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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Using Induction to subvert it?

I was reading the article by Michael Martin on the Secular Web where he looks into the possibility of induction assuming theism and the Christian God in particular. Martin says:

Christian apologists like Bahnsen who appeal to TAG acknowledge their debt to David Hume, the eighteenth century Scottish skeptic, and Bertrand Russell, one of the twentieth century's most famous philosophers. Both thinkers raised skeptical questions about induction. Bahnsen's strategy was to take these seriously and then try to show that belief in the Christian God could dispel them. Unfortunately, he exhibited no awareness of the philosophical arguments that have challenged inductive skepticism in general and Hume's and Russell's versions of it in particular.

I do not know what arguments Martin is talking about - if any of you know please post them. I turned to Wikipedia for a quick paragraph on “the problem of induction” as formulated by Hume.


We all think that the past acts as a reliable guide to the future. For example, physicists' laws of planetary orbits work for describing past planetary behavior, so we presume that they'll work for describing future planetary behavior as well. But how can we justify this presumption – the principle of induction? Hume suggested two possible justifications and rejected them both:

  1. The first justification states that, as a matter of logical necessity, the future must resemble the past. But, Hume pointed out, we can conceive of a chaotic, erratic world where the future has nothing to do with the past – or, more tamely, a world just like ours right up until the present, at which point things change completely. So nothing makes the principle of induction logically necessary.
  2. The second justification, more modestly, appeals only to the past reliability of induction – it's always worked before, so it will probably continue to work. But, Hume pointed out, this justification uses circular reasoning, justifying induction by an appeal that requires induction to gain any force.


I think both of these rely on the false premise of analytic and synthetic truths – but that is not my argument. Perhaps you guys can point out my error in thinking here but it would seem that Hume and Russell would have to use induction in order to undermine it. [I have not read any of their material so I have no idea.] I.E. they would have to find particular possibilities of justifying induction, show why it can't be justified and then come to the general conclusion that induction cannot be justified. If I am right then this amounts to concept stealing and their arguments against induction collapse – along with any presuppostionalist usage of their arguments.

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148 Comments:

At 5/12/2005 12:46 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

You already know the Objectivist argument - that induction is based on the uniformity of nature, which itself is based on the axiom of identity and its corollary, causality.

 
At 5/12/2005 6:09 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

I was trying to avoid using any objectivist ideas and simply point out that their arguments for inductive skepticism rely on induction - i.e. avoid the "aping rand" charge.

 
At 5/12/2005 9:46 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Cad: "I do not know what arguments Martin is talking about - if any of you know please post them."

Martin is referring principally to the work of various 20th century academic philosophers, such as Black, Strawson, Reichenbach, et al., who tried to answer Hume/Russell when they wrestled with the problem of induction. A few of their positions are somewhat summarized (and briefly critiqued) in James Anderson's Secular Responses to the Problem of Induction.

Cad: "it would seem that Hume and Russell would have to use induction in order to undermine it."

In the final analysis, you're right about this. In effect, they're attempting to draw a universal conlusion: all instances of inductive reasoning are invalid. How can you have a universal conclusion without inductive reasoning? It is - as you rightly pointed out in your blog - a massive stolen concept: they're denying the very process on which their denial stands. But given their premises - specifically their lack of an objective theory of concepts and their conception of induction as such, it would not be possible to reach any other conclusion than the skepcial conclusion they're so well known for. The problem that Bahnsen, Anderson and other presuppositionalists have, is that they do just as Martin says in his article: they take Hume and Russell seriously. In other words, they do not examine Hume's conception of induction to see if it's accurate. But why wouldn't they do this? If they want to reject Hume's conclusion, why not check his premises? But that's the point of presuppositionalism: they need Hume - they need Hume's position to stand as a general representation for all non-Christian positions, even though there's no basis for doing so. I have gone round with James Anderson and Mike Warren on this topic, and a few simple questions were sufficient to blow the lid off their bluff. I hope one day to get time to bring out the substance of our exchanges, either in my blog or on my personal website. It all boils down to a double straw man: mischaracterize the inductive process and presume that all non-Christians are stuck with the problem.

Franc: "You already know the Objectivist argument - that induction is based on the uniformity of nature, which itself is based on the axiom of identity and its corollary, causality."

That's not the whole story, though. In fact, the idea of nature's uniformity is somewhat trivial - but it is true that it can be defended quite easily on the basis of the axioms, which bugs the snot out of presuppers. Crucial to understanding induction is a proper conception of causality. Hume saw causality as a relationship between events (which is not a necessary relationship), while Aristotelianism/Objectivism conceives of causality as a relationship between an entity and its own actions, which is a necessary relationship (due the law of identity). There, one of Hume's major premises just got knocked off the block. Another misconception is so commonly used that academics would label me a heretic for questioning: they want to conceive of induction as a temporal process rather than a conceptual process. Anderson makes this clear in his question: "What reason do we have to think that we can draw reliable conclusions about future (unobserved) instances on the basis of past (observed) instances?" Anderson was stunned when I explained to him that time has nothing to do with induction, for we can use inductive inference about past "events" too, not just future "events" (the word "event" is too conveniently imprecise for presuppositionalists to resist). The problem here is that induction is conceived in terms of reasoning from one point in time to another, which is not an entity-based (i.e., objective) understanding of how we reason. Rather, induction is the application of the law of causality to entity classes - i.e., conceptual models which we form on the basis of a small set of samples. So there's another of Hume's blocks knocked off, and we're home free. When I pointed this out to Anderson, he ditched the discussion.

Cad: "I was trying to avoid using any objectivist ideas and simply point out that their arguments for inductive skepticism rely on induction - i.e. avoid the "aping rand" charge."

I wouldn't worry about people who want to charge you in this manner. Rand was more on target than even many well-read Objectivists realize.

 
At 5/12/2005 10:17 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Great comments BB - thanks.

 
At 5/12/2005 10:35 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

While writing this I did another quick Wiki search about "logically necessary" and "logically possible." As I was reading it occured to me that these are based off of a faulty concept formation process ie that the "sky is green" is a logical possibility. This ignores the fact that the concept sky is contextual to earth and also entails the fact that the sky is blue and not green. That I can conceive of a world in which the sky is green makes no difference to what existence provides us with.

 
At 5/12/2005 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB said, "In the final analysis, you're right about this. In effect, they're attempting to draw a universal conlusion: all instances of inductive reasoning are invalid. How can you have a universal conclusion without inductive reasoning?"

This is wrong. For one, Clarkians say that induction is a fallacy and not valid, not Van Tillians. Also, Russell did not use induction to determine whether inductive reasoning is invalid. To the contrary, in the Problems of Philosophy, he explicitly states that one can neither prove nor disprove induction by any appeal to experience (particular instances). He says that one has to accept it based on it's 'intrinsic' truth/value.

 
At 5/12/2005 10:52 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Anon
He says that one has to accept it based on it's 'intrinsic' truth/value.

How does he know that intrinsic truth exists?

 
At 5/12/2005 11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Well that's what in question and can't be justified/proved based upon his worldview - i.e., man does not have universal experience.

 
At 5/12/2005 11:07 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

So you are saying that man is not a god...

 
At 5/12/2005 11:32 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "This is wrong. For one, Clarkians say that induction is a fallacy and not valid, not Van Tillians."

I wasn't talking about Van Tillians. I was talking about anyone who wants to defend the general conclusion that induction is invalid. And yes, I know what Clark & Co. say about induction and science. They must think they're really on the cutting edge or something. It's amazing what silliness people put in their minds.

Anon: "Also, Russell did not use induction to determine whether inductive reasoning is invalid. To the contrary, in the Problems of Philosophy, he explicitly states that one can neither prove nor disprove induction by any appeal to experience (particular instances). He says that one has to accept it based on it's 'intrinsic' truth/value."

I take it by your comments that you aren't seeing how all of what you said would not be possible to even conceive unless inductive were valid. So again, we have more stolen concepts.

 
At 5/12/2005 11:38 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "Well that's what in question and can't be justified/proved based upon his worldview - i.e., man does not have universal experience."

Statements like this show that the one making it does not understand induction from a conceptual perspective. Man does not need to have "universal experience" to form concepts (he only needs to have awareness of two or more like things to form a concept which classes them), and he does not need "universal experience" to apply the law of causality to entity classes so formed. The Humean/Russellian conception of induction is completely flawed because neither of these thinkers had a good understanding of concepts, how they are formed and their service as a model for inductive generalization.

 
At 5/12/2005 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Tremblay:

"You already know the Objectivist argument - that induction is based on the uniformity of nature, which itself is based on the axiom of identity and its corollary, causality."

That doesn't tell us how a thing *behaves* to say it has identity. You guys here are all lightweights

 
At 5/12/2005 1:07 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "That doesn't tell us how a thing *behaves* to say it has identity. You guys here are all lightweights."

General principles do not carry the onus to specify a particular entity's actions or range of possible actions. The general principles give one's reasoning process a foothold grounded in objectivity (object-based), and as I mentioned, the law of causality as Objectivism conceives of it tells us that the relationship between an entity and its own actions is a necessary relationship. Without such general principles, finer details which vary from particular to particular could not be integrated. Notice that we don't need to go to the bible to grasp and understand these general principles. They are derivable from the subject-object relationship which is involved in every act of awareness (that's where logic gets its universality).

 
At 5/12/2005 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB said, "I take it by your comments that you aren't seeing how all of what you said would not be possible to even conceive unless inductive were valid. So again, we have more stolen concepts."

So what you are saying is that you prove induction valid by using induction?


Let me ask an unrelated question if I may about the "Fallacy of Stolen Concepts" (for my own further understanding since only objectivists seem to use this - at least under this name). Do you consider this to be a logical fallacy?

 
At 5/12/2005 2:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Bahnsen Burner, or anyone else for that matter:

get from A=A to "nature behaves in a law-like way."

Or,

a toothpaste tube is a toothpaste tube, therefore we have a rational basis to believe that it will squirt out, if unobstructed and with paste in it yadda yadda,

Fill it out for me. Logically, if you will.

 
At 5/12/2005 3:38 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "So what you are saying is that you prove induction valid by using induction?"

No, that is not what I was saying. I'm only pointing out, as did Cad in his blog, that the general conclusion that all instances of inductive reasoning are invalid or wrongheaded would simply undermine itself, for obvious reasons. Whether Russell claimed this or not is really beside the point. Induction does not need to be "proved" (we need induction in order to assemble the content of proofs in the first place). But it can be validated, which is broader than a formal proof. For this I refer you to David Kelley's treatment of the problem of induction (Kelley earned his Ph.D in philosophy from Princeton, so even Paul Manata should be willing to take him seriously, but probably won't). I've looked at a lot of attempts to address the problem, and in my view Kelley's is hands down the best I've seen, especially since he points out critical flaws in Hume's conception of the problem (among other reasons). Academic treatments of the problem of induction that I have seen typically do not do this. Rather they tend to accept Hume's conception of the problem uncritically and attempt to wrestle with it on his terms, or in effect just give up (in so many words). That's why many modern attempts to "answer Hume" are so unsatisfactory. Bahnsen is a good example of this: as Martin points out, Bahnsen took Hume seriously, and he shows little or no awareness of the many answers that various thinkers offered viz. Hume in the decades prior to his (Bahnsen's) death. But let's be clear: Bahnsen wasn't concerned about the problem of induction. On the contrary, he wanted to use the problem of induction, as conceived by Hume, as a platform for an argument from ignorance. (For instance, his incessant droning "the atheist worldview cannot account for the uniformity of nature" is really nothing more than the admission "I, Greg Bahnsen, do not know how any particular atheist might go about validating induction," and then trying to pry his apologetic conclusions from this basis.) The idea that we need to point to an invisible magic being to "account for" uniformity in nature is absolute nonsense, and does nothing to bring greater understanding to the issues involved.

Anon: "Let me ask an unrelated question if I may about the "Fallacy of Stolen Concepts" (for my own further understanding since only objectivists seem to use this - at least under this name). Do you consider this to be a logical fallacy?"

As Rand identified it, yes.

 
At 5/12/2005 3:44 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "get from A=A to 'nature behaves in a law-like way'… Fill it out for me. Logically, if you will."

I think your whole approach here is problematic. We don't have to prove that things in nature "behave in a law-like way." In fact, I don't know what could be meant by "behave in a non-law-like way," unless of course you refer to certain chosen human actions, such as those that you would see at a Britney Spears concert. But even then, causal law is in effect, since no matter how much wishing Spears is capable of, she will not be able to revise reality by enabling herself to fly through the sky by flapping her arms. As I would understand it, the expression "A behaves in a law-like way" simply means that A's actions are necessarily dependent on (and restricted to) A's nature - i.e., the law of causality. Contrast this with Hume's conception of causality as a relationship between events. On his terms, there's no reason to suppose that a bird's ability to fly through the air is made possible by the movement of its wings rather than by its chirping. But on an entity-based conception of causality (to which Objectivism holds), we can discover that a bird's chirping does not enable it to fly for a bird's vocalizations are not able to give the bird lift, while the movement of its wings does.

Can I ask you a question, Anon? Why are you hiding your identity?

 
At 5/12/2005 4:00 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

BB
But it can be validated, which is broader than a formal proof.

A "formal proof" would be directly related to deductive reasoning anyway would it not?

 
At 5/12/2005 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Anon has two identities. Another objectivist assumption.

I'll check out David Kelley. What is the work to which you are referring?

 
At 5/12/2005 7:11 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Let me try...

axiom of existence + axiom of consciousness = primacy of existence
primacy of existence + axiom of identity = causality
causality + self-contained materialist universe = induction (causality applied to the universe)

Am I close ?

 
At 5/12/2005 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Just a few comments:

BB said, "academics would label me a heretic for questioning: they want to conceive of induction as a temporal process rather than a conceptual process. "

Maybe you could expound upon this. Induction is reasoning from the observed to the unobserved, whether past, present, or future. If you are referring to the example that is commonly used (the sun rising tomorrow), then you need to realize that it is an example and only an example.

BB also said, "As I would understand it, the expression "A behaves in a law-like way" simply means that A's actions are necessarily dependent on (and restricted to) A's nature - i.e., the law of causality."

Now the problem of induction would call into question A's nature. How do you know A's nature will be consistent from observed to the unobserved?


"Cad: "it would seem that Hume and Russell would have to use induction in order to undermine it."

BB said, "In the final analysis, you're right about this. In effect, **they're** attempting to draw a universal conlusion: all instances of inductive reasoning are invalid."

BB also said, "Whether Russell claimed this or not is really beside the point."

The point of my post was that you were wrong in attempting to explain Russell's position. Capice?

BB also said, "Man does not need to have "universal experience" to form concepts (he only needs to have awareness of two or more like things to form a concept which classes them), and he does not need "universal experience" to apply the law of causality to entity classes so formed."

Pray tell where I said this?

With the distinction you've made between "events" and "entities" and other comments leads me to believe you do not even understand the problem that is being posed.

 
At 5/12/2005 8:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

What I also find intriguing is that you seem to take Michael Martin seriously but not Russell and Hume.

 
At 5/12/2005 10:25 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Anon
Now the problem of induction would call into question A's nature. How do you know A's nature will be consistent from observed to the unobserved?

Which is where a proper theory of concept formation will explain this to you.

Anon
The point of my post was that you were wrong in attempting to explain Russell's position. Capice?

Fine - which is why I said that I had not read any of their works and wondered if I was correct in my saying that they were stealing a concept in order to subvert it.

Anon
To the contrary, in the Problems of Philosophy, he explicitly states that one can neither prove nor disprove induction by any appeal to experience (particular instances). He says that one has to accept it based on it's 'intrinsic' truth/value.

So one must know induction via a process that is not available to man. This sounds like the philosopher's deductive fallacy to me.

Anon
With the distinction you've made between "events" and "entities" and other comments leads me to believe you do not even understand the problem that is being posed.

Or... could it be that BB has correctly identified the problem and you are upset that we do not fit into a mold which you can criticize?

Anon
What I also find intriguing is that you seem to take Michael Martin seriously but not Russell and Hume.

I only used Martin to bring up an issue that I thought was interesting.

 
At 5/13/2005 7:45 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

BB said, "academics would label me a heretic for questioning: they want to conceive of induction as a temporal process rather than a conceptual process. "

Anon: “Maybe you could expound upon this. Induction is reasoning from the observed to the unobserved, whether past, present, or future. If you are referring to the example that is commonly used (the sun rising tomorrow), then you need to realize that it is an example and only an example.”

I was not referring specifically to that example, but it is a common one. Rather, I was referring to the way that presuppositionalists who use Bahnsen’s TAG commonly conceive of the problem of induction. I quoted Anderson before, but apparently you missed it, so I’ll quote him again:

"What reason do we have to think that we can draw reliable conclusions about future (unobserved) instances on the basis of past (observed) instances?" (Secular Responses to the Problem of Induction)

Additionally, in private correspondence with Anderson I wrote: “I'm always surprised, when reading a paper that attempts to deal with induction, that there is no discussion of concepts, the nature of their forming, or their relationship to inductive generalization, as if these issues did not matter.”

And in response to this, Anderson replied: “it's not immediately obvious to me how the nature of concept formation bears either on the description of the problem of induction or on the
development of cogent solutions.”

So I think there’s a vast deficiency afflicting the Van Tillian conception of the problem to begin with, and Objectivism overcomes this.

BB also said, "As I would understand it, the expression "A behaves in a law-like way" simply means that A's actions are necessarily dependent on (and restricted to) A's nature - i.e., the law of causality."

Anon: “Now the problem of induction would call into question A's nature. How do you know A's nature will be consistent from observed to the unobserved?”

This is just a veiled challenge to prove a negative, which no one needs to accept. It’s basically asking “Prove that A will not change into non-A.” As a demand it is no less arbitrary than asking “How do you know that the bowl of mushroom soup you’re eating won’t suddenly turn into a pterodactyl and eat your boss after installing DirecTV in his townhouse?” There are many things that can happen without our knowledge. There is no guarantee, for instance, that my house will not burn down while I’m at work (i.e., there’s no guarantee that the state of affairs will remain what they are). But if that happens, there will be a cause responsible for making it happen. The problem of induction does not call into question the fact that entities have a nature; if you think it does, then it’s just a non-problem, for things that exist have a nature, an identity. If you feel otherwise, perhaps you can give an example of something that exists but has no nature whatsoever. Induction is essentially nothing more than extending the process of conceptualization according to causal implications. It is a completely natural process, and it's clear that it befuddles presuppositionalists (who want to give it a supernatural explanation). That's because they are operating on a worldview that doesn't understand concepts. They don't even understand it to be a conceptual matter, which Anderson's comments above make clear.

Cad: "it would seem that Hume and Russell would have to use induction in order to undermine it."

BB said, "In the final analysis, you're right about this. In effect, **they're** attempting to draw a universal conlusion: all instances of inductive reasoning are invalid."

BB also said, "Whether Russell claimed this or not is really beside the point."

Anon: “The point of my post was that you were wrong in attempting to explain Russell's position. Capice?”

I wasn’t attempting to explain Russell’s position. I was simply reiterating Cad's point that the general conclusion "All instances of inductive reasoning are invalid" itself relies on induction, and thus invalidates itself. This is the case whether Russell or any other particular person has championed such a position. Capice?

Anon: “With the distinction you've made between "events" and "entities" and other comments leads me to believe you do not even understand the problem that is being posed.”

Then I invite you, Anon, to present your understanding of the problem. When you do, please speak to this point – whether it’s more precise to speak of “events” as opposed to entities. Please elaborate on how you define ‘event’ and explain how one can determine when some action constitutes an event. For instance, when someone is riding his bicycle, how many events are going on, one, or many?

I know one thing for sure, Anon, induction would be completely impossible in the cartoon universe of theism. Some theists I’ve talked to about this seem to get it, but they still want their theism to be true, so they try to invent all kinds of ways around it. The dishonesty of religious belief is really an amazing thing to observe. It’s also very dangerous.

 
At 5/13/2005 7:50 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: “What I also find intriguing is that you seem to take Michael Martin seriously but not Russell and Hume.”

I’m not sure whom you were directing this to, but you’d be wrong to think I take Michael Martin very seriously. He has written some interesting papers, and I think he made some very good points in his book The Case Against Christianity, but many of those points can be found in previous books (such as those by GA Wells, whom Martin cites on the issue of Jesus' historicity). Also, you can look on my blog Incinerating Presuppositionalism and see that to date I haven’t appealed to Martin’s authority for anything.

 
At 5/13/2005 7:51 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Cad: "Or... could it be that BB has correctly identified the problem and you are upset that we do not fit into a mold which you can criticize?"

Bingo.

 
At 5/13/2005 8:27 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Anon
With the distinction you've made between "events" and "entities" and other comments leads me to believe you do not even understand the problem that is being posed.

Or another possibility is that its not that we don't understand it - its that we think "the problem" is incorrectly formulated due to a lack of a good theory of concept formation. This is not a lack of understanding it is a difference in theory.

 
At 5/13/2005 11:38 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Cad: "This is not a lack of understanding it is a difference in theory."

Right. It is a fundamentally different approach to induction, one which I don't think presuppositionalists have ever considered when plying their apologetic. A big hurdle for presuppositionalists to overcome even in grasping the significance of Objectivism's approach to induction will be in getting a good understanding of the objective theory of concepts, something that Van Til, Bahnsen et al. seem never to have even been aware of. So today's apologists will not be able to mount an effective attack on Objectivism if they rely on these authors, who primarily sheltered themselves with easy-to-critique models, such as Hume's.

What's important is to never lose sight with the alternative that the presuppositionalist wants to defend, namely that there is a magic being in control of everything, and supposedly this "accounts for" the uniformity that we perceive firsthand. But given the bible's deity, it is known for altering reality according to its whims, which would make induction completely unreliable. On Christianity's premises, one could never know the next time he goes to the lake, whether he'll have to swim through the water, or walk on it a la Peter. If he sets fire to a bush, perhaps it will speak to him. If he goes to a pet shop and looks at the snakes for sale, they might start talking to him. Anything could happen, and there'd be no reason to suppose any regularity because there'd be no reason to suppose that an entity's action has any relationship to its nature. It would be utter chaos, epistemologically speaking. So presuppositionalism just backfires on itself. Meanwhile they'll just complain "You don't understand."

 
At 5/13/2005 12:26 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I think BB said it very well in the comment above, in regards to the cartoon universe and having a conscious supreme deity that can change the nature of things at his will.

Anon: “Now the problem of induction would call into question A's nature. How do you know A's nature will be consistent from observed to the unobserved?”

BB: This is just a veiled challenge to prove a negative, which no one needs to accept. It’s basically asking “Prove that A will not change into non-A.”


I was gonna take up that statement from anon and dissect it, but you beat me to it! And you did it so well.

To me, it seems that this all comes back to the objective/subjective question. The objectivist, materialist worldview states that the nature of existence is numero uno. The theistic worldview, on the other hand, states that the will of a conscious entity is numero uno.

So again, we have atheists who say that existence has primacy over consciousness, and theists who say that consciousness has primacy over existence.

The problem is, only one of these worldviews is supportable by evidence, and that is the non-theistic worldview (I refer to my "Moon is a Que Ball" blog post): I cannot choose which ice cream flavor I like the most.

The theist worldview must, by their own admission, be taken on faith, and faith is unevidenced (I refer to my "Driving Blind on a Highway to Hell" blog post).

I think its sooooo funny that, when atheists and theists get down and dirty and slug it out with their worldveiws, that the theist loathes to admit the "faith" factor as not being rationally defendable(As I pointed out with my Van Til/Manata quotes and references).

 
At 5/14/2005 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB said, "As a demand it is no less arbitrary than asking “How do you know that the bowl of mushroom soup you’re eating won’t suddenly turn into a pterodactyl and eat your boss after installing DirecTV in his townhouse?”"

Funny that you said this. Russell says on page 112 of Problems of Philosophy that, "In most questions of daily life, such as whether our food is likely to be nourishing and not poisonous, we shall be driven back to the inductive principle..."

Now you may say you don't care what russell says but I am quoting to point it out that the inductive principle is much more general than you allow.

 
At 5/15/2005 9:19 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "Now you may say you don't care what russell says"

I really don't care what Russell says about much of anything.

Anon: "but I am quoting to point it out that the inductive principle is much more general than you allow."

Perhaps you could expand on what you're trying to say here. What specifically do you mean by "much more general than you allow"? Are you saying that a person has some onus to disprove arbitrary hypotheticals before taking action? Do you think you need to prove that your bowl of Cheerios won't suddenly start singing Offenbach operettas before you pour milk into it and start to eat it? If so, how would you go about proving that such things won't happen, especially in the cartoon universe of your theism?

 
At 5/15/2005 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

So no one wanted to answer my questions? BB just said, "I don't think your question is relevent." Tha is to say, "what my net don't catch aint fish."

No one has given a logical argument where you get from A=A to "nature is uniform. or behaves in a law-like way." The only thing to be said is that BB tries to play philosopher and sound inteligent by saying, "I don't know what it means to say something behaves in a non-law like way." Easy: A sun is a sun (law of identity), but maybe it comes up and goes down and then goes sideways and then burns everything and then freezes everything, etc. So, you can't get to behavior from A is A.

Anyone else who dosn't want to resort to chicken tactics care to try?

Waiting....

Anon,

p.s. I hide my identity because I chose to place value on my privacy... how 'bout dem apples, BB.

 
At 5/16/2005 8:02 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Easy: A sun is a sun (law of identity), but maybe it comes up and goes down and then goes sideways and then burns everything and then freezes everything, etc. So, you can't get to behavior from A is A.

The concept sun entails every identification there is about sun - behavior included.

You example reminds me of something I was reading the other day about "logically possible."

From Wikipedia:
"Logical possibility should be distinguished from other sorts of subjunctive possibilities. For example, it may be logically possible for the laws of nature to be different from what they actually are. The debate over whether it really is logically possible is beyond the scope of this article; the important thing to note here is that many philosophers have taken it for granted that it is logically possible; and if it is, then many things that we would normally consider to be demonstrably impossible will still be included amongst logical possibilities: for example, that I might fly by flapping my arms, or that I might throw a baseball faster than the 186,000 miles per second (300,000 km/s). Many philosophers, then, have held that these scenarios are logically possible but nomologically impossible, i.e., impossible under the actual laws of nature. Similarly, it's a perfectly genuine logical possibility that I might go on a senseless killing spree because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed one morning; but this is no accusation against my character, because while it's logically possible (there's no contradiction involved in supposing that it's true), it's not characterologically possible--there is no way that it could happen unless I cease to be the sort of person that I actually am."

What I want to point out is that logical possibility divorces concepts from their context. I could state a proposition that it is logically possible that the laws of nature could be such that I could flap my arms and fly. But this ignores the context of a number of concepts. Flying, how man moves, etc. Concepts entail ALL identifications involved - their "essence" or essential aspect [which is epitemic and not metpahysical] is their definition. So... for man one of the identifications within natural context is that he DOES NOT fly. The defining characteristic is that he is a "rational animal." [Has the ability to be rational not that he is always rational.] Uniformity of nature takes into accoutn ALL identifications and not some. Logical possibility in the objectivist/conceptualist view is absurd.

Because I can think of a "Star Wars" universe does not negate the actual universe that we live in and exist.

I await the usual "You just don't understand the issues" epithet now...

 
At 5/16/2005 9:18 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

It also occurs to me that you are using a non-human standard of knowledge.

 
At 5/16/2005 10:07 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Cad: "What I want to point out is that logical possibility divorces concepts from their context."

Some very important points, Cad. And it's refreshing to see someone else making them. The "logically possible" locution is common jargon for many apologists. Consider the following. In response to the questions that I asked theists to ponder in my blog Omnipotence and Sovereignty in the Cartoon Universe, one guy wrote the following:

"If God is sovereign, then He could do X (where X stands for conditions in the creation which are contrary or merely different from the original and current created stated, such as 'create green snow','create a man with 42 arms','make a woman give birth to an elephant', etc. None of the hyoptheticals, thankfully, are nonsensical contradictions)."

(You can find these comments here.)

I put the last statement in bold because I think it eloquently shows the mindset these guys are in. Although he doesn't use the words "logically possible" here, it's precisely what he means. The idea of a "square circle" is a "nonsensical contradiction," but the idea of a man with 42 arms, a woman giving birth to an elephant, or a flower that speaks Chinese, is not. These things are not contradictions in their minds, they're "merely different" from what we customarily find in the world. So who's to say they're not "logically possible"? I think that's pretty remarkable. But it also confirms that their religion compels them to adopt the view that the universe is essentially nothing more than a piece of putty in some cosmic consciousness' care, essentially that the universe is like a cartoon. For in a cartoon, one can make all these things happen. It's just a way to ditch the constraints of reality and call the resulting speculations "philosophy." Don't be surprised when such imaginings ultimately produce lethal consequences.

As for debate, however, statements such as this pretty much show that the presuppositionalist's concern for the uniformity of nature and inductive reasoning is pretentious, for in the Christian worldview there's no such thing as uniformity of nature, and consequently no possibility of induction. They simply serve as devices used in the service of bamboozling non-Christians. Nothing more.

 
At 5/16/2005 10:50 AM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

BB
I put the last statement in bold because I think it eloquently shows the mindset these guys are in. Although he doesn't use the words "logically possible" here, it's precisely what he means. The idea of a "square circle" is a "nonsensical contradiction," but the idea of a man with 42 arms, a woman giving birth to an elephant, or a flower that speaks Chinese, is not.

In addition, what people think of as clear non-sensical contradiction (square circle) only arises because of the number of identifications necessary to know what a square or circle is. For concepts such as dog, cat, man etc many more identifications are necessary to form the concept but the application is the same. It becomes clear, that when logical possibility is used the person betrays the fact that they refuse to do the necessary identifications to explicity identify what the concept in question is - to identify it's "essence" or "essentially defining characteristic."

 
At 5/16/2005 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Cadster,

You don't understand but that's not my point here. You said:

"The concept sun entails every identification there is about sun - behavior included."

That's an interesting assertion but that's all it is. Granting the assertion you haven't shown its law-like behavior. It may behave irrationaly evry so often, etc. Also, how could you know "every" identification? To say it behaves in a law-like way, all the time, is to say that you know everything about a "sun." But you don't.

Your comments about modal considerations were totally off the mark and that leads me to believe you just put that in there to throw me off the scent of my prey. Possible worlds has nothing to do with the argument and so I think you have not even studied what's known as "the problem of induction."

Again, anyone want to logically prove:
A=A, :. Nature behaves in a law-like way?

still waiting... my patience is wearing thin.

 
At 5/16/2005 12:25 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Anon
It may behave irrationaly evry so often, etc.

Kind of like epicycles right?

Anon
Also, how could you know "every" identification? To say it behaves in a law-like way, all the time, is to say that you know everything about a "sun." But you don't.

CAD in another comment glossed over:
It also occurs to me that you are using a non-human standard of knowledge.

Additionally, if the sun did behave in an unaticipated way we could attempt to find a cause. This only seems to make sense if the sun has its own mind like man and is able to act volitionally. Besides, if it did act like that we would put that under the concept sun - perhaps as being its cheif identifying factor.

 
At 5/16/2005 12:27 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Cad: "The concept sun entails every identification there is about sun - behavior included."

Anon: "That's an interesting assertion but that's all it is."

Cad's statement is in keeping with the Objectivist theory of concepts, which recognizes that the meaning of a concept is not restricted to what is specified in its definition. I think this is a very important point to keep in mind with regard to concepts, and consequently in any discussion about the nature of induction (since induction is a conceptual process). That you want to dismiss Cad's point as just an assertion suggests to me that you're not very familiar with the objective theory of concepts or the importance of its finer points. Indeed, you won't learn about it by reading the bible.

Anon: "Granting the assertion you haven't shown its law-like behavior. It may behave irrationaly evry so often, etc."

Only human beings and their creations can be said to act either rationally or irrationally. Rationality is the commitment to reason as one's only means of knowledge and his only guide to action, and it's possible only to human beings (and their creations) - biological organisms which have achieved the conscious ability to identify the objects it perceives by means of concepts. We do not say that rocks are either rational or irrational, and we do not say that an avalanche is either rational or irrational. But we can say that certain worldviews (such as Christianity) are irrational, since they are not consistently committed to reason as their only means of knowledge (such worldviews affirm their "truths" on the basis of faith instead of reason), and we can say that certain individuals (such as people who want to take Christianity seriously) are irrational, since they have abandoned reason as their only means of knowledge and/or their guide to action (again, they appeal to faith).

Anon: "Also, how could you know 'every' identification? To say it behaves in a law-like way, all the time, is to say that you know everything about a 'sun' But you don't."

Again, I take "X behaves in a law-like way" to mean nothing more than X's actions are dependent on X's nature. We do not have to be omniscient to recognize this. The law of causality is a basic recognition: the law of identity applied to action. A rational worldview simply makes this recognition explicit and rational individuals understand how to apply this principle throughout their system of abstractions.

Anon: "Your comments about modal considerations were totally off the mark"

Can you elaborate on this? What position would you like to defend?

Anon: "and that leads me to believe you just put that in there to throw me off the scent of my prey."

Your "prey"? Statements like this just confirm what I have always suspected about Christians: that I Peter 5:8 ("Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour") is really talking about Christian apologists.

Anon: "Possible worlds has nothing to do with the argument and so I think you have not even studied what's known as 'the problem of induction'."

Perhaps you could give us a play-by-play lesson on how you think man's mind engages in inductive reasoning. Otherwise, if you're not going to add any serious input to the discussion, I'd suggest that you go wear your patience thin somewhere else.

 
At 5/16/2005 12:34 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

This is off topic and a bit of an attack however I think that I must say it.

The people that I grew up with were all Christians and I attended a Christian college - so I have been surrounded by Christians as many of you have as well. Most of them that I have been in contact with are, despite their irrational god-belief, are fairly level headed. I have never really had an sense of being afraid of them.

However, all this is begining to change for me and I attribute this to people like Anon - this guy scares me... really. The blatant disregard for having any confidence in man's mind being able to apprehend the world almost drives me to my knees to cry out to something that more men like him do not gain control of this country - or at least the government in which I would reside.

Sorry Anon - you really make me nervous.

 
At 5/16/2005 12:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

quite smuggeling assumptions in guys.

Someone, please!, write out a logical syllogism from: A=A, :. Induction is unproblematic.

I don't see it, I'm asking for you guys to show me.

Note well, engaging in sarcasm and ad hominems are a sure sign of desparation when you have nothing rational to offer to the dialogue.

 
At 5/16/2005 1:06 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Anon
Note well, engaging in sarcasm and ad hominems are a sure sign of desparation when you have nothing rational to offer to the dialogue.

That's why I said that my comment was "off topic." Your comments really do scare me Anon and I wanted you to know it. I don't care if you think I am trying to brush off your question - which I don't think I or anyone has - you want us to justify your question using the philosophy that you nor do any of us accept. We have stated our philosophy on the matter and you don't deal with it.

 
At 5/16/2005 2:21 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Anon reminds me of Manata with his repeated requests for a logical syllogism A=A.

By the way, having the Sun come up in the east each morning doesnt have anything to do with the behavior of the Sun. It has to do with the behavior of the Earth, and its rotation.

The Sun could quite easily "change directions" or at least appear to from our Earth-bound perspective. The only problem is that it would require a cause, and a big one at that. Like an asteroid knocking the planet off its axis or something. That is a totally logical possibility.

The only thing illogical here is the idea that Earth's rotation or orientation could change without cause. An object in motion will tend to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force.

To me, the problem of induction is just a way of trying to exclude or ignore causality. Wikipedia says:

Hume highlighted the fact that our everyday reasoning depends on patterns of repeated experience rather than deductively valid arguments. For example we believe that bread will nourish us because it has in the past, but it is at least conceivable that bread in the future will poison us.

What is Hume doing here? He is screwing around with identity (bread) and causality (what would make it switch from nourishing to poisonous).

Wikipedia also says:

Induction is sometimes framed as reasoning about the future from the past, but in its broadest sense it involves reaching conclusions about unobserved things on the basis of what is observed.

But why should one assume that the future behavior of the same entity would be different in the first place? It seems like this "problem of induction" thing relies on presupposing that identity and causality are both violated simply through the passage of time. To use induction to predict the future behavior of entites is only to recognize that identity and causality exist, and therefore the entity in question will not change without a cause, and that its identity will otherwise remain as it is.

The "problem of induction" relies on a big presupposition: that causality and identity be ignored for future predictions by default. It seems that those who have issue with induction are those that want to presuppose things which are unevidenced.

And that is the bottom line: The "problem of induction" relies on the assumption of things unevidenced and without logical proof (in other words: faith).

The burden of proof therefore lies NOT with the one who utilizes induction, but instead it lies with the one who asserts that a problem of induction exists. Hume has not met that burden, because he challenges induction with only unevidenced propositions that disregard identity and causality.

The best that Hume could do, is state that it is conceivable that bread could poison us in the future. Sure we can imagine that its possible (after all, science doesnt deal in absolutes), but is there evidence for bread to suddenly change identity without a cause? No.

The problem of induction, to me, is totally retarded. It also seems to rely on time as some kind of constant, rather than something relative. If the "problem of induction" relies on time (past vs. future) for its argument, then how does it measure up when we realzie that time is relative and temporal? Time is dependent on space itself, so does the problem of induction vanish into thin air when time as we know it ceases to exist?

The problem of induction, to me, seems to rely far too much on the human experience of time, as well as the disregarding of identity and causality.

Hume and Anon are basically asking their opponents to provide a logical proof or syllogism to refute their own unevidenced "problem of induction" argument. Puh-leeeease! Burden of proof, people!

 
At 5/16/2005 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Well, I came for dialogue and it appears that all I can get is similar to putting your clothes in a suitcase, and when they don't fit, cutting the pieces that hang out.

If you don't want to be clear and cogent on this issue, so that I can understand your argument, but call me and some of the sharpest philosophers names then I bid you all farewell.

 
At 5/16/2005 3:27 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

The problem of induction, to me, seems to rely far too much on the human experience of time, as well as the disregarding of identity and causality.

Which is a subjective view of induction....

 
At 5/16/2005 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Cadster,

"We have stated our philosophy on the matter and you don't deal with it."

Yes, I know you stated it. That's why I repeated it and then asked for the logical argument. You don't call telling me that induction is a non-isssue something I'm not "dealing with," right?

Oh, by the way, i was not referring to your "off topic" post. I was referring to the two previous ones. You said it was "off topic" and so I didn't refer to it. Why you think that I did is nothing but an uncharitable assumption of what I respond to, i.e., I'm too dumb to note yours was off topic. You really shouldn't be so self-absorbed to think everything is all about you and your off topic statements. I don't care if I "scare you," just like I'm sure you don't care that your lack of knowledge on this subject, and philosophy in general, scares me.

 
At 5/16/2005 3:38 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Paul
Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

Anon
I don't care if I "scare you," just like I'm sure you don't care that your lack of knowledge on this subject, and philosophy in general, scares me.

I guess I just have more love than you then... ;)

 
At 5/16/2005 3:49 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Anon
Yes, I know you stated it. That's why I repeated it and then asked for the logical argument. You don't call telling me that induction is a non-isssue something I'm not "dealing with," right?

Well, I thought AK did a really nice job explaining why we don't think that Hume's problem of induction is a problem. Perhaps you can explain why AK is wrong and why Hume's view of induction is correct.

 
At 5/16/2005 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron and company,

I find it funny that you guys keep quoting from 'Wikipedia'. Not that there's not anything necessarily wrong with that, but have you ever read a real philosophy book?

Aaron keeps saying the problem of induction ... "to me".. well no one really cares what it means to you.

When I read ya'lls posts it is as if no one here has really studied the subjects discussed. When something comes up such as this post, you run do a google search/wikipedia search on the different topics discussed. And if that wasn't bad enough, you already have your mind made up that Rand (and other Randroids) are correct - forget thinking through it.

 
At 5/16/2005 4:21 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "I find it funny that you guys keep quoting from 'Wikipedia'."

When did I quote anything from Wikipedia?

Anon: "Not that there's not anything necessarily wrong with that, but have you ever read a real philosophy book?"

Yes, quite a few in fact. I've read a lot of non-philosophy books too, like those of Van Til's and Bahnsen's.

Anon: "Aaron keeps saying the problem of induction ... "to me".. well no one really cares what it means to you."

He could simply be saying "so far as I understand the issue" or something along those lines. I don't see any problem with that, do you?

Anon: "When I read ya'lls posts it is as if no one here has really studied the subjects discussed."

Really? I get the same impression from your remarks. I've asked you to present your understanding of the issue on the table so that we could hash it out. But I see you haven't. Also, did you read my comments throughout this blog? Do you think I have a poor grasp of the issues involved? If so, could you show what I have gotten wrong, and why exactly you think I'm wrong?

Anon: "When something comes up such as this post, you run do a google search/wikipedia search on the different topics discussed."

Where did I do this?

Anon: "And if that wasn't bad enough, you already have your mind made up that Rand (and other Randroids) are correct - forget thinking through it."

I've examined Rand on the subject, and a lot of other thinkers. I think Rand made some amazingly penetrating points. Do you think she didn't? Have you ever read anything by Rand? If so, did you understand it?

 
At 5/16/2005 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Dawson,

Things just go straight over your head sometimes don't they. IF YOU DIDN'T QUOTE FROM WIKIPEDIA THEN I WASN'T REFERRING TO YOU. GOT IT??

 
At 5/16/2005 4:28 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

Dawson owns Paul, I mean anonymous....

:) :) :)

 
At 5/16/2005 4:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

not reformed,

maybe you should do the world a favor and go back and read the thread... as was previously stated anon has identities...

 
At 5/16/2005 4:41 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "Things just go straight over your head sometimes don't they. IF YOU DIDN'T QUOTE FROM WIKIPEDIA THEN I WASN'T REFERRING TO YOU. GOT IT??"

Yes, I got it. Just wanted to make sure you understood this since you said "you guys" when referring to quotes from Wikipedia. Much of the dialogue in these comments has been between you and me, so I wanted to make sure you weren't attributing something to me that just wasn't the case. You could avoid such confusion in the future if you practice a little more precision in your statements.

 
At 5/16/2005 4:45 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Anon,

I quoted Wikipedia alot for convenience. Wikipedia is simply a very useful tool for quickly finding all kinds of info. Although I suppose I could have googled all my searches for this blog comment post instead and still have found just as much info from a bunch of different sources.

And if you have no problem with my high amount of Wikipedia use, then why bring it up as an issue? Would you rather my assertions go unsupported?

The reason that I always said "it seems to me" or "I think" is because I was stating my own observations and conclusions about a topic (induction and the alleged problems of it) that is relatively new to me. I did not want to attempt to speak for everyone here and assume that CAD and BB and others agree with my own bones to pick with the "problem of induction."

And dont forget Anon, that your criticisms of me saying "it seems to me, etc..." seems to be not much more than an ad hominem attack. What I mean is, that instead of you directly addressing the issues I spoke of, you instead chose to attack the fact that I wanted to clarify that I was speaking only for myself.

Anon, if I were to remove the "I think" and "it seems to me" portions of my statement, what would you have left to protest or argue against? You didnt directly attack anything in my post, yet you sure do seem to have a problem with what I said.

Anon, why not dissect my statement and tell me where Im wrong, what I missed, what I misrepresented, etc? Unlike your comments posts, mine dealt DIRECTLY with the issue at hand (induction), except for when I noted that your request for a syllogism seemed almost identical to earlier one I saw from Manata. But even then, my observation of your Manata-like request wasnt even an attack, and in no way was I trying to invalidate your statements with my observation.

So Anon, do you have a problem with my claim that the "problem of induction" is an unsupported assertion that ignores causality and identity? Do you have a problem with me mentioning the laws of motion for our "Sun rises in the East" example? Do you have a problem with me mentioning the burden of proof? Do you have a problem with me claiming that Hume has no support for his "poison bread" induction protest? Do you have a problem with ANYTHING I actually wrote in relation to induction?

Because so far, it seems to me that the ONLY problem you have, is not WHAT I wrote, but that I actually WROTE it.

;)

 
At 5/16/2005 4:46 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

I agree wholeheartedly with the opposition to "logical possibility". I also have to say that I don't at all see the meaning of "possible worlds" discussion. This may just be my bias (whose bias could I possibly ask, I suppose), but I refuse to acknowledge either kind of talk. Talk about actual possibility based on evidence. Why talk about anything else ?

As for the anon, this guy is ridiculous. You guys should write a new entry instead of feeding his delusions. ;)

 
At 5/16/2005 5:06 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Here is a thought I would like to get everyone's opinion on:

Referring to Hume and his poison bread example...

To assert that past nourishment from eating bread could lead to future nourishment from eating bread, is called induction.

But to assert that past nourishment from eating bread could lead to future poison from eating bread, is called..... WHAT??

What is it called?

 
At 5/16/2005 5:07 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

Anon...

regardless of 'anon's' identity or identities, Dawson still owns Paul.

:)

 
At 5/16/2005 5:20 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

AK
But to assert that past nourishment from eating bread could lead to future poison from eating bread, is called..... WHAT??

You just don't get it AK...

 
At 5/16/2005 5:30 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Maybe I dont. LOL!

I dont get what the uncaused identity violation that Hume propses is supposed to be called (Unless we blatantly call it a causality/identity violation).

I must be just a stupid atheist for requesting logical accountability from the problem-of-induction supporters.

 
At 5/16/2005 6:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Hey guys,

I responded to Franc's attempt to answer the "problem" by running to his little pet, "identity." If you guys want to dis Franc, that's fine with me. If not, then SOMEONE SHOW ME HOW YOU GET FROM A=A TO NATURE IS UNIFORM.

So, quite wasting my time, I'm not referring to Aaron's procrustean post.

 
At 5/16/2005 6:38 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "SOMEONE SHOW ME HOW YOU GET FROM A=A TO NATURE IS UNIFORM."

Paul, the notion that nature is uniform is essentially the application of the law of identity to every existent. It is basically the recognition that everything that exists has a nature. A further recognition is that an entity's actions depend on its nature. These are axiomatic recognitions. You're looking for a proof, but these recognitions are preconditional to any proof. Our knowledge of these truths is based on our direct perception of things - both as entities as distinct from one another as well as entities in action and capable of action. When I say "nature is uniform," I'm simply saying that the law of identity applies to whatever exists. This does not require me to assert the existence of a magic being that wishes this to be the case, nor does it compel me to conceive of the universe as some kind of cartoon that conforms to a cosmic cartoonist's whims.

 
At 5/16/2005 6:46 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"But to assert that past nourishment from eating bread could lead to future poison from eating bread, is called..... WHAT??"


Presuppositionalism ?

 
At 5/16/2005 6:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

I've heard your explanation. But you don't get to how the nature behaves by saying everything has a nature. I'll ask again,

P1: A=A




_____________
C1: Nature is uniform

See the bog gapping hole? That's where one puts what's called an argument. If you can't do it then just say so. Just to assert that it's an axiom, it's not, shows that you don't want to deal with the problem. Or, is everytthing an axiom?

And, your knowledge of necessary events is not based on your perception of things. I thought this was all well-known stuff.

 
At 5/16/2005 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

I find it interesting that the cadster tells us in his post that he's basically an ignoramous on this subject but yet he continues to flap his gums on the subject.

 
At 5/16/2005 6:54 PM, Blogger etryer declaimed...

1000's Free Live Web Cams adult friends adult live webcam chat Live web cams! Chat now!

 
At 5/16/2005 7:12 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

franc said:

"But to assert that past nourishment from eating bread could lead to future poison from eating bread, is called..... WHAT??"


Presuppositionalism ?

LOL!!!! Classic!!!!

 
At 5/16/2005 7:16 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Anon said:

"I'm not referring to Aaron's procrustean post."

More ad hominem. My post is procrustean just because Anon says so, and he would rather dismiss by insulting me than refute it directly.

Anon, I wish to submit a connection between A=A and "nature is uniform" so that you may provide a refutation for it.

A=A, and "nature is uniform" are the same thing. This is because we can switch them around. For example: A is uniform, and Nature=Nature.

A=A, so A cannot be not-A, and Nature is nature (uniform), so Nature cannot be not-Nature. To me, (uh oh there I go again with the "to me" stuff), "Nature is uniform" is just ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING A=A.

Now show me why Im a procrustean, and blast my little statement out of the water. I will also admit that Im a newcomer on this topic, and I imagine that theres lots to this that I dont know. I would bet that I understand less of this topic than CADman does. So my statement should be easy to destroy.

So Anon, why dont you destroy it? Quit telling me that Im easy to defeat, and for once, DEMONSTRATE IT.

 
At 5/16/2005 7:20 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

I think Paul, I mean 'anon' had to go get ready for his bahnsen seminary classes now...

 
At 5/16/2005 7:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron: "Anon, I wish to submit a connection between A=A and "nature is uniform" so that you may provide a refutation for it."

Anaon: Okay

Aaron: "A=A, and "nature is uniform" are the same thing. This is because we can switch them around. For example: A is uniform, and Nature=Nature."

Anon: No it's not, Aaron. The subject is not the predicate but with the law of identity the subject is the same as the predicate: dog is dog. Furthermore, as anyone will tell you, a logical law is contentless, i.e., it gives us no information. You need an epistemology to supply the laws with content. Third, if they were the same then we could apply Liebniz's law of the indiscernability of identicals to the statement. But we can note that it would fail since A =A could be said of other things besides nature. Fourth, nature is nature does not tell us how it behaves. I'll stop for now.

Aaron: "A=A, so A cannot be not-A, and Nature is nature (uniform), so Nature cannot be not-Nature. To me, (uh oh there I go again with the "to me" stuff),


Anon: You're smuggeling "uniform" and that beggs the question because I'm asking how you get from A=A to nature is uniform, not to nature is nature.

Aaron: ""Nature is uniform" is just ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING A=A."

Anon: No, this is a horrendous misunderstanding. Nature is Nature is a tautology which is supported by the law of identity. Nature is Uniform is bivalent statement: A is B. So, you need to get from A is A to A is B, and any logician will tell you that you can't get there from A is A.

Aaron: "Now show me why Im a procrustean, and blast my little statement out of the water."

Anon: Ask and ye shall receive.

Aaron: "I will also admit that Im a newcomer on this topic, and I imagine that theres lots to this that I dont know. I would bet that I understand less of this topic than CADman does."

Anaon: And cadman said he didn't really know anything about it. Do you think it's wise to shoot your mouth off on topics you admit you don't understand?

Aaron: "So my statement should be easy to destroy."

Anon: yes, it was quite easy. Anyone who doesn't even understand his basic axiom is dumber than dumb.

Aaron: "So Anon, why dont you destroy it? Quit telling me that Im easy to defeat, and for once, DEMONSTRATE IT."

Anon: yes, I did. Oh, can you quote me where I said you were "easy to defeat?" I think there are two different identities of Anonymous here. Also, your post reminded me why I quit involving myself in arguments with sophmores who think that because people shut down their comments section that their "afraid."

Aaron's argument: A is A, therefore A is B (snicker).

 
At 5/16/2005 7:34 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

So does that mean that I wont have the pleasure of having my A=A/Nature-is-uniform statement blasted to bits? :(

I would love to see someone, ANYONE, refute my last statement. It would help me understand this topic more. If Paul (or anyone) can critique my statement, I sincerely hope they do.

I wish this blog didnt ban Paul Manata. I think that the best types of comments exchanges are the ones with people that disagree the most, and Paul is one of those people.

I think we should let Paul post here without him having to be anonymous. It would help facilitate dialogue (and a frank exchange of ideas is vital to this field), and it would allow Paul to not have to post as Anonymous and therefore remove a reason for us to ad-hominem him for being anonymous.

Honestly, its not his fault that he has to post Anonymously. And considering the fact that he keeps claiming to be reducing his Web presence and is too busy to communicate online, to see him seek us out on this blog and communicate with us is a GOOD sign, and it should be encouraged.

I lamented when Paul got banned from here, and I lamented even more when he removed his comments ability from his blog. Closing off communication channels is a bad thing.

 
At 5/16/2005 7:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

How cute, the atheist's puppet, Not Reformed, is back yapping like the little guy who sat next to Jabba The Hut.

 
At 5/16/2005 7:43 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Looks like I got a reply while I was typing my last comment.

Anon:

"And cadman said he didn't really know anything about it. Do you think it's wise to shoot your mouth off on topics you admit you don't understand?"

Shoot my mouth off? Im not afraid of being corrected Anon. I wanted to have my statement critiqued so that I may learn more about this topic. You refuted what I said, and Im glad it happened. Thank you. How else is one supposed to learn about things like this other than to exchange and critique ideas? Besides, at least I gave it an effort.

"yes, I did. Oh, can you quote me where I said you were "easy to defeat?" I think there are two different identities of Anonymous here. Also, your post reminded me why I quit involving myself in arguments with sophmores who think that because people shut down their comments section that their "afraid.""

You never said they were easy to defeat, you implied it with your ad hominem attacks and quick dismissals of my statements without direct refutations. Im glad you finally addressed me directly, and it only took me like 5 posts to get you to do it. I wish you addressed my Hume critique, but this is better than nothing.

"Aaron's argument: A is A, therefore A is B (snicker)."

Now can you clear up this "uniform" thing for me? Cause When you say "nature is uniform" What do you mean by "uniform"? Obviously that word doesnt mean what I thought it did. I need a definition of "uniform" for this discussion. To me, the word "uniform" seemed to mean "consistent; not arbitrary" but it seems that you think its something else?

And then maybe I will be able to submit another statement for you to refute. Wont that be fun! :)

 
At 5/16/2005 7:45 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Jabba the Hut is Christianity, The Empire is the Church, and atheists are the rebellion ;)

So Not Reformed is more of a Chewbacca or something. Which is pretty cool.

So I guess that makes Anon either Darth Maul or Darth Vader. One of the "Darths" thats for sure.

 
At 5/16/2005 7:50 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Actually, I unbanned Paul a while ago, I just didn't tell anyone. It's such a relief not to have to deal with this nonsense. But now anon is resurrecting this nonsensical discussion.

We might as well discuss whether Santa Claus would have the time to deliver all the gifts in one night. At least it would have an extremely tenuous connection to reality (the North Pole exists, and gifts exist).

 
At 5/16/2005 7:57 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Anon mentioned "Bivalent".

I looked it up in the dreaded Godless Wikipedia, and found this:

Wikipedia entry on Bivalence.

For any proposition P, at a given time, in a given respect, there are three related laws:

Law of bivalence: P is either true or false.
Law of the excluded middle: (P or not-P) is true.
Law of non-contradiction: (P and not-P) is false.


So the statement "nature is uniform" relates to the law of non-contradiction. And "a=a" involves the law of non-contradiction.

So isnt it true that bivalent statements such as "nature is uniform" are COMPARABLE to the statement "a=a"?

If all these laws relate and depend on another, as (the evil) Wikipedia states, then it seems that Wikipedia supports my statement, at least partially, because either they are the same thing or they are dependent upon eachother. At any rate, Wikipedia seems to make this connection that Anon has been asking for.

But of course, I still dont have a definition for "uniform" from Anon yet.

 
At 5/16/2005 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron, I'll make a comment on your bivalent comment, as far as helping you understand the uniformity of nature I'd point you to many articles on the topic. Wikipedia may even discuss it. or,, you can read chapter 6 of Russell's problems of philosphy, which also available for free online. This way you can study it and then I'll check back here in a day or so.


Bivalent doesn't always have to do with the law of bivalence. It has to do with two things (bi): A is B. And you cannot get to A is B from A is A, which is what you were doing.

 
At 5/16/2005 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron, at best I'll give you that Not Reformed is like an Ewok.

I'm like Darth vader. Started out bad but then have been redeemed.

 
At 5/16/2005 8:22 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Ill check out Russels Problems of Philosophy.

It seems to me that "uniform" is an "A", but you state that "uniform" is a "B". Why is it a "B" and not an "A"?

 
At 5/16/2005 8:29 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "I've heard your explanation."

You may have "heard" my explanation, but apparently you didn't grasp it.

Anon: "But you don't get to how the nature behaves by saying everything has a nature."

As I said, Paul, entities act according to their natures. That's what I mean by the uniformity of nature. If you're looking for something more specific than this, then we have to discuss specific entities. But even in specific cases, we will find that this general principle will apply. To find a counter-example, you will have to find an entity which does not act according to itself, which would essentially have to be an entity which is not itself. But that is a self-contradiction. It may be possible in your cartoon universe, but in the real world, it's not possible. Why? Because existence exists, and if something exists, it is itself, not something other than itself.

Anon: "I'll ask again,

"P1: A=A
_____________
"C1: Nature is uniform"

Again, I don't think you understood my last message on this, for I answered precisely this challenge. You're looking for a proof, and I explained already that such a challenge is intellectually premature, for proof has certain preconditions, and those preconditions are identified by the axioms (such as the law of identity).

Anon: "That's where one puts what's called an argument. If you can't do it then just say so."

Paul, go back and read what I stated. I explained why I need not put a proof to this, given what I mean by the uniformity of nature. Perhaps you mean something different by "uniformity of nature." I don't know, for I don't think you've clarified this. How does the bible define the concepts 'uniformity' and 'nature'? Or, should we look outside the bible for clarity on these concepts, as I have suggested?

Anon: "Just to assert that it's an axiom, it's not, shows that you don't want to deal with the problem."

How is the law of identity not axiomatic? What comes before it? If the law of identity is established on the basis of proof, kindly present that proof, making sure that its premises do not assume the truth of the law of identity.

Anon: "Or, is everytthing an axiom?"

It is not necessary that every concept is axiomatic in nature in order for some concepts to be axiomatic in nature. You're just throwing mud, Paul. And meanwhile you can't recover the validity of induction on your theistic premises. I see that you don't even attempt to argue for theism's necessity to induction. You just try to pick apart a rival position, while in fact you must assume its truth in order even to debate it. I suppose you haven't grasped this yet.

Anon: "And, your knowledge of necessary events is not based on your perception of things."

How do you know what my knowledge of anything is or is not based on, Paul? Are you in my mind?

Anon: "I thought this was all well-known stuff."

Your presuppositionalist conventions are not accepted quite so uncritically around here as they are in your well-traveled circles, Paul. You'll have to do better than merely assume their alleged truth here. You're going to have to defend them. But I see you're not prepared to do that. Why is that? Have you met your match?

 
At 5/16/2005 8:43 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Aaron: "Jabba the Hut is Christianity, The Empire is the Church, and atheists are the rebellion ;)"

If that's the case, then I must be like Han Solo - he didn't give any credence to the desert religion, and he acted on his own judgment. He was also fearless in the face of opposition. So if I'm not a Han Solo, I'd aspire to be, at least when it comes to what I consider to be his virtues.

Anon: "Not Reformed is like an Ewok."

So far as I recall, Ewoks were trustworthy, capable and full of life. Those are virtues in my book. But I don't expect them to be virtues in Paul's book.

Paul: "I'm like Darth vader. Started out bad but then have been redeemed."

In other words, you started out as an ignorant little kid who had desire to learn about the universe about him, and then succumbed to an overwhelming desire for approval. Your disturbing autobiography My Life and Conversion makes it clear that the constant throughout your life - both before and after your conversion - is your desire for someone else's approval. The flipside to this is the constant that you always had no value for yourself as a rational individual: you couldn't call yourself rational before you converted, and you certainly could not call yourself rational now, after you've converted. You have nothing to be proud of, Paul, nothing worthy to show for your life so far. Your life is an unchanging flatline of shame. If this is the kind of consistency you aspire to, well, you found your haven in Christianity. In the shelter of your sheepish church family, you'll probably be surrounded by people who don't dare judge you, simply because they're afraid of being judged themselves.

"Judge, and be prepared to be judged" - John Galt, Atlas Shrugged

 
At 5/16/2005 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Anon said, "yes, I did. Oh, can you quote me where I said you were "easy to defeat? I think there are two different identities of Anonymous here."

This anonymous didn't say that either. I've noticed a trend here where the objectivists tend to misread posts and make up crap.

 
At 5/16/2005 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB: "Your disturbing autobiography My Life and Conversion makes it clear that the constant throughout your life - both before and after your conversion - is your desire for someone else's approval."

Anon: So what are you saying? I don't have your approval? If I don't, I don't know how I could bear it.

Anyway, you've just confirmed that your an asshole.

 
At 5/16/2005 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

This has to be the funniest thing I've ever read:

"Let me try...

axiom of existence + axiom of consciousness = primacy of existence
primacy of existence + axiom of identity = causality
causality + self-contained materialist universe = induction (causality applied to the universe)

Am I close ?"

 
At 5/16/2005 8:57 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: "Anyway, you've just confirmed that your an asshole."

When you get an argument, come see me. Until then, you don't need to tell me what I already proudly know.

 
At 5/16/2005 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

So aaron,


you say, "I will also admit that Im a newcomer on this topic, and I imagine that theres lots to this that I dont know. I would bet that I understand less of this topic than CADman does. So my statement should be easy to destroy."

Now was I not correct, in that you don't know what you are talking about and do a google/wikipedia search and try to figure out the answer all the while assuming that Rand's theory of concepts suffices?

"I looked it up in the dreaded Godless Wikipedia,"

As I said, that is not necessarily a bad thing. :)

 
At 5/16/2005 9:15 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "while assuming that Rand's theory of concepts suffices?"

I'm curious, Paul. I know where I would go to find out about Rand's theory of concepts. But where do you suggest I go to find Jesus' theory of concepts? Is it in Luke or John or one of the other gospels? Or is it in one of the epistles? Or perhaps the wildly cartoonish book of Revelations?

Can you help me?

 
At 5/16/2005 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB said, "I'm curious, Paul. I know where I would go to find out about Rand's theory of concepts. But where do you suggest I go to find Jesus' theory of concepts? Is it in Luke or John or one of the other gospels? Or is it in one of the epistles? Or perhaps the wildly cartoonish book of Revelations?

Can you help me?"

Dude this ain't Paul. Good try though. I guess that's just one of your many assumptions - fits in really well with all the other assumptions in your worldview.

 
At 5/16/2005 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

oh and BB who was the post directed at?

 
At 5/16/2005 9:39 PM, Blogger CADman904 declaimed...

Paul: "I'm like Darth vader. Started out bad but then have been redeemed."

Darth Vader redeemed himself.

 
At 5/16/2005 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Cadster said: "Darth Vader redeemed himself."

Well, all analogies break down at some points. You see, the little guy that sat next to Jabba as Not Reformed breaks down because that thing is better looking than Not Reformed.

 
At 5/16/2005 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB: "I'm curious, Paul. I know where I would go to find out about Rand's theory of concepts. But where do you suggest I go to find Jesus' theory of concepts? Is it in Luke or John or one of the other gospels? Or is it in one of the epistles? Or perhaps the wildly cartoonish book of Revelations?

Can you help me?"

That wasn't Paul who said that, but I answerd your question and then you tried to ask two in a row. Now, if you want to answer my question, proving that you have a pair, then we can move on. So, a has the attribute F if and only if Q... I'll be waiting. if you don;t answer my question don;t expec t a response.

Hee, I'm gonna prove that prophecy is true: The amazing Dawson;s Creek is gonna dodge me again.

 
At 5/16/2005 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB: "When you get an argument, come see me. Until then, you don't need to tell me what I already proudly know."

I've refuted you. Maybe you can re-read the thread an answer my questions.

Oh, and I don't need an argument because it's axiomatic ;)

 
At 5/16/2005 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB: "As I said, Paul, entities act according to their natures. That's what I mean by the uniformity of nature. If you're looking for something more specific than this, then we have to discuss specific entities. But even in specific cases, we will find that this general principle will apply. To find a counter-example, you will have to find an entity which does not act according to itself, which would essentially have to be an entity which is not itself. But that is a self-contradiction. It may be possible in your cartoon universe, but in the real world, it's not possible. Why? Because existence exists, and if something exists, it is itself, not something other than itself."

ANON: This doesn't tell me any thing specific or if it behaves in a law like way.

Entities act according to their nature, therefore nature is uniform. You goofball, Dawson. Their nature may be to act in a non-law like way. Why do you proceed upon the expectation that toothpaste will come out of a full tube of toothpaste, if nothing is obstructing is,etc., when pressure is applied?

 
At 5/16/2005 10:02 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

For the record, I never made anything up or put words in any Anon's mouth. All I did was point out something that was clearly implied.

I think all of us here can "read between the lines".

 
At 5/16/2005 10:10 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Can Hume's Problem of Induction be used to question God's future actions?

Sure, God promises that he will never lie or contradict himself, but how can you know that he will continue to do so in the future? Because he told you so in the past? Because of past performance?

This induction problem equally applies to God as to godlessness. Why do religious people champion the problem of induction as if it validates their God? The progression of time and future predictions are equally problematic for religious/God promises and prophecies as they are for secular predictions of future performance.

Of course because Im a newcomer to induction I must not know shit and God probably doesnt apply to this because hes special. Paul, would you like to refute this one as well and tell me why your Gods predictions of the future are exempt from the Problem of Induction, while my godless predictions of the future are not?

 
At 5/16/2005 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron, you're acting like a child now. Go to your room and read up. The more you fart this filth out of your mouth the dumber you look.

As far as God's nature as a non-liar. Well, you'd need to represent the position correctly, Aaaron. The view is that He *cannot.* He is necessarily a truth teller. He "is truth." So, if it is necessary then he couldn't change in the future, now could He? To imply that He could is to presupose that He is contingent, this beggs the question against my view, tho. So, though you may not agree, the Christian God can never lie, i.e., He would be a truth teller in all possible worlds. You need to represent your opponent fairly rather than attacking a staw man, but that's all you can beat up. Hey, no offense, but I've seen bigger leggs on a chair! Anyway, your objection could be restated: RESTATED: "If I view the Christian God as other than He reveals Himself then I can show how He has problems." Sorry, uninteresting (as this comment section is getting). I coulc just as well argue: Since atheism's epistemology is that pink faries whisper the secrets of life into your ear, they are wrong." Aaron, do you find that argument very good?


Anonymous screams: PLEASE CAN ANYONE BACKUP FRANCINES STATEMENT THAT HE CAN SHOW NATURE IS UNIFORM FROM IDENTITY?????

Formally it looks like this, so far:

P1. A is A




BIG GAPING HOLE



C1. Therefore, A is B.

So far, I can dribe a mack truck thru this argument! It's sad, pathetic, retarded, dumb, ignorant, foolish, stupid, backawrds, redneckish, childish, purile, elelmetary, silly, weak, and flat out ugly.

 
At 5/16/2005 10:27 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "Now, if you want to answer my question, proving that you have a pair, then we can move on. So, a has the attribute F if and only if Q... I'll be waiting. if you don;t answer my question don;t expec t a response."

Before I give my answer to this question, I would first like to know where the bible answers it. Can you clue us in on the book, chapter and verse where the bible answers it? If even the bible doesn't answer it, why do you ask me to answer it (especially when it assumes a view of universals that I don't accept)?

 
At 5/16/2005 10:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB: "Before I give my answer to this question, I would first like to know where the bible answers it. Can you clue us in on the book, chapter and verse where the bible answers it? If even the bible doesn't answer it, why do you ask me to answer it (especially when it assumes a view of universals that I don't accept)?"

Thank you for proving my prophecy. Why do you think you get two in a row? Quid pro quo. Also, you've already proven you are inferior to dialog about this. The question doesn't presuppose a view of universals. All different ontological theories answer the question. Nominalists give answers to the question, so do realists. Either you're a nominalist (broadly considered) or a realist (A or B). That is, either you believe universals exist, or you don't. So, there are many different answers from nominalists on this point (austere, meta-lingusitic, and tropers). Now, answer my question and then you get your next one, stop being an ass.

 
At 5/16/2005 10:43 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "you've already proven you are inferior to dialog about this."

Inferior to what? Inferior to the bible? Where's the bible's answer to these questions?

Anon: "The question doesn't presuppose a view of universals."

It does. The question is made up of concepts. Where did you get them? Out of thin air? Apart from a theory of universals?

Anon: "All different ontological theories answer the question."

I didn't say I don't have an answer to the question. All I said was that the question assumes a theory of universals which I don't hold.

Anon: "Nominalists give answers to the question, so do realists."

You think their responses qualify as answers? That explains a lot.

Anon: "Either you're a nominalist (broadly considered) or a realist (A or B)."

False dichotomy.

Anon: "That is, either you believe universals exist, or you don't."

Again, false dichotomy.

Anon: "So, there are many different answers from nominalists on this point (austere, meta-lingusitic, and tropers). Now, answer my question and then you get your next one, stop being an ass."

One more time: Where does the bible answer it? Why do you dodge this fundamental question?

Or, does the bible not answer it?

 
At 5/16/2005 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

So you refuse to answer? And, I'm saying that you can answer the question whatever your view, unless you don't think that things have attributes???

It's not a false dichotomy. Either universals exist or they don't. What, do you think they "part way" exist?

Dawson, call me when you grow a pair.

Typical objectivist, all challenge and no substance.

 
At 5/16/2005 11:02 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "So you refuse to answer?"

Sorry, Anon, did you give a biblical citation? Book, chapter, verse? No? No biblical answer to this all-important question? Why is that? Do you expect something from non-Christians that your bible doesn't even give? Why is that?

 
At 5/16/2005 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

bye bye Dawson, call me if you ever grow a pair.

Look what happened to your hero, Not Reformed! Ask some simple questions and watch them crumble.... sounds like my debate with sansone.

 
At 5/17/2005 12:04 AM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

Wow...I go out and participate in real life for a while, and Paul is worried that I've disappeared. No fears Paul!!! I'm back to read your silly comments. You are often the highlight of my day...the clown-prince of Calvinism, if I recall correctly.

I don't mind being the little critter by Jabba...he had a great sense of humor, just like me. :)

As was already mentioned, I can hope you redeem yourself like Vader did...without the need of your made-believe liar god.

And yes...your life-story blog entry was classic..."Look at me...loook at me!!!" You are supposedly regenerated, and yet you still exhibit nearly all of the 'flaws' from your old nature. Psycho.

 
At 5/17/2005 12:45 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Thanks for all the ad hominem Paul.

You throw a bunch of insults around, and inbetween it, your only answer to my honest question is that God cannot lie or change because you think hes not contingent.

I feel like we are venturing into that whole "is logic dependent on god or is god dependent on logic" thing.

I think you revealed something here Paul. You impose such a limit on God over what he CANNOT do, that its obvious that the only way he could not be able to do it is if logic had primacy over God. It really upset you when I approached that angle, so I must have hit a nerve or something.

Your God is dependent upon logic, if what you say is true Paul. To insist otherwise is sad, pathetic, retarded, dumb, ignorant, foolish, stupid, backawrds, redneckish, childish, purile, elelmetary, silly, weak, and flat out ugly.

"The view is that He *cannot.* He is necessarily a truth teller. He "is truth." So, if it is necessary then he couldn't change in the future, now could He? To imply that He could is to presupose that He is contingent, this beggs the question against my view, tho. So, though you may not agree, the Christian God can never lie, i.e., He would be a truth teller in all possible worlds."

But what makes you think your gods nature will never change? Problem of Induction buzzer is going off!

Its nothing more than a case of special pleading on your part Paul.

And who invented lies if God is truth? Satan? But God invented Satan, so God invented lies.

God could become a liar if he wanted to. If you disagree Paul, then you admit that God is dependent upon logic. If logic is part of Gods nature, and God cannot change his nature, then God is dependent upon logic.

The fact of the matter is, that God could be lying to you and you wouldnt be able to tell Paul. You simply have faith. Thats all. You have faith in it based on what your sensory perception tells you from a book that you read.

And I deconstructed faith a few blog entries ago.

 
At 5/17/2005 1:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

next time you need me to spank you on induction and explaining how philosophically sophmoric your arguments are, just let me know; mmmmkay, Aaron?

 
At 5/17/2005 2:59 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

So far we have 106 replies on this thread. And this is why I try to tell you guys to stop feeding the trolls.

 
At 5/17/2005 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Francine Tremblay's argument:

A is A, therefore A is B.


teeheee

 
At 5/17/2005 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron said, "And I deconstructed faith a few blog entries ago."

This is almost too funny.. Let's use the dictionary definition of faith to disprove christianity, nevermind what the bible says about faith. Why should anyone respond to your strawmen?

 
At 5/17/2005 11:05 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I think 109 entries is a sign of a popular and active blog. You should be proud!

And Manata thinks he spanked us on Induction. Well that makes one of us. Nevermind the fact that he never addressed my issues with time dependency, identity and causality violation, etc...

Manata also calls me childish when I ask an honest question, yet is is HE who throws around insults at me (the one atheist that strains to avoid ad hominem) believes in a fairy tale book written in a time when man thought the earth was flat, the sun revolved around us, females determined the gender of offspring, and talking animals were the norm.

Whoops I let some ad hominem slip out! Drats.

 
At 5/17/2005 11:07 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

And what does the Bible say about faith Paul? Does the Bible define faith? Do we use the Bible to define words in the english language?

Sorry buddy. Using the dictionary to define faith is perfectly acceptable, and I didnt see you around too much in the comments section of THAT blog entry defending your Biblical faith did I?

 
At 5/17/2005 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron said, "And what does the Bible say about faith Paul? Does the Bible define faith? Do we use the Bible to define words in the english language?

Sorry buddy. Using the dictionary to define faith is perfectly acceptable, and I didnt see you around too much in the comments section of THAT blog entry defending your Biblical faith did I?"

A. This isn't Paul.

B. I posted the exact same thing in that blog, but maybe you didn't read it. It's the last commment. I wasn't going to at first until all the atheists just thought it was wonderful.

C. If you are going to disprove Christianity the way you are attempting, you need to argue against the biblical definition of faith. Anything else would be begging the question and a strawman. and no I'm not going to do your homework for you.

 
At 5/17/2005 11:43 AM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

anon said:

"C. If you are going to disprove Christianity the way you are attempting, you need to argue against the biblical definition of faith. Anything else would be begging the question and a strawman. and no I'm not going to do your homework for you."

Which biblical explanation would that be? There are many, MANY different *christian* groups out there, with various beliefs about faith, so perhaps you could enlighten everyone as to what the "true christian biblical definition" is? You know, the objective and true version. Thanks!

 
At 5/17/2005 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Not Reformed says, "Which biblical explanation would that be? There are many, MANY different *christian* groups out there, with various beliefs about faith, so perhaps you could enlighten everyone as to what the "true christian biblical definition" is? You know, the objective and true version. Thanks!"

Ooooppss you got me not reformed. Thanks for the enlightenment.

but maybe you didn't read what i posted but I said I was not going to do your homework for you. :)

 
At 5/17/2005 11:53 AM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

anon,

I did read what you posted...but its too vague. How can someone "do their homework" on such a broad and seemingly unobjective definition of faith? It would be like me telling you to 'do your homework' about "science" and not pointing you to anything specific.

Or maybe its because your true biblical definition of faith is simply what *YOU* believe it to be, and not a universal standard?

 
At 5/17/2005 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

not reformed says, "It would be like me telling you to 'do your homework' about "science" and not pointing you to anything specific."

anon says, no it's not. some good biblical exegesis would come in handy to start with. there was not even an attempt at that within the 'article'.

 
At 5/17/2005 12:08 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

anon,

So...if I do my homework, learn some 'good biblical exegesis' I'll be able to discover the true biblical definition of faith?

I hope you'll forgive my skepticism, but this method hasn't seemed to work with the multitude of things that different Christian sects can't agree on, each arguing their point with the same Bible.

Also, the fact that somebody has to become a Biblical expert to discover such an important bit of information seems a bit dubious as well, don't you think? Should I also learn Greek and Hebrew, and study anthrolpology so I'll understand the people that wrote these holy words thousands of years ago?

Why did God make it so hard for His clear and objective truth to be known by his sheep?

 
At 5/17/2005 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

"I hope you'll forgive my skepticism, but this method hasn't seemed to work with the multitude of things that different Christian sects can't agree on, each arguing their point with the same Bible."

Ok. Here's a clue. The article attempted at disproving Bahnsen and Van Til's definitions of faith. Since Bahnsen and Van Til both held to the Westminster Confession you could start there and determine how the Westminster derives at faith from the Bible. But there's no attempt at that. The article just has a few quotes that they have made and compares it with the dictionary. And since the dictionary 'disproves' them then that's it (which is debatable).

"Also, the fact that somebody has to become a Biblical expert to discover such an important bit of information seems a bit dubious as well, don't you think? Should I also learn Greek and Hebrew, and study anthrolpology so I'll understand the people that wrote these holy words thousands of years ago?"

Now my other post seems to fit well here where I said that objectivists love to misread posts and make up crap.

"Why did God make it so hard for His clear and objective truth to be known by his sheep?"

He hasn't. To the contrary, He says that His sheep hear His voice and contrasts that with the pharisees by telling them that they do not hear His voice as they are not His sheep. But you should know all this, after all you have disproved the bible. :)

 
At 5/17/2005 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

I was just highly unimpressed with the effort that was put forth and the attempt.

 
At 5/17/2005 12:27 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Challenging Van Til's faith usage is perfectly acceptable. And I would bet $50 that Van Til would accept any relevant definition of faith from any modern english language dictionary.

And every time Ive ever heard a Christian talk of faith, their use of it has been fairly consistent with the definition I used. Every time I ask a Christian about faith, they all say the same basic thing: belief in God's word because God said so, not due to any objective independent evidence.

Anon: "Noooo! Aaron deconstructed my faith! Well, Ill show him! Ill make up my own definition, and then Ill insist that he has to use the Biblical definition of faith!"

Aaron: What Biblical definition of faith? We speak ENGLISH in North America, not Biblicalese. So Im using the english one, and so do Christians. And you have to prove to me that the Bible even HAS a definition of faith, because until you do, I will deny that it even contains one.

Now go do my homework for me! Or better yet, go make your own blog and REFUTE my faith post. I doubt you will, or can.

By the way, I just put up a new post challenging the Problem of Induction's premises. Enjoy dissecting that one!

 
At 5/17/2005 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

you're a winner Aaron. You're so smart, you just devistate theists. You keep responding to the other anonymous and calling him Paul, but despite that you're brilliant. Oh, and I didn't respond to your post on faith because I said if anyone offers something earth shattering then I'll respond. I thought your post on faith was stoooopid. Oh, and you're so self-absorbed that you think i should respond to dumb ass arguments of yours. Well I'll get to it after I have a public debate in my neighborhood with the local 10 yr. old jehovah's witness, since Christians must refute every dumb argument that comes along I'll be quite busy.

Here's a hint for you: read alogic text, you'll see that going to a dictionary to get your definitions for debate is bad form. Or, call your local Phi. proffessor. Dictionaries are simply history books, telling us how words have been used. Find me ONE technical philosophy argument which goes to the dictionary for their argument, you freak! I mean, a definition is suposed to supply necessary and sufficient conditions and not beg the question, the dictionary def. on faith doesn't do so. I mean, tell me why when they debate over creation in the courtrooms the judges and lawyers don't go to the dictionary to define "science?" it's because it's bad form! So, I didn't respond to your post because people who know better (even non-Christians) just laughed at you, like I did. Oh, maybe you have your little click who praises you, but they're all dumb as well:

Dawson: I can't debate about universals even tho rand claimed to solve the problem.

Tremblay: I don;t know what a transcendental argument is, but I tell people that they are my specialty.

Tremblay: A is A, therefore A is B.

Aaron: I'm so well well studied that I need to go to the dictionary and Winikepedia for all the answers to the questions i don;t know, which is alomost anything, but then I still hold to ,my position on faith.

Cadman: I don't know anything about induction but I'lll still open my yap.

Moore: I couldn't put together a logical syllogism if my life depended on it (but I'll still try to do it and look like a jamook), and I don't have a clue about Christian theology (but I still say I studied it), and I'm so smart because I helped convert Derek sansone and I have glasses, and all smart people have glasses.

Derek Sansone: Logic is fluff.



Hey, Aaron, good company. All the reatrds like your posts

 
At 5/17/2005 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron "I've studied induction for an entire day" Kinney says, "By the way, I just put up a new post challenging the Problem of Induction's premises. Enjoy dissecting that one"

:)

 
At 5/17/2005 2:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

I just want to point out one statement by Aaron. He says, "And you have to prove to me that the Bible even HAS a definition of faith, because until you do, I will deny that it even contains one."

Now this is just pure ignorance. Have you read the Bible Aaron?

 
At 5/17/2005 2:37 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Using the dictionary is bad form for dissecting the meaning of faith? Fine. Did anyone propose an alternate definition? NO! All you anonymouses did was say my argument was stupid, and you provided no refutation of it.

The bottom line is that faith needs to be defined if it is to be discussed. I proposed a definition. No theist proposed an alternate definition. Regardless of where the definition comes from, there still nees to be SOME KIND of definition. How can a theist champion faith if they refuse to define it? I invited theists to offer ther definitions and offer corrections to my statements, but nobody stepped up to the plate. At most, those who disagreed with me had merely an unsupported assertion.

"I'm so well well studied that I need to go to the dictionary and Winikepedia for all the answers to the questions i don;t know, which is alomost anything, but then I still hold to ,my position on faith."

I go to the dictionary and to wikipedia to SUPPORT MY ASSERTIONS. Supporting assertions is GOOD form last time I checked.

"Here's a hint for you: read alogic text, you'll see that going to a dictionary to get your definitions for debate is bad form. Or, call your local Phi. proffessor."

Are you saying that giving ANY KIND of definition to a term in a discussion is bad form, or just going to the dictionary is bad form? Where should I have gone instead? Where is the correct definition of "faith"? In the Bible? Why didnt you correct my allegedly "bad form" definition?

"Aaron "I've studied induction for an entire day" Kinney says, "By the way, I just put up a new post challenging the Problem of Induction's premises. Enjoy dissecting that one"

:)"

So are you going to show me why Im wrong and help bring me closer to finding Jesus like a proper apologist, or are you going to insist Im an idiot and dismiss me without addressing my argument? Your ad hominem attack is so blatantly flawed. A man could study induction for one hour and be right, while another man could study induction for a decade and be wrong. That is why you have to address the arguments themselves, not the person making the argument. Havent you noticed that I strain to avoid ad hominem in my own arguments? You say I look silly, but I dont look as silly as those who throw ad hominems around, thinking that attacking the arguer is as good as attacking the argument.

So far it seems that Im acting like a better atheistic apologist than you are acting like a Christian apologist. At least I keep my arguments on the topic. The majority of your arguments against me are ad hominem.

"Dictionaries are simply history books, telling us how words have been used."

And my usage of the word "faith" corresponds with the definition found in the dictionary. It is better to support ones definition of a word with something rather than nothing. I provided something for my definition of faith. You offered no alternative definition whatsoever.

Would it have been better form for me to define faith the same way I did, but not use any reference for it? Jesus Christ!

"Find me ONE technical philosophy argument which goes to the dictionary for their argument, you freak!"

It doesnt matter where you go, it only matters that you PROVIDE a definition. I provided one. You offered not alternative defintion, no correction. You claimed I used bad form by using a reference. So I tell you this: if I were to give the same faith definition and not refer to a dictionary or source, your objection to my argument would disappear, and you would have been forced to directly address my argument and my definition of faith, rather than use a cop out by objecting to my use of a reference.

"I mean, tell me why when they debate over creation in the courtrooms the judges and lawyers don't go to the dictionary to define "science?" it's because it's bad form!"

Incorrect. You miss the point. Over in Kansas, they are wrestling with redefining "science". Where they get their definitions is irrelevant. What matters is that they DEFINE the terms. I defined faith for my argument. Using a definition is not bad form, refusing to define a term when you talk about it IS bad form. You offered no definition, so your argument is the one that has bad form, not mine.

If you were to argue about the term "atheism" where would you get your definition? Would you make one up? Would you reference a source? And what if I were to protest your defintion of "atheism"? Wouldnt I have to propose a definition of my own, or at the least dissect your desctription of it? For me not to do so would be bad form. For me to dismiss your atheism argument without offering any substance of my own would be bad form. For me to insult you and call you a retard etc... would be bad form.

I use references to support my assertions, I attack topics instead of opponents, and I request supported arguments from those that wish to refute me. Yet I am the one who uses bad form?

I disagree. You are using personal attacks constantly. You assert that to not define terms and to not use references is better. I invite you to correct my arguments and show me your point of view (thats an invitation for you to show me Christ), but you hardly ever do so. I think I got like one or two on-topic refutations from you...the rest are all personal attacks. Most of my arguments have not even been directly addressed by you. Yet I address all your arguments directly. You are the one using bad form.

 
At 5/17/2005 2:41 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"I just want to point out one statement by Aaron. He says, "And you have to prove to me that the Bible even HAS a definition of faith, because until you do, I will deny that it even contains one."

Now this is just pure ignorance. Have you read the Bible Aaron?"

Yes. And I know that my statement was in error. It was deliberate my friend. Obviously you missed the point of my statement. I was merely throwing that out there, knowing that its refutable, just to try to get you to refute it directly.

I was setting up bait as a test to see if you would take the invitation to refute me. But so far you have not done so. Instead you attack me personally again and ask me if I read the Bible, when the PROPER FORM would have been to give me a Bible verse.

Oh well. I guess you are stuck in ad hominem mode. I was just trying to get you to address the topic directly, but you are obviously loathe to do so.

What will it take to get you to address the topics directly? I want to play the battle of ideas game, but you want to play the battle of insults game.

 
At 5/17/2005 2:46 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Did Van Til define "faith"? Did Van Til define "blind faith"? I didnt see him define either. Maybe he did and I simply havent read it.

But if Van Til didnt define either term, then THAT is bad form. Why dont you tell us what Van Til defined those terms as and make me eat my own hat? Would you rather insult me instead?

 
At 5/17/2005 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron: All you anonymouses did was say my argument was stupid, and you provided no refutation of it.

Anon: No, I told you I would get to it. You have to wait in line tho. I'm refuting: Bigfoot ate my cake. Could Luke Skywalker beat up Superman? The earth is flat. The gang from Scooby Do were a bunch of stoners. Vegetable oil vs Olive oil. The sky isn't blue. How much wood could a woodchuch chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. any m any others. Since I can't tell them that they are stooopid then I must refute them all and then get to yours. So, hang in there little fella

 
At 5/17/2005 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Aaron: "Did Van Til define "faith"? Did Van Til define "blind faith"? I didnt see him define either. Maybe he did and I simply havent read it."

Anon: van Til authored a plethora of books, how many have you read? If you attack an opponent with only reading other peoples citations of him, that is bad form.

moron

 
At 5/17/2005 3:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Mr. poopy pants,

How many ways does the Bible use the word "faith?" All the same way? What are the three elements of saving faith? Is the definition in Hebrews the Bible's definition for *all* other times of it uses the word? You should know because surely you wouldn't critique people without reading up on them. That just shows you have an a priori and are prejudiced against them... not very scholarly

 
At 5/17/2005 5:23 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"Anon: No, I told you I would get to it. You have to wait in line tho. I'm refuting: Bigfoot ate my cake. Could Luke Skywalker beat up Superman? The earth is flat. The gang from Scooby Do were a bunch of stoners. Vegetable oil vs Olive oil. The sky isn't blue. How much wood could a woodchuch chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood. any m any others. Since I can't tell them that they are stooopid then I must refute them all and then get to yours. So, hang in there little fella"

Insults aside, this is a pretty funny paragraph. You had me laughing out loud here.

"moron...Mr. poopy pants,"

Is this the same anon or two different anons? I cant tell sometimes. I must be a moron if I cant distinguish two identical names.

Come on now. This is getting ridiculous. I treat others the way I want to be treated. But you dont seem to do the same. This why the one golden rule is totally superior to every commandment found in the Bible.

"How many ways does the Bible use the word "faith?" All the same way?"

No. Lots of different ways. I know this already, and its one of the reasons I was specifically asking for you to provide a definition of faith from the Bible: I dont think you can do it without confusing the issue, because that worthless Mother-Goose-and-Grim fairytale book the Buy-Bull is so goddamn confusing as to be totally worthless on the subject.

Speaking of Bertrand Russel, he did say "The Bible is known for many things, but clarity is
not among them."
Thats one of the reasons why I kept asking you to provide a definition of faith from the Bible. I knew where it would lead: to confusion.

"Anon: van Til authored a plethora of books, how many have you read?"

Less than you surely. Thats why Im asking you to edu-ma-cate me on his faith descriptions. Im trying to get you to kick my ass with Van Til's awesome power.

"If you attack an opponent with only reading other peoples citations of him, that is bad form."

But if you refuse to refute an assertion but keep insisting that you can, it is even worse form. Heres another invitation to make me eat my hat. Please demostrate your good form by proving my statement to be ignorant and incorrect:

I hereby contend that Van Til does not properly define faith, nor "blind" faith, nor does he properly explain the differneces between the two kinds of faith.

 
At 5/17/2005 8:05 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

chirp, chirp, chirp....

Aaron, you don't think you'll actually get a straight answer from a presupp piece of shit do you? Their only option is to dodge, complain, and try to attack other worldviews...not actually present arguments for their own. How could they? Its built on FAITH.

 
At 5/17/2005 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

No, Aaron is dumb. He states that he knows there are different uses of the word faith buth then asks us to provide Van Til's definition of the word.

Faith in what sense Aaron.

You see, I'm drawing this out so as to make it as painful on his arrogant butt as I can.

 
At 5/17/2005 8:12 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

anon, if you really aren't Paul, you use the exact same evasive tactics as he does. Complain that people are mispresenting your arguments, definitions, etc....tell them to read...but not actually state what your arguments or definitions are. Aaron is trying to engage in dialouge with you, but for whatever reason, this seems impossible for anon/paul/whoever to actually do.

What's an outsider to think, except you don't actually want others to know your 'arguments' because they could easily be dealt with?

 
At 5/17/2005 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

hey not reformed,

maybe we want aaron to do a little bit of work for once before he spouts off at the mouth again.

He has admitted that he has not read Van Til and then he takes one quote (note one) from Van Til and then arrogantly spews forth "I hereby contend that Van Til does not properly define faith, nor "blind" faith, nor does he properly explain the differneces between the two kinds of faith."

Now the other anon might be different but i personally don't have the patience for this kind of crap.

 
At 5/17/2005 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

there was one quote in his whole article (and he's not read Van Til). that is just retarded. and then this:

"What I want to see from Manata and other Van Til-ers is consistency. They should either apply their Christian dictates to their lives, and admit that they have "blind faith" in a position that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence, or they should deconvert to materialistic atheism, and hold the one worldview that is rationally defendable by logical proof and material evidence."

WOW HE GOT MANATA AND VAN TIL!

 
At 5/17/2005 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

NR: If you're really not a zit headed teenager you use the same tactics as they do. For once could you ever argue rather than cheering for your team and name calling the opponent, like you do at the high school football games (we know you're in the stands because you're not physically fit enough to play on the team, heck, maybe you don't go to the games because all the jocks pick on you and dunk your head in the toilett). I don't mind the name calling, but do both.

NR, guess what. If someone critiques someone else they should have at least read that someone, Aaron is case in point of an a priori prejudiced man. heck, read his other article on induction. i mean, he critiques Goodman and he never even read the article! He would get his butt chewed out by a professor for doing that.

NR, try and have integrity. When someone does a poor job of scholarship then call them on it. otherwise no one will take you seriously. You're like the little punk he hids behind his mommy and sticks his tongue out at the big kids... just hope we don't find you without your mommy you thumb sucking moron.

 
At 5/17/2005 8:53 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

anon/Paul are just classic...

Still no arguments/definitions and no desire to actually interact with Aaron, who has claimed he wants to do so. Such wonderful examples of Christians reaching out to save the lost.

Paul, I know you're a psycho..your blog illustrated that, although it was apparent from your various postings anyway. It would have been interesting to see you try and put my head in the toilet tho. :) Being psycho doesn't equate with actual strength, in fighting, or in online debating, as you continually show.

 
At 5/17/2005 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

NR, let me help you. You said:

"Still no arguments/definitions and no desire to actually interact with Aaron, who has claimed he wants to do so."

Let's see... Aaron contended:

"I hereby contend that Van Til does not properly define faith, nor "blind" faith, nor does he properly explain the differneces between the two kinds of faith."

Got that?, he's wanting me to give him Van Til's definition of faith. I previously asked:

""How many ways does the Bible use the word "faith?" All the same way?"

And he previously acknowledged:

"No. Lots of different ways."

So, unles you're dumber than a rock, you should note that a careful mind will not be bguiled by this sort of stupidity or trickery. he acknowledges that there is more than one way the Bible uses the word faith, but then wants Van Til's definition of faith. I asked, *IN WHAT SENSE*

Got that NR? Now, run home and stop playing with adults.

 
At 5/18/2005 7:15 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Anon: "So, unles you're dumber than a rock, you should note that a careful mind will not be bguiled by this sort of stupidity or trickery. he acknowledges that there is more than one way the Bible uses the word faith, but then wants Van Til's definition of faith. I asked, *IN WHAT SENSE*"

Paul, why not just quote all the occasions when Van Til gives a definition of 'faith'? And then perhaps we could discuss it. If Van Til gave more than one definition of 'faith' to capture the various senses of meaning in question, then you could lay them out for us to review. Remember to give precise citations for reference. Thanks.

 
At 5/18/2005 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB- Aaron made the claim. He made the assertion. I smartly threw the burden on him, then. You should know this, Dawson. Oh, and stop responding to me unless you choose to answer my question. Or, do you just want to admit you've met your match ;)

 
At 5/18/2005 8:13 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: "BB- Aaron made the claim. He made the assertion. I smartly threw the burden on him, then. You should know this, Dawson."

I see. So, like me, you can't find where Van Til offered any definitions for the term 'faith'. Got it.

Paul: "Oh, and stop responding to me unless you choose to answer my question. Or, do you just want to admit you've met your match ;)"

If I thought you were open to a serious conversation on the nature of concepts, I'd be happy to discuss the matter with you. But it's clear that you're not open to such a dialogue. You have consistently shown that you're nothing but a chew toy, Paul. I knew that already, but I chose to give you just one more chance to show that you're willing to have a mature discussion on the issues. But it's clear you're not willing to do that. It's clear you're having a hard time shaking your thug past. That's why you're right at home with Christianity: it enables people to excuse and ignore their own moral faults (I'm reminded of Derek's question "Do you obey all of Jesus' commandments?" and your answer "No" - which makes me wonder: if I become a Christian, do I get to be a hypocrite just like you?). As a Christian, you might want to ask yourself whether or not you present yourself as an example of what it is like to be Christ-like. From your attitude and statements, it appears you don't care. Intellectually, you offer nothing constructive, no insights on problems, no willingness to discuss things seriously, nothing but ridicule and sneering. You behave like a 14-year-old. I know you're capable of more, because you seem to carry yourself with at least a little more maturity on the All-Bahnsen web. But outside the cozy insulation of fellow sheeple, you're as petty, childish and unintellectual as they come. Besides, your questions are quite unimpressive, and by their very nature it's obvious that you have no idea how radically different my view of concepts is from yours.

 
At 5/19/2005 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

BB- Nope, Aaron made a charge, he needs to back it up. This tactic is purely for embarrassment purposes only. Dawson, Ayn Rand's system is false because she stated that concepts are little green men in your head. What!? You want me to back that up???? You goofball.

Secondly, universals is not an epistemological problem but a metaphysical one. This just showed yours, and Rand's ignoarnce on the subject. Tell me why NO intro or companion to epsitemology bring up the problem??? But they do mention concepts!? Tell me why ALL intro's and companions to metaphysics mention the problem??? But they don't mention concepts??? All you've done is to show yourself incompetent on this subject.

And, stop acting like a 5 yr old. If you can't take that I'm a better ass than you, that's not my problem. When you want to stop acting like an ass just let me know.

 
At 5/20/2005 3:18 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Whether or not Ive read every Van Til book is irrelevant. I made an assertion that Van Til does not properly define Faith, nor does he properly differentiate between "blind" faith and regular faith. I could have made this assertion regardless of whether I read all of Van Til's work or not.

What I did was open myself up to refutation. I provided an assertion that, if false (as you seem to claim), should be easily refutable. You have a grand opportunity here to show me that Im wrong by merely providing the Van Til faith definitions that I contend do not exist.

Why is it that when I plainly open myself up to refutation, you refuse to take the opportunity? Instead you engage in ad hominem, which only weakens your own argument.

Here is an analogy or example, with the sides switched, that should make this scenario perfectly clear:

Suppose that a theist came in here and stated: "Carl Sagan never criticizes belief". And suppose this theist didn't read any of Sagan's work, but only read a few quotes (as I have with Van Til). This would be a grand opportunity for an atheist to refute the theists statement by providing the appropriate quote from Sagan.

What would the atheist do? Throw around ad hominems or actually provide a Sagan quote to refute the theist? Well I cant speak for all atheists, but I for one would practice good debating skills and directly refute the theists claim. I would provide the Sagan quote, and the Sagan quote I speak of is: "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe."

It would not bother me at all that a theist would make an assertion about someone without reading all their work. I would happily take the opportunity to refute the theist directly by providing the appripriate Sagan quote. Why do the theists here not do the same, but instead bitch and moan that I havent read enough Van Til? I could have read every word Van Til wrote and still have made such an assertion if I wanted to. Why not just refute me???????

As others here have stated, I am honestly trying to have a meaningful dialogue. I am not looking for ad hominems. I am looking for direct, on-topic discussion, and I am looking for a theist to refute my statement. I know that I am taking a risk by making such a broad assertion about Van Til without having read barely any of his work. I am not afraid to be proven wrong, but I am frustrated that no theist here will either refute me directly with the relevant quotes or concede that I am correct. I wish that a theist here would properly engage me. I would much rather be refuted than constantly insulted. And dont you think that it would help the theists position more if they directly refuted me rather than insult me?

So, now that Ive explained my stance, and the appropriate debating/refuting methods, will a theist here please refute my statement? If not, then my assertion remains unrefuted. My assertion still stands: Van Til did not properly define faith, nor did he properly differentiate between "blind" faith and regular faith.

 
At 5/20/2005 3:20 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

"BB- Nope, Aaron made a charge, he needs to back it up. This tactic is purely for embarrassment purposes only."

How do I back up a charge I made that states that Van Til never properly defined faith? What do you want me to do, post every written word that Van Til wrote? Its a negative assertion, Anonymous. I cant burden the blogspot web service, nor can I violate fair use laws, by posting every fucking thing Van Til wrote just to prove that he never defined faith.

I made an assertion, and so far its unrefuted. The ball is in the Van Tillers court to refute my statement.

 
At 5/20/2005 5:42 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

Cornelius Van Til said:

"As a wise man once said, Faith is believing things you know ain't so."

- The Collective Works of Cornelius Van Til, The Greatest Thinker in the History of the Universe - 20th Century

So...there. That is Van Til's definition of faith. Can we continue?

 
At 5/20/2005 7:50 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5/20/2005 7:55 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Thank you so much NR! Finally someone came in to refute my statement! Too bad it wasnt a theist.

Well, if regular faith is things you know aint so, then I contend that it is even worse than "blind" faith.

Also, Van Til made a mistake when he said that faith can be rationally defended. He accidentaly conceded that it cannot when he stated that faith is belief in something you know aint so.

If you know something isnt so, then it CANNOT be rationally defended.

There is no rational defense for Christianity. Van Til's statements on the definition of faith admit at much, despite his insistence that faith should be able to be rationally defended.

You either have "blind" faith which is belief in something you have no evidence for, OR you have regular faith which, according to Van Til, is even worse than blind faith because regular faith is belief in something that you know isnt true.

Good luck with rationally defending your faith, theists.

 
At 5/21/2005 12:06 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Aaron: "How do I back up a charge I made that states that Van Til never properly defined faith? What do you want me to do, post every written word that Van Til wrote? Its a negative assertion, Anonymous."

This reminds me so much of the time I pointed out that Bahnsen nowhere argues to prove that concepts are "immaterial" in his debate with Stein, and an apologist insisted that I show "where" Bahnsen didn't do this. That's just the point: there is no "where" to point to. I repeatedly asked this apologist to show me where he thought Bahnsen presented a proof for the position that concepts are "immaterial" (since the view that they are immaterial was so central to his debating strategy), and yet my opponent never produced anything. When he took the question to the All-Bahnsen list, other apologists (in the safety of an insulated list under watchful moderators) came out and said things like "I don't think Bahnsen puts forth any argument for this."

Just too ripe!

 

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