Google
 
Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Audio User Comments

Wendy Whiner
Hellbound Alleee makes a recent comment by "Anonymous" come alive!

Why Your Blog Died

Post a Comment


98 Comments:

At 7/10/2005 11:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

that had to be the dumbest thing i've heard in a while.

 
At 7/11/2005 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

I may complain, but at least I don't have a blog dedicated to it. ;)

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

This blog is not dedicated to complaining. In fact, nothing I've said recently was a complaint, just my annoyances and hopes. People like you ANNOY me, and I HOPE you drop dead.

 
At 7/11/2005 11:19 AM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Yes, it is dumb, and I have "anonymous" to thank for it !

Sometimes "dumb" is the only appropriate response to dumb, dummy.

 
At 7/11/2005 11:25 AM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

Whine 2

 
At 7/11/2005 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous declaimed...

Franc, are you bitching and moaning again? I stop by after weeks and you're still a whinning little baby. Poor guy. Now I just fel bad for you. You have my pity my friend.

 
At 7/11/2005 9:01 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Um... yea. Thanks for the constructive comments, moron.

 
At 7/13/2005 12:54 PM, Blogger Rick declaimed...

Slightly off the tangent here. Faithist seem to reamin nameless and give names to their gods. The faithless on the other hand keep god anonymous.

Chill yo! ;)

 
At 7/14/2005 2:56 AM, Blogger Louis & Spencer declaimed...

Hey Franc - been a big fan of your site and this blog for some time. Are you guys gonna publish any more articles on here? I still have hope!


Spence

 
At 7/14/2005 6:41 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Spence : not sure what you mean ? Alleee has new entries every day on her blog, so you should check that out. This blog seems to be pretty dead, and it doesn't look like my rants are appreciated much.

 
At 7/14/2005 11:01 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

ANONYMOUS MORON SAID:

>>Franc, are you bitching and moaning again? I stop by after weeks and you're still a whinning (sic) little baby. Poor guy. Now I just fel(sic) bad for you. You have my pity my friend.<<

What is "whinning?" Is that the sound a horse makes?

Why can't Johnny Christian spell?

 
At 7/19/2005 1:25 PM, Blogger Jesse declaimed...

You guys are more fun than a barrel of atheist monkeys. Keep it comin'.

 
At 7/20/2005 8:42 PM, Blogger HZ declaimed...

Well Aaron Kinney is right about blasting people. If you want to have meaningful conversation you have to make meaningful conversation. It's easy to call somebody anything that pops into your head, and this seems to be what you prefer. Besides there is the almost insurmountable obstacle that many of you do not know very much about Christianity, and your arguments are not to the point. This is almost insurmountable because you seem to prefer your ignorance, and I am not saying that nastily, but honestly. You prefer to think that you've made your point. You may have, but you still haven't managed to poke us. I bet that does make it easier to reduce yourselves to simply calling names, though. Not that calling names can't be telling at times, but in your case it is very, very telling.

However, if you would like to actually learn more about what we believe I have posted a blog entry up on my own blog, here: http://kamelda78.blogspot.com/2005/07/with-or-without-pistacchios.html

To pick up on something on the related thread, our existence is, along with everything else that is. But things are as they are, and not as they aren't. You want to reduce existence to matter, but the nature of matter is that it doesn't suddenly appear out of non-matter. That is just how it is. That is what you have to deal with.

 
At 7/20/2005 8:53 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

HZ wrote: "Besides there is the almost insurmountable obstacle that many of you do not know very much about Christianity, and your arguments are not to the point."

HZ, can you give an example of what you consider to be an argument against Christianity that is "to the point"?

 
At 7/20/2005 9:42 PM, Blogger HZ declaimed...

Bahsen Burner, an argument against Christianity that is to the point would be an argument that deals with God as the Bible reveals Him, not in God as anyone imagines Him to be. For instance, I often hear atheists talk about God's arbitrariness, as if this is really an argument against Him. But the revealed God is not at all arbitrary. He cannot deny Himself, He cannot be other than He is; He is unchangeable, and His nature necessitates His actions.

The "problem of evil" is more of an argument that deals with the God as He is. And yet, the problem of evil cannot exist, if He does not exist. Evil is a parasite, a negation: it can only occur on the back of positive good. You can never prove to me that anything is positively good. The fact that it exists, does not make it so. Evil exists. Existence might not be a good. You on this blog do not think it is a good for the unborn, or for people like Terri Schiavo. You can't prove to me that positive good exists, or what it is. Without positive good, you can't bring in the problem of evil at all. That is without getting into moral law, which is an absolute, and non material.

I cannot explain to your satisfaction all of God's purposes. I do not expect to understand Deity myself. It is completely consistent with true righteousness that depraved creatures do not fully comprehend its ways. But I do know that if we are really concerned about evil, the first thing we will do is seek the Good. "There is none good but God."

I have posted some thoughts about the problem of evil here: http://kamelda78.blogspot.com/2005/05/very-miscellaneous.html
-but a much better dealing with it would be in C. S. Lewis' books, The Problem of Pain, and the book he wrote right after his wife died.

I don't know if you remember interacting with me at all, but I only have access to the computer once or twice a week... and my time's up. Thanks.

 
At 7/21/2005 10:03 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Just curious, HZ, or any other Christian who happens to be reading:

Do you think that non-believers have any burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?

If so, why? And to whom?

 
At 7/21/2005 11:37 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

That's a bit of a complex question there dawson...

If I say 'yes', then I would implicitly be agreeing that God does not exist since that assumption is stated in the very question you pose. Then you would say why would I have to prove something that doesn't exist.

So it is a fallacious way of asking the question..

 
At 7/21/2005 6:22 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

So, GF76, you think that someone does in principle have a burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?

Yes or no.

 
At 7/21/2005 8:03 PM, Blogger Randy P declaimed...

I would say BB that if you are going to post about the fallacy of Christianity, and try to back this information up in a blog then yes you do need to in some fashion “prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?”. Kinda what posting is after all. Everyone here seems to have a bit of intelligence, and should be able to reason their way through a few discussions. Of course on the flip side of that the realm of “blog” is created by a person, so he can therefore facilitate it the way that he/she wants. So to answer your question, or actually not answer it, but create another question, it is up to you to decide that. I think in any meaningful discussion you should state and back your opinion up with at least your version of the truth. My opinion only.

 
At 7/21/2005 8:24 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "So, GF76, you think that someone does in principle have a burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?

Yes or no."

I don't know which part of the response you didn't understand but you have received the only answer you will be receiving to the fallacious question. That's like a believer asking if he has a burden of proving that which *exists* and you answering "yes" with the believer responding why should he have to if he already exists (as the unbeliever has already implicitly agreed that God exists). You want to assert in the question that God is non-existent.

Now the question could be rephrased nonfallaciously as "Does the atheist or the Christian have the burden of proof?".

According to Douglas Walton in his book Informal Logic, then both of them have the burden of proving their thesis.

 
At 7/21/2005 8:42 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Randy P: “I would say BB that if you are going to post about the fallacy of Christianity, and try to back this information up in a blog then yes you do need to in some fashion ‘prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?’.”

I’m not sure I follow you. It seems your argument here (if in fact you mean this to be an argument), amounts to:

P: If a person might “post about the fallacy of Christianity,” then he does “need to in some fashion ‘prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist’.”
P: Dawson Bethrick is a person who has authored a “post about the fallacy of Christianity.” (Just to be accurate, there are LOTS of fallacies in Christianity, not just one.)
C: Therefore, Dawson Bethrick does “need to in some fashion ‘prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist’.”

Does this capture the gist of your thinking? How would you defend the first premise? I would say that the non-existent by definition doesn’t exist, and thus no one need waste his time trying to prove it doesn’t exist.

Randy P: “Kinda what posting is after all.”

Again, I’m not sure I follow. You’re saying that “what posting is after all” is trying “to in some fashion ‘prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist’”? I’ve got a number of posts on my blog, but I don’t think I’ve ever tried to present an argument which concludes “therefore, the non-existent doesn’t exist.” That’s not the point of my writing.

Randy P: “Everyone here seems to have a bit of intelligence, and should be able to reason their way through a few discussions.”

Yes, I’d agree that everyone who’s frequented these blogs have at least some intelligence. I’m not going to claim to know the measure of anyone’s intelligence; I’ve known some pretty intelligent people who have otherwise said some pretty stupid things. Some just have bad attitudes. But if someone comes up to me and tells me that invisible magic beings exist and expects me to believe it, well, I’m not going to believe it simply on his say so. So, I would hope that such a person could, as you say, reason his way through a few discussions. And if, after a few discussions, I’m still not convinced, is that my fault?

Randy P: “So to answer your question, or actually not answer it, but create another question, it is up to you to decide that.”

Indeed. In my judgment, no man has the onus to prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist.

Randy P: “I think in any meaningful discussion you should state and back your opinion up with at least your version of the truth.”

I tend to think that thinkers do not have the burden to prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist because I tend to think those who assert the positive have the burden of proof. I think this because knowledge is knowledge of something (i.e., of a positive), and if someone makes a positive claim to knowledge, he should – especially if what is being claimed is not at all apparently true – be prepared to answer the question “How do you know this?” It may be the case that he openly says he doesn't really know it, but simply believes it anyhow (e.g., on faith, that is, because he wants it to be true). But if he doesn’t take up the task of proving his positive claim, then he should not expect others to simply accept what he claims on his say so. If someone tells me that there exists an invisible magic being, it’s up to him to prove this to me. I recognize no onus on my part to prove that his invisible magic being doesn’t exist (in fact, I couldn’t care what such a person believes – it’s already clear to me that he doesn’t value his own mind, so why should I value it for him?). And I’m certainly not going to believe his claim on his say so.

I hope that helps.

 
At 7/21/2005 8:55 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76, I don’t think I need to prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist. Do you think I’m wrong? If so, why? And to whom do you think I should waste my time proving that the non-existent doesn't exist?

 
At 7/21/2005 9:35 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson,

Have you stopped beating your wife?

 
At 7/21/2005 9:50 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76, my wife is overseas. There's no way that I could beat her, even if I wanted to.

Now, could you speak to my question?

Do you think I'm wrong for thinking that I don't have any onus to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?

Yes or no?

 
At 7/21/2005 9:56 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "GF76, my wife is overseas. There's no way that I could beat her, even if I wanted to."

Well that's not what I asked. I asked if you had stopped beating her, not if you were beating her right this second. Yes or no will do Dawson. HAVE YOU STOPPED BEATING YOUR WIFE?


Dawson said, "Now, could you speak to my question?

Do you think I'm wrong for thinking that I don't have any onus to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?

Yes or no?"

Your fallacious question has been addressed twice now. Get a new argument/question as this one is dead.

 
At 7/21/2005 10:06 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "HAVE YOU STOPPED BEATING YOUR WIFE?"

I must admit, every time we play Scrabble, I do in fact win rather decisively, but I only admit this because I've been pressed to.

I asked: "Do you think I'm wrong for thinking that I don't have any onus to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?

Yes or no?"

GF76 responded: "Your fallacious question has been addressed twice now. Get a new argument/question as this one is dead."

Agreed: I don't think I need to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist, either.

I'm glad we're in agreement.

 
At 7/21/2005 10:27 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "I must admit, every time we play Scrabble, I do in fact win rather decisively, but I only admit this because I've been pressed to."

HA good try there dawson boy. But I wanted a 'yes' or 'no'. Oh and I ain't talking about Scrabble either. Another question Dawson, "Have you stopped sexually molesting little kids?"


Dawson said, "Agreed: I don't think I need to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist, either.

I'm glad we're in agreement."

This is retarded. You are a winner Dawson. Ok let's see what has transpired. Dawson asks a fallacious question. Then it gets pointed out why it's fallacious. Dawson gives no cogent response (not even a response) to the fallacious charge to try to save his argument/question. He just re-asks the same question again and again and pretends that it carries weight by basically 'telling' me I have to answer yes or no. Then Dawson *lies* in an attempt to get me to agree with him. Amazing...

Dawson, leave the crack alone.

 
At 7/22/2005 6:47 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76, just so long as you agree that I have no burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist. This is not fallacious because, by definition, the non-existent doesn't exist. Your attempt to charge me with the fallacy of complex question failed to take the definitions of key terms into account, and consequently is an empty charge. Now, if you want to make the case that I or anyone else has the burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist, then you're free to present your case for this. But if you do not want to defend the supposition that a thinker has a burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist, then what's the fuss?

Meanwhile, don't forget the other questions I asked: if you expect me to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist, why do you expect this, and to whom am I supposed to prove this? To an idiot who doesn't understand that the non-existent by definition doesn't exist?

 
At 7/22/2005 7:41 AM, Blogger Randy P declaimed...

BB,

"I tend to think that thinkers do not have the burden to prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist because I tend to think those who assert the positive have the burden of proof"

Then why participate?

 
At 7/22/2005 9:09 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

I wrote: "I tend to think that thinkers do not have the burden to prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist because I tend to think those who assert the positive have the burden of proof"

Randy P asked: "Then why participate?"

Because, Randy P, Christians are much more entertaining than TV sitcoms and athletic competition. Just read GF76's comments, or better yet, one of Paul Manata's miserable blogs. You'll see what I mean.

 
At 7/22/2005 9:52 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "GF76, just so long as you agree that I have no burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist."

You are a liar and a bad one at that.

By the way, have you checked out Douglas Walton's book that I referenced earlier? Certainly you know who he is.


"This is not fallacious because, by definition, the non-existent doesn't exist."

Right and since the 'existent' exists by definition then I don't have to prove that God exists since God exists.


"Your attempt to charge me with the fallacy of complex question failed to take the definitions of key terms into account, and consequently is an empty charge."

Well I finally got a response even though it was extremely weak. Your 'key term' (the assumption that God doesn't exist - hence non-existent) was never acquiesced to by me since the question was pointed out from the start as being fallacious. My charge did not 'fail to take any key definitions' into account. On the contrary, my first response took them into account as well as the assumption that God is non-existent, which is why it was pointed out as fallacious. You want to (tried to in the first question) insert that God is non-existent and that is where you failed as I have not taken your pathetic "bait".



"Now, if you want to make the case that I or anyone else has the burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist, then you're free to present your case for this."


Richard from Tommy Boy says, "Hello I'm Earth. Have we met?"

It's amazing how you can have a conversation all by yourself, Dawson.


"But if you do not want to defend the supposition that a thinker has a burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist, then what's the fuss?"

It's funny how you have 'attempted' to elaborate on your so-called question in an attempt to save your pride. But the 'assumption (God is non-existent)' in your question has not been granted.


"Meanwhile, don't forget the other questions I asked: if you expect me to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist, why do you expect this, and to whom am I supposed to prove this?

I haven't forgot them so don't worry. However, your first question was fallacious and your other questions hinged on your first question; therefore, there is no reason to answer them.


"To an idiot who doesn't understand that the non-existent by definition doesn't exist?"

Let's rephrase this just for fun: "To the idiot who doesn't understand that the existent by definition exists." Wow Dawson, that is a stellar argumentation.


Again Dawson, have you stopped sexually molesting little kids yet? Also, Have you stopped beating your wife? YES OR NO (alone) will do.

 
At 7/22/2005 10:03 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "....Just read GF76's comments, or better yet, one of Paul Manata's miserable blogs. You'll see what I mean."

Randy P - this is what atheists say after they've been beaten and shown to have no argument.

Now let's see how Dawson will attempt to twist other posts around in order to save himself.


hey dawson, I have followed in your footsteps and formulated an invincible argument!

Here it is: By definition, existents exist; God exists; therefore, 'by definition' I have no burden of proving that the existent exists! Excellent. I may try to get that published!

 
At 7/22/2005 2:08 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/22/2005 2:09 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

GF76 said:

"Right and since the 'existent' exists by definition then I don't have to prove that God exists since God exists."

Wrong dude. God is an existant. And existants dont have to exist. Like the tooth fairy.

GF76, it seems you are simply trying to assign a conscious controlling all powerful attribute to existence itself when you talk like that. Sorry but if you want to assign properties to things, you need reason for it or evidence for it. We assign the property of existing to existence, but we dont assign any random property to anything that we like.

GF76, you defend God because you want him to exist. You are putting your desires above reality. Atheists on the other hand, defend reality. And reality says that there is no reason to believe in a God, and that God is a paradoxical concept, like a benevolent malevolence.

All existants (entities) are falsifiable, that is, their existance can be falsified. But you need your God to exist without falsifiability. And the only way to do that is by making God an axiom. But you cant make God an axiom, as Dawson pointed out here.

GF76, I got an answer to your loaded question: No I have not stopped beating my nonexistant wife. ;)

 
At 7/22/2005 2:40 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/22/2005 2:43 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron said, "Wrong dude. God is an existant. And existants dont have to exist. Like the tooth fairy."

Wow Aaron. You need to go back and reread why I posted that. Don't try to come into the debate a day late and a dollar short and think you are caught up, knowing what people are talking about.

Dawson defined God as 'non-existent' and by definition, according to Dawson, this means that God doesn't exist hence there is no burden to prove it. Dawson asked a fallacious complex question in an attempt to foil people and got called out on it.

He wants to assert his position in the very question itself (go back and read the my first response where I said I would implicitly agree that God doesn't exist if I answered the fallacious question) and has not yet been able to dig himself out of the dung that he's put himself into.


Aaron blunders, "GF76, it seems you are simply trying to assign a conscious controlling all powerful attribute to existence itself when you talk like that. Sorry but if you want to assign properties to things, you need reason for it or evidence for it. We assign the property of existing to existence, but we dont assign any random property to anything that we like."

Aaron, it would be really good if you read and even attempted to understand what I was talking about. I WAS POINTING OUT THE FALLACY OF THE COMPLEX QUESTION.


Aaron again blunders, "GF76, you defend God because you want him to exist. You are putting your desires above reality."

Oh I got it Aaron. "Aaron, you argue against God because you don't want him to exist. You are putting your desires above reality." See how easy that was.

Now if you would please stay out of the conversation since you do not yet know what is going on.


"Atheists on the other hand, defend reality. And reality says that there is no reason to believe in a God, and that God is a paradoxical concept, like a benevolent malevolence."

Oh really Aaron. So I guess we can just say 'reality' doesn't say that God exists and walla, he doesn't exist!

By the way aaron, do you know what Dawson and I were discussing?


Aaron said, "All existants (entities) are falsifiable, that is, their existance can be falsified. But you need your God to exist without falsifiability."

We have seen falsifiability die a horrible death in one of our previous conversations Aaron. I'm surprised you would assert it again...


Aaron again makes up crap by saying, "And the only way to do that is by making God an axiom. But you cant make God an axiom, as Dawson pointed out here."

I'm not really sure which conversation you are reading. Is it this one? Maybe you are reading something else and happening to be responding on this thread, who knows.

Or maybe you are somehow attempting to salvage Dawson's argument by changing the subject. Good try but it ain't working.

Cheers

 
At 7/22/2005 4:00 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: "this is what atheists say after they've been beaten and shown to have no argument."

What argument are you expecting me to present? Again, what onus do you think I have?

 
At 7/22/2005 4:05 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: "Or maybe you are somehow attempting to salvage Dawson's argument by changing the subject. Good try but it ain't working."

When did I ever claim to be presenting an argument? All I did was ask whether or not you think a person has the burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist. You didn't like that question, erroneously calling it fallaciously complex. But clearly you seem to think I owe you an argument of some kind, for you stated to Randy P "this is what atheists say after they've been beaten and shown to have no argument."

The onus belongs to those who believe in invisible magic beings and want others to believe likewise. If you don't want me to believe as you do, then what's the fuss?

 
At 7/23/2005 12:41 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Well, apparently the Christians cannot identify any argument that they expect me to present. I asked if they think I have a burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist. None have come forward with a straight answer, and yet it's clear up to this point that they expect me to present some kind of argument, to what end they do not say.

Anyway, since I see no reason to present an argument to those who have already rejected the very basis of argument as such (i.e., the philosophy of reason), and none have stepped forward to identify any argument that they think I am supposed to defend, then it can be safely stated that the burden of proof does not rest with me.

Yes, that's probably unsettling to those who want others to take their belief in invisible magic beings seriously, but that's not my problem.

 
At 7/23/2005 4:39 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

GF76: "Wow Aaron. You need to go back and reread why I posted that. Don't try to come into the debate a day late and a dollar short and think you are caught up, knowing what people are talking about."

Someones upset it seems. Im not talking about Dawsons question there. I was merely trying to point out your error with the whole existant/existence thing.

Dawson defined God as 'non-existent' and by definition, according to Dawson, this means that God doesn't exist hence there is no burden to prove it. Dawson asked a fallacious complex question in an attempt to foil people and got called out on it.

He wants to assert his position in the very question itself (go back and read the my first response where I said I would implicitly agree that God doesn't exist if I answered the fallacious question) and has not yet been able to dig himself out of the dung that he's put himself into.


The dung here GF76 is your default position of god existing without any support for it. The dung is your misunderstanding of what atheism is: a negative position. Dawsons assertion that there is no existants to assume without support for them is consistent. By default, everything is a blank slate and the nonexistence of anything without support for it is just fine.

Oh I got it Aaron. "Aaron, you argue against God because you don't want him to exist. You are putting your desires above reality." See how easy that was.

You can assert as much as your little heart desires ;)

By the way aaron, do you know what Dawson and I were discussing?

Burden of proof, proving a negative, and that you thought Dawsons question was loaded/begging but its really not. Yes Im aware of what you guys were talking about. You just cant understand for some reason that I was talking about something different deliberately.

We have seen falsifiability die a horrible death in one of our previous conversations Aaron. I'm surprised you would assert it again...

LOL you are too much. More like you NEED falsifiability to die a horrible death in order for you to have an excuse to suppose a superstitious fantasy. Without falsifiability, you would actually be in alot of trouble. And you need the presumption of a negative to die a horrible death as well so you pretend that its question begging. And to top it off, you use both of these in your daily life and wouldnt be able to make sense of reality without them, yet your retarded superstition forces you to reject them in order to still think the superstition is true.

I'm not really sure which conversation you are reading. Is it this one? Maybe you are reading something else and happening to be responding on this thread, who knows.

Or maybe you are somehow attempting to salvage Dawson's argument by changing the subject. Good try but it ain't working.


I actually was going off on a tangent. You assume too much; Im not trying to do anything for Dawson. Right now Im more like an observer on the sidelines that wanted to rant a bit. But since you are so insistent, I guess I have to get more direct about your problem with negatives.

Dawsons question wasnt fallacious. You read it wrong. Its simple burden of proof. An atheist has not arrived at your conclusion. Nonexistants and negatives dont carry a burden of proof. Earlier in the thread you said:

That's like a believer asking if he has a burden of proving that which *exists* and you answering "yes" with the believer responding why should he have to if he already exists (as the unbeliever has already implicitly agreed that God exists).

The atheist doesnt implicitly agree that God exists here, nor does the theist implicity agree that God doesnt exist when responding to Dawsons version of the question. If the theists arguments for the existence of a God are not sufficient, then the nonexistence of the God wins by default. The nonexistence of something, or the negative, is the default position so to speak.

You ask if one beats ones wife, but that is not the correct comparison to Dawsons question. The correct comparison is to a question like "you want me to prove that invisible pink unicorns dont exist?" Surely you are familiar with the IPU? Dawsons question is another way of saying that he does not have to prove a negative.

You want to assert in the question that God is non-existent.

What Dawson wants to assert in the question (correct me if Im wrong Dawson) is that he doesnt have any positive claims to have to support.

The default starting point is the negative. "A claim is false until proven true." Well atheism is not a claim, but a rejection of a claim. Thats it. Its like the presumption of innocence. The atheist can provide reasons for rejecting the positive claim (theism) if he wants to, but an atheist isnt making any positive claims himself, and therefore doesnt have anything to prove. So Dawsons question is perfectly acceptable.

So if the presumption of a negative and falsifiability are so useless, why are the essential in your everyday life GF76? Do you see that you use these things all the time and then attack them and renounce them when the topic of god arises? Wake up already.

 
At 7/23/2005 5:30 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Referring to your earlier post: I knew you would pick one of the more obscure statements and try to turn it around. Good job. You have proven me correct.

Dawson said, "Well, apparently the Christians cannot identify any argument that they expect me to present. I asked if they think I have a burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist. None have come forward with a straight answer, and yet it's clear up to this point that they expect me to present some kind of argument, to what end they do not say."


Dawson, your question was posed as an attempt to prove that you have no burden. It can be rephrased as an argument, you know like the one where I followed in your footsteps that I want published. You are trying to make a case (argument) where you have no burden and have been quite unsuccessful in so doing. The way you asked the question was fallacious. Deal with it, son. All you have done thus far is say that it isn't. Guess what Dawson, saying so doesn't make it so.

Dawson then says, "Anyway, since I see no reason to present an argument to those who have already rejected the very basis of argument as such (i.e., the philosophy of reason), and none have stepped forward to identify any argument that they think I am supposed to defend, then it can be safely stated that the burden of proof does not rest with me."

Well you have not rescued your so-called question from the charge of fallaciousness. All you continually do is assert.

Also, you have also completely ignored Douglas Walton on the issue as well. Do you want the page number?


Dawson said, "Yes, that's probably unsettling to those who want others to take their belief in invisible magic beings seriously, but that's not my problem."

More stupid assertions.

 
At 7/23/2005 6:25 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron,

Aaron said, "Someones upset it seems."

Don't expect me to rub my hands through your hair and sing you cute little lullabies when you come into this discussion not knowing what's going on acting like an arrogant prick. :)


Aaron then said, "Im not talking about Dawsons question there. I was merely trying to point out your error with the whole existant/existence thing."

But this is the problem aaron as it WASN'T MY ERROR. If Dawson gets to *define* things that are existant and non-existant from the start and then ask a complex question, then I can assert the same and ask complex questions. That's what this was pointing out. If you would have read then I wouldn't be typing this right now. Not to mention that your post CONTRADICTED WHAT DAWSON SAID.


Aaron then retorts, "Burden of proof, proving a negative, and that you thought Dawsons question was loaded/begging but its really not."

Saying it so doesn't make it so, Aaron. I've shown that it was. No one interacts with it and then completely ignores Douglas Walton on the burden of proof. So you will be ignored.


Aaron said, "The atheist doesnt implicitly agree that God exists here, nor does the theist implicity agree that God doesnt exist when responding to Dawsons version of the question."

Dawson said, "This is not fallacious because, **by definition, the non-existent doesn't exist**....Now, if you want to make the case that I or anyone else has the burden to prove that *****the non-existent doesn't exist*****, then you're free to present your case for this. "

Maybe you missed this aaron, but Dawson just refuted you. Now reread Dawsons original question, he has already assumed God doesn't exist from the start.


Aaron said, "If the theists arguments for the existence of a God are not sufficient, then the nonexistence of the God wins by default."

This is a classic case of argument ad ignorantium. I'll let you look it up.


Aaron said, "The nonexistence of something, or the negative, is the default position so to speak."

Says who? This is argument ad ignorantium.

Right so let's assume that Christianity is false from the start. That's not exactly 'neutral' and 'scientific'. I got a good idea, let's make up logic as we go along!


Aaron said, "What Dawson wants to assert in the question (correct me if Im wrong Dawson) is that he doesnt have any positive claims to have to support."

See Douglas Walton on this in Informal Logic (which I have repeatedly said).


Aaron said, "The default starting point is the negative. "A claim is false until proven true.""

Another argument ad ignorantium.


Aaron said, "Well atheism is not a claim, but a rejection of a claim. Thats it. Its like the presumption of innocence. The atheist can provide reasons for rejecting the positive claim (theism) if he wants to, but an atheist isnt making any positive claims himself, and therefore doesnt have anything to prove. So Dawsons question is perfectly acceptable."

Yes atheism is a claim. A presumption of innocence is not atheism. The presumption of innocence would be a *neutral* position not a *negative* position. Atheism is the thesis that God does not exist.

Who made up this positive/negative claim crap? Ok then I'm an a-athiest. Now, you are making the claim.

Dawson's claim is that God is non-existant and there is no need to prove things that are non-existent. The problem is Dawson assumes that God is non-existant from the beginning and leaves a big gap in the paragraph where the argument should go.

Let's define the fallacy of the complex question: "asking a question in such a way as to presuppose the truth of some conclusion buried in that question." (Intro to Logic, Copi & Cohen, 9th Ed., page 120). Dawson's question presupposed the conclusion that God is non-existant (i.e., the truth of God's non-existence). You can try to tap-dance all day but it does you no good.


Aaron said, "So if the presumption of a negative and falsifiability are so useless, why are the essential in your everyday life GF76? Do you see that you use these things all the time and then attack them and renounce them when the topic of god arises? Wake up already."

That's good aaron, ignore the refutations of falsifiability in the other post that I offered and keep spouting. I even gave one from someone who was a 'devout' atheist just to show you that I wasn't being 'biased'.

 
At 7/23/2005 6:36 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "You are trying to make a case (argument) where you have no burden and have been quite unsuccessful in so doing."

See, GF76, Paul, or whoever you are, this is one point where you have misunderstood me. I did not try to establish the conclusion "therefore I have no burden of proof." I'm simply saying that I don't accept the burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist. That's because the non-existent doesn't exist by definition. I do not need to prove what is true by definition.

Now, if you think I have a burden to prove something, then you need to address these three questions:

1. what is it that you think I need to prove,

2. why do you think I need to prove it, and

3. to whom do you think I owe this burden?

Until you can successfully make the case that I have a burden to prove something, I'm going to continue to think I have no burden of proof. What's going to happen if I don't present a proof for what you want me to defend? Are you going to call me names? Will lightning strike me? Will I go to hell? What's the consequence of my not meeting this imaginary burden you seem to think I have?

GF76: "The way you asked the question was fallacious."

It wasn't fallacious because the non-existent by definition doesn't exist according to my worldview. I am simply being consistent to my worldview's principles of definition, which are not at all arbitrary. Now, in your worldview, where terms have at best hazy definitions (and are certainly not consistently applied), perhaps you think it's an illegitimate question. But then again, I can't think of anything that is legitimate in your worldview. So again, it doesn't matter.

GF76: "All you have done thus far is say that it isn't."

Again you've misunderstood. My point is that someone doesn't have to prove what is already true by definition. Since the non-existent by definition does not exist, I have no burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist.

Earlier:

GF76: "Dawson defined God as 'non-existent'"

Where did I do this?

 
At 7/23/2005 6:41 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "Now reread Dawsons original question, he has already assumed God doesn't exist from the start."

How do you know what I have assumed? Where did I say that your god doesn't exist, Paul?

 
At 7/23/2005 6:50 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Aaron said, "The nonexistence of something, or the negative, is the default position so to speak."

GF76: "Says who? This is argument ad ignorantium."

Again, GF76, you misunderstand. The atheist hasn't presented an argument, and indeed, he's not the one who needs to. Consider the following:

Believer in flying pigs: "Pigs fly, you know."

Non-believer in flying pigs: "They do? I've never seen them do so."

Believer: "Oh, they do. Just because you haven't seen pigs fly doesn't mean they don't."

Non-believer: "Could you prove that there are flying pigs?"

Believer: (blank out)

Non-believer in flying pigs continues not believing that there are flying pigs. He has not presented an argumentum ad ignorantium.

Here's an example of an argumentum ad ignorantium:

"I don't know how the brain and nervous system could support a volitional form of consciousness. Therefore, it must be the case that an invisible magic being makes this possible."

I've tried to find religious arguments for the afterlife of human consciousness that are better than this. But all the ones I've reviewed, even very elaborate ones, ultimately reduce to nothing better than this.

Now, GF76, I don't believe in invisible magic beings. I can tell this really bothers you. I suppose it's because you're afraid of your own non-belief, and it's against your own non-belief that you're struggling. Aaron and I are merely surrogates for this. If you think you can prove that your god exists, well, by all means: present your proof. If all you have is a poof and not a proof, don't fault us for not buying into the same blarney.

 
At 7/23/2005 7:04 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "Dawson's question presupposed the conclusion that God is non-existant (i.e., the truth of God's non-existence). You can try to tap-dance all day but it does you no good."

Where did my question "presuppose the conclusion that God is non-existant"?

Again, you miss the nature of my principle. If something doesn't exist, why should anyone need to prove this? This is what you need to address if you want to be taken more seriously as a thinker, Paul. You've not stated what burden of proof I or Aaron may have, but clearly you've indicated in one way or another that you think we owe you a proof or argument for something. You need to make clear what you think we're supposed to argue, why we're supposed to argue it, and to whom we're supposed to present it. Until you do that, I see no reason to accept this phantom burden you want to put on others.

If there's a question about your invisible magic being's existence, why would anyone need to come forth to prove that it doesn't exist? After all, you're the one who wants to take it seriously. If you can't rise to the occasion to at least make some effort to validate your claim that this invisible magic being exists, then it seems you're all finished.

 
At 7/23/2005 7:12 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "It wasn't fallacious because the non-existent by definition doesn't exist according to my worldview. I am simply being consistent to my worldview's principles of definition, which are not at all arbitrary. Now, in your worldview, where terms have at best hazy definitions (and are certainly not consistently applied), perhaps you think it's an illegitimate question. But then again, I can't think of anything that is legitimate in your worldview. So again, it doesn't matter."

Yes it was fallacious because 'according to your worldview' God doesn't exist making him non-existant which was your attempt in avoiding any burden of proof.

Ok then Dawson, since God exists 'according to my worldview' and by definition existent things exist, then I have no need to prove that God exists. Good.


GF76: "Now reread Dawsons original question, he has already assumed God doesn't exist from the start."

Dawson, "How do you know what I have assumed? Where did I say that your god doesn't exist, Paul?"

I'm not Paul. Why ask the question in the first place? You have a blog and have said that God doesn't exist. This is a little late in the game to twist out using this tactic.

But you are right Dawson. Since God exists according to my worldview then I don't need to prove what is true by definition since God exists according to my worldview.


"Aaron said, "The nonexistence of something, or the negative, is the default position so to speak."

GF76: "Says who? This is argument ad ignorantium."

Again, GF76, you misunderstand. The atheist hasn't presented an argument, and indeed, he's not the one who needs to. Consider the following:"

You haven't presented an argument? Not one? I wonder why this blog and yours exist?

Dawson take things in context as to why I called that an argument ad ignoratium (there were two other instances of this). You know the definition, it hasn't been proven true so therefore, it's false.

 
At 7/23/2005 7:14 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "Where did my question "presuppose the conclusion that God is non-existant"?"

So you presuppose that God exists?

 
At 7/23/2005 7:30 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson,

Do you have a crush on Paul? I can't figure out why you want to continue to call me him when I've said a thousand times that I'm not him.

As far as proving non-existant things, you have not shown God to be non-existent. Now you can say, 'Well according to my worldview God doesn't exist, so why prove it.' This iis again why your question is fallacious.

But then one could use your reasoning from a christian standpoint:

If everyone knows that something exists and is real, do I still have a burden to prove it since by definition existent things exist? Then I could extend that to God since 'according to my worldview' everyone knows he exists.

 
At 7/23/2005 7:39 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: “Yes it was fallacious because 'according to your worldview' God doesn't exist making him non-existant which was your attempt in avoiding any burden of proof.”

Again, that doesn’t make it a fallaciously complex question. What’s fallacious is your assumption that I have any burden of proof. Again, I don’t accept the burden to prove what is true by definition.

Paul: “Ok then Dawson, since God exists 'according to my worldview' and by definition existent things exist, then I have no need to prove that God exists. Good.”

If you want to believe that, Paul, go right ahead. It doesn’t bother me. Really, it doesn't.

Paul: “You have a blog and have said that God doesn't exist.”

Where does my blog say “God doesn’t exist”?

Paul: “This is a little late in the game to twist out using this tactic.”

”Twist out”? Again, I’m waiting for you to address my three questions. Here they are:

1. what is it that you think I need to prove,

2. why do you think I need to prove it, and

3. to whom do you think I owe this burden?

Paul: “But you are right Dawson. Since God exists according to my worldview then I don't need to prove what is true by definition since God exists according to my worldview.”

As I said, if you want to believe this, that’s fine with me. It really doesn’t bother me.

Me: “Again, GF76, you misunderstand. The atheist hasn't presented an argument, and indeed, he's not the one who needs to. Consider the following:"

Paul: “You haven't presented an argument? Not one? I wonder why this blog and yours exist?”

I can only speak for my own blog. I built it for sharing my form of entertainment: examining Christian nonsense.

I asked, "Where did my question "presuppose the conclusion that God is non-existant"?"

Paul: “So you presuppose that God exists?”

I see, you can’t find where my question “presupposed the conclusion that God is non-existant.” I figured as much.

Paul: “As far as proving non-existant things, you have not shown God to be non-existent.”

Why would I need to? And to whom would I need to show this? To someone who's accepted the notion of a god already on faith? I don't think I could prove that Allah doesn't exist to Muslim terror fanatics. They accept their god-belief on faith also.

 
At 7/25/2005 1:57 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Maybe you missed this aaron, but Dawson just refuted you. Now reread Dawsons original question, he has already assumed God doesn't exist from the start.

Because all claims are false until proven true. Now go re-read what I said about IPU. But what I said about implicitly agreeing something still holds. The theist doesnt accept that God doesnt exist in the question, its just that the starting point is a point where the claim of the theist is not yet proven true.

This is a classic case of argument ad ignorantium. I'll let you look it up.

Incorrect. The atheist is not making any claim, only the theist is. So if the theists claim is rejected or not proven, then we end up back at the starting point which is: no claims. And no claims = atheism.

Says who? This is argument ad ignorantium.

Logic says. Thats why its not argument ad ignorantium. Without any claims, there is a state of claimlessness, or in other words, atheism.

Right so let's assume that Christianity is false from the start. That's not exactly 'neutral' and 'scientific'. I got a good idea, let's make up logic as we go along!

You dont understand science. Its not scientific to assume something as true before analyzing it. When a claim in science is made, it is assumed false at the start actually (it is not assumed true), and the claim is then tested rigorously before being accepted as true. If what you said was correct, GF76, then we would have to assume all claims as true before analyzing them, and that is what is NOT scientific.

Yes atheism is a claim. A presumption of innocence is not atheism. The presumption of innocence would be a *neutral* position not a *negative* position. Atheism is the thesis that God does not exist.

Who made up this positive/negative claim crap? Ok then I'm an a-athiest. Now, you are making the claim.


LOL Ive seen this ridiculous baloney before. You dont understand anything about scientific analysis or positive/negative obviously. Im going to help you out here by analyzing you little "a-atheist" claim.

Atheism = negative
Theism = positive
A-atheism = double negative (or --). If you know about math, you will know that a double negative is a positive. (or -1 X -1 = +1).

So, an a-atheist is making a claim. A theist is also making a claim. But the atheist is not making any claims. You may have heard this before: To say atheism is a claim/belief is to call baldness a hair color!

Dawson's claim is that God is non-existant and there is no need to prove things that are non-existent. The problem is Dawson assumes that God is non-existant from the beginning and leaves a big gap in the paragraph where the argument should go.

Dawsons claim is that atheism doesnt make any positive claims about God and therefore has no inherent burden of proof. Simple.

Let's define the fallacy of the complex question: "asking a question in such a way as to presuppose the truth of some conclusion buried in that question." (Intro to Logic, Copi & Cohen, 9th Ed., page 120). Dawson's question presupposed the conclusion that God is non-existant (i.e., the truth of God's non-existence). You can try to tap-dance all day but it does you no good.

Again, you are reading the question wrong. You are reading Dawsons question as if he is making a positive claim, but he is not. At the point of his question being asked, the positive claim (God) has not been proven or accepted. So Dawsons question is about him not having to provide proof for his lack of a claim.

 
At 7/25/2005 3:44 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron,

what you fail to understand is that atheism is a claim.

To attempt to say that it doesn't make a claim you would have to redefine it as a 'lack of belief'; however, that 'lack of belief' is a positive assertion that the Apostle Paul and Jesus and other writers were incorrect.


Aaron said, "Because all claims are false until proven true. Now go re-read what I said about IPU."

Another argument ad ignorantum. You know: it hasn't been proven true therefore it's false or on the reverse side it hasn't been proven false therefore, it's true.

I know what you said about IPU. However, it is you who believe in IPU as your claim is the more ridiculous (according to my worldview). Only if I first accept your worldview would IPU be applicable (if even then). But what you want me to do is deny my worldview and that will not be done. Now prove to me that there are actual atheists (not just those who profess - since all people know God yet suppress it), which is the more ridiculous claim.


Aaron said, "But what I said about implicitly agreeing something still holds. The theist doesnt accept that God doesnt exist in the question, its just that the starting point is a point where the claim of the theist is not yet proven true."

See my retortion to Dawson's poof.


Aaron said, "Incorrect. The atheist is not making any claim, only the theist is. So if the theists claim is rejected or not proven, then we end up back at the starting point which is: no claims. And no claims = atheism."

Again, the atheist claims the Bible is wrong. I know what you are trying to get to but if you want to get there you would need to call yourself an AGNOSTIC (however, in the end that wouldn't work).


Aaron says, "Logic says. Thats why its not argument ad ignorantium. Without any claims, there is a state of claimlessness, or in other words, atheism."

Again, you mean agnosticism. The argument ad ingnoratum stands. Look it up in Douglas Walton.


Aaron said, "You dont understand science. Its not scientific to assume something as true before analyzing it. When a claim in science is made, it is assumed false at the start actually (it is not assumed true), and the claim is then tested rigorously before being accepted as true. If what you said was correct, GF76, then we would have to assume all claims as true before analyzing them, and that is what is NOT scientific."

In that part of our dialogue, I never said 'assume Christianity was true before analyzing it' (although that is what you do). I was talking about assuming a 'neutral' position (*even though I think there really is no neutrality*) so read more carefully as it was merely meant to rebut your 'view'. So this whole paragraph was a misreading of my rebuttal.


Aaron said, "Atheism = negative
Theism = positive
A-atheism = double negative (or --). If you know about math, you will know that a double negative is a positive. (or -1 X -1 = +1).

So, an a-atheist is making a claim. A theist is also making a claim. But the atheist is not making any claims. You may have heard this before: To say atheism is a claim/belief is to call baldness a hair color!"

That's alot of gymnastics. An a-atheist would be one who lacks a belief in atheists, simple. The atheist would make the assertion that the Jesus was wrong. Now could you prove that atheists exist since you claim to be one.


Aaron said, "Dawsons claim is that atheism doesnt make any positive claims about God and therefore has no inherent burden of proof. Simple."

It makes the positive claim that the Biblical testimony is wrong. Simple.


Aaron said, "Again, you are reading the question wrong. You are reading Dawsons question as if he is making a positive claim, but he is not. At the point of his question being asked, the positive claim (God) has not been proven or accepted. So Dawsons question is about him not having to provide proof for his lack of a claim."

Unless the question is rhetorical and serves no real purpose, then I am reading it correctly. See above and my retortion to Dawson.

 
At 7/25/2005 3:49 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/25/2005 3:50 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron said, "Atheism = negative
Theism = positive
A-atheism = double negative (or --). If you know about math, you will know that a double negative is a positive. (or -1 X -1 = +1).


I meant to address this more but on our scheme it would be more like:
Atheism = positive
Theism = negative

(since theism is our starting point)

 
At 7/26/2005 7:47 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "what you fail to understand is that atheism is a claim. To attempt to say that it doesn't make a claim you would have to redefine it as a 'lack of belief'; however, that 'lack of belief' is a positive assertion that the Apostle Paul and Jesus and other writers were incorrect."

Atheism is properly defined as the absence of god-belief. It is not a claim to any knowledge. On the contrary, it is merely a condition, namely the condition of not having a particular kind of belief. A belief takes up space in the mind; a lack of belief doesn't. Not having a belief in something is certainly not the same thing as claiming that something is not true. If someone lacks belief in the claim that Geusha is the supreme being of the universe, he is not necessarily claiming that those who claim that Geusha is the supreme being of the universe are wrong. He simply doesn't believe it, for whatever reasons. He may never have even heard of Guesha.

The problem is that believers, in their zeal to special plead their case, confuse an absence of god-belief with a claim that there is no god. But the fact is that an absence of a belief is a condition. It may be accompanied by claims, but this is not necessary for the condition to obtain.

As for what the apostles wrote in the bible, this is the apologist's burden to prove, not the non-believer's burden to disprove. You're on your own if you think anyone needs to prove something.

How much longer should we expect to wait before you finally present your proof? So far, all we've seen is your poof, and that doesn't prove anything.

 
At 7/26/2005 11:09 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/26/2005 11:25 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

What's going on is the same thing that happened in the Bahnsen-Stein debate. We are now having a revision of terms.

This is how the 'Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy' defines atheism:

"‘Atheism’ means the negation of theism, the *denial* of the existence of God."


Dawson said, "Atheism is properly defined as the absence of god-belief. It is not a claim to any knowledge."

Despite the definition from the Stanford encyclopedia, this is still a claim - namely, that people can actually be 'absent' of god-belief when the Bible says otherwise, making it a claim that the Bible is incorrect in it's assessment that all people know God yet suppress that knowledge in unrighteousness.


Dawson said, "On the contrary, it is merely a condition, namely the condition of not having a particular kind of belief. A belief takes up space in the mind; a lack of belief doesn't."

This was already dealt with and all you do is assert again and again. So I'll assert: a lack of belief is a belief that Jesus is not the Messiah and takes up room in the mind (He who is not with Me is against Me). Now you can say you don't 'know' whether Jesus is the Messiah, but this is another claim in itself and 'takes up room in the mind'. Atheism has 'other' particular kinds of belief as well.

 
At 7/26/2005 11:40 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Aaron,

what you fail to understand is that atheism is a claim.


That is incorrect. Atheism is the rejection of God claims. Atheism is, in itself, not a claim. Atheism is a purely negative position and negatives are not claims; only positives are claims.

Again, the atheist claims the Bible is wrong. I know what you are trying to get to but if you want to get there you would need to call yourself an AGNOSTIC (however, in the end that wouldn't work).

LOL now your ignorance REALLY shows; agnosticism isnt even a position. Agnosticism is a process for coming to the acceptance or rejection of a claim. But at least agnosticism and atheism have something in common: neither of them are claims.

Again, you mean agnosticism. The argument ad ingnoratum stands. Look it up in Douglas Walton.

LOL you should look up agnosticism in David Eller.

That's alot of gymnastics.

Hey, youre the one who wants to use ridiculous double-negative terms, like a-atheist.

An a-atheist would be one who lacks a belief in atheists, simple.

Fine.

The atheist would make the assertion that the Jesus was wrong.

Actually, the atheist would just be rejecting the theists claims that Jesus was God (and an a-atheist would also count as a theist)

Now could you prove that atheists exist since you claim to be one.

Its pretty easy to prove that I exist. And at the very least, I can provide lots of evidence that I exist. Now, you as an a-atheist can accept or reject my "proof of my own existence" claims, but the most important part here to remember is that you, as an a-atheist, do not have any burden of proof to prove that atheists DONT exist. Isnt that wonderful?

It makes the positive claim that the Biblical testimony is wrong. Simple.

No, it rejects the positive claim of the theist that says the Bible is the word of God. It does not make any positive claims.

Since I just explained to you how an a-atheist would not have any burden of proof to prove that atheists dont exist, I am hoping you will be able to see how an atheist has no burden of proof to prove that God doesnt exist.

You dont even realize the floodgates that you open up when you try to put the burden of proof on to the negative position. You yourself would be burdened to prove that ANYTHING ANYBODY makes up isnt real.

 
At 7/26/2005 12:18 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron,

Aaron said, "LOL now your ignorance REALLY shows; agnosticism isnt even a position. Agnosticism is a process for coming to the acceptance or rejection of a claim. But at least agnosticism and atheism have something in common: neither of them are claims."


Aaron, now your ignorance really shows:

From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

"Though there are a couple of references in The Oxford English Dictionary to earlier occurrences of the word ‘agnostic’, it seems (perhaps independently) to have been introduced by T. H. Huxley at a party in London to found the Metaphysical Society, which flourished for over a decade and to which belonged notable thinkers and leaders of opinion. Huxley thought that as many of these people liked to describe themseves as adherents of various ‘isms’ he would invent one for himself. He took it from St. Paul's mention of the altar to the unknown God in his letter to the Ephesians. **Huxley thought that we would never be able to know about the ultimate origin and causes of the universe.** Thus he seems to have been more like a Kantian believer in **unknowable** noumena than like a Vienna Circle proponent of the view that talk of God is not even meaningful. Perhaps such a logical positivist should be classified as neither a theist nor an atheist, but her view would be just as objectionable to a theist.

Huxley's agnosticism seems nevertheless to go with an extreme empiricism, nearer to Mill's methods of induction than to recent discussions of the hypothetico-deductive and partly holistic aspect of testing of theories. Though we might not be able to prove the existence of God might we be able to disprove it? ***Many philosophers hold that the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient and good God is empirically refuted by the existence of evil and suffering, and so would be happy to be called atheists rather than agnostics.*** Of course the existence of a non-benevolent creator God would not be so refutable and atheism would have to depend on arguments other than that of the mere existence of evil. More commonly the theist will continue to include benevolence in the concept of God and attempt to deal with the problem of evil with the help of various auxiliary or even ad hoc hypotheses or considerations, much as a scientist may attenmpt, often successfully, to shore up against empirical refutation a previously well tested theory. Bayesian considerations may determine rationally but roughly the appropriate degree of belief or unbelief."

 
At 7/26/2005 12:20 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/26/2005 12:36 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/26/2005 1:30 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron said, "Its pretty easy to prove that I exist. And at the very least, I can provide lots of evidence that I exist. Now, you as an a-atheist can accept or reject my "proof of my own existence" claims, but the most important part here to remember is that you, as an a-atheist, do not have any burden of proof to prove that atheists DONT exist. Isnt that wonderful?

I didn't ask you to prove your own existence.



Aaron said, "Since I just explained to you how an a-atheist would not have any burden of proof to prove that atheists dont exist, I am hoping you will be able to see how an atheist has no burden of proof to prove that God doesnt exist."

By asserting that there are such things as atheists you are assuming that the Bible is false. I never said that I don't have a burden. If you'll read my earlier posts I said the burden is on both. but you want to assume your worldview and assert that you are the atheist and have no burden, when your worldview makes the claim that the bible is false by claiming to be an atheist. Since you want to first assume your worldview then I'll assume mine and assert that you have the burden of proof to show that atheists exist.

 
At 7/26/2005 2:28 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "Despite the definition from the Stanford encyclopedia, this is still a claim - namely, that people can actually be 'absent' of god-belief when the Bible says otherwise, making it a claim that the Bible is incorrect in it's assessment that all people know God yet suppress that knowledge in unrighteousness."

I really couldn't care less what the bible claims, buddy. It is a document which claims that invisible magic beings are in charge of reality and likens the universe to a mere cartoon.
There's nothing authoritative about that. Besides, citing Romans 1 begs the question of theism, since in my view even professing believers don't really believe. That's why there are apologists: they know their faith is at best weak.

Also, regardless of what the Stanford Encyclopedia states, we need a concept which identifies the condition of lacking the belief in question. Since your god-belief is what is in question, there's no onus on the part of those who don't believe to prove anything regarding it (though it's not hard to do this). In my worldview, the concept 'atheism' is essentially no different from 'non-belief' in regard to god-belief claims. If you prefer to call me a non-believer, that's fine. Just so long as you understand that I don't take claims about invisible magic beings as truth. Indeed, even the "defenders of the faith" don't provide any good reasons for accepting those claims to begin with.

So if you ever want to start presenting an argument which supports the claim that anything about Christianity is true, rather than simply assuming its truth or quibbling over the meanings of terms, please take this opportunity to do so. I for one am quite eager to review any reasons you might want to present in support of your stated god-beliefs.

Also, I'm still waiting for you to address my three questions:

1. what is it that you think I need to prove,

2. why do you think I need to prove it, and

3. to whom do you think I owe this burden?

Now, if you don't think I have any burden of proof, then what's the fuss??????

And one other thing... This seems like a pretty busy blog for one that's been declared dead.

 
At 7/26/2005 5:17 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

GF76, agnostic is not a position like atheism or theism is. This is because agnosticism is the suspension of judgement to a degree. Agnosticism is the lack of commitment to a position. Agnosticism is a method of arriving at a position, namely through the application of "skepticism".

As evidence to support what Im saying, note that there are many "Christian agnostics" and such, but there are no "atheist agnostics".

Your encyclopedia quote is hardly applicable to my statement about agnosticism. My agnosticism-related assertions come straight from scientific sources that are trained in skepticism and agnostic thought/logic processes, so dont think that I just made that up on my own.

Now GF76, like BB pointed out, you got an issue on your hands. You need to define your terms more. Let me detail out the diffeence between yours and mine.

According to myself:

atheism = reject claim
theism = accept claim
agnosticism = no accept/reject yet

According to you:

atheism = accept claim1
theism = accept claim2
agnosticism = reject claim
??? = no accept/reject yet

Can you fill in the blank?

Looking at those two lists, its obvious to me that you misidentified both agnosticism and atheism, but clearly you are standing by your assertions here. But you leave a gaping hole as BB first pointed out.

 
At 7/26/2005 5:32 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

By asserting that there are such things as atheists you are assuming that the Bible is false.

No, thats what youre doing...not me! Im just saying that there are people who dont believe in the validity of any god claims: atheists.

I never said that I don't have a burden.

I know.

If you'll read my earlier posts I said the burden is on both.

Yes I read your quote.

but you want to assume your worldview and assert that you are the atheist and have no burden, when your worldview makes the claim that the bible is false by claiming to be an atheist.

I assume the negative until the positive is proven true. Maybe its just because Im an American, but I assume innocence until proven guilty. Science does this, law does this, and you do it in your everyday life except when it comes to YOUR BRAND of superstition. We all assume that a claim is false until evidence convinces us that it is true. There is no burden of proof needed for those who assume the falsity of a claim.

If a carnival huckster asserts that his elixer will cure all your sicknesses, it is not proper to assume that his statement is true until evidence is provided that can be weighed. The burden of proof is on the carnival huckster. The audience does not make any claims to have to support. Maybe the hucksters elixer DOES work, or maybe not. But it is only the huckster that has any claim to have to support. The skeptical audience clearly has no claims to support. Why would the skeptical audience have to prove the non-validity of the hucksters exlier claims? In reality, what happens is that the huckster presents his support for his claim, then the audience judges this support and either accepts or rejects the claim. Nowhere does the audience have a claim of its own to support. The audience, upon rejecting the claim, would be the proverbial atheist. If the audience accepted the claim, then they would become the proverbial theist.

Since you want to first assume your worldview then I'll assume mine and assert that you have the burden of proof to show that atheists exist.

Fine with me! If I were to tell you that atheists exist, then surely the burden of proof is on me, not you. However, it does not bother me in the slightest whether or not you believe in the existence of me or any other atheist. So I decline to present a case. Instead, I will allow you to go on rejecting the claim that atheists exist. In your third-party-nihilistic God-world, the only things that exist are what God thinks into existence anyway, and surely no Christian God would even think of such a horrible monster as an atheist!

But through it all, nowhere do you GF76 have to support the nonexistence of atheists. I know youre not making any positive claim about it, and I wouldnt dare attempt to put that burden on your shoulders ;)

 
At 7/26/2005 5:51 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

I'm at work and busy so don't have much time, but I did see this:

Aaron said, "According to myself:

atheism = reject claim
theism = accept claim
agnosticism = no accept/reject yet

According to you:

atheism = accept claim1
theism = accept claim2
agnosticism = reject claim
??? = no accept/reject yet"

Woah. where did I say this? You need to reread what I wrote and take it in context. Atheism makes claims, namely that atheists exist and therefore rejects the Christians claim.

Also, all three of these accepts and rejects differing claims. So you probably need to be a little more precise with defining your terms.

Now where did I 'say' that agnosticism rejects claims (maybe you misunderstood what I was saying or I was inadequate in my language)? Agnosticism could mean that either one is not sure or that no one could know that there is a God. However, according to the Biblical worldview, this would reject the 'claim' that all know God by there being some people who 'do not know' if there is a God, yet the Bible says otherwise, therefore rejecting biblical testimony. So it again comes back to whose worldview you are 'starting from'.


Theoretically, there *could* be an 'atheist agnostic' - one who is not sure whether atheists exist.


Aaron said, "GF76, agnostic is not a position like atheism or theism is. This is because agnosticism is the suspension of judgement to a degree. Agnosticism is the lack of commitment to a position. Agnosticism is a method of arriving at a position, namely through the application of "skepticism"."

How is a 'lack of commitment' not a 'position' in and of itself? Nevertheless, feel free to quote your sources from now on (not that I don't think you can).

 
At 7/26/2005 6:05 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/26/2005 6:13 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

"But through it all, nowhere do you GF76 have to support the nonexistence of atheists. I know youre not making any positive claim about it, and I wouldnt dare attempt to put that burden on your shoulders ;)"

As Dawson would say, 'by definition the non-existent doesn't exist' so there is no need to prove it. You may have missed it but Dawson continually wanted me to answer 'yes or no' to his question but I never answered in either fashion and pointed it out for what it was. However, you miss the entire point of the conversation (or again maybe i'm not being clear :), which was both of us have the burden of proving our theses.

 
At 7/26/2005 6:24 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

"No, thats what youre doing...not me! Im just saying that there are people who dont believe in the validity of any god claims: atheists."

Huh? so you are not an atheist? Agnostic? Not sure I understand this.

"I assume the negative until the positive is proven true."

But how is this 'agnosticism' as you have defined it? Let me remind you: "agnosticism = no accept/reject yet"



"Fine with me! If I were to tell you that atheists exist, then surely the burden of proof is on me, not you. However, it does not bother me in the slightest whether or not you believe in the existence of me or any other atheist. So I decline to present a case."

Fine so I'm correct in that you are really not an atheist. However, you have told me that they exist as you said you were one but have yet to prove it.


"Instead, I will allow you to go on rejecting the claim that atheists exist. In your third-party-nihilistic God-world, the only things that exist are what God thinks into existence anyway, and surely no Christian God would even think of such a horrible monster as an atheist!"

Good so you are not an atheist. You like to talk out of both sides of your mouth. So since atheists don't exist, 'why all the fuss'?

 
At 7/26/2005 6:33 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Woah. where did I say this? You need to reread what I wrote and take it in context. Atheism makes claims, namely that atheists exist and therefore rejects the Christians claim.

You said that atheists make a claim about God. Then you said that agnostics are the ones without a positive claim. So I filled in the blanks. If my lists are wrong or I misrepresented your position, then I apologize. But would you like to provide your own version of the list to correct me please?

Also, all three of these accepts and rejects differing claims. So you probably need to be a little more precise with defining your terms.

The rejection of a claim is not a claim in itself.

Theoretically, there *could* be an 'atheist agnostic' - one who is not sure whether atheists exist.

But that term would be talking about a different subject: atheists, instead of God. What about an atheist agnostic in terms of god belief?

How is a 'lack of commitment' not a 'position' in and of itself?

Because no position has been arrived at yet. Its funny to see you attempt to deny the possibility of not-yet-having-arrived at a position. Again it seems very similar to the statement of "calling bald a hair color"

Nevertheless, feel free to quote your sources from now on (not that I don't think you can).

Sure. I got the David Eller book at home. Its not on my person right now. But the book title is called "Natural Atheism" and he discusses agnosticism near the beginning of the book. I will post some quotes from it when I get a chance over at the house...although Im not sure if I will have time to logon tonight once I get home. Kazell is spinning at the Morebar for $2 Tuesdays and I dont want to miss his set! :)

But how is this 'agnosticism' as you have defined it? Let me remind you: "agnosticism = no accept/reject yet"

Its not.

Fine so I'm correct in that you are really not an atheist. However, you have told me that they exist as you said you were one but have yet to prove it.

Correction: you do not AGREE with the claim that there are athiests in existence. Your acceptance or rejection of a claim does not make the contents of the claim correct or incorrect. I have yet to prove to you the existence of atheists, but since I do not feel the NEED to convince you of their existence, I am perfectly happy with you refusing to believe that they do exist.

Good so you are not an atheist. You like to talk out of both sides of your mouth. So since atheists don't exist, 'why all the fuss'?

LOL youre confusing again the difference between the truth of a claim and your acceptance or rejection of a claim. There is no fuss in this regard as I dont care whether or not you believe in the existence of atheists.

But doesnt the Bible acknowledge atheists? Where it says "the fool hath said in his heart there is no God"?

 
At 7/26/2005 6:34 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Aaron: ""But through it all, nowhere do you GF76 have to support the nonexistence of atheists. I know youre not making any positive claim about it, and I wouldnt dare attempt to put that burden on your shoulders ;)"

GF76: "As Dawson would say, 'by definition the non-existent doesn't exist' so there is no need to prove it."

Can't use that defense in this case, GF76, because Aaron and I both exist. Now what you need to do is prove that we really believe what you claim we must believe. The only way you can support it is by citing scripture, and that's what needs to be proved in the first place. A statement does not serve as its own proof.

 
At 7/27/2005 11:52 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "Can't use that defense in this case, GF76, because Aaron and I both exist. Now what you need to do is prove that we really believe what you claim we must believe. The only way you can support it is by citing scripture, and that's what needs to be proved in the first place. A statement does not serve as its own proof."

But see Dawson, you are the one making the claim. I'm not talking about 'professing' atheists and I know that you and Aaron exist so I think you misunderstand. I doubt the existence of any 'atheists' in reality which is your invisible pink unicorn extraordinary claim. So the defense is applicable to my position. As I've been saying all along, it depends on whose worldview you are assuming from the outset.

But if you want to use the proof that "you and Aaron exist" then i'll retort with 'God exists' and leave it at that (an assertion).

 
At 7/27/2005 11:54 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

oh and i think you should be familiar with the relevant Scripture - Romans 1 - where all men *know* God yet suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

Cheers.

 
At 7/27/2005 1:00 PM, Blogger HZ declaimed...

Unfortunately I don't have time to read through all the posts at the moment --which is disappointing. But um to sort of comment on the fallacious question of BB's (and I'm glad you've stopped beating your wife, at least while she's away: Scrabble can be pretty intense): I emphasised the fact that you cannot prove the most basic philosophical realities to me, not even the ones you need to argue against God, because by putting yourself into a position in which you claim to reject God as an unbiased observer judging a certain kind of evidence, you have boxed yourself out of belief entirely. --You have to back up everything you use against God, with the same kind of evidence that you require for Him. And you can't do that. I accept that neither of us can prove some things on a certain level (though we can demonstrate that they are part of a complete worldview: and your worldview automatically disqualifies because the only proof it accepts is the kind it can't offer), and that faith in something is prerequisite to any knowledge-- but you don't. You supposedly reject everything that can't be proven. But you can't prove anything.

I didn't say that you can't prove to me that God doesn't exist. I pointed out that you can't prove to me that what you do believe in exists.

The fact is, that you cannot be relevant to the universe until you accept it as is. And that requires faith. Without faith, you can't even accept that you exist. Yet you do accept that: you have that faith, though you are such a subjective piece of evidence. My faith is in something that is by nature incapable of error, utterly beyond me and my inconclusive methods. You find that ridiculous-- but what of the ridiculousness of believing yourself to be the most reliable thing going? It is either a very poor reflection on your self-knowledge, or on the universe you believe in.

Well I am going to drop out again as Groundfighter seems quite able to take care of -- whatever he wants to: though nobody can convince you of what you do not want to believe-- and only God can change you deeply enough that you would want to believe the truth. It is enough, that His people will be willing in the day of His power. I was.

 
At 7/27/2005 1:29 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron said, "You said that atheists make a claim about God. Then you said that agnostics are the ones without a positive claim. So I filled in the blanks. If my lists are wrong or I misrepresented your position, then I apologize. But would you like to provide your own version of the list to correct me please?"

Well I've pretty much already done that though it was not in a 'list'.


Aaron said, "Because no position has been arrived at yet. Its funny to see you attempt to deny the possibility of not-yet-having-arrived at a position. Again it seems very similar to the statement of "calling bald a hair color""..

Well technically "i don't know" or "I haven't decided yet" is a 'position'. But let us not quibble over this.


Aaron said, "Correction: you do not AGREE with the claim that there are athiests in existence. Your acceptance or rejection of a claim does not make the contents of the claim correct or incorrect. I have yet to prove to you the existence of atheists, but since I do not feel the NEED to convince you of their existence, I am perfectly happy with you refusing to believe that they do exist."

Exactly and since that is an extraordinary claim it would require extraordinary proof. Whether you prove it to me or not misses the point. The point is that you have the burden to show how 'actual' atheists can exist (as opposed to 'professing' atheists).

But if you want to just hold your position dogmatically and irrationally then fine. :) Also, I neglected to mention the tidbit of your burden of proving how rationality, ethics, etc., etc. is possible in a Godless universe, unless you just want to assume that dogmatically from the outset. But let's not get into that right now; just so you know about the 'burden'.


Aaron said, "But doesnt the Bible acknowledge atheists? Where it says "the fool hath said in his heart there is no God"?"

Yes however, that is a 'professing' atheist. Read Romans 1. I am talking about an actual atheist.

 
At 7/27/2005 5:24 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "But see Dawson, you are the one making the claim."

I am not the author of the claim that "all men know God." Again, I've asked you many times now: if you think I have an onus to prove something, what is it that you think I need to prove, why do you think I need to prove it, and to whom do you think I need to prove it?

GF76: "I'm not talking about 'professing' atheists and I know that you and Aaron exist so I think you misunderstand."

You could clear up a lot of potential misunderstanding by simply answering the three questions I asked above. I've asked them many times now. Certainly by now you've been able to come up with an answer. If you don't address those questions, then I take it that you agree with me that I have no onus to prove anything to anyone.

GF76: "I doubt the existence of any 'atheists' in reality which is your invisible pink unicorn extraordinary claim."

What did I claim about invisible pink unicorns?

GF76: "So the defense is applicable to my position."

You'll have to clarify how you came to this conclusion. So far it doesn't seem to follow at all from what you said, and I've already uncovered some questionable points in what you said.

GF76: "As I've been saying all along, it depends on whose worldview you are assuming from the outset."

Christians borrow from my worldview every time they think and act. When they think they use concepts. But the biblical worldview doesn't teach a theory of concepts. Also, when they act, they act for purpose of achieving goals, which are based ultimately on their nature as biological organisms. The basis of teleological concepts is biological in nature, not supernatural. The supernatural wouldn't need to pursue goals in the first place.

GF76: "But if you want to use the proof that 'you and Aaron exist' then i'll retort with 'God exists' and leave it at that (an assertion)."

That's fine, Paul. You want to say that your god exists. Whatever you want to believe. I'm hoping we can leave it at that.

GF76: "oh and i think you should be familiar with the relevant Scripture - Romans 1 - where all men *know* God yet suppress the truth in unrighteousness."

Yes, I'm familiar with the claim found in Romans 1. What I'd like to see is a proof that it's true, if in fact you expect me to accept that claim as truth. Incidentally, Geushans claim something similar as well, intimating that all human beings have a spark of Geusha in them, and that, deep down, all know Geusha. What both Christian need to do is validate their claims. Tell us: how do you know this? I hope you do better than John Frame when he says "We know without knowing how we know." If you don't have anything better than that, just admit it. But don't expect me to believe what you or your religion teaches on your say so.

 
At 7/27/2005 5:50 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "I am not the author of the claim that "all men know God." Again, I've asked you many times now: if you think I have an onus to prove something, what is it that you think I need to prove, why do you think I need to prove it, and to whom do you think I need to prove it?"

I am not the 'author of the claim that there are atheists'. Good try but stop attempting to turn it around. Prove to me that people can 'lack beliefs in God' (without begging the question by first assuming that my position is false by asserting what you are - an atheist). Also, as I said to Aaron, it is incumbent on you to show how logic, rationality, ethics, etc etc., are possible in a Godless universe. Unless you want to hold your position dogmatically (the why), then start proving it to others (the who). I answered the questions like this b/c this is what has been said again and again.


Dawson said, "You could clear up a lot of potential misunderstanding by simply answering the three questions I asked above. I've asked them many times now. Certainly by now you've been able to come up with an answer. If you don't address those questions, then I take it that you agree with me that I have no onus to prove anything to anyone."

Ok maybe you haven't been keeping up with the entire dialogue but they have been and they were in the post that you are supposedly replying to.


I said, "GF76: "As I've been saying all along, it depends on whose worldview you are assuming from the outset."

Dawson said, "Christians borrow from my worldview every time they think and act. When they think they use concepts. But the biblical worldview doesn't teach a theory of concepts. Also, when they act, they act for purpose of achieving goals, which are based ultimately on their nature as biological organisms. The basis of teleological concepts is biological in nature, not supernatural. The supernatural wouldn't need to pursue goals in the first place."

Wow so tell me how this applies to what I said and the burden of proof. Again you are dogmatically asserting (remember we are discussing the burden of proof).


Dawson said, "That's fine, Paul.

I am not Paul. This has been repeatedly said. You have ignored my question that I previously asked. Do you have a crush on Paul?


Dawson said, "You want to say that your god exists. Whatever you want to believe. I'm hoping we can leave it at that."

Awww. I learned this game from you Dawson. Remember this is about the burden. :)


Dawson said, "Yes, I'm familiar with the claim found in Romans 1. What I'd like to see is a proof that it's true, if in fact you expect me to accept that claim as truth. Incidentally, Geushans claim something similar as well, intimating that all human beings have a spark of Geusha in them, and that, deep down, all know Geusha. What both Christian need to do is validate their claims. Tell us: how do you know this? I hope you do better than John Frame when he says "We know without knowing how we know." If you don't have anything better than that, just admit it. But don't expect me to believe what you or your religion teaches on your say so."

Wait to miss the entire point of the discussion! All I can assume is that I am correct in that we both have the burden of proving our theses. DON'T EXPECT ME TO BELIEVE THAT THERE ARE REALLY ATHEISTS ON YOUR SAY SO, DAWSON. But you know the proof of the claim - namely that you attempt to act logically, ethically, etc. (I'll assert like you do). :)

 
At 7/27/2005 6:05 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

HZ: "But um to sort of comment on the fallacious question of BB's…"

Again, it's not clear how you would figure that my question ("do you think I have a burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist?") is fallacious. If you think I have this burden, then please explain why. If you don't think I have this burden, then just say so. If you think I have another burden, then please tell me what you think I should prove, why I should prove it, and to whom I am to present my proof. I don't believe in Geusha. Do you think that puts a burden on me? If so, what burden, and why?

HZ: "I emphasised the fact that you cannot prove the most basic philosophical realities to me, not even the ones you need to argue against God,"

See, clearly you do think I have some kind of burden of proof. What is it that you think I'm supposed to prove, and why? To whom? What are the consequences if I don't do what you expect me to do? Also, I have never argued against someone named "God." All my conversations have been with living, biological human beings.

HZ: "because by putting yourself into a position in which you claim to reject God as an unbiased observer judging a certain kind of evidence, you have boxed yourself out of belief entirely."

I'm not sure what you mean by "an unbiased observer." Many believers want to dismiss my non-belief in their invisible magic being as the result of some kind of prejudice on my part. A pretty easy accusation to make, but it doesn't accomplish anything important. Also, I don't know what could possibly qualify as evidence for that which is said to be supernatural, infinite, incorruptible, and immaterial. I don't think that which is natural, finite, corruptible and material can possibly serve as evidence of that which is said to be supernatural, infinite, incorruptible and immaterial. I don't think A can serve as evidence for what contradicts it. If you have some kind of magic evidence that I can look at (say, Mt. McKinley being cast into the Pacific Ocean a la Luke ch. 20), then I'm game to review it with you.

HZ: "You have to back up everything you use against God, with the same kind of evidence that you require for Him."

Ah, so you do think I have some kind of onus to prove something. Why is that, HZ? Do I need to back up everything I use against the Geushan's belief as well? Why? I don't believe it. That doesn't bother me. Why let it bother you?

HZ: "faith in something is prerequisite to any knowledge-- but you don't."

Those who rest their case on faith concede that reason is on the side of their adversaries. I certainly do not rest my case on faith. But the bible surely encourages that believers do.

HZ: "You supposedly reject everything that can't be proven. But you can't prove anything."

I don't know where you got this. Did I ever say that I "reject everything that can't be proven"? Proof and faith are not exhaustive alternatives. There is also the perceptually self-evident. Awareness of what I perceive directly is not an act of faith, nor is it a process of proof. In essence, proof in my worldview is the process of logically relating that which is not perceptually self-evident to that which is perceptually self-evident. If I look in my refrigerator and see a bottle of orange juice, do you think I have some kind of burden to stop and try to prove that it exists before I pour myself a glass of orange juice? Well, I don't.

HZ: "I didn't say that you can't prove to me that God doesn't exist."

Again, I don't think I have any burden to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist. If Geusha really doesn't exist, why would I have to stop and try to prove that to someone?

HZ: "I pointed out that you can't prove to me that what you do believe in exists."

You see, HZ, I think the Christian apologists here have it completely backwards. This not an occasion for me to prove anything to you. After all, I am not a Christian apologist trying to defend the Christian worldview. If you want to defend the Christian worldview, then get on with it: present your argument(s) which concludes "therefore, the Christian god exists." If you don't step up to the plate to do this, well, then we go our merry ways. What's so wrong with that?

HZ: "The fact is, that you cannot be relevant to the universe until you accept it as is. And that requires faith."

I have no idea what you mean by the phrase "relevant to the universe," or why accepting the universe "as is" is a precondition for such relevance. At any rate, I accept the universe as I perceive it (which does not require faith): as a sum of entities which exist independent of consciousness. Again, the primacy of existence is my driving principle. It's a principle whose truth you'd have to assume in order to try to argue against it. For more details, see my latest blog.

HZ: "Without faith, you can't even accept that you exist."

I understand the term 'faith' to refer to claiming that something is true simply because one wants it to be true. Of course, this violates the primacy of existence principle. Since the concept 'consciousness' is axiomatic (i.e., known directly by its own activity), there's no need for faith. Christians need faith because they have no objective starting point.

HZ: "My faith is in something that is by nature incapable of error, utterly beyond me and my inconclusive methods."

Again, you rest your case on faith, which means you concede reason to your adversaries. That's your choice. As for what you put your faith in, how do you distinguish it from something you're merely imagining?

HZ: "You find that ridiculous-- but what of the ridiculousness of believing yourself to be the most reliable thing going?"

Actually, I've proven my reliability in many respects. If I didn't, I doubt I would remain employed. That I am employed proves that I am at least sufficiently reliable to satisfy my employer. You might find this "ridiculous". I don't. Ridiculous is grown adults who want to take belief in invisible magic beings seriously.

HZ: "only God can change you deeply enough that you would want to believe the truth."

I have heard such statements before from apologists. (In fact, Geushans says essentially the same thing.) But I find such sentiment quite difficult to reconcile with all the effort apologists put into their bickering with non-believers. It's like they're obsessed with non-believers. According to the sentiment you state here, you should be getting after your god to get me to believe (by forcing me to believe, not by using reason to prove its truth). But instead, apologists act like I'm doing something wrong. On the view that "only God can change you…" I'm supposedly doing exactly what your god wants me to do by not believing. So which one of us is really obeying your god?

It's really amazing. I find that Christians just don't integrate their own worldview's teachings with the tactics they try to deploy in their apologetic squabbles. Very entertaining!

 
At 7/27/2005 6:27 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "Prove to me that people can 'lack beliefs in God'"

As I've stated before, I can't prove something to someone who's already rejected reason. I know that you've rejected reason already since you ultimately rest your case on faith. Or, do you now say that your bible nowhere appeals to faith?

GF76: "Also, as I said to Aaron, it is incumbent on you to show how logic, rationality, ethics, etc etc., are possible in a Godless universe."

Been there, done that, a hundred times over. The basis of logic, rationality, and ethics is the primacy of existence principle, not a squad of invisible magic beings. Such beings wouldn't even have need for logic, rationality and ethics.

If you want more than this, you'll have to explain what you mean by the terms logic, rationality and ethics, and where you got these definitions. If they're not from the bible, that will simply seal my case further (not that it needs any additional sealing, mind you).

GF76: "Unless you want to hold your position dogmatically (the why), then start proving it to others (the who)."

I don't think "holding your position dogmatically" and "proving it to others" are jointly exhaustive. There is at least the additional position of recognizing that I don't need to waste my time trying to prove things to people who've already rejected the very basis of truth while seeing that their actions presume the truth of my position already.

GF76: "I answered the questions like this b/c this is what has been said again and again."

No, that's not why. You answered in such an unproductive and childish manner because you have nothing more substantial to say in defense of your god-belief claims.

Now, if you want to present your argument for the existence of your god, then please do so. So far, you're just wasting all your opportunities to do so. And it's pretty funny.

 
At 7/27/2005 7:36 PM, Blogger HZ declaimed...

Bahnsen Burner, your definition of faith is completely arbitrary, and if a basis of faith does indeed concede reason to the adversary (where do you have the proof for that?) then you have conceded reason as well. Because yes, it does take faith to believe that the fridge is even there to open, and that you are there to open it. You accept your sense perceptions as valid on faith (especially considering your belief of how they arose: they are completely likely to be wholly unreliable). But we've been all through that before, only with a man crossing the street that time.

I did want to say quickly that you are doing exactly what you want to do: you have free agency, and the responsibility of your choices; and you are making them based on what you want. See here. http://kamelda78.blogspot.com/2005/05/some-thoughts-on-freewill.html

 
At 7/27/2005 9:17 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "As I've stated before, I can't prove something to someone who's already rejected reason. I know that you've rejected reason already since you ultimately rest your case on faith. Or, do you now say that your bible nowhere appeals to faith?"

Tu quoque.


Dawson said, "Been there, done that, a hundred times over. The basis of logic, rationality, and ethics is the primacy of existence principle, not a squad of invisible magic beings. Such beings wouldn't even have need for logic, rationality and ethics."

Good so we agree that you have the burden. Remember that was the point of this discussion, not to actually prove thy position.


Dawson said, "I don't think "holding your position dogmatically" and "proving it to others" are jointly exhaustive.
There is at least the additional position of recognizing that I don't need to waste my time trying to prove things to people who've already rejected the very basis of truth while seeing that their actions presume the truth of my position already."

Likewise Dawson. Now you know how I feel.


Dawson said, "No, that's not why. You answered in such an unproductive and childish manner because you have nothing more substantial to say in defense of your god-belief claims.

Now, if you want to present your argument for the existence of your god, then please do so. So far, you're just wasting all your opportunities to do so. And it's pretty funny."

Dawson, you really have been asleep at the wheel haven't you? Are you sure you remember what we are discussing? Or is this what you do when you have nothing substantial to say when the conversation isn't going as you like?

So I advise you to 'get back' in the conversation and stop your whining and other tangents and stop wasting everyone's time. Thanks.

 
At 7/27/2005 9:25 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

HZ: "Bahnsen Burner, your definition of faith is completely arbitrary,"

First of all, I have no idea what a believer in invisible magic beings could mean by the term 'arbitrary'. Indeed, in the cartoon universe of theism, either nothing is arbitrary, or everything is arbitrary. The concept 'arbitrary' only makes sense on the foundations of the Objectivist worldview. Similarly, I'm always wondering what apologists could have in mind when they say that the objective worldview doesn't "make sense." A reality-based worldview "doesn't make sense," and yet a worldview that asserts the existence of invisible magic beings and conceives of the universe like a cartoon does make sense? How is that?

Having said that, my conception of faith is certainly not arbitrary. The definition I offered isolates what both the bible's statements as well as believer's actions and choices. Let's face it: Christians don't have any rational basis for their religious beliefs. They can't prove that their invisible magic beings are real (even though they like to taunt those who don't accept their claims about such things), and they resist integrating any data which shows the falsehood of their religious teachings. Faith is a commitment, not a means of knowledge. This is what most believers themselves seem to miss. It is the determination to claim that something is the case regardless of evidence. Take for instance the believer's faith in the idea that man's consciousness survives his death. What evidence do they provide for this? None. How about the existence of a magic kingdom? What evidence do believers have to support the view that there is a heaven? Or the ethereal jailhouse hell? Any evidence for that? Of course not. It's all fantasy. In the end, believers say these things are true only because they want them to be true. If not because they want it to be true, then it's probably because they're afraid to admit that they don't believe it, so they turn up the intensity on their preaching and evangelism. But argument? Haven't seen any from the apologists here.

HZ: "and if a basis of faith does indeed concede reason to the adversary (where do you have the proof for that?) then you have conceded reason as well. Because yes, it does take faith to believe that the fridge is even there to open, and that you are there to open it."

You're confusing mere "beliefs" with genuine knowledge. The two are not the same. I don't need to "believe" that my refrigerator exists, because I know it exists. I can identify the means by which I know this: my senses.

HZ: "You accept your sense perceptions as valid on faith"

On the contrary, the validity of the senses is axiomatic. According to my worldview, which recognizes the logical hierarchical structure of knowledge, the concept 'valid' is not a primary. Its basis is in the senses. Since sense perception is an automatic process of integration performed by the nervous system of the subject, suggesting that the senses could "make a mistake" commits the fallacy of the stolen concept: it makes use of a concept while denying its genetic roots. Error can only occur when volition enters into the picture. But we have no choice about the nature of our perceptual faculties, nor do we have a choice about what we sense and perceive. If I feel pain, I cannot choose to feel pleasure in its place. Validity only has application in the case of identifying what we've perceived and integrating it into the sum of our knowledge. There are no "rules of perception." But there are rules of inference. Again, you won't discover any of these truths by reading the bible, since it leaves the believer completely unarmed when it comes to a theory of concepts. Without a theory of concepts, you have no self-sufficient worldview. That's the predicament that Christians find themselves in.

Anyway, I could go on, but I don't suppose you're very interested. You want to believe in your invisible magic beings, and that's fine. If you have a positive argument to prove that your invisible magic beings exist, then please, take this opportunity to present it. Name your premises. Show how they support your conclusion (it should be "therefore my god exists" or something along these lines).

If you don't have anything positive to say, and your entire apologetic is negative in manner (trying to fulfill the notion of "tearing down strongholds" etc.), be careful. If you say that the senses are unreliable for me, are you willing to concede this for your position? If you can't rely on your senses, how do you know what you've written to me? How do you know what my response is? Was it downloaded into your consciousness by a magic being?

Another thing makes me very curious. Some apologists intimate that believers "think God's thoughts after Him," and yet their words invariably clash on a whole host of issues, suggesting a complete lack of uniformity coming from this legion of honorees who allegedly think thoughts that have been pre-chewed by a divine magic being. Some, like the Scripturalists, insist that the senses are completely unreliable, or at any rate that knowledge cannot be acquired by their use. Others insist that their god have equipped them with reliable equipment (why would a god create conscious beings without reliable senses?). I'm just wondering: if all these believers are "thinking God's thoughts after Him," why such divisions among them? I'm supposing many believers will simply blame man, saying it's his "sin" (a blemish with which he was created?) which causes such divisions. This would make "thinking God's thoughts after Him" rather ineffectual, or at least, the apparatus by which believers are allegedly able to do this somehow faulty or insufficient to overcome the power of what they call "sin."

The more one really looks at Christianity, the more amazing a spectacle it is to see any grown adult want to take it seriously. It is, as one philosopher rightly put it, the worship of contradiction as such.

 
At 7/27/2005 9:37 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

I wrote: "Been there, done that, a hundred times over. The basis of logic, rationality, and ethics is the primacy of existence principle, not a squad of invisible magic beings. Such beings wouldn't even have need for logic, rationality and ethics."

GF76 responded: "Good so we agree that you have the burden."

No one has showed that I have any burden here, and it would be naive to interpret my statement above as an acknowledgement of any burden that I am alleged to meet. As one person said, "Mr., there ain't nothing I gotta do but die." But even if one wanted to insist on thinking that Dawson Bethrick had some kind of burden, well, he has met it more than a thousand-fold. I have a whole stack of criticisms of religious belief and almost all of them are going completely unchallenged. And even when some young buck who wants to make a name for himself walks into town and tries to duel with me, he gets slapped down something nasty. You see, you just don't have any serious defense when what you're trying to defend is a cartoon view of the universe.

Anyway, I am flattered when apologists try to take me on. In fact, it is the greatest flattery that they could ever pay me. And they owe me a whole lot!

Meanwhile, if you have an argument to support your claim that your invisible magic beings are real, please, don't hold back. Let me see it! I really would like to review it.

 
At 7/27/2005 11:23 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said, "No one has showed that I have any burden here, and it would be naive to interpret my statement above as an acknowledgement of any burden that I am alleged to meet."

It's been shown and instead of dealing with what was said you just re-assert. The rest of your post was worthless.

 
At 7/27/2005 11:25 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson said to hz, "You're confusing mere "beliefs" with genuine knowledge. The two are not the same. I don't need to "believe" that my refrigerator exists, because I know it exists. I can identify the means by which I know this: my senses.

This is interesting as every epistomologist I've heard of defines knowledge partially as 'belief'.

 
At 7/28/2005 12:30 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson also said to hz, "Since sense perception is an automatic process of integration performed by the nervous system of the subject, suggesting that the senses could "make a mistake" commits the fallacy of the stolen concept: it makes use of a concept while denying its genetic roots."

You have to love 'objectivism's' use of retortion (aka begging the question) to prove her point.

But unless Rand or you are able to show that my arguing against sense perception everywhere and always genetically depends on sense perception itself, then you are merely begging the question and instead of it being a fallacy, it's a farcity.

For instance, when arguing against someone who denies sense perception (not that I do; this is an example) and you retort to them that they are using sense perception while they deny it; yet you completely disregard the fact that they may have a completely different 'theory' of how one arrives at knowledge (the Scripturalist) that has not even been touched. It's just been asserted that they are wrong! Amazing...

In addition, sometimes it is perfectly acceptable for someone to use a concept they deny. For example, Rand and Dawson don't believe in God, but have no trouble using the (anti-)concept 'God' in other arguments. They don't seem to have been conscious of any 'fallacy' in doing so.

 
At 7/28/2005 11:31 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

I wrote: "No one has showed that I have any burden here, and it would be naive to interpret my statement above as an acknowledgement of any burden that I am alleged to meet."

GF76: "It's been shown"

I've been looking for you to answer my three questions: 1. What do you think I need to prove? 2. Why do you think I need to prove it? And 3. To whom do you think I need prove it? Since I've not seen these three questions addessed in any explicit manner, and your statements to date only give vague hints as to what your answers might be, I'm of the opinion that it has not been shown, either by you or by HZ, or anyone else for that matter, that I have any burden to prove anything. Also, as I pointed out, if in fact I do have such a burden, I've more than met it by now. Most of my blogs and virtually all of the articles on my website have gone completely unchallenged. Instead of interacting with my points, what most apologists do is whine. Meanwhile, I've given you all the opportunity that you could possibly need to present your positive proof for your god-belief claims. So far, I've not seen you present any argument that concludes "therefore God exists." I'm currently of the opinion that you don't have one, and that all you want to do is continue in your childish manner.

GF76: "and instead of dealing with what was said you just re-assert."

Can you restate what it is that you think I did not deal with? I'll be frank with you - my time is very limited right now, and if I don't think something you say bears discussing, I might simply ignore it. Whining about this won't accomplish much.

GF76: "The rest of your post was worthless."

So I guess that means you won't be answering my three questions?

I wrote: "You're confusing mere 'beliefs' with genuine knowledge. The two are not the same. I don't need to 'believe' that my refrigerator exists, because I know it exists. I can identify the means by which I know this: my senses."

GF76: "This is interesting as every epistomologist I've heard of defines knowledge partially as 'belief'."

Well, it may be time for you to expand your reading list, GF. Not every epistemologist ascribes to the JTB view of knowledge, which is very refreshing. Anyway, if you have anything intelligent to say in response to my statement to HZ, I'll be looking for it.

I wrote: "Since sense perception is an automatic process of integration performed by the nervous system of the subject, suggesting that the senses could 'make a mistake' commits the fallacy of the stolen concept: it makes use of a concept while denying its genetic roots."

GF76: "You have to love 'objectivism's' use of retortion (aka begging the question) to prove her point."

Pardon me, it's not clear what you're trying to say here. Are you saying that your senses make mistakes, or not? Or, is it simply the case that you don't understand the distinctions between perceiving objects and identifying them by means of concepts? Or, do you not understand that a sound theory of concepts takes into account the nature of man's means of awareness?

GF76: "But unless Rand or you are able to show that my arguing against sense perception everywhere and always genetically depends on sense perception itself, then you are merely begging the question and instead of it being a fallacy, it's a farcity."

GF, if you know of a means of awareness that is not perceptual in nature or not tied to perception, please, explain it to me. But to be taken seriously, you'll have to explain it to me in some manner which bypasses my need to perceive in order to be aware of something. If you send it to me in writing, well, I have to use my senses to acquire awareness of it. So writing back in these comments pages won't do. You'll have to find another way to do this, one which does not require my use of my senses. Also, if you had a good understanding of the objective theory of concepts, you'd have a better understanding of Rand's view of the relationship between concept-formation and perception. To form concepts, one must have content from somewhere to inform them. Where did you get them? From an invisible magic being? So in addition to the challenge above, you would need to show how your concepts could have meaning without the objective reference which perception makes available to cognition. Good luck with that one. As I stated, the validity of the senses is axiomatic. So I don't need to argue for it. And since I don't need to argue for it, I would not be defending a conclusion while assuming it's truth. This is possible in an objective worldview since an objective worldview has an objective starting point. That is, it recognizes the primacy of the object in any subject-object relationship. Contrary to the objective view of the world is the subjective view, which attempts to reverse the proper orientation of the subject-object relationship, granting metaphysical primacy to the subject over its objects. That's why it's called "subjective." Your god-belief is the quintessential example of this: it claims that there is a consciousness which create its own objects by merely wishing them into existence, which assigns their nature simply by wishing them into the shape it wants them to have, and which can alter the nature of its objects at will whenever it wants to. As Register once put it, "That's subjectivism with a vengeance." He was right. Meanwhile, it's very interesting to observe how much Christian apologists themselves must borrow from my worldview

GF76: "For instance, when arguing against someone who denies sense perception (not that I do; this is an example)"

I raised this question before, and it was ignored, so I'll raise it again and see if it's ignored yet another time. There is a profound lack of uniformity among what Christians believe regarding many issues, among them the validity of the senses. GF76 herself cites the Scripturalists who reject the view that the senses are involved in the process of acquiring knowledge. But she does not ascribe to this view herself. Rather, she seems willing to grant - for unstated reasons (likely borrowing from my worldview again) - that the senses are valid. How can such disagreements arise if Christians "think God's thoughts after Him"? This is what is amazing: they want to tell me that my mind can't work on its own (even though they want to credit their god with having created it - doesn't their god create things that are self-sufficient?), and that the only way to have genuine knowledge is by "thinking God's thoughts after Him." And yet, it's very hard to find any two Christians who agree on a wide variety of issues, such as (to name just a few) the proper way to conceive of the trinity, the proper interpretation of the doctrine of the incomprehensibility of God, God is the foundation of science vs. science is always wrong, infant baptism, the second coming, justification, the atonement, etc., etc., etc. The list can just go on and on. But how could there be any disagreements and disputes if believers "think God's thoughts after Him"? It seems that if anything could be evidence that there is no such thing as "thinking God's thoughts after Him," it would be the wide disagreements that persist among and between Christians themselves.

GF76: "and you retort to them that they are using sense perception while they deny it; yet you completely disregard the fact that they may have a completely different 'theory' of how one arrives at knowledge (the Scripturalist) that has not even been touched."

It's not only a theory that they need. They need a means by which awareness is provided wholly apart from the senses. And yes, if they try to convey this to me in writing, then not only are they using their senses while arguing against them (since they would have to look at the page they're writing on in order to write), they are asking me to depend on my senses in order to acquire awareness of what it is they want to tell me.

GF76: "It's just been asserted that they are wrong! Amazing…"

Pointing out when someone has committed the fallacy of the stolen concept is not merely asserting that someone is wrong. It's showing where the error has been made.

 
At 7/28/2005 12:22 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Dawson blunders, "I've been looking for you to answer my three questions: 1. What do you think I need to prove? 2. Why do you think I need to prove it? And 3. To whom do you think I need prove it? Since I've not seen these three questions addessed in any explicit manner, and your statements to date only give vague hints as to what your answers might be, I'm of the opinion that it has not been shown, either by you or by HZ, or anyone else for that matter, that I have any burden to prove anything."

I don't know how much more I can hold your hand than I already have, Dawson. Let me quote what I said, "I am not the 'author of the claim that there are atheists'. Good try but stop attempting to turn it around. Prove to me that people can 'lack beliefs in God' (without begging the question by first assuming that my position is false by asserting what you are - an atheist). Also, as I said to Aaron, it is incumbent on you to show how logic, rationality, ethics, etc etc., are possible in a Godless universe. Unless you want to hold your position dogmatically (the why), then start proving it to others (the who). I answered the questions like this b/c this is what has been said again and again."


Dawson said, "GF, if you know of a means of awareness that is not perceptual in nature or not tied to perception, please, explain it to me. But to be taken seriously, you'll have to explain it to me in some manner which bypasses my need to perceive in order to be aware of something. If you send it to me in writing, well, I have to use my senses to acquire awareness of it. So writing back in these comments pages won't do."

Dawson, for you or any other Randroids to be taken seriously, you need to show that they rely on their senses and disprove their theory of knowledge. Do you even know how Clark or some other Scripturalist would reply to this? This again begs the question by asserting that they are using 'the senses' in reading this comment section. They have a different theory of knowledge than Randroids, that would need to be defeated. Merely saying that someone *has* to use their senses in order to determine what someone has written begs the question in that *they* could come to that knowledge in some other manner!

My problem with your position is what reason do you have to be able to rely on your senses (not that the senses themselves are unreliable) without assuming it from the start.


Dawson said, "I raised this question before, and it was ignored, so I'll raise it again and see if it's ignored yet another time. There is a profound lack of uniformity among what Christians believe regarding many issues, among them the validity of the senses. GF76 herself cites the Scripturalists who reject the view that the senses are involved in the process of acquiring knowledge. But she does not ascribe to this view herself. Rather, she seems willing to grant - for unstated reasons (likely borrowing from my worldview again) - that the senses are valid. How can such disagreements arise if Christians "think God's thoughts after Him"? This is what is amazing: they want to tell me that my mind can't work on its own (even though they want to credit their god with having created it - doesn't their god create things that are self-sufficient?), and that the only way to have genuine knowledge is by "thinking God's thoughts after Him." And yet, it's very hard to find any two Christians who agree on a wide variety of issues, such as (to name just a few) the proper way to conceive of the trinity, the proper interpretation of the doctrine of the incomprehensibility of God, God is the foundation of science vs. science is always wrong, infant baptism, the second coming, justification, the atonement, etc., etc., etc. The list can just go on and on. But how could there be any disagreements and disputes if believers "think God's thoughts after Him"? It seems that if anything could be evidence that there is no such thing as "thinking God's thoughts after Him," it would be the wide disagreements that persist among and between Christians themselves."

This was much ado about nothing and a big waste of space as some Christians don't "think God's thoughts after Him", which is in no way contradictory to any principle/doctrine in Christianity. As a matter of fact, given the condition of man it is more or less expected and can account for the irrationalism in the world. This could just as easily be asserted against any faction or group including so-called "objectivists"...


Dawson again blundered, "It's not only a theory that they need. They need a means by which awareness is provided wholly apart from the senses. And yes, if they try to convey this to me in writing, then not only are they using their senses while arguing against them (since they would have to look at the page they're writing on in order to write), they are asking me to depend on my senses in order to acquire awareness of what it is they want to tell me."

Saying that its so doesn't make it so, Dawson. Some Van Tillians have attempted to use this as an argument against Clarkians as well but it has been pointed out again and again that it begged the question (most notably by Dr. Michael Sudduth who used to be one of them).

It is still incumbent upon you and all your buddies to show that they their derivation of knowledge everywhere and always genetically depends on *your theory* of sense perception if you want to charge them with the made up fallacy of the stolen concept. And until you have done so then you are begging the question. One gigantic petitio principii.

Better yet, everytime you charge someone with this fallacy, it is incumbent upon you to show that "concept A" everywhere and always genetically depends on "concept B".

**You see questioning the validity of the senses only presupposes knowledge of or acquaintance with the *ideas* of the senses, of perception, of man and of reality. Such questioning does not *logically or genetically* presuppose that knowledge can be gained *only* through the sense.**


Dawson said, "Well, it may be time for you to expand your reading list, GF. Not every epistemologist ascribes to the JTB view of knowledge, which is very refreshing. Anyway, if you have anything intelligent to say in response to my statement to HZ, I'll be looking for it."

Not that I necessarily disagreed that there were some. The point (in your haste, you have a tendency to miss the point) was that I have *never heard* of any epistemologist who leaves off the B in JTB. But maybe you could give me some resources of those who do instead of just snapping back.


Dawson said, "Pointing out when someone has committed the fallacy of the stolen concept is not merely asserting that someone is wrong. It's showing where the error has been made."

But again, you have begged the question and not shown "where the error has been made" nor have you shown that their use of it always "genetically" depends upon your theory of sense perception.

 
At 7/28/2005 3:25 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

GF76: "Prove to me..."

See, that's just the point: I don't expect to be able to prove something to someone who's committed to a position on faith. Your religious beliefs are accepted on faith, which means no matter what is said to you, you're not going to budge. It's just childish of you to ask me to prove something to you. If I don't prove this point of dispute to you, then what? Are you going to run around and say "I won! I won!"? Well, you're going to say that no matter what happens. So what does it matter? Again, I don't know what you hope to accomplish. But so far, I've not seen where you've proved that your god exists. Beyond that, it's unclear why you expect me to prove anything to anyone (my question 2).

The pertinent question for Christians at this point basically boils down to this: Why be born again when you can simply grow up?

Look at all the effort you put into berating people who don't believe in your invisible magic beings and theism's cartoon universe. What does it gain you? Do you think your childish attitude and carrying on the way you do aregoing to somehow make me believe in your fantasies? I look at it like this: if your god really exists and wants me to believe in him, he'll have to find a much more effective vessel than GF76 and the other apologists I've encountered. The arguments I've seen for the existence of such a being are simply laughable.

Again, grow up, or don't. It's up to you.

 
At 7/29/2005 1:12 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

GF76: "Exactly and since that is an extraordinary claim it would require extraordinary proof. Whether you prove it to me or not misses the point. The point is that you have the burden to show how 'actual' atheists can exist (as opposed to 'professing' atheists)."

I dont have any burden to prove that atheists exist. Well let me be more specific: if I were to support the positive claim "Atheists exist" then of course I would be burdened to prove it. But Im not interested in proving to you that atheists exist, for many reasons:

1. Your belief system rests on faith and say-so; it is a worldview that discards evidence and proof in favor of faith and belief. So, as BB pointed out, any attempts by my heathen-self to prove or show evidence of anything to you would be useless if it goes against your superstitious fairy tale book.

2. I do not live by some creed that forces me to convince anyone that atheists exist, where you DO live by a creed that forces you to convince everyone that your particular brand of space-ghost is real.

Speaking of the existence of atheists, I remember the debate between Manata and Sansone. Sansone said that humans are not born with God belief and that they must acquire knowledge and belief through sense perception. Manata, of course, disagreed. When pushed on it, Manata said that all those who deny that they were born with Jesus/God knowledge are lying to themselves!!!

Manatas, and likely GF76s, anti-atheist-existence claims rely on nothing more than an ad hominem attack and accusations of lies.

Whereas Sansone could support his claim with things like the necessity of teaching God and Bible concepts to children, and even things like CAT scans and brainwave patterns, Manata has nothing more than a "liar liar pants on fire" accusation.

Fucking incredible.

Anyway, GF76, if you assert that an atheist is burdened to prove the existence of atheists, then you must concede that Christians are burdened to prove that Jesus/God exists. Yet your worldview rests on faith, which is also a concession that it cannot be proven or supported by material evidence. So really you are hopeless to win. The best you can do is throw insults at BB and I.

GF76's method of apologetics:

1. "You, the atheist, have the burden of proof to prove that God doesnt exist"

2. "You, the atheist, are also burdened to prove that atheists exist" (GF76 switches burdens around at random to suit his purpose).

3. "Someone who has not yet taken a position, is in fact already at a position." (imagine a child in an ice cream parlor who hasnt yet decided which flavor to purchase...GF76 would contend that the child already made his choice! A la baldness is a hair color)

4. GF76's worldview rests, by the Bibles own admission, on faith. Therefore GF76's own worldview can never meet the burden of proof, for it would cut the legs out from under his faith.

GF76, its very odd to see you argue along these lines and still seriously think your Christian superstition is real. And its funny to see you argue about logic and BoP and knowledge when you are defending a worldview that supports miracles, third-party-nihilism (mind of God), reanimation of dead bodies, and "faith."

 
At 7/29/2005 3:07 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

“I dont have any burden to prove that atheists exist. Well let me be more specific: if I were to support the positive claim "Atheists exist" then of course I would be burdened to prove it. But Im not interested in proving to you that atheists exist, for many reasons:”

Aaron, are you an atheist?


“1. Your belief system rests on faith and say-so; it is a worldview that discards evidence and proof in favor of faith and belief. So, as BB pointed out, any attempts by my heathen-self to prove or show evidence of anything to you would be useless if it goes against your superstitious fairy tale book.”

This is your assertion, which you have the burden to prove. See this is exactly my point and proves my case. Thank you aaron for proving my point about the burden of proof. :)


”2. I do not live by some creed that forces me to convince anyone that atheists exist, where you DO live by a creed that forces you to convince everyone that your particular brand of space-ghost is real.”

*Forces* would be a bad choice of words here. But now you say 'your particular brand of space-ghost is real'. You do know that this is your assertion and as such you have the burden of proving it (that I have a "space-ghost").


”Speaking of the existence of atheists, I remember the debate between Manata and Sansone. Sansone said that humans are not born with God belief and that they must acquire knowledge and belief through sense perception. Manata, of course, disagreed. When pushed on it, Manata said that all those who deny that they were born with Jesus/God knowledge are lying to themselves!!!”

Well I have not listened to the debate between them; however, based on what you said, Derek has not proven his contention that “humans are not born with God belief”, which again proves my point that atheists also have the burden of proof and once he or you start proving it you prove my point about the burden of proof.


”Manatas, and likely GF76s, anti-atheist-existence claims rely on nothing more than an ad hominem attack and accusations of lies.”

Not sure what you are talking about here nor how it relates to our discussion.


”Whereas Sansone could support his claim with things like the necessity of teaching God and Bible concepts to children, and even things like CAT scans and brainwave patterns, Manata has nothing more than a "liar liar pants on fire" accusation.”

Right but then he would show that he has the burden of proof so by saying this you again prove my point in the *discussion we are having*.

Sansone supporting his claim in this manner would beg the question and consequently miss the challenge (but as I've said I've not listened to the debate - just going on what you said, so the buck stops here until I listen to it).


”Anyway, GF76, if you assert that an atheist is burdened to prove the existence of atheists, then you must concede that Christians are burdened to prove that Jesus/God exists.”

Well now you are catching on Aaron and obviously have conceded this point. Remember we are discussing the ‘burden of proof’ not actually proving our position.


“Yet your worldview rests on faith, which is also a concession that it cannot be proven or supported by material evidence. So really you are hopeless to win.”

Well again this is your assertion and it is your burden to prove it. You are the assertion king, Aaron (p.s. I am being *silly* so don’t say that I insulted you). :)


“The best you can do is throw insults at BB and I.”

Awww I’ve not insulted you guys and I've done much more than that, afterall you guys are "childish and need to grow up" (to use Dawson words).

If you think I have, then I sincerely apologize.


GF76's method of apologetics:

”1. "You, the atheist, have the burden of proof to prove that God doesnt exist"”

Not sure where I said this. Wait, I didn’t say it.


”2. "You, the atheist, are also burdened to prove that atheists exist" (GF76 switches burdens around at random to suit his purpose).”

Well I did do this quite successfully I might add. I definitely would not say it was 'at random'.


”3. "Someone who has not yet taken a position, is in fact already at a position." (imagine a child in an ice cream parlor who hasnt yet decided which flavor to purchase...GF76 would contend that the child already made his choice! A la baldness is a hair color)”

That’s quite a bad analogy Aaron. But remember, I stated that it is based on the ‘worldview’ that you start from. So in one sense, agnoticism would not be a position. But to another it would be. Whenever a child buying ice cream has anything to do with a discussion of the existence of God, then let me know (since a child buying ice cream would not affect knowledge in such a way as the existence of God would).


”4. GF76's worldview rests, by the Bibles own admission, on faith. Therefore GF76's own worldview can never meet the burden of proof, for it would cut the legs out from under his faith.”

Well again this is your assertion and as a result, it is your burden to prove it and as has been stated it is a bad mischaracterization of ‘faith’ (which would be my burden to prove). But let’s not get into that just yet. By the way, how do you define knowledge? Do you leave out the B in JTB as your friend Dawson?


“GF76, its very odd to see you argue along these lines and still seriously think your Christian superstition is real. And its funny to see you argue about logic and BoP and knowledge when you are defending a worldview that supports miracles, third-party-nihilism (mind of God), reanimation of dead bodies, and "faith."”

Since all these are assertions I can only hope that you will see that it is your burden to prove them.

 
At 7/29/2005 4:19 PM, Blogger HZ declaimed...

BB, the argument for the existence of God or against it comes down to consistency of worldview, because you cannot offer the kind of proof you require for God, against Him. You cannot prove to me that you exist, because your starting point, that empirical evidence is valid is itself an assumption-- and your further belief that it is alone valid is a complete leap in logic. Your worldview has to borrow belief to begin with-- it has to assume the validity of sense perceptions, and moreover the *alone* validity of sense perceptions-- automatically ruling out the possibility of valid Spiritual reality and spiritual perception on nothing but your definition faith-- while denying the validity of all belief. You undercut yourself right off the bat.

Scriptural, saving faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. You are trying to tell me that sense perceptions are their own evidence. I am telling you the same thing about Scriptural faith. You left that out of your definition. Both sense perceptions and Scriptural faith require belief; the evidence of either still rests ultimately on an assumption. But that assumption either makes sense of the world, or it doesn't. Yours doesn't. Belief is valid or it's not. You say it's not, but it really doesn't matter because either way, you're out of a worldview.

You ought to read more Bertrand Russell.

 
At 7/29/2005 4:28 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Aaron, are you an atheist?

This is your assertion, which you have the burden to prove. See this is exactly my point and proves my case. Thank you aaron for proving my point about the burden of proof. :)

Its my positive assertion (my point #1) so I am burdened to prove it. Fine. But atheism is a negative, not a positive. It looks like you still dont understand the difference between positive and negative positions.

And you should be careful what you agree on, because it looks to me like you just conceded the irrationality and unsupportability of your worldview, and that you will hold to your "faith" regardless of any evidence provided for either side... so it looks like you are rejecting burden of proof entirely. But thats not what you are doing, is it?

*Forces* would be a bad choice of words here. But now you say 'your particular brand of space-ghost is real'. You do know that this is your assertion and as such you have the burden of proving it (that I have a "space-ghost").

God, space-ghost, tomato, tomahto, sky fairy, invisible magic friend, whatever you wanna call it. And actually, no, I dont have to prove that you have a space-ghost. After all, Im not the one who subscribes to a pro-space-ghost (pro-God) worldview. Im the one DENYING the existence of a space-ghost (God).

Well I have not listened to the debate between them; however, based on what you said, Derek has not proven his contention that “humans are not born with God belief”, which again proves my point that atheists also have the burden of proof and once he or you start proving it you prove my point about the burden of proof.

LOL it doesnt prove your point. All it does is prove your misunderstanding of the burden of proof. I can assert that I, for one, was not born with God/Jesus/space-ghost belief. I had to have it provided to me through my parents and relatives. The God concept was totally unknown to me until I was taught about it by my relatives as a child.

But of course Im sure that you would disagree in regards to your own personal life story. Im assuming you contend that you were born with God belief? So when your parents started talking to you about God at age 3 or whatever, did you tell them "oh I already know about God. Ive known about it before I could say 'daddy!'" ?

Not sure what you are talking about here nor how it relates to our discussion.

Unfamiliar with ad hominem? If you heard the debate you would have a better idea of what I was referring to. Doesnt matter really... I was going off on a tangent again :)

Well again this is your assertion and it is your burden to prove it. You are the assertion king, Aaron (p.s. I am being *silly* so don’t say that I insulted you). :)

LOL ;) Well lets look at the Bible for proof of this one...should be easy to do (although I cant imagine why, as a Christian, you would even hint at denying this, or asking me for a proof when you already are familiar with your Christian worldview). Mk 16:16, Jn. 3:18, 36, Acts 16:30-31, Rom 1:16-17, Rom 3:28, Rom 4:2, Rom 4:13, Rom 5:1, Rom 10:9, (I know you presups love Romans), Gal 2:16, Gal 3:11-12, Eph 2:8-9, Tit 3:5. I hope that will suffice.

If you think I have, then I sincerely apologize.

No worries my friend. We all do get a little heated or derogatory in here from time to time, as can be expected when debating from vastly different worldviews :)

Not sure where I said this. Wait, I didn’t say it.

You didnt say that per se. I was using quotes to represent the basic message of your statements here, and I seriously was trying to represent your position in that list without any strawmen. If Im wrong on some of those points about your position/assertions, then I will be happy to retract/correct them. Im trying to accurately as possible list the points you are making about atheists/theists/Burdens/worldviews here.

Well I did do this quite successfully I might add. I definitely would not say it was 'at random'.

And I agree with you here on the atheists burden to prove the existence of atheists. I will positively assert that atheists DO exist and I agree with you that I am SOLELY burdened to prove that positive claim. Now the only thing you have to do in this case GF76 is either accept or reject my claim, and if you so choose (although you are not burdened to) you can cite reasons or evidence why you either accepted or rejected my "atheists exist" claim.

So why is it so hard for you to accept that the "god exists" claim has a burden that rests solely on the theist?

That’s quite a bad analogy Aaron. But remember, I stated that it is based on the ‘worldview’ that you start from. So in one sense, agnoticism would not be a position. But to another it would be. Whenever a child buying ice cream has anything to do with a discussion of the existence of God, then let me know (since a child buying ice cream would not affect knowledge in such a way as the existence of God would).

Its not a perfect analogy but its close enough I think. The thing here is that there is a state that can exist where a "position" (such as the existence of atheists) has not yet been arrived at. I got the feeling that you were denying the existence of this state and I thought this analogy would illustrate it adequately enough. Now, the ice cream represented a position, and the child not yet deciding on the ice cream represented the person not-yet-arriving on the position. So the child has no position yet (no ice cream flavor selected). This ties into my statements where I said that agnosticism is not a position in terms of God belief, but is the state where one has not yet arrived at a position.

By the way, how do you define knowledge? Do you leave out the B in JTB as your friend Dawson?

You know Im not sure how I define knowledge yet. I think knowledge is seperate from beleif, and that both those words (knowledge and belief) have definition/usage issues in society. But I cant decide if I leave out the "B" yet. Actually let me try to define them in my own words just for kicks, although Im not sure Im committed to these definitions yet.

Knowledge: a conclusion that one is forced to arrive at due to evidence/logic presented to them.
Belief: a conclusion one arrives at due to a mix of choice/desire and limited evidence, where the conclusion is not ironclad.

For example, I could "believe" that my Mustang is faster than my friends Camaro due to desire (i want to be faster) and limited evidence (i beat other Camaros but have not yet raced my friend). But then upon racing, my friends Camaro whoops my Mustangs ass and then Im forced to the "knowledge" that his Camaro is indeed faster. I dont WANT to accept the conclusion that he is faster, but I am forced to due to overwhelming evidence (I saw his car beat me with my own two eyes and have the timeslip to prove it).

I dont know how you will like that explanation, as I am still figuring out my own views on knowledge/belief currently.

Since all these are assertions I can only hope that you will see that it is your burden to prove them.

Agreed. No problem here. I did provide some Bible passages for the faith thing. And the other stuff I asserted can be supported by this very comments section. Now, lets assume that the only evidence I am willing to offer for my most recent assertions is the stuff typed in here and the Bible quotes I referenced. GF76, it is now your job to either accept or reject my assertions. And if you like, you can give reasons why you accepted or rejected my assertions, although you are not "burdened" to. Also, since these assertions are about you and what I think your position is, if you reject some of them, it would be helpful to me if you would provide corrected or alternate assertions that you would agree with so that I may better understand your position. Im gonna try to simplify the list:

1. GF76 insists that atheists are burdened to support their (negative) God rejection.
2. GF76 insists that atheists are burdened to prove the (positive) existence of atheists.
3. GF76 subscribes to a worldview that holds faith above evidence or proof. Indeed, faith is the anti-matter of sorts to evidence, so GF76 will discard or reject evidence for either side in favor of his "faith" in his worldview.

 
At 7/29/2005 4:36 PM, Blogger HZ declaimed...

I forgot, that I wanted also to say-- you like to laugh at our "magical" deity (though there is nothing "magical" about Deity: Deity implies self-existence, non-material existence, existence that can create other existence, etc.: it is perfectly consistent with the nature of Deity to do all of the things that God has done, and there is nothing "magical" about it); but you believe in something far more incredible-- magical matter. Because it is not consistent with the nature of matter to suddenly poof into being from utter non-matter non-being. In other words, our view of Deity does not require magic-- your view of matter does. You are the ones who are forced to believe in magic.

 
At 7/29/2005 4:47 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Aaron,

Since you have basically agreed that atheists and theists share the burden of proof, I'm going to make this one short. I'm not going to take this comment section any further because you are tending to get off the current topic (the burden of proof).


"And you should be careful what you agree on, because it looks to me like you just conceded the irrationality and unsupportability of your worldview, and that you will hold to your "faith" regardless of any evidence provided for either side... so it looks like you are rejecting burden of proof entirely. But thats not what you are doing, is it?"

I am simply bewildered by this, Aaron. It *looks* like you are being completely dishonest in the discussion we are having. I HAVE REPEATEDLY SAID THAT WE **SHARE** THE BURDEN OF PROOF.


If you assert that God *is* a space-ghost, then it is incumbent upon you to show me (hence your burden), which is entirely consistent with your positive assertion requirements earlier. Maybe you need to be a little more careful with your language here.


"1. GF76 insists that atheists are burdened to support their (negative) God rejection."

Can you show me where I said this?


"2. GF76 insists that atheists are burdened to prove the (positive) existence of atheists."

Correct. But don't forget how one can have knowledge in a Godless universe.


"3. GF76 subscribes to a worldview that holds faith above evidence or proof. Indeed, faith is the anti-matter of sorts to evidence, so GF76 will discard or reject evidence for either side in favor of his "faith" in his worldview."

This is again your assertion and doesn't have much to do with our discussion on *who has the burden of proof*.


As far as the definition of knowledge, do you believe that it is possible to *know* something yet not *believe* it? If you 'knew' that your friends Camaro is faster now, would you not also believe it? (i.e., I know but i don't believe it?)

 
At 8/03/2005 11:06 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

HZ: "BB, the argument for the existence of God or against it comes down to consistency of worldview,"

Then I win, for I ascribe to a consistent worldview, and all you can do is continually borrow from it while pretending your invisible magic beings exist.

HZ: "because you cannot offer the kind of proof you require for God, against Him."

Again, I don't have to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist.

HZ: "You cannot prove to me that you exist,"

That's because one cannot prove something to someone who's already rejected reason. One rejects reason when he rests his case on faith.

HZ: "because your starting point, that empirical evidence is valid is itself an assumption-- and your further belief that it is alone valid is a complete leap in logic."

Watch the stolen concepts there, HZ, you just committed the blunder twice.

HZ: "Your worldview has to borrow belief to begin with-- it has to assume the validity of sense perceptions, and moreover the *alone* validity of sense perceptions-- automatically ruling out the possibility of valid Spiritual reality and spiritual perception on nothing but your definition faith-- while denying the validity of all belief."

If you're going to try to critique my worldview, you need to learn about it first. What you just wrote is either willfully mischaracterizing, or simply ignorant. I'm supposing the latter (since at the end of your posting you recommend that I consult Russell).

HZ: "You undercut yourself right off the bat."

Why? Because I don't believe in Christianity's invisible magic beings? Again, you exhibit more desperation without making any progress towards validating your god-beliefs.

HZ: "Scriptural, saving faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

More nonsensical Christian doubletalk. Got any substance that doesn't rest merely on your hoping? No, I doubt it.

HZ: "You are trying to tell me that sense perceptions are their own evidence."

Again, you show that you're not adequately familiar with my worldview. Also, how would I be able to read, understand and interact with your written statements if sense perception were not valid? You offer no answers, you only reinvent problems which have long been put to rest, as if you weren't well read on the topic. Meanwhile, please explain where you got the concept 'validity' - show me the steps by which you formed it. Or, did you borrow it from my worldview while attempting to use it as a stolen concept in critiquing my worldview, with which you have utterly insufficient familiarity?

HZ: "I am telling you the same thing about Scriptural faith."

Yes, you're telling me, and the only means by which I could have awareness of it is through sense perception, which is problematic in your worldview.

HZ: "You left that out of your definition."

Definition of what? of faith? Of course I left it out of that definition - Christianity's silly notion of salvation is not essential to the concept of faith. One can have faith in the city of Atlantis, or in Horus, or in the Golden Calf, or in Cornelius Van Til (a recent fad). Regardless of the object, faith is invalid as a means of validating knowledge claims. Wishing doesn't make it so, and that's because the objects of awareness hold metaphysical primacy over the subject of awareness.

HZ: "Both sense perceptions and Scriptural faith require belief;"

Again, we have another stolen concept enlisted to advance a blatant reversal. Basic awareness precedes the formation of any beliefs. Without consciousness, whose primary means is sense perception, there is no faculty which can do the believing. If we couldn't perceive, of what would we form these beliefs? OF something that's not there? Again, this is a problem for your reality-rejecting worldview. I'm glad these aren't my problems.

HZ: "the evidence of either still rests ultimately on an assumption."

Yet another stolen concept. Since you lack a theory of concepts (something the bible nowhere teaches), you completely derail the logical hierarchy of knowledge.

HZ: "But that assumption either makes sense of the world, or it doesn't. Yours doesn't."

For one, your "case" rests on numerous stolen concepts (so it could not even hope to be conceptually valid in the first place), and on a grave lack of familiarity of my worldview. Meanwhile, you borrow from my worldview while making any statement of truth (since the primacy of consciousness cannot support truth claims).

HZ: "Belief is valid or it's not."

Please explain what you mean by 'belief' and how you formed the concept (if you're aware of how you formed it in the first place).

HZ: "You say it's not, but it really doesn't matter because either way, you're out of a worldview."

HZ, your desperation is tiresome.

HZ: "You ought to read more Bertrand Russell."

No thanks!

 
At 8/03/2005 11:52 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

HZ: "I forgot, that I wanted also to say-- you like to laugh at our 'magical' deity (though there is nothing "magical" about Deity: Deity implies self-existence, non-material existence, existence that can create other existence, etc.: it is perfectly consistent with the nature of Deity to do all of the things that God has done, and there is nothing 'magical' about it);"

My use of the term 'magic' is both valid and appropriate when used to refer to Christianity's gods, demons, angels and other supernatural inventions. By 'magic' I mean a power alleged to be supernatural or sourced in supernatural beings, as well as to the ability to wield such power. The essence of this phenomenon is the primacy of consciousness: the subject has the power to create its objects and make them conform to its wishes. In his book Atheism: The Case Against God, George Smith shows how the Christian's god-belief is epistemologically analogous to the claim that an invisible magic elf is in control of reality. This magic elf has the power to make it rain at will. Surely Christians think their god is much more powerful than Smith's magic elf, is it not? If so, then it's just got more magical powers than the elf. At any rate, I frankly don't know what else to call the Christian god. Invisible magic being captures the essence of what Christians tell me. It doesn't matter if you don't like it - truth doesn't hinge on your likes. I'm not a Christian, a Muslim, or Hindu because I don't believe in invisible magic beings.

HZ: "but you believe in something far more incredible-- magical matter."

Where does my worldview attribute supernatural powers to matter? In my view, matter is natural and finite. Again, you mischaracterize my worldview in order to malign it.

HZ: "Because it is not consistent with the nature of matter to suddenly poof into being from utter non-matter non-being."

Again, you err by not knowing what my worldview teaches. My worldview doesn't start with non-existence and then seek to explain the fact that existence exists. I start with existence, not with non-existence. Since existence exists, your god is out of a job.

HZ: "In other words, our view of Deity does not require magic-- your view of matter does."

Your view might not require magic - and I've never argued that it does. It just requires a wild imagination that has sought to evade reality. The view in question, however, boils down to belief in invisible magic beings, as I have explained.

HZ: "You are the ones who are forced to believe in magic."

Again, your desperation is tiresome.

 
At 8/16/2010 3:27 AM, Blogger ming declaimed...

MPEG Converter for Mac
MPEG to MP4 Converter for Mac
MPEG to AVI Converter for Mac
MPEG to DVD Converter for Mac
MPEG to FLV Converter for Mac
MPEG to WMV Converter for Mac
MPEG to MOV Converter for Mac
mpeg to vob Converter for mac
MPEG to DivX Converter for Mac
MPEG to 3GP Converter for Mac
MPEG to iPod Converter for Mac
MPEG to iPhone Converter for Mac
MPEG to MP3 Converter for Mac

 

Trackbacks:

Create a Link

<< Home