Comments

  1. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Jurist “Ideas are spiritual” guy. My response: Language is a completely arbitrary cultural phenomenon. There is no reason why “school” is a better word than “école”. If you were born in France, you would be using the other word, and it’d be just as good. Language has meaning only in so far as the consensus of the culture (or consensus of a particular sub-culture) give it meaning.

    “Spiritual” is a term which has some consensus on its meaning. The word “spiritual” has meaning only so far as people consent to a particular meaning. What little consensus there is, “spiritual” does not include all ideas. It does not include all thinking people. Please start speaking the same language as the rest of us.

    Moreover, AFAIK all sane legal jurisprudence requires that we look at the culture of the people who wrote the laws and for whom the laws were written. We have to look at least in part at what those words meant to the people who wrote them down and the people who would read them. In that, nearly all of the people who wrote the words of our Constitution and bill of rights had a meaning of the first amendment which is different than your meaning. Thus, I don’t care what you think the word means. I care what it originally meant to the speakers who wrote the law and who read the law, and in that, they did not mean to include every possible idea as “religious”. They had a dichotomy in mind where there were secular rational reasons, and there were religious reasons, and they were different.

    On your reading, the text becomes incoherent and meaningless. Why call out religion in particular? Why say it cannot establish a religion if religion is synonymous with every idea?

    Moreover, the entire US Constitution was explicitly an attempt at a godless constitution. It was an attempt to found a country’s government on the principles of “Nature” and “Nature’s law”, not on religion. The constitution stands as a purported alternative to religion.

  2. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Jurist the pressup:

    As far as I can tell, his basic shtick is this:
    1- You have to have a justification for everything you believe.
    2- Thus you have to have a justification for using logic and reason.
    3- You cannot use logic and reason to justify logic and reason because that is circular and circular justifications are bad.
    4- A god is the only thing which justifies logic and reason.
    5- Because we use logic and reason, thus there is a god.

    Jurist says that you must have a justification for every belief, except for god. Jurist says that a god justifies reason and logic (or some such), but what is the justification for god? Once you realize that his entire argument is structured around this hidden special pleading, it becomes embarrassingly bad.

    Jurist lost at point 1. I can formally prove – in the strong sense of mathematics – that all sane belief systems are axiomatic or empty. An axiomatic system is a system with some statements which lack justifications. We call those “axioms”. The starting point for any sane person includes logic and reason, and use that starting point to determine if there is a god or not. It’s not the other way around!

  3. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    This guy is rich. (Approx:) “There is no model of evolution which can account for human consciousness.” Lol. If he means the first-person experience problem, qualia, then of course yes. (See the work of Dan Dennett.) If he means a functional model for a person’s behavior? Bullshit. We’ve had that model ever since Darwin. The animals which can model the world around them with reason and logic are more likely to survive than those with don’t model the world around them or which do a worse job of modelling. Done.

  4. Mac says

    Hmm. I think we have plenty of evidence that reason and logic don’t make a species more likely to survive. Let’s see home species are there on Earth. Man does well with logic in his biological niche. Not much can be said about than that. Except for presently it looks like man is poised to ruin the planet for mankind.

    As Dewey suggested logic is not some set of infallible self evident rules. The rules are subject to experimental verification. While we can’t directly verify any rule of logic we can use those rules and if those rules have predictive power within our niche then we tend to keep them.

  5. Muz says

    That jurist guy is infuriating.
    Apart from everything else, how can christians pull this crap about “Church-state separation doesn’t allow us to express our faith freely so…myamyamyamyam…”
    Have they no concept of history or anything? Don’t they know these concepts exist as created by protestant types to avoid all the oppression they suffered under other faiths like Catholicism!

    Opposing this is saying I want to impose my religion onto others, full stop. As was done to my probable ancestors and they moved somewhere else to avoid it, or conflicted over it for generations after.
    It’s saying ‘I want to bring all that back’.

    Arseholes.

  6. corwyn says

    “Spiritual” is a term which has some consensus on its meaning. The word “spiritual” has meaning only so far as people consent to a particular meaning.

    …and just because the hosts say they don’t know what ‘spiritual’ means, doesn’t mean they will accept any old definition you happen to want to bring. It needs to match what other people seem to mean by ‘spiritual’. Same with ‘god’.

  7. says

    Hmm. I think we have plenty of evidence that reason and logic don’t make a species more likely to survive.

    How so?

    The reason why this would actually be true is the same reason that evolution could also produce large, sophisticated brains – because understanding the reality around you is an advantage to survival. Reasoning that the creature that killed your fellow group-member has a high probability of killing you, makes you more likely to survive – as a basic example.

    I agree that a panda isn’t going to start working through a syllogism, but brains so operate with the logical absolutes. The snarling murderous creature is the snarling murderous creature, and it isn’t not the snarling murderous creature. A brain that can’t figure that out is going to have a difficult time surviving.

    That’s no guarantee that using logic will guarantee survival… but that could be said for any trait. Nor does it mean that logic is necessary for survive; see bacterium. That doesn’t mean that reason and logic cannot be selected for.

    In short, any any trait that a creature has, could play a role in survival rates.

  8. says

    yeah but reason and logic alone doesn’t make a species survive better because those are metal tools that are used on evidence. You can make totally reasonable logical statements which aren’t true. So you need to demonstrate that what is deemed logic is also true.

    For instance. It is logical to assume that there is alien life. Though there is no evidence for it. so logically it is better to think there isn’t

    Or you want to live near a volcano that is no recorded eruptions. so you build a house and the next day the vulcano erupts.

    logic and reason alone only gets you so far

  9. unfogged says

    Jurist was conflating ‘spiritual’ with ‘conceptual’ or ‘intangible’. While those concepts overlap they are not synonymous. He’s using a huge, steaming pile of equivocation to his argument and hoping nobody will notice.

  10. says

    Jurist just lies for jesus cause he didn’t even give one honest answer. He misused words and bend meaning to support god. Like idea’s being spiritual and that really awful argument against the separation of church and state.

    He just so close minded that he thinks that his Christian religion is being punished by the separation of church and state by not being able to influence the government. Well, let’s hope sharia or orthodox jewish law isn’t going to be applied in the US. lol

  11. says

    yeah but reason and logic alone doesn’t make a species survive better because those are metal tools that are used on evidence.

    I have no idea what this sentence means.

    You can make totally reasonable logical statements which aren’t true.

    Then they aren’t reasonable or logical, definitionally.

    So you need to demonstrate that what is deemed logic is also true.

    I don’t know how this follows from the previous wrong statement, or what it has to do with whether accurately assessing reality around you can help you survive.

    For instance. It is logical to assume that there is alien life. Though there is no evidence for it. so logically it is better to think there isn’t

    If there is no evidence for it, it would not be logical to conclude that there’s a probability. Assumptions aren’t even logical in the first place, by the way.

    It would also not be logical to assume that there isn’t alien life, either. The logical position, if there’s no evidence is not making an assertion or holding a position.

    Or you want to live near a volcano that is no recorded eruptions. so you build a house and the next day the vulcano erupts.

    That would be an example of not employing reason/logic. Or it could be an example of the fact they had no other choice. Or maybe they used reason/logic to avoid some other danger in the first place.

    … which leads into your next statement:

    logic and reason alone only gets you so far

    That is very true. So what? That could be said about any trait.

    In a world that’s covered with water, having lungs would only get you so far, and having gills would be beneficial.
    In a world that has no surface water, having lungs would be beneficial, and having gills would only get you so far.

    The dinosaurs’ tendency to be giant powerful creatures was beneficial until their environment radically changed with a meteor impact.

    About 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct. That’s a lot of traits that evolution selected for/against, that ended up being dead-ends anyway.

    That doesn’t mean that evolution wasn’t functioning for those traits.

  12. says

    For instance. It is logical to assume that there is alien life. Though there is no evidence for it.

    I really have to ask you what you mean by “logic”, because you seem to be using a definition that’s completely alien. Otherwise, this statement above makes zero sense.

  13. says

    i just stated that logic and reason has very little part in evolution because evolution is dependent on current evidential circumstances

    Yes, you did state that. You didn’t make a coherent case. You didn’t even address my rebuttals.

    “because evolution is dependent on current evidential circumstances” isn’t an intelligible argument. You don’t seem to know what logic is, or how evolution works.

  14. corwyn says

    Assume you (Jurist), as a Christian, live in a Country with a Muslin majority. You are given the task of writing the first amendment, what would you have it say? How would you have it interpreted?

  15. corwyn says

    An axiomatic system is a system with some statements which lack justifications.

    Just a nit, but I would say axioms lack proof, the often have justifications (even if only “Math is fun when we take this as an axiom”).

  16. Sceptical Atheist says

    14;50, 16:30: Matt is bitching like a little girl again. Someone that interrupts people as routinely as he does shouldn’t react that sensitive if someone does it to him. If he is that delicate he should switch jobs, or at the very least be more patient if it happens to him.

    Yes, I’m aware of the economics of time, that is NO reason to be an ass about it.

  17. Russell Glasser says

    Speaking of being an ass about things, this is your first post here, it’s pretty rude, and also uses a sexist slur. I let your comment through but I do plan to keep an eye out and see if you have more constructive contributions to make to this blog. FYI.

  18. Sceptical Atheist says

    Sorry for the sexist slur, I thought too late about it. I still use them by rote, never by heart.

    I stand by the rudeness though, it’s just a mirror of the thing I’m taling about, minus the whining.

  19. says

    I can just feel, like a tingling spidey-sense, that the response would be something along the lines of “Yeah but I don’t”.. and that’s the end of he rebuttal.

  20. Russell Glasser says

    Copying and pasting an explanation I have given previously:

    YouTube comments are indeed disabled in our channel. However, each video has a prominent link to the associated open thread that appears on this blog. In the past we’ve tried opening up the channel to comments, but we found that a very high number of episodes wound up being flooded with a combination of spam, long winded apologists, and various obscene or misogynistic comments directed at various hosts by people with an axe to grind. This seems to be the nature of YouTube comment sections, in my experience.

    I don’t read YouTube comments very often myself, but Martin would also like to add the following: “In the last two weeks, Google, the owners of YouTube, integrated Google Plus with YT comments, with the result that comments on high-traffic channels went from annoying at worst to an absolute, Kafka-esque nightmare of insanity. With no restrictions at all, people would post entire novels and screenplays, obscene ASCII art, and live links to viruses. Most of the biggest channels, including PewDiePie, disabled comments entirely until Google fixed the problem, which I understand they are now doing. But whatever the case, moderating comments on YouTube to avoid such lunacy was always a fool’s errand, and is now even worse, and we’re much happier offering open thread on both our blog and our FB page.”

    We do moderate the blog, the same way that we moderate chat during the show, as well as comments on our Facebook group. For comment sections that are “officially” associated with our show (and, to a much lesser extent, channels that may give the unintended appearance of being official), we prefer not to play host to straight up ad hominem attacks and bigotry. As a general policy we do not block commenters simply on the basis of disagreement with our point of view. However, we do prefer discussion environments that don’t actively chase off more reasonable contributors.

  21. Monocle Smile says

    Firstly, Matt didn’t call that schlub. Jurist called in.

    Secondly, Jurist had already worn AXP’s patience down by that point. In fact, he was probably on a short leash within a few sentences.

  22. says

    Why are you atheists behaving identically to creationists by not allowing people to add comments straight into the video itself? Just make the account login public, and let people add in whatever annotations they want.

    Why are the atheists here so totalitarian?!

  23. Sceptical Atheist says

    > Jurist called in.

    Doh. It’s a call-in show.

    > Secondly, Jurist had already worn AXP’s patience down by that point.

    So Matt’s whining is justified? Do you start to whine when you run out of patience? If so, do you consider this to be a strength of weakness?

    I can barely accept that he is rude for reasons of time economy (at least that’s the reason usually given). Other people in a similar job (Don, Jen, Martin, Russell, Tracie, as well as most people outside of AXP) demonstrate that you don’t have to be rude to keep control of the conversation.

    His whining on top of the rudeness however is just amazingly disgusting.

  24. Sceptical Atheist says

    I’ve seen (and had) great discussions in YT comments. What’s different with your channel?

  25. says

    Have they no concept of history or anything?

    Apparently not. Worship of ignorance seems to trump Jesus or God to these fundies. I think we secularists need to do more proselytization of the message of religious tolerance. We’re the ones actively protecting their right and freedom to believe and promote their beliefs, all the while they’re trying to scuttle the whole thing apparently on the hope that the theocracy will 100% mirror their own beliefs.

  26. Sceptical Atheist says

    > I think we have plenty of evidence that reason and logic don’t make a species more likely to survive.

    I don’t think that you should compare humans to cockroaches, but humans to their slightly less bright ancestors.

  27. Karen S says

    Is it just me or are presuppositional callers getting more frequent to TAE?

    Jurist stated that “with atheism you can’t know anything.”

    OK–then (1) why is he even communicating with you, because by the very fact he is, he is acknowledging you have knowledge [or else he couldn’t communicate–performative inconsistency?] and (2) ask him to demonstrate or provide evidence of how it’s BETTER to have the Christian worldview in respect to atheist epistemology–in other words, would their reasoning IMPROVE if they had justification?

    There was an article late last year about an extensive review of numerous tests of IQ and reasoning ability, and it was found that the average non-religious person had an IQ 6 points higher than that of a religious person. If Jurist is right, shouldn’t that be the other way around?

    In other words, even if I am “borrowing from the Christian worldview” such justification is irrelevant unless it has some added value (besides getting saved).

    Anyway, that’s my take on it.

  28. says

    Then don’t watch/listen when Matt is hosting?

    I think Matt’s reaction is justified since Jurist was just trying to railroad the conversation down his presup track (which, is basically to avoid any rational discussion about the validity of the god claims he was throwing at the hosts). Sure, there are other (possibly ways that you would find less rude/whiny) to derail Jurist’s spew, but I think Matt’s tactic of objecting/interrupting is fine for this show.

  29. says

    Because YouTube comments are a great place for rational conversation? Where great advances in society are not achieved by the content of the videos, but by the intellectual debate happening in the comments?

  30. says

    I’ve seen (and had) great discussions in YT comments. What’s different with your channel?

    Translation:

    I like the YouTube comments. It’s actually a big part of my life, great friends, love the wild west nature of the discussion. I also like the Atheist Experience and wish I could have the best of both worlds. I’m also going to ignore (TL;DR) any reasons you have for not enabling YouTube comments on your channel and continue pestering you until hopefully you see the light and can make my life complete.

  31. corwyn says

    How do *you* know he’s not around?

    I was offering a response to the hosts to such callers. This is a common device here.

  32. Sceptical Atheist says

    > Then don’t watch/listen when Matt is hosting?

    So that’s your argument? The whining is fine since Sceptical Atheist does not have to listen?

    > Matt’s tactic of objecting/interrupting is fine for this show.

    … barely, as I said. This is however about the whining on top of that.

  33. Sceptical Atheist says

    > I’m not even sure I understand what “whining” you’re talking about.

    Did you check the timestamps?

  34. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    So, what justification do you have for doing things that are fun? Martin did it in the call (when he asked “how do you know that?”), and I can do it with you (“why do you do that?”). I can play this game all day . You’re quickly going to go in a circle or arrive at a position for which you lack justification.

  35. says

    Yes, I’m still not seeing it.

    Let me try to explain to you how this works.

    Say the President has a news conference, where he/she is taking questions. The press can ask questions, and the President speaks, and the press shuts up. That’s the model.

    It is not “whining” for the President to put someone in his/her place who keeps trying to talk over him/her. That’s the whole point of the event.

    Likewise, people can call in and ask the hosts questions, and there may be back-and-forth, but the show is there for the hosts to speak, not for rambling from the caller. The hosts and caller are not on equal footing here.

    Your whining about his “rudeness and whining” has a very low bar established.

  36. says

    By my count, Jurist rudely interrupting the hosts (mainly Matt) four distinct times during the middle of their response and tried to interrupt (but stopped) at least another half dozen times. For the hosts, I counted a more times (5) where Martin interrupted Jurist than times (2) when Matt interrupted him. Of course, those are my subjective numbers. Overall, the hosts gave time for Jurist to respond to questions and make his points. The hosts spoke longer (read Gish Gallop), but overall I think, aside from Jurist trying to interrupt one of the hosts’s responses, it was a decently civil call. I don’t think Matt was “whining”, he was demanding that Jurist listen by making it clear that he wasn’t.

  37. GalapagosPete says

    “What’s different with your channel?”

    What’s different – as was just carefully explained in the comment to which you attached your reply – is that it is their preference to run the comments in what they consider to be a more civil and, therefore, hopefully more constructive way.

    If you disagree, then provide some reasons why the current YouTube model is better than this one.

  38. says

    Did you read that in your bible? Chapter and verse?

    Translation:

    I don’t have a direct response to what you wrote, so I’m going to insinuating that your statement is no better than the bronze age drivel in the bible. You’re likely an atheist and this will make you uncomfortable to the point that you’ll make an ad hominem against me that I can then point out to make you look foolish. Because I’m an obviously superior YouTube commenter.

  39. Sceptical Atheist says

    > Let me try to explain to you how this works.

    Oh, thank you master, I’m listening…

    > It is not “whining” for the President to put someone in his/her place who
    > keeps trying to talk over him/her. That’s the whole point of the event.

    First, it’s interesting that, thinking of Matt, the first comparison you come with is the most powerful man on Earth.

    In any case, you comparison sucks, because (as I said more than once already) this is not about the interruptions, but about his whining. Just listen to Matt a few times at the timestamps I provided, then imagine that reaction from the President of the United States of America. Really picture him, try it.

    > Your whining about his “rudeness and whining” has a very low bar established.

    I don’t understand, please elaborate.

  40. Sceptical Atheist says

    > By my count, […]

    That would have been useful, if anyone would have made the case that Matt was interrupting the guy far more often than the other way round.

  41. Sceptical Atheist says

    > Translation:
    >
    > I don’t have a direct response to what you wrote […]

    So you apparently think that your “Translation” bit is a direct response of what I wrote. That’s cute.

    My response had exactly the seriousness that your passive-aggressive reply deserved.

  42. Sceptical Atheist says

    > What’s different […] is that it is their preference to run the comments [in another way]

    I read Russell comment, in fact I directly replied to it. So with a bit of courtsey helpful for any debate, you could have assumed that my question was not about details already explained, but about the reasons behind it. In other words, “in what way is your channel different that would justify the different approach to comments.”

    > as was just carefully explained in the comment to which you attached your reply

    Never mind…

  43. Sceptical Atheist says

    > How do *you* know he’s not around?

    Just a hunch. Do *you* think that he’s around?

  44. Sceptical Atheist says

    > then (1) why is he even communicating with you, because by the very fact he
    > is, he is acknowledging you have knowledge [or else he couldn’t communicate
    > –performative inconsistency?]

    I don’t see the inconsistency. According to his world-view, you can have knowledge and it comes from his god.

  45. Sceptical Atheist says

    (Oops, wrong comment…)

    > Translation:
    >
    > I don’t have a direct response to what you wrote […]

    So you apparently think that your “Translation” bit is a direct response of what I wrote. That’s cute.

    My response had exactly the seriousness that your passive-aggressive reply deserved.

  46. says

    So you apparently think that your “Translation” bit is a direct response of what I wrote. That’s cute.

    My response had exactly the seriousness that your passive-aggressive reply deserved.

    Translation:

    I am now officially annoyed at your attempt to annoy me. I’m am now trying to annoy you back.

  47. says

    > It is not “whining” for the President to put someone in his/her place who
    > keeps trying to talk over him/her. That’s the whole point of the event.

    First, it’s interesting that, thinking of Matt, the first comparison you come with is the most powerful man on Earth.

    That’s right. I went to the first example of similar structure that you might be able to understand. Since it’s so high profile, you’d be most readily able to recognized the context. Would you have preferred that I go for an obscure example?

    In any case, you comparison sucks, because (as I said more than once already) this is not about the interruptions, but about his whining. Just listen to Matt a few times at the timestamps I provided, then imagine that reaction from the President of the United States of America. Really picture him, try it.

    The key here is that you’re taking the process of the thing you claim to not have much of problem with, and just imbuing it with a particular dislike of his tone – not that he was “whining”, but more your interpretation of it.

    Basically it’s a subjective assessment.

    Yes, actually, I can expect the President of the U.S. to react like that, if someone was out of place. I’d think it was deserved too.

    I don’t understand, please elaborate.

    Do you even know what “whining” is? “To complain or protest in a childish fashion.” Your primary purpose here is to complain about Matt’s reaction, and I have to say, about a childish topic.

  48. GalapagosPete says

    “In other words, ‘in what way is your channel different that would justify the different approach to comments.'”

    One more time, and it was stated clearly in Russell’s response, which you claim you read but apparently did not comprehend: it’s their preference. And they really don’t need to justify it, not to you, not to me, not to anyone.

    And you must admit it does tend to eliminate the trolls from posting here.

  49. says

    I read Russell comment, in fact I directly replied to it. So with a bit of courtsey helpful for any debate, you could have assumed that my question was not about details already explained, but about the reasons behind it. In other words, “in what way is your channel different that would justify the different approach to comments.”

    I’ll take you at your word that you read it, but I’m not sure if you understood it by the non sequitor nature of the question in your direct reply. You may not know this, but YouTube channels are ran by people. In this case, those people have stated their reasons for disabling YouTube comments. That’s how their channel is different. Other channels have other people running them and they get to choose to keep YouTube comments enabled or not.

  50. houndentenor says

    This got lost in the gish gallop of the first caller, but he wanted to know why the first amendment didn’t allow him to “recriminalize homosexuality”. It was as absurd a comment as I’ve ever heard on the show (there are plenty of contenders, obviously). How on earth does the first amendment allow one religion to outlaw private consensual sex acts? Especially when such a law would violate those consenters 9th and 14th Amendment rights?

  51. houndentenor says

    Yes, like how we don’t allow Christians to congregate, publish, broadcast, telecast or in any other was disseminate their message. LOL This persecution complex that plagues certain kinds of Christians is bizarre. You’d think they were a persecuted underground church instead of an omnipresent part of our culture that is virtually impossible for the rest of us to avoid.

  52. houndentenor says

    And even if his argument meant there had to be at least one god, he still didn’t explain which god that would be. And that assumes monotheism, which he also didn’t attempt to prove. It’s so funny how people who can’t prove step one jump ahead about a thousand or more steps to assuming that their particular ideas about the supernatural are the only ones that can be true.

  53. houndentenor says

    As the host of the show, he gets to decide how much time callers get and how long to let them go on without interruption. You don’t have a right to call into any program and blather on as long as you want on any topic.

  54. says

    That would have been useful, if anyone would have made the case that Matt was interrupting the guy far more often than the other way round.

    Umm, it looks like that “anyone” is you:

    Someone that interrupts people as routinely as he does shouldn’t react that sensitive if someone does it to him.

    Sure, you could be pedantic and say you weren’t talking about this call, but then why aren’t you thanking Matt for not interrupting as much as you think he normally does (in addition to the criticism that he shouldn’t complain when others do it)?

  55. says

    We do get theist callers to post here from time to time (usually not, but you never know). corwyn was just stating a good counterpoint to Jurist’s church-state separation denialism.

  56. Monocle Smile says

    I think you have a much different standard than most of us concerning what constitutes a “great discussion” if that’s honestly the way you feel.

  57. says

    If I may venture a guess…

    I think he regards the first amendment as being “ultimate” – meaning, it supersedes everything else. He may start with the understanding that it lets a religious person do literally anything, int he name of their religion… as opposed to an effort to keep the government from interfering, within reason.

    It’s kind of the “It’s freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion” crap we get.

  58. Sceptical Atheist says

    You know what, I will just assume that your way of conversing with people is typical for FTB people.

    Have your inevitable last word, thank you for thoroughly confirming my prejudices.

  59. says

    Have your inevitable last word, thank you for thoroughly confirming my prejudices.

    It certainly seemed like you had an axe to grind.

    Though it’s odd for someone to come out and admit to engaging in Confirmation Bias.

  60. Karen S says

    Performative inconsistency: a common presup interrogatory is “Do you know you have to reason with your reason” (Jurist actually used it)–they are doing the same thing in the very act of asking the question, only they put a “virtuous” special pleading label on it.

    Another common presup interrogatory: How do you know your senses are reliable? If I can’ trust my senses, why should I trust the presup?

    Another: “How do you know reality exists?” He wouldn’t be asking that question if we weren’t in the same reality! I’d ask him to touch the screen of his computer, and then say, is it real? If it’s only real for him and “not real” for me, why is he conversing with someone “not real’?

    When Sye Ten Bruggencate debates and starts with the question “Could you be wrong about everything you claim to know” and the atheist responds “I could be” he then follows with “Then you can’t know anything and have given up knowledge” and refuses to talk to you. He smugly disregards you, saying he can’t reason with anyone who can’t justify their reason and logic. So he proceeds on the basis that the atheist has admitted they don’t have knowledge (even though it logically doesn’t follow) and treats them that way.

    It doesn’t follow because he is denying the antecedent and disregarding the word “could” in his question: it’s a *claim to* know, not knowledge, and he’s asking if you “could be”–which means is it possible, not certain.

    According to most of the presups I’ve encountered, it’s either the Christian worldview or “absurdity.” To have Christian “knowledge” I have to repent and become a Christian. If I have “knowledge” the way you state, from their god, then they shouldn’t be making the absurdity claims, or claiming that atheists don’t “know” anything the way that Jurist did.

    Cheers, Karen

  61. Muz says

    There was a discussion about this before. It seems the likes of Eric Hovind and co have been promoting it fairly heavily as a rhetorical ‘ministering’ method. I guess since its sort of bastardised-socratic and works well for dialogue. Craig and so on are a bit too long winded nowadays I guess.

    I tend to think it means they’re running out of places to run for arguments really. It’s a retreat into pure abstraction. I don’t think they see how this really undermines their position with their usually fundamentalist audience though.

  62. Monocle Smile says

    This is the other flavor of irritating non-trolls: other atheists who come in, act like douches, then complain when members don’t take kindly to their thinly-veiled trolling attempts. Then they pull out the predictable FtB-bashing because everyone on here is apparently a clone.

    This is becoming rather typical. I’ve defended AXP and AronRa only to be called quite literally “the worst person ever” because I frequent this blog collection. Some people have even said they find some of the material here to be the most offensive crap they’ve ever read in their lives. I think some people need their heads calibrated a bit…which mostly involves extraction from the ass region.

  63. says

    This shit again? You’re here, aren’t you? There’s a forum available for commenting, with a much better functionality and community than found on youtube. If you’ve got something to say, then say it. Otherwise, feel free to put a sock in it.

    Really, this whole “it’s just like creationists do” is bordering on a genetic fallacy:
    [Bad group] does [behavior], therefore anyone who does [behavior] is just like [Bad group] (in other, completely unrelated ways).

    Creationists block comments to prevent discussion and criticism. AE provides this forum and (clearly, as demonstrated by your presence) allows critical comments. So, what’s your actual problem?

  64. corwyn says

    Well if you are going to do that, I am going to give one of the justifications that is less frivolous. Some axiom are chosen because the make the math match our reality. They are still axioms and can not be proven, but they are justified by being useful in our reality.

  65. corwyn says

    Of course it isn’t how they ‘honestly feel’. This person came here looking to confirm their *admitted* bias about FTB. They opened with a post which they themselves admit was *purposefully* rude. They only responded to those who were vaguely rude in return. Always escalating the rudeness, and claiming that it was the *responder’s* fault. Continue until they reached a point where they felt justified in coming to their pre-arranged conclusion. Then they left feeling righteous.

  66. says

    And I mean that only half-jokingly.

    We get this from time to time. A theist comes in, starts picking fights with everyone, being very arrogant/belligerent, and then when the inevitable negative feedback ensues… storms off with his/her belief – that atheists are angry hostile mean people – affirmed.

  67. says

    You know what, I will just assume that your way of conversing with people is typical for FTB people.

    Have your inevitable last word, thank you for thoroughly confirming my prejudices.

    *slow clap*

    It’s been a while since we’ve had a (presumably) thunderf@@t minion come in here and fall on their own #FTBullies sword. Your dramatic bias against Matt was a pretty clear giveaway; well, that, and the lack of any factual point. Please go forth and use the YouTube comments to continue your mission, sir!

  68. Russell Glasser says

    I would imagine he was disappointed that he had to leave himself, instead of being banned, which would have been even better proof of the oppressive FTB culture.

  69. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Why do you use utility to choose which “axioms”? If you use utility to decide which “axioms”, then they’re not really axioms now are they? “Use whatever is useful” seems to be your axiom here. What justifications do you have for that?

  70. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    When Sye Ten Bruggencate debates and starts with the question “Could you be wrong about everything you claim to know” and the atheist responds “I could be” he then follows with “Then you can’t know anything and have given up knowledge” and refuses to talk to you.

    I believe Aronra said it best: “Science doesn’t know everything. Religion doesn’t know anything.” Or paraphrasing, science knows things but can sometimes be wrong. Religion doesn’t know anything.

  71. corwyn says

    If utility isn’t a a criteria for choosing a set of axioms, what criteria do you use?

    Of course they are axioms. What do you think axioms are?

    Sorry, no. Meta axioms are not allowed here.

  72. Matt Gerrans says

    I agree with you Karen, but I think the problem is that these presup folk are living in a kind of la-la land where they called “first!” and therefore own all of epistemology. For an example of their backward thinking as they communicate it to one another:

    Street-level Apologetics: Apologetics 101 by Jeff Durbin – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMXTlIAN5Q0

    If you don’t have the stomach, patience and sheer endurance for that, which is entirely understandable, the important point I saw was that they assume the landscape is theirs (or their imaginary god’s, as it were) and the unbeliever just using it without acknowledging who owns it (even though they really know “in his heart” it is Yahweh/Jesus/HolySpirit). It is really a childish position.

    Perhaps we could one-up them by saying we worship meta-god, who created their god (from the dripping venom of an icy river, no less), who created logic and everything else. The cool thing about meta-god, is she was created by meta-meta-god and so on. The cool thing about the whole infinite series of them is they don’t exist, as proved by a correct formulation of the ontological and cosmological arguments. So there!

    Another approach is to point out that the Bible fails to note that (much less when or how) Yahweh, HS or Jesus created the “laws” of logic at any point (was it before or after snakes with legs?). That seems like a glaring omission, especially when things like “the firmament” were included (and where is it now?). It is also striking that the Bible doesn’t even adhere to the “laws” of logic in many places (a snake with legs? Isn’t that just a lizard? God walks in the Garden of Eden, people are able to hide from him, later he is a burning bush. So, we have snakes with legs and bushes with legs. Where’s the logic in that?)

    I think instead of answering the presup’s rhetorical questions, the hosts should take the bull (pun intended) by the horns (of its “self-refuting” dilemma) and start pounding them with questions.
    “How did your god create logic?”
    “What is logic made out of?”
    “Where does it say your god created logic?”
    “Did your god exist in a state of logic-less-ness before creating it?”
    “Could your god create logic without logic?”
    “Do you have any evidence or proof that your god created logic, or is that just a naked assertion for you which you have absolutely no support?”
    “What is your basis for claiming your god created logic?”

    In all these places, they may quibble over “created” and say that their “god’s nature causes logic” or some such incomprehensible nonsense. That is just fine, they can substitute that other nomenclature as well as clarify precisely what it means and then prove that it is true.

  73. Sadako says

    ‘This product is still in the spiritual stage, but we should have a prototype within 3 months, if we secure the proper funding in this quarter’s budget…’

    Yeah, clearly not synonymous. lol

  74. Karen S says

    Matt Gerrans: Thank you for your response–those are excellent questions! But I’m afraid after rigorously studying this presup this past year (I’ve done a number of videos on its weaknesses on YouTube) I think I already know their answer: “I know because god has revealed it to me in a way I can be certain.” I think for logic and reason they point to some ambiguous verses of Paul’s.

    My last video was about that “revealed to me in a way I can be certain.” That’s the catch-all when they don’t have an answer to questions like yours, to avoid objections. But it turns out its not personal or private revelation, it’s their biblical interpretation, and the “in a way I can be certain” was added on later by the “Sye Clones” (those who use Sye Ten Bruggencates’ method) and not used in the traditional apologetic as taught by his pre-sup hero Greg Bahnsen (as well as other prominent pre-sup authors).

    The pre-sup is also supposed to bear the burden of proving “the impossibility of the contrary” of all other worldviews based on an examination of those worldviews. This is considered quite a burden, but the Sye Clones have used the “God has revealed it to me in a way I can be certain” to avoid that burden as well.

    So I can tell you in advance this is how a Sye Clone would answer:

    “How did your god create logic?”
    It’s part of his nature and being (because he told me in a way I can be certain).

    “What is logic made out of?”
    This is the pre-sup basis for saying it “belongs to god”–because it is immaterial, unchanging and absolute. This is described on Sye Ten Bruggencate’s website.

    “Where does it say your god created logic?”
    God revealed it to me in a way I can be certain. ( I think they have an ambiguous verse to cover it)

    “Did your god exist in a state of logic-less-ness before creating it?”
    No, it’s part of his nature and because he’s eternal, it always existed.

    “Could your god create logic without logic?”
    Same as above.

    “Do you have any evidence or proof that your god created logic, or is that just a naked assertion for you which you have absolutely no support?”
    “What is your basis for claiming your god created logic?”
    God revealed it to me in a way I can be certain.

    Not trying to be a spoiler here, but that would be their responses. They’ve heard all these before.

    That’s why I am working on the “value-added” angle. As I stated above: Ask the presup to demonstrate or provide evidence of how it’s BETTER to have the Christian worldview in respect to atheist epistemology–in other words, would their reasoning IMPROVE if they had justification?

    I already presented this question to a pre-sup commenter on YouTube to see how he’d respond. He said I was creating a “straw man” yet then went on to tell me that the atheist worldview was “foolishness” because it was suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (the verses in Romans 1). Then he said he wasn’t going to comment anymore. In other words, he danced around the answer….but then if he can’t say it improves my reasoning, then I have to assume it doesn’t, and since it doesn’t, saying I have to have a justification is irrelevant.

    This is one where it seems to me responding with “God revealed to me (that your reasoning is better with justification) in a way I could be certain” wouldn’t work very well in the respect that they are talking about the unbelievers’ “current” status, and so there could conceivably be some “real world” evidence that having an accounting or justification for one’s reasoning has a benefit to one’s reasoning abilities. But they don’t have any such evidence–and I’d point to the studies on this showing the reverse is true:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/religious-people-are-less-intelligent-than-atheists-according-to-analysis-of-scores-of-scientific-studies-stretching-back-over-decades-8758046.html

    So even if I granted that I “borrowed from the Christian worldview” having to “account for” my reasoning really has no use to me as it does nothing.

    I was hoping to hear from one of the Atheist Experience “cast” on this for feedback on this theory. I do greatly appreciate your response, however.

    Cheers, Karen

    P.S. While I do like the meta-God concept (Lynnea Glasser using that recently on the Atheist Experience comes to mind), the pre-sups I know tend not to take it very seriously.

  75. says

    eugh… Hovind/Sye Ten presuppositionalism again. This has gotten really popular in Apologist circles lately. Expect more of it in the days ahead.

    What these guys are asserting is a theological solution to the old philosophical conundrum Munchausen’s Trilemma (though I’ve never heard any of them call it out by name).

    Basically, it attempts to solve the solipsist riddle of “How can you be certain that anything is true?” There are three ways to approach this question and neither of them are logically sound:

    1) The circular argument: We know it’s true because it’s true.

    2) The regressive argument: We know it’s true because of evidence A, and we know that’s true because of evidence B, and we know that’s true because of evidence C, etc… ad infinitum turtles all the way down.

    3) The Axiomatic argument: We know it’s true based on bedrock assumptions which aren’t wrong.

    Now, nobody likes the circular argument because it’s a tautalogy that allows for bad reasoning. And everyone finds the regressive argument unsatisfactory because it can’t reach any definite conclusions. But the axiomatic argument is the worse: It fails to critically analyze its own assumptions which is just lazy. If something is true based on certain axioms, where did THEY come from?

    This trilemma is not solvable and philosophers have been arguing about it for centuries.

    The Apologists have really latched onto it lately and they’ve all adopted the Axiomatic argument as the perfect solution: God made it true. Therefore we know it’s true. Thus, God exists.

    And they like to point out that if Atheists can’t solve the trilemma, it means that they are right. Because they have picked a solution while everyone else is fencesitting or trying to work it out like a Rubic’s Cube with more colors than sides.

    The proper response to this trap is to NOT get into a drawn-out discussion over which solution is the most sound (that’s what they want you to do). There is no solution. Like the computer in War Games, the only winning move is not to play.

    So simply call them out on it: Tell them that they are adopting a philosophically unjustifiable and untenable position. Like most Apologetics arguments, it is yet another cheap way to win a debate with words rather than evidence.

  76. Deesse23 says

    They take meta gods not serious but want to be taken seriously themselves by saying “revealed in way i can be certain”. If a small kid tells you ” i know, but i wont tell you how and why, nana na na nana”, you give it a slap for being disrespectful, but those presups want to be taken seriously with the same BS?

    Gimme a break!

    Sorry,for interrupting here, but this is all so philosophical. Philosophy is nice, but dont you need to apply it to the (perceived) reality we live in? Id like to adress this like one of my favourites, L. Krauss: You can sit at home ALL day long and make up an even coherent worldview, but at the end you gotta step outside and crosscheck with what we call “reality”.

    Being a technician (engineer) myself all this presup sounds like …well, quote from Krauss again “mental masturbation”. If it makes them happy, so be it…..but i am more concerned with crosschecking my views with reality, instead of having fun with myself.

    I wouldnt really waste any of my time with this hogwash.

  77. Matt Gerrans says

    Replying to my own comment since I can’t reply to Karen and Deesse23 (apparently “reply” disappears at a particular depth of the thread).

    Karen:
    Can you point to your youtube vids? I’d like to check them out.

    Yeah, I’ve dealt with the god told me “in a way I can be certain” nonsense. I like to tell them that I have a personal relationship with Jesus and Jesus specifically told me that he has no relation ship with them, so they are lying. More seriously, we should ask what words did their god use, because just a feeling is not enough; we know we can induce religious feelings in the lab, or even with drugs, an old Black Sabbath vinyl and a retro record player. What exactly did their god say to them and why haven’t they added this critically important new revelatory information to the existing Bible Cannon? Not doing so is a very selfish and a (general) grievous deprivation to the rest of humanity.

    Additionally, we can say to these jokers: if your god has revealed this critically important information to you, but not to me and the majority of humanity, then why is he playing favorites? What kind of god wants a certain outcome (belief, supplication, etc.) from everybody, but only communicates with a small subset of the masses. On top of this, if your god told you something (and you can’t even produce the words he used), how can I tell the difference between you lying about that claim and it really being true? How do I know that the Muslim guy over here who tells me what his god told him is really true and what you are saying about your fake resurrected god is really all made up?

    Deesse23: interestingly, your non-philosophical approach is where I think the “justification” for logic comes from. It is pragmatic. Intelligent creatures that are completely irrational and illogical would quickly be filtered out. Those that are a little better at it, get by, but perfectly grasping it as a species is not necessary for short-term survival and reproduction, so it isn’t likely to occur. This may and in many ways is seeming to lead to our long term destruction.

    We don’t get logic from one of the god’s we’ve invented and the fact that we invent gods shows just how imperfect our development of logic and rational thinking as a species is. The fact that so many people still believe in mysticism and superstitions of so many conflicting brands is evidence of how incomplete our logical/rational development as a species still is.

  78. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    If utility isn’t a a criteria for choosing a set of axioms, what criteria do you use?

    No no. No turning the questions back on me. It’s time for you to put up or shut up. You apparently think you can justify all of your beliefs and values. What justification do you have for using utility as a measure? For example, as opposed to using what a holy book says as a measure?

    Meta axioms

    I don’t know what that term means.

  79. corwyn says

    You apparently think you can justify all of your beliefs and values.

    You totally made that up.

    My claim is there for all to see: “but I would say axioms lack proof, the[y] often have justifications”

    I have axioms – in, as you say, the strong sense of mathematics. Those axioms are justified. If I needed an another axiom to justify my axioms, then the wouldn’t BE axioms. By definition.

    Nowhere do I EVER talk about my beliefs and values.

  80. Monocle Smile says

    Yeah, I disagree as well. The axiomatic solution is admittedly imperfect, but leaves room for growth because you can always question your axioms and attempt to replace them. We do it all the time.

    Also, I tend to let the scoreboard do the talking. The axioms of methodological naturalism have demonstrated themselves to be the most reliable foundation for acquiring knowledge about reality we humans have ever known. This is no different than science; you use what works until something better is revealed. “God made it true” and “God exists” are useless as axioms and have put up zero points on the scoreboard.

  81. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Of course, your reasoning simply belies your actual axioms: You value things which work, and things which have been demonstrated to work. Thus the methods of science are a consequence of your actual axioms, and “god exists” does not. You do not actually question your axioms of valuing methods which demonstrably work.

  82. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ack – hit send too early.

    Consider what you said:
    > The axioms of methodological naturalism have demonstrated themselves to be the most reliable foundation […]
    Let’s consider this part of it:
    > The axioms of methodological naturalism have demonstrated themselves to be reliable.
    This is basically equivalent to:
    > The methods of science have demonstrated themselves to be reliable.
    What does “reliable” mean? “Reliable” means that it has been demonstrated to work. What does “demonstrated to work” mean? “Demonstrated to work” is a conclusion that one can reach from applying the methods of science. Which again allows me to translate what you said to:
    > According to the methods of science, the methods of science are reliable.”
    Which is nakedly circular.

    In short, the fundamental problem is that “reliable”, “demonstrated”, “works”, and all similar terms are defined in terms of the methods of empirical science, and so any attempt to justify science with “it works”, “we can demonstrate that…”, “it’s reliable”, and so on, is circular.

    Your starting value is to use what works. That’s definitionally the same as valuing the methods of science.

    You are simply wrong when you said:

    leaves room for growth because you can always question your axioms and attempt to replace them.

    How do you question axioms? I assume in a more relaxed setting you would say according to the measure of “what works”, but that’s nakedly appealing to the methods and values of science, which means that you will never question the methods and values of science.

  83. corwyn says

    Sorry again. Axiom: “In mathematics or logic, an unprovable rule or first principle accepted as true because it is self-evident or particularly useful”

    ‘things which work’ will never be an axiom. ‘Things which work’ is a great reason for *picking* a particular axiom or another. Mathematics has fiddled endlessly with axiom trying to find those which are most fundamental, i.e. those which taken axiomatically can be used to prove the most alternative axioms (another great reason for picking axioms, but not an axiom in itself).

  84. says

    Actually, I tend to lean toward the circular camp. Because the Universe is a closed system (for all intents and purposes), there is nothing outside it, and it brought itself into existence, we can assert that it exists because it exists, and it is impossible for it not to exist, because if it didn’t, it wouldn’t (and we couldn’t be around to ask these dumbass questions). From this, all statements about reality derive.

    The problem with axiomatic arguments is they’re not justifiable. You need to prove the validity of the axioms and the only way to do that is with other axioms (or themselves), which kind of turns the third solution into a way of cheating the first two.

    But I don’t like to debate it at any rate. Down a dark and lonely path of solipsism this thinking lies.

  85. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    You are confused. You said you use utility to choose your axioms. Thus they are not axioms, because you arrive at them from a more basic method or value. Utility is your axiom. Of course, in this sense, valuing utility is identical to valuing empirical science.

  86. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    You need to prove the validity of the axioms

    No, I don’t. If I meet someone who doubts whether this hammer will fall when I drop it, even after several demonstrations, I don’t need to prove, demonstrate, or justify the methods which let me know that the hammer will fall. Even if I could not convince him otherwise, there is still a truth as to whether the hammer will fall. I don’t have to justify that we should use science and that science leads to truth. And you cannot justify that. A circular justification is no justification at all. Circular justifications are bullshit via a most basic demonstration of reductio ad absurdum. This is me right now appealing to your acceptance of basic logic. This is the move of a pressupositionalist. I presuppose that you already value using logic.

  87. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @corwyn
    Sorry if I didn’t say the right phrase, but I clearly meant “valuing things that work” is an axiom. It is an unjustifiable, underivable value. (Or we’re only one step or so away from the basic value.)

  88. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Are you seriously arguing that something can be an “axiom” if it’s justifiable but “unprovable”? Is the theory of gravity now an axiom? I cannot “prove” the theory of gravity, but I damn well can justify my belief that it’s true. This bullshit game of yours of “prove vs justify” relies on the idiotic notion of absolute certainty which is not how real knowledge works. You should know this.

    Earlier, you said:

    , I am going to give one of the justifications that is less frivolous. Some axiom are chosen because the make the math match our reality. They are still axioms and can not be proven, but they are justified by being useful in our reality.

    You’re talking about derived “axioms”, which by definition makes them not axioms. Your side-show of “prove” justify” not-withstanding.

    Seriously, you cannot be this stupid. What kind of perverse game are you playing here? Because I’m totally lost at this breathtaking stupidity.

  89. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Ok, I butchered that last bit in anger and outrage. To wit: If you derive belief X from some other beliefs, or equivalently if you justify belief X from some other beliefs, or equivalently if you have some method to select belief X, then X is not an axiom. The previous options are all justifications, just written in different English prose.

  90. corwyn says

    To wit: If you derive belief X from some other beliefs, or equivalently if you justify belief X from some other beliefs, or equivalently if you have some method to select belief X, then X is not an axiom.

    Nope. An axiom is a particular thing. It is NOT a belief. It is NOT a reason. It is NOT a justification.

    I can easily have axioms that I don’t believe. That I don’t have a reason for. That I can’t justify.

    Under your bewildering idea, I don’t see how you can even *have* an axiom.

  91. Karen S says

    @ Matt Gerrans

    You can see my first series on pre-sup here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1YmAmcpFrc43kGsE9L-b3Zm8roepPFkw

    When I first heard this argument, I thought I needed to do something to cut through some of the gibberish of it–“in layman’s terms.” The fifth video in that series links to a blog where I have a table script of the questions pre-sups often ask, the “real” answers from a video by YouTube’s The Global Atheist who is an excellent resource, plus my answers designed to cut the conversation short (because I believe it is not worth the time to argue with them)….but I may re-do it on learning more which included actually reading books by presuppositionalists (Greg Bahnsen) to fit more with the traditional presuppositional apologetic, and to show the pre-sup that we know their game and see right through it.

    I have another series on what has changed with the current brand of “Sye-Clones” over the traditional pre-sup which was more a traditional “productive discussion” kind of apologetic. My most recent video sort of gets into the revelation which you talked about. It turns out there is NO private, personal revelation–it is simply the presuppositionalists’ interpretation of selected (read: cherry-picked) biblical verses. So as far as being “lied to” it is more a matter of inconsistent revelation…and the “in a way I can be certain” was added later by the Sye Clones to immunize everything from objection.

    Thank you, Karen

  92. Karen S says

    @ Matt Gerrans

    My apologies, the video with the blog “Script” is the sixth one, “Predicting and Responding to ‘Sye Clones'”.

    KS

  93. corwyn says

    Ok, I butchered that last bit in anger and outrage.

    You might want to listen to that outrage. It is possible that it is telling you that you have invested too much of yourself into a pretty idea, and that it is keeping you from doubting whether it might not be wrong.

  94. Matt Gerrans says

    Thanks Karen! I watched ‘em all and even remembered to “like” each one. Very nice coverage, especially the part about Sye’s sinning ways of bearing false witness / lying about what the whole goal of this sophistry really is. I am always tickled by the dishonesty that believers use to try and further their position. I guess it would be ironic if there really any truth in their dogma.

    I think they know deep down that their god doesn’t exist, but in their “irrational unrighteousness” are “turning their back” on the evidence, so they can wallow in the sinful pleasure of self-deception and smug certainty.

  95. says

    A hammer dropping is not a truth claim. It is a demonstrated fact. You can derive truth claims from facts, but facts are not truth claims themselves. They just are.

    The claim is “how do you know it’s true”?

    And the real answer is: You can’t. For some reason, this answer bothers Apologists.

    Similarly, science doesn’t lead to truth. Science only studies facts. If you’re unsure what the difference is, truth prescribes telos. That is, facts tell you what is, truth tells you what it means. There is a gross assumption truth claims that I find abhorrent.

    Don’t rely too much on logic to prove anything. It is not a sound description of reality, it is a human construct used to describe the human perception of reality, and that is an important, if perhaps irrelevant, distinction.

    But again, I’m not interested in pedantic semantics.

  96. says

    That is, facts tell you what is, truth tells you what it means.

    What something means is necessarily a subjective thing. Things don’t have meaning. They have meaning to somebody. Meaning exists in the mind of the observer, not in the thing observed.

    I wouldn’t even remotely associate truth with meaning. I understand truth to refer to what you call facts; what is, as opposed to what is not. I can’t actually tell if there’s any disagreement underlying that or if it’s a matter of definitions.

  97. Tnghunter says

    I’ve always taken spiritual to mean belief in the possibility of the supernatural, like having some vague theistic idea of god, angels, or demons and communicating with the deceased or seeing ghosts.

  98. Enigma Tic says

    I think it is about time that we put this “you cannot validate reason with reason” to rest once and for all.

    The premise that is being stated is that reason and logic are unique features of our universe that do not seem to have any foundation in nature or the universe itself, and thus because of their non-material nature, they must be granted by some higher power. It is then stated that for those who do not believe in that higher power, to use reason and logic as a means of validating that reason and logic is circular.

    But here are some undeniable facts:

    1. The initial premise of logic and reason having to be granted by some higher power, is done by a person, and it is using the very same reason and logic they claim is circular. Thus their conclusion of its source is in itself is circular. So simply claiming something is outside the rules, does not make it true. There are no sources of this claim which did not at some point come from a human being (including the bible which was written by a man regardless of their “inspiration”, as supposedly they had free will and thus could write anything they want)

    2. Reason and Logic are not in and of themselves integer, nor are they instantaneously absolute. By that I mean that reason and logic evolve just like everything else, and in fact science is about the building of facts on top of facts, using them to make deductions, drawing from them generalizations and from them inducing further facts (which are then tested). Thus we first establish some basics, which we can independently prove to be true, and on top of that build further facts that are true. We continue to do this until we all reach an agreement about what is constituted as “reason”. So it is not simply using reason to validate reason, it is the systematic hierarchy of proof upon proof that is internally consistent which allows one to derive their rationality as a result of this, not simply by using it.

    What I find more often than not is the cause for those who “attempt” to oppose atheists with these presuppositional claims are that in ALL cases they start with a flawed, unfounded and untested premise, and build everything on top of this initial false primary cause. One cannot argue with what they built on top of it unless they first focus and refute the initial false premise. There is no point in even attempting to argue further points, because it has been specifically set up to distract you from the true circular argument….

    That what they believe is true, because the bible told them so, and they believe that is true because they believe in god… rinse and repeat.

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