The Jolly Nihilist has once again provided rich fodder for discussion. Many thanks to him for such thought-provoking comments. The gears were turning in my head, and they feel smoother now. Feels good. Now for a Dr. Pepper (to undo all the good that has heretofore been done)!
I'll divide the discussion into two sections, b/c it's getting a little mixed up. The 1st section deals with the JN's First Principle (FP) - that evidence is the best and most reliable way to know truth and also my FP - that the God of the Bible is there and that He is not silent.
The 2nd section will answer sundry other points that I found interesting enough to respond to.
I'm not into flagellating deceased equines either... but sometimes bordering thereon can be illustrative. This may be one of those times.
The JN said:
That means I can employ evidence to support evidence’s utility.
1) Can you supply evidence for the statement: "I can employ evidence to support evidence’s utility"? What would it be?
2) Then can you supply evidence for the statement answering #1? What would it be?
3) Then can you supply evidence for the statement answering #2? What would it be?
4) Then can you supply evidence for the statement answering #3? What would it be?
5) Then can you explain how, since you're admitting here that your 1st Principle is not self-justifying, you escape the infinite regress as we've seen in points #1-4 here?
6) Then can you supply evidence for your answer to #5? What would it be?
7) Then can you supply evidence for your answer to #6? What would it be?
8) Then can you supply evidence for your answer to #7? What would it be?
9) Then can you supply evidence for your answer to #8? What would it be?
because mathematics cannot appeal to itself to demonstrate mathematics being the sole path to knowledge.
Precisely. You've given away the farm.
Neither can this 'evidential principle'. But my FP - that the God of the Bible is there and that He is not silent - can.
I merely recognize it to be by far our best, most reliable path.
What is your evidence for that?
And, once stated, what is your evidence for THAT?
Rhology said: What's your evidence for that assertion?
Yes, I'm 100% serious.
Words have meanings
What is your evidence for that statement?
Again, I'm 100% serious.
If you wish to take that combination of letters and alternately define it, then go ahead.
No, I have no wish to redefine sthg here. Thing is, it's b/c you and I are both using the same standard of intelligibility here - that words DO have meaning and that are thoughts ARE reliably aimed in general at producing true beliefs. But that's b/c TGOTB lives and is not silent; He has provided the grounds for that.
I'm arguing that your worldview, your FP, cannot support this, cannot account for it.
The agreement to which I referred is manifest by the fact that all people—all over the world—make use of relevant facts every day in order to grasp truth.
What is your evidence for that?
Do *I* get to make these general, intuitive appeals to "everyone, everywhere" to substantiate MY FP too? How much would you accept that?
You have just utilized a relevant fact (brake lights) to reach a larger truth (the car in front is slowing)! You have employed evidence!
1) What is your evidence for that?
2) Yes I do, b/c TGOTB lives and has made the world such as it is - where things operate in such a manner that a brake light in front of me means that a collision is imminent unless I slow down. Again, my FP accts for this and yours doesn't.
I require evidence
Maybe I should know better than to ask this, but what is your evidence for that statement?
You declare man must have “saving faith,” but my constitution reviles faith as foolish.
You have (misplaced) faith in your FP! Looks like you revile faith selectively. And surprise surprise, the Bible describes you in exactly that way.
You…who, in your First Principle, seek to start the race at the finish line by presupposing, more or less, the entirety of Christianity.
As if you didn't start the race at the finish line by presupposing the truth of your evidential-oriented worldview. Remember all the times I pointed that out in Aug and Sept 2007? If not, I'd recommend rechecking that.
My metaphysical foundation—which is self-subsisting, by the way
Oh, DO explain that. It would very possibly sweep away many or even most of my objections here.
Your FP…if it could be called such…has no use for argumentation: Your desired conclusion has been neatly gift-wrapped.
1) So has yours been.
2) My FP is far fuller than yours.
3) The argumentation comes in when I check rival worldviews for their internal consistency, which is a prereq. That's why I spend a lot of time blowing up atheism; I find it useful to me personally, helpful to brethren in the faith, and quite illustrative of the bankruptcy of this "most refined" version of Western thinking.
The JN said:
I meant to show—and, indeed, DID show—that your preferred argument can “prove” the Catfish just as easily as it can “prove” Yahweh. I simply have to define the Catfish meticulously.
And I already explained why that is full of hot air. Let the reader judge whether your simply repeating an already-responded-to point is a good argument.
if you truly believe that the text presents one—and only one—path to “salvation,” then you have deluded yourself.
Oh please. Are you seriously proposing that you are familiar enough with biblical hermeneutics and exegesis to make a serious argument on these grounds?
If one were inclined, one could craft a decent argument with these verses.
Yes, please do. Make it a post on your blog and let's see how well you do.
Come on…do you think I am so invested in the outcome of an internet tête-à-tête that I would lie in order to win a “point”?
No, rather I think you're self-deceived. But that kind of self-deception has a shelf life shorter, probably, than your physical life on this earth. With that in mind, I pray for your eventual repentance and salvation.
The notion of justice, at its root, and when applied to people, means that an individual’s behavior should influence how he is treated.
It "should"? What is your evidence for that?
Why can't you keep your hand out of the cookie jar? You talk out of both sides of your mouth. You yourself say there is insufficient methodology to make this kind of moral judgment, but you make them all over the place.
1. A deity is nothing more than a god or goddess. Therefore, this objection is flatly wrong.
You seem to be responding to a different point than the one I was responding to and thenceforth made.
The point is, Christian conversion experiences are lumped in Christian regions, whereas Hindu conversion experiences are lumped in Hindu regions. This is curious.
Well, I was agreeing. :-)
If Christianity were something other than an elaborate fairy tale, then brushes with Yahweh would be equally common in Hindu territories as in Christian territories.
1) Whoa, whoa, whoa. Huge leap of logic here. What is your argument for that statement? Why would we expect that?
2) I recommend Don Richardson's "Eternity in Their Hearts" for a rear naked choke on this argument, even if I grant it in principle.
3) Do you realise that there are more born-again Christians in China than in the USA? That there is a very significant missionary movement in India by Indians? That S Korea sends more missionaries overseas per capita than any other nation?
You seem to be a product of Western-centrism, more than you realise.
The nature of these “encounters with the divine,” such as specious Virgin Mary sightings, tends to be largely determined by the culture and geography of the deluded “witness.”
Of course, and I didn't deny that. And I use the quotation marks here like you do. ;-)
The following passage (Matt 24:25-35), which has the same gist, does not reference the transfiguration:
Oy vey. This is exactly what I mean. You jump from Matt 16 to Matt 24 and hope no one will notice! Did you even try to read ch 17-23 before jumping all the way to Matt 24? Why not just go whole hog and insist that I apply the same hermeneutical principles from the genealogy of Matt 1 to Matt 24?
The prophecy was failed and no effort of yours, however strenuous, can obscure it.
Well, since you didn't offer a counterargument nor present an exegesis of this Matt 24 psg, one can only guess at how you came to that conclusion. As it is, you come across as an atheist fundy - you just KNOW all this is nonsense and you don't NEED to prove it. It's OBVIOUS. To EVERYONE. Except MORONS and FLAT-EARTHERS like you who don't believe it!
nor am I solipsistic enough to imagine a creator
I think you're misusing the term. But I could be wrong.
Given all this, god easily could ensure each human ends up in heaven—or, at least, out of hell.
This is another attempt at entering into my worldview's turf to tell me how it should be.
What is your biblical argument for this statement? Your logical argument?
His idolatrous fetish for free will is crippling enough to undo all his loving intentions? Pitiful.
1) Cookie jar. Again.
2) How is it "idolatrous"? Make your argument.
3) What do you believe are His loving intentions? Where do you get that? A song you heard on the radio or something?