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Hilston
July 8th, 2003, 01:42 AM
This thread is a continuation of a discussion that began in the "Grandstands" about Bob Enyart's apologetic method. As the so-called atheists began to join in, it became clear that the discussions about apologetic method might be muddied in the concurrrent attempts to answer the atheistic objections. For the preceding discussions to this new thread, please see "Bob Enyart has already lost the debate ..." (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7945&perpage=15&pagenumber=1).

Below I will begin (or resume) with posting the first installment of a reply to Aussie Thinker's post in the aforementioned discussion.

Cheers,
Jim

Hilston
July 8th, 2003, 01:43 AM
Hi Aussie,

You wrote:
... I found this response eventually. If I sometimes miss one I'll just happily assume I won and move on...lolGood one. I think I've made that happy assumption a time or two myself. :)

In the interest of making this thread less unwieldy, permit me to address what appear to be the most salient points of discussion and any direct questions you may have asked. If there are any points you'd like me to address that I happen to miss, please point them out to me and I will happily answer them.

I appreciate your taking the time to summarize your worldview. You'll see below that I ask similar questions for several of your statements below. I don't repeat the question to be annoying, but because I am genuinely interested in why you believe certain particulars in your worldview as you stated it. If you would like to answer each of my "whys", that's fine. If you want to take any single one of them, that's fine, too.

Aussie Thinker writes:
My Worldview.

1. The natural universe always was.. admittedly this is very similar to God always was but it cuts out an extra (unnecessary)step of God always was and then created a Universe that "seems" to operate on Natural forces.On what do you base your view that the natural universe always was?

Aussie Thinker writes:
2. Conditions in the Universe allowed for the formation of life.Upon what do you base your conclusion that conditions in the universe allowed for the formation of life? And why should the mere formation of life necessitate the eventuality of creatures who reason abstractly?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Conditions were not really conducive ...[Emphasis added by Jim] On what do you base this conclusion?

Aussie Thinker writes:
... but the formation of life was a possibility ...Why do you believe this?

Aussie Thinker writes:
... and given time and millions of chemical reactions and iterations it actually became likely and hence it formed.Why do you believe this?

Aussie Thinker writes:
4. Once Evolution took hold life would naturally keep pushing up more adaptable better suited forms. Eventually the best adaptation "Intelligence" was bound to come to the fore in evolution somewhere in the Universe.Why was it "bound to come"? Why do you believe this? And why would the ability to reason abstractly ever become a necessity, especially given the fact that the majority of life on this planet do not, and on your view, did not for eons prior to man's evolution?

Aussie Thinker writes:
6. As soon as an intelligent creature becomes self aware it has what we call "consciousness". All this so far has come about Naturally and requires no need to justify itself happening.It does, because otherwise you can speciously claim "it happened because it did."

Aussie Thinker writes:
It happened because it did.See? That's how we get money from the ATM. Money just comes out because it just comes out.

Aussie Thinker writes:
7. All other terms and philosophies like truth, logic, God are man made to explain the world in which he finds himself.But didn't you state that the laws of logic existed prior to man existing? Why do you equivocate on this?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Now I wonder where in that wordview do you find I am failing to account for logic, reason etc. ...You must see that merely "coming up with an explanation," regardless of how fancifully stimulating or prosaically mundane, is not sufficient. Anyone can come up with an explanation, but you must account for it, justify it, prove it.

Aussie Thinker writes:
... and where they NEED to be justified?They NEED to be justified in order for you to account for them as more than just fantasy and imagination. Your conjecture about origins is blatant question-begging ("It happened because it did"), which I predict your answer to my questions above will even further demonstrate. If the universe conforms to logical laws, as you've affirmed, then it is perfectly consonant with such a universe to require a justification for your claims. You yourself admit that abstract reasoning is "successful adaptation." Let's see it work here. Justify your use of these logical laws by accounting for their existence in a way that doesn't beg the question (which would be a violation of logic).

Aussie Thinker writes:
These are human creations of our advanced intelligence.Again, equivocation. You cannot have both the laws of logic being created by humans and the pre-existence of the laws of logic.

Aussie Thinker writes:
If the answer to EVERYTHING so far has been a NATURAL one logic would dictate that the answers to everything unknown will also be NATURAL.Do you realize that you are begging the question by limiting "everything" and the so-called "answer to everything" to what you prejudicially deem as "natural"? If there were anything supra-natural, you would dismiss it, a priori, because of your arbitrarily stipulated criteria. How do you justify that stipulation?

Aussie Thinker writes:
That is how our man made logic works. If it is wrong and God has a different set of rules then he sure wired us wrong !But the point is, God wired us correctly, and that justifies our use of logic and our reliance upon it. Thus, I can appeal to logic as an universal and reason as generally reliable because there is an absolute Authority back of them. You have no justifiable authority behind your claims. You tacitly assert your own autonomy, with no way to prove or justify it.

Aussie Thinker writes:
We have evolved a way of thinking if this happens this is then likely. It is gleaned from experience and what we are taught. If I have a sequence of numbers that go 1,2,3.. it is logical that the next number would be 4. If I was a primitive caveman I would not have a clue what the next number would be but if I was shown how to count I would know.Did you just blithely skip over the obvious semiotic problem of the numbers themselves? It appears to me that you're so accustomed to just tossing out these fantastic theories without challenge that you've gotten sloppy. Either that, or you've so sufficiently blinded yourself to your own worldview that you do not see how sloppy these kinds of statements really are.

Aussie Thinker writes:
The reason we have an orderly Universe is obvious to an atheist. The disorderly ones destroyed themselves or are not conducive to the formation of intelligent life.How do you know this?

Jim previously wrote: You didn't answer the question. By what method have you determined the reliability of logic, reason, likelihood, independent corroboration of scientific study? What meta-method establishes the veracity of these methods?

Aussie Thinker writes:
We have to just assume our facilities are functioning properly or we might as well be 2 lunatics in an asylum.So, on your view, it's arbitrary and faith-based. You simply prefer to assume the reliability of our senses and reason, without proof or justification, because you don't like the alternative. That's hardly a cogent worldview.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Otherwise you can go off in a million Matrix situations (do you get that analogy) and argument becomes pointless.The fact is, you cannot know, based on your worldview, that you're not in a Matrix situation. You have to blindly assume that you're not, with no way of proving otherwise. You've taken the blue pill, Aussie.

Jim previously wrote: As I indicated above, the tools I use to assess truth claims come from God Himself. Given God's existence, I have assurance that my faculties are generally reliable and that my assessments actually comport with reality. Where does your assurance come from, given your Godless view, materialist view?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Your tools came from a natural evolution of intelligence.It's a nice story, Aussie, but you haven't proven it. And what is worse, you commit the most egregious logical fallacy by begging the very question: "It's just this way because it is this way." It's unacceptable to a thinking and rational person. I can account for and justify my worldview, as well as the existence and my use of the tools by which I understand reality. You haven't come close, except to describe a fantastic and fanciful story.

Aussie Thinker writes:
You have created a God to explain the existence of these tools. I KNOW your tools are reliable as I know they are very similar to mine.How do you know?

Aussie Thinker writes:
My assurance to their reliability is again something I can only reiterate stems from assumption that we are not in a Matrix world !Why do you assume that? Can a freethinker dismiss the possibility without undermining the very definition?

Jim previously wrote: We just accept it? But that's not a justification. And in a discussion between competing worldviews, that's not a sufficient answer.

Aussie Thinker writes:
I think my earlier worldview definition explains my "accepting" it cover this.It happened because it happened?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Because I think the Universe (and our subsequent evolution from it) just happened and you think a God just happened and he then set up a Naturalistic Universe what is the difference in acceptance. None in our world views. There is a lot in our assumptions though.. you are adding in a whole layer of complexity.It's not merely an added layer of complexity. God's existence back of creation and the laws of logic presents a complete and coherent worldview, free from contradictions, free from question-begging, free from the internally self-refuting tensions of the God-less conjectures you espouse.

Jim previously wrote: You just admitted to not only having faith, but a blind faith, in your own sanity and ability to reason in accordance with actual reality.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Sorry Jim but your point here is getting annoying. If we don't have faith in our own ability to reason you are just back to the Matrix again.No, you are. My worldview justifies and affirms my use of logic. It's not arbitrary or "just because it is this way" on the Christian view. My faith is in God, who is behind logic. My faith is not the blind and arbitrary assumption of a logic that can neither be proven nor justified without begging the very question.

Aussie Thinker writes:
You cannot equate us having faith in our ability to reason and faith in a supernatural deity.I don't presume to. Blind and unaccounted faith in your ability to reason is irrational. Faith in God is both rational and necessary to a cogent worldview.

Aussie Thinker writes:
One MUST be assumed or we wouldn't even be having this conversation. I have given you CLEAR explanation for our existence without the assumption of a God.It's clear in that I understand what you're stating. It is unclear in that it is a fanciful story with no defensible justification in the real world. It violates basic laws of logic and science, and your rejection of certain standard theories of the scientific community (viz., regarding the origin of the universe and the rise of consciousness) smacks of a fiction devised for the primary purpose answering the standard arguments of Theistic apologists (which you will not get from me).

Jim wrote: Do you recognize that you then deliberately preclude even the possibility that there is more than the so-called natural in the universe? For someone who claims to be a freethinker, that seems a bit prejudiced, doesn't it?

Aussie Thinker writes:
I probably wasn't accurate there. I don't have faith in a Natural answer.. that would mean I would be shattered if the answer was not a natural one. I wouldn't be.. I would be very surprised. I am open to there being a God, as when you get to the notion of infinity it probably gets easier to imagine some controlling intelligence.. if there was though he would not be anything like we poor humans have invented.Fascinating, Aussie. I must say, you surprised me with this statement. I wasn't expecting it. Let me ask you, if there were God, on your worldview, how would God differ from the Judeo-Christian conception?

Aussie Thinker writes:
The VERY manlike Gods of the human pantheon are vindictive small minded and frankly if one of them is the real God of the Universe we are in trouble.Why do you think that?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Don't you often think that the "real" god may be very disappointed in your arrogance for thrusting up these pathetic craven images and so so human gods before him ?Please elaborate.

Jim previously wrote: By limiting yourself to physical evidence, you are blindly precluding the possibility of any super-natural, or transcending so-called nature. You have committed the very thing you condemn, and that by stipulating a limit which you cannot justify.

Aussie Thinker writes:
No I don't limit myself to physical evidence. What I do say is current physical evidence = NO God.. current physical evidence = no supernatural occurrences.. extrapolation.. God likely does not exist and supernatural occurrences likely do not happen. I may be wrong.. of course but at least I am coming up with a logical conclusion from available data.On the contrary, it's irrational because you have not yet accounted for the logic that you use. Every aspect of the physical universe screams His existence at you. Your claim to having no physical evidence for God is irrational, and tantamount to closing your eyes and plugging your ears and muttering, "You don't exist. You don't exist. You don't exist."

Jim previously wrote: That's exactly what you are doing by limiting what you will accept as evidence and blindly believing that only what is material is real. You believe that materialism is true and this therefore justifies everything else you believe. But you haven't given a cogent justification for why you limit reality to what is material, let alone your blind acceptance of immaterial laws such as logic.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Well if we don't "blindly" believe what is material to be real we just head back to the Matrix againI am fascinated that this is the only answer you have to my critique of your blind assumptions. Somehow, you willingly and blindly trust, without proof or justification, in the existence of immaterial abstract entities called laws of logic. Why? Because you don't like the alternative. And all this while your truthful acknowledgement of God's existence (Who also happens to be an immaterial Entity, by the way) would solidify and justify everything you now blindly assume in your daily experience.

Aussie Thinker writes:
... can we leave it out from now on ? I don't blindly accept logic.That's as fanciful a claim as the stories you've told above. Just to say it doesn't justify it. People are incredibly adept at self-deception. You would have us believe that the rise of consciousness has been figured out and de-mystified, contrary to the works and writings of scientists worldwide. Why should anyone believe you or find your claims compelling?

Aussie Thinker writes:
I can justify my reliance on them as observation and human teaching and experience have shown them to work.That's question-begging. You can't justify them by using them, because you're assuming their verity in advance.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Physical evidence is ALL we have.. What told you that? The non-physical laws of logic?

Aussie Thinker writes:
... for what we don't have evidence for we must use our non-physical abilities to extrapolate.What, on your worldview, is a non-physical ability? Yet more immaterial abstract entities that you blindly believe in?

Aussie Thinker writes:
... The physical and non physical abilities all came about naturally. No hypocrisy there ???Sure there is. What, in a materialist's worldview, is a non-physical ability? And how do you know it is reliable if you have no physical way of justifying it?

Jim previously asked: What determines what is "aberrant behaviour"? The majority?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Generally.. Generally.. but in a Natural sense it is whatever is not conducive to survival."Nature" tells the new alpha male lion to supplant the previous alpha male and to kill all the offspring. What if a human being decided on that sort of behavior based on his observation of nature. He seduces another man's wife, and then murders the husband and all their children. On what grounds do you call that aberrant behavior, if you would? And how do you justify those grounds of assessment?

Jim previously wrote: There goes your blind faith again. You blindly assume this, with no means of proving or justifying it.

Aussie Thinker writes:
No I can only say it again .. if we don't assume our intelligence is capable of having this discussion why are we bothering.I don't assume it. I know it. You assume it. You must. So your question only applies to you, and it's the question that the anti-theist cannot get around: Why do you bother? I know why I do, and I can justify it. On your worldview, if you're consistent, this discussion doesn't make any sense.

Aussie Thinker writes:
... We either have intelligence or we don't.Really? Perhaps you're intelligent, but your senses have deceived you? Perhaps you've been dreaming and none of this is real? You can't merely dismiss these questions, not if you claim to be a freethinker.

Aussie Thinker writes:
... To argue that my intelligence allows me to make certain judgment is completely different from saying what is written in this book is right because it says it is.First, no one has made that argument. Second, to stipulate the verity of your own intelligence is so obviously a conflict of interest, you wouldn't dare do it in a crowd without being laughed at, right? "I know I'm intelligent!"

Jim previously wrote: I'm glad you mentioned ["who created God"?] so we can disabuse you of it for future reference. It is pointless to try to argue infinite regresses where God is concerned if indeed the existence of the God of the Bible is true. You might view it as some point of logic, but it is certainly, by no means, a logical imperative.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Neatly trying to remove the most annoying retort of the atheist.Not at all. What is annoying about it is how ill-informed and ill-conceived it is. You see, I use the very same argument with anti-Christians because only the Christian worldview uniquely answers the allegation.

Aussie Thinker writes:
No matter how good an argument you give for God the argument will always be "well who made God?"Again, that works for the erroneous theistic conceptions, but not for Biblical theism.

Aussie Thinker writes:
... You cannot brush it aside as even your own argument for consciousness having to be created implies that either your God does not have consciousness or he was also created.My argument for consciousness only pertains to things becoming their contradictions. Your simplistic response needed only to be exposed for the folly that it is. I don't argue that God "became conscious" as you claim non-living matter has.

Jim previously wrote: On your view, why does it matter? If morality is not absolute, then what justified complaint can you have?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Theists ALWAYS have a problem with atheistic morals.I don't have a problem with them. I happen to know why you have them. I want to know how you justify them.

Aussie Thinker writes:
I wonder that they think so poorly of themselves that they feel their morals had to be handed to them. Humans have natural empathy. When we became self aware we also became aware that other feel the same pain we do.. if it is bad for you it is bad for others.. hence natural morals.Again, nice story. But that doesn't even come close to accounting for them, let alone explaining how, in the atheist's world, you could justifiably condemn the behavior of Marquis de Sade.

Jim previously wrote: For the record, He commands worship, but He doesn't need it. In the Creator-creature relationship, worship is necessary for the well-being of the creature, namely man. It is not merely that God demands (He does, and justifiably so), but it is also what man was created to do, and man is only fulfilled and in proper relation to reality when properly ascribes worth to God.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Then why don't the Bible texts say.. "You should worship me it will be good for you" ?It does. Repeatedly. Unequivocally.

Aussie Thinker writes:
It seem petty even then to create a creature that only thrives if it worships its creator. I wouldn't do that !Of course not, that's because you do not acknowledge the biblical concept of man as created in God's image.

Jim previously wrote: More specifically, the Bible calls you a fool for using logic AND blindly assuming that these immaterial universal and invariant logical laws just sprung up out of chaos and the void into existence.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Instead of thinking that a Supernatural being sprang up from chaos and the void into existence.. lets just cut out a layer of complexity.Again, it's not merely an added layer of complexity. God's existence is the keystone of coherency and intelligibility. Without God's existence, you can't prove or justify anything, and you've repeatedly demonstrated that for us in this dialogue.

Jim previously wrote: Do you forget that you admitted to "accepting" them without justification?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Accepting them or refusing to argue about Matrix style worlds.. I said they NEED no justification.. they just happened.. That's freethinking? Sounds like blind and willful slavery to an irrational construct.

Jim previously wrote:He has given you more than enough, yet you still reject it. That is why the Bible calls you a fool. You blindly assume that the material universe disallows the existence of immaterial entities, yet you claim that logical laws (immaterial entities) are you standard for determining what is true and what is false. It's irrational, Aussie.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Sorry Jim but has given me nothing.. you either for that matter. I don't "blindly" assume anything.If you can't justify it, if you cannot prove and verify it, it's blind, Aussie. You're saying, "no it's not" is not only a non-justification, you must assume logic in order to make the very statement.

Aussie Thinker writes:
I assume that there are no immaterial entities ...Such as the laws of logic?

Aussie Thinker writes:
... as it is a logical ...As in "the [immaterial] laws of logic"?

Aussie Thinker writes:
... progression from only Natural explanation have EVER been found. "Logical Laws" are not immaterial entities they are evolved processes used by man.I'm not talking about their names, Aussie. The laws of logic were true before man named them. You admitted this when you said, "Oxygen existed before we called oxygen." So which is it? Did those laws exist, on your view, before man "evolved" those processes? And if so, aren't they immaterial abstract entities?

To be continued ...

Jim

Aussie Thinker
July 8th, 2003, 07:42 AM
Jim,

We can go round and round like this forever.

But one simple flaw exists in your whole plan.

You persist with saying that I cannot say “it just happened” yet think you are quite justified in saying God just happened.

You can bluster around it all you want but ANY way you put it you have to have a God either always existing or popping into existence from nothing..

EXACTLY the same can be said of the universe. All your arguments (which are relatively inane anyway) against my not being able to justify logic by saying it just happened or it always was can be pointed at you for saying god just happened or always was.

The HUGE difference is I stop 1 step before you.. you progress into the realms of fantasy and create a ridiculous God being that then made a universe in which he seems to take no part.. my man made logic is working fine for me.. your God given logic is seriously letting you down.

As far as an acceptable God goes.. you wanted me to elaborate.

It could only a be a being we cannot fathom.. a being that may have created a myriad of universes in which all sorts of different laws may exist..

If you honestly think the man made God of the Bible could be the “real” god then I worry about your reasoning. This god has all the same attributes of every other Pagan God. It is a childish, brutish tyrant. It kills indiscriminately and exhorts its followers to do the same. It justifies slavery and the murder of children. It commands worship and condemns innocent people to hell for the sin of not knowing it.

You are right in one thing.. if that is the “real” god.. I don’t want to know about it.


BTW if you ever gleaned from anything I said that I believed that the man made concepts of logic and absolute truth are anything more than that then you either misunderstood or I stated it poorly.

This also puts paid to your “excuse” for a God. Our reasoning formed just the same as our ribcage did. A by product of evolution.

I would love you to explain in some coherent way why the existence of tools like logic means the necessity for a God when I explain they resulted from completely natural processes.

Hilston
July 8th, 2003, 12:29 PM
This reply to Aussie is in response to his last post on the aforementioned thread (see my first post above). If you wish to read his entire post in situ in toto, please click on the above link.

Aussie writes:
You have some ridiculous “idea” that our worldview is flawed and therefore anything we glean from it is wrong.Have I said that? For the number of times I've had to type that question, I'm concerned that you're either not reading very carefully or you're irrationally jumping to non sequitur conclusions. I never said anything you glean from your worldview is wrong. In fact, I've gone as far as saying the opposite, which is that I know science, logic and mathematics work, even for the anti-theist, because God is back of them and the anti-theist borrows this capital without warrant. As one apologist has said, "Atheists can count, but they cannot account for counting."

Aussie writes:
Exactly the same way I know your view has a certain coherence. With my intelligence and man made logic and reason. Same way you do.Your certainty about your intelligence and reason is based upon your intelligence and reason? You call me ridiculous?

Jim previously wrote:
You claim that only physical evidence is allowed to prove truth claims, yet you blindly assume the existence and verity of immaterial (non-physical) abstract entities such as the laws of logic without proof. You then deny the existence of God (also an immaterial entity) because you claim you have a lack of proof. You demand proof for an immaterial entity called God, but you do not demand proof for immaterial entities called logical laws. It's inconsistent. It's incoherent. It's blind faith.

Aussie writes:
There you go again accusing me of blindly assuming ...If you cannot justify or prove the verity of your own intelligence and reasoning faculties, then you are blindly assuming them. If you can, go ahead and justify or prove their veracity, right here, right now, and I will stop calling it blind faith. Until you do so, you are caught on the horns of a grave epistemological dilemma, and your worldview is inconsistent and incoherent.

Aussie writes:
Man uses certain tools which he has developed with which to make sense of the universe.Why do they work? Why are they universal and invariant? You said elsewhere that it doesn't matter to you. That doesn't seem consonant with the tenets of freethinking.

Aussie writes:
Because these tools are immaterial you want to give them some supernatural life of their own.Not "life", but existence. These laws existed before man named them.

Aussie writes:
We know they exist because we use them.How do you know you use them correctly?

Aussie writes:
We don’t know God exists because we never use him, see him or have even an inkling of him.This is false. You "use" God with every breath, every thought, every action, every sentence. Without Him, nothing would make sense, which is what is being exposed here. Your worldview does not cohere. You stipulate arbitrary standards for me, and then you do not live according to them yourself.

Aussie writes:
You are never clear on what God brings to the table in terms of our man created logic and concepts that allow us to understand the universe.I have explained this. God alone enables your experience and mine to be intelligible. Man is logical because his mind is analogous to that of the Creator. Man has personality, self-awareness and sentience because he is created in God's image. In a universe that springs out of chaos, intelligible human experience is a non-starter (as are humans themselves). A steady-state universe in which non-living matter becomes living consciousness is a fairy tale. To just say, "It happened because it happened," says nothing. Even if we grant your conjecture for the sake of the argument, it collapses under the weight of its on incredulity to account for the most fundamental and necessary processes in our experience.

Aussie writes:
You seem to think adding him in answers questions when it just creates them.. the whole well who is Gods god etc.Without Him, you have no certain knowledge of anything. Consider this: What if it's true, Aussie? What if God exists and there is no "creator's creator"? It would be a rather lame and puerile objection, "I didn't believe in you because I couldn't get around the notion of you not having your own creator."

Aussie writes:
Your analogy more fits the person who still thinking like a small child needs some father figure to help him find his way through the universe.I admit this. Apart from God, we are lost. You assert your own autonomy, yet you cannot account for the most fundamental tools of reason, except to say "It happened because it happened." Your autonomy is a joke. You do need help to find your way through the universe, and that help comes in the form of logic and reason, science and mathematics, morality and ethics, each of which comes from God and gets distorted and perverted by God-hating men.

Aussie writes:
When you constantly saying we lie then it immediately makes further argument pointless. If you cannot understand that how can I make it clearer ?It's your problem, not mine. If I want to argue with liars and they're willing to argue with me, who are you to say anything about it? I have a point when I do it. You don't have to agree with it or like it. So your plaint about "pointlessness" is itself pointless. You don't have to dialogue with me. No one is obligating you.

Aussie previously wrote: But the whole debate is wether God exists and therefore wether the Bible is the word of God. You just jump ahead and say “Well it is” .. end of argument.
And ... “Just tell them they are wrong .. that is the only argument you need”
And ... Your circuitous argument is just ridiculous to us.. God exists because the book he inspired tell us he does.
And ... YOU just basically say “It is so”For each assertion, I asked, "Have I ever said that?"

Aussie writes:
Yes you have. You say the Bible tells us that atheists do not exist.. therefore anyone declaring themselves an atheist is a liar.That's not the same as saying "just tell them they're wrong ... that is the only argument you need" or "God exists because the book he inspired tells us he does" or "It is so". I have never said any of those things.

Aussie writes:
But the Bible itself is just a flawed creation of man.Frankly, Aussie, you have yet to prove that you're qualified to make that assessment.

Aussie writes:
if that is not circuitous … what is ?What is? Your blind, unjustified, arbitrary assumption that what happens in your brain corresponds to reality. You can't prove it. You can't investigate it. You beg the very question to say a single word about it. You live on blind faith.

Aussie writes:
You cannot seem to grasp how I see man made concepts like logic etc. I have not equivocated at all. You may confuse my agreement that things like gravity etc.. natural laws exist before man.. or that the concept of logic could have existed before man.. for example other sentient aliens may use it.. but that is just keeping an open mind.Which is it? Did man make logic? Or were logical laws true prior to man's existence? If sentient aliens may use it, that implies that they did not make it. Which is it? Be clear, Aussie. Were the logical laws true prior to man's use of them? Or did man invent the logical laws and somehow cause them to apply to the universe?

Aussie writes:
The concept of logic and absolutes and truth etc are all man made tools for dealing with the universe.. if I EVER implied otherwise you mistook what I said or I was not clear enough.I'm not talking about the concept of logic. I am talking about the very existence of these logical relationships. Can a contradiction ever be true, even prior to man's existence? Was modus ponens true (a implies b, if a, then b) prior to man's application of that relation?

Aussie previously wrote: YOU just basically say “It is so”

To which Jim replied: Have I ever said that? No. But I wonder who said this: It happened because it happened. Don't be a hypocrite, Aussie. It's stanky.

And all Aussie has to say in response is:
Now you imply that what I say about the universe is in any way comparable to what you say in an argument.So it's OK for you make unchallenged tautologies, but I'm not (not that I ever did)? It's yet another double standard, Aussie. You demand physical proof for God's existence. But you do not demand the same kind of prove for the verity of science and logic. You demand that I not speak in tautologies, but it's OK for you to do it. You betray the folly of your incoherent and inconsistent worldview.

Aussie writes:
I say the Universe just happened but I don’t say I am right and you are a liar and therefore argument is pointless.Neither have I.

Jim previously wrote: The concept of universal invariant logical laws, on the atheist worldview, is a ridiculous one. You must blindly assume them and beg the very question every time you presume to employ the laws of logic to make a point.

Aussie writes:
Why do you think that..Give some reason to think otherwise. You have yet to prove them or to even come close to justifying your use of logical laws.

Aussie writes:
I sometimes wonder if you use the logic that humans have learnt to employ !You have yet to prove that you're qualified to say anything about logic or the use of it.

Aussie writes:
The CONCEPT of universal laws of logic is exactly that. A man made concept. For some reason you think God made them and therefore you have the right to employ them… ridiculous.Look how you equivocate. You specify "CONCEPT" and confuse it with the fact that they existed prior to man's conceptualization of them.

Aussie writes:
In fact the existence of any sort of order and our very sentience and the fact that we have developed a sense of logic .. that things fit and can be right .. DENIES the existence of a supernatural entity. If things happened that were not logical, that did not follow obvious natural paths then I would say “boy someone is mucking around with stuff.. that IMPLIES a God”. When everything continues to work naturally we say.. “Why a God “Why does the existence of God require His mucking around with stuff? Is that the excuse your going to offer? "God, I didn't believe in You because You didn't do enough mucking around with stuff to satisfy me." The fact that all things hold together, that the universe continues to be orderly, that universal invariants even exist show that God is continually, unceasingly "mucking arounnd with stuff." The Bible states "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." Col. 1:16,17. The Greek word for "consist" is sunestEken, which means "cohere" or "hold together." So, it's not that God doesn't muck around with stuff. The fact is, He is never NOT mucking around with stuff. If He ever stopped mucking, everything except Himself would obliterate.

In sum, you have thus far failed to cogently account for the basic tools of debate: Logic and reason. You have exposed your own double standard of requiring physical proof for some things (God) and not for others (the laws of logic), without having justified your criterion in either case. You have asserted that tautologies are allowed in your own corner, but not in anyone else's. You have asserted your own autonomy, presuming to sit in judgment of other worldviews, without justifying the autonomy you presume to wield. You have chosen instead a worldview that curiously stands in direct opposition to specific standard arguments of the Christian theist worldview, even though certain of those particular views you claim to hold (such as the steady state universe) were largely dismissed years ago based on the latest astro-physical findings. It is truly a blind and fatuous faith you espouse and live by. I see a horrible incongruity in your claim to be a thinker yet having these things be true about you.

Hilston
July 8th, 2003, 09:52 PM
Hi Aussie,

I want you to know that I am enjoying our dialogue.

Aussie writes:
We can go round and round like this forever.Not really. Once I'm satisfied that I understand your position and can demonstrate the futility of it, I will stop (whether or not you're convinced that said futility has been demonstrated).

Aussie writes:
But one simple flaw exists in your whole plan. You persist with saying that I cannot say “it just happened” yet think you are quite justified in saying God just happened.I don't claim that God "just happened." But since you raise the issue, are you saying that it should be an acceptable answer? Is that really an acceptable answer to a freethinker?

Aussie writes:
You can bluster around it all you want but ANY way you put it you have to have a God either always existing or popping into existence from nothing..The Bible teaches the former, i.e., the eternality of God and the sempiternality of man.

Aussie writes:
EXACTLY the same can be said of the universe.Of course it can be said. Proving it is another thing. Justifying the tools by which you even say a sentence about it is yet another.

Aussie writes:
All your arguments (which are relatively inane anyway) against my not being able to justify logic by saying it just happened or it always was can be pointed at you for saying god just happened or always was.So what? Let's say I'm a moron and I have an idiotic belief system. You are still stuck with your blind and irrational faith in the verity of logical laws and of your own reasoning faculties. This reduces your worldview to an arbitrary preference, since you cannot cogently demonstrate its superiority or advantage over other faith-based worldviews.

Aussie writes:
The HUGE difference is I stop 1 step before you..You're right. It is a huge difference. By stopping 1 step before I do, you embrace irrationality and logical contradictions. By taking that huge step of submission to the God you already know exists, the whole of your life experience would suddenly cohere and make rational sense.

Aussie writes:
... you progress into the realms of fantasy and create a ridiculous God being that then made a universe in which he seems to take no part..See my above elaboration on deistic assumptions (i.e., not mucking around).

Aussie writes:
... my man made logic is working fine for me..How do you know this? How have you verified this?

Aussie writes:
As far as an acceptable God goes.. you wanted me to elaborate. It could only a be a being we cannot fathom.. Why?

Aussie writes:
[An acceptable God could only be] a being that may have created a myriad of universes in which all sorts of different laws may exist..Why?

Aussie writes:
If you honestly think the man made God of the Bible could be the “real” god then I worry about your reasoning.How does the Judeo-Christian God violate sound reasoning?

Aussie writes:
This god has all the same attributes of every other Pagan God.You have it backwards again. Pagan gods are perversions of the true God and the angels.

Aussie writes:
It is a childish, brutish tyrant.According to whom? Not to those who love Him. Only those who hate Him call him such names.

Aussie writes:
It kills indiscriminately and exhorts its followers to do the same.Where have you heard this? It seems to me, as a freethinker who claims to have a legitimate plaint against the God of the Bible, you need to make sure you're critiquing the right God. At least so you don't look silly.

Aussie writes:
It justifies slavery and the murder of children.Where?

Aussie writes:
It commands worship and condemns innocent people to hell for the sin of not knowing it.Have you forgotten so soon? The Bible says no one has an excuse. There will not be a single innocent person in hell. There will not be a single person in hell who did not know sufficiently of God's existence and their obligation to serve and worship Him.

Aussie writes:
You are right in one thing.. if that is the “real” god.. I don’t want to know about it.You already know the real God, and you've conveniently bought into these horrific and perverse caricatures to salve your guilty conscience. God is merciful, gracious, forgiving, loving, and patient. God is also a righteous and holy God who will not tolerate the sinfulness of rebellious man. Thus, God manifested His attributes in the Person of Christ whom the Father sent to die as a substitute for sinners who could not find favor with God on their own because of their sin and rebellion. So complete and sufficient was His sacrifice, that the believer is secured forever in the love and grace of God, and will live forevermore in the loving presence of the Lord.

Aussie writes:
I would love you to explain in some coherent way why the existence of tools like logic means the necessity for a God when I explain they resulted from completely natural processes.You didn't explain. You just say "it happened because it happened." It's patently inadequate and unacceptable. In a nutshell, the laws of logic reflect the nature of God (the Logos). God did not create them, just as God did not create morality or justice. These all exist because God exists, and without Him, nothing could exist. I'll elaborate on the necessity of this in my next post.

Thanks for the discussion, Aussie.

Jim

heusdens
July 9th, 2003, 07:53 AM
Hilston:

Atheism is not just one coherent system of thoughts, which oppose theism, but several.

In your attempt to provide grounds for your theistic view and grounds for why any atheist outlook can not be true, you do not realy reflect on that fact.

Neither as that we have been given any good information in how in fact a theistic outlook of the world can be constructed.
We know that the theistic outlook starts with a fundamental dogma, and from there on proceeds. But within that outlook, there is nowhere we can find evidence that this fundamental dogma in fact is true or not. The truth of that fundamental position itself, can never be tested for inside the doctrine of theism. It is therefore a closed belief system.
For that, one realy has to tear one's own mental construction, and start from the assumption that none of the things you know or think you know, not even the most trivial things, are to be assumed in first instance.

As a matter of excercise, I have gone through a total deconstruction of the world, and ask the most basic and fundamental question about the world itself and our cognition and vision upon the world.

I welcome anyone to debate and discuss these fundamental and basic question with me on this subform in the thread The Fundamental Question (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&postid=265996#post265996)

Aussie Thinker
July 9th, 2003, 07:55 AM
Hi Jim,


I want you to know that I am enjoying our dialogue.

Me too.


Not really. Once I'm satisfied that I understand your position and can demonstrate the futility of it, I will stop (whether or not you're convinced that said futility has been demonstrated).

I guess I am the same.. although I don’t see your position as futile.. more like redundant.


I don't claim that God "just happened." But since you raise the issue, are you saying that it should be an acceptable answer? Is that really an acceptable answer to a freethinker?The Bible teaches the former, i.e., the eternality of God and the sempiternality of man. Of course it can be said. Proving it is another thing. Justifying the tools by which you even say a sentence about it is yet another.
So what? Let's say I'm a moron and I have an idiotic belief system. You are still stuck with your blind and irrational faith in the verity of logical laws and of your own reasoning faculties. This reduces your worldview to an arbitrary preference, since you cannot cogently demonstrate its superiority or advantage over other faith-based worldviews.

To me you do claim “God just happened” regardless of how you word it.. always was.. just happened.. same thing !

I cant see how you can’t understand that the way I look at it the EXACT argument you use for this always existing laws stuff could be used to say God must have had a God too..

Have you got that yet ?? I don’t thing you have.. Every time I say it you hedge around it.

I can’t convince you that our concepts of logic etc require NO justification. Does a Mosquito require justification.

No one knows what physical laws function throughout this universe or any others or other dimensions. The laws that apply in any universe are specific to that universe.. hence everything in this universe makes sense to us because we are products of it. This is coherent as you can get.


You're right. It is a huge difference. By stopping 1 step before I do, you embrace irrationality and logical contradictions. By taking that huge step of submission to the God you already know exists, the whole of your life experience would suddenly cohere and make rational sense.

The step you make is the launch into irrationality and contradiction. Whereas you can stop at the physical natural universe.. where we KNOW everything operates naturally.. you launch into a fantasy of an illogical next step… a totally unnecessary one. It is you who KNOWS God does not exist .. that is why you have had to move away from physical and logical evidence to some hard to pin down philosophical immaterial evidence. It is a desperate attempt to justify that which your mind screams at you is inane. It’s a wonder the mental hoops you have to jump through don’t drive you crazy



See my above elaboration on deistic assumptions (i.e., not mucking around).

I don’t think you understood me. Surely if everything we know and see has a natural explanation this makes a God seem less likely.. if weird strange things happened that DEFIED (like deified)logic it would immediately imply there were supernatural forces.


How do you know this? How have you verified this?

How do you verify yours? Can’t you see how odd it sound to keep admonishing me for not being able to verify me for why I have reason and logic when your reason for it is it was produced by a fantasy creature.



You have it backwards again. Pagan gods are perversions of the true God and the angels.

And other theist who believe in other deities think the same of yours with exactly the same justification. Fortunately for me I can view them all as equally stupid.


According to whom? Not to those who love Him. Only those who hate Him call him such names.
Where have you heard this? It seems to me, as a freethinker who claims to have a legitimate plaint against the God of the Bible, you need to make sure you're critiquing the right God. At least so you don't look silly.

Do I really have to go into chapter and verse where God commands his people to kill ? Where he wipes out the entire planet.. including what had to be millions of innocent Children on a whim.



Have you forgotten so soon? The Bible says no one has an excuse. There will not be a single innocent person in hell. There will not be a single person in hell who did not know sufficiently of God's existence and their obligation to serve and worship Him.

So Sth American Indians will get to heaven ?


You already know the real God, and you've conveniently bought into these horrific and perverse caricatures to salve your guilty conscience. God is merciful, gracious, forgiving, loving, and patient. God is also a righteous and holy God who will not tolerate the sinfulness of rebellious man. Thus, God manifested His attributes in the Person of Christ whom the Father sent to die as a substitute for sinners who could not find favor with God on their own because of their sin and rebellion. So complete and sufficient was His sacrifice, that the believer is secured forever in the love and grace of God, and will live forevermore in the loving presence of the Lord.

I know of no God.. I do know of a creator though.. the great creator.. the creator of all God fantasies.. MAN. If the story of the God who sent his only son who was also God to die as a sacrifice (that wasn’t really because he knew he would rise again) and then ascend into heaven to be with his father who was also God .. and he was God to.. whew.. that takes some mind bending !


You didn't explain. You just say "it happened because it happened." It's patently inadequate and unacceptable. In a nutshell, the laws of logic reflect the nature of God (the Logos). God did not create them, just as God did not create morality or justice. These all exist because God exists, and without Him, nothing could exist. I'll elaborate on the necessity of this in my next post.

Simply put

The laws of logic are only a concept in the mind of man
They require NO justification
If they did require a justification then so would the existence of a God who also uses the laws


Thanks for the discussion, Aussie.

Thank you too Jim

Mr. Ben
July 9th, 2003, 08:13 AM
Actually, the laws of logic are directly derivative of the physical aspects of reality. They are mechanisms by which models of reality can be stored and manipulated in order to predict the future.

The laws of logic would be different if reality were different. For example.. differences in how cause and effect work change the way associations work. Differences in how time works changes how logical arguments are ordered. Differences in numeracy and countability change the way generalizations and symbols work. You can't have numbers in a universe with only one thing, or where every single thing is entirely unique.

All of the rules of logic are directly derived from the laws of physics, and depend on them being such as they are to be meaningful and useful.

Mr. Ben
July 9th, 2003, 08:19 AM
The fact that all things hold together, that the universe continues to be orderly, that universal invariants even exist show that God is continually, unceasingly "mucking arounnd with stuff." The Bible states "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist." Col. 1:16,17.

Why? I don't see God holding up airplanes, or pushing the earth around, or drawing the colors on my computer screen. Everything I see seems to happen on it's own.. without any interference from anything.

And quoting a biblical verse is just about as pointless as you can get. Who cares what the bible says about anything. It's just some book that some people made up.

heusdens
July 9th, 2003, 02:50 PM
Hilston:

"On what do you base your view that the natural universe always was?"

This is the very first principle of knowledge, the basis for which you can arrive at by successively deconstruction ALL of your mental constructions, knowledge and thoughts about the world, even the most trivial ones, and reconstruct or recreate the knowledge about the world from there.

See an excercise here (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8244)

heusdens
July 9th, 2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Ben
Why? I don't see God holding up airplanes, or pushing the earth around, or drawing the colors on my computer screen. Everything I see seems to happen on it's own.. without any interference from anything.

And quoting a biblical verse is just about as pointless as you can get. Who cares what the bible says about anything. It's just some book that some people made up.

Even more, God who is supposed to have been there eternally, is a spiritual component of the universe. We can state and proof that spiritual components can not form the essence, the primary substance, the reason for which the world is and not not is, of the world.

The world in first and primary instance is matter, which was neither created or destroyed, but was there eternally. Being an essence, the existence of matter itself is not dependend on something else, esp. not dependend on 'soul' , 'spirit' or 'God'.
'Soul', like 'spirit' or 'consciousness' or 'software' or 'information' are also themselves entities, which exist on themselves and apart from matter, but they can not exist without matter.

If I don't have a brain, I can not think, feel or reason. What we call thinking, feeling or reasoning are qualities of consciousness. Consciousness itself is not material itself, but would not exist either without matter.

Matter is the primary component of the world, since it existence is not dependend on anything else. Matter is it's own cause and consequence.

Aussie Thinker
July 9th, 2003, 04:51 PM
Ben Writes


Why? I don't see God holding up airplanes, or pushing the earth around, or drawing the colors on my computer screen. Everything I see seems to happen on it's own.. without any interference from anything.

And quoting a biblical verse is just about as pointless as you can get. Who cares what the bible says about anything. It's just some book that some people made up.

Absolutely spot on Ben.

I don’t think Jim will be convinced though.. the true irony is that he would NEVER believe in anything else without even a hint of physical evidence like he believes in God.

I am always amazed that when most humans (with just a little research) KNOW everything that has EVER been explained has a natural cause they jump to a supernatural reason for the things that are still unexplained.

Isn’t it just common sense to extrapolate that the currently unexplained stuff will also be found to have natural causes ?

billwald
July 9th, 2003, 06:03 PM
Athiesm is logically false because it attempts to prove a negative.

Second, the problem of first cause has no metaphysical or physical solution.

heusdens
July 9th, 2003, 06:20 PM
Originally posted by billwald
Athiesm is logically false because it attempts to prove a negative.


Atheism is a collection of different viewpoint and philosphical viewpoints that share the fact that they are opposite to theism.

One of them, materialism, is a positive, cause it builts up on the concept of matter, which is in eternal motion, is the primary substance, and the cause and reason of itself.

Theism refutes that, and can therefore be called anti-materialism, or immaterialism, and therefore is a theory that is about proving a negative (that matter is not the primary substance of the world)

By your logic now, this means that theism therefore is false.

And besides theism failed to proof that their alledged substance and primary essence of the world, is necessary there.

It failed in both ways, since matter is the known substance of the world, and we never seen any real proof of Gods.



Second, the problem of first cause has no metaphysical or physical solution.

There is no problem of first cause, perhaps except in your mind.
Matter is the first cause in itself, since it was always there.

Read for example The Fundamental Question (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8244) which is about the issue what the world in first instance and in essence is, what caused and makes the world to be.

Mr. Ben
July 9th, 2003, 06:20 PM
Isn’t it just common sense to extrapolate that the currently unexplained stuff will also be found to have natural causes ?

No, it is not. It is common sense to reserve judgement. But it is easy to be skeptical of claims that have so often been proven false before. That is the history of supernatural claims.

Atheism does not attempt to "prove a negative". It simply states that the "positive proof" for God is inadequate to justify belief in such an entity. Likewise, the positive proof for leprechauns, green unicorns, and the bogey monster are also inadequate. Shall we assume these entities exist because to do otherwise would be to "prove a negative"?

The problem of first cause is not solved by adding God into the equation either. If God exists.. he must be caused. If he does not need a cause.. then logic dictates neither must the universe itself.

heusdens
July 9th, 2003, 06:31 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Ben
The problem of first cause is not solved by adding God into the equation either. If God exists.. he must be caused. If he does not need a cause.. then logic dictates neither must the universe itself.

Correct, but from that one could still entail that God could be the first principle of the world, or that what formed and shaped the world. It could be equal (qua position as being the essence of the world) to matter in that respect then.

So we would need to add that since God exists in spiritual form, this means that God could not be the primary essence of the world, cause even the spiritual or consciouss needs matter to exist, is therefore dependend on matter, and therefore can not be the primary substance of the world.

So that what the world in essence entails, can not be God, but is matter. It does not need perse that God (as a spiritual being)does not exist (who is to say that in the vastness of outer space and the universe), but that God is not the necessary being (that what in first instance needs there to be, in order for there to be a world) of the world. But since God is declared of being the primary essence of the world, but fails in that respect, this would in fact mean that God does not exist at all.

Read also The Fundamental Question (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8244) and An alternative for the system of God declared truths (http://forums.philosophyforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2813).

jjjg
July 9th, 2003, 09:22 PM
Yes, the Universe needs a cause as it is contingent and potential of change.

No not everything needs matter to exist. Gravitational and magnetic forces do not.

God is uncaused and eternal not self-caused or caused by something else.

Aussie Thinker
July 9th, 2003, 11:17 PM
Ben,

I agree with the rest of your post but is it really human nature to reserve judgment.

If I see 100 explanations for causes as natural and nil causes as supernatural it is only fair to assume the unexplained will have natural causes too.

Aussie Thinker
July 10th, 2003, 12:02 AM
JJJG,

Please inform where and when and how gravitational and magnetic forces exist without matter ?

They are both dependant upon matter.

heusdens
July 10th, 2003, 04:55 AM
Originally posted by jjjg
Yes, the Universe needs a cause as it is contingent and potential of change.

The world needs a cause? Why?

Read my excercise on The Fundamental Question (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8244)



No not everything needs matter to exist. Gravitational and magnetic forces do not.


I use the term matter as a philosophical term, and which means that what exists objectively independend and outside of consciousness. It's a philosophical category, you can not even touch matter or detect it.
The physical notion of matter however is something else, it is a specific form of matter, which exists alongside other forms, like energy and fields, and is related to that.
All forms of physical matter (particles, energy, waves, fields, etc) are brought together as the philosophical notion of matter, but not just that, cause that is just the physical stuff, apart from physical stuff there is chemical stuff, there is biological stuff, there is consciousness, there is society. All that is also material. You can not reduce society or consciousness to atoms and fields and energy. Each are seperate laysers of material reality.



God is uncaused and eternal not self-caused or caused by something else.

Matter is the primary essence and substance of the world, is indestructable and infinite, and independend of something else.

Your definition of God would indicate that God and matter would be the same. But as I understand it, God has attributed properties that make it something immaterial, it is a spiritual being. Hence, even if it does exist, it does not exist apart from and independend from matter.
At the very best, it goes alongside with matter. But never independend of it. So, God does not have independend existence, it is not the primary essence of the world, and is not the necessary being. Hence, there goes the very concept of God, because can not be something less then the necessary being.

My understanding of God is this. We can only reflect on God as a concept of thought, a fundamentel principle or absolute idea. God itself expresses the necessity of there being something, instead of nothing for all eternity. But that is just a notion, a concept we have about reality, and in fact the deepest, profoundest and most fundamental notion we can ever get to about reality.
This concept in itself however, has no real existence, it is a concept of the mind itself, and man has made that concept into something that incorporates all man's wishfull thoughts and idealizations on reality.
The idea of God contemplates the ideal world, the ideal life and the ideal society, and the idea of God has gathered in the course of time all kinds of attributes, like absolute moral standards, etc.

The fact that we live however in an unideal society and are imperfect beings, means that such ideals never become reality, although one can for certain and should strive for the best.
It is not to be argued one should not try to improve on things, wether that be one's own life or that of soceity as a whole, but we should understand that there is no way of making the ideal real. Living without any ideals is however rather a waste of time.
Towards that we should realize that we need a practical approach. We need to understand ourselves and society, and work on practical realizable goals. We should understand that our life is not in the hands of God, but that man makes his own society. It's in our hands, not that of God.

jjjg
July 10th, 2003, 11:38 AM
No modern science says they are not Aussie-thinker. All of outer space is a gravitational field whether it's void of matter or not.

Huesens, if it is objective then we must detect it through our senses. The philisophical meaning of matter is something tangible that we sense.

No matter and energy are different hence the different terms to describe them. Energy is just the ability to do work and is independant from matter. As I said matter is just one way for energy to express itself.

I explained why the world needs a cause because it is contingent and potential.

Essence is the "what is". It is synonmous with the formal substance, species and nature of the objects. The way you are using the term is incorrect. There is matter and the forms that matter takes on. Essence and substance are separate terms that you are using as the same. Substance is an object being a human or a tree.

My view of God is existence not essence.

flash
July 10th, 2003, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by billwald
Athiesm is logically false because it attempts to prove a negative.


1) Not all atheism attempts to prove a negative.

2) Proving a negative is neith impossible nor "logically false".

flash
July 10th, 2003, 12:22 PM
WHen are we going to cover the impossibility of atheism? This issue has not been addressed.

jjjg
July 10th, 2003, 02:10 PM
heusdens, if you're a materialist than there can only be apparent diversity. It is just the way the atoms arrange and interact with each other.

heusdens
July 10th, 2003, 02:40 PM
jjjg:

That is not even close to what materialism is about.
Don't confuse materialism with physicalism or that sort of thing.

You can not reduce soceity, economy, psychology, etc. to how atoms interact. That is plain stupid.

jjjg
July 10th, 2003, 04:18 PM
really, are you saying that there are forms separate from from the matter?

jjjg
July 10th, 2003, 04:53 PM
Who are you kidding, heusdens? Materialism says everything is reducable to matter and can be explained by physical laws. The fact that you are using metaphysics disqualifies your argument as you are overstretching your boundaries.

Hilston
July 10th, 2003, 05:22 PM
Hi Flash,


Originally posted by flash
When are we going to cover the impossibility of atheism? This issue has not been addressed. Please forgive the delay. I've been a bit busy, and trying to work on a long reply to another thread. I will post my thesis as soon as I can.

Thanks for your interest,
Jim

Mr. Ben
July 10th, 2003, 06:24 PM
Yes, the Universe needs a cause as it is contingent and potential of change.

There is no proof that the universe is contingent.

And since Thomas defines God as immutable.. he cannot cause anything. To cause something is to change.


God is uncaused and eternal not self-caused or caused by something else.

How do you know the universe is not uncaused?

How do you know God is uncaused?

Why make things up and arbitrarily decide you're right without any evidence?

Mr. Ben
July 10th, 2003, 06:26 PM
The fact that you are using metaphysics disqualifies your argument as you are overstretching your boundaries.

Metaphysics is a purely mechanical process. It only can occur in the material universe, and it only makes sense in the material universe. Logic, reason, and thought can not exist, and are meaningless, without matter. They are directly derivative of the material world, and are a direct product of it.

jjjg
July 11th, 2003, 03:33 PM
I have already gone through this argument without a refuting from you. I'm not going to get suckered into the same argument over and over again for 100 posts like you've done with Marco.

"And since Thomas.."

Wheew!! Mr. Ben.

You've got Thomas on the ropes now! To think he would never consider this argument when he penned it a thousand years ago.

We have already seen your metaphysics expertise with "a duck quacks" comments.

I've covered these comments without you refuting. Won't get suckered into endless arguments.

Mr. Ben
July 11th, 2003, 07:54 PM
Sheesh..

1. We don't know the universe hasn't existed forever.
2. We don't know that everything has a cause in this universe.
3. If the universe did have a first cause, there is no reason to think it was God.

Want to do it again?

jjjg
July 11th, 2003, 08:51 PM
We already did with the results of you running in circles as you did with Marco.

Mr. Ben
July 11th, 2003, 09:47 PM
We have already seen your metaphysics expertise with "a duck quacks" comments.

So you don't like verification, or falsification. Not suprising as you would prefer to simply make things up. Any statement which is not a logical statement true by defintinition, or is not supported by any sort of evidence which would indicate its truth or falsehood, is inherently meaningless. This includes statements positing imaginary third person omnicient viewpoints to make distinctions between perception and truth.

One successful aspect of the positivist movement is in proving that much of metaphysics is bullxxxx. Your arguments are perfect examples of the sort of nonsense they heaped well deserved criticism on.

jjjg
July 11th, 2003, 10:43 PM
I already verified all this in our discussions in scientific contradictions and I'm not running around in circles playing your games as you did with Marco.

Mr. Ben
July 12th, 2003, 01:40 AM
I already verified all this in our discussions in scientific contradictions and I'm not running around in circles playing your games as you did with Marco.

You certainly appear to be running around in circles, but it's not my fault.

jjjg
July 12th, 2003, 10:35 AM
And here we go again.

heusdens
July 12th, 2003, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by jjjg
Who are you kidding, heusdens? Materialism says everything is reducable to matter and can be explained by physical laws. The fact that you are using metaphysics disqualifies your argument as you are overstretching your boundaries.

My thoughts do not exist in the form of atoms, neither would my thought exist without atoms (in the form of a brain).

Your interpretation of materialism is perhaps only a specific school of materialism, but is not in accordance with what other materialists claim or think.

flash
July 12th, 2003, 05:19 PM
Talk about a bait and switch.

I want to hear an "impossibility of atheism" argument!

:bannana: :devil: :bannana:

Aussie Thinker
July 13th, 2003, 11:59 PM
Flash,

I would like to hear it too !

Mind you as we KNOW it exists it can hardly be impossibly.

Bottom line is Jim thinks atheism is impossible because we have consciousness and a set of absolute morals or standards.

These cannot exist according to Jim unless there is a God who directed them to exist.

Mind you this same God is not beholden to this same silly rule.

He refuses to accept that even though his God could always existed .. it is not possible for the Universe to have always existed. Further that our consciousness and own self made notions of absolutes etc. are just products of this Universe like a Star or a Nebula..

Most theists can’t bear the thought we are an accident !

Like all theist arguments they have to suspend any rules of evidence and science.. I can never fathom why they bother arguing at all.. why don’t they just say God did it all Yesterday and put everything (including memories) in place.

Hilston
July 14th, 2003, 02:39 PM
Hi Folks,

[Note: I could not add the image I refer to in the text below. It is now a link to the image; it will pop up in a new window -- Jim, 9:55 EST, 07/16/03]

Please forgive the delay. While I did not want to give this a cursory treatment, I neither wanted to delay this any longer. I will offer this now (it may need some further tweaking to be clear), and offer more later.

The impossibility of atheism

(Not of its existence, but of its verity)

The atheistic worldview is impossible because is inherently self-refuting, it is internally incoherent, and it is unable to cogently account for reality and the intelligibility of human experience. Aussie Thinker has offered his explanation. I wish everyone could read it, and like me, recognize how fanciful, naive and utterly uncompelling it is. I do not wish to be insulting or condescending, but I am torn between wondering if Aussie Thinker really does know how inadequate his explanation is (but is unaccustomed to having it challenged), or if he really is that naive and unaware of what he is saying.

Why is atheism impossible? The atheist worldview presumes to operate on unwarranted assumptions, believing, with no rational basis, that there is order, connection, predictability or necessity in human experience and reality. But what are the bases of this assumption? Are one's contingent and particular experiences sufficient to justify these assumptions? Why is it that we, as humans, draw abstract universals out of concrete particulars? The atheist cannot answer the problems posed by the existence of universal laws and the orderliness (unity) that is communicated to us in our experience, especially given that our experience is particular (non-universal) and changing (diversity). Atheists cannot rationally deal with the "one-and-the-many" problem. Dualists have tried, but the result is just as irrational as the materialist view. Atheists who simply pretend that there isn't a problem between universals and particulars succeed only in convincing me that they haven't reflected adequately on the problem (or they're being disingenuous).

On the atheist worldview, the "mind" is merely a phenomenon of this product of chance we call the brain, whose functions are as much constrained by the laws of chemistry, biology and physics as all other material objects in the universe. However, as merely another chance arrangement of physical molecules, how can the "thinking" of this physical organ know anything about abstract, non-physical, universal concepts such as induction, necessity, or causation? In a contingent realm of discrete, random facts and events, how does a brain, which is itself a product of random facts and events, warrant such concepts as universals (induction), causality or moral standards? The random and unconnected "facts" that man confronts in his daily experience do not themselves justify categorization, predictability, induction, causality, etc. The assumption that the laws of logic can be taken as objective, universal, unchanging [Parmenides], and applicable to the world of contingent material changing facts [Heraclitus] is unwarranted, especially given how different in character are the assumed laws from material facts.

It is a faith-based assumption that man's space-time experience can be described, let alone warranted, according any kind of unifying principles. To merely stipulate that order exists and that categories can be applied to discrete and contingent facts in the universe is either a naive or a disingenuous failure to adequately resolve whether the order in the physical world is due to the nature of the particles it comprises (atomism), or events occurring according to some pre-existent laws (stoicism), or due to some Hegelian logical necessity based on some assumed greater underlying dialectic reality (Sorry about the run-on sentence). Regardless of which theory is chosen (and it is ever arbitrary), they all blindly assume some kind of universal order that cannot be justified by the worldviews in which we find them.

Thus, the atheistic worldview is unable to bridge the chasm between order [Parmenides] and change [Heraclitus], unity and diversity, universals and particulars, the many and the one (see diagram linked here (http://www.tgfonline.org/TGF/tgfconf/1999/TGF99_chart.GIF)). Any attempt to bring the two realms together on non-theistic grounds results in making nonsense of both, which further renders intellectually self-defeating all arguments against God. The problem posed to the atheist is that of justifying how he (a) imposes unifying principles of his own mind upon an external realm not controlled by his mind, while at the same time (b) claiming to respect the individuality and uniqueness of every fact in the world, which mitigates against the notion of unifying principles. So on the one hand, the atheist imposes the universal principles of his worldview in advance, which undermines the so-called "science" of his position, and on the other hand, respecting the novelty and particularity of discrete facts and events in his experience undermines the intelligibility of those facts. This makes any attempt to rationally organize and interpret evidence utterly inane. Some atheists admit the inability to justifiably account for the uniformity of nature ("It happened because it happened"); some admit their inability to account for the laws of logic ("they're just there, like an armpit"). With these admissions, however, should also come the recognition that using logic and inference order to explain or understand things is baldly begging the very question, assuming the verity of a system in advance. Therefore, such a worldview comes down to an arbitrary preference, and not an intellectual necessity, and despite this, the atheist blindly assumes to attach meaning to his experience. Of course, I don't expect the atheist to readily acknowledge, but I will expose it nonetheless. Atheists ought not to be allowed to run roughshod over Christian Theism, asserting some claim of intellectual superiority, scientific validity, and rational fact-based/evidentiary conclusions. It's all lip-service, and when it is exposed for what it is, it is shown to be wholly arbitrary. blindly religious and faith-based. For these reasons, among many, the atheistic worldview is impossible and cannot be true. More later.

Jim

flash
July 14th, 2003, 03:28 PM
Atheists do not need to prove anything to not believe in gods. They do not need to justify anything to not believe in gods. Rather, it is the theists who have to show that there is a god! Your argument is a god of the gaps argument. You can't justify induction or moving from the particular to the universal, so you make up something that will explain it. The problem is that your stopgap invention does not add anything to your predictive power.

Do you believe in the validity of moving from particulars to universals? If, after every time you heard the phrase "Look out Hilston!" you were struck with a blunt object, how long before you would cover your head upon hearing the phrase? How would you justify your action? By positing a God?!? Why would you even need to justify your action?

Even *if* it were necessary for atheists to justify universals, and even *if* there were no atheists who could justify universals, you still need to prove a god exists! Until then, atheism is a valid worldview, and you have not show the impossibility of it at all.

cheeezywheeezy
July 14th, 2003, 04:11 PM
Mr. Ben,

You write:

1. We don't know the universe hasn't existed forever.

Since we know from the physical laws of nature that a fire cannot burn forever and that a rock (or matter) cannot come from nothing, we CAN know that the universe hasn't existed forever.

Using the PHYSICAL laws of nature we know that the PHYSICAL universe is materail and contains fires (stars) so physically and logically it could not have had a natural begining nor have existed forever.

I am pleased that you do believe however that it may have existed forever. The reason is, if you do...then it violates the most fundamental laws of nature...and the universe itself is therefore SUPERnatural. This shows that you are at least willing to admit that there exists a SUPERnatural explanation to some natural phenomena....a.k.a the existence of the physical universe.

Also, you state that:

"And since Thomas defines God as immutable.. "

Who cares? Just because Billy thinks God is green doesn't make God green! God is not immutable....God does indeed change.

How? Well for one...God BECAME a man in the person Jesus Christ. God was not always a man. He became a man. That was a MAJOR change.

Several times throughout the Bible God changes his mind when dealing with people. God reacts to persons communicating with Him. Several time, as a result of prayers, pleading, etc... God changed His mind.

So, in conclusion....since you do believe in the SUPERnatural...why not go ahead and take the next step and believe in the SUPERnatural God.

flash
July 14th, 2003, 05:13 PM
cheeezywheeezy,

At best all you are doing is presenting yet another God of the Gaps Argument. They sure are popular on this board.

Hilston
July 14th, 2003, 05:45 PM
Hi Aussie,

Aussie writes:
These cannot exist according to Jim unless there is a God who directed them to exist.If that were simply all I've said, then maybe you would have a case. You believe atheism is a superior view, else you would not hold it. But you've admitted that atheism cannot account for the very things you use to function in your everyday life. You've admitted that my worldview, which can account for them whether you likeit or not, is coherent and consistent. Yet you prefer the blind, irrational, faith-based view instead of the cogent, rational faith-based view.

Aussie writes:
Mind you this same God is not beholden to this same silly rule.I find this funny. When an athiest demands evidence, it's a perfectly valid "rule", on their view, yet they cannot account for the very standards they presume to impose as "rules". Then, when challenged to justify or to provide the necessary preconditions for these standards they impose, they call it "a silly rule."

Aussie writes:
He refuses to accept that even though his God could always existed .. it is not possible for the Universe to have always existed.The eternal existence of God is rational. The eternal existence of a material, orderly, yet changing, universe is not. And not because "a rock cannot create itself" and "a fire cannot burn forever," but because of a more fundamental problem: Uniformity and contingency. The atheist universe is impotent to deal with these. This is not merely a god of the gaps argument. This is a fundamental dilemma for the atheist at the very foundation of reason. Nothing is "waiting to be discovered by science" to answer this.

Aussie writes:
Further that our consciousness and own self made notions of absolutes etc. are just products of this Universe like a Star or a Nebula.. If you want to go around believing that things can become their contradictions, that's fine. But don't come here and pretend to be a rational freethinking "bright".

Aussie writes:
Like all theist arguments they have to suspend any rules of evidence and science..Like the way you do when you say, "It just happened because it happened"? Apply your own rule of evidence and science and prove that your reasoning and observations actually and accurately correspond with reality. You can't? You mean you have to suspend your rules in this case -- and you just accept it because you don't like the alternative? Isnt there a name for this kind of behavior?

Aussie writes:
I can never fathom why they bother arguing at all.. why don’t they just say God did it all Yesterday and put everything (including memories) in place.You should already know the answer to this, Aussie.

Jim

Mr. Ben
July 14th, 2003, 05:48 PM
1. We don't know the universe hasn't existed forever.

Since we know from the physical laws of nature that a fire cannot burn forever and that a rock (or matter) cannot come from nothing, we CAN know that the universe hasn't existed forever.

Why can't something come from nothing? Be specific. You are not allowed to use the statement "I've never seen it happen before". The fact is that things seem to come from nothing all the time in QM.


Using the PHYSICAL laws of nature we know that the PHYSICAL universe is materail and contains fires (stars) so physically and logically it could not have had a natural begining nor have existed forever.

We believe that the universe's timeline originated with the Big Bang. We do not know wether there was anything prior to that.. but we don't know that there wasn't. We simply can't say.


I am pleased that you do believe however that it may have existed forever. The reason is, if you do...then it violates the most fundamental laws of nature...

Nonsense. It does no such thing. Theists are long on claims and superficial explanations.. but short on real evidence and argument.


and the universe itself is therefore SUPERnatural. This shows that you are at least willing to admit that there exists a SUPERnatural explanation to some natural phenomena....a.k.a the existence of the physical universe.

Supernatural phenomena could exist in this universe. We hear reports of supernatural phenomena all the time. However, were they to be repeatable and testable.. they would no longer be classified as supernatural.. but another part of nature. Unfortunately supernatural events exist typically only in the adled minds of those who report them.

As for the physical laws of the universe being such that they would permit time before the Big Bang.. this does not imply any sort of God, Angels, or magical hocus pocus.


"And since Thomas defines God as immutable.. "

Who cares? Just because Billy thinks God is green doesn't make God green! God is not immutable....God does indeed change.

Not according to jjjiggy. His proof of God is self contradictory.


Several times throughout the Bible God changes his mind when dealing with people. God reacts to persons communicating with Him. Several time, as a result of prayers, pleading, etc... God changed His mind.

Heh.. no kidding


So, in conclusion....since you do believe in the SUPERnatural...why not go ahead and take the next step and believe in the SUPERnatural God.

Uhh... right now I am busy believing in the spirit of Buddah, Allah, and the Mantis God of the Bantu Tribesmen. I'll eventually work my way around to Christianity.... maybe.








More cheese please!!!

Aussie Thinker
July 14th, 2003, 06:13 PM
Jim,


Aussie Thinker has offered his explanation. I wish everyone could read it, and like me, recognize how fanciful, naive and utterly uncompelling it is. I do not wish to be insulting or condescending, but I am torn between wondering if Aussie Thinker really does know how inadequate his explanation is (but is unaccustomed to having it challenged), or if he really is that naive and unaware of what he is saying.

Others have read my explanation and find it completely coherent and compelling. It makes perfect sense and stops 1 step short of stepping into fancy like your explanation does. You find it incoherent as you are blinded by faith in a mythical inexplicable, illogical and patently ridiculous God. Your myopia does not allow you to comprehend a world view that does not include your strange deity !


Why is atheism impossible? The atheist worldview presumes to operate on unwarranted assumptions, believing, with no rational basis, that there is order, connection, predictability or necessity in human experience and reality.

Here is where you branch into inanity. The assumptions of our reality are completely warranted. Your mumbo jumbo about matrix type versions of reality are not SOLVED by adding a God into the mix. As I have stated 100 times before, you accept your reality as coming from a God (which just happened) I accept our reality as just happening (see the shortened step?)


But what are the bases of this assumption? Are one's contingent and particular experiences sufficient to justify these assumptions? Why is it that we, as humans, draw abstract universals out of concrete particulars? The atheist cannot answer the problems posed by the existence of universal laws and the orderliness (unity) that is communicated to us in our experience, especially given that our experience is particular (non-universal) and changing (diversity). Atheists cannot rationally deal with the "one-and-the-many" problem. Dualists have tried, but the result is just as irrational as the materialist view. Atheists who simply pretend that there isn't a problem between universals and particulars succeed only in convincing me that they haven't reflected adequately on the problem (or they're being disingenuous).

It is obvious to an atheist that everything we see and all the laws we perceive are products of a natural universe. The FACT that everything makes sense implies NATURE.. if things did not make sense then THAT would point to supernatural occurrences and therefore imply a GOD ! That you KNOW everything has a natural origin and yet add some mystical supernatural layer in shows that your need for a God is overcoming your human born rationality.


On the atheist worldview, the "mind" is merely a phenomenon of this product of chance we call the brain, whose functions are as much constrained by the laws of chemistry, biology and physics as all other material objects in the universe. However, as merely another chance arrangement of physical molecules, how can the "thinking" of this physical organ know anything about abstract, non-physical, universal concepts such as induction, necessity, or causation? In a contingent realm of discrete, random facts and events, how does a brain, which is itself a product of random facts and events, warrant such concepts as universals (induction), causality or moral standards? The random and unconnected "facts" that man confronts in his daily experience do not themselves justify categorization, predictability, induction, causality, etc. The assumption that the laws of logic can be taken as objective, universal, unchanging [Parmenides], and applicable to the world of contingent material changing facts [Heraclitus] is unwarranted, especially given how different in character are the assumed laws from material facts.

All completely normal functions of a brain evolved from a Universe which is ordered. All the things you talk about are human invented concepts which man utilises to comprehend the Universe. You assumption that these laws etc. are universal and separate to man is only that.. your assumption.. born of the need to have a Supernatural Deity. The laws etc are mere constructs of man.. like God. If you think about it you have just constructed a God to account for the laws I just say the laws themselves are a construct (see again I save an illogical step)


It is a faith-based assumption that man's space-time experience can be described, let alone warranted, according any kind of unifying principles. To merely stipulate that order exists and that categories can be applied to discrete and contingent facts in the universe is either a naive or a disingenuous failure to adequately resolve whether the order in the physical world is due to the nature of the particles it comprises (atomism), or events occurring according to some pre-existent laws (stoicism), or due to some Hegelian logical necessity based on some assumed greater underlying dialectic reality (Sorry about the run-on sentence). Regardless of which theory is chosen (and it is ever arbitrary), they all blindly assume some kind of universal order that cannot be justified by the worldviews in which we find them.

I know that theists (as they are so into a faith based world) think everyone lives by faith but you just have to give up that notion. The fact that we see this Universe as ordered is simply because we are a product of it. It is IMPOSSIBLE for a universe to produce a creature that would not find it own universe ordered ! What astounds me is this is so OBVIOUS yet you have to invent a deity to explain the order ???... when DISORDER is actually what would imply something supernatural !


Thus, the atheistic worldview is unable to bridge the chasm between order [Parmenides] and change [Heraclitus], unity and diversity, universals and particulars, the many and the one (see diagram). Any attempt to bring the two realms together on non-theistic grounds results in making nonsense of both, which further renders intellectually self-defeating all arguments against God. The problem posed to the atheist is that of justifying how he (a) imposes unifying principles of his own mind upon an external realm not controlled by his mind, while at the same time

You are lost in a fantasy world of justification. The simple fact that we see an ordered universe is because we are product of it. Our concepts we create to deal with the universe require no justification except our own. We invent them as useful tools .. just like the wheel.


(b) claiming to respect the individuality and uniqueness of every fact in the world, which mitigates against the notion of unifying principles. So on the one hand, the atheist imposes the universal principles of his worldview in advance, which undermines the so-called "science" of his position, and on the other hand, respecting the novelty and particularity of discrete facts and events in his experience undermines the intelligibility of those facts. This makes any attempt to rationally organize and interpret evidence utterly inane.

Your ridiculous circuitous argument is basically saying.. God gave us reason so when you use it to say there is no God you are being inane. You completely ignore the simple fact that reason developed along with our large brain it was not “given” to us by a supernatural deity.


Some atheists admit the inability to justifiably account for the uniformity of nature ("It happened because it happened"); some admit their inability to account for the laws of logic ("they're just there, like an armpit").

At some stage BOTH of us end up with a “It just happened”.. me with the universe you with God.. difference is I have reduced the level of complexity and confusion. The “laws” you speak of are conceived by MAN.. we invent them as a concept. Do you understand that ?


With these admissions, however, should also come the recognition that using logic and inference order to explain or understand things is baldly begging the very question, assuming the verity of a system in advance. Therefore, such a worldview comes down to an arbitrary preference, and not an intellectual necessity, and despite this, the atheist blindly assumes to attach meaning to his experience.

There you go again assuming because YOU need meaning that the atheist does too. It is VERY clear to me that these constructs of logic etc that man uses are useful cerebral tools to make sense of the universe.. they are just the same as you inventing a God to make sense of your universe. Of course both out “inventions” are “preferences”… mine is just a logical sensible one.. yours’ steps off into the realms of fantasy.


Of course, I don't expect the atheist to readily acknowledge, but I will expose it nonetheless. Atheists ought not to be allowed to run roughshod over Christian Theism, asserting some claim of intellectual superiority, scientific validity, and rational fact-based/evidentiary conclusions. It's all lip-service, and when it is exposed for what it is, it is shown to be wholly arbitrary. blindly religious and faith-based. For these reasons, among many, the atheistic worldview is impossible and cannot be true. More later.

Atheism scares you doesn’t it Jim ? I can see that you are intelligent. It is obvious by the twists, turns and hoops you are putting your mind through to justify your God fantasy. But it is clear you are smart enough and have questioned you belief often enough to see how clear the atheist worldview really is. Your only defence against your own logic is this house of cards justification you have built up. Don’t feel to bad about giving up and coming over to the “dark side”. It’s not really dark.. in fact it is quite illuminated.

Steve

Hilston
July 14th, 2003, 07:55 PM
Please note: I made reference to a diagram in my previous post. I was unable to get the image to show up within the text of the post, so I instead added only the link to my post. You will now find it there, or you can just click here (http://www.tgfonline.org/TGF/tgfconf/1999/TGF99_chart.GIF). But please refer to my discussion about it as well. It will make better sense with the accompanying text.

Jim

heusdens
July 14th, 2003, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
The eternal existence of God is rational. The eternal existence of a material, orderly, yet changing, universe is not. And not because "a rock cannot create itself" and "a fire cannot burn forever," but because of a more fundamental problem: Uniformity and contingency. The atheist universe is impotent to deal with these. This is not merely a god of the gaps argument. This is a fundamental dilemma for the atheist at the very foundation of reason. Nothing is "waiting to be discovered by science" to answer this.


The eternal existence of God is not rational, because by your own argument and definition, God existed eternally in immaterial (consciousness; spiritual) form, before he created the material world.

However, there can not be consciousness when there is no objective, material world., because:
1. Consciousness does not exist independend of matter
2. Consciousness is subjective, but there can not be subjectiveness without there being an objective world, to which consciousness could relate in a subjective way.
[Same as that a program can not run and can not perform anything when thee is a) no hardware b) no peripherals to "communicate" with an outside world. A "solipsistic" program running without either input or output, is rather useless]
3. The existence of God in eternal form of subjective consciousness, without there being an objective world, makes the viewpoint of God that of a solipsist.
4. Solipsism is an incorrect worldview, and rejected by almost everybody.



If you want to go around believing that things can become their contradictions, that's fine. But don't come here and pretend to be a rational freethinking "bright".


It is quite clear that you don't haver any knowledge about dialectics.



Like the way you do when you say, "It just happened because it happened"? Apply your own rule of evidence and science and prove that your reasoning and observations actually and accurately correspond with reality. You can't? You mean you have to suspend your rules in this case -- and you just accept it because you don't like the alternative? Isnt there a name for this kind of behavior?


The creation of everything from nothing as a concept is same mysterious and indistinguishable with the concept of the creation of everything from God. They are the same.

It's a shame that some atheist confess to the one, and refute the other, since there is no difference whatsoever!

heusdens
July 14th, 2003, 09:18 PM
/* Program name :
God

Hardware requirements / peripherals :
none (are created after program completed)
*/

void main ()
{
while (1) ; -- loop forever!
}

/* After completion the WORLD occurs! */

Aussie Thinker
July 14th, 2003, 09:48 PM
Huesdens writes,


The creation of everything from nothing as a concept is same mysterious and indistinguishable with the concept of the creation of everything from God. They are the same.

It's a shame that some atheist confess to the one, and refute the other, since there is no difference whatsoever!

Any sensible atheist I know agrees.. however the creation from God adds an extra unnecessary step.

Atheist view..

Step 1 : Universe always was

Theist View

Step 1 : God always was
Step 2 : God created the Universe

Why the unnecessary extra step ???

heusdens
July 14th, 2003, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Mr. Ben
Why can't something come from nothing? Be specific. You are not allowed to use the statement "I've never seen it happen before". The fact is that things seem to come from nothing all the time in QM.


Is that so? You mean in the new Quantum Magic explenation of reality?

Whatever your fancy is, there is no possible way in which the absolute inexistence of anything can lead to something, whatever infinitesimal minimal something.

It simply can't. No possible way.

(not even when you believe in God)




We believe that the universe's timeline originated with the Big Bang. We do not know wether there was anything prior to that.. but we don't know that there wasn't. We simply can't say.


However popular this new religion is, the timeline does not originate at the Big Bang. Neither is there any scientific theory that says so. If you can point to one that says so indesputable, I will eat my hat.

PS. I have no hat, but if you state is true, it will be no problem creating one from nothing.



Nonsense. It does no such thing. Theists are long on claims and superficial explanations.. but short on real evidence and argument.


And some atheist present their worldviews as atheistic, without there being any difference with a theistic worldview.





Supernatural phenomena could exist in this universe. We hear reports of supernatural phenomena all the time. However, were they to be repeatable and testable.. they would no longer be classified as supernatural.. but another part of nature. Unfortunately supernatural events exist typically only in the adled minds of those who report them.


The only thing that can not exist in the universe is inexistence.

(wether one calls that "nothingness", "begin of time" or "God" makes no difference!)



As for the physical laws of the universe being such that they would permit time before the Big Bang.. this does not imply any sort of God, Angels, or magical hocus pocus.


Wrong!

Physical laws imply that there is no conceivable begin to change and time. Physicists can not make physics from utterly nothing.

The Big Bang event just BEGS for there being physicall stuff before that time.

Hilston
July 14th, 2003, 09:52 PM
heusdens writes:
The eternal existence of God is not rational, because by your own argument and definition, God existed eternally in immaterial (consciousness; spiritual) form, before he created the material world.What is irrational about that?

heusdens writes:
However, there can not be consciousness when there is no objective, material world., because:
1. Consciousness does not exist independend of matter ...Sure it does. God is conscious, and is non-material. The angels have consciousness, but they are non-material. The souls burning in hell are conscious, and they are non-material.
heusdens writes:
2. Consciousness is subjective, but there can not be subjectiveness without there being an objective world, to which consciousness could relate in a subjective way.How is it, on your worldview, that there can be both subjectivity and objectivity? Is the universe uniform and objective? Or is it subjective and contingent? How can it be both?

heusdens writes:
[Same as that a program can not run and can not perform anything when there is a) no hardware...When did you last encounter a conscious program? And what sort of tests did you perform to ascertain whether or not the conscious component of the program was hardware-dependent?

heusdens writes:
... b) no peripherals to "communicate" with an outside world.Do you have such "peripherals"? Have you tested them to see if they work? How did you go about testing them?

heusdens writes:
A "solipsistic" program running without either input or output, is rather useless]That's some pretty fancy question-begging. How do you know that you yourself are not a self-deceived solipsism, simply existing and informing yourself of things you already know but deliberately forgot in order to make your existence tolerable? That would be useful, wouldn't it?

heusdens writes:
3. The existence of God in eternal form of subjective consciousness, without there being an objective world, makes the viewpoint of God that of a solipsist.That's a self-refuting statement, heusdens. If you yourself know (you do know don't you) that you have self-awareness, then at least you know that you exist. Thus, for you to posit a solipsistic god, assuming you, too, exist (you're the one proposing such a god), is a self-refuting statement.

heusdens writes:
4. Solipsism is an incorrect worldview, and rejected by almost everybody.Duh. Of course, for the patently ineluctable reason I gave above.

Jim wrote: If you want to go around believing that things can become their contradictions, that's fine. But don't come here and pretend to be a rational freethinking "bright".

heusdens writes:
It is quite clear that you don't have any knowledge about dialectics.What gives you that impression?

heusdens
July 14th, 2003, 09:52 PM
Aussie Thinker:

Don't ask me, ask the theists about that.

Perhaps they are a bit affraid of the implications.
Anyway, theists have an upside down worldview, and have an incorrect vision of what is the primary stuff (matter or consciousness).

heusdens
July 14th, 2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
What is irrational about that?

Sure it does. God is conscious, and is non-material. The angels have consciousness, but they are non-material. The souls burning in hell are conscious, and they are non-material.


What is rational about that?



How is it, on your worldview, that there can be both subjectivity and objectivity? Is the universe uniform and objective? Or is it subjective and contingent? How can it be both?


Because there is consciousness that reflects on an objective world. Consciousness is not defined without there being an objective world, since then nothing would exist.


When did you last encounter a conscious program? And what sort of tests did you perform to ascertain whether or not the conscious component of the program was hardware-dependent?


Answers:
-I run one.
-Self-test (see below under 'verification')



heusdens writes:Do you have such "peripherals"? Have you tested them to see if they work? How did you go about testing them?


As a matter of fact I have! They are my eyes, ears, touch, smell, hands, feet, etc. (and also my mouth and stomach and penis and anus, for the energy supply and waiste).

I test them every day. I run self-tests every day. I compare resulsts with other programs, and I extend my peripherals with outside things, and I read knowledge, and compare that with own results.



heusdens writes:That's some pretty fancy question-begging. How do you know that you yourself are not a self-deceived solipsism, simply existing and informing yourself of things you already know but deliberately forgot in order to make your existence tolerable? That would be useful, wouldn't it?


I verified that solipsism is incorrect.
Wanna hear how I verified this?

It's here! (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8244)

And by the way also the mother program which had spawned me told me, and I know that is not a ly!



heusdens writes:That's a self-refuting statement, heusdens. If you yourself know (you do know don't you) that you have self-awareness, then at least you know that you exist. Thus, for you to posit a solipsistic god, assuming you, too, exist (you're the one proposing such a god), is a self-refuting statement.


I am not proposing this God, since there are others that propose such a God. I hold it that the only concept I can form in my mind, would be that of a solipsist worldview which I know is incorrect.
Therefore I refute that God.

Aussie Thinker
July 15th, 2003, 01:21 AM
Heusdens,

The Q was purely rhetorical.. I KNOW you know the answer !

Theists,

Here is an analogy which shows the flaw in Jim’s thinking.

Like our concept of logic, fundamental laws and absolutes the Wheel is another invention of man.

Did the wheel always exist before man invented it.

Yes.. boulders and tree trunks could roll.. things that were round and given the right impetus became a wheel .. long before man existed.

But can man justify the wheel.

No.. but he can justify using it. It is a helpful device.

So as the wheel always existed and as it cannot be justified… it means God is a big wheel !

Hilston
July 15th, 2003, 01:21 AM
Flash writes:
Atheists do not need to prove anything to not believe in gods.Sure you do. You just can't come waltzing in here, claiming to have a defensible worldview and not be required to prove anything. If you want to just take your ball and bat and go home, no one's stopping you. But if you want to run with the big dogs, you have to get up off the porch.

Flash writes:
They do not need to justify anything to not believe in gods.Wrong, Flash. You beg the very question in making the statement.

Flash writes:
Rather, it is the theists who have to show that there is a god!You beg the question. The Bible says you already know He exists and that you're accountable to Him. For your view to be true, you've got to justify your assumption of some default tabula rasa, which you can't do. The Bible says your default condition is belief in God, and that you work aggressively to deny, distort and distance yourself from that truth. So now the burden is back on you.

Flash writes:
Your argument is a god of the gaps argument.How so?

Flash writes:
You can't justify induction or moving from the particular to the universal, so you make up something that will explain it.As I mentioned to Aussie, this is not a matter of waiting for science to come up with or discover the explanation for the bacterial flagellum or some other so-called "irreducible complexity" argument. This is on an epistemic level that does not come under the purview of the scientific method. Surely you must see this. Even if someone were to ludicrously posit some kind of "scientific proof" or "empirical justification" for induction, the question is massively begged, because science is itself an inductive process.

Flash writes:
The problem is that your stopgap invention does not add anything to your predictive power.You've got it exactly backward. What you call a "stopgap invention" is the exclusive accounting for induction, and not only does the Christian worldview have predictive power, it alone can account for predictability. Period. That is to say, atheists must in fact borrow from the Christian worldview for even the simplest predication, let alone predictability and induction.

Flash writes:
Do you believe in the validity of moving from particulars to universals?Of course I do. I never said otherwise. You and I both know it is valid. However, I can account for its validity, its universality and invariance both conceptually and in our experience. As a Christian, I can bridge the gap between the changing particulars of contingent experience and the universal invariant nature of the abstract laws we use to describe and understand it. The atheistic worldview cannot, and indeed borrows from the Christian worldview in order to even try to make sense of the particulars and the universals.

Flash writes:
If, after every time you heard the phrase "Look out Hilston!" you were struck with a blunt object, how long before you would cover your head upon hearing the phrase? How would you justify your action? By positing a God?!? Why would you even need to justify your action?Again, its not a question of the validity of induction. We both know it works. What I'm talking about is the necessary precondition of induction and what accounts for its law-like character in the realm of contingent human experience.

Flash writes:
Even *if* it were necessary for atheists to justify universals, and even *if* there were no atheists who could justify universals, you still need to prove a god exists!Not in this thread. Read the title. But I will be glad to oblige anyway. The proof of the Christian God is the fact that it is not possible for Him not to exist. That is what I've been describing.

Flash writes:
Until then, atheism is a valid worldview, and you have not show the impossibility of it at all.Maybe you need to read a bit more carefully. Your worldview is irrational, Flash, and riddled with question-begging assumptions and hypocritical standards that your own view cannot accommodate. It is inconsistent and arbitrary, and wholly untenable on rational philosophical grounds.

Solipsists, unite!

Jim

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 02:00 AM
But what are the bases of this assumption? Are one's contingent and particular experiences sufficient to justify these assumptions? Why is it that we, as humans, draw abstract universals out of concrete particulars? The atheist cannot answer the problems posed by the existence of universal laws and the orderliness (unity) that is communicated to us in our experience, especially given that our experience is particular (non-universal) and changing (diversity).

Why not?

Neural networks extract universals from particulars. That's what they do and how they work. You and I and everybody we know is equipped with a device that generalizes from particular perceptual input. It's called a brain.


Atheists cannot rationally deal with the "one-and-the-many" problem.

Sure they can.


Dualists have tried, but the result is just as irrational as the materialist view. Atheists who simply pretend that there isn't a problem between universals and particulars succeed only in convincing me that they haven't reflected adequately on the problem (or they're being disingenuous).

Nonsense.

Metaphysics is not the proper realm to discuss such matters.. as it doesn't take into account what particulars and universals really ARE. There are concrete descriptions of these things which are based on the fundamentals of information theory and data processing.

Archaic metaphysical terms only cloud the issue. We can discuss these matters using these old fashioned terms, but what we're really talking about are physical processes that take place in real brains.

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 02:08 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rather, it is the theists who have to show that there is a god!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You beg the question. The Bible says you already know He exists and that you're accountable to Him.

Who gives a rats ear what the Bible says.


For your view to be true, you've got to justify your assumption of some default tabula rasa, which you can't do.

For an athiest view to be true, there must be no evidence of any God. There is no solid evidence of any God beyond the subjective claims of various believers (most of which are contradictory).. therefore the atheist view is true.


The Bible says your default condition is belief in God, and that you work aggressively to deny, distort and distance yourself from that truth. So now the burden is back on you.

Again.. who gives a rats eye what the Bible says. Richard Dawkins says that the onus is on you, and so does Bertrand Russell.. do you care what these people say? Likewise with the Bible.

The existence of any entity is proven by positive evidence FOR its existence, not evidence for its NON existence. If we were to assume that everything that might exist actually "did" exist, then practically everything we could think of would have to exist. This would include green unicorns, great space goats, etc. After all you don't know for sure that there are no leprechauns or fairies.

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 02:51 AM
You've got it exactly backward. What you call a "stopgap invention" is the exclusive accounting for induction, and not only does the Christian worldview have predictive power, it alone can account for predictability. Period. That is to say, atheists must in fact borrow from the Christian worldview for even the simplest predication, let alone predictability and induction.

I see a post in front of me.. I don't duck.. I bump my head. The next day I see the post again.. I bump my head again. On the third day, I make the inference that the post I see in front of me is associated with the pain in my head. I decide to test this hypothesis by ducking. I no longer hurt my head.

So where precisely is the "christian worldview" in this simple description of inference based on experience? Could it not just as easily have a "muslim" worldview, or non-theistic worldview. After all the person sees the post, it hits him in the head, and when he ducks it no-longer hits him. It hardly matters what religion he is.

The truth is that brains evolved to recognize these sorts of causal patterns, and mechanisms that detect them and direct the organism to respond in such a way as to survive more effectively are the results. Logic and reason are names for mechanical systems in the brain which take raw information in, and turn it into activities that increase the probability that the organism will reproduce and pass on the same behaviors.

Hilston
July 15th, 2003, 08:25 AM
Steve,

I like your analogy. It is a bit rough around the edges, but I think we can improve it and make good use of it. You write:
Like our concept of logic, fundamental laws and absolutes the Wheel is another invention of man. Did the wheel always exist before man invented it.Here is how we might improve this scenario so that it makes more sense and is analogically consistent:

Like our concepts of logic, fundamental laws and absolutes, the simple wheel-and-axle machine is another invention or discovery of man. Its invention/discovery, however, is based on principles of physics (such as friction, inertia, torque, radial acceleration and angular momentum) and the properties (such as radius, circumference, surface, coefficient static friction) of circular or elliptical shapes that allow them to overcome friction better than objects with fewer sides. Each of these principles, properties and relationships certainly applied in the world before man came along to name them and formulate the equation laws that describe them. Yes, boulders and tree trunks could roll. Things that possessed these circular or elliptical characteristics, given the right impetus, were quasi-wheel-like, long before man existed. What really made the difference was the invention/discovery of the axle. Then, the potential of wheel could be fully harnessed, controlled and put to work.

But now mankind finds himself in a debate over the nature of existence, human experience and induction. One of the disputants brings into the debate the concept of the newly-discovered wheel-axle machine, and how its discovery speaks to the existence of transcendent laws (universals) that apply repeatedly in their contingent experience (particulars). They then press the question of whether or not certain worldviews can sufficiently account for the consistent usefulness of the wheel. In order to do so, it is challenged that he must be able to adequately and cogently provide for the preconditions of the physics that explain how the wheel-axle machine works, and be able to justify the expectation that the wheel will continue to function in the future as it has in the past. One claims to have a view that is able to coherently describe existence and induction in terms of their use and application of wheel. He asks, Why should we expect the wheel to work next time as it did the last time? How is it that these universal invariant laws repeatedly apply to our particular changing experiences? The materialist tries to answer, but on the materialist worldview, the universals cannot be accounted for. Instead, they are blindly assumed, with no way of testing or proving them. He can use it, and hope that future experiences will be like the past. He can assume that law-like constraints can be relied upon, but he has no warrant for it. Without being able to account for it, he cannot justify his reliance upon it. The wheel-axle is a helpful device. On the Christian theistic worldview, the usefulness and function can be accounted for, and the use of it justified. On the materialist worldview, induction is taken for granted without warrant. Thus, the materialist actually must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make sense of it, and in order to count on induction to hold in future cases.

Aussie writes:
So as the wheel always existed and as it cannot be justified… it means God is a big wheel !Steve, it really makes you look utterly silly to make such statements, as it certainly does not represent the view of anyone so far who is debating the existence of God or the impossibility of atheism on this thread. God is no more a "big wheel" than He is the "laws of logic." These universal laws reflect His nature and character. God did not create them. God's existence is the reason for them.

Jim

flash
July 15th, 2003, 09:01 AM
Originally posted by Hilston

Flash writes:You beg the question. The Bible says you already know He exists and that you're accountable to Him. For your view to be true, you've got to justify your assumption of some default tabula rasa, which you can't do. The Bible says your default condition is belief in God, and that you work aggressively to deny, distort and distance yourself from that truth. So now the burden is back on you.

I have a piece of paper in my hand on which I have just written "Hilston knows that Mickey Mouse exists, and is accountable to him. His default condition is to believe in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck." Now the burden is back on you.


Originally posted by Hilston
Flash writes:Not in this thread. Read the title. But I will be glad to oblige anyway. The proof of the Christian God is the fact that it is not possible for Him not to exist. That is what I've been describing.

I have read the title, and your first post. In them, you are making a claim. Your claim is that God exists. Can you justify this claim? Asserting that atheism cannot account for induction is hardly a proof of a deity.

You are a long way from proving that God exists, and, frankly, I don't think that you are up to the task. My challenge to you is to present a proof of the deity. Only then will you have shown that Atheism is impossible.

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 09:22 AM
On the Christian theistic worldview, the usefulness and function can be accounted for, and the use of it justified. On the materialist worldview, induction is taken for granted without warrant. Thus, the materialist actually must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make sense of it, and in order to count on induction to hold in future cases.

Actually, I don't need to borrow from the "christian" worldview to justify reality. My niece attributes every event to Santa Claus. I think her justification works just as well as yours.

Just to check, I asked her if why physics works the way it does (uhh, not in so many words). She said "Santa Claus" did it (paraphrasing). I asked her whether we could rely on it continuing to operate the way it does now in the future.. same answer. So now I no longer have any annoying questions about reality.. it's all been answered. If you do not know the answers to these questions then "you" are relying on my nieces "Santa" worldview.

Does this sufficiently illustrate the preposterous nature of your argument? If it doesn't, I can spell it out for you.

heusdens
July 15th, 2003, 09:22 AM
Computer (software / hardware) anology to the mind / matter problem

Or knowing what God in fact IS

As far as it goes, let us propose and assume here that we can make the analogy of how a computer works and how our minds versus matter works.
- Software is then the analogy for consciousness (mind);
- Hardware is then the anology for matter

In a computer we can store all kind of information. Although there are other (more sophistocated) storage and retrieval systems, one of the most used is that of a hierarchical directory structure.
A directory structure is defined as follows. A directory is just a name or label for a storage case where files of all possibe types can be stored; any directory can be a sub-directory of it's parent.
But in able to acces the directory structure, we have to assume or state something. In fact the directory structure needs a root, otherwise we could have in principle an infinite directory structure, without there being a entrance directory.
Computer systems are thus built that they have a main entrance, the root directory, to access the fysical storage system.
But we can also access information in the computer using virtual strorage / retrieval structures. For instance in the case we have several disk units (each having their own root) or gave access to a network, we must provide a new upper level for access.

On a windows computer, therefore we have a virtual entrance to all our fysical storage units in the form of a Desktop.
This level is virtual, since it isn't a fysical thing, although it is implemented as a directory on your boot disk (for example: C:\WINDOWS\DESKTOP).

For a mind, to have access to and perform the functions in consciousness, we also need a main entrance level. We need to assume something, or base ourselves on something.
This can be understood as that we have constructed axiomatic systems, that all need to take some basic assumptions, and be based on some fundamental axioms.
The axioms themselves are nothing but founding axioms, on which all of the formal system is built. The axiom itself can however not be reasoned about, within that particular belief system.
But as the mathematician Kurt Godel showed, no formal system can be complete and consistent at the same time. It means there are statements within the formal system of which the truth value is unkown.

Another anology between how consciousness works and how software works is that in order for a computer to function, it needs to know certain things. It needs some basic information to start the system, and to perform anything.
In computer jargon this is known as the boot operation. It starts with executing a procedure in the ROM BIOS, that then subsequently starts a boot program on the boot disk in the boot sector of the boot partition.
This performs some basic operations, which enables the computer and software that can run on the computer, to know how and where it can access the peripherals, it loads the necessary (OS dependend) device drivers, etc.

Consciousness needs also to have some basic knowledge, in order for it to know how it can 'trust' it's own awareness. It needs to know how to interpret certain input data.
There needs to be some hardcoded information in the brain, that enable us to verrify the truth of something.

How can we know for instance that we are not living an illusion, that there in fact is an objective reality which we have acces to through our sensory perceptions.
This is a very basic and fundamental philosophical issue, known as The Fundamental Question (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8244)
How can we know that - in fact - there is an objective reality, and that this is not just an illusion created by our own minds?

The answer is: we can go into a self diagnosis, and verify the truth of all our knowledge and the truth about our sensory perceptions.

Such a self test / self diagnosis, is like making a radical assumption about reality, to verify the truth about reality itself.
We could for example assume that no such reality AT ALL exists, and then see where this assumption would lead to. It would lead to the fact that in last instance we have to acknowledge the fact that at least our mental activity itself exists (since we perceive of them), and that without there being an objective world, no such activity could exist either. This would urge us then to conclude that our initial assumption (reality itself, as everything which is outside and independend of our own mind) can not be true.

Wether we call this hardwired self test/ self diagnose procedure God, a fundamental postulate or just state that the material world itself can not fail to exist, is not much different, and they provide for us the same function: having a basic and fundamental postuale about reality itself.

It's our hardwired basic proposition about reality: we have to assume that reaility itself exists, and need to be able to verify that, and that is not something we can alter, since it is not LEARNT but is hardwired in our circuits.

If we can recognize and acknowledge this fundamental knowledge we have about the world and about our consciousness, most quarels and discussions between for example theism and atheism could be satisfactory solved.
We just have to get rid of the IDEA that this hardwired internal self verification thing, is something OUTSIDE of our own consciousness, but just part of our consciousness, and forms for that the basic layer. It's a basic proposition about reality itself, that enables us to verify and acknowledge the truth about reality.

Human culture through history has developed this into a form of religion, but in current days with current available knowledge we can see this in a different perspective and get rid of the human developed concepts itself, which have been added to this, and adresses the reality of this.

The conclusion of our self test are these:
- Reality itself can never fail to exist, since we can never assume we ourselves (our mental processes) do not exist.
- Our awareness about reality, are a truth knowable to us, which we can verify at the basis of this self test.
- This basic proposition we have about our consciousness and how it relates to the outside world, enables us to verify the truth of our awarenesses about the outer objective reality.

Or stated a bit differently:
- 'God' (the self test / self diagnose hardcoded in our brain) resides in our own mind, as the most basic level (comparable with a ROM BIOS procedure in the computer anology)
- 'God' creates our awareness, in the sense that it enables us to verify the truth of those awarenesses, and acknowledge the fact that an objective reality DOES in fact exist.
- It can however not be concluded that the awareness about reality and it's truth base, which are consolidated entirely within our own minds, have any relevanve to the outside objective world itself.
- 'God' did therefore not 'create' the outside world itself, only our inner perception and trust in the reality of it.

flash
July 15th, 2003, 09:45 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Ben
Actually, I don't need to borrow from the "christian" worldview to justify reality. My niece attributes every event to Santa Claus. I think her justification works just as well as yours.

Just to check, I asked her if why physics works the way it does (uhh, not in so many words). She said "Santa Claus" did it (paraphrasing). I asked her whether we could rely on it continuing to operate the way it does now in the future.. same answer. So now I no longer have any annoying questions about reality.. it's all been answered. If you do not know the answers to these questions then "you" are relying on my nieces "Santa" worldview.

Does this sufficiently illustrate the preposterous nature of your argument? If it doesn't, I can spell it out for you.

LOL! It sounds like your niece has been studying VanTil!

Hilston
July 15th, 2003, 11:15 AM
Hi Steve,

Jim wrote: Aussie Thinker has offered his explanation. I wish everyone could read it, and like me, recognize how fanciful, naive and utterly uncompelling it is.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Others have read my explanation and find it completely coherent and compelling.I said above, "I wish ..." Obviously that's a tall order, especially given the sloppy thinking that typically passes for debate on this subject. The reason others find it coherent and compelling is that they are failing to recognize the naivete and the irrationality of your story. I still wonder if you do.

Aussie Thinker writes:
It makes perfect sense and stops 1 step short of stepping into fancy like your explanation does.It's interesting that you use this "step" metaphor to describe this siutation, as if I choose to climb one more ladder rung or tier than you do. You misunderstand that my "extra step" is not really a "step" at all, and the idea really fails to characterize the nature of debate. Rather than being an added "step," it is actually the very bedrock upon with the entire ladder rests. It's not merely a question of adding a layer of complexity, as you've suggested. Rather, it is recognizing the solid foundation that you and I both have when we come to these ultimate metaphysical and epistemological questions. One of us recognizes that foundation; the other blindly assumes that there is no foundation and is content to float in the void, begging crucial questions at every juncture, basically presuming to levitate yourself by your own bootstraps.

Aussie Thinker writes:
You find it incoherent as you are blinded by faith ...Do you hear yourself? You're the one who said, "It just happened because it happened." That is as blind and as irrational as a thinking mind can get. If any of your readers are proud of you for saying that, what can I say? You can lead a horse to water, but getting him to float on his back is another matter entirely.

Aussie Thinker writes:
... in a mythical inexplicable, illogical and patently ridiculous God.Are you now recanting your earlier statements about my worldview being coherent and consistent?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Your myopia does not allow you to comprehend a world view that does not include your strange deity !Actually, rationality, logic, and reason do not allow me to call a worldview such as yours "intelligible." It is a mixed bag of contradictions and fanciful stories. As to the "strangeness" of my Deity, you know very well who He is. You know Him and you call him strange because you've deliberately estranged yourself from Him. I don't say this to be annoying or as proof of anything. I'm simply stating the true facts to oppose your false claims.

Aussie Thinker writes:
The assumptions of our reality are completely warranted.How so? Show me the error in my reasoning, or expose a false or unjustified assumption. (Don't just say "God's existence." That's too easy, and you can't prove it. Show us something that you can prove).

Aussie Thinker writes:
Your mumbo jumbo about matrix type versions of reality are not SOLVED by adding a God into the mix.There you go again. Whenever the water gets too warm, you retreat to your Matrix escape hatch. Waiting there to catch you is another boiling pot.

Aussie Thinker writes:
As I have stated 100 times before, you accept your reality as coming from a God (which just happened) I accept our reality as just happening (see the shortened step?)I accept my reality as coming from God and all human experience, laws of logic, science, mathematics, ethics, knowledge, human dignity, and the comprehensibility of nature cohere and make sense. Your "shortened step" of "accepting reality" (Which reality? Your Matrix reality again, perhaps?) as "just happening" is unproven, untested, blind, faith based, incoherent, incomprehensible, unwarranted, unjustified and utterly irrational. You haven't been able to prove otherwise, and with every protest, you solidify the Bible's case against you.

Jim wrote: Atheists who simply pretend that there isn't a problem between universals and particulars succeed only in convincing me that they haven't reflected adequately on the problem (or they're being disingenuous).

Aussie Thinker writes:
It is obvious to an atheist that everything we see and all the laws we perceive are products of a natural universe.It's an unjustified claim. Let's consider your Matrix escape pod. You blindly assume that your senses are providing accurate data input to your brain. You assume that your brain accurately interprets particular data bits and properly assembles them into intelligible descriptions about the reality you presume to perceive. You have no way of testing your input for proper calibration; you have no way of testing your reasoning faculties for correspondence with the real world. You are thus impaled on the spike of a serious epistemological conundrum. Your use of the word "obvious" begs the very question you presume to answer.

Aussie Thinker writes:
The FACT that everything makes sense implies NATURE.. if things did not make sense then THAT would point to supernatural occurrences and therefore imply a GOD !The Bible instructs us to recognize the intelligibility and orderliness of nature. The Bible also explains that today, with the advent of the Pauline canon and in this particular period of God's dealing with man, miracles have ceased. This is perfectly consonant with what we experience today. Your arbitrary requirement that God needs to "muck around" with nature is wholly unwarranted, and logically untenable.

Aussie Thinker writes:
That you KNOW everything has a natural origin and yet add some mystical supernatural layer in shows that your need for a God is overcoming your human born rationality.Did you use the word "rationality"? Do you realize that you have yet to sufficiently demonstrate that you're even qualified to use the word, let alone making assessments about what is or is not rational.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Your assumption that these laws etc. are universal and separate to man is only that.. your assumption.. born of the need to have a Supernatural Deity. The laws etc are mere constructs of man.. like God. If you think about it you have just constructed a God to account for the laws I just say the laws themselves are a construct (see again I save an illogical step)If it is true that all these laws are only human conventions, as you suggest, and if all these laws are not really law-like in their nature, then they’re just brain states, something that happens inside the brain. But now you still have the same problem because what goes on inside of your brain is not the same thing that goes on inside of mine. Therefore, these conventions are not laws and do not necessarily correspond between different brains. If they are only human constructs of social conventions, then you could just end this right now and say, "My brain state tells me that modus ponens it is in fact an incoherent tautology, so whenever Jim applies this logical convention to his worldview it is in error." But if you were to do that, even your atheist friends would protest and say you're not being logical or rational. So, despite your claim that the laws of logic are merely conventions, you and your atheist friends don't function that way in your daily life. You accept the laws of logic and the uniformity of nature as exhibiting law-like characteristics, contrary your own claims that the universe is undirected and random. It's the same tension between Parmenides and Heraclitus right here in the 21st century.

Aussie Thinker writes:
I know that theists (as they are so into a faith based world) ...Aussie, have you forgotten that you blindly assume, without sufficient proof, that induction works and will continue to work? It is faith-based. You take it on faith that induction is useful and gives you an accurate assessment of your daily experience. Faith-based. Say it with me: Faith-based.

Aussie Thinker writes:
[theists] think everyone lives by faith but you just have to give up that notion.Why should I? Give me a good reason. Prove that your worldview is NOT faith-based and I'll stop saying it.

Aussie Thinker writes:
The fact that we see this Universe as ordered is simply because we are a product of it.Simply? Then prove its simplicity and provide for us the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of human experience. The whole atheist world will thank you and then we can all go home.

Aussie Thinker writes:
It is IMPOSSIBLE for a universe to produce a creature that would not find it own universe ordered !I have a few trees (a product of the ordered universe) on my property that seem fairly unaware of the order in the universe. There is also a pile of earth in my garden (a product of the ordered universe) that seems to be equally unaware. Do you realize what you're saying? And if, on your view, evolution invents by necessity, and if there are plenty of critters in the world that function just fine without reasoning faculties, I'm curious to know, on your view, what was the necessity that evolution was answering?

Aussie Thinker writes:
What astounds me is this is so OBVIOUS yet you have to invent a deity to explain the order ???... when DISORDER is actually what would imply something supernatural !

Aussie Thinker writes:[quote]The simple fact that we see an ordered universe is because we are product of it.Atheists crack me up. You call something a "simple fact," yet you can't prove it. That kind of undermines its simplicity, doesn't it? Lots of people are reading this, you know. Please be more careful.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Your ridiculous circuitous argument is basically saying.. Did you say "ridiculous circuitous"? Aren't you the one who said, "It just happened because it happened"?

Aussie Thinker writes:
You completely ignore the simple fact that reason developed along with our large brain it was not “given” to us by a supernatural deity.Did you say "simple fact" again? Maybe "simple" has a different meaning in the atheist mind?

Aussie Thinker writes:
At some stage BOTH of us end up with a “It just happened”.. me with the universe you with God.. difference is I have reduced the level of complexity and confusion.You keep asserting that, but you fail miserably to demonstrate or to prove it. God did not "happen," and every assertion you make, every predication that comes through your keyboard further points to His eternal existence. No other worldview can account for the many and the one, unity and diversity, contingencies and laws, and your every utterance affirms both, but you cannot account for it. The Triune God, the ultimate Many-and-One, exclusively gives meaning and intelligibility to our experience.

Aussie Thinker writes:
The “laws” you speak of are conceived by MAN.. we invent them as a concept. Do you understand that ?You admitted yourself that they exist independently of man -- just like the wheel. Why do you equivocate?

Jim wrote: With these admissions, however, should also come the recognition that using logic and inference order to explain or understand things is baldly begging the very question, assuming the verity of a system in advance. Therefore, such a worldview comes down to an arbitrary preference, and not an intellectual necessity, and despite this, the atheist blindly assumes to attach meaning to his experience.

Aussie Thinker writes:
There you go again assuming because YOU need meaning that the atheist does too.You know better than this, Steve. You need meaning in your experience to even make a sentence.

Aussie Thinker writes:
It is VERY clear to me that these constructs of logic etc that man uses are useful cerebral tools to make sense of the universe..How is it clear to you? Are you using your cerebral tools to evaluate your cerebral tools? That type of question-begging might fly amongst those who share your worldview, but that's a big no-no here.

Aussie Thinker writes:
... they are just the same as you inventing a God to make sense of your universe. Of course both out “inventions” are “preferences”… mine is just a logical sensible one.. Your invention of logic is logical? Do you not detect a conflict of interest here?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Atheism scares you doesn’t it Jim ?Not at all. I used to be one. Now I look for atheism anywhere I can find it.

Aussie Thinker writes:
I can see that you are intelligent. It is obvious by the twists, turns and hoops you are putting your mind through to justify your God fantasy.I thought it was coherent and consistent? Are you reversing your earlier statement?

Aussie Thinker writes:
Your only defence against your own logic is this house of cards justification you have built up.You and others are fond of making this assertion, but a "house of cards" should be rather easy to knock down, right? So go ahead.

Aussie Thinker writes:
Don’t feel to bad about giving up and coming over to the “dark side”. It’s not really dark.. in fact it is quite illuminated.What you call illumination is actually empty reasoning and a darkened mind (Ro 1:21). I prefer rationality and intelligibility in my worldview, not to mention the unwavering certitude and assurance of having my sins atoned for, no longer fearing the wrath of God, and being eternally secure in the love of Christ.

Thanks for the invitation nonetheless! I wish I could "invite" you to Christ, but it's really not biblical. The command is to believe and repent. There is no invitation.

Thanks for the dialogue,
Jim

heusdens
July 15th, 2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
Jim wrote: With these admissions, however, should also come the recognition that using logic and inference order to explain or understand things is baldly begging the very question, assuming the verity of a system in advance. Therefore, such a worldview comes down to an arbitrary preference, and not an intellectual necessity, and despite this, the atheist blindly assumes to attach meaning to his experience.





You keep asserting that, but you fail miserably to demonstrate or to prove it. God did not "happen," and every assertion you make, every predication that comes through your keyboard further points to His eternal existence. No other worldview can account for the many and the one, unity and diversity, contingencies and laws, and your every utterance affirms both, but you cannot account for it. The Triune God, the ultimate Many-and-One, exclusively gives meaning and intelligibility to our experience.


No other worldview? Realy? How many "worldviews" did you study in your life?
Your worldview (theism) does fact not even consider that there in fact is an objective reality. It is not to be argued that we can only know about the world in a subjective way, but this does not contradict the fact that an objective reality has to exist, we can partly and in a relative way know.

Have you ever read anything about dialectical-materialism as a philosophical worldview?

flash
July 15th, 2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
No other worldview can account for the many and the one, unity and diversity, contingencies and laws, and your every utterance affirms both, but you cannot account for it. The Triune God, the ultimate Many-and-One, exclusively gives meaning and intelligibility to our experience.


Using presupositional tactics similar to those of the Christian Presuppositionalists, it is trivial to construct worldviews. These worldviews are nothing but large scale "god-of-the-gaps" arguments. They begin with an assertion granting ultimate authority to something or other (this is the presupposition). To remain in that worldview, you only need to stay away from that ulimate assertion.

For example, for my presupposition, I will choose myslef as the ultimate authority and arbiter of all things. Now, try and refute my worldview. Be careful not to contradict the presupposition!

Hilston
July 15th, 2003, 05:52 PM
Hi Heusdens,

Jim wrote: God is conscious, and is non-material. The angels have consciousness, but they are non-material. The souls burning in hell are conscious, and they are non-material.

heusdens writes:
What is rational about that?It's perfectly rational. If God is the Creator, a conscious non-corporeal Being, and if He chose to create beings that are non-material and conscious, then it is perfectly rational that said beings should exist.

Jim asked: How is it, on your worldview, that there can be both subjectivity and objectivity? Is the universe uniform and objective? Or is it subjective and contingent? How can it be both?

heusdens writes:
Because there is consciousness that reflects on an objective world.How do know that? How have you tested it?

heusdens writes:
Consciousness is not defined without there being an objective world, since then nothing would exist.How have you proven this conjecture? If so, how?

Jim asked: When did you last encounter a conscious program? And what sort of tests did you perform to ascertain whether or not the conscious component of the program was hardware-dependent?

heusdens writes:
Answers: -I run one.Really? Who wrote the program?

heusdens writes:
-Self-test (see below under 'verification')The link doesn't work.

Jim asked: do you have such "peripherals"? Have you tested them to see if they work? How did you go about testing them?

heusdens writes:
As a matter of fact I have! They are my eyes, ears, touch, smell, hands, feet, etc. (and also my mouth and stomach and penis and anus, for the energy supply and waiste). I test them every day.How do you test them without question-begging? What criteria have you established to determine whether or not the input devices are receiving their data accurately, and how do you examine that criteria if not with the very senses your are presumably assessing? And have you calibrated your CPU to correspond accurately with the objective world? What do you use to calibrate it, and what do you use to verify that the calibration is successful?

heusdens writes:
I run self-tests every day. I compare resulsts with other programs, ...Do you use your peripherals to compare the results, heusdans? That's a no-no, you know.

heusdens writes:
... and I extend my peripherals with outside things, and I read knowledge, and compare that with own results.Then you trust your CPU to accurately process and assess the input data? How have you tested its veracity?

heusdens writes:
I verified that solipsism is incorrect. Wanna hear how I verified this?I am very interested, but the link doesn't work.

heusdens writes:
And by the way also the mother program which had spawned me told me, and I know that is not a lie!Perhaps the mother program was lied to? Or perhaps the mother program is a figment of your solipsistic imagination?

Solipsists, unite!

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 06:32 PM
We could for example assume that no such reality AT ALL exists, and
then see where this assumption would lead to. It would lead to the fact that in last instance we have to acknowledge the fact that at least our mental activity itself exists (since we perceive of them), and that without there being an objective world, no such activity could exist either.

Oops.. you've made a mistake here. "This" physical world does not need to be the real one in order for your mind to exist. "This" world could be a fake world.. your mind might be floating in a vat of nutrients somewhere in an alien laboratory.

In any case, it doesn't matter. If your brain is floating in a vat, or you are having a lucid dream, or you are dead and reminiscing reality.. if there is no way for you to tell the difference between any of these things.. they are all meaningless. A difference that makes no difference is really no difference at all. If an empirical postulate is not verifiable, it is meaningless (the formal statement is for you jiggy).

Aussie Thinker
July 15th, 2003, 06:38 PM
Hi again Jim,

I thought you had forgotten me.. but I see I am still failing to dissuade your of your strange constructed notion that our human constructs imply a God ?


I said above, "I wish ..." Obviously that's a tall order, especially given the sloppy thinking that typically passes for debate on this subject. The reason others find it coherent and compelling is that they are failing to recognize the naivete and the irrationality of your story. I still wonder if you do.

Clearly it is you who have trouble understanding it otherwise it would seem completely rational.


It's interesting that you use this "step" metaphor to describe this siutation, as if I choose to climb one more ladder rung or tier than you do. You misunderstand that my "extra step" is not really a "step" at all, and the idea really fails to characterize the nature of debate. Rather than being an added "step," it is actually the very bedrock upon with the entire ladder rests. It's not merely a question of adding a layer of complexity, as you've suggested. Rather, it is recognizing the solid foundation that you and I both have when we come to these ultimate metaphysical and epistemological questions. One of us recognizes that foundation; the other blindly assumes that there is no foundation and is content to float in the void, begging crucial questions at every juncture, basically presuming to levitate yourself by your own bootstraps.

Your “solid” foundation has been invented by you. My foundation solidly ends just before the realm of fantasy. You still don’t quite understand the extra step you are taking. I sympathise a bit with you. The concept of infinity is difficult for humans and many hold on to the notion of a God to cope with it. They don’t even see the irony that God was either caused or existed for infinity too !


Do you hear yourself? You're the one who said, "It just happened because it happened." That is as blind and as irrational as a thinking mind can get. If any of your readers are proud of you for saying that, what can I say? You can lead a horse to water, but getting him to float on his back is another matter entirely.

No.. you have FAITH that a God just happened because it happened. I have NO faith whatsoever that the Universe just happened because it happened. All things KNOWN have a natural cause.. it is fair to ASSUME that everything unknown will have to. I am not presumptuous enough to say I KNOW what happened it is just logical to ASSUME it was not something supernatural.

THAT IS NOT FAITH !


Are you now recanting your earlier statements about my worldview being coherent and consistent?

Why would an intelligent human hold a view that wasn’t coherent (at least to them). Incoherency is the realm of babbling fools. You view is coherent.. I understand it.. it COHERES. That doesn’t make it sensible to me. The Greeks had a coherent worldview with their pantheon of Gods. Doesn’t mean their God weren’t a ridiculous invention.


Actually, rationality, logic, and reason do not allow me to call a worldview such as yours "intelligible." It is a mixed bag of contradictions and fanciful stories.

I don’t mean to be mean here but that line is just hilarious. The irony of someone who believes the stories of the Bible are true declaring that I believe in fanciful “stories” is amazing.


As to the "strangeness" of my Deity, you know very well who He is. You know Him and you call him strange because you've deliberately estranged yourself from Him. I don't say this to be annoying or as proof of anything. I'm simply stating the true facts to oppose your false claims.

It’s no less annoying than me telling you that you KNOW you are fooling yourself about a God. You know he has never talked to you or revealed himself to you. This I KNOW for a fact because if he had he would have done the same to me.. and he hasn’t.


How so? Show me the error in my reasoning, or expose a false or unjustified assumption. (Don't just say "God's existence." That's too easy, and you can't prove it. Show us something that you can prove).

Nothing ever known has had a supernatural origin. You are therefore unjustified in assuming that the supernatural exists.


There you go again. Whenever the water gets too warm, you retreat to your Matrix escape hatch. Waiting there to catch you is another boiling pot.

You are the one who keeps raising the “how do you KNOW your reasoning works” situations.

Let me try an put this clearly. Every question you raise about justification of our consciousness can be put squarely back to you about justification of your God and his creation of consciousness.

You don’t seem to understand this simple fact.. You think God justifies your reasoning.. but you have just invented God.. so like me you have no justification for your reasoning anyway.


I accept my reality as coming from God and all human experience, laws of logic, science, mathematics, ethics, knowledge, human dignity, and the comprehensibility of nature cohere and make sense. Your "shortened step" of "accepting reality" (Which reality? Your Matrix reality again, perhaps?) as "just happening" is unproven, untested, blind, faith based, incoherent, incomprehensible, unwarranted, unjustified and utterly irrational. You haven't been able to prove otherwise, and with every protest, you solidify the Bible's case against you.

Just claiming a God and his creation of reasoning doesn’t make it so. I explained earlier that you do a worse case of “just happening” than I do.. then claim you don’t.


It's an unjustified claim. Let's consider your Matrix escape pod. You blindly assume that your senses are providing accurate data input to your brain. You assume that your brain accurately interprets particular data bits and properly assembles them into intelligible descriptions about the reality you presume to perceive. You have no way of testing your input for proper calibration; you have no way of testing your reasoning faculties for correspondence with the real world. You are thus impaled on the spike of a serious epistemological conundrum. Your use of the word "obvious" begs the very question you presume to answer.

You do exactly the same things as I do with your brain and reasoning.. but then add the complexity of a God to account for its existence.


The Bible instructs us to recognize the intelligibility and orderliness of nature.

Yet mentions many supernatural thing which we NEVER see any more.


The Bible also explains that today, with the advent of the Pauline canon and in this particular period of God's dealing with man, miracles have ceased. This is perfectly consonant with what we experience today.

Isn’t that lucky.. when “miracles” could be proven to not exist or never happen ot have natural explanation .. they suddenly cease.. C’mon Jim even you have to admit for anyone this points to the fact that they NEVER did.


Your arbitrary requirement that God needs to "muck around" with nature is wholly unwarranted, and logically untenable.

Yet if he parted the Red Sea under the cameras of CNN it would go a long way to proving he exists. We ONLY ever see the natural world.. implying the supernatural does not exist. Yet you take this natural world as some sort of proof that a supernatural deity exist.. boy you really have to bend over backwards to arrive at that one !


Did you use the word "rationality"? Do you realize that you have yet to sufficiently demonstrate that you're even qualified to use the word, let alone making assessments about what is or is not rational.

Here is where we are different. I don’t ever knock your rationality because I understand what your problem is. I clearly see you have intelligence but like many people your need for a God and an afterlife overrides you basic human rationality. In other words you are completely rational except where it comes to God. I on the other remain rational at all times.. I have NO agenda.. I don’t care if there is or isn’t a God.


If it is true that all these laws are only human conventions, as you suggest, and if all these laws are not really law-like in their nature, then they’re just brain states, something that happens inside the brain. But now you still have the same problem because what goes on inside of your brain is not the same thing that goes on inside of mine. Therefore, these conventions are not laws and do not necessarily correspond between different brains. If they are only human constructs of social conventions, then you could just end this right now and say, "My brain state tells me that modus ponens it is in fact an incoherent tautology, so whenever Jim applies this logical convention to his worldview it is in error." But if you were to do that, even your atheist friends would protest and say you're not being logical or rational. So, despite your claim that the laws of logic are merely conventions, you and your atheist friends don't function that way in your daily life. You accept the laws of logic and the uniformity of nature as exhibiting law-like characteristics, contrary your own claims that the universe is undirected and random. It's the same tension between Parmenides and Heraclitus right here in the 21st century.

Boy that was a mouthful to actually convey very little. You still fail to get the “laws” of the universe make sense with the Universe they are in. This is the only possible outcome.


Aussie, have you forgotten that you blindly assume, without sufficient proof, that induction works and will continue to work? It is faith-based. You take it on faith that induction is useful and gives you an accurate assessment of your daily experience. Faith-based. Say it with me: Faith-based.

You have to stop being hung up with Faith.. I know it rules your life but it has very little to do with mine. I explained earlier that I do not have Faith in what happened I just don’t delve into a fantasy of a God to explain it.


Why should I? Give me a good reason. Prove that your worldview is NOT faith-based and I'll stop saying it.

Well I have said it a few times but here goes. I do not have Faith that the Universe just happened. But as everything that has EVER happened has been shown to have natural origins it makes sense that the Universe did to… This is not Faith it is just a logical extrapolation from known information.


Simply? Then prove its simplicity and provide for us the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of human experience. The whole atheist world will thank you and then we can all go home.

We are a product of the universe.. Simply was just an expression.. would you feel better if I said we are a product of the universe which culminated from a long line of complex reactions and evolution ? We are just an accident of the universe.. why does this cause you such concern.


I have a few trees (a product of the ordered universe)

Nice to see you are starting to come around


on my property that seem fairly unaware of the order in the universe. There is also a pile of earth in my garden (a product of the ordered universe) that seems to be equally unaware. Do you realize what you're saying? And if, on your view, evolution invents by necessity, and if there are plenty of critters in the world that function just fine without reasoning faculties

Yes but we did develop reasoning capabilities and therefore we reason that the universe is ordered.. to us it is anyway as we are products of it.


I'm curious to know, on your view, what was the necessity that evolution was answering?

Ah ha… finally we get to the crux of your problem. Your world view ALWAYS requires a reason. Therefore natural things (which have no reason) are an anathema to you. You must hate that so many natural things happen without reason. Evolution followed no necessity.. we are just an end product of it.


Atheists crack me up. You call something a "simple fact," yet you can't prove it. That kind of undermines its simplicity, doesn't it? Lots of people are reading this, you know. Please be more careful.

I can prove it to most rational peoples satisfaction just not yours. The universe as we perceive it is ordered and natural. The proof being that everything that has EVER happened has been ordered an Natural. It is logical to therefore assume No supernatural.


Did you say "ridiculous circuitous"? Aren't you the one who said, "It just happened because it happened"?

You keep trying to taint me with YOUR own rationale. Your God just happened because it happened. I do not know the origin of the Universe but I extrapolate (logically) that it had a natural origin.


Did you say "simple fact" again? Maybe "simple" has a different meaning in the atheist mind?

We do actually have intelligence (in spite of your convoluted justification) .. it does exist. Is that a simple fact or not ?


You keep asserting that, but you fail miserably to demonstrate or to prove it. God did not "happen,"

Whichever way you try and sell God existence .. he either popped out of nothing or always was means “Just happened”


and every assertion you make, every predication that comes through your keyboard further points to His eternal existence. No other worldview can account for the many and the one, unity and diversity, contingencies and laws, and your every utterance affirms both, but you cannot account for it. The Triune God, the ultimate Many-and-One, exclusively gives meaning and intelligibility to our experience.

There you go again.. the need for meaning. That is your underlying failure to understand my world view. But c’mon Jim.. a triune God.. Father Son and Holy ghost.. this is the set of God that made the universe.. at leats grab a God that is feasible. That Christian one is just so full of ridiculous contradictions that it is laughable.


You admitted yourself that they exist independently of man -- just like the wheel. Why do you equivocate?

We think they exist independent of man.. no equivocation there.. I have explained that to you before. I find it a little disingenuous of you to declare I equivocate AGAIN.


You know better than this, Steve. You need meaning in your experience to even make a sentence.

No I need NO meaning for life to make a sentence. I make sentences and argue has I find it enjoyable.. just like a good meal. I would love to know how we got here but it requires no “meaning” to it.


How is it clear to you? Are you using your cerebral tools to evaluate your cerebral tools? That type of question-begging might fly amongst those who share your worldview, but that's a big no-no here.

Yes I am using my cerebral tools to evaluate my cerebral tools.. why is that a problem ?


Your invention of logic is logical? Do you not detect a conflict of interest here?

Not at all. Do you ?


Not at all. I used to be one. Now I look for atheism anywhere I can find it.

What on Earth induced you to go from atheism to Christianity. The Christian God is a ridiculous contradictory one. I find it hard to accept that anyone could take that guff on board without deluding themselves that our consciousness requires a reason.. oh hang on …


I thought it was coherent and consistent? Are you reversing your earlier statement?

I believe people can have coherent and consistent fantasies. Children firmly believe (coherently and consistently) in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. God is just a childhood fantasy adults find hard to give up.


You and others are fond of making this assertion, but a "house of cards" should be rather easy to knock down, right? So go ahead.

I can’t help it Jim if you stand there with a flattened house all around you declaring look at my wonderful house ! You just don’t recognise it is flat !


What you call illumination is actually empty reasoning and a darkened mind (Ro 1:21). I prefer rationality and intelligibility in my worldview, not to mention the unwavering certitude and assurance of having my sins atoned for, no longer fearing the wrath of God, and being eternally secure in the love of Christ.

Which sins did you commit that needed to be atoned for. And who atoned for them ..Jesus ?.. the son of God who was sacrificed.. well for 3 days anyway (was that a real sacrifice ?). I would like to think Christ loves you but I do believe he died at about 2,000 years ago. I am sure the atoms that made him up still exist somewhere though.


Thanks for the invitation nonetheless! I wish I could "invite" you to Christ, but it's really not biblical. The command is to believe and repent. There is no invitation.

The same sort of command that a 1,000 other religions make. Other religions that seem as ridiculous to you as yours does to me.


Thanks for the dialogue

You to mate

Steve

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 06:48 PM
Jim wrote: God is conscious, and is non-material. The angels have consciousness, but they are non-material. The souls burning in hell are conscious, and they are non-material.

heusdens writes:
What is rational about that?

It's perfectly rational. If God is the Creator, a conscious non-corporeal Being, and if He chose to create beings that are non-material and conscious, then it is perfectly rational that said beings should exist.

It is also rational that fire spirits exist, as the volcano God created them during the dawn of the world.

Sheesh.



Jim asked: When did you last encounter a conscious program? And what sort of tests did you perform to ascertain whether or not the conscious component of the program was hardware-dependent?

heusdens writes:
Answers: -I run one.

Really? Who wrote the program?

What parts of consciousness are you talking about? If you're talking about recall and decision making.. there is software that does this. Task management and resource allocation.. software does this as well. Self reflection.. there is software that does this.

Is there software that duplicates the entire faculties of the human mind at this point.. the answer is no. But there is no reason to believe there won't be this kind of software in the realtively near future. The technical hurdles are not that steep.


How do you test them without question-begging? What criteria have you established to determine whether or not the input devices are receiving their data accurately, and how do you examine that criteria if not with the very senses your are presumably assessing? And have you calibrated your CPU to correspond accurately with the objective world? What do you use to calibrate it, and what do you use to verify that the calibration is successful?

All that is required is for the input you recieve to be coherent. The question of whether our perception of the outside world is "real" or not is meaningless. If you hit your head on a post, it hurts, regardless of whether it's "real" or not. If you duck to avoid it, it won't hurt. What more evidence of the outside world do you need.

As for a transcendental knowledge of "truth" via theism.. well it simplyh doesn't work. How can you be sure your belief in God is justified? If you can't be sure that God exists, then you can't be sure of logic, reason, and cause and effect, and then you're back in the same boat again.

Merely making the "claim" that God exists does not get you out of your connundrum. If you can't prove it, you still have the same metaphysical doubt as the athiest has. The only thing you have accomplished is to construct a facile and self satisfied shell of smugness based on faulty logic.


Then you trust your CPU to accurately process and assess the input data? How have you tested its veracity?

If you keep missing the post when you duck, and keep hurting your head when you don't, you are confirming "an" outside world. This world is sufficiently defined by our consistent and coherent perception of it. It does not require any other justification.


And by the way also the mother program which had spawned me told me, and I know that is not a lie!

Perhaps the mother program was lied to? Or perhaps the mother program is a figment of your solipsistic imagination?

But books like the bible are known to be 100% accurate (never mind the self contradictions contained within).

I think you and heusdens are on the same side of the fence. The only thing we "can" be sure of, and that we really "need" to be sure of is the consistency and temporal coherence of our own experience, and the commensurability of our experience with others. The rest is meaningless.

Hilston
July 15th, 2003, 07:01 PM
Hi Mr. Ben,

Jim wrote: But what are the bases of this assumption? Are one's contingent and particular experiences sufficient to justify these assumptions? Why is it that we, as humans, draw abstract universals out of concrete particulars? The atheist cannot answer the problems posed by the existence of universal laws and the orderliness (unity) that is communicated to us in our experience, especially given that our experience is particular (non-universal) and changing (diversity).

Mr. Ben writes:
... Why not? Neural networks extract universals from particulars.Of course they do. That doesn't even begin to address the requirement that your worldview account for the necessary precondition for this ability.

Mr. Ben writes:
That's what they do and how they work. You and I and everybody we know is equipped with a device that generalizes from particular perceptual input. It's called a brain.That's not an answer to the question, Mr. Ben.

Jim wrote: Atheists cannot rationally deal with the "one-and-the-many" problem.

Mr. Ben writes:
Sure they can.I'm listening.

Jim wrote: Dualists have tried, but the result is just as irrational as the materialist view. Atheists who simply pretend that there isn't a problem between universals and particulars succeed only in convincing me that they haven't reflected adequately on the problem (or they're being disingenuous).

Mr. Ben writes:
Nonsense. Metaphysics is not the proper realm to discuss such matters.. as it doesn't take into account what particulars and universals really ARE.Fine. We'll use whatever realm you prefer. Please state it and give an account for what particulars and universals are in terms of whatever realm you choose.

Mr. Ben writes:
There are concrete descriptions of these things which are based on the fundamentals of information theory and data processing.Did you mean to say that the fundamentals of information theory are based on the concrete descriptions? No? How do you justify either one?

Mr. Ben writes:
Archaic metaphysical terms only cloud the issue. We can discuss these matters using these old fashioned terms, but what we're really talking about are physical processes that take place in real brains.Really? Is modus ponens a brain state?

Jim wrote: You beg the question. The Bible says you already know He exists and that you're accountable to Him.

Mr. Ben writes:
Who gives a rats ear what the Bible says.You do ... enough to be hostile against it. If I were to have quoted Daniel Dennet or Fredrick Engels or Sigmund Freud, I highly doubt you would have responded so defensively.

Jim wrote:For your view to be true, you've got to justify your assumption of some default tabula rasa, which you can't do.

Mr. Ben writes:
For an athiest view to be true, there must be no evidence of any God. There is no solid evidence of any God...You just moved from a universal requirement to your own contingent experience. How do you know there is no solid evidence for God? Have you looked everywhere? Do you even know what your looking for? Can you justify the standards of evidence that you'll accept as valid?

Mr. Ben writes:
There is no solid evidence of any God beyond the subjective claims of various believers (most of which are contradictory).. therefore the atheist view is true.Wow. Do you realize the horrible non sequitur you've just committed? Sloppy, Mr. Ben. Way sloppy.

Jim wrote: The Bible says your default condition is belief in God, and that you work aggressively to deny, distort and distance yourself from that truth. So now the burden is back on you.

Mr. Ben writes:
Again.. who gives a rats eye what the Bible says. Richard Dawkins says that the onus is on you, and so does Bertrand Russell.. do you care what these people say?Yes, I do. I own their books. I find it interesting and useful to consider the views of others, to weigh them against my own, to assess whether there are any insights from their philosophical outlooks that would be of benefit to me. Why the hostility, Mr. Ben?

Mr. Ben writes:
The existence of any entity is proven by positive evidence FOR its existence, not evidence for its NON existence.Who here is providing evidence for God's NON existence? As to positive evidence, what sort of evidence are you looking for?

Mr. Ben writes:
If we were to assume that everything that might exist actually "did" exist, then practically everything we could think of would have to exist. This would include green unicorns, great space goats, etc. After all you don't know for sure that there are no leprechauns or fairies.Are you trying to prove the existence of these? I'm not. So how are they relevant?

Jim wrote: You've got it exactly backward. What you call a "stopgap invention" is the exclusive accounting for induction, and not only does the Christian worldview have predictive power, it alone can account for predictability. Period. That is to say, atheists must in fact borrow from the Christian worldview for even the simplest predication, let alone predictability and induction.

Mr. Ben writes:
I see a post in front of me.. I don't duck.. I bump my head. The next day I see the post again.. I bump my head again. On the third day, I make the inference that the post I see in front of me is associated with the pain in my head. I decide to test this hypothesis by ducking. I no longer hurt my head.Did you test your vision, too? How about the pain you think you felt-- have you tested that, too? How do you know if your motor neurons are properly excreting the needed acetylcholine to your axon endplates? How about the reasoning faculties that seemed a bit slow on the uptake. Maybe those are not very reliable. How would you go about testing them?

Mr. Ben writes:
So where precisely is the "christian worldview" in this simple description of inference based on experience?The Christian worldview gives you a foundation for knowing that your actual experience comports with reality, that your senses are generally reliable, that you're reasoning faculties treat accurately of the input, and that you're not dreaming. Otherwise, you are, at best, guessing and hoping that you're not deceived by your senses, duped by your own faulty reasoning processes, or stuck in a dreamstate that you can neither verify nor escape. It bridges the gap between your contingent, changing experiences and the universal invariant laws that describe them (such as induction). Sentences make sense. Morality makes sense. Science makes sense. Mathematics makes sense. On the atheist worldview, nothing makes sense, everything is fraught with question-begging, faith based, blind assumptions.

Mr. Ben writes:
Could it not just as easily have a "muslim" worldview, ...Not in the least. The Muslim god is posited as a monistic unitarian being. Such a being could not bridge the gap between the contingent and the universal, for all would be one by such a god; there would be no change, no particulars, no comprehensibility in the universe.

Mr. Ben writes:
... or non-theistic worldview. After all the person sees the post, it hits him in the head, and when he ducks it no-longer hits him. It hardly matters what religion he is.You're not a very careful thinker, Mr. Ben. Of course it doesn't matter in the event itself. We're discussing not how people react based on their various worldviews, but which worldview can cogently make sense of the shared experiences. Please don't force me to type "duh."

Mr. Ben writes:
The truth is that brains evolved to recognize these sorts of causal patterns, ...When did you witness this "truth"?

Mr. Ben writes:
... and mechanisms that detect them and direct the organism to respond in such a way as to survive more effectively are the results. I'm curious: why is it, on your view, that countless creatures survive just fine without the sophisticated logical faculties that humans possess?

Mr. Ben writes:
... Logic and reason are names for mechanical systems in the brain which take raw information in, Have you witnessed these mechanical systems? Can you read a PET scan and distinguish between modus ponens and a syllogism?

Mr. Ben writes:
... and turn it into activities that increase the probability that the organism will reproduce and pass on the same behaviors.Too bad all the other creatures in the world died off because they didn't evolve these "mechanical systems." Wait a second ... they didn't die off? Hmm. How are they surviving without this necessary ability?

Are you a hard determinist, Mr. Ben?

Solipsists, unite!

Jim

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 07:02 PM
and every assertion you make, every predication that comes through your keyboard further points to His eternal existence. No other worldview can account for the many and the one, unity and diversity, contingencies and laws, and your every utterance affirms both, but you cannot account for it. The Triune God, the ultimate Many-and-One, exclusively gives meaning and intelligibility to our experience.

No you're mistaken.. it's not the triune God. Actually it's the three headed green god of Reptelon 7 that gives meaning to all existence and justifies logic and reason.

The fact is that he has created this universe to serve as a source of food. After a perioud of several biillion years, he will harvest all intelligent life in the universe and have it for brunch with tea and scones.

Sorry to burst your bubble.. but at least you can now safely use logic and reason without having to wonder where it came from.

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 07:56 PM
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... Why not? Neural networks extract universals from particulars.
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Of course they do. That doesn't even begin to address the requirement that your worldview account for the necessary precondition for this ability.

What? Organic chemistry? Electrochemical reactions?

What about these things need to be justified. They exist. They are there for everybody to see for themselves.


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That's what they do and how they work. You and I and everybody we know is equipped with a device that generalizes from particular perceptual input. It's called a brain.
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That's not an answer to the question, Mr. Ben.

Jim wrote: Atheists cannot rationally deal with the "one-and-the-many" problem.

Mr. Ben writes:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sure they can.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm listening.

Generalizations of and ideals are products of how neural networks function. They reduce specific patterns to symbolic representations through information convolution. This is a physical mechanical process. That's about all there is it say about it.


Jim wrote: Dualists have tried, but the result is just as irrational as the materialist view. Atheists who simply pretend that there isn't a problem between universals and particulars succeed only in convincing me that they haven't reflected adequately on the problem (or they're being disingenuous).

Mr. Ben writes:
quote:
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Nonsense. Metaphysics is not the proper realm to discuss such matters.. as it doesn't take into account what particulars and universals really ARE.
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Fine. We'll use whatever realm you prefer. Please state it and give an account for what particulars and universals are in terms of whatever realm you choose.

Particulars are the specific perceptual signals your eyes, ears and other sensory equipment generate.. presumably from the outside world. The general is the end result of the convolution process where these perceptual signals are convolved into useful symbolic models by the brain's neural processing.

There is nothing about this process that is metaphysical, or magical. It is a physical process which is well understood, a product of how large scale neural networks like the brain function.


Did you mean to say that the fundamentals of information theory are based on the concrete descriptions? No? How do you justify either one?

They exist according to my perception, and they work because I percieve that they do.

Are you saying that you believe they work because God exists, and that you believe he exists because you made him up? I don't think making up imaginary people to explain things is very reasonable.

Keep to what you see, experience, and know directly. Do not invent explanations for things.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Archaic metaphysical terms only cloud the issue. We can discuss these matters using these old fashioned terms, but what we're really talking about are physical processes that take place in real brains.
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Really? Is modus ponens a brain state?

Modus ponens and brain states which model it are both products of temporal causality in this universe. Were temporal causality not to be consistent, or predictable, neither would exist.

We can concieve of universes with radically different temporal and causal relationships. In these universes, the logic of modus ponens works differently. For example, univeres where causes lead to probable effects instead of definite effects do not have modus ponens in its standard form. I would expect any "brain" in such a universe would work differently as a result. Universes which have non-linear time, looping time, network time, or cellular time also result in different forms of logic.

So modus ponens and the brain stem from the same source, the physical rules of the universe. Logic is not meaningfull except in its relationship to the universe it exists in.


Who gives a rats ear what the Bible says.

You do ... enough to be hostile against it. If I were to have quoted Daniel Dennet or Fredrick Engels or Sigmund Freud, I highly doubt you would have responded so defensively.

Who gives a rats ear what Engels, Frued, or Dennet say. This is a matter of reason and argument. No source is allowed to define the answer by fiat.


You just moved from a universal requirement to your own contingent experience. How do you know there is no solid evidence for God? Have you looked everywhere? Do you even know what your looking for? Can you justify the standards of evidence that you'll accept as valid?

All of us must make a descision as to when the evidence, or lack of it, is sufficient to justify a conclusion.

I do not believe in unicorns, I do not believe in fairies, and I do not believe in God. All of these entities I classify in the same category.. things which people have claimed to have existed, but for which there is no evidence.

Could they really exist? I suppose there is an off chance that fairies are real and I am mistaken. However, until somebody presents me with evidence which confirms their existence, I will continue to believe that they do not.


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There is no solid evidence of any God beyond the subjective claims of various believers (most of which are contradictory).. therefore the atheist view is true.
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Wow. Do you realize the horrible non sequitur you've just committed? Sloppy, Mr. Ben. Way sloppy.

Yes.. the athiest view is "solidly justified". We don't know for sure if it's true or not. But it has the advantage of not being based on the type of subjective storymaking and fantasy that typically are the source of so much nonsense.


Again.. who gives a rats eye what the Bible says. Richard Dawkins says that the onus is on you, and so does Bertrand Russell.. do you care what these people say?

Yes, I do. I own their books. I find it interesting and useful to consider the views of others, to weigh them against my own, to assess whether there are any insights from their philosophical outlooks that would be of benefit to me. Why the hostility, Mr. Ben?

I don't cotton to complete nonsense. When someone tells me "The Bible says God is true.. therefore it is up to you to prove the Bible false." I respond "Who cares what the Bible says???"

If I told you the "Necrinomicon" states that the many tentacled God Yog Sogoth exists and will devour the world soon.. and it's up to you to prove this is not the case.. how would you respond? Do you really take anything written by a Mad Arab (or pulp horror writer of the 30's) seriously?


The existence of any entity is proven by positive evidence FOR its existence, not evidence for its NON existence.

Who here is providing evidence for God's NON existence? As to positive evidence, what sort of evidence are you looking for?

Well, a being who could move a mountain, raise people from the dead, move planets, create the odd galaxy or two.. etc. Can you produce such a being and have him demonstrate his abilties for us?


If we were to assume that everything that might exist actually "did" exist, then practically everything we could think of would have to exist. This would include green unicorns, great space goats, etc. After all you don't know for sure that there are no leprechauns or fairies.

Are you trying to prove the existence of these? I'm not. So how are they relevant?

Because they illustrate the pointlessness of assuming that things which are not in evidence must necessarily exist. God has no evidence for his existence, fairies have no evidence for their existence, leprechauns have no evidence for their existence. Then why must God be proven "not" to exist when these other fantastic things are merely assumed not to?

Again.. if we fairly use the same rules of evidence you suggest for god and apply them to every entity for which there is no evidence, we must therefor assume that "everything" that

Mr. Ben
July 15th, 2003, 07:56 PM
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... Why not? Neural networks extract universals from particulars.
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Of course they do. That doesn't even begin to address the requirement that your worldview account for the necessary precondition for this ability.

What? Organic chemistry? Electrochemical reactions?

What about these things need to be justified. They exist. They are there for everybody to see for themselves.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
That's what they do and how they work. You and I and everybody we know is equipped with a device that generalizes from particular perceptual input. It's called a brain.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's not an answer to the question, Mr. Ben.

Jim wrote: Atheists cannot rationally deal with the "one-and-the-many" problem.

Mr. Ben writes:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sure they can.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'm listening.

Generalizations of and ideals are products of how neural networks function. They reduce specific patterns to symbolic representations through information convolution. This is a physical mechanical process. That's about all there is it say about it.


Jim wrote: Dualists have tried, but the result is just as irrational as the materialist view. Atheists who simply pretend that there isn't a problem between universals and particulars succeed only in convincing me that they haven't reflected adequately on the problem (or they're being disingenuous).

Mr. Ben writes:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nonsense. Metaphysics is not the proper realm to discuss such matters.. as it doesn't take into account what particulars and universals really ARE.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fine. We'll use whatever realm you prefer. Please state it and give an account for what particulars and universals are in terms of whatever realm you choose.

Particulars are the specific perceptual signals your eyes, ears and other sensory equipment generate.. presumably from the outside world. The general is the end result of the convolution process where these perceptual signals are convolved into useful symbolic models by the brain's neural processing.

There is nothing about this process that is metaphysical, or magical. It is a physical process which is well understood, a product of how large scale neural networks like the brain function.


Did you mean to say that the fundamentals of information theory are based on the concrete descriptions? No? How do you justify either one?

They exist according to my perception, and they work because I percieve that they do.

Are you saying that you believe they work because God exists, and that you believe he exists because you made him up? I don't think making up imaginary people to explain things is very reasonable.

Keep to what you see, experience, and know directly. Do not invent explanations for things.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Archaic metaphysical terms only cloud the issue. We can discuss these matters using these old fashioned terms, but what we're really talking about are physical processes that take place in real brains.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Really? Is modus ponens a brain state?

Modus ponens and brain states which model it are both products of temporal causality in this universe. Were temporal causality not to be consistent, or predictable, neither would exist.

We can concieve of universes with radically different temporal and causal relationships. In these universes, the logic of modus ponens works differently. For example, univeres where causes lead to probable effects instead of definite effects do not have modus ponens in its standard form. I would expect any "brain" in such a universe would work differently as a result. Universes which have non-linear time, looping time, network time, or cellular time also result in different forms of logic.

So modus ponens and the brain stem from the same source, the physical rules of the universe. Logic is not meaningfull except in its relationship to the universe it exists in.


Who gives a rats ear what the Bible says.

You do ... enough to be hostile against it. If I were to have quoted Daniel Dennet or Fredrick Engels or Sigmund Freud, I highly doubt you would have responded so defensively.

Who gives a rats ear what Engels, Frued, or Dennet say. This is a matter of reason and argument. No source is allowed to define the answer by fiat.


You just moved from a universal requirement to your own contingent experience. How do you know there is no solid evidence for God? Have you looked everywhere? Do you even know what your looking for? Can you justify the standards of evidence that you'll accept as valid?

All of us must make a descision as to when the evidence, or lack of it, is sufficient to justify a conclusion.

I do not believe in unicorns, I do not believe in fairies, and I do not believe in God. All of these entities I classify in the same category.. things which people have claimed to have existed, but for which there is no evidence.

Could they really exist? I suppose there is an off chance that fairies are real and I am mistaken. However, until somebody presents me with evidence which confirms their existence, I will continue to believe that they do not.


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There is no solid evidence of any God beyond the subjective claims of various believers (most of which are contradictory).. therefore the atheist view is true.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Wow. Do you realize the horrible non sequitur you've just committed? Sloppy, Mr. Ben. Way sloppy.

Yes.. the athiest view is "solidly justified". We don't know for sure if it's true or not. But it has the advantage of not being based on the type of subjective storymaking and fantasy that typically are the source of so much nonsense.


Again.. who gives a rats eye what the Bible says. Richard Dawkins says that the onus is on you, and so does Bertrand Russell.. do you care what these people say?

Yes, I do. I own their books. I find it interesting and useful to consider the views of others, to weigh them against my own, to assess whether there are any insights from their philosophical outlooks that would be of benefit to me. Why the hostility, Mr. Ben?

I don't cotton to complete nonsense. When someone tells me "The Bible says God is true.. therefore it is up to you to prove the Bible false." I respond "Who cares what the Bible says???"

If I told you the "Necrinomicon" states that the many tentacled God Yog Sogoth exists and will devour the world soon.. and it's up to you to prove this is not the case.. how would you respond? Do you really take anything written by a Mad Arab (or pulp horror writer of the 30's) seriously?


The existence of any entity is proven by positive evidence FOR its existence, not evidence for its NON existence.

Who here is providing evidence for God's NON existence? As to positive evidence, what sort of evidence are you looking for?

Well, a being who could move a mountain, raise people from the dead, move planets, create the odd galaxy or two.. etc. Can you produce such a being and have him demonstrate his abilties for us?


If we were to assume that everything that might exist actually "did" exist, then practically everything we could think of would have to exist. This would include green unicorns, great space goats, etc. After all you don't know for sure that there are no leprechauns or fairies.

Are you trying to prove the existence of these? I'm not. So how are they relevant?

Because they illustrate the pointlessness of assuming that things which are not in evidence must necessarily exist. God has no evidence for his existence, fairies have no evidence for their existence, leprechauns have no evidence for their existence. Then why must God be proven "not" to exist when these other fantastic things are merely assumed not to?

Again.. if we fairly use the same rules of evidence you suggest for god and apply them to every entity for which there is no evidence, we must therefor assume that "everything" that offers no evidence must necessarily exist... fairies, leprechauns, etc. This is unreasonable.

Unless evidence for God can be offered, it is reasonable to assume that he is as real as a fairy or a leprechaun.



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I see a post in front of me.. I don't duck.. I bump my head. The next day I see the post again.. I bump my head again. On the third day, I make the inference that the post I see in front of me is associated with the pain in my head. I decide to test this hypothesis by ducking. I no longer hurt my head.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Did you test your vision, too? How about the pain you think you felt-- have you tested that, too?

Yes, I feel the pain. Direct perception is a-priori real.


How do you know if your motor neurons are properly excreting the needed acetylcholine to your axon endplates?

It doesn't matter. The perception is there regardless of what produces it. Direct perception is a-priori.

And ifit is not my neurons, it is something else. I only assume that it is produced by neurons because I also perceive the existence of brains, neurons, the physical laws, and the nature and properties of neural networks.


How about the reasoning faculties that seemed a bit slow on the uptake. Maybe those are not very reliable. How would you go about testing them?

If my models of reality are inconsistent with reality, I would expect to be consistently suprised by constant contradiction from reality.


So where precisely is the "christian worldview" in this simple description of inference based on experience?
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The Christian worldview gives you a foundation for knowing that your actual experience comports with reality, that your senses are generally reliable, that you're reasoning faculties treat accurately of the input, and that you're not dreaming.

But I am dreaming.. the christian worldview.. OOOPS! Your argument is demolished. Sorry.

The fact is it really doesn't matter if you're dreaming. If you were dreaming a dream of a world that was in all ways indistinguishable from the real world.. it makes no difference. The "difference" is precisely and absolutely meaningless from an empirical standpoint. In other words, there is no difference.


Otherwise, you are, at best, guessing and hoping that you're not deceived by your senses, duped by your own faulty reasoning processes, or stuck in a dreamstate that you can neither verify nor escape.

Decieved by my senses. Since reality IS my senses.. that is not logically possible. You can't be deceived by what defines reality in the first place.


It bridges the gap between your contingent, changing experiences and the universal invariant laws that describe them (such as induction). Sentences make sense. Morality makes sense. Science makes sense. Mathematics makes sense.

Actually, these all make sense only because Santa Claus exists and made them so. You're notion of a Christian God only makes sense because you are borrowing from my Santa Claus viewpoint. If you were not, how could you know for sure that your believe in a Christian God was justified?

Santa Claus is the source of all logic. All epistemological and ontological questions are answered by fiat because Santa Claus exists. If you have a question about ontology, it is answered by Santa Claus. All you have to do is simply first believe in Santa Claus for it to all make sense.


On the atheist worldview, nothing makes sense, everything is fraught with question-begging, faith based, blind assumptions.

Yes, but not so with Santa Claus. That goodness he exists.. or we would never be able to think.


Not in the least. The Muslim god is posited as a monistic unitarian being. Such a being could not bridge the gap between the contingent and the universal, for all would be one by such a god; there would be no change, no particulars, no comprehensibility in the universe.

No, not that conception of the muslim God.. the one in which he answers all epistemological questions.

But you are forgetting the great three headed green god of Reptelon 7 as well. He not only bridges the gap between contingent and universal.. but also makes julian fries and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. It is obvious that this is the real God, since by deciding he exists arbitrarily, we get to declare even more epistemological and ontological questions closed by fiat. In fact, the green God of reptelon 7 has declared that he knows the answer to the NP hard problem as well, and the largest prime number. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that there is an imaginary being that can be the source of such imaginary certainty and imaginary knowledge as my ravenous great green God.

You're not a very careful thinker, Mr. Ben. Of course it doesn't matter in the event itself. We're discussing not how people react based on their various worldviews, but which worldview can cogently make sense of the shared experiences. Please don't force me to type "duh."

Any of them can make sense of it. It's very simple. Duck when you see the post or you'll get a nasty bump.


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The truth is that brains evolved to recognize these sorts of causal patterns, ...
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When did you witness this "truth"?

Alright.. the physical evidence strongly supports the hypothesis that... is that better?


... and mechanisms that detect them and direct the organism to respond in such a way as to survive more effectively are the results.

I'm curious: why is it, on your view, that countless creatures survive just fine without the sophisticated logical faculties that humans possess?

They are not large bipedal omnivores who must scavenge the sahvannahs for food. Some of them do just fine growing on rocks in the sun.

It's called ecological niches. The solutions to the problems of surivival are all different depending on where a species finds itself, and what it has to work with.


... Logic and reason are names for mechanical systems in the brain which take raw information in,
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Have you witnessed these mechanical systems? Can you read a PET scan and distinguish between modus ponens and a syllogism?

Yes, actually we can do that in simulation. We can actually trace the inferences of the visual system down through multiple layers. Edge detection, gradient detection, motion tracking, etc. We also have the evidence from accident studies which disable very specific parts of cognitive function. Oddly enough, some people with epilepsy seem to be prone to extreme spiritual experiences. What does this say about belief in God?


... and turn it into activities that increase the probability that the organism will reproduce and pass on the same behaviors.

Too bad all the other creatures in the world died off because they didn't evolve these "mechanical systems." Wait a second ... they didn't die off? Hmm. How are they surviving without this necessary ability?

Brains seem to be quite useful. A large number of organisms on the planet have them.

Wait.. not all of them have them. That must mean they aren't useful at all!


Are you a hard determinist, Mr. Ben?

I am not sure that physical reality is deteministic, but it makes little difference if it is. What we see as free will remains basically unchanged.

Aussie Thinker
July 15th, 2003, 08:01 PM
Jim writes


The Christian worldview gives you a foundation for knowing that your actual experience comports with reality, that your senses are generally reliable, that you're reasoning faculties treat accurately of the input, and that you're not dreaming.

How does it do this any better than our world view ? You keep stating it does but provide NOTHING that we see as any more concrete a reason than we have.


Otherwise, you are, at best, guessing and hoping that you're not deceived by your senses, duped by your own faulty reasoning processes, or stuck in a dreamstate that you can neither verify nor escape.

So are you. You fail to provide why your creation of a God fantasy solves this problem.


It bridges the gap between your contingent, changing experiences and the universal invariant laws that describe them (such as induction). Sentences make sense. Morality makes sense. Science makes sense. Mathematics makes sense.

You seem to think your God fantasy makes sense of these things when it just begs more questions. Like where did god come from etc.


On the atheist worldview, nothing makes sense, everything is fraught with question-begging, faith based, blind assumptions.

It makes perfect sense that everything we know comports with the natural ordered universe we perceive. Sure we have plenty of question but we are never going to get answers to them by saying “God did it”.. (even if a God did do it, it is a pointless assumption to make when examining the universe).

No faith just logical extrapolation from known data

heusdens
July 15th, 2003, 10:46 PM
Jim wrote:

<<The Christian worldview gives you a foundation for knowing that your actual experience comports with reality, that your senses are generally reliable, that you're reasoning faculties treat accurately of the input, and that you're not dreaming.>>

But the Christian worldview has realy an upside down worldview, and makes nonsense assumptions.

It's first axioma is that God exists. Since all other things are based on that, this first axioma can never be tested for within that system of thought.

Christianity might state that our sensory perceptions are 'real' but it makes wrong assumptions about reality. For instance, something that is not directly witnessed is attributed to the unknown and unseen entity 'God'.

For a more accurate descpription of the world, we need to know, what the primary thing is in the world. If we believe Christianity, the first thing was God, that is: a consciousness being or consciousness. Matter is then denoted as a secondary thing of the world, as it was supposed to be created by God.

This kind of philosophical outlook, in which thinking (consciousness or spirit) is primary, and being (matter) is secondary is called: Philosophical Idealism.
Opposite to it is the new outlook on the world: Philosophical Materialism. It replaces the notion of God with the notion of matter. Matter is (in contradiction with God, which denotes a subjective entity) an objective entity. Matter is both indestructable and uncreatable. Matter denotes the philosophical category of things that exist outside, apart from and independend of the mind.

The basic feature of the material world is that it develops, and in which more simple forms of matter, have aquired due their changes / transitions and transformations, new properties.
The best way we can describe this by looking on the material processes that went on at large time scales, when preexisting material forms in the universe, like clouds of hydrogen, could form a more complex material form of a star, which formed due to the material changes going on within the star, new materials (the heavier elements) which returned back to the universe after the star exploded, and which materials formed the basic ingredients for planetary formations, like the planet earth, in which the heavier elements (formed in the interiors of stars) were present, that could transform into even more complex chemical material forms due to earths geological processes and the influence of the atmosphere and the sun, and which provided the basic layers for later developments in the organic material world, which lead ultimately to the formation of simple life forms, which have developed in the past 3 billion years into staggering complex life forms.

It is quite logical that on the basis of the foundation of Christianity, we could have never discovered evolution theory, and never would have done much of science. Unknown phenomena were attributed to God, which was based on the mytholigical book the Bible. Critical research and investigation of the material and natural world, was limited.
The explenation 'God dit it' fits perfectly on everything which ws unknown, and for almost 2000 years, Christianity has put a brake on scientific discoveries. It's only due to the social changes that went on since the last 200 years or so, that we could develop science. The role of the church institutions and religion, has therefore significanlty reduced, at the benefit of science and education.

The fundament for this new world look is materialism which is well founded and a base for all forms of science. In practice allmost all scientists are materialist in their work, even despite the fact that some of them have kept their religious notions about reality.

Same as Christianity, materialism forms a basement for our understanding of the world. We have developed through science trustworthy methods to verify and investigate the material world, through the use of much preciser instruments, and can verify our models of reality through accurate and reliable observations, and have developed good standards to judge our methods of science.

We have extended both our senses and our brains.

Christianity was the world outlook of the Dark Ages. Materialism is the world outlook of the modern scientific society, which is ready for the world of tomorrow!

Aussie Thinker
July 15th, 2003, 11:48 PM
Hear hear Huesdens !

You state quite clearly WHY we atheists continually want to put a brake on religious mythology.

It IS detrimental to scientific discovery.

ALL science must start with NO assumption of cause or the experiment is immediately flawed.. science looks at what is and asks why.. religion starts with the answer and works backwards..

Assuming a God thwarted science for years.

jjjg
July 16th, 2003, 12:23 AM
No the first cause argument says that God is not self-evident and must be made evident through the material world we perceive.

Matter is secondary because it is contingent and potential and not self existing. Kelvin proved it.

Being denotes the forms not the matter.

Yes, matter takes on forms in fact the forms determine the matter to be what it is.

No God denotes an objective entity based on abstractions from our senses of the material world.

Objectivity just means things that can stand on their own independant of the mind which includes some concepts and abstractions.

Where did all this hydrogen and gases come from? They cannot be infinite or necessary.

Modern science says that science is theory that exists in the mind only and has no other objective reality. It has done away with objectivity. Its all relative now. This theory includes what we can say about matter and matter as a concept.

Earliest Christian thinkers like St. Augustine had evolution notions. Possibly fundamentalists would have tried to hold it back but thats not all Christians. We wouldn't have discovered evolution without thought either, they are two sides to the same coin.

Christianity were the scientists. Who do you think Descartes, Copernicus, Mendel were? The church had huge institutions of learning.

jjjg
July 16th, 2003, 12:36 AM
Heusens, your view of the world is the one turned upside down.

It is what is in the mind that is true. We start with sense perceptions, but it is our abstractions that bring us to the essence of what things are which is the spiritual. It is through the abstractions that we question the ultimate reality. The mind is a faculty of the soul. It is not the brain.

heusdens
July 17th, 2003, 06:51 AM
jjjg:

The world exists in two distinct ways:

The world exists OBJECTIVELY in the form of matter
The world exists SUBJECTIVELY in the form of consciousness

Now which one of these (matter or consciousness) is PRIMARY (in the sense that it is not dependend on something else).

Now, if you say that consciousness is primary, then please tell me without reference to any source outside of your consciousness, how did your consciousness originate.
And if you say and state that consciousness is primary, then it must mean that the material world came into being also (as a consequence of) consciousness.
But since you don't have awareness about any other consciousness then your own, this is like saying that the world came into existence when you were born.

Do you think that is plausible?

And if not, then it must mean that something that is outside, apart from and independend of your consciousness must have caused and formed your consciousness.

heusdens
July 17th, 2003, 07:26 AM
Originally posted by jjjg
Christianity were the scientists. Who do you think Descartes, Copernicus, Mendel were? The church had huge institutions of learning. [/b]

In those days, everything was dominated by the Christian institutions, all of politics, lawmaking, industry and indeed also science.

So it is no wonder that the first scientists were christians. As long as they did not present ideas that could in any way invalidate the Bible, they could perform science.
But this was not always the case, as we know from history.and the persecution of Galileo Galilei by the Roman Catcholic Church.

jjjg
July 17th, 2003, 12:44 PM
Galeleo is a complex subject and it really had nothing to do with his theories but with the Protestant reform at the time.

Consiousness is "primary" as we cannot know anything about the world including what is objective but by our thinking.

What really exists on its own objectively are the objects we perceive. Matter is something we abstract from the sense perceived objects especially atomic theory which is all mathematical models in our mind.

Mr. Ben
July 17th, 2003, 06:56 PM
The distinction "primary" and "secondary" is meaningless unless they are defined a little more clearly.

Under the definition "what do we directly experience.. reality, or a model of reality constructed by our minds". Under this definition, we seem to experience a constructed "model" of reality produced by the circuitry of our minds. The perceptual signals we receive seem to go through a lot of processing before our consciousness gets a crack at it.

If you are asking on the other hand, does consciousness "produce" or "originate" reality, or does it "perceive" an external reality that exists independent of it, the answer is quite different.

In all testable ways, consciousness does not seem to be able to produce reality. The reality we perceive seems to be independent of our thought. We do not seem to be able to affect reality with our minds, but our minds are constantly being affected by regular activities in what we percieve as the external world.

Our commensurable experience and our perception of that commensurability indicates that reality exists independent of our minds in all empirically testable and verifiable ways.

Hilston
July 18th, 2003, 06:47 PM
Hi Heusdens,

Jim wrote: You keep asserting that, but you fail miserably to demonstrate or to prove it. God did not "happen," and every assertion you make, every predication that comes through your keyboard further points to His eternal existence. No other worldview can account for the many and the one, unity and diversity, contingencies and laws, and your every utterance affirms both, but you cannot account for it. The Triune God, the ultimate Many-and-One, exclusively gives meaning and intelligibility to our experience.


Heusdens writes:
No other worldview? Realy? How many "worldviews" did you study in your life?Quite a few. After a while, they all start demonstrating the same problems.

Heusdens writes:
Your worldview (theism) does fact not even consider that there in fact is an objective reality.That's false. Christian Theism establishes objective reality on the basis of objective truth that reflects the nature and characteristics of God.

Heusdens writes:
It is not to be argued that we can only know about the world in a subjective way, but this does not contradict the fact that an objective reality has to exist, we can partly and in a relative way know.You have an epistemological dilemma on your hands. How do you, with your subjective conscious, ascertain objective reality? Is your claim about the difference between objective matter and subjective consciousness an objective claim? Or is it subjective?

Heusdens writes:
Have you ever read anything about dialectical-materialism as a philosophical worldview?I have. Is that your view? Do you line up with Engels and Marx on this, or have you modified it to accommodate your own subjective consciousness?

Thanks,
Jim

heusdens
July 18th, 2003, 09:25 PM
Hi Jim,


Originally posted by Hilston
That's false. Christian Theism establishes objective reality on the basis of objective truth that reflects the nature and characteristics of God.


The true nature about the material world itself is though that it is an objective reality, providing us the possibility to exist as subjective entities, having free will, intend and purpose.

Christian theism reflect on the nature of God as a subjective and consciouss entity, which has a will, purpose, intend.

Such characteristics are however not attributable to the material world itself. It is perhaps a human way of thinking, to attribute to matter things like consciousness, will and intend, and reflect on matter as if it is something personal and as if we have a personal relationship with matter. These attributes are just human projections. The concept of God is defining matter in human terms and personalize it. But since those viewpoints are alien to the material reality itself, we better abstain from these kind of viewpoints.




You have an epistemological dilemma on your hands. How do you, with your subjective conscious, ascertain objective reality? Is your claim about the difference between objective matter and subjective consciousness an objective claim? Or is it subjective?


I think I have explained that. I state from my own consciousness, that that what exists outside, apart and independend from my consciousness as the objective material world.
We are able of knowing the world, although we can never know the world in total.
I would not see this as a dilemma. Knowing the fact that consciousness is in an essential way subjective (we have a viewpoint, an identity, a goal, will, intend and purpose) does not contradict the fact the the material world has no such viewpoint, identity, intend, will or purpose. We can never claim objectivity for our selves, although we can approximate it, without reaching it.

What about the dillema's that accompany Christian theisms?
Do you think that Christian theism goes without dilemma's?

Just shortly I saw a documentary on christians, who struggle for bringing their christian worldview in accordance with objective reality, with the results of science and evolution theory.
They struggle with a lot of facts that science presents, since they conflict with their worldview.
Some of them, the fundamentalists/creationists, desperately try to refute all of these science facts, and hold on the literal interpretation of the Bible.

I think the dilemma's that accompany the christian worldview, are much more severe then for materialists.
Science in the last couple of hundreds of years has only confirmed that materialism is more fruitfull approach towards reality.
And I am convinced, that new science developments, only will confirm it even more.

Honestly, how do you think that the Christian worldview, given the development of science and the influence on society, could overcome these dillemma's? Would Christianity be able to adapt itself to this, bringing belief in accordance with science?



I have. Is that your view? Do you line up with Engels and Marx on this, or have you modified it to accommodate your own subjective consciousness?

Thanks,
Jim

Marx and Engels have prodived a profound system of thought, grounded on philosophical materialism, and developed this into dialectical and historical materialism, and which are, together with the critique on the capitalist economy and the theory of the class struggle, intergral parts of what is known as Marxism, of which they were founders. Worth mentioning also is the contribution of Lenin (state and revolution) to Marxism.
I have not read all the works of Marx and Engels.
It is noteworthy that marxism as a philosophical outlook, in particular as a critique on the capitalist economy, still inspirers many who seek for a more just social/political order, and that the mechanism on which the capitalist economy works and brings forth economic crisis, is still a basically correct outlook, and valid up to today (we are in the middle of one such crisis; the war on Iraq stands in connection to this crisis).

I don't think one needs to accomodate marxism for one's own subjective outlooks, but can learn a great deal when studying the works of marx and engels on how social development take place.

Mr. Ben
July 19th, 2003, 08:37 PM
Marx and Engels have done little more than to construct a teetering philosophical structure based - as ususal - on the overloading of empirical evidence and the reification of their own abstractions.

Since most philosophical structures do the same, it's no wonder that people can't see it for what it is. I guess it's a human failing to latch onto a few simple empirical hypotheses that sound reasonable, and build a fantastical teetering overly reified philisophy around them that nicely explains WORLD+DOG.

The problem comes when you have to compare the "predictions" of this overarching edifice of reification with the real world. When, as inevitably happens, it doesn't match up.. then you're left with the task of reinterpreting reality such that it does. Once you've bought into such a philosophy (be it theistic or secular like marxism), you spend the rest of your time scrambling around trying to explain all of the contradictory evidence.

The best philosophy is that of skepticism of large scale philosophical systems and their attendant nonsense. Justified belief in well supported philosophical hypotheses is determined solely by the success of their correspondence to reality. They are closely associated with what they represent, they can easily be followed back to first principles, and they do not depend on large numbers of reified terms that do not correspond to tangible evidence.

heusdens
July 20th, 2003, 06:27 AM
Mr Ben:

The studies of Marx and Engels should not be just seen as theortical predictions about reality, but inquiry methods for researching (social) reality.

It is not a finished system, with fixed (unchanging) ideas about social reality.

Mr. Ben
July 20th, 2003, 06:33 AM
It seems pretty fixed to me.

It predicted the inevitable collapse of capitalism.. and that hasn't happened. It predicted that humans would build a utopian world where each contributed according to his means and received according to his needs. This was.. to say the least.. a little naive. It predicted large scale class struggle between the borgoise and the proletariat in industrial societies. That never happened. It makes claims about the worth of goods and services that do not seem connected to reality. It makes claims about the nature of private ownership that also do not seem to be very workable. It even makes specific predictions about human nature that have turned out to be wrong. Dialectical materialism is only "one" of many incorrect postulates of Marxism that have turned out to be either naive or flat out wrong.

In short.. marxism failed on practically every level. Note, the emphasis is on "failed". Marxism is about as healthy a worldview today as the Greek Pantheon is as a religion.

In any case, when you have a philosophical system that is so fundamentally flawed at the core.. it's best just to toss it and start with something else.

heusdens
July 20th, 2003, 08:37 AM
Mr Ben:

In what way do you think the marxist idea of the inevitable collapse of capitalism failed?

If you look at the history, we see that capitalism has met deep and serious crisis again and again, that lead to the first world war and second world war.

And also, the socialist october revolution has lead to some drastic changes in the capitalist system in other countries.
Much of the workers rights and social security were built up, precisely because of that, the socialist october revolution.
The capitalist countries had to give in and built many social regulations into the system, else they would face a revolution in their own countrie.

We see now also the other side of this, after the collapse of the Soviet-Union, al these state interference and social security regulations are under attack.

The world today shows every signs of a world wide crisis. The gap between the most rich countries and population and the most poor countries and people, has never been as big as today.

Market reforms and capitalist globalisation lead to the current world crisis, and again capitalism has no other alternative then going into war with another nation.

The world today is exactly as what Lenin described in 'Imperialism: the highest stage of capitalism'.

Former social systems and structures, like antique slaveholders societies and feudalism, which predated capitalism, have lasted several hundreds, sometimes even much more time.
Capitalism is not old, and it has never been said that it would collapse or transform into socialism within let's say a hundred years or so. Not all changes from capitalism go in the form of revolution, sometimes slow and gradual changes occur.

Investigate all developed capitalist countries, you will see that many have already been reformed from the inisde, to provide for labour rights, provide basic social security and sociale services, which of course would not have been there without class struggle and social reforms.

On the outside it still looks like a market like capitalism, but that is not always as what it looks from the inside.

Of course, nobody knows what the tendency will be for the next hundred years or so, wether capitalism succeeds in overcoming it's own crisis of overproduction, wether the US will be able to keep the position of strongest economic and military force in the world, etc.

The signs of today are leading in another direction. Past ten years capitalism celebrated their victory over socialism, and capitalist market reforms have since then domonated the world scene.
But this victory has not lasted long, it in fact lead to a serious economic crisis, and also to the war against Iraq.

There will be a counter reaction on this, the working class will see that their interests are not safe in a capitalist economy, and will struggle for social reforms of capitalism. This is inevitable.

History is never going in a straight course, so we never know where this may lead to.

LightSon
July 20th, 2003, 10:34 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Ben
Justified belief in well supported philosophical hypotheses is determined solely by the success of their correspondence to reality.

Well said.
Christianity comforms to reality.

After a time, the clear thinking you have articulated, along with a measure of God-given faith, will lead you to embrace Christ as presented in the Bible.

heusdens
July 21st, 2003, 05:35 AM
Originally posted by LightSon
Well said.
Christianity comforms to reality.



There is nothing in reality though that conforms to Christianity.

Hilston
July 21st, 2003, 07:33 AM
Combined reply to Flash and Mr. Ben.

To Flash,

Flash writes:
I have a piece of paper in my hand on which I have just written "Hilston knows that Mickey Mouse exists, and is accountable to him. His default condition is to believe in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck." Now the burden is back on you.Fine. Can the existence and attributes of Mickey Mouse provide for me the necessary preconditions for the intelligibility of human experience? If so, please explain.

Flash writes:
Your claim is that God exists. Can you justify this claim?Yes. The proof of the Christian God is that without Him you cannot account for the intelligibility of human experience.

Flash writes:
Asserting that atheism cannot account for induction is hardly a proof of a deity.It's not intended to be. Read the thread title. It's not called "The Proof of a Deity."

Flash writes:
You are a long way from proving that God exists, and, frankly, I don't think that you are up to the task.How do you know the task hasn't been completed, and that your reasoning faculties are not up to the task of discerning the proof when it's staring you in the face? Really -- how do you know, Flash? It's an epistemological question. How do you know your own stipulated and presumably autonomous standard of reasoning and evidence isn't seriously flawed? How would you go about testing them?

Flash writes:
My challenge to you is to present a proof of the deity. Only then will you have shown that Atheism is impossible.As I stated, and you already recognize, without the existence of God, the concept of "one" would have no meaning, the concept of "many" would have no meaning, to say nothing of bringing them together in any cohesive way, for both are required for anything to have meaning. Without the existence of God, existence itself makes no sense, let alone anyone having existence that is intelligible. Have you ever considered this: What if (I'm not saying this is the case; I'm trying to make a point here) what if the proof you require of the existence of a transcendent God is not in the purview of your of 5 senses? If He is, as some say, "super"-natural, why should you expect that the proof His existence would be found in the natural realm and perceptible by the 5 senses? I have an answer to this question, but I wonder if you've adequately considered whether or not that which you demond of God (physical proof) is not given because God is not physically omnipresent.

Jim wrote: On the Christian theistic worldview, the usefulness and function can be accounted for, and the use of it justified. On the materialist worldview, induction is taken for granted without warrant. Thus, the materialist actually must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make sense of it, and in order to count on induction to hold in future cases.

To Mr. Ben:

Mr. Ben writes:
Actually, I don't need to borrow from the "christian" worldview to justify reality.Prove it. Anything you say can and will be held against you when you commit epistemological grand larceny.

Mr. Ben writes:
My niece attributes every event to Santa Claus. I think her justification works just as well as yours.Can Santa Claus account for induction? If so, then he is doing much better than the atheist position, who blindly and irrationally place their faith on induction without justification or proof of its verity.

Mr. Ben writes:
If you do not know the answers to these questions then "you" are relying on my nieces "Santa" worldview.Prove it. Don't just make asinine assertions, Mr. Ben. Respect the debate, or else pick up your marbles and go home.

Mr. Ben writes:
Does this sufficiently illustrate the preposterous nature of your argument? If it doesn't, I can spell it out for you.If anything, it demonstrates how utterly puerile a God-hating human can be when he is forced to confront the tough questions and has no answer. Rather than be honest and admit that you don't have an answer, you resort to your "your view is no better than these others" tripe. As a matter of fact, your Santa illustration does more to expose you own inability to directly address the issues and your need to abandon your own arguments out of fear that their inadequacy will be exposed. I see this quite often. When the atheist position is exposed as untenable, the atheist then resorts to invoking other people's beliefs, as if to hide in a quagmire of conflicting views and uncertainty. So far, you've brought up the Islamic religion, leprechauns, unicorns, Santa Claus, the Necronomicon, etc. And every time you have done it when the heat was on your position and you had no adequate answer. I'm embarrassed for you, Mr. Ben.

Jim

heusdens
July 21st, 2003, 09:02 AM
Hilston:

"Without the existence of God, existence itself makes no sense, let alone anyone having existence that is intelligible."

Your reasoning is a bit as follows:

p - God exists
q - Existence makes sense and is intelligble

So, your reasoning is that:

p -> q ( p implies q )

Now, the only thing we can state the truthvalue of is q.

But your statement only makes sense if:

~p therefore ~q ( not p implies not q )

This of course can not be tested for.

In any case, without a direct evidence for the truth value of p, all such reasonings do not realy mean anything.

Since however all 'evidence' that p is true, is only based on other properties that are both known to be true and can not in a possible way be false, it is very much so that that is what God is defined to be.

If I would state that a Big Onion created the universe, the fact that we know that there is a universe, does not provide us any indication of the truth about the Big Onion. Therefore the statement that the existence of the universe is in any way related to the existence of the Big Onion, can not in any way be verified.

The non existence of the Big Onion would need us to accept that the universe would not be there. If that implication would not be the case, then our initial statement can be show to have no correspondence with the outcome, and would therefore be false.

Can a universe in fact 'not be there' ? No, it can't. A universe can not fail to exist. Even when one would conjecture that in pure speculative theory it could be that the universe would not exist, this ain't very meaningfull either, cause then nobody could exist either that could state anything about any truth at all.

In no possible way this has however anything to do with there being or not being a 'Big Onion'.

So the statement, in which it is said:

p -> q

and in which we know that q must be true always and cannot be false, are therefore nonsense statements, cause it could be used to 'proof' the truth of any p, even those that are known to be false.

If q can not be false, then there is no way to falsify the negative of the implicated truth ( ~p -> ~q ). So the truthvalue of p can then be anything, but it is unrelated to the truthvalue of q.

This means the proposition itself is false.

And since the proof of God is only built up on these kind of propositions, and no other form of objective proof has ever been provided, this leads to the conclusion we better reject the truth of the existence of God also.

Hilston
July 21st, 2003, 03:44 PM
Hey Aussie Thinker,

I was hoping you would rejoin my response to your "invention of the wheel" analogy (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?postid=273527#post273527). It may have gotten buried in a flurry of posts. I just thought I'd call your attention to it in case you missed it.

Cheers,
Jim

Hilston
July 21st, 2003, 03:53 PM
Hi Flash:

You write:
... it is trivial to construct worldviews.Who is constructing worldviews?

Flash writes:
These worldviews are nothing but large scale "god-of-the-gaps" arguments.How so?

Flash writes:
They begin with an assertion granting ultimate authority to something or other (this is the presupposition). To remain in that worldview, you only need to stay away from that ulimate assertion. ...Who begins that way? What worldview? What are you talking about?

Flash writes:
For example, for my presupposition, I will choose myslef as the ultimate authority and arbiter of all things. Now, try and refute my worldview.It is refuted by the fact that such a view of personal autonomy is internally incoherent and undermines human reason and experience. In other words, you can claim this to be true, but you don't live this way. You can't. You cannot, on such a presupposition, make cogent statements about particulars, let alone asserting authoritative generalities that anyone needs to take seriously. In fact, everything you do, every sentence that you make, your every act of dependence upon the principle of induction and the uniformity of nature affirms the Christian worldview, again proving that you must tacitly borrow from the Christian theism to make sense of your experience.

Jim

Aussie Thinker
July 21st, 2003, 06:53 PM
Jim,

In response to your response the “wheel analogy”.




I would have said SMOOTH .. hence a “wheel”

[quote]But now mankind finds himself in a debate over the nature of existence, human experience and induction. One of the disputants brings into the debate the concept of the newly-discovered wheel-axle machine, and how its discovery speaks to the existence of transcendent laws (universals) that apply repeatedly in their contingent experience (particulars). They then press the question of whether or not certain worldviews can sufficiently account for the consistent usefulness of the wheel. In order to do so, it is challenged that he must be able to adequately and cogently provide for the preconditions of the physics that explain how the wheel-axle machine works, and be able to justify the expectation that the wheel will continue to function in the future as it has in the past.

The only logical answer to why the wheel will work again is because it did every other time we tried it and we know the physics behind it.

But you want to delve into the philosophical WHY ! I argue that humans do not question your sort of WHY unless they are LOOKING for a purpose. A purpose immediately implies an intelligent overseer. So in asking your question you are already assuming a God !

You have NEVER yet explained why we have to ask this sort of why. The sort I use completely answers the question.


One claims to have a view that is able to coherently describe existence and induction in terms of their use and application of wheel. He asks, Why should we expect the wheel to work next time as it did the last time? How is it that these universal invariant laws repeatedly apply to our particular changing experiences? The materialist tries to answer, but on the materialist worldview, the universals cannot be accounted for.

These universals are what we perceive.. they are man made concepts to describe and ordered universe. The universe seems to have order and universals to us because we are products of it.


Instead, they are blindly assumed, with no way of testing or proving them. He can use it, and hope that future experiences will be like the past.

Not blindly assumed, tested, experimented experienced and confirmed. Not hope future experiences will be like the past KNOW they will be. If they weren’t then you might start looking for supernatural explanations.



He can assume that law-like constraints can be relied upon, but he has no warrant for it.

Yes we do.. we made up the explanation for the “laws” we observe and experiment to assure ourselves how we conceive they work. Then we rely on them.


Without being able to account for it, he cannot justify his reliance upon it.

We can account for it.. we invented it. Our reliance follows from our own testing of our invention. You invented God and now rely on him.. it the same thing its just I avoid inventing something supernatural to explain it.


The wheel-axle is a helpful device. On the Christian theistic worldview, the usefulness and function can be accounted for, and the use of it justified. On the materialist worldview, induction is taken for granted without warrant.

No it isn’t you just say it is. The wheel is just as much and invention as any of our concepts.. before it was first made it was an idea in our heads.. just like every other man made concept .. including God.


Thus, the materialist actually must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make sense of it, and in order to count on induction to hold in future cases.

Jim I used to feel a bit sorry for anyone stuck in a small idea like the “Christian” wordview. But I can see clever people like you just declare that everything sensible is in the CW wether it is or isn’t. The Christian wordview is a cobbled together view from a 1,000 other theistic ideas. When it doesn’t dabble into mysticism, myth and fantasy it actually mostly holds together. It is way short however of encompassing everything like the atheist materialist worldview does.


Steve, it really makes you look utterly silly to make such statements, as it certainly does not represent the view of anyone so far who is debating the existence of God or the impossibility of atheism on this thread. God is no more a "big wheel" than He is the "laws of logic." These universal laws reflect His nature and character. God did not create them. God's existence is the reason for them.

The “big wheel” was a joke (albeit not a terribly good one) merely stating that you make your God whatever you want him to be.

It seems amazingly ironic to me that the fact that man can reason, fantasise and think is the very reason he was able to invent Gods in the first place. You know turn this around and say this ability was passed on to us from a fantasy which stemmed from it.

Aussie Thinker
July 21st, 2003, 07:05 PM
Jim,

While you keep saying this I will have to keep posting a dispute of it.

In regard to Flash declaring he is the Ultimate authority


It is refuted by the fact that such a view of personal autonomy is internally incoherent and undermines human reason and experience.

You state this over and over but saying it doesn’t make it so. It is entirely coherent (why would a reasoning person hold to something that isn’t)


In other words, you can claim this to be true, but you don't live this way. You can't. You cannot, on such a presupposition, make cogent statements about particulars, let alone asserting authoritative generalities that anyone needs to take seriously.

Yet you make EXACTLY the same assertions about your God. Flash actually wields far more authority than your God and that is easily proven. I bet Flash could post another item on this thread.. your God can’t. However small Flash’ influence on this world is it is fare greater than a fantasy.


In fact, everything you do, every sentence that you make, your every act of dependence upon the principle of induction and the uniformity of nature affirms the Christian worldview, again proving that you must tacitly borrow from the Christian theism to make sense of your experience.

Jim in your fantasy world EVERYTHING affirms the Christian worldview. In the real world the Christian worldview covers enough issues to live out a reasonable existence. It is terribly inferior to an atheist materialist worldview that allows on eht freedom to abandon myth and superstitious nonsense.

Aussie Thinker
July 21st, 2003, 07:58 PM
Oops.. removed post from the wrong topic...

Too many at once..

Have a nice day !

paleo-Reformed
July 21st, 2003, 08:43 PM
Aussie I bet Flash could post another item on this thread.. your God can’t.

Because God chooses not to doesn't mean he can't. And even if he did, how would you verify it?


...the Christian worldview...is terribly inferior to an atheist materialist worldview that allows on eht freedom to abandon myth and superstitious nonsense.

Ha. If anything, materialistic atheism is about myth and superstitions, because in its exclusion of God, something has to fill the void, and it ends up grasping at irrational cosmologies and magic parading around as science.

Hilston
July 21st, 2003, 08:52 PM
Hi Aussie,

Thanks for writing back on this.

Jim wrote: But now mankind finds himself in a debate over the nature of existence, human experience and induction. One of the disputants brings into the debate the concept of the newly-discovered wheel-axle machine, and how its discovery speaks to the existence of transcendent laws (universals) that apply repeatedly in their contingent experience (particulars). They then press the question of whether or not certain worldviews can sufficiently account for the consistent usefulness of the wheel. In order to do so, it is challenged that he must be able to adequately and cogently provide for the preconditions of the physics that explain how the wheel-axle machine works, and be able to justify the expectation that the wheel will continue to function in the future as it has in the past.

Aussie writes:
The only logical answer to why the wheel will work again is because it did every other time we tried it and we know the physics behind it.Did you miss this part?: "They then press the question of whether or not certain worldviews can sufficiently account for the consistent usefulness of the wheel. In order to do so, it is challenged that he must be able to adequately and cogently provide for the preconditions of the physics that explain how the wheel-axle machine works, and be able to justify the expectation that the wheel will continue to function in the future as it has in the past." Without this accounting, you are left to operate by faith that it will work again, that the laws of physics won't change, that the inherent properties of matter won't negate themselves. You have no certainty; only ultimate skepticism on your worldview. Are you familiar with Hume's indictment against induction?


Aussie writes:
But you want to delve into the philosophical WHY !How about just a basic non-philosophical "why"?

Aussie writes:
I argue that humans do not question your sort of WHY unless they are LOOKING for a purpose.Your argument is false. When my car begins to leak engine coolant and I ask "Why is this happening?", I'm not looking for "purpose." I'm looking for causality.

Aussie writes:
A purpose immediately implies an intelligent overseer. So in asking your question you are already assuming a God !This is a false assumption. You already know that I presuppose God's existence, just as you presuppose His non-existence. But to say that I'm imposing "purpose" upon your worldview is exactly false. My question is directed precisely at the lack of purpose in your worldview. The point is, how, in a purposeless universe, do you get universal invariant laws such as logic and mathematics?

Aussie writes:
You have NEVER yet explained why we have to ask this sort of why.I have. We ask "why" because we want to be inquisitive, thinking, and rational about our existence and our place in the world.

Aussie writes:
These universals are what we perceive.. they are man made concepts to describe and ordered universe. The universe seems to have order and universals to us because we are products of it.You seem to be unable to state this clearly, because every time you comment on it, I get more confused about what you mean. Are you saying that universals are mere perception; that they're not real?

Jim wrote:Instead, they are blindly assumed, with no way of testing or proving them. He can use it, and hope that future experiences will be like the past.

Aussie writes:
Not blindly assumed, tested, experimented experienced and confirmed.You tested induction? How? Describe your procedure, and note that you cannot use induction to test induction; that would be invalid.

Aussie writes:
Not hope future experiences will be like the past KNOW they will be.How do you know they will be? Are you psychic? Have you seen a future that doesn't exist yet?

Aussie writes:
If they weren’t then you might start looking for supernatural explanations.You have it exactly backwards. Because nature is uniform and orderly and the laws of logic are universal and invariant, you should be embracing the "supernatural" explanation for them.

Jim wrote: He can assume that law-like constraints can be relied upon, but he has no warrant for it.

Aussie writes:
Yes we do.. we made up the explanation for the “laws” we observe and experiment to assure ourselves how we conceive they work. Then we rely on them.Really? So you must have articulated your first syllogism at quite a young age. How many times did you bump into walls before you formalized your statement of induction?

Jim wrote: Without being able to account for it, he cannot justify his reliance upon it.

Aussie writes:
We can account for it.. we invented it.I'm listening. What were the preconditions for the laws of logic and our intelligibility of them?

Aussie writes:
... Our reliance follows from our own testing of our invention.Please give me your theory of how modus ponens was tested and verified.

Aussie writes:
You invented God and now rely on him.. it the same thing its just I avoid inventing something supernatural to explain it.You have yet to explain it. "It just happened because it happened" is not an explanation. And given an atheistic worldview, it sounds rather silly.

Jim wrote: The wheel-axle is a helpful device. On the Christian theistic worldview, the usefulness and function can be accounted for, and the use of it justified. On the materialist worldview, induction is taken for granted without warrant.

Aussie writes:
No it isn’t you just say it is.Read David Hume, Steve. He destroys your assertions with unassailable logic and clarity.

Jim wrote: Thus, the materialist actually must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make sense of it, and in order to count on induction to hold in future cases.


Aussie writes:
Jim I used to feel a bit sorry for anyone stuck in a small idea like the “Christian” wordview.Considering the fact that I am a former atheist who used to debate Christians, would you be interested in knowing what convinced me otherwise?

Aussie writes:
But I can see clever people like you just declare that everything sensible is in the CW wether it is or isn’t. The Christian wordview is a cobbled together view from a 1,000 other theistic ideas. When it doesn’t dabble into mysticism, myth and fantasy it actually mostly holds together. It is way short however of encompassing everything like the atheist materialist worldview does.More mere assertions, Steve. What you call "cobbled together" is consistent and coherent. You said so yourself. What you call "encompassing everything" is fraught with philosophical incoherency and irrational question-begging. The atheist materialist view is completely inane when it comes to accounting for the three most important areas regarding man and his place in the world: Logic, science, and morality. On every point, crucial questions are begged, assumptions are unwarranted, and standards are stipulated arbitrarily. There is no accounting for how these can make sense in a materialist world, yet atheists still balance their checkbooks and try to live moral lives. How does this make sense?

Aussie writes:
It seems amazingly ironic to me that the fact that man can reason, fantasise and think is the very reason he was able to invent Gods in the first place.Or maybe God really does exist, is the true Source and Cause behind man's ability to reason, and this witness of God within you is the very thing you rebel against, and is that for which you will be held accountable on the day of judgment.

"Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them (in men), for God has shown it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made (man himself), even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without a defense." Ro 1:19,20

Jim

Mr. Ben
July 21st, 2003, 08:53 PM
In fact, everything you do, every sentence that you make, your every act of dependence upon the principle of induction and the uniformity of nature affirms the Christian worldview, again proving that you must tacitly borrow from the Christian theism to make sense of your experience.

Not me Jim. I believe that "Flash" is the ultimate authority. Therefore I tacitly borrow from him to justify my worldview.

In any case, I still can't figure how making up imaginary people helps justify the uniformity of nature or induction.

I can make up imaginary things all day, and the uniformity of nature will remain as it is, as will induction.

Hilston
July 21st, 2003, 09:04 PM
Mr Ben writes:
Not me Jim. I believe that "Flash" is the ultimate authority. Therefore I tacitly borrow from him to justify my worldview.Then please ask him for an accounting of the preconditions for the intelligibility of human experience. Let me know what you find out, because the verity of his authority rests on this.

Mr Ben writes:
In any case, I still can't figure how making up imaginary people helps justify the uniformity of nature or induction.It doesn't. But if there is a rational and logical God who created the universe, then it follows that the universe He created reflects those attributes. It further follows that His supreme creation, man, would also demonstrate and function according to universal laws that reflect His nature and character. Thus, God's existence sufficiently accounts for the our human experience. Now, you may wish to come up with your own god or blark or whatever and give similar descriptive bases for our experience. But if you do so, and try to maintain coherency and consistency with human experience, then you'll end up describing the same God that I did, except you'll just give him a different name. You will thereby prove my points that (a) the Christian God (regardless of what you call Him) is the true Source and Cause of human intelligibility, and (b) that you already know this God.

Mr Ben writes:
I can make up imaginary things all day, and the uniformity of nature will remain as it is, as will induction.Sure, but can you make up an imaginary thing that accounts for them without borrowing from the Christian worldview? Go ahead. Give it a shot.

Jim

Aussie Thinker
July 21st, 2003, 09:48 PM
Jim,

Sigh.. we seem to go round in circles so all I can state is the following

You have yet to address my three basic problems with your argument in any way that makes sense.

1. You have not shown any need for us to have “preconditions” for human logic.
2. Your preconditions includes a God which must be inherently logical and therefore require the same preconditions for its own existence.
3. Your God always was is exactly the same as my matter always was except it is an added unnecessary layer of complexity.



Did you miss this part?: "They then press the question of whether or not certain worldviews can sufficiently account for the consistent usefulness of the wheel. In order to do so, it is challenged that he must be able to adequately and cogently provide for the preconditions of the physics that explain how the wheel-axle machine works, and be able to justify the expectation that the wheel will continue to function in the future as it has in the past." Without this accounting, you are left to operate by faith that it will work again, that the laws of physics won't change, that the inherent properties of matter won't negate themselves. You have no certainty; only ultimate skepticism on your worldview. Are you familiar with Hume's indictment against induction?

Your need for precondition is a nonsense. It is another invention of your mind (like your God is) to justify your God.


Your argument is false. When my car begins to leak engine coolant and I ask "Why is this happening?", I'm not looking for "purpose." I'm looking for causality.

And the only answer that can ever be correct is a physical natural one ! Any other answer which includes the supernatural is fantasy.

But the question you ask is the same as asking what is the purpose of the universe. As it does not have intelligence it has no purpose so any order or laws you perceive are just natural parts of the universe (or your perception of it)


This is a false assumption. You already know that I presuppose God's existence, just as you presuppose His non-existence.

No this is where you are wrong. I do no pre-suppose anything. I say if EVERYTHING ever known has had a natural option it is safe (and sensible) to assume that everything else will to. When unnatural things start happening I will give the idea of a God more thought.


But to say that I'm imposing "purpose" upon your worldview is exactly false. My question is directed precisely at the lack of purpose in your worldview. The point is, how, in a purposeless universe, do you get universal invariant laws such as logic and mathematics?

From a creature that evolved the intelligence to create them.. JUST LIKE THE WHEEL… and the creation you use to make sense of your world .. GOD.


I have. We ask "why" because we want to be inquisitive, thinking, and rational about our existence and our place in the world.

The question WHY is fine as long as it not asked of for a purpose in nature.. which is all you are doing.


You seem to be unable to state this clearly, because every time you comment on it, I get more confused about what you mean. Are you saying that universals are mere perception; that they're not real?

I have tried to say this many time but you don’t seem to understand so maybe it is my fault.. however I will try again. I will put it in simple point form.

1. We evolved from the universe
2. As we are creatures of this universe anything that happens in it seems ordered
3. If the universe was dis-orded you could conclude we were not products of it

For example the Ocean is well suited for Fish.. that is because it produced them. It would be unlikely that the Ocean would produce a Bird (don’t give me penguins they are just an evolutionary reversion)


You tested induction? How? Describe your procedure, and note that you cannot use induction to test induction; that would be invalid.

Perhaps you better qualify your mystical induction.

To me (in this context) it is just using fact and experience to derive general principles.

A completely human invention again.


How do you know they will be? Are you psychic? Have you seen a future that doesn't exist yet?

I don’t know .. but I reason that if given the same set of circumstances the same thing will happen again.. WHICH IS WHAT HAPPENS.. when it stops happening I will give your God a thought.


You have it exactly backwards. Because nature is uniform and orderly and the laws of logic are universal and invariant, you should be embracing the "supernatural" explanation for them.

Here Jim is where I worry about your reasoning faculties. I quite accept your need for a God and the fantasy world you create and the twists you go through to justify your God but when you make the above statement I wonder if you really bother thinking about it at all ?

Everything we KNOW has a natural origin..

Logical assumption : Everything we don’t know will too.

Everything happens naturally an in order.

Nothing is Supernatural or disordered.

Logical assumption 2 : If we noticed disorder of supernatural occurrence it would imply the supernatural exists.


Really? So you must have articulated your first syllogism at quite a young age. How many times did you bump into walls before you formalized your statement of induction?

I have the wealth of human experience behind me. Parents, Books (even you Jim) all help formulate my worldview. All help me realise that the only creation EVER has been by Man.


I’m listening. What were the preconditions for the laws of logic and our intelligibility of them?

Not that they are required but they are the same preconditions that produced the stars etc. Matter.


Please give me your theory of how modus ponens was tested and verified.

We evolved enough intelligence to test our own reasoning


You have yet to explain it. "It just happened because it happened" is not an explanation. And given an atheistic worldview, it sounds rather silly.

Less sill than God happened because he happened. We actually have matter we can see so at least when I assume it always was I have a template. You are just inventing something that we have never seen and has no template.


Read David Hume, Steve. He destroys your assertions with unassailable logic and clarity.

Not if he makes a leap of faith into the unknown to assume a supernatural source for our reasoning.


Considering the fact that I am a former atheist who used to debate Christians, would you be interested in knowing what convinced me otherwise?

Well you changed you mind once Jim there is hope for you yet.


More mere assertions, Steve. What you call "cobbled together" is consistent and coherent. You said so yourself.

Yes I said it is to you. Someone with in incoherent worldview would be in a lunatic asylum !


What you call "encompassing everything" is fraught with philosophical incoherency and irrational question-begging.

Just one layer less of question begging though.. like all the added God question you have to go through.


The atheist materialist view is completely inane when it comes to accounting for the three most important areas regarding man and his place in the world: Logic, science, and morality.

It completely accounts for them.

Logic : Concept applied from our evolved intelligence to explain what we see and expect to see.
Science : A tool we use to experiment and verify our assumptions
Morality : Evolved from our ability to reason that others felt the same as we do.. hence if it hurts me it is bad.. so if it hurts others it is bad.


On every point, crucial questions are begged, assumptions are unwarranted, and standards are stipulated arbitrarily. There is no accounting for how these can make sense in a materialist world, yet atheists still balance their checkbooks and try to live moral lives. How does this make sense?

Makes more sense that taking my moral compass from bronze age men who invented an archaic God.


Or maybe God really does exist, is the true Source and Cause behind man's ability to reason, and this witness of God within you is the very thing you rebel against, and is that for which you will be held accountable on the day of judgment.

I can never discount the possibility of something beyond our natural world. It is just pointless to assume it without any evidence. I am SURE of one thing though any God that exists would not be anything like the petty Gods invented by man.

I am sure I live my life as well as you and I am sure we will suffer the same fate at the end of it. Rest assured the matter that makes you up will continue on somewhere throughout the universe.

Its always a sad point for the atheist that by the time we get to say “I told you so” you are too dead to hear it !

Aussie Thinker
July 22nd, 2003, 12:04 AM
Damn double post again !

heusdens
July 22nd, 2003, 03:30 AM
How to explain the natural?

Imagine a consciouss and intelligent being, residing outside of matter, space and time. It is capable of every form of reasoning.

So we provide this being the question as to why at all a natural universe would exist.

This being however, would not be in the position to answer this question. The nature of the question is namely, why at all anything would be existent, and not nothing. The context of the question is that nothing can be assumed to exist, and then there is neither nothing to answer the question, since nothing does exist in the hypothetical supernatural world.

The question: "Why is it the case that X?" needs an answer in the form: "Because B is the case". However from the nature of the question it is implied that no such B can in fact exist.

This means that in such a hypothetical supernatural world in which hypothetical consciouss and intelligent beings would reside, they would not possibly be able to provide an answer to the question as to why at all a natural world would have to exist.

In the supernatural realms therefore, there are no answers to this question.

So is this question then unanswerable?

No, on the contrary!

We happen to be not hypothetical, but factual intelligent consciouss beings living in a factual natural world.
And as a matter of fact, we can make the same argument and conclusion as our hypothetical intelligent consciouss being, residing outside of matter, time and space (the supernatural) could give. But with ONE important difference:

We KNOW that there is a natural world, in which we live!

This is important information, the supernatural being did not have!

Our arguments then are as follows:


[1] (from the supernatural)

A non-existent world can not provide any grounds for there being a world at all

[2] (from the natural)

We know a world DOES exists which contains us.

[3] (conclusion)

A world in whatever form, must have ALWAYS existed!


(see also my thread: The Fundamental Question (http://www.theologyonline.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8244))

Mr. Ben
July 22nd, 2003, 03:50 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Not me Jim. I believe that "Flash" is the ultimate authority. Therefore I tacitly borrow from him to justify my worldview.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Then please ask him for an accounting of the preconditions for the intelligibility of human experience. Let me know what you find out, because the verity of his authority rests on this.

He says "Man can not comprehend that which is Flash.. therefore BUZZ OFF".

What does your imaginary explanation for all rationality say about it? Anything substantially different?


In any case, I still can't figure how making up imaginary people helps justify the uniformity of nature or induction.


It doesn't. But if there is a rational and logical God who created the universe, then it follows that the universe He created reflects those attributes.

And if there is a rational and logical pink panda that created the universe.. then what?


It further follows that His supreme creation, man,

Really? First you make up an imaginary being, then you make up the fact that he figures we are his supreme creation? That's a lot of storytelling Jim.


would also demonstrate and function according to universal laws that reflect His nature and character.


Thus, God's existence sufficiently accounts for the our human experience.

But he doesn't exist because he's imaginary. Therefore he accounts for nothing. Now you're back to square one again Jim.


Now, you may wish to come up with your own god or blark or whatever and give similar descriptive bases for our experience. But if you do so, and try to maintain coherency and consistency with human experience, then you'll end up describing the same God that I did, except you'll just give him a different name.

No, flash accounts for all the unanswered questions in existence.. but he's still just plain old flash.


You will thereby prove my points that (a) the Christian God (regardless of what you call Him) is the true Source and Cause of human intelligibility, and (b) that you already know this God.

No, my particular choice would be the One God that explains existence, but did none of the things he was reported to have done in the Bible. He is the green reptilian Green God of Reptelon 7, and he had three different sons (who were all really himself) which died in three different ways to save all reptilian sinners.

Are you a reptile Jim? If not, you will not be saved. Sorry. However, you will inadvertently borrow from the Reptelon's worldview to justify your belief in inference and the coherence of reality.


I can make up imaginary things all day, and the uniformity of nature will remain as it is, as will induction.[QUOTE]

[QUOTE]Sure, but can you make up an imaginary thing that accounts for them without borrowing from the Christian worldview? Go ahead. Give it a shot.

Hmm.. I just did. The Green God of Reptelon 7 explains all of reality.. and it is imaginary.. .... OR IS IT? ???

Jim

flash
July 22nd, 2003, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Flash
For example, for my presupposition, I will choose myself as the ultimate authority and arbiter of all things. Now, try and refute my worldview.


Originally posted by Hilston
It is refuted by the fact that such a view of personal autonomy is internally incoherent and undermines human reason and experience.

How is it internally incoherent? How do you justify granting authority to "human reason and experience"?


Originally posted by Hilston
You cannot, on such a presupposition, make cogent statements about particulars, let alone asserting authoritative generalities that anyone needs to take seriously.

As the ultimate authority and arbiter of all things, I can make cogent statements about anything I choose. I can also make authoritative generalities. What higher authority could anyone appeal to to determine whether to take these statements seriously? There is no higher authority.

Hilston
July 22nd, 2003, 05:10 PM
Hi Heusdens,

I would like to address your most recent post, but before I do, I need to know how you would distinguish, definitionally, "natural" from "supernatural."

Thanks,
Jim

heusdens
July 22nd, 2003, 05:29 PM
Originally posted by Hilston
Hi Heusdens,

I would like to address your most recent post, but before I do, I need to know how you would distinguish, definitionally, "natural" from "supernatural."

Thanks,
Jim

How can I define something that doesn't exist?

The "supernatural" is a "said" cause for things which don't have (or are believed not to have) a natural explenation.

An actor outside of matter, space and time, would for instance be a "supernatural" cause.

In my previous post, the "supernatural" is the context for a purely hypothetical consciouss being that would supposedly and hypothetically exist outside of matter, time and space.

I hold it however that such (the "supernatural" and the hypothetical consciouss being) is hypothetical, since consciousness can not be defined if there is not a real, objective and material world.

Hilston
July 22nd, 2003, 06:22 PM
Heusdens writes:
I hold it however that such (the "supernatural" and the hypothetical consciouss being) is hypothetical, since consciousness can not be defined if there is not a real, objective and material world.How do you know this?

How do you define "natural"?

Jim

Hilston
July 22nd, 2003, 06:25 PM
Mr Ben writes:
He says "Man can not comprehend that which is Flash.. therefore BUZZ OFF".See what I mean? Such an incomprehensible ultimate authority is self-refuting. Your answer really betrays that you're either not thinking very carefully about this, or else you refuse to take it seriously. Either one disgusts me.

Mr. Ben writes:
What does your imaginary explanation for all rationality say about it? Anything substantially different?Could you please stop with the pejoratives, Mr. Ben? It's obvious both think each other's explanation is imaginary, so can we get past the schoolyard tactics and behave like rational men? To answer your question, the Triune God can account for the fundamental philosophical problems of unity-diversity, universals-particulars, the many and the one, and mind-body dichotomy. Thus, logical laws, mathematical relationships, and scientific inquiry make sense. Any unitarian monolithic solution that is proposed is inadequate to address these issue. Flash is thereby disqualified.

Jim wrote: But if there is a rational and logical God who created the universe, then it follows that the universe He created reflects those attributes.

Mr Ben writes:
And if there is a rational and logical pink panda that created the universe.. then what?You further expose a horribly simplistic understanding of this debate. You need to go back and read some of my previous posts, Mr. Ben. Merely inventing a supreme being that is "rational and logical" doesn't cut it.

Jim wrote: It further follows that His supreme creation, man, ...

Mr Ben writes:
Really? First you make up an imaginary being, then you make up the fact that he figures we are his supreme creation? That's a lot of storytelling Jim.I didn't make it up, Mr. Ben. It comes from the authoritative source that I believe to be the Word of God. If you want to disparage the Bible, that's fine. But don't try to characterize this as some kind of fanciful invention of my own. You're wasting my time.

Jim wrote: ... would also demonstrate and function according to universal laws that reflect His nature and character. ... Thus, God's existence sufficiently accounts for the our human experience.

Mr Ben writes:
But he doesn't exist because he's imaginary. Therefore he accounts for nothing. Now you're back to square one again Jim.Of all the atheists I've debated, there is a certain kind that inevitably shows himself to be an embarrassment to the rest. These are the kind who just can't get themselves to respect the debate, to deal honorably with others of differing opinions, and continually make bald unsupported assertions without debate. I find it repugnant and yet another example of what atheism has to offer.

Jim wrote: Now, you may wish to come up with your own god or blark or whatever and give similar descriptive bases for our experience. But if you do so, and try to maintain coherency and consistency with human experience, then you'll end up describing the same God that I did, except you'll just give him a different name.

Mr Ben writes:
No, flash accounts for all the unanswered questions in existence.. You can't just make the assertion, Mr Ben. You have to explain and show why it would be reasonable to think your assertion has any merit. I shouldn't have to explain this to you.

Jim wrote: You will thereby prove my points that (a) the Christian God (regardless of what you call Him) is the true Source and Cause of human intelligibility, and (b) that you already know this God.

Mr Ben writes:
No, my particular choice would be the One God that explains existence, but did none of the things he was reported to have done in the Bible. He is the green reptilian Green God of Reptelon 7, and he had three different sons (who were all really himself) which died in three different ways to save all reptilian sinners. Are you a reptile Jim? If not, you will not be saved. Sorry. However, you will inadvertently borrow from the Reptelon's worldview to justify your belief in inference and the coherence of reality.And there you have it folks. Yet another example of an irrational atheist who cannot bear to have his worldview challenged. So instead of standing his ground and defending the view he truly holds, he retreats, scattering caltrops in the road, a flurry of alternate beliefs that he doesn't actually hold, in a childishly lame attempt to smokescreen his own indefensible and incoherent belief system. It's sickening. I'm embarrassed for the atheists who have to make apologies for fools like Mr. Ben.

Sincerely,
Jim

Hilston
July 22nd, 2003, 07:29 PM
Hi Flash,

You previously wrote:
For example, for my presupposition, I will choose myself as the ultimate authority and arbiter of all things. Now, try and refute my worldview.


Hilston replied: It is refuted by the fact that such a view of personal autonomy is internally incoherent and undermines human reason and experience.

Flash writes:
How is it internally incoherent?To declare yourself as the ultimate authority, you must be able to justify your claim by showing that you can provide the precondition for the intelligibility of man's experience. You've shown in past posts that you cannot do this. For example, you are unable to prove the laws of logic without begging the question. Thereby you demonstrate an internal incoherence.

Flash writes:
How do you justify granting authority to "human reason and experience"?I grant a very limited authority to human reason and experience, because humans are notoriously fallible. But generally speaking, our reason and experience can be trusted to comport with reality insofar as we ground our worldview upon the absolute authority of God. If God's ultimate authority is somehow removed from the picture (which cannot be done whilst maintaining rationality), then, if one is consistent, everything is reduced to question-begging or radical skepticism.

Jim wrote: You cannot, on such a presupposition, make cogent statements about particulars, let alone asserting authoritative generalities that anyone needs to take seriously.

Flash writes:
As the ultimate authority and arbiter of all things, I can make cogent statements about anything I choose.Actually, you can't, unless you can give a rational accounting of how you bridge the abyss between universals and particulars. Predication requires both distinctions and unity. No other worldview can rationally account for them. All efforts to coherently conceptualize some precondition for this phenomenon ends up describing the attributes of God Himself. We see a bit of this in Mr. Ben's inanities above, although he doesn't come close to doing the exercise any kind of justice.

Flash writes:
I can also make authoritative generalities.See the above paragraph.

Flash writes:
What higher authority could anyone appeal to to determine whether to take these statements seriously? There is no higher authority.There is at least one higher authority that most in this debate have assumed, namely, the authority of logic. We all use it as if it is authoritative. We all appeal to it whenever we want to make an argument or criticize someone else's argument. Your claim, as the ultimate authority, intimates that we all derive and apply those universals by your governing. So now, as the ultimate authority, you must somehow explain how you define those universals on the basis of your own authority, and then account for their application and how they obtain in the realm of contingent experience.

Jim

Mr. Ben
July 22nd, 2003, 08:08 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
He says "Man can not comprehend that which is Flash.. therefore BUZZ OFF".
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

See what I mean? Such an incomprehensible ultimate authority is self-refuting. Your answer really betrays that you're either not thinking very carefully about this, or else you refuse to take it seriously. Either one disgusts me.

Well, since your God gives you the same answers when you ask him these questions, what's the difference? You can make up imaginary beings and claim they answer all questions, but if they can't actually "answer" the questions, what good are they?


What does your imaginary explanation for all rationality say about it? Anything substantially different?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Could you please stop with the pejoratives, Mr. Ben? It's obvious both think each other's explanation is imaginary, so can we get past the schoolyard tactics and behave like rational men?

Why? You use the same tactics in your posts. Can't you handle having your position described using the terms I feel are appropriate. I'm not going to describe your position as real if I feel it obviously is not.


To answer your question, the Triune God can account for the fundamental philosophical problems of unity-diversity, universals-particulars, the many and the one, and mind-body dichotomy.
Thus, logical laws, mathematical relationships, and scientific inquiry make sense. Any unitarian monolithic solution that is proposed is inadequate to address these issue. Flash is thereby disqualified.

No, triune entities are not capable of explaining these things. Especially mathematical relationships, because they are monotonic in spaciotemporal continuity, not any terciary manifold derivative. Only monolithic solutions with unitarian finite causality can explain them. Therefore flash is obviously a better choice.

Any student of temporal topology should know this.

In other words.. you're claims that a "unitarian monolithic" solution are just made up to make your point sound more authoritative Jim. Why do you feel you need to do that?


Jim wrote: But if there is a rational and logical God who created the universe, then it follows that the universe He created reflects those attributes.

But there is no reason to believe this.. so therefore nothing follows at all.


And if there is a rational and logical pink panda that created the universe.. then what?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You further expose a horribly simplistic understanding of this debate. You need to go back and read some of my previous posts, Mr. Ben. Merely inventing a supreme being that is "rational and logical" doesn't cut it.

The debate is both simple, and horrible. Merely inventing a supreme being and assigning him any old attribute you need at any given point cuts it.


Jim wrote: It further follows that His supreme creation, man, ...

Mr Ben writes:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Really? First you make up an imaginary being, then you make up the fact that he figures we are his supreme creation? That's a lot of storytelling Jim.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I didn't make it up, Mr. Ben. It comes from the authoritative source that I believe to be the Word of God.

A book that you read. Books are always true.


If you want to disparage the Bible, that's fine. But don't try to characterize this as some kind of fanciful invention of my own. You're wasting my time.

It doesn't really matter whether you invented it, or you bought into someone elses invention.


Jim wrote: ... would also demonstrate and function according to universal laws that reflect His nature and character. ... Thus, God's existence sufficiently accounts for the our human experience.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
But he doesn't exist because he's imaginary. Therefore he accounts for nothing. Now you're back to square one again Jim.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Of all the atheists I've debated, there is a certain kind that inevitably shows himself to be an embarrassment to the rest. These are the kind who just can't get themselves to respect the debate, to deal honorably with others of differing opinions, and continually make bald unsupported assertions without debate. I find it repugnant and yet another example of what atheism has to offer.

You find it repugnant that people do not automatically accept as a pre-condition that your God exists? You base all of your assumptions about causality, rationality, science, logic, and the rest on this pre-condition. Your argument simply collapses if this assumption is not true.

Since there is no evidence that God exists, we must necessarily conclude that this implies there is also no evidence that he/it/she can be the explanation for any unanswered philosphical questions which we want to have answered. Therefore, the questions "remain" unanswered.

Simply because we "want" to answer these questions or "need" to answer them to feel nice and warm about our place in the world doesn't mean that this can justify the existence of an entity for which there is no other tangible physical evidence. Emotional or intellectual need does not necessitate existence.


Jim wrote: Now, you may wish to come up with your own god or blark or whatever and give similar descriptive bases for our experience. But if you do so, and try to maintain coherency and consistency with human experience, then you'll end up describing the same God that I did, except you'll just give him a different name.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No, flash accounts for all the unanswered questions in existence..
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You can't just make the assertion, Mr Ben. You have to explain and show why it would be reasonable to think your assertion has any merit. I shouldn't have to explain this to you.

Oh.. I have to explain why? But it seems you don't. Why is that Jim. You can claim that God (somehow) explains the coherence of our perception and causality and logic, but when I claim that flash does this as well (with his magical powers that he alone posesses), you become agitated.

My claim is just as good as yours, and equally provable. I have oner advantage in the sense that Flash actually exists.. so I am one step ahead of you in proving that he could answer all unanswered philosophical questions.


Jim wrote: You will thereby prove my points that (a) the Christian God (regardless of what you call Him) is the true Source and Cause of human intelligibility, and (b) that you already know this God.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No, my particular choice would be the One God that explains existence, but did none of the things he was reported to have done in the Bible. He is the green reptilian Green God of Reptelon 7, and he had three different sons (who were all really himself) which died in three different ways to save all reptilian sinners. Are you a reptile Jim? If not, you will not be saved. Sorry. However, you will inadvertently borrow from the Reptelon's worldview to justify your belief in inference and the coherence of reality.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And there you have it folks. Yet another example of an irrational atheist who cannot bear to have his worldview challenged.

Your position simiply doesn't sound as reasonable when you phrase it this way Jim. I can't help but lampoon it in this fashion, as it is the easiest way to demonstrate how absurd it really is.

You assume your God exists, assume that only he answers all these questions, then assume that no other imaginary being that we could concieve of could do the same.

You then ask me to imagine another being that could do likewise and not be the Christian God. I accept your challenge, and produce one, and then you turn around and complain that I am not taking you seriously.

So, to summarize, your problems Jim are the following:

1. Your whole argument is based on the a-priori assumption that your God exists. If he doesn't, he cannot be the source of any certainty. There is no evidence that he does exist.
2. Your God does not "answer" these questions, but simply allows you to say they are answered "somehow".
3. You deny without offering any argument or evidence that other old imaginary or real being could arbitrarily be used to claim the same answers to the same questions. A being which answers these questions does not have to be your God, or even A god at all.


So instead of standing his ground and defending the view he truly holds, he retreats, scattering caltrops in the road, a flurry of alternate beliefs that he doesn't actually hold, in a childishly lame attempt to smokescreen his own indefensible and incoherent belief system. It's sickening. I'm embarrassed for the atheists who have to make apologies for fools like Mr. Ben.

Heh.. so I take it you're not a follower of the Great Green God of Reptelon 7. It really doesn't matter. Though he answers all questions about the coherence of reality (that you must borrow implicitly to construct your worldview), he is not concerned with primate redemption.

Aussie Thinker
July 22nd, 2003, 09:16 PM
Jim,

Why is it Ben annoyed you so much.. you normally seem pretty unflappable ?

I think his second post clearly outlines his position.

He merely finds it amazing that you so boldly declare your God as the answer to everything while anyone else’s (which should be just as valid as yours) is declared defunct by you ?

Don’t you see the irony.

Don’t you see the very reason ALL other Gods are defunct for you is EXACTLY the same reason yours is defunct to us ?

Hilston
July 22nd, 2003, 10:34 PM
Hi Aussie,

You write:
Why is it Ben annoyed you so much.. you normally seem pretty unflappable ?I have no qualms with debating any counter position that comes down the pike, provided the disputant is willing to think and to carefully consider opposing arguments. I never take opposing views lightly or in obscurantist fashion. I give serious consideration to whatever view another person may hold. I'm even willing to explain my case against other views not held by the disputant. But when someone begins to demonstrate intellectual laziness, sloppiness, or disingenuity, I get annoyed. One reason is that these responses take time. I try to carefully go over them and make sure I'm being clear. Another reason is that there are people reading these posts. It's annoying to see someone come along and derail the discussion by throwing logs in the road that are not helpful to the dialogue.

Aussie writes:
I think his second post clearly outlines his position.I agree, and I'm more than willing to answer those points. It's too bad that I had to wade through the muck & mire of his previous post to get to this point.

Aussie writes:
He merely finds it amazing that you so boldly declare your God as the answer to everything while anyone else’s (which should be just as valid as yours) is declared defunct by you ?In case you didn't catch it, I give explanations, I provide descriptions, definitions, and reasons. I do not hold back, Steve. If you have a question, ask it. There's a big difference between that and what Mr. Ben has done.

Aussie writes:
Don’t you see the irony.There's no comparison. Conceptually, you and Mr. Ben might not see a difference, and I completely understand that, but from a consistency and coherency standpoint, they are as different as night and day.

Aussie writes:
Don’t you see the very reason ALL other Gods are defunct for you is EXACTLY the same reason yours is defunct to us ?What a very curious question. Now you've got my attention. I'm eager to answer this question, but please, first indulge this question of clarification: What do you perceive as my reason why ALL other Gods are defunct for me?

Always good to hear from you, Steve.

Jim

Mr. Ben
July 22nd, 2003, 11:26 PM
Some questions for God:

1. How do you have the ability to justify answering questions usually regarded as philisophically unanswerable.
2. God, how is it that you know effect and cause must be related?
3. God, how can you know for sure that the generalizations we hold true about reality will remain valid?
4. God, how did you create logic?
5. How did you create the laws of the universe?
6. Why is there something other than nothing?

Answers from Flash:

1. Because I have power beyond your comprehension.
2. Because I said so.
3. Because I said so.
4. With powers beyond your comprehension.
5. With powers beyond your comprehension.
6. Because I made it so.

Let's compare answers Jim.

attention
July 23rd, 2003, 05:10 AM
Originally posted by Hilston
Heusdens writes: How do you know this?

How do you define "natural"?

Jim

"hypothetical conscious being"

Consciousness is just hypothetical when there is no objective reality. There is nothing of which you can be consciouss, and there is nothing that can constitute your consciousness.
Consciousness does not exist without material processes, constituting your means to have thoughts, etc.
Any form of consciousness would require energy.

'natural"

The natural world exists in the form of matter and motion/change; the natural world is in causal connection with itself, the only way we can know about the world, is because we can observe these causal connections.


-- heusdens --

Aussie Thinker
July 23rd, 2003, 07:04 AM
Jim


What a very curious question. Now you've got my attention. I'm eager to answer this question, but please, first indulge this question of clarification: What do you perceive as my reason why ALL other Gods are defunct for me?

That is a good question of clarification too.

Generally you state that they do not fit within your Christian worldview as formulated (stemming from?) the Bible. And it is only your Christian worldview that provides “coherent” reasons for the non-natural things in life.

So I guess you haven’t been specific in the past.

But when it is suggested that another unknown God could cover your own (self created I might add) dilemma with pre conditions for consciousness you reject it out of hand.

RogerB
July 23rd, 2003, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by Aussie Thinker
Don’t you see the very reason ALL other Gods are defunct for you is EXACTLY the same reason yours is defunct to us ?

Don't you see that you are blind to the truth? Satan has control of your mind. You're not a 'thinker", you are merely following Satan's rule. God is right in front of your face! Open your eyes!!

Mr. Ben
July 23rd, 2003, 07:49 AM
Don't you see that you are blind to the truth? Satan has control of your mind. You're not a 'thinker", you are merely following Satan's rule. God is right in front of your face! Open your eyes!!

Why do you figure it that way?

flash
July 23rd, 2003, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by Hilston
To declare yourself as the ultimate authority, you must be able to justify your claim by showing that you can provide the precondition for the intelligibility of man's experience.

Says who? How do you justify this claim?!





Originally posted by Hilston For example, you are unable to prove the laws of logic without begging the question.

So are you!


Originally posted by Hilston Actually, you can't, unless you can give a rational accounting of how you bridge the abyss between universals and particulars.

"Rational" as in based on reason? To whom (whose reasoning) must my accounting conform, and how did their reasoning become authoritative?



Originally posted by Hilston There is at least one higher authority that most in this debate have assumed, namely, the authority of logic. We all use it as if it is authoritative. We all appeal to it whenever we want to make an argument or criticize someone else's argument. Your claim, as the ultimate authority, intimates that we all derive and apply those universals by your governing. So now, as the ultimate authority, you must somehow explain how you define those universals on the basis of your own authority, and then account for their application and how they obtain in the realm of contingent experience.


This is where I think all of these presuppositionalist worldviews lose me. I have been assuming that you concur with the worldviews of Van Til and Bahnsen. Correct me if I am wrong. These worldviews claim to presuppose the Christian Triune God as the ultimate authority - a higher authority than logic itself. One of the problems with this is that Van Til and Bahnsen have chosen this worldview by evaluating it using their human reasoning. How have they justified their reasoning?

In my worldview, I would like to grant myself ultimate authority - which is definitely higher than your autonomous human reasoning. Once this is granted, your ability to refute the worldview vanishes. You cannot tell me that "I must explain how I define universals" or require me to prove anything else, since these requests are drawn from your fallible reasoning facility and your unauthoritative system of logic. I have no need to answer, or I can answer absolutely anything whatsoever - with ultimate authority.

How does your worldview account for the "intelligibility of human experience"?

Klarky Cat
July 23rd, 2003, 08:40 AM
Hi RogerB

“Don't you see that you are blind to the truth? Satan has control of your mind. You're not a 'thinker", you are merely following Satan's rule. God is right in front of your face! Open your eyes!!”

If Satan :devil: is causing so much bother, why doesn’t God simply blink him out of existence now?

KC

Zakath
July 23rd, 2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by RogerB
Don't you see that you are blind to the truth? Satan has control of your mind. You're not a 'thinker", you are merely following Satan's rule. God is right in front of your face! Open your eyes!! If there was a deity or devil, why would the latter waste time on someone who doesn't believe in the existence of god? From your POV, in the case of an atheist, the devil's already won.

Now, to blind reliigionists... that's a fruitful game for a divine adversary... :think:

Aussie Thinker
July 23rd, 2003, 08:43 PM
Rogerb posts


Don't you see that you are blind to the truth? Satan has control of your mind. You're not a 'thinker", you are merely following Satan's rule. God is right in front of your face! Open your eyes!!

What a ridiculous statement. For one Satan is just as ludicrous and entity as God. Two Satan can somehow remove my free will.. when God assures it remains intact ?

The true irony is…

It is Christians like you that make people atheists !

If anyone here is doing the devils work.. IT IS YOU..

Hilston
July 29th, 2003, 08:36 PM
I'm sorry for my absence, folks. I've been unusually busy lately. This is directed to Heusdens's response to my question. I asked him to define "natural." His response:
"hypothetical conscious being"

Consciousness is just hypothetical when there is no objective reality.How is that relevant?

Heusdens writes:
There is nothing of which you can be consciouss, and there is nothing that can constitute your consciousness.Have you tested your theory?

Heusdens writes:
Consciousness does not exist without material processes, constituting your means to have thoughts, etc.
Any form of consciousness would require energy.How do you know this?

Heusdens writes:
'natural"

The natural world exists in the form of matter and motion/change; the natural world is in causal connection with itself, the only way we can know about the world, is because we can observe these causal connections.You didn't answer my question. Define "natural." Thanks.

Jim

Hilston
July 29th, 2003, 09:38 PM
Mr. Ben writes:
Well, since your God gives you the same answers when you ask him these questions, what's the difference?Why do you assume this? God does not give those answers, and for you to argue that way indicates that you prefer to debate a straw man. Otherwise, you might have actually asked a question rather than make this assumption. I will grant that there are some questions that God does not answer, like "Where did God come from?" But for you assume that God says "I'm incomprehensible, BUZZ OFF" indicates to me that you're a loafer. Ask questions, Mr Ben. Ask for definitions. Come join this debate, and stop making up own opponents that are far easier to knock down.

Mr. Ben writes:
You can make up imaginary beings and claim they answer all questions, but if they can't actually "answer" the questions, what good are they?This is funny coming from someone who makes up imaginary opponents. Let's just assume for a second that I made up God. At least I'm am willing and able to show how my imaginary God accounts for reality and our experience of it. For you to merely state "Great Green God of Reptelon 7 accounts for all of reality" isn't sufficient. You have to explain. Otherwise, you lose.

Jim previously wrote: To answer your question, the Triune God can account for the fundamental philosophical problems of unity-diversity, universals-particulars, the many and the one, and mind-body dichotomy. Thus, logical laws, mathematical relationships, and scientific inquiry make sense. Any unitarian monolithic solution that is proposed is inadequate to address these issue. Flash is thereby disqualified.

Mr Ben writes:
your claims that a "unitarian monolithic" solution are just made up to make your point sound more authoritative Jim. Why do you feel you need to do that?The words and the sentences have meaning, Mr. Ben. If you're not familiar with them, you need only to ask and I will clarify. The Trinity is the Godhead as three-in-one. God is inherently a many-and-one Being, and thus His very nature and character can account for this phenomenon in nature. Is Flash a trinity? If so, then maybe you've got something there. But if he is a singular entity, then you are claiming that a unitarian/monolithic being can address this issue. He cannot by his very nature and character. Let me know if any of that seems too arcane.

Jim wrote: But if there is a rational and logical God who created the universe, then it follows that the universe He created reflects those attributes.

Mr Ben writes:
But there is no reason to believe this.. There is every reason to believe this. There is no rational reason not to believe it. By rejecting this, you sacrifice rationality on the altar of empiricism because you cannot justify or account for empiricism itself. You must blindly rely upon your own faith-based assumption that empiricism is true and that the laws of induction that make sense of it are uniformly reliable and comport with reality.

Jim wrote: You further expose a horribly simplistic understanding of this debate. You need to go back and read some of my previous posts, Mr. Ben. Merely inventing a supreme being that is "rational and logical" doesn't cut it.

Mr Ben writes:
The debate is both simple, and horrible.If you don't like it, go away. Rational men will do just fine without the likes of those who cannot keep their emotions in check.

Mr Ben writes:
Merely inventing a supreme being and assigning him any old attribute you need at any given point cuts it.Do you really think "any old attribute" can be assigned to God? Make a list of attributes you think a god would need to have to account for reality. I dare you.

Jim wrote: I didn't make it up, Mr. Ben. It comes from the authoritative source that I believe to be the Word of God.

Mr Ben writes:
A book that you read. Books are always true.You further prove that you cannot handle this debate. Take your ball and bat and go home, Mr. Ben.

Jim wrote: Of all the atheists I've debated, there is a certain kind that inevitably shows himself to be an embarrassment to the rest. These are the kind who just can't get themselves to respect the debate, to deal honorably with others of differing opinions, and continually make bald unsupported assertions without debate. I find it repugnant and yet another example of what atheism has to offer.

Mr. Ben writes:
You find it repugnant that people do not automatically accept as a pre-condition that your God exists?Of course not! Who is feeding you these lines? Some atheist Jedi Yoda? Some atheist sensei? Obviously it is not someone who is reading this debate.

Mr Ben writes:
You base all of your assumptions about causality, rationality, science, logic, and the rest on this pre-condition. Your argument simply collapses if this assumption is not true.Let's say my argument isn't true. Now it's your turn. What's the pre-condition for these phenomena in nature, and how does that precondition account for these natural phenomena?

Mr Ben writes:
Since there is no evidence that God exists, ...Oh, there is. It's staring you in the face. Look. Right there. See it? Evidence. E-vi-dence. That word has meaning. That word brings all kinds of things to mind, doesn't it? Each letter is distinguished from the other, by position, by morphology. Even the gaps between the letters have meaning. Why is that, Mr. Ben? And why do you recognize the distinctions between these letters? What about the process by which you ascertain the meanings of these semiotic structures? Lifeless matter just happened upon this ability by chance and by time? It's all around you, Mr Ben, it's in your face, and you work aggressively, feverishly, to deny it. Put your fingers in your ears, clench your eyelids shut, and keep saying to yourself, "God isn't real. I know He isn't real. God doesn't exist. Reason sprang out of chaos. Things can naturally become their opposites. We don't need God. God is unnecessary. We explain everything just fine without Him." Then, by every sentence that came out of your mouth, you will have refuted every sentence that came out of your mouth. Because there can be no sentences where there are not particulars. And there can be no interpretation where there are no universals. And there can be no intelligibility without the precondition that brings the two together, namely the existence and attributes of God, which I've described, and will describe again if you would like to be reminded.

Mr Ben continues:
... we must necessarily conclude that this implies there is also no evidence that he/it/she can be the explanation for any unanswered philosphical questions which we want to have answered. Therefore, the questions "remain" unanswered.Once again, the atheists must admit: "We live by faith alone."

Jim wrote: Now, you may wish to come up with your own god or blark or whatever and give similar descriptive bases for our experience. But if you do so, and try to maintain coherency and consistency with human experience, then you'll end up describing the same God that I did, except you'll just give him a different name.

Mr Ben then wrotes: No, flash accounts for all the unanswered questions in existence..

Jim wrote:You can't just make the assertion, Mr Ben. You have to explain and show why it would be reasonable to think your assertion has any merit. I shouldn't have to explain this to you.

Mr Ben writes:
Oh.. I have to explain why? But it seems you don't. Why is that Jim.I have explained it. Shall I cut/paste it all here again?

Mr Ben writes:
... You can claim that God (somehow) explains the coherence of our perception and causality and logic, but when I claim that flash does this as well (with his magical powers that he alone posesses), you become agitated.I'm agitated at mere assertions without explanation. Now you say "magical powers." Fine. Describe them. What do these powers do and how do they meet the precondition? I have answered these questions. Please do me the courtesy of doing the same.

Mr. Ben writes:
My claim is just as good as yours, and equally provable.This always cracks me up. You're an atheist, Mr. Ben, claiming the existence of an ultimate authority that you do not even believe, without debate. Why is it that some atheists can't stand their ground and debate their own position? Why do they have to resort to ludicrous imaginary scenarios or Buddhism or Hinduism or whatever when the heat gets turned up?

Mr. Ben writes:
I have one advantage in the sense that Flash actually exists.. so I am one step ahead of you in proving that he could answer all unanswered philosophical questions.These are two different questions, Mr. Ben. Existence is one thing, but accounting for the phenomena of reality is another. I've asked you how your Flash religion answers the latter.


Mr Ben writes:
Your position simiply doesn't sound as reasonable when you phrase it this way Jim. I can't help but lampoon it in this fashion, as it is the easiest way to demonstrate how absurd it really is.It may seem that way to you, Mr. Ben, but it backfires on you. Every time you retreat to some other absurd idea, it smacks of that very thing: A retreat.

Mr Ben writes:
You assume your God exists, assume that only he answers all these questions, then assume that no other imaginary being that we could concieve of could do the same. You then ask me to imagine another being that could do likewise and not be the Christian God. I accept your challenge, and produce one, ...No, you merely came up with a name. You've accounted for nothing, you've not adequately connected this Flash religion with reality, let alone providing an adequate precondition of it based Flash's ultimate authority.

Mr ben writes:
So, to summarize, your problems Jim are the following:

1. Your whole argument is based on the a-priori assumption that your God exists.Why is this a complaint? Isn't your argument based on the a-priori assumption that He does NOT exist? Now what? We need to investigate whose a-priori view is correct and actually comports with reality. Yours is internally incoherent and undermines human reason and experience. Mine does not. You may keep yours if you like, but don't call it rational and scientific, because it's blind faith. Mine, on the other hand, is not only rational and scientific, it actually explains rationality and science. Pretty good, huh?

Mr Ben writes:
... If he doesn't, he cannot be the source of any certainty. There is no evidence that he does exist.If He does, then reality makes sense. If he doesn't, you have no certainty whatsoever, in even the simplest of predication or arithmetic or reasoning. Your view undermines human experience.

Mr Ben writes:
2. Your God does not "answer" these questions, but simply allows you to say they are answered "somehow".Not at all. Did this come from your atheist swami again? He should read this before he give you suggestions about what sentences to write.

Mr Ben writes:
3. You deny without offering any argument or evidence that other old imaginary or real being could arbitrarily be used to claim the same answers to the same questions. A being which answers these questions does not have to be your God, or even A god at all.Then offer it up! Let's hear the characteristics and attributes of this being/explanation. I've given you those features about God that accounts for reality. Let's hear yours about your "other old imaginary being."

Mr Ben writes;
Heh.. so I take it you're not a follower of the Great Green God of Reptelon 7. It really doesn't matter. Though he answers all questions about the coherence of reality (that you must borrow implicitly to construct your worldview), he is not concerned with primate redemption.See what I mean? Mr. Ben, try to get this. You cannot just assert. You must show. If you cannot show, you must get back on the porch and leave the big dogs alone.

Jim

Hilston
July 29th, 2003, 10:03 PM
Mr Ben writes:
Some questions for God:

1. How do you have the ability to justify answering questions usually regarded as philisophically unanswerable.The answer is that God, as Creator, made His creation in accordance with His own nature and character. God is rational, and the laws of logic reflect His rational nature and character. Thus, by creating the universe, it follows that the natural order models these attributes.

Mr Ben writes:
2. God, how is it that you know effect and cause must be related?The answer is that God, as Creator, knows His own mind, and because He is a Triune Being, He can know particulars and universals that are required to understand cause and effect. By creating as He has done, His creation will mirror that same causality.

Mr Ben writes:
3. God, how can you know for sure that the generalizations we hold true about reality will remain valid?The answer is because God, as Creator, maintains and sustains every atom in the universe. The coherence of the universe depends upon His transcendent power to hold it all together. As the "glue" that binds reality, likewise the generalizations we hold true will continue as such.

Mr Ben writes:
4. God, how did you create logic?God did not create logic. Logic is derived from God's nature. God is the source of logic, but not the Creator of it. Just as God is the source of love, and goodness, but He did not "create" them, per se. However, by creating the universe, it follows that God would create goodness and things capable of love.

Mr Ben writes:
5. How did you create the laws of the universe?Just as number 4, above, these laws were not created. They derive from God's nature.

Mr Ben writes:
6. Why is there something other than nothing?No answer is given to this question other than God created for His own good pleasure.

By the way, each of these answers comes either directly, or are derived from, principles taught in the Bible.

Mr Ben writes:
Answers from Flash:

1. Because I have power beyond your comprehension.
2. Because I said so.
3. Because I said so.
4. With powers beyond your comprehension.
5. With powers beyond your comprehension.
6. Because I made it so.

Let's compare answers Jim.There you go. This sums up nicely Mr Ben's preference for arguing with imaginary opponents. He hasn't respected the debate enough to even find out (or to pay attention to) what I believe about the true God for Whom I am arguing. No wonder Mr. Ben hates God so much. If this were my perception of God, I would hate Him, too. But notice, this is very similar to how an unruly child views his conscientious parent. That says quite a bit, doesn't it?

Jim

bmyers
July 29th, 2003, 10:20 PM
I just have to ask - you all ARE familiar with the phrase, "argument by vigorous assertion," aren't you?

Hilston
July 29th, 2003, 11:31 PM
Hi bmyers,

You write:
I just have to ask - you all ARE familiar with the phrase, "argument by vigorous assertion," aren't you?Yes! Thanks for the reminder of that phrase. Actually, I say "proof by vigorous assertion," and it's never a compliment.

Jim

Mr. Ben
July 30th, 2003, 12:52 AM
1. How do you have the ability to justify answering questions usually regarded as philisophically unanswerable.

The answer is that God, as Creator, made His creation in accordance with His own nature and character. God is rational, and the laws of logic reflect His rational nature and character. Thus, by creating the universe, it follows that the natural order models these attributes.

This is substantially the same as the answer flash gave.

You are assuming he exists, assuming he is rational, assuming that he has a character, assuming that he made the laws of logic, assuming he created the universe, and assuming that it follows that the universe should model these attributes.

Soooo.. based on all of these unfounded and unsupported assumptions, all philosophically unaswerable questions are then answered to your satisfaction.

I can cut out the middle man. Why not just assume that all the questions are answered.



2. God, how is it that you know effect and cause must be related?

The answer is that God, as Creator, knows His own mind, and because He is a Triune Being, He can know particulars and universals that are required to understand cause and effect. By creating as He has done, His creation will mirror that same causality.

This is also substantially the same as the answer flash gave.


3. God, how can you know for sure that the generalizations we hold true about reality will remain valid?

The answer is because God, as Creator, maintains and sustains every atom in the universe. The coherence of the universe depends upon His transcendent power to hold it all together. As the "glue" that binds reality, likewise the generalizations we hold true will continue as such.

But how does he know he will continue to do this? Maybe tomorrow God will cease to exist.

Your answer may serve to define the question out of existence to your own satisfaction (as you seem to have done), but not to anyone elses.


4. God, how did you create logic?

God did not create logic. Logic is derived from God's nature. God is the source of logic, but not the Creator of it. Just as God is the source of love, and goodness, but He did not "create" them, per se. However, by creating the universe, it follows that God would create goodness and things capable of love.

So logic is part of the nature of God. If that is so, then logic could also simply be part of the nature of the universe. Again, why the unecessary imaginary middle man.


5. How did you create the laws of the universe?

Just as number 4, above, these laws were not created. They derive from God's nature.

How are they part of God's nature. Why are they part of god's nature. Why are these particular laws part of God's nature and not others. How precisely did God's nature turn into the real universe. By what process did it occur?

It seems that God's nature needs justification as much as anything else.


6. Why is there something other than nothing?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No answer is given to this question other than God created for His own good pleasure.

But why does God exist? And who created him? You seem to say everything that exists must have an explanation. But if God doesn't.. why does he escape the need for explanation when the universe does not? It seems that perhaps we can save a step and just assume the universe needs no explanation.

The real question to be asked is "what is the point of all of this rigamarole ultimately?" God exists.. what's his purpose for existing? If we require a God to give us purpose, then so does he.



By the way, each of these answers comes either directly, or are derived from, principles taught in the Bible.

That's great. But it doesn't really make any difference.



Answers from Flash:

1. Because I have power beyond your comprehension.
2. Because I said so.
3. Because I said so.
4. With powers beyond your comprehension.
5. With powers beyond your comprehension.
6. Because I made it so.

Let's compare answers Jim.

There you go. This sums up nicely Mr Ben's preference for arguing with imaginary opponents. He hasn't respected the debate enough to even find out (or to pay attention to) what I believe about the true God for Whom I am arguing.

Your answers are basically identical to flash's answers. Your God answers no questions.. but simply allows you to claim that he does. In reality, you have no more answers than any one of us.. all you have is the self satisfied belief that you do.


No wonder Mr. Ben hates God so much.

Heh. Hate who exactly?


If this were my perception of God, I would hate Him, too.

Hate who?


But notice, this is very similar to how an unruly child views his conscientious parent. That says quite a bit, doesn't it?

Actually it's similar to how an adult views a children's fairy tale.

Mr. Ben
July 30th, 2003, 05:06 AM
Why do you assume this? God does not give those answers, and for you to argue that way indicates that you prefer to debate a straw man. Otherwise, you might have actually asked a question rather than make this assumption. I will grant that there are some questions that God does not answer, like "Where did God come from?" But for you assume that God says "I'm incomprehensible, BUZZ OFF" indicates to me that you're a loafer. Ask questions, Mr Ben. Ask for definitions. Come join this debate, and stop making up own opponents that are far easier to knock down.

Yes. I'm not asking you the right questions that will allow you to post the long jargon laden answers you'd prefer to post.

Well I'm sorry Jim, but I prefer to address the central issues directly, and avoid the confusing jargon that muddies up the waters.

If I represent your position correctly, and stripped of its jargon it appears silly, well then that's just not my fault. It may appear to you as satire, but I believe it is a dead on accurate description of your positions.

Now if you have an answer to the question of where does God come from that is substantially different from "such questions should not be asked", or "we don't understand the ineffable nature of god" or "well God just exists, end of the story" then I'm all ears. I am not impressed by empty rhetoric full of $50 words.


You can make up imaginary beings and claim they answer all questions, but if they can't actually "answer" the questions, what good are they?

This is funny coming from someone who makes up imaginary opponents. Let's just assume for a second that I made up God. At least I'm am willing and able to show how my imaginary God accounts for reality and our experience of it.

Big deal. An imaginary God that can explain everything.

At least I'm not going to add to the confusion by positing yet another imaginary entity into the equation which ultimately leaves even more unanswerable questions.


For you to merely state "Great Green God of Reptelon 7 accounts for all of reality" isn't sufficient. You have to explain. Otherwise, you lose.

The "reason" why the Great Green God of Reptelon 7 explains all answers to all questions is in his qaudric nature. This nature is both sentient and non-sentient.. actual and non actual.. he provides the bridge between the particular and the ideal. It is not that he "created" the universe, but that the universe is an expression of his nature. A merely triune God is incapble of providing these imaginary properties and is therefore not capable of being an adequate imaginary answer to life's real questions.

In any case, the reptillian God is not interested in human beings, and will not save them. He is the God of Reptelon, and the fact that humans live here on earth is of little consequence to him. But he does provide the foundation for reality, logic, and causality through his quadric nature.


Jim previously wrote: To answer your question, the Triune God can account for the fundamental philosophical problems of unity-diversity, universals-particulars, the many and the one, and mind-body dichotomy.

No a triune God is not enough. It must be quadric. Only the God of Reptelon has an adequate number of manifestations necessary to explain the universals-particulars AND the university-diversity AND many and one, AND the mind-body dichotomy. There are FOUR answers, and therefore it is necessary for there to be FOUR manifestations, not three. A trinity has only three manifestations.

Sorry Jim, you'll have to try again.


Thus, logical laws, mathematical relationships, and scientific inquiry make sense. Any unitarian monolithic solution that is proposed is inadequate to address these issue. Flash is thereby disqualified.

No, because flash is also a pentarchic manifested entity. He therefore has one extra manifestation that allows him to answer questions that are not aspects of this universe, but of another universe entirely. Compare this to only the triune nature of your God. I'm sure you'll see that pentarchic manifestations are superior.


your claims that a "unitarian monolithic" solution are just made up to make your point sound more authoritative Jim. Why do you feel you need to do that?

The words and the sentences have meaning, Mr. Ben.

I absolutely dispute this. But go ahead.. lets hear if there is any substance at all to this "triune" nonsense.


If you're not familiar with them, you need only to ask and I will clarify. The Trinity is the Godhead as three-in-one. God is inherently a many-and-one Being, and thus His very nature and character can account for this phenomenon in nature.

Yes, I am aware of that bit of christian doctrine.


Is Flash a trinity? If so, then maybe you've got something there. But if he is a singular entity, then you are claiming that a unitarian/monolithic being can address this issue.

Flash is a quadric. He has five manifestations (labeled "flash1" through "flash5"). Because of his five manifestations (of which you see only one), he is more than adequate to explain all philosophical connundrums.

Next.


He cannot by his very nature and character. Let me know if any of that seems too arcane.

Sure he can. Can you prove that he can't. He has the requisite number of manifestations.. even an extra one (there must be four you know).


Jim wrote: But if there is a rational and logical God who created the universe, then it follows that the universe He created reflects those attributes.

And if there is a rational and logical Green God of Reptelon, it would be logical to assume that the universe would reflect those attributes as well. Therefore there IS a Green God of Reptelon.

See the problem Jim?


There is every reason to believe this. There is no rational reason not to believe it. By rejecting this, you sacrifice rationality on the altar of empiricism because you cannot justify or account for empiricism itself.

Sure I can. It works.


You must blindly rely upon your own faith-based assumption that empiricism is true and that the laws of induction that make sense of it are uniformly reliable and comport with reality.

I don't have "faith" that it works.. it just does. Try it yourself if you don't believe me.

If this is too simple for you and you require more jargon which basically states the same thing.. you can take a look at philosophical pragmatism, utiltarianism, naturalism, etc. You seem to be overly impressed with jargon.


Jim wrote: You further expose a horribly simplistic understanding of this debate.

Jim, the debate is horribly simple.

1. You can not prove God exists.
2. Therefore he can not be the answer to any philosophical problems.
3. Therefore the problems remain problems.

The other flaws in your argument are.

1. You haven't really proven that your particular God needs to be the one to answer all the problems. Your appeals to the "triune" nature of your God are inadequate because they are not lucid arguments. It also fails when we posit other "triune", "quadrune", or "pentune" gods that are not your particular God.

2. You haven't demonstrated that the problems are actually answered except by "stating" that they are. There is no evidence of these problems actually being adequately answered at all even with your God.

3. You deny any reasonable explanation for accepting logic, causality, etc. outside of a belief in your particular version of God a-priori.


You need to go back and read some of my previous posts, Mr. Ben. Merely inventing a supreme being that is "rational and logical" doesn't cut it.

That's the first statement you've made I can wholeheartedly agree with. My inventions are merely to show the absurdity of your inventions.


If you don't like it, go away. Rational men will do just fine without the likes of those who cannot keep their emotions in check.

Oh.. I think I'm enjoying this debate.



Merely inventing a supreme being and assigning him any old attribute you need at any given point cuts it.
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Do you really think "any old attribute" can be assigned to God? Make a list of attributes you think a god would need to have to account for reality. I dare you.

My list:

1. It accounts for reality.


Jim wrote: I didn't make it up, Mr. Ben. It comes from the authoritative source that I believe to be the Word of God.

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A book that you read. Books are always true.
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You further prove that you cannot handle this debate. Take your ball and bat and go home, Mr. Ben.

I know you believe the Bible is the word of God, but that is not really cogent to the discussion.


Jim wrote: Of all the atheists I've debated, there is a certain kind that inevitably shows himself to be an embarrassment to the rest. These are the kind who just can't get themselves to respect the debate, to deal honorably with others of differing opinions, and continually make bald unsupported assertions without debate. I find it repugnant and yet another example of what atheism has to offer.

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You find it repugnant that people do not automatically accept as a pre-condition that your God exists?
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Of course not! Who is feeding you these lines? Some atheist Jedi Yoda? Some atheist sensei? Obviously it is not someone who is reading this debate.

You state that God accounts for all of reality.. but that ONLY works if he exists. You can not prove that he exists, yet you rest your entire argument on that one single fact.

Therefore you are demanding that we accept the existence of God as a pre-condition to your arguments.


You base all of your assumptions about causality, rationality, science, logic, and the rest on this pre-condition. Your argument simply collapses if this assumption is not true.
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Let's say my argument isn't true. Now it's your turn. What's the pre-condition for these phenomena in nature, and how does that precondition account for these natural phenomena?

Simple answer.. we don't know. It just works.

How's that?

If you'd like.. I could make something up for you though.


Since there is no evidence that God exists, ...
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Oh, there is. It's staring you in the face. Look. Right there. See it? Evidence. E-vi-dence. That word has meaning. That word brings all kinds of things to mind, doesn't it? Each letter is distinguished from the other, by position, by morphology. Even the gaps between the letters have meaning. Why is that, Mr. Ben? And why do you recognize the distinctions between these letters?

Because I have a brain perhaps? It's a handy product of 2 billion years of evolution. The words have meaning because they are communication, also another product of evolution.

Evolution is not evidence for God. Of course it is also not evidence against God either really.. just Genesis.


What about the process by which you ascertain the meanings of these semiotic structures?

Synchronous firing of neural networks in the brain.


Lifeless matter just happened upon this ability by chance and by time?

No, by mutation and natural selection. Hardly chance.


It's all around you, Mr Ben, it's in your face, and you work aggressively, feverishly, to deny it. Put your fingers in your ears, clench your eyelids shut, and keep saying to yourself, "God isn't real.

He may be real, but I don't believe in your particular version of him. He is self contradictory, and does things that don't make a whole lot of sense to me. He seems to match the pattern of a mythical figure in a set of legendary stories, which is what I figure he probably is.


I know He isn't real. God doesn't exist. Reason sprang out of chaos.

Not only did reason spring out of chaos, but we actually have physical evidence of how it did. But what's evidence compared to what is written in a book that may or may not be the word of what may or may not be God?


Things can naturally become their opposites. We don't need God. God is unnecessary. We explain everything just fine without Him."

Yeah.. seems so, except for the bit about the opposites... where'd you get that part?


Then, by every sentence that came out of your mouth, you will have refuted every sentence that came out of your mouth. Because there can be no sentences where there are not particulars.

Yes, that's very true.

Since any one will do that answers the question, it really doesn't matter which one we come up with.


And there can be no interpretation where there are no universals. And there can be no intelligibility without the precondition that brings the two together, namely the existence and attributes of God, which I've described, and will describe again if you would like to be reminded.

Yes, he is a triune God. But as I've already explained.. a triune God simply does not have enough manifestations to answer these connundrums. He must have at least four manifestations.. so that would rule out the christian God.

...

Anyhow.. I'm tired.. I'll have to pick this up some other time.

Hilston
July 30th, 2003, 09:17 AM
Hi Mr Ben,

Mr Ben writes:
This is substantially the same as the answer flash gave.How do you figure? Why then didn't Flash say, "The answer is that Flash, as Creator, made his creation in accordance with his own nature and character. Flash is rational, and the laws of logic reflect his rational nature and character. Thus, by creating the universe, it follows that the natural order models these attributes"? If you had made that statement, you would have had something worth pursuing. Standing alone, the statement makes sense and could have been discussed. Of course, you realize you can't copy it without affirming God's existence, so you shuck and jive, inventing up these inanities which only make your case worse. [Note to Mr. Ben: Here is where you say, "So do you," and in a futile effort to convince yourself that atheism is only a little more rational and that God doesn't exist.]

Mr Ben writes:
You are assuming he exists, assuming he is rational, assuming that he has a character, assuming that he made the laws of logic, assuming he created the universe, and assuming that it follows that the universe should model these attributes.I don't assume this. I know this to be true. But for now, that's beside the point. The question is not what I assume, Mr. Ben, but what assumptions can be rationally justified and comport with human experience. Your assumptions are irrational and undermine human experience. If that's a worldview you prefer, that's fine, but don't strut around proclaiming your view is scientific and rational. It's not. It's question-begging, which your own worldview doesn't allow (more incoherency).

Mr Ben writes:
... based on all of these unfounded and unsupported assumptions, all philosophically unaswerable questions are then answered to your satisfaction.Of course. You cannot deny that God sufficiently grounds and explains our experience in reality. This is well-founded and supported by the fact that no other worldview can sufficiently account for them, as you continue to demonstrate everytime you provide an only slightly modified version of my worldview.

Mr Ben writes:
I can cut out the middle man. Why not just assume that all the questions are answered.Go ahead. Then go away. There's no need to debate if you're going to be irrational.

Mr ben writes:
This is also substantially the same as the answer flash gave.The fact that you don't see the significant difference between perfect triunity and superfluous quadracity shows that you don't know what you're talking about. You cannot deny the cogency and consistency of these claims, so you resort to these sloppy assertions as if they answer the question put to you.

Mr Ben writes:
But how does he know he will continue to do this? Maybe tomorrow God will cease to exist.Good question. The Bible indicates if God would somehow cease to exist, then all of His creation, which He sustains at every moment universally, would obliterate. But God is eternal and self-sufficient, and so your proposition is an impossibility.

Mr Ben writes:
So logic is part of the nature of God. If that is so, then logic could also simply be part of the nature of the universe.This is one of the contradictions that atheists believe: Acausal chance becomes causal laws.

Mr Ben writes:
How are they part of God's nature.They are not "part of" God's nature, but a reflection of God's nature. God's nature is coherent and consistent. His creation reflects that coherence and consistency, and hence the law-like features of the natural order.

Mr Ben writes:
Why are they part of god's nature. Why are these particular laws part of God's nature and not others.What others?

Mr Ben writes:
How precisely did God's nature turn into the real universe. By what process did it occur?Are you deliberately mischaracterizing this? If you had to guess, how do you think God would do this (hypothetically speaking in your case, of course)?

Mr Ben writes:
It seems that God's nature needs justification as much as anything else.We have sufficient information to tell us that God is good, inherently righteous and just, coherent and consistent and unchanging in His essential attributes and character. That is sufficient justification.

Mr Ben writes:
But why does God exist? And who created him?No one created God. God is ultimate and self-sufficient.

Mr. Ben writes:
You seem to say everything that exists must have an explanation.No, not for this discussion. If we're going to debate whether or not atheism is possible, then we have to deal with fundamental epistemological matters such as those things that make human experience intelligible.

Mr Ben writes:
It seems that perhaps we can save a step and just assume the universe needs no explanation.As a thinking man are you satisfied with that? This is why atheism is impossible.

Mr Ben writes:
The real question to be asked is "what is the point of all of this rigamarole ultimately?"Interesting question. what's your answer on your worldview (your actual view, not the one you've made up).

Mr Ben writes:
God exists.. what's his purpose for existing?We're not given that answer.

Mr Ben writes:
If we require a God to give us purpose, then so does he.We naturally require it because God gave it in the first place. Why, logically speaking, should God require that He be given a purpose? If He is self-sufficient, then He requires nothing outside of Himself. If God is consistent and the Bible is His Word, then we would logically expect God to give no reason other than His good pleasure in creating the universe. And that's exactly what we find there.

Jim wrote: By the way, each of these answers comes either directly, or are derived from, principles taught in the Bible.

Mr Ben writes:
That's great. But it doesn't really make any difference.Sure it does. It shows that these are not something I myself have invented, but are long-established truths recorded by ancient men under the inspiration of God. You don't have to like it or agree with it, but it makes a difference.

Mr Ben writes:
Your answers are basically identical to flash's answers. Your God answers no questions.. but simply allows you to claim that he does. In reality, you have no more answers than any one of us.. all you have is the self satisfied belief that you do.I know it's unpleasant, Mr. Ben, but you need to think about what you're saying. Suppose God exists, for the sake of argument. What kind of answer would you expect from Him to your questions?

Jim wrote: But notice, this is very similar to how an unruly child views his conscientious parent. That says quite a bit, doesn't it?

Mr Ben writes:
Actually it's similar to how an adult views a children's fairy tale.Is that how you treat children? Do you give answers like "1. Because I have power beyond your comprehension. 2. Because I said so. 3. Because I said so. 4. With powers beyond your comprehension. 5. With powers beyond your comprehension. 6. Because I made it so"? Either way you look at it, you've got issues, dude.

Jim

attention
July 30th, 2003, 10:20 AM
Originally posted by Hilston
Good question. The Bible indicates if God would somehow cease to exist, then all of His creation, which He sustains at every moment universally, would obliterate. But God is eternal and self-sufficient, and so your proposition is an impossibility.


This property of God inTheism makes it to an entity that has the same significance for the world as Matter in Materialism, namely it is the primary substance or entity of the world, that is not dependend on something else, but everything is dependend on God cq. matter.

Actually God and Matter ARE in a philosophical sense the same substance (omnipotent, infinite and eternal). Only materialism does not attribute any form of personality and/or consciousness (will, purpose, intend) to matter, since they somehow do not show up, but are man's own reflections on matter.

It is interesting to note that man's notion of what the world itself was made of and both religion arose about the same time.
Jewish tradition came up with the notion of God, and Greek philosophy came up with the notion of matter (made of "atoms" although they had no idea what atoms looked like, they could not observe them yet).

Actually God and matter must be the same thing, cause the world does not exist in two seperate and distinct ways.

And the difference between God and matter, well that is just a humanly interpretation. Nowadays we would not attribute will, intend or purpose to an unpersonal proces, although the existence of matter itself, as the cause and reason of our being here, can be interpreted as our reason or cause of existence in the first place, which is a fact that matters to us.

But don't be affraid: the world itself lays in good hands, cause (acc. to Theism) God and (according to Materialism) matter can not cease to exist, ever!




This is one of the contradictions that atheists believe: Acausal chance becomes causal laws.


You refer here probably to some Idealist interpretations of for example quantum mechanics, that state that at that level nature functions 'a-causal', and comes with Idealist notions that the 'wave function collapses' due to the consciouss observation of it.

That aren't Materialist notions of how nature works, but are all Idealist notions. And as we all know, those notions all lead to God in some or other way...

According to materialism matter is causal in every aspect and matter is infinitely divisable.

We face just practical limits in establish the proof for that, since obviously, there are practical limits of observation and there always will be.

Mr. Ben
July 30th, 2003, 11:46 PM
How do you figure? Why then didn't Flash say, "The answer is that Flash, as Creator, made his creation in accordance with his own nature and character. Flash is rational, and the laws of logic reflect his rational nature and character. Thus, by creating the universe, it follows that the natural order models these attributes"? If you had made that statement, you would have had something worth pursuing. Standing alone, the statement makes sense and could have been discussed. Of course, you realize you can't copy it without affirming God's existence, so you shuck and jive, inventing up these inanities which only make your case worse. [Note to Mr. Ben: Here is where you say, "So do you," and in a futile effort to convince yourself that atheism is only a little more rational and that God doesn't exist.]

There is one difference between God and Flash. Flash is known to exist, so his rational nature and character CAN be used to explain all unanswerable metaphysical questions (were these questions actually answerable in this way).

God has not been shown to exist, therefore he can not answer any philosophical questions.

In other words Jim.. FIRST prove that God exists, then you can go ahead and explain how he solves all metaphysical problems.


I don't assume this. I know this to be true. But for now, that's beside the point. The question is not what I assume, Mr. Ben, but what assumptions can be rationally justified and comport with human experience. Your assumptions are irrational and undermine human experience.

No they aren't. You're opinion about my assumptions is shared by you alone, and soley because you wish to posit a divine entity.


If that's a worldview you prefer, that's fine, but don't strut around proclaiming your view is scientific and rational. It's not.

It is.


It's question-begging, which your own worldview doesn't allow (more incoherency).

It is entirely coherent. We perceive, we thing, we make inferences from perception, these inferences define our view of the world. There is nothing more that needs to be said about it really. All other questions are really meaningless from an existential standpoint. It makes no real difference what their answers might be, or if they are answerable.

Not all questions that can be asked need answers, or even have worthwhile answers, even when it appears that they must. Many questions are merely artifacts of the way we think about things.

For example: absolute truth is a superlative. We use symbolic superlatives similarly to how mathematicians use imaginary numbers, or the various incarnations of infinity. They are useful when thinking about real things and comparing them to ideals, yet the ideals themselves are symbolic abstractions. Mechanical systems in our mind use thes abstractions to convolve information. But there are no existing superlatives in reality.. only as pathways in our neural networks, and to speak of "absolute" truth is to be mistaken about what "absolute" and "truth" actually are.


... based on all of these unfounded and unsupported assumptions, all philosophically unaswerable questions are then answered to your satisfaction.
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Of course. You cannot deny that God sufficiently grounds and explains our experience in reality.

Sure I can. He can not know that he will continue forever, or that his reality is as it seems. You simply "say" that he does but never explain how. But Jim.. you know what.. I don't believe you.


This is well-founded and supported by the fact that no other worldview can sufficiently account for them, as you continue to demonstrate everytime you provide an only slightly modified version of my worldview.

Slightly? You mean that the fact that I posit innumerable other Gods that in no way resemble the Christian God of the Bible except for the fact that I arbitrarily define them to answer all metaphysical problems makes them "slightly modified". I think not.


I can cut out the middle man. Why not just assume that all the questions are answered.
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Go ahead. Then go away. There's no need to debate if you're going to be irrational.

Irrational. Heaven forbid a debate which centers around one single unfounded a-priori assumption would venture into irrationality.


The fact that you don't see the significant difference between perfect triunity and superfluous quadracity shows that you don't know what you're talking about.

My point is that you are throwing around nonsense pretending it's something meaningful. I'm just satirizing it to demonstrate its absurdity.


You cannot deny the cogency and consistency of these claims, so you resort to these sloppy assertions as if they answer the question put to you.

I hereby deny the cogency and consistency of your claims concerning the triune nature of God. Please submit some sort of well reasoned argument that consists of more than a few $50 dollar words and I'll reconsider my position.


Good question. The Bible indicates if God would somehow cease to exist, then all of His creation, which He sustains at every moment universally, would obliterate. But God is eternal and self-sufficient, and so your proposition is an impossibility.

1. There is no reason to believe that the non existence of God would mean the non existence of the universe.
2. There is no reason to believe that God is eternal, or self-sufficient.
3. There is no reason to believe that he sustains everything at every moment.
4. There is no reason to believe any specific thing the Bible says unless it is corroborated with historical or scientific evidence.


This is one of the contradictions that atheists believe: Acausal chance becomes causal laws.

Yes, this is called self organization.. and it is a property of any rule based system with the right parameters.


They are not "part of" God's nature, but a reflection of God's nature. God's nature is coherent and consistent. His creation reflects that coherence and consistency, and hence the law-like features of the natural order.

Except that we have not established God's nature, that the universe is related in any way to it, or even the existence of God. Therefore we're back to square one Jim.

Assertion is not evidence.


How precisely did God's nature turn into the real universe. By what process did it occur?
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Are you deliberately mischaracterizing this? If you had to guess, how do you think God would do this (hypothetically speaking in your case, of course)?

Well, since we see the evidence from the universe itself around us, and we would assume God is not a deceiver, I would expect God (if he exists at all) would use natural processes to create the universe.

If God does not exist, then the universe simply came about some other way which we are not yet (and may never be) aware of.

I am not particularly concerned with unanswered questions. It is irrational to believe that all questions that can be posed have answers, and that we can know these answers. It is perfectly okay to say "we don't know", and not have to make things up to feel good about it.


It seems that God's nature needs justification as much as anything else.
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We have sufficient information to tell us that God is good, inherently righteous and just, coherent and consistent and unchanging in His essential attributes and character. That is sufficient justification.

I don't believe the God of the Bible is inherently Good, righteous, just, or even coherent. And I don't see how you could read the same book I have and still say this.



No one created God. God is ultimate and self-sufficient.

No, the universe is ultimate and self-sufficient because it's initial state is so simple. Something as complex as God however requires a creator.


No, not for this discussion. If we're going to debate whether or not atheism is possible, then we have to deal with fundamental epistemological matters such as those things that make human experience intelligible.

Brains make things intelligible.


As a thinking man are you satisfied with that? This is why atheism is impossible.

I am satisfied with the answer "we don't know", because it's the best answer.


Interesting question. what's your answer on your worldview (your actual view, not the one you've made up).

Personally, I like being alive. That is sufficient for me.

You on the other hand are merely a puppet in a show that ultimately has no meaning whatsoever. If God does not have a purpose, then nothing he does has any purpose, which means you have no purpose either.


We're not given that answer.

Yes, this is the stock response for any difficult question about God.


If we require a God to give us purpose, then so does he.
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We naturally require it because God gave it in the first place. Why, logically speaking, should God require that He be given a purpose?

No, we do not require a purpose.

Purpose is reserved as a lable for those elements of a system which serve to maintain such systems in homeostatic equilibrium. If an object is not a part of such a system, the word does not apply. The word simply doesn't apply to things such as the "universe", or "life" like it does to "leg", or "government", or "hammer".


If He is self-sufficient, then He requires nothing outside of Himself. If God is consistent and the Bible is His Word, then we would logically expect God to give no reason other than His good pleasure in creating the universe. And that's exactly what we find there.

And I require nothing more than my own good pleasure to be alive. All humans are self sufficient. Their reason for being is being itself.

Yet when we look back at God, he has gone to a great deal of trouble to do all of this "supposedly", and for what? Who knows. Why would such a thing give any supreme being pleasure? He knows what will happen, so there are no suprises. He is self-sufficient, so there is no need to create a universe as an extension to himself. If life is merely a diversion for God, what does that make us? A cosmic drama played out for his entertainment?


Your answers are basically identical to flash's answers. Your God answers no questions.. but simply allows you to claim that he does. In reality, you have no more answers than any one of us.. all you have is the self satisfied belief that you do.
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I know it's unpleasant, Mr. Ben, but you need to think about what you're saying. Suppose God exists, for the sake of argument. What kind of answer would you expect from Him to your questions?

I would expect him to state "the reason why we can know that causality is consistent always is specifically X" (where X is not "because I am God and I made it that way"). Or "the reason why there is something rather than nothing is Y" (again, where Y is not "because I am God and this is my nature"). In other words REAL answers to these questions, not just fobbing us off with It is my nature, or telling us it is beyond our comprehension.


Jim wrote: But notice, this is very similar to how an unruly child views his conscientious parent. That says quite a bit, doesn't it?

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Actually it's similar to how an adult views a children's fairy tale.
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Is that how you treat children? Do you give answers like "1. Because I have power beyond your comprehension. 2. Because I said so. 3. Because I said so. 4. With powers beyond your comprehension. 5. With powers beyond your comprehension. 6. Because I made it so"? Either way you look at it, you've got issues, dude.

These are all characteristic of fairy tales. They require suspension of disbelief. You have suspended your disbelief Jim, so you are able to accept as a precondition that God exists. This is the only way that any of what you are saying makes any sense.

Again, if God does not exist, he can not solve any philosophical connundrums. There is no evidence that such a being exists, therefore the metaphysical problems remain open.

I would certainly like to hear a good well reasoned explanation as to why inference from causality is absolutely justified (not via experience only). If you could get your God to describe specifically and directly why this would be so (rather than "it is part of his nature", or "it is his will", or "because of the triune nature is both abstract and particular"). I want a "real" answer to the question.

flash
July 31st, 2003, 08:49 AM
Originally posted by Hilston
At least I'm am willing and able to show how my imaginary God accounts for reality and our experience of it.

I think this is what everyone is waiting for. Please explain.


Originally posted by Hilston
You have to explain. Otherwise, you lose.

attention
July 31st, 2003, 10:17 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Ben
In other words Jim.. FIRST prove that God exists, then you can go ahead and explain how he solves all metaphysical problems.


You can ASK him that, but I hope you understand he can not ANSWER that question ever, since the fact is that God does not exist apart from those metaphysical questions, but in fact embodies al such metaphysical stuff.

We happen to be a being that can ask more questions then we can solve, and since that situation dissatifies us, we (or some of us) invent a hypothetical being, that embodies al the answers to such questions.

Which therefore makes it kind of impossible to take God apart and proof it's existence apart from those metaphysical questions.

Not the invention or denial of the existence of God as embodiment of such questions are able of solving anything to these metaphysical questions.

The only thing of interest are the metaphysical questions themselves, and we have to ask ourselves, if they have a possibility of being anwered at all, and/or if the questions themselves have any meaning at all.

And the question is also of course, of knowing all the answers to those questions would in itself be meaningfull. It might be the other way around, as long as there are questions which are not answered, we continue to find them. To know all the answers to all the questions, is probaly the most devastating that could ever happen to us, and would take the meaning out of our lives.

Mr. Coffee
July 31st, 2003, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by Mr. Ben
And I require nothing more than my own good pleasure to be alive. All humans are self sufficient. Their reason for being is being itself. But we do not come to be without others, and it is in communication that we learn to think. If any idea or experience is significant to us, it comes with a burning desire to be shared... and justified.

If we're honest, we are dissatisfied with the simple answers of consumerism and thoughtless proselytes and scientific reductionists, because our yearning continually transcends every physical object we give it, and the answers only raise questions. And even if we say that the big questions have no meaning or relevance, we are inviting others to choose a point of view, and we play the game that never ends. Every pat answer will appear ridiculous against this unlimited horizon of meaning-possibility, because we are fundamentlly open to the infinite, and this is the relevance of our God-talk. It's the questioning.

I am not saying that we cannot know things. What I mean is that there is always more to be said. I also want to say that God is not the answer to a question, and I don't think that the traditional proofs are airtight or even very meaningful, actually. We have to deal with God in our openess to inexhaustible inquiry and appreciation, before it's articulated in specific questions.

Emmaus Road
July 31st, 2003, 03:49 PM
In following Descartes, and Newton...we live in a Mechanical Universe. The laws of nature are in operation, gravity, biology, physics rule our reality. God does not say to the sun every day...Rise! It does so because the laws of nature are in effect.

None of this detracts from God.

Sure...given enough time we are a "mathimatical probality", but are we...?

We seem to be the only creatures aware of our own mortality.


Then there is Anslem's argument..

Anselm's Ontological Argument, stated in argument form, reads:



(premise 1) God is that than which none greater can be conceived.
(premise 2) If god did not exist, something greater than god would exist.
(premise 3) But no greater thing than god can be conceived.
(conclusion) Therefore, god exists.

attention
July 31st, 2003, 04:10 PM
Emmaus Road:

This argument proofs only that the universe exists, which is the totality of things that exist.

You don't argue now that "God" is "just another name" for the universe don't you?

That would be a silly argument, since God is not just defined as that (the totality of being), which would make God the same thing as matter, but the very difference between matter and God is, that God is matter in personified, consciouss form.

So the argument realy is then if a totality of everything can have consciousness itself.

But by definition of what is consciousness, such is impossible, since that entity (the "totality of things", the universe) can not be consciouss of anything outside, apart and independend of itself, since by defintion nothing exist outside of itself. (that is what you proved yourself)
Secondly, self consciousness only can exist if one can distinguish between self and something that is apart, independend and outside of self.
By definition that is also impossible.
Further, to be consciouss means to have subjective existence. But subjective existence can not be defined if there is no objective existence.

This then does not allow for the situation that the "totality of things" (the universe) itself can be a consciouss entity, since the universe itself exists as an objective material entity.
Objective existence means that it is not dependend on anything else. The infinite and eternal way in which the universe exists, form the objective form of material existence. This then allows there to be subjective entities too, in the form of (but not limited to) human consciousness, as a development product of the universe itself, that can be consciouss and self-consciouss, and exist in subjective form.
This form of consciousness can exist, because it allows for being consciousness of something that is outside, apart and independend of itself, and to be self consciousness, cause it can distinguish between self and something that is independend, apart and outside of self.

Since the "totality of all things" (the universe) - based on the way how consciousness is defined - is not a consciouss entity, by definition that is not God.

jjjg
August 23rd, 2003, 06:30 PM
Your whole argument is subjective.