Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Seven ways to defeat the Inherent-Property objection

Now we know that there is only one objection presuppositionalists have to TANG and the materialist strategy in general, and that's "Logic (or any other X) is an inherent part of God's nature, so God couldn't make contradictions (or make miracles, or make gratuitous evil moral, etc) and logic is not subjective".

Of course, one easy way to refute this is to show that Chrsitianity is founded on contradictions (everything popping out of nothing, primacy of consciousness, etc), miracles (Creation, Jesus avatar, afterlife), gratuitous evil (Flood, Hell). So right away, we can reject the idea that a hypothetical god would be inherently logical or moral. But here are seven other ways to defeat the objection and win the debate.

1. A critical problem is that it is absolutely irrelevant to the materialist argument. The Christian is not addressing the fact that logic becomes subjective if God creates it, he is only specifying the nature of that subjectivity. So instead of presenting a rebuttal, he is in fact supporting it ! Whether logic is part of God's nature or not does not change the fact that it originates from a will, not from exterior reality - which is the very definition of subjective.

2. Another critical problem is that the Christian has absolutely no grounds to discuss the specifics of God's nature. Once we accept the possibility of a Sovereign, Creator being, we cannot assume anything about its properties (any more than we can posit "anarchy" and then try to define further political properties).

Not only that, but the Christian cannot refute the possibility that this infinite god is deluding him into believing the statement "God's nature is logical". Once the Christian accepts the possibility of a Sovereign god, he can no longer refute arguments based on extreme skepticism. We can only refute the idea of a Sovereign being manipulating our minds if our worldview includes a self-contained universe.

3. It is also a complete ad hoc rationalization : nothing about the idea of a god indicates that it must be necessarily logical or rational. Indeed, since humans are capable of being both logical and illogical, it seems impossible for a more powerful being to not being able to do such a simple thing as making an illogical proposition.

4. Furthermore, even if that was the case, there would be no necessary relation between God's inherent properties and its creation, and the theologian would need to prove this relation before his objection can have any weight. More specifically, one would need to prove that powerful beings are restricted in their creations. There is no obvious correlation, it is inductively unsound, and I have never seen any such attempt.

5. It is impossible to make sense of the proposition that "logic is part of God's nature", insofar as TAG itself proposes that logic was in fact a creation of God. Logic cannot both be an intrinsic part of God's actions and created by God.

6. The objection is self-defeating. If logic existed first as a property of God, then it is a non-material principle, and divine causation is not necessary at all. All it would prove, at best, is that a non-material principle is involved, but there is a definite lack of specificity in his objection.

7. The objection presumes that it makes sense to speak of logic as a non-material entity, which seems to indicate a commitment to idealism. From our perspective, logic is a human concept derived from facts of reality. How can a human concept be an inherent part of God's nature ? This view is absolutely nonsensical.

All in all, it's a pitifully weak ad hoc rationalization to an insurmountable problem. The fact that it's all they have, is a clear indication that presuppositionalism is complete window dressing. What's hiding behind it, however, is another matter - their open hostility towards moral autonomy and science is something that deserves far more examination than their silly paper tigers.

Post a Comment


At 4/28/2005 10:22 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Franc: "Indeed, since humans are capable of being both logical and illogical, it seems impossible for a more powerful being to not being able to do such a simple thing as making an illogical proposition."

Even more than this: if the apologist says that it is impossible for his god to be illogical, then he's conceding that man has a power that a supposedly omnipotent being does not have, since the apologist clearly thinks it's possible for men to be illogical. But how can it be that a non-omnipotent being (man) have a power that an omnipotent being ("God") does not have? The apologist has just reduced his own position to internal absrudity.

Overall, the idea that logic somehow "reflects the mind of God" can only be the result of radically misunderstanding the nature of logic and the human mind (which is both fallible and non-omniscient, contrary to the apologist's imaginary being he calls "God"). We need a means of knowledge because we are born utterly ignorant of the world and yet we need to learn about the world in order to live (again, unlike an eternal god, man faces a fundamental alternative: to live or die). And we need logic because it is possible for us to err in our reasoning. But an omniscient, eternal and omnipotent mind would simply have no need or use for logic: as omniscient, it wouldn't have to discover new knowledge about anything - it would already have it. As eternal, it would not face the fundamental alternative that man faces, since it could not die (indeed, how can one even say that god, a non-biological entity, is even living?). As omnipotent, it wouldn't need to take some course of action in order to achieve its values (since it wouldn't need any values due to the supposition that it doesn't face a fundamental alternative). And they say we were "created in God's image"? Not a chance!

The idea that "logic reflects God's character" is just an assertion whose intention is to hijack legitimate concepts and issues and seat them on the authority of religion. It's just a sham and a fraud, nothing more.

At 4/28/2005 12:33 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Good comments BB.

If being "illogical" is impossible for God, where does the concept of "illogical" come from? Since humans are illogical, and God designed humans, didnt he design them to be "illogical"?

And wouldnt that mean that the property or concept of "illogical" would have to have been created or invented by God in order for him to instill the "illogical" property onto humans?

At 4/29/2005 3:49 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Both your comments join my own thoughts on the matter. As for the question : why would a god create illogic ? This would seem to join the waters of the Problem of Evil and the Problem of Unbelief. We could call this general class of argument the Problems of Deficiency (in the Creation). Either way, it is clear that a god could create beings that can be illogical (if we accept that a god could create anything at all, which is in itself a great difficulty for the theologian), but it is not clear at all that such an act would be benevolent.

At 4/29/2005 4:06 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Franc: "As for the question : why would a god create illogic ? This would seem to join the waters of the Problem of Evil and the Problem of Unbelief. We could call this general class of argument the Problems of Deficiency (in the Creation)."

Yes, I think you're right, Franc. It's what I always called the problem of imperfection, of which I consider the problem of evil to be merely a species. I've asked this of many believers before: if the creator is perfect, how come its creations aren't also perfect? If the creations are imperfect, then we would be wrong to call their creator perfect, for a perfect creator does not create imperfection, by definition. Christianity tries to defend against this by blaming the creation. But this doesn't resolve the problem - it only seals the case against a perfect creator. Essentially, given Christianity's own premises, it cannot account for imperfection, just as it cannot account for evil on its own terms. Thus it consequently has no claim to perfection, either. Once one asserts that there is a creator which creates according to its own will, and that the universe is its creation, then one cannot avoid ultimately laying responsibility for any imperfection or deficiency in that creation on the shoulders of the creator. The doctrine of the fall of Adam just doesn't cut it - it just makes biblegod into a bungler.

At 5/01/2005 7:31 AM, Blogger Infidel In Exile declaimed...

The objection presumes that it makes sense to speak of logic as a non-material entity, which seems to indicate a commitment to idealism. From our perspective, logic is a human concept derived from facts of reality.

Great material here, guys, but I disagree with this subscription. Logic is not created by humans, but is a human category like vehicle or vegetable that is simply a package that contains a variety of different processes that take place in the cognitive structures of the mind. Logic is a category name, and not a thing at all.

Infidel in Exile

At 5/01/2005 3:25 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Logic is not created by humans, but is a human category"


It's human but it's not human ?

At 5/03/2005 8:06 AM, Blogger Infidel In Exile declaimed...

Yes, like "mountain" is a human category name for a variety of landforms. Humans didn't create logic; nature did. We just gave it a name. Although I suppose modern philosophy has "created" a few logics...

At 5/03/2005 4:01 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

infidel in exile,

logic is, like you said, a categorization. It is a conceptual tool used to make sense of things we observe. And this is what makes is material.

All concepts are material. It is a metadata of sorts, and metadata is material. It is information (usually in the form of electronic signals like thoughts), that we use for the processing of other information.

Its totally human and totally material ;)

At 5/03/2005 4:42 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Humans did cosntruct logic, from the facts of nature that we observe. "Logic" ic conceptual. Concepts do not exist in nature.

At 5/04/2005 11:38 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

This is no fun!!!!!! ARGH!!!

Paul Manata took his Press blog, and removed the comments sections!! NOOOOO!!!!!

So funny that he did that. I guess he was tired of me calling out his logic errors.

Paul, I imagine you will probably see this comment. What kind of apologist removes the option for dialogue from their site? Why do you shun interaction and debate about these things? I thought you were pursuing a masters in apologetics?

I would at least like to maintain an email dialogue with Paul, if nothing else. I miss the theist/atheist interaction, and Im suprised to see him act as if it leaves a distaste in his mouth.

At 5/17/2005 5:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

I think you guys all suck rotten cucumbers....

Jesus is going to slap the shit out of all of ya'll....

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