oneself) without consequence, either in this world or the next.”

Wow, where did all this come from? I don’t see any of this in the statement you are presumably interpreting.

- Where does this passage say anything about rights and the property of others? I don’t see it. On that matter, where does the bible present a theory of “rights”? What is the definition of the concept ‘right’ in this regard?

- What is “the moral aspect of the law of identity”? Where is the reference to this in the passage you’re presumably interpreting? Indeed, where does the bible ever make reference to “the moral aspect of the law of identity”? I’ve checked several concordances, but I cannot find any reference to this in any of my bibles.

- Where does the bible ever condemn the initiation of the use of force? Book, chapter and verse, please.

- If there’s evil in the world, and the Christian god designed and created the world and directs the activity of everything that occurs in the world, how is your god not the source of evil? By definition, a perfect creator does not create perfection. If one grants that the world was created by some supernatural consciousness, any instance of imperfection in the world can only indicate that its creator is not perfect. And yet here you keep copying and pasting this “divine perfection” nonsense. You must have many impenetrable compartments bulwarking their way throughout your mind.

- Seriously, how is your interpretation of this passage *not* eisegetical in nature?

[continued…]

December 11, 2012 1:53 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Another instance of eisegesis on your part is the following:

“The truth = the ramifications of the construct of divine perfection (an entity of first, uncaused cause residing outside and independently of the space-time continuum) that goes to the historic, inescapable problem of origin, objectively and universally understood by all.”

Again, you try to link truth to your god construct. But your god construct assumes the primacy of consciousness. I have already explained how truth only makes sense on the basis of the primacy of existence. There could be no such thing as truth if reality conforms to conscious activity. This is like saying “wishing makes it so” is the precondition of truth. You’ll still get more traction if you try to drive on ice. It’s a dead-end. But most likely you’ll come back saying all these people throughout history who presumably believed all this nonsense couldn’t possibly have been wrong. Really, Michael, stuff like that will not impress us around here. We already know that many minds of the past have made mistakes, particularly in the field of philosophy. That gun don’t hunt.

Again (now back as “Michael David Rawlings”) you affirmed: “5. God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen = ditto.”

Yep, see the contradiction? The contradiction in Romans 1 is very much visible, and it’s been clearly seen. I know, frustrating, isn’t it, Michael? Now come back with all your insults and slanderous invective.

You wrote: “And, yes, Dawson, quite obviously, an eternally existent Being of unlimited power and genius Who necessarily exists outside and independently of the space-continuum He created (You know, the very conceptualization to which you must necessarily hold as your premise in “Divine Lonesomeness,” you dolt!) apprehended and arrange the composition of the universe from the most infinitesimal thing in the very instance He created the universe out of nothing but his sheer will! And He can divisionally reduce it back down--bit by bit--from its most comprehensibly complex expression, past the infinitesimal, to the nothing it was before. Zap! Child’s play. Done in an instant.”

Well, I must say, you have got quite an active imagination there, Michael. It belongs right up there with Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and any episode of Bugs Bunny.

[continued…]

December 11, 2012 1:53 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

You wrote: “Recall, that you mockingly asked about how the infinite mind might infinity divide the finite when you, once again, stupidly and unwittingly, jumped from your very own original premise of timelessness by which you thought to overthrow the imperative of the eternally existent now, the inherent ramification that you foolishly overlooked, to the premise of finite contingency: you know, the jump that destroys the veracity of your argument and logically proves the cogent necessity of the indivisible perfection of divine infinity . . . or a gratuitous axiom.”

I think you have in mind the question I asked after you wrote the following: “the actual number of divided segments will always be finite for a finite consciousness.”

That is when I asked: “Is this meant to imply that an actual number could be infinite for an ‘infinite consciousness’?”

I was not mocking anything here, Michael. It was just a question. You certainly supply no reason to suppose that I was mocking you here. You just assume that I was mocking. Why? Did my question hurt your feelings or something?

As for “the imperative of the eternally existent now,” I really have no idea what this is supposed to refer to. It’s just more theological jargon strung together. It may have some psychological significance in your mind. But I’m no mind-reader, Michael. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, it’s a meaningless term. It denotes nothing in reality. Its meaning is confined to your imagination. There’s no need for me or anyone else to “overthrow” it.

By the way, my question was a yes-no type of question. Why don’t you answer it?

[continued…]

December 11, 2012 1:54 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael wrote: “God’s existence cannot be rationally denied out right. It can’t be done!”

Well, if you say so, Michael. You go ahead and believe that.

You wrote: “In the above, I wrote that I need only copy and paste the destruction of your arguments. I was wrong.”

You know, Michael, if you were more honest in your thinking and more careful in what you commit to writing, you’d not be wrong so often. But you have some really bad habits and a pattern of behavior that continually gets the better of you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s highly entertaining. And no, I’m not mocking you. You do that sufficiently well yourself. But I am a compassionate person. It’s painful to watch you writhe in such internal conflict as you do. But I know that dogs do like to come back to their vomit. So have at it.

I wrote: "Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around."

Michael huffed: “Of course it does. Given that that observation is self-evident, universally understood by all . . . long before Rand came along, what's your point?”

You need to ask?

Clearly it’s gone right over your head.

Wow! Really wow!!

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 1:54 AM  
Blogger freddies_dead said...

Lol, I see Michael is still trying to peddle his pseudo intellectual bullshit. Bullshit which, by his own admission, is entirely premised on the primacy of consciousness ... all the while he's arguing as if existence holds primacy.

December 11, 2012 4:11 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Freddies_dead: “Bullshit which, by his own admission, is entirely premised on the primacy of consciousness ... all the while he's arguing as if existence holds primacy.”

Indeed. Michael is truly a fascinating specimen. That he so willingly teams up with Nide is more than I could have ever hoped for!

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 4:19 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

"Michael writes: Of course causality presupposes existence, you idiots. Given that that observation is self-evident, universally understood by all . . . long before Rand came along, what's your point?"

Great observation, Michael.

Rand was the king of the obvious.

They should have left her in Russia.

America is too good to some people.
it's Sad that way too many have taken
advantage.

December 11, 2012 4:31 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Dawson,

Enjoying your iPhone?

Anyway, so what if we have teamed up?

Your charlatan philosophy is dumb. Now what?

Dawson why don't you try reading real philopshy for a change?


Rand is dead. Jesus is alive. Enough said.


It's nice to see your followers regurtitating and spewing out your silly little writings.


Good job you have some fanatics.

December 11, 2012 4:39 AM  
Blogger Kyle Jamison said...

Been watching this thing with some interest for awhile. I’m an agnostic, so got no dog in this fight theologically, but don’t understand why some of you guys are having such a hard time understanding Michael’s idea of god. I’m not having any problem following him and I share his frustration. Pretty basic. Same basic idea from classic to secular thought. Pretty old idea. Like Michael said, it’s universally understood. I’m glad to see that someone finally suggested you guys use the method of the Socratic dialogue, but don’t know if that will do any good either. Photosynthesis, asked if he understood right, but also said he doesn’t care about the question Michael asked him. Doesn’t make sense. Photosynthesis, with all due respect, you really don’t get what Michael’s telling you about infinity. It’s an historical observation in theology and philosophy, as old as time. I’m not sure that god exists and I don’t know a lot about objectivism except for what I’ve gleaned here, but I know that you can’t say god doesn’t exist and be logical at the same time. That’s pretty basic. Doesn’t look like this is going anywhere now, but I was hoping to hear more on christian epistemology. Anyway, my two cents.

P.S. Michael, I emailed you a link.

December 11, 2012 7:23 AM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

It is good to see that you have admitted, even if only implicitly, that what I wrote was not meaningless nonsense.

Now, for your fallacy of authority, it is obvious that you do not hold everything those people you mentioned as perfectly true. After all, you said, for example: "Sure, Aristotle got a lot of things wrong (e.g., a geocentric cosmos, spontaneous generation, elemental being, animal morphology)."

(I bet that the only ones you think had everything right are those fictional characters that you mention, provided proper eisegesis is performed in whatever writings you attribute to them in your bible.)

Therefore, if the real people were not right on everything, however intellectual giants, we can assume that if they said or "extrapolated" the very same way you presented this "extrapolation," they could have made some unwarranted assumptions, they could have had something wrong. How else but by admitting that people can be wrong could humanity advance in knowledge? Otherwise the Earth would still be flat, the Sun orbiting around us, volcanoes and thunder would be sentient and powerful beings. Long et cetera. But we know that you do not accept everything those guys said, unless that is, if it goes at least in appearance with your preferred conclusion.

Now, I did not "attribute" the argument to you. You did not quote anybody's exact words. That was your wording and thus this would be your rendition of the argument. As such, I can only ask for your assumptions there. As I said, you have jumps. Now that you recognize that you can understand what I say, I could do as you ask and show you where those assumptions happen.

[continuing ...]

December 11, 2012 7:38 AM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

So, Dawson showed that your "argument" has many problems, and he presented those in detail. In any event, I am starting fresh. So let's see:

Simultaneously, the finite mind readily apprehends that any divisible entity may be divided without end.

Actually no. The finite mind depends on mathematical foundations in order to understand that, in theory, a divisible entity could be divided without end. By your definition of "readily," the same finite mind should be able to notice where this theoretical division leads if we were to try and imagine that such division is possible in actuality, rather than in abstracto.

That is a perfectly rational, mathematical axiom.

This is not an axion. It is something we infer from other mathematical foundations.

It follows, infinity is that which is indivisible, immutable and has no beginning or end.

Here you just jumped some important details. What are you talking about? What infinity was indivisible? You said that the object can be divided without end. Where then indivisible? If the object starts being divided, then there was a start in this dividing. So how would it not have a beginning? Try and think what is it that you are talking about here. What's infinite as a result of dividing without end? The division process? The object? The obtained segments?

That’s its identity expressed philosophically.

That's the identity of what here? Other than a hastily malformed concept of infinity I see nothing else. Certainly no divine anything. "Philosophically"?

That’s Aristotle’s point, and centuries before him, that’s Moses’ point and that of the other inspired authors of the Bible. . . . That is not an instance of circular reasoning at all. It’s linear.

Appeal to authority, and nothing else here. So we are missing two things after your grandiose conclusion: how does an abstract infinity become an actual infinity, and how does the actual infinity give credence to a divine one.

Seems like that's what you try in the next paragraph, but it's really not there:

As for infinity’s actuality, on the contrary, what we have here is a very strong reason to believe that some actual realm of origin exists beyond the divisible realm of the finite, something that can divide the divisible without end. Otherwise, we are aware of a mathematical axiom that is impeccably cogent if not inescapable, yet gratuitous?!

Well, your mathematical inference was not impeccable, I know of better ones that lead to concepts of infinity, but yours is faulty and incomplete. Either way, I observed no magic in your faulty inference, and I have observed no magic in the good ones. Therefore, all by themselves, these mathematical procedures do not require any magic. Therefore they are not gratuitous. You said it yourself that it is "impeccably cogent if not inescapable." Thus, where from gratuitous?

[ENDED]

December 11, 2012 7:39 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Dawson,

Yes, I do need to ask, apparently, given the fact that you imply that Hume and I, for example, don’t understand that. Causality presupposes existence is not the irreducible primary of that apprehension.. Uh . . . it’s more at something from noting is inexplicable. All you’re saying is that something has always existed. Well, that’s what we’ve all been saying throughout history.

December 11, 2012 8:08 AM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Kyle,

I think, but might be wrong, that you are not reading these comments carefully. Nobosy is saying that we don;t understand the many concepts of god that Michael and other Christians expose. The argument has been that the concepts themselves are nonsensical. Check it out carefully. Dawson has explained why those things are nonsensical once you examine them carefully. Some of Michael's sentences are far from universally understood (imperative whatever shit, for example), but it is very important that you keep the ideas in the right place. For example, you deformed what I said. Most probably our of missing the contexts in each.

To be precise:

Photosynthesis, asked if he understood right, but also said he doesn’t care about the question Michael asked him. Doesn’t make sense.

I asked if I understood the mathematical to divine perfection crap correctly. I said I see no reason why I should care about Peikoff. I said that I am talking to Michael. I was implying that I am not talking to Peikoff. So how does that not make sense? I was referring to different things when I said "do I understand this correctly?" and when I asked "why should I care?"

Photosynthesis, with all due respect, you really don’t get what Michael’s telling you about infinity.

I think I get it. But I asked if I did before jumping into why the argument was wrong and filled with fallacies. I asked if I had it right, suggested some stuff that needed revision so that Michael would have a better idea about why his argument had jumps in it. I did not say once that I did not get it. I suggested that I might have gotten it wrong. There's a difference.

It’s an historical observation in theology and philosophy

What's a historical observation of theology and philosophy? That there's a mathematical concept of infinity, therefore divine perfection?

but I know that you can’t say god doesn’t exist and be logical at the same time

I would say that you think that you can't say that gods don't exist and be logical at the same time, not that you know. Last time I checked, when something is utter nonsense you could dismiss it all right. That's pretty basic. As old as time. Philosophy 101 so to speak.

Please check the explanations and their contexts more carefully.

December 11, 2012 8:12 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

Are you an "objectivist"?

I'm curious. Youre behaving like one of Dawson's fanatics.

December 11, 2012 8:28 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo: "Now, for your fallacy of authority."

There's no fallacy of authority here. The ultimate claim goes to the argument that God must be. Arguably that's debatable.

What I clearly stated is that you are assigning ideas, particularly in regard to mathematics, to men whose reputations are historic. Clearly, the ideas you're assigning to them are wrong.

December 11, 2012 8:38 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Kyle, do I know you?

December 11, 2012 8:41 AM  
Blogger Kyle Jamison said...

No, Michael, not really. You and I exchanged some comments on your blog about U.S. Citizenship a long time ago, but I posted Anonymous.

December 11, 2012 9:02 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Kyle,

Welcome to the jungle.

Keep an eye out for Ydemoc. He's always watching.

December 11, 2012 9:22 AM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

What I clearly stated is that you are assigning ideas, particularly in regard to mathematics, to men whose reputations are historic. Clearly, the ideas you're assigning to them are wrong.

What I clearly said is that I am not assigning an ideas to anybody. I am examining the argument that you posted. Not arguments posted by any of those guys. So, if anybody is assigning those ideas to men whose reputation is historic (classic argument from authority hidden here yet again), it is you. Now, please, to the observations. Why do you want to go so much for distractions rather than go to the meat of the problem? You could not sustain anything you asserted at the very beginning (something about Rand never understanding Christian epistemology and so on and so forth). You succeeded in distracting everybody about this fact (that you never actually supported your bald assertions there). Now you do not want to confront your faulty argument for divine perfection?

December 11, 2012 9:52 AM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

Are you an "objectivist"?

I told you already. No, I am not.

I'm curious. Youre behaving like one of Dawson's fanatics.

Well, if my way of thinking has coincidences with the way Dawson thinks it means that there must be something good about objectivism. I am only presenting the stuff as logically as I perceive them. If I notice a mistake, I call it by name. If that's what Dawson's fanatics do (whomever those might be), then I see nothing wrong with it. What about instead of blaming it on objectivism you tried to follow the logic? I am presenting what I see from a fresh perspective in such regards. In other words, since I have no idea what Rand or Peikoff said or did not say, I can only check for the logical consistency of whatever you or Michael present. If I find it faulty you can't blame it on the "objectivist worldview." You have to actually check what I said. You should do so anyway, but I bet you excuse yourself behind the curtain of labels. Just notice your genetic fallacy: if Aristotle was wrong about something he was wrong about everything, therefore if objectivism has some basis in some of Aristotle's thinking objectivism is wrong. That without checking what objectivism is about. All mere inferences from faulty logic, rather than a careful examination of what objectivism might be about. (I am not defending, nor attacking, objectivism, I am showing you the faulty logic in your observations about Aristotle and objectivism.)

I don't claim to belong in any philosophical tradition. If I have learned anything from Dawson, it is that those labels you apologists use, ahem, gratuitously, like "materialist," or "empiricist," or whateverist else, have actual meanings, with schools of thought and such. Therefore the labels should not be used without care. Thus, I shall not label myself as any unless I know and agree with what they might be about well enough.

So, what about you read and understood rather than label?

December 11, 2012 10:11 AM  
Blogger Kyle Jamison said...

Photosynthesis: “What's a historical observation of theology and philosophy? That there's a mathematical concept of infinity, therefore divine perfection?”

Specifically, as it applies to divinity, I know it from the Book of Job, Aristotle’s Metaphysics and my own reflections on the mathematical maxim of division. But I’m not sure why you’re asking me. Michael already discussed Aristotle’s observation from Metaphysics. Yeah. It’s historical and self-evident from reflection on the mathematical maxim. It’s a logical proof in theology and philosophy like Michael said. It’s 101. I had to write a paper on it as it relates to Descartes’ argument for god. The thing is, you are mixing up the issue as the maxim applies to divinity. I suspect that’s why Michael asked you if you understood what the implied premise of Peikoff’s argument is. It’s pretty much at the core it. But you said that you didn’t care about that or something like that. But you also asked if you had it right. Michael said no. It doesn’t make sense. You seem to be saying that you understand and asking if you understand at the same time. I just want to hear more about christian epistemology, and Michael said this idea is important to that so I was hoping my two cents would help move things along. I know what the answer to his question is if that helps. Peikoff is assuming that all consciousness is finite. So what if it’s not? All Peikoff is really saying is that the maxim has no real value because we can’t divide something forever. As Michael pointed out, the maxim actually does have practical mathematical applications, and a timeless creator can do that from nothing to a divisible something and back down to nothing again easily. That’s an obvious function or ability of a creator. It’s elementary.

December 11, 2012 10:40 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Recall:

“While Rand's rejection of the rationalist-empiricist dichotomy as a false alternative is commonsensical, things get a bit confusing when she simultaneously argues that a priori knowledge is impossible. For if the senses provide the material of all knowledge, by what means does cognition provide the understanding of this material? It's one thing to argue that the actualities of existence are what they are regardless of what one might think about them. It's another thing to argue that these actualities may be assimilated by consciousness without an a priori structure of rational knowledge.

It's clear that due to the commonality of cerebral physiology a number of human experiences and behaviors are universal. The innate faculties of conceptual and mathematical logic, and language formation constitute the a priori structure of knowledge. In other words, a number of a priori concepts are necessarily justified: the principle of identity, the principle of contradiction, the principle of excluded middle, the principle of causality, the concepts of quality and quantity, and so on. . . .”


Now, Richard has already explained this to you. His view is essentially that of the Bible, beginning with the fact that we are innately designed from conception to interface with the dimensional rigors of the space-time continuum. Recall what I wrote. The Bible holds that there exists a temporal, physiological network (or aspect) of consciousness that interfaces with the essential, imperishable entity of consciousness (or soul). They develop together. This takes time and experience, and, therefore most of the knowledge, if not all, we acquire as we move along the path of potentiality toward the actuality of accountable maturation is derived from the sensory perception of and our interior calculi about the objects of the space-time continuum.

Indeed, the development of the physiological and biochemical network of the temporal aspect of consciousness would go nowhere without sensory data. We are essentially born as blank slates in terms of informational knowledge. However, we are pre-wired for language, and conceptual and mathematical logic, the latter being the “nuts and bolts” of our commonly shared cerebral physiology that intuitively recognizes the contrasts and similarities of things, and, accordingly, processes and assimilates the qualities and quantities of things: the essence of identity, contradiction and exclusion. These innate abilities to recognize syntax and distinctions, in my opinion, is a form of knowledge, albeit, structural, rather than informational, in nature.

But for the Bible, it’s not relevant either way.

In this regard, the Bible affirms three important things in this regard: (1) everything one needs in terms of being are contained in the sexual union and the simultaneous impartation of the soul; (2) some kind of physiological network of consciousness that interfaces with the soul and requires time to develop; (3) the innately preordained, reflections of accountable maturation, the bloom of the sexual union, arrive.

Today, we know about the genetic code and the central nervous system. As for the physiological network of consciousness, it makes sense to me to think of it as essentially the sum of the physiological structures and biochemical interactions inherent to the central nervous system. Time, experience and growth and development lead to the ability to reflect on the innately preordained intellectual concerns of theology, morality and aesthetics, including the apprehension of the objectively universal imperatives of origin and identity which are strictly rational considerations of ultimate reality that are not immediately assessable to sensory perception. They are the higher abstractions inherent to consciousness and extrapolated from existence. In the meantime, the angels of the innocents “do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

December 11, 2012 11:52 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo said:

"I told you already. No, I am not."

Ok, what are you?

"Well, if my way of thinking has coincidences with the way Dawson thinks it means that there must be something good about objectivism."

How hilarious.


"if Aristotle was wrong about something he was wrong about everything, therefore if objectivism has some basis in some of Aristotle's thinking objectivism is wrong."

That's barely my argument.

"That without checking what objectivism is about"

I did. "objectivism" is a rehash of Aristotle. Do yourself a favor. Go to the Ayn Rand lexicon and see how she praises Aristotle.


"(I am not defending, nor attacking, objectivism, I am showing you the faulty logic in your observations about Aristotle and objectivism.)"


Well, your wrong bud.

"So, what about you read and understood rather than label?"

I have. But are you admitting that you really don't know or understand objectivism?

Hey photo do you believe that there is only "one reality"?

December 11, 2012 12:44 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Kyle,

Then it means that you bought into a non-sequitur completely. I do not give one dime if that comes from Aristotle or from Einstein. It is still a non-sequitur at the very least as presented. There is no reason whatsoever to infer a divine anything from the fact that we can conceptualize infinity in mathematics. Whether from division or from anything else. Read my comment if you care. If not that's fine.

Also, I said I think I understand the argument, but I asked if I understand it correctly. I do not think that Peikoff is pertinent or not. What you wrote and attributed to Peikoff is inconsequential to this argument (math infinity therefore divine perfection), and made no sense in itself I suspect that you might have misread Peikoff as badly as you misread my clarifications.

But you donlt want me to ask you. So I don;t expect further answers. I said I do not care what Peikoff's whatever are. I am not defending Peikoff. I do not care about defending a guy whose work I have never read. I find the argument (math infinity therefore divine perfection) faulty. Therefore I want to know where the jump comes from. How it is not a non-sequitur. If Peikoff has some argument and assumed one thing or another not does not change anything. It's philosophy 101: a fallacy is a fallacy regardless of somebody else's arguments for or against it. Peikoff is a distraction from the issue. If I used Peikoff's argument then it would be relevant. I am not doing such thing.

Now let;s look carefully at your own presentation:

the maxim actually does have practical mathematical applications,

I have not disputed this. Have I?

and a timeless creator can do that from nothing to a divisible something and back down to nothing again easily

I think you are mistaking timelessness with omnipotency here. In any event, that you can imagine that a timeless creator could do this or not does not mean that having a useful mathematical concept can be used to propose that this timeless creator is real. There is a jump there. A non-sequitur. One that seems by all means unsolvable and thus the argument means nothing. There is no bridge between here there is this useful mathematical concept of infinity, therefore divine perfection. None whatsoever. Wait ... Timeless! Now that I wrote it, it does not make sense in more ways than I was perceiving, because timeless is not the same as eternal ... yup, how could anything divide to infinity if there's no time? Shit, the more I read the more nonsense I find in this argument(s).

December 11, 2012 12:55 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

Ok, what are you?

I told you that I cannot label myself without knowing what those things are to a reasonable point. Since I have not studied all kinds of schools of thought I can't claim to belong in any. Hey, maybe there's none where I belong.

"Well, if my way of thinking has coincidences with the way Dawson thinks it means that there must be something good about objectivism."

How hilarious.


That was the intention. It was an ego centrical joke. Not an excellent one I admit.

"if Aristotle was wrong about something he was wrong about everything, therefore if objectivism has some basis in some of Aristotle's thinking objectivism is wrong."

That's barely my argument.


That's exactly your argument. Check it out at the beginning of this thread and close to the end of the previous. You said that if Aristotle had some stuff wrong why should we take you seriously. That means that you think that because some guy had some ideas wrong therefore all the ideas were wrong, and anything deriving from any ideas would also be wrong. That's fallacies 101.

I did. "objectivism" is a rehash of Aristotle. Do yourself a favor. Go to the Ayn Rand lexicon and see how she praises Aristotle.

I do not care. As I said, maybe she does, maybe she doesn't. I am not defending objectivism. I am saying that your thinking is fallacious. You continue to show so here: "if Ayn Rand praised Aristotle it therefore means that she buys into everything Aristotle said. Since Aristotle was wrong in some things, Ayn Rand must be wrong in all things." I have praised a lot of people. That does not mean that I agree with everything they say. Does it? But again, discussing this is meaningless because I have no idea, and I do not care what you think about her. If you have fallacious reasons for rejecting her ideas it's your problem, not mine. Solve them yourself.

I have. But are you admitting that you really don't know or understand objectivism?

No more than whatever I have read from Dawson. So far quite self-consistent.

Hey photo do you believe that there is only "one reality"?

As I said, if your worldview presents you with such nonsensical "imperative alternatives," solve them yourself.

See ya.

December 11, 2012 1:15 PM  
Blogger Kyle Jamison said...

Photosynthesis: "I am examining the argument that you posted. Not arguments posted by any of those guys. So, if anybody is assigning those ideas to men whose reputation is historic (classic argument from authority hidden here yet again) . . ."

That's not true. Michael is not arguing from the logical fallacy of authority. I have been observing this debate for two weeks off and on. He is way too smart for that. Dawson raised the matter first. Michael responded in detail pointing out that Aristotle comes to a different conclusion than Peikoff and why. From that base Michael has consistently argued exactly what Aristotle held. He showed you what Aristotle said in his Metaphysics and how the argument applies to the idea of God. You apparently missed that. Dawson knows this and should point it out to you. The only other thing Michael pointed out is that others have made the same observation as Aristotle and you don’t properly understand it. I agree. That’s academic not arguing from authority. It seems you just want to argue rather than understand. That’s makes no sense at all.

December 11, 2012 1:30 PM  
Blogger Kyle Jamison said...

Richard,

"Welcome to the jungle."

I was thinking romper room.

"Causality presupposes existence."

Just when I thought I’d been imagining cause and effect all these years that chestnut rolls by. Good thing too, I was about to slit my wrists.

Please tell me Dawson was pulling on our legs.

Michael's got more patience than me.

December 11, 2012 1:55 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael: “Yes, I do need to ask, apparently, given the fact that you imply that Hume and I, for example, don’t understand that. Causality presupposes existence is not the irreducible primary of that apprehension.. Uh . . . it’s more at something from noting is inexplicable. All you’re saying is that something has always existed. Well, that’s what we’ve all been saying throughout history.”

Yes, something has always existed. Existence exists. Get it? I’m guessing not. Tell you what, Michael, go back and read the thread where this came up again, and while you do re-read it, keep this fact *explicitly* in mind. Don’t let it sink to the bottom of the lake this time. Keep it on the surface. What happens to the notion of an “infinite regress” of causes? Still not getting it? Then you really need to go back to the basics.

By the way, something I wanted to ask. When I read the first comment by the fellow posting under the name “Kyle Jamison,” I immediately had the impression that it was another of your alter egos. It’s very pro-Michael and, as Photo has pointed out, if the concerns he focused on in his initial message are what he got after “watching this thing with some interest for awhile,” he’s not been watching it very carefully at all. He shows no interest or even awareness of the back-and-forth regarding metaphysical primacy, which is much more fundamental than what Aristotle or Isaiah said about “infinity.” We already know you have one alter ego (“Toby Jacobs”), and who knows what you’re doing under that moniker. So it’s hard to shake this suspicion. Indeed, Kyle Jamison makes the same mistake that you are making, Michael, namely saying, without any support, that Photo hasn’t been understanding what you’ve been saying. Photo had to correct this, but I’m guessing the charge will continue to persist.

Anyway, this is still my blog, so I reserve the right to inquire, especially when other comments by “Kyle Jamison” read like Michael’s shadow. We already know that you have another “alter ego” running around the net for whatever reason. Can you honestly tell me that “Kyle Jamison” is not another one?

By the way, how’s that biblical theory of concepts coming?

Also, when are you going to explain how you can maintain the primacy of consciousness with full consistency pertaining to your god? If you think you have already, you’re wrong.

You wrote: “Now, bear in mind that Aristotle -- like Moses and Daniel and Isaiah and others before him, indeed, virtually every other thinker of note in the history of philosophy and theology -- extrapolate from this a conclusion that is 180 degrees the opposite.”

I’d really like to see more substance to this claim. Can you quote where “Moses and Daniel and Isaiah… extrapolate from this a conclusion that is 180 degrees the opposite”?

I for one would really like to see this.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 2:04 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

By the way, Michael, do you still maintain that “Nowhere in scripture is it asserted that a finite mind (subject) can have primacy over an existent (object)”? What about the examples of this that I raised in my post? You seem to be avoiding the matter. Is there a problem?

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 2:06 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Look Kyle, when someone makes a laundry lists of geniuses who this someone claims to have held to some argument, the argument gets loaded with an argument from authority regardless of that story you are telling me about Peikoff and Aristotle. See exactly how Michael uses that fucking list. He used it as an argument from authority against Dawson, then against me. Michael is not "too" smart for doing such a thing. He has committed such first-grade levels of fallacies that it is obvious that he is barely an amateur intellectually speaking. I am not surprised that he impresses you though.

I am not surprised that you support this guy either. It always happens when someone declares "I do not have a dog in this fight." Right.

December 11, 2012 2:09 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Kyle,

Then look at this one:

Yes, I do need to ask, apparently, given the fact that you imply that Hume and I, for example ...

What's the purpose of mentioning Hume if not to support his stance by the authority of Hume?

So, please. Too smart. Right.

December 11, 2012 2:13 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Photo wrote: “Look Kyle, when someone makes a laundry lists of geniuses who this someone claims to have held to some argument, the argument gets loaded with an argument from authority regardless of that story you are telling me about Peikoff and Aristotle.”

And don’t forget the part about saying that photo “attributed” things to Aristotle and other named and/or unnamed historical personalities, when in fact photo did nothing of the sort!!

Seriously, this Michael guy likes to throw names around a lot, but notice he’s never quoting them. Michael attributes things to Aristotle, Moses, Daniel, Isaiah, etc., but he’s never giving direct citations to their works to back up these attributions.

Wow! Just wow!

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 2:16 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael wrote: “Yes, I do need to ask, apparently, given the fact that you imply that Hume and I, for example ...”

Photo: “What's the purpose of mentioning Hume if not to support his stance by the authority of Hume?”

Indeed, whom are such bare references intended to impress? Who around here takes Hume seriously?

The picture for the Michael/Kyle/Nide tag-team is continually looking more and more threadbare. They’ve lost sight of what they’re even trying to accomplish here.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 2:19 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Photosynthesis: “What's a historical observation of theology and philosophy? That there's a mathematical concept of infinity, therefore divine perfection?”

“Kyle Jamison”: “Specifically, as it applies to divinity, I know it from the Book of Job, Aristotle’s Metaphysics and my own reflections on the mathematical maxim of division.”

“…the Book of Job…”????

Please, let’s see what a clearly non-eisegetical examination of “the Book of Job” turns up on the mathematical concept of infinity. Just some direct citations from “the Book of Job” would help here.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 2:23 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Photo wrote: “I am not surprised that you support this guy either. It always happens when someone declares ‘I do not have a dog in this fight’. Right.”

There are many give-aways here. This was one of them.

Notice how Michael likes to name-drop. He doesn’t provide any substance beyond citing names when he does cite names. He says they held this and they held that, but he doesn’t provide citational evidence to support whatever he’s claiming. By doing this, Michael shows that he’s a numbers guy – i.e., he really likes to give the impression that all the “big guns” are on his side. He wants to set up an illusion of having an army of intellectuals pointing their entire arsenal at whatever tiny breath we breathe. He’s not resting on the merits of his points, for he doesn’t really present arguments in the first place, but rather brandishes his bald assertions and flies into a tantrum when those assertions are questioned and found problematic. That’s when he runs to his illusory army that he wants all of us to buy into imaginatively. Doesn’t work. Doesn’t work at all!

But it is hilarious, especially with this guy “Kyle” suddenly showing up and saying how smart Michael is.

Sorry, you’re not going to fool us with that one.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 2:29 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Kyle,

He showed you what Aristotle said in his Metaphysics and how the argument applies to the idea of God. You apparently missed that. Dawson knows this and should point it out to you.

I do not understand why should Dawson tell me that Aristotle held the same non-sequitur as Michael (is he did). The issue is not who held this argument, but that it is a non-sequitur. That it makes no sense. Since I have described several times already why, it is now up to Michael, or you who bought into it, to show exactly what's missing there.

So?

(Kyle contradicted Michael in one post. By inference, but it might be that his alter egos do some mistakes to hide their true identity. Then again, Michael can hold contradictory and nonsensical notions and believe them to be sound, so who knows, maybe not a mistake but part of his mental problems.)

December 11, 2012 2:34 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Kyle,

Actually, I gave my word I'd put down Christianity's epistemology. I'm sort of bound by that. I didn’t anticipate the brouhaha when I closed on the existence of God. I guess I should have. I naively believed “okay-I-see-that” and “I-see-that-too-but-don’t-believe-it.”

Then we shake and go our separate ways.

I guess Dawson’s not going to discuss existence or consciousness with me after all in any definitive or meaningful way either. All I’ve gotten out of him on that score so far is existence exists (or the universe exists) and something or another about an integrated glob of matter and consciousness.

Can’t seem to get anything else out of these guys about how that finite consciousness proves a finite existence or how that finite existence proves a finite consciousness (which implies an infinite consciousness, except when it proves a finite existence!). It’s sort of like that dang non-existent perfect circle (not to mention that axiom of division) I can’t get out of my head no matter how hard I try to imagine it can’t exist anywhere else because it doesn’t exist in existence . . . whatever that is for the Objectivist. LOL!

But I'd be happy to discuss it with you.

One more installment and the outline for the epistemology is complete . . . except for detailed discussion of course.

We can discuss it on my blog if you want.

Someone’s imagining us to the be the same person I see. More hilarity.

Cool link by the way.

December 11, 2012 2:48 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Please, let’s see what a clearly non-eisegetical examination of “the Book of Job” turns up on the mathematical concept of infinity. Just some direct citations from “the Book of Job” would help here.

Excellent question. I bet there will be no answer. "No dog in this fight." Ha. "Agnostic." Right. If this "book of Job" reference was not a dead give-away, I do not know what would be. Classic.

December 11, 2012 2:50 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Photo: “The issue is not who held this argument, but that it is a non-sequitur. That it makes no sense.”

Exactly! And this is why Michael can rightly be accused of multiple, repeated, indeed habitual appeals to authority as a substitute for actually dealing with the issues head on. Frankly, I don’t care about the personality thing – who held what position eons ago. But the authoritarian mind cannot let this go. For such an individual, it’s all about *who* said what, not whether that *what* has any factual basis to substantiate it. The *who* is what’s important to the authoritarian mind. Michael has exhibited this proclivity for some time now. And immediately Kyle is doing it too. My, what a curious coincidence!

Photo: “Kyle contradicted Michael in one post. By inference, but it might be that his alter egos do some mistakes to hide their true identity. Then again, Michael can hold contradictory and nonsensical notions and believe them to be sound, so who knows, maybe not a mistake but part of his mental problems.”

I’m reminded of what the apostle Paul writes in Titus 1:10, which states: “One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.”

Cohen remarks on this passage (The Mind of the Bible-Believer, p. 200):

<< If the Cretan Paul quoted was a truth-teller, then what the Cretan said, i.e., that all members of the class he belongs to are non-truth-tellers, cannot be the truth. If the Cretan was a liar, then, for the thing he said to be a lie, the Cretan would have to have been a truth-teller. Either way the proposition contradicts itself, and is capable of being simply true or false. But Paul declared it to be simply true, and did so purporting to speak inerrantly for the God who cannot “lie.” >>

Then of course there’s the notion that “invisible qualities” have been “clearly seen.”

In the previous thread, Michael referenced “the tangled webs we weave.” Notice the “we” here. He’s including himself.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 2:51 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Photo, notice how Michael's now turning his tail and ducking for cover. His attempts to make it look like he gave it some valiant effort but we're simply too barbaric to understand his brilliance...

Just amazing!

As I said to Freddies, this guy Michael David Rawlings is quite a specimen! I'm really glad he left his fingerprints all over the place on my blog! He's just another in a long line of billowing hucksters who's appeal to authority wasn't quite up to the task he thought it'd accomplish for him.

So I guess we'll never see that "Christian theory of concepts" after all. My, how unsurprising.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 2:56 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

"That's exactly your argument. Check it out at the beginning of this thread and close to the end of the previous. You said that if Aristotle had some stuff wrong why should we take you seriously. That means that you think that because some guy had some ideas wrong therefore all the ideas were wrong, and anything deriving from any ideas would also be wrong. That's fallacies 101."

I said Aristotle had a LOT of things wrong not some. There's a difference.

So, again that's barely my "argument".

"See ya."

Yea, see ya.

December 11, 2012 2:57 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

"The picture for the Michael/Kyle/Nide tag-team is continually looking more and more threadbare. They’ve lost sight of what they’re even trying to accomplish here."

What's wrong? You don't like the company?


It's nice to see photo cheer leading since Ydemoc hasn't been.

December 11, 2012 3:03 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 11, 2012 3:04 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

In the immortal words of freedies_dead:

Simply conceding that you have no answer to the criticism would have sufficed Michael.

Don't worry. I am not surprised that you rather run to your blog with your tail between your legs.

See ya.

December 11, 2012 3:05 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

So, the following order of things obtains:

1. We have the universally self-evident metaphysical realities of existence and consciousness, coupled with these existents universally self-evident metaphysical ramifications and their inherent first principles of epistemology: the ramifications of the construct of divine perfection (an entity of first, uncaused cause residing outside and independently of the space-time continuum) that goes to the historic, inescapable problem of origin, which entails the undeniable alternatives (inanimateness or consciousness) objectively and universally understood by all, coupled with both the rational and moral imperatives of the comprehensive expression of identity.

2. We have the irreducible primary of true epistemology prior to the special revelatory knowledge of scripture and the personal encounter with the Creator in terms of reconciliation and relationship. We have what is clearly a rational-empirical construct of epistemology that is of an objectively apparent analogical nature in terms of both being and reason.

3. We have the proper means to discern true knowledge via the reciprocating relationship between the rational (the special revelation of scripture and personal encounter) and the empirical (the general revelation of the universe and scientific investigation) , wherein each informs the other via the analogical operations of deductive and inductive reasoning as governed by the universal laws of logic and ultimately focused and contained in terms of consistency by the wisdom of God in the full restoration of the Imago Dei.

4. The hierarchy of knowledge is simultaneously built from the foundation of the self-evident metaphysical realities and their rational imperatives, and from the exegesis of the empirical data about creation gathered from the apparatus of sensory perception, wherein, once again, each simultaneously informs the other via the analogical operations of deductive and inductive reasoning as governed by the universal laws of logic and ultimately focused and contained in terms of consistency by the wisdom of God in the full restoration of the Imago Dei.

5. Hence, it’s through scripture and personal relations with God that we come to know the details of the rest of ultimate metaphysics, the higher truths of theology, beyond the objectively apparent basics assessable to all prior too conversion, not before.

We already know that everyone on this blog and beyond knows the objectively apparent basics which point us toward God, including you Dawson, despite your nonsense, depending on what mood you’re in or what imperative you’re trying to evade at any given moment. You’ve been arguing the basics all along, albeit, in unrighteousness, in your attempts to overthrow them, an enterprise in which you failed, for it was doomed to fail all along.

“Divine Lonesomeness”: the very construct of divine perfect, understood while arguing against it (except for that pesky eternally existent now), misunderstood later. LOL!

December 11, 2012 3:08 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “What's wrong? You don't like the company?”

It’s nothing to do with my likes or dislikes, Nide. Water finds its own level. You and Michael and his host of easily-spotted alter egos are free to go hang out wherever you like. Have fun “rooting around in [Michael’s] poop shoot, getting all confused and dizzy from the fumes.” I’m sure he thinks it’s a nice place to be. And you’ll feel right at home.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 3:10 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael writes: “1. We have the universally self-evident metaphysical realities of existence and consciousness…”

This is simply too hilarious!

Michael, just let me know when you’re ready to unveil the “Christian theory of concepts.” Okay? That is your first outstanding deliverable. I asked for this back on 4 Nov., and you’ve been stalling, stalling and stalling ever since. Come on. Where does the bible present a theory of concepts? I’m waiting, and I have been waiting for over a month. All this “universally self-evident” bullshit doesn’t fly here. Your bluff has been called and your cover has been blown. It’s time for you to come out of the closet on this. Stop hiding. Be a man. Rise to the occasion. Show us what you got.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 3:15 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

Did you really have to leave the floor soiled before you left? Playing with your shit is not healthy. Stop spreading it around.

Again: Simply conceding that you have no answer to the criticism would have sufficed Michael.

December 11, 2012 3:16 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 11, 2012 3:27 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, Michael,,

This is just to help me clarify some points.

I had mentioned that photo had helped in my understanding of terms, and then I wrote: "Anyway, my (probably very, very naive) question to you is: Could analogical reasoning also be applied to justify belief in Islam or Mormonism or Hinduism?

Also, given what you wrote above about Van Til and analogical reasoning, was Richard correct or incorrect when he wrote back on December 1, 2012:

'Analogical reasoning = thinking God's thoughs [sic] after him.'

'Univocal reasoning = thinking Santan's [sic] thought after him.'"

A little while later, you replied: "No. Everything that photo has said on this matter is confused, wrong and misleading."

Does your "[n]o" above refer specifically to my giving credit to photo? Or did you also intend for this "[n]o" to address my question regarding analogical reasoning applying to Islam, Mormonism, and Hinduism? If the latter, would you mind briefly explaining why this would not be the case (that analogical reasoning would *not* apply in these instances)?

You then wrote: "Sorry, I don't recall that in Van Til. You’d have to ask Richard."

Well, you're right, I probably should ask Richard. But I haven't addressed him directly for quite some time. And, right at the moment, as Bob Dylan sings in Things Have Changed, frankly "I'm not that eager to make a mistake."

But if Richard wants to address this question, no one is stopping him. (And I fully realize, of course, that he did supply definitions of these terms from Frame, I believe. But from what I could tell, while helpful, what he provided wasn't precisely in line with what he'd written prior, i.e., that "Univocal reasoning = thinking Santan's [sic] thought after him."

You wrote: "But if that's what Van Til wrote, he’s using the terms in a more doctrinal sense rather than in the more general/universal sense of the terms."

Well, assuming you're correct on this particular point (and I have no reason to doubt that you are, in fact, correct), in your opinion, would it be proper -- in a "doctrinal sense" -- for Richard to say that "Univocal reasoning = thinking Santan's [sic] thought after him"?

Ydemoc

December 11, 2012 3:28 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

"And you’ll feel right at home."

Takes one to know one. How are photo and ydemoc making out?

December 11, 2012 3:44 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Ydemoc,

what are you doing?

i gave you the link.

quit asking already

December 11, 2012 3:47 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo,

You write: "I do not understand why should Dawson tell me that Aristotle held the same non-sequitur as Michael (is he did). The issue is not who held this argument, but that it is a non-sequitur."


Again you’re pretending not to understand someone. Kyle was calling you out on your crap about the logical fallacy of appealing to authority.

Dawson did raise the issue first, not I. At the time I made it clear that Aristotle and Peikoff draw two different conclusions from the very same observation. Had it been left to Dawson, no doubt, you would have walked away with the impression that Aristotle came down on your side. I’ve read Metaphysics, have you?

And you have not in any coherent way addressed the matter.

You won't even answer the question regarding Peikoff's assumption, which is in no way, shape or form in evidence with regard to the observation that finite consciousness cannot divide something indefinitely. That’s the non sequitur of a circle-jerk complexion. It’s the very conclusion of the implied premised. Even Dawson must sense its weakness. How else would one explain his disingenuous implication that I was suggesting that I, a mere human, could attach a number to infinity. YOU IDIOTS! NO FINITE MIND CAN! THAT’S THE POINT! It's Peikoff’s conclusion that doesn't follow . . . something real philosophers have always recognized.

Objectivism: the philosophy of the obtuse, the arbitrary and the prearranged conclusion.

As I said before, no wonder Objectivism is treated with such contempt by the corpus of serious theological and philosophical thought. Until now, I imagined that it was political, at least with respect to secular philosophers on the left, due to Rand’s unflinching libertarianism. Now I see things more clearly.

Never should have doubted you, Richard. My apologies.

P.S. Shot Dawson’s “causality presupposes existence” to my circle of friends. We all got a laugh out of that one.

Zoom! Right over freddies’ and photo’s head.

December 11, 2012 3:52 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Look Richard, you asked me for manners, but could not ask Michael for manners, Now your hypocrisy finds new levels. My patience is spent. Don's ask me for manners again.

Now go and eat Michael's shit if you like it that much. Cheer-leading. the fucking irony.

December 11, 2012 3:54 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Look Michael, your red-herrings to avoid answering my points are clear. Thanks for showing it further by trying harder. I know what "Kyle" was trying to do. Another red-herring. A distraction so that I would forget that you can't show those connections. They don't exist. Dawson did not make that laundry list of geniuses, you did.

Again, admitting that you had no answers to the criticisms would have sufficed.

I guess that putting that crap back into your ass hurt. Your problem. I did not ask you to bring forth shit. Yet you did. Now, please, be kind and go fuck yourself.

December 11, 2012 4:03 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Hey photo,

did it sting?

your bevahior is nearly psychotic.

not only are you fixated with asses but now with feces.


that's crazy people talk.

December 11, 2012 4:10 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Zoom! Right over freddies’ and photo’s head.

Oh the imbecility. I know perfectly well what you are trying to imply. Yet you fail to notice what it truly implies. It destroys the assumptions of one of those "necessary problems" of yours. Right over your and your stupid friends heads. But I don't give a damn. This is just one more red-herring to distract us from your lack of answers to my criticism of your argument for divine perfection. May your circle of friends keep enjoying eating from your shit ass-hole.

December 11, 2012 4:12 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hey Michael,

How's that "Christian theory of concepts" coming?

Do you have any substance to share on this? Or do you just want to rant about different thinkers disagreeing with each other? The latter is not impressive in the least. Nor is your continuing failure to come through for your position in regard to the former.

Michael wrote: "As I said before, no wonder Objectivism is treated with such contempt by the corpus of serious theological and philosophical thought. Until now, I imagined that it was political, at least with respect to secular philosophers on the left, due to Rand’s unflinching libertarianism. Now I see things more clearly."

This is not an argument, Michael. You need to seriously modify your approach to such discussions as this. You need to start presenting arguments. Not simply venting your own frustrations and trying to make them appear to have all these illusory numbers on your side. That's not arguing for a position.

You've lost face, Michael. Coming back with more heapings of distractions and bad attitude will not redeem you. Your bluff has been called, and we all know you're fuming about it. It's not our problem, Michael. All your efforts to pin your problems on us simply ring hollow.

I'm predicting right here and now that Michael will never uncover a theory of concepts anywhere in the pages of the bible, particularly without his especially gratuitous penchant for eisegesis.

Prove me wrong, smart guy.

Regards,
Dawson

December 11, 2012 4:26 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Ydomec,

Look, the problem with photo is that he's trying to make the collective operational aspects of identity's comprehensive logical expression out to be something that is not universal. That's the problem. In the above, once again, he prattles about the disputes within philosophy and theology at large, for example and variously, over the proper application of these operational aspects as if we didn't already know there were a multitude of different philosophical/religious systems of thought and interior disputes.

Who'd a thunk it! News flash! Stop the presses!

WHAT AN IMBECILE.

What he doesn’t grasp from his unlearned Internet searches is that the reason philosophy and theology dominate the discussions and definitions and applications of these operational aspects is because these two disciplines inform and drive all the rest . . . for good or for bad.

Analogical, univocal, equivocal: literature 101. Imagine how dull it would be without them. Think Atlas Shrugged, Rand behind the mask of every character moving their lips to utter mind-numbingly tedious and preachy dialogues that go on and on and on. “Thanks, Rand. Got it the first. Let us know when you stumble onto some rocket science.”

And talk about science. . . .

Newton's laws of motion, general relativity, quantum physics, string theory. . . .

Analogical!

Higher mathematics without these operational aspects of logic. Forget about it!

If Objectivism's univocally obtuse drivel had somehow ruled the history of thought, we'd still be in caves humping aardvarks.

December 11, 2012 4:36 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

your bevahior is nearly psychotic

Says the guy who asks for manners when his idol's crap is exposed, but can't see his own lack of manners or that of his idol. Says the guy who thinks that imaginary beings solve philosophical problems. Says the guy who thinks that we should solve the problems of his own worldview ...

December 11, 2012 4:41 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Higher mathematics without these operational aspects of logic.

Oh yes, because jumping from abstractions into divinity has so much to do with logic and math!

Hey! I can imagine numbers below absolute zero! It's perfectly mathematically cogent! Therefore this mathematical axiom gives us strong reason to believe that there is a realm of imperative origins where a being we can only imagine can produce coldness that absolute-zero living minds can't! It's all so sound! Otherwise it would be gratuitous! Odd, very odd! Denying this would go against Plato, and Aristotle, and Moses, and Isaiah, and Prometheus, and Hercules, and Zeus, and Xanu, and Huitzilopochtli, and Hume! All intellectual geniuses but this was not an argument from authority!

So clear! So solid! You think that was riddled with fallacies? Ha, if you think so what about you tell me exactly why Hercules rescued Prometheus? Aha! You Don't want to!! Therefore I am right! Ha! Right over your head! Zoom!

Michael, the ass-hole who hides his stupidity behind pretended scholarship, but can't recognize arguments from authority and non-sequiturs when he produces them. The guy who had to start by claiming credentials. But, no, no, no, not an appeal to authority, no sir. What a joke.

Keep showing your stupidity Mike. It's all over the place in grand display anyway. So what's a bit more.

December 11, 2012 5:01 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

stings doesn't it?

December 11, 2012 5:02 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Come to think about it. It's obvious that Mike being an ass-hole has no option but claim that his knowledge is anal-ogical.

December 11, 2012 5:05 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

stings doesn't it?

I don't know. That was your ass (and mike's) being filled back with your own crap. I suppose it stings. But I couldn't know.

December 11, 2012 5:08 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

And that's what it comes down to. Another anal reference.

You're sick.

December 11, 2012 5:10 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, Michael,

I appreciate your recent reply. It is and will be quite helpful to me in my endeavors. However, my questions to you were very narrow in scope. Perhaps it's just a simple case of me failing to apply what you've written to the questions I'm asking.

Whatever the case may be, for your convenience here my comment is just in case you have the desire to address them more directly for me:

"Could analogical reasoning also be applied to justify belief in Islam or Mormonism or Hinduism?

Also, given what you wrote above about Van Til and analogical reasoning, was Richard correct or incorrect when he wrote back on December 1, 2012:

'Analogical reasoning = thinking God's thoughs [sic] after him.'

'Univocal reasoning = thinking Santan's [sic] thought after him.'

A little while later, you replied: 'No. Everything that photo has said on this matter is confused, wrong and misleading.'

Does your '[n]o' above refer specifically to my giving credit to photo? Or did you also intend for this '[n]o' to address my question regarding analogical reasoning applying to Islam, Mormonism, and Hinduism? If the latter, would you mind briefly explaining why this would not be the case (that analogical reasoning would *not* apply in these instances)?

You then wrote: 'Sorry, I don't recall that in Van Til. You’d have to ask Richard.'

Well, you're right, I probably should ask Richard. But I haven't addressed him directly for quite some time. And, right at the moment, as Bob Dylan sings in Things Have Changed, frankly 'I'm not that eager to make a mistake.'

But if Richard wants to address this question, no one is stopping him. (And I fully realize, of course, that he did supply definitions of these terms from Frame, I believe. But from what I could tell, while helpful, what he provided wasn't precisely in line with what he'd written prior, i.e., that 'Univocal reasoning = thinking Santan's [sic] thought after him.'

You wrote: 'But if that's what Van Til wrote, he’s using the terms in a more doctrinal sense rather than in the more general/universal sense of the terms.'

Well, assuming you're correct on this particular point (and I have no reason to doubt that you are, in fact, correct), in your opinion, would it be proper -- in a 'doctrinal sense' -- for Richard to say that 'Univocal reasoning = thinking Santan's [sic] thought after him'?"

Thanks.

Ydemoc

December 11, 2012 5:17 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

And that's what it comes down to. Another anal reference.

You're sick.


How is it my fault if your arguments are shit? If your arguments come out of your ass, there's no option but to refer them back to your ass. It's tautological.

December 11, 2012 5:40 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

Photo would you be describing the argumentative strategy known as modus defecatus?

December 11, 2012 5:51 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Justin,

Definitely!

December 11, 2012 5:54 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

sick.

December 11, 2012 6:02 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Dawson,

wadda you think about photos obsession with anal and fecal references?

I'm wondering if he likes it coming out of his mouth.

December 11, 2012 6:06 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

You must be. Even though you should be used to the constant smell of your shit and that of your apologist friends, it has to get into sickness from time to time. Maybe Michael's was too much shit in a single go.

Maybe if you started having better friends and started thinking with your head instead ... I know, might be too much to ask ...

Good night Richard. Or whatever your name.

December 11, 2012 6:07 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

wadda you think about photos obsession with anal and fecal references?

My references? It is you and your ilk who keep quoting your bibles.

I'm wondering if he likes it coming out of his mouth.

That you like it does not mean I like it too. Keep your fantasies to yourself please.

As I said, good night.

December 11, 2012 6:12 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

I'm wondering if he likes it coming out of his mouth.

As far as I recall, I refused eating Michael's shit (that did not make him very happy). You and "Kyle" on the other hand ate it voraciously.

See ya.

December 11, 2012 6:15 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

stings doesn't it?

December 11, 2012 6:25 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

photo: Analogical, per Van Til is the classic pressupo canard ‘thinking God's thoughts after him.'

Michael: analogical proper “per Van Til is [not] the classic pressupo canard ‘thinking God’s thoughts after him’.” Van Til is perfectly understands the dynamics of analogical proper, while photoidiot does not.

Richard: Analogical reasoning = thinking God's thoughs after him.

Michael: Sorry, I don't recall that in Van Til. You’d have to ask Richard. But if that's what Van Til wrote, he’s using the terms in a more doctrinal sense rather than in the more general/universal sense of the terms.

Nice way of making a fool out of yourself Mike. Way to confirm that your analogical knowledge is quite ... anal ...

December 11, 2012 6:27 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

stings doesn't it?

Again? It's your ass Nide, or Richard, or Hezek, or whatever. If it stings you know. If it doesn't maybe you now have a callus around that sphincter. Understandable if you get your crap back this often. Check it out yourself. I'm not your doctor. What's with these idiots!

December 11, 2012 6:36 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

great job exposing yourself today.

You fit right in with the "philosophy of reason"

December 11, 2012 7:18 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

great job exposing yourself today.

Says the guy whose ass is too swollen and irritated to withstand any clothing after his crap was put back in.

Call it a day Richard. You won't make your stupidity look any better by insisting on making a fool of yourself.

December 11, 2012 7:34 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

stings doesnt it?


See ya.

December 11, 2012 7:41 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

It might help you feel better if instead of insisting on making a fool of yourself, you think how much more painful it must be for Michael. That it was not your ass getting than amount of crap back should make you quite happy. I don't mind if you want to thank your imaginary friend that you are not Michael. Go ahead.

See? You are fortunate!

See ya!

December 11, 2012 7:42 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael,

One has to wonder if Dawson cared about a "theory of concepts" before he found rand.

That's what makes it even funnier. The trick is to try and make you feel like your missing out on something.

It's hilarious.

Objectivism can't even get past the basic problems of philosophy. No wonder rand asked her readers to take their senses for granted.

Dawson's obsession with asking people for a "theory of concepts" it's not only rude but embarrasing.




December 11, 2012 7:57 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo,

It would be real easy to mistake your mouth for a latrine with all the filth that comes out of it you know.

See ya.

December 11, 2012 8:03 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

photo,

I sent something to your inbox over at SMRT.

Ydemoc

December 11, 2012 8:35 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael writes: “You won't even answer the question regarding Peikoff's assumption, which is in no way, shape or form in evidence with regard to the observation that finite consciousness cannot divide something indefinitely. That’s the non sequitur of a circle-jerk complexion. It’s the very conclusion of the implied premised. Even Dawson must sense its weakness.”

Here’s Michael’s question, with a curious series of letters and numbers following it (from his 10 Dec. comment above):

<< Question: What is the implied, underlying presupposition of this argument? Can you identify it? Can you name it (articulate it) for all to hear and see?
mccasser939 >>

Here’s the quote from Peikoff again (from Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, pp. 31-32):

<< ’Infinite’ does not mean large; it means larger than any specific quantity, i.e., of no specific quantity. An infinite quantity would be a quantity without identity. But A is A. Every entity, accordingly, is finite; it is limited in the number of its qualities and in their extent; this applies to the universe as well. As Aristotle was the first to observe, the concept of ‘infinity’ denotes merely a potentiality of indefinite addition or subtraction. For example, one can continually subdivide a line; but however many segments one has reached at a given point, there are only that many and no more. The actual is always finite. >>

Let’s break this down so that we can educate Michael, given his persisting ignorance on the matter.

[continued…]

December 12, 2012 1:54 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

It should be clear what the underlying premises of Peikoff’s argument here are. But Michael continually has to ask what they are. Here are his premises laid out explicitly:

1. Existence exists, i.e., there is a reality. (Objectivist axiom of existence.) (Michael is welcome to deny this premise explicitly; he already has implicitly.)
2. Consciousness is consciousness of an object. (Objectivist axiom of consciousness.) (Michael has already rejected this.)

3. Existence holds metaphysical primacy over consciousness. (Objectivist axiom of the primacy of existence.) (Michael has already rejected this; his worldview explicitly affirms the primacy of consciousness as the ultimate metaphysical orientation between a subject and its objects. So on his worldview, ultimately wishing makes it so.)

4. To exist is to be something specific. (Objectivist axiom of identity; cf. the law of identity.) (Michael is welcome to deny this premise, too. Since it necessarily implies the primacy of existence, he already has, whether he realizes it or not.)

5. Any thing which exists is something specific. (From 4.) (Michael is welcome to deny this also. Indeed, ultimately he must.)

6. To be specific means to be finite. E.g., a specific number, whether it is 17 or 2,802,409,384,391,093.93401, is specific and therefore finite. It is restricted to itself. (From 4 and 5 above.) (Michael is welcome to deny this as well.)

7. The concept ‘infinity’ “means larger than any specific quantity, i.e., of no specific quantity.” (Definition) (Michael is welcome to reject this as well. It wouldn’t make a difference though; he has already hanged himself by affirming the primacy of consciousness metaphysics.)

8. “An infinite quantity would be a quantity without identity.” (From 6 and 7 above.) (Michael can reject this all he wants – if so, just tell us how much “an infinite quantity” is.)

9. “But A is A.” I.e., to exist is to be specific, which can only mean not larger than any specific quantity. Which means: “Every entity, accordingly,… it is limited in the number of its qualities and in their extent.” (From 1-8 above.)

10. Conclusion: “The actual is always finite.” (From 1-9 above.) Q.E.D.

[continued…]

December 12, 2012 1:55 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Now that the objective understanding of why “the actual is always finite,” let us ask: What is Michael’s argument that an “actual infinite” can and does exist?

[crickets….]

That’s right. All Michael does is assert an “actual infinite,” and in doing so, he inexplicably package-deals it with consciousness, which has already been shown, as his worldview conceives of consciousness, to be completely denuded of its objective meaning in order to accommodate Michael’s mystical beliefs, which have no relation whatsoever to the realm of the actual. So he ends up completely contradicting himself, given his worldview’s devotion to the primacy of consciousness. This self-contradiction on Michael’s part is simply multiplied when we take into account the fact that affirming a truth necessarily assumes the primacy of existence, even if what one is affirming as truth is false or even arbitrary.

Whatever Michael’s argument might be, keep in mind that it ultimately rests on the metaphysical view which essentially says that wishing makes it so. We know this because he has told us this. As he stated, “according to Judeo-Christianity, ultimately, consciousness does have primacy over existence.” And clearly, if he has any argument to begin with, he must be arguing from Judeo-Christian premises, which must include at their root, the metaphysical primacy of consciousness, otherwise he would be arguing according to premises which disagree with the position he is trying to defend, which would amount to further inconsistencies for his position. (I’m glad these aren’t my problems!)

Michael has expressed resentment that the Objectivist position conflicts with certain notions of ancient thinkers, among them “Moses,” “Job,” “Isaiah,” “Daniel,” etc. Probably “Obadiah,” “Esther,” “Solomon,” “Micah,” “Nahum,” “Habakkuk,” “Hagai,” etc. But I have no problem affirming a truth which conflicts with what these people believed or allegedly believed, if in fact it’s the truth. The possibility that my views might disagree with beliefs held by ancient personalities does not intimidate me. I realize Michael wants me to be intimidated – that’s why he resorts to such snarling condescension and makes references to people in his “circle of friends” who are, according to his unsubstantiated assertions, allegedly snickering at who knows what Michael has told them.

But at any rate, Michael’s question has been answered: it should not be crystal clear what the underlying premises of Peikoff’s argument are. Did Michael think they were something else? If so, he clearly doesn’t know what he’s trying to argue against. Again, that’s not my problem.

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 1:55 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide,

I know that you think “asking people for a ‘theory of concepts’ it's not only rude but embarrasing [sic],” especially since your worldview has no theory of concepts. (Indeed, if you thought your worldview could answer this question, do you think it would be either rude or embarrassing to ask what its theory of concepts is? Wow!! Really, Wow!) So your claim here is merely emotional in nature. You simply resent being asked this question, since it’s clear that your worldview cannot produce a theory of concepts to begin with.

But certainly you can answer it on behalf of Christianity, no?

After all, Michael snorted (back on 21 Nov.!!!!): “Uh . . . Judeo-Christianity does have a theory of concepts. LOL! And we’re about to see that very clearly.”

So far, Michael has not come through on his promise.

Since Michael is clearly reluctant to give us any hint or whit as to what the “Christian theory of concepts” might be (whether this is due to his cognitive impairments due to analogical “reasoning” or to his continual reliance on modus defecatus), perhaps you can?

After all, Michael apparently has great faith in your “reasoning” abilities (he stated “Never should have doubted you, Richard. My apologies”).

So can you point us to the book, chapter and verse(s) of the Christian bible where a complete “Christian theory of concepts” is laid out?

Seriously, I’d like to know. Can you educate us? Or will you continue to play the ignorant, empty-headed fool that you’ve proved yourself to be over and over and over again?

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 2:13 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael,

We're still wondering how you cohere Mt. 17:20 with your claim that "Nowhere in scripture is it asserted that a finite mind (subject) can have primacy over an existent (object)."

Got anything on that?

How about in reference to examples from "scripture" that I referenced?

Regards,
Dawson

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 2:29 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Oh hey, Michael, before I forget...


How's that biblical theory of concepts coming?

I'm really curious how it addresses the questions I raised.

Any scriptural citations you can offer on this?

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 2:33 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael,

You see.

December 12, 2012 3:18 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide wrote: “Michael, You see.”

Translation: “Michael, my Savior! Please help me! I’m in distress! I can’t handle this by myself! I need you to rescue me! Please come quickly! I don’t know what to do!”

Absolutely hilarious!

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 3:35 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael,

I have really enjoyed your descriptions of Dawson and his fanatics.


In fact, in the past Dawson has even encouraged me to name call. He told me that it's part of orthodox Christianity.

So, he doesn't mind being called a jackass. he knows it's part of the program.

December 12, 2012 4:39 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

By the way, Dawson ie jackass.

can you ask photo to shut his mouth. the smell is horrendous.

December 12, 2012 4:44 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: “By the way, Dawson ie jackass. can you ask photo to shut his mouth. the smell is horrendous.”

I can, but I won’t. I don’t censor anyone on my blog. You of all people should know that by now.

You’ll just have to deal with whatever comes tumbling at you.

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 4:52 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Ydemoc,

You write:

'Analogical reasoning = thinking God's thoughs [sic] after him.'

'Univocal reasoning = thinking Santan's [sic] thought after him.'" . . .


. . . to address my question regarding analogical reasoning applying to Islam, Mormonism, and Hinduism? If the latter, would you mind briefly explaining why this would not be the case (that analogical reasoning would *not* apply in these instances)?
____________________________

Van Til may be using the terms on two levels, the doctrinal (as applied to Christianity’s system of thought) and universal (as applied against other system‘s of thought relative to the operational aspects of the comprehensive expression of identity in the laws of logic). That’s my best guess. Don’t have the time to look it up.

As for these other religions: Islam and Hinduism are analogical in terms of metaphysical being and, therefore, reasoning. I’m sure about Mormonism.

December 12, 2012 7:28 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Michael,

Thanks for answering my questions.

As far as rendering a solid opinion as to whether or not Richard was precise in his usage of those terms, and not currently having the time to thoroughly investigate the matter -- that's understandable. It's probably something I should investigate on my own anyway.

Ydemoc

December 12, 2012 8:02 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo you write:

"Look Michael, your red-herrings to avoid answering my points are clear. Thanks for showing it further by trying harder. I know what "Kyle" was trying to do. Another red-herring."

Look, photo-paranoia, Kyle can speak for himself, but he is not a ringer I brought in or me under a different guise. The only reason you’re thinking that is because he posted the day after I accidentally posted under Toby. “Toby” is me for private, never public, communications between family members on Twitter or email only. That’s it. I don’t have any other aliases. LOL! I had just twittered under that name and simply forgot that I was still signed in as Toby when I posted here. Except, apparently, for a brief exchange I had with him some time ago on my blog, which I don’t remember, and the link he sent me yesterday, you know as much about him as I do.
___________________________

“Nice way of making a fool out of yourself Mike. Way to confirm that your analogical knowledge is quite ... Anal …”

You need some serious work on your cognitive skills. Ydemoc asked me a question about a specific item apparently written by Van Til. I’m not familiar with it or don’t recall it from my reading. That has nothing to do with the operational aspects of identity’s comprehensive logical expression. I just don’t know what he wrote in that regard! I’d have to guess as I did in the above after Ydemoc asked me again, apparently, being reluctant to ask Richard for some reason. Dude!
___________________________

First you posit “causality presupposes existence” to be something profound and unique to Objectivism, then you imagine the logical fallacy of appealing to authority, then an imaginary friend, then a red herring and then a strawman. Secret knowledge. Paranoia. Hallucinations. F’ you, F’ that. Dude, you’re unraveling, coming apart at the seams!

December 12, 2012 9:26 AM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Ydemoc,

As you probably figure out, I meant to write that "I'm not sure about Mormonism."

December 12, 2012 9:29 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Michael,

Yes. I assumed that's what you meant. Thanks.

Ydemoc

December 12, 2012 9:35 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael,

I wonder where photo-mania has gone. idk, maybe the stench of his lips has finally caught up to him.

December 12, 2012 10:36 AM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael tries to look smart only to make another display of his anal-ogical thinking:

You need some serious work on your cognitive skills.

Says the guy who mistakes me for Dawson in more than half of his comment and then:

Ydemoc asked me a question about a specific item apparently written by Van Til.

Which was the very same item "apparently written by Van Til" that I quoted only to be insulted, but, since Ydemoc was quoting Richard, then "uh, maybe Van Til was using those words in a more doctrinal way." So Mike's "cognitive skills" are insufficient to keep a single sentence in his mind long enough to recognize it the second time he reads it. Not enough cognitive skills to recognize that he had a self-rghteous angry reaction to the one, and a calm acknowledging reaction to the second. So either a hypocrite and/or someone lacking cognitive skills. But this explains a hell of a lot. No wonder that this Mike can't keep up with clear arguments devastating his position. Can't keep a sentence in mind long enough. As I said, that further confirms what analogical reasoning means: anal-ogical. No wonder at all.

Oh course I don;t expect him to be able to understand the paragraph above. This is why I am not directing the comment at him.

December 12, 2012 12:11 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

I told you already, if you keep eating Micheal's shit, you will keep smelling like shit. It's tautological.

December 12, 2012 12:15 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo-mania = brute beast.

December 12, 2012 1:27 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Nide: "Photo-mania = brute beast."

You get him, Nide! That's sure to teach him!

By the way, how's that "Christian theory of concepts" coming?

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 1:38 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

It's not my fault if your friend there gave away the secret to Christian bullshitery or modus defecatus by confessing that you guys think with your anuses (anal-ogical).

No surprise either that you would rather blame the shit on your imaginary friend:

Analogical reasoning = thinking God's thoughs after him.

So, by your belief system your god loves "revealing" his thoughts through Christian anuses. Of course, those who "think God's thoughts after him" make such monumental mistakes that, as per your worldview, your god does not want anybody to know that it is him doing the bullshit in the first place. Sending them through your anuses hides the original, divine, bullshit under actual shit. You know, because if we can imagine infinite shit, therefore actual infinite shit, therefore divine shit. It all falls into place. It's a perfectly cogent axiom held by many geniuses, fictional and real, didn't you know?

December 12, 2012 1:38 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

Somebody asked about the Book of Job. photo, I think.

I can answer that.

Kyle’s absolutely right. Apparently, he's a serious student of philosophy. That's right, philosophy.

All those who know why the Book of Job is routinely required reading in advanced courses of philosophy in college raise their hands.

I see Richard's hand. There‘s Kyle's. Mine's up. Hmm. Just a few, eh? Slow class today, I see.

No. The author of Job (Moses, according to Talmudic tradition) does not illustrate the matter with lines or numbers. The divisibility and limited intellectual capacity of the finite verses the indivisibility and immutability of the Creator Who can will something into existence apart from Himself and divisionally reduce it back down to nothing again is asserted outright! It’s propounded in dialogues between Job and his friends, and between God and Job.

The fact that this dichotomy can be graphically conceptualized in the real number line is quite fascinating too, wherein 0 is likened to the “nothing” of the universe before God works His magic as it were. The negative horizontal progression to the left of 0 would represent the transcendent realm of being beyond the veil of finite sensory perception, the positive horizontal progression, the immanent realm of being. We could expand upon this analogy: the infinities of the number line on either side of 0 may be reckoned to represent God’s infinite intellectual capacity and His infinite creative capacity respectively. But don’t get hung up on that. I’m just meditating.

The perfection of a Being Who is unlimited in power and range and genius is self-evident.

The Book of Job is famously known as the most philosophical work of the Bible. Indeed, this didactic poem is consciously, intentionally philosophical in nature and deals with the seven major philosophical issues that pertain to the construct of divine perfection inherent to the axiomatic problem of origin, you know, the problem that is objectively and universally apprehended by all, the inescapable alternatives of which you guys are pretending not to see:

1. The Problem of Free Will
2. The Problem of Evil.
3. The Problem of Suffering.
4. The Duality of Existence.
5.. The Imperative of the Eternally Existent Now.
6. The Finite-Infinite Dichotomy.
7. The Imperative of Identity: Self-other.

December 12, 2012 2:06 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

You'd think photo would get tried of being wrong all the time . . . but, no, he's sort of like Helen Thomas in that way.
_________________

But, seriously, who really cares what Helen Thomas thinks about anything? She's like that crazed and deformed aunt (the obscenity-spouting elephant girl) one might hide away from the neighbors in one's basement for most of the year and only briefly let out, though tethered to a chain, for spring cleanings. Fortified by a stiff shot of whiskey and wearing a face shield to protect the eyes from errant sprays of spittle, one would then drive her back into the dark recesses with a cattle prod while the eldest son stood by with a double-barreled shotgun . . . just in case the old battle-ax broke free of its bonds. —Michael David Rawlings

December 12, 2012 2:14 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael said:

I see Richard's hand. There‘s Kyle's. Mine's up. Hmm. Just a few, eh? Slow class today, I see.

Notice that "raising hands" there meant open mouth to receive "sacred" bullshit. And bullshit (in the form os biblical eisegesis) is all that came from Michael's anus in that post.

(Again, a guy whose cognitive skills did not help him much to keep in mind that a non-eisegetical presentation was requested, some direct citations from "the book of Job" were requested-not by me, but that's an aside. Instead, only the eisegesis came. But we can't expect much from people like Michael who take pride of thinking with their anuses.)

December 12, 2012 2:20 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

You'd think photo would get tried of being wrong all the time

You'd think that Michael would get tired of getting his bullshit shovelled back into his ass all the time ... he must enjoy the feeling.

December 12, 2012 2:29 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael writes: “Somebody asked about the Book of Job. photo, I think.”

I asked about “the Book of Job,” and I did so after the guy posting comments on my blog under the name “Kyle Jamison” referenced it first as his source of understanding of the mathematical concept of infinity.

Here’s how the discussion on this point went down:

Photosynthesis asked: “What's a historical observation of theology and philosophy? That there's a mathematical concept of infinity, therefore divine perfection?”

The guy posting under the name “Kyle Jamison” wrote: “Specifically, as it applies to divinity, I know it from the Book of Job, Aristotle’s Metaphysics and my own reflections on the mathematical maxim of division.”

I asked: “Please, let’s see what a clearly non-eisegetical examination of ‘the Book of Job’ turns up on the mathematical concept of infinity. Just some direct citations from ‘the Book of Job’ would help here.”

My query was specifically related to the mathematical concept of infinity, and it calls for a clearly non-eisegetical examination of “the Book of Job” in the hunt for this mathematical concept of infinity.

So far, we haven’t even seen one verse of “the Book of Job” cited. And an ancient text tossing the word “infinite” around does not qualify as a philosophical treatise on the mathematical concept of infinity. We need better than this. But Michael indicates that better is not to be expected, at least from the bible. Observe:

Michael wrote: “The Book of Job is famously known as the most philosophical work of the Bible.”

Given this, the bible has some serious, serious problems! Here’s a fitting adaptation of what “the Book of Job” is about, true to Christianity’s cartoon universe premises. Clearly the story of Job and his being used as a pawn in a bet between “God” and “Satan” is a primitive story, and the “philosophy” it depicts is horrid. As a theodicy, it offers only utter philosophical hopelessness for man.

Still wondering where the bible condemns the initiation of the use of force. Look what it depicts in “the Book of Job.”

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 2:42 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Since Michael David Rawlings (Toby to his family) enjoys having his shit shoveled back into his ass, here a bit more:

then you imagine the logical fallacy of appealing to authority

OK, let's see some inconsequential sentences:

perhaps you'll allow that I'm well-read in the history of ideas and events, an experienced student of conceptual and mathematical logic, philosophy, theology and science.

An appeal to authority? No way!

Right. And Aristotle and Moses were buffoons. But tell me something, genius ...

Naaaaaaah. Not an appeal to authority, how can you imagine!

You don’t fly anywhere near the altitude of my intellect ...

Nope. He is not trying to silence me by an appeal to his intellectual authority here at all. (Well, maybe we can give him this one. It's just a demand to the recognition of his genius. Yes Michael, yes. Whatever.)

Now, bear in mind that Aristotle -- like Moses and Daniel and Isaiah and others before him, indeed, virtually every other thinker of note in the history of philosophy and theology -- extrapolate from this a conclusion that is 180 degrees the opposite

No, no, no. Not an appeal to authority in that one either. Sure. Besides it was Dawson who produced this laundry list of geniuses. It reads as a post by Michael by pure mistake.

given the fact that you imply that Hume and I, for example, don’t understand that ...

Oh, no. Not yet another appeal to authority, no way.

Enjoying having that huge pile of crap back into your ass Michael?

There's much more of your crap lying around if you want more (there's also the infinite source of shit of the reductio ad absurdum of the divine ass, the imperative bullshit known by all). Richard and "Kyle" did not eat it all. Not enough space in their stomachs. Obviously.

December 12, 2012 2:55 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo-maniac has lost it all. Amazing

December 12, 2012 3:02 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

"By the way, how's that "Christian theory of concepts" coming?"

hahahha.

Keep waiting.

See ya.

December 12, 2012 3:03 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Don't be jealous Richard, if you want some of Michael's shit shovelled up into your ass, there's plenty. Remember also the imperative infinite perfection of the divine ass. Never ending bullshit for you.

December 12, 2012 3:10 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Photo-maniac,

Do you enjoy having it in your hands?


sick bastard.

December 12, 2012 3:22 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

I asked: "By the way, how's that ‘Christian theory of concepts’ coming?"

Nide responded: “hahahha. Keep waiting.”

Just identify the book, chapter and verse(s) where this conspicuously elusive “Christian theory of concepts” can be found in the bible. If there really is such a thing, why continue hiding like this?

Remember, we’re not interested in eisegetical adaptations from secular philosophies made to appear as though they really came from the bible. That sort of stuff is unimpressive and clearly fabricated. Performing eisegesis, as we have seen, is tacit admission that the bible is insufficient as a source of understanding on the topics that eisegesis is intended to address.

I notice that concept theory is not listed among the “seven major philosophical issues” Michael apparently believes “the Book of Job” addresses in some profound manner. So we can scratch “the Book of Job” off the list, and since it is touted as “the most philosophical work of the Bible,” hope that “the Christian theory of concepts” can be found in some other portion of the bible is rapidly dimming.

But hey, this is not my problem.

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 3:27 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

Do you enjoy having it in your hands?

I understood already that you think with your ass. That's well established and thoroughly admitted by you guys who take pride of thinking with your anuses. But further illustrating this fact by mistaking shovels and hands seems too much. Now, if what happened is that it tickled a bit when entering into your ass, well, maybe it's because you've got used to the procedure. My hands were never in there.

December 12, 2012 3:29 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Dawson,

Honestly, it's something that really doesn't concern me.

I'm fine.

it's your obsession and problem.

Maybe Michael is but to me it's a useless question.


your point is pointless.

see ya.

December 12, 2012 3:39 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Speaking of Christianity’s lack of a theory of concepts, Nide announces: “Honestly, it's something that really doesn't concern me. I'm fine.”

I realize that you don’t care about this, Nide. But that's because you don’t care about knowledge. You don’t care about reason. You don’t care about truth. Concepts are central to all of these. Concepts are at the heart of rational epistemology. You can’t have epistemology without concepts. But Christians are always telling me that there is such a thing as “Christian epistemology.” So naturally, I want to see how it addresses the issue of concepts. But unfortunately, it doesn’t. “Epistemology” in Christianity is a misnomer. What is really meant is simply accepting mystical ideational content without evidence, without rational mental activity, without any genuine understanding of what knowledge and truth are. What’s important in Christianity is belief, not knowledge. And when this is pointed out in a robust manner, highlighting Christianity’s lack of a theory of concepts, we get: “I honestly don’t care.” So there you go. When it comes to philosophy, the Christian shows up essentially empty-handed when it comes to substance. At best all he has are eisegetical borrowings from secular philosophies wrapped in theological jargon to make those borrowings appear lofty and indicative of some “transcendent” realm which is only accessible to the believer by means of his imagination. It's a form of fraud, not philosophy.

Nide: “Maybe Michael is but to me it's a useless question.”

Oh, you’re wrong, Nide. It’s very useful. It’s useful in showing how much of a con Christianity is. That’s why you don’t like the question. That’s why you pretend that it’s not important, even though concepts are central to every identification we make, including assessments like “your point is pointless.” Unfortunately for you, you can’t even account for the concepts you use in any statement you make.
You’ve been blown out to sea by the North Wind, and you don’t realize it. When you are notified of this, you say “it doesn’t really concern me,” not because it really doesn’t concern you (indeed, it most likely doesn't), but because you don’t want to lose face.

I’m glad these aren’t my problems!

Regards,
Dawson

December 12, 2012 4:17 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

D,

what's your point?

December 12, 2012 4:42 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo writes:

"Says the guy who mistakes me for Dawson in more than half of his comment and then".

Examples?

No I don't. Dawson prattled "consciousness presupposes existence" and YOU chimed right in. See. I know what you're alluding to. Yes. Dawson said it first, but then so did you. Right? There's a whole bunch of other subsequent ramifications to which you must also “logically” hold just like Dawson given that you agree with that and many other foolish ideas. You just don’t have the experience and the insight to see them all. Just like you don’t grasp the fact that Dawson must necessarily hold to a strictly materialistic conceptualization of consciousness regardless of what claims. Oh, yes, he’s given enough information now to see that clearly.

December 12, 2012 4:54 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael, not surprisingly, continues giving examples of his lack of cognitive skills:

Yes. Dawson said it first, but then so did you. Right?

Again, this idiot who thinks with his ass mistakes an answer to a comment where this ass-thinker alluded that something went above my head. So, showing that it did not, thus shovelling some of his bullshit back into Michael's ass, is now referred to as me saying something I did not say.

But that was not the whole of your confusion Michael. Keep re-reading and searching, and see if you catch the other parts where you mistake me for Dawson. "I know what you're alluding to" is ass-thinker (aka Christianese) wording for "I just tried to figure out where I've mistaken you, and found something that looks as if I can still save face" Or rather than save face, maybe save "cheeks."

Mike, it is clear that you had no answers for my criticisms of your math-to-divine perfection argument. That you had no answers for Dawson's criticisms overall your entire ass-based worldview, no Christian epistemology to talk about, no Christian theory of concepts either. Try as you might, this will remain clear, and your further soiling all over the place, your red-herrings, will not solve any of that. You will have to live with it. You left all that crap for all to see. Congrats. You convinced everybody about your anal-ogical thinking. Your reliance on modus defecatus is quite good evidence that indeed that's how you think. Be happy about it. We've got it. Really. We understood. No need for further examples.

December 12, 2012 5:11 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

If you are requesting help from your "friends" to figure out your mistakes, those "friends" who laughed with you about that sentence that devastated one of your "imperative problems that everyone apprehends," or whatever your stupid wording, the one sentence that you attributed to me, I have to warn you: many asses can't think better than one. Asses are not really built for thinking regardless of what your anal-ogical theories might suggest.

(Shit, I used too many sentences, that might go over Michael's head ... or ass ... whatever.)

December 12, 2012 5:32 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Michael,

Seriously man, stop it. You only make it worse. But, shall you insist. I suggest that you engage your head into what you would call "univocal" thinking, and disengage your ass from the process. Maybe then you might stop embarrassing yourself. Slow there. Slow. Don't hurry. Wait a lot. Give it a rest. Maybe tomorrow your head will be ready to do the thinking instead.

December 12, 2012 5:53 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, Michael,

In my continuing quest to fully understand this whole "univocal/analogical" stuff, particularly as it pertains to theistic concerns, I went back and re-read some of what George H. Smith had to say on the topic.

In his is book, Atheism: The Case Against God (p. 36 - 37 on scrib.com; or p. 56 - 57 of the softback version), he writes:

"...the God of affirmative theology is beset by a problem of long historical standing from which he cannot escape. All of the supposedly positive qualities of God arise in a distinctively human context of finite existence, and when wrenched from this context to apply to a supernatural being, they cease to have meaning. To illustrate this problem, consider the following questions: When the Christian says that God is alive, does he mean that God is alive in the same sense as natural organisms? If so, God must be a material entity who will eventually die. When God is said to be wise or to possess knowledge, is this the conceptual knowledge with which man is familiar? If so, God is capable of error and can acquire his knowledge only through mental effort. When God is said to have a certain power or capacity, is this power similar to the concept as we understand it? If so, God must be limited. When God is said to be loving, is this a love with which we are familiar? If so, God must have emotions with which to feel passion.

If the Christian wishes to use positive characteristics for God while retaining their meaning, he must reduce his God to a manlike or anthropomorphic level. On the other hand, if these predicates do not mean the same when applied to God as they do when applied to natural entities, then they assume some unknown, mysterious meaning and are virtually emptied of their significance. In this event, God is pushed into agnosticism. Frederick Ferr’ describes the theistic dilemma as follows:

'The theist is caught in a cross fire. Either human language is allowed to retain it smeaning, drawn from human experience of the finite, in which case it cannot be about the God of theism, who is not supposed either to be finite or to be properly describable in finite terms; or language, “purified” of its anthropocentric roots, is emptied of meaning for human beings, in which case it can be neither human language nor—for us—“about” God.'" 61

(continued)


December 12, 2012 5:58 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

"The Christian is faced with an either-or situation. Either we can use human language to speak meaningfully of God (in which case God cannot differ in kind from finite existence), or human language cannot be applied to God at all (in which case the word “God” becomes meaningless). By stipulating that God is supernatural and unknowable, the Christian effectively removes God from the domain of language and communication—thereby removing himself from the context of rational consideration.

This objection has a distinguished past. It has been discussed by theologians for centuries, and it still occupies a place of importance in theological debates. The most ambitious effort to rescue God from the anthropomorphic-agnostic dilemma is the doctrine of analogy. This doctrine has been proposed in various forms, some of which are too technical for the present discussion. 62

We shall be concerned with it in its most widely used format, which may be summarized as follows:

When we apply positive qualities to God such as “wise” or “loving” or “good,”argues the Christian, we do not use them with the same meaning as when we apply them to finite existence, nor do we use them with completely different and unrelated meanings. Rather, we predicate these qualities analogically; i.e., we base them on a resemblance between God and finite entities.

61 - Ferr’,Language, Logic and God, p. 68.

62 - For a detailed discussion of analogy, see R. P. Phillips,
Modern Thomistic Philosophy
(Westminster: The NewmanPress, 1950), Vol.11, pp. 166-173. Cf. F. C. Copleston, A History of Philosophy (New York: Image Books, 1962), Vol.II, Part II, pp. 70-78.

Based upon what Smith writes, would you say that either all, some, or none of it would apply or be helpful to me in my quest to understand the concepts "analogical reasoning" and/or "univocal reasoning"?

Thanks.

Ydemoc

December 12, 2012 6:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

photo,

your ridiculous.

What a donkey.

December 12, 2012 6:04 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Richard,

Seriously man, stop it. You only make it worse. But, shall you insist. I suggest that you engage your head into what you would call "univocal" thinking, and disengage your ass from the process. Maybe then you might stop embarrassing yourself. Slow there. Slow. Don't hurry. Wait a lot. Give it a rest. Maybe tomorrow, or maybe a week from now, your head will be ready to do the thinking instead. Patience Richard. Patience.

December 12, 2012 6:07 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Good night folks. It's been fun. I might not have a lot of time now. So there's some time for the Christians to learn to use their heads instead of their asses for thinking.

Ciao for now.

December 12, 2012 6:16 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo, shut up.

The essence of the logical fallacy of the appeal to authority goes to the claim that something is existentially or metaphsically true just because some pretension of authority or some consensus of authority holds it to be true. “Just because” is the key to understanding this fallacy. Any given assertion in and of itself about A is not the substance of any given truth about A. In other words, even if an assertion about A is true, that true assertion is still not the substance of the truth it asserts. The substance is either in A or it’s not. Dummy! Operationally, it’s the fallacy of asserting something to be true about this or that in the absence of any objectively testable substance about this or that in evidence. Dummy!

So in fact who keeps committing the fallacy of the appeal to authority here?

It’s you, Dummy, as you keep setting yourself up to be an authority without first establishing what the logical fallacy of the appeal to authority is. It’s not in evidence. Now, I just put it into evidence and invite the reader to check it out for himself.

Hence, you simply prattle the line “appeal to authority” and then quote me hear or there. The implied authority is you and the implied substance is the prattled line. Uh-huh. Yep. We’re just supposed to take word on it, i.e, accept the implication that you know what you’re talking about.

Earlier I merely asked that you allow that I'm an expert, which I am, in a specific discipline of academics, namely, the corpus of orthodox Christian scholarship. (My expertise extends beyond that, by the way.) I didn't assert that as a demand, but as a request, and I didn't assert that as an uncontestable fact, but as a proposition.

If the logical fallacy of the appeal to authority were what you claim it to be, none of us could credibly talk about anything at all, Dummy.

Dawson and Peikoff are authorities on Objectivism. Make no mistake about that. And I am an authority on Judeo-Christian orthodoxy. Make no mistake about that either. But our respective expertise in a system of thought or our assertions about reality in and of themselves are not the authority of the substance of realty in and of itself. Our assertions about reality either hold up against the imperatives of objectively ascertainable facts and the objectively applied rules of logic or they don’t.

Dummy!

December 12, 2012 6:24 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

But Dawson, I outlined Christianity's "theory of concepts" from which, by the way, we may readily extrapolate the moral/spiritual necessity of God and our dependency, and the correct presupposition for scientific inquiry.

But you can't see it because you think mere humans are the masters of certain philosophical constructs and modes of cognition. You think Christianity borrows from these, when in fact the first principles of existence as truly governed by the logical imperatives of the comprehensive expression of identity (collectively, the law of identity proper, the law of contradiction, the law of excluded middle), including the operational aspects of cognition (the univocal [the literal], the analogical [the comparisons/contrasts of reality], the equivocal [the metaphoric]) are universal and self-evident, “understood by the things that are made” (Romans 1:18-28).

It’s the secular systems of philosophy that hit or miss what has been revealed by God in His creation. The Bible, Divine logic, the Holy Spirit and an obedient heart get it right every time.

God doesn’t ask the impossible of us. He gave us a mind that can readily apprehend the first principles of existence. His logic may be readily apprehended beyond that point too; it’s universally and objectively obvious to all. That is the Imago Dei, The Divine autograph stamped on us all.

Obedience is the key that unlocks the door to the world of truth and consistent logic. Obedience, Dear Watson!

But we are fallen and frail and easily deceived on our own; hence, God directly intervened in history as well. He gave us His written word, and He gave us His living word in the Person of Christ.

We discover truth when we obey the rules of logic and embrace the only consistently reasonable conclusion evinced in the axiomatic problem of origin. We can’t disobey them and find truth.

We can’t tell ourselves that God would be an eternally self-subsistent Being Who resides outside and independently of creation in one instance and then pretend not to understand the ramifications of that in the next. That won’t lead to truth. That’s a violation of the rules of logic. Real logic is linear, not circular and self-negating.

We can’t tell ourselves that God would be an eternally self-subsistent Being, for example, Who resides outside and independently of creation in one instance and then pretend that such a Being would not necessarily be the ground of all existence and the origin of all that exists apart from Him by babbling that consciousness over existence makes no sense in the next. Instead, we tell ourselves the truth. We don’t “forget” to modify consciousness with divine, i.e., “forget” that such a consciousness and ultimate existence would necessarily be one and the same thing.

December 12, 2012 6:31 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

[Continued . . .]

See, what you want to do here is hold onto to the logic that destroys the lie, not toss it out. See the lie causes you to contradict yourself. Why hold onto the lie? Eeky. Stinky. Toss that in the dumpster. You want to keep logic. Hold on to that. Logic is good. Contradiction is bad. Obey logic.

From there we may see that a hierarchy of true knowledge is built on the rational apprehensions of axiomatic propositions and the empirical impressions of sensory perception as processed, assimilated and integrated in obedience to the innate logical imperatives of the comprehensive expression of identity and the operational aspects of cognition. But to get this right, we also need the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit and the operations manual of revelatory knowledge so that we don’t stray outside the constraints of logic into error especially in the realm of science. And the first thing we learn about science from the Bible is that the proper metaphysical presupposition for science is a mechanistic naturalism that holds to God’s primacy over creation, not an ontological naturalism which arrogantly thinks to render God impotent.

What we have here is a rational-empirical construct of epistemological realism that emphasis linear logic, premised on the assurance that the rational forms and logical categories of the human mind (the calculi of human consciousness) reliably correspond with the structural and mechanical phenomena of the temporal world beyond. And what is the essence of this assurance: the existence of God Himself.

END

December 12, 2012 6:32 PM  
Blogger Michael David Rawlings, a.k.a. "Bluemoon" said...

photo,

The only thing clear to anyone with an IQ above that of a gnat is that you're bonkers.

I told you the only way I'll discuss the matter with you is via the Socratic method of dialogue.

Now. You man up.

What is the implied presupposition of Peikoff's argument?

If you wish to respectively and honesty discuss the matter, answer the question.

December 12, 2012 6:40 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi again, Michael,

I realize that you and I have mostly been a differnt track from you and many of the others. But I have to ask: Can you break down the following for me, i.e., into terms that I, as a slow learner, might be able to process?

You wrote: "...From there we may see that a hierarchy of true knowledge is built on the rational apprehensions of axiomatic propositions and the empirical impressions of sensory perception as processed, assimilated and integrated in obedience to the innate logical imperatives of the comprehensive expression of identity and the operational aspects of cognition."

I think I get it. Seriously, I do. But I just want to make sure.

Thanks.

Ydemoc

December 12, 2012 6:45 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Michael,

Photo left because he really had nothing to say about anything.

A true donkey.

December 12, 2012 7:04 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael: “Dawson prattled ‘consciousness presupposes existence’ and YOU chimed right in.”

Do you mean when I wrote “Very simply, causality presupposes existence, not the other way around”?

And to which you responded: “Of course it does”?

If that’s the same thing you meant, and mistakenly wrote “consciousness” instead of “causality,” it’s unclear why you would express agreement with what I wrote (as when you responded “Of course it does”), but now write:

<< There's a whole bunch of other subsequent ramifications to which you must also “logically” hold just like Dawson given that you agree with that and many other foolish ideas. >>

You seem to be saying that the recognition that “causality presupposes existence” is one of “many other foolish ideas,” and yet you yourself expressed agreement with it.

You are an odd one, Michael/Toby/Kyle, whoever you are.

You then commented to photo: “You just don’t have the experience and the insight to see them all.”

How do you know anything about photo’s or anyone else’s experience and insights? Really, I’m just curious how you have all this knowledge of things that are so hidden from normal human beings.

[continued…]

December 13, 2012 1:04 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

You then wrote: “Just like you don’t grasp the fact that Dawson must necessarily hold to a strictly materialistic conceptualization of consciousness regardless of what claims. Oh, yes, he’s given enough information now to see that clearly.”[sic]

This is just more of your unargued, immature nonsense. For one, the very notion of “a strictly materialistic conceptualization of consciousness” is a contradiction in terms. But I don’t really expect you to see that. Not yet anyhow. Perhaps never if you continue to allow your conceit and bad attitude impede your judgment.

Moreover, to apply the label “strict materialism” – or any form of materialism, for that matter – to Objectivism is pure straw man – it completely ignores and thus fails to take into account the fact that Objectivism explicitly affirms the axiom of consciousness. Not even Christianity does this. So no, it’s not at all the case that I “must necessarily hold to a strictly materialistic conception of consciousness regardless of what [I] claim.” Your “regardless of what [I] claim” is simply your attempt to give yourself permission to ignore relevant facts of what you’re purporting to be talking about. Nowhere do you present any argument for the conclusion that I “must necessarily hold to a strictly materialistic conceptualization of consciousness.” You have simply bought into yet another false dichotomy here, namely that one must either (a) affirm consciousness and therefore imply some supernatural account of metaphysics (which is ultimately based on an appeal to ignorance and/or incredulity), or (b) be a materialist if he rejects supernaturalism. Both horns of this false dichotomy are premised in subjectivism (remember, the primacy of consciousness), for in affirming such a dichotomy one is essentially appointing himself as master over facts, pretending as though facts conform to his own wishing. Notice that you do not cite any facts to support your characterization of my position, and you don’t do this because (a) there are no facts which will substantiate your characterization, and (b) you are acting on the assumption that things are what you say they are, true to the primacy of consciousness metaphysics which you yourself have confessed as the ultimate anchor of your worldview.

[continued…]

December 13, 2012 1:04 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Michael wrote: “But Dawson, I outlined Christianity's "theory of concepts" from which, by the way, we may readily extrapolate the moral/spiritual necessity of God and our dependency, and the correct presupposition for scientific inquiry.”

No, Michael, you clearly did not present a theory of concepts, Christian or otherwise. If you think you did, you clearly do not understand what I asked about. But I don’t see how you have any excuse not to have understood this, as you’re supposedly an expert in so much academic whatever, and I spelled out in very clear terms exactly what I was talking about. You’ve never addressed any of it so far.

In the main entry of this blog, I wrote:

<< A theory of concepts explains how the human mind forms concepts from perceptual input. >>

I’m asking where the bible lays out a theory which explains this. You’ve not indicated where the bible does this.

I will cite some earlier sections of our discussion in the hope that it will help you understand why you still have not presented a theory of concepts.

[continued…]

December 13, 2012 1:05 AM  

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