I was recently engaged in a very lively debate, regarding the validity of the Christian worldview vs. non-Christian worldviews, over at Debate.org.  Believe it or not, a very simple challenge, put forth to those who hold to worldviews which deny the God of the Bible, turned into a discussion thread of over 800 comments (well above the norm)!  I have included the link to the discussion for anyone who is interested in seeing how non-Christians fared when asked to account for the most basic, fundamental concepts (i.e. logic, truth, knowledge, the foundation of the scientific method, etc.), required for making sense of the world around us, in their worldview.  Warning: it ain’t pretty!

http://www.debate.org/forums/Religion/topic/55783/

NOTE: What you’ll notice in these types of discussions is that those who deny God and the truth of the Bible will always ultimately be reduced to ‘vain and foolish’ reasoning, just like Scripture states (Romans 1:18-22, I Corinthians 1:19-20).  In particular, notice how the unbelievers’ positions are always shown to be based upon nothing more than blind-faith and mere opinion, having no logical foundation whatsoever upon which to rest.  As I always enjoy pointing out, that is the very definition of an irrational (and, therefore, untrue) position.  The more familiar Christians become with these arguments, the easier it is to then (hopefully gently) expose the errors in the unbeliever’s reasoning and to pull down the ‘intellectual strongholds’ that prevent them from considering and, subsequently, receiving the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Remember, no one will receive with their heart what their mind rejects as false, making the mandate of 2 Corinthians 10:5 especially relevant to us today:

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

I welcome your thoughts.

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Comments
  1. paul the slave says:

    Yah Mike…that is an arena that only the heartiest dare tread. I have very little patience for that sort of dialogue. My hat goes off to you to have the ability to engage them that way.

    It’s my prayer that God gives you wisdom and understanding to break through the walls and deception that has clouded their ability to see the truth.

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    • scmike2 says:

      Thank you for those kind words and warm sentiments, Paul! Indeed, these types of discussions are not only something I enjoy doing, but are also something that I, too, pray may be used by the Lord in His sovereignty to bring those who oppose themselves a step closer to obeying the Gospel. Keep fighting the Good Fight and remember to keep these folks in your prayers!

      Liked by 1 person

      • RuleofOrder says:

        Why do they need to be “accounted” for? (Logic, truth, and the like). Wouldn’t learning be something that intelligent creatures do to as part of being intelligent? “They were learned” seems to be the short answer, but I don’t see why that wasn’t satisfactory in its various attempts at being explained.

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        • scmike2 says:

          Thank you for your question RuleofOrder, it’s nice to meet you. What you may not realize is that ‘learning’ and ‘intelligence’ both presuppose the existence of logic, truth, knowledge, etc. That is, they are necessary preconditions of learning anything and must be assumed prior to doing so. However, you will find that those who profess a non-Christian worldview are forced into the very strange position of having to accept each of these things solely on blind faith (which is one form of irrationality, by the way), since these abstract, universal, invariant concepts can only be accounted for or made sense of via the God of the Bible (as they reflect His immaterial, sovereign, unchanging character and nature). Therefore, logic, truth, knowledge, etc. comport (i.e. fit) within the Christian worldview, but cannot be explained apart from it.

          If you dispute this, I would invite you to try the following exercise: think about how you would reconcile the abstract concepts of truth, laws of logic, and knowledge in your own worldview. That is, on what rational basis do you believe in and utilize these concepts apart from the God of the Bible? You will find that you will not be able to provide one, but the exercise itself may prove beneficial in helping you think through these issues. Remember, in order to remain rational, people must have good, sound reasons for the things that they believe to be true, otherwise, they are engaging in irrational behavior (which is but one sure sign of a false position). Take care!

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          • RuleofOrder says:

            No, learning doesn’t presuppose any of those. Knowledge is the sum of experience, logic and truth, much the same, as it is possible to learn that which is not true, or not logical, and that be included in one’s knowledge as well. The learning had to come first before any of the other could be used or created. If anything, the capacity to learn as a being of intelligence is the presupposition, not what was learned (that which came after the fact), such as knowledge, logic, and truth.

            Considering the capability of God to lie, and His demonstrated ability to change His mind, His character is not unchanging. That would mean its not feasible for nature to reflect (at least all) of His attributes. However the hurdle I have is how any entity(ies) of such a power couldn’t account for all that, or how specifically your entity in question MUST be that entity. There is no grounding for that, nor does the world currently necessitate it as you describe.

            With the above stated, its not for me to reconcile, as its not my postulate. That being “the God of the Bible is the reason for”…. The onus is not on me to defend against that which is not proven or demonstrated. If you have disagreement with the ability of intelligent beings to learn, that would be mine to demonstrate, however I don’t think that is in contention.

            For ease, feel free to short hand my handle to “Roo”. Its what most people on forums like this do.

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            • scmike2 says:

              Thanks again for your response, Roo! Regarding your comments, I will respond in a point-by-point fashion:

              “No, learning doesn’t presuppose any of those.”

              This is incorrect. Clearly, one would have to assume that it is possible for them to know things prior to attempting to pursue the gaining knowledge (which is what learning is, by the way). Otherwise, what would be the point? Also, one would have to assume that their senses and reasoning are functioning properly and are providing them with valid (logical) feedback prior to employing them in making any observations or forming any conclusions about the world around them. It simply would not be possible to make reliable observations and to form accurate conclusions in the pursuit of knowledge using illogical reasoning (hence, logic is necessarily foundational to sound reasoning). Lastly, one would first have to assume that truth exists and is attainable prior to endeavoring to know it. Therefore, logic, truth, and knowledge are prerequisites for the pursuit of using sound reasoning to gain knowledge of the truth (i.e. the act of learning). Hopefully this is clearer now.

              “Knowledge is the sum of experience, logic and truth, much the same, as it is possible to learn that which is not true, or not logical, and that be included in one’s knowledge as well.”

              Unfortunately, you are confusing the concept of ‘knowledge (which is certain by definition)’ with the concept of ‘belief (which is not)’. There is a huge difference between the two, as one cannot know something which is false (including that which is illogical). Sure, people may erroneously believe false or illogical things, but that does not equate to knowledge. If you dispute this, please tell me one thing that you know for certain to be true that could also be false at the same time. Hopefully, you can see the difference between these two concepts now.

              “Considering the capability of God to lie, and His demonstrated ability to change His mind, His character is not unchanging.”

              This assumes that God could not and has not revealed some things to mankind about His character and nature (such as the fact that it is unchanging) so that we can be certain of them. What is your basis for that assumption (since it would take sheer intellectual dishonesty to deny that an omnipotent, omniscient God could do this)?

              “That would mean its not feasible for nature to reflect (at least all) of His attributes.”

              Do you know this for certain, or is it just something that you believe? If you claim to know it for certain, then please tell how you know it. If not, it is just a baseless claim which requires no refutation.

              “However the hurdle I have is how any entity(ies) of such a power couldn’t account for all that, or how specifically your entity in question MUST be that entity.”

              Specifically, by the impossibility of the contrary. Rejecting the God of the Bible leads to absurdity, since one then loses any foundation at all for believing in and utilizing any of the necessary preconditions of intelligibility required to even begin to make sense of anything (such as the abstract, universal, invariant concepts of truth, knowledge, morality, and laws of logic). I’ll show you what I mean:

              “There is no grounding for that, nor does the world currently necessitate it as you describe.”

              How do you know that for certain absent possessing omniscience or having revelation from One who does? As a Christian, I have a rationally defensible basis for believing that certainty is possible, as I appeal to the omniscient God of the Bible and the fact that He has revealed some things to mankind that we can be certain of their truth (such as His existence, for example). We both believe that it is possible to know things for certain—the question is: which of us has a rational basis for that belief? I have given you mine. What is yours?

              “With the above stated, its not for me to reconcile, as its not my postulate. That being “the God of the Bible is the reason for”…. The onus is not on me to defend against that which is not proven or demonstrated.”

              The demonstration is the inability of those who reject the God of the Bible to rationally defend their positions, as their very position undermines the only possible source for truth, knowledge, laws of logic, morality, and all other preconditions of intelligibility. You’ll notice that your posts thus far have been void of any sound rationale for your believing in and appealing to any of the aforementioned abstract, universal, invariant concepts in your worldview. I submit to you that that is because, ultimately, you must accept their existence solely on blind faith alone. Again, I remind you that doing so is but one form of irrationality.

              “If you have disagreement with the ability of intelligent beings to learn, that would be mine to demonstrate, however I don’t think that is in contention.”

              Not at all. What is in contention, though, is the ability of those who profess non-Christian worldviews to account for the necessary prerequisites for intelligence and for learning anything. I have yet to see a non-Christian provide anything even resembling a rational defense for how any of the concepts we’ve been discussing make sense in their worldview (even though, they rely upon them and use them on a daily basis). Doesn’t that seem odd to you?

              “For ease, feel free to short hand my handle to “Roo”. Its what most people on forums like this do.”

              Will do, Roo. You’ll notice that I have already implemented your suggestion above. I look forward to your forthcoming response.

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              • RuleofOrder says:

                ” Clearly, one would have to assume that it is possible for them to know things prior to attempting to pursue the gaining knowledge (which is what learning is, by the way). Otherwise, what would be the point?” — being aware of something is not knowing it. I am aware of Tai Chi. I don’t know it. I will have no knowledge of Tai Chi (that being the sum of an experience) until I learn it. From learning it, in practice, I can separate or identify the truth in.

                ” Also, one would have to assume that their senses and reasoning are functioning properly and are providing them with valid (logical) feedback prior to employing them in making any observations or forming any conclusions about the world around them.” — that, too, is learned. It becomes validated as you learn, and technically, even if your senses are providing illogical feedback, or no feedback, that can be circumvented through further learning to varying degrees, and still be quite valid.

                “Therefore, logic, truth, and knowledge are prerequisites for the pursuit of using sound reasoning to gain knowledge of the truth (i.e. the act of learning)” — Um… truth and knowledge are needed to gain truth and knowledge? I think you might be taking things a bit metaphysical in hoping to prove your point. Back to my previous example, I don’t need to have knowledge of Tai Chi to learn Tai Chi. Why is anything else any different?

                “Sure, people may erroneously believe false or illogical things, but that does not equate to knowledge. If you dispute this, please tell me one thing that you know for certain to be true that could also be false at the same time” — the story of Grendel, as an example. It is false, at least in terms of how well it comports with reality. It is true, in as much as it is very much a story. As such, things can be learned from it, however on the whole its a false scenario. Though I don’t think that is what you are asking. There is knowledge to be gained in what is false or untrue, provided one realizes the scope of the situation.

                “This assumes that God could not and has not revealed some things to mankind about His character and nature (such as the fact that it is unchanging) so that we can be certain of them. What is your basis for that assumption (since it would take sheer intellectual dishonesty to deny that an omnipotent, omniscient God could do this)?” — such an entity could, though that wasn’t the point. As I stated, if the nature of God includes delivering an influence designed to actively obfuscate the truth of a matter, or the ability to remove certain options from play that previously were at his disposal, this demonstrates he is NOT unchanging, and can lie, rendering suspect any other revelations he might impart.

                “the question is: which of us has a rational basis for that belief? I have given you mine. What is yours?” — well, here in we disagree. Stating you appeal to god A) while other people can appeal to god B) and establish the same result, or godS C) to get the same answer to the same questions doesn’t equate for a rational belief. That just becomes a series of post hoc addendums to the god or gods in question. EG: “Oh, your God did that? Well my God did it before your God, so your God must not exist”. Its further not rational. Any invented supernatural entity, or entity of history (such as mythological pantheon), or even modern worship just as easily satisfies that criteria you are pointing to regarding creation rendering your assertion that you claim to be true one of many possible scenario. There is simply no reason to believe your deity in question, or any other invented supernatural agency is “true” over another.

                “How do you know that for certain absent possessing omniscience or having revelation from One who does?” — Man has the ability to learn. That is not in contention, and that is how I know, for certain, anything that I can know. I learned it.

                “Do you know this for certain, or is it just something that you believe? ” — which part? You trimmed a bit of the post, I am not certain where the question is pointing.

                “The demonstration is the inability of those who reject the God of the Bible to rationally defend their positions”… so, because the question is not answered satisfactorily, your position is true? I am not certain thats how a demonstration works.

                Knowledge: the sum of experience.
                Logic: the method by which evidence is processed to a conclusion
                Truth: accurate state of being

                These are what I am working around as common definitions to the words we are using, if you have a different interpretation, please, let me know and I will change my phrasing to better accommodate.

                Can I assume that creativity is also something that is beyond contention for an intelligent being to posses?

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                • scmike2 says:

                  Thanks again, Roo! Regarding your comments:

                  “being aware of something is not knowing it. I am aware of Tai Chi. I don’t know it.”

                  Your awareness of Tai Chi implies (assumes) the truth of its existence, which validates my point that an awareness of the ability to gain true knowledge via learning assumes the existence of truth, knowledge, and logic.

                  “I will have no knowledge of Tai Chi (that being the sum of an experience) until I learn it. From learning it, in practice, I can separate or identify the truth in.”

                  If we were to apply the logic you are using here to what we are discussing, you would essentially be arguing ‘I will have no knowledge of knowledge until I learn it’. To which I would respond by asking: how did you come to know (i.e. learn) that, since your claim about knowledge is, itself, also a knowledge claim? Clearly, you could never justify this claim, since it would require universal knowledge on your part (to know the impossible), not to mention that it is also self-refuting/contradictory from the get-go.

                  “that (the reliability of our senses and reasoning), too, is learned.”

                  And what does one use to ‘learn’ about the validity of their senses and reasoning, if not their senses and reasoning? You are essentially arguing that our senses and reasoning are proven reliable by validating them with those same senses and reasoning. Of course, this is viciously circular and irrational.

                  “It becomes validated as you learn, and technically, even if your senses are providing illogical feedback, or no feedback, that can be circumvented through further learning to varying degrees, and still be quite valid.”

                  Please explain the process of arriving at valid/logical conclusions via the use of invalid/illogical reasoning. Hopefully you can see the problem with that.

                  “Um… truth and knowledge are needed to gain truth and knowledge?”

                  The argument was that an awareness of the existence of truth and knowledge must be assumed when seeking to gain truth and knowledge. I trust this is obvious by now?

                  “I think you might be taking things a bit metaphysical in hoping to prove your point. Back to my previous example, I don’t need to have knowledge of Tai Chi to learn Tai Chi. Why is anything else any different?”

                  No difference. Your awareness of Tai Chi assumes its existence just as an awareness that truth and knowledge can be gained via learning assumes their existence.

                  “the story of Grendel, as an example. It is false, at least in terms of how well it comports with reality.”

                  Then you could never know it to be a true story, as you cannot know something to be true which is also false.

                  “It is true, in as much as it is very much a story.”

                  You are confusing two separate propositions here. Namely: ‘Grendel is a story’ (which is true) with ‘the story of Grendel is true’ (which is false). Hope that clarifies the error a bit. Again, it is simply not possible to know something to be true which is also false.

                  “As such, things can be learned from it, however on the whole its a false scenario.”

                  However, learning about the existence of false things does not equate to knowing something to be true which is also false.

                  “such an entity could (reveal things to mankind about Himself such that we can be certain of them), though that wasn’t the point.”

                  It was (and is) absolutely the point, as it establishes a logically possible/rationally justifiable basis within the Christian worldview for believing in the possibility of human beings to know things with certainty. The question now becomes: how is it possible for you to know anything for certain in YOUR worldview?

                  “As I stated, if the nature of God includes delivering an influence designed to actively obfuscate the truth of a matter, or the ability to remove certain options from play that previously were at his disposal, this demonstrates he is NOT unchanging, and can lie, rendering suspect any other revelations he might impart.”

                  Um, not if He has revealed to mankind that the opposite is, in fact, true such that we can be certain of it (which He has)—-a possibility which you just conceded above.

                  “well, here in we disagree.”

                  Fortunately, though, the truth of the claim is independent of your agreement with it. Besides, we are in agreement as to the logical possibility that God could reveal things to humans such that we can know them with certainty (which is my claim, by the way). Yet, you have not yet told how it is possible for you to be certain of anything without God? And it isn’t as if I haven’t asked.

                  “Stating you appeal to god A) while other people can appeal to god B) and establish the same result, or godS C) to get the same answer to the same questions doesn’t equate for a rational belief.”

                  Tell me which ‘god’ you believe provides us with a genuine, rationally defensible foundation for the existence of abstract, universal, invariant laws of logic and I will be happy to address your claim. Otherwise, let’s stick to debating the positions that we each actually hold to. Besides, you seem to have enough issues of your own here without adding made-up (false) entities to the list. 😉

                  “Its further not rational.”

                  Of course, this reveals your precommitment to an absolute, invariant, immaterial standard of rationality by which people should conduct their thinking and reasoning. However, you have yet to tell how such standards make sense in a worldview without God. Again, it isn’t like I haven’t already asked. Well?

                  “Any invented supernatural entity, or entity of history (such as mythological pantheon), or even modern worship just as easily satisfies that criteria you are pointing to regarding creation rendering your assertion that you claim to be true one of many possible scenario.”

                  Ironically, one of the greatest proofs for the truth of Christianity is the way that those who hold to non-Christian worldviews must abandon their own positions (by appealing to made up deities, false concepts, etc.) in order to try and defend their own positions. Of course, such behavior is one form of irrationality—a sure sign of a false position.

                  “There is simply no reason to believe your deity in question, or any other invented supernatural agency is “true” over another.”

                  Then you should have no problem explaining how you know that (or anything else) for certain to be true in your worldview. You have my justification (which you have conceded is possible), now where is yours? Again, I remind you that we both believe that it is possible to know things with certainty. Posit your logical justification for believing this in your worldview and let’s compare our claims to see which one is true.

                  “Man has the ability to learn. That is not in contention, and that is how I know, for certain, anything that I can know. I learned it.”

                  Unfortunately, you are simply arguing the equivalent of ‘I know things for certain because I have the ability to know things for certain’. If you can’t see the problem with that, then there isn’t much more I can do. This is just a glimpse of the type of irrationality/absurdity that one is ultimately reduced to when they reject the God of the Bible. Why continue to trust such an irrational position?

                  “which part? You trimmed a bit of the post, I am not certain where the question is pointing.”

                  I was referring to this claim you made: “That would mean its not feasible for nature to reflect (at least all) of His attributes.” Do you know for certain that the claim is true, or do you just believe that it is? Remember, up to this point, you have provided no rational basis (and in fact have been reduced to using irrational arguments) for how it is possible for you to know anything that you are claiming here for certain. As such, you are only telling me what you BELIEVE to be true (but which could just as likely be false). Let me make clear that, for the sake of this discussion, I am only interested in discussing the things we both KNOW to be true and HOW we know them.

                  “so, because the question is not answered satisfactorily, your position is true?”

                  Not at all. The position is true AND the questions cannot be answered by those holding to non-Christian worldviews (since they deny the only possible source for knowledge, truth, logic, etc.—the God of the Bible). Hence the absurdity that ensues (e.g. ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’, ‘I know things for certain because I have the ability to know things for certain’, etc.) when they try to put forth a rational defense for their positions.

                  “I am not certain that’s how a demonstration works.”

                  With due respect, you have yet to provide a rational account of how you are certain of anything at this point. Perhaps your next post will remedy that (although, I won’t get my hopes up)?

                  “Knowledge: the sum of experience.”

                  I am using ‘justified true belief’ (which better describes the true nature of ‘knowledge’)

                  “Logic: the method by which evidence is processed to a conclusion”

                  I am using ‘the (abstract, universal, invariant) standard of correct reasoning (from premises to conclusions)’.

                  “Truth: accurate state of being”

                  I am using ‘that which corresponds to reality’ (as perceived by God).

                  However, none of that matters at this point, if you are espousing a worldview in which knowledge is not possible (which, up to now, is the case since you have provided no rational basis for the certainty of knowledge in your worldview—-and, in fact, were reduced to the irrational/absurd in your argumentation). Absent, an avenue for certainty in your own worldview, Roo, you lose any basis for truth and, therefore, forfeit any rational foundation from which to perform a meaningful, logical evaluation/critique of anyone else’s position. I urge you to rethink your stance on this and why it is that you are unable to provide a rational defense for your position. Could it be because it is not true to begin with?

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                  • RuleofOrder says:

                    Thanks again, Roo! Regarding your comments:
                    “being aware of something is not knowing it. I am aware of Tai Chi. I don’t know it.”
                    Your awareness of Tai Chi implies (assumes) the truth of its existence,

                    Truth or mistruth of existence by definition is “awareness”. That is where it ends. Further knowledge is found from learning. It is possible to be made aware of something that is not what its labeled as, it is possible to be aware of things which don’t exist (fantasy, invention, or lie), and it is possible to gain knowledge of something through accident (discovery).

                    which validates my point that an awareness of the ability to gain true knowledge via learning assumes the existence of truth, knowledge, and logic.

                    Given my previous, no, that is not always the case.

                    “I will have no knowledge of Tai Chi (that being the sum of an experience) until I learn it. From learning it, in practice, I can separate or identify the truth in.”
                    If we were to apply the logic you are using here to what we are discussing, you would essentially be arguing ‘I will have no knowledge of knowledge until I learn it’. To which I would respond by asking: how did you come to know (i.e. learn) that, since your claim about knowledge is, itself, also a knowledge claim?

                    That is the definition of learning. Not having knowledge of something, until such time as it is learned, and by asking “how do you know…”, you have already conceded that answer. Intelligent beings have the ability to learn.

                    “that (the reliability of our senses and reasoning), too, is learned.”
                    And what does one use to ‘learn’ about the validity of their senses and reasoning, if not their senses and reasoning? You are essentially arguing that our senses and reasoning are proven reliable by validating them with those same senses and reasoning. Of course, this is viciously circular and irrational.

                    That isn’t an argument that I made, though I can understand that is the argument I hope I did.. In truth, our senses and reasoning are validated by how well we work with our surroundings. Like it or not, our sense will give us feedback of varying varieties. As an intelligent creature than can learn, we learn to interpret, filter, sort, and respond to those surroundings. We learn how others react to us, and we learn how we to react to others. The entire reason for schooling is to learn, and testing through the various grades is what validates how we have learned. Those standards are applied to surroundings in general, whether or not the learning student can recognize, predict, and employ the learned concepts: aka knowledge. The dictionary defines knowledge as “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.” Please for give me that is my default, and not your assumed definition.

                    “It becomes validated as you learn, and technically, even if your senses are providing illogical feedback, or no feedback, that can be circumvented through further learning to varying degrees, and still be quite valid.”
                    Please explain the process of arriving at valid/logical conclusions via the use of invalid/illogical reasoning. Hopefully you can see the problem with that.

                    I feel no desire to explain something that is not my contention.

                    “Um… truth and knowledge are needed to gain truth and knowledge?”
                    The argument was that an awareness of the existence of truth and knowledge must be assumed when seeking to gain truth and knowledge. I trust this is obvious by now?

                    Sadly, no, its not, as such is not always the case. Many scientific advancements were a result of sheer accident.

                    “I think you might be taking things a bit metaphysical in hoping to prove your point. Back to my previous example, I don’t need to have knowledge of Tai Chi to learn Tai Chi. Why is anything else any different?”
                    No difference. Your awareness of Tai Chi assumes its existence just as an awareness that truth and knowledge can be gained via learning assumes their existence.

                    This is true, but assumption of existence is not always the impetus for gaining knowledge, considering my previous, this should be obvious by now.

                    “such an entity could (reveal things to mankind about Himself such that we can be certain of them), though that wasn’t the point.”
                    It was (and is) absolutely the point, as it establishes a logically possible/rationally justifiable basis within the Christian worldview for believing in the possibility of human beings to know things with certainty. The question now becomes: how is it possible for you to know anything for certain in YOUR worldview?

                    In actuality, the question is what then seperates your “world view” from the countless others that espoused similar entities with similar qualities to varying degrees. Thus far, yours, along with countless others make the same claim, and hold the same amount of logical probability and rationality.

                    “As I stated, if the nature of God includes delivering an influence designed to actively obfuscate the truth of a matter, or the ability to remove certain options from play that previously were at his disposal, this demonstrates he is NOT unchanging, and can lie, rendering suspect any other revelations he might impart.”
                    Um, not if He has revealed to mankind that the opposite is, in fact, true

                    Yes, this is usually known as a “lie”. When one says they won’t do something, then do it, or represent a certain quality, then do the opposite.

                    such that we can be certain of it (which He has)—-a possibility which you just conceded above.
                    You have attributed “omnipotence” to the entity you are talking about. As such, it can do whatever it wants in this model you have created.

                    Agreeing with the definition of omnipotence is not a concession.

                    “well, here in we disagree.”
                    Fortunately, though, the truth of the claim is independent of your agreement with it. Besides, we are in agreement as to the logical possibility that God could reveal things to humans such that we can know them with certainty (which is my claim, by the way). Yet, you have not yet told how it is possible for you to be certain of anything without God? And it isn’t as if I haven’t asked.

                    I believe you already conceded that point: intelligent beings can learn. Any further installment as to why it is now not possible is up to you to devise.

                    “Stating you appeal to god A) while other people can appeal to god B) and establish the same result, or godS C) to get the same answer to the same questions doesn’t equate for a rational belief.”
                    Tell me which ‘god’ you believe provides us with a genuine, rationally defensible foundation for the existence of abstract, universal, invariant laws of logic and I will be happy to address your claim.

                    Anything that I desire to attribute “omnipotence” too has the possibility of doing that. Any pantheon I create, or can mention that contains puissant entities with immeasurable power can do that, you see.

                    Otherwise, let’s stick to debating the positions that we each actually hold to.

                    Which means you should probably indicate why your specific puissant entity is any different from any other puissant entity, both historic or currently worshipped today. I assure you, “because mine is real” is the same arguments used by petitioners in those other religions. Holding to this position is not my agreement with religion, it’s the reason why religion fails: they are all the same, and offer no real different besides flavor of the supernatural. If the “bill” of the logical conundrum you are trying to pin with with is “paid” by any and all of those pantheons, the current model you are using as your one (and only) proof of what you espoused, it is flawed proof in so much is that it is not proving what you need it to.

                    “Its further not rational.”
                    Of course, this reveals your precommitment to an absolute, invariant, immaterial standard of rationality by which people should conduct their thinking and reasoning. However, you have yet to tell how such standards make sense in a worldview without God. Again, it isn’t like I haven’t already asked. Well?

                    Again, it’s a point you already conceded. God is simply not necessary if intelligent creatures can learn.

                    “Any invented supernatural entity, or entity of history (such as mythological pantheon), or even modern worship just as easily satisfies that criteria you are pointing to regarding creation rendering your assertion that you claim to be true one of many possible scenario.”
                    Ironically, one of the greatest proofs for the truth of Christianity is the way that those who hold to non-Christian worldviews must abandon their own positions (by appealing to made up deities, false concepts, etc.) in order to try and defend their own positions. Of course, such behavior is one form of irrationality—a sure sign of a false position.

                    Ironically, then, you are missing the point. “If your deity can do it, why can’t the others”, keeping in mind that whatever your defense is will be the same argument other religions use too. With that in mind, how can the true religion be determined, and how can the true religion be assumed to exist amongst the group?

                    “There is simply no reason to believe your deity in question, or any other invented supernatural agency is “true” over another.”
                    Then you should have no problem explaining how you know that (or anything else) for certain to be true in your worldview. You have my justification (which you have conceded is possible),

                    As I recall, that was an entity you described as having omnipotence, though the existence of such an entity in the first place was never demonstrated.

                    now where is yours? Again, I remind you that we both believe that it is possible to know things with certainty. Posit your logical justification for believing this in your worldview and let’s compare our claims to see which one is true.

                    Sure. I learned it. You had it explained to you how?

                    “Man has the ability to learn. That is not in contention, and that is how I know, for certain, anything that I can know. I learned it.”
                    Unfortunately, you are simply arguing the equivalent of ‘I know things for certain because I have the ability to know things for certain’. If you can’t see the problem with that, then there isn’t much more I can do.

                    I agree. Its where your argument terminates. Would you like me to continue to apply that argument? I can lift things for certain because I have the ability to lift things for certain. I can eat things for certain because I have to ability to eat things for certain. What you are stating to be a poor argument is an axiom. You can do something because you have the ability to do something. If you do not have the capability to do something, you cannot do it. You have conceded intelligent beings have the ability to learn. It should come as no surprise, then, about how an intelligent being knows something.

                    This is just a glimpse of the type of irrationality/absurdity that one is ultimately reduced to when they reject the God of the Bible. Why continue to trust such an irrational position?

                    “irrational” apparently is the prospect of ability translating to action. I am not sure how that glimpses the absurd.

                    “which part? You trimmed a bit of the post, I am not certain where the question is pointing.”
                    I was referring to this claim you made: “That would mean its not feasible for nature to reflect (at least all) of His attributes.” Do you know for certain that the claim is true, or do you just believe that it is?

                    I have never had a rock lie to me, or give me a delusion. I am confident you have probably had the same experience, or lack there of.

                    Remember, up to this point, you have provided no rational basis (and in fact have been reduced to using irrational arguments)
                    I am confident by now, you will have realized this is not the case.
                    As such, you are only telling me what you BELIEVE to be true (but which could just as likely be false). Let me make clear that, for the sake of this discussion, I am only interested in discussing the things we both KNOW to be true and HOW we know them.
                    And in both of those circumstances, you have already provided the answer. Intelligent beings can learn. If that is true, then God is not necessary for the ideals you are asking of.

                    “so, because the question is not answered satisfactorily, your position is true?”
                    Not at all. The position is true AND the questions cannot be answered by those holding to non-Christian worldviews (since they deny the only possible source for knowledge, truth, logic, etc.—the God of the Bible). Hence the absurdity that ensues (e.g. ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’, ‘I know things for certain because I have the ability to know things for certain’, etc.)

                    One of those is axiomatic, and the other is simply not what I have argued.

                    “I am not certain that’s how a demonstration works.”
                    With due respect, you have yet to provide a rational account of how you are certain of anything at this point. Perhaps your next post will remedy that (although, I won’t get my hopes up)?
                    With due respect, you haven’t provided rational evidence of God, considering what you have thus far stated simply doesn’t require him for such’s existence.

                    “Knowledge: the sum of experience.”
                    I am using ‘justified true belief’ (which better describes the true nature of ‘knowledge’)
                    I think knowledge, then, is the only thing we have a disagreement on. Belief, justified or not, doesn’t inherently give you truth or logic.

                    Like

                    • scmike2 says:

                      Thank you for your thorough responses, Roo! Looks like our exchange is getting rather lengthy.

                      “Truth or mistruth of existence by definition is “awareness”. That is where it ends.”

                      Perhaps you should cite your sources on this. Especially since ‘awareness’ alludes to knowledge. I think it is appropriate to ask you how you are able to know for certain that you are aware of anything in your worldview. You never have provided a coherent justification for your ability to do so.

                      “Further knowledge is found from learning.”

                      Is that true of ALL knowledge? If so, where have you experienced ALL knowledge such that you could have learned that? Clearly, you could not have done so with only your limited observations and experiences of the universe to go on. As such, this is just an unproven and unprovable claim on your part. Again, you are telling me about your beliefs/opinions. I want to know what you know for certain and the rationally defensible means by which you claim know it.

                      “It is possible to be made aware of something that is not what its labeled as, it is possible to be aware of things which don’t exist (fantasy, invention, or lie), and it is possible to gain knowledge of something through accident (discovery).”

                      Again, you are confusing belief with knowledge. I have demonstrated for you the difference between the two. While it is possible to know about false things, fantasy, etc., it is not possible to know something to be true if it is also false (like knowing that something exists if it doesn’t, for instance). I have offered you the challenge of positing something that you know to be true which is also false, as a means of clarifying this for you. I urge you to revisit that exercise.

                      What is really troubling me, though, is that you are continuing to make a wide variety of knowledge claims, yet you have not given a rational justification for how it is possible for you to know anything for certain. This seems to be a serious internal inconsistency within your professed position. Such inconsistencies are very good indicators of an irrational position.

                      I preiously stated: “”If we were to apply the logic you are using here to what we are discussing, you would essentially be arguing ‘I will have no knowledge of knowledge until I learn it’. To which I would respond by asking: how did you come to know (i.e. learn) that, since your claim about knowledge is, itself, also a knowledge claim?””

                      To which you replied: “That is the definition of learning. Not having knowledge of something, until such time as it is learned,”

                      I disagree with your linguistic revision here for the definition of ‘learning’. However, is your proposed definition universally true such that it applies in all places and at all times? If it is, how did you learn that, such that you could know it to be universally true, with only your limited observations/experience to go on? If it isn’t, then you are forced to concede that there are times and places where it is not true. As such, this again renders your claim unproven (and unprovable) and places it in the realm of subjective belief (a.k.a. blind faith).

                      Also keep in mind, you are still in the logical bind of having posited a viciously circular argument (i.e. ‘I know things for certain because I have the ability to know things for certain’) as your sole (non) justification for how you know any of what you are stating here for certain to be true. This is devastating to your professed position, especially in light of the concession that the Christian worldview can (and does) provide a valid justification for the certainty of knowledge. This is a clear demonstration of the impossibility of the contrary in action.

                      “and by asking “how do you know…”, you have already conceded that answer. Intelligent beings have the ability to learn.”

                      This sounds strangely familiar to me. Have we met before?

                      Anyway, this becomes just another unjustified claim on your part since you have no avenue to certainty in your worldview and, therefore, no foundation of truth upon which to rest it. Sadly, this is what a worldview without God amounts to, Roo. Really wish you would give this some serious thought and repent of this folly.

                      “That isn’t an argument that I made (that we validate our senses and reasoning with our senses and reasoning, though I can understand that is the argument I hope I did.. In truth, our senses and reasoning are validated by how well we work with our surroundings.”

                      Unfortunately, it is the argument you made and your new one here will not save the day. Since it is via our senses and reasoning that we gauge how well we are working with our surroundings, you are again arguing that we ultimately validate our senses and reasoning with those same senses and reasoning (which is also devastating to your position). As such, how do you know that your reasoning about any of this is valid to begin with? Sure seems like you accept this on blind faith.

                      “Like it or not, our sense will give us feedback of varying varieties. As an intelligent creature than can learn, we learn to interpret, filter, sort, and respond to those surroundings. We learn how others react to us, and we learn how we to react to others. The entire reason for schooling is to learn, and testing through the various grades is what validates how we have learned. Those standards are applied to surroundings in general, whether or not the learning student can recognize, predict, and employ the learned concepts: aka knowledge. The dictionary defines knowledge as “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.”

                      The problem (for you) is, all of this assumes valid reasoning, both on their part and yours—-something your worldview cannot account for (as has been demonstrated). On the other hand, I proceed with the assumption that my senses and reasoning based upon God’s revelation (both directly (innately) and indirectly) that they are a wonderful gift from Him to be used in learning about His creation and in the pursuit of knowledge/truth. Remember, you have conceded that God could reveal things such as this to human beings so that we can be certain of them and also be provided with a coherent foundation for what we are doing. Should be easy to see which of us has been able to provide a rational defense of their position, thus far, and which of us has not.

                      I previously said:“”The argument was that an awareness of the existence of truth and knowledge must be assumed when seeking to gain truth and knowledge. I trust this is obvious by now?””

                      You replied:Sadly, no, its not, as such is not always the case. Many scientific advancements were a result of sheer accident.

                      Since ‘science’ literally means ‘knowledge’ and is, itself, founded on the pursuit of it, surely you can see that anyone who does science is necessarily assuming the existence of knowlege and truth when they seek to pursue them in the first place, no? Otherwise, what would be the point of deliberately seeking to find/obtain something that one doesn’t believe in to begin with? Their seeking to obtain it exposes their presuppositions about it.

                      “In actuality, the question is what then seperates your “world view” from the countless others that espoused similar entities with similar qualities to varying degrees.”

                      Since when is truth in any way similar to falsehood? Christianity is true by the impossibility of the contrary, as only the Christian worldview provides us with a rational basis–the God of the Bible–for any of the preconditions of intelligibility. As the only ‘Holy Book’ which is objectively verifiable, historically, prophetically, scientifically accurate, internally consistent, comports with reality, and makes sense of abstract, universal, invariant concepts, it stands alone as the only source of Divine Revelation given to mankind. Again, if you wish to dispute this, tell me which ‘deity’ you truly believe in and then present your competing objective revelation that meets this criteria and let’s compare. Oh, and if you decide to accept the challenge, congratulations in advance for abandoning your atheism! I do understand why you would want to do so at this point. 😉

                      “Thus far, yours, along with countless others make the same claim, and hold the same amount of logical probability and rationality.”

                      People can claim anything they want to, Roo. The question is: is there objective proof to substantiate the claims and to demonstrate their truth. I submit to you that Christianity alone can and does provide such irrefutable proof, and in fact, renders all contrary positions absurd. No offense, but that much, at least, has been clearly demonstrated here on this thread.

                      “Yes, this is usually known as a “lie”. When one says they won’t do something, then do it, or represent a certain quality, then do the opposite.”

                      Looks like you misunderstood my statement here. By God revealing the ‘opposite’ such that we can be certain of it, I was referring to the ‘opposite’ of your claim that He is capable of lying and cannot be trusted. Fact is, God has revealed both that He cannot lie and that He is trustworthy such that we can absolutely certain of it (by the impossibility of the contrary). Interestingly enough, it is only because He has done so that we are able to know anything for certain, as that would simply not be possible with a God capable of contradicting Himself (or in a worldview which seeks to undermine the God of the Bible—as we have seen).

                      “You have attributed “omnipotence” to the entity you are talking about. As such, it can do whatever it wants in this model you have created.”

                      Actually, the true essence of ‘omnipotence’ implies One Who is ‘all powerful’. God cannot contradict Himself, as doing so would not be a ‘power’ but a weakness. God is perfectly consistent with His own character and nature of which abstract, invariant, universal laws of logic, truth, knowledge, and morality are a reflection. To argue that if God cannot contradict Himself (by being both God and not God at the same time and in the same way), then He therefore cannot be God would be on par with arguing that if water cannot be both wet and not wet, then it therefore cannot be water. Both are equally absurd.

                      “Agreeing with the definition of omnipotence is not a concession.”

                      It is if you are agreeing with the correct definition (see above).

                      “Anything that I desire to attribute “omnipotence” too has the possibility of doing that. Any pantheon I create, or can mention that contains puissant entities with immeasurable power can do that, you see.”

                      Unfortunately, you are arguing the downright absurd here in alleging that the subjective creations of one’s mind can somehow be the source for objective,abstract, invariant, universal truths that exist in reality. The contradictions/inconsistencies here should be readily obvious, but if not, let me know and I will gladly elaborate.

                      “Which means you should probably indicate why your specific puissant entity is any different from any other puissant entity, both historic or currently worshipped today. I assure you, “because mine is real” is the same arguments used by petitioners in those other religions”.

                      And if someone holding to one of those competing positions would like to debate, I will be happy to do an internal critique of their position to show why it is false. For now, though, I see no reason to refute positions that neither of us hold to, as you could just keep positing worldviews ad nauseum and, once refuted, just say ‘well I didn’t believe that anyway’. Sorry, not interested.

                      Besides, your worldview is in a heap of trouble right now, and it seems, quite honestly, that you are only now bringing this up simply as a means of an attempted smokescreen, to avoid acknowledging the validity and truth of the Christian worldview, just because you happen not to like it. Of course, engaging in such behaviour would not only be an exercise in intellectual dishonesty, but would also be the epitome of irrationality. I trust that someone of your caliber would not resort to such tactics.

                      “Again, it’s a point you already conceded. God is simply not necessary (for abstract, invariant, universal laws of logic) if intelligent creatures can learn.”

                      A couple of things:

                      1) Since you have no way of being certain of anything, this is just another unjustified and unjustifiable claim.

                      2) Your response in no way tells how you account for an abstract, universal, invariant standard of logic (which you have appealed to repeatedly here) in your worldview.

                      “Ironically, then, you are missing the point. “If your deity can do it, why can’t the others”, keeping in mind that whatever your defense is will be the same argument other religions use too.”

                      Sort of like you’re using the same arguments all the other non-believers use too, eh? 🙂
                      Ultimately, there can only be one Ultimate Authority when all is said and done. I have demonstrated to you here that Christianity provides a true rational basis for the very preconditions of intelligibility required to even begin to make sense of anything, while exposing the irrationality of your worldview. As such, you would be forced to concede the Truth of the position I am arguing for over your own. It follows that if Christianity is true, then ALL other competing ‘religions’ are necessarily false, as that is one of the tenets of the Bible, which forms the basis for the Christian faith. Again, all I can do here is declare the truth to you in hopes that you will repent and surrender to God through faith and trust in Jesus Christ, who stands ready to forgive and transform all who call upon His name. Please give some honest consideration to this—-you owe it to your good senses to do so.

                      “With that in mind, how can the true religion be determined, and how can the true religion be assumed to exist amongst the group?”

                      Hopefully you can see how now. Objectively verifiable proof that demonstrates its validity. Also, since you asked, check out the article I just posted here titled ‘Christianity. Period.’ for more insight regarding the exclusivity of Christianity.

                      I said;Now where is yours? Again, I remind you that we both believe that it is possible to know things with certainty. Posit your logical justification for believing this in your worldview and let’s compare our claims to see which one is true.

                      You replied:Sure. I learned it.

                      Sorry, Roo, I was asking for a LOGICAL justification here. You are back to arguing the equivalent of ‘I can know things for certain because I know for certain that I can’. I am fine with that, if that’s what you wish to continue to embrace. However, I can now rest in the fact that you have undoubtedly been shown that you continue to do so IN SPITE of any rational reasons and certainly not BECAUSE of them. As such, I am fine with leaving the discussion here. I thank you for your time, Roo, and am just a mouse-click away if you would like assistance as you honestly think through these issues of eternal importance. Take care!

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • RuleofOrder says:

                    My most recent attempt at a reply format was very jumbled, I apologize. I will see if I can find a better way to format this.

                    Like

                    • scmike2 says:

                      You have nothing to apologize for, Roo! If I didn’t have access to the dashboard interface here with the ability to bold type, etc., I’d be in a heap of trouble myself. 😀

                      Like

                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      I think I interrupted the nesting as well. Wow, these did get quite long.

                      Like

                • RuleofOrder says:

                  “Truth or mistruth of existence by definition is “awareness”. That is where it ends.”
                  Perhaps you should cite your sources on this. Especially since ‘awareness’ alludes to knowledge.
                  ## Again, the dictionarly. Awareness being defined as perception of situation or fact. Awareness alluding to is not the same as being.

                  “Further knowledge is found from learning.”
                  Is that true of ALL knowledge?
                  ## It is true of the knowledge of which I am discussing, though I am sure, since we are both creative inviduals, we can invent more scenario to fit the question. It could be argued that a computer “learns” from disks installed to it, as a for instance, though I don’t know how much application that would have to our discussion.
                  If so, where have you experienced ALL knowledge such that you could have learned that? Clearly, you could not have done so with only your limited observations and experiences of the universe to go on. As such, this is just an unproven and unprovable claim on your part.
                  ## I beg to differ. One need not experience all of existence to have knowledge of parts of existence, and be able to relate those parts one has knowledge of.

                  “It is possible to be made aware of something that is not what its labeled as, it is possible to be aware of things which don’t exist (fantasy, invention, or lie), and it is possible to gain knowledge of something through accident (discovery).”
                  While it is possible to know about false things, fantasy, etc., it is not possible to know something to be true if it is also false (like knowing that something exists if it doesn’t, for instance). I have offered you the challenge of positing something that you know to be true which is also false, as a means of clarifying this for you. I urge you to revisit that exercise.

                  ## Ah, that is what you meant by that question. I understand what you are asking, but fail to see how that would be relevant to what I have posted.
                  I preiously stated: “”If we were to apply the logic you are using here to what we are discussing, you would essentially be arguing ‘I will have no knowledge of knowledge until I learn it’. To which I would respond by asking: how did you come to know (i.e. learn) that, since your claim about knowledge is, itself, also a knowledge claim?””
                  To which you replied: “That is the definition of learning. Not having knowledge of something, until such time as it is learned,”
                  I disagree with your linguistic revision here for the definition of ‘learning’.
                  ## Fitting, because I disagree with your definition of “knowledge”. Learning, again, the dictionary: acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught. The act of learning is the stated acquisition.
                  However, is your proposed definition universally true such that it applies in all places and at all times? … As such, this again renders your claim unproven (and unprovable) and places it in the realm of subjective belief (a.k.a. blind faith).
                  ## We are both creative beings, I am sure we can invent a way in which such would not always be the case. Though you aren’t demonstrating why my proposition is false, just asserting that it might not be applicable in all circumstance. That doesn’t render something “unprovable”.
                  Also keep in mind, you are still in the logical bind of having posited a viciously circular argument (i.e. ‘I know things for certain because I have the ability to know things for certain’) as your sole (non) justification
                  ## That is not a “non” justification. I am not sure how else that could be worded that would remove the mystery, and its not circular, its axiomatic, it has no conclusion, it’s a statement of fact. You can do things that you have the ability to do. How is “You may do things which you have the ability to do”? That is a subtle difference, but perhaps it will further clarify.

                  “and by asking “how do you know…”, you have already conceded that answer. Intelligent beings have the ability to learn.”
                  This sounds strangely familiar to me. Have we met before?
                  ## I was hoping to use argumentative phrasing that I have seen you use. Was I incorrect in its use? That would might seem why it was familiar, it’s a form that you are using.
                  “That isn’t an argument that I made (that we validate our senses and reasoning with our senses and reasoning, though I can understand that is the argument I hope I did.. In truth, our senses and reasoning are validated by how well we work with our surroundings.”
                  Unfortunately, it is the argument you made and your new one here will not save the day.
                  ## Its not “new”. I encourage you to find anywhere in my arguments where I have indicated that our ability to reason is justified internally with no verification from an outside source. I have stated that our senses provide feed back, and via our ability to learn, that feed back can be sorted into expirence and situation, even if the sense itself is faulty. The bullet point is that your reasoning is learned through external validation. Going further into the student’s life, that means some aspects of the previous lessons may translate into knowledge and application to reasoning which need not be validated, the lesson was learned.
                  Since it is via our senses and reasoning that we gauge how well we are working with our surroundings, you are again arguing that we ultimately validate our senses and reasoning with those same senses and reasoning (which is also devastating to your position).
                  ## This infers your own senses and reasoning could never be validated, or are never correct, as your own sense, and your own reasoning is all you realistically ever have.

                  “Like it or not, our sense will give us feedback of varying varieties. As an intelligent creature than can learn, we learn to interpret, filter, sort, and respond to those surroundings. We learn how others react to us, and we learn how we to react to others. The entire reason for schooling is to learn, and testing through the various grades is what validates how we have learned. Those standards are applied to surroundings in general, whether or not the learning student can recognize, predict, and employ the learned concepts: aka knowledge. The dictionary defines knowledge as “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.”
                  The problem (for you) is, all of this assumes valid reasoning,
                  ## Going to school and being a student and attempting to learn does the exact opposite, though the verbiage of this is subject to interpretation.
                  both on their part and yours—-something your worldview cannot account for (as has been demonstrated). On the other hand, I proceed with the assumption that my senses and reasoning based upon God’s revelation (both directly (innately) and indirectly) that they are a wonderful gift from Him to be used in learning about His creation and in the pursuit of knowledge/truth. Remember, you have conceded that God could reveal things such as this to human beings so that we can be certain of them and also be provided with a coherent foundation for what we are doing.
                  ## I conceded that a creature with omnipotence can do whatever it wants. If you claim the entity you discuss has omnipotence, it can do anything you need of it too. Regarding what you reason from or reason to, all you now need to do is demonstrate that it exists, that being God of course. Currently you have a claim. Can such be verified independently? I don’t think a Muslim would agree with your assertions, in the same way you disagree with his. The reason for such is an error at the source, you are relying on the conclusion to support your premises, not the other way ‘round. The conclusion is true because it states everything that lead up to the conclusion is true. That is a bit different than offering a conclusion and seeing how well it comports with reality.

                  I previously said:“”The argument was that an awareness of the existence of truth and knowledge must be assumed when seeking to gain truth and knowledge. I trust this is obvious by now?””
                  You replied:Sadly, no, its not, as such is not always the case. Many scientific advancements were a result of sheer accident.
                  Since ‘science’ literally means ‘knowledge’ and is, itself, founded on the pursuit of it, surely you can see that anyone who does science is necessarily assuming the existence of knowlege and truth when they seek to pursue them in the first place, no?
                  ## I didn’t say “science”. I said “scientific advancement”. “Technological advancement” might be a better fit. That being what was not being pursued, or the discoverer was not even aware of, was discovered by accident. There were fields of study that developed in whole or in part by accident.
                  Otherwise, what would be the point of deliberately seeking to find/obtain something that one doesn’t believe in to begin with? Their seeking to obtain it exposes their presuppositions about it.
                  ## Being aware of something is independent of its existence, though to answer your assertion, people conduct experiments to falsify data/debunk claims
                  .
                  “In actuality, the question is what then seperates your “world view” from the countless others that espoused similar entities with similar qualities to varying degrees.”
                  Since when is truth in any way similar to falsehood? Christianity is true by the impossibility of the contrary, as only the Christian worldview provides us with a rational basis–the God of the Bible–for any of the preconditions of intelligibility. As the only ‘Holy Book’ which is objectively verifiable, historically, prophetically, scientifically accurate, internally consistent, comports with reality, and makes sense of abstract, universal, invariant concepts, it stands alone as the only source of Divine Revelation given to mankind.

                  ##Were all those qualities you attribute to the Bible correct, indeed, it would be quite the book of evidence. Sadly, what is supposed to be fable is taken as literal action, and in the case of some of the prongs you have built on: the God of the Bible isn’t consistent, at least by the attributes you give him.

                  “Thus far, yours, along with countless others make the same claim, and hold the same amount of logical probability and rationality.”
                  People can claim anything they want to, Roo. The question is: is there objective proof to substantiate the claims and to demonstrate their truth. I submit to you that Christianity alone can and does provide such irrefutable proof, and in fact, renders all contrary positions absurd. No offense, but that much, at least, has been clearly demonstrated here on this thread.

                  ## I can substitute “the Loa Pantheon” any time you say “God of the Bible” and the same result is achieved. How well does that mean Christianity offers objective anything?
                  “Yes, this is usually known as a “lie”. When one says they won’t do something, then do it, or represent a certain quality, then do the opposite.”
                  Looks like you misunderstood my statement here. By God revealing the ‘opposite’ such that we can be certain of it, I was referring to the ‘opposite’ of your claim that He is capable of lying and cannot be trusted. Fact is, God has revealed both that He cannot lie and that He is trustworthy such that we can absolutely certain of it (by the impossibility of the contrary). Interestingly enough, it is only because He has done so that we are able to know anything for certain, as that would simply not be possible with a God capable of contradicting Himself (or in a worldview which seeks to undermine the God of the Bible—as we have seen).

                  ## That is a misrepresentation of the God of the Bible. Considering have asserted you reasoned from as opposed to two the positions you are at, you would never know if God was lying to you anyways. 2nd Thessalonians. The Lord sent out a deluding influence, the purpose of which was to deceive the subjects from observance of the truth. The tower of Babel. The Lord sought to sow confusion and discord so that those affected could not discover truth and knowledge. He is unchanging? Before the flood, God had no problems ending humanity in such a way. Afterwards? Promised never to do it that way again, that in of itself is a change, he altered his stance.

                  “You have attributed “omnipotence” to the entity you are talking about. As such, it can do whatever it wants in this model you have created.”
                  Actually, the true essence of ‘omnipotence’ implies One Who is ‘all powerful’. God cannot contradict Himself, as doing so would not be a ‘power’ but a weakness.
                  Then by definition God is not omnipotent, as you have listed that which he cannot do. An all powerful entity CAN contradict themselves, lie, etc.

                  “Agreeing with the definition of omnipotence is not a concession.”
                  It is if you are agreeing with the correct definition (see above).

                  ##What can an “all powerful” entity not do, and why can it not do that?

                  “Anything that I desire to attribute “omnipotence” too has the possibility of doing that. Any pantheon I create, or can mention that contains puissant entities with immeasurable power can do that, you see.”
                  Unfortunately, you are arguing the downright absurd here in alleging that the subjective creations of one’s mind can somehow be the source for objective,abstract, invariant, universal truths that exist in reality.
                  ## No, I am arguing that they could LOGICALLY be the source as you have defined the source as needing to be, which is why the entity you advocate for is thereby no different than any other, including being an invention.

                  “Which means you should probably indicate why your specific puissant entity is any different from any other puissant entity, both historic or currently worshiped today. I assure you, “because mine is real” is the same arguments used by petitioners in those other religions”.
                  And if someone holding to one of those competing positions would like to debate, I will be happy to do an internal critique of their position to show why it is false. For now, though, I see no reason to refute positions that neither of us hold to, as you could just keep positing worldviews ad nauseum and, once refuted, just say ‘well I didn’t believe that anyway’. Sorry, not interested.

                  ## I am asking you to logically separate yours from the others. “Because mine is real” doesn’t do that. “Because theirs is false” doesn’t do that. “Because they don’t offer the same completeness…” doesn’t do that. Those are all the same arguments the others can and do make. You claim you have an authority, but your authority is unidentifiable in the crowd, even though it shouldn’t be in the crowd in the first place.

                  “Again, it’s a point you already conceded. God is simply not necessary (for abstract, invariant, universal laws of logic) if intelligent creatures can learn.”
                  A couple of things:
                  1) Since you have no way of being certain of anything, this is just another unjustified and unjustifiable claim.

                  ## Well, that is your position to demonstrate. Thus far you have done great in arguing what I haven’t posited.

                  2) Your response in no way tells how you account for an abstract, universal, invariant standard of logic (which you have appealed to repeatedly here) in your worldview.

                  ## It was learned. From the seeming chaos of information, intelligent creatures have the capacity to interpret their senses to learn. That information was taken in, and through the ability to learn, was processed into predictable results. I have the distinct feeling you are now talking about who or what created the CONCEPT for it to be practiced, though that would be better placed in a creationism/evolutionism discussion.

                  I said;Now where is yours? Again, I remind you that we both believe that it is possible to know things with certainty. Posit your logical justification for believing this in your worldview and let’s compare our claims to see which one is true.

                  You replied:Sure. I learned it.

                  Sorry, Roo, I was asking for a LOGICAL justification here. You are back to arguing the equivalent of ‘I can know things for certain because I know for certain that I can’.

                  ## Ah ah, you changed your phrasing. Previously it was having the ability to do so. Why the alteration?

                  Though if you wish to end things here, I agree, it’s quite fine.

                  Like

                  • scmike2 says:

                    Roo, I think we both see that the length of the discussion is becoming unmanageable (largely to the format of the site not lending itself well to lengthy discussions—especially for the one who doesn’t own the blog). However, I would like to simplify and just focus on some main points that are, as of yet, unresolved in our discussion (and upon which everything else here pivots). After reading your response, I just don’t feel comfortable leaving these points unresolved, so I hope that you will indulge me another post here. The points in question are namely:

                    Our respective justifications for our ability to be certain in our respective worldviews:

                    You have conceded that, as a Christian, I have a logically possible avenue to account for certainty in that the God of the Bible (Who knows everything could reveal things to human beings so that we can know for certain that they are true). Again, this is a perfectly logical scenario, as the conclusion flows from the premises. However, you have argued the equivalent of ‘I can know things with certainty because I have the ability to know things for certain’ (the variation of this that I put forth was simply due to your revised (and shortened) answer of ‘I learned it’ vs. the previous one which included the caveat ‘Man has the ability to learn’). Either way, what you have put forth is a viciously circular argument here, which in no way tells HOW you can know things with certainty. I understand that you are appealing to this as an axiom, however, it still requires a rational justification in order to be a valid claim. If, on the other hand, you are saying that it is perfectly logical to use viciously circular arguments as a rational basis to support our positions, then I can just posit that God exists and the Bible is true because God exists and the Bible is true as my justification, and it would necessarily be true by that standard and you lose any grounds for arguing against it. However, we both know that that is not the way that rational discourse is carried out, and viciously circular arguments do not constitute LOGICAL proof of anything. Either way, you are refuted on this point and left with no foundation for knowledge or truth in your worldview.

                    Next is the basic reliability of our senses and reasoning.

                    Since you have conceded that God can reveal things to us such that we can be certain of them, it follows that the basic reliability of our senses and reasoning could (and is) also one of the things He could reveal to us such that we can know it for certain (and, given His omnipotence, He could do so both directly (innately), completely apart from our senses and reasoning, and also indirectly via the Bible). Now, you have also been reduced to using viciously circular arguments with regards to your justification for the basic reliability of your senses and reasoning in your worldview. Again, we both know that the viciously circular act of ‘sensing and reasoning that our senses and reasoning are reliable’ is not a LOGICAL proof, otherwise, you would again have to also accept the viciously circular ‘God exists and the Bible is true because God exists and the Bible is true (which is NOT my argument by the way)’ as valid proof of my claim, and you, once again would have no argument against my position. Either way, you refute yourself on this point as well. Not to mention that, you have also contradicted yourself by recently stating:

                    “”This infers your own senses and reasoning could never be validated, or are never correct, as your own sense, and your own reasoning is all you realistically ever have.””

                    After making the aforementioned concession that it IS logically possible to have the reliability of our senses and reasoning Divinely revealed to us by God completely APART from using our senses and reasoning. How do you explain that obvious inconsistency?

                    Next is the existence of the laws of logic.

                    We both believe in a correct standard by which people SHOULD conduct their thinking and reasoning in order to remain rational. In fact, you have appealed to this standard many times in this discussion, and even recently when you made this allegation of a logical ‘error’ on my part when you stated:

                    “The reason for such is an error at the source, you are relying on the conclusion to support your premises, not the other way ‘round.”

                    However, you have never told me how you justify the existence of an immaterial, universal, invariant standard of logic and reasoning in your worldview. Not that I agree with your allegation above, but why can’t ‘relying upon one’s conclusions to support their premises’ be a valid means of arriving at truth in YOUR worldview? What objective standard absolutely prohibits this? How do you make sense of that standard in your worldview? Why does it necessarily apply to anyone else’s thinking or reasoning as a true, meaningful standard which SHOULD be adhered to and not violated? These are legitimate questions that should be addressed in a rational process by you, given your professed position and worldview which denies an immaterial, sovereign, unchanging Law Giver.

                    Then, there’s the subject of the definition of words (including ‘omnipotence’).

                    We have a conflict with some of the definitions we are attempting to use here in our discussion. However, that is not really the pressing issue. What is pressing, though, is your belief that any definitions of any word holds true in a uniform, consistent fashion right here and right now. That is, since you have claimed that you only know things via learning them (through experience), then on what grounds do you assume that any definition you put forth holds universally true (in all places and at all times), since you could never experience the entire universe to learn that? If you don’t know that the definitions hold true everywhere and at all times, then you are forced to admit that you only believe they do (on blind faith) and that there are possible times and places in which they do not hold true. This would leave you with no rational basis for assuming that our discussion is not one of those times and places in which they do not apply (or that they do apply here). I remind you that believing something and acting upon that belief, without a sound rationale for doing so, is but one form of irrationality, Roo.

                    Regarding omnipotence, you continue to state that an omnipotent being can ‘do anything it wants’, however, you ignored the irrational consequences of this line of reasoning. Again, if God could contradict Himself such that He could be both God and not God at the same time and in the same way, then there would be no possibility of human beings knowing things with certainty, and no foundation at all for any of the laws of logic (namely the law of non-contradiction), which are grounded in (and are a reflection of) the self-consistent, sovereign, unchanging character and nature of the God of the Bible. Remember, you have already demonstrated that the contrary position to Christianity (yours) gives us no possible avenue for any of those things, yet you live and behave as it they are possible and have conceded that the Christian worldview can (and does) make sense of them. As such, the claim that Christianity is true by the impossibility of the contrary is very strongly substantiated here.

                    Everything that you write here indicates that you believe that certainty is possible and that immaterial, universal, invariant laws of logic do exist, yet you have espoused a worldview in which neither of those things is possible and, instead of abandoning that irrational stance, you are continuing to attempt to undermine the only possible worldview in which they are, simply because you don’t happen to like it. As I mentioned before, the argument that ‘if God cannot contradict His nature and be both God and not God at the same time and in the same way, then He therefore cannot be truly God’ is the equivalent of arguing that ‘if water cannot be both wet and not wet at the same time and in the same way, then it therefore cannot be water’. As I have previously stated, both arguments are equally absurd. Besides, if your argument were true, it would necessarily have to be false, since it would undermine the very source of truth. Therefore, it is false.

                    Lastly, I thought it meet to bring up this statement by you regarding the ability of ‘made-up’ entities/deities to be the source of abstract, invariant, universal truths in reality.

                    Recently, you stated this: “I am arguing that they could LOGICALLY be the source as you have defined the source as needing to be, which is why the entity you advocate for is thereby no different than any other, including being an invention.”

                    The difference between our positions is that I have demonstrated how the God of the Bible can and does account for objective abstract, universal, invariant concepts and laws that exist in reality (and which we both believe in and are utilizing to even hold this very discussion). However, you have not shown how any ‘made-up’ deity/entity can or does. Nor have you addressed the contradictions of the very claim itself. Namely:

                    1) How do made up entities provide us with real abstract, invariant, universal truths, since those characteristics do not comport with one another in the least?

                    2) How was it possible for logic, knowledge, truth, etc. to exist prior to your inventing the made-up entity if that entity is the source of those things?

                    3) How could a made-up (subjective) deity provide us with a rational basis for objective truth (since the characteristics are contradictory to one another)?

                    4) You could not argue that the deity in question is THE source for objective truth, since you have already conceded that the Christian God is a logically possible avenue for certainty/truth.

                    These are just a few of the contradictions that arise from that line of reasoning. Of course, I’m sure you’d agree with me that contradictory claims/ propositions should be rejected as false, no?

                    I appreciate you indulging me this additional post and for you the time and effort of your preceding comments. I trust that, as a noble debator, you will give honest consideration to these troubling issues with your position and not just dismiss them because you happen not to like the alternative to your worldview. I also trust that this post will not be met with a ‘knee-jerk’ response, but with the intellectual honesty befitting someone of your character and caliber. Take care!

                    Like

                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      I said: Please keep in mind, that the argument ended when you revealed that the basis of your position(s) was an irrational one. Please refer back to our prior comments where I pointed out the fallacies you have committed here.
                      You replied: I think you mean when you concluded them to be such, and I would like to further point out that by your standard, there never would, nor ever could be a competing position.
                      Correction: there never could nor ever would be a ‘valid’ competing standard (as we’ve seen).
                      –Potato, tuber that grows in the ground. You have presupposed yourself to be correct, and the opposition to be wrong. From there, it really doesn’t matter, does it?

                      You said: “So that would indeed demonstrate your position to be circular.”
                      Actually, all ultimate Authority claims contain an element of circularity to them, however, not all of them (read: only one of them) can be true. Your claims of ‘I know because I know’ and ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’ are viciously circular and irrational.
                      –No matter how many times you state it, or reduce to that, it was not might argument. You should realize that by now. “I know because I have the ability to learn”. Again, I entreat you to find the circularity without changing the argument to one you find easier to contend.

                      Besides, you still haven’t told why ANY (let alone ALL) circular arguments are absolutely forbidden in your worldview in the first place. What absolute, universal standard do they violate and why SHOULD that standard absolutely, universally NOT be violated under any circumstances? Surely not just because you say so?
                      –I did. I will leave it to you to go back and find the answer.

                      I said: “And if I asked you how you know THAT (or anything else) for certain, your argument (in its simplest form) would be again reduced to ‘I know because I know’, which is no argument at all. No offence, Roo, but the fact that you can’t/won’t acknowledge that fact is mind boggling to me.”
                      You replied: “Because it answers your question, and needs no follow up. “I know because I have the ability to know (learning), and demonstrated that things can be known my me”.
                      Which simply amounts to you saying that your claims (including those above) are true because……you say there are. I apologize, Roo, as I (again) thought that you believed we should both have RATIONAL reasons for the things we accept as true.
                      –No, because I learned them to be such. I can demonstrate that assertion, if you desire. I assume you know how to play Tic Tac Toe/Knots and Crosses? How do you know how to play? Well how do you know you learned how to play… etc, etc. Ultimately, what best proves the answer? Playing Tic Tac Toe.

                      Since you profess that the standard you are employing here to justify your claims is a valid means of proving things true, then I will simply adopt your standard *for the sake of the discussion* and posit that ‘God exists and the Bible is true because I say so’.
                      — Fantastic, so you learned something to be true from the thing that professes itself to be true. Now, equal application of such learning, in what way is Voldemort different than Judas? Practically speaking, of course.

                      “Your agreement or disagreement doesn’t represent the truth of the matter, however such a disagreement would stem from the fact that you wouldn’t be agreeing that man exists, or is intelligent.”
                      Nope, just that there is no basis for the concepts of ‘intelligence’ or ‘learning’ within your non-Christian worldview (hence the viciously circular arguments being used). There is now a clear record of that fact right here on this very thread.
                      — Further example that you are making my argument for me, rather than arguing what I type.

                      “I agree. I hope you link this in future compendiums you compile.”
                      I was actually going to ask your permission to do so. I appreciate your consent here and now just need to know if you would like me to remove/alter your name for your benefit, or if you are OK with accepting full ownership and responsibility for your arguments ( illogical consequences and all). Let me know.

                      -Feel free.

                      “I think that is a bit of a leap, Mike. I conceded that an omnipotent entity can do what it wants,”
                      No, you conceded that the God of the Bible (which is the only One I am arguing for) provides a logical foundation for knowing things with certainty, etc.

                      –Negative. Please find in our argument where I agreed such an entity exists, as opposed to agreeing with what traits you give him, or exists with what traits you believe he has. I am confident you will find my train of thought had been along the lines of being that should such an entity exist, and have the traits you describe of him, some things could be possible via the use of such trait. All of that presupposed God immediately exists, which is not something you asked about. Were I to ask you if a troll which has phenomenal strength could use its strength to life a rock, would such be possible? Have we agreed on the existence of the troll, or just traits given to it?

                      You then made a separate ‘generic theism’ claim that turned out to be fallacious for several different reasons that I made you aware of.
                      — And yet the “hasty generalizations” fit, across the various examples provided, of which your example of Christendom could be included. Secondly, a hasty generalization comes from a sample size that is too small to draw conclusions from. “all”/general theism I feel, exceeds a small sample size, don’t you?

                      “I would think that if you found his testimony to be untrue, the easiest way to demonstrate it as untrue would be to offer up competing testimony or other facts.”
                      Offering ‘facts’ to someone, who has professed a position in which ‘facts’ are not possible, would be on par with giving medicine to dead people. Not interested.
                      — What you are interested in, and what is possible in terms of a defense seem to be in opposition.

                      I said: You see, the most evolution could ever produce is that which ‘IS’. I’d really like to see how you logically get from that which ‘IS’ to that which ‘SHOULD BE’.
                      You ignored the question and stated: Perhaps you should try asking that, asking an empirical question rather than a philosophical one. If you want a recipe, don’t ask for a large fry and a burger.
                      So you have no answer as to why I SHOULD do any of this then? Suit yourself.
                      — You are asking “Why should I stay on topic to the question I asked?”. I will let you work out the details to that, as ultimately, it’s not for me to be concerned with.

                      I stated: Did that (by the impossibility of the contrary). Next.
                      You answered: Not if intelligent beings can learn.
                      That ‘if’ is .. who may examine this in the future.
                      — Asked and answered. I simply will not entertain any more restatement of what you hope my argument means.

                      I said: Unfortunately, though, you failed to ever tell how the ability of a deity to be both omnipotent (as you have defined) and not omnipotent (as you defined) translates into the human ability to know things with certainty.
                      Your response: You never asked.
                      Riiiiiiiight. Good thing we’ve got that objective record which shows otherwise!!
                      “Its an omnipotent deity, it can create an intelligent mind, with omniscience.”
                      And using your definition of ‘omnipotence’ it also CAN’T ‘create an intelligent mind, with omniscience’ at the exact same time and in the exact same way. Of course, this type of absurdity essentially demolishes such a position (however, it does wonders for mine—-in fact, I’d ask that you to please keep it up!).
                      — That is the nature of having an irrational power: irrational ability. If we are to assume this entity can conjure this reality into existence, surely, it can conjure another reality, coterminous reality, etc to satisfy the answers you seek. While the concept might seem absurd at first, the nature of omnipotence is being able to accomplish the absurd. If you insist that omnipotence must comply with how you see reality, then God couldn’t do the things you have given him the ability to do through omnipotence: omnipotence, in your world view, must do only the things which are rational. Creating a universe from void isn’t rational. “QED”.

                      “Making use of an irrational power, it can do an irrational thing, including whatever irrational prospect you would like it to or need it to do.”
                      See above. Thanks again for that, though (x2)!!
                      –No problem. I am confident other readers will see how using omnipotence in one way (create matter or energy from void) could conceivably do another parlor trick that is equally as bizarre.

                      “Unless of course the source of your argument instead “borrowed standards” from other sources first, and is demonstrably contradictory in its pages. Or nonsensical. Or empirically demonstrated as to be an impossibility. Which is why I suspect you disregard such critics out of hand.”
                      Nope. Just see no …. Sadly, it appears that you prefer the latter here, which is very regrettable.
                      –Are you confident this is the type of argument you want to represent you? The amount of assumed authority borders on egotistical. I don’t need the Bible, as of yet, I have yet to quote scripture to bolster my cause, I have used it, however, to demonstrate the inconsistent nature of the entity for which you champion. You are packing a LOT more into your arguments that can reasonably be accounted for, either by demonstration or by evidence.

                      I responded: I am happy to see you also concede that the entities, you have been appealing to (in your ‘generic theism’ arguments) as true (real) foundations for knowledge, etc., do not exist.
                      To which you replied: As of yet, you haven’t explained why Christendom is excluded from “generic theism”.
                      Actually, you have explained it for me via your concessions that ‘generic theism’ IS NOT logically possible as a true foundation for the existence of knowledge, logic, etc. (since it is based upon non-existent (false) entities), while conceding that Christianity IS logically possible. I am satisfied with those concessions and trust that intellectually honest readers will be too.
                      –I stated they were from a fallacious position, yes, and conceded that the god for which you describe traits could use those traits to accomplish things. However, that still puts it squarely in the rank and file of other such mythos: they have the same traits, with the same justifications. Again, you haven’t explained why Christendom is separated from that. Were it possible for Zeus to talk, could he use his voice to project sound? Where XYZ omnipotent could it ABC? Each of those askings of my agreement is application of a trait in a model. NOT agreement of existence as described.

                      “So its up to me to show you evidence when your book tells you I can’t possibly show evidence.”
                      If you claim to hold a competing, contrary position to mine that is a rational one, it is up to you to demonstrate that it is. That you can’t do so only serves to substantiate the Biblical claim that the contrary is not possible (since it ends in ‘vain’ and ‘foolish’ reasoning—Romans 1:18-22, Psalms 14:1, I Corinthians 1:20, I Corinthians 3:19). As such, your arguments against the Bible turn out to be arguments for it.
                      –And yet, when you quote scripture, it’s not a “forced fit”. Fascinating.

                      “But the book itself is not up for review. Please, do link this to any conversation you might have about such in the future.”
                      The Bible itself is not up for criticism by those who must rely on the truth of it in order to even begin to formulate an argument against it (for obvious reasons). Your permission to utilize this discussion in the future is, again, duly noted and appreciated! Let me know about changing your name or not, though, as I am willing to do so for your benefit—no one has to know your identity when they examine the behavioral inconsistencies you are engaging in here (unless you really want them to, that is). Up to you.
                      –That argument relies upon your worldview being correct from the onset of the discussion. You have presupposed victory before the first word.

                      You claimed: Either way, if we are both to define omnipotent as “all powerful”, and you begin to place arbitrary limits based on what you think omnipotence cannot do, its not all powerful anymore.
                      Unfortunately for you, though, given your position that knowledge must come via observations and experience, you can’t know what omnipotence (or omniscience for that matter) is, since you have never observed or experienced it. However, you have conceded that it is possible for me to know, with certainty, that my claim about the non-contradictory nature of omnipotence is true, based upon Divine Revelation from the God of the Bible.
                      –Were such an entity to exist. Something we never hashed out. Of course it would also be possible for you to “know” those things through my worldview, no God required, as imagination and creation are parts of the learning process that we both agree intelligent beings have.

                      “Creating something from nothing is already irrational, a logical impossibility.”
                      And you justify universal truth claims of what is not possible (in all places and at all times) how? That’s what’s so crazy about this: in order to know the things you are claiming to be true, you would have to be omnipotent yourself (or have revelation from One who is)—the very characteristic that you are arguing against. Just another demonstration of the self-defeating nature of those worldviews which reject the God of the Bible for the record.
                      –Omnipotence by its ability, defies our comprehension. That doesn’t mean we can’t define it, however. Why is one irrationality, that being conjuring matter or energy from void, any different than any other irrational prospect that you might suggest?

                      “All knowledge is not required for something to be true or learned.”
                      This is just another unjustifiable claim about ALL knowledge that you could never know or learn to be true given your professed position. Absent omniscience, or revelation from same, you can’t know anything or justify any claim about ALL knowledge. I am pleased with that as well.
                      –This is your opinion. In fact, its quite justifiable, and I refer to my Tic Tac Toe example. I need not know how to play checkers to play Tic Tac Toe. I need not know Calculus to perform basic arithmetic. If you have indexical evidence to the contrary, now would be your time to posit it, rather than relying on your invented philosophical “proof”.

                      I said: “If your definition of ‘omnipotence’ includes the ability of a deity to contradict itself, then it follows that the deity could be both ‘omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) and also ‘not omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) at the same time and in the same way.”
                      You said: Sure it could.
                      I responded: Which necessarily means it also couldn’t, so it can’t. QED.
                      To which you replied: Indeed. It can be both at the same time.
                      Which (again) also necessarily means that it can’t. QED.
                      –Exactly! It’s an irrational power! It defies our comprehension by nature.

                      I appreciate you showing what a worldview based upon contradictions (i.e. a contradictory worldview) looks like and why it can never be a rational one.
                      “I noticed you trimmed out my examples, though.”
                      Which necessarily means I also didn’t trim them out, according to you.
                      –Only if you declare omnipotence for yourself. 😉

                      I asked: Really? What sort of reasoning did man use to ‘create’ the laws of logic; was it logical reasoning or illogical?
                      You said: Ironically, the failure of the method here.

                      “Practical application.”
                      “Trial and error. That is the process of learning, via stumbling across what doesn’t work to find something that does.”
                      Which assumes that one’s reasoning is functioning reliability at the outset such that they can be accurately aware of and then recognize/distinguish correctly what ‘works’ and what ‘doesn’t’.
                      –If starting from a point of need/want, and working from there accordingly, it need not do that. The drive to act continues until the situation is resolved. The senses will keep providing feedback until the complication or desire is resolved. In some instances, this is reflexive, in other cases, its trial and error. The resolution of the sensory input then gives rise to an experience which can be learned from, then applied in future scenario. Truth be told, your argument would be better served as “instinct” being revealed divinely, and that instinct giving rise to learning in intelligent creatures. THAT would make for a much more defensible position than complex thought being such a revelation.

                      “I am not certain I understand the question (could the universe have both existed and not existed prior to man). You are asking contradictory terms based on a time frame, nor do I understand how such a question would be relevant to either of our posits.”
                      How ironic! NOW you are having difficulty grasping scenarios regarding possible contradictions? Have you been reading what you have been writing thus far?
                      –Are you declaring the universe to be omnipotent? If so, I see no reason for it to be able to satisfy your need for a parlor trick.

                      “Assuming you do keep this around, or want to link to it, I would hope any reader might consider this for intellectual honesty: If its not possible in your world view to argue against the Bible, why do you invite questions?”
                      To expose the suppression of …is declare the truth and hope that they will embrace it instead of rejecting it. That is my hope here for you, Roo.
                      –So my assessment was correct.

                      I recognize that you no doubt … this and abandon that which you know is false.

                      –Well, its not my “home field”, as it were. I have the distinct feeling that is why you continue to front the concept of a reducio as your lead. As I have stated previously, what I have brought to the table is not what you addressed, and then proceeded to argue against a position I never held.

                      “You clearly don’t allow for that possibility, and never truly did, despite the deceptively civil tone you attempt to maintain.”
                      Such is the exclusive nature of truth.
                      –So my assessment is confirmed x2 now.

                      You should be pleased with that.

                      Like

                    • scmike2 says:

                      You said: Potato, tuber that grows in the ground. You have presupposed yourself to be correct, and the opposition to be wrong. From there, it really doesn’t matter, does it?

                      Not if the claim is absolutely true, which it is (by the impossibility of the contrary). Besides, ANY argument assumes the truth of that which is being argued for, however, not all propositions or their accompanying arguments are true (and only One can be (and is) when it comes to ultimate Authority claims).

                      I said: Your claims of ‘I know because I know’ and ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’ are viciously circular and irrational.

                      You said: No matter how many times you state it, or reduce to that, it was not might argument. You should realize that by now. “I know because I have the ability to learn”. Again, I entreat you to find the circularity without changing the argument to one you find easier to contend.

                      Sure. Tell me one more time how you know you have the capacity/ability to learn things in the first place and I’ll show you. After all, how does one ‘gain the knowledge’ of their ability to ‘gain knowledge’ at the outset? By using that same ability of ‘gaining knowledge’, perhaps? If so, you are, again, arguing the equivalent of ‘I know that I can know things because I know that I can know them’ (i.e. ‘I know because I know’). I am hard pressed to think of a time when I have seen a better example of a viciously circular argument put forth so unapologetically (and then defended so dogmatically).

                      I said: Besides, you still haven’t told why ANY (let alone ALL) circular arguments are absolutely forbidden in your worldview in the first place. What absolute, universal standard do they violate and why SHOULD that standard absolutely, universally NOT be violated under any circumstances? Surely not just because you say so?

                      You replied: I did. I will leave it to you to go back and find the answer.

                      I do not see it. Perhaps you could copy and paste where you explained how you observe and experience a universal truth. I definitely must’ve missed that part.

                      I said: “And if I asked you how you know THAT (or anything else) for certain, your argument (in its simplest form) would be again reduced to ‘I know because I know’, which is no argument at all. No offence, Roo, but the fact that you can’t/won’t acknowledge that fact is mind boggling to me.”

                      You replied: No, because I learned them to be such.

                      And, how do you know that you learned them to be such? BECAUSE you learned then to be such, perhaps?

                      Again, this is simply a smokescreen to conceal what you are really arguing here: ‘I know it because I know it’.

                      By the way, we’ve been conversing long enough now that I feel comfortable asking you to provide your basis for believing that anything that you ‘have learned’ in the past applies in the future/present (like here and now for instance). For instance, when you have hit the ‘reply’ button to send your comments to me, what is your justification for believing that any of what you have stated therein will still hold true upon my receiving it (in the future)? Why would you believe that the logic you used in the past to formulate your responses is still applicable here and now? This poses another huge problem for your position, Roo, as you are once again behaving inconsistently with your professed belief. After all, you are attempting to extrapolate something from the past into the, as of yet, unobserved and unexperienced future when you do so. Why would you do that from a purely atheistic/evolutionary standpoint? That is, why would you proceed with the expectation that the future should resemble the past in any way, since you don’t already know the future?

                      Just so you understand where I’m coming from here: the expectation of uniformity in nature (which is the basis of ‘induction’, by the way,—the very foundation of the scientific method) makes sense in a Christian worldview via God’s revelation in Genesis (and elsewhere) that He will sustain His Creation in a basically uniform fashion such that mankind can ‘subdue’ it and ‘have dominion over it.’ However, how does one who denies the Truth of the Bible make sense of that belief on their end?

                      I said: Since you profess that the standard you are employing here to justify your claims is a valid means of proving things true, then I will simply adopt your standard *for the sake of the discussion* and posit that ‘God exists and the Bible is true because I say so’.

                      You said: Fantastic, so you learned something to be true from the thing that professes itself to be true.

                      Just as you have claimed to have learned something to be true from something professed by you to be true (the reliability of your senses and reasoning to provide you with valid input, such that you can utilize them for gaining knowledge of the world around you, via accurate observations and experiences of it ). Again, by your standard, my claim has necessarily been proven true (which renders yours false). The fact that you are continuing to argue, though, poses a big problem, as it indicates that you are not really satisfied with your own standard of proving things and, therefore, don’t really behave according to it when it comes to the arguments of others. Of course, you don’t need me to remind you that behavioral inconsistencies, like that one, are but one clear indicator of a false position. Just sayin’.

                      I said: No, you conceded that the God of the Bible (which is the only One I am arguing for) provides a logical foundation for knowing things with certainty, etc.

                      You said: Negative. Please find in our argument where I agreed such an entity exists, as opposed to agreeing with what traits you give him, or exists with what traits you believe he has.

                      Sure. How about the entire body of your comments where you have repeatedly demonstrated the impossibility of the contrary (via your positions of atheism and ‘general theism’ having been reduced to absurdity). Is there another position you believe exists apart from these that provides a logically defensible basis for the certainty of knowledge, etc. in the same way that you have admitted that Christianity can and does? If so, posit it. If not, you are, once again, willfully (and arbitrarily) refusing to acknowledge the only possibility that exists because you simply do not want to do so.

                      “And yet the “hasty generalizations” fit, across the various examples provided, of which your example of Christendom could be included.

                      Please look up the ‘Tu Quoque’ fallacy to see why what you are now arguing is also fallacious (i.e. irrational).

                      I said: You see, the most evolution could ever produce is that which ‘IS’. I’d really like to see how you logically get from that which ‘IS’ to that which ‘SHOULD BE’.

                      You again did not answer the question but said: I will let you work out the details to that, as ultimately, it’s not for me to be concerned with.

                      So have NO rational answers to support the claims that I SHOULD do that (or anything else) then? If that’s the case, this renders your complaint a baseless one and places it in the realm of mere opinion (blind faith). See, that’s the problem with abandoning the Truth of Christianity—you lose any basis at all for ANY moral standard whatsoever, including the moral obligation of one to remain rational with regards to their standard of reasoning. This is sure looking more and more like an opinion based column, on your part, after all, Roo. You could’ve saved us both a heap of time and bandwidth by just admitting that from the very beginning. Once again, I appreciate you sharing your opinions with me, but they ultimately have no academic merit in a rational discussion. Thank you for your time, though.

                      “That is the nature of having an irrational power: irrational ability. If we are to assume this entity can conjure this reality into existence, surely, it can conjure another reality, coterminous reality, etc to satisfy the answers you seek. While the concept might seem absurd at first, the nature of omnipotence is being able to accomplish the absurd. If you insist that omnipotence must comply with how you see reality, then God couldn’t do the things you have given him the ability to do through omnipotence: omnipotence, in your world view, must do only the things which are rational. Creating a universe from void isn’t rational. “QED”.”

                      And absent a foundation for why that WILL be the case 1 second from now or why it has been the case in ALL of the unobserved past, you have no basis for why that SHOULD be the case now. Again, don’t think I don’t value your opinions, they’re just not appropriate for this type of discussion.
                      .

                      “Are you confident this is the type of argument you want to represent you? The amount of assumed authority borders on egotistical. I don’t need the Bible, as of yet, I have yet to quote scripture to bolster my cause,”

                      That’s like someone arguing the nonexistence of air by saying ‘see, I don’t need air to breathe, since I don’t believe in it and can breathe just fine’. The argument is not that one must have read the Bible or even profess the Bible to be true to know things for certain or to reason rationally. It is that the Bible must be true in order for them to even begin to reason rationally or to know anything at all (by the impossibility of the contrary). Same way that breathing doesn’t require a belief in air, but it DOES require air.

                      Again, the body of evidence you have provided here to support that truth is more than I could have ever hoped for. Even though you won’t listen to reason at this point, perhaps this will be useful in helping others, who are more interested in seeking truth and more sensitive to receiving it when found, come to their senses.

                      I stated: Actually, you have explained it for me via your concessions that ‘generic theism’ IS NOT logically possible as a true foundation for the existence of knowledge, logic, etc. (since it is based upon non-existent (false) entities), while conceding that Christianity IS logically possible. I am satisfied with those concessions and trust that intellectually honest readers will be too.

                      You replied: I stated they were from a fallacious position, yes, and conceded that the god for which you describe traits could use those traits to accomplish things.

                      Thank you for confirming that once more. Looks like we’re in agreement here that generic theism is logically impossible while Christianity is logically possible, after all. Since atheism has also been refuted, is there another position that you’d like to argue for that doesn’t fit in either of those categories? If not, I trust I don’t have to tell you again how this has served to confirm the truth of the impossibility of the contrary(ies). Sure, you’re free to continue to refuse to submit to it if you choose—-however, you are (and always have been) plainly without excuse for doing so (and are also now more accountable than ever for doing so, as well).

                      “That argument relies upon your worldview being correct from the onset of the discussion. You have presupposed victory before the first word.”

                      Two things:

                      1) Every argument contains at least one presupposition (usually the P1 to be argued)—even if it is just the presupposition that logical argumentation is a viable way for arriving at truth.

                      2) You are also bringing your own presuppositions to the discussion, as is demonstrated by your arguing in favor of your professed positions as if they are true from the get-go. However, not all presuppositions (read: only Christian ones) are rationally defensible after the fact (by the impossibility of the contrary).

                      Besides, what would be the problem with one doing this, since you have no rational foundation for why they SHOULD not do so in your worldview apart from personal opinion.

                      “Were such an entity to exist. Something we never hashed out.”

                      Nope. It’s been ‘hashed out’ quite thoroughly and agreed upon by default (i.e. the impossibility of the contrary). The attempts by my opponent to suppress that fact notwithstanding.

                      “Of course it would also be possible for you to “know” those things through my worldview,”

                      Which means I would also ‘not know’ them at the same time and in the same way according to the faulty definition of ‘omnipotence’ you are using here. You’ve dodged this question before, but perhaps you’ll answer it now: how does knowing something and not knowing it at the same time and in the same way translate to mankind’s ability to arrive at certainty of the truth (especially when the basis of such a worldview is a contradictory (i.e. irrational) one, making it false by definition?

                      “Omnipotence by its ability, defies our comprehension. That doesn’t mean we can’t define it, however.”

                      So it is both comprehensible and incomprehensible according to you, then? Suit yourself.

                      By the way, how would you ever know that the definition of something ‘incomprehensible’ (and, therefore, outside of your observation or experience), is true and not completely false? I‘ll give you a hint: you can’t, given your professed position which states that observation and experience are required for gaining knowledge of the truth. Again, this exposes that you are indeed attempting to posit subjective opinions and arbitrary conjecture as that which they are not—rational proofs. It does bear repeating, though, that you have conceded that the God of the Bible could reveal something like the true definition of omnipotence to us such that we can be 100% genuinely and objectively certain of it. Shouldn’t be hard to see which of us is arguing from a rationally consistent foundation and which of us is not at this point.

                      “If starting from a point of need/want, and working from there accordingly, it need not do that. The drive to act continues until the situation is resolved. The senses will keep providing feedback until the complication or desire is resolved. In some instances, this is reflexive, in other cases, its trial and error. The resolution of the sensory input then gives rise to an experience which can be learned from, then applied in future scenario.”

                      How do you know that YOUR reasoning about the ‘formation of logical laws’ is correct since (1) you didn’t observe it (2) you didn’t experience it (3) one could not accurately recognize any ‘error’ unless they first knew for certain what ‘correct’ (logical) reasoning was to begin with (i.e. a priori)?

                      You are again arguing that reasoning void of logic somehow led to the formation of logical laws. Again, I ask you: how does one arrive at logical laws via illogical reasoning? Naturally, you are trying to avoid admitting the obvious: logical laws could not have been ‘created’ by humans and are, in fact, an absolute, universal, invariant transcendental standard of reasoning which reflect the absolute, sovereign, unchanging thinking of the God of the Bible (by the impossibility of the contrary).

                      “Are you declaring the universe to be omnipotent?”

                      No, just pointing out the fact that the universe obeys the logical law of non-contradiction, which means that such laws cannot possibly be the product of human minds (since they precede and supersede the minds of men). Since there is no valid opposition to the claim from you, I am forced to conclude that you don’t have any. QED.

                      You concluded with: “You should be pleased with that.”

                      More than you know! In fact, thank you very much!

                      I really do wish that ‘Faustian’ and crew could’ve been here to see it, though. 😉

                      Like

                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      You said: Potato, tuber that grows in the ground. You have presupposed yourself to be correct, and the opposition to be wrong. From there, it really doesn’t matter, does it?
                      Not if the claim is absolutely true, which it is (by the impossibility of the contrary).
                      –That would be a “no, it really doesn’t matter”, then.

                      I said: Your claims of ‘I know because I know’ and ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’ are viciously circular and irrational.
                      You said: No matter how many times you state it, or reduce to that, it was not might argument. You should realize that by now. “I know because I have the ability to learn”. Again, I entreat you to find the circularity without changing the argument to one you find easier to contend.
                      Sure. Tell me one more time how you know you have the capacity/ability to learn things in the first place and I’ll show you. After all, how does one ‘gain the knowledge’ of their ability to ‘gain knowledge’ at the outset? By using that same ability of ‘gaining knowledge’, perhaps? If so, you are, again, arguing the equivalent of ‘I know that I can know things because I know that I can know them’ (i.e. ‘I know because I know’). I am hard pressed to think of a time when I have seen a better example of a viciously circular argument put forth so unapologetically (and then defended so dogmatically).
                      –Did we not agree that intelligent beings have the capability to learn? Isn’t answering such a question of “how can you know you can learn” inherent to being able to learn? This is what I mean by the question not needing a follow up: you simply aren’t extending the implications of what “learning” means.

                      I said: “And if I asked you how you know THAT (or anything else) for certain, your argument (in its simplest form) would be again reduced to ‘I know because I know’, which is no argument at all. No offence, Roo, but the fact that you can’t/won’t acknowledge that fact is mind boggling to me.”
                      You replied: No, because I learned them to be such.
                      And, how do you know that you learned them to be such? BECAUSE you learned then to be such, perhaps?
                      –Which is inherent to “learning” them, though if you want to follow it all the way back to its most rudimentary, its because the foundation was successful practical application.

                      By the way, we’ve been conversing long enough now that I feel comfortable asking you to provide your basis for believing that anything that you ‘have learned’ in the past applies in the future/present (like here and now for instance). For instance, when you have hit the ‘reply’ button to send your comments to me, what is your justification for believing that any of what you have stated therein will still hold true upon my receiving it (in the future)?
                      –That is the function of reply button in many other similar forums. Granted, wordpress has a habit of doubling posts, but it was built with such a function. You bring up an interesting question, though. When it comes to such a degree of scrutiny, and out of hand dismissal, does this apply to all facets of your life? Is your doctor one that immediately states “God wills you to get better”, is your accountant one that claims “God says you did your taxes right”? Do you ask the pharmacist behind the counter if they know what they know because of God, or because they learned it?

                      Why would you believe that the logic you used in the past to formulate your responses is still applicable here and now? This poses another huge problem for your position, Roo, as you are once again behaving inconsistently with your professed belief. After all, you are attempting to extrapolate something from the past into the, as of yet, unobserved and unexperienced future when you do so. Why would you do that from a purely atheistic/evolutionary standpoint? That is, why would you proceed with the expectation that the future should resemble the past in any way, since you don’t already know the future?
                      –Its called a “trend”. That being barring unusual circumstance, a situation will hold true or follow a predictable path. Thus far we are on a “trend”. English, pushing the reply button, syntax, etc.

                      Just so you understand where I’m coming from here: the expectation of uniformity in nature (which is the basis of ‘induction’, by the way,—the very foundation of the scientific method) makes sense in a Christian worldview via God’s revelation in Genesis (and elsewhere) that He will sustain His Creation in a basically uniform fashion such that mankind can ‘subdue’ it and ‘have dominion over it.’ However, how does one who denies the Truth of the Bible make sense of that belief on their end?
                      –That the nature of a rock is the nature of a rock, no outside influence needed to keep it from turning into a water balloon. Your worldview demands accountability for such absurdity not to occur. In mine: it is what it is, and its not what its not.

                      I said: Since you profess that the standard you are employing here to justify your claims is a valid means of proving things true, then I will simply adopt your standard *for the sake of the discussion* and posit that ‘God exists and the Bible is true because I say so’.
                      You said: Fantastic, so you learned something to be true from the thing that professes itself to be true.
                      Just as you have claimed to have learned something to be true from something professed by you to be true (the reliability of your senses and reasoning to provide you with valid input, such that you can utilize them for gaining knowledge of the world around you, via accurate observations and experiences of it ). Again, by your standard, my claim has necessarily been proven true (which renders yours false).
                      –Not at all. You can learn something incorrectly, such as using what you are justifying your world view with without independent verification. Before you ask, it would be yours to demonstrate, not to philosophize about, though the learning something to be true came before the profession, and it usually (and I emphasize that) comes with some degree of testing for application.

                      I said: No, you conceded that the God of the Bible (which is the only One I am arguing for) provides a logical foundation for knowing things with certainty, etc.
                      You said: Negative. Please find in our argument where I agreed such an entity exists, as opposed to agreeing with what traits you give him, or exists with what traits you believe he has.
                      Sure. How about the entire body of your comments where you have repeatedly demonstrated the impossibility of the contrary (via your positions of atheism and ‘general theism’ having been reduced to absurdity). Is there another position you believe exists apart from these that provides a logically defensible basis for the certainty of knowledge, etc. in the same way that you have admitted that Christianity can and does? If so, posit it. If not, you are, once again, willfully (and arbitrarily) refusing to acknowledge the only possibility that exists because you simply do not want to do so.
                      –So I am correct, then, such is not a concession, its your conclusion, and a conclusion from what you would prefer to argue as opposed to what is actually present.

                      “And yet the “hasty generalizations” fit, across the various examples provided, of which your example of Christendom could be included.
                      Please look up the ‘Tu Quoque’ fallacy to see why what you are now arguing is also fallacious (i.e. irrational).
                      –I would suggest you do the same. Do you feel I am lumping Christianity in with too small a sample size? When I say “General and All” theism, I thought that would have been circumvented, but, please, explain how this example is such an example as Tu Quoque. I am asking in what way is Christendom different in its explanations than any (and all) Mythos, Pantheon, or Religion. If you are asking in what way my world view is different than the same: it requires no God. It is what it is.

                      I said: You see, the most evolution could ever produce is that which ‘IS’. I’d really like to see how you logically get from that which ‘IS’ to that which ‘SHOULD BE’.
                      You again did not answer the question but said: I will let you work out the details to that, as ultimately, it’s not for me to be concerned with.
                      So have NO rational answers to support the claims that I SHOULD do that (or anything else) then?
                      –Regarding following the topic of your suggestion? No, I have no rational answers as to why YOU should follow a topic of YOUR choosing. Ultimately, it’s not for me to be concerned with. I can offer advice, though. That being if you change the topic of conversation, or attempt to change the scope of argument, it tends to erode your credibility. That, however, is ultimately your concern, not mine.

                      “That is the nature of having an irrational power: irrational ability. If we are to assume this entity can conjure this reality into existence, surely, it can conjure another reality, coterminous reality, etc to satisfy the answers you seek. While the concept might seem absurd at first, the nature of omnipotence is being able to accomplish the absurd. If you insist that omnipotence must comply with how you see reality, then God couldn’t do the things you have given him the ability to do through omnipotence: omnipotence, in your world view, must do only the things which are rational. Creating a universe from void isn’t rational. “QED”.”
                      And absent a foundation for why that WILL be the case 1 second from now or why it has been the case in ALL of the unobserved past, you have no basis for why that SHOULD be the case now. Again, don’t think I don’t value your opinions, they’re just not appropriate for this type of discussion.
                      –If the topic is “omnipotence”, there is no enduring reason to think it WILL be the same, as the whims of an omnipotent individual can change reality at any time it chooses to. Such examples include but are not limited to flooding the earth, raining frogs, conjuring bolts of lightning, bringing down walls of stone with the sound of horns, and turning people to pillars of salt. If it is what it is, that being no omnipotence involved, it would no longer be “opinion” and becomes predictable and demonstrable circumstance, much as what us intelligent minds are exposed to currently.

                      I stated: Actually, you have explained it for me via your concessions that ‘generic theism’ IS NOT logically possible as a true foundation for the existence of knowledge, logic, etc. (since it is based upon non-existent (false) entities), while conceding that Christianity IS logically possible. I am satisfied with those concessions and trust that intellectually honest readers will be too.
                      You replied: I stated they were from a fallacious position, yes, and conceded that the god for which you describe traits could use those traits to accomplish things.
                      Thank you for confirming that once more. Looks like we’re in agreement here that generic theism is logically impossible while Christianity is logically possible, after all.
                      –And again you have ignored the question of what sets Christendom out from the herd. Christendom is just as logically possible as a vampire using its ability to turn back and forth from a bat.

                      “That argument relies upon your worldview being correct from the onset of the discussion. You have presupposed victory before the first word.”
                      Two things:
                      1) Every argument contains at least one presupposition (usually the P1 to be argued)—even if it is just the presupposition that logical argumentation is a viable way for arriving at truth.
                      –Yes. Mine was “intelligent beings can learn”. We agreed, as I recall, though you don’t seem to want to follow through on it.

                      2) You are also bringing your own presuppositions to the discussion, as is demonstrated by your arguing in favor of your professed
                      –The presupposition was the one you agreed with. There is a certain degree of latitude one should offer if the presupposition is “intelligent beings can learn”, as opposed to offering up the Bible on whole as being inerrant, consistent, and true… and beyond criticism. Do you NEED to offer that latitude? Of course not, but I am “presupposing” something that can be demonstrated. Not philosophized about. I am talking taken off the table, put into a lab, and quantitatively analyzed. You don’t even grant the opposition validity from the on-set.

                      Besides, what would be the problem with one doing this, since you have no rational foundation for why they SHOULD not do so in your worldview apart from personal opinion.
                      “Were such an entity to exist. Something we never hashed out.”
                      Nope. It’s been ‘hashed out’ quite thoroughly and agreed upon by default (i.e. the impossibility of the contrary). The attempts by my opponent to suppress that fact notwithstanding.
                      –Your conclusion, x2 now. Stop arguing what you want to read, and instead argue the full argument of the opponent.

                      “Of course it would also be possible for you to “know” those things through my worldview,”
                      Which means I would also ‘not know’ them at the same time and in the same way according to the faulty definition of ‘omnipotence’ you are using here.
                      -Only if you declare either you or me omnipotent.

                      You’ve dodged this question before, but perhaps you’ll answer it now: how does knowing something and not knowing it at the same time and in the same way translate to mankind’s ability to arrive at certainty of the truth (especially when the basis of such a worldview is a contradictory (i.e. irrational) one, making it false by definition)?
                      –I think this is typified by the thought experiment of Schrodinger’s Cat. Or what is the sound of one hand clapping. Or describing a cat that ate itself. Or a door to December. Such things as knowing and not knowing at the same time are what lead Eastern philosophies to a state of enlightenment.

                      “Omnipotence by its ability, defies our comprehension. That doesn’t mean we can’t define it, however.”
                      So it is both comprehensible and incomprehensible according to you, then? Suit yourself.
                      –Sort of like me and Calculus. My or your comprehension or lack there of regarding another entity’s ability doesn’t mean much when giving it a name. I can’t describe how mitochondria work. I know of their function, their ability, but the rest is beyond me.

                      By the way, how would you ever know that the definition of something ‘incomprehensible’ (and, therefore, outside of your observation or experience), is true and not completely false?
                      –Because knowledge and learning is a product of the time spent on the subject. If after study and attempts to learn, nothing comes (which is like me and Calculus or advanced Physics), I am aware that such a thing exists, but have no knowledge. Ergo, incomprehensible. I require a more rudimentary means to that information to apply it. Regarding the ability of omnipotence, I only have the ability to carry out through force of labor what is reasonable. Omnipotence (when speaking deifically) doesn’t have that concern.

                      “If starting from a point of need/want, and working from there accordingly, it need not do that. The drive to act continues until the situation is resolved. The senses will keep providing feedback until the complication or desire is resolved. In some instances, this is reflexive, in other cases, its trial and error. The resolution of the sensory input then gives rise to an experience which can be learned from, then applied in future scenario.”
                      How do you know that YOUR reasoning about the ‘formation of logical laws’ is correct since (1) you didn’t observe it (2) you didn’t experience it (3) one could not accurately recognize any ‘error’ unless they first knew for certain what ‘correct’ (logical) reasoning was to begin with (i.e. a priori)?
                      –All three of those assume senses either don’t exist, or intelligent beings can’t learn. Do you have a retraction to make? 1 and 2 are simply false, as I have experienced and observed it and practically applied it, and given the illogical trial and error method, was able to recognize error, that being the situation not being satisfied. This, however, will require citation, and I have seen what such is rewarded with in your conversation with Agno and the Robot Gravitar (name escapes me). The “trend” indicates you will ignore it, and simply continue on with your method of thought. The evidence being presented is the means of the assertion.

                      You are again arguing that reasoning void of logic somehow led to the formation of logical laws. Again, I ask you: how does one arrive at logical laws via illogical reasoning?
                      –And I answered it: trial and error. There is no reasoning to grasping at straws to satisfy an equation or problem. By learning what doesn’t work, methods of thought can be established to predictably come to what does work. This works so well, it becomes innate to most intelligent beings for specific circumstance.

                      “Are you declaring the universe to be omnipotent?”
                      No, just pointing out the fact that the universe obeys the logical law of non-contradiction,
                      –Because its not omnipotent, the universe is what it is.

                      … which means that such laws cannot possibly be the product of human minds (since they precede and supersede the minds of men). Since there is no valid opposition to the claim from you, I am forced to conclude that you don’t have any. QED.
                      –Unless of course my outlook is correct: it is what it is, and is not anything more. If the universe is the universe, and nothing more, there is no need for logic to exist. Instead, we (humans) are naming states of being that cannot exist as being part of a logical law. Existence is the default, all else is our creation. Do rocks behave in an illogical manner? How about suns? Planets? Moons? Water? The only time “illogic” exists, is when man (well, complex life) comes into play. That being the case, why do you need to assume that illogical existence occurs beyond our own imagination? The universe is what it is. It took our creativity to invent what it can’t be. (that part is the valid opposition, btw, “illogical” is a creation of organisms capable of complex thought).

                      –Something that wasn’t answered, and I was hoping you could shed light on it. If something that is omnipotent can conjure into being rocks, suns, energy, etc from void (which is of course illogical/irrational), why is doing any other irrational act such a hurdle for you? Logically (if you pardon the word choice), if it can do one form of illogical thing through omnipotence, it can do a host of others, yes?

                      Like

                    • scmike2 says:

                      “Did we not agree that intelligent beings have the capability to learn?”

                      In the Christian worldview, yes. In the worldview(s) you are professing, no. Scroll down.

                      I previously said: “And if I asked you how you know THAT (or anything else) for certain, your argument (in its simplest form) would be again reduced to ‘I know because I know’, which is no argument at all. No offence, Roo, but the fact that you can’t/won’t acknowledge that fact is mind boggling to me.”

                      You previously replied: No, because I learned them to be such.

                      I then asked: And, how do you know that you learned them to be such? BECAUSE you learned then to be such, perhaps?

                      You then responded: Which is inherent to “learning” them, though if you want to follow it all the way back to its most rudimentary, its because the foundation was successful practical application.

                      That’s exactly what I want to do, since your foundation for anything you claim to know is, admittedly, your senses and reasoning. Therefore, when I ask ‘how do you know that your senses and reasoning are valid and providing you with valid feedback?’, you are forced to admit that the only way you could ever claim to know that is by having learned it via………yep, you guessed it: those same senses and reasoning. This, again, reduces the entire premise of the worldview you are arguing for to that of ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’. Of course, such a position IS viciously circular and, once again, not only leaves you with zero foundation for knowledge in your own worldview, but also leaves you with zero foundation from which to rationally evaluate anyone else’s. Hmmmm. Now where have I heard that before? Waaaaaaaaay back at the very beginning of this discussion maybe? Nah, couldn’t be. : D

                      I asked: By the way, we’ve been conversing long enough now that I feel comfortable asking you to provide your basis for believing that anything that you ‘have learned’ in the past applies in the future/present (like here and now for instance). For instance, when you have hit the ‘reply’ button to send your comments to me, what is your justification for believing that any of what you have stated therein will still hold true upon my receiving it (in the future)?

                      You said: That is the function of reply button in many other similar forums. Granted, wordpress has a habit of doubling posts, but it was built with such a function.

                      Which, of course, in no way, shape, or form comes close to answering the question I asked. However, it does again, expose the unjustified assumption that you expect what has been true in the past (i.e. the function of the ‘reply’ button for instance), will continue to hold true in future. Since you have no justification for believing this, it’s foundation is one of blind faith.

                      “You bring up an interesting question, though. When it comes to such a degree of scrutiny, and out of hand dismissal, does this apply to all facets of your life?”

                      Nope. Just to those who attempt to use logic, truth, knowledge, morality, etc. to argue (on a Christian blog, no less) against the only possible source of logic, truth, morality, etc.—the God of the Bible.

                      I asked: Why would you believe that the logic you used in the past to formulate your responses is still applicable here and now? This poses another huge problem for your position, Roo, as you are once again behaving inconsistently with your professed belief. After all, you are attempting to extrapolate something from the past into the, as of yet, unobserved and unexperienced future when you do so. Why would you do that from a purely atheistic/evolutionary standpoint? That is, why would you proceed with the expectation that the future should resemble the past in any way, since you don’t already know the future?

                      You replied: Its called a “trend”. That being barring unusual circumstance, a situation will hold true or follow a predictable path.

                      What is your basis for assuming that anything (including all of that) WILL continue to hold true 1 second from now? Blind faith, perhaps?

                      I said: Just so you understand where I’m coming from here: the expectation of uniformity in nature (which is the basis of ‘induction’, by the way,—the very foundation of the scientific method) makes sense in a Christian worldview via God’s revelation in Genesis (and elsewhere) that He will sustain His Creation in a basically uniform fashion such that mankind can ‘subdue’ it and ‘have dominion over it.’ However, how does one who denies the Truth of the Bible make sense of that belief on their end?

                      You said: That the nature of a rock is the nature of a rock, no outside influence needed to keep it from turning into a water balloon.

                      Two things:

                      1) You are question begging. On what basis do you expect that that will continue to be the case 1 second from now?

                      2) What absolutely prevents a rock from also being ‘not a rock’ at the same time in an **alleged** purely evolutionary, constantly changing universe? How do you know that this is absolutely impossible absent possessing universal knowledge (especially given that you sense and reason that your senses and reasoning are reliable in the first place)?

                      “You can learn something incorrectly, such as using what you are justifying your world view with without independent verification. Before you ask, it would be yours to demonstrate, not to philosophize about, though the learning something to be true came before the profession, and it usually (and I emphasize that) comes with some degree of testing for application.”

                      And that would entail using senses and reasoning which are validated with those same senses and reasoning, according to your professed position. Again, that you can’t (or won’t) see the folly in that, is disappointing to say the least for someone of your caliber.

                      However, I can at least rest secure in the fact that you have conceded (even if unwittingly) that a Biblical worldview provides the only logically defensible (i.e. non-viciously circular/non-contradictory) basis for the certainty of knowledge, via direct revelation from One who knows everything, right here on this very thread. God bless this objective record!

                      “Do you feel I am lumping Christianity in with too small a sample size?”

                      You were making a sweeping generalization based upon too little (and subsequently, faulty) information. It’s a moot point now, however, given the fact that ALL of your claims are based upon an irrational foundation. Of course, if the foundation is bad, it spoils the whole enchilada.

                      I asked: So have NO rational answers to support the claims that I SHOULD do that (or anything else) then?

                      You said: Regarding following the topic of your suggestion? No, I have no rational answers as to why YOU should follow a topic of YOUR choosing.

                      Thank you for the concession. If you are honest, you will also be forced to admit that you also have no basis whatsoever for saying that anyone else SHOULD do anything at all, since morality (that which ‘should be’) is also a Christian concept (by the impossibility of the contrary).

                      “If the topic is “omnipotence”, there is no enduring reason to think it WILL be the same, as the whims of an omnipotent individual can change reality at any time it chooses to.”

                      You’re doing it again. How could you possibly know that what you have stated about omnipotent individuals will continue to be the case 1 second from now? You can’t. However, the fact that you used senses and reasoning which you validate with those same senses and reasoning is the bigger issue for you at this time. Either way, your above claim is simply without any grounding whatsoever in logic, knowledge, truth, or rationality. Don’t say I didn’t try to warn you.

                      “Christendom is just as logically possible as a vampire using its ability to turn back and forth from a bat.”

                      I would point out that your ‘vampire’ assertion is simply another fallacious irrelevant thesis if you hadn’t already shown that you don’t even know that the reasoning, from which it was produced, is even valid to begin with. As such, I see no need to do so at this point. You’ve got muuuuch bigger problems with you position to worry about right now.

                      “Your conclusion, x2 now. Stop arguing what you want to read, and instead argue the full argument of the opponent.”

                      Do you really want me to point out again why ‘sensing and reasoning that one’s senses and reasoning are valid’ is fallacious? If I were you, I would want as little exposure of that argument as possible (which probably explains the word salad used in attempt to conceal it).

                      “All three of those assume senses either don’t exist, or intelligent beings can’t learn.”

                      Nope, they establish the only valid possibility of intelligence and learning via Divine Revelation from the God of the Bible, by simply exposing the impossibility of the contrary (since the contrary ends in absurdity/irrationality). As the net result of our discussion here, I am pleased with that!!

                      “And I answered it: trial and error.”

                      And you demonstrated zero basis for trusting the reliability of the senses and reasoning used in the process, making your answer an unjustified and unjustifiable one. That was the point—nothing more, nothing less. I trust that intellectually honest readers will see that it has been sufficiently substantiated.

                      “Because its not omnipotent, the universe is what it is.”

                      Why can’t it also possibly exist as the contrary of itself at the same time and in the same way in your worldview? What absolutely forbids it from doing so in an **alleged** evolutionary universe where life arises from non-living matter, order arises from chaos, and morality arises from amoral substances? Surely not an absolute, immaterial, universal logical law of non-contradiction?

                      “Unless of course my outlook is correct: it is what it is, and is not anything more. If the universe is the universe, and nothing more, there is no need for logic to exist. Instead, we (humans) are naming states of being that cannot exist as being part of a logical law.”

                      Of course all of this is irrelevant now, given the fact that you reasoned that your reasoning about this is reliable. However, it is worth pointing out that you can’t know the nature of the entire universe in the first place given your position, nor can you justify why the contrary to your claims here cannot also be true at the same time and in the same way, absent appealing to the absolute, immaterial, universal law of non-contradiction (the very thing you are denying the existence of), which renders your claim a self-refuting one. Either way this is just another assertion that you are arbitrarily claiming to be true simply because you say it is, but which actually turns out to be demonstrably and objectively false. Not that I mind, though.

                      “Something that wasn’t answered, and I was hoping you could shed light on it. If something that is omnipotent can conjure into being rocks, suns, energy, etc from void (which is of course illogical/irrational), why is doing any other irrational act such a hurdle for you?”

                      You’ve never proven your assertion that it is irrational to begin with, nor can you, since you have no basis for even knowing that your senses and reasoning are valid to begin with. Besides, as has been demonstrated in a myriad of different ways, you are attempting to utilize logic in order to undermine the only possible source of logic. As such, the very claim you are making is self-refuting and, therefore, false.

                      Look, Roo, don’t think that I don’t appreciate your brightness and politeness here. However, this is simply getting tedious. That is, you continue to posit argument after argument, but never acknowledge the self-defeating nature and refutations of those arguments. It’s as if you’re just elephant hurling here desperately hoping that something will eventually stick—it won’t.

                      As such, I am spending time refuting the same arguments that were soundly refuted in your very first posts days ago. At this point, it is clear that you simply don’t want to acknowledge the incorrectness of your position(s) or even consider the (only logical) alternative to your worldview. In a sense, I understand that, as there are ramifications that come with acknowledging the truth about the existence of the God of the Bible; namely the reality that He is God and you are not—which makes you accountable to him for the way you have lived (and are living) your life in rebellion against Him. Many just simply do not want to make that confession, as they would rather be god than submit to God—I get that. I still hold out hope that you will reconsider, though. If you do wish to proceed with any form of discussion here, you are free to do so. However, you have very limited options given what your claims have been reduced to. You can either argue that:

                      1) It is perfectly rational to believe things and to act upon those beliefs without any logical reasons for doing so whatsoever.

                      OR

                      2) That there exists another competing, self-consistent worldview (apart from atheism and ‘generic theism’, which have both been reduced to absurdity here) that provides sound justifications for logic, truth, morality, the certainty of knowledge, and the basic reliability of human senses and reasoning, the way that Christianity does.

                      Anything less than this has missed the point and is really no argument at all. You will find that you will not be able to rationally defend either argument, however, the exercise may prove beneficial when/if you take time to honestly think through these issues of eternal importance. Thank you again for your time and the full exposure of our respective worldviews here. In Christ,

                      Mike

                      Like

                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      “Did we not agree that intelligent beings have the capability to learn?”
                      In the Christian worldview, yes. In the worldview(s) you are professing, no. Scroll down.
                      –Back pedal. Scroll up. If you see anything about “Christian World View” in my suggestion, or your agreement of such, let me know. Else all you are doing is concocting a narrative after the fact to an argument (as I have showing) you prefer not to contend.

                      I previously said: “And if I asked you how you know THAT (or anything else) for certain, your argument (in its simplest form) would be again reduced to ‘I know because I know’, which is no argument at all. No offence, Roo, but the fact that you can’t/won’t acknowledge that fact is mind boggling to me.”
                      You previously replied: No, because I learned them to be such.
                      I then asked: And, how do you know that you learned them to be such? BECAUSE you learned then to be such, perhaps?
                      –No, because it can be demonstrated. That is evidence of learning: repetition, adaptation, application. And, as I mentioned previously, but you clipped, have had experience in doing such. The circularity is thus broken: the model is applied in practicality with success.

                      You then responded: Which is inherent to “learning” them, though if you want to follow it all the way back to its most rudimentary, its because the foundation was successful practical application.
                      That’s exactly what I want to do, since your foundation for anything you claim to know is, admittedly, your senses and reasoning. Therefore, when I ask ‘how do you know that your senses and reasoning are valid and providing you with valid feedback?’
                      –This was already answered, and even accounted for faulty senses. If they are not providing feedback of any variety, then they are not “senses” by definition. Please, re-type this part so I can be certain you have read it. It seems to me that you have this habit of ignoring the more salient aspects of a post.

                      I asked: By the way, we’ve been conversing long enough now that I feel comfortable asking you to provide your basis for believing that anything that you ‘have learned’ in the past applies in the future/present (like here and now for instance). For instance, when you have hit the ‘reply’ button to send your comments to me, what is your justification for believing that any of what you have stated therein will still hold true upon my receiving it (in the future)?
                      You said: That is the function of reply button in many other similar forums. Granted, wordpress has a habit of doubling posts, but it was built with such a function.
                      Which, of course, in no way, shape, or form comes close to answering the question I asked.
                      –The purpose of a function is not justification for believing that function to work? Though, I must admit, as of late, I am wondering if the reply button is in fact working as intended, perhaps only have of what I am typing gets through. That seems to be the case.

                      “You bring up an interesting question, though. When it comes to such a degree of scrutiny, and out of hand dismissal, does this apply to all facets of your life?”
                      Nope. Just to those who attempt to use logic, truth, knowledge, morality, etc. to argue (on a Christian blog, no less) against the only possible source of logic, truth, morality, etc.—the God of the Bible.
                      –Had you considered my suggestion, you might find what “illogic” and “chaos” could be viewed as.

                      I asked: Why would you believe that the logic you used in the past to formulate your responses is still applicable here and now? This poses another huge problem for your position, Roo, as you are once again behaving inconsistently with your professed belief. After all, you are attempting to extrapolate something from the past into the, as of yet, unobserved and unexperienced future when you do so. Why would you do that from a purely atheistic/evolutionary standpoint? That is, why would you proceed with the expectation that the future should resemble the past in any way, since you don’t already know the future?
                      You replied: Its called a “trend”. That being barring unusual circumstance, a situation will hold true or follow a predictable path.
                      What is your basis for assuming that anything (including all of that) WILL continue to hold true 1 second from now? Blind faith, perhaps?
                      –No, demonstration. That being my car has never spontaneously metamorphasised into a giant insect. There is no reason to assume such. The belief that something can happen contrary to its current barring special circumstance state is “unreasonable”. There is no reason for such a belief to exist, and there is history that such won’t, and doesn’t happen.

                      I said: Just so you understand where I’m coming from here: the expectation of uniformity in nature (which is the basis of ‘induction’, by the way,—the very foundation of the scientific method) makes sense in a Christian worldview via God’s revelation in Genesis (and elsewhere) that He will sustain His Creation in a basically uniform fashion such that mankind can ‘subdue’ it and ‘have dominion over it.’ However, how does one who denies the Truth of the Bible make sense of that belief on their end?
                      You said: That the nature of a rock is the nature of a rock, no outside influence needed to keep it from turning into a water balloon.
                      Two things:
                      1) You are question begging. On what basis do you expect that that will continue to be the case 1 second from now?
                      –Do you have evidence of such a claim? That being rocks have spontaneously altered states? If the answer is “no”, then why believe such could happen?

                      2) What absolutely prevents a rock from also being ‘not a rock’ at the same time in an **alleged** purely evolutionary, constantly changing universe? How do you know that this is absolutely impossible absent possessing universal knowledge (especially given that you sense and reason that your senses and reasoning are reliable in the first place)?
                      –Because it is what it is. Asking an absurd question to something so plain about something’s existence, using an absurd example (and hypocritical stance, I might add) gives the appearance to being a distraction or deflection. You seem to think evolution is something from nothing, its not. Agno tried to demonstrate that to you, but your perception of what evolution was was so off off base it didn’t tie to the conversation. At all.

                      “You can learn something incorrectly, such as using what you are justifying your world view with without independent verification. Before you ask, it would be yours to demonstrate, not to philosophize about, though the learning something to be true came before the profession, and it usually (and I emphasize that) comes with some degree of testing for application.”
                      And that would entail using senses and reasoning which are validated with those same senses and reasoning, according to your professed position. Again, that you can’t (or won’t) see the folly in that, is disappointing to say the least for someone of your caliber.
                      –Do you know what independent verification means? Some one else getting the same result as you with no immediate bias given identical circumstance. You have already demonstrated that is impossible for you, I might add. It was presupposed as a condition of your argument.

                      –Don’t worry, there was a paragraph here, and your reply button worked. It just bore no fruit for the conversation, so I cut it.

                      “Do you feel I am lumping Christianity in with too small a sample size?”
                      You were making a sweeping generalization based upon too little (and subsequently, faulty) information. It’s a moot point now, however, given the fact that ALL of your claims are based upon an irrational foundation. Of course, if the foundation is bad, it spoils the whole enchilada.
                      –and if one side of the argument refuses to allow for admission of evidence, its not a discussion. I am not sure if your dismissive qualities being show are because of ignorance, or desire not to actually contend with what I have suggested. I asked you to seperate Christendom from the herd some how, preferably in a manner in which the others don’t (can’t?) use the same argument you do. If you cannot do so, it seems such a generalization is apt.

                      I asked: So have NO rational answers to support the claims that I SHOULD do that (or anything else) then?
                      You said: Regarding following the topic of your suggestion? No, I have no rational answers as to why YOU should follow a topic of YOUR choosing.
                      Thank you for the concession. If you are honest, you will also be forced to admit that you also have no basis whatsoever for saying that anyone else SHOULD do anything at all, since morality (that which ‘should be’) is also a Christian concept (by the impossibility of the contrary).
                      –Stop lying. Forms of societally beneficial “morality” existed long before Christendom. Buddhism (which, btw, not a religion at the time of its inception, though turned into a mythos as it continued on) is one such example. .. or is this yet another concept that is about to be usurped?

                      “If the topic is “omnipotence”, there is no enduring reason to think it WILL be the same, as the whims of an omnipotent individual can change reality at any time it chooses to.”
                      You’re doing it again. How could you possibly know that what you have stated about omnipotent individuals will continue to be the case 1 second from now?
                      –Such is the quality of omnipotent, “All powerful”? Not “all powerful, except from one second from now”, though it could choose to be such. And not be such. That is the nature of an irrational power.

                      “Christendom is just as logically possible as a vampire using its ability to turn back and forth from a bat.”
                      I would point out that your ‘vampire’ assertion is simply another fallacious irrelevant thesis if you hadn’t already shown that you don’t even know that the reasoning, from which it was produced, is even valid to begin with. As such, I see no need to do so at this point. You’ve got muuuuch bigger problems with you position to worry about right now.
                      –No, my vampire “analogy”. Not thesis. My agreement to your assessment of what is logically possible regarding Christianity is comparative to how logically possible a vampire making use of its powers is.

                      “Your conclusion, x2 now. Stop arguing what you want to read, and instead argue the full argument of the opponent.”
                      Do you really want me to point out again why ‘sensing and reasoning that one’s senses and reasoning are valid’ is fallacious?
                      –If I am insisting that is not the argument, what does that tell you about what you are pointing out?
                      Intelligent beings have senses
                      Intelligent beings can learn
                      Intelligent beings can learn from their senses.
                      Such a syllogism is then validated by demonstration in practicality, and verified by circumstance being resolved, or problem solving through such a demonstration arriving at the answer. That being reality was validating the senses, and the reasoning: not the subject of the syllogism.

                      “And I answered it: trial and error.”
                      And you demonstrated zero basis for trusting the reliability of the senses
                      –Do senses work as defined by “senses”, or is this another “because God” definition? I am inferring a sense actually does something: that is the point of a sense. Have I assumed to much of your world view?

                      and reasoning used in the process, making your answer an unjustified and unjustifiable one.
                      –Results of the actions taken are justification of the reasoning. A solution to the circumstance, if one needed, even more so. IE, practicality, not further questions.

                      “Because its not omnipotent, the universe is what it is.”
                      Why can’t it also possibly exist as the contrary of itself at the same time and in the same way in your worldview? What absolutely forbids it from doing so in an **alleged** evolutionary universe where life arises from non-living matter,
                      –… because it is what it is. Not is what it isn’t.
                      order arises from chaos, and morality arises from amoral substances? Surely not an absolute, immaterial, universal logical law of non-contradiction?
                      –Contradiction of existence is a man made concept. There is no such thing as a contradiction of existence, man used this invented concept as a foundation for further learning. Chaos, much the same. Chaos is just a matter of perspective absent information. Nothing acts in a chaotic fashion unless there is an agency behind it.

                      “Unless of course my outlook is correct: it is what it is, and is not anything more. If the universe is the universe, and nothing more, there is no need for logic to exist. Instead, we (humans) are naming states of being that cannot exist as being part of a logical law.”
                      Of course all of this is irrelevant now, given the fact that you reasoned that your reasoning about this is reliable. However, it is worth pointing out that you can’t know the nature of the entire universe in the first place given your position, nor can you justify why the contrary to your claims here cannot also be true at the same time and in the same way, absent appealing to the absolute, immaterial, universal law of non-contradiction (the very thing you are denying the existence of),
                      –Straw man in parenthesis. FYI.
                      which renders your claim a self-refuting one. Either way this is just another assertion that you are arbitrarily claiming to be true simply because you say it is, but which actually turns out to be demonstrably and objectively false. Not that I mind, though.
                      –I don’t mind your reply either. Not that that should sound foreboding or anything.

                      “Something that wasn’t answered, and I was hoping you could shed light on it. If something that is omnipotent can conjure into being rocks, suns, energy, etc from void (which is of course illogical/irrational), why is doing any other irrational act such a hurdle for you?”
                      You’ve never proven your assertion that it is irrational to begin with, nor can you, since you have no basis for even knowing that your senses and reasoning are valid to begin with. Besides, as has been demonstrated in a myriad of different ways, you are attempting to utilize logic in order to undermine the only possible source of logic. As such, the very claim you are making is self-refuting and, therefore, false.
                      –Your dodge is part of the objective record, too.

                      Look, Roo, don’t think that I don’t appreciate your brightness and politeness here. However, this is simply getting tedious. That is, you continue to posit argument after argument, but never acknowledge the self-defeating nature and refutations of those arguments. It’s as if you’re just elephant hurling here desperately hoping that something will eventually stick—it won’t.
                      –See my original question about whether or not a valid argument was ever possible.

                      As such, I am spending time refuting the same arguments that were soundly refuted in your very first posts days ago. At this point, it is clear that you simply don’t want to acknowledge the incorrectness of your position(s) or even consider the (only logical) alternative to your worldview.
                      –Careful about what you think others acknowledge and don’t acknowledge. Glass houses and all
                      .
                      In a sense, I understand that, as there are ramifications that come with acknowledging the truth about the existence of the God of the Bible; namely the reality that He is God and you are not—which makes you accountable to him for the way you have lived (and are living) your life in rebellion against Him. Many just simply do not want to make that confession, as they would rather be god than submit to God—I get that. I still hold out hope that you will reconsider, though. If you do wish to proceed with any form of discussion here, you are free to do so. However, you have very limited options given what your claims have been reduced to. You can either argue that:
                      1) It is perfectly rational to believe things and to act upon those beliefs without any logical reasons for doing so whatsoever.
                      OR
                      2) That there exists another competing, self-consistent worldview (apart from atheism and ‘generic theism’, which have both been reduced to absurdity here) that provides sound justifications for logic, truth, morality, the certainty of knowledge, and the basic reliability of human senses and reasoning, the way that Christianity does.
                      –That won’t immediately be usurped by your position, or dismissed out of hand? I don’t see the prospect of either being fruitful.

                      Anything less than this has missed the point and is really no argument at all.
                      –Hadn’t even read that yet, and not but one sentence later my suspicion is confirmed.

                      You will find that you will not be able to do so rationally defend either argument, however, the exercise may prove beneficial when/if you take time to honestly think through these issues of eternal importance. Thank you again for your time and the full exposure of our respective worldviews here. In Christ,
                      Mike

                      –From what I am gathering, but you are choosing not to address, is that matter and energy can be conjured from void by an omnipotent individual, and such is a rational prospect, because God is omnipotent by your definition, and rational.

                      So, that being said, I entreat you to find any reviewed works, excluding the Bible of course, in which spontaneous conjuring of matter or energy is a matter of fact. Law of non-contradiction and all, right? Void cannot be both void and matter, or void and energy, nor could it be void before or after, then, either. If you don’t mind me making a prediction, the example will be “not interested”, or some other such summary dismissal and then relying upon your argument to be true from the onset, rather than objective evidence. In this case, repetition.

                      Like

                    • scmike2 says:

                      You asked: “Did we not agree that intelligent beings have the capability to learn?”

                      I answered: In the Christian worldview, yes. In the worldview(s) you are professing, no. Scroll down.

                      You replied: Back pedal. Scroll up. If you see anything about “Christian World View” in my suggestion, or your agreement of such, let me know. Else all you are doing is concocting a narrative after the fact to an argument (as I have showing) you prefer not to contend.

                      Again, Roo, the wonderful thing about these types of discussions is the ongoing, objective record of it that is being logged here. This provides an invaluable resource for evaluating our respective positions for internal consistency. For instance, way back in my first and second responses to you, I specifically stated:

                      “What you may not realize is that ‘learning’ and ‘intelligence’ both presuppose the existence of logic, truth, knowledge, etc. That is, they are necessary preconditions of learning anything and must be assumed prior to doing so. However, you will find that those who profess a non-Christian worldview are forced into the very strange position of having to accept each of these things solely on blind faith (which is one form of irrationality, by the way), since these abstract, universal, invariant concepts can only be accounted for or made sense of via the God of the Bible (as they reflect His immaterial, sovereign, unchanging character and nature). Therefore, logic, truth, knowledge, etc. comport (i.e. fit) within the Christian worldview, but cannot be explained apart from it.”
                      06/04/2015 at 10:11 am

                      AND

                      “Not at all. What is in contention, though, is the ability of those who profess non-Christian worldviews to account for the necessary prerequisites for intelligence and for learning anything. I have yet to see a non-Christian provide anything even resembling a rational defense for how any of the concepts we’ve been discussing make sense in their worldview (even though, they rely upon them and use them on a daily basis). Doesn’t that seem odd to you?”
                      06/05/2015 at 12:26 am

                      The ‘scroll down’ request in my last comment was simply inviting you to examine yet another set of reasons why non-Christian worldviews cannot account for the concepts of ‘intelligence’ or ‘learning’ (due to the viciously circular nature of their (your) foundational premise).

                      I said: That’s exactly what I want to do, since your foundation for anything you claim to know is, admittedly, your senses and reasoning. Therefore, when I ask ‘how do you know that your senses and reasoning are valid and providing you with valid feedback?’

                      You said: This was already answered,

                      Indeed it was. Once again, here is the answer you provided for how you know that your senses and reasoning are valid and are providing you with reliable info. Way back at the beginning of this thread, you said:

                      “that, too, is learned.”
                      06/05/2015 at 4:57 am

                      Since you have also alleged that ‘learning’ is ONLY accomplished in your worldview by experiences and observations made via your senses and reasoning (06/05/2015 at 9:13 pm, 06/06/2015 at 2:53 am, etc.) you are indeed stuck in the logical bind of arguing the viciously circular equivalent of ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’. As I have pointed out to you numerous times, this renders your position a woefully illogical one and gives you zero basis for knowing anything at all.

                      I wholeheartedly invite you to return when you have a position that IS rationally defensible and which DOES logically account for knowledge, truth, logic, etc. Of course, that would entail your submitting to and professing the Truth of Christianity, which would, I predict, result in a very different type of discussion between us here at that time (and one I would love to have with you). Until then, take care of yourself!

                      Mike

                      Like

                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      And I whole heartedly entreat you to not assume everything is inclusive and exclusive to your “world view” at the onset of a conversation. Perhaps even entertaining what the opposition has to say, as opposed to co-opting the arguments you prefer, ignoring the ones you don’t, and engaging in the intellectual dishonesty of not critiquing your own source. Maybe then you might be able to expand your ability in a rational discourse, as opposed to invented positions and out of hand dismissal.

                      In the mean time, here is a tip:

                      You aren’t “debating”, Mike. You are talking yourself in a circle, and hoping it applies to the opposition. You flat out ignored why such a circularity as you describe doesn’t apply, yet you persist in claiming it as true. There is no reason to do that other than simply stating “I am not interested in discussion, I am interested in preaching”. Something I wish you would have done from the beginning.

                      Second, you might want to entertain the notion of answering opposition question when it comes down the pike, especially if its one that asks a question about the core of your worldview. Relying on presupposition to take a “high ground” in such an instance just screams ‘Not listening’.

                      And lastly: how long did you study Buddhism, Islam, the pantheon of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, how long did you study Hinduism, and when did you go on Walk About? Is Shinto or Taoism a philosophy or religion to you? If you haven’t read up on these, seeing no point or “impossibility” due to preference of your own world view, you have taken a hypocritical stance.

                      No worries, though. I am sure your Book has some variety of ego soothing technique to get you through this.

                      Like

                    • scmike2 says:

                      Thanks again for the exchange, Roo! Again, I invite you to return when you have a rational stance that you would like to put forth, as not only has the vicious circularity of your position been exposed here, but those last comments were simply an exercise in pure emotional appeal (and resembled more of a ‘rant’ than anything, quite frankly).

                      With due respect, I find it sort of strange that you would complain about anyone assuming the correctness of their worldview, though, when you have taken it upon yourself to come to a Christian blog—the fundamental premise of which is that only the God of the Bible can account for logic, truth, knowledge, etc.—for the sole purpose of appealing to me to surrender that premise, in exchange for yours, as if YOU are correct. Not only are you engaging in the very thing you are accusing me of—making this yet another instance of behavioral inconsistency (namely an irrational double standard) that only further undermines the position you have espoused (and which you continue to dogmatically cling to for no logical reasons whatsoever?)—but the arguments you’ve put forth here have only served to prove the very point you’re attempting to argue against. I urge you to give this some very serious consideration, Roo, as this type of contradictory, irrational behavior screams ‘suppression of the truth’ on your part. Again, I am here when/if you decide that you would like to honestly think through these issues absent the hostile bias that is currently distorting your reasoning about this.

                      As we wrap this up, it only seems fitting to revisit the concessions made here so that they aren’t lost in the word salad. Namely those regarding:

                      General Theism vs. Christianity:

                      You conceded: I stated they were from a fallacious position, yes, and conceded that the god for which you describe traits could use those traits to accomplish things.
                      06/12/2015 at 1:27 am

                      Agreed.

                      Atheism:

                      Found to be based upon the viciously circular premise of using one’s senses and reasoning to validate their senses and reasoning. 06/05/2015 at 4:57 am, 06/05/2015 at 9:13 pm, 06/06/2015 at 2:53 am….

                      Christianity:

                      In addition to your concession above, you also conceded: “such an entity could” (reveal things to mankind about Himself such that we can be certain of them)

                      Agreed.

                      Based on those concessions, it appears there is now nothing left to be argued here. All that remains is for you to submit to what you already know to be true, regarding the existence of your Creator and the Truth of His Word. I refuse to abandon hope for you, despite the (futile) resistance you are putting up here, and hope to speak to you again soon–not as an opponent, but as a Brother in Christ. Until then,

                      Mike

                      Like

                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      Thanks again for the exchange, Roo! Again, I invite you to return when you have a rational stance that you would like to put forth, as not only has the vicious circularity of your position been exposed here, but those last comments were simply an exercise in pure emotional appeal (and resembled more of a ‘rant’ than anything, quite frankly).
                      –… I am not the one with the blog that feels the need to re-post their opinion or personal revelation. Just a thought.

                      With due respect, I find it sort of strange that you would complain about anyone assuming the correctness of their worldview, though, when you have taken it upon yourself to come to a Christian blog—the fundamental premise of which is that only the God of the Bible can account for logic, truth, knowledge, etc.—for the sole purpose of appealing to me to surrender that premise, in exchange for yours, as if YOU are correct.
                      –No. Merely that yours is overly presumptuous. This is immediately made plain: what behaved illogically prior to man? That is to say: did rocks make fallacious arguments? Did the ocean appeal to the populous or authorities? Did the ground spontaneously change into something that was not the ground? Your are establishing a false dichotomy with no evidence in which to do so. What you call transcendtal, unchanging, etc, are exactly as I have labeled them: man’s assessment. The rule of noncontradiction typically applies to an assumed position, not existence. It takes imagination to assume otherwise.

                      Not only are you engaging in the very thing you are accusing me of—making this yet another instance of behavioral inconsistency (namely an irrational double standard)
                      –there by proving you clearly are not reading what I am typing. Exactly what have I been incorrect in my “accusations” of? That you chronically disregard questions asked of you? That is apparent. That you chronically disregard presented argument in favor of your straw man? Again, that is apparent. That you simply ignore that which is inconvenient? Again, demonstrated.

                      that only further undermines the position you have espoused (and which you continue to dogmatically cling to for no logical reasons whatsoever?) but the arguments you’ve put forth here have only served to prove the very point you’re attempting to argue against. I urge you to give this some very serious consideration, Roo, as this type of contradictory, irrational behavior screams ‘suppression of the truth’ on your part. Again, I am here when/if you decide that you would like to honestly think through these issues absent the hostile bias that is currently distorting your reasoning about this.
                      –You would be a might irked if I executed what you are attempting to do, and calling it rational (and intellectually honest!) discourse as well. I’ll demonstrate in a moment.

                      As we wrap this up, it only seems fitting to revisit the concessions made here so that they aren’t lost in the word salad. Namely those regarding:
                      General Theism vs. Christianity:
                      You conceded: I stated they were from a fallacious position, yes, and conceded that the god for which you describe traits could use those traits to accomplish things.
                      06/12/2015 at 1:27 am
                      Agreed.
                      –Its humorous that you think this means what it doesn’t, but, objective record and all.

                      Atheism:
                      Found to be based upon the viciously circular premise of using one’s senses and reasoning to validate their senses and reasoning. 06/05/2015 at 4:57 am, 06/05/2015 at 9:13 pm, 06/06/2015 at 2:53 am….
                      –Strawman. The senses and reasoning are validated by how well the action comports with reality. This is the part that you are refusing to acknowledge in favor of reducing to a more favorable means. It was also found that reasoning could be validated outside their own senses and reasoning: that is inherent to some examples of learning. Trail and error.

                      Christianity:
                      In addition to your concession above, you also conceded: “such an entity could” (reveal things to mankind about Himself such that we can be certain of them)
                      Agreed.
                      –Yes. If you claim there is nothing preventing him from doing so, there is no reason why he can’t do the things you need of him. Again, its humorous that you think this means what it does not.

                      Based on those concessions, it appears there is now nothing left to be argued here.
                      –What exactly do those “concessions” mean to you? Where in is the demonstration, the tangible proof, of any of what you say? You are talking, Mike. Not doing. Not applying. What happens when you take all these “concessions” off the table and begin to find practical application? There is no practical application. Its just talk. I have demonstrated from my position otherwise. Learning, senses, knowledge, and all of that is equally accounted for in an ”atheistic world view”: God as described is simply not necessary for much of what you attribute to it. God as explained in the Bible, even more so, as it is clearly not “unchanging”. I would urge you to stick to the argument from ignorance that God currently pushed to now: where did matter and energy come from. At least with that much, there is a genuine question as opposed to indexed record of what constitutes chaos and what you call “illogical”.

                      All that remains is for you to submit to what you already know to be true, regarding the existence of your Creator and the Truth of His Word. I refuse to abandon hope for you, despite the (futile) resistance you are putting up here, and hope to speak to you again soon–not as an opponent, but as a Brother in Christ. Until then,
                      Mike

                      –Sorry, Mike. But your presuppositions simply aren’t far reaching enough. You see, according to your world view, atheism simply should have never existed, it would have been impossible for it to come about to begin with. As it is found in the Bible, your particular entity has no compunctions about manipulation of some one’s beliefs or their interpretation of the truth, as such there is no reason for “God” as written (not as you see him, of course), to allow for anything different from belief in him. As for my world view, because intelligent beings are also creative, there a many ways to generate an argument from ignorance, which is what religion essentially is. Your world view is 100% accounted for in mine: people simply don’t know (better) and so invent a figure or figures to placate their ignorance and fears of the world around them. I can understand why you would be loathe to admit as such on this blog, you of all people would have the most to lose, however since you need to play to your audience, simply state that your computer turned into a pillar of salt. Such is perfectly reasonable and rational in your world view, after all. It does get a bit too creative for mine, though

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                    • scmike2 says:

                      Thanks, Roo. However, I don’t see anything here in this last set of comments that hasn’t been thoroughly covered already in this thread or in the one from debate.org. Besides that, if the basis for how you justify the truth of each of those knowledge claims is that you ‘sensed and reasoned that the senses and reasoning used to reach those conclusions are valid’, then, quite frankly, they warrant no response in the first place, as they are ultimately reduced to merely a series of blind faith assertions (opinions) on your part. As you well know, attempting to argue from such an illogical and arbitrary position is futile, and is simply an exercise in irrationality.

                      Though sad that you would continue to profess and dogmatically defend such a logically deficient position, I am pleased overall with the objective record here containing the full exposure of our respective worldviews. I welcome any intellectually honest reader to examine what is here to see which of us has presented a rational defense for their position and which of us has been unable to do so. I trust that you are content to do the same, as surely a position as strong as you believe yours to be would warrant no further defense/explanation, no?

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                  • RuleofOrder says:

                    (First paragraph agreed, shall we make terms regarding a word count, should you feel this need to contine?)

                    Our respective justifications for our ability to be certain in our respective worldviews:
                    You have conceded that, as a Christian, I have a logically possible avenue to account for certainty in that the God of the Bible (Who knows everything could reveal things to human beings so that we can know for certain that they are true).
                    ## This is true, but by default, I have also conceded that of all entities that (directly or indirectly as you mentioned) could use that as their justification as well.
                    Again, this is a perfectly logical scenario, as the conclusion flows from the premises. However, you have argued the equivalent of ‘I can know things with certainty because I have the ability to know things for certain’. Either way, what you have put forth is a viciously circular argument here, which in no way tells HOW you can know things with certainty.
                    ##“How” is a function of an ability. “in what way or manner; by what means.” The source is the dictionary. In what way or manner was that possible? It was learned as such. If you agree that senses will function, and agree that an intelligent being can learn, the “how” is obviated.
                    If, on the other hand, you are saying that it is perfectly logical to use viciously circular arguments as a rational basis to support our positions, then I can just posit that God exists and the Bible is true because God exists and the Bible is true as my justification, and it would necessarily be true by that standard and you lose any grounds for arguing against it.
                    This seems to hinge on understanding of what words mean. If you were to ask how I carried a pitcher from point A to B, and I stated “I carried it”, we agree, that is something that we both appreciate a person can do. If you were to ask “How do you know how to play tic tac toe”, and a person were to state “I learned it”, why is it now a more complicated proposition? We both agree “learning” and “carrying” are a thing an intelligent body can do.
                    Next is the basic reliability of our senses and reasoning.
                    Since you have conceded that God can reveal things to us such that we can be certain of them, it follows that the basic reliability of our senses and reasoning could (and is) also one of the things He could reveal to us such that we can know it for certain (and, given His omnipotence, He could do so both directly (innately), completely apart from our senses and reasoning, and also indirectly via the Bible). Now, you have also been reduced to using viciously circular arguments with regards to your justification for the basic reliability of your senses and reasoning in your worldview. Again, we both know that the viciously circular act of ‘sensing and reasoning that our senses and reasoning are reliable’ is not a LOGICAL proof,
                    ##Fitting, since I haven’t done that, despite your assertion that I have. You seem to be wanting to insert aspects of an argument that you state I have agreed to. You mention “God”. Then you give him abilities. You then state that because I agree you gave him abilities, and those abilities function as the definition of those abilities define, I have taken “God” to exist, or those abilities to exist in practicality. If you review, that hasn’t been the case, any more than I have asked you of a vampire being a real thing, despite its hallmark traits being attributed to it.

                    Either way, you refute yourself on this point as well. Not to mention that, you have also contradicted yourself by recently stating:
                    “”This infers your own senses and reasoning could never be validated, or are never correct, as your own sense, and your own reasoning is all you realistically ever have.””
                    After making the aforementioned concession that it IS logically possible to have the reliability of our senses and reasoning Divinely revealed to us by God completely APART from using our senses and reasoning. How do you explain that obvious inconsistency?

                    ##Because that is the nature of agreeing to what an entity of omnipotence can do. Anything it wants. If you state “God is omnipotent, by this logic can God conjure unicorns?” Of course he can. You stated he was omnipotent. However, in such a revelation, you will never know if your senses are validated or not. The entity in question could indeed be lying, and if you reason from that entity rather than too that entity, you will never know the difference. (were I to be condescending, I would use your current dialogue as proof of my assertion). You have granted this entity, “God”, omnipotence. Logically speaking, anything you could invent, he could do. You and I might not understand it, but he (it) could do it. That is the nature of “omnipotence”. All powerful. There is nothing with regards to power this entity could not accomplish.
                    Next is the existence of the laws of logic.
                    “The reason for such is an error at the source, you are relying on the conclusion to support your premises, not the other way ‘round.”
                    However, you have never told me how you justify the existence of an immaterial, universal, invariant standard of logic and reasoning in your worldview.
                    ##I did, you don’t seem to appreciate the implications.
                    Not that I agree with your allegation above, but why can’t ‘relying upon one’s conclusions to support their premises’ be a valid means of arriving at truth in YOUR worldview?
                    ##Considering that is what you are doing, lets first investigate why you think it’s a legitmate form of argumentation. I am not supporting that, point of fact, I haven’t supported it. You, on the other hand, indeed are. Please, explain to my why your method of practically using a circular argument is better than believing your opponent uses one.
                    Then, there’s the subject of the definition of words (including ‘omnipotence’).
                    We have a conflict with some of the definitions we are attempting to use here in our discussion. However, that is not really the pressing issue. What is pressing, though, is your belief that any definitions of any word holds true in a uniform, consistent fashion right here and right now. That is, since you have claimed that you only know things via learning them (through experience), then on what grounds do you assume that any definition you put forth holds universally true (in all places and at all times), since you could never experience the entire universe to learn that? If you don’t know that the definitions hold true everywhere and at all times, then you are forced to admit that you only believe they do (on blind faith) and that there are possible times and places in which they do not hold true.
                    ##That doesn’t follow. If a definition is applicable in a given instance, there is truth to that definition. If the definition doesn’t specifically qualify itself as “unique”, there is no reason to disqualify other scenario without rational cause. This is why I have been stressing “can” and “may” and “ability”. None of that excludes what you are referring to, though I personally am unconvinced, as yours seems circular in nature.
                    This would leave you with no rational basis for assuming that our discussion is not one of those times and places in which they do not apply (or that they do apply here). I remind you that believing something and acting upon that belief, without a sound rationale for doing so, is but one form of irrationality, Roo.
                    ##Quite so. Your position might be unique, or extreme minority. In neither case, though, does that immediately prove the assertions regarding the entity for which you are championing for.
                    Regarding omnipotence, you continue to state that an omnipotent being can ‘do anything it wants’, however, you ignored the irrational consequences of this line of reasoning. Again, if God could contradict Himself such that He could be both God and not God at the same time and in the same way, then there would be no possibility of human beings knowing things with certainty, and no foundation at all for any of the laws of logic (namely the law of non-contradiction), which are grounded in (and are a reflection of) the self-consistent, sovereign, unchanging character and nature of the God of the Bible.
                    ##That is the frailty of assigning an entity omnipotence. The problem is yours, not mine. An entity of omnipotence can do anything it wants, this includes being what you think it should be, but isn’t. Our understanding of it is inconsequential, unless you are stating that an entity of omnipotence MUST conform to things we understand, but then that would hardly be “all powerful”. Would you care to revisit your entity as “all powerful”? I would think deceiving lesser intelligent entities would be in such a higher entities ability.
                    Everything that you write here indicates that you believe that certainty is possible and that immaterial, universal, invariant laws of logic do exist, yet you have espoused a worldview in which neither of those things is possible and, instead of abandoning that irrational stance, you are continuing to attempt to undermine the only possible worldview in which they are, simply because you don’t happen to like it.
                    ##Considering all that is by our description, no, I didn’t, and no I haven’t. You are confusing existence with creation, which is why I feel part of this would be an evolution/creationism debate. It would more accurately chart the progress of intelligence, assuming in you also believe the creation story as written. As I look at the various blog postings you have, it occurs to me you seem to be a young earth creationist as well. Is that accurate, based on current labels?
                    As I mentioned before, the argument that ‘if God cannot contradict His nature and be both God and not God at the same time and in the same way, then He therefore cannot be truly God’ is the equivalent of arguing that ‘if water cannot be both wet and not wet at the same time and in the same way, then it therefore cannot be water’.

                    ##Water is not omnipotent. God, as you state, is.

                    Recently, you stated this: “I am arguing that they could LOGICALLY be the source as you have defined the source as needing to be, which is why the entity you advocate for is thereby no different than any other, including being an invention.”
                    The difference between our positions is that I have demonstrated how the God of the Bible can and does account for objective abstract, universal, invariant concepts and laws that exist in reality (and which we both believe in and are utilizing to even hold this very discussion). However, you have not shown how any ‘made-up’ deity/entity can or does. Nor have you addressed the contradictions of the very claim itself. Namely:
                    1) How do made up entities provide us with real abstract, invariant, universal truths, since those characteristics do not comport with one another in the least?
                    ##Because I can ascribe to them “omnipotence” with no justification for doing so, much as you have done with your entity.
                    2) How was it possible for logic, knowledge, truth, etc. to exist prior to your inventing the made-up entity if that entity is the source of those things?
                    ##That is part of the “omnipotence”. My revealing and understanding of them as limited as it may be does not limit them to what I reveal to you, they are eternal, timeless, with out beginning or end. I can grant to them any attribute you might need to satisfy a question, and need nothing more than a few individuals to write down that they agree (and in some testimony, not even directly, or can even be at odds with) to me to make that assertion “Real”. That is the benchmark you have so far provided assuming you refer to “the Bible” as the origin.
                    3) How could a made-up (subjective) deity provide us with a rational basis for objective truth (since the characteristics are contradictory to one another)?
                    ##See previous. “Omnipotence” is a rather potent ability, if you pardon the word play.
                    4) You could not argue that the deity in question is THE source for objective truth, since you have already conceded that the Christian God is a logically possible avenue for certainty/truth.
                    ##In what way does “logical possibility” mean anything when you have so far dictated what qualities such an entity must contain? Thus far, I have agreed with your premises of what an entity with omnipotence could do to its conclusion. That doesn’t infer that such an entity exists in practicality. Your model, as you describe it, is possible. There are no contradictions. Granted, the premises are incredible, however accepting those premises to get to a conclusion demonstrates nothing. I can create nonsense words, and nonsense meanings to those words, and form them into premise and conclusion that logically follow. Would you like me to demonstrate that?

                    (some of our convo I edited out, as I didn’t think it was relevant due to spacing and topic. If that is not the case, please, reinstate. Would you prefer, we can probably DropBox a dialogue with no worries of spacing, and make use of OS word processing. “expirebox” is a great utility for such. From my perspective, it looks shorter, and I am also addressing that which shouldn’t be left hanging)

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                    • scmike2 says:

                      Hey Roo! Thank you for the recommendations with regards to the word count and the alternate means available for holding our discussion. However, I don’t think that will be necessary, as you and I should be able wrap this up somewhat succinctly given the results of our most recent exchange:

                      I said:“”You have conceded that, as a Christian, I have a logically possible avenue to account for certainty in that the God of the Bible (Who knows everything could reveal things to human beings so that we can know for certain that they are true).””

                      You responded: This is true,

                      Thank you again for your honesty with regards to your concession here! Just to clarify, this means that we both agree that the God of the Bible (which is the only one I am arguing for here) provides a logically possible avenue for our ability to know things with certainty (via His Divine Revelation). On the other hand, it has been shown that atheism does not and cannot provide us with a rational foundation for knowledge or even the basic reliability of our senses and reasoning (unless you really do want to adopt the position that it is perfectly acceptable to use viciously circular arguments as logical proofs to support our claims—I don’t recommend it, though). Indeed, this is a very important point to remember as we examine the exchange further.

                      You went on to say: “but by default, I have also conceded that of all entities that (directly or indirectly as you mentioned) could use that as their justification as well.”

                      However, there are several problems with this that render it an irrational (and false) argument. Namely:

                      1) It commits the fallacy of ‘hasty generalization’ since it does not necessarily follow that, just because the basis of one theistic worldview is logically possible, then all others are too (since there could be (are) other factors that would render the others illogical and, subsequently, impossible). You simply don’t have enough information to make such a sweeping generalization.

                      The claim you’ve posited is also a fallacious ‘irrelevant thesis’, since you haven’t really presented any logically defensible proof that any other entity, apart from the Christian God, exists and could provide us with rational justification for our ability to know things for certain (nor is anyone here arguing that they can, except you, which baffles me as to why you would think conceding to your own argument would be a meaningful or rational thing to do. Mental hiccup, maybe?). Sure, you’ve asserted that they can, but you haven’t even begun to provide a rational defense for that claim (in fact, quite the opposite; please keep reading).

                      2) You have effectively been reduced to absurdity when asked to account for the certainty of knowledge (and other preconditions of intelligibility) within your professed non-theistic worldview, which renders it an irrational (and false) one. Yet, you maintain that theism in general can and does provide a logical basis for our knowing things with certainty, etc. As such, you have indeed abandoned atheism in the process of attempting to defend it—I congratulate you for that! Progress! : )

                      However, the ‘generic theism’ argument will not save the day here, as you have claimed that any ‘omnipotent’ being must, therefore, be able to contradict themselves (i.e. lie) and even do the logically impossible as part of the scope of their omnipotence—(even though you have not (and cannot) justify that assumption regarding those characteristics being a necessary requirement of omnipotence, for numerous reasons; the least of which being that you could never experience or observe the universal scope and nature of omnipotence). Yet, you have not ever shown logically how a deity which has the ability to deceive us also then provides us with any rational basis whatsoever for our ability to know things with certainty (especially since these characteristics are mutually exclusive (contradictory) to one another and, therefore, renders the proposition false).

                      3) You HAVE conceded that the God of the Bible (again, the only one I am (and have been) arguing for here) could reveal some things to us such that we can be certain of their truth. It therefore follows that He could (and does) reveal to us some things about His omnipotent and omniscient nature such that we can know with genuine certainty that He is not deceiving us and that the scope of omnipotence does not include the ability to contradict Himself, lie, or to do the logically impossible (since logic is an aspect of His self-consistent character and nature). As such, we can be guaranteed that each of those things is absolutely true and cannot be false. This provides me with a rational basis for knowing that your belief and assertions about the nature of ‘omnipotence’ (and the things it encompasses) are false, and, therefore, substantiates the claim that Biblical Christianity (specifically) is the ONLY true worldview, by the impossibility of the contrary (since the contrary (positions like atheism and ‘generic theism’, for instance) cannot be rationally defended and ends in absurdity/falsehood).

                      4) In order to compete with the Christian claim, there would have to exist a known, competing objectively verifiable source of revelation that is internally consistent, makes sense of abstract, universal, invariants, comports with reality, is scientifically, prophetically, and historically accurate, and of course, which provides a basis for the certainty of knowledge. Yes, I know that you have previously voiced some complaints against my claim that the Bible meets (and exceeds) each of these criteria, however, it is now known that you were doing so from a demonstrably false position. This, of course makes those complaints without any merit or foundation since they have no grounding in knowledge, truth, or logic. They, therefore, would warrant no refutation since such assertions carry no academic value or purpose in rational discourse.

                      I think that should just about do it. Since the foundation from which you made your remaining knowledge claims has been revealed here to be an irrational one— consequently, those knowledge claims which you put forth to support that position are also rendered irrational and reduced to arbitrary conjecture/opinions on your part. As of now, you are (and always have been) attempting to use logic, truth, knowledge and your God-given reasoning to argue against the only logically possible Source for knowledge, truth, logic, and the reliability of human senses and reasoning that exists—-the God of the Bible. Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that doing so is woefully self-refuting and irrational in the highest degree. I definitely recommend repentance on your part, Roo. As I’ve previously stated, Jesus Christ stands ready to forgive all who call upon Him (John 3: 15-16, Romans 10:13)—that includes you. If nothing else, it has been made abundantly clear that there is no rational reason for your rejection of this Truth.

                      Thank you again for your time and the cordial tone of your comments throughout this discourse—it is very refreshing. Feel free to respond to this post, however, in the interest of intellectual honesty and as a token of good faith, I must request that any forthcoming post(s) from you should first acknowledge the irrationality of both the atheist worldview and also that of the ‘generic theism’ position you have proposed here, as the result of their having been effectively reduced to absurdity and, therefore, soundly refuted. With respect, anything less than that would constitute a decline into further irrationality on your part and would be, quite frankly, an exercise in dishonesty. I trust I needn’t be concerned about any of that, though, as I fully expect you to do the honorable thing here (as the sure sign of a rational individual is a deep desire to embrace truth and to reject that which is demonstrably false).

                      P.S. By the way, I now remember where I have previously seen many of the arguments you are using: Believe it or not, there was an atheist on the debate.org site, of all places, named Faustian who had just recently put forth many of the same claims that you have made (regarding our ability to learn, etc.) as support for his non-Christian worldview. I wouldn’t engage him when he brought them up, though, since he had admitted previously that he couldn’t know anything for certain, but then continued to contradict himself by making knowledge claims (déjà vu’?). Man, what a coincidence, that you would show up with many of those same arguments on this blog post of mine which contains the link to the very discussion in which he first made those devastating admissions regarding HIS position! Too bad he isn’t here to see the end result of the arguments that he erroneously believed would help salvage his position……might’ve done him some good. Oh well. 😉

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                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      Regarding “Faustian”, that is where I am coming from, it was a good question. If man can learn, indeed, a lot of what you are asking is moot. In coming through other aspects, there were members of other faiths, another prong of my argument, which is why I mention them, that weren’t really commented on, and one or two out of hand dismissals. You have a variety of links that point to a variety of places, and many of your opponents are answering your immediate questions, but you simply redirect back to this point:

                      ” That is, since you have claimed that you only know things via learning them (through experience), then on what grounds do you assume that any definition you put forth holds universally true (in all places and at all times), since you could never experience the entire universe to learn that? If you don’t know that the definitions hold true everywhere and at all times, then you are forced to admit that you only believe they do (on blind faith) and that there are possible times and places in which they do not hold true.”

                      Agnophyl (spelling?) was another individual that clearly knew his academics, but you routinely moved to the philosophy of the situation, despite asking direct scientific questions.

                      A definition need not hold true at all times, if it is still aptly describing the current scenario. Should it fall outside that scenario, its quite possible that some other definition more appropriately describes it. Water to ice to vapor is the most immediate example I can think of, at its most basic, its all the same thing, and if it wasn’t that thing, it would be something else, needing or fitting another definition.

                      In any case, if experiencing all of creation is required to “know” something, your argument becomes self defeating as well, as you haven’t done the same, and cannot know for certain if the entity in question in your logical model is indeed lying to you. It says it won’t, of course, but without experiencing all of creation, or knowing for certain at all places and times, you are taking something you cannot be sure of it lying or not (even though the Biblical evidence shows it can change its mind, and may distribute a diluting influence of which you may be the subject of) on faith, too. How is one position more rational that another in such a circumstance?

                      Were I to discredit you by stating you are wrong because you are following the advice of an entity that is shown to cast chaos and dispersion, how intellectually honest would I be? Secondly, were that person then to continue to follow that entity’s advice, and call ME irrational, how can the subject of such advice know, for certain, they they are not the subject of such chaos or dilution?

                      “but why can’t ‘relying upon one’s conclusions to support their premises’ be a valid means of arriving at truth in YOUR worldview? ” — because it can be used to prove anything. Hence, why I mention a variety of other pantheons. They, too, should be given the ability to have elements of their character described after the fact, and they, too, are making use of the same logical rationale for their ability. Your entity in question, however, is exempt from that scrutiny. Why?

                      “Regarding omnipotence, you continue to state that an omnipotent being can ‘do anything it wants’, however, you ignored the irrational consequences of this line of reasoning.” — that is correct. Omnipotence is an irrational concept, it stands to reason that it can perform irrational things. Omnipotence defies understanding. If an omnipotent entity can conjure the entire universe from nothing, it has already don’t something irrational from the onset. One more tiny thing to confuse our simply mortal minds hardly would seem like a challenge. It created suns with no effort.

                      Regarding the questions about my invented deities, or those currently worshiped, you asked how it can do something, and I answered “it/they have omnipotence”. I feel as though that should answer anything regarding how they did something, it is within the ability of something “all powerful”.

                      ” Then I can just posit that God exists and the Bible is true because God exists and the Bible is true as my justification, and it would necessarily be true by that standard and you lose any grounds for arguing against it.”

                      I mean this in the most cordial tone: that is what you are doing anyways, and is not similar to why my premise was.

                      Intelligent beings have senses
                      Intelligent beings can learn.
                      Intelligent beings can learn from their senses.

                      What part of that is circular? Each of those premises is something we agree on, and the conclusion is not required to be true for the premises to work.

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                    • scmike2 says:

                      Roo,

                      You said: Regarding “Faustian”, that is where I am coming from, it was a good question.

                      Correction: it would only have been a ‘good’ question, if he had not already conceded that he professes a worldview in which he can’t know anything for certain (which is self-refuting and absurd, by the way). ‘Learning’ alludes to knowledge, which implies truth (both of which are certain by definition). Stating that one can’t be certain about anything and then arguing as if one can be certain about things, is self-contradictory and not worthy of a rational rebuttal. By the way, I did give him ample opportunity to abandon his stance on this, but, unfortunately (and not surprisingly, really) he refused to do so.

                      You said: If man can learn, indeed, a lot of what you are asking is moot.

                      Your ‘if’ is the problem, though. The concept of ‘learning’ makes sense within the Christian worldview (as you have conceded) since there is a rational basis for the ability of human beings to know things with certainty (which is what learning alludes to) via both direct and indirect revelation from One Who knows everything. However, as you have demonstrated previously, the concept of knowledge cannot be rationally accounted for otherwise, as you are reduced to arguing the equivalent of ‘I can know things for certain because I can know things for certain’, which simplified further is reduced to ‘I know because I know’. Now, I know you’re a nice person and all, but there is no way you would ever let me get by with positing arguments like that (i.e. ‘God exists because He exists’, ‘I know God exists because I know God exists’—which are not my arguments, by the way) and rightfully so, as they are viciously circular and irrational.

                      Because you have no rational basis for knowing things with certainty in your worldview, this gives you no foundation whatsoever upon which to rest any of your knowledge claims (such as those about the reliability of your senses and reasoning, what omnipotence means, or that you even have the ability to learn anything in the first place, for instance), and reduces your position to one of blind faith (which is really a form of superstition when you get right down to it).

                      You said: In coming through other aspects, there were members of other faiths, another prong of my argument, which is why I mention them, that weren’t really commented on, and one or two out of hand dismissals. You have a variety of links that point to a variety of places, and many of your opponents are answering your immediate questions, but you simply redirect back to this point:

                      “That is, since you have claimed that you only know things via learning them (through experience), then on what grounds do you assume that any definition you put forth holds universally true (in all places and at all times), since you could never experience the entire universe to learn that? If you don’t know that the definitions hold true everywhere and at all times, then you are forced to admit that you only believe they do (on blind faith) and that there are possible times and places in which they do not hold true.”

                      That is correct. The question is simply a means of exposing the absurdity of those who argue against the possibility of universal truth (i.e. certainty), and then try to live and argue as if they do know things to be universally true. Think about the self-refuting nature of one claiming that ALL knowledge must be gained by learning via experience and observation, for instance (sound familiar?). The very claim itself cannot be true, since the one making it clearly has not observed or experienced ALL knowledge. It therefore follows, that, since they could not (and have not) done so, then they don’t really know it, but are simply making an unjustified (and unjustifiable) faith-based claim. This places their position in the realm of subjective opinion/arbitrary conjecture–neither of which carry any academic merit as a logical proof.

                      You said: Agnophyl (spelling?) was another individual that clearly knew his academics, but you routinely moved to the philosophy of the situation, despite asking direct scientific questions.

                      Agnophilo was a very bright individual who ‘claimed’ to know a lot of things. Unfortunately he espoused an atheistic/evolutionary worldview which does not allow for the existence of knowledge. In other words, if the position he was arguing for was true, then it would necessarily have to be false, since he could not possibly arrive at truth in a worldview that does not allow for it. This is why he was ultimately reduced to absurdity and had to abandon his naturalistic view in order to defend it (positing (without any objective support) that Allah had given him recent revelations of things, etc., if memory serves).

                      Besides, surely it is appropriate to challenge the knowledge claims of those who wish to use them as arguments to support their positions, in order to find out HOW they know the things they claim to be true, (especially since that’s what rational argumentation is in the first place), no? Simply accepting something as true with no good reason for doing so is the very definition of irrationality, after all.

                      You said: A definition need not hold true at all times, if it is still aptly describing the current scenario.

                      One must ultimately ask you, though, if that statement (claim) about definitions holds true at all times and in all places? If you are claiming that it does, then how could you possibly know that absent possessing universal knowledge or having revelation from One who does? If it does not hold true in all places and at all times, then it follows that there are times and places where it is not true. I would then follow up by asking what your basis is for assuming that right here and right now is not one of those times and places? If you are honest, you would then have to admit that you have no basis for assuming that at all, apart from blind faith. Again, this all goes back to the fact that you are attempting to reason and function in God’s universe while at the same time embracing a worldview which rejects Him. The end result of this is always absurdity (on this side) and eternal damnation (on the next). Not very wise at all.

                      You said: Should it fall outside that scenario, its quite possible that some other definition more appropriately describes it. Water to ice to vapor is the most immediate example I can think of, at its most basic, its all the same thing, and if it wasn’t that thing, it would be something else, needing or fitting another definition.

                      Same questions as above regarding this knowledge claim.

                      You said: “In any case, if experiencing all of creation is required to “know” something,”

                      It isn’t if one holds to the Christian worldview in which Divine Revelation is truly a possibility. We have both agreed that it is, remember?

                      You said: “your argument becomes self defeating as well, as you haven’t done the same, and cannot know for certain if the entity in question in your logical model is indeed lying to you.”

                      This is where I would normally challenge such a claim to see what the basis for it is. If you hadn’t already exposed to me that your position is irrational and based upon viciously circular arguments, I would have asked: are you certain of this? And then: If so, how? However, based upon our prior discourse, I know that you are not certain of it and that it is simply an unjustified assertion on your part. Hopefully you’re following the logic here?

                      You stated: “It says it won’t, of course, but without experiencing all of creation, or knowing for certain at all places and times, you are taking something you cannot be sure of it lying or not”

                      Um, not if ‘He’ has revealed that ‘He’ is not lying to us such that we can absolutely certain that ‘He’ is telling the truth (which ‘He’ has and is). You have already conceded that it is possible for God to do so, much earlier in the discussion, and are now behaving inconsistently with that prior admission with regards to this. That type of behavioral inconsistency is unbecoming for you and does not bode well at all for your position.

                      You said: (even though the Biblical evidence shows it can change its mind, and may distribute a diluting influence of which you may be the subject of) on faith, too.”

                      Actually, I typically don’t do Bible exegesis with those who deny the Authority of Scripture, given that they tend to misrepresent both the meaning and the intent of the text due to their presuppositional bias that the Bible is not what it claims to be. This is a very good example of that (i.e attempting to ‘force’ a particular erroneous meaning upon certain texts in Scripture where clearly they do not belong).

                      You see, that’s the real issue here. You and I have the same evidence to examine (such as the Bible, for instance), yet we arrive at two totally opposing conclusions about it. Why is that? It’s because we have two totally different starting points (presuppositions) that form the basis of our respective worldviews (mine being that God exists and that the Bible is His inspired Word and yours being that God does not exist and the Bible is not what it claims to be). The question then becomes: which of our positions is rationally defensible and provides us with a logically sound, internally consistent (non-contradictory) basis for the necessary preconditons of intelligibility within our worldview. The answer to that question should be obvious by now, Roo, but in case it isn’t—-the answer is that the ONLY the Christian worldview does so by the impossibility of the contrary. That is, it is only because the Bible is true that we have any foundation whatsoever for logic, truth, knowledge the basic reliability of our senses and reasoning, or for any other preconditions necessary for making sense of anything. That is why no non-Christian worldview is able to account for or rationally defend the existence of any of those things, as we have seen.

                      You said: How is one position more rational that another in such a circumstance?

                      Because one is false (as it is internally inconsistent) while the other is true (and logically sound). I trust I don’t have to point out which is which at this point?

                      You said: “Were I to discredit you by stating you are wrong because you are following the advice of an entity that is shown to cast chaos and dispersion, how intellectually honest would I be?”

                      Well, since what you have described is not possible, I would say ‘not very intellectually honest at all’ (especially since you are now (and have been) in the very unenviable position of both affirming and denying the existence of your Creator—the God of the Bible—at the same time, via even attempting to put forth any argument against Him). Again, not very wise.

                      You said: “Secondly, were that person then to continue to follow that entity’s advice, and call ME irrational, how can the subject of such advice know, for certain, they they are not the subject of such chaos or dilution?”

                      By the impossibility of the contrary. Your very question would be meaningless, otherwise. Besides, you have already conceded the possibility that the Christian God could reveal to us that we are not the subjects of chaos or dilution such that we can be certain that it is true. You seem to be waffling on this point here in an attempt to keep from acknowledging what you simply don’t want to admit. Again, I urge you to do the rational thing and not continue rejecting the truth simply because you happen not to like it.

                      You said: “but why can’t ‘relying upon one’s conclusions to support their premises’ be a valid means of arriving at truth in YOUR worldview? ” — because it can be used to prove anything.

                      Since you’ve already shown that you have no basis for claiming this to be true in your worldview, I would normally dismiss it off the cuff as just another unsubstantiated (blind faith) claim. However, I would like to help you honestly think through these issues. Therefore, my response to your claim, for such purposes, is: Why not? What absolutely forbids this according to your worldview and how do you know for certain that it necessarily applies at all places and times?

                      Again, you’ve never told how you account for any immaterial, universal, objective standard of logic, by which people SHOULD conduct their thinking and reasoning, in your worldview. Hopefully you can now see that when you appeal to such concepts, you are ‘borrowing’ them from the Christian worldview since they cannot be coherently accounted for otherwise (after all, what is a universal law in an **allegedly** constantly changing, materialistic universe formed via the mindless processes of time and chance?). As I have stated in the past, borrowing concepts from the Christian worldview–which cannot possibly exist in your own—in order to argue against it, is woefully self-refuting and irrational in the highest degree. You’re better than that.

                      You said: “Hence, why I mention a variety of other pantheons. They, too, should be given the ability to have elements of their character described after the fact,”

                      Why SHOULD they be given this and says who?

                      You alleged: “and they, too, are making use of the same logical rationale for their ability.
                      Your entity in question, however, is exempt from that scrutiny. Why?

                      Tell me which one you believe in as a true logical foundation for knowledge, etc. and provide your OBJECTIVE proof to support the claim—I will then be happy to show you why. Otherwise, I am forced to conclude that you are again only seeking to divert attention away from your own position and its logical deficiencies. After all, why else would you continue to abandon your own position by asserting the validity of unargued for positions that contradict it and which neither of us even believe to be true in the first place? This is very inconsistent and also devastating to your position, Roo.

                      I said: “Regarding omnipotence, you continue to state that an omnipotent being can ‘do anything it wants’, however, you ignored the irrational consequences of this line of reasoning.”

                      You replied: that is correct. Omnipotence is an irrational concept, it stands to reason that it can perform irrational things.

                      If I thought you had a logical foundation for this belief, I would simply ask you how you know that your statement about omnipotence is true and we would see (yet again) that you don’t, you only BELIEVE (on blind faith) that it is—huuuuuge difference. With due respect, Roo, what is that unjustified assertion (i.e. opinion) to me?

                      You said: Omnipotence defies understanding. If an omnipotent entity can conjure the entire universe from nothing, it has already don’t something irrational from the onset.

                      Why? Because you say so? Just for the sake of helping you better see the illogical nature of what you are doing here, I will ask you to answer these next two questions about your claim as an exercise that may prove beneficial for that purpose. The questions are: What is your basis for this belief and what is the objective, absolute standard of logic by which this would be irrational?

                      You said: Regarding the questions about my invented deities, or those currently worshiped, you asked how it can do something, and I answered “it/they have omnipotence”. I feel as though that should answer anything regarding how they did something, it is within the ability of something “all powerful”.

                      However, this once again leads to consequences that you will not want to accept. In addition to the other reasons I gave you for why omnipotence as you are defining it is not possible and false, here is yet another:

                      If your definition of ‘omnipotence’ includes the ability of a deity to contradict itself, then it follows that the deity could be both ‘omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) and also ‘not omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) at the same time and in the same way. Since the definition of omnipotence that I have put forth equates to ‘not-omnipotence’ by your standards, that means that it is, in fact, perfectly valid as a description of one of the (contradictory) natures of that proposed deity. However, you are arguing (without basis) as if my definition is not at all valid (true) and that yours is. If you truly believed what you say you do, you would have argued that both definitions (which are mutually exclusive opposites of one another) are true at the same time and in the same way (which, of course, is absurd). Once again, if your claim regarding ‘omnipotence’ (as you have defined it) were true, it would also necessarily be false, therefore, it is false.

                      I previously said: “”Then I can just posit that God exists and the Bible is true because God exists and the Bible is true as my justification, and it would necessarily be true by that standard and you lose any grounds for arguing against it.””

                      You responded: “I mean this in the most cordial tone: that is what you are doing anyways, and is not similar to why my premise was.”

                      You cordial tone is duly noted and much appreciated! I disagree with your allegation, however, and my simple challenges to help you see the problems with your claim would be: How do you know for certain that this is what I’m doing and why SHOULD it absolutely not be done according to your worldview?

                      You concluded with: Intelligent beings have senses
                      Intelligent beings can learn.
                      Intelligent beings can learn from their senses.

                      What part of that is circular? Each of those premises is something we agree on, and the conclusion is not required to be true for the premises to work.

                      Actually, they are not a problem at all in the Christian worldview, since there is a rational basis to believe that those propositions are true and logical. For your worldview, however, the problems with your claims are manifold:

                      1) The statements themselves are based upon the assumption that your senses, reasoning, and memory are valid such that your conclusions are reliable and true (unless, of course, you don’t assume that your conclusions here are true, in which case, they require no refutation by anyone else). You have shown that you have no logically defensible basis for such an assumption.

                      2) Any logical proof assumes the existence of universal, immaterial, unchanging laws of logic and reasoning. Something that you have no foundation for in your worldview.

                      3) At it’s core, the basis (or really, the lack thereof) for each of these assertions is irrational, since you cannot provide any sound justification how you know them to be true (including that the definition of ‘intelligence’ holds true and applies universally in all times and places such that you have a basis for applying it here and now). For instance, if I asked you how you know for certain that ALL intelligent beings have senses, how would you respond? I suspect it would be something along the lines of ‘I know it because I have learned it’, to which my response would be to ask you where you have experienced the full, universal nature of intelligence (as an abstract concept) or observed ALL human beings such that you could have learned those things by observation and experience. Of course, you will not be able to justify such claims outside of possessing omniscience or having revelation from One who does, which makes the claims both viciously circular and unprovable.

                      At this point, Roo, you really have nowhere else to go with this, however, I cannot force you to surrender your irrational position in exchange for the truth. I can only expose the irrationality of what you are professing to believe about God and the Bible and hope that you will come to your senses and submit to the Truth—which is where the absurdity ends and true wisdom and knowledge begin, since the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of both (Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10). Please understand that the responses here are for your benefit, consideration, and clarification. They are not to be taken as an indication that the topic at hand is still being argued, as that ended with the prior refutations of your professed positions (that you disappointingly refused to acknowledge per my request. I forgive you, though!) and the concessions you made regarding the Christian position. Take care!

                      Like

                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      It you refuse to open up the evidence to your claims for accurate criticism, then “Actually, I typically don’t do Bible exegesis with those who deny the Authority of Scripture,” is a horrible stance to take. Your sole compendium of evidence is something to you are basing your arguments from. Since you prefer not to discuss the Bible, there is no foundation for your argument at all.

                      “as you have demonstrated previously, the concept of knowledge cannot be rationally accounted for otherwise, as you are reduced to arguing the equivalent of ‘I can know things for certain because I can know things for certain’, “— that is inherent as to what that statement means. If an intelligent being can learn, you now have accounting of where such knowledge came from. The concept of learning makes sense in the Christian world view doesn’t mean it becomes the sole domain of said world view, such is not neccessary if an intelligent being can learn, which has already been something we agreed on.

                      “That is correct… logical proof”.

                      This should also apply to your world view, divinely revealed knowledge or not.

                      “Because you have no rational basis for knowing things with certainty in your worldview, this gives you no foundation whatsoever upon which to rest any of your knowledge claims ”

                      This is of course your opinion. Not knowing specifically the chemistry behind a primer and bullet makes does not exclude one from being a marksman. More to the point: it has been accounted for. You are just immediately usurping “learning” into Christendom after realizing the implications. God was not necessary in the conditions of learning.

                      Re Agno, he answered your questions, sir. You changed the scope because you didn’t like the answers. If you want to have an evolutionary debate, then the evidence should be about fossil records, current developments, carbon dating, and other such empirical evidence. Asking how do you know that (“He learned”) is leaving the scope of the conversation into something else, specifically philosophy.

                      “Besides, surely it is appropriate to challenge the knowledge claims of those who wish to use them as arguments to support their positions, in order to find out HOW they know the things they claim to be true”

                      But not the Bible.See why its a horrible tack?

                      “It isn’t if one holds to the Christian worldview in which Divine Revelation is truly a possibility. We have both agreed that it is, remember?” — In a logic application for something with omnipotence, sure. However such a thing actually having omnipotence was up to you to demonstrate, and the existence of such an entity in the first place was never agreed upon. You simply asked if X had omnipotence, could it do something. The immediate reply was ANYTHING that has omnipotence could do that, which in retrospect I needed to be more clear on to elaborate that.

                      “You said: “Hence, why I mention a variety of other pantheons. They, too, should be given the ability to have elements of their character described after the fact,”

                      Why SHOULD they be given this and says who?”

                      You, because its what your doing with the God of the thing I am not allowed to critique, but you draw your evidence from.

                      “After all, why else would you continue to abandon your own position by asserting the validity of unargued for positions that contradict it and which neither of us even believe to be true in the first place? ”

                      To demonstrate how easily is to self validate with nonexistant entities. Simply invent more traits as needed, reinterpret scripture as needed, when it would be far far far easier to simply demonstrate the entity in question. When you ask a person to show you something, interpretive philosophical questions aren’t demonstrating what is asked, and it seems as though that is all you have right now, since I can’t even bring up the Tome you are arguing from as demonstration that your evidence is flawed.

                      “You said: Omnipotence defies understanding. If an omnipotent entity can conjure the entire universe from nothing, it has already don’t something irrational from the onset.

                      Why? Because you say so?”

                      The only reason that question would need to be asked is if you feel its rational for anything to be able to conjure matter or energy from void beyond omnipotence. I am sure such is not the case.

                      ” What is your basis for this belief and what is the objective, absolute standard of logic by which this would be irrational?” — in the process of learning, my senses have never witnessed such a conjuration. I have never seen an entity that could boast such a claim and follow through. I have never seen such a thing done with or without the presence of such entity. In asking around on such cases, people have seen fantastic and impressive things, but their experience is much the same as mine. In going back through written record, there hasn’t been an entity that could do such a thing until mythology is touched upon, or works of fiction. Since the Bible is not something I am allowed to envoke, because it might “force” something, can you, outside the Bible and works of fiction tell me of an entity that made manifest energy or matter from void?

                      “If your definition of ‘omnipotence’ includes the ability of a deity to contradict itself, then it follows that the deity could be both ‘omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) and also ‘not omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) at the same time and in the same way.”

                      Sure it could. It just creates another reality in which it is not God, or there is a shared omnipotent entity with it. Or it shares a conscious with something that is not God. Or it does something we both cannot understand, which is not an unreasonable prospect, unless you can tell me how God conjured the universe from void without relying upon the characteristics you give him (omnipotence).

                      Points 1-3:
                      1) I can only grant you memory in that list, since senses were agreed upon to exist, and reasoning is a product of learning. I would include “memory” as what makes for an intelligent being, however if that is a new standard, so be it, we can further elaborate.
                      2)Product of man’s creativity. I thought I made this clear. An intelligent creature used its sense and learned from its surroundings to apply methods of thought.
                      3) You are now using creativity to argue a point rather than evidence. What intelligent beings have you experienced that do not have senses? I am happy to entertain challenges that have grounding. Wild conjecture is not that.

                      All that being stated: you never demonstrated circularity. When asked what was circular, you have stated I included more in the premises than assumed, however through #2 of my reply, that should further show my conclusion, and the subsequent ramifications, are not at all depending upon the conclusion to be upheld for their existence.

                      “Please understand that the responses here are for your benefit, consideration, and clarification. ”

                      Likewise.

                      Like

                    • scmike2 says:

                      Roo,

                      Normally in these types of scenarios, I stop entertaining knowledge claims from the individual once it is exposed that they have zero foundation for knowing anything in their worldview (a la Faustian). However, in this case, I think it beneficial to help guide you in honestly thinking through these issues via further illustrating the errors you are making here. Please keep in mind, that the argument ended when you revealed that the basis of your position(s) was an irrational one. Please refer back to our prior comments where I pointed out the fallacies you have committed here. I would welcome your honest acknowledgement of those errors as a token that you are arguing in good faith, both for my benefit, and for those intellectually honest readers who may read this exchange in the future.

                      Now, regarding your comments:

                      “It you refuse to open up the evidence to your claims for accurate criticism, then “Actually, I typically don’t do Bible exegesis with those who deny the Authority of Scripture,” is a horrible stance to take.”

                      Actually, I’ve just found via experience that it is a colossal waste of time to accept Biblical exegesis/ textual criticism from those who cannot account for the validity of the senses, reasoning, and objective logical standard that they employ to perform any textual analysis in the first place (as they are borrowing concepts that can only be justified via the truth of the Bible in order to argue against the truth of the Bible. Again woefully self-refuting and highly irrational arguments do not necessitate a rational response).

                      In addition, one would ultimately have to ask you to logically justify your assertion that this is a ‘horrible stance to take’. What OBJECTIVE, binding logical standard is that based upon? How do you account for that standard? Why does it necessarily apply to anyone (like me for instance)? If this is just your opinion, please state it as such and withdraw the claim.

                      I said: “as you have demonstrated previously, the concept of knowledge cannot be rationally accounted for otherwise, as you are reduced to arguing the equivalent of ‘I can know things for certain because I can know things for certain’,”

                      You responded: “that is inherent as to what that statement means.”

                      And if I asked you how you know THAT (or anything else) for certain, your argument (in its simplest form) would be again reduced to ‘I know because I know’, which is no argument at all. No offence, Roo, but the fact that you can’t/won’t acknowledge that fact is mind boggling to me. Remember, it is the Biblical position that those who deny the God of the Bible do so as a means of suppressing the truth that has been revealed to them about His existence (Romans 1:18-22). Clinging to an irrational position simply to avoid acknowledging that which you do not wish to acknowledge is the very epitome of ‘suppressing the truth’ (the extreme opposite of rational behavior).

                      “If an intelligent being can learn, you now have accounting of where such knowledge came from. The concept of learning makes sense in the Christian world view doesn’t mean it becomes the sole domain of said world view, such is not neccessary if an intelligent being can learn, which has already been something we agreed on.”

                      Two things for your benefit:

                      1) Please reread my prior challenge to this claim, as the record is clear that I never agreed that YOUR worldview can account for either intelligence or learning (given the irrational justifications you attempted to posit to support the existence of those concepts in your worldview).

                      2) Since the justification(s) you’ve posited to support your knowledge claim(s) here is/are absurd (e.g. ‘I know because I know’) each of these claims is reduced to specious arbitrary conjecture, based upon no logical rationale whatsoever. I am pleased with that outcome, even if you arbitrarily refuse to acknowledge it.

                      “This should also apply to your world view, divinely revealed knowledge or not.”

                      Why SHOULD it apply? What is the objective, binding standard by which anyone SHOULD do anything with regards to their behavior, thinking, and reasoning according to your worldview? Again, if this is ultimately just your opinion, please clarify it as such and retract the claim from this discussion.

                      I said: “Because you have no rational basis for knowing things with certainty in your worldview, this gives you no foundation whatsoever upon which to rest any of your knowledge claims ”

                      You responded: “This is of course your opinion.”

                      Thank you for THAT opinion, Roo (I’m sure I can find a place for it with all the rest). 😉

                      The saving grace here, however, is that there now exists an objective record of our discussion here which can be examined by any intellectually honest reader to see which of us has provided a rational basis for the things we claim to know and which of us has not. That is one of the primary benefits of public forums, such as this, that I am most grateful for, since not all who engage in these types of discussions ***ahem*** are interested in finding the truth, but would simply wish to argue against a position that they happen not to like, with no regard for remaining rational in their argumentation (and with no desire to acknowledge the errors in their reasoning when pointed out to them).

                      “Not knowing specifically the chemistry behind a primer and bullet makes does not exclude one from being a marksman. More to the point: it has been accounted for.”

                      However, espousing a worldview which does not allow for the existence of ‘primers’ and ‘bullets’ (or firearms in general for that, matter) while at the same time utilizing them, would be highly irrational, wouldn’t you say? Surely it would then be appropriate to ask such a person how they explain the gun they are using if they profess a position which does not allow for the possibility of guns, no? That is the equivalent of what you are doing here, Roo. Now, imagine what you would think of one who behaved in such a way, and you will better understand my thoughts about your behavior right now.

                      “You are just immediately usurping “learning” into Christendom after realizing the implications. God was not necessary in the conditions of learning.”

                      Too late, Roo. Not only have you already demonstrated that your basis for that claim is an irrational one (which makes it false to begin with), you have conceded that the God of the Bible does account for our ability to know things with certainty. In summary, of the two respective positions represented here, only one has been found to provide a rationally defensible basis for the certainty of knowledge (or any of the other preconditions of intelligibility) as this record (including your concessions that Christianity can (and does) so) shows. I can live with that.

                      “Re Agno, he answered your questions, sir. You changed the scope because you didn’t like the answers.”

                      Again, the fact that one does not like having the basis of their knowledge claims challenged does not mean that it should not be. In fact, the very nature of rational discourse demands it! Besides, that’s really what the debate is ultimately about—the validity of our respective worldviews and whether they are true. We can present ‘evidence’ to support our respective positions all day long, but the problem is we all interpret the evidence presented to us via the respective presuppositions that form the basis of our worldview, therefore, in order to get anywhere in the discussion, an internal critique of our worldviews is necessary to see how and if it is internally consistent (comports with) with those presuppositions. In Agno’s case, he simply could not justify the (blind faith) claims he was making in his evolutionary worldview—many of which he admitted came from ‘off the tope of his head’, which reduced his position to absurdity. Can I help it if he chose to argue the absurd? What you should be more concerned about is his (and your) refusal to abandon such positions when they are shown to be demonstrably false. That is very troubling to me, at least.

                      “If you want to have an evolutionary debate, then the evidence should be about fossil records, current developments, carbon dating, and other such empirical evidence.”

                      Perhaps this well help you see the problem with that position: Why, from a strictly atheistic/evolutionary worldview, SHOULD that be the case? What objective, universal standard necessarily dictates this and why is one not free to deviate from that standard if they so desire?

                      You see, the most evolution could ever produce is that which ‘IS’. I’d really like to see how you logically get from that which ‘IS’ to that which ‘SHOULD BE’. This was the fatal flaw is Agno’s arguments, and, with due respect, given all your professed appreciation for ‘learning’ things, I had hoped that you would have at least observed his errors and learned not to repeat them. Perhaps I was hoping for too much?

                      I said: “Besides, surely it is appropriate to challenge the knowledge claims of those who wish to use them as arguments to support their positions, in order to find out HOW they know the things they claim to be true”

                      You answered: But not the Bible. See why its a horrible tack?

                      Ignoring, for the moment, the arbitrariness (and subsequent meaninglessness) of that claim, what you’re missing here is the fact that you’re trying to put the horse before the cart. That is, in order to have a meaningful discussion, we both need to have a logically defensible basis for the very preconditions for holding the discussion (truth, knowledge, laws of logic, morality, the reliability of our senses and reasoning, etc.). While you have conceded that Christianity provides one, you have not (because you cannot) provided one of your own. As such, there is nothing to argue, as we are both in agreement with the Christian claim—the only logical one that has been provided here.

                      I said: “It isn’t if one holds to the Christian worldview in which Divine Revelation is truly a possibility. We have both agreed that it is, remember?”

                      You replied: “In a logic application for something with omnipotence, sure. However such a thing actually having omnipotence was up to you to demonstrate,”

                      Did that (by the impossibility of the contrary). Next.

                      “and the existence of such an entity in the first place was never agreed upon.”

                      You are agreeing with it right now by your precommitment that you have the ability to know things with certainty after having demonstrated that the contrary position cannot account for that ability. As such, this is a crystal clear demonstration of the impossibility of the contrary (your agreement notwithstanding).

                      “You simply asked if X had omnipotence, could it do something. The immediate reply was ANYTHING that has omnipotence could do that,”

                      Unfortunately, though, you failed to ever tell how the ability of a deity to be both omnipotent (as you have defined) and not omnipotent (as you defined) translates into the human ability to know things with certainty. Not to mention the fact that you lose any justification at all for believing in the existence of universal laws of logic (namely the law of non-contradiction), since contradictions are not absolutely forbidden (and in fact are perfectly valid) in such a universe. As such, if your claim were true, it would also necessarily be false as well. Therefore (once again), it is false. Can’t make it any clearer to you than that.

                      “which in retrospect I needed to be more clear on to elaborate that.”

                      No offence, but I won’t hold my breath for you to offer logical support for the logically unsupportable. Again, such a view undermines the very existence of universal logical laws and is, therefore, the very definition of an illogical position.

                      I asked: Why SHOULD they be given this and says who?”

                      You said: You, because its what your doing with the God of the thing I am not allowed to critique, but you draw your evidence from.

                      However, I’ve already shown you why borrowing standards from my worldview (which cannot possibly exist in your own), in order to argue against it, does not help your position at all. In fact, it destroys your position, since such behavior is self-refuting. Fine by me.

                      I asked: “After all, why else would you continue to abandon your own position by asserting the validity of unargued for positions that contradict it and which neither of us even believe to be true in the first place? ”

                      You said: “To demonstrate how easily is to self validate with nonexistant entities.”

                      I am happy to see you also concede that the entities, you have been appealing to (in your ‘generic theism’ arguments) as true (real) foundations for knowledge, etc., do not exist. As such, they cannot possibly be the basis for anything that exists, and, therefore, are not a logically defensible foundation for knowledge, etc. (as you have previously claimed). Guess that settles it then. In summary: neither ‘generic theism’ or atheism can possibly be true, while we have both agreed that Christianity can be. I am pleased to have yet another demonstration of the impossibility of the contrary(ies) here on this thread!!

                      “Simply invent more traits as needed, reinterpret scripture as needed, when it would be far far far easier to simply demonstrate the entity in question. When you ask a person to show you something, interpretive philosophical questions aren’t demonstrating what is asked, and it seems as though that is all you have right now, since I can’t even bring up the Tome you are arguing from as demonstration that your evidence is flawed.”

                      Frankly, I see no reason to discuss the validity of any evidence (especially the Bible) with someone who has admitted that they hold to a worldview in which the preconditions for proving anything via evidence (logic, truth, knowledge, etc.) are not possible. Gotta crawl before you can walk, Roo. If your foundation is warped and irrational, then the best thing you can do is to abandon it for one which is true. That’s up to you, though.

                      You said: Omnipotence defies understanding. If an omnipotent entity can conjure the entire universe from nothing, it has already don’t something irrational from the onset.

                      I challenged with: “Why? Because you say so?”

                      You dodged the challenge and just arbitrarily asserted: The only reason that question would need to be asked is if you feel its rational for anything to be able to conjure matter or energy from void beyond omnipotence. I am sure such is not the case.

                      I appreciate your thoughts here, Roo. However, I must remind you that I am only interested in discussing the things we both know to be true and HOW we are able to do so (not what you believe to be true absent any logical justification whatsoever). I do hope you’ll keep that in mind.

                      I asked: “What is your basis for this belief and what is the objective, absolute standard of logic by which this would be irrational?”

                      You did not answer, but responded with: in the process of learning, my senses have never witnessed such a conjuration. I have never seen an entity that could boast such a claim and follow through. I have never seen such a thing done with or without the presence of such entity. In asking around on such cases, people have seen fantastic and impressive things, but their experience is much the same as mine.

                      Again, solely for your benefit as you think through these issues:

                      1) How do you know that your senses and reasoning are valid and providing you with reliable information to begin with? If your answer is anything resembling the viciously circular ‘I know because I know’ or ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’, please spare yourself the humiliation and don’t worry about answering the question.

                      2) Must ALL knowledge come from observation and/or experience? If so, please tell where you have observed/experienced ALL knowledge to have learned that to be true. Yes, I know you can’t answer this, which makes your complaints above unjustifiable, but I think it is beneficial to solidify the fact that you don’t really believe what you claim to about how knowledge is gained, both for you and for those reading along. These are the types of behavioral inconsistencies that definitely reveal that you know that God exists, but are only suppressing that truth to avoid accountability to Him (Romans 1:18-22).

                      I said: “If your definition of ‘omnipotence’ includes the ability of a deity to contradict itself, then it follows that the deity could be both ‘omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) and also ‘not omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) at the same time and in the same way.”

                      You said: Sure it could.

                      Which necessarily means it also couldn’t, so it can’t. QED.

                      Again, if you truly believe what you say you do, then you also don’t truly believe what you say you do, since contradictions are perfectly acceptable in your worldview. This also leads to the absurd possibility that you both exist and don’t exist and the same time and in the same way. Roo, as much as I hate to see you reduced to such absurdity, I am very encouraged with the overwhelming credibility you have given here to the truth of Biblical Christianity by demonstrating exactly what the contrary looks like (YIKES!!!!!) . I am grateful to you for that!

                      Regarding the existence of logical laws you claimed: 2)Product of man’s creativity. I thought I made this clear. An intelligent creature used its sense and learned from its surroundings to apply methods of thought.

                      Really? What sort of reasoning did man use to ‘create’ the laws of logic; was it logical reasoning or illogical? If logical reasoning existed prior to and during the **alleged** ‘creating’ of those laws to begin with, then clearly the laws of logic could not have been created by man . If reasoning void of logic was used (i.e. illogical reasoning), then you are arguing that laws of logic were produced via illogical reasoning (and I’d really like to know how one arrives at logical laws using illogical reasoning). Either way you are refuted on this point, as laws of logic are an absolute, universal, immaterial, transcendent standard that exists apart from mankind. They are a reflection of the universal, sovereign, unchanging, non-contradictory character and nature of God, and describe the way He thinks and how He expects us to, being made in His image (by the impossibility of the contrary).

                      If you still dispute this, then the last challenge I will put forth for you to consider here is this: If you contend that the laws of logic are manmade (which they clearly are not), then could the universe have both existed and not existed at the same time and in the same way prior to the existence of man?

                      Once more, Roo, I thank you for your time and humbly request that you acknowledge the logical errors of your position, surrender it, and repent of the self-deception you are engaging in here. Continuing to argue the blatantly false positions that you have been thus far, will only serve to demonstrate to me and those who may read this exchange in the future, that you are, indeed, not arguing in good faith. I mean you no harm, but it is obvious at this point that you ARE continuing to hold to these positions, not BECAUSE OF any rational reasons, but IN SPITE of them. Your complaints against Christianity are therefore exposed to be emotional appeals, but certainly not logical ones. Experience has shown that such behavior is indicative of someone with merely an ax to grind. Whatever those reasons are, I hope that you acknowledge them and overcome them (and soon). I am here should you have any honest questions as you give consideration to these things after having abandoned your current stance. Take care.

                      Like

                    • RuleofOrder says:

                      . Please keep in mind, that the argument ended when you revealed that the basis of your position(s) was an irrational one. Please refer back to our prior comments where I pointed out the fallacies you have committed here.

                      –I think you mean when you concluded them to be such, and I would like to further point out that by your standard, there never would, nor ever could be a competing position. Your “worldview” doesn’t allow for that by fiat, and your lack of desire to review such foundations for a world view reinforces it. Thus far, what you have pointed out are simply more questions after having the initial ones satisfied. Or leaps beyond what was actually typed. I posited my syllogism, and asked for the irrationality or circularity. You didn’t deliver.

                      Now, regarding your comments:
                      “It you refuse to open up the evidence to your claims for accurate criticism, then “Actually, I typically don’t do Bible exegesis with those who deny the Authority of Scripture,” is a horrible stance to take.”
                      Actually… a rational response).

                      –So that would indeed demonstrate your position to be circular. That scripture is the authority, because the scripture says it’s the authority, and all else is not the authority, as it contradicts the scripture. How exactly does arguing from that position put you on any better footing than one that doesn’t necessarily need the Bible?

                      In addition, one would ultimately have to ask you to logically justify your assertion that this is a ‘horrible stance to take’. What OBJECTIVE, binding logical standard is that based upon? How do you account for that standard? Why does it necessarily apply to anyone (like me for instance)? If this is just your opinion, please state it as such and withdraw the claim.

                      –Objectively, such a formal logical error can be used to validate anything, no matter how ridiculous.

                      I said: “as you have demonstrated previously, the concept of knowledge cannot be rationally accounted for otherwise, as you are reduced to arguing the equivalent of ‘I can know things for certain because I can know things for certain’,”
                      You responded: “that is inherent as to what that statement means.”
                      And if I asked you how you know THAT (or anything else) for certain, your argument (in its simplest form) would be again reduced to ‘I know because I know’, which is no argument at all. No offence, Roo, but the fact that you can’t/won’t acknowledge that fact is mind boggling to me

                      –Because it answers your question, and needs no follow up. “I know because I have the ability to know (learning), and demonstrated that things can be known my me”. If an intelligent being can learn, as we both agree, your answer is present before you ask the question.

                      “If an intelligent being can learn, you now have accounting of where such knowledge came from. The concept of learning makes sense in the Christian world view doesn’t mean it becomes the sole domain of said world view, such is not neccessary if an intelligent being can learn, which has already been something we agreed on.”
                      Two things for your benefit:
                      1) Please reread my prior challenge to this claim, as the record is clear that I never agreed that YOUR worldview can account for either intelligence or learning (given the irrational justifications you attempted to posit to support the existence of those concepts in your worldview).

                      –Your agreement or disagreement doesn’t represent the truth of the matter, however such a disagreement would stem from the fact that you wouldn’t be agreeing that man exists, or is intelligent.

                      2) Since the justification(s) you’ve posited to support your knowledge claim(s) here is/are absurd (e.g. ‘I know because I know’) each of these claims is reduced to specious arbitrary conjecture, based upon no logical rationale whatsoever. I am pleased with that outcome, even if you arbitrarily refuse to acknowledge it.

                      –Is this a point, or are you patting yourself on the back? I am equally boggled why you would number that as a bullet point.

                      “This should also apply to your world view, divinely revealed knowledge or not.”
                      Why SHOULD it apply? What is the objective, binding standard by which anyone SHOULD do anything with regards to their behavior, thinking, and reasoning according to your worldview?

                      –Because the consequence would mean people claiming authority from an self defining unquestionable book, deriving authority from a foreign entity described in the book, and justifying their own actions, along with the actions of said entity in the book, to other’s and their own detriment.

                      I said: “Because you have no rational basis for knowing things with certainty in your worldview, this gives you no foundation whatsoever upon which to rest any of your knowledge claims ”
                      You responded: “This is of course your opinion.”
                      Thank you for THAT opinion, Roo (I’m sure I can find a place for it with all the rest). 😉

                      —Until you can demonstrate how “learning” or retract your claim that intelligent beings cannot learn, such isn’t an opinion. “Ingelligent beings can learn”. We agree with that, yet you never conclude or apply it to anything. I, on the other hand, do.

                      The saving grace here…. like, with no regard for remaining rational in their argumentation (and with no desire to acknowledge the errors in their reasoning when pointed out to them).

                      –I agree. I hope you link this in future compendiums you compile.

                      “You are just immediately usurping “learning” into Christendom after realizing the implications. God was not necessary in the conditions of learning.”
                      Too late, Roo. Not only have you already demonstrated that your basis for that claim is an irrational one (which makes it false to begin with), you have conceded that the God of the Bible does account for our ability to know things with certainty.

                      –I think that is a bit of a leap, Mike. I conceded that an omnipotent entity can do what it wants, and should you describe the God of the Bible as such, it would be no different than any other omnipotent deity mentioned in the annals of history.

                      “Re Agno, he answered your questions, sir. You changed the scope because you didn’t like the answers.”
                      Again, …That is very troubling to me, at least.

                      –I would think that if you found his testimony to be untrue, the easiest way to demonstrate it as untrue would be to offer up competing testimony or other facts. I notice you failed to do that, despite its much more intellectually honest than your line of questioning or doing the equivalent of questions about primer chemistry of a marksman. I also wonder is such competing or counter record might exist.

                      “If you want to have an evolutionary debate, then the evidence should be about fossil records, current developments, carbon dating, and other such empirical evidence.”
                      Perhaps this well help you see the problem with that position: Why, from a strictly atheistic/evolutionary worldview, SHOULD that be the case? What objective, universal standard necessarily dictates this and why is one not free to deviate from that standard if they so desire?

                      –Because it doesn’t matter to the scope of the question asked. The fact that you are lumping atheistic and evolutionary into a “world view” I think says a lot more about your understanding of such than you would care to consciously admit.

                      You see, the most evolution could ever produce is that which ‘IS’. I’d really like to see how you logically get from that which ‘IS’ to that which ‘SHOULD BE’. This was the fatal flaw is Agno’s arguments, and, with due respect, given all your professed appreciation for ‘learning’ things, I had hoped that you would have at least observed his errors and learned not to repeat them. Perhaps I was hoping for too much?

                      –Perhaps you should try asking that, asking an empirical question rather than a philosophical one. If you want a recipe, don’t ask for a large fry and a burger.

                      I said: “Besides, surely it is appropriate to challenge the knowledge claims of those who wish to use them as arguments to support their positions, in order to find out HOW they know the things they claim to be true”
                      You answered: But not the Bible. See why its a horrible tack?
                      Ignoring, for the moment, the arbitrariness (and subsequent meaninglessness) of that claim, what you’re missing here is the fact that you’re trying to put the horse before the cart.
                      –If you are not opening up the Bible for criticism, you have neither horse or cart. You are relying on circularity to be unassailable.
                      That is, in order to have a meaningful discussion, we both need to have a logically defensible basis for the very preconditions for holding the discussion (truth, knowledge, laws of logic, morality, the reliability of our senses and reasoning, etc.). While you have conceded that Christianity provides one,
                      —Through a host of question regarding what might be possible through such an entity existing…

                      you have not (because you cannot) provided one of your own. As such, there is nothing to argue, as we are both in agreement with the Christian claim—the only logical one that has been provided here.

                      –And again, not true. Please, ration out what “learning” ultimately means.

                      I said: “It isn’t if one holds to the Christian worldview in which Divine Revelation is truly a possibility. We have both agreed that it is, remember?”
                      You replied: “In a logic application for something with omnipotence, sure. However such a thing actually having omnipotence was up to you to demonstrate,”
                      Did that (by the impossibility of the contrary). Next.

                      —Not if intelligent beings can learn. Such things become quite possible quite fast. I would suggest you retract your agreement.

                      “and the existence of such an entity in the first place was never agreed upon.”
                      You are agreeing with it right now by your precommitment that you have the ability to know things with certainty after having demonstrated that the contrary position cannot account for that ability.

                      –That is your rationale, not an actual conclusion. Again, you are ignoring what is inherent for learning.

                      “You simply asked if X had omnipotence, could it do something. The immediate reply was ANYTHING that has omnipotence could do that,”
                      Unfortunately, though, you failed to ever tell how the ability of a deity to be both omnipotent (as you have defined) and not omnipotent (as you defined) translates into the human ability to know things with certainty.

                      –You never asked. Its an omnipotent deity, it can create an intelligent mind, with omniscience. Making use of an irrational power, it can do an irrational thing, including whatever irrational prospect you would like it to or need it to do.

                      I asked: Why SHOULD they be given this and says who?”
                      You said: You, because its what your doing with the God of the thing I am not allowed to critique, but you draw your evidence from.
                      However, I’ve already shown you why borrowing standards from my worldview (which cannot possibly exist in your own), in order to argue against it, does not help your position at all. In fact, it destroys your position, since such behavior is self-refuting. Fine by me.

                      —Unless of course the source of your argument instead “borrowed standards” from other sources first, and is demonstrably contradictory in its pages. Or nonsensical. Or empirically demonstrated as to be an impossibility. Which is why I suspect you disregard such critics out of hand.

                      I asked: “After all, why else would you continue to abandon your own position by asserting the validity of unargued for positions that contradict it and which neither of us even believe to be true in the first place? ”
                      You said: “To demonstrate how easily is to self validate with nonexistant entities.”
                      I am happy to see you also concede that the entities, you have been appealing to (in your ‘generic theism’ arguments) as true (real) foundations for knowledge, etc., do not exist.

                      –As of yet, you haven’t explained why Christendom is excluded from “generic theism”. If anything, the record thus far demonstrates that it is unidentifiable from any other mythology, except by name. Sadly, this includes what hoops a follower will go through to show their faith.

                      “Simply invent more traits as needed, reinterpret scripture as needed, when it would be far far far easier to simply demonstrate the entity in question. When you ask a person to show you something, interpretive philosophical questions aren’t demonstrating what is asked, and it seems as though that is all you have right now, since I can’t even bring up the Tome you are arguing from as demonstration that your evidence is flawed.”
                      Frankly, I see no reason to discuss the validity of any evidence (especially the Bible) with someone who has admitted that they hold to a worldview in which the preconditions for proving anything via evidence (logic, truth, knowledge, etc.) are not possible. Gotta crawl before you can walk, Roo. If your foundation is warped and irrational, then the best thing you can do is to abandon it for one which is true. That’s up to you, though.

                      —So its up to me to show you evidence when your book tells you I can’t possibly show evidence. But the book itself is not up for review. Please, do link this to any conversation you might have about such in the future.

                      You said: Omnipotence defies understanding. If an omnipotent entity can conjure the entire universe from nothing, it has already don’t something irrational from the onset.
                      I challenged with: “Why? Because you say so?”
                      You dodged the challenge and just arbitrarily asserted: The only reason that question would need to be asked is if you feel its rational for anything to be able to conjure matter or energy from void beyond omnipotence. I am sure such is not the case.
                      I appreciate your thoughts here, Roo. However, I must remind you that I am only interested in discussing the things we both know to be true and HOW we are able to do so (not what you believe to be true absent any logical justification whatsoever). I do hope you’ll keep that in mind.

                      –According to your world view, that was never a possibility with whatever I put forward. Your book deems otherwise. Either way, if we are both to define omnipotent as “all powerful”, and you begin to place arbitrary limits based on what you think omnipotence cannot do, its not all powerful anymore. Omnipotence doesn’t need your understanding of what it does to satisfy your need for a parlor trick. Creating something from nothing is already irrational, a logical impossibility. Asking it to do yet another logical impossibility is hardly a challenge.

                      I asked: “What is your basis for this belief and what is the objective, absolute standard of logic by which this would be irrational?”
                      You did not answer, but responded with: in the process of learning, my senses have never witnessed such a conjuration. I have never seen an entity that could boast such a claim and follow through. I have never seen such a thing done with or without the presence of such entity. In asking around on such cases, people have seen fantastic and impressive things, but their experience is much the same as mine.
                      Again, solely for your benefit as you think through these issues:
                      1) How do you know that your senses and reasoning are valid and providing you with reliable information to begin with

                      —Inherent to learning. I leave the logical obstacles of what that means for you to over come.

                      2) Must ALL knowledge come from observation and/or experience? If so, please tell where you have observed/experienced ALL knowledge to have learned that to be true.

                      –All knowledge is not required for something to be true or learned. That would be self defeating to the prospect of learning, and I have never seen “prepackaged” knowledge before outside the computer realm. Basically, I was asking for example, that being practical evidence of your assertions, not philosophical questions. You delivered none. Now, would you like for me to deliver practical example of something learning, that is not man, that is independent of yours or mine’s reasoning, knowledge, logic, etc etc etc? In other words, would you like for me to show that an intelligent creature can learn, develop a thought process, and apply it?

                      I said: “If your definition of ‘omnipotence’ includes the ability of a deity to contradict itself, then it follows that the deity could be both ‘omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) and also ‘not omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) at the same time and in the same way.”
                      You said: Sure it could.
                      Which necessarily means it also couldn’t, so it can’t. QED.

                      –Indeed. It can be both at the same time. Its omnipotent, irrational, as such can engage in a variety of feats that simply we can’t understand. I noticed you trimmed out my examples, though. Did you find those outside the scope of an omnipotent entity? Did you find them to be incorrect in satisfying your example? Or do you simply prefer to fall back on what your understanding limits you too on such a notion rather than how potent omnipotent actually is?

                      Regarding the existence of logical laws you claimed: 2)Product of man’s creativity. I thought I made this clear. An intelligent creature used its sense and learned from its surroundings to apply methods of thought.
                      Really? What sort of reasoning did man use to ‘create’ the laws of logic; was it logical reasoning or illogical?

                      –Ironically, the failure of the method here. Practical application. Asking questions and forming conclusions only goes so far. Some place, it has to come off the table, so to speak, and applied.

                      If logical reasoning existed prior to and during the **alleged** ‘creating’ of those laws to begin with, then clearly the laws of logic could not have been created by man . If reasoning void of logic was used (i.e. illogical reasoning), then you are arguing that laws of logic were produced via illogical reasoning (and I’d really like to know how one arrives at logical laws using illogical reasoning).

                      –Trial and error. That is the process of learning, via stumbling across what doesn’t work to find something that does. That lesson is then learned through application, then applied to other circumstance, which is then learned from, on and on until such time as some one feels a concept or utility needed creation, and creates an omnipotent series of entities to account for them. Also, man creatively came up with names and specific rules. That doesn’t mean other intelligent creatures didn’t pick up on practical application of learned circumstance.

                      If you still dispute this, then the last challenge I will put forth for you to consider here is this: If you contend that the laws of logic are manmade (which they clearly are not), then could the universe have both existed and not existed at the same time and in the same way prior to the existence of man?

                      –I am not certain I understand the question. You are asking contradictory terms based on a time frame, nor do I understand how such a question would be relevant to either of our posits. Logic is not the opposite of “illogic”, per say. The difference between order and chaos is simply a matter of information. Illogic represents a chaos, while logic represents information for an order to prevail. (Hence RuleofOrder). To further illustrate your question about “laws of logic” being man made, I have never seen a naturally occurring plead to authority, or nature make an ad populam argument. If you have ever seen testimony from a rain drop claim falling to earth must be correct because all the other rain drops are doing it, by all means, please link me to that. Nature, while seemingly chaotic or at times illogical is really a matter of perspective, its just information we are not aware of yet. Learning may change that.

                      Once more, Roo, I thank you for your time and humbly request that you acknowledge the logical errors of your position, surrender it, and repent of the self-deception you are engaging in here. Continuing to argue the blatantly false positions that you have been thus far, will only serve to demonstrate to me and those who may read this exchange in the future, that you are, indeed, not arguing in good faith. I mean you no harm, but it is obvious at this point that you ARE continuing to hold to these positions, not BECAUSE OF any rational reasons, but IN SPITE of them. Your complaints against Christianity are therefore exposed to be emotional appeals, but certainly not logical ones. Experience has shown that such behavior is indicative of someone with merely an ax to grind. Whatever those reasons are, I hope that you acknowledge them and overcome them (and soon). I am here should you have any honest questions as you give consideration to these things after having abandoned your current stance. Take care.

                      —Assuming you do keep this around, or want to link to it, I would hope any reader might consider this for intellectual honesty:
                      If its not possible in your world view to argue against the Bible, why do you invite questions? That seems to me to be more of a ploy in order to preach at some one whom brought a topic based on the idea of possible discourse. You clearly don’t allow for that possibility, and never truly did, despite the deceptively civil tone you attempt to maintain.

                      Like

                    • scmike2 says:

                      I said: Please keep in mind, that the argument ended when you revealed that the basis of your position(s) was an irrational one. Please refer back to our prior comments where I pointed out the fallacies you have committed here.

                      You replied: I think you mean when you concluded them to be such, and I would like to further point out that by your standard, there never would, nor ever could be a competing position.

                      Correction: there never could nor ever would be a ‘valid’ competing standard (as we’ve seen). The fact that some people **ahem** choose to resist/suppress the truth regarding God’s existence and the Truth of the Bible (via idol worship, willful ignorance, irrational beliefs, etc.) is perfectly consistent with Scripture (Romans 1:18-22, in case you’ve forgotten). Therefore, presenting the Truth, sadly, does not equal persuasion or submission to it.

                      You said: “So that would indeed demonstrate your position to be circular.”

                      Actually, all ultimate Authority claims contain an element of circularity to them, however, not all of them (read: only one of them) can be true. Your claims of ‘I know because I know’ and ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’ are viciously circular and irrational. The Christian claim however, is (at worst) virtuously circular and not irrational (as you have conceded), providing us with a sound basis for the existence of logic, knowledge, and truth in the first place.

                      Besides, you still haven’t told why ANY (let alone ALL) circular arguments are absolutely forbidden in your worldview in the first place. What absolute, universal standard do they violate and why SHOULD that standard absolutely, universally NOT be violated under any circumstances? Surely not just because you say so?
                      I said: “And if I asked you how you know THAT (or anything else) for certain, your argument (in its simplest form) would be again reduced to ‘I know because I know’, which is no argument at all. No offence, Roo, but the fact that you can’t/won’t acknowledge that fact is mind boggling to me.”

                      You replied: “Because it answers your question, and needs no follow up. “I know because I have the ability to know (learning), and demonstrated that things can be known my me”.

                      Which simply amounts to you saying that your claims (including those above) are true because……you say there are. I apologize, Roo, as I (again) thought that you believed we should both have RATIONAL reasons for the things we accept as true.

                      Since you profess that the standard you are employing here to justify your claims is a valid means of proving things true, then I will simply adopt your standard *for the sake of the discussion* and posit that ‘God exists and the Bible is true because I say so’. According to your professed standard, I have provided an equally valid proof for my claim. I accept, in advance, your concession that Christianity has been sufficiently proven true via this argument—-unless, of course, you are engaging in a Double Standard here? Either way, you are refuted.

                      “Your agreement or disagreement doesn’t represent the truth of the matter, however such a disagreement would stem from the fact that you wouldn’t be agreeing that man exists, or is intelligent.”

                      Nope, just that there is no basis for the concepts of ‘intelligence’ or ‘learning’ within your non-Christian worldview (hence the viciously circular arguments being used). There is now a clear record of that fact right here on this very thread.

                      “Intelligent beings can learn”. We agree with that,”

                      Because we both know that the Christian God exists! The problem is, only one of us professes it, while the other suppresses it (unsuccessfully, though, since their arguments and behavior here reveal their precommitment to, and reliance upon, the God of the Bible). I trust I don’t have to point out which of us is which, no? ; )

                      “I agree. I hope you link this in future compendiums you compile.”

                      I was actually going to ask your permission to do so. I appreciate your consent here and now just need to know if you would like me to remove/alter your name for your benefit, or if you are OK with accepting full ownership and responsibility for your arguments ( illogical consequences and all). Let me know.

                      “I think that is a bit of a leap, Mike. I conceded that an omnipotent entity can do what it wants,”

                      No, you conceded that the God of the Bible (which is the only One I am arguing for) provides a logical foundation for knowing things with certainty, etc. You then made a separate ‘generic theism’ claim that turned out to be fallacious for several different reasons that I made you aware of (for instance, it is an irrelevant thesis and a hasty generalization to begin with). Even though you never have acknowledged it, I can at least rest in the fact that it is a part of the objective record here and can be viewed by intellectually honest individuals both now and in the future.

                      “I would think that if you found his testimony to be untrue, the easiest way to demonstrate it as untrue would be to offer up competing testimony or other facts.”

                      Offering ‘facts’ to someone, who has professed a position in which ‘facts’ are not possible, would be on par with giving medicine to dead people. Not interested.

                      I said: Perhaps this well help you see the problem with that position: Why, from a strictly atheistic/evolutionary worldview, SHOULD that be the case? What objective, universal standard necessarily dictates this and why is one not free to deviate from that standard if they so desire?

                      You said: Because it doesn’t matter to the scope of the question asked. The fact that you are lumping atheistic and evolutionary into a “world view” I think says a lot more about your understanding of such than you would care to consciously admit.

                      Unfortunately, this in no way addresses the questions asked about why you believe anyone else SHOULD do anything in a purely atheistic/evolutionary universe. It seems obvious at this point that you believe that solely on blind faith. Again, that has been the point from the very beginning.

                      I said: You see, the most evolution could ever produce is that which ‘IS’. I’d really like to see how you logically get from that which ‘IS’ to that which ‘SHOULD BE’.

                      You ignored the question and stated: Perhaps you should try asking that, asking an empirical question rather than a philosophical one. If you want a recipe, don’t ask for a large fry and a burger.
                      So you have no answer as to why I SHOULD do any of this then? Suit yourself.

                      I stated: Did that (by the impossibility of the contrary). Next.

                      You answered: Not if intelligent beings can learn.

                      That ‘if’ is the fatal flaw of your position, since it cannot be soundly defended in your worldview (but can be rationally defended within the Christian worldview, as conceded by you). Again, if you feel that the viciously circular ‘I know it because I know it’ is a logical defense, then there just isn’t any more that I can do for you here. I am thankful, however, that you have demonstrated that you don’t really believe that, since, if it were true, it would be impossible to solve any conflict in reasoning, as there could be no conflicts in reasoning. Everyone could simply posit ‘I know it because I know it’ as valid proof for ANY claim they make and their claim would necessarily be proven true (including those claims which contradict your own). Try as you might, you do not (and cannot) live according to that professed belief, as your ongoing arguments against my position indicate. I trust that fact will not be lost on those who may examine this in the future.

                      I said: Unfortunately, though, you failed to ever tell how the ability of a deity to be both omnipotent (as you have defined) and not omnipotent (as you defined) translates into the human ability to know things with certainty.

                      Your response: You never asked.

                      Riiiiiiiight. Good thing we’ve got that objective record which shows otherwise!!

                      “Its an omnipotent deity, it can create an intelligent mind, with omniscience.”

                      And using your definition of ‘omnipotence’ it also CAN’T ‘create an intelligent mind, with omniscience’ at the exact same time and in the exact same way. Of course, this type of absurdity essentially demolishes such a position (however, it does wonders for mine—-in fact, I’d ask that you to please keep it up!).

                      “Making use of an irrational power, it can do an irrational thing, including whatever irrational prospect you would like it to or need it to do.”

                      See above. Thanks again for that, though (x2)!!

                      “Unless of course the source of your argument instead “borrowed standards” from other sources first, and is demonstrably contradictory in its pages. Or nonsensical. Or empirically demonstrated as to be an impossibility. Which is why I suspect you disregard such critics out of hand.”

                      Nope. Just see no reason to really delve into Biblical exegesis with those who assume the truth of the Bible in order to try to disprove. It would be kind of like arguing the existence of air with someone who claims it doesn’t exist, while at the same time breathing it and relying on it to even make their arguments. I see no reason to go any further with people like that than to point out the obvious: if their position were true they couldn’t possibly be doing what they are doing, therefore, it is false. If I get an intellectually honest admission of their absurdity from them, then we can move forward with a rational discussion. If not, I must reluctantly leave them to their self-deception. Sadly, it appears that you prefer the latter here, which is very regrettable.

                      I responded: I am happy to see you also concede that the entities, you have been appealing to (in your ‘generic theism’ arguments) as true (real) foundations for knowledge, etc., do not exist.

                      To which you replied: As of yet, you haven’t explained why Christendom is excluded from “generic theism”.

                      Actually, you have explained it for me via your concessions that ‘generic theism’ IS NOT logically possible as a true foundation for the existence of knowledge, logic, etc. (since it is based upon non-existent (false) entities), while conceding that Christianity IS logically possible. I am satisfied with those concessions and trust that intellectually honest readers will be too.

                      “So its up to me to show you evidence when your book tells you I can’t possibly show evidence.”

                      If you claim to hold a competing, contrary position to mine that is a rational one, it is up to you to demonstrate that it is. That you can’t do so only serves to substantiate the Biblical claim that the contrary is not possible (since it ends in ‘vain’ and ‘foolish’ reasoning—Romans 1:18-22, Psalms 14:1, I Corinthians 1:20, I Corinthians 3:19). As such, your arguments against the Bible turn out to be arguments for it.

                      “But the book itself is not up for review. Please, do link this to any conversation you might have about such in the future.”

                      The Bible itself is not up for criticism by those who must rely on the truth of it in order to even begin to formulate an argument against it (for obvious reasons). Your permission to utilize this discussion in the future is, again, duly noted and appreciated! Let me know about changing your name or not, though, as I am willing to do so for your benefit—no one has to know your identity when they examine the behavioral inconsistencies you are engaging in here (unless you really want them to, that is). Up to you.

                      You claimed: Either way, if we are both to define omnipotent as “all powerful”, and you begin to place arbitrary limits based on what you think omnipotence cannot do, its not all powerful anymore.

                      Unfortunately for you, though, given your position that knowledge must come via observations and experience, you can’t know what omnipotence (or omniscience for that matter) is, since you have never observed or experienced it. However, you have conceded that it is possible for me to know, with certainty, that my claim about the non-contradictory nature of omnipotence is true, based upon Divine Revelation from the God of the Bible. Again, we’re talking knowledge vs. belief here with you embracing the latter position. Opinions are nice, Roo, but they have no place in a rational discussion, the purpose of which is to arrive at objective knowledge of the truth.

                      “Creating something from nothing is already irrational, a logical impossibility.”

                      And you justify universal truth claims of what is not possible (in all places and at all times) how? That’s what’s so crazy about this: in order to know the things you are claiming to be true, you would have to be omnipotent yourself (or have revelation from One who is)—the very characteristic that you are arguing against. Just another demonstration of the self-defeating nature of those worldviews which reject the God of the Bible for the record.

                      “All knowledge is not required for something to be true or learned.”

                      This is just another unjustifiable claim about ALL knowledge that you could never know or learn to be true given your professed position. Absent omniscience, or revelation from same, you can’t know anything or justify any claim about ALL knowledge. I am pleased with that as well.

                      I said: “If your definition of ‘omnipotence’ includes the ability of a deity to contradict itself, then it follows that the deity could be both ‘omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) and also ‘not omnipotent’ (as you have defined it) at the same time and in the same way.”

                      You said: Sure it could.

                      I responded: Which necessarily means it also couldn’t, so it can’t. QED.

                      To which you replied: Indeed. It can be both at the same time.

                      Which (again) also necessarily means that it can’t. QED.

                      I appreciate you showing what a worldview based upon contradictions (i.e. a contradictory worldview) looks like and why it can never be a rational one.

                      “I noticed you trimmed out my examples, though.”

                      Which necessarily means I also didn’t trim them out, according to you. You should have no problem with that also being equally true at the same time and in the same way, if you truly believe what you say you do.

                      I asked: Really? What sort of reasoning did man use to ‘create’ the laws of logic; was it logical reasoning or illogical?

                      You said: Ironically, the failure of the method here.

                      Would that be the failure of a logical method or an illogical method here, since they both end in illogical results. You ARE arguing that logical laws were created via illogical processes. Can’t you see what your professed position forces you to say? Why would you continue to argue for (and dogmatically) defend something so blatantly absurd? Actually, I already know why.

                      “Practical application.”

                      Of illogical reasoning. Got it! Really wish you hadn’t done that (not that I mind, though!).
                      Of course, we’ve already determined that there is zero basis for assuming that your senses and reasoning are functioning reliability right now and are providing you with valid conclusions about anything (least of all, logical laws). This is what a worldview without God looks like, Roo. As I mentioned in the article, it ain’t pretty.

                      “Trial and error. That is the process of learning, via stumbling across what doesn’t work to find something that does.”

                      Which assumes that one’s reasoning is functioning reliability at the outset such that they can be accurately aware of and then recognize/distinguish correctly what ‘works’ and what ‘doesn’t’. Again, you have no basis for this assumption in your worldview and, therefore, must accept it solely on blind faith. I remind you that doing so is an exercise in the irrational.

                      “I am not certain I understand the question (could the universe have both existed and not existed prior to man). You are asking contradictory terms based on a time frame, nor do I understand how such a question would be relevant to either of our posits.”

                      How ironic! NOW you are having difficulty grasping scenarios regarding possible contradictions? Have you been reading what you have been writing thus far?

                      I’ll show you how the question is VERY relevant to your claim: if the universe could not have both existed and not existed prior to man allegedly creating the laws of logic (namely the law of non-contradiction), then clearly the law applied to the universe BEFORE the existence of man and transcends human existence, which refutes your claim.
                      If the universe could have both existed and not existed beforehand, then you are forced to admit that it could still be doing so right now (as could you) OR that mankind somehow invented a law of logic that changed the nature of the universe, such that it can no longer both exist and not exist at the same time and in the same way. Both scenarios are equally absurd and also refute your claim.

                      “Assuming you do keep this around, or want to link to it, I would hope any reader might consider this for intellectual honesty: If its not possible in your world view to argue against the Bible, why do you invite questions?”

                      To expose the suppression of the truth from those who hold to non-Christian worldviews, so that they might be freed from the self-deception they are engaging in. Only then, is it possible for them to repent of their sins against God (including the major one of dishonoring Him via denial of His existence) and to trust in Jesus Christ, the One who died to make a way of escape for them (1 John 1:9, John 3:16, Galatians 3:13). Ultimately, this is out of my hands, as all I can do is declare the truth and hope that they will embrace it instead of rejecting it. That is my hope here for you, Roo.

                      I recognize that you no doubt feel that you have a lot to lose on a public forum such as this if you were to admit the falsity of your position. That (pride), alone, often stands in the way of many unbelievers acknowledging their error(s) in these types of discussions. However, I also know that there is a part of you that does want to reject that which is false and embrace truth, as you, too, are made in the image of the God in whom all truth exists. Therefore, I have hope in the fact that, in your heart of hearts, you know that viciously circular arguments and logical fallacies should not be used to support any position and that the types of arguments you have put forth here are not logically sound ones and should be rejected. Remember, there is a big difference between having reasons for the things we do or don’t do vs. just having excuses. You have shown that what you are attempting to cling to here is most definitely the latter of the two. I urge you to rethink your stance on this and abandon that which you know is false.

                      “You clearly don’t allow for that possibility, and never truly did, despite the deceptively civil tone you attempt to maintain.”

                      Such is the exclusive nature of truth. When one knows something for certain to be true, it necessarily follows that all competing, contrary propositions are invalid. Though I disagree with your allegation against me that I have been ‘deceptive’ (especially since I plainly stated the position I am arguing for multiple times in the article you chose to comment on and on the very post of the thread I linked to over at debate.org), I would argue that attempting to cling to demonstrably false ‘arguments’ (i.e. excuses) as a means of attempting to avoid acknowledging the truth of something that you just happen not to like, is the very definition of (self) ‘deceptive’ behavior. I hope (and yes, pray) that you will reconsider as, once again, Christ stands ready to forgive you if you humble yourself and call upon Him. Best wishes to you and thank you for the exposure of our respective positions here. In Christ,

                      Mike

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