ARCHIVE: Bob Enyart has already lost the debate ...

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Hilston

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Borrowing capital ...

Borrowing capital ...

Hi Aussie,

Thanks for your replies. The aim of my questions has been to find out how careful you are about the things you claim to know and how you know them. I've asked you to account for certain realms of knowledge and the tools (logic, science, the verity of the senses and rational faculties) by which you assess truth claims. In your answers, you gave descriptions and/or identified your knowledge and their attending tools, but you haven't justified or accounted for them. In fact, as I will be pointing out, you must actually borrow these tools from a worldview that actually makes sense of them, even though you disagree with that worldview, namely, the Christian theistic position. I will say upfront that I don't think you can justify them and that you must take them on faith. You basically affirm this below. We all know that the stability of a structure is only as stable as its weakest part, and in your case, it appears to be the very foundation. I attempt to demonstrate that from what you've said below. If at any point I've misunderstood you, please offer clarification.

You write:
But you are making a subjective argument. You BELIEVE the Bible is right. That doesn’t make it so.
I agree with you. That's not my argument. But I should point out to you that your ability to evaluate the difference between "subjective" and "objective" does not come from so-called natural processes or undirected natural phenomenon. Logic tells us that things cannot become their opposites, which is what the anti-theist worldview requires. In fact, the existence of logic itself must be taken on faith by the anti-theist, whereas, given God's creation and sustaining of all things, logic no longer has to be taken on faith. It makes sense. Its very existence makes sense because those laws reflect the nature and attributes of God (the Logos). Thus, your ability to make an intelligible statement in fact comes from God. The fact that you make predication and value assessments show that you are in fact borrowing from the Christian worldview, the only worldview that can sufficiently account for the existence of logic and reason.

Aussie writes:
I am yet to see any proof of anything supernatural so LOGIC dictates that supernatural occurrences are mistaken natural occurrences or they do not exist.
Actually, you have. You witness the supernatural everyday, in every area of your life. From the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea to the air you breathe, the fact that you breathe and the effect that oxygen has on your brain. What you might view as "the natural order" or the cosmos, the verity of logic, and the reliability of science are not only supernaturally sourced, but they are supernaturally sustained.

Jim asked: Regarding evidence: What kinds of evidence will you allow? Material only?

Aussie writes:
In terms of history generally material evidence suffices but eyewitness accounts and supposition are allowed as long as they do not stray into the impossible.
Do you view the laws of logic as material or non-material?

Jim previously wrote: Regarding facts: What do you use to ascertain whether or not something is factual?

Aussie writes:
Usually a combination of material evidence and logical human accounts are sufficient. If is something particularly difficult to understand or fathom. Expert scientific opinion is also acceptable.
Take a step back. By what method have you determined the reliability of these criteria to establish facts?

Jim previously wrote: Regarding reasoning: How would go about assessing whether or not your reasoning faculties are actually reliable?

Aussie writes:
Well I guess that can be said for both of us ..
It was a question. 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 writes:
... but having a high IQ, working in a skilled job , managing to have a wife and 3 children and several friends etc.. would imply I have most of my faculties in place.
There are insane people who go through life thinking that their faculties are in place. Even John Nash, as brilliant as he is, learned that he could not always trust his perceptions. How do you prove it, at least to yourself? Or do you take it on faith?

Jim wrote: To cut to the chase, my claim is that on the anti-theistic worldview, you cannot cogently justify your criteria or methods in each case. If you think you can, I am eager to hear it.

Aussie writes:
Well I think I did.
You've stated what they are; you have not justified them.

Jim wrote: All arguments are ultimately circuitous, ...

Aussie writes:
Not really, certainly not as circuitous as the Bible is correct because it says it is correct.
No one is making that argument. Pick any argument, no matter how simple or complex, and it will be shown to be circuitous.

Aussie writes:
Our logic is born of our intelligence which was formed from the natural evolutionary process.
Are you then saying that logical laws are contingent and not universal? On your view, was modus ponens true before humans existed to think about it?

Aussie writes:
Our science was also born of this intelligence.
Were the principles of the scientific method true before there were humans around to apply them?

Aussie writes:
Our morals are born of the inherent knowledge that if it bad for me it must be bad for another.
What are you criteria for "bad"? And do you view morality according to consensus, for certainly we can point to people in history who demonstrated a masochistic perception of "good" and "bad."

Aussie writes:
Our intelligence also made this clear to us.
How have you tested the verity of human intelligence? By using human intelligence? You realize that is circuitous, right?

Aussie writes:
My atheistic wordview easily accounts for all these things with NO requirement of a God.
It hasn't yet. You're making circuitous arguments, which you seem to disallow above.

Jim previously wrote: The difference is stated above (by replacing "anti-theistic" with "muslim"). The Koran is not only internally incoherent, but it cannot rationally account for the things I've listed above.

Aussie writes:
And millions of Muslims would say the same about your Holy Book.
First, the number of Muslims is irrelevant. Second, the Muslims make the claim irrationally and self-refutingly, based on their professed tenets. They might want to counter with the same charge against the Christian worldview and scriptures, but it would be shown to be an erroneous charge.

Aussie writes:
... sometimes though I just can’t help wondering what leads normal intelligent humans to concoct a mystical unlikely illogical deity.
Your Christian loved ones may wonder what leads normal intelligent humans such as yourself to reject the ineluctable and glaringly obvious existence of the Creator. You've used the term "mystical unlikely illogical deity." I don't deny that God is "mystical," but not in an esoteric or arcane sense of the word. But what, in your view, is "unlikely" or "illogical" about the God of the Bible?

Aussie writes:
Your Bible says I am a fool.. showing how foolish it is.
How does that demonstrate the Bible to be foolish? Certainly not in logical terms.

Aussie writes:
Everything in my daily life is EASILY accounted for with natural explanations ...
Not without begging crucial questions. The alleged ease with which you account for them might be comparable to the ease with which I explain how the ATM system works to my 5-year-old ("put the card in, money comes out"). A careful analysis shows that the ways in which you "easily account" for your daily experience are actually, on your worldview, indefensible and arbitrary conventions that you must take on faith. On my worldview, there is a rational basis for your use of these tools and the veracity of your perceptions of reality.

Aussie writes:
God has not made himself known to me and he has not made himself know to you..
But He has. You know in myriad ways. You know from within you that He exists. Of the many examples that can be offered, you have an innate sense of justice (although likely not perfect, and that due to your adopted worldview), you have an innate recognition of beauty, order, design, goodness and joy. These are all things which scream of God's existence and attributes, but you've chosen to suppress the truth and to push it away from you. On your own anti-theistic worldview, you cannot make consistent and rational sense out of these things in your daily experience. If we're all molecules in motion and electrical pulses in the brain organ and the result of undirected natural processes, such things as logic and science make no sense. You must somehow believe that things can become their opposites. That disorder and chaos can generate order, that non-living matter can become a living organism, that non-conciousness can become consciousness and self-awareness, and that an undirected and random universe can generate logical laws.

Aussie writes:
Provide for me when, where and how God made himself know to you.
God has been making Himself known to me my entire life, just as He has with you. In every area of our daily experiences, He makes Himself known through the created order, the things I mentioned above, and within us, through the laws of logic, our reasoning faculties, the input through our senses, our ability to learn and to love. All of these things require the God of scripture, and without Him, none of these things make sense. All of the anti-theistic attempts to account for these things boil down to question-begging, all the while borrowing from the Christian worldview in order to even consider them.

Aussie writes:
People in the real world realise many things still need answers and keep searching for them.
I don't disagree. I just don't think the anti-theist can do this without begging crucial questions and unwarrantedly borrowing tools from the Christian worldview.

Aussie previously wrote:
I would equate more to an Ostrich “knowing” he is safe from attack by having his head buried in the sand.

To which I asked: Prove to me that you haven't done this very thing regarding your reliance upon the laws of logic, the precepts of science, and the verity of your rational faculties.

Aussie writes:
Unlike you I am perfectly willing to allow for a God in the universe. He would not be any of the ridiculous concoctions made up by man. And it seems to add another layer of complexity into the Universe but.. I am broadminded enough to accept the possibility.
You didn't answer my request, Aussie. Please, if you can, prove to me that you haven't, in head-in-sand fashion, blindly accepted the uniformity of the laws of logic, the requirments and reliability of the scientific method, and the veracity of your senses and reason.

Thanks for the dialogue,
Jim
 
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Nathon Detroit

New member
Originally posted by Yorzhik
This is more like it. Hilston (I don't say 'Jim' because the debates on the evolution forum of old always used 'Hilston') is not doing well arguing against a Christian, Scrimshaw. He is not doing well arguing against another Christian, Knight. His arguments against Bob Enyart's manuscript "The Plot" are not compelling. And it saddens me to see Hilston doing so poorly in these discussions. I'm not saddened so much by the poor showing (the majority of the Christians on this forum show poorly at any particular time), but because I remember Hilston arguing with evolutionists and cleaning their clocks! Hilston was the one who proved the value of the epistemological approach to me. In fact, I'd say after studying his style, I've really tried hard to emulate it.

And now Aussie comes along so I can cheer for Hilston again. Just a warning to Aussie - don't bring up the Matrix. If you are an honest debater, you don't want to go there. ;)
Yorzhik, good post and I think your making my point.

IF... Jim were in this debate (with Zakath) I would cheer him on! Even knowing that I might not agree on his style or approach.

I certainly wouldn't start a thread two posts into the debate that stated: "Jim has already lost the debate", and then continue to undermine Jim's arguments in other threads in effect working against the Christian cause in battling atheism.

I just don't see how differing styles or approaches warrants this type of criticism from Jim. This isn't to say Jim couldn't offer criticism, its just that you can so easily tell Jim has some sort of axe to grind or mountain to create (oh those little mole hills!!!).

I realize that Jim feels strongly about what he is saying and good for Jim. But this seems to transcend the boundaries of normal criticism don't ya think? :think:
 

TreMor

New member
Re: Borrowing capital ...

Re: Borrowing capital ...

Originally posted by Hilston
Hi Aussie,

Thanks for your replies.
.. And so, Hilston my old nemesis-- after two years, I finally find you!

Where is that God Axiom rebuttal? And why did I never hear back from you on the Matrix discussion?

:chuckle:

=========

Good to see you, of course, my friend. Glad you're keeping the fires burning, even if you are on the wrong side of the fence!

:cool:
 

Zakath

Resident Atheist
Originally posted by Knight
IF... Jim were in this debate (with Zakath) I would cheer him on!
:shocked: I"m crushed, Knight! You mean you wouldn't cheer me on???? :chuckle:
 

Crow

New member
Originally posted by Knight
Yorzhik, good post and I think your making my point.

IF... Jim were in this debate (with Zakath) I would cheer him on! Even knowing that I might not agree on his style or approach.

I certainly wouldn't start a thread two posts into the debate that stated: "Jim has already lost the debate", and then continue to undermine Jim's arguments in other threads in effect working against the Christian cause in battling atheism.

I just don't see how differing styles or approaches warrants this type of criticism from Jim. This isn't to say Jim couldn't offer criticism, its just that you can so easily tell Jim has some sort of axe to grind or mountain to create (oh those little mole hills!!!).

I realize that Jim feels strongly about what he is saying and good for Jim. But this seems to transcend the boundaries of normal criticism don't ya think? :think:

Agreed. There's not a single Christian on this site that I have always been in 100% agreement with, but I'm not going to start undermining them in a debate about whether God exists or not. BTW--if it weren't for Bob Enyart's approach in general, and Bob Enyart's "Plot" in particular, I would still be in the atheist camp. It might not float everyone's boat, but it saved me." (Actually Jesus saved me, but I wouldn't have listened without it)
 
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Nathon Detroit

New member
Originally posted by Zakath
:shocked: I"m crushed, Knight! You mean you wouldn't cheer me on???? :chuckle:
Dude... its hot where your going, I plan to steer clear!

However, I will console your daughter when we are in heaven together... I am sure she will be devastated that she cannot spend eternity with her pop. :(
 

TreMor

New member
Originally posted by Knight
Dude... its hot where your going, I plan to steer clear!

However, I will console your daughter when we are in heaven together... I am sure she will be devastated that she cannot spend eternity with her pop. :(
I didn't realize in heaven anyone would need consolation or be devasted by anything. Being in paradise and all.
 

Scrimshaw

New member
Re: Throwing manure bags ...

Re: Throwing manure bags ...

Hi Jim,


I said:
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Since the verse is saying not to respond to folly, WITH folly, the correct application of the verse would be not to respond to a fool's folly in a way that commits the same folly. For example, say a fool throws bag of cow manure at your front door. Proverbs 26:4,5 would say not to respond by throwing a bag of cow manure at the fool's door, because by doing so, you'd be responding to the fool according to his folly.
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Good example! So we agree on the general gist of the verse. But you still haven't answered my question: How would you NOT answer the fool according to his folly so that he will not be wise in his own conceit?

A fool would think himself wise if he can get others to participate in his folly. So by responding to a fool according to his folly, the fool would have gotten you to participate in his folly, thus, making him feel wise, influential, etc.



Scrimshaw writes:
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BINGO!!! I don't think that is correct application of 12:23 for the same reasons I do not think you have a correct application of 26:4,5.
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But the application you explained above is exactly what I'm talking about. Zakath is throwing bags of cow manure at Bob's door. Bob is doing the same thing back at Zakath.

No, Zakath's folly is his claim that there isn't sufficient evidence for belief in God. The only way that Bob could be responding WITH that same folly is if Bob's response ALSO stated that there "isn't sufficient evidence for belief in God". But as we can see, that is NOT the case! Bob is arguing JUST THE OPPOSITE!


Scrimshaw writes:
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Since I am a Christian and assume you were one as well, I didn't think it was necessary to state the obvious ...
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You've forced yourself into that situation, Scrimshaw. Try to see this: You quoted the verse in support of an "anything goes" type of argument. I asked you for your exclusions because obviously I think Bob's form of argument should be one of those exclusions.

I haven't forced myself into anything but a position of strength. The exclusions to my statement (as well as the VERSE I QUOTED) is anything that violates God's LAW. You have not shown a single LAW of GOD that Bob's method violates.


The Heart of Your Argument


Scrimshaw writes:
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And then, explain exactly how Bob has committed the *same folly* in his responses.
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(1) Bob tacitly affirms Zakath's claim to atheism, which is a lie

No, the Bible does not say atheism doesn't exist. That is only what Mr.Hilston says. Romans 1 only states that men are without EXCUSE for their disbelief/ungodliness/rebellion. Furthermore, Jesus himself disproves your claim that everyone knows God. Here is Jesus' refutation to Mr.Hilston's claim:

John 17:25 - "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me."

And Paul also agrees with Jesus, and says -

1 Corinthians 1:20, 21 - "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

Your first point has been soundly refuted by Jesus himself, as well as Paul. Everyone in the world does not necessarily know about God.

(2) Bob concedes Zakath's claim that there has been insufficient evidence......

Wrong. Bob has never conceded any such thing. In fact, if Bob believed the evidence wasn't sufficient, he wouldn't bother debating Zakath in the first place. Bob is not attempting to provide NEW evidence. He is simply elaborating the evidence that ALREADY EXISTS, thereby, refuting Zakath's FALSE *excuse* for his claim of atheism.

Point 2 of your argument has been soundedly refuted. It's time for you to show your honesty and concede your debunked arguments.



Scrimshaw writes:
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Bob is debating Zakath in order to show that Zakath's position is incorrect.
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Now that you've put it that way, why is Zakath's position incorrect?

It is incorrect because it falsely claims that there is not sufficient evidence for belief in God. That's it.


Perhaps this will help you to grasp what I'm trying to convey.

What you are trying to convey is the false claim that "atheism doesn't exist" based on your mistinterpretation of Romans 1. That claim has been soundly refuted by Jesus and Paul.


Scrimshaw writes:
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Bob is simply *expounding* on the same evidence with a slightly higher degree of scientific/philosophical detail.
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For what purpose? To convince Zakath that there is a God? He already knows that.

No, the purpose is to REFUTE Zakath's LIE, which is his claim that the evidence isn't sufficient.


Scrimshaw writes:
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It exists in the form of a LIE!! Bob's arguments are refuting that lie.
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No, he's not. He is affirming the lie by allowing the myth of atheism to be perpetuated.

You are using very poor logic. Atheism is not a myth. It is an actual belief system that is exists in the form of a LIE. Again, you are basing your argument on a misinterpretation of Romans 1. No where in Romans 1 does it say that no one has disbelief in God. That is a stipulation that YOU are falsely reading INTO the text.


Scrimshaw writes:
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[Romans 1] simply says that what can be known about God has been made plain to everyone, so no one is has an EXCUSE for their disbelief. The text does not say that no one has disbelief.
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If there is no excuse for their disbelief, then it follows that God has sufficiently revealed Himself to them, right? In other words, nothing further needs to be done to demonstrate His existence to them.

No, the text implies that they have no LEGITIMATE excuse, but it doesn't say they don't make up excuses. Bob's arguments are exposing the illegitimacy of the atheist's excuses, and exposing them to be FALSE excuses.

If there is further need, then they do have an excuse, and God has NOT sufficiently revealed Himself to them.

You are correct that there is no need of providing further EVIDENCE. However, there is a need to refute the false excuses. There is a need to clarify the evidence that the atheists distort. Atheism is a belief system that denies and distorts the evidence. Bob's arguments are exposing the atheist's distortion/denial of the evidence by clarifying the true nature of the evidence.

I am not one to go around and around on the same arguments over and over again. I have adequately refuted the premise of your arguments and I have no need to repeat myself any further. If you want to have the last word, that is fine. The arguments I have laid out in this post have exploded your arguments, and they are more than sufficient to survive any rebuttal you could possibly conceive. If you are wise, you will just concede your arguments and admit that your interpretation of Romans 1 was not accurate, but actually contradicted other scriptures. (1 Cor 1:21; John 17:25, etc.) Here are some others too:

Psalms - 78:21 "When the LORD heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance."

Gal 4:8 - "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods."

1 Thess 4:5 - "....not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God;"

2 Thess 1:8 - "He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus."



Blessings,
 
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LightSon

New member
Re: Borrowing capital ...

Re: Borrowing capital ...

Originally posted by Hilston
the fact that you breathe and the effect that oxygen has on your brain. What you might view as "the natural order" or the cosmos, the verity of logic, and the reliability of science are not only supernaturally sourced, but they are supernaturally sustained.

Well said Jim!

Via true scientific observation, the 1st two laws of thermodynamics have been derived:
(1) That matter/energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
(2) That entropy increases in a closed system.

Based upon these laws, our existence is not explainable . We should not be here.

There is a piece of the puzzle missing.

Comes along evolutionary theory to 'splain it to us. Evolution fills the hole. It "cleverly allows" both laws of thermodynamics to be broken. If the laws themselves are natural (within nature), then evolution is above these laws; evolution surreptitiously breaks these laws and is consequently "above" the law. The latin prefix for "above" is "super". Hence evolution is a codeword for a SUPER NATURAL phenomena. Evolution seeks to explain our existence when nature would otherwise dictate we would never exist.

The missing puzzle piece is necessary. It is necesary because things don't make themselves. The laws require that we should not be here.

The theist is looking at the same nature and the same laws. Instead of inventing a codeword for a non-diety, non-intelligent non-design of some inexplicable supernatural force, we simply submit to the more reasonable premise that God is the missing piece. Unlike the irreverent codeword of "evoluion", we know our creator to be the unique intelligent designer who stands above nature, and commands into existence all things for his own purposes.

We are here; that is a fact. Our existence is No accident of time, space & energy. Our existence is by His design.
 

cheeezywheeezy

New member
Hey Aussie...I think Jim is doing a pretty good job of answersing your questions directly...why not do the same for him with his questions.

For example...Jim asked:

"Just to clarify, what are your criteria for "logical" and "sensible" and "correct"?"

And your response was...and I summarize:

"It would take waaaay too long. And besides I never saw Jesus turn water into wine so He must not have done it."

What kind of answer is that?

Jim,

This is WAY off topic and I don't want to start a new thread, discussion, or new anything else. I was just curious. After reading your letter about Holiday's I just wanted to ask Jim a question. This is truly an honest question too. I am not trying to be funny or anything else.

You have "No participation in holiday meals". If say your mom cooked a Ham for Christmas. Would you eat that ham as a leftover on the day after Christmas? Do you not approve of the eating on the actual day of celebration...or eating on any day of the food prepared for that day of celebration?
 

Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
What's important ...

What's important ...

Hi Knight,

You write:
IF... Jim were in this debate (with Zakath) I would cheer him on! Even knowing that I might not agree on his style or approach.
I would have guessed this, given your perception of my disagreement. Obviousy, I think method is a crucial issue, and you do not. So it logically follows that you would support my efforts even if you thought my approach was not one you favored. But I think you would admit that you see it as merely a difference in strategy. Clearly, I do not see it as merely a matter of equally biblical strategic options. I view certain strategies as biblical and some as not. Just as there are biblical ways to counsel a person and unbiblical. Just as there are biblical ways to protest wrongs and unbiblical ones. So, while I appreciate your sentiment that you would support me, I think the difference between us (i.e. why I do not support Bob Enyart's method of argument) lies in the importance I place on apologetic methodology.

By the way, let me unequivocally state that I do not support Zakath or his arguments. I am not cheering for Zakath (I'm not even praying for him. I don't pray for anti-theists). I've simply made an assessment based on my understanding of scripture and experience in comparing debate strategies.

I would also like to make something clear that I should have much earlier: I support any Christian's desire to teach truth to an unbeliever and to bring them to Christ. I support that goal sometimes in spite of what I perceive as an unbiblical methodology. That said, I hope that Bob's efforts bring Zakath to Christ. But I must say that it will have been despite Bob's methods and not because of them, as I claim is the case with everyone who claims having come to Christ as result of Bob's debates with atheists. It appears to me that people are converted through unbiblical methods all the time. Countless people have professed faith under the "ministries" of Robert Tilton and Kenneth Hagan and Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn and their ilk. And while I support the goal of bringing people to Christ, I cannot support these ministries and what they're teaching people.

Knight writes:
I certainly wouldn't start a thread two posts into the debate that stated: "Jim has already lost the debate", and then continue to undermine Jim's arguments in other threads in effect working against the Christian cause in battling atheism.
If you took this point as seriously as I do, you too would be able to tell, in any given debate on the existence of God, who was going to win and who was going to lose based on methodological approach alone. Simply put, biblical methodology wins, unbiblical methodology loses. Even if the atheist makes horrible arguments and cannot answer the theist's arguments. On a fundamental level, the theist loses by employing unbiblical and anti-theistic argumentation to make his case. Ultimately, while Bob makes wonderful points and debates expertly, the context in which he presents those wonderful points ultimately does more to harm the "christian cause" because he is undermining scripture to do it. And rather than battling atheism, he is feeding into and perpetuating it by affirming its mythical claims. It's a "dead men do bleed after all" proposition. Despite all the efforts at proving the otherwise, the presuppositions of the anti-theist will trump every theistic evidence, logical construct and argument that comes down the pike. So how ought we to deal with that? Offer more evidence? Or attempt to better articulate already-presented evidence? No, the way we deal with it is to attack the presuppositions themselves.

Knight writes:
I just don't see how differing styles or approaches warrants this type of criticism from Jim.
I realize you don't see it. So it doesn't surprise me that you would have this reaction. I surmise, however, that if you weren't so close to Bob and so ready to defend him that perhaps you might be able to be more objective about this. At the very least, I would hope that you would ask yourself and try to understand, "Why is this such a big deal to Jim? Is he just contrary and wants to disagree with everyone regardless of who or what the subject is? Or could it be that he has actually spent a lot of time with this topic and perhaps the fact that it is so important to him is reason enough to consider that it might be something I should investigate as well?"

night writes:
I realize that Jim feels strongly about what he is saying and good for Jim. But this seems to transcend the boundaries of normal criticism don't ya think?
It's interesting that you would use the word "transcend." Because the criticism does indeed transcend in the sense that this thread has become a debate about a debate, i.e. debating debate methods. I think the reason it is difficult to grasp is threefold: (1) because people are not accustomed to thinking in these terms (thank you, government schools), and (2) because people are accustomed to hearing the standard theistic proofs and arguments (baggage that needs to be unloaded) and (3) because people are loath to give up strategies that they've spent lots of time honing and feeding with evidence and information. My experience is that certain people are at first resistant to these points, or just don't see them. But over time, after gradually seeing the differences applied and critiqued, it begins to make sense and is eventually glaringly clear. I've known several people to say how difficult it was at first, while at the same time being mystified that more people don't see it. There have been a couple on this thread who admitted to seeing it, even though they were unfamiliar with it. They admit that they don't understand the nuances, and that sort of thing comes with time because of a lot of needed deprogramming (the aforementioned baggage), but they get the point.

Knight writes:
Jim if you and Aussie want to debate why dont you get a room...errrrr.... I mean open up a new thread.
I wondered that, too. On second thought, I considered that it was still on topic, although now by example rather than direct discussion. But I defer to you on this. If it should be taken up in another thread, I am not averse to that. Should it be in the Grandstands or elsewhere?
 
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Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
Re: Re: Borrowing capital ...

Re: Re: Borrowing capital ...

TreMor!

Whassuup mah brizzle?

It has been a while, hasn't it? Hey -- while you're here, if you get a chance to check out Zakath, let me know how you think he's doing, and what you would do differently. Not a lot of detail is required, just generally speaking -- if you have time.

About the God Axiom: It's still in the works, but very near completion. I don't know if you're going to remember half the stuff you wrote. I know it was tough for me to remember exactly what brought us up to that point.

What Matrix discussion are you referring to? Apparently, I've got lots of cobwebs to dust off.

TreMor writes:
Good to see you, of course, my friend. Glad you're keeping the fires burning, even if you are on the wrong side of the fence!
As long as I keep the actual fire on your side. :)

Really great to see your handle in a forum again.

Jim
 

bob b

Science Lover
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
James,

Did I miss where you posted a link to your debate with an atheist so we could see your methodology in action?

Bob B.
 

LightSon

New member
Pray for Zak

Pray for Zak

Originally posted by Hilston
I am not cheering for Zakath (I'm not even praying for him. I don't pray for anti-theists).

Jim,
I find this of interest. Don't cheer. That is fine.
Are you not being disoedient to Jesus' regarding not being willing to pray for him?

Matt. 5:43,44 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you

Originally posted by Hilston
I hope that Bob's efforts bring Zakath to Christ.

If Zakath's coming to Christ is worthy of hope, then it is worthy to pray about. Don't you agree?
 

Nathon Detroit

New member
Re: What's important ...

Re: What's important ...

Originally posted by Hilston
Ultimately, while Bob makes wonderful points and debates expertly, the context in which he presents those wonderful points ultimately does more to harm the "christian cause" because he is undermining scripture to do it.
You have asserted this many times but you have failed to give any sort of compelling argument as to why we should believe you.
 

Hilston

Active member
Hall of Fame
Eido vs. ginosko ...

Eido vs. ginosko ...

Hi Jim,

Jim previously wrote: How would you NOT answer the fool according to his folly so that he will not be wise in his own conceit?

Scrimshaw writes:
A fool would think himself wise if he can get others to participate in his folly. So by responding to a fool according to his folly, the fool would have gotten you to participate in his folly, thus, making him feel wise, influential, etc.
So would you say then that the fool described in Prov. 26:4,5 recognizes his own folly and is just trying to get the other person to behave foolishly, too?

Jim previously wrote: But the application you explained above is exactly what I'm talking about. Zakath is throwing bags of cow manure at Bob's door. Bob is doing the same thing back at Zakath.

Scrimshaw writes:
No, Zakath's folly is his claim that there isn't sufficient evidence for belief in God. The only way that Bob could be responding WITH that same folly is if Bob's response ALSO stated that there "isn't sufficient evidence for belief in God".
Really? Then the verse is really meaningless, because that isn't an answer. There's no point of contention there; it's mere agreement. Your manure bag example was much better.

Scrimshaw writes:
But as we can see, that is NOT the case! Bob is arguing JUST THE OPPOSITE!
I realize, after you've said it several times, that you think this. But it doesn't make sense. Let's say you and a colleague are both professors of economics. You've taught your class the evils of deficit spending. You've tested them on it, and they all passed with flying colors. You're an excellent instructor. Your colleague agrees, and often praises you at department meetings for your thoroughness and the sufficiency of your teaching. One of your students, who earned perfect score on the test, who answers questions intelligently in class, and who enjoys flaunting her knowledge about whatever subject you are teaching on, doesn't like you. She overhears your colleague speaking highly of you. She decides to complain that you did not teach it very well, and claims to not understand the subject at all. He asks her what she earned on the test, and she lies, saying that she flunked the test. Your friend checks the records, and sees that she actually got a perfect score on th test. Your friend later overhears the student giggling among her friends about how she was able to trash Mr. Scrimshaw to one of his colleagues. Given the above, what would you think of your colleague if you were to walk into a classroom and witness him trying to teach her everything you have already taught her? How meaningful are your colleague's words about your ability to sufficiently teach your students if he so readily tries to improve upon the job you know has already been sufficiently accomplished?

Scrimshaw writes:
No, the Bible does not say atheism doesn't exist.
OK, let's break this down. Do you believe that an atheist truly doesn't believe in God, Scrimshaw? If so, why, in your opinion, do they not believe in God?

Scrimshaw writes:
That is only what Mr.Hilston says. Romans 1 only states that men are without EXCUSE for their disbelief/ungodliness/rebellion.
Why are they without excuse?

Scrimshaw writes:
Furthermore, Jesus himself disproves your claim that everyone knows God. Here is Jesus' refutation to Mr.Hilston's claim:

John 17:25 - "Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me."

What a perfect verse, Scrimshaw. Jesus gives a characteristic description of a collective order, namely that this collective rejects the experiential knowing (ginosko) of the Father of Israel, yet they experientially know (ginosko) that the Father sent Him. It shows both their knowledge that Jesus came from the Father (and by implication, knowledge of the Father) and of their deliberate rejection of the Father, i.e. a refusal to acknowledge their experiential knowledge of Him.

Scrimshaw writes:
And Paul also agrees with Jesus, and says -

1 Corinthians 1:20, 21 - "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

This verse is not stating the world did not know about God, Scrimshaw. It's saying that the world did not know Him experientially through their own wisdom. But rather, God used the foolishness of what was preached. When you say "Everyone in the world does not necessarily know about God," you've granted them an excuse. How can God hold them responsible for sinning against Him if they don't know about Him?

Scrimshaw writes:
Everyone in the world does not necessarily know about God.
What is their excuse, Scrimshaw?

Jim previously asked:Now that you've put it that way, why is Zakath's position incorrect?

Scrimshaw writes:
It is incorrect because it falsely claims that there is not sufficient evidence for belief in God. That's it.
I agree. So how do go about disabusing Zakath of that false claim? Show him the evidence that should have been sufficient, but for some reason wasn't? So then afterward, when he says, "Sorry, still not good enough." What do you do then?

Scrimshaw wrote previously:
Bob is simply *expounding* on the same evidence with a slightly higher degree of scientific/philosophical detail.
To which Jim replied: For what purpose? To convince Zakath that there is a God? He already knows that.

Scrimshaw writes:
No, the purpose is to REFUTE Zakath's LIE, which is his claim that the evidence isn't sufficient. That is Bob's purpose in the debate.
OK, let me ask this: Do you believe that Zakath, prior to this debate, had been given sufficient evidence of God's existence and his accountability to Him? Perhaps we're not agreeing on the word "sufficient"? ("Adequate to accomplish a purpose or to meet a need").

Jim previously wrote: [Enyart] is affirming the lie by allowing the myth of atheism to be perpetuated.

Scrimshaw writes:
You are using very poor logic.
Why do so many people say this, yet they cannot demonstrate the logical fallacy that's been committed. It's like crying wolf. After a while, nobody believes you.

Scrimshaw writes:
Atheism is not a myth. It is an actual belief system ...
No it's not -- since you're so willing to accept the so-called atheists self-definition, ask Zakath. Ask Michael Shermer. Ask Douglas Krueger. Ask TreMor. They will flatly deny that atheism is a belief system. Now what?

Scrimshaw writes:
... No where in Romans 1 does it say that no one possesses disbelief in God.
What does it mean to "possess disbelief"? It says they hold the truth about God, they understand, and they suppress it. You disagree with that?

Scrimshaw writes:
No, the text implies that they have no LEGITIMATE excuse, but it doesn't say they don't make up excuses. Bob's arguments are exposing the illegitimacy of the atheist's excuses, and exposing them to be FALSE excuses.
Would you grant that Zakath has made some OK defenses of his self-professed atheism at any point in the debate? I don't think he has, but I'm wondering if you think Zakath has scored any "hits"?

Jim previously wrote: If there is further need, then they do have an excuse, and God has NOT sufficiently revealed Himself to them.

Scrimshaw writes:
You are correct that there is no need of providing further EVIDENCE. However, there is a need to refute the false excuses.
Gosh -- I totally agree. How would you propose those be dealt with?

Scrimshaw writes:
... There is a need to clarify the evidence that the atheists distort.
Ack! Not at all! See, this is the error of evidentialism. The atheist has no grounds upon which to evaluate evidence. They must borrow from the Christian worldview in order to make any sense of their experience, and this should be exposed. We cannot allow them to unwarrantedly borrow tools from the Christian worldview (logic, reason, science, sense data, etc.) when, on their worldview, they can't make sense of anything. By allowing them to use our tools without justification, the evidentialist essentially pretends there is a neutral playing field upon which both may consider the evidence. What needs to be challenged is their claim to know anything, to assess truth claims, to evaluate evidence, to make a simple predication. None of it makes sense in a God-less universe and worldview.

Scrimshaw writes:
Atheism is a belief system that denies and distorts the evidence. Bob's arguments are exposing the atheist's distortion/denial of the evidence by clarifying the true nature of the evidence.
And in so doing, Bob is surrendering the tools that ought to be exclusively his.

Scrimshaw quotes:
Psalms - 78:21 "When the LORD heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance."
Was everyone in Israel, without exception, an atheist?

Scrimshaw quotes:
Gal 4:8 - "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods."
Notice the word for "know" here is not "ginosko" (to know based on personal experience -- the Romans 1 kind of "know"), but rather "eido", knowledge that is conceptualized, seen in one's mental perception. In other words, while possessing ginosko/experience-based knowledge of God, the anti-theist hates Him, holding the truth, understanding it, yet suppressing it. By so doing, he supplants that clear mental conception of God, something that all believers have, which moves them to worship Him. This is how the pagans are described in scripture. They know God, but they destroy the proper mental conception of Him by erecting their "unknown altars" and worshipping ignorantly (deliberately pushing the True God and His truth away). The same word "eido" is found in the remaining verses you cited, and for good and consistent reasons, as I explain above.

1 Thess 4:5 - "....not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know ("eido") God;"

2 Thess 1:8 - "He will punish those who do not know ("eido") God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus."

Looking forward to your reply to my questions above.

Jim
 
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bob b

Science Lover
LIFETIME MEMBER
Hall of Fame
Hilston,
I am looking forward to the link I requested that demonstrates a debate with an atheist using your methodology.

Bob B.
 

Aussie Thinker

BANNED
Banned
Jim,

In your answers, you gave descriptions and/or identified your knowledge and their attending tools, but you haven't justified or accounted for them. In fact, as I will be pointing out, you must actually borrow these tools from a worldview that actually makes sense of them, even though you disagree with that worldview, namely, the Christian theistic position. I will say upfront that I don't think you can justify them and that you must take them on faith. You basically affirm this below. We all know that the stability of a structure is only as stable as its weakest part, and in your case, it appears to be the very foundation. I attempt to demonstrate that from what you've said below. If at any point I've misunderstood you, please offer clarification.

I have accounted for the arise of logic and reason. The evolutionary process FULLY accounts for mans increased intelligence. Logic and reason are by products of an increased intelligence. You seem to want to attach something mystical to our ability to reason.. all animals reason in some way.. I have a new kitten.. it pretty much reasoned to stay away from my 7 year old because he pulls its ears off.

As far as justification.. why does it need to be justified. You are just thinking with a close minded deist mindset. Do we have to justify any other attributes that have risen from evolution. They arose because they were useful to survival. What more useful trait for survival can there be than high intelligence. In fact it is VERY likely that in evolutionary terms a creature of high intelligence will evolve.

As far as borrowing tools from the Christian Theistic worldview.. sorry but that is just nonsense. Man used reason and logic long before Christians came along.

I agree with you. That's not my argument. But I should point out to you that your ability to evaluate the difference between "subjective" and "objective" does not come from so-called natural processes or undirected natural phenomenon.

Yes it does.. you still have a problem with mysticising our intelligence !

Logic tells us that things cannot become their opposites, which is what the anti-theist worldview requires. In fact, the existence of logic itself must be taken on faith by the anti-theist, whereas, given God's creation and sustaining of all things, logic no longer has to be taken on faith. It makes sense. Its very existence makes sense because those laws reflect the nature and attributes of God (the Logos). Thus, your ability to make an intelligible statement in fact comes from God. The fact that you make predication and value assessments show that you are in fact borrowing from the Christian worldview, the only worldview that can sufficiently account for the existence of logic and reason.

It seems we will just have to agree to disagree. You think logic and reason MUST be products of a creator.. I think they are a natural by product of intelligence which formed naturally through evolution. Your above statement about the anti-theist having faith in the existence of logic just doesn’t make sense.. You have so thoroughly confused yourself into thinking our natural abilities are sooo amazing they could not have arisen naturally.

Actually, you have. You witness the supernatural everyday, in every area of your life. From the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea to the air you breathe, the fact that you breathe and the effect that oxygen has on your brain. What you might view as "the natural order" or the cosmos, the verity of logic, and the reliability of science are not only supernaturally sourced, but they are supernaturally sustained.

All natural occurrences. Your only basic argument for a God is that things are “amazing”. Nothing supernatural has been documented to my (and most peoples satisfaction). LOGIC therefore dictates we look for a natural explanation for everything.

Do you view the laws of logic as material or non-material?

Logic is a non-material thing about material things. You seem very hung up on the idea that the existence of logic requires a creator. You are struggling to demonstrate why.. just saying it does doesn’t mean it is so. The NATURAL order of things from which logic stems is just that a NATURAL order.. the things we see are ordered because chaos would not last in a Natural world. This is an argument for NATURE not God. If chaos and disorder and illogic ruled then I would argue it was directed as it could not occur naturally.

Take a step back. By what method have you determined the reliability of these criteria to establish facts?

The same method we all use. Logic reason, likelihood, independent corroboration scientific study in fact all our human evolved senses for gleaning the truth.

It was a question. 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?

You ability to assess the truth comes from a long struggle by your primitive ancestors to overcome their environment and evolve into what we know as modern man. I am sure most of your assessments comport with reality with the exception of your belief in a mythological God. My own assurance comes from by knowledge that (matrix situations aside) I exist and I can think and reason.

There are insane people who go through life thinking that their faculties are in place. Even John Nash, as brilliant as he is, learned that he could not always trust his perceptions. How do you prove it, at least to yourself? Or do you take it on faith?

I already beat you to the insane accusation.

Jim it is pointless to go into the argument about our own perceived reality. We just accept the fact that we are here and most of us are sane. Otherwise it is pointless to continue.. more Matrix stuff.

You keep referring to Faith.. people whose lives revolve around faith have this strange notion that EVERYONE therefore has a life philosophy that relies on faith. If I have anything like faith it is in a Natural answer to everything.. it is more really a logical progression though.. everything so far discovered had a natural answer so it is fair to assume that everything since will. But this is hardly faith.. Faith is something which you believe in regardless of physical evidence or knowledge.. that is something for theists.

No one is making that argument. Pick any argument, no matter how simple or complex, and it will be shown to be circuitous.

I am sure YOU could .. you just keep circling around here.. The sort of circuitous argument I am talking about is where you believe something to be so and this therefore justifies everything else. Like you believe logic to be some mystical supernatural thing.. therefore God must exist.. therefore atheists are liars.

Are you then saying that logical laws are contingent and not universal? On your view, was modus ponens true before humans existed to think about it?

No.. they are.. therefore making the likelihood of a deity even LESS. Natural order

Were the principles of the scientific method true before there were humans around to apply them?

Yes.. again pointing to the lack of need for a deity.

What are you criteria for "bad"? And do you view morality according to consensus, for certainly we can point to people in history who demonstrated a masochistic perception of "good" and "bad."

Man will always chop and change about what is good and bad. Your own Bible deemed slavery was OK.. but we sure don’t think so now ? Morality always remains a little bit subjective. But mans intelligence does give him the ability to empathise and therefore realise what hurts me probably hurts others.. aberrant behaviour like masochism aside.. even some animals remain aberrant !

How have you tested the verity of human intelligence? By using human intelligence? You realize that is circuitous, right?

Well it is necessarily circuitous as our intelligence is our only means of communicating any ideas at all.

It hasn't yet. You're making circuitous arguments, which you seem to disallow above.

Well I am disallowing circuitous arguments that stem from opinion.

First, the number of Muslims is irrelevant. Second, the Muslims make the claim irrationally and self-refutingly, based on their professed tenets. They might want to counter with the same charge against the Christian worldview and scriptures, but it would be shown to be an erroneous charge.

Like I am showing yours to be ?

Your Christian loved ones may wonder what leads normal intelligent humans such as yourself to reject the ineluctable and glaringly obvious existence of the Creator. You've used the term "mystical unlikely illogical deity." I don't deny that God is "mystical," but not in an esoteric or arcane sense of the word. But what, in your view, is "unlikely" or "illogical" about the God of the Bible?

For one it is an added level of complexity. It will always beg the question of who made God or what proceeded God or if he always existed why couldn’t the Universe. Does God use logic.. it seems so if he made an ordered universe.. if so (by your reasoning) it implies he had a creator.. etc etc.

As far as the God of Bible goes.. he seems a primitive hands on God EXACTLY like those of many other cultures. Then when modern society can verify the hands on actions they cease.. coincidence ? He is a God that ordered death and destruction and yet claims to be loving.. He is a God that killed the almost entire population of humans on the planet including Children.. he is a God that commands worship.. a trait that would seem petty in of humans.. he is a God that banishes people to Hell for the sin of not knowing him yet he gives no real evidence for his existence.. etc etc.

How does that demonstrate the Bible to be foolish? Certainly not in logical terms.

Yes it calls me a fool for using logic. I logically state that as ALL things so far have been shown to have natural origins a God seems unlikely.

Not without begging crucial questions. The alleged ease with which you account for them might be comparable to the ease with which I explain how the ATM system works to my 5-year-old ("put the card in, money comes out"). A careful analysis shows that the ways in which you "easily account" for your daily experience are actually, on your worldview, indefensible and arbitrary conventions that you must take on faith. On my worldview, there is a rational basis for your use of these tools and the veracity of your perceptions of reality.

I have a completely rational basis for all the tools in my worldview I have explained it above. It is ironic that in the above example I see YOU not me as the 5 year old..

“Where does the money come from Dad.. is it magic.. or God ?”

But He has. You know in myriad ways. You know from within you that He exists. Of the many examples that can be offered, you have an innate sense of justice (although likely not perfect, and that due to your adopted worldview), you have an innate recognition of beauty, order, design, goodness and joy. These are all things which scream of God's existence and attributes, but you've chosen to suppress the truth and to push it away from you.

Your childish theistic worldview is still fooling you that these things imply a God. Where I see natural beauty (which is subjective I might add) you see the work of God. Deep down You know that a God is a stupid concept. You know if he really existed he would make and obvious appearance and not all this “Well look at the beauty around you stuff”.. stuff that why don’t you just put in a simple appearance.. that would clear things up.

On your own anti-theistic worldview, you cannot make consistent and rational sense out of these things in your daily experience. If we're all molecules in motion and electrical pulses in the brain organ and the result of undirected natural processes, such things as logic and science make no sense. You must somehow believe that things can become their opposites. That disorder and chaos can generate order, that non-living matter can become a living organism, that non-conciousness can become consciousness and self-awareness, and that an undirected and random universe can generate logical laws.

And you go one step further than me and make a creature that can come from nothing or always was. I much prefer to stop at a simpler version of it always was thanks. That is LOGICAL.

God has been making Himself known to me my entire life,

No he hasn’t, you are just adding in a fantasy explanation for everything you see. Have you ever noticed you can’t give me ONE real and obvious way in which he makes himself known.. it is always.. through his creation.. through our own amazing abilities.. etc.. why is it this God NEVER makes himself known in some obvious verifiable way.. logic again would dictate he hasn’t because he doesn’t exist.

just as He has with you.

No he hasn’t.. but I guess you will just think I am an atheistic liar.

In every area of our daily experiences, He makes Himself known through the created order, the things I mentioned above, and within us, through the laws of logic, our reasoning faculties, the input through our senses, our ability to learn and to love. All of these things require the God of scripture, and without Him, none of these things make sense. All of the anti-theistic attempts to account for these things boil down to question-begging, all the while borrowing from the Christian worldview in order to even consider them.

As I said above.. nothing of normal evidence just your feelings. Why is that our emotions and ability to reason have to make sense ? They evolved like everything else. Cats and Dogs seem to have love and hate too.. they just evolved it. It is your own personal NEED to have them make sense that makes you think their must be a higher purpose or a God.

I don't disagree. I just don't think the anti-theist can do this without begging crucial questions and unwarrantedly borrowing tools from the Christian worldview.

The “Christian” worldview is BS.. it is just another of mans invented worldviews. It borrows from a million other worldviews that went before it. Mostly Pagan ones I might add !

To which I asked: Prove to me that you haven't done this very thing regarding your reliance upon the laws of logic, the precepts of science, and the verity of your rational faculties.

Because arguing outside these laws etc is pointless. I could just say God created us all Yesterday with our memories and everything else.. we have to accept that laws of logic and science are out only way of examining our universe without being hamstrung by pre conceived notions of God.

You trouble is your God is already the answer to everything .. so why bother studying anything else at all.

You didn't answer my request, Aussie. Please, if you can, prove to me that you haven't, in head-in-sand fashion, blindly accepted the uniformity of the laws of logic, the requirments and reliability of the scientific method, and the veracity of your senses and reason.

We have to have some basis for argument and the scientific, logic method at least starts with an even playing field. It neither includes or excludes a deity. You view is a stupid way to argue as it ONLY includes a deity which means further examination is pointless.

Thanks for the dialogue

Thank you too.. even though I don’t think we will get anywhere. If you say Black is White and stick to it I can’t convince you otherwise.

Cheezywheezy writes..

Hey Aussie...I think Jim is doing a pretty good job of answersing your questions directly...why not do the same for him with his questions.

For example...Jim asked:

"Just to clarify, what are your criteria for "logical" and "sensible" and "correct"?"

And your response was...and I summarize:

"It would take waaaay too long. And besides I never saw Jesus turn water into wine so He must not have done it."

What kind of answer is that?

Nice a disingenuous Christian (isn’t their a commandment about bearing false witness ?)..

I never said anything like what you said above.

To paraphrase I said if everything known has had a natural explanation to date LOGIC dictates that everything in the future will have a natural explanation. When supernatural things are observed it is LOGICAL to assume they are either observed poorly, they have an unknown natural explanation or they did not happen. If people reported that Jesus turned water into wine, they were either misinformed, the water was always wine or they lied. That is the application of logic.

Our application of logic is a by product of human intelligence which formed during our evolution.
 
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