Bahnsen and TAG

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by Josiah.W, Apr 27, 2012.

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  1. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Will, here's the deal. Plantinga has laid out the conditions for warrant---what is conspicuously absent from them (notice) is that the subject be conscious of operating under the proper-function model. All that there has to be is a de facto design plan.
  2. Loopie

    Loopie Puritan Board Freshman

    So this is an argument from authority? Or is this an argument from majority? Both are examples of fallacious argumentation. By the way, this wasn't a commonly held view several thousand years ago, so you would in fact be in the minority if you had lived back then. You only can assume that better minds than you have demonstrated it, but you just take their word for it.

    Why can't God be the court of inquiry? He knows what is true (for he has decreed all things). He knows the arguments that unbelieving men make, and he knows those arguments to be wrong. If God exists, has created all things, and has decreed all things, then the only interpretation of the world that can make sense of the world without being inconsistent or resulting in chaos is an interpretation of the universe that is based upon God.

    But one of us is right. For instance, you believe that there is a true and correct interpretation of scripture, right? You don't believe that each person can interpret scripture differently based upon what makes sense to them, right? So even though scripture makes 'sense' to Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc., wouldn't you say that they are still wrong, and that they have still wrongly interpreted? So just because YOU declare that things make sense to you does not mean that you have interpreted them correctly. It just means that you are satisfied with your own interpretation, and are unwilling to revise it at this time.

    Lunacy from your opinion, but you can't show why it is in fact lunacy. Simply because it is 'convenient' to go against Hume's denial doesn't mean that this was the correct way to go.

    Yet do you doubt that this exists? Do you do EVERYTHING consciously? Or are there some things that you simply do without thinking about them (muscle memory). I am not saying that we should base all argumentation on the subconscious, but we should recognize its purpose and effect in human activity. When I use the term subconscious I generally refer to doing things 'without thinking about them'.

    All you have shown is that they are generally unable to communicate to others what they are thinking. This does not mean at all that they are not able to think about things as deeply as you do.

    I would ask him why he believes it is false? If he is just making an assertion, then we all might as well make as many assertions as we want. You yourself don't believe that beliefs need to be justified (at least this is what you have said before), and based on that reasoning there is really no place for us to question the beliefs of the unbeliever, even if they are false. Unless you look at the justification behind every assertion, you will never be able to discern between which ones are correct and which ones are wrong. Perhaps you might try to just follow your intuition, or what 'feels right', but even then you are inadvertently looking at (and rejecting) the justification of what you consider to be wrong beliefs.

    Yeah, but I don't know what those things are. It is not like we go into a debate already knowing which statements that we make are going to be wrong, lol. I don't doubt that people 'adhere' in their hearts to what scripture teaches. But that is different from being able to correctly interpret ALL of scripture. Remember, Arminians and some Roman Catholics would argue that their worldview is founded upon Christ and scripture, but that doesn't mean that they interpret things correctly. The weakness and limitation is with them (and their assumptions), not with scripture.

    Oh I don't doubt that it is very convenient. What I would do though is simply take you a step further. It's the only way to proceed because it is how God decreed things to be. The law itself was never a necessary thing. What WAS necessary was the law-maker.

    It simply seems that you have been arguing for empiricism. It simply seems that you believe that all knowledge is derived from sense experience. I myself don't doubt the usefulness of empirical sense, but it itself is merely a tool that God has provided. It exists only as part of God's decree. Only by presupposing God can you account for the purpose and origin of what we call empirical sense.

    Sufficient according to whom? Who decides what is sufficient warrant?

    How has he transgressed the bounds of sense? Why have you bounded sense in this way?

    But only God is the necessary being that must be the case in all possible worlds. The things that you believe 'just are', I believe 'are because of God'.

    You have proven my point perfectly. Those 'necessary' truths that you defend are dependent upon God. Only He is necessary.

    Not necessarily, because you would still have to show me that your method (presenting moon rocks to me) was a more consistent and accurate method than me relying on my father's teachings.

    It is only justified in your mind, but it was never really justified. In YOUR opinion you are justified, but in someone else's opinion you are not justified. Who is right, and why do you believe them to be right? You see, you are unwilling to accept the fact that you live in the matrix, just like an unbeliever is unwilling to accept the fact that they live in sin. You just keep denying a simple truth. You don't think that there is any reason to believe that you are in the matrix. In your mind your belief is justified, yet you are still wrong.

    And I never once said that I am always right. Where did you get that idea? I also never said my reasoning process is infallible. Again, where did you get this idea? I completely agree it is all by the work of Christ. Have I declared anything other than this? I fear that you simply have misunderstood and misrepresented my position.

    I wholeheartedly would agree with you in this. And so you can have true knowledge without having exhaustive knowledge. I truly applaud your confession of faith (which I share with you word for word). Furthermore, only by recognizing God, and interpreting His universe as He has made it can we make sense of the world. With our new eyes we see the error of our old ways, and we recognize the truth that was always in front of us, always known by us in a spiritual sense, but against which we used to resist. Our resistance has always led us away from God, which can only lead to death, destruction, and chaos. Only in Christ can we have a proper, correct, and consistent worldview.

    ---------- Post added at 09:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:18 PM ----------

    I would slightly disagree with this terminology. I agree that man suppresses the sense of the divine within him, and this does indeed often play out in the rational mind of man. But the way you worded your statement is to suggest that every time a person sins, he is consciously thinking about how he enjoys rebelling against God, and how much he hates God. I would have to argue against this conception of the sinful nature. Remember, man from the moment he was conceived was sinful. It is in a spiritual sense 'muscle memory' to rebel against God. Many people sin against God without rationally (in their conscious mind) knowing that they are doing anything wrong. Keep in mind though that I am NOT suggesting that they are not held accountable. I believe there are different ways that a man can 'know' things, such as a spiritual knowledge and an earthly knowledge. And even amongst earthly/physical knowledge we do indeed have conscious and subconscious (muscle memory) knowledge.

    In other words, the rebellion of man is ultimately SPIRITUAL, with rational (and physical) ramifications.
  3. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    I agree in light of James Anderson's comments below. Yet, the person in question, is the philosopher that responds: "I don't need to give an account for the laws of logic." Keep in perspective what this entire discussion is about - Q: How would the unbeliever justify the laws of logic? A: by questioning the need to provide a justification. The only way one can respond this way is if they are presupposing the existentence of warranted beliefs. This belief is either arbitrary, or it is because he has warrant for properly basic beliefs. In this defense, then, he is conscously affirming a position of proper function as his grounds for not giving justification.

    Either this proper function has a workable definition for trusting your cognitive faculties, or it does't; if it doesn't, then it becomes irrational or at least meaningless; if it does, he would have to affirm a definition that defeats his worldview.

    Yet, in follow up, the point of epistemological arguments is to make one conscious, and once they are conscious, there is no turning back. Secondly, as Plantinga points out, you only need to be agnostic towards theism for this defeater to be present, let alone postivively affirming non-theism. Thirdly, it is my contention that being a rational being causes at least some conscious defeaters necessarily, which are then suppressed. You cannot live in God's world without defeaters. I grant that there is a tension between a person knowing and yet not knowing at the same time, and it is hard to express.

    Plantinga's Argument from Proper Function is also clearly transcendental (as formulated by Anderson):

    So, in conclusion, my position is that TAG arguments, similar to Plantinga's above, are used to cause epistemological self-consciousness. An appeal to epistemic level confusion (as Anderson discusses), isn't necessarily relevant. Secondly, Plantinga's transcendental type argument from proper function does show that knowledge is impossible without given preconditions. Third, since all know God, they have at least one defeater at all times in one fashion or another -- and if Plantinga is right, you cannot have knowledge given the presence of a defeater: 1) by the definition of proper function, you would not be functioning properly; 2) you could not believe any belief "enough" in light of a defeater to constitute knowledge.
  4. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    So appealing to the Bible is now fallacious? After all, an appeal to Scripture is an appeal to authority.

    And if I lived back then I would have to prove it. The things that you have to prove differ from generation to generation---is that so terrible or unreasonable?

    Because that's the point in question.

    Sure I can: I point out that "uncaused effect" is a contradiction in terms. The other reason why it is lunacy is that fact that I take cause and effect as givens and have no reason to think that drawing this connection is not a dictate of reason. The trouble with Hume is that he has elevated certain faculties above others for no compelling reason.

    I think it's hard to talk about the subconscious without falling into bare assertion.

    Because there may be more than the two options you listed available.

    Eric, you and I agree on the authority of Scripture, yet somehow we've come to differing conclusions regarding basic belief-formation and whether coherence is an indicator of truth.

    Where have I said this? When did I make this categorical statement? I oppose reductionism of all kinds, whether it's Hume, Locke, Descartes, Marx, or Freud.

    In this case, we look at the kinds of claims that in ordinary parlance would be considered rational knowledge-claims and proceed from there. If we want to answer this question, we have to proceed descriptively by looking at ordinary usage, not a top-down approach.

    The term "universe" implies that this is only one.

    First, the laws of logic et al don't exist. They must be true, but they don't exist---we're not Platonists here. However, Platonism is a live option for the unbeliever.

    However, you seem to be missing the move I'm making: can God create a spherical cube in three dimensions? Why not?

    Which would mean that the laws of logic aren't just dependent on Him: they are part of His nature.

    That wouldn't be my method for proof though. Of course you'd say those weren't real moon rocks. So we would get out a large telescope and look to see if the moon looks as if it's made of cheese. Or we'll go talk to someone who walked on the moon. Or we may even (if we have gobs of money) go up in a spaceship to see for ourselves.

    Please, then, show me a good reason to believe such. If you can get me outside of the matrix, then I have good reason. Remember how Morpheus proves to Neo that he's in the matrix: he shows him. Please, show me.

    Here again, Eric, you're using a term that is purely subjective. To make sense of something is not to rightly interpret something. Unbelievers do make sense of the world---they just do it wrongly.

    Let's take an example: let's say that language A and language B have the exact same words such that all nouns in A are nouns in B, verbs in A are verbs in B, etc. However, no word in A means the same thing as in B. So "rabbit" means one thing in A while it means something entirely different in B. Now, an A-speaker and a B-speaker read the same passage and each makes sense of it differently. Further, the passage was written by an A-speaker. Now how is the A-speaker supposed to convince the B-speaker that he is right (assuming that they are communicating in language B)?

    Not exactly. The answer here is, "why does he have to?" The answer is, in fact, a higher-order question.

    Not necessarily. Again, his belief may be non-arbitrary under this model regardless of whether he is even aware of the model. The model works independently of one's belief in it. He's not necessarily going to be appealing to a proper-functionalist model.

    Depends on whether the defeater in fact defeats anything. The matrix example, for instance, is not a defeater because it presupposes that the burden of proof is not on the skeptic. In order for it to be a defeater, I would have to have a good reason to think a) that I am actually in the matrix b) that there are no criteria by which I can judge between matrix and non-matrix.

    A similar example is that of Cobb's top in Inception. If the top continually spins, he knows he's in a lucid dream. If it wobbles and falls over, he's in the real world.

    When Plantinga thinks of a defeater, he's thinking of things like Gettier cases where one has gone through a proper reasoning process and the belief is, in fact, true, but something was the case (unknown to the believer) that caused the process to be suspect. For instance: say I see Smith driving a blue station wagon and so I form the belief "Smith owns a blue station wagon." However, while Smith does, in fact, own a blue station wagon, that morning, the blue station wagon he was driving was, in fact, borrowed from someone else. So here I've formed a belief on a rational basis, and this belief is true.

    The question here, though, is about knowledge-claims. In this case, I could rationally claim to know that Smith owns a blue station wagon.
  5. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    I am skeptical that pink unicorns exist, the burden of proof is not on me just because I am skeptical of something. The bruden of proof lies on the one that does not have good reason for what appears to be common sense, and common sense could be an act of skepticism. The burden of proof is on you to show why rejecting the existence of God doesn't result in a defeater for knowledge. Plantinga's arguments show that it does.

    Only because your worldview is true, and from your perspective. You can say X is warranted in believing Y because "you" have a viable definition of proper function (regardless if they understand the model). That is irrelevant to the question being asked though, which asks, based on thier worldview do they have a viable reason to believe in knowledge? They don't. And, as I mentioned, I am talking about apologetics -- the act of causing epistemological self-consciousness in a rational discourse. If they didn't have a defeater before, which I deny, they have it now (or you would have to show that Plantinga's argument from proper function is not valid or sound).

    You are denying the necessity of "If Knowledge, then God." If someone doesn't draw this necessary connection it means their cognitive faculties are not properly functioning. Doesn't the bible support this premise? Do unregenerate persons have properly functioning faculties (keeping in mind that this involves the propositional inputs that defeat one's system).

    That was a quote from how you answered. Nonetheless, the answer to why is because he has a defeater.
  6. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    But you have a good reason: pink unicorns are a highly implausible entity.

    The fact that you had to have an argument for the premise that it would shows that you do have a burden of proof. Plantinga's argument merely shows that naturalism is false. Not all atheists are naturalists and not all theists are believers.

    If you frame the debate this way, then no one can be sure of having properly-functioning faculties. I would say that the unregenerate have most of their faculties functioning properly---just not the sensus Divinitatus.

    Correct. There are several inductive steps involved in the argument that have to be established. Therefore it's not a logically necessary connection. It is the case that God is the de facto precondition for knowledge, but that's independent of the argument being made here.
  7. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    Plantinga defines the term naturalism generically in the lectures where I have heard him explain it; I think it would include all atheists and agnostics. Someone that doesn't believe in the supernatural.

    What are the inductive steps to presupposing God?

    What do I have the burden of proof to show?

    In what way is this independent? What is the argument being made?
  8. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Some atheists and agnostics are not naturalists by this definition. There are atheistic Buddhists.

    I meant in the argument you just gave. Presuppositions are assumed, not argued.

    For example: "some humans have knowledge" is inductive. You cannot deduce this from indisputable premises.

    That the non-existence of God presents a defeater for knowledge.

    That God is a de jure precondition for knowledge.
  9. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    If God did not exist, would we have knowledge?
  10. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    No---I accept this by special revelation.
  11. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    Can one consistently, or logically, affirm metaphysical naturalism and also claim to have epistemic warrant.
  12. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Do they logically contradict one another?

    a) Nature is the cause of everything (blind watchmaker)
    b) Warranted beliefs are possible
  13. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    If I told a non-Christian that God's word teaches this, would his rejection of this truth result in a reductio defeater for knoweldge?
  14. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    No. He doesn't accept God's Word as authoritative.
  15. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    I think they do, but I guess I was just asking why you would disagree. Warrant presupposes telelogical normativity and design; the blind watchmaker excludes it.
  16. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    Why does acceptance matter? There are lots of things that people may not accept that are equally rationally justifiable defeaters.
  17. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Because you're appealing to his reason. You never do apologetics in a vacuum. You've put all of your rhetorical force into logos to the exclusion of ethos and pathos, which are equally important.

    No it doesn't. It just provides an inadequate account of it. There's a difference between failure to account and contradiction.

    But in the case of the unbeliever, he has no warrant for believing in God---he's in rebellion against God, which has damaged his sensus Divinitatus such that appeal to it no longer produces proper function.
  18. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    This is an irrelevant thesis to the fact of the question.

    The blind watchmaking is the account and it cannot be true at the same time as the telelogical account. They are contradictory accounts for knowledge. You would need to provide an actual reason for what you are claiming.

    1. Cognitive faculties were developed by blind watchmaking (as required by metaphysical naturalism)
    2. Cognitive faculties were not developed by blind watchmaking (as required by warrant)

    The unbeliever is without excuse.
  19. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Where does the contradiction lie, exactly?

    Have I disputed this? He is both unwarranted and without excuse---he needs the grace of God. It's back to inability and responsibility, yet again.
  20. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    Affirming that both A an not-A are true.

    ---------- Post added at 04:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:33 PM ----------

    If he is without excuse, and knows God, then his "lack of acceptance" of God's word as an authority does not negate that he creates a reductio defeater for knowledge.

    Cain did not accept the word of God as authoritative in regards to proper sacrifice. Because he was unregenerate, and didn't accept it, did that mean he was warranted in believing that his sacrifice "would be accepted" according to his own standards? No it doesn't. He had a proper defeater for his false belief and was irrational to ignore it. And, likewise, the word of God today is just as self-evidently true and authoritative.
  21. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Can you spell it out for me, then? I must be missing where logic and blind watchmaking come into conflict.

    The point is that he doesn't know God---not as Christians know God, certainly. He used to know God, but no longer because of the fall. He is culpable for this lack of knowledge, but it is still a lack of knowledge.

    No---his faculties were not functioning properly. However, he was rational in claiming warrant given that he did not know that his faculties were not functioning properly.

    To the one who is regenerate. Not to the unregenerate.
  22. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    Can't really make it any more clear, and you seemed to already affirm this in our prior discussion about plantinga's argument. But, that's okay.

    Sorry, the nature of the word of God is not contingent upon man.
  23. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    But the perception of it is. And one cannot be warranted in that which one does not perceive.

    If someone presents me with an argument and I just don't find it compelling, am I being unreasonable in rejecting it, even if I don't bother to come up with a counter-argument?

    ---------- Post added at 09:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:03 PM ----------

    I affirmed it with regard to evolutionary processes of a darwinian nature when combined with naturalism.
  24. Loopie

    Loopie Puritan Board Freshman

    In the context of our discussion you were referring to scientists. Appealing to authority is fallacious ONLY if the authority is not infallible. The word of God is perfect and infallible, and for that reason is a proper authority. I never said that appeal to authority is ALWAYS fallacious, but in the context of what you were saying, it was (because you were certainly not referring to scripture).

    Not at all. But it just goes to show that common-sense isn't really so common, and it certainly doesn't always fit with reality. Perhaps your necessary principles are common and fit with reality, but they only do so on account of God. He is their foundation, and in fact HE is the necessary one, for the principles would not be what they are without him.

    It just proves my point. The unbeliever also believes in a court of inquiry, which is generally a conglomeration of society and himself. Ultimately though he makes himself out to be judge of what is true or false, right or wrong. Yet we can see that this worldview logically degenerates into inconsistency, chaos, and arbitrariness. God, as a necessary being, is the only true court of inquiry, and he must necessarily exist.

    That's fine, I will just use the term 'event' rather than 'effect'. Perhaps there was an uncaused event such as the big bang. You take cause and effect as givens only because it is convenient to do so, and because God has designed the universe to work that way. Of course, you don't recognize that God is necessary behind all of it, and to argue otherwise is to degenerate into chaos, and arbitrariness. By the way, from studying Hume it does not seem that he has elevated certain faculties above others. I could be wrong, but he certainly allowed for the importance of feeling and emotion. Obviously since he wasn't a Christian he would not truly allow for spiritual faculties (at least not as the Bible describes them). All of these faculties have been affected by sin, there is no doubt. And each of these faculties rebels against God. It is certainly true that presuppositional apologetics primarily focuses on sin's affects on the mind and rationality. This does not mean it is useless in the realm of dealing with sin's affect on the emotions and affections. A person, in exercising their will, is always using a combination of reasoning and affection. No one is PURELY logical, and no one is PURELY emotional.

    Seems to be common sense to me. Everyone does things by muscle memory, and it seems the vast majority of mankind assert in some time of learned habit that could be viewed as subconscious. Seems like there is plenty of evidence to suggest that the subconscious 'just is'. You yourself cannot deny that you have often done things without really thinking about them. Or do you consciously make an effort with every thought and action that you take every second of your life?

    Such as? And one what basis can he say that there may be more than two options? Is this a bare assertion that he is making?

    Well I do not doubt that a person might BELIEVE that something is coherent. Yet the sinner looks at the universe and makes it fit his own assumtions about himself and his relationship to God. I do not think that simply because something is coherent means that it is true. Nor do I think that truth is always coherence. Man's coherance of the universe is very much fixed upon his will and his status before God. As a rebel he will continually try to make the universe coherent to him based upon what he assumes is his standing/relationship to the universe (he refuses to admit that he is God's creature, made in His image). He attempts to avoid inconsistency and contradiction in his understanding and interpretation of the universe, but he cannot because he has separated himself from God. Though believers constantly point out the inconsistencies of his worldview, and the error of his ways, he refuses to see them, and will only see the truth after God removes his heart of stone and gives him a heart of flesh. I hope perhaps now you better understand my position.

    That is good.

    Ordinary parlance? So you mean what the majority decides/how the majority functions? That is to be considered 'ordinary', right? Seems to be an Ad Populum argument.
    Well, simply call it something else. You certainly can't deny that there are very well-learned men who advocated the existence of either an infinite/eternal universe or multiple-universes.

    And you know as well as I do that in our discussions we always used the term 'existence' with regard to laws in a sense different from material things. Obviously I know that they don't exist in the sense that this table exists. You are trying to bring up issues between the words that you and I have used that have not been issues in all of our previous discussions. Why the change now? As for the laws of logic, they are still only true because God decreed them to be true, and formed the universe in that way. He is still necessary, and they are not.

    Because you have misunderstood omnipotence (I am assuming that you are referring to this characteristic of God). Omnipotence is defined as 'all-powerful'. The problem is that people try to separate this from God's will. Jonathan Edwards speaks on this in his book Freedom of the Will. To be all powerful means that you are always able to accomplish your will. Nothing hinders God's will. What he wills, he accomplishes. In this sense he is all-powerful. So when you ask a silly question such as: "can God create a spherical cube in three dimensions?", this ignores the question of God's will. When we ask if a person 'can' do something, we assume already that they would be willing to do. In other words, we are saying: "given that this person was willing to do X, could they do it?". If we ignore God's will, we can ask other silly questions such as: "can God destroy himself?", "can God lie?", "can God sin?". So we see, one cannot separate a person's 'ability' to do something from their 'will' to either do it or not do it. God is not 'all-willing'. He has a specific will, and his will is ALWAYS accomplished. In that sense he is all-powerful.

    In a sense, but then again we cannot speculate on how God 'thinks'. Is his thinking linear in the way that we think? Our logic is linear. I cannot imagine how an eternal, omnipotent, and omniscient being 'reasons' or 'thinks', and how that would relate to the 'laws of logic'. And for that reason I will not speculate. I wholeheartedly agree that God is logical, and the source of logic, but I do not think a person can simply assert that the laws of logic are necessary truths while refusing to assert that God is necessary. You yourself have just said that the 'laws of logic are part of his nature'. So to talk of the laws of logic without reference to God is to separate his nature from himself. For that reason, any discussion of the necessity of the laws of logic must include the necessity of God at the back of everything, which is what I have been trying to do.

    Please show me good reason NOT to believe such? Can you truly SHOW a non-believer that they are in sin? Or does it not require a divine act by God to cause that unbeliever to see the truth? What I am trying to show here is that all assertions must be justified, or everything becomes arbitrary. If you refuse to justify your belief that we live in the real world, while I refuse to justify the belief that we live in the matrix, then we will just sit and stare at each other all day.

    I completely agree with you. To them it 'makes sense'. But even so, since their interpretation does not line up with God's (and God is logical), then therefore they (in some way) have deviated from logic. Their interpretation results in contradiction, inconsistency, chaose, and arbitrariness. This is not always easy to show, but it is demonstrable. Please keep in mind that even though I say the word 'demonstrable', I do not mean it to say that it is guaranteed to change their mind. Their mind is a tool of their will, and their will is enslaved to sin. Nothing, no matter how 'demonstrable', will ever change a person's mind so long as they are unwilling to change it.

    By appealing to what the words refer to, creation. It is true that the A-speaker knows how the passage relates to the world, and the B-speaker thinks that it refers to something else. Of course, as soon as a 'noun' (such as an animal) comes into view, the stalemate is broken, and a bridge is made. A-speaker sees an object (whether an animal or not), points to it, and speaks a word. This word means something completely different to B-speaker, but he then comes to realize that they use different nouns to refer to the same thing. And from there they translate. In fact, they don't even need an external object. They can point to their own body parts if they wish, and begin from there.

    I am not sure what exactly you are trying to get at here. If you are suggesting that unbelievers are A-speakers and believers are B-speakers, I would raise contention against that. Both unbelievers and believers speak the same language because they are all made in the image of God, live in God's universe, and act under God's laws. They see the same words, and each knows what they mean (deep down, in a spiritual sense), but the unbeliever refuses to acknowledge the author. To him those words are not God's language, nor did they originate with him. They are products of chance, in a universe that runs on chance and randomness. The believer knows otherwise.
  25. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    What can be known about God is plain to them. God's invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly they are without excuse. For although they knew God...

    They became futile and they became fools.

    There is a transition in the "becoming" that can only be the case if one perceived what was the case and chooses to ignor what they "know."

    Your analogy appears to be that a blind person does not have a defeater for his lack of belief that tree X exists, because he doesn't have proper function in the area of sight. True enough, but this analogy is inconsistent with scripture in relation to man's perception of revelation from God. Man is without excuse, according to scripture, because he perceives it and knows it, and yet still rejects it. If he could not perceive it, as you say, then why is he without excuse scripturally.

    ---------- Post added at 07:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:28 AM ----------

  26. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Eric, is emotion unreasonable, necessarily? It seems to me that Hume is arguing that emotion is inherently irrational, whereas I don't think it is. One cannot reason unless one is affected in such a way as to do so. Reason is not the slave of the passions, as Hume claims, but neither are passions supposed to be the slave of reason.

    On the basis that there may well be. Just because one cannot think of a third option does not mean there isn't one. The burden would lie on you to show that these are the only two possible options.

    Not really. When examining terms like "knowledge" we have to account for its ordinary usage as valid. Philosophy is not supposed to improve ordinary language. This is another problem I have with Hume: he's an elitist. Think of it this way: would your use of the word make sense to one of your relatives who hasn't studied philosophy.

    As an example, I recently came across a thinker who claimed that there can't be philosophical theories because theories have to be testable. My critique is that this just doesn't reflect the way we use the word: for example, how would you test music theory? Political theory? Even in science, multiverse and string theories are untestable in principle.

    Ok---they are in violation of Occam's Razor and there's no evidence for it, therefore I have no reason to accept their hypothesis.

    Could God have created spherical cubes in three dimensions, then? Your explanation only sidesteps the question. Could God will the creation of spherical cubes? Can God contradict Himself or His will? If the answer to this last question is "no" then it seems that at least the law of non-contradiction is contained in the Divine Nature.

    That would be an exercise in futility since such a position is an example of Russell's teapot. Let's say that I claim that I've seen a teapot in the asteroid belt through my telescope. And so you point the telescope toward the spot and see nothing. Then I claim "it must have moved." Basically I have a position that can account for everything despite the fact that it is wildly implausible. What you haven't done in the case of the Matrix is to get past my initial plausibility threshold.

    No he doesn't because he doesn't know the context. W.V.O. Quine has called this the "indeterminacy of translation." Say I'm trying to learn a tribal language and am with a tribesman and we see a rabbit cross the path and he says "Gavagai." Now he might very well mean "rabbit," but he might just as well have meant "food," "animal crossing the path," "sacrifice," or even "thing that we worship."

    Except that the unbeliever has, in essence, created his own language.

    What if the man blinded himself?

    Because his lack of ability to perceive is his own fault. As C.S. Lewis said, "the trouble with trying to make yourself sillier is that you generally succeed."
  27. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    I was looking for a scriptural answer. Asserting the opposite of what scripture says doesn't seem to work in my opinion.

    ---------- Post added at 11:25 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:24 AM ----------

    You're equivicating on the notions of perception and suppression. He hasn't blinded himself as you are implying.
  28. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    Sure he has, otherwise he wouldn't be able to deny the existence of God. His ignorance of God is culpable. Paul even calls this state ignorance in Acts 17 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. What is stated in Romans 1 is that this ignorance is willful and the result of man's rebellion.

    I'm not trying to assert the opposite of Scriptural teaching, but to understand Scripture in light of Scripture.
  29. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    What I am saying is that you are not differentiating, within this text itself, its notions of suppression and perception. The suppression is the act of "blinding," which is how they can deny God's existence; but, you are using the notion of blinding to say that they do not also perceive...the text explicitly says that they do.

    Secondly, suppression is not a one-time act. God's wrath is (presently and continually) being revealed against ungodliness...the ungodliness of continual suppression of truth. To continually suppress the truth you must continually perceive the truth, otherwise there would be no need to engage in the act of suppression. A blind person cannot suppress a belief in a given tree if he doesn’t first perceive it and have reason to believe its there.

    Thirdly, take a man that starts out life unregenerate. For Romans 1 to make any sense, you would have to agree that an unregenerate man can perceive and know God, and then suppress it. However, the correlation you are making is that fallen man, as unregenerate, cannot perceive the truth because he is already broken, unregenerate, which makes the passage senseless.

    Which is it? Does unregenerate man start out blind, or does unregenerate man start out seeing and cause his blindness? If the former, then “blind” men still have perception of god’s revelation (per Romans 1); if the latter, then you would have to say unregenerate men go through stages of degeneracy (but, the right answer is that they go through stages of suppression, in my opinion).
  30. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    It says that they did.

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