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Old 06-01-2020, 10:24 AM   #1
Mightyboosh
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Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

So I've been given this argument, and frankly, it looks like a bit of a word salad with a sprinkling of bits that make sense but aren't doing the work the author imagines them to be, but... just want to run it by people here, see what you guys think.

In short, I think the first argument fails because I'm an atheist and I have free will and I have morals, so if even if I accept that I'm nothing more than a random lump of molecules, that clearly doesn't preclude having either of those things.

Secondly, there's a problem with the 'efficient cause' argument because that premise can be used to show that there's no free will if you're a theist (*I've put that at the bottom), and finally, just because there's a transcendental cause doesn't mean that it's the Christian god and has the characteristics assigned to it by Christians.

It also contains a false claim that atheists think that 'the universe was created by nothing', I'm certainly not claiming that, I'm saying that the universe may have come from nothing, there's an important difference.

Quote:
The existence of God is an axiomatic truth. Atheism on the other hand is a self-refuting world view. I will now briefly explain why Atheism is self defeating and why God’s existence is logically and rationally valid.

Atheism is the worldview that states “God does not exist.” Atheism rejects the idea of gods, spirits and souls, and grounds its beliefs in materialism.

For the Atheist however this is an unassailable problem due to the fact that the Atheist has to deny the existence of their own soul in order to believe their worldview.

Under Atheism, a human being is nothing more than a clump of soulless molecules. And as such they necessarily deny the existence of freewill.

Therefore whatever action an Atheist makes, be it physical or mental, it is nothing more than a byproduct of random chemical reactions in their personal clump of molecules.

And as we know from repeated observable experiment, random chemical reactions lack the ability to be moral, ethical or intelligent, for they are undirected processes.

In conclusion then, if an Atheist is correct in their assertion that gods, spirits and souls do not exist, then Atheists themselves do not have souls, and therefore lack the ability to choose moral, ethical, and intelligent right thinking.

This then begs the question… ‘Why then should we believe the Atheist worldview that states, “God does not exist”?

On the other hand the existence of God makes sense of all available data, from the emergence of the universe to the emergence of consciousness, freewill and morality.

The existence of God can be shown logically and rationally as we adhere to the rules of logic.

Two logical truths are required here:

1) Cause and Effect. Through repeated observable experiments we can show that Effects occur simultaneously with or after their Causes.
2) Nothing begets Nothing. As Nothing is the absence of everything and anything, including all potential and possibility, it is impotent to bring about any change.

One argument for the existence of God can be formulated like this.

Premise one: Everything that comes into existence has an efficient cause.
Premise two: The universe came into existence 13.8 Billion years ago.
Conclusion: Therefore the universe has an efficient cause.

As previously stated, Nothing could not possibly be the cause of the universe.
Also it is logically incoherent that the universe could cause itself.
Therefore something transcendent caused the universe.

This transcendent cause must necessarily be timeless or eternal, for time was created in the cosmic inflation of the universe, and this transcendent cause could not have arisen from Nothing.

This transcendent eternal first cause must also necessarily be personal, for an eternal law or object would be impotent in triggering an effect from an eternal state.

In conclusion, a transcendent, eternal, personal, first cause of the universe necessarily and logically exists.

This is only one of around twenty logical arguments for the necessary existence of God, supported by mathematics and science.
In the Judaeo-Christian worldview the sciences flourish. For this worldview has consistently maintained that the universe had an absolute beginning of space, time and matter and was brought into being by a transcendent, eternal, personal, first cause.
Using 'efficient cause; to disprove freewill. Might have been Hulme who first did this.

(P1) Every human choice or action is an event
(P2) Every event has an explanatory efficient cause (<-- your premise)
... (C1) Therefore, every human choice or action has its explanatory efficient cause (<-- which you call god)
(P3) Every human choice or action has its explanatory efficient cause
(P4) To have explanatory efficient cause is not to be free
... (C2) Therefore, human choice or action is not free.
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Evolutionary the human being with respect to consciousness was immersed within the cosmic milieu and as such was guided within events which were also manifested by higher beings. In essence he lived within a clouded consciousness at least partially.

If the cosmos continued along this course it would spell cosmic death , a death in stasis . The hierarchy of Gods ( angelic and above) worked within a picture of the human being to which they were working in order to bring him into higher realms.

The problem ensues such that if the "good gods" of evolution continued on the human being would come into a creative automaton with no sense of self.

Enter Lucifer and his beings and the temptation as noted in the Bible: Man fell in his evolutionary course to a lower level but consequent to this is his sense of being "individual". In the course of time he becomes a self conscious being, an individual.

Look at the works of art, libraries full of books and others and note they are consequent , on the whole, to the work of individual Man. But it is still not enough.

Luciferic self centerdness is the result if continued within each man to the extreme and its attendant soul state of apathy.

The opposite extreme is to give oneself to the external world in a passionate endeavor which results with loss of self. This is the work of another higher being, not often spoken to , called Ahriman. He is the trickster called Mephistopheles who would have you believe that the sense bound earthly world is the only world; the realm of the deceiver. His name if often called Satan.

Man is immersed within the two poles of being which greedily want him to follow their course into time. They are attempting to seduce Man into their respective realms and often enough work together.

This, directly above, can be gleaned within the works of Aristotle in which he speaks of something to the effect of (too much or too little). He( Aristotle) speaks to the mean in which one proceeds with courage and fortitude into the future. But Aristotle doesn't speak to Love as the time was not right as of yet.

Enter the Christ who brings the Impulse and Power of Love to the world and the cosmos. The world of Love and Compassion enters into the Heart of all men who through the guide but not any coercion of the Christ Being, continue onto the future .

Man through his own judgement is able to work within Love and Compassion as a free being as Love cannot exist without freedom or "free will".

To often and especially with Hume and Kant they are unable to conceive of a free being for they naturally assume that Man cannot create that to which he is immersed. They seem to think that because there are other beings human or otherwise that they cannot be "free" without complete extraction from the cosmic milieu, a Luciferic self centerdness.

There were (are) two streams of evolution to wit; the Buddhist stream of inner wisdom and the Hebrew stream of outer works, most notable Moses and Zarathustra . These two streams converge within the man, Jesus of Nazareth who sacrificed his ego as the Christ
being entered into him at the Baptism of John and morphs into Christ Jesus who lived for 3 years as a human being, died on Golgotha on the Cross .

Subsequently the Christ Being entered into the Earth as the Spirit of the Earth and Cosmos as guide for the refurbishment of not only the individual man but the Cosmic motions of all the Gods (angelic beings); the Cosmos is save from the death kneel known by the mystery centers in anticipation of the ebullient creation of a new Universe.

We are in the midst of a destructive dying past and a constructive future and we through our work are in the midst of the redemption of All to which the earth is known as the planet of Love brought forth by the individual free man.

Man becomes (is ) a free being to which the intellect can only approach through understanding, not via an Aristotelian syllogism.
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Old 06-01-2020, 04:30 PM   #3
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Not believing in a higher power does not mean not believing in things greater than your base needs for survival.

You could believe in the Constitution, you could believe in the tax code, you could believe in the Republican or Democrat Platform.

I think he has leapt to not believing in a soul means you believe in nothing, which is more towards nihilism. He is confusing the two ideologies.
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:31 AM   #4
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

The argument is quite good, in my opinion.


Here is something to think about:


1. The laws of logic are an essential part of human reasoning.

2. The laws of logic are immaterial.

3. Everything that exists is material.

4. The laws of logic exist.



At least one of the above four points MUST be false.

The materialist/physicalist atheist has to AFFIRM #3 and DENY at least ONE of the remaining points.

The Christian AFFIRMS all points EXCEPT #3.
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:39 AM   #5
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
The argument is quite good, in my opinion.


Here is something to think about:


1. The laws of logic are an essential part of human reasoning.

2. The laws of logic are immaterial.

3. Everything that exists is material.

4. The laws of logic exist.



At least one of the above four points MUST be false.

The materialist/physicalist atheist has to AFFIRM #3 and DENY at least ONE of the remaining points.

The Christian AFFIRMS all points EXCEPT #3.
Bit of a subject change but whatever... Easy, 2. is wrong. The laws of logic, like everything we perceive, happen in our brains, and our brains are material and unless you can prove that they're not, then everything that happens in our brain is also material. Good luck trying to prove something immaterial.

The guy I quoted in the OP claims that soulless molecules (atheists) wouldn't be capable of argument, so the fact of my argument proves that I have a soul.

P1) It's impossible to argue unless souls exist
...c1) Therefore souls exist.

Yuck, care to comment on that?
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Old 06-02-2020, 03:42 AM   #6
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by Smudger2408 View Post
Not believing in a higher power does not mean not believing in things greater than your base needs for survival.

You could believe in the Constitution, you could believe in the tax code, you could believe in the Republican or Democrat Platform.

I think he has leapt to not believing in a soul means you believe in nothing, which is more towards nihilism. He is confusing the two ideologies.
He seems to be arguing that that soulless molecules (atheists) wouldn't be capable of argument, so the fact of my argument proves that I have a soul. That's circular.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:39 AM   #7
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by carlo View Post

Man becomes (is ) a free being to which the intellect can only approach through understanding, not via an Aristotelian syllogism.
I appreciate your posts Carlo, always have but I never know what you're talking about.
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:23 AM   #8
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
Bit of a subject change but whatever... Easy, 2. is wrong. The laws of logic, like everything we perceive, happen in our brains, and our brains are material and unless you can prove that they're not, then everything that happens in our brain is also material. Good luck trying to prove something immaterial.
You have to do better than that. All you're saying is that you have a physical experience of the laws of logic, not that the laws of logic themselves are material.

It is curious that a non-material mental pathway would persist in a cross-culturally consistent manner. The same challenge exists with a materialist's account of properties of mathematics.

Quote:
The guy I quoted in the OP claims that soulless molecules (atheists) wouldn't be capable of argument, so the fact of my argument proves that I have a soul.
This is a strawman. The claim is that under a materialist hypothesis, an argument is merely the outpouring of deterministic activities. You might as well be saying that the fact of a waterfall shows that water can choose to fall.

The fundamental claim is that an assertion of materialism does not provide space for the capacity to make an independent determination of the quality of the argument.
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Old 06-02-2020, 12:31 PM   #9
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
The argument is quite good, in my opinion.


Here is something to think about:


1. The laws of logic are an essential part of human reasoning.

2. The laws of logic are immaterial.

3. Everything that exists is material.

4. The laws of logic exist.



At least one of the above four points MUST be false.

The materialist/physicalist atheist has to AFFIRM #3 and DENY at least ONE of the remaining points.

The Christian AFFIRMS all points EXCEPT #3.
Atheists can (and probably should) reject (3), at least as it's being used here. There are some subtleties involved in "materialist" ontologies that are probably being lost though. But in any case the argument against very reductive materialist ontologies is much better than any argument for theism.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:35 PM   #10
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
The argument is quite good, in my opinion.


Here is something to think about:


1. The laws of logic are an essential part of human reasoning.

2. The laws of logic are immaterial.

3. Everything that exists is material.

4. The laws of logic exist.



At least one of the above four points MUST be false.

The materialist/physicalist atheist has to AFFIRM #3 and DENY at least ONE of the remaining points.

The Christian AFFIRMS all points EXCEPT #3.
(4) is rejected by many Christian philosophers and theologians. For example, William of Ockham, rejected the real existence of universals (which would typically include the laws of logic).
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:06 PM   #11
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
At least one of the above four points MUST be false.
So what?
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:40 PM   #12
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
So I've been given this argument, and frankly, it looks like a bit of a word salad with a sprinkling of bits that make sense but aren't doing the work the author imagines them to be, but... just want to run it by people here, see what you guys think.

I think you should flatly ask them why they are arguing something that has nothing to do with why they are a Christian.


In fact, I think every apologist should be asked this question before going any further.





(did someone send you this to you, or are you 'involved' in the original discussion on FB? Because the apologist, someone from WLC's Reasonable Faith org, has already abandoned the comments)
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Old 06-02-2020, 10:52 PM   #13
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
The argument is quite good, in my opinion.


Here is something to think about:


1. The laws of logic are an essential part of human reasoning.

2. The laws of logic are immaterial.

3. Everything that exists is material.

4. The laws of logic exist.



At least one of the above four points MUST be false.

The materialist/physicalist atheist has to AFFIRM #3 and DENY at least ONE of the remaining points.

The Christian AFFIRMS all points EXCEPT #3.



The materialist/physicalist atheist

has to might

affirm #3.


But it is not a gotcha in the slightest. Or do you think materialists like Daniel Dennett have no explanation for concepts, thoughts, etc?
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Old 06-02-2020, 11:48 PM   #14
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

You guys never cease to make me laugh.

1. God either exists, or God doesn't exist.
2. You either believe God exists, or you don't believe God exists.
3. You can neither prove God exists, nor disprove God exists.
4. RoundGuy is God.

One of these statements MUST be wrong. I wonder which one.....
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Old 06-03-2020, 04:41 AM   #15
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeaucoupFish View Post
I think you should flatly ask them why they are arguing something that has nothing to do with why they are a Christian.


In fact, I think every apologist should be asked this question before going any further.
I did make this point, it was ignored.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeaucoupFish View Post



(did someone send you this to you, or are you 'involved' in the original discussion on FB? Because the apologist, someone from WLC's Reasonable Faith org, has already abandoned the comments)
Involved, it was a church page that popped up on my wall, and have they? Haha, I need to find that... (Or can you point me toward that please?)

Last edited by Mightyboosh; 06-03-2020 at 05:07 AM.
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Old 06-03-2020, 04:52 AM   #16
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Ok. With some trepidation, I've unblocked you and I'm willing to swap posts if you can refrain from personal comments and I think that would be greatly facilitated if you could accept that I'm genuinely willing to learn. If my position moves it may be that I didn't state it well, or that it's evolved, but it's never to simply avoid looking like I was wrong.

Zumby once told me that if I worried more about being wrong than appearing to be wrong, I'd be getting somewhere. It's advice I very much took to heart.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
You have to do better than that. All you're saying is that you have a physical experience of the laws of logic, not that the laws of logic themselves are material.

It is curious that a non-material mental pathway would persist in a cross-culturally consistent manner. The same challenge exists with a materialist's account of properties of mathematics.
Ok, what I was trying to articulate is something along the lines of.. the brain is material, and what we perceive is happening in that material medium, and so what reason do we have to believe that thoughts etc are anything other than a material phenomenon?

The claim that they are immaterial relies on that even being possible, and as far as I know, that has never been shown to be possible.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
This is a strawman. The claim is that under a materialist hypothesis, an argument is merely the outpouring of deterministic activities. You might as well be saying that the fact of a waterfall shows that water can choose to fall.

Ok, so this matters greatly to me, I don't want to be guilty of a fallacy that means that I'm wrong and can't see it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
The fundamental claim is that an assertion of materialism does not provide space for the capacity to make an independent determination of the quality of the argument.
I don't understand this. Can you break it down for me?

Last edited by Mightyboosh; 06-03-2020 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 06-03-2020, 07:13 AM   #17
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundGuy View Post
You guys never cease to make me laugh.

1. God either exists, or God doesn't exist.
2. You either believe God exists, or you don't believe God exists.
3. You can neither prove God exists, nor disprove God exists.
4. RoundGuy is God.

One of these statements MUST be wrong. I wonder which one.....
You're god, you figure it out.
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Old 06-03-2020, 11:20 AM   #18
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
Ok, what I was trying to articulate is something along the lines of.. the brain is material, and what we perceive is happening in that material medium, and so what reason do we have to believe that thoughts etc are anything other than a material phenomenon?

The claim that they are immaterial relies on that even being possible, and as far as I know, that has never been shown to be possible.
Here is where you're going to get yourself into trouble with your materialist mindset. You are assuming yourself out of the conversation. You are taking a materialist assumption, using that assumption to conclude that there cannot be immaterial (What means must one use to prove the immaterial? Materialist means, of course!), and then relying upon that conclusion to reinforce your materialist mindset.

There are plenty of reasons to consider the possibility of immaterial facts or a "realness" to abstract quantities. Mathematical ideas is one such reason. If it were the case that different cultures came to different conclusions about mathematical facts (that is, the logic and reasoning underlying them, not the cultural interpretations with numerology and so forth), then it would be clear that mathematical ideas are bound by culture and exist (in some form) within that culture.

However, different cultures have arrived to the same conclusions (sometimes with strangely similar proofs) independently at different times in history and coming out of different cultures. This strongly suggests that (for example) "the fact that in a right triangle, the sum of the squares of the two shorter sides is equal to the sum of the squares of the longer side" exists in a manner that is somehow a part of reality.

But then it also exists in a way that is mind-independent. That is, it's not simply true because a particular brain (or a collection of brains) think it's true. It's a true reflection of a property of reality, but it is not itself a material piece of reality.

One can consider logic in the same context.

Edit: Another way to think about it -- Would "1+1=2" true even if there were no brains to think about it?

Quote:
I don't understand this. Can you break it down for me?
Suppose it is true that all of your experiences are merely the result of deterministic (or at least, probabilistically deterministic) laws. Then any particular firing of synapses in your brain are simply the outcome of the positions/velocities of various particles in your head subject to the physical laws that drive their behaviors. This is identical to the way we would describe the movement of water in a waterfall. The outcome of the waterfall (how it behaves) is based on the positions/velocities of the various particles in the waterfall being subjected to the physical laws which drive those behaviors.

Why would you think that what is happening in your brain is different from what is happening in a waterfall? And if you think it's different, why is it different?

But if you're being logically consistent, there is no difference. It's just physical laws playing out. So you can no more "decide" that a conclusion is valid or invalid than the waterfall can "decide" to fall.

Last edited by Aaron W.; 06-03-2020 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:12 PM   #19
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by BeaucoupFish View Post
I think you should flatly ask them why they are arguing something that has nothing to do with why they are a Christian.

In fact, I think every apologist should be asked this question before going any further.
I think you make an EXCELLENT point here, with a few caveats.

Dr. William Lane Craig makes what I believe to be a useful distinction between "Knowing" and "Showing."

The Christian KNOWS that his faith is true by being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and having his "heart of stone" being replaced by a "heart of flesh." Being "born again" is a miraculous super-natural event performed by God.

(This would be what philosophers call "knowledge of acquaintance)"

The Christian can only attempt to SHOW that Christianity is true by argumentation.

(This would be what philosophers call "propositional knowledge")


A simple real-life example might be helpful:

I KNOW that I had oatmeal for breakfast last Sunday.

But, it would be very difficult for me to SHOW (prove) to somebody that I am not lying about having having had oatmeal for breakfast last Sunday.

My roommate might confirm my account by saying that he saw me eat oatmeal Sunday morning.

I might be able to show that the only breakfast food I have in my house is oatmeal.

I might be able to produce some evidence that I had oatmeal, but no actual proof.

So, one can KNOW something without being able to SHOW that something.

(to be continued.....)
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Old 06-03-2020, 12:30 PM   #20
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

One of the many vehicles that God uses to bring people to faith is by way of arguments and evidence.

There are other ways that God uses to draw us to Him:

Christian philosopher Dr. Peter Kreeft claimed that he was aware of two atheists who independently came to the faith after attending a performance of "The St. Matthew Passion" by J.S. Bach.

Many have come to faith by observing acts of kindness and selfless generosity by devout Christians.

Ultimately, as the Scripture says, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

But God can "speak" His saving gospel to people in different ways.
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:12 AM   #21
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
I did make this point, it was ignored.

Involved, it was a church page that popped up on my wall, and have they? Haha, I need to find that... (Or can you point me toward that please?)

I don't know how you can link to specific FB comments, but I found it under a FB posting labelled "THE FOOL - Why Atheism Fails" from someone at Clearspring Church. I'm not sure if you are the person the comment was directed at, so won't mention any names, just the initials RG, if this is you?
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Old 06-04-2020, 02:17 AM   #22
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
I think you make an EXCELLENT point here, with a few caveats.

Dr. William Lane Craig makes what I believe to be a useful distinction between "Knowing" and "Showing."

The Christian KNOWS that his faith is true by being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and having his "heart of stone" being replaced by a "heart of flesh." Being "born again" is a miraculous super-natural event performed by God.

(This would be what philosophers call "knowledge of acquaintance)"

The Christian can only attempt to SHOW that Christianity is true by argumentation.

(This would be what philosophers call "propositional knowledge")


A simple real-life example might be helpful:

I KNOW that I had oatmeal for breakfast last Sunday.

But, it would be very difficult for me to SHOW (prove) to somebody that I am not lying about having having had oatmeal for breakfast last Sunday.

My roommate might confirm my account by saying that he saw me eat oatmeal Sunday morning.

I might be able to show that the only breakfast food I have in my house is oatmeal.

I might be able to produce some evidence that I had oatmeal, but no actual proof.

So, one can KNOW something without being able to SHOW that something.

(to be continued.....)
You gave a couple of decent ways to consider the oatmeal claim - asking an eyewitness, investigating what was available in your store cupboard. These are very different methods of investigating claims than what are usually argued by apologists.

What if the claim was that someone fed ten thousand people with a single box of oatmeal? That 'someone' was not available to us, nor any eyewitness available. What would it take for you to even consider that this was likely a true event?


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Originally Posted by lagtight View Post
One of the many vehicles that God uses to bring people to faith is by way of arguments and evidence.

There are other ways that God uses to draw us to Him:

Christian philosopher Dr. Peter Kreeft claimed that he was aware of two atheists who independently came to the faith after attending a performance of "The St. Matthew Passion" by J.S. Bach.

Many have come to faith by observing acts of kindness and selfless generosity by devout Christians.

Ultimately, as the Scripture says, "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

But God can "speak" His saving gospel to people in different ways.
Are these good reasons to come to believe other things are true, or just Christianity? I suspect you would be highly critical of someone that joined the LDS church as a believer, if their reason for believing was because of how nice the LDS missionaries were (as you should be critical).


We've discussed this topic before recently, and I appreciate that you seem to recognise there are problems: certain people who consider themselves Christian because of how they have interpreted events happening in their lives, later they discover apologetics that apparently support their beliefs, and they end up memorizing these apologetics and present them whenever they are asked to "defend their faith".



I was going to make a thread about this topic, but as RGT does seem to be dying, and you might be the only person that would defend apologetics, I didn't bother. But the title would've been the following (its a recent quote from a Christian NT scholar):

"Don't read apologetics. It's bad for your understanding of the field, and I honest to God believe it's bad for your soul."
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Old 06-04-2020, 04:24 AM   #23
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
Here is where you're going to get yourself into trouble with your materialist mindset. You are assuming yourself out of the conversation. You are taking a materialist assumption, using that assumption to conclude that there cannot be immaterial (What means must one use to prove the immaterial? Materialist means, of course!), and then relying upon that conclusion to reinforce your materialist mindset.
I don't see it as a mindset, or an assumption, I see it as something that I have good reasons to think true versus things for which I don't have good reasons. What reasons do I have for believing that 'immaterial' is a thing? What use is the concept of 'immaterial' if we can't prove it? It can't be tested for, it doesn't explain anything, it's simply not useful. I don't start at 'materialism' and apply it to all my thinking, it's where my thinking naturally leads me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post
There are plenty of reasons to consider the possibility of immaterial facts or a "realness" to abstract quantities. Mathematical ideas is one such reason. If it were the case that different cultures came to different conclusions about mathematical facts (that is, the logic and reasoning underlying them, not the cultural interpretations with numerology and so forth), then it would be clear that mathematical ideas are bound by culture and exist (in some form) within that culture.

However, different cultures have arrived to the same conclusions (sometimes with strangely similar proofs) independently at different times in history and coming out of different cultures. This strongly suggests that (for example) "the fact that in a right triangle, the sum of the squares of the two shorter sides is equal to the sum of the squares of the longer side" exists in a manner that is somehow a part of reality.

But then it also exists in a way that is mind-independent. That is, it's not simply true because a particular brain (or a collection of brains) think it's true. It's a true reflection of a property of reality, but it is not itself a material piece of reality.

One can consider logic in the same context.

Edit: Another way to think about it -- Would "1+1=2" true even if there were no brains to think about it?
Ok, so, I'm familiar with this line of reasoning but have never thought about it to any great lengths. At this point, I reject the idea of 'immaterial' and don't consider abstract concepts to prove immaterial can be a thing. Here's my first attempt to articulate that.

I can't answer the question without thinking about it, the answer is happening in my material brain just like everything else you might consider 'abstract'. The external physical world exists mind-independent, but nothing that can't be expressed outside of my mind exists as anything other than a chemical reaction in my brain.

I don't know that's true, it's just where I'm at. I may even end up agreeing with you, but right now, I don't.


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Originally Posted by Aaron W. View Post

Suppose it is true that all of your experiences are merely the result of deterministic (or at least, probabilistically deterministic) laws. Then any particular firing of synapses in your brain are simply the outcome of the positions/velocities of various particles in your head subject to the physical laws that drive their behaviors. This is identical to the way we would describe the movement of water in a waterfall. The outcome of the waterfall (how it behaves) is based on the positions/velocities of the various particles in the waterfall being subjected to the physical laws which drive those behaviors.

Why would you think that what is happening in your brain is different from what is happening in a waterfall? And if you think it's different, why is it different?

But if you're being logically consistent, there is no difference. It's just physical laws playing out. So you can no more "decide" that a conclusion is valid or invalid than the waterfall can "decide" to fall.
Ok, if I've understood this correctly, then it would be an explanation that doesn't require a god and I actually have no problem with it.

I lean toward Determinism even in a god scenario, and although I don't really understand why it would apply in a no-god scenario, it doesn't cause any problems for me. It seems that you're relying on my desire to believe that I have free will, or the ability to 'decide' things, or something like that, to cause to me to have to reject my own materialistic outlook in which those things might not be possible, but it doesn't.
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Old 06-04-2020, 04:30 AM   #24
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by BeaucoupFish View Post
someone from WLC's Reasonable Faith org, has already abandoned the comments
Where are you seeing the comments being abandoned?
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Old 06-04-2020, 05:21 AM   #25
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Re: Wouldn't mind a second opinion on this.

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Originally Posted by Mightyboosh View Post
Where are you seeing the comments being abandoned?
I think this should link to the posting, to which someone wrote a comment, and then the next comment is the pastor writing what you linked in op (only 8 comments in total so it should be obvious).

Last edited by Original Position; 06-04-2020 at 02:43 PM. Reason: Deleted link at poster request
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