Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sye's Presuppositional Apologetics

I had a thought - not one that's going to convince Sye, of course, but anyway, here it is, for discussion:

Sye's proof appears to be:

1. Logic cannot exist without God
2. Logic exists
Conclusion: God exists

This is a deductively valid argument (necessarily, if the premises are true, so is the conclusion).

Of course, for a "proof" you need more than validity. So what else? Self-evident premises? Well, if so, then Sye will say: my premises are self-evident (and of course to him they seem to be). So it is a proof!

Trouble is, what he is really supposed to be doing is proving to us that God exists. Now you cannot prove something to an audience in this way if the premises are not self evident to your audience.

Illustration: I can prove I just drew a three-sided figure:

1. I just drew a triangle
2. Triangles are three sided figures
Conclusion: I just drew a three-sided figure

Have I "proved" to you my conclusion? Of course not. You still have no idea whether I drew a three sided figure or not. It might be evident to me that the premises are true. But of course the first premise is not evident to you. So the "proof" fails.

The same of course is true of Sye's "proof" if it's not self-evident to us that his premise is true. Which it is not.

Now, this is where Sye gets ingenious - he says, in effect, "It IS self evident to you - God HAS given you this knowledge - but you choose to hide it from yourself, being miserable sinners. That means I HAVE proved it to you that God exists."

This is a key move for Sye, then. He relies on saying that we are somehow deluded.

Of course, someone is deluded here about the self-evidence claim. The fact that even most Christians - many of whom I would guess are far more holy and virtuous than Sye - scratch their heads and say "But it isn't self-evident!" (I include here even those who think the premise is true - they don't think it's self-evident!) should certainly suggest to Sye that he's the deluded one.

At the end of the day, all he's got is an assertion - that we're all (including the majority of Christians) deluded and that's why we can't see he's got a proof.

That's the sort of thing nutters always say, of course!

As I say, any fair-minded reader of the posts over at Dan's blog surely won't be able to avoid the conclusion that Sye is either a bit mental (religion can do that to you, of course, as I'm sure even Sye will recognise when it comes to certain other religious folk) or just a willful bullshitter.

257 comments:

1 – 200 of 257   Newer›   Newest»
Sye TenB said...

No one should be lost on the fact that after all our interactions, and hundreds upon hundreds of posts, Stephen Law has NEVER given us his own account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, or on what basis he proceeds with the assumption that they WILL hold.

I'll leave it up to you all to determine why that is.

Stephen Law said...

The answer is obvious - it's because I am not sure I know the answer.

That does not establish that only Christian theism can accomodate logic, let alone establish that no atheist world view can. Which is what you claim you can prove.

This has been pointed out to you so many times (hundreds, probably), in so many different ways, and with such clarity, that surely no fair minded observer will be able to avoid the conclusion that you are either deliberately bullshitting, or a nutter.

They can decide which.

anticant said...

Why is everyone so persistent in tossing verbal coconuts at poor old Sye? He's the ideal cockshy - thick from ear to ear and, unlike most of the rest of us, HAPPY in his delusions.

I suggest we let him be, and turn to more fruitful topics for philosophical discussion.

Psye said...

Sye, having followed your debate on Stephen's blog, I must say you appear to be obsessional. I would recommend visiting the doctor, for your own good.

AC said...

I have to agree with anticant this time.

For the first set of posts, it was an interesting look at presuppositionalism. Except then we learnt that it's just a overly-complicated way of going "Nyah nyah na-nyah nyah, I can't hear you!"

Best to move on I think, or at least contain Sye to one comments thread.

Paul C said...

But Sye - nobody expects him to give his own account. He only needs to show that our account doesn't work, or to demonstrate that there are alternative accounts that do work; either of these routes are sufficient to demonstrate that you are wrong. He has done both of these things, repeatedly; yet still you persist. It is clear that you (like most presuppositionalists) are impervious to reason, but I do wonder how you reconcile your lies with your god.

Tony Lloyd said...

No one should be lost on the fact that after all our interactions, and hundreds upon hundreds of posts, Stephen Law has NEVER given us his own account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, or on what basis he proceeds with the assumption that they WILL hold.

And you, Sye, have never come up with a reason why he should. Not once. Not ever. Nowhere near. Can you come up with a good reason why anyone should support Liverpool Football Club? Me neither, it's an eternal mystery, it has to date no explanation whatever. Does that mean that nobody does? Unfortunately not, plenty adhere to this wrongheaded ideaology, Does it mean that "God did it?", no: all those Liverpool supporters have free will, they chose to follow Liverpool.

The explanation is beside the point. The fact that there could be an explanation refutes Sye's argument (and I mean strictly refutes: the possibility of an alternative renders Sye's argument invalid.)

This is a bit that Sye is unwilling (or unable) to grasp. He is either dishonest or stupid. Either way it seems to me to be of little use discussing with him.

(PS there is one good reason for supporting Liverpool that I have heard of)

Kaitlyn said...

Hey Stephen, since you posted a proof of the circularity of Sye's argument, I'll reprint my proof that Sye's argument is fallacious.

Proposition:
Sye's argument is fallacious.

Proof: Reducto ad Absurdum

Replacing "air" with "magical pixies", Sye writes:
Actually Kaitlyn, it’s more like this.

I say: “Magical Pixes are necessary for you to be able to breathe.”

Random atheist answers: “No it’s not, I’m breathing, and there is no such thing as magical pixies.”

I say: ‘But how do you account for your ability to breathe, if you say there is no such thing as magical pixies?’

Random atheist answers: “There is no such thing as magical pixies, and I don’t need to account for my ability to breathe, liar.”

[End quote from Sye]

Therefore magical pixies are necessary for you to breath by the "impossibility of the contrary." <- Sye's terminology.

----------------------------

Since we know magical pixies are not necessary for us to breath, the conclusion is wrong.

------------------------------

QED: Sye's argument is fallacious.

Andrew Louis said...

I'll take "A Bit Mental" for 2000 Stephen....

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "The answer is obvious - it's because I am not sure I know the answer."

I am fine with the admission that you cannot account for logic, or on what basis you proceed with the assumption that it WILL hold, as that has been my point all along.

You use logic, and expect it to hold, but you deny giving glory to the only possible One who makes it so.

Kaitlyn said...

So Sye, you mentioned in the other thread that you have a revelation of God in such a way that you can it it to be absolutely true.

How can you differentiate between a revelation between a well-behaved god and a immoral god pretending to be good? How would you then differentiate such a revelation from a delusion?

I look forward to your answers.

Brian said...

Sye:
I am fine with the admission that you cannot account for logic, or on what basis you proceed with the assumption that it WILL hold, as that has been my point all along.

Human nature you strange person. Logic may not have universality, and other properties you ascribe it, but we live as if they are by our nature. Just because we cannot reason without logic doesn't mean logic is part of the fabric of reality.

What proof do you have that logic is universal, abstract, and invariant and not just the form of conceptualizing of an tool making ape that has helped that ape get along well enough in its small niche and has allowed the ape to understand the universe in it's own limited way? Prove to us that logic is as you describe it, and not just forced upon us by our nature. After you've done that you can show why, if logic is as you say it it, your explanation is coherent, and the only possible one.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Actually Sye, I had a thought earlier today.

You claim logic and the rules governing its use etc are part of God's nature, as opposed to something decided upon by other means (for example) human thought or convention.

Since you claim we can be sure of these attributes since God imparted this via revelation ie in the contents of the bible and this is our means of knowing that logic exists and so on (ignoring the facts that you also claim revelation claims are the preserve of the insane, and you've still not established that a being with this ability actually exists - it doesn't look like we'll ever get any answers from you on these points, despite repeated requests, which is a shame), this highlights another problem for you.

The fact that the bible is in fact something put together by human convention (the various factions in early Christian history fighting for supremacy who had different views on various writings such as the gospels, Origen's selection of various books from a larger pool of writings, the council of Nicea and so on) means that knowledge of your God's attributes is dependent on the product of human convention. Even now there's no one standard canon for the bible - protestants have a different canon than catholics, and there are obviously other factions that also have their own distinct views on what is and isn't canonical.

So, if essentially the bible, and therefore your means of knowledge of God/his attributes and therefore logic (in your worldview) is reliant on human convention, you should be fine with an atheist appealing to human convention as an explanation regarding the laws of logic and so on, right?

If you're not, maybe you could explain why.

CodewordConduit said...

Sye will just respond that God ensured that the correct collection of doodlings found its way into the hands of "the elect".

Despite the fact, of course, that Constantine (who ordered the Council of Nicea) actually allowed paganistic sun worship to be practiced alongside Christianity throughout his reign as emperor.

His successor, Theodosius I, abolished paganism throughout the Roman Empire.

How likely is it that somebody facilitating idolatry was simultaneously receiving the "correct" revelations from God?

Stephen Law said...

"I am fine with the admission that you cannot account for logic."

Sneaky use of language, Sye.

(i) First of all, it's not an "admission" at all, is it? Certainly not one that, with you're amazing, God-driven intellectual powers, you have succeeded in wringing out of me. It's just a restatement of my position from the outset! - namely, that I am not entirely sure I have the answer (though, as you know, I have offered three atheist friendly views none of which you have been able to refute). I'm not sure I know the answer. However, I may in fact possess the answer (it may even be one of the three examples I outlined). Certainly I am not agreeing that it is impossible in principle for any atheist view to accommodate logic. Which is what you seem, in your slippery way, to suggest I have been forced by you to "admit". A rather sneaky use of language, I think.

(ii) YOU are supposed to be PROVING something, remember? That only a Christian world view involving God can accommodate logic. You claim you have PROVED that all non-Christian accounts - including ALL atheist accounts - including the ones no-one has thought of yet - fail. Your line "I'm fine with that" above suggests you think you have actually succeeded or at least made some progress on this front. Again, that's slippery. For the truth is we have now established beyond any reasonable doubt that your "proof" is a bit of a joke. A fact you are trying to draw attention away from by saying you are "fine" with my "admission".

Stephen Law said...

So you won't be saying on other websites that you forced the philosopher Stephen Law to "admit" that atheism cannot account for logic, will you?

For that would be a lie, wouldn't it?

CodewordConduit said...

Stephen we'll just grass him in if he does.

Stephen Law said...

Kaitlyn - thanks, and yep that is pretty much how Sye argues (well, it's one of his arguments anyway).

scott gray said...

i think it is time for sye to be rickrolled.

Psye said...

I'm very impressed by Stephen's dissection of Sye's presuppositional joke of an argument. Stephen gave Sye several intellectual -- and humiliating -- bitch-slaps in the first match, and he continues to deliver in the not very anticipated re-match (I think most of us here are not THAT sadistic).

get_education said...

The true problem is this. We have "debated" with Sye lots of times, and followed in his obviously dishonest rhetoric.

But, actually, there is nothing to discuss. His main goal is to attack both "universal abstract, whatever else" and "certainty." He claims he has both, an account for those "univ ..." and certainty. He also claims that, once we come in terms with him by supplying an account for both "univ ..." and certainty, we can compare which "worldview" comports better to reality.

Of course, it is not a matter of coming back with worldviews. If imagining the "perfect worldview" solves the problem, then we can just do so. Right?

A delusion shared by thousands, such as the Christian God, or the Islamic God (Islamists also use the pressup shit, maybe they did it before Christians, according to what I have heard), is still a delusion. Thus, having an imaginary worldview that "accounts for such and such" is actually putting Sye in much worse shape than any atheist.

Finally, what use is it to have this imaginary god to hide behind? Sye and any Christian and any person for that matter, can make logical mistakes (well, this is obvious, Sye's rhetoric, actually Sye's sophisms are sure logical fallacies). Thus, Why would anybody want God-given certainty on the wrong logic? Why would anybody want God-given ability to reason if your reason can be faulty?

But all of that is beyond the point. All Sye has is an imaginary backup. That is all we need to know and point to. If his "worldview" gives him "certainty." So be it. That still does not prove any denial of anything in unrighteousness.

This is what it all reduces to. Sye has an imaginary backup. Atheists don't. Who is in worse shape there? No need to argue.

G.E.

Kaitlyn said...

The worst part of the pressup argument is that God's existence isn't a presupposition, but a post-hoc conclusion.

Worse still, once the Christian learns the word, "presupposition," every axiom and every assumption suddenly becomes a "presupposition," proving a little bit of knowledge is not only dangerous, but also annoying and grating.

Whateverman said...

That made my day :)

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "You claim you have PROVED that all non-Christian accounts - including ALL atheist accounts - including the ones no-one has thought of yet - fail."

Where have I claimed this? It is my position that they do all fail, which we can know through God's revelation, but I can only disprove them as they are presented. So far, as we all should be aware of by now, you have not presented yours.

Sye TenB said...

G.E. said: "He also claims that, once we come in terms with him by supplying an account for both "univ ..." and certainty, we can compare which "worldview" comports better to reality."

Did you see where anyone here has given their account for universals and certainty? Have you? Please re-post it, this constant avoidance is getting dull.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "So you won't be saying on other websites that you forced the philosopher Stephen Law to "admit" that atheism cannot account for logic, will you?"

Nope, but if asked about our discussions I will simply say that I asked you, how you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, according to your worldview, and on what basis you proceed with the assumption that they will hold, and you could not give an account.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "For the truth is we have now established beyond any reasonable doubt that your "proof" is a bit of a joke."

Is that the absolute truth Stephen? If so, how can you know this, or anything for certain according to your worldview?

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: "The fact that the bible is in fact something put together by human convention"

The authority of the Bible is not in the assembling of it (although you beg the question by assuming that God did not see to it that this was done in exact accordance to His will), but in God's own words.

The Council of Nicea did not determine what was scripture, and what was not, they discovered it.

Sye TenB said...

Brian said: "Just because we cannot reason without logic doesn't mean logic is part of the fabric of reality."

Is it?

Sye TenB said...

Tony Lloyd said: ”And you, Sye, have never come up with a reason why he should. Not once. Not ever.”

You never asked :-D It is my position that you cannot account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic and the basis for proceeding on the assumption that they will hold, so it is not a matter of why you should. What you should do is get on your knees and repent of denying God your maker, the only possible source of these laws, and your very ability to reason.

Sye TenB said...

Paul C said: ”But Sye - nobody expects him to give his own account.”

Um, I do.

” He only needs to show that our account doesn't work”

With logic that he cannot account for, I don’t think so.

get_education said...

Sorry Sye,

there is no point to argue with you. Your imaginary accounting for whatever it is is just that. Imaginary.

It does not matter how many times you respond with "are you certain? how do you account ..." Your account is still imaginary. In your own words, your account amounts to moot. :-D

I say good bye until there comes a time when I just feel like warning somebody about your dishonest tactics and rhetoric. Oh, and your hypocrisy. (Say Hi to SC Mike. He thinks I never told you how dishonest you are, please let him know I often do.)

G.E.

Timmo said...

Stephen, I understand that you want to protect your name from Sye's altogether absurd portrayal of himself as the victor in your previous discussion with him. At the same time, dogmatists are going to scream whatever they like, regardless of what one says against them. Was it really worth letting this nightmare return to the blog? If there was actually an interesting argument here for thinking that God is necessary to underwrite logical laws, then I would welcome it. As is, I'm just a horrified witness.

Kaitlyn said...

Bye Sye, it was good seeing you again. It's time for you to go back to the drawing board. Stephen, others, and myself have all refuted your argument, and now you're attempting something akin to a war of attrition.

I hope you come up with some better arguments in the future, because if you can prove the existence of God, you will at least earn a Nobel prize.

See you!

anticant said...

Sye, and arguing with Sye, are just a sheer waste of time.

So is arguing with much more sophisticated theists.

I don't understand the fascination that jousting with them holds for Stephen and some other philosophers.

They will always "clinch" any and every argument by saying that for them it is a matter of Faith, and that they have a private hotline to God, Jehovah, Jesus, Allah, or whatever.

Totally nonsensical and utterly boring.

Stephen Law said...

"""Stephen said: "So you won't be saying on other websites that you forced the philosopher Stephen Law to "admit" that atheism cannot account for logic, will you?"

Nope, but if asked about our discussions I will simply say that I asked you, how you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, according to your worldview, and on what basis you proceed with the assumption that they will hold, and you could not give an account."""

That too would be a lie as I gave you three, none of which you have refuted. I am just not sure which is correct.

Stephen Law said...

Timmo said: "Stephen, I understand that you want to protect your name from Sye's altogether absurd portrayal of himself as the victor in your previous discussion with him. At the same time, dogmatists are going to scream whatever they like, regardless of what one says against them. Was it really worth letting this nightmare return to the blog? If there was actually an interesting argument here for thinking that God is necessary to underwrite logical laws, then I would welcome it. As is, I'm just a horrified witness."

I'm kind of doing research Timmo. Got a book project going...

Stephen Law said...

"Is that the absolute truth Stephen? If so, how can you know this, or anything for certain according to your worldview?"

I don't claim to know anything "for certain" i.e. beyond any possible doubt. The idea that knowledge requires such certainty is knocked out of philosophy undergrads in year one. You should do a course...

But in any case, you are changing subjects again. The question is not what I can know, if anything; it's what you have proved if anything. You claim to have proved something. We keep pointing out you have not proved anything. You then keep trying to change the subject.

WAT said...

Is it?

First you say that logic is universal, abstract and invariant, which would make it a part of the fabric of reality, then you ask if it is. Very strange person.

Anyway, please show that it's universal, abstract and invariant and not just something all humans do involuntarily.

WAT said...

Here's sye's logic:

If it's not New Year's day it must be Christmas day.

A silly logical error, false dichotomy and all that.

paraphrased:

If you can't show a naturalistic account for logic, then his account of logic must be true.

Not too good at logic is he?

Stephen Law said...

You are right WAT. Worse still, atheists don't have to commit to naturalism or materialism, etc.

Stephen Law said...

ye said (about my comment he claims to have proved that only the Christian God can account for logic, and so all non-Christian accounts must fail):

"Where have I claimed this? It is my position that they do all fail, which we can know through God's revelation, but I can only disprove them as they are presented. So far, as we all should be aware of by now, you have not presented yours."

Well, Sye, you did say you had an argument for this. You called it "the impossibility of the contrary", remember?

However, despite saying you had this argument called "impossibility of the contrary",you never actually said what the argument is!

I was kind of assuming you did have an argument or "proof" - seems a reasonable conclusion to draw!

Actually, all you have is a piecemeal approach in which you attack any non-Christian account you are given. Or at least claim to, as I gave you three and you have failed to refute even one of them.

But, even if you could do this, of course your argument would still be crap.

It's like arguing:

Only fairies can make the flowers grow.
What's your argument for that?
Well, YOU explain how they grow!
I'm not sure myself (but I have give you three explanations none of which you have refuted).
See - that shows only God can do it!

This is the common fallacy called argument from ignorance (look it up - and look up God of the Gaps too, in wiki) and is, in fact, a favourite of wackos.

Here is the wiki entry:

"The argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam ("appeal to ignorance" [1]) or argument by lack of imagination, is a logical fallacy in which it is claimed that a premise is true only because it has not been proven false or is false only because it has not been proven true."

Read that slowly, Sye: logical fallacy... in which it is claimed that a premise is true... only because it has not been proven false.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "I was kind of assuming you did have an argument or "proof" - seems a reasonable conclusion to draw!"

The proof of God’s existence, is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything. Proof requires logic. One must be able to account for the laws of logic, or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’ You have not accounted for the laws of logic, and are therefore unable to prove anything.

Next.

CodewordConduit said...

Sye:

"The proof of God’s existence, is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything."

How laughably puerile. You have to prove that the above statement is a greater proof than -

"The proof of a glue gun's existence is that without it you couldn't prove anything."

"Proof requires logic."

OK, use logic to prove that your God claim is true and that my glue gun claim is false. As you admit that proof requires logic. Use it.

"One must be able to account for the laws of logic, or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’ You have not accounted for the laws of logic, and are therefore unable to prove anything."

Sye, you haven't accounted for them either - or proved (using logic) that your initial premise is any more valid than the glue gun one.

As for how I account for the laws of logic?

Personal revelation

So don't ask if you don't want to go back down that route.

"Next"

Well, if you have the time why not answer the "boring" questions I asked earlier? You know, the ones about your personal revelation that you can't remember etc.

Geert Arys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geert Arys said...

Sye,

You say "Logic is just the way God thinks". I say "Logic might reflect the way the universe works". Both are equivalent statements.

So, I might say:
"The proof of the universe's existence, is that without it you couldn’t prove anything. Proof requires logic."

I've just presupposed the universe like you presuppose God. Right?

I could follow with:
"One must be able to account for the laws of logic, or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’ You have not accounted for the laws of logic, and are therefore unable to prove anything."

But I won't, because that's not even true. I can use a rock or a hammer without knowing where it comes from.

So, in other words, you don't have anymore "basis" to accept logic than I do, and I don't need a hidden "God".

You said "Next."

OK, next.

Paul Power said...

I don't know about God but "debating" Sye requires the patience of a saint!

Dr Funkenstein said...

The authority of the Bible is not in the assembling of it (although you beg the question by assuming that God did not see to it that this was done in exact accordance to His will), but in God's own words.

But the bible doesn't say anywhere what is and isn't canonical Sye. So it's clearly not written 'in God's own words'. Second, you dismiss revelation as the preserve of the insane - so no appealing to that I'm afraid.

Third, every group that claims a different canon, and every individual that made different decisions regarding what is considered inspired can claim to have done so by discovery rather than decision. Yet they all have/had different conclusions - this would indicate revelation/God's will is an very poor means by which we can attain knowledge. You also need a means to determine how you chose which group is right Sye - again appealing to the guidance of revelation is ruled out since it would make you insane and thus refute your own position, otherwise you simply have to appeal to your own judgment in choosing a group that has the right answer, which is something you say cannot establish knowledge of logic, also refuting your own position.

The Council of Nicea did not determine what was scripture, and what was not, they discovered it.

That's yet another burden of proof to be met Sye - can you please prove how you know this? You don't like begging the question, and I've given reasons above why appealing to one Christian group's canon above another's is not consistent with other claims you are making.

Remember, you consider revelation the preserve of the insane, so you may want to think about this before answering (in the event you do answer of course - I've noticed you've completely avoided dealing with most of my main points over the last 2 threads, despite my repeatedly putting them to you.).

Dr Funkenstein said...

I should also add that you're dealing in circular reasoning (again) by appealing to the bible to prove the bible.

Of course, if you're fine with this, it removes your complaint a few posts above about one of the other posters employing circular reasoning to account for a phenomenon (eg logic), thus yielding yet another refutation of your position.

Stephen Law said...

"The proof of God’s existence, is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything. Proof requires logic. One must be able to account for the laws of logic, or the proof ends in an infinite regress of ‘and how do you know that?’ You have not accounted for the laws of logic, and are therefore unable to prove anything."

I see.

It's basically the old justificatory regress argument for scepticism.

Knowledge requires justification. But to justify A I will need to appeal to B. And to justify B I must appeal to C. And so on infinitum. Eventually, there must be some sort of self-justifying belief or we end up with scepticism. And that self-justifying or self-evident belief is that the Christian God underpins logic. Something along those lines?

Kyle said...

I have made a post over on my blog about a reason why justification for logic may be required. You can see it here:

http://kyles-first-blog.blogspot.com/search/label/Logic

The Atheist Missionary said...

Sye wrote: "What you should do is get on your knees and repent of denying God your maker, the only possible source of these laws, and your very ability to reason."

OK Sye, I will drink your kool-aid but what I don't understand is this: what if I don't repent (or, better yet, never learn of the concept) but lead an otherwise "Christ-like" life? Do I get to go to your heaven or will I burn in hell along with Stephen Law? If the latter, I want to assure Stephen that I will bring the cigars.

Sye TenB said...

@ Atheist Missionary

Bring the cigars.

Stephen Law said...

I'll see you down there Atheist missionary...

the crabman said...

im sorry stephen but this is getting sillier than thiesm

I don't claim to know anything "for certain" i.e. beyond any possible doubt. The idea that knowledge requires such certainty is knocked out of philosophy undergrads in year one. You should do a course...

Should do a course - how can you maintain anyone should do a course - why should anyone do anything ? Unless of course you have some minute insect like reason why he should - but surely you can keep such irrelevancies to youself -if you really were an epicurean youd be off enjoying yourself - not mascareding as a knower in an unknowable world...

Dont you honestly think anyone but the emotionally eviscerated have time for this insect like pedantry you peddle for your own vanity

do you have a course in that ?

why dont you give all sye tenb the credit and admit - you might all think you know you know what your talking about - but thats about it - this is snakeoil for the educated...

Brian said...

but surely you can keep such irrelevancies to youself -if you really were an epicurean youd be off enjoying yourself - not mascareding as a knower in an unknowable world... Claiming to not be 100% certain isn't claiming to not know anything or be uncertain of everything. I don't know for certain that I'll be alive tomorrow morning, but I still plan my life as if it were the case, and as far as I know it will be the case. It's about probability, evidence, all those things that we all use everyday, just some think they can be certain about it, while others acknowledge that the certainty is not so certain.

How does a presupper like Sye know that God won't change his mind regarding the uniformity of nature (UON)? He can't. If UON is guaranteed by God then God can capriciously alter that. To claim that God wouldn't do that because he's not done that in the past doesn't help. Nor does claiming that God can't do that because then God is determined by UOM and not the determiner. So, presuppers are no more certain about induction than the rest of us.....But we all live our lives as if we were certain and it's impossible to do otherwise. Call it human nature. :)

Rick said...

I know I'm late to this party (greetings Sye, it's nice to meet you) but I think Sye has simply redefined the universe.
"The proof of God’s existence, is that without Him you couldn’t prove anything."
If God is the personification of the Universe, then all this completely makes sense. Without the universe, we can't prove (or do) anything.
I'm actually fine with that: God as a metaphor for the universe.

Sye, could you please point out where in your former writings that you argue: a) God exists, b) [something], c) therefore God is actively involved in creation, punishing non-believers for all eternity.
Thanks.
Rick

Sye TenB said...

CwC said: ”The proof of a glue gun's existence is that without it you couldn't prove anything."

The difference, of course, being that you have not demonstrated how universal, abstract, invariants make sense in your ‘glue gun’ worldview, whereas I have in my worldview.

”Well, if you have the time why not answer the "boring" questions I asked earlier? You know, the ones about your personal revelation that you can't remember etc.”

Patience, Sarah isn’t it?

(Word verification - 'fuctervo')

Brian said...


The difference, of course, being that you have not demonstrated how universal, abstract, invariants make sense in your ‘glue gun’ worldview, whereas I have in my worldview.


Have you? You've claimed that they're part of God's nature. Which means that according to you God has no say in them as he didn't choose his nature and didn't choose to exist. Obviously God can't change his nature, lest he be imperfect. If we accept this, you haven't explained anything, just asserted it.

But let's say God is not perfect, or that God has a preordained plan as part of his nature and sometime down the track this capricious imperfect God or as part of the providential nature of God the uniformity of nature or coherence of logic can no longer be relied upon. What justification do you have for believing in either?

Sye TenB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sye TenB said...

Brian said: Have you?"

Yes.

Sye TenB said...

Rick said: ”I know I'm late to this party (greetings Sye, it's nice to meet you)”

Hello Rick, greetings to you as well. How long before you join your ‘friends’ and start the mud-slinging? :-D

” but I think Sye has simply redefined the universe.”

Nope.

”If God is the personification of the Universe, then all this completely makes sense. Without the universe, we can't prove (or do) anything. I'm actually fine with that: God as a metaphor for the universe.”

No one is arguing (that I can tell) that the universe is invariant. One can not derive invariants from a changing universe.

” Sye, could you please point out where in your former writings that you argue…”

Sorry man, I’m spending too much time keeping up with all the posts as it is. Perhaps you are unaware that this whole discussion began over my website, and may find what you are looking for there.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "But Sye, you said exactly that countless times. I shall now quote one example (from your comments on my very first post):

"You have not given your justification for the laws of logic, that is why I say that if I allow you to use it, without justification, I lose."


Stephen, it would appear that I have been giving you far too much credit. Where in that quote did I say that atheists cannot use logic?

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: ” But the bible doesn't say anywhere what is and isn't canonical Sye.”

If by canonical, you mean ‘God breathed’ you are simply mistaken, and ignorant of Scripture.

”Second, you dismiss revelation as the preserve of the insane - so no appealing to that I'm afraid.”

I have never dismissed ALL revelation as the ‘preserve of the insane.’ I would be amazed if you people do not feel at least a tinge of embarassment at the straw-manning you partake in.

Brian said...

Sye, that link is just full of bible quotes and assertions. It is not a demonstration.

The bible, if we accept that it coherent (which it is not), relies on an existing god, and so is no use in arguing about the properties or existence of God as that's begging the question.
God's existence and relevant properties are required before we even start with the bible. The rest of that link are just assertions, not conclusions or demonstrations, to claim that they are is fallacious reasoning.

Can you demonstrate your world view? Give us the premises, ones that any reasonable person would accept, and argue from there.....

If you were to show that a god, any god existed and had properties you require, then maybe you'd get somewhere.

Sye TenB said...

Greet said: ” You say "Logic is just the way God thinks". I say "Logic might reflect the way the universe works". Both are equivalent statements.”

Hardly, you have no basis for separating the changing elements of the universe, from the unchanging ones, any basis for assuming that they will remain that way, or any basis for assuming that they are in fact universal elements, . If your argument is reduced to: ‘THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS,’ I would have to say to Stephen “Told ya!”

Brian said...

Hardly, you have no basis for separating the changing elements of the universe, from the unchanging ones, any basis for assuming that they will remain that way, or any basis for assuming that they are in fact universal elements and what is your basis for claiming that logic is a property of god, and that god couldn't have chosen logic to be different?

Sye TenB said...

Brian said: "what is your basis for claiming that logic is a property of god, and that god couldn't have chosen logic to be different?"

Revelation.

Brian said...

Sye, and what is the justification for you claiming that revelation gives knowledge? Remember, you are claiming that revelation gives you knowledge of God and God gives you knowledge that the bible is true. So you cannot resort to the bible as justification for revelation.

Rick said...

Sye said: "How long before you join your ‘friends’ and start the mud-slinging? :-D "
I've read this blog for about 4 months, and have commented two or three times. I'm not yet friends with anyone here. I also don't mud-sling. Thanks for asking.

You realize that "Revelation" won't convince an atheist any more than Greek mythology would convince you that Zeus is the king of gods, right?

Stephen Law said...

Sye said:

"Where in that quote did I say that atheists cannot use logic?"

I'm embarrassed for you, frankly. You've been caught in a lie and now you are just saying "NO I didn't." when it's right there on the screen for everyone to see.

Sye, what I said is: you said you won't allow me to use logic till I justify it. Look:

"You have not given your justification for the laws of logic, that is why I say that if I allow you to use it, without justification, I lose."

I now say the same to you!

Have another go!

Geert Arys said...

Geert said: ” You say "Logic is just the way God thinks". I say "Logic might reflect the way the universe works". Both are equivalent statements.”

Sye replied: "Hardly, you have no basis for separating the changing elements of the universe, from the unchanging ones, any basis for assuming that they will remain that way, or any basis for assuming that they are in fact universal elements, ."

You don't have either. Remember, you have to use your 'unreliable' senses and logic to interpret your 'revelation' part just as much as I need mine to observe the world.(Funny thing is, your revelation never even talks about logic.) Moreover, if God is almighty, God can change, by definition.

However, what i do have falsifiability.

Sye said: "If your argument is reduced to: ‘THAT’S JUST THE WAY IT IS,’ I would have to say to Stephen “Told ya!”"

The 'that's just the way it is' part is why both statements are equivalent. It is called "presupposionalism". You take an axiom.

That is why Stephen is right to say "I'm not sure I know the answer." if you ask for a further basis of logic. It is just the intellectual honesty presupposionalism lacks.

You see, apart from the Christian God, you can easily presuppose "it just works in this universe", "it is the way Allah thinks.", "It is the way Zoroaster's 'asa' (truth) works", "it is the nature of the the Greek goddess Gaia".

The differnce with the latter is, that "it is the way the universe works" can be checked over and over, and obeys falsifiability. So you can establish inner consistency of logic and math, and consistency with observable reality.

Your statements rarely are verifiable. You seemingly would not allow it (rejecting all criticism on the bible from unbelievers). If I'm wrong, tell me how to test if your theory is valid or not?

Stephen Law said...

Hi Geert

Good point. Plus, we can also add - once logic has been "justified" a la Sye, it quickly establishes beyond reasonable doubt Sye's particular God does not exist (and a host of others). So, unlike certain atheist-friendly alternative accounts, it actually undermines its own justification.

CodewordConduit said...

CwC said: ”The proof of a glue gun's existence is that without it you couldn't prove anything."

The difference, of course, being that you have not demonstrated how universal, abstract, invariants make sense in your ‘glue gun’ worldview, whereas I have in my worldview.

No, use logic (which you said you had to) to prove that:

(a) exists because without (a) nothing (including (x)) could exist.

If I say that:

(x) exists because without (x) nothing (including (a)) could exist.

You cannot determine which statement is true without additional proof to back up the claim form your side, either (a) or (x). Do you agree?

If you're unsure as to what my name is, just use the screen one in front of you, 'kay?

Brian said...

I was hoping Sye would give a non-circular justification of Revelaton. Sigh. :)

Brian said...

I'd also like to know how Sye gets around the problem of induction. Presupers move the problem from the uniformity of nature to the uniformity of god. If their god is uniform (perfect), then induction is part of demonstrative logic and their bible is wrong. If their bible is sound (impossible because right from the get-go it contradicts itself-genesis 1 v genesis 2) then their god changes and induction is a capricious whim. Either way, the answer is not for the pious to swallow. :)

CodewordConduit said...

Sye's quotes about revelation (Part one)

CodewordConduit said: ”Bob's dad is explained more thouroughly on my latest blog entry. Bob's dad is constantly giving me personal revelation, and as explained in my entry - he personally revealed to me that the bible is a mere distortion of his word - and that the men who wrote it claimed infallibility in order to keep unruly factions at bay.”

"Oh, so this was only revealed to you personally. Nevermind then. If I wanted to spend time refuting so-called 'personal revelations,' I’d go to the local mental hospital.
.......................

CodewordConduit said: ”I'm curious, only because I was under the impression that knowledge of the flood was personally revealed to Noah.”

Oh, I’m not talking about how Biblical people received revelations silly, I’m talking about how we get them.

.............................

CodewordConduit said: ”Explain, if you would, whether the Biblical prophets received personal revelation. Yes or no will suffice.”

"Yes"

”Explain also how "we get them", if it is in any way different from how biblical figures received them.”

"In the Bible, which has been revealed to millions, upon millions, dare I say billions?"

................................

CodewordConduit said: ” So you admit that personal revelation in the age we live in now is through the Bible, not through direct communication from God himself as in the case of Noah?”

"In our age, I am highly skeptical of claims of direct communication (such as yours).

................................

CodewordConduit said: ”I would also ask for your definition of "prophecy" for the sake of posterity.”

There are different types. There was predictive prophecy, but now I believe that prophecy is limited to discernment of what God has already revealed in His Word. Again, I am not saying that predictive prophecy cannot happen, I am just extremely skeptical of it.

..................................

CwC said: "Does any part of your understanding of God rely on extra-sensory perception?"

"No"

.................................

CwC said: "So your understanding of God is based entirely in the senses?"

Also no. My understanding of God is based entirely on His revelation, and not at all on how I obtained it.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Essentially Sye's 'argument/proof', and the presuppositionalist stance generally, boils down to this:

http://www.geocities.com/katholon/duh15.wav

(hat tip to Dawson Bethrick for the link - contains sound for those at work etc!)

Dr Funkenstein said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Funkenstein said...

If by canonical, you mean ‘God breathed’ you are simply mistaken, and ignorant of Scripture.

Can you show me in the passage in the bible where it states which books are considered to compose the bible in its entirety, Sye.

I have never dismissed ALL revelation as the ‘preserve of the insane.’ I would be amazed if you people do not feel at least a tinge of embarassment at the straw-manning you partake in.

You have however dismissed personal revelation as the preserve of the insane. However, you claim to have been 'saved' via....personal revelation from the holy spirit. God contacted Moses, Abraham, Noah etc via....personal revelation. Now by your benchmark, would that not make you and numerous bible authors mentally unstable? A simple yes or no will suffice.

I note that you're later seen to be engaging in special pleading by saying 'ah but revelation then is different from revelation now - those ones were true, and most (perhaps all) others are wrong' (which still wouldn't get you by the problem that on your own terms, you would have to dismiss yourself as insane, having claimed to be the recipient of modern day revelation). Please explain how you validate this proposal, perhaps you can even do it without circularity by saying 'well if it accords with biblical revelation it's true', which is really just saying 'the bible is true, because I want the bible to be true,therefore the bible is true' - I need to know how biblical revelation is true in the first place, without you resorting to the endless loop that you have thus far relied on.

It only took Paul Manata of Triablogue 4 or 5 years by his own admission to realise TAG was a dud argument, maybe you can come to this glaringly obvious conclusion somewhat quicker...

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F said: "You have however dismissed personal revelation as the preserve of the insane."

Alright, I'm heading out now, and won't be able to get to these unitl later, but I am surprised to which the depths you people go to make your arguments. I have never said that ALL personal revealtion is the 'preserve of the insane.' I am highly skeptical of most of the claims of personal revelation (i.e. voices or visions) in our day, but to say that it is my belief that God CANNOT reveal some things to us personally, is patently false.

This claim has been repeated often enough, that I can only assume you have nothing better than strawman arguments.

Dr Funkenstein said...

I have never said that ALL personal revealtion is the 'preserve of the insane.' I am highly skeptical of most of the claims of personal revelation (i.e. voices or visions) in our day, but to say that it is my belief that God CANNOT reveal some things to us personally, is patently false.

In Sye Ten B's own words:

"Oh, so this was only revealed to you personally. Nevermind then. If I wanted to spend time refuting so-called 'personal revelations,' I’d go to the local mental hospital.

If you no longer feel this to be the case, can you please explain how you distinguish between insanity and accurate personal revelation? I don't think 'because those other ones happened 20000-3000 years ago is really an explanation. Given that your entire worldview rests on answering this, I am assuming you have a good, thorough, logically sound answer. Please tell us what that answer is.

CodewordConduit said...

The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.

Nietzsche.

Eren O'Del said...

Hi.

New blogger looking for like-minded individuals. I have to tell you, I got a kick out of this post. I invite you to look at my own proof that I am the wife, mother and daughter of God. Now I don't use deductive reasoning like Sye does, but rather reasoning similar to that used by Christians to uphold their faith.

Please let me know what you think! (By the way, I have added you to my list of blogs to follow.)

Sincerely,
Eren O'Del

http://erenodel.blogspot.com

Stephen Law said...

By the way - I have just realized Sye posted a reply to a comment I made on another thread here. Which is confusing. I then replied here, which is even more confusing for everyone. Sorry.

If you are interested, the other thread is this one:

http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2008/08/sye-dim-presuppositinalism.html

Sye said:

"Where in that quote did I say that atheists cannot use logic?"

In fact, what I said is: Sye previously said he won't allow me to use logic till I justify it. Look, here's what he said:

"You have not given your justification for the laws of logic, that is why I say that if I allow you to use it, without justification, I lose."

I just used the exact same move against Sye in my parody argument on the other thread.

Realizing he's just been skewered with his own bullshit, Sye's now saying he never said that.

The quote shows he did say it. Actually, he used said it loads of times.

It's at such points that you think, surely Sye just MUST know that he's bullshitting?

Hardly Christian, is it?

Stephen Law said...

Hi Erin

Nice post. You said: "I can't believe that an entire third of the world's population believes this crap."

And, when you jot it down like that on the back of an envelope:

"You see, Jesus died to save us. Because we are all sinners and can't be redeemed. Except through the death of a perfect person. Which is Jesus. The son of God. Oh, and he is also God as well. And if we believe that we will be saved and have eternal life. Otherwise we won't be. You should believe this because it says so in this book. Oh, and because you know in your heart its all true."

I really can't help but think - How can any sane person actually believe this stuff?!

Psye said...

Dr. Funkenstein,

has Paul Manata stopped using TAG (nuts) in debates?

Stephen Law said...

Of course, to be fair, a lot of Christians don't believe all that "crap". We should not tar them all with the same brush. Still, the evangelicals generally do.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”Sye, what I said is: you said you won't allow me to use logic till I justify it. Look:
"You have not given your justification for the laws of logic, that is why I say that if I allow you to use it, without justification, I lose."”


Stephen, where have I said in that quote that I WILL NOT allow you to use logic? My point is simply that if we are having a logical debate about worldviews we must first be able to account for our ability to use logic according to our respective worldviews. IF I allow you to use logic, before you account for your ability to do so, then I lose the debate at the outset. Again, I have never said that atheists cannot, or that I will not allow atheists to, use logic, simply that IF I ALLOW YOU TO USE IT in a logical debate about worldviews, without first accounting for logic, then I lose the debate at the outset. Not only do I allow atheists to use logic, (as if it were up to me), but I demand that they use it, when driving a car, when operating on me, when building my house etc. etc. etc.

I didn’t think that you, of all people would need to be spoon fed Stephen.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ” I really can't help but think - How can any sane person actually believe this stuff?!”

Problem is, the very concept of ‘sanity’ requires an absolute standard, which you simply do not have, and which further exposes the inconsistency of your worldview.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Dr. Funkenstein,

has Paul Manata stopped using TAG (nuts) in debates?


I'm not too sure, I only read Triablogue very occasionally and what he has posted on the matter seems confusing - at least based on these posts (he may have amended his opinion since of course) he apparently affirms that TAG - or a commonly used variant of it - isn't up to par. However, he apparently still uses TAs (see below)

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2006/10/coming-out-of-closet.html

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/04/more-on-tag-and-certainity_05.html

Paul states (amongst various other things):

I actually find zero psychological or emotional problems admitting this [that TAG does not provide certainty]. Ultimately, at the end of the day, I trust in the word of Christ. The mere logically [sic] possibility that another worldview also can provide for preconditions of knowledge does not bother me.

I don't see anywhere where God promises that I'll have this kind of certainty. I am called to trust in His word. I don't question it. I should not, and do not have a right to, question it. No man should. I am rational in my belief, and I believe there are many good arguments and reasons for belief. All of these are, and should be, trumped by the testimony of God. That's my highest authority. I am psychologically certain of it. We don't have epistemic certainty because we cannot, as Dr. Sudduth argues, "preclude all possible reasons for doubting the truth of the proposition or belief in question".


Now, I admit the possibility that some day one could show the strong modal TAG. One could come up with an actual proof showing that 3-in-1 is necessary. This would be welcomed.

At this point, though, we must be honest and admit that it hasn't been done. But I don’t think this is cause for concern for the Christian.

I might as well say it now, I've rejected the strong modal version of TAG for some time now (or, at least admitted that the case has not been made).

I've debated this back and forth with myself and others for the past 4-5 years.


Paul does however state that:

What's the cash value of all this? Not much. I'm still a presuppositionalist, only a better one (in my opinion). I still have no problem with transcendental arguments, and I employ them. From where I'm standing, one can scale back the claim and argue for a "one and many" God. The problems with the strong modal version cannot be used by the atheist or the Muslim, so they're still stuck yelling from the sidelines. The only threat: thought experiments and made up worldviews which are basically the same as mine.

Although one commentator asked how he goes about employing TAG/presuppositionalism, as far as I can tell he doesn't respond to explain how or in which manner these are formulated (at least not in either of the quoted posts - he may have done so elsewhere, but I don't know if this is the case)

Triablogue are about the most vocal group of presupps I've seen on the web - to me, since TA appears to be the mantra by which presuppositionalism goes about its business, if they reject it then I see little reason to expect any other group of people to accept its validity.

Of course, to be fair, a lot of Christians don't believe all that "crap". We should not tar them all with the same brush. Still, the evangelicals generally do.

haha, I'm guessing you've never run into the Triabloggers then - at least Sye seems fairly benign, the TBers aren't shy about dishing out a fairly sizable helping of obnoxiousness to go with their points

Whateverman said...

Steven Law wrote It's at such points that you think, surely Sye just MUST know that he's bullshitting?

Hardly Christian, is it?


I think there are three possibilities:

1) Sye's doing this to be an ass. He likes feeling better about himself, so he leads people around in circles to increase his sense of self-worth. In this model, he doesn't care about what you have to say. Result = not very Christian (and according to his professed world view, he's Hellbound)

2) Sye knows exactly what he's doing, but believes it's for the greater good. Defense of Christianity, proving God's existence, and the possibility of ministering to the unbelievers justifies his behavior. He doesn't care what you have to say. Result = very much a fundamentalist Christian (not Hellbound, but still an asshole)

3) Sye doesn't understand what he's doing. He only knows that it angers non-believers, which leads him to believe he's doing the right thing. In this model, he's incapable of using the logic he claims reflects his God's perfect nature. He's incapable of understanding what you have to say. Result = stupid and probably Christian. (Not sure if God condemns idiotic-but-well-meaning Christians to eternal torture).

Personally, I lean towards the first option.

Sye TenB said...

CwC said: ” The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments. ~ Nietzsche.”

Problem is, (Sarah isn’t it?), suggesting that my arguments are faulty reveals a pre-commitment to an absolute standard of logic with which you evaluate argumentation, which your worldvew simply cannot give us.

Dr Funkenstein said...

There are a couple of other good examinations of TAG/Presupp here

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2006/04/presuppositionalism-arguments-4.html

and here

http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.com/2006/02/presuppositionalism-and-argument-from.html

Some of the content has already been brought up here, but for example in the comments section on the DC link, noone actually attempts to defend the premises and so on that exapologist has set out for them. The level of evasiveness is incredible for proponents of this 'argument' - most likely because they realise they are in a bubble where under their own worldview they know their argument is faulty, but only remaining tactic is to stall the debate as much as possible and transfer the entire burden of proof for their claims on to the opponent! It's essentially a case of 'I say A, B and C are true, now please do a vast amount of research to prove it for me before I'm willing to allow this conversation to go any further' - totally ridiculous of course.

Sye TenB said...

WEM said: ”I think there are three possibilities:”

Actually WEM if you were following the argument at all, or were in the least bit intellectually honest, you would see that Stephen is the one who is being deceptive.

This is how the argument actually went:

Stephen: "But you can't do that until you have first proved you weren't hit on the head and that your use of logic is reliable."

Me: I have never said that atheists can't use logic, just that they cannot account for what they are doing.

Stephen: ”That's right - Sye is saying he never said I can't use logic without first justifying my use of it. But Sye, you said exactly that countless times. I shall now quote one example (from your comments on my very first post):
"You have not given your justification for the laws of logic, that is why I say that if I allow you to use it, without justification, I lose."


Stephen, Wem, ANYONE, where in that quote did I say that atheists can’t use logic???

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: ” can you please explain how you distinguish between insanity and accurate personal revelation?”

Whether or not it comports with the Word of God.

Sye TenB said...

Reynold said: ” I don't see anything about a "god" in here”

Then perhaps you should look here

Dr Funkenstein said...

Whether or not it comports with the Word of God.

Finally we get an answer!

unfortunately you now have another problem - how do you 'account' for those prior 'benchmark' revelations as distinct from insanity/lying/imagination/hallucination Sye? We're most likely either going to end up with you engaging in special pleading, or fall into an endless regress of appeals to prior revelation to prove revelation - things that you claim hamstring the non-Christian.

Now, please can you explain how you 'account' for the truth of these prior claims in a logically sound manner. This should not be difficult given the certainty you claim to be in possession of.

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: ” Can you show me in the passage in the bible where it states which books are considered to compose the bible in its entirety, Sye”

How in any way is that relevant? That would be like me asking, can you show me anywhere in the Bible where it states that the Bible in it’s entirety is not the very Word of God?

”You have however dismissed personal revelation as the preserve of the insane. However, you claim to have been 'saved' via....personal revelation from the holy spirit.”

Where have I made this claim? (This is where you (just like Stephen) post more quotes that do not at all support your claim).

Sye TenB said...

Brain said: ” I'd also like to know how Sye gets around the problem of induction.”

Simple, God’s revelation regarding the nature of reality.

Sye TenB said...

CwC said: ”You cannot determine which statement is true without additional proof to back up the claim form your side, either (a) or (x). Do you agree?”

With respect to (a) and (x) yes, since they are merely generic letters, "God" and "glue gun," however, have defining characteristics. You are equating the nature of a ‘glue gun’ with the nature of ‘God’ which is clearly fallacious.

CodewordConduit said...

Sye, did I say the comment applied to you?

Answer my questions if you like.

(Word verification = cards)

CodewordConduit said...

Sorry, you just did.

CodewordConduit said...

"With respect to (a) and (x) yes, since they are merely generic letters, "God" and "glue gun," however, have defining characteristics. You are equating the nature of a ‘glue gun’ with the nature of ‘God’ which is clearly fallacious."

Indeed, so your proof must read more like:

(a) because of explanation (y) exists because without (a) nothing could exist (including (x))

explanation (y) being whatever you attribute to (a) to elevate its status over that of (x)

Still with me? Agree or disagree so far?

Sye TenB said...

CwC said: ”Agree or disagree so far?”

Um, disagree, my proof is using defined terms, not generic ones.

If you are arguing that all words in a proof require definitions that are not themselves contained in the proof, then I agree.

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: ” Now, please can you explain how you 'account' for the truth of these prior claims in a logically sound manner.”

Sure, God has revealed them in such a way that we can know the truth of them for certain. Do you deny that this is possible?

By the way, what do you mean by a “logically sound manner?” By what standard of logic do you make this determination, how do you account for that standard, and why does it necessarily apply here?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”I have already offered three atheist friendly accounts, two of which I think have a good chance of being correct, and none of which you have even bothered to refute.”

I addressed the first 2 briefly in their respective comments section, if you care to tell me which one you personally hold to, I will be pleased to give it a thorough going over.

Dr Funkenstein said...

How in any way is that relevant? That would be like me asking, can you show me anywhere in the Bible where it states that the Bible in it’s entirety is not the very Word of God?

So how do we determine which canon is indeed an accurate representation of God's word? After all, some choices of canon must be false and therefore the product of human convention/decision making. So if one were to choose the wrong canon, one's knowledge of God and by extension logic etc would simply rest on what an individual or group of individuals decided was canonical. Of course, you consider that human convention is not a means to know of certain phenomena essential to rational thought. So, go on - explain how you choose which canon is accurate, or how you know which group/individuals that chose or influenced a canon was in possession of accurate revelation to guide them.

Where have I made this claim? (This is where you (just like Stephen) post more quotes that do not at all support your claim).

From the previous thread:

Sye:

"What I said was that the Holy Spirit reveals the certainty of salvation to the elect. This happens at different times, for different people."

So in your own words, in order to be certain of salvation and so on, each individual member of the elect has to receive personal revelation from the holy spirit it would appear. As one who considers himself a member of the elect, I assume this would include you Sye?

CodewordConduit said...

Right we'll start with (a):

How would you go about defining a concrete noun?

Is "God" a concrete noun, or an abstract noun?

First we establish that, then move onto how one would go about defining God.

That sound reasonable?

Sye TenB said...

Rick said: ” I've read this blog for about 4 months, and have commented two or three times. I'm not yet friends with anyone here. I also don't mud-sling. Thanks for asking.”

It was intended as a joke Rick.

” You realize that "Revelation" won't convince an atheist any more than Greek mythology would convince you that Zeus is the king of gods, right?”

Yes. One does not go from suppressing the truth, to professing the truth, by being intellectually convinced of an argument. One must submit to what they already know, and are suppressing in unrighteousness.

Sye TenB said...

Brian said: ” Sye, and what is the justification for you claiming that revelation gives knowledge? Remember, you are claiming that revelation gives you knowledge of God and God gives you knowledge that the bible is true. So you cannot resort to the bible as justification for revelation.”

Are you suggesting that an omniscient, omnipotent being (God) could not reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain?

Stephen Law said...

Hi all

Just so we don't forget, I offered this presuppositionalist argument (which, while not perfectly mirroring Sye's, is instructively similar):

My claim: Sye's mind is addled and his thinking unreliable because he was hit on the head by a rock.

Prove this is false Sye.

Try to, and I will say - "But your "proof" presupposes your mind is not addled and you can recognise a proof when you see it. So it fails."

Ask me to prove my claim and I will say: "But prove to me your mind is not addled, then, Sye". Which you won't be able to, for the above reason. I might then add, with a flourish - "So you see, it's proved by the impossibility of the contrary".

And of course I have a good explanation for why your brain is addled - you were hit by a rock.

Is my claim reasonable, then? Of course not. It's bullshit. I really can't see how your position is any less of a bullshit position. Can you?

Sye's response was to offer an argument.

I said: "Oh dear Sye. You seem to be trying to use an argument against me, and thus logic. But you can't do that until you have first proved you weren't hit on the head and that your use of logic is reliable."

Sye's response is to say: "I did not say atheists cannot use logic" (i.e. and so, by the same token he is now warranted in using logic against me, without justifying it).

I pointed out that Sye DID say that he would not allow me to use logic against him until I justified it (for, as he himself put it, he would lose). I provided a quote from Sye:

"You have not given your justification for the laws of logic, that is why I say that if I allow you to use it, without justification, I lose."

In short, Sye earlier refused to allow me to use logic against him until I justify logic, because otherwise he loses the argument (and, as he clearly DOESN'T think he loses the argument, it must then be because HE WON'T ALLOW ME TO USE LOGIC UNTIL I HAVE JUSTIFIED IT).

Sye now says:

"Stephen, Wem, ANYONE, where in that quote did I say that atheists can’t use logic???

Sye: This is misrepresentation. As you know, and as I have just repeatedly said, I DIDN'T say you said atheists can't "use logic".

You'll happily let us "use" it if we can justify it. My point is: you HAVE repeatedly ignored or refused to accept conclusions we have establish using logic, on the grounds that we have not yet justified our use of it.

When a logical point is made against you, one of your stock responses is: "And how do YOU justify your use of logic?"

I am now simply making the very same move against you.

In response to my presuppositional argument, you have offered me a counter-argument.

In response, I am just playing your tune: "But Sye - how do YOU justify your use of logic (by showing you were not hit on head by rock, rendering your use of logic unreliable).

I know you are desperately chucking up as much dust as you can muster here, making me spell it out the point in more and more and more detail, and repeatedly misrepresenting, because you hope the point will be obscured and you'll be able to sneak away.

Sorry - I ain't going to let you sneak away.

Fact is, you've just been skewered with your own bullshit moves.

Sye TenB said...

CwC said: ” That sound reasonable?”

Sorry no. I am trying to catch up to all the posts here, and am soon going to try to do that at Dan’s blog as well. I have no time to decipher the definiton of words that are clearly understood.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”I pointed out that Sye DID say that he would not allow me to use logic against him until I justified it (for, as he himself put it, he would lose).”

Problem is, that was in response to my comment that I have never said that atheists cannot use logic, which seems to have been conveniently omitted from you spiel.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Sure, God has revealed them in such a way that we can know the truth of them for certain. Do you deny that this is possible?

And round we go again...this is just un-fucking-believable...

I have repeatedly said 'yes, this is possible' - IF GOD EXISTS. Which thus far you HAVE NOT SHOWN! Acknowledging that this it is possible God could provide us with revelation doesn't affirm that

a. God does exist and that
b. revelations have been imparted to a particular group of people

I'll ask again:

If Quargon the fire breathing dragon existed in the real world, he could by definition breathe fire. Does this mean by extension Quargon the fire breathing dragon actually exists anywhere in the real world, Sye? Again a simple yes or no answer will do just fine.

By the way, what do you mean by a “logically sound manner?” By what standard of logic do you make this determination, how do you account for that standard, and why does it necessarily apply here?

Because you claim Christian theism provides the basis for logic etc. therefore under the terms of your own worldview, any proof of God or the accuracy of revelation you provide that relies on appeal to logical fallacy means you hold to a self-refuting position.

We've been over this enough times Sye, I don't know why I have to explain it repeatedly, it is not hard to follow. Why not just answer these questions in the manner requested instead of continually evading them? It is really not a hugely demanding task!

CodewordConduit said...

I don't know what you're talking about when you say "God".

It would seem that neither do you.

Perhaps things are clear in your head, but must you be so arrogant in putting down people who haven't the gift of vision that you have?

I'm just a gentile with the law written on my heart Sye. I seek answers and you give me none.

Looks like it's back to Baal for me...

(chicken...chicken chicken chicken)

Stephen Law said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr Funkenstein said...

Problem is, that was in response to my comment that I have never said that atheists cannot use logic, which seems to have been conveniently omitted from you spiel.

You state atheists can't justify using logic until they account for it. You also state that atheism can't account for logic, and in fact it is impossible for them to do so even in principle. So following your points, it must be concluded that you think it's impossible for atheists to use logic while claiming to remain as atheists.

therefore how exactly can atheists use logic while still remaining as atheists (in your view)?

CodewordConduit said...

He believes that the law is written on our hearts but we harden our hearts, so we aren't atheists at all, just professed atheists lying to ourselves.

But what he really believes is that we were all actively saved or damned at the beginning of time.

Dr Funkenstein said...

He believes that the law is written on our hearts but we harden our hearts, so we aren't atheists at all, just professed atheists lying to ourselves.

Haha yeah, Greg Bahnsen (one of the dons of presuppositional apologetics) stated the same thing in many of his debates eg with George Smith - it's the tactics of the playground really:

'you're not really an atheist, you're a Christian'
'Why's that then?'
'I said so/I have a book that says so'

But what he really believes is that we were all actively saved or damned at the beginning of time.

oh yeah, some Christian theologies are very odd - some of them believe what you've typed, but that we also somehow have free will. The explanation for this contradiction? It's a mystery, but just believe it anyway because they say so!

Sye TenB said...

Geert said: ”You don't have either.”

Sure I do, revelation.

” Remember, you have to use your 'unreliable' senses and logic to interpret your 'revelation' part just as much as I need mine to observe the world.”

This of course begs the question that God could not reveal some things to us via, or wholly apart from our senses, such that we can know them for certain.

”(Funny thing is, your revelation never even talks about logic.)”

Not if you are not looking for it.

” Moreover, if God is almighty, God can change, by definition.”

Whose definition?

”However, what i do have falsifiability.”

Please demonstrate how falisiability is falsifiable.

”The 'that's just the way it is' part is why both statements are equivalent. It is called "presupposionalism". You take an axiom.”

No, a transcendental necessity, or neceeary starting point differs from an axiom in that it is provable. The proof of the Christian starting point (God) is that without Him, you couldn’t prove anything.

”That is why Stephen is right to say "I'm not sure I know the answer." if you ask for a further basis of logic.”

What youfail to realize is that without an answer, there is no such thing as ‘right,’ so Stephen can’t be ‘right’ about anything.

”You see, apart from the Christian God, you can easily presuppose "it just works in this universe", "it is the way Allah thinks.", "It is the way Zoroaster's 'asa' (truth) works", "it is the nature of the the Greek goddess Gaia".

Well, which is your claim? Are you sticking with “That’s just the way it works?”

”The differnce with the latter is, that "it is the way the universe works" can be checked over and over, and obeys falsifiability.”

Problem is the very concept of ‘falsifiability’ is something which you cannot account for, and this ‘checking over and over’ requires absolute laws of logic which you also cannot account for.

CodewordConduit said...

I did a post about it the other day, some of the opinions professed might interest you:

It's here.

Stephen Law said...

"Problem is, that was in response to my comment that I have never said that atheists cannot use logic, which seems to have been conveniently omitted from you spiel."

Oh dear this is just drivel, Sye.

My "spiel" actually includes the point that I never said you said atheists cannot use logic (where did I say it?).

Incidentally, if Sye has any devotees reading this (and I know he has recruited some, such as Dani), I would like to point out that I have had a lot of interaction with some very clever religious folk, including professors of philosophy, whose opinions and arguments I respect. I might disagree with them, but I would never suggest they are bullshitters or nutty, because they are not. Some have some really interesting arguments that are worth spending time on because of their quality.

The reason I am spending time talking to Sye is very different.

At first, I wanted to help him see he was making some basic logical mistakes, so he could fix up his website proof. I really was very civil and polite. Go back and check and you'll see.

However, as time has gone on, it's become apparent that there's something really rather weird, and probably unsavoury, going on in Sye's head.

I do worry that he is actually going to con more people with all this drivel.

My tone has changed in part because he does just get very irritating with the endless evasions and huckster's tricks, but also because I do not want anyone to think Sye's views are actually being taken seriously here. They're, to almost anyone who knows anything about philosophy, a complete joke.

Check with a few reputable Christian philosophers if you don't believe me. They'll tell you Sye's a twit.

Sye is clearly a follower of presuppositionalist Greg Bahnsen. I can't believe Bahnsen's arguments are really as awful as Sye's, given Bahnsen is supposed to have a PhD in philosophy. But I've ordered his book to check.

Stephen Law said...

Brian did you get the paper...?

Brian said...

Sye:
Are you suggesting that an omniscient, omnipotent being (God) could not reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain? How would you ever know? God could be doing just that, but you'd never be justified believing it because you could never filter out the false revelations from the real ones. After all, every religion, every prophet has had revelations and they're contradictory and often contradict our knowledge of the world. You could never use revelation as a justification unless you could prove that God gave that revelation. But you can't because you're relying on revelation to prove God. Circular reasoning, you're stuck.

Dr Funkenstein said...

I did a post about it the other day, some of the opinions professed might interest you:

Cheers for the link, I'll have a read of it (I'm assuming you were responding to me there!)

Brian said...

Get the paper, thanks Stephen.

Sye, can you offer any justification of revelation that doesn't rely on the existence of God? You've already said that you know of God's existence and properties via revelation. So, the justification for God and God's properties comes from revelation. The justification for the bible is God and God's properties. What it the justification for revelation. It cannot be the claimed existence of God or his claimed properties, because that is a vicious circle and a non argument. What demonstration do you have? You claimed you had one....

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”My tone has changed in part because he does just get very irritating with the endless evasions and huckster's tricks”

Thankfully, anyone reading these posts can see that I very early on asked Stephen to account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, according to his personal worldview, and on what basis he proceeds with the assumption that they will hold. He finally admitted that he has no answer to my question, which has been my point all along. All this other fluff is just to conceal that point.

”Sye is clearly a follower of presuppositionalist Greg Bahnsen. I can't believe Bahnsen's arguments are really as awful as Sye's, given Bahnsen is supposed to have a PhD in philosophy. But I've ordered his book to check.”

Dr. Bahnsen is the most brilliant man I have ever heard speak, but sadly, it is now apparent to me, that a PhD in philosophy does not necessarily save one from being arrogant, obnoxious, deceptive, and downright stupid.

Sye TenB said...

Brian said: ” What it the justification for revelation. It cannot be the claimed existence of God or his claimed properties, because that is a vicious circle and a non argument.”

Are you claiming that God could not reveal some things to us, such that we can know them for certain? Also, let me ask you why circularity is absolutely not allowed to arrive at truth according to your worldview?

Stephen Law said...

"He finally admitted that he has no answer to my question, which has been my point all along."

I gave you three! This really is frigging unbelievable.

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: ” therefore how exactly can atheists use logic while still remaining as atheists (in your view)?”

Self-deception.

Brian said...

Are you claiming that God could not reveal some things to us, such that we can know them for certain?

You are claiming that you know that God exists and what are God's properties from revelation. You cannot claim that an as yet undemonstrated God can reveal things to you so that you know them for certain as proof of God and God's properties. That a vicious circle. You need something external to God, whom you are attempting to show, to justify revelation. If you had shown that God existed and that he had the properties you require without resort to revelation then I would accept that that demonstrated God could do the heavy lifting required for revelation. But you have not yet done that, you said you could do that with revelation. So, justify revelation without begging the question in regards to God. It's simple logic and required for a demonstration. Please do this.

Also, let me ask you why circularity is absolutely not allowed to arrive at truth according to your worldview?

It's not a worldview, it's simple logic. It is not a demonstration if all you do is restate the premises as conclusion. Because all you have is your premises, nothing has been shown. I thought you understood logic.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ” I gave you three! This really is frigging unbelievable.”

Problem is, I asked for your PERSONAL VIEW Stephen. Your personal view reflects that you simply do not have an answer. When you do come up with an answer, and decide to present your personal view, as I said, I will be glad to address it in detail. I am not saying that there is no value in debunking views that neither of the debaters hold, but I simply do not have the time for it. As you can see though, I have spent a considerable amount of time addressing the views of the people who have the courage to own up to them.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Self-deception.

But then they wouldn't be atheists, they'd be Christians denying the truth (apparently). Yet people can't be amongst the elect(ie be Christians) unless they've been saved by the HS's revelation. Which, if they had been they'd profess to be Christians rather than atheists.

So I have no idea what exactly it is you are trying to claim here.

Sye TenB said...

Brian said: ” You cannot claim that an as yet undemonstrated God can reveal things to you so that you know them for certain as proof of God and God's properties.”

Are you claiming that God could not reveal some things to us, such that we can know them for certain?

”It's not a worldview, it's simple logic.”

How do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, according to your worldview, and why do they necessarily apply here?

CodewordConduit said...

Dr F:

Nah, knowing God and accepting him are two different things.

Think about it, even the devil knows who he is.

Dr Funkenstein said...

Are you claiming that God could not reveal some things to us, such that we can know them for certain?

Most people are not denying this, myself included.

Can you please answer this simple question Sye:

If Quargon the fire breathing dragon existed in the real world, he could by definition breathe fire.

Does this by extension show that Quargon the fire breathing dragon exists in the real world and breathes fire?

Yes or no. I've asked you about 15 times now - why not just type a simple 1 word answer to this equally simple question?

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: ” But then they wouldn't be atheists, they'd be Christians denying the truth (apparently).”

Um no, the difference is between professing the truth, and suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, Christians profess the truth, whereas atheists suppress it.

Stephen Law said...

Yawn - yeh we dealt with that particular huckster's trick a million times already Sye. As you know.

It's like watching a magician continue to do his trick when the cloth obscuring the trickery has fallen away, yet the magician continues regardless, insisting - despite the laughing, pointing audience members - that it's really an amazing feat he's performing...

Brian said...

Are you claiming that God could not reveal some things to us, such that we can know them for certain?

Who cares what God could or could not do if God existed? You are claiming that revelation is justified by an existing God with the required properties. But your claim of justification of that existing God with said properties is the very same revelation. You could never be justified holding these beliefs. It's a vicious circle.

How do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, according to your worldview, and why do they necessarily apply here?

Don't change the subject. You claimed to have a demonstration for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic. So the laws of logic must apply here because it is through logic that one gives a demonstration.

I asked for the demonstration and so far we've got to a vicious circle of God justifies revelation and revelation justifies God. In other words you have no demonstration, just question begging.

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F said: ” Does this by extension show that Quargon the fire breathing dragon exists in the real world and breathes fire? Yes or no.”

No. But you have admitted the possibility that God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, and have yet to give us your justification for certainty for comparison purposes.

Kaitlyn said...

Sye wrote:
"Are you claiming that God could not reveal some things to us, such that we can know them for certain?"

Sye, for the last time...

NO, THERE IS NO WAY THAT CAN HAPPEN!

There is no way to distinguish between a moral god revealing things to you and an immoral entity revealing things to you pretending to be a moral god.

Stop wasting everyone's time repeating rubbish. In all honesty, you sound more like an IRC bot than a person at this point.

That's right, you're failing the turning test.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ” It's like watching a magician continue to do his trick when the cloth obscuring the trickery has fallen away, yet the magician continues regardless, insisting - despite the laughing, pointing audience members - that it's really an amazing feat he's performing...”

Stephen, if you for one second think that ayone here is not fully aware of your inability to answer my question, then you can just add that to the list of things about which you are fooling yourself.

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: ”NO, THERE IS NO WAY THAT CAN HAPPEN!”

How do you know?

CodewordConduit said...

Look, Sye's not a horrible person. He takes the piss but he's actually not horrible. He just believes something, and defends it.

There's no need to be so rude to him, if you don't believe his presupp shit then fine but don't attack the person so much.

Kaitlyn said...

Sye, you should probably be thanking Stephen for even taking the time to engage you. He has a lot of better things to do and more thought-out arguments to discuss with other philosophers at the PhD level.

Show a little respect, please; and take his advice and go back to the drawing board.

Sye TenB said...

Brian said: ”Who cares what God could or could not do if God existed?”

Just answer the question please.

”It's a vicious circle.”

Naturally I disagree (and if you answered my question, you would see how the Christian escapes the circularity – but I know why you refuse to do so), but again, why is circularity absolutely not allowed in arriving at truth according to your worldview?

Stephen Law said...

Sye - "Stephen, if you for one second think that ayone here is not fully aware of your inability to answer my question, then you can just add that to the list of things about which you are fooling yourself."

ah, yep, that one again...

Look up the fallacy on wiki, like I suggested last time round: "argument from ignorance."

...round and round we go...

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: ”Sye, you should probably be thanking Stephen for even taking the time to engage you.”

Stephen, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for taking the time to engage me. Now, not only can I point people to average atheists who cannot give an answer for how they justify logic, or on what basis they proceed with the assumption that it will hold, but to a doctor of philosophy no less!

P.S. Thanks Kaitlyn, good suggestion, I was being remiss in my duties :-D

Sye TenB said...

Alright folks, I have spent quite a bit of time here. I'm heading over to Dan's blog, and will try to catch up there.

Cheers,

Sye

Dr Funkenstein said...

No.

Well done - we appear to be making progress, hopefully next time it'll take less than 2 days to get a one word answer to a very simple question!

But you have admitted the possibility that God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain,

That's correct, several times as well. You're not telling me anything I haven't already agreed to!

However, just above you acknowledge that the fact that an entity would possess a particular attribute if it existed doesn't confirm said entity's existence, right?

So if you continue the application of your logic you state that your worldview provides in the same manner, you'd presumably have to concede that the possibility of God having an attribute in the event of his existence also doesn't go any way to confirming that God does actually exist?

Again, this just requires a simple yes or no answer - I'm hoping we can manage to get this response sometime before midnight!

and have yet to give us your justification for certainty for comparison purposes.

I don't recall being the one that made a claim in the first place. You were the person who did that. I'm not here to do your work for you. We're here to deal with whether your claims stand up or not on the terms you've laid out for us.

I want to see if on your own standards they can hold water. Thus far it's been a little disappointing, but I'm always hopeful!

CodewordConduit said...

Kait...

You're in danger of sounding like the Dans.

Nobody should thank anybody for having a debate, we're all equal - not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to fund a PHD or blag into college.

Obviously I have high regard for Stephen and his arguments, and have seen nothing I disagree with.

Stephen Law said...

"Stephen, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for taking the time to engage me. Now, not only can I point people to average atheists who cannot give an answer for how they justify logic, or on what basis they proceed with the assumption that it will hold, but to a doctor of philosophy no less!"

There's loads of us Doctors of Philosophy out here, Sye, who are not sure what's the best theory of logic. I'm afraid you're committing the fallacy called "argument from ignorance" yet again. As you well know...

Brian said...

Naturally I disagree (and if you answered my question, you would see how the Christian escapes the circularity – but I know why you refuse to do so), but again, why is circularity absolutely not allowed in arriving at truth according to your worldview?

Rubbish. I have already admitted that if you've shown that the god you claim exists and have shown that that god has the required properties then you could use that god to justify revelation. But you haven't, you're using an as yet undemonstrated God to justify revelation, and using an as yet unjustified (by demonstration) reliance on revelation to claim God exists. Circularity is not allowed according to logical demonstration. You start with agreed premises and argue to conclusions that necessarily follow.

Worldview has nought to do with it. You claim that logic is universal, etc, so we all have to play by the same rules. You can't call something a demonstration (which by definition requires logic), and then when you're shown to have nothing more than a vicious circle, say that logic doesn't apply to your demonstration.

Can you show that God exists without begging the question in regards to God or revelation or the bible? Otherwise, stop saying you can demonstrate things that you hitherto have been incapable of demonstrating please.

Brian said...

Now, not only can I point people to average atheists who cannot give an answer for how they justify logic, or on what basis they proceed with the assumption that it will hold, but to a doctor of philosophy no less! You cannot justify your claim at all. You have no demonstration and rely on a vicious circle and arguments to ignorance.

Who is more praiseworthy? The person who accepts the limitations of their knowledge or the one who stubbornly claims absolute knowledge when they've been shown to have no knowledge of what they claim?

Kaitlyn said...

Sye writes...
"How do you know?"

CLAIM: God can give a revelation to a person in such a way that the person is absolutely certain it's a true revelation from God.

PROOF THAT THE CLAIM IS FALSE:
We first need to break this claim up into two propositions.

P = God can give revelations
Q = You can be certain of a revelation from God.

I assert that P is possible. I assert Q is not possible.

Axiom: Certainty requires no other possibilities to be available.

Therefore, proposition Q assumes the truth of the following proposition:

R = All revelations must be from God.

if R therefore Q
(If all revelations must be from God, then we can be certain of revelations from God).

Also, because we are dealing with certainty (normally, this logic doesn't hold):

if not R therefore not Q.
(If not all revelations must be from God, then it's only a possibility that a revelation can be from God).

Axiom: Space aliens with advanced enough technologies could reveal knowledge directly into your brain.

Therefore, not all revelations have to be from God and thus:

Not R therefore not Q or:

QED: If not all revelations have to come from God, you cannot know with certainty that a revelation is from God.

Kaitlyn said...

CodewordConduit, you wrote...
"Nobody should thank anybody for having a debate, we're all equal - not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to fund a PHD or blag into college."

I see what you're saying and I pretty much agree with your sentiment although good manners are always a kind way to treat others.

So, normally I would agree with you, but in Sye's case, I think Stephen has been more than generous given the circumstances. As have I; although truth be told, I'm also really bored. :P

CodewordConduit said...

Aye,

Fair do's Kait, and I know what you mean about bored.

But as a general life principle, if anyone finds themselves sounding like the Dans... stop... just stop!

Dan with the crosses is especially creepy when it comes to Sye... (shudders)

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: "I think Stephen has been more than generous given the circumstances."

Kaitlyn, just have a look at how many comments Stephen's blog received this past month, then check back when I was posting here last summer. There is no secret why Stephen likes to engage me, it drives traffic to his blog. So, say all you want, he should thank me as well :-)

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: "Axiom: Certainty requires no other possibilities to be available."

Kaitlyn, 1. Are all axioms valid?
2. Are you certain about anything, if so, what, and how are you able to be certain about it?

Sye TenB said...

Brian said: ” Who is more praiseworthy? The person who accepts the limitations of their knowledge or the one who stubbornly claims absolute knowledge when they've been shown to have no knowledge of what they claim?”

But he also said: ” You cannot justify your claim at all. You have no demonstration and rely on a vicious circle and arguments to ignorance.”

Um, do you know this to be true Brian?

Kaitlyn said...

"Are all axioms valid?"

Only if the axiom is assumed true by all parties. Otherwise, it becomes a proposition.

"Are you certain about anything"

Yes.

"if so, what"

I exist.

"and how are you able to be certain about it?"

It's self-evidenced by my previous statement.

Whateverman said...

So much for catching up at Dan's blog...

Sye TenB said...

WEM said: "So much for catching up at Dan's blog..."

That's right WEM, I live in a bubble with just me and my computer. I don't eat or use the bathroom. My family have abandoned me, they call me "Circular Sye"... so I have absolutely no commitments except posting online.

Kaitlyn said...

Sye, just out of curiosity...

You asked me three questions. You then responded quite sarcastically to WEM but not to my response.

What's the point of asking me those three questions? Did you need clarification, were you trying to make a point, or were you just quizzing me?

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: "You asked me three questions. You then responded quite sarcastically to WEM but not to my response."


Kaitlyn, just how much do you need attention from me? On a scale of one to ten?

Sye TenB said...

Actually Kaitlyn, I'm finishing up a few things, then I'm gonna watch American Idol, of all things. (It's almost as great an example of self-deception as this blog)

I'll get to these when I can.

Kaitlyn said...

I asked you a very straightforward question Sye. I want to know why you would ask me something for no apparent reason.

Chris Mackey said...

That's right WEM, I live in a bubble with just me and my computer. I don't eat or use the bathroom. My family have abandoned me, they call me "Circular Sye"... so I have absolutely no commitments except posting online.

So you post thousands of questions online and get annoyed if people respond?
I wouldn't be surprised if you had no commitments except posting online. I have seen thousands of comments (almost always just a question) by you. You seem to jump onto every message board I read and spam it with your questions. And now you seem annoyed with Kaitlyn!?

Chris Mackey said...

I've read Stephen Law for ages and never commented. But you, Sye, are just spam.

Whateverman said...

Chris Mackey wrote But you, Sye, are just spam He could be a 'bot as well; or perhaps a Poe (though I think he likes the attention a bit too much).

In any case, he has a knack for getting people to (after a few weeks) stop taking him seriously. Whether he's automated or not, you have to admire the end result...

Psye said...

Hahaha, oh brother! Sye's extreme evasiveness is hilarious. Please, Sye, evade some more! You can do it, baby!

BTW, Dr. Funkenstein, thanks for the quotes from Manata and also for the links. Exbeliever's (from DC) post on presuppositionalism was very good.

get_education said...

Brian,

Who is more praiseworthy? The person who accepts the limitations of their knowledge or the one who stubbornly claims absolute knowledge when they've been shown to have no knowledge of what they claim?

Actually, this is even worse. Sye's claim tacitly but clearly makes his god an ass-hole who cannot identify logical fallacies when they are put on top of each other. Just look at Sye's "arguments". Viciously circular, viciously hypercircular (when he pretends to get rid of the circularity by adding another circle in the form of "an omniscient god could reveal ..."), argument from ignorance (since you do not know, God did it), special pleading, false dichotomy, tons of red herrings ... the list is endless. So, to make his god look like a fool, all that is needed is nested fallacies. Worse than that, this god also gives Sye certainty! Wow, certain in the wrong logic. What a shame of a god, what a cartoon of a god.

I suspect this is Sye's true purpose. He might as well be an intellectualoid atheist trying to discredit the whole of Christianity. In the process he laughs at atheists falling into his charade, and at Christians who think he is doing something good for Christianity.

Now look out for the red herring. :-D

G.E.

get_education said...

Sye said:

That's right WEM, I live in a bubble with just me and my computer. I don't eat or use the bathroom. My family have abandoned me, they call me "Circular Sye"... so I have absolutely no commitments except posting online.

I knew it! :-D

Sye TenB said...

@ Kaitlyn,

I asked: “Are all axioms valid?"

You answered: ”Only if the axiom is assumed true by all parties. Otherwise, it becomes a proposition.”

So, how do you know that all parties assume that your axioms: “Certainty requires no other possibilities to be available,” and “Space aliens with advanced enough technologies could reveal knowledge directly into your brain,” are true?

I asked: "Are you certain about anything, if so what and how are you able to be certain about it?"

You answered: Yes, that you exist, and that you know this because, “It's self-evidenced by my previous statement.”

Could you give me the proof, I’m not sure I’m following you here?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "There's loads of us Doctors of Philosophy out here, Sye, who are not sure what's the best theory of logic. I'm afraid you're committing the fallacy called "argument from ignorance" yet again."

Read it again, it wasn't an argument, it was a 'thank you.'

Kaitlyn said...

"So, how do you know that all parties assume that your axioms... are true?"

I don't. That's not how axioms work. Although, many axioms, including the ones I posited are self-evidenced.

"Could you give me the proof, I’m not sure I’m following you here?"

In a self-evident proposition, the proof is the proposition itself.

In order for me to even make the claim, "I exist," I must exist. Thus the claim itself is self-evidenced.

Other examples of self evidence is the axiom: "Certainty requires no other possibilities to be available," since being open to different possibilities is in opposition to the very definition of certainty.

Dr Funkenstein said...

So, how do you know that all parties assume that your axioms:

Because in order to deny them, the person in question needs to make use of their utility (NB, the God of the bible does not meet this criteria before you say it), whether they acknowledge this or not - that's one reason at least, there are others. eg you couldn't deny existence then attempt to construct an argument as existence is a precondition of being able to be or do anything.



Any chance you could answer these couple of questions from before Sye?


But you have admitted the possibility that God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain,

That's correct, several times as well. You're not telling me anything I haven't already agreed to!

However, previously you acknowledge that the fact that an entity (Quargon the dragon) would possess a particular attribute if it existed doesn't confirm said entity's existence, right?

So if you continue the application of your logic you state that your worldview provides in the same manner, you'd presumably have to concede that the possibility of God having an attribute in the event of his existence also doesn't go any way to confirming that God does actually exist?

Again, this just requires a simple yes or no answer - I'm hoping we can manage to get this response in less time than the two days it took to get the last one!

and have yet to give us your justification for certainty for comparison purposes.

I don't recall being the one that made a claim in the first place. You were the person who did that. I'm not here to do your work for you. We're here to deal with whether your claims stand up or not on the terms you've laid out for us first of all.

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: ”Any chance you could answer these couple of questions from before Sye?”

Sure

”However, previously you acknowledge that the fact that an entity (Quargon the dragon) would possess a particular attribute if it existed doesn't confirm said entity's existence, right?”

Right.

”So if you continue the application of your logic you state that your worldview provides in the same manner, you'd presumably have to concede that the possibility of God having an attribute in the event of his existence also doesn't go any way to confirming that God does actually exist?
Again, this just requires a simple yes or no answer - I'm hoping we can manage to get this response in less time than the two days it took to get the last one!”


Yes. I don’t know what the big deal was, I ignored your dragon points, as I assumed them to be obvious.
The fact that God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, is, in itself not proof that God exists, however it is an admission by you that I have, at least, a possible avenue to certainty, whereas you have none from which to level any argument.

Sye TenB said...

@ Kaitlyn,

I asked: ” I asked: “Are all axioms valid?"

You answered: ”Only if the axiom is assumed true by all parties. Otherwise, it becomes a proposition.”

Then I asked: “"So, how do you know that all parties assume that your axioms... are true?"

And you answered: ” I don't. That's not how axioms work.”

Huh??? So are you telling me that you do not know that your axiom is valid? If so, how can you know ANYTHING???

I said: "Could you give me the proof, I’m not sure I’m following you here?"

You answered: ”In order for me to even make the claim, "I exist," I must exist. Thus the claim itself is self-evidenced.”

Kaitlyn, the proof is question begging. Look at your argument:
P1. I make a claim
P2.To make a claim, I have to exist
C. Therefore I exist

Problem is, your conclusion is presupposed in P1. To avoid question begging, P1 should be: “a claim is being made,” and I’d really like to see how you get from THAT to “I exist.”

Dr Funkenstein said...

Yes. I don’t know what the big deal was, I ignored your dragon points, as I assumed them to be obvious.

So why not just save us both the hassle and answer it within the first couple of times (I can assume you might have missed it once or twice but not the numerous times I posted it) rather than dragging it out over 2 days 300+ posts? All it took was 2 answers of 'no' that you've finally given - anyway, we finally got there I suppose.

The fact that God could reveal some things to us such that we can know them for certain, is, in itself not proof that God exists,

Thank you! That's all I was looking for you to concede - we're slowly but surely getting somewhere here.

however it is an admission by you that I have, at least, a possible avenue to certainty,

Yup, but then again possible is not the same as actual

whereas you have none from which to level any argument.

Well since I haven't actually stated my belief on that front, I'm not sure how you would know this and have refuted me, but perhaps you can read minds...

That said, as Stephen has suggested already, if logic is simply a fact of existence or a result of the facts of existence that would also be a possible avenue to being able to rely on logic, would it not?

Kaitlyn said...

"Huh??? So are you telling me that you do not know that your axiom is valid?"

It's assumed valid, not known.

"If so, how can you know ANYTHING???"

I think and am capable of thought.

"Kaitlyn, the proof [self evidence] is question begging. Look at your argument:"

No, Sye, self-evidence is not circular logic. No proof and therefore no deduction is necessary with self-evident statements.

You cannot have a logical fallacy if you are not using logic. The proposition, "I exist" is true by the meaning of the proposition.

Do you really think philosophers since the time of Plato up to today would not have noticed if self-evidence is form of circular reasoning?

Come on.

Sye TenB said...

@ Kaitlyn,

I asked: “So are you telling me that you do not know that your axiom is valid?"


You answered: ”It's assumed valid, not known.”

I asked: ” how can you know ANYTHING???"

You answered: ”I think and am capable of thought.”

But Kaitlyn, how do you know that you exist, that you are capable of thought, and that your thoughts are valid?

I said: ”Kaitlyn, the proof [self evidence] is question begging. Look at your argument:"

”No, Sye, self-evidence is not circular logic. No proof and therefore no deduction is necessary with self-evident statements.”

But you just admitted that they are not all valid, and that you do not know that they are valid, so again, how can you know ANYTHING?

”You cannot have a logical fallacy if you are not using logic.”

I suppose that is a fitting comment with which to end our discussion.

Cheers Kaitlyn.

Sye TenB said...

Dr. F. said: ”Yup, but then again possible is not the same as actual”

Never said that it was.

”Well since I haven't actually stated my belief on that front, I'm not sure how you would know this and have refuted me, but perhaps you can read minds...”

Allow me to rephrase: “You have offered none, from which to level any argument.”

”That said, as Stephen has suggested already, if logic is simply a fact of existence or a result of the facts of existence that would also be a possible avenue to being able to rely on logic, would it not?”

Are you keeping track, that’s 2 now Stephen: “LOGIC JUST IS!” :-D

Kaitlyn said...

Sye, your claim that self-evidence is a form of begging the question was addressed by Aristotle himself.

"For we have explained the meaning of begging the question, viz. proving that which is not self-evident by means of itself.

- Aristotle: Prior Analytics - Book II part 16

http://www.greektexts.com/library/Aristotle/Prior_Analytics_-_Book_II/eng/34.html

You're only what, Sye, 2,300 years behind modern philosophy?

Kaitlyn said...

"But Kaitlyn, how do you know that you exist, that you are capable of thought, and that your thoughts are valid?"

These are the very examples of self-evident truths stated in remedial philosophy classes. "I exist" and "I think" are self-evident truths!

"But you just admitted that [self-evident truths] are not all valid, and that you do not know that they are valid, so again, how can you know ANYTHING?"

I never said that. You, sir, are a liar.

Self-evident truths must be true, and are therefore just about the ONLY things you can bee 100% sure about.

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: ” I never said that. You, sir, are a liar.”

Yawn. Kaitlyn, are all claims of self-evident truth valid?

Kaitlyn said...

Sye, it's obvious by your comments that you do not even know what an axiom is.

An axiom is either a self-evident truth or a statement assumed to be true as a postulate. I can't get inside your mind Sye, so I have to simply assume you will take the axiom as truth which is a huge assumption given that you clearly don't understand the concept of self-evidence as well.

I hate to be blunt, but Sye, you are not in need of a debate; you are in need of an education.

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that you are one of those wacky creationist types given the low level of education that you are demonstrating here. I simply hope you're not a creationist.

Kaitlyn said...

"Yawn. Kaitlyn, are all claims of self-evident truth valid?"

All self-evident statements are true (a tautology if I ever saw one).

Simply claiming a statement is self-evident does not make the statement self-evident, however. There's a difference.

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: ”Simply claiming a statement is self-evident does not make the statement self-evident, however. There's a difference.”

Kaitlyn, please answer the question, are all claims of self-evident truth valid? If not, how do you know that yours are?

Kaitlyn said...

"are all claims of self-evident truth valid?"

By valid, you mean "true," correct?

No, you cam claim something is self-evident when it it in fact requires proof.

"How do you know that yours are?"

In your own words, Sye, "the impossibility of the contrary." In other words, they are self-evident. You can know that they are true because the proposition itself makes it true.

Kaitlyn said...

Sye, self-evident truths are a dead end in your questions. Since they only rely on themselves to be true, they do not require any external logic or knowledge to be true other than an understanding of the proposition itself.

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: ”In your own words, Sye, "the impossibility of the contrary." In other words, they are self-evident. You can know that they are true because the proposition itself makes it true.”

So, not all claims to self-evident truth are valid, but yours are, right? Riiiiiiiiiight. And you know this because they ‘just are.’ (Don’t look now Stephen, but I think we have #3 :-D )

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn, let me ask you this, can self evident truths ever be both true, and false at the same time and in the same way? If not, why not?

Kaitlyn said...

"So, not all claims to self-evident truth are valid, but yours are, right? Riiiiiiiiiight. And you know this because they ‘just are.’ (Don’t look now Stephen, but I think we have #3 :-D )"

Sye, if you want a detailed understanding of why self-evident truths are true, you should read a book or take a class on modal logic. However, the beauty of self-evident truths is that you don't have to take my word for it. Self-evident statements are true in and of themselves.

The self-evident statements come with their own proof.

Don't believe me? Then show why it's not a necessity that I exist in order for me to say, "I exist."

"Kaitlyn, let me ask you this, can self evident truths ever be both true, and false at the same time and in the same way? If not, why not?"

Self evident truth can only be true. This is self-evident if not a tautology by the very nature of calling them "truths."

Kaitlyn said...

Quick correction, I wrote...
"Don't believe me? Then show why it's not a necessity that I exist in order for me to say, "I exist." "

I should be more specific. It's not self-evident to you that I exist, so the question I should have asked you...

Is it possible for you to make the statement, "I exist," and not exist given the already established meaning of "existence?"

Sye TenB said...

Kaitlyn said: ” Self-evident statements are true in and of themselves.”

Fine, it is a self-evident truth that God exists. Glad we could clear that up. :-D

Try the veal, I'm here till Tuesday.

Cheers,

Sye

Kaitlyn said...

"Fine, it is a self-evident truth that God exists. "

God exists requires external justification and is therefore not self evident.

Saying "God exists" in no way makes it true.

Kaitlyn said...

Sye, you can't claim something is self evident when the statement itself contains no evidence to its accuracy.

That's what they call in academic circles, dishonesty.

If it's not self-evident to you and me that Stephen Law exists, it's certainly not self evident that your God exists.

Kaitlyn said...

Sorry for the triple post, but I just remembered that this entire blog post by Stephen deals with the lack of self-evidence in the premise of Sye's argument which renders it invalid.

Why are we just getting into the topic of self-evidence now through a rather off-topic discussion of axioms after 200 comments?

I'm not entirely convinced Sye read Stephen's blog entry or all this would have been brought up earlier.

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