Friday, August 22, 2008

Dr Fun

No disrespect to Dr Funkenstein, it's just that, for some reason, discussing with him is edifying. I thank him for his time.

Drift...
Sexual selection


Those are all (except possibly for endosymbiosis) variations on the same theme. Is he ashamed of his own mechanism or sthg?


But 'supernatural' is neither a mechanism or an explanation, it's an untested assertion

Untested by physical means, of course.
And yet well attested-to in history, and of course thoroughly rational. Indeed, it's necessary to explain such things as the Resurrection of Christ, the origin of the universe, etc.


since any and all observations could be filed under 'supernatural'

Supernatural events are not just bare facts - they come with a historical context and a religious context. Not all events are supernatural.
He himself doesn'tt believe that, since he'd have no way to tell apart natural from super-natural. It'd all be in one category.


what explanatory power does a claim have if it cover absolutely any observation?

It's not my fault that God covered all the bases. He needs to produce a different sort of disproof than the kind he'd like to present or is used to presenting. His discomfort and rebellion are not my problem.


what on Earth do you propose as the next hypothesis from that?

I don't know exactly what he means, but I'd sure be curious as to how, and a lot of the time that how is available to our analysis. Don't set up a false dilemma.


It contains NO mechanistic details. It contains NO explanation.

Almost agreed on the 1st. It tells us that He did it via His supernatural power. That's a mechanistic detail.
The 2nd one is flat wrong - it tells us who did the action, we usually therefore know why (which is in distinction to naturalistic analyses, which can give no why at all), it also allows us how to distinguish between God-based actions and actions performed by others.


1-5

Why limit it to just those kinds of questions? There are all kinds of things in the world that people study. Not everyone is as myopic as your line of questioning here and as the topic of this blogpost.
Again, not my fault if God covers all His bases.
Besides, it's not as if the Darwinian establishment is all that welcoming of criticism of their catch-all theory.


PAs seem to think they can make these claims and we're just supposed to accept them simply on their say so without any obvious reason

Well, I don't. I expect you to recognise you have no answer (indeed, you've produced virtually zero defense for your own epistemological position, instead choosing to attack mine) for the criticms I aim against your epistemology and therefore be intellectually honest enough to look for a defensible alternative, and obviously I believe my own is defensible.


1. Atheism can't account for logic (and you've not really defined which atheist worldview(s) that might be)

Let's make it easy - how about yours? Account for logic, please.
If you need help, check out the introductory steps at www.proofthatgodexists.org. it's a decent primer into the kinds of questions I'm asking.


3. Theism accounts for logic, specifically only Christian theism

I wouldn't and don't say the latter half. Islam accts for it just fine - its problems are in other areas. Same for Judaism.


It is impossible that any other viewpoint could account for logic

Strawman. I just haven't seen one yet. I'm waiting and waiting and waiting...


The laws of logic are universal and invariant

Correct. Presumably, you believe this too.
Or perhaps you believe that in other parts of the universe, it is possible that God exists and doesn't exist at the same time in the same way at the same time.


statements like (3) and (4) are just assertions, since many worldviews could potentially account for it, not just mine or yours.

Prove it. Bring forth an alternative. I don't know how many times I've requested such, but it's a lot.


You claim to have examined many, but presumably not all.

It's impossible to examine ALL. Just bring forth your alternative and let's talk.


I'd also bet that scholars of various other religions could do the same process PAs do and jump through hoops to 'prove' their religion as being the one and only account for logic.

And then we'd examine their claims and see if they hold up.
This is not that hard. If you'd stop thinking of all Reformed people as knuckle-draggers, maybe you'd actually make a useful argument rather than floundering about in the kiddie pool, screaming you're Michael Phelps, and you better believe me!


On (2) and (3) I've still not seen an explanation as to how one would prove TGOTB's existence beyond simply asserting it as a fact, or any reason why logic depends on his existence.

Impossibility of all contrary views I've ever seen.


So people would know of TGOTB without the bible/parts of the bible?

Do us both a favor and read Psalm 19, Romans 1, and Romans 2.


It's sufficient, yet doesn't outline the very laws you claim depend on him

Let the reader judge whether that's what I said.


do you not think something that important might have been worth a mention? After all it lists many other laws he considers vital

Once again Dr Funk presumes to tell God how to run the universe.
Maybe you could create one and tell us all how it's gone after the first few minutes.


Anyone could also argue logic is simply implied in the way the universe works

This from the guy who above questioned me on whether the laws of logic are universal and invariant.


Even a quick look on Wiki points out that Nikolai Vasiliev had developed a system of 'imaginary logic' not utilising the LoEM or LoNC.

So dialetheism is both totally inaccurate and completely accurate at the same time.
Go sell your snake oil to some 19 year old English major.


what value is evidence to a PA if you always know what conclusion you must reach no matter what?

It strengthens my faith and gives me more and more cause to praise God.
Once again, Dr Funk makes no attempt to actually answer the question and defend his own position. Seems he's content to assume logic, even though its utility is in doubt both from myself AND from him in two ways, and then attack my position and posit ridiculous possibilities such as dialetheism to stave off scrutiny of his position. Let the reader judge whether this is worthy of any serious consideration.


Your claim was you could "account for" or explain how all this happens.

Precisely. I know the responsible agent and that He did it.
Dr Funk is in the same boat - he doesn't KNOW how evolution got us here, he can't observe it. He guesses it, thinks he has some circumstantial evidence as to the process, etc.
Similarly, he doesn't know HOW the gas in his car explodes to drive it fwd, he just knows it does.
He doesn't know how the Cheerios he had for breakfast fuel his body, he just knows they do.
Outside of his field of expertise, he takes all kinds of things by faith.


Van Til was quite prepared to accept the prevalent idea of his day, that a completely self-consistent non-Christian world view was possible.

OK, that may be. I've never read any VT.
I'd say he's mistaken, if this is the case.


he conceded that science might one day explain away all the miracles of the Bible and anything else which seemed to point to God

Which goes along with his highly presuppositional stance, yes.


He said, "We must allow that it is quite possible that at some future date all the miracles recorded in Bible, not excluding the resurrection of Christ, may be explained by natural laws."

He'd be wrong there.


"All teaching of Scripture is apparently contradictory."

And there as well.


Do those sound like the words of someone actually interested in finding out truth

When compared to the utter banality of the atheist worldview, [shrug]. But I don't agree with him on these points, nor is he my authority.


On the second part, so why get bummed out about atheists, criminals, moral relativists, evolutionists, other religions etc if none of us can do anything about it 'til the HS 'zaps' us?

Who's "bummed out"?
I have a standing command to tell all people about Jesus and to defend the faith when called upon to do, and to shut the mouths of unbelievers when they present ridiculous objections to the faith. It's probably tough for you to get a bead on my motivations, and I don't really expect you to understand, which is why I restrict my questions and challenges to the facts and ideas, rather than wasting time with motivations. It's an approach that has much to commend it, and I'd commend it to you.


what does the randomness apparent in quantum mechanics signify? I'm also still at a loss to work out why order would depend on some divine string puller.

Perhaps you think order can just spontaneously arise, much as you believe that human beings evolved from rocks.
That's one reason to get 'bummed out' (not that I am, I'm just saying) - Dr Funk would make a great Christian, since he has a highly-developed sense of faith.

15 comments:

Dr Funkenstein said...

No disrespect to Dr Funkenstein, it's just that, for some reason, discussing with him is edifying. I thank him for his time.

Haha, do I detect a hint of sarcasm there? If not, then I'm glad that you find our debates stimulating - and I believe that's at least 2 post topics in about 4 weeks I've generated, I must be doing something right ;-D

I did say I'd written enough, but since you're addressing this directly to me, I feel I should give an answer (this is kind of like some internet version of crack such is the difficulty in choosing not to respond!)

Those are all (except possibly for endosymbiosis) variations on the same theme. Is he ashamed of his own mechanism or sthg?

Drift - effects due to random chance/'sampling error'

Recombination - 'shuffling' of existing variation

N. Selection - favours those better suited to the environment they find themselves in resulting in greater reproductive success for those organisms

Mutation - generation of variation via changes in nucleotide sequences

How exactly are these 4 examples variations on the same theme?

Untested by physical means, of course.
And yet well ... Indeed, it's necessary to explain such things as the Resurrection of Christ, the origin of the universe, etc.


So it's untested by physical means, yet we can somehow know what its capable of doing based purely on the word of people making the claim on its behalf? It could be tested by physical means - a bacterial flagellum or an eye could just pop into existence for example. Funnily enough, this hasn't ever been seen to happen. SNism used to be necessary to explain diseases, motion of planets etc too - things didn't turn out so well for it there...

Supernatural events are not just ... from super-natural. It'd all be in one category.

Actually they pretty much are just bare facts - eg God created life from dust (or a rib in the case of the fairer sex) - how did he do this? Noone knows. Why did he choose that particular heritable material over any other? Noone knows. Why did he stick telomere sequences in the middle of human chromosome 2? Noone knows, etc etc

It's not my fault that God ... are not my problem.

I'm not experiencing any discomfort, I assure you - but you're claiming God has explanatory power and YEC is scientifically valid. Yet it clearly doesn't/isn't since you claim it can cover any and all observations (not just relating to origins issues). Therefore it is scientifically useless and has no explanatory power that isn't on a par with the explanation 'because the sun rose this morning' - after all that covers any and all observations re: biology as well, with the added bonus that I can actually look up and see the sun (George Carlin fans will get that one).

I don't know exactly what he means, but I'd sure be curious as to how, and a lot of the time that how is available to our analysis. Don't set up a false dilemma.

I gave you a list of 5 examples where your worldview couldn't have proposed any scientific hypotheses, because it could cover an observation and its total opposite. It is impossible to generate a hypothesis about the physical world by doing this - I'm sure you're familiar with Popper's falsifiability.

That's a mechanistic detail.

It's not - eg an apple falling down from a tree tells me apples fall downward from trees for some reason. It doesn't tell me anything about how or why it happened without further investigation. Similarly, telling me supernatural just did it tells me nothing either.

The 2nd one is flat wrong - it tells us who did the action.

It makes a claim, yes. It doesn't provide any actual explanation. God creating humans by blowing into dust doesn't tell me anything - it's not like from that you could work anything out about human biology.

Here's an example of another supernatural claim listed by Richard Carrier:

It actually begins with a different tale. In 520 A.D. an anonymous monk recorded the life of Saint Genevieve, who had died only ten years before that. In his account of her life, he describes how, when she ordered a cursed tree cut down, monsters sprang from it and breathed a fatal stench on many men for two hours; while she was sailing, eleven ships capsized, but at her prayers they were righted again spontaneously; she cast out demons, calmed storms, miraculously created water and oil from nothing before astonished crowds, healed the blind and lame, and several people who stole things from her actually went blind instead. No one wrote anything to contradict or challenge these claims, and they were written very near the time the events supposedly happened--by a religious man whom we suppose regarded lying to be a sin.

Now, there's a supernatural claim. Can you explain if you believe it and why/why not? Can you give any potential mechanisms by which this might have occurred, or anything comparable we might observe today? After all, as long as someone has made the claim and it is consistent seems to be the basic criteria here.

Why limit it to just those kinds of questions? There are all kinds of things in the world that people study. Not everyone is as myopic as your line of questioning here and as the topic of this blogpost.

You asked for examples, I gave them. You don't actually seem to be disagreeing that they are examples of Goddidit's ability to cover an observation and its polar opposite.


Again, not my fault if God covers all His bases.

I'm not sure it's that - I think it's just that certain theists are afraid of putting a scientific claim forward that could be proven to be wrong. Of course, if they did get shown to be wrong, they'd just retreat into ad-hoc miracles that are far-fetched even by the standards of theism (eg in the Flood geology model, regular occurrences are actually more miraculous than the miracles there are so few of them).


Besides, it's not as if the Darwinian establishment is all that welcoming of criticism of their catch-all theory.


So even, for example when Hirotsune published a paper in Nature showing that a pseudogene might be functional going against the scientific consensus, that was an example of the DE blocking alternative opinions (the DI got quite excited about that - probably less so when the work was refuted by later experiments)?

Second, you've just spent time on my blog where I gave you a testable hypothesis plus a null hypothesis. How can it be catch all if it can be used to generate a null hypothesis that would falsify the claim?

Let's make it easy - how about yours?

It's probably kind of similar to the JN's I'd say - but remember you have to refute them all, from mine to ideas like those that Michael Martin and Gene Witmer hold to etc etc. Mine can of course be wrong, while another atheist's could be correct.

www.proofthatgodexists.org

This would be the website run by Sye Ten B, the subject of Stephen Law's blog posts I linked to.

Universal, immaterial, unchanging laws cannot be accounted for if the universe was random or only material in nature.

Not all atheists are materialists, so that goes out the window, and some aspects of the universe do appear to be random as far as we can tell.

Second, Newton's Laws don't seem so universal or invariant these days, so how can Sye argue that scientific laws are universal and unchanging? There may be circumstances where any of them break down.

The morality Q is just nonsense - I can personally be disgusted by things without considering them an absolute moral fact. He also gives no real argument as to why any of these things depend on TGOTB, he just reads from the standard PA script and assumes they do.

Strawman. I just haven't seen one yet. I'm waiting and waiting and waiting...

Erm strawman how? I quote: the impossibility of the contrary. Key word in bold. You even conceded 'he posits logic, I posit God', which rebuts your argument.

Correct. Presumably, you believe this too...exist at the same time in the same way at the same time.

From the examples I gave, it is possible that there may be some situations where they don't hold, but by no means all.

Prove it. Bring forth an alternative. I don't know how many times I've requested such, but it's a lot.

I've said they could simply be a brute fact of the universe - this is like your claim, but with considerably less additional assumptions. I also linked to a blog where two more examples are given (although you may not have had time to read them).

If you'd stop thinking of all Reformed people as knuckle-draggers

Actually, I don't. You seem fairly intelligent for example - of course, this does not equate with being correct.

Impossibility of all contrary views I've ever seen.

Like I say - you state God as a brute fact, I state logic as a brute fact. Dunno if you've read Stephen's blog yet, but he provides 2 other examples that as far as I know Sye Ten B has not been able to/tried to knock down yet. Perhaps you can.

Do us both a favor and read Psalm 19, Romans 1, and Romans 2.

Despite what Psalm 19 states, the majority of people throughout history failed to recognise all this as the work of TGOTB. Why would that be if it unequivocally speaks out as TGOTB's handiwork?

This from the guy who above questioned me on whether the laws of logic are universal and invariant.

I'm offering various different views, in order to show that your claims are just empty rhetoric - remember, you have to disprove all of them to hold up the claims you are making.

So dialetheism is both totally inaccurate and completely accurate at the same time. Go sell your snake oil to some 19 year old English major.

Your claim is that the 3 basic laws of logic always hold in all possible worlds. I'm offering examples of where they sometimes may not. It's perfectly possible they could hold true for some situations and not others. But of course, you'll have examined all the examples, due to your conclusions of the impossibility of the contrary and that the laws of logic are universal and invariant?

Once again, Dr Funk makes no attempt to actually answer the question and defend his own position.

In what way have I not answered your questions? I've given examples where asked as well.


Seems he's content to assume logic, even though its utility is in doubt both from myself AND from him in two ways, and then attack my position and posit ridiculous possibilities such as dialetheism to stave off scrutiny of his position. Let the reader judge whether this is worthy of any serious consideration.

Why wouldn't I assume logic - even if I can't explain it (and I've offered one example that is on a par with your own assertions, as well as links to others) why exactly wouldn't I use it where appropriate?

It's not to stave off scrutiny - it's to counter your claims such as the 5 I listed. And of course, professional philosophers just hold such opinions for a laugh - there's no way they could *shock horror* have good reasons why they've proposed these ideas?

Who's "bummed out"?
I have a standing command to tell all people about Jesus and to defend the faith when called upon to do, and to shut the mouths of unbelievers when they present ridiculous objections to the faith.


But what is the point in telling people if they physically will be unable to do anything about it without the influence of the HS? You stated on the last thread that hearts aren't changed by PAs after all.


Perhaps you think order can just spontaneously arise, much as you believe that human beings evolved from rocks.
That's one reason to get 'bummed out' (not that I am, I'm just saying) - Dr Funk would make a great Christian, since he has a highly-developed sense of faith.


much as you believe that human beings evolved from rocks.

erm, theists such as yourself believe pretty much that - after all we're just the dust from the ground + magic according to Gen1.

Snowflakes and crystals spontaneously form ordered structures. In fact, the mush swilling around in your stomach at the end of each meal eventually helps form ordered structures such as muscles, bones etc.

You also didn't answer what randomness in nature signifies if order is a sign of God.

OK, that may be. I've never read any VT.
I'd say he's mistaken, if this is the case.


And how do you know that his presuppositionalism may not just be hogwash too then? While I don't expect an answer to everything, I notice you've not commented on the examples that Frame and Law gave that are of exactly the same validity as presuppositionalism.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Addendum(s):

It's impossible to examine ALL. Just bring forth your alternative and let's talk.

YOU are the one making the claim of 'the impossibility of the contrary' therefore YOU are the one who has to rule ALL of them out for your claim to stand. Otherwise you are begging the question and avoiding the burden of proof.

Impossibility of all contrary views I've ever seen.

Only because you refuse to grant anyone else the same standards you apply to your own:

You: God and the flow of logic to the universe via his nature are brute facts. I admit I have no explanation of the mechanics of how this happens.

Me: Logic is a brute fact of the universe. I admit I have no explanation of the mechanics of how this happens.

There is absolutely no difference between the 2 other than mine is more parsimonious.

Outside of his field of expertise, he takes all kinds of things by faith.

It's hardly faith of the kind you have in God - this is a ridiculous level of proof to ask anyone for, since by your logic everyone would have to be an expert on every topic in the world to justify doing anything.

He doesn't know how the Cheerios he had for breakfast fuel his body, he just knows they do.

Actually, I have a rough idea of how that happens.

Dr Funk is in the same boat - he doesn't KNOW how evolution got us here, he can't observe it. He guesses it, thinks he has some circumstantial evidence as to the process, etc.

I can't know it 100% absolutely beyond all question, but the same could be said of pretty much all science. However, there's plenty of evidence to support it and none thus far refuting it, even though plenty of observations potentially could. Of course, since evolutionary biology consists of slightly more than 2 pages in an old book, it's quite difficult to summarise everything in a few blog posts (and the fact that my knowledge of it isn't all-encompassing as it isn't my field of study).

Secondly, it is basic philosophy of science that scientific observation consists of both events and consequences of events. I can give you examples of hypotheses, such as the one on my blog, that are consistent with what we expect if common ancestry is true. You on the other hand can not give me a single hypothesis where YEC could rule in or rule out an observation, for reasons discussed.

I'd also note that I don't drive, so it makes no odds to me if cars work or not ;-D

Once again Dr Funk presumes to tell God how to run the universe.
Maybe you could create one and tell us all how it's gone after the first few minutes.


Steve used a similar tactic when discussing the argument from design - 'if I can't design and build a human, then all living organisms must be perfectly designed'. Just because I can't do it doesn't mean there aren't weak spots in the other fellow's game.

Prove it. Bring forth an alternative. I don't know how many times I've requested such, but it's a lot.

False dichotomy - your is not correct by virtue of mine being wrong or a lack of explanation on my part. You still have to provide arguments for your own claims. Thus far your 'argument' has consisted entirely of more unsubstantiated assertions from the PA script.

Rhology said...

No time right now, but there was no sarcasm in that first comment, please be assured. I DO find our debates stimulating and I DO thank you for the way you write.

I know I use sarcasm often, but this is not one of those times.

More later, but I wanted to get that out there.

Rhology said...

How exactly are these 4 examples variations on the same theme?

B/c they all reduce to natural selection acting on, at the basis, mutations.


yet we can somehow know what its capable of doing based purely on the word of people making the claim on its behalf?

Not only for that reason.
The Empty Tomb.
100s of people saw him.
And refused to recant on pain of death, not of the claim that God is, but that they had seen the risen Christ. What would have been to gain for lying about something and dying for they would have known KNOWN was a lie?


a bacterial flagellum or an eye could just pop into existence for example

I don't believe for one second that you'd accept that as evidence either - you'd think of some other excuse to reject it.


SNism used to be necessary to explain diseases, motion of planets etc too - things didn't turn out so well for it there...

Biblically, it's far more nuanced, more than most people give it credit for.
Biblically, God is in control of EVERYthing, but in different ways. Some ways providentially, some ways directly.
You don't hesitate to invoke Darwin of the gaps whenever you get uncomfy. Glass houses, throwing stones, all that.


God created life from dust (or a rib in the case of the fairer sex) - how did he do this?

By a supernatural act of creative power.
We have no conception of this kind of power; even if He described it in detail, we wouldn't understand it.
And again, you accept the reality of a lot of things you can't explain in mechanistic detail. You're engaging in special pleading.


YEC is scientifically valid. Yet it clearly doesn't/isn't since you claim it can cover any and all observations

1) Yes, it certainly sucks that my position explains everything. That kind of thing is DEFINITELY unscientific.
2) This feeds directly into my contention, which you seem to deny at other times, that science is the end-all, be-all of knowledge. Here you claim that it's not scientific if it says it can explain everythg. I'll keep that in mind, thank you.


I can actually look up and see the sun

I'd like you to prove that light doesn't travel in squiggly lines up to 10 million miles from the sun, but then become straight from that point on.


I'm sure you're familiar with Popper's falsifiability.

Let's be careful about investing this with too much power. Is the principle of falsifiability falsifiable?


telling me supernatural just did it tells me nothing either.


I told you what it tells you above.


No one wrote anything to contradict or challenge these claims, and they were written very near the time the events supposedly happened--by a religious man whom we suppose regarded lying to be a sin.

I don't believe it, no. This is not a God-inspired text, and it's out of step with what I'd expect biblically.


Can you give any potential mechanisms by which this might have occurred, or anything comparable we might observe today?

Could have been a demonic incident. Demonic possessions occur today.
Again, I don't believe it, so...


as long as someone has made the claim and it is consistent seems to be the basic criteria here.

Then you're not reading me very closely.
Strawman - you really should know better.


in the Flood geology model, regular occurrences are actually more miraculous than the miracles there are so few of them)

Not really, you have a funny way of counting and a skewed way of reading the text.
Just b/c there are quite a few miracles listed doesn't mean that the WHOLE THING is all miraculous events. They are listed b/c they are uncommon.


How can it be catch all if it can be used to generate a null hypothesis that would falsify the claim?

B/c when you're presented with clear contradictions of your claims, you blow them off.
You won't admit to this, though. That's part of the problem. Makes me shake my head.


but remember you have to refute them all, from mine to ideas like those that Michael Martin and Gene Witmer hold to etc etc.

The JN's lies in ruins; that doesn't bode well for yours.
I have clearly said several times that I have checked a lot of different ones and all have been found wanting. If you want to critique this claim of mine, bring forth an alternative. It's not that hard a request to understand, though I expect it IS quite hard to make happen.


This would be the website run by Sye Ten B, the subject of Stephen Law's blog posts I linked to.

Yup. I read thru some of that stuff, and like I said was not too impressed by Law.


how can Sye argue that scientific laws are universal and unchanging?

Newton's Laws are not scientific laws.
How about the scientific method?
"Evidence is a good way to discover truth"?


I can personally be disgusted by things without considering them an absolute moral fact.

Which leads to a disgusting conclusion which people don't accept when they're taken balls to the wall.
And we've gone over this too many times to count at this blog.
I am personally disgusted by cordial cherries. They make me shudder.
I am also personally disgusted by child molestation. According to you, apparently it's not an absolute moral fact that the latter is wrong.


He also gives no real argument as to why any of these things depend on TGOTB, he just reads from the standard PA script and assumes they do.

Maybe someone could argue, on Xtian presupps, why that would be wrong, then. That's *your* responsibility to offer a counter, remember? Or is it a Christian's job to offer rebuttals to his own position as well?


it is possible that there may be some situations where they don't hold, but by no means all.

You're now on record stating that there may be some situations where A is also non-A at the same time in the same way.
Talk about My Position of the Gaps! You can get out of ANYthing now.
And how would you even know whether they had broken down or not? You might decide they had broken down, but it would also be, in that instance, the case that they had NOT broken down.
Sorry, you lose.


the majority of people throughout history failed to recognise all this as the work of TGOTB.

As if their public recognition of it is the criterion for truth.


Why would that be if it unequivocally speaks out as TGOTB's handiwork?

Do you seriously re-forget every time we talk that I also believe in the depravity of humankind? The Fall? Sin?


Why wouldn't I assume logic

I don't deal in made-up worldviews. You have just finished saying that stating that there may be some situations where A is also non-A at the same time in the same way.


if they physically will be unable to do anything about it without the influence of the HS?

B/c the HS acts in the sharing of the Gospel. All people have a responsibility to respond.


You stated on the last thread that hearts aren't changed by PAs after all.

PAs are not the Gospel. Ideally, they are employed to overcome objections to the Gospel.


theists such as yourself believe pretty much that

So now evolution = creation? A supernatural act?
Then ID-ers have been right all along!


You also didn't answer what randomness in nature signifies if order is a sign of God.

Biblically, there is no randomness. the premise begs the question against my worldview.


There is absolutely no difference between the 2 other than mine is more parsimonious.

Except I'm not on record claiming that my FP breaks down in some cases.


since by your logic everyone would have to be an expert on every topic in the world to justify doing anything.

Not true. I'm answering you on YOUR grounds. You rip faith, yet you just finished admitting that everyone has faith. My point exactly. In your haste to break down my position, you're losing track of obvious reality. Not a good sign.


'if I can't design and build a human, then all living organisms must be perfectly designed'

But who is claiming that all living organisms are perfectly designed?
The Fall, remember? Sin? Evil?

Dr Funkenstein said...

B/c they all reduce to natural selection acting on, at the basis, mutations.

Drift and NS are reciprocal processes though - drift is random while NS is non-random. How can they be the same?

Speciation mechanisms are generally non-Darwinian also

Not only for that reason.
The Empty Tomb.


An empty tomb proves nothing, just that the body is not there for some reason - in fact wouldn't Jesus walking from the tomb, or standing in the tomb be more convincing than it being empty, or in fact someone actually seeing him rise up from a position of seemingly being dead?

100s of people saw him.

Not in the oldest versions of Mark for example - in fact, noone sees the risen Jesus in that. Curiously in the other gospels, the disciples don't recognise the risen Jesus despite having spent a few years in his company (with the rather lame excuse that God had 'hidden' his true persona from them - worth noting that people these days claim to have met or seen Jesus, even though they'd have no way of recognising him...). Additionally, for those who like the stolen body hypothesis, Joseph is given free access to the body by Pilate, and the only supposed witnesses to him placing it in the tomb are hardly unbiased (Mary and Mary). The majority of the people who knew Jesus would not have had to have been involved in body removal for it to happen. Also, none of the gospel writers were actual eyewitnesses to the event as far as historians can tell.


And refused to recant on pain of death, not of the claim that God is, but that they had seen the risen Christ. What would have been to gain for lying about something and dying for they would have known KNOWN was a lie?

It's also possible these deaths could be mythmaking as well. In addition, you say it is possible to refute any other worldview relatively easily and with certainty, yet at the same time say martyrs from other religions can't have died for something they can know to be false. You can't really have it both ways I'm afraid.

You don't hesitate to invoke ... throwing stones, all that.

I don't - there are plenty of unsolved issues in the sciences, philosophy etc etc. The difference being that non-theists generally don't claim to have explained absolutely everything with no possibility of being wrong.

By a supernatural act of creative power. We have no conception of this kind of power...You're engaging in special pleading.

So it explains stuff, we can just have absolutely no idea how even if details were provided? That seems to be the antithesis of an explanation to me...

Let's be careful about investing this with too much power. Is the principle of falsifiability falsifiable?

Technically yes, if someone possessed absolute knowledge. I'm not really sure what your point is with this one though, it's simply a means to test hypotheses.

I told you what it tells you above.

I don't believe it, no. This is not a God-inspired text, and it's out of step with what I'd expect biblically.


I don't see any obvious difference between the supernatural claim in that story and the type of stories found in the bible, other than the claims on behalf of its adherents. You seem to be lapsing into circularity and special pleading here - if someone says its supernatural and it's either in or fits with the bible we should simply accept it without too much further question, but if it's not biblical then it can't be true?

They are listed b/c they are uncommon.

Yeah, but there are thousands of things that need to be explained away for the flood geology model that can only be done by invoking miracles. Lots and lots of miracles. or do the more 'run of the mill' miracles not merit a mention?

B/c when you're presented with clear contradictions of your claims, you blow them off.

I don't consider ad-hoc miracles to be contradictions, but if you can offer other examples feel free.

I have clearly said several times that I have checked a lot of different ones and all have been found wanting. If you want to critique this claim of mine, bring forth an alternative. It's not that hard a request to understand, though I expect it IS quite hard to make happen.

But this is yet another example of a false dichotomy - your worldview is not some kind of default. You still have to provide explanations and justifications, which you have admitted you cannot do for many things, or at the very least cannot provide a statement of any greater clarity than an atheist could.

Newton's Laws are not scientific laws.

Que? So what constitutes a scientific law then? Many people a few hundred years ago would likely have considered them infallible laws, I'm fairly sure Newton himself considered them as such. Or are you saying universal scientific laws exist, you just have no idea what they are?

Maybe someone could argue, on Xtian presupps, why that would be wrong, then. That's *your* responsibility to offer a counter, remember? Or is it a Christian's job to offer rebuttals to his own position as well?

No, it's their duty to provide an argument for the claims they make, not simply state that it's true or some kind of default option and we should simply accept that as fact.

Stephen offered counters - you'll note that despite interacting extensively up til that point, Sye disappeared off the radar as soon as those atheist-friendly proposals were offered, and in Behe-esque fashion you have merely declared yourself unimpressed without any real argument as to why.

You're now on record stating that there may be some situations where A is also non-A at the same time in the same way.

Yes - paradoxes are one example (note: I am not saying dialetheism is a stone cold fact, nor that people haven't offered objections to these ideas)

-eg the Liar paradox (This sentence is not true),
-the omniscience paradox (we have free will and God knows everything)
-Quine's paradox (“Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation” yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation.)
-The Cretan paradox (The Cretan states "all Cretans are liars")
-Curry's Paradox

here's a list: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paradoxes - some have resolutions, but some (such as Curry's paradox) apparently don't.

Motion is another example dialetheists use - when I am walking through a doorway and am 50/50 in and out of the room, am I in the room or out of the room? Or both/neither?

Fuzzy logic also has truth values between 0 (false) and 1 (true). I think these are called paraconsistent logics, I'm sure if I read around more I could find other examples - for your claim to be true you have to be sure nothing runs against these laws you claim to be universal and unchanging. Obviously this requires pretty serious study I'm guessing.

And how would you even know whether they had broken down or not? You might decide they had broken down, but it would also be, in that instance, the case that they had NOT broken down.
Sorry, you lose.


See above - the idea of LoNC is that a proposition can be either true or false. Some philosophers have proposed that there can be 3 options - true/false/neither. But of course, this falsifies your claim too, unless you shift the goalposts.


Do you seriously re-forget every time we talk that I also believe in the depravity of humankind? The Fall? Sin?

I don't, but the concept of the Fall just seems to lead to absurdities - it (the world) unequivocally speaks as TGOTB's handiwork, just that almost noone is capable of properly recognising this through the fault of people they'll never meet from 6 millenia ago, and can't change this fact until the HS deigns to change their heart, and if it doesn't they get damned to hell for eternity even though they had no way to change their views? Seems a little...ridiculous, no?

I don't deal in made-up worldviews. You have just finished saying that stating that there may be some situations where A is also non-A at the same time in the same way.

Yes, but people who deny LoNC outright are called trivialists, those that say there are genuine contradictions are dialetheists. The latter may be correct, they may not (and as silly as it sounds, apparently it is not so easy to refute the former). However, even a cursory look around at a few examples I've dug up in a quick bout of googling reveals that you've simply assumed that there is no debate amongst logicians over the basic laws of logic.

So now evolution = creation? A supernatural act?
Then ID-ers have been right all along!


No need for pedantry ;-D I think you knew I meant that theists believe humans were created from dust, as per Gen 1.

Biblically, there is no randomness. the premise begs the question against my worldview.

Basically you've set yourself up a system where even when it seems you're wrong, you're not? Once again, this flies in the face of your claim that science and evidence are coherent with a biblical worldview.

Except I'm not on record claiming that my FP breaks down in some cases.

You claim:

a(i). there are universal invariant laws eg of logic, science
a(ii). if ^^^ exists, then TGOTB exists

I claim

b. there may be circumstances where (ai). is not correct.

My FP holds up just fine, since the evidence would suggest that b. is certainly a possibility. On the other hand, since your claim a. directly links into God's nature, if b is correct, your FP is wrong.


But who is claiming that all living organisms are perfectly designed?
The Fall, remember? Sin? Evil?


OK, but how would the people worst affected by sin have outcompeted those less badly affected - did Cain have a rearranged urethral routing compared to Adam for example? When did we begin to share feeding and breathing in the same tubes? Or did Adam's genome rearrange itself once he'd sinned and this got passed on?

Also, you seem to admit things could be badly formed due to sin - why do you think this would just halt with humans, why not the universe too? Doesn't this make the claim that the universe and its contents are reflective of God as per Psalm 19 a little shaky if God can't sin?

According to you, apparently it's not an absolute moral fact that the latter is wrong.

I consider it to be wrong - but then I can only think for me, not other people. I have no control over what other people do or think. I also consider your worldview to be false, and therefore your moral opinions are merely as subjective as mine.

I'd add that the fact that 'good' God is indistinguishable from 'evil' God doesn't really favour your view of morality too well.

Yes, it certainly sucks that my position explains everything. That kind of thing is DEFINITELY unscientific.

It doesn't explain everything though - Frame quotes remember? You admitted in this thread that you don't have an explanation for the mechanics of the laws of logic, that we don't and couldn't understand supernatural mechanisms. Additionally, you can't propose any scientific hypotheses, as it's like flipping a coin then choosing heads or tails once its landed.

Unless you're mimicking Gene Cook with 'I know Christianity explains everything, i just don't know how' - in which case 'atheism explains everything, I just don't know how'.

Since we've been discussing TAG, it seems the guys on your own side aren't 100% confident in it either:

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/10/
coming-out-of-closet.html

(NB unless of course Paul Manata has changed his mind since that was posted)

Dr Funkenstein said...

http://www.geocities.com/tarob01/
Festinger

this may be of interest re: the earlier part of this convo - an interesting study into cognitive dissonance in a cult, where even when a prophecy was proven demonstrably false to them, the resolve of many members became even stronger.

Rhology said...

NS is non-random

Right, it's just unguided. Distinction w/o a difference, b/c you have to escape a teleology at all costs.


in fact wouldn't Jesus walking from the tomb, or standing in the tomb be more convincing than it being empty

You may have missed the numerous Gospel accts of Jesus doing just that, walking from the tomb and appearing to people.


Not in the oldest versions of Mark for example

So what?


Curiously in the other gospels, the disciples don't recognise the risen Jesus despite having spent a few years in his company

They do sometimes, they don't other times, b/c the text says they were prevented from recognising Him for a time. What is all this supposed to amount to?


with the rather lame excuse that God had 'hidden' his true persona from them

Oh, well, since you think it's lame, it's definitely lame, no question.
Why is it lame?
The guy who just rose from the dead, in your mind apparently is unable to supernaturally divert someone's mind for a short time.


Additionally, for those who like the stolen body hypothesis, Joseph is given free access to the body by Pilate,

Which runs afoul of the whole losing everything and dying for a cause you know to be false problem.
Seriously, you need a better go-to argument than the old liberal tripe. Better to stick your fingers in your ears and howl that people just...don't...rise...from...the...dead...and... that's...just...the...way...it...is!


none of the gospel writers were actual eyewitnesses to the event as far as historians can tell.

Except for Matthew, the apostle. And Mark, who was at Gethsemane and who was Peter's amanuensis. And John, the beloved Apostle.
No doubt you meant except for those 3 guys.


It's also possible these deaths could be mythmaking as well

You're getting really desperate here. Why anyone would take this seriously is beyond me.
And all this from the same guy who swears by the fossil record! Bones tell the story, but forget these actual written accounts!


yet at the same time say martyrs from other religions can't have died for something they can know to be false.

What part of they would KNOW it to be false don't you understand? It's far from the same thing. These guys claimed that Jesus had risen, that they saw Him. That's not even close to the same thing as the Sept 11 bombers.


The difference being that non-theists generally don't claim to have explained absolutely everything with no possibility of being wrong.

Well, I admit it helps that every other worldview I've examined is self-defeating.


we can just have absolutely no idea how even if details were provided?

In some cases, that's correct.
And again, it helps when it's the worldview I've examined that also accounts for things like details, explanation, reason, etc.


Technically yes, if someone possessed absolute knowledge

Come on! You are being so disingenuous. The point is lost to you.
Your answer is: "Well, the principle of falsifiability is falsifiable if you're God. Who of course doesn't exist."
Your answer is, no, it's not. Thank you. For someone who claims to be after the truth, stuff like this doesn't inspire much confidence in your seriousness.


Lots and lots of miracles. or do the more 'run of the mill' miracles not merit a mention?

No, I grant lots and lots of miracles are possible.
However, like I just finished saying, God works thru providence/natural processes as well. He can create a world that would naturally produce a great flood, which flood would, thru natural processes, produce the kind of world we see today. Not saying He did that, I'm saying He can.


your worldview is not some kind of default.

Which I never said. But it's the only one I've yet examined (for the 100th time) that accounts for reason, evidence, etc.


Many people a few hundred years ago would likely have considered them infallible laws, I'm fairly sure Newton himself considered them as such

Which is a good reason not to imbue modern science with too much confidence.
You had said Newton's Laws don't seem so universal or invariant these days. But those are PHYSICAL laws, not scientific laws. But perhaps we are using diff terminology.


you have merely declared yourself unimpressed without any real argument as to why.

We'll just have to leave it to the reader for now. I lack energy and time to deal with Law's stuff at this time. Sorry.


I am not saying dialetheism is a stone cold fact, nor that people haven't offered objections to these ideas)

Which doesn't stop you from offering it as a solid alternative.


Liar paradox (This sentence is not true)

I don't quite follow your purpose in bringing these up.


Obviously this requires pretty serious study I'm guessing.

Well, if you want to base a worldview on the study of paradoxes, I have nothing but pity for you. And a few belly laughs at your foolishness.


Some philosophers have proposed that there can be 3 options - true/false/neither.

OK. Let's test it.
1) The LoNC is either true or not true. Or it's neither true nor not true. Please explain.

2) The universe either exists or does not exist. Or it is neither the case that it exists nor that it does not exist. Please explain.

Those 2 will suffice.

there is no debate amongst logicians over the basic laws of logic.

I don't deny that. I just deny that certain debates have any sense to them. But you can clear it all up, starting with those 2 examples I just cited.


Seems a little...ridiculous, no?

Why?
Dick Dawk has no problem consigning people who don't accept evilution to ignorance, stupidity, or wickedness. Why does he get a pass while God doesn't?



I think you knew I meant that theists believe humans were created from dust, as per Gen 1.

And evolutionists believe that people came from rocks. Dust is merely really small rocks. We're really not that different at the core.


you've set yourself up a system where even when it seems you're wrong, you're not?

Now you're getting it.
(Said with a straight face, actually.)
What do I care whether stuff "seems" random TO YOU? You can't acct for reason or evidence or order, what difference does your uninformed opinion make?


did Cain have a rearranged urethral routing compared to Adam for example?

Sorry, I don't understand what you're getting at.


When did we begin to share feeding and breathing in the same tubes?

From creation.


Or did Adam's genome rearrange itself once he'd sinned and this got passed on?

It started to break down at that time, yes.
This world was never intended to be the end-all, be-all. God said it was good, not that it was perfect or ideal. The eternal kingdom of God will be perfect. We're not there yet (and that's good news for you, as you still have time to repent).


the fact that 'good' God is indistinguishable from 'evil' God doesn't really favour your view of morality too well.

As we've pointed out over and over and over again here, you have zero capacity to make any distinction between good and evil. There's "Dr Funk like" and "Dr Funk no like", whether it's ice cream or child rape.


'atheism explains everything, I just don't know how'.

Fair point. The distinction I'd make is that the mechanism exists in Xtianity to acct for these big questions, even though I don't have a full explanation of every detail. Atheism lacks even the mechanism, and so explains less than nothing.


TAG

Yeah, it's my understanding that he is mulling over whether TAG gets you all the way to the Xtian God rather than just to theism. either way, your worldview is sunk.

prophecy

I'm familiar with that kind of thing, yes, I have a good amt of experience with cultists. It would help your case if you could demonstrate a false prophecy from the Bible.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Ah, I thought I'd got away wit just answering a few comment, but then I saw you had a longer response!

I'll respond to a few:

Why?
Dick Dawk has no ...


I don't pay much attention to RD or his writings, so I can't shed much light on that one I'm afraid. although, I'd agree that from what I do know, he does come across as having a fairly inflated opinion of his own intellect compared with people he disagrees with

I don't quite follow your purpose in bringing these up

Because paradoxes are a potential example where a statement may be both true and false (or neither depending on one's perspective).

Which is a good reason not to imbue modern science with too much confidence

It's one reason scientific theories are never proven, but I wouldn't say it's a reason to get too concerned about well established theories - after all theists still need to use and rely on scientific thinking in most regards too (both in their own daily lives and from the technologies provided them by research), and suffer from the same problems regarding making generalities from a set of specifics as anyone else.

...scientific laws. But perhaps we are using diff terminology

Yeah, I might have missed what you were getting at when you say scientific laws?

Yeah, it's my understanding that he is mulling over whether TAG ...either way, your worldview is sunk.

Not really - since for TGOTB the 2nd premise can be attacked easily eg that these various laws offered up are universal/invariant due to God's nature - any such statement can be shown to be questionable even with a token amount of research.

As for the first premise, as Interlocutor pointed out on the link - what is Bahnsen's actual argument when he says these laws depend on TGOTB? How has he defended this? And when he says 'the impossibility of the contrary', again, how does he prove this (beyond any reasonable doubt) - there's nothing stopping the atheist making exactly the same claims/assumptions eg that these things are simply brute facts of the universe like a theist will say for TGOTB/a deity.

There doesn't seem to be any real defense of either of these premises by TAGers, since they've assumed their w.view as a default and various laws to be universal - basically a case of 'these statements are true, prove me wrong or I must be right' without any obvious justification.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Sorry, missed this one:

Which I never said. But it's the only one I've yet examined (for the 100th time) that accounts for reason, evidence, etc.

well, so people keep saying (and see my comment on TAG above) - but they don't seem to have any explanation how, or at least no better than anything an atheist can offer up ie 'these things are brute facts of the universe' as opposed to 'these things are brute facts of God's existence and nature'

Rhology said...

In the interest of each other's sanity, I'll emulate you and try to limit my own comment. ;-)


theists still need to use and rely on scientific thinking in most regards too

As long as we understand "scientific thinking" to mean observing stuff on a repeated basis and following the sci method, I agree 100%.


I might have missed what you were getting at when you say scientific laws?

I was referring to properties, what constitutes and defines science. As opposed to physical laws, which are descriptive of what we usually see.


what is Bahnsen's actual argument when he says these laws depend on TGOTB?

TGOTB, as described in the Bible, is a being that satisfies the preconditions for the things we're trying to account for - rationality, evidence, intelligibility, etc. B/c He is and thinks that way. So we, contingent, small, limited beings, have an example to follow, for one thing. And suddenly the laws of logic are not a brute fact (not a viable option), nor are they a human convention (even less viable). That's what he means.


there's nothing stopping the atheist making exactly the same claims/assumptions eg that these things are simply brute facts of the universe like a theist will say for TGOTB/a deity.

That's what I've been taking on recently in the Evidentialism's Bloody Nose post.


There doesn't seem to be any real defense of either of these premises by TAGer

1) You're welcome to stop by and engage that post, then.
2) Come on - to whom exactly are these TAGers supposed to talk? They engage in debates all over the place, on blogs, in writing, in person, on radio... What do you want from them?


basically a case of 'these statements are true, prove me wrong or I must be right' without any obvious justification.

That's a strawman - in every case I've heard, the TAGer challenges the atheist to present his alternative. And in every case the atheist's case fails utterly.
My suggestion is that you stop complaining and start offering viable alternatives. And if your worldview can't support the argument, change worldviews.

Dr Funkenstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Funkenstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Funkenstein said...

Sorry, messed up my formatting on those first two deleted posts

You're welcome to stop by and engage that post, then.

Sure, I'll have a more thorough read of it soon, I only had a quick browse when you first put it up

Come on - to whom exactly are these TAGers supposed to talk? They engage in debates all over the place, on blogs, in writing, in person, on radio... What do you want from them?

I know that they are a vocal group who particpate on many media outlets, but that wasn't the point I was making - every time I see/hear TAG based debates, it just sounds like people reading from a script (Stephen Law's recent blog debate with Sye being a case in point). They make the claims, but don't

a. state what the explanation is that X depends on TGOTB - why is logic dependent on/evidence for TGOTB's existence exactly? How would someone support this premise? Certainly they state it, but I'm not seeing any obvious indication of a justification for this premise.
b. Identify what the universal invariant laws are and how they've come to the conclusion that this is the fact
c. Explain how they've proven 'the impossibility of the contrary', since this would require refutation of not only all existing alternatives, but all potential alternatives, which I fail to see how anyone could do this. It falls into the same bracket as Newton and his planet pushing angels, where if there's no answer now we wrongly attribute it to the supernatural.


That's a strawman - in every case I've heard, the TAGer challenges the atheist to present his alternative. And in every case the atheist's case fails utterly.

That's exactly what I'm getting at though - it's not a case of 'present me an explanation or the theistic view is correct'. There are a lot of things that I personally couldn't give you an explanation for, but this doesn't mean noone can. However, it's one thing for me not to be able to offer an explanation, it's another thing entirely for the Christian theistic view/P1 of TAG to be shown to be correct, especially as the atheist is not the person making the claim/argument in TAG. It seems to evade the burden of proof, since if someone is going to make the claims that

a. X depends on/is evidence for the Christian God
b. X is/are universal and invariant
c. It is impossible that any contrary worldview could explain X

then they have a duty to first define what they mean X to be (eg as you've done with the 3 basic laws of logic in this post), do a reasonable amount of research and attempt to ensure that b is likely true and how this is supported, and then to provide an argument why X is some kind of evidence for or solely dependent on TGOTB. C simply fails because one would need to know every single possible alternative, so unless you do then it's just an empty claim. I can't say I've seen them do this - the Triablogue link and commentators seemed to admit as much that the case for at least some of these points had not been made.

My suggestion is that you stop complaining and start offering viable alternatives. And if your worldview can't support the argument, change worldviews.

I have - I've both pointed you in the direction of a few links that give atheist friendly statements exactly on a par with the claims made in the first premise of TAG by presuppers, as well as potential objections to your second (as regards universal invariant laws of logic) premise, which may rule it out as a defence of TGOTB. I've also not seen the defenders of TAG justify the first premise, which is part of the deal of the claim they are making. In addition, since you've acknowledged a la John Frame that you have no idea of any mechanistic explanation behind all this, which to me seems like one way you could support P1, there doesn't seem to be any obvious place where you've defended the argument that logic is reliant on and (ultimately) only explicable by the Christian worldview.

Finally, another argument I might offer against P1 is that presupposing something to make sense of something else doesn't necessarily make it true, even if it would seem that way on the surface - to borrow one of Michael Martin's points, if I walk into a room and begin talking in English, I presuppose the audience understands that language and can follow my presentation. However, this doesn't necessarily make it true that that is the case - they could all speak only Spanish or Chinese and have no idea what I'm saying.


I noticed you also asked for a biblical prophecy that had not been fulfilled (although I was actually making the point with the article that even in the face of their worldview being shown to be demonstrably false before their very eyes people continued to hold the same beliefs at great cost to themselves) - the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the world with sinners being sent to eternal damnation?

Rhology said...

why is logic dependent on/evidence for TGOTB's existence exactly?

It is dependent on God b/c it is the way God thinks.
The proof is the failure of other options to explain it.


Identify what the universal invariant laws are and how they've come to the conclusion that this is the fact

The standard laws of logic.


Explain how they've proven 'the impossibility of the contrary', since this would require refutation of not only all existing alternatives, but all potential alternatives

There are only so many alternatives that are possible, and all examined have fallen far short.
But by all means - bring forth the successful alternative! I don't have to taste every blade of grass in my yard to know that it's inedible and to know that the green onion I accidentally dropped there IS edible.


It falls into the same bracket as Newton and his planet pushing angels, where if there's no answer now we wrongly attribute it to the supernatural.

B/c of the nature of the question, I can at least know that YOUR position is dead wrong, b/c you can't account for the laws of logic. And since nothing proposed as yet is a successful competitor, I have plenty of warrant to hold to that which DOES explain the question.


but this doesn't mean noone can

True, it just means that noone HAS as yet. And I'm not particularly worried. Most atheists with whom I interact don't even understand the problem they face. It even took you a fair amount of time to catch on.


the Triablogue link and commentators seemed to admit as much that the case for at least some of these points had not been made.

OK, that's possible.


atheist friendly statements exactly on a par with the claims made in the first premise of TAG by presuppers

I disagree heartily that they're on a par, sorry.


you have no idea of any mechanistic explanation behind all this

No idea of the mechanism doesn't mean I'm totally ignorant of the ramifications. It doesn't have to escape me, therefore, that God is the exemplar for our thinking and for the logical working of the universe. I can know He is the best explanation and know that other explanations fail w/o the full mechanistic knowledge.


that presupposing something to make sense of something else doesn't necessarily make it true

Of course, most of the time. But w/o laws of logic, there is no way even to express that thought. It gets a little trickier when talking about these ultimate questions. And it often wraps my own brain in a fog. I understand!

I said:
It would help your case if you could demonstrate a false prophecy from the Bible.

You said:
the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the world with sinners being sent to eternal damnation?

Ha, doh! Nice.
Of course, an event that is obviously meant for the future that hasn't happened yet kind of stands to reason, but let me rephrase:
It would help your case if you could demonstrate a false prophecy from the Bible that reasonably purports to have taken place already, but hasn't.

Dr Funkenstein said...

It is dependent on God b/c it is the way God thinks.

But that just means it's compatible with God's existence (in the event he exists as described in the bible), not that it depends on or is evidence for God. It's equally compatible with simply being a brute fact of the universe.

The proof is the failure of other options to explain it.

Ok, perhaps at this stage I should ask a few questions - what exactly do you consider as an account of the laws of logic? I've provided links to a few suggestions exactly on a par with your claims, so I am at a loss to work out exactly what you require in way of an explanation, especially given your concession that you don't possess any mechanistic details as to how we/the universe became endowed with these properties.

True, it just means that noone HAS as yet.

I'm not so sure - there are a lot of serious atheist philosophers out there, they'd probably be worth looking into. I also don't see anywhere you've obviously rebutted the 3 or 4 examples (both in support of the atheistic view and countering the Christian view) I offered up addressing various aspects of your demands.

The standard laws of logic.

Right - but under the terms you've offered, these need to hold all the time in all possible worlds. I already provided some examples where they may not (paradoxes, motion; alternate logical systems/paraconsistent logics) that you simply dismissed out of hand without any real argument.

Most atheists with whom I interact don't even understand the problem they face. It even took you a fair amount of time to catch on.

Of course, you have to remember when speaking with me (and many others both atheist and Christian), you're obviously not talking to someone with a serious philosophy background - but then that's obviously my problem to rectify.

Moving on, the reason for what you stated is that it's not always obvious what exactly the TAGer is claiming - at first I thought they were claiming the existence of God is self-evident for some reason (which is tricky to justify given the reference to his invisible qualities). Later I thought they meant that we somehow 'know' of TGOTB prior to being aware of anything else. There's ample evidence from most cultures through history to show both of these claims are demonstrably false (barring the apologist simply asserting that they are true - again, the John Frame paper seems to do little more than this).

However, what actually seems to be being claimed is not that much more coherent. If you looked at the Law/SyeTenB exchange it went something like this:

SyeTenB: Atheism cannot account for logic, as you have to assume God exists to use logic
Everyone else: Ok, why is that?
STB: The impossibility of the contrary
Stephen: OK, but that's another claim entirely - your argument is something like:

P1: if logic exists, god exists
P2: logic exists
C: therefore god exists

which is a valid form of argument, but how have you supported P1 or the claim that the contrary ie logic exists and God doesn't exist, is false?

STB: OK, offer your alternatives
Stephen: *offers a few suggestions*. Even if these are wrong, you still haven't supported either of your own claims yet.

At which point, as far as I recollect, Sye stopped answering.

To use a similar argument:

P1: If it is Thursday, John will go to work
P2: It is Thursday
C: Therefore, John will go to work

The conclusion follows from the premises, but the truth of the premises is not validated by this. So, since John is my friend and a quick check of the calendar reveals this is indeed Thursday, I call him up to ask him what he's doing. He replies 'Watching TV - I have the day off'. Therefore, even though my argument was valid, one of my premises was wrong.

Now you've offered an answer that God, as described in the bible thinks/is logical - granted, he might well be. But then that just tells me God, should he exist, is compatible with the existence of logic it doesn't tell me that

a. God actually exists
b. That the existence of logic depends on a. being true.

Sooooo, after a fairly long winded discussion, how are you going to support the two points above? Especially as you seem to agree that the Triabloguers are correct in at least some of their assessment regarding the worth of TAG for most of the reasons I've offered up (ie showing how your universals are actually universal as well as dealing with the first sentence in this final paragraph).

Ha, doh! Nice.

An obvious one, but a good one :-)

Of course, an event that is obviously meant for the future that hasn't happened yet kind of stands to reason, but let me rephrase:
It would help your case if you could demonstrate a false prophecy from the Bible that reasonably purports to have taken place already, but hasn't.


It doesn't seem an unreasonable conclusion that Jesus expected ^^^ in his own generation, even if not 2000 years is pretty generous as it is.