some thoughts on the show w/Ergun Caner

jmm
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some thoughts on the show w/Ergun Caner

well, first i'd like to congratulate the RRS for making mincemeat of Ergun Caner. you guys really ate him alive, which is a crying shame. you weren't asking him any hard questions. just your basic, run-of-the-mill types of questions that people have been asking for several thousand years now.

i was hoping that Caner would go in there and really hold his own, at least to make it exciting, but of course he didn't. he was flustered within the first 10 minutes or so. his reasoning was circular, his answers inarticulate (especially for a Ph.D), and he kept resorting to bizarre and irrelevant pseudo-philosopical jargon such as "guys, our categories are different." also, why would he restate your questions to himself in such a way that they became totally different questions, then proceed to NOT answer any of them? that was super annoying.

let's face it: Caner not only has his reputation to protect, but also his prestigious job. he had two strikes against him from the beginning by taking the "bible as the inspired word of God" stance. that argument always collapses like Ben Roethlisberger's pocket all last season. it's not like he really had a choice, though, given his occupation.

in Caner's defense, however, there were 2-3 people bombarding him with questions the majority of the time, and with the exception of Sapient, none of you approached the discussion with a cool head - including Caner.

these debates are doomed from the start. god can neither be proven nor disproven scientifically - he's not empirically experiencable. i believe in god. beyond that, i am a christian. but i don't believe in god because of any empirical scientific proof, or because of any rational argument on his behalf, but rather because of what i believe to be the gnostic revelation of himself to me. i can't prove that to you. i don't even want to try. it's pointless. it's something that you have to experience for yourself. it's a totally subjective phenomenon.

is my belief in god irrational? definitely.

is human rationality the be-all end-all litmus test for judging human experience? i'm personally inclined to say no. i understand very little of the world through human rationality. numbers are rational. geology is even rational. but concerning human experience, i find nothing rational about it. on the contrary, it's quite absurd.

perhaps it is the anxiety of having been faced with this absurdity that has led to my admittedly irrational belief in god. and i'm fine with that.

i do know that my irrational belief in god somehow partially soothes the otherwise unbearable anxiety of existence. perhaps it is part of my imagination. perhaps it is a coping mechanism. it's very possible. god, jesus and the bible for me exist on very shaky terms. these are merely our collective interpretation of god's gnostic revelation of himself to us (believers). in reality, the whole thing is probably going to have to be way off in order for it to make any sense to us whatsoever. embodying the unembodyable is always as risky as it is necessary.

so, sorry for the ramble. also, i apologize if there is already a thread on last night's show somewhere else on the board. i looked but i couldn't find one.

 


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jmm wrote: well, first i'd

jmm wrote:

well, first i'd like to congratulate the RRS for making mincemeat of Ergun Caner. you guys really ate him alive, which is a crying shame. you weren't asking him any hard questions. just your basic, run-of-the-mill types of questions that people have been asking for several thousand years now.

That's what surprised me the most. I was asking the 'adam and eve/sin without intent' question for years, you'd think he'd at least have a stock answer.

The same went for a few other points.

And then when he went head to head with Rook over Clement and when Luke first appeared, Caner appeared like a bush leaguer.

Quote:
 

i was hoping that Caner would go in there and really hold his own, at least to make it exciting, but of course he didn't. he was flustered within the first 10 minutes or so. his reasoning was circular, his answers inarticulate (especially for a Ph.D),

Having a Phd doesn't mean you're smart; it only means that you should be. ... - James Randi

 And I'm not saying that out of sour grapes, about a year away from my own doctorate.

Quote:
 

     ad he kept resorting to bizarre and irrelevant pseudo-philosopical jargon such as "guys, our categories are different."

It seemed like he was just trying to use that to dodge.... i.e. if we are basing our answers on different 'categories' then my answer is untranslatable in your set of of 'categories'

But here's the problem with this nonsensical defense: Caner claimed that we had good questions, in fact, he said we were asking the right questions, and that they deserved answers.

So how can saying "our categories are different' be responsive?

Quote:
 

also, why would he restate your questions to himself in such a way that they became totally different questions, then proceed to NOT answer any of them? that was super annoying.

 

Thank you for noting that. First he'd reword the question then he wouldn't even answer his own version of the question.

Quote:
 

 let's face it: Caner not only has his reputation to protect, but also his prestigious job. he had two strikes against him from the beginning by taking the "bible as the inspired word of God" stance. that argument always collapses like Ben Roethlisberger's pocket all last season. it's not like he really had a choice, though, given his occupation.

Right.

Quote:
 

in Caner's defense, however, there were 2-3 people bombarding him with questions the majority of the time, and with the exception of Sapient, none of you approached the discussion with a cool head - including Caner.

these debates are doomed from the start. god can neither be proven nor disproven scientifically - he's not empirically experiencable. i believe in god. beyond that, i am a christian. but i don't believe in god because of any empirical scientific proof, or because of any rational argument on his behalf, but rather because of what i believe to be the gnostic revelation of himself to me. i can't prove that to you. i don't even want to try. it's pointless. it's something that you have to experience for yourself. it's a totally subjective phenomenon.

is my belief in god irrational? definitely.

 

If I could, I'd reach through my monitor and shake your hand.

Yes, theism is irrational. It's a belief based on desire or through interpretation of personal experiences.

So, when someone says 'your belief is irrational' why not just say: Yes. It is. So?

I believe in some things based on desire too. If I was forced to pick between  radical determinism and free will, I'd pick the former on pure reason, but I lean towards the latter for matters both pragmatic and emotional/desire.

The only problem with an irrational belief is when we hold to it dogmatically or when we insist that others follow our beliefs.  If we hold to beliefs dogmatically, and we blind ourselves to evidence, we might hurt ourselves, or others.

So the danger is not just 'irrationalism' but irrationalism held dogmatically.

Quote:
 

 is human rationality the be-all end-all litmus test for judging human experience? i'm personally inclined to say no. i understand very little of the world through human rationality. numbers are rational. geology is even rational. but concerning human experience, i find nothing rational about it. on the contrary, it's quite absurd.

perhaps it is the anxiety of having been faced with this absurdity that has led to my admittedly irrational belief in god. and i'm fine with that.

i do know that my irrational belief in god somehow partially soothes the otherwise unbearable anxiety of existence. perhaps it is part of my imagination. perhaps it is a coping mechanism. it's very possible. god, jesus and the bible for me exist on very shaky terms. these are merely our collective interpretation of god's gnostic revelation of himself to us (believers). in reality, the whole thing is probably going to have to be way off in order for it to make any sense to us whatsoever. embodying the unembodyable is always as risky as it is necessary.

so, sorry for the ramble. also, i apologize if there is already a thread on last night's show somewhere else on the board. i looked but i couldn't find one.

 

You call it a ramble, I call it one of the best posts I've read in awhile.. Thanks for posting, hope to see you posting again.

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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jmm wrote:

jmm wrote:
is human rationality the be-all end-all litmus test for judging human experience? i'm personally inclined to say no.

But meanwhile....

Quote:
i understand very little of the world through human rationality. numbers are rational. geology is even rational. but concerning human experience, i find nothing rational about it. on the contrary, it's quite absurd.

...you try to argue your case.

Funny how that works isn't it? You're either stuck with applying a "reason aint all that and a bag of chips" stance without any motive whatsoever, or you end up applying the very thing you're assuming to invalidate.

~Let us be reasonable~

You want to claim there's such a thing as "the supernatural"? Fine. I hereby declare you to be "paracorrect" in doing so. 


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Jutter wrote: jmm

Jutter wrote:

jmm wrote:
is human rationality the be-all end-all litmus test for judging human experience? i'm personally inclined to say no.

But meanwhile....

Quote:
i understand very little of the world through human rationality. numbers are rational. geology is even rational. but concerning human experience, i find nothing rational about it. on the contrary, it's quite absurd.

...you try to argue your case.

Funny how that works isn't it? You're either stuck with applying a "reason aint all that and a bag of chips" stance without any motive whatsoever, or you end up applying the very thing you're assuming to invalidate.

notice that i never said human rationality was competely, 100% invalid in every situation.  i said that human rationality was not the end-all, be-all litmus test for judging human experience.  huge difference.   


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Good post. I admire your

Good post. I admire your honesty.


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jmm wrote: Jutter

jmm wrote:
Jutter wrote:

jmm wrote:
is human rationality the be-all end-all litmus test for judging human experience? i'm personally inclined to say no.

But meanwhile....

Quote:
i understand very little of the world through human rationality. numbers are rational. geology is even rational. but concerning human experience, i find nothing rational about it. on the contrary, it's quite absurd.

...you try to argue your case.

Funny how that works isn't it? You're either stuck with applying a "reason aint all that and a bag of chips" stance without any motive whatsoever, or you end up applying the very thing you're assuming to invalidate.

notice that i never said human rationality was competely, 100% invalid in every situation. i said that human rationality was not the end-all, be-all litmus test for judging human experience. huge difference.

yeas and you're stuck with doing that on no grounds whatsoever or by applying the very thing you hope to invalidate. That you're only hoping invalidate in within a certain context really doesn't change that. 

~Let us be reasonable~

You want to claim there's such a thing as "the supernatural"? Fine. I hereby declare you to be "paracorrect" in doing so. 


jmm
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Ig wrote:

Ig wrote:
Good post. I admire your honesty.

hey, anytime. i really respect what you guys are doing over here, and i hope i'm eventually welcome enough to establish a civil, level headed, ongoing dialog between us.

Jutter wrote:
jmm wrote:
notice that i never said human rationality was competely, 100% invalid in every situation. i said that human rationality was not the end-all, be-all litmus test for judging human experience. huge difference.

yeas and you're stuck with doing that on no grounds whatsoever or by applying the very thing you hope to invalidate. That you're only hoping invalidate in within a certain context really doesn't change that.

i'm not trying to invalidate anything. human rationality definitely has it's place in my life. i'm just trying to expand the spiritual and metaphysical pallet, that's all. many atheists here come to similarly narrow-minded conclusions about reality as their theistic counterparts do (Blaise Pascal and C.S. Lewis come to mind).

 


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jmm wrote:

jmm wrote:
]i'm just trying to expand the spiritual and metaphysical pallet
Yes, and you either have a good reason for doing so, or you don't. It's this inescapability that undermines the validity of your position. You're basicly using fancy terms like pallet expansion for something that ultimately boils down to plain old bullshitting yourself in situations where -for honesty's sake- you should be pleading ignorance. You take what's essentially nessecary (reasoning) and call it merely "usefull" as an excuse to abandon it's use in some cases. And meanwhile you're ARGUING for your choice being a sound one, showing how you inevitably must try to apply reason, to distinguish your choices from mere whims. You end up attempting to apply reason EVEN in the hopes of pointing you can't always use it.

Reasoning is not just one of several usefull tool, it's THE nessecary tool.

~Let us be reasonable~

You want to claim there's such a thing as "the supernatural"? Fine. I hereby declare you to be "paracorrect" in doing so. 


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If every theist were like

If every theist were like this one I wouldn't even be here discussing the issue. That was a well said post.

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A sound read. The best in a

A sound read. The best in a while. In a debate that is rarely coolheaded and often marred, this is the kind of thing that atheists can respect and theists can learn from.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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