Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ponter's Last At Bat

David Ponter took his last at bat. He struck out again, and since he was behind, he lost the game. Here's his last swing:
And now to Manata’s comment:

So here’s the upshot: Ponter can’t offer necessary and sufficient conditions for what counts as a sincere offer. Therefore, he cannot properly demarcate an insincere offer from a sincere one.

I don’t need to. That is just a red-herring. All I need to show is a single condition which falsifies the (alleged) sincerity of an offer. This should not be rocket science.

What is the single condition that falsifies the purported sincerity of an offer? If you don’t have it, and you know you don’t have it, then you can’t sincerely offer it. God knows he has no provision of salvation FOR the NDF, so he cannot sincerely offer a provision for salvation TO the NDF. He has nothing to offer the NDF, so any pretense of offering salvation is just that, a pretense. Sincerity is indexed to at least this, having in your possession the thing you are offering, or setting forth, or presenting, or tendering, etc etc. I do not know how many ways or times I have to state this. The issue is all about God’s sincerity, for his part, in tendering the offer, not his ability to save the person who actually does come. Even and evangelical Arminian would agree with that God is able to save all who actually come to him.

So he's saying he needs to list one necessary condition. Since it's necessary, then a counterexample disproves his strictures. So:

1. Notice he has added the qualifier "and knows about it" to his constraint. I helped him on this score, because originally he didn't have the qualifier. So this is his re-worked constraint.

2. Notice Ponter simply stipulates a constraint for what counts as a sincere offer. he wants to win by stipulation. He cites no Bible verse that provides his constraint on sincere offers. He doesn't derive it from premises or the empty set. Why should we believe it? Because it rigs the game for him? What argument can be given to accept it? Ponter's offered none. He's offered his "gut intuitions," but perhaps it's a case of "there's a way that seems right to a man, but its end leads to death"? Now, I'm not saying Ponter's headed to destruction, but often our "intuitions" are wrong. Besides that, the problem with proof by stipulation is that the other side gets to do the same. So, here's a tu quoque stipulation: If you offer something to someone who you know cannot accept what was offered, you've made an insincere offer. What do we do at this point? Point fingers and yell nee ner nee ner at each other?

3. His constraint suffers from counter examples. Suppose a businessman had an infallible crystal ball that ushered in predictions. So he sees that some number less than the total population is going to buy his widget. He thus makes only enough for those he infallibly saw would buy it. Why waste the time, material, capital, etc., making ones no one will buy. He then advertises the widgets in magazines, etc. It's the same as all the advertisements we see around us on a regular basis and which we take to be ostensible offers of products. They seem sincere to us. Furthermore, suppose that he knows that the set of humans that are the remainder of humans who don't buy the product actually hate the product, the company, the CEO, etc. He knows they'll never want the product. But out of generosity he offers it to them anyway. He knows he has no more of the product on hand, but also knows exactly how much he'd need. Hence he made what he needed. He's not wasteful or irrational, after all. How is this an insincere offer? It doesn't seem so to me, but on Ponter's terms it's supposedly ruled out.

4. Now, Ponter wants to talk about fantastical per impossibles. He wants to talk about what if those who God decreed and knew would not come, ended up coming. Since if they did, per impossible, there'd be no atonement blood for them, then God's insincere. But if we get to talk about wild and crazy impossibles (like reprobates who end up coming), then there's no jumping off the roller coaster just because you don't like the upcoming drops, loops, and corkscrews. Go back to the business man. Suppose he also believes this: "Now, I know, thanks to my infallible crystal ball, that I only need n widgets (where n is some number less than the consumer population, C). I know that I only needed n widgets, so I only made n widgets. Thus, I know I don't have n+1 widgets. Thus there's no widgets for any in the set C-n. Yet, out of my kindness—since I know my product is pure awesomeness—I offer it to all men via television advertisements, magazine ads, etc. Now, I also believe this: If, per impossible [it's impossible that if S knows that p, that ¬p obtain], a member of the set C-n were to ask for a widget, then I'd make him one. I'd make a special case just for him, and make a widget just for him, done quite apart from my normal and usual production. This especially seals the deal in terms of agreeing that we have a sincere offer here, and it contradicts Ponter's constraints. Now, perhaps God holds a belief like this? So, perhaps the atonement blood has the potential to grow from amount b to b+1. Or, perhaps it has the potential to do something like fissioning, such that it is possible that it grow, even though it is now at an amount where only members of some select group could each have an equal share. Or, perhaps God could proleptically save the per impossible sinner, such that if he trusted in something that functioned like lambs did for OT Israel, he'd be saved. Or, perhaps God believes that if he needed to, he would send Jesus one a special rescue mission to die for this one per impossible sinner. Or, since it's not necessary that only Christ could become incarnate and die, perhaps the Holy Spirit fills a contingency role and would become incarnate and die for this per impossible sinner. There seems to me to be a number of beliefs God could have which would make him relevantly similar to the business man, who we agreed made a sincere offer.

So I'm afraid that Ponter's last at bat looks like this: K.

No comments:

Post a Comment