September 11, 2009

Self Aware

Many Atheists here like to debate and converse with me. I enjoy it a great deal myself. We have a common enjoyment, to communicate with others. But where does that come from? My question to the Atheist is, do you agree that you are self aware?

The fact that you are talking and debating others assumes your own self-awareness whereby you know yourself, recognize that you live in an environment involving other self-aware humans, and sees value in communication, conversation, and debate between equally self-aware beings. If you didn't you would be admitting that conversing on the existence of God, or any subject whatsoever, would be meaningless.

My next question to you is how do you account for human self-awareness as a fundamental factor of life? Where does it come from? How is it that man is self-aware? Without presupposing God, your worldview is ultimately committed to chance. From the perspective of your worldview, the universe was self-created by chance and is self-diversifying by chance.

In such a naturalistic, materialistic conception of the universe, all must be accounted for in terms of the material interaction of atoms. With that worldview, it forces us to view ourselves as simply matter-in-motion. How can matter be self-aware? Are rocks self aware? Trees? Hammers? In fact, what view of the world makes self-awareness intelligible? Slime is certainly not self-aware, which eventually becomes rational, which eventually becomes moral-and all by the evolutionary mechanism of time plus chance?

In my worldview the personal, sovereign God of Scripture created all things and gave them their properties. He created man in His image, thereby establishing personality and self awareness in us. At the very beginning God communicated with man, speaking intelligently to His rational, self-aware creature (Genesis 1:28-29) and gave him commandments (Genesis 1:28,2:16-17). Consequently, self-awareness and personality are not problems for my, Christian, worldview.

My point is that the very self-awareness of you, even as an idolatrous denier, is evidence for the existence of God due to the impossibility of the contrary.

There are serious internal problems with your worldview. Because of your opposition to the absolute God of Scripture, you must account for reality in some other way then by a personal, rational, sovereign Creator. Simply that your rational is built upon the irrational.

**Of course this argument was taken from the late Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen.

114 comments:

  1. Why do I have to account for my selfawareness? Evolution would have provided it. I would say this intelligence has greatly helped us to build successful societies and further our understanding of the world. Religion does not further understanding, it cannot change and simply assumes it is right. Who said God had to create selfawareness? One day, even humans will be able to create synthetic selfawareness in machines. At least I think we will be. If God has always existed and wasn't created, why can't it be said the universe simply always existed?

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  2. According to your logic, you have to be created to have self-awareness.

    So if God was not created, he is not self aware either.

    Thanks! You just proved there is no God.

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  3. godlessblogger,

    Evolution would have provided it? According to cosmic evolutionary theory all is ultimately subject to random change and is in a constant state of flux. Our very rationality requires laws so things can be distinguished, classified, organized, and explained. Rational comprehension and explanation demand principles of order and unity in order to relate truths and events to one another. According to your worldview , rationality itself has no foundation.

    OK here is yet another example: What view of life makes the notion of 'beauty' intelligible? On your materialist, chance, relativistic foundations, you cannot account for beauty. You have no ultimate standard for evaluation so that you may distinguish between that which is beautiful and that which is ugly. Evaluations require a standard of measure. Van Til would express it: To slap God's face you must first crawl onto his lap.

    Bahnsen, et al, makes a good case against your worldview.

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  4. Wes,

    Why do you require that I give you a reason proving God's existence? After all, on your view their is no reason for reason itself.

    On that note, the very fact that you are discussing and debating this matter proves the existence of God, for rationality can't be accounted for in your worldview.

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  5. On that note, the very fact that you are discussing and debating this matter proves the existence of God, for rationality can't be accounted for in your worldview.
     
    Oh great. This again???

    Godlessblogger has said most of what I would have said, so I'll just add: If our brains are damaged so are our reasoning abilities. It's entirely physical.

    According to cosmic evolutionary theory all is ultimately subject to random change and is in a constant state of flux.
     
    Right there you've messed up. Physical laws don't evolve. Biological organisms do. That's the limit of the "constant state of flux".

    Our very rationality requires laws so things can be distinguished, classified, organized, and explained. Rational comprehension and explanation demand principles of order and unity in order to relate truths and events to one another.
     
    Evolution does not in any way go against any physical principles, so you really have no point here.

    And in physics since the physical constants don't "evolve", we are able to do our classifying, organizing and explaining with our purely physical brains that have evolved over time to be able to observe and figure things out.

    According to your worldview , rationality itself has no foundation.

    OK here is yet another example: What view of life makes the notion of 'beauty' intelligible? On your materialist, chance, relativistic foundations, you cannot account for beauty.
     
    You're not thinking this through. Whether "god" made us, or whether we evolved, the mechanisms by which we perceive beauty are the same.

    So how is this a problem for evolution? Evolution would explain why there are variations in what people consider beautiful. Not so with a singular creator. Unless the bible gives us a list of everything in existence that we are to find "beautiful" and we all somehow agree with that...

    You have no ultimate standard for evaluation so that you may distinguish between that which is beautiful and that which is ugly.
     
    Guess what? There really isn't any, whether god exists or not.

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  6. Without going into details about this post, I don't think you know that gorillas, dolphins, and other animals are also self-aware.

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  7. Dan wrote:
    "On that note, the very fact that you are discussing and debating this matter proves the existence of God, for rationality can't be accounted for in your worldview."

    All you do is shift the accountability from rationality to God, but since you cannot explain why God exists instead of nothingness, you haven't accounted for anything.

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  8. Dan, Dan, Dan,...Dan,

    Since when did philosophy claim to hold proof for anything? You don't know what philosophy is even while trying to use it.

    You constantly throw around the word proof. You need to learn what proof is. Get right on that.

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  9. In such a naturalistic, materialistic conception of the universe, all must be accounted for in terms of the material interaction of atoms. With that worldview, it forces us to view ourselves as simply matter-in-motion. How can matter be self-aware? Are rocks self aware? Trees? Hammers? In fact, what view of the world makes self-awareness intelligible?

    Excellent questions, Dan. What does make self-awareness possible? It certainly seems difficult to make the leap from atoms whizzing around, simply obeying the laws of physics, to someone looking at himself in a mirror and thinking he could stand to lose a little weight.

    Slime is certainly not self-aware, which eventually becomes rational, which eventually becomes moral-and all by the evolutionary mechanism of time plus chance?

    You've got it, Dan! Self-awareness, like the abilities to metabolize, to reproduce, and to perceive, is something that must have evolved. You've left out one indispensable ingredient in your evolutionary mechanism, however: time plus chance plus natural selection- natural selection is where the increase in order comes in. Of course, explaining exactly how self-awareness evolved, and how it works, is very complex and might never be understood in any detail. A good recent stab at it is I Am a Strange Loop, by Douglas Hofstadter.

    But in any case, as I've told you time and again, saying "goddidit" doesn't "account" for anything, in the sense of explaining facts and allowing one to make predictions. And saying that we are made in God's image and thus have some of His qualities simply begs the question: where did God's self-awareness come from? If you can't tell me that, then you haven't explained anything.

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  10. Dan
    A honeybee finds a field of flowers, comes back to the hive and does a dance to tell the other bees where the nectar is. Is the bee self aware at that time?
    A simple question.
    Ph.D does not always mean Piled higher and Deeper

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  11. Proofs are for alcohol and mathematics. Philosophy stands under the umbrella of the arts and humanities, and thus isn't suited to make claims that apply to the natural or even supernatural world.

    Yes, the existence of God is discussed from time to time by philosophers, although most philosophers agree that there are no solid arguments for the existence of God. Most arguments for the existence of God come from theologians.

    If someone could argue the existence of God in such a way that it doesn't have faults in its reasoning, then nobody would be an atheist. But as it stands, you can't even make a 100% case that I exist through philosophy let alone God.

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  12. Great post Dan.

    Debunking monkey said:

    "If someone could argue the existence of God in such a way that it doesn't have faults in its reasoning, then nobody would be an atheist."

    If someone could argue the non-existence of God in such a way that it doesn't have faults in its reasoning, then no body would be a theist.

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  13. Da Bomb:

    If someone could argue the non-existence of God in such a way that it doesn't have faults in its reasoning, then no body would be a theist.
     
    Not so. an honest creationist:

    Although there are scientific reasons for accepting a young earth, I am a young-age creationist because that is my understanding of the Scripture. As I shared with my professors years ago when I was in college, if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. Here I must stand.

    While that deals with creationism more specifically than xianity itself, here's an example that deals with christianity itself.

    In my twenty minute discussion with Craig, in the process of getting his signature, I asked him about his views on evidence (which to me seem very close to self-induced insanity). In short, I set up the following scenario:

    Dr. Craig, for the sake of argument let's pretend that a time machine gets built. You and I hop in it, and travel back to the day before Easter, 33 AD. We park it outside the tomb of Jesus. We wait. Easter morning rolls around, and nothing happens. We continue to wait. After several weeks of waiting, still nothing happens. There is no resurrection- Jesus is quietly rotting away in the tomb.

    I asked him, given this scenario, would he then give up his Christianity? Having seen with his own eyes that there was no resurrection of Jesus, having been an eyewitness to the fact that Christianity has been based upon a fraud and a lie, would he NOW renounce Christianity? His answer was shocking, and quite unexpected.

    He told me, face to face, that he would STILL believe in Jesus, he would STILL believe in the resurrection, and he would STILL remain a Christian. When asked, in light of his being a personal eyewitness to the fact that there WAS no resurrection, he replied that due to the witness of the "holy spirit" within him, he would assume a trick of some sort had been played on him while watching Jesus' tomb.

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  14. Sigh. this is the link for the stuff about William Craig.

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  15. Da Bomb said...

    "If someone could argue the non-existence of God in such a way that it doesn't have faults in its reasoning, then no body would be a theist."

    You're shifting the burden of proof to the skeptic. If you can find the faulty reasoning in the following conversation, you'll understand your mistake.

    A: I believe in Santa Clause

    B: What evidence do you have that Santa Clause exists?

    A: What evidence do you have that he DOESN'T exist?

    Okay, do you see your mistake now?

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  16. Monkey,

    But as it stands, you can't even make a 100% case that I exist through philosophy let alone God. 

    Sure I can God gave us senses. Our senses' prima facie veridicality- that is, their very apparent truthfulness, remains.

    Plus, mere logical possibility of (x) is not the same as adequate justification for (x). You exist.

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  17. Reynold,

    In that scenario, if I were to see Jesus rotting in that tomb I would walk away from Christianity and the Bible.

    I would still believe that God is still the Creator. I would be forced to keep searching. I would look to Qu'ran which believes that Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed were prophets of God, just not God.

    Just the other day I heard that the Qu'ran believes that Jesus is the Messiah to arrive in the Last days to Judge all, like it claims in Revelation of the Bible. Who would of thunk? I will look into that in time.

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  18. Dan:

    I would still believe that God is still the Creator. I would be forced to keep searching. I would look to Qu'ran which believes that Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed were prophets of God, just not God.

    Just the other day I heard that the Qu'ran believes that Jesus is the Messiah to arrive in the Last days to Judge all, like it claims in Revelation of the Bible. Who would of thunk? I will look into that in time.

     
    What is it about the koran that makes you think that Islam would be a viable alternative to xianity? Is your belief in the resurrection the only thing keeping you from becoming a muslim?

    So if another xian were to tell you about any mistakes in the koran would you dispute that? Do you believe that the bible and the koran are equally "infallible"?

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  19. Reynold,

    This is hard because of the blasphemous tone of denying Christ so this is merely a thought exercise as to what would I do if you actually showed me proof that Jesus was not God. So...

    I presuppose there is a God. Always will. If you showed me pure undeniable evidence that Jesus is not God, in that He was not risen, that maybe the Vatican in a sense hijacked the Bible and rewrote it to say that Jesus is God, the resurrection, etc. I would still search for God in other writings.

    I would also search for the writing that discuss Jesus because I know He existed on earth, there is proof of that and I am sure we can at the very least admit to that fact.

    I would examine the Qur'an for the evidence of God. I would weigh the facts and make a determination. In Arabic "God" is Allah. The same God that I search for. I fully admit that I have not read the Qur'an, maybe I should. I never knew that the Qur'an believed and honored Jesus as the One Messiah to judge the world. That is all. I guess all I am saying is that any religion that claims that Jesus is the One Messiah is worth a glance.

    Also, I view the people that flew the planes into the towers along with and on the same level of the radicals that blow up abortion clinics. They are not of God. Just thinking.

    Muslims, that believe in a God but may be misled, are people that, at the very least, show the same desire that I have. To humbly find God. It is the people that deny that there is even a God that is laughable, just because of the illogical nature of such an absurd thought.

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  20. Dan Wrote:
    "Sure I can God gave us senses. Our senses' prima facie veridicality- that is, their very apparent truthfulness, remains. "

    You do realize that your argument boils down to: "God exists. God gave us senses. Therefore God exists," right?

    "Plus, mere logical possibility of (x) is not the same as adequate justification for (x). You exist."

    Ahh, but you're avoiding the issue. The issue is whether or not you can make a philosophical argument for my existence such that you can be 100% sure I exist.

    The answer is you cannot, and the only way you know I probably exist through adequate justification is through perception, not philosophy.

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  21. DM

    You're shifting the burden of proof to the skeptic. If you can find the faulty reasoning in the following conversation, you'll understand your mistake.

    A: I believe in Santa Clause

    B: What evidence do you have that Santa Clause exists?

    A: What evidence do you have that he DOESN'T exist?

    Okay, do you see your mistake now?


    I am a skeptic. I am a skeptic of atheism. I am unconvinced of the non-existence of God.

    Actually Santa existed. St Nicholas.

    I think the invisable pink unicorn illustration would have worked better for you.

    With imaginary Santa, we can weigh the evidence for him or against him. I think the evidence is stronger agianst him.

    I think the evidence against the non-existence of God is stronger.

    Mathematics is really one of the only fields we can speak of proof.Everything else is taken by the best conclusion.

    Do you scientifically test the air you breath before you breath it, in order to make sure it is safe to breath?

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  22. or do yo have faith in the invisable that you cannot see?

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  23. Monkey said: "The issue is whether or not you can make a philosophical argument for my existence such that you can be 100% sure I exist." 

    I apologize for that, let me try to make it clearer for you. Our senses' prima facie veridicality- that is, their very apparent truthfulness, remains.

    Better?

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  24. Dan:

    Muslims, that believe in a God but may be misled, are people that, at the very least, show the same desire that I have. To humbly find God. It is the people that deny that there is even a God that is laughable, just because of the illogical nature of such an absurd thought.
     
    While people who believe in invisible beings, who "presuppose" them in fact, with no evidence (you admit that even if Christ was shown to be not god, you'd still assume that there is one), are the reasonable ones?

    I can't wait to see you justify that little bit of "logic".

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  25. But of course he won't justify anything. Like all presupp arguments all that's is required is to make a statement, fail to back it up with anything substantial and then shift the burden of proof as soon as possible.

    Not really a surprise for a brand of apologetics built solely to assuage one man's abject fear of the unknown.

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  26. Dan wrote:
    "Our senses' prima facie veridicality- that is, their very apparent truthfulness, remains."

    Our senses? You don't know if I have any senses. The case is very strong that I do, but you cannot know for sure.

    And you still haven't accounted for the fact that I may be a delusion, hallucination, computer program, etc... How do you know you're not in the "matrix" where all of reality is artificial?

    Your senses can also be easily tricked, so you cannot rely on them 100% to determine what is real and what is not.

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  27. Yes Reynold,

    I presuppose a God and you presuppose there is not one. There you go. Your logic is somehow more sound?

    Do you have "evidence" of being Self Aware? How about universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic? Any evidence? On what basis do you proceed with the assumption that they will not change?

    Also, no atheistic worldview can account for the uniformity of nature, the very foundation of science. Your assumptions is your "logic" and "evidence"?

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  28. Froggie,

    "Like all presupp arguments all that's is required is to make a statement, fail to back it up with anything substantial and then shift the burden of proof as soon as possible." 

    Anything substantial? You mean that your presuppositions will allow?

    No matter what I might present to you to show His existence, you must interpret it in a manner consistent with your presupposition: namely, that there is no God. How did come to this presupposition? You had to reject the evidence presented, no matter how substantial of an amount there is.

    You make the statement that there is no God and I say there is. I, and others, have shown ample logical evidence of the existence of God but you resist, why?

    Do you have evidence to the contrary? No?

    You just reject the current evidence, while continually shifting the burden of proof.

    The proof of God’s existence, is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything. Proof requires logic. One must be able to account for the laws of logic, or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’

    Again, how do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, on what basis do you proceed with the assumption that they will not change?

    Any evidence? Or are you going to shift the burden of proof yet again?

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  29. Da Bomb wrote:
    "With imaginary Santa, we can weigh the evidence for him or against him. I think the evidence is stronger agianst him."

    What is the evidence against Santa existing? The answer is that there is none. The lack of any credible evidence is what leads us to believe Santa is not real.

    Sure, you can make a case that flying house to house in one night is near impossible, but that's not evidence; it's an argument. Nothing has been presented.

    It's up to the believers of Santa Clause to show that he exists, non-believers need not defend themselves other than pointing out that the evidence for Santa's existence is lacking.

    "Do you scientifically test the air you breath before you breath it, in order to make sure it is safe to breath?"

    Actually, yes. That's what my sense of smell is for.

    "or do yo have faith in the invisable that you cannot see?"

    I can still sense air, I need not take it on faith that Air exists since I can still touch it.

    You, however, cannot taste, touch, small, see, or hear God, so that's why you have to take his existence on blind faith.

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  30. Monkey,

    "Your senses can also be easily tricked, so you cannot rely on them 100% to determine what is real and what is not." 

    Ah the Funky/Pop skepticism. Hendrik van der Breggen, PhD answered that already.

    He said "Imagining the doubt isn't the same as actually to doubt or imagining isn't doubting. To think otherwise is to conflate two distinct cognitive categories. Another is mere logical possibility of (x) is not the same as adequate justification for (x). Mere assertion of a mere logical possibility. If we accept mere assertions of bare logical possibilities as grounds for truth we should believe all mere assertions."

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  31. The proof of the flying spaghetti monster's existence is that without his noodley appendages you couldn’t prove anything. Proof requires logic. One must be able to account for the laws of logic, or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’

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  32. Monkey,

    You cannot say that you test "everything" before believing it. You are being silly. Do you ask for a review of the Pilots flight history, or ask for a breathalyzer, or do you take it on "faith", blind faith, that he will get you there safe?

    When you go on the highway don't you take it on faith that everyone will not drive like a crazy maniac?

    You put your entire faith in mankind, or scientists, to tell you that you came from a monkey unless you claim that you have made every single experiment that may show evolution truthfulness.

    You trust the the things you read in scientific periodicals, written by man, yet you will not believe the Bible written by God.

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  33. Monkey,

    If you have evidence of the flying spaghetti monster's existence then lets see it. let's evaluate it. Did he/she write a book? Are there masses of eye witnesses?

    After all, Logic says the Bible is Supernatural

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  34. Dan,
    "Are there masses of eye witnesses?"

    The bible "claims" there were eyewitnesses. It names none.
    Heresay.
    Objection overruled.

    Regards,
    The Debunking Atheist

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  35. Dan, Dan, Dan. Stop being an intentional douche.

    You know as well as the rest of us that the Presup bullshit is just shit painted gold: It's still shit, but now it's covered with cheap spraypaint.

    It does not work for your deity any more than it does any other deity -- real or imagined, worshiped or hypothetical, current or ancient and forgotten -- insofar as you may convince some credulous tools that the existence of a deity is necessary for logic, etc., you must use a completely different set of arguments to promote any specific deity over any other (including the possibilities mentioned above), so even if one were to accept your presup garbage, you'd be left in virtually the same conundrum -- you couldn't show which deity was the right one, if any.

    Of course, that being said, the fundamental flaw of presup is that it presupposes nothing -- it is a conclusion, which means that it is on the same philosophical footing as any other reasonably deduced conclusion.

    The simplest demonstration is based on your BFF's claim that certainty is only possible if one is correct, and the trivially true claim that if an omnipotent being existed, it could reveal things to us in such a way that we could be certain.

    Of course, there are hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of unique brands of theism, and virtually every such brand features adherents who claim to have received revelations of the kind described in the trivial example above. The problem is readily apparent, then, with the following challenge:

    Since there are obviously those who believe they are certain (based on revelation), who are not certain (as they are incorrect), how do you know you are not one of these people?

    If you cannot provide a compelling answer which does not constitute special pleading and/or question begging (or any other fallacy), then you cannot distinguish between actual certainty and believed certainty. If you cannot distinguish between these, then you are no different from any other religious kook who claims to receive text messages from god.

    You're bad at this. You're really, really bad.

    --
    Stan

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  36. Stan,

    I cannot wait to see what spray paint color you put on yours...

    I fully admit that my explanation is a presupposed God. It is the only one that makes rational sense. You cannot make sense of your worldview.

    When I place myself in your worldview, all these questions arise in a naturalistic, materialistic conception of the universe. Such as, "how are we self aware? Did mankind impose order so that rationality results? If so, then reality is then subjective rather then objective. Again it becomes irrational.

    Standing in your worldview I cannot justify reality, knowledge, logic, morality, value, meaning, purpose...or anything. When your principles are fully followed out there is no rationality to it.

    Christianity answers these simply. Christianity is the only rational worldview to hold. It simply is the only system of thought that does not destroy human experience to a meaningless something.

    If it can be explained I am here to listen to it. If not, as Chris Hansen says to the pedophiles, you're free to go.

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. I fully admit that my explanation is a presupposed God.

    No, it's a conclusion. It's a position to which you have [allegedly] reasoned. Even in the case of your children, who as I understand it are not old enough to have reasoned fully one way or another, the existence of god is not presupposed, but it is something they have learned to accept.

    That being said, you've still done absolutely nothing to show that your version of deity is the version of deity, and as you must know, you cannot make any such case via the bullshit of the presup 'argument.' Also, I couldn't help but notice how flippantly you ignored the challenge regarding distinguishing yourself from those who are deluded. Don't hurt yourself.

    You cannot make sense of your worldview.

    You mean, I do not presume to claim access to omniscience.

    When I place myself in [the straw man I've constructed to represent] your worldview...

    Fixed.

    ...all these questions arise in a naturalistic, materialistic conception of the universe.

    Ignoring for the moment the fact that you are boxing a scarecrow, what is the problem with questions being left unanswered?

    Did mankind impose order so that rationality results? If so, then reality is then subjective rather then objective

    If this is the divinely inspired "reasoning" abilities you've acquired as a result of your magickal conversations with god, it's pathetic. Even if humanity had 'imposed order' (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean), it is still a distinct possibility that objective reality might exist. The existence of objective reality is not contingent on humanity's ability to accurately identify it.

    Standing in [this pile of straw]...

    Fixed again.

    ...I cannot justify reality, knowledge, logic, morality, value, meaning, purpose...or anything.

    First, several of those terms are roughly equivalent. This constitutes flooding, and an attempt at making your position seem more complex. (Value, meaning, and purpose)

    Second, some of these things are philosophically disputed. (Knowledge, morality, and the cognates of 'value')

    Third, your inability to justify something does not make it incompatible with a given world view, nor does it have any bearing whatsoever on its existence.

    Fourth, you cannot 'justify' those things in your own world view, despite your claims to the contrary. Rather, you merely assert that they are contingent upon the existence of an invented and arbitrarily introduced being. That's not justification in any sense of the word of which I am aware -- it's bald assertion.

    When your principles are fully followed out there is no rationality to it.

    You presume much indeed. What know you of my principles? Of what relevance are my principles to your assertion that there must be a god to justify various rhetorical constructs? What aspect of my principles obtains "no rationality" if "fully followed out"?

    Christianity answers these simply. Christianity is the only rational worldview to hold. It simply is the only system of thought that does not destroy human experience to a meaningless something.

    You're not even trying any more. That's not even worth dismantling.

    --
    Stan

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  39. You're convoluting the definition of "faith". It has more than one definition. This is an equivocation fallacy.

    I do not have "belief in something with out proof" that a pilot will get me somewhere safe.

    The "faith" I hold, and probably other atheists here, is more better defined thusly: "Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing."

    I have confident belief that the plane is secure because there exist systems in place to make sure that it is.

    This isn't blind faith. Things written in scientific journals aren't taken at face value. They are scrutinized. If that was the system that science operated on, we'd still be in the dark ages.

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  40. Debunkey Monkey said...
    Da Bomb wrote:
    "With imaginary Santa, we can weigh the evidence for him or against him. I think the evidence is stronger agianst him."

    What is the evidence against Santa existing? The answer is that there is none. The lack of any credible evidence is what leads us to believe Santa is not real.

    Sure, you can make a case that flying house to house in one night is near impossible, but that's not evidence; it's an argument. Nothing has been presented.


    Wrong. Evidence against Santa is the fact that probably not all children around the world are reached with presents and the knowledge that parents pretend to be Santa etc. I therefore logically conclude that he does not exist...

    It's up to the believers of Santa Clause to show that he exists, non-believers need not defend themselves other than pointing out that the evidence for Santa's existence is lacking.

    I am a non-believer, regarding the non-existence of God.

    I said: "Do you scientifically test the air you breath before you breath it, in order to make sure it is safe to breath?"

    Actually, yes. That's what my sense of smell is for.

    Um, you must be some super human for your nose to be able test the air for odourless substances such as carbon monoxide.

    I said: "or do you have faith in the invisable that you cannot see?"

    I can still sense air, I need not take it on faith that Air exists since I can still touch it.

    You said to Dan Your senses can also be easily tricked, so you cannot rely on them 100% to determine what is real and what is not.

    and yet you rely on them to tell to believe in the non-existence of God?

    You, however, cannot taste, touch, small, see, or hear God, so that's why you have to take his existence on blind faith.

    I cannot touch, smell, see, or hear the non-existence of God, so that's why you have to take His non-existence on blind faith.

    In a simliar way we cannot see the wind but can see the effects of the wind around us...likewise we cannot see God but we can see His effects around us.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wrong. Evidence against Santa is the fact that probably not all children around the world are reached with presents and the knowledge that parents pretend to be Santa etc. I therefore logically conclude that he does not exist...

    Oh! I can do this one! Those children didn't sincerely believe in Santa. Also they weren't true Santa-tians.

    I am a non-believer, regarding the non-existence of God.

    So you don't believe in the negative claim of God's non-existence. This is like a double negative in grammar. It's a positive claim, no matter how you try to spin it; the burden of proof stays on you.

    I'm a non-believer in the non-existence of atoms. Ergo, I believe atoms exist. And the best part about this stance? It's true. It is a demonstrable stance.

    I said: "Do you scientifically test the air you breath before you breath it, in order to make sure it is safe to breath?"

    See my previous post; You're committing an equivocation fallacy.

    You said to Dan Your senses can also be easily tricked, so you cannot rely on them 100% to determine what is real and what is not.

    and yet you rely on them to tell to believe in the non-existence of God?


    You needn't use the senses to disbelieve in a god. If you take a purely solipsistic view, all you can really be sure of is the existence of your own mind. That said, there's no reason to believe our senses are unreliable.

    I cannot touch, smell, see, or hear the non-existence of God, so that's why you have to take His non-existence on blind faith.

    How exactly would one sense the non-existence of something? I can't sense the fairies under my garden so I have to have faith they don't exist?

    In a simliar way we cannot see the wind but can see the effects of the wind around us...likewise we cannot see God but we can see His effects around us.

    Please provide method in which we can measure the effects of God as such to be certain that it is indeed the one you claim it to be.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Helping DM are you?

    So you don't believe in the negative claim of God's non-existence. This is like a double negative in grammar. It's a positive claim, no matter how you try to spin it; the burden of proof stays on you.

    Wrong, it is a positive belief that God does not exist because you believe in anything else that positively takes the place of God.

    How exactly would one sense the non-existence of something? I can't sense the fairies under my garden so I have to have faith they don't exist?

    I cannot sense the "space" that you set up in the place of God.

    We all have faith with evidence leading to our conclusion. I have never been to America...it is just an imagination in my head...an imagining of possible fairytale like cities in the other side of the world.

    I logically conclude that it must exist by the evidence around me supporting it but I have not sensed it. I may never be able to sense it. But I believe it exists.

    Same with God.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Dan +†+ said...

    Froggie,

    I'm not Froggie ;-)

    I said

    "Like all presupp arguments all that's is required is to make a statement, fail to back it up with anything substantial and then shift the burden of proof as soon as possible."

    Anything substantial? You mean that your presuppositions will allow?

    No.

    No matter what I might present to you to show His existence, you must interpret it in a manner consistent with your presupposition: namely, that there is no God.

    That isn't a presupposition that's a conclusion based on the lack of evidence to support the existence of a deity.

    How did come to this presupposition? You had to reject the evidence presented, no matter how substantial of an amount there is.

    That's a conclusion not a presupposition. Oh and your evidence wasn't compelling.

    You make the statement that there is no God and I say there is.

    Where do I make that statement - as an agnostic atheist I do not 'believe' gods exist but I do not claim to 'know' one way or the other. You can stop beating your strawman now.

    I, and others, have shown ample logical evidence of the existence of God but you resist, why?

    Because it's not compelling.

    Do you have evidence to the contrary? No?

    Non-sequitur.

    You just reject the current evidence, while continually shifting the burden of proof.

    What rubbish - you're the one making the positive claim. As such the burden of proof lies solely with you.

    The proof of God’s existence, is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything. Proof requires logic. One must be able to account for the laws of logic, or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’

    Presup crap. How do you distiguish between an actual revelation from God and a claimed revelation from God? You can't, you know you can't and yet you continually ask me to account for something you can't account for yourself.

    Again, how do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, on what basis do you proceed with the assumption that they will not change?

    Click here for an account that doesn't require God

    Any evidence? Or are you going to shift the burden of proof yet again?

    It is a link I've posted before but it was ignored then too. I expect no better this time.

    ReplyDelete

  44. Wrong, it is a positive belief that God does not exist because you believe in anything else that positively takes the place of God.


    Positive Assertion - X is true. (or X exists)
    Negative Assertion - X is not true. (or X does not exist)

    You can never truly prove a negative assertion is true. An atheist can never prove that God does not exist, but the probability and likelihood is quite low that one does exist.

    The existence of material things is a positive assertion. We can experience them and, as I said before, we have no reason to think our senses are lying about their existence. On top of this we can gather data about the real world, something we cannot do with God. We can study the effects of religion or religious thinking, but not of any god.

    I cannot sense the "space" that you set up in the place of God.

    Not sure what you're saying here. If you mean you can't sense nothingness, well in a way you can. Space is mostly nothingness. Atoms are mostly nothingness. If you're saying God takes up a physical space, then surely you can test his existence.

    We all have faith with evidence leading to our conclusion. I have never been to America...it is just an imagination in my head...an imagining of possible fairytale like cities in the other side of the world.

    I logically conclude that it must exist by the evidence around me supporting it but I have not sensed it. I may never be able to sense it. But I believe it exists.

    Same with God.


    Except it's not the same in any way at all. Hogwart's is written about in a book and seen in a movie. Maybe even some people believe it's there. Does that make it so? No. Perhaps you have seen things from America on TV or met an American personally. There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of America and likewise for other people, places, and things in the world.

    The "evidence" that so many theists present for God is mostly assertion and not actual evidence and when they generalize the evidence to prove that simply "a god" exists, it weakens their own religious stance.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Dan +†+ said...

    Yes Reynold,

    I presuppose a God and you presuppose there is not one. There you go.

     
    No, Dan. That's NOT it at all. I came to my lack of belief in god through finding biblical bugger-ups, contradictions, and observable mistakes when it tries to describe the real world. And, no, the bible is NOT supernatural, we discussed that in that very post.

    Your logic is somehow more sound?
     
    You assumption is wrong to begin with!

    Do you have "evidence" of being Self Aware? How about universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic?
     
    They have nothing to do with any god, dan. The laws of logic are just observations made and figured out by man. The bible doesn't even list any of the laws of logic! One may as well say that the laws of logic are evidence of the Greek gods. At least THEY are the ones who first devised those laws, not a bunch of sheep-herders in the middle east.

    Any evidence? On what basis do you proceed with the assumption that they will not change?
    Dan, we went through this already! As I said, read Stephen Laws' blog. Read his posts on your blog. Quit parroting idiots like Sye and this Bahnsen guy.

    The laws of logic are not physical laws that can be manipulated in the first place. Why should we expect them to change, in your view? Whether they can change of not has no bearing on whether your god exists or not. Your god never even laid out the laws of logic in the bible. Find and list the verses that list all the laws of logic before you can even give your god the credit for them.

    Also, no atheistic worldview can account for the uniformity of nature, the very foundation of science.
     
    The foundation of science is curiosity about how the world around us works and figuring out how.

    Your assumptions is your "logic" and "evidence"?
     
    Dan. You don't have a clue. The "uniformity" of nature? That's what one would expect from a naturalist view, you know, one without some interfering deity who'll change the laws at a whim or as an answer to prayer.

    It's your god with his "miracles" that keep superseding the laws of nature is the worldview that can't account for it. Again, read Stephen Laws's blog. It seems you've learned NOTHING from what he said here.

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  46. Not much time but...

    Reynold,

    The bible doesn't even list any of the laws of logic! 

    Bzzzzt! Yet another thing you are wrong about. I wonder how many other things?

    I AM that I AM (Exodus 3:14)

    The Law of Identity.

    ReplyDelete
  47. BTW Reynold,

    If you wish to see the Laws of logic "in action" in the Bible just go to these posts from a fellow Christian that did a fine job already.

    ReplyDelete
  48. If you wish to see the Laws of logic "in action" in the Bible just go to these posts from a fellow Christian that did a fine job already.

    What. The. Fuck.

    That nonsense is just looking at an arbitrary declarative statement in the bible and noting that it comports with the laws of logic. That's about as compelling as the fact that the first passage in The Grapes of Wrath embodies the same three laws:

    To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.

    -- Identitey iz self-evad3nt 4 eech n0un./

    -- N0n-contradikshun iz self-eved3nt in teh statment regarding the rain halving come, and the rainz nawt cutting teh erth.

    -- Exculded midel iz self-evadint cuz the raynz eether camed or dint came, and teh rains ayther did or dint cut teh erths.


    ZOMGWTFBBQ!!11!!one!!eleven!!!

    Don't be a fucktard.

    --
    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  49. Except it's not the same in any way at all. Hogwart's is written about in a book and seen in a movie. Maybe even some people believe it's there. Does that make it so? No. Perhaps you have seen things from America on TV or met an American personally. There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of America and likewise for other people, places, and things in the world.

    How do I know that tv that realtes to America is a real thing?
    How do I know what an Amercian would sound like?
    I assume I know.

    The "evidence" that so many theists present for God is mostly assertion and not actual evidence and when they generalize the evidence to prove that simply "a god" exists, it weakens their own religious stance.

    The evidence that so many atheists give for assuming "the reality" (A positive stance)that does not consist of God involves me to take a greater faith should I accept it.

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  50. Popeye: "I am's what I am's!"
    The law of identity. Popeye is the foundation of all logic.

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  51. Hilarious! I like his beans and rice also. I wonder if fuzzy logic tickles with all those chicken feathers around?

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  52. How do I know that tv that realtes to America is a real thing?
    How do I know what an Amercian would sound like?
    I assume I know.


    But your assumption is based on evidence. If you didn't believe that America existed, you could go there and see it to verify what people told you.

    The evidence that so many atheists give for assuming "the reality" (A positive stance)that does not consist of God involves me to take a greater faith should I accept it.

    You're mixing up two assertions here.

    1. Reality exists - positive assertion (saying something exists), self-evident.
    2. God does not exist - negative assertion (saying something does not exist).

    It's not a positive assertion simply because you tag on the reality clause there.

    If I take your statement to read...

    "Leprechaun deniers assume a reality (positive assertion) that does not consist of leprechauns."

    That does not make the non-existence of leprechauns a positive assertion. They are still being rejected as a premise.

    As to your claim that atheism requires more faith than theism, the leprechauns can also be applied there.

    Does it take more faith to not believe in leprechauns?

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  53. Da Bomb, you say:

    The evidence that so many atheists give for assuming "the reality" (A positive stance)that does not consist of God involves me to take a greater faith should I accept it.

    In addition to what Yaeger said, it seems to me that faith in God appears simpler to many believers than faith in reality without God, because they have not really examined how much faith is necessary to simply accept without question the unexplained existence of an unimaginably complex and powerful Being, Who must be many orders of magnitude more complex than the entire Universe.

    That's why many people become atheists, or remain atheists: besides the fact that there's no good evidence for the existence of such a Being, and considering all the internal inconsistencies and errors in all religions, and the fact that there is ample motivation and opportunity for people to make up stories (and lots of evidence that they do so)- there is what I call the Argument from Design turned on its head.

    The creationist's Argument from Design for the existence of God is of course William Paley's watch found on the heath, which we can see is designed because such order needs a designer to think it out and put it together.

    The atheist's Argument from Design against the existence of God doesn't disagree with the creationist's; it simply recognizes an additional source of design: the patient hand of natural selection, choosing those organisms that successfully survive the slings and arrows aimed at them- not by random outrageous fortune, but by the increasingly ordered and better aiming fellow organisms.

    And since our experience shows us that beings who can, say, design watches don't just pop up out of the ground, but have a long evolutionary history behind them, it seems a very large leap of faith to swallow a non-evolved Designer who can not only design watches, but can design designers.

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  54. Zilch,

    it seems a very large leap of faith to swallow a non-evolved Designer who can not only design watches, but can design designers.

    Back to the school boy argument again are we? "who made God?"

    But who believes in created God's? No one. So your argument runs void.

    Regarding Design, Design implies "will".
    If you saw a river being carved out by water would you say it was designed or formed?

    or would you say a painter painting a river on a canvas would be designed or formed?

    See the difference.

    Yaeger,

    I dis-believe in a universe without God, it takes too much faith. That is it...I simply dis-believe.

    But I believe in a universe with God.

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  55. Hey Da Bomb! You say:

    Back to the school boy argument again are we? "who made God?"

    What's wrong with schoolboy questions? I've heard this before from Christians, but ridiculing the question does not answer it. Who did make God?

    But who believes in created God's? No one. So your argument runs void.

    Well, if God wasn't created, where did He come from? That's exactly the problem: assuming that a complex being such as God simply poofed into existence, or simply existed forever, requires a great deal of faith, because it doesn't comport with our experience.

    Regarding Design, Design implies "will".
    If you saw a river being carved out by water would you say it was designed or formed?


    You are correct, and that is a source of confusion. Before we talk about "design", we should clarify exactly what we mean by it. We must keep in mind that we are like Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass:

    `When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

    `The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

    `The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master - - that's all.'


    We, like Humpty Dumpty, have the power to determine what words mean- they don't have any "true" meaning apart from what we agree upon. What I mean by "design" is something like "an orderly plan, or an structure built following such a plan".

    The trouble is with such a definition, is that while we can define "order" in a fairly satisfactory way, "plan" is rather vague- there is a continuum between the technical drawings of a watchmaker, to the inborn behaviors that allow beavers to build dams, to the ability of bacteria to follow a chemical gradient upstream, to the formation of rivers directed by the structure of the landscape. Not to mention the "plan" of evolution at any given moment, which consists of the unbelievably complex challenges faced by organisms in the unbelievably complex natural world to survive and reproduce.

    All of these "plans" are constructs which result in ordering the environment, but some are more conscious than others. As to whether or not evolution is "conscious", that's a toughie: Mother Nature as a whole is not a unified conscious being (at least I don't believe so), but She is certainly intelligent; although that intelligence is spread out over countless godzillions of organisms, some of whom are conscious themselves. Hard to keep the whole picture in view, isn't it?

    All of these "designs"- the watch, the dam, the chase, the river, evolution- are ordered phenomena that are themselves created by other ordered things: educations, brains, genes, laws of physics, and the wonderful activity of strange loops fed by sunlight. There's no place where you can reasonably draw a line and say "this is design, this is not".

    This of course begs the question, where did order come from? I can't tell you, but you can't tell me either, except by positing the existence of order in the form of God as an axiom. And as I said, the kind of order a God represents is far more complex and ordered than the order of a Universe without God- and does not explain anything. Thus, I don't see any reason to posit the unexplained unquestioned existence of God. God doesn't tell me anything true I don't know already, and people have been caught red-handed making up gods on the spot, so until some positive evidence for God turns up, I remain an atheist.

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  56. Law of Non-Contradiction

    Let's look at the definition.
    Law of Non-Contradiction. Law of logic that states that something cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect; A is not non-A.

    Geisler, N. L., & Brooks, R. M. (1990). Come, let us reason : An introduction to logical thinking (191). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.
    Now let's consider Genesis 1:1.

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
    In the beginning, God did not create the heavens and the earth.

    The law of non-contradictions stats that both of these can't be. This takes us to the next law.

     
    Guess what? That is just one statement that says that god did something. It does NOT lay out ANY law at all. Geisler just goes and uses the law that he already knows of, and retroactively attaches it to his bible.

    There is no verse in there for instance that actually lays out the law!

    That's what I was asking for!

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  57. Yaegar proclaimed:

    "You're mixing up two assertions here.

    1. Reality exists - positive assertion (saying something exists), self-evident.
    2. God does not exist - negative assertion (saying something does not exist)."

    Bzzt! Wrong. 'God does not exist' is a positive assertion. You are asserting that God indeed does not exist. The question is, are you positive about that? Is your faith that strong to make such an assertion?

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  58. "God does not exist" is a statement of fact.

    "I don't believe your claim that God exists" is a rejection of a statement of fact.

    The first is a statement which indicates a truth, and as such requires evidence. The second is mere skepticism of another's claim. Unfortunately, both describe Atheism.

    The first is "strong" Atheism and the second is "weak" atheism.

    There are some real weak Atheists around here. :7)

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  59. Bzzt! Wrong. 'God does not exist' is a positive assertion. You are asserting that God indeed does not exist. The question is, are you positive about that? Is your faith that strong to make such an assertion?

    The type of assertion has nothing to do with how strongly one holds that position. It's merely a matter of existence vs. non-existence, it's really not as complicated as you want it to be.

    Positive - it exists.
    Negative - it doesn't.

    It is scientifically impossible to prove a negative assertion. I could never prove totally that any supernatural beings do not exist.

    The burden of proof is always on the person making the claim that something exists.

    Another example for good measure:

    Is beauty objective?

    Person 1: Yes, objective beauty exists. (Positive assertion)
    Person 2: No, I reject the claim that objective beauty exists. (Negative assertion)

    Am I 100% positive that God does not exist? No. Not one person can be 100% positive about anything.

    Again, you convoluted the meanings of faith. The faith I have isn't "Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence." On the contrary. I don't believe because of the lack of logical proof or material evidence.

    The "faith" I have is "Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing." And this is evidence-based.

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  60. Zilch asked: "Well, if God wasn't created, where did He come from?"

    It has been presented before but...

    God exists outside space-time therefore space-time is contingent on God. God is not, on the other hand, contingent on space-time. Space-time cannot exist without God but God could exist without space-time, thus the term, not contingent.

    When (X) is said to cause (Y) this means that (Y) is contingent on (X) and that (X) preceded (Y). A characteristic of (Y) is that it is that which is caused by (X) so the existence of (Y) implies the existence of (X). This, however, does not mean that (Y) caused (X). (Causality)

    Now a good question to the deterministic worldview, such as atheists, is who/what made the universe, who made the big bang, bang,...?

    If it is a chain of events, following one after another according to the law of cause and effect, then what started the process? Otherwise it is an infinite regress of 'what caused that?' So logically how did, do you suppose, the universe get here? Does a deterministic worldview give a realistic conclusion to that question?

    Christianity sure does

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  61. Yaeger,

    "Person 2: No, I reject the claim that objective beauty exists. (Negative assertion)"

    Yes! I agree with that statement but that is NOT what you said. You are moving goal posts here. If you remember you said:

    "2. God does not exist - negative assertion (saying something does not exist)."

    Which is wrong. Claiming God "does not exist" is a statement of fact, like I said. It is a positive assertion.

    "The burden of proof is always on the person making the claim that something exists."

    I agree!! So Atheism (strong) is an impossible worldview. Thanks for that. Thanks for, at least, being weak.

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  62. Dan, I'm a bit curious about your claim. Could you please elaborate as to how god can exist outside of time? Please keep in mind, that in order for there to be an action on his part, time must exist. Without time, nothing changes.

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

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  63. Chimp,

    "that in order for there to be an action on his (God's) part, time must exist."

    Can you explain this assertion first. Time is not necessary for God to exist as I said.

    Y (space-time) is evidence of the existence of x (God) and contingent but x existence is not necessarily contingent on y.

    y (cars) are evidence of the existence of x (man) and contingent but x (man) existence is not necessarily contingent on y (cars)

    ReplyDelete
  64. Clarity:

    y (cars) are evidence of the existence of x (man) and contingent on x's existence, but x (man) existence is not necessarily contingent on y's (cars) existence.

    Better.

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  65. Dan, you seem to not understand Time. Your added information does not apply to my question.

    I'll try to keep it simple for you.

    For god to do anything, take a step forward, blow his nose, or create a universe, that means things have change in some way from one moment to another. For this to happen, you must have time. Time is motion.

    This means that though god may be able to exist without time, for him to accomplish anything other than existing unchanged, he would require time. God’s ability to do anything is contingent on time.

    Unless you can explain how something can change without the existence of time, then god is just as much a slave to time as we are.

    Word is bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

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  66. Chimp,

    "God’s ability to do anything is contingent on time."

    False. Yes time is motion but only as a human factor. Are we Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent also? Well then, time is merely a human factor. Think outside the box of human constraints.

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  67. "False. Yes time is motion but only as a human factor. "

    What do you have to support this claim Dan? You can't just make illogical claims like that when you painted yourself in a corner. You can't try to use science and logic as evidence for god and then just make up stuff tat contradicts them when that stops working for you.

    The act of creating is temporal. There is no way to change that fact. Just by waving your hand and asserting that doesn't apply to god, is baseless and contradicts itself.

    So Dan how do account for temporal factors involved in god creating time outside of time contradicts the invariant laws of logic you so often bring up. My world view can explain the universe very well without this issue.

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

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  68. "Think outside the box of human constraints."

    This getting more absurd by the moment. If we could think outside human "constraints," they wouldn't be containts.

    I am pleased that Dan is reduced to presupp philosophy. It is proof that his God is not there. He only lives in the supertitious mind of mental cripples.

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  69. God exists outside space-time therefore space-time is contingent on God. God is not, on the other hand, contingent on space-time. Space-time cannot exist without God but God could exist without space-time, thus the term, not contingent.

    Without the sciency words, what you're saying, Dan, is "God is magic and thus not answerable to mundane logic".

    Now a good question to the deterministic worldview, such as atheists, is who/what made the universe, who made the big bang, bang,...?

    Ya got me- I haven't a clue how the Universe came into being. You've loaded your question, however, by assuming that something or someone "made" the Universe, which remains to be demonstrated- and as I've said, if you do so, you have to explain who or what made the Maker: or appeal to magic and/or gratuitous wordplay, which you have just done again.

    If it is a chain of events, following one after another according to the law of cause and effect, then what started the process? Otherwise it is an infinite regress of 'what caused that?' So logically how did, do you suppose, the universe get here? Does a deterministic worldview give a realistic conclusion to that question?

    Christianity sure does


    "Realistic", meaning "comporting to reality as we know it", is exactly what Christianity's conclusion to this question isn't. It depends upon postulating the existence of a Being Who is beyond reality one way or another. And until such time as I see real evidence, not just fairy tales, for the existence of such creatures, I remain a skeptic and am content to say "I don't know how the Universe came into being".

    Yes time is motion but only as a human factor. Are we Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent also? Well then, time is merely a human factor. Think outside the box of human constraints.

    "Thinking outside the box of human constraints" is fine if you're designing an airplane- humans are constrained not to fly on their own. But you are thinking outside the constraints of reality, and then anything goes. Wheee! In lack of evidence, there are no constraints on truth (and truth is what we're after, right?). You might as well claim that there is a teapot orbiting the Sun or that there are Diminutive Underwear Drawer Trolls that hide your underwear.

    Invented beings are a dime a dozen, and their powers are only limited by one's imagination. But, for the umpteenth time, unless there is evidence for their existence, unless postulating their existence explains things that cannot be explained otherwise (and I mean really explain in the sense of allowing us to make predictions and giving us knowledge that is demonstrably true and inaccessible to science), then there's no reason to believe in them that I can see.

    As I've said, people who find that believing in the unexplained existence of an omniscient, omnipotent God requires less faith to swallow than believing in a Universe without God have not really examined how much faith it requires to believe in such a Being. Sure, they've got a handy one-word answer to all difficult questions: "goddidit". But unpack that word carefully, and you will find not only that it does not comport to reality as we know it, and requires a huge dollop of faith, but it doesn't really explain anything.

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  70. Chimp,

    "What do you have to support this claim Dan?"

    God's Word proclaims God being outside time and space. God's Word tells us that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. I presuppose the truth of Scripture.

    Like I said to Stan. Standing in your worldview I cannot justify reality, knowledge, logic, morality, value, meaning, purpose...or anything. When your principles are fully followed out there is no rationality to it.

    You are claiming these points are human, yet cannot account for any of it, and in fact they are of God and I can.

    The act of creating is temporal? Do you have any evidence of this or is that a bare assertion on your part?

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  71. Froggie,

    "If we could think outside human "constraints," they wouldn't be containts.(sic)"

    Really? Sad. You lost your imagination like that. How do you account for imagination? Can you imagine a multiverse, or other hypothetical situations, such as multi-dimensional plane beyond our own one? How do you suppose that ability evolved? Do you agree that such things stand outside of human constraints of understanding or observing? Yet we can conceptualize about them. How do you account for conceptualization? How do you account for self-awareness?

    Maybe that is why things are so difficult for you to account things.

    Standing in your worldview, I cannot justify any rationality to it. It just destroys human experience to a meaningless something. Again...sad.

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  72. I just read the days of praise verse for today from ICR.

    "Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly." (Hebrews 13:18)

    How do you account for a conscience?

    2 Corinthians 8:21 or Romans 12:17 "Provide things honest in the sight of all men."

    How do you account for honesty or morality?

    Do you agree that we live in a corrupt and cynical society where genuine honesty is rare? Why is that? How do you account for that?

    Do you agree that "Petty pilfering at the office, cheating on taxes, plagiarizing, loafing at the job, padding expense accounts, cheating on tests, cutting corners on obligations, breaking promises, exaggerating--the list of petty dishonesties is endless, not even to mention the crime and major corruption so prevalent today almost everywhere."?

    How do you account for such things? Christianity can (Titus 1:15)

    ICR concluded "But when Christians do such things (and, unfortunately, they do!), those same people find it scandalous, and blaspheme the gospel because of it. How vital it is for Christians to become scrupulously sensitive about even the smallest matters. This should, in fact, be a major item of daily prayer, as in our text for the day."

    Amen.

    I am doing my best to understand your worldview where such things cannot be accounted for? Why be honest in your moral relativistic worldview?

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  73. Zilch,

    I appreciate your honest answers. You, at least, try.

    "In lack of evidence, there are no constraints on truth (and truth is what we're after, right?)"

    I agree with that, yet evidence of Christianity and God does exist. The fact that you reject all the evidence is something entirely different. The ability to weigh and reject evidence is evidence itself for God. Wheee!

    "You might as well claim that there is a teapot orbiting the Sun or that there are Diminutive Underwear Drawer Trolls that hide your underwear."

    You very well can claim such things. Now let's look at the evidence that you have for that. Of course my ability to reason, itself, is evidence for God.

    "Sure, they've got a handy one-word answer to all difficult questions: "goddidit". But unpack that word carefully, and you will find not only that it does not comport to reality as we know it, and requires a huge dollop of faith, but it doesn't really explain anything. "

    My chin is resting on my hands and I am ready to listen to how you, in your worldview, account for or justify reality, knowledge, logic, morality, value, meaning, purpose...or anything. I am ready for your evidence. How else can I reason that your worldview is the best for humanity, besides evidence?

    For everyone: Should there be morality, or no morality, in your worldview?

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  74. I appreciate your honest answers. You, at least, try.

    Thanks, Dan. It's nice to be appreciated.

    [...] yet evidence of Christianity and God does exist.

    Oh? Where?

    The fact that you reject all the evidence is something entirely different.

    What evidence?

    The ability to weigh and reject evidence is evidence itself for God.

    ... or it's evidence for the effectiveness of natural selection, because the ability to weigh and reject evidence is of obvious survival value. And since there's evidence that natural selection takes place, and no evidence for God, I'll go for what I see.

    Wheee!

    Wheee indeed.

    My chin is resting on my hands and I am ready to listen to how you, in your worldview, account for or justify reality,

    Reality is. I can't justify it, nor can you.

    knowledge,

    The ability to have knowledge, to model the world, is an evolved trait of obvious utility. Don't know all the details, but the reason for it evolving is pretty clear.

    logic,

    Another given. Logic works in our universe. You can't account for it either, except by saying your mantra "goddidit", which adds no meaning but adds immense complexity.

    morality,

    Morality, as I'm sure you remember my saying on numerous occasions, is a combination of genetically evolved social behaviors with culturally evolved agreements, which together help build societies, more or less well. Instincts, religions, laws...

    value, meaning, purpose

    Like morals, a combination of nature and nurture. Also evolved.

    ...or anything. I am ready for your evidence.

    If you show me yours, I'll show you mine.

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  75. God's Word proclaims God being outside time and space. God's Word tells us that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.

    Sorry Dan but I’ve never known any of those words to mean ‘outside of time’. Semantics can’t save you on this one.

    Even if I allowed your twisted meaning of those words it still will not work. If there is no ‘Time’, god cannot create no matter how omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent you believe he might be. Creating is temporal and thus contingent upon the existence of time. What you’re trying to do is no better than saying something can exist and not exist at the same time Dan.

    Dan your god based worldview contradicts the invariant laws of logic you so often bring up. My world view can explain the universe very well without this issue. Unless you can show me evidence as to how something temporal (contingent upon time) can take place outside of time, your claim is irrational and fails.

    This theological-paradox of god being outside of time is something many have tried to wrestle with before. Though there have been some clever explanations offered, in the end they all have failed.

    Dan, if you’re going to try to use science, logic to support your claims, you can’t just abandon them for complete fantasy when they don’t suit your needs.

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

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  76. Zilch,

    [...] yet evidence of Christianity and God does exist.

    You asked, "Oh? Where? What evidence? Reality is. I can't justify it, nor can you."

    Not true, I can. It may not be "acceptable" to you, but that is not my problem. It is through God's collective natural and special revelation that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason and everything else.

    "Morality, as I'm sure you remember my saying on numerous occasions, is a combination of genetically evolved social behaviors with culturally evolved agreements, which together help build societies, more or less well. Instincts, religions, laws..."

    So good is what evokes social approval?

    If that is true, as Bahnsen said, then Genocide would be acceptable. It was in Germany. What about human sacrifices? Infanticide? Pederasty? Widow Immolation? Community Suicide? All acceptable in societies. So then acceptable?

    If good is intuited there is a huge problem. You cannot argue about good, you just intuit what is good. You cannot have a rational discussion about right or wrong, because you have no way to resolve differences of opinions. This reduces morality to subjective preferences that bind no one, not even the subjectivist who may change his view at any moment.

    Bahnsen said, "You have no predictable way to say that a person's intuition about good is good itself. You end up having to intuit that your intuition is right, then intuit that your intuition about your intuition is right. On and on through an infinite regress which results from not having an absolute, self-verifying standard. So then, on this approach to ethics you cannot criticize any society."

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  77. Chimp,

    I understand your point but you do understand omnipotent, right?

    Omnipotent- all powerful, Unlimited and absolute. Why would that not include time? Is time outside of power? Is it impossible to be outside of time for a being, if time was Created by that being?

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  78. It is through God's collective natural and special revelation that I know for certain my senses are reliable and can account for absolute, immaterial, universal laws of logic and reason and everything else.

    Okay, go ahead and account for them. And saying "goddidit" (or the presup version "they are part of God's nature"), as I've pointed out many times already, is not an "account", but merely an assertion, with no evidence to support it, and which does not explain anything.

    So good is what evokes social approval?

    We've been through this before, Dan. "Good" is a complex construct, some of which is part of our genetic heritage as social animals, and some of which consists of culturally evolved concepts. Good and bad are not primordial principles, but systems that evolved because they help build successful societies.

    If that is true, as Bahnsen said, then Genocide would be acceptable. It was in Germany. What about human sacrifices? Infanticide? Pederasty? Widow Immolation? Community Suicide? All acceptable in societies. So then acceptable?

    Not to me, and not to you presumably- although the Germans taking part in the Holocaust, like the Europeans who slaughtered entire cities in the Crusades, were Christians. "Not real Christians", you will say. But they say they were Christians- how can you prove they were not? After all, God ordered genocide against the Amalekites, including babies.

    While there is enough agreement about what is good to build societies, there's obviously a lot of disagreement as well- and religion is responsible for a lot of the disagreement, both between religions and within religions. Look at the Christians, all claiming Biblical authority, lined up on both sides of the slavery issue before the Civil War, for instance.

    If good is intuited there is a huge problem. You cannot argue about good, you just intuit what is good. You cannot have a rational discussion about right or wrong, because you have no way to resolve differences of opinions. This reduces morality to subjective preferences that bind no one, not even the subjectivist who may change his view at any moment.

    It is a huge problem, because there is no absolute good. But that's what laws, social contracts, and religions are for: to try to get enough consensus (never perfect consensus) to make things work.

    And changing views at any moment is not the exclusive domain of "subjectivists" or atheists: Christians, and other believers, do it all the time too. And no wonder: even the Bible is unclear and self-contradictory about exactly what is good and what is bad. How many Christians agree about precisely what is good and bad according to the Bible? How many sects of Christianity are there again- something like thirty thousand?

    Not that any secular book of laws is or could be perfect: there ain't no such thing. We just have to muddle through as well as we can. But please don't tell me that the Bible is a source of "absolute" morality: if no one agrees about what it says to do under all circumstances, it isn't absolute, but is just as general and relative as any secular humanist document.

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  79. "I understand your point but you do understand omnipotent, right?"

    Yes i do, but it seems like you have no understanding of time.

    Let me try it once again Dan. The act of creating is contingent on time. For god to create he cannot be outside of time because of this fact. Where time does not exist, creating cannot take place.

    You are contradicting yourself by saying he created outside of time. You can no more do this than something can exists and not exist. Saying time is not required to create is like saying the sun can shine without photons. Its just as contradictory as saying 'A' is 'A' and is not 'A'.

    It is illogical, irrational. No matter how powerful you might claim he is, time is still required to create. The main ingredient of creating is time itself. Your god could not even scratch his back, do jumping jacks or lift a feather without time.

    Imagine time is frozen. That means that all motion ceases. If anything in anyway, no matter how powerful or not it is moves, then time has not stopped. In the same context, if god moves or even thinks or any change takes place, time must already exists where he is.

    So, I hope I was clear.

    So again, your god based worldview contradicts the invariant laws of logic you give him credit for. My world view can explain the universe very well without this issue. Unless you can show me evidence as to how something temporal (contingent upon time) can take place outside of time, your claim is irrational and fails.

    If you still do not understand why time is needed, please better educate yourself on the mater of time.

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

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  80. Zilch,

    You are getting close to the big question then.

    "And changing views at any moment is not the exclusive domain of "subjectivists" or atheists: Christians, and other believers, do it all the time too."

    So they can be wrong? Can a moral system be wrong? If so, then you are attaching your worldview to a moral absolute.

    From your worldview, were the crusades wrong? Was the Holocaust wrong? Could anything be wrong with your worldview?

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  81. And once again Chimp,

    "The act of creating is contingent on time."

    OK, this is an obvious statement of fact. Please show evidence for this.

    Is this a bare assertion? Just claiming that it is, without evidence, is a fallacy.

    I will await your reply before moving on.

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  82. Chimp,

    I looked up something to find: (Newsflash: Time May Not Exist) but I digress.

    Continuing this thought, I wanted to make one point (no pun intended)

    We all understand that time is a measuring system. But could time exist with only one item? God? Or two, God Creating.

    Space and time are impossible to define if you only have one object. Agree?

    With two objects you can define space (relative position). You will need more than two objects, in motion, to define time, because the third object is required to compare the changing position of the first two. So "God Creating" could exist outside of the "measurable time."

    Slam debunk?

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  83. "OK, this is an obvious statement of fact. Please show evidence for this."

    Really Dan?! Is that the best you can do? Just because you do not understand something as simple as why any action requires time, you expect me to sit here and pull citation on this?

    Dan, this doesn't require a college education to understand. I've already explained it in the simplest manor possible, yet you still can't seem to get a grasp of it. Is it that hard for you to understand that you don't have a explanation for why your belief/claims fly right in the face of other claims you already made and depend on?

    Let me ask you this Dan, if god creates the universe, does that make things different than before he created the universe?

    Dan your moving would only validate my point that you cannot account for your god based worldview contradicting the invariant laws of logic you give him credit for while my world view can explain the universe very well without this issue.

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

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  84. Chimp,

    My "evidence" may not be acceptable to your worldview, yet I have evidence that God existed before time.

    1 Corinthians 2:7

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  85. "My "evidence" may not be acceptable to your worldview, yet I have evidence that God existed before time."

    Sorry Dan, that quote does not say he exists outside of time. Even if it did, it does not change the fact that it would be self contradicting. Are you saying you believe that since is wrong about time and space too?? Is that how make your worldview work, just deny any knowledge man has accumulated if it goes against your beliefs?

    Also claiming things about 'Mystery' and 'hidden wisdom' or that we are to simple to understand the works and power of god is just a cop out.

    Let me ask you again Dan, if god creates the universe, does that make things different than before he created the universe?

    Dan, please remember that you need to account for how your god based worldview contradicts the invariant laws of logic you give him credit for while my world view can explain the universe very well without this issue. If you cannot, you claims are irrational and illogical and thus fail.

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

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  86. Chimp,

    "Are you saying you believe that since(sic) [science] is wrong about time and space too??"

    Sure, it's possible, unless you misunderstand the basic tenets of the scientific method. Science is always changing.

    "Let me ask you again Dan, if god(sic) creates the universe, does that make things different than before he created the universe? "

    I have no clue, do you claim to know, with certainty? I just knew I was in trouble to not follow Proverbs 26:4-5 trying to speak of "time theory".

    "remember that you need to account for how your god based worldview contradicts the invariant laws of logic you give him credit for while my world view can explain the universe very well without this issue."

    I have no doubt that you are attempting to explain the universe with, unaccounted for, logic. :7) You cannot borrow logic, to explain the universe, without accounting for it.

    So you believe that logic is invariant and eternal?

    Time is eternal? Space is eternal?

    Universe is eternal? Chuck Big Bang, if so.

    God is eternal. (Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 119:89, Psalm 119:160, Isaiah 26:4, 2 Corinthians 4:18, 1 Timothy 1:17,)

    I am reading that even QM is attempting to use "Imaginary Time" to deal with things before "Real Time" What a crazy universe we live in.

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  87. Dan say:

    Zilch,

    You are getting close to the big question then.


    Hey, Dan, I live the big question. I breathe it. I eat it.

    zilch say:

    "And changing views at any moment is not the exclusive domain of "subjectivists" or atheists: Christians, and other believers, do it all the time too."

    Dan reply:

    So they can be wrong? Can a moral system be wrong? If so, then you are attaching your worldview to a moral absolute.

    Not so. Something can be wrong in your or my worldview without its being "absolutely" wrong, in the same way that chips can be bad for you, and zucchini can be good for you, without being absolutely bad or good.

    But as I said, our genetic heritage as social animals, and our cultural heritage as reasoning beings, lay down a framework which, although not absolute, is pretty much agreed upon by pretty much everyone. It don't get better than that, unless we go the genetic route of ants, or the cultural route of a police state, to enforce conformity to their sought-after "absolutes" (even ants and police states have inconsistencies in their "morals"). But both these routes are technically intractable and rather unattractive for most people, so we're stuck muddling through the best we can. Luckily, the best we can do can be pretty nice, can't it?

    From your worldview, were the crusades wrong? Was the Holocaust wrong? Could anything be wrong with your worldview?

    Wrong enough to condemn and work to make sure they don't happen again. How much wronger do you need? In my humble opinion, what people actually do is more important that whatever morals they espouse. And as I said, the Bible is not absolute either. The only thing that could be construed to be "absolute" about the Bible is the text, by which I mean the letters of the law, if we ignore variants; but the referents of the text, the spirits of the law, are fuzzy, just as with any text having to do with, not numbers, but with those squirrelly squiggly things people do. If you don't believe me, tell me exactly what "thou shalt not kill" means.

    No moral system is or can be absolute.

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  88. Dan you said, “Sure, it's possible, unless you misunderstand the basic tenets of the scientific method. Science is always changing.”

    I understand the scientific method, and your link didn’t help you point.

    ”I have no clue, do you claim to know, with certainty?”

    Dan, it is you who often speaks with absolute certainty, even in the face of evidence that refutes your claims. I speak only in scientific certainty.

    ” I just knew I was in trouble to not follow Proverbs 26:4-5 trying to speak of "time theory".”

    Ah, so when you’re found to be incorrect or you realize you painted yourself into a corner, you resort to ad-hominem attacks using Bronze Age text. Your statement is very rude and judgmental.

    ”I have no doubt that you are attempting to explain the universe with, unaccounted for, logic.”

    Why do I need to account for it? Did a caveman have to account for how fire operates to cook his meal? Are you claiming that logic is so unreliable that if I don't give thanks to your god first, it won't work?

    You cannot borrow logic, to explain the universe, without accounting for it.

    Dan, we already have been over this and you’re a-la sye logic argument has been refuted many times on your blog. You have never validate your claim that it was created or belongs to you god. Even if I was, how does that make logic not work if I didn’t get permission to borrow it? You can’t make up you rules concerning borrowing of logic in an attempt to defend a flawed argument you’ve already made.

    ” So you believe that logic is invariant and eternal?”

    This has noting to do with the Time-Space discussion Dan. Try to stick to the subject.

    ”Time is eternal? Space is eternal?
    Could be.

    Universe is eternal? Chuck Big Bang, if so.

    Not so Dan. You mistakenly have assumed that the Big Bang represents the creation of the universe. The Big Bang is only a name given to the theory concerning the expansion of the universe, by a person who supported the steady state view of the universe. The expansion could be just the changing state of the universe which could also be cyclical.

    ”God is eternal. (Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 119:89, Psalm 119:160, Isaiah 26:4, 2 Corinthians 4:18, 1 Timothy 1:17,)”

    You’re applying circular reasoning again Dan. A Bronze Age book claimed to have been written by god cannot also be used as evidence for god.

    ”I am reading that even QM is attempting to use "Imaginary Time" to deal with things before "Real Time" What a crazy universe we live in.

    If you think you understand QM, then you do not understand QM. Imaginary Time is not imaginary, unreal or made up; it is just another dimension of time if we view it as a multidimensional component of Space. Anyway, its still is time and does not change that ‘creating’ is temporal and thus contingent upon the existence of time.

    Word is Bond!
    ~Atomic Chimp

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  89. Dan said to AC...

    I have no doubt that you are attempting to explain the universe with, unaccounted for, logic. :7)

    I gave a link to an account (that did not require a deity). It was, I notice, conveniently ignored by you.

    I'll repeat the link here:
    Click here

    Maybe this time you could try reading it.

    You cannot borrow logic, to explain the universe, without accounting for it.

    And yet this is exactly what presupp apologists do every time they posit an objective, absolute standard of logic.

    Either the laws of logic are objective and absolute, in which case your God is subject to them as well (goodbye omnipotence). Or they originate from your God and are therefore subjective and no longer absolute.

    Please account for objectivity from within your inherently subjective worldview - until you can any standard you assert is necessarily subjective and may not apply to anyone but yourself.

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  90. Freddies dead say:

    Either the laws of logic are objective and absolute, in which case your God is subject to them as well (goodbye omnipotence). Or they originate from your God and are therefore subjective and no longer absolute.

    If you don't mind, Dan, I'll field this one. It's part of my ecumenical attempt to see both sides of the issue, to be more "objective", so to speak.

    Freddies dead: that's a piece of cake. Since God is the greatest, and absolute is greater than relative, then God must be absolute by definition. And since objective is absolute, and subjective is relative, then any opinions God has are also objective, by definition. Just as He is the Uncaused Cause, so is He also the Objective Subjectifier. Thus, the laws of logic, since they come from God, are also absolute and objective, even though they are relative and subject to God. Amen.

    Dan- how'd I do?

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  91. Dan- another analogy comes to mind, if you will be so kind as to indulge me. You (and Sye, and the Triabloggers, etc.) often assert that atheists cannot have any foundation for morals if they do not recognize absolute morals.

    This is like saying that mountain climbers cannot climb mountains if they do not recognize an absolute distinction between mountains and hills. "How can they know it's a Mountain they're climbing, when they admit that there is no line between Mountains and Hills!" the Absolutists cry. "If they can't absolutely distinguish Mountains from Hills, then everything might as well be Valleys for them!"

    But the mountaineers go on climbing, and reaching the top, of whatever-you-call-them that they're climbing, even though they can't absolutely justify calling them "mountains".

    In other words, for getting the job done, it doesn't matter exactly what you call the job, or how you justify your name for the job.

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  92. Zilch,

    "Dan- how'd I do?"

    Wow. My head is still spinning. Deep stuff...nice.

    It made me think of the analogy of pointing to north. Subjectively, everyone has a different north. God has placed in nature true North and we can travel by it or sail because of it. True North is a solid unchanging, dependable reference to follow. Yet, relatively, everyone has their own. But if you want to find your way. You must use God's North, true north.

    So if we are discussing, direction or morals, everyone has their own reference (subjectivity). If we want to find God, we must use God (nature), the cardinal compass, and head to the objective north called Due North.

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  93. Godlessblogger wrote: “At least I think we will be. If God has always existed and wasn't created, why can't it be said the universe simply always existed?”

    A non-dimensional Creator independent of time-space doesn’t need a creator or a cause. The scientific principle of causality dictates that every physical occurrence has a cause.
    The principle of causality rules in timespace. There is no scientific principle that requires that a Creator has a cause. The Creator is. I prove it in the below proof and no one has refuted the proof.

    According to science the universe has a beginning. To refute that statement you need to present valid scientifical arguments for your position.

    A formal logical proof for the existence of an Intelligent and Perfect Creator (of the universe) is found at the blog bloganders.blogspot.com (left menu).

    Dan and all other Christians: I reccommend you the formal logical and historical research of Ribi Yehoshuas (the Messiah) from Nazareth's teachings found at the website of Netzarim

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  94. Dan say:

    It made me think of the analogy of pointing to north. Subjectively, everyone has a different north. God has placed in nature true North and we can travel by it or sail because of it. True North is a solid unchanging, dependable reference to follow. Yet, relatively, everyone has their own. But if you want to find your way. You must use God's North, true north.

    I find this particularly ironic, since this metaphor of "true north" for "objective morals" was brought up at this very blog last December, by Sye, in the thousand comment monster thread called "Battle of Wits"- remember? But as I pointed out there (you'll have to scroll about two-thirds of the way down- for some reason, probably because there's more than one page of comments, the permanent link to my comment doesn't work), there's no such thing as "true north". Since I feel that the failure of this metaphor is instructive- you can have workable morals that are not absolute, just as you can have workable north that is not absolute- I will post my comment from that thread here again, if you don't mind. Here it is, in the next comment for reasons of space:

    ReplyDelete
  95. (from Dec. 15, 2008):

    ***

    Sorry, I couldn't pass this up. Sye, you said to Chris (whom I hope doesn't mind my picking it up):

    What you have failed to realize, and have demonstrated so beautiful with your compass analogy, is that even compasses are useless without a ‘true north.’ You wish to posit an ‘arbitrary north’ and claim that your compass is still useful. What is the ‘true north’ of your moral compass Chris? (Your analogy demonstrates brilliantly why it must be absolute – thanks so much for that, I could not have done it better myself)(I think I'm gonna use this on my website).

    Now you've done it, Sye: you've ventured out of the space of syllogisms, where "if there's a word there's a way", onto terra firma, or infirma as the case may be: science. You are out of your depth here, as I will demonstrate, and I would love to see you extricate yourself- scientifically, of course.

    For your analogy to have any force, there must exist some such thing as "true north". Trouble is, there's no such thing, for three main reasons.

    One: compasses point (more or less accurately, depending on local magnetism) towards magnetic North, which is not only in quite a different place than geographic North, but is moving all the time- right now, it's leaving Canada and on its way towards Siberia. If you want to use a compass to point you to the geographic North Pole, you must know where on Earth you are, and apply the appropriate, current, correction.

    Two: the geographic North Pole is usually defined as the point of land where the axis of the Earth's rotation passes through, at the "top" (or the "bottom", if you're in the Southern Hemisphere). Trouble here is, land masses shift. Continental drift is slow, but it has been going on for billions of years, and the land that is now at the North Pole was once on the Equator and at many points in between, and Tahiti was once at the North Pole. So put a flag at the North Pole, but you will have to keep it moving: slowly, to be measured in inches per century, but surely.

    Three- but it's not enough just to calibrate your compass and shift your flag: the point of intersection of the Earth's axis with the surface is not just a point past which the continental plate very slowly drifts: since the Earth is not perfectly solid, and moreover is affected by the gravity of other bodies (especially the Moon and the Sun), it does not rotate perfectly around a line, but wobbles a bit too. The exact nature of the wobble is complex but pretty well understood: it amounts to a couple of yards.

    So, as you see, there is no such thing as "true" North. Of course, for most practical purposes, that cross at the top of our globes defines the North Pole well enough to live with. But it's not good enough if you are a paleontologist, for instance, or an astrophysicist. When dealing with large amounts of time or small motions, more precision is necessary.

    Thus, Sye, your analogy flops. Cheers from Vienna, zilch.


    ***

    (back in 2009: of course, Sye never answered, except to say that he knew the difference between magnetic and geographic north.)

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  96. Oops, slight correction: Sye didn't bring up the compass metaphor; Chris did, and Sye pounced on it.

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  97. Dan, you are like a walking, talking god of the gaps argument. Everything not easily explained is proof that goddidit. Even your TAG arguments more closely resemble god of the gaps arguments than presuppositional argumentation.

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  98. It's so convienient that theists exclaim God, who is infinitely complex and intelligent, didn't require a cause, but the universe did despite the fact that time, a function of the universe, is required for causality.

    How many times have I heard theists talk about "before time?" That entire concept doesn't even make sense - but then again neither does God.

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  99. Thanks Zilch,

    I did completely miss that, or forgot it. Here I thought it was an original thought. Boo-hoo :7(

    The fact there is due north in nature still exists. The analogy still stands no matter how semantically empty the counter. :7)

    I will think about it more later, have to make lunch.

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  100. The fact there is due north in nature still exists.

    Actually, Dan, the fact is that due north is defined, and otherwise does not exist. "Due north" could just as well be a specific corner in Albuquerque, or the second star from the right in Andromeda, or any other arbitrary point.

    It's subjective in that any direction or point could be "north" or "the north pole," but it's objective in that once defined, it works quite well as a base for one's position and direction vector. As you may or may not be aware, the electron was defined as an elementary particle with negative charge, even though from the understanding of electrical current it would've made more sense to have defined the electron's charge as positive.

    It doesn't matter, see, as long as we agree on a system, and use it. The actual selection of a system is necessarily subjective, but the application of that system is objective. If you could understand Newtonian mechanics, you'd know that a given problem can be solved no matter what coordinate system we use, and the answers -- if we've done the work right -- should agree. Given that, it is many times far easier to approach a problem through a different set of coordinates, like plane polar coordinates, spherical coordinates, etc., to avoid having to deal with forces and motion whose vectors feature non-zero components in multiple dimensions.

    What this all means, Dan, is that while there may be objective reality, objective truth, etc., and certainly some things can be objectively stated, it does not follow however that we can accurately identify the objective truth of some or many of these things. That is, you can say there is objective truth, but you cannot assess it in anything other than trivial cases, e.g. those cases which are defined such that an objective truth regarding them can be assessed.

    "Due north" is such an assessable objective concept -- it has been defined such that we can assess whether a given direction is "due north" or not. What we cannot assess is whether a given direction is the true "due north," irrespective of our objective convention. The same is true with the concept of god -- it can be defined in such a way that we can assess whether a given set of actions is "godlike," but we cannot assess whether a given set of actions is truly "godlike," irrespective of the convention.

    The sooner you realize that your claim that there is objective morality (for example) is quite separate from your claim that you have access to objective morality, the sooner you'll understand that you live in a house of cards. I doubt anyone can effectively argue that there are no gods any better than anyone can effectively argue that there is at least a god -- what we can argue, however, is against any specific god(s), and unfortunately for you, the best you can come up with is a weak inductive argument that there is a god. (Before you get your knickers in a bunch, understand that the best a strong atheist can come up with is a similar weak inductive argument.)

    As to a specific god, though, arguing for such a thing is necessarily question-begging, whereas arguing against is fairly straightforward.

    Are you facing north?

    --
    Stan

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  101. Hey Dan. Don't worry about having forgotten that the compass analogy has already been discussed here- I forget stuff like that all the time. I just happened upon that thread the other day looking for something else, so it was fresh in my memory.

    I stand by my analysis: Sye, and you as well, used the analogy to claim that just as one must recognize "objective (absolute)" north in order to have a foundation to navigate by, one must also recognize objective (absolute) morals in order to have a foundation for moral behavior. But as I pointed out, there is no such thing as "objective" (absolute) north; this, however, does not stop us from navigating successfully. Similarly, there are no "objective" (absolute) morals, but that does not stop us from behaving morally.

    Of course, this analogy does not prove that morals are not absolute: it just helps to explain how non-absolute morals can still be useful.

    The only reason I dug this up again is because it is a common sticking point in discussions between atheists and believers: believers often claim that if some part of someone's worldview is not absolute, it either doesn't exist, or is meaningless, or is a lie. For instance, the people at Triablogue told me that since my life is transitory, I must be hopeless, and if I do not commit suicide, then I am not acting consistently with my own principles.

    More later- time for beddy-bye.

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  102. Dan's been sitting in the same position so long he's probably got moss growing on his north side.

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  103. Anders,

    I want to first welcome you and second caution you.

    Your claims of Jesus are unsubstantiated. You are in fact trusting yourself to do the "right things" to save you. That in itself is against the writing of the Torah. (hint, 2nd Commandment)

    Try that in a court room. "Judge, I know I robbed that bank but I am cleaning highways now" The Judge would say "That is great, but you still must be punished for your crimes."

    How do you account for your sins, without a sacrifice as described in the Torah? You must understand that we are now in a new covenant.

    To say that Jesus was never here or that Jesus is not the Messiah is completely illogical. Not as an appeal to authority but at the very lest, the Qur'an says that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus was both a messenger and The Messiah that Allah had promised.

    The Messiah is always known as "a Savior… a liberator and a deliverer." God had promised to send one (Messiah) to pay the debt of sin for all mankind. This is even said in the Tanakh throughout.

    You cannot just discount the prophecies in the Tanakh. You are missing the entire message that you, as a sinner, are a slave to sin in need of a Savior.

    To put it simply, Logic says the Bible is Supernatural.

    I wish you all the best in your search. The best way to have God reveal Jesus to you is ask Him. Like many of the atheists here, you deny Jesus and the messages from God about Him. Do you really believe you can earn the majesty of Heaven on your own merits? Why need God if that is the case? No, we need our Savior Jesus Christ, The Messiah, to save us. Hopefully you will see that "again" before it is too late. I say again since there was a time in your life that you knew that Jesus was our Savior but let mankind pollute that.

    The Bible and Jesus Salvation is not contradictory.

    I will be more then happy to discuss these things with you if you wish. Keep searching.

    PS. Please read some of the links that I provided, they will help.

    PS I don't eat pork or shellfish either. :7)

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  104. Stan:

         If the electron had been identified in advance, it might have been useful to define it as the positive charge. But electric charge had been noted before electrons were identified and so a (human-defined) standard for what was a positive charge already existed.

    Dan:

         When you say "the impossibility of the contrary," I know you are blowing smoke. As a point of fact, it must be possible for self-awareness to exist without having been bestowed. The assumption that a creator was required implies that your god needs a creator, that creator needs a creator, and so on. Your position is that of infinite regress. If you stop anywhere, you have a self-aware being that was not deliberately created. If you accept that, there is no reason to suppose that people are not such uncreated self-aware beings.

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  105. Dan:

         Oh, yes, logic does not say that bible is supernatural. Your claim that the conclusion was necessary was rather soundly debunked on your own link.

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  106. To say that Jesus was never here or that Jesus is not the Messiah is completely illogical. Not as an appeal to authority but at the very lest, the Qur'an says that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus was both a messenger and The Messiah that Allah had promised.

    Whoa, Dan- do we have a budding Muslim here? I don't know if you ever followed Frank Walton's blog, Atheism Sucks! (for those who didn't experience it, the name says it all), but one of the main contributors there started saying stuff like this, and in short order went from being a fundamentalist Christian, to a Greek Orthodox Christian, and finally announced that he was embracing Islam. Just sayin'.

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  107. If the electron had been identified in advance, it might have been useful to define it as the positive charge. But electric charge had been noted before electrons were identified and so a (human-defined) standard for what was a positive charge already existed.

    It is with respect to current, not the electron per se, that the definition of the electron's charge as 'positive' would've been useful. As you say, it was because various properties of electricity/magnetism were already somewhat understood that the charge carried by an electron was considered 'negative,' even if we didn't know what the particle in question actually was.

    Of course, the specifics in this case are largely irrelevant -- the fact is that charge was defined. It is not objectively true to say that an electron carries a negative charge versus a positive charge, which you obviously recognize, but which seems to escape Dan's "logic."

    --
    Stan

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  108. Now just one second. The electron has a negative charge because it is the ground, and the ground is down. If the electron were positive, then the ground would be above our heads, which doesn't make sense.

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  109. Zilch,

    I knew I would catch crap for talking about the Qur'an like that. I just found this info out a few days ago and it did catch me by surprise.

    Oh and electrons has a negative charge because of the negative connotations of the earth, Satan's world, in the Bible.

    Looking down, negative, earth, death (flat line).

    Looking up, Heaven, positive, life eternal.

    (James 4:4, John 17:14)

    Now either it is logic or something derived from tripping on acid, either way it is an interesting thought.

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  110. Now either it is logic or something derived from tripping on acid, either way it is an interesting thought.

    LOL Dan the funny man! But you know what they say: if Epistles is John on pot, Revelation is John on acid.

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  111. Revelation is John on acid.

    Actually, not acid, but really close. While isolated on Patmos, his meals most likely consisted of infrequently smuggled rations of rye bread, which would undoubtedly contain Ergot, which means freaky hallucinations.

    --
    Stan

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  112. From what I've heard, ergot poisoning, er, tripping, is less fun than acid because you are likely to also get gangrene. I somehow think I'll pass.

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  113. Oh, and just to be fair: even if John was tripping on ergot, doesn't necessarily mean that he wasn't inspired by God- Who do you suppose infected his rye? They don't call such substances "entheogens" for nothing...

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