Thursday, February 04, 2016

Is mankind one or many?

Dale Tuggy:
About your claim #3 - You are overlooking that steps 4-9 deal with the "deity" of Christ. I am focusing on the sense of "deity" or "divinity" which implies that the thing is a god. Compare: human. In the primary or basic sense of that, whatever "is human" just is a certain human being, e.g. Steve.

Fine. Let's play along with Tuggy's own example.

i) Is mankind one or many? You can say mankind is only one with respect to the fact that there's only one human genus. That's why it's called mankind or humankind.

ii) But, of course, there can be many representatives of that kind or genus. Indeed, there seems to be no intrinsic upper maxima to the possible number of human representatives.

iii) By analogy, consider God-kind or God as a genus. At that level, there's only one. God is a class by itself (or himself).

Yet there can be more than one representative of God-kind. Indeed, there are three. Unlike humans, that does have an intrinsic upper maxima. 

iv) There are differences, of course. Humans are finite, concrete exemplifications of God's idea for each human individual.

By contrast, the members of the Trinity are more like abstract mirror symmetries. Each one reflects the other two. Contains the other two.


v) However, these refinements are irrelevant to the larger point that there's more than one way to count certain things. In some cases it's possible to count the same thing as one or more than one. 

11 comments:

  1. Exactly. He is confusing categories.

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  2. "consider God-kind or God as a genus. At that level, there's only one. God is a class by itself (or himself)."

    Now by "God" you're talking about either a property or a concept - so "itself" would be correct. God being *in* a class by himself is not the same idea as God *being* a class or genus - that is evidently nonsense.

    "Yet there can be more than one representative of God-kind. Indeed, there are three. Unlike humans, that does have an intrinsic upper maxima.""

    I don't see why there should be any upper limit on the number of individual humans. But in any case, this is just a straightforward denial of monotheism. There are many, such that each is a god / is divine. For there to be many of the god-kind is for there to be many gods. It's denying my premise 6.

    (Monotheism is the claim that there's only one god, not the claim that there's only one godhood/divinity/way of being a god.)

    This indeed is an answer to the Challenge. I would say that it's one that can't be squared with scripture, though. This, I think, doesn't nothing to help - "Each one reflects the other two. Contains the other two."

    "v) However, these refinements are irrelevant to the larger point that there's more than one way to count certain things. In some cases it's possible to count the same thing as one or more than one."

    This sounds like a little stab an a relative-identity response (which would deny 4). It doesn't seem relevant to the rest of your post. Of course, counting gods is one thing, and counting godheads/divinities (i.e. properties or concepts of godhood) is another. Perhaps you mean that when we count divine persons, there are 3, and when we count divine natures there is one. But you've just said that there are three gods, so I don't see that this helps.

    Again, perhaps you're trying to do this: http://trinities.org/blog/the-standard-opening-move/

    A much better try than yesterday, but it is not clear that denying 6 is better than just accepting the argument as sound. 1, 6, and 8 are demanded by scripture, and 2, 4 are demanded by reason.

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  3. "Now by 'God' you're talking about either a property or a concept - so "itself" would be correct."

    No, I'm using genus as a class or kind. That could be further explicated by a set of attributes unique to that class or kind. Certainly not a concept or a single property.

    "God being *in* a class by himself is not the same idea as God *being* a class or genus - that is evidently nonsense."

    i) "In a class by itself" is simply an idiomatic phrase, Dale. Don't hyperventilate about idiomatic English usage.

    ii) Are you claiming that it's "evidently nonsense" to say God belongs to a class or genus? If so, do you have anything resembling an actual argument to back up your denial? Or is your ipse dixit suppose to settle the matter?

    "I don't see why there should be any upper limit on the number of individual humans."

    Which is what I said.

    "But in any case, this is just a straightforward denial of monotheism."

    No, it's showing that your usage is equivocal. Try to remember that I'm responding to you on your own grounds. If by "God," you now mean having the property of deity or divinity, then that, of itself, doesn't select for unitarianism or monotheism. In principle, that's consistent with the Trinity, pantheism, or polytheism. So you need an addition argument or premise to restrict the range of reference. Therefore, your syllogism goes bust.

    Keep in mind that I'm riffing off your own example. You cited mankind. So I parallel that with God-kind.

    "There are many, such that each is a god / is divine. For there to be many of the god-kind is for there to be many gods. It's denying my premise 6."

    Which is consistent with your ambitious usage. Remember, I'm not discussing what's true, but what's valid or logically consistent.

    "(Monotheism is the claim that there's only one god, not the claim that there's only one godhood/divinity/way of being a god.)"

    Your syllogism wasn't a direct argument for monotheism.

    "This indeed is an answer to the Challenge. I would say that it's one that can't be squared with scripture, though."

    A red herring inasmuch as I'm discussing what is consistent with your syllogism, not what is true.

    "This, I think, doesn't nothing to help - 'Each one reflects the other two. Contains the other two.'"

    It involves a principle of one-to-one correspondence. I've explained that to you on multiple occasions.

    "This sounds like a little stab an a relative-identity response."

    Wrong. If we count God as a kind or genus, we may get a different answer than if we count representatives of a kind or genus. Those are separate issues.

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    1. Keep in mind that I'm riffing off your own example. You cited mankind. So I parallel that with God-kind.

      Even I got that.

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  4. "Are you claiming that it's "evidently nonsense" to say God belongs to a class or genus?"

    For goodness's sake. I pick my words very carefully. Please look at them again.

    "So you need an addition argument or premise to restrict the range of reference. Therefore, your syllogism goes bust"

    No one can follow this sort of charge, Steve. Try to stick to the argument. Which premise are you denying or doubting, and why? Premise ___ is false (or doubtful) because ____. Fill that in. Or, are you claiming that it is invalid somewhere? If so, you need to say which step doesn't follow from the earlier cited steps. (Honestly, this is not a promising route though.)

    "Your syllogism wasn't a direct argument for monotheism."

    Well, of course not. I was asking you if you're denying 6, as it seemed a while ago that you were. You should take a lesson from Dr. Anderson - there's nothing weird, tricky, or even unclear about the argument, once you carefully read through the blog post or listen to the exposition. You just need to attack it in one of the ways I note above, just as he does.

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    1. "For goodness's sake. I pick my words very carefully. Please look at them again."

      Let's see…two days ago you said:

      "When you don't understand someone's argument, you question them till you get it right, and *then* object."

      When I take you up on your offer by giving you a chance to clarify your statement, you contradict your own advice and turn abusive. You need to get a grip on your overwrought emotional state.

      "Try to stick to the argument."

      Framing the debate in terms favorable to the speaker is a classic debater's trick. So no, I don't just "stick to your argument." I reserve the right to challenge the way you cast the issue.

      "You just need to attack it in one of the ways I note above, just as he does."

      I've attacked your equivocal usage.

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  5. Classic subject changing, I'm afraid. I'll have to conclude that you're just not up for a straight and clear answer. Have a good day Steve.

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    1. Because you play with marked cards.

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  7. Replies
    1. I can't imagine James Anderson LOLing at somebody... That ought to worry you.

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