September 21, 2010

The Arrogance of Atheism

In continuation of the conversation of Presuppositionalism vs. Evidentialism, now becoming a continual series of Presuppositionalism at this point, I read something that gave me a good pause.

David Smart pointed out to us and posted about The Arrogance of Atheism on a familiar day to me.

In one of his posts that I was reading, he stated the case in the following manner:

"When it comes to Christian apologetics, there are basically two camps: on the one hand is evidentialism, and presuppositionalism on the other. Please notice that neither of these two systems deny the Atheist his presuppositions and epistemological criteria! (To charge either with the arrogance I speak of requires ignoring the facts.) The evidentialists tend to argue from the same epistemic axioms and criteria as the Atheist, starting from this common ground toward defeating the Atheist’s metaphysical presuppositions (to their peril, as they forget that ontology grounds epistemology). And the presuppositionalists actually enjoy granting the Atheist his presuppositions and epistemic criteria because it’s the very means by which they achieve their end, the self-stultifying death of any non-Christian world view (q.v. the TAG). When a Christian employs either apologetic approach when confronting Atheism, he is not guilty of the same arrogance which so many Atheists are because he does allow the inverse—especially presuppositionalists, who purposefully allow the inverse.

When an Atheist makes a moral judgment, for instance, and the Christian asks that he support his claim, is he denied the use of his system of thought for discharging that burden? No. In fact, that is the very means by which we prove the bankruptcy of the Atheist’s argument.

What about the reverse of this scenario?

When a Christian makes a moral judgment and is asked to support it, does the Atheist deny him the use of his Christian system of thought (e.g., the norms of Scriptures) for discharging his burden? Yes. In fact, he is told that the Scriptures are not any sort of evidence, a conclusion that is produced by the Atheist’s own presuppositions and criteria.

Hence, the arrogance of Atheism."

Smart also pointed out:

"The “arrogance of atheism” is manifest by those Atheists who presuppose the truth of their system of thought and expect the Christian to work within the framework of that system, all the while denying for the Christian the inverse there of because the only presuppositions the Atheist permits in the field of debate are his own. Again, the issue is not about Atheists insisting that theistic claims be supported, but rather how they insist those claims get supported."

Excellent, and "Smart", points!

215 comments:

  1. But the Christian’s system of thought allows for an imaginary X as if it were real,” forgetting that X is imaginary only by the presuppositions and criteria he employs! The issue is not about distinguishing between the real and the imaginary."

    How exactly does this help your case, Dan? It looks like you've basically given an admission here that presuppositionalism is merely a claim that something existing only in human imagination is real and external and independent of human consciousness. Why would you do that unless you had no independent evidence of your god's existence?

    You people claim that an atheist has no means of justifying her worldview, but what it seems you actually mean is that you're not comfortable with acknowledging that everything we think, and everything we are able to know, is relative to our existence as sentient, self-aware beings in the environment in which we have evolved.

    You might not be happy about having what you might perceive to be shaky ground on which to base any knowledge claim or make any moral decisions, but really, how could it be otherwise? Even your belief in divine revelation is still dependent upon your ability, as a conscious being, to perceive correctly whether something is revelation or not.

    You've already indicated an unwillingness to address the possibility that an omnipotent god could make you believe that false ideas are true, and you've so far offered no compelling reasons to accept Christian revelation over that of any other religion - how can you possibly 'know' that the Jews or the Muslims or the Mormons or the Hindus or indeed any other sects claiming knowledge of the divine don't have the right of it?

    And does it even matter, if all your dogmas are based around imaginary entities?

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  2. Hello Dan,

    The blog by David Smart which you quoted in this post was directed in response to a blog entry of mine (see here). And I responded to Smart (see here). Smart fails to prove that atheism is “inherently arrogant.” (This would be like saying non-belief in leprechauns is arrogant.) And Smart basically admits this when he points out that his criticism “applies only” to a certain kind of response which some atheists may be prone to make. At best, Smart can only say that the practice which he critiques is arrogant, but even this is as vaporous as the rest of his usual smoke-blowing.

    And I can assure you, by rejecting god-belief, I’m not being arrogant, I’m merely being honest.

    In my initial response to Smart, I pointed out that one of my worldview’s basic premises is the recognition that there is a fundamental distinction between what is real and what is imaginary. You quoted Smart’s own reaction to this, where he essentially agrees that such a distinction exists, but hastens to affirm “that X is imaginary only by the presuppositions and criteria he employs!” He says that I “forgot” this point, but in fact I reject it entirely. On my view, if something’s imaginary, it’s imaginary regardless of what “presuppositions and criteria” a person might happen to hold and/or apply. If I imagine something, it does not suddenly become real if I adopt a set of “presuppositions and criteria” which assume it’s real.

    Presuppers are in a real bind here, though. For they are committed, by virtue of their apologetic program, to denying the fundamental distinction between the real and the imaginary. As it states in Pushing the Antithesis: “The Christian worldview does not simply differ with the unbelieving worldview at some points, but absolutely conflicts with it across the board on all points” (p. 96, emph. added). In my worldview, the recognition that there is a fundamental distinction between what is real and what is merely imaginary, is a corollary of the primacy of existence, a foundational principle which distinguishes my worldview from any form of theism. According to presuppositionalism, Christianity "absolutely conflicts" with this point. So when Smart assumes that there is a difference between reality and imagination, he’s actually borrowing from my worldview, for he will not be able to account for it on Christianity’s premises (which include the primacy of consciousness).

    I give 13 reasons for concluding that Christianity finds its basis ultimately in the imagination here. Of course, this is only a problem for Christianity if one recognizes the fact that there is a fundamental distinction between reality and imagination to begin with. Christianity leaves the believer in the dark on this, and Smart would likely say I’m shoving this point down the believer’s throat, and thus call me arrogant. If the believer wants to reject this distinction, I won’t deny his prerogative to do so. So on Smart's own view, I'm not being arrogant here.

    Regards,
    Dawson

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  3. If I may observe, Dan, the presuppositionalist claim that it is your god who makes the world intelligible to us, does rather conveniently ignore the situation, readily apparent to many rational evidentialists, in which certain observed facts about this world actually become quite unintelligible if we suppose that your god exists as he is claimed to do.

    I suspect everyone here is familiar with the philosophical problem of evil. Why is there such a preponderance of needless, preventable and apparently purposeless suffering in a world claimed to be created by an all-powerful and all-good deity?

    Allow me to preemptively demolish some answers you may have readily to hand. The free will defence is baloney. Firstly, there are plenty of people who, by their own free will, choose not to harm others, and to help others, and generally be a boon to society. Your god could have created all people to be like this, at no opportunity cost to himself. Furthermore, if your god truly sets a higher store by the free will of a murderer than the life of a victim or the suffering of a victim's family, why would anyone want to worship a being with such a skewed sense of priorities?

    If the suffering in the world has a purpose, your god has been consistently silent on what that purpose is. Ironic, really, from your point of view, when you claim that your god can reveal things to you such that you can be certain of them. I mean, what possible higher purpose could it serve for an ichneumon wasp, for example, to lay its eggs inside a live caterpillar? For so many predators to eat their prey alive? For natural disasters to fall so indiscriminately upon the innocent and the guilty alike?

    And if your god indulged in special creation of all living and extinct species on earth, approximately half a dozen millennia ago, why did he make it look exactly like all life today is the result of gradual evolution over billions of years, complete with internal structures that show all the signs of having been tinkered with by process of trial and error through natural selection?

    How do you explain these things if your god exists?

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  4. Please notice that neither of these two systems deny the Atheist his presuppositions and epistemological criteria!

    Unless, of course, the apologist is ignorant of the definitions of "presuppose", "epistemology" and "account" - and his name is "Dan".

    I swear, our not so humble blog owner has been getting really good at refuting his own arguments. And if y'all wanna see evidence of what Dan's religion is really all about, check out his admission that Christianity is a death cult:

    Living in a fallen creation is certainly no picnic. I depend on death to correct that. We are guaranteed persecutions, tribulations, and temptations here in this life. Wem knows this, but maybe he and you would like to go to my post that explains that completely. Did you even consider the life of the apostles? Beheading, crucified upside down and such? Die is gain...for the Christian that is.

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  5. Wem,

    >>And if y'all wanna see evidence of what Dan's religion is really all about, check out his admission that Christianity is a death cult:

    Since you are jumping from post to proclaim that, don't leave out the response to the "cult" claim.

    "And you certainly do not even know what a cult is apparently. If a cult is "followers of an unorthodox, extremist, or false religion or sect who often live outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader", then there has to be a STANDARD for that cult to be evaluated against. So if cults exist, as you just claimed, then you are forced to acknowledge that the STANDARD to judge the cult exists also. So, once again, you are using my worldview to evaluate what you believe otherwise your views are reduced to absurdity."

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  6. Dan:

         Since you like to talk about Presuppositional Baloney, I gave my own thoughts on it here.

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  7. Dormantdragon,

    >>How exactly does this help your case, Dan? It looks like you've basically given an admission here that presuppositionalism is merely a claim that something existing only in human imagination is real and external and independent of human consciousness.

    Excellent point. That was an error on my part in quoting Smart. Thanks!

    I missed an (")at the beginning as in to quote the atheist. It confused the argument.

    I made a mistake in the quote and added the part that the atheist said "But the Christian’s system of thought allows for an imaginary X as if it were real,”

    It was a misquote and after rereading the post I concluded that it added no value to the discussion so I deleted that part.

    You can see it in its true context in the original post.

    Sorry for the foul up.

    *blows whistle

    Okay, put your gloves back on and go to your neutral corner.

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  8. Dawson,

    I cringed at the thought that you may have had a Google alert set up after I posted this. I really don't want to, not interested in, getting in between this discussion of yours and Smarts, I was merely pointing out a fact that Smart pointed out something that I didn't think of yet.

    As for you, I don't even know where to begin. I started to read your post(s) but fell asleep not too far into it. I don't know, with certainty, if this is your technique or not but I do know one thing for sure. You must not ever, ever, get into advertising or marketing. People have about a 30 second attention span, hence the reason why commercials are 30 seconds, and you lose people with the long winded dragged on, and out, points. I have had conversations with woman, that went on tangents, that were easier to follow. Maybe following the rule of three in your presentation skills will help you. Aristotle wrote about it in his book Rhetoric. Structure your presentation around threes and it will become more memorable.

    Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered) - Julius Caesar
    "Friends, Romans, Countrymen lend me your ears" - William Shakespeare
    Stop, look and listen - Public safety announcement

    "In Presentations "Less is More" If you have four points to get across - cut one out. They won't remember it anyway. In presentations less really is more. No one ever complained of a presentation being too short."

    I will commit to a book though because the subject interests me. Now, your subjects interests me but your presentations, or arguments, do not capture my attention enough.

    Tighten it up, be more concise, and don't lull me to sleep in your arguments and I will consider revisiting your posts. (notice the three?) Otherwise I will just channel surf on you. At least you got your opinions out there, in link form, for people to go to if they so choose.

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  9. DD,

    >>I suspect everyone here is familiar with the philosophical problem of evil. Why is there such a preponderance of needless, preventable and apparently purposeless suffering in a world claimed to be created by an all-powerful and all-good deity?

    ...How do you explain these things if your god exists?

    Creation fell when Adam fell, therefore sin, so to speak, killed creation. As a result, we live in an imperfect world, with the effects of sin running through it.

    Yes, evil exists. Also, there might even be a purpose of evil.

    In anyway this is just argumentum ad ignorantiam.

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  10. Creation fell when Adam fell, therefore sin, so to speak, killed creation. As a result, we live in an imperfect world, with the effects of sin running through it.


    Ah, but you see, Dan, this defence is actually useless if your god exists and has the characteristics ascribed to him, one of which is omniscience.

    Your god is supposed to know everything - ergo, he knew from the moment he created human beings, even before, that they would commit sin. He apparently did nothing to prevent this, and is therefore culpable.

    To say otherwise would be akin to me saying that my dog running into traffic and either causing havoc or getting hit by a car was actually my dog's fault - even though I knew he had a tendency to chase cars and did nothing to train him to do otherwise.

    Face it, Dan - if your beliefs are true, then your god is wholly responsible for the state of his claimed creation. To borrow a phrase that I think John Loftus used, your god's only possible excuse is that he doesn't exist.

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  11. In anyway this is just argumentum ad ignorantiam.

    Nope Dan, this is argumentum ad let's not ignore the contradictions.

    Your god is a contradiction. This god supposedly all-powerful, and all-knowing, makes a creation so shitty that it falls at the first sin, and takes all of us with it. We thus inherit a sinful nature. We just can't help it. All because of that sin. Thus, such god was ridiculously incompetent at creating.

    As if that is not enough, then this god feels "justified" anger against us, despite we can't help it, and despite we would be the result of his incompetence.

    And you think you will be able to justify logic with this contradictory god? No amount of hand-waving will solve this problem Dan. Seems like your worldview reduces to absurdity before the get go.

    This is not arrogance Dan. This is, as Behnsen Burner well put it, honesty.

    Oh, I have the attention span necessary to read and understand what he wrote. I would say that he has the right to write for an intelligent audience, rather than to the mediocre minds, such as yours.

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  12. Well Dan, at least you make it clear that you prefer to trade in soundbites and captions as opposed to substance and depth. You’re not the first presuppositionalist I’ve encountered who suffers from something very much like ADD. Perhaps it’s particularly difficult for presuppositionalists. They don’t understand the issues they raise in debates (which is why they think pointing to “God” somehow addresses them), and consequently do not understand that exploring those same issues seriously is a labor-intensive undertaking. Learning about the nature of knowledge, logic, philosophical principles, the underpinnings of morality, etc., is going to take much more than 30 seconds of one’s life. If 30 seconds is all one can devote to these issues, presuppositionalism is tailor-made for you.

    Of course, I will not restrict myself with arbitrary straightjackets when it comes to issues I’m passionate about. Very often, critics of Christianity are faulted for not substantiating their criticisms. I suspect apologists prefer that critics keep their points short and sweet so as to minimize any effort it might take to reply to those points, and also so that the typical “How do you know?” retort can be readily deployed against the critic (especially when the point in question is not so easily assailed). Such tactics won’t work with me, because I comprehensively lay out my homework for anyone to examine. No mysteries with me, only enlightenment, if you dare to keep your eyes open. If readers can’t stay awake, that’s not my problem. They were probably asleep before they came upon anything I’ve written in the first place.

    As for Smart, he bailed on the discussion long ago. I have my suspicions why, and I don’t think it’s because of volume. (He could easily choose to address any one point I make in my writings if he had any confidence that my worldview is bankrupt in some way.)

    Regardless, presuppositionalism has been summarily answered and resoundingly defeated. You know where to go if you want to know the details.

    Regards,
    Dawson

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  13. In the post regarding evil's purpose, to which you pointed me, Dan, you said,

    God knew we would sin, He knew we would rebel, He knew we would introduce evil, He knew it. So that he can send forth a savior born of a virgin, to live under the law to save us under the curse of the law so that, we can be a little trophy of his grace, he can always point to us as a testimony to his goodness.

    We wouldn't know how God is righteous as he is, everlastingly, and give him glory for it. If it hadn't had of been for unrighteousness, we wouldn't know he's loving as he is if it hadn't been for sin, we wouldn't know he's holy if it weren't for judgment.


    That's great, Dan. So we live to be proof of an omnimax god's 'goodness'. One might ask, why would such a god need such a counterproductive means of proving his goodness?

    I'll share a quote from Robyn Williams (the Australian science journalist, not the American actor and comedian) from his speech at the 2010 Global Atheist Convention. He had just referred to the experience of an African woman recounted in this article and asked, "Where was God on that day?" The woman in question was gang-raped and then made to watch whilst her husband was butchered by the rapists. I'm sure she appreciated being a 'little trophy of [g]od's grace'.

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  14. Come to think of it, Dan, your declaration, cited in my previous comment, that the existence of evil is actually your god's way of making us aware of his goodness, is even more twisted than I previously thought.

    If I am to understand what you're saying, you've claimed that your god can reveal things to you such that you can be certain of them - yet the way he reveals his goodness, apparently, is to give free reign to the worst excesses of his creations - to human greed, violence, cruelty, to say nothing of the violence of the wild and the suffering caused by natural disasters - and stand by and do nothing, just so we'll see that he's good by contrast.

    Clearly this hasn't worked for a lot of people, who have rejected your god because of some intense suffering they have endured. But of course, if your god exists as you claim, he knew such people would reject him under such circumstances, yet allowed the said circumstances to come about anyway.

    Let's take the example I cited in my previous comment. If any person had the knowledge and the power to prevent such an atrocity from occurring, and yet did nothing, we would justly hold them to be culpable for their failure to act; why should your god get a free pass in this regard?

    You believe your god to be not only extant, but also infinitely powerful and infinitely knowledgeable - if so, then he is also infinitely to blame for the suffering he allows.

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  15. Indeed. As a Creator, Dan's God sucks. His work is so flawed that a single being eating a single fruit corrupts the entire thing. Trillions of sentient entities are doomed as a result, not to mention the supposedly perfectly functioning environment perverted to look and operate differently from the original intent.

    An engineer or architect who built something so prone to destruction would be fired on the spot, and likely would be forced to find work in an unrelated field. A complex environment without redundant subsystems, without tolerances for unexpected operating conditions. Even worse, this engineer knew fully the consequences of his design, and built it to spec nonetheless.

    This Creator can not be considered competent. Either that, or the understanding of the person describing this creator is laughable.

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  16. Christianity will never be able to outrun the problem of evil. Any instance of evil in a universe alleged to have been created by a supernatural consciousness, will always implicate that supernatural consciousness as the party ultimately responsible for that evil. It is irrational to blame the creation for its defects, especially when its creator is supposed to be “perfect.”

    The real lesson to glean from the problem of evil is that any believer’s attempts to resolve it offer an autobiographical glimpse into his own view of morality. Consider the kind of mind it takes to want to defend the Christian god from the evil observed throughout the history of the world.

    Dan provides a case in point: he’s willing to entertain the notion that “there might even be a purpose to evil.” How this could be different from the view that the end justifies the means, is beyond me. A god which needs evil in order to display its “glory,” has no glory worth beholding in the first place. It would be nothing more than a tyrant that wants to be feared, for it will never be able to earn love. Such a being suffers from an incurable insecurity complex, and its willingness to destroy human values is all the evidence we need to recognize this. Rational human beings cannot legitimately love something that willfully uses evil to achieve its ends.

    The problem of evil is actually part of a much bigger problem for the Christian worldview, a problem I call the problem of imperfection. I have written about it here. As I hinted above, the problem of imperfection arises when you have a created universe which is imperfect (even if only at one point), while claiming that it was created by a perfect creator. The Christian god is supposed to be perfect, and it is also said to have created the universe. But there are imperfections in the universe. A perfect creator does not create anything with any imperfection.

    It does no good to scapegoat Adam’s choices and actions for the presence of evil in the universe. Blaming Adam only demonstrates further how out of touch Christianity is with the concept of justice. To use the apostle Paul’s analogy, it’s the potter condemning the pot he makes for the flaws he built into it. Any imperfection, flaw, deficiency or defect in the creation must be traced back to its creator. By definition, a perfect creator creates only perfection, and its creation would have no imperfections at all.

    Dan says that “Creation fell when Adam fell, therefore sin, so to speak, killed creation.” But Adam was just another part of the same created universe. According to the myth of the fall, Adam chose to transgress. While John Frame argues that “the free-will defense is unbiblical” (Apologetics to the Glory of God, p. 162), we must not forget the point that, if Adam were truly created perfect, he would have been created with perfect judgment, and thus would not have transgressed. His transgression would be proof that he did not have perfect judgment. And if Adam was not created with perfect judgment, he was not created perfect, which can only mean that his creator is not a perfect creator. So not only does the myth of the fall mean that the Christian god is not perfect, Christianity is still stuck with the injustice of the potter condemning his pot for the flaws he built into it.

    I’m glad these aren’t my problems.

    Regards,
    Dawson

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  17. DD, BB, GE, Wem,

    RE: Morals

    Problem is that without God, you have no moral complaint against anything. Whatever happens, just happens. According to your worldview, what is the difference between genocide, and killing bacteria? Without God, either life is equally meaningless.

    Animals kill and eat each other too, surely you wouldn’t consider that immoral? So, based on observing animals, should we be altruistic, and empathetic or should we kill and eat each other?

    I have asked this question a number of times, and have yet to receive an answer, by what standard of morality do you condemn God?

    What is ‘bad’ according to your worldview, except an arbitrary stipulation?

    >>Face it, Dan - if your beliefs are true, then your god is wholly responsible for the state of his claimed creation.

    Still though, how do yo know that God could not have sufficient moral reason for what occurs in this world?

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  18. Oh and one more thing, ALL of you are committing the fallacy of hasty generalization about God and morals.

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  19. Dan: By what moral standard do you condemn god?

    Various non-christians: Human standards applied to the character in the bible.

    Dan: By what moral standard do you condemn god?

    Various non-christians: Human standards applied to the character in the bible.

    Dan: By what moral standard do you condemn god?

    Various non-christians: Human standards applied to the character in the bible.

    Dan: By what moral standard do you condemn god?

    Various non-christians: Human standards applied to the character in the bible.

    Dan: By what moral standard do you condemn god?

    Various non-christians: Human standards applied to the character in the bible.

    Dan: By what moral standard do you condemn god? I have asked this many times and no one has given any answer.

    Dan:

         Your question has been answered many times over. That you ignore the replies does not change the fact.

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  20. Dan: “Problem is that without God, you have no moral complaint against anything.”

    The Christian god has nothing to do with the nature of morality or man’s need for morality. To associate the Christian god with morality only indicates that the one doing so does not know what morality really is. Morality is a code of values which guides an individual’s choices and actions. Man needs values because he faces a fundamental alternative: life vs. death. He needs a rational code of values because he does not automatically know what values make his life possible, or the actions by which he can achieve and/or preserve those values. The Christian god is not the basis of man’s values; man’s biology is. The Christian god would have no need for values, for it does not face a fundamental alternative (it’s supposed to be immortal, eternal and indestructible, remember?).

    On the contrary, Dan, if your god exists, everything is permissible. And what we read in the biblical storybook only confirms this.

    Dan: “Whatever happens, just happens.”

    Even if this were true (and I’ve nowhere affirmed this), your statement would not necessarily follow.

    Dan: “According to your worldview, what is the difference between genocide, and killing bacteria?”

    The same difference as between human beings and bacteria. Indeed, one should ask what the Christian god thinks the difference between genocide and killing bacteria is. The Christian god is perfectly willing to send a tsunami to kill 200,000 people in one stroke.

    Dan: “Without God, either life is equally meaningless.”

    Meaning is an aspect of concepts. Do you mean that life without your god would have no purpose? If so, you’re package-dealing self-sacrifice with purpose, as if they were one and the same (i.e., you commit the frozen abstraction fallacy). I definitely have a purpose to my life: to live and enjoy it, regardless of who disapproves.

    Dan: “Animals kill and eat each other too, surely you wouldn’t consider that immoral?”

    I don’t think animals other than human beings are capable of rational morality. Animals do what they do in order to survive. They are neither moral nor immoral. Morality simply does not apply in their case.

    Dan: “So, based on observing animals, should we be altruistic, and empathetic or should we kill and eat each other?”

    Human beings should not be altruistic. But the alternative to altruism is not going around and killing everyone. This is simply another false dichotomy which religion loves to spread around. The alternative is an objective code of individual rights which protects man’s rational self-interest. You won’t find that in the bible.

    Dan: “I have asked this question a number of times, and have yet to receive an answer, by what standard of morality do you condemn God?”

    By the standard of objective morality, of course.

    Dan: “What is ‘bad’ according to your worldview, except an arbitrary stipulation?”

    That which works against the rational individual’s values is bad.

    Dan: “Still though, how do yo know that God could not have sufficient moral reason for what occurs in this world?”

    I know this by means of rational judgment.

    Dan: “Oh and one more thing, ALL of you are committing the fallacy of hasty generalization about God and morals.”

    How so?

    Regards,
    Dawson

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  21. Pvb,

    Thanks for attempting to poison the well.

    First I looked up "Human standards" in gmail and the ONLY time it was mentioned was the first time you said it HERE.

    You said: " If a standard is absolute (and there might exist an absolute standard which our human standards only approximate) then it cannot be based on anything else. Any standard that might come from your god (whose existence is in dispute) would necessarily be relative."

    So your lying of it being repeated over and over again to me is obvious to all now. I did notice that I never addressed it in that post though. So this would constitute one instead of the 6 repeated. Moving on

    >>Human standards applied to the character in the bible.

    Perceptions are the human standard of morality? If a brain determines what is good and bad then who's brain? Does human morality change with each brain? If so, then its not a standard to rely upon. If not, then slavery is still OK?

    Human conscience has consistently declared certain moral qualities to be good and others to be bad. But the conscience comports with my worldview, certainly not the atheistic one.

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  22. Dan:

         I am applying my own wording to illustrate a point, rather than asserting it to be a verbatim quote of anyone. However, if any non-christian wishes to challenge my representation of the nature of the responses, he should feel free to do so. The point stands. You have been ignoring the responses. It is not that no one hase responded.

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  23. Pvb,

    >>You have been ignoring the responses.

    This is extremely rich coming from someone that just ignored the rest of what I said and asked to address this one point.

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  24. Dan:

         "'You have been ignoring the responses.'
         "This is extremely rich coming from someone that just ignored the rest of what I said and asked to address this one point."
         Not really. You falsely claimed that the responses weren't there. And they were given directly to you. You didn't ignore the responses only insofar as you didn't give a counter-response. You actively denied their existence. And, somehow, I don't believe that you didn't notice them.
         "'Human standards applied to the character in the bible.'
         "Perceptions are the human standard of morality?
         This is part of what you actively criticize me for not addressing. You are attributing to me something I didn't say. Although some would argue that a sense of morality is a type of perception. I regard that part of your reply as just so much smoke.

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  25. Seriously, there's very little of Dan's writing I consider more substantial than smoke. Rather than putting forth arguments, he antagonizes until he gets sick of looking foolish, and then creates a new topic in which to rinse & repeat.

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  26. Pvb,

    Calm down and listen

    To my: "This is extremely rich coming from someone that just ignored the rest of what I said and asked to address this one point."

    You replied:

    >>Not really.

    OK Fine please show where you addressed:

    Perceptions are the human standard of morality? If a brain determines what is good and bad then who's brain? Does human morality change with each brain? If so, then its not a standard to rely upon. If not, then slavery is still OK?

    That was my point when I said:

    This is extremely rich coming from someone that just ignored the rest of what I said...

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  27. Dan:

         I recommend you take your own advice.
         "To my: 'This is extremely rich coming from someone that just ignored the rest of what I said and asked to address this one point.'"
         "You replied: 'Not really. You falsely claimed that the responses weren't there. And they were given directly to you. You didn't ignore the responses only insofar as you didn't give a counter-response. You actively denied their existence.'"
         If you'll note in my reply, my criticism was not that you did not give counter responses or that there were things you did not address. (Attempting to address everything would be an exercise in futility. My criticism, as I spelled out, is that you came back and actively denied the fact that the responses were even given.
         "OK Fine please show where you addressed:"
         So you are deliberately pretending that I was criticizing the failure to address some comment or portion thereof rather than my actual criticism of falsely denying that you got a response to your question. As the sentences following the part you chose to quote (mine) make your deception clear to anyone who reads them, you decided to leave them out.
         "Does human morality change with each brain? If so, then its not a standard to rely upon. If not, then slavery is still OK?"
         I'm not sure why you would ask me that. As you claim to believe the bible completely, you must regard slavery as part of "god's plan." The only stipulation you would have is that "god's chosen people" are not to be permanently enslaved.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Dan: “Problem is that without God, you have no moral complaint against anything.”

    Uh-huh. Thought you might say something like that.

    The meaning of self-evident, Dan, is "obvious when you think about it." Are you seriously denying that rape, murder and torture are self-evidently bad for humans to experience?

    Suffering, by its very definition, is a negative thing for sentient beings to experience. Unless it is outweighed by a positive overall result (eg: the pain of childbirth, having a rotten tooth pulled) then it is something that it is obviously preferable to avoid.

    This, and the human capacity to empathise with other sentient beings enough to realised that what is good and bad for us is good and bad for them, are the fundamentals upon which human morality is built. No gods required.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Still though, how do yo know that God could not have sufficient moral reason for what occurs in this world?

    Bit of a loaded question there, Dan, considering I don't believe in any gods, but let's grant for the sake of argument that there is some form of immaterial deity that somehow has personal qualities. Of what nature might these qualities be, based upon such evidence as we can perceive?

    If we consider the vast scale of suffering present in the world as we know it, 'sufficient moral reason' would need to be comparably vast in order to counteract the negative effects.

    I'll wager, Dan, that you also don't know anything about your god's supposed reasons for allowing so much suffering when he could so easily prevent it. One would think that, were your god really such a good guy, it would be a kindness to make his reasons explicit.

    Considering that such a kindness has been withheld, how are we to suppose that this deity you claim exists is actually 'good'?

    That, of course, then brings us to the dilemma that philosophers of much greater calibre than you or I still chew over - assuming there is a god, as you claim, by what standards are we to suppose that this god is 'good'? Are things good because god wills them? If so, is it then right to murder, rape or torture at your god's command? And if not, is there a standard of goodness in the universe to which your god must conform? If so, whence such a standard, and how is this reconcilable with said god's supposed omnipotence?

    ReplyDelete
  30. Dan: “So, based on observing animals, should we be altruistic, and empathetic or should we kill and eat each other?”

    Well, Dan, humans are actually animals, biologically speaking, and a surprising amount of human behaviour is influenced by instinct, if you scratch the surface. Rationality is a recently evolved and fairly thin veneer over our animal nature.

    We are, however, social animals, and much of our morality is based on the necessity of building harmonious social relations. If you care to observe the behaviour of other social animals, such as chimpanzees or wolves or dolphins, for example, it is possible to discern behaviours that very much seem to be a rudimentary (as we arrogantly name it with our human egocentrism) morality, such as rewards for cooperation and ostracism for selfishness.

    A human society that allowed its members to murder, rape and torture with abandon would not last very long, so it stands to reason that in a functioning human society, these things are justly forbidden and punishable with retribution.

    Fortunately we tend to find that, if left to their own devices and uninspired by religion or extreme political ideology, many people are disinclined to act so inhumanely to their fellow beings. Our capacity for empathy tells us that what's bad for us is bad for others, so it's quite an easy step from there to suppose that it's good to avoid doing to others that which we would not wish done to ourselves - this is the earlier and more passive version of the golden rule, often called the silver rule. Such a notion is neither unique to, nor inspired by, Christianity. It's a very human concept, derived from our nature as social animals.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Dan,

    1. I did not say anything about morality. What I said is that your believed god does not make sense.

    2. Nobody is "judging" your god, what they were doing was to challenge the idea that this god exists given how ridiculously contradictory it would be for it to exist, be claimed to be omnipotent and omniscient, yet allow such evil in the world. Even if your idiotic excuses made some slight sense, the levels of evil are ridiculously high to be justified.

    3. Using a contradictory belief to justify logic is equally ridiculous, no matter how much you claim it to be the "only way."

    If you can't differentiate between these arguments, and "questioning God" as if that shitty god of yours existed, then nobody needs to show you that presuppo-shit-tionalism baloney is not sound. You can't even see a contradiction when put in simple words to you. So much for your access to an omniscient source of certainty and logic.

    G.E.

    ReplyDelete
  32. G.E.

    I wish you would of left your last, more honest, comment up. We both know that is the real reason behind your reasoning. Defiance.

    I did the same thing in my younger years. Think about it, in 5th grade my Atheist Mom was diagnosed with Lupus after her major stroke. So, in a sense, I lost my Mom in the 5th grade. A strange "new" lady was in here place for a few more years. That on top of my older brother who has Cerebral Palsy and a flaky, crazy, older sister who threw things at me, like scissors! I was dressing and wiping my older brother's butt almost my whole life, all the way to age 15! I really thought that if there was a God He hated me, and my family, for sure. I have since grown to trust Him to make things right. He will!

    Anyway, I can understand your defiance and I cannot even explain what it will take to get out of it. Your problems will compound exponentially after your death though. You have no other option to make things right then to humble yourself before Him and trust that He will. Only your pride will get in the way of that. I am thankful, now, that I lived the childhood that I lived because it led me to Him later on. Something I just never would of thought would ever happen. Thank God!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am truly sorry to read about your problems. I respect your pain. I understand that I cannot judge how hard it was for you. I cannot understand how hurtful. Thus, I will not dare say that the situation I pointed was worse or not. I will not discuss it. But imagine that I cheapened your hardship, without knowing anything about it, into a sales pitch just as you did. I would not do that.

    So don't do that.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I erased that comment out of respect for that victim.

    The event happened a very long time after I stopped believing in your god. Nothing to do with it. This god disappeared all by itself. Peacefully.

    As for me. Given what you told me about yourself. I stop right here.

    My only one point will be this: please reconsider the presuppositional crap. It is very clearly dishonest. It does prostitute your beliefs. It makes your Jesus into a cartoon, a Joke. What I am left thinking is that you rather lie and trick than face the truth that, if your god exists, it is not evident. This might be very important to you. It might be truly important for you to convert and save people. But, believe me, lies and tricks will not help. Please at least keep yourself honest about your beliefs.

    You might see other of my recent comments disappear. Not to worry. I am not interested anymore. You had gained my disdain out of using the big lies (which you bought from "apologists" who are nothing but hypocrites). Most specially the presuppo bullshit. Thus I just wanted to ridicule you by showing the many levels of stupidity and dishonesty in such system. Sure, not a nice thing to do. But I detest hypocrisy. Maybe this is not enough justification. I am sorry anyway.

    Bye Dan.

    ReplyDelete
  35. I hope I am not repeating myself. I posted a long comment, but it disappeared.

    I erased the comment you referred to out of respect for that victim.

    That had nothing to do with my lack of belief. Your god disappeared from my beliefs a very long time before that. Peacefully.

    After what you shared with me, I cannot continue. As I said, I cannot know how hard this was to you. This is yours and yours alone.

    You had gained my complete and utter disdain out of the way you have prostituted your beliefs by buying into the hypocrisy, dishonesty, and trickery of presuppositionalism. Thus, I was here just to ridicule you by showing off the many levels of such "features" in that crap. I am sorry.

    Dan, I will not know your answer. You can keep it to yourself. But I am sincere at asking you to look at it carefully. If your god exists, it is not evident. There is no way to prove it. As important as this is to you, as convinced as you are that your god exists. Rather, for that very reason, please don't continue this presuppo shit. Don't cheapen your beliefs.

    That is all I can say. I will erase other recent posts. Don't worry about it.

    Bye Dan.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I made a mistake. I checked out your blog after a long absence, and I saw you reference in this post an older post about the purpose of evil, in which you wrote the following: "Why are we here? What is the theological answer? To glorify God and enjoy him ever more. How do you glorify God? Here is how, you sinner, go get saved. Get saved so God can be glorified, that's it; this is the purpose of this entire universe."

    So, the purpose of an eight year old boy being hacked to death with a machete is to get me to glorify "God".

    Best wishes to you and yours, Dan.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Don't listen to this dork, Rufus. He's got no concept of what the real world is like or how it works. Heck, he lies whenever it suits him. He's one of the very last people I would listen to when asking questions like "Why are we here"?

    Senseless stuff happens, without rhyme or reason. The real challenge in life lies in how you handle it.

    Invisible super-benevolent all-powerful beings who are willing to torture you to get your belief represents a complete failure to handle it properly.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I love that a group of people can constantly claim moral superiority and threaten eternity in hell for those who don't agree with their moral superiority, then still call others arrogant.

    ~Rhaco

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  39. You're correct, WEM. The concept that there is evil in the world so that we can turn and "glorify God" reminds me of the movie Endless Love, where the guy sets Brooke Shields' house on fire so he can rescue her and her family and then she'll love him. They sent that guy to the nuthouse.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wem, Rufus, and Rhaco,

    >>The concept that there is evil in the world so that we can turn and "glorify God" reminds me of the movie Endless Love...

    In order to argue about evil against the Christian worldview, you must first be able to show that your judgments about the existence of evil are meaningful-which is precisely what your unbelieving worldview is unable to do.

    For example, some here have said that something is good if it achieves a certain end of greatest happiness of the greatest number. (Utilitarianism)

    "The irrelevance of such a claim a notion for making ethical determinations is that one would need to be able to rate and compare happiness, as well as be able to calculate all of the consequnces of any given action or trait. This is simply impossible for finite minds, even with the help with computers."

    I have been reading a lot lately. I suggest you do the same.

    Read on,

    "But more devastating is the observation that good may be taken to be whatever promotes general happiness only if it is antecedently the case that generalized happiness is itself "good."..."

    ReplyDelete
  41. Spoiler alert:

    1. GOD IS ALL-GOOD.

    2. GOD IS ALL-POWERFUL.

    3. EVIL EXISTS.

    4. GOD HAS A MORALLY SUFFICIENT REASON FOR THE EVIL WHICH EXISTS.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh, Dan, your presupp stance is so pathetically cute. I'm going to bow out so I don't lose my temper. I certainly hope no one like you or Greg Bahnsen ever tries to feed me that shit in person. That would be unwise. Best to you and yours.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Rufus,

    >>I'm going to bow out so I don't lose my temper.

    Before you do, not only did Christ's death and resurrection save souls for eternity, it saves our reasoning now. Again, I beg you to repent and turn from rejecting the God you know exists, and accept the free gift of Jesus Christ's payment for your sins, so that you might be saved from Hell, spend an eternity with God, AND have a firm foundation for your reasoning NOW.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Dan:
    Before you do, not only did Christ's death and resurrection save souls for eternity, it saves our reasoning now.

    As Stephen Law, and others have repeatedly shown, that's bull. There is no justification for assuming that your religion is needed for reasoning.

    If you were an old Greek pantheist, you'd at least be slightly more justified.

    Again, I beg you to repent and turn from rejecting the God you know exists,...
    Dan, that's the most arrogant thing I've read in a while. Yet the title of your post is called The Arrogance of ATHEISM?

    What makes you think that he already believes that your god exists, when he and others have said otherwise? What's your justification? Are you a mind reader?

    Or do you just blindly believe what your holy book tells you?


    ...and accept the free gift of Jesus Christ's payment for your sins, so that you might be saved from Hell, spend an eternity with God, AND have a firm foundation for your reasoning NOW.
    Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists, and two: that YOUR religion is the foundation for reasoning as opposed to, say, every other religion and philosophy out there.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Reynold,

    >>As Stephen Law, and others have repeatedly shown, that's bull.

    With what, knowledge? Your comment reveals a belief in the existence of knowledge, which is certain by definition. How is this possible in your, "an atheistic" worldview?

    >>There is no justification for assuming that your religion is needed for reasoning.

    Another knowledge claim? You speak as if you are certain that no justification for assuming that my religion is needed for reasoning. Are you?

    >>Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists

    The God of Scripture is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.

    >>two: that YOUR religion is the foundation for reasoning as opposed to, say, every other religion and philosophy out there.

    Sye stated it this way: The way that a transcendental claim is refuted is to demonstrate that claim is not the necessary precondition for the thing claimed, i.e. to demonstrate that God is NOT the necessary precondition for the laws of logic. You cannot show evidence for the necessary precondition of evidence, cause then it wouldn't be the necessary precondition of evidence!

    Now repent as promised.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Dan:

         "Now repent as promised."
         I see no such promise. Could you identify it?
         "Sye stated it this way:"
         Sye is a known liar. I have no interest in the lies he has stated.
         "The [g]od of [s]cripture is the only [g]od that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary."
         Perhaps you could provide some actual evidence rather than repeating "the impossibility of the contrary." Oh, wait, you can't. The god of the bible is a lie and so you have no evidence. That explains why you keep using presuppositional baloney.
         "You speak as if you are certain that no justification for assuming that my religion is needed for reasoning. Are you?"
         Well, I am "certain" by normal human standards. But you keep playing word games. Hey! I've got an idea! If you have such a justification, instead of just the presuppositional baloney you've been spouting, present it.

    ReplyDelete
  47. The contrary is not just possible - it's bloody-well likely.

    I trust this objective fact wont be sufficient to cause Dan to reassess his position, though. He lacks the honesty...

    ReplyDelete
  48. Dan +†+ said...

    Reynold,

    >>As Stephen Law, and others have repeatedly shown, that's bull.


    With what, knowledge? Your comment reveals a belief in the existence of knowledge, which is certain by definition. How is this possible in your, "an atheistic" worldview?
    With intelligence, Dan. Something you lack. By using the rules of logic that you clowns pretend needs your superstition to be justified...no matter that those rules had been figured out before christ was around.

    There is no justification for assuming that your religion is needed for reasoning.

    Another knowledge claim? You speak as if you are certain that no justification for assuming that my religion is needed for reasoning. Are you?
    There is no evidence that your religion is necessary for reasoning. If there is, show it instead of running around in circles like you're doing here.

    Remember what was said earlier: the greeks and pretty much every other culture before christ had been able to figure out various rules of reasoning. If they couldn't, how could their societies have survived?

    They'd not have been able to figure stuff out, and thus wouldn't be able to establish languages, architecture, etc.

    Now, how's about you back up your claim that your religion is necessary for reasoning. You never do that.

    Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists
    The God of Scripture is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.
    What makes you think that it's impossible, please?

    Don't you see how circular that is? One could switch in any "god" and say the same thing, and it's be just as hard to logically "disprove". Why?

    You're assuming the conclusion right in your premise!

    two: that YOUR religion is the foundation for reasoning as opposed to, say, every other religion and philosophy out there.
    Sye stated it this way: The way that a transcendental claim is refuted is to demonstrate that claim is not the necessary precondition for the thing claimed, i.e. to demonstrate that God is NOT the necessary precondition for the laws of logic.
    The greeks have done that millenia ago.

    Those people who I've linked to (which you've ignored) have done that too.

    The greeks knew nothing of your god, yet through observation of the world around them, they formulated the laws of logic which you xians are taking credit for.

    The laws of logic aren't some physical constructs that have to be "made". They're just observational tools that people use (whether they know the names of those laws or not) to help make sense of the world around us.

    You cannot show evidence for the necessary precondition of evidence, cause then it wouldn't be the necessary precondition of evidence!
    What the fuck??

    Now repent as promised.
    Give evidence instead of running around in circles, you idiot.

    Holy shit, you're home-schooling your kids too, aren't you?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Dan: Your own "reasoning" shoots you down:

    A viciously circular argument is one with a conclusion based ultimately upon that conclusion itself, and such arguments can never advance our knowledge."

    Here, you said to me:
    The God of Scripture is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.

    Can't you see what you're doing?

    ReplyDelete
  50. 4. GOD HAS A MORALLY SUFFICIENT REASON FOR THE EVIL WHICH EXISTS.


    And we're all waiting with baited breath, Dan, for you, with your god-given knowledge, to tell us what this morally sufficient reason could possibly be.

    Oh, and about that 'impossibility of the contrary' thing with your claims about your worldview, I happened to be reading a post on Incinerating Presuppositionalism recently in which Bahnsen Burner pointed out that this is actually self-contradictory. The bible itself claims that all things are possible for your god. If this is so, how could an alternative view of reality to the one you hold be impossible? I think your attempts at argument hit a road block here, Dan...

    ReplyDelete
  51. The PoE demonstrates an internal conflict within Christianity by identifying a logical contradiction between the claim that the Christian god exists, given the nature Christianity attributes to that god, and the reality of evil in the universe which it is said to have created.

    To overcome this problem, Greg Bahnsen not only expects us to have faith that his god exists, but also to have faith that there exists such a thing as “a morally sufficient reason for the evil which can be found in this world.” So Bahnsen’s “resolution” of the PoE requires that one faith claim be supported by yet another.

    Bahnsen acknowledges that the bible “does not tell us what that sufficient reason is,” so we’re supposed to believe it exists on Greg Bahnsen’s own say so (the bible itself nowhere says “God has a morally sufficient reason for the evil which exists”). Bahnsen does not even explain what could possibly be a “morally sufficient reason for the evil which exists”; he gives no examples so that we might know what such an animal might look like.

    But clearly, whatever “morality” Bahnsen is assuming in his “resolution” of the PoE, that “morality” allows for evil being used as a means to achieve one’s ends. Obviously this could not be an understanding of morality superior to one which takes an uncompromising stance against evil. Bahnsen is essentially saying that his god and evil are on chummy terms; they work together, they cooperate. Also, it’s clear that the conception of morality which Bahnsen assumes must be the Christian view of morality, for he calls on it in order to resolve a conflict internal to Christianity, and he denies that morality is even possible in non-Christian worldviews.

    And as usual, Bahnsen wildly overstates the “unbeliever’s” pov (according to Bahnsen, the “unbeliever” “refuses to trust God” and expects “God” to “trade places with the sinner”) in order to shift the focus of the problem of evil from Christianity to those outside Christianity. The success of Bahnsen’s “resolution” depends on us shutting down our minds and blindly accepting his illicit premises.

    Bahnsen resents non-believers when they evaluate his god’s choices and actions. And yet, that’s precisely what morality equips us to do: to evaluate actions which are *chosen*, regardless who the acting agent may be. If the Christian god’s actions are actions it *chooses* to perform, then they are subject to moral evaluation. Indeed, Bahnsen himself wants to call those actions moral by claiming that they have a “morally sufficient reason” to endorse them. But what specifically is Bahnsen calling morally sufficient here? Even he does not know what it may be. So how could he know that it is morally sufficient? He labels things which he cannot point to. This is the epitome of intellectual irresponsibility.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  52. Here’s the blog entry of mine that DormantDragon referred to:

    Is the Contrary to Christianity Truly Impossible?

    It shows why the presuppositional slogan “it’s true because of the impossibility of the contrary” conflicts with one of the teachings of Christianity (specifically, a teaching attributed to Jesus).

    In the comments section, there were some attempts by Christians to answer my argument, but as you'll see, they failed pretty miserably.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  53. What terrifies me is that there is this huge group of Christians out there who's only source of morality is the bible, otherwise they would just start raping and pillaging . . .

    Everyone should join me in celebrating Blasphemy Day over at Untitled Vanity Project, I'll be doing Blasphemy themed posts all day long!

    ~Rhaco

    ReplyDelete
  54. Pvb,

    >> Perhaps you could provide some actual evidence rather than repeating "the impossibility of the contrary." Oh, wait, you can't.

    Oh, wait, you didn't read the very next thing I said. Psst, it was a quote from Sye.

    >>Sye is a known liar. I have no interest in the lies he has stated.

    So you claim that something cannot be answered because you claim the answer comes from someone that you don't trust? Wow, that is rich. That sure exposes your failed logic. You ask a question and then plug your ears. Priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Wem,

    >>He (me) lacks the honesty...


    Just because you do not understand what is necessary to defeat a transcendental argument, does not change the fact that you cannot defeat it.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Dan,

    The so-called “transcendental argument for the existence of God” has been reduced to dust. See for instance here.

    So we should not be seeing you appeal to TAG any longer.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  57. Reynold,

    >>With intelligence, Dan. Something you lack. By using the rules of logic that you clowns pretend needs your superstition to be justified...no matter that those rules had been figured out before christ was around.

    Are you certain of that? Christ created the universe. (John 1:1,14) Knowledge, something you lack?

    >>There is no evidence that your religion is necessary for reasoning.

    How do you know THAT, or anything, within your worldview?

    >> If there is, show it instead of running around in circles like you're doing here.

    Well, if you don't see the futility of explaining something to someone who cannot account for knowledge, I can't help that. You see, without such an account you can't justify knowing that I have not already answered all of your questions.

    >>Remember what was said earlier: the greeks and pretty much every other culture before christ had been able to figure out various rules of reasoning. If they couldn't, how could their societies have survived?

    You're so cute that you think God didn't exist before the greeks. This folks is what is called Ignoratio elenchi.

    >>Don't you see how circular that is?

    Never said it wasn’t circular, just that it is not viciously circular, as your view is.

    >>One could switch in any "god" and say the same thing, and it's be just as hard to logically "disprove". Why?

    If you have proof of your god then please present it and I will be more the happy to disprove it.

    >>You're assuming the conclusion right in your premise!

    How so?

    >> They're [the laws of logic] just observational tools that people use (whether they know the names of those laws or not) to help make sense of the world around us.

    What a kind gesture to HELP make sense of things. How do you account for this kind act towards mankind?

    You cannot show evidence for the necessary precondition of evidence, cause then it wouldn't be the necessary precondition of evidence!

    >>What the...

    Just because you do not understand what is necessary to defeat a transcendental argument, does not change the fact that you cannot defeat it.

    >>Give evidence instead of running around in circles, you idiot.

    How do you know that I haven't already? Keep in mind the futility of explaining something to someone who cannot account for knowledge.

    >>you're home-schooling your kids too, aren't you?

    Yea, and that means statistically my kids are smarter then yours. Joking aside, there is no other choice really. Its my calling to raise my own kids, as we all should. Do you really want it to be someone's 'job' to raise your kids? What a very irresponsible parental choice. No wonder we have gangs, drugs and rampant illiteracy throughout out the school systems. My kids have no avenue to be bullied (A study of 558 students in a Midwestern middle school found that 80 percent said their behavior included physical aggression, social ridicule, teasing, namecalling and issuing threats within the previous 30 days.) These kids are screaming for love and correction from a parent. Maybe someday you, and other people, will find out that it takes far more then intercourse to become a parent. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Dawson,

    >>So we should not be seeing you appeal to TAG any longer.

    How you people can be so blind never ceases to amaze me. The way that a transcendental claim is refuted is to demonstrate that claim is not the necessary precondition for the thing claimed, i.e. to demonstrate that God is NOT the necessary precondition for the laws of logic. You cannot show evidence for the necessary precondition of evidence, cause then it wouldn't be the necessary precondition of evidence!

    (Alright, this is where you say AHA, so there is no evidence that God is the necessary precondition for evidence - I win!)(And then I become even more amazed at how blind you really are).

    ReplyDelete
  59. Dan:

         The onus is on you to demonstrate, rather than merely declare, that your god is a prerequisite to reasoning. I am aware that reasoning exists. But I find your claim that your god is necessary for reasoning to be an unwarranted premise.
         "So you claim that something cannot be answered because you claim the answer comes from someone that you don't trust? Wow, that is rich. That sure exposes your failed logic. You ask a question and then plug your ears. Priceless."
         Sye doesn't actually give an answer. This is probably because he plugs his ears. But, I suppose that, when you have a pat response like "are you certain? How can you know anything for certain?" you don't really need to know what the person said.
         I don't want you quoting Sye because Sye is dishonest and seeks only to confuse and derail discussions. And then he declares victory. If you have evidence, present it. I have dealt with Sye before. I am aware of his deceitful tactics and just don't want to hear any more excerpts from Sye's Big Book o' Lies. And I know that, when you say you are quoting Sye, no evidence will be found.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Dan,

    How you presuppositionalists can be so blind never ceases to amaze me.

    Dan: “The way that a transcendental claim is refuted is to demonstrate that claim is not the necessary precondition for the thing claimed,”

    Dan, I have news for you: A *claim* is not, and could never be, the necessary precondition for logic. The necessary preconditions of logic (identified by the axioms of existence, identity and consciousness) would have to be in place before any claiming could take place. So already you've got your priorities reversed.

    Dan: “i.e. to demonstrate that God is NOT the necessary precondition for the laws of logic.”

    And I’ve done this. See here.

    The necessary preconditions of logic are (a) the facts identified by the axioms, (b) the primacy of existence, and (c) the objective theory of concepts. Christianity represents a violation of all three points. For one thing, Christianity assumes the primacy of consciousness (see here). Also, Christianity has no theory of concepts (see here). Furthermore, the Christian god (which presuppositionalism characterizes as the necessary precondition of logic) is *imaginary* (see here).

    In fact, the very claim "God exists" contradicts itself (see here.

    Conclusion: Presuppositionalism is completely hosed.

    There's no squirming out of any of this mess, Dan. It's your mess by virtue of your confession as a Christian.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  61. Dan +†+ said...

    Reynold,

    >>With intelligence, Dan. Something you lack. By using the rules of logic that you clowns pretend needs your superstition to be justified...no matter that those rules had been figured out before christ was around.

    Are you certain of that? Christ created the universe. (John 1:1,14) Knowledge, something you lack?

    Nope. Just the unwillingness to use circular reasoning like you just did above. You've just assumed that that verse is true, in order to make your "point" about your god being "necessary" for knowledge.

    You've just made an assumption based on nothing but the beliefs you're trying to shore up already.

    There is no evidence that your religion is necessary for reasoning.
    How do you know THAT, or anything, within your worldview?
    The observation of the world around us and accumulation of knowledge. There's nothing in my "worldview" that precludes any of that, despite your brainless question-begging.

    If there is, show it instead of running around in circles like you're doing here.
    Well, if you don't see the futility of explaining something to someone who cannot account for knowledge, I can't help that.
    What makes you think we can't? Knowledge is just information gathered about the world around us. What role does your "god" play in that? Other civilizations have done that before your religion was encountered by them.

    You see, without such an account you can't justify knowing that I have not already answered all of your questions.
    I sure as fuck can...all it takes it to read your replies to me. All you've done is run around like this!

    You've answered nothing and instead just tried to respond with this variation of "how do YOU know I haven't answered it"? every time.

    Remember what was said earlier: the greeks and pretty much every other culture before christ had been able to figure out various rules of reasoning. If they couldn't, how could their societies have survived?
    You're so cute that you think God didn't exist before the greeks.
    No, idiot. But what I do believe is that there is no evidence that (if he even exists) that he gave them any of the rules of reasoning.

    As I said, therefore your god is not necessary for that.

    This folks is what is called Ignoratio elenchi.
    No, this is Dan making up and knocking down another strawman. In other words, you bullshitting as usual.

    Don't you see how circular that is?
    Never said it wasn’t circular, just that it is not viciously circular, as your view is.
    Read my last comment to you dan. I show how youre reasoning is exactly "viciously circular".

    Kindly show how my reasoning is.


    One could switch in any "god" and say the same thing, and it's be just as hard to logically "disprove". Why?
    If you have proof of your god then please present it and I will be more the happy to disprove it.

    Ok, I'll just use your own "proof" against you.

    So you take my spot, asking for proof of a particular god, and I'll take your spot, only I'll use Allah instead of "god"!

    Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists

    Allah of the Koran is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.

    Remember: I asked
    Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists

    Your reply: The God of Scripture is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.

    So now I've used your exact reasoning from your previous comment, I've just switched gods around. So: disprove Allah using your "logic". Don't pussy out by saying that I'm not a Muslim: Those people do exist, and I'm sure they'd appreciate the favour.

    You won't though...because you know how useless your reasoning is

    ReplyDelete
  62. Dan +†+ said...

    Reynold,

    >>With intelligence, Dan. Something you lack. By using the rules of logic that you clowns pretend needs your superstition to be justified...no matter that those rules had been figured out before christ was around.

    Are you certain of that? Christ created the universe. (John 1:1,14) Knowledge, something you lack?

    Nope. Just the unwillingness to use circular reasoning like you just did above. You've just assumed that that verse is true, in order to make your "point" about your god being "necessary" for knowledge.

    You've just made an assumption based on nothing but the beliefs you're trying to shore up already.

    There is no evidence that your religion is necessary for reasoning.
    How do you know THAT, or anything, within your worldview?
    The observation of the world around us and accumulation of knowledge. There's nothing in my "worldview" that precludes any of that, despite your brainless question-begging.

    If there is, show it instead of running around in circles like you're doing here.
    Well, if you don't see the futility of explaining something to someone who cannot account for knowledge, I can't help that.
    What makes you think we can't? Knowledge is just information gathered about the world around us. What role does your "god" play in that? Other civilizations have done that before your religion was encountered by them.

    You see, without such an account you can't justify knowing that I have not already answered all of your questions.
    I sure as fuck can...all it takes it to read your replies to me. All you've done is run around like this!

    You've answered nothing and instead just tried to respond with this variation of "how do YOU know I haven't answered it"? every time.

    Remember what was said earlier: the greeks and pretty much every other culture before christ had been able to figure out various rules of reasoning. If they couldn't, how could their societies have survived?
    You're so cute that you think God didn't exist before the greeks.
    No, idiot. But what I do believe is that there is no evidence that (if he even exists) that he gave them any of the rules of reasoning.

    As I said, therefore your god is not necessary for that.

    This folks is what is called Ignoratio elenchi.
    No, this is Dan making up and knocking down another strawman. In other words, you bullshitting as usual.

    Don't you see how circular that is?
    Never said it wasn’t circular, just that it is not viciously circular, as your view is.
    Read my last comment to you dan. I show how youre reasoning is exactly "viciously circular".

    Kindly show how my reasoning is.


    One could switch in any "god" and say the same thing, and it's be just as hard to logically "disprove". Why?
    If you have proof of your god then please present it and I will be more the happy to disprove it.

    Ok, I'll just use your own "proof" against you.

    So you take my spot, asking for proof of a particular god, and I'll take your spot, only I'll use Allah instead of "god"!

    Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists

    Allah of the Koran is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.

    Remember: I asked
    Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists

    Your reply: The God of Scripture is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.

    So now I've used your exact reasoning from your previous comment, I've just switched gods around. So: disprove Allah using your "logic". Don't pussy out by saying that I'm not a Muslim: Those people do exist, and I'm sure they'd appreciate the favour.

    You won't though...because you know how useless your reasoning is

    ReplyDelete
  63. Dan +†+ said...

    Reynold,

    >>With intelligence, Dan. Something you lack. By using the rules of logic that you clowns pretend needs your superstition to be justified...no matter that those rules had been figured out before christ was around.

    Are you certain of that? Christ created the universe. (John 1:1,14) Knowledge, something you lack?

    Nope. Just the unwillingness to use circular reasoning like you just did above. You've just assumed that that verse is true, in order to make your "point" about your god being "necessary" for knowledge.

    You've just made an assumption based on nothing but the beliefs you're trying to shore up already.

    There is no evidence that your religion is necessary for reasoning.
    How do you know THAT, or anything, within your worldview?
    The observation of the world around us and accumulation of knowledge. There's nothing in my "worldview" that precludes any of that, despite your brainless question-begging.

    If there is, show it instead of running around in circles like you're doing here.
    Well, if you don't see the futility of explaining something to someone who cannot account for knowledge, I can't help that.
    What makes you think we can't? Knowledge is just information gathered about the world around us. What role does your "god" play in that? Other civilizations have done that before your religion was encountered by them.

    You see, without such an account you can't justify knowing that I have not already answered all of your questions.
    I sure as fuck can...all it takes it to read your replies to me. All you've done is run around like this!

    You've answered nothing and instead just tried to respond with this variation of "how do YOU know I haven't answered it"? every time.

    Remember what was said earlier: the greeks and pretty much every other culture before christ had been able to figure out various rules of reasoning. If they couldn't, how could their societies have survived?
    You're so cute that you think God didn't exist before the greeks.
    No, idiot. But what I do believe is that there is no evidence that (if he even exists) that he gave them any of the rules of reasoning.

    As I said, therefore your god is not necessary for that.

    This folks is what is called Ignoratio elenchi.
    No, this is Dan making up and knocking down another strawman. In other words, you bullshitting as usual.

    Don't you see how circular that is?
    Never said it wasn’t circular, just that it is not viciously circular, as your view is.
    Read my last comment to you dan. I show how youre reasoning is exactly "viciously circular".

    Kindly show how my reasoning is.


    One could switch in any "god" and say the same thing, and it's be just as hard to logically "disprove". Why?
    If you have proof of your god then please present it and I will be more the happy to disprove it.

    Ok, I'll just use your own "proof" against you.

    So you take my spot, asking for proof of a particular god, and I'll take your spot, only I'll use Allah instead of "god"!

    Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists

    Allah of the Koran is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.

    Remember: I asked
    Evidence first. One: that YOUR god actually exists

    Your reply: The God of Scripture is the only God that exists, by the impossibility of the contrary.

    So now I've used your exact reasoning from your previous comment, I've just switched gods around. So: disprove Allah using your "logic". Don't pussy out by saying that I'm not a Muslim: Those people do exist, and I'm sure they'd appreciate the favour.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Dan, quoting me:
    They're [the laws of logic] just observational tools that people use (whether they know the names of those laws or not) to help make sense of the world around us.


    What a kind gesture to HELP make sense of things. How do you account for this kind act towards mankind?
    Huh? "kind act towards mankind?" It's just something that humans have observed. What makes you think there was any "help" at all? Remember, it was the greeks who noted this. Maybe it was their gods who did the "kind" deed?

    Too bad there's nothing in the bible that did the equivalent.

    ReplyDelete
  65. I forgot: the homeschooling thing? It all depends on the school your kid would go to vs. how good a teacher you are.

    I know that many schools, esp inner-city ones have it rough.

    Given your antipathy towards science, your messed-up "logic", and your skewed idea of history I doubt you'd be a good teacher.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Dawson,

    Although I have dubbed your blog affectionately as "banality blog", I am impressed as to the amount of writing that you do on these various subjects.

    We can examine each others "evidence" all day and get no where though. The only way to examine each of our worldviews is transcendentally.

    Can you give me a crib notes version of all that writing and point to the part that you transcendentally examine the worldviews. If not, the the futility is obvious.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Pvb,

    >>I don't want you quoting Sye because Sye is dishonest and seeks only to confuse and derail discussions.

    It's like an unarmed criminal mocking a policeman for not giving up his gun. The reason for the mockery is obvious, but surely it would be foolish for the cop to hand over his gun?

    >>And then he declares victory.

    I wonder why? The impossibility of your counter claim is obvious and is the point here. As stated in these recent posts. You want evidence on your terms but certainly not ours.

    "This is why we must resolve this by determining which worldview is valid, or which worldview is best for the precondition for intelligible experience? The answer to this question cannot be finally settled by any direct discussion of facts, it must in the last analysis be settled indirectly. The ONLY way to do that is transcendentally. "

    Wanna have a go at it?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Reynold,

    >>Given your antipathy towards science, your messed-up "logic", and your skewed idea of history I doubt you'd be a good teacher.

    Doubt, but not certain. I can live with that.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Reynold,

    >>So: disprove Allah using your "logic". Don't pussy out by saying that I'm not a Muslim: Those people do exist, and I'm sure they'd appreciate the favour.

    What does the Qu'ran say about the inspiration of the Bible and whether or not it is true? Chapter and verse please.

    >>You won't though...because you know how useless your reasoning is

    Are you certain I won't, or is it doubt again?

    ReplyDelete
  70. Dan +†+ said...

    Reynold,

    >>So: disprove Allah using your "logic". Don't pussy out by saying that I'm not a Muslim: Those people do exist, and I'm sure they'd appreciate the favour.


    What does the Qu'ran say about the inspiration of the Bible and whether or not it is true? Chapter and verse please.
    Why should the Koran say anything about the bible?

    Xian apologists use the bible to justify itself, not some other "holy book".

    Now, as to the koran justifying itself, as the bible also does for itself:

    10:37 - This Koran could not have been forged apart from God; but it is a confirmation of what is before it, and a distinguishing of the Book, wherein is no doubt, from the Lord of all Being.

    Each "holy book" claims inspiration from the "god" that's supposed to have had it written.

    You won't though...because you know how useless your reasoning is

    Are you certain I won't, or is it doubt again?
    You never have before...Your asking for something from the koran is the closest you've gotten to not using circular reasoning to disprove one god and prove another.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Dan: “Although I have dubbed your blog affectionately as ‘banality blog’,”

    Now ain’t that the pot calling the kettle black!

    Dan: “I am impressed as to the amount of writing that you do on these various subjects.”

    Good. As you examine it, you’ll find that there’s quality as well as quantity.

    Dan: “We can examine each others ‘evidence’ all day and get no where though. The only way to examine each of our worldviews is transcendentally.”

    If by “transcendentally” you mean essentially what Don Collett has in mind (see here), then you’re entirely wrong here.

    The best way would be to start by identifying our respective starting points, the means by which we are aware of them, and how we know they are true. Here I offer the Objectivist axioms, including the primacy of existence. The axioms identify perceptually self-evident facts, so we are aware of them by means of sense perception. And we know they are true because they directly denote what we perceive. Also, the axioms are conceptually irreducible, so they in fact represent the base of knowledge; they do not assume any prior conceptual knowledge.

    You might say that your god is your starting point. But even Bahnsen tells us why this amounts to futility when he writes:

    “Van Til uses the term ‘universal’ for any truth of a general or abstract nature – whether it be a broad concept, law, principle, or categorical statement. Such general truths are used to understand, organize, and interpret particular truths encountered in concrete experience. As Van Til goes on to say, if one does not begin with some such general truths (universal) with which to understand the particular observations in one’s experience, those factual particulars would be unrelated and uninterpretable – i.e., ‘brute’.” (Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings & Analysis, p. 38n.10)

    “God” is supposed to be an independently existing entity, and therefore particular, not universal. It is not “a broad concept, law, principle, or categorical statement”; it’s supposed to be a supernatural being. Given this, if you begin with “God” as your starting point, Bahnsen tells us that you’d have no way to relate and interpret facts, that they’d be “brute” in nature, which is a big no-no in presuppositionalism.

    So what would be your starting point, how do you have awareness of it, and how do you know it’s true?

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  72. I have a really difficult time imagining someone so pig-headed and ignorant being capable of teaching children. Seriously.

    ReplyDelete
  73.      "I wonder why?"
         That would be because of vanity on his part.
         "The impossibility of your counter claim is obvious and is the point here."
         You keep saying that. Yet you produce no evidence. As near as I can tell, you want me to accept you false assertion that it is "obvious" as if it were evidence.
         "You want evidence on your terms but certainly not ours."
         Well, yes, I want something that I can actually recognize as evidence. Your terms seem to consist of special pleading. In fact, you reject your own "evidence" when applied in support of Blarko instead of your god.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Reynold,

    What does the Qu'ran say about the inspiration of the Bible and whether or not it is true? Chapter and verse please.

    >>Why should the Koran say anything about the bible?

    Because it certainly does. Need help?

    >>Xian apologists use the bible to justify itself, not some other "holy book".

    Cannot say the same about Islam or the Qur'an. Interesting huh?

    >>Now, as to the koran justifying itself, as the bible also does for itself:

    When the Qur'an speaks of "the Book" or "the scripture" what book are they referring too? Need help?

    >>Each "holy book" claims inspiration from the "god" that's supposed to have had it written.

    In the case of the Qu'ran, they reference to God's Word in an attempt to legitimize it. Imagine that?

    >>Your asking for something from the koran is the closest you've gotten to not using circular reasoning to disprove one god and prove another.

    Wasn't it you who brought up the Qur'an in the first place? I was asking you to justify your beliefs. Can you? Can you justify your ability to reason about anything?

    ReplyDelete
  75. Dawson,

    >>So what would be your starting point, how do you have awareness of it, and how do you know it’s true?

    Same way I can be certain of anything revelation.

    How am I certain that the revelation is valid? Because God has revealed it such that WE can be certain of it.

    While the Bible is my ultimate authority, it is not the only means by which God has revealed Himself to us. 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.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I asked: “So what would be your starting point, how do you have awareness of it, and how do you know it’s true?”

    Dan: “Same way I can be certain of anything revelation.”

    This does not address my questions. Here they are in order:

    1. What is your starting point?

    2. How do you have awareness of it? (I.e., by what means are you aware of it?)

    3. How do you know it’s true?

    Instead of addressing these questions, you’ve now raised a fourth question:

    4. By what means are you aware of “revelation”?

    You can add a fifth question:

    5. What was the process by which you identified what you call “revelation” as revelation?


    Dan: “Because God has revealed it such that WE can be certain of it.”

    Is it possible for your god to reveal something to you, and you get the message of that revelation wrong? Other Christians have admitted to me that this is in fact possible. I can produce an example if you like.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  77. Dawson ,

    >>1. What is your starting point?

    Revelation

    >>2. How do you have awareness of it? (I.e., by what means are you aware of it?)

    Revelation

    >>3. How do you know it’s true?

    Revelation


    4. By what means are you aware of “revelation”?

    Revelation

    5. What was the process by which you identified what you call “revelation” as revelation?

    Revelation

    >>Is it possible for your god to reveal something to you, and you get the message of that revelation wrong?

    No. Argumentum ad ignorantiam. If a revelation by an omniscient, omnipotent being did reveal something to you so that you are certain of it, then that revelation would be impossible to be a lie because of the origins of that revelation and the certainty of the knowledge.

    It would take intellectual dishonesty to claim that God could not reveal some things to us such that we could know them for certain. You, on the other hand have no such rescuing device for your circularity.

    ReplyDelete
  78. I asked: “1. What is your starting point?”

    Dan answered: “Revelation”

    Dan, what is your definition of ‘revelation’ as you use it here? Can you provide one please?

    Dan: “It would take intellectual dishonesty to claim that God could not reveal some things to us such that we could know them for certain.”

    So, these other Christians who have told me that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding “God’s word” are being dishonest?

    If Christians can be dishonest, why suppose that they are the dishonest ones when they say this, and not you when you say what you say?

    Dan: “You, on the other hand have no such rescuing device for your circularity.”

    What “circularity” are you referring to here?

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  79. Dawson,

    >>Dan, what is your definition of ‘revelation’ as you use it here? Can you provide one please?

    Just one? The Bible. While the Bible is my ultimate authority, it is not the only means by which God has revealed Himself to us. 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.

    >>So, these other Christians who have told me that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding “God’s word” are being dishonest?

    No, I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding “God’s word” but not about His existence. You are suppressing the truth about the only possible source for the logic YOU ARE USING.

    >>If Christians can be dishonest, why suppose that they are the dishonest ones when they say this, and not you when you say what you say?

    Good question but I think you are mixed up here as to receiver of the revelation. It is the Christian position that God has revealed Himself to all mankind so that we can know for certain who He is. Those who deny His existence are suppressing the Truth in unrighteousness to avoid accountability to God. It is the ultimate act of rebellion against Him and reveals the professing atheist's contempt toward God.

    >>What “circularity” are you referring to here?

    You use your reasoning to test your reasoning, which is viciously circular.

    ReplyDelete
  80. I asked: “Dan, what is your definition of ‘revelation’ as you use it here? Can you provide one please?”

    Dan: “The Bible.”

    I’m asking for your definition of the concept ‘revelation’, not the source of your revelation. You said “revelation” is your starting point. Did you really mean “the Bible” is your starting point?

    The reason why I ask is to determine whether or not what you offer as your starting point is in fact conceptually irreducible. If “the Bible” is your starting point, then clearly it cannot be your starting point, for the bible is not conceptually irreducible (it takes for granted thousands upon thousands of underlying assumptions).

    Also, by pointing to “the Bible” as your starting point, you’re in fact riding on the truth of my worldview’s axioms. If my worldview’s axioms were not true, you couldn’t point to anything; you wouldn’t even exist, nor would the bible. So not only do you seem unprepared to identify a conceptually irreducible starting point, you’re in fact borrowing from my worldview in order to assert yours. Tsk tsk…

    Dan: “While the Bible is my ultimate authority, it is not the only means by which God has revealed Himself to us.”

    Indeed, people imagined the Christian god before they penned any of the books of the bible. What I want to know is how we can reliably distinguish “revelation” from imagination. So far, you’re not onto a very good start.


    I asked: "So, these other Christians who have told me that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding “God’s word” are being dishonest?"

    Dan: “No, I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding “God’s word” but not about His existence.”

    I wasn’t asking about your god’s existence, but about the possibility for believers to get “revelation” wrong. You now agree that “man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’” - i.e., the Christian god's revelation. And yet, you claim certainty via revelation. If it’s possible for your fallibility to get in the way of your understanding of “God’s word,” perhaps your “certainty” is just a self-induced delusion. I know you don’t want to admit this, but you seem to have no way of validating it without appealing further to “revelation,” which – by your own admission – believers can get wrong. You're caught in a spiraling, inescapable spiral here.

    Dan: “You are suppressing the truth about the only possible source for the logic YOU ARE USING.”

    I’ve already addressed this claim and have shown it to be utterly false. Where is your interaction with my analysis?

    I asked: “What ‘circularity’ are you referring to here?”

    Dan: “You use your reasoning to test your reasoning, which is viciously circular.”

    You seem to be equating "reasoning" with "argument," which is false. Reason includes argument, but it is broader than argument. There is nothing illicit or fallacious about using reason to discover the nature of reason.

    Now, can you cite a specific example where I have argued in a circle? Or do you just believe on faith that I have done this, regardless of what the evidence shows?

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  81. Dan, quoting Dawson:

    Dan, what is your definition of ‘revelation’ as you use it here? Can you provide one please?


    Just one? The Bible. While the Bible is my ultimate authority, it is not the only means by which God has revealed Himself to us. 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 how exactly, does one percieve either the bible or the "natural" and "special" revelations in the first place, if not through the senses?

    You need to have used and relied upon your senses first, Dan before you even got a hold of any sort of "revelation" which you then use to justify the usage of your senses with, in the first place.

    So, what sort of "revelation" can you get that does not rely on your senses?


    Dan
    It is the Christian position that God has revealed Himself to all mankind so that we can know for certain who He is. Those who deny His existence are suppressing the Truth in unrighteousness to avoid accountability to God.

    Right...so the australian aborigines or the native americans who were alive from the time of christ's birth until the missionaries arrived to tell them of christ, somehow, in your deluded fantasy, already knew about christ?

    Remember: It's acceptance of "Christ", not "God" which gets you into "heaven".

    Note also that if what you said was true, that statistically, there should at least have been some of those people in the new world who wouldn't have "suppressed the truth in unrighteousness" so that they would have known already.

    Yet there's no evidence of that, from missionary or other records that I've heard of.

    Again, I'll point out the irony of your post: "The Arrogance of Atheism?"

    ReplyDelete
  82. Dawson,

    >>I’m asking for your definition of the concept ‘revelation’, not the source of your revelation. You said “revelation” is your starting point. Did you really mean “the Bible” is your starting point?

    No, that was my mistake. Let me be clearer, since what I meant is that the Bible was one of God's revelations. As I said earlier God's, collective, revelation is our starting point. Actually God, Himself, is our actual starting point. Without the Christian God, the alternative results in rational absurdity and contradiction (since there is no longer a basis for rationality). This is why we speak of the "impossibility of the contrary."

    >>I wasn’t asking about your god’s existence, but about the possibility for believers to get “revelation” wrong.

    No, that is impossible because that would mean that God is fallible, which He isn't, so obviously that viewpoint is a mistake itself. I am sure you would concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them? Remember that the Bible is not the only revelation that we are certain about.

    >>You now agree that “man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’” - i.e., the Christian god's revelation. And yet, you claim certainty via revelation.

    Just because man can, and has, made mistakes it has nothing to do with God's ability to reveal things to us so that we can be certain of them. You see, God's Word is completely infallible and inerrant and thus nothing man does can effect it.

    "Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever." (Psalm 119:160)

    "Very few books survive very long. Only a few survive past the first printing, and science books especially get out of date in just a few years.

    But one book is eternal! The Bible stands! Even its most ancient chapters are still accurate and up to date. Furthermore, despite all the vicious attacks of both ancient pagans and modern humanists, it will continue to endure. Jesus said: "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33)."[ICR]

    >>I’ve already addressed this claim and have shown it to be utterly false. Where is your interaction with my analysis?

    If you mean the links you provided, I haven't looked at them. If you said it to me please point it out since I am missing something. You see, a sure fire way to have a conversation killed is to ask them a question and then say, to answer the question, "please read my book about it" instead of discussing it right there. Its more of a brush off of sorts. I have done it too, in the past, but I have learned to have a conversation you must be present. If you are unable to articulate is in a concise manner in a given conversation then you will fail to communicate your points and thus, lose your audience.

    >>You seem to be equating "reasoning" with "argument," which is false.

    How do you know? Are you certain of that? If so, how can you be certain of that or anything within your worldview? The fallacious ‘circularity’ of an argument in which the conclusion is a restatement (in one form or another) of one of its premises

    >>Reason includes argument, but it is broader than argument.

    >>There is nothing illicit or fallacious about using reason to discover the nature of reason.

    How do you know? Besides, how can you account for something that is logically fallacious, as if you thought logic was absolute? I would ask you to try to be more consistent with your professed worldview, but rather I urge you to repent of it.

    ReplyDelete
  83. Dawson,

    Oops, missed one.

    >>Now, can you cite a specific example where I have argued in a circle? Or do you just believe on faith that I have done this, regardless of what the evidence shows?

    Assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Dan: “No, that was my mistake. Let me be clearer, since what I meant is that the Bible was one of God's revelations. As I said earlier God's, collective, revelation is our starting point. Actually God, Himself, is our actual starting point.”

    Dan, you seem entirely confused on your own worldview’s fundamentals. When asked what your starting point is, you say “revelation” (without any explanation). When asked for a definition of “revelation,” you say “the Bible.” When this is probed, then you say “the Bible was one of God’s revelations.” So you revise your answer as “God’s, collective, revelation is our starting point.” Then you say “God, Himself, is our actual starting point.” You’re all over the place here. I suspect you really don’t know what your starting point is.

    At any rate, I already pointed out some problems with calling “God” your starting point. There was the passage from Bahnsen that I quoted (did you not see that?). There’s also the fact that you’re assuming the truth of my worldview’s axioms just in uttering the nonsense statement “God, Himself, is our actual starting point.”

    Dan: “Without the Christian God, the alternative results in rational absurdity and contradiction (since there is no longer a basis for rationality).”

    Yes, this is the canned sloganry we often here. Unfortunately, there’s no rational support for such claims. But feel free to repeat it as you do.

    Dan: “This is why we speak of the ‘impossibility of the contrary’."

    The presuppositionalist notion of “the impossibility of the contrary” conflicts directly with the teaching of the bible. But I’m guessing this won’t deter you in repeating it.

    I wrote: “I wasn’t asking about your god’s existence, but about the possibility for believers to get ‘revelation’ wrong.”

    Dan: “No, that is impossible because that would mean that God is fallible, which He isn't, so obviously that viewpoint is a mistake itself.”

    So you’re taking back your earlier statement, which was: “I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’”?

    Again, you seem quite confused on what you believe.

    Dan: “I am sure you would concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?”

    I admit that folks can imagine things like this. But then again, there’s a fundamental distinction between reality and imagination.

    Dan: “Remember that the Bible is not the only revelation that we are certain about.”

    More and more your claim to “certainty” appears to be a self-inflicted delusion.

    I wrote: “You now agree that ‘man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’’ - i.e., the Christian god's revelation. And yet, you claim certainty via revelation.”

    Dan: “Just because man can, and has, made mistakes it has nothing to do with God's ability to reveal things to us so that we can be certain of them. You see, God's Word is completely infallible and inerrant and thus nothing man does can effect it.”

    None of this addresses my question. My question did not have to do with your god’s alleged abilities. It has to do with your inherent fallibility as a human being. You seem unwilling to admit fallibility. Is that correct?

    [Continued...]

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  85. I wrote: “I’ve already addressed this claim and have shown it to be utterly false. Where is your interaction with my analysis?”

    Dan: “If you mean the links you provided, I haven't looked at them.”

    Actually, I don’t expect you to. Christians prefer to read what other Christians write. I know you would be unable to provide an intelligent response to my writings. Your performance in the comments sections of your own blog are enough to show this.

    I wrote: “You seem to be equating ‘reasoning’ with ‘argument,’ which is false.”

    Dan: “How do you know?”

    Simple: I understand what reason is, and I understand what argument is. And, given this understanding, I know that the two are not identical, that argument is one of several applications of reason.

    Dan: “Are you certain of that?”

    Yep.

    Dan: “If so, how can you be certain of that or anything within your worldview?”

    By recognizing that there’s no rational grounds for doubt on the matter.

    I wrote: “There is nothing illicit or fallacious about using reason to discover the nature of reason.”

    Dan: “How do you know?”

    Because of the impossibility of the contrary.

    Dan: “Besides, how can you account for something that is logically fallacious, as if you thought logic was absolute?”

    How do I account for something that is logically fallacious, such as your miserably weak arguments? That’s easy: I recognize that you choose to be dishonest, and that’s why your views are at such adversity toward reason.

    Dan: “I would ask you to try to be more consistent with your professed worldview, but rather I urge you to repent of it.”

    You seem to be giving two contrary recommendations here: on the one hand, you ask me to be more consistent with my professed worldview, on the other you urge me to repent of it. You are indeed a double-minded man.

    I asked: “Now, can you cite a specific example where I have argued in a circle? Or do you just believe on faith that I have done this, regardless of what the evidence shows?”

    Dan responded: “Assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.”

    So, the answer is: No, you apparently cannot cite any specific examples where I have argued in a circle. But you accuse me of begging the question nonetheless by saying that I “start with the presupposition that God does not exist” and that I allegedly infer from this “presupposition” that my “ability to reason is not evidence of God.” The Blarkist could easily say the same thing: “Assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for Blarko, question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that Blarko does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of Blarko.”

    See, that’s the problem with an arbitrary position such as yours: it can be replicated with any stand-in replacing the variables you prefer.

    Of course, you have not shown that I “start with the presupposition that God does not exist.” To suggest this only betrays a fundamental misunderstanding on the nature of the human mind. We do not begin by denying or negating, but by perceiving, identifying what we perceive, and integrating what we perceive and identify into a hierarchical sum of knowledge. So your entire response here is based on a completely false premise.

    So in effect, you answer my latter question – “do you just believe on faith that I have done this, regardless of what the evidence shows” – in the affirmative. As I expected.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  86. Dan asked: “Within your worldview, what is the precondition for intelligible experience?”

    I responded: “The facts denoted by the axioms”

    Dan: “You assume the axiom to be true, but since it can be neither demonstrated nor proven to be true, you cannot know it to be true.”

    It’s true that the axioms cannot be proven; they don’t have to be, they identify facts which are perceptually self-evident and are the basis of any proof. So why would you make such a blunder as to say that the axioms cannot be demonstrated? Every conscious moment is a demonstration of the truth of the axioms.

    If you dispute the fact that existence, identity and consciousness are the preconditions for intelligible experience, please explain how there can be intelligible experience if there’s no existence, no identity and no consciousness? Please, explain yourself, Dan. Or, is skepticism the only way you know how to respond to incontestable facts that are inconvenient for your god-belief fantasies?

    Dan: “For that matter, you cannot know the reasoning with which you reason about axioms is itself valid.”

    How do you know what I can or cannot know? Where’s your argument for this? I suppose if you had an argument, you would have presented it. You come across as someone who expects his words to be believed on your own say so. What part of “I’m not a Christian” don’t you get?

    Dan: “Surely you would grant that there are invalid axioms,”

    Such as?

    Dan: “and also that there is invalid reasoning and I do not see how it is possible for you to get from that to certainty about anything?”

    That you do not “see” something, Dan, is not an argument against what you don’t see. I hope now that I’ve pointed that out, that you’ll be able to see that.

    I wrote: “Reason includes argument (so long as its premises are rational), but is in fact broader than mere argument (e.g., we use reason to acquire knowledge of what may become premises in an argument).”

    Dan: “Do your use your reasoning when you reason about the past 'success' of your reasoning? Obviously you do, which makes your position viciously circular.”

    Circularity is a fallacy in inference. You have not shown that I have committed this fallacy in any inference I’ve made. I already asked if you could cite a specific example where I’ve done this, or if you just believe it on faith regardless of what the evidence actually shows, and the latter turned out to be the case.

    Dan: “Also, assuming that you have nothing else to go on, begs the question AND commits the fallacy of argument from ignorance.”

    What do you mean “assuming that you have nothing else to go on”? Where’s the question-begging argument? Where’s the argument from ignorance? Dan, if you’re going to level charges like this, produce the evidence. Otherwise, you just appear to be someone whose desperation has gotten the better of him.

    Dan: “Again, I am not saying that atheists do not reason, all I am saying is that they have no basis for assuming that their reasoning is valid, yet they make that assumption.”

    Yes, we know what you’re *saying*. What you need is an *argument* for this claim, and you clearly don’t have one. And before you ask: I know this because of the impossibility of the contrary.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  87. Dan:

         "Assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for [g]od, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of [g]od."
         No such assumption need be present. I can deny my reasoning being evidence for <X> without assuming <X> does not exist. Indeed, I do that regularly. My ability to reason is not evidence for the queen of England. But I do not assume that there is no queen of England. Even if your god exists, my ability to reason is not evidence of such. If he came to my home and made an appearance, that would be evidence of his existence. But you don't have actual evidence. So you lie and say that anything you happen to notice is "evidence of [your god.]" No! Something that would convince an observer that did not already believe in your god that he was real would be evidence of your god.

         By the way: I saw Bahnsen Burner's reply briefly before you deleted it. Some of the posts may be getting marked as spam automaticly by Blogger. But some of them are definitely getting removed by you.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Reynold,

    >>Right...so the australian aborigines or the native americans who were alive from the time of christ's birth until the missionaries arrived to tell them of christ, somehow, in your deluded fantasy, already knew about christ?

    Well, no and yes. No, not my "deluded fantasy", and yes already knew about Christ.

    >>Remember: It's acceptance of "Christ", not "God" which gets you into "heaven".

    Are you certain of this? Is there a difference? Argumentum ad redundancy? :7)

    Its my argument that Moses "knew" Christ. Am I wrong? If so, how do you know? My source is Hebrews 11:24-26, what is yours?

    >>Note also that if what you said was true, that statistically, there should at least have been some of those people in the new world who wouldn't have "suppressed the truth in unrighteousness" so that they would have known already.

    And Bingo was his name-o. I am sure you would concede that an omniscient, omnipotent God could determine whether they were unrepentant or not.

    >>Yet there's no evidence of that, from missionary or other records that I've heard of.

    You mean besides the Bible?

    >>Again, I'll point out the irony of your post: "The Arrogance of Atheism?"

    Indeed. Repentance comes BEFORE knowledge of truth, not after: 2 Timothy 2:24-26. The arrogant Atheist "takes no pleasure in understanding but only in expressing his opinion."~ Proverbs 18:2

    Which, takes us right back to Proverbs 14:2, doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  89. Dawson,

    >> I suspect you really don’t know what your starting point is.

    Start with the latter and work your way back.

    >>The presuppositionalist notion of “the impossibility of the contrary” conflicts directly with the teaching of the bible. But I’m guessing this won’t deter you in repeating it.

    Nope, not if its barely asserted as you just did. Any evidence to that assertion?


    Dan: “No, that is impossible because that would mean that God is fallible, which He isn't, so obviously that viewpoint is a mistake itself.”

    Dawson,

    >>So you’re taking back your earlier statement, which was: “I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’”?

    You are now definitely confusing understanding God's Word, with knowledge of God’s existence.

    >>Again, you seem quite confused on what you believe.

    More like certain of your confusion.

    >>I admit that folks can imagine things like this. But then again, there’s a fundamental distinction between reality and imagination.

    It would take intellectual dishonesty to claim that God could not reveal some things to us such that we could know them for certain. Thanks for revealing that about yourself.

    >>More and more your claim to “certainty” appears to be a self-inflicted delusion.

    Again with a knowledge claim? Are you certain that its a self-inflicted delusion? If so, how can you be certain according to your worldview?

    >>You seem unwilling to admit fallibility. Is that correct?

    Nope, I fully admit that I am fallible and wretched. Are you willing to be intellectual honest yet?

    (To be cont'd)

    ReplyDelete
  90. Dawson cont'd,

    >> I know you would be unable to provide an intelligent response to my writings. Your performance in the comments sections of your own blog are enough to show this.

    Don't have to, your thesis is an argumentum ad verbosium. You are arguing with verbosity, which is a bullying technique used by con men. Your own blog posts are enough to show this.

    >>You seem to be giving two contrary recommendations here: on the one hand, you ask me to be more consistent with my professed worldview, on the other you urge me to repent of it. You are indeed a double-minded man.

    I stated "I would ask you to try to be more consistent with your professed worldview, but rather I urge you to repent of it."

    I will let the record stand to determine if that is "indeed a double-minded man." or not. But to help you, in the spirit of clarity, I will explain. Your inconsistency is obvious, but understandable in your absurd worldview, so instead of asking you to be more consistent by NOT borrowing from my worldview, I would rather you chuck your entire inconsistent professed worldview aside and repent and glorify God since you are using that worldview in the first place. Clearer?

    >>The Blarkist could easily say the same thing:

    Hardly, you still have to borrow from my worldview to make the claim "the Blarkist could easily say the same thing" or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’

    >>See, that’s the problem with an arbitrary position such as yours: it can be replicated with any stand-in replacing the variables you prefer.

    Absolutely not. Maybe barely asserted, but certainly not arbitrarily asserted as a precondition for intelligibility.

    >>Of course, you have not shown that I “start with the presupposition that God does not exist.”

    Dude, its based on your "atheistic" worldview as evidenced by your arguments against God. Who are you trying to fool here, because its certainly not me? Is the target you?

    >>We do not begin by denying or negating, but by perceiving, identifying what we perceive, and integrating what we perceive and identify into a hierarchical sum of knowledge.

    You believe that to be the case, of course, but you are not certain of this, right? If you are certain of this, how can you be certain? Bear in mind, you have no avenue to certainty in your worldview.

    I ask again, are you certain that God cannot reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, if so, how are you certain of this?

    >>So in effect, you answer my latter question – “do you just believe on faith that I have done this, regardless of what the evidence shows” – in the affirmative.

    So you perceived that I answered your latter question – “do you just believe on faith that I have done this, regardless of what the evidence shows” – in the affirmative, but not certain or positive?

    Wheeeee

    ReplyDelete
  91. Pvb,

    >> My ability to reason is not evidence for the queen of England. But I do not assume that there is no queen of England.

    *sigh I already addressed this.

    >>Something that would convince an observer that did not already believe in your god that he was real would be evidence of your god.

    Bzzt! Wrong again as explained already. See my post Still No Evidence!

    >>By the way: I saw Bahnsen Burner's reply briefly before you deleted it. Some of the posts may be getting marked as spam [automatically] by Blogger. But some of them are definitely getting removed by you.

    I forgive you for trying to anger me but please show the evidence instead of barely asserting that you are certain of things. How do you know? How are you certain that they are definitely getting removed by me? Please show me one comment that is out there that has not been addressed that is not in the viewing post.

    Look, here is what I know. After posting the disclaimer at the top of this blog YOU are the ONLY one complaining. Every comment is reaching EVERYONE'S email as far as I know, because its evidenced that every comment is being addressed. Please correct me anyone, if I am wrong. I see when I comment, they are there at the bottom within the comment window. Also, they do not always show up immediately in the post view. But that does not mean that I am deleting them, it just means they have not arrived as of yet. Show me one "lost" comment please. With the spam thing found I thought all your accusations would go away...nope.

    I know, for your convenience, and appeasement, I will change the comments to a separate window to see if that assists you in any way. I am not a fan of it, but I aim to please. Now either show your evidence or man up with an apology for the accusation. Also, be a man by not saying something like "you may be putting them into spam" because you have claimed, and I quote, "But some of them are definitely getting removed by you." SHOW ME, show me one that has been removed that is not there now.

    Talk about arrogance...

    ReplyDelete
  92. Pvb,

    There to comment its in a separate window to view side by side. Take screen shots if necessary. I don't care if they appear to have disappeared I want to know any that HAVE disappeared and not returned ever. As I say some make it into spam but I immediately publish them when I find those out. If that is the ones you are speaking of then I cannot help you further. They arrive eventually. Show the evidence of your accusations or shut up.

    ReplyDelete
  93. For that last comment of mine to show up I had to refresh the blog post view. But it did show up right away.

    ReplyDelete
  94. I wrote: “I suspect you really don’t know what your starting point is.”

    Dan: “Start with the latter and work your way back.”

    This seals it then: you don’t know what your starting point is.

    Now if you go back to the reason why I raised this issue, you’ll remember that I suggested we compare our worldview’s respective starting points in order to determine which if either of our worldview’s is more viable. You stated that “the only way to examine each of our worldviews is transcendentally.” I stated that I do not accept this, if by “transcendentally” you have what Don Collett has in mind by the same term (I linked to one of my blogs for support), and suggested that instead we compare starting points. I stated mine for the record. You’ve not been able to bring any sustainable criticism against my starting point, and you’ve been unable to produce yours. While I’m not at all surprised by this (you’re by far not the first Christian to have trouble naming his worldview’s starting point), it’s telling that you seem not to realize how big a problem this is for your position.

    I wrote: “The presuppositionalist notion of ‘the impossibility of the contrary’ conflicts directly with the teaching of the bible.”

    Dan: “Any evidence to that assertion?”

    Yes, Mt. 19:25. See here for my argument.

    I asked: “So you’re taking back your earlier statement, which was: ‘I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’’?”

    Dan: “You are now definitely confusing understanding God's Word, with knowledge of God’s existence.”

    How so? “Revelation” entails more than just the supposition that your god exists, does it not? Recall what you had admitted: “I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’” – i.e., your god’s “revelation”. When I clarified that my question was “about the possibility for believers to get ‘revelation’ wrong,” you replied: “No, that is impossible because that would mean that God is fallible, which He isn't, so obviously that viewpoint is a mistake itself.”

    Again, you either have a really hard time communicating what you want to say, or you’re communicating very clearly and the contradiction is intentional.

    Dan: “It would take intellectual dishonesty to claim that God could not reveal some things to us such that we could know them for certain. Thanks for revealing that about yourself.”

    On the contrary, god-belief as such requires dishonesty. It couldn’t survive one moment without at least some dishonesty. Specifically, it requires that one deliberately blur the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination. I know, I was a Christian once myself.

    Dan: “Are you certain that its a self-inflicted delusion?”

    In your case, yes, I am certain.

    Dan: “If so, how can you be certain according to your worldview?”

    By recognizing that there are no rational grounds for doubt on the matter in question. By my worldview’s definitions, that’s what certainty is.

    I asked: “You seem unwilling to admit fallibility. Is that correct?”

    Dan: “Nope, I fully admit that I am fallible and wretched.”

    Well, at least we agree on one thing.

    So if you fully admit that you’re both fallible and wretched, why should anyone take your claims to possess certainty on any matter seriously? Fallible people can be wrong, and wretched people often lie. You could tell us anything to try and get us to believe you. But it appears you’re damaged goods.

    [Continued…]

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  95. Dan: “Are you willing to be intellectual honest yet?”

    Indeed, it was when I made the choice to be honest – i.e., to stop trying to fake reality – that my god-belief simply evaporated. And it’s been wonderful ever since.

    Dan: “You are arguing with verbosity, which is a bullying technique used by con men.”

    Bahnsen’s book Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings & Analysis is over 700 pages long – far longer than anything I’ve ever published. According to you, he must be a con man using bullying techniques. Got it.

    Dan: “Your own blog posts are enough to show this.”

    At what point (e.g., quantity of words) does something commit this so-called “an argumentum ad verbosium”? What’s the limit beyond which one should not overstep if he wants to avoid committing this made-up fallacy that you cite against me?

    Dan: “Your inconsistency is obvious,”

    Can you point it out for me? Cite where I am being inconsistent and what I’m being inconsistent with.

    Dan: “but understandable in your absurd worldview,”

    What could possibly be “absurd” according to the Christian worldview? You believe in invisible magic beings performing miracles, creation ex nihilo, a three-headed god, demonic possession, etc.

    My worldview teaches that we follow reason. By calling my worldview absurd, you’re saying that the choice to follow reason is absurd. In doing so, you tell us precisely who and what you are, Dan.

    Dan: “so instead of asking you to be more consistent by NOT borrowing from my worldview,”

    Don’t worry, I haven’t. I rely on reason, not faith in revelations. Remember?

    Dan wrote: “Assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for God, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that God does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of God.”

    I replied: “The Blarkist could easily say the same thing:”

    Dan now writes: “Hardly, you still have to borrow from my worldview to make the claim ‘the Blarkist could easily say the same thing’”

    What specifically is lacking in my worldview that I would have to “borrow” from your worldview in order to recognize that a mystic of a different stripe could very easily employ the kinds of contentless tactics you use? Please, try to be specific here.

    Dan: “or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’”

    You seem to be talking about the need for a fundamental starting point here. Very good. Unfortunately, it’s clear that you haven’t got one. My earlier questions brought this fact out into the open.

    I wrote: “See, that’s the problem with an arbitrary position such as yours: it can be replicated with any stand-in replacing the variables you prefer.”

    Dan: “Absolutely not. Maybe barely asserted, but certainly not arbitrarily asserted as a precondition for intelligibility.”

    I just demonstrated it for you. The Blarkist can mimic the Christian version of presuppositionalism very easily. That’s because it’s mostly empty sloganry and canned allegations against rivals. Just replace “God” with “Blarko” and Christianity’s found its match.

    Of course, the Blarkist’s assertions will be just as unconvincing and uncompelling as the Christian’s, and for essentially the same reasons: they’re arbitrary.

    I wrote: “Of course, you have not shown that I ‘start with the presupposition that God does not exist’.”

    Dan: “Dude, its based on your ‘atheistic’ worldview”

    You obviously have no firsthand familiarity with my worldview. My worldview is indeed atheistic, but it does not *start* out by denying the existence of any god. To insist that it does this, is to commit the fallacy of straw man.

    Dan: “as evidenced by your arguments against God.”

    Where do my “arguments against God” show that my worldview *starts* with the assumption that your god does not exist, Dan? Show me. Do some digging. I predict you won’t be able to find anything in my writings which do this. Go ahead, try to prove me wrong.

    [Continued…]

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  96. I wrote: “We do not begin by denying or negating, but by perceiving, identifying what we perceive, and integrating what we perceive and identify into a hierarchical sum of knowledge.”

    Dan: “You believe that to be the case, of course, but you are not certain of this, right?”

    I am absolutely certain of it. Can you refute it? Can you show how the mind begins by denying or negating rather than by perceiving and identifying? Please explain how the mind can start by denying or negating,

    Maybe you think this is possible because your denial of the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination is so rudimentary to your worldview. But then you’d be projecting your psychopathy onto me, when in fact I am on good terms with the distinction between reality and imagination.

    Dan: “If you are certain of this, how can you be certain?”

    By recognizing that there are no rational grounds for doubt in the matter in question.

    Dan: “Bear in mind, you have no avenue to certainty in your worldview.”

    Again, you’re just displaying your own ignorance of my worldview here. Typically Christians rail at me because I’m certain. That’s what frightens you: the mere possibility that I might truly be certain. Well, your holy terror is here, Dan.

    Dan: “I ask again, are you certain that God cannot reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, if so, how are you certain of this?”

    Your question is fallaciously complex, Dan. Are you familiar with that fallacy? It assumes the truth of a premise which is arbitrary. There is no reason to accept an arbitrary premise.

    As I pointed out, folks can imagine these things, as you have. But reality does not conform to imagination.

    I wrote: “So in effect, you answer my latter question – ‘do you just believe on faith that I have done this, regardless of what the evidence shows’ – in the affirmative.”

    Dan: “So you perceived that I answered your latter question – ‘do you just believe on faith that I have done this, regardless of what the evidence shows’ – in the affirmative, but not certain or positive?”

    Consider the following points: I’m certain that you have charged me with circular reasoning; I am certain that you’ve had plenty of opportunity to produce evidence from my writings which support this charge; I’m certain you’ve failed to produce such evidence. Conclusion: you must believe on faith that I’ve done this, regardless of what the evidence shows.

    If you had evidence, I’m certain we’d have seen it by now, because it’s clear you’re desperate to win at least one point in this exchange. So far, you’re stuck at 0, and I’m on my way to taking the season’s pennant.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  97.      "*sigh I already addressed this"
         No, you failed in that endeavor. I cited a general principle and demonstrated it using the queen of England as a specific instance. Your attempt to "address" it is nothing more than special pleading for the specific instance of your god. It doesn't work. My ability to reason is not evidence for any being other than myself. It is only evidence for me because it is my ability to reason.
         "Bzzt! Wrong again as explained already."
         So, now you're saying that something that would actually convince someone would fail to qualify as evidence? You like to pretend that people are closed to evidence. But (in general) they are not. You just don't submit any. Presuppositional baloney did not convince you of christianity. You believed in it before you heard of (let alone started using) presuppositional baloney. It doesn't convince anyone because it is recognized as just that -- baloney.
         "I forgive you for trying to anger me but please show the evidence instead of barely asserting that you are certain of things. How do you know? How are you certain that they are definitely getting removed by me?"
         Evidence can be found here. The fact that I knew about the comment (which turned out to be the third one) indicates that Blogger approved the comment (i.e. did not send it to spam.) The fact that it is missing in the screen capture indicates that someone removed it. Since Blogger didn't (evidenced by the fact that I knew about the comment, having seen it) you must be the one who removed it.
         "I know, for your convenience, and appeasement, I will change the comments to a separate window to see if that assists you in any way."
         It doesn't. And why should it. I am no fan of the separate comment window.
         "SHOW ME, show me one that has been removed that is not there now."
         So, you eventually undo the "mark as spam." I show a screen capture where 3 of Bahnsen Burner's comments are not showing. But that screen capture also shows that I know one of them should be there. I would love to hear your argument for how you think I knew about the comment.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Dawson,

    Dan: “Start with the latter and work your way back.”

    >>This seals it then: you don’t know what your starting point is.

    How do you get that when I clearly said start with the latter and work back. That is the evidence that I do know where my starting point is. Is just in that conversation, I needed to say what I said, “Start with the latter and work your way back.”, because of your responses and to help clarity of the conversation. Are you OK or are you TRYING to confuse a conversation again. Don't make me point to the argumentum ad verbosium claim again.

    Now, I will not leave you, but bear with me and have some patience. I have no excuses (like raising and homeschooling 5 kids), I just need time to absorb and understand your points.

    Dawson “The presuppositionalist notion of ‘the impossibility of the contrary’ conflicts directly with the teaching of the bible.”

    Dan: “Any evidence to that assertion?”

    >>Yes, Mt. 19:25. See here for my argument.

    In your blog your premise is basically a QUOTE MINE, you claim: "Christianity’s positions are based on what is written in the bible, and the bible claims that “with God all things are possible” (Mt. 19:26; emphasis addedd). Now, that’s what the ‘good book’ says. I didn’t write it, so don’t get sore at me for what it says. The point here is that, if the believer claims that some particular thing is impossible, then he is blatantly disagreeing with what is explicitly stated in the bible."

    OF COURSE you ignored the passage before "with God all things are possible" which states "With men this is impossible;" SO ONCE AGAIN you need to start with the latter and work back!!!!

    So then, your whole premise is deflated completely since you OMITTED the one thing that would destroy your point. Yes, what is impossible for man, is possible for God. AND?

    This is why I am getting nervous to continue this conversation with you. You strive on confusion or verbosity of the facts and For now I will continue. Please don't reveal more of that to me and we can continue. And if this link is your "A" game then this will be an exercise of mere hand holding through God's Word. I don't mind though. I want to help you, if that is what you seek. Please keep seeking instead of proving Proverbs 18:2 right. You don't want that to happen do you?

    Lets make a deal. Make a point and STOP. I will consider the point and comment on it and then you can do the same. These long winded "continuations" will muck up any conversation. Because now everything you said after this link is rendered invalid because of what I just countered with. Moving on.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Dan: “Start with the latter and work your way back.”

    I wrote: "This seals it then: you don’t know what your starting point is."

    Dan: “How do you get that when I clearly said start with the latter and work back.”

    From your earlier confused efforts to address my question, and with your persisting inability to simply name your starting point.

    If you can name your starting point, just do so. I will be watching to see if your starting point assumes the truth of mine (i.e., existence, identity and consciousness).

    Keep in mind, Dan, the bible itself says that “the *fear* of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Prov. 1:7). I figured that, if you were truly faithful to the bible, that you would have cited this verse in response to my query. This verse clearly makes an *emotion* the basis of knowledge (since fear is a type of emotion). Of course, this commits the fallacy of the stolen concept, but let’s wait to see what you propose as your starting point.

    Dan: “Now, I will not leave you, but bear with me and have some patience. I have no excuses (like raising and homeschooling 5 kids), I just need time to absorb and understand your points.”

    Understood. I’m a parent and husband as well.

    Dan: “In your blog your premise is basically a QUOTE MINE,”

    Pardon me? Does not the gospel of Matthew put the following words into Jesus’ mouth: “with God, all things are possible”? Either it does, or it doesn’t.

    Dan: “OF COURSE you ignored the passage before ‘with God all things are possible’ which states ‘with men this is impossible’;"

    How did I “ignore” this passage? The antecedent of the pronoun "this" in the portion of the passage you mention, refers specifically to salvation, as it is clearly indicated in the previous verse (Mt. 19:25).

    Indeed, Christians think their god exists. Christianity is the worldview which holds that the Christian god exists. So Christians don’t think reality is limited to what men can do. They think reality conforms to the wishes of an invisible magic being. It states this quite clearly: “with God, all things are possible.” I interpret this to mean: if the Christian god is real, anything is possible, since it’s supposed to govern possibility as such, and create according to its own whims. The bible’s own miracle accounts suggest that my interpretation is correct.

    Christianity tells me that "with God all things are possible," but presuppositionalists tell me that all kinds of things are impossible. Whom are we supposed to believe - human apologists, or God the Creator of the Universe?

    This is not my problem, Dan. But it is a problem.

    Dan: “So then, your whole premise is deflated completely since you OMITTED the one thing that would destroy your point.”

    How so? According to Christianity, the Christian god is bigger than men, and "all things are possible" is hugely broader than "this [one thing] is impossible." So how does the previous statement (“with men this is impossible”) “deflate” the latter passage?

    Dan: “Yes, what is impossible for man, is possible for God. AND?”

    The preposition in my bibles is not “for” but “with.” You’ve changed the wording of “God’s word,” Dan. Why?

    In a nutshell, Dan, how do you square the presuppositionalist slogan "Christianity is true because of the impossibility of the contrary" with what we read in Mt. 19:26?

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  100. Dawson,

    >>How so? “Revelation” entails more than just the supposition that your god exists, does it not?

    Yes, it does.

    >>Recall what you had admitted: “I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’” – i.e., your god’s “revelation”.

    Grrrrr. NO, no! ‘God’s word’” =/= God’s “revelation” God's revelation INCLUDES God's Word, among other things. Spin master! I might have the patience for you if this continues.

    >>When I clarified that my question was “about the possibility for believers to get ‘revelation’ wrong,” you replied: “No, that is impossible because that would mean that God is fallible, which He isn't, so obviously that viewpoint is a mistake itself.”

    Yes, I still stand on that point. So? God’s revelation =/= ONLY God's Word.

    That brings the cartoon I use all the time to help make this point clearer.

    Recall that you were intellectually dishonest to claim that God could not reveal some things to us such that we could know them for certain with the comment "folks can [ONLY] imagine things like this."

    The exact quote being >>"I admit that folks can imagine things like this. But then again, there’s a fundamental distinction between reality and imagination."

    Again, thanks for revealing intellectual dishonesty about yourself.

    >>On the contrary, god-belief as such requires dishonesty.

    With that I think we are through then. You have definitively shown evidence for Proverbs 18:2

    How do you know a God belief "requires" dishonesty? With that presupposition you have PROVEN the thesis here. Where do we go from here? How do I show you that is not the case?

    >>It couldn’t survive one moment without at least some dishonesty.

    Now some?

    >>Specifically, it requires that one deliberately blur the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination.

    Who is doing that?

    I know, I was a Christian once myself.

    *sigh Again with a claim that cannot be backed up at all. There is no such thing as an Ex-Christian because Christians don't Fall Away. Unless you want to redefine what a Christian is OUTSIDE what the Bible claims a Christian is. You were NEVER, EVER, ever a Christian in the slightest. You were MERELY a believer. Even Satan believes in God. Pontius Pilate believed in a Jesus. Did THAT make him a Christian? Nope. Again your logic is flawed. This is a hard conversation to have with you because each point you make is wrong and needs correcting. Will that change your view? I hope so.

    Moving on

    [have to break this up, hating the 4,096 characters limit right about now]

    ReplyDelete
  101. Dawson,

    [cont'd from characters limit]

    Dan: “Are you certain that its a self-inflicted delusion?”

    >>In your case, yes, I am certain.

    Dan: “If so, how can you be certain according to your worldview?”

    >>By recognizing that there are no rational grounds for doubt on the matter in question. By my worldview’s definitions, that’s what certainty is.

    Wait, I thought you said, to my “Remember that the Bible is not the only revelation that we are certain about.”

    >>"More and more your claim to “certainty” appears to be a self-inflicted delusion."

    So now, my claim to certainty which appeared to be "more and more" a self-inflicted delusion to you, has now changed you to certainty? What changed your worldview’s definitions of certainty then? Was it something I said? Can I change any of your worldview’s definitions? If that is the case, how can you be certain of your worldview’s definitions?

    Getting mucky in here, isn't it? Point is, you barely asserted that you are certain that revelation from God is a self-inflicted delusion, BY the appearance that there are no rational grounds for doubt on the matter in question. But that is not the definition of certainty.

    Is it possible that there are rational grounds for doubt on the matter in question of my certainty of revelation? If so, how can you make a knowledge claim, that you are certain of, that I cannot have a certainty of revelation? Again, I will ask is it possible that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

    >>“You seem unwilling to admit fallibility. Is that correct?”

    Dan: “Nope, I fully admit that I am fallible and wretched.”

    >>Well, at least we agree on one thing.

    That was two things. Which one? :-/

    >>So if you fully admit that you’re both fallible and wretched, why should anyone take your claims to possess certainty on any matter seriously?

    You shouldn't! (1 John 2:27)

    >>Fallible people can be wrong, and wretched people often lie.

    Yes, even you! (Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:26)

    >>You could tell us anything to try and get us to believe you.

    Yes! But my argument is not intended to be convincing, I am merely commanded to speak the truth, 'convincing' is out of my hands.

    >>But it appears you’re damaged goods.

    Amen! Incidentally, are you perfect? Or are you "damaged" too?

    [cont'd]

    ReplyDelete
  102. I wrote: “Recall what you had admitted: “I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’” – i.e., your god’s ‘revelation’.”

    Dan: “Grrrrr. NO, no! ‘God’s word’ =/= God’s ‘revelation’ God's revelation INCLUDES God's Word, among other things. Spin master! I might have the patience for you if this continues.”

    I understand. My statement does not deny the genus-species relation you have in mind here. Let me try to rephrase: you think that “the Bible” is one of several sources of your god’s revelation, right? If so, then, when you stated “I agree that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding ‘God’s word’,” you’re agreeing that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding one source of your god’s revelation, right? That’s all I was saying. I was not trying to be a “spin master” or any other such rogue.

    I wrote: “When I clarified that my question was ‘about the possibility for believers to get ‘revelation’ wrong’, you replied: ‘No, that is impossible because that would mean that God is fallible, which He isn't, so obviously that viewpoint is a mistake itself’.”

    Dan: “Yes, I still stand on that point. So? God’s revelation =/= ONLY God's Word.”

    See above. I’m not limiting “God’s revelation” exclusively to the bible. I know that Christians believe in so-called “general revelation” in addition to “special revelation.” My statements and questions do not in any way deny this understanding.

    I’m just wondering if you agree (as other Christians have told me) that man’s fallibility gets in the way of their understanding of your god’s revelation - ever - whether it’s special revelation or general revelation. If you think man’s fallibility gets in the way of understanding only one variant of your god’s revelation, can you explain?

    Dan: “That brings the cartoon I use all the time to help make this point clearer.”

    Your cartoon quotes Romans 1:20. Can you explain how something that’s supposed to be *invisible* (“God’s invisible attributes”) can be “clearly seen”? I’d really like to know how something invisible can be “clearly seen.”

    Dan: “Recall that you were intellectually dishonest to claim that God could not reveal some things to us such that we could know them for certain with the comment ‘folks can [ONLY] imagine things like this’."

    How was I being dishonest here? I know for a fact that people can imagine these things. I can imagine them. I’ve known others who imagine them. Where’s the dishonesty in pointing this out?

    Dan: “The exact quote being >> ’I admit that folks can imagine things like this. But then again, there’s a fundamental distinction between reality and imagination’."

    Yes, I wrote that. I stand by it as well. Do you disagree that people can imagine that their knowledge claims originate from a supernatural source? Do you disagree that there’s a fundamental distinction between what is real and what is merely imaginary?

    Dan: “Again, thanks for revealing intellectual dishonesty about yourself.”

    What was dishonest about anything I wrote there?

    I wrote: “On the contrary, god-belief as such requires dishonesty.”

    Dan: “With that I think we are through then. You have definitively shown evidence for Proverbs 18:2”

    Can you show me how god-belief can obtain without dishonesty? Specifically, without pretending that the imaginary is real?

    [Continued…]

    ReplyDelete
  103. Dan: “How do you know a God belief ‘requires’ dishonesty?”

    Well, for one thing, I was raised as a theist. So firsthand evidence tells me this. Also, I’ve studied the phenomenon of religious belief for over 20 years now. After a while, one comes to some conclusions.

    Dan: “With that presupposition you have PROVEN the thesis here. Where do we go from here? How do I show you that is not the case?”

    Yes, you do have your work cut out for you, don’t you?

    I wrote: “It couldn’t survive one moment without at least some dishonesty.”

    Dan: “Now some?”

    Dan, can you explain how we can reliably distinguish your god from what you may merely be imagining?

    I wrote: “Specifically, it requires that one deliberately blur the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination.”

    Dan: “Who is doing that?”

    People who say there’s a god.

    Dan: “You were NEVER, EVER, ever a Christian in the slightest.”

    Dan, believe me when I say: I wish you were right. My Christian past is one of the most embarrassing things about my life. I certainly do not advertise it to people I know offline.

    Dan: “You were MERELY a believer.”

    Many Christians have told me that I wasn’t even a believer. Like you, they want to discount my former Christian confession as much as possible. It makes them feel more secure that way.

    Dan: “So now, my claim to certainty which appeared to be ‘more and more’ a self-inflicted delusion to you, has now changed you to certainty? What changed your worldview’s definitions of certainty then?”

    Nothing changed with my worldview’s definitions of certainty. You provided more data, and that data eliminated any potential doubts on the matter.

    Dan: “Was it something I said?”

    Yes, all of it was something you said.

    Dan: “Can I change any of your worldview’s definitions?”

    No, you can’t. Sorry, Dan.

    Dan: “If that is the case, how can you be certain of your worldview’s definitions?”

    By recognizing that there’s no rational grounds for doubt in the matter in question. That’s how.

    Dan: “Getting mucky in here, isn't it? Point is, you barely asserted that you are certain that revelation from God is a self-inflicted delusion, BY the appearance that there are no rational grounds for doubt on the matter in question.”

    Not by “the appearance” that there are no rational grounds for doubt on the matter in question, but by recognizing the fact that there are no rational grounds for doubt on the matter in question.

    Dan: “But that is not the definition of certainty.”

    You had asked me according to my worldview’s definition of certainty. I gave it to you.

    [Continued…]

    ReplyDelete
  104. Dan: “Again, I will ask is it possible that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?”

    As I said before, this question commits the fallacy known as complex question.

    I asked: “So if you fully admit that you’re both fallible and wretched, why should anyone take your claims to possess certainty on any matter seriously?”

    Dan: “You shouldn't! (1 John 2:27)”

    Believe me, I don’t.

    I wrote: “Fallible people can be wrong, and wretched people often lie.”

    Dan: “Yes, even you! (Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:26)”

    If you’re relying on the bible to support your charge that I have lied, then essentially you’re saying that I was guilty of lying long before I even existed. Now, if I truly have lied, I’m sure you could do better than this.

    I wrote: “You could tell us anything to try and get us to believe you.”

    Dan: “Yes! But my argument is not intended to be convincing,”

    Indeed, it’s not even clear that you have any arguments. You just claim to have certain knowledge by revelation. That’s an assertion in bad need of an argument, which I’ve not yet seen presented.

    Dan: “I am merely commanded to speak the truth, 'convincing' is out of my hands.”

    And I speak the truth by choice.

    I wrote: “But it appears you’re damaged goods.”

    Dan: “Amen! Incidentally, are you perfect? Or are you "damaged" too?”

    I am a man, and I think with my own mind. I do not claim to have been “renewed in Christ,” nor do I claim to have the mind of an omniscient, infallible being.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  105. Dawson cont'd,

    Dan: “Are you willing to be intellectual honest yet?”

    >>Indeed, it was when I made the choice to be honest – i.e., to stop trying to fake reality – that my god-belief simply evaporated. And it’s been wonderful ever since.

    So then you FINALLY admit that it is possible that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

    >>Bahnsen’s book Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings & Analysis is over 700 pages long – far longer than anything I’ve ever published. According to you, he must be a con man using bullying techniques. Got it.

    Not really. You do understand that verbosity means using more than are needed for clarity or precision; long-windedness such in your case. I will concede that issues, or conversations, of the philosophical nature tends to extend a tad but I would not say that Van Til’s work was long-windedness. My bias might be showing a bit. My complaints boils down to, I don't want to invest that much time and effort into your points as I did for Van Til’s basically. Its a plee to tighten it up a bit. BTW, I just noticed that you commented yet again and I am merely on part 1 of your page 2 of 4. You're killing me. I will not abandon my family for you, dude.

    >>At what point (e.g., quantity of words) does something commit this so-called “an argumentum ad verbosium”?

    This conversation of argumentum ad verbosium is becoming the amount limit guideline. Moving on

    >>What’s the limit beyond which one should not overstep if he wants to avoid committing this made-up fallacy that you cite against me?

    The rule of three comes to mind again.

    Lets converse like this:

    *make one point
    *ask one question
    *question about others' one point (or clarification) if needed
    *answer question of other
    *comment on others' point
    *conclusion about others' point
    *move on from point since resolved by both parties.

    Its a brainstorming concept, never needed for anyone else, but you. Of course, I will do same. My wife is taking my duties to allow me to address all these issues of yours. That is the real problem, you have too many issues. :7)

    Moving on.

    [have to break this up]

    ReplyDelete
  106. [cont'd from characters limit, 2]

    Dan: “Your inconsistency is obvious,”

    >>Can you point it out for me? Cite where I am being inconsistent and what I’m being inconsistent with.

    Are you toying with me now? The "inconsistency is obvious" comment was to you borrowing from my worldview to make a claim about your worldview. Yet, you called me a double-minded man!? You continue to open your Bible in order to make these claims. The Christian worldview is the only one with an epistemological foundation. Thus, your statement about "And I can assure you, by rejecting god-belief, I’m not being arrogant, I’m merely being honest" fails because, as I already said, without the Christian God, the alternative results in rational absurdity and contradiction (since there is no longer a basis for rationality). This is why we speak of the "impossibility of the contrary." Remember? Cited? Moving on?

    >>What could possibly be “absurd” according to the Christian worldview?

    The "atheistic" worldview.

    >>You believe in invisible magic beings performing miracles, creation ex nihilo, a three-headed god, demonic possession, etc.

    Tisk, tisk, tisk. This is what Smart was pointing out to you but you wouldn't listen obviously.

    "The “arrogance of atheism” is manifest by those Atheists who presuppose the truth of their system of thought and expect the Christian to work within the framework of that system, all the while denying for the Christian the inverse thereof because the only presuppositions the Atheist permits in the field of debate are his own. Again, the issue is not about Atheists insisting that theistic claims be supported, but rather how they insist those claims get supported."

    >>My worldview teaches that we follow reason.

    Again, you assume that your worldview follows reason and yet cannot account for your reason other then running behind axioms that does not advance knowledge. In other words, viciously circular.

    >>By calling my worldview absurd, you’re saying that the choice to follow reason is absurd.

    Again, only by merely presupposing ONLY your system of thought. Right? The fact is that within MY presuppositions, your worldview is absolutely absurd. Need I explain my worldview yet again?

    >>In doing so, you tell us precisely who and what you are, Dan.

    But I am not doing so, unless its ONLY within your system of thought. So the bare assertion of "us" is false. Its merely your subjectivity, and not objective. Moving on?

    BTW, are you married? I will guess, no! Am I wrong?

    You wrote more? AARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Why are you not letting me catch up? You're frustrating dude.

    [have to break this up, again! ]

    ReplyDelete
  107. [cont'd from characters limit, 3]

    >>I rely on reason, not faith in revelations. Remember?

    Reason that is borrowed from my worldview, not yours. The point is that the necessary elements of logic (i.e. universality, immateriality, and invariance) comport with my worldview, and not with yours. Moving on?

    >>What specifically is lacking in my worldview that I would have to “borrow” from your worldview in order to recognize that a mystic of a different stripe could very easily employ the kinds of contentless tactics you use? Please, try to be specific here.

    For one it is not merely a mystic of a different stripe. The Bible is true because it first makes the claim that it is true, proves itself internally and externally, AND denial of the truth of the Bible leads to absurdity. What revelation does your Blarkist’s assertions have? Exactly! You wish to compare apples to oranges in, again, YOUR system of thought but that just is not reality, now is it. Now if we accept mere assertions of bare logical possibilities, like a Blarko, as grounds for truth we should believe all mere assertions. Mere logical possibility of (x) is not the same as adequate justification for (x). Now man up, and speak to me in reality, not this Blarko mumbo jumbo. Unless you can present adequate justification for Blarko, then you lose and we are moving on. Certainly not your "A" game by any stretch. You are smarter then this, and know better. Even if you had to borrow from my worldview to KNOW it. :7)

    >>You seem to be talking about the need for a fundamental starting point here. Very good. Unfortunately, it’s clear that you haven’t got one.

    Unfortunately, you're wrong yet again. I have said that God is the starting point. I cannot wait to hear yours.

    >>My earlier questions brought this fact out into the open.

    Whatever, beat that dead dog if you wish. Do you need it repeated, or is that selective amnesia your crutch?

    To help "Is just in that conversation, I needed to say what I said, “Start with the latter and work your way back.”, because of your responses and to help clarity of the conversation. Are you OK or are you TRYING to confuse a conversation again. Don't make me point to the argumentum ad verbosium claim again."

    To wit, argumentum ad verbosium ensues! Whatever dude. Moving on?

    Now, do you have a fundamental starting point here? You know, since you are so keen on fundamental starting points. Or are you merely a vacuous, one sided, cheerleader for the "atheistic" worldview? Again, I await with bated breath.

    >>My worldview is indeed atheistic, but it does not *start* out by denying the existence of any god. To insist that it does this, is to commit the fallacy of straw man.

    My apologies, please educate me, all I ask is for it to be concise and to the point. To much to ask for? *rests chin on fists

    ReplyDelete
  108. Dawson,

    We do not begin by denying or negating, but by perceiving, identifying what we perceive, and integrating what we perceive and identify into a hierarchical sum of knowledge.

    >>I am absolutely certain of it. Can you refute it?

    Don't have to, its not my claim. You say "we" as in everyone. I was/am merely asking you how do you know EVERYONE does not begin by denying or negating? Are you omniscient? Or is this merely yet another opinion? Thus negating the "I am absolutely certain of it" claim.

    But, to move the conversation along, even if that is the case, its my assertion that you in fact KNOW God as your starting point, and only deny Him in an attept to rationalize some convoluted, borrowed, worldview in a futile attempt of avoidance to accountability. Can you refute it?

    Remember, the way that a transcendental claim is refuted is to demonstrate that claim is not the necessary precondition for the thing claimed, i.e. to demonstrate that God is NOT the necessary precondition for the laws of logic. You cannot show evidence for the necessary precondition of evidence, cause then it wouldn't be the necessary precondition of evidence!

    >>Maybe you think this is possible because your denial of the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination is so rudimentary to your worldview

    Nope! Wrong assertion, yet again. (sarcasm)Shocker.(/sarcasm)

    >>But then you’d be projecting your psychopathy onto me, when in fact I am on good terms with the distinction between reality and imagination.

    Nice, we agree!

    Dan: “If you are certain of this, how can you be certain?”

    >>By recognizing that there are no rational grounds for doubt in the matter in question.

    Was this learned? How do you know that? Your explanation for trusting your senses/perception is committing the fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantium. Could you, for instance, be wrong about recognizing that there are no rational grounds for doubt? I am not disagreeing with you, I am asking could you be wrong?

    >>That’s what frightens you: the mere possibility that I might truly be certain.

    Hogwash. It is impossible to know anything absent certainty. I'll show you what I mean: tell me one thing that you know absent certainty?

    Are you certain that’s what frightens me? If so, you are very confused then. You are confusing a feeling of certainty with actual certainty. One cannot BE certain of something which is not true. Since you admit that one can BE certain, then that some feel certain does not defeat actual certainty.

    We do have an avenue to certainty but not by an "atheistic" worldview. Unless you can tell me how do you know that your reasoning about this or ANYTHING is valid?

    >>Well, your holy terror is here, Dan.

    Not in that context.

    [have to break this up]

    ReplyDelete
  109. [cont'd from characters limit, 5]

    I ask again, are you certain that God cannot reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, if so, how are you certain of this?

    Your question is fallaciously complex, Dan. Are you familiar with that fallacy? It assumes the truth of a premise which is arbitrary. There is no reason to accept an arbitrary premise.

    I don't know of that fallacy. If you mean special pleading then your wrong. This is not a special pleading at all. Slippery Slope? Nope. Instead of trying to guess what you mean, why don't you tell me what fallacy you are speaking of. You are claiming that a premise is arbitrary as to not comment on it, that is a fallacy in itself. Talk about special pleading.

    The question stands as, are you certain that God cannot reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, if so, how are you certain of this?

    >>But reality does not conform to imagination.

    But reality does. Ignoratio elenchi

    >>I’m certain that you have charged me with circular reasoning; I am certain that you’ve had plenty of opportunity to produce evidence from my writings which support this charge; I’m certain you’ve failed to produce such evidence.

    >>Conclusion: you must believe on faith that I’ve done this, regardless of what the evidence shows.

    That makes zero sense. Granting its 2:50 in the morning now so I am slightly punchy trying to keep up.

    Wait, a clarity moment. Again I cry Ignoratio elenchi!

    True premises, valid deductive form, valid conclusion = sound proof
    QED.

    Your premises are false. Thus not sound proof.

    What if I said that it was my wife, filling in for me, that was charging you with circular reasoning? Again, you are confusing a feeling of certainty with actual certainty.

    So P1 is potentially false. Unless you can account for you certainty of claim P1.

    P3 is false based on the argument I made that revealed your bias towards your system of thought.

    You are killing me dude, evidenced by your verboseness. I still have 4 additional FULL pages of your comments to address. After all this time spent, if that isn't evidence for argumentum ad verbosium, nothing will convince you. With that, I will continue some other time.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Dan, here's a deceptively simple set of questions that you have been asked repeatedly, and have repeatedly avoided answering with anything more than semantic evasion.

    1. How do you justify your faith in your ability to discern revelation, as opposed to your god's ability to reveal anything?

    2. How can you be certain that an omnipotent god is not making you believe in falsehoods?

    3. How can you believe at once that the laws of physics and of logic will hold universally, and also that your god can intervene miraculously in the universe, thus negating the operation of physical and logical laws?

    Until you can provide concrete answers to these questions, there is no point in attempting to engage you in rational discourse.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Dawson,

    OK, back to the grind (enjoyable as it is) for a moment, while kids are getting up.

    >>If you can name your starting point, just do so.

    OK we will start afresh and I will state that presupposing God is my starting point. Bear in mind that I am a Christian and loath to include any other possible scenario's that you feel you can conjure up on the fly.( Blinko, FSM, or whatever) I just want this to be a real conversation between worldviews, not fictitious ones as you were trying to do. When I state anything about God I am stating the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ as evidenced. Moving on.

    >> I will be watching to see if your starting point assumes the truth of mine (i.e., existence, identity and consciousness

    Maybe, existence, identity, and consciousness does comport with both our worldviews... So you claim that your self identified "starting point" is existence, identity, and consciousness. These are, what I am calling, your preconditions for intelligibility? I will await your commitment to address this further.

    >>Understood. I’m a parent and husband as well.

    My apologies then, my prejudices have been squashed. My hypothesis needs a rework then. Great, moving on noting your ability to have, and receive, compassion and love towards others. :7) Nice to meet you. I do like you after talking with you a bit. You're analytical but that's just fine.

    >>Christianity tells me that "with God all things are possible," but presuppositionalists tell me that all kinds of things are impossible. Whom are we supposed to believe - human apologists, or God the Creator of the Universe?

    This is a fallacy somehow. Unwarranted Contrast maybe? Who cares too tired to think of it. Yes, with God all things are possible and presuppositionalism tells us that for man to account for anything WITHOUT God is impossible. Why? Because with God all things are possible silly. He is the precondition for intelligible experience. With men this is impossible. Clearer? Moving on.

    >>This is not my problem, Dan. But it is a problem.

    No problem at this end. Yours? Moving on.

    >>In a nutshell, Dan, how do you square the presuppositionalist slogan "Christianity is true because of the impossibility of the contrary" with what we read in Mt. 19:26?

    Well in context (Matthew 19:24-26): It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. The perceived impossibility of that hyperbole is very easy with God, not with man's understanding of things. That is the exegesis of those verses. Bible lesson adjourned? Moving on.

    Recap: Is existence, identity, and consciousness your preconditions for intelligibility?

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  112. Dawson,

    >>I understand

    Whew, thank you for that mile stone.

    >>you’re agreeing that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding one source of your god’s revelation, right?

    Not entirely. I am cautious talking to an analytical engineer type, such as yourself, so forgive me. You cry for me to Since pressed let me clarify. Man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding the details written in one of God's source of revelation. The difference being we are certain of God's revelation, the Bible being God's infallible, inerrant Word. Just not the details within that revelation. For example, we understand who Pvblivs is, simple, we just don't know what 'Pvblivs' stands for, detailed and more complicated. I hope my analogy didn't lose my meaning.

    I just spent 30 minutes trying to think of a phrase like purse my lips but instead, I feel pressured to purse my words. It doesn't make sense though. Too tired, moving on.

    >>I’m just wondering if you agree (as other Christians have told me) that man’s fallibility gets in the way of their understanding of your god’s revelation - ever - whether it’s special revelation or general revelation. If you think man’s fallibility gets in the way of understanding only one variant of your god’s revelation, can you explain?

    No, not at all. God has revealed things to us, like who He is, in such a way that we can be certain of it. Its not something that can be questioned like say, what a Bible verse means at first. Given time, grace, and study though God will reveal His Word to us. Some sooner then others. I have some wiggle room still in order to claim such a confident statement though. Need...more...grace. God's existence? Easy, nailed it, confident. One point! Understanding the entire Bible? No so confident, many difficult points, I anticipate complete understanding to be soon though.

    [cont'd]

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  113. Dawson cont'd,

    >>I’d really like to know how something invisible can be “clearly seen.”

    Tangent time. If you view the Bible in a certain way, like critically literal, then you will not understand it. The Bible speaks of the four corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:12, Revelation 7:1) are we to believe the Bible is claiming the earth has edges? Nope. it just means over the whole earth. Actually, it means more specifically the cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West. Evidence by the meaning of each word.

    My point. In light of what I just said, God’s invisible "attributes” can be “clearly seen” in His creation. Side note, presuppositionalism is fully justified with verses like Romans 1:18-23.

    Dan: “Recall that you were intellectually dishonest to claim that God could not reveal some things to us such that we could know them for certain with the comment ‘folks can [ONLY] imagine things like this’."

    >>How was I being dishonest here? I know for a fact that people can imagine these things. I can imagine them. I’ve known others who imagine them. Where’s the dishonesty in pointing this out?

    You are killing me with the fallacious arguments here. I believe this one is called a Relativist Fallacy, maybe.To claim an omniscient, omnipotent being could NOT reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them is intellectually dishonest, or intellectual suicide. Is your claim that omniscient, omnipotent being could NOT reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them? If so, are you certain that God cannot reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, if so, how are you certain of this?

    (Resume ducking - with obfuscation)

    >>Do you disagree that people can imagine that their knowledge claims originate from a supernatural source? Do you disagree that there’s a fundamental distinction between what is real and what is merely imaginary?

    Ignoratio elenchi

    >>Can you show me how god-belief can obtain without dishonesty? Specifically, without pretending that the imaginary is real?

    Proving something according to what I believe is pointless as you will interpret it according to what you believe. Does my proof have to comport with absolute laws of logic according to what YOU believe? IF so, how do you account for those laws according to YOUR worldview?

    Taking the family to the store.

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  114. Bahnsen Burner, since I doubt you'll get any such appreciation from Dan, let me say how much I enjoy reading your detailed eviscerations of his feeble attempts at mounting a defence of presuppositionalism. Thanks for taking the time to post them.

    No doubt he'll come back with some schoolyard taunt accusing me of hero-worship, and then claim that he can't be arsed reading your lengthy posts. What should we call this, I wonder - argumentum ad simpletoniam?

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  115. Dan, you replied to Bahnsen Burner,

    Again, you assume that your worldview follows reason and yet cannot account for your reason other then running behind axioms that does not advance knowledge. In other words, viciously circular.

    I think you'd find, if you took the time to read the comments carefully, that atheistic worldviews can account for reason far more effectively than many religious worldviews, particularly yours.

    As an aside to such accounting as has already been done, I'd just like to share a quote from Stephen Fry, from his talk at the Sydney Opera House (which, sadly, I only saw on television) - that reason is the servant of desire. Think about that for a while...

    I won't rehash what BB has already discussed in detail regarding the efficacy of his particular atheistic worldview; but I will ask, exactly how does your worldview advance knowledge, Dan? If anything, from the outside it seems like it's designed precisely for the purpose of limiting knowledge.

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  116. Dan: “So then you FINALLY admit that it is possible that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?”

    Only in your imagination, Dan.

    I wrote: “Bahnsen’s book Van Til’s Apologetic: Readings & Analysis is over 700 pages long – far longer than anything I’ve ever published. According to you, he must be a con man using bullying techniques. Got it.”

    Dan: “Not really. You do understand that verbosity means using more than are needed for clarity or precision;”

    I opened my e-mail this morning to find 9 new comments from Dan, all directed to me, and this is the complaint he opens up with. I will respond to everything and risk being accused of “verboseness.”

    For one thing, you’ve not demonstrated that my writing suffers from the malady you describe. Indeed, if you haven’t read my writings, how would you know that it does?

    Also, if you read Bahnsen’s magnum opus as I have, you’ll find that he’s constantly repeating himself throughout the book, saying essentially the same thing over and over and over again ad nauseum. You can barely turn a page without finding him repeating things like “the unbeliever cannot account for….”, “the unbeliever pretends to be autonomous….”, “without God there can be no rationality…” etc., etc. Bahnsen doesn’t clarify why these statements should be accepted as true; he does not handle the issues with precision. Just the opposite! He muddies the waters to make them appear deep. But at the end of the day, what he’s selling is just vapid, empty-headed religious garbage that does nothing to further man’s understanding.

    Dan: “long-windedness such in your case.”

    Perhaps you’re just intimidated by criticisms of Christianity that are more than a couple paragraphs.

    What I do is explore the issues I tackle comprehensively. I leave no stone unturned in developing and defending my verdicts. Pick a blog and read through it. Show where I’m “using more than are needed for clarity and precision.”

    Dan: “I will concede that issues, or conversations, of the philosophical nature tends to extend a tad”

    “… a tad…”? Have you ever read a philosophy book? Would you say that Immanuel Kant is longwinded and that his writings suffer from “argument ad verbosium”?

    Dan: “but I would not say that Van Til’s work was long-windedness. My bias might be showing a bit.”

    At least a bit. Van Til wrote numerous books – I’ve read a few of them, and have all his works on CD rom. He makes Bahnsen look like a beginner when it comes to the defect you’ve described. Clarity and precision in Van Til? Are you kidding????

    Dan: “My complaints boils down to, I don't want to invest that much time and effort into your points as I did for Van Til’s basically.”

    Right. Then just say this. Don’t pin the problem on me. It’s simply that you choose not to take the time to read my stuff. Don’t try to pawn off the responsibility of your choice on some imagined defect in my writings that you wouldn’t know about unless you read them in the first place.

    [Continued….]

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  117. I asked: “At what point (e.g., quantity of words) does something commit this so-called ‘an argumentum ad verbosium’?”

    Dan: “This conversation of argumentum ad verbosium is becoming the amount limit guideline. Moving on”

    So, you have no objective criteria for determining when some written work commits this fallacy you’ve imagined. I think what’s really happened is that your own models are systematically afflicted with the half-done syndrome. I find this in Bahnsen and Van Til all over the place. With all the many books Van Til published, he never even gave a clear and succinct presentation of his TAG! I’m also reminded of Mike Butler’s comments on VT:

    “One of the major obstacles in the way of promoting presuppositionalism has been Van Til’s own writing style. Friends and critics alike have expressed chagrin at his ‘torturous English,’ his redundant and unclear style, his penchant for sloganeering, and his disorganized presentation of themes.” (“The Transcendental Argument for God’s Existence,” The Standard Bearer, p. 70)

    You’re probably also taken aback by the fact that I actually read presuppositionalist sources, quote from them, and interact directly with what presuppositionalists have in fact stated and argued. Not many critics of presuppositionalism online take the time to do this.

    I asked: “What’s the limit beyond which one should not overstep if he wants to avoid committing this made-up fallacy that you cite against me?”

    Dan: “The rule of three comes to mind again.”

    What, three paragraphs? Did Van Til observe the “rule of three”? Did Bahnsen? Does John Frame? Did the apostle Paul follow the “rule of three” in his epistles? How about Jesus? How about the big daddy himself in “authoring” the bible? You require of me something you don’t require of your own beloved writers. Why the double standard?

    The “rule of three” does nothing to keep the length of a paper down. One could easily set out to develop three and only three points, but since he endeavors to cover all bases, it could easily become very long. See, Dan, you’re discovering that I have something most apologists completely lack: actual staying power. Apologists want catchy slogans, snippy one-liners and tired, outworn bluff tactics. They don’t want meat, they want candy.

    Dan: “Lets converse like this:”

    I’ll follow your lead, Dan. But I will reserve the right to reply to everything you write.

    Dan: “Your inconsistency is obvious,”

    I asked: “Can you point it out for me? Cite where I am being inconsistent and what I’m being inconsistent with.”

    Dan: “Are you toying with me now?”

    No, but you seem to be toying with me, or simply trying to evade. You accused me of inconsistency, so I asked you to present some evidence to support this accusation. Or, do you just like to throw around baseless accusations for some reason?

    Dan: “The ‘inconsistency is obvious’ comment was to you borrowing from my worldview to make a claim about your worldview.”

    What does my worldview fail to supply that I had to “borrow” from your worldview, Dan? Be specific, and quote what I wrote. Show that my worldview does not supply it, and show that your worldview exclusively supplies it.

    I asked you to cite evidence. You haven’t. Claiming that I borrow from your worldview to make a claim about my worldview, only shows that you’re not following the conversation very carefully.

    Dan: “You continue to open your Bible in order to make these claims.”

    By quoting the bible to make my points, I am not “borrowing” from your worldview. I’m exposing it. There’s a crucial difference here.

    Dan: “The Christian worldview is the only one with an epistemological foundation.”

    An epistemological foundation worthy of the title would need to include a theory of concepts, since our knowledge is conceptual in nature. Show me where “the Christian worldview” supplies a theory of concepts. If it doesn’t supply one, then clearly it’s at a tremendous disadvantage in the department of epistemology.


    [Continued….]

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  118. Dan: “Thus, your statement about ‘And I can assure you, by rejecting god-belief, I’m not being arrogant, I’m merely being honest’ fails because, as I already said, without the Christian God, the alternative results in rational absurdity and contradiction (since there is no longer a basis for rationality).”

    You need to do more than merely “say” these things, Dan. They are not true because you or Greg Bahnsen asserts them. You need to define your terms (including “rationality”), show how rationality necessarily presupposes your god, and show that no alternative can avoid “result[ing] in rational absurdity and contradiction.” You’ve not done your homework, Dan. But you want to claim the A grade. You’ve got the order completely reversed. You need to do your work first, and then see if it stands up to scrutiny, and only then will you be able to claim a grade for yourself. Until then, you’re getting an F because you simply haven’t done your homework. Of course, if your worldview has no native theory of concepts, then you’re hosed.

    I asked: “What could possibly be ‘absurd’ according to the Christian worldview?”

    Dan: “The ‘atheistic’ worldview.”

    So, no definition of “absurd” from a Christian source which clarifies what this word could possibly mean in the context of the Christian worldview; instead, we just get more finger-pointing. As I expected. Well, my “atheist worldview” affirms objective reality, reason, the objective theory of concepts, the objective theory of values, rational self-interest, individual rights, rationality, independence, productivity, etc. Apparently all this is “absurd” according to your worldview. Of course, I already knew this.

    I wrote: “You believe in invisible magic beings performing miracles, creation ex nihilo, a three-headed god, demonic possession, etc.”

    Dan: “Tisk, tisk, tisk. This is what Smart was pointing out to you but you wouldn't listen obviously.”

    So, a worldview which affirms objective reality, reason, rationality, the objective theories of concepts and values, individual rights, etc., is “absurd,” but belief in invisible magic beings performing miracles, creation ex nihilo, a three-headed god, demonic possession, etc., is not absurd? See what happens to the human mind under the influence of Christianity?

    Quoting David Smart: "The ‘arrogance of atheism’ is manifest by those Atheists who presuppose the truth of their system of thought and expect the Christian to work within the framework of that system, all the while denying for the Christian the inverse thereof because the only presuppositions the Atheist permits in the field of debate are his own.”

    Yes, I remember this. In other words, I’m “arrogant” for “presupposing” (among other things) the fact that there is a fundamental distinction between reality and imagination and expecting other adults (even those who call themselves “Christian”) to recognize this fact as well. Of course, I’m not denying the Christian anything; I can’t deny him anything – I’m just another man. Indeed, you just got don calling objective reality, reason, rationality, the objective theories of concepts and values, individual rights, etc. “absurd.” I’m not going to deny your right to speak for yourself, Dan. So, by Smart’s own measure, I’m not at all being arrogant.

    Dan: “Again, the issue is not about Atheists insisting that theistic claims be supported, but rather how they insist those claims get supported."

    By defining his criticism as he does, Smart makes it clear it’s not atheism that is arrogant, but the practice that he criticizes, which anyone (theist or atheist) could engage in.

    [Continued….]

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  119. I wrote: “My worldview teaches that we follow reason.”

    Dan: “Again, you assume that your worldview follows reason and yet cannot account for your reason other then running behind axioms that does not advance knowledge. In other words, viciously circular.”

    You speak out of self-inflicted ignorance here, Dan. If you wanted to know how my worldview accounts for reason, you’d have to do some reading. But you’ve already made it clear that you don’t want to do this. So your charge of vicious circularity here is completely contentless.

    I wrote: “By calling my worldview absurd, you’re saying that the choice to follow reason is absurd.”

    Dan: “Again, only by merely presupposing ONLY your system of thought. Right? The fact is that within MY presuppositions, your worldview is absolutely absurd. Need I explain my worldview yet again?”

    You’ve made it clear that your worldview considers a worldview which advocates reason is “absurd.” I don’t think there’s anything else you need to say here, Dan. It’s loud and clear.

    I wrote: “In doing so, you tell us precisely who and what you are, Dan.”

    Dan: “But I am not doing so, unless its ONLY within your system of thought. So the bare assertion of ‘us’ is false. Its merely your subjectivity, and not objective. Moving on?”

    Dan, according to Christianity, what is the definition of the concept ‘objective’? Please cite book, chapter and verse in your answer.

    Also, in response to your statement here, I’m talking about in reality, not in some sterile, insulated fake environment. You have dismissed as “absurd” a worldview which advocates reality, reason, and individual rights. I’m guessing you’ve dismissed it before you understood what you were dismissing. But that in itself tells us who you are. And no, the “us” here is not false; it refers to anyone who’s reading along.

    Dan: “BTW, are you married? I will guess, no! Am I wrong?”

    I am very happily married, to a woman untouched by the psychological destructiveness of Christianity.

    I wrote: “I rely on reason, not faith in revelations. Remember?”

    Dan: “Reason that is borrowed from my worldview, not yours.”

    You need to do more than merely assert this, Dan. My worldview develops its understanding of reason without any influence from mystical worldviews. Do you know what reason is in my worldview? What is reason according to your worldview? You’ve already shown that you equate reason with “argument,” as if they were one and the same. I have corrected you on this. And still you say I’m borrowing reason from your worldview? You really have no idea what you’re talking about, but you got the slogans down. In case you didn’t know, slogans are not a substitute for knowledge.

    Dan: “The point is that the necessary elements of logic (i.e. universality, immateriality, and invariance) comport with my worldview, and not with yours. Moving on?”

    Completely wrong. For one thing, universality is a property of concepts. It is nothing more than the open-endedness of conceptual reference. The concept ‘man’, for example, include every man that exists, has existed and will exist. This is accounted for by the objective theory of concepts. Christianity has no theory of concepts, which is why Christian believers throw up their hands in ignorance and point to an invisible magic being to “explain” what they do not understand. So we do not need to “borrow” universality from your worldview, for not only does Objectivism account for it via the objective theory of concepts, your worldview not understand what it is or how it is produced (Christianity has no theory of concepts, remember?), and worse, your worldview shrouds it in ignorance by crediting an invisible magic being for its reality.

    Incidentally, I have a blog which explores this issue in greater detail here: Demystifying Universality.

    [Continued...]

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  120. The notion of “immateriality” is a diversion from the real nature of concepts. What does “immaterial” mean? To what does it refer? Its only meaning could be in contrast to material – “immaterial” is that which is not material. But this only tells us what something is not, not what it is. And it includes imaginary things. Blarko, for instance, is immaterial; Blarko has no body, no flesh, no bones, no organs, etc. It’s “immaterial.” “Immaterial” works here because, since Blarko is imaginary, we don’t have to identify what Blarko *is* in positive terms; we just need to say what it is not – it’s not “material.” This won’t do in the case of concepts, however, because – on a rational understanding of their nature – we do know what they are, they’re mental integrations. They are the form in which man’s consciousness identifies and integrates the material provided by his senses. So we don’t have to “borrow” “immateriality” from your worldview, since it is a useless and contentless notion.

    As for invariance, Objectivism has that already covered with the axioms. The fact that existence exists, for instance, does not change. The fact that objects have identity, does not change. The proper orientation between consciousness and its objects (known as the primacy of existence) does not change. So invariance is not something we need to “borrow” from your worldview, for we already have it from our very foundations.

    I wrote: “What specifically is lacking in my worldview that I would have to “borrow” from your worldview in order to recognize that a mystic of a different stripe could very easily employ the kinds of contentless tactics you use? Please, try to be specific here.”

    Dan: “For one it is not merely a mystic of a different stripe.”

    It is. There are other forms of mysticism which share the same fundamentals, such as Islam, Zoroastrianism, theistic animism, New Age, etc. Like Christianity, these expressions of mysticism assume the primacy of consciousness and reject reason.

    Dan: “The Bible is true because it first makes the claim that it is true, proves itself internally and externally,

    It doesn’t.

    Dan: “AND denial of the truth of the Bible leads to absurdity.”

    It doesn’t.

    [Continued…]

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  121. Dan: “What revelation does your Blarkist’s assertions have?”

    The Blarkist says that Blarko’s will for us is inscribed in our hearts and minds and throughout the universe.

    Dan: “Exactly! You wish to compare apples to oranges in, again, YOUR system of thought but that just is not reality, now is it.”

    My worldview is premised squarely on the primacy of existence. Worldviews like yours, the Blarkist’s, the Muslim’s, etc., are all premised on the primacy of consciousness. This is a fact. You can deny it, but you won’t be able to show that Christianity can survive as a worldview without the primacy of consciousness. Try it. See if you can prove me wrong.

    Dan: “Now if we accept mere assertions of bare logical possibilities, like a Blarko, as grounds for truth we should believe all mere assertions.”

    Your god is just as imaginary as Blarko, Dan. This is not a problem for me, because my worldview teaches that there is a fundamental distinction between reality and imagination, and it also teaches why such a distinction exists. Christianity, on the other hand, fails in this department entirely.

    Dan: “Now man up, and speak to me in reality, not this Blarko mumbo jumbo.”

    I am, Dan. My point in raising the Blarko counter-example is to show how your defenses of your god-belief can easily be mimicked in defense of something that is admittedly imaginary in nature. You just don’t want to admit that your god is imaginary. And yet, any time you speak about your god, we have no alternative but to imagine what it is that you’re talking about. That’s not my problem. In fact, I already manned up by putting away such childish things.

    Dan: “Unless you can present adequate justification for Blarko, then you lose and we are moving on.”

    The Blarkist considers the following to be “adequate justification” for his Blarko-belief: “Blarko exists because of the impossibility of the contrary.” Sound familiar?

    Dan: “Certainly not your ‘A’ game by any stretch.”

    It’s true, I’m pitching you soft balls. And still you’re having a maddeningly difficult time trying to keep up.

    You’ve already made it clear that you won’t engage my A game (i.e., my blog).

    I wrote: “You seem to be talking about the need for a fundamental starting point here. Very good. Unfortunately, it’s clear that you haven’t got one.”

    Dan: “Unfortunately, you're wrong yet again. I have said that God is the starting point. I cannot wait to hear yours.”

    I already told you mine: the axioms of existence, identity and consciousness. They need to be true for you to even consider the question “What is your starting point?” – even before you get around to imagining your god. I pointed to other problems with affirming “God” as your starting point. I do not see that you have addressed them.

    [Continued….]

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  122. I wrote: “My worldview is indeed atheistic, but it does not *start* out by denying the existence of any god. To insist that it does this, is to commit the fallacy of straw man.”

    Dan: “My apologies, please educate me, all I ask is for it to be concise and to the point. To much to ask for? *rests chin on fists”

    I’ve been trying to educate you, Dan. I start with the axioms – positively informed recognitions based directly on that which is perceptually self-evident, inescapable truths which must be assumed even to be denied or disputed. My atheism is not a primary, but a consequence of my allegiance to reason, which is founded upon the primacy of existence, a principle which you have to assume in any attempt to deny it.

    Dan: “I was/am merely asking you how do you know EVERYONE does not begin by denying or negating?”

    I know this because of the very nature of consciousness. Consciousness is consciousness of something, which means: consciousness begins positively, with awareness of objects. Denial is only possible after the mind has developed some content from the world.

    Dan: “Are you omniscient? Or is this merely yet another opinion? Thus negating the ‘I am absolutely certain of it’ claim.”

    Omniscience is not required for universal knowledge, Dan. This is probably one of the biggest mistakes in theistic worldviews. Universality is a product of the abstraction process, a process which the human mind is capable of performing. It requires awareness of only two or more objects that are similar in some way. I can form the concept ‘ball’ for instance on the basis of my awareness of just a few particular concretes, and because of the abstraction process (specifically an operation called measurement-omission) I am able to subsume a limitless quantity of similar objects into the same concept. This is not omniscience, it’s conceptualization. Christians think omniscience is required because they simply do not understand how the human mind functions. They don’t have an understanding of concepts, their nature or how the mind forms them, so they fall into the mystical traps of the Christian program because of this vulnerability.

    Prove me wrong. Tell me what you’re worldview teaches about concepts. Where in the bible can we find a theory of concepts?

    [Continued...]

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  123. Dan: “its my assertion that you in fact KNOW God as your starting point, and only deny Him in an attept to rationalize some convoluted, borrowed, worldview in a futile attempt of avoidance to accountability.”

    You say I “KNOW God.” But when I consider your god, I am simply being honest in pointing out the fact that I am imagining your god. I have no objective awareness of anything called “God.” And you can’t rationally defend the claim that I do. When I turn my attention inward and consider your “God,” I am honest enough to understand that the activity I’m engaging in is not knowledge of the world, but imagination.

    When I read a passage in the bible that talks about its god, I imagine the scene it describes and the characters it portrays. This is what I do if I read a Harry Potter novel. Same thing. Imagination is the faculty which brings the narrative to life.

    Since my worldview recognizes that there’s a fundamental distinction between reality and imagination, my “denial” of the Christian god is simply an instance of being consistent with this fundamental recognition. I’m in no way trying “to rationalize some convoluted, borrowed, worldview in a futile attempt of avoidance to accountability.” I’m perfectly willing to stand by my words, choices and actions. In fact, I insist on it!

    Dan: “Can you refute it?”

    The arbitrary does not require refutation. What you require is correction, which I’ve given above.

    Dan: “Remember, the way that a transcendental claim is refuted is to demonstrate that claim is not the necessary precondition for the thing claimed, i.e. to demonstrate that God is NOT the necessary precondition for the laws of logic.”

    And I’ve done precisely this here.

    Dan asked: “If you are certain of this, how can you be certain?”

    I wrote: “By recognizing that there are no rational grounds for doubt in the matter in question.”

    Dan: “Was this learned? How do you know that?”

    Yes, it is a learned skill. I could explain, but you’re not ready for it; you still can’t get the distinction between reality and imagination down. How can I expect you to understand rational epistemology?

    [Continued….]

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  124. Dan: “Your explanation for trusting your senses/perception is committing the fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantium.”

    What “explanation for trusting [my] senses/perception” of mine commits the fallacy of argumentum ad ignorantium? Show me precisely where I’ve argued in ignorance, Dan. You don’t show anything, you just accuse and then ask questions, such as the following:

    Dan: “Could you, for instance, be wrong about recognizing that there are no rational grounds for doubt?”

    In the present case, no. I checked. I’m certain. Burns you up, doesn’t it?

    You need an argument, Dan. You don’t have any. You just have accusations and questions intended to entrap. If your position were truly and solidly rational, you wouldn’t need to depend on such contrived, deceitful tactics. No wonder so many of your readers think you’re dishonest.

    I wrote: “That’s what frightens you: the mere possibility that I might truly be certain.”

    Dan: “Hogwash. It is impossible to know anything absent certainty. I'll show you what I mean: tell me one thing that you know absent certainty?”

    You’re probably assuming an analysis of knowledge that I do not accept. For instance, do you subscribe to the JTB analysis of knowledge? This seems to be the understanding of knowledge assumed in your question. Unfortunately, you have not defined any of your key terms here (e.g., “know,” “certainty,” etc.), so it’s hard to know specifically what premises underlie your view here.
    I on the other hand subscribe to the contextual analysis of knowledge, where knowledge is informed by concepts, not “beliefs.” In fact, even beliefs must consist of concepts. So the JTB analysis is faulty. That would explain why you make so many epistemological mistakes.

    As for an example of knowledge which is not certain, we do this a lot with inductive inferences. I know, for instance, that most walls in construction of the type which my house has are made of drywall. So by inductive inference, I would say that the walls in my house are made of drywall, but I’m not certain since I was not present when the house was constructed, and I haven’t peeled away the veneer on every wall in my house to confirm this. But this is knowledge in the real sense of the word according to my worldview. I simply haven’t confirmed that there are no rational grounds for doubt.

    Dan: “Are you certain that’s what frightens me?”

    Not 100%, but I very strongly suspect it due to many elements which make up the context of what I know about you. Your reaction in fact strengthens it some more.

    Dan: “You are confusing a feeling of certainty with actual certainty.”

    Can you clarify this distinction? I know others have asked you (and Sye) to do this, but I’ve not seen where either of you have in fact clarified this distinction. In other words, you need to define your terms, since you are advancing this distinction. What is the difference between “a feeling of certainty” and “actual certainty”? Can you define “actual certainty,” and what is its difference from “a feeling of certainty”?

    Dan: “One cannot BE certain of something which is not true.”

    Why not? On what definition of “certain” do you affirm this view?

    I’m not disagreeing per se. I just want to know the context which informs your understanding here.

    I do know many people who claim to be certain about, say, the existence of a god, but since I know this could not be rational (it’s an arbitrary claim), they are clearly not using the concept ‘certain’ as I understand it (since the rationality of their views is not a concern of theirs).

    [Continued….]

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  125. Dan: “We do have an avenue to certainty but not by an ‘atheistic’ worldview. Unless you can tell me how do you know that your reasoning about this or ANYTHING is valid?”

    Actually, it’s interesting that you say this. I’m reminded of when I was a Christian, how I was constantly so uncertain about everything. I was never supposed to accept reality as it appears; the Christian worldview always required me to imagine that there were supernatural forces behind everything I saw and everything that happened in my life. Indeed, there was no objective means of determining whether those forces were good or evil. If the bus was late, for instance, was it God chastening me, trying my patience, and thus a good thing? Or, was it the devil trying to meddle with my life, trying to push my buttons, and thus an evil thing? All I could do was pray and hope. There was no certainty in any of this.

    So no, if you think Christianity offers the only sure formula for certainty, I’m absolutely convinced otherwise, Dan. Sorry, been there, done that.

    Dan had asked: “I ask again, are you certain that God cannot reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, if so, how are you certain of this?”

    I responded: “Your question is fallaciously complex, Dan. Are you familiar with that fallacy? It assumes the truth of a premise which is arbitrary. There is no reason to accept an arbitrary premise.”

    Dan now writes: “I don't know of that fallacy.”

    The fallacy known as complex question is usually covered in introductory logic classes. See for instance here and here for details.

    Dan: “The question stands as, are you certain that God cannot reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, if so, how are you certain of this?”

    My position slashes off the arbitrariness of your question at its very root: your god is imaginary. Your question requires me to deny what I already know. I won’t do this, so I’m not falling for it.

    I wrote: “But reality does not conform to imagination.”

    Dan: “But reality does.”

    You’re saying that reality does conform to imagination? Well, at least you’re consistent with what Christianity ultimately teaches.

    [Continued...]

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  126. I wrote: “If you can name your starting point, just do so.

    Dan: “OK we will start afresh and I will state that presupposing God is my starting point. Bear in mind that I am a Christian and loath to include any other possible scenario's that you feel you can conjure up on the fly.( Blinko, FSM, or whatever) I just want this to be a real conversation between worldviews, not fictitious ones as you were trying to do. When I state anything about God I am stating the God of the Bible, Jesus Christ as evidenced. Moving on.”

    Before you move on, I have some things to say (of course!).

    First of all, you now say “presupposing God is my starting point.” So, a mental activity of yours (“presupposing” something) is your starting point. Is that what you meant to say? Regardless of *what* it is that you are “presupposing” (be it “God” or “Gumby” or “Blarko” or “the Great Pumpkin”), by pointing to a mental activity of yours as your starting point, you’re still taking certain prior facts for granted. And those facts are (you guessed it!): the truths identified by the Objectivist axioms. For you to “presuppose” anything, you would have to exist (there’s the axiom of existence), you would have to exist *as you*(there’s the axiom of identity), and you would have to be conscious – since presupposing is a conscious activity (there’s the axiom of consciousness). So for you even to assert your worldview’s alleged starting point, my worldview’s starting point (the axioms) would have to be true.

    How do you explain your actions here, Dan? You just got done saying my worldview is absurd! And yet, my worldview’s foundations need to be true for you to assert yours. Do you realize how irrational your actions are here?

    I wrote: “I will be watching to see if your starting point assumes the truth of mine (i.e., existence, identity and consciousness”

    Dan: “Maybe, existence, identity, and consciousness does comport with both our worldviews...”

    Translation: “Dawson, maybe your worldview’s axioms are really true after all. Hmm….”

    Dan: “So you claim that your self identified ‘starting point’ is existence, identity, and consciousness. These are, what I am calling, your preconditions for intelligibility? I will await your commitment to address this further.”

    Before I could identify the axioms, the facts which those axioms identify had to obtain. That is why they are the preconditions of knowledge (since knowledge is essentially identification of facts).

    [Continued….]

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  127. I wrote: “you’re agreeing that man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding one source of your god’s revelation, right?”

    Dan: “Man’s fallibility can still get in the way of understanding the details written in one of God's source of revelation.”

    Good, that’s what I was asking.

    Dan: “The difference being we are certain of God's revelation, the Bible being God's infallible, inerrant Word. Just not the details within that revelation.”

    I see. You’re certain on general things, but not the particulars. That seems to be quite a liability, don’t you think?

    Dan: “I just spent 30 minutes trying to think of a phrase like purse my lips but instead, I feel pressured to purse my words.”

    You’re guarding something, Dan. That’s why you feel like this.

    I wrote: “I’m just wondering if you agree (as other Christians have told me) that man’s fallibility gets in the way of their understanding of your god’s revelation - ever - whether it’s special revelation or general revelation. If you think man’s fallibility gets in the way of understanding only one variant of your god’s revelation, can you explain?”

    Dan: “No, not at all. God has revealed things to us, like who He is, in such a way that we can be certain of it.”

    I see, so your understanding of your god’s revelation is itself infallible, right? That’s what you seem to be saying.

    Dan: “Its not something that can be questioned like say, what a Bible verse means at first. Given time, grace, and study though God will reveal His Word to us. Some sooner then others.”

    So, there’s a time lag between the first time you read a bible verse, and when your god reveals its true meaning to you? That would worry me.

    Dan: “I have some wiggle room still in order to claim such a confident statement though.”

    I see. You’re special, right?

    Dan: “Need...more...grace. God's existence? Easy, nailed it, confident. One point! Understanding the entire Bible? No so confident, many difficult points, I anticipate complete understanding to be soon though.”

    So, you aren’t entirely certain after all. Got it.

    I wrote (with Romans 1:20 in mind): “I’d really like to know how something invisible can be ‘clearly seen’.”

    Dan: “Tangent time. If you view the Bible in a certain way, like critically literal, then you will not understand it. The Bible speaks of the four corners of the earth (Isaiah 11:12, Revelation 7:1) are we to believe the Bible is claiming the earth has edges? Nope. it just means over the whole earth. Actually, it means more specifically the cardinal directions of North, South, East, and West. Evidence by the meaning of each word.”

    So you would agree that “invisible things” really cannot be “clearly seen” – since they’re supposed to be invisible?

    Dan: “My point. In light of what I just said, God’s invisible ‘attributes’ can be ‘clearly seen’ in His creation.”

    How? How can something that’s supposed to be invisible be “clearly seen”? If it’s “clearly seen,” what justifies the claim that it’s invisible?

    Of course, one can imagine that what he sees “reflects” attributes which belongs to an imaginary being. Would you say that we do not have this ability?

    Dan: “Side note, presuppositionalism is fully justified with verses like Romans 1:18-23.”

    Which just tells me that presuppositionalism seeks to justify itself on a set of verses which contain a contradiction.

    [Continued….]

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  128. Dan: “To claim an omniscient, omnipotent being could NOT reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them is intellectually dishonest, or intellectual suicide.”

    Dan, there are no omniscient, omnipotent beings which can reveal anything to human minds to begin with. Again, complex question fallacy.

    Dan: “Is your claim that omniscient, omnipotent being could NOT reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?”

    My claim is that people who believe in invisible magic beings can imagine that those beings do whatever they as their imaginers want them to do, in the context of their imagination. What’s so hard to understand about this?

    I asked: “Do you disagree that people can imagine that their knowledge claims originate from a supernatural source? Do you disagree that there’s a fundamental distinction between what is real and what is merely imaginary?”

    Dan: “Ignoratio elenchi”

    I was not offering arguments, so no instance of ignorantio elenchi here. I’m asking questions. Do you agree or disagree that people can imagine that their knowledge claims originate from a supernatural source? I’ll let you in on a secret: I can imagine this. I can imagine that my knowledge comes from Blarko. Do you think this is impossible for me to imagine? If so, then you seem to be saying that Blarko is in fact not imaginary.

    I also asked if you agree or disagree that there’s a fundamental distinction between what is real and what is imaginary. Why are you reluctant to answer this question?

    I asked: “Can you show me how god-belief can obtain without dishonesty? Specifically, without pretending that the imaginary is real?”

    Dan: “Does my proof have to comport with absolute laws of logic according to what YOU believe?”

    If it’s your proof, it’s not up to me how it should be formulated. If you have a proof which comports with the laws of logic, then present it for review.

    Dan: “how do you account for those laws according to YOUR worldview?”
    By reference to the axioms, the primacy of existence and the objective theory of concepts. That’s how.

    Regards,
    Dawson

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  129. DormantDragon wrote: “Bahnsen Burner, since I doubt you'll get any such appreciation from Dan, let me say how much I enjoy reading your detailed eviscerations of his feeble attempts at mounting a defence of presuppositionalism. Thanks for taking the time to post them.”

    Thanks, DD! It’s been quite enjoyable, and my spleen is quite refreshed now!

    DD: “No doubt he'll come back with some schoolyard taunt accusing me of hero-worship, and then claim that he can't be arsed reading your lengthy posts. What should we call this, I wonder - argumentum ad simpletoniam?”

    Argumentum ad simpletoniam…. Hmmm… I like it. May my deluge swallow up his flurry of simpletonia!

    Regards,
    Dawson

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  130.      I find it interesting that Dan objects to "assertions based on mere logical possibility" while also asking people if they admit "it is logically possible an omnipotent being could reveal things to us in such a way that we know them for certain."

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  131. Note also that if what you said was true, that statistically, there should at least have been some of those people in the new world who wouldn't have "suppressed the truth in unrighteousness" so that they would have known already.
    And Bingo was his name-o.

    More arrogance from you:

    I am sure you would concede that an omniscient, omnipotent God could determine whether they were unrepentant or not.
    Right, and every single last one of those people in the new world would ALL be totally unrepentant until the missionaries came?! Why is it that those who live far away from where the "gospel" was presented would be the ones who are "totally unrepentant" while the ones around the so-called "holy land" would be more open to this new religion of yours?

    Yet there's no evidence of that, from missionary or other records that I've heard of.
    You mean besides the Bible?
    Gee, Dan. Care to show the verses where "the word" was brought to the New World around the time of christ's birth then?

    Again, I'll point out the irony of your post: "The Arrogance of Atheism?"
    Indeed. Repentance comes BEFORE knowledge of truth, not after:
    Indeed NOT.

    Sorry, but that's ass backwards. If we don't believe that your god exists, how in the hell can we possibly repent?

    Again, your holy book has things bowled up.

    2 Timothy 2:24-26. The arrogant Atheist "takes no pleasure in understanding but only in expressing his opinion."~ Proverbs 18:2
    Bullshit. The atheists here have been trying to show you how your reasoning is wrong, but you're the one running around in circles, giving no evidence.

    Which, takes us right back to Proverbs 14:2, doesn't it?
    At this point, I'm not even going to bother. You just don't give a damn.

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  132. Dawson,

    >>You’re probably also taken aback by the fact that I actually read presuppositionalist sources, quote from them, and interact directly with what presuppositionalists have in fact stated and argued. Not many critics of presuppositionalism online take the time to do this.

    Not at all, you apparently have made it your life's work. I am am barely three years into it with one year studying it in a thorough manner. I am catching up.

    >>I’ll follow your lead, Dan. But I will reserve the right to reply to everything you write.

    OK, I concede this is a very involved conversation and warrants lengthy discussion to the point of obscene. If every word needs to be examined for meaning it will be exhaustively complex. That will be the nature of this, very interesting, beast. Let the words fly and throw caution to the wind!

    Dan: “You continue to open your Bible in order to make these claims.”

    >>By quoting the bible to make my points, I am not “borrowing” from your worldview. I’m exposing it. There’s a crucial difference here.

    No, what I meant is that to make ANY knowledge claim you MUST borrow from my worldview. i.e. you continue to open your Bible in order to make these claims.

    I just thought to make you my newest post. A conversation between us to refer to. These conversation are getting mucky since I have posed questions that have yet to be addressed and you keep posing questions. Also, I feel that its a bit uneven, you spent far more time at this then I have, but it would be a good exercise. It will have rules to follow though.

    [contemplating it]

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  133. I wrote: “If something is not worthy of being an axiom, it wouldn’t be an axiom in the first place.”

    Dan: “Axioms are subjective. Got it.”

    If your “axioms” include references to the god you imagine, then of course your "axioms" are subjective.

    But you haven’t established that mine are subjective, nor does my above statement at all indicate that my axioms are subjective. I’m wondering if you even know what “subjective” means. Which brings up a question I had posed to you in one of my previous replies to you, which was:

    according to Christianity, what is the definition of the concept ‘objective’? Please cite book, chapter and verse in your answer.

    What’s your answer to this, Dan?

    I wrote: “For them to fail as axioms, they would have to be: a) not true”

    Dan: “Perceived by who? The originator of the axiom? Not so, because they ‘certainly consider their worldview’s axioms worthy’. Delusions of axioms don't count as a failed axiom? Got it.”

    Dan, do you think an axiom that is not true has any value to the human mind? Why do you quibble with my requirement that an axiom be true?

    Let me ask you, in response to what you write here: do you perceive anything? If so, what do you perceive? And with what faculty do you perceive? Do you perceive with your circulatory system? Do you perceive with your respiratory system? Do you perceive with your digestive system? Or, do you perceive with your nervous system, including your sensory organs and your brain?

    I wrote: “b) not conceptually irreducible”

    Dan: “Great, now I will have to brush up on phenomenal realism to discus things with you. Put a pin in that one, I will get to it later with some education.”

    No, you’ll have to learn about concepts, specifically their nature, how they’re formed and how they relate to one another. I asked in one of my previous replies to you to tell us whether or not your worldview has its own theory of concepts, and if so, where the bible lays it out. What’s your answer on this? Seriously, this is importance, since concepts are the key to the whole debate, beginning with the axioms (i.e., the proper starting point of knowledge).

    I wrote: “c) not perceptually self-evident”

    Dan: “Like quantum mechanics? Put a pin in that one also, I will get to it later with some education.”

    No, like the things you perceive in your waking experience.

    I wrote: “If you can show that my worldview’s axioms fail, please do so.”

    Dan: “You avoidance is palatable.”

    After this, you asked a bunch of useless questions. You again pass up your opportunity to show how my worldview’s axioms fail, if you think they do. If you think my axioms are invalid, come out with it and say so, and explain why you think this. Also, in regard to your autobiographical statement (“I do not see how it is possible for you to get from that [the axioms?] to certainty about anything”), you’re missing the fact that the axioms are already incontestable certainties: I am certain that existence exists (i.e., that there’s a reality, that things exist); that for something to exist, it must be itself; and that I am conscious of things which exist. And again, by “certain” here, I am indicating that there are no rational grounds for doubt in regard to the matter in question.

    [Continued….]

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  134. Dan: “The more I talk to you, the more I feel I am speaking to Ayn Rand's ghost. I need to analyze her 'theories' more to help you.”

    Yes, I clearly need your help, Dan. [sic]

    I wrote: “Even if you believe this is true, [God being necessary for logic, is my axiom] it could not be a philosophical axiom. Clearly it is not conceptually irreducible (each element in your statement assumes the validity of numerous more fundamental concepts).”

    Dan: “Sure it can, sure it is. Merely claiming it isn't, within your system of thought and your axioms, isn't advances anything. Explain, please?”

    Dan, the statement “God is necessary for logic” is not conceptually irreducible. As I mentioned, its elements – i.e., the concepts which inform it – take many prior assumptions for granted. Take for example the concept ‘necessary’, which is one of the elements of your proposed “axiom.” What does “necessary” mean? You agree that it is a meaningful concept, right? But to what does it refer? What is its definition? Say the definition of the concept ‘necessary’ as it is used in your “axiom” is the following: “being essential, indispensable, or requisite” (from dictionary.com). Well, there’s the proof that one of the elements of your “axiom” is NOT conceptually irreducible, for here it would show that it needs to be defined in terms of more fundamental concepts – concepts whose validity the concept ‘necessary’ assumes. The presence of just one concept whose meaning rests on previously formed concepts, invalidates your proposed “axiom” as a legitimate axiom, since a legitimate axiom must at the very minimum (among other things) be conceptually irreducible.

    So your “axiom” is out, Dan. Plus, as I’ve pointed out several times already, my worldview’s axioms would have to be true even for you to consider the question “What is your starting point?”

    I wrote: “Nor is it perceptually self-evident.”

    Dan: “Sure it is.”

    I can only suspect that you’re trying to be silly here.

    I wrote: “Your god couldn’t possibly be necessary for logic for a variety of reasons. For one thing, logic is conceptual in nature”

    Dan: “Bzzzzt! And that is where you logic breaks down your axiom about logic is flawed, logic is NOT conceptual but contextual.”

    Logic is contextual as well. Conceptual and contextual are not mutually exclusive. Logic is certainly conceptual. Logic is the art of non-contradictory identification, and human beings identify things by means of concepts. So its purpose is conceptual. Also, logical principles are composed of concepts, beginning with the axiomatic concept of ‘identity’. Here’s a challenge for you, Dan: name one concept in logic and show that it is not a concept. Try it. If you think logic is not conceptual, produce for us elements of logic that are not conceptual. How about the law of non-contradiction? Well, “law” is a concept, “non-contradiction” is also a concept. How about the concept ‘validity’? Oops, just gave it away – ‘validity’ is a concept.

    Take a look at the most fundamental principle of logic – the law of identity. It is typically expressed as follows: A is A. Notice that already we’re dealing in the realm of concepts. The connector “is” is a concept – it is a linking verb, and verbs are concepts denoting action or connecting a subject to a predicate. Take a look at the other symbol used in this expression – “A”. “A” is a variable - which means: any thing can take its place. For instance: My house is my house; banks are banks; earth is earth; etc. The use of symbols and variables is is a conceptual operation.

    [Continued…]

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  135. Dan: “Logic is not dependant on the human mind.”

    So, logic is like rocks, just existing on the ground some place?

    Dan: “We are part of a closed system.”

    Huh? Argument here?

    Dan: “Logic is not a contingent entity.”

    I don’t think logic is an entity to begin with.

    Dan: “Could the universe have both existed, and not existed at the same time and in the same way before human minds created the law of non-contradiction? If not, why not?”

    No, because existence exists, and existence is identity. Logic is the conceptual activity which builds on this recognition. Consider my worldview’s definition of logic: Logic is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification. Now you would agree (I would think) that I would have to exist and be conscious in order to consider your question and present an answer to it, do you not? Since logic is involved in the process of identifying - a conscious activity – why suppose that logic could exist without minds?

    And no, I have not stated that “human minds created the law of non-contradiction,” as if they just fabricated it from whole cloth. Since the law of identity is based on the axiom of identity, the law of non-contradiction is something we discover, not “create.”

    Dan: “If laws of logic are merely descriptive of human minds then we would not need laws to correct faulty human thinking. Renders that illogical.”

    But since I have not stated that the “laws of logic are merely descriptive of human minds,” so this is neither here nor there.

    Dan: “I don't dispute existence, identity and consciousness. I dispute your account for those things in your axioms. I disagree with your axioms.”

    Dan, you stated very plainly “I disagree with your axioms.” If you meant something different from this, fine. Now you say that you dispute my “account for those things in [my] axioms.” (Then you state again that you “disagree with [my] axioms” which does not help your reputation as a thinker.)

    Specifically, Dan, what is it that you’re disputing, and why? What “account for those things in [my] axioms” are you talking about? Be specific. Is there something I stated that you think is untrue? If so, please point it out for me. If not, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Which means: who cares if you dispute something I say?

    Dan: “I dispute your axiom to account for existence, identity and consciousness.”

    What do you mean by “axiom to account for existence, identity and consciousness”? What specifically are you disputing?

    [Continued…]

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  136. Dan: “How do you account for existence, identity and consciousness?”

    Your question is nonsensical. But let’s explore it. First of all, what do you mean by “account for existence”? Existence is primary, it’s the starting point. There’s nothing “prior” to existence. For there to be something “prior” to existence, that something would have to exist - which means: it would have to be part of existence. So if you’re asking what comes before existence, you basically have two options: 1) recognize that the question goads one into accepting stolen concepts, or 2) assume that non-existence is the proper starting point. I go with option 1; theism represents option 2. Why? Because theism is unsatisfied beginning with existence already in place. Your own questions here indicate your theistic impulse: you want something “prior” to existence; you want something “prior” to existence to “account for” existence, all the while ignoring or failing to recognize that you’ve committed the fallacy of the stolen concept.

    The axiom of existence is the recognition that existence exists, and that this is the proper starting point. The only alternative to the axiom of existence is to begin with non-existence, which would be a non-starter: it’s undeniable that existence exists, so if you start with non-existence, how do you “account for” the fact that existence exists? It’s only when you start with non-existence as your starting point (as you do) that you would think the question “how do you account for existence?” is conceptually valid. But if you start with non-existence, then you’re ontologically stuck: how could you explain the fact that things exist if you start with non-existence? Something would have to have caused existence to exist, but if you start with non-existence, then you have nothing that could cause anything. So you’re stuck in your own futile pickle.

    Of course, the theist will want to say that “God” solves the problem. But it doesn’t, if you want to start with non-existence as your starting point. If you start with non-existence as your starting point, then where’s your god? You want to say your god exists, right? But you’ve already denied its existence by starting with non-existence. So you’re hosed again.

    Dan: “If you are claiming that existence, identity and consciousness accounts for existence, identity and consciousness then that viciously circular account does NOT advance knowledge.”

    What makes you think I’m claiming that “existence, identity and consciousness accounts [sic] for existence, identity and consciousness”? I’ve nowhere stated this. Where are you getting this? Are you just looking for ways to try to attack my position? You’re just exposing the feebleness of your own position by doing this.

    I have pointed out before that the axioms are not established by means of argument; their truths are not inferred. So there’s no chance for circularity here, since circularity is a fallacy in argument. The axioms *identify* what we perceive directly, Dan. I look out at the world, and see that it exists. There’s the axiom of existence. No inferring going on. And there’s no need to “account for” existence, either. As my above points show, this would require starting with something other than existence, and the only alternative to existence is – you guessed it – non-existence. But I already told you that I start with existence. So again, you’re hosed.

    Keep trying, though, Dan. I’m having fun with this!

    [Continued...]

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  137. Dawson,

    In the spirit of simplification I will condense points made.

    >>You’ve already made it clear that you won’t engage my A game (i.e., my blog).

    Valid point, I may reconsider that hasty decision.

    >>So you would agree that “invisible things” really cannot be “clearly seen” – since they’re supposed to be invisible?

    So since you claim this, lets apply it. You cannot clearly see the love your kid has for you. You are claiming references and actions cannot be "seen" and thus nonexistent. Since you cannot "see" north, then north does not exist. Same with your kid's love for you. Is this your position? I assume backpedaling will ensue. maybe you are confusing the language. Is it fair to say, for simply your sake, that 'clearly seen' in other words, apparent is to mean 'clearly know'? Your difficulty of the Bible is obvious.

    >>Argumentum ad simpletoniam…. Hmmm… I like it. May my deluge swallow up his flurry of simpletonia!

    Hardly, I do enjoy this conversation and applaud your ability to clarify your position.

    Oops you commented already. Moving on.

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  138. I wrote: “By quoting the bible to make my points, I am not “borrowing” from your worldview. I’m exposing it. There’s a crucial difference here.”

    Dan: “No, what I meant is that to make ANY knowledge claim you MUST borrow from my worldview. i.e. you continue to open your Bible in order to make these claims.”

    Dan, this is a contentless slogan that you’ve read in some apologetics book and are mindlessly repeating here. You don’t even know what you’re saying. You’ve been taught to repeat it. The proof of this is the fact that you provide no support, no analysis, no argument, no evidence, no anything to back up what you say here.

    But I’m happy to humor you here. You say that I “must borrow” from Christianity – “i.e.,… to open [the] Bible” – in order “to make any knowledge claim.” Alright, what does the bible mean by “knowledge”? Find me a definition in the bible of “knowledge,” give me book, chapter and verse, and let’s explore this claim of yours. Next, once we understand what the bible means by “knowledge,” please present the bible’s analysis of knowledge: what is its nature, how is it acquired, to what does it refer to, what is its purpose, etc. It may be that, once we understand what a “knowledge claim” is according to what the bible says, that I’m not making anything of the sort when I claim knowledge as my worldview understands knowledge. But do your best.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  139. I wrote: “So you would agree that 'invisible things' really cannot be 'clearly seen' – since they’re supposed to be invisible?”

    Dan: “So since you claim this, lets apply it. You cannot clearly see the love your kid has for you.”

    I could explore this with you, but it’s a deliberate diversion, so I won’t. I have not claimed that I “clearly see” something that I have already stated is “invisible.” That’s the issue we face in Romans 1:20, Dan. This is what I’ve asked you to address. How can something that is “invisible” be “clearly seen”? If something is in fact “clearly seen,” what justifies calling it “invisible”?

    Dan: “You are claiming references and actions cannot be ‘seen’ and thus nonexistent.”

    I have not given this argument; if you think I have, you need to find it and quote it from what I’ve written. You won’t find it; it’s not there.

    And again, Dan, this isn’t about something I’ve claimed. This is about what Romans 1:20 says. It says that something “invisible” is “clearly seen.” I see this to be an outright contradiction. How do you explain it away? I want to see your powers of logic in action, since you claim that you know things by means of revelation and that logic presupposes your god.

    Dan: “Since you cannot ‘see’ north, then north does not exist. Same with your kid's love for you. Is this your position?”

    No, and my question is not about my position. It’s about what Romans 1:20 says. Stick to the blasted issue. Or is there some reason why you can’t address it?

    Dan: “I assume backpedaling will ensue.”

    “Backpedaling”? On whose part? I am not going to back off this problem in Romans 1:20. You seem to want to direct my attention away from it. Why is that? This is not about me, Dan, so stop trying to make it about me.

    Dan: “maybe you are confusing the language.”

    The confusion is not mine, nor in my language. The confusion is in Romans 1:20. It states that something “invisible” is “clearly seen.” Explain this, or acknowledge that your holy book contains a contradiction.

    Dan: “Is it fair to say, for simply your sake, that 'clearly seen' in other words, apparent is to mean 'clearly know'?”

    Does Romans 1:20 say that “invisible things” are “clearly known”? No, it does not. It states that “invisible things” are “clearly seen.”

    Dan: “Your difficulty of the Bible is obvious.”

    It’s not my difficulty, Dan, for I did not write the bible. The problem is in the passage, Romans 1:20.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  140. Dawson,

    >>If your “axioms” include references to the god you imagine, then of course your "axioms" are subjective.

    Since that applies to me it applies to all, including you.

    If your “axioms” include references to NO God, then of course your "axioms" are subjective.

    according to Christianity, what is the definition of the concept ‘objective’? Please cite book, chapter and verse in your answer.

    Romans 1:18-23

    >>Dan, do you think an axiom that is not true has any value to the human mind?

    Apparently to you, it does. The axiom of metaphysical naturalism.

    Question: Is truth is absolute and knowable?

    >>I asked in one of my previous replies to you to tell us whether or not your worldview has its own theory of concepts, and if so, where the bible lays it out. What’s your answer on this?

    I cannot answer that if your view of logic is merely conceptual, or a theory of concepts, which it isn't.

    >>“c) not perceptually self-evident”

    Dan: “Like quantum mechanics? Put a pin in that one also, I will get to it later with some education.”

    >>No, like the things you perceive in your waking experience.

    First, for clarity, according to you are ALL things perceived, self-evident? i.e. are all things perceived in your waking experience, self-evident?

    >>After this, you asked a bunch of useless questions.

    i.e, After this, you asked a bunch of things I don't want to address.

    Dawson, I cannot believe you are addressing things asked in ANOTHER POST in this convoluted collection of comments. You are INTENTIONALLY trying to muck up these posts!!!! How can anyone follow this conversation unless this is referenced to another conversation. You failed to do such a thing, i.e. intentionally trying to muck a conversation in the spirit of verbosity. YOU HAVE BEEN CAUGHT!

    Anyway lets address what you view as a "bunch of useless questions":

    For that matter, you cannot know the reasoning with which you reason about axioms is itself valid. True? Surely you would grant that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning. Agree? If so, I do not see how it is possible for you to get from that to certainty about anything?

    (Resume ducking)

    [Cont'd, too long, shocker]

    ReplyDelete
  141. [cont'd]

    >>You again pass up your opportunity to show how my worldview’s axioms fail, if you think they do. If you think my axioms are invalid, come out with it and say so, and explain why you think this.

    Sure, first address the questions I already asked. You know, to stay fair.

    >>Also, in regard to your autobiographical statement (“I do not see how it is possible for you to get from that [the axioms?] to certainty about anything”), you’re missing the fact that the axioms are already incontestable certainties: I am certain that existence exists (i.e., that there’s a reality, that things exist); that for something to exist, it must be itself; and that I am conscious of things which exist.

    First, you attempted to place [the axioms?] in the position of [grant that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning.] Which makes you a LIAR or a FRAUD. Explain yourself! For someone that wants to show them self in the spirit to want to "clarify" all positions, you sure want to muck up things. TWICE NOW!!!

    Bwaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Your "A" game is hilarious. Argumentum ad discombobulateiam! Where is honesty within your worldview. Oh, that's right, you cannot account for such a thing.

    You have been caught as a fraud. Explain yourself or live with that FACT!

    Second since I have clarified the question (grant that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning) with Agree? If so, I do not see how it is possible for you to get from that to certainty about anything?

    Then good by this round about way you DO grant that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning.

    >>And again, by “certain” here, I am indicating that there are no rational grounds for doubt in regard to the matter in question.

    GREAT! Then you are NOT certain here (rational grounds for doubt) since you already have granted that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning. I WIN, again?

    So the question still stands, how are you certain of this, or anything? How do you KNOW?

    ReplyDelete
  142. NEW RULE to add to the fray,

    Comments from Dawson (Bahnsen Burner) cannot be accepted unless they must be, at most 4,096 characters. No more "[Continued...]"

    Also,

    Comments from Dawson cannot be accepted unless the original [first] comment has been addressed.

    This will force a more concise and easier to address flow of a conversation. This, all over the place tactic, is being addressed and handled. This allows a life outside of conversations with Dawson. So if you want things addressed ask it within the 4,096 characters constraint and then WAIT for a response.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Dawson,

    Dan: “Logic is not dependant on the human mind.”

    >>So, logic is like rocks, just existing on the ground some place?

    More like: Laws of Logic, like rocks, exists.

    Dan: “We are part of a closed system.”

    >>Huh? Argument here?

    We are part of an impersonal forces, a mechanistic universe, closed system. Thoughts, rules of reasoning are part of the same closed system. (Dr. Lisle)

    >>Logic is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification.

    Even if I granted that to you, I don't yet, how do you then account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, on what basis do you proceed with the assumption that they will not change?

    >>What do you mean by “axiom to account for existence, identity and consciousness”? What specifically are you disputing?

    Your ability to account for existence, identity and consciousness.

    Also, you are referencing a conversation on another post.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Dan: “If your ‘axioms’ include references to NO God, then of course your ‘axioms’ are subjective.”

    And my axioms don’t do this, either. My axioms do not make references to “NO unicorns” either.

    At this point, Dan, I’m questioning the seriousness of your apologetic approach. Actually, I’ve been questioning it since the beginning, but I was willing to give you a few chances. But a major part of your problem is that you do not develop your points to show that they are even defensible considerations.

    I asked: “according to Christianity, what is the definition of the concept ‘objective’? Please cite book, chapter and verse in your answer.”

    Dan: “Romans 1:18-23”

    See, this is another example. I asked a serious question – how does Christianity define the concept ‘objective’ – and you cite a passage from Romans which says nothing about objectivity (it doesn’t even claim to be giving a definition of objectivity), and you don’t even take some time to explain how this is an appropriate answer to my question.

    I asked: “Dan, do you think an axiom that is not true has any value to the human mind?”

    Dan: “Apparently to you, it does. The axiom of metaphysical naturalism.”

    Dan, my question was directed to you; it was not intended as an opportunity for you to speak for me. You seem to have a real problem answering straightforward questions in a serious manner. I’d expect a mature thinker to reply to my question in a fashion similar to this: “No, an axiom that is not true could have no value to the human mind.” But you don’t say anything to shed light on your position on the matter. It appears you think this is some kind of game, and you’re playing hide and seek. If you have confidence in your position, why the games?

    Dan: “Question: Is truth is absolute and knowable?”

    Truth is in fact absolute – and by this, I essentially mean that truth conforms to the primacy of existence (e.g., the statement “Albany is the capital of New York” is true, not because I feel like it or because I want it to be, but because Albany really is the capital of New York). Also, truth is knowable by human beings, so long as human beings have access to the facts which inform the truth.

    I wrote: “I asked in one of my previous replies to you to tell us whether or not your worldview has its own theory of concepts, and if so, where the bible lays it out. What’s your answer on this?”

    Dan: “I cannot answer that if your view of logic is merely conceptual, or a theory of concepts, which it isn't.”

    Dan, why does your ability to answer this question depend specifically on my view of logic? Either the bible lays out a theory of concepts, or it doesn’t. It doesn’t depend on what I think or believe. I’m guessing that you’re tacitly confessing that the bible in fact does NOT lay out a theory of concepts, and that Christianity therefore lacks a native theory of concepts.

    Dan: “First, for clarity, according to you are ALL things perceived, self-evident?”

    No, I wouldn’t say that. There are things which I will never perceive, there are things that no human being has perceived.

    Dan: “i.e. are all things perceived in your waking experience, self-evident?”

    If I perceive them, then they are perceptually self-evident, by virtue of my having perceived them. The phone sitting on my desk, for instance: it is perceptually self-evident to me. Does this help clear things up?

    Dan: “You are INTENTIONALLY trying to muck up these posts!!!!”

    Sorry about that. I’m undercaffeinated today.

    [Continued…]

    ReplyDelete
  145. Dan: “For that matter, you cannot know the reasoning with which you reason about axioms is itself valid. True?”

    If the “reasoning with which [I] reason about axioms” is real – i.e., if I have reasoned at all about the axioms – then that reasoning has identity (in keeping with the axiom of identity). If something exists, it has identity, and it is therefore identifiable. Also, the concept of ‘validity’ has meaning. If I have reasoned about the axioms, and I am aware what my reasoning about the axioms is, I can compare that reasoning to the norms stipulated by the concept of validity to discover whether or not that reasoning is valid. So, yes, I can know this.

    But keep in mind something before you go half-cocked with your urgent need to accuse me of vicious circular reasoning: reasoning about the axioms is not the same thing as deducing them from some prior set of knowledge. In other words, the axioms themselves are not conclusions of my reasoning about them, so the axioms cannot be accused of depending on a circular argument. The expression “reasoning about the axioms” is very open-ended, and could apply to any number of scenarios apart from an effort to derive them from a proof.

    Dan: “Surely you would grant that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning. Agree?”

    In response to the first part of the question: Not really. I would agree that there are poor candidates for axioms (such as your “God is necessary for logic” notion). But they would not really be axioms in the first place (as I showed in the case of your proposed axiom).

    In response to the second part of the question: Yes, there is such a thing as invalid reasoning (such as when one attempts to reason to “God’s existence” from the laws of logic).

    Dan: “If so, I do not see how it is possible for you to get from that to certainty about anything?”

    Is this a question? It looks like an autobiographical statement about what you “do not see,” and I’ve responded to it twice now.

    [Continued…]

    ReplyDelete
  146. I wrote: “You again pass up your opportunity to show how my worldview’s axioms fail, if you think they do. If you think my axioms are invalid, come out with it and say so, and explain why you think this.”

    Sure, first address the questions I already asked. You know, to stay fair.

    Dan: “First, you attempted to place [the axioms?] in the position of [grant that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning.]”

    See above.

    Also, Dan, please re-read the following statement until it sinks in: The axioms identify what is given in sense perception; they are not established by means of inference.

    You’ll also note that I do not grant that there’s such a thing as “invalid axioms” (as I explained previously), but that there is such a thing as invalid reasoning. But since the axioms are not established by means of reasoning (i.e., by deductive inference), this is irrelevant to their truth value.

    Dan: “Which makes you a LIAR or a FRAUD.”

    How? Can you present some kind of argument to show how you came to this conclusion? Seriously, I don’t want to lose you so early in our exchange of ideas.

    Dan: “For someone that wants to show them self in the spirit to want to "clarify" all positions, you sure want to muck up things. TWICE NOW!!!”

    I must be at a disadvantage here, Dan, for I’m not following you here at all.

    Dan: “Where is honesty within your worldview.”

    Dan, where do you think I was being dishonest?

    [Continued…]

    ReplyDelete
  147. I wrote: “And again, by ‘certain’ here, I am indicating that there are no rational grounds for doubt in regard to the matter in question.”

    Dan: “GREAT! Then you are NOT certain here (rational grounds for doubt) since you already have granted that there are invalid axioms, and also that there is invalid reasoning. I WIN, again?”

    See above. I have not granted that “there are invalid axioms,” and I’ve also pointed out the fact that the axioms of my worldview are not established on the basis of prior reasoning.

    Even if I did grant that there is such a thing as invalid axioms, this wouldn’t be sufficient for you to score some point or something here, Dan. You would need to investigate to see whether or not my axioms are in fact valid or not, and you haven’t done this.

    Seriously, what fault do you find with my axioms? Here they are:

    - Existence (i.e., there is a reality, things exist)
    - Identity (to be something is to be something specific; A is A)
    - Consciousness (consciousness is consciousness of something)

    Do you think these are “invalid” as axioms? If so, please explain why.

    Dan: “So the question still stands, how are you certain of this, or anything? How do you KNOW?”

    Dan, knowing is a process of identifying what we are aware of. We do this by means of concepts. I know existence because first I perceive it, and then I identify it with a concept – the concept ‘existence’. Once I realize the fact that I am perceiving things (the axiom of consciousness explicitly identifies this fact), I cannot fail to be certain of the fact that I perceive things. It’s not some artificial, self-deluding feeling. It’s a recognition of a fact that would have to be true even for me to deny it.

    So I guess I’m not seeing what your issue is, unless it’s simply that this is all very new to you, and you’ve never given it any thought before I came along.

    [Continued…]

    ReplyDelete
  148. Dan: “Logic is not dependant on the human mind.”

    I asked: “So, logic is like rocks, just existing on the ground some place?”

    Dan: “More like: Laws of Logic, like rocks, exists.”

    Laws of logic exist like rocks? You mean, they have atomic structure?

    Dan: “We are part of an impersonal forces, a mechanistic universe, closed system. Thoughts, rules of reasoning are part of the same closed system. (Dr. Lisle)”

    Is this a view you hold, Dan? What’s the reasoning behind it?

    I wrote: “Logic is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification.”

    Dan: “Even if I granted that to you, I don't yet, how do you then account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic,”

    By means of the axioms, the primacy of existence, and the objective theory of concepts.

    Dan: “on what basis do you proceed with the assumption that they will not change?”

    On the basis of the axioms, the primacy of existence, and the objective theory of concepts.

    I’m not trying to be curt here, Dan. Seriously, this is how my position on logic is informed. You don’t want longwinded “argumentum ad verbosium” or however you call it, so I’m trying to honor your desire that I keep it brief. I have linked to a paper which gives some introductory pointers on the question you ask. But if you recall, you have so far refused to read it.

    I wrote: “What do you mean by ‘axiom to account for existence, identity and consciousness’? What specifically are you disputing?”

    Dan: “Your ability to account for existence, identity and consciousness.”

    Okay, so you seem to be equating “axiom” to an ability here (not sure why). As for “account for existence, identity and consciousness,” specifically what am I supposed to understand this to mean?

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  149. Dan,

    Just saw your new rules for me.

    Dan: “Comments from Dawson (Bahnsen Burner) cannot be accepted unless they must be, at most 4,096 characters. No more ‘[Continued...]’"

    This seems to be two different rules. First of all, Blogger won’t let me post a comment that’s more than 4,096 characters. But I did post some more comments with the “[Continued…]” at the bottom, so I guess I’m already breaking your new rules. Sorry about that.

    I guess you’re asking that my comments do not spill over from one comment to the next. I’m not sure I will be able to abide by this, as we have such a lengthy exchange going on already, and many of your comments have so many things that need correcting. Also, I’m trying to answer your questions as well. So I’m not sure I know how to comply with this rule.

    You had another rule:
    Dan: “Comments from Dawson cannot be accepted unless the original [first] comment has been addressed.”

    I’m not sure I even understand what this rule is saying. I think I’ve been pretty good about addressing your comments, Dan. In fact, it’s because I’ve been addressing everything you’ve been saying that things have gotten so long.

    Again, my apologies for mucking up your blog. I’m just enjoying this so much! It’s like winning every hand on poker night.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  150. Dawson,

    Dan: “How do you know a God belief ‘requires’ dishonesty?”

    >>Well, for one thing, I was raised as a theist. So firsthand evidence tells me this.

    Oh, so you don't trust your parents. Sad, but I understand.

    >>Also, I’ve studied the phenomenon of religious belief for over 20 years now.

    So, education says God belief ‘requires’ dishonesty? I do not see the connection.

    >>After a while, one comes to some conclusions.

    Time states God belief ‘requires’ dishonesty? Again, I do not see the connection.

    Question still not addressed as far as I am concerned.

    >>Dan, can you explain how we can reliably distinguish your god from what you may merely be imagining?

    Sure, revelations of God.

    >>Like you, they want to discount my former Christian confession as much as possible. It makes them feel more secure that way.

    Well, for me that is not the case. Truth, and the pursuit of it, is my motivation. Obviously, God new something about you that you didn't back then. Honesty to self is one possibility, although I do not claim knowledge for your case.

    >>Nothing changed with my worldview’s definitions of certainty. You provided more data, and that data eliminated any potential doubts on the matter.

    So can new data change certainty?

    Dan: “If that is the case, how can you be certain of your worldview’s definitions?”

    >>By recognizing that there’s no rational grounds for doubt in the matter in question. That’s how.

    So can new data change that certainty, defined as no rational grounds for doubt in the matter in question?

    >>You had asked me according to my worldview’s definition of certainty.

    Are all definitions relative, or just that one word?

    ReplyDelete
  151. Dan: “Oh, so you don't trust your parents. Sad, but I understand.”

    As with anyone, I have to be discriminating. I do not blindly accept everything my parents say simply because they’re my parents. And yes, on philosophical issues, my parents are not very informed.

    Dan: “So, education says God belief ‘requires’ dishonesty? I do not see the connection.”

    No, I am saying this, based on what I’ve learned. You asked how I know, so I pointed to the general factors involved in coming to this conclusion.

    >>After a while, one comes to some conclusions.

    Dan: “Time states God belief ‘requires’ dishonesty? Again, I do not see the connection.”

    Dan, either you’re really dense, or you’re just trying to be cute here. I suspect it’s the latter, as I’m pretty confident that you’re not that dense.

    Dan: “Question still not addressed as far as I am concerned.”

    I’ve addressed them, both here and on my blog, Dan. You don’t have to like it, but I’ve addressed them.


    I asked: “Dan, can you explain how we can reliably distinguish your god from what you may merely be imagining?”

    Dan: “Sure, revelations of God.”

    That’s viciously circular, Dan, and it does nothing to tell me how I can distinguish between your god and what you may merely be imagining. Appealing to revelations from your god to assure me that your god is not imaginary is a non-starter. The Blarkist can appeal to revelations from Blarko to assure me that Blarko is real. But it does nothing to distinguish Blarko from imagination.

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  152. Dawson,

    >>“Fallible people can be wrong, and wretched people often lie.”

    Dan: “Yes, even you! (Proverbs 3:5-6, John 14:26)”

    >>If you’re relying on the bible to support your charge that I have lied, then essentially you’re saying that I was guilty of lying long before I even existed. Now, if I truly have lied, I’m sure you could do better than this.

    Before you even existed? Also, my mistake, I should of used the verses (Proverbs 3:5-6, 1 John 2:22, Revelation 3:17)

    :7)

    >>And I speak the truth by choice.

    Nope, you don't even speak truth. (1 John 2:22)

    >>I do not claim to have been “renewed in Christ,”

    Anymore you mean.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Correction:

    DD,

    >>1. How do you justify your faith in your ability to discern revelation, as opposed to your god's ability to reveal anything?

    By the source of said revelation.

    >>2. How can you be certain that an omnipotent god is not making you believe in falsehoods?

    Because of the source of said revelation.

    >>3. How can you believe at once that the laws of physics and of logic will hold universally, and also that your god can intervene miraculously in the universe, thus negating the operation of physical and logical laws?

    God's revelation. God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses, memory and reasoning such that I can make determinations about Him, universally of the universe, and His abilities. Which, DOES NOT, negate the operation of physical and logical laws.

    My turn, because until you can provide concrete answers to these questions, there is no point in attempting to engage you in rational discourse.

    1. 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, and how is it possible to know anything for certain according to YOUR worldview?

    2. How do you know that your reasoning about this or ANYTHING is valid? (justifying your ability to reason)

    3. How do you KNOW God doesn't exist?

    I am expecting answers of: I can't, I can't, I don't. Anything else would require explanations.

    ReplyDelete
  154. Pvboy,

    >>I find it interesting that Dan objects to "assertions based on mere logical possibility" while also asking people if they admit "it is logically possible an omnipotent being could reveal things to us in such a way that we know them for certain."

    Quote mine? Shocker from a non-man

    I said: If we accept mere assertions of bare logical possibilities as grounds for truth we should believe all mere assertions.

    That stands true for omniscient beings also. The lying and fallacy of yours is obvious,... and expected. Dogmatically consistent is a trait of yours.

    ReplyDelete
  155. I wrote: “If you’re relying on the bible to support your charge that I have lied, then essentially you’re saying that I was guilty of lying long before I even existed. Now, if I truly have lied, I’m sure you could do better than this.”

    Dan: “Before you even existed?”

    Yes. If you’re relying on the bible for this assessment of me, you’re relying on a set of texts that was written two thousand years ago, long before I even was born.

    And you’ll find your allies in that text, Dan, allies who, like you, have condemned the whole human race. According to Christianity, the whole human race, from Adam onwards, is deemed guilty.

    Consider for instance Romans 5:12:

    “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death, by sin: and so death upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

    Then there's Romans 3:4:

    “…yea, let God be true, but every man a liar”

    And let's not forget Romans 3:23:

    “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

    Etc.

    Clearly the apostle Paul is happy to make sweeping condemnatory pronouncements against the entire human race. Nothing in what he writes suggests that he was speaking exclusively of those who were living in his day. He speaks of men universally, in the past tense, as if it’s a decided verdict affecting everyone regardless of time or place.

    I wrote: “And I speak the truth by choice.”

    Dan: “Nope, you don't even speak truth. (1 John 2:22)”

    I see, so every time I say something, it is not true? If I say “I’ve posted comments on Dan’s blog,” this is not true? If I say, “I read and write English,” I am not speaking the truth?

    Dan, don’t you see how silly you become when you take bible teachings like this seriously? And you say my worldview’s absurd?

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  156. Dan: “1. 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, and how is it possible to know anything for certain according to YOUR worldview?”

    For all three points in Dan's question: By reference to the axioms, the primacy of existence and the objective theory of concepts.

    Dan: “2. How do you know that your reasoning about this or ANYTHING is valid?”

    By examining it.

    Dan: “3. How do you KNOW God doesn't exist?”

    The same way I know that anything else that is imaginary is not real.

    Dan, here's a question for you:

    In making any statement or reply here or elsewhere, you are assuming that your conscious is valid. But how did you validate it? If you say that it is validated by your god, then you're begging the question, for you'd be using your consciousness - and thus assuming its validity - in order to make such statements, whether they're true or not. So on what basis do you assume the validity of your own consciousness?

    Have fun with that one. Hint: Objectivism has the only viable solution to this conundrum. Can you figure it out?

    Regards,
    Dawson

    ReplyDelete
  157. DD asked: “3. How can you believe at once that the laws of physics and of logic will hold universally, and also that your god can intervene miraculously in the universe, thus negating the operation of physical and logical laws?”

    Dan replied: “God's revelation. God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses, memory and reasoning such that I can make determinations about Him, universally of the universe, and His abilities. Which, DOES NOT, negate the operation of physical and logical laws.”

    This answer is patently and entirely inadequate. Even if your god has “revealed” to you that you can trust your senses, memory and reasoning such that you can make determinations about him, you would not suggest that your god conforms to those determinations, or that it is bound by them, would you? Your determinations, regardless of how soundly formulated they may be given the data available to you at any time, are not infallible, are they? And even you should admit that there may be pertinent data that is not available to you. Thus there may be factors pending on the situation at hand that you don’t even know about, since you are not omniscient, right? Also, your god does not need your advanced consent to do what it wills, does it? It can do whatever it pleases according to Ps. 115:3.

    So, for example, your god could choose to make a dog sing a Straussian operetta in some remote canyon in central Mexico. If your god chose to do this, you wouldn’t necessarily know about it. In fact, how would you know about it? The laws of physics and logic tell us that dogs do not speak human languages or sing human music. And yet, if your god wanted to make a dog which does this, what would stop it according to Christianity – your understanding of the laws of physics and logic? Your “determinations” which you make about your god on the basis of your own “senses, memory and reasoning”? You seem to have no way consistent with the Christian religion of ruling out the possibility of a dog singing Strauss, and yet this would be a direct conflict with known facts about dogs. It seems that the most consistent position available to you, given what Christianity teaches, is that you reserve judgment altogether and simply say “Whatever God wills, will be done,” with no knowledge whatsoever as to what that might actually happen anywhere in the universe.

    Unless of course you equate your mind with your god’s, in which case, we could certainly test this. Lottery picks anyone?

    Regards,
    Dawson

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  158. Dan:

         "Quote mine? Shocker from a non-man
         "I said: If we accept mere assertions of bare logical possibilities as grounds for truth we should believe all mere assertions."
         I have never seen you say that. Of course it's possible that I missed it. I have seen you object that people were making bare assertion of things you wanted to reject. I have also seen you apply the double-standard to your own preferred assertion.
         Incidentally, I find your rejection of my humanity to be a cheap shot -- even for you.

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  159. Dan said,

    God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses, memory and reasoning such that I can make determinations about Him, universally of the universe, and His abilities. Which, DOES NOT, negate the operation of physical and logical laws.

    I don't believe you, Dan. I maintain that you were dropped on your head as an infant, and so your perception of anything you might call 'revelation' is bound to be skewed.

    It won't do to try and prove that you weren't dropped on your head as an infant, since any argument you can make only presupposes that you are not deranged as a result of your early mishap, which is the very thing you need to prove before we can continue any discussion.

    Anything you say and anything you think you can perceive is only evidence of your derangement.

    Thanks, Stephen Law, for that tactic.

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  160. Reynold,

    >> If we don't believe that your god exists, how in the hell can we possibly repent?

    And Bingo was his name-o.

    It would take O, I would say, a miracle to change that hard of hearts to humble themselves to God. I should know, I didn't believe God existed for 23 years. Now, I know with absolute certainty that He exists. I am a miracle, evidenced by my transformation. Unfortunately, I am not evidence for you though. You will be evidence for you, if God allows you to be saved that is. Ask Him to, and He will...as promised. Believe that, as if your life depends on it because it does.

    I do pray you will see the awe that I see, as a former skeptic. Hopefully, God see's value in you.

    Remember that God hardened the heart of the Pharaoh even while ALL that miraculous evidence was presented in front of him around Exodus 7. Nothing you do will remove you from Satan's grasp. You are a slave to your master. God does not steal, you MUST be bought at a price. He gave you the path to freedom, if you want it. You can NOW choose you master. First, God has to choose you though. Your conversion will be YOUR evidence of His existence. Either that, or that frightful day in front of Him.

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  161. Reynold,

    I screwed up during my zealousness while trying to delete all your DUPLICATES that I asked you NOT to do. I omitted one too many.

    So after THIS, is your post of:

    Dan quoting me:

    Right...so the australian aborigines or the native americans who were alive from the time of christ's birth until the missionaries arrived to tell them of christ, somehow, in your deluded fantasy, already knew about christ?
    Well, no and yes. No, not my "deluded fantasy", and yes already knew about Christ.
    Evidence please. Remember: Those were people who were in the "new world" at the time of jesus' birth. How could they have heard about him? How come there's no missionary reports that anyone in the new world already knew about your religon or even anything close to it.

    So yes, your deluded fantasy, unless you can back it up.

    You're condemning whole swaths of people over a huge time period because of your arrogant, baseless assumption that they already "knew" about christ but "suppress him in unrighteousness".

    That's some nice holy book you've got there.

    Remember: It's acceptance of "Christ", not "God" which gets you into "heaven".
    Are you certain of this? Is there a difference? Argumentum ad redundancy? :7)

    It's what your own holy book says, isn't it? Not redundant at all. They worshipped all sorts of gods, and I'm sure you'd agree that none was the right "one".

    Its my argument that Moses "knew" Christ. Am I wrong? If so, how do you know? My source is Hebrews 11:24-26, what is yours?
    Yes, you're wrong...Jesus was never mentioned in the OT! Not once! That is a new testament verse you used! Of course they would retcon "christ" in there!

    Think: If the OT people figured that "god" and his not-yet-born-and-not-yet-mentioned-son were the same person, don't you think they'd have said so?

    And if you bring up so-called "messianic prophecies", I'll note that besides being refuted, not evey they mention "christ" by name.

    [Not that this mucked up post makes any sense anyways. At least its an attempt to right my wrong.]

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  162. Reynold asked: “If we don't believe that your god exists, how in the hell can we possibly repent?”

    Dan: “I would say, a miracle to change that hard of hearts to humble themselves to God.”

    In other words, by the aggressive use of force. Since the Christian god cannot earn man’s love, it must compel anyone it desires to follow it. As Rand so poignantly pointed out, faith and force are corollaries. When a man sacrifices himself to his god, the first thing to go is his mind, and with it he also discards his rational faculties. Dan, you’re a case in point. So is your pal Sye.

    Dan: “I should know, I didn't believe God existed for 23 years. Now, I know with absolute certainty that He exists. I am a miracle, evidenced by my transformation.”

    Dan, you’ve transformed in the same way that a man changes when he becomes a drug addict. It’s no miracle, it’s a natural consequence of unchecked premises and the choice to ignore the fundamental distinction between reality and imagination.

    Dan: “Unfortunately, I am not evidence for you though. You will be evidence for you, if God allows you to be saved that is.”

    No, not “*allows* you to be saved…” You mean, if it decides to apply the aggressive use of force.

    Dan: “Ask Him to, and He will...as promised. B