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Presuppositional Apologetics?

JimDavis
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5/10/2016 7:59:22 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
I find presuppositional apologetics to be baffling, because the claims are so bold, yet the justification seems insufficient. But perhaps I don't understand it fully, or only know one version of the arguments. Anyone care to defend presuppositional apologetics?

Here's what I've heard from Presuppositionalists. Some claim to know with absolute certainty that God exists, or even more specifically the Christian God of the Bible. They say this is because of a direct infusion of knowledge from God. They say if God is omnipotent, He is capable of causing them to know for sure that He exists. Typically, they claim that everyone has this knowledge that God exists, but some people suppress it. Do you think that nonbelievers consciously suppress a belief in God?

Another presuppositional argument I've heard is that without presupposing God, you cannot trust your own reason and logic, or your 5 senses. Without presupposing God, you could be a brain in a vat, for all you know. They often criticize nonbelievers for putting forth arguments using reason and logic, saying that by doing this we are "borrowing" from a theist or Christian worldview.

These are some of the arguments I've heard. Do you agree with them? If not, how would you refine them?

Before I respond to the above arguments, let me clarify that out of utility I presuppose that my own reasoning abilities function correctly. I also presuppose that what I perceive as the world around me is generally accurate, and I don't live in the matrix. I don't claim to know these things with absolute certainty, but I presuppose them out of utility - it seems pointless and self-defeating to do otherwise. Before you go off saying that my arguments shouldn't be taken seriously, since I can't prove my reasoning works correctly, let's examine if you or anyone else can really prove this either.

My response to the claim of infused knowledge from God: I'll grant that IF a maximally powerful God exists, it seems that He would be capable of causing someone to know (or at least think they know) with absolute certainty that God exists. But as a limited human, how could you tell the difference between God infusing a knowledge of Himself, and an insane or mistaken mind being totally convinced of this? How could you tell the difference between a vastly powerful and intelligent being (who is yet not God) trying to fool you, and a real God? What if God does exists, but is not always truthful, and infused a knowledge of himself that is different from his real character? Again, how could you tell the difference with absolute certainty? Or perhaps your claim is a bit different?

Here's my response to the claim that we cannot trust our own reason and senses without presupposing a God. My first question would be: Do you think that by invoking God you can prove your own reasoning abilities to be correct? No matter how you slice it, you have to use your own mind to invoke the God concept, and if your mind is faulty, you could think you are correct, but be mistaken.

Perhaps you merely think that theism/Christianity provides the only good explanation we have for why our reasoning is accurate. Now, I do think that there are good naturalistic explanations (though incomplete as yet) for how our brains are largely accurate, at least in their underlying functions. But I won't address that in this thread, since this doesn't affect whether the theist explanation is correct. Even if the only explanation we can think of is theistic (which I disagree with), this doesn't make it correct. It could still be that our reasoning is accurate for other reasons we aren't aware of, or it could be that our reasoning is partly or mostly inaccurate. In fact, given the diversity of strange and conflicting ideas and conclusions people have, it's likely that our reasoning abilities at least have significant flaws, especially when it comes to making conclusions about any realm outside the world we can perceive.

But all we can do is use our brains as best we can, anything else seems self-defeating. I presuppose my reasoning and senses to be generally reliable, as almost everyone does. But I don't see the need or justification to take the extra step of presupposing that God makes my reasoning and senses to be valid, and especially to claim that I know it for certain.
Kyle_the_Heretic
Posts: 748
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5/11/2016 6:15:52 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 7:59:22 PM, JimDavis wrote:
I find presuppositional apologetics to be baffling, because the claims are so bold, yet the justification seems insufficient. But perhaps I don't understand it fully, or only know one version of the arguments. Anyone care to defend presuppositional apologetics?

Here's what I've heard from Presuppositionalists. Some claim to know with absolute certainty that God exists, or even more specifically the Christian God of the Bible. They say this is because of a direct infusion of knowledge from God. They say if God is omnipotent, He is capable of causing them to know for sure that He exists. Typically, they claim that everyone has this knowledge that God exists, but some people suppress it. Do you think that nonbelievers consciously suppress a belief in God?

Another presuppositional argument I've heard is that without presupposing God, you cannot trust your own reason and logic, or your 5 senses. Without presupposing God, you could be a brain in a vat, for all you know. They often criticize nonbelievers for putting forth arguments using reason and logic, saying that by doing this we are "borrowing" from a theist or Christian worldview.

These are some of the arguments I've heard. Do you agree with them? If not, how would you refine them?

Before I respond to the above arguments, let me clarify that out of utility I presuppose that my own reasoning abilities function correctly. I also presuppose that what I perceive as the world around me is generally accurate, and I don't live in the matrix. I don't claim to know these things with absolute certainty, but I presuppose them out of utility - it seems pointless and self-defeating to do otherwise. Before you go off saying that my arguments shouldn't be taken seriously, since I can't prove my reasoning works correctly, let's examine if you or anyone else can really prove this either.

My response to the claim of infused knowledge from God: I'll grant that IF a maximally powerful God exists, it seems that He would be capable of causing someone to know (or at least think they know) with absolute certainty that God exists. But as a limited human, how could you tell the difference between God infusing a knowledge of Himself, and an insane or mistaken mind being totally convinced of this? How could you tell the difference between a vastly powerful and intelligent being (who is yet not God) trying to fool you, and a real God? What if God does exists, but is not always truthful, and infused a knowledge of himself that is different from his real character? Again, how could you tell the difference with absolute certainty? Or perhaps your claim is a bit different?

Here's my response to the claim that we cannot trust our own reason and senses without presupposing a God. My first question would be: Do you think that by invoking God you can prove your own reasoning abilities to be correct? No matter how you slice it, you have to use your own mind to invoke the God concept, and if your mind is faulty, you could think you are correct, but be mistaken.

Perhaps you merely think that theism/Christianity provides the only good explanation we have for why our reasoning is accurate. Now, I do think that there are good naturalistic explanations (though incomplete as yet) for how our brains are largely accurate, at least in their underlying functions. But I won't address that in this thread, since this doesn't affect whether the theist explanation is correct. Even if the only explanation we can think of is theistic (which I disagree with), this doesn't make it correct. It could still be that our reasoning is accurate for other reasons we aren't aware of, or it could be that our reasoning is partly or mostly inaccurate. In fact, given the diversity of strange and conflicting ideas and conclusions people have, it's likely that our reasoning abilities at least have significant flaws, especially when it comes to making conclusions about any realm outside the world we can perceive.

But all we can do is use our brains as best we can, anything else seems self-defeating. I presuppose my reasoning and senses to be generally reliable, as almost everyone does. But I don't see the need or justification to take the extra step of presupposing that God makes my reasoning and senses to be valid, and especially to claim that I know it for certain.

Can you discern in yourself, with certainty, between love and hatred? Happiness and sadness? Contentment and anger? Euphoria and depression?

Are the vast majority of people able to discern the difference? Or do the vast majority confuse them?

If you say that the vast majority cannot discern the difference, then read no further.

If, on the other hand, you say that mere mortals can in fact discern the difference, then, if a being that is omniscient and omnipotent exists, would it not be reasonable, even correct, to believe that such a being could far better do what we can easily do, and instill a feeling of that being's existence so that we could discern the feeling with certainty, not confusing it with any other feelings that might be called deceptive?

Us proving that feeling to others? You're right. It can't be done. But enable us to prove it to ourselves? An omniscient, omnipotent being could certainly do that.

The questions isn't, "Can it be done?" The Question is, "Does the being exist that can do it?"

How would one find out for sure?
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
bulproof
Posts: 25,295
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5/11/2016 6:27:39 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/11/2016 6:15:52 AM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/10/2016 7:59:22 PM, JimDavis wrote:
I find presuppositional apologetics to be baffling, because the claims are so bold, yet the justification seems insufficient. But perhaps I don't understand it fully, or only know one version of the arguments. Anyone care to defend presuppositional apologetics?

Here's what I've heard from Presuppositionalists. Some claim to know with absolute certainty that God exists, or even more specifically the Christian God of the Bible. They say this is because of a direct infusion of knowledge from God. They say if God is omnipotent, He is capable of causing them to know for sure that He exists. Typically, they claim that everyone has this knowledge that God exists, but some people suppress it. Do you think that nonbelievers consciously suppress a belief in God?

Another presuppositional argument I've heard is that without presupposing God, you cannot trust your own reason and logic, or your 5 senses. Without presupposing God, you could be a brain in a vat, for all you know. They often criticize nonbelievers for putting forth arguments using reason and logic, saying that by doing this we are "borrowing" from a theist or Christian worldview.

These are some of the arguments I've heard. Do you agree with them? If not, how would you refine them?

Before I respond to the above arguments, let me clarify that out of utility I presuppose that my own reasoning abilities function correctly. I also presuppose that what I perceive as the world around me is generally accurate, and I don't live in the matrix. I don't claim to know these things with absolute certainty, but I presuppose them out of utility - it seems pointless and self-defeating to do otherwise. Before you go off saying that my arguments shouldn't be taken seriously, since I can't prove my reasoning works correctly, let's examine if you or anyone else can really prove this either.

My response to the claim of infused knowledge from God: I'll grant that IF a maximally powerful God exists, it seems that He would be capable of causing someone to know (or at least think they know) with absolute certainty that God exists. But as a limited human, how could you tell the difference between God infusing a knowledge of Himself, and an insane or mistaken mind being totally convinced of this? How could you tell the difference between a vastly powerful and intelligent being (who is yet not God) trying to fool you, and a real God? What if God does exists, but is not always truthful, and infused a knowledge of himself that is different from his real character? Again, how could you tell the difference with absolute certainty? Or perhaps your claim is a bit different?

Here's my response to the claim that we cannot trust our own reason and senses without presupposing a God. My first question would be: Do you think that by invoking God you can prove your own reasoning abilities to be correct? No matter how you slice it, you have to use your own mind to invoke the God concept, and if your mind is faulty, you could think you are correct, but be mistaken.

Perhaps you merely think that theism/Christianity provides the only good explanation we have for why our reasoning is accurate. Now, I do think that there are good naturalistic explanations (though incomplete as yet) for how our brains are largely accurate, at least in their underlying functions. But I won't address that in this thread, since this doesn't affect whether the theist explanation is correct. Even if the only explanation we can think of is theistic (which I disagree with), this doesn't make it correct. It could still be that our reasoning is accurate for other reasons we aren't aware of, or it could be that our reasoning is partly or mostly inaccurate. In fact, given the diversity of strange and conflicting ideas and conclusions people have, it's likely that our reasoning abilities at least have significant flaws, especially when it comes to making conclusions about any realm outside the world we can perceive.

But all we can do is use our brains as best we can, anything else seems self-defeating. I presuppose my reasoning and senses to be generally reliable, as almost everyone does. But I don't see the need or justification to take the extra step of presupposing that God makes my reasoning and senses to be valid, and especially to claim that I know it for certain.

Can you discern in yourself, with certainty, between love and hatred? Happiness and sadness? Contentment and anger? Euphoria and depression?

Are the vast majority of people able to discern the difference? Or do the vast majority confuse them?

If you say that the vast majority cannot discern the difference, then read no further.

If, on the other hand, you say that mere mortals can in fact discern the difference, then, if a being that is omniscient and omnipotent exists, would it not be reasonable, even correct, to believe that such a being could far better do what we can easily do, and instill a feeling of that being's existence so that we could discern the feeling with certainty, not confusing it with any other feelings that might be called deceptive?

Us proving that feeling to others? You're right. It can't be done. But enable us to prove it to ourselves? An omniscient, omnipotent being could certainly do that.

The questions isn't, "Can it be done?" The Question is, "Does the being exist that can do it?"

How would one find out for sure?
How could an omniscient being determine the difference between love and hate far better than me?
Kyle_the_Heretic
Posts: 748
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5/11/2016 6:49:03 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
How could an omniscient being determine the difference between love and hate far better than me?

Wouldn't an omniscient and omnipotent being be able to do anything and everything far better than those who are not omniscient and omnipotent?
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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5/11/2016 8:02:03 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 7:59:22 PM, JimDavis wrote:
I find presuppositional apologetics to be baffling, because the claims are so bold, yet the justification seems insufficient. But perhaps I don't understand it fully, or only know one version of the arguments. Anyone care to defend presuppositional apologetics?

I can't defend it under modern standards of epistemology, Jim, because I believe it's intellectually bankrupt and ethically indefensible. The presuppositional apologetics still practiced by some theologians and philosophers today (and which we sometimes also see in this forum) stand out as examples of ignorance and academic dishonesty rather than insightful philosophy.

But historically, knowledge once meant something different. It was evaluated far more subjectively, with a lot less accountability, and appeals to intuition, tradition, authority, language and rhetoric made a lot more sense then, because any structure was better than none, and authorities were often more interested in compliance than accountability anyway. So I don't necessarily believe the methods were created in deliberate dishonesty, but I do believe that pursuing it today is either dishonest or deluded, depending on how much the proponent knows.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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5/11/2016 2:24:43 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/10/2016 7:59:22 PM, JimDavis wrote:
I find presuppositional apologetics to be baffling, because the claims are so bold, yet the justification seems insufficient. But perhaps I don't understand it fully, or only know one version of the arguments. Anyone care to defend presuppositional apologetics?

Here's what I've heard from Presuppositionalists. Some claim to know with absolute certainty that God exists, or even more specifically the Christian God of the Bible. They say this is because of a direct infusion of knowledge from God. They say if God is omnipotent, He is capable of causing them to know for sure that He exists. Typically, they claim that everyone has this knowledge that God exists, but some people suppress it. Do you think that nonbelievers consciously suppress a belief in God?

Another presuppositional argument I've heard is that without presupposing God, you cannot trust your own reason and logic, or your 5 senses. Without presupposing God, you could be a brain in a vat, for all you know. They often criticize nonbelievers for putting forth arguments using reason and logic, saying that by doing this we are "borrowing" from a theist or Christian worldview.

These are some of the arguments I've heard. Do you agree with them? If not, how would you refine them?

Before I respond to the above arguments, let me clarify that out of utility I presuppose that my own reasoning abilities function correctly. I also presuppose that what I perceive as the world around me is generally accurate, and I don't live in the matrix. I don't claim to know these things with absolute certainty, but I presuppose them out of utility - it seems pointless and self-defeating to do otherwise. Before you go off saying that my arguments shouldn't be taken seriously, since I can't prove my reasoning works correctly, let's examine if you or anyone else can really prove this either.

My response to the claim of infused knowledge from God: I'll grant that IF a maximally powerful God exists, it seems that He would be capable of causing someone to know (or at least think they know) with absolute certainty that God exists. But as a limited human, how could you tell the difference between God infusing a knowledge of Himself, and an insane or mistaken mind being totally convinced of this? How could you tell the difference between a vastly powerful and intelligent being (who is yet not God) trying to fool you, and a real God? What if God does exists, but is not always truthful, and infused a knowledge of himself that is different from his real character? Again, how could you tell the difference with absolute certainty? Or perhaps your claim is a bit different?

Here's my response to the claim that we cannot trust our own reason and senses without presupposing a God. My first question would be: Do you think that by invoking God you can prove your own reasoning abilities to be correct? No matter how you slice it, you have to use your own mind to invoke the God concept, and if your mind is faulty, you could think you are correct, but be mistaken.

Perhaps you merely think that theism/Christianity provides the only good explanation we have for why our reasoning is accurate. Now, I do think that there are good naturalistic explanations (though incomplete as yet) for how our brains are largely accurate, at least in their underlying functions. But I won't address that in this thread, since this doesn't affect whether the theist explanation is correct. Even if the only explanation we can think of is theistic (which I disagree with), this doesn't make it correct. It could still be that our reasoning is accurate for other reasons we aren't aware of, or it could be that our reasoning is partly or mostly inaccurate. In fact, given the diversity of strange and conflicting ideas and conclusions people have, it's likely that our reasoning abilities at least have significant flaws, especially when it comes to making conclusions about any realm outside the world we can perceive.

But all we can do is use our brains as best we can, anything else seems self-defeating. I presuppose my reasoning and senses to be generally reliable, as almost everyone does. But I don't see the need or justification to take the extra step of presupposing that God makes my reasoning and senses to be valid, and especially to claim that I know it for certain.

Such people make a blatant but often unnoticed logical fallacy. They treat abstract concepts such as morals, knowledge, and existence as if they were concrete objects. As long as they do that nothing they present is a valid defense of their assertions of the existence of any deity or deities.
JimDavis
Posts: 56
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5/12/2016 6:27:19 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/11/2016 6:15:52 AM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:

Can you discern in yourself, with certainty, between love and hatred? Happiness and sadness? Contentment and anger? Euphoria and depression?

Are the vast majority of people able to discern the difference? Or do the vast majority confuse them?

If you say that the vast majority cannot discern the difference, then read no further.

If, on the other hand, you say that mere mortals can in fact discern the difference, then, if a being that is omniscient and omnipotent exists, would it not be reasonable, even correct, to believe that such a being could far better do what we can easily do, and instill a feeling of that being's existence so that we could discern the feeling with certainty, not confusing it with any other feelings that might be called deceptive?

Us proving that feeling to others? You're right. It can't be done. But enable us to prove it to ourselves? An omniscient, omnipotent being could certainly do that.

The questions isn't, "Can it be done?" The Question is, "Does the being exist that can do it?"

How would one find out for sure?

Thanks for your response, Kyle. To clarify, I concede that IF a maximally powerful and omniscient being exists, he could cause humans to feel certain of his existence. But I see no way to logically prove with absolute certainty, even to ourselves, that this feeling is true or came from God.

To answer your question about whether I can tell the difference between, for example, happiness and sadness, yes I can.

But firstly, your examples are opposite emotions. We are speaking of discerning a mistaken revelation from God, from a real revelation, which could feel similar or identical for all we know.

Secondly, happiness and sadness are self-evident internal feelings. I know for certain that I'm happy, because happiness is usually defined as a internal feeling independent of any external reality outside myself. But we are talking about using an internal feeling to prove an external reality.

Also, the reason I can tell the difference between happiness and sadness is because I've experienced both of them before. Let's say you've never had a real divine revelation, but think you have. So how would you know it isn't real? You might think it's real only because you never actually had a real one to compare it with.

Let's imagine a being who isn't all-powerful or all-good, but is sufficiently powerful and smart to cause a human to believe with certainty that an all-powerful and all-good God exists. So we have a human who believes with certainty that an all-powerful, all-good God exists, yet this belief did NOT come from that God. How do you know this isn't happening to you?

Now let's imagine that God either does not exist, or does not reveal himself to humans. Might it still be possible for a human to become completely convinced that God has revealed His existence to that human? If not, why not? As far as we know, it's possible for humans to become completely convinced about a multitude of different things which cannot all be true, or which seem preposterous, like that they're Jesus, or have been abducted by aliens. So how do you know this isn't the case with you?
Kyle_the_Heretic
Posts: 748
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5/12/2016 7:24:32 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/12/2016 6:27:19 PM, JimDavis wrote:
At 5/11/2016 6:15:52 AM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:

To answer your question about whether I can tell the difference between, for example, happiness and sadness, yes I can.

But firstly, your examples are opposite emotions. We are speaking of discerning a mistaken revelation from God, from a real revelation, which could feel similar or identical for all we know.

Secondly, happiness and sadness are self-evident internal feelings. I know for certain that I'm happy, because happiness is usually defined as a internal feeling independent of any external reality outside myself. But we are talking about using an internal feeling to prove an external reality.

Also, the reason I can tell the difference between happiness and sadness is because I've experienced both of them before. Let's say you've never had a real divine revelation, but think you have. So how would you know it isn't real? You might think it's real only because you never actually had a real one to compare it with.

Let's imagine a being who isn't all-powerful or all-good, but is sufficiently powerful and smart to cause a human to believe with certainty that an all-powerful and all-good God exists. So we have a human who believes with certainty that an all-powerful, all-good God exists, yet this belief did NOT come from that God. How do you know this isn't happening to you?

Now let's imagine that God either does not exist, or does not reveal himself to humans. Might it still be possible for a human to become completely convinced that God has revealed His existence to that human? If not, why not? As far as we know, it's possible for humans to become completely convinced about a multitude of different things which cannot all be true, or which seem preposterous, like that they're Jesus, or have been abducted by aliens. So how do you know this isn't the case with you?

If by "external reality", you mean empirical evidence established by the scientific method, in regards to an omniscient, omnipotent being, there isn't any. So, using and "internal feeling" to prove and "external reality", if it is as I defined it, cannot be done. Receiving a "conviction" that an "external reality" indicates the extistence of an omniscient, omnipotent being as a result of an "internal feeling" is another thing.

This, of course, does not preclude delusion. Delusion exists in all things, and more especially religion and that which is religiously related. It is also prominently detected in emotion and science. If we dismiss all feelings that convince us of the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent being, because of the possibility and probability of delusion, we must also dismiss all feelings of love, etc, and all scientific theory that is yet to be sufficiently understood. If we cannot trust our ability to discern, then we must reject all scientific claims, or accept all scientific claims; such as Bigfoot being transported here in extraterrestrial spacecraft. We must give all convicted murderers the benefit of the doubt, should they claim to have killed out of love for their victim.

There are circumstances where discernment isn't always reliable, but most of the time, we are absolutely able to discern between one thing and another.

So what about all those religious fanatics that are easily duped by faith healers and other religious charlatans? Or those who claim to be Christian, but are clearly anti-Christ like in their actions and words? Surely they didn't receive a "conviction of spirit", else they wouldn't be so easily duped, or hypocritical. The answer should be obvious: Just because many, or even most, people are wrong, doesn't mean everybody is wrong.

We are told, "Narrow is the way." If this is true, then we should expect that there are few who do not delude themselves. We are left to wonder then, are we among those who are deluded? Especially when many deluded people insist that they have had an undeniable, completely discernable "internal feeling." Those who reject the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent being, would insist that we are likely, or absolutley among those who are indeed deluded. But such an insistance is based on the fact that they have had no such "internal feeling" themselves, or did, and doubted or rejected it. They are therefore under the fallacious impression that if they had no such feeling, then neither has anyone else. Or if they doubted or rejected such a feeling, then so should everyone else.

You must come to your own conclusions. If an omniscient, omnipotent being exists, it can certainly instill in us a feeling that we would be able to discern from deceptive emotions, as easily as we discern polar emotions, such as sadness and happiness.

To elaborate further would require preaching, which would place me in close company with the spam trolls and hypocrites who saturate this forum with their twisted philosophies and hate. So, my attempt to show logic is the best I can do. I'll still be glad to respond to any further posts directed at me.
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
JimDavis
Posts: 56
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5/13/2016 2:44:30 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/12/2016 7:24:32 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
At 5/12/2016 6:27:19 PM, JimDavis wrote:
At 5/11/2016 6:15:52 AM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:

To answer your question about whether I can tell the difference between, for example, happiness and sadness, yes I can.

But firstly, your examples are opposite emotions. We are speaking of discerning a mistaken revelation from God, from a real revelation, which could feel similar or identical for all we know.

Secondly, happiness and sadness are self-evident internal feelings. I know for certain that I'm happy, because happiness is usually defined as a internal feeling independent of any external reality outside myself. But we are talking about using an internal feeling to prove an external reality.

Also, the reason I can tell the difference between happiness and sadness is because I've experienced both of them before. Let's say you've never had a real divine revelation, but think you have. So how would you know it isn't real? You might think it's real only because you never actually had a real one to compare it with.

Let's imagine a being who isn't all-powerful or all-good, but is sufficiently powerful and smart to cause a human to believe with certainty that an all-powerful and all-good God exists. So we have a human who believes with certainty that an all-powerful, all-good God exists, yet this belief did NOT come from that God. How do you know this isn't happening to you?

Now let's imagine that God either does not exist, or does not reveal himself to humans. Might it still be possible for a human to become completely convinced that God has revealed His existence to that human? If not, why not? As far as we know, it's possible for humans to become completely convinced about a multitude of different things which cannot all be true, or which seem preposterous, like that they're Jesus, or have been abducted by aliens. So how do you know this isn't the case with you?

If by "external reality", you mean empirical evidence established by the scientific method, in regards to an omniscient, omnipotent being, there isn't any. So, using and "internal feeling" to prove and "external reality", if it is as I defined it, cannot be done. Receiving a "conviction" that an "external reality" indicates the extistence of an omniscient, omnipotent being as a result of an "internal feeling" is another thing.

This, of course, does not preclude delusion. Delusion exists in all things, and more especially religion and that which is religiously related. It is also prominently detected in emotion and science. If we dismiss all feelings that convince us of the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent being, because of the possibility and probability of delusion, we must also dismiss all feelings of love, etc, and all scientific theory that is yet to be sufficiently understood. If we cannot trust our ability to discern, then we must reject all scientific claims, or accept all scientific claims; such as Bigfoot being transported here in extraterrestrial spacecraft. We must give all convicted murderers the benefit of the doubt, should they claim to have killed out of love for their victim.

There are circumstances where discernment isn't always reliable, but most of the time, we are absolutely able to discern between one thing and another.

So what about all those religious fanatics that are easily duped by faith healers and other religious charlatans? Or those who claim to be Christian, but are clearly anti-Christ like in their actions and words? Surely they didn't receive a "conviction of spirit", else they wouldn't be so easily duped, or hypocritical. The answer should be obvious: Just because many, or even most, people are wrong, doesn't mean everybody is wrong.

We are told, "Narrow is the way." If this is true, then we should expect that there are few who do not delude themselves. We are left to wonder then, are we among those who are deluded? Especially when many deluded people insist that they have had an undeniable, completely discernable "internal feeling." Those who reject the existence of an omniscient, omnipotent being, would insist that we are likely, or absolutley among those who are indeed deluded. But such an insistance is based on the fact that they have had no such "internal feeling" themselves, or did, and doubted or rejected it. They are therefore under the fallacious impression that if they had no such feeling, then neither has anyone else. Or if they doubted or rejected such a feeling, then so should everyone else.

You must come to your own conclusions. If an omniscient, omnipotent being exists, it can certainly instill in us a feeling that we would be able to discern from deceptive emotions, as easily as we discern polar emotions, such as sadness and happiness.

To elaborate further would require preaching, which would place me in close company with the spam trolls and hypocrites who saturate this forum with their twisted philosophies and hate. So, my attempt to show logic is the best I can do. I'll still be glad to respond to any further posts directed at me.

Thanks for your thoughtful response. My argument is directed more at people I've encountered who claim that they know with absolute certainty of God's existence, and that there is no way that they could be mistaken or deluded. Usually these same people fault nonbelievers for admitting that they don't have absolute certainty about some of life's deepest questions.

Empiricism isn't essential to this argument, only logic. My point is to describe possible ways that a human with absolute certainty about God could be wrong, such that a position of absolute certainty about God is not logically defensible, at least not that I know of. But I don't dispute that the state of absolute certainty about God is possible, in which case that person may not feel a need to logically defend it to themselves or others.

You must come to your own conclusions. If an omniscient, omnipotent being exists, it can certainly instill in us a feeling that we would be able to discern from deceptive emotions, as easily as we discern polar emotions, such as sadness and happiness.

But lets assume that a human who was instilled with that divine feeling can still use logic. Wouldn't he have to admit that a sufficiently powerful being who is yet not omnipotent in other areas could possibly be the cause of this feeling? Or even his entire perception of life? At least I think you'd have to admit that an omnipotent being who is not all-good would be capable of this deception.

Sorry to be difficult! But it seems like the limiting factor isn't God's omnipotence. The limiting factor is a human's fallibility. Today, God's omnipotence is more frequently understood as maximal power - he can do all that is logically possible. And I don't see that it's logically possible for anyone who is not all-knowing to be able to logically justify absolute certainty in anything outside their own mind.
Kyle_the_Heretic
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5/13/2016 4:06:49 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/13/2016 2:44:30 AM, JimDavis wrote:
At 5/12/2016 7:24:32 PM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:

Thanks for your thoughtful response. My argument is directed more at people I've encountered who claim that they know with absolute certainty of God's existence, and that there is no way that they could be mistaken or deluded. Usually these same people fault nonbelievers for admitting that they don't have absolute certainty about some of life's deepest questions.

Empiricism isn't essential to this argument, only logic. My point is to describe possible ways that a human with absolute certainty about God could be wrong, such that a position of absolute certainty about God is not logically defensible, at least not that I know of. But I don't dispute that the state of absolute certainty about God is possible, in which case that person may not feel a need to logically defend it to themselves or others.

You must come to your own conclusions. If an omniscient, omnipotent being exists, it can certainly instill in us a feeling that we would be able to discern from deceptive emotions, as easily as we discern polar emotions, such as sadness and happiness.

But lets assume that a human who was instilled with that divine feeling can still use logic. Wouldn't he have to admit that a sufficiently powerful being who is yet not omnipotent in other areas could possibly be the cause of this feeling? Or even his entire perception of life? At least I think you'd have to admit that an omnipotent being who is not all-good would be capable of this deception.

Sorry to be difficult! But it seems like the limiting factor isn't God's omnipotence. The limiting factor is a human's fallibility. Today, God's omnipotence is more frequently understood as maximal power - he can do all that is logically possible. And I don't see that it's logically possible for anyone who is not all-knowing to be able to logically justify absolute certainty in anything outside their own mind.

Please don't apologize for intelligent arguments free of adolescent overtones. They are a rare breath of fresh air in an otherwise horribly polluted forum.

Empiricism is something that one can get a good hold of, while logic can easily slip through one's fingers. What you believe to be the essential ingredient to this argument is also relatively tenuous. That isn't to diminish the importance of logic in this argument. It's just to point out that logic can be manipulated to accomodate personal beliefs and thought processes.

Not to be facetious, but the only "powerful beings" that are not omnipotent that I know of are in comic books, or cultural myths. Only a tiny handful of people believe that such beings are real. I know of only one powerful being, accepted by the vast majority of believers, whatever their religion may be, and that being is unquestionably omnipotent and omniscient. If there is another, to the contrary, that I am not aware of, I would have to learn about it to offer a knowledgeable argument.

As for the powerful being I am aware of. I have argued on occasion that He is indeed "all-good", but my perception is obviously, and perhaps, understandably not shared by all. I will agree that He is capable of deception, but I do not believe He deceives maliciously.

I completely agree that human fallibility is a limiting factor, but how restrictive are those limits? If someone slapped you hard across the face, would they then be able to cite human fallibility to convince you that you had not been slapped?

Your argument leans on the premise that God is in fact not omnipotent. If this is true, then your argument has merit. But is it true?
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
JimDavis
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5/13/2016 6:04:10 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/13/2016 4:06:49 AM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:

Please don't apologize for intelligent arguments free of adolescent overtones. They are a rare breath of fresh air in an otherwise horribly polluted forum.

The feeling is mutual.

Empiricism is something that one can get a good hold of, while logic can easily slip through one's fingers. What you believe to be the essential ingredient to this argument is also relatively tenuous. That isn't to diminish the importance of logic in this argument. It's just to point out that logic can be manipulated to accomodate personal beliefs and thought processes.

You're right. I was wrong if I implied that my logic is unassailable. I only mean to ask what objections can be made to it.

Not to be facetious, but the only "powerful beings" that are not omnipotent that I know of are in comic books, or cultural myths. Only a tiny handful of people believe that such beings are real. I know of only one powerful being, accepted by the vast majority of believers, whatever their religion may be, and that being is unquestionably omnipotent and omniscient. If there is another, to the contrary, that I am not aware of, I would have to learn about it to offer a knowledgeable argument.

Sure, I consider it unlikely that any such beings exist, and only bring it up in the face of a claim of absolute certainty, where it seems one would have to rule out all other possibilities, even seemingly silly ones. But historically people used to believe in many beings and gods that only seem silly today.

I agree that today there are remarkable similarities in different people's ideas about God. I don't know the exact data, but it's possible that most people in the world agree that there is only one God, and that he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. I used to see this as one piece of evidence that this kind of God exists. But consider that this is a relatively recent phenomenon in the history of man. Now I think of it as a strong cultural meme, which evolved over the ages and became more unified through globalization. Consider that historically, it used to be more common to believe in multiple gods who where usually not omnipotent, omniscient, or omnibenevolent. Many people essentially worshiped aspects of nature. But perhaps I digress...

As for the powerful being I am aware of. I have argued on occasion that He is indeed "all-good", but my perception is obviously, and perhaps, understandably not shared by all. I will agree that He is capable of deception, but I do not believe He deceives maliciously.

I completely agree that human fallibility is a limiting factor, but how restrictive are those limits? If someone slapped you hard across the face, would they then be able to cite human fallibility to convince you that you had not been slapped?

Yes, I see no point in arguing that I could be wrong about thinking I'd been slapped. My thread is mainly about the type of apologetics that would point it out as a problem that I can't be justified in claiming absolute certainty that a slap I feel is real. Since I can't logically prove I'm not in the matrix, I can't prove a slap I feel is real. They might say that when I assume the slap is real, I'm borrowing from a theist worldview, since the atheist worldview, they claim, can't account for the accuracy of my senses, and the theist worldview can.

Your argument leans on the premise that God is in fact not omnipotent. If this is true, then your argument has merit. But is it true?

I do at least see that it rests on the premise that God can't do the logically impossible, and it also assumes that my logic is correct. As you said, logic can be manipulated somewhat. That's why I want outside views to help identify potential problems in my argument. Thanks for your criticisms.
Kyle_the_Heretic
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5/13/2016 6:55:47 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
I'm not sure I'm clearly understanding your concept of God. So, if I'm way off on the following, I apologize.

It seems the definition of "omnipotence" is in question. The ever popular question: Can God create a rock He cannot lift?" Or the lesser known question: Can God make Himself cease to exist, and then make Himself exist again?" are often used to challenge omnipotence. Both questions create a paradox that defy omnipotence, thereby defying the existence of an omnipotent being. But God does not have to necessarily submit Himself to a paradox to prove omnipotence.

No one argues that one must know more than there is it know to be omniscient. Knowing all there is to know establishes omniscience. So it challenges reason that one would argue that one must be able to do more than all that can be done to be omnipotent. God is omnipotent because He can do all that can be done. Not because we say He must do all that we insist He be able to do. That, of course, is according to our limited understanding of existence. Who knows how an omniscient being would approach what is to us a paradox.

There also seems to be some question as to whether we have truly established the reality of what we call reality. If we have not, then surely we must question our senses.

We must accept what we are thus far able to understand about existence with senses that are generally consistent. What we do with our senses is reliably repeatable, so we generally don't need to question them.

If this is all a matrix, then I would have to ask, where are the glitches? Is the programming of an artificial intelligence so perfect that we don't see irrefutable anomalies? If the artificial intelligence is perfect, then surely it must have been programmed by a perfect being, or beings. To be perfect, they would invariably have to be omnipotent and omniscient, else they would be subject to errors, and so would their programming. This takes us back to the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient being that could certainly instill within us a feeling easily discerned from all others.
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
JimDavis
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5/13/2016 5:59:46 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/13/2016 6:55:47 AM, Kyle_the_Heretic wrote:
I'm not sure I'm clearly understanding your concept of God. So, if I'm way off on the following, I apologize.

It seems the definition of "omnipotence" is in question. The ever popular question: Can God create a rock He cannot lift?" Or the lesser known question: Can God make Himself cease to exist, and then make Himself exist again?" are often used to challenge omnipotence. Both questions create a paradox that defy omnipotence, thereby defying the existence of an omnipotent being. But God does not have to necessarily submit Himself to a paradox to prove omnipotence.

No one argues that one must know more than there is it know to be omniscient. Knowing all there is to know establishes omniscience. So it challenges reason that one would argue that one must be able to do more than all that can be done to be omnipotent. God is omnipotent because He can do all that can be done. Not because we say He must do all that we insist He be able to do. That, of course, is according to our limited understanding of existence. Who knows how an omniscient being would approach what is to us a paradox.

There also seems to be some question as to whether we have truly established the reality of what we call reality. If we have not, then surely we must question our senses.

We must accept what we are thus far able to understand about existence with senses that are generally consistent. What we do with our senses is reliably repeatable, so we generally don't need to question them.

If this is all a matrix, then I would have to ask, where are the glitches? Is the programming of an artificial intelligence so perfect that we don't see irrefutable anomalies? If the artificial intelligence is perfect, then surely it must have been programmed by a perfect being, or beings. To be perfect, they would invariably have to be omnipotent and omniscient, else they would be subject to errors, and so would their programming. This takes us back to the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient being that could certainly instill within us a feeling easily discerned from all others.

Taking a more experiential angle, I don't have an unmistakable feeling that God exists. But I think I can imagine having this feeling, and it's possible that I would see no point in entertaining the idea that I'm wrong.

But it's hard to imagine also being absolutely certain that there is no way I'm mistaken or misled. Perhaps this is why it is hard for me to understand how anyone can. All I can do is ask someone who claims such knowledge how they rule out the other possibilities I mentioned above. This person might answer that they "just know" without being able to explain how. Or the person might explain that if God is omnipotent, it should be possible for him. But you must first assume that an omnipotent God exists, how do you know that? And so the argument appears to become circular or paradoxical. Then if it is proposed that an omnipotent God can work around such paradoxes, my head starts to hurt :)

I'd accept that it might be possible for an omnipotent being to work around what seems to us a paradox. But all we can use is human logic in our arguments.

Regarding the matrix scenario, I agree it's pointless to entertain that it might actually be true. But I wouldn't assume that the makers would have to be perfect or omniscient beings, only sufficiently intelligent to fool a single human (me), which might not be saying much. In fact, it's conceivable that if we had the technology, some humans might be able to put another human in a matrix. Maybe there are glitches, such as when people think they see and hear things which aren't there, but I've come to accept as part of my reality, since the matrix is the only reality I've ever known. Or perhaps the memory of glitches is eventually erased from my memory. Maybe most attempts to put a human in a matrix (and fool him/her) have failed, but mine is one of the few case that has succeeded... so far.

Perhaps it's pretty silly idea. I don't believe it to be true. But I also don't know of a way to disprove it.
Kyle_the_Heretic
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5/13/2016 7:28:24 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
Taking a more experiential angle, I don't have an unmistakable feeling that God exists. But I think I can imagine having this feeling, and it's possible that I would see no point in entertaining the idea that I'm wrong.

But it's hard to imagine also being absolutely certain that there is no way I'm mistaken or misled. Perhaps this is why it is hard for me to understand how anyone can. All I can do is ask someone who claims such knowledge how they rule out the other possibilities I mentioned above. This person might answer that they "just know" without being able to explain how. Or the person might explain that if God is omnipotent, it should be possible for him. But you must first assume that an omnipotent God exists, how do you know that? And so the argument appears to become circular or paradoxical. Then if it is proposed that an omnipotent God can work around such paradoxes, my head starts to hurt :)

I'd accept that it might be possible for an omnipotent being to work around what seems to us a paradox. But all we can use is human logic in our arguments.

Regarding the matrix scenario, I agree it's pointless to entertain that it might actually be true. But I wouldn't assume that the makers would have to be perfect or omniscient beings, only sufficiently intelligent to fool a single human (me), which might not be saying much. In fact, it's conceivable that if we had the technology, some humans might be able to put another human in a matrix. Maybe there are glitches, such as when people think they see and hear things which aren't there, but I've come to accept as part of my reality, since the matrix is the only reality I've ever known. Or perhaps the memory of glitches is eventually erased from my memory. Maybe most attempts to put a human in a matrix (and fool him/her) have failed, but mine is one of the few case that has succeeded... so far.

Perhaps it's pretty silly idea. I don't believe it to be true. But I also don't know of a way to disprove it.

True, there are any number of variables that would make a matrix work. We subconsciously justify our own bizarre dreams until we wake up, after all. But I would like to believe that human intelligence is not so easily fooled, and that ideas such as the matrix are confined to movies and imagination.

If that's the case, then God could also be a product of imagination. The fact that there are so many gods would strongly indicate that He is. It comes back to my example of being slapped, and then convinced that you weren't slapped. Did I feel that unmistakable "slap" when I inquired about the Biblical God? Did feel it when I inquired about the Greek, Roman, and Norse gods?

Could many people be lying about the unmistakable "slap", or fooling themselves about feeling it, or simply have been brainwashed into believing they felt it.

Absolutely.

But isn't it a fallacy for people to believe that everyone is lying, fooled, or brainwashed, even when they manipulate the logic to see it no other way?

You find it difficult, or perhaps even impossible, to be certain of an omnipotent being's existence. Having once courted atheism, I can understand that. And unlike fundamentalists, I do not believe that agnosticism or atheism is going to end with agonizing hell. I, on the other hand, cannot deny the "slap", and believe that the oft mocked "faith" I have in an omnipotent being will offer an eternal advantage over doubt and disbelief.

Please don't confuse that with the fundamentalist beliefs. I lean heavily on science, logic, and reason. While many are simply satisfied to ignorantly say, "God did it", I am not satisfied until I ask myself the who, what, where, why, how, etc.

Like anyone else, I manipulate the logic to accommodate my own biases, but I do not manipulate it beyond acceptable reason.

I do not judge or condemn those who doubt or disbelieve. A secular view completely supports them. But I will not let anyone's doubt, disbelief, or even mocking, to dissuade my own certainty, which was achieved beyond the secular scientific construct.
Thinking is extremely taxing on the gullible, and it takes hours to clear the smoke.
PGA
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5/14/2016 3:45:07 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/10/2016 7:59:22 PM, JimDavis wrote:
I find presuppositional apologetics to be baffling, because the claims are so bold, yet the justification seems insufficient. But perhaps I don't understand it fully, or only know one version of the arguments. Anyone care to defend presuppositional apologetics?

On the contrary, I find the justification perfectly sufficient. There is only one correct "version." All others self-destruct.

Here's what I've heard from Presuppositionalists. Some claim to know with absolute certainty that God exists, or even more specifically the Christian God of the Bible. They say this is because of a direct infusion of knowledge from God. They say if God is omnipotent, He is capable of causing them to know for sure that He exists. Typically, they claim that everyone has this knowledge that God exists, but some people suppress it. Do you think that nonbelievers consciously suppress a belief in God?

It is very simple really. Everyone builds a way of looking at the world (a belief system) from a particular set of starting presuppositions. You do, I do, everyone does. You either start with God, the necessary or ultimate being from which everything else is derived or you start with something else. From what you start the question then becomes how does this set of starting presuppositions make sense of the universe and existence. Every worldview worth its salt tries to answer basic or ultimate questions like:
1) Why are we here?
2) Where did we come from?
3) What difference does it make or who cares
4) What happens to us when we die?

Atheists, as well as theists, try to make sense of these questions, yet the only worldview that is consistent within itself and does not try to borrow from other worldviews is the Christian worldview.

Another presuppositional argument I've heard is that without presupposing God, you cannot trust your own reason and logic, or your 5 senses. Without presupposing God, you could be a brain in a vat, for all you know. They often criticize nonbelievers for putting forth arguments using reason and logic, saying that by doing this we are "borrowing" from a theist or Christian worldview.

You show that this is indeed the case below. As a subjective, relative human being, how can you be certain outside of an all knowing being revealing certainty to you?

These are some of the arguments I've heard. Do you agree with them? If not, how would you refine them?

Before I respond to the above arguments, let me clarify that out of utility I presuppose that my own reasoning abilities function correctly. I also presuppose that what I perceive as the world around me is generally accurate, and I don't live in the matrix. I don't claim to know these things with absolute certainty, but I presuppose them out of utility - it seems pointless and self-defeating to do otherwise. Before you go off saying that my arguments shouldn't be taken seriously, since I can't prove my reasoning works correctly, let's examine if you or anyone else can really prove this either.

What would be necessary for you to know that you were certain? That is what it boils down to and I believe you made a good attempt at casting doubt as to whether you can know.

My response to the claim of infused knowledge from God: I'll grant that IF a maximally powerful God exists, it seems that He would be capable of causing someone to know (or at least think they know) with absolute certainty that God exists. But as a limited human, how could you tell the difference between God infusing a knowledge of Himself, and an insane or mistaken mind being totally convinced of this? How could you tell the difference between a vastly powerful and intelligent being (who is yet not God) trying to fool you, and a real God? What if God does exists, but is not always truthful, and infused a knowledge of himself that is different from his real character? Again, how could you tell the difference with absolute certainty? Or perhaps your claim is a bit different?

It boils down to trust. He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.

The question again is how do you know anything with certainty unless such a God exists and has revealed Himself?

Here's my response to the claim that we cannot trust our own reason and senses without presupposing a God. My first question would be: Do you think that by invoking God you can prove your own reasoning abilities to be correct? No matter how you slice it, you have to use your own mind to invoke the God concept, and if your mind is faulty, you could think you are correct, but be mistaken.

I believe I can show that His reasoning is correct, but there is a problem with those who will not believe in Him. What evidence would you every accept? You are a skeptic by nature. You want God to prove Himself to you on your own terms and you will not accept any other terms. So you want to dictate the terms. So how will you ever believe in a God you do or will not acknowledge exists because you refuse to accept His revelation of Himself?

Perhaps you merely think that theism/Christianity provides the only good explanation we have for why our reasoning is accurate. Now, I do think that there are good naturalistic explanations (though incomplete as yet) for how our brains are largely accurate, at least in their underlying functions. But I won't address that in this thread, since this doesn't affect whether the theist explanation is correct. Even if the only explanation we can think of is theistic (which I disagree with), this doesn't make it correct. It could still be that our reasoning is accurate for other reasons we aren't aware of, or it could be that our reasoning is partly or mostly inaccurate. In fact, given the diversity of strange and conflicting ideas and conclusions people have, it's likely that our reasoning abilities at least have significant flaws, especially when it comes to making conclusions about any realm outside the world we can perceive.

Again you raise some very valid concerns. How do you know that your reasoning is mostly accurate? What would be necessary for you to know? As a Christian, I argue that you borrow from the realm that is not natural when you employ logic. Logic is a product of a mind and how you even get to mind from where you start is a mystery to me. How does unintentional matter, plus energy, plus time cause such a universe? Make sense that it can. That is where your worldview stumbles and comes crashing to the ground.

But all we can do is use our brains as best we can, anything else seems self-defeating. I presuppose my reasoning and senses to be generally reliable, as almost everyone does. But I don't see the need or justification to take the extra step of presupposing that God makes my reasoning and senses to be valid, and especially to claim that I know it for certain.

Since you don't know God how can you know anything for certain? (I believe you do to an extent because you are in His image and likeness. You reason and are a moral being because that is the way God has made man, however, man has been marred by the Fall). Mankind has lost his ability to make sense of the world because God is necessary for that, as you yourself have pointed out by various statements I underlined above. It is only when we find the purpose that we were created for that we find true meaning and purpose.

Peter
JimDavis
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5/14/2016 5:42:26 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
Thanks for your response.

At 5/14/2016 3:45:07 AM, PGA wrote:

You either start with God, the necessary or ultimate being from which everything else is derived or you start with something else.

Actually, my argument is that we BOTH have to start with the assumption that we exist.
Then, we both have to assume that our minds work correctly. Otherwise, one cannot justify any thoughts or reasoning, whether it involve the God concept or anything else.

From what you start the question then becomes how does this set of starting presuppositions make sense of the universe and existence. Every worldview worth its salt tries to answer basic or ultimate questions like:
1) Why are we here?
2) Where did we come from?
3) What difference does it make or who cares
4) What happens to us when we die?

I see the appeal in wanting these questions answered, but maybe "I don't know" is the most honest answer.

Atheists, as well as theists, try to make sense of these questions, yet the only worldview that is consistent within itself and does not try to borrow from other worldviews is the Christian worldview.

Even if that is true, this does not make Christianity correct, only internally consistent.

My response to the claim of infused knowledge from God: I'll grant that IF a maximally powerful God exists, it seems that He would be capable of causing someone to know (or at least think they know) with absolute certainty that God exists. But as a limited human, how could you tell the difference between God infusing a knowledge of Himself, and an insane or mistaken mind being totally convinced of this? How could you tell the difference between a vastly powerful and intelligent being (who is yet not God) trying to fool you, and a real God? What if God does exists, but is not always truthful, and infused a knowledge of himself that is different from his real character? Again, how could you tell the difference with absolute certainty? Or perhaps your claim is a bit different?

It boils down to trust. He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.

You say it boils down to trust. This doesn't seem like a path to absolute certainty. Is that your answer to how you can rule out all possibility of being mistaken or deceived? I personally have no problem with trusting my own instinct that I'm not in the matrix, and don't require absolute proof, but didn't you imply that was a problem with my worldview?

The question again is how do you know anything with certainty unless such a God exists and has revealed Himself?

My question remains, how can you know anything with certainty even if God exists. So far, I only saw "trust."


Here's my response to the claim that we cannot trust our own reason and senses without presupposing a God. My first question would be: Do you think that by invoking God you can prove your own reasoning abilities to be correct? No matter how you slice it, you have to use your own mind to invoke the God concept, and if your mind is faulty, you could think you are correct, but be mistaken.

I believe I can show that His reasoning is correct, but there is a problem with those who will not believe in Him. What evidence would you every accept? You are a skeptic by nature. You want God to prove Himself to you on your own terms and you will not accept any other terms. So you want to dictate the terms. So how will you ever believe in a God you do or will not acknowledge exists because you refuse to accept His revelation of Himself?

I don't see a response to how invoking the God concept can prove one's mind to work correctly.

You seem to think that I would require impossibly unrealistic evidence to believe in God. Actually, I'm not the one who thinks absolute proof is important or even possible. I used to believe in God, and was raised fairly devout. I would believe again if some combination of historical, philosophical, and scientific clues made me think it was likely a particular God or religion was correct. I would probably also believe if I had some sort of experience (vision, voice, feeling, strange events) that seemed to be from God, and that didn't seem likely to be "natural" (normal emotions, drugs/alcohol, coincidence, etc). The strength of my belief would depend on the type and amount of evidence I have. But I can't see having absolute certainty. I'd be willing to trust or have faith in God, but I would probably still admit that humanly speaking I could be wrong.

Again you raise some very valid concerns. How do you know that your reasoning is mostly accurate? What would be necessary for you to know? As a Christian, I argue that you borrow from the realm that is not natural when you employ logic. Logic is a product of a mind and how you even get to mind from where you start is a mystery to me. How does unintentional matter, plus energy, plus time cause such a universe? Make sense that it can. That is where your worldview stumbles and comes crashing to the ground.

Here's the worldview borrowing claim that I don't agree with. You argue that I "borrow from the realm that is not natural" when I employ logic. I get that logic seems ethereal since we can't touch it. But how do you show logic is not natural? Brain science so far points to the mind as being a function of the brain - an emergent property. There are some things about the mind that science may never be able to explain. But even if we could explain nothing about it naturally, asserting that it is therefore supernatural is an argument from ignorance.

I actually DON'T claim the mind must be merely a property or interaction matter. It's possible that it is partly or wholly immaterial, but I don't see how this could be proven. Atheists can be open to the immaterial and even supernatural. You might find it surprising that I'm even open to the possibility of supreme being(s). But I lack belief without good evidence in its favor. I do think specific religious claims can be proven to be likely false, but I can't disprove all possible notions of a supreme being.

So I would argue my worldview is not inconsistent, but rather it doesn't claim to have answers for certain things that religions do claim to answer. Consider that ancient believers in Zeus had a worldview that could account for lightning, and someone who didn't believe in Zeus might be clueless as to what lightning is. That didn't make the Zeus believer right.
Double_R
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5/14/2016 7:44:13 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/14/2016 3:45:07 AM, PGA wrote:
On the contrary, I find the justification perfectly sufficient. There is only one correct "version." All others self-destruct.

When your standards of a correct worldview require reasonable absolute certainty, all worldviews self destruct. That's because of the problem of infinite regress, nothing remarkable about that.

It is very simple really. Everyone builds a way of looking at the world (a belief system) from a particular set of starting presuppositions. You do, I do, everyone does. You either start with God, the necessary or ultimate being from which everything else is derived or you start with something else. From what you start the question then becomes how does this set of starting presuppositions make sense of the universe and existence...

Atheists, as well as theists, try to make sense of these questions, yet the only worldview that is consistent within itself and does not try to borrow from other worldviews is the Christian worldview.

Whether you realize this or not, what you are actually arguing is that God is the logical conclusion, not the starting point.

This idea is nothing new. It's called a test, and is one of the foundational concepts of science. You begin with an assumption, then you use reason to validate that assumption. That's all you've done, so you have in essence used your reasoning to justify your reasoning.

You show that this is indeed the case below. As a subjective, relative human being, how can you be certain outside of an all knowing being revealing certainty to you?

How can you be certain with an all knowing being revealing certainty to you?

It boils down to trust.

So trust = absolute certainty?

He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.

How do you know this?

I believe I can show that His reasoning is correct, but there is a problem with those who will not believe in Him. What evidence would you every accept? You are a skeptic by nature. You want God to prove Himself to you on your own terms and you will not accept any other terms. So you want to dictate the terms. So how will you ever believe in a God you do or will not acknowledge exists because you refuse to accept His revelation of Himself?

That makes absolutely no sense. The "terms" you are referring to are logic and reason, and we use them because we have no other choice. That is how the mind works.

Again you raise some very valid concerns. How do you know that your reasoning is mostly accurate? What would be necessary for you to know? As a Christian, I argue that you borrow from the realm that is not natural when you employ logic. Logic is a product of a mind and how you even get to mind from where you start is a mystery to me. How does unintentional matter, plus energy, plus time cause such a universe? Make sense that it can. That is where your worldview stumbles and comes crashing to the ground.

It is an interesting question, but making up an answer is not how we learn about reality.
PGA
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5/15/2016 6:49:56 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/14/2016 5:42:26 AM, JimDavis wrote:
Thanks for your response.

At 5/14/2016 3:45:07 AM, PGA wrote:

You either start with God, the necessary or ultimate being from which everything else is derived or you start with something else.

Actually, my argument is that we BOTH have to start with the assumption that we exist.

Are you assuming you exist or do you know?

Why do you exist? Can you make sense of your existence, of why you are here (I"m speaking on the basic level " original causes)?

Then, we both have to assume that our minds work correctly. Otherwise, one cannot justify any thoughts or reasoning, whether it involve the God concept or anything else.

The point is that at least one of us is wrong in our thinking because we both state opposites. You start without God; I start with God. Basically, we are either created beings from a higher being or we are here by chance happenstance. Which is it? From my starting point, I can make sense of the universe; of existence. You cannot.

Did the universe start to exist or has it always existed?

How does something that is not conscious, that has not reasoning, no intellect, no intentionality, or no purpose, sustain anything?

From what you start the question then becomes how does this set of starting presuppositions make sense of the universe and existence. Every worldview worth its salt tries to answer basic or ultimate questions like:
1) Why are we here?
2) Where did we come from?
3) What difference does it make or who cares
4) What happens to us when we die?

I see the appeal in wanting these questions answered, but maybe "I don't know" is the most honest answer.

If you don't know then how can you say one way is true, or truer, over the other, or that the biblical God probably does not exist?

Atheists, as well as theists, try to make sense of these questions, yet the only worldview that is consistent within itself and does not try to borrow from other worldviews is the Christian worldview.

Even if that is true, this does not make Christianity correct, only internally consistent.

The point is that outside of the Christian framework there is no consistency. That is the point in a nutshell. Christianity is either correct or it is false. It can"t logically be both. How does life come from something inorganic? You assume it can without sufficient proof. Where have you ever witnessed this?

Peter
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5/15/2016 7:05:55 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/14/2016 5:42:26 AM, JimDavis wrote:
Thanks for your response.

At 5/14/2016 3:45:07 AM, PGA wrote:
It boils down to trust. He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.

You say it boils down to trust. This doesn't seem like a path to absolute certainty. Is that your answer to how you can rule out all possibility of being mistaken or deceived? I personally have no problem with trusting my own instinct that I'm not in the matrix, and don't require absolute proof, but didn't you imply that was a problem with my worldview?

You trust the scientific method. How reasonable are your starting presuppositions about origins? The fact that there are so many views out there and that you are drawing conclusions from things that are not scientifically verifiable and have never been observed leaves much doubt, doubts that will never be answered with 100% certainty because of our fallible human minds and the fact that we build on our starting presuppositions and fit things into those starting models or theories.

If God has revealed something then there is absolute certainty involved. First, He tells you to trust Him, to lean not on your own understanding, then; He tells you who come to Him to study to show yourself approved a workman who correctly handles the word of truth. He has given many infallible proofs of Himself. Try arguing them away. What I find with atheists is that they will not go there. They make up every excuse about the word to avoid going there and then they say there is no evidence.

Try making sense of existence without first presupposing Him. Go ahead. Let me hear your version.

The question again is how do you know anything with certainty unless such a God exists and has revealed Himself?

My question remains, how can you know anything with certainty even if God exists. So far, I only saw "trust."

If He exists and has revealed Himself then you can know with certainty since He knows all things and created all things.

His Word confirms His truthfulness and we all act on the highest authority of appeal. You act on finite fallible human knowledge as your highest appeal. How do you know that it is sufficient to know anything unless it first thinks God"s thoughts after Him? You live in a universe that depends on certain laws. These are mathematical principles that are only discovered by minds. How did they get here without Mind, without sufficient agency and intent since they exist or seem to? There is something holding everything together. You invoke the law of gravity. Roll a dice millions of times and produce the same number repeatedly without exception for those million times. How does it happen without intent? Yet we find uniformity in nature, the same thing happening over and over again, supposedly without rhyme nor reason, just unguided happenstance. How is this so?

Logic and mathematics only exist where knowing minds exist (and one necessary Mind). God has made man in His image and likeness. We discover His truths as humans made in His image. What is mathematics or logic with no mind to conceive of these principles? What is consciousness?

Here's my response to the claim that we cannot trust our own reason and senses without presupposing a God. My first question would be: Do you think that by invoking God you can prove your own reasoning abilities to be correct? No matter how you slice it, you have to use your own mind to invoke the God concept, and if your mind is faulty, you could think you are correct, but be mistaken.

I believe I can show that His reasoning is correct, but there is a problem with those who will not believe in Him. What evidence would you every accept? You are a skeptic by nature. You want God to prove Himself to you on your own terms and you will not accept any other terms. So you want to dictate the terms. So how will you ever believe in a God you do or will not acknowledge exists because you refuse to accept His revelation of Himself?

I don't see a response to how invoking the God concept can prove one's mind to work correctly.

And I don"t see how evoking blind matter plus energy plus time proves anything either. As a matter of fact, your view originates/starts with senseless, mindless, uncaring, unintentional, purposelessness and somehow proceeds from there.

I"m asking what evidence you would accept. How are you going to believe by denying His existence?

How does a bunch of atoms randomly firing produces consistency? Why should your atoms behave in the same manner or similar manner that mine does and what is immoral about my atoms responding in a different manner than yours do? If I happen to like eating my neighbor what is wrong with that? It is just the way my particular atoms function. On that note will you please accept my dinner invitation? I'm famished!

You seem to think that I would require impossibly unrealistic evidence to believe in God.

No, what I"m suggesting is that no matter how reasonable the evidence is you will make an excuse to not believe it because it interferes with your perceived sovereignty. After Jesus performed all kinds of miracles they were still looking for Him to perform a miracle for them before they would accept Him.

Actually, I'm not the one who thinks absolute proof is important or even possible. I used to believe in God, and was raised fairly devout".

[Sounds like Catholicism to me]

An absolute is a truth or a truth an absolute. A truth can never be false. A proposition (A) cannot be both true (B) and false (non-B) at the same time and in the same sense. Draw a box. B is the Box. Everything outside B (the box) is non-B.

" I would believe again if some combination of historical, philosophical, and scientific clues made me think it was likely a particular God or religion was correct. I would probably also believe if I had some sort of experience (vision, voice, feeling, strange events) that seemed to be from God, and that didn't seem likely to be "natural" (normal emotions, drugs/alcohol, coincidence, etc). The strength of my belief would depend on the type and amount of evidence I have. But I can't see having absolute certainty. I'd be willing to trust or have faith in God, but I would probably still admit that humanly speaking I could be wrong.

Only if God exists and has revealed to man what is actually the case can there be any certainty. Do you grant this premise?

In that case, since you require historic, philosophic and scientific evidence I can give you evidence that I do not believe you could logically dispute.

I'm quite sure that when you once professed to be a Christian you never considered the Preterist interpretation of Scripture. Am I correct?

The Preterist asks the question of who is the relevant audience of address and what did/does it mean to them. From such a perspective Scripture comes alive. God uses it to prove that what He says comes to pass and that He does not lie. Through Scripture He reveals Himself and why things are as they are to His creation " humanity.

Peter
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5/15/2016 7:47:48 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/14/2016 7:44:13 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 5/14/2016 3:45:07 AM, PGA wrote:
On the contrary, I find the justification perfectly sufficient. There is only one correct "version." All others self-destruct.

When your standards of a correct worldview require reasonable absolute certainty, all worldviews self destruct. That's because of the problem of infinite regress, nothing remarkable about that.

It is very simple really. Everyone builds a way of looking at the world (a belief system) from a particular set of starting presuppositions. You do, I do, everyone does. You either start with God, the necessary or ultimate being from which everything else is derived or you start with something else. From what you start the question then becomes how does this set of starting presuppositions make sense of the universe and existence...

Atheists, as well as theists, try to make sense of these questions, yet the only worldview that is consistent within itself and does not try to borrow from other worldviews is the Christian worldview.

Whether you realize this or not, what you are actually arguing is that God is the logical conclusion, not the starting point.

I argue He is both.

This idea is nothing new. It's called a test, and is one of the foundational concepts of science. You begin with an assumption, then you use reason to validate that assumption. That's all you've done, so you have in essence used your reasoning to justify your reasoning.

I believe that God is and from there, by trusting and studying His Word I come to know Him and my beliefs are confirmed by Him. You call that circular yet I see what you have stated as the same, with one less principle, the possibility of absolute certainty. You have to have God as the necessary being for such certainty. Finite, fallible human minds do not reach this state unaided by such a Being. It would be impossible in my estimation for such a fallible being to arrive at any certainty in life without either thinking His thoughts after Him and then having Him confirm such thoughts. I use His reasoning to validate my reasoning since He created all things and they have their purpose and meaning because of Him.

You show that this is indeed the case below. As a subjective, relative human being, how can you be certain outside of an all knowing being revealing certainty to you?

How can you be certain with an all knowing being revealing certainty to you?

His Word confirms both who He is and that He does not lie. I start from Him as my highest authority. What is your highest authority - your limited reasoning ability or that of someone specialized in a particular field who you deem a higher authority than you?

Can you give me any certainty that He is not who He claims to be and that the Bible is in fact not His word? No, because you act from willful ignorance. You choose it not to be the case and no matter what argument I employ you will not believe.

It boils down to trust.

So trust = absolute certainty?

It starts with trust. You trust science. Do you have any certainty? What, in your opinion would be necessary for certainty, for you to know without a doubt what is true and real do you?

He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.

How do you know this?

As I have said, first by trusting Him then by confirmation from His word and from the fact that He is necessary for humankind to know and make sense of anything ultimately.

I believe I can show that His reasoning is correct, but there is a problem with those who will not believe in Him. What evidence would you every accept? You are a skeptic by nature. You want God to prove Himself to you on your own terms and you will not accept any other terms. So you want to dictate the terms. So how will you ever believe in a God you do or will not acknowledge exists because you refuse to accept His revelation of Himself?

That makes absolutely no sense. The "terms" you are referring to are logic and reason, and we use them because we have no other choice. That is how the mind works.

The question is why it works or functions that way in a senseless universe that doesn't care for you or me?

Where do logic and reason originate from? And why should (employing meaning and qualitative values) your biological bag of atoms act in the same manner that my bag does? What makes logic and the laws of logic (that are a non-physical intangible), a universal in understanding anything, in a totally physical and tangible universe that is not intelligent or reasoning? How do we arrive at it (logic) in a physical universe that is not planned or has no purpose to it? You are skipping a lot of steps as to how and why.

Your answer to these question (which you will probably not give) is your supposition. It has no certainty to it for it CAN'T unless it has what is necessary for certainty.

Again you raise some very valid concerns. How do you know that your reasoning is mostly accurate? What would be necessary for you to know? As a Christian, I argue that you borrow from the realm that is not natural when you employ logic. Logic is a product of a mind and how you even get to mind from where you start is a mystery to me. How does unintentional matter, plus energy, plus time cause such a universe? Make sense that it can. That is where your worldview stumbles and comes crashing to the ground.

It is an interesting question, but making up an answer is not how we learn about reality.

Again, you failed to answer the question.

P.S. I aim to get back to the other thread when time permits. I got carried away with Skepticalone's post once again that lead me down other tangents.

Peter
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5/15/2016 9:48:45 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/15/2016 7:47:48 PM, PGA wrote:
At 5/14/2016 7:44:13 PM, Double_R wrote:
Whether you realize this or not, what you are actually arguing is that God is the logical conclusion, not the starting point.

I argue He is both.

Your argument is wrong. You are, according to you, starting with God as an assumption in order to use your own reasoning to validate that assumption. That makes your own reasoning to be your starting point, because the entire method you just describes is one method for reaching a conclusion. This is not some new method, it is how we reach conclusions in many areas of life and is the foundation of the scientific method.

This idea is nothing new. It's called a test, and is one of the foundational concepts of science. You begin with an assumption, then you use reason to validate that assumption. That's all you've done, so you have in essence used your reasoning to justify your reasoning.

I believe that God is and from there, by trusting and studying His Word I come to know Him and my beliefs are confirmed by Him. You call that circular yet I see what you have stated as the same, with one less principle, the possibility of absolute certainty.

Glad to see we agree. What you and I are doing is the same, but it does not start with God.

There is one major difference however... I start with logic, and use it to justify everything else. You are start with logic, and then use it to justify logic. That makes your worldview circular, not mine.

And once again, certainty is absolutely irrelevant. Certainty is, by definition, a state of mind. Your state of mind nor anyone else's has any impact on the truth regarding actual reality.

What is your highest authority - your limited reasoning ability or that of someone specialized in a particular field who you deem a higher authority than you?

Reasoning is not an authority. Reasoning is the tool you use to determine what you regard as an authority.

Can you give me any certainty that He is not who He claims to be and that the Bible is in fact not His word? No, because you act from willful ignorance. You choose it not to be the case and no matter what argument I employ you will not believe.

Complete shifting of the burden of proof. You claim certainty regarding God being who he says he is, so it is you who needs to justify that position. "Prove me wrong" is not justification.

What, in your opinion would be necessary for certainty, for you to know without a doubt what is true and real do you?

Certainty is meaningless if it is not reasonable, and the very use of reason by a fallible being precludes reasonable certainty. What you're asking me is how one can accept that they are a fallible being while simultaneously holding the position that their conclusions are infallable. That is called a contradiction, and the only way I see that happening to me would be some form of brain damage.

He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.

How do you know this?

As I have said, first by trusting Him then by confirmation from His word and from the fact that He is necessary for humankind to know and make sense of anything ultimately.

The question was how do you know this? "Confirmation from his word" and calling his necessity "a fact" is just rephrasing the thing you claim to know, that does not address the question.

Where do logic and reason originate from?

Logic and reason are products of the mind.

And why should (employing meaning and qualitative values) your biological bag of atoms act in the same manner that my bag does?

Incoherent question. Please rephrase.

What makes logic and the laws of logic (that are a non-physical intangible), a universal in understanding anything, in a totally physical and tangible universe that is not intelligent or reasoning? How do we arrive at it (logic) in a physical universe that is not planned or has no purpose to it? You are skipping a lot of steps as to how and why.

Again, logic and reason are a product of the mind. They are universal in the sense that they are how a mind understands anything, so from our perspective they apply to everything.

Again you raise some very valid concerns. How do you know that your reasoning is mostly accurate? What would be necessary for you to know? As a Christian, I argue that you borrow from the realm that is not natural when you employ logic. Logic is a product of a mind and how you even get to mind from where you start is a mystery to me. How does unintentional matter, plus energy, plus time cause such a universe? Make sense that it can. That is where your worldview stumbles and comes crashing to the ground.

It is an interesting question, but making up an answer is not how we learn about reality.

Again, you failed to answer the question.

You're asking how intelligent life formed. Of course I am not going to answer that question because I don't have the answer... and neither do you. Hence why I pointed out to you that making up an answer is not how we learn about reality.
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5/16/2016 12:38:19 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/15/2016 9:48:45 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 5/15/2016 7:47:48 PM, PGA wrote:
At 5/14/2016 7:44:13 PM, Double_R wrote:
Whether you realize this or not, what you are actually arguing is that God is the logical conclusion, not the starting point.

I argue He is both.

Your argument is wrong. You are, according to you, starting with God as an assumption in order to use your own reasoning to validate that assumption. That makes your own reasoning to be your starting point, because the entire method you just describes is one method for reaching a conclusion. This is not some new method, it is how we reach conclusions in many areas of life and is the foundation of the scientific method.

That is my presuppositional starting point - God. By trusting Him, (taking Him at His Word that He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him), I have the basis to make sense of existence. Over the years of looking to Him as my highest authority, He has confirmed the truth of His Word, the Bible. He is the only One capable of answering life's ultimate questions that no other worldview can unless it borrows from Him. My reasoning starts with His revelation, that He has revealed what is and that through Him I can make sense of life and meaning and purpose. Your worldview cannot do that because it all boils down to relative opinions on what is good and right and real that conflict with other opinions and do not have what is required to determine right because there is no best or ultimate standard to base your opinion on. The highest court of appeal for your worldview is some relative authority that starts from a particular starting point and bends the evidence to fit that starting point, but because he has been made in the image and likeness of God sometimes gets it right, yet who is to know without God's revelation?

This idea is nothing new. It's called a test, and is one of the foundational concepts of science. You begin with an assumption, then you use reason to validate that assumption. That's all you've done, so you have in essence used your reasoning to justify your reasoning.

I believe that God is and from there, by trusting and studying His Word I come to know Him and my beliefs are confirmed by Him. You call that circular yet I see what you have stated as the same, with one less principle, the possibility of absolute certainty.

Glad to see we agree. What you and I are doing is the same, but it does not start with God.

That is your assumption since you do not take Him at His Word. I use the God-given reasoning that He created me with to reason with Him on issues.

There is one major difference however... I start with logic, and use it to justify everything else. You are start with logic, and then use it to justify logic. That makes your worldview circular, not mine.

You are confused. I use the logical abilities He has given me to understand what He has created including my existence and the ultimate reason for it. You have no ultimate reason for your existence, for why you are here or why and how the universe is here that makes sense of anything. I take your worldview back to its supposed starting point or furthest regress and it has no ability to make sense of anything whereas mine does.

I understand that there are laws that operate in making sound judgments and use them to the best of the abilities He has given me. I start with God and His understanding in determining whether something is a logical contradiction or not.

And once again, certainty is absolutely irrelevant. Certainty is, by definition, a state of mind. Your state of mind nor anyone else's has any impact on the truth regarding actual reality.

That would be true if God were non-existent, but I believe that it has an actual reality regarding what happens to you once your physical body dies. You gamble that this is all there is. Btw, what is truth and how do you know you have it?

What is your highest authority - your limited reasoning ability or that of someone specialized in a particular field who you deem a higher authority than you?

Reasoning is not an authority. Reasoning is the tool you use to determine what you regard as an authority.

I reason from His authority. He has revealed certain truths through His Word that I build my understanding upon:

The Two Foundations

Matthew 7:24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell"and great was its fall."

28 When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; 29 for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.


There are my two presuppositional starting blocks.

Can you give me any certainty that He is not who He claims to be and that the Bible is in fact not His word? No, because you act from willful ignorance. You choose it not to be the case and no matter what argument I employ you will not believe.

Complete shifting of the burden of proof. You claim certainty regarding God being who he says he is, so it is you who needs to justify that position. "Prove me wrong" is not justification.

I have offered to go down that road yet you will not engage. You want everything on your terms.

What, in your opinion would be necessary for certainty, for you to know without a doubt what is true and real do you?

Certainty is meaningless if it is not reasonable, and the very use of reason by a fallible being precludes reasonable certainty. What you're asking me is how one can accept that they are a fallible being while simultaneously holding the position that their conclusions are infallable. That is called a contradiction, and the only way I see that happening to me would be some form of brain damage.

His Word is reasonable. It can be shown as such by engaging in it. Are you willing to go down that road? I bet not so there is no point in pushing the matter or proving my assertions.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,


I can use His Word to establish its truthfulness and to destroy your willful speculations about its untruthfulness. Since you will not engage in His Word except for your select "AtheistsRUs" standpoint it is pointless. I have to listen to your assertions and have found that you are in the same boat as every atheist I have ever engaged with. You can't give sufficient reason to doubt His Word whereas I can in refuting your claims about it being some man-made myth. I do this by taking you to the Scripture that you will not go to because you lack the understanding to reason against it sufficiently.

The claim that there is no evidence that it is His revelation to us is totally unfounded.

Peter
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5/16/2016 1:14:13 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/15/2016 9:48:45 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 5/15/2016 7:47:48 PM, PGA wrote:
At 5/14/2016 7:44:13 PM, Double_R wrote:
What, in your opinion would be necessary for certainty, for you to know without a doubt what is true and real do you?

Certainty is meaningless if it is not reasonable, and the very use of reason by a fallible being precludes reasonable certainty. What you're asking me is how one can accept that they are a fallible being while simultaneously holding the position that their conclusions are infallable. That is called a contradiction, and the only way I see that happening to me would be some form of brain damage.

The biblical teaching is reasonable. I do not hold that my position is infallible, except when I correctly think His thoughts after Him or correctly interpret His revelation, and there is a correct interpretation. That is not contradictory. You are building your mountain out of a molehill by the allegation that it by my own reasoning alone, unaided, that I can come to a position of truth on any given subject of reason.

He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.

How do you know this?

As I have said, first by trusting Him then by confirmation from His word and from the fact that He is necessary for humankind to know and make sense of anything ultimately.

The question was how do you know this? "Confirmation from his word" and calling his necessity "a fact" is just rephrasing the thing you claim to know, that does not address the question.

I know this from the impossibility of the contrary, that in order to know anything with certainty He must exist and He must reveal to His creatures was is real and true. I do not accept that your opinions reveal truth on matters except when you either think His thoughts after Him or correctly interpret His revelation.

Where do logic and reason originate from?

Logic and reason are products of the mind.

Logic and reason are a product of conscious, intelligent beings. How do intelligent, conscious beings arise from mindless matter? You are the one who ASSUMES it can. It is a totally absurd idea that is fueled by those who reject God.

And why should (employing meaning and qualitative values) your biological bag of atoms act in the same manner that my bag does?

Incoherent question. Please rephrase.

Either human beings originate from a self-existent, self-sufficient personal Being (necessary) or it comes from what - a process of chemical reactions? You have chemical/biological reactions taking place over time to form what you are and what your mind is that produce the thoughts and actions you take. Why SHOULD mine be similar and what makes the way your chemical/biological makeup reacts the same way that mine reacts or SHOULD react and if mine does not then what makes mine bad and yours good? How do you get right and wrong from changing chemical reactions?

What makes logic and the laws of logic (that are a non-physical intangible), a universal in understanding anything, in a totally physical and tangible universe that is not intelligent or reasoning? How do we arrive at it (logic) in a physical universe that is not planned or has no purpose to it? You are skipping a lot of steps as to how and why.

Again, logic and reason are a product of the mind. They are universal in the sense that they are how a mind understands anything, so from our perspective they apply to everything.

That does not answer my question. How can something that is non-physical, intangible, universal exist in a universe that is physical and tangible and how do you get conscious intelligent minds from dumb, senseless, non-living matter? Again, you ASSUME it can over time and without intent or purpose act uniformly and consistently to sustain what is.

Again you raise some very valid concerns. How do you know that your reasoning is mostly accurate? What would be necessary for you to know? As a Christian, I argue that you borrow from the realm that is not natural when you employ logic. Logic is a product of a mind and how you even get to mind from where you start is a mystery to me. How does unintentional matter, plus energy, plus time cause such a universe? Make sense that it can. That is where your worldview stumbles and comes crashing to the ground.

It is an interesting question, but making up an answer is not how we learn about reality.

Again, you failed to answer the question.

You're asking how intelligent life formed. Of course I am not going to answer that question because I don't have the answer... and neither do you. Hence why I pointed out to you that making up an answer is not how we learn about reality.

Exactly, you don't have the answer and your worldview will never arrive at that answer, just countless speculation on how it all came to be. My worldview can answer that question and it depends on God and His revelation to His creation. All I ever witness is living, conscious, intelligent personal beings, coming from other living, conscious, intelligent, personal beings. You leap to the conclusion that this was not the case to begin with based on the philosophical teachings of another relative, subjective human being. As to whether or not he was right you have no certainty of, as you yourself have admitted. Your worldview lacks what is necessary for certainty regarding such matters.

Peter
Double_R
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5/16/2016 1:18:32 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 12:38:19 AM, PGA wrote:
At 5/15/2016 9:48:45 PM, Double_R wrote:
Your argument is wrong. You are, according to you, starting with God as an assumption in order to use your own reasoning to validate that assumption. That makes your own reasoning to be your starting point, because the entire method you just describes is one method for reaching a conclusion. This is not some new method, it is how we reach conclusions in many areas of life and is the foundation of the scientific method.

That is my presuppositional starting point - God. By trusting Him, (taking Him at His Word that He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him), I have the basis to make sense of existence.

You didn't address a single thing I just said ( a common theme throughout this post, and with you in general). All you did was repeat your same old tired talking point which I just refuted.

You claim that God is the basis to make sense of existence. This means... In English... That you have to invoke God as your starting point and then use your reasoning to determine if your worldview comes together. If it does, then you have just used your own reasoning to determine that the God worldview is correct, which means that you used your own reasoning as your starting point to conclude that God exists. Why is this so difficult for you?

There is one major difference however... I start with logic, and use it to justify everything else. You are start with logic, and then use it to justify logic. That makes your worldview circular, not mine.

You are confused. I use the logical abilities He has given me to understand what He has created including my existence and the ultimate reason for it. You have no ultimate reason for your existence [blah blah blah].

Here we go again. I just demonstrated that you do not start with God but rather you start with your own reasoning, and predictably, you respond by asserting that you start with God (without addressing anything I just said) and then move on to change the subject by attacking my worldview.

I am not the one claiming that my worldview is perfect. You are. Defend your worldview and stop pretending that I am not making the arguments that I just made.

And once again, certainty is absolutely irrelevant. Certainty is, by definition, a state of mind. Your state of mind nor anyone else's has any impact on the truth regarding actual reality.

That would be true if God were non-existent, but I believe that it has an actual reality regarding what happens to you once your physical body dies. You gamble that this is all there is. Btw, what is truth and how do you know you have it?

God's existence does not change the fact that two people can be absolutely certain about mutually exclusive propositions.

I have explained to you what truth is many times already. It is not something one "has". Truth is an assessment we make regarding whether a statement matches reality. it is a comparison of those two things. That's all.

Reasoning is not an authority. Reasoning is the tool you use to determine what you regard as an authority.

I reason from His authority. He has revealed certain truths through His Word that I build my understanding upon:

Here we go again. Ignore what I just said, assert your position from the start as if I have not already addressed why what you just said is nonsense, then move on and change the subject.

Complete shifting of the burden of proof. You claim certainty regarding God being who he says he is, so it is you who needs to justify that position. "Prove me wrong" is not justification.

I have offered to go down that road yet you will not engage. You want everything on your terms.

My terms is a rational conversation by use of words in a way that is consistent with the English language. That is not asking for a lot.

And once again you are just plain wrong. I already addressed in the very next paragraph (below) why you cannot justify the claim to have reasonable certainty.

Certainty is meaningless if it is not reasonable, and the very use of reason by a fallible being precludes reasonable certainty. What you're asking me is how one can accept that they are a fallible being while simultaneously holding the position that their conclusions are infallable. That is called a contradiction, and the only way I see that happening to me would be some form of brain damage.

His Word is reasonable. It can be shown as such by engaging in it. Are you willing to go down that road? I bet not so there is no point in pushing the matter or proving my assertions.

This is getting silly now. Once again you ignore my argument, reassert your position, then change the subject.

I can use His Word to establish its truthfulness and to destroy your willful speculations about its untruthfulness. Since you will not engage in His Word except for your select "AtheistsRUs" standpoint it is pointless. I have to listen to your assertions and have found that you are in the same boat as every atheist I have ever engaged with. You can't give sufficient reason to doubt His Word whereas I can in refuting your claims about it being some man-made myth. I do this by taking you to the Scripture that you will not go to because you lack the understanding to reason against it sufficiently.

I hate to tell you this, but reading scripture requires the use of your own reason to interpret it and to determine that the source of it is God as opposed to the men who actually wrote it. I do not understand why this is so difficult for you... Your starting point is your own reasoning. As a thinking human being, you have no other choice. I will be happy to discuss scripture with you once you understand that fact.
Double_R
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5/16/2016 1:45:29 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 1:14:13 AM, PGA wrote:
At 5/15/2016 9:48:45 PM, Double_R wrote:
Certainty is meaningless if it is not reasonable, and the very use of reason by a fallible being precludes reasonable certainty. What you're asking me is how one can accept that they are a fallible being while simultaneously holding the position that their conclusions are infallable. That is called a contradiction, and the only way I see that happening to me would be some form of brain damage.

The biblical teaching is reasonable. I do not hold that my position is infallible, except when I correctly think His thoughts after Him or correctly interpret His revelation, and there is a correct interpretation. That is not contradictory.

It is contradictory when you acknowledge that you are fallible, and then assert that your own assessment of biblical interpretations are infallible.

The question was how do you know this? "Confirmation from his word" and calling his necessity "a fact" is just rephrasing the thing you claim to know, that does not address the question.

I know this from the impossibility of the contrary,

Impossibility of the contrary is an assessment you made. How did you go about making this assessment, and what reason do you have to believe that it is literally impossible for you to be wrong about it?

And why should (employing meaning and qualitative values) your biological bag of atoms act in the same manner that my bag does?

Incoherent question. Please rephrase.

Either human beings originate from a self-existent, self-sufficient personal Being (necessary) or it comes from what - a process of chemical reactions? You have chemical/biological reactions taking place over time to form what you are and what your mind is that produce the thoughts and actions you take. Why SHOULD mine be similar and what makes the way your chemical/biological makeup reacts the same way that mine reacts or SHOULD react and if mine does not then what makes mine bad and yours good? How do you get right and wrong from changing chemical reactions?

Is your question about how chemical reactions result in thinking beings, or about moral oughts? Please pick a topic and stick to it.

Again, logic and reason are a product of the mind. They are universal in the sense that they are how a mind understands anything, so from our perspective they apply to everything.

That does not answer my question. How can something that is non-physical, intangible, universal exist in a universe that is physical and tangible

It doesn't "exist". Brains exist. It is a product of our brains. Do you understand?

You're asking how intelligent life formed. Of course I am not going to answer that question because I don't have the answer... and neither do you. Hence why I pointed out to you that making up an answer is not how we learn about reality.

Exactly, you don't have the answer and your worldview will never arrive at that answer, just countless speculation on how it all came to be.

And so what? You ask this question over and over and over again as if it has any relevance to the question of whether a God exists. It has no relevance whatsoever. This is just one huge blatant argument from ignorance; "You don't know how intelligent life formed, therefore God". It is a logical fallacy for a reason, I suggest you study them.

My worldview can answer that question and it depends on God and His revelation to His creation.

And my 6 year old niece's worldview can answer the question of where the dollar that appeared under her pillow when her tooth fell out came from. So what?

All I ever witness is living, conscious, intelligent personal beings, coming from other living, conscious, intelligent, personal beings. You leap to the conclusion that this was not the case to begin with based on the philosophical teachings of another relative, subjective human being.

This is where you make yourself clear that attempting a rational dialog with you is pointless. You repeat yourself over and over again while dodging nearly every argument I make, then you strawman my position and assert that it was not a result of my own ability to reason for myself but rather me just parroting what someone else said with no effort to utilize critical thinking of my own.

Just because you were taught to believe what you are told and are not allowed to question it does not mean that everyone else works this way. And if you are just going to keep demonstrating that the idea of thinking for yourself is a foreign idea that you are incapable of fathoming then there is no point in continuing.

Your worldview lacks what is necessary for certainty regarding such matters.

We've been through this a dozen times already. Certainty is not a virtue, and in fact is a contradictory assertion to hold.
PGA
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5/16/2016 2:36:08 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 1:18:32 AM, Double_R wrote:
At 5/16/2016 12:38:19 AM, PGA wrote:
At 5/15/2016 9:48:45 PM, Double_R wrote:
Your argument is wrong. You are, according to you, starting with God as an assumption in order to use your own reasoning to validate that assumption. That makes your own reasoning to be your starting point, because the entire method you just describes is one method for reaching a conclusion. This is not some new method, it is how we reach conclusions in many areas of life and is the foundation of the scientific method.

That is my presuppositional starting point - God. By trusting Him, (taking Him at His Word that He is and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him), I have the basis to make sense of existence.

You didn't address a single thing I just said ( a common theme throughout this post, and with you in general). All you did was repeat your same old tired talking point which I just refuted.

You are not hearing what I am saying. We both have a presuppositional starting point that we build upon. You start without God and I start with Him. In order for me to make sense of anything I start with Him (as He reveals Himself in the Bible as my starting point) and I can make sense of my existence. You cannot from where you start from.

You said:

You are, according to you, starting with God as an assumption in order to use your own reasoning to validate that assumption.

I said:

That is my presuppositional starting point - God.

I use my reasoning from HIS REVELATION to make sense of existence. I use the reasoning ability He gave me.

You said:

That makes your own reasoning to be your starting point, because the entire method you just describes is one method for reaching a conclusion.

I told you that my reasoning is being derived from Him and His revelation.

You claim that God is the basis to make sense of existence. This means... In English... That you have to invoke God as your starting point and then use your reasoning to determine if your worldview comes together. If it does, then you have just used your own reasoning to determine that the God worldview is correct, which means that you used your own reasoning as your starting point to conclude that God exists. Why is this so difficult for you?

When I first read the Bible I took it for what it claimed to be, God speaking to mankind. It took Him for who He claimed to be and by doing so through the years He has confirmed this in many ways. I use the reasoning revealed within to shape the way I look at life.

There is one major difference however... I start with logic, and use it to justify everything else. You are start with logic, and then use it to justify logic. That makes your worldview circular, not mine.

You are confused. I use the logical abilities He has given me to understand what He has created including my existence and the ultimate reason for it. You have no ultimate reason for your existence [blah blah blah].

Here we go again. I just demonstrated that you do not start with God but rather you start with your own reasoning, and predictably, you respond by asserting that you start with God (without addressing anything I just said) and then move on to change the subject by attacking my worldview.

Again, I start with Him as what is necessary for my reasoning and my ability to reason. [Blah, blah to you too]

I am not the one claiming that my worldview is perfect. You are. Defend your worldview and stop pretending that I am not making the arguments that I just made.

I never claimed my worldview as perfect. Where have I said that ever? Stop putting words in my mouth. You read that into this discussion. I am claiming that I can know certainty only because He exists and only because He is necessary for existence.

And once again, certainty is absolutely irrelevant. Certainty is, by definition, a state of mind. Your state of mind nor anyone else's has any impact on the truth regarding actual reality.

That would be true if God were non-existent, but I believe that it has an actual reality regarding what happens to you once your physical body dies. You gamble that this is all there is. Btw, what is truth and how do you know you have it?

God's existence does not change the fact that two people can be absolutely certain about mutually exclusive propositions.

Mutually exclusive positions that are contrary you mean? Yet one of them is wrong. What are their positions based upon?

I have explained to you what truth is many times already. It is not something one "has". Truth is an assessment we make regarding whether a statement matches reality. it is a comparison of those two things. That's all.

Matching whose sense of reality? Yours? I disagree about truth not being something one has. Jesus Christ said He is truth and those who are in Christ can be set free by His truth - true truth, not just some claim to truth.

Reasoning is not an authority. Reasoning is the tool you use to determine what you regard as an authority.

I reason from His authority. He has revealed certain truths through His Word that I build my understanding upon:

Here we go again. Ignore what I just said, assert your position from the start as if I have not already addressed why what you just said is nonsense, then move on and change the subject.

Quit playing your silly word games with me and make yourself clear. Bring the hay down from the loft so the horses can feed upon it. If you don't make yourself clear in a way that I understand what you have said you have not said anything.

Complete shifting of the burden of proof. You claim certainty regarding God being who he says he is, so it is you who needs to justify that position. "Prove me wrong" is not justification.

I have offered to go down that road yet you will not engage. You want everything on your terms.

My terms is a rational conversation by use of words in a way that is consistent with the English language. That is not asking for a lot.

Okay, I'll start from the book of Revelation 1:1. Who is the revelation communicated to and what is the time frame? Just take from the text, don't read anything into the text that is not a given:

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John,


And once again you are just plain wrong. I already addressed in the very next paragraph (below) why you cannot justify the claim to have reasonable certainty.

How reasonably certain are you of that claim? You already claimed that you cannot have reasonable certainty.

Certainty is meaningless if it is not reasonable, and the very use of reason by a fallible being precludes reasonable certainty. What you're asking me is how one can accept that they are a fallible being while simultaneously holding the position that their conclusions are infallable. That is called a contradiction, and the only way I see that happening to me would be some form of brain damage.

His Word is reasonable. It can be shown as such by engaging in it. Are you willing to go down that road? I bet not so there is no point in pushing the matter or proving my assertions.

This is getting silly now. Once again you ignore my argument, reassert your position, then change the subject.

You said:

Certainty is meaningless if it is not reasonable, and the very use of reason by a fallible being precludes reasonable certainty.

That is a contradiction in itself. It claims that fallible beings cannot know what is reasonably certain and is self-refuting for in order for this to be true it would have to fit what it denies.

Are you fallible? Then that precludes reasonable certainty per you.

Peter
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5/16/2016 3:44:59 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016, Double_R wrote:
At 5/16/2016, PGA wrote:
Certainty is meaningless if it is not reasonable, and the very use of reason by a fallible being precludes reasonable certainty. What you're asking me is how one can accept that they are a fallible being while simultaneously holding the position that their conclusions are infallable. That is called a contradiction, and the only way I see that happening to me would be some form of brain damage.

The biblical teaching is reasonable. I do not hold that my position is infallible, except when I correctly think His thoughts after Him or correctly interpret His revelation, and there is a correct interpretation. That is not contradictory.

It is contradictory when you acknowledge that you are fallible, and then assert that your own assessment of biblical interpretations are infallible.

That is not what I claim. You are reading into my writings things I did not say and then attributing that I did say them. Read my sentence again. In effect what I said was if an infallible Being has revealed to me His thoughts and I correctly interpret them then I can know from an infallible standpoint. Quit misrepresenting what I say.

The question was how do you know this? "Confirmation from his word" and calling his necessity "a fact" is just rephrasing the thing you claim to know, that does not address the question.

I know this from the impossibility of the contrary,

Impossibility of the contrary is an assessment you made. How did you go about making this assessment, and what reason do you have to believe that it is literally impossible for you to be wrong about it?

As a relative being, how would you ever come to a certainty unless a necessary Being who knows all things has disclosed as much to you or you think His thoughts after Him because you were made in His image and likeness and therefore retain some of His attributes regardless that they are somewhat flawed from the Fall and man becoming his own interpreter of right and truth.

And why should (employing meaning and qualitative values) your biological bag of atoms act in the same manner that my bag does?

Incoherent question. Please rephrase.

Either human beings originate from a self-existent, self-sufficient personal Being (necessary) or it comes from what - a process of chemical reactions? You have chemical/biological reactions taking place over time to form what you are and what your mind is that produce the thoughts and actions you take. Why SHOULD mine be similar and what makes the way your chemical/biological makeup reacts the same way that mine reacts or SHOULD react and if mine does not then what makes mine bad and yours good? How do you get right and wrong from changing chemical reactions?

Is your question about how chemical reactions result in thinking beings, or about moral oughts? Please pick a topic and stick to it.

It is about how either is possible.

1) How do chemical reaction devoid of intelligence, life, consciousness, result in conscious, intelligent, thinking, personal beings?

2) How do chemical reactions create moral oughts when there is no intentionality behind such reactions in the first place?

Again, logic and reason are a product of the mind. They are universal in the sense that they are how a mind understands anything, so from our perspective they apply to everything.

That does not answer my question. How can something that is non-physical, intangible, universal, exist in a universe that is physical and tangible

It doesn't "exist". Brains exist. It is a product of our brains. Do you understand?

Logic does not exist? You are using it (however badly) right now to express your thoughts in sentences (in a somewhat cogent and coherent manner). If it does not exist then nothing should make sense because there would be neither logic nor reason for it to happen that words convey specific meaning depending on how they are used in sentences.

And why should your brain function in the same way mine does and if it does not then what makes it wrong in a universe devoid of intentionality or willful action for my desires to be the exact opposite of your desires when my desires mean I eat and you don't? What happens just happens? Why is there a reason for it and how can the same thing continually produce and sustain uniformity of nature by happenstance without intent?

You're asking how intelligent life formed. Of course I am not going to answer that question because I don't have the answer...
Exactly, you don't have the answer and your worldview will never arrive at that answer, just countless speculation on how it all came to be.

And so what? You ask this question over and over and over again as if it has any relevance to the question of whether a God exists. It has no relevance whatsoever. This is just one huge blatant argument from ignorance; "You don't know how intelligent life formed, therefore God". It is a logical fallacy for a reason, I suggest you study them.

No, it is not irrelevant when you push a worldview that has no certainty to it and that you fight tooth and nail to promote as true and meaningful and superior to the Christian worldview. Your worldview is complete and utter nonsense. You have no answers and no certainty yet you pretend that you have a more logical and well-reasoned explanation to existence and meaning than I do. You can't even make sense of meaning other than might-makes-right as if that makes it right.

And from intelligent Being comes intelligent being. That is what I see.

Your answer to life is "So what?" So what if someone cuts in line in front of you or rapes someone you love?

My worldview can answer that question and it depends on God and His revelation to His creation.

And my 6 year old niece's worldview can answer the question of where the dollar that appeared under her pillow when her tooth fell out came from. So what?

It is not based on reality but on what her parents or some authoritative figure told her was true to placate her for her pain.

The Christian worldview is based on history and well-reasoned proofs.

All I ever witness is living, conscious, intelligent personal beings, coming from other living, conscious, intelligent, personal beings. You leap to the conclusion that this was not the case to begin with based on the philosophical teachings of another relative, subjective human being.

This is where you make yourself clear that attempting a rational dialog with you is pointless. You repeat yourself over and over again while dodging nearly every argument I make, then you strawman my position and assert that it was not a result of my own ability to reason for myself but rather me just parroting what someone else said with no effort to utilize critical thinking of my own.

I can say the same thing about you. Your ideas did not originate from you. You are not in a vacuum.

Just because you were taught to believe what you are told and are not allowed to question it does not mean that everyone else works this way. And if you are just going to keep demonstrating that the idea of thinking for yourself is a foreign idea that you are incapable of fathoming then there is no point in continuing.

You were taught to believe what you were told too. You were feed a dose of Darwinism and Enlightenment philosophy that man is the measure of everything. Starting from public school through university providing you continued your education past high school this has been the case. Secular society, controlled by the secular gatekeepers and mass media bombards everyone with this view. Your worldview was also built philosophically one block upon another. You think you arrived at your view unaided by anything other than your keen intellect and reason?

Peter
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5/16/2016 3:50:07 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 1:45:29 AM, Double_R wrote:

You have yet to answer my questions yet you keep plying me with yours. This is a two-way discussion or argument. I have kept asking them for the very reason that you continually avoid answering them. You have turned the tables numerous times to avoid answering them.

Peter
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5/16/2016 9:29:49 PM
Posted: 6 months ago
- Kyle_the_Heretic 2 to OP
If, on the other hand, you say that mere mortals can in fact discern the difference, then, if a being that is omniscient and omnipotent exists, would it not be reasonable, even correct, to believe that such a being could far better do what we can easily do, and instill a feeling of that being's existence so that we could discern the feeling with certainty, not confusing it with any other feelings that might be called deceptive?

Us proving that feeling to others? You're right. It can't be done. But enable us to prove it to ourselves? An omniscient, omnipotent being could certainly do that.
What does it mean to prove something to oneself ? To convince oneself of it ? In that case, an omnipotent, omniscient, omnimalevolent being could enable us to prove the most preposterous nonsense to onseself.

- Kyle_the_Heretic 10 to JimDavis
As for the powerful being I am aware of. I have argued on occasion that He is indeed "all-good", but my perception is obviously, and perhaps, understandably not shared by all. I will agree that He is capable of deception, but I do not believe He deceives maliciously.
Presuppositionalists claim certainty. Your belief does not provide or explain certainty.

- PGA 15 to OP
It is very simple really. Everyone builds a way of looking at the world (a belief system) from a particular set of starting presuppositions.[a] You do, I do, everyone does. You either start with God, the necessary or ultimate being from which everything else is derived or you start with something else. From what you start the question then becomes how does this set of starting presuppositions make sense of the universe and existence. Every worldview worth its salt tries to answer basic or ultimate questions like:
1) Why are we here?
2) Where did we come from?
3) What difference does it make or who cares
4) What happens to us when we die?
Atheists, as well as theists, try to make sense of these questions,[1] yet the only worldview that is consistent within itself and does not try to borrow from other worldviews is the Christian worldview.[2]
[a] What is a particular set of presuppositions ? Can the presuppositions be vague or unclear or/and merely beliefs ? Do intelligent animals do that too ?
[1] You often claim that atheists can't make sense of many things, while you can, but are never able to prove that for some reason. What does 'making sense of' mean ?
[2] Is that a fact or just your personal opinion ?

- JimDavis 1
Another presuppositional argument I've heard is that without presupposing God, you cannot trust your own reason and logic, or your 5 senses. Without presupposing God, you could be a brain in a vat, for all you know. They often criticize nonbelievers for putting forth arguments using reason and logic, saying that by doing this we are "borrowing" from a theist or Christian worldview.
- PGA 15
You show that this is indeed the case below.[3] As a subjective, relative human being, how can you be certain outside of an all knowing being revealing certainty to you?
[3] No, he doesn't. 'Not knowing with absolute certainty' is not the same as 'being unable to trust'.

- PGA 15 to JimDavis
It boils down to trust.[4] He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.
The question again is how do you know anything with certainty unless such a God exists and has revealed Himself?[5]
[4] So if I trust Adolf Hitler, I can know with absolute certainty that gassing Jews is good, correct ?
Assuming not, can you provide a complete, coherent, formal argument demonstrating that you can know things for certain in stead of the usual fallacious fragments that to rational people give the impression that you don't know what you are talking about ?
[5] You assume without justification that certainty is required. Why would it be ?

- PGA 15 to JimDavis
I believe I can show that His reasoning is correct, but there is a problem with those who will not believe in Him. What evidence would you every accept?[6] You are a skeptic by nature. You want God to prove Himself to you on your own terms and you will not accept any other terms. So you want to dictate the terms.[7] So how will you ever believe in a God you do or will not acknowledge exists because you refuse to accept His revelation of Himself?
[6] Personally, I like evidence that strongly supports the claim, the kind you don't provide.
[7] So ? Is there something wrong with that ? I am sure you also want things and that God, if he existed, would also want things.

- PGA 15 to JimDavis
Since you don't know God how can you know anything for certain? (I believe you do to an extent because you are in His image and likeness. You reason and are a moral being because that is the way God has made man, however, man has been marred by the Fall). Mankind has lost his ability to make sense of the world because God is necessary for that, as you yourself have pointed out by various statements I underlined above. It is only when we find the purpose that we were created for that we find true meaning and purpose.
Can crows, chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins also know things for certain ?

- JimDavis 16
Actually, my argument is that we BOTH have to start with the assumption that we exist.
Then, we both have to assume that our minds work correctly. Otherwise, one cannot justify any thoughts or reasoning, whether it involve the God concept or anything else.
- PGA 18
The point is that at least one of us is wrong in our thinking because we both state opposites. You start without God; I start with God. Basically, we are either created beings from a higher being or we are here by chance happenstance. Which is it? From my starting point, I can make sense of the universe; of existence. You cannot.
If I can't make sense of the universe, then neither can you.

- JimDavis 16
Even if that is true, this does not make Christianity correct, only internally consistent.
- PGA 18
The point is that outside of the Christian framework there is no consistency.[8] That is the point in a nutshell. Christianity is either correct or it is false. It can"t logically be both. How does life come from something inorganic? You assume it can without sufficient proof. Where have you ever witnessed this?
[8] Then the point is false.

- PGA 19 to JimDavis
If God has revealed something then there is absolute certainty involved.[9] First, He tells you to trust Him, to lean not on your own understanding, then; He tells you who come to Him to study to show yourself approved a workman who correctly handles the word of truth. He has given many infallible proofs of Himself.[10] Try arguing them away. What I find with atheists is that they will not go there. They make up every excuse about the word to avoid going there and then they say there is no evidence.[11]
[9] In what way ?
[10] Can you prove that ?
[11] Maybe atheists don't like having the burden of proof fallaciously shifted upon their shoulders.
The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
PGA
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5/17/2016 3:14:00 AM
Posted: 6 months ago
At 5/16/2016 9:29:49 PM, Amoranemix wrote:
- Kyle_the_Heretic 2 to OP
If, on the other hand, you say that mere mortals can in fact discern the difference, then, if a being that is omniscient and omnipotent exists, would it not be reasonable, even correct, to believe that such a being could far better do what we can easily do, and instill a feeling of that being's existence so that we could discern the feeling with certainty, not confusing it with any other feelings that might be called deceptive?

Us proving that feeling to others? You're right. It can't be done. But enable us to prove it to ourselves? An omniscient, omnipotent being could certainly do that.
What does it mean to prove something to oneself ? To convince oneself of it ? In that case, an omnipotent, omniscient, omnimalevolent being could enable us to prove the most preposterous nonsense to onseself.

- Kyle_the_Heretic 10 to JimDavis
As for the powerful being I am aware of. I have argued on occasion that He is indeed "all-good", but my perception is obviously, and perhaps, understandably not shared by all. I will agree that He is capable of deception, but I do not believe He deceives maliciously.
Presuppositionalists claim certainty. Your belief does not provide or explain certainty.

- PGA 15 to OP
It is very simple really. Everyone builds a way of looking at the world (a belief system) from a particular set of starting presuppositions.[a] You do, I do, everyone does. You either start with God, the necessary or ultimate being from which everything else is derived or you start with something else. From what you start the question then becomes how does this set of starting presuppositions make sense of the universe and existence. Every worldview worth its salt tries to answer basic or ultimate questions like:
1) Why are we here?
2) Where did we come from?
3) What difference does it make or who cares
4) What happens to us when we die?
Atheists, as well as theists, try to make sense of these questions,[1] yet the only worldview that is consistent within itself and does not try to borrow from other worldviews is the Christian worldview.[2]
[a] What is a particular set of presuppositions ? Can the presuppositions be vague or unclear or/and merely beliefs ? Do intelligent animals do that too ?
[1] You often claim that atheists can't make sense of many things, while you can, but are never able to prove that for some reason. What does 'making sense of' mean ?
[2] Is that a fact or just your personal opinion ?

- JimDavis 1
Another presuppositional argument I've heard is that without presupposing God, you cannot trust your own reason and logic, or your 5 senses. Without presupposing God, you could be a brain in a vat, for all you know. They often criticize nonbelievers for putting forth arguments using reason and logic, saying that by doing this we are "borrowing" from a theist or Christian worldview.
- PGA 15
You show that this is indeed the case below.[3] As a subjective, relative human being, how can you be certain outside of an all knowing being revealing certainty to you?
[3] No, he doesn't. 'Not knowing with absolute certainty' is not the same as 'being unable to trust'.

- PGA 15 to JimDavis
It boils down to trust.[4] He tells those who seek Him to believe He exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. He shows by His Word that He is true, He does not lie.
The question again is how do you know anything with certainty unless such a God exists and has revealed Himself?[5]
[4] So if I trust Adolf Hitler, I can know with absolute certainty that gassing Jews is good, correct ?
Assuming not, can you provide a complete, coherent, formal argument demonstrating that you can know things for certain in stead of the usual fallacious fragments that to rational people give the impression that you don't know what you are talking about ?
[5] You assume without justification that certainty is required. Why would it be ?

- PGA 15 to JimDavis
I believe I can show that His reasoning is correct, but there is a problem with those who will not believe in Him. What evidence would you every accept?[6] You are a skeptic by nature. You want God to prove Himself to you on your own terms and you will not accept any other terms. So you want to dictate the terms.[7] So how will you ever believe in a God you do or will not acknowledge exists because you refuse to accept His revelation of Himself?
[6] Personally, I like evidence that strongly supports the claim, the kind you don't provide.
[7] So ? Is there something wrong with that ? I am sure you also want things and that God, if he existed, would also want things.

- PGA 15 to JimDavis
Since you don't know God how can you know anything for certain? (I believe you do to an extent because you are in His image and likeness. You reason and are a moral being because that is the way God has made man, however, man has been marred by the Fall). Mankind has lost his ability to make sense of the world because God is necessary for that, as you yourself have pointed out by various statements I underlined above. It is only when we find the purpose that we were created for that we find true meaning and purpose.
Can crows, chimpanzees, elephants and dolphins also know things for certain ?

- JimDavis 16
Actually, my argument is that we BOTH have to start with the assumption that we exist.
Then, we both have to assume that our minds work correctly. Otherwise, one cannot justify any thoughts or reasoning, whether it involve the God concept or anything else.
- PGA 18
The point is that at least one of us is wrong in our thinking because we both state opposites. You start without God; I start with God. Basically, we are either created beings from a higher being or we are here by chance happenstance. Which is it? From my starting point, I can make sense of the universe; of existence. You cannot.
If I can't make sense of the universe, then neither can you.

- JimDavis 16
Even if that is true, this does not make Christianity correct, only internally consistent.
- PGA 18
The point is that outside of the Christian framework there is no consistency.[8] That is the point in a nutshell. Christianity is either correct or it is false. It can"t logically be both. How does life come from something inorganic? You assume it can without sufficient proof. Where have you ever witnessed this?
[8] Then the point is false.

- PGA 19 to JimDavis
If God has revealed something then there is absolute certainty involved.[9] First, He tells you to trust Him, to lean not on your own understanding, then; He tells you who come to Him to study to show yourself approved a workman who correctly handles the word of truth. He has given many infallible proofs of Himself.[10] Try arguing them away. What I find with atheists is that they will not go there. They make up every excuse about the word to avoid going there and then they say there is no evidence.[11]
[9] In what way ?
[10] Can you prove that ?
[11] Maybe atheists don't like having the burden of proof fallaciously shifted upon their shoulders.

I owe you some posts but it will have to wait, probably until the weekend.

Peter