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Monday, October 13, 2008

Presupposistionalism is retarded.

And yes, even though I will not claim certainty about anything else - ever - I'll claim certainty about this. And state that my proof is in the impossibility of the contrary.

So, arguing with morons espousing the presupposistionalist viewpoint has become a bit of a hobby of mine. Out of all the the 'arguments' for christianity, I think that this is the most arrogant, irrelevant, annoying and anti-intellectual.

I've been debating a guy named SCMike about his beliefs for over a week now. If any of you are interested in presupp and all of its inadaquacies as a philosophy, I encourage you to check it out. Lots of posters have made lots of great points.
I'd like to include my latest post which I think highlights many of the problems with presupposistionalism, but it is quite lengthy so I'll drop it behind this cut.

Seeing as my cut won't work, I've reposted the comment here.

69 comments:

  1. For the reason you described, I dismissed SCMike as not being smart enough to engage in discussion with me. I don't think I really believe this is true, but he's intellectually dishonest enough that I don't care.

    Incidentally, I've added a new word to my vocabulary, and that doesn't happen often - thanks. If said whack job had actually mentioned presuppositionalism before, I wasn't taking him seriously enough to notice (or care).

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  2. And thank you for your compliments over there, Whateverman. It's nice to know that someone is getting something out of my posts - as we both know Mike isn't.

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  3. maragon,
    I fear you intellectually overextanded SCMike with this post. He isn't able to chew more than one thought at once...

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  4. Now I have lots of questions:

    1) Are logic & reason presuppositions? This idea is new to me, and I'm not sure what to make of it yet

    2) From the Wiki entry, there's a sentence early on that is similar to what I've been trying to describe via the argument that Ray doesn't have as much faith as he thinks:

    presuppositionalists claim that a Christian cannot consistently declare his belief in the necessary existence of the God of the Bible and simultaneously argue on the basis of a different set of assumptions in which God may or may not exist, and Biblical revelation may or may not be true

    Simply put, you can't accept an irrational believe as Truth (ie. the God of Biblical scripture), and then appeal to logic to validate that belief. It's inconsistent - and as we've seen, pressing Christians who believe they have logic on their side (in regards to a literal biblical interpretation) eventually forces them back into their irrational corner of Faith.

    I guess I agree with the motivation for Christian presuppositionalism. Who knew...

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  5. Whateverman:

    "Are logic & reason presuppositions? This idea is new to me, and I'm not sure what to make of it yet"

    They would be presupposistional in the sense that we would consider our evidence based reasoning and our cognitive faculties to continue to hold true in situations that they've already proven themselves reliable.
    IE. We assume that a red hot stove burner would hurt our hand if we touched it based on previous experience and our current cognitive faculties.

    In the case of new information - our beliefs are often shaped by our first experiences with something. And our beliefs are validated every single time they prove to be true.

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  6. I disagree with you that 'absolute' and 'universal' mean the exact same thing.

    True, 'absolute' can always mean something is 'universal'.

    Something 'universal' is not always an 'absolute'.

    If necessary, I'll try to come up with an example.

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  7. Loaf,

    You'd have to come up with an example because I don't quite understand what you're positing here.

    But I would argue that SCMike's usage is interchangeable - true everywhere at all times in all ways.

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  8. we would consider our evidence based reasoning and our cognitive faculties to continue to hold true in situations that they've already proven themselves reliable.

    Interesting! I really should be doing work and not discussing Intellectual Ivory Tower subjects like this - however:

    I don't consider logic and reason to be absolute. Someone else pointed this out in the last 24 hours (I forget who), but he explained to SCMike that Logic and Reason are not "things", and thus can't be labelled with terms like "absolute" or "universal".

    Will I avoid a red-hot burner even if I'm abducted by aliens and enslaved to do their housework on a planet near Aldebaran? Probably - but I damned well will test my perceptions of "red" & "hot" & "burn". Alien home appliances may or may not have evolved past my Kitchen Aid...

    I guess I mean to say: logic and reason are excellent tools by which to determine the acceptability of a claim or belief. By themselves, they aren't "truth" - only through their use can we possibly assess the thruthiness of something.

    ---

    I'm gonna spend some time thinking about this. Makes me wonder if I should have gone for a Philosophy major instead of Food Science...

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  9. Whateverman,

    "I guess I mean to say: logic and reason are excellent tools by which to determine the acceptability of a claim or belief. By themselves, they aren't "truth" - only through their use can we possibly assess the thruthiness of something."

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    I don't believe or accept that anything is 'absolute' - least of all concepts that were created and are maintained by our falliable human brains.

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  10. It seems to me that it all ends up at the difference between interpreting what we see through our huiman senses and empirical evidence versus interpreting what we see based on non-empirical supernatural entities, who, in this case, speak to the pre-supp through his bible.
    And it's still nonesense.

    Also, pre-supp is merely a way of trying to show that we cannot trust human logic (although that is all we have)but goes on to prove nothing at all.

    Maragon,
    You have infinitely more patience with with this stuff than I do!

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  11. Man, how can you guys bear to go thru that tortuous stuff with Dan and SCMike.

    SCMike, he twists and turns like a twisty, turny thing.

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  12. Froggie suggested: Also, pre-supp is merely a way of trying to show that we cannot trust human logic (although that is all we have) but goes on to prove nothing at all.

    Exactly. Once you rule out L&R as being unreliable, nothing is off-limits. Nihilism, solipsism, creationism - they're all as valid as any other belief system.

    SCMike refuses to live by the idea that logic is unreliable, and the proof of this is in his repeated appeals to it. He shoots his argument in the head by trying to advocate it...

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  13. Stew said: Man, how can you guys bear to go thru that tortuous stuff with Dan and SCMike.

    I personally think I'm addicted to discussion/debate; I pursue it long after it becomes unhealthy :)

    In reality, for me it's one of the only ways I can test my ideas, or to ensure that I'm still interested in testing them. It's a form of intellectual quality control...

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  14. Without soundng like Mike, I guess I would wonder if anything can be proven as an absolute if it cannot be proven universally?

    I.E. time is a constant - or, until you look at the theory of relativity?

    The speed of light was once thought to be a absolute constant... but perhaps not, with the exception of black holes?

    I guess there's always got to be some room for doubt when you cannot test something everywhere.

    I am not trying to support SCMike as much as get my head around this much the same way as W.E.M.

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  15. Loaf:

    "Without sounding like Mike, I guess I would wonder if anything can be proven as an absolute if it cannot be proven universally?"

    I'd argue that nothing could ever be proven as an absolute, because absolutes don't exist.

    If that helps clarify anything for you.

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  16. laof,

    "The speed of light was once thought to be a absolute constant... but perhaps not, with the exception of black holes?"

    The theory of relativity explains the behaviour of light around black holes.

    My recent post was a ruse that failed miserably. Sorry about that.

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  17. LAOF wrote: I guess there's always got to be some room for doubt when you cannot test something everywhere.

    Yup. However, a logical conclusion to this line of question is to wonder what value we can place in "knowing" things that can never be proven true or false.

    While it's an interesting question, you'll find that thinking about this for a long time will lead to heavy drinking and depression :)

    The real answer is to utilize tools that help you come to a reasonable level of certainty. Absolute proof may never be possible - but you don't need to KNOW that the stoplight will turn red after yellow, in order to believe "it's a good idea to slow down".

    Re. common sense, a healthy skepticism of your own perception, and the willingness to change your opinions when contrary evidence presents itself.

    That's all you can really ever do. Strangely, people seem resistant these ideas - it's almost as if they value having an answer more than they do the accuracy of that answer...

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  18. Dang, I have to start using the Preview feature more often. I think far faster than I type :p

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  19. We know what we now know. When we learn more we will know more and we will then know what we know then.
    Capice?

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  20. @W.E.M.

    "Yup. However, a logical conclusion to this line of question is to wonder what value we can place in "knowing" things that can never be proven true or false."

    Yup. you could have stopped right there.

    However, I will ask this (in all honesty and since you brought it up):


    "Re. common sense, a healthy skepticism of your own perception, and the willingness to change your opinions when contrary evidence presents itself."

    Yup... but couldn't you say that common sense is at least partially composed of logic and reasoning (and experience)?

    And those two (l&r) are not absolute.

    You da (whatever)MAN!

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  21. Whateverman,
    I was going to do a post on what you addressed in your last comment.

    I didn't because it would require me to dig out some articles and papers I was reading several months ago, but.....

    There are reasons that religion and the need for some absolute truth are pervasive over history.

    The reason is that certain belief systems work to help societies by holding them together.

    The reason why is not that warm and fuzzy bonding that the xtians claim. It is more like this:

    One time when I was a kid I was fishing off the pier with some of my cronies down in SC and a sea gull grabbed my bait right out of the air as I was casting. I got it reeled in and we were totally happy about this unexpected source of amusement.

    There were a couple older guys nearby and one came over and said to me, "I'll show you how human nature works. Some people are just like sea gulls."
    We said, "sure, show us!"

    He took a black shoelace out of his shoe and tied it in a bow around that gull's neck. He said to release it and I threw it into the air. Such fun!

    Then, to our horror, the other sea gulls started diving on it and pecking it and it finally fell into the water where they swooped in and fiinished it off. Us kids were standing there with our mouths open thinking what the fuck?

    The man said to me, "It is best not to let that kind of behaviour influence you. We need all different kinds of people but the gulls can't see that."

    Of course this opens some philsophical question because the gulls are a fairly successful species, but who wants to be a gull?


    Keep up the good work.

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  22. laof,

    Have you contemplated your inner gull lately?

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  23. LAOF said:

    Whateverman suggested: "Re. common sense, a healthy skepticism of your own perception, and the willingness to change your opinions when contrary evidence presents itself."


    LAOF asked: Yup... but couldn't you say that common sense is at least partially composed of logic and reasoning (and experience)?

    Most definitely. But it's coupled with skepticism of your own common sense, and a willingness to conclude that you were mistaken if applicable. All three together give you the ability to utilize logic and reasoning safely. You neither rely upon them absolutely, nor discard them as being unreliable.

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  24. "Froggie said...
    laof,
    Surely, not you?"

    I never said I did.

    ...and quite calling me shirley.

    < rimshot >

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  25. Didn't scmike go to the same school Sye attended?

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  26. W.E.M. -

    "Most definitely. But it's coupled with skepticism of your own common sense, and a willingness to conclude that you were mistaken if applicable. All three together give you the ability to utilize logic and reasoning safely. You neither rely upon them absolutely, nor discard them as being unreliable."

    I don't question that logic and reason can't be utilized safely. They're not absolute.

    I just question the ability to consider anything an absolute in our finite/limited experiences and knowledge... That's all.

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  27. Rufus said...

    "Didn't scmike go to the same school Sye attended?"

    Yes, he's utilizing the same argument that Sye had shot down here awhile ago.

    Although I will say that Sye argued it far better and seemed to at least UNDERSTAND what he was claiming. SCMike strikes me as someone who is simply parroting talking points without much understanding at all.

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  28. Froggie said: Of course this opens some philsophical question because the gulls are a fairly successful species, but who wants to be a gull?

    A good story, regardless of whether it happened or not. I agree that just because lots of people do/believe things in a certain way does not - by itself - justify those acts or beliefs.

    In regards to the utility of religion, this "lesson" applies just as much; the fact that so many people believe in the Bible (in one form or another) doesn't necessarily justify belief in the Bible.

    --

    Damn, you almost got me to start another tirade :)

    Thanks for the kind words, and I do agree with your point to a large extent.

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  29. LAOF said: I just question the ability to consider anything an absolute in our finite/limited experiences and knowledge... That's all.

    And I agree, as did Maragon earlier: there appear to be no absolutes. I will explicitly disagree with anyone who asserts otherwise.

    As an aside, I saw someone do this by accident earlier, but I now have a maddening desire to refer to you as loaf :)

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  30. Oh, it was me that called you 'loaf'.
    I apologize, was a simple type-o.

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  31. WEM said:

    "As an aside, I saw someone do this by accident earlier, but I now have a maddening desire to refer to you as loaf :)"

    This was Maragon that said this... was it by accident?

    We may never know.... perhaps a slip of the proverbial tongue, perhaps her rapier-sharp wit.

    I didn't notice it til you pointed it out. Unless M. had some nefarious meaning applied to it, it doesn't bother me.

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  32. Maragon -

    Accept my apology for being a slow typist.

    As for your typo - apology accepted (but one wasn't really required).

    laof/loaf

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  33. Hey Whateverman, check the other post - looks like your prediction was correct. He's back and has skipped right over my reply.

    Also, you only think I'm right because I have tits.

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  34. There are lots of interesting philosophical debates to be had about the origins and nature of logic, but the brand of presuppositionalism that Sye and SCMike practice is tedious and thoughtless. In particular, it annoys me that:

    1) They turn every discussion into a discussion about the ultimate nature of logic. This is problematic because when you're talking about such issues, it's impossible to make any progress on any other issues. Questions about the nature of logic are old and perhaps intractable. If you take the stance (as Sye et al do), that you can't talk about anything else until you've solved these deep philosophical mysteries, you'll never be able to talk about anything.

    2) They always but the burden of explanation on the other guy. The support they give to their view is always something like, "God magically created logic and gave it to humans. Since there's no other good explanation, this explanation-by-magical-being is necessarily true.)

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  35. I haven't read through all the comment so I'm sorry if I repeat anything! But I would just say that I agree with Maragon, that there are no absolutes. What I try to do is evaluate life and truth through my own experiences, what I have experienced to be true, and decide from there what has the greatest probability of being 'absolutly' (and I use that term liberally) true. And of course leaving my mind open to being changed. But that's just me...

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  36. Geoff,

    They turn every discussion into a discussion about the ultimate nature of logic.

    That is the whole point of pressups. They do not even want to discuss anything else. This is "a strategy" to demonstrate the "unrighteous suppression of the truth." Check here. And read this:

    The main problem with evidentialism is that it grants the unbeliever too much. The evidentialist grants the unbeliever the right to think autonomously (independently) while at the same time asking him to give up his autonomy through conversion. This is theologically impossible. The unbeliever will always employ his tools of reason to dismiss the arguments for Christianity.

    So you see? they do not want to address any issues, but to convince that without their particular god, there is no arguing possible.

    It is quite stupid. Also, Sye has it better constructed than MCmike, but MC is juts imitating Sye (even in obnoxiousness). The whole point is to come back again and again to the same shitty argument until you insult them, so they can claim victory (you got mad because you are denying the truth in unrighteousness). however, there are differences in the intelligences of these guys, that is true, but the differences are not that big, I would bet it is just their experience. I keep my notes on Sye's deficiencies to myself for now (which might be just part of the trickery, but then he is truly dishonest, which he shows anyway, but even worse, maybe he keeps that apparent ignorance as a hidden tool to use later as demonstration that we are not as smart as we think we are).

    Anyway, read and have fun. Also, If Hume did claim that inference is circular reasoning (I have read that he was actually talking about a statistical problem, rather than non-validity of induction). He was an asshole. And I do not give a damn how many people agree with him.

    G.E.

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  37. Also, you only think I'm right because I have tits.

    Normally, yes I am that transparent. In this case, however, it's just a coincidence...

    <.<

    >.>

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  38. I strongly suspect that this SCMike is actually Sye. Too much Sye-like. Or he went to a course with the guy.

    But his answer to my post shows him as even more stupid ... who knows.

    G.E.

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  39. To sum up my humble opinion on this matter, Presuppositionalism get you...exactly....Nowhere.

    But feel free to go nowhere. It is said to be a noble cause by some religious belief systems.

    the frog-o-matic

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  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  41. GE,

    SCmike is not Sye. He is a wannabe Sye, for what reason I cannot imagine!

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  42. GE said I strongly suspect that this SCMike is actually Sye. Too much Sye-like. Or he went to a course with the guy.


    I definitely see the similarities in their arguments. However, their styles are markedly different.

    I agree with others who've suggested that Sye makes his case more coherently, whereas SCMike appears to be parroting the talking points. They could still be the same person - but if so, that man'd have to be a sociopath, to be able to split himself into such disparate online personalities.

    It's not outside the realm of possibility (that he could have me fooled), but I think I'm more content to believe SCMike is just a misguided fundamentalist; struggling to put into practice concepts he's learned from someone else.

    EDIT: deleted original to fix spelling and misattribution issues.

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  43. Yeah, I know, but the "original" SCMike was not as annoying, he would shut up as soon as you gave him something too big to swallow. This one is just using the same "smileys" and "phrases" that make Sye so damn obnoxious. The same ignoring of your arguments, the same "sure you do see a problem with that," same "you keep telling yourself that," and other such annoying phrases. Maybe he was copy/pasting from Sye's stuff. Maybe he is trying to learn the craft. Maybe. This is why I asked him to develop his own style. Yet, he continued "Syeing" all along.

    The guy did not look like a different personality in this blog. In other blogs you could tell them apart. In this one ... well, if not Sye, the guy is trying hard to become that idiot. Like one is not enough.

    G.E.

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  44. Oh, the guy (Sye) IS a sociopath. Otherwise, how could you explain such level of intellectual dishonesty? (Should include SCMike on this?)

    G.E.

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  45. Evidence that logic is not absolute: some people don't make use of it, or use something markedly different which they still call "logic".

    Not naming any names here...

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  46. For anyone still keeping track, SCMike has essentially forefitted by refusing to address the post that I linked here. See, it's far too long for him to bother to respond to(and I think I used some 'big' words too).
    I guess my big mistake was that I took him seriously...

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  47. Hi Laof

    May I have a go at explaining maragon's point about how absolute & universal are equivalent?

    Ok. The term 'absolute truth' may be defined as something which is true at all times & places.

    Universal may be defined as something that is present everywhere. e.g. Cosmic dust is universally present.

    So if a truth is absolute it MUST also be universal & vice verse.

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  48. @ G.E

    You wrote "Also, If Hume did claim that inference is circular reasoning (I have read that he was actually talking about a statistical problem, rather than non-validity of induction). He was an asshole."


    I love it. Welcome to hating Hume 101. :D I hated the guy by the time I'd finished epistemology.

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  49. I wonder if someone could help me. I've been doing a bit of research on presuppositionalism.

    Quite honestly I'd never heard of it before.

    Anyway I encountered repeated assertions that there were several links between presuppositionalism & reconstructionism.

    Are such links real or exagerated?

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  50. chris: Ok. The term 'absolute truth' may be defined as something which is true at all times & places.

    Universal may be defined as something that is present everywhere. e.g. Cosmic dust is universally present.

    So if a truth is absolute it MUST also be universal & vice verse.


    Doesn't work as I see it. As you say, universal is omnipresence. But I think it extends to a spatial (spacial?) definition only, i.e. presence in one temporal instance. Our temporal understanding is by definition finite, so we can't really define anything to be extant extending to more than our ability to induce, deduct and perceive. Anything claimed to be absolute would necessarily have to extend beyond that capability, to be absolutely independent of any relative viewpoint. Now, claiming that a being exists who does have that absolute viewpoint is easy - but imo not valid, since having a viewpoint is a relative position in itself, negating the absolute claim. The claim itself is non-absolute and thusly self-defeating. The absolute can only connect to the relative if it connects to all possible relative positions in both time and space, including the positions that are mutually exclusive. So the only absolute must be a negation of logic. Negate logic and you have no possibility of claiming the absolute.

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  51. @ Chris -

    I was going to reply to your reply to me, but Felix perhaps says it better.

    Thanx, Felix.

    -laof/loaf

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  52. Chris asked: Are such links real or exagerated?

    Good question, Chris. I'm new to the term myself - so it looks like I've got some investigating to do

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  53. Gonna pipe in on this Universal vs Absolute discussion.

    First, if I'm not mistaken, Maragon pointed out the SCMike seems to be using the terms interchangably (which is where this topic stated). I agree with her.

    Second, I don't think they're interchangable, and here's the Reader's Digest version of why: "Universal" seems to imply spatial context whereas "Absolute" implies temporal.

    If the theory of gravity is universal, no matter which planet/sun/galaxy/back-hole I visit today, with the right amount of data, I can predict just how strong it will act upon some object. However, it's a fact that physicists have wondered if the gravitational constant has been changing with time - I honestly don't know what they determined, I just remember reading about the idea.

    So in this case, gravity is theorized to be Universal.

    An "Absolute" thing must be true/valid wherever it and whenever it is found. The theory of gravity can not be considered as Absolute if it was somehow more weak or more strong in the past.

    Being absolute does not mean that such a thing must exist everywhere-and-when, however.

    "Whateverman is hawt" is an absolute. Whenever and wherever you find me - bam! Pure hawtness. Although I wish it were otherwise, however, my roguish good looks aren't omnipresent - they can only be found at the spot and point in time I exist.

    ---

    How's that?

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  54. In response to Chris' question: Chris asked: Are such links {EDIT: between presuppositionalism and reconstructionism} real or exagerated?

    I guess it depends on where you're reading them, Chris.

    From my understanding, reconstructionists view presupposition as a tool that will help them rebuild society. This isn't necessarily a "link", in my humble opinion - it's an awareness on their part of what will help with the rebuilding.

    Again in my limited view, Presupposition is supposed to eat away at the logical underpinnings of anti-Christian critique. Given that this critique stands in the way of reconstruction...

    You get the idea.

    There's probably some cross-training, for lack of a better phrase. But I think the real relationship is one of a "Road Builder" to "Construction Vehicle"; both know of and work with(for) each other.

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  55. Hey Chris,

    Anyway I encountered repeated assertions that there were several links between presuppositionalism & reconstructionism.

    I am somewhat new to these terms too. As far as I have gone, there is an "original link." But I have found that more and more the boundaries among the different Christianities, and fundamentalities, get blurred when it comes to finding arguments to put against "infidels." So, the link might have been there originally, but then again, anybody can get and use the arguments. It is like the ultimate cause one. I have heard Catholics using it, as well as evangelicals, and others.

    As of Hume, well, I have never respected anybody just because of their "citation index." I rather read and reason.

    G.E.

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  56. Keep up the good work maragon! You have the patience of a saint. I've been watching his arguments at a distance and I fear that "skippy" got sucked into a debate...poor person.

    It seems Scmike's tactic is to wear his opponent down with silly straw men.

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  57. Maragon,

    I just took another look. The only way of dealing with these types is to use their own rethoric against them. Then THEY get angry. I see now that SCMike is not Sye, but he certainly has learned the trade in the sense of asserting lies to infuriate (this has been demonstrated in this very thread again and again--yet he does not show where the hell it was, because it was not), the smileys, and such. He has learned the "trolling way" just like Sye. I wonder how they justify this to themselves. Infuriating the opponent shows more the will to "win" in appearance, rather than really show that there is such a thing as a god.

    Anyway, the irritating tactics are right there to be seen. Yet, I bet no Christian, well, no fundie, can see them.

    Can you guys? (I mean the fundies reading this blog!)

    G.E.

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  58. Maragon,

    But what I wanted to tell you is that you do not need to justify your methods with the other fundies attacking you for answering the way you do to this SCMike.

    G.E.

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  59. Thanks for your support guys.

    But I think he's basically given up at this point. He's declared himself correct and likened me to a child - it's only a matter of time before he gets "bored" and storms off in a huff like Sye did.

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  60. @ G.E.

    You wrote "I wonder how they justify this to themselves."

    I think they have adopted a sort of calvinist approach. Calvin taught that since before 'creation' you & I were predestined by God to heaven or hell. This being so NOTHING that we do can alter God's decision.

    Hence the reason why scmike feels free to lie, treat us with contempt, etc. After all he is the elect - so his sins don't count only ours do.

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  61. @ G.E. & W.E.M

    Thanks guys. Much appreciated.

    G.E. wrote "As of Hume, well, I have never respected anybody just because of their "citation index." I rather read and reason."

    I agree completely.

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  62. @ Whem & Felix

    Ok. Where to begin? Both of you assert that the word 'universal' has only spacial applications whereas the word 'absolute' has both temporal & spatial applications.

    Ok. Now I agree that my definition of the word 'universal' did seem to imply this. I withdraw my definition & substitute the definition given by the oxford dictionary:

    Universal
    adjective
    Applicable in all cases

    I would humbly suggest that for a thing to be 'applicable in all cases' it would have to be both spatial AND temporal.

    Now since absolute truth is true in all places & times isn't it also true to say that it is 'applicable in all cases'? If so then the terms are equivalent.

    Now as to your argument Felix.

    It's a beaut by the way. But I think I see a flaw. Bare with me.
    You wrote " The absolute can only connect to the relative if it connects to all possible relative positions in both time and space, including the positions that are mutually exclusive."

    I don't agree that this point shows the incoherrence of absolute knowledge merely the impossibility of passing such knowledge on.

    Let us, for the sake of argument, accept that the great bunnyrabbit of logic exists. He hpossess absolute knowledge. He understands how all things mesh.
    His mind is infinite and there fore can hold within it all necessary knowledge including that which "connects to all possible relative positions in both time and space, including the positions that are mutually exclusive."

    To simplfy imagine knowledge as a quilt with an incredibly complex pattern. We can see only a portion of the pattern being limited by both our finite minds and by our temporal existence. Ahh but the great bunny rabbit of logic is limted by neither. He is not on high observing the pattern he is the pattern itself. The great bunny is reality itself. Truely universal in the sense given above. Since he is limited by neither time, nor space, e understands the pattern [i.e. the coherence] of all things.

    Absolute knowledge of any kind may however be beyond the capacity of our finite minds to grasp.
    That being so it would seem to follow that absolute knowledge, even if it does exist, is unknowable to any finite mind - even by revelation.
    Why? Because it would be an attempt to fill a finite mind with all the infinite variables necessary in order to grasp it. Such an attempt would make such knowledge incoherrent to a finite mind.

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  63. Guys,

    More than just trying to sound knowledgeable, what SCMike and the like want to do with the whole phraseology is to have several things to grasp to show that "atheism" cannot account for logic (or whichever they are discussing). Sye denied it, but that does not make it less true. They, of course, claim that only Christianity can account for logic, but they have no idea, they have even constructed a vision of what atheism is.

    Anyway, they need each word there, they need the word "law," the words "universal," the word "absolute," the word "immaterial" (this is the one denied by Sye--which proves they just want to win the arguments, even of they have to deny their tactics--but it is still fundamental for his diatribe, if it is "immaterial," it cannot exist in the materialistic worldview of an atheist). Each of these if we say "no" they use to say "then how can you use it against my argument" and such shit.

    Anyway, just thinking out loud. The main point still seems to be that their stuff is designed to irritate, rather than to show anything.

    What is truly surprising is that, after all their shitty intellectual dishonesty they can still act all paternalistic and tell us that they are worried about our souls and such.

    G.E.

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  64. GE said: Anyway, just thinking out loud. The main point still seems to be that their stuff is designed to irritate, rather than to show anything.

    Honestly, I think they're driven more by this, than by some desire to save atheists (or non-believer critics in general).

    I think they ultimately perceive all criticism as somehow motivated by evil forces - and thus, to be resisted by any and every means.

    Including intellectual dishonesty, mean spiritedness, etc.

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  65. Just noting, this MrFreeThinker is just another asshole. He thinks that because they assert something about their god it is automatically true.

    Funny ... or sad? ...

    G.E.

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  66. Chris wrote: I would humbly suggest that for a thing to be 'applicable in all cases' it would have to be both spatial AND temporal.

    Now since absolute truth is true in all places & times isn't it also true to say that it is 'applicable in all cases'? If so then the terms are equivalent.


    Chris (and the others who've eagerly dived into this geeky intellectual junk), a sincere thanks. I crave it, and find very few people willing to at least entertain such discussion.

    I've flagged this post, so I hope to come back and answer your challenge tomorrow Chris.

    Thanks again everyone

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  67. Chris said: Now since absolute truth is true in all places & times isn't it also true to say that it is 'applicable in all cases'? If so then the terms are equivalent.

    Having thought about it, I don't know that I agree with you - the two words really do feel dissimilar. But I've concluded that this feeling is subjective, whereas the dictionary isn't.

    And thus, I concede :)

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Unlike Ray we don't censor our comments, so as long as it's on topic and not spam, fire away.

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