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Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Monday, April 11, 2005

What's it all about, Paulie?

Just what is the Presuppositionalist argument, anyway?

In his work, "My Credo," Cornelius Van Til laid the foundation for presuppositional apologetics, saying that "we argue, therefore, by "presupposition." The Christian, as did Tertullian, must contest the very principles of his opponent's position. The only "proof" of the Christian position is that unless its truth is presupposed there is no possibility of "proving" anything at all. The actual state of affairs as preached by Christianity is the necessary foundation of "proof" itself."

Unfortunately, this is a very poor argument, if it's an argument at all.

P1) If Christianity is not true, then nothing can be proved.
P2) Things can be proved.
C) Therefore, Christianity is true.

I could restate the first premise in positive terms, without changing the meaning of the argument:

P1) If Christianity is true, then things can be proved.
P2) Things can be proved.
C) Therefore, Christianity is true.

But this argument has a fallacious form, that of Affirming the Consequent. So there must be another way to compose this argument, right? Fortunately Paul Manata did so at my request during one of his visits to ExChristian.Net:

"For logic to be the case the Christian God would have to be the case ***since the Christian God is the precondition*** for logic. Logic is the case. Therefore the Christian God is the case. So, the form is: X-->Y( because Y is a precondition for X), X, :. Y. But since the scope of a TA is so broad this is not very helpful and therefore we see why people avoid formalizing it since that would make it concrete whereas I could substitute *anything* that is aggreed upon by the skeptic for X. So the formalization is somewhat person relative, then."

In other words:

P1) If Logic exists, then the Christian god exists.
P2) Logic exists.
C) Therefore, the Christian god exists.

Much better. There's no obvious fallacy as in Van Til's conception. But wait- Paul says something odd right after he details his first premise. He says that "the Christian god is the precondition for Logic." So Paul has hidden a subpremise in his argument, but why in the world would he do that? Let’s take a look at what that subpremise actually means:

“The Christian god is the precondition for Logic.” What does it mean for something to be a “precondition” for something else? If “X” is the precondition for “Y”, then you could also frame is as: if “X”, then “Y”. So let’s look at what the two premises look like together:

P1a) If Logic exists, then the Christian god exists.
P1b) If the Christian god exists, then Logic exists.

Circularity unbound. They’re practically interchangeable. In fact, let’s take Paul’s hidden subpremise and place it at the beginning of his argument:

P1) If the Christian god exists, the Logic exists.
P2) Logic exists.
C) The Christian god exists.

Aha! Again we see Van Til’s fallacy of Affirming the Consequent. Paul has tried to hide this fallacy, but the illusion doesn’t last.

So, I guess I’m back to my original question- just what is the Presuppositionalist argument, anyway?

Post a Comment


74 Comments:

At 4/11/2005 10:34 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Manata reasons:

"So, the form is: X-->Y( because Y is a precondition for X), X, :. Y. But since the scope of a TA is so broad this is not very helpful and therefore we see why people avoid formalizing it since that would make it concrete whereas I could substitute *anything* that is aggreed upon by the skeptic for X. So the formalization is somewhat person relative, then."

Actually, what he's missed is that his "argument" can be used to "prove" the existence of any invisible magic being, for Y is just as variable as X. Observe:

"For logic to be the case, Wally would have to be the case ***since Wally is the precondition*** for logic. Logic is the case. Therefore Wally is the case."

or

"For logic to be the case, Allah would have to be the case ***since Allah is the precondition*** for logic. Logic is the case. Therefore Allah is the case."

or

"For logic to be the case, Geusha would have to be the case ***since Geusha is the precondition*** for logic. Logic is the case. Therefore Geusha is the case."

Etc.

The problem is that there is no reference to objective facts which suggest one input for Y over any other. It reduces to utter arbitrariness, which is what we can expect from those who believe the universe is a cartoon.

 
At 4/11/2005 10:37 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Zach wrote: "Circularity unbound. They’re practically interchangeable."

You nailed it again, Zach. In his debate with Michael Martin, John Frame says that "God presupposes logic and logic presupposes God." (See Frame's Second Response to Martin) This is nothing short of a dog chasing its own tail. With spin-cycle reasoning like this, the presuppositionalist will have a painfully difficult time identifying his starting point. And that's the irony of presuppositionalism, since it postures as a strategy that's geared toward uncovering starting points, and yet its net result is that it obscures the believer's starting point all the more.

 
At 4/11/2005 11:07 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

...since it postures as a strategy that's geared toward uncovering starting points, and yet its net result is that it obscures the believer's starting point all the more.

Isn't that the point of reformed thought anyway? Man is an ignorant ape who attempts to trudge his way through life. Ignorant and unknowing. But if one embraces the Bible the Holy Spirit will give him insight - increidble insight and the world will then make sense...

 
At 4/11/2005 11:20 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Yes, CADman, that is precisely how they look at the human condition. On p. 56 of his book Always Ready, Bahnsen writes: "In actuality, this autonomous man is dull, stubborn, boorish, obstinate and stupid." Then, simply by saying they "believe in Jesus," they are magically endowed with the ability to read their god's mind (i.e., "thinking God's thoughts after God"). Just like that! Pretty nifty, wouldn't you say?

 
At 4/11/2005 1:47 PM, Anonymous francois_tremblay declaimed...

The problem is that by his proposition that God is the SOLE possible causal source of cognition, which is what is needed to presume that Cognition iif God, the presup is caught into having to prove a negative - i.e. that materialism is NOT a possible causal source of cognition. Manata has argued with me on this, but I don't see any way for him to escape this burden.

And in this case, the negative cannot be proven, since there is no logical problem with materialism being the causal source of cognition... I have already refuted the few arguments dedicated to proving this.

 
At 4/11/2005 2:08 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4/11/2005 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

excuse me, I typed to fast above and then couldn't edit it. I had said:

"So, we can see that Zack's formulation: ~p --> ~q, q, :. p is an improper translation. The proper translation would be ~q --> p. Then from here one could either go: ~p, :.q, or p, :. ~q."

The last sentence should read: "Then from here one could either go: ~p, :.q, or ~q, :. p."

 
At 4/11/2005 2:13 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4/11/2005 3:52 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

A well known Atheist has said:

All inductive arguments in the last resort reduce themselves to the
following form: "If this is true, that is true: now that is true,
therefore this is true." This argument is, of course, formally
fallacious. Suppose I were to say: "If bread is a stone and stones
are nourishing, then this bread will nourish me; now this bread
does nourish me; therefore it is a stone, and stones are nourishing."
If I were to advance such an argument, I should certainly be
thought foolish, yet it would not be fundamentally different from
the argument upon which all scientific laws are based.

Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy; Oxford University Press, 1998.


Accordingly, although science is useful as a way to achieve
practical ends, it has no authority to make any pronouncements concerning the nature of
reality.

 
At 4/11/2005 4:01 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Mark-

If Science is unable to make any conclusion about the nature of reality, then how exactly is it practical?

 
At 4/11/2005 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

way to show you don;t even understand scientific anti-realism, Zach. Do you study? Or do you just like to pretend that you know stuff since you have a "blog" you big bad bloggist, you

 
At 4/11/2005 5:03 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Way to answer my question, anonymous.

 
At 4/11/2005 5:09 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4/11/2005 5:10 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

Zach: "If Science is unable to make any conclusion about the nature of reality, then how exactly is it practical?"

Because, it deals with the pragmatic aspect of what is "actual", and those things contingent upon your subjective experience.

So, I am reffering to ultimate reality, not mere phenomenoligical, or empyrical substance which most people mean by "reality" when not speaking philosophically.

There are two major ways in which philosophers have construed the objective/subjective distinction: a metaphysical way and an epistemic way. These different construals concern how one would answer the following questions:

1. What things are objective and alternatively, subjective?
2. Are intentional states (knowledge, beliefs, mental representations, judgments, sentences, news reports) or particulars in general (rocks, trees, pains, electrons, values) objective or subjective?

The difference between the metaphysical and epistemic notions of objectivity (and subjectivity) have to do with what the bearers of the properties of objectivity (and subjectivity) are. Philosophers working on the theory of color, for instance, seem to employ a metaphysical notion of the distinction. They wonder whether colors themselves (as opposed to our judgments of them) are objective (mind-independent properties of physical objects) or subjective (mere apparent properties of objects that depend on our perceptions). In contrast, on the epistemic conception of objectivity, only judgments, beliefs, etc. are the bearers of objectivity. Thus, for instance, the judgment that the moon has no atmosphere may count as an objective judgment, whereas my judgment that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor is subjective. Many debates in the contemporary philosophy of science and epistemology that hinge on the alleged objectivity of scientific knowledge employ the epistemic notion of the objective/subjective distinction.

We are debating Ethics, and Metaphysics, therefore we use the word "real" in a higher sense. As in, truly objective, autonomous, and independent of human reason.

I am beginning to wonder if any of you that post here have ever read philosophy.

 
At 4/11/2005 5:29 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Mark-

Science does not function in terms of absolutes- don't you know that? To fault it for not being able to do something it is not designed to do is ridiculous.

 
At 4/11/2005 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

way to not answer Mark's post, Zachary.

 
At 4/11/2005 5:53 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Mark:
We are debating Ethics, and Metaphysics, therefore we use the word "real" in a higher sense. As in, truly objective, autonomous, and independent of human reason.

And where does that "fact" come from Mark?

 
At 4/11/2005 5:55 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4/11/2005 6:03 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

Karl Popper, who had written a number of works on the philosophy of science, wrote as
follows:

Although in science we do our best to find the truth, we are
conscious of the fact that we can never be sure whether we have
got it….In science there is no "knowledge," in the sense in which
Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which
implies finality; in science, we never have sufficient reason for the
belief that we have attained the truth.…Einstein declared that his
theory was false, he said that it would be a better approximation
to the truth than Newton's, but he gave reasons why he would not,
even if all predictions came out right, regard it as a true theory.5

Scientists conduct multiple experiments to test a hypothesis. If observation is reliable,
then why do they need more than one experiment? If observation is less than reliable,
then how many experiments are enough? Who decides? Ignoring this problem for now,
W. Gary Crampton explains the difficulty in formulating a scientific law by the method
of experimentation:

In the laboratory the scientist seeks to determine the boiling point
of water. Since water hardly boils at the same temperature, the
scientist conducts a number of tests and the slightly differing
results are noted. He then must average them. But what kind of
average does he use: mean, mode, or median? He must choose; and
whatever kind of average he selects, it is his own choice; it is not
dictated by the data. Then too, the average he chooses is just that,
that is, it is an average, not the actual datum yielded by the
experiment. Once the test results have been averaged, the scientist
will calculate the variable error in his readings. He will likely plot
the data points or areas on a graph. Then he will draw a curve
through the resultant data points or areas on the graph. But how
many curves, each one of which describes a different equation, are
possible? An infinite number of curves is possible. But the scientist
draws only one.

If we cannot find the absolute boiling point of water, then how can we ever find truth about something as complex as human behavior ?
In your system Zach, CadMan, et al., what is truth ? ? What is good? ?

 
At 4/11/2005 6:06 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

"And where does that "fact" come from Mark?"

Presupposing the Christian God.

 
At 4/11/2005 6:07 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Mark-

Have you never studied statistics?

 
At 4/11/2005 6:11 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Color is "real" in that we can objectively determine that only certain frequencies of light will refract off certain surfaces in certain conditions. We can design machines that can detect the exact colors of things. What changes is our human perception of color, NOT the actual refraction of certain light frequency and the absorption of others.

Now here is the trick: Perception can change color to the one who perceives, but the refracted light itself does not change. Example: A color blind man may see grey when I see red. Or a man with 3-D glasses may see brown (or whatever color) when I see red. But the point here is that we can objectively determine that the frequency (or color) of light refracted did not change. Only the conditions of the one who perceives changed (like being colorblind or having 3-D glasses on, or having healthy unencumbered eyesight).

So, objectively, we can determine truths about reality, and changes in perception (which may appear to change colors) can be accounted for or explained on the side of the one who perceives.

I think that color example Mark described is an argument FOR science and AGAINST the theist.

In addition, Marks vanilla ice cream and moon atmosphere comparison seems incorrect. Mark is confusing perception with subjectivity. Mark can say that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor, and he would objectively be right. Mark cannot "choose" which ice cream flavor he likes the best. His taste buds do that for him. If Mark eats DOGSHIT flavored ice cream, his taste buds will tell him that it tastes like crap and he cant simply "choose" subjectively that its the best flavor.

Vanilla ice cream tastes best to Mark objectively. He is simply reporting a truth about his bodies reaction to that flavor. Now, for me, I may like strawberry, and I can objectively state that strawberry is the best flavor for me. Mark will be objectively correct about which flavor his tongue likes, and I will be objectively correct about which flavor My tongue likes.

This is why his moon atmosphere comparison to ice cream flavors is invalid. In the moon atmosphere comparison, the entities involved are "atmosphere" and "moon". But in the ice cream example, the entities in question are "vanilla" and "mark". So vanilla = atmosphere, and moon = mark.

Therefore, Marks statement about vanilla being the best flavor is objective in regards to himself, just like the moon has no atmosphere. And in the same light, I can objectively state that I like strawberry ice cream, and both Mark was correct and I was correct. This is because the entities in question changed. Now we arent talking about vanilla and mark, but instead we are talking about strawberry and aaron.

If Mark said "vanilla is everyones favorite flavor" he would not be subjective, but merely incorrect. This is because he cannot determine who likes which flavor the most. He would simply be making conclusions without proper observations to back them up.

Mark can say "the moon has no atmosphere" and he can also say "i like vanilla ice cream the best" and he would be correct on both counts. Both statements would be objective, because Mark cannot choose the reactions of his taste buds any more than he can choose if the moon has enough gravity to hold an atmosphere.

Then I could say "Earth has an atmosphere" and I can also say "i like strawberry the best" and I would also be correct on both counts. Both of these statements would also be objective, because I cannot choose the reactions of my taste buds any more than I can choose that the Earth holds an atmosphere.

Mark, you gotta be more careful about the way you use analogies. Matt Slick got his analogies messed up in his pool table example on Hellbound Alleee recently. Im starting to wonder if its on purpose?

Maybe Mark will turn around and state that he CAN choose what his taste buds do and dont like. LOL!!!

 
At 4/11/2005 6:26 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

Aaron said:
"Color is "real" in that we can objectively determine that only certain frequencies of light will refract off certain surfaces in certain conditions. We can design machines that can detect the exact colors of things. What changes is our human perception of color, NOT the actual refraction of certain light frequency and the absorption of others."

Scientifically speaking then, what exact wavelength is it where red turns to orange? ? ? Or, at what diameter does a raindrop become mist ?

You have proven only my point that we cannot know anything exhaustively. And personal preference of ice cream flavor is hardly universal truth. That analogy was an illustration pointing to different types of knowledge.

 
At 4/11/2005 6:28 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"If we cannot find the absolute boiling point of water, then how can we ever find truth about something as complex as human behavior ?
In your system Zach, CadMan, et al., what is truth ? ? What is good? ?"

The more you repeat tests, the more redundant your observations, the more varied your methods are for arriving at conclusions, the more closer you will get to the truth.

Considering that your Bible has been retranslated, voted on, given additions and deletions, and contains contradictory data, is quite a bad sign in relation to your arguments here.

The ability to be falsifiable is the strength of science. The inability to test or validate or criticize the claims in your Bible is its WEAKNESS! I cant believe you posted this crap Mark because its another argument AGAINST your system of belief, just like how I used your ice cream analogy against you.

See, science uses all the things you described in your last post. Re-checking of data, redundancy of tests, using various methods for extrapolating meaning from datasets. All these things occur in the scientific community to strengthen science by combing through everything, searching for areas of weakness or discovering where conclusions can be improved. Its a decentralized process involving the independent work of many scientists. Its the lazziez-faire capitalism of ideas and learning.

But Mark, your ENTIRE SYSTEM is based on a book written by sheep herders in a time when humans thought the world was flat and that women determined the gender of offspring. All your claims of a supreme truth boil down to you putting unlimited trust and faith in a book that some ignorant men wrote, who INSIST that it was God dictating the words to them. There is NO WAY to independently test, observe, repeat, or otherwise validate the claims in the Bible. The only source you have is the Bible.

You cant independently test to see if Aaron, the brother of Moses, flew through the clouds in a flaming chariot. You cant independently test to see if God really revealed all these things to these authors of the Bible. You have to simply trust the centralized source, the one unrepeateable untestable source. Its like having a science experiment performed and everyone trusts the conclusions of that experiment without testing or repeating or independently confirming the validity of the experiment. Your Bible is the state-communism-collectivism of reality. No decentralized decision making. No independent confirmation of anything.

Your Bible falls flat on its face, and your criticism of science actually only pointed out its strengths, especially considering the Biblical alternative you propose.

 
At 4/11/2005 6:41 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"Scientifically speaking then, what exact wavelength is it where red turns to orange? ? ? Or, at what diameter does a raindrop become mist ?"

Im not a scientist so I dont know. But I can tell you that the answers to these questions are objectively determinable through testing of natural materialistic phenomena. I can imagine that the size of a raindrop changing into mist depends on other natural factors like air tempurature, density, and humidity, etc...

And I do know that color on the light spectrum is defined by scientists as being at certain frequencies or ranges, just like radio waves on your FM dial.

"You have proven only my point that we cannot know anything exhaustively."

Like whether or not the authors of the Bible were full of shit or actually puppets of God? ;)

"And personal preference of ice cream flavor is hardly universal truth."

You missed the point of the ice cream thing. It was a truth for YOU. The point is that YOU cannot CHOOSE what your favorite flavor is. Your taste buds dictate to you the objective truth of what your favorite flavor is. MARK, just like color can seem to change if you have tinted goggles on (but the frequency of light remains constant), favorite ice cream flavors are different for everyone, but they are OBJECTIVE for each individual in that the individual CANNOT CHOOSE WHAT THEIR FAVORITE FLAVOR IS. Can you tell me that DOGSHIT is your favorite flavor? Maybe to someone it is, but in either case, the favorite flavor is OBJECTIVELY determined by your taste buds. YOU CANT TELL YOUR TASTE BUDS WHAT YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR IS! THEY TELL YOU!

"That analogy was an illustration pointing to different types of knowledge."

Objective knowledge, yes. Vanilla is objectively Marks favorite flavor. Strawberry is objectively Aarons favorite flavor. The moon objectively has no atmosphere. Earth objectively has na atmosphere.

You and I can have different favorite flavors objectively, just like the moon and earth can have or not have atmospheres objectively.

Mark likes vanilla the best and the moon has no atmosphere.

Aaron likes strawberry the best and the Earth has an atmosphere.

See? They are both objective. YOU CANNOT CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR any more than you can choose the presence of an atmosphere on the moon.

 
At 4/11/2005 6:44 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Mark, when you use analogies, you have to be careful of how you equate the entities in each analogy with eachother.

From what I can understand, the ice cream analogy goes like this:

mark = moon
vanilla = no atmosphere
aaron = earth
strawberry = yes atmosphere

If Im wrong, then please correct my equations. So far it seems to me that all you did was equate the entities in the analogies incorrectly.

 
At 4/11/2005 6:45 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

aaron said:
"There is NO WAY to independently test, observe, repeat, or otherwise validate the claims in the Bible. The only source you have is the Bible."



When prophecy becomes history scripture is validated.



aaron said:
"The more you repeat tests, the more redundant your observations, the more varied your methods are for arriving at conclusions, the more closer you will get to the truth"

No, the more we learn, the more we realize how much we do not know. Common sense pal.

Aaron said:
"You cant independently test to see if Aaron, the brother of Moses, flew through the clouds in a flaming chariot."

Maybe you should actually read the book you are arguing against. It was Elijah who rode the flaming chariot.
And, I do not need to test all the individual events of scripture. The world-view the Bible presents is the only philosophical position that gives life meaning and coincides with the world as we live in it. Ethically, epistemologically, and metaphysically. That is what presuppositionalism is. Acting as if what God said in the Bible is really true. That is also the definition of faith.

I dare you to ask the God of the Bible to reveal himself to you. He will. Whether you are sincere or not.

Augustine said understanding is the reward of faith.

 
At 4/11/2005 6:58 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"When prophecy becomes history scripture is validated."

Okay.


"No, the more we learn, the more we realize how much we do not know. Common sense pal."

Agreed. And when the Bible was written, humans had much more yet o learn than what we know today. And coincidentally, back when the Bible was written, humans THOUGHT they knew everything but in reality they DIDNT KNOW ANYTHING! So your statement is an argument in FAVOR of discarding these kinds of grand miraculous claims that were written before we knew that the Earth was a sphere and we revolved around the sun etc... Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

"Maybe you should actually read the book you are arguing against. It was Elijah who rode the flaming chariot."

Okay, you got me. You know more about flaming charioits than I do. I also have name association issues, so excuse me on two counts.

"And, I do not need to test all the individual events of scripture."

No of course not! We can just believe them because they say so!

"The world-view the Bible presents is the only philosophical position that gives life meaning and coincides with the world as we live in it."

Unsupported assertion. Since we are arguing with unsupported assertions, I can refute you by saying that a godless materialistic universe is the only position that gives life meaning and coincides with the world as we live in it.

"Ethically, epistemologically, and metaphysically. That is what presuppositionalism is. Acting as if what God said in the Bible is really true. That is also the definition of faith."

Faith is belief in things unevidenced. Faith is a cop out. If you accept something merely on faith than you concede that it cant be taken on its own merits (Dan Barker paraphrase).

I have faith that your Christian God was created by my Invisible Pink Unicorn God. May her hooves never be shod! If you think this Unicorn proposition is silly, then GOOD! Because thats exactly how your Biblical God proposition seems to rational minded people. You are insisting on faith, even when you turn around and say that your religion matches up seamlessley with reality as we know it. LOL if that were true then faith wouldnt be needed would it? And if faith isnt needed then your Bible is baloney isnt it?

"I dare you to ask the God of the Bible to reveal himself to you. He will. Whether you are sincere or not."

Oh I have many times, and in my mind he did. I was a Christian for most of my life. Recently I had a Christian tell me that I wasnt a "true Christian" because I didnt "persevere" and I told him that was ad hoc. He conceded that it was but he still insisted that it was correct. Well I told him that he isnt a true Christian either but he didnt like me saying that hehe.

"Augustine said understanding is the reward of faith."

Of course, Ive heard this before. FIRST you believe, THEN you will understand. Science works in the exact opposite way. FIRST you understand, THEN you will believe.

I wonder why science does so much more for humanity than religion does? Hmmmm...... Could it be because Science puts the HORSE before the CART, while religion puts the CART before the HORSE???

 
At 4/11/2005 7:00 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Mark I have a burning question in my mind. If you answer it for me then I would be most appreciative:

Mark, do you tell your taste buds what your favorite ice cream flavor is, or do TASTE BUDS tell YOU what your favorite ice cream flavor is?

 
At 4/11/2005 7:07 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

aaron,

not to respond to everything you guys have thus far said, but just wanted to point out that that is a bad analogy. Come up with a new one.

For example, I used to hate red wine but after drinking it over and over it's now my favorite drink. So I "condiditioned" my taste buds to like something different. Same thing for people who used to dislike beer.

Your analogy is one of personal preferences not objectivity.

 
At 4/11/2005 7:21 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 4/11/2005 7:23 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I removed the comment for paragraphing purposes and to add a sentence.

"aaron,

not to respond to everything you guys have thus far said, but just wanted to point out that that is a bad analogy. Come up with a new one."

Okay then lets see why you think its a bad analogy...

"For example, I used to hate red wine but after drinking it over and over it's now my favorite drink. So I "condiditioned" my taste buds to like something different. Same thing for people who used to dislike beer."

Thats okay if you condition your taste buds in such a way. The objective truth for you changed due to other factors, like your preference for variety or your overindulgence in a type of wine. I like strawberry the best, but I dont want to have it EVERY TIME. Your taste buds changed their preference, and THEY tell YOU what you like the best. You didnt "choose" for your tastebuds to start liking wine less did you? It simply happened as a result of other factors, such as your frequent drinking of one kind of wine. (dont take any of this the wrong way; I love a good drink of alcohol as much as the next guy)

Lets use the moon atmosphere analogy here. Just like you can be "conditioned" to change your objective favorite alcohol, the moon could, in theory, be given additional mass to the point where it CAN hold down an atmoshpere. In the same sense, the earth could be reduced in size to where it NO LONGER could contain an atmosphere.

Similarly, I could eat strawberry icecream until I "condition" myself to instead like rocky road the best. But the bottom line is this: My taste buds objectively dictate to me what my favorite flavor is. I cannot "choose" my favorite flavor anymore than I can "choose" for the moon to suddenly have an atmosphere (unless other factors get inserted into the equation, like eating too much ice cream or adding mass to the moon).

"Your analogy is one of personal preferences not objectivity."

But my personal preference is dictated to me through my senses. I did not choose to like strawberry the best. If what you say here is true, and taste is subjective, then I should be able to "choose" DOGSHIT as my favorite flavor. Of course, both you and I know that I cant simply choose to like dogshit flavor the best. Maybe if I was some kind of scatological freak or something then I would like dogshit the best, but EVEN THEN it would be an objective favorite flavor and I would not be dictating to my taste buds what flavor gives me the most pleasure.


So groundfighter76, do you tell your taste buds what you like or do your tastebuds tell you what you like?

 
At 4/11/2005 7:34 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dude,

So the question is is it objective and the answer is no - it has been changed according to my "whim" as Dawson Bethrick loves to say.

You can throw all the ignorant conjecture out there you want about the moon and changing it's atmosphere, but that "could" be done for almost anything.


Again, please use another analogy.

 
At 4/11/2005 7:40 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"personal preference of ice cream flavor"

Ah, I have to support Aaron on this one. Our taste buds, our pleasure centers, and our previous eating experiences, are all objective factors which enter into this process. So to say "personal preference" is not accurate at all as an epistemic explanation.

But even if it did, all that it's showing is that humans can also be subjective, which is precisely what we're saying about Christians. Their religious beliefs are no more relevant to reality than their "decision" to like a flavour of ice cream.

But I guess they didn't realize they were arguing against themselves... probably it's just more presup projection. They really need professional help with that projection problem.

 
At 4/11/2005 7:40 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

"Scientifically speaking then, what exact wavelength is it where red turns to orange? ? ? Or, at what diameter does a raindrop become mist ?"


Aaron replies:

"Im not a scientist so I dont know. But I can tell you that the answers to these questions are objectively determinable through testing of natural materialistic phenomena. I can imagine that the size of a raindrop changing into mist depends on other natural factors like air tempurature, density, and humidity, etc...

And I do know that color on the light spectrum is defined by scientists as being at certain frequencies or ranges, just like radio waves on your FM dial."



Why don't you google it or ask a PHD and let me know the answer.


There is no absolute red, orange, blue or any other color.

Once again, these blog comments digress into total absurdity. You have not answered one question Paul Manata has proposed to you.

 
At 4/11/2005 7:49 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"Dude,

So the question is is it objective and the answer is no - it has been changed according to my "whim" as Dawson Bethrick loves to say.

You can throw all the ignorant conjecture out there you want about the moon and changing it's atmosphere, but that "could" be done for almost anything.


Again, please use another analogy."

I think you are incorrect. It wasnt your whim. You didnt choose to stop liking wine. You didnt even know that drinking so much wine would make you not like it. What you did was introduce a change or another factor that caused your tastes to change, and your tastes still told YOU what you did and didnt like to drink.

But to play nice, I will use a different analogy if you answer my question:

Do you tell your tastebuds what you like or do your tastebuds tell you what you like?

So answer the question and I will come up with another analogy. Or if you like you can propose an analogy and I will try to use it. This ice cream analogy isnt mine anyway, its Marks. :)

 
At 4/11/2005 7:51 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Once again, these blog comments digress into total absurdity."

I'm not seeing any absurdity here, but that might be because I don't read most of the presups' comments right now.

 
At 4/11/2005 7:54 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"Why don't you google it or ask a PHD and let me know the answer.


There is no absolute red, orange, blue or any other color."

No absolutes? I agree. Thats exactly what science says. Blue is a label we assign to a general area of color spectrum that we see in our eyeballs. I can see light blue, medium blue, navy blue, etc...

But the point here is that fi you and I both receive "blue" light from the same lightbulb, the frequency of that spectrum is the same for both your eyeballs and mine. Maybe it looks like a different blue to me than it does to you, but thats our own perspectives. Objectively, the light itself hitting our eyes does not change. the only thing different is our individual perceptions and what we each identify as "blue". Just because I think its "red" instead of "blue" doesnt change the frequency of the lightwave, does it?

"Once again, these blog comments digress into total absurdity. You have not answered one question Paul Manata has proposed to you."

I was replying to your comments and your ice cream analogy. I never pretended to answer Pauls questions. Or are you speaking to everyone in this last sentence? If so I apologize.

 
At 4/11/2005 8:21 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Okay, the presups are plunging into absurdity now. Time for a REALITY CHECK. Here are the objective frequencies for each colour :

red 625 to 740 nm
orange 590 to 625 nm
blue 430 to 500 nm

Go in the corner with your pointy hat now.

 
At 4/11/2005 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

hey, has anyone seen Paul Manata's response to Zach Moore's recent post- this one? Ouch! Poor Zach.

 
At 4/11/2005 8:48 PM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

francois said:
"
red 625 to 740 nm
orange 590 to 625 nm
blue 430 to 500 nm"

Nice. Orange and red actually overlap at 625 nanometers . ..funny.Especially since my point was that all color is totally subjective.

 
At 4/11/2005 9:01 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"Nice. Orange and red actually overlap at 625 nanometers . ..funny."

So I guess we can add "colour" to the list of things you don't understand. Orange and red are contiguous.


"Especially since my point was that all color is totally subjective."

Which is total bullshit, since we can designate objectively what they designate... a set of wavelengths.

Let's face it Mark, you don't understand anything that has to do with science. Admit that you're in over your head and cut your losses.

 
At 4/11/2005 9:10 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Franc,

Thank you for refuting yourself by agreeing with Aaron. Remember you also acquiesced to Dawson's article about the "cartoon" universe in which things subject to "whim" or will were subjective.

Aaron,

Still subjective. Earlier you said "The objective truth for you changed due to other factors, like your preference for variety or your overindulgence in a type of wine."

How does this make sense? Is it objective truth or is it a preference?

If I like to physically beat up atheists, is it just the way my brain acts and therefore objective truth for me? But if it's objective truth for me then who's to say it's necessarily wrong?

Aaron also says, "Your taste buds changed their preference, and THEY tell YOU what you like the best. You didnt "choose" for your tastebuds to start liking wine less did you? It simply happened as a result of other factors, such as your frequent drinking of one kind of wine."

Again wrong. My taste buds did not decide to start drinking wine. I changed them by drinking the red wine. So what once was objective truth is not any longer. It was an act of my will. If I had chose not to drink red wine, I would not like it.

Here's Mark's quote "Thus, for instance, the judgment that the moon has no atmosphere may count as an objective judgment, whereas my judgment that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor is **subjective**."

Here's yours aaron, "Mark can say that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor, and he would **objectively be right**. Mark cannot "choose" which ice cream flavor he likes the best. His taste buds do that for him. If Mark eats DOGSHIT flavored ice cream, his taste buds will tell him that it tastes like crap and he cant simply "choose" subjectively that its the best flavor.
Vanilla ice cream tastes best to Mark objectively."

 
At 4/11/2005 9:14 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

I am not refuting myself. My position is and has always been that Christianity is a subjective, and therefore untenable, position. That has been my position since this blog began. So what are you talking about ?

 
At 4/11/2005 9:36 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Anonymous: hey, has anyone seen Paul Manata's response to Zach Moore's recent post- this one? Ouch! Poor Zach.

Zach: Ex-Monkey? Is that you?

 
At 4/11/2005 9:41 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Franc,

I was responding to your earlier post about objectivity and taste. Enjoying red wine was subject to my whim/will. you said "...and our previous eating experiences, are all objective factors which enter into this process." However, my previous eating experience is part of my will and therefore, not an objective factor (if you agree with dawson).

 
At 4/11/2005 10:48 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"Franc,

Thank you for refuting yourself by agreeing with Aaron. Remember you also acquiesced to Dawson's article about the "cartoon" universe in which things subject to "whim" or will were subjective. "

Theres a difference. In the cartoon universe, everything is dependent upon the will of God, NOT direct observations about reality.

In Gods world, you like ice cream because HE TELLS YOU TO. In a godless world, you eat ice cream because your taste buds give positive feedback to your brain, which gives you pleasure, and since everyone is ultimately trying to be happy, you repeat this activity.

Now this is important: In Gods world, he consciously tells you what ice cream to like. But in a godless world, you DO NOT consciously tell yourself what Ice cream to like and then simply like it. Think about it: do you tell your tongue what flavor to enjoy or does your tongue tell you what flavor you enjoy based on the thing you are tasting? In Gods world, its about God. But in a godless world, its about the ice cream, NOT any conscious entity (like yourself).

"Aaron,

Still subjective. Earlier you said "The objective truth for you changed due to other factors, like your preference for variety or your overindulgence in a type of wine."

How does this make sense? Is it objective truth or is it a preference?"

Its objective truth based on external factors. Your preference is a conclusion you make based on external factors, not what you (or God) consciously tell your preference to be. Understand?

"If I like to physically beat up atheists, is it just the way my brain acts and therefore objective truth for me?"

It is objectively true that you LIKE TO BEAT UP ATHEISTS. But it is not objectively true that ITS MORAL TO BEAT UP ATHEISTS. Different questions entirely. You would be irrational to beat up atheists and it would be because your perception got messed up by some artificial superstition dictating to you what to do ;)

"But if it's objective truth for me then who's to say it's necessarily wrong?"

Youre confusing what makes you happy with what is good for you. Yes, it is true that you may be getting pleasure out of hurting atheists. No, it is not true that sacrificing others for your pleasure is moral. You would only be getting pleasure out of it due to other external factors: like an artificial filter (like religion) that warps your vision of reality and whats good/bad for you (like terrorizing a group of people due to skin or relgion or gender). I mean, just off the top of my head I could point out that you would be putting yourself in an undue amount of danger because certainly others would try to stop you and those being beaten up would defend themselves. Irrational behavior like that can get you beat up yourself. I think youre setting up a strawman here by pretending there are no other factors to consider in your irrational decision to beat up atheists.

"Again wrong. My taste buds did not decide to start drinking wine."

No Im right. In your first drink of wine, your taste buds said that it was good (or at least not horrible), and based on this objective information you were open to trying more in the future. Positive reinfocement based on analysis of outside (independent) information. You choose what to put in your mouth, but you dont choose what your mouth likes and doesnt like. You got positive feedback about the wine and you altered your future actions accordingly. See? You already did the objective thing and you dont even know it!

Later on you drank too much wine and your mouth got sick of it. SO based on this new, negative information, you AGAIN altered your future actions to accomodate this new outside (independent) information. AGAIN you did the objective thing and you dont even know it. Just look at the way you already act. You already act based on rational self interest, and I showed you in your own example of wine!

"I changed them by drinking the red wine. So what once was objective truth is not any longer. It was an act of my will. If I had chose not to drink red wine, I would not like it."

You miss the point, and you make my point in this sentence. I agree that it WAS an act of your will to start drinking a different wine. And I agree with you that if not for the new information (red wine) you wouldnt have started drinking it and liking it. But the points I am making (and you are missing) are these:

1. You started drinking wine because your taste buds gave you positive feedback, and based on the best information you had, you objectively made the most self-pleasing choice (to drink wine).

2. You drank to much of one wine and your tastes started getting weary. Everyone knows that variety is the spice of life, or in other words, people enjoy the evaluating and re-evaluating new and/or different information. As your tastes evolved, you began searching for something different. You acted according to what your tastes were telling you.

3. When you found red wine, you didnt KNOW if you would like it. You had to put it in your mouth first and LET YOUR TASTE BUDS send you either pleasure or disgust signals. Your taste senses told you good things (who can be suprised?) and so you then decided, based objectively on outside information, "I like red wine!" So you acted for the best self-serving choice based on the best outside information you had available.

"Here's Mark's quote "Thus, for instance, the judgment that the moon has no atmosphere may count as an objective judgment, whereas my judgment that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor is **subjective**."

Here's yours aaron, "Mark can say that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor, and he would **objectively be right**. Mark cannot "choose" which ice cream flavor he likes the best. His taste buds do that for him. If Mark eats DOGSHIT flavored ice cream, his taste buds will tell him that it tastes like crap and he cant simply "choose" subjectively that its the best flavor. Vanilla ice cream tastes best to Mark objectively."

Yes exactly. But this objectivity which I speak of is in relation to certain entities in the equation: Vanilla ice cream, and Mark. Mark cannot speak on the taste preference for all humans, just like you cannot say that all moons do not have atmospheres. Remember the analogies?

Moon has no atmosphere
Mark likes vanilla
Earth has an atmosphere
Aaron likes strawberry

Mark said that we can objectively determine that the moon has no atmosphere. And I countered with his ice cream thing by saying that Marks favorite flavor is objectively vanilla. Then I added my favorite flavor and earth to clear things up a bit, because Mark was misapplying the analogy.

Mark cant say that everyone likes vanilla, anymore than he can say that all moons do not have an atmosphere.

SUBJECTIVITY would be saying "my favorite flavor can be anything I choose."
OBJECTIVITY would be saying "my favorite flavor is the one that my senses gave me the most pleasure for based on all the flavors Ive tried."

Now, if you are going to continue to say my arguments are invalid, then at least represent them accurately. Youre confusing them and your missing the points Im making.

And, you still havent answered my question although this is the third time Ive asked you, so please answer it. I would be grateful :) Do you tell your taste buds what tastes good or do your taste buds tell you what tastes good?

 
At 4/11/2005 10:56 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

groundfighter76 said:

"Enjoying red wine was subject to my whim/will."

I do not believe you. If this is true (if your taste is subjective), then you should be able to enjoy ANYTHING according to what your WHIM or WILL is. You should be able to say "I want to love the taste of dogshit, and I will therefore eat it with a shit-eating grin!"

So, groundfighter76, can you "choose" to "enjoy" eating DOGSHIT just like you can "choose" to "enjoy" drinking red wine?

If you can instantly just LOVE dogshit at this moment, and eat it with an honest shit-eating grin, then I will concede to you that your taste is *SUBJECTIVE*.

But if I am correct, and you canNOT simply "choose" to enjoy the taste of anything you want, like dogshit or bleach or even raw chicken liver, and that instead your sense of taste will pressure you to change your behavior (pressure you to NOT eat dogshit) based on its pleasure/disgust signals, then I will request that you concede to me that your taste is *OBJECTIVE*

The gauntlet has been thrown down. Either you concede or I concede.

 
At 4/11/2005 11:06 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Mark said:

"Nice. Orange and red actually overlap at 625 nanometers . ..funny.Especially since my point was that all color is totally subjective."

The labels one will assign to a color is irrelevant to the objectivity of the light beam in question. As Shakespeare wrote: "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet."

The objectivity is not in what word you assign to a light beam. Thats just semantics or definitions. You say tomato, I say tahmahtoe.

The objectivity is that the light beam is going to hit everyones eyes the same way (all other external factors being equal), and that our perception of reality (what color we see) will adjust based on the outside information we receive (the color or frequency of a visible light beam).

If we are in the same environment and looking at the same blue lightbulb, and you see blue, and I see green or grey, then we can count on another adjusting factor that can objectively be determined if we look hard enough. Maybe Im color blind. Maybe my brain is wired funny to mistake color. Maybe I got special contact lenses in that make me see different colors.

Christians are saying, in this example, that the color is either what God tells your brain it is, or else you are seeing whatever color or light beam frequency you choose to see. And thats subjective bullshit! The truth is that your perception of reality is adjusting to outside objective factors, like the frequency of the light beam. Who gives a shit when green ends and blue begins? You and I will have the same damn light frequency hit our eyes, and our brains will see the same damn thing (all other factors being equal).

If you think color is subjective, then give me an example of subjectivity. Take you and me and a lightbulb and a color or two and propose a scenario that makes the subjectivity of color apparent.

 
At 4/12/2005 12:01 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron,

Aaron - Please read my entire post before you respond if you do. It is also not my intention to argue what Mark meant. However, I will repeat myself, I responded to your saying that enjoying vanilla ice cream is objectively true.

"Theres a difference. In the cartoon universe, everything is dependent upon the will of God, NOT direct observations about reality.

In Gods world, you like ice cream because HE TELLS YOU TO. In a godless world, you eat ice cream because your taste buds give positive feedback to your brain, which gives you pleasure, and since everyone is ultimately trying to be happy, you repeat this activity."

point being in my world I like red wine because I wanted to like it and thus used my *will* to change what I liked. My tastes buds hated it at first. See definition below for subjective.

"Its objective truth based on external factors. Your preference is a conclusion you make based on external factors, not what you (or God) consciously tell your preference to be. Understand?"

again, how can objective truth change relative to person? Whereas once I didn't like ice cream (red wine) now I do. That would not make it objective. A preference is "The right or chance to so choose." I have that right according to my will (consciously). When I change it does it now become subjective (since I did it consciously) where it was once objective? What are you saying?

"It is objectively true that you LIKE TO BEAT UP ATHEISTS. But it is not objectively true that ITS MORAL TO BEAT UP ATHEISTS. Different questions entirely. You would be irrational to beat up atheists and it would be because your perception got messed up by some artificial superstition dictating to you what to do ;)"

And who says it's objectively true that it is not moral to beat up atheists? If we want to define objective truth as person relative then I say that it is.

I think www.dictionary.com would come in handy here - Subjective -"Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision.
Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience."
Remember you said these pleasures take place in the mind based on external factors. Now how could wine tasting good be objective if it takes place in the mind?

Why would it be irrational to beat up atheists? It gives me "positive feedback to my brain".

"No Im right. In your first drink of wine, your taste buds said that it was good (or at least not horrible), and based on this objective information you were open to trying more in the future. Positive reinfocement based on analysis of outside (independent) information. You choose what to put in your mouth, but you dont choose what your mouth likes and doesnt like. You got positive feedback about the wine and you altered your future actions accordingly. See? You already did the objective thing and you dont even know it!"

and "Later on you drank too much wine and your mouth got sick of it. SO based on this new, negative information, you AGAIN altered your future actions to accomodate this new outside (independent) information. AGAIN you did the objective thing and you dont even know it. Just look at the way you already act. You already act based on rational self interest, and I showed you in your own example of wine!"

Where did this come from? This is not even what I said.


"You miss the point, and you make my point in this sentence. I agree that it WAS an act of your will to start drinking a different wine. And I agree with you that if not for the new information (red wine) you wouldnt have started drinking it and liking it. But the points I am making (and you are missing) are these:"

Aaron, first it was NOT a NEW wine. It was wine in general. I always hated all kinds of wine and I had tried them all. Please read the rest before you repost.

"1. You started drinking wine because your taste buds gave you positive feedback, and based on the best information you had, you objectively made the most self-pleasing choice (to drink wine)."

No I did not say that. I said I developed a taste for it - meaning I did not like it at first. I CHOSE TO LIKE IT. GOT IT?


"2. You drank to much of one wine and your tastes started getting weary. Everyone knows that variety is the spice of life, or in other words, people enjoy the evaluating and re-evaluating new and/or different information. As your tastes evolved, you began searching for something different. You acted according to what your tastes were telling you."

Huh? I never said this anywhere. Reread under #1.


"3. When you found red wine, you didnt KNOW if you would like it. You had to put it in your mouth first and LET YOUR TASTE BUDS send you either pleasure or disgust signals. Your taste senses told you good things (who can be suprised?) and so you then decided, based objectively on outside information, "I like red wine!" So you acted for the best self-serving choice based on the best outside information you had available."

When I first tasted it I did NOT like it. Please reread.


"Yes exactly. But this objectivity which I speak of is in relation to certain entities in the equation: Vanilla ice cream, and Mark. Mark cannot speak on the taste preference for all humans, just like you cannot say that all moons do not have atmospheres. Remember the analogies?"

That is why Mark said it was subjective.

Let's quote mark again "whereas my **judgment** that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor is **subjective**."

The Earth having an atmosphere and the moon having no atmosphere is not "particular to a given person". Whereas someone enjoying the taste of whatever is particular to that person.

"Mark cant say that everyone likes vanilla, anymore than he can say that all moons do not have an atmosphere."

That's why mark said what I have quoted several times - subjective. This is also false - mark said the moon not all moons. Everyone would say that the moon has no atmosphere.


"Now, if you are going to continue to say my arguments are invalid, then at least represent them accurately. Youre confusing them and your missing the points Im making."

Did I say arguments or analogy? (even though I don't agree with your argument) Please see above to who has misrepresented who.

"Do you tell your taste buds what tastes good or do your taste buds tell you what tastes good?"

Both as per my example.

 
At 4/12/2005 12:09 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

"Do you tell your taste buds what tastes good or do your taste buds tell you what tastes good?"

But either which way, it is still subjective as it is "Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision.
Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience."

 
At 4/12/2005 12:19 AM, Anonymous francois_tremblay declaimed...

The taste buds are part of the mind ? You're insane.

 
At 4/12/2005 12:29 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Franc,

Since you don't like to read, if I may quote your fellow atheist, "In a godless world, you eat ice cream because your **taste buds** give positive feedback to your **brain**, which gives you pleasure,..."

and also let me quote the second definition, "Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience."

 
At 4/12/2005 12:59 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"point being in my world I like red wine because I wanted to like it and thus used my *will* to change what I liked. My tastes buds hated it at first. See definition below for subjective."

The best you can do is feed yourself new information in order to get you to like something different. You still dont choose what you like, otherwise you could CHOOSE to LOVE DOGSHIT SANDWICHES! Can you make yourself love dogshit sandwiches?

"again, how can objective truth change relative to person?"

Because environment and information and people change. You are not static any more than the universe or your knowledge is.

"Whereas once I didn't like ice cream (red wine) now I do. That would not make it objective. A preference is "The right or chance to so choose." I have that right according to my will (consciously). When I change it does it now become subjective (since I did it consciously) where it was once objective? What are you saying?"

Im saying this (from http://www.whatisobjectivism.com/explained/page3.htm):

Mind does not control matter, but rather is metaphysically passive - observer, rather than creator.

"And who says it's objectively true that it is not moral to beat up atheists? If we want to define objective truth as person relative then I say that it is."

It is objectively true due to the reason and scientific analysis of the choice. (From http://www.whatisobjectivism.com/explained/page7.htm):

It is in our best interest to cooperate harmoniously with society at large, since we all depend on other people for our survival and happiness... "I will not sacrifice myself to anyone - nor sacrifice anyone to myself" --Ayn Rand

"I think www.dictionary.com would come in handy here - Subjective -"Proceeding from or taking place in a person's mind rather than the external world: a subjective decision.
Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience."
Remember you said these pleasures take place in the mind based on external factors. Now how could wine tasting good be objective if it takes place in the mind?"

Because this is what "objectivism" means (from page three of that link I provided earlier):

"Does consciousness have primacy over existence (subjective reality) or does existence have primacy over consciousness (objective reality) ?"

The word "objectivism" refers to reality. Reality is objective and humans bend to it. If reality was subjective, then it would bend to humans will (and you would be able to love eating DOGSHIT sandwiches whenever you wanted to.)

"Why would it be irrational to beat up atheists? It gives me "positive feedback to my brain"."

Of course it does! Based on the limited information you have, it makes you happy to beat up atheists. But that doesnt make it moral. IT is irrational to beat up atheists, because they are humans that can beat you up too and you put yourself at risk. IT only makes you happy because you have insufficient information to make a rational scientific choice. Objectivism values the freedom of yourself and the freedom of others. Youre just misrepresenting it with your strawman.

"I will not sacrifice myself to anyone - nor sacrifice anyone to myself" --Ayn Rand

"Where did this come from? This is not even what I said."

I was providing an example, since you werent very clear on the methods you used to change your tastes. But my point still stands. I dare you to start eating dogshit and prove me wrong.


"Aaron, first it was NOT a NEW wine. It was wine in general. I always hated all kinds of wine and I had tried them all. Please read the rest before you repost.

No I did not say that. I said I developed a taste for it - meaning I did not like it at first. I CHOSE TO LIKE IT. GOT IT?

Huh? I never said this anywhere. Reread under #1."

Okay. The way you vaguely told the story at first made me think you were developing tastes for two kinds of wine over different times. But now that you clarified it, I see that I used a technically inacurrate example. But its no matter. I can still use the revised example to support my assertion.

You didnt used to like wine. YOU NEVER CHOSE TO DISLIKE WINE, YOUR TASTE TOLD YOU IT WAS NOT PLEASURABLE. But as your tastes evolved and grew, and as you got acquired to it (as new information came to you), you began to like wine. Regardless, you didnt choose directly what you did and did not like. You only chose what information you were being exposed to, and your control of this information, along with an evolution or maturation of your palette, is what allowed your tastes to change. The same thing happened to me with beer! But my point remains: you are bending to the will of an objective reality. The best you can do is manipulate the reality or information you are exposed to in order to get your tastes or preferences to change. You have to condition yourself at best, you cant just choose instantly.

"That is why Mark said it was subjective.

Let's quote mark again "whereas my **judgment** that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor is **subjective**.

The Earth having an atmosphere and the moon having no atmosphere is not "particular to a given person". Whereas someone enjoying the taste of whatever is particular to that person."

Do you have problems equating analogies? The earth and moon were the given entites. Just like Mark and I are given entities. And the point here is that Mark and I cannot choose to like dogshit or vanilla any more than the earth or moon can choose whether or not to have atmospheres.

"That's why mark said what I have quoted several times - subjective. This is also false - mark said the moon not all moons. Everyone would say that the moon has no atmosphere."

Yes, Mark specified only one moon, but he misapplied the analogy and specified not ONE person (like he did one moon) but he specified EVERY person. He cannot make that statement about every person because he has not applied reason and science to every person to determine what their tastes are, just like he hasnt analysed every moon to determine if they all have atmospheres.

Listen man, you CANNOT take multiple analogies and use SINGULAR entities in one (the moon) and then use PLURAL entities in the other (all people). You have to keep the equations consistent. If you make a statement about one moon, then make an equivalent statement about ONE person. And if you make a statement about ALL people, then you have to make a statement about ALL moons. Thats one of the reasons why I said he misapplied his analogy.

"Did I say arguments or analogy? (even though I don't agree with your argument) Please see above to who has misrepresented who."

I know who misrepresented who. Mark misrepresented objectivity in his faulty analogy, and I corrected him on it. Now you have begun defending Mark, and I am taking you to task on it. If you can choose whether or not you like the taste of wine, then you can choose whether or not you like the taste of DOGSHIT! To tell me, can you choose to instantly like the taste of DOGSHIT? I have to use an extreme example just to get it through to you.

"Both as per my example."

I do not believe you based on my correction (again) of your misapplication of the analogy. You can only indirectly influence (NOT directly choose) your tastes, based on the information you allow yourself to be exposed to. But your tastes tell you what they like and dont like. That is how you begin to like wine, through a gradual change brought about by new information so that you can get your taste buds to tell you what is good.

And I notice that you totally removed all my dogshit references. You are being dishonest here in that you are avoiding my whole gauntlet challenge where I offered you my concession if you could show to me that you can "choose" to "like the taste of" dogshit.

I am starting to think that you will only stick to the misrepresentation and ignore my dogshit challenge. I think now that you will refuse to acknowledge the singular/plural correction I made to the moon/ice cream analogy. I doubt that you will read the www.whatisobjectivism.com website that I linked. I doubt that you will even tell me whether or not you can choose to enjoy dogshit sandwiches. I doubt that you will admit to me that you didnt "choose" to initially dislike wine. I doubt that you will admit that you only were able to revise your tastes through changes in reality, such as your aging or palette evolution, and the over-time filtering of incoming information to your taste senses.

 
At 4/12/2005 1:03 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"Franc,

Since you don't like to read, if I may quote your fellow atheist, "In a godless world, you eat ice cream because your **taste buds** give positive feedback to your **brain**, which gives you pleasure,..."

and also let me quote the second definition, "Particular to a given person; personal: subjective experience."

Dude, the objectivism and subjectivism we are talking about here is not what the dictionary says about "person".

This is objectivism (from http://www.whatisobjectivism.com/explained/page3.htm):

Does consciousness have primacy over existence (subjective reality) or does existence have primacy over consciousness (objective reality) ?

Its not about "subjectivism" as a single word in the dictionary. Its about Subjective reality vs. Objective reality, which are defined in the quote and link here.

 
At 4/12/2005 1:03 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

whoops. you gotta add "m" to the end of each of those links I provided. the blog cut off the last letter.

 
At 4/12/2005 1:04 AM, Anonymous francois_tremblay declaimed...

We are arguing with a troll, it seems. Don't feed the trolls.

 
At 4/12/2005 1:06 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Hey groundfighter76, I think I see your dictionary problem here.

Instead of looking up subjectivity, try looking up OBJECTIVISM.

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=objectivism

"Philosophy. One of several doctrines holding that all reality is objective and external to the mind and that knowledge is reliably based on observed objects and events."

That should help you with your SEMANTICS problems.

 
At 4/12/2005 1:09 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I wonder where Mark is? Looks like he abandoned this one and left groundfighter to fight on the ground by himself. LOL!

Hey Groundfighter, you should go read that whole whatisobjectivism website before you argue in here again. In turn for your reading that site, I agree to read any similar-size theistic apologetic site you link to me. ;)

 
At 4/12/2005 2:20 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Franc,

Shut up.

Aaron,

You are equivocating on the word objective. First you want it to mean something that is dependent on the mind as when you say "In a godless world, you eat ice cream because your taste buds give positive feedback to your brain, which gives you pleasure, and since everyone is ultimately trying to be happy, you repeat this activity."
And now you want to define it as not dependent on someone's mind? However in your analogy it was dependent on mind - our mind interpreting ice cream (whatever) in a pleasurable manner.

Don't start crying but I'm not going to deal with the rest of your assertions as they are reversible and not worth the effort anymore. Just didn't want you to call me "dishonest".

Subjectivity is person relative. look it up (besides on your cultic physo assertionist website). I am not being dishonest by removing your dogshit example as it completely misses the point. Whether I liked dogshit or not would still be person relative.

"Instead of looking up subjectivity, try looking up OBJECTIVISM."

I've tried looking up objectivism (rand) in both my dictionary of philosophy and encyclopedia of philosophy but no entries exist - imagine that.

"Yes, Mark specified only one moon, but he misapplied the analogy and specified not ONE person (like he did one moon) but he specified EVERY person."

Where is this? I quoted mark, ""whereas my **judgment** that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor is **subjective**."

hmm what did he say here?

STOP MISREPRESENTING, AARON.

p.s. check out robbins, scott ryan, greg nyquist and michael yang on objectivism.

 
At 4/12/2005 9:18 AM, Blogger Mark Kodak declaimed...

Aaron said:
"I wonder where Mark is? Looks like he abandoned this one and left groundfighter to fight on the ground by himself. LOL! "

Once I realized you guys were aping Ayn Rand, I decided to go elsewhere and argue real atheists.

NO ONE who studies philosophy takes her work seriously. No wonder your thinking is so full of nonsense. You must resort to equivication to try to argue anything.

Read some Kant or Hobbes and we can talk then. For now, grow up. Rand is kids stuff.

 
At 4/12/2005 9:40 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

I started reading Kant the other day. As soon as he meationed reason that is devoid of human thought I stopped right there. Anything that followed I knew was just a bunch of rambling nonsense...

 
At 4/12/2005 9:41 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Once I realized you guys were aping Ayn Rand, I decided to go elsewhere and argue real atheists.

We don't blindly follow Rand - we have disagreements with her philosophy and think she made errors - at the same time we also think she made some good points. That's it.

 
At 4/12/2005 1:18 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"Aaron,

You are equivocating on the word objective. First you want it to mean something that is dependent on the mind as when you say "In a godless world, you eat ice cream because your taste buds give positive feedback to your brain, which gives you pleasure, and since everyone is ultimately trying to be happy, you repeat this activity."
And now you want to define it as not dependent on someone's mind? However in your analogy it was dependent on mind - our mind interpreting ice cream (whatever) in a pleasurable manner. "

That is not correct. What I am doing is saying that your mind is dependent upon reality. Not the other way around. You on the other hand are insisting that reality is dependent upon the mind.

"Don't start crying but I'm not going to deal with the rest of your assertions as they are reversible and not worth the effort anymore. Just didn't want you to call me "dishonest"."

Unsupported assertion. You claim they are reversible but you dont demonstrate it. All you do is confuse and misapply the analogies Ive provided, and you refuse to engage my dogshit analogy or even point out WHY you think its wrong. I dont like dealing with unsupported assertions. Every assertion Ive made, I have backed up with examples.

"Subjectivity is person relative. look it up (besides on your cultic physo assertionist website). I am not being dishonest by removing your dogshit example as it completely misses the point. Whether I liked dogshit or not would still be person relative."

Of course its relative to the person! But objectivism NEVER SAYS that everyone MUST LIKE THE SAME ICE CREAM! Objectivity only says that YOU cannot CHOOSE what flavor you like. And this is why you avoid my dogshit example because it would force you to concede this.

You are confusing yourself, because on one hand you insist that you can choose to like whatever you want, and then you set up a strawman and insist that Im being subjective because I am stating that different flavors would be valued differently be different people. Objectivism doesnt have anything to do with whether everyone like vanilla or only some people like vanilla. Objectivism is not talking about PEOPLE but about REALITY.

You keep insisting that just because different people like different flavors, then its all subjective. WRONG! Subjectivist reality would NOT mean that different people can like different flavors, but Subjectivist reality would mean that people can choose whatever flavor they want to like, for example, dogshit. I am stating that objectivist reality means that people cannot choose whatever flavor is their favorite.

You are switching subjects. You sre referring to singular people, then to plural people. And you are confusing the word "subjectivity" with the concept of "subjective reality". They are two different things. Please note that SUBJECTIVE REALITY and OBJECTIVE REALITY are concepts which are distinct from the mere definition of the word "subjective"

Objective reality states that reality has primacy over humans (reality-based).
Subjective reality states that reality is subject to humans (human-based).

"I've tried looking up objectivism (rand) in both my dictionary of philosophy and encyclopedia of philosophy but no entries exist - imagine that."

Not my fault. I provided you with links on objectivism and with a definition of "objectivism" from www.dictionary.com.

"Where is this? I quoted mark, ""whereas my **judgment** that vanilla is the best ice cream flavor is **subjective**."

Okay lets clear this up. Different subjects (different people) can have different favorite flavors. But that is not the issue at hand. With any given subject (person), that person will have an OBJECTIVE favorite flavor that they cannot simply CHOOSE. REALITY and outside information will be what makes the person have a favorite flavor. The persons favorite flavor is based on OBJECTIVE reality, NOT what their WHIM or CHOICE of favorite flavor is. And this is evident in your inability to CHOOSE dogshit or bleach as your favorite flavor.

"hmmm what did he say here?"

He revealed that he didnt know anything about objectivism and that he was setting up a strawman, so I corrected his analogy.

"STOP MISREPRESENTING, AARON."

Im not. Im fully aware of both you and Marks confusion and Im trying to clear it up. And I doubt you even read more than one page of that objectivist site.

"p.s. check out robbins, scott ryan, greg nyquist and michael yang on objectivism."

I promise that I will as soon as you can demonstrate that you even know what objectivism is.

The fact that different people can like different ice cream flavors is irrelevant, just like the fact that some moons do or do not have an atmosphere is irrelevant.

AGAIN the POINT is that ANY GIVEN MOON will OBJECTIVELY have or not have an atmosphere. It cannot be "chosen" but is an objective fact of reality. On the same token, people will have a favorite flavor of ice cream based on all the information they have available. They cannot CHOOSE to LOVE dogshit or vanilla any more than they can CHOOSE for the moon to have an atmosphere. They can only conclude what their favorite flavor is based oon all the flavors they have tried. SEE?

The fact that different people can have different favorite flavors is irrelevant and does nothing to refute objectivism. When you make an objective statement, you have to have a STATEMENT to MAKE and you have to have an ENTITY to make it about. For each entity (person) you make an objective statement about, that person can have different favorite flavors based OBJECTIVELY on the reality that they are aware of. THAT IS OBJECTIVISM.

You think that this is all subjective only because you think that changing the entity in question makes it "subjective." It does not. What you are doing is switching topics or entites in question and trying to make generalized statements about all of them. You are stuck in a subjective mindset yourself.

Objectivism is about an OBJECTIVE REALITY. Its not about making the SAME STATEMENT FOR EVERY HUMAN. There is either a SUBJECTIVE reality, or an OBJECTIVE reality. This whole issue you and I are arguing is based on REALITY, not human perception of it.

But if you read that objectivism site, you would know that. We are going around in circles here. If you dont make any progress after this post or give me any new info then I will assume you arent interested in understanding any of this. Until you support your assertion or refute my dogshit analogy or demonstrate that you read the whatisobjectivism website, Im not going to continue talking with you. Im tired of running in circles. Please give me something to go on; something to move forward with.

Either refute my analogies with specific explanations, or propose your own analogies, please. Give me more than the definition of a word from the dictionary. Im asking you nicely.

So just to recap, this discussion is about SUBJECTIVE REALITY vs. OBJECTIVE REALITY, which is distinct from the mere definition of the word "subjective":

1. Does consciousness have primacy over existence (subjective reality)?

2. Or does existence have primacy over consciousness (objective reality)?

 
At 4/12/2005 1:21 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Mark said:

"Once I realized you guys were aping Ayn Rand, I decided to go elsewhere and argue real atheists."

Hah! You only dissapeared when I deconstructed your moon/ice cream analogy and used it against you.

"NO ONE who studies philosophy takes her work seriously. No wonder your thinking is so full of nonsense. You must resort to equivication to try to argue anything.

Read some Kant or Hobbes and we can talk then. For now, grow up. Rand is kids stuff."

Ad hominem and unsupported assertions.

Mark if you are correct, then I invite you to make me, and us, eat our words. I invite you to propose another analogy demonstrating how objectivism is wrong. Why dont you take the moon atmosphere/ice cream analogy and kick my ass with it? Or why dont you make up a new one and show me how Im so wrong? Im not afraid to be corrected at all.

But I think that it was I who was correcting YOU the last time you proposed a scenario.

So what is your favorite flavor of ice cream anyway? Any flavor you want it to be? ;)

 
At 4/12/2005 2:25 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Hmmmm. 65 comments later, and there's still no Presuppositional argument.

 
At 4/12/2005 4:16 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Mark:
Read some Kant or Hobbes and we can talk then. For now, grow up. Rand is kids stuff."

This reminds me of a JP Holding article I read. He uses an argument from one book - which he doesn't agree with - in order to discredit an argument from another book he doesn't agree with. Then he turns around and attacks the supporting argument from the first book and claims victory over both.

Zach Mark told us way back somewhere in those comments what the argument is:


The Christian God is my starting presupposition.

That's the argument.

 
At 4/12/2005 4:43 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

THE PRESUPPOSITIONALIST ARGUMENT

Posit P as "the Christian God exists".
(1) I (being a Christian) am always right.
(2) P is my starting presupposition.
(3) I observe facts of cognition.
(4) Both MUST be true. (see 1)
(5) Therefore the Christian God must have created the facts of cognition.
(6) If any other worldview were compatible with (3), I'd have to use standards of evidence, which I cannot ever do because there is no evidence for P.
(7) Therefore no other worldview is compatible with (3). (once again, see 1)
(8) The square root of -1 is i. AHA ! See ? Your materialist worldview has crumbled !
(9) Therefore God exists.

 
At 4/12/2005 4:46 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

LOL

 
At 4/12/2005 4:51 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

No, Franc, you got it all wrong. The presuppositional apologetic goes more like this:

Premise: The atheist cannot account for the laws of logic, morality or science.

Conclusion: Therefore God exists and I win the debate, Moron!

 
At 4/12/2005 5:35 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

That's the really abbreviated version.

 
At 4/12/2005 5:50 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

It's the one that I tend to see from presuppositionalists the most.

 
At 4/13/2005 12:05 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

That whole time, nobody answered my question if they could instantly "choose" to love the taste of dogshit or not.

But many theists will insist that, for example, gays can "choose" whether or not to like the same sex, or that people can "choose" what their favorite flavor ice cream is.

I hate coffee ice cream, but I didnt "choose" to hate it; I simply did. Nor did I "choose" to like strawberry ice cream; I simply did. Nor did I "choose" to prefer women sexually; I simply did.

 
At 8/16/2010 3:24 AM, Blogger ming declaimed...

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