Ode to the RSS

Presuppositionalist
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Ode to the RSS

It occurs to me that you cannot possibly rebut Plantinga's EAAN. For Plantinga's argument takes place prior to reasoning, and is therefore immune to any objection which derives from reasoning. O pwnd in nomine filii patri et spiritus sancti.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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Turns out great minds think

Turns out great minds think alike. Plantinga said something similar.

"But (to return to our argument) can the defeater the naturalist has for R be in turn defeated? I argued that it can't(WPF 233-234). It could be defeated only by something--an argument, for example, that involves some othersame defeater as R is. So this defeater can't be defeated."

 

SOURCE

 

So you now have TWO great thinkers who specialize in analytic philosophy that disagree with you. None of you are great thinkers who specialize in analytic philosophy. By Smith's hierarchy principle, the smaller number of great thinkers who specialize in analytic philosophy (in this case, 0) should yield to the larger number (in this case, 2) in questions dealing with analytic philosophy. Ergo, you must accept that the  EAAN cannot be defeated, and therefore you must accept the EAAN.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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Maybe I am to stupid the

Maybe I am to stupid the read some philosophy, but let's assume that all is supernatural , non material or whatever one calls it ... NOW WHAT ? WTF is the point?


Presuppositionalist
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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Maybe

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Maybe I am to stupid the read some philosophy, but let's assume that all is supernatural , non material or whatever one calls it ... NOW WHAT ? WTF is the point?

Nothing beyond that. The EAAN is a modest argument.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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IAGAY has responded, but no

IAGAY has responded, but no one has really tried to hit back yet. Been a few hours...


Eloise
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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

IAGAY has responded, but no one has really tried to hit back yet. Been a few hours...

(*will get to serious comments in a later post)

Platinga: Evolution likely produces vastly more false beliefs than true.

Eloise: You got that right, Alvin. The world is very easily >86% religious.

 

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Alvin

Alvin Plantinga

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Plantinga

Eloise Saves !    

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvin_Plantinga#Reformed_epistemology

God is evil and good , yin yang , but we can love .... can we choose ????

                          WE are ONE , all is ONE     

                  How the fuck can idol worship be a good idea ?

  WTF isn't gawed? ...  fuck all gods above you, fuck all idol worship. Gezzz 

    The very mention of god is most always suspect of idol shit crap separatism , and so I say I AM GOD AS YOU , not that I even matter , but because I am what I am , and I care ..... as I have been condemned, exactly as you to be what I AM, GOD as YOU ....

Show me the idol , the master , that is not YOU .... an invention of not your design. Umm what are we?  Gawed of course! No to God of Abe.

 This mentioned philosophy is a bit over my pea brain .... I hope more of you thinkers will summarize or share your thoughts on this. I am stuck in awe!         

    

 

 


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Interesting logic. A bit

Interesting logic. A bit like trying to crucify yourself, but forgetting about how to drive that last nail.

 


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But even if we are not

But even if we are not evolved, then how do we know that we weren't created to be faulty thinkers? A deity could give us unreliable minds or evolution could give us unreliable minds. I don't see how that requires us to throw out naturalism. My response to Plantinga is that he can not trust his thoughts, as he could possibly have been made by a deity that has given him an unreliable mind. This argument can be thrown at anyone no matter what they believe in. And of course no one can refute it since if your God gave you an unreliable mind then you would wrongly think you could refute it using your crappy mind.

On this matter, I consider Plantinga to be something of an asshat. This man claims that you CAN NOT be both a naturalist and recognize that evolution occurs. He says that people like me are irrational for recognizing that evolution occurs and simultaneously being a naturalist. Maybe it is just me, but wouldn't being a naturalist all but force someone to recognize evolution. Us naturalists can't blame life on divine creators, so we have to pick a naturalistic method of producing genetic diversity. And what is that method called?

Also Plantinga likes to just assume that some beliefs have a 50/50 chance of being correct. This is just wrong. If you are unsure about something, that does NOT set its likelihood of being true to 50%.

Quote:

IAGAY has responded, but no one has really tried to hit back yet. Been a few hours...

It is 8 am where I live. A few hours ago I was asleep. For the other's on this site that live in America the same could be said also. My computer says that you posted at 1:54AM and 4:33AM. So yeah, no one has gotten back to you on this one.

"You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
British General Charles Napier while in India


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Magicians have a saying that

Magicians have a saying that pretty much sums up Plantinga's epistomology: "BELIEVE!"

As for his Evolutionary argument against naturalism. . .

Given

  • N as naturalism
  • E as the belief that we human beings have evolved in conformity with current evolutionary theory
  • R as the proposition that our faculties are "reliable", where, roughly, a cognitive faculty is "reliable" if the great bulk of its deliverances are true.

he induces that the conditional probability of R|N&E is low. This boils down to the rarely seen base rate fallacy. It's so rare, in fact, that I must applaud Presup for finding it for me. I can now add this argument to my poke-dex of fallacious arguments! Also, R is too general and a lot of information is omitted in favor of support for E&~N+R, which is weak to begin with.


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He reasoned an argument that

He reasoned an argument that takes place prior to reasoning?

*channeling Infidel Guy* Re-e-a-a-lly.*end channeling*

Also, check this rebuttal http://www.beyondcommonsense.com/2007/06/16/1182026640000.html

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inspectormustard

inspectormustard wrote:

Magicians have a saying that pretty much sums up Plantinga's epistomology: "BELIEVE!"

Sounds right.

 

Inspector Mustard wrote:


Also, R is too general and a lot of information is omitted in favor of support for E&~N+R...

Hey! I was going to say that.. Sad

But seriously, this is the biggest issue with Platinga, for me, he poses 'Cognitive Reliability' to imply cognitive reliance vis a vis naturalism. And I see, in there, both an unstated assumption and a possible conflation (of naturalism with naturalist).

The unstated assumption is that cognitive reliance in naturalism/ for naturalists is gauged on a presupposition of cognitive reliability. You see, Presupp, he's only argued that cognitive reliability via evolution is weak and from there leapt to cognitive reliance without stating the assumption he is using to obtain reliance from reliability. In other words, he is saying that naturalism assumes reliability and effects it as a justification for reliance but he's never explicitly stating that assumption - probably because it's not really a true assumption about naturalism. It may not be false wrt naturalists per se, though, hence it's probably a conflation of terms as well.

Now, if naturalism merely presupposes cognitive reliability to justify cognitive reliance then Platinga wins, end of subject. But naturalism doesn't do that, and only a discrete number of naturalistic occupations are of a type where reliance is supposed and inferred upon. Moreover, if naturalism was merely the presupposing of cognitive reliability to justify cognitive reliance then, like Platingas alternative "God" which is merely that, naturalism would be universally declared an absolute end - however, that isn't the case. Naturalists may or may not be inclined to declare an end unto epistemology as of naturalism, but naturalism isn't the naturalist, its methods are inclined to overturn the naturalist quite deftly. Naturalism clearly doesn't rely on the naturalists cognitive senses because, if it did, it wouldn't be so cheerfully inclined to defy them at regular turns the way it does.

In conclusion, I'm inclined to have some agreement with presuppositionalist arguments in that they have a strong case against any form of dogmatic thinking but I depart at the point where they instruct one 'to install an apriori justification for your cognitive reliability, insert God(X) here' it might as well read 'Why not continue indulging your pride and vanity and avoid those pesky interruptions of reason; stay blissfully arrogant and ignorant with DEITYTM In stores Now!'

As for naturalism and evolution being uneasy bedmates courtesy of Platinga, it's not unexpected News to anyone who isn't afraid to lose their arrogance.

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Eloise

Eloise wrote:

inspectormustard wrote:

Magicians have a saying that pretty much sums up Plantinga's epistomology: "BELIEVE!"

Sounds right.

 

Inspector Mustard wrote:


 

Also, R is too general and a lot of information is omitted in favor of support for E&~N+R...

Hey! I was going to say that.. Sad

But seriously, this is the biggest issue with Platinga, for me, he poses 'Cognitive Reliability' to imply cognitive reliance vis a vis naturalism. And I see, in there, both an unstated assumption and a possible conflation (of naturalism with naturalist).

The unstated assumption is that cognitive reliance in naturalism/ for naturalists is gauged on a presupposition of cognitive reliability. You see, Presupp, he's only argued that cognitive reliability via evolution is weak and from there leapt to cognitive reliance without stating the assumption he is using to obtain reliance from reliability. In other words, he is saying that naturalism assumes reliability and effects it as a justification for reliance but he's never explicitly stating that assumption - probably because it's not really a true assumption about naturalism. It may not be false wrt naturalists per se, though, hence it's probably a conflation of terms as well.

Now, if naturalism merely presupposes cognitive reliability to justify cognitive reliance then Platinga wins, end of subject. But naturalism doesn't do that, and only a discrete number of naturalistic occupations are of a type where reliance is supposed and inferred upon. Moreover, if naturalism was merely the presupposing of cognitive reliability to justify cognitive reliance then, like Platingas alternative "God" which is merely that, naturalism would be universally declared an absolute end - however, that isn't the case. Naturalists may or may not be inclined to declare an end unto epistemology as of naturalism, but naturalism isn't the naturalist, its methods are inclined to overturn the naturalist quite deftly. Naturalism clearly doesn't rely on the naturalists cognitive senses because, if it did, it wouldn't be so cheerfully inclined to defy them at regular turns the way it does.

In conclusion, I'm inclined to have some agreement with presuppositionalist arguments in that they have a strong case against any form of dogmatic thinking but I depart at the point where they instruct one 'to install an apriori justification for your cognitive reliability, insert God(X) here' it might as well read 'Why not continue indulging your pride and vanity and avoid those pesky interruptions of reason; stay blissfully arrogant and ignorant with DEITYTM In stores Now!'

As for naturalism and evolution being uneasy bedmates courtesy of Platinga, it's not unexpected News to anyone who isn't afraid to lose their arrogance.

 

Hey, wait justa cotton pickin minute.

You can't release holiday toys in the summertime..... can you ???

All kidding aside... Eloise, I love your writings and am getting better at understanding the delicacies of your flavorings. You and Inspector explained Plantinga so well, that it's the first time I've deeply understood his rap.

Now that I understand where he succeeds and fails I'll have a splendid rapport in my exceedingly lucid ( sometimes lurid) engagements with my local theists.... Most of whom are fashionable fundamentalists of the baptist persuasion.

Oh and this EDIT is a really minor, minor annoyance but Presup, could you remember that it's RRS.... thanks


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Ugh. After reading through

Ugh. After reading through what I have written I'm a little unhappy with it, actually, I think I haven't made the distinction between Ontological naturalism and Methodological naturalism very clear. I think it's fair to say since they are being pitted against each other it's hard to do, but anyway... New slate:

In Platinga's argument N is ontological naturalism and the structure of the argument is that evolution (E) relies on Ontological naturalism and Methodological naturalism to be held true whereas ontological naturalism poses problems for evolution and vice versa.

To restate my retort more clearly - it is that he is inferring the issue between ontological naturalism and evolution (which is also reliant on methodological naturalism) without regard to methodological naturalism.

If you boil it down you can find that the defeater originates in the step from ontological naturalism to methodological naturalism and is, it would seem, put there quite deliberately. Naturalism is a self-questioning structure.

If you adopt ontological naturalism - ie there is no supernatural and step to methodological naturalism - seek confirmation/refutation in the natural world. You can see that methodological naturalism is equipped with a defeater for ontological naturalism anyway. So, that evolution, a compilation of methodological naturalistic study, challenges ontological naturalism is hardly a surprise outcome by any stretch of the imagination. 

On the other hand what the challenge of evolution implies is hardly cause to insert God either, the inscrutable chance of cognitive reliability isn't any more solved by God than it is by Ontological naturalism. But it is taken in hand by methodological naturalism, that is, at least methodological naturalism is an honest attempt at facing up to the reality and is inclined to treat it's synthetic components as synthetic; that the same can be said for the Christian God is insult to integrity, it's just plain vapid.

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Presuppositionalist wrote:It

Presuppositionalist wrote:

It occurs to me that you cannot possibly rebut Plantinga's EAAN. For Plantinga's argument takes place prior to reasoning, and is therefore immune to any objection which derives from reasoning. O pwnd in nomine filii patri et spiritus sancti.

K, but it's a stupid argument. (Notice the lack of reason - VICTORY IS MINE!)

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magilum wrote:Interesting

magilum wrote:

Interesting logic. A bit like trying to crucify yourself, but forgetting about how to drive that last nail.

 

But don't you see? It was a miracle! He managed to crucify himself magically through the power of the Illogical Argument! All praise Plantinga!

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Crisis!

I think I now understand some of the motivations of believers a bit more than I used to.  I sincerely want to believe something is true because the alternative fills me with a host of negative emotions.  And so, what I wish were true I now accept as true, and will accept as true until I am given sufficient evidence to change my stance.

Presup is a master satirist, or perhaps a gadfly.  S/he is honing a process, using us as lab mice to figure out the exact way to state apologetics to get the maximum number of responses from non-believers while closely skirting the "troll" line.  The tone, content and flow of argument from Presup are engineered to elicit long, winding and ultimately pointless exchanges from us, for no other reason than lulz, or perhaps as data for some sort of sociological or psychological experiment.  In this case, Presup is a great example of a human embodiment of Poe's Law.

One possibility I am willing to entertain (although I offer this knowing it is vanishingly unlikely) is that  Presup is some sort of ELIZA-like experiment in neural networks for natural language processing.  In which case, bravo to the programmers; your work has utterly demolished the Turing test.

I would rather believe that she (or he) is having one over on us (or is actually not human) than to believe that he (or she) takes these positions seriously.  That possibility fills me with sorrow.

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ELIZA was utterly

ELIZA was utterly unconvincing, though to be fair it dates from the late 1960s (I had it on my 1980s era C64. ) The most recent bots I've seen it is still very easy to know it's a computer within a minute or 2. Of course thinking an obvious joke is a real and good argument for God is either a parody or the ultimate epic fail.

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Not to point out the obvious

Not to point out the obvious flaw in Plantinga's conclusions, but even if we agree with the all of the crucial steps he takes in building the argument, all he's done is demonstrate that it is very likely that the initial belief sets will be false, and that it would take critical analysis to derive the truth. That is, that human behavior systems, ie: society, would need to achieve a critical level of complexity where immediate survival would no longer need to be the primary focus of nearly every single member of that society before belief systems could develop that valued truth over survival benefits like social cohesion.

In effect, he's arguing that seeking the truth, rather than seeking a binding element, is a luxury that only developed societies can initiate. We've seen Western Civilization reach that threshold a few times, usually falling apart (the Roman system, for example) when internal cohesion stopped being primary. This time, if we're lucky, we've managed to build enough self-sustaining social infrastructure to avoid that risk.

Frankly, I find that accepting all of his premises and extrapolations leads to the opposite conclusion than the one that he reaches: He determines that evolution + naturalism = unreliable belief systems, and so theism is required. But if evolution + naturalism = unreliable belief systems because those belief systems are shaped by the immediate needs of survival, then what are those belief systems which formed in those early periods when this unreliability would have been at its strongest?

The answer, of course, is theism. Religion. Superstition. The myths and legends that bound early cultures together and let them say 'WE believe the same things. THEY believe something else. THEY are not US' and so define themselves in contrast to one another, and maintain group/tribal/cultural cohesion.

Platinga's logic, were it to be taken at face value, clearly demonstrates that it is theism which must be doubted, as it is a belief system, whereas atheism is not a belief system, but rather a withholding of judgment until firm evidence can be demonstrated. His insistence that we cannot trust the notions of our own minds because we have evolved to seek advantage, not truth, in fact compels us to doubt the theist premise, because the only support for it comes from the very minds he insists we cannot rely upon.

As for  the assertion that Platinga's argument takes place prior to reasoning... this is patently nonsense, as Platinga's argument is, after all, a construct of reason.

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Yeah I think BMcD, as I am

Yeah I think BMcD, as I am attached to this earth, Plantinga's conclusions become just more confusion, bit I think he is helpful in diminishing self doubt , that we are , in fact god .... and so there is nothing to erect as an idol of worship. That is not to say we don't have our favorite things, Pleasure, love, desires, dreams, and wanting  peace of mind.


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I'm comfortable with knowing something relatively well......

But I sure like learning everything to a whole new level!

(Maybe it's time to think about a doctorate pursuit again. OK, well..... I've got the time to think about it, just not enough to pursue. ; - )

Eloise, thank you, thank you for the updated info; your post #13

and

BMcD, thank you as well for post #18

 

RRS forums is a marvelous place to visit.

 


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Inspector, you have made a

Inspector, you have made a couple of points in very confident fashion that I think you are clearly unable to substantiate. You are appealing to the biases of the board in the hope that they will not ask you for evidence, argument, or backing. Sadly, they have proven you right. I will not.

inspectormustard wrote:

Magicians have a saying that pretty much sums up Plantinga's epistomology: "BELIEVE!"

Totally inaccurate. This barely deserves a response. Plantinga is one of the most influential living intellectuals. QUENTIN SMITH said this about him: "The secularization of mainstream academia began to quickly unravel upon the publication of Plantinga’s influential book on realist theism, God and Other Minds, in 1967. It became apparent to the philosophical profession that this book displayed that realist theists were not outmatched by naturalists in terms of the most valued standards of analytic philosophy: conceptual precision, rigor of argumentation, technical erudition, and an in-depth defense of an original world-view. This book, followed seven years later by Plantinga’s even more impressive book, The Nature of Necessity, made it manifest that a realist theist was writing at the highest qualitative level of analytic philosophy, on the same playing field as Carnap, Russell, Moore, Grünbaum, and other naturalists. Realist theists, whom hitherto had segregated their academic lives from their private lives, increasingly came to believe (and came to be increasingly accepted or respected for believing) that arguing for realist theism in scholarly publications could no longer be justifiably regarded as engaging in an “academically unrespectable” scholarly pursuit." (source) A quick search of Smith's website will reveal that he mentions Plantinga in many of his papers, often in reverent tones.

Wait, do you even know who Quentin Smith is? He's the head honcho of atheism in America. Big philosopher. King of the naturalists. He is the sort of intellectual that actually takes the time to read his opponents. Notice the sort of respect he radiates? That is what happens when you are exposed to the full intellectual power of the new theistic arguments. Even if you are not converted, and he surely isn't, you gain a respect for theism qua intellectual position.

Quote:
 As for his Evolutionary argument against naturalism. . .

Given

  • N as naturalism
  • E as the belief that we human beings have evolved in conformity with current evolutionary theory
  • R as the proposition that our faculties are "reliable", where, roughly, a cognitive faculty is "reliable" if the great bulk of its deliverances are true.

he induces that the conditional probability of R|N&E is low. This boils down to the rarely seen base rate fallacy. It's so rare, in fact, that I must applaud Presup for finding it for me. I can now add this argument to my poke-dex of fallacious arguments! Also, R is too general and a lot of information is omitted in favor of support for E&~N+R, which is weak to begin with.

I would have thought this too bare an assertion to slip by any audience, even the readers of the RRS. Surely, I thought, one of your fellow atheists has the courage to point out that you do not show how Mr. Plantinga commits this fallacy, where in the argument the fallacy occurs, which premise or premises contain the flaw. Surely, I imagined, someone here will realise that Mr. Plantinga is a philosopher of epistemology, a man whose very job description includes the study of phenomena like the base rate fallacy, and therefore exert themselves to actually check and see if he commits it. Alas, a review of this thread shows that none did.

Well, even if you can slip it past a friendly audience, it won't get by me. So: How, specifically, does the EAAN commit a base rate fallacy?

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Wait, do you even know who Quentin Smith is? He's the head honcho of atheism in America.

I have no head honcho. My atheism requires no philosophical rationalizing, no thought exercises, and certainly no leaders. It is mine. My own. My Precio...er... *gets out the rolled up newspaper* BAD SMEAGOL! NO FISHES! BACK IN THE BOX!

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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BMcD

BMcD wrote:

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Wait, do you even know who Quentin Smith is? He's the head honcho of atheism in America.

I have no head honcho. My atheism requires no philosophical rationalizing, no thought exercises, and certainly no leaders. It is mine. My own. My Precio...er... *gets out the rolled up newspaper* BAD SMEAGOL! NO FISHES! BACK IN THE BOX!

Yes, of course, I forgot that all atheists are brave lonely individualist types, striking out against the oppressive theocracy that is modern America.  Please.

 

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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magilum wrote:Interesting

magilum wrote:

Interesting logic. A bit like trying to crucify yourself, but forgetting about how to drive that last nail.

 

Oh, I get it-- you're attaking a pro-religious argument... with an allusion to a religion! Ha. ha. ha. ha.

Is this the best I get? I try to raise the level of the discussion, and all I get are puerile pseudorebuttals. I can't believe this is the same board that, only a few weeks ago, pined for more sophisticated theistic argumentation.

Q: Why didn't you address (post x) that I made in response to you nine minutes ago???

A: Because I have (a) a job, (b) familial obligations, (c) social obligations, and (d) probably a lot of other atheists responded to the same post you did, since I am practically the token Christian on this site now. Be patient, please.


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Presuppositionalist I am

Presuppositionalist

 I am god, I am atheist, what's your point? Is my oxymoron your bitch?


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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

magilum wrote:

Interesting logic. A bit like trying to crucify yourself, but forgetting about how to drive that last nail.

 

Oh, I get it-- you're attaking a pro-religious argument... with an allusion to a religion! Ha. ha. ha. ha.

Is this the best I get? I try to raise the level of the discussion, and all I get are puerile pseudorebuttals. I can't believe this is the same board that, only a few weeks ago, pined for more sophisticated theistic argumentation.

You complain, but I can tell you didn't get it. If you're older than high school age, you have my sincere apologies that your intellect has most likely peaked; and I feel further sorrow at raising this grim prospect. Anywho...

I'll reference science in my yawning dismissal of your trifles to spice things up a bit. Your argument is Apollo 1. It's the spasms of the Ouroboros.

I'll go more abstract and pop culture. It's the crescendo in "White Rabbit" that Dr. Gonzo so lusted after to accompany his electrocution in the tub... where the rabbit bites its own head off.

Do you get it yet? Why you fail totally, consistently, fundamentally?


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Presuppositionalist I am

Presuppositionalist

 I am god, I am atheist, what's your point? Is my oxymoron your bitch? Bring me any idol to worship as is in any religion or philosophy, and you will have discovered my reason to bitch.


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Presuppositionalist wrote:Is

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Is this the best I get? I try to raise the level of the discussion, and all I get are puerile pseudorebuttals. I can't believe this is the same board that, only a few weeks ago, pined for more sophisticated theistic argumentation.

I didn't. I'm indifferent to "theistic argumentation" beyond the lulz.


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Presuppositionalist

Presuppositionalist wrote:

Yes, of course, I forgot that all atheists are brave lonely individualist types, striking out against the oppressive theocracy that is modern America.  Please.

And when did I claim to be striking against anyone? Or, for that matter, a brave and lonely individualist? I'm a skeptic. You want me to believe in what you say, prove it. This goes for Dawkins, Smith, Hitchens (and believe me, with Hitchens' record on the geopolitical areas he claims to be so knowledgable on, it goes doubly for him), just as it does for you, or Ratzinger, or Dobson. It's got nothing to do with being an 'individualist' (just like everybody else!), it has to do with being a skeptic.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Evolutionary process leads

Evolutionary process leads to success of organisms whose attributes and life strategy maximize relative reproductive success.

For organisms such as ourselves, whose major strategy involves an organ with much more information processing capability than other species, ie the brain, there are a number of ways this ability may have helped us to evolutionary success.

One aspect involves being able to make more reliable and subtle inferences from sensory data, matching it to previous experience. Insofar as this contributes to our evolutionary success, the mental models that we build must with some useful degree of accuracy capture at least the major features of reality that affect us. This is all any reasoning can do, our understandings of 'reality' are built around mental models that map as accurately as possible to what we observe, allowing us to make ever more accurate and useful predictions about the course of events that we are interested in. It would be utterly idiotically perverse to conclude that the outcome of this process was somehow leading us away from a 'true' account of the way things actually behave.

Of course we can't prove that any given proposition arrived at by human reasoning is true. All we can do is make judgements about the likelihood of it matching the relevant aspect of reality to a sufficiently high degree for us to base our actions and/or further investigations and theories on. This less-than-perfect match of our ideas to reality is inevitable, and applies to ALL propositions, in whatever field of thought. No system of thought or analysis can prove any statements about its own accuracy. All we can do is compare its relative success in practical application, IOW, the ultimate 'test' is against reality itself. If we cannot devise a practical test, any speculation must be honestly left as a speculation.

Philosophical ideas of ultimate truth are not particularly relevent here, or, as far as I can see, anywhere else except in philosophical debating societies or such.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Thanks buddha Bob.

Thanks buddha  Bob.   ~~~~~

I think all there is, ever was, ever will be as evolutionary, with successes and failures depending on it's perspective. I simply can't imagine a beginning, a creator, a state of nothing, no matter how I try. Who would pretend to know? Religion pretends.

This just leads me back to how silly and then destructive religion is to our wish to understand what we, and everything IS. No more religion. Geezzz  .... To be traditionally religious, is to sadly be blind, to the awe, the miracle in all things.  What is dirt? What is an atom? The blind make dogma up .... What isn't a miracle, or may I say gawed !!!  ???           To heal the enemy, love as, to understand the enemy .... to heal the blind ..... !!!!

     Damn right Jesus can save, but you gotta get your Jesus right .....   


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Jormungander wrote:Also

Jormungander wrote:
Also Plantinga likes to just assume that some beliefs have a 50/50 chance of being correct. This is just wrong. If you are unsure about something, that does NOT set its likelihood of being true to 50%.

If Platinga actually asserted this, and I have no reason not to believe you, then I feel entirely justified in ignoring any of his arguments. This is a sure sign of intellectual bankruptcy.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology