An Evidentialist Challenge, Restated

I was asked to justify the laws of logic in a godless universe.

I did so here:
As for the laws of logic, what if they are only seemingly universal, but are truly not so? In the atheistic worldview there are objects in the universe. The relationships between those objects, however, are "not" in the universe. Steven Pinker's work (expanding on Chomsky's) has shown that the brain has different grammatical "sections" inside it. One section holds information about nouns, another verbs, another conjunctions.


When I say that the universe contains objects, I have the idea of "nouns" in mind. Now, what if the brain has simply evolved in a way that it attempts to grammatically relate nouns to each other? The laws of logic rely on words like "and," "or," "not," "is," etc. These words do not name things that exist in the universe. The laws of logic are made up of these words, however. The law of non-contradiction could not exist, for example, if the concept of "not" didn't exist. The laws of logic give rules of how objects relate to one another. There would be no laws of logic were it not for our language that holds certain relational concepts.

If the laws of logic were simply the result of the way that the human brain has formed, this explains why they would certainly "seem" universal. Inasmuch as human brains are similar (and they are very much so), then the laws of logic would seem universal to everyone with a similarly functioning brain. We could not fathom a possible world in which those laws would not apply because we cannot imagine the world differently than our brains allow us to. We would read our thoughts about the relationships of objects into every world that we imagined. The laws of logic would seem to us universal even if they were not.

But this theory does more than just explain why laws of logic can seem universal. It also has powerful explanatory power in cases of so-called "madness." If the laws of logic are simply mental constructs about the relationships of objects, then this would explain why people with brain damage and "malfunctioning" brains are so consistently "illogical." These people constantly deny the laws of logic. They see the world very differently than the rest of us. If the brain is responsible for constructing relationships between objects, then, it would come as no surprise when people with damaged or "malfunctioning" brains did not construct these same relationships.

Imagine, for example, a world filled with people with a similar brain damage. The laws of logic would look very different in this world.

Also, this theory has powerful explanatory powers when it comes to the Saphir-Whorf hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that language is responsible for shaping worldviews. In countries with dramatically different languages, what is considered "logical" is very different. We have Eastern and Western logics that are extremely dissimilar. While the condition of the human brain would explain the similarities between different cultures, the languages of those cultures would explain these logical differences.

My point, here, is to demonstrate that while universal laws of logic may, in fact, be unjustifiable in an atheistic worldview (though many atheists have good reason to deny this), seemingly universal laws of logic are easily justifiable by the theory I explained above.

I was asked to justify moral judgments in a godless universe.

I did so here:
But are all relative judgments invalid?

Consider motion. Imagine sitting next to me in a bar when I suddenly begin screaming, "My Guinness is moving! Sweet Lola, save me, my Guinness is moving!" You look at my glass, however, and say, "Man, atheism is really rat poison to the intellect! Your Guinness isn't moving; it's perfectly still."

Is it both possible that my Guinness is moving and that my Guinness is not moving? Of course it is!

I could respond to your skepticism, "Isn't this continent drifting, the earth rotating and revolving, our solar system spinning in a pinwheel galaxy, and our galaxy speeding away from others in the universe? How can you say my Guinness isn't moving?!"

At the same time, you could have said, "Look EB, there is a spot on the bar next to your glass and we can tell by this ruler that your glass is neither moving towards that spot nor away from it. Your glass is stationary."

Both contradictory statements are correct, but are relative to specific spatio-temporal frameworks. From certain spatio-temporal frameworks, my Guinness is stationary; from others, it is moving. The "fact" of the motion of my Guinness is relative to the spatio-temporal framework that is adopted. There is no one, "true" spatio-temporal framework that truly determines whether something is "really" moving or not, there are only different frameworks from which to judge.

But though my Guinness' motion is relative, it is still "objective." You would certainly admit the validity of my statement that my Guinness is moving from any of the other spatio-temporal frameworks that I mentioned as justification. I would certainly admit the validity of your statement from the spatio-temporal framework that you mention. Both statements are correct, but are so relative to specific spatio-temporal frameworks.

Now, what if the same could be said of moral judgments? What if I could say objectively that it is morally wrong of P to D (I'm stealing all of this from Princeton's Gilbert Harman if you are wondering), but had to qualify my statement that it was morally wrong according to a specific moral framework? My judgment would be objective, but not universal.

If morality is not universal, though, must I accept everyone's moral judgments as equally valid? Of course not. For one thing, it is certainly possible that someone makes a moral judgment that does not fit the moral framework they use to justify it [Just like it would be possible for someone to say that something is stationary from a framework in which that judgment is inconsistent].

Secondly, acknowledging that a belief may be justified by reference to another moral framework does not mean that I have to abandon my own moral framework. For example, I believe that it is morally wrong to rape someone. If I were to happen upon a man trying to rape a woman, my moral framework demands that I do whatever action is permissible according to that framework to prevent that action from taking place. I may acknowledge that the action is permissible according to the rapist's moral framework, but that does not mean that I must ignore what is demanded by my own moral framework.

Moral relativism, then, does not necessarily lead to moral nihilism.

Anyone familiar with Foucault's work on power structures will know that, if he is correct, social ideas and morality are shaped by power. There is nothing called "madness" out in the world. One cannot catch "madness" in a bucket and paint it pink. It is an idea that must be defined. Originally, the church and the family were the primary power structures that made this definition. The church needed a way to distinguish between God's directions to his people through the Holy Spirit and the babblings of a madman. People that had certain heretical "visions" and "promptings" from God were considered "mad." Now, it is the physicians who define these kind of terms. Whatever the age, though, power is the driver behind these definitions.

In the case of morality, then, power will be the stabilizing (or destabilizing) force behind societal morality. Obviously, that does not mean that one must accept society's morality (both the Christians here and myself reject our current society's morality, but for drastically different reasons). For example, though most of current, American society opposes same-sex marriage, I adamantly support it. I do not have to accept the majority opinion even if I acknowledge that that opinion is justified by reference to a certain moral framework. I can exert my power (however limited it is) to try to change societal opinion. I can also point out that denying homosexual couples marriage is inconsistent with other, primary societal values like equal treatment under the law.

Just like one can make objective statements about motion even though the statements are relative to spatio-temporal frameworks, so I can make objective statements about morality that are relative to specific moral frameworks. So, contrary to Bahnsen's argument, I can be outraged by the Holocaust and not have a universal morality to do so. Does someone else have to agree with my outrage? Certainly not, but I will exert every power available to me via my moral framework (which excludes violence) to make others see things my way. Morality, like every idea (according to Foucault) is a power struggle.


I have, also, expressed my willingness to be convinced of the truth of Christianity in such a way that circumvents the Christian charge that the unregenerate will not accept proof of god's existence because they do want to "continue in their sin."

I wrote:
But don't read this to mean that I refuse to be convinced of the "truth" of Christianity. If it can be proven that Christianity is true, I'll shout it from the roof tops.

My sermon title, however, would be, "There is a Real Son of a Bitch in Charge of This Universe; Run for Your Lives!"


In other words, I am saying that I don't need to not believe in a god to "continue in my sin." I would rebel against most notions of a god even if I believed that god existed. My "rebellion," then, need not stop me from accepting rational arguments.

So, I believe that I have said enough. It's time for the Christians to speak up. It's time for all of you to express some positive reason for me to believe in your god.

I've done what you asked of me. You have offered no challenge to my theories of logic and morality.

Now, return the favor. Give me your arguments for why your god exists.

27 comments:

K7 said...

Why don't you and John and Matthew cut your losses, tend to your wounds, and maybe go take on Buddhists or something...

exbeliever said...

k7,

So, what you are saying is that you don't have an argument for the existence of your god?

Albert said...

The real problem with subjective ethics and morality is when you get two differing opinions on them. How can you reliably decide which is better? It would seem that neither consensus, reasoning nor personal opinion would be infallible. For the sake of argument you could say that you don't want X to occur in society but I could simply retort that you are just projecting a certain selfish desire of your own which in the end is merely your subjective opinion. Plase note that I am not saying that you can't have a workable subjctive morality or ethic (nor am I saying I necessarily belive the Bible is reliable in this regard either) I'm just saying it cannot be justified as absolutely objective.

exbeliever said...

Albert,

If you haven't, read Foucault on power structures and Gilbert Harman on moral bargaining. There are practical means of resolving moral disputes.

Now, what is your argument for the existence of your god?

Albert said...

Who said I believed in God anyways?

K7 said...

Maybe start with Buddhists or Hindus and work your way up to Christianity. If you want to be thorough maybe go undercover and take on some atheists...

I'd get those wounds dressed for now, though.

exbeliever said...

k7,

So, the answer is "No," you cannot give a reason why someone should believe in your god?

Bahnsen Burner said...

EB: "So, the answer is "No," you cannot give a reason why someone should believe in your god?"

That's what it looks like. Perhaps he doesn't even know why he believes (if in fact he does believe).

CalvinDude said...

Perhaps an illustration can demonstrate to you why you are wrong to even ask this question the way you have.

Let us stipulate that the laws of math are only figments of our imagination, that they come about only because of the structure of our brains, and the only reason that we think the laws of math are objective and universal is because everyone thinks that way (although how I know that everyone thinks that way is beyond me--perhaps I accidentally became omniscient without realizing it).

It is most certainly not a given in the universe that 1 + 1 = 2 (because, after all, in the binary system 1 + 1 = 10, and thus math is simply nothing more than the method of expressing a common conception of the mind). If everyone had the same brain damage, then perhaps everyone would think that 1 + 1 = 3, and therefore our math laws would work in that manner and be much different than we currently have.

Since my argument is that it's possible for people to be brain damaged (which is obviously true), then it is impossible for us to know for sure whether or not any of us are actually brain damaged, therefore it is impossible for us to prove that 1 + 1 = 2.

I hereby challenge you to prove that 1 + 1 = 2. Oh, and while you do it, you cannot use math laws or logic because I've already shown that we cannot use those things (although why I would then ask you to "prove" anything after taking away the very method by which proof could be known is beyond me, but hey if you can play that game so can I!).

Now, hopefully, you can see the error in your assumptions. You want us to give you logical proof that God exists, and yet you start off by disproving the truth of logical proof. If you don't believe logical proof, why do you ask for logical proof?

exbeliever said...

calvindude,

You wrote: "If you don't believe logical proof, why do you ask for logical proof?"

Where did you get that out of anything that I said.

I really don't know where to start with your argument, here.

It seems to me that all you are trying to do is avoid giving a reason why your god exists.

So, tell me, if we agree on all of the laws of logic (e.g. non-contradiction, identity, bivalency, involution, associativity, etc), why can't you give me an argument within that agreement?

The fact that you or I could be "brain-damaged" (and, therefore, using different laws of logic) would come to light the first time one of us violated one of those laws that we thought we agreed on in the first place.

Saying that the laws of logic are not universal, but only seemingly so, does not mean that we cannot use laws of logic.

So, why don't you explain the laws of logic you wish to use in your argument. I'll tell you whether or not I agree with those laws. If we agree on those laws, then you can unfold your powerful argument for the existence of god and I will be forced to concede your god's existence (though, I still reserve the right to disobey him).

If what I have said about the laws of logic are true, then you and I MIGHT hold different laws. We, also, MIGHT hold the same ones. Why don't you we find out? Give your rational argument. When I break the rules of one of the laws of logic, then point it out for everyone to see my irrationality.

Otherwise, it seems like smoke and mirrors to me. I feel that you are trying to avoid giving any argument for the existence of your god.

YOU have claimed that one cannot have a rational discussion if the laws of logic are not universal. Now, hopefully, you can see the error in your assumptions.

The mocking spirit said...

the argument for a god existing or not is not of primary concern...the belief is enough to lay down foundations

I cannot talk about christianity because i am not a christian...but i have read the bible...though i find it absurd

Disclaimer: I did not intend to offfend anyone

CalvinDude said...

ex wrote:
-----
You wrote: "If you don't believe logical proof, why do you ask for logical proof?"

Where did you get that out of anything that I said.
-----

From the fact that you started off this whole discussion by saying there was no actual universal logical truth, but instead only thoughts that some people may agree with. This moves the discussion outside the realm of what is objectively logical and into the realm of mere opinion, and yet you then ask that we provide some kind of substance beyond mere opinion to justify our beliefs. What standard should we use to do this?

ex wrote:
-----
So, tell me, if we agree on all of the laws of logic (e.g. non-contradiction, identity, bivalency, involution, associativity, etc), why can't you give me an argument within that agreement?
-----

Because we do not agree on those laws of logic, even if we agree on the same "words" in the formulas. Your laws of logic are rooted in the assumption that objects exist in the universe. Your laws of logic therefore depend on the existence of those objects to be validated. You accept the existence of these objects on faith (since you cannot prove they actually exist and are not figments of your imagination), and that establishes your laws of logic.

My laws of logic, on the other hand, are based on the assumption that God exists. My laws of logic require that God exists in order for them to be valid. Therefore, my laws of logic are only as valid as the existence of God is valid.

Now we can chose a specific axiom. We both agree that A is A, and that A cannot be both A and non-A at the same time and in the same relationship. However, the reason I accept that as being true is because my laws of logic are founded on the existence of God; the reason that you accept this as true is because you believe objects exist in the universe. While we agree with the same axiom, we do not have the same starting point.

But you want us to use those axioms that we "agree" on to try to prove our position? In other words, you want me to use these "agreed upon" axioms to demonstrate that my underlying worldview is correct and your underlying worldview is wrong? Is that what you are really asking?

Such a thing is absurd to even attempt it. I cannot use my worldview to provide evidence in your worldview, and you cannot use your worldview to provide evidence in my worldview. I can only prove by logic that which is under my system of logic; you can only prove by logic that which is under your system of logic (you should find this relativistic aspect appealing). Since my worldview is that God created all things, I can therefore state that God created objects in the universe. You, however, cannot use your system of logic to speak anything about where those objects came from--they have to pre-exist in order for you to have your laws of logic. Your laws of logic, therefore, can never address the issue of the existence of God, for they cannot even address the issue of where objects came from.

Therefore, what you are asking is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.


ex wrote:
-----
The fact that you or I could be "brain-damaged" (and, therefore, using different laws of logic) would come to light the first time one of us violated one of those laws that we thought we agreed on in the first place.
-----

There are two errors with this thinking. 1) If we are both "brain-damaged" the same way, we would not disagree for we would have the same error (and in fact, your view cannot distinguish between which views are correct and which are the result of brain damage); and 2) even if we agree on the words used, we do not agree on the principle of how these laws of logic came about.


ex wrote:
-----
Saying that the laws of logic are not universal, but only seemingly so, does not mean that we cannot use laws of logic.
-----

I never said that you couldn't use them, I just point out that you have no *reason* to use them; and furthermore that you push those laws of logic far more than your own position warrants.


ex wrote:
-----
So, why don't you explain the laws of logic you wish to use in your argument. I'll tell you whether or not I agree with those laws. If we agree on those laws, then you can unfold your powerful argument for the existence of god and I will be forced to concede your god's existence (though, I still reserve the right to disobey him).
-----

Interesting that you woudl "reserve the right to disobey him." I could ask how that is a "right" in the first place, but I don't want to get sidetracked.

Again, I cannot prove logically that God exists when we do not agree on the foundation of logic in the first place.


ex wrote:
-----
If what I have said about the laws of logic are true, then you and I MIGHT hold different laws.
-----

But you have no way of knowing what is "true" and what isn't. All you can know is whether something agrees with your view of logic or not. "Truth" doesn't enter into this equation...unless you acknowledge that there is some universal, transcendent truth, which is impossible for your worldview to acknowledge and thus your worldview is self-contradictory.


ex wrote:
-----
We, also, MIGHT hold the same ones. Why don't you we find out? Give your rational argument. When I break the rules of one of the laws of logic, then point it out for everyone to see my irrationality.
-----

You've already broken several of my rules of logic. Are you willing to agree that my rules are correct and yours are wrong? If not, then what's the point?

ex wrote:
-----
YOU have claimed that one cannot have a rational discussion if the laws of logic are not universal. Now, hopefully, you can see the error in your assumptions.
-----

We can have a "discussion", yes, but certainly not a rational one if we do not even agree as to the definition of what is rational.

exbeliever said...

calvindude,

It seems to me that you are exerting an extraordinary effort to avoid giving me "an account for the hope that is in you."

I won't do a point-by-point discussion, here, as it seems that much of what you have said is produced by a lack of understanding of what I have argued. I will allow you to re-read what I have written and make the appropriate self-corrections.

To your belief in the impossibility of logical discourse.

Why not try me? Why not say, "exbeliever, I believe that my god exists because . . ."

I will judge the claims you make by logical axioms. If you believe I have misused an axiom, you can point that out for the world to see my irrationality.

I have asked you to "give an account for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). You have done nothing more than say this is impossible to do.

If you choose to continue to evade the question, well, I think that speaks volumes about your faith.

exbeliever said...

cd,

A few more points.

You wrote: "you then ask that we provide some kind of substance beyond mere opinion to justify our beliefs."

No, I simply ask that you use the laws of logic that you believe exist to formulate an argument that demonstrates that your god does exist.

You wrote: "Your laws of logic are rooted in the assumption that objects exist in the universe. Your laws of logic therefore depend on the existence of those objects to be validated."

This is not true. Whether there are actual objects in the universe or only perceived objects makes no difference to the argument I've presented.

By the way, do you disagree with my feeling that there are objects in the universe?

You wrote: "I cannot use my worldview to provide evidence in your worldview, and you cannot use your worldview to provide evidence in my worldview."

I'm not asking you to use your "worldview" to provide evidence, I am asking you to use logical laws to formulate an argument that proves your god exists.

You wrote: "I can only prove by logic that which is under my system of logic. . ."

Which laws of logic do you think we will disagree on? Non-contradiction? Identity?

You wrote: "even if we agree on the words used, we do not agree on the principle of how these laws of logic came about."

So what? If I believe E=MC2 because my physics teacher said it was true, and you believe it because you worked it out and proved it for yourself, are we not equally able to use that formula to make subsequent proofs even though I can't explain how the proof came about?

You wrote: "You, however, cannot use your system of logic to speak anything about where those objects came from--they have to pre-exist in order for you to have your laws of logic."

That doesn't follow from anything that I've said.

You wrote: "I never said that you couldn't use [the laws of logic], I just point out that you have no *reason* to use them."

So what? I use them anyway. Why don't you use them to form an argument for the existence of your god?

You wrote: "I cannot prove logically that God exists when we do not agree on the foundation of logic in the first place."

The foundation of logic should make no difference to the application of them. Do you believe that two different people can't use the Pythagorean Theorem because one doesn't know where it came from?

You wrote: "But you have no way of knowing what is "true" and what isn't."

"Truth" is defined by a system. The word "truth" works whether laws of logic are universal or only seemingly so. Am I claiming something is universally true? No. Can I claim that something is seemingly universally true? Yes.

You wrote: "You've already broken several of my rules of logic."

Which ones?

You wrote: "We can have a 'discussion', yes, but certainly not a rational one if we do not even agree as to the definition of what is rational."

I define a "rational discussion" as one in which people do not violate logical principles like non-contradiction, identity, etc.

How do you define a rational conversation?

***

So that my previous comment doesn't get lost in all of this and you ignore it, let me restate:

Why not try me? Why not say, "exbeliever, I believe that my god exists because . . ."

I will judge the claims you make by logical axioms. If you believe I have misused an axiom, you can point that out for the world to see my irrationality.

I have asked you to "give an account for the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15). You have done nothing more than say this is impossible to do.

If you choose to continue to evade the question, well, I think that speaks volumes about your faith.

CalvinDude said...

Since it's a little unweildy to put my response in this comment section, I provided a response on my blog at http://calvindude.com/dude/blog/2006/02/addressing-an-atheist/

You can either respond there or on this thread (I'll be reading the posts here too) if you wish.

exbeliever said...

Here are a few brief snippets from calvindude's blog:

You wrote: "So are you aknowledging that, according to your view, logic is merely an opinion?"

Re-read my post. This question represents a severe misunderstanding of the theory I laid out.

I wrote: "Whether there are actual objects in the universe or only perceived objects makes no difference to the argument I’ve presented."

You responded: "So am I to now presume that when you say “there are objects in the universe” (emphasis added) you really mean only that objects are perceived and not that they actually are in the universe?"

No, what you can presume is that I did not consider the possibility of perceived objects until you mentioned it. You mentioned it, I thought about it, I concluded that it wouldn't make a difference in my theory.

Your questions helped me better understand my own position, so I re-expressed it. Thank you.

You wrote: "I know for a fact that there are objects in the universe–God made these objects."

And this is the question I've been asking all along. How do you know this? How do you know there is a god?

You wrote: "You say that it is impossible for a contradiction to be valid because you’ve never observed a contradiction being valid among the objects in the universe that may or may not actually exist but which are somehow perceived. . . your view allows for a contradiction if you ever do happen to perceive one."

This represents another serious misreading of the theory I explained.

Do you find it strange in your critiques of my theory, you never mention "language" which is the crux of my theory?

You wrote: "my view of the Law of Non-Contradiciton is radically different from your view because my view is based on an objective standard and your view is based on a subjective feeling."

Seriously, RE-READ my theory. I would say that the law of non-contradiction is absolutely certain IF one accepts certain definitions of the objects (or perceived objects) being described, the word "and," and the word "not." I will say that that law holds wherever those words are defined similarly.

My law of non-contradiction is as strong as yours given the constrants I mentioned.

You wrote: "If there are no objects that can be perceived then you have no laws of logic–this is foundational to your belief that laws of logic depend on the perceiving of objects."

My theory is that the laws of logic arise out of the brain's hard-wiring that natural relates objects or perceived objects. What you are saying amounts to saying, "If nothing existed, there would be no logic." I agree.

I wrote: "Why don’t you use [logical laws] to form an argument for the existence of your god?"

You wrote: "Because you won’t understand it. If you don’t agree with me as to where the laws of logic come from, how could you possibly accept anything I say as being logical?"

Why don't you try me and see if I don't understand?

Again, how does the origin of something affect its application?

I wrote: "'Truth' is defined by a system."

You wrote: "Is that true?"

Yes, according to my system. Do you believe that "truth" is defined by your system?

I wrote: "Which [rules of logic have I broken]?"

You wrote: "The Law of Non-Contradiction, for one (as I’ve already demonstrated)."

I guess I didn't catch it when you demonstrated it.

You wrote: "are you instead accepting my view and arguing that there is an objective meaning to the term 'rational'?"

"Objective," yes; "universal," no. If you don't understand, re-read my post.

You wrote: "I disagreed with your primary assertion that 'I’ve done what you asked of me. You have offered no challenge to my theories of logic and morality.' I have most certainly offered a challenge to your theory of logic. . ."

So, did you you offer this challenge before or after my post. I certainly don't remember seeing it before. Are you saying that I should have predicted your challenge and said, "You have offered no challenge to my theories of logic and morality, but in the future, calvindude will offer a challenge to it."

By the way, what is your challenge? How have you demonstrated that the laws of logic are "universal" and not "seemingly universal"? I don't think I've read that anywhere in your comments.

You wrote: ". . .you won’t listen to the defense on its own terms. . ."

Try me.

You wrote: "So, when you agree that logic is universal and transcendent, then I will give you my logical arguments."

What reasons are there for me to think that logic is universal and transcendent?

You wrote: "The fact of the matter is that you do not believe your own opinion or else you would not seek to debate this issue in the first place. You believe that what is true for you is true for me too. That is why you are seeking to convert me to your view. You believe your view is a universal and transcendent truth, and yet you have no basis or reason to believe that."

You really seem to know a lot about me.

What I actually believe is that beliefs can be objectively tested by the non-universal laws of logic. I believe that your beliefs would not hold up to the logical axioms that we agree on.

I wrote: "Why don’t you use [logical laws] to form an argument for the existence of your god?"

You wrote: "Why should I waste my time in presenting something to you that I know is impossible for you to grasp in your given state?"

You are unwilling to waste your time explaining why you believe in a god but you spend pages and pages of text talking about what you think of my beliefs?!

I'm starting to agree, though. This is definitely a waste of time.

I don't want to impose on your time anymore. If you can't afford the time it would take to explain to me why you believe in your god, then don't spend it on responding to this stuff. I think I've lost interest in your beliefs.

John W. Loftus said...

Calvin Dude, Why won't you take the time to answer exbeliever?

Why won't you tell him why you believe in your Christian God?

Bahnsen Burner said...

"Why won't you tell him why you believe in your Christian God?"

It appears that Calvin Dude is none other than Peter Pike. He has already been answered here:

http://www.geocities.com/katholon/Contra_Pike.pdf

K7 said...

>Why won't you take the time to answer exbeliever? Why won't you tell him why you believe in your Christian God?

I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because He has effectually called me and regenerated me. It was effected by His Word and by the Holy Spirit.

Bahnsen Burner said...

k7: "I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob because He has effectually called me and regenerated me. It was effected by His Word and by the Holy Spirit."

Did you hear a voice, or just believe something you read in a book? If you heard a voice, how did you identify it as belonging to the biblical deity? If you believed something you read in a book, did you check it to see if what you read is true?

exbeliever said...

Dawson,

You stole my lines!!! ;-)

Thanks

K7 said...

>Did you hear a voice, or just believe something you read in a book? If you heard a voice, how did you identify it as belonging to the biblical deity? If you believed something you read in a book, did you check it to see if what you read is true?

The process occurs over time and is multi-sided and involves multiple influences. An auditory voice of God was not a part of it. It also doesn't require knowing the Bible is true. That is part of the process of conversion, not regeneration. Regeneration gives one the ability to then see and know and accept the Truth of the Word of God. (It also gives you an inwardly motivated desire to engage and absorb and understand the Word of God.) That requires effort and is a process that occurs by degree over time. Regeneration is new birth. With regeneration you have something in you you didn't have before: the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit). Conscience is awakened (unburied as well, by degree) and one is able to see things one couldn't see before such as the illusion of the Kingdom of Satan and the value of the temptations of the Kingdom of Satan. Faith "hath a piercing eye." Faith is a saving grace that, among other things, enables one to see into the spiritual worlds. Whereas before impressions and influences in the world that are crude and filthy and deadend might appear as neutral or even attractive, with faith they appear as they are.

CalvinDude said...

exbeliever,

Thus far you have not given me any reason to show that you and I agree to what logic is in the first place so how is it even remotely possible for me to communicate with you in such a way that you would understand my position? You ask me to provide evidence for my beliefs but you put arbitrary constraints on me and try to force me to offer only the evidence that you will accept. In other words, you necessarily rule out anything I say by default--you cannot give it a fair hearing because you are stuck in your worldview and my position does not make sense in your worldview, a fact I am perfectly cognizant of. But my position doesn't have to make sense in your worldview because your worldview isn't the default position. You have not proven that your worldview is right. You are merely assuming it, and then you get upset by saying all I'm doing is assuming my worldview. Suppose I am--how does that alter the fact that you are assuming your worldview?

But if you want a demonstration as to how our two worldviews have no common ground, let us look at a subject we both agree upon. I ask you to prove that I exist, based on your view of logic. The reason I ask this is because in your worldview it is impossible for you to prove that any person exists, let alone a divine person. So when you can prove I exist then perhaps we can extrapolate from that a method by which we can determine if a divine person exists.


Dawson,

Needless to say, this topic did not start with exbeliever saying, "Here's Peter Pike's position and why it is wrong." Therefore, what I do or do not believe has nothing to do with the arguments presented by exbeliever. It is simply red herring to try to divert the issue from the fact that exbeliever has not demonstrated how he can hold to any law of logic. You might think I have been proven wrong in other places (and isn't it convienient to not offer an argument against my position, but to just say, "Oh, he's been disproven elsewhere so he must be wrong here"--that happens to be a logical fallacy and ad hominem to boot), but even if it were true I actually was proven wrong on some other topic that would not make what exbeliever said here true and that is what we're talking about in this post. If you're the same Dawson I knew a few years ago then you're smarter than this.

exbeliever said...

cd,

You wrote: "I ask you to prove that I exist, based on your view of logic."

Oh, are we talking about me again? I thought I asked first.

You wrote: "[Dawson's posting of the Peter Pike document] is simply red herring to try to divert the issue from the fact that exbeliever has not demonstrated how he can hold to any law of logic."

The fact that you aren't able to understand my demonstration of how I can hold to any law of logic doesn't mean that I haven't demonstrated it.

If you can't understand what I have said (which seems to be the case since all of your attempts at restating it have been incorrect), read The Philosophical Investigations, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct if you have not already done so.

I feel that it is pointless for you to continue posting here if you are only going to attempt to evade and shift the burden of proof.

JesusMarine said...

Consider motion. Imagine sitting next to me in a bar when I suddenly begin screaming, "My Guinness is moving! Sweet Lola, save me, my Guinness is moving!" You look at my glass, however, and say, "Man, atheism is really rat poison to the intellect! Your Guinness isn't moving; it's perfectly still."

You wrote: "[Dawson's posting of the Peter Pike document] is simply red herring to try to divert the issue from the fact that exbeliever has not demonstrated how he can hold to any law of logic."

The fact that you aren't able to understand my demonstration of how I can hold to any law of logic doesn't mean that I haven't demonstrated it.

If you can't understand what I have said (which seems to be the case since all of your attempts at restating it have been incorrect), read The Philosophical Investigations, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct if you have not already done so.

Wow, all of a sudden, it seems like the laws of logic's consistency are no longer useful to the mind alone here. Lets continue though:

Is it both possible that my Guinness is moving and that my Guinness is not moving? Of course it is!

In reality was his guiness moving? You are assuming the Kantian mistake here, that this is contingent on the mind...not reality!

And...first it is, then its not. You're just being a hypocrite here. Self defeating and false. Then, shifting the burden of proof for us to prove God? No doubt, God is provable. But I think you're afraid that if I prove God, then you'll have to change your entire way of living (and you're right!). But...the burden of proof is still not on the Theist to prove God....no no, in fact, its still the Atheist who bears the burden of proof. Theism is the Philosophically default position, until you can get Science to PROVE THIS STATEMENT!

Hey John Loftus....can I be a useful idiot too?

JesusMarine said...

In other words, I am saying that I don't need to not believe in a god to "continue in my sin." I would rebel against most notions of a god even if I believed that god existed. My "rebellion," then, need not stop me from accepting rational arguments.

Whats stopping you from rebelling against Rational Argumentation, when John 1:1 states, "In the beggining was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." Theos en ho Logos. God is LOGIC! Therefore, reasoning leads to God and at the same time, IS God. I guess you'll have to surrender reasoning in order to get away from God then, right? Otherwise, you're being inconsistent with your belief system, therefore, surrendering rationality in order to retain rationality....hence, self defeating nonsense follows.

JesusMarine said...

You're not being consistent with your sinning if you don't rebel against Logic.