Tuesday, March 03, 2009

All we are, dude, is dust. In the wind.

A poster (who shall remain anonymous) said:

Hands up who thinks it's hilarious that Rhology doesn't realise that his "Xtian worldview" is built on a scaffold of Greek philosophy?

First, kudos for spelling "realise" correctly.
Second, to use an ERV-ism, 0h n0es!!!!!111 My worldview resembles Greek philosophy! Next you'll be telling me that I sound an awful lot like some devout Jews you know.
Hopefully our anonymous poster understands that this speaks not at all to whether my worldview is wrong, but is simply a comparison to another worldview.
And sure, my worldview shares more in common with Greek philosophy than, say, Confucian or Hindu philosophy.
Maybe said Greek philosophers, to whichever you're referring, got it right from time to time. Maybe they saw the world fairly clearly and philosophised to that effect, got a lot of things right.
This kind of 'criticism' is similar to assertions like "Christianity is alot like those Roman mystery religions. I mean, just look at how similar some of their beliefs and symbolism are."
Apparently, in other news, US currency was in fact never printed by the US gov't and has always been worthless b/c someone printed a $3 bill one time.
God made the world and has ordained its events in a certain way. No one is arguing that anyone will get EVERYthing wrong in his life, or even that everyone or most everyone will get a majority of things wrong in his life. God has written His law on our hearts and has placed in each of us a knowledge (which we all suppress, outside of God's grace) of His existence and His invisible nature and power.
We would expect, therefore, people who have these things inside of them and who live in God's universe to mimic Him and true religion in many ways.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see you responding to a range of arguments that I didn't in fact make. I suppose it gives you something to do.

Anonymous said...

"God has written His law on our hearts and has placed in each of us a knowledge (which we all suppress, outside of God's grace) of His existence and His invisible nature and power"

Funny, I've actually seen and examined 8 human hearts. I was unable to find any writing upon them. I was unable to find anything remotely like writing upon them.

You keep making these claims thathis god fella has done things, but like writing on hearts, I can just never seem to find the evidence.

Rhology said...

Speaking as a Christian - what evidence would be better than the testimony of the infallible God?

Speaking as a naturalist - please provide some evidence that evidence is useful for discovering truth, on naturalism.

Anonymous said...

You are of course correct,there is no evidence better then the testimony of an infalable god.

You inform me that god has written his law on our hearts. As you tend to believe what you say I will accept that you are telling me that god has staited that he has written his words onto our hearts.

I, however, having actually seen human hearts cannot find these words. Therefore I can put forth that A) you god is in truth falible, B) your interpretations are wrong C) there is no God.

If I leave you with the delusion that there is a god, because I am a nice person, then you are left with a faliable god, or you are not representing him correctly. Either way, this makes your arguements for the world around you erroneous.

So please stop using the testemony of in fallible god arguement, because either god is wrong, or you are wrong in how you interpret it.

Stick to facts we can verify.

oh, and has your wife had your child yet? You mentioned a baby on the way, was wondering if the joyous occasion has happened?

Rhology said...

Hi Anonymous,

I appreciate the wishes of joy. We are very excited for the birth of our little boy. If he hasn't come by himself before Friday, we have an induction scheduled Friday morning. So I'll be taking time off pretty soon. :-) Looking forward to it. I love my little daughter so much, I'm looking fwd to Jesus giving me a crushing, overwhelming love for my little boy too. It's already started growing in my heart.

*sniff sniff*

OK, drying my eyes now. :-D


I'm not sure you follow the distinction between internal and external critique. Please read this to get an idea. Basically, an external critique is virtually meaningless in these kinds of debates, so we look instead at the internal consistency of the worldview to see if it is liveable and true.
In your case, for example, you subscribe to sthg like naturalism (I presume). You can't provide evidence that evidence is a good way to discover truth, so you're stuck there. You can't give me an objective basis for comparison for moral questions but you make moral statements like they're supposed to be meaningful outside your own head. You can't live out your naturalism consistently.
OTOH, I don't have to borrow from naturalism to live my life. The God of the Bible grounds all these things - morality, value, intelligibility, reason, evidence. The world operates generally according to natural processes, making science possible. Etc.

So no, I'm not giving evidence for my worldview. Problem is for you, you can give even less evidence for yours, since yours can't even tell you that evidence is a good way to discover truth. You assume it, no doubt to make yourself feel better, but that's not an argument.

You said:
I, however, having actually seen human hearts cannot find these words

Again, do I trust you, or do I trust the infallible eyewitness who put the words there? I'm gonna go with Door #2.


because either god is wrong, or you are wrong in how you interpret it.

Or, Door #3, you indeed have this law written on your own heart as well but you suppress it like the Bible says b/c you are an enemy of God and a sinner. Just like I used to be, but Jesus rescued me, and He'll rescue you too if you'll repent.

Peace,
Rhology

Anonymous said...

As I have, and I am sure anyone who has ever seen a human heart can attest, this is not in fact true.

You claim an infallible god, without evidence. You keep asserting that I cannot know the truth because you feel naturalism cannot ever tell if it is a good way to discover truth.

But in that you are wrong. A naturalist methodology does actually provide a very good manner of determining if it is indeed showing us truth. You see we end up with testable hypotheses, that when verified over and over let us see if our assumptions and beliefs are accurate.

Of course I am assuming by truth you mean fact/reality what is actual.

And you keep claiming an infallible god as an eyewitness to everything, however you never produce this witness, can only ever produce at best what would be accepted as hearsay that has been translated and mistranslated. You claim access to gods word, but if that is the bible, then you know that it is not in actuality gods words.

The talking burning bush… that was gods words, we have no verifiable documentation of what was said, or that it really happened however.

And if god is infallible why do passages in the bible, which you accept as the infallible word of god, contradict?

Get god to come and tap me on the shoulder and introduce himself, cause me to instantaneously levitate and pass though walls as we talk, and I will accept your witness, and his infallibility, until then..you are making him up.

Anonymous said...

hey look, still sitting in my chair, no god tapping me on the shoulder.

Rhology said...

Surprise surprise. He's provided plenty of evidence to you, but you are suppressing it. Repent. It's a heart problem, not an evidence problem. You know you've done wrong. You think you will escape punishment for the bad things you've done?

Rhology said...

A naturalist methodology does actually provide a very good manner of determining if it is indeed showing us truth. You see we end up with testable hypotheses, that when verified over and over let us see if our assumptions and beliefs are accurate.

Please provide evidence that a naturalist methodology does actually provide a very good manner of determining if it is indeed showing us truth.

Once you have given that evidence, please give evidence that that evidence is true. Then give evidence that that evidence is true.

This should look familiar. I'll expect your answer to the quandary.

Anonymous said...

yes indeed it does look familiar, the same pointless arguements made over and over by you.

Again ,yo uclaim he provides evidence, but I do not find it. I'm open to a god tapping me on the shoulder and introducing himself, showing me by doing things that are supernatural that he is indeed a god.


what what was that,

drats not a god, just the cute brunette I work with asking about lunch...

Amnistar said...

So, I'm all for having an infallible god that has a personal relationship with me and wants me to succeed. If he proves his presence to me, I'd be more than glad to accept him.

In fact...if you run over to my blog I've even put out a sample of what would make me believe, based on the conditions set out in the bible itself.

I'm more than willing to acknowledge any evidence which is given to me, but God should know, he is all powerful after all, what evidence it would take me to believe, and I'm not asking for anything that he hasn't already done in the past.

Amnistar said...

Also, I'm slightly bemused. If an atheist (which has been around longer than Christianity) has ideas simliar to Christians, they're 'stealing from the Bible', but if a Christian has ideas that are similiar to Greeks then the Greeks just 'got lucky' and hit on the truths.

Paul C said...

So Rhology - you linked to a post in which we conclusively established that you don't have any grounds for asserting that an infinite regress is irrational. We've also just concluded a thread in which we conclusively established that you don't have any grounds for asserting that an infinite regress is a problem. Given that these have now been established, why do you continue to insist that an infinite regress is a problem? Anybody would think that you didn't learn from previous discussions.

rotsaP loeJ said...

Infinite regress is defined by Aquinas (and, if I'm not mistaken, Aristotle) as an absurditum condition... I think, in other words, they simply reject it axiomatically, in the same way they reject self-contradiction. I suppose we could always change the rules of logic, although that would make it difficult to justify things. Or, perhaps, rather easy.

Congratulations on the baby!

Paul C said...

Joel - There appear to be two arguments against an infinite regress here.

1. It's absurd on the face of it - but this is an argument from incredulity, rather than having any force. I don't find it absurd and am looking for arguments to persuade me otherwise.

2. It completely destroys one of the fundamental arguments for the existence of a particular type of God. As you can imagine, I find this argument particularly unpersuasive as well.

If anybody can provide me with anything resembling an argument against infinite regress, I'm very open to it. I've been looking for a long time ;)

NAL said...

The infinite does not exist in objective reality.

Paul C said...

Sorry Nal - you'll have to be more specific than that. What do you mean by "the infinite" as opposed to just "infinite"? What constitutes "objective reality", and how are you so sure that "the infinite does not exist in it? And if it does not, then does that preclude "objective reality" itself being infinite?

NAL said...

Objective reality is the reality that exists independent of the mind.

The infinite is an adjective that describes the measurement of anything within objective reality that can be measured. It applies to both the infinitely small and infinitely large.

There is a theory that the universe is discrete. Matter, energy, time, forces, all occur in discrete quanta. There is no continuous.

For example, the smallest unit of time would be one Planck time, nothing smaller. The smallest unit of distance would then be the distance light travels in one Planck time.

Can't prove any of this, but it appeals to my sense of how reality should work.

If true, would it affect your feelings with regard to infinite regress?

Paul C said...

I'm still not sure how you connect the first set of statements - none of which I necessarily disagree with - with the conclusion that the infinite does not exist in objective reality. However I do think this confuses the idea of an infinite measurement with an infinite sequence - the former might not exist but the latter might?

Paul C said...

I think my concern comes with "the infinite" as some sort of platonic ideal, as against "infinite" as a simple description of a sequence (such as numbers).

NAL said...

An infinite sequence would only exist in the mind. In objective reality there wouldn't exist anything that would be infinite.

We already know that there isn't an infinite am out of matter in the universe. Therefore, there wouldn't be an infinite number of quanta that make up matter. Same for energy. Same for time.

The size of the universe has been estimated, so there are no infinite distances.

The only problem in in the direction of the infinitely small. If spacetime is discrete, there is no infinite in that direction.

Paul C said...

Sorry, you still don't have me on this one:

An infinite sequence would only exist in the mind.

That "would" puzzles me - it's the conditional, which suggests you think it depends on something else. Can you clarify what you think it's conditional on?

The size of the universe has been estimated, so there are no infinite distances.

That is not necessarily true, depending on what the topology of the universe is.

I still don't see a specific argument that an infinite could not exist, either in philosophical or physical terms.