Greetings!

RenewedPoet
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Greetings!

 Hello RRS Forum!

Recently I've been getting a lot into debating religion and philosophy (as well as a little bit of history), which is what brought me to these forums.  I'll start by giving a bit of autobiography...

I am 17, finishing up the last bits of high school, and I live in Eastern USA.  I'd say that the theme of my life is a search for truth.  I've covered some wild intellectual ground over the last few years.  When I was 12 I was an atheist.  When I turned 14 I became a deist.  And for the last three years I've been a Christian.

I've enthusiastically pursued philosophy.  I've read some of the old philosophical classics such as Plato's republic and Locke's Essays.  As far as atheism goes, I've read the God Delusion, A Letter to a Christian Nation, and various other books by Dawkins and Harris.  Recently, I've been studying Christian apologetic books, mostly from the Presuppositional method of apologetics.

My quest for truth has led me to a rather unorthodox position.  I believe that any sort of absolute or objective knowledge is impossible.  (I think it's called fallibilism.)  I believe that the external world around us is unverifiable.  I believe that history is unverifiable.  I even reject "Cognito, Ergo, Sum" and argue that I cannot absolutely know that I exist.

Oh, and one more thing...

I love lemonade. Laughing out loud

I have listed my hobbies in my account info.

My email is [email protected]

Godbless!

 

A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.
C. S. Lewis
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I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C. S. Lewis


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Welcome! I never shifted

Welcome!

I never shifted away from atheism. The older I became, the more sense it made. Should be interesting. Eye-wink

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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RenewedPoet wrote: Hello

RenewedPoet wrote:

 Hello RRS Forum!

Recently I've been getting a lot into debating religion and philosophy (as well as a little bit of history), which is what brought me to these forums.  I'll start by giving a bit of autobiography...

I am 17, finishing up the last bits of high school, and I live in Eastern USA.  I'd say that the theme of my life is a search for truth.  I've covered some wild intellectual ground over the last few years.  When I was 12 I was an atheist.  When I turned 14 I became a deist.  And for the last three years I've been a Christian.

Hi! I'm looking forward to finding out more about how you got where you are. It's quite unusual to become a Christian by other way than by childhood indoctrination. By the way, does that picture of yours have any meaning, some personal experience perhaps?

RenewedPoet wrote:
I've enthusiastically pursued philosophy.  I've read some of the old philosophical classics such as Plato's republic and Locke's Essays.  As far as atheism goes, I've read the God Delusion, A Letter to a Christian Nation, and various other books by Dawkins and Harris.  Recently, I've been studying Christian apologetic books, mostly from the Presuppositional method of apologetics.

 My quest for truth has led me to a rather unorthodox position.  I believe that any sort of absolute or objective knowledge is impossible.  (I think it's called fallibilism.)  I believe that the external world around us is unverifiable.  I believe that history is unverifiable.  I even reject "Cognito, Ergo, Sum" and argue that I cannot absolutely know that I exist.

Your quest into philosophy is admirable. However, it's as deep topic as mathematics. When you try to discover something in there by yourself, you'll find out someone already has been there a few hundred years ago. In this case, you seem to assume two things. Let me parrot some words that my philosophy teacher just taught me and that I just marginally understand.

Firstly, belief is not philosophy. Philosophy is concerned with estabilishing a necessary, objective, true and certain knowledge. 

Secondly, by claiming that objective knowledge is impossible, you assume that it's objectively impossible, right? Then by such claim you affirm the principle of objectivity. Simply said, you can't attack the basic principles. When you try to attack things like objectivity or truth and falseness (principle of dispute) then you either affirm them, or give up on claiming any obligation or validity of your worldview. Just by the fact that you oppose something, you claim it's false and that your worldview is true, you affirm the objective principle of dispute, that it can be said that some things are objectively true and some objectively false.

But it's a reason to rejoice, smart people like Hegel and Descartes ended up on that level. You have a whole life of discovering new truths in front of you.

RenewedPoet wrote:

Godbless!

I think around here we say godless! Laughing out loud

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


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 Welcome RP,My life went in

 Welcome RP,

My life went in reverse order to yours. Christian to Atheist.

 

So, if you don't believe in any absolutes how can you believe in Christianity? They are chock full of those.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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Luminon wrote: I think

Luminon wrote:
 I think around here we say godless! Laughing out loud

Yeah, that was a pun. Sticking out tongue

Luminon wrote:
Hi! I'm looking forward to finding out more about how you got where you are. It's quite unusual to become a Christian by other way than by childhood indoctrination. By the way, does that picture of yours have any meaning, some personal experience perhaps?

I wasn't indoctrinated at all as a child.  The change was basically the result of a lot of reading.  I'm surprised that you say it's unusual... I've met quite a lot of people who were former unbelievers and have become Christians.  (Also vise versa.)

In the picture, the character is looking up.  He is contemplating the universe.  The light shining from him represents enlightenment.  The dove in his head is a Christian symbol.  In Christianity doves represent the spirit of God.  It isn't a picture of what I've experienced, but rather what I'm seeking...

Luminon wrote:
Your quest into philosophy is admirable. However, it's as deep topic as mathematics. When you try to discover something in there by yourself, you'll find out someone already has been there a few hundred years ago. In this case, you seem to assume two things. Let me parrot some words that my philosophy teacher just taught me and that I just marginally understand.

Firstly, belief is not philosophy. Philosophy is concerned with estabilishing a necessary, objective, true and certain knowledge. 

Secondly, by claiming that objective knowledge is impossible, you assume that it's objectively impossible, right? Then by such claim you affirm the principle of objectivity. Simply said, you can't attack the basic principles. When you try to attack things like objectivity or truth and falseness (principle of dispute) then you either affirm them, or give up on claiming any obligation or validity of your worldview. Just by the fact that you oppose something, you claim it's false and that your worldview is true, you affirm the objective principle of dispute, that it can be said that some things are objectively true and some objectively false.

But it's a reason to rejoice, smart people like Hegel and Descartes ended up on that level. You have a whole life of discovering new truths in front of you.

I knew this would come up.  *sigh*

First, the nature of my claim is not that objective truth doesn't exist.  I believe that objective truths do exist.  Japan exists whether or not we can see it or know it or believe that it does.  It's objectively true that Japan exists.  The truth of Japan doesn't depend upon our subjective minds to be true.

What I am saying, is that we can't know the objective truth.  Objective truth exists, we just can't know it.

Second, I am not saying that I know that knowledge is impossible.  That is a vicious circle.  I am saying that I BELIEVE (not know) that knowledge is impossible.  "Believe" is not the same thing as "know".  If knowledge is impossible, although we cannot know so, we can still believe so.

And from ex-minister...

ex-minister wrote:
So, if you don't believe in any absolutes how can you believe in Christianity? They are chock full of those.

Just like Descartes, I have destroyed knowledge by doubting.  Now like Descartes, I must rebuild it...

Reasonable assumptions or "presuppositions" is how I rebuild it.  The truth of my existence is a reasonable assumption.  The existence of the external world, the existence of Japan (even though I have never experienced Japan)... are all reasonable assumptions.  So basically I replace absolute knowledge with what the philosopher Van Til called "presuppositional knowledge" which is believing that which is probable or reasonable.

Oh, and in private message, or in a debate sub-forum, I am always willing to explain my reasons for rejecting all absolute knowledge, even "Cognito, Ergo, Sum."

By the way, are you a theist Luminos?  And do you ever go by the name Lumen in other forums?

A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.
C. S. Lewis
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I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C. S. Lewis


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RenewedPoet wrote:I wasn't

RenewedPoet wrote:

I wasn't indoctrinated at all as a child.  The change was basically the result of a lot of reading.  I'm surprised that you say it's unusual... I've met quite a lot of people who were former unbelievers and have become Christians.  (Also vise versa.)

You surely know the quote.
"Christianity is the belief that a two-thousand-year-old jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat an apple off a magical tree in a wonderland."
That's why most of people don't go back to Christianity, you see it sounds kind of silly when I put it like that. So what was your reason?

Sorry if I'm a bit blunt. I wouldn't do that in person, I typically leave Christians alone, but internet is a free "hunting ground".

RenewedPoet wrote:
In the picture, the character is looking up.  He is contemplating the universe.  The light shining from him represents enlightenment.  The dove in his head is a Christian symbol.  In Christianity doves represent the spirit of God.  It isn't a picture of what I've experienced, but rather what I'm seeking...
I am seeking that too and I have made a bit of progress in that direction. However, fairly soon in the beginning I realized, that Christianity knows very little about enlightenment, or anything at all. Frankly, so does science, the enlightenment, I mean. So I had to find another way. It's not an easy way and quite an obscure one, maybe you're better off trying if Christianity works out for you. 

RenewedPoet wrote:
I knew this would come up.  *sigh*

First, the nature of my claim is not that objective truth doesn't exist.  I believe that objective truths do exist.  Japan exists whether or not we can see it or know it or believe that it does.  It's objectively true that Japan exists.  The truth of Japan doesn't depend upon our subjective minds to be true.

What I am saying, is that we can't know the objective truth.  Objective truth exists, we just can't know it.

Second, I am not saying that I know that knowledge is impossible.  That is a vicious circle.  I am saying that I BELIEVE (not know) that knowledge is impossible.  "Believe" is not the same thing as "know".  If knowledge is impossible, although we cannot know so, we can still believe so.

Very well, I'm not sure if that's a philosophy at all, but what made you believe that?

RenewedPoet wrote:
 Just like Descartes, I have destroyed knowledge by doubting.  Now like Descartes, I must rebuild it...
I'm sorry, but here I have written in my notebook, that Descartes destroyed nothing but his reputation. He made a mistake, a circular reasoning in his life's work, my papers say. 
Descartes basically doubted human thinking, said that it isn't reliable, he introduced the evil spirit hypothesis. Yet he doubted and knew that doubting is undeniable, if you doubt about doubting, you confirm it. But what if there's the evil spirit deceiving you? Descartes said, that in human mind there is an inborn idea of God, idea of absolute perfection, which can not be received from imperfect things. God is our creator, he says. If God is perfect, he could not give us imperfect senses.

However, Descartes did not realize that if he doubted our thinking, he then could not use this unreliable thinking to make up the idea of God who then makes the thinking reliable! That's the circular reasoning. Or a paradox, anyway. Reliability of human thinking can not be doubted, or you won't get anywhere.

RenewedPoet wrote:
Reasonable assumptions or "presuppositions" is how I rebuild it.  The truth of my existence is a reasonable assumption.  The existence of the external world, the existence of Japan (even though I have never experienced Japan)... are all reasonable assumptions.  So basically I replace absolute knowledge with what the philosopher Van Til called "presuppositional knowledge" which is believing that which is probable or reasonable.

Oh, and in private message, or in a debate sub-forum, I am always willing to explain my reasons for rejecting all absolute knowledge, even "Cognito, Ergo, Sum."

Well, philosophy is hard. I'd never understand it if I didn't have it explained by a teacher. I'd never take up a book on it. But the philosophers of ancient Greece already proved that human mind is capable of accessing the objective reality, so we can't doubt that knowledge is possible. But you'd have to explain to me, what is absolute knowledge. If you can do that, then you prove that we can have absolute knowledge, you prove that human mind is capable of accessing it. If you know what absolute knowledge you don't have, then you actually mentally grasp it. Unless you absolutely have no idea or concept of what the absolute knowledge is, then you'd be right, as long as these two are just random words put together without any actual meaning.

RenewedPoet wrote:
 By the way, are you a theist Luminon?  And do you ever go by the name Lumen in other forums?

No, I use the same name on other forums. One other, at the moment. 

As for theism, I've been classified by a wise guy as agnostic pantheist. For my path of spiritual, mental and emotional progress, I use the framework of Theosophy. I must say this framework works for me very well and this is why I've made certain progress on the path. It is however an extremely broad topic, which some people study for years. I only chose it because of very frequent experiences that are explainable only by Theosophy. 

As for God, I don't believe in any classical deities. However, Theosophy has very specific concepts of Ego (soul), Logos and Fohat, which are in my opinion very useful and worthy of investigation. My worldview is, strictly speaking, based on natural forces and materialistic in the broadest sense, though it redefines the nature of matter itself. The concepts of Logos and Fohat might be eventually possible to define in scientific terms and therefore become disprovable. I think the only one thing that has a better definition of God is philosophy, but I'm afraid to ask my teacher and get disappointed Sticking out tongue

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Welcome

 

Poet. I'm a fallibilist myself but I grant sense data primacy in the search for reasonable beliefs about the nature of the universe. I do this for the simple reason that all living cells depend on biochemical signalling to survive and that living cells have existed for about 3.48 billion years. If sense data could not tell us something knowable about the universe, life would not have evolved and could not survive. 

As some one else has mentioned up thread, embracing a generally fallibilist epistemology doesn't allow you to insist objective truths are always impossible to approach making your personal opinion about unknowable things - things that are supernatural or exo universal - comparable to things we can partly know about this material universe. Clearly, we can know things about objective truth, even if we lack the context to know everything about every particle in the room. 

What interests me Poet, is how your worship of probability impacts on your devotional life. Do you believe probablity died on the cross for your sins, or at some point, do you make an absolute truth claim? Your avatar suggests a degree of emotional investment in your beliefs. These feelings are unlikely to come from probability, in my opinion. Instead probabalism in relation to first cause is likely a clothes peg for the hanging up of a whole range of beliefs about happenings in this reality that are entirely improbable.  

Finally, I've been to Japan many times. And it's not your reasonable assumption. It's there.  

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Welcome aboard

Welcome aboard.

Went from very devout Catholic to very devout Atheist in my own lifetime.

Different viewpoints and different feedbacks are always welcome.

Post often.

“It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.”
― Giordano Bruno


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RenewedPoet wrote: Hello

RenewedPoet wrote:

 Hello RRS Forum!

Recently I've been getting a lot into debating religion and philosophy (as well as a little bit of history), which is what brought me to these forums.  I'll start by giving a bit of autobiography...

I am 17, finishing up the last bits of high school, and I live in Eastern USA.  I'd say that the theme of my life is a search for truth.  I've covered some wild intellectual ground over the last few years.  When I was 12 I was an atheist.  When I turned 14 I became a deist.  And for the last three years I've been a Christian.

I've enthusiastically pursued philosophy.  I've read some of the old philosophical classics such as Plato's republic and Locke's Essays.  As far as atheism goes, I've read the God Delusion, A Letter to a Christian Nation, and various other books by Dawkins and Harris.  Recently, I've been studying Christian apologetic books, mostly from the Presuppositional method of apologetics.

My quest for truth has led me to a rather unorthodox position.  I believe that any sort of absolute or objective knowledge is impossible.  (I think it's called fallibilism.)  I believe that the external world around us is unverifiable.  I believe that history is unverifiable.  I even reject "Cognito, Ergo, Sum" and argue that I cannot absolutely know that I exist.

Oh, and one more thing...

I love lemonade. Laughing out loud

I have listed my hobbies in my account info.

My email is [email protected]

Godbless!

 

The word "presupposition" is just another way of saying "lets pretend".

See if you can spot the pattern.

 

"Lets assume Allah exists"

"Lets assume Yahweh exists"

"Lets assume Vishnu exists"

"Lets assume little boys can fly around on brooms like Harry Potter"

 

Presupposition is bad use of logic.

 

Assume<=make up bad models<=Desired outcome

 

Good use of logic works like this.

 

Prior tested and falsified data=established model=projected outcome(to be peer reviewed)

And please do not bless us. To us that is like offering a Jewish or Muslim friend pork.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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 Brian,He's talking about

 Brian,

He's talking about Philosophy - which requires certain a priori knowledge as a starting point. Cogito Ergo Sum was Descartes' foundation from which he believed he could build, since it appeared self-evident (if you'll pardon the pun).

 

I believe the question should be, "can the presuppositional method of apologetics be considered as valid a priori?"

Renewed Poet, I would like your response to this, if and when you have time.


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Presuppositionally...

I quite agree with your criticisms of Descartes.

Luminon wrote:
You surely know the quote.

"Christianity is the belief that a two-thousand-year-old jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat an apple off a magical tree in a wonderland."

You surely know the quote:

"Atheism is the belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.  Makes perfect sense."

My quote doesn't describe atheism any better than yours describes Christianity.  You can take just about anything and make it sound silly.  That's what comedy is for.

Luminon wrote:
That's why most of people don't go back to Christianity, you see it sounds kind of silly when I put it like that. So what was your reason?

The main reason that I'm a Christian, is because of the Holy spirit.  But that is not something understood here.  So instead I'll just say, mostly because of presuppositional (and also some classical) apologetics.

Luminon wrote:
Sorry if I'm a bit blunt. I wouldn't do that in person, I typically leave Christians alone, but internet is a free "hunting ground".

If I wanted to be left alone, I'd never have joined an atheist forum.  Eye-wink

Luminon wrote:
I am seeking that too and I have made a bit of progress in that direction. However, fairly soon in the beginning I realized, that Christianity knows very little about enlightenment, or anything at all. Frankly, so does science, the enlightenment, I mean. So I had to find another way. It's not an easy way and quite an obscure one, maybe you're better off trying if Christianity works out for you.

One thing philosophy has taught me, is that just because "something works for me", doesn't mean that it's true or that I should accept it as so.

Luminon wrote:
 Very well, I'm not sure if that's a philosophy at all, but what made you believe that?

If you look up Fallibilism or Presuppositional apologetics you will find lots of philosophers who adhere to this philosophy.

Proof and knowledge are based/founded on the Aristotelian laws of logic.  These laws are:

1. The law of identity: something is what it is, and is not what it is not.  For example, 3 is 3. 3 is not -3.

2. The law of non-contradiction: something cannot be both true and false at the same time, or in the same sense.  For example, it is impossible to both exist and not exist at the same time, or in the same way.

3. The law of excluded middle: a statement is either true or false, without middle ground.  For example, the statement "God[s] exist" is either true or false, not both.

Any knowledge I have, such as knowledge of my own existence, relies on the validity of these three laws of logic.  For example, the bit of knowledge Descartes invented: I think, therefore, I am.  If the law of non-contradiction were false, it would be possible for me to both exist and not exist at the same time, which would make knowledge of my existence impossible!

To put it simply, proof and knowledge rises or falls with the laws of logic.

Here's the problem: how do you know that the laws of logic are valid? WAIT--don't try to prove that they are true!  You see, the minute that you try to prove that the laws of logic are true, you have just fallen into circular reasoning.  Since proof utilizes the laws of logic, you can't prove the laws of logic.  Because in the act of proving them you are already assuming them!  Read that again. Sticking out tongue

Remember what I said about presuppositions?  I can't prove the laws of logic, but since they are reasonable, I presuppose them.

It's like Baron Munchhausen, who supposedly pulled himself and the horse which he was sitting on out of a swamp by his own hair. (See the wikipedia article on the Munchhausen trilemma.) One of Godel's theorems shows this problem.

Did you know that Eastern philosophy and some forms of Quantum physics reject the laws of logic?

Luminon wrote:
Well, philosophy is hard. I'd never understand it if I didn't have it explained by a teacher. I'd never take up a book on it. But the philosophers of ancient Greece already proved that human mind is capable of accessing the objective reality, so we can't doubt that knowledge is possible.

We can doubt anything.

Luminon wrote:
But you'd have to explain to me, what is absolute knowledge. If you can do that, then you prove that we can have absolute knowledge, you prove that human mind is capable of accessing it. If you know what absolute knowledge you don't have, then you actually mentally grasp it. Unless you absolutely have no idea or concept of what the absolute knowledge is, then you'd be right, as long as these two are just random words put together without any actual meaning.

With the laws of logic as my foundation, I can presuppositionally know and prove things.

Having an idea or concept of something is not the same as actually having it.  I could have an idea of a unicorn without actually having a real unicorn.  The same for absolute knowledge, I could have an idea of what absolute knowledge is without actually having that kind of knowledge.

Sure, I mentally grasp what absolute knowledge might be, but that doesn't mean that it exists or that I have it in the real world.

Absolute knowledge by the definition in which I am using it, is knowledge of the way things objectively are, without any circular reasoning or assumptions.

Brian37 wrote:

The word "presupposition" is just another way of saying "lets pretend".

If you recall, I said "reasonable" presuppositions.  Not something accepted contrary to reason, or arbitrarily.

 

Brian37 wrote:
Presupposition is bad use of logic.

That's too bad, because logic itself is a presupposition!  The only way we can know logic is presuppositionally.

Brian37 wrote:
Good use of logic works like this.

Prior tested and falsified data=established model=projected outcome(to be peer reviewed)

The problem of induction says otherwise...

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:
I believe the question should be, "can the presuppositional method of apologetics be considered as valid a priori?"

Can atheism make sense of the laws of logic?  The answer is no, so atheism is negated, and the inverse is true.

I hesitate to give the Transcendental Argument for God's existence in an introductory thread... maybe the Atheist vs Theist sub-forum, or in private messaging would be better?

A worthy version of the TAG can be found at Carm.org.  Google "CARM TAG."

That's an adorable puppy GodsUseForAMosquito! Smiling

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I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
C. S. Lewis


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GodsUseForAMosquito

GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:

 Brian,

He's talking about Philosophy - which requires certain a priori knowledge as a starting point. Cogito Ergo Sum was Descartes' foundation from which he believed he could build, since it appeared self-evident (if you'll pardon the pun).

 

I believe the question should be, "can the presuppositional method of apologetics be considered as valid a priori?"

Renewed Poet, I would like your response to this, if and when you have time.

I know full well what he was doing. I am merely not distracted by it.

"priori" is just gobbledy goo and old language.

 

We have surpassed any and all old ways of thinking through the tried and tested means of scientific method.

I did answer the question of "can the presuppositional method be considered valid"

No, no more than a kaleidoscope can replace a telescope.

It still amounts to "lets pretend first".

We don't have to pretend anything, we have the means to test claims and falsify them.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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 I'm not scared of diving

 I'm not scared of diving right into that..

 

In the transcendental Argument for God's existence (quoted thusSmiling

Quote:

 

  1. If there is no god (most often the entity God, defined as the god of the Christian Bible), knowledge is not possible.
  2. Knowledge is possible.
  3. Therefore a god exists.

Tell me why 1) is necessarily true? Seems like a dodgy presupposition to me, designed to be tautological.

 

 EDIT: Search this site for  Transcendental Argument for several refutations that have gone before us if you're interested, though of course I'd be happy to re-open the discussion if you like..

 


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RenewedPoet wrote:You surely

RenewedPoet wrote:

You surely know the quote:

"Atheism is the belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs.  Makes perfect sense."

My quote doesn't describe atheism any better than yours describes Christianity.  You can take just about anything and make it sound silly.  That's what comedy is for.

Well, the Christianity quote came first Laughing out loud Anyway, what you say is incorrect, atheism is not a belief, it's a lack of belief. It's a completely different cathegory of concept than you think. We're born atheists. There shouldn't even be a word for it, we're just normal people. The philosopher Thales of Miletos was the first normal person we know about. Everyone thought in myths, but Thales resented the myths, he called them poiesis, something constructed, arbitrary, unnecessary. He seeked the concept of "logos", the "word" that reality itself speaks. We're here to listen to the reality, not to speak. So by Thales' legacy, we don't require any cosmological theories to be normal, but we need to do certain things to stay normal. We must not create our theories alone, we must let the reality have a say in our theories.

Firstly, things like the self-replicating bits, dinosaurs and the "nothing" of cosmos is also normal (and has actually about four scientific definitions). Secondly, they're positive. The reality always speaks positively, we must only listen. To be normal, we must not presuppose anything, we must start with a clear slate, stand back and let the reality itself write on it about the positive phenomena that it wants to tell us about. Then the normal people will end up with a normal, positive worldview and they can construct and test valuable theories based on it. 

RenewedPoet wrote:
One thing philosophy has taught me, is that just because "something works for me", doesn't mean that it's true or that I should accept it as so.
Well, it certainly doesn't mean it's all true. I can only tell if it's true as far as I can empirically verify it and rationally examine its consistency. So far so good. But I'd like to get such a lesson, to see if 

RenewedPoet wrote:
Luminon wrote:
 Very well, I'm not sure if that's a philosophy at all, but what made you believe that?

If you look up Fallibilism or Presuppositional apologetics you will find lots of philosophers who adhere to this philosophy.

Proof and knowledge are based/founded on the Aristotelian laws of logic.  These laws are:

1. The law of identity: something is what it is, and is not what it is not.  For example, 3 is 3. 3 is not -3.

2. The law of non-contradiction: something cannot be both true and false at the same time, or in the same sense.  For example, it is impossible to both exist and not exist at the same time, or in the same way.

3. The law of excluded middle: a statement is either true or false, without middle ground.  For example, the statement "God[s] exist" is either true or false, not both.

Any knowledge I have, such as knowledge of my own existence, relies on the validity of these three laws of logic.  For example, the bit of knowledge Descartes invented: I think, therefore, I am.  If the law of non-contradiction were false, it would be possible for me to both exist and not exist at the same time, which would make knowledge of my existence impossible!

To put it simply, proof and knowledge rises or falls with the laws of logic.

Here's the problem: how do you know that the laws of logic are valid? WAIT--don't try to prove that they are true!  You see, the minute that you try to prove that the laws of logic are true, you have just fallen into circular reasoning.  Since proof utilizes the laws of logic, you can't prove the laws of logic.  Because in the act of proving them you are already assuming them!  Read that again. Sticking out tongue

Remember what I said about presuppositions?  I can't prove the laws of logic, but since they are reasonable, I presuppose them.

It's like Baron Munchhausen, who supposedly pulled himself and the horse which he was sitting on out of a swamp by his own hair. (See the wikipedia article on the Munchhausen trilemma.) One of Godel's theorems shows this problem.

I think I should have been more clear. Firstly, you talked about your belief and I asked about your belief. Secondly, I agree with these laws of logic, I only disagree that they are anything we should presuppose. These laws must exist whether we presuppose them or not. Just because we can successfully presuppose them, doesn't mean we can successfully presuppose anything else. To be successful, that is, to find the necessary, certain, true and clear concepts, we must open our mind to the reality and start with skepticism to clear away all that might be our poiesis. 

RenewedPoet wrote:
Did you know that Eastern philosophy and some forms of Quantum physics reject the laws of logic?
Our laws of logic are dependent on the way our matter rides on the fabric of space-time. Just because our matter does so in a certain way, doesn't mean there aren't any other configurations of matter that do it differently. However, there is a certain logic in it as well. For example, string theory says that within the most fundamental particles there are vibrating strings. The way these strings vibrate determines, how many dimensions that matter uses. Which would mean the space has X dimensions and the strings within particles determine if a particle is 3-dimensional or more. However, gravity is a force that affects the space itself, so it affects all the particles, not just the 3-dimensional. That is why it's so weak compared to other forces, it's "spread" over all types of matter and not concentrated just on the 3-dimensional ones, that is, our visible universe. This is also why I'd argue that gravity is not the main force shaping the way our universe looks. It certainly holds it together, but it isn't the main factor in shaping it.

RenewedPoet wrote:
Luminon wrote:
Well, philosophy is hard. I'd never understand it if I didn't have it explained by a teacher. I'd never take up a book on it. But the philosophers of ancient Greece already proved that human mind is capable of accessing the objective reality, so we can't doubt that knowledge is possible.

We can doubt anything.

 No, the philosophy of noetics already estabilished the necessary, true, general and certain knowledge that we can't doubt. That's going to be on my tomorrow exam from philosophy, the noetic proof. Radical skepticism is popular today, but it together with modern philosophers like Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant or Husserl is merely an offshoot of the Sophists of ancient Greece. The Sophists were so thoroughly disproven by Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, that "sophistry" is today a derogatory word. Unfortunately, the modern philosophers made the same mistakes and today this relativism grew over into cultural movement. Today we doubt everything, not realizing that this makes our very doubting meaningless. We revolt against the tyranny of necessary, true, certain and clear knowledge, not realizing that this knowledge is the only way to estabilish undeniable human rights. 

I can prove that to you logically. May I? Depends on how do you respond. It's a little long, there are three strong attacks from the skeptic side against it and I'd have to go through each one.

And also, we sometimes have folks here who aren't rational. When presented with positive evidence, they don't change their opinion. It's hard to tell who's who, specially when they're new. For example, I change my opinion quite often, we have some really top national level experts at school and they change my mind with evidence and arguments all the time. But the more I care about a particular result, the more painful it is to change my mind. It's so painful that some people can't do it. But everyone around see if you change your mind or not, and if you don't, they change their mind about you and it may get somewhat painful anyway. That's what it means to be rational. And I'd like to see if you're rational. Unfortunately, in this imperfect world I can't tell that unless I see you change your mind for rational reasons.

RenewedPoet wrote:
 

With the laws of logic as my foundation, I can presuppositionally know and prove things.

Having an idea or concept of something is not the same as actually having it.  I could have an idea of a unicorn without actually having a real unicorn.  The same for absolute knowledge, I could have an idea of what absolute knowledge is without actually having that kind of knowledge.

Sure, I mentally grasp what absolute knowledge might be, but that doesn't mean that it exists or that I have it in the real world.

Absolute knowledge by the definition in which I am using it, is knowledge of the way things objectively are, without any circular reasoning or assumptions.

Obviously, our minds are limited. We can't know everything. But we can know anything that is real, because our minds are open towards it. However, I think here you came upon a problem, the language is imperfect. There is a triad of the object, language and thought. We use the language to express thought and our thought is naturally open to the objective world.
However, the language can put words together, words that are unthinkable and say them aloud, but you can't imagine them. You can imagine the words, but not their content. Try to imagine absolute knowledge. Most likely you'll imagine something like Discovery Channel, because there's some science on it, but it won't be the absolute knowledge. I'll imagine something different, something perhaps from my mystical experiences. Someone else will imagine something else. "Absolute knowledge" is therefore ambiguous, subject to interpretation and essentially poiesis, a myth.

This is why the social engineer and futurologist Jacque Fresco talks about a language of the future, that has uniform meaning and is not subject to interpretation. The language used among engineering community, the language that is like a blueprint. If you can put it on a blueprint, you can build it, program it and so on. But you can't put on blueprint things like nationalism or theology. 

 

RenewedPoet wrote:
The main reason that I'm a Christian, is because of the Holy spirit.  But that is not something understood here.  So instead I'll just say, mostly because of presuppositional (and also some classical) apologetics.
One might say, if there is need for an apologetist, then the scripture is ambiguous and subject to interpretation. This is why it's a myth and myth is poiesis, an unnecessary, constructed, arbitrary thing. Which means it is not obligatory for you to be a Christian. Therefore, you need a different reason for that. And I think I asked about this reason. Maybe you don't have one, maybe you just used logic badly but didn't know about it and so you feel compelled by it. That's easily fixed, maybe I just did it Smiling

But seriously, when one says Holy Spirit, it evokes the idea of experience. I'm a very experience-based guy and mystical and occult experiences are a part of my life. Without them, I wouldn't bother believing in nearly as many things as I do. So it is diffcult for me to imagine that someone else would bother believing, without some really powerful, frequent, compelling and theoretically consistent experiences. 
This is why I first asked you about childhood indoctrination, that's the most frequent reason, as children we're not yet good at logic, but very good at mimicking our parents.

 

RenewedPoet wrote:
 
GodsUseForAMosquito wrote:
I believe the question should be, "can the presuppositional method of apologetics be considered as valid a priori?"

Can atheism make sense of the laws of logic?  The answer is no, so atheism is negated, and the inverse is true.

I hesitate to give the Transcendental Argument for God's existence in an introductory thread... maybe the Atheist vs Theist sub-forum, or in private messaging would be better?

A worthy version of the TAG can be found at Carm.org.  Google "CARM TAG."

That's an adorable puppy GodsUseForAMosquito! Smiling

Let's say it differently once more. Can normality make sense of the law of logic? Sure it can! Atheism is confirmed Smiling

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.