Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Eight

Today is March 26, 2013, which means: Incinerating Presuppositionalism is another year older! So I invite everyone to join me in singing “Happy Birthday!” to my blog!

While I am delighted to see that IP is still going strong, I cannot say that I’m exactly “surprised” that it is. When I started this blog back in 2005, I had every intention of sticking with it and developing my critiques against presuppositionalism in particular and Christian apologetics in general as long as I could go. I have not set any kind of sunset date for IP, but in the last couple years I have not been able to keep my focus on my writing for IP at the top of my list of priorities. Many responsibilities compete for my time and energy, but my passion for what I do here has not waned at all.

As I have done since the first anniversary of my blog, here is a listing of the entries I published over the past year:

276. Incinerating Presuppositionalism: Year Seven - March 26, 2012

277. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part I: Intro and the Nature of Truth - April 7, 2012

278. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part II: The Nature of Logic - April 8, 2012

279. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part IIIa: The Uniformity of Nature - April 12, 2012

280. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part IIIb: The Problem of Induction - April 15, 2012

281. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part IVa: Objective Morality - May 12, 2012

282. Answering Dustin Segers’ Presuppositionalism, Part IVb: Collectivism, Evil and Slavery - May 19, 2012

283. Greg Bahnsen on the Problem of Evil - May 21, 2012

284. Christian Anti-Morality: A Response to Nide - May 22, 2012

285. In Shambles: Nide's Crumbling Worldview - May 23, 2012

286. Presuppositionalism’s Finest? - May 24, 2012

287. Craig Keener on Miracles - June 17, 2012

288. Chris Bolt vs. the Evils of Demanding Evidence in Support of Truth Claims - July 22, 2012

289. Is Anyone Truly a Christian? - August 4, 2012

290. STB: Two Years and Counting - August 27, 2012

291. Answers to “50 Important Philosophical Questions” - September 15, 2012

292. Christianity vs. Happiness - October 8, 2012

293. Hell is for Believers - October 11, 2012

294. Is Math Christian? - October 18, 2012

295. My Discussion with Michael Rawlings - November 16, 2012

296. Michael David Rawlings and the Primacy of a Bad Attitude - December 9, 2012

297. Rawlings' Bawlings - January 3, 2013

298. Prayson Daniel vs. the Imaginative Nature of Christian Theism - January 29, 2013

299. Debate between Objectivist Andrew Bernstein and Dinesh D’Souza Now on YouTube - February 18, 2013

300. A Case in Point, Part I - March 5, 2013

301. A Case in Point, Part II - March 13, 2013

Year Eight saw some wonderful additions to my growing list of body-blows against the Christian worldview. I began the new season with a six-part series providing a comprehensive answer to Christian apologist Dustin Segers’ presuppositionalist apologetic. So far as I have seen, Segers has never acknowledged or replied to my interaction with his list of questions for atheists. In fact, I haven’t seen hide nor hair of the guy anywhere on the internet, nothing new from him anyway, since I posted my responses to him back in April and May last year. Perhaps he’s been busy with other things. Maybe he’s focusing his efforts on “street preaching,” preferring to bamboozle passersby minding their own business and having other things on their minds, and not having the time or resources to examine what he preaches at them carefully. Who knows. Until we hear from Segers, it appears he’s been put to rest.

Back in May last year, we saw everyone’s favorite court jester “Nide” – now affectionately known as Nidiot – make a couple appearances on the Fundamentally Flawed podcast circuit. I must say that never prior to this time had I felt so embarrassed for another human being. Then again, perhaps I’m in error for indulging Nidiot’s delusion of being human. Regardless, there’s some real entertainment value to enjoyed there.

To might delight, much of the juicy stuff from the past year can be found in the comments of several of my blog entries. So I offer my gratitude to those readers who contributed to the discussion.

In early November last year, a Christian apologist by the name of Michael David Rawlings initiated a discussion which escalated into repeated hysterical meltdowns publicly suffered by a believer the likes of which I have never witnessed before. This of course encouraged Nidiot to up the ante on his own obnoxiousness as he gave himself up for adoption to the swashbuckling Rawlings. The fireworks can be enjoyed in the comments of entries 294, 295, 296 and 297.

Unfortunately, because of the horrendous abuse of my blog by these two self-effacing characters, one difficult decision that I had to make during Year Eight was to turn on comment moderation. I tolerated Nidiot for roughly a year and half; I allowed him to post his comments at will on my blog, and readers were free to respond. Most of his comments were one-liners that proved over and over again that he had no original substance whatsoever to share, but at least his participation did offer some entertainment value. An unwitting court jester, Nidiot was clearly unaware of the degrees to which he could embarrass himself. But Rawlings was a different matter. Rawlings would post sizable comments, sometimes several in a row, and even though his comments would be answered, either by myself or by others, or as in many cases by both myself and others, he would simply repost previously submitted (and previously rebutted) comments as if they still needed answering or as though they raised some new point that no one had yet considered. It was clear that Rawlings was not interested in a mature, honest discussion, and his unrelenting abuse required me to take action.

While I am still holding out hope that I can eventually turn off comment moderation, I’m glad to say that turning it on has not brought the discussions on my blog to a halt. Interest in my Proof that the Christian God Does Not Exist was rekindled when a Christian apologist sought to challenged my proof’s premises. Amazingly enough, this brought out several believers who actually challenged Premise 1 of my proof – i.e., the basic recognition that the imaginary is not real – in order to defend their Christian theism. This in turn led to me providing even more support on behalf of my argument, which has proved to be more effective than I had originally expected. Thank you, Christian apologists!

So here’s to Year Nine! There's lots more to come. Hoist the steins, folks, and drink to another fun-filled year of anti-apologetic detection!

by Dawson Bethrick

Labels:

47 Comments:

Blogger freddies_dead said...

Congratulations on the acheivement so far Dawson. I hope there will be many more birthdays for this blog ... and many more enjoyable demolitions of ridiculous theistic thinking.

March 26, 2013 5:03 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hello freddies,

Thanks for your note! I will endeavor to deliver as my schedule and creativity allow!

Thank you for your contributions and for continuing to read my infrequent if not entirely lengthy posts!!

Regards,
Dawson

March 26, 2013 5:19 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

Like freddies, I too hope for many more birthdays to come!

Congratulations!

Ydemoc

March 26, 2013 5:43 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Thanks, Ydemoc!

I especially appreciate your work, not only in trying to grab people's attention to my blog elsewhere on the net (as on other blogs), but also for dredging up apropos quotes from my writings when I've already had some say on a topic that comes up in a discussion. I really do appreciate that!

Now, if anyone can tell me why my critics seem to be diminishing in numbers over the years. For instance, whatever happened to Paul Manata? And what about Sye? These folks are conspicuously absent. If I'm so wrong, as they would have us believe (per what they have written in times past), why am I still standing and going strong????

Okay, time for dinner!

Regards,
Dawson

March 26, 2013 5:52 AM  
Blogger NAL said...

I also offer my congratulations on your eighth year and hope for many more.

I will celebrate by drawing a stein of beer, since that will make it real.

I would like to suggest you write a book. It could be self-published in a Kindle/Nook form and put up on Amazon at a modest price.

March 26, 2013 7:48 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Hello Dawson and Friends. Yes. Congrats to Dawson for a fine job over eight years. :)

March 26, 2013 12:24 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

It's great to hear that you appreciate my work and efforts! And it has certaily been a pleasure, learning more and more each day from your writings and from all those who have contributed to your blog.

Everyone has contributed greatly to my becoming more and more comfortable and confident dealing with theistic apologia wherever and whenever it may surface.

You wrote: "Now, if anyone can tell me why my critics seem to be diminishing in numbers over the years. For instance, whatever happened to Paul Manata? And what about Sye?"

It is a mystery, isn't it? Perhaps at some point, I'll venture over to their respective blogs (if still available) and make that very inquiry. After all, aren't they told to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation" and to "love their enemies"? It seems to me that if these apologists took their storybook dictates as seriously as they'd like us to believe they do, then they wouldn't hesitate revisiting your blog and displaying a little bit of that "love" -- at least on occasion.

Even though it's been demonstrated to them, over and over again, that theism doesn't stand a chance when pitted against a rational worldview like Objectivism, it seems to me that if they take their storybook seriously, none of that should even matter to them.

Broadly speaking, perhaps the reluctance of these apologists to reengage you on these matters can be traced back to one thing: evasion. Evasion wouldn't be at all surprising coming from theists, for there really is no fundamental distinction between hoping and pretending something *isn't* the case, vs. hoping, pretending, or imagining something *is* the case.

Ydemoc

March 26, 2013 3:46 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Happy birthday Incinerating Presuppositionalism! May Dawson continue to produce these lengthy but quite enlightening posts.

Thanks Dawson. Keep at it please.

March 26, 2013 5:18 PM  
Blogger D.A.N. said...

I am cheering the day you abandon this blog to renounce your current autonomous and fallible reasoning as faulty, and worship the God you know exists. That is worth celebrating.

March 28, 2013 6:42 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Hello friends. Happy Good Friday. This is the day we celebrate Christianity's mythological fairy tale of sacrificial death of an omnipotent being to itself so that it might be able to overlook humanity's foibles. I still like Ken Humphreys' Jesusneverexisted.com for some jolly good refutations and rebuttals to Christian nonsense.

Resurrection: Not In This Universe

And a Big Hello to DAN. Hey dude, what's shaken? Me thinks you in your boots as you think of how silly your religious beliefs are. But you stated to Dawson:

I am cheering the day you abandon this blog to renounce your current autonomous and fallible reasoning as faulty, and worship the God you know exists.

How do you know Dawson's reasoning is faulty?

How does Dawson know your God exists when its painfully obvious its simply imaginary? After all, that which only occurs in one's imagination does not exist.

Cheers.



March 29, 2013 6:26 AM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

DAN,

Dawson's autonomous reasoning works much better than your god's reasoning through you. You are incredibly stupid. Therefore, if you're thinking your god's thoughts after him, he is quite the imbecile at thinking and/or at giving those thoughts to you.

Congrats, according to your worldview you are a proud puppet of a stupid and/or incompetent god.

March 29, 2013 6:43 AM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hi D.A.N.,

Thank you for visiting my blog again. I was delighted to see you come back to me. I had figured you couldn’t resist forever.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is your first comment since your last one back in May 2011 when you posted your very first comment (under “D.A.N.” anyway) to my blog on this entry. I recall asking you then if you thought there was anything wrong per se with hedonism, since in your comment you associated hedonism with (at least your former) atheism, and clearly you now think atheism is somehow wrong. You never did answer my question so far as I can see. Have you now had enough time to think about this?

As for your comment now, I can see how deeply prone you are to imagining things and insisting in your mind (and out loud) that the things you imagine will one day become reality. Do you think there is any indication that one day I will “renounce” the content I’ve labored over the years at my own expense to pack into my blog entries? If so, what specifically do you think indicates this? If not, what is the basis for your “cheering”?

Also, you insinuate that “my reasoning is faulty,” but you cite no example from my writings as evidence to support this. Is this because you have no example to support this? Or, is it because you think there is so much evidence that it should be self-apparent to anyone reading your comment? To form the conclusion that my “reasoning is faulty” (you make it sound like I couldn’t draw a connection between flipping a switch to the ‘on’ position and the generation of light from the lamp to which that switch is attached), I’d think that you’d be able to cite at least a few examples. And yet, you cite none.

Also, in addition to appearing to be utterly contentless, your comment seems rather incongruous coming from a Christian. If everything in human history is happening according to “God’s plan,” then my blog and what I am doing on it is entirely in accordance to “God’s plan.” And yet you seem eager to see a major shift in what your worldview would consider to be part of “God’s plan.” It seems that by cheering for something as unlikely as what you apparently want to see happen, you’re implicitly criticizing your god’s decisions about how it has arranged the world. Then again, perhaps your “cheering” is all just part of “God’s plan” as well, which could only mean: you’re doing what you’ve been “predestined from all eternity” to do, which would only confirm Photosynthesis’ assessment of your position, per the trappings of your confessional investment.

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

Anyway, here’s to IP:Y9!

Regards,
Dawson

March 29, 2013 7:49 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hey D.A.N..

By returning to this blog, you've demonstrated something numerous other apologist who've visited here haven't, as many of them never make a return trip.

Earlier, Dawson wondered about this very thing, writing: "Now, if anyone can tell me why my critics seem to be diminishing in numbers over the years. For instance, whatever happened to Paul Manata? And what about Sye? These folks are conspicuously absent. If I'm so wrong, as they would have us believe (per what they have written in times past), why am I still standing and going strong????"

So D.A.N., can you shed any light on why Dawson's "critics seem to be diminishing in numbers over the years"? What was it that motivated you to come back? Why do you suppose (whatever your motivation may be) hasn't prompted others to return, also?

Ydemoc

March 29, 2013 10:50 AM  
Blogger D.A.N. said...

Dawson,

For my hedonism comment, when I was 19-20 I visited Thailand and was not the Christian I am today, but was an Atheist, that is all I meant. I was self indulging. To me, now looking back, that was wrong. To me, then, what I did was not wrong at all. Back then my worldview certainly was hedonistic, and I was merely reflective in visiting there now to enjoy the country in a more Christian, family oriented, setting instead of the way I explored that beautiful country back then. Although, the woman prostitute I was with did take me to meet her family, and her mom fixed me right there on the beach the greatest chicken Pad Thai I ever have had, so my experience was sort of "family" oriented. :7)

>>Do you think there is any indication that one day I will “renounce” the content I’ve labored over the years at my own expense to pack into my blog entries?

I will remain optimistic and hopeful and I cannot wait to share a lemonade with you in Heaven someday, where me and you can laugh about these good times we have had together.

”Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” ~Martin Luther

>>Also, you insinuate that “my reasoning is faulty,” but you cite no example from my writings as evidence to support this.

Well, you tell me, is it viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning?

>>To form the conclusion that my “reasoning is faulty” (you make it sound like I couldn’t draw a connection between flipping a switch to the ‘on’ position and the generation of light from the lamp to which that switch is attached), I’d think that you’d be able to cite at least a few examples.

Do you have an ontological basis for being 'light-switching flippers'? ~bit.ly/assmorals

>>If everything in human history is happening according to “God’s plan,” then my blog and what I am doing on it is entirely in accordance to “God’s plan.”

I agree completely.

>> And yet you seem eager to see a major shift in what your worldview would consider to be part of “God’s plan.”

You're absolutely right, I was just assuming everyone understood, but I should of added the term "God willing" to you renouncing "your current autonomous and fallible reasoning as faulty, and worship the God you know exists." But, ultimately, you will glorify God either way, by denying and rejecting Him as you will be locking Hell's gates from the inside as CS Lewis said, or bow to Him and be born again way before that. I will remain optimistic, that is all. But either way, you will glorify Him. My wishing for your conversion is a selfish one, I will admit, as I wish to enjoy your company.

March 29, 2013 3:08 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

DAN,

Is it hyper-viciously circular to employ your senses and "reasoning" to imagine that your imaginary friend, the one you call "God," validates your senses and "reasoning"?

is it viciously circular and self-refuting to challenge the validity of other's senses and reasoning when the mere challenging implicitly acknowledges the validity of their senses and reasoning?

Keep showing that incompetence and stupidity Dan. That alone refutes any notion that an omni-potent god is behind the validity of any of your thinking.

March 29, 2013 8:22 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Photo stated: Dawson's autonomous reasoning works much better than your god's reasoning through you. You are incredibly stupid. Therefore, if you're thinking your god's thoughts after him, he is quite the imbecile at thinking and/or at giving those thoughts to you.

Congrats, according to your worldview you are a proud puppet of a stupid and/or incompetent god.


I second these statements.

March 30, 2013 7:17 AM  
Blogger NAL said...

D.A.N.:

is it viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning?

Not necessarily. It is not circular to use your sense of touch to validate your sense of sight.

Didn't you just use reasoning to note the circularity in using reasoning?

March 30, 2013 8:03 AM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Hello friends.

Dan, it's very obvious your god is a figment of your imagination. Consider two of its alleged divine attributes of perfection, immutability and omniscience, in relation to the question of can an immutable and omniscience being know what time it is. Clocks are used to gauge the passage of actions and occurrence of events. The ultimate clock is the set of all that exists, the Universe. The question, 'What time is it?' then equates to 'Can a perfect being always know the state of the Universe'.

The argument:

1. A perfect being is not subject to change.

2. A perfect being knows everything.

3. A being that knows everything always knows what time it is.

4. A being that always knows what time it is subject to change.

5. A perfect being is subject to change.

6. A perfect being is not a perfect being.

7. Therefore, there is no prefect being.

Your god's knowledge is alleged to be its essence, and the state of the Universe is constantly changing. If it were the case that your god existed, then it's knowledge would be constantly changing, so its essence would also be constantly changing. Hence p5 is valid, and p6 is then true be definition. Conclusion 7, then necessarily follows.

Dan, your god cannot exist, so it does not exist, and you have no actual knowledge of it. You only imagine it and that you somehow know of it. Renounce Christianity and theism and join the ranks of those who follow rational philosophy.


Best Wishes



March 30, 2013 8:09 AM  
Blogger D.A.N. said...

Ydemoc,

>>What was it that motivated you to come back?

Hope. I like you guys...

>>Why do you suppose (whatever your motivation may be) hasn't prompted others to return, also?

How are you certain they haven't? Dawson may have moderated them out completely. We will never know as long as moderation is there. That being said, if anyone moderates me and does not allow my comments, like many of the Atheist blogs do and have done, then I do not return to that blog ever again. It is such a slap in the face, I take it to heart.

But it could be that Christians are simply following instructions.

Scripture is clear to ”Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.” ~Titus 3:10 (I’ll let you read verse 11 on your own.)

That may be the main reason why they do not return. If they are not returning, that is.

March 30, 2013 1:16 PM  
Blogger D.A.N. said...

photosynthesis,

>>Is it hyper-viciously circular to employ your senses and "reasoning" to imagine that your imaginary friend, the one you call "God," validates your senses and "reasoning"?

It sure would be if that is what you're doing. Many "Atheists", that claim Flying Spaghetti Monster is that source, certain are. But FSM is not the creator of the universe, as we ALL KNOW.

>>is it viciously circular and self-refuting to challenge the validity of other's senses and reasoning when the mere challenging implicitly acknowledges the validity of their senses and reasoning?

First, I like that, I have not thought of that before. Nice. Second, off the top of my head it is true, I am implicitly acknowledging your senses and reasoning in asking about your senses and reasoning. But, it is not at all my claim that your reasoning is faulty, I simply want to know your basis for assuming that it isn't.

Speaking of implicitly, God revealed that everyone knows He exists, He created the world. He revealed that His existence is necessary for knowledge, ethics, aesthetics, etc. So you're making an implicitly positive claim by saying you do not believe He exists, and therefore you own a burden of proof.

>>Keep showing that incompetence and stupidity Dan.

In my house I teach that failure is a good thing. So, I will not resist my failures and mistakes but I certainly will learn from them.

>>That alone refutes any notion that an omni-potent god is behind the validity of any of your thinking.

How so? That appears to be a non sequitur. The claim is that God has indeed revealed SOME things such we can be certain of them. The claim is not that He revealed ALL things to us. Yes, if God revealed ALL things then we would be omniscient. We are anything but omniscient.

1 Corinthians 13:8-13 says which, if I understand it properly, that we may indeed have omniscience when we are with God. I certainly am very excited about that. I will trust Him, and Him alone, until that wonderful day.



March 30, 2013 1:32 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your reply.

I had asked: "Why do you suppose [your reason for returning to this blog to post a comment] (whatever your motivation may be) hasn't prompted others to return, also?"

You wrote: "But it could be that Christians are simply following instructions."

Scripture is clear to 'Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.' ~Titus 3:10 (I’ll let you read verse 11 on your own.)"

That may be the main reason why they do not return. If they are not returning, that is."

Yes, these instructions may indeed be the case why others haven't returned. But, notwithstanding your other supposition, i.e., that Christians have shied away from returning here because of Dawson recent launching a comment moderation policy, I'm not certian the scripture you've cited would even be applicable in the context of making posts on a blog.

Why do I say this? Because Dawson and the regular contributors here on this blog (i.e., those "divisive person[s]" scripture speaks of) wouldn't necessarily be the apologists' target audience, would they? Instead, it seems to me that an apologist's target audience would be all those current (as well as future) lurkers and fence-sitters.

So it strikes me that if the apologist is relying upon this scriptural directive as a reason for not returning to this blog, he or she is misguided. After all, just because an apologist gets frequent pushback when preaching on a street corner or college campus, this doesn't mean he or she shouldn't continue doing so, does it?

And this raises another question, (and *please* do not take the following in any way as my suggesting that you refrain from posting comments over here; I actually hope you comment over here much more often, as I enjoy interacting with your posts! And, for what it's worth, I, myself, would like to comment more often over on your blog, but my computer is so old and slow, and because your page takes a really long time to load. So I haven't ventured over there as much as I would like.)

Anyway, the question is: By returning here to comment, are you yourself obeying the very scriptural directive which you cited? If you are going against that directive which you cited, how do you justify doing so? Does the "hope" you spoke of earlier, justify it? If so, would you say that other apologists who've chosen not to return to post here, lack the same degree of hope -- or whatever else it may be -- that you have?

Ydemoc

March 30, 2013 2:44 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dan,

I see that there are a few places above where I spun out a little as far as grammar is concerned. It might not bother you, but it's nagging at me. So here's one correction:

"And, for what it's worth, *I* would like to comment more often over on *your* blog, but since your page takes a really long time to load because my computer is so old and slow, I haven't ventured over there as much as I would like."

Ydemoc

March 30, 2013 5:27 PM  
Blogger photosynthesis said...

Dan,

It sure would be if that is what you're doing. Many "Atheists", that claim Flying Spaghetti Monster is that source, certain are. But FSM is not the creator of the universe, as we ALL KNOW.

Thanks for confirming that you are engaged into hyper-viciously circularity while using your senses and reasoning to imagine that your god validates your senses and reasoning. I knew that already, but good to see that you can admit to one of your main problems.

But, it is not at all my claim that your reasoning is faulty, I simply want to know your basis for assuming that it isn't.

Well, since you have no basis to assume that your reasoning is not faulty (you have graciously admitted that your basis is hyper-viciously circular above), we could start by acknowledging that we have enough reasoning to start a discussion, and then see where it leads about your imaginary friend, for example. Though the conclusion might lead to finding that your reasoning is not competent enough for the task. We will see.

Speaking of implicitly, God revealed that everyone knows He exists, He created the world. He revealed that His existence is necessary for knowledge, ethics, aesthetics, etc. So you're making an implicitly positive claim by saying you do not believe He exists, and therefore you own a burden of proof.

Nope. It is your claim that your god did all of that shit. therefore it is your burden of proof to demonstrate so. Your claims are so full of holes already and so evidently viciously circular, when not outright contradictory, that you are already in deep trouble.

How so? That appears to be a non sequitur. The claim is that God has indeed revealed SOME things such we can be certain of them ...

Quite conveniently you forgot your claim that you think your god's thoughts after him. It's not a non-sequitur. I am not talking about whether you know everything, but about whether you can reason competently enough. You can't, therefore there's no omni-anything behind your reasoning. If you think your god's thoughts after him then the shit you try and pass for arguments would not be yours, but your god's. If so that god would be quite the imbecile and a dishonest piece of shit. That's what you show yourself to be, therefore that's what you present your god to be, all according to your worldview.

So, is your thinking autonomous or not? If not, then your god is the imbecilic liar. If yes, then your senses and reasoning are not validated by any god. You are just pretending so, and you have no grounds to find Dawson's autonomous thinking to be a problem.

Man, so early and you already contradicted yourself so much. As Dawson would say: so glad those aren't my problems.

March 31, 2013 9:33 AM  
Blogger D.A.N. said...

Robert,

>>Dan, it's very obvious your god is a figment of your imagination.

You absolutely certain of that?

>>4. A being that always knows what time it is subject to change.

God stands outside of time and space, in fact He created it, so how do you believe He is "subject" to it in your fallible autonomous reasoning?

The rest of your "argument" falls apart from there.

BTW, could you be wrong? If not, Why not?

March 31, 2013 10:52 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dan,

This is another edit I'd like to make to my initial comment.

I think the following paragraph reads much better if stated simply as: "Yes, apologists may indeed cite these scriptural instructions as their reason for not returning to Dawson's blog. But I'm not certain this scriptural command would even be applicable in the context of making posts on a blog."

As far as your supposition that it's Dawson's newly instituted moderation policy that is responsible for discouraging or preventing apologists from making return visits, I think this view is without merit -- except as applied in the case of two individuals, neither of whom go by the name Sye Ten Bruggencate, Chris Bolt, Paul Manata, David Smart, Rick Warden, Dustin Segers, Peter Pike, Steve Hays, nor many others that I could list.

Ydemoc

March 31, 2013 12:54 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hello D.A.N.,

Again, I am glad that you continue to participate in the discussion here. I hope you continue coming back.

I’ve been quite busy with other priorities lately, so I haven’t been able to join in. I have some notes in response to one of your earlier comments, but they will come later.

For now, you offered an answer to one of Ydemoc’s questions, and I wanted to comment on what you stated.

Ydemoc asked: << Why do you suppose (whatever your motivation may be) hasn't prompted others to return, also? >>

You responded: << How are you certain they haven't? Dawson may have moderated them out completely. We will never know as long as moderation is there. That being said, if anyone moderates me and does not allow my comments, like many of the Atheist blogs do and have done, then I do not return to that blog ever again. It is such a slap in the face, I take it to heart. >>

A few points:

1. Blogs are owned by individuals, and their owners have final responsibility over the content of their blog. Visitors can comment by privilege, not by right. A blog’s owner decides when that privilege can be extended or withdrawn.

2. So far as I can tell, I have not failed to publish any comment that you have submitted to my blog. Can you think of one?

3. I am always happy when Christians come to comment on my blog and attempt to challenge my position. A review of the past eight years of activity on my blog will show this. I welcome Christians. Where else will they learn what I have to teach them?

4. My decision to enact comment moderation on my blog was very recent in terms of the life of my blog. I started my blog in March 2005, and initiated comment moderation for the first time in January 2013. Until then, anyone could post freely on my blog provided he/she did not do so anonymously.

5. My decision to enact comment moderation was not easy for me, and I resisted it far longer than can reasonably be expected of any blog owner. Two individuals were abusing the privilege of commenting here, and there was no indication that either of them would ever desist. One entry ended up having over 900 comments as a result. I recount these events above.

6. I do not like having comment moderation on my blog. For one thing, it is added work for me and likely discouraging for visitors who might otherwise comment. An added complication is the fact that I live in Thailand now and there is (with DST) a 14-hour time difference between here and the USWC. Quite often I’m asleep while comment activity is building up on my blog. I often use my iPhone to publish comments, usually without reading them. Yes, D.A.N., I publish even your comments before I read them. I would love to abandon comment moderation, but I’m afraid if and when I do, the two offenders who prompted my reluctant decision to implement it in the first place will return and practice their nasty habits. But one day I hope to experiment with this!

7. You state that many “Atheist blogs” moderate comments and do not allow your comments. Can you tell us which ones? Don’t name them all. But if there are “many” which do this, name five. I’m curious. In my experience, it’s Christian apologetics blogs which moderate comments. For example, Choosing Hats, Every Thought Captive, Aristophrenium and Peter Pike’s blog. Dustin Segers’ blog Grace in the Triad used to allow comments (though under moderation), but eliminated them entirely following my exposé of Segers’ errors in attempting to refute the primacy of existence. You can find the details here.

Regards,
Dawson

March 31, 2013 8:13 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Hello gang, Ydemoc, Dawson, Robert...

On a completely unrelated topic I was curious to get some feed back on Rand's position on the phenomenon of hypnosis. From what I gather she thought it was a fraud throw and throw. Personally I suspect that is the case in 80% to 90% of the time. I think some people, a minority can actually be hypnotized but that they are the exception not the rule. Anyway just curious as I am going to be seeing a comedy stage hypnotist on Wednesday. Going to see if I can get my roommate to go on stage and cluck like a chicken:)

Oh and Dawson glad you liked my joke about creation being a rush job. I am going to try that whole routine some night at an open mic comedy club and see if I can get some laughs. I can just imagine god running around yelling at sub contractors about deadlines.

April 01, 2013 11:00 AM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

throw and throw.. ergg! I meant to say threw and threw. I miss the days I could see what I posted right away. Was easy to delete and repost back then:)

@D.A.N.

you said god created time, do you see the stolen concept fallacy in that statement?

April 01, 2013 1:26 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hi Justin,

Thanks for your note. Yes, I think "God's creation was a rush job" was pretty funny. I once heard a comedian (I think it was in the context of a comedy routine) who complained about God creating the earth using dirt. "Of all things to use! He used dirt! Where's the sense in that?" (That's not a quote, just drawn from memory... Makes me wonder how the gospel writers got all of Jesus' sayings so perfect after they were passed around as "oral tradition" and eventually made their way to someone literate enough to actually get them down in writing...)

Also, hate to break it to you, but neither "throw and throw" or "threw and threw" are correct. you want "through and through." While "threw" and "through" sound the same, they mean entirely different things.

Good luck with the comedy night! Wish I could go!

Regards,
Dawson

April 01, 2013 1:33 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Yes, if you actually studied German, or any foreign language, as a second language, you likely took on the task with greater awareness for rules, and thus actually studied intently what it was you were trying to learn. Native speakers of a language do not do this at all. My daughter is five years old, and she's already fluent in both English and Thai. She did not read grammar texts and scour dictionaries to learn it all correctly. She just learned by doing, which is how native speakers learn their first language. Luckily for my daughter, she came to Thailand when she was only three years old, and already had some snibblets of Thai from Mom before that. But now she's surrounded by Thai speakers, and Thai is now becoming the stronger of the two. I'm trying to make sure her English doesn't suffer!

Also, I was curious where Rand speaks about hypnosis. I don't ever recall reading anything from her about this. I've often wondered the same thing. It would be easy to stage, I'd think. And if hypnosis were so real and easy as its practitioners often say or make it appear to be, it seems everyone would quickly learn the trick and go around hypnotizing everyone. I've alway been skeptical about it, but I've never studied it myself.

Regards,
Dawson

April 01, 2013 2:15 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hey folks,

Just saw an interesting news article about the decline of belief in Jesus' resurrection in the USA.

D.A.N., have you seen this? I'm curious as to your thoughts.

The article can be found here: Percent of Americans Believing in the Resurrection Drops To 64% From 77% Last Easter

It states:

A study released by the Rasmussen Reports polling firm on Good Friday found that 64% of Americans believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

While Americans who believe in the resurrection remain in the majority, that number is down significantly when compared to a Rasmussen Poll that asked the same question, released a year ago.

On April 7th, 2012 Rasmussen released a poll finding that 77% of Americans believed the resurrection of Christ to be historical fact.

The difference between the two polls shows a 13 percentage point drop in the number of Americans who believe that Christ rose from the dead, since last Easter.

Additionally, this year's poll found that 19% of Americans reject the central tenant of the Christian faith and do not believe that Christ was resurrected. That's compared to only 7% who said they didn't believe that Christ rose from the dead a year ago. A staggering 12 percentage point jump.


I guess all the Easter marketing isn't having the desired effect? Where are the street preachers????

Regards,
Dawson

April 01, 2013 2:39 PM  
Blogger D.A.N. said...

Hi Dawson,

Quickly the Atheists websites that have permanently banned me, or moderate me, that I can never comment is a short but significant list. It was the original reason I was forced to start my blog, so my comments would not be deleted off and I could play in my own yard, so to speak.

Here is the short list pf those that refused, or refuses to allow me to comment anymore:

Loftus @ Debunking Christianity, Martin and crew @ Atheist Experience, Friendly Atheist, and Ex-Christians.

Wait, I almost forgot there is one more. It was Richard Dawkins' chat room! I was having a blast at that one, can you say 'kicking a hornet nest'? I didn't want to be kicked off that one. But he certainly did.

That is the reason why I do not moderate (do unto others...). I know what it is like to not be allowed to speak my mind. God gave us the freedoms to even blaspheme Him, so who am I not to allow comments, no matter how much the decent?

There is some horrible comments still on my blog, but that is the reflection of the person, Atheists, that make such comments. Not on me, or any other Christian.

That being said, what is your reason for the comment verification code?! That is such a deterrent for me personally.

People's viewpoints, I believe, is the spice of life on a blog. Without it flowing the blogs are mere dead billboards.

"The spice must flow"

April 01, 2013 4:16 PM  
Blogger Robert Bumbalough said...

Hello Justin. You asked about hypnosis and while I'm not an expert, I do have experience with mindfulness meditation and brain wave entrainment practice. MM and BWE differ from hypnosis in that the later is generally conducted in a clinical setting with a professional therapist. The former two are practiced by individuals in private. I use MM and BWE to assist in coping with my depression and in training myself to exercise discipline in my trading activities. I've found MM and BWE to be of use and benefit. I don't like the idea of relaxing completely with a therapist who might act improperly.

Best wishes and regards

April 01, 2013 6:43 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

My, D.A.N., you seem to have a habit of getting booted from blogs and chatrooms. Why is that? Do you tend to do things that violate a blog’s comment policies? It may be something you’re doing if you have a strike record like this.

As for the verification code, I think that is there because I do not allow anonymous comments. That was a decision I made when I first opened my blog. I suppose that if I allowed anonymous comments, we’d see a lot more activity here, especially in terms of fly-bys. My inbox is already bulging with messages that I receive privately, so there need to be some limits.

But so far as I recall, I did not flip any switches or press any buttons specifically that call for the verification code. If you know of a way to eliminate it, let me know. If something is a hassle for visitors, I’d prefer to remove it.

Regards,
Dawson

April 01, 2013 7:20 PM  
Blogger NAL said...

Turn Off Comment Word Verification

Word verification is an outdated method for blocking spam that even Blogger has deprecated in its system.

April 01, 2013 8:12 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Thanks Nal,

Was that supposed to be a link to someplace? It did not take me anywhere when I tried to click on it.

Anyway, I decided to check things out in my settings since I did not realize the word verification was impeding things for folks. (It never requires me to do this, but perhaps that's because it knows I'm the blog owner.) There was indeed an option that I don't think I ever noticed before. So I switched it from "yes" to "no." Is the word verification prompt now gone when you guys try to post a comment? Will that make things easier? Hopefully it does!

Still need to sign in with a user name to post, and yes, comment moderation is still in effect... at this time. But I'm leaning strongly towards opening the flood gates again!!

Okay, I have to get back to my practice schedule.

Regards,
Dawson

April 01, 2013 8:27 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

I popped on over to John Loftus' blog a few moments ago, where I caught what is perhaps only a "fly-by" comment.

This apologist, who goes by the name "Dave Tiffany" left a link to his site, along with the following comment:

"The devil sure has many people fooled, and not just on April Fools Day. Jesus said the devil came to steal, kill and destroy. How many do you think he has convinced there is no God---and led them into an eternity of torment? Who is really laughing, John?"

Here's the link he left: http://atheistlegitimacy.blogspot.com/

Anyway, I went over to his blog and left a link for your blog. I just thought I'd give you a heads up in case you stops on by.

Ydemoc

April 01, 2013 8:31 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

Just to let know, on my last post, word verification was no longer present.

Ydemoc

April 01, 2013 9:23 PM  
Blogger Justin Hall said...

@Robert

thank you for the input. I might want to email you some questions there. However for starters I am not familiar with the terms MM and BWE, what are they? Also curious as to your opinion on this. I have been reading up on the topic over the last few days. Typical me, immerse myself into a topic that captures my interest. I want to understand what I am witnessing when I go to the show. So what I have gathered is that there are 5 brain states or modes of consciousness. Gamma, Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta. Beta is our waking state and alpha is analogues to watching TV or being relaxed. Those guys up on the stage have to get to at least theta which equates to a lite sleep. They are literally in REM state while awake. I would really really like to know what that feels like but it appears most of us cant get there. Well not without falling asleep that is:)

@Dawson

It is rumored and I don't have the sources to site at the moment that Nathaniel Branden and Rand got into a unpleasant disagreement over hypnosis. What I have read and again I can not at this time confirm this is she thought it amounted to snake oil with no factual basis at all. I am sorry but can not recall where I read this but should I come across it again I'll be sure to forward it to you.

@D.A.N.

I ask again, do you see and comprehend the stolen concept fallacy inherent in the statement god created time?

April 01, 2013 10:02 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hi Ydemoc,

Thanks, I don’t think I’ve ever heard for Dave Tiffany. I checked out the link to his blog that you provided and saw that the only posting activity there happened back in 2011. Looks like a candidate for the Theistic Blog Morgue to me! But I did not see any comment on Dave’s blog from you, or from anyone for that matter. Do you know if it’s being “held for moderation”? Anyway, thanks for getting the word out. Dave’s blog has only for entries, each dated the same day – July 9, 2011. It appears to be four translations of the same message, one in English, one in Russian, one in Spanish, and one in German. I cannot speak for the other translations, but the Russian appears to have been created from Google translator or some other online gizmo. For instance, one of the headings (in English: “He never left”) is translated as “ОН НИКОГДА НЕ УЕЗЖАЛ” – almost correct, but the verb used here indicates movement by some kind of vehicle – an easy mistake if the translator did not know the intended context. It should read “ОН НИКОГДА НЕ УШЁЛ” if I recall my verbs of movement. “Ушёл” is the past tense of the perfective “уйти”which means ‘to leave’ or ‘to go away’ on foot or by one’s own power. The use of “уезжал“ seems rather silly in this context – it’s not even perfective. It’s equivalent to saying “he was never leaving” – i.e., past progressive, imperfective tense. Little things like this make it a rather faulty translation. Even the English is not very good – “Your not” should be “you’re not.” The Russian is translated verbatim here – “ваш нет” – again, rather silly. I have my “not” and you have yours.

Anyway, it’s good to know that the word verification requirement is no longer in effect. That’s nice! I think D.A.N. was the first one to complain about this in the eight years of my blog’s life! D.A.N., you got what you wanted. Have any more complaints???

Justin,

That’s quite interesting about the supposed squabble between Rand and Branden. I can sympathize with the idea that hypnosis is mostly bunk; at least, actual claimed cases of hypnosis could easily be staged, as I earlier suggested. I can also see Branden putting stock in hypnosis. I would think that in either case, one would have to give a very clear definition of what ‘hypnosis’ is so far as one’s defense of it is supposed to be. I’m also curious what exactly Rand herself stated on the matter. I haven’t checked, but perhaps she gives an opinion on it in one of her letters. I’ll have to check this out. Either way, I suspect any view she had on hypnosis was not intended to have any philosophical import.

Regards,
Dawson

April 01, 2013 10:43 PM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Dawson,

You wrote: "But I did not see any comment on Dave’s blog from you, or from anyone for that matter. Do you know if it’s being “held for moderation”?"

Yes, I failed to mention that my comment was "awaiting approval," (or something like that).

By the way, thanks! -- for the short, but very informative, Russian language lesson.

Ydemoc

April 02, 2013 3:13 AM  
Blogger D.A.N. said...

Dawson,

>>But so far as I recall, I did not flip any switches or press any buttons specifically that call for the verification code. If you know of a way to eliminate it, let me know. If something is a hassle for visitors, I’d prefer to remove it.

Here is what I do:

Under Settings › Posts and comments

You can select registered users, as I have,to not allow Anonymous

Your choices are:

*Anyone - includes Anonymous Users
*Registered User - includes OpenID
*User with Google Accounts
*Only members of this blog

Comment Moderation?: NEVER!!!

Show word verification?: NO

Then hit "save" settings

Geek card revoked for a day for not knowing this.

This should serve you well, it sure has for me for these years.

Oh, you're almost right, Atheists that wish not to hear me gaining any traction, and wish to not answer questions like, "is it viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning?" Then yes, there is a pastern of them booting me in frustration.

Atheists get quite frustrated in their worldview when they cannot account for their reasoning being valid, without being viciously circular. Or if I tell the truth that they are antichrists (1 John 2:22, 1 John 4:3)

These are conversation stoppers, I admit, but that is not my fault, yet I may be getting blamed for it. If they are looking for the blame, I tell them to get a mirror. Sure, this is a frustrating subject we are on, but that is no excuse to boot ANYONE for voicing their viewpoints.

NOW, I have deleted comments of the Atheists when they linked to porn, or something like that, in their frustration to the conversation. But always after the fact, I like to show people what others are saying, and the reason why I will delete comments. You want us to just take your word for it. TO protect "us" somehow? Seems quite liberal of you. That reminds me of a cartoon I just posted around.

But, for the most part, they get vile and frustrated, but nothing I haven't heard before. I think we are all adult enough to make up our own minds as to what is to be accepted or not. We do not need a "protector" such as yourself.

Funny how your blog is called "Incinerating Presuppositionalism" and then you turn around and moderate comments out any comments that may be "Incinerating" your position. Seems quite hypocritical of you. But that is for others to decide.

April 02, 2013 11:51 AM  
Blogger Ydemoc said...

Hey Dan,

Let me ask you: Do you think you might moderate my comments if all I did over on your blog was keep copying and pasting what I had just written a few moments prior?

That's what was going on over here. Posts became disruptive in their non-responsiveness to the point that it was virtually spam.

Ydemoc

April 02, 2013 4:02 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hello D.A.N.,

Thanks for the tips on Blogger’s under-the-hood mechanics. Yes, I’m not much of a geek when it comes to these things. I admit I don’t spend much of my time tinkering with settings and things like that. But I did make an alteration yesterday. Ydemoc reported that he did not need to enter the word verification form when he last commented. How about you? Is it turned off now?

Also, thanks also for relating your experiences on atheist blogs. It sounds like they banned you because they found you annoying. I do the same with mosquitoes – they are annoying, so I get rid of them.

You wrote: “Atheists that wish not to hear me gaining any traction,”

I have not been a loyal reader of your blog, but I have read through some of the comment discussions on it. I have to say, I’m waiting for the day when you do gain any traction. So I want to make sure you have the chance to do that right here on IP if you feel so inspired.

You seem to have great fondness for questions like "is it viciously circular to employ your senses and reasoning to validate your senses and reasoning?"

Can you explain what you think the apologetic value of this line of questioning might be? I remember when I addressed Sye’s questions in a discussion over on Alex Bottin’s blog, and Sye bowed out of the discussion. He was asking questions like this, and I answered them. I had questions for him, too, which he had a very difficult time addressing. Meanwhile, NAL gave an interesting response to your question right here in this discussion. What did you think about that? I will have more to say in my new blog entry responding to you, but it’s not finished yet. Sorry for the delay – I have so many things I’m doing these days.

You wrote: “Funny how your blog is called ‘Incinerating Presuppositionalism’ and then you turn around and moderate comments out any comments that may be ‘Incinerating’ your position. Seems quite hypocritical of you. But that is for others to decide.”

So far, no one has come close to incinerating Objectivism, D.A.N. Sadly, most challengers who come here don’t know very much about it to begin with. Pretty hard to raise objections against something that one is unfamiliar with. Anyway, I have already noted the relevant details about the recent implementation of comment moderation on my blog. Have you read what I’ve stated? I really don’t see any hypocrisy on my part. Can you show where I am being hypocritical? What you give here doesn’t fly.

Regards,
Dawson

April 02, 2013 4:03 PM  
Blogger D.A.N. said...

Ydemoc,

No, I would place your comments into spam filter though. That is what it is for. I wouldn't moderate it, because then you never have done it. Because only I would know you're spamming, or trolling, or being vulgar, or whatever (not saying you personally would ever be that type) because that truth needs to be out there. If we all seek truth, then let's be there, and stay there. Shine that light.

I can never have a deep soulful conversation with moderation on. I won't do it. Now, how are you absolutely certain Dawson is not preventing final incinerating blows to objectivism?

April 02, 2013 5:54 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Ydemoc asked: “Do you think you might moderate my comments if all I did over on your blog was keep copying and pasting what I had just written a few moments prior?”

D.A.N. replied: “No, I would place your comments into spam filter though.”

It’s not clear to me how this would not be a form of comment moderation. Do comments that are placed into a spam filter show up in the publicly viewable part of the blog such that they become part of the discussion, or not? What’s the difference in terms of net results so far as the publicly accessible discussion is concerned? Do such comments show up, or not?

D.A.N. wrote: “If we all seek truth, then let's be there, and stay there. Shine that light.”

So if comment moderation is a form of squelching the truth, as you seem to be suggesting, what are we to infer from what happened on Dustin Segers’ blog? He posted a blog entry attempting to refute the primacy of existence. I posted a couple comments showing that he failed miserably in his task. Then he not only took down the entire post, he eliminated comments altogether from his blog so that no discussion could take place. Given your efforts to continue beating the drums on comment moderation, what should we infer about Dustin Segers here?

D.A.N. asked: “Now, how are you absolutely certain Dawson is not preventing final incinerating blows to objectivism?”

D.A.N., if you have some damning refutation of Objectivism to share, lay it out. You will know for sure then whether or not I’m “censoring” anything uncomfortable to my position.

Anyway, enough on the comment moderation thing. It’s a very boring subject. I’m sure you have much more weighty issues you’d like to discuss, n’est-ce pas?

Regards,
Dawson

April 02, 2013 6:10 PM  
Blogger Bahnsen Burner said...

Hello D.A.N.,

Okay, I have at least part of what I was writing in response to your earlier comment to me posted up on my blog now. This new entry focuses specifically on the question of the validity of the senses, a question you raised in one of your comments in the above thread.

My new blog entry can be found here:

On the Validity of the Senses

Naturally, if you have any further questions on the matter, please feel free to chime in. You will find that there is no comment moderation on a new blog entry for the first twenty-four hours of its life. So have at it while you can.

Anyway, I want to thank you for raising the question as this is something I’ve been wanting to write on for my blog for a long time now, and just never got around to it. Though like the Christian god’s creation, it is somewhat of a ‘rush job’ (tx again, Justin!), I tried to be thorough without allowing it to get too long (I know, what’s “too long” by IP’s standards?).

By the way, I was wondering if you had read the article I quoted above, about the diminishing rate of belief in the resurrection. The article states that a recent study concluded that belief in the resurrection in the USA has dropped 13 percentage points from the same time last year (around Easter time). I’m curious what believers must be thinking about this. Presumably the affected segment of the population were Christians a year ago (who else believes in the resurrection?) and now they are apostates, having abandoned a distinguishing aspect of the Christian faith. What’s happening? How can this be with all the knock-‘em down arguments and hefty tomes (I’m thinking specifically of NT Wright’s, but there are many others) that claim to prove the historicity of the gospel narratives?

Regards,
Dawson

April 03, 2013 12:37 AM  

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