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  • Originally posted by mighty_duck
    Why are any of these necessary to "ground" logic? .
    These are the necessary attributes of God, evidenced by what is universally apparent, out of Whom flows the nature of what is observed, the underlying principle of which is called logic. The existence of logic is unaccountable aside the existence of God.

    m_d, I am enjoying this discussion. I hope to continue it as quickly as possible. I must be up early to pull a double tomorrow. Then it's finals on Monday. Once all that is past, perhaps we could continue.

    Balder, it'll take me a few days to review this article of yours. It does seem interesting. I'll get back with you.


    Peace,

    SS

    Comment


    • The fat can be trimmed down to where all you really need is simply an entity--real or imagined--believed to have the authority to validate logic. That's all it takes. The entity need not be infinite, loving, or all-powerful, or even God-like in any manner. It does not even have to be the originator of the universe. The only requirement it needs is to have the authority to say "logic is valid". I can believe that about my digital camera. My digital camera has the authority to say logic is valid. If you do not believe my camera is the appointed authority on logic, then you have no basis on which to assume logic is valid.
      “There's nothing I like less than bad arguments for a view that I hold dear.” - Daniel Dennett

      Comment


      • Originally posted by sentientsynth
        These are the necessary attributes of God, evidenced by what is universally apparent, out of Whom flows the nature of what is observed, the underlying principle of which is called logic. The existence of logic is unaccountable aside the existence of God.
        SS, I've enjoyed this as well, and look forward to your return.

        Two things that bother me about this last post:

        1 . Why do you assume that this world is evidence of God's nature? And how do you choose which parts? I'm sure you don't attribute man's evils, nature's careless killing, etc. to God. But why not?

        2. What does unaccountable mean to you? Jim defined "account" as rationally explain. Is this an accpetable definition?
        "What if the Hokie Pokie is really what it's all about?"

        "The best things in life aren't things"

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Hilston
          By "uniformity of nature" I am referring to the similarity between past experience and future experience, that is, the resemblance between past events we have experienced and future events we have not yet experienced. In the absence of this principle, one would ever be wary of trusting chairs. Every time someone desired to sit in a chair, he would need to test the chair to see if it will hold his weight -- this time. It would not matter that the chair held his weight just 5 minutes ago. One may attempt to justify or provide a foundation for their belief in the uniformity of nature by pointing to probability. That is to say that one infers from a sufficient number of past chair-sitting experiences that future chair-sitting experiences will be similar, i.e. the chair will hold one's weight and not collapse. However, the idea of probability itself presupposes the uniformity of nature, and therefore probability cannot be the foundation for belief in it.
          I do not know Hilston's perspective on this, but Open Theists maintain that God is capable of changing at any point -- changing His mind, changing His will, changing His actions. Such a God could not be considered a reliable "ground" for presupposing the uniformity of nature or experience. God could change the way He does things, and organizes things, at any time, if He saw fit. You might have faith that He won't change the laws of nature -- even though He has apparently suspended them on occasion -- but this is not the absolute surety of which Hilston speaks, and which he demands is necessary to have any ground to stand on.

          Second, nature is not strictly uniform. The universe appears to have settled more into grooves of cosmic habit, rather than strictly following fixed laws. These grooves are pretty deep, of course, and there is good probability that they won't drastically change without warning, but the regularity we experience is in an important sense a generalization of patterns rather than an absolute, lawlike regularity -- which is what you might expect from a perfect lawgiver.

          From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

          "If we measure the value of an independent variable that we assume to depend on some given parameter, and if we let the parameter vary while we take successive measurements, the result will never be a smooth function (for example, a straight line or an ellipse); rather it will be a "jagged" result, to which we can at best fit a smooth function by using some clever method (for example, least-squares fitting). Moreover, the variation and inexactness of measurements become, Peirce maintained, the more pronounced and obtrusive the more refined and microscopic are our measurements. (Obviously, Peirce would not have been the least surprised by the results of measurements at the quantum level.)

          What the facts of scientific practice tell us, then, is that, although the universe displays varying degrees of habit, that is to say of partial, varying, approximate, and statistical regularity, the universe does not display deterministic law, that is to say total, exact, non-statistical regularity. Moreover, the habits that nature displays appear in varying degrees of entrenchment: from the almost pure freedom and spontaneity of some processes of thought, at one end of the spectrum, to the nearly law-like behavior of large physical objects like planets, at the other end of the spectrum."
          "Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something that needs our love" ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Balder
            I do not know Hilston's perspective on this, but Open Theists maintain that God is capable of changing at any point ...
            Hilston's profile says he likes to drink the blood of open thiests. What do you think his stand on the matter is?

            Originally posted by Balder
            Second, nature is not strictly uniform...
            Interesting question, but I doubt it will be difficult to hand wave it away. For someone who claims he can reconcile all of modern science with a 6000 year old earth, your problem is peanuts,
            "What if the Hokie Pokie is really what it's all about?"

            "The best things in life aren't things"

            Comment


            • I have still not read much, but I do have to agree with one of Stratnerd's earlier comments to the effect that whether evolution is a science is not particularly interesting from either side of the argument. "Scientific knowledge" does not equal truth, it is simply "knowledge" at a given time that is developed via means of the scientific method. If the debate is following this line, then the only question should be that of fidelity to the scientific method.

              If anyone would like to tell me if this is what is happening in the debate, I would appreciate it, as then I would not have to read it myself.
              God . . .even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV


              A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God's truth is attacked and yet would remain silent. . . . John Calvin

              Comment


              • Originally posted by mighty_duck
                Hilston's profile says he likes to drink the blood of open thiests. What do you think his stand on the matter is?
                Oh, yes, I forgot about that! He likes to drink blood and is pretty mean with a whiffle bat too...

                Originally posted by mighty_duck
                Interesting question, but I doubt it will be difficult to hand wave it away. For someone who claims he can reconcile all of modern science with a 6000 year old earth, your problem is peanuts.
                Yep, you're probably right. But I think a cosmos governed more by habit than fixed law is more compatible with a worldview which admits evolution than one which dismisses it altogether.
                "Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something that needs our love" ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Hilston
                  The following post contains replies to:

                  Question, SUTG: On your view, was modus ponens true before the existence of human minds to formalize it? So, in a world in which there were no one to define modus ponens, would modus ponens still be true?
                  I don't think it make sense to talk about modus ponens being true or false any more than it make sense to ask whether the color blue is true or false. Perhaps you were asking something else?

                  If we defined 2+2=5, would two pairs of objects added together suddenly produce 5 objects?
                  It depends. If we are talking cardinality of sets, and by 'objects' we mean elements of sets, then yes. On other interpretations, no. But what are you getting at here?

                  (The positing of God) adds a rational foundation to one's reasoning and conclusions.
                  This seems to be the key to the presuppositionalist argument. I think it is safe to assume that if you show positing God makes any difference you will have convinced a bunch of us that you are correct.

                  I'm curious to see examples.
                  At this point, almost any hamfisted example will do as much for the problem of inductive skepticism as your positing of the Christian God has. Let's use my example of my coworker Klete. He has presupposed that I am omniscient.

                  You seem to miss the point of the IOTC claim. No presuppositionalist makes this claim on his own authority or experience. No finite person could know such a thing on his own authority or experience, for that would require universal knowledge and universal experience. The presuppositionalist makes the claim based on the testimony of the Bible. He then attempts to demonstrate the Biblical claim by applying biblical principles of argumentation to a particular debate.
                  Not sure if I follow all this. To what proposition is the contrary impossible, and who is claiming it? If the bible claims IOTC, then the contrary is still possible unless you claim IOTC in regards to the bible! Can you give a proposition P of which you are claiming the contrary is impossible?

                  Couldn't we also then ask of what use theoretical predictions are that you even require that one 'justify' or 'account' for them in the first place?
                  Sure, this is another way to phrase the question. What is you answer? Why do you think induction or theoretical predictions are of any use whatsoever?

                  Not redeemable for cash

                  Comment


                  • BS, I cut thee

                    Stratnerd has finally hit his stride with that 3rd post, by far his best so far.

                    He makes many great points, and steers the argument back to the topic at hand. It's time for Jim to put up or shut up. Asserting the Bible is inerrant is not enough to say that accepting its conclusions before scientific research is valid science.

                    The only comment I have regards SQ1 and it's sub questions. Jim doesn't claim that Uniformaity of Nature proves God or Genesis. He claims that God accounts for UoN, while in Stratnerd's worldview UoN must be accepted without any account. I'm sure Jim will clarify this point in his 3rd post.
                    "What if the Hokie Pokie is really what it's all about?"

                    "The best things in life aren't things"

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Hilston
                      aharvey:
                      aharvey, you may be missing the point. May I ask you a multiple choice question? Here it is:

                      What is your view of the following statement?: Two plus two equals four.
                      1. Certainly not
                      2. Not likely
                      3. Don't know
                      4. Very likely
                      5. Certainly
                      Interesting. Into the word “statement,” I would bet you are lumping the concepts of observations, phenomena, data, definitions, equations, evidence, assumptions, predictions, hypotheses, theories, and “beliefs,” right? How certain am I about anything? Well let me ask you this? Would you, regardless of the specific statement, always answer either “a” or “e” (in other words, why are you including options b-d above?)? If not, then you already have the response to your supposed argument. Scientists consider nothing to be 100.000000000% certain, but some things are more certain than others (and please don’t bother to complain about this unless you do always assess every statement with either “certainly” or “certainly not”!).

                      For example, there are several competing explanations for why leaves turn red in the fall, none of which has been thoroughly investigated as yet. Although some make more sense to me than others, I’m not at all certain which one is correct. Thus, a couple of good experiments would probably be enough to change my mind. Ordinary evidence suffices for ordinary claims. On the other hand, I’m much more certain that, under most conditions, two plus two equals four. By which I mean that it would require a great deal more, and more compelling, evidence (compared to the leaf color story) to change my mind about that equation. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

                      Is this really that hard to understand? Operationally, yes, we equate 99.9% certainty with 100% certainty, but we also know they are not the same. History is dripping with demonstrations of this. If you had lived a thousand years ago, how so you think you would have responded to the following question (in appropriate 11th century vernacular, of course!):

                      What is your view of the following statement?: The sun orbits around the earth.
                      a Certainly not
                      b Not likely
                      c Don't know
                      d Very likely
                      e Certainly

                      My guess is that you would have thought the questioner an idiot for even asking such an obvious question. And yet, you would have been wrong, based upon our current understanding. Which, yes, I am pretty certain about. Which, again, simply means that you’d need some pretty extraordinary evidence to convince me otherwise.

                      This, Jim, is science. All scientific disciplines – all biology, all physics, all chemistry, all geology, all astronomy, all -– view “certainty” in this fashion. So to the extent that your arguments here are part of your debate arguments, you’re really changing the topic to “SCIENCE: Science or Science Fiction?” And I’m afraid your arguments place you on the wrong side of this one. Of that I’m certain!

                      Your faith-based worldview differs precisely in this respect: your “certain, unwavering sure and unshakable” views are impervious to evidence, something that you are obviously very proud of. You may be right, but it ain't science!

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      Really? I will be interested to know how they have they proven the theory, but only after you explain to me how they have proven the verity of the method(s) by which the evolutionary theory has been developed.
                      Um, Jim, do you really want to step into this hole? If one hasn’t “proven”, not only an idea, but also the “verity” of the methods by which the idea was developed, then that means that one must therefore have blind faith in it?!? Let’s make sure this is really what you want to say. If not, then you’ll have to try a different tactic to refute my observation that evolutionists don’t have blind faith in evolutionary theory. Because I don’t want to lose track of this central point: scientists do not have blind faith in their theories.

                      Perhaps a related point: scientists have assumptions, but these are operational, and we do try to test them whenever we can. We tend to think of them as “working assumptions.” We do not reject out of hand anything that would seem to contradict our assumptions; indeed, if you actually read the primary scientific literature you would know that scientists routinely recognize that their hypotheses are only as good as their assumptions, and that vast numbers of hypotheses have been shown to fail because they were based on faulty assumptions. Just because creationists refer to their certain, inviolate, absolute truths as assumptions (or presuppositions) does not mean that scientists therefore view their working assumptions as dogmatically!

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      The Creationist faith is not blind at all. It is certain, unwavering, sure and unshakable. This certainty is communicated to the Creationist from God Himself, and repeatedly and reciprocally testified in the believer's experience through God's Word. So when the Creationist considers the question of origins, it is not with blind acceptance that he affirms the account provided by the Bible. It is rather with certitude and confidence, supported by the Creationist interpretation of evidence, understood according to the laws of logic and the principles of induction and the uniformity of nature, all of which make sense only on the Creationist paradigm.
                      This is such a tiresome assertion (my emphasis above) that is utterly unsupportable. You assume your conclusions; that’s begging the question / circular logic.

                      But let’s spell it out for you yet again.

                      As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, the core presupposition is not of God Himself (lots of people believe in God but don’t arrive at the conclusions you do), it is in the completeness, literalness, and inerrancy of the Bible. All else, including your views on the existence, nature, and prior actions of God, follow directly from that presupposition. Your faith in the completeness, literalness, and inerrancy of the Bible is “certain, unwavering, sure and unshakable.” “This certainty is communicated to [you] from God Himself” – how? Through God’s Word, perchance? You know, the Bible? Your faith is then “repeatedly and reciprocally testified in the believer's experience through God's Word” – you know, the Bible!

                      Your impervious faith in the Bible came from reading the Bible and is reinforced by reading the Bible, all based on the presupposition that the Bible is complete, literal, and inerrant. Circular, circular, circular. Perhaps you will claim that God somehow revealed himself to you, Jim, personally, in other non-Biblical ways that you can neither describe, communicate, nor replicate. That of course doesn’t mean they didn’t happen, but that does mean they fall squarely outside of a discussion of science. Why? Well, because we all have no choice but to take your word for it; accept it in good faith, as it were. Blind faith, no less, as we have to assume that you observed correctly, interpreted correctly, and are reporting accurately.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      I should have asked this earlier. Better now than never. Please explain what you mean by "blind faith". Is it a redundant phrase in your view?
                      I believe I answered that in my next couple of sentences. But here, let’s make it as explicit as possible: blind faith: a belief whose strength is independent of evidence. That sounds an awful lot like your”certain, unwavering, sure and unshakable” version of faith. Two clear symptoms: an inability to articulate supporting evidence, and the imperviousness of the belief to contradictory evidence. Let me emphasize here that “evidence” is more than just “assertion;” there at the minimum needs to be a visible and viable chain of logic. A simple example “the fossil record is evidence for Creationism” asserts that the fossil record supports Creationism, but does not demonstrate the rational basis for that support, and therefore would not suffice as articulated supporting evidence. This distinction is unbelievably difficult for creationists to understand.

                      I should also note that since scientists are in the business of articulating evidence and constantly on the lookout for contradictory evidence, it’s going to be a rough road to back up your assertion that scientists rely on blind faith.

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      Biblically, and by experience, believers have faith, not because they have convinced themselves of believing something for which they have no proof. Rather, believers have faith because it was given to them as a gift from God. I'm not saying this proves anything;
                      This a complete non sequitur (Consider a similar statement: “This earthworm is not blind, it’s a gift from my parents!”). It’s also a rather explicitly unsupported assertion (see my emphases above!)

                      Originally posted by Hilston
                      I'm just giving you some context for the Christian position. The Jewish patriarch Abraham knew he had a right standing before God, not because he convinced himself to believe in God, but rather because he was given the gift of faith by God, and "his faith was accounted as righteousness." (Romans 4:1ff) That is, the gift of faith that Abraham received from the Lord was the affirmation (the accounting) to Abraham that he was viewed as justified before God. Such a faith is not blind or tentative. It is sure, certain, unwavering, not because of any effort or merit on the part of the believer, but because it is communicated to them from God and affirmed in His Word.
                      Repeatedly here you reject the idea that believers have faith because they have convinced themselves in something in favor of the idea that believers have faith because God gave it to them. But there’s an obvious hypothesis you haven’t considered: “he convinced himself to believe” that “he was given the gift of faith by God.” How would you ever evaluate the correctness of these three hypotheses?

                      None of this really has much bearing on the topic, which is too bad since it seems to constitute the core of your argumentation. In other words, bad idea to attack the “evolutionary worldview” as being non-scientific and the “creationist worldview” as being scientific. The evolutionary worldview is the same worldview as the “scientific worldview.” As I mentioned above, all other scientific disciplines treat certainty the same way as evolutionists (and in a manner apparently different from the way Creationists do). Furthermore, no other scientific theory invokes the supernatural any more than does evolutionary theory. So all of science fails you: “Natural science should not pretend that the supernatural doesn't exist, or that God is not holding nature together. Rather, natural science should recognize that the only way the scientific enterprise could proceed and advance, and indeed make any sense, is due to the fact that the Supernatural that is back of it.” Which brings us back to the real topic you're addressing: “SCIENCE: Science or Science Fiction?” And your arguments indicate that science is in fact not science because it fails to unquestioningly assume that the Bible is complete, literal, and inerrant, nor does it restrict its inquiries and theories to those that are incompatible with (your interpretation of) that set of documents. If this were a formal debate, it would be over simply because you haven't begun to assemble a prima facie case.

                      And I want to make sure that everyone here understands that the core presupposition, the source of all this circularity, the entire basis for the creationist attack on evolution, is NOT that God exists. It is the presupposition that the Bible is complete, literal, and inerrant.
                      Check out this

                      Comment


                      • Great post, AHarvey.

                        Originally posted by aharvey
                        This a complete non sequitur (Consider a similar statement: “This earthworm is not blind, it’s a gift from my parents!”). It’s also a rather explicitly unsupported assertion (see my emphases above!)
                        In Hilston's worldview, it's not really a non-sequitur. He is talking about regeneration -- a supernatural or divine event in which one is give "a priori" belief in the Bible. If a person believes in the Bible unwaveringly, Jim asserts, it is God's doing.

                        This is one of those "just is" areas. Jim won't use it to "prove" anything, but he will say that he couldn't have a priori, unshakeable confidence in the Bible without this "gift" of regeneration.
                        "Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something that needs our love" ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

                        Comment


                        • Darn it, can't edit on this thread -- "a supernatural or divine event in which one is given "a priori" belief in the Bible.
                          "Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something that needs our love" ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Balder
                            Great post, AHarvey.


                            In Hilston's worldview, it's not really a non-sequitur. He is talking about regeneration -- a supernatural or divine event in which one is give "a priori" belief in the Bible. If a person believes in the Bible unwaveringly, Jim asserts, it is God's doing.

                            This is one of those "just is" areas. Jim won't use it to "prove" anything, but he will say that he couldn't have a priori, unshakeable confidence in the Bible without this "gift" of regeneration.
                            This is of course why none of this belongs in a debate about science!

                            What do you think about the notion that Jim merely believes with sure, unshakable, unwavering certainty that God gave him his sure, unshakable, unwavering certainty that the Bible is complete, literal, and inerrant?

                            And now, consider a second, separate notion: the basis for his sure, unshakable, unwavering certainty that God gave him this gift is in fact his his sure, unshakable, unwavering certainty that the Bible is complete, literal, and inerrant.

                            Or is there another basis for his sure, unshakable, unwavering certainty that God gave him this gift?
                            Check out this

                            Comment


                            • Fascinating to see the critique of the theory that the flood caused the current view of the world's erosion pattern, but the deeper one digs the more fossils show the only explanation is the flood.Carbon dating also is based on half/life theory of the dissapation of the radiation seepage.I also must point out the population of the Earth can only be explained by the time of the flood.I am enjoying this debate.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Metalking
                                Fascinating to see the critique of the theory that the flood caused the current view of the world's erosion pattern, but the deeper one digs the more fossils show the only explanation is the flood.Carbon dating also is based on half/life theory of the dissapation of the radiation seepage.I also must point out the population of the Earth can only be explained by the time of the flood.I am enjoying this debate.
                                See, this is exactly what I was referring to when I said: "Let me emphasize here that “evidence” is more than just “assertion;” there at the minimum needs to be a visible and viable chain of logic. A simple example “the fossil record is evidence for Creationism” asserts that the fossil record supports Creationism, but does not demonstrate the rational basis for that support, and therefore would not suffice as articulated supporting evidence. This distinction is unbelievably difficult for creationists to understand."

                                I am unaware of any fossil evidence for which "the only explanation is the flood," and though I don't expect it, I welcome any specific examples. In contrast, I am aware of a great deal of fossil data that are very difficult to reconcile with the flood. For example, why are non-didelphoid fossil marsupials only found in those parts of the world where non-didelphoid marsupials occur today? (Didelphoids are possums, and are found outside of Australia, both fossils and modern species) The fossil species, incidentally, are all different from the modern representatives.

                                For that matter, here's a typical representation of recent global human population growth: http://www.agen.ufl.edu/~chyn/age206...t_29/39_11.GIF. What about this "can only be explained by the time of the flood"?
                                Check out this

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