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Atheists & Agnostics: Why Don't You Believe The Bible?


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#81 miles

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 08:54 PM

...
The Christian recognizes that logic and reason do exist, that they are absolute, and that they are possible because they flow from the mind of God. Logic exists and can only exist as a consequence of the rational thoughts in the mind of God.

....

I posted the questions below in message #73 but I think it may have been missed. You state that logic can only exist as a result of god. I have a few questions related to that concept.

If god weren't real (or if there were no rational thoughts in the mind of god), would logic still function as an absolute? In other words, if there was no god would A=A at all times?
If you say yes, then god is irrelevant with respect to logic. If logic works with or without god, you can't claim god is needed for logic to work.
If you say no, then logic is conditional since there's a condition where it doesn't work (god's non-existence). Saying no also open up the door to contradictions being possible, such as god or logic both not existing and existing at the same time.

I'm perfectly willing to state that logic is absolute, but I disagree that god has anything to do with logic. Ultimately, logic such as the law of identity is a description of a tautology. It's true because it's true not because something is forcing it to be true. A object is what it is, because if it were something different it would be that instead.

#82 aelyn

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 03:38 AM

Truth is absolute by definition. My knowing what is true or believing what is true does not make a matter true. Truth stands on its own.

I endeavor to be truthful with all my posts. Now if I post something that I think is true, and you subsequently post a contradictory argument that proves mine to be false, then I, as a Christian, must admit I’m wrong and you’re right.

Are arguments the only way to prove something to be false, or can examples or evidence also do so ?
Is it possible for someone to think something is true when it really is false, but to go through life without ever encountering a counter-argument or counter-example that convinces them they are wrong ?

After I present my argument for Orion and the Pleiades, I pray that you correct me on some point with truth. If this happens, you will know that it is true that TeeJay posted a falsehood.

No need for that, I already know that TeeJay posted falsehoods. If nothing else there's every time he said I deny absolute logic exists or that I don't believe absolute truth exists. I brought up the Orion comment because I was hoping for an explanation of what you'd meant by it, so thanks for finally explaining. It's certainly less absurd than what I'd originally understood you meant but it isn't much more convincing. You can't loosen something that was never bound in the first place and what modern astronomers have found is that the stars forming Orion's belt have no relation to each other whatsoever. They're moving away from each other because space is expanding, not because their relationship has changed in any way. Not that it matters much. But if you're explaining things you've said and that I had factual issues with in the past, maybe you could also explain whether you were explaining or contradicting Einstein when you said this :

Einstein postulated that if two spaceships were approaching each other, neither could ascertain who was moving and who was stationary. But a third and fourth frame of reference could verify that both were moving or just one.

Thanks !

#83 Teejay

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:17 AM

[quote] name='miles' timestamp='1340635235' post='84520']
Forgive me for jumping in on your conversation. I just had a comment on the idea that logic is absolute and god is a explanation for that absolute.[/quote]


Miles, so sorry for neglecting to answer your post. You can jump in; the more the merrier. It is a self-evident truth that the laws of logic are absolute, invariant, and universal. The atheist relativist must assume the very principles he seeks to deny. He must assume the laws of logic are absolute and use them to argue that they are not absolute.




[quote]If god weren't real, would logic still function as an absolute? In other words, if there was no god would A=A at all times?
If you say yes, then god is irrelevant with respect to logic. If logic works with or without god, you can't claim god is needed for logic to work.
If you say no, then logic is conditional since there's a condition where it doesn't work (god's non-existence). You also open up the door to contradictory ideas, such as god or logic both not existing and existing at the same time.[/quote]


If God did not exist eternally past and present, then nothing would or could exist. To be clear, I will give Einstein's definition of "nothing." He said that "nothing is what rocks dream about." And unless God exists eternally future, nothing will exist in the future. To reason rationally, we must have and use laws of logic. And a rational worldview must be able to account for or justify the existence of such laws. In the atheist's materialistic worldview, where only matter exists, why should there be any laws of reasoning? Reason and logic are not physical and are not part of the physical universe. Reason must come from reason. We get our ability to reason from our parents who could reason. They in turn from their parents and so on. But eventually we must reach a Reason who is self-existent and has always existed. This reason could not be self-created if He did not always exist. Neither could this Reason have ever ceased to exist and then bring Himself back to existence. But when the atheist posits that reason comes from a rock (matter) then we Christians must point out the absurdity of such a notion.

It's okay to believe something is true IF we have a good reason for believing it to be true. Our beliefs can't simply be arbitrary. For example, I can state, "I believe I am going to win the Texas lottery this December.". I have no rational reason to believe this is true, so I do not really know this to be true--even if this December I do indeed win the lottery. The atheist uses the immaterial laws of logic to argue that only matter exists. Thus he is being arbitrary and inconsistent with his worldview.

Either it's true that God exists or it's true that God does not exist. These are the only two options we have. The Christian creationist believes that God exists, and his belief that God exists is not arbitrary. We are to pattern our thoughts after God. We know in a finite way how God thinks because He has revealed some of His thoughts in His Word. According to Genesis, God made us in His image (Gen. 1:26) and we are to follow His example (Eph. 5:1). The laws of logic are a reflection of the way God thinks and the way He expects us to think. The law of non-contradiction stems from God's self-consistent nature. He will not deny Himself (2 Tim. 2:13). All truth is in God (John 14:6; Col. 2:3). Since God is consistently upholding the universe by His power (Heb. 1:3). the consistent Christian can trust that no contradiction will ever occur in the universe.





[quote]I'm perfectly willing to state that logic is absolute, but I disagree that god has anything to do with logic. Ultimately, logic such as the law of identity is a description of a tautology. It's true because it's true not because something is forcing it to be true. A object is what it is, because if it were something different it would be that instead.
[/quote]


Pretty good argument. And I'm elated that you KNOW the laws of logic are absolute. Most atheists I encounter shy away from any absolutes such as absolute morality, laws of logic, and truth. And I agree with you that truth is absolute, self-evident, and stands on its own. To be clear, though, laws of logic are not contingent on the physical universe. If the universe did not exist, it would still be either true that it existed or true that it did not exist. And as I tried to point out to others on this thread, if the laws of logic were contingent on the physical universe, then they would not be absolute, invariant, and universal. If the physical laws changed, the laws of logic would of necessity also have to change.

But the killer question for the atheist who believes that only matter exists is how does he justify or account for the immaterial, invariant, and universal laws of logic within his worldview. If the materialist worldview were true, then we would have matter and energy, and nothing else. I will grant you that an object is what it is (A is A and not non-A) because it is what it is; but I will not grant you that there are laws of logic because there are laws of logic. Laws of logic can’t exist in a materialistic, atheist universe because the laws of logic are not material and are not part of the physical universe. How can the materialistic atheist have a non-arbitrary universal standard for reasoning within his worldview—where only matter exists. He can argue that there are laws of logic because there are laws of logic, but this is unjustified, arbitrary, and irrational.

TeeJay


#84 Teejay

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 08:58 AM

[quote] name='ringo' timestamp='1340727832' post='84569']
I keep trying to tell you: we don't make any such assumption. If we observe changes in the way the universe operates, we will have to make corresponding appropriate changes in our behaviour.[/quote]

Ringo, thanks for being patient awaiting my reply. To say that the atheist does not assume that gravity will work until tested and observed is being unrealistic. When the atheist is standing on a mountain ledge in Colorado on a "fourteener" he assumes and trusts that gravity will work. He does not wait to "observe" and "tests" if it works. But you are forgetting the original argument is how can the atheist justify uniformity in nature--that the laws will remain consistent in the future as they have in the past. He can't really test and observe how the laws will function in the future. He can only observe and test them in the present. If he assumes that the laws in the future will be like the past because in the past the future has been like the past, he is reasoning in a circle. There's no getting around or behind this simple truth.



[quote]The law of non-contradiction works just fine when there is an absolute Yes or No to choose from and no other possible answers. When Yes or No are not valid answers at all, like in the example I gave, non-contradiction cannot be applied. Thus, non-contradiction is not a universal law. The laws may be absolute where they apply but they don't apply universally.[/quote]

Ringo, shut your TV off, put your seat in the upright position, and rethink your argument here. You are using the absolute law of non-contradiction to argue that it is not absolute. Relativistic arguments always self-destruct.



[quote]When I argue that absolute logic doesn't work, I give a concrete example where it doesn't work. If you could answer my question, "Is there a nickel in my pocket?" you could prove me wrong easily. Instead of doing that, you're trying to use the abstract to disprove the concrete. As I've said from the beginning, you're doing it backwards. You're using a theory to try to disprove observations.[/quote]

Are you an empiricist? An empiricist is one who believes that all knowledge is gained by observation.

The more important question is not whether I can know there is a nickel in your pocket but whether there is or is not a nickel in your pocket. It is either true that you have a nickel in your pocket OR it is true that you do not have a nickel in your pocket and my knowing does not alter truth. You can't have a nickel in your pocket and not have a nickel in your pocket at the same time in the same way.


I don't accept your argument that I have it backwards. Your nickel is a material object and is neither true or untrue. You do not need the nickel to reason logically. But you do need the laws of logic to ascertain the truth of the existence or non-existence of your nickel--and you and your pocket as well.





[quote]That's the problem. You overlook what you can't answer.[/quote]

Ringo, if there is anything I failed to answer, please present it. I may have overlooked it? But I will answer.





[quote]That's what I'm trying to tell you: You can really know nothing with absolute certainty. That's what agnostic means. We're back to square one and you haven't the slightest idea where I'm coming from.[/quote]

Are you CERTAIN that you "can really know nothing with absolute certainty? If so, then you are CERTAIN of at least one thing. And then your original argument collapses. I know what agnosticism means, and I am showing you how irrational it is.

[quote]You don't know whether or not there's a nickel in my pocket. There are ways for you to learn something about it but logic alone won't do it.[/quote]

No human can live on Planet Earth and not use the laws of logic. One cannot not use them. To argue against what I just posted, you have to use laws of logic. Try it.



[quote]I've been in your worldvew. It failed to tell me whether or not there was a nickel in your pocket.

Now you step into mine. Do you want to find out whether there's a nickel or not?
[/quote]

Now I must ask you, seriously: Do you exist and do you know your exist? If I am to dialogue with you, Ringo, I must know this. If you write back to me that you don't know if you exist, then I will not deem you "a serious man to be respected" and taken seriously (as Don Corleone would say)

TeeJay.

#85 miles

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:11 AM

If God did not exist eternally past and present, then nothing would or could exist. To be clear, I will give Einstein's definition of "nothing." He said that "nothing is what rocks dream about."
...

The consequences of "nothing could exist" is basically what I'm asking for your opinion on. If nothing existed, and you can use whatever categorization of nothing you wish, would A=A still be a true statement?

1. If the statement A=A is true when there is nothing, then god is unnecessary for A=A being true.
2. If the statement A=A is not true when there is nothing, then you allow contradictions such as 'nothing'='not nothing' or 'logic doesn't function'='logic functions'.

I would hold that the first option is correct and god has nothing to do with logic. Whether there's something or nothing, A=A would always be a true statement. If there were nothing the statement would simply apply to nothing.

To relate this back to your description of nothing, what prevent nothing from creating or producing something? If you say laws of anything (logic, conservation of matter, etc.), then you are acknowledging that these laws exist/function even when there's nothing. This would be consistent with option 1 and inconsistent with the idea that god is responsible for these laws.

#86 Teejay

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:13 AM

[quote] name='miles' timestamp='1340855665' post='84612']
I posted the questions below in message #73 but I think it may have been missed. You state that logic can only exist as a result of god. I have a few questions related to that concept.

If god weren't real (or if there were no rational thoughts in the mind of god), would logic still function as an absolute? In other words, if there was no god would A=A at all times?
If you say yes, then god is irrelevant with respect to logic. If logic works with or without god, you can't claim god is needed for logic to work.
If you say no, then logic is conditional since there's a condition where it doesn't work (god's non-existence). Saying no also open up the door to contradictions being possible, such as god or logic both not existing and existing at the same time.

I'm perfectly willing to state that logic is absolute, but I disagree that god has anything to do with logic. Ultimately, logic such as the law of identity is a description of a tautology. It's true because it's true not because something is forcing it to be true. A object is what it is, because if it were something different it would be that instead.
[/quote]

Miles, again I'm sorry for overlooking your original post. I hope I addressed it sufficiently. I'm sure you're going to give me a challenging response. If it's okay with you, Miles, I am going to be a little slower in answeingr you. You are giving me some good arguments, and I want to think them over carefully before I respond.

TeeJay

#87 ringo

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 09:31 AM

The more important question is not whether I can know there is a nickel in your pocket but whether there is or is not a nickel in your pocket.


Nonsense. The existence of the nickel is purely academic. Unless I know whether or not it's there, I can't do anything with it. It's existence is irrelevant if I can't do anything with it. Whether or not there "is" oil in our back yard is irrelevant unless you know it's there.

Knowing doesn't alter "the truth" but the truth is worthless if you don't know it.

Ringo, if there is anything I failed to answer, please present it.


You have repeatedly failed to demonstrate that your absolute logic is good for anything. Please demonstrate that it can be used to solve a practical problem.

No human can live on Planet Earth and not use the laws of logic


That's what I'm saying. We all use logic every day to do real things like finding oil. The abstract existence of the oil is irrelevant unless we look for it. Since oil eploration is expensive, I'm offering you a cheaper alternative. How would you go about looking for a nickel?

#88 Teejay

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 11:37 AM

Are arguments the only way to prove something to be false, or can examples or evidence also do so ?


Without laws of logic, we could not make an argument. Humans can’t live on Planet Earth and not use logic. We cannot not use logic. But while we have to use logic to reach truth, we do not necessarily have to argue with someone to use logic and know truth. (But we are arguing God’s existence or non-existence on this thread.)

A is equal to C.
B is also equal to C.
Conclusion: A and B are equal to each other.

We can KNOW this is true by reasoning rationally using laws of logic. Do we need to argue this to know it is true? No. We know that this is true. If Tarzan had never left the ape colony, he would be able to reason this. If Ape A had the same number of coconuts as Ape C and Ape B had the same number of coconuts as Ape C, Tarzan could know that Ape A and Ape B had the same number of coconuts as each other had.

I am not against evidence proving something. But all evidence presented will be interpreted through one’s worldview—even if the worldview is irrational. I like to use evidence to show the inconsistency of atheism. Take the SETI program where scientists are listening for a signal from outer space that will prove intelligent life out there. They reason that if they just received prime numbers, they could know that this information could not have come from a quasar or some other natural origin. But then in the next breath, they reject the information in DNA as coming from a creator God and do mental gymnastics to prove that information can come from natural sources. The possibility of the existence of a creator God is automatically dismissed out of hand.

Is it possible for someone to think something is true when it really is false, but to go through life without ever encountering a counter-argument or counter-example that convinces them they are wrong ?


Yes, I believe this is possible. I have never met a native Texan that does not think that the Water Moccasin and the Cotton Mouth are two different snakes. There is no convincing them otherwise. I’ve tried. They learned this from granddaddy, and therefore it must be true.

But when it comes to the existence of God, men delude themselves. Jesus said that “man’s heart is deceitful above all things.” And Paul wrote of this self-delusion:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, WHO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS, because what may be known of God is manifest [evident] in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood BY THE THINGS THAT ARE MADE, even His etrnal power and Godhead, SO THAT THEY ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Romans 1:18-21

Now being wrong about the Water Moccasin and the Cotton Mouth is of little importance. But the self-rejection of our Creator God has dire consequences—eternal even. This life we are living here is not a dress-rehearsal. God placed a knowledge of Himself within our hearts (which can be self-deceptive). God could have made us robots with no free will, and then we could not willingly deceive ourselves. But then love would not be possible.






No need for that, I already know that TeeJay posted falsehoods. If nothing else there's every time he said I deny absolute logic exists or that I don't believe absolute truth exists. I brought up the Orion comment because I was hoping for an explanation of what you'd meant by it, so thanks for finally explaining. It's certainly less absurd than what I'd originally understood you meant but it isn't much more convincing. You can't loosen something that was never bound in the first place and what modern astronomers have found is that the stars forming Orion's belt have no relation to each other whatsoever. They're moving away from each other because space is expanding, not because their relationship has changed in any way. Not that it matters much. But if you're explaining things you've said and that I had factual issues with in the past, maybe you could also explain whether you were explaining or contradicting Einstein when you said this :


Aleyn, on numerous posts, I asked over and over again if the laws of logic were absolute or conventional. Here is what I recollect receiving from you: “I told you before that the laws of logic tells us how the universe works.” I never one heard you admit that the laws of logic were absolute. Can you reference a quote where you did so? Perhaps I’m wrong and simply overlooked your doing so?

I did not expect you to be convinced by the Job evidence. You proved my argument that any evidence presented would not dissuade you from naturalistic explanations.



Einstein postulated that if two spaceships were approaching each other, neither could ascertain who was moving and who was stationary. But a third and fourth frame of reference could verify that both were moving or just one.

Thanks !


Forgive me for not going back and re-reading all the posts I’ve made to verify the context. I recall that I wanted to show that sometimes we can use more than one frame of reference to know things. In space, where there is no wind or gravity, one could be moving and have no sense of motion. So how could one know one is moving? By a second and third frame of reference. If God were not a Triune God, He could not really know He was good. But God is One in Three and Three in One, and interaction between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit reveals to each of them them whether they are good. The pagan moon god Allah could not really know if he is good or bad. Have you ever been on rt a train? The train on the other track starts to move. You immediately grab for a seat or a strap to steady yourself. But you are not really moving. You look for a third frame of reference (the station) to know that you and the station are standing still. (Of course it could be argued that since the earth is rotating, the station is moving.) But how do we know the earth is rotating? Another frame of reference. And as I recall, Jesus said that “If I bear witness of Myself, don’t believe me.” So God Himself does not bear witness of Himself and does not expect us to blindly believe in Him. But the other side of the coin is that He does not expect us to blindly dismiss Him without consideration of the evidence and truth for His existence—which is what atheists do.

TeeJay


#89 Teejay

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 11:41 AM

[quote] name='ringo' timestamp='1340901071' post='84629'] Nonsense. The existence of the nickel is purely academic. Unless I know whether or not it's there, I can't do anything with it. It's existence is irrelevant if I can't do anything with it. Whether or not there "is" oil in our back yard is irrelevant unless you know it's there. Knowing doesn't alter "the truth" but the truth is worthless if you don't know it. You have repeatedly failed to demonstrate that your absolute logic is good for anything. Please demonstrate that it can be used to solve a practical problem. That's what I'm saying. We all use logic every day to do real things like finding oil. The abstract existence of the oil is irrelevant unless we look for it. Since oil eploration is expensive, I'm offering you a cheaper alternative. How would you go about looking for a nickel? [/quote]

Ringo, is my absolute logic good for anything? Well you just used it to make your argument.

TeeJay

#90 ringo

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 12:20 PM

Ringo, is my absolute logic good for anything? Well you just used it to make your argument.


I asked if your absolute logic can solve a practical problem. Surely you can at least come up with Step One.

#91 aelyn

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 02:38 AM

I am not against evidence proving something. But all evidence presented will be interpreted through one’s worldview—even if the worldview is irrational.

When defining “truth” as applied to the physical world you gave “there are cows in my pasture” as an example. Is there a way of demonstrating that truth without using evidence ?

Yes, I believe this is possible. I have never met a native Texan that does not think that the Water Moccasin and the Cotton Mouth are two different snakes. There is no convincing them otherwise. I’ve tried. They learned this from granddaddy, and therefore it must be true.

Is it possible for a person to be wrong even though they have made no logical or reasoning errors ?

And speaking of errors, how does one determine whether one is making a logical or reasoning error ?

Aleyn, on numerous posts, I asked over and over again if the laws of logic were absolute or conventional. Here is what I recollect receiving from you: “I told you before that the laws of logic tells us how the universe works.” I never one heard you admit that the laws of logic were absolute. Can you reference a quote where you did so? Perhaps I’m wrong and simply overlooked your doing so?

I don't think you did, but I fail to see the relevance of that to your claim that I denied logic is absolute.

Forgive me for not going back and re-reading all the posts I’ve made to verify the context. I recall that I wanted to show that sometimes we can use more than one frame of reference to know things.

Thank you for clarifying. FWIW I think that example confuses your point more than it illustrates it.

In space, where there is no wind or gravity, one could be moving and have no sense of motion. So how could one know one is moving? By a second and third frame of reference. If God were not a Triune God, He could not really know He was good. But God is One in Three and Three in One, and interaction between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit reveals to each of them them whether they are good. The pagan moon god Allah could not really know if he is good or bad. Have you ever been on rt a train? The train on the other track starts to move. You immediately grab for a seat or a strap to steady yourself. But you are not really moving. You look for a third frame of reference (the station) to know that you and the station are standing still. (Of course it could be argued that since the earth is rotating, the station is moving.)

Not only could it be argued, it is true. And if we take the frame of reference of other train you really are moving. All inertial frames of reference are equivalent, and “moving at a constant speed” and “stopped” are purely relative terms. That is, there is no such thing as an absolute “stopped” or “moving at velocity v”, there's only “stopped” or “moving at velocity v” relative to something else.

But how do we know the earth is rotating? Another frame of reference.

Not necessary because the Earth's surface isn't an inertial frame of reference. An inertial frame of reference is one that isn't accelerating, and a rotating system is accelerating (i.e. the velocities of points in it keep changing). Accelerating inertial systems induce pseudoforces that can be felt (for example, the Earth's rotation induces a centrifugal “force” that can be detected, as well as the Coriolis force). Such pseudoforces are what your inner ear detects when you feel you're moving; that's why in a plane you feel the takeoff, landing and turbulences, but when the plane is flying smoothly enough at constant speed you don't feel movement.

Once you include the pseudoforces the frames of reference are, again, equivalent.

I suggest you avoid using frames of reference as a metaphor for absolute knowledge, or use them in a different way; you don't want your metaphor to be contradicting your actual argument.

#92 Teejay

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 08:57 AM

[quote] name='ringo' timestamp='1340911226' post='84647']
I asked if your absolute logic can solve a practical problem. Surely you can at least come up with Step One.
[/quote]

Ringo, EITHER it's true you have a nickel in your pocket OR it's true that you don't have a nickel in your pocket but it can't be true that you have a nickel in your pocket and true that you don't have a nickel in your pocket at the same time in the same sense.. Can you at least admit this one simple truth?

TeeJay

#93 ringo

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:25 AM

Can you at least admit this one simple truth?


Can you admit that the True or False of it is irrelevant unless you know whether it's True or False?

#94 miles

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 01:57 PM

Miles, again I'm sorry for overlooking your original post. I hope I addressed it sufficiently. I'm sure you're going to give me a challenging response. If it's okay with you, Miles, I am going to be a little slower in answeingr you. You are giving me some good arguments, and I want to think them over carefully before I respond.

TeeJay


There's no need to apologize, I understand how easy it is to miss a posting in between larger messages.
Take all the time you need, my reply in post #85 isn't going anywhere.

#95 Teejay

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 05:27 PM

The consequences of "nothing could exist" is basically what I'm asking for your opinion on. If nothing existed, and you can use whatever categorization of nothing you wish, would A=A still be a true statement?

1. If the statement A=A is true when there is nothing, then god is unnecessary for A=A being true.
2. If the statement A=A is not true when there is nothing, then you allow contradictions such as 'nothing'='not nothing' or 'logic doesn't function'='logic functions'.


Miles,

A is A would be true if A existed. Miles is Miles is not possible if Miles does not exist—nor would it be true that Miles is Miles. But I will grant you that it would be true that Miles does not exist—but not in your worldview absent God. Rational reasoning is using the laws of logic to reason rationally and reach truths. Truth is a statement of reality. But you can’t have a statement of reality without reality and reality (abstract and physical) is not possible without God. Although I don’t accept your premise that absent God it would be TRUE that A is A or non-A even ifGod did not exist, let’s explore it further to see if it holds up.

We can pretend that Miles is a rock that exists and nothing else exists. Is it true that the rock exists? First, who would pose the question and who would answer if only the rock exists? Can the rock reason? Can the rock use logic? No. Logic is a description of the way God thinks—logically. But in the atheist’s worldview, God does not exist so there can be no description of the way He thinks; thus there can be no logic. And the killer conclusion is that neither can there be reasoning using logic to even consider the matter. Again, “nothing is what rocks dream about.” What you want, Miles, is to have logic, reasoning, morality, uniformity in nature (the physical laws will remain constant), and the abstracts such as dignity, liberty, justice, etc. in a worldview where only matter exists. If the atheist chooses to live in this materialistic worldview, then he must justify how the immaterial, invariant, and universal laws of logic, reason, morality, and the abstracts can come from this material world. As I said before I will not accept the premise that laws of logic and rational reasoning exist because they exist. I want the atheist materialist to justify and account for them in his worldview.

The transcendental argument for the existence of God is that the atheist must use God’s immaterial gifts to argue that only matter exists. This is tantamount to arguing that gravity does not exist while standing on the ground to make one’s argument. When he does this, he affirms the Christian’s worldview to be true and the atheist’s worldview false.

Arguing for the truth of logic does not justify it absent God. Can you do the same with morality? Let’s see. I will pretend that God does not exist. (Now this is absurd because if He did not exist eternally past, you nor I nor anything else could exist.) But for the sake of argument, I will pretend that God does not exist. Would it be it true that it is morally wrong for a man to violently rape and murder a woman? Absent a Moral Authority (God), what justification could the atheist present to justify the immorality of it? When it comes to morality, atheists are relativists. But then they sacrifice truth as well as morality. Just as a matter can’t be both true and false at the same time in the same way, so too a behavior can’t be both moral and immoral at the same time in the same way. If morality is relative, then it is true that it is morally wrong to rape a woman and it is also true that it is not morally wrong to rape a woman. Relativistic arguments always defeat themselves.

Laws of logic are not physical and are not part of the physical universe. Reasoning is not physical and not part of the physical universe. The laws of logic were not created by God and are not independent entities separate from God that came into existence at some point in time. But the laws of logic are contingent on God. They reflect the way God thinks. Thus, they can’t exist without Him any more than your reflection in your mirror can exist without you. Since God is a thinking Being and since He has always existed, the laws of logic have always reflected His thinking.



I would hold that the first option is correct and god has nothing to do with logic. Whether there's something or nothing, A=A would always be a true statement. If there were nothing the statement would simply apply to nothing.


Who would apply the statement to nothing?

Challenging argument. But you are using laws of logic which are not physical. If the atheist stayed consistent with his materialistic worldview, he could really know nothing. He could not reason because reasoning is not physical. He could not use laws of logic because they are not physical. That laws of logic are true or false does not justify them in a materialistic worldview.

To relate this back to your description of nothing, what prevents nothing from creating or producing something? If you say laws of anything (logic, conservation of matter, etc.), then you are acknowledging that these laws exist/function even when there's nothing. This would be consistent with option 1 and inconsistent with the idea that god is responsible for these laws.


Now you have transitioned from the non-physical to the physical. The physical laws are not material though. They are a description of the physical universe. Just as you reasoned using the truths of logic as justification for logic, you are now arguing that because the physical laws work, God is not needed. I need to remind you that the atheist lives in a random chemicals-to-man worldview.

The atheist (and the Christian) takes for granted that the universe is understandable, that it can be quantified in a way our minds can comprehend. We assume the universe is logical and orderly and that it obeys mathematical laws that are consistent over time and space. This regularity makes sense in a biblical creation worldview. The Christian creationist expects order and balance because God made all things (Gen. 1:1; John 1:3) and has imposed order on the universe. The Bible teaches that God upholds all things by His power (Heb. 1:3). God is consistent and can be trusted (1 Sam. 15:29; Num. 23:19). God has told us that there are things we can trust will not change (Gen. 8:22; Jer. 33:20-21). These are presuppositions of the Christian worldview. Your worldview should reflect what you encounter in reality. Our worldview should be able to rationally justify the uniformity of nature that we see around us.

The atheist is able to trust that these physical laws are constant and will not change only because he is inconsistent with his atheist materialistic worldview. He accepts Biblical principles such as uniformity in nature, while simultaneously denying the Bible from which these principles are derived. Such inconsistencies are common in secular thinking. Atheists argue that the universe is not designed but function as though it is designed and upheld by God in a uniform way. Atheists must rely on biblical creation assumptions (such as uniformity) which are contrary to their professed belief in materialism.

Now the atheist will argue that the nature of matter is such that it just behaves in a regular fashion—or uniformity is simply a property of the universe—(or it is what it is). First, it really does not answer the question of WHY? What would be the basis for such a property in an atheist worldview? Second, we must ask the atheist how he could KNOW that uniformity (unchangeable laws) is a property of the universe? His only answer is that in the past these laws have not changed. But he could not KNOW that they would not change tomorrow unless he could see into the future.

But you did ask, “What prevents nothing from producing something? The answer is “nothing.” Nothing prevents it because something can’t come from nothing. Now if you want a physical law that prevents it, it is the First Law of Thermodynamics or a simple version is that a rock can’t create itself from nothing. No new matter or energy has ever been observed coming into existence. What’s here is here. Matter or energy can’t be created or destroyed. And recall that I posited that if our worldview (set of presuppositions) does not comport with what we encounter in reality, then we should question whether or not our worldview is flawed. The Bible says that God created in six days and rested from all His creation on the seventh day. All over the world, people rest or take off from work the Sabbath. So that God created in six and rested on the seventh day agrees with what we see: No new matter or energy is coming into existence.

Now if the atheist argues that the universe was always here (even if as big as a period at the end of this sentence), the Second Law of Thermodynamics destroys this argument. A fire can’t burn for ever is the simple version. The useable amount of energy is ever decreasing and the universe is going from order to disorder. Atheist Asimov wrote, “You can’t even break even…”

So, if the universe could not have created itself from nothing, and it could not have always been here, what is your explanation for all that exists? Now when you posit “nothing” I must ask: Why do you summarily rule out a supernatural Creator in lieu of “nothing” creating something?

Now I have never had an atheist not deny the laws of thermodynamics and do illogical gymnastics to argue that we can’t accept them.

TeeJay

#96 Teejay

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:21 AM

[quote] name='ringo' timestamp='1340911226' post='84647']
I asked if your absolute logic can solve a practical problem. Surely you can at least come up with Step One.
[/quote]

Ringo,

A. For a human to ponder his own existence, he must first exist himself.
B. Ringo pondered his own existence.
C. Therefore, Ringo must exist.

A. Information can only come from an intelligent source.
B. I received information from Ringo.
C. Therefore I can assume Ringo is an intelligence source.

TeeJay

#97 Teejay

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:25 AM

[quote] name='ringo' timestamp='1340987133' post='84665']
Can you admit that the True or False of it is irrelevant unless you know whether it's True or False?
[/quote]

Ringo,

My not knowing that something is true does not make it false. My not knowing that something is false does not make it true.

TeeJay

#98 Teejay

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 05:38 PM

When defining “truth” as applied to the physical world you gave “there are cows in my pasture” as an example. Is there a way of demonstrating that truth without using evidence ?


Aleyn,

That’s a very challenging question. Some concepts you can reason to be true (and you KNOW are true) that do not require interacting with the real world. But when it comes to the real world, we have to ASSUME that our senses are reliable. Now everyone (the atheist and the Christian) takes it for granted that what we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch really does exists and indeed corresponds with what our senses tell us. We trust our senses each time we cross the street, smell the milk to see if it’s sour, dial 911 when we hear the thief breaking in. We PRESUPPOSE (those presuppositions again) that our perceptions of the world are
true.

We also presuppose and take for granted that our memory is reliable. I remember the cows I bought at the sale barn last Saturday. When I go out to chore around the ranch, I check to see how they’re doing. I don’t question that my memory is faulty. (Now I’m ruling out people whose minds are damaged or not functioning properly. Aleyn is 30 years old and from her posts, I can be reasonably sure that her mind is keen and functioning properly.)


But again, I must ask the killer question. What justification does the atheist have to justify a reliability of senses and memory? He lives in a random chance chemicals-to-man worldview and has no justification to believe that his senses and memory will be reliable. If he simply believes that his senses and memory are reliable without a rational reason, then his belief is simply arbitrary.

Atheists do trust their senses, of course, but such trust makes no sense if our sensory organs are merely the result of accidental mutations over time that conveyed some sort of survival value in the past. But having reliable senses (leading to accurate perceptions of reality) do not equate to survival value. Most of the organisms in the world (plants, bacteria) don’t have senses or memory and they survive quite well.



Apart from Scripture there is no reason to trust that our senses and memories are reliable. The Christian creationist has a rational reason to trust that his senses and memory are reliable. Genesis chapter 1 indicates that God specifically created humans and gave them the responsibility of caring for His creation. Our sensory organs were created by an all-knowing, all-powerful God (Prov. 20:12), the Christian can expect them to work properly. Without reliable senses and memory, we would be unable to care for God’s creation. Now we must also realize that God’s creation is cursed as a result of man’s rebellion against God (Gen. 3:17-19; Rom. 8:20-22). The world is no longer perfect as it once was. Consequently, we can no longer expect that everyone’s senses and memory can work perfectly all the time (birth defects, accidents, brain injuries, and so on). But God never rescinded his command to tend his creation, it follows that our senses and memories are basically reliable.


Is it possible for a person to be wrong even though they have made no logical or reasoning errors ?

And speaking of errors, how does one determine whether one is making a logical or reasoning error ?


Answer to first question: It all depends whether we are using inductive or deductive reasoning. In deductive reasoning, it is asserted that the conclusion is definitely, absolutely, irrefragably true. For example I know that in the following argument, the major and minor premises are both true; therefore, I can logically reason and know that the conclusion is true.

All humans are sinners.
TeeJay is a human.
Therefore TeeJay is a sinner.

In inductive reasoning, the argument can be cogent or weak. But we use inductive arguments all the time. Grandpa TeeJay did not get up at 0600 hours as he usually does, so he must be sick. My grandkids would automatically assume this because it would be very unusual for me not to rise at 0600 hours. Logic classifies this as a reasonable cogent argument. My grandkids conclusion could be wrong though. I could have had my auto break down and I stayed at a friend’s house. If the conclusion were not very likely given the premise, then the argument would be considered weak rather than cogent.

But most of the time, our cogent reasoning is correct. For example, I had a huge dog named Gus who never failed to meet me at the gate when I came home. One night, he was not there. I reasoned that he had passed because he was getting old. I was correct.

Answer to second question: Get a good logic book and study it. I studied some logic just to keep my mind sharp as I watched some my age deteriorate mentally. I recommend it for young people as well.


I don't think you did, but I fail to see the relevance of that to your claim that I denied logic is absolute.


I am always elated when I hear a young person proclaims that the laws of logic are absolute and can’t be violated.


Not only could it be argued, it is true. And if we take the frame of reference of other train you really are moving. All inertial frames of reference are equivalent, and “moving at a constant speed” and “stopped” are purely relative terms. That is, there is no such thing as an absolute “stopped” or “moving at velocity v”, there's only “stopped” or “moving at velocity v” relative to something else.

Not necessary because the Earth's surface isn't an inertial frame of reference. An inertial frame of reference is one that isn't accelerating, and a rotating system is accelerating (i.e. the velocities of points in it keep changing). Accelerating inertial systems induce pseudoforces that can be felt (for example, the Earth's rotation induces a centrifugal “force” that can be detected, as well as the Coriolis force). Such pseudoforces are what your inner ear detects when you feel you're moving; that's why in a plane you feel the takeoff, landing and turbulences, but when the plane is flying smoothly enough at constant speed you don't feel movement.

Once you include the pseudoforces the frames of reference are, again, equivalent.

I suggest you avoid using frames of reference as a metaphor for absolute knowledge, or use them in a different way; you don't want your metaphor to be contradicting your actual argument.


Aleyn, I always knew that you had more education and were smarter than this old man. I am getting a little burned out posting on this thread. And I have some pressing issues I must tend to concerning my wife and some health issues. I pray I gave all some things to think about.

TeeJay


#99 Teejay

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:37 PM

Aleyn, my conscience is bothering me. I committed an ad hominem fallacy against you. You did not catch it, and this is why I recommend you make logic a priority so that you can know when a fallacy is committed against you.

I accused you of getting your worldview from atheist professors rather than from your own musings. "ad hominem" means "to the man [or woman]." The argument is so named because it directs the argument against the person instead of the person's argument. Some examples: "Your against a simple flat tax because you are a CPA." "Your against that bond issue because you own many properties." So, in a round about way, I argued that you think the way you do because you were brainwashed." I apologize. Get a logic book and study it so that you can jump on me the next time I do this. But I want you to know, I was not aware I was doing it at the time. Later on reflection, I had to admit to myself, that I was wrong.

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#100 ringo

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 10:10 AM

A. For a human to ponder his own existence, he must first exist himself.
B. Ringo pondered his own existence.
C. Therefore, Ringo must exist.

A. Information can only come from an intelligent source.
B. I received information from Ringo.
C. Therefore I can assume Ringo is an intelligence source.


Your premises are unsubstantiated. Therefore, your concusions are unreliable.

You're attempting to assign truth to your premises. In reality, premises can only be based on observation.

My not knowing that something is true does not make it false. My not knowing that something is false does not make it true.


Your knowing is all that matters.

You know that this "absolute logic" nonsense that you're touting isn't what you or anybody else uses every day.

If somebody calls you and tells you his car won't start, you don't sit back in your chair and ponder out the solution with absolute logic. You ask him what the physical symptoms are. Does it turn over? Does it fire?

Whether or not it fires doesn't have an absolute answer. Maybe it fired once and then never again. Maybe it fires intermittently, Maybe it fires a few times and then stalls. The law of non-contradiction won't help you there. You need observable data.

So, can you stop blowing hot air and talk about reality?




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