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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Question of the Day #59: Humanity beyond nature

Okay, I know there were a lot of questions in the past about our relationship with animals (no not that one), so I hope I'm not repeating anything...

Some people feel that humans have evolved beyond being mere animals for various reasons, be it our ability for higher reasoning, our tendency to subjugate nature through building complicated shelters with climate control, our essential removal of ourselves from the food chain, or what have you. Do you think that humans are by their character something beyond animals, beyond merely a facet of nature? Assuming the answer is yes, is that a good thing or bad?

CLARIFICATION:
I guess the question wasn't very clear. Here's more specifics:

Humans make buildings. Sometimes, (well, virtually all the time) when they make buildings, it has an impact on the environment around the building site. Some people feel that it is wrong for us to have an effect on the environment at all, but other than perhaps some examples of greater scale, is it really so very different from beavers building dams or lightning burning down forests?

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41 Comments:

At 8/18/2006 11:11 PM, Blogger Hellbound Alleee declaimed...

I guess I don't understand the concept of "beyond" animals, "beyond nature," or "mere" animals. There is no beyond nature. If the question isn't "are humans supernatural?" I guess I can't grasp it.

 
At 8/19/2006 10:09 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

I'm in agreement with Alleee. The concept of "beyond nature" is incoherent.

But to take the question in a different direction, why is it that humans seek to characterize themselves as special in relation to other animals? Is this psychology the reason for fundamental religious assumptions?

 
At 8/20/2006 6:36 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach,

How is the concept 'beyond nature' incoherent? I also saw where you said that God as Christians believe and define is incoherent, which I assume is related. Is there an argument for this? If there is already something written by you, maybe you could point me in that direction. Just curious.

Thanks

 
At 8/21/2006 12:53 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter-

Nature is all that exists that can be experienced. Anything "beyond" that is, by definition, unexperiencable. Since language is a symbolic representation of experienced reality, any concept that does not qualify is therefore incoherent. For example, if I was to talk to you about the "blarkiness" of something, my language would be incoherent unless I could demonstrate how "blarkiness" could be experienced.

 
At 8/21/2006 2:07 PM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

No.

Our ancestors used to throw poo, now we throw bullets. Which is more intelligent in the final analysis?

 
At 8/21/2006 5:04 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/21/2006 5:12 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach,

I’m not sure exactly what you mean by ‘incoherent’, but this is nothing more than the majority interpretation of Kant’s views. It’s not at all obvious how concepts of God or concepts that go ‘beyond nature’ are ‘incoherent’. But even if I granted you the assumption in your first sentence, your argument would undermine itself:

The concept that “human concepts and language do not apply to God (or the supernatural) and are thus incoherent since they are ‘unexperiencable’” is a concept itself and applies to God and the supernatural (or the ‘unexperiencable’) and would thus be ‘incoherent’.

Consequently, your position ends in self-referential incoherency.

 
At 8/21/2006 6:44 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Let me be clearer:

I said "this is nothing more than the majority interpretation of Kant’s views." What I meant was that this is somewhat similar to the view that one can't refer to the noumenal realm.

Also, I said that I wasn't sure what you meant by 'incoherent'? If nature is all there is (granting you this assumption), it would not be 'incoherent' to refer to the supernatural. Propositions that reference the supernatural would be false, but I don't see how they would be incoherent.

 
At 8/21/2006 11:09 PM, Blogger Vic declaimed...


Consequently, your position ends in self-referential incoherency.


The irony is crushing...

It's such a simple concept it's no wonder theists don't (can't?) get it.

Nature = everything that exists.

"Supernatural", 'beyond nature', etc. = something else besides everything that exists.

If you can't see how that is complete nonsense, there's no hope for you...

 
At 8/23/2006 7:10 AM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

Again, the answer is "no". Never assume....

Ants make complex habitats. When they make these habitats, it has an adverse impact on the environment. Locusts completely destroy their immediate environment's ability to sustain the locust population. Bees make climate-controlled habitats. The Cheetah runs faster, we think better and use tools. How are we "unnatural" (or super-natural) again? We are a facet of nature.

 
At 8/23/2006 8:27 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter-

I'll give you an example of the incoherency I'm talking about.

We are all (those of us that aren't blind) aware that electromagnetic radiation within a specific range of wavelengths can be distinguished by the observational property of "color." It is coherent to talk about a "red apple" or a "blue ball" because the radiation that is reflected by those objects falls into our visible range. It would be incoherent, however, to talk about the "color" of radiation of a wavelength longer or shorter than our visible range. If you can meaningfully answer the question, "What is the color of a radio wave?" then you can meaningfully answer the question, "What is God?"

 
At 8/23/2006 10:58 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach,

You are confusing *meaningfulness* with *incoherency* (they are not the same). A sentence is typically meaningful if it expresses a proposition. Incoherent propositions are meaningful, but false - they can *never* be true (logically impossible).

I don't see how your analogy is relevant or analogous - i.e., saying it's so doesn't make it so. Even if I accept your example about the color of radiation that is out of *our* visible spectrum being incoherent, it is not apparent that this is analogous to the question of God. If God exists and is infinite, then certainly God could make it so that we experience Him in different ways. If God is not a 'thing in this world' or is 'out of our range', it would still not follow that we can't meaningfully speak of God or that it is incoherent to speak of God.

I don't see how your color example is incoherent, unless you want to posit that it is logically impossible that radio waves have color - not that we just couldn't know if they have color due to them being out of *our* visible range.

I think your example would still be subject (mutatis mutandis) to the charge of self-referential incoherency laid out earlier - if we can't talk about God, then we *can't* talk about God.

 
At 8/23/2006 11:34 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter-

You're right, that wasn't the best analogy, since I was comparing two natural phenomena. Such a claim would be meaningless, but not logically impossible.

A better analogy, perhaps, is the one that I brought up on the Hellbound Alleee show when I was talking with Jack Curtin. There, I hypothesized that an apple existed, grown from a tree, picked, shined, and placed on a table. I then hypothesized that, not only was this a normal, juicy apple, just like any other apple you'd find in the store, but it was also made of gold. The fact that it is made of gold is not readily apparent, since to our observation it appears no different than any other apple, but I assured Jack that it was golden in a supernatural sense.

Ultimately, Jack was unable to completely deny the existence of such a "supernaturally golden" apple. I, however, would submit that such an entity is incoherent, and demonstrates the ridiculousness of talking in terms of supernaturality.

 
At 8/23/2006 12:46 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach,

You said, “You're right, that wasn't the best analogy, since I was comparing two natural phenomena. Such a claim would be meaningless, but not logically impossible.”

Actually, I don't see how the claim would be meaningless. Again, if a statement expresses a proposition, then it is typically taken as meaningful. Logically impossible (incoherent) propositions are meaningful, since they express propositions.

Again, I don’t see how this example is incoherent or meaningless. Nor do I see how it is analogous to belief in God so that it would make a proposition expressing “God exists” in some manner as incoherent or meaningless. Remember if God exists and is as Christians say He is, then certainly God could make it so that we experience Him and know of His existence.

An object being perceptible or observable does not determine whether it is logically possible. If that is what determines logical possibility, then the quarks, quantum physics, atoms, and a whole host of other subjects are in trouble. With these latter examples, you may object and say that there are ways that we could be able to see their effects, etc and know they exist. But I don’t see how this objection would differ from claims about God’s existence – certainly there are conditions in which you could find out whether God exists (e.g., someone kills you, through the sensus divinitatus, or through religious experience analogous to perception as William Alston holds).

It doesn’t seem logically impossible that there *could not* be a supernaturally golden apple. What you are contesting is the truth or falsity of the claim itself and how one could *know* whether such apple is supernaturally golden – this is different than incoherency. Nevertheless, if Jack has no reason to believe that there is a supernaturally golden apple, then I don’t see why he couldn’t be deny a supernaturally golden apple (or is justified/rational taken as either deontological, internal, or is in some other type of positive epistemic state or he has no reason to believe it on the basis of testimony as he finds you to be dishonest or not to be justified/rational in holding the claim yourself).

 
At 8/23/2006 1:00 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter-

The question, "What color are radio waves?" is meaningless based on the definition of both color and radio waves. If you see meaning there, perhaps you'd be so kind as to answer the question.

You say, "certainly there are conditions in which you could find out whether God exists." What kinds of observations would these be?

 
At 8/23/2006 1:34 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach,

You said, "The question, "What color are radio waves?" is meaningless based on the definition of both color and radio waves. If you see meaning there, perhaps you'd be so kind as to answer the question."

I meant *propositions* have meaning. So if we rephrased the question to a statement expressing a proposition (which is typically a declarative sentence), then we could say that, "Radio waves are colored (or have a color)." This would express meaning, but if radio waves are taken to be colorless and it's logically impossible for them to have color, then it would be false (and incoherent) but still meaningful.

But what you are getting it is *whether we can know* the claim in question, "What color are radio waves?" A typical response could be "I don't know", or if we take radio waves as not having color, then the answer would be “They don’t have color”. But this doesn't constitute it as being meaningless.


You said, “What kinds of observations would these be?”

I listed three of them above, though I wouldn’t limit them to three. You die, through the sensus divinitatus, and through religious experience construed as analogous to perception (Plantinga, Alston, and others defend these latter two claims quite sufficiently). But delving too deeply into these would get us too far off subject. My point was that if God exists and is all-powerful, then He could certainly make Himself known through most if not all of our doxastic practices. So in order for any further objections to have much force, they would need to be directed at the truth or falsity of the existence of the Divine being, not at the methods above nor at the coherency of the claims.

 
At 8/23/2006 2:58 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter-

So the statement "radio waves are colored" is incoherent, as I originally said? Fine.

In the same way, the statement, "A supernatural entity can be experienced naturally" is incoherent, because the by definition, supernatural phenomena are outside the range of experiences which can be observed using natural means. The three examples you gave are likewise incoherent:

1) "You die." The act of dying is not an observational technique. You may be implying that additional observational mechanisms are available after death, but such mechanisms would not be natural, and are irrelevant to the above statement.

2) "Sensus divininatis." This is a hypothetical observational mechanism whereby humans can naturally "sense" the presence of a supernatural entity. Such a mechanism would is self-refuting based on the definitions of natural and supernatural, and thus is logically incoherent.

3) "Religious experience construed as analagous to perception." What is "analogous" to perception if it is not perception? I would agree that it is logically possible to stimulate the brain in such a way as to generate false observations, but to do so in the first place would require natural interaction with the brain. Thus, submission of this mechanism as a conduit of communication with a supernatural entity is also incoherent.

 
At 8/23/2006 4:34 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach said, “So the statement "radio waves are colored" is incoherent, as I originally said? Fine.”

Apparently you are being dishonest here, Zach. What I said is that *IF* one takes radio waves as being colored as *logically impossible*, then it would be incoherent. You would need to argue that it *is* logically impossible, especially since it’s not obvious that it is logically impossible. Then you would *need to argue* that this is analogous to belief in God, which has been missing from the discussion.


Zach said, “In the same way, the statement, "A supernatural entity can be experienced naturally" is incoherent, because the by definition, supernatural phenomena are outside the range of experiences which can be observed using natural means.”

IF God exists and is all-powerful, then this objection of yours is nonsense. Of course an *all-powerful* God could make it so that we experience Him. You are *begging the question*. You are assuming that which you need to prove. Another way in which you beg the question is that you are assuming that man cannot experience God *supernaturally*, or that all of man’s experiences are natural without the benefit of argument.


Zach said, “The three examples you gave are likewise incoherent:”

It is apparent that you don’t read what I write. The previous response of mine was the *2nd* time I mentioned these. But after the first time I mentioned them, you asked what they were! They are not necessarily observational mechanisms, I originally said, “… certainly there are *conditions* in which you could find out whether God exists.”


Zach said, “You die." The act of dying is not an observational technique. You may be implying that additional observational mechanisms are available after death, but such mechanisms would not be natural, and are irrelevant to the above statement.

Wrong. IF you die, *you* will have the opportunity to observe whether God exists. So it would not be *logically impossible* to experience the supernatural.


Zach said, “"Sensus divininatis." This is a hypothetical observational mechanism whereby humans can naturally "sense" the presence of a supernatural entity. Such a mechanism would is self-refuting based on the definitions of natural and supernatural, and thus is logically incoherent.”

Seriously, read Plantinga before you think you know what the sensus divinitatus is. It is a doxastic mechanism, not necessarily an ‘observational mechanism’.
It’s apparent that you are not familiar with self-refutation either.


Zach said, “"Religious experience construed as analagous to perception." What is "analogous" to perception if it is not perception? I would agree that it is logically possible to stimulate the brain in such a way as to generate false observations, but to do so in the first place would require natural interaction with the brain. Thus, submission of this mechanism as a conduit of communication with a supernatural entity is also incoherent.”

You need to read Alston (or Plantinga) to figure this one out. If you have yet to grasp ‘incoherency’, then I doubt you would grasp this.

GET THIS ZACH
***Whether I debate (2) and (3) with you would still be irrelevant to the overall point - since *if God exists, then He could certainly cause us to come to know Him in these ways or more. This is why I have said that your objections need to be geared toward the falsity of God's existence.

Your responses amount to ‘Oh yeah, but you can’t experience the supernatural! Therefore, it’s logically impossible (incoherent)!” Seriously, all you have done is REPEAT yourself. *Claiming* that all we can experience is natural phenomena is not an argument – nor would claims of experiencing God be incoherent (logically impossible) *if* all we experienced was natural phenomena. The latter would be false, but not incoherent. You need to come back with some argumentation for your repeatedly debunked claims of incoherency et al.

 
At 8/24/2006 9:04 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter: What I said is that *IF* one takes radio waves as being colored as *logically impossible*, then it would be incoherent.

And I do- color is defined as a property of electromagnetic radiation between the wavelengths of 450 and 770 nanometers. Radio waves are clearly outside this range, and so it is impossible to talk about the "color" of radio.

Groundfighter: Then you would *need to argue* that this is analogous to belief in God, which has been missing from the discussion.

I don't need to show that it's analogous to "belief in God." What I've shown is that this is analogous to the incoherency of talking about God. You are free to believe in any incoherent concept you like- square circles, married bachelors, omnimax deities, etc.

Groundfighter: Of course an *all-powerful* God could make it so that we experience Him.

Only if such a deity was natural. If such an entity was part of the Universe, I'd have no problem. But since you posit that it is supernatural, so it cannot be omnipotent, becuase it cannot interact with the natural.

Groundfighter: Another way in which you beg the question is that you are assuming that man cannot experience God *supernaturally*, or that all of man’s experiences are natural without the benefit of argument.

I'm not "assuming" anything. The only mechanism available to man for observation is natural. This is self-evident. You even admit that the "mechanisms" you've proposed are not even observational! So what value are they to learning about anything?

Groundfighter: IF you die, *you* will have the opportunity to observe whether God exists.

This begs the question.

Groundfighter: It is a doxastic mechanism, not necessarily an ‘observational mechanism’.

In other words, God simply causes you to "believe," without any justification. Obviously, this is not knowledge, then.

Groundfighter: It’s apparent that you are not familiar with self-refutation either.

You'd think I would be, after reading so many presuppositionalist arguments.

Groundfighter: You need to read Alston (or Plantinga) to figure this one out.

In other words, you don't even understand it. I figured as much.

Groudnfighter: Whether I debate (2) and (3) with you would still be irrelevant to the overall point - since *if God exists, then He could certainly cause us to come to know Him in these ways or more. This is why I have said that your objections need to be geared toward the falsity of God's existence.

You're wrong. I don't care about arguing against God's existence. Whether he exists or not, there is no way for us to know about him. This has been the point all along, and I'm surprised you haven't been able to grasp this yet. If you want to make any headway, you need to give a meaningful and coherent mechanism for a natural entity to gain knowledge about a supernatural entity.

 
At 8/24/2006 10:32 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach said, “And I do- color is defined as a property of electromagnetic radiation between the wavelengths of 450 and 770 nanometers. Radio waves are clearly outside this range, and so it is impossible to talk about the "color" of radio.”

Again Zach, this is not an argument – you are just telling me the current conditions. We are speaking of *logical impossibility*, which is different than something not obtaining in the *actual world*. For instance, I see no reason why a spray or something could not be *invented* that would show us the color, if it indeed has one. Even if it does not obtain in the actual world, that speaks nothing as to whether it is logically impossible. Another example is “The moon is made of green cheese.” This claim does not obtain in the actual world, but does not seem to be *logically impossible*.


Zach said, “I don't need to show that it's analogous to "belief in God." What I've shown is that this is analogous to the incoherency of talking about God. You are free to believe in any incoherent concept you like- square circles, married bachelors, omnimax deities, etc.”

If you are making an argument by analogy, then I would hope you think that you need to show how it is analogous. Either way, you have not shown that it is *incoherent when talking about God*, unless you admit that you’ve been incoherent all along – since you keep talking about Him and making knowledge claims about Him.

You have *still not* moved past the self-referential incoherence that is inherent in your objection! Now you are equivocating (here and in your first sentence) - square circles and married bachelors are logically impossible since they are analytic truths (unless you hold they are conventional, but then you lose your objection concerning God). You have not shown *talking* about God to be in the same ballpark as these. So where’s your argument? You have claimed it several times, but I still see no argument.


Zach said, “Only if such a deity was natural. If such an entity was part of the Universe, I'd have no problem. But since you posit that it is supernatural, so it cannot be omnipotent, becuase it cannot interact with the natural.”

Again, you are telling me how it is. I don’t want you to keep telling me what you think - Argue. How can an all-powerful God *not* interact with the natural – remember, according to Christians, He created the natural.


Zach said, “I'm not "assuming" anything. The only mechanism available to man for observation is natural. This is self-evident. You even admit that the "mechanisms" you've proposed are not even observational! So what value are they to learning about anything?”

Ok, if you want to play this game – it’s self-evident that God exists. Also, ‘by definition’ God exists necessarily, so God exists in all possible worlds, which includes the actual world. I’m going to start arguing 'by definition' just like Zach.

Are you implying that man can *only* know things through observation? Nevermind how *scientific methods* cannot justify anything conclusively due to its inductive methodology, this is philosophically *dumb*.


“This begs the question.”

I am not sure how this begs the question, Zach. If you die, then it is *apparent* that you will, right or wrong. How does that beg the question?


Zach said, “In other words, God simply causes you to "believe," without any justification. Obviously, this is not knowledge, then.”

Wrong. It has justification (deontological), rationality (external and internal), and warrant and if held firmly enough would constitute knowledge. Plantinga beats this to death. But this again shows your ignorance - If you think it would not be “justified” (whatever you mean by that term as it means so many different things), you would be begging the question by assuming an overly internalistic account of justification without the benefit of argument.


Zach said, “You'd think I would be, after reading so many presuppositionalist arguments.”

Obviously you are not. For Plantinga (who made it popular and philosophically rigorous) to *self-refute* himself, *he* would need to hold these beliefs *as you hold them* so that one belief would preclude the other. He doesn’t or at least you haven’t shown that he does.


Zach said, “In other words, you don't even understand it. I figured as much.”

I figured you’d at least argue for your position.


Zach said, “I don't care about arguing against God's existence. Whether he exists or not, there is no way for us to know about him. This has been the point all along, and I'm surprised you haven't been able to grasp this yet. If you want to make any headway, you need to give a meaningful and coherent mechanism for a natural entity to gain knowledge about a supernatural entity.”

It’s obvious you don’t like giving arguments. It’s also obvious that you have yet to *argue* that it’s *logically impossible* to know God. But what’s hilarious is that you constantly refute yourself. You say “there is no way for us to know about Him.” But you *think* you know this very thing about Him. This all goes back to the self-referential incoherency charge that has been pointed out by many philosophers.

 
At 8/24/2006 7:23 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter: We are speaking of *logical impossibility*, which is different than something not obtaining in the *actual world*. For instance, I see no reason why a spray or something could not be *invented* that would show us the color, if it indeed has one.

Do you see any reason why a spray or something could be invented that could make a married bachelor?

Groundfighter: Either way, you have not shown that it is *incoherent when talking about God*, unless you admit that you’ve been incoherent all along – since you keep talking about Him and making knowledge claims about Him.

I can also talk ad nauseam about the existence of "blarks," but does that make the concept coherent just becuase I use the word?

Groundfighter: You have not shown *talking* about God to be in the same ballpark as these. So where’s your argument? You have claimed it several times, but I still see no argument.

My argument is that just as it is incoherent to talk about a married bachelor, it is incoherent ot talk about God.

Groundfighter: How can an all-powerful God *not* interact with the natural – remember, according to Christians, He created the natural.

You're just telling me what you believe. Come on- argue. At any rate, I said that I had no problem logically with the idea of an all-powerful deity interacting with the natural- it's just that such a deity couldn't then be supernatural.

Groundfighter: Are you implying that man can *only* know things through observation? Nevermind how *scientific methods* cannot justify anything conclusively due to its inductive methodology, this is philosophically *dumb*.

There is not other coherent mechanism that can be demonstrated. And science doesn't claim to justify anything conclusively- way to knock down a strawman.

Groundfigher: I am not sure how this begs the question, Zach. If you die, then it is *apparent* that you will, right or wrong. How does that beg the question?

There are many logically possible outcomes when you die, only one of which involves the aquisition of knowledge concerning the existence of God. For example: 1) There is no God, you die, and your existence ends. 2) There is no God, you die, and are reincarnated. 3) There is a God, you die, but he does not reveal himself to you. Your assumption that you necessarily will know about God after death begs the question of your own worldview.

Groundfighter: It has justification (deontological), rationality (external and internal), and warrant and if held firmly enough would constitute knowledge.

So if I believe hard enough, this fairy dust will make me fly? Give me a break. Either it comports to the facts of reality or it's worthless.

Groundfighter: For Plantinga (who made it popular and philosophically rigorous) to *self-refute* himself, *he* would need to hold these beliefs *as you hold them* so that one belief would preclude the other.

Like his belief in an omnimax deity?

Groundfighter: I figured you’d at least argue for your position.

Why bother, when you don't even argue for yours?

Groundfighter: You say “there is no way for us to know about Him.” But you *think* you know this very thing about Him.

*Sigh* I also think that there is no way for us to know about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Or Vishnu. Or Geusha. Or blark.

 
At 8/24/2006 8:52 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

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At 8/24/2006 8:58 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach,

You said, "Do you see any reason why a spray or something could be invented that could make a married bachelor?"

What's the point of this? You haven't shown what you intended, so I'm not sure what your point here is. You are still making an analogy but not arguing that this is analogous. It's like arguing that naturalism is incoherent because a married bachelor is incoherent. What connects this? But 'good argument'.


Zach said, "My argument is that just as it is incoherent to talk about a married bachelor, it is incoherent ot talk about God."

So you say... but I have yet to see much of an argument. This appears to be the problem with supporters of this position.


Zach said, "You're just telling me what you believe. Come on- argue. At any rate, I said that I had no problem logically with the idea of an all-powerful deity interacting with the natural- it's just that such a deity couldn't then be supernatural."

That's cute, Zach. Do I need to remind you *who* needs to prove their point, namely that talking about God is incoherent? If you want to make assertions with no argument, then whatever. Again, *how* is it logically impossible for a supernatural, omnipotent being to interact with the natural? Better yet, how could one know this through observation?


Zach said, "There is not other coherent mechanism that can be demonstrated."

And you know this through observation?


Zach said, "And science doesn't claim to justify anything conclusively- way to knock down a strawman."

DID I SAY THAT SCIENCE CLAIMED THAT IT COULD JUSTIFY THINGS CONCLUSIVELY, ZACHARY? NO I did not. Its quite apparent that I made the OPPOSITE claim, that science *can't* provide conclusive justification. But *you* were apparently making *conclusive* claims. Way to read what wasn't written, Zach.


Zach said, "There are many logically possible outcomes when you die, only one of which involves the aquisition of knowledge concerning the existence of God. For example: 1) There is no God, you die, and your existence ends. 2) There is no God, you die, and are reincarnated. 3) There is a God, you die, but he does not reveal himself to you. Your assumption that you necessarily will know about God after death begs the question of your own worldview."

I know there are many *possible* outcomes Zach, which was *exactly* my point - that's there's no logical impossibility. If you admit that my position is possible, then I don't see how you can then keep asserting that it is *logically impossible* for a supernatural, all-powerful God to interact with the natural. So thanks for concurring with my assessment.


Zach said, "So if I believe hard enough, this fairy dust will make me fly? Give me a break. Either it comports to the facts of reality or it's worthless."

Well, this is worthless.


Zach said, "Like his belief in an omnimax deity?"

This would actually be a different claim, but I am not holding my breath for your argument.


Zach said, "Why bother, when you don't even argue for yours?"

If I recall correctly, it has been your constant claim that it is *incoherent* to talk of God, not mine. So get to it, Zachary. I think I have effectively debunked your assertions.


Zach said, "*Sigh* I also think that there is no way for us to know about the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Or Vishnu. Or Geusha. Or blark."

I'll let this stand for itself.

Zach - maybe if you wished hard enough it will be logically impossible.

 
At 8/24/2006 9:11 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

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At 8/24/2006 10:12 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Let me be clearer on one point:

Zach said, “You die." The act of dying is not an observational technique. You may be implying that additional observational mechanisms are available after death, but such mechanisms would not be natural, and are irrelevant to the above statement.

I then said, "Wrong. IF you die, *you* will have the opportunity to observe whether God exists. So it would not be *logically impossible* to experience the supernatural."

Zach then said, "This begs the question.”


I said, "I am not sure how this begs the question, Zach. If you die, then it is *apparent* that you will, right or wrong. How does that beg the question?"


The second sentence directly above is worded incorrectly - then ending should have read: *if Christianity is correct*. My point stands above that it is not logically impossible as pointed out in my first quote above and involves no begging of the question.

But even if I granted you this point, it still does not show *logical impossibility*.

 
At 8/24/2006 11:38 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter: What's the point of this? You haven't shown what you intended, so I'm not sure what your point here is.

You argued that a spray could be invented that could change the definition of "color." I was asking if a similar spray could be invented that could change the definition of "married." I'll take your reluctance to agree as a concession that sprays cannot change definitions.

Groundfighter: So you say... but I have yet to see much of an argument.

Let he who has eyes to see...

Groundfighter: Again, *how* is it logically impossible for a supernatural, omnipotent being to interact with the natural? Better yet, how could one know this through observation?

The same way it's logically impossible for a married bachelor to exist. The definitions of "supernatural" and "natural" preclude any kind of interaction. This is just logic- you don't "observe" the fact that married bachelors don't exist to conclude that they don't.

Groundfighter: And you know this through observation?

We know this because of the definition of observation.

Groundfighter: DID I SAY THAT SCIENCE CLAIMED THAT IT COULD JUSTIFY THINGS CONCLUSIVELY, ZACHARY? NO I did not. Its quite apparent that I made the OPPOSITE claim, that science *can't* provide conclusive justification.

That isn't the opposite claim. The opposite claim would be for you to say that science doesn't claim that it provides conclusive justificaiton. You just said dismissively that it didn't, which is uninteresting ifyou were just stating a fact, since I obviously agree.

Groundfighter: But *you* were apparently making *conclusive* claims.

But not scientific claims. So you're still going after a strawman.

Groundfigher: I don't see how you can then keep asserting that it is *logically impossible* for a supernatural, all-powerful God to interact with the natural.

Becuase even given your worldview, after we die we are no longer natural entities. So there wouldn't be the case that a supernatural deity is interacting with a natural entity... it would be two supernatural entities interacting.

Groundfighter: Well, this is worthless.

Exactly my point.

Groundfighter: This would actually be a different claim, but I am not holding my breath for your argument.

I'm sure he accepts many different self-contradictory claims, so what?

Groundfighter: If I recall correctly, it has been your constant claim that it is *incoherent* to talk of God, not mine. So get to it, Zachary. I think I have effectively debunked your assertions.


I'm sure if you hold to that belief strongly enough, it'll actually be true.

 
At 8/25/2006 4:56 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach said, "You argued that a spray could be invented that could change the definition of "color.""

I did not say that something could *change* the definition of color.


Zach said, "I was asking if a similar spray could be invented that could change the definition of "married.""

No Zach. You first need to show that *both* of these truths are *analytic* for you to even have a point. Some don't take bachelor to convey an analytic truth. If it did, I am still not sure how 'radio waves' would be analogous. *Something* could be invented that would show us the color, while it's still invisible to *us* naturally. It seems as though the way you think *everything* term expresses an analytic truth.

I guess you would be one of those 'scientists' 200 years ago that would say it's logically impossible for man to fly (or for Newton to not be entirely correct), inspite of the fact of the airplane (and current discoveries about the universe).


Zach said, "I'll take your reluctance to agree as a concession that sprays cannot change definitions."

Another misrepresentation. I'll take your reluctance to address even *half* of my objections as dodging the central issues.


Zach said, "The same way it's logically impossible for a married bachelor to exist. The definitions of "supernatural" and "natural" preclude any kind of interaction. This is just logic- you don't "observe" the fact that married bachelors don't exist to conclude that they don't."

On the definitions of 'supernatural' and 'natural' - SAYS WHO ZACH? Ok the definition of God is such that it's *impossible* for Him not to exist and interact with the creatures He's made and for His creatures not to interact with Him. I mean, "It's just logic, duhh." That's brilliant Zach. Looks like we'll have to leave it at that. Again, the relevance to married bachelors, who knows?



Zach said, "We know this because of the definition of observation."

Another brilliant point! We know God exists because of the definition of God! Wow!


Zach said, "That isn't the opposite claim. The opposite claim would be for you to say that science doesn't claim that it provides conclusive justificaiton. You just said dismissively that it didn't, which is uninteresting ifyou were just stating a fact, since I obviously agree.

This is boring Zach. I made the claim that science *can't* justify things conclusively. I was reminding you that *it* couldn't, since you were *seemingly* making conclusive claims that science *could*. If you were not, then fine - either way, it was not a strawman.



Zach said, "But not scientific claims. So you're still going after a strawman."

Huh? I never said scientific claims were conclusively. Goodness... So you are still reading what wasn't written.


Zach said, "Becuase even given your worldview, after we die we are no longer natural entities. So there wouldn't be the case that a supernatural deity is interacting with a natural entity... it would be two supernatural entities interacting."

So it's a logical possibility that we are not entirely natural, then? Would we be observing God, if that is the case? Either way, still not sure how any of this has bearing on *logical impossibility*.


Well the rest of what you wrote is even more worthless than the above.

 
At 8/25/2006 5:08 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

I have a new argument for the incoherency of naturalism:

1) By definition, naturalism posits that there is no God,

2) By definition, God is such that it's impossible for Him not to exist and interact with his creatures,

3) Bachelors are not married,

4) Naturalism is analogous to married bachelors (who knows how),

5) Therefore, naturalism is incoherent.

Brilliant.

 
At 8/25/2006 10:04 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

I said, "*Something* could be invented that would show us the color, while it's still invisible to *us* naturally."

For instance something enabling us to see infrared/ultraviolet light.

 
At 8/26/2006 12:36 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter: I did not say that something could *change* the definition of color.

Which is good, becuase that would be logically impossible. But you said, "I see no reason why a spray or something could not be *invented* that would show us the color, if it indeed has one." Color is defined as electromagnetic radiation between the wavelengths of 400 and 700 nanometers. Radio waves are defined as electromagnetic radiation of the wavelength 1 meter or larger. Do you really not understand the distinction? To say that a spray could "show us the color" of radio waves is like saying a apray could make red into green. Maybe this is just one of those "truths" that you just have to believe really, really hard. Good luck with that.

Groundfighter: For instance something enabling us to see infrared/ultraviolet light.

Ah, backtracking a bit, are we? Too bad, because this still doesn't save you from your gaffe. We can't see infrared or ultraviolet light any more than we can see radio waves. We can build electronic detectors which can detect those wavelengths, but for us to appreciate that detection at all, the information has to be retransmitted as a pseudocolored display. What, did you think you were really looking at infrared light when you were watching "Predator?"

Groundfigher: I guess you would be one of those 'scientists' 200 years ago that would say it's logically impossible for man to fly (or for Newton to not be entirely correct), inspite of the fact of the airplane (and current discoveries about the universe).

What "scientists?" What arguments did they give for the logical impossibility of flight? Or... wait, I'm sorry, I seem to have run into another one of your strawmen.

Groundfighter: Another misrepresentation.

Really? So how would that spray work, exactly? Any ideas?

Groundfighter: On the definitions of 'supernatural' and 'natural' - SAYS WHO ZACH?

Right here, baby.

Groundfighter: Ok the definition of God is such that it's *impossible* for Him not to exist and interact with the creatures He's made and for His creatures not to interact with Him.

Good, looks like you're making progress.

Groundfighter: This is boring Zach.

Yeah, clearly you couldn't care less about this discussion.

Groundfigher: I never said scientific claims were conclusively.

And I never said I was making scientific claims. Would you like some bacon with that?

Groundfigher: So it's a logical possibility that we are not entirely natural, then?

Talk about reading what's not written. No! I said that I was assuming the Christian worldview- which is chock-full of logical impossibilities.

Groundfigher: Well the rest of what you wrote is even more worthless than the above.

Aww... somebody's up past his bedtime, I guess. Cranky debaters make sloppy debaters, as you're showing.

Groundfigher: I have a new argument for the incoherency of naturalism:

Looks like an argument for the incoherency of the Christian mind, but thanks for trying!

 
At 8/26/2006 2:09 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach said, "Which is good, becuase that would be logically impossible."

Even if that is not what I was saying, HOW is it logically impossible that the definition of color change? Please Tell? There does not seem to be anything analytic about the word "color". Certainly, there *could* be creatures that don't see in the same ranges as we do. This also assumes that the actual world consists of all *possible* worlds or the actual world is the only possible world.


Zach said, "But you said, "I see no reason why a spray or something could not be *invented* that would show us the color, if it indeed has one." Color is defined as electromagnetic radiation between the wavelengths of 400 and 700 nanometers. Radio waves are defined as electromagnetic radiation of the wavelength 1 meter or larger."

*WE* still may not *naturally* see these colors, but it doesn't seem *logically impossible* for there not to be. Telling me definitions does not constitute as an argument for logical impossibility.


Zach said, "Do you really not understand the distinction? To say that a spray could "show us the color" of radio waves is like saying a apray could make red into green. Maybe this is just one of those "truths" that you just have to believe really, really hard. Good luck with that."

Forget 'spray' (I was thinking of someone using an aerosol spray to illuminate laser type alarms), I'm speaking of *any* invention that would allow this.

Do you really not understand that you are going to have to do more than quote a definition? Are there conditions where we or other animals can see different types of light not viewable in ordinary circumstances? Again, where's your argument?



Zach said, "Ah, backtracking a bit, are we? Too bad, because this still doesn't save you from your gaffe. We can't see infrared or ultraviolet light any more than we can see radio waves. We can build electronic detectors which can detect those wavelengths, but for us to appreciate that detection at all, the information has to be retransmitted as a pseudocolored display. What, did you think you were really looking at infrared light when you were watching "Predator?""

NO backtracking here Zachary. This is my point! IT'S NOT LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DETECT SUCH THINGS. The question was "What color are radio waves?" This does not have to do with our being able to naturally view the color, but whether radio waves do have color! And if something can be built so that we can determine the color, THEN IT'S NOT LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE THAT *RADIO WAVES HAVE COLOR*!

Even so, this is all *assuming* results in the *actual world*. But *logical possibility* goes beyond the actual world into possible worlds. And here is where your argument *must* go to prove logical impossibility. So good luck, Zach.

Nevertheless, I still fail to see how any of this sidetrack has anything to do with God-talk, as your claims in this arena have already been debunked.

The rest of what you wrote is not worth responding to as you have now acquiesced to my point with your current response.

If you want to continually quote definitions in order to attempt to 'prove' your points, then I'll continually quote definitions in order to 'prove' my points.

 
At 8/26/2006 2:17 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

I said, "So it's a logical possibility that we are not entirely natural, then?"

Zach said, "Talk about reading what's not written. No! I said that I was assuming the Christian worldview- which is chock-full of logical impossibilities."


No Zach. Earlier you said that the Christian outcome was one of many *possibilities*.

More precisely, you said: "There are *many logically possible outcomes* when you die, only one of which involves the aquisition of knowledge concerning the existence of God." If it's logically possible that we acquire knowledge of God after death, but as you say this would not be natural, then it seems to follow that it's *logically possible* that we are not solely natural.

Another self-refutation by Zach.

 
At 8/28/2006 8:29 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter: HOW is it logically impossible that the definition of color change?

The law of non-contradiction. Color (400-770 nm) cannot equal non-color (>1 m).

Groundfighter: Certainly, there *could* be creatures that don't see in the same ranges as we do.

Not only could, but are. Bees, for example, can see in the ultraviolet range. But this is beside the point, because I am arguing against the personal coherency of the concept. Maybe there are organisms that can detect the supernatural, but I can't, and that's my point.

Groundfighter: *WE* still may not *naturally* see these colors, but it doesn't seem *logically impossible* for there not to be.

But perception is the whole point. The definition of color itself is based on perception- and to speak meaningfully of that which cannot be perceived is incoherent.

Groundfighter: Forget 'spray' (I was thinking of someone using an aerosol spray to illuminate laser type alarms), I'm speaking of *any* invention that would allow this.

No invention could allow it. For humans to percieve color, electromagnetic radiation would have to be retransmitted in the 400-770 nm range. We could never "see" radio.

Groundfighter: Do you really not understand that you are going to have to do more than quote a definition?

I always love it when presuppers tell me what I "have to do." It usually means they are unconfortable with what I'm already doing, and they want me to stop.

Groundfighter: Are there conditions where we or other animals can see different types of light not viewable in ordinary circumstances?

No. Bees can see ultraviolet light, as I mentioned before, but that IS the "ordinary circumstance" for them. Also, to gain the ability to see ultraviolet light they lose the ability to see red. So, to talk to a bee about a "red" apple would also be incoherent (if bees could communicate with humans).

Groundfigher: And if something can be built so that we can determine the color, THEN IT'S NOT LOGICALLY IMPOSSIBLE THAT *RADIO WAVES HAVE COLOR*!

"If" something can be built, yes. But I reject that premise.

Groundfighter: Even so, this is all *assuming* results in the *actual world*.

Yeah, because that's where we live! I don't care about other possible worlds- my point is about human perception, which takes place right here.

Groundfighter: Nevertheless, I still fail to see how any of this sidetrack has anything to do with God-talk, as your claims in this arena have already been debunked.

Not even by half. The "color" of radio waves argument is, by way of analogy, a critique of the original question, which was about the conception of things "beyond nature." If you recall, your panties got into a twist when I referred to that concept as incoherent. The discussion thus far has been to lead you as gently as possible into the realm of rationality.

Groundfighter: Earlier you said that the Christian outcome was one of many *possibilities*.

Uh... no. I didn't say that the "Christian outcome" was one possibility. I said that the existence of "God" was one such possibility. I did not specify the Christian god. That god is internally inconsistent and is not a possibility. You might want to keep your head out of your presuppositions when you're projecting your assumptions onto me. Just a suggestion.

 
At 8/28/2006 10:11 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach said, "The law of non-contradiction. Color (400-770 nm) cannot equal non-color (>1 m)."

How does the law of noncontradiction apply in this case? It's obviously an a posteriori concept and does not seem to be necessary. Anyway, I'm not sure how it would be a contradiction if color were to change - in another possible world, it would no longer be color at the original range, thus not a logical contradiction.

**For something to be a logical contradiction, it would have to be *contradictory* at the same time and in the same sense. In other words, it would have to be that it is the case that color is 400-770 nm and not the case that color is 400-770 nm at the same time and in the same manner. But color is still 400-770 nm, so I'm not sure how this entails a logical contradiction.

Even if the range of color were to change *completely*, I still fail to see how it constitutes a logical contradiction - since it would *no longer* be at it's former range.



Zach said, "Not only could, but are. Bees, for example, can see in the ultraviolet range. But this is beside the point, because I am arguing against the personal coherency of the concept. Maybe there are organisms that can detect the supernatural, but I can't, and that's my point."

Well if that's your point, then it has *nothing* to do with logical impossibility. So it seems as though you've wasted your time here.


Zach said, "But perception is the whole point. The definition of color itself is based on perception- and to speak meaningfully of that which cannot be perceived is incoherent."

Exactly, it's an posteriori truth. For this reason, I don't see how it can be analytic. If it's not analytic, then I don't see how it's in the same arena as married bachelors, square circles, etc.

But if you actually have an argument that it's logically incoherent to speak of things that can't be perceived, then I'd love to hear it.


Zach said, "No invention could allow it. For humans to percieve color, electromagnetic radiation would have to be retransmitted in the 400-770 nm range. We could never "see" radio."

Never? How do you know 'never'? If we come to know the definition of color by perception, but perceptual means cannot give one conclusive justification, then how can you make this claim? Or can one obtain *conclusive justification* through perception?

Again see above about analytic statements. Even if I granted that this is the case in the *actual world*, it tells me nothing of logical possibility.


Zach said, "I always love it when presuppers tell me what I "have to do." It usually means they are unconfortable with what I'm already doing, and they want me to stop."

Right, Zach. But who said I'm a 'presupper'. I agree with them on certain things and disagree on others, but don't know if I consider myself a 'presupper' - unless you are using that term broadly.


Zach said, 'No. Bees can see ultraviolet light, as I mentioned before, but that IS the "ordinary circumstance" for them. Also, to gain the ability to see ultraviolet light they lose the ability to see red. So, to talk to a bee about a "red" apple would also be incoherent (if bees could communicate with humans)."

This isn't much different than above. But this goes to show that it isn't *logically impossible*. I don't see how it matters that they don't see red anymore.


Zach said, ""If" something can be built, yes. But I reject that premise."

Huh? This appears to be double-speak. Why agree that if something could be then yes (it's not logically impossible), but then say you reject that premise? If you concur with the 'if' above, I'm not sure how you can then reject the premise and still say that it's logically impossibility.


Zach said, "Yeah, because that's where we live! I don't care about other possible worlds- my point is about human perception, which takes place right here."

Then you obviously don't care about logical possibility or have an anemic understanding of it.


Zach said, "Not even by half. The "color" of radio waves argument is, by way of analogy, a critique of the original question, which was about the conception of things "beyond nature." If you recall, your panties got into a twist when I referred to that concept as incoherent. The discussion thus far has been to lead you as gently as possible into the realm of rationality."

Yes I know that you attempted to draw an analogy, but there were other objections that were not addressed. Needless to say, you have not shown that things 'beyond nature' are incoherent or how our main topic is analogous. But even *if* I granted you that some things 'beyond nature' are incoherent (I DON'T), I don't see how it follows that *all* things that are 'beyond nature' are incoherent.


Zach said, "Uh... no. I didn't say that the "Christian outcome" was one possibility. I said that the existence of "God" was one such possibility. I did not specify the Christian god. That god is internally inconsistent and is not a possibility. You might want to keep your head out of your presuppositions when you're projecting your assumptions onto me. Just a suggestion."

Maybe you should reread the last paragraph of that particular reply of mine.

My pointing out your self-refutation does not rely on you stipulating the Christian god. If we could obtain knowledge of God after death, and this is not natural, then it is still logically possible that we are not solely natural. But according to you, things 'beyond nature' are logically impossible; hence, the self-refutation.

 
At 8/28/2006 6:40 PM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter: Anyway, I'm not sure how it would be a contradiction if color were to change - in another possible world, it would no longer be color at the original range, thus not a logical contradiction.

Clearly, you still haven't been able to grasp what color is. Color is a concept, not an entity.

Groundfighter: For something to be a logical contradiction, it would have to be *contradictory* at the same time and in the same sense.

Exactly, which is why radio waves do not have color.

Groundfighter: Even if the range of color were to change *completely*, I still fail to see how it constitutes a logical contradiction - since it would *no longer* be at it's former range.

How exactly is this range supposed to change? Especially since the range is defined by the concept of "color?"

Groundfigher: Well if that's your point, then it has *nothing* to do with logical impossibility.

But I'm not a bee, I'm a human. So it is meaningless to for me to talk about "seeing" ultraviolet light. It's impossible.

Groundfighter: But if you actually have an argument that it's logically incoherent to speak of things that can't be perceived, then I'd love to hear it.

He who has ears to hear...

Groundfighter: Never? How do you know 'never'? If we come to know the definition of color by perception, but perceptual means cannot give one conclusive justification, then how can you make this claim?

I'm speaking in terms of my humanity. I suppose one could "recreate" humans into another kind of being that you could engineer that kind of detection, but that's not the issue. My point is that I, as a human, cannot see radio waves, and thus they are not part of my perception of color. To refer to the "color" of radio waves, is then incoherent to me.

Groundfighter: But who said I'm a 'presupper'. I agree with them on certain things and disagree on others, but don't know if I consider myself a 'presupper' - unless you are using that term broadly.

Broadly enough to recognize that rhetorical strategy, at least.

Groundfighter: I don't see how it matters that they don't see red anymore.

Because it's meaningless to talk to a bee about the concept of "red."

Groundfighter: Why agree that if something could be then yes (it's not logically impossible), but then say you reject that premise?

I was acknowledging the validity of your form, while rejecting your premise as impossible.

Groundfighter: But even *if* I granted you that some things 'beyond nature' are incoherent (I DON'T), I don't see how it follows that *all* things that are 'beyond nature' are incoherent.

Because the reason for one's incoherency is shared by all. Namely, the meaninglessness of a supernatural concept.

Groundfighter:
Maybe you should reread the last paragraph of that particular reply of mine.


You mean the one you prefaced by falsely claiming that the Christian outcome was a possibility? Right. You assume that the acquisition of knowledge after death would not be natural, and that is another assumption which I didn't make. If a god existed he would have to be a natural entity, and thus this knowledge would be gained through a natural process.

 
At 8/28/2006 8:45 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach said, "Clearly, you still haven't been able to grasp what color is. Color is a concept, not an entity."

Quit the dishonesty, Zach.


I said, "For something to be a logical contradiction, it would have to be *contradictory* at the same time and in the same sense.

Zach said, "Exactly, which is why radio waves do not have color."

This is exactly why you don't know what a logical contradiction is.


Zach said, "But I'm not a bee, I'm a human. So it is meaningless to for me to talk about "seeing" ultraviolet light. It's impossible."

You are confusing meaningless with incoherency again. If it's meaningless, then it's not incoherent -> if it's meaningless, then it's neither true nor false, but if it's incoherent, it's always false and such that it *could never* be true.


Zach said, "I'm speaking in terms of my humanity. I suppose one could "recreate" humans into another kind of being that you could engineer that kind of detection, but that's not the issue. My point is that I, as a human, cannot see radio waves, and thus they are not part of my perception of color. To refer to the "color" of radio waves, is then incoherent to me."

If one can recreate humans, then it's not logically impossible (incoherent) for humans to see the color (and neither would it be incoherent 'for you'). And yes, this is the issue. It certainly doesn't seem to be a necessary property for humans to see only a certain range of color. I still fail to see why something not being a perceptible is classified as incoherent.


Zach said, "Because it's meaningless to talk to a bee about the concept of "red.""

I never said anything about talking to a bee.


Zach said, "I was acknowledging the validity of your form, while rejecting your premise as impossible."

This doesn't mean much now due to your comments above.


Zach said, "Because the reason for one's incoherency is shared by all. Namely, the meaninglessness of a supernatural concept."

Again, meaningfulness vs incoherency problem. If this is the case, why the analogy? Why not just define things into incoherency?


Zach said, "You mean the one you prefaced by falsely claiming that the Christian outcome was a possibility? Right."

How did I preface it falsely especially since I said 'More precisely'? ******THIS IS PRECISELY WHY I SAID 'MORE PRECISELY'******* i.e., to make it more clear.

Take your own advice: "You might want to keep your head out of your presuppositions when you're projecting your assumptions onto me. Just a suggestion."


Zach said, "You assume that the acquisition of knowledge after death would not be natural, and that is another assumption which I didn't make. If a god existed he would have to be a natural entity, and thus this knowledge would be gained through a natural process."

That was what you said earlier. But are you now saying that *a* supernatural deity could not even exist (i.e., logically impossible)? Why would he *have* to be natural?

I still have yet to see much of an argument for your claim.

Any further responses I give will most likely be definitions that I will then claim refute all your assertions, since all my definitions hold by logical necessity.

 
At 8/28/2006 8:49 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

I remember you said that reincarnation was one *possibility*. If that's a possibility, then what is reincarnated?

Anyway, you have consistently confused epistemic claims with claims of necessary falsehood.

 
At 8/29/2006 8:03 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

Groundfighter: Quit the dishonesty, Zach.

Quit the ad hominems, Groundfighter.

Groundfighter: This is exactly why you don't know what a logical contradiction is.

Because I don't know that a 500 nm wave can also be a 1 m wave? Please.

Groundfighter: You are confusing meaningless with incoherency again.

*Sigh* Not this circle again.

Groundfighter: If one can recreate humans, then it's not logically impossible (incoherent) for humans to see the color (and neither would it be incoherent 'for you').

Yes, because then we wouldn't be humans. We would be something different. If humans were recreated to have feathers, wings, a beak, and talons, we'd be birds.

Groundfighter:
I never said anything about talking to a bee.


But you think it's perfectly reasonable to talk about the "supernatural" to a human.

Groundfighter: Again, meaningfulness vs incoherency problem. If this is the case, why the analogy?

Because you couldn't grasp what I meant when I said that the supernatural was incoherent.

Groundfighter: How did I preface it falsely especially since I said 'More precisely'?

Saying, "more precisely," is a way of adding detail and nuance to a general statement, that being that I was supporting the Christian position, which I wasn't. Really, do you think that you can be "more precise" about Christian theism by making a statement about general theism?

Groundfighter: That was what you said earlier. But are you now saying that *a* supernatural deity could not even exist (i.e., logically impossible)? Why would he *have* to be natural?

I never said that such knowledge would be supernatural. And it's obvious that it has to be natural, because otherwise it would be incoherent.

Groundfighter: Any further responses I give will most likely be definitions that I will then claim refute all your assertions, since all my definitions hold by logical necessity.

Hey, do what you want, buddy.

Groundfighter: I remember you said that reincarnation was one *possibility*. If that's a possibility, then what is reincarnated?

One possibility is that our energy is converted back into matter, which becomes a new organism. I don't hold to this personally, but it's a natural explanation of the process.

 
At 8/29/2006 11:58 AM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/29/2006 12:22 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8/29/2006 12:27 PM, Blogger groundfighter76 declaimed...

Zach said, “Quit the ad hominems, Groundfighter.”

If you want to consider that an ad hominem, then fine. My arguments do not rest on it.


Zach said, “Because I don't know that a 500 nm wave can also be a 1 m wave? Please.”

Good job, Zach, change the claims that are being made.


Zach said, “*Sigh* Not this circle again.”

*Sigh* Not this elementary misunderstanding again.


Zach said, “Yes, because then we wouldn't be humans. We would be something different. If humans were recreated to have feathers, wings, a beak, and talons, we'd be birds.”

So it’s not logically impossible. Neither do I see how it’s logically impossible for humans to have different properties, 'heightened' properties, etc. I'm not sure how this would jeopardize our humanity.

Also, I don't see why such a radical change needs to be proposed in the current context of the discussion (referring to us being recreated to have feathers, wings, a beak, and talons...).



Zach said, “But you think it's perfectly reasonable to talk about the "supernatural" to a human.”

Since a bee is not a person, I don’t see this as analogous to the supernatural.


Zach said, “Because you couldn't grasp what I meant when I said that the supernatural was incoherent.”

You have yet to grasp what you are talking about.


Zach said, “Saying, "more precisely," is a way of adding detail and nuance to a general statement, that being that I was supporting the Christian position, which I wasn't. Really, do you think that you can be "more precise" about Christian theism by making a statement about general theism?”

I was not being more precise about Christian theism or that you were supporting Christian Theism, so don’t project your assumptions onto me. I was being more precise *about your statements and position* by actually quoting you, a big difference.


Zach said, “I never said that such knowledge would be supernatural. And it's obvious that it has to be natural, because otherwise it would be incoherent”

You said that even if my worldview were correct, the knowledge would not be supernatural. It would be two supernatural entities. And you said, “The act of dying is not an observational technique. You may be implying that additional observational mechanisms are available after death, but such mechanisms would not be natural, and are irrelevant to the above statement.”

Now I may have misunderstood you and that’s fine, since my critique of your position doesn’t rest on this.


Zach said, “One possibility is that our energy is converted back into matter, which becomes a new organism. I don't hold to this personally, but it's a natural explanation of the process.”

Is this observational?


Zach said earlier, “…and to speak meaningfully of that which cannot be perceived is incoherent.”

Basically, your position is the above statement and your ‘definitional’ rejection of the supernatural interacting with the natural (rejection of observing the supernatural). This is nothing more than a slant on the Verificationist Principle and is self-referentially incoherent with a definitional pleading (write Nous and tell them that you saved the positivists) that it must be correct. Still laughable…

 

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