Bahnsen and TAG

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

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  1. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    Actually, the word for perception, kathoratai, functions as the main verb of Romans 1:20, and it is in the present tense. Literally, it is "are being perceived," or "are discerned clearly." The english perfect tense rendering of the ESV is still consistent with this, and you cannot get "did" out of it (also see the AV).

    In the translation below, "being understood" is also in the present tense.

    "Because that which is known of God is plainly evident in them, for God made it clear to them; for the things which are invisible of Him since the creation of the universe are clearly seen [perceived], being understood by means of the things that are made, namely, His eternal power and divinity, resulting in their being without a defense."
  2. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.


    Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    This darkening of the heart I take to mean a deadening of the faculties to the things of God. The present tense in the previous verse refers to what is capable of being known through general revelation given proper function. The problem is that man has darkened his own heart and therefore proper function is no longer present.
  3. Hilasmos

    Hilasmos Puritan Board Freshman

    This is an impossible insertion into the passage if you read carefully starting in v.18, in my opinion; it makes unregenerate man the definition of proper spiritual function. Or, you would have to suggest that the only persons this passage has in view are Adam and Eve.

    1. Unregenerate man has properly functioning spiritual faculties and therefore can perceive God’s plain revelation so that he can then suppress it
    2. After suppression, unregenerate man no longer has properly functioning spiritual faculties (like he did before) and can no longer perceive

    Further, after they become futile, their sin continues and gets worse. While in this state they do not “see fit to acknowledge God” v.28. Not “seeing fit to acknowledge” presupposes a choice to continue to suppress that which they “know” (this would make no sense otherwise)

    That just doesn’t work. You have to realize that the “it is plain to them” (v.19) is talking about spiritually dead sinners, or posit why it is referencing Adam before the fall.

    Secondly, Romans 2:15 speaks to the same issue. Unregenerate man has “conflicting thoughts” because he both perceives and knows the revelatory moral will of God, and yet wants to follow his own will. There would be no “conflicting thoughts” if fallen man did not perceive the moral law God has revealed.

    But, I will say no more and just leave it to your own reflection.
  4. Loopie

    Loopie Puritan Board Freshman

    I very much agree with you. And in fact, it is impossible to make reason the slave of passions, or passions the slave of reason. Man's will always includes both passions and reason. To put it all in simpler terms, a man is said to act solely upon his 'passions' when he acts in order to satisfy the 'now' or the 'immediate'. He 'feels' a certain way, and acts immediately in order to satisfy that feeling as soon as possible, regardless of the consequences. On the other hand, a person is said to act 'reasonably' or 'logically' when they patiently refrain from satisfying immediate cravings in order to ensure that they do things 'properly', or rather, they focus on the long term rather than the short term. Passions are not in themselves evil, and neither is reason. Both are enslaved to sin, and are tools of a sinful nature.

    Why is there a burden? Could I not simply say that 'it just is'? This burden placed upon me is artificial, and not something I recognize.

    Ok, but the very term 'ordinary use' suggests that it is based on how humans, in general, use it. This is a very subtle Ad Populum argument. For if a particular use of a term was rare, it would not longer be considered 'ordinary'. I agree that Hume is an elitist. I don't like the man, and I don't think he is right. The only thing that I think he is useful for is showing how the unbeliever cannot account for anything. The unbeliever must simply assume that things 'just are', and call it a day. God is staring him right in the face, but he would rather throw up his hands and say 'it just is' rather than acknowledge God as he ought.

    As for my relatives, are you talking about the word 'knowledge'? Well, if I suspected that a word would not make sense to my relatives, I would clarify it with them so that we are on the same page. To talk about a sensitive/deep/difficult subject while assuming that everyone uses the same meaning of a word that you do is plainly silly and arrogant. One must make it very clear what one is talking about, even to one's relatives.

    As for Philosophy 'improving' ordinary language, I think it should rather seek to clarify it rather than improve it. Common street jargon is often very fluid, has multiple meanings, and usually has a different meaning every year. Words are created that used to never be words. Other words mean completely different things. Sometimes this is the result of simple laziness or lack of education, other times it is a cultural thing. We should ALWAYS seeks to be clear and precise in how we use terms. For this reason Philosophy, rather than improving ordinary language, should seek to encourage people to be more clear about what they are saying. We should become aware that certain words have a wide range of meanings, and so we must be clear when we enter into a serious discussion with another person.

    I agree. We can't test historical theory either. What happened in the past cannot be reproduced. I completely agree with your critique of this thinker you came across. One could even say that our 'theory of creation' or 'theory of God' is untestable. To demand that everything be testable is to demand utter silliness.

    Ok, but a person might ask you to justify your belief in Occam's Razor. Why is Occam's Razor correct? Don't you see how important it is to justify your position? You first justified your position by appealing to Occam's Razor. Now you need to justify your appeal to Occam's Razor.

    I have already covered this in my section on omnipotence and God's will. I ask that you read it again. Any discussion of God's 'ability' to do something must include his 'will' to do it or not. I believe that God is good, has a perfect will, and is perfectly consistent and logical. I agree with you that the law of non-contradiction is a way to describe a part of God's nature, and how God has reflected or revealed that nature in the universe. But this just proves my point. One cannot speak of this 'law of non-contradiction' as a necessary truth without simultaneously declaring that it is God who is necessary. To speak of 'necessary' truths without reference to God is to attempt to separate a part of God's nature from himself.

    But how do you define plausibility? Wildly implausible according to who?

    Well, it seems then that you didn't offer a very good scenario. You never said that the persons cannot read each other's body language, or point to external objects. You yourself should know that only about 10% of communication is the words themselves, while the rest is body language and tone (and perhaps some other things). You failed to address my answer to your scenario. Why can't a person point to his thumb and speak one word? Then the other person, seeing the reference to the thumb, speaks a different word. Now they realize that they are talking about the same thing but using different words. As an example I would refer to the movie Dances With Wolves, where the union soldier is able to bridge the gap between him and the Indian by comparing each other's word for 'buffalo'.

    I disagree. The language is the same, but the unbeliever refuses to acknowledge what it is saying (or even who the author is). It is exactly like when both a believer and unbeliever read the Bible. The believer reads God's judgments in the Old Testament and sees a demonstration of God's justice and wrath, for his glorification. An unbeliever sees God as a mass-murderer and wicked being that finds pleasure in committing atrocity. Both have read the same words, and know what events/actions they describe. Yet one of them recognizes God as the final authority on what is right and wrong, true or false. The other takes this authority upon himself and then turns and judges God.
  5. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    I can't address everything here, but here's a couple of things.

    Actually, I don't. I don't, as you say, "believe" in Occam's razor. Instead I use it as a methodological tool. Methodological principles are not the kind of things, it seems to me, that could be justified in the way that beliefs could.

    Sane people?

    Corrrect, but to make this move is to appeal to the ordinary uses of the word. To a large degree, meaning is determined by use: this is why we update our dictionaries every so often.

    But in this case it's valid because we're talking about something that is created through use.
  6. Loopie

    Loopie Puritan Board Freshman

    Certainly they could be justified. Why do you use that particular methodological principle? Why not a different principle?

    Definition of 'sane' please. Is sane determined by the vast majority of how people think and function? Is it Ad Populum?

    Well, you certainly can appeal to ordinary uses of the word, but you need to clarify yourself if you are speaking to someone that doesn't use the word in the way that you do. I agree that meaning is determine by use, but this doesn't mean that you can simply use a word however way you want without clarifying it (and expect the other person to know what you are talking about).

    Only through use of SOME people. Again, if you go to England and use some 'American' words, you will get some confused look on the people's faces. You are now no longer using a word per its 'ordinary' use in England, though this may be its 'ordinary' use in America. So again, ordinary depends upon a majority use of the term in a particular area. Ordinary is purely subjective, so the best thing to do is to 'be clear' about what you are saying.
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