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Thread: Walton vs. axiom-tech discussion

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    Never, never, never give up. Knight's Avatar
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    Walton vs. axiom-tech discussion

    So this is a bit abnormal for TOL, normally we have battles where we know a great deal about both contestants but in this battle we don't, which makes it really intriguing. This is a bit risky as I really have NO IDEA how this will transpire. This thread is designated for discussing the debate Does God Exist? Frank Walton vs. axiom-tech.

    A word from Knight on this debate
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    Thanks, Knight. I appreciate you hosting this debate. I can't wait to do it. Axiom-tech is a likable guy. He's among the few atheists I know of who's a cool cat. Don't worry about me. I'll be civil

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankWalton View Post
    Thanks, Knight. I appreciate you hosting this debate. I can't wait to do it. Axiom-tech is a likable guy. He's among the few atheists I know of who's a cool cat. Don't worry about me. I'll be civil
    Oh brother Frank. Don't make me bust out the myspace PMs of you calling me the biggest moron you've ever met like 3 times


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    So...can we provide our own refutations of their arguments? Is there something our comments should be limited to?

    Knight, you sound like Hugo from Lost.

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    Go ahead. I'm happy to respond to anyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    Oh brother Frank. Don't make me bust out the myspace PMs of you calling me the biggest moron you've ever met like 3 times

    Well, I said you were one of the biggest morons I knew, didn't I?

    By the way, I was actually going to post our emails about that episode in my blog. It was quite funny in retrospect. I asked you to do something but you never seemed to get it

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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    Go ahead. I'm happy to respond to anyone.
    splendid. Though after more browsing most of what I would have said has been said on very similar arguments you made

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    Just a brief comment if I may by what you mean with this statement.

    1) Every explanation that has been confirmed and met the test of time has been naturalistic
    The explanation that a designer created this world has also stood the test of time and has been confirmed. This is mostly because God created a self-containing system of which is ultimately still caused by Him. Even creationists agree that we should work via the scientific method as a way of understanding HIS creation.

    2) Super naturalistic 'explanations' have always been replaced with naturalistic ones, never vice versa.
    As far as I'm aware, this hasn't been so with the origin of life, anthropic principle, consciousness, irreducible complexity (they'll kill me for this), and consciousness...The excuse has been, "Well science will eventually solve this problem". I am in no way implying that it cannot be solved but that working with the data that we have, the origin of life is pretty much impossible.

    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.
    If we are working with empirical science then this would be rather obvious but not so with historical science. Naturalistic explanations are here for us to understand the Biotic message and realize that God is God. I don't think this has much say whether the natural causes doesn't have an ultimate cause that is above this world. The 2nd law of thermodynamics, I would believe confirms the existence of a being who is not effected by this law... Well I know I'm doing a awful job mostly because i am in a hurry to go to bed. My thanks for making some interesting points.
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    Who are you guys and why TOL for your duel?
    Everyman is a voice in the dark.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fool View Post
    Who are you guys and why TOL for your duel?
    Yes!

    Post a bio of yourselves, where did you come from (what forum), how do you know each other, and why TOL?
    "I believe in Christianity, as I believe the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." C.S. Lewis

    "Don't believe that there's nothing that's true, don't believe in this modern machine." Switchfoot

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    Yes, I too was curious as to their backgrounds and what brings them to TOL. I always enjoy evolution vs. creation debates because it shows the utter futility of man's wisdom vs. God's wisdom.

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    My previous argument was rather incomplete but I posted it on another thread...I hope no one will mind that i repost the argument here. If mods find it unnecessary, then by all means please delete this post. I thought this would be a more appropriate to discuss since the debate is on or else I wouldn't have posted it here. So if you don't mind axiom-tech, perhaps this would be more appropriate for us to discuss this here for now. If not, then please don't feel obligated to respond here. Thank you!


    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    Historically all confirmed explanations have been naturalistic explanations.
    Therefore: It is reasonable to conclude that all explanations will be natural
    To explain empirical phenomena, this may be true but it would be a rather obvious truth. However, when dealing with origins science, it has always been the Designer explanation which prevails even to this day. For example, the origin of life has not been explained by naturalistic means and has always been reasonably attributed to a higher being. A naturalistic explanation doesn't automatically entail the BEST explanation. Facts are facts and they only become interesting if one tries to explain it. For example, the observational statement that I saw a flash of light at 12 pm is a factual statement. However, there is no significance in this fact unless we attempt to explain it. The flash of light that I saw at 12 pm could've been the headlights from a car, lightning, an explosion, a plane wreck etc. As you can see, facts only become interesting when we try to explain it. MNaturalism, is simply that, a philosophy which attempts to argue that everything that can be said to exist is nature. Since you'd rather use arguments like these, then you should logically be able to accept my arguments...

    1) Historically, all observations point to Life coming from life (law of biogenesis)
    2) Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that all life will continue to come from life.

    From this you cannot infer a naturalistic explanation because all observations point to life always existing. The christian, on the other hand, is justified in saying that life always existed (God) and therefore this existence can bring others into existence. Without existence, then existence shouldn't be inferred. Logic, couldn't even be used...at least in your world-view. One could argue that these observations have nothing to do with origins but that's exactly my point! Merely because we continually explain things through naturalistic explanations doesn't entail that the past is the same and so God cannot be excluded. If you do, then my above argument is valid and naturalism is defeated either way.

    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.
    You're already concluding something before one has even got a chance to attack your argument? This is rather a bold claim in your part and name-calling is of no relevance to your argument. I would suggest that you next time refrain from this, to promote as you would call "intellectually honest" discussions. My argument always has the possibility of flaws, and if you can demonstrate this than I should not say that you're stupid and wrong. You should do the same...
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    The explanation that a designer created this world has also stood the test of time and has been confirmed. This is mostly because God created a self-containing system of which is ultimately still caused by Him. Even creationists agree that we should work via the scientific method as a way of understanding HIS creation.
    Yes, this is true of objects that show signs of design. However, self-replicators (animals etc) are explained by a Darwinian process. If the pheromone to be explained is complexity, invoking designers only takes you a little bit, since you a designer will exhibit the signs of design, so a bottom-up, reductionist, Darwinian-type explanation is needed.

    1) Historically, all observations point to Life coming from life (law of biogenesis)
    2) Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that all life will continue to come from life.
    Clever. Yes, this is the correct conclusion in a vacuum, excluding other considerations. When you take into account the origin of the universe, life could not have existed when the big bang happened.

    It is true that you can come to false conclusions using inductive reasoning, given there are other considerations that show such conclusion could not be true.

    Consider this:

    p1) Historically mammals has a mammal for a mother
    c) Therefore there every mammal has a mammal for a mother
    c2) Therefore there are an infinite number of mamals

    This works, if you ignore other considerations which show that although we have only observe mammals birthing mammals, we understand that the distance ancestors of the mammals were something of a pro to-mammal, and eventually non-mammal.

    I am unaware of any considerations that make MNaturalsim difficult.

    You're already concluding something before one has even got a chance to attack your argument?
    Thats a quote from another post, I did not say that in my opening.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axiom-tech View Post
    Yes, this is true of objects that show signs of design. However, self-replicators (animals etc) are explained by a Darwinian process. If the pheromone to be explained is complexity, invoking designers only takes you a little bit, since you a designer will exhibit the signs of design, so a bottom-up, reductionist, Darwinian-type explanation is needed.
    You're last sentence didn't make much sense, care to clarify? Then you cannot exclude that it does at least LOOK like design correct? Whether it is explained, still leaves the origin of life unexplained. If explaining something is evidence that Darwinian processes occurred, then the unexplained origin of life should be evidence that it didn't originate...

    Clever. Yes, this is the correct conclusion in a vacuum, excluding other considerations. When you take into account the origin of the universe, life could not have existed when the big bang happened.
    Thank you . I had a feeling that this would be one of the objections posed against my argument which is reasonable. The anthropic principle explains that this universe is finely tuned for life so we are taken a step backwards since the Big Bang argues for a beginning... If no life existed before the big bang, then it would be reasonable from someone's perspective, that life cannot exist at that time of course.

    1) Historically, there hasn't been life in this universe.
    2) Therefore, it would have been reasonable to conclude that there will continue to be no life.

    Now you are stuck with another dilemma I believe... You cannot infer a naturalistic explanation for the evolution of non-life to life because all observations pointed to life not existing at that time. The christian, on the other hand, is again justified in saying that life always existed (God) and therefore this existence can bring others into existence. Once again, you could argue that these observations doesn't entail what the future will hold but that is exactly my point! Merely because we continually explain things through naturalistic means doesn't imply that the past and/or future will be the same and so God cannot be excluded.


    Past
    Future

    <------------------------------------------ GAP -------------------------------------------->

    The past says that life did not exist, but the future of the big bang says that life does exist. Therefore, inference cannot work even in this situation with 2 considerations unless you can come up with a further argument.

    It is true that you can come to false conclusions using inductive reasoning, given there are other considerations that show such conclusion could not be true.
    Yes and excluding the consideration that God could've created it would therefore give you FALSE reasoning! For example, as you said the scientific method is consisted by drawing inferences on observed data but many times this conclusion is reached by a colored rejection of certain kinds of facts. The field of observation is then limited by the criterion of the scientist is then narrowed and the conclusion may be incorrect. By rejecting data that one dislikes, they can arrive at the wrong principle. Attempts to explain the origin of life point to a intelligent designer but if a biologists is a Mnaturalist, he rules out such data as impossible and limits his findings to his own group. Yet you insist that "historically all confirmed explanations have been naturalistic explanations". The reason for something being explained by naturalistic processes is because what we observe is in itself part of the natural world! As I said, origins science cannot be observed. If it wasn't then we wouldn't be able to observe since everything would be unpredictable. Fact is, we never observed the Big Bang ever occurring! Thus you cannot exclude God and naturalism is not justified. I personally believe that christianity provides a more coherent explanation than naturalism. As C.S Lewis said:

    ‘If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts—i.e. of materialism and astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milkjug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.’

    And:

    If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.


    I am unaware of any considerations that make MNaturalsim difficult.
    One could also be unaware of the existence of Mars, so this doesn't necessarily say anything. Frank Walton, as I have read his blog for a 6 months now, has presented a lot faster refutation of the argument so much that I feel like I made some unnecessary evaluations. After all, I am only 15 years old and am still very aware of the fact that many of you folks are at least 2x more clever than I am. As with most of my discussions, what I value is improving my logic in hopes that I may become a legitimate person to argue with. My thanks for spending time on answering my arguments.

    Thats a quote from another post, I did not say that in my opening.
    My apologies as I noticed that right when I posted that but I couldn't edit! It was carelessness on my part since I forgot that people cannot edit their posts here.
    The voiceless, the wasted...You soaked your hearts in gasoline. Now light it up and burn.

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    axiom-tech said:

    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.
    I would say that this is generally true, but false beliefs may also be adaptive. A man may have an irrational fear of the color orange, he thinks if "orange" touches him, he will turn orange. He therefore runs everytime he sees a tiger - and lives.

    Another point, the vast majority of human beings, for the majority of history have believed in god or gods. That there was something "out there" that man was accountable to. Now Axiom contends that this universal belief is false, but it must have an adaptive function or it would not be so ingrained in humanity.

    So Axiom has two choices:

    1. There really is something "out there" that man is accountable to,

    or

    2. He has to admit that a universal false belief is adaptive. Which now makes all our beliefs and conclusions suspect.
    "He who learns must suffer.Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." Aeschylus

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