The Footings of the World

It is a shame, certainly, when you call in the carpet guy because you think the carpet he sold you last year has gotten kind of spongy, and he informs you that the actual problem is that your floor joists have been eaten clean through by progressive termites. Don’t you hate that?Postmodern Communion

In the meantime, the forces of truthiness are trying to reassure you that there is actually nothing wrong with the the carpet at all. In such a situation, normal people might want to think that the alternatives before us consist of arguing with with the pomos about the carpet, or refusing to argue with them about it — but in both instances leaving the floor joists entirely alone.

In this illustration, what are the floor joists? What is it that we have allowed to rot clean through? There are two basic areas, and they are the fact that reason is grounded in the nature and character of the immutable triune God, and that the same thing goes for morality.

We must either accept our ability to reason as an authoritative and axiomatic starting point, considered as a gift from God, or we must resolutely refuse to reason at all. And even that attempt to “not reason” is an attempt at consistency, which is . . . reasonable.

The same thing goes for foundational morality. We must begin with an understanding that a knowledge of right and wrong is simply baked into the conscience. We must function within the constraints of that knowledge, or we must rebel against it. If we rebel against it, and the same thing goes for rebelling against right reason, we are rebelling in a particular direction — which is the Abyss, the Void, the Pit. That way lies damnation.

Let me cite C.S. Lewis on both of these points.

“Unless Reason is an absolute — all is in ruins.”

“Either the maxims of traditional morality must be accepted as axioms of practical reason which neither admit nor require argument to support them and not to ‘see’ which is to have lost human status; or else there are no values at all.”

If, for the sake of some pretended “objectivity,” you divest yourself of all reason and all morality, and attempt to attain to one or the other of those two concepts by epistemic wiggling, you will find that you are not that good a wiggler. You can’t even wiggle off your spot on the floor, and the transcendent truth you need is several trillion light years away.

You need that transcendent truth. You must have it. You cannot function without it, but — and here is the catch — you must have it as a gift. You cannot attain to it. This is a grace. It may be common grace, or it may be part of saving grace, but it is given to pitiful creatures who could in no manner generate such values for themselves.If these realities are several trillion light years away, someone must bring them to us. They must be placed in our hands, and in our hearts. Otherwise we don’t have them.

Sartre put our dilemma well when he said that without an infinite reference point, every finite point is absurd.

So the rational world has footings, and those footings are Christ. The moral world has footings, and those footings are Christ. Right reason is an attribute of God, just like righteousness or love. Practical reason is grounded in the way Jesus reveals the Father.

I keep coming back to this. If Christians want to respond to the insanities unfolding around us daily, we must do it with gospel. But this gospel rests upon certain fixed and objective realities, and if you have compromised on that, it doesn’t matter if you have a brand new “gospel-centered” carpet. The joists are still rotten.

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Capndweeb
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Capndweeb

Pastor Wilson, I do not write, nor do I think nearly so well as you, sir. I do make an attempt, however, and it appears we have had some similar thoughts. http://kinshipchristianradio.blogspot.com/2016/06/virtue.html

jigawatt
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jigawatt

We must either accept our ability to reason as an authoritative and axiomatic starting point, considered as a gift from God, or we must resolutely refuse to reason at all.

Look Out! Here comes RandMan!

Katecho
Member

I’m ready.

Rob Steele
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Rob Steele

Otherwise we don’t have them.

Oh we have them all right. We can’t not have them. Merely to dispute them is to take them for granted.

gabe
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gabe

The problem though it these constraints only work for Christians. The rebellious get to argue their position from the abyss while dismissing that they are in the abyss which is quite abysmal in debate. I think we really only have the Gospel rather than reason when appealing to the world.

Katecho
Member

Reason can’t force the rebellious out of the abyss, but reason can be used to make them very aware that they are in it.

adad0
Member

“Behold I lay in Zion a stone, and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed.”

gabe
Guest
gabe

I think there was a time when we could do that, but I don’t think that that is “reality” anymore. I think the rebellious are fully in swing with having traded the truth for a lie. Some may still come around the but I think the trend is one of having severed the conscious and the need for a new birth is in order.

Katecho
Member

I will believe the conscience is severed when they no longer care about what we do as Christians, and no longer care to make us call their perversions marriages, and no longer try to make us bake them a cake. But right now I believe that Christ is as much a rock of offense as ever before. I believe the conscience of the rebellious is afflicted. They are busy plotting in vain how to cast His cords away. So, come, let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins are as red as scarlet, they shall be as white… Read more »

gabe
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gabe

Point taken, and I also believe Christ is a rock of offense and will always be one. I also believe that their consciences are afflicted, which is partly what the demand for acceptance is about. Not to split hairs but I think part of the process of it being seared is that reason will no longer work, (we no longer know the difference between males and females) which is why the Gospel is of such import.

David Payan
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David Payan

I don’t actually think this works. Idolatry of self (the most pervasive form and also the most powerful) creates spiritual blindness, deafness, and a clouded and futile mind (see Ps 115, Is 44:8-20, Rom 1:18ff). In many ways, I think God is using the preaching (reason?) of today to continue to harden the hearts of the rebellious… Read all of Is 6 and then ponder v 6-11. How would you feel as Isaiah if you had just volunteered and God said your preaching/prophesying would actually STOP people from repenting? All this is not to say we shouldn’t reason, or preach,… Read more »

Katecho
Member

I certainly don’t deny the reality of spiritual blindness, or the response of a hardened heart. However, it takes a lot of work to suppress the truth in unrighteousness. It can be exhausting. There are some who grow weary of trying to keep the beachball of truth held under water, and from popping to the surface. Some simply give up and embrace their nihilism, while others, like C S Lewis finally break under the tension of trying to maintain apart from God, and they repent. I believe reason is one powerful tool for keeping the pressure on unbelief. We must… Read more »

timothy
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timothy

I have found the exercise of reason to be useful in Christian growth. I am not saying that I reason my self to increased faith; faith comes from God. The exercise is edifying when encountering unbelievers. We see how we think differently from them. We have every facility every non-Christian has. We are sane, we are rational–but He has changed us and we are able to consider ourselves and others in light of that reality; they cannot. It is useful in the fighting sense–that we can and do go toe-to-toe within that sphere; excellence in thought (which I do not… Read more »

gabe
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gabe

I absolutely agree that the exercise of reason is useful for Christian growth. This was my basic premise, this is proverbs in action, it is wisdom, but that does not translate over to fools as proverbs teaches., especially so when our culture has elevated folly over reason. I think there should come a point for us when we realize that the wind will continue to pass over the collective heads when reason is all we have. Paul says it is the Gospel that is the power of God. I just think that should be our main focus rather than better… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“We must either accept our ability to reason as an authoritative and axiomatic starting point, considered as a gift from God, or we must resolutely refuse to reason at all” Here is the problem. Human reason is so flawed, so subjective and the bible tells us we must not lean into our own understanding. Believing themselves wise they became fools. Conversely however, the heart is wicked and who can know it. So, absent the Lord we are simply toast. At that point it is nothing more than a might makes right power struggle between our foolish brains and our wicked… Read more »

adad0
Member

Memi, Wilson is saying, in his Wilsony way, the complete thought, of one of your partial thoughts.

The complete thought is:

“Trust in the Lord, with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths!”

The Word was with God, and the Word was God.

We ultimately appeal to God’s reason, the Gospel, not our own reason.

timothy
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timothy

At that point it is nothing more than a might makes right power struggle between our foolish brains and our wicked hearts.

God reconciles; It doesn’t happen immediately .

Try this thought experiment, when God created Adam and Eve where not their hearts and mind in perfect harmony?

Yes.

Fast-forward to now, where He is repairing the damage. What do you think the end result will be? What is the telos of the Holy Spirit’s work?

I think it is a safe assumption that a heart and mind trending toward harmony is on the menu. (:

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

Just as a point of curiosity: Suppose for the sake of argument your premises are mistaken and there is no God. Within your paradigm, is there any way for you to figure that out? Within my materialist paradigm, if God does exist I can discover that, because I’m open to any evidence that comes in, including evidence for the existence of God. However, since you begin with the presupposition that the Bible is inerrant and not open to question no matter what the evidence shows, I don’t really see how you have any kind of a safety mechanism that even… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: However, since you begin with the presupposition that the Bible is inerrant and not open to question no matter what the evidence shows, I don’t really see how you have any kind of a safety mechanism that even allows you to ask the right questions, in the event that you are wrong. It seems to me that you’re just stuck with your flawed presuppositions and no way to re-visit them. Since Krychek_2 begins with the presupposition that all is matter in motion and is not open to question it, no matter what the evidence shows, I don’t really… Read more »

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

Except that this thread isn’t about my world view; it’s about your world view. Doug has made certain claims about his world view and I’m testing those claims. Since Doug’s claims about his world view are what we’re discussing, for purposes of this thread I don’t even have to have a world view, never mind a valid one. So I don’t even have to go to the trouble of saying your claims about my world view are nonsense, even though they are. I can just dismiss them as irrelevant to this thread. So, do you have an answer to my… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Except that this thread isn’t about my world view; it’s about your world view. Once again Krychek_2 invites me to stop talking about his worldview. Once again, I politely decline his invitation. As far as the kind of conversation appropriate here, I will defer to the blog owner. Krychek_2 wrote: So I don’t even have to go to the trouble of saying your claims about my world view are nonsense, even though they are. I can just dismiss them as irrelevant to this thread. Krychek_2 is free to ignore the internal inconsistencies and contradictions of materialism if he… Read more »

insanitybytes22
Member

“So, do you have an answer to my question about what kind of safety mechanisms are found in your world view?”

The Holy Spirit is the safety mechanism. Without Him we have nothing more than flawed human reason and wicked hearts. I do believe the Bible is inerrant, however, human reason is not, and our reading comprehension problems are legendary. I sometimes say the Bible is the one book you must ask the Author to sit down and read to you. Believe it or not, most of us who take this approach really do arrive on the same page.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: So, do you have an answer to my question about what kind of safety mechanisms are found in your world view? Safety mechanisms? Safe from what? What are we being threatened by? Are we being threatened with being wrong? In atheism there is no judge, and no consequence for being wrong, or for making stuff up. Krychek_2 might suggest that there is a practical or survival consequence for being wrong, but based on the evidence of history, we can safely conclude that theism is more right than atheism in that respect (not that I grant that survival pragmatics… Read more »

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

“In atheism there is no judge, and no consequence for being wrong, or for making stuff up” disqualifies you from being taken seriously since you obviously have no clue about what atheism does or does not entail. As usual, you’re just being silly. This atheist certainly doesn’t believe any of that. I don’t mind you talking about my world view so much as I mind your caricaturing it. However, as I’ve already said, it’s not even relevant to this thread since this thread is about your world view, not mine, so that will be my last word on the subject.

timothy
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timothy

and scene.

jesuguru
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jesuguru

“Doug has made certain claims about his world view and I’m testing those claims…for purposes of this thread I don’t even have to have a world view”

But how in the world(view) does one “test” anything without a standard to test against? Where is the master copy of the exam for you to score anyone else? “I want to test others without revealing my own measure, or even acknowledging the necessity of having one” doesn’t quite pass its own test. Naked people who decry the emperor’s lack of clothes can’t be taken too seriously.

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

Is it internally consistent, is it logically consistent, does it answer questions without creating more questions, and, in this context, can it be objectively evaluated. In other words, most of the reasons I don’t find Christianity persuasive.

timothy
Guest
timothy

“Is God something that I can control and analyze.”

Answer: no.

adad0
Member

It’s an issue with your presupposition that things can be known. For instance, it can be known, where jimmy Hoffa is buried, but I don’t think we will ever know.

So while many things are known, there is no presuppositional garranty that they will be known.
Sort of like me and spelling!

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I agree with you, but that doesn’t answer my question. Suppose you are wrong and God doesn’t exist. Within your paradigm, how would you be able to discover that?

adad0
Member

Well, I’ll try to be direct. Wilson is saying presuppositions are required for any position, and I think you agree.
So your question is, how can one determine if their presuppositions are false.
Short answer, by being open minded to the possibility that they could be false, with the understanding that finite beings will always have suppositions or presuppositions about the infinite.

David
Guest
David

Krychek, I think I understand your question and I believe that it’s a fair one. I would say that your prior comment that your question doesn’t depend upon your worldview or even you having one is an issue that I would take exception to because in order for someone to provide evidence that you would count as such, they would need to know a little bit more about how you view truth, whether you even believe in absolute truths or whether truth is a convention or relativistic or utilitarian, what you consider to be evidence and a little bit more… Read more »

Jill Smith
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Jill Smith

I suppose the people who did know where Hoffa is buried have already gone to meet their Maker. I am not very curious about that, but I was wildly curious about the identity of Deep Throat from Watergate. I often told my friends that I did not want to die without knowing who he was. The day before my cancer surgery, the identity of Deep Throat was revealed in the national media, and I just about had a heart attack. It was an omen! Fortunately, it wasn’t!

Katecho
Member

As to the thought experiment that we could be mistaken about God and Christ, the way to argue this would be for the atheist to offer an internal critique of our presuppositions on their own terms, to try to point out internal inconsistencies. Unfortunately, most atheists don’t have this kind of restraint, and insist on importing their presuppositions into our worldview and then complain about the inconsistencies. But we aren’t atheists. Furthermore, even supposing, for Krychek_2’s sake of argument, that it could be shown that there is no God, and that our personal experience of Him is somehow an illusion…… Read more »

duellsquimby
Member

Well said! And good job continuing/extending his thoughts!

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

But that still begs the question. Suppose I agree to keep within your paradigm. Your paradigm begins and ends with God exists and the Bible is not open to question. Within that paradigm, how does one challenge the presuppositions themselves? How does one show, for example, that the Bible is untrue when your paradigm requires that a person accept that the Bible is true? How does one show that God doesn’t exist when your paradigm requires that a person accept that God exists? I just don’t see how it can be done. I think your presuppositions paint you into a… Read more »

Jon Swerens
Member

Krychek: Well, of course, you cannot show that God doesn’t exist within a system that truly depends upon His actual existence. That would be impossible, because God actually exists. All you can look for are *internal contradictions*.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: Suppose I agree to keep within your paradigm. Your paradigm begins and ends with God exists and the Bible is not open to question. Within that paradigm, how does one challenge the presuppositions themselves? Krychek_2 asks his questions as if Christianity is somehow unique among worldviews because it has presuppositions. It is not. All worldviews depend on presuppositions that are assumed to be true. Christianity is no more “painted into a corner” in that respect than Krychek_2’s materialism is. So how does one challenge the presuppositions themselves? I explained above that, if all you have is argument and… Read more »

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

No, I don’t need to show an internal contradiction caused by those presuppositions; all I need to show (assuming I’m even the one with the burden of proof) is that they lead to a flawed conclusion. Example: All square circles are square All square circles are circular Therefore some circles are square. Now, the logic of that syllogism is unassailable, but there’s a tiny problem in that there really is no such thing as a square circle. The problem isn’t the lack of internal consistency; the problem is with the presuppositions themselves. And if you are willing to assume, for… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Is Krychek_2 insisting that he should be allowed to import an external foreign presupposition (that there is no God) as a critique of our worldview? If so, Krychek_2 is simply insisting on begging the very question at hand. He may wish to play such games, but I have no interest in it. Krychek_2’s unbelief and incredulity are not an argument against anyone’s worldview. Now if Krychek_2 were claiming to have some proof of God’s non-existence, using arguments and definitions that we accept within our worldview, perhaps he could make a case, but simply asserting, without proof, that there is no… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

No, I’m asking that the possibility be entertained so that it’s clear that your world view can actually be examined. The whole point of my original posting is that there is no mechanism within your worldview for that possibility to be entertained. So far in this thread, I haven’t taken a position on what the answer should be; merely whether the question can even be asked and looked at. And how does my definition of God differ from yours?

Katecho
Member

It’s certainly possible to imagine a god that is self-contradictory. I don’t see how that exercise has any value in disproving Christianity. If Krychek_2 really has an argument against the Christian God, he should just go ahead and offer it. If not, it is not our job to provide him with one. Krychek_2 seems to be insisting that the value of our worldview somehow depends on it being falsifiable by scientific or rational criteria. This seems to be based on his own epistemological presuppositions related to scientism and rationalism. Of course it also ignores the problem of the necessity of… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: No, I’m asking that the possibility be entertained so that it’s clear that your world view can actually be examined. Of course the Christian worldview can be examined. We actually have a handy collection of our worldview commitments available as Scripture, and in various creeds and confessions to summarize things. As to how or whether the claims of Christianity can be successfully refuted, that is left as an exercise for Krychek_2, but I’ve pointed out that it would require showing that our beliefs are internally inconsistent, or that some other worldview offered something more valuable on Christian terms.… Read more »

timothy
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timothy

thanks katecho. I am seeing the outline of the process in debating a materialist. I expect I will start the process of crystallizing the ideas in the coming year. I only dabble in this as a I drink my coffee in the morning so I appreciate your patience when I make a mess of things (i.e. Ontology); — The existence of pre-suppositions is inescapable. They cannot be dismissed on materialist terms; they must be described on materialist terms. The materialist cannot do that because he depends on them…. Logic is the scientific description of right-thinking. It depends on Logic… —… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote: And how does my definition of God differ from yours? Krychek_2 suggested that God doesn’t exist using the example of a square circle. In order for him to go anywhere with that analogy, he would need to flesh out his argument and his definition of God. Once again, I’m not going to do his homework for him, but Krychek_2 is wrong to imply that we are not ready to have our worldview examined. He just needs to know that if he brings in a definition of God that is foreign to Christianity, it’s not going to be very… Read more »

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

“He will need to use definitions that we accept within our worldview” answers my original question that no, you do not subject your world view to analysis and there is no mechanism within your world view for showing it to be false (assuming for sake of argument that it is false). It’s quite circular, actually.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Back at ya.

Science assumes no super-natural sources.
Appeals to the supernatural are not allowed in discussions about reality.
(Somebody mentions God)
This is science! You are assuming something that is not allowed!

Quite circular, actually.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

But, Timothy, isn’t it only when you are actually doing science that you can’t assume God? That actually makes sense to me because, the minute you use God to explain the unknown, you are shutting off avenues of investigation. To use a silly example, Why is the sky blue? Because God made it that way. A scientist who accepts that as a final answer is not going to learn about the properties of light, color, and the atmosphere. Isn’t it only a problem when methodological naturalism becomes philosophical naturalism?

Katecho
Member

jillybean wrote:

That actually makes sense to me because, the minute you use God to
explain the unknown, you are shutting off avenues of investigation.

That depends on whether we are investigating general phenomena, or particulars. If God was the one who miraculously intervened in a particular instance, the scientist who refuses to permit God as an explanation is a scientist who has shut himself off from the only avenue of ever discovering the truth. Science that is barred from discovering the truth, simply because of a prejudice, is worthless.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I understand that, I think. I wonder if there is a difference between ruling out God before the fact and ruling God out altogether. For example, if I were investigating a miracle, I would want to consider every likely scientific explanation first. Then I would feel happy saying that this was a miraculous intervention. But if scientists start to attribute phenomena to miraculous causes, without investigating them, wouldn’t that be the death of science?

timothy
Guest
timothy

God does not ask us to stop thinking just because we believe in Him; some Christians do, I am not one of them

There is great joy in just finding stuff out.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Actually science would accept the supernatural if there were evidence for it. The problem is the lack of evidence, not the supernatural. If you can show me a controlled experiment in which water is turned to wine or someone rises from the dead I’ll believe it.

Katecho
Member

This is an instance of imported external presupposition. Krychek_2 asserts that the supernatural should be accessible to scientific methods of inquiry. This is not one of our premises, and isn’t even logical. Krychek_2’s limited epistemology of scientism is not a problem for our worldview.

Further, the internal contradictions and inadequacies of materialism are evidence that matter is insufficient, and that something more must exist.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Actually you’ve gone further than I did. The supernatural, if it exists, may or may not be accessible to scientific methods of inquiry, but without evidence there’s no reason to believe it. Suppose I were to accept your presuppositions hook, line and sinker. You still have to explain why your evidence-free belief is superior to anyone else’s evidence-free belief. The person who believes in reincarnation does so with just as much evidence — and just as good quality evidence — as you believe in the resurrection. So even to inquire which faith-based system is superior requires either some use of… Read more »

timothy
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timothy

You accept a lot of “science” w/o evidence. It assumes that life happened without God–without proof. It assumes the Universe has no Creator–without proof. It assumes the meta-physical (see Logic, basis of mathematical proof) w/o proof. It assumes that mere material “somehow” became sentient–without proof. f you can show me a controlled experiment in which water is turned to wine or someone rises from the dead I’ll believe it. It is God who did these things. Notice what you are doing, (again), trying to limit God to be w/in our realm w/in our control. EDIT: Or in katecho’s statement of… Read more »

Krychek_2
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Krychek_2

If I were to re-write your argument as follows: It assumes that life happened without pink unicorns — without proof. It assumes the Universe has no pink unicorns — without proof. It assumes the mere material “somehow” became sentient without the help of pink unicorns — without proof I think you would see the weakness in your argument. Science doesn’t assume the existence of anything for which there’s no good evidence. So you’re right; science ignores God and pink unicorns for the same reason — there’s no real evidence for them. If evidence for either presents itself tomorrow, I’m sure… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

You are, again, importing your presupposition that God does not exist by using Pink Unicorns as a proxy for God. Pink Unicorns, bless their hearts, are not crucial to establishing a materialistic world view are they? If they where, you would be searching for them. So you are stuck where I am not. You depend on Pink Unicorns as a description/symbol of a non-existent God. I need no such construct. Now “Science ignores God” is not true. First there are those who hate God–sin drives us to deny Him and scientists are no exception. Second, as the ID hypothesis demonstrates,… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

I was using pink unicorns to illustrate that there is no duty to disprove the existence of something for which there’s no evidence in the first place. There is no evidence for God, or for pink unicorns, so science doesn’t spend time on either one.

And the opposition to ID comes, again, from the the lack of evidence for it.

timothy
Guest
timothy

I don’t care what you used it for; I care what you did.

There is no evidence for God,

There is plenty of evidence for God. You dismiss it.

And the opposition to ID comes, again, from the the lack of evidence for it.

Its a growing field. The questions are scientifically interesting. It has already provided useful mathematics.

Katecho
Member

Two can play Krychek_2’s childish game.

Shall we impose an external definition of atheism upon Krychek_2 and see how he likes it?

Let’s define atheism as the belief in magic, and point out how that contradicts materialism. Krychek_2 needs to defend himself from our definition of his worldview, right? He needs to subject himself to our analysis, right? Right?

What nonsense.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Except that no one other than you defines atheism as the belief in magic.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote:

Except that no one other than you defines atheism as the belief in magic.

It’s rare to see someone cling so stubbornly to a logical fallacy. Is Krychek_2 supposing that my external redefinition of atheism becomes more valid if I can get a few of my friends to go along with me?

adad0
Member

Wilson stated principle: Godly people: There are two basic areas, and they are: 1. the fact that reason is grounded in the nature and character of the immutable triune God, and 2. that the same thing goes for morality. Materialist people: There are two basic areas, and they are: 1. the fact that reason is grounded in the nature and character of matter, and 2. that the same thing goes for morality. Here it is necessary to point out the presuppositions of both universe views: Both assume there is a universe. Both assume the universe is infinite. Both assume the… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

However, since you begin with the presupposition that the Bible is inerrant and not open to question no matter what the evidence shows, I don’t really see how you have any kind of a safety mechanism that even allows you to ask the right questions, in the event that you are wrong I have plenty of questions about the Bible. My faith did not come from the Bible, (well, I heard about God from it, I reasoned that it was b.s…) . When God settled the matter with me, I am able to look at the Bible in a new… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I think we go the way of Lewis and Nietzsche, nothing makes sense, but we can’t reason that nothing makes sense. There is no morality. And we all go mad. But the problem is “for the sake of the argument”. You are assuming no foundation for reasoning in order to reason. You are assuming the fruit but denying the roots. The ability to reason is an argument for God. So if I can reason (intrinsically), and I think that I can, then God exists. So we could be wrong about the Bible being inerrant and evidence may show that; but… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

bethyada,

I can argue against that as Ayn Rand did; that man is a rational animal (in contrast to the non-rational animals). A badger exists and lives w/o reasoning about it. Man, a weak animal depends on reason (and hence evolved along those lines, selecting for it, culminating in RandMan, the apex of humanity…) .

i.e. we are rational because our survival depended on it and our reasoning ability is evolving even today.

bethyada
Member

We are not debating that reasoning works. We are debating it is true

timothy
Guest
timothy

The ability to reason is an argument for God. So if I can reason (intrinsically), and I think that I can, then God exists. Reality beyond reason exists. That need not be God. An analogy is that the eye sees what is there; it does not; it sees withing a narrow bandwidth of light. We can imagine a different eye …scratch that, we know that different eyes see via different bandwidths. Feyname (in his marvelous Brooklyn accent..) “The ASP has a PIT that sees in the infrared, the BEE has an EYE that sees in the infrared” The imagination wanders…… Read more »

bethyada
Member

I am not certain that reason is analogous to sense. But regardless, if reason exists what does it matter that other things also exist? Reason of itself is an argument for God

timothy
Guest
timothy

A counter case would by necessity be nonsensical (or beyond us) ; it may be true, but we would not understand it and its comportment with reality we would not be able to judge–except by its fitness.

bethyada
Member

I find a helpful way to think about knowledge, logic and reason is to compare it to mathematics. We all know some maths and the maths we know is certain regardless of the maths we don’t know or the maths that people are yet to discover. Future mathematical knowledge will expand what we know but won’t contradict what we do know.

So we can know something is non-rational based on what we do know, though some things may be supra-rational but not contra-rational.

adad0
Member

….or if one is really highly evolved, we might have celestial tea pot minds!????????

insanitybytes22
Member

“…we are rational because our survival depended on it and our reasoning ability is evolving even today.”

Well, not to quibble, but I think we could make a sound argument for the fact that our reasoning ability appears to be de-volving. We should arrive back on the planet of the apes any day now.

Christopher
Member

I’m not convinced we’re devolving. I think we’re just getting knocked off the pedastool of thinking we’re more evolved and superior to our ancestors.

Katecho
Member

bethyada wrote: The ability to reason is an argument for God. So if I can reason (intrinsically), and I think that I can, then God exists. I would raise a caution with this expression. We don’t want to give the impression that there can be a non-God starting point from which a path of reason and argument can be found and assembled that will lead us to God’s existence as a conclusion. Such an expression actually implies that reason can function just fine, independent of acceptance of God’s existence, and long enough to discover and conclude and accept whether God… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

It is not because I reason that God must or should exist

What was that monk’s name? Anslo….Amslem…

He has the argument named for him…

He is the fellow who said …”the fact that I reason about God is proof of God”

Anselm!

https://www.google.com/search?q=anselm+proof+for+the+existence+of+god&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Katecho
Member

I don’t think Anselm put it quite like that in his ontological argument.

Since I am a contingent being, and need not exist, it cannot be my reason or my existence, or anything about me, that necessitates that God exist.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

My nuns tried to explain Anselm to me, and I never quite understood. Could you simplify his argument a little for me?

bethyada
Member

I was never very much taken with the ontological argument. Plantinga has a good take. I suspect that the argument is equivalent to saying that: it is impossible that God can not exist. If you agree with that statement then I suspect you would agree to the ontological argument

Katecho
Member

I have something of a counter-ontological argument:

If a god can be derived using logic and reason and argument, from a non-god starting point, then such a god was not necessary in order to successfully do logic and reason in the first place, and is therefore a superfluous god (not ontologically necessary at all).

timothy
Guest
timothy

Just the kind of god Eric The Red want’s God to be.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Here it is:

http://www.saintaquinas.com/philosophy.html

And here is a definition of ….


on·to·log·i·cal

[ˌän(t)əˈläjək(ə)l]

ADJECTIVE

relating to the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being: “ontological arguments”

showing the relations between the concepts and categories in a subject area or domain: “an ontological database” ·

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Thanks, TImothy!

bethyada
Member

An argument for God’s existence doesn’t assume the primacy of the argument over God, it just assumes what is common. Thus the theist and the atheist agree that reason exists. The theist can show that reason implies God but it does so because of the primacy of God. Compare the moral argument. Morals imply a lawgiver, therefore if morals exist God exists. But the morals aren’t primary over God. I believe Lewis has argued like this with reason and morality. Of course God is primary. And further God is necessary. And the existence of God is more real than my… Read more »

Katecho
Member

bethyada wrote: Morals imply a lawgiver, therefore if morals exist God exists. My point is that, particularly with respect to reason and logic itself, we shouldn’t use this form of argument. If we do, we end up with this: Logic implies a logic-giver, therefore, if logic exists, God exists. The problem with this form is that it purports to be an argument that can take us from a neutral stance about God’s existence (i.e. God’s existence is not a given), to a new affirmative stance that God exists. But if we could successfully use logic and reason in such a… Read more »

bethyada
Member

This assumes that a presuppositional approach is the only valid way to go. But pragmatically, while God is necessary (which I subscribe to), men approach God and the world with their own mess of ideas, reason and contradictions. And though Lewis could write what he did many years after he became a Christian, these ideas bugged him while he was still an atheist. I am not convinced that a non theist is more likely to consider theism by forcing him to be a presuppositionalist than by showing him that reason and morals imply God. In fact Romans 1 seems to… Read more »

Katecho
Member

bethyada wrote: This assumes that a presuppositional approach is the only valid way to go. Of course I believe that presuppositions are unavoidable in all worldviews, and that a critique of someone’s worldview should be based on considering their own presuppositions, internally. However, my point about the circularity of deriving what we already assumed from the start (God’s existence), is still true regardless of whether one prefers a presuppositional approach or not. Circular arguments are still circular. That’s the basis for my caution against forms of argument that place God’s existence as a conclusion. Now if someone is saying they… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Well yes, God is regardless of whether we think that. Yet men can rightly know that reason is real and wrongly think that God is optional. Our reason is fallen. And as I said to krychek

The problem is “for the sake of the argument”. You are assuming no foundation for reasoning in order to reason. You are assuming the fruit but denying the roots.

Katecho
Member

But if we are claiming that God is not really optional, and must, in fact, be a necessary premise for reason, then we are offering a circular argument if we also try to also place God as a conclusion of reason.

My point is that we should be careful not to try to argue both ways. Either God is a necessary premise, or He is a conclusion that can be derived from reason alone.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

One model for morals implies a lawgiver. There are other models that don’t.

Katecho
Member

Krychek_2 wrote:

One model for morals implies a lawgiver. There are other models that don’t.

Let’s see one of those models that doesn’t result in a morality that is completely arbitrary, non-binding, and without prescriptive authority. The materialistic model of morality was shown to be completely arbitrary and irrational and non-authoritative. Pragmatics doesn’t save it from these faults.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

“The” materialistic model? As is there’s only one? You’re funny.

And this is an example of what I’ve said earlier. You are completely uninformed as to atheism or materialism, as demonstrated by your silly assertion that there’s only one model of materialistic morality. (I’m dying to know which materialistic model you think is the true one, but I shall resist the temptation to ask as it would no doubt result in another thread hijack.) You might want to restrict yourself to pontificating on subjects you actually know something about.

Katecho
Member

Ad hominem insults aside, Krychek_2 wrote: “The” materialistic model? As is there’s only one? You’re funny. Atheistic materialism just isn’t all that complex. We’ve dealt with its problems extensively here on this blog. Krychek_2 was even invited, multiple times, to try to resolve the dilemmas, but he chose to bow out. If Krychek_2 has some special twist that he would like to add to materialism, he should, well, present it for examination. I find it particularly ironic that Krychek_2 complains about the accessibility of Christianity to examination of its widely documented claims, while he remains aloof and coy about the… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

It’s not ad hominem to point out that you are talking about something you obviously have no knowledge of; there are at least a dozen materialistic models for morality that I personally am familiar with, and probably at least that many others that I’m not. And we’ve already gone over some of them multiple times here, only to have you ignore everything I write and claim I’ve offered nothing to support them. So rather than have yet another thread hijack over ground that has repeatedly been covered, I will simply invite you to google them and you’ll find plenty. And… Read more »

Katecho
Member

Once again, Krychek_2 is coy, and gives no specifics. He repeats an empty insult to my knowledge of the subject. He simply tells us that such moral models exist, and to google them. He provides nothing for us to examine, and commits himself, personally, to none of them, so as to have a back door of deniability when they fall. I believe these are the tactics of a coward. Here are a few of the inherent problems with models of atheistic materialistic morality: 1) Atheistic materialism rejects that the universe comes to us with any built-in meaning or value. Therefore… Read more »

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Actually what Krychek is doing is refusing to be drawn into yet another irrelevant, off-topic discussion of my world view. As I already pointed out, the subject of this thread is Doug’s world view, not mine. If you would like to discuss Doug’s world view, or my question directed to his world view, we can do that. If you want to use my appearance here as a soapbox for your favorite hobbyhorse, you can find someone else to play with.

timothy
Guest
timothy

Takes deflated ball and goes home crying to momma.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Actually, if you look further down the thread, you’ll find I’m engaging Demo D on the merits. The difference between him and you/Katecho is that he’s an honorable opponent who doesn’t twist my words, put words in my mouth, and claim that I haven’t responded to arguments when I have.

timothy
Guest
timothy

And we’ve already gone over some of them multiple times here, only to
have you ignore everything I write and claim I’ve offered nothing to
support them.

You retreat to this all the time; it grows tiresome.

A million models that to not reflect the truth are a million models that are wrong; Adding one more is one million and one wrong models.

Pick the model that settles your presupposition problems and defend it. You keep saying “its over there! I covered it! You are ignorant! ” when you get to this spot in the debate.

You are not fooling anybody with your evasions.

bethyada
Member

There are models, but none that I am convinced are logically sound, especially for an eternal moral model as opposed to a model where morals continuously change. A capricious ethic is hardly an ethic.

Katecho
Member

Well said. There are lots of arbitrary and irrational moralities. Those aren’t interesting. Does Krychek_2 have a model of morality that is rational? I have yet to see it.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

+1 for Krychek_2 asking a question that gets so many responses! However, since you begin with the presupposition that the Bible is inerrant and not open to question no matter what the evidence shows, I don’t really see how you have any kind of a safety mechanism that even allows you to ask the right questions, in the event that you are wrong I think you are misunderstanding what Christian faith is. What you describe here is fideism — I am postulating myself that A is true and I will not budge even if A is proven false. Christian faith,… Read more »

Mark Hanson
Guest
Mark Hanson

What Krychek_2 wants is an answer that will satisfy someone on the outside, someone who does not share the Christian’s presuppositions. And he wants us to specify a “defeater” for Christian faith that someone on the outside can wield against us.

But no answer will be given except the sign of Jonah.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

What Krychek_2 wants is an answer that will satisfy someone on the
outside, someone who does not share the Christian’s presuppositions. And
he wants us to specify a “defeater” for Christian faith that someone on
the outside can wield against us.

Yes, I think you’re right, … but in his question I see an implicit assumption that the Christian faith is mere fideism, and if I’m right about that, it needs to be addressed from the get-go. Since we believe in the God of truth, we are not scared of truth or of fact.

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

I think I want to answer the question in a bit of a different way. Factual inaccuracy could disprove Christianity as I (and the Apostle Paul) know it, but it still wouldn’t disprove God overall. Krychek_2 said: Suppose for the sake of argument your premises are mistaken and there is no God. Within your paradigm, is there any way for you to figure that out? Except for the “hard” atheists – (i.e. “I am certain that there is no God”), nobody thinks that God’s existence can be disproven. It’s that whole “You can’t prove a negative” and Russell’s Teapot and… Read more »

timothy
Guest
timothy

They try.

God has a sense of humor. He has them futilely work for centuries only to find Him at the end laughing at them.

He does love them though.

Krychek_2
Guest
Krychek_2

Well, I’m not one of those hard atheists who is certain there is no God; I just don’t believe things for which there’s no evidence. Show me some evidence and I’ll be glad to reconsider. As for whether I could prove to an absolute certainty that God doesn’t exist, probably not. Nor could I prove to an absolute certainty that there are no pink unicorns. But so far I’ve seen no evidence of either. But I wouldn’t ask Christians to prove there is no God. I agree completely with your first paragraph, that disproving Christianity would not disprove the existence… Read more »

jigawatt
Guest
jigawatt

But so far I’ve seen no evidence of either. And therein lies the rub. I say that you have seen plenty of evidence for God, but your faith commitment to atheistic materialism has precluded you from accepting it. Now I don’t want to rehash your and katecho’s conversations, but I do want to add one thing. Atheists have painted Christianity as anti-science, anti-intellect, anti-logic, etc, etc, and they’ve gotten away with this in part because a lot of Christians do have these tendencies (but they shouldn’t). Another reason they’re gotten away with it is that atheists have also changed the… Read more »

bethyada
Member

More Lewis (one can’t have too much Lewis) on reason

If naturalism were true then all thoughts whatever would be wholly the result of irrational causes. Therefore, all thoughts would be equally worthless. Therefore, naturalism is worthless. If it is true, then we can know no truths. It cuts its own throat.