Wednesday, March 30, 2011

1 Samuel 5-7 God's Road Trip

1 Samuel 5-7

The LORD spends a few days with the Phillies but it doesn't go well.
Golden mice and hemorrhoids?!?!  Is there another meaning for this that I'm not getting?

God doesn't really punish the Philistines for kidnapping him (other then the 'roids) but he immediately kills over 50,000 of Israelites when they look into the ark.

Even so, he takes credit for defeating the Philistines and keeping them out for a bit.
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78 comments:

  1. Yes...there is meaning that you are not getting. Unfortunately, it would take some sustained effort to get at it. Something the current generation lacks.

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  2. Several translations use the word 'tumors', but when I first looked up emerods the definition was hemorrhoids also. Somehow, I don't think 5 golden tumors would be much more attractive than 5 golden 'roids in terms of repayment.

    The people seemed so happy that the ark was back! Of course, with this god, any excuse to smite a few thousand folks is a good excuse to smite a few thousand folks.

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  3. @ Murf: well don't just leave us hanging!
    I looked up a number of interpretations of the mice and 'roids.. One source suggested that it may have actually been bubonic plague which causes nasty boils or buboes in your "secret parts" and that sending the gold versions was a magical way of getting rid of them. Perhaps they were also magically infected and the bubonic plague killed 50,000 Isrealites.

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  4. My translation uses tumors. And I know that if *I* was an angry god, nothing would appease me more than golden tumors. They look so nice on the mantelpiece.

    @Murf - I'm with momofatheists. What are we not getting?

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  5. @Murf,
    Please share. The insight from commenters is the best part of this blog!

    @MoA,
    The plague idea is intriguing but the connection between rodents and the disease wouldn't be made until two thousand years later.

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  6. @Bruce; yes I know that I was just quoting some guy on the internet. although who knows what all was lost with the coming of the Dark ages. After all the medicine of the east was far superior to the west 2,000 years ago. Maybe in a little dark corner of the library of Alexandria there was a notion that rats seemed to be plentiful in areas with disease. One never knows!

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  7. The thing is, two stories are being juxtaposed, one which uses the word "tumor", and one which uses the word "haemorrhoids":


    A larger contradiction becomes apparent: here, the tumors are said to have plagued all five cities. In chapter 5, only three are mentioned. But that’s not the BIG contradiction. I wanted to see if both chapters used the same word for “rat” and I was astounded to find out that the mention of “rats” in chapter 5 is present only in the early Greek (Septuagint) and Latin (Vulgate) translations. It was apparently added to the text to harmonize the two chapters! Originally, and still in the Hebrew, chapter 5 made no mentions of rats!

    Something strange happens at v. 11: the word for “tumors” (עפלים) changes to “hemorrhoids” (טחריהם). But! All previous mentions of “tumors” had an interesting quirk. Basically, the Masoretic text has instructions to read “hemorrhoids” instead of the written “tumors”. This is called Qere and Ketiv, the spoken and the written. I did not know this was used to “fix” textual difficulties like this. Very interesting.

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  8. @Bruce,

    I know i'm late,
    "Is there another meaning for this that I'm not getting?"

    (MHC)
    The Philistines' triumph over the ark, which they were the more pleased, the more proud, to be now masters of, because before the battle they were possessed with a great fear of it, 4:7. When they had it in their hands God restrained them, that they did not offer any violence to it, did not break it to pieces, as the Israelites were ordered to do by the idols of the heathen, but showed some respect to it, and carefully carried it to a place of safety. Whether their curiosity led them to open it, and to read what was written with the finger of God on the two tables of stone that were in it, we are not told; perhaps they looked no further than the golden outside and the cherubim that covered it, like children that are more affected with the fine binding of their bibles than with the precious matter contained in them. They carried it to Ashdod, one of their five cities, and that in which Dagon's temple was; there they placed the ark of God, by Dagon ( 2), either 1. As a sacred thing, which they designed to pay some religious respect to, in conjunction with Dagon; for the gods of the heathen were never looked upon as averse to partners. Though the nations would not change their gods, yet they would multiply them and add to them. But they were mistaken in the God of Israel when, in putting his ark by Dagon's image, they intended to do him honour; for he is not worshipped at all if he is not worshipped alone. The Lord our God is one Lord. Or rather, 2. They placed it there as a trophy of victory, in honour of Dagon their god, to whom no doubt they intended to offer a great sacrifice, as they had done when they had taken Samson (Judg 16:23, 24), boasting that as then they had triumphed over Israel's champion so now over Israel's God. What a reproach was this to God's great name! what a disgrace to the throne of his glory! Shall the ark, the symbol of God's presence, be a prisoner to Dagon, a dunghill deity? (1.) So it is, because God will show of how little account the ark of the covenant is if the covenant itself be broken and neglected; even sacred signs are not things that either he is tied to or we can trust to. (2.) So it is for a time, that God may have so much the more glory, in reckoning with those that thus affront him, and get him honour upon them. Having punished Israel, that betrayed the ark, by giving it into the hands of the Philistines, he will next deal with those that abused it, and will fetch it out of their hands again.
    II. The ark's triumph over Dagon. Once and again Dagon was made to fall before it. If they designed to do honour to the ark, God thereby showed that he valued not their honour, nor would he accept it; for he will be worshipped, not with any god, but above all gods. He owes a shame (as bishop Hall expresses it) to those who will be making matches betwixt himself and Belial. But they really designed to affront it, and though for some hours Dagon stood by the ark, and it is likely stood above it (the ark, as its footstool), yet the next morning, when the worshippers of Dagon came to pay their devotions to his shrine, they found their triumphing short.

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  9. There is much more, however i think this was interesting as well
    (MHC)
    They rose early, either, as usual, to make their addresses to their god, or earlier than usual, being impatient to know whether Dagon had kept his standing this night; and, to their great confusion, they find his case worse now than before. Whether the matter of which the image was made was apt to break or no, so it was that the head and hands were cut off upon the threshold, so that nothing remained but the stump, or, as the margin reads it, the fishy part of Dagon; for (as many learned men conjecture) the upper part of this image was in a human shape, the lower in the shape of a fish, as mermaids are painted. Such strong delusions were idolaters given up to, so vain were they in their imaginations, and so wretchedly darkened were their foolish hearts, as to worship the images, not only of creatures, but of nonentities, the mere figments of fancy. Well, the misshapen monster is by this fall made to appear, (1.) Very ridiculous, and worthy to be despised. A pretty figure Dagon made now, when the fall had anatomized him, and shown how the human part and the fishy part were artificially put together, which perhaps the ignorant devotees had been made to believe was done by miracle! (2.) Very impotent, and unworthy to be prayed to or trusted in; for his losing his head and hands proved him utterly destitute both of wisdom and power, and for ever disabled either to advise or act for his worshippers. This they got by setting Dagon in his place again; they had better have let him alone when he was down. But those can speed no better that contend with God, and will set up that which he is throwing down,

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  10. Such strong delusions were idolaters given up to, so vain were they in their imaginations, and so wretchedly darkened were their foolish hearts, as to worship the images, not only of creatures, but of nonentities, the mere figments of fancy. Well, the misshapen monster is by this fall made to appear, (1.) Very ridiculous, and worthy to be despised.

    Yet, a magic box that ambles around the countryside spreading disease and toppling statues is the heigh of sanity.

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  11. @Abbie,

    They were not to worship it.

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  12. Sorry i posted to quickly,

    And who said it was the box? Where is the reference that the box had done this?

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  13. Where is the reference that the box had done this?

    Hahaha, that's a great question. Somehow I don't think the skeptics will answer it.

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  14. @Bruce - As to the death of the Israelites, the Law makes it very clear that no one is to look at the ark. Whenever the ark left the sanctuary, it was supposed to be covered up (Numbers 4:5-6). Even the high priest, who only went in to the most holy place once a year, would've had his vision of it obscured by incense.

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  15. @Edward and Rhology
    "Where is the reference that the box had done this?"
    The Bible does not directly say that the "box" was the cause.
    It's assumed that the Ark was responsible, being in the same room as the statue of Dagon. The tumors/'roids are attributed to the box since they occurred while the box was in the possession of the Philistines. Not to hard to infer this.

    @Christian,
    Exactly. Thanks for illustrating my point that God doesn't hesitate to kill thousands of his "chosen people" for the slightest infraction of the law.
    This is also at a time when the Israelites have turned from God. I would argue that many of the people probably didn't even know the Laws of Moses and were therefore killed out of ignorance.

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  16. Bruce,
    Well, assumed by you.
    The Bible knows nothing of boxes having power. God is the power working, and He's just unhappy with paganism all the way 'round. There is zero reason to read the Bible so unfairly as to say "the box did it".

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  17. @Rhology,
    You state; There is zero reason to read the Bible so unfairly as to say "the box did it".

    I 'assume' the ark is responsible because that is how it it written in my Bible. You are making an assumption saying that God is responsible. The text ONLY refers to the Ark of the LORD. God's hand is directly responsible for the tumors however.

    Now, having debated that trivial point, I think we can all agree that God himself was responsible for it all.

    But, this kind of illustrates the point that the Bible was clumsily written/assembled and doesn't translate very well in the modern world. The fact that there are several of us on this blog debating and interrupting it's meaning goes to show that it is not the divine work of an all powerful being.

    Agreed? ;-)

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  18. No, not agreed at all. :-D

    Where precisely in the text does it say anything like "the ark was responsible". You say "that's how it's written in my Bible", but that's not actually true.

    Here's the text:

    1And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. 2When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 3And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. 4And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. 5Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.
    6But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them...

    Hmm, let's see verse 6 again.

    6But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and *****he***** destroyed them...

    Who did? The box?

    This is what I mean. You didn't deal with the text fairly.



    The fact that there are several of us on this blog debating and interrupting it's meaning goes to show that it is not the divine work of an all powerful being.

    Really? How does that follow?
    I know you haven't gotten to 1 Corinthians yet, but check out 11:17-19 and get back to me on that. I suggest making a logical argument to substantiate this comment.

    Peace,
    Rhology

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  19. Um, 5:6 begins a new section, referring to the lord plaguing Ashdod. It's not talking about the incident with Dagon.

    In the story, as written, the Philistines bring the Ark into the temple, plop in next to a statue of Dagon, and in the morning the statue is destroyed.

    Obviously the Ark didn't leap up and smash Dagon itself; some type of magic is at work. The obvious implication is that the power of God was contained in or followed the physical presence of the Ark. It doesn't really matter if God was up above, watching and smiting, or actually sitting on the Ark's throne-seat. The Ark was the conduit for his wrath.

    The Ark isn't a passive element, because it's physical trail dictated God's actions. Would the people of Beth-shemesh have been randomly smoted if they hadn't been unlucky enough to receive the Ark? (I don't really understand why they got smoted, but that's usual.)

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  20. I don't know about "conduit", but yes, God's wrath fell because they were evilly treating it like just another object of just another god. Point is, He is more powerful than other so-called gods, partly b/c He actually exists.

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  21. @Rhology,
    What makes you think the other gods didn't exist? There is just as much evidence for their existence as your gods existence. ;-)

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  22. @Bruce,

    "What makes you think the other gods didn't exist? There is just as much evidence for their existence as your gods existence. ;-)

    They did exists, a bunch of graven images built by the hand of man and they were a bunch of wimps that couldn't defend themselves. The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not; They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths. They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. (Psalm 135:15-18) So ya anyone can go worship them, good luck during war, or when you really need some help.

    Questioning that the other gods did not exists is actually funny because a few other people in scripture felt the same way. (II Kings 18:27-35; is one instance). Ya we will get to it, so you don't need to read it now, still this to me shows how much power the other gods had or have depending on if people still worship them. And it was a real shocker for the guy that thought the God of Israel was "non-existent". Poor chap didn't see it coming. :-D

    And how have people viewed other gods? (Acts 17:22-23) cover all the bases. Don't want to forget any. :-D

    So what would you accept as evidence for the existence of my God? Logic, morality, life itself, something else?

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  23. @Edward,
    I totally agree that the god of Israel is kicking ass and taking the names of all the other gods being worshipped! he's a lean, mean fighting machine. :-)

    But, remember that this information is coming from the books written by the Israelites. History is written by the victors.

    As for what I would accept as evidence? I actually have very specific criteria for proof. If God exists, he would know what I require and present it to me.
    Sounds like a good idea for an upcoming blog post! Thanks!

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  24. Edward, before i could accept evidence for your god, i would need a clear, unambiguous definition of what you are talking about.

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  25. @Abbie & @Bruce

    If we were to read this section on it's own, i could see how one would come to view this as the ark doing something. Now it may just be me, yet have we read over and over again about God doing things, and the Angel of the Lord coming out of cities and people seeing them and talking with them? Also with all the warnings and commandments not to worship idols and Exodus 20:4,5; i don't see, with all these previous readings, why anyone would say the ark did anything. It's a vessel to hold the covenant and the commandments it has no power at all. No one was ever to worship it, and they (Israelites) knew where the true power came from, God Himself, yet now we want to give honour to the Ark for kicking Dagon's... well anyway.

    I am really enjoying this project, however something that i am curious about. This is for anyone that wants to answer: are you reading it to just read it and mock it, or to think critical about it and understand it? I have read comments from people who point out areas that they believe are contradictions, and this is good, because the Christians should answer it, or it pushes them to go study it more to give an answer (I Peter 3:15). Now i also ask are you letting the characters build, namely God? People keep pointing out how much a killer God is, however have you thought of this is how God takes care of those that love and obey Him by removing those that would cause more harm? Your mind is probably stuck on those on the receiving end of His discipline. :-)

    Also i ask, are you really consistent in your beliefs? As in, pull back from the scriptures and say in my life do i protect life, property, and others sustenance? I have a feeling that most people have never even thought about it. God can kill, and make alive (Deuteronomy 32:39; I Samuel 2:6;) one man realized he himself didn't have that kind of power (II Kings 5:7). And i know this is the internet, yet it's interesting that people will be so vocal about how God does all this killing and how morally bankrupt He is, and i doubt any of them say the same thing about their fellow man. Some can rationalize away why man can take away another's life, property, sustenance, yet when it comes to God the creator of everything, well that's just not right! I guess it might all come down to, some fear man more than God (Matthew 10:28; Hebrews 13:6).

    Carry on!

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  26. @Bruce,

    I will pray that you have your Job moment (Job 38-42). :-D

    Your list wouldn't happen to include, lots of money, large home, instant weight loss, intelligence beyond anyone else on the planet, a position of power? :-D

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  27. @Barbara,
    what you are talking about.
    Please explain, is this from my comment, you want to know what i am talking about, or about the evidence?

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  28. @Bruce,

    "History is written by the victors."

    Do you think the writers would have included all the times they got their tales kicked? All the things that people did to get them in trouble. Doesn't sound like the pride of writing their victories. More like a historical account to leave as a testament to future generations. God says what He means and means what He says. Don't jack around!

    I deal with people that try to rewrite history allot. And they have not won yet! :-D Boy are they determined tho. Even if you win someone at some later date could rewrite it, and given enough years no one would be the wiser. The lengths that the scribes went to to preserve scripture, well that's a long story.

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  29. But, remember that this information is coming from the books written by the Israelites. History is written by the victors.

    And an important facet of this is that our description of the "false" Canaanite-ish religion is coming from late Israelite sources who clearly are not giving dispassionate accounts.

    I don't trust the late polemics against idol "worship" as an accurate portrayal of the actual religion practised by early Israelites.

    Another thing to remember is that the practices certain Biblical sources decry (local altars, idol worship) are described by other sources (ie the bulk of judges, the patriarch stories in Genesis, whoever wrote that Saul built his own altar) as standard Israelite practice.

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  30. @Abbie,

    "coming from late Israelite sources who clearly are not giving dispassionate accounts."

    It would be better stated that you can "believe" that these books are from late Israelite sources. You have made your statement that these books are unequivocally from late sources, yet there is no documentary evidence that they are. As i have said before the whole DH is made up. So you can believe it or not.

    And some want to talk about me having faith. :-D

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  31. AEdward,
    You said "Do you think the writers would have included all the times they got their tales kicked?"

    If the victors wanted to show that their god was all powerful and the center of their society, they would have written stories to show it.
    The Israelite priests used their god to control the population and keep order in society.
    Fear goes a long way to keeping people in order. ;-)

    You also said to Abbie,
    "You have made your statement that these books are unequivocally from late sources, yet there is no documentary evidence that they are."

    I'll leave it to Abbie to present her evidence, but, let me turn the question on you. What evidence do you have that these books were written by the original Israelis? ;-)

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  32. @Edward,
    My proof won't be for personal gain (although finding out God is real WOULD benefit me personally!)

    I'll go into this later but my required proof is very simple and straight forward.

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  33. BTW, Bruce, yes, there is plenty of reason to believe in the God of the Bible and not Dagon.

    www.proofthatgodexists.org

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  34. @Rhology,
    Thanks for the link.
    It's a horrible demonstration in logic. Step four made me laugh out loud!
    The Bible itself proves that there is no absolute law of morality. God commands "Thou shalt not kill" and Thou shalt not steal" and then he tells the Israelites to kill men, women, children, animals and steal the land that they were promised by God.
    What else do you have for me?

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  35. What precisely is the contradiction you think you see there?
    Are you unfamiliar with the Bible's teaching that God is God and man is man?

    So...what's your answer to the site?

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  36. The contradiction? That God said "don't kill" and then he tells them to kill.
    He says "don't steal" and then he tells them to invade lands and take them.

    God is God and man is man. If you are saying that it's OK if God tells you to kill but it's wrong if man tells you to kill we have a problem. Moses and Samuel told their people to return to the scene of a battle and complete the massacre of innocents. They broke God's command but weren't punished for killing.
    If it's OK for God to commit/order murder, then we see that there is no absolute moral law. It suddenly becomes relative to who is doing the killing. If God is above his own laws, he's a hypocrite.

    As for how I did on the site? I failed at the first page and got stuck in the 'truth loop' when I clicked on Absolute truth does not exist .
    When I played along and answered the way the site wanted me to, just to get to the end, I was stunned by the jumps in logic and assumption made to PROVE God exists.

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  37. He says don't MURDER. I'm surprised to find you this dense on this issue.
    And God can't murder - all ppl are condemned by their sin. He has every right to put anyone to death whenever.
    So, nice try but this is a very elementary distinction. You'd do well to learn it.


    Fail - you really think absolute truth doesn't exist? Why are you even blogging? How absurd. You're illustrating the site's purpose perfectly - reject the God of the Bible and you're a fool. You are acting like a fool, an idiot.

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  38. @Rhology,
    Thank you for your polite, rational response.
    Once again your insight has made my day.

    Now, would you address my answers to your question?

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  39. Bruce,

    I would, but I'm still stuck on the whole "it's absolutely true that absolute truth doesn't exist" thing.

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  40. Let me help you get unstuck. I help my friend Billy Pilgrim get unstuck and look how he turned out.

    The 'absolutely true that absolute truth doesn't exist' is a cheap gimmick to force people into a desired answer. And using a question like 'Is it OK to molest children for fun' is picking an extreme example that no rational person would argue with.
    Why didn't they ask "If you saw a madman about to blow up a bus full of children, and you could stop him by shooting and killing him, would that be OK?"
    Or, "Is it OK to steal food to keep your family alive?"
    And the step 8 answer is just a lazy example of circular logic.

    Truth is a relative thing and it evolves over time.

    The world is not black and white. Good or Evil. It's mostly grey.
    I would argue that God's own rules have changed over time. Would Jesus order the slaughter of every man, woman and child in a city? Would society today condone such an action? No. but, it's the preferred modus operandi in the OT.

    And I'll ask again Why is it OK for God to kill or order the killing of innocents just because it fits into his plan? Why is he exempt from his own rules?

    The original sin answer/excuse you provided is pretty weak. Condemning millions for the innocent act of a two.

    BTW, please try to keep your response a little more civil if possible. I tend to quickly dismiss people who resort to insults and name calling as they show they would rather think with their emotions rather then their brains.

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  41. @Bruce,
    Thank you for always remaining civil & leading by example. You set the tone around here & that's why we keep coming back :)

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  42. Hi Bruce,

    is a cheap gimmick to force people into a desired answer

    Is that true?



    'Is it OK to molest children for fun' is picking an extreme example that no rational person would argue with.

    What's wrong with that?
    And is it OK to molest children for fun?
    I guess I don't understand your reluctance to answer the question. I have zero doubt that you don't molest children, nor would you ever entertain such a notion, so I figure your reluctance stems from the notion that you know you're caught but don't want to admit it. If not, please explain why it's a bad question.


    Truth is a relative thing and it evolves over time.

    Is the truth of the statement "Truth is a relative thing and it evolves over time" a relative thing? Relative to what?
    Does the truth of the statement "Truth is a relative thing and it evolves over time" evolve over time? From what into what, and how do you know? And however you know, does THAT evolve over time and is it relative? If so, relative to what?



    I would argue that God's own rules have changed over time.

    And that is because you are ignorant of the Bible or are unwilling to treat it fairly according to its own terms.



    Would Jesus order the slaughter of every man, woman and child in a city?

    1) Yes, b/c Jesus is the God of the Old Testament.
    2) Wait a sec, though. I thought you just told me that truth evolves over time, and is relative. Please explain how you can say that and then say this. What happened to the relativistic ethic you were espousing?
    If you use an argument from modernity, how do you know that modern is better? Is the truth that


    Why is it OK for God to kill or order the killing of innocents just because it fits into his plan? Why is he exempt from his own rules?

    B/c the rule is "don't kill ppl w/o justification". That's the definition of murder. Anytime God puts someone to death, it's justifiable.



    The original sin answer/excuse you provided is pretty weak.

    Is the truth of the statement "The original sin answer/excuse you provided is pretty weak" a relative thing? Relative to what?
    Does the truth of the statement "The original sin answer/excuse you provided is pretty weak" evolve over time? From what into what, and how do you know? And however you know, does THAT evolve over time and is it relative? If so, relative to what?


    they would rather think with their emotions rather then their brains.

    I'm sorry to say that, coming from someone who refuses to think absolute truth exists, it's hard to take this kind of statement seriously.

    Peace,
    Rhology

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  43. @Rhology,
    Are you just pulling my leg? April Fools joke?

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  44. Bruce,
    Nope! Today's the 4th anyway. :-)
    I'll look fwd to your reply.

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  45. @Bruce,
    As to the harsh nature of the punishment, who determines what is and isn't an appropriate punishment? If God were the supreme Lawgiver and the Source of all morality, wouldn't he have the right to legislate appropriate punishments? Logically, I think so.
    Once that's established, wouldn't it seem appropriate that to sin against infinite perfection could justly merit the highest punishment? Whether or not they were killed out of ignorance is an educated guess (especially based on 1 Samuel 3:1), but we can't know with any certainty, so we can't let that be a factor in our thinking.
    In summary, it seems to me that God has the logical right to do exactly what he did. Would you disagree, or is your problem with something else?

    "Truth is a relative thing and it evolves over time."
    Is that a truth that is relative and that will evolve over time?

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  46. OK, Last post on this for the day. The real world is calling.
    @Rhology,
    I apologize for being rude but I won't comment on your last posts right now other then to say that your logic and reasoning are extremely poor. I'll point it out later if I have the time and energy. Others may feel free to do so.

    @Christian,
    You're correct that IF God is the ultimate lawgiver and the source of all morality he can legislate whatever punishment he wants. But he should also be an example of following those laws. If he can not live by his own rules, then he can not be perfect can he? He's, dare I say it, human.
    I'm constantly confused by Christians that say "we are sinners so we deserve any punishment God hands us." Once again I bring up the battered spouse analogy.

    So, yes, if God is the supreme being you believe he is, he has the right to do whatever he wants. the question is why is choice to kill those that break the rules and why would anyone willingly follow a hateful, violent, jealous god?

    As for your last bit, No, what I say is eternal and never changing.

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  47. There was a post on the JREF forums asking about the argument on proofthatgodexists.org. I'm cross-posing my response.

    I should start out by strongly disagreeing with the position that absolute truth does not exist. The world does exist as "black-and-white" states. This is the foundational principle of logical discourse.

    If it matters at all, I am an atheist who believes with a great deal of certainty that the god of the Bible does not exist, and I am a moral objectivist.

    -------------------------

    The argument that this site is working with is known as TAG, or, the Transcendental Argument for God's existence. TAG is a really bad argument. It is unlikely that anyone on the planet has ever been convinced by it. Rather, it is most often used to confuse people and "win" the argument by leaving the opponent dumbfounded, but not by actually influencing anyone.

    TAG relies very heavily on equivocation, or, using language in confusing ways to prove a point. So, let's just start with one of the first questions that is asked.

    Do the laws of logic exist?

    This question can be interpreted in a number of ways. For the sake of brevity, I'll ignore the many different meanings of "existence." Instead, I'll just use a very liberal definition and treat ideas as "existent" things. Barring that, we're still left with our question. Do the laws of logic exist? Even then, what do we mean by "laws of logic." There are essentially two ways of interpreting this. This is where it gets tricky, because here is where TAG starts to fall apart on careful examination. I will establish two definitions for "laws of logic," and we will be referencing them both later on.

    A: The laws of logic describe the nature of things (physical or otherwise) to be themselves, to not be what they are not, and to be coherent.
    B: The laws of logic are the codification of such behavior, established by Aristotle some 2,000 years ago.

    So we have our two definitions, A and B. The site goes on to ask similar questions about mathematics and morality, but again for the sake of brevity, I will be ignoring it.

    Now, to answer our question, do the laws of logic exist? Definition B obviously exists (again, we are using a liberal definition, here). These ideas have been thought up. So what about A? Strictly speaking, no, they do not exist in this sense. The nature of things are not objects. I am an object. The chair I am sitting in is an object. However, my relation to the seat - my status of being seated - is not an object. It is not an existing thing. I simply have the property of being seated, but my "seatness" does not exist.

    (continued below)

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  49. There was a post on the JREF forums asking about the argument on proofthatgodexists.org. I'm cross-posing my response.

    I should start out by strongly disagreeing with the position that absolute truth does not exist. The world does exist as "black-and-white" states. This is the foundational principle of logical discourse.

    If it matters at all, I am an atheist who believes with a great deal of certainty that the god of the Bible does not exist, and I am a moral objectivist.

    -------------------------

    The argument that this site is working with is known as TAG, or, the Transcendental Argument for God's existence. TAG is a really bad argument. It is unlikely that anyone on the planet has ever been convinced by it. Rather, it is most often used to confuse people and "win" the argument by leaving the opponent dumbfounded, but not by actually influencing anyone.

    TAG relies very heavily on equivocation, or, using language in confusing ways to prove a point. So, let's just start with one of the first questions that is asked.

    Do the laws of logic exist?

    This question can be interpreted in a number of ways. For the sake of brevity, I'll ignore the many different meanings of "existence." Instead, I'll just use a very liberal definition and treat ideas as "existent" things. Barring that, we're still left with our question. Do the laws of logic exist? Even then, what do we mean by "laws of logic." There are essentially two ways of interpreting this. This is where it gets tricky, because here is where TAG starts to fall apart on careful examination. I will establish two definitions for "laws of logic," and we will be referencing them both later on.

    A: The laws of logic describe the nature of things (physical or otherwise) to be themselves, to not be what they are not, and to be coherent.
    B: The laws of logic are the codification of such behavior, established by Aristotle some 2,000 years ago.

    So we have our two definitions, A and B. The site goes on to ask similar questions about mathematics and morality, but again for the sake of brevity, I will be ignoring it.

    Now, to answer our question, do the laws of logic exist? Definition B obviously exists (again, we are using a liberal definition, here). These ideas have been thought up. So what about A? Strictly speaking, no, they do not exist in this sense. The nature of things are not objects. I am an object. The chair I am sitting in is an object. However, my relation to the seat - my status of being seated - is not an object. It is not an existing thing. I simply have the property of being seated, but my "seatness" does not exist.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I Am The Scum's comment seems to have been eaten by the spam filter, so I post this for the sake of those who are subscribed to this thread, in the hope that Bruce will be able to publish IATS' comments soon.


    what do we mean by "laws of logic."

    What we mean is the law of identity, of excluded middle, of non-contradiction. That kind of stuff.
    How did they arise? If they're "natural" as in naturalism, how do they exist? And how do they exist w/o a mind to think about them? They're conceptual.


    Strictly speaking, no, they do not exist in this sense

    So they exist and don't exist at the same time in the same way.
    Right? I mean, you deny they exist, so it's OK to say both. Right?


    The (strange) truth is, the laws of logic are up to the individual.

    1) So they are both up to the individual and not up to the individual.
    2) Alternatively, I have decreed that anything you say is false. I guess my statement is logical and you are always wrong.


    They can't be proven. If you could prove them, how would you do it? With logic? Well, that's circular.

    1) Yes, of course they can't be proven. That's why they're transcendental - without them you can't prove anything else.
    2) This statement does not follow from the sentences preceding it in your comment. You're making zero sense.

    After that you start using your Jell-O foundation to criticise the existence of God, but you've committed so many errors it's pointless to continue. I'm sorry, but this was terribly, fatally, flawed. It demonstrates the foolishness in which one must engage to deny the existence of God.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  51. There was a post on the JREF forums asking about the argument on the "proof that god exists" site. I'm cross-posing my response.

    I should start out by strongly disagreeing with the position that absolute truth does not exist. The world does exist as "black-and-white" states. This is the foundational principle of logical discourse.

    If it matters at all, I am an atheist who believes with a great deal of certainty that the god of the Bible does not exist, and I am a moral objectivist.

    -------------------------

    The argument that this site is working with is known as TAG, or, the Transcendental Argument for God's existence. TAG is a really bad argument. It is unlikely that anyone on the planet has ever been convinced by it. Rather, it is most often used to confuse people and "win" the argument by leaving the opponent dumbfounded, but not by actually influencing anyone.

    TAG relies very heavily on equivocation, or, using language in confusing ways to prove a point. So, let's just start with one of the first questions that is asked.

    Do the laws of logic exist?

    This question can be interpreted in a number of ways. For the sake of brevity, I'll ignore the many different meanings of "existence." Instead, I'll just use a very liberal definition and treat ideas as "existent" things. Barring that, we're still left with our question. Do the laws of logic exist? Even then, what do we mean by "laws of logic." There are essentially two ways of interpreting this. This is where it gets tricky, because here is where TAG starts to fall apart on careful examination. I will establish two definitions for "laws of logic," and we will be referencing them both later on.

    A: The laws of logic describe the nature of things (physical or otherwise) to be themselves, to not be what they are not, and to be coherent.
    B: The laws of logic are the codification of such behavior, established by Aristotle some 2,000 years ago.

    So we have our two definitions, A and B. The site goes on to ask similar questions about mathematics and morality, but again for the sake of brevity, I will be ignoring it.

    Now, to answer our question, do the laws of logic exist? Definition B obviously exists (again, we are using a liberal definition, here). These ideas have been thought up. So what about A? Strictly speaking, no, they do not exist in this sense. The nature of things are not objects. I am an object. The chair I am sitting in is an object. However, my relation to the seat - my status of being seated - is not an object. It is not an existing thing. I simply have the property of being seated, but my "seatness" does not exist.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Well I don't know why my post is getting deleted, but you can find the original text here: http://tinyurl.com/3d2rev8

    So they exist and don't exist at the same time in the same way.
    Right? I mean, you deny they exist, so it's OK to say both. Right?


    No, that's not what I meant at all. I think I was quite clear on this point. But to reiterate: I do not deny that objects (physical things or ideas) behave logically, that they are what they are.

    1) So they are both up to the individual and not up to the individual.
    2) Alternatively, I have decreed that anything you say is false. I guess my statement is logical and you are always wrong.


    The laws of logic and logical discourse are great tools for communicating ideas, coming to true conclusions, and reasoning with others. Any alternative you can come up with, such as declaring that ad hominem fallacies are valid arguments, will not meet the above criteria. You can call it "logical discourse" if it really makes you feel better, but don't be surprised when no one finds you convincing.

    1) Yes, of course they can't be proven. That's why they're transcendental - without them you can't prove anything else.
    2) This statement does not follow from the sentences preceding it in your comment. You're making zero sense.


    I don't follow. You agree with what I say, and then point out that it makes no sense. Which is it?

    You're not really responding to the meat of my argument, and instead nitpicking ideas that sound strange. I agree, they do sound strange. Logic is in may ways counterintuitive. You still haven't defined the laws of logic. You listed them, but you did not define them. That's like saying "President" is defined as "Barack Obama." That doesn't explain meaning.

    Also, answer this for me. Are the laws of logic the laws of logic? That is, do they have identity? If so, what gives them this identity?

    ReplyDelete
  53. IATS before:
    A: The laws of logic describe the nature of things (physical or otherwise) to be themselves, to not be what they are not, and to be coherent... So what about A? Strictly speaking, no, they do not exist in this sense.

    IATS now:
    I do not deny that objects ...are what they are.

    So, which is it? Your prevaricating is certainly consistent with your rejection of the laws of logic, but I think anyone can see that you need to make up your mind. You can't really live out your rejection of A.


    The laws of logic and logical discourse...no one finds you convincing.

    OK, but how does this respond to what I said?


    You agree with what I say, and then point out that it makes no sense. Which is it?

    Both. You're not responding to the point you think you're responding to.


    You still haven't defined the laws of logic.

    Didn't know I needed to.
    Logic = the science of proper inference.


    Are the laws of logic the laws of logic? That is, do they have identity? If so, what gives them this identity?

    Yes, the laws of logic are the laws of logic. Unlike the picture you've so far painted for us of your worldview, I hold to consistent application thereof, since I'm a Christian. Yes, they have identity. Nothing "gives" them that identity; they are part of God's nature and character. They're how He is.
    Now you answer the question.

    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  54. I don't think I can explain this point any more clearly: If the laws of logic are properties, then questions of their existence don't make a whole lot of sense. Properties don't exist. They are descriptions or statuses of objects, and those objects may or may not exist. So when I state that object P has property Q, then I am not saying that Q exists.

    I don't understand why you are getting hung up on some supposed contradiction I am making when I state that objects behave logically, and that the laws of logic (as a property) do not exist. If there is a contradiction here, then please point it out to me. Give me something more than an assertion.

    So right now, the argument stands at you being inconsistent. TAG depends very heavily on the proposition that the logical behavior of an object necessitates some other object bestowing it with that property. I disagree very strongly with this premise, and as it turns out, so do you. You said, "Yes, they have identity. Nothing "gives" them that identity..." I agree. They simply are what they are. A rock on Mars is a rock on Mars, and it is not that way because some other object is making it that way. (The object came to be a rock on Mars by other processes, but that's not what we're getting at, here)

    So you accept that things can be what they are for no particular reason. In order for you to make any sense of TAG at all at this point, you would have to say that there are some objects that do not necessitate "logical endowment" and some that do, such as our rock on Mars. So this raises the question, how do you know that the rock on Mars cannot be what it is, without some other object perceiving it to be so?

    It might be the case that I am terribly misconstruing your argument. After all, in this comments section, I have explored TAG in much greater detail than anyone posting here or even the author of the website "Proof" website. If I am misunderstanding your position in any way, then by all means correct me. Or, better yet, explain TAG in your own words, preferably in syllogistic form.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I don't think I can explain this point any more clearly: If the laws of logic are properties, then questions of their existence don't make a whole lot of sense. Properties don't exist. They are descriptions or statuses of objects, and those objects may or may not exist. So when I state that object P has property Q, then I am not saying that Q exists.

    I don't understand why you are getting hung up on some supposed contradiction I am making when I state that objects behave logically, and that the laws of logic (as a property) do not exist. If there is a contradiction here, then please point it out to me. Give me something more than an assertion.

    So right now, the argument stands at you being inconsistent. TAG depends very heavily on the proposition that the logical behavior of an object necessitates some other object bestowing it with that property. I disagree very strongly with this premise, and as it turns out, so do you. You said, "Yes, they have identity. Nothing 'gives' them that identity..." I agree. They simply are what they are. A rock on Mars is a rock on Mars, and it is not that way because some other object is making it that way. (The object came to be a rock on Mars by other processes, but that's not what we're getting at, here)

    So you accept that things can be what they are for no particular reason. In order for you to make any sense of TAG at all at this point, you would have to say that there are some objects that do not necessitate "logical endowment" and some that do, such as our rock on Mars. So this raises the question, how do you know that the rock on Mars cannot be what it is, without some other object perceiving it to be so?

    It might be the case that I am terribly misconstruing your argument. After all, in this comments section, I have explored TAG in much greater detail than anyone posting here or even the author of the website "Proof" website. If I am misunderstanding your position in any way, then by all means correct me. Or, better yet, explain TAG in your own words, preferably in syllogistic form.

    ReplyDelete
  56. (Replying again to a comment apparently caught in the spam filter.)

    Properties don't exist.

    Sorry, yes they do. Otherwise there would be no properties of things. This is a bizarre statement you're making.
    They don't exist MATERIALLY, but that might be a problem with your worldview. There's more in existence than just matter and energy.


    So when I state that object P has property Q, then I am not saying that Q exists.

    You're saying that Q exists as a property. Otherwise, why mention Q?


    A rock on Mars is a rock on Mars,

    Yes, and you're now expressing the law of identity.


    and it is not that way because some other object is making it that way.

    That's a naked assertion. I'll need to ask you for an argument to that effect.


    So you accept that things can be what they are for no particular reason

    ?? Not at all. I'm a Christian - they are what they are b/c God made them that way, and He made an orderly creation.
    On naturalism, where there is no designer and thus no design, this statement of yours is far more relevant.


    explain TAG in your own words

    Please see here, maybe it will help us.

    Hey, since the spam filter keeps eating your comments, do you want to continue this at my blog? I never moderate comments; you'd have free rein to say what you want.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I don't think I can explain this point any more clearly: If the laws of logic are properties, then questions of their existence don't make a whole lot of sense. Properties don't exist. They are descriptions or statuses of objects, and those objects may or may not exist. So when I state that object P has property Q, then I am not saying that Q exists.

    I don't understand why you are getting hung up on some supposed contradiction I am making when I state that objects behave logically, and that the laws of logic (as a property) do not exist. If there is a contradiction here, then please point it out to me. Give me something more than an assertion.

    So right now, the argument stands at you being inconsistent. TAG depends very heavily on the proposition that the logical behavior of an object necessitates some other object bestowing it with that property. I disagree very strongly with this premise, and as it turns out, so do you. You said, "Yes, they have identity. Nothing 'gives' them that identity..." I agree. They simply are what they are. A rock on Mars is a rock on Mars, and it is not that way because some other object is making it that way. (The object came to be a rock on Mars by other processes, but that's not what we're getting at, here)

    So you accept that things can be what they are for no particular reason. In order for you to make any sense of TAG at all at this point, you would have to say that there are some objects that do not necessitate "logical endowment" and some that do, such as our rock on Mars. So this raises the question, how do you know that the rock on Mars cannot be what it is, without some other object perceiving it to be so?

    It might be the case that I am terribly misconstruing your argument. After all, in this comments section, I have explored TAG in much greater detail than anyone posting here or even the author of the website "Proof" website. If I am misunderstanding your position in any way, then by all means correct me. Or, better yet, explain TAG in your own words, preferably in syllogistic form.

    ReplyDelete
  58. @Scum,
    Thanks for stepping in front of the bullet for me!

    I don't know why your posts are getting stuck in moderationland. I have it turned off.
    Blogspot must detect it as spam. I'll check more often to keep things flowing.

    @Rhology,
    Scum's comments are clear to me. Your's, not so much.

    ReplyDelete
  59. There are some other interesting responses at the James Randi Education Forum. You can read them here;

    http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=205453

    ReplyDelete
  60. BTW, In the interest of full disclosure, I commented on Rhology's website. He posted selected links from this comment stream but neglected to include the post where I found him more then a little condescending and rude. He also edited out the few comments from people who supported me. Interesting.

    You can find it here.
    http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/2011/04/no-comment-necessary.html

    I know I'm being as petty as he is but I like to mirror people's behavior. If you're nice to me, I'm nice to you.

    I also have to apologize to Rhology for referring to him as she.

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  61. @Bruce and @IATS

    Well done guys. Ever since I tangled with Rhology here back in Jan. or Feb., I've been looking into TAG. It isn't the easiest argument to get your head around. (my logic classes in college always gave me a headache). It's so easy to twist the semantics around and miss the logical fallacies. IMHO Rhology is an expert at doing just that, as well as being something of a bully with his questions. IATS - you did a brilliant job at getting to the fallacy of division (or is it equivocation?) he was using. Again - great job.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I came into this thread all excited about the magical properties of golden emerods and find instead just another argument about the TAG. Alas!

    ReplyDelete
  63. That said, I'd still be interested in hearing Rho explain TAG in his own words, and preferably in the form of a syllogism. This is because it takes on so many different forms, and I'd like to see which one we are talking about here.

    ReplyDelete
  64. I'm personally still waiting for IATS to reply to my last comment.

    And Dami0n, did you see the link I posted? I like that formulation just fine.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Well, I was hoping for something a bit more concise, but I suppose that will have to do. Seems to me that the key premise is this:
    "Logical absolutes are not the product of human thought."

    Do you agree that this is a crucial ppremise without which the argument fails?

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  66. Oh, sorry - Dan Barker agrees with the next point down the line, about conceptual objects existing w/o a mind. I doubt, however, he'd object to the idea that logical absolutes are not the product of human thought, given that fish 6s Mondayly and the best the batches purple are.

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  67. Rhology, I missed your response because mine got double-posted and yours was sandwiched in the middle.

    If you want to state that properties of things can be described as "existent," then fine. We can say that they exist. I have objections to this in certain contexts, and if they crop up, I'll point them out. Until then, properties exist.

    That's a naked assertion. I'll need to ask you for an argument to that effect.

    No problem.

    Let's suppose that a rock only has the property of identity because another thing is making it that way. We'll call this thing Object #1. Does Object #1 have the property of identity? Well, it has to. If it doesn't, then we're talking nonsense. So what gives Object #1 the property of identity? Whatever this thing is, we'll call it Object #2. Does Object #2 have the property of identity? Where does it come from?

    You can see where this is going. Either we have an infinite regress, or we make an exception to the rule. These are your only two options, and both of them ruin TAG.

    If we have an infinite loop, then your god is in trouble. Because he's going to be just another link in the chain. Whether he's Object #1 or Object #93,394,832, there's going to be another object behind him that bestows him with his identity. Hopefully, I don't need to highlight the problems with a god whose properties are contingent upon some other entity.

    If there's an exception to the rule, then how do we know where it lies? The heart of TAG is the demonstration of God as a necessary being for logical behavior. By going this route, you must argue that it is possible for objects to have logical behavior that is not contingent upon anything. You're arguing against your own conclusion.

    Now you attempt to weasel out of the dichotomy by stating that logical behavior is part of God's nature, but this doesn't solve anything. This is actually shares a lot in common with a naturalistic worldview. You believe that God is the natural state of existence, whereas a naturalist would say that it is instead natural forces. However, you would both agree that both of these things have a necessary, coherent behavior, and they cannot be any other way. You're taking a natural worldview and sticking a "God" sticker on it. I'm very sorry, but that's not an argument.

    Also, it would be fairly inconsistent for you to criticize me for stating that a rock has a certain nature just because, and then not bat an eye when you do precisely the same for God's nature. I've proposed an argument for why a rock's nature is not contingent upon other things, in that to believe so would essentially lead to the homonculus argument (look it up on Wikipedia), along with some damning conclusions for the Christian worldview. I would politely ask that you do the same. Demonstrate to me why God has a logical nature. Just because?

    I think I've got this wrapped up because your response hasn't amounted to much more than nitpicking. This is the part where I ask the question that kills your argument, not because it's a trick question, but because you've painted yourself into a corner, and either side of the dichotomy leads to absurd conclusions that are irreconcilable with your argument.

    Is it the case, or is it not, that the logical property of an object is contingent upon another object?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Hi IATS,

    Either we have an infinite regress

    Yep.


    or we make an exception to the rule. These are your only two options, and both of them ruin TAG.

    ????????
    Either infinite regress (which is absurd and impossible) or God, the necessary, self-existent Being, exists; that ruins TAG? I think you've misunderstood TAG.


    If we have an infinite loop, then your god is in trouble

    Oh, maybe. But that's not what we have.


    If there's an exception to the rule, then how do we know where it lies?

    Lots of ways.
    God has told us that He is and who and how He is.
    If you want to reduce it down to what does this dilemma tell us? it's easy - it stops at the necessary, self-existent being.


    By going this route, you must argue that it is possible for objects to have logical behavior that is not contingent upon anything.

    I'd say "persons", but if we make "objects" even more general, then yes, I agree that at least one object (ie, the necessary, self-existent one) has logical behavior that is not contingent on anythg.


    This is actually shares a lot in common with a naturalistic worldview

    Well, except for the whole God exists thing. So really, it has almost nothing in common. God is a conscious agent. Nature is not.


    you would both agree that both of these things have a necessary, coherent behavior

    Nature does? I do not agree. Please provide an argument.


    inconsistent for you to criticize me for stating that a rock has a certain nature just because, and then not bat an eye when you do precisely the same for God's nature

    It's consistent b/c rocks are not necessary and self-existent.


    Peace,
    Rhology

    ReplyDelete
  69. And you've resorted to begging the question. You keep insisting that your argument is sound because God exists, but that's what you're trying to prove. You can't use the conclusion of your argument as justification for your premises.

    You insist that a rock having identity "just because" is a problem, then do precisely the same with God. Explain yourself. Demonstrate to me the basis for God's nature. Where does it come from? I already know that you can't. For you to treat the absence of an explanation for a rock's nature as a problem, and then insist that it's just fine when you do the same for God's nature, is an obvious case of special pleading.

    TAG does nothing more than create a problem that theists can't solve, and attempts to shift the burden on atheists in a cloud of confusion and equivocation. I'll admit that Matt Slick's version does a better job of creating confusion than your argument has. You have been a lot more transparent, and thus, the deceptive nature of TAG has been made very clear on this blog.

    Whether or not you take that as a compliment is up to you.

    ReplyDelete
  70. IATS,

    Where did I beg the question? I'm telling you what my position is. I'm correcting your strawman.

    You insist that a rock having identity "just because" is a problem, then do precisely the same with God. Explain yourself.

    I already did. Go back and read it again, please. Hint: It wasn't "just because".


    the deceptive nature of TAG has been made very clear on this blog.

    Since you haven't yet demonstrated understanding of it, I'm not sure whether it's my deception or your lack of intellectual ability. That remains to be seen.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Where did I beg the question? I'm telling you what my position is. I'm correcting your strawman.

    I understand that this is your position. I have not misrepresented your position, so spare me the "strawman" cries.

    As I explained before, begging the question is a fallacy in which a conclusion is used to justify its supporting premises. It's very similar to a circular argument, though not quite the same. So when your position is challenged, responses such as, "God has to be this way," or, "God told us that he is this way," are examples of begging the question. God's existence is what you're trying to prove. Attempting to assume the truth of the conclusion to prove the conclusion is fallacious. The circular nature of this rhetoric should be obvious.

    I must have missed your explanation of God's nature. Actually describing some sort of basis for God's properties would be really interesting, so I'd like to hear it.

    I'll ask again: Demonstrate to me the basis for God's nature. Where does it come from?

    ReplyDelete
  72. So when your position is challenged, responses such as, "God has to be this way," or, "God told us that he is this way," are examples of begging the question.

    Again, that's educating you about my position.
    You haven't yet, that I've seen, asked me to prove what I'm saying is true. You're just riffing off what YOU THINK is my position. I'm telling you you've so far gotten it wrong. I'm sorry you're having trouble at this point, but that's hardly my fault.


    God's existence is what you're trying to prove.

    Not really. Again, you misunderstand TAG at probably its most fundamental level.


    Demonstrate to me the basis for God's nature. Where does it come from?

    You missed it the first time. Says something for how carefully you read opponents.
    Also, your question is based on a strawman. Deny it all you want; that changes the facts of the matter about as much as you think your old theist grandma's fervent professions of faith make God exist.
    Remember how I said His nature is necessary and self-existent? His nature doesn't "come from" anywhere. Reality comes from Him.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Not really. Again, you misunderstand TAG at probably its most fundamental level.

    Wait... You honestly believe that TAG - the Tanscendental Argument for God's existence - is not an argument that is used to prove the existence of God?

    Yeah, and I'm the one that doesn't understand TAG.

    Remember how I said His nature is necessary and self-existent? His nature doesn't "come from" anywhere.

    Ah, okay then.

    A rock's logical nature is necessary and self-existent. It doesn't "come from" anywhere.

    I understand that my previous comment clashes with your worldview. That doesn't bother me in the slightest. If you want to save TAG at all at this point (and I'm beginning to doubt that you do), then you have to demonstrate that a rock's identity comes from something else, or that it is not possible for a rock's identity to be the way it is without some other entity.

    Go ahead. Make your argument. I'm done filling in the blanks for you. If you can't - and I seriously doubt you can - then we're done.

    ReplyDelete
  74. You honestly believe that TAG - the Tanscendental Argument for God's existence - is not an argument that is used to prove the existence of God?

    You know what? One of us here is a presuppositionalist Christian apologist. The other is a skeptic. Let the reader judge who knows what who's talking about.
    TAG is not to PROVE God's existence. The point of TAG, since you couldn't be bothered to read the argument carefully, is that without the God of the Bible's existence, you couldn't prove anything. You demonstrate that all the time by borrowing from the Christian worldview; you have no justification, on naturalism for example, for thinking that your cognitive faculties are reliably tuned to produce true beliefs, or that the laws of logic arose out of the Big Bang or something. That kind of stuff is justifiable on Christianity but not on naturalism. But you believe those things b/c you can't escape the fact that God created you. You just want to deny Him in other areas where it's more convenient for you.

    So there you go. Suffice it to say that you have not yet begun to engage TAG; just a shell of it.


    A rock's logical nature is necessary and self-existent. It doesn't "come from" anywhere.

    When why were rocks created? What was it like before there were rocks?
    See, this is what we do - we ask subversive questions to expose the absurdities of worldviews that run contrary to the Christian one. Your absurd statement about rocks is just one of thousands of examples.


    you have to demonstrate that a rock's identity comes from something else

    That's fair. (Finally, a fair statement from you!)
    I have 2 responses:
    1) How do you know that I have to do so? How do you know it's absurd that rocks whether, say, a rock's identity does not come from anything?
    2) Like I said above - rocks were created. Thus, contingent.

    Peace,
    Rhology

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  75. TAG is not to PROVE God's existence. The point of TAG, since you couldn't be bothered to read the argument carefully...

    From the very first sentence of the argument you linked:

    This is an attempt to demonstrate the existence of God using logical absolutes.

    This has really devolved into nothing more than nitpicking - really bad nitpicking, as it turns out. You obviously have no interest in a meaningful discussion.

    I'm willing to take questions from anyone else who happens to have been following this exchange.

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  76. Demonstrate =/= prove.

    Also, I think we may have been talking past each other in this case. I thought we were talking about the www.proofthatgodexists.org site.

    OK, given that, I'm sorry for my part of the miscommunication. I do encourage you to let Christians define their own position in the future instead of acting like you know it better, absent evidence thereof.

    Will be waiting for your answers to my challenges.

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