February 7, 2011

Predestination for Atheists?

A while ago Stan, the Half-Truth Teller claimed "It's funny, really, that among the few philosophical points on which many atheists and theists can agree is the notion of predestination...predestination is analogous to Atheism..."

Today he asks "According to [you and Christian theology], did god plan for there to be a hell, populated by the vast majority of humanity for eternity?"

We were discussing a few days ago about the order of God's choices. So it might be interesting then to explore things further to understand Atheists viewpoints in relationship to predestination.

A couple of terms that needs to be fleshed out are, infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism which are terms used to describe differences of the perceived order of God's work in salvation.

In infralapsarianism the order is as follows: 1) God created, 2) God permitted the fall, 3) God elected some out of this fallen state to be saved, 4) God provided a Redeemer for the elect, and 5) God sent the Holy Spirit to apply redemption to the elect.

In supralapsarianism the order is as follows: 1) God elected some to be saved and some not to be saved, 2) God created, 3) God permitted the fall, 4) God provided a Redeemer for the elect, and 5) God sent the Holy Spirit to apply redemption to the elect.


The difference is slight.  In infralapsarianism, God looks into the fall, to elect.  In supralapsarianism, God elects before the fall.

Matt makes a great point though, "This might be an irrelevant point. Since, for God, all knowledge is instantaneously eternal, how can there be an order of God's decision to elect anyone?  For there to be an order, implies a sequence of events regarding God's plan in His own mind, before the foundation of the universe.  But a sequence of events would mean that one thing followed another, knowledge-wise, with God.  But since God knows all things eternally, how could this sequence of mental events occur in the mind of God?" ~carm

So really, all things are instantaneous for God. For us, there is a time line sequence. So did God "plan"? I don't believe it works that way.
-----

A group of theologians who were discussing predestination and free will.  The argument grew so heated that sides were drawn, and the group broke up into two fiercely-prejudiced factions.

But one theologian, not knowing to which camp he belonged, stood for a moment trying to decide.  At last, he made up his mind to join in with the predestination crowd.  When he tried to push his way in, they asked, “Who sent you here?”

“Nobody sent me,” he replied, “I came of my own free will.”

“Free will!” they fairly shouted at him.  “You can’t come in here of your own free will.  You belong with the other group.”

So he turned, and went toward the free will group.  When he tried to join them, someone asked, “When did you decide to join us?”

“I didn’t decide, I was sent here,”  he answered.

“Sent here!” they were horrified.  “You can’t join us unless you choose to by your own free will.”  And so he was excluded from both companies.

-----

The point is this, God knows our thought life and whether we want to be with Him or not. We choose to be away from Him, and His love. We choose to ignore His Authority. We choose Hell over Him. Did God create a place to allow us to be away from Him? Yes. God also chooses some to be with Him. Why He chose me, I have no clue. Its certainly not deserved.

Update: I also think we all need to revisit a past post. As Sye pointed out, we know most of you will not listen to all 7 parts, but you might want to check out 4:45 of part 7. Because Dr. Bahnsen clearly answers these points in question.

95 comments:

  1. Dan,
    Is your worldview something like:
    A videogame, and your deity is the program. Like GTA you can choose how to play the game and have free will to do whatever... OK so your deity (the program) can know what you are going to do because you have to use the program to do it.
    So this would mean that the program only knows what you are doing a split second before you do it. However you deity you claim is super awesome and like a chess game can instantly calculate every possible action/reaction.



    Complete nonsense infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism


    Dan as a Christian do you believe what the Nicene Creed says?:

    We believe in one God.
    We believe God made everything.
    We believe a virgin gave birth.
    We believe Jesus suffered, was crucified, died, and was buried.
    We believe Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days.
    We believe Jesus ascended into Heaven where he sits at the right hand of God.
    We believe Jesus will physically return to judge the living and the dead.
    We believe in one Church.
    We believe in baptism.
    We believe in the forgiveness of "sins"
    We believe in the resurrection of the dead.
    We believe in everlasting judgement and everlasting life.

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  2. :: Sigh ::

    By "plan," you may substitute "always intend" (or perhaps merely "intend"), though in spite of your appeal to mystery ("I don't believe it works that way"), I suspect I have my answer

    You evidently think that yes, god [always] intended (intends?) for there to be a hell, populated by the vast majority of humanity for eternity.

    <sarcasm>
    Wow. What a truly majestic being. Color me convinced.
    </sarcasm>

    If the intention is / was / has always been / will always be to have the vast majority of humanity suffer eternally in hell, then whether or not I will be a member of that group (read: irrespective of predestination or free will, and their effects on my salvation), that's a shit 'plan,' and that god is a giant douche. No decent person would consider such a deity with anything other than contempt, much less think for a moment (upon reflection, at the least) that any theology premised upon that 'intention' is in any way true.

    --
    Stan

    (Edit: I forgot that '>' and '&lt' require special treatment.)

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    Replies
    1. Well and rationally said.
      I firmly believe that Dan is without a moral compass (read sociopath) since he seems incapable of seeing what a vile monster a god like the Abrahamic god would be.
      Whether that god knew before or after the fall is irrelevant to atheists although I was taught the god was all knowing so I don't see how you could sustain the idea long that he didn't know all along how f*cked up his plan was.

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    2. Understand that you're appealing to a standard, moral law, to make such claims. You're doing something that, if your atheistic worldview were true, would be impossible for you to do. #contradiction :)

      "Your basis for determining right from wrong - stems from personal feeling, opinion or preference. So my question is, why should anyone of differing opinion suffer under your definition of what is 'right' or 'wrong'? Just because you call your opinion moral?" ~ Thomas Bridges

      One real glaring point here is that you both are complaining that God's plan is not right and "messed" up, all the while being able to complain about it. In other words, you exist but are complaining about existing.

      My buddy Thomas also pointed out

      Absolute morality = intrinsic value.
      Subjective morality = utilitarian value.

      Absolute morality = what is good is best for man.
      Subjective morality = what is best for man is what is good.

      God does not send people to Hell for denying what they do not know, but for sin against the God that they do know. Hell's gates will be locked from the inside, as CS Lewis pointed out.

      Because you have railed against God and not have God's will be done, i.e. repent and placing your entire trust in Jesus Christ for your Salvation with your heart, mind, and soul, then God will have your will be done and that is separation from Him. We call it despair. That free choice is all yours. Yes, God already knows what that choice will be. I will remain hopeful that it will be the right choice for both of you.

      Delete

  3. If the intention is / was / has always been / will always be to have the vast majority of humanity suffer eternally in hell, then whether or not I will be a member of that group (read: irrespective of predestination or free will, and their effects on my salvation), that's a shit 'plan,' and that god is a giant douche.


    I'm with you on this one, Stan, but it must be said that under the circumstances, you and I and any other commenters are wasting our time if our intention is to get Dan to wise up (though maybe not so much if we just enjoy a good bitching session).

    The slew of comments on a previous post failed to make a dent in Dan's armour of ignorance, nor his fervent adherence to the ridiculous notion that his god is all-powerful and all-knowing yet somehow not responsible for the misery of his creations.

    Furthermore, now that Dan has nailed his fascist...sorry, "Christian Reconstructionist" colours firmly to the mast, any appeal to the inevitable consequences of the existence of Dan's god is going to be entirely lost on him. So what if the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent god means that untold numbers of people are predestined to suffer for eternity through no real choice of their own? That's the perfect plan of Dan's god, and no-one can tell him otherwise. Dan merely hopes that he'll be one of the happy few looking over heaven's walls and revelling in the suffering of those who weren't chosen. There is no room for compassion or understanding in Dan's worldview.

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  4. Dan, how can a non temporal beings creative process have steps? Doesn't it logically follow that, according to your worldview, god *always into infinity* knew his plan for the fall of man and the end result of his plan?

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  5. Dan,
    Love the story!
    Your closing points hold true.
    The choices we have flow through your commenters.....

    Mat 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
    Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

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  6. I think proof that in the non-realistic fiction novel 'the holy bible' proof the character god, knew/created the fall would happen is because of the animals he created where designed for activities after the fall. e.g. Carnivores were/are 'designed' to eat meat. Pre fall no animals ate meat, so god knew the fall would happen and designed the animals accordantly.

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  7. Dustin wrote,

    Dan, how can a non temporal beings creative process have steps? Doesn't it logically follow that, according to your worldview, god *always into infinity* knew his plan for the fall of man and the end result of his plan?

    Of course it logically follows, but Dan can't admit that, otherwise a major pillar of his worldview would collapse.

    No, don't expect anything resembling an actual answer from Dan on this one - it'll just be some guff about how he can account for logic (the kind that his concept of god defies) and we can't. He'll also continue to suppose that atheists can somehow be swayed by being threatened with hell, and he will fail to give any account of how he can know what is revelation and what isn't, or distinguish the truth of a good god from the lies of an evil god, without recourse to his own reason.

    Those are my predictions. We'll see if Dan's responses bear them out.

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  8. Dan
    The point is this, God knows our thought life and whether we want to be with Him or not. We choose to be away from Him, and His love.
    That can only apply to those who already believe that he exists. That is not what the atheist position is. We don't believe he (or she or they) exist in the first place.

    We choose to ignore His Authority. We choose Hell over Him.
    Again, atheist don't believe in hell in the first place, much less actively decide to go there.

    Did God create a place to allow us to be away from Him? Yes. God also chooses some to be with Him. Why he chose me, I have no clue. Its certainly not deserved.
    If what you said is true, then why bother trying to convert atheists? It's all in your god's hands anyway.

    What's more, the idea of some being deciding before I was even concieved that I should and will go to hell is kind of repellent.

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  9. At this point in my theological development, I reject the Calvinist views of irresistible grace and of predestination (election). I tend toward the Arminian view, and consider Molinism.

    But all that stuff gets into philosophy and turns salvation into an academic practice. I liken it to watching a house burn and discussing the nature of fire instead of doing something to help those in need.

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  10. a soldier for jesus hey...

    "I liken it to watching a house burn and discussing the nature of fire instead of doing something to help those in need."

    reminds me of praying.

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  11. The idea of predestination, like it or not, does logically follow from belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing god. Back in the day, once Calvin had got his hooks into enough people, there were some who took this notion so completely to heart that they became, in effect, total nihilists, all because they had grasped the real meaning of predestination - there was literally nothing they could do to change their predetermined fate.

    People are as uncomfortable with the notion of everything being decided and intended as they are with nothing being decided or intended. The latter is exemplified by those who claim that atheism is purposeless because it entails belief in a universe where everything comes down to chance (not true, of course, but I shan't digress in this brief space). There are many people who still like to say that everything happens "for a reason", by which they don't generally mean a naturalistic, cause-and-effect reason, but some kind of cosmic, transcendent, intentional reason that they can't fathom.

    Christians, at least in my experience, tackle the uncomfortable notion of predestination by injecting the concept of free will. They don't want to admit that this is logically impossible if their god has the characteristics they claim, but neither can they bring themselves to blame god for all the bad things that happen in the world. Nor, indeed, do they like to suppose that their god, having created them, could have abandoned them completely to their own devices.

    So the best they can come up with, to marry the contradictory notions of predestination and free will, is to claim that their god has some kind of vague "plan", which they can't, of course, elucidate, but in accordance with which everything happens. Presumably, if, by the exercise of their much-vaunted free will, they happen to deviate from god's plan, god will intervene to set them back on track...because of course god knew all along that they would deviate...and chose not to stop it from happening, for reasons of his own that we shouldn't try to understand.

    Is it any wonder that so many thinking, educated people are atheists or deists?

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  12. Adam and Eve never existed.It's just a myth.

    http://advocatusatheist.blogspot.com/2010/03/adam-and-eve-never-existed-its-myth.html

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  13. Who'd have thunk it? My predictions came true in Dan's reply to Henracious on the Free Will or Free Rein post. Nothing but insubstantial blather about revelation and the cookie-cutter "how can you be certain of anything in your worldview question". All the while avoiding the issue of how Dan can be certain of the nature of his claimed 'revelation' without consulting his own senses and reasoning faculties first.

    Well, I'm going to have to go with Christopher Hitchens on this one, Dan - what can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. Your 'revelation' is complete hokum. End of story.

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  14. ASoldier wrote the following (IRT to Calvinism / Arminianism / Molinism): But all that stuff gets into philosophy and turns salvation into an academic practice. I liken it to watching a house burn and discussing the nature of fire instead of doing something to help those in need.

    I guess I sympathize with that. Most of Dan's regulars can attest to the fact that discussion of any topic, if allowed to go on long enough, can easily lose focus. Philosophical theological discussion can obfuscate practical theology.

    I would suggest, however, that it's practically impossible to separate philosophy from theology; you can't have one without the other. As such, it may not be wise to completely discount such discussion.

    I didnt mean that to sound like a lecture. I simply think it's dangerous (aka. implications will be ignored) to avoid philosophical theology.

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  15. Antzilla stated, "reminds me of praying."

    Not really. To disbelievers, sure, prayer is worthless.

    To people who know God, prayer is extremely important. However, (and I did an article on this, even using a popular atheist poster that disunderstands it), prayer is not a substitute for action; if someone is able to be the answer to prayer, then they should not brush off their responsibility and only "take it to God".

    WEM, It's interesting how we are so divergent in our discussions, and then we are pretty close on some things. Hope I didn't damage your reputation there...

    SB

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  16. My reputation is entirely self-created :)

    You and I will probably continue to disagree about many things, but to deny that we agree upon others would be dishonest. What that says about me should hopefully be self-evident.

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  17. DD,

    >>Dan merely hopes that he'll be one of the happy few looking over heaven's walls and revelling in the suffering of those who weren't chosen. There is no room for compassion or understanding in Dan's worldview.

    God forbid! I know there is a bit of playful banter going on here but It pains me to think that people will suffer for eternity. One reason to start the blog in the first place. I do have full faith that God will "wipe away all tears" as claimed (Revelation 21:4) but I have no clue as to how that will be. Its a good chance my Mom is in Hell. Its a serious matter. One I do not take lightly.

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  18. Tristan,

    >>Adam and Eve never existed.It's just a myth.

    From that link of yours: "The Garden of Eden story is a myth. How do I know this? For one, because it’s a myth!"

    Question begging much? That was pretty funny but sorry, I stopped there. I am sure you use your reasoning to test your reasoning which is viciously circular also. Keep up the great[?] work.

    Nevertheless, Tristan. How do you know that your reasoning about this or ANYTHING is valid?

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  19. DD and Dustin,


    >>Dan, how can a non temporal beings creative process have steps? Doesn't it logically follow that, according to your worldview, god *always into infinity* knew his plan for the fall of man and the end result of his plan?

    DD>>Of course it logically follows, but Dan can't admit that, otherwise a major pillar of his worldview would collapse.

    Did you even read the post? (So did God "plan"? I don't believe it works that way... )

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  20. Reynold,

    >>That is not what the atheist position is. We don't believe he (or she or they) exist in the first place.

    I know this is irrelevant to you but as a Christian, its my position (And the Bible) 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.

    >>If what you said is true, then why bother trying to convert atheists?

    Doing what I am told, but it goes further then that, it makes me feel that I am contributing in some way to do the right thing. I CANNOT sit idly by and watch people dive into a lake of fire.

    >>It's all in your god's hands anyway.

    Indeed it is but you play a part in it too. Its a 50/50 thingy.

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  21. Asoldierforjesus,

    >>But all that stuff gets into philosophy and turns salvation into an academic practice. I liken it to watching a house burn and discussing the nature of fire instead of doing something to help those in need.

    Well played!

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  22. I think we all, even me, need to revisit a past post. As Sye pointed out, we know most of you will not listen to all 7 parts, but you might want to check out 4:45 of part 7.

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  23. Asoldierforjesus,

    I highly recommend that post. In part two, they flesh out that whole Armenian thingy.

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  24. asoldierforjesus,

    "To people who know God, prayer is extremely important..."

    How so?

    Why does jesus need soldiers for?

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  25. I think I *do* know God, 'soldier, and he recognizes prayer for what it is:

    A ritual of reverence that provides us comfort, rather than providing us with objective benefits.

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  26. Question begging much?

    Probably, Dan, but no more than your "god reveals things to us such that we can be certain of them and I know this because god reveals things to us such that we can be certain of them" spiel.

    I'm sure you are certain of your god-concept, Dan. It's your concept, after all, with maybe a bit of support from ancient literature and fellow imaginists. That's fine - there's nothing wrong with knowing your own mind. But I've yet to see evidence that you know much about anything outside of it.

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  27. DD,

    >>Probably, Dan, but no more than your "god reveals things to us such that we can be certain of them and I know this because god reveals things to us such that we can be certain of them" spiel.

    Never said it wasn’t circular, just that it is not viciously circular, as your view is. Intellectual honesty would force you to admit that God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain. You, on the other hand, have no avenue to certainty.

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  28. Never said it wasn’t circular, just that it is not viciously circular, as your view is. Intellectual honesty would force you to admit that God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain. You, on the other hand, have no avenue to certainty.

    Your god concept is confirmed by your god concept. Sounds viciously circular to me.

    And, as has been acknowledged many times, an omnipotent god, if such a being existed, could of course reveal anything to you such that you could be certain of it. Just because you claim it could, doesn't mean it has or ever will. And we're all still waiting for you to acknowledge the corrollary to your claim, which is that an omnipotent god could make you believe that black was white, or that any lie was the truth.

    My avenue to certainty, or as near it as matters, is exactly the same as yours, Dan, although you are wilfully blind to it. I can back up my claims with reference to realities existing outside my mind, but that's something you can't do with your god-concept. Furthermore, if you genuinely believe the world is governed by a supernatural omnipotent entity, you have no reason to suppose that anything is as it seems, no reason to expect consistency in the way nature behaves, and no basis upon which to ground your perception of the world.

    Just admit it, Dan - you're a prisoner of your own imagination.

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  29. DD,

    >>Your god concept is confirmed by your god concept. Sounds viciously circular to me.

    No you appeal to this same plane and cannot go further. Its all you have. We appeal to an eternal plane which is, obviously, outside of this one.

    Greg Bahnsen writes: ”In the Christian worldview, however, the Christian is not engaged in viciously circular argument, a circular argument on the same plane. We appeal above and beyond the temporal realm. God’s self-revelation in nature and in Scripture informs us of the two-level universe. God is not a fact like other facts in the world. He is the Creator and Establisher of all else. His existence alone makes the universe, and reason, and human experience possible… … The “circularity” of a transcendental argument is not at all the same as the fallacious ‘circularity’ of an argument in which the conclusion is a restatement (in one form or another) of one of its premises.” ~ (Pushing the Antithesis pg.) 124.

    The viciously circular argument that Bahnsen is referring to is something that has a conclusion based ultimately upon that conclusion itself. In other words, its an argument that is dependent on itself for validity. That is not what the Christian is arguing, we argue that there is a foundation for unchangeable, repeatable, universal reason because it flows directly from the nature of God. It is not dependent on the conclusion as yours is. We appeal to the eternal realm for our reason and for knowing anything for certain. It is not the same temporal realm we are in. You are dependent on this realm.

    >>Just because you claim it could, doesn't mean it has or ever will.

    Already has. Unless you consider His Word and the universe mere figments of all our imagination. A notion that would just be absurd.

    >>And we're all still waiting for you to acknowledge the corrollary to your claim, which is that an omnipotent god could make you believe that black was white, or that any lie was the truth.

    Its impossible for God to go against His own nature.

    >>My avenue to certainty, or as near it as matters, is exactly the same as yours, Dan, although you are wilfully blind to it

    Are you certain of this knowledge claim? If so how are you?

    >> I can back up my claims with reference to realities existing outside my mind, but that's something you can't do with your god-concept.

    How so? You believe there is no God in order to come to this conclusion, but how did you arrive there?

    >>Furthermore, if you genuinely believe the world is governed by a supernatural omnipotent entity, you have no reason to suppose that anything is as it seems, no reason to expect consistency in the way nature behaves, and no basis upon which to ground your perception of the world.

    How can you claim this, unless you believe that an omniscient, omnipotent being could NOT reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them. Is THAT your claim?

    Just admit it, DD...

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  30. I take it back: now I'm laughing at Dan.

    Whether it's vicious or not depends only on the "plane of existence" being appealed to?

    Man, this is getting posted to FSTDT...

    PS. God, the architect of logic, noticed that you just made a completely illogical argument. Pray for forgiveness...

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  31. PS. As with so many others, this thread is proof positive that Dan does not believe what he preaches.

    If Dan believes in the God of the Bible, and if he believes that logic comes directly from that deity, would he REALLY claim that appealing to the supernatural realm makes his appeal circular but not viciously circular?

    Really?

    Dan argues dishonestly, and doesn't appear concerned that this might endanger his mortal soul. You might claim this is the result of him being an idiot, but myself, I think it's the result of him being a dishonest prick.

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  32. No you appeal to this same plane and cannot go further. Its all you have. We appeal to an eternal plane which is, obviously, outside of this one.

    What do you mean by this "eternal plane", Dan? As far as anyone can tell, this is a nonentity. What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

    BAHNSEN: The “circularity” of a transcendental argument is not at all the same as the fallacious ‘circularity’ of an argument in which the conclusion is a restatement (in one form or another) of one of its premises.”

    No, actually it's exactly the same. Your conclusion is a restatement of your premise.

    The viciously circular argument that Bahnsen is referring to is something that has a conclusion based ultimately upon that conclusion itself.

    Your god concept is based on your god concept. Need I go on?

    That is not what the Christian is arguing, we argue that there is a foundation for unchangeable, repeatable, universal reason because it flows directly from the nature of God. It is not dependent on the conclusion as yours is. We appeal to the eternal realm for our reason and for knowing anything for certain. It is not the same temporal realm we are in. You are dependent on this realm.

    Again, Dan, you're referring to something that is undefined. Please explain what an "eternal realm" is and how you could know that one existed.

    Already has. Unless you consider His Word and the universe mere figments of all our imagination. A notion that would just be absurd.

    Bram Stoker was a real author and Transylvania is a real place. I put it to you that by your lights, this means Count Dracula was a real vampire.

    Its impossible for God to go against His own nature.

    You have no way of supporting this claim, Dan. How could you possibly know anything about the nature of god, if this is a being capable of absolutely anything?

    How so? You believe there is no God in order to come to this conclusion, but how did you arrive there?

    You've got it arse-backwards again, Dan. I examined the evidence and concluded that there's no reason for me to believe a real being with the purported characteristics of the biblical god exists.

    How can you claim this, unless you believe that an omniscient, omnipotent being could NOT reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them. Is THAT your claim?

    We've been through this before, Dan. An omnipotent being could choose to make us believe anything it wanted, and we'd have no way of discovering otherwise. Please learn to read with comprehension.

    That or, if WEM is correct and you're just a wilful liar, so be it.

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  33. Dan +†+ said...

    Reynold,

    >>That is not what the atheist position is. We don't believe he (or she or they) exist in the first place.


    I know this is irrelevant to you but as a Christian, its my position (And the Bible) that God has revealed Himself to all mankind so that we can know for certain who He is.
    Any evidence of that?

    Other than just asking over and over "Do you believe that it's possible for an omnipotent, omniscient being to have revealed himself to us so that we can be certain that he, she, it, or they exist" of course?

    Given the screwups in the bible, I'd say that your god has not.

    Those who deny His existence are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness to avoid accountability to God.
    Hence the showing of how arrogant you believers are. You make an automatic, WRONG judgement on everyone who doesn't believe in your sky daddy.

    Tough. We don't believe. We we don't because it's OURSELVES that WE are talking about.

    It is the ultimate act of rebellion against Him and reveals the professing atheist's contempt toward God.
    No, it's the ultimate act of arrogance on the believers part to assume that of us with no evidence other than the same book that has talking animals in it!

    If what you said is true, then why bother trying to convert atheists?
    Doing what I am told, but it goes further then that, it makes me feel that I am contributing in some way to do the right thing. I CANNOT sit idly by and watch people dive into a lake of fire.
    If there was evidence of that fire, sure.

    Circular reasoning, assumptions and question begging is not evidence.

    By the way, it's a "lake of fire" that your god set up for us, that could have been easily avoided: Placing the devil and fallen angels into hell right off the bat instead of letting them decieve "adam and eve" in the first place; or whacking "adam and eve" and starting over until they made the right choice instead of letting this so-called "sin nature" be passed on to the rest of us in the first place.

    Hell: Why arrange for "sin" to be "inheritable" in the first place??

    It's all in your god's hands anyway.
    Indeed it is but you play a part in it too. Its a 50/50 thingy.

    No, Dan. Learn to read. I said: "It's ALL in your god's hands anyway."

    Besides, according to the religous views of your fellow predestined believers (Calvinists, etc) and implied in Romans 9, we don't.

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  34. So, Dan, if it's location that determines the viciousness of an argument's circularity, I don't see how you can escape this charge.

    You are using an imaginary construct to confirm an imaginary construct. You have no avenue of appeal to realities that exist independently of minds.

    God, as such, exists in human imagination - in the same "place" as unicorns, fairies, elves, vampires and all manner of fantastical creatures.

    And believe you me, the arguments about the nature of these creatures can get just as heated as any argument about the nature of gods - and that is precisely because there are no corresponding real-world entities to decide the debate.

    But don't feel too despondent - I mean, making up stories is a serious business. You should try going to a fan convention sometime. In some places you can even take university courses in things like the Buffyverse. There's a world of opportunity for you to explore here, Dan. And I have no doubt that "God fanboy" will look just as respectable on your CV as "Christian apologist"...

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  35. DD,

    >>Your god concept is based on your god concept. Need I go on?

    My reasoning concept is based on my God concept

    Your reasoning concept is based on your reasoning concept. Need I go on?

    ReplyDelete
  36. DD,

    Its impossible for God to go against His own nature.

    >>You have no way of supporting this claim, Dan. How could you possibly know anything about the nature of god, if this is a being capable of absolutely anything?

    Sure I can (Titus 1:2,Num 23:19,John 17:17,John 10:35)

    >>If there was evidence of that fire, sure.

    Then you agree, if there is a Hell then I am doing the right thing. (bother trying to convert atheists)

    Also assuming that the Bible is not evidence for God and the claims of Hell because you do not believe God exists, is question begging.

    >>No, Dan. Learn to read. I said: "It's ALL in your god's hands anyway."

    No DD learn to LISTEN. (all of it, but especially 4:45 of part 7)

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  37. My reasoning concept is based on my God concept

    Both of which have their basis in your own mind. What's your point?

    Your reasoning concept is based on your reasoning concept. Need I go on?

    And did your god-concept tell you this such that you could be certain of it, Dan? Then your god-concept is a liar. Human reason is based on experience and observation of the rest of the world, so it has a point of reference that exists independently of human minds. Your worldview lacks any such external point of reference.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Sure I can (Titus 1:2,Num 23:19,John 17:17,John 10:35)
    No DD learn to LISTEN. (all of it, but especially 4:45 of part 7)


    "If you don't grasp the true nature of Big Brother, you have not learned to read George Orwell correctly."

    Your response to my querying your ability to know the nature of god is qualitatively identical to the above statement, Dan. You prove nothing by appealing to literature; all this does is demonstrate that you know what others have written about an entity called god. Perhaps you even know what you believe about this entity; but that's it. You've offered no other reference point - nothing to show that your god-concept has an existence independent of human minds.

    Perhaps if you take off your blinkers and start observing how the world works on its own terms, instead of clinging to your own precious notions of how it should be, you might start to understand why your repeated appeals to scripture do not accomplish what you want them to.

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  39. Dan said:

    My reasoning concept is based on my God concept

    Your reasoning concept is based on your reasoning concept. Need I go on?


    You need only continue if you would continue to be dishonest; the fact is that all of us -- you, me, and everybody else -- assume (as an axiom) that we have a faculty for reasoning. The difference is that you apply that faculty -- the one we all assume as axiomatic -- to draw a conclusion (that there is a god), which you then claim to justify the axiom that you have a faculty for reasoning. You then have the audacity to deny your own premise (our shared axiom), and boldly claim that to deny your reasoning is to beg the question.

    Bullshit.

    (1) If possession of a faculty to reason is axiomatic, then if someone requires justification of it, that person (the one doing the requiring) is dishonest.

    (2) Possession of a faculty to reason is axiomatic.

    .: (3) If someone requires justification of a faculty to reason, that person (the one doing the requiring) is dishonest.

    (4) Dan requires justification of a faculty to reason.

    .: (5) Dan is dishonest.

    QEDMF


    Dan cannot use his faculty to reason to draw the conclusion that there is a god who provides justification for his claim that he has a faculty to reason, while likewise insisting that one must have a justification for one's faculty to reason. That requirement just is dishonest, and Dan and everybody else knows it.


    That we possess a faculty to reason is axiomatic -- 'we,' as in all of us -- and this is undisputed. If your standard for circularity in reasoning is so strict that you would describe this as 'viciously circular,' and therefore dismissible, then apparently every otherwise valid argument you might encounter will appear to you to be 'viciously circular.'

    Case in point:

    [A]ssuming that the Bible is not evidence for God and the claims of Hell because you do not believe God exists, is question begging.

    Wrong. Dan has here betrayed his understanding of logic (ironically, considering his claims regarding the source and his avenue to certainty), which is evidently on a par with his understanding of algebra (recall, Dan thought that inverting a sum of terms was equivalent to the sum of the individual terms inverted). DD's claim can be easily formalized in an obviously valid way -- all Dan can question is its soundness, which he can only question by denying the first premise (as I have formalized it):

    (1) There is not a god.

    (2) If the bible is evidence of a god, then there is a god.

    .: (3) The bible is not evidence of a god.


    This is a simple application of modus tollens, and since (2) is obviously a premise which Dan would accept, his only option (understandably) is to deny (1).

    Of course, the old joke is that one philosopher's modus ponens is another's modus tollens (or vice versa, as would apply in the above), so while Dan may accept (2), he'd also accede to its antecedent as a premise: the bible is evidence of a god.

    At any rate, a valid argument is not an example of question begging, which is what Dan has suggested. He is at best mistaken in this lone example, but considering his performance(s) in other areas, I feel pretty justified in saying he's either a dishonest prick (per WEM), or a fucking moron. Note this is an inclusive disjunctive.

    If nothing else, however, I again note that Dan apparently thinks that 'an eternal intention to create in such a way that the end result will be eternal torment for the vast majority of one's creation' is somehow not only a good idea, but that it is the perfect idea -- that there could not possibly be any better idea, even in principle.


    Thus is Dan's position reduced to an endorsement of malevolent incompetence.

    --
    Stan

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  40. Brief correction, Stan: your first sentence appears to be responding to Dormant Dragon, not Dishonest Dan.

    Beyond that, it's been a while since I've had the pleasure of reading your rants. Good to see you again...

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  41. That we possess a faculty to reason is axiomatic -- 'we,' as in all of us -- and this is undisputed. If your standard for circularity in reasoning is so strict that you would describe this as 'viciously circular,' and therefore dismissible, then apparently every otherwise valid argument you might encounter will appear to you to be 'viciously circular.'

    Nicely done, Stan, although I have my doubts as to whether this will have any impact on Dan's future contributions.

    I've also seen it taken further back in terms of axioms, and claimed that our own existence is axiomatic (the Cartesian cogito ergo sum), and that the assumption of a world external to our minds that we can sense with our physical senses is properly foundational - the basis upon which we build our reasoning.

    Be that as it may - and I am certainly no expert in philosophy, just an interested hack - it seems to me that Dan must also take his own existence to be axiomatic, otherwise there would be no-one to be claiming the existence of his god. Furthermore, he must also assume as a properly foundational belief the existence of a world external to his mind, because the scriptures he habitually references are part of that world.

    Consequently, it appears that Dan is leaping over at least two vital steps in his claim that his god is the foundation for existence and reason - since our own existence and reason must be assumed before it is even possible for us to suppose god.

    Please feel free to correct me on this, those of you who have more formal knowledge of philosophy.

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  42. Presuppositional apologetics is a transparently laughable attempt to raise religious faith to the level of axiom.

    You're correct when you point out that Dan must presuppose his ability to reason (as do we all) before he's able to wonder whether gods exist. Having done so, he then tries to bootstrap his faith - which is ridiculous on several levels.

    Not the least of which is this: if Dan's God is axiomatic, he does not have faith in that deity.

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  43. Here's a question for the philosophical scholars:

    Can there be a hierarchy of axioms? Can X be an axiom such that Y follows from it, with Y being considered axiomatic as well?

    To my understanding, the axiom comes first; things which follow from it are merely results - not axioms themselves.

    If so, then Dan's God *can't* be axiomatic/presuppositional because he must first assume his ability to perceive things. His perception of God would merely be the result of the actual presupposition.

    Correct?

    edit: reposted to address terminology

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  44. Stan,

    >>I feel pretty justified in saying he's either a dishonest prick (per WEM), or a fucking moron.

    Well that pretty much confirms your position one then "(1) If possession of a faculty to reason is axiomatic, then if someone requires justification of it, that person (the one doing the requiring) is dishonest."

    Since you are trying to justify that my faculty is in question, and possession of faculty to reason is axiomatic as you claim, then you are dishonest!!!

    Bwahahahahahah!!!!

    Thanks for the smiles Stan. You certainly do not need me to debunk you. You do fine by yourself.

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  45. DD,

    >> it seems to me that Dan must also take his own existence to be axiomatic, otherwise there would be no-one to be claiming the existence of his god.

    God being necessary for logic is my axiom.

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

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  46. God being necessary for logic is my axiom.

    As has been pointed out to you, this can't be axiomatic, Dan. Axioms are those assumptions without which we could not proceed any further. To proceed to this supposition, you must first assume your existence and your ability to perceive things external to your self - unless you are claiming that you yourself are god.

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

    See WEM's comments above. And...necessary elements of logic? I think you'll find that the structure and operation of logic is contingent on human reasoning processes and perception of how the real world works. Logic is an abstraction of material reality. Again, this has been pointed out to you before, but rather than thinking through what such an explanation means, you just paper it over with your simplistic god-talk.

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  47. DD,

    >>Logic is an abstraction of material reality.

    Yet, you have admitted that you cannot know this knowledge claim at all.

    All Atheists have is merely conjecture.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Yet, you have admitted that you cannot know this knowledge claim at all.

    But I can be as sure of it as I need to be. Like I said in a comment on another post, our reasoning only needs to be functional - transcendental, absolute truth is practically unnecessary. Also, you've not explained how you would know, in the absence of omniscience yourself, that anything was true in all possible worlds. Go ahead and claim that your god tells you so, but you know as well as anyone that an omniscient god could choose to make you believe falsehoods, and unless you, again, are omniscient, you'd have no way of knowing.

    Furthermore, you don't know that logic is not an abstraction of material reality. I suppose it to be so because it makes sense and is consistent with the world we inhabit. It'd be great if you could demonstrate that logic emanates from the mind of your god, but so far you've brought nothing of the kind to this discussion - just bare assertion.

    All Atheists have is merely conjecture.

    And you have ancient literature and subjective fantasy. What's your point?

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  49. By the way, Dan, I notice you didn't address my objection to your citing your god as an axiom.

    And for another thing, how do you account for things like paradoxes and paraconsistent logic in your world of transcendental absolutes?

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  50. Such things scare Dan, and thus, he refuses to consider them.

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  51. Found a rather lengthy but thoroughgoing refutation of the idea that logic and reason have their source in the nature of a supernatural god here.

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  52. Hmm. Interesting.

    Dan, I've just been reading one of the Rational Response Squad's refutations of presuppositionalism, and that has alerted me to something that had previously escaped my attention.

    You claim to have a basis for assuming the uniformity of the natural universe, namely, that your god has revealed to you that nature will be the same tomorrow as it is today. Only...you have no reason for inferring that your god will be the same tomorrow as it was today - you have nothing but an unjustified assumption of the uniformity of your god.

    Given that you've admitted that you don't know how your god reveals things to you, my guess is that you don't actually know anything about your god that it hasn't revealed to you, and the obvious problem with that is that if your god is extant and omnipotent, as you believe, it could make you believe anything it wanted.

    So it would appear you have no firmer basis for knowledge than the rest of us.

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  53. DD, I disagree with that on a minor, technical basis. IIRC, the Christian God is forever unchanging according to Scripture (though my scriptural knowledge isn't top-notch). If so, then Dan has some basis for assuming his flavor-of-deity wont change.

    But of course, this idea is patently ridiculous in the context of an omnipotent omniscient source of morality. It's clear from this thread and others that whatever God does is good, and whatever man does is bad. As such, this leaves the deity free reign to suspend the laws of physics, or to decree that baby BBQ is holy, or to slaughter the Jews if he so wished.

    In essence, it's hubris to claim that God can't possibly change simply because Christians believe he wont change. They attempt to put limits on their limitless deity because it's the only way they have to justify their certainty.

    So yes, Dan can explain the uniformity of nature. Unfortunately for him, doing so is a sin.

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  54. As an aside, I wonder if Dan engages in idolatry with either Sye or Greg Bahnsen...

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  55. DD,

    >>You claim to have a basis for assuming the uniformity of the natural universe, namely, that your god has revealed to you that nature will be the same tomorrow as it is today. Only...you have no reason for inferring that your god will be the same tomorrow as it was today - you have nothing but an unjustified assumption of the uniformity of your god.

    God’s promises for uniformity in nature are only for as long as the earth endures (Gen 8:22). Surely you do not believe that when the earth passes away (Mark 13:31) that’s God’s nature will change? Did God’s nature change when He performed miracles?

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  56. Wem,

    >>As an aside, I wonder if Dan engages in idolatry with either Sye or Greg Bahnsen..

    Nope. I wonder if you engage in idolatry watching Ryan Seacrest on American Idol. Denial if futile. :7P

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  57. Dan, you believe that logic emanates from the mind of your god.

    This means, in the first place, that logic is contingent - if your god changes its mind, logic changes.

    The bible, which you claim as an inerrant source for knowledge of your god, states that your god has, in fact, changed its mind on several occasions.

    So, Dan, if we actually grant your premises - that logic depends upon your god and that the bible is an inerrant source of revelation - then your claim that you therefore have a firm and unchangeable basis for logic and reason is demonstrably false according to the very logic you claim as reliable.

    Whose worldview collapses into contradiction and absurdity now, Dan?

    Yes, that would be yours.

    I think we're done here.

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  58. WEM,

    DD, I disagree with that on a minor, technical basis. IIRC, the Christian God is forever unchanging according to Scripture (though my scriptural knowledge isn't top-notch). If so, then Dan has some basis for assuming his flavor-of-deity wont change.

    That raises another interesting point, because there are certainly passages of scripture which assert that god is unchangeable, but there are other passages of scripture which speak of god changing his mind, going back on decisions and having regrets.

    Which of these are to be believed, and how would one know?

    It seems to me that no amount of biblical inerrancy is going to make up for the simple problem of human error.

    Wresting any kind of coherent message from the bible takes a great deal of literary navigation - how would a person know he'd got it right?

    Clearly, a Christian of Dan's stripe could not use reason to accomplish this task - until the correct nature of biblical revelation is established, according to Dan, there is no warrant for using logic.

    So that leaves us with the question of how Dan could possibly have figured out what counts as true biblical revelation, without using his reason - because obviously Dan would never do something so viciously circular as to use ungrounded logic to establish the grounds for using logic.

    Maybe he just takes Sye's word for it...

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  59. Surely you do not believe that when the earth passes away (Mark 13:31) that’s God’s nature will change?

    Difficult, when I don't believe your god exists in the first place.

    Did God’s nature change when He performed miracles?

    How does a supernatural being have a nature, Dan?

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  60. "How does a supernatural being have a nature, Dan?"

    Checkmate!

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  61. DD,

    >>The bible, which you claim as an inerrant source for knowledge of your god, states that your god has, in fact, changed its mind on several occasions.

    Change His mind is not that same as change His nature. Changing His mind is a compassionate thingy for His creation. It’s also important to note that the ability to contradict oneself is not a ‘power’, but a weakness and is necessarily precluded from the scope of omnipotence by definition.

    As for omnibenevolence, ‘good’ is that which comports with the absolute character and nature of God. Since God is the very standard of ‘good’, He cannot do evil, as this would require Him to contradict His character, which, again, is not possible.

    >>Whose worldview collapses into contradiction and absurdity now, Dan?

    That one is easy and obvious, its you DD.

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  62. DD,

    >>Clearly, a Christian of Dan's stripe could not use reason to accomplish this task - until the correct nature of biblical revelation is established, according to Dan, there is no warrant for using logic.

    No, I do not depend on or appeal to my own reasoning of things. I can't. When I do, I muck things up. So I depend on Christ alone.

    "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." ~Proverbs 3:5-6

    "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." ~John 14:26

    "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him." ~1 John 2:27

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  63. DD and peanut gallery,

    >>"How does a supernatural being have a nature, Dan?"

    Supernatural is defined as above and beyond nature, transcending nature, belonging to a higher realm

    It does NOT mean "not nature", "contrary to Nature" or "not natural"

    Your twisting of terms is obvious also. Silly Atheists.

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  64. It’s also important to note that the ability to contradict oneself is not a ‘power’, but a weakness and is necessarily precluded from the scope of omnipotence by definition.

    No action or decision is excluded by the definition of omnipotence, Dan.

    Supernatural is defined as above and beyond nature, transcending nature, belonging to a higher realm

    It does NOT mean "not nature", "contrary to Nature" or "not natural"


    So...you still haven't answered the question. How does a supernatural being have anything that can be defined (delimited, pinned down) as a "nature"?

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  65. No, I do not depend on or appeal to my own reasoning of things. I can't. When I do, I muck things up. So I depend on Christ alone.

    And, of course, what with the Christian message being filtered through your own reasoning, it follows that you must be messing that up too...

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  66. I've not too much to say here: I no longer give much of a damn; All "Presupositional reasoning" amounts to is a way to avoid giving evidence for your own belief while constantly trying to turn the argument around on the people who have not actually made any fantastic claims that need to be backed up.

    Brainless cult thinking. You can see that with Dan here whenever he avoids answering a question.

    Ex) As DormantDragon is finding: So...you still haven't answered the question. How does a supernatural being have anything that can be defined (delimited, pinned down) as a "nature"?


    My little aside to Dan
    My reasoning concept is based on my God concept
    Where did that come from, Dan? What you read using your senses? Or did "god" "reveal" them to you independently of the bible?

    I've pointed out to you before that the bible does not lay out the laws of logic; you ignore that and pretend that examples of your christ using some of them is the same as knowing the overall general rules, as the greeks specifically laid out.

    Christ gave no indication that he even knew what the laws of logic were; he was just talking about himself. (ie: using one instance of such)

    Of course, things like the trinity would seem to go against the laws of non-contradiction...

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  67. >>Whose worldview collapses into contradiction and absurdity now, Dan?

    That one is easy and obvious, its you DD.


    I'll make this one really simple, perhaps even in the almost certainly futile hope that you might one day abandon your weird delusions and join us in the real world, Dan.

    As Reynold correctly pointed out, we're not the ones making extraordinary claims.

    You, however, claim that one must presuppose your god - a supernatural, omniscient, omnipotent entity who somehow still has a nature that you, a temporal, natural, limited being, think you can define - in order to even begin to justify the use of reason and logic.

    Let's examine this claim, shall we?

    To begin with, logic, as formulated by minds as human as yours and mine, is not some kind of transcendental magic, but a system for establishing true conclusions from true premises. It requires no 'justification' in order to work - only that those persons engaged in argument accept both the truth of the premises and the rules of the logic to be followed. Logically, one may arrive at nonsense conclusions from nonsense premises, as you frequently do.

    No magic sky-daddy necessary for participation in this process, Dan.

    However, you're quite right that it is presently quite impossible for us to argue with you using logic. This has nothing to do with our inability to justify using it, but because you've given us no reasons to accept your premises as anything other than deranged fantasies, and because you refuse to agree on the rules without some kind of divine 'permission' to use them. So the system breaks down before it even gets started.

    And that works to your advantage, or so you suppose, because all you have to do is shut down any problematic argument by outright rejecting either the premises or the rules of engagement. Your next step is usually to claim that you've 'won' the argument, when it hasn't even happened.

    Well, allow me to return the favour and shut you down once and for all. Because we now turn to the meat and potatoes of your worldview. If you first accept as true the idea that the universe is beholden to a supernatural, omnipotent being - regardless of any 'character' or 'nature' you choose to ascribe to it - then it follows that it is simply not possible for any temporal, limited being such as ourselves to establish the truth of any premise such that it could not be undermined by the undeniable possibility of undetected deception.

    So, straight out of the gate, your worldview trips over its own feet, Dan. All bets are off if your god actually exists.

    Slam debunked, I think you'll find...

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  68. Dan +†+ said...

    As for omnibenevolence, ‘good’ is that which comports with the absolute character and nature of God. Since God is the very standard of ‘good’, He cannot do evil, as this would require Him to contradict His character, which, again, is not possible.

    So anything that God does is automatically good and moral, therefore when God commands genocide, condones slavery and allows rape (as long as no-one hears) then we can see that these things are good to the Christian. I reiterate my point (and Dan confirms it) that the Christian can not determine right from wrong thanks to the ridiculous mental gymnastics needed to justify their God's actions as moral.

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  69. An omnipotent being constrained by his nature???

    I swear this blog gets more ridiculous by the day...

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  70. DD,

    >>To begin with, logic, as formulated by minds as human as yours and mine, is not some kind of transcendental magic, but a system for establishing true conclusions from true premises. It requires no 'justification' in order to work - only that those persons engaged in argument accept both the truth of the premises and the rules of the logic to be followed. Logically, one may arrive at nonsense conclusions from nonsense premises, as you frequently do.


    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!

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  71. He's doing nothing more than quoting Sye

    Christian Presupposition: let someone do your thinking for you.

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  72. The way that a transcendental claim is refuted is to demonstrate that claim is not the necessary precondition for the thing claimed

    Why should I, when you haven't demonstrated that it is? The burden of proof rests on the one making the positive claim.

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  73. How would you demonstrate that your god is the necessary precondition for logic, Dan? Would you just claim revelation? Or perhaps quote Sye again?

    I've seen Sye question the axiom of one's own existence and also claim that he knows another person's mind better than the person himself. Go ahead and trust this unstable megalomaniac if you want, Dan, but the rest of us will just laugh at you.

    Assuming the existence of your god opens wide the door to the kind of extreme scepticism you presuppers apply to everything other than your concept of god.

    You claim your god can make you certain of anything, right? 'Cause I agree with you on this. What I want to know is how you can know that your state of certainty corresponds to anything that's actually true. Did your god reveal this to you? How do you know? Did your god reveal that it revealed this to you? Did your god reveal that it revealed its revelation? We could go on all day here.

    Unless you can, at some point, trust your own senses and reason, there's no way to stop the infinite regress of appeal to revelation. All you're doing, by way of supporting your position, is replacing extreme scepticism with, in this one case, extreme naivety. For all you know, we might all be figments of your god's imagination, all the while thinking we exist independently. Extreme solipsism, anyone?

    And the question is, why wouldn't your god make you believe something that wasn't true if it had its own reasons for doing so? Why wouldn't it play fast and loose with logic as, according to you, it does with morality?

    Without some measure of independence from your god, you have no means of evaluating any revelation, nothing against which to test its truth, no way of ascertaining that your god is not, in fact, Zeus in disguise.

    By contrast, positing an impersonal, natural universe does provide us with the requisite idependence to evaluate truth claims. If natural laws are not subject to a conscious will, there is no reason to suspect that what we observe is not, in fact, what exists.

    By what criteria would you evaluate a revelation from your god such that you could be certain it was a revelation and not a delusion?

    So, if you ask us how we can assume our reasoning to be valid, we can legitimately claim to have tested it against idependent realities. All you have to say in response to the same question is, "god revealed that god revealed that god revealed that god revealed..." ad infinitum. And you would still not have provided an answer to the question, How do you know?

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  74. I think everyone saw what you did there, Dan.

    You picked the least challenging part of my post, the one you felt you could respond to by just regurgitating one of Sye's soundbites, and ignored the rest.

    How is your complete failure to join an argument not a demonstration that your god isn't the prerequisite for logic, Dan? If anything, it would appear to suggest that logic actually breaks down under the assumption of your god.

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  75. More to the point, logic should be a divine attribute under Christian presupposition, and Dan clearly rejects the logical conclusions to his world view.

    Dan's worse than a sinner. He's a blasphemer.

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

    That's why we have axioms, Dan, and I've already pointed out to you that your god doesn't cut it as an axiom.

    Can you prove that you exist?

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  77. Preconditions for evidence - an observer and something to be observed.

    Can you demonstrate, Dan, that the above statement should be rejected in favour of the following: "necessary precondition for evidence - the Christian god"?

    If you can't, then my statement remains valid.

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  78. Oh no, its Dan's Presup baloney only he believe makes any sense. Dan, You don't have to give up your belief in a god, just admit that your BS doesn't work. Its been years of countless people explaining to you why your claim had no support and at this point seems more like some serious denial or outright lying on your part.

    Some points I think I've never mentioned Dan is how can your god be the bases of "universal, absolute - bla bla bla - laws of logic when he is a contradiction to that himself?

    How can he be the holy trinity, God, Jesus and the holy spirit? He's one god and three people at the same time.

    Dan, Didn't Jesus pray to god on several occasions, which is him? He even asked why he (god) had forsaken him (Jesus). Is he crazy or is he both god and Jesus, but not god when he, Jesus, asks himself questions like about how he abandoned himself or for help from himself?

    Dan, thats just for starter. The closer I look at your god and your bible, your god seems like the opposite of logic & certainty. It sort of makes sense Dan since the BS you spout you justify by claiming the foundation of its certainty is your uncertain and self contradiction god.

    In your world Dan

    1) 1=3
    2) Your omnipotent being
    a) prays to
    b) worships
    c) asks forgiveness & help
    d) feels abandoned
    by himself.
    3) You god then has himself killed to pay himself (the judge) for our sinfulness passes down from someone else's sins at the beginning of time.

    This is his handy work for his master plan Dan. I can't understand how you can sleep at night in this world view. Good luck with that Dan. Good luck.

    ~Atomic Chimp

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  79. Quite apart from any logical problems your god-concept presents, Dan, it is misguided and arrogant of you to claim that you have solved the problems of epistemology by claiming revelation.

    You can be no more certain than I can that you are not a disembodied brain hooked up to an elaborate computer simulation of a world - hence presumably making your god the programmer of the simulation.

    Personally, I don't think it's particularly useful to suppose that one is so, but it's still a possibility that we can't completely discount.

    You don't, of course, get any closer to addressing the question of how we know what we know by claiming revelation. You're just sweeping the problem under the rug in an act of monumental philosophical laziness.

    The claimed source of your revelation could be telling you anything it wanted, according to your own formulation of its attributes, and you still have failed to account for how you could know that any of your 'revelations' were of something that was independently true, or something that your god just wanted you to believe was true, for its own reasons.

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  80. It seems that Descartes, in forumlating his epistemology, made god the next step after the cogito ergo sum, claiming that we could be as certain of the existence of god as of the existence of our selves. It then followed, for Descartes, that we could rely on god to let us trust that our sensory experiences were of a real world.

    I think David Hume's comment sums up the bewilderment many of us here feel at Dan's (and, apparently, Descartes') insistence on making divine revelation his reference point for all knowledge:

    "..to have recourse to the veracity of the supreme being, in order to prove the veracity of our senses, is surely making a very unexpected circuit."

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  81. Another quotation from Hume that I rather like is,

    "It were better, therefore, never to look beyond the present material world. By supposing it to contain the principle of its order within itself, we really assert it to be God; and the sooner we arrive at that divinity, the better."

    Technically, I'm a naturalistic pantheist, but as far as Dan's god-concept is concerned, such a position is indistinguishable from atheism - I certainly don't believe in any kind of personal, anthropomorphic deity.

    Nor do I see the necessity of assuming that order and intelligibility must be imposed upon the universe from outside it, rather than arising naturally from within it. Whence this insistence?

    As far as certainty is concerned, perhaps the best we can claim is to be certain of the ideas we hold in our own minds. This seems to me to be the source of Dan's certainty about his god-concept. He knows he has an idea of god, and he knows what characteristics he has ascribed to it. But he's yet to offer any compelling reason to think that this is a real external entity of which he has a real awareness.

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  82. Dan seems to think that simply "accounting" for truth, rationality and logic somehow demonstrates them.

    In reality, he's just parroting the ideas of other people without having checked to see if they're valid or not.

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  83. Hmm. Could it be that Dan is silenced? Could he be off reconsidering his beliefs in light of the challenges presented?

    Or has he just run out of stock phrases to repeat?

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  84. Atomic Chimp wrote the following: Dan, You don't have to give up your belief in a god, just admit that your BS doesn't work

    Agreed. Presupposition fails to convince, and it leads to fatal inconsistencies for its adherents' worldviews. I don't care whether Dan believes in God or not - it's his insistence in using patently dishonest rhetoric in the place of conversation/discussion that keeps me coming back.

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  85. DD,

    >>Hmm. Could it be that Dan is silenced? Could he be off reconsidering his beliefs in light of the challenges presented? Or has he just run out of stock phrases to repeat?

    Nope, Patty just got back from her week long trip to Louisiana to visit her Dad. Her Dad was in ICU with pneumonia. Today, thankfully, his breathing tube is out and out of ICU, but has a feeding plug in the side of his stomach and they may have to amputate the other leg (the only one left) because of circulation issues. But he is improving now and trying to repair those bed sores.

    Such a short window to witness to a family member so resistant to God. So forgive my silence but we were...busy.

    OK, I lost train of thought, what were you babbling about? :7)

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  86. Wow. That really blows, Dan. I'm sorry for his pain and the family's anguish. Hopefully some solace can be found in these small improvements.

    And I hope you didn't spend the whole time tormenting him with your god-talk.

    So, looking back, I believe the discussion had progressed (if such is the correct term for what happens on this blog) to epistemology. We were waiting for your explanation of how you can know that you know anything when you claim you can't trust your senses and reason independently of an outside agent.

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  87. DD,

    Was heading for bed to read when your email came up, so I will make it brief.

    >>We were waiting for your explanation of how you can know that you know anything when you claim you can't trust your senses and reason independently of an outside agent.

    Why independently? That is for your argument, not mine. Mine goes something like this:

    P1: If God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses memory and reasoning, then I can make determinations about past events such as being in the military.
    P2: God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses, memory and reasoning such that I can make the determination that I was in the military.
    P3. I used the senses memory and reasoning which have been validated through God’s revelation to determine that I was in the military.
    C. Therefore, I was in the military.
    QED

    Now, how you can know that you know anything?

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  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  89. The 'independently' part is key, Dan because the question is how you can know that you know anything to actually be the case.

    The roots of radical scepticism are contained within the assumption that there may be an outside agency controlling all our thoughts and experiences, such that we would have no means of proving that our knowledge was of anything real.

    You've seen The Matrix, right? Neo was lucky enough to notice inconsistencies and weirdnesses that allowed him to step out of the computer-generated world and see what it was really made of.

    How would you step outside your god's influence in order to see what was really going on?

    Do you see the epistemological problem inherent in your worldview?

    In answer to the question of how I can be certain that I know anything, in the sense of being able to discard any and all alternative possibilities, I can't. I cannot decisively disprove the possibility that I am a brain in a vat, hooked up to an elaborate computer system that simulates my every thought and sensory experience. But then, neither can you - although I'd like to see you try.

    What I can say is that it is far simpler - far more parsimonious - to suppose that what I experience with my senses actually exists on its own terms, than to imagine that it has all been, for some unfathomable reason, programmed deliberately, in all its fine-grained detail, by beings whose intelligence and technological advancement far exceed that which we humans have yet achieved.

    The same consideration leads me to suppose that the universe exists on its own terms, as Hume said, "contain[ing] the principle of its order within itself", rather than to imagine that there is a vast creative intelligence that designed it and monitors it and tinkers with it from time to time, again for unfathomable reasons.

    What I have, rather than complete certainty, is a system of making and testing inferences, of synthesising experiences and observations into a consistent picture. Does this count as knowledge? Perhaps not, but it works, so I see no reason to discard it in favour of belief in a god-controlled matrix.

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  90. Dan +†+ said...

    DD,

    Was heading for bed to read when your email came up, so I will make it brief.


    We were waiting for your explanation of how you can know that you know anything when you claim you can't trust your senses and reason independently of an outside agent.

    Why independently? That is for your argument, not mine. Mine goes something like this:

    P1: If God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses memory and reasoning, then I can make determinations about past events such as being in the military.
    P2: God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses, memory and reasoning such that I can make the determination that I was in the military.
    P3. I used the senses memory and reasoning which have been validated through God’s revelation to determine that I was in the military.
    C. Therefore, I was in the military.
    QED

    How do you show that to us though? You have given us no evidence that you were in the military.

    Show us your records, your discharge papers or whatever.

    See where I'm going with this?

    There's another problem in your reasoning:

    You had said: I used the senses memory and reasoning which have been validated through God’s revelation to determine that I was in the military.
    Do you know that one's senses start kicking in while still in the womb? Do you know that newborn babies can see?

    Are you seriously trying to say that the only reason you can trust your senses is that god let you know by some mysterious "validation" that you can trust your senses?

    Can you show us what that so-called "validation" is and why we can trust it?

    Now, how you can know that you know anything?
    Because we use our brains and the evidence around us so reach internally consistent explanations instead of running around in circles?


    You've done nothing but run around in circles for months now, pretending that you've given evidence.

    Substitute "allah" (or "evolutionary developmental biology") for "god" in your argument and you'll see the problem.

    And no copping out by refusing to refute the "allah" version unless I convert to Islam! (Sye's method of dodging)

    Speaking of circles...my comment here points out the irony of their picture.

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  91. P1: If God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses memory and reasoning, then I can make determinations about past events such as being in the military.

    Okay, I'll play along.

    P2: God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses, memory and reasoning such that I can make the determination that I was in the military.

    As this is a stated premise, I can grant it for the moment.

    P3. I used the senses memory and reasoning which have been validated through God’s revelation to determine that I was in the military.

    This is misstated, but assuming you meant, "I used the senses, memory, and reasoning which have been revealed by God to be trustworthy, to determine that I was in the military," then we can continue for the moment unabated.

    C. Therefore, I was in the military.

    Oops!

    QED

    Not so fast. This conclusion does not follow. At best, you can conclude the following:

    C*: Therefore, I can make the determination that I was in the military.

    But this is hardly the only problem. First, your 'argument' is not generalized, nor is it generalizable -- it applies only to you, and if you seek to generalize it, you'll be pressured to admit that [insert crazy claim here] is by this argument validated, unless you admit that your personal version of it is likewise invalid. Why? First, this 'argument' could be used to show any number of deities to exist, which is clearly false. Worse than that, however, is the following:

    P4: But neither my memory, nor my senses, nor my ability to reason are, at all times, trustworthy (read: they are, at times, untrustworthy).

    .: P1*: If God has revealed to me that I can trust my senses, memory, and reasoning, then he did not do so in such a way that these faculties are
    always trustworthy.

    .: P3*: If I would use the senses, memory, and reasoning which have been revealed to by God to be trustworthy, to determine that I was in the military, then I must first apply some other means to determine if in this case whether my senses, memory, and reasoning are in this case trustworthy.


    OH NOES!!1

    However will Dan wriggle out of this?

    It appears he has a [two-horned] dilemma: He can say he has used his senses, memory, and reasoning to determine that his senses, memory, and reasoning are in this case trustworthy (which is obviously circular, and which eliminates the role of god), or he can say that he has used some other faculty to determine that his senses, memory, and reasoning are in this case trustworthy -- but this second option renders his 'argument' no longer valid.

    Furthermore, if he seeks an ad hoc adjustment to the phrase, "senses, memory, and reasoning," to accommodate the new faculty, the very process of doing so would just compound the problem, such that with any claim that god had revealed that this new faculty is trustworthy, the problem would arise again.

    At its core, Dan's problem is that he cannot use the faculties in question to assess the revelation itself, and this is a fatal flaw in his [apparently not-so-trustworthy] 'reasoning.' Thus, it is demonstrated that Dan, like the rest of us, assumes first that certain faculties are in general reliable (even though there are cases in which they are not). He can only then draw [however fallacious] conclusions that there is a god, and that this god likes peanut butter. It is in view of this shared axiomatic presumption that the dishonesty inherent in his presuppositionalist claims is exposed.

    QEDMF

    --
    Stan

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