Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Logic of Apples and Oranges

If you meaningfully critique one of my articles, you will get a meaningful response. So here are the statements of JDHURF, from the Free Thoughts for the Enslaved Mind thread:

This entire paragraph is largely unintelligible and hard to read, no offense. Let me embark in any case. For I am a neo-Darwinian and this means that if a species has a certain characteristic, quality or mechanism (whether this is physical, psychological or social) I know it must have been acquired through the ceaseless work of evolution.

Ok. How did you “learn” them? Are they objective? Are they universal?

I notice that you called my paragraph “unintelligible.” But what if it is intelligible to me? What if my mode of reasoning leads me to believe something different than yours? What if, according to how I came to perceive logic, what I believe is “true” is different than what you believe is “truth.” Are we both right, or is there an objective, universal standard of logic that can come in and declare who is right and who is wrong?

Your first misstep was when you claim that in order to acquire a logical mind frame we must first “assume” logic. As you would say “this begs the question”: If we do not know of logic how may we assume it? Obviously for one to assume or to acquire logic one must be aware of its existence.

This very conversation necessarily assumes the laws of logic. I mean, how do I know that we are speaking the same language, apart from the laws of logic? How do I know that English is not French? Words themselves presuppose the laws of logic, for words are simply characters that represent objects, objects that follow the necessary principle that A cannot equal non-A (for if they are objects, then they exist and are therefore not nonexistent). Can you tell me how we can have this conversation without necessarily assuming the existence of the laws of logic?

So, in reality, the laws of logic do exist (as a necessary assumption) and they are objective and they are universal. The question is how you can account for objective, universal laws in an atheistic worldview. You see, it is my contention that the laws of logic exist because this is God’s universe. Logic exists because God exists; it represents the thinking of an eternal, immutable, and perfect God. It is my belief that no other worldview can account for the laws of logic.

Which brings me to this point, logic is secondary…follow me. Your example of finding out the difference between apples and non-apples is a rather shoddy example but I shall play along. We would both agree that knowing apples are different from non-apples is logical and that one is, indeed, using logic to differentiate between the two. However, one does not need to accept and understand the intangible idea and definition of the word logic to know the difference.

If you are saying that one must know the word “logic” and the rigid definition “A cannot equal non-A” then that is not what I’m defending. That is besides the point. Whether or not someone knows that it is indeed logic that he is using, he inevitably uses it when he distinguishes apples from oranges (the objects, more so than the word. Words, as I said earlier, are simply characters that represent objects. For all we know, in the language of hilzilberganism, “apples” and “oranges” are two words that represent the same objects. But that does not make one object the same thing as non-that object).

But this seems to only be a distraction. Two year olds use the laws of logic, without knowing what they are. But the question is how you can account for these universal, objective laws in your atheistic worldview. In any case, you are incorrect in your statement “Logic is secondary.” A verbal formulation of the laws of logic is secondary, but logic itself is not secondary. It is necessarily primary.

An individual does not need language to understand the difference between, say, apples and oranges.

Well, I said earlier that when I mean “apples” and “oranges,” I am speaking of the objects that these words represent (assuming the laws of logic) in our common language. But how do I know that one taste is not the same taste as another taste, apart from the laws of logic? I mean, it is not enough to have taste-buds that can distinguish between flavors. We need the laws of logic that tell us that two “different” flavors are actually different. So, if you will please cease avoiding the question, I’d like you to tell me how you can account for these laws in your atheistic worldview.

All one needs to do is bite into an apple and taste the apple and then bite into an orange and taste the orange, after having done this the individual now has data at their disposal, the tastes between both the apple and the orange. The individual upon seeing an apple resting besides an orange will remember the sensations of eating both fruits and recall that the apple had a different taste then that of the orange (not to mention the plethora of other differences). The individual has now understood the difference between an apple and an orange without using the “laws of logic” but rather an investigative, observational inquiry and remembrance of such things.

The fact that the two sets of data are “different” presupposes the laws of logic. I agree that this is how we interact with these laws, and I stated earlier that one does not need to know the phrase “the laws of logic” and its rigid definition in order to inevitably use them. So how can you account for them?

The “law” of logic is secondary, it comes after such data is collected and sorted out in the mind.

The mind formulates the law in verbal format after it experiences the law, correct. But the mind does not create the law based upon its experiences; the experiences happen because of the law (the fact that data is distinguishable presupposes the law), and therefore the experiences are able to be intelligible, which means they can then be formed as verbal laws. But this person’s very experiences depend upon the existence of the laws of logic in order to formulate these laws. Even before he has mentally and verbally formulated the phrase “A cannot equal non-A,” he has assumed that they exist in his distinguishing two supposedly “different” sensations as different. But how does he know that they are not, in fact, the same sensation? If the laws of logic do not exist, regardless of how he feels, it would be perfectly find to equate every sensation he ever experiences as “the same sensation.” It would be utterly and completely impossible, therefore, to distinguish between any two objects in the universe. You see, he assumed the laws of logic (and perhaps even the uniformity of nature) in his very experiencing of the data, long before he verbally defines these laws. I think you would agree that his defining of the laws does not create the laws, but simply flows from their objective existence. But what you fail to see is that even in his experiencing of the laws, he assumes the laws, and necessarily so.

The mind constructs logic based on real world observations and interactions. Logic is secondary to experiences, sensations, and senses but to be truly objective about these things one must use the methodology of science so as to not confuse and misconstrue these things. So as you see we have not come to know the statement apples are not the same as non-apples through assuming logic but rather by investigating and experiencing sensation and life. After having done this we then constructed logic, we did not “assume” it.

Nice try, but this is simply incorrect. Experiences depend upon the initial assumption of these laws. How can one investigate anything, without the laws of logic? How can he distinguish between two objects, if, in an irrational universe, every object is equal? No, here is the process:

1. The laws of logic are necessarily assumed
2. The laws of logic are inevitably experienced
3. The laws of logic are verbally formed

Throughout your comments you equate the verbal formation of these laws to the necessary assumption of these laws. Yes, the verbal formation comes only after one experiences these laws; he experiences that the sensation of an “apple” is different than the sensation of an “orange” (the objects, not the words). But how does he know “different” apart from first assuming the laws of logic? These laws cannot be experienced without first being assumed. Then, after all of this, they can be verbally formed.

You said: [quote]“Science requires a uniformity of nature. Without uniformity, science is meaningless. Without uniformity, there is no guarantee that what had these certain properties in one experiment will be the same in the next. Therefore, without uniformity, there is not science. But how can uniformity be known or proven?”[/quote]

I am rather astounded by this statement. Are you claiming that there is no uniformity in nature and material existence? Are you claiming that there is chaos? Are you claiming that there is uniformity but that science cannot describe it?

I certainly believe there is a uniformity of nature, and I believe in the basic reliability of science. But I believe the nature is uniform because of God’s ordinary providence; the universe is a uniform, logical universe because God not only created it, but he is absolutely sovereign over it and absolutely active in it.

But notice that you fail to address my paragraph. How can you account for a uniformity of nature in your atheistic worldview? My paragraph states that science requires a uniformity of nature. Do you beleive that that the universe is a uniform universe, that the properties in one scientific experiment are the same in the next scientific experiment? How can you, in your atheistic worldview account for this uniformity? You see, the question isn’t if there is a uniformity. The question is how you and I can account for this uniformity in our worldviews. I’ve told you how I account for it in my worldview. Will you tell me how you account for it in your worldview?

Science, actually, does not require a uniformity of nature. There is much of scientific endeavor that is ceaselessly preoccupied by following the constant change and flow of nature, the inconstant aspects of it so to say. Nature is not always uniform or constant, as the theory of evolutions suggests, it is constantly changing and “evolving” hence the theory. There are, however, certain aspects of nature which simply are uniform and are not subject to change such as the chemical elements that make up the periodic table. The chemical elements that make up the periodic table present a “uniformed” trend, example: ALL of the elements of group eighteen (the noble gases) have full valence shells. They attain a full shell with out the necessity of reacting with other elements, which means that they are unreactive monoatomic gases. This is “uniformed” it has been observed, observed again and yet observed again that this is the case. Are you suggesting that it is both possible and plausible that tomorrow, unbeknownst to chemists and scientists around the world that, helium may require a reaction with another element to retain its full valence shell rendering it no longer a fellow unreactive monoatomic gas? I hope not. Uniformity can be known and shown to exist by observing and testing certain elements of nature such as the chemical elements that I mentioned. We can interact with, test, observe, instigate and analyze the functioning of certain natural mechanisms and do so repeatedly, when we find that a certain situation always produces certain results we can safely say that this situation is always going to be the cause; scientists actually have to attempt to disprove and discredit their hypothesis and then other peers will then attempt to out right disprove findings and conclusions. If chemists consistently say that transition metals form good homogeneous or heterogenous catalysts it is safe to believe that this is, in fact, the case and is not subject to change dramatically the next day.

You’re making the same mistake here that you made with logic; you use the uniformity of nature in order to prove the uniformity of nature. Let’s see:

Nature is not always uniform or constant, as the theory of evolutions suggests, it is constantly changing and “evolving” hence the theory.

How do you know this? How do you know it is ever constant to any degree? How do you know that the milk you drink today has the same properties as the milk you drank yesterday, rather than the properties of everything else in the world shifting so as the give the illusional sensation that it possesses the same properties? We can’t test it scientifically; that assumes a uniformity of nature, for it assumes that the scientific properties are constant in order to prove that the scientific properties are constant.

There are, however, certain aspects of nature which simply are uniform and are not subject to change such as the chemical elements that make up the periodic table. The chemical elements that make up the periodic table present a “uniformed” trend, example: ALL of the elements of group eighteen (the noble gases) have full valence shells. They attain a full shell with out the necessity of reacting with other elements, which means that they are unreactive monoatomic gases. This is “uniformed” it has been observed, observed again and yet observed again that this is the case.

Again, the fact that it has been “observed” tells me nothing. We can observe the same thing thousands of times. But simply because the appearance brought by the scientific observation remains constant, that does not tell me that it is actually constant. Let’s say we’re observing the fact that all of the noble gases have full valence shells, by observing how each one reacts with other elements in a series of experiments. How do we know that the fundamental factors involved have not changed between experiments? I mean, really, how do we know? Again, I do not deny a uniformity of nature. I just believe that you cannot account for one in your worldview.

Are you suggesting that it is both possible and plausible that tomorrow, unbeknownst to chemists and scientists around the world that, helium may require a reaction with another element to retain its full valence shell rendering it no longer a fellow unreactive monoatomic gas? I hope not.

In my worldview, heck no! But that is because this is God’s universe. In your worldview, however, I have no reason to believe otherwise.

Uniformity can be known and shown to exist by observing and testing certain elements of nature such as the chemical elements that I mentioned. We can interact with, test, observe, instigate and analyze the functioning of certain natural mechanisms and do so repeatedly, when we find that a certain situation always produces certain results we can safely say that this situation is always going to be the cause; scientists actually have to attempt to disprove and discredit their hypothesis and then other peers will then attempt to out right disprove findings and conclusions. If chemists consistently say that transition metals form good homogeneous or heterogenous catalysts it is safe to believe that this is, in fact, the case and is not subject to change dramatically the next day.

As I have stated, these observations assume a uniformity in order to prove a uniformity. There is no reason to believe, apart from assuming a uniformity, that the factors involved in one test are the same factors involved in the next test (Let’s not forget all of the factors involved in an experiment, even the surrounding contextual atmosphere involved. Even if the elements of the object of the experiment are constant, what reason to we have to believe that the surrounding atmosphere is equally constant? Cannot the surrounding atmosphere have fatal effects on the result of the experiment?). Furthermore, there is no reason to believe that the future will be like the past, for this assumes a uniformity. You say, “If chemists consistently say that transition metals form good homogeneous or heterogenous catalysts it is safe to believe that this is, in fact, the case and is not subject to change dramatically the next day.” Why not? I hope you aren’t assuming a uniformity in order to prove a uniformity…

Without uniformity there is still science, chaos theory anyone? Viruses evolve and change on a daily basis and science follows these changes and creates new vaccines and medicines to combat these viruses, there is little uniformity in viruses yet there is virology the scientific study of viruses.

Viruses “change” within the contextual atmosphere of a uniform universe. Let’s not commit a semantic fallacy here. You know very well that the “change” involved in a virus simply cannot equate to the universal change that would result from a non-uniform nature.

You said: [quote]“There is no ‘true’ or ‘false’ apart from logic”[/quote]

I want to clear something up. There actually is true and false apart from logic. Logic is merely a structure of propositions, a mode of reasoning.

Logic is the very spinal-cordial structure for reasoning. Apart from logic, there is no “reasoning,” for logic itself is “reason”; they are synonymous. Apart from logic, true equals false; therefore, there is no true and no false. Everything is nothing (a statement that makes complete sense in an irrational universe).

This structure of propositions and mode of reasoning may lead someone that is unknowledgeable regarding modern science that the moon at night is actually emitting its own light. This is logical to the individual without modern science and astronomy, for it certainly seems logical to conclude that a celestial body that is bright and lights up the dark night sky is actually emitting its own light rather than reflecting light emitted from the sun that is merely hidden beyond the horizon of the earths surface. The individuals “logic” (structure of propositions and mode of reasoning) has now led the individual into believing a falsehood.

I must say, this is a tad bit pathetic on your part (no offense). I’m not discussing how stupid people apply their understanding of logic. My first paragraph in response to you, hopefully, shows that if this is all that is the case, then there is no point in our debating. If there is no universal and objective standard of logic that can come in and declare something “true” and something else “false,” there is no point in our debate; I might as well declare myself the winner, and you will have to concede that according to my understanding of logic, that is true. But notice that you get the idea. You say, “The individuals “logic” (structure of propositions and mode of reasoning) has now led the individual into believing a falsehood.” Why is it a “falsehood”? Well, obviously because objective and absolute truth exists; and we live in a universe that is bound by objective and universal laws of logic (for this is God’s universe).

But how does this paragraph of yours make sense in light of your previous statement? You said, “There actually is true and false apart from logic. Logic is merely a structure of propositions, a mode of reasoning.” So was the “falsehood” true or false? You might say that, according to the individual, it was true. But was it absolutely true, or simply relatively true? Obviously, it was only a matter of relativity (relative to the individual’s understanding), for you were able to come in with an objective standard of logic and call it “falsehood.” You confuse the word logic in an attempt to negate my statement that there is no true or false apart from logic. You equate a person’s fallible use of the laws of logic with the laws of logic themselves.

Truth is something that exists and is real whether humans are able to understand and accept it or not. False is merely something that we know, or think we know is not “true”; so false is not apart from logic. One needs logic to be able to interpret something as being true or not so as to be able to lay claim to falsehood. Truth, however, is different. Truth resides outside of human logic, whether our logic tells us the earth revolves around the sun or not this is true, the earth revolves around the sun and this truth is, in fact, apart from logic. To sum up falsehoods do not exist (obviously) but in order to conclude this we must use logic, we must also use logic to conclude if something is true or not; however something is true regardless of whether or not our logic tells us so. Truth and logic are certainly two different items and truth certainly can be apart from logic. To claim otherwise is, well, illogical.

Truth is simply a term that represents the existence of the object itself. You rightly note that the object exists, no matter what we believe about it. Truth exists by definition, because “true” is simply a word that describes the existence of an object (whether the object is material or immaterial, a “thing” or a “concept” or an immaterial being, God).

But let’s not detract from the subject at hand. Truth is immutable because of logic. Something that exists today, if it is the same tomorrow, exists tomorrow, because of the immutability of truth that is grounded in the objectivity of logic (which is grounded in the immutability, eternality, and perfection of the Christian God). Our discussion, however, concerns whether or not an atheistic worldview can account for the objectivity of truth and the objectivity of falsehood (the objectivity of falsehood is based in the objectivity of truth, for if A is objectively and immutably A, then non-A is objectively and immutably non-A, and therefore cannot be A), mainly, the laws of logic. You have yet to tell me how it can.

However if you mean that something either true or false cannot be apart from logic based on the distinct principles of bivalency, involution, idempotency, contraction, DeMorgan and others I feel that you should be clear and make such a distinction regarding what sort of logic you are specifically referring to.

What I am referring to concerns specifically the rationality of propositions that represent truth claims. You reject the Christian worldview, for instance. I suppose that you feel that your rejection of it is a rational rejection of it. If I were to ask you why you reject it, you would be required to explain your position rationally, using the laws of logic. Now, remember that we are debating whether or not something is true. Therefore, the laws of logic prohibit us from calling true “false” and calling false “true.” But without the laws of logic, true is false, and therefore does not exist, at least in our discussion. This is why there can be no true or false apart from the laws of logic.

So if you could, please now tell how you:

1) Can account for the laws of logic in an atheistic worldview
2) Came to learn the laws of logic

I think that maybe you were trying to present your “logic” in one of these various forms though I am not sure what the following represents:

( ) P–>Q
( ) P
:.Q

What in the world is that? I am, somewhat, familiar with prepositional logic and Boolean algebra but I have not seen this before.

This is why the context of discussion is important. You only caught a glimpse of a discussion that was occurring in another thread. I had made this argument:

1. For logic, the uniformity of nature, and objective morality to exist, an eternal, immutable, perfect God must exist.
2. Logic, the uniformity of nature, and objective morality do exist.
3. Therefore, an eternal, immutable, perfect God exists.

My opponent, in response, said that the argument was fallacious. But what he really meant was that he did not accept the premise (point 1). Whether or not the premise is correct has no consequence with whether or not the actual construction of the argument is fallacious, and I showed him this by removing the propositions and simply writing out the basic transcendental form. Whether or not the premise is true has nothing to do with the fact that if the premise is true, then the conclusion is true. I told him that it was a bit silly of him to declare a “stale-mate” (one of those “agree to disagree,” fancy way of losing situations) and call my argument fallacious simply because he does not accept the premise. This simply begs the question, for the very thing we were debating was the premise, as we are doing here.

Evan May.

18 comments:

  1. I have just gotten off of work and read your response. I must say that I do not agree with the premise and I will get into why tomorrow after I run. However, some of your positions are clearer and make more sense to me now seeing them in full context.
    It seems that you spent time on responding and did so in a fair and fairly unbiased manner so I will return the favor tomorrow.

    For now let me say a few quick things:
    Your three point argument does seem fallacious to me, you claim that the other dissenter claimed the same thing but only because they rejected the premise, point one. Which is the case with me I reject the premise also. I do not agree that for logic, the uniformity of nature and objective morality to exist an eternal, immutable, perfect god must exist. Why should I accept this at face value?

    Here is what I see wrong with the argument. I could present the same three point argument for my view that there is an underlying material existence that is eternal rather than a supernatural force/entity (god). My argument would be as follows:

    1. For logic, the uniformity of nature, and objective morality to exist, an eternal, immutable, perfect material existence must exist.
    2. Logic, the uniformity of nature, and objective morality do exist.
    3. Therefore, an eternal, immutable, perfect material existence exists.

    I do not believe that this is any sort of a legitimate argument for my view that all of existence is material and natural and I do not believe that you should take this sort of argument for your “god” as something that vindicates such a supernatural notion.

    It also seems that the majority of your response is asking me how, in my naturalist worldview, do I account for such things as logic and truth? I will spend time tomorrow attempting to answer this as best as possible but let me first say this. If you believe that you can account for these things by merely claiming because of “god” then you are wrong. If you are going to claim “god” as the justification and answer to such questions then you must first define and explain such a god, otherwise you are merely responding with hollow words and shallow theories. If you are going to engage with me legitimately, as I intend to do with you, I suggest that you go back and reread your response and every time you come across yourself using the word “god” substitute “nature” and there will be no difference.

    “But I believe the nature is uniform because of God’s ordinary providence; the universe is a uniform, logical universe because God not only created it, but he is absolutely sovereign over it and absolutely active in it.” - evanmay

    “But I believe the nature is uniform because of nature’s ordinary providence; the universe is a uniform, logical universe because nature not only created it, but nature is absolutely sovereign over it and absolutely active in it.” - JDHURF

    There is no difference but for the hollow words being used. You must define and describe “god” before you begin using the word and the idea in such a gratuitous manner.

    Just for fun, since I believe you enjoy logical propositions, let me present to you the argument for a single substance provided by Benedictus de Spinoza. Spinoza believed that there was only one substance that existed and that this was “natural” existence. He rejected the supernatural and personal “god” of monotheism and maintained that nature had created itself. Here is the argument:
    1. Substance exists and cannot be dependent on anything else for its existence.
    2. No two substances can share an attribute.
    Proof: If they share an attribute, they would be identical. Therefore they can only be individuated by their modes. But then they would depend on their modes for their identity. This would have the substance being dependent on its mode, in violation of premise 1. Therefore, two substances cannot share the same attribute.
    3. A substance can only be caused by something similar to itself (something that shares its attribute).
    4. Substance cannot be caused.
    Proof: Something can only be caused by something which is similar to itself, in other words something that shares its attribute. But according to premise 2, no two substances can share an attribute. Therefore substance cannot be caused.
    5. Substance is infinite.
    Proof: If substance were not infinite, it would be finite and limited by something. But to be limited by something is to be dependent on it. However, substance cannot be dependent on anything else (premise 1), therefore substance is infinite.
    Conclusion: There can only be one substance.
    Proof: If there were two infinite substances, they would limit each other. But this would act as a restraint, and they would be dependent on each other. But they cannot be dependent on each other (premise 1), therefore there cannot be two substances
    He maintained that this argument proved that there was only natural existence that there was not supernatrual existence hence there was no “supernatural creator,” “personal god,” or “divine force.”

    I have not given your response the proper reading and rumination that I will give it tomorrow and this response of mine is, by no means, my direct response to yours. It is merely a hasty response and something to think about.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your three point argument does seem fallacious to me, you claim that the other dissenter claimed the same thing but only because they rejected the premise, point one. Which is the case with me I reject the premise also. I do not agree that for logic, the uniformity of nature and objective morality to exist an eternal, immutable, perfect god must exist. Why should I accept this at face value?

    I don't expect you to accept it at first. But that is why we are debating. That is why I asked you to account for the laws of logic, etc, in your worldview.

    Here is what I see wrong with the argument. I could present the same three point argument for my view that there is an underlying material existence that is eternal rather than a supernatural force/entity (god). My argument would be as follows:

    1. For logic, the uniformity of nature, and objective morality to exist, an eternal, immutable, perfect material existence must exist.
    2. Logic, the uniformity of nature, and objective morality do exist.
    3. Therefore, an eternal, immutable, perfect material existence exists.


    The question isn't whether or not the structure of the argument itself is fallacious (are you arguing against the transcendental form?). It is whether or not the propositions are true. Let's say this argument does represent your position. Are you willing to defend the premise?

    If you believe that you can account for these things by merely claiming because of “god” then you are wrong. If you are going to claim “god” as the justification and answer to such questions then you must first define and explain such a god, otherwise you are merely responding with hollow words and shallow theories.

    I don't simply base my arguments in the existence of God; I presuppose the entire Christian worldview. The argument here isn't simply between a generic atheistic worldview and a generic theistic worldview. This is between your worldview and my worldview.

    I suggest that you go back and reread your response and every time you come across yourself using the word “god” substitute “nature” and there will be no difference.

    Sure, grammatically speaking you could do that. And you could do the same with the syllogism. But that has nothing to do with the actual content of the syllogism; just that the syllogism has a nice, fancy backbone to it. Rather, what matters is whether or not you are able to defend those statements, if you substitute "God" with "nature." I'm willing to defend my own statements. Are you willing to defend yours (if these were yours)? That is the question, and that is the purpose of debate.

    Just for fun, since I believe you enjoy logical propositions, let me present to you the argument for a single substance provided by Benedictus de Spinoza.

    Heh, it's 2:45 AM. I'm not even going to look at that right now ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. “But I believe the nature is uniform because of God’s ordinary providence; the universe is a uniform, logical universe because God not only created it, but he is absolutely sovereign over it and absolutely active in it.” - evanmay

    “But I believe the nature is uniform because of nature’s ordinary providence; the universe is a uniform, logical universe because nature not only created it, but nature is absolutely sovereign over it and absolutely active in it.” - JDHURF

    There is no difference but for the hollow words being used. You must define and describe “god” before you begin using the word and the idea in such a gratuitous manner.


    Here, JD tries to create a formal and conceptual parallel between Christian theism and atheism, where “nature” is the functional equivalent of God.

    For an argument as to why this won’t fly, cf.

    http://www.ccir.ed.ac.uk/~jad/induction.html

    Also, note the vicious circularity embedded in the claim that “nature” created the “universe.”

    ReplyDelete
  4. “But I believe the nature is uniform because of nature’s ordinary providence; the universe is a uniform, logical universe because nature not only created it, but nature is absolutely sovereign over it and absolutely active in it.” - JDHURF

    JDHURF,

    The problem I see with atheists is that they claim to believe in the uniformity of nature. I just don't understand how they even can come to belive that. For the Christian, he has a God that is personal, intelligent and can communicate. Nature is none of those things. To follow that through how can an atheist know that nature is uniform since he can't observe all of nature throughout all time to determine if it truly is uniform. The Christian has the word of God to tell him. The atheist has not way of knowing.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I see that not only are there numerous individuals that would like to join this debate but that there are two different blogs containing this debate. I believe this is not only unnecessary but rather unfair, no one should “logically” expect me to argue these points with numerous individuals on two different blogs that is ridiculous. For these reasons I am going to disregard all other posts but for evanmay’s. Not that I am not reading them I am simply not going to address them; I will accept them as sideline commentary.

    “I don't expect you to accept it at first. But that is why we are debating. That is why I asked you to account for the laws of logic, etc, in your worldview.” – evanmay

    The main point that I would like to make here is that I do not believe that the laws of logic have, were, or will ever be “assumed” rather we, as a thoughtful and cognitive species, have been conditioned to know logical items through evolutionary upsurge. You have not yet told me how, in your view; we ever came to know of logical items. Did “god” tell us? If he did when and where did he do so? I don’t recall the passage in the bible where god is telling people to “assume” the logic that he has placed in the universe.
    As far as “how” I believe there is logic to begin with I cannot and do not act as if I have a solid answer to this sort of question. From all of the evidence that I have read and weighed it seems highly likely that the laws of logic, as the laws of physics, are simply a part of natural existence. I don’t believe that we are anywhere near being able to account for certain aspects of our existence in totality and I do not act as if we were. To me logic is a necessary foundation of existence as is the laws of physics and to me these laws are foundational to natural existence. I do not believe that they were necessarily “created” or produced from a substance that resides either outside or encapsulates all of material existence; this seems illogical and I provided Spinoza’s proposition that readily illustrates why and how it is illogical.
    Let me end the topic of accounting for the laws of logic by saying the following. There are many things to which humans have yet to account for, scientific cosmology is but a yearling in adolescence and cannot be expected to account for everything within the cosmos, how exactly the cosmos was, is and will be and why the cosmos is. There is undoubtedly an answer that may be found and understood in the future but we have yet to come across it and to lay claim that one does, in fact, already know the answer to these questions one is quite full of themselves. I advocate what I consider to be the glory of Promethean revolt and the pleasures of skeptical inquiry. I have no answer to the question, which is unanswerable at present time, and that is one unassailable reason why I so heartily distrust those who claim they DO have an answer.

    “1) Can account for the laws of logic in an atheistic worldview
    2) Came to learn the laws of logic” – evanmay

    I addressed question one in my first paragraph. You now ask me how I came to learn the laws of logic. Now this is what I was actually attempting to do earlier and you mistook my writing for the accounting of logic altogether. Logic is as truth, something that, to some measure, already exists. My view is that through evolutionary advance we as a species acquired the prerequisite characteristics needed to know and understand logical precepts and to then use logic. In the past our ancestors were a species of life that did not have a brain as ours is, this ancestor did not have eyes as we do, they did not have ears as we do, etc. Meaning they could not cognitively filter through their senses and in some cases they did not have all of these senses to filter and understand to begin with. Our ancestors lived and survived with primitive senses and reactions, they knew not of logic or of truth. A distant ancestor without our advanced brain, mind and senses would have survived without the knowledge of how it was doing so. Through evolution this ancestor began to develop advanced senses and abilities such as sight and hearing. After having developed these abilities and characteristics through physical mechanisms it became both possible and plausible that we would learn of and understand logic. We have learned and understood logic thanks to our highly advanced physical brain, how we learned and understood logic has already been briefly described in my prior post. We were afforded the ability to learn of and use logic based on evolution, it was in our survival interest to know and understand not only how we were surviving but how to do so more efficiently. That is what I meant by logic being secondary, it is secondary in this sense. Our ancestors did not know of or understand logic hence it did not exist to them, we now know of and understand logic due to evolutionary adaptation and advance hence it is secondary to this evolution; not to say that it didn’t already exist it simply did not to “us” (our ancestors).

    “The question isn't whether or not the structure of the argument itself is fallacious (are you arguing against the transcendental form?). It is whether or not the propositions are true. Let's say this argument does represent your position. Are you willing to defend the premise?” – evanmay

    What I am saying is that the transcendental argument lacks any substance. The transcendental form that you have provided contains a few premises but these premises must first be proven and shown the evidence in their favor before such a premise is allowed to be accepted as a legitimate premise. I agree that the argument is about whether or not the propositions are true, now how is the premise that logic is in need of the Christian god true?

    “I don't simply base my arguments in the existence of God; I presuppose the entire Christian worldview. The argument here isn't simply between a generic atheistic worldview and a generic theistic worldview. This is between your worldview and my worldview.” – evanmay

    I am not aware of the great difference here. Am I wrong to assume that the Christian worldview ascribes to a monotheistic supernatural entity/force called “god”? It surely is a case and an argument between my worldview and yours but if you must insist that I describe yours fully, as the Christian worldview, then I must insist that you describe mine fully also, as the secular humanistic worldview. Now then you claim that you do not base your arguments merely in the existence of god but my point is that so far that is all that you have done. You have not described this god or this Christian worldview you merely place the hollow word “god” (that has yet to be defined and explained) and claimed that this hollow word vindicates your use of logic, well obviously it does not. You have only accounted for logic, so far, by saying the following: “the immutability of truth that is grounded in the objectivity of logic (which is grounded in the immutability, eternality, and perfection of the Christian God).” Following this statement you ask how an atheistic worldview can account for logic but you have yet to tell anyone how your worldview does so. Will you ask of others what you will not ask of yourself? You made that statement as if it were the vindication and account of logic but as I said in my response it was not, you merely inserted a gratuitous and rash word (Christian god) that has yet to be defined and explained, not to mention you have yet to describe how such an entity accounts for logic. If I am to accept your position that the Christian god accounts for logic you must tell me how this is so, how does a supernatural entity/force account for logic?

    “Sure, grammatically speaking you could do that. And you could do the same with the syllogism. But that has nothing to do with the actual content of the syllogism; just that the syllogism has a nice, fancy backbone to it. Rather, what matters is whether or not you are able to defend those statements, if you substitute "God" with "nature." I'm willing to defend my own statements. Are you willing to defend yours (if these were yours)? That is the question, and that is the purpose of debate.” – evanmay

    I do believe that all that exists is material and that there is no supernatural entities or forces be that the Christian mythology, the Judaic mythology, the Islamic mythology, the Hindu mythology, the Shinto mythology, the Zoroastrianism mythology, the Roman mythology, or any other. In this believe it is obvious that if something exists in my worldview it would be the product of such a material existence without any interference from alleged supernatural sources. Yes indeed I will defend my views if you vocalize dissent in a constructive and unbiased manner, I surely will. You also say that you will defend yours, so I will sum up my dissent that encapsulates this post so as you will be readily aware of all of my questions.

    1. If you account for logic with the Christian view of god and theology, how then does it actually account for logic?
    2. What is the Christian god? How does it function? What are the entities characteristics and attributes?
    3. How have you learned of this entity? How do you know that your knowledge is not merely based on faulty mythology?
    4. Do you claim to have the answers to life’s uncertainties and unknowables? Do you claim that where science is, as of now, unable to provide sufficient answers that you and your Christian worldview can provide them?
    5. How is the premise that a Christian god is necessary to account for logic true? What is the evidence for such a claim? What leads you to believe this and why should I accept it?
    6. How have you come to learn the laws of logic?

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  6. I see that not only are there numerous individuals that would like to join this debate but that there are two different blogs containing this debate. I believe this is not only unnecessary but rather unfair, no one should “logically” expect me to argue these points with numerous individuals on two different blogs that is ridiculous. For these reasons I am going to disregard all other posts but for evanmay’s. Not that I am not reading them I am simply not going to address them; I will accept them as sideline commentary.

    I cross-post my entries between Triablogue (the group blog) and Veritas Redux (my own blog). I do the same with the comments. Don't worry about what is occurring at Veritas Redux; it is the same thing occurring at Triablogue.

    The main point that I would like to make here is that I do not believe that the laws of logic have, were, or will ever be “assumed” rather we, as a thoughtful and cognitive species, have been conditioned to know logical items through evolutionary upsurge.

    I cannot help but notice how you simply past over entire paragraphs of mine that demonstrate how you must assume the laws of logic before you experience them, and before you verbally form them. The same is the case with the uniformity of nature. Why have you chosen to ignore what I have said, and yet assert the otherwise as if I had not said it?

    You have not yet told me how, in your view; we ever came to know of logical items. Did “god” tell us? If he did when and where did he do so? I don’t recall the passage in the bible where god is telling people to “assume” the logic that he has placed in the universe.

    1. What do you mean by "logical items"? Do you mean the laws of logic, or rational objects themselves? If you mean the laws of logic, they are, simply put, how God thinks (given the fact that God is a rational God, and unchanging and perfect), and, because we have been made in his image, we think in the same way. The universe is a rational universe which is in congruence with our thinking because this is God’s universe. If you mean rational objects, then you might have to be more specific, but my answer would probably resemble yours.

    2. Even the Bible itself assumes the laws of logic, even as it accounts for them, for it assumes the existence of God in declaring itself infallible revelation. But that has nothing to do with the inevitable and undeniable fact that you and I assume the existence of these laws in our very conversation.

    As far as “how” I believe there is logic to begin with I cannot and do not act as if I have a solid answer to this sort of question.

    The question, rather, is whether or not your atheistic worldview can account for these objective universal laws. If it cannot, then your worldview is irrational and unacceptable.

    There are many things to which humans have yet to account for

    Then do you assume their existence without accounting for them (to use them, but be unable to account for them, is to assume their existence)? I assume their existence, and I account for them.

    I have no answer to the question, which is unanswerable at present time, and that is one unassailable reason why I so heartily distrust those who claim they DO have an answer.

    Might I say that this is foolish on your part? I mean, simply because your atheistic worldview fails to answer life’s ultimate questions does not mean that such questions are unanswerable. In fact, the very fact that my worldview can account for things that yours cannot displays the superiority of my worldview from the beginning.

    Logic is as truth, something that, to some measure, already exists.

    Did Logic exist before humans existed, in an atheistic worldview? If logic is simply a sociological convention that years of evolution caused to become instinctive, then how is logic anything objective and separate from the existence of people? If no mind exists, is A then non-A?

    After having developed these abilities and characteristics through physical mechanisms it became both possible and plausible that we would learn of and understand logic. We have learned and understood logic thanks to our highly advanced physical brain, how we learned and understood logic has already been briefly described in my prior post.

    But how did we come to use and accept the laws of logic without first assuming their existence? I mean, how did my experiences initiate my belief that A cannot equal non-A, without my first assuming the laws of logic? You completely passed over what I stated concerning Apples and Oranges, and what I stated about the process of the laws of logic (1. necessarily assumed, 2. inevitably experienced, 3. verbally formed). How do I know that the sensation of an Apple is in fact different from the sensation of an Orange, without first assuming the possibility of difference (laws of logic)? I might be able to experience this difference, but it won’t be different in my mind without first assuming these laws.

    Am I wrong to assume that the Christian worldview ascribes to a monotheistic supernatural entity/force called “god”?

    You are correct, but that is not that is all to the Christian worldview.

    You have not described this god or this Christian worldview you merely place the hollow word “god” (that has yet to be defined and explained) and claimed that this hollow word vindicates your use of logic, well obviously it does not.

    I assumed that you knew what I meant by “the Christian worldview.” Was I incorrect in my assumption?

    You have only accounted for logic, so far, by saying the following: “the immutability of truth that is grounded in the objectivity of logic (which is grounded in the immutability, eternality, and perfection of the Christian God).” You have only accounted for logic, so far, by saying the following: “the immutability of truth that is grounded in the objectivity of logic (which is grounded in the immutability, eternality, and perfection of the Christian God).” Following this statement you ask how an atheistic worldview can account for logic but you have yet to tell anyone how your worldview does so.

    Again, this is why context is important. You came in on a discussion that was already happening. (I’ll answer this question below).

    1. If you account for logic with the Christian view of god and theology, how then does it actually account for logic?

    The Christian God is a rational God. He is an eternal, immutable, and perfect God. Logic, therefore, is his attribute; it is how he thinks. God did not “create” logic anymore than he “created” holiness; Logic exists because God exists. Human minds follow the laws of logic because man has been created in the image of God. The universe is a rational universe because it is God’s universe.

    2. What is the Christian god? How does it function? What are the entities characteristics and attributes?

    The Christian God is a Spirit, creator and sustainer of all. He is Triune; three persons, one God. The Three Persons are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is holy, he is just, he is loving, he is good; he is self-sufficient, independent, unchanging, and immutable. He is eternal. The Christian God has been revealed in general revelation (Rom 1:18ff), and special revelation (Scripture). Therefore, the Christian God is everything which Scripture says he is. He possesses communicable attributes (attributes which he shares with man such as goodness and justice), and incommunicable attributes (attributes that he does not share with man such as independence and omnipresence).

    3. How have you learned of this entity? How do you know that your knowledge is not merely based on faulty mythology?

    I have learned of this entity through Scripture, and general revelation testifies of him as well. I know that my knowledge is correct because my worldview is the only rational worldview.

    4. Do you claim to have the answers to life’s uncertainties and unknowables? Do you claim that where science is, as of now, unable to provide sufficient answers that you and your Christian worldview can provide them?

    I find this question generic at best. In fact, it is irrational. You are, in essence, asking me if I know life’s unkowables. If I knew life’s unknowables then they wouldn’t be unknowables, would they?

    As far as science, yes, science can only answer scientific questions, and therefore cannot answer all questions. The Christian worldview answers all questions which are necessary to answer.

    5. How is the premise that a Christian god is necessary to account for logic true? What is the evidence for such a claim? What leads you to believe this and why should I accept it?

    The Christian God is necessary to account for logic because logic cannot be accounted without him. If you think it can, I invite you to account for it. The Christian worldview, however, does account for logic.

    6. How have you come to learn the laws of logic?

    Because I am God’s creation made in his image, and because he has placed knowledge of his existence in every man’s heart, I have used these laws naturally since conception, and have lived in a world that has been ruled by a rational God. Now, I came to learn the verbal formation of the phrase “A cannot equal non-A” later in life, being taught that phrase the same way I was taught my name. In learning the phrase, however, my mind assumed the laws of logic, for without these laws, I cannot distinguish between terms. My mind assumed these laws because it was created knowing these laws, for it was created knowing God, though some men might suppress this truth.

    At this time, it wouldn’t be an apologetic discussion if I didn’t give you the opportunity to submit to Christ and receive the gospel by faith. I’m sure you’ve heard it hundreds of times. I pray that you would receive Christ, that the Spirit would do his work of regeneration on your heart of stone, and that you would respond in faith to the gospel that results in a life pleasing to God.

    Thank you,
    Evan.

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  7. "1. For logic, the uniformity of nature, and objective morality to exist, an eternal, immutable, perfect material existence must exist."

    i. As far as morality goes, the fact that a eternal, immutable, perfect material existence exists does not get you to an "ought. Is does not imply ought.

    ii. As far as the uniformity of nature goes, the fact that something exists does not tell us how it behaves. Your premises do not have enough information.

    iii. As far as logic goes, logic is necesary and therefore would exist in all possible worlds. Matterless world is a logically possible world (seen by the fact that I do not affirm matter's existence to make this claim, nor do I wind up in a contradiction as if one *denied* logicless world). Logic would exist in matterless world. Therefore it is not the case that for logic to exist matter would necesarily have to exist.

    For these reasons your argument fails. Evan's stands.

    Christianity: 1

    Atheism: 0

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  8. This is why I asked JD if he was really willing to defend those statements. He substitutes "material" into my argument, as if it is equally warranted, when clearly it is not. I am willing to defend my argument. Is JD willing to defend this transcendental argument for the existence of material?

    ReplyDelete
  9. To begin with I would like to restate that I will not respond to other posters that feel the urge to enter the debate between evan and I.

    “I cannot help but notice how you simply past over entire paragraphs of mine that demonstrate how you must assume the laws of logic before you experience them, and before you verbally form them. The same is the case with the uniformity of nature. Why have you chosen to ignore what I have said, and yet assert the otherwise as if I had not said it?” – evanmay

    The argument over whether or not we “assume” the laws of logic has, obviously, boiled down to semantics. You mean that we assume the laws of logic as meaning that we take on and accept the laws of logic in a conscious manner, what I was saying was that though we have done this and certainly do so now that when our ancestors first began doing so it was not a conscious action it was something done that was merely reactionary, it began as a simple reaction to natural stimulus. I agree with this point and I really went too far in my last post saying that we never have and never will “assume” the laws of logic, again it is a semantics debate but I do not see it as an assumption but rather an acceptance. We accept the laws of logic rather than assume them, semantics all the way. Also the point I was really trying to make was that we did not one day wake up and decide to “assume” the laws of logic but that our ancestors had been conditioned in a way, through evolution, to become aware of them. My point being that humans, such as you and I, surely do assume or accept the laws of logic but our ancestors further back did not and before they began to assume or accept them had to first become aware of them, I was merely hypothesizing how this may have happened.

    “1. What do you mean by "logical items"? Do you mean the laws of logic, or rational objects themselves? If you mean the laws of logic, they are, simply put, how God thinks (given the fact that God is a rational God, and unchanging and perfect), and, because we have been made in his image, we think in the same way. The universe is a rational universe which is in congruence with our thinking because this is God’s universe. If you mean rational objects, then you might have to be more specific, but my answer would probably resemble yours.” - evanmay

    By logical items I mean the very same thing as when you directed the question towards me, I though that would have been obvious. You answer my question of how you came to know the laws of logic by saying that based on the fact that the bible tells us that humans were “made” in the image of “god” and that god is a rational entity so it should logically follow that we are a rational entity being that we were made in it’s image. To anyone that would read this discourse with a careful eye, be they theist or not, would see the inherent problem with this answer. For now I will just leave it at this and address the problem later when it becomes more of a problem, for now I will just accept that you believe that humans are rational because the alleged supernatural “creator” made them so. However this still does not answer the question of HOW you came to understand and know logic which was the question to begin with. I believe that you have answered this to some degree later down in your response, so do not feel the need to answer this question, only later down the line will I ask you about this topic.

    “2. Even the Bible itself assumes the laws of logic, even as it accounts for them, for it assumes the existence of God in declaring itself infallible revelation. But that has nothing to do with the inevitable and undeniable fact that you and I assume the existence of these laws in our very conversation.” – evanmay

    You are correct we accept the laws of logic in our very conversation. We cannot discuss matters such as this without using logic so obviously we have come to know and understand logic. The main reason why I have been arguing against the idea of “assuming” logic is because to say that we assume logic sounds too similar to we guess that logic is true to me. I would have never cried the contrary had you stated that we accept the laws of logic; this seems to be a completely semantic debate that has been misread on both our counts. I now believe that you mean assumed as having taken on the laws of logic and I agree with that. Shall we agree on this point and move on?

    “The question, rather, is whether or not your atheistic worldview can account for these objective universal laws. If it cannot, then your worldview is irrational and unacceptable.” – evanmay

    If by account you mean account in the same way that your worldview accounts for objective universal laws then yes I can, indeed, account for them. However I hold myself and my worldview to a higher standard than you it would seem. I would hesitate greatly before I laid claim that I was able to account for such things, I would want empirical evidence before such claims were made. However your accounting seems to be the mere claim that the Christian god exists and is rational and this entity created the universe so obviously what it created would be likewise. My problem with this would be why is the Christian god rational, how do you account for the Christian god’s rationality? To account for these items in my worldview in the same loose manner as you have done I would claim that objective universal laws are a product of the material existence. It seems that you would say “god is just rational and that is that” well I see nature as being rational, material existence has produced uniformity, the laws of logic, the laws of physics and so forth, not only that but I believe that they were not “created” if you want to get into some deep hypothesis that cannot be proven either way. I would claim that material existence is eternal and has seen no “creation” and will see no “ending”. The laws of logic, physics and so forth are just a characteristic of this eternal nature.

    “Then do you assume their existence without accounting for them (to use them, but be unable to account for them, is to assume their existence)? I assume their existence, and I account for them.” – evanmay

    I was merely trying to be as intellectually honest as possible, for neither you nor I can empirically prove that what we claim accounts for these things really does so. You only account for them by saying the Christian god has made them so again what makes the Christian god rational? How do you account for the Christian god? I account for these things as a necessary product of material existence I do not believe that there needs to be a supernatural force to intervene and inject material existence with such items.

    “Might I say that this is foolish on your part? I mean, simply because your atheistic worldview fails to answer life’s ultimate questions does not mean that such questions are unanswerable. In fact, the very fact that my worldview can account for things that yours cannot displays the superiority of my worldview from the beginning.” – evenmay

    No, you may not say that the quote is foolish. For if you read my quote it does not claim that such questions are unanswerable, I said that at PRESENT time they are. I surely do believe that in the future they may be answered, maybe not in my lifetime, but answered all the same. I believe that your claim of superiority is rash and impetuous, it has not been proven so; you are coming of as arrogant and pompous. You account for the laws of logic through god and as I have already said this then creates further questions that need to be accounted for. Furthermore I can not, as of present time, account for the laws of logic with empirical evidence and I would like to have such evidence before I lay claim to such a large accounting. However if I were to hypothesize, as gratuitously as you have, I would claim that I can and do account for the laws of logic as I have in my post already.

    “Did Logic exist before humans existed, in an atheistic worldview? If logic is simply a sociological convention that years of evolution caused to become instinctive, then how is logic anything objective and separate from the existence of people? If no mind exists, is A then non-A?” – evanmay

    Yes that would be my claim that logic existed before humans did. I was not claiming that logic itself was simply a sociological convention that became instinctive through evolution; though I can see where you got the misconception. I was merely saying that this evolution resulted in our becoming “aware” of logic consciously and being able to use it cognitively not that we “created” it.

    “But how did we come to use and accept the laws of logic without first assuming their existence? I mean, how did my experiences initiate my belief that A cannot equal non-A, without my first assuming the laws of logic? You completely passed over what I stated concerning Apples and Oranges, and what I stated about the process of the laws of logic (1. necessarily assumed, 2. inevitably experienced, 3. verbally formed). How do I know that the sensation of an Apple is in fact different from the sensation of an Orange, without first assuming the possibility of difference (laws of logic)? I might be able to experience this difference, but it won’t be different in my mind without first assuming these laws.” – evenmay

    The conflict between our views of “assuming” logic is now becoming more evident to me. When I say that we, our ancestors, did not assume logic in order to become aware of it, I mean that we did not “consciously” assume it. Sure we were using logic to become consciously aware of it, I could not and would not disagree with that, but I am saying that we were not consciously aware of assuming the laws of logic as we now are. To say that we assumed something, to me, seems to be saying that we made the concerted conscious effort to do so, I am saying that our ancestors did not make such efforts it was inevitable but not a conscious decision. For now we may both agree that we are using logic, but when our ancestors first began to use simple logic with their underdeveloped brains they were not aware of such assumptions hence my claim that it was not assumed but yes we were using logic all the while.
    The problem that I have with your three points regarding logic is point one, necessarily assumed; for I do not believe that in the beginning it was consciously assumed, I do not believe that our underdeveloped ancestors where aware of using logic. They were indeed using logic but without the conscious awareness of doing so; if you mean by necessarily assumed logic as having “taped into” the laws of logic either consciously or not then I would agree. Our ancestors would have had to first tap into the laws of logic; I just maintain that this action was an unconscious one and that they were not fully aware of what they were doing, hence my hesitance to claim that they were assumed. Assumed, again, seems to imply the conscious knowledge of assuming but if you mean this only to state that they were taken upon or taped into then yes I completely agree.

    “I assumed that you knew what I meant by “the Christian worldview.” Was I incorrect in my assumption?” – evanmay

    I know what you mean when you say the “Christian worldview” I simply have never heard a description and definition of the god that this worldview relies on so, so heavily. I am saying that when you refer to such a god as justification and vindication for your accounting of logic I do not see how this is a solid or “logical” accounting. For you are only using a word that has not been fully accounted for in and of itself, do you see the problem? You are accounting for things with something which has, itself, not been accounted for.

    “The Christian God is a rational God. He is an eternal, immutable, and perfect God. Logic, therefore, is his attribute; it is how he thinks. God did not “create” logic anymore than he “created” holiness; Logic exists because God exists. Human minds follow the laws of logic because man has been created in the image of God. The universe is a rational universe because it is God’s universe.” – evanmay

    Now we are beginning to get to the very basis of the argument you put forth. So god is eternal, immutable, perfect and logical. This god created the species of life that eventually evolved into Homo sapiens (or if you reject evolution created Homo sapiens) and this god created such life in its own image hence everything created by this entity shares the laws of logic that is god. Ultimately you say that logic exists because god exists and that the universe is rational because god is rational. Well how do you account for god’s rationality? How do you account for god’s logic? Why is logic an attribute of god? Merely because the bible says so?

    “The Christian God is a Spirit, creator and sustainer of all. He is Triune; three persons, one God. The Three Persons are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. God is holy, he is just, he is loving, he is good; he is self-sufficient, independent, unchanging, and immutable. He is eternal. The Christian God has been revealed in general revelation (Rom 1:18ff), and special revelation (Scripture). Therefore, the Christian God is everything which Scripture says he is. He possesses communicable attributes (attributes which he shares with man such as goodness and justice), and incommunicable attributes (attributes that he does not share with man such as independence and omnipresence).” – evanmay

    Strait from the bible, such disappointment.

    “I have learned of this entity through Scripture, and general revelation testifies of him as well. I know that my knowledge is correct because my worldview is the only rational worldview.” – evanmay

    You have only learned of this entity through the bible? Your last sentence is rather amusing you essentially say: My knowledge is correct because my worldview is the only correct worldview. That is rather pompous and arrogant I would say. Your worldview may seem rational to you and those that subscribe to your brand of, obviously, fundamental Christianity but it seems completely irrational to me and those that are either non-theists or liberal theists. I know many people that claim to be Christians such as my family and would read your response and claim it were not a true representation of all Christians, who’s Christian worldview is correct then? How do we know which one is?

    “I find this question generic at best. In fact, it is irrational. You are, in essence, asking me if I know life’s unkowables. If I knew life’s unknowables then they wouldn’t be unknowables, would they?
    As far as science, yes, science can only answer scientific questions, and therefore cannot answer all questions. The Christian worldview answers all questions which are necessary to answer.” – evanmay

    You did catch me in a grammatical error, I did not mean to say unknowables only uncertainties and AS YET unknowables. Science answers natural questions and therefore cannot answer supernatural questions, the Christian worldview on the other hand “claims” to answer supernatural questions. I believe that the Christian worldview does not answer anything that science will not one day be able to answer itself naturally. So science may one day be able to answer any question that we may have, some did not think that the world was round or that it could be proven that the world was not flat, however we have been able to do so. Those very same people that claimed we would never be able to sufficiently debunk the flat world theory may have never lived to see the theory debunked, however, we have done so all the same.

    “The Christian God is necessary to account for logic because logic cannot be accounted without him. If you think it can, I invite you to account for it. The Christian worldview, however, does account for logic.” – evanmay

    This is were you are undoubtedly wrong. The Christian worldview does NOT account for logic, all it does is claim that there is logic because god is logical and god created the universe. Well then how do you account for god’s logic? The Christian god is not necessary to account for logic. If you believe that merely saying that god is logical and that the universe is logical because god created it is valid then I do not see how saying that material existence is logical itself. They are both as valid as the other, you maintain god is inherently logical where as I do away with the middle man I maintain that nature is inherently logical. If you can account for god logic other then simply saying god JUST IS logical or by saying that the bible “tells us so” then I will attempt to go further than merely claiming that nature is inherently logical, which I believe is the case.

    “Because I am God’s creation made in his image, and because he has placed knowledge of his existence in every man’s heart, I have used these laws naturally since conception, and have lived in a world that has been ruled by a rational God. Now, I came to learn the verbal formation of the phrase “A cannot equal non-A” later in life, being taught that phrase the same way I was taught my name. In learning the phrase, however, my mind assumed the laws of logic, for without these laws, I cannot distinguish between terms. My mind assumed these laws because it was created knowing these laws, for it was created knowing God, though some men might suppress this truth.” – evanmay

    If you would like to be as picky as you have been I must inform you that knowledge of anything be that science or god does not reside in the heart but the brain. I disagree that the “knowledge of god” has been placed in every man (does this not include women?) through their heart for two reasons. I do not believe in such a god and I do not contain any knowledge within my muscular organ that is my heart. You claim that you were created knowing god, that is fine I cannot disprove such a bold claim but I do not believe you and you are not able to empirically prove such a claim. So statements made such as this will have to be let alone, neither of us will concede to the other on a point such as this and neither of us will be able to prove our side empirically, no need to go any further on such points.

    “At this time, it wouldn’t be an apologetic discussion if I didn’t give you the opportunity to submit to Christ and receive the gospel by faith. I’m sure you’ve heard it hundreds of times. I pray that you would receive Christ, that the Spirit would do his work of regeneration on your heart of stone, and that you would respond in faith to the gospel that results in a life pleasing to God.” – evanmay

    I am rather disappointed that you decided to revert to being nothing more than a transcendentally intoxicated proselyte. I had expected more from you this being the only reason I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and engage in this debate of ours. I do not believe that if I really wanted to submit to Christ and receive the gospel by faith that I would need you to give me the opportunity. Such an opportunity is fairly rampant and overextended in my hometown of Tulsa Oklahoma, I have this opportunity every day I do not need you to give it to me. I am not impressed by believing in those things of which contain no evidence, which is what faith is (believing despite no evidence and in some cases in spite of contrary evidence) this does not appeal to me. I find it odd that you may claim that my heart is stone, the last I knew there was not a functioning heart in the world that consisted of stone. My heart, as far as I am aware, is made of muscle tissue. Though if you claim that my person hood and inner self is stone, meaning that I am cold and/or hard, you are again mistaken and I find it odd that you feel obligated to make such tendentious interpretations of an individual that you do not know. I would be insulted were it not for the extreme oddity and hilarity of it all. Rest assure I would not and will not make personal judgments as gratuitous as yours regarding individuals that I do not know, I believe that I am better than that and I believe that doing so would do a disservice to anything and everything that I would represent (in this case secular humanism). I, obviously, disagree that either my personhood or my heart is cold and I wouldn’t dare make such a claim regarding you. I treat others as I would like to be treated and I would not like for others to make unsubstantiated claims regarding my personhood. As far as you praying for me I do not see reason to object, I do not believe that such actions will affect anything so I could not care less whether you do so or not. To be honest I find the idea of you praying for someone you do not know and believe to be cold rather amusing. I say pray to your hearts content.


    You claim that the Christian perspective accounts for logic through god because god created the universe and humans in its image hence its creation consists of its logic. At the base you are saying that god is inherently logical. How do you account for god’s inherent logic?

    How do you account for god’s logic besides saying that the bible tells you so?

    If you are unable to account for god’s logic without the bible (which would be circular reasoning) then you are, in fact, not able to account for logic whatsoever.

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  10. JDHURF,

    Since I am not the main participant in this debate I don't excpect you to answer back but I will try to (hopefully) clear some things up.

    It seems that you have been having difficulty determining what assummed means in the areas where it is discussed by evanmay. I can't speak for him but this is what I believe he is speaking of.

    Primarily, when we try to prove something we use the laws of logic. but how do we prove the laws of logic? In order to form any kind of logical argument you by necessity must assume the law of non-contradiction - necessarily you would have to use the laws of logic. So you are stuck in a circular argument. This applies for a less evolved being as well. (note that I don't believe in evolution but use the argument for your sake) In order for this being to find food does he not have to go on the notion that what he is trying to eat is truly something he could eat. He doesn't go on the notion that it is something edible and non-edible at the same time (i.e. a small mammal and a rock at the same time) or that this food is part of himself and not part of himself. He assumes it!

    The same would go for the uniformity of nature. In order to show the uniformity of nature you posited that we can do multiple experiments and if we got the same results we could say nature is uniform. Again that is circular argumentation because you are using induction. Induction is built upon the acceptance of the uniformity of nature.

    For you are only using a word that has not been fully accounted for in and of itself, do you see the problem? You are accounting for things with something which has, itself, not been accounted for.

    I know you understand the above discussion because you yourself brought in the same type of argument to bear against evanmay. I would have to believe that if evanmay used scripture to account for scripture you would have a problem with it. (Am I correct) Yet you have no problem using laws of logic to prove laws of logic nor do you have any problem using induction to prove the uniformity of nature. Do you see a problem with that?

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  11. JD:

    1. As far as "assumed," in logical discussions the word "assumed" means that we cannot prove something without using it, so we "assume" its existence. It doesn't entail a conscience assumption in logical discussion, for even I said "I've assumed their existence since conception, for I was made in the image of God." In fact the word necessary assumption is quite different than conscience assumption in logical discussions; we assume them inevitably and naturally. E-3 got it pretty well:

    Primarily, when we try to prove something we use the laws of logic. but how do we prove the laws of logic? In order to form any kind of logical argument you by necessity must assume the law of non-contradiction - necessarily you would have to use the laws of logic. So you are stuck in a circular argument. This applies for a less evolved being as well. (note that I don't believe in evolution but use the argument for your sake) In order for this being to find food does he not have to go on the notion that what he is trying to eat is truly something he could eat. He doesn't go on the notion that it is something edible and non-edible at the same time (i.e. a small mammal and a rock at the same time) or that this food is part of himself and not part of himself. He assumes it!

    The same would go for the uniformity of nature. In order to show the uniformity of nature you posited that we can do multiple experiments and if we got the same results we could say nature is uniform. Again that is circular argumentation because you are using induction. Induction is built upon the acceptance of the uniformity of nature.


    2. You mention logic being the byproduct of a material universe. Are the laws of logic material or immaterial?

    3. You mention desiring to one day prove the existence of the laws of logic empirically. Are the laws of logic material or immaterial? How can a law be "material"? Can we prove immaterial things by empirical methods?

    4. I never said that God "created" the laws of logic. In fact, I said, "The Christian God is a rational God. He is an eternal, immutable, and perfect God. Logic, therefore, is his attribute; it is how he thinks. God did not “create” logic anymore than he “created” holiness; Logic exists because God exists."

    5. You say, "I simply have never heard a description and definition of the god that this worldview relies on so, so heavily." Where have you been? There are hundreds of books titled "Systematic Theology." Buy just one, open to the first chapter "The Doctrine of God." Read. :-)

    6. You say, "Well how do you account for god’s rationality? How do you account for god’s logic? Why is logic an attribute of god? Merely because the bible says so?" Well, the Christian God, by definition is a rational God. According to the Christian worldview, your very standard of rationality comes from him. Yes, I know this because Scripture says this, but Scripture is, in fact, the standard for the Christian worldview. It tells me 1) God cannot lie, 2) Christ is the Logos ("Word," "Reason," "Logic", John 1:1), 3) God has made man in his image. If we are rational, does it not follow that God is infinitely rational?

    7. Very pathetically, in response to my definition of God, you reply, "Strait from the bible, such disappointment." What a joke! What do you expect from me? In defining the Christian view of God, should I not use the Christian standard? I don't really know what you are asking for in this debate...

    8. You reply, "That is rather pompous and arrogant I would say" in reply to my statement "The Christian worldview is the correct worldview." Why? Don't you feel that way about your worldview? Or, are you willing to concede that the Christian worldview is equally rational to yours, and that you have no rational basis to reject Christianity?

    9. You tell us, "I believe that the Christian worldview does not answer anything that science will not one day be able to answer itself naturally." But here you again make the mistake of attempting to prove immaterial things empirically. JD, it is simply a fact that science will never answer the question concerning if there is a God because it is simply impossible, by definition, to prove the immaterial empirically.

    10. Embarrassingly, you state, "If you would like to be as picky as you have been I must inform you that knowledge of anything be that science or god does not reside in the heart but the brain." I reject this. In fact, I reject that our brains actually think. Our minds do. But you are obviously missing the metaphorical usage of the word "heart." I was not referring to the muscular organ, as you say, but the immaterial, metaphorical "heart, soul, and mind." Don't be ridiculous, k?

    11. You say, "I disagree that the “knowledge of god” has been placed in every man (does this not include women?) through their heart for two reasons. I do not believe in such a god and I do not contain any knowledge within my muscular organ that is my heart." Well, according to my worldview you suppress the truth which resides within you (Rom 1:18ff).

    12. "You claim that you were created knowing god, that is fine I cannot disprove such a bold claim but I do not believe you and you are not able to empirically prove such a claim." There you go again with the empirical proof. Is it really possible to prove empirically that anything resides in the mind? The mind is immaterial, not material. Sure, it is directly connected to a material brain, but there is no substance in the brain which tells us what resides in the mind, is there?

    13. "I am rather disappointed that you decided to revert to being nothing more than a transcendentally intoxicated proselyte. I had expected more from you this being the only reason I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt and engage in this debate of ours. I do not believe that if I really wanted to submit to Christ and receive the gospel by faith that I would need you to give me the opportunity." Disappointed in me you may be, but I would not be doing the service to my Lord had I not brought the discussion to an evangelistic focus.

    14. You incorrectly define faith here: "I am not impressed by believing in those things of which contain no evidence, which is what faith is (believing despite no evidence and in some cases in spite of contrary evidence) this does not appeal to me." I reject this definition, and this is not what I mean by "faith." Faith is hope in the unseen (Heb 11), not hope in the unknown or unproven. God can be unseen to me, but that does not mean that I cannot prove and know of his existence.

    15. "I find it odd that you may claim that my heart is stone, the last I knew there was not a functioning heart in the world that consisted of stone. My heart, as far as I am aware, is made of muscle tissue." We can all do without the wisecracks, k?

    16. "Rest assure I would not and will not make personal judgments as gratuitous as yours regarding individuals that I do not know, I believe that I am better than that and I believe that doing so would do a disservice to anything and everything that I would represent (in this case secular humanism). I, obviously, disagree that either my personhood or my heart is cold and I wouldn’t dare make such a claim regarding you."

    Well, remember, I believe that my worldview is true do I not? So, whatever my worldview says about man is true, is it not? I believe what Scripture says concerning anthropology and harmatology. I believe you are a sinful, depraved being who hates God, has placed his heart at enmity with him, and only through regeneration can you ever do a good act. The same was the case with me.

    Thanks,
    Evan.

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  12. “You mention logic being the byproduct of a material universe. Are the laws of logic material or immaterial?” – evanmay

    I cannot act as if this is answerable, for it is not (at present time). Though I would say that logic seems to be immaterial.

    “God did not “create” logic anymore than he “created” holiness; Logic exists because God exists." – Jim

    Okay god did not create logic, god simply is logic. This could also be said of an eternal material existence, this material existence did not “create” logic it simply exists because the material existence exists.

    “There are hundreds of books titled "Systematic Theology." Buy just one, open to the first chapter "The Doctrine of God." Read” – Jim

    I don’t plan on ever buying one of these books and giving money to support something of which I disagree with so heavily but I will attempt to get a hold of one of these books and peruse it.

    “Well, the Christian God, by definition is a rational God. According to the Christian worldview, your very standard of rationality comes from him. Yes, I know this because Scripture says this, but Scripture is, in fact, the standard for the Christian worldview.” – Jim

    So you do as I thought you might. God is rational because god is rational, not very impressive. I find it odd that you would have me account for logic so thoroughly when your account of it is so petty.

    “Very pathetically, in response to my definition of God, you reply, "Strait from the bible, such disappointment." What a joke! What do you expect from me? In defining the Christian view of God, should I not use the Christian standard? I don't really know what you are asking for in this debate.” – Jim

    Pathetically? It seems that you have become increasingly hostile and insulting. This will certainly be my last response to you. I was merely hoping that you could describe god maybe from your own experiences or that you had derived an opinion of god on your own account and would not have to directly quote other sources (especially the bible), for I have tried to provide MY worldview as I see it; sure I have formed my view upon others and through my experience but I speak of it to you through my individual knowledge of it, I do not rely on other sources. I was merely asking for YOUR individual view of god, not the bibles. I believe that earlier in this dialogue you said this was an argument between MY worldview and YOUR worldview; this has now become a contradiction for your worldview is not wholly your own when you rely on other sources so heavily.

    “But here you again make the mistake of attempting to prove immaterial things empirically. JD, it is simply a fact that science will never answer the question concerning if there is a God because it is simply impossible, by definition, to prove the immaterial empirically.” – Jim

    This statement is quite ironic and I will tell you why. The act of proving or disproving god (an unrestricted negative) seems impossible to us now but then saying that you cannot prove or disprove god ever is an unrestricted negative itself.

    “Embarrassingly, you state, "If you would like to be as picky as you have been I must inform you that knowledge of anything be that science or god does not reside in the heart but the brain." I reject this. In fact, I reject that our brains actually think. Our minds do. But you are obviously missing the metaphorical usage of the word "heart." I was not referring to the muscular organ, as you say, but the immaterial, metaphorical "heart, soul, and mind." Don't be ridiculous, k?” – Jim

    Embarrassingly? I was not and am not embarrassed, there you go speaking for my personhood again. You reject that our brains think and I reject your rejection. The mind (self-reflexive insight) is the product of the physical brain as I see it, so the brain does think. You just disagree. If I cannot be ridiculous then you should not be either, claiming that my heart is as stone is as ridiculous as it gets.

    “Well, according to my worldview you suppress the truth which resides within you (Rom 1:18ff).” – Jim

    Very well, I disagree with that. This is also another reason why I reject the bible, these are not very nice things to be saying of fellow human beings and if the bible not only says such things but promotes it then this is yet another reason I will have nothing to do with such a vitriolic text.

    “Is it really possible to prove empirically that anything resides in the mind? The mind is immaterial, not material. Sure, it is directly connected to a material brain, but there is no substance in the brain which tells us what resides in the mind, is there?” – Jim

    It seems unreasonable to say that we will NEVER be able to do so. You only claim and believe that the mind is immaterial I disagree with that I believe that it may be material and that one day we may be able to prove this empirically. Remember light was once thought to be immaterial until it was proven that it existed in both waves and particles as photons.

    “Disappointed in me you may be, but I would not be doing the service to my Lord had I not brought the discussion to an evangelistic focus.” – Jim

    Fair enough, now you must understand why I will leave the discussion.

    “God can be unseen to me, but that does not mean that I cannot prove and know of his existence.” – Jim

    Wow after all of that talk about my not being able to prove logic or the mind you claim that you may be able to prove and know of god’s existence, rather hypocritical.

    “We can all do without the wisecracks, k?” – Jim

    You probably could but I could have done without the attack on my personhood. I would rather someone make a “wisecrack” then insult and degrade my very personhood.

    “I believe you are a sinful, depraved being who hates God, has placed his heart at enmity with him, and only through regeneration can you ever do a good act. The same was the case with me.” – Jim

    Such absurdity. I do not hate god, I cannot hate a literary figure that is found in a text book; maybe some can but this is not something that I am capable of. You also believe that I am sinful and depraved? Well this is certainly a great testament to the Christian notion of love, altruism and acceptance. I disagree with your entire worldview but I surely wouldn’t claim that you are a bad person for believing it and that is the biggest difference to me. At the end of the day what we believe to be true regarding such things is irrelevant what is relevant is how we treat our fellow human beings and as you have illustrated you are incapable of acceptance and understanding. I am greatly relieved that the fundamental view of Christianity is a minority view. This is, quite understandably, my last response to you.

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  13. Pathetically? It seems that you have become increasingly hostile and insulting. This will certainly be my last response to you.

    jdhurf,

    I am not really understanding your hyper-sensitivity...

    Unfortunately, it seems to be a common escape hatch for atheists (and others) when they realize that the person they are debating is not a complete moron and perhaps they are outclassed. They find a supposed offense in any comment.

    My impression of you, from what I have read is that you can't provide a basis for believing atheism - ie you just hold onto it in faith.

    My suggestion for you (if this is not the case) is to stick it out. The worse that could happen is that you have a better understanding of some educated Christians and we get a better understanding of your position.

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  14. “I am not really understanding your hyper-sensitivity.” – E3

    I am not hyper sensitive, Evan regressed from intelligent and unbiased dialogue to attacking my very personhood and character. There is no way in the world for evan to know what kind of person I am in my day to day life, such remarks and claims are both irrational and bigoted.

    “Unfortunately, it seems to be a common escape hatch for atheists (and others) when they realize that the person they are debating is not a complete moron and perhaps they are outclassed. They find a supposed offense in any comment.” – E3

    That is just silly. For if anything it seemed that evan was attacking my character rather than responding to my questions and detractions being unable to do so. However, I would not claim that he could not or that his vitriolic statements about my character where a way of escape, only those that do not know what they are talking about would claim as much (as do you). Are you saying that I “supposed” an offense when evan claimed that my heart is stone and that I am depraved? Are you telling me that those are actually niceties and not to be taken as offensive?

    “My impression of you, from what I have read is that you can't provide a basis for believing atheism - ie you just hold onto it in faith.” – E3

    I am an atheist because I have not been shown the extraordinary evidence of such a claim (supernatural entity/force), for extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Atheism is not a worldview, one does not believe in atheism as they would theism. Atheism is merely an epithet that describes ones disbelief in a supernatural entity/force that is sometimes referred to as “god.” I believe that there is no god as the Christian worldview claims, are you asking for me to provide a basis for this? If so should I also provide a basis for why I do not believe that invisible and undetectable blue fairies live within my computer screen? I also find it immensely ironic that you liken belief in atheism to “faith,” I have seen this before and I still do not understand it. It seems to be saying “you use faith just like us Christians, so you are just as irrational as we are.” Let me also remind you that the claim of “god” is not my own the burden of proof lies at your feet not mine. I did not claim there was such an entity and I will not go about trying to prove or disprove it. You and evan claimed that such a god exists YOU prove it. Simply because I do not subscribe to, a rather gratuitous claim, does not mean that the burden of proof lies at my feet, quite the contrary.

    “My suggestion for you (if this is not the case) is to stick it out. The worse that could happen is that you have a better understanding of some educated Christians and we get a better understanding of your position.” – E3

    I don’t know, it definitely seems as though we have reached the basis of the argument. It is now a case of simply believing in something without evidence, evan believes in god and that logic is god. That is the end of the line for this argument, evan agrees with the statement and I disagree neither of us could prove our view on this matter conclusively one way or the other. One must simply take “faith” that they are right when believing in god and I will not do so.

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  15. Firstly, logical reasoning is not an absolute law which governs the universe. Many times in the past, people have concluded that because something is logically impossible (given the science of the day), it must be impossible, period. It was also believed at one time that Euclidean geometry was a universal law; it is, after all, logically consistent. Again, we now know that the rules of Euclidean geometry are not universal.
    Secondly, logic is not a set of rules which govern human behavior. Humans may have logically conflicting goals. For example:
    • John wishes to speak to whoever is in charge.
    • The person in charge is Steve.
    • Therefore John wishes to speak to Steve.
    Unfortunately, John may have a conflicting goal of avoiding Steve, meaning that the reasoned answer may be inapplicable to real life.

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  16. http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html

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  17. “I am not really understanding your hyper-sensitivity.” – E3

    I am not hyper sensitive, Evan regressed from intelligent and unbiased dialogue to attacking my very personhood and character. There is no way in the world for evan to know what kind of person I am in my day to day life, such remarks and claims are both irrational and bigoted. - jdhurf


    We must have been reading different posts because I didn't see that at all... you believe we are descended from monkeys - do you know how highly offensive that is? But I don't take offense to it because I assume you are not meaning to offend us - it is part of your worldview.

    “Unfortunately, it seems to be a common escape hatch for atheists (and others) when they realize that the person they are debating is not a complete moron and perhaps they are outclassed. They find a supposed offense in any comment.” – E3

    That is just silly. For if anything it seemed that evan was attacking my character rather than responding to my questions and detractions being unable to do so. However, I would not claim that he could not or that his vitriolic statements about my character where a way of escape, only those that do not know what they are talking about would claim as much (as do you). Are you saying that I “supposed” an offense when evan claimed that my heart is stone and that I am depraved? Are you telling me that those are actually niceties and not to be taken as offensive?


    It isn't silly... I have seen it alot... anecdotal evidence perhaps but it is what I have experienced. As far as having a "heart of stone" and being "depraved"... these are not personal slams... It is a description of man's natural estate - a description that would still apply to evanmay and myself if our heart had not been changed by our gracious God. I think you just don't have a basic understanding of reformed theology and terminology.

    “My impression of you, from what I have read is that you can't provide a basis for believing atheism - ie you just hold onto it in faith.” – E3

    I am an atheist because I have not been shown the extraordinary evidence of such a claim (supernatural entity/force), for extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Atheism is not a worldview, one does not believe in atheism as they would theism. Atheism is merely an epithet that describes ones disbelief in a supernatural entity/force that is sometimes referred to as “god.” I believe that there is no god as the Christian worldview claims, are you asking for me to provide a basis for this? If so should I also provide a basis for why I do not believe that invisible and undetectable blue fairies live within my computer screen? I also find it immensely ironic that you liken belief in atheism to “faith,” I have seen this before and I still do not understand it. It seems to be saying “you use faith just like us Christians, so you are just as irrational as we are.” Let me also remind you that the claim of “god” is not my own the burden of proof lies at your feet not mine. I did not claim there was such an entity and I will not go about trying to prove or disprove it. You and evan claimed that such a god exists YOU prove it. Simply because I do not subscribe to, a rather gratuitous claim, does not mean that the burden of proof lies at my feet, quite the contrary.


    Unfortunately, what you are saying comes straight out of the atheist doctrine (i.e. group-think). I say it is a faith because you can't provide an account for basic human experience (laws of logic, morals, uniformity of nature, etc...) - because atheism can't provide it - without resorting to irrationality.

    For example, I mentioned about your believe in the uniformity of nature. How in your worldview can you say that nature is uniform yet you can't prove it without begging the question (which your worldview doesn't allow) nor in your worldview can you ever know that nature is uniform. So why claim it? You still believe it eventhough you can't provide a basis for even believing it - therefore you believe something that you don't have empirically verifiable evidence for therefore you believe it by "faith".

    Also, you have a mis-impression about where the burden of proof lies. (again straight out of atheist doctrine) The fact is that we have an equal burden of proof to support our views.

    “My suggestion for you (if this is not the case) is to stick it out. The worse that could happen is that you have a better understanding of some educated Christians and we get a better understanding of your position.” – E3

    I don’t know, it definitely seems as though we have reached the basis of the argument. It is now a case of simply believing in something without evidence, evan believes in god and that logic is god. That is the end of the line for this argument, evan agrees with the statement and I disagree neither of us could prove our view on this matter conclusively one way or the other. One must simply take “faith” that they are right when believing in god and I will not do so.


    Up to this point from you I have merely seen a series of assertions. If you believe evan has not met the burden of proof again you still have a responsibility to prove your case. I believe that evan has already pointed out some serious flaws in your views yet you never responded to them. That tells me that you don't want to see any flaws in your thinking so you just ignore them. For an atheist that isn't supposed to have any kind of loyatly to any one particular view but instead to follow rationality where ever it may lead him/her you have displayed an amazing amount of fidelity to the atheist "talking points" - that doesn't point to someone who thinks outside the box but instead someone who is "toeing the party line"

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  18. jdhurf,

    http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html

    You want to talk about offensiveness... this group has got to be one of the most offensive towards Christians that I have visited.

    Have you visited their site? Do you think the way they present their views would be offensive to Christians? They are one of the most belittling and condescending group of people towards Christians!

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