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#41 CTD

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 07:20 AM

Here is the core of your problem, in bold print.

You are utterly convinced of the superiority of your beliefs,

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Who isn't? There's not much point in believing something inferior.

not just in relationship to other world religions, but even in relationship with other Christians who may see things differently than you do.  And why wouldn't they see things differently?  This "absolute" truth of yours is anything but.  It's based on a baseless presupposition - as Ravi Zacharias and others put it "God exists - agreed?"

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Valid conclusions are not baseless presuppositions. Would you like some links?

I don't agree. Why should I?

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If there's truth, you should agree therewith to the best of your ability. Also self-evident. (And if it weren't, there'd be no motive for rejecting the self-evident fact that there is truth.)

#42 JudyV

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 07:38 AM

Who isn't? There's not much point in believing something inferior.

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Exactly! All belief systems are human inventions. In the end, the human being who believes something is the final judge of whether or not that belief is true.

This is especially true of religious beliefs, which cannot be empirically and independently tested.

#43 Adam Nagy

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 07:48 AM

All belief systems are human inventions.

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Is this belief a human invention or is this one the exception?

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#44 Adam Nagy

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:27 AM

But you said you are absolutely sure about what you believe in.  So there is no room for doubt whatsoever.

I'm sure a devout Jew or Muslim could assert the same thing.

And yet the things the three of you believe in so absolutely are not the same thing.

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Ah but, Judy, you're missing a valuable component to this. My certainty doesn't shut the discussion off, it actually boldens me to discuss these matters, to turn them over in my mind, to keep seeking to think God's thoughts after Him.

When I say I'm certain about something, it doesn't place it in a store house of safety away from scrutiny, it actually gives me the desire to defend and discuss these self-evident truths.

3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.

This is evidenced by the fact that us Christians who have true mature confidence in God's Word love to talk about it and contend for it because it truly has the power to transform people.

I haven't put any belief of mine off limits to scrutiny. I welcome it, as long as the questions are rational and sound.

Adam

#45 CTD

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:40 AM

I have been reluctant to participate in this thread. I think I have a high tolerance for absurdity, but I know it is finite.

However, I am usually up for fun, and I think a some reductio ad absurdum may be just the ticket. I mean, look at the head start! Arguably it may be more accurate to say increasio ad absurdum in this case.

To say one cannot know anything at all is self-contradictory as a sentence, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.

How can one make the statement in the first place without knowing the meaning of the words that make it up?

How can one know the meaning of the words without knowing one has encountered them?

How can one know one has encountered the words without knowing one exists and the words exist?

How can one know the meaning of words without knowing one has the capacity to learn.

How can one have the capacity to learn without having the capacity to know what one has learned?

This is a tragically, viciously, self-defeating proposal. It not only defeats itself quite handily, it absolutely ensures anyone who adopts it must defeat themselves. Considering that everyone who promotes it always claims to pursue knowledge, it's the very worst tool they could include in their kit. "I'm going to pursue something I believe I can never attain." It doesn't get any more self-defeating than that.

The sheer hypocrisy of sharing such a premise, let alone promoting it, is monumental. What are you sharing? By what means are you sharing it? With whom are you sharing it? If you can't answer any of these questions, you certainly cannot explain why you are sharing it.

If one knows nothing, one has no business asserting, reasoning, or concluding. One can only assume, and all such assumptions must be utterly baseless. Therefore it is safe to assume these assumptions will be false.

Now I expect some will claim they never said one cannot know anything at all. I may be even accused of attacking a straw man. I did not invent this. It has been claimed by others. But it doesn't matter.

We have seen it claimed in this thread that one cannot know anything absolutely, and they may say this differs from claiming we cannot know anything at all. But how can they be absolutely certain the meanings differ?

You see how self-defeating this stuff is? You have to know words, syntax, grammer; you have to know what a straw man is if you are to defend the premise from such ploys. Fortunately there's not much call. The whole point of constructing a straw man is to build a weaker version and then defeat it. Your case defeats itself in so many ways it's beyond 'not funny' and cycled back around to funny! That's an impressive feat, BTW.

There's another issue: we know things our whole life long until we encounter someone who hypocritically tells us we cannot know. Guess what? They have the burden of proof. They are making an outlandish claim, and if they believe it to be true, they had no business sharing it, and by their own rule they may not construct any argument or present any evidence. It is impossible for them to meet the burden of proof honestly.

So we have one more self-defeating aspect.

Also implicit in any argument they choose to disingenuously present is the assumption that people share a common state and common experiences. The sad joke of an idea does not only lack merit, it has negative merit. An indescribably large surplus of negative merit, bordering on infinite, I must say. Can any line be drawn between accepting the proposal of no truth and intellectual suicide?

(Edited a verb tense.)

#46 Adam Nagy

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:40 AM

The truth as I, a human like you, sees it.

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Well, I pray that the truth you see, someday lines up with reality. :(

I'm not being snarky, the fact is I continue to pray this for myself. I am in the process of having my mind renewed. I acknowledge that it is not a done deal yet.

However, mind renewal must start in that which is actually true. Post-modern relativism has no hope of giving someone truth because it doesn't start with truth but the falsehood that there is no absolute truth or at least the falsehood that truth is unknowable.

Going at life like this is like standing in a bucket and trying to lift yourself up by that handle.

#47 Adam Nagy

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:46 AM

CTD,

Did you just write that yourself? That was a marvelous exposition. Thank you.

Adam

#48 CTD

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 08:57 AM

CTD,

Did you just write that yourself? That was a marvelous exposition. Thank you.

Adam

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Thanks, man.

Looking back over things, I was getting a little bummed because I could've done some things better. I guess it'll do.

I don't think anyone who realized up front just how self-defeating this stuff is would be likely to buy into it. I really should've stressed the burden of proof a little more, and maybe had a little less fun. And other stuff.

...but
it's too late/I'm too lazy/it does the job

#49 CTD

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:06 AM

I didn't say that. Please don't put words in my mouth.

God is omniscient. I put my trust in Him.

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Her logic follows from a couple of posts back where she effectively asserted omniscience-or-nothing; there are no subsets in the realm of knowledge.

here, with timi-saving bold

The truth as I, a human like you, sees it.

I would wager to say that, despite your protest to the contrary, you're not 100% absolutely sure about your beliefs either.  All we can be, with our limited human intellect, is pretty much completely sure.  Otherwise, you and I would have to claim a knowledge of everything!  I certainly don't claim that knowledge, because to do so would be to claim that I am omniscient.  Are you omniscient?

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A notable assertion because it is so far away at the other end of the spectrum from self-evident. I'm guessing until it's debunked she'll claim the right to put the term 'omniscient' in your mouth. Handy way to dodge the burden of proof, if it were valid.

Edit: Apologies for using the term 'logic' so loosely. It's still permissible, although I hope to maintain a good reputation for precise employment of terms and don't intend to stretch them so much in the future.

#50 JudyV

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:20 AM

I really think this issue of truth is the only logical starting point for theological discussion with people who don't trust scripture because they have been convinced of skepticism as the 'noble' way.

There's a guy called JohnnySkeptic, who has his own web-site showing all the "contradictions" in the Bible and all the historical "evidence" "proving" that Jesus either wasn't who the Bible said He was or that He didn't exist at all.

Every time I've talked to him, he was hot and anxious to get me to rebut his claims and his "evidences".

I've told him several times that I would be glad to but I want to examine his epistemology first. I wanted to examine his methods for determining truth. There was a thread that was quite humorous, in a way, because for five pages I had a bunch of atheists and agnostics wondering why it was so important for me to know how they approach truth. They dodged every attempt I made to get to the heart of how they approach knowing things.

The thread was ultimately dismantled because, no one would answer my questions and it turned into a big derail. I think they dismantled it so people couldn't look at the carnage as a whole.



I'm sure that's why they dismantled that thread. We're a sneaky bunch over there, and our moderators have to use these sorts of tactics to overcome your brilliant debating techniques. :(

I have since offered such titles to start thread with JohnnySkeptic like:

"Agnostic Epistemology" (How's that for an oxymoron  :( )

...and he's refused. He doesn't want to expose his trade secrets for how he dupes people with unbridled doubt.

I know we use some sarcasm here but this is really serious stuff. This faulty reasoning is destroying entire groups of people. If this is how it must be exposed so be it. I can't help it if absurd things look truly absurd after close examination.

Adam

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I'm very curious to know what you think Agnostic or Atheist Epistemology consists of. Or are you trying to make a point about how we don't even have an epistemology?

#51 JudyV

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:24 AM

Absolue Truths do exist, and you cannot get around that absolute fact.  If my cat had just been run over by a steam roller 5 minutes ago, then that would be an absolute truth.  We could touch, feel, and take pictures of this elusive absolute truth that would be my poor flat as a pancake kitty.  You would never be able to disprove this truth, for it would be unmistakebly so.

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How would you go about proving that the earth wasn't created 3 minutes ago, with your kittie already squished, and all your memories of your life up to that point already intact in your brain?

#52 Adam Nagy

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:29 AM

Or are you trying to make a point about how we don't even have an epistemology?

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This comes right out of the mouths of people who are asked. Anytime, I've asked for your standards since the Bible obviously isn't it, I get blank stares.

Then I offer some options:

Secular Humanism - Humanist manifesto I, II, or III, maybe?
Communism perhaps per Carl Marx?
Nihilism maybe?

Do you know what the universal response is:

"Look we have no set way of looking at things." or something to that effect. So, yes, by your own admission you have no foundation, just sinking sand. Why should anyone join you?

It's like your looking at someone on a firm foundation and see sinking sand all around you and instead of letting the person on the foundation pull you up, it is your job to make them feel bad for their security, so you try to pull them into the sinking sands of unbridled skepticism.

What a generous offer but I'll pass, thanks.

#53 Adam Nagy

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:33 AM

How would you go about proving that the earth wasn't created 3 minutes ago, with your kittie already squished, and all your memories of your life up to that point already intact in your brain?

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Ahhhh! Here is that desire to place doubts the way I expect to see. It all comes back to what is worthy of your trust?

Hey Judy,

I've never received an answer for this.

How do you test and demonstrate the truth, that truth can be tested and demonstrated?

#54 JudyV

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:37 AM

This comes right out of the mouths of people who are asked. Anytime, I've asked for your standards since the Bible obviously isn't it, I get blank stares.

Then I offer some options:

Secular Humanism - Humanist manifesto I, II, or III, maybe?
Communism perhaps per Carl Marx?
Nihilism maybe?

Do you know what the universal response is:

"Look we have no set way of looking at things." or something to that effect. So, yes, by your own admission you have no foundation, just sinking sand. Why should anyone join you?

It's like your looking at someone on a firm foundation and see sinking sand all around you and instead of letting the person on the foundation pull you up, it is your job to make them feel bad for their security, so you try to pull them into the sinking sands of unbridled skepticism.

What a generous offer but I'll pass, thanks.

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I don't understand how unbridled gullibility is preferable to skepticism. Other than the fact that it makes you feel good, and superior, and assures you of eternal life.

Oh wait, I CAN see why you would buy into all that "truth."

Okay, carry on.

#55 Adam Nagy

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:39 AM

I don't understand how unbridled gullibility is preferable to skepticism.  Other than the fact that it makes you feel good, and superior, and assures you of eternal life.

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This isn't an exclusive club. There are no secret handshakes and no esoteric knowledge. Just the truth, take it or leave it.

#56 JudyV

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:40 AM

Ahhhh! Here is that desire to place doubts the way I expect to see. It all comes back to what is worthy of your trust?

Hey Judy,

I've never received an answer for this.

How do you test and demonstrate the truth, that truth can be tested and demonstrated?

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Well, let's see, I've been around now for about 1/2 a century. I've observed some things. I've read a few books. I've thought about things. Mostly, the universe appears to be pretty predictable, and life here on earth appears to be governed by natural laws. Reality seems pretty delicious and wonderful to me. I don't feel the need to add a supernatural element to it. I've been testing all my life. That's the reality that I've come up with. It's okay if other people come up with something different. *shrug*

#57 JudyV

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:43 AM

This isn't an exclusive club. There are no secret handshakes and no esoteric knowledge. Just the truth, take it or leave it.

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It's a club that requires a certain suspension of disbelief, and a denial of experience, that I'm personally unwilling to participate in.

I'm not one who thinks blind faith is a particularly virtuous quality, and I'm puzzled by people who think it is.

I'm even more puzzled by people who continually protest that faith is not blind.

#58 Adam Nagy

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:45 AM

It's okay if other people come up with something different. *shrug*

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Really?!? Then what are we talking for? Why the snide remarks like this?:

I don't understand how unbridled gullibility is preferable to skepticism.  Other than the fact that it makes you feel good, and superior, and assures you of eternal life.

Oh wait, I CAN see why you would buy into all that "truth."

Okay, carry on.

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You're obviously trying to convince us of something. Are you going to now deny this?

#59 JudyV

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:46 AM

Then I offer some options:

Secular Humanism - Humanist manifesto I, II, or III, maybe?
Communism perhaps per Carl Marx?
Nihilism maybe?

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Nothing I know to be true depends upon any books written by human hands.

Your beliefs, on the other hand . . .

#60 JudyV

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:49 AM

Really?!? Then what are we talking for? Why the snide remarks like this?:
You're obviously trying to convince us of something. Are you going to now deny this?

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You invited me here, Adam.

I'll be glad to leave you and the rest of the boys on EFF to your happy delusions. The testosterone levels here do sometimes get a bit stifling. :lol:




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