Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Comment lost at Dan's blog

     On this post, I replied to Dan. Blogger acted up and posted twice. I removed the duplicate. Dan wiped out the original completely. I reposted. And Dan seems to have wiped that out as well. (Maybe, it's just Blogger acting up; but, since I have already lost my original wording, I am going to put my post here.)


     "You use your reasoning to test your reasoning which is viciously circular."
     I have already told you that I do not test my reasoning at all. My ability to reason is not in dispute. (If you disputed my ability to reason, you could not rationally call on me to "account for" it.)
     "Its perfectly understandable that you cannot grasp this, since you cannot even account for your reasoning which 'never advances your knowledge.'"
     The following is from the site that you quoted:
     "For an argument to have any epistemological or dialectical force, it must start from premisses already known or believed by its audience, and proceed to a conclusion not known or believed." [Emphasis mine]
     Since my ability to reason is already known or believed by everyone on our respective blogs, any attempt to "account for" it, would fail the requirements for a useful argument. Your very request that I "account for" the rules of logic is a wild goose chase that cannot advance knowledge.

     You gave a link regarding presuppositional apologetics that you said was worth checking out. It was, indeed, worth a look. This is what I found:
     "Sye's response is just patent nonsense, and I agree with Paul that it is dishonest. Even if it's the case that Sye COULD be certain (which we can go along with for the sake of argument, not because it is epistemically obligatory), it's still also the case that he COULD be mistaken (whether it's because of a hallucination or just an error in judgement is not important). Thus (2) is obviously NOT irrelvant, even if it's true that Sye COULD have certainty. Whether this is simply a misunderstanding of modal logic by Sye, or the fact that, as I showed earlier, his arguments presuppose his own infallibility, is impossible to say. I think what is safe to say is that every person reading this thread except for Sye recognizes this rather magnificant hole in his argument. When it comes down to the question of how Sye actually knows he has a revelation from God or is actually (like so many other people as even Sye must admit) deceived about that fact, he has nothing to offer except to say that the materialist doesn't even have a possibility of certainty. That might be the case, but it still doesn't prove that Sye is right! It could be the case that the materialist has no certainty AND that Sye is mistaken in his belief that God has revealed anything to him at all. You can't cover up for that just by playing word games."
     That came from a christian. But it came from an honest one. I do not agree with everything he says. But I am convinced that he believes what he says. I can't give Sye the same credit. He pulled the "you're divisive, so I won't have anything more to do with you" card. That may be biblical. But it's only a reason to suspect that the bible is a con job. Consider, any dissent could be regarded as divisive. It is precisely the way con men don't want to deal with people that subject their claims to critical examination. They will "refuse to have anything to do with that person" in favor of the easy marks.

UPDATE: Another comment of mine disappeared. This time I can rule out a Blogger glitch as the comment appeared with no trouble, showed up visibly on the thread for probably about fifteen minutes and then vanished. I will try to reconstruct it here as best I can.

     "Again, I did not ask whether or not you are capable of using logic, I asked how you account for the laws of logic."
     Word games aside, you are still asking for an "account" of something not in dispute. Remember "and proceed to a conclusion not known or believed." Unless you are claiming that the laws of logic do not exist, you are still trying to lead me on a wild goose chase.
     "But since his reasoning is invalid, he would obviously be wrong."
     And if you thought my reasoning was invalid, nothing I could say would convince you otherwise, as you would dismiss it as the product of "invalid reasoning." You might be persuaded by someone whose reasoning you trusted.
     "Assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for [g]od, is question begging though, as you start with the presupposition that [g]od does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of [g]od."
     That is a lie. I hold no such presupposition. Whether or not your god exists, however, my ability to reason is not evidence for your god.
     "Getting close now but, how is [this reasoning] already known to exist within your worldview?"
     It is known to exist within my worldview by virtue of the fact that I declare that it exists. But that is a secondary point. It is inappropriate for you to call for a rational accounting for something unless your worldview doubts it.
     "Yes, lets do that. Do you concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?"
     Asked and answered. I already answered that question on 13 Sep at 1:21pm. [In case Dan decides that my response existing prior to this invocation of the question is "inappropriate," I shall copy that entire response below.]
     "'We don't have eyewitness accounts. [We have anonymous accounts claiming to document others as witnesses.]'
     "O'rly? So you discount ALL of history now? Crusades didn't exist because no one is here to verify it?"
     The christian in question, in support of his claims of the resurrection, said that we had eyewitness accounts. Pointing out that the type of evidence claimed is not actually available is not the same thing as saying it is the only type of evidence that will be accepted.

Text of 13 Sep 1:21pm comment:

     "Assuming that your reasoning is not evidence for [g]od, is question begging, as you start with the presupposition that [g]od does not exist in order to conclude that your ability to reason is not evidence of [g]od."
     That is incorrect. Let's look at the construction of the proposition. Asserting that Whateverman's ability to reason is not evidence for the queen of England does not require a prior assumption that there is no queen of England. The construction "my ability to reason is not evidence of " does not require that be false and so does not beg the question.
     "1. How do you know that your reasoning about this, or ANYTHING, is valid?
     "2. How do YOU account for the laws of logic always existing?
     "3. How, within your worldview, do you get to indubitable knowledge or certainty?
     "4. Do you concede that an omniscient, omnipotent being could reveal things to us, such that we can be certain of them?"
     Questions 1-3 are completely invalid. Although they vary in wording they are calling for an accounting of axioms, demanding that they be drawn, instead, as conclusions. Question 4 can be meaningfully answered. An omniscient, omnipotent being cannot reveal things to us in such a way that we can be certain of them. An omniscient being cannot exist at all. An omnipotent being could "reveal" falsehoods in such a way that you would claim that you knew for certain that they were true. An omnipotent being, therefore, invalidates certitude.

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