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Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Question of the Day #2

Why do we always hear of Christians have crises of faith, but never of scientists having crises of reason ?

Give your answer in the comments.

Post a Comment


51 Comments:

At 10/08/2005 10:26 AM, Blogger mathyoo declaimed...

because the only way to have a crisis of reason is to go insane?

It's difficult to argue with reality without suspending your disbelief or denying empirical evidence, and scientists generally are the kind of folks who have trouble doing that. People who become scientists are naturally inclined to base their decisions on what they know and observe, and that's further reinforced by education and training in the scientific fields.

Faith, OTOH, is based on NO evidence, and in fact usually flies in the face of it. The faithful see things every day that would contradict their belief in a higher power, so it's understandable that they would reach the end of their cognitive dissonance at some point and question their faith.

 
At 10/08/2005 11:08 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

I don't know that Christians "always" have a crisis of faith. But some do. All that phrase means is that they doubt their belief system. Now, many unbeleivers/non-Christians have had this as well. Gosh, the whole history of philosophy is replete with these kinds of things. Look at: doubting the reliability of your senses, doubting other people exist, doubting other minds, doubting we can know anything, etc etc etc. Non Christians have brought us solipsism, skepticism, phenominalism, etc. Indeed, look at many of the empiricists responses to the rationalists. They pointed out that using "unaided reason" as our ultimate authority brought us radically different conclusions, e.g., monism, dualism, pluralism. So they eschewed "reason" and opted for what the senses reported to us.

In fact, "reason" has been used in many different ways and there are still books being writen on "reason" and what it means. So it's not even clear what you mean by "reason" when you ask about people having a "crisis of" it.

But, I assume, yet again, that I'll just be laughed at. Guys, I don't mind the scoffing, but could you occasionaliy throw an argument in here and there?

 
At 10/08/2005 12:51 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Here's an argument for you to chew on, Paul:

P1: If Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition, then Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.

P2: Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition.

Conclusion: Therefore, Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.

This argument is valid since it follows a valid scheme. I also think it's sound because I think the premises are true.

 
At 10/08/2005 1:51 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

I was under the impression that the concept of a creator-being (who created everythign including the universe) is some kind of third-party solipsism?

 
At 10/08/2005 3:06 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

"I was under the impression that the concept of a creator-being (who created everythign including the universe) is some kind of third-party solipsism?"

When taken to its logical extent, yes.

 
At 10/08/2005 7:06 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

(scratches head) before I answer, would any of you be so kind as to tell me what the above three posts have to do with what I posted???

 
At 10/08/2005 7:24 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson: P1: If Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition, then Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.

Would you be so kind as to break P1 down for me? Tell me what *you mean* by "primacy of the subject over the object of cognition." Tell me what *you mean* by "metaphysical subjectivism." The hypothetical premise can still be fallacious yet in valid form. As it stands, the if/then statement appears to me to be a non-sequitar. So your argument, though formally valid, would not be valid in the sense that it is fallacious.

I'll await your answer... with baited breath.

 
At 10/09/2005 12:49 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul,

Sorry to keep you waiting. I was out with friends this evening, and hope you haven't turned blue yet.

Paul: “Would you be so kind as to break P1 down for me? Tell me what *you mean* by ‘primacy of the subject over the object of cognition’."

Sure, I’ll explain. Conscious activity involves a relationship between the subject of awareness and the objects it perceives and/or considers. This is not a relationship of equals. By “primacy of the subject over the object of cognition” I essentially mean the view that holds that the subject of cognition (the knower) has creative and/or manipulative power over the object(s) of its awareness such that the objects conform to the subject’s intentions. A blatant example of this would be when someone who's very disappointed with a situation might say "I don't want this to be true! Therefore I will act as if it weren't true." Actual instances, however, are usually less explicitly pronounced, but not always.

Paul: “Tell me what *you mean* by ‘metaphysical subjectivism’."

Metaphysical subjectivism is the genus of various versions of the fundamental orientation to reality which affirms that the objects of consciousness conform to the dictates of consciousness. This orientation is properly called “subjectivism” because it grants to the subject power over its object(s). (In the case of Christian teaching, this power is said to be absolute in the case of the Christian god.) It essentially holds that the world of objects (e.g., the universe) finds its source in a form of consciousness, or that they obey the dictates that originate in consciousness.

The opposite view, objectivism, is the orientation between the subject and object in which the objects of consciousness exist independent of consciousness – that they are what they are no matter what one wishes, believes, or imagines. According to this view, the role of consciousness is not to create and alter the objects it’s aware of at will, but to discover and identify them by rational means.

Paul: “The hypothetical premise can still be fallacious yet in valid form. As it stands, the if/then statement appears to me to be a non-sequitar. So your argument, though formally valid, would not be valid in the sense that it is fallacious.”

It’s true that there are instances of conditional statements which affirm non sequiturs. A good example would be the hypothetical claim “if knowledge, then Blarko,” where "Blarko" is supposed to be a supernatural personality (i.e., a conscious agent) credited with providing in one form or another the preconditions necessary for intelligibility. But unfortunately, it’s not clear why you would think that my initial premise is a non sequitur. Can you explain why you think this?

I don’t think there’s any non sequitur being committed in my argument, and here’s why: In my first premise, the apodosis (the “then” clause of the conditional) simply relates the symptom named in the protasis (the “if” clause of the conditional) to the broader category that names the general orientation that results from the symptom named in the protasis and thus follows necessarily as a consequence due to affirmation, whether implicit or explicit, of that symptom. In the present case, the symptom in question is the primacy of the subject over its objects, and the general orientation which results from this at the fundamental level is called metaphysical subjectivism. So there’s no non sequitur since the apodosis follows necessarily.

Hope that helps!

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/09/2005 3:00 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson: Sure, I’ll explain. Conscious activity involves a relationship between the subject of awareness and the objects it perceives and/or considers. This is not a relationship of equals. By “primacy of the subject over the object of cognition” I essentially mean the view that holds that the subject of cognition (the knower) has creative and/or manipulative power over the object(s) of its awareness such that the objects conform to the subject’s intentions. A blatant example of this would be when someone who's very disappointed with a situation might say "I don't want this to be true! Therefore I will act as if it weren't true." Actual instances, however, are usually less explicitly pronounced, but not always.

Dawson Burner: And so how does Christianity "presuppose the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition?" Since your statement was not qualified then it is a universal affirmative statement. Hence, all knowers are knowers having creative/manipulative power over the objects which the knower is aware of. This would include you. So, tell me how Christianity presupposes that Dawson Bethrick has creative/manipulative power over the objects which Dawson is aware of.

As you can see, I'm still rightly confused.



Dawson: Metaphysical subjectivism is the genus of various versions of the fundamental orientation to reality which affirms that the objects of consciousness conform to the dictates of consciousness. This orientation is properly called “subjectivism” because it grants to the subject power over its object(s). (In the case of Christian teaching, this power is said to be absolute in the case of the Christian god.) It essentially holds that the world of objects (e.g., the universe) finds its source in a form of consciousness, or that they obey the dictates that originate in consciousness.

Dawson Burner: See above

 
At 10/09/2005 3:32 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul wrote: “And so how does Christianity ‘presuppose the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition?’"

By positing a consciousness whose objects conform to its will.

Paul: “Since your statement was not qualified then it is a universal affirmative statement. Hence, all knowers are knowers having creative/manipulative power over the objects which the knower is aware of. This would include you. So, tell me how Christianity presupposes that Dawson Bethrick has creative/manipulative power over the objects which Dawson is aware of.”

It’s not at all clear how you got this, but it is clear that you’re distorting my argument, perhaps in the interest of discrediting it (surprise surprise…). Christianity clearly assumes the primacy of the subject in its description of its god: its god creates its objects by an act of will (that is, by conscious action), and it can manipulate them – probably even annihilate them – at will. According to Christian teaching, the world of objects conforms directly to this consciousness. “God controls whatsoever comes to pass” (The Defense of the Faith, p. 160). Notice the cartoon universe premise here.

You do think your god is conscious, do you not? You do think your god has the power to bring objects into existence by commanding them to exist, do you not? You do believe that your god has the power to make those objects, once existing, behave as it wishes them to behave, do you not? Does your god do these things unconsciously?

Let me correct the grave error that you appear to be making here, Paul. A worldview does not need to assume that all consciousnesses enjoy such power over their objects in order for that worldview to affirm or be based on the primacy of the subject metaphysics. It only needs to do it in the case of a single consciousness for that presupposition to be present. And in the case of Christianity, it grants such power to what it claims is the original (and originating) consciousness, the only one that really matters in the end anyway (since it calls all the shots, and everything conforms accordingly).

As I indicated in my earlier point, there are many expressions of metaphysical subjectivism. Christianity is full of instances where the subject holds metaphysical primacy over its objects – in fact, it’s hard to find a teaching that does not affirm it. Take for example the notion of prayer: by prayer one can tap into this impressive power source such that “whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Mt. 21:22), that “whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in [Jesus’] name, he will give it you” (Jn. 16:23). Another example is faith: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Mt. 17:20). In other words, faith grants the believer intentional power over the objects of awareness such that they will obey his wishes. You can't get more subjective than any of this stuff.

Paul: “As you can see, I'm still rightly confused.”

That may be because you are looking for ways to undermine my argument without properly understanding it or engaging it on its own terms. You’re in defense mode, Paul, and this is preventing you from learning the material and dealing with it honestly. And what you've offered so far is miserably weak. But alas, I would not expect someone who worships a contradiction to admit as much.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/09/2005 9:21 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson: By positing a consciousness whose objects conform to its will.

Dawson Burner: Maybe I'm dense, but I don't understand what you mean by this statement? I also don't get why this entails subjectivism?

Dawson: It’s not at all clear how you got this, but it is clear that you’re distorting my argument, perhaps in the interest of discrediting it (surprise surprise…).

Dawson Burner: Well, to anyone familiar with logic, and how to distill arguments, it is clear how I got it. Sorry I don't have time to teach you; maybe you should get that logic book you've promised yourself you'll eventually read off your shelf and look it up. Anywaho, it was an attempt to *clear up* what you were saying. Sheesh, sorry. I'll make sure just to bow down to Dawson and accept that his points do not need clarification. C'mon, guy. Note: continue with this kind of arrogance and unhelpful attitiude, when I'm trying to engage you and make what you're saying crystal clear, you can just forget about further interaction. It's clear you want a glazed-eyed yes-man.

Dawson: Christianity clearly assumes the primacy of the subject in its description of its god: its god creates its objects by an act of will (that is, by conscious action), and it can manipulate them – probably even annihilate them – at will.

Dawson Burner: Sorry, still not clear enough for little ole me. God creates objects, yes. So do humans. We create things like skyscrapers. Then we can destroy (or annihilate) them as well. So, I'm not following you here. I think you need more detail (hint: the detail can be provided succinctly. You don't need to bully me with writing a lot, which is Dawson's tactic. All mouth, no substance.)


Dawson: According to Christian teaching, the world of objects conforms directly to this consciousness. “God controls whatsoever comes to pass” (The Defense of the Faith, p. 160). Notice the cartoon universe premise here.

What do you mean the world of objects "conforms directly to this consciousness?" I don't get that phrase. I don't see how "God controlling whatsoever comes to pass" is problematic. Certainly if an all-powerful God existed, and he has ordered all the events of history, and nothing happened apart from his sovereign will, then he would control all events. All you've done then, in effect, is just to say you don't like the Christian worldview. How uninteresting, even for you.

Dawson: You do think your god is conscious, do you not?

Dawson Burner: Well I deny your understanding of "consciousnesss." So, he would not be, according to your worldview. To be conscious in your worldview one would need a physical brain. Also, since you're a materialist, and since you think consciousness exists (see Thorn's Glossary), then you must think consciousness is material. So, where is your "consciousness," Dawson? Maybe it 3 inches to the left of your occipital lobe?

Dawson: You do think your god has the power to bring objects into existence by commanding them to exist, do you not?

Dawson Burner: Yes. Why should that be a problem if an all-powerful God existed? *YAWN.*

Dawson: You do believe that your god has the power to make those objects, once existing, behave as it wishes them to behave, do you not?

Dawson Burner: No, not universally. Anyway, this is not clear. I can make an object (puppet) behave how I want it to (pulling stings so as to drop pants and moon Dawson).

Dawson: Let me correct the grave error that you appear to be making here, Paul. A worldview does not need to assume that all consciousnesses enjoy such power over their objects in order for that worldview to affirm or be based on the primacy of the subject metaphysics.

Dawson Burner: Not my grave error. I actually just translated your sentence how it should be, according to the rules of logic. if you have a problem, learn how to write clearer.

Dawson: As I indicated in my earlier point, there are many expressions of metaphysical subjectivism. Christianity is full of instances where the subject holds metaphysical primacy over its objects – in fact, it’s hard to find a teaching that does not affirm it.

Dawson Burner: Okay, so since all people, in theory, could obtain this power then Christianity does teach that all people could have primacy over the objects of their awareness??? But above you said you were claiming that *ONLY GOD* has this perrogative. Remember, you said: "It only needs to do it in the case of a single consciousness for that presupposition to be present. And in the case of Christianity, it grants such power to what it claims is the original (and originating) consciousness, the only one that really matters in the end anyway (since it calls all the shots, and everything conforms accordingly)." But now you are saying that *MANY* subjects enjoy such power!! Man, you sure know how to contradict yourself, just like your leader, Rand.

Dawson: Take for example the notion of prayer: by prayer one can tap into this impressive power source such that “whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Mt. 21:22),

Dawson Burer: The whatsoever is a qualified statement, obviously by asking according to God's will. But, I don't understand why you think this grants your point. You must think it's self-evident, well not to me. So, no free lunches.



Dawson, I hope your response back is really one that intends to discuss these things rather than spewing out your pat Randroid answers. If your next post is not substantive and helpful, then we're done.

 
At 10/09/2005 10:46 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

Paul,

I hereby dub thee "MOP," short for "Master of Projection:"

MOP quotes:

"Note: continue with this kind of arrogance and unhelpful attitiude, when I'm trying to engage you and make what you're saying crystal clear, you can just forget about further interaction. It's clear you want a glazed-eyed yes-man."

(one needs to learn from Paul the finer points of humility and helpfulness, along with a willingness to learn)

"You don't need to bully me with writing a lot, which is Dawson's tactic. All mouth, no substance."

(one needs to learn from Paul the importance of not being a bully, and of being clear and succinct in their communications. Paul NEVER is 'all mouth, no substance.')

"Not my grave error. I actually just translated your sentence how it should be, according to the rules of logic. if you have a problem, learn how to write clearer."

(had to put this one in there...hilarious to see Paul tell Dawson to learn how to 'write clearer.')

"I hope your response back is really one that intends to discuss these things rather than spewing out your pat Randroid answers. If your next post is not substantive and helpful, then we're done."

(unlike Paul, who NEVER spews out pat answers...and is always full of substance and helpfulness)

 
At 10/10/2005 4:30 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

To be fair, Paul is so incompetent that I have no doubt he really believes he is a great thinker.

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

I wrote: "By positing a consciousness whose objects conform to its will."

Paul: "Maybe I'm dense,"

Either that, or you're simply dishonest. Perhaps it's both. I noticed that your first attempt to critique my argument was to charge that it commits a non sequitur. I answered this, showing how this is not the case. You then tried some indirect way to challenge it by bending it way out of shape to construe that my argument needs to be supported by evidence to the effect that the Christianity presupposes that my consciousness holds primacy over the objects of my awareness. I showed this to require a misinterpretation of my point, so you seem to have abandoned it. Now your latest attempt to critique is basically the "it's not clear" defense, which could be a valid criticism in some cases (such as Bahnsen's poof), but in the present case regarding my argument, you seem unable to isolate precisely what it is that is unclear to you. But I'll try to help you out some more seeing you really need someone to hold your hand. To help you understand, I present below a simple little thought experiment that you can perform while you're sitting in front of your computer to drive my point home.

Paul: "but I don't understand what you mean by this statement? I also don't get why this entails subjectivism?"

I explained this. It entails subjectivism because it grants metaphysical primacy to the subject in the subject-object relationship. That's why it's called subjectivism.

Paul: “Well, to anyone familiar with logic, and how to distill arguments, it is clear how I got it.”

Paul, can you cite one reputable logic text which supports your misinterpretation of my statement? I suspect that, if you could, you would have done so. But then again, you don't strike me as a very logical thinker to begin with. At any rate, the tired “anyone familiar with logic” routine gets old pretty quick.

Paul: “Anywaho, it was an attempt to *clear up* what you were saying.”

It's clear, Paul. Perhaps you just don't want to understand it? Or, you just don't want to admit that my argument is sound?

Paul: "Note: continue with this kind of arrogance and unhelpful attitiude, when I'm trying to engage you and make what you're saying crystal clear, you can just forget about further interaction."

Paul, I've made ample effort to make my position clear. You're the only one who's complained about my argument not being clear, and I really find it hard to believe that you're suddenly so stupid as not to be able to grasp what I've presented. But I have encountered people who don't want to understand and who will do anything (even make themselves look completely foolish) to wiggle out of a jam that's obviously got them on the ropes. Meanwhile, you seem not to have any problem with the utter lack of clarity in the bible or in Van Til's and Bahnsen's torturously confused books. Perhaps the problem is that my position is too clear for your comfort level.

Paul: "Sorry, still not clear enough for little ole me. God creates objects, yes. So do humans. We create things like skyscrapers. Then we can destroy (or annihilate) them as well. So, I'm not following you here. I think you need more detail (hint: the detail can be provided succinctly. You don't need to bully me with writing a lot, which is Dawson's tactic. All mouth, no substance.)"

There is no similarity between the way men create and the way Christians say their god creates. Men do not create ex nihilo; that is, when men create, they can only use materials which already exist. An attempt to erase this distinction amounts to an equivocation on the term 'create'. Furthermore, man must obey the nature of the materials he works with when creating new things. For instance, if a man is using copper to make something and copper has a melting point of 2200 F, he won't be able to pour molten copper into part molds by working with the material at room temperature, since room temperature is not sufficient to bring the metal to a liquid state. Notice the underlying orientation between subject and object here: Man cannot alter the nature of the materials he's working with simply by wishing it. No amount of faith is going to reduce copper's melting point to 190 F. As Bacon poignantly stated: "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed."

But the Christian god, according to Christian teaching, faces no such constraints. According to Christianity, this god creates materials ex nihilo, assigns their nature to them, and can alter their nature, all just by wishing it. The Christian god does not need a furnace to melt copper down and pour it into molds in order to make things with copper. Wanting alone is sufficient for such a being, and reality will just snap into place accordingly. Here the subject holds primacy over its objects. That's subjectivism.

Another crucial difference is the fact that there's no guarantee that man's efforts to fashion new products from existing materials will turn out as intended. There's a lot of failure that precedes success in man's efforts to do most anything; that's why skill is so valuable to rational men. But if he could just wish finished products into existence out of thin air (like we see in cartoons), then the world would be quite a different place indeed. But the Christian god is said to be omnipotent and infallible, that it does not make mistakes, that it is a perfect creator. Unlike men who often produce flawed products, what Christian believer would admit that his god has created anything that doesn't meet its specs?

I noticed, Paul, that, in order for you to defend your god-belief, you had to drop the context of your worldview's teachings. You sought to liken your god's creative ability to man's in order to make your position seem more reasonable, when in fact there is no similarity whatsoever between man's abilities and the ability that Christians claim for their god. Man does not create by wishing, but what Christian would say that his god's wishing is impotent?

Simple thought experiment for Paul:

If all this is still not clear to you, try this little thought experiment right now: Focus on your computer mouse and wish that it double in size right before your eyes. What happened? Did the mouse change in size? Now, what if your god wished the same thing? Do you think the mouse would double in size? Compare the outcomes you expect, and see if there's a contrast here. Be honest, and let us know what you think.

Paul: "What do you mean the world of objects 'conforms directly to this consciousness?' I don't get that phrase."

Try the little thought experiment I presented above. If you look at an object and wish that it turn into something else, does the object conform to your wishing? Suppose you look at a glass of water, but you want wine in that glass instead. On the presupposition of the primacy of the subject, you could say to the water in the glass "You are now wine," and suddenly you'd have a glass full of merlot. But on the presupposition of the primacy of the object, you would recognize that the objects of your awareness do not obey your commands, and that you would have to replace the water with wine. You'd first have to dump the water out of the glass, and then you'd have to find a bottle of wine some place and pour it into the glass. Quite a difference here, Paul. Now the question is: on what presupposition to you act when seeking to achieve your goals in life, Paul? On Christianity's primacy of the subject metaphysics, or on Objectivism's primacy of the object metaphysics?

Paul: "I don't see how 'God controlling whatsoever comes to pass' is problematic."

Who said anything about it being "problematic"? My argument simply points out that such a worldview reduces to metaphysical subjectivism. If you don't have a problem with this, well, that's not my problem.

Paul: "Certainly if an all-powerful God existed, and he has ordered all the events of history, and nothing happened apart from his sovereign will, then he would control all events. All you've done then, in effect, is just to say you don't like the Christian worldview. How uninteresting, even for you."

Again you misrepresent my argument. Nowhere does my argument say anything about my likes or dislikes, and nowhere does the inference my argument isolates turn on whether or not I like something. My likes are irrelevant to the force of my argument. From what I have given, it could be the case that I relish metaphysical subjectivism. I don't, but it's irrelevant anyway. But I do find it amazing that there are adult thinkers who are so eager to defend such a view. Indeed, in order for you to put all your "if-then" statements together, you have to borrow from my worldview, for in the cartoon universe of theism there is no necessity to "if-then" inferences. Your god could make it such that, if Peter has sufficient faith, he can walk on water. And if his faith weakens, then he starts to sink in the water. Here the causality involved has nothing to do with the natures of the objects involved, their relative density, or the laws of bouyancy, but with whether or not someone is wishing hard enough.

I asked: "You do think your god is conscious, do you not?"

Paul: "Well I deny your understanding of 'consciousnesss'. So, he would not be, according to your worldview."

Indeed, the non-existent cannot be conscious of anything.

Paul: "To be conscious in your worldview one would need a physical brain."

Can you find an example in nature of a consciousness that does not need a brain? I can't.

Paul: "Also, since you're a materialist,"

Where have I ever said that I am a materialist? Or, are you just trying to characterize me in some manner that makes opportunity for you to discredit me somehow? I'm hoping you eventually get around to interacting with my argument rather than making this such a personal matter.

Paul: "and since you think consciousness exists (see Thorn's Glossary),"

If I can think anything, then consciousness is real, since consciousness is a precondition to thinking. I could even think that consciousness is not real, but it would still be real anyway, by virtue of the primacy of existence.

Paul: "then you must think consciousness is material."

To be honest, I wouldn't know how to prove that consciousness is either material or immaterial. Indeed, I really think it's irrelevant either way. My worldview is still true; its truth is certainly not contingent on whether consciousness is either material or immaterial.

Paul: "So, where is your 'consciousness', Dawson? Maybe it 3 inches to the left of your occipital lobe?"

I'd say it's throughout my body, since consciousness is centered in the nervous system and there are nerves throughout my body. There's no doubt in my mind that consciousness requires transmission of stimuli to the brain via sensory organs. This is simply in keeping with the fact that man is a biological organism.

I asked: "You do believe that your god has the power to make those objects, once existing, behave as it wishes them to behave, do you not?"

Paul: "No, not universally."

I see. So, there are limitations on what your god can do? Your god can turn water into wine, can't it? Can it not also turn the wine back into water?

Paul: "Anyway, this is not clear. I can make an object (puppet) behave how I want it to (pulling stings so as to drop pants and moon Dawson)."

Well, according to your worldview (see the Van Til quote I cited: “God controls whatsoever comes to pass”), even if you were to manipulate a puppet, it would only be because an invisible magic being was manipulating you to do so. In other words, according to your worldview, you, Paul Manata, are a puppet. I'm glad my worldview doesn't have such problems.

Paul: "Not my grave error. I actually just translated your sentence how it should be, according to the rules of logic. if you have a problem, learn how to write clearer."

Well, I'll wait for you to cite a reputable logic text that supports your translation of my explanation.

Paul: “Okay, so since all people, in theory, could obtain this power then Christianity does teach that all people could have primacy over the objects of their awareness??? But above you said you were claiming that *ONLY GOD* has this perrogative. Remember, you said: "It only needs to do it in the case of a single consciousness for that presupposition to be present. And in the case of Christianity, it grants such power to what it claims is the original (and originating) consciousness, the only one that really matters in the end anyway (since it calls all the shots, and everything conforms accordingly)." But now you are saying that *MANY* subjects enjoy such power!! Man, you sure know how to contradict yourself, just like your leader, Rand.”

Where did I contradict myself, Paul? It appears you need to grasp the distinction between a sufficient condition and a necessary condition. A single instance of a worldview granting metaphysical primacy to the subject of awareness is sufficient to pin that worldview as affirming (at least to an extent) metaphysical subjectivism. It is not necessary that a worldview asserts that such primacy must be granted in the case of all consciousnesses. It can do this, but it need not do this in order to be guilty of subjectivism as I have explained it. Since Christianity grants primacy of the subject in the case of its deity, Christianity is therefore guilty of metaphysical subjectivism as I have explained it. None of your attempts to critique my argument have been successful in undermining its premises. But you're free to say "so what?" all you like.

As an example of Christianity's subjectivism, I pointed to the Christian doctrine of prayer, citing Matt. 21:22: "whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive”

Paul responded: “The whatsoever is a qualified statement, obviously by asking according to God's will.”

Even if this were the case (and I don't see that it is), it's irrelevant to my point. The point is that prayer, even with the constraint you want to place on it, assumes the primacy of the subject metaphysics. The term "whatsoever" in fact is used to indicate that the range of possibilities open to the believer who wants to utter prayers is vast, indeed limitless (since the deity is said to be omnipotent). In any case, I don't see where this verse says something to the effect that prayers will only be granted if the believers asks "according to God's will." But I am reminded of Danny Barker's well-placed question: “If the answers to prayer are merely what God wills all along, then why pray?" (Losing Faith in Faith, p. 108.)

Paul: “But, I don't understand why you think this grants your point. You must think it's self-evident, well not to me. So, no free lunches.”

It’s obvious to me that the teaching that uttering one's wishes to an invisible magic being can somehow alter reality in favor of and according to those wishes is a form of metaphysical subjectivism. But I can understand that your blinders are on and that you don’t want to see, so you refuse to take them off. Regardless, your inability to bring substantial challenge to my argument is clear to me. Therefore, my conclusion stands: Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/10/2005 1:24 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Paul,

For you to argue that man and god create things in the same fashion (your skyscraper example) is for you to argue that matter and nature have rules outside of Gods will that He must conform to.

Do you agree?

 
At 10/10/2005 2:28 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Aaron: "For you to argue that man and god create things in the same fashion (your skyscraper example) is for you to argue that matter and nature have rules outside of Gods will that He must conform to."

Indeed. This would represent a radical departure from the orthodox Christianity that the Reformed worldview is supposed to represent. Perhaps Paul thinks such departures are apologetically expedient.

 
At 10/10/2005 5:21 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Aaron: Paul,

For you to argue that man and god create things in the same fashion (your skyscraper example) is for you to argue that matter and nature have rules outside of Gods will that He must conform to.

Do you agree?

Paul: I never argued that we do it in "the same" fashion. Indeed, Dawson only said "create." It's not my fault he choose to be so vague. His latest post *added* the phrase "ex-nihilo" but this was not in his first. All I did was make him be precise but he interprets that as me playing games. Actually, dawson has wanted to go heads up with me, I'm trying, but I'll make him be very clear on what he's saying. We can already see that he's throwing a hissy-fit. I haven't even began to critique his argument yet, yet he says I haven't touched it. But I haven't tried. I need him to be very clear so all the bystanders can see the rope go around his unbelieving neck.

Do you agree? :-)

 
At 10/10/2005 6:12 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul,

Did you try my thought experiment? What was the outcome?

 
At 10/10/2005 9:39 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

yes. horror of horrors, it didn't work!

 
At 10/10/2005 10:04 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: "yes. horror of horrors, it didn't work!"

Please elaborate, Paul. Make the results of your experiment clear for us. After all, clarity is important, is it not?

Did your computer mouse double in size when you wished it to?

 
At 10/11/2005 11:23 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

When i said it didn't work that was clear enough since your question was: "did it double in size?" If it had worked (i.e., my wishing) then it would have doubled in size.

So, no, it didn't double in size.

 
At 10/11/2005 11:52 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Could it be that you weren't wishing hard enough, Paul?

 
At 10/11/2005 3:31 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

no, I don't think so

 
At 10/11/2005 5:01 PM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Paul: I never argued that we do it in "the same" fashion.

Well then to me it seems that you are conceding that God does NOT have outside rules that he must obey; that he does make the rules as he goes along, and therefore bends reality and its nature to fit his will. In other words, his subjective consciousness has primacy over objective reality.

While on the other hand, humans create things by conforming to realities nature and working within it. In other words, objective reality has primacy over the subjective consciousness of the human architect.

Now to get to your statement about BB, I would agree that you havent necessarily attacked it yet, and while I must always be open to the possibility of having my worldview and BBs argument proven wrong (and the proverbial rope going around his neck), I am not betting on it. I put my money on BB.

But its no suprise here. Oftentimes the atheist and theist each walk away from these arguments both thinking that they got the upper hand. Ive had it happen to me a bunch of times.

 
At 10/11/2005 6:46 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

let's see what BB does. I like this one liner thing we're doing.

I still don't see the problem with an all-powerful God creating the physical world as well as non-physical things (angels, etc).

Maybe the problem will come out in BBs posts? If all he means by metaphysical subjectivism is that God can make a tree talk then I'll grant him thbat point. This is typical Randist propaganda, though. "Subjectivism" has not been used, at least in the history of analytic philosophy (you know, making things clear) to mean what BB is suggesting.

 
At 10/11/2005 8:25 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: "I still don't see the problem with an all-powerful God creating the physical world as well as non-physical things (angels, etc)."

In other words, you don't have a problem with a subjective worldview. So not only do you not offer any evidences for any of these things, the firsthand experimental evidence in fact confirms the primacy of the object metaphysics of my worldview, a set of facts that would have to be true for you to try to deny them. Your words also tell us that you don't have a problem with the contradiction your commitment to a subjective worldview entails; for even to claim that your worldview - which reduces to the primacy of the subject metaphysics - is true, you must borrow from the primacy of the object metaphysics of my worldview. Thus your position languishes in the barren self-defeat of a fundamental contradiction which you're obviously not accustomed to detecting but prone to swallowing.

Paul: "If all he means by metaphysical subjectivism is that God can make a tree talk then I'll grant him thbat point."

In other words, you grant that your worldview assumes the cartoon universe premise. That's a good start, Paul. You simply choose not to see this as a problem. I see it as a problem because it is a paradigmatic model which in no way resembles the reality in which we live, and thus can have no value; it can only lead to death if taken seriously and practiced consistently (cf. Jesus Christ and Muslim suicide bombers willingly embracing a premature death).

Paul: "This is typical Randist propaganda, though. 'Subjectivism' has not been used, at least in the history of analytic philosophy (you know, making things clear) to mean what BB is suggesting."

It's true, Paul, that non-objective philosophical systems (like Anal Phil) are not accustomed to formulating their ideas and defining their terms in a manner that is self-conscious of and consistent with the objective orientation of the subject-object relationship that anchors all cognition. But this does not mean that the Objectivist understanding of subjectivism can be justifiably brushed aside as "propoganda." This would constitute a willful evasion and thus indicates a dishonest thinker. On the contrary, your words show that it takes subjectivist propoganda to sweep aside the crucial distinctions which make sifting the rational from the irrational possible. Dr. Kelley rightly points out that

"implicit in analytic philosophy's methods is a commitment to the primacy of consciousness, a commitment evident in the way many philosophers elevate formal logic and linguistic theory over the data of the senses. This commitment to the primacy of consciousness also results in a tendency... to stipulate arbitrary definitions..."

I know that, Paul, you've made many allusions to logic texts and seem to think they're important. It's true, they are. But I don't recall you ever expressing caution against the disregard of the data provided by the senses. Logic is worthless if it's not informed with the content provided by the senses. I suppose your apparent lack of concern for the evidence of the senses is due to the fact that your worldview reduces to nonsense, so the senses are of no philosophical importance.

Now, Objectivism is the only philosophy that I know of which explicitly and self-consciously secures the proper relationship between subject and object at the most fundamental level of thought, and which remains true to this orientation throughout its various branches. The authors of the bible clearly weren't concerned about this relationship, and what they wrote makes it clear that they took the primacy of the subject metaphysics completely for granted. But what truth does this orientation have? It has none. Why? Because truth presupposes the concept of objectivity, and this concept is based squarely and exclusively on the primacy of the object metaphysics. How then could one claim to be a defender of objectivity when his worldview reduces to the primacy of the subject metaphysics? Blank out.

So, it certainly does not bother me that Anal Phil chooses to turn a blind eye to its own subjectivist roots. But it is sad to see, since so many thinkers go into these college philosophy programs and swallow hook, line and sinker all the garbage that's poured down their throat. The abuse of credulity is never a pleasant sight.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/11/2005 9:35 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

shall we continue???

I said that wishing harder wouldn't make the mouse double in size.

You retort...

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

Paul: "You retort..."

No, Paul, I interact. There's a big difference. When you can interact, come back and do so. But if you cannot challenge what I've presented, we will know, whether you admit it or not.

 
At 10/12/2005 8:14 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson asked if I wished harder would the mouse double in size.

I responded to *his query,*: "No."

Dawson interacts with that ____________.

 
At 10/13/2005 8:52 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: "Dawson asked if I wished harder would the mouse double in size.

"I responded to *his query,*: 'No'."

Paul, what does that tell you in regard to the relationship between subject and object?

 
At 10/13/2005 12:18 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Nothing, that would be fallacius for me to conclude something about the general class of subjects and objects based on *my* particular inability to wish the mouse into larger size.

 
At 10/13/2005 3:22 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

So Paul, if someone told you that he grew his computer mouse to twice its original size just by wishing it, your worldview provides you with no way of ruling out such claims. Is that right?

 
At 10/13/2005 7:56 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

no, that's not right.

I don't think your worldview can deny that that could happen, though. I mean, it "could deny" it but it couldn't give an sound argument against it.

 
At 10/13/2005 8:10 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul said that it "would be fallacius for me to conclude something about the general class of subjects and objects based on *my* particular inability to wish the mouse into larger size."

I asked if this meant that, if someone claimed to have grown his computer mouse to double its size simply by wishing it, he could not rule out such a claim.

His response is: "no, that's not right."

But he does not indicate how he would rule out such a claim, especially when the essence of his theistic worldview reduces to the view that wishing controls reality.

Paul then said: "I don't think your worldview can deny that that could happen, though. I mean, it 'could deny' it but it couldn't give an sound argument against it."

Do you think someone needs an argument to deny such things? If so, what argument would you suggest presenting in such a case?

 
At 10/14/2005 8:22 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Daw"son": But he does not indicate how he would rule out such a claim, especially when the essence of his theistic worldview reduces to the view that wishing controls reality.


Paul: Dawson never asked *how* I would rule this out. Sorry I don't have the time to anticipate his next questions and respond to who-knows-what Dawson will bring up next. I'd need to see the specifics of the case. The Bible tells us that man was not made with the ability to wish things like Dawson's examples above. At this point, Dawson has been very vague and all I'm trying to do is get him to be precise (see below).

All this talk about my worldview saying that wishing controls reality is a premise I deny. So does every Christian I know. Thus Dawson may serve to have some atheists pat him on the back, but this language is not at all helpful for "interaction." This is simply a fallacious misrepresentation of the Christian position. Now, Dawson gives verses which he thinks support his position. His understanding of those passages is laughable (and throws doubt upon his claims that he was a Christian). If Dawson thinks I need to show him how they are laughable (as he's done in the past) then I'll decline. But(!) I make the rejoinder that if Dawson thinks that in order to claim that your position is rational then you must defeat *EVERY* objection of it (even though this is no rejection of Christianity since it does not teach this) then I claim that until Dawson has written papers refuting *EVERY* argument for theism (even Gastrich's and McDowel's and my 5 yr. old) he cannot claim his position is rational. Since this is false then dawson's claim that I need to deal with his mischaracterization will be unfounded. So, the ball's in his court; he can choose to interact or he can choose to have his handful of supporters cheer him on (note: it is doubtful that many atheists would find Dawson's misrepresentation of Christianity a compelling argument).

So, I deny this "wish premise." it is not helpful and I'll assume if it continues that Dawson does not want to seriously interact. And that's fine, believe me.

Daw"son": "Do you think someone needs an argument to deny such things? If so, what argument would you suggest presenting in such a case?"

Paul: You said that my worldview could not rule out such a claim. I said that your could not. If you can't rule out the claim that someone could wish a mouse into double it's size, just say so. Anyway, all this is is an attempt to avert the burden I put on Dawson. This is also typical.

As it stands, this discussion is going nowhere. I'm really trying to get at Dawson's argument and inspect it for its cogency. So far all he's given is assertions that when denied get me a hissy fit thrown in return.

 
At 10/15/2005 12:01 AM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

Paul said:

"You said that my worldview could not rule out such a claim. I said that your could not. If you can't rule out the claim that someone could wish a mouse into double it's size, just say so."

Good point, Paul.

Here's a relevant passage from the KVJ:

James 5:16-18

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit."

What exactly is the author of James saying here? Does praying fervently (wishing?) alter the natural order of things? That seems to be what the foundation of your worldview is saying.

 
At 10/15/2005 2:24 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: “Dawson never asked *how* I would rule this out.”

Because I know you can’t, Paul, certainly not on the orientation between subject and object that Christianity assumes. In order to rule it out, you’d have to borrow from the primacy of the object metaphysics of my worldview.

Paul: “Sorry I don't have the time to anticipate his next questions”

This suggests that I caught Mighty Manata off guard. Could that be the case? Has history truly been made? *chuckle*

Paul: “I'd need to see the specifics of the case.”

Here’s the case: Joe (a human being) comes up to you and says to you, “I just made my computer mouse double in size simply by wishing it! What do you think, Paul?”

Now the question: do you take Joe's firsthand testimony as truth? Or do you not take his firsthand testimony as truth? If you don’t take his firsthand testimony as truth, why take the secondhand (if not further removed) testimony of the author of the gospel of John who claims that Jesus turned water into wine by an act of will? The challenge to you here is: answer these questions in a manner that is consistent to a unified, integrated whole. Then explain what orientation between subject and object makes this unified, integrated whole possible.

Paul: “The Bible tells us that man was not made with the ability to wish things like Dawson's examples above.”

Book, chapter and verse, please. Incidentally, since I am willing to live with the truth of the primacy of the object metaphysics, I’m happy to abide by the fact that the objects of consciousness are what they are independent of consciousness. But I would not think there’s much to be gained in appealing to a view that reduces to the primacy of the subject metaphysics in order to justify the primacy of the object metaphysics. To do so would be to contradict oneself.

Paul: “At this point, Dawson has been very vague and all I'm trying to do is get him to be precise (see below).”

I’ve not at all be vague, Paul. Indeed, you understood what I was asking in my thought experiment. My argument is really no more complex than this; it simply has to do with drawing out the implications of the objective orientation between the subject of consciousness and the objects which the subject perceives and/or considers. The thought experiment shows that the objects of consciousness do not depend on the subject of consciousness. You only need to make the choice whether you will be honest to this fact, or evade it.

In fact, Paul, what's not clear is what precisely about my position you disagree with. Above I had stated "No amount of faith is going to reduce copper's melting point to 190 F." Do you disagree with this statement? You make no effort to clarify your position on this. I have affirmed a worldview which holds that the objects of consciousness exist independent of consciousness. Do you agree or disagree with this? You never come out and make your own position on this matter clear. If I said "No amount of faith will make a computer mouse double in size," would you agree, or disagree with tihs statement? I've taken a position here, Paul, and I'm willing to stand by it. You, however, seem quite reluctant to make your position on the matter at all clear. You have the opportunity to make your position clear. But so far you've not taken it. Why is that?

Paul: “All this talk about my worldview saying that wishing controls reality is a premise I deny.”

I deny the premise that wishing controls reality also. That’s why I’m an Objectivist. Indeed, my worldview is not one which claims that an invisible magic being wished the universe into existence ex nihilo. In other words, my worldview is squarely and consistently anchored on the primacy of the object metaphysics. The view that consciousness controls reality (cf. Van Til: “God controls whatsoever comes to pass”) assumes the opposite orientation between subject and object: that the subject holds metaphysical primacy over its objects. There’s nothing vague here. If you can understand what Christianity claims, and if you can also understand that objects which you perceive in the world do not conform to your wishing (as my thought experiment showed you), then you have all you need in order to understand my argument (which you’ve not shown to be unsound, by the way). I truly do not think you're so stupid that you don't grasp this, Paul. The issue at this point is whether or not you're willing to be honest. Only you can make this choice.

Paul: “So does every Christian I know.”

People who are confessionally committed to a fallacious position typically don’t admit it, Paul. That’s why it’s called faith. As I’ve mentioned before, I would not expect those who worship a contradiction to admit such a fault. Think about it: for those who assume that consciousness has power over its objects, it follows as a natural corollary to such thinking that they would think that truth conforms to one’s wishing as well. After all, this would simply be consistent with the primacy of the subject metaphysics that underlies their worldview. That’s why Van Til thought his worldview was so internally consistent: he was doing his best to be consistent with the metaphysical subjectivism that lies at the foundation of the Christian worldview.

Paul: “Thus Dawson may serve to have some atheists pat him on the back, but this language is not at all helpful for ‘interaction’."

It may simply be, Paul, that you need to think more about what I’ve presented. Right now you’re in defensive mode; you want my conclusion to be untrue, so you want to find some way to discredit my premises or, when that fails, to malign me personally (such as when you deliberately misspell my name). But so far, you’ve not been able to find one criticism against my argument that sticks. Meanwhile, you’re clearly unaware of how much you rely on the primacy of the object metaphysics just to utter a word, even though the foundations of the worldview you profess to be defending – Christian theism – assume precisely the opposite orientation between subject and object.

Paul: “This is simply a fallacious misrepresentation of the Christian position.”

It’s not, Paul, and you know it. If it were a misrepresentation, you wouldn’t be so concerned about the damage control here. I’ve never met a Christian who thought his god’s consciousness didn’t hold metaphysical primacy over the world of objects. Notice how you have to back away from what your worldview explicitly affirms in order to escape my argument. Keep coming my way, Paul. Once you realize the folly of metaphysical subjectivism and how Christianity is the most developed forms of it, the more acute your need to make a hard choice on the matter: to be honest, or to suppress the truth in the irrationality of Christian mysticism.

Paul: “Now, Dawson gives verses which he thinks support his position.”

Yes, I have done just this, and there’s plenty more where they came from. Also, I’ve given some quotes from your man Cornelius which make Christianity’s devotion to the primacy of the subject metaphysics even more explicit.

Paul: “His understanding of those passages is laughable (and throws doubt upon his claims that he was a Christian).”

Actually, Paul, you’ve got it completely reversed (again). What’s laughable are the bible’s claims. I did not make the claims found in the bible. I merely cited them as evidence to support the verdict I’ve defended and secured. If you want to argue that those verses say something other than what they say, then that’s up to you.

Paul: “If Dawson thinks I need to show him how they are laughable (as he's done in the past) then I'll decline.”

That’s no surprise, Paul. You just want to lay down the charge that my points are “laughable,” but you don’t want to take the opportunity to support your own claim to this effect. To support that claim, you would have to completely neutralize the essence of the verses that I quoted. And you don’t want to do that. Really, you’re stuck here, so bowing out now just shows that you have the good sense at this point to play it safe. Where you’re wrong is in thinking that no one will catch it.

Paul: “But(!) I make the rejoinder that if Dawson thinks that in order to claim that your position is rational then you must defeat *EVERY* objection of it (even though this is no rejection of Christianity since it does not teach this) then I claim that until Dawson has written papers refuting *EVERY* argument for theism (even Gastrich's and McDowel's and my 5 yr. old) he cannot claim his position is rational.”

I don’t think that (nor have I affirmed this), and even if I did, it’s not at all relevant to the substance of the argument that I have presented. So this is a non-issue at best.

Paul: “Since this is false then dawson's claim that I need to deal with his mischaracterization will be unfounded.”

Paul, I’m quite happy in pointing out (as I have done so before) that no one, including you, needs to do something he doesn’t want to do. It’s not my worldview that rests its moral principles on arbitrary commandments and unchosen obligations. I grant that you’re adult enough to make your own choices, whether you act like an adult or… like a Christian apologist.

Paul: “So, the ball's in his court;”

Actually, Paul, you’ve shown that you’re having a very hard time knocking the ball back after I’ve served it. In fact, it appears that you didn’t even see the ball whiz right by you and you lost the round. Either that, or you’re simply in denial. As Christian apologist Phil Fernandes admitted in a candid moment: "I just believe that we are very good about lying to ourselves, and only accepting, uh, or interpreting the evidence the way we would like to." He should know, he’s a Christian after all.

Paul: “he can choose to interact”

Paul, what is it that you think I would interact with, if not your statements (as I have throughout this thread)? You’re not so out to lunch that you actually think you’ve really brought a serious charge against my argument, are you? No, Paul, I know you’re smarter than that. You’re here to protect your ego. You don’t want people to think that you’ve been defeated in a debate. That’s why you keep posting in this thread. It’s time to come in out of the rain, Paul.

Paul: “or he can choose to have his handful of supporters cheer him on”

Paul, I cannot choose other people’s actions for them. If someone wants to come in here and make comments, he does so completely of his own uncoerced volition.

Paul: “(note: it is doubtful that many atheists would find Dawson's misrepresentation of Christianity a compelling argument).”

Well, that may be, Paul, though I’m not in the business of conducting surveys. Atheism is simply the absence of god-belief; it is no guarantee that one will embrace a rational worldview. But I am happy to invite anyone – atheist as well as mystic – to pick and prod my argument. In fact, it would be nice if someone tried to find a flaw in it. But no one’s attempted this on either side of the fence. There’s only you trying to malign me personally. Meanwhile, my argument stands unchallenged.

Paul: “So, I deny this ‘wish premise’."

Yes, I deny the wish premise of Christianity as well. After all, I recognize that consciousness is a faculty of perception and identification, not a magical apparatus which can conjure reality and shape objects at will. I’m just being honest and consistent with my most basic presuppositions, presuppositions which you have to assume while you embrace a worldview which openly denies them.

Paul: “it is not helpful and I'll assume if it continues that Dawson does not want to seriously interact. And that's fine, believe me.”

Where have I not been serious, Paul? I presented my argument, and I have shown why your attempts to malign it in fact are not successful in bringing a challenge to its premises.

Paul: Daw"son":

See, Paul, why do you choose to do this? Do you realize how this makes you look? You clearly have little containment over your animosity for me. What happened? Am I really such a bad person?

I asked: "Do you think someone needs an argument to deny such things? If so, what argument would you suggest presenting in such a case?"

Paul: “You said that my worldview could not rule out such a claim.”

You can’t, since your worldview reduces to the primacy of the subject metaphysics. To back away from this, you can only abandon Christianity.

Paul: “I said that your could not.”

And in saying this, you simply announce your own ignorance of my worldview.

Paul: “If you can't rule out the claim that someone could wish a mouse into double it's size, just say so.”

I can rule out such claims, since they contradict the primacy of the object metaphysics which would have to be true even for such claims to have any hope of being intelligible. It would even have to be true for one to try to dispute it (unless one appeals to wishing-makes-it-so as the basis for such challenges, and this would be ultimately self-defeating). You see, Paul, my worldview does not consist of worshipping a contradiction.

Paul: “Anyway, all this is is an attempt to avert the burden I put on Dawson.”

What burden have you put on me, Paul? Please, make it crystal clear what you think this burden is here.

Paul: “This is also typical.”

In other words, I’m "being consistent with [my] stated presuppositions." But TAG says I can’t do this. Therefore, TAG must be wrong.

Paul: “As it stands, this discussion is going nowhere. I'm really trying to get at Dawson's argument and inspect it for its cogency. So far all he's given is assertions that when denied get me a hissy fit thrown in return.”

If this is what you think, Paul, then I respectfully request you scroll to the top of this page and re-read our exchange in this comments thread. I presented an argument, you attempted to squirm out of it, and I kept bringing you back onto the mat. It’s no wonder to me that you want to leave the arena. But I’ve given you no “hissy fit.” I gave you an argument, and to attempt to refute it, you have no choice but to grant its truth. Indeed, you offer no solution to the issue of metaphysical primacy which takes this issue away from Objectivism. You’re lost so long as you continue clinging to the primitive worldview that Christianity offers you.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/15/2005 10:27 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Christianity teaches that there is a being (who is *real*, so the distinction between consciousness and reality is false, it is also silly since Dawson has pitted consciousness against reality and therefotre in effect said consciousness isn't real) who has the power to create. He has the power to destroy. He has the power to make a mouse double in size even.

There has been NO argument against this. Yes, Dawson has called it "wishing" (note the fallacious, emotional invective, intended to cast the position in as worse a light as possible), but he has not PROVEN ANYWHERE that God cannot do this.

Take the worldview that says this kind of being exists. All Dawson has done, if the post is read through, is to say he doesn't like that. Basically, his objection boils down to this: If Christianity is not true then an immaterial being cannot make a mouse double in size. But this is uninteresting! So, we see the objectivist trying to defeat Christianity by metaphysical subjectivism. Dawson thinks he can rule out the *existence* of God simply by not liking and granting what He can do.

I understand; really, I do. If I were under the judgment of God I would not like Him either. But this does not defeat my worldview.

So, the tables have been turned and we see that it is Dawson whose argument rests on wishing. If he thinks that he has proven anywhere in this thread that an all-powerful God cannot make a mouse double in size then let him re-paste it? It is nowhere. So, for all his long-winded posts, filled with rhetoric (like Rand's novels) he's actually given no *ARGUMENT.*

He can paint me as tghe loose if he wishes, but I trust that any who read through this thread will see that no argument was given and indeed Dawson could not make his position clear (e.g., he said subjects can't dcreate objects. I pointed out that people crrate skyscrapers. Then he said he meant creation ex nihilo. That was not my fault. But he failed to show how an all-powerful God couldn't create an object ex-nihilo).

At leaste Dawson gave us something. He gave us an assertion. I tried to corner him to see if he could rule out that a person could wish a mouse into double its size. He chose not to interact but (like Rand was fond of doing) to assert himself the winner. Look, here's the answer to my challenge that he could not prove/rule out that someone couldn't wish their mouse into double its size: "I can rule out such claims, since they contradict the primacy of the object metaphysics which would have to be true even for such claims to have any hope of being intelligible."

Well then! Dawson has spoken.

As a side I guess "object" means an unconsciousness, unintelligent, non-personal bit of matter. If not, then could consciousness or the person be an object? If they could, then what if *that* object had the power over other objects? What if that was the nature (or identity) of that object that it could double the size of other objects? This wouldn't then be the primacy of the subject over the object but the primacy of one object over other objects.

So, by "object" Dawson means a hard bit of matter that is impersonal and unconscious. So then Dawson is not an object. Or is he? Do non-objects exist? How? What is it for a non-object to exist? Does a non-object even have identity?

This is all very confusing but Dawson wishes to take things out of context (like Fernandes' statement) and play games. Well, I don't have the time. I guess the posts her will stand and fall on their own.

 
At 10/15/2005 3:37 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: “Christianity teaches that there is a being… who is *real*... who has the power to create. He has the power to destroy. He has the power to make a mouse double in size even.”

Yep. Christianity does in fact teach this. And it’s amazing to me that an adult thinker could really believe it.

Paul: "the distinction between consciousness and reality is false, it is also silly since Dawson has pitted consciousness against reality and therefotre in effect said consciousness isn't real”

You’ve completely misrepresented the point of my argument here. The distinction throughout my argument was very clear: the distinction between subject and object of awareness. Just as when you looked at your computer mouse and wished for it to double in size, there was a distinction between you as perceiver (the subject) and the computer mouse as the perceived (the object). Are you now going to deny that there is a distinction between the perceiver and that which the perceiver perceives, between the subject and the object of consciousness?

Paul: “There has been NO argument against this.”

My argument was not “Christianity does not teach that there is a being which has the power to create, the power to destroy, the power to make a mouse double in size.” I know what Christianity teaches. It teaches that there is an invisible magic being and its wishes, desires, commands, wants, preferences, whatever you want to call them, hold metaphysical primacy over the objects in the universe.

Paul: “Yes, Dawson has called it ‘wishing’”

Yes, I do. Are you saying that your god’s wishes have no effect on the objects of the universe? Or is your god incapable of wishing? If that’s so, then you would be conceding that man can do something your god cannot do. At any rate, you could supplant ‘wishing’ with ‘wanting’ or 'commanding' or 'expecting' or numerous other intentional operations of consciousness, and my argument has the same force. For instance, instead of wishing, my thought experiment could say “focus on your computer mouse and command it to double in size. What happened?” The outcome is the same because there is no essential difference in orientation between subject and object even if we vary the intentional operation being tested.

Paul: “(note the fallacious, emotional invective, intended to cast the position in as worse a light as possible),”

You’ve not shown my use of the term ‘wishing’ as I have used it to be fallacious or even inappropriate. If you are uncomfortable with this term (you appear to be emotionally conflicted by it), then we could consider an alternative term. The reason why I think "wishing" is appropriate is because Christians typically tell me that their god's will is all-powerful, omnipotent, unstoppable, invincible, etc. It is "the will of God" that the universe exists; it is "the will of God" that woman was created from one of Adam's ribs; it was "the will of God" that the earth was swallowed in a great flood, etc. "God, by the Word of His own mouth, spoke the universe into existence," claims one source. Another source claims of the Christian god: "He spoke and there was life. The Scriptures are clear that when God speaks, things happen," and then cites Isaiah

"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it"

Clearly this god's "will," its desires, its wishes, its wants, are the final arbiter of everything. In other words, the subject holds metaphysical primacy over any and all objects.

Paul: “but he has not PROVEN ANYWHERE that God cannot do this.”

One does not need to prove that the non-existent cannot do something, Paul. As I suggested in my last comment, I think it would be beneficial for you (since you seem to have such a difficult time understanding the simple argument I’ve presented) to go back and re-read my argument and the ensuing exchange between us. Note especially the conclusion of my argument:

Conclusion: Therefore, Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.

I nowhere argued for the conclusion that your god cannot do what Christians claim it can do. I’ve simply pointed out that the Christian worldview grants metaphysical primacy to the subject, and that this constitutes a form of metaphysical subjectivism. You seem unprepared to deal with my argument on its own terms, dear Paul.

Paul: “Take the worldview that says this kind of being exists. All Dawson has done, if the post is read through, is to say he doesn't like that.”

I already spoke to this earlier when you made this charge above. You apparently have not read my response, for here you recycle what has already been ably rebutted. Nowhere does my argument make any appeal to my own likes and/or dislikes. But it is interesting that you bring this up, Paul. For only if the primacy of the object metaphysics is true would one’s likes and dislikes be irrelevant to the soundness of an argument. On Christianity’s primacy of the subject metaphysics, likes and dislikes are just another subcategory of intentional operations which hold metaphysical primacy over the universe of objects. For instance, the Christian god really dislikes “sin.” In fact, it dislikes sin so much that it hates it (so Christians claim). And Christian believers, full of fear for this wrathful, jealous being they puff up in their imaginations, obey accordingly (or claim that it is virtuous to obey accordingly). Similarly, this god really likes the world, at least according to some passages. One passage (John 3:16) says that this god liked the world so much that it wrapped itself in human flesh and dwelt among the superstitious primitives of 1st century Palestine. Yep, likes and dislikes are powerful stuff according to a worldview that grants metaphysical primacy to consciousness.

Paul: “Basically, his objection boils down to this: If Christianity is not true then an immaterial being cannot make a mouse double in size. But this is uninteresting!”

I did not argue this at all. In fact, my argument is an objection against Christianity only if you think metaphysical subjectivism is wrong. Some believer's I've met are perfectly comfortable admitting Christianity's basis in metaphysical subjectivism.

Again, note what my argument does say:

P1: If Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition, then Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.

P2: Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition.

Conclusion: Therefore, Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.


I'm waiting for you to find something wrong with it. You haven't so far.

Paul: “So, we see the objectivist trying to defeat Christianity by metaphysical subjectivism.”

Actually, Christianity defeats itself because of its fundamental commitment to metaphysical subjectivism. Objectivism simply makes it possible for one to recognize this fundamental nature of the Christian worldview, and it also enables thinkers to avoid such disastrous mistakes.

Paul: “Dawson thinks he can rule out the *existence* of God simply by not liking and granting what He can do.”

Again, you’ve missed my argument (how many times is that now?). My argument makes no claims about the existence or non-existence of any gods. Rather, it simply shows that a worldview which asserts belief in such things has its basis in metaphysical subjectivism. You’ve not been able to bring any worthy challenge to my argument, Paul. You’re flailing against things I never argued in the first place.

Paul: “I understand; really, I do.”

No, you disunderstand, Paul. That is, you intentionally twist and distort what has been presented so that you can evade it. This is your dishonest at work.

Paul: “If I were under the judgment of God I would not like Him either. But this does not defeat my worldview.”

Paul, you defeat the Christian worldview every time you think and act. Why? Because thinking and acting can only be possible on the basis of the primacy of the object metaphysics. You’ve not shown otherwise.

Paul: “So, the tables have been turned and we see that it is Dawson whose argument rests on wishing.”

Not at all, because nowhere does my argument make an appeal to wishing for its truth, nor does it reduce to any primacy of the subject metaphysics. In fact, even if I wished that it were true or not true, my wishing would be irrelevant. Besides, if you want to reject my argument on the erroneous assumption that it reduces to wishing, on what basis could you validly do this? On the basis of the primacy of the subject basis (which grants such power to wishing), or on the basis of the primacy of the object metaphysics (which necessarily entails implies that Christianity rests on metaphysical subjectivism)? Again, you’re flailing, Paul. You’re in way over your head on this.

Paul: “If he thinks that he has proven anywhere in this thread that an all-powerful God cannot make a mouse double in size then let him re-paste it?”

Again, that was not the point of my argument. I’m perfectly willing to acknowledge that your god can do whatever you want it to in the fake environment of your imagination. What’s interesting is that you must borrow from the primacy of the object metaphysics in order to claim that your primacy of the subject paradigm has any truth.

Paul: “It is nowhere.”

Again, because that was not the aim of my argument. As I suggested, please re-read my argument and the ensuing exchange.

Paul: “So, for all his long-winded posts, filled with rhetoric (like Rand's novels) he's actually given no *ARGUMENT.*”

Here it again, Paul:

P1: If Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition, then Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.

P2: Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition.

Conclusion: Therefore, Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.


Notice the two premises and the conclusion. Notice the form it takes: If A, then B. A. Therefore B. Very simple. How is this not an argument? Because you don’t like it? Now, that would be consistent with the primacy of the subject metaphysics of the Christian worldview, which you profess.

Paul: “He can paint me as tghe loose if he wishes,”

Actually, Paul, I don’t wish for you to be either “loose” or a loser. Frankly, I would that all men be winners. But to do this, they need to adopt an honest orientation to reality, and I’ve met very few people who are willing to do this consistently. They would rather fill their heads with feel-good fluffy religiosity and escape into the imaginary realm it promises them.

Paul: “but I trust that any who read through this thread will see that no argument was given”

How is the argument that I presented in my initial posting in this comments section not an argument? Paul, for one who’s constantly referring to logic texts – as if you were some kind of authority on the matter – to come along and say that an argument is not an argument, is quite amazing. You’re all bluff, Paul.

Paul: “and indeed Dawson could not make his position clear (e.g., he said subjects can't dcreate objects. I pointed out that people crrate skyscrapers. Then he said he meant creation ex nihilo. That was not my fault. But he failed to show how an all-powerful God couldn't create an object ex-nihilo).”

For one, what I mean by the subject creating its own objects should be clear. Nowhere have I denied that men build skyscrapers. Only a most uncharitable interpretation of my statements could draw such an estimation of my position. Men do not simply command skyscrapers to exist; they have to build them with plenty of planning, lots of physical effort, and conformity to the materials which they use to build them. Also, my intention was not to argue that “an all-powerful God couldn’t create an object ex-nihilo.” On the contrary, I argued that the view that this is true (or even possible) is a form of metaphysical subjectivism since it assumes the primacy of the subject orientation between the subject-object relationship.

I wrote: “I can rule out such claims, since they contradict the primacy of the object metaphysics which would have to be true even for such claims to have any hope of being intelligible."

Paul responded: “Well then! Dawson has spoken.”

What’s wrong, Paul, can you not refute this? Careful not to borrow from my worldview if you try.

Paul: “As a side I guess ‘object’ means an unconsciousness, unintelligent, non-personal bit of matter.”

It doesn’t have to be. I perceive other human beings, and when I do they are objects of my awareness. But note that I cannot wish them into existence. Nor can I wish them to become something they are not (just as I cannot wish water to become wine). Why? Because the objects of consciousness hold metaphysical primacy over the subject of consciousness. It’s a fact whether anyone likes it or not. See how consistent Objectivism is?

Paul: “If not, then could consciousness or the person be an object?”

Sure. One can perceive other persons, and for the perceiver those other persons are the objects of his perception. Also, I can introspect, so that I can have awareness of how my own conscious faculty works. But in such a case, consciousness is only a secondary object; I had to perceive something external to it to have something to identify as consciousness in the first place. (I’m expecting this is an area where Paul will get extremely confused if he attempts to venture into it without more understanding and less disunderstanding).

Paul: “If they could, then what if *that* object had the power over other objects?”

In the case of perceiving other human beings or introspecting on the operations of my own conscious activity, the same orientation between subject and object obtains: the objects remain what they are independent of the conscious activity involved in perceiving and/or considering them. Hopefully you’ll begin to see the invulnerability of my position now.

Paul: “What if that was the nature (or identity) of that object that it could double the size of other objects?”

It may be the case with some objects that they double in size due to some causal stimulus (such as a dry sponge expanding as it absorbs water). But this is not due to intentional operations within the subject. A person may pour water over the sponge, for instance, but this is a physical action. The cause of the sponge expanding in size is its absorption of water, not the wish that it does so. If one had no water or other liquid to pour onto the sponge, his wishing would not compensate for this absence and make the sponge expand anyway. Again, the objects of consciousness hold metaphysical primacy.

Paul: “This wouldn't then be the primacy of the subject over the object but the primacy of one object over other objects.”

Actually, that’s not quite true either. It’s true that it would not be the primacy of the subject over its objects (for this is a fiction, not a truth). Rather, it would be the causal nature of the objects involved, and this nature exists independent of consciousness (e.g., a sponge does not have the ability to absorb water simply because I wished it to be able to do this; my wishing is irrelevant).

Paul: “So, by ‘object’ Dawson means a hard bit of matter that is impersonal and unconscious.”

I nowhere stipulated this, nor is it a requirement of my argument.

Paul: “So then Dawson is not an object. Or is he? Do non-objects exist? How? What is it for a non-object to exist? Does a non-object even have identity?”

I exist. And if another person perceives me, there is a subject-object relationship between that person as subject and me as the object of his perception. Now suppose that person perceiving me wishes that I grew another arm, so that I would have three instead of only two. Do you suppose I my body would conform to that wishing? What if this person were Jesus? What Christian would say that Jesus’ wish for me to have a third arm would not be fulfilled? According to the gospel account in the New Testament, Jesus wished the fig tree to whither and become barren, and that tree conformed to that wishing. Neat trick, eh? All I’ve done is call attention to the orientation such stories assume between subject and object, and point out that the primacy of the subject metaphysics of stories like the New Testament gospels are anathema to honest human thinking, since honest human thinking is premised on the primacy of the object metaphsyics.

Paul: “This is all very confusing but Dawson wishes to take things out of context (like Fernandes' statement) and play games.”

How did I take Fernandes’ quote out of context? Please, speak to this. Or, is it simply assumed that when Christians using the first person plural pronoun (“we”) while making general statements of disparagement, that those general statements are intended to exclude the speakers themselves?

Paul: “Well, I don't have the time. I guess the posts her will stand and fall on their own.”

Indeed, some have withstood (such as mine), and others have fallen (like yours).

By the way, Paul, I didn't see where you responded to my question about why you deliberately misspell my name. Can you explain why you would choose to do this?

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/18/2005 12:37 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson:

P1: If Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition, then Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.

P2: Christianity presupposes the primacy of the subject over the object of cognition.

Conclusion: Therefore, Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism.



Paul:

So what you're saying is:

1. If Christianity presupposes that an all-powerful God can create and destroy matter, even doubleing a computer mouse in size, then Christianity affirms that an all-powerful God can do with his creation as He sees fit.

2. Christianity does presuppose that an all-powerful God can create and destroy matter, even doubleing a computer mouse in size

3. Therefore, Christianity affirms that an all-powerful God can do with his creation as He sees fit.

And then you said you roasted my chestnuts? Your argument is laughable, Dawson. You actually think I need to respond to you telling me that Christianity teaches that an all-powerful God can do as he sees fit with His creation??????

You also said you were not arguing against the existence of my God. So, write back when you have something interesting to write about. As it stands all you've done is to argue that an all-powerful God can do as He sees fit with what he's created and then you tell us your argument has nothing to do with whether He exists or not. *YAWN.*

Btw, how does a child form the concept "daddy" and "color?" I mean, since you're just going to tell me that Christianity teaches that an all-powerful God can do as He sees fit with what he's created, and that you don't have an argument against His existence then we might as well slaughter Rand's theory of concept formation.

Dawson: "By the way, Paul, I didn't see where you responded to my question about why you deliberately misspell my name. Can you explain why you would choose to do this?"

Paul: Probably because the first time you ever e-mailed me you made fun of my son, you've called me a wlaking piece of trash on Tremblay's blog, and then you make fun of my Lord and Savior. So, if you can only give but not take then I suggest you stick your thumb in your mouth, pull up your diapers, take your blankie and go watch Starbright and My Little pony, and stop playing with Adults.

 
At 10/18/2005 3:25 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul:

Paul wrote: "So what you're saying is:

1. If Christianity presupposes that an all-powerful God can create and destroy matter, even doubleing a computer mouse in size, then Christianity affirms that an all-powerful God can do with his creation as He sees fit.

2. Christianity does presuppose that an all-powerful God can create and destroy matter, even doubleing a computer mouse in size

3. Therefore, Christianity affirms that an all-powerful God can do with his creation as He sees fit."

No, that's not what I've been saying at all. I'm saying that Christianity is a subjective worldview, and I presented an argument which proves this.

Paul: "And then you said you roasted my chestnuts?"

Yes, to a crisp.

Paul: "Your argument is laughable, Dawson."

I'd expect a presuperstitionalist who couldn't answer my argument to say something like this.

Paul: "You actually think I need to respond to you telling me that Christianity teaches that an all-powerful God can do as he sees fit with His creation??????"

Again, I don't think you need to do anything you don't want to do, Paul. You're free to comment, to interact, or, as you've chosen all along so far, to evade. The choice is yours.

Paul: "You also said you were not arguing against the existence of my God."

Indeed. There's nothing there to argue there; as I've pointed out numerous times already: one does not need to prove that the non-existent doesn't exist.

Paul: "So, write back when you have something interesting to write about."

If my argument is so uninteresting, why have you been commenting on it all this time?

Paul: "As it stands all you've done is to argue that an all-powerful God can do as He sees fit with what he's created and then you tell us your argument has nothing to do with whether He exists or not. *YAWN.*"

Either you're just utterly too stupid to see that this is not what I've argued (my argument does not aim to support the conclusion "an all-powerful God can do as He sees fit with what he's created"), or you're playing the dishonest fool again. Perhaps it's both. Either way, it's clear you've not been able to interact with my argument at all effectively. Thus my verdict stands: Christianity is a form of metaphysical subjectivism.

Paul: "Btw, how does a child form the concept 'daddy' and 'color'? I mean, since you're just going to tell me that Christianity teaches that an all-powerful God can do as He sees fit with what he's created, and that you don't have an argument against His existence then we might as well slaughter Rand's theory of concept formation."

I see. You want to change the subject. That's very interesting, Paul. You can't battle me on one front, so you try to take me on on another front. Not very wise, Paul.

I asked: "By the way, Paul, I didn't see where you responded to my question about why you deliberately misspell my name. Can you explain why you would choose to do this?"

Paul: "Probably…"

"Probably"? You seem uncertain.

Paul: "...because the first time you ever e-mailed me you made fun of my son, you've called me a wlaking piece of trash on Tremblay's blog, and then you make fun of my Lord and Savior. So, if you can only give but not take then I suggest you stick your thumb in your mouth, pull up your diapers, take your blankie and go watch Starbright and My Little pony, and stop playing with Adults."

I see. So, you do that because you're feelings are hurt, and you don't forgive people for what you perceive to be trespasses. Again, very interesting! Thanks for answering. By the way, I don't think I made fun of your son, and I don't recall calling you "a wlaking piece of trash." As for your "Lord and Savior," it apparently doesn't have a problem with what I've been saying because it's not been complaining to me about it.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/18/2005 5:23 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson: No, that's not what I've been saying at all. I'm saying that Christianity is a subjective worldview, and I presented an argument which proves this.


Paul: No, Dawson. Remember, you don't use "subjective" how its been used in the history of philosophy, you mean that an all-powerful being has the power to do what He wills with the objects of His creation.

Now, if you'd like to recant your equivocations on subjectivity then fine. "Subjectivity" during your posts has been used to say that the "subject" has "primacy over the object." So, we can translate that to: An all powerful being (God) can do what He wills with the objects of His creation.

Now, if you mean subjective in the sense of their being no "objectivity" (not "objects" like entities out there) then we can talk. As it stands all you've done is to say that Christianity affirms that an all-powerful God (the subject) can do what he wills with His creation.

 
At 10/18/2005 5:29 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Dawson: "I see. So, you do that because you're feelings are hurt, and you don't forgive people for what you perceive to be trespasses."

Paul: Oh, I'm sorry Dawson, did you ask my forgiveness somewhere?" If so, I will gladly forgive. But if you don't ask it I can hardly give it. So, would you like to ask me to forgive you?

Dawson: " By the way, I don't think I made fun of your son, and I don't recall calling you "a wlaking piece of trash."

Paul: Btw, Dawson, just because you don't think you made fun of my sone does not matter a hill of beans, unless you affirm metaphysical subjectivism? In that case, I think you did. ;-)

Dawson, what will you say if I spend my time and find the comments section in Franc's blog where you tell Franc that 'this piece of trash as leggs and will soon leabe" or something to that effect?

Anyway, you can give but you can't take it? You're a women. When have you heard me complain and moan and cry (because of cramps) that you're a big meanie? You acted like an ass and so I thought that was how you liked talking. I was trying to be a Greek to the Greek and a Jew to the Jew and an ass to the ass.

 
At 10/18/2005 5:37 PM, Blogger Not Reformed declaimed...

Paul said:

"You're a women. When have you heard me complain and moan and cry (because of cramps) that you're a big meanie?"

WTF? You're a women?

You get cramps?

You're confusing Paul.

Its always cute to see your misogynistic tendencies come thru in your posts...a true CALVINIST to the core!

 
At 10/18/2005 9:53 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

I wrote: “No, that's not what I've been saying at all. I'm saying that Christianity is a subjective worldview, and I presented an argument which proves this.”

Paul responds: “No, Dawson. Remember, you don't use "subjective" how its been used in the history of philosophy, you mean that an all-powerful being has the power to do what He wills with the objects of His creation.”

Ah, now here’s yet another attempt to get around my argument: complain that I don’t use the term ‘subjective’ in the same manner as some philosopher (to whose views I probably don’t subscribe to in the first place). Again you strike out, Paul, showing that you cannot interact with my argument on its own terms. Indeed, many past philosophers, having failed to grasp the significance of the subject-object relationship and the proper orientation between a subject and the objects it perceives and/or considers, have consequently misunderstood what constitutes subjectivism. There's no reason to continue in their mistakes. My argument is clear in defining this term (where many other philosophies leave the term in a murky orbit), and it succinctly explains how the term gets its meaning (since it refers to the view that grants metaphysical primacy to the subject of cognition rather than to the objects it perceives and/or considers). So you can choose murkiness which seeks to conceal its own intellectual faults, or you can go with a truly objective worldview which is consistent with the proper orientation between subject and object (or is it that you just don't think there is a proper orientation between a subject and its objects?). Again, my argument is invulnerable since the basis of my overall position is invulnerable. Meanwhile, you have to assume my position in order to intelligibly interact with it (unless you say your statements are true on the basis of wishing, which again would simply land you right back into the trap that Christianity has lulled you – i.e., into the pits of metaphysical subjectivism). Now that wouldn't be very productive, would it?

Paul: “Now, if you'd like to recant your equivocations on subjectivity then fine.”

I’ve not equivocated the concept ‘subjectivity’ because I have not used the term in ways that conflict with each other. On the contrary, I’ve been wholly consistent with my usage of the concept as I have informed it in my position. Perhaps you just don’t like the fact that the concept of subjectivism that I have presented exposes the fundamental problem of your worldview.

Paul: “’Subjectivity’ during your posts has been used to say that the ‘subject’ has ‘primacy over the object’. So, we can translate that to: An all powerful being (God) can do what He wills with the objects of His creation.”

That’s not a necessary translation (and you nowhere show that it is). Rather, the problem of subjectivism is the reversal in the orientation between a subject and its objects at the most fundamental level of cognition, an issue for which the authors of the bible nowhere show any intelligible concern. If there’s any uniformity to be found in the bible at all, it is in its unanimous embrace of subjectivist presuppositions, from Genesis chapter 1 to the last chapter of Revelation, and all the nonsense in between. It's a story-book assuming the cartoon universe premise. The authors of the bible clearly saw no objection to the view that the subject of awareness has power over its objects such that they conform to the subject’s will. You saw in my thought experiment that your consciousness doesn’t have such power. And if you examine the nature of truth you’ll find that its fundamental condition is the same orientation between subject and object that you find in your day to day experience. So on what basis could you say that Christianity, which clearly assumes the primacy of the subject metaphysics, is true? You contradict yourself at the most fundamental level when you say Christianity is true, because you have to borrow from my objective worldview in order to say that your subjective worldview is true. Again, there’s no out for you here; you’re completely stuck.

Paul: “Now, if you mean subjective in the sense of their being no ‘objectivity’ (not ‘objects’ like entities out there) then we can talk.”

Again, you’ve missed the point. No one can be consistently subjective, unless he willingly embraces a premature death (like Jesus Christ and Muslim suicide bombers). Since you live and act and set out to achieve goals that your life requires (such as producing values and conforming your choices and actions to your body’s biological needs), it’s clear that you’re borrowing from my objective worldview, since only my worldview makes such behavior possible to begin with. Otherwise, you become a babbling idiot who eventually just dies as nature takes its course.

Paul: “As it stands all you've done is to say that Christianity affirms that an all-powerful God (the subject) can do what he wills with His creation.”

Again, this statement does not accurately represent the sum of what I have presented. My argument is not “an all-powerful God (the subject) can do what he wills with His creation,” but that Christianity is a species of metaphysical subjectivism (since it grants metaphysical primacy to the subject over its objects). I'm not surprised to see that you're having difficulty engaging it on its own terms. And rejecting its terms won't do, since they would have to be true for you do any rejecting in the first place. So again, you're stuck.

I wrote: "I see. So, you do that because you're feelings are hurt, and you don't forgive people for what you perceive to be trespasses."

Paul: “Oh, I'm sorry Dawson, did you ask my forgiveness somewhere? If so, I will gladly forgive. But if you don't ask it I can hardly give it. So, would you like to ask me to forgive you?”

Again, I never did intend to insult your son, so if my words at any point seemed to do this, I do apologize Paul, and I would hope that you would find it possible to forgive me if that’s the case. Since I have nothing against your son (indeed, I’m deeply sorry that the “accident of birth” as Van Til puts it, landed him in your hands, but that’s a different matter; I pity those who are philosophically defenseless against those who would abuse their trust), there’s no reason why I would insult him. Perhaps you could find where I said something that you take as an insult to your son, and maybe we can clear the air. Would you be willing to do that? (Or do you want to continue wallowing in your contempt?)

I wrote: "By the way, I don't think I made fun of your son, and I don't recall calling you ‘a wlaking piece of trash’."

Paul: “Btw, Dawson, just because you don't think you made fun of my sone does not matter a hill of beans, unless you affirm metaphysical subjectivism?”

Having thoughts does not imply the primacy of the subject, Paul. I did not present as an argument “I don’t think I made fun of your son, therefore it follows necessarily that I did not.” It’s possible that I did and that I forgot. It’s also possible that I have been misunderstood. But obviously it bothers you. I’m supposing you brought this up so that you could somehow put the blame for your own maligning behavior onto me. In other words, you continue to deliberately misspell my name because you’re still sore over a comment I supposedly made (who knows how long ago) that you took as an insult to your son. That's basically what your answer to my inquiry on why you deliberately misspell my name. Isn't it?

Paul: “In that case, I think you did. ;-)”

Perhaps you do think this, Paul. Perhaps you deluded yourself to think this. Until you produce my statement for a review, we won’t really be sure which.

Paul: “Dawson, what will you say if I spend my time and find the comments section in Franc's blog where you tell Franc that 'this piece of trash as leggs and will soon leabe’ or something to that effect?”

Well, I doubt I wrote that, because it’s such poor spelling, and I do try to edit my remarks before posting them. But if you did go and find a statement made by me that supports your charge (it is your charge, is it not?), then I’d say “Bravo!” for doing your homework. But you haven’t done this, so I can only suppose that there’s a reason why you’ve not done your homework, or at least not produced the results of it.

Paul: “Anyway, you can give but you can't take it?”

My inquiry on why you deliberately misspell my name was only an inquiry, Paul, not a complaint. You’re free to call me what you like. If it makes you feel better, you can call me all the names in the book. Doesn’t bother me. I just wonder what purpose you think it achieves. It’s still not clear what purpose it achieves, but I suppose we’ll see you stop doing it for a little while now since you’ve been called to explain yourself.

Paul: “You're a women.”

Oh, Paul, you do have a strong love for falsehoods, don’t you? Besides, what if I were a woman? What’s wrong with that? According to your worldview, your god made women, did it not? Besides, I happen to admire many women.

Paul: “When have you heard me complain and moan and cry (because of cramps) that you're a big meanie?”

Reading between the lines, virtually almost every time you post, Paul. Your posts drip with psychological lamentation. It's hard to miss in fact.

Paul: “You acted like an ass and so I thought that was how you liked talking.”

Paul, I admit it’s sometimes been difficult, but I’ve tried my best to resist the temptation of lowering myself to your level. I’m willing to work with you, since you’re a willing specimen. Although you don’t interact on an intellectual level, you do at least show up and publicly stick your foot in your mouth, sometimes on a daily basis. All this is to say, Paul, YOU ARE THE ENTERTAINMENT. If nonsense-believers like you never came out and participated, this would become boring pretty quick.

Paul: “I was trying to be a Greek to the Greek and a Jew to the Jew and an ass to the ass.”

I am neither Greek, Jew, nor ass. I am a human being, Paul. Only you can choose to act in an adult manner; no one can make this choice for you. Think about the kind of example you’re setting, Paul. Would you want your own child going around the schoolyard treating people in the manner you do? Think about it. Who’s really hurting your child? It’s not me.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/19/2005 12:25 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

dawson, MS meant to you, and you gave an example, that someone could "wish and make a mouse double in size." Since God "wishes" to make something double in size, then our worldview affirms MS. This is the essence and heart of what you've said, dawson.

I denied the "wish" lnaguage. I then said that it is true that an all-powerful being can do what He sees fit with His creation. This is MS to you. Fine, I'll go along with your language. Now, what's the problem. Yes, Christianity affirms that an all-poweful being can do what He sees fit with what He's created. You call this MS and think it fatal. But, you've not shown how it is fatal.

SO, I'll grant you MS if your evidence of that is that Christianity teaches that an all-powerful being can do what He sees fit with the objects that he's created.

Why are you having such a problem with this? You obviouslky think such a being is problematic and that such a being refutes my worldview, indeed, you call this worldview that affirms this type of being a worldview which embraces MS, and MS supposedly refutes me.

 
At 10/19/2005 4:58 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul wrote: "dawson, MS meant to you, and you gave an example, that someone could 'wish and make a mouse double in size'."

As I mentioned, this is just one type of expression that metaphysical subjectivism can take. The essence of all expressions of metaphysical subjectivism is the reversal of the proper orientation between subject and object. As I mentioned earlier, wishing is not the only expression that metaphysical subjectivism can take; other intentional operations would include commanding, expecting, imagining, denying, etc. For instance, if someone walked up to the base of the mountain and commanded "Be thou removed yonder hence and cast thyself into the sea" and really expected the mountain to conform to this command, this would constitute an expression of the primacy of the subject metaphysics. We can imagine the mountain doing this in the fake environment we create in our minds, but only by dropping the context of the proper relationship between subject and object. In a cartoon, for instance, an illustrator could draw the mountain springing up out of the ground and sprinting for the nearest shoreline, or even flying through the air in response to a jabbering stick figure with a long beard and shaking a long staff. But this would not represent what is actually possible in reality, since the primacy of the object metaphysics is true while the primacy of the subject metaphysics is completely arbitrary.

Paul: "Since God 'wishes' to make something double in size, then our worldview affirms MS."

Indeed. Your god even wishes (or commands if you like) the universe to pop into existence ex nihilo. In other words, matter comes into being from conscious activity according to this imaginative worldview. You can't get more subjective than this.

Paul: "This is the essence and heart of what you've said, dawson."

The essence is the reversal of the proper orientation of the subject object relationship and how any thinker has no choice but to assume the primacy of the object metaphysics even while affirming a worldview which contradicts this fundamental basis.

Paul: "I denied the 'wish' lnaguage."

Yes, and I asked whether you meant this to mean that either a) you think your god's wishes have no effect on reality (i.e., that its wishing is impotent), or b) that it cannot wish at all (i.e., that it cannot do something man can do). You did not address this question.

Paul: "I then said that it is true that an all-powerful being can do what He sees fit with His creation."

Yes, you did say this. And as I pointed out, an invisible magic being can do whatever the believer wants it to do in the fake environment of his imagination. So this poses no problem to my argument.

Paul: "This is MS to you."

Well, it's not that it's metaphysical subjectivism "to me" as if this were some personal affair. In other words, since the primacy of the object metaphysics is true, one cannot say "it's subjectivism to you, but not to me," for that itself would suggest a pliancy to reality that is not observed. If you wanted to affirm such a position, then your own presuppositions could be enlisted to say "well, your god may exist for you, but it doesn't exist for me." Christianity's commitment to metaphysical subjectivism is due, not to any doing on my part, but due to the orientation it assumes between subject and object. The primacy of the object metaphysics is absolute; there's no escape from it, Paul. Indulging your emotions and imagination will only deceive you into thinking that it can be escaped, but it can't.

Paul: "Fine, I'll go along with your language."

It's not just language, Paul, as if this were a matter of mere semantics or euphemisms. The relationship between the subject of cognition and its objects is a crucial philosophical issue. In fact, it is the most important of all issues in philosophy since it is the most fundamental issue.

Paul: "Now, what's the problem."

Well, if you don't have a problem with your worldview reducing to a species of subjectivism, then that's not my problem. But what should be clear is that your choices and actions are not consistent with such a worldview. As I mentioned, any actions you undertake voluntarily to meet your life's needs would be premised on the primacy of the object metaphysics of my worldview, at least to some degree. And any degree of assuming the truths of my worldview necessarily shows you to be inconsistent with Christianity.

Paul: "Yes, Christianity affirms that an all-poweful being can do what He sees fit with what He's created."

I know that, Paul. Dream on.

Paul: "You call this MS and think it fatal."

All forms of subjectivism are fatal if one takes it seriously and attempts to govern his choices and actions according to such a view. A subjective worldview is unfit for human life.

Paul: "But, you've not shown how it is fatal."

The history of religion shows this, Paul. Faith and force are always corollaries. When men elevate imagination above facts when guiding their actions, destruction of values is a guaranteed outcome.

Paul: "SO, I'll grant you MS if your evidence of that is that Christianity teaches that an all-powerful being can do what He sees fit with the objects that he's created."

The evidence is throughout Christian teaching that its originators obviously saw no problem with reversing the objective orientation between perceiver and perceived.

Paul: "Why are you having such a problem with this?"

Oh, it's not my problem, Paul. My worldview does not embrace or reduce to subjectivism.

Paul: "You obviouslky think such a being is problematic and that such a being refutes my worldview, indeed, you call this worldview that affirms this type of being a worldview which embraces MS, and MS supposedly refutes me.."

Again, Paul, you're not integrating what I've spelled out very clearly: you refute Christianity every time you say it's true, since truth presupposes the primacy of the object metaphysics. The logical implication of my argument is that the claim "God exists" is a self-contradiction. Doesn't matter whether you want to admit it or not, Paul. The truth of my position does not depend on someone's assent to it just as water was made up of hydrogen and carbon before anyone came along and discovered this. Again, my position is invulnerable, and so is my argument.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/19/2005 5:39 PM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Good, now we've went full circle.

Your argument is that you don't like the Christian worldview.

So, until you can give an argument against why I'm wrong for believing in the existence of an all-poweful being who can do what He sees fit with His creation, then I'll not be responding.

(Hint: Just yelling and asserting that it messes up "the proper" relationship between subject and object doesn't bother me.)

 
At 10/19/2005 7:57 PM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: “Your argument is that you don't like the Christian worldview.”

I answered this at least once before when you tried to misrepresent my argument in this manner; you seem not to be reading very carefully, Paul (then again, you may very well be a pathological liar). Again, my argument is that Christianity affirms metaphysical subjectivism, not "I don't like the Christian worldview." As I pointed out earlier (and to which you have not responded), to seek to discount my argument because it is based on likes, dislikes or personal preferences, clearly implies the recognition that truth does not conform to intentional operations, which means: to use this as an objection is to borrow from my worldview. Besides, you nowhere show that I don’t like the Christian worldview. In fact, it’s something I love to study. Like the doctor who is amazed at the way a disease afflicts his patients, I’m amazed at how grown adults could abandon reason and honesty to the degree that Christians do.

Paul: “So, until you can give an argument against why I'm wrong for believing in the existence of an all-poweful being who can do what He sees fit with His creation, then I'll not be responding.”

The argument I gave is sufficient to show that you end up contradicting yourself just by affirming such a belief. It’s clear you have no rebuttal to this. So you might as well not continue responding, since you have nothing intelligent to offer on this matter. Your worldview won't rescue you, Paul.

Paul: “Hint: Just yelling and asserting that it messes up ‘the proper’ relationship between subject and object doesn't bother me.”

I did not “just yell and assert” that your god-belief contradicts the proper relationship between the subject of cognition and its objects; I gave you a thought experiment that you tried on your own so that you could observe this truth firsthand. The results of your trial of this experiment came back confirming what I’ve been arguing. You say it “doesn’t bother” you; but my concern is not to “bother” you, Paul. But I’m supposing that if nothing I said in this comments string “bothered” you, you’d not have bothered to respond to me. Meanwhile, you’ve presented no intelligible alternative to the position that I have affirmed; indeed, you seem reluctant to weigh in on the issue of which orientation between subject and object is proper to man’s cognitive needs. All you’ve presented, Paul, is more sandbox tactics: just throwing dust in the wind, never truly interacting with the argument that’s been presented, never presenting a viable alternative to serve as a basis to counter my position.

Therefore, my argument stands, and all you're left with is a dead faith.

Regards,
Dawson

 
At 10/20/2005 12:41 AM, Blogger Paul Manata declaimed...

Christianity affirms that there is an all-poweful being who can do as He sees fit with the objects of His creation. Yes, Dawson. We've established this many times. You call this MS. I say, so what? I say, you've *not* shown anywhere where his idea is wrong. In fact, you even said you don't need to argue against it.

Until you have something of substance to offer, then all you're saying is that Christianity is false because it affirms the existence of an all-powerful being who can do as He sees fit with the objects of His creation. *That's* what you're calling MS (w/respects to my worldview). Big deal, Dawson. I'm not bothered by that and you haven't shown why I should be. Yes, you've asserted that I borrow from your worldview (just like you do mine when you use logic, how bout 'dem apples). Yes, you've asserted that this destroys the subject/object realtionship. But this is all you've done. I'm not bothered by the fact that Dawson bethrick says that Christianity affirms the existence of an all-powerful being who can do what He wills with the obejcts of his creation. Besides, if this *is* the case, then what you call MS is *true* and so your argument is false. I think all reading can see that you've not proven anything other than saying Christainity affirms MS; which, when translated; amounts to you saying that Christianity affirms the existence of an all-powerful being who can do as He sees fit with the objects of his creation.

If the above is the best you got, then I'm whistle'n dixie. I'm not bothered by any of what you've said. Now, go ahead and write 5 times the amount I've written and think you've roasted my chestnuts because you can write more and I don't feel like debating you about what everyone knows, i.e., Christianity affirms that there is an all-powerful being who can do as He sees fit with the objects of his creation.

best regards,
Paul

 
At 10/20/2005 7:31 AM, Blogger Bahnsen Burner declaimed...

Paul: “Christianity affirms that there is an all-poweful being who can do as He sees fit with the objects of His creation.”

In fact, the bible even says that pleasure is his guide. It’s purely subjective.

Paul: “Yes, Dawson. We've established this many times. You call this MS. I say, so what?”

I’ve proven that Christianity is based on metaphysical subjectivism, which is a view of reality that is contrary to truth. The most you’ve been able to say in response to this is “so what?” That’s because you have no rational defense for your worldview; and the reason why you have no rational defense for your worldview is that your worldview is irrational. A subjective worldview is an irrational worldview, by definition. To this, you can only say “so what?” Indeed, there go all those robust claims that presuppositionalism throws out, such as “only the Christian worldview can provide the necessary preconditions of intelligibility” and the such. The necessary precondition of intelligibility is the primacy of the object metaphysics, and the basis of Christianity contradicts this.

Paul: “I say, you've *not* shown anywhere where his idea is wrong. In fact, you even said you don't need to argue against it.”

You’re confusing yourself again, Paul. I said I don’t have to prove that the non-existent doesn’t exist. As for showing that your worldview is wrong, where did you get this concept ‘wrong’, and what orientation between subject and object makes this concept meaningful? You’re painfully oblivious to the issues at stake here, Paul.

Paul: “Until you have something of substance to offer, then all you're saying is that Christianity is false because it affirms the existence of an all-powerful being who can do as He sees fit with the objects of His creation.”

Again you try to trivialize the issues. Any worldview which assumes the primacy of the subject metaphysics is false by definition. Christianity assumes the primacy of the subject metaphysics. Therefore, Christianity is false by definition. Paul’s response to this? “So what?” And now you speak of “substance”? Good grief.

Paul: “*That's* what you're calling MS (w/respects to my worldview). Big deal, Dawson.”

Ah, here’s another bout of substance coming from Paul: “Big deal!” Paul, it’s not a big deal to you because you don’t value your mind. Someone who truly values his mind will invest in a worldview fit for man (i.e., Objectivism). As I showed above, a subjective worldview like Christianity is unfit for man’s life. Meanwhile, as you respond “big deal” to the proof that Christianity is subjective, you nowhere even make any attempt to show that it isn’t subjective, or that it is objectively true. You cower and crouch in your imagination, hoping no one finds you in the darkness there.

Paul: “I'm not bothered by that and you haven't shown why I should be.”

Paul, you’re like a 13-year-old who plugs up his ears with his fingers and shuts his eyes to the world around him while yelling at the top of your voice “I’m right! You’re wrong! I’m right! You’re wrong!” You reduce yourself to childishness, Paul.

Paul: “Yes, you've asserted that I borrow from your worldview”

Yes, you do, and I explained this. You’ve had no response to this. Perhaps it’s “so what?”

Paul: “(just like you do mine when you use logic, how bout 'dem apples).”

Wrong again. Logic is based on the primacy of the object metaphysics. There is no consistent basis for logic in the cartoon universe of theism.

Paul: “Yes, you've asserted that this destroys the subject/object realtionship. But this is all you've done.”

That’s all that needs to be exposed, Paul. That’s why my argument is so beautiful; it’s the kind of argument you wish you had for your religion.

Paul: “I'm not bothered by the fact that Dawson bethrick says that Christianity affirms the existence of an all-powerful being who can do what He wills with the obejcts of his creation.”

For someone who pretends not to be bothered, you sure say you’re not bothered a lot. How many times will you have to say this to convince yourself?

Paul: “Besides, if this *is* the case, then what you call MS is *true* and so your argument is false.”

Where did you get the concept ‘false’? And what orientation between subject and object makes it meaningful? Is “false” meaningful in the cartoon universe of theism? Or, is it meaningful in the objective reality that Christianity rejects and contradicts? Blank out.

Paul: “I think all reading can see that you've not proven anything other than saying Christainity affirms MS; which, when translated; amounts to you saying that Christianity affirms the existence of an all-powerful being who can do as He sees fit with the objects of his creation.”

Well, if anyone else is reading, he’s welcome to speak for himself. But there’s no reason you or I should presume to speak for him, Paul. Besides, it’s irrelevant since the issue now is your evasions and attempts to convince yourself of further untruths. As Frame says, “a person with a wish to be fulfilled is often on the road to belief” (AGG, 37). Again, we see the primacy of wishing at the heart of the Christian worldview. Meanwhile, I see you haven’t addressed my questions regarding the implications of your rejection of my use of ‘wishing’ to characterize your god’s alleged intentional operations. Are your god’s wishes impotent? Or, does man do something your god can’t even do? What is it, Paul? Anyway, it’s humorous to watch you flailing about like this.

Paul: If the above is the best you got, then I'm whistle'n dixie. I'm not bothered by any of what you've said. Now, go ahead and write 5 times the amount I've written and think you've roasted my chestnuts because you can write more and I don't feel like debating you about what everyone knows, i.e., Christianity affirms that there is an all-powerful being who can do as He sees fit with the objects of his creation.”

I’ve shown that Christianity is a subjective worldview, Paul. I’ve shown this to be the case because of the orientation it assumes between subject and object at the most fundamental level (as Vantillians might say, at the level of one’s “presuppositions”). Your worldview presupposes a subjective basis, and a subjective basis cannot support reason, logic, morality, science and other necessities of human life. You’ve not been able to bring any lasting challenge to my argument. After I’ve shown my argument to be invulnerable, you say “so what?” “big deal,” and repeat, over and over again as if it were relevant, that it “doesn’t bother” you. I pointed out already that “bothering” you is not the aim of my argument. Those who deceive themselves can resort to this kind of defense mechanism all they want, but it’s irrelevant. By repeating this, you simply show that you’re not truly interested in philosophy, knowledge or truth. You simply show that you’re able to operate only on the level of a neurotic adolescent whose insecurities drive him further and further into a fantasy world that he builds in his imagination, a “magic kingdom” where an imaginary friend/monster resides. “Don’t taunt me, or Blarko’s gonna get you!” That’s what Christianity has reduced you to, Paul. It’s a very, very sad sight to behold.

Regards,
Dawson

 

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