Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sye's latest response

Sye's been busy responding to my last post:

ME: ”I pointed out one possible way round this problem (which I am not necessarily endorsing, BTW)”

SYE: Hmmm, I ask what YOUR justification for the laws of logic is. I understand why you don’t want to post it though. Wouldn’t look too good having an amateur eviscerate it.

MY REPLY: Well, unlike you, I am not too confident I have the right answer, Sye. But I am pretty confident, for the reasons explained here, that you don't. Nor do I see any reason yet why atheists have in principle any more problem here, as you assert. Indeed, I have given you two reasons to suppose they actually have less of a problem than you do.

ME ”- make the justification non-inferential. Perhaps we can just directly see that certain very basic forms of argument are truth preserving (this is actually quite plausible, isn't it?).”

SYE: Problem is, this makes logic contingent to past observations, and it loses its universality, and if you want to say that this particular form of argument WILL WORK, because it HAS WORKED, you are question begging.

MY RESPONSE: No it doesn't. You have misunderstood my suggestion. I am saying it may be that we can directly observe that certain forms of argument are necessarily truth preserving. It's not, as you suppose, an inductive inference (i.e. they have been truth preserving up to now, so probably will continue to be). It's not an inference, at all. It's a direct observation. Of the fact that arranging premise and conclusion like so will be necessarily truth-preserving. You may not like this suggestion. It may even be wrong (though I'm not sure it is). The point is, you have not shown it is wrong. Given you claim no atheist-friendly justification of the the laws of logic is even possible, the onus is now clearly on you to do so.

So do so. Again, it's put up or shut up time.

ME ”Sye says that God's revelation let's him know logic can be trusted. So he too appeals to a kind of "seeing"-type justification.”

SYE This begs the question that God cannot reveal that logic can be trusted via, or wholly apart from our senses, in such a way that we can be certain of it.

MY RESPONSE: No it doesn't. I am saying yes, maybe you do have a religious experience that the laws of logic hold. Not an experience via your five senses. Let's consider that. I then point out two major problems with that route to justifying logic.

SYE ”see my "The God of Eth" link on sidebar, Sye”

If and when things die down around here, I’d be glad to have a look, but as I said, it is too long for me to do it justice now. I have devoted a lot of time answering the posters here, and I simply do not have the time for that article.

MY RESPONSE. Well I am now devoting time responding to your challenge, a challenge which is actually irrelevant to that debate we were having, about whether you have a proof of God's existence. My "God of Eth" challenge, on the other hand, is very relevant to that debate. Indeed, your inability to meet it shows your justification of logic is in big trouble. I'm putting in the hours here to answer a question I don't need to answer. You are refusing to put in the hours to answer a question you do need to answer. Anyway, I look forward to hearing your response at some point.

ME ”Another problem is that Sye is aware that other people have a wide variety of religious experiences involving all sorts of incompatible deities (Zeus, Thor, Mithras, etc., plus Buddhists have experiences revealing there's no God), and that such experiences must, then, be largely unreliable. So how can he be confident that any of these experiences are reliable, let alone that his happens to one of the few reliable ones?”

SYE I will be glad to take on anyone who believes that any of those deities, or non-deities revealed anything to them in such a way that they can be certain of it.

MY RESPONSE. Irrelevant reply, Sye. As we already established. This is evidence against your position. Deal with it. Or have us conclude you cannot.

ME: ”[[[So, perhaps we should now issue this challenge to Sye: we have provided an account of how we can be justified in believing the laws of logic.”

SYE: Only if you believe the laws of logic to be contingent, but you do not.

MY RESPONSE: I dealt with this above.

ME ” He hasn't.”

SYE Sure I have. God is the source of logic. Logic holds universally, does not change, and is non-material as God is universal, does not change, and is non-material and logic is a reflection of how He thinks as He has revealed to us.

MY RESPONSE. These assertions unfortunately fail to deal with the two objections I have raised against your account. Very serious objections you are simply refusing to deal with.

SYE No doubt when I ask you to account FOR the laws of logic, and tell me how you know that they are reliable, you and your minions (since I gather you didn’t like cohorts :-), will refer to these last 2 posts, but I sure can’t find the answer to my questions, or that challenge, here.

MY RESPONSE. The fact that you cannot understand the point being made doesn't mean it's not a good one. I have now given you one atheist-friendly account of how the laws of logic might be non-inferentially justified. Your criticism is, as I explained, misplaced (you think I am offering an inductive inference - I'm not). Moreoever, your own account faces two serious problems that my suggested account does not. You choose simply to ignore these problems.

And, of course, finally, you fail to deal with the point that, even if an atheist-friendly account can't be provided, that doesn't establish your claim, that it is in principle impossible for such an account to be provided. Where is your argument for that Sye? Do you have one? Surely we would have seen it by now if you did....

Shortly, I'll provide a rather different atheist-friendly account. Not particularly for your benefit, but just for general interest. But as yet, you have no refutation of even the above, first account. And even if you did, well, you still wouldn't have established your claim that it's in principle impossible for atheists to account for the laws of logic, but not Christians.

48 comments:

JG said...

I really do not understand Sye's inability to read the "God of Eth".

It's not that difficult and can be done in under 10 minutes.

Perhaps it is just unwillingness?

Stephen Law said...

It's tactical - under no circumstances will Sye allow himself to be put on the defensive. His strategy is - never concede anything, ever - always respond with an attack. Keep your opponent constantly locked in a struggle to justify HIS position. Never justify your own position. Just constantly assert that it IS justified, and repeatedly insist your opponent now justify his (ignoring the fact that he has)...

Right Sye? It's in the manual, I guess...

Dr Funkenstein said...

Just been browsing through these series of posts - I dabble in a bit of online debate with these guys (presuppositional apologists) now and again, particularly at this blog - http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/.

The claims are always the same - just parroting stock phrases that various apologists have coined (such as 'the impossibility of the contrary'). The demand that logic etc be 'accounted for' is quite a common request, yet when the demand is reversed and they are asked to account for the supposedly foundational belief in God, the reply is no better than 'we just know'.

At first I thought it might be because I wasn't too well versed in philosophy (I'm a biologist) that I wasn't getting it, but having listened to Prof Gene Witmer's (Univ. Florida philosophy dept) description of his reaction (essentially "WTF?")to first hearing about this style of apologetics, I realised I was in fairly good company.

There's a great article here by one the approaches' most well-known proponents (John Frame) that I like to quote any time they make these demands, since it's chock-full of statements like 'we just know God exists'

http://www.thirdmill.org/files/english/html/pt/
PT.h.Frame.Presupp.Apol.1.html

Stephen Law said...

Thanks for the link Dr F. Very informative. Makes sense of some of Sye's assertions, but not all. For example, I can't see any claim that only Christians can account for the laws of logic. Is this "argument" (!) Sye's own invention? I doubt it... Sye are you adapting an argument developed elsewhere by presupps, or is it your own handiwork?

Sye TenB said...

@ Stephen,

I said: ”Problem is, this makes logic contingent to past observations, and it loses its universality, and if you want to say that this particular form of argument WILL WORK, because it HAS WORKED, you are question begging.”

You said: No it doesn't… … It's not an inference, at all. It's a direct observation. Of the fact that arranging premise and conclusion like so will be necessarily truth-preserving.

Why will it be necessarily truth preserving?

I said: ”This begs the question that God cannot reveal that logic can be trusted via, or wholly apart from our senses, in such a way that we can be certain of it.”

You said: ”No it doesn't. I am saying yes, maybe you do have a religious experience that the laws of logic hold. Not an experience via your five senses.”

Please prove that God cannot reveal some things to us via our senses in such a way that we can be certain of them.

Stephen said: ”My "God of Eth" challenge, on the other hand, is very relevant to that debate. Indeed, your inability to meet it shows your justification of logic is in big trouble.”

Inability eh? I said I did not have the time. If your fellow posters would stop posting, I’d be glad to have a look. On my brief scan though, I did make a point about it a while back though. Without an absolute standard of morality (God), ‘evil’ is a meaningless concept.

You said: ”Irrelevant reply, Sye. As we already established. This is evidence against your position. Deal with it. Or have us conclude you cannot.”

Tell you what Stephen, pick one and I’ll have a go.

”And, of course, finally, you fail to deal with the point that, even if an atheist-friendly account can't be provided, that doesn't establish your claim, that it is in principle impossible for such an account to be provided.”

Sure helps though :-D

You said: ”Shortly, I'll provide a rather different atheist-friendly account.”

Why don’t you tell me what makes the first account “necessarily truth preserving” first.

Cheers,

Sye

Stephen Law said...

Sye asks:

Why will it be necessarily truth preserving?

Sye, do you mean: what will then make the laws of logic necessarily truth preserving?

That's the metaphysical question - not the one we are addressing here. See other post.

But perhaps you mean - how do you know they are necessarily truth preserving?

You can just directly see they are. That's the suggestion. Just one of many possible suggestions an atheist might make, none of which you have even begun to dealt with.

So, have a you got an argument that it is in principle impossible for atheists to account for the laws of logic, but not Christians?

Yes or no?

Stephen Law said...

ME ”And, of course, finally, you fail to deal with the point that, even if an atheist-friendly account can't be provided, that doesn't establish your claim, that it is in principle impossible for such an account to be provided.”

SYE Sure helps though :-D

MY REPLY. Well, no, it doesn't, does it. This actually looks like a concession that, to repeat, you've got no argument for that conclusion.

Right, Sye?

Stephen Law said...

SYE Tell you what Stephen, pick one and I’ll have a go.

MY REPLY. No deal with both objections or we shall conclude you can't. Here they are again:

One problem with Sye's suggestion is that, armed with the laws of logic and the power of reliable observation, we then very quickly find extremely good evidence that Sye's God does not exist (evidence that Sye studiously refuses to consider, despite my request that he do so - see my "The God of Eth" link on sidebar, Sye).

Another problem is that Sye is aware that other people have a wide variety of religious experiences involving all sorts of incompatible deities (Zeus, Thor, Mithras, etc., plus Buddhists have experiences revealing there's no God), and that such experiences must, then, be largely unreliable. So how can he be confident that any of these experiences are reliable, let alone that his happens to one of the few reliable ones?

The first atheist-friendly suggestion does not run into either of these very serious problems. It may not be correct. But it has great advantages over Sye's account. And Sye certainly has not yet shown it isn't correct.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Well, no, it doesn't, does it. This actually looks like a concession that, to repeat, you've got no argument for that conclusion."

Nope, it was a joke actually. I can only deal with the contraries you bring up. So far, you're not doing so good.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Steohen Law said: "But perhaps you mean - how do you know they are necessarily truth preserving?

You can just directly see they are."


Mind telling me where you can see that they are necessarily truth preserving, so I can have a look too?

Cheers,

Sye

Stephen Law said...

SYE SAID You said: ”No it doesn't. I am saying yes, maybe you do have a religious experience that the laws of logic hold. Not an experience via your five senses.”

Please prove that God cannot reveal some things to us via our senses in such a way that we can be certain of them.

MY RESPONSE. I don't rule it out in principle. But I have raised two objections to your claim that God has revealed certain things to you. You have not dealt with those objections yet.

1.you have no grounds for supposing you are not one of the vast majority of religious folk who have had a religious experience whose experience is delusory. After all, they all claim "certainty" too, don't they - believers in Mithras, Thor, Zeus, the Great Snogglin?

2. the "God of Eth" challenge

JG said...

@Stephen

"MY REPLY. Well, no, it doesn't, does it. This actually looks like a concession that, to repeat, you've got no argument for that conclusion."

Absolutely correct. As well as the fact that it is a logical fallacy...negative proof.

He is just asserting that logic cannot be accounted for outside of the Christian God because he has seen no argumentation to the contrary (or not admitting as much). Even though he has no argument for this premise, he will continue to state it.

At least 2 tactics will ensure.

1. He will dismiss any argument that demonstrates that logic can be accounted for outside of the Christian God (which you have done).

2. Use meaningless double-talk such as "Why are logical fallacies not allowed according your worldview".

In other words "I may be wrong, but you are not allowed to tell me that I am wrong."

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "No deal with both objections or we shall conclude you can't."

Alright, how's this?: Tell me how you account for the laws of logic according to your worldview, or I shall conclude that you can't.

Cheers,

Sye

Stephen Law said...

a joke eh. right. and so your argument is...?

Kosh3 said...

You know the song "this is the song that never ends.... it goes on and on my friend.... some people started singing it not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because" [repeats].

Well this is "the argument that never ends..."

I was listening to Keith DeRose talking about issues of skepticism with Dawkins and Pinker a while back. He notes that in a conversation where you ask your opponent "what claim will you accept from me without requiring reasons for it", and they reply "nothing" -- you can't win. It will be an infinite conversation. Seems to be the case with each demand from Sye for "proof that [insert statement]" or "how do you absolutely know that [insert statement]".

captain howdy said...

@dr funkenstein--

I know, I know. I don't understand the appeal of trying to deconstruct Sye's whole rhetorical dog and pony show. Sye insists if Stephen can't account for the ultimate nature of reality, then Stephen cannot make use of reason and critical thought (or something).


In all likelihood, nobody can conclusively account for the ultimate nature of reality, Xtian or atheist. Sye brandishes this fact like a sword, confident that his verbal skills will prevent his atheist opponent from taking the sword away from him and using it against him--and he's often right. But not all the time, huh Sye?

[To anyone curious, go to the "Final Countdown" thread to see what I mean. I spanked him proper.]

Stephen Law said...

SYE Mind telling me where you can see that they are necessarily truth preserving, so I can have a look too?

MY RESPONSE Well, take a look at any very simple argument form, e.g.

P and Q
Therefore Q

I can just *see* that it's necessarily truth preserving. Can't you?

I am sure you'll say you can't. But is that really true? And in any case, how do you know I can't?

Remember you are supposed to proving that atheists can't non-inferentially justify logic. Maybe they can do it like this. Prove they can't.

You claim you can just directly experience God. So why can't I just directly see that certain basic forms of inference are necessarily truth preserving?

Prove I can't do this.

Stephen Law said...

SYE SAID Stephen said: "No deal with both objections or we shall conclude you can't."

Alright, how's this?: Tell me how you account for the laws of logic according to your worldview, or I shall conclude that you can't.

MY RESPONSE You are not dealing with the objections. I guess you can't then.

And I AM currently giving one example of how an atheist might account for the laws of logic. So far, you have not been able to fault it. And I have a bucketful more.

And in any case, even if I can't come up with an account of the laws of logic, that does not establish that atheism is in principle incapable of accounting for the laws of logic.

This is getting boring. Got anything else?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said:

"P and Q
Therefore Q

I can just *see* that it's necessarily truth preserving."


Hey, I have no problem leaving things right there, thanks for that.

Cheers,

Sye

Stephen Law said...

More than happy to help, Sye.

Sye TenB said...

Alright, I read your “God of Eth.” My conclusion, it is entirely irrelevant to our discussion. Both debaters in your story are arguing evidentially, and I am a presuppositionalist, not an evidentialist.

Their debate presupposes the laws of logic, which cannot be accounted for outside of God’s revelation. That same God also reveals that He is all good. There is no logical contradiction with God’s being all good, and the presence of evil, as you cannot show that God does not have a morally sufficient reason for the evil in this world. You can’t even tell us what evil is, apart from an absolute standard of morality (God).

Cheers,

Sye

Dr Funkenstein said...

Their debate presupposes the laws of logic, which cannot be accounted for outside of God’s revelation.

But how do you 'account for' God's revelation being real and not just lies/wishful thinking on the part of the writers of the bible, or TGOTB illumining the human mind with these tools for functioning in the real world? Read the article I linked to - on at least 3 occasions Frame simply states words to the effect that 'we just know we know'. Your lot would be raking the rest of us over the coals for statements like that. Guys like Bahnsen and Van Til are no better - phrases like 'the impossibility of the contrary' are just empty rhetoric, since how would anyone prove we couldn't be sitting here discussing this in the absence of the existence of the Christian God?

anticant said...

Captain howdy says: "In all likelihood, nobody can conclusively account for the ultimate nature of reality". I agree, and am content to stick with Dr Johnson's sceptical lady who, when the good doctor asked her what she DID believe in, replied "I believe in the universe" to which he retorted "By God, Madam, you'd better!"

David Gawthorne said...

Coming into a blog debate at this point is probably a mistake, but I am both confused and intrigued by the claim that the existence of God could somehow account for logical laws.

Logical laws are necessarily true.

Even if it is granted that God is a necessary being (and assuming we know what that means) I do not see how the existence of God could explain logical laws.

Traditionally, it has been argued by theists that God does not require an explanation because he is a necessary being and only contingent beings require an explanation.

If logical laws hold necessarily then, on the same basis, they do not require an explanation.

It is not as though true logical laws could have been otherwise. Thus, something being necessarily so constitutes an explanation of that thing (state of affairs, law).

Asking WHY something is necessarily so seems to imply a kind of hyperintensionality that can never be satisfied by any explanation as there will always be a higher order question as to why something is necessarily necessarily so, or necessarily necessarily necessarily so, and so on.

In that case, I would suggest that the onus passes to the inquisitor to explain why the explanation that something is necessarily so is insufficient.

Of course, the debate has also been framed in epistemological terms, such as how we can know which of the argument forms are underwritten by validity.

Interestingly, the suggestion that we know logical laws via our knowledge of God is similar to Descartes’ use of the ontological argument to ground human knowledge of anything. This is interesting because in explaining why human knowledge is EVER fallible, Descartes had to deal with a form of the problem of evil. It can be seen, therefore, that using God to underwrite human knowledge claims DOES make the problem of evil relevant to this debate.

Geert Arys said...

What does sye do?

"I am a presuppositionalist, not an evidentialist."

"Presuppositionalist?" In other words, this basic method of thinking is that unless one has absolute certainty, one is denied the right to question anything, even if they have evidence!

Note that if someone comes with evidence, Sye just SLAPs them in the face with the fact they are not arrogant enough to presuppose they have the key to truth. He thinks, they have no basis to know ANYTHING.

In order for you to believe ANYONE Sye first FORCEs them into accepting his presupposed absolute truth, or ignore argument. Including saying that he can reject anyone who questions the bible before they accept it as the truth. (Inversion of burden of prove)

The way to prove someone is WRONG, to anyone else but himself, is either to claim they have no basis to think (unless they accept his premise).

Catch 22 thinking.

Another trick he often uses is to simply invert the burden of truth, as shown above.

But FEAR NOT! You can also be a presuppositionalist, just say: "I am always right (by the impossibility of the inverse)". This logic is consistent and unbreakable. Indeed, in this world, the inverse is indeed impossible!

Every 'evidentionalist' will claim you have a very limited power of prediction, and try to show you hard evidence that you are wrong. But hey, as long as they have no basis to believe their own eyes, they can not prove anything! IF they come up with another basis, like Sye does, just say "That's are wrong". It must be true, because you're a presupposionalist that whatever you say is true. What a bliss!

@Sye

Now I also see why you chose to ignore my *previous* post. I am obviously an 'evidentialist'.

But HEY, I understand you:

"Their debate presupposes the laws of logic, which cannot be accounted for outside of God’s revelation."

You don't have to prove that, right? Because if I don't accept it, you'll just say I have no basis to question you.

Catch 22. Rejecting arguments unless we agree with you.

That same God also reveals that He is all good. There is no logical contradiction with God’s being all good, and the presence of evil, as you cannot show that God does not have a morally sufficient reason for the evil in this world.

Catch 22. Inversion of the burden of proof.

You can’t even tell us what evil is, apart from an absolute standard of morality (God).

Catch 22. Inversion of the burden of truth.

YOU said God cannot create ANYTHING outside his own nature. YOU said there is evil. Why is evil?

Nick said...

Sye Said: "Please prove that God cannot reveal some things to us via our senses in such a way that we can be certain of them."

No - you prove that God really exists and actually does this.

Nick said...

Sye Said: "Their debate presupposes the laws of logic, which cannot be accounted for outside of God’s revelation. That same God also reveals that He is all good."

Prove that the laws of logic cannot be accounted for on any other wolrdview. Prove that your God exists, and is all good.

Nick said...

Sye Said: "There is no logical contradiction with God’s being all good, and the presence of evil, as you cannot show that God does not have a morally sufficient reason for the evil in this world."

You show that God actually exists, and does have morally sufficient reason for all the suffering that currently does and has previously existed in the world.

Nick said...

Stephen,

If you read the transcripts of debates with other presuppositional apologists, you will see that they all stick to the same TAG script as Sye:

1) Assert that logic cannot be accounted for on any worldview but their own.
2) Refuse to ever justify this assertion by means of a valid deductive argument (or set of arguments) using premises that are themselves justified (or properly basic in a non-contentious way).
3) Make further unjustified metaphysical and theological assertions (such as those relating to revelations), and refuse to answer any criticisms of these assertions.
4) Always ask opponents how they explain logic on their worldview. If no arguments are presented, then assume that they win by default.
5) If arguments are presented for this or anything else by the opponent, then either ignore them or repeately ask the opponent to 'prove' everything they say, even when an absolute proof is not possible (only an argument to the best explanation), in order to put them on the defensive.
6) Go back to step 1

See here: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/theism/debates.html#Transcendental

IMO, the best that can ever be hoped for with such people is a stalemate. This can only be achieved by never presenting one's own arguments, as that will just invite further "but how do you prove that" questions to put you back on the defensive. The only tactic, so far as I can see, is to close them down by doing nothing but asking them to 'prove' their own assertions. They will never do this, of course, just revert back to more unjustifed assertions. At this point, you just ask them to 'prove' those assertions. Eventually, the debate will just degenerate into a Mexican Standoff.

This is not very enlightening or entertaining, of course, so one might choose to present one's own arguments anyway. However, in this case, the opponent will just revert back to their script, and the whole thing becomes futile.

anticant said...

Quite. The futility of meaningful debate with the likes of Sye has now been tested to destruction here. Let's move on.

Sye TenB said...

Geert said: "YOU said God cannot create ANYTHING outside his own nature."

Where have I said that?

Cheers,

Sye

P.S. I had saved your previous post to respond to today actually, but the point is now moot.

Sye TenB said...

David Gawthorne said: "Logical laws are necessarily true."

Hello David, and welcome. God necessarily exists. How do you like your argument now?

"It can be seen, therefore, that using God to underwrite human knowledge claims DOES make the problem of evil relevant to this debate."

Alright, fine. David, what is 'evil' in any atheistic worldview?

Cheers,

Sye

Nick said...

Sye Said: "God necessarily exists"

Prove it!

Sye TenB said...

Anticant said: "I agree, and am content to stick with Dr Johnson's sceptical lady who, when the good doctor asked her what she DID believe in, replied "I believe in the universe" to which he retorted "By God, Madam, you'd better!"

Interesting how Dr. Johnson invokes God in his retort.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Dr. Funkenstein said: "But how do you 'account for' God's revelation being real and not just lies/wishful thinking on the part of the writers of the bible"

Simple, God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of it, which, you would be forced to admit, is at least a possible avenue to certainty. What is yours?

Cheers,

Sye

Nick said...

Sye Said: "Simple, God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of it..."

Prove that your God actually exists, and has done what you say

Geert Arys said...

Simple, God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of it, which, you would be forced to admit, is at least a possible avenue to certainty. What is yours?

Ow, Jezus came to my door, rang, and delivered "the book" himself, giving me his captivating smile saying he loves me while reascending to heavens.

I'd believe then, Sye.

But NO, we can't EVER be certain in your view. Even then, in your view, I can never believe my eyes. I would need to RELY ON REALITY.

You know, observing REALITY... what I do to validate logic.

Sye TenB said...

Geert said: ”But NO, we can't EVER be certain in your view.”

On the contrary, it is only in the Christian worldview that one can have certainty. Watch: Geert, what are you certain of, and how are you certain of it?

”Even then, in your view, I can never believe my eyes. I would need to RELY ON REALITY.”

Actually Geert, we can rely on our senses as we know that they are a gift from God, you, on the other hand have the hopelessly circular argument of: “I sense and reason, that my senses and reasoning are valid.”

”You know, observing REALITY... what I do to validate logic.”

Give me an example of how your observations validate logic, without using logic.

Cheers,

Sye

Nick said...

Sye Said: "Actually Geert, we can rely on our senses as we know that they are a gift from God..."

Prove that your God exists, and that our senses are a gift from that God

Nick said...

Sye daid: "you, on the other hand have the hopelessly circular argument of: “I sense and reason, that my senses and reasoning are valid.”"

For those interested in a rather more comprehensive and sound naturalistic justification for the reliability of senses and reason than Sye's straw man, I would recommend the following:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/rea.html

and

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/reppert.html

Geert Arys said...

Actually Geert, we can rely on our senses as we know that they are a gift from God,

- Senses are a gift from God
- Logic is how God thinks.

HOW can I believe in the Christian worldview WITHOUT using my senses or using my LOGIC?

you, on the other hand have the hopelessly circular argument of: “I sense and reason, that my senses and reasoning are valid.”

At least, that's how know logic is consistent with observed reality.
I KNOW I need an axiom (everything in my observed reality is true).

You do too.

James F. Elliott said...

For poop's sake, now all Sye's doing is re-framing questions negatively and then asking you to prove them. Fine: Sye, prove you're not a douche.

James F. Elliott said...

God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of it

How?

(If you say "The Bible," you're automatically disqualified.)

Dr Funkenstein said...

Actually Geert, we can rely on our senses as we know that they are a gift from God

This is something Fitelson and Sober brought up in their response to Plantinga's EAAN (another favourite of presuppers)

I wear glasses, as do many other people. Others suffer from various sensory disorders both physical and psychological. Why would a God design sensory systems that easily fail?

I also gather that eyewitness testimony is one of the leading causes of wrongful imprisonment, and psychologists such as Elizabeth Loftus have argued that it should no longer be used in court trials such is its unreliablity.

I think Stephen also pointed out that these apparently reliable senses lead the vast majority of the world's population to accept worldviews that you would consider false. Why would they be geared to do this?

God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of it

Yo haven't really added anything to Frame's 'we just know we know' statements by saying this - I can just ask 'how do you account for how the revelation is imparted to us/being certain?'

David Gawthorne said...

Sye,

Note that I was careful to separate out epistemological considerations (relating to questions as to what and how we can know) from metaphysical considerations (relating to questions as to the fundamental explanation of things).

Saying that logical laws and/or God do not require explanation if they exist because they would exist necessarily is a metaphysical claim.

How we know whether there are such necessary laws or beings is another question.

Next, the problem of evil is relevant if we rely on God to explain our knowledge because of the issue of our fallibility.

Let’s ignore the moral absolutes of good and evil for a moment. I grant the logical possibility that a good God could have just reasons for creating the world as it is. That we are fallible in our thought processes would fall within this constraint of God having good reasons for making or allowing the world to be the way it is.

Okay, so the epistemological question becomes, how do you know that God does not have good reasons to allow you to be in error about any of the knowledge that you seek to explain via God’s existence?

Maybe the true laws of logical are completely different to the way you think they are and God had some good reason to make the world such that you have wrong beliefs about logic.

Given this argument, I cannot see how God’s existence can justify our beliefs about logical laws.

If true logical laws require no independent explanation, and God cannot explain our knowledge of logical laws, I do not understand the deficit that the existence of God alleviates in relation to logical laws.

James F. Elliott said...

Why would a God design sensory systems that easily fail?

Oh, Doc, don't give him the chance to bring in "The Fall" and original sin. Please.

Sye TenB said...

David Gawthorne said: "Given this argument, I cannot see how God’s existence can justify our beliefs about logical laws."

The argument begs the question that God could not reveal some things to us in such a way that we can be certain of their validity.

Cheers,

Sye

anticant said...

Sye says: "Interesting how Dr. Johnson invokes God in his retort."

Dr Johnson, you ignorant twit [I don't suppose you have ever heard of him, or of Boswell's "Life"], was a devout Christian.