Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sye show continues

I was sent a link to this, for those interested in the never ending saga of Sye TenBruggencate and his "proof" of the existence of God. Hit "sinner ministries' proof of the existence of god" link below or on side bar for 30+ earlier posts on this topic that I wrote during an extended interchange with him last summer (check the literally many hundreds of comments attached to these posts if you really want to get into how Sye thinks and argues). Sye's amazing intial "proof" is available here.


PS. For those interested, my own "presuppositional" proof, parodying Sye's proof by his principle "the impossibility of the contrary" (which turns out to be the key to Sye's proof) is:

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, my claim is proved by the impossibility of the contrary".

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

Have I proved to Sye that he was hit on the head by a rock? Of course not. Still I might tie Sye up in knots like this: each time he tries to offer an argument that his reasoning is reliable and justified, and/or that he wasn't hit on the head by a rock, I say, "Oh dear, Sye, you are trying to use logic - and you can't do so with justification till you have proved you were not hit on the head by that rock! My proof works!! I win!!" Repeat ad nauseum until he gives up. Then claim victory.

This, in effect, is Sye's core argumentative strategy. The first thing you need to know, before engaging with him, is that he will constantly run this argument over and over and over. But he has many other strategies too, to give him credit. Yes of course it's ultimately all bullshit, but boy he can really construct a complex edifice out of it!

Incidentally, we presented Sye with not one but three atheist-friendly accounts of logic, none of which did Sye refute, or even attempt to refute. Yet he keeps claiming there are none. Some chutzpah.

248 comments:

1 – 200 of 248   Newer›   Newest»
Kosh3 said...

Wow.

delmot said...

Come on now, we ask them to set aside the bible, why can't we set aside reason? It's only... er... reasonable...

elbowpatches said...

This is hilarious. I particularly enjoyed learning that logic can only have been created by God. Also that you can prove the age of the planet by looking at the population of humans.

Paul P. Mealing said...

I watched the little video. I'm amazed how people don't recognise bullshit when they utter it.

Even atheists and agnostics know that God exists, because the Bible says that everyone knows. And because the Bible says that everyone knows that God exists, the Bible cannot be removed from any argument concerning logic, science and morality.

Not to mention, as Delmot points out, that if Christians are to set aside the ultimate authority of scripture then everyone else must set aside 'their authority based on their own ability to reason'. And they can say that with a straight face.

Effectively, Sye is saying, though you may have the ability to use reason, you don't have the authority to use it (unless you're a Christian of course). That will beat every argument using reason every time (unless you're a Christian).

Just read the Bible and leave your brain at the door.

Regards, Paul.

anticant said...

Sye again? God give me strength! I'm currently being assailed by his Muslim equivalents on Craig Murray's blog:

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/11/as_we_say_in_ta.html#comments

Kosh3 said...

It is not as though Sye rejects reason in the course of daily life, or consults the Bible for all answers. Suppose he was a detective -- reason would be pretty useful in that case.

In what sense is it rejected then? Insofar as it leads to conclusions that contradict the Bible?

Stephen Law said...

What are the odds he shows up here saying, "But what is *your* account of logic, Stephen?" or otherwise claiming victory?

Don't worry I won't take the bait...

Reynold said...

Wow. Eric Hovind. When I posted there, I should have asked how his jailbait father was doing, and if he's learned his lesson about "rendering unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's" yet.

anticant said...

How can you prove that the rock which hit Sye on the head was not a Divine Thunderbolt which imparted to him the gift of omniscient wisdom?

His method of argument indicates that this is what he thinks he possesses.

Sye TenB said...

Well, I don't expect you to give an honest representation of our discussion, but I did briefly address 2 of the 3 three ‘atheist friendly’ accounts, and the third (Quine’s) equates laws of logic with laws of nature, and says that they are ‘not necessary,’ surely that does not require refutation.

As far as your silly rock scenario goes, it fails on 2 counts (as I have already stated). 1. Presuppositionalism does not say that the professed atheist cannot prove things, merely that they cannot account for the very concept of proof. 2. Your very challenge to me to prove anything, presupposes that my mind is not addled, or you would be a fool to make the challenge.

Now Stephen, for a PhD in philosophy, you’d think that you would have a justification for the laws of logic you wish to use in arguing against my claims, but, and everyone is free to search the thousands of posts, you have NEVER given YOUR account for logic, or your basis for assuming that the laws of logic WILL hold. You say that there are 3 accounts that may work, but that’s like a cop asking for YOUR ownership to YOUR vehicle, and you producing 3 different ownerships with other peopl'es names on them, which you claim may be for YOUR car. Is it any wonder the Bible calls the reasoning of those who deny God ‘foolishness?’

Stephen, how do YOU account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic according to YOUR worldview, and on what basis do you assume that the laws of logic WILL hold? Perhaps you could also include how you know that your reasoning about any of this is valid? It’s been well over a year though , and I doubt that you will offer your account. You should be ashamed.

Stephen Law said...

Did you read my comment above, Sye (scroll up)?

Sye TenB said...

Of course. You call it 'bait' to make it look like some kind of trick, when all I want is answers to my simple questions.

You may be fooling your 'followers' but ya ain't foolin' me. ;-)

Derrida said...

Arguing that atheism cannot account for logic, morality and science seems a very round about way of arguing for Christianity. If your goal is to save people from Hell, then why not provide the arguments or evidence for Christianity, rather than arguing that a single position, atheism, that a few people hold is inconsistent?

Even if someone can't say how logic can be accounted for without God, that doesn't show that logic can't be accounted for without God. And even if logic can't be accounted for without God, that doesn't imply that Christianity is true.

So pushing Stephen for his personal justification for logic doesn't seem to have any point. It just makes it look like Sye's arguing for the sake of it.

splittter said...

Particularly like the bit where the interviewer acts like using established facts rather than some book is an amazing, revolutionary move ... "Fact against fact! Bam!" ... I love these guys.

Stephen Law said...

Hi Derrida

Yes Sye is running the fallacy "argument from ignorance". It's all been pointed out to him a million times.

He'll just keep coming back with "But what is your account of logic, Stephen?" etc.

Oh bugger I said I wouldn't take the bait....

Derrida said...

Couldn't one say, as Sye says that his reason for believing in Christianity is the "impossibility of the contrary", that our reason for believing the principles of logic is the "impossibility of the contrary"? :)

It seems to me that if there is such a thing as "reality" which propositions can either describe or not, then the laws of logic are simply descriptions of the fact that all claims are either true (in that they describe what reality is like), false (in that they describe the way reality could be but isn't), and meaningless (in that they neither describe how reality is or isn't).

Reality either exists or doesn't. Of course, if reality doesn't exist, then how can I, a part of reality, doubt its existence? If reality didn't exist then I wouldn't exist and wouldn't be able to doubt its existence. So reality does exist, so there is an objective way things are, which claims can accurately or inaccurately describe.

Stephen Law said...

Actually to be fair to Sye, he did have a go at refuting at least one of the three positions. I'd forgotten about that, as for ages he point blank refused, instead playing the "But what is YOUR view?" card....

jeremy said...

My god, I've listened to some stupid interviewers in my time, but Hovind takes the biscuit... That was really, really funny! Thank you, Stephen.

Stephen Law said...

I cannot resist (I know I'll regret it):

Sye said: "As far as your silly rock scenario goes, it fails on 2 counts (as I have already stated). 1. Presuppositionalism does not say that the professed atheist cannot prove things, merely that they cannot account for the very concept of proof. 2. Your very challenge to me to prove anything, presupposes that my mind is not addled, or you would be a fool to make the challenge."

MY REPLY: Your responses both involve logical inferences. So, semi-quoting you: How do YOU justify YOUR use of logic here? If you cannot, then you have no basis for offering these arguments. Thus my position that your brain is addled cos you were hit by a rock is proved by THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY!

jeremy said...

Stephen, nooooooooo!

Stephen Law said...

Sye, to save time, assume that my response to any counter-argument you offer to my claim that your brain is addled 'cos you were hit on the head by a rock will always be the following:

MY REPLY: Your response involves a logical inference. So (semi-quoting you): How do YOU justify YOUR use of logic here? How do YOU justify your claim that your brain is not addled and you can reason cogently? If you cannot, then you have no rational basis for offering this counter-argument. Thus my position that your brain IS addled is PROVED by THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY!

Sye TenB said...

Derrida said: ”If your goal is to save people from Hell, then why not provide the arguments or evidence for Christianity, rather than arguing that a single position, atheism, that a few people hold is inconsistent?”

Well first, my goal is not to save anyone from Hell, as that is entirely out of my hands. My goal is to speak the truth in the hope that people will be saved from Hell. What you fail to realize though Derrida, is that the very concept of ‘evidence’ is evidence for Christianity, as the preconditions necessary to call anything ‘evidence’(i.e. truth, knowledge, and universal, abstract, invariant laws) cannot be accounted for apart from God, and are accounted for with Him.

”It seems to me that if there is such a thing as "reality" which propositions can either describe or not, then the laws of logic are simply descriptions of the fact that all claims are either true (in that they describe what reality is like), false (in that they describe the way reality could be but isn't), and meaningless (in that they neither describe how reality is or isn't).”

Problem is, that would make the laws of logic contingent to what was described, and they would lose their universality.

”Reality either exists or doesn't. Of course, if reality doesn't exist, then how can I, a part of reality, doubt its existence? If reality didn't exist then I wouldn't exist and wouldn't be able to doubt its existence. So reality does exist, so there is an objective way things are, which claims can accurately or inaccurately describe.”

Sorry Derrida, but you are begging the question. How do you know that you are a part of reality? At best your argument is that there is doubting going on, but you have not proven that there is reality, or that you exist. (Not to mention the fact that you assume an absolute standard of logic to insist that the disjunctive ‘either/or’ syllogism is valid – a standard which you have not, and cannot justify without God).

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”Your responses both involve logical inferences. So, semi-quoting you: How do YOU justify YOUR use of logic here? If you cannot, then you have no basis for offering these arguments. Thus my position that your brain is addled cos you were hit by a rock is proved by THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY!”

Problem is Stephen, I have never said that you cannot, or are unable to use logical inferences, so you are creating a false analogy. Quite simply, I have given my justification for using logical inferences, and you have not. You can play your silly game as long as you want, but it is glaringly obvious that you are simply avoiding your account for logic, and the validity of your reasoning, because you can justify neither.

Stephen Law said...

SYE: "I have never said that you cannot, or are unable to use logical inferences"

STEPHEN: I know, but you said I am not *justified* in using them. You just asked how do I *know* my inferences are valid, blah blah blah.

So now I ask you....

What is your JUSTIFICATION for saying YOU were not hit on the head by a rock? How do YOU KNOW you were not? What is YOUR argument, and how do YOU know it is valid?

It's great using capitals!

Stephen Law said...

Let me quote you back at you (from your immediately preceding post):

"It is glaringly obvious that you are simply avoiding your account for logic, and the validity of your reasoning, because you can justify neither."

Go on, JUSTIFY YOUR claim that YOU were not hit on the head...

Sye TenB said...

Stephen asked: ”What is your JUSTIFICATION for saying YOU were not hit on the head by a rock? How do YOU KNOW you were not? What is YOUR argument, and how do YOU know it is valid?”

Simple, God has revealed, such that I can be certain of it, that I can use my senses and reasoning to gain certain knowledge. I have used my senses and reasoning to determine that I was not hit on the head by a rock, and that my brain is not addled. Again, you may not agree with my claim, or presuppose that it is not valid, but my simple question is, what is YOUR justification for using logic? How do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, how do you know that they will be valid, and how do you know that your reasoning is valid, according to YOUR worldview?

This is not a trick. We simply offer our respective claims for the justification of logic, and reasoning, and how we can arrive at certainty, and compare them. So far, for obvious reasons, you are unwilling to give us your claim.

Stephen Law said...

SYE: "I have used my senses and reasoning to determine that I was not hit on the head by a rock, and that my brain is not addled."

But if you WERE hit on the head by a rock and your brain addled, both this inference and your alleged God experience are unreliable.

So how do you know that you weren't hit on head by a rock? You need to JUSTIFY your claim that both your alleged God experience and inferences are reliable by JUSTIFYING your claim that you were not hit on the head by a rock!

Please JUSTIFY these claims!

anticant said...

Gee whizz, Stephen, what a glutton for punishment you are! In Transactional Analysis, this type of discussion is called "mind f**king".

Getting on with your book is much more useful!

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”But if you WERE hit on the head by a rock and your brain addled, both this inference and your alleged God experience are unreliable.”

I gave my justification - revelation from God, such that I can have certain knowledge.

Now,
1. Are you suggesting that God could not reveal some things to us such that we can know for certain that they are true?
2. If so, how do you know THAT (or anything - i.e. that my experiences are unreliable) for certain?

Stephen Law said...

See SYE? - I have PROVED by the IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY that your brain is addled because you were hit on the head by a rock!

Stephen Law said...

But what is your JUSTIFICATION for saying you were not hit on the head by a rock? You claim to have had an experience that guarantees you know this.

But how do YOU KNOW you have had such an experience rather than having been hit on the head by a rock and merely think you have (your brain being addled)?

Please JUSTIFY your claim that you were not hit on the head by a rock!

Stephen Law said...

Incidentally, Sye, this using capitals thing is like poking someone in the ribs, isn't it? Feels very aggressive.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Please JUSTIFY your claim that you were not hit on the head by a rock!"

Well, it should be clear to everyone who is really playing games here. I have given my justification for knowledge, and granted, you may disagree with it, or even claim that it is not a justification, but what is yours?

Not only will you not give your own justification for logic, knowledge, and reasoning, you refuse to answer my questions because you are aware of the impications of doing so.

PhD. Piled higher and deeper perhaps? :-)

Stephen Law said...

I win! I have proved, by the impossibility of the contrary, that Sye's brain is addled because he was hit on the head by a rock!

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Incidentally, Sye, this using capitals thing is like poking someone in the ribs, isn't it? Feels very aggressive."

Well, not for me, it is merely emphasizing the words - which I would be doing if we were speaking - which is hard to do with type. Would you prefer bolding? :-)

Sye TenB said...

"I win! I have proved, by the impossibility of the contrary, that Sye's brain is addled because he was hit on the head by a rock!"

I didn't kow they handed out PhDs in preschool. Huh!

Stephen Law said...

Hah, insults. Excellent!

Sye TenB said...

Thanks, I kinda like that one meself :-)

It's a good thing you never engaged in any insults cause that would mean you lost the argument right? :-D

Stephen Law said...

You're simply avoiding the question, Sye.

How do YOU justify YOUR use of logic? How do YOU justify your claim that your brain is not addled and you can reason cogently? If you cannot, then you have no rational basis for any counter-argument. Thus my position that your brain IS addled is PROVED by THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY!

Please provide your non-question-begging justification!

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Please provide your non-question-begging justification!"

How do you know that I haven't?

Derrida said...

Sye,

"Problem is, that would make the laws of logic contingent to what was described, and they would lose their universality."

Not really. Reality is simply the collection of everything that is. If that collection is empty, we can still make true statements about reality, specifically that nothing is. Whether or not anything exists, the laws of logic would still apply.

"Sorry Derrida, but you are begging the question. How do you know that you are a part of reality? At best your argument is that there is doubting going on, but you have not proven that there is reality, or that you exist. (Not to mention the fact that you assume an absolute standard of logic to insist that the disjunctive ‘either/or’ syllogism is valid – a standard which you have not, and cannot justify without God)."

I don't think that I am begging the question. To beg the question is to assume that a claim is true in order to show that the claim is true.

The claim under investigation is whether or not the laws of logic can be justified irrespective of God. I talked about reality, and claims about reality.

Simply put, reality is defined as all that is. Anything that is is a part of reality. Hence, if I exist, I am a part of reality. Since you agree with me that "there is doubting going on", reality cannot be an empty set.

As to your point that I assume an either/or distinction, you seem to imply that I might neither exist nor fail to exist. However, if that is the case, then its also possible that God neither exists nor doesn't exist, meaning that God cannot be used to justify logic.

Sye TenB said...

Derrida said: ”Not really. Reality is simply the collection of everything that is.”

How do you know that logic applies to everything that is since you do not have universal knowledge, or revelation from same? How do you know that it will apply in the future, since the future isn’t yet?

”Whether or not anything exists, the laws of logic would still apply.”

How do you know?

”I don't think that I am begging the question. To beg the question is to assume that a claim is true in order to show that the claim is true.”

I know what it means, and I have pointed out where you are begging the question, as you have neither proved that you exist, or that there is reality.

”Simply put, reality is defined as all that is. Anything that is is a part of reality. Hence, if I exist, I am a part of reality. Since you agree with me that "there is doubting going on", reality cannot be an empty set.”

Still, you have not proven that anything ‘is,’ let alone that you ‘are.’

”As to your point that I assume an either/or distinction, you seem to imply that I might neither exist nor fail to exist. However, if that is the case, then its also possible that God neither exists nor doesn't exist, meaning that God cannot be used to justify logic.”

No, I am not implying that, since I have a justification for saying that that cannot be the case, I am simply asking for yours.

Tony Lloyd said...

Sye said:

Stephen said: "Please provide your non-question-begging justification!"

How do you know that I haven't?


Stephen didn't claim to know that you haven't. Assume the Stephen doesn't know that you haven't. Will you comply with his request?

(And before you ask I don't know that you haven't, don't know that Stephen didn't claim to know that you haven't and don't know whether you either have or haven't assumed that Stephen doesn't know).

You see there is a difference between something being true and knowing that something is true. This is where most of your argument falls down. (No, I am not asserting that I know that, or know that I am not asserting that I know that. I am asserting that).

Sye TenB said...

Tony asked: "Will you comply with his request?"

I know for certain that I have.

"You see there is a difference between something being true and knowing that something is true."

How do you know? Oh wait, you say you don't. Then why say it?

Tony Lloyd said...

Sye said:

I know for certain that I have.

Thank you Sye. In previous correspondance I began to supsect that you were a liar. I now have confirmation.

Sye also said:How do you know? Oh wait, you say you don't. Then why say it?
There is no easy way to say this Sye. You are either to stupid to understand it or too dishonest to take it on board.

Stephen: enough of this troll: I've commented on chapter 3, let's have chapter 4!

Derrida said...

"How do you know that logic applies to everything that is since you do not have universal knowledge, or revelation from same? How do you know that it will apply in the future, since the future isn’t yet?"

Right. Let's start by agreeing to define reality as everything that is, past and present. That's what people normally mean when they talk about reality. Now, claims about reality can be true, which means that they accurately describe reality, they can be false, meaning that they inaccurately describe reality, or meaningless if they neither describe the way reality is or the way reality isn't.

Now, there's only one reality, by definition, as reality is the set of everything. The universal set, if you like. This means that a claim about reality that is true can't also be false, as a claim about reality that were both true and false would mean that reality is splintered into different factions, like Schrodinger's cat. But by definition, reality is one thing.

Note that I'm simply defining reality, truth, falsity etc. The laws of logic are made true by those definitions. If you agree on the definitions, and why shouldn't you, as "reality" and "truth" are just words, then there is a justifying basis for the laws of logic.

"I know what it means, and I have pointed out where you are begging the question, as you have neither proved that you exist, or that there is reality."

Well let's forget about my existence for a moment, as I'm only one person :). We can prove that I exist later. Reality, if you'll agree with my definition, is everything that is. So is there anything? You said that I have proved that "there IS doubting going on", so there is at least one "is".

"No, I am not implying that, since I have a justification for saying that that cannot be the case, I am simply asking for yours."

Well, you're implying that if there is no God then I might neither exist nor not exist. That there might be some alternative to existence or nonexistence, and that the "either/or" distinction is faulty.

But, if we aren't assuming that the laws of logic are true, then couldn't God inhabit some space between, or outside of, existence and nonexistence. If so, how can you trust that the laws of logic are correct by postulating a God. Maybe God exists and doesn't exist, meaning that the laws of logic are both justifiable and unjustifiable! So, I think that this objection runs into problems.

Anyway, that's pretty much my case. If you aren't happy with it, then that's unfortunate, but I hope that I can help you to see that the laws of logic can be justified atheistically!

Sye TenB said...

Tony said: ”Thank you Sye. In previous correspondance I began to supsect that you were a liar. I now have confirmation.”

Said with the usual reams of accompanying proof. Just out of curiosity, by what absolute standard do you even call lying “wrong,” or do you?

”There is no easy way to say this Sye. You are either to stupid to understand it or too dishonest to take it on board.”

Erm, good argument there Tony!

Sye TenB said...

Derrida said: ”Right. Let's start by agreeing to define reality as everything that is, past and present.”

Then you concede that God exists, and there is no reason to continue.

Cheers

Tony Lloyd said...

Said with the usual reams of accompanying proof.

I'm not going to attempt to prove anything to someone who will not accept a proof.

Just out of curiosity, by what absolute standard do you even call lying “wrong,” or do you?

I didn't mention it being wrong.

Erm, good argument there Tony! It wasn't an argument.

Derrida said...

"Then you concede that God exists, and there is no reason to continue."

Hmm. So you think there's a logical step from:

1) Reality is, by definition, everything that exists.

to

2) God exists.

Two possibilities spring to mind:

You think that I meant "reality" to be everything that could possibly exist, which would include God. By "reality", I mean everything that actually exists, not everything that could exist.

Or, you define God as everything that exists. This is a rather abstract definition of God, but if this is how you define God, then sure, I believe that God exists.

Cheers to you too.

Sye TenB said...

Derrida said: ”You think that I meant "reality" to be everything that could possibly exist, which would include God. By "reality", I mean everything that actually exists, not everything that could exist.”

Problem is, we likely differ on what actually exists, or can exist, so our definitions of reality cannot be agreed upon absent our metaphysical, and epistemological positions being clarified. In that case, let me ask you, what is actually real, and how do you know what you know?

Stephen Law said...

Stephen said: "Please provide your non-question-begging justification!"

SYE: How do you know that I haven't?

STEPHEN: How do YOU know that you HAVE?!

Please provide your non-question-begging justification for your claim that you were not hit on the head with a rock and your brain addled!

Plus your proof that you have supplied such a proof!

If you can't, well, I have proved that you were hit on the head by a rock and your brain addled, by the IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY!

Oh BTW, my knowledge of, and the existence of, the laws of logic is underwritten by the INVISIBLE PINK UNICORN! Hence my use and knowledge of logic is justified. Unlike yours....

That's how I know you have not given me a proof. The INVISIBLE PINK UNICORN told me so.

But that is all by the by. We are all waiting for your refutation of my PROOF that you were not hit on the head by a rock and your thinking addled. Where is it?

Derrida said...

"Problem is, we likely differ on what actually exists, or can exist, so our definitions of reality cannot be agreed upon absent our metaphysical, and epistemological positions being clarified."

Well, the fact that we may differ on what actually or potentially exists doesn't pose much of a problem for the definition of reality. To take a trivial example, my friend Bill believes in UFO's and I don't. However, even if we don't agree on what makes up reality, we can agree on what reality is: it's whatever exists.

"In that case, let me ask you, what is actually real, and how do you know what you know?"

Those are very weighty questions, although I think that I have gone some way to answering them! Unfortunately, it's getting quite late where I am. I'll part with this question:

Even if it could be showed that logic cannot be explained in an atheistic worldview, and can be explained in a theistic worldview, would this prove theism? How could it, since this implies an argument of the form:

If God does not exist, then logic is not real.

Logic is real.

Therefore, God exists.

But that would be to assume the laws trying to be proved.

Nighty night.

Sye TenB said...

Derrida said: "Well, the fact that we may differ on what actually or potentially exists doesn't pose much of a problem for the definition of reality. To take a trivial example, my friend Bill believes in UFO's and I don't. However, even if we don't agree on what makes up reality, we can agree on what reality is: it's whatever exists."

Well, let’s say that I say that reality includes universal, immaterial, invariant entities, and you say that those things cannot exist, then our definitions of reality obviously differ. Still though, for the sake of argument, I will agree that reality is whatever actually exists, but without defining our metaphysical, and epistemological views, we cannot agree on whatever actually exists.

”Those are very weighty questions, although I think that I have gone some way to answering them! Unfortunately, it's getting quite late where I am.”

Yes, I definitely have the time advantage if you are on the east side of the pond.

”Even if it could be showed that logic cannot be explained in an atheistic worldview, and can be explained in a theistic worldview, would this prove theism? How could it, since this implies an argument of the form:
If God does not exist, then logic is not real.
Logic is real.
Therefore, God exists.
But that would be to assume the laws trying to be proved.”


And why would that be absolutely wrong?

”Nighty night.”

G’night.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen asked: "How do YOU know that you HAVE?!"

Look Stephen, I understand that you do not want to answer my questions, or accept the answer I HAVE given, but reducing your argument to "nya nya nya nya nya," is hardly becoming a person of your learning.

Martin said...

My brain is seriously addled because of all the rocks which have been thrown at it, so much so that I have no idea whether I exist or not. However, I am certain something exists, and I take it on trust that if there is a me, then I'm not alone. But God certainly doesn't exist, that's just a lot of nonsense found in old books.

Sye says Himself that no one needs a proof that God exists, then he wastes his time by writing what He says passes as the proof. In doing so the only thing he proves is His own lack of faith. So called Christians like Sye should watch out because when His time comes God is going to want to know if he spent his time usefully. I think not!

Kosh3 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sye TenB said...

C'mon Kosh, put that post back up, I was licking my chops :-)

Kosh3 said...

Ok Sye let me try and get this straight:

You want to argue that logic only makes sense, and so only has rightful application, if it derives (somehow) from god. Thus the use of logic presupposes god. Since the use of logic is correct, god exists.

Yes?

Kosh3 said...

Just need to clarify first Sye!

Sye TenB said...

Kosh asked: ”You want to argue that logic only makes sense, and so only has rightful application, if it derives (somehow) from god. Thus the use of logic presupposes god.”

Use of, and existence of, yes.

” Since the use of logic is correct, god exists.”

Not quite, God is the necessary presupposition for the correct use of, and existence of logic.

Kosh3 said...

It follows then that your use of logic in showing that logic depends on god presupposes that god is responsible for both the existence of, and reliability of, logic. It is then tacitly circular, and by that, argumentatively useless. You could possibly be right (for your argument is not invalid), but it leaves nobody who does not already accept what you say without any reason to accept it.

You would disagree with what part of that, if any?

Kosh3 said...

Interestingly enough, if it wasn't tacitly circular, you couldn't be right. The only way you can be right is by tacitly assuming what you conclude.

Sye TenB said...

Kosh said: ”It follows then that your use of logic in showing that logic depends on god presupposes that god is responsible for both the existence of, and reliability of, logic. It is then tacitly circular, and by that, argumentatively useless.”

Which brings us right back to the original response you deleted – what’s absolutely wrong with that?
Not only that, by what standard of reasoning do you make the determination of "uselessness," and how do you know that standard, and your employment of it, is itself valid?

” You could possibly be right (for your argument is not invalid), but it leaves nobody who does not already accept what you say without any reason to accept it”

Well, that would all depend on your own justification for evaluating the ‘rightness’ of my argument. It is my hope that you would see that according to your own worldview, you have no basis to do this.

”Interestingly enough, if it wasn't tacitly circular, you couldn't be right. The only way you can be right is by tacitly assuming what you conclude.”

Exactly, which is the case with ALL ultimate authority claims, which is why I constantly ask you people to tell me how you know that your ability to reason (likely your ultimate authority) is valid? You must assume it in order to prove it, the difference is that your argument is “viciously circular,” as opposed to the necessary “virtuous” circularity of the Christian argument. Greg Bahnsen writes:

”In the Christian worldview, however, the Christian is not engaged in viciously circular argument, a circular argument on the same plane. We appeal above and beyond the temporal realm. God’s self-revelation in nature and in Scripture informs us of the two-level universe. God is not a fact like other facts in the world. He is the Creator and Establisher of all else. His existence alone makes the universe, and reason, and human experience possible… … The “circularity” of a transcendental argument is not at all the same as the fallacious ‘circularity’ of an argument in which the conclusion is a restatement (in one form or another) of one of its premises.” ~ (Pushing the Antithesis pg.) 124.

Kosh3 said...

"Which brings us right back to the original response you deleted – what’s absolutely wrong with that?"

What is wrong is that a tacitly circular argument can't achieve what it explicitly sets out to do. There is no point to them. They are not made invalid for that fact.

Arguments - the whole idea of making arguments - is to get someone else to believe something that they didn't before having encountered the argument. Yours cannot do that.

Its a bit like having a conversation with yourself - you could do it, but it won't do much.

"Not only that, by what standard of reasoning do you make the determination of "uselessness,"

In the above way

"and how do you know that standard, and your employment of it, is itself valid?"

In the context of logic 'valid' has a very specific meaning which won't apply to what you wrote (only arguments can be valid, not standards).

I think you mean to ask instead: what justifies us in requiring that arguments be informative? The answer is simply human interest: we don't have a use for them otherwise.

Sye TenB said...

Kosh said: ”What is wrong is that a tacitly circular argument can't achieve what it explicitly sets out to do. There is no point to them. They are not made invalid for that fact.”

Which brings me back to my question, what is absolutely wrong with that, and how do you know that your reasoning about THAT is valid?

”In the context of logic 'valid' has a very specific meaning which won't apply to what you wrote (only arguments can be valid, not standards).”

By what absolute standard of logic do you determine the validity of an argument, how do you account for that standard, and why does it necessarily apply? How do you know it will apply 2 seconds from now?

Kosh3 said...

"Which brings me back to my question, what is absolutely wrong with that, and how do you know that your reasoning about THAT is valid?"

I answered this: what is wrong with tacitly circular arguments is that we want arguments to be informative, and tacitly circular ones can't be. Why do we want informative arguments? Arguments are useless to us otherwise.

"By what absolute standard of logic do you determine the validity of an argument, how do you account for that standard, and why does it necessarily apply? How do you know it will apply 2 seconds from now?"

I don't understand your question. I check the validity of an argument by looking at it and seeing whether it is valid, according to what I understand validity to be. I use my eyes and my reason.

If your objection is 'but you can't know for sure that in deeming an argument invalid that it actually is!', then you are correct. Perhaps my eyes deceive me, perhaps I misunderstand the premises, or the logical structure of the argument. Possibly. But so what? Nobody sensible requires certainty for knowledge, because it is unachievable.

In this case, your objection would simply be that I am not literally certain in my applications of logic - and hence could be wrong in how I apply them. Well, yes, and quite happily! I don't need certainty to live.

Kosh3 said...

Incidentally, every time you use inductive reasoning, you accept the same.

Martin said...

"... which is why I constantly ask you people ..."

Letting your prejudices show here Sye. Makes me feel not like a child of God, more like an object of your derision.

Stephen Law said...

Stephen asked: "How do YOU know that you HAVE?!"

SYE: Look Stephen, I understand that you do not want to answer my questions, or accept the answer I HAVE given, but reducing your argument to "nya nya nya nya nya," is hardly becoming a person of your learning."

Stephen now replies: I am not going nya nya, as of course you realize. What I am doing is using YOUR OWN ARGUMENTATIVE STRATEGIES AGAINST YOU, so that it becomes very, very clear, why they are crap.

So let's get back to my proof "by the IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY" that you were hit on the head with a rock, which you have tried and failed to refute.

You said God reveals to you that your logic is reliable, but how do you know this has been revealed to you, rather than that it merely seems that way to you because you were hit on the head by a rock? Your justification just ASSUMES you were not hit on the head by a rock.

So now provide a non-question-begging justification for supposing you were not hit on the head with a rock.

Let me ask you yet again:

How do YOU justify YOUR use of logic? How do YOU justify your claim that your brain is not addled and you can reason cogently?

No evasions or insults please. Just answer the question. Quoting you: "Look Stephen, I understand that you do not want to answer my questions..." I have answered them - invisible pink unicorn! Now answer mine!

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Sye,

I know this debate is really between you and Stephen, and I don't want to intrude on that. Nevertheless, I have a different epistemological perspective for you to consider.

Reason and logic is a product of the human brain. If humanity didn’t exist then logic and reason wouldn’t exist. On the other hand, the laws of nature are not products of the human brain and exist independently of humanity. If the laws of nature didn’t exist then the universe wouldn’t exist and, by deduction, neither would the human brain. But the existence of the laws of nature are not proof of God’s existence unless the laws of nature are called God by linguistic definition.

Reason and logic is an activity, an ability of the human brain, not an entity. Of course, animals and machines also perform logic as an activity. God doesn’t provide the programmes or the algorithms that allow machines to perform logic.

I think you confound reason and logic with the laws of nature, because we use reason and logic to understand the laws of nature. The laws of nature are the rules that the universe follows and we use reason and logic to comprehend those rules.

A corollary to this is that the laws of nature determine the reality that you are debating with Derrida. If God is the ‘prime cause’, which seems to be your argument (effectively, reality can’t exist without God as a prime cause) then the laws of nature are the prime cause of the universe and therefore the laws of nature are God.

Regards, Paul.

Psye said...

Sye, clearly you are either a very dumb individual, or you are just being dishonest. Do you not see that Stephen, as he has been trying to explain to you several times now, is using your own stupid argument against you?

In fact, you lost this debate a long time ago, and if your intelligence is at least as high as that of an average adult you should understand this.

Sye TenB said...

Psye said: ”Sye, clearly you are either a very dumb individual, or you are just being dishonest. Do you not see that Stephen, as he has been trying to explain to you several times now, is using your own stupid argument against you? “

Problem is, as I have pointed out several times, it is not the same argument. He is claiming that I cannot prove anything because my mind is addled, I am not saying that about him at all. I have said many times that I believe that atheists can and do prove things, and use logic, some use it very well. I am simply asking him to account for what he is doing when he uses logic.

”In fact, you lost this debate a long time ago, and if your intelligence is at least as high as that of an average adult you should understand this.”

Stephen has not even accounted for the necessary preconditions for the very concept of debate, so I can only imagine that you came to this conclusion, because you are as blind as he is. Be my guest, search the thousands of posts and see where Stephen has given us HIS account for logic, and the validity of his reasoning – I can save you some time though - you won’t find it.

Sye TenB said...

Paul P said: "Reason and logic is a product of the human brain."

Could the universe have both existed, and not existed at the same time and in the same way before the human brain came up with the law of non-contradiction?

How is what they brain comes up with a universal law? How does what happens in your brain apply to anything other than what happens in your brain? On what basis do you assume that the laws of logic will apply 2 seconds from now?

No, it is not a cosmological argument. The argument is that one cannot make sense, even of causality, without presupposing God.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "You said God reveals to you that your logic is reliable, but how do you know this has been revealed to you, rather than that it merely seems that way to you because you were hit on the head by a rock? Your justification just ASSUMES you were not hit on the head by a rock."

Are you suggesting that God cannot reveal some things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

Stephen Law said...

SYE (about me)"I am simply asking him to account for what he is doing when he uses logic."

And I am asking YOU to account for what YOU are doing - in particular to JUSTIFY what you are doing, to show that your use of logic is reliable, and how you know it to be reliable and underpinned by God, by justifying your claim you were not hit on the head by a rock.

So now please stop evading these questions. Please provide the answers I have been asking for!

SYE: "Be my guest, search the thousands of posts and see where Stephen has given us HIS account for logic, and the validity of his reasoning."

Scroll up a couple. I said, twice, that the invisible pink unicorn underpins both logic and my use of it.

So now please give YOUR non-question-begging justification for claiming that your use of logic is reliable and that logic is underpinned by your God.

Psye said...

Let me quote the following, Sye:

"SYE: "I have never said that you cannot, or are unable to use logical inferences"

STEPHEN: I know, but you said I am not *justified* in using them. You just asked how do I *know* my inferences are valid, blah blah blah.

So now I ask you....

What is your JUSTIFICATION for saying YOU were not hit on the head by a rock? How do YOU KNOW you were not? What is YOUR argument, and how do YOU know it is valid?"

So which is it, Sye, are you dumb or dishonest?

Stephen Law said...

SYE: Are you suggesting that God cannot reveal some things to us, such that we can be certain of them?

STEPHEN: Are you suggesting the invisible pink unicorn can't?

Sye TenB said...

Martin said: "Letting your prejudices show here Sye. Makes me feel not like a child of God, more like an object of your derision."

What makes you think you are a child of God?

"Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." (John 8: 42-47)

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Are you suggesting the invisible pink unicorn can't?"

I'm not suggesting that, I am emphatically saying that, based on God's revelation.

Now, have you finally given us your justification for certainty?
If you wish to claim the invisible pink unicorn as your justification for certainty, I will glady debate you on it, or was this yet another one of your diversionary tactics?

Martin said...

Thanks Sye, I think you have just proved I am the son of the Devil. I shall wear that as a badge of honour!

Superstition delivered with the speed of the internet, oh the joys of the 21st Century.

Sye TenB said...

Psye said: "What is your JUSTIFICATION for saying YOU were not hit on the head by a rock? How do YOU KNOW you were not? What is YOUR argument, and how do YOU know it is valid?"

You have obviously not been paying attention. It is my claim that ALL knowledge comes by or through revelation from God. I'd ask how it is possible for you to know anything apart from God, but I suspect that you are the type who likes to play games like Stephen.

Stephen Law said...

Stephen said: "Are you suggesting the invisible pink unicorn can't?"

SYE: I'm not suggesting that, I am emphatically saying that, based on God's revelation.

Stephen: I am claiming your God can't based on my Unicorns' revelation.

But this is a side issue. Do please explain how you can know you have received God's revelation, rather than having been hit on the head and merely think you have received God's revelation? Please provide your non-question-begging justification for claiming you have not been hit on the head. We are still waiting Sye!

Remember, I am not saying you cannot use logic (sound familiar?), I am asking how you justify your use of it, and how you justify your claim that your God underpins it.

I see you still won't provide your non-question-begging justification. No more evasions SYE, let's have that justification!

As I say, I have proved by THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY, that you were hit on the head by a rock and your brain addled. You reject my proof but cannot justify your rejection! I win!

Derrida said...

Urrgh. My brain's beginning to make itself sick.

Tony Lloyd said...

Derrida said: Urrgh. My brain's beginning to make itself sick.

But, Derrida, how do YOU account for that? How does YOUR worldview account for the existence of feeling sick?

splittter said...

Just like to back Stephen up on the pink unicorn thing ... he/she/ve told me the same thing the other night.

Stephen Law said...

Incidentally Sye, you said in response to Psye, about my argument that you were hit on the head by a rock:

"Problem is, as I have pointed out several times, it is not the same argument. He is claiming that I cannot prove anything because my mind is addled, I am not saying that about him at all."

I never said you were saying that. said I was using an ARGUMENTATIVE STRATEGY that you have used. I never said I was using it to get to the same conclusion, obviously! I am using to argue for a STUPID conclusion!

Yet you cannot refute the argument! Ha. See, there is a moral there isn't there? Can you figure out what it might be?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "I am claiming your God can't based on my Unicorns' revelation."

So, just to be clear, Stephen Law, PhD in philosophy is claiming that he gets revelation from the 'Invisible Pink Unicorn,' and that is how he knows things for certain? That would be great for my book! Still though, I will give you the opportunity to retract it, and give your actual claim to certainty before it goes to print :-)

P.S. Why is my claim question begging, and why is question begging absolutely wrong according to YOUR worldview?

Stephen Law said...

Sye Said: "So, just to be clear, Stephen Law, PhD in philosophy is claiming that he gets revelation from the 'Invisible Pink Unicorn,' and that is how he knows things for certain? That would be great for my book!"

Yes, PLEASE put that in your book!!

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Yes, PLEASE put that in your book!!"

Great! Thanks!

Stephen Law said...

SYE SAID "P.S. Why is my claim question begging, and why is question begging absolutely wrong according to YOUR worldview?"

Stephen: because the invisible pink unicorn says so.

But you are changing the subject again. Let's get back to my proof that you were hit on the head by a rock. You reject it. Let's have your non-question-begging justification for doing so....

How does YOUR world view, which includes the view that you were not hit on the head by a rock, provide you with a non-question-begging justification for supposing you were not hit on the head by a rock?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "I am using to argue for a STUPID conclusion!"

Well, since it is not the same argumentative strategy, goodie for you :-)

Stephen Law said...

You asked me: "Perhaps you could also include how you know that your reasoning about any of this is valid?"

You said, "I have given my justification for using logical inferences, and you have not."

I simply ask/say you the same things, and fault your answers for being question-begging/circular. As you do.

So why do you say this isn't an argumentative strategy of yours?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Stephen: because the invisible pink unicorn says so."

Just so everyone is perfectly clear on this, you have renounced atheism as you finally noticed its intellectual bankrupcy and your inability to account for logic as an atheist. I suppose that's a start.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "I simply ask/say you the same things, and fault your answers for being question-begging/circular. As you do."

Huh? What answers? Besides, any answers that you CLAIM to have previously given would be irrelevant since you are no longer an atheist, and now claim the Invisible Pink Unicorn as your deity.

Stephen Law said...

Yes I believe in the UNICORN!

Now let's get back to my proof. You know - my proof that you were hit on the head by a rock.

Let's have your non-question-begging justification for claiming you weren't hit on the head by a rock.

Let me quote you: "On what basis do you assume that the laws of logic WILL hold? Perhaps you could also include how you know that your reasoning about any of this is valid?"

We're all waiting for YOUR answer to these questions, Sye....

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Yes I believe in the UNICORN!"

I am perfectly satisfied to leave it there.

Cheers Stephen, it's been fun as usual!

Psye said...

Sye, you leave me no choice but to conclude that you are possibly the dumbest theist I've ever encountered -- and I can assure you that I've encountered a lot of dumb ones through the years. You're obviously unable to answer Stephen's simple question, but still you continue to peddle your incredibly stupid beliefs. There's only one word for that: D-U-M-B.

Stephen Law said...

Hello Psye - I don't think Sye is dumb. In fact I think he knows exactly what points I am making with my insane "proof" and appeals to invisible unicorns.

Psye said...

So what you're saying is that when I'm comparing Sye to the dinosaur in this YouTube clip, I'm wrong?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0NuKvGcrpk

Kosh3 said...

No reply for me Sye?

Timmo said...

Return of Sye?

No, thanks.

Mandrellian said...

*sigh*

Good old Sye.

When all else fails (or when all else is ignored), quote some scripture. Of course (and any reasonable person would recognise this) scripture only works on people who believe it to be the true word of a God they believe exists.

Quoting such scripture at a non-believer as support for ANY position, purely scriptural or otherwise, is probably the most pointless thing a person can do (except, in Stephen's case, for arguing with Sye). I've had that many arguments with theists which end up with a Bible verse being pasted at me as some kind of trump card that I'm starting to wonder if any of these allegedly sophisticated apologists actually understand what non-belief actually entails.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Sye,

I'm out of sync with everyone else, being on the other side of the world to both Atlantic-bordered continents.

The law of non-contradiction is broken by quantum mechanics. Surely you’ve heard of Schrodinger’s Cat. So this is a law of nature, not a product of the human brain. As I said, you confuse logic and reason, which is ‘performed’ by an intelligence, be it animal, human or machine, and the laws of nature, which appear to be requisite for the universe’s existence.

Regards, Paul.

Kosh3 said...

Paul, I think you mean the law of excluded middle?

Paul P. Mealing said...

No Kosh3, I should have used quotation marks, because I was quoting Sye, who posed 'the law of non-contradiction' as something that exists independent of human thought. I don't disagree: things like causality are laws of the universe, they are not of human origin. However, our ability to comprehend them is a function of the human brain. Reason and logic as 'performed' by intelligence is different to 'laws' and 'rules' that the universe obeys (see my previous comment).

There are inherent contradictions in quantum mechanics that are inexplicable. The Schrodinger's Cat thought experiment was specifically devised to highlight this: a cat that's theoretically dead and alive simultaneously (see link in previous comment for exposition).

Regards, Paul.

Kosh3 said...

It is my understanding that its not the law of non-contradiction that is threatened by quantum mechanical weirdness, but the law of excluded middle.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Kosh3, you may be right. I didn't know that there was a 'law of non-contradiction'. I only know that Schrodinger's Cat demonstrates a contradiction, although it's normally called a paradox.

Thinking about it more, I think Sye may have been referring to reductio ad absurdum commonly used in mathematical proofs, or indirect proof by contradiction, which is another argument.

It's not important whether Schrodinger's Cat threatens the law of non-contradiction or the law of the excluded middle. The point is that these laws are exhibited by nature and humans simple interpret them using reason and logic.

Regards, Paul.

monkey_boy1001 said...

I was sent a link to this, for those interested in the never ending saga of Sye TenBruggencate and his "proof" of the existence of God.

YOU'RE WELCOME!

Have you seen Part 2? Eric Hovind's jumping on yet another band wagon. He's also parroting one of Sye's attempts to salvage his unsound garbage.

P1: People who do not believe that logic can only be accounted for on Sye’s worldview are not entitled to use logic to construct their own arguments
P2: Commenters do not believe that logic can only be accounted for on Sye’s worldview
C: Therefore, commenters are not entitled to use logic to construct their own arguments


However, if you are a Christian but do not hold the same "worldview" as Sye that God is the source of logic your comments won't be deleted.

Secret Stash said...

Stephen said: "Yes I believe in the UNICORN!"

I am perfectly satisfied to leave it there.

Cheers Stephen, it's been fun as usual!


Odd. I thought Sye claimed it was not only GOD but the "biblical God". Could Sye reaqlly be that oblivious? Frankly it's sad as it seems Sye was again backed into a corner and looking for ANY possible way out.

And I'd really love to know if this is the Angry (OT) then Loving (NT) God, the petty "Love me or I'll kill you" God or the "God Hates Fags and everyone's a fag" God (see Westboro Baptisit Church).

However, if you are a Christian but do not hold the same "worldview" as Sye that God is the source of logic your comments won't be deleted.

Yeah it's rather funny. They'll take these questions/comments and rather than answer they will spend their time attacking their differing "worldviews". You know the whole "not a TRUE Christian because you don't hold carbon copy beliefs" stupidity.

Something to think about while I'm home sick tripping balls on Nyquil/Dayquil.

Secret Stash said...

One last item. All of the above mentioned nut jobs claim to "know God".

Gorth Satana said...

P1: People who do not believe that logic can only be accounted for on Sye’s worldview are not entitled to use logic to construct their own arguments
P2: Commenters do not believe that logic can only be accounted for on Sye’s worldview
C: Therefore, commenters are not entitled to use logic to construct their own arguments



See, it's really just a strategy to avoid answering questions.
Sye has admitted as much.

jsk said...

In case anybody is still checking "Part 2" for further discussion, the last developments so far as I know are:

1) I asked Sye what made propositionals "foundational".
2) Sye ignored the question.
3) I asked the question again, and said that assuming he wasn't going to answer it, I would be dropping out of this exchange.
4) Sye jeered at me for quitting -- and gave an answer to the question.
5) I responded to the answer, AND... (wait for it)
6) That response was deleted. :-)

Secret Stash said...

DISCLAIMER: Woke up at 2am and can't get back to sleep.

They are now presenting it as an all out victory on the DrDino website. They are using it as a marketing ploy to sell more books and DVDs. Of course they never bother to touch morality or science. I guess they figure if they can get you with one you'll just accept the other two.

It looks as though Sye will be retreating to such blogs where he can help censor comments. He can't do that here or in a live debate and thus ends up looking foolish and childish.

CENSORSHIP IS NOT A VALID FORM OF ARGUMENT.

Could an omnipotent, omniscient being reveal some things to us such that we can know for certain that they are true?

If such a being did exist it's possible that He, She, It or They could. Doesn't mean that they did. It's not self-evident. You have to actually proves this one but but doing so means stepping outside of your "circle". If they must already accept that such a being did before being able to know they did the logic fails.

If God truly wanted man to KNOW for certain why doesn't everyone KNOW for certain? If God truly wanted people to KNOW something why must they first need to be indoctrinated?

If God truly wanted people to know something for certain would they be able to deny it? Delusion, denial, "refusal to listen" or free will? If God wanted it to be KNOWN for certain couldn't he override such things? Did God limit his own awesome power or give man too much power over God when He gave them free will?

Could God create a boulder so large He Himself could not lift it?

Stephen Law said...

what are they presenting as a victory on the drdino website SS? Sye's argument?

Secret Stash said...

Yep. When you click the "How Do You Prove God Exists? Foundations" link it takes you directly to the Sye video(s) and promotes a book you should read.

It then presents a 3 paragraph load of garbage poisoning the well and asserts that Sye's arguments are sound.

Of course, the laws of logic are sound. After all, they are only consistent with God and His Word. But the unbeliever doesn't necessarily believe in God and His Word, and so it turns out that he has to borrow from our foundation to argue anything.

Creationists apparently believe they can account for logic but simply choose not to use it.

Oh and Part 3 is up on YouTube. Watch Sye try a cut and paste with Science and Morality.

Sye TenB said...

SS said: ”Of course they never bother to touch morality or science. I guess they figure if they can get you with one you'll just accept the other two.”

Um, the science video is up on the website, and the morality video is due out this week.

”It looks as though Sye will be retreating to such blogs where he can help censor comments.”

Wrong. Besides, the comment requirements were only for that post.

” He can't do that here or in a live debate and thus ends up looking foolish and childish.”

Do you want to debate me live SS?

”CENSORSHIP IS NOT A VALID FORM OF ARGUMENT.”

Not that I admit to censorship, but by what absolute standard of argument is censorship not valid, how do you account for that standard, and how do you know that that standard has not/will not change?

”If such a being did exist it's possible that He, She, It or They could.”

Fine, which means that you admit at least an avenue to certainty for me, now, how is it possible for YOU to know anything for certain?

”If God truly wanted man to KNOW for certain why doesn't everyone KNOW for certain? “

They (you) do. That’s the point. People are not sent to Hell forever for something they don’t know.

”If God truly wanted people to know something for certain would they be able to deny it?”

Obviously.

”Did God limit his own awesome power or give man too much power over God when He gave them free will?”

Neither.

”Could God create a boulder so large He Himself could not lift it?”

Self-contradiction is not an element of omnipotence in the Christian worldview (as that is a weakness not a power), however if you do want a ‘god’ who could contradict itself, then yes, such a ‘god’ could make a boulder so big that it could not lift it. “AHA” you would then say, “There is something God can’t do, He can’t lift that boulder.” Of course what you fail to realize is that a self-contradictory ‘god’ can lift a boulder that it can’t lift, demonstrating the absurdity of your question.

Stephen Law said...

Sye - You're back! Let's get back to my proof. You know - my proof that you were hit on the head by a rock.

Let's have your non-question-begging justification for claiming you weren't hit on the head by a rock.

Let me quote you: "On what basis do you assume that the laws of logic WILL hold? Perhaps you could also include how you know that your reasoning about any of this is valid?"

We're all waiting for YOUR answer to these questions, Sye....

Stephen Law said...

By the way, Sye, I am sure you will want to ask Hovind to clearly link to this post and the comments. Why wouldn't you?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "We're all waiting for YOUR answer to these questions, Sye...."

I have answered them, scroll up ;-)

Odd of you to keep asking me though, as though you presupposed that my reasoninig was good enough to be able to understand and answer you;-)

As far as linking to this blog, I would love it if they did. I don't imagine it is very often that a PhD in philosophy is reduced to admitting that his justification for logic is the Invisible Pink Unicorn (I've already mentioned that in an interview - thanks btw).

Tony Lloyd said...

At the risk of sounding like some Post-Modernist wanker who misuses Gödel's theorem:

I wonder if God can prove Gödel's theorem?

Can God prove that God can't prove all the true theorem's that God has made true?

Stephen Law said...

Stephen said: "We're all waiting for YOUR answer to these questions, Sye...."

SYE: I have answered them, scroll up.

You tried to answer them, but failed, producing a hopelessly question-begging answer. I am asking for your non-question-begging answer. We are all waiting Sye. Let's have it!

SYE: Odd of you to keep asking me though, as though you presupposed that my reasoning was good enough to be able to understand and answer you.

Stephen: I don't presuppose that you can or that you cannot use logic. I merely ask you for your justification of your use of it. As you ask others, over and over and over and over again. So, now it's your turn. Provide your non-question-begging answer! We are all waiting, Sye.

SYE: As far as linking to this blog, I would love it if they did.

OK Sye, then please now email Hovind asking for this link to be included and please copy me into the email, and also paste it up here so we can see you have done it.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”You tried to answer them, but failed, producing a hopelessly question-begging answer.”

1. How do you know that I have failed?
2. Why would question begging absolutely cause ANY answer to fail?

”OK Sye, then please now email Hovind asking for this link to be included and please copy me into the email, and also paste it up here so we can see you have done it.”

1. I don’t answer to self-serving requests for traffic to atheistic blogs.
2. I do not ask people to post stuff on my behalf.
3. If you really think that I would not love it for everyone who is confronted with this apologetic to see how a PhD in Philosophy tries to justify logic (with the Invisible Pink Unicorn), you are more deluded than I thought.

Stephen Law said...

1. How do you know that I have failed?

Stephen: THE UNICORN tells me.

2. Why would question begging absolutely cause ANY answer to fail?

Stephen: Because THE UNICORN says so.

See? If you can wheel out your cranky, genocidal god of the Old Testament to answer such tricky questions, then I can wheel out my unicorn!

See - same (dumb) move?

But I digress. You are still evading my question. Where is your non-question-begging justification for your use of logic Sye? We are still waiting! And waiting! And waiting!

Any twit can see your earlier answer was question-begging. So let's have the non-question-begging version! Now!

Stephen Law said...

Sye refuses to ask that Hovind link here saying:

"1. I don’t answer to self-serving requests for traffic to atheistic blogs."

But why would this be self-serving if you have so clearly WON, eh? Surely you would be HUMILIATING ME? Surely that's the last thing I'd want. So go on, then: request that link! If you would really "love it" why not ask Hovind? What have you to lose, and I to gain?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”THE UNICORN tells me.”

Could I examine this revelation Stephen?

”See? If you can wheel out your cranky, genocidal god of the Old Testament to answer such tricky questions, then I can wheel out my unicorn!”

Prejudicial conjecture aside, God’s revelation is available for all to examine, where is this revelation of your unicorn?

”Any twit can see your earlier answer was question-begging.”

That’s probably why you see it and I don’t.

Stephen Law said...

For the benefit of others who may have missed much of the preceding comment on this post, what I am doing is simply using two of Sye's argumentative strategies against him:

(i) Whenever someone uses logic against you, play the skeptical card. Ask them to justify their use of logic in a non-circular manner. That'll tie them up in endless knots.

(ii) If you are asked the same question, just say my SUPER-MAGIC-BEING underpins and reveals to me the reliability of my logical reasoning. (Currently, I am relying on the unicorn).

In this way, you can, er, "prove" that their arguments are all rubbish and "prove" (by the "impossibility of the contrary") that there really is a [substitute your preferred SUPER-MAGIC-BEING here].

It's all bollocks, of course.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "But why would this be self-serving if you have so clearly WON, eh? Surely you would be HUMILIATING ME? Surely that's the last thing I'd want. So go on, then: request that link! If you would really "love it" why not ask Hovind? What have you to lose, and I to gain?"

Well, like it is said: "Any publicity is good publicity," and I will not contribute to your desperate need for attention. It is quite obvious that whenever I show up, traffic to your blog increases trememdously, and you seem to be addicted to the attention, no matter how silly you look. I am quite happy when anyone links here, but I will not contribute to your habit ;-)

Stephen Law said...

SYE: "Prejudicial conjecture aside, God’s revelation is available for all to examine, where is this revelation of your unicorn?"

Your God does not exist, Sye. You only think he does cos you were hit on the head by that rock. My unicorn reveals the truth to all (though some pretend to themselves otherwise). Deep down, even you know my unicorn exists!

BUT AGAIN YOU CHANGE THE SUBJECT SYE. Where is your non-question-begging justification for your use of logic? I ask, again and again and again and again. Readers will begin to suspect you don't have one, won't they....?

Stephen Law said...

SYE: "Well, like it is said: "Any publicity is good publicity," and I will not contribute to your desperate need for attention."

I see. But look, you might be able to save more souls by getting them to come over here and see how foolish you make me appear. You wouldn't want people to burn in hell just because you failed to ask for that link, would you?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "I see. But look, you might be able to save more souls by getting them to come over here and see how foolish you make me appear."

People do not save souls, that is not up to us.

"You wouldn't want people to burn in hell just because you failed to ask for that link, would you?"

Perhaps you should look up "Calvinism." I am not responsible for the salavation or damnation of any souls. This may all be a joke to you now Stephen, but I trust that you will not feel that way if you meet your maker in this unrepentant state.

Stephen Law said...

Well you've got a bit of shock coming when you finally meet, THE UNICORN!

But now I am puzzled. You work very hard making sure as many people as possible know about your ideas and arguments. Videos, books, interviews, etc. So WHY NOT HERE?

If YOU have made ME look like a twit, why not spread the word about that? After all, you said you'd mentioned me in an interview already. So why not show people the PROOF that you've WON this debate, eh?

Saying, "I just don't want to give you publicity" seems very odd indeed, if the publicity would actually damage my reputation and very much add to your other promotional work.

Personally, if I thought I'd won a debate with you, I'd be very quick to link to you and Hovind. Wouldn't occur to me say "Ooh, better not link as that'll just give them publicity". (Oh wait, I DID include those links, didn't I?).

Yet you refuse to link the other way.

Interesting, eh?

Sye TenB said...

"Yet you refuse to link the other way."

I have not asked anyone to post anything on my behalf, nor will I commence doing so. If you wish to ask Eric to post the link to here, be my guest.

Why would I not want people to know that a PhD in philosophy gave as his jutification for logic 'the inivisible pink unicorn?'

You have abandoned atheism, as you realize that you cannot justify logic according to your actual worldview, and have now adopted the IPU as your 'god.' I mean, really, what more is there to say?

Stephen Law said...

We all know I have not abandoned atheism. Rather, I have provided a parody of your silly arguments.

So let's get back to your non-question-begging justification of your use of logic. When are we going to see it. I must have asked maybe 100 times now. Are we going to get an answer?

I am asking Eric to link here.

I ask you to link your own site here. Will you do so? If not, why not?

Sye, "Er, um, well, I don't want to give you any publicity...!"

Yeh, right Sye!

Tony Lloyd said...

Stephen

All this linking stuff is just giving Sye more cover for his inability to answer.

(It strikes me that you don't need the IPU, which leads to an accusation of theism. Why not use "flibble" as your basis for logic.
- "How do you know I haven't answered your questions?"
- "Flibble, now answer my questions".
- "How do you justify logic"
- "I use flibble, now answer my questions"
ad nauseam)

Stephen Law said...

Dear eric

I have a philosophy website on which I have commentated on your video with Sye. I have previously debated Sye on my blog at length, have linked to his sinner ministries site, etc. I have also linked to your videos. I am a professional philosopher, so thought you might want to include a link to my post on the videos. Sye has said he would be very keen if you did include such a link, so that people could follow the debate in more detail. I am hoping you will be happy to reciprocate with a link here:

http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2009/11/sye-show-continues.html

We may not agree, but I enjoy your site, and wish you all the best
Dr Stephen Law
Senior Lecturer in Philosophy
Heythrop College
University of London

Stephen Law said...

You're right Tony, I am allowing Sye to evade the question!

SYE, please address my question: what is your non-question-begging justification for your use of logic? Please prove that you were not hit on the head by a rock and your brain addled.

Otherwise I shall have proved by your principle "BY THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF THE CONTRARY" that you were!

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "We all know I have not abandoned atheism."

Your justification for logic indicates otherwise. It is the only justification you have ever offered as your own justification for logic, so until you post another, I will refer to the IPU as Stephen Law PhD in Philosophy's justification for logic.

P.S. I do not have a link page on my site, but trust me, if anyone wants to know how a PhD in philosophy, who does not profess belief in God, accounts for logic, I'll be sure to send them this way. :-D

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "SYE, please address my question: what is your non-question-begging justification for your use of logic?"

1. How do you know that I have not given it?

2. Why would question begging absolutely cause ANY answer to be invalid?

Stephen Law said...

Tony

The appeal to an IPU is fine, I think, as it is clearly absurd, and Sye's "proof" fails to give us grounds for supposing his particular super magical being - the cranky genocidal Old Testament god -is any less absurd.

Even your fibble has to be kind of super-magical for it to be able to do what we want it to do.

The real problem here, I think, is that an appeal to super-magical something-or-others to solve otherwise thorny philosophical and scientific problems, if legit, gives us reason to introduce no end of absurd thingumygigs - fairies to make the flowers grow, witches to explain diseases, etc..

Stephen Law said...

"Your justification for logic indicates otherwise. It is the only justification you have ever offered as your own justification for logic"

I offered THREE others actually! You know this ("Yes but Stephen you did not commit to any of them blah blah...")

But look, I shall indeed wheel out my silly pink unicorn to answer those questions, just as you wheel out your absurd Old Testament god. And we shall both look equally foolish. Which is, of course, my point.

Your game, Sye, is transparently a bullshit one. Haven't got a simple answer to this philosophical puzzle? I have! The OT God done it with his God magic!

This is, as I pointed out last summer, a version of God of the gaps. of course, whenever I pointed this out, you'd say: "But Stephen, what is YOUR justification for your use of logic and supposing it is reliable?" blah blah. Just like I am now going to do to you:

But Sye: what is YOUR justification for for your use of logic and supposing it is reliable?! You STILL have not supplied a non-question begging answer. despite being asked again and again and again and again.......

See - you're God magic don't work anyhow, does it?

Tony Lloyd said...

Sye: "I will refer to the IPU as Stephen Law PhD in Philosophy's justification for logic."

I don't see why not: it's as good a justification as Sye's

(Personally I'm going to adopt "flibble", that or Real Ale)

Stephen, you keep saying that you are using a stupid argument to mirror Sye's stupid argument. The problem is that as this goes on your argument seems more and more sensible. Not so much an actual "rock on the head", rather a metaphorical one. There is something whereby Sye just cannot (or will not) see how his own arguments apply to themselves.

Sye TenB said...

"Your justification for logic indicates otherwise. It is the only justification you have ever offered as your own justification for logic"

”I offered THREE others actually! You know this ("Yes but Stephen you did not commit to any of them blah blah...")”

You offered NONE of your own save the IPU.

”But look, I shall indeed wheel out my silly pink unicorn to answer those questions,”

Thank you for once again admitting that your actual justification for logic is the IPU.

”Your game, Sye, is transparently a bullshit one.”

Um, good argument Stephen (PhD in philosophy).

”This is, as I pointed out last summer, a version of God of the gaps.”

Which, of course, begs the question that God is not the right answer. That would be like calling the answer to what is 2 + 2, “4 of the gaps”.

It is quite clear that I have given my justification for logic, and the basis on which I assume that the laws of logic will not change, and it is also quite clear that the only justification you wish to commit to, is the Invisible Pink Unicorn. I am perfectly happy to leave it there.

Cheers.

Sye TenB said...

Tony said: "There is something whereby Sye just cannot (or will not) see how his own arguments apply to themselves."

Well, if either of you wish to publically debate our respective revelations, I would be happy to engage you.

Stephen Law said...

Sorry I just spelt "your" wrong in last line. getting tired....

But my point was, Sye's appeal to God doesn't even deal with the skeptical problem he has set up. Just sweeps it under the endlessly convenient carpet of divinity.

He STILL has not produced his non-question begging justification for his use of logic and his claim that he was not hit on the head by a brain-addling rock.

Stephen Law said...

I'd be very happy indeed to get up on a stage with you Sye. Trouble is you are so far away. Not coming over here soon I guess?

Where exactly are you based?

Stephen Law said...

SYE: "Which, of course, begs the question that God is not the right answer."

I am not attempting to prove God is not the right answer, Rather, I am trying to show what's wrong with your "proof" that he is. By means of my stupid parody argument. Which has got you stumped. For you are STILL evading the question: what is your non-question-begging justification for your use of logic, Sye? I ask again and again and again and again.....

Tony Lloyd said...

Sye said: "Well, if either of you wish to publically debate our respective revelations, I would be happy to engage you.!"

I will decline for a number of reasons:

1. I don't think the "debate" format is conducive of a search for truth. Debates tend to be adversarial with one side being held to have "won". If the debate had any role in getting us nearer the truth then everybody would have "won".
2. I don't think I'm very good at debates. Debates favour slickness of presentation rather than content, quickness rather than depth of thought and tricks rather than honesty in putting ideas forward. My efforts are in trying to develop content and depth in an honest manner.
3. I am constrained by logic and honesty. You have already shown yourself as unwilling to be constrained by logic or, I think, by honesty. You have joined forces with Eric Hovind a man who has close links to Ray Comfort another man who feels able to dispense with both logic and honesty. Whilst I do not wish to visit the sins of the father on the son it should be noted that Eric Hovind maintains a website and "ministry" founded by convicted tax fraudster. Your actions and associates suggest that my commitment to logic and honesty would put me at a distinct disadvantage.
4. You have already made up your mind. You cannot learn anything: if you are right, then you already know it, if you are wrong you won't change your mind. You have also presupposed that I have presupposed my positions on the very topic of debate. You have pre-supposed that I cannot learn anything from the debate.

Sye TenB said...

”I am not attempting to prove God is not the right answer, Rather, I am trying to show what's wrong with your "proof" that he is.”

In so doing you are attempting to appeal to an absolute standard of logic which you have not accounted for. How do you know that your reasoning about the proof (or about anything for that matter) is valid Stephen?

” By means of my stupid parody argument. Which has got you stumped.”

Not at all, I have answered it, and you have refused to answer my questions (for obvious reasons).

” For you are STILL evading the question: what is your non-question-begging justification for your use of logic, Sye? I ask again and again and again and again.....”

Simple fact is that I have given my justification for the laws of logic, and my use of them, and you have no absolute basis from which to claim that it is false according to your actual worldview. You must posit a deity (your IPU) to even being combating my position, and as I said, if you wish to debate the revelation of our respective deities publically, I will gladly do so.

Sye TenB said...

Tony said: "I will decline"

Why am I not surprised?

Stephen Law said...

"Simple fact is that I have given my justification for the laws of logic"

Sorry, what is it again, Sye? Remember, what we are after here is a non-question-begging justification from you for your belief that it is false that you were hit on the head by a rock and your brain addled.

The only one I remember you giving was hopelessly circular.

My particular Unicorn doesn't have to be a deity, in fact (though she may be). But she has super magical powers. And she reveals to me the laws of logic, etc.

Of course, that's all magical pants. But then so is your appeal to the magical powers of the cranky, genocidal god of the Old Testament. An appeal which FAILS TO SOLVE THE SKEPTICAL PROBLEM I HAVE PRESENTED YOU WITH.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "which FAILS TO SOLVE THE SKEPTICAL PROBLEM I HAVE PRESENTED YOU WITH."

How do you know this Stephen? How do you know that your reasoning about this (or ANYTHING) is valid?

Stephen Law said...

How do YOU know anything Sye? How do YOU know that your reasoning about this (or ANYTHING) is valid?

You have yet to supply YOUR non-circular justification!

See?!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stephen Law said...

You have been hoist by your own ridiculous petard, I'm afraid, Sye.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen asked: "How do YOU know anything Sye? How do YOU know that your reasoning about this (or ANYTHING) is valid?"

Simple Stephen, by and through revelation from God. Your turn.

Stephen Law said...

But how, Sye, do you know you are actually having such revelations, rather than just think you are having them cos you were hit on the head by a rock? You see - you are PRESUPPOSING you were not hit on the head by a rock.

I, on the other, have my magical revelations re logic etc. provided by an invisible pink unicorn.

So now: what's YOUR non-question-begging justification for your belief you were not hit on head by a rock and that your use of logic is reliable?

YOUR turn!

Stephen Law said...

See, I am just using your own crappy arguments against you? Surely you must figure this out soon?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "I, on the other, have my magical revelations re logic etc. provided by an invisible pink unicorn."

And as I said, I will be pleased to publically debate our respective revealtions, and how each justifies logic and knowledge. What say?

Stephen Law said...

Sure, why not. You go first.

But don't think I am letting you off the hook - please explain how you know that you are having real revelations from a particular deity, rather than were hit on the head by a rock?

Secret Stash said...

[Me]SS said: ”Of course they never bother to touch morality or science. I guess they figure if they can get you with one you'll just accept the other two.”

[Sye]Um, the science video is up on the website, and the morality video is due out this week.

Oddly enough the YouTube video is labeled Part 3. I still pull up Part 2 when I visit Hovind's blogspot.

[Me]”It looks as though Sye will be retreating to such blogs where he can help censor comments.”

[Sye]Wrong. Besides, the comment requirements were only for that post.

Oddly enough posts from Christians who do not share your "worldview" that logic=God have complained their posts were deleted. Check the requirements more carefully.

[Me]” He can't do that here or in a live debate and thus ends up looking foolish and childish.”

[Sye]Do you want to debate me live SS?

You know I'm almost tempted. I wonder if it'd be like the Comfort/Cameron debate. The audience wasn't impressed by their foolishness either.

[Me]”CENSORSHIP IS NOT A VALID FORM OF ARGUMENT.”

[Sye]Not that I admit to censorship, but by what absolute standard of argument is censorship not valid, how do you account for that standard, and how do you know that that standard has not/will not change?

Yawn. I don't care how one accounts for the rules of argument Sye. God, Unicorns, Flying Spaghetti Monsters or simple courtesy; if you have to result to censorship if shows your argument is weak.

[Me]”If such a being did exist it's possible that He, She, It or They could.”

[Sye]Fine, which means that you admit at least an avenue to certainty for me, now, how is it possible for YOU to know anything for certain?

Certainty? No. Possibility? Sure. It's not so much an avenue but a toll road. Nice cherry picking. I'll give you that.

[Me]”If God truly wanted man to KNOW for certain why doesn't everyone KNOW for certain? “

[Sye]They (you) do. That’s the point. People are not sent to Hell forever for something they don’t know.

Can you PROVE they know or is it simply an assertion? Can you prove that Hell exists?

[Me]”If God truly wanted people to know something for certain would they be able to deny it?”

[Sye]Obviously.

LOL

[Me]”Did God limit his own awesome power or give man too much power over God when He gave them free will?”

[Sye]Neither.

So if God wanted man to KNOW the undeniable truth and man was still able to deny it, what does that mean?

[Me]”Could God create a boulder so large He Himself could not lift it?”

[Sye]Self-contradiction is not an element of omnipotence in the Christian worldview (as that is a weakness not a power), however if you do want a ‘god’ who could contradict itself, then yes, such a ‘god’ could make a boulder so big that it could not lift it. “AHA” you would then say, “There is something God can’t do, He can’t lift that boulder.” Of course what you fail to realize is that a self-contradictory ‘god’ can lift a boulder that it can’t lift, demonstrating the absurdity of your question.

Deflection. Yawn.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Sure, why not. You go first."

I meant live, publically, in person. You have access to a universtiy, I'm sure you could set up the venue.

Stephen Law said...

OK fly over to UK and I will put us both on at Conway Hal next year.

Stephen Law said...

That's a venue CFI UK sometimes use in central London. 500 seater.

But obviously you will have to cover all your expenses. Also, you may need to contribute something towards venue, depending (you may need to ask rich sponsors - we have none). I have a feeling you and I won't be a big draw, and it'll need paying for. But I can provide half venue cost, probably. Maybe £300.

I cannot arrange a university debate I'm afraid because, well, frankly they'd consider you a crank.

Secret Stash said...

[b]BUT AGAIN YOU CHANGE THE SUBJECT SYE. Where is your non-question-begging justification for your use of logic? I ask, again and again and again and again. Readers will begin to suspect you don't have one, won't they....?[/b]

Too late.

Tony Lloyd said...

From Sye: Tony said: "I will decline"

Why am I not surprised?


As I don't know anything I don't know the contents of your mind. I would conjecture that rational reasons for expecting my response would be the four reasons I gave in my post:

1. The debate format is often not a good one for seeking truth.
2. I do not think I would be a good performer in debates, not having concentrated on developing the skills required.
3. You are both illogical and dishonest
4. You have made up your mind already and think that I have too.

Stephen Law said...

Tony

Sye does have a tendency to use insult and sarcasm. E.g.

ME: ”Any twit can see your earlier answer was question-begging.”

SYE: That’s probably why you see it and I don’t.

SYE: I didn't kow they handed out PhDs in preschool. Huh!

That would be ok, if only Sye didn't get all high and mighty when others do it to him. For example:

STEPHEN: ”Your game, Sye, is transparently a bullshit one.”

SYE: Um, good argument Stephen (PhD in philosophy).

TONY: ”There is no easy way to say this Sye. You are either to stupid to understand it or too dishonest to take it on board.”

SYE: Erm, good argument there Tony!

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "That's a venue CFI UK sometimes use in central London. 500 seater.
But obviously you will have to cover all your expenses"


Sounds good. We can hammer out the details. Lets agree to the debate topic now. I will argue for revelation from the God of Christianity as being my justification for logic, and knowledge, and you will argue for revelation from the Invisible Pink Unicorn as your justification for logic and knowledge? Agreed?

Stephen Law said...

Sure, so long as you understand that I will be arguing tongue in cheek and will in addition be arguing against theism.

Could be autumn 2010 probably. I can't guarantee many will show up though!

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "Sure, so long as you understand that I will be arguing tongue in cheek and will in addition be arguing against theism."

Nope, that's not the deal. You positted as your actual justification for logic and knowledge, the IPU, and I the God of Scripture. The debate will be to defend our respective positions.

Martin said...

The debate will be to defend our respective positions.

Satire v. pomposity. I wonder which will win?

Stephen Law said...

"You posited as your actual justification for logic and knowledge, the IPU, and I the God of Scripture."

Yes, I did, parodying your arguments.

Maybe you should look up "parody": "A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a work for comic effect or ridicule."

So, don't fancy taking me on in a debate over theism, then?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ” Yes, I did, parodying your arguments.”

Allow me to quote from your post on December 1st 2009, at 2:21 PM:

”I said: "So, just to be clear, Stephen Law, PhD in philosophy is claiming that he gets revelation from the 'Invisible Pink Unicorn,' and that is how he knows things for certain? That would be great for my book!"

You answered: "Yes, PLEASE put that in your book!!”


I have no intentions on debating a parody. You made the claim that your justification for knowledge is the IPU, if that is no longer your claim, please tell me how you can know anything to be true according to your actual worldview, and then we can talk debate again.

Stephen Law said...

SYE: "I have no intentions on debating a parody"

Well of course you don't, because the parody reveals the ridiculous character of your arguments.

But I have allowed you to distract me for too long from my proof that you were hit on the head by a rock and your brain addled, Sye. Nice try! You've done well with the smokescreen. But let's get back to business!

Please provide your non-question-begging justification for believing that you were not hit on the head, and that your use of logic is reliable! No more evasions Sye - let's finally have that non-question-begging justification. You have been asked again and again and again and again and again. You never supply the justification! People are going to conclude you just don't have one!

Sye TenB said...

”Well of course you don't, because the parody reveals the ridiculous character of your arguments.”

By what absolute standard of logic is my argument ‘ridiculous’ Stephen, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to my argument? Also, how do you know that your reasoning about this or anything is valid, according to your actual worldview?

Stephen Law said...

But Sye (quoting you back at you): how do you know that your reasoning about this or anything is valid, according to your actual worldview?

Please provide the non-question begging justification of your use of logic.

Oh yeh, God tells you.

My unicorn tells me.

You say, "But that's not your real view".

I say, you're missing the point. You have to explain why it's Ok to say "God tells me" but not "the unicorn tells me".

You have not done that, so your "proof" fails.

At this point you ask me "but by what standard do you judge my proof to have failed..." blah blah

I say: "But by what standard do you, Sye, judge MY argument wrong? Justify your use of logic."

And so on and on and on it goes. Like one of those call-centre scripts selling double glazing. Only yours sells God. Hard as we try, we always find ourselves back at the beginning of the script again. The only way out is to "buy" your God.

Stephen Law said...

Perhaps this might help.

Sye, by your God-given standard (not mine), I take it someone who used this kind of argument to show that there really was a invisible unicorn, or spaghetti monster, or Zeus, would be, well, a nutcase. Right? Their argument would be terrible (despite the fact they could keep coming back with "But by what absolute standard do you judge my argument terrible?!" and other evasions)

Well, then. Think about it. Use your OWN standard of logic here. Your OWN standards of consistency.

Yeh, yeh I know. You'll ask: "But by what absolute standard do you judge arguments to be nutty?!".......

Sye TenB said...

”I say, you're missing the point. You have to explain why it's Ok to say "God tells me" but not "the unicorn tells me".

I’m not saying that it’s not okay, and if it is your actual view I will be pleased to debate you on it (scroll up).

”You have not done that, so your "proof" fails.”

How do you know what I have or have not done? How do you know ANYTHING according to YOUR actual worldview? How do you know that your reasoning about anything is valid Stephen?

”And so on and on and on it goes.”

That’s right Stephen, I have given you my justification for knowledge and logic, and would be happy to debate you on yours – what is it?

Stephen Law said...

SYE: "I have given you my justification for knowledge and logic"

Yes, it's crap. You have failed to provide a non-question begging justification of your belief that you can use logic reliably, etc.

Please provide your non-question-begging justification.

Yes, I know "But by what absolute standard do you judge my argument to be crap."!

Stephen Law said...

So, by what absolute standard do you judge your argument not to be crap?

Are you really still not getting it?

I think you are Sye.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: "So, by what absolute standard do you judge your argument not to be crap?"

There is only one absolute standard, and that is God.

Now Stephen, how are you able to know ANYTHING according to your worldview?
How do you account for the laws of logic according to your worldview, and on what basis do you assume that they will not change?
Also, how do you know that your reasoning about anything is valid?

Stephen Law said...

But Sye, how do you know God exists or has revealed anything to you? You see, you were hit on the head by a rock and your brain addled, and that is why you believe these silly things.

Please provide your non-question-begging justification for saying you were not hit on the head by a rock. Can't? Then I win! I have proved by "the impossibility of the contrary" that you were hit on the head by a rock!

Tony Lloyd said...

Hi Stephen:

I actually meant “There is no easy way to say this Sye. You are either to stupid to understand it or too dishonest to take it on board.”

Calling someone "stupid" or "dishonest" is not a pleasant thing to do yet it was the best of the options that Sye left me with.


I had, in a previous thread, made it quite clear that I did not accept that I needed to demonstrate knowledge (in the sense of justified true belief) of something in order for it to be true or for it to be advanced. Now Sye might think that “demented” (as he did when I advanced the Popperian view that induction does not exist) but, demented or not, that’s how it is. Yet instead of demonstrating knowledge that a proposition needed to be demonstrably known in order to be true or advanced Sye (implicitly) advanced that proposition without demonstrating knowledge of it.

There are two explanations of this that come to mind:

1. Sye genuinely does not understand that, according to his stated “worldview”, you cannot advance the view (a) “a proposition needs to be demonstrably known in order to be true or advanced” without demonstrating knowledge of “(a)” (and its infinite regress)
2. Sye does understand but chooses to ignore it because, once he admits that a proposition can be true or one can advance it without demonstrating knowledge of it then one of his favourite tactics: imply that it’s not true or you shouldn’t advance it because you cannot demonstrate knowledge of it.

My money is on “2”. One reason is that the logical error in 1 is so gross that some other evidence of a reduced intelligence would be expected. Sye can string words together, spell, operate a computer and doesn’t seem to be actually drooling in the video. Another reason is that Sye will use normal argumentation, just until the going gets tough. You cannot demonstrate knowledge of everything you put forward, so the “how do you know” argument can always be used. As it can always be used you’d expect it to be used when no other argument will do. That’s what Sye appears to do. Stephen asks a question of Sye, Sye cannot answer. Sye says he has answered. Called out on the lie Sye has a problem. He can’t argue that he hasn’t lied, so he plays the “how do you know" card: “by what absolute standard do you even call lying “wrong,” This is a common tactic of Ray Comfort, who acts as if “lying is wrong” simply isn’t true if the person you're talking to can’t prove that it is.

Having said that I don't think Sye's understanding of his own actions extends very far. It's just a hunch but I get the feeling that Sye almost subconsciously knows that he is using a trick and little more than that. He hasn't tried to understand opposing points of view (because they're wrong, obviously):

Are you really still not getting it?

I think you are Sye.


You know, I don't think he is


On the debate – why not debate the issue?

“2x + 2x =4x is universally true if, and only if, God exists. 2x + 2x =4x is universally true, therefore God exists”

Sye for, Stephen against, post-debate in the Dolphin on Red Lion Street.

Tony Lloyd said...

"I actually meant" should be "I actually did meant it when I wrote"

Martin said...

"There is only one absolute standard, and that is God."

Is that a quote from the Bible, or is it just something that Sye made up?

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”But Sye, how do you know God exists or has revealed anything to you?”

Simple, because He has revealed some things to us in such a way that we can be certain of them. Now, what is your claim to certainty from which you base your objection to my claim, and how do you know that your reasoning about anything is valid?

Tony Lloyd said...

Sye: "He has revealed some things to us in such a way that we can be certain of them."

What things are they?

Sye TenB said...

Tony said: "You cannot demonstrate knowledge of everything you put forward, so the “how do you know” argument can always be used."

The thing is, I'm not asking anyone to demonstrate knowledge of EVERYTHING put forward, I simply want to know how you can know ANYTHING, and how you can know that your reasoning about anything is valid, apart from God?

"Called out on the lie Sye has a problem."

Which question have I not answered? Stephen is the one avoiding questions. Perhaps you will answer Tony, how is it possible for you to know anything, and how do you know that your reasoning about anything is valid?

Sye TenB said...

Tony asked: "What things are they?"

i.e. God exists, murder is wrong, love is right.

Now, what can you know for certain Tony, how can you know it, and how can you know that your reasoning about it is valid?

Tony Lloyd said...

"God exists, murder is wrong, love is right."

Has He revealed to you that He has revealed it to you in a manner so that you can be certain of its truth?

How?

(NB You can see where this is going)

Tony Lloyd said...

Perhaps you will answer Tony, how is it possible for you to know anything, and how do you know that your reasoning about anything is valid?

Now that I have answered (in a previous thread a while ago). I also answered it on Eric Hovind's blog, but the post got deleted.

Was something amiss with my answers? I have tried to expand on them, to explain in a little more depth but that doesn't seem to satisfy. What do I need to add to explain it? Are you actually interested in what I think, or is this just a "tactic"?

If you really are actually interested (as in the post above, I suspect you have no interest in working to understand points of view you disagree with) can I recommend Addendum 1 to Popper's "The Open Society and its Enemies"? An awful lot of what I write is badly re-hashed Popper and you might as well go to the source. It is beautifully written and fabulously clear.

Alternatively I could write a summary of the position (which would be way less clear). I'd want to know that you are interested, and will raise critisms that I'd be interested in, ie "this is false because x" or "this is inconsistent because y" rather than "you haven't established this". (Unless your going to tell me that something is false if we cannot establish that we know it to be true. That I would be very much interested in.)

Sye TenB said...

Tony said: ”Has He revealed to you that He has revealed it to you in a manner so that you can be certain of its truth?”

Yes

”How"

I do not know how God does what He does, but that is irrelevant to the question, THAT God reveals some things to us such that we can be certain of them is what is relevant, (and He tells us in His Word that we can have certainty).

Now, are you going to join Stephen in avoiding my questions?

Martin said...

"He tells us in His Word", but you are also allowed to add bits, where His Word is lacking.

Secret Stash said...

Now, are you going to join Stephen in avoiding my questions?

Seems to work fairly well for you.

monkey_boy1001 said...

Secret_Stash said...”If God truly wanted man to KNOW for certain why doesn't everyone KNOW for certain? “

Sye_TenB said...They (you) do. That’s the point. People are not sent to Hell forever for something they don’t know.

How do you know that everyone KNOWS this and are simply choosing to ignore it? What evidence do you have to support this?

Secret_Stash said...”If God truly wanted people to know something for certain would they be able to deny it?”

Sye TenB said...Obviously.

How do you KNOW that someone KNOWS but is merely delusional, ignorant or lying?

Secret_Stash said..Watch Sye try a cut and paste with Science and Morality.

Funny thing is that morality doesn't require God. Morality isn't universal. Sye, you claim that not only do you "prove" the existence of God but claim it's the Christian god of the bible. Oddly enough I don't see any absolutes on the part of God. Seems to change his mind quite often.

Science too. You try and open with "universal, absolute scientific laws". My guess is that you got your definitions from the Hovinds and other Creationists.

Please give me an absolute universal law of science. I suppose you'll either ignore this or you'll look up the definition (hint: WIKIPEDIA) and realize you really you should have kept your mouth shut on this one.

Stephen Law said...

Sye was hit on head by a rock and his brain addled, resulting in his inability to use logic reliably.

He claims he can justify his use of logic - SYE: "God reveals some things to us such that we can be certain of them."

Of course, being hit on the head by that rock has caused Sye mistakenly to believe that some things are being revealed as certain to him by God.

So Sye's justification for supposing he was not hit on the head is hopelessly circular. For how can he know that certain things are really being revealed to him by God, rather than that is just how things seem cos he was hit on the head by a rock?

He can't.

He might claim that being hit on the head by a rock couldn't produce the kind of seemingly-revelatory experience he has. But how can he know that?! Any justification he offers PRESUPPOSES he was not hit on the head by a rock!

It's a simple sceptical argument, and Sye's appeals to HIS particular Old Testament SUPER-MAGIC-BEING to solve it are completely useless.

So there's my "presuppositional" proof that Sye was hit on the head by a rock. It's only if we presuppose Sye was hit on the head by a rock that we can explain his inability to think straight.

This is a proof Sye cannot show is wrong, because to do so, he would need already to have justified his claim he can think straight.

Thus, by Sye's own standards, I win!

Stephen Law said...

"Now, are you going to join Stephen in avoiding my questions? "

The irony.

When are YOU, Sye, going to answer my question - what is YOUR non-question-begging justification for claiming YOUR use of logic is reliable?

I ask over and over and over and over and you only ever evade the question or provide a hopelessly question-begging justification.

Martin said...

There is no logical flaw in Sye's argument, it has internal consistency, hence Stephen's answer to it is a parody. But there is a deep psychological flaw in holding Sye's position. This is because there is no specific mention in the Bible that there are Laws of Logic, and that Christians have exclusive use of them. Sye has either inferred this, or he believes that he has received this knowledge by divine inspiration. Furthermore, there is no revelation in the Bible that one day a small minority of Christians will be granted exclusive use of the power of reasoning.

It is absurd for Sye to believe he can reason, but others cannot, and it is arrogant for him to assume God has granted him alone some special power. Because of the absurdity, parody becomes the only response, and because of the arrogance, Sye's rudeness often shows through.

In essence, any one of us could make a presupposition and then claim further revelations from super-natural sources, to make a watertight argument. The reason most of us don't in practice is because we want to show some respect to the people we communicate with. Devices such as labelling people "devils" round off Sye's worldview, enabling him to justify to himself why he can close his ears to certain arguments.

Tony Lloyd said...

Sye asked: Perhaps you will answer Tony, how is it possible for you to know anything, and how do you know that your reasoning about anything is valid?

and

Now, are you going to join Stephen in avoiding my questions?

I wrote, on 30th January 2009:

how YOU account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic
I don't "account" for them, any more than I "account" for drinking.

according to YOUR worldview,
I don't have an (a priori) worldview

or on what basis YOU proceed with the assumption that they WILL hold,
No basis. There is no "basis". “


You see, taking “knowledge” as justified, true belief I am a sceptic: I do not think it exists. For any proposition to be justified it would have to, itself, be justified. I recognise that the propositions I accept are accepted for reasons that, at some level, are non-justified and, as a consequence, I do not have secure knowledge. I have looked for a "basis", I have looked for a "worldview" that I can hold a priori I have looked for an ultimate reason for logic. I have found none of those things and so have given up the search. If someone plonks one in front of me, then I'd be very interested, but none has so far: so I'd best tend my cabbages.

Sye's already had his answer. And, you know, he agrees with it. Of course Sye is not interested in an answer, he does not want to understand where I’m coming from, he just wants a set-up to “and how do you know that”?

The presuppositionalist argues, correctly, that as

A: all propositions that are accepted have reasons that are not justified

then

B: his “opponent” does not have secure knowledge.

Given a reasonable amount of reflection and intelligence the presuppositionalist also realises that, from his own beliefs, A entails:

B*: presuppositionalists have reasons for accepting propositions that are not justified and so do not have secure knowledge.

The presuppositionalist is perfectly aware that, from his own “presuppositions”, his position is no more secure than the non-believer. He chooses to hide that however. The reasons that Sye has for hope in Christ are not justifiable. Sye realises that “I just believe” is not going to make much of an impact and so arrogantly pretends that he has complete justification. This, from his own system is wrong: “and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15)

Sye avoids giving a (truthful) answer, which would involve admission of the epistemological (but not “faith”) insecurity of his own position by banging on and on about the shortcomings of his opponents.

This, from his own system is wrong:

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)

Now, if you can get him away from asking iterative questions of you and to concentrate on his own non-answers he denies that he has failed to answer.

This, from his own system is wrong:

“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” (Exodus 20:16)

From his own system Sye should have answered Stephen, honestly, with:

"Come to think of it Stephen I accept quite a lot without justification. You are right, epsitemologically, the IPU is just as good as God. I don't believe in God because I can rationally prove him but because I have faith. I have faith that Jesus Christ is my saviour and that is the reason for my hope"


This invites an interesting question: how should one discuss things with someone who refuses to be bound by logic and dishonesty, refuses to show you where he thinks your statements are false, refuses to outline his own beliefs? How should one attempt to discuss things with someone who does not even follow their own system of thought?

Should one bother?

jsk said...

Tony asks, reasonably enough, "Should one bother?" I think some of us (like me in the erichovind thread) stuck it out from a nagging fear that there might be somebody reading these exchanges saying to himself, "Sye's argument can't be THAT obvious an insult to our intelligence; I must be missing something, some subtlety of logic that's passing me by," and want to be as sure as possible that this illusion is dispelled.

Sye TenB said...

Tony said: ”I don't "account" for them, any more than I "account" for drinking.”

So, you are equating logical laws with a biological function? Don’t see much point in continuing, but I’ll address a few more of your ‘points.’

”I don't have an (a priori) worldview”

Then you do not understand what ‘worldview’ means.

”No basis.”

So, you have no basis for assuming that logical laws will hold, then why do you assume that they will?

”There is no "basis"

Prove this please.

”I do not have secure knowledge.”

How do you know?

”Sye's already had his answer. And, you know, he agrees with it. Of course Sye is not interested in an answer, he does not want to understand where I’m coming from, he just wants a set-up to “and how do you know that”?”

How do you know?

”The presuppositionalist is perfectly aware that, from his own “presuppositions”, his position is no more secure than the non-believer.”

How do you know?

” He chooses to hide that however.”

How do you know?

The reasons that Sye has for hope in Christ are not justifiable.

How do you know?

Sye realises that “I just believe” is not going to make much of an impact and so arrogantly pretends that he has complete justification.

How do you know?

This, from his own system is wrong:

How do you know?

Sye avoids giving a (truthful) answer, which would involve admission of the epistemological (but not “faith”) insecurity of his own position by banging on and on about the shortcomings of his opponents.

How do you know?

This, from his own system is wrong:

How do you know?

Now, if you can get him away from asking iterative questions of you and to concentrate on his own non-answers he denies that he has failed to answer.

How do you know?

This, from his own system is wrong:

How do you know?

From his own system Sye should have answered Stephen, honestly, with…

How do you know?

You see Tony, once you deny having knowledge, you should be consistent, and stop making knowledge claims, or better yet, repent of your foolish, inconsistent reasoning.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 248   Newer› Newest»