June 18, 2012

Irrational Exuberance

Ydemoc asked some well thought out questions, in such a kind manner they do warrant a response.

>>the truths identified by Objectivist axioms.

Yes, there are self evident truths. As a mere example, even our founding fathers believed this also as "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" The rights are axiomatic. There is a Biblical necessity to deny the fundamental point of moral neutrality here. What failed is southern men thinking that slaves are not people, but property. Their axioms were simply wrong. It was also "self evident" that the world was flat at a time in history, true? So how do we get through axioms that are incorrect? More, correct, axioms and that is the purpose of TAG. 

These points are not flip answers but my attempt to flesh them out in my very limited philosophical education. But, I do not claim to be a well versed philosopher, but an exegete in Scripture. At least that is my goal and focus.

>>For "axiom of existence".  So you presuppose that you exist.
>>For "axiom of identity". You presuppose that you are you.

You're arguing presuppositionally to me here. How can I, or want to, counter that? I guess I could pose that you could be a winged green Spirit in a dream state though, but that is not my argument and just the point that axioms change. Yes, we're creatures. Self-consciousness creatures. How is that accounted for?

"The problem here is that Dr. Copan, like many critics of presuppositionalism, confuses a presupposition of an argument with a premise of an argument." ~~Dr. James N. Anderson

As Anderson pointed out, "the argument identifies a performative inconsistency in the one who doubts his own existence. (In a sense, all transcendental arguments aim to identify a performative inconsistency in the skeptic’s position.) Does it presuppose its conclusion? Yes, in the sense that the argument can be mentally entertained by a person only if that person exists — but that’s precisely the point. This sort of non-trivial ‘presupposing’ is necessarily involved in all transcendental arguments that purport to identify a necessary precondition of rational thought...Once you see that Descartes’ argument doesn’t beg the question in any objectionable fashion, it ought to be clear that neither does the presuppositionalist’s argument."

>>since presupposing is a conscious activity (there’s the axiom of consciousness)

Can you just claim to be consciousness as an axiom without any background, or explanation, (account) behind it? It is the thrust of the point we're trying to make here, after all. One could say that life is an axiom, but that gets us nowhere.

This specific point has been addressed in a past post:

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

>>This is why they are the preconditions of knowledge (since knowledge is essentially identification of facts.

All facts, or even evidences, are interpreted within a framework of presuppositions though.

"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… " ~Greg Bahnsen (Pushing the Antithesis pg.) 124.

What the world views as an "expert authority" is only as good insofar as that "expert" is consistent with what God, the ultimate authority reveals. This is because, as Jesus implicitly taught in Luke 16:31: the facts don't speak for themselves because all facts are interpreted facts.

>>But I find it curious that I don’t often (if at all) come across theists who ask: “How do you know that you are wrong?”

That is because all facts are interpreted facts. So, of course, you believe you're right, but how are you certain you are?

"In fact, that cannot be evidence for God if he is a naturalist, or an atheist. Because according to him its not possible to have evidence for God. If he is in fact an atheist in terms of his views on reality, then all of these things must be reinterpreted so they are regimented, or will conform to, will comport with that man's naturalism, or atheism." ~(bit.ly/stillevidence)

>>We are wrong when we have failed to properly identify a fact of reality. And we have knowledge of being wrong when we take steps that properly identify the error in our thinking. Essentially, we “check our work.” What do we check with? With the same faculty of consciousness we check with reality.

So you reason your reasoning is valid. Got it. So how do you know which reality is the right one?

Someone said a while ago "We find a reality in which God exists, you, on the other hand find a reality where that is not necessarily the case.

You see, in our reality, we can attribute things to God whom we know exists, you cannot. For example, if someone asks if X is "good," we can make this determination by seeing whether or not it comports with God's revealed character according to our reality. You, necessarily have another standard for goodness in your version of reality. Both cannot be "true" at the same time and in the same way.

So when I, for example, say that worshiping idols is bad, and you say that it is not bad, how do you determine which is the correct answer since we appeal to different realities?

How do you know whose reality is the right reality?"

If all facts are interpreted facts, then this type of question makes sense. If you claim there is only one reality, then how do you know you're right about the non-existence of God, or anything, within this reality?  You reason that your reality appears to conform to reality. But you have yet to show the avenue to knowledge.

In quoting Peikoff you bring up a good point. "But if they cannot, how did they ever discover that they were wrong? How can one form such concepts as “mistake” or “error” while wholly ignorant of what is correct?"

It reminds me of another quote. "If we are products of mechanistic and impersonal natural forces in a closed system, then our thoughts and rules of reasoning are also parts of that system. Any check against false conclusions would still be a part of the system which produced the false conclusions." ~Henry W. Middle | March 1st, 2010 | The Foundation of Logic in the Nature of God

So that brings us to that, now famous, question. How do you know?

>>"...If man cannot grasp X, then “non-X” stands for nothing. Fallibility does not make knowledge impossible. Knowledge is what makes possible the discovery of fallibility.” (Leonard Peikoff, “‘Maybe You’re Wrong,’” The Objectivist Forum, April 1981, 8)

X being "God" in that quote makes perfect sense. Again, we're back to the same question, what is your avenue to knowledge? Which reality is right? Atheists claim they cannot grasp "God", then as Peikoff points out, then “non-God” stands for nothing. You KNOW God exists as Peikoff points out, and confirms Scripture, that we are without excuse. Romans 1:18-21

>>So when you ask, “How do I know my reasoning is valid?” the answer is very simple: I check -- much the same your kids probably check their math equations.

So you appeal to a STANDARD that your worldview cannot account for. Unless you are admiting to a purposed and uniform, not random, universe. Would you grant this, that your worldview only allows for time and chance acting on matter, that its just the material universe, that its just random, there is no guidance, there is no governance, no sovereign, no purpose or plan over the universe?

You assert that you "check" but against what? Truth? Reality? Again, we're back to the same question. How do you know? Which "truth"? Which reality? If there is one reality then, one would think there would be only one worldview. So, since that is not the case, which reality? BTW, someday soon there WILL be only one worldview. The Christian worldview. God assured that.

>>Consciousness has a relationship with reality, and it is capable of checking the conclusions it comes to against the facts of reality.

Indeed it does, same with consciences also. How is that? That is why your atheistic worldview comes into question. It accounts for things with "It just is" or "it just works", and would that be sufficient for us explaining God? God just is? Of course not.

>> Would you say that your kids, by checking their results against the facts of reality, are “reasoning in a vicious circle,” Dan? I doubt it.

As stated above, "Once you see that Descartes’ argument doesn’t beg the question in any objectionable fashion, it ought to be clear that neither does the presuppositionalist’s argument."

>>..what would justify appealing to something above, beyond, outside (i.e., to something supernatural) in order to account for the simple fact that I have identified these objects in my field of awareness? What justifies appealing to a supernatural source?

Well that is what your worldview tries to do. Account for things without God. What would justify appealing to something above, beyond, outside of God? God being that source of knowledge, all knowledge, attempting to discount and deny said source has no justification. You're literally getting things backwards here. You account for it with "it just is" and end it there without being able to appeal to real questions that worldviews attempt to address. Christianity adequately explains origins, who we are, where we came from, the meaning of life, and where we're going after we die, all these question a worldview attempts to address. Life's questions. Christianity is epistemologically foundational.

>>Now, how do I know all this? Because there are no rational grounds to doubt it. And how do I know there are no rational grounds on which to doubt it? I checked.

By checking something that has, according to you, "no rational grounds to doubt it", makes it irrational to do so?

That is, at least, consistent to that worldview you hold so tightly to. Irrational Exuberance :7)


  1. Hi again, Dan,

    On the heels of my most recent post to you, I turnaround and am pleasantly surprised to find that you have responded much more quickly then I anticipated. Good job!

    Give me time to study more thoroughly what you have posted. Hopefully, I can craft a reply in the not too distant future -- although I don't know when that might be, exactly.



  2. Whateverman predicted on June 17, 2012 1:28 PM

    All he's going to do focus on the few sentences that he can use his "how can you account for .." or "how can you be certain of .." bullshit upon. He'll ignore everything else you've written.

    One might think you're omniscient Whaterverman ... or is it just because you know how the script goes now? :-D

    1. Dan's bullshit has been revealed to me in a way that I can be certain it's bullshit...

  3. Hi Freddies_dead,

    Hopefully, I can address some of the issues that Dan overlooked in my upcoming comments (which I'm currently -- slowly but surely -- crafting.)

    And Dan? I just wanted to let you know that I'm not neglecting your post. And as I said, I hope to respond in time.



  4. Speaking of irrational exuberance, get a load of Stanny boy here.

    That's my reply to him, plus a link to his long rant that I'm replying to.

    Here's an exercise: Read all of his rants about "atheists" and substitute any other minority group in there.

    What would his rant look like then?

    1. Stan's an idiot, fairly eloquent, but an idiot all the same. Strawman after strawman, unsupported generalisation after unsupported generalisation and with a penchant for using correlation as if it's proof of causation.

      That's a very nice job of refuting his flood of bigotry and hatred Reynold.

      If I may? A couple of points I'd have thrown in for good measure:

      When Stan basically admits he feels his Bible is unfalsifiable and whines that should you manage to find a way to refute it, it...

      ....would not refute Theism in the form of a non-physical agent with the ability to create a universe and to interfere and interface with its creation.

      Of course refuting the Bible doesn't prove the non-existence of a supreme conciousness, however, the metaphysical Primacy of Existence does exactly that. Stan's little make believe world where "wishing makes it so" presupposes a reality where conciousness holds metaphysical primacy - it's just a shame for him (and all theists that posit such a deity) that the actual facts of reality demonstrate this simply isn't the case. Subsequently committing the fallacy of the stolen concept (over and over again) to try and paper over the problems they've caused themselves only exacerbates the issue.

      Then he throws up this little tidbit of lolworthyness...

      This is a continuing absurdity: if a parent doesn’t allow a child to drive the car, then you think that the parent should not be allowed to drive the car either.

      I totally understand the wtf? moment Reynold, I had a similar reaction, but, after a moment or 3 of reflection, I realised that, using this logic and being more true to the original scenario, it's now perfectly OK for a parent to kill someone as long as they stop their children from doing the same.

      Now, I know this is exactly what the Christian wants to abitrarily make "true" - "might makes right" is the Christian way after all - but all it does is show the true depravity of their "morality".

      Morality, after all, isn't all about the action it's more about why you should or shouldn't do said action. To use Stan's analogy, if the reason you don't allow your child to drive is because (s)he can't fucking drive then it's equally sensible that the parent doesn't drive if they can't fucking drive either.

      Stan's "logic" ignores this. It's not like this is particularly difficult to comprehend either but, when you're looking for a "morally sufficient reason" to defend an act of genocide by your supposed "loving" deity, I guess you'll try to ignore anything that shows that they are, instead, a complete douchecanoe.

    2. Thanks: I've edited my post to use at least some of what you said, with the time, credit and a link back to your comment here.

    3. Looks like it's going to be on over there after all.

  5. For what it's worth, I'm interested in reading your response here, Ydemoc. I'll even concede this is the first interesting post I've seen Dan make in years.

    1. Hi Whateverman,

      Thanks for your interest. I am currently crafting it, and it is coming along rather slowly, mostly in part because (a) I tend to be a slow writer at times (b) I'm also working on other writing projects, so my time is limited (c) in Dan's interesting response, he made references and cited sources which require time to look into and become (re)acquainted with, and (d) I'm also taking time to read my own source material not only for many of the points that Dan raised, but also for many of my own points that might need further elaboration or support.

      So it's gonna take some time, but I will respond. If I do not respond, you may take that as my ultimate demise.


  6. Hi Dan,

    Just a quick update: I'm still working on a response to you, but it is swelling beyond even my own standards of acceptability. I need to pare it way down.

    You brought up some issues about the Declaration of Independence that got me sidetracked a little (which I don't mind, since it affords me an opportunity to learn a little more about the foundations of our country). However, I found that by addressing these points, it has made my response to you a little unwieldy.

    So there may come a point prior to my posting a response to what you've written above, that I address (in a separate comment) some of the issues you raised about slavery. But we'll see.



  7.      "Three words: Start a blog."
         Wouldn't you know it? I already did that. My blog post in response to your recent claims is perhaps not a long as his. But I only covered some key points.

    1. Funny how Blogger considered your advertising for another, not blogger, blog as spam. Intelligent spam bot?

  8. How can matter be self-aware?

    A very good question. Am I to believe in your god because I am ignorant of how the brain (matter-in-motion) creates self-awareness?

  9. @Ydeomoc

    never thought I would agree with Dan on much of anything. That being said, yes please start your own blog! I would love to see what you would post

  10.      Well, it looks like my comment disappeared and has been gone for about a week. The initial removal may have been a Blogger glitch. But there is no way Dan hasn't noticed it in his "spam folder."

    1. You're right, I had two in there. Including yours. I have not checked it for a while. I thought it corrected itself by now. Maybe it knows something I don't :7)

  11. “The rational [principle, premise, idea, policy or action] is that which is consonant with the facts of reality; the irrational is that which contradicts the facts and attempts to get away with it.” -- Ayn Rand, Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, p. 147.

    Hi Dan,

    You wrote: “Ydemoc asked some well thought out questions, in such a kind manner they do warrant a response.”

    Thanks again for the compliment on the questions I posed to you. And thanks for your prompt response, and my apologies for my reply taking so long.

    Please consider the following series of posts just my first installment. Your response gave me a lot to think about. Perhaps we are each hiding within the cozy confines of our respective world views. If so, this could no doubt lead us to talking past each other. But let’s find out if that is, in fact, the case.

    Please note that in my response(s) to you, I will be leaning heavily upon much of what Dawson Bethrick has written. And I will also be using quotes from Ayn Rand, Anton Thorn, Leonard Peikoff as well as from other objectivist sources. I am not an authority on objectism, nor am I speaking on behalf of any of these people I have just mentioned.

    Right off the bat, I would like to note that, to the best of my knowledge, nowhere in the Bible do we find the term “irrational”; nor, for that matter, do we find the term “rational.”

    (This is something to keep in mind, as it goes to the heart of much of what it is I’m presenting: According my view, because knowledge has a hierarchical structure, i.e., higher-level concepts rely upon antecedent concepts, the formation of the concept “irrational” would not be possible prior to formation of the concept “rational,” just as the concept “nothing” would not be possible and only has meaning in relation to “something.”)

    Still, you chose to use “irrational” in the title of your blog entry; yet you did not supply your worldview’s definition of this term (nor a definition for the term “rational”) anywhere in your blog entry.


    1. Hello Ydemoc, Dan, and readers. I finally have a couple of hours to myself. The work is done for now, and as an added bonus, it's raining in north Texas. (I've had quite enough of hot and dry.)

      Ydemoc noted that Dan ... chose to use “irrational” in the title of your blog entry; yet you did not supply your worldview’s definition of this term (nor a definition for the term “rational”) anywhere in your blog entry.

      This is typical presuppositionalist behavior. Religious apologists employing as debate tactics dubious and ineffective presuppositional arguments must steal concepts from naturalistic world views (including Objectivism) because religion offers only fantasy and imaginative stories. There is no way to access the Christian God except by imagining it. Christianity has no epistemology, no theory of concepts, no logic, no systematic methodology for how to think. It offers only faith in what is indistinguishable from nothingness. That may be good enough for the average fool, but Man qua Man needs rationality because his mind is his means of survival.

    2. By rationality I mean what Rand stipulated.

      Rationality is man’s basic virtue, the source of all his other virtues. Man’s basic vice, the source of all his evils, is the act of unfocusing his mind, the suspension of his consciousness, which is not blindness, but the refusal to see, not ignorance, but the refusal to know. Irrationality is the rejection of man’s means of survival and, therefore, a commitment to a course of blind destruction; that which is anti-mind, is anti-life.

      The virtue of Rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action. It means one’s total commitment to a state of full, conscious awareness, to the maintenance of a full mental focus in all issues, in all choices, in all of one’s waking hours. It means a commitment to the fullest perception of reality within one’s power and to the constant, active expansion of one’s perception, i.e., of one’s knowledge. It means a commitment to the reality of one’s own existence, i.e., to the principle that all of one’s goals, values and actions take place in reality and, therefore, that one must never place any value or consideration whatsoever above one’s perception of reality. It means a commitment to the principle that all of one’s convictions, values, goals, desires and actions must be based on, derived from, chosen and validated by a process of thought—as precise and scrupulous a process of thought, directed by as ruthlessly strict an application of logic, as one’s fullest capacity permits. It means one’s acceptance of the responsibility of forming one’s own judgments and of living by the work of one’s own mind (which is the virtue of Independence). It means that one must never sacrifice one’s convictions to the opinions or wishes of others (which is the virtue of Integrity)—that one must never attempt to fake reality in any manner (which is the virtue of Honesty)—that one must never seek or grant the unearned and undeserved, neither in matter nor in spirit (which is the virtue of Justice). It means that one must never desire effects without causes, and that one must never enact a cause without assuming full responsibility for its effects—that one must never act like a zombie, i.e., without knowing one’s own purposes and motives—that one must never make any decisions, form any convictions or seek any values out of context, i.e., apart from or against the total, integrated sum of one’s knowledge—and, above all, that one must never seek to get away with contradictions. It means the rejection of any form of mysticism, i.e., any claim to some nonsensory, nonrational, nondefinable, supernatural source of knowledge. It means a commitment to reason, not in sporadic fits or on selected issues or in special emergencies, but as a permanent way of life.
      ~ “The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 25, http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/rationality.html

  12. Since a proper understanding of “rational” and “irrational” is essential to evaluating each of our worldviews, I thought it would be derelict of me not to supply my view of both these terms. Hence, my prefatory quote from Ayn Rand, who also notes that: “The virtue of Rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action.” (“The Objectivist Ethics,” The Virtue of Selfishness, p. 25)

    I will have more to say about the title of your post in the last installment of my replies to you.

    Meanwhile, after reading your reply, I noted the following:

    -- You did not provide a sufficient answer (as far as I could tell) to the second paragraph on the first installment of my questions to you: The paragraph begins, “If my consciousness is equipped with...” and ends with: “How is making such an appeal [to that which is undetectable, imperceptible, and invisible] distinguishable from stating: “‘I account for reason, knowledge, the uniformity of nature, and the validity of my senses by appealing to nothing whatsoever”?

    -- You also didn’t specifically address (as far as I could tell) my third paragraph asking you to provide a justification for using legitimate concepts (“account” and “justify”) in any attempt to undermine or cast doubt on the very process by which these concepts are formed in the first place.

    -- You did not tell me one way or another if you were able to “find anything at the perceptual level that gives rise to the concepts that inform your worldview,” such as “angel,” “devil” “Hell” “Heaven” “hereafter” “afterlife,” etc.

    -- Although you provided a quote that seems to touch upon it, you didn’t give me a direct response as to why it is, according to you, that I cannot (without an appeal to a supernatural source) know with certainty that man is fallible. Could your failure to produce a direct response to this have something to do with you recognizing that questioning man’s certainty with regard to his knowledge of his own fallibility, ends up with your own worldview painted into a corner? To illustrate my point, here’s how a conversation might proceed between me and a typical presuppositionalist:


    1. I'm quite perplexed by your choice of quote by Ayn Rand "The virtue of Rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action.”

      Recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge? Reason is the ONLY source? Is that not the entire question in the first place? As, how do you know that?

      Sure, It is asserted but, of course, we disagree. I gave evidence how that is not true. I gave you a reasoned response as to how that is impossible to be true. If you presuppose that there is no God, then you have no other choice to conclude this, and leads us to another post about that very subject, but HOW are you absolutely certain, in other words KNOW, that is in fact the truth, i.e. knowledge? If you reason that having black people as property is OK, then THAT is knowledge?

      You reason your reasoning is knowledge? Really?

      >>You did not provide a sufficient answer (as far as I could tell) to the second paragraph on the first installment of my questions to you:

      OK, let's address it. Your word soup said:

      >>"and if I have a consciousness capable of recognizing the above facts... checking if what I’ve identified corresponds to reality or not... and capable of making corrections in any incorrect thinking, ..."

      Checking if what you've identified corresponds to reality or not? How do you do this if you reason that your reality, one that does not align with the reality of the existence of God, is actually right, if that "reality" is false in the first place?

      Making corrections in any incorrect thinking? So if you recognize that things are in a sense, incorrect, then by that alone it is not knowledge, as it was incorrect. Again, we're back to your assertions, and claims, that you know something is right, without actually knowing it. True? Claimed and incorrect, "knowledge", is not knowledge at all. I know because of the appeal to the knowledge of an all knowing God. We cannot be wrong, per se, when we make the claims that coincide with reality, or what God claims which is reality. You believe you're coinciding with reality, only to find out you're wrong, and must make changes, i.e. not knowledge. God's existence will never change for eternity, no matter what is claimed by unbelievers. How do I know this? Because God revealed it, such we can know it for certain. You have no such avenue to certainty. No need to "make corrections" because it impossible to be "incorrect thinking". It is gauged on the ultimate authority of knowledge, the source of that knowledge, all knowledge.

      I cannot be wrong of God's existence, because he revealed Himself to us. You COULD be wrong about God's nonexistence, because you must be "making corrections in any incorrect thinking", this being one of them. Please don't make a feigned assertion of "lack of belief" either. In order to reason that your reasoning is valid, about evolution, naturalism, or anything, you must make an implicitly positive claim to God's nonexistence to make such a claim of your reality in the first place. Otherwise, you could no reason at all about anything, without such knowledge. This is the point that makes your atheistic worldview absurd.

      You may even claim that you do not have such knowledge, yet you make claims to a reality that presupposes that false knowledge. Certainly naturalism is not true or reality, If God exists. Yet you go about reasoning, as if it were knowledge. How do you know it is?

    2. And God revealed to Harold Camping, such that he could know it for certain, that the world would end on 21 October 2011.

    3. Harold Camping? 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.

      ( Deuteronomy 18:22, Matthew 7:17-19) clearly states this.

  13. Me: Man is fallible.

    Presupper: Are you certain of this?

    Me: Yes.

    Presupper: How are you certain of this?

    Me: By means of reason (i.e., “the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.” -- Rand). I am a man. I’ve done things right and I’ve done things wrong, and I’m able to recognize the difference. I’m able to recognize the mistakes I’ve made, as well as the mistakes other men have made. I, as a man, am fallible.

    Presupper: Could you be wrong about being fallible?

    That’s funny! And it has inspired this one-liner:

    “Man is fallible. But, hey, I could be wrong.”

    Although I find it funny, do you not see its absurdity (albeit, an absurdity which actually makes the one-liner humorous)? Your question assumes that which it is seeking to disprove, namely it assumes as knowledge the fact of man's fallibility; and yet it uses this very knowledge of man being fallible in an attempt to undercut the knowledge I have that I am fallible! This is a clear case of what Rand refers to as “begging the answer,” where you assume “that which you are trying to disprove,” -- more commonly referred to as the fallacy of ‘the stolen concept.'" Presuppositionalism is rife with it.

    Presupper: How do you know?

    And round and round we go!

    My concerns are not limited to just these areas, as I’m sure you’ll see in my next installment -- (which I’m still working on, so I don't know when I will post.)

    P.S. Thanks for your suggestion about getting a blog. I may take you up on that suggestion in the future. As for right now, if my comments are too much and not to your liking in terms of length, just let me know, and I will either abide your rules, get a blog, or refrain from posting here.

    In any event: MORE TO COME!


    1. >>I’m able to recognize the mistakes I’ve made, as well as the mistakes other men have made. I, as a man, am fallible.

      So, your knowledge is not knowledge, but pre-claimed-knowledge, as time tells you whether you are wrong or not? As, if you have never seen a man make a mistake, you reason that KNOW that men are infallible. Until that very disturbing day when you see a man make a mistake that is, then you would have to reestablish your pre-claimed-knowledge, as not knowledge at all. Then you would have to reason another knowledge claim with another pre-claimed-knowledge until that day when you can be confident that it is actual knowledge. Right? But that day never comes because the very next day, after your confidence, you could find new information that nullifies that pre-claimed-knowledge in that infinite regress. So Atheists do not know anything? They have pre-claimed-knowledge? Got it.

      Occam's razor will distroy you here as our reality states the only possible way that we can know anything for certain is by Divine revelation from One who knows everything. Simple as that.

    2. Dan
      Occam's razor will distroy you here as our reality states the only possible way that we can know anything for certain is by Divine revelation from One who knows everything. Simple as that.
      Oh good smegging grief. You're still harping on that bullshit? I've pointed out several times that the bible is not infallible, yet you still claim that it was written by "one who knows everything".

      Our "reality" states no such thing, Dan.

      What does say, mathematical knowledge have to do with "divine revelation"?

      How can you have know to trust yours senses when you were born unless you had this "divine revelation" way back then?

      Can you describe this so-called "divine revelation" without asking that irrelevent hypothetical question about could an "omnipotent blah blah god tell us something so that we could be absolutely sure of it".

      We are looking for evidence that such a thing actually happened, as opposed to whether it could happen.

    3. Also, would you care to explain why you never used that "divine revelation" crap before you ran into Sye if you actually do rely on "divine revelation" in the first place?

    4. Dan said...

      Occam's razor will distroy you here as our reality states the only possible way that we can know anything for certain is by Divine revelation from One who knows everything. Simple as that.

      I'll start by pointing out that the only logically possible way a deity could make you absolutely certain of anything would be to grant you omniscience. If you disagree, then please, demonstrate exactly how a deity could give you absolute certainty while not giving you perfect knowledge with which to confirm the source and veracity of any "divine revelation".

      Are you omniscient Dan? If not, how do you know you've had a "divine revelation" and not just a brain fart bought on by eating a particularly strong piece of cheese?

      If, however, you are claiming omniscience then a demonstration of your perfect knowledge will be required. The correct numbers for the next 20 draws of the Euromillions lottery would be pretty damned convincing to start with.

      Secondly, Occam's razor is of absolutely no use to you here because you've not just blunted the blade, you've thrown it away all together. The presupp worldview denies humanity's ability to reason autonomously. This means, of course, that you can never know whether you've even received a "divine revelation" as you can no longer distinguish such a revelation from a cat's meow - not that you can recognise a cat's meow either as you can't reason what a "cat" might be or what a "meow" is.

      Congratulations Dan, you've successfully demonstrated the absurdity of your professed worldview.

    5. Hi Dan,

      I just wanted to touch base to let you know that I have read your reply above, and a response is coming along swimmingly. (Now there's a word I seldom find myself using.)

      This has interrupted my other response I was working on, but I think this may work to my advantage in terms of getting some points out of the way. I should be dropping it in here pretty soon.



    6. Dan stated ...the only possible way that we can know anything for certain is by Divine revelation from One who knows everything...

      As I understand, advocates of TAG and presuppositional apologetics claim Homo Sapien cannot have certain knowledge because induction does not work. This position is fatal to their God belief because if induction does not work then there cannot be any omniscient beings. For God to be God, it must be omniscient such that it knows with certainty that its miracles are efficacious and that it is God. If induction does not work, then God cannot know either. This is Geoffrey Berg's argument presented in his book Six Ways of Atheism.


      The Argument:

      The argument of Universal Uncertainty stated as a logical paradox in relation to God is ‘GOD CANNOT EXIST BECAUSE ‘GOD' CANNOT KNOW THAT IT IS GOD'. This means that an entity with God's other properties cannot have the final property of certain knowledge nor even in the long term certain power consummating it as God. I put this forward as a logically irrefutable proposition.

      The premises for the argument are two:

      1. an uncertain God is a contradiction in terms and ridiculous

      2. uncertainty is logically universal within the Universe (‘Universe' = ‘the totality of existence') in the sense that everything must be fundamentally uncertain about its own relationship to its environment.

      If the premises are true this argument is undeniable within reason.

      The First Premise: That an entity riddled with uncertainty cannot be the God of Christian, Jewish or Islamic religion is obvious. If the entity seemed like God in other ways but could not be certain of its own permanence (that it would not die), and could not be certain of the extent of its own power and knew therefore it lacked omniscience, it would be but a mockery of God. Furthermore, it could not then ever be certain whether a yet greater entity exists beyond its understanding. How could men pray to God not knowing whether even if it once existed it was not now dead or dying? Who would pray to a God itself uncertain of its own ability to answer prayers? It is bad enough that people are told to have faith in the existence of God, but isn't it a bit much if ‘God' also has to have faith in its own authentic existence as God? It has all the absurdity of the blind leading the blind.

      The Second Premise: All that remains is to establish reasons for the inevitable universality of some uncertainty, at least three of which are available but any one of which would be sufficient in itself to prove the point.

      a) The past cannot predict with certainty the future: The future cannot be known with certainty. Even if something has occurred 5 or 805 or countless times there is no guarantee it will hold true the next time. Even if an entity has been correct in all its previous predictions that does not ensure the correctness of all or even any of its future predictions. The universe or part of it may change unaccountably. For instance it may suddenly change from being a predominantly rational place into being a predominantly irrational place. ~ (end part 1)

    7. (part 2)

      b) A question of limited intelligence: If you are a person of limited intelligence it might be that because you have limited intelligence you cannot know that you are a person of limited intelligence and more obviously it is quite likely that you would not know how your intellect is limited. Thus it is perfectly possible for any entity to be limited in its insight and because it is limited in its insight not have the least idea that it is limited in its insight. Such can be the case with people or with ‘apparent gods'. Even more important, nobody or no thing can know that it is not limited in its intellect (because if it were limited part of its limitation would quite likely be to fail to understand that it is limited!). So those that cannot ‘see' any limitations to their intellect obviously cannot know for sure whether there are any limitations to their intellect.

      c) Power is a more difficult concept than it seems: Following from a) above power may only be a temporary phenomenon in any entity's hands. Following from b) above no entity that exercises seemingly limitless power can be certain of the extent of its true power.

      However apart from those two points how can any entity be certain that it is not somehow only wanting and doing those things which it has power to do and not wanting those things which it in fact has not got power to do?

      Incidentally, how can any entity be sure it has free will? How can it tell the mechanism doesn't work like this - something is going to happen and as a related part of that thing going to happen it (the candidate God) is also automatically made to want it to happen, and seeming to arrange its happening?

      Note: Underlying these reasons for universal uncertainty is the reality of the nature of knowledge and even power. Knowledge and power are not in themselves tangible, concrete qualities. Application of them may give concrete results but of themselves they can only ever be perceived by mental processes. That mental recognition results either from logic or experience. An entity that is potentially God, being unique and absolute, cannot use experience in the same way as we, who are neither unique nor absolute, can to approximately fit circumstances. Anyhow experience only yields provisional knowledge as environments are all liable to fundamental change from time to time. Therefore rational means are the only reliable means to absolute knowledge even for an entity of God's apparent power. How even any potential God can be absolutely certain of future developments and of its own ability to for ever know them is a critical logical flaw in monotheism.

      In essence most knowledge is a fleeting abstraction which none can possibly be sure of grasping, least of all for ever. There is no route nor sure mechanism for anything to be certain of gaining and maintaining overall knowledge.

      Summary of this Argument:

      God having to have faith it is in fact God is ridiculous. Many other possible explanations of a God-like entity's situation can be imagined - any apparent God might only be and can never know that it is not only a temporary local potentate.

      The concept of God is a logical impossibility. This is because some qualities that God must have to be God - including certainty and certain knowledge - cannot be logically reconciled with the fundamental position of any entity in relation to the totality of existence (i.e. the Universe) where ultimately uncertainty must prevail. As it is essential to our or any existence that the Universe must exist, it is therefore God that cannot logically (that is without self-contradiction) exist.

      Geoffrey H L Berg MA (Cantab)

      Geoffrey Berg hereby grants permission to newspapers and internet bloggers to reproduce the text in full or in part of the ‘Synopsis Of The Argument Of Universal Uncertainty To Disprove The Existence of God' for the benefit of their readers. ~ end part 2

    8. part 3

      Robert Bumbalough> If a presuppositionalist apologist rejects induction due to the idea that existence does not exist independent of any and all forms of consciousness or that his God could at any time intervene to change states of affairs, then he must also accept that, if it were the case that his God existed, then prior to any act of creation his or her God could not inductively reason, as there would be no existence or experience from which to infer to any knowledge, that it was God and that its knowledge and powers were unlimited, or that its miracles would be efficacious. Failing to know with certainty that its powers/knowledge were unlimited or that it was God or that its miracles would be efficacious, God could not be truly omniscient and thus could not be God. But God is alleged to be a necessary being such that it necessarily knows it is omniscient. Since God could not have known it was God, it could not be a necessary being and hence must be impossible.

  14. Hi Dan,

    Thanks again for another quick response. I am still working on addressing the remainder of your **first** response to me, so my apologies for lagging behind. Perhaps “leapfrogging ahead” to address some of what you’ve written here will actually turn out to be beneficial for the both of us, since it will cover much of the same ground I was planning on covering.

    I may have made some typos here and there, as I got weary near the end. Also I didn’t address everything. I petered out for the same reason. Anyway, here goes:

    You wrote: “I'm quite perplexed by your choice of quote by Ayn Rand "The virtue of Rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action.”

    Recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge? Reason is the ONLY source?”

    Of course -- and don’t forget, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action. Are you questioning this because you find it too narrow? Or are you doing so to make room for revelation? Or both?

    Rand defines ‘reason’ as, “the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.” And this involves three factors: the senses, logic, and concepts.

    As Dawson explained to you on a different occasion: “Keep in mind what I mentioned in our other conversation, namely that Objectivism do not equate "reason" with "argument." 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). As I mentioned in the other conversation, there is nothing illicit or fallacious in using reason to discover the nature of reason, or in using reason to confirm the validity or truth of our own inferences and conclusions.” (Dawson Bethrick, October 1, 2010 6:31 PM http://debunkingatheists.blogspot.com/2010/09/still-no-evidence.html?showComment=1285983063990#c7265442898051653108)

  15. Perhaps you are having difficulty accepting that knowledge is hierarchical in nature. As Peikoff notes on p. 152 - 153 in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand: “...‘reason’ is a complex higher-level concept. To grasp its meaning and implications, one must first grasp its hierarchical roots. These are what we have been studying at length [i.e., in the first four chapters of OPAR].

    Expanding on Rand’s definition of reason, Peikoff writes: “[it is] the faculty that enables man to discover the nature of existents -- by virtue of its power to condense sensory information in accordance with the requirements of an objective mode of cognition. Or: reason is the faculty that organizes perceptual units in conceptual terms by following the principles of logic. This formulation highlights the three elements essential to the faculty: its data, percepts; its form, concepts; its method, logic. Is reason, so defined, a valid means of cognition? Does it bring man knowledge of reality? The question [which you, Dan, have asked on many an occasion] reduces to: are the senses valid? are concepts valid? is logic valid?”

    Two other points to keep in mind, as Peikoff notes: “‘Why should I accept reason’” means ‘Why should I accept reality’”; and, “...using reason, one can *identify* its relationship to the facts of reality and thereby validate the faculty.” (asterisks mine)

    You wrote: “Is that not the entire question in the first place? As, how do you know that?”

    Have you ever attempted not using reason as your only means of knowledge? Can you give me some details on how might work for you?

    Let me say this: There was a time when I didn’t really understand the significance of concepts. I was using them every day -- referring to things, communicating, reading, understanding, thinking, reasoning, drawing conclusions, acting on those conclusions, etc. But because concepts seemed to just “magically” be there for me, I took them and concept formation for granted. It never sank in that somebody -- thinkers -- somewhere along the lines, formed the very concepts which I was using -- that I am now using right now. But I didn’t make the connection. I thought, What’s the big deal?


    1. Ydemoc asked Dan: Have you ever attempted not using reason as your only means of knowledge? Can you give me some details on how might work for you?

      Four years ago I, invoking 1 Peter 3:15, asked Dan if he would pray to his God that it reveal to him a number I had written in a notebook. According to the apostle Paul as reported in 1 Cor. 12:8 8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; If Dan did pray to his God for it to reveal the number to him, then Dan's God either did not reveal the number or Dan choose to kept the knowledge of my number secret.

      Above freddies_dead stated If, however, you [Dan] are claiming omniscience then a demonstration of your perfect knowledge will be required. The correct numbers for the next 20 draws of the Euromillions lottery would be pretty damned convincing to start with. Echoing that, I renew my challenge to Dan by reinvoking 1 Peter 3:15 and challenge Dan to pray to his God and to request his fellow church members pray as well that their God provide them with the Euromillions lottery winning numbers for the first lotto drawing in August of this year.

      Dan's God, being only a figment of Dan's imagination, can't do anything outside of Dan's fantasy thought world. Dan, of course, will not accept this challenge and will either ignore it or posit some mealy mouthed excuse to evade it.

    2. I will, hopefully, be addressing your "lottery numbers" request in the next post. I will try to find time to get to it. God willing, that is.

    3. Dan, invoking the idea of God is to assert a fallacy of self-reference. The God concept is only a floating abstraction that does not refer to any object and that does only refer to itself. Anton Thorn penned an interesting essay describing this fallacy.

  16. That all changed, though, when I fully integrated the fact that concepts aren’t just detached, floating constructs with no tether to reality; that they’re not magically handed down and implanted in our brains by some supernatural source. But that, instead, they actually refer to things, i.e., to existents, i.e., to reality. And that I’m able to actually check! It was then that I fully realized how important they are. Perceptual input provides the basis for their formation, i.e., the sensory data that is all around us provides the content for our minds, and with that content we form concepts. And reason is involved in this process!

    Reason supplied the very concepts you, Dan, use that inform the very sentence you have written above -- the very sentence you understand and expect me to understand. If you had written, “A truck has four tires,” what would be involved in my knowledge of what you are referring to? First I would have to understand the concepts used. How would I go about doing this? (a) Perception, in which case reason would necessarily be involved (b) learning these concepts and what they refer to, reason would be involved (c) or by having already perceived and integrated these concepts, I now know that by “truck,” “four” and “tires” it means this thing (truck) has those objects (tires), in which case also, reason is involved.

    Though I’m only giving you a very, very brief sketch of the process, this process also applies to the concepts contained in the question we so often hear: “How do you know?” All the concepts contained within that little question reduce to this world -- this reality -- the only reality there is -- this realm of existence that you are in right now. Yet you use these “this worldly” concepts to cast doubt upon this fact, (man’s non-supernaturally-accounted-for knowledge) while at the same time actually counting on this fact to pose your question in the first place! If a thing isn’t -- what it is, then neither would be the words you speak to me in the very sentence you just wrote.

    All these “How do you know?” questions are essentially the same thing as asking, “How do you know that a rock is a rock?” or “How do you know a cow is a cow?” Concept formation would help you here, but scripture seems to “leapfrog” over it.

    The law of identity, “How do you know A is A.” Don’t you see what you are doing here? How do you know a cow is a cow as opposed to, what? A telephone?


    1. Dan asked “How do you know A is A.”

      That which is self-evident needs no proving. That reason is the sole means of acquiring knowledge cannot be, nor does it need to be, proven. But reason is validated whenever it is used to integrate man’s perceptions by means of forming abstractions or conceptions, thus raising man’s knowledge from the perceptual level to the conceptual level. That Man can form concepts validates reason. Besides as Peikoff noted in OPAR: "One cannot seek a proof that reason is reliable, because reason is the faculty of proof; one must accept and use reason in any attempt to prove anything. But, using reason, one can identify its relationship to the facts of reality and thereby validate the faculty." ~ p.153

      Religious apologist using the presuppostionalist approach must depend upon Hume's skepticism and attack upon induction. Hume's analysis of induction was faulty, so depending upon Hume as exemplified by the how do you know approach is a losing tactic.

      See Dawson Bethrick's blogs answering Dustin Seger on the uniformity of nature and induction.



      I hope to have some free time this weekend to read through Ydemoc's responses. Yesterday and today have been busy with balky severs and corrupted data bases.

    2. Hi Robert,

      Thank you (and, again, thanks to Dan, and anyone else) for taking the time to read my comments. In all fairness to Dan, though, in our most recent exchange, he did not pose the question: "How do you know A is A." I posed that question, in anticipation of Dan possibly doing so. Just wanted to point that out.

      Nonetheless, your comment regarding this type of question and the links you provided will certainly add some clarity to anyone willing to investigate. Thanks!


  17. Now, you may ask me: “Well, why is there such a notion as A is A?” Or: “Why are things what they are?” And I would ask you: “What would it mean to say that something isn’t -- what it is?” Without things being what they are, you could not even form the concepts needed which inform that very question! As the ol’ cliche’ goes: First things first.

    Please allow the late, Stephen Speicher, to shed a little more light on the topic at hand:

    “We make the distinction between us -- our consciousness -- and the external world, and we further note that the world as we see it is not a series of disconnected elements that morph one into the other like an ever-changing kaleidoscope of amorphous shapes and colors. Instead, what we see are things, entities, as a whole, persistent across time and space. We introspect and ask if this process of seeing entities rather than disconnected pieces is something we intiitiate [sic] and control? We note that we can control what we choose to see, but when we see entities they are automatically given to us as a whole, and this automatic process, this function that our brain performs, is what we call perception. Percepts then are our starting point.

    But we note that when we perceive entities they are more than just some object out there, they are recognizable entities that we can identify and classify, one different from the other. We see one entity we call a glass, and another we call a ball, each having unique characteristics and properties. We group together a number of entities that fall in each class, ignoring the differences in size and color of the different balls we see, and leaving out the varying proportions of shape in a group of glasses. But by what process did we arrive at these identifications and what were the means by which they were achieved?

    We note that the concepts we form start with identification of entities, isolating essential characteristics and differentiating this class of entity from all others. We note that unlike direct perception this process of identification is not automatic, but rather it is a process that we initiate and control. We further note that these concepts we form do not simply stand all alone, but each is related to others in a multitude of ways. So beyond the fact of identifications we make, we also integrate our identifications into a cohesive whole. But what do we use as a guide for this entire process?


  18. How do we ensure making the proper identifications? What standard do we use? So here we now isolate the fact of logic, the means by which we make non-contradictory identifications, the process which weaves its way through all the rest of what we mentally control.

    These are the facts of reality, then, that we combine together in a broad process that we exercise by our volitional consciousness. We start with perceptual data, identify and integrate that material according to the rules of logic, and it is that entire process that we call reason. (Stephen Speicher, http://forums.4aynrandfans.com/)

    You wrote: “Sure, It is asserted but, of course, we disagree.”

    Yes, we obviously disagree. But it is more than an assertion: Reason has been validated. And valid concepts can be reduced to the perceptual level, or are based upon abstractions that can be reduced. This very knowledge itself -- how concepts are formed, and how they (knowledge) is hierarchical in nature -- is just one weapon among many in the arsenal of a rational worldview. And when called into battle against the irrational, including theism, it allows one to say, with certainty, that there is no room for a god or gods, Christian or otherwise, in any of this.

    You wrote: “I gave evidence how that is not true.”

    I’m going to have to punt on attempting to challenge this right now, because I don’t have the details of said evidence before me. Perhaps I’ll address it later.

    You wrote: “I gave you a reasoned response as to how that is impossible to be true.”

    How ‘what’ is impossible to be true? That reason *isn’t* “the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.” That the definition of “...rationality means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action”? That concepts aren’t formed on the basis of perceptual input? I dislike using “See above,” but in this instance I see no other alternative, except to add, “‘Please,’see above.”


  19. You wrote: “If you presuppose that there is no God, then you have no other choice to conclude this, and leads us to another post about that very subject, but HOW are you absolutely certain, in other words KNOW, that is in fact the truth, i.e. knowledge?”

    I don’t “presuppose” there is “no God,” Dan, so I do have another choice. Cognition does not begin with negating or denying. Dawson Bethrick elaborates on this... on what I’ve touched upon above: “The human mind does not begin by negating or denying a premise. It begins by perceiving and affirming a positive. Only then would it have any content to work with in order for negating or denying to be possible. Sure, the atheist, for instance, has no god-belief. But it does not follow from this that he *begins* by denying the existence of gods. Similarly, Christians do not begin by denying the existence of Allah, Geusha or Avalokuthara. There are in philosophy issues that are more fundamental than the question of the existence of a god, Christian or otherwise, and they involve positive affirmations based on fundamental recognitions... [Christians] want their god’s existence to be absolutely fundamental. But they lack the epistemological goods to substantiate such a position. But notice how every argument for the existence of a god requires that one considering it exists, is conscious, and can discern between A and non-A. In other words, the Objectivist axioms must be true even in order to consider such arguments (let alone develop them and ensure their formal validity).” (Incinerating Presuppositionalism, http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2010/07/storybook-worldview.html#1715746433670933280)

    As far as “knowing” -- do you dispute concepts such as “house” “pebble” “cat” “dog” “car,” “planet” -- and every, single other concept formed and validated according to an objective process, is, in fact, knowledge? If you do not dispute this, then please tell me: Where in all this is room for your god?

    Furthermore, in order for you to show that your god exists and created existence, you will have to show that objects of consciousness conform to consciousness. But we know that objects do not conform to consciousness; and that, in fact, just the opposite is the case. Consciousness (the subject) does not create its own objects, and an object of consciousness is what it is, no matter what consciousness does. This is the Primacy of Existence Principle in a nutshell. And all truth claims rest on this fact. Essentially, it states: “X is the way it is whether anyone believes it or not; whether anyone wishes otherwise or not; whether anyone suppresses it or not; whether anyone acknowledges it or not; whether anyone evades or is ignorant of it or not.” This is saying that something exists regardless of conscious intentions.


    1. Hello Ydemoc. I found the blog again and will read during lunch hour. Best and Good.

  20. Yet in making the truth claim, “God exists” you are attempting to posit something, a being, which has the exact orientation to reality. This claim reduces to saying, “Yes, objects do conform to consciousness” (in this case God’s) By making such a claim, you performatively contradict yourself: “No, objects do no conform (the act of making a truth claim); Yes, objects do conform. (the content of the truth claim).

    I don’t think you want to challenge that “X is the way it is no matter what anyone believes, thinks, wishes, etc,” do you, Dan? Your only plan of attack would be to somehow, someway prop up the notion of a god so that it overrides this fact.

    You wrote: If you reason that having black people as property is OK, then THAT is knowledge?

    You are referencing your initial response to me regarding the issue of the Founding Fathers, axioms, slavery, and rights? That’s a big topic and one that I was attempting to address before I got sidetracked with this current response to you.

    With that said, this current question confuses me a little. I’m struggling trying to mesh your previous sentence with this one (if that was, indeed, your intention -- connecting them).

    If I read it right, are you trying to equate the fact that some men (Founding Fathers and slave holders) held to a mistaken belief (that black men were property) either through evasion, compromise, failure to integrate the facts of reality, etc, with the idea that this means that, I too, could be doing exactly the same thing with regard to the axioms and the existence or non-existence of a god? Is that what you’re suggesting? If you are, it seems like an over-generalization.

    As Peikoff notes, “It is possible, the skeptic argument declares, for man to be in error; therefore, it is possible that every individual is in error on every question. This argument is a non sequitur; it is an equivocation on the term “possible.”
    What is possible to a species under some circumstances, is not necessarily possible to every individual member of that species under every set of circumstances. Thus, it is possible for a human being to run the mile in less than four minutes; and it is possible for a human being to be pregnant. I cannot, however, go over to a crippled gentleman in his wheelchair and say: “Perhaps you’ll give birth to a son next week, after you’ve run the mile to the hospital in 3.9 minutes—after all, you’re human, and it is possible for human beings to do these things.”


  21. The same principle applies to the possibility of error—or of truth. If someone maintains that New York City is made of mushroom soup, he cannot defend his idea by saying: “It is possible for human beings to reach the truth, I am human, so maybe this is the truth.” No matter what is possible under some conditions, a man cannot be “possibly” right when he is blatantly wrong. By the same token, no skeptic can declare that you are possibly wrong, when you are blatantly right. “It is possible for man . . . ” does not justify “It is possible that you . . . ” The latter claim depends on the individual involved, and on the conditions.

    “Maybe you’re wrong” is an accusation that must be supported by specific evidence. It cannot be uttered without context, grounds, or basis, i.e., arbitrarily.” (Leonard Peikoff, “‘Maybe You’re Wrong,’” The Objectivist Forum, April 1981, 10)

    As far as men treating others as property, what you have is not knowledge but, as I alluded to above, it is the absence of knowledge, either through ignorance or a willful evasion. And whatever it was that got someone to that point, it certainly wasn’t sound reasoning. However, it certainly could’ve been faith!

    Consider what Christian apologist Robert Turkel (aka “J.P. Holding”) wrote:

    “The idea of individual rights is a byproduct of modern individualism, a way of thinking that has only emerged in the last hundred or so years (with the Industrian Revolution) and only in Western nations. The ancients, and most of the world today, does [sic] not speak of "individual rights" but of group obligations. Thus there is no "right" to do anything. This is not in the Bible itself since it is a given in their cultural background…” (In There Be Thorns)

    And this: “Segers states over and over in his discussion with Reynold Hall on a Fundamentally Flawed podcast, that somehow “slavery becomes a moot point” as a result of “the Christian ethic.” Hall asked Segers (29:46):
    Where exactly in the bible does God, does Christ outlaw sl…, does Christ basically forbid or outlaw slavery then?
    Segers answered Hall, saying (29:52 – 30:10):


  22. ‘He doesn’t. That’s my point. My point is not that Christ didn’t come to be a social revolutionary. He came to change the people’s hearts by the grace of God, and when that happens and people realize we’re all created in the image of God, slavery becomes a moot point. And that’s exactly what happened amongst Christian slaves according to church history.’”

    And again from “TreyFrog”: “slavery is perfectly biblical--always has been, always will be until Christ comes again and sets up a society that is free of all work, hardship, suffering, and servitude of any kind.”

    And again from Segers: “Yes, slavery is biblical and I'd agree with my BLACK friend TreyFrog. OT/NT believers owned slaves and were slaves, the Mosaic law legislated slavery and and the NT gives principles of ownership re: slaves, slaves were instructed to submit to their masters in the OT & NT, both freedom and slavery could be considered a blessing, and some form of slavery will continue till the end of time. Slavery is considered to be neither "here nor there" by the Apostle Paul and is a recognized social institution in the NT. What is condemned as sin in the OT, and especially in the NT is the mistreatment of slaves. I've written a fairly detailed paper on biblical slavery demonstrating that it was not considered sin in either the OT or NT eras yet I also demonstrate that it would be sin to practice it in the modern USA. More later if you're interested.”

    (Source: Dawson Bethrick, http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2012/05/answering-dustin-segers_19.html)

    And if that’s not enough: This from Charles Hodge in 1860, Professor of Systematic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary for 50 years, wrote in in the article: "The Bible Argument on Slavery," in Cotton is King and Pro-Slavery Arguments, (ed. E. N. Elliott [1860]):

    “ . . . if "slaveholding is one of the greatest of all sins [as the abolitionists say]; that it should be immediately and universally abandoned as a condition of church communion, or admission into heaven, how comes it that Christ and his apostles did not pursue the same course? We see no way of escape from the conclusion that the conduct of the modern abolitionists, being directly opposed to that of the authors of our religion, must be wrong and ought to be modified or abandoned. . .” (p. 849)

    “The fact that the Mosaic institutions recognized the lawfulness of slavery is a point too plain to need proof, and is almost universally admitted. Our argument from this acknowledged fact is, that if God allowed slavery to exist, if he directed how slaves might be lawfully acquired, and how they were to be treated, it is in vain to contend that slaveholding is a sin, and yet profess reverence for the Scriptures. Everyone must feel that if perjury, murder, or idolatry had been thus authorized, it would bring the Mosaic institutions into conflict with the eternal principles of morals, and that our faith in the divine origin of one or the other must be given up.” (pp. 859-60).


    Lest I be accused of committing the same over-generalization that I accused you of, I offer these examples up, not as a “you too,” but to point out that all these men suffer from the same ailments, whether it this ailment is faith-based or not: What you have is not sound reasoning leading to knowledge, but ignorance, willful evasion, and a lack of knowledge.


  23. You wrote: “You reason your reasoning is knowledge? Really?”

    You sound like SNL Weekend Update: Really!? Really!? Does not reason have the power to check its own conclusions? If I attempt to run out to the pool, mistakingly thinking that the sliding glass door is open when it’s, in fact, closed, according to you, am I not allowed to use reason to correct the error of my ways? What warrant is there in appealing to some higher authority in order to (a) know that I’ve just slammed face first into a sliding glass door that I thought was open (b) integrate this fact into the rest of my knowledge, i.e., that just because a glass door appears open, doesn’t mean it is, and (c) justify using reason in order to do.

    I wrote: “You did not provide a sufficient answer (as far as I could tell) to the second paragraph on the first installment of my questions to you”:

You wrote: “OK, let's address it. Your word soup said:”

I wrote: “and if I have a consciousness capable of recognizing the above facts... checking if what I’ve identified corresponds to reality or not... and capable of making corrections in any incorrect thinking, ..." 

You wrote: “Checking if what you've identified corresponds to reality or not? How do you do this if you reason that your reality, one that does not align with the reality of the existence of God, is actually right, if that "reality" is false in the first place?”

    Oooh, I hate to do this, but -- see above.

Making corrections in any incorrect thinking?

    Even after all this, are you suggesting this is something the human mind is incapable of doing? Surely, you aren’t saying that, right?

    You wrote: “So if you recognize that things are in a sense, incorrect, then by that alone it is not knowledge, as it was incorrect.”

    I’m really not sure what you’re saying here. I know you’re trying to make a point, but I swear, I’m not getting it. Perhaps you can clarify?

    Again, we're back to your assertions, and claims, that you know something is right, without actually knowing it. True?

    Dan, what initially prompted all of this, was my stating that I know with absolute certainty that man is fallible. I hope I’ve shown above that it has the capability of recognizing when it has made an error. I hope my “running into a glass door” made things clear to you.


  24. You wrote: “Claimed and incorrect, "knowledge", is not knowledge at all.”

    You seem to be under the impression that one is incapable of learning. I play basketball. I have made many mistakes while playing. I have knowledge of the mistakes I made. I’m absolutely certain that I made mistakes. While I was making them, one could say I didn’t have knowledge of how to set a screen properly. But I corrected my error. Now I have knowledge on how to set screens properly.

    You wrote: “I know because of the appeal to the knowledge of an all knowing God.”

    You know with absolute certainty that you are fallible thanks to an all-knowing God. Okay.

    You wrote: “We cannot be wrong, per se, when we make the claims that coincide with reality.

    If you’d stopped right here, you and I would’ve been on the same page, basically. I would’ve used the term, “correspond” instead of “coincide.” “Coincide” has a “time” aspect to it, where as “correspond” doesn’t. (As a side note, “coincide” also happens to be the root of “coincidence”! How ‘bout that! I won’t give you too much grief over this, though. It is kind of “coincidental,” don’t you think?)

    You continued: “or what God claims which is reality.”

    This is an interesting statement. One that could be examined further, but I’m getting a little tired right now.

    You wrote: “You believe you're coinciding with reality, only to find out you're wrong, and must make changes, i.e. not knowledge.”

    Again, I wouldn’t use “coinciding,” -- it implies happenstance -- which downplays the Law of Causality, although it does fit better in this context. I would simply say that I’m existing. I’m a man, acting in accordance with my nature.

    As such, I know that I am able to identify and integrate the objects of my awareness. When I’m wrong, I can recognize the mistake and make corrections. The axioms and the primacy of existence principle would have to obtain before I could “find out” “be wrong” or “correct” anything. They obtain whether you are aware of them or not.


  25. You wrote: “God's existence will never change for eternity, no matter what is claimed by unbelievers.”

    This is another truth claim where you performatively contradict yourself; and it’s made the more obvious by your actually stating what I said above: “X is true no matter what anyone believes, claims, or doesn’t believe.” Yet in the content of your claim, you posit a consciousness that **does** hold metaphysical primacy over the objects of its awareness. You cannot have it both ways.

    You wrote: “How do I know this? Because God revealed it, such we can know it for certain.”

    Given what I have written above, and how I’ve presented my case, there is only one avenue of escape for you to hold to such a claim: imagination. It is all in your head. (I’m really getting tired now -- that’s the reason my answers may come across as curt -- my apologies if they’re coming across that way.)

    You wrote: “You have no such avenue to certainty.”

    Above, I explained how the very concepts you’re using in sentences such as this very one, come by way of an objective process of concept formation. Since that is the case, I can say with certainty, that this claim of yours is wrong.

    P.S. Like I said at the beginning, I started to get a little fuzzy right about here. Maybe I can pick up where I left off. If I over-did things as far as posting too much, like I said, just let me know, and I will adjust.



  26. Ydemoc,

    You just posted 12 times, and you wonder why I called it "irrational exuberance"? Wow! OK, I need time. Although I might do a new post, I am considering, that might address all of this. Stay tuned.

    1. Hi Dan,

      Thanks for tolerating my posting of that many comments to your site. As you can see, I like to be thorough (and even now, as I review what I posted, I see room for even more!)

      And no hurry in responding. Take your time -- I do. Although, if it were my blog, I might consider changing the title to "rational exuberance," as quickly as possible.

      In any event, I'll stay tuned.


  27. Hi DAN
    How have you been?

    I have a question requires your expertise. (No not spelling lessions lol)

    My question is about Jesus' apostles at the time of Jesus' cruxifiction.

    Did they assit in or actively support Jesus' cruxifiction? or Did they try and stop the cruxifiction?

    Thanks for any anwsers or link...

    OK... :) One special qestion for you "how do you know for sure"?


    sorry for 'dropping in' on this thread.

    1. NP Ant, seek and you shall find.

      The problem is you're seeking from me. Big mistake. (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27) :7)

      As for your question, I have no clue, but Scripture did say they all ran. (Matthew 26:56) That much is known. Either to save themselves or get out of the way to allow things to happen. But that is mere speculation. If God/Scripture doesn't reveal it then it is not known.

      Thanks for checking in and letting me know your heart is still beating and seeking.

  28. Thanks DAN,

    I wondering if at the time of cruxifiction, if the apostles knew they were inacting a sacrifise to "cleans them of sin" or they were just witnessing a brutal murder, which they objected to?

    "get out of the way to allow things to happen."
    It would seem they didn't try and stop the execusion, for fear of execusion themselves. But did they support it? at the time?

    If not, what not? Wasn't it their belief Jesus had to die to "cleans them of sins"?

    Cheers mate, have a good one :-)


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