User Tag List

Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: One on One: Does God Exist? FrankWalton (theist) vs axiom-tech (atheist)

  1. #1
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    26,925
    Thanks
    389
    Thanked 2,335 Times in 1,100 Posts

    Blog Entries
    6
    Mentioned
    128 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)


    Rep Power
    1097775

    Exclamation One on One: Does God Exist? FrankWalton (theist) vs axiom-tech (atheist)

    Normally I do not start One on One debates unless I am in the fight but this time I am going to make the first post in this One on One between two new TOL'ers that I know very little about.

    Here is how the debate will be structured.....

    The topic:

    Does God exist?

    The debaters:

    FrankWalton (theist) vs axiom-tech (atheist)

    The format:

    Opening statements: no more than 1500 words. (due April 30th)

    First Rebuttals: no more than 1000 words. (due May 2nd)

    Second Rebuttals: no more than 800 words. (due May 4th)

    Conclusions: no more than 600 words. (due May 7th)

    I (and the other admins) will be moderating the debate to make sure the contestants follow the above agreed upon rules.
    Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
    TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

  2. #2
    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    151
    is an atheist.

    (btw, this is not my opening statement! Can't wait to debate!)

  3. #3
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    26,925
    Thanks
    389
    Thanked 2,335 Times in 1,100 Posts

    Blog Entries
    6
    Mentioned
    128 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)


    Rep Power
    1097775

    Exclamation

    I invite all of you to join the discussion about this debate by clicking here.
    Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
    TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

  4. #4
    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    151
    Before I begin I wanted to thank Knight for hosting. I'm new to this forum, and have already put my feet in the water by raising hell in the religion area. As you all can see after one day I managed to receive enough votes to my reputation at -95057. That's ok! I also want to mention this is my first formal debate, I've had many discussions and informal debates in the past but it's always been counter-point coffee table discussions. So we'll see how i do!

    I do for a moment want to comment on the title "Does God exist?" - Now I am under the impression we are debating "Does Jealous exist?" (Jealous is the bible-god exodus 34:14) in which case the title should be that. The title "Does God exist" implies that we're debating a specific god, rather than whether or not gods exist. The question on whether a specific god or set of gods exist is a different question as to whether there is supernatural minds behind existence. As an atheist, I have no belief in any super-minds/gods, so Jealous is on equal terms as other gods such as DANU, and WOGAN. So the fact that we may be discussing a specific god does not imply that the god at hand is more worth debating than Wogan.

    Based on that assumption, the god at hand is traditionally believed to have the following attributes / qualities:

    - Supernatural
    - Omnipresent (in all places at all times)
    - Omniscience (knows all things)
    - Eternal (exists for ever)
    - Omnipotent (infinite power, can do all things)
    - Omni benevolent (all good)
    - Transcendent (above nature / beyond)
    - Disembodied (no physical body)

    This debate is whether or not such a being exists. We can summarize this debate very simply. Frank believes the following proposition is true (G) [God exists] and I do not. I will be defending my position is two ways: A) Negative Atheistic arguments - demonstrating that there are no good reasons to believe (G) and B) Positive Atheism - there are good reasons to doubt (G) or positively deny (G) is true.

    NEGATIVE ATHEISTIC ARGUMENTS

    Negative, or weak atheistic arguments usually go as follows:

    p1) There is no good evidence / reason to believe (G)
    c) Therefore we are justified in doubting the truth of (G)


    However, these arguments put Frank on the defensive since he has the burden of proof. I will simply wait to hear this arguments before I use any negative arguments (refutation of theistic arguments).

    POSITIVE ATHEISTIC ARGUMENTS

    Positive or strong atheistic arguments usually go as follows:

    p1) (G) can't be true for reasons [xyz]
    c) Therefore (G) is not true


    or


    p1) There are good reasons to believe (G) is false
    c) Therefore we are justified in believing (G) is false

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    1) The Inductive argument for metaphysical Naturalism (IAFMN)

    Induction or inductive reasoning, sometimes called inductive logic, is the process of reasoning in which the premises of an argument are believed to support the conclusion but do not ensure it. It is used to ascribe properties or relations to types based on tokens (i.e., on one or a small number of observations or experiences); or to formulate laws based on limited observations of recurring phenomenal patterns.


    for example:


    All examples of water have been wet
    Therefore: It is reasonable to conclude all water is wet


    At the horse race, horse number 8 has always been 1st place.
    Therefore: It is reasonable to assume that the next race he will win.


    It is by definition rational, logical, and scientific to make certain conclusions based on specifics. To see how this is, imagine a horse race between 2 horses. Horse (A) & (B) have raced everyday for 25 years, and every single race horse A has won horse B. Never has B even come close to winning. Now imagine two men who have sat in on every race, and each day David bets on horse (A) and Frank bets on (B). Frank's judgment would be highly questioned if he continued to bet on the horse that never ever won. He would be considered irrational or probably insane or making such horrible bets given the history of these horses.

    Now consider the following fact in the history of science

    1) Every explanation that has been confirmed and met the test of time has been naturalistic
    2) Super naturalistic 'explanations' have always been replaced with naturalistic ones, never vice versa.

    The rational conclusion is that all future explanations will be naturalistic, and a logical extension of this would be that all of existence is natural.

    "Thus, all metaphysical naturalists believe that if anything exists in our universe, it is a part of nature, and has a natural cause or origin, and there is no need of any other explanation. This belief is not asserted or assumed as a first principle, but is arrived at from a careful and open minded investigation of all the evidence and reason [...].

    As we see it, the progress of science and other critical methods has consistently found natural causes and origins for everything we have been able to investigate thoroughly -- for so long, so widely, on so many subjects, both disparate and related. Indeed, it has never once failed in this regard whenever a problem or question could be properly investigated. So it is a thoroughly reasonable inference that this shall continue unabated. We have every reason to believe that the results of future investigations will most probably be the same for every subject once we have access to sufficient evidence to decide on the matter.

    So whenever we have a vast body of evidence, we find nothing else but a very strong basis for belief in naturalism, and since this is never observed to be the reverse, naturalism is the most sensible conclusion. Should any change in this pattern occur in the future, we may be justified in changing our worldview. But until then, this is the most reasonable view to take. Why? Because with a complete system of Metaphysical Naturalism it is possible to offer a plausible hypothetical answer to every question science can't get at yet, which means it is a very robust and useful worldview. It means we are on to something.

    Now, by "nature" we mean a non-sentient universe, with all it's properties and behaviors. Basically we mean nothing more than space, time, material, and physical law. There my be other dimensions besides space and time, but these would still be nothing more than mindless extensions of the same physical being, much as time may be a mere extension of space, and all three dimensions of space a mere extensions of one."


    - Richard Carrier: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism - pg. 67
    Metaphysical Naturalism, at its most fundamental level is simply the view that all reality is natural. Which is to say the cosmos is non-sentient. All minds, and all the contents and powers and effects of minds, are entirely caused by natural [i.e. fundamentally nonmental] phenomena.

    The argument therefore can be summarized as follows:

    p1) All that exists is natural or an extension of nature
    p2) God is something 'non-natural' or 'supernatural'
    c) Therefore God does not exist

    To refute this, provide one example where any super naturalistic explanation has ever, ever been confirmed.

    2) The inductive argument for mind-body physicalism

    p1) All known minds are dependent or the result of a physical brain or machine
    c) Therefore it is reasonable to believe all minds depend on brains

    It is commonly assumed by theists that somehow connected to the body is an immaterial soul. It is this soul that receives credit for our higher mental capacities such as the ability to make free choices, think rationally, and even continue living after the death of our body; in short, we identify our soul as the source of our mind. But is there any evidence that such a soul exists? Unfortunately, there is not. The idea that our mind exists independently of our physical body is directly contradicted by everyday observations--like the fact that alcohol and other physical substances can change our conscious states, that degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's or physical injuries can seriously impair or even destroy conscious states, and the fact that we don't expect young children to be capable of the types of abstract reasoning that require more fully developed brains. As Owen Flanagan, Professor of Philosophy at Duke University, has stated, "advances in … the sciences of the mind, cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience, in particular" have led to the rejection of the "belief that that the mind or the soul interacts with--but is metaphysically independent of--the body [1]." And as Marvin Minsky, professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has stated, "minds are what brains do [2]." Indeed, extensive evidence suggests that all of our conscious mental states correspond to some physical brain state. Since it appears there is no way that a mind can exist apart from a functioning physical brain to generate it, we are justified in drawing the inductive conclusion that disembodied minds do not exist [3]. However, this implies a serious difficulty for theism: If disembodied minds don't exist, since God is supposed to be a disembodied mind, this would strongly suggest that God does not exist. Therefore, the physical dependence of minds on the brain is evidence for atheism and against theism.

    The argument can go as follows:

    p1) All minds require brains
    p2) God is defined as a being with a mind with no brain
    c) Therefore God does not exist.

    I have more to say but I think I'm over my limit!

    Kbye.

    [1] Owen Flanagan, The Problem of the Soul (New York: Perseus, 2002).

    [2] Marvin Minsky, Minds are Simply What Brains Do. http://www.leaderu.com/truth/2truth03.html

    [3] In other words, because all of the minds we have ever encountered are dependent on physical brains, and because it further seems that this must be the case, induction would suggest that all minds that exist are dependent on physical brains. Even substance dualism holds that our physical brains are a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for our having a mind. However, it is logically possible that God exists as some other kind of mind, but what this could mean is quite unclear (if it means anything at all). So, while it is true that God could exist as an ontologically different kind of mind, this only rules out a deductive argument from the physical dependence of minds on the brain; the inductive version of this argument still stands.

  5. #5
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    0

    Exclamation Breach of conduct

    Axiom-Tech,

    You have just broken one of the rules of the debate. As you can see in the very first post in this forum (by Knight) you were to write an opening no more than 1500 words, yet you’re opening is 1625 words (not counting the references… I don’t count those… but, uh, it seemed liked you were doing more arguing in the third reference! Give me a break!). And you wonder why I called you a moron? As far as I can tell none of the moderators warned you about this infraction, which is unfortunate, and which is why I'm posting this message myself. My sole purpose of going to a forum was to have a fair debate while being properly moderated. I will post my opening tomorrow, but if you continue to break the rules of the debate (or weasel in more arguments in your reference section), I will not continue it. I hope you would be more civil in your conduct.

    Thanks,

    Frank Walton

  6. #6
    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    151
    Oh, you're right. I'm sorry. I can edit it if you wish. Also, you hope I will be more civil, what have I done or said that suggests i'm not being civil?

  7. #7
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    0

    Lightbulb Frank Walton's opening argument

    I’d like to remind our readers that the topic of the discussion is in a form of a question: “Does God exist?” This is an existential claim. That is to say, it’s a question about existence; in particular, God’s existence. Topics such as discrepancies in the Bible or societal norms that befit a better society does not indicate whether God literally exists. The two competing worldviews are atheism and Christianity. According to our own system of thought certain facts and evidences make sense to us. Now it wouldn’t do any good to assume his view and judge mine as that would be begging the question. What we have to do is give internal critiques of our worldviews demonstrating its inability to account for human experience.

    Here then is my opening:

    In order to pursue something true man must have properly functioning cognitive faculties in order to have knowledge of this truth. For the Christian, his faculties require the existence of a designer. After all, God created us with an intellect. And as creatures created in His image we are to imitate Him. For the atheist, his faculties must strictly be understood in naturalistic terms. This puts the Christian at an advantage because even if we grant the evolutionary argument, it would be the undoing of naturalism as we know it! If naturalism is true then the purpose of our cognitive faculties would be survival, not true beliefs. As philosopher Patricia Churchland said,

    “Boiled down to essentials, a nervous system enables the organism to succeed in the four F's: feeding, fleeing, fighting, and reproducing. The principle chore of nervous systems is to get the body parts where they should be in order that the organism may survive. . . . . Improvements in sensorimotor control confer an evolutionary advantage: a fancier style of representing is advantageous so long as it is geared to the organism's way of life and enhances the organism's chances of survival. Truth, whatever that is, definitely takes the hindmost.” [1]
    So the purpose of our cognitive faculties according to naturalism is to produce adaptive behavior. And this behavior helps our survival, not acquiring true beliefs. Charles Darwin knew this all too well when he said,

    “With me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” [2]
    Over all, evolution can supply naturalists with probable survival rate but it would not give us cognitive faculties aimed at truth. He would only be left with skepticism.

    My next argument deals with the immutable laws of nature. How do we know that the laws of nature operate in the manner that it does? By seeing and testing those laws; were it not for the uniformity of nature there's just no way of doing science. However, the problem the atheist has is that not all of nature is restricted to his experience. What he would end up doing is making a hasty generalization because he's taking a small amount of evidence and universalizing it. Also, the atheist has the problem of knowing whether what he sees and tests now will apply in the past or future, because he cannot jump into the past or jump into the future. As David Hume said, we cannot see causation. You cannot know that A necessarily causes B simply because B happens to follow A at a given point in time. You can say that B may follow A most of the time, but you cannot possibly know it always has or always will. In fact Bertrand Russell admits that you can’t expect the future to be like the past apart from a view of nature that accounts for its uniformity:

    “It has been argued that we have reason to know that the future will resemble the past, because what was the future has constantly become the past, and has always been found to resemble the past, so that we really have experience of the future, namely of times which were formerly future, which we may call past futures. But such an argument really begs the very question at issue. We have experience of past futures, but not of future futures, and the question is: Will the future futures resemble past futures? This question is not to be answered by an argument, which starts from past futures alone. We have therefore still to seek for some principle which shall enable us to know that the future will follow the same laws as the past.” [3]
    If I were to ride my skateboard and push forward, how would I know that I would actually move forward instead of suddenly turning into a horse? Because we all know that nature is uniform and it makes life practical. How would an atheist account for this in a chance universe though? The Christian has an advantage here because God is infinite and sovereign over the world. And in Him all things hold together. The world reflects the uniformity He imposes on it.

    Now my opponent actually wrote his own justification for induction [4] and sadly he fell in the same fallacy described by Russell. My opponent wrote briefly that if water is wet it would be logical to prove that all water is wet. He also describes that if a horse wins first place in a race, it would be logical to assume he’ll win the next race. And, wait for it guys, here’s my opponent’s justification for induction:

    This (wet water and horse races) is rational, and by definition logical thinking. What does this have to do with naturalism?

    Historically all confirmed explanations have been naturalistic explanations.
    Therefore: It is reasonable to conclude that all explanations will be natural

    Metaphysical Naturalism, the view that all that can be said to exist is nature is the only conclusion one can make. If you conclude anything else, you are stupid and wrong.

    Thank you.”
    This is begging the question and circular reasoning if I ever read one! And my opponent has yet to give a real justification for induction without any false claims (or ad hominems).

    Finally, I would like to deal with my third argument: God gives life ultimate purpose and meaning in life. As I mentioned earlier, man is made in God's image, therefore he has intrinsic value. Our value is underscored by the fact that Jesus took upon Himself to die for us to redeem us. And as religious beings we are not mere concoctions of matter in random motion.

    Does my opponent believe man has objective meaning? According to him, that’s a non-question because it’s an oxymoron! Here he explains,

    “If [X has meaning IF X refers to certain valued mental-states in person P] is true, then objective meaning becomes an oxymoron. Things have meaning in relation to subjects, so how can you have a subjective-objective thing? It would be like saying ‘It's my objective thought’ - If objective means 'existing independent of thought' how can you have a thought that is independent of thought?” [5]
    Indeed our thoughts are not literally out of our minds. However, we all have our own individual thoughts independent of other people. So who’s subjective thought about objective meaning is the right one? In fact, his premise is in of itself subject to the same problem! If I were to disagree with this premise would I be wrong? I wouldn’t be any more right than I would be wrong from the next person. And on hindsight my opponent is making this “subjective meaning” argument objectively meaningful for all people!

    Furthermore, in his blog entitled “Purpose, Value, & Gods” [6], my opponent remarked

    “For something to have a purpose, by definition, it must be something that is designed/formed/created with an intention/goal in mind.”
    It’s true for something to have purpose it must have an intention and goal in mind. But why have the intention and goal of arguing about “purpose” if my opponent conceded that man was not designed, and therefore has no purpose anyway? As he said, “the universe and man has no purpose since it was not designed with any intentionality.” Then why does he have the intention of arguing about “purpose” if it wouldn’t be any good to do so to start with? Furthermore, purpose doesn’t entail something must be designed/formed/created. In fact, God who is self-sustaining has plenty of purpose: that He be glorified. Also, no dictionary I know of has defined “purpose” the way my opponent is defining it. Something can still have purpose without it being designed/formed/created. But what would be the purpose of arguing about purpose if there is no ultimate purpose in life anyway?

    I have yet to rebut my opponent’s case that naturalism is true. However, I’ve given three cases to show that Christianity is true.

    Thank you.


    =====================================

    Works Cited:

    1. Journal of Philosophy (LXXXIV, Oct. 87) p. 548.

    2. Letter to William Graham, Down, July 3rd, 1881. In The Life and
    Letters of Charles Darwin Including an Autobiographical Chapter,
    ed. Francis Darwin (London: John Murray, Albermarle Street, 1887),
    Volume 1, pp. 315-316.

    3. Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), ch. 6.

    4. Axiom-Tech, “The inductive argument for naturalism!”

    5. Axiom-Tech (as :[true]:), “Atheism & Meaning”

    6. Axiom-Tech, “Purpose, Value, & Gods”

  8. #8
    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    151
    Rebuttal #1


    Your first argument suggests that since in a Darwinian sense, natural selection ultimately selects for what is adaptive, and therefore there's no reason to believe that our cognitive faculties will be reliable but simply adaptive.

    Consider the following argument:

    "The purpose of Wal-Mart is to make as much money as possible, not spend money. Therefore we should predict wal-mart will not spend money on security cameras or janitors for the restrooms"
    The fallacy lies in the fact that Wal-Mart, by spending money on such things, will increase the amount of money they produce by 1) preventing theft 2) pleasing customers. Wal-Mart's decision to spend money on certain things is the means to an end - the decision has the consequence of contributing to the goal.

    The truth is that having reliable cog-faculties, is adaptive. A creature with cognitive faculties that produce true conclusions will be more likely to find food, or avoid danger. Adaptive may be the goal, but reliable cognitive faculties is the means which contributes to the goal.

    Also, this argument has nothing to do with: 1) theism being true, 2) Christianity being true, 3) metaphysical naturalism being false, or to be honest, anything else other than an issue with the philosophical consequences of Darwinism. We're not debating Darwinism, now are we Frank?

    If I were to ride my skateboard and push forward, how would I know that I would actually move forward instead of suddenly turning into a horse? Because we all know that nature is uniform and it makes life practical. How would an atheist account for this in a chance universe though? The Christian has an advantage here because God is infinite and sovereign over the world. And in Him all things hold together. The world reflects the uniformity He imposes on it.
    1) Excuse me, a 'chance universe?' - Please explain.
    2) You're account fails

    You say that God is sovereign over the universe, and this explains why the universe is uniform. Frank, does god have a nature? Is it not in god's nature to be good? What reason does god have to expect that tomorrow his nature will change to evil, or suddenly he becomes not all-powerful? The truth is, you most likely believe that gods nature is eternal and unchanging (uniform). Please explain what accounts for the uniformity of god's nature. Sure, god may control this world, but that presupposes he does so based on his will or nature which is unchanging.

    If you answer "His eternal nature just is" - then my reply to the problem of induction is 'The cosmos reflects eternal laws which govern all that is'

    3) This is a Appeal to consequence. Just because our inability to justify induction has negative consequences on science, has nothing to do with whether or not there is a justification. Why do we have to have a justification for induction?

    Now my opponent actually wrote his own justification for induction
    No Frank, I never claimed that was a justification, but an example.

    Finally, I would like to deal with my third argument: God gives life ultimate purpose and meaning in life. As I mentioned earlier, man is made in God's image, therefore he has intrinsic value.
    Intrinsic value is an oxymoron. Value is a relational thing between a mind and an another thing.

    However, we all have our own individual thoughts independent of other people. So who’s subjective thought about objective meaning is the right one? In fact, his premise is in of itself subject to the same problem! If I were to disagree with this premise would I be wrong? I wouldn’t be any more right than I would be wrong from the next person. And on hindsight my opponent is making this “subjective meaning” argument objectively meaningful for all people!
    Yes, you would be wrong Frank. It's clear you did not read my essay carefully, I address this *exact* issue in the very essay!

    Now, there is another sharp distinction that needs to be made before everyone gets confused. A subjective statement can be objectively true and still remain subjective. "I am warm" refers to a subjective state of the mind, but it's truth is objective since my my feeling of warmth remains to be true regardless of other minds. You can objectively measure my subjective feeling. Now, with the sun, we may label 100 degrees as 'hot' and therefore the sun was hot before the existence of life. But that's simply a label referring to an objective state of affairs, namely the measurable temperature. The subjective experience of such objective states of affairs, such as warmth is still subjective although its of objective states of affairs! Sorry, just read that twice and you'll understand. [1]
    Check it out, what you just said is almost identical to the point I made in the essay you just used against me.

    But why have the intention and goal of arguing about “purpose” if my opponent conceded that man was not designed, and therefore has no purpose anyway?
    because I enjoy it, and I believe its important. This is fallacious reasoning, it does not follow that since something was not designed, it should not make choices. By your own reasoning, God was not designed 'for a reason' and therefore has no purpose. Why did god bother creating you if he was 'not designed'?

    --------

    Let's summarize your opening statement which is suppose to be in support of conclusion that "God exists"

    A) Darwinism & reliability of cognitive faculties
    - is not an argument for theism
    - is not an argument for meta-physical naturalism being false
    - is not an argument for Christianity
    - is not an argument against atheism, but rather an evolutionist


    B) Problem of Induction
    - Your argument committed the logical fallacy known as: Appeal to consequence
    - is not an argument for Christianity but simply a 'god or gods that control the universe'


    C) Purpose & Meaning
    - Your argument committed the logical fallacy known as: Appeal to consequence
    - You failed to defined your terms
    - Made contradictions by using oxymorons

    ----------------
    Small corrections:

    worldviews are atheism and Christianity
    Atheism is not a worldview

    the atheist, his faculties must strictly be understood in naturalistic terms.
    Not true, 'atheism' is simply the belief that there are no gods. You can be an atheist and believe that our faculties are controlled by souls and whatnat.

  9. #9
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    0

    Exclamation Breach of conduct... again!

    Axiom-Tech,

    This is the second time you have broken the rules of the debate! In your first rebuttal, you were to give no more than a 1,000 word reply. Yet again, like a moron, you have surpassed that number! Why should I even bother debating you if you are being unfair? Right now, I'm debating whether I should continue this debate. "Sorry" is not going to do it anymore, Axiom-Tech. There's just no more excuses for your behavior.

    Frank Walton

  10. #10
    Rookie axiom-tech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    29
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    151
    Quote Originally Posted by FrankWalton View Post
    Axiom-Tech,

    This is the second time you have broken the rules of the debate! In your first rebuttal, you were to give no more than a 1,000 word reply. Yet again, like a moron, you have surpassed that number! Why should I even bother debating you if you are being unfair? Right now, I'm debating whether I should continue this debate. "Sorry" is not going to do it anymore, Axiom-Tech. There's just no more excuses for your behavior.

    Frank Walton
    Frank, I only used 686 words. Are you counting the words from YOUR quotes? I thought a word limit was on the words I use, not counting quotes. If you're counting quotes also, you went over your word count by 3 words then.

    Knight, what do you say?

  11. #11
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    26,925
    Thanks
    389
    Thanked 2,335 Times in 1,100 Posts

    Blog Entries
    6
    Mentioned
    128 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)


    Rep Power
    1097775
    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    Knight, what do you say?
    I say this.
    Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
    TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

  12. #12
    BANNED
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    8
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rep Power
    0

    Arrow Frank Walton's first rebuttal

    Axiom-Tech (AT) first starts off by stating my God is no more meaningful than any other gods and would be on “equal terms” with them. Practically speaking not all gods are the same. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God while the religion of Islam would think otherwise. So there would be epistemological differences between other religions, and grouping them together on “equal terms” would only hurt my opponent more than help.

    There are a number of problems with AT’s “Inductive argument for metaphysical Naturalism”, and my opening argument practically dealt with all of them already! In fact, he fell into the fallacies I mentioned! Let’s see how…

    AT talks about how we can “formulate laws on limited observations of recurring phenomenal patterns.” He again talks of water being wet and horse races. As I said in my opening, for induction to work, nature must be uniform. AT has already assumed that nature is uniform when it’s the very thing he must be proving! He is begging the question! How, AT, can you account for the uniformity of nature?

    He goes on to say, “Super naturalistic ‘explanations’ have always been replaced with naturalistic ones, never vice versa” and “… provide one example where any super naturalistic explanation has ever, ever been confirmed.” Well, as far as I can tell the uniformity of nature assumes a super naturalistic explanation. I’d like to see how AT deals with that argument.

    AT goes further and says that all future explanations will be naturalistic. And how will he know this? Obviously, he can’t jump into the future. But perhaps, AT is talking about past-futures that we’ve known and experienced. Well, again, as Bertrand Russell stated that is begging the question: “We have experience of past futures, but not of future futures, and the question is: Will the future futures resemble past futures?” AT has yet to offer an alternative explanation without begging the question.

    Furthermore, if you observe AT’s premise he’s saying we can say that all aspect and answers will end up naturalistic in nature (forgive the pun) in the end. But how can he do this with his self-professed “limited observations?” He would end up (as I said in my opening) making a hasty generalization. How can AT (or Richard Carrier for that matter) know that nature is uniform? Has he investigated every single aspect of the universe from each one of its smallest atomic particles to the farthest flung galaxies and all that exists in between, so that he can speak so authoritatively?

    Overall, AT hasn’t even begun to show that naturalism is true via induction. So far, he has fallen into practically every logical fallacy I described concerning induction.

    AT’s next argument is the “inductive argument for mind-body physicalism.”

    AT believes that the physical brain is the mind. And the mind is the physical brain. Let’s just say for argument’s sake that that’s true. If it is, what good is your mind then given the naturalist worldview? It’s just physical. And if our “minds” are nothing but physical entities do we label our “thinking” false or true? That would be as meaningful as saying your chair is false. As Doug Wilson said,

    “Morality, tragedy, and sorrow are equally evanescent. They are all empty sensations created by the chemical reactions of the brain, in turn created by too much pizza the night before. If there is no God, then all abstractions are chemical epiphenomena, like swamp gas over fetid water. This means that we have no reason for assigning truth and falsity to the chemical fizz we call reasoning or right and wrong to the irrational reaction we call morality. If no God, mankind is a set of bi-pedal carbon units of mostly water. And nothing else.” [1]
    Furthermore, there is a misunderstanding with the Christian when it comes to the mind’s dependence on the brain. For the Christian, it’s a two-way street. In fact, Christians would concede that your physical brain will influence your mental functioning. I don’t see a problem with a substance dualist claiming that certain physical brain states are necessary conditions of a properly functioning soul in the embodied state. If the world were only made of matter, our subjective consciousness would not exist. But they do exist! After all, we feel pain, we hear sounds, we read debates, etc. So there must be more to the world than matter. My argument for the existence of the soul would then be the fact that man has consciousness.

    But seeing how AT is using an inductive argument for the mind-body problem this would bring us back to whether AT can even give an account for the inductive principle anyway. And if he can’t (and I don’t think he can) AT’s premise (“All minds require brains”) then would be question-begging. However, even if we grant his premise (via induction) it doesn’t necessarily follow that God doesn’t exist because we can give evidence for immaterial minds.

    Furthermore, if we are nothing but our brain, at most we would just be complex machines, because mental states can’t be described by physical language. As atheist and evolutionist, Massimo Pigliucci said,

    “It has been pretty obvious since Darwin that we, indeed, are nothing but machines.”[2]
    Does a machine like a car feel a mental sensation like pain though? Sadly, AT describes our minds as “machines” too.

    Also, comparing human beings to a supernatural being is making a categorical mistake. God is by definition not physical like us. In fact, my opponent agreed with me. In his opening, he states that God is “Transcendent (above nature / beyond)” and “Disembodied (no physical body).” If God has no physical body then obviously he would have no physical brain.

    AT’s argument for naturalism and the mind-body via induction is filled with logical fallacies, and he has yet to deal with the problem of induction as well as refute my evolutionary argument against naturalism and then some.


    =====================================

    Works Cited:

    1. Credenda/Agenda (Vol. 7; No. 1)

    2. Craig-Pigliucci Debate: Does God Exist?

  13. #13
    ...then I woke up. Knight's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    26,925
    Thanks
    389
    Thanked 2,335 Times in 1,100 Posts

    Blog Entries
    6
    Mentioned
    128 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)


    Rep Power
    1097775
    This debate has been canceled.

    If ya want the gory details go here....
    http://www.theologyonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=37085

    Sorry, I guess this proves why we normally screen our contestants.
    Also be sure to.... Join TOL on Facebook | Follow TOL on Twitter
    TOL Newbies CLICK HERE or....upgrade your TOL today!

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
About us
Since 1997 TheologyOnline (TOL) has been one of the most popular theology forums on the internet. On TOL we encourage spirited conversation about religion, politics, and just about everything else.

follow us