Monday, November 17, 2008

It's Supernatural

I have just spent four days at a healing conference where I witnessed many miracles and many tangible experiences of God’s presence. I also heard hundreds of eye witness testimonies of miracles happening around the world including the United States. God is undeniably pouring out His love upon people across the world. He is working through His followers just as He did in the early disciples of Jesus. Biblical miracles are being experienced today. They never stopped being experienced. There are so many historical records of the power of God in all the great revivals of history around the world.


I speak so much on cerebral defenses of the truth of Jesus Christ. However, if all I ever did is present an intellectual belief system I would never paint the full picture of the reality of heaven available to us today. God is not merely a matter of the mind to answer the big philosophical questions of life. If that was all there was to it, what would be the point.


The Kingdom of God is at hand. He is actively moving in the world today. I’ve seen His work. I’ve experienced His presence. I saw a three year old praying for the sick and them getting healed. I saw her pray for someone and the power of God flow over them. I saw children prophesying the things of God over people with great accuracy bringing life and healing to them. I had a woman I had never met prophesy over me so specifically exactly what I needed to hear from God about concerning an area of ministry. About 60-80 people were healed each night. Some had injuries for as long as 10 years and were healed miraculously.


One young man, a musician I know personally, was 50% deaf in one ear and his hearing was completely restored so much so that the noises around him was hurting his now sensitive hearing. Another man had partial paralysis on the left side of his body due to a stroke. Strength returned to him and his limp arm was restored and he could grip a man’s hand in a hand shake where before he could not. This man shared his testimony and demonstrated his returned mobility and strength before the church that knew him well and was jubilant at his healing.


God is restoring the gift of healing and the supernatural to the Church. If you have not seen such demonstrations of the reality of Jesus I believe you will one day soon. This is quickly changing from something common overseas and not so common in the States, to something common throughout the church at large. Don’t you think if most of the Christians you encountered loved like Jesus did and healed the sick and set people free from bondages and such that you would know that the Gospel we share is true? Would not that be proof? The day is fast approaching where this will be what the ministry of Christians will look like. The Bible says that the power of God must accompany the preaching of the Kingdom of God. It confirms the truth of the Kingdom when it is preached accompanied by the demonstration of the supernatural. This is normal Christianity. Normalcy is being restored.


I am reminded of the phrase in The Chronicles of Narnia when the spring was breaking forth through the winter and all the Narnians knew, “Aslan is on the move.” The Kingdom of God is breaking into the Kingdom of this world and we are seeing the God is on the move through His people.

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I speak so much on cerebral defenses of the truth of Jesus Christ."

No you don't.

Anyway, let's subject this to scientific scrutiny and see if it holds up. Why don't you have your healing conference opened up to scientific study?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

It would be interesting to follow up on those who claim to be healed and see how they feel once they've gone home. Hopefully they will actually have medical doctors examine them before they stop any treatments they were on for their conditions. Hopefully none of them end up on this list:

What's the harm in faith healing?

Karla said...

oh yes, Mike, people are always encouraged to see a doctor and not to stop taking medicine. Always. I heard that said many times and was trained in the school to that effect as well. Many of the healings were evident where someone could see or hear what they couldn't before. People who were limping who could now walk. . . Things like that. Other things like cancer and such could never be known without a doctor visit.

There was no harm in what I saw. In the past and still in the present there are abuses and people doing harm. There are many in the medical profession causing harm too, but that doesn't stop people from going to the doctor.

Actually many of the ministers I am aware of that move strongly in this kind of thing travel with a medical doctor.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

I'm glad the people you were with were responsible. Yes, doctors make mistakes and people get sick or die, but their methods are reproducible and their record is a lot better than that of faith healers as a whole.

Karla said...

I'm not advocating certain people being faith healers like of old or tv people. I'm advocation that ALL Christians can learn to walk in that. It's not a special people thing. It should be natural and normal among Christians.

Anonymous said...

"oh yes, Mike, people are always encouraged to see a doctor and not to stop taking medicine."

Why? Isn't god's healing better than a doctor or medicine could perform?

CyberKitten said...

karla said: The Kingdom of God is at hand.

Haven't Christians been saying that since the time of Jesus? Considering that fact you will excuse my skepticism I'm sure.

Karla said...

Yep, cyber kitten. It's always true. That saying, at least the way I meant it, is not referring to the end of days, but life in today. The Kingdom of God is for the here and now and in what is to come.

Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of the Cargo Cults that claim that their savior is going to return. When asked why they would continue to think this after so many years (decades! DECADES!) the guy being interviewed replied with this (paraphrased):
"You've been waiting how long for Jesus?"

I still chuckle about that one.

Karla said...

Anonymous, like I said I am speaking of something other than the return of Christ. When I say the Kingdom of God is at hand. I am saying we (Christians) have full access to the realm of heaven now not just when we die or when Christ returns. I am NOT speaking of the second coming of Christ.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and it's been the time of Jesus or god or whatever for a long time now. It still makes me chuckle.

Karla said...

Do you guys really think everyone who says they have been miraculously healed by God are delusional? I've experienced such healing and have so many friends who have and have heard hundreds of testimonies of the same. Can you really write all that off so easily? I'm not talking about televangelist or any stereotypical healing evangelist. I'm talking about normal every day Christians that are going out and seeing the sick healed.

Anonymous said...

Which ones? The ones healed by Allah or Yahweh or any of the other gods that supposedly heal people? I'd like to know which god I'm denying.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Anonymous makes a good point. People from many faiths claim healings and have equal amounts of evidence to yours. This would perhaps indicate that there is something bigger than any one true faith or that they all are delusional.

Karla said...

I've never heard of Muslims believing God heals today. Christian Science people believe there is no sickness, and that they can believe themselves out of sickness. Buddhist and Hindus I think deny evil and sickness also as illusions of sorts or they believe healing the body isn't important. So I'm not sure I am aware of any religions that are akin to Jesus working through us today to heal people. Please inform me of your source. I'll do some research myself on it to see what is out there. I can't say I've studied that topic. It's a good question if other faiths make that claim consistent with their religion.

Karla said...

Okay from what I can tell doing a google search. Islam doesn't teach that people can be empowered by God to heal people like Jesus did. All I see is that they believe that God gives us doctors to heal us through medicine. That's just the results of a brief review of a google search. I did just spend several days listening to a Christian minister who goes into Muslim countries and sees many healed in Jesus name. Thousands attend his meetings and hundreds are experiencing miraculous healing. I heard story after story after story all week last week. I saw video's of it too. Why would Muslims be risking their lives to come to a Christian meeting and experience His healing and come to give their lives to Christ if Islam was just as good?

You do realize that to convert to Christianity in an Islamic nation you risk your life and the life of your family and yet hundreds are doing it.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: You do realize that to convert to Christianity in an Islamic nation you risk your life and the life of your family and yet hundreds are doing it.

People convert to all kinds of religions. Muslims become Christians, Christians become Buddhists and any number of other faiths. People of all faiths become Atheists. Atheists find various forms of God (or other spiritualities). It's really no big deal. I'm sure that in some Muslim countries converted Christians do put themselves at risk. Belief makes people do strange things - even putting their lives at risk. Such risk taking behaviour doesn't mean that their beliefs are necessarily true just strongly held.

You say that humdreds of Muslims convert to Christianity (over what period by the way?). Do you have any figures for Christians who convert to other religions? The 'traffic' certainly isn't all in one direction.

Karla said...

Street Evangelism Miracles

Karla said...

cyberkitten, I was only referring to the distinction that they are risking their life. Deconverting Christians (with the exception of the horror of the crusades) do not risk their life.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: cyberkitten, I was only referring to the distinction that they are risking their life.

People risk their lives for their beliefs - but they theological, political or personal.... and?

Are you saying that the risk takers can only be taking such steps because what they believe *must* be true? What about other people who take similar risks? Are their beliefs by definition true too? Is this how you determine the truth of the matter - whether people are willing to die for their beliefs?

Karla said...

I think I am saying they must be experiencing something real to abandon Islam at risk of their life and the lives and well being of their families. It's a serious crime to become a follower of Christ in an Islamic nation.

But, if you don't think there is something there worth looking at that's okay. I'm just putting it out there.

Anonymous said...

Some Muslims do more than risk their lives for their beliefs, they actually kill themselves for their beliefs! Hence, the attacks on 9/11/01.

The god squad people are pretty good, and they target people that already believe. They are less impressive than the gay atheist from Britain in this series of youtube clips.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJ02I6QyagM

Sorry, there are 8 parts, but in these he converts atheists to his made-up religion and gets people to feel things. Are you prepared to say that Jesus was working through him to feel something that is false? If this is the case, then one would have to ask why? Why would Jesus purposefully mislead people in this way?

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I think I am saying they must be experiencing something real to abandon Islam at risk of their life and the lives and well being of their families.

But people do that with political beliefs as well. Communists in right-wing countries have been hounded and killed for their beliefs. Does this mean that they too "must be experiencing something real"?

You see the strength of a belief has no direct relation to the veracity of that belief. We are simply believing creatures who will die (and kill) for those beliefs. It has always been so - and probably always will be.

Quixote said...

karla said: "I think I am saying they must be experiencing something real to abandon Islam at risk of their life and the lives and well being of their families."

Karla's right, and it's pretty much a no-brainer. Generally, we wouldn't predict people to act drastically without some reason.

Likewise, Cyber's hit on the same thing when she says:

"Belief makes people do strange things - even putting their lives at risk."

&

"But people do that with political beliefs as well. Communists in right-wing countries have been hounded and killed for their beliefs. Does this mean that they too "must be experiencing something real"?"

Yes, they're experiencing something real.

And anon (would you identify yourself, please. I think I may have run into you somewhere else) when he says:

"Some Muslims do more than risk their lives for their beliefs, they actually kill themselves for their beliefs! Hence, the attacks on 9/11/01."

All correct. People do things when they believe strongly. So what does it mean? Does belief verify a claim. I don't think so.

But it does do something.For example, if someone believes they are experiencng God firsthand, it provides warrant for the belief. I would argue the belief is properly basic, incorrigible in fact, much in the same way a headache or stomach ache is incorrgible. Even when a hypochondriac is experiencing an imaginary illness, they're warranted in that belief. Doesn't mean it's true; it means it is rational for the person to hold the belief.

But what I see in Karla's post--in addition to the beauty of healing, which is something we should all be happy for, given that no one was injured and that people's lives were touched and improved--is that she has offered you an account of something she experienced with her senses.

It's an empirical experience she is reporting. For all the time you have spent here criticizing her cerebral defenses, I think in fairness you should acknowledge that much. Doesn't mean you have to believe it; all you have to go on is her testimony. But you should acknowldge that she is rational in her belief of the events, unless, of course, you can demonstrate an a priori impossibility in her claim, which frankly, you cannot.

I think that may be what she meant by this:

"But, if you don't think there is something there worth looking at that's okay. I'm just putting it out there."

Mike's suggestion for verification would be acceptable as well, but at this point it seems hardly possible.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"For example, if someone believes they are experiencng God firsthand, it provides warrant for the belief...Doesn't mean it's true; it means it is rational for the person to hold the belief."

Is it rational for someone to believe that leprechauns exist? How about someone who believes that Elvis is alive? How about someone who believes that they are JFK? Sorry, but the mere existence of someone holding a belief doesn't make it warranted or rational.

"It's an empirical experience she is reporting."

One that can and has been debunked many times and has been duplicated by a gay atheist as well as others.

"But you should acknowldge that she is rational in her belief of the events, unless, of course, you can demonstrate an a priori impossibility in her claim, which frankly, you cannot."

Her belief that god did it? Even if someone is healing people, it's begging the question to posit that this comes from god, especially since many religions claim the same types of experiences (in spite of Karla's erroneous claims that no other religions do this).

"Mike's suggestion for verification would be acceptable as well, but at this point it seems hardly possible."

Strange that, how these people never open themselves up to scientific scrutiny. I wonder why that is. Actually, I don't.

Timothy said...

Anon said "Strange that, how these people never open themselves up to scientific scrutiny. I wonder why that is. Actually, I don't."

So you have interviewed everyone who says they have been healed and found out that none of them had it verified by a doctor? I don't think so. So your statement doesn't work.

Also I do know that

1) several of the ministers I know of who are moving in the gift of healing do travel with a medical doctor on their team.

2) that they always encourage people to see a doctor to verify the change in their condition

3) That many of the testimonies I have heard are either from those who went back to their doctor to find that their illness was gone or from those who had something visibly verifiable and demonstrateable.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to verify that someone who was born blind can now see, or someone deaf can now hear or someone lame can now walk.

I didn't need to go to a doctor to find out that my sinus infection was gone. All the symptoms disappeared instantly and did not return. The chest congestion left me. The sinus drainage stopped. The hoarseness in my voice restored. I tangibly felt the presence of God flowing through me also.

When my friends foot that was numb for thirteen years was healed I saw the emotion of it all on his face. I saw him react when my husband touched his foot when before he couldn't feel that.

I have seen with my eyes so many things in the last few years of God's supernatural power. He is truly amazing.

Karla said...

Whoops somehow someone else had been logged into this computer. That last post by Timothy was actually me, Karla. Not sure what happened.

Anonymous said...

Karla,
It looks like your website has been touched by teh ghey! Oh noes! Timothy has a husband! You might want to get this looked at!

But seriously, I think you know what I mean by scientific scrutiny, and having a credulous medical doctor (medical doctor is not the same as scientist) around is not what I mean. I'm also wondering why they would encourage people to see a doctor if Jesus has healed them. Isn't that enough?

Also, did you see the videos I posted? A gay atheist was able to do the same stuff. How do you explain that?

Karla said...

Anonymous, I don't think anything I can say will satisfy you.

Anonymous said...

So, I guess that means that you didn't watch the videos (I'm not surprised).

Oh, and you not being able to actually make a sound argument or answer my questions doesn't mean that I can't be satisfied. It just means that YOU aren't up to the task. That's been painfully obvious from the moment I got here. Your lack of intellectual integrity, your pre-school level apologetics, and your lack of knowledge on the subjects that you blabber about readily lead to this impasse.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I almost forgot your reflexive need to avoid answering questions. That's not very conducive to discussion or making compelling arguments. I can name off the top of my head quite a few yes/no questions that you've been unwilling to answer. Next time you lie and say that you want to answer our questions, please know that you are lying, because it's obvious that you don't wish to answer questions. Otherwise you would have answered the book questions and the drowning questions, which you still, to this day, avoid like the plague.

Quixote said...

Anon said: "Is it rational for someone to believe that leprechauns exist?"

This demonstrates you have not understood what I have written. Please identify yourself. Until then, it seems you are trolling. Actually, you are a troll, but identify yourself anyway with an ID you use on other blogs. If you don;t have one, say so.

Karla said...

Anon, I think we have demonstrated in the past that you have a different definition of "answering" than the rest of us. You mean answering to your personal satisfaction.

I should have stopped responding to you long ago, but I have ignored your antagonism thus far for the most part, as I stated in the past when I ceased conversing with you, my policy is not to argue, but to discuss and to give answers from the Christian worldview without regressing into an attitude of being argumentative. Alas, I think we have again approached the tipping point and I do not wish to argue with you further.

Please limit future comments to the topic discussed in the post and write without succumbing to name calling.

Karla said...

Mike, Cyberkitten, Quixote and others I continue to appreciate your thoughtful comments and questions.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"This demonstrates you have not understood what I have written."

Oh really? I don't see how it's any different. If someone claims to experience god, then it warrants (as you say it) and it's rational. If someone claims to experience Leprechauns then it's grounds for dismissal of my argument? Special pleading anyone? Instead of showing that I didn't read your argument, it shows that you are giving preferential treatment to your preferred beliefs.

"Please identify yourself. Until then, it seems you are trolling. Actually, you are a troll, but identify yourself anyway with an ID you use on other blogs. If you don;t have one, say so."

Does my argument suddenly find more or less force based on my identity? What if I were a noted theorist or philosopher? Would you automatically assign more weight to my argument? What if I were a bum on the street? Would you use that to disregard my argument with the scorn that you currently show, and would it give you personal satisfaction that you are correct in doing so? How does my identity impact my arguments?

Anonymous said...

"Anon, I think we have demonstrated in the past that you have a different definition of "answering" than the rest of us."

Karla, this is just pathetic. My definition is the dictionary definition. If anyone has a different definition, it's been conclusively shown that it is you. Have you ever answered the questions that I talked about in my last comment to you? If you say that you have, then I hope you don't mind me calling you a liar, because that's what you are. I've asked you yes/no questions and you've never answered yes or no to any of them. This makes you morally and intellectually bankrupt. Why do you have to lie for your god? Is it OK to lie if you are doing it in service of your god? Do you think god looks kindly on your lies?

"You mean answering to your personal satisfaction. "

No, I mean actually answering. When I ask you how you know god is good and you say because he loves us, that I accepted as an answer of sorts, except I asked follow up questions, like "How do you know that?" You never explained how you know it. When I asked you how you know god speaks to you, you claimed that you simply knew, which is not an answer. When I asked you if god could write a book that detailed your future life, yes or no, you never answered. When I asked if you could deviate from that book, yes or no, you never answered. Is this what you call "answers?" I'm sure you won't answer these questions either, because you are nothing but lies and insecurity. You cling so tightly to god that nothing can sway you, and when you are bested in logical argument, you simply go into shut down mode where you cry out that you must be right no matter what, and you allow yourself to do whatever you think you need to do to make yourself feel like you are right. Maybe someday you will look back at this intellectually shameful scenario and be ashamed, as you should be now.

"I should have stopped responding to you long ago, but I have ignored your antagonism thus far for the most part, as I stated in the past when I ceased conversing with you, my policy is not to argue, but to discuss and to give answers from the Christian worldview without regressing into an attitude of being argumentative."

Even now you lie. The reason I point out your lies, is because your stated mission of answering questions is all a lie too. You don't want to answer questions. You want to preach. You want to spread your shallow and unintellectual apologetics and have people pat you on the back and tell you how great you are and how smart you are. Well, that isn't going to happen. I have serious questions that have seriously challenged you, and instead of following through with your stated mission, you waffled and caved in. Why can't you defend your god?

"Alas, I think we have again approached the tipping point and I do not wish to argue with you further. "

We reached that a long time ago when it was apparent that you had nothing to offer, morally or intellectually. We reached that long ago when it was apparent that you were a liar, not interested in answering tough questions. We reached that point a long time ago when it was apparent you were only interested in preaching - in trying to make people believe the way you believe. And, if we don't, then you try these emotional arguments and you lie about what has happened. It's all in the comments though. I invite anyone to go back and look at previous threads that I've been in and see the questions I've asked that have gone unanswered, so that they can see how full of BS you are and how much you are lying right now. And, in doing so, they will note that I'm not the only one that has noticed this about you.

"Please limit future comments to the topic discussed in the post and write without succumbing to name calling."

The only name I have called you is a liar, because it is true. Know that I don't make this charge lightly, because I think it is about the harshest charge that I can make towards you. So, you should know that I do this in all seriousness. You'll also note (no you won't because you don't have the cognitive capability) that all my responses thus far HAVE been on topic. This is the only one that has not, and only because you called me out, unfairly, as it is you who has lied and acted unscrupulously. You have got a lot of nerve to claim that I am the one out of the norm in terms of answering questions. I don't think you've asked a single question that I have not answered, yet in the other direction, many, many questions go unanswered. I'm still waiting on some very simple yes/no answers that you, to this day, refuse to answer! Even after Quixote walked right into it face first and I demonstrated that you both were wrong about free will, you still continue to maintain that you are right and cowardly hide instead of facing the challenge. Again, why can't you defend your god? Despicable.

Quixote said...

"Does my argument suddenly find more or less force based on my identity?"

Frankly, there's nothing that would help your arguments. It seems you're parroting arguments you read briefly in a book somewhere without grasping either their thrust or context. It's one of the more puerile and sophomoric displays I've seen on a blog, when combined with your attitude. Quit attempting to divert attention from the question and identify your blog name.

"Even after Quixote walked right into it face first and I demonstrated that you both were wrong about free will, you still continue to maintain that you are right and cowardly hide instead of facing the challenge."

Mere arrogant bluster. There is no shortage of atheist philosphers who would disagree with your contention. Again, when you summed up Hume's philosophy with three words (Hume is wrong), I knew you exhibited both the inability to conduct an intellectually honest conversation, and the unwillingness to consider any viewpoints but your own (not that there's much there worth considering based on your posts).

What's the point of wasting time with such an obvious troll? If I went on an atheist website and claimed categorically that "Kant was wrong" (or Hume for that matter), I'd get laughed out of the building--and rightly so. But you state it with such certainty (3 words!), expecting everyone to simply agree with you, and then your are incensed when they do not. What absurd arrogance.

Instead, here, Karla has been gracious enough to bear your inanity with longsuffering. She's a much better Christian than I in that regard

So, the reason I would like to know your blog persona is not to discount your argument (that's easy enough, obviously) but as a frame of reference in case you are this much of a troll wherever you post. So let's have it then. What's you blog persona? I think I know why you are afraid to disclose it.

Karla,

I apologize in advance for poking the troll again.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"Frankly, there's nothing that would help your arguments."

Um, yeah, that's why I kicked your butt with the book example.

"Mere arrogant bluster."

Um, yeah, that's why you walked right into it, right? With your exclamation that no one would follow what the book said to their untimely death, you proved that god can't be omni-max and that we can have free will. Better luck next time. It must hurt to be bested by an amateur.

"Again, when you summed up Hume's philosophy with three words (Hume is wrong), I knew you exhibited both the inability to conduct an intellectually honest conversation, and the unwillingness to consider any viewpoints but your own (not that there's much there worth considering based on your posts)."

Ah, so you believe that Hume can't be wrong? If I remember correctly, he didn't hold the same theological views as you, so that must mean that either you believe he is indeed wrong, or you believe that he can't be wrong so you must be. Ah, but it must be OK for you to think he's wrong, but not me? Nice double standard.

"What's the point of wasting time with such an obvious troll?"

Because my arguments have made now both of you look bad.

"If I went on an atheist website and claimed categorically that "Kant was wrong" (or Hume for that matter), I'd get laughed out of the building--and rightly so."

Not if you did it in response to a specific argument they made that was indeed wrong. But, hey, thanks for stereotyping.

"But you state it with such certainty (3 words!), expecting everyone to simply agree with you, and then your are incensed when they do not."

Wrong again. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, simply because I say it. That's why I backed it up with a demonstration and an argument that you couldn't defeat. In fact, you even helped me with your little exclamation about how no one would be stupid enough to do what god had written for them in the book. Thanks for making it so easy.

"Instead, here, Karla has been gracious enough to bear your inanity with longsuffering. She's a much better Christian than I in that regard"

The reason she draws ire from me is because she disrespects me and everyone else with her lies and falsehoods. Is it all right to lie so long as you do it in a polite tone? I find that to be highly disrespectful and low. It would be OK if she were as brazen as you - that wouldn't bother me. It's when she makes flatly false statements that I get irked. And, remember, I'm not the only one who has noticed. Of course, you don't notice because she's on your team and it's better to stand with the god side, right or wrong, than give comfort to the enemy, right?

"I think I know why you are afraid to disclose it. "

Why? Because you think you can make demands? Oh, that's not the reason you think I'm not giving it to you, but it happens to be the reason. Don't make demands of me.

Quixote said...

"Better luck next time. It must hurt to be bested by an amateur."

At least you got the amateur part right.

"he didn't hold the same theological views as you, so that must mean that either you believe he is indeed wrong, or you believe that he can't be wrong so you must be"

I quoted him as agreeing with me. Try to keep up. I happen to like Hume, but one difference between us is that I would not even try to refute you with three words, much less David Hume.

"But, hey, thanks for stereotyping."

I was charaterizing atheists in a favorable light here. Again, try to understand what's being said before posting.

"I don't expect everyone to agree with me, simply because I say it."

Really? So where was your refutation of Hume (in addition to the 3 words?

"Is it all right to lie so long as you do it in a polite tone?"

No. Can you cite an example of this? It looks from here that you simply are mad because she disagrees. But, if she is indeed lying to you, I'll side with you.

"Why? Because you think you can make demands?"

Nonsense. You like anonymity because you don't have to be accountable for your attitude (& your arguments one would presume). To borrow your phrase, I'm not the only one who's noticed. I tell you what though. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. Pretty please (no demands) reveal yourself.

Karla, sorry for poking the troll again.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"At least you got the amateur part right."

Yup, that's why you ran away from the thread.

"I quoted him as agreeing with me. Try to keep up."

You lack reading comprehension. I guess you are saying that Hume is always right when YOU agree with him? How convenient for you.

"I happen to like Hume, but one difference between us is that I would not even try to refute you with three words, much less David Hume."

You use this word "refute" but I don't think you know what it means. Again, saying he is wrong is not the same as refuting, which is why I demonstrated it with my example. I don't see why it is so shocking to say that someone is wrong and then bring an argument to back it up, which is exactly what I did. If you disagree, then feel free to try and answer the yes/no questions again and see if you get a better result. The problem for you is that you already tipped your hand and lost.

"I was charaterizing atheists in a favorable light here. Again, try to understand what's being said before posting."

No you weren't, and even if you were, it's still a stereotype. It seems that YOU need to know what is being said before you stick your foot in your mouth.

"Really? So where was your refutation of Hume (in addition to the 3 words?"

Um, it was the book example which you got bested by. Funny that you would forget that whupping you took.

"No. Can you cite an example of this? It looks from here that you simply are mad because she disagrees. But, if she is indeed lying to you, I'll side with you."

There are numerous examples that I've pointed out numerous times. For instance, she continues to assert that morality can not exist without god, even though she's been shown moral systems that don't rely on god. Her claims to want to answer questions also falls rather flat when she refuses to answer questions, as the book example questions and the drowning example questions go unanswered. I can see why she wouldn't want to answer those though, because when you tried, you failed.

"Nonsense."

Then why are you demanding?

Quixote said...

"There are numerous examples that I've pointed out numerous times"

I see. When she disagrees with you claim it's a lie. I think I remember her making a point to clear the morality thing up with you. I thought that was pretty gracious on her part. You should accept that and let go of it until it happens again, or if you can't, just go away.

"Yup, that's why you ran away from the thread."

I discontinued with the thread because you are senseless. But I'm willing to start all over yet again:

You presented a book analogy as a thought experiment intended to prove free will and an omni-max god are contradictory.

I responded by invoking compatibilism, offered a brief illustration of it, and cited Hume.

You said "Hume is wrong" and went back to your analogy and original question. I suggest to you in all fairness that you present this exact chain of events to any established atheist blogger and they will inform you that an objection has been presented, requiring a refutation on your part, not a restatement of your original question/analogy.

Any reputable atheist blog will tell you the same thing I am. It is incumbent upon you to counter compatibilism, IOW, at this point the burden of proof is on you at this point in the argument.

In all fairness to you, anon, I only labor this point because I would much prefer us to have reasonable discourse, rather than insult each other back and forth.

It's the nature of argumentation and the reason why logical challenges fail so often. You are trying to prove that omni-max theism and free will are logically contradictory. It's a tall order, and to be honest, you're going to need more than a book analogy as I've demonstrated. Again, don't take my word for it, go to an atheist site an ask them. They'll perhaps agree that you're right, but they will agree with me that at this point in the debate you've got nothing to stand on.

Personally, I'd encourage you to proceed with a more evidential challenge as oposed to a logical one. It's much easier, and carries more weight philosophically (unless of course you can prove the contradiction) to make this lesser claim, ie, free will and omni-max are incompatible, rather than mutually exclusive.

For example, nearly all, if not all, of atheist philosophers have abandoned the logical problem of evil for the evidential problem of evil, because the burden of proof is too high. It just seems that proving the proposition "God has no morally sufficient reason to allow evil" is too high a standard or too hard a claim to make. Your book analogy has the same problem. Deductively, you've got to prove that omni-max and free will are contradictory. Even if you refute all of my objections, you still have to prove that there's not some mystical property of "Godness" we are unaware of that makes omni-max and free will compatible. No matter what, you are not going to achieve this within the space of a blog post, and to think such is arrogance on your part, when legions of philosophers, theologians, and everyday people have been arguing this for centuries.

To make matters worse, not only did compatibilism go unchallenged, but, if memory serves, I also indicated a version of the free will argument that escaped your analogy. To make matters worse, I haven't even resorted to the notion of God's middle knowledge or Molinistic grounds for the compatibility of free will and omni-max. Honestly, I haven't needed to based on your posts.

So, rather than all these "unaswered questions" you keep referring to, which purportedly have stumped everyone, all you have succeeded in doing is, well, nothing. But I don't want you to take my word for it. I want you to consult an objective source maintained by folks who share your worldview and beliefs. They'll tell you the same thing.

So, to sum, I would prefer to have reasonable discourse with you. I will apologize for being snarky and make no excuse for it. To this end, please consider my suggestion to get an outside opinion. Then we'll talk again. Oh, and I said pretty please on the ID issue.

Anonymous said...

"I see. When she disagrees with you claim it's a lie."

No, not at all. When she continues to assert things that have been objected to and shown false, then it's a lie.

"I think I remember her making a point to clear the morality thing up with you. I thought that was pretty gracious on her part."

It's not gracious when it's the fourth time and she doesn't actually follow through on it. She talks the talk, but does not walk the walk.

"I discontinued with the thread because you are senseless."

Oh really? Then refute the argument I made...oh wait, you can't. In fact, your supposed counter-argument supported me.

"You presented a book analogy as a thought experiment intended to prove free will and an omni-max god are contradictory.

I responded by invoking compatibilism, offered a brief illustration of it, and cited Hume.

You said "Hume is wrong" and went back to your analogy and original question. I suggest to you in all fairness that you present this exact chain of events to any established atheist blogger and they will inform you that an objection has been presented, requiring a refutation on your part, not a restatement of your original question/analogy."

Which would normally be the case, but you are misrepresenting the situation. My original argument was not rebutted or refuted by you, you simply asserted I was wrong and that people believe in compatibilism. You don't get to ignore my argument and claim that I have to refute everything you say before you will deal with it. Further, my argument does refute your assertions, as you proved.

"Any reputable atheist blog will tell you the same thing I am. It is incumbent upon you to counter compatibilism, IOW, at this point the burden of proof is on you at this point in the argument."

Which I did with my example. Since you can't answer the questions without showing that god can't be omni-max if we have free will. You can bury your head in the sand all you like and scream "compatibilism" all you like, but it doesn't change the fact that the example demonstrates beyond doubt that free will can not exist with an omni-max deity.

"In all fairness to you, anon, I only labor this point because I would much prefer us to have reasonable discourse, rather than insult each other back and forth."

I would too, so stop attacking me. The only person I see making demands, calling names, etc. between you and I is you. You've called me amateur, stupid (not using those words), unable to make a coherent argument, etc. You've pretty much claimed that I'm unbalanced, etc. If our discussion is not civil, is it because of that perhaps? I'll let you make the call.

"It's the nature of argumentation and the reason why logical challenges fail so often. You are trying to prove that omni-max theism and free will are logically contradictory. It's a tall order, and to be honest, you're going to need more than a book analogy as I've demonstrated."

No, actually I don't. All I need is one example that shows that they can't logically co-exist, which is what I've provided. Your argument, OTOH, seems to rely on an argument from authority. Simply because smart people haven't seen the contradiction doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Hell, even Einstein was wrong about QM.

"They'll perhaps agree that you're right, but they will agree with me that at this point in the debate you've got nothing to stand on."

This is contradictory. If I'm right, I'm right because my argument stands, so it would mean that I do have a leg to stand on.

This is all appetizer to the main course though. If I don't have a leg to stand on, it should be easy for you to show the logical error in the example. The last time you tried, however, you fell face first into it and I showed that you can't escape the logic.

"Personally, I'd encourage you to proceed with a more evidential challenge as oposed to a logical one."

Considering that no one can present evidence for god in the first place, I think this is much, much harder.

"For example, nearly all, if not all, of atheist philosophers have abandoned the logical problem of evil for the evidential problem of evil, because the burden of proof is too high."

Epicurus would disagree.

"Your book analogy has the same problem."

Then, point out what the problem is.

"Even if you refute all of my objections, you still have to prove that there's not some mystical property of "Godness" we are unaware of that makes omni-max and free will compatible."

Omni-max is the property of godness.

"No matter what, you are not going to achieve this within the space of a blog post, and to think such is arrogance on your part, when legions of philosophers, theologians, and everyday people have been arguing this for centuries."

Only because people like Karla refuse to answer the questions and face the logic. Hell, in this day and age we shouldn't have to argue about god at all. It's only through inertia and cultural pressure that people still believe.

"To make matters worse, not only did compatibilism go unchallenged, but, if memory serves, I also indicated a version of the free will argument that escaped your analogy."

Memory doesn't serve correctly, which is why you triumphally walked right into the wall and lost the debate.

"So, rather than all these "unaswered questions" you keep referring to, which purportedly have stumped everyone, all you have succeeded in doing is, well, nothing."

On the contrary, to anyone who actually answers those questions, as you tried, I've shown that free will can not exist with an omni-max deity. C'mon, are you really going to deny that you didn't walk into it? If god gives you a book, you have to follow what's in it, don't you? But, you claimed, "Aha, no one would willingly kill themselves in a stupid manner unless they were suicidal," (don't get excited, it's a paraphrase) which walked right into the issue. That's exactly it. No one would do such a thing, which means that they would not follow what was in the book. This would mean that god was not able to write a book that detailed your life. Your exclamation simply showed that god was not omni-max if you actually had free will.

"But I don't want you to take my word for it. I want you to consult an objective source maintained by folks who share your worldview and beliefs. They'll tell you the same thing."

I'll let you in on a secret...it's not my argument. I borrowed it from another atheist, who did present it on another forum and it did pass with flying colors. D'oh.

"So, to sum, I would prefer to have reasonable discourse with you. I will apologize for being snarky and make no excuse for it."

I too was snarky. (Probably was in the above as well.) I'm willing to say that it is water under the bridge. I don't attack unless I perceive that I am being attacked first. You may not have meant to do so, and I may have simply perceived it that way. From here on out, let's let bygones be bygones. I would like for you to deal with the book example, however. Perhaps that should be done on the thread where we first discussed it, however, since it is OT for this thread.

Quixote said...

Bygones are bygones it is then, my anonymous friend.

"I'll let you in on a secret...it's not my argument. I borrowed it from another atheist, who did present it on another forum and it did pass with flying colors. D'oh."

Except that I want you to address other atheists regarding a different, but related matter. I already agreed that they would find your argument appealing; however, what they will tell you is that you have the burden of proof with regard to my objection. Name the site and I'll be happy to meet you there.

"Considering that no one can present evidence for god in the first place, I think this is much, much harder."

This is another reason we need to go to an atheist site. You'll be much more likely to listen to them when they tell you the same things I am. Evidential has a different meaning when used in this philosophic context.

Incidentally,

"That's exactly it. No one would do such a thing, which means that they would not follow what was in the book."

No, it means that not even God could write a book with that particular event. It's like God creating a square circle. Again, please name an instance when anyone ever chose against their strongest desire. You should drop the example above when making this argument; its particulary destructive to your claim.

Like I said, let's go to an atheist site. Let me know when you're ready.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"Except that I want you to address other atheists regarding a different, but related matter. I already agreed that they would find your argument appealing; however, what they will tell you is that you have the burden of proof with regard to my objection. Name the site and I'll be happy to meet you there."

It seems to me that your objection is rebutted with the example. That's the whole point. Your assertion is what is being rebutted. The whole idea of free will co-existing with an omni-max god is what is being rebutted with the example. I don't understand why you are insisting on this.

"This is another reason we need to go to an atheist site. You'll be much more likely to listen to them when they tell you the same things I am. Evidential has a different meaning when used in this philosophic context."

How would you make an evidential argument about an omni-max entity? I'm not sure how one could even go about doing that.

"No, it means that not even God could write a book with that particular event. It's like God creating a square circle. Again, please name an instance when anyone ever chose against their strongest desire. You should drop the example above when making this argument; its particulary destructive to your claim."

On the contrary, it proves the claim. True or false, people die because of stupid accidents. I don't think I'm going out on a limb to anticipate that you would claim that the statement is true, but feel free to say otherwise. Now, if god wrote a book that detailed one of those people's lives and handed it to them, it would claim that they will die in a stupid accident. Knowing this, they could avoid that accident and not die, thus proving the book wrong. If the book is proven wrong, then god is not omni-max, for god would have been shown to be wrong.

Sure, we choose according to our desires, but our desires are changed with the information that we receive from outside sources. If you go to a restaurant and order steak, you will probably have conformed to your desires. If someone showed you a report from the health inspector just before you arrived that said the restaurant's beef was tainted with mad cow disease you would not desire to eat the steak and would order something else (or order steak from a different restaurant, more likely). This influx of information allows us to change our minds, it helps shape our desires. The book would be one instance of that. This means that it would be impossible for god to give us a book that details our lives, because it would change our desires. But, if god can not write such a book, then it shows that god really isn't omni-max.

So, you see, instead of invalidating my argument, it is really just one prong on which the theist can get trapped. The other is, of course, claiming that we can't deviate from the book, which shows that we don't have free will at all.

Quixote said...

"Sure, we choose according to our desires, but our desires are changed with the information that we receive from outside sources."

Exactly. So if God gave me this information, I would avoid the accident, ie, my desires would change with that information. Unfortunately, your book analogy does not claim that we have access to the book, at least I don't think you're saying that we can know the future, but are powerless to prevent it.

Given that, then, it is easy to envision us choosing in accordance with our strongest desires at all times, yet having all events occur necessarily. IOW, compatibilism. It is now incumbent on you to refute compatibilism, which, since it has a long and storied tradition with no less than Hume arguing for it, seems a difficult task. One thing's for sure though, it's impossible for you to refute it with a blog post. You'll need a book. The starter pistol for this objection hasn't even fired yet.

"So, you see, instead of invalidating my argument, it is really just one prong on which the theist can get trapped. The other is, of course, claiming that we can't deviate from the book, which shows that we don't have free will at all."

I understand what you are saying; however, you have presented a false dilemma. I can think of a tertium quid: God may have middle knowledge. Now you even have more work to do:)

"How would you make an evidential argument about an omni-max entity? I'm not sure how one could even go about doing that."

Evidential carries a different meaning in this context. Here it means more like an inference to the best explanation. By doing this instead, you avoid the standard of proof required by trying to prove the logical contraction between omni-max and free will. In order to logically prove the contradiction, you are forced to prove that omni-max does not have some kind of mystical power that we can't know in our finitude that makes omni-max and free will non-contrdictory, or that no extra dimensions exist that make them compatible, or numerous like claims. And that's only after you tackle all the standard objections that remain unrefuted after centuries.

By contrast, by simply switching to an evidential challenge, you only need demonstrate that based on our observations, the best explanation is that an omni-max god does not exist, thereby forcing the theist to prove that omni-max may in fact exist.

I hope you can accept this without thinking I am condescending toward you--honestly, I am not. But it would be a big help to you in your argumentation if you would learn this distinction. Even atheists who agree with you that omni-max can be disproven logically will tell you the same thing.

We really need to continue this argument at an atheist site, so you don't have to take my word for it. I can find an impartial one that I have never commented on if you are willing.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"Unfortunately, your book analogy does not claim that we have access to the book, at least I don't think you're saying that we can know the future, but are powerless to prevent it."

Huh? Yes, it does. In the example, god writes down the book and hands it to you, and you read it. That's how you would know that you die a death from some avoidable accident.

"Given that, then, it is easy to envision us choosing in accordance with our strongest desires at all times, yet having all events occur necessarily. IOW, compatibilism."

Um, I would still contest that. If the universe is determined, then we don't actually have free will, even if we think we are always "choosing" what we wish for. That would be apparent free will. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because you do have the book.

"It is now incumbent on you to refute compatibilism, which, since it has a long and storied tradition with no less than Hume arguing for it, seems a difficult task."

No, it is not, because you didn't deal with the actual book example.

"I understand what you are saying; however, you have presented a false dilemma. I can think of a tertium quid: God may have middle knowledge. Now you even have more work to do:)"

It's not a false dilemma. Either god is omni-max or he isn't. Either we have free will or we don't.

"Evidential carries a different meaning in this context. Here it means more like an inference to the best explanation."

Let's deal with the example and then worry about this.

"By contrast, by simply switching to an evidential challenge, you only need demonstrate that based on our observations, the best explanation is that an omni-max god does not exist, thereby forcing the theist to prove that omni-max may in fact exist."

That's already been shown as I'm sure Michael Martin would attest. In no way should my arguments be construed as to imply that I believe that an omni-max god is even possible.

"I hope you can accept this without thinking I am condescending toward you--honestly, I am not."

As I said, let's focus on the example at hand, then worry about other stuff.

"We really need to continue this argument at an atheist site, so you don't have to take my word for it. I can find an impartial one that I have never commented on if you are willing."

Let's see where we get here first. I'm curious, because it seems as though you were under an erroneous impression about what the example entails.

Quixote said...

Based on your response, it seems to me that you are postualting an absurdity, ascribing it to Chrisitianity, then arguing that it's false: IOW, claiming that God writes a book containing an account of an accident that determines my death, then informs me of this destiny, yet precludes me from acting against it.

First, this analogy is divorced from any observation of reality: we are never given access to such a book. Secondly, it is not an accurate representation of the omni-max position. What you have postulated is the equivalent of positing that God can make a square circle. In no possible world can God create beings with free will that act against the strongest inclination of their will, just like God cannot require 2+2 to equal four in any possible world.

You have not proposed anything meaningful; therefore, it offers no logical refutation of God's existence.

Do me a favor. Re-state your analogical argument in its formal logical structure: premises and conclusion. That will prevent us from mis-interpreting it, and it will expose (or not) any weaknesses. Presenting the formal argument should solve this issue.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"Based on your response, it seems to me that you are postualting an absurdity, ascribing it to Chrisitianity, then arguing that it's false: IOW, claiming that God writes a book containing an account of an accident that determines my death, then informs me of this destiny, yet precludes me from acting against it."

What is absurd about it? god is omni-max, so surely god has the ability to write a book that would detail your entire life and give it to you, does he not? In fact, god would have been able to write this book before forming the universe if god were actually omni-max.

The only reason that you would be precluded from acting against it is because that would show that god is not omni-max. If you posit a god that is not omni-max, then free will can exist.

"First, this analogy is divorced from any observation of reality: we are never given access to such a book."

Doesn't matter. Surely an omni-max god has this ability.

"Secondly, it is not an accurate representation of the omni-max position. What you have postulated is the equivalent of positing that God can make a square circle. In no possible world can God create beings with free will that act against the strongest inclination of their will, just like God cannot require 2+2 to equal four in any possible world."

Then you are saying that god can not write this book and hand it to you? If not, then god is not omni-max. That's the whole point. For god to have omni-max ability, the universe must be determined. If the universe is determined, the free will is a myth.

"You have not proposed anything meaningful; therefore, it offers no logical refutation of God's existence."

Beg to differ, you are just avoiding the outcome. God can or can't write such a book, please decide. If god can, then god can hand it to you, please decide. Now, tell me whether you can deviate from the book or not.

"Do me a favor. Re-state your analogical argument in its formal logical structure: premises and conclusion. That will prevent us from mis-interpreting it, and it will expose (or not) any weaknesses. Presenting the formal argument should solve this issue."

I think simply answering the questions posed will solve the issue.

Quixote said...

"Now, tell me whether you can deviate from the book or not."

Again, holding me to a false dilemma proves nothing. It is impossible for God to create the state of affairs you are positing. It's no refutation of omnipotence to suggest impossible states of affairs and then insist that God perform them.

"I think simply answering the questions posed will solve the issue."

Obviously, this is not the case. However, if you provide the formal, logical structure for your argument, this issue should resolve itself quickly.

Anonymous said...

So, you are claiming that god can't write a book that details your life and hand it to you?

This means god is not omni-max.

Karla said...

Wow. I'll try and read all these new comments from the weekend when I get time today. I have something awesome to share in my next post. I witnessed something amazing yesterday.

Quixote said...

"So, you are claiming that god can't write a book that details your life and hand it to you?"

Of course not. Once again, we need to formalize this argument so there's no misunderstanding remaining. It sounds like you are claiming this:

P1 Omnipotence and Omniscience are logically contradictory with the existence of free will.

P2 Free will exists.

C Therefore, omnipotence and omniscience do not exist.

It's your argument, so feel free to arrange it any way you want, but it needs to be formalized if we are ever going to have a worthwhile conversation.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
"Of course not. Once again, we need to formalize this argument so there's no misunderstanding remaining."

Are you asking for simply a different format? Really, does that change the force of the argument? Personally, I find that in most cases the formal statement is more confusing than simply stating the argument in plain, everyday language. Here it is:

Can god write a book that details your every thought, movement, action, etc.? If so, can god give this book to you? If so, and he does so, can anything you say, think, do, etc. deviate in any way from this book?

It's three simple questions, and they are all yes/no. Stating this in formalese would entail much more complexity than three simple yes/no questions.

"It's your argument, so feel free to arrange it any way you want, but it needs to be formalized if we are ever going to have a worthwhile conversation."

I don't see why. Is this the criteria for having a worthwhile conversation in all cases? I would think not, so why is it so important in this case?

Quixote said...

"Can god write a book that details your every thought, movement, action, etc.? If so, can god give this book to you? If so, and he does so, can anything you say, think, do, etc. deviate in any way from this book?"

Yes, Yes, & it depends (the last one is not a Y/N).

"I don't see why. Is this the criteria for having a worthwhile conversation in all cases? I would think not, so why is it so important in this case?"

Formalizing removes the ambiguity & equivocation. It seems to me that's why we're having trouble communicating. Personally, I'm satisified with the way this argument has played out, but I'll be more than happy to continue if you're of a mind to. Your call, with no shame either way.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, Yes, & it depends (the last one is not a Y/N)."

What does it depend on? Are you saying that you can deviate at some times and not others? Or are you saying that depending on X, you can deviate or not deviate at all?

I'm not sure the answers to these questions matter in the least, however. You have to answer yes to the first two questions in order to maintain god's omni-max nature. Whether you answer yes or no to the last matters not. Either way leaves you with having to deny free will or god's omni-max nature.

"Formalizing removes the ambiguity & equivocation."

Stating the questions in yes/no format also removes the ambiguity and equivocation.

"It seems to me that's why we're having trouble communicating."

Probably the reason we aren't communicating is because I thought you had gotten the full argument when you had not. Now that you have, we are doing just fine.

"Personally, I'm satisified with the way this argument has played out, but I'll be more than happy to continue if you're of a mind to."

I don't know why you would be, considering that the example is at an impasse where if you answer one way you lose one of your assumptions and you lose the other if you answer the other way.

Quixote said...

"I don't know why you would be, considering that the example is at an impasse where if you answer one way you lose one of your assumptions and you lose the other if you answer the other way."

Simply because false dilemmas and logical absurdities have never intimidated me. Like this, for example:

"Either way leaves you with having to deny free will or god's omni-max nature."

Once again, thankfully I have other options at my disposal as previously noted (hence, false dilemma), and the burden of proof is on you to disprove them. Since no one else in the history of philosophy has yet to do so, I don't hold out much hope that they will be refuted here.

Anonymous said...

"Once again, thankfully I have other options at my disposal as previously noted..."

I confess, I must have missed the other options. Can you please list them for me?

Quixote said...

Compatibilism.

God's middle knowledge in Molinism.

Dimensional considerations.

The appeal to nescience.

Anonymous said...

Can we deal with these one at a time? Start with compatibilism?

Quixote said...

Here's a good summary:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/

Anonymous said...

I have not answered you lately Quixote, because I wanted to read through the materials you linked to, and it's been a holiday weekend - meaning stuff to do other than read about philosophy.

Having now read just about all of it (I started to skip at the end due to the fact that it wasn't relevant), I can say that compatibilism doesn't in and of itself represent a criticism of the example in question. We might ask what the compatibilist might try to argue, however.

Given that the link you provided shows the problems with the classical compatibilist position, there's not much need to go into that. The more modern versions all tend to fall short as well. The modern versions all suffer the same problem, and that is assuming that agents do have free will and that we can discern whether or not they do simply by looking at their actions and asking about the moral responsibility that people have. Does it make sense to punish people in a determined system? Probably not, since they are not ultimately in control of their actions. Their actions were determined by the past, which was in turn determined by its past, etc, etc, etc down to the action of creation by god. IOW, god would have set the action on its course with full knowledge of how all would play out, meaning that the universe would be determined at that point. The compatibilist must take on this point, which is not in evidence. The best attempt to was shot down (classical compatibilism).

In summary, compatibilism is not an objection to the example that holds weight.

Quixote said...

Haste is not a requirement; accuracy is, and you have responded well and exactly as your opponent would predict; however, here's the problem: compatibilism does in fact counter your example, and serves as a viable defeater for the logical form of your argument.

By definition, it claims that free will is compatible with determinism, or that if it is the case that God writes a book, the determined actions of the creatures would be considered free and culpable.

You are also correct in noting some of the challenges posed to compatibilists. Though I may believe compatibilism to be true, and the best answer to the nature of the will, I cannot with intellectual honesty claim that it is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

But I don't need to, either. The article does suggest that there are six live versions of the modern argument in play within current philosophical discourse. Moreover, there remain those who maintain the classic form of compatibilism, in addition to the philosophic titans of the past who argued for it.

Thus, even though compatibilism has not been proven, relatively speaking, it follows that the converse is also true: it has not been disproven. The theory is as robust today as it was centuries ago. For a good contrast with what a dead theory looks like, measure compatibilism against logical positivism. Simply put, compatibilism is a live, thriving philosophic view.

Necessarily, then, the existence of compatibilism is a defeater for your argument, and as long as it exists, not to mention the other defeaters offered, your argument fails.

This fact highlights the reason I encouraged you to switch to an evidential or probablistic argument in favor of the logical argument against free will, as most in the atheistic community have (as a point of fact, I don't believe any atheist currently maintains the logical argument of the problem of evil. It has been abandoned for the evidential POE argument for much the same reasons as outlined above).

By doing so, you need not defeat compatibilism, and other related defeaters, for your argument to succeed. You need only support the inference to your best explanation--thereby requiring me to demonstrate why compatibilism defeats your argument. You have noted some of the reasons this would be a highly unlikely achievement on my part.

The only drawback is the lesser claim. You would be forced to cease telling me that free will is logically contradictory with omni-max, instead claiming that it is difficult to see how they are consistent with each other. It's a small distinction with a huge difference, but one that should be acceptable seeing how the former cannot be proven.

Anonymous said...

"By definition, it claims that free will is compatible with determinism, or that if it is the case that God writes a book, the determined actions of the creatures would be considered free and culpable."

That's part of the issue. They merely define free will as compatible with determinism, but they are wholly unable to demonstrate that it is so. And, in failing to do so, they fail to counteract the arguments based on the actual definitions of the words in question.

"The article does suggest that there are six live versions of the modern argument in play within current philosophical discourse."

And all of them fail against the example given. Most of them (like Dennett's idea) are about whether we should treat the universe as if it is determined or not in regards to moral responsibility. I'm not convinced that Dennett does believe in compatibilism so much as he believes that we should act as if people have free will and can be held accountable for their actions. I find nothing objectionable about this stance, but it doesn't get to the matter of whether an omni-max god created a determined universe and whether we can act differently.

"Moreover, there remain those who maintain the classic form of compatibilism, in addition to the philosophic titans of the past who argued for it."

This is like saying that some smart people believe in X, so therefore there must be something to it. The article you linked pointed out the fatal flaw with the classical view. That people won't accept this or are ignorant of the fact that the argument is fatally flawed and not usable doesn't mean that it still holds weight. This is unfortunate for you as well, because the classical idea is the one that most directly talks to the issue at hand.

"Thus, even though compatibilism has not been proven, relatively speaking, it follows that the converse is also true: it has not been disproven."

Disproven meaning what? It doesn't make logical sense, and it is in direct contradiction to the words that we use. Determined means that everything is set, which is in direct opposition to the idea that people can choose to do anything, hence no free will. I feel like a bunch of theologians/philosophers are yanking all of our chains in trying to come up with absurd contradictions and then simply trying to defend them.

"The theory is as robust today as it was centuries ago."

I disagree. The modern ideas seem like significant withdrawls from the classical, almost as if the new authors are aware that they've been defeated in certain aspects and are still trying to salvage what they can.

"Necessarily, then, the existence of compatibilism is a defeater for your argument, and as long as it exists, not to mention the other defeaters offered, your argument fails."

No, it doesn't, because the compatibilist has no answer to the dilemma. The only thing the compatibilist will claim is that one can have free will and god can write a book and it doesn't contradict. But, the example shows that if the person acts differently from the book, then the universe is not determined and god is not omni-max.

Quixote said...

Nope. You of all people understand who has the burden of proof. As long as you are unable to prove compatibilism wrong, and you cannot, your argument fails. Or, put another way, as long as compatibilism remains unrefuted, and in my estimation it remains unrefuted, I am not required to accept your argument.

Anonymous said...

Although I disagree that I have to refute something that doesn't actually refute my argument before my argument can hold weight...which part of compatibilism do you want refuted? Should we start with the classical formulation, since that is the only one which even comes close to touching on the book example?

Quixote said...

"Although I disagree that I have to refute something that doesn't actually refute my argument before my argument can hold weight."

It doesn't need to refute your argument, it only needs to serve as a possibility. Your burden of proof is too high with this argument. In much the same way, you are not required to refute every argument I give you for the existence of God to be rational in not believing the proposition. In addition, it does refute your argument the way I understand it.

Your argument's that human free will and omni-max are logically contradictory, right? Something like this:

1) Christianity claims that humans make free and meaningful choices.

2) Christianity posits an omni-max God.

3) Omni-max Gods are logically contradictory with free will and meaningful choices.

Therefore, Christianity has a contradiction at its center.

If this is even close to a reasonable facsimile of your argument, compatibilism is a defeater for it, and your burden of proof is going to be too high to meet, but I'll be happy to listen.

Anonymous said...

"It doesn't need to refute your argument, it only needs to serve as a possibility."

That's the whole point, though is that it isn't a possibility. Simply because someone says, "Free will and determinism are compatible," without being able to actually back it up doesn't mean that it's a possibility, and sorry, but they have not backed it up. This is why I dislike philosophy, because people say things that are ridiculous, find some hokey way to write a "proof" for it, and then act as if it needs to be disproven. Worse, other philosophers take them seriously, and instead of just pointing out that the "proof" is hokey and blatantly wrong, they go through round and round of quibbling over this word or that word.

"If this is even close to a reasonable facsimile of your argument, compatibilism is a defeater for it, and your burden of proof is going to be too high to meet, but I'll be happy to listen."

It's not a defeater, period. Compatibilism has never been able to get past the simple observation that if determinism is true, then no one can do otherwise. This was blatantly spelled out in the link you gave. If outcome X is the determined outcome of actions A and B, then A and B are not choices if X has to come true. Or if we go the other direction, if I "choose" A, which leads to X, then the compatibilist claims that had I "choosen" B, it would have lead to Y. Yet, the choice of A was determined and was itself an outcome of a determined set. We can trace this all the way back to the first act of god's creation. This leaves us with no way of actualizing a choice other than what has transpired, hence no free will. The compatibilist argument falls on this very point. They can assert all they want that free will is compatible with determinism, but they are dead wrong.

Hence, the book example is actually the defeater of compatibilism, not the other way around. The example shows that compatibilism doesn't have a leg to stand on in the small area where they coincide.

If one wants to jettison the idea of an omni-max god, I'm quite happy to say that there's no logical contradiction between a non-omni-max god and free will. This is possible. But, it is simply not possible to have an omni-max god and free will.

Quixote said...

"They can assert all they want that free will is compatible with determinism, but they are dead wrong."

I've yet to see you demonstrate that, so it remains an unfounded assertion, not a cogent argument.

At any rate, if someone chooses exactly what they want at all times, as they do under the compatibilist system, they're, well, choosing exactly what they want. That satisfies the condition of them exercising their will freely. Somehow, they're choosing exactly what they want, in accordance with their strongest desires, but they're not exercising their wills toward what they want? It almost seems self-ruting to claim otherwise.

"But, it is simply not possible to have an omni-max god and free will."

Go with the probabilistic form of the argument, my friend. The burden of proof is too heavy to prove this. I can cite compatibilism forever, and you will not be able to refute it, not to mention the titans of philosophy that accept it.

Furthermore, I can consider Molinisnistic middle knowledge, and several other defeaters. (BTW-I respect your efforts w/compatibilism even though they fall short in my estimation)

Let's leave all those aside for a moment, because we are not getting anywhere. Let's assume you actually did refute every objection offered against your argument. You would still not be able to prove your argument true. I could still claim there are properties about God or the supernatural realm that harmonize Omni-max and free will in a way that you can't fully understand here.

This is why logical contradictory arguments fail so often. Take the POE, for example. You can't prove that God and evil are logically contradictory, because in order to do so you would need to prove that God cannot have a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil to exist. The burden's too high.

This argument devolves to the same difficulty. Attempting to overcome the burden of proof is too difficult. Can you really disprove that the supernatural realm cannot harmonize free will and omni-max in a manner that you can't fully comprehend here? I don't think so. Go with the probabilistic argument. If you do, you've got a strong argument.

"I'm quite happy to say that there's no logical contradiction between a non-omni-max god and free will."

There's a lot of Christian theists that agree with you here.

For what it's worth, as you know already, I accept portions of your argument. You should remember from past arguments that I disagree with the concept of a fully autonomous, human free will anyway. I believe that human choice takes a back seat to God's sovereingty when they collide, a fact that makes us strange bedfellows at times.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
We are arguing two different things.

In a very limited sense of determinism, it can be compatible with a limited sense of free will. For example, if it is determined that one goes to jail if one commits a crime, then the free choice that an individual has to end up going to jail would be which crime one commits. The path to get to jail would be different, the aftermath may be different, the effects may be different, but from a limited sense, the person did freely choose which path to take and all paths led to the same place - jail. This is like the concept of fate. No matter what you do, you can not escape your fate.

This is also a very limited version of both determinism and free will. I'm not arguing that these are not correct or not possible. What I'm arguing is that the idea of an omni-max deity is incompatible with free will. This omni-max deity, necessitates determinism on the scale that all actions are ends in themselves, and all are inevitable. This includes desires. So, when you argue that one is doing what they desire, even though it is determined, and that this is the same as free will, you are incorrect in the scheme of an omni-max deity. If all of one's actions, thoughts, and yes, desires are determined, then one has no basis for authorship of any of it, hence one can not actually exhibit free will. One can not choose anything, nor can one be the author of one's desires. The desires themselves were also set for the person. In no way, shape, or form, can one be said to be acting in an autonomous way, hence there can be no such thing as free will in this scenario.

This is illustrated quite well by the book example. The unavoidable conclusion is that one can either have choice and disavow god's omni-max nature, or one must be held to a determined path and uphold god's omni-max nature. Compatibilists have nothing to say about this. The closest they have come is in the classical conception, which has been pointed out to be severly lacking and not usable as an argument (by your own link I should mention).

Finally, the argument is true because it leads to a logical contradiction. You, yourself, observed that even god can not make a square circle (or something like that). The idea of omni-max (plus the determined universe that necessarily follows from it) is the square to free will's circle. Literally. This should not even be controversial, and the only reason it is is because of theists wishing to hold onto the idea of free will and their god. It should produce cognitive dissonance.

Quixote said...

"The unavoidable conclusion is that one can either have choice and disavow god's omni-max nature, or one must be held to a determined path and uphold god's omni-max nature."

I've avoided it quite sucessfully, actually, and will continue to do so without much trouble. The form of this argument carries too high a burden of proof for you to meet.

However, you appear to be satisified with your argument, and I'm OK with that. It just doesn't work for me for reasons noted above.

Anonymous said...

"I've avoided it quite sucessfully, actually, and will continue to do so without much trouble."

No offense, but you are avoiding it by putting up irrelevant roadblocks and not meeting the issue head-on. Compatibilism does not deal with the issue of omni-max vs. free will. It deals with limited determinism vs. free will. Claiming that compatibilism is a defeater is flatly wrong.

Quixote said...

"Claiming that compatibilism is a defeater is flatly wrong."

No offense taken, but all I need to do to be rational in not agreeing with your argument (or even being agnostic toward it) is to give an example wherein determinism and free will are compatible. Compatibilism achieves this.

Anonymous said...

So, you are going to continue to claim that a philosophy that doesn't even deal with the topic, except when stretched to the breaking point, and even then has been defeated is somehow a defeater for the argument that defeats your objection? This is bizarre to say the least. Compatibilism doesn't address the question at hand, nor does your statement that you only need where all you need is one example of a philosophy that claims to have a way to show that free will and determinism are not incompatible. Problem is that they are only possibly compatible in the limited sense that I talked about, not in the sense of a omni-max god that determines the universe to the most minute detail. I feel like you are avoiding the obvious conclusions of the example that I've given. You have not defeated the argument - far from it. In fact, this has been a long exercise in dancing around the issue. As I've explained multiple times now, if god is omni-max, then the level/type of determinism that must, logically exist, is such that you can not have free will, period. I've explained in in plain language and given and example wherein I show why it is logically contradictory.

Quixote said...

"As I've explained multiple times now, if god is omni-max, then the level/type of determinism that must, logically exist, is such that you can not have free will, period."

What you've actually done is highlight another locality where your argument fails. How can you possibly justify the claim that this level/type of determinism must exist with an omni-max God? Do you really believe you hold total and exclusive knowledge regarding the properties of God or the supernatural realm that would prevent Omni-max and free will from being compatible?

Also, it is not difficult to imagine scenarios in which an omnimax God institues possible worlds whereby he creates an initial set of conditions and allows secondary causes act according to their own dictates.

I am not advocating this position, necessarily, but it is yet another possible objection to your argument.

And frankly, I've yet to get started :) The argument, stated logically (as it is), is utterly unconvincing to me. I do, however, think it has great value as a probablistic argument, but you seem completetly unwilling to consider that.

Anonymous said...

"How can you possibly justify the claim that this level/type of determinism must exist with an omni-max God?"

Easily enough. It is inherent in the definition of omni-max. If the universe is not determined to an exclusive degree, then god can not hold perfect knowledge of future events.

"Do you really believe you hold total and exclusive knowledge regarding the properties of God or the supernatural realm that would prevent Omni-max and free will from being compatible?"

No. I'm saying that if god is as he is described, then the necessary logical outcome is determinism that precludes free will.

"Also, it is not difficult to imagine scenarios in which an omnimax God institues possible worlds whereby he creates an initial set of conditions and allows secondary causes act according to their own dictates."

That's a separate question. If god sets up a universe whereby he starts it and allows it to continue due to the rules he set up, that's different. The problem, however, is that god would still have determined the outcome of every event in the universe, including any event that includes you and anything related to you. At the act of creation, with full, perfect knowledge of the events that would happen, god set them in motion to happen as he created them. If he didn't have full control, then he's not omnipotent. When he foresaw all that would happen at the time of creation, this necessitated that all these things would happen, else god would be shown to be wrong and not omni-max. You might object that god only needs to know all the potentialities, but this would not be omni-max-ness.

"I am not advocating this position, necessarily, but it is yet another possible objection to your argument."

No, it is not. It's another tangential argument that does not address the topic at hand in a meaningful way.

"And frankly, I've yet to get started :)"

Agreed, although not in the way that you think. We've wasted many, many comments on this and you've yet to treat the argument with any seriousness, instead opting to try and take the easy way out by pointing to arguments that don't tackle the example at hand.

"The argument, stated logically (as it is), is utterly unconvincing to me."

Because you refuse to answer the questions posed. The closest you've come is to claim that I am positing a square circle, but I certainly am not. I'm posing questions as to what god can and can't do. Surely god can write this book and surely god can hand it to you. Given that, it is not a square circle that god could do these things. The square circle comes about from the outcome. The square circle is the assertion that free will can exist with an omni-max god.

Quixote said...

{"Do you really believe you hold total and exclusive knowledge regarding the properties of God or the supernatural realm that would prevent Omni-max and free will from being compatible?"

No. I'm saying that if god is as he is described, then the necessary logical outcome is determinism that precludes free will.}

If you don't know all the variables, as admitted, then you cannot successfully execute a deductive argument, ie a "necessary logical outcome." (the argument could be formally valid, however, the conclusion fails to follow neccesarily from the premises because of this lack of knowledge) The logical construction of this argument will always fall short due to this nescience.

"you've yet to treat the argument with any seriousness"

We disagree here. In my view, I'm the one treating the argument seriously, and you want to stick with vagueness in an attempt to maintain your point. It's a common rhetorical strategy that attempts to reduce all possibilities to the one that you presume favors your position. Works great for politics; for logic, not so much. In defense of this assertion, allow me to offer the following:

a) I have submitted several requests for formalizing the argument logically. This is the best way to treat the argument seriously as it removes ambiguity and wiggle room.

b) I have addressed several times the virtual impossibility of proving the argument as structured logically. In order to treat this argument seriously, this should be acknowledged.

c) In order to treat this argument seriously, you should be willing, based on the rules of proof burden, to acknowledge that on an issue this complex, with so many different possibilities and variables, that even if you happen to be correct, it would take a (long) book's worth of argument to make your case, not just a few posts on a blog. With this in mind, you ahould acknowledge the rationality of an opponent's doubt. In this regard, it's not much different than me trying to prove to you that god exists, logically.

d) I've offered repeatedly to seek outside, objective opinions to confirm/disconfirm thhese points of logic. I think that demonstrates adequate seriousness.

"Because you refuse to answer the questions posed. The closest you've come is to claim that I am positing a square circle,"

You miss my point. You have an example that purports to be the only manner that omni-max and free will could coexist, and then you conclude therefore that omni-max and free will are contradictory.

How would you ever prove that your example is the ONLY way that omni-max and free will could be conceived of? It can't be done; therefore, I am rational in denying your argument--not to mention that IMO I have successfully defeated it earlier in the thread.

Anonymous said...

"If you don't know all the variables, as admitted, then you cannot successfully execute a deductive argument, ie a "necessary logical outcome.""

Sure I can. I don't have to know how omnipotence works in order to know how it is defined. By your argument, I can claim that you can't logically conclude that an omnipotent being would have enough power to create this vast universe, yet it's what logically follows from the definition of the word.

"We disagree here. In my view, I'm the one treating the argument seriously, and you want to stick with vagueness in an attempt to maintain your point."

What I meant by that is that you are unwilling to answer the questions and explore the answers. It's not vague at all to pose yes/no, direct questions.

"It's a common rhetorical strategy that attempts to reduce all possibilities to the one that you presume favors your position."

That is a common strategy, usually used as a false dichotomy. I'm not doing that here, however, except insofar as there is only one possibility. The definitions of the words and the logical extension of the arguments precludes any other outcome. It's actually rather simple. If god is omni-max, then before the universe was created, god knew all that would occur (to the nth degree). If things do not follow this precognition, then god will have been shown to be wrong, which would mean god is not omni-max.

"a) I have submitted several requests for formalizing the argument logically. This is the best way to treat the argument seriously as it removes ambiguity and wiggle room."

I disagree as it is not always the case. Formalizing the logic into numbered points leads to the issues that happened in formulating the compatibilist position in the first place.

"b) I have addressed several times the virtual impossibility of proving the argument as structured logically. In order to treat this argument seriously, this should be acknowledged."

I don't think it is virtually impossible, as it's actually a rather obvious point.

"c) In order to treat this argument seriously, you should be willing, based on the rules of proof burden, to acknowledge that on an issue this complex, with so many different possibilities and variables, that even if you happen to be correct, it would take a (long) book's worth of argument to make your case, not just a few posts on a blog."

Not at all. It's actually a rather simple argument.

"d) I've offered repeatedly to seek outside, objective opinions to confirm/disconfirm thhese points of logic. I think that demonstrates adequate seriousness."

You never picked a place.

"You miss my point. You have an example that purports to be the only manner that omni-max and free will could coexist, and then you conclude therefore that omni-max and free will are contradictory."

You miss mine as well. I have an example that shows one possibility of what would happen if free will and an omni-max deity exists. When this example shows a necessary logical contradiction, it shows, plainly, that these concepts are mutually exclusive.

"How would you ever prove that your example is the ONLY way that omni-max and free will could be conceived of?"

What other way is there to use the words that matches the accepted definition and usage? Like I said, if you want to posit a god that is not omni-max, then I admit that free will could exist (depending on the attributes that you do give to god). But, as it is, it's simply not possible.

Quixote said...

"Sure I can."

I think it's evident that you cannot.

Your argument seems to run along these lines, with your book example offered to support premise 3:

P1) God is omni-max.

P2) Humans have free will.

P3) The existence of an omni-max God precludes human free will.

C) Therefore, an omnimax God and free will humans cannot coexist.

Let's assume my quick formulation of the argument is free from equivocation (we could argue definitions of free will and omni max), and is logically valid; that is, if the premises are true, the conclusion necessarily follows.

Setting aside my defeaters for P3, I contend that your example supporting P3 is an expression of your limited, finite perspective. You cannot know all the potential supernatural factors surrounding omnimax (OM) and human will (FW). If you can't know all the factors due to your finitude, there may exist an OM/FW harmonizer in the supernatural realm, or the natural realm for that matter, that you are unaware of. Therefore, you can't know with certainty that OM precludes FW, and if you can't know with certainty, you can't demonstrate P3 to the level required to execute a deductive argument.

But if something is logically contradictory, it's false in all possible worlds, right? We could argue that, though I tend to agree. Please note, though, that my contention here does not disavow logic, it only claims that the mechanics of logic are working with insufficient data based n your finitude and limited knowledge. With additional data, the OM/FW harmonizer for instance, the conlcusion driven by the logic would change.

Furthermore, there's no logical contradiction inherent in the relationship between OM and FW. No part of the definition of OM is "a thing that precludes FW." That OM and FW are contradictory is a synthetic construction, not an analytic one. So what is not being said by OM, definitionally, is this:

A thing cannot be a "thing that precludes FW" and a "thing that does not preclude FW" at the same time in the same relationship.

By all accounts then, OM/FW is a paradox, not a conclusion.

The POE deductive argument fails for the same reasons as listed above:

P1) God is monimax and omnibenevolent.

P2) Evil exists.

P3) God does not have a morally sufficient reason to allow evil.

C) Therefore, God does not exist.

In the same manner, your limited perspective precludes you from demonstrating P3.

But what if I substituted the following for P3 of the POE argument?

P3) God does not appear to have a morally sufficient reason to allow evil.

I have now transferred my claim to an inference to the best explanation. The argument is weaker propositionally, but it more than compensates by virtue of the claim I can now maintain, especially since I can now defy any theist to demonstrate the morally sufficient reason for allowing babies to be tortured.

The same is true for our current argument. If I substitute P3 thusly:

P3) The existence of an omni-max God appears to preclude human free will.

I now have a defensible argument for my contention that OM and FW are inconsistent concepts.

"you never picked a place"

Since you never consented, I did not want to be presumptuous.

Anonymous said...

"...I contend that your example supporting P3 is an expression of your limited, finite perspective. You cannot know all the potential supernatural factors surrounding omnimax (OM) and human will (FW)."

I don't need to, that's the point. We both agree that logic works and that if we find a logical contradiction, then the argument is defeated, right? Well, the argument to omni-max and free will is logically contradictory. What possible supernatural factor of omni-max is going to change the definition of the word as we know it and somehow make it compatible with free will?

"Therefore, you can't know with certainty that OM precludes FW, and if you can't know with certainty, you can't demonstrate P3 to the level required to execute a deductive argument."

What kind of certainty are we talking about? We can't know that we weren't created last Tuesday with all of our thoughts/memories all intact. If this is the burden of proof that you put on things, before you will accept them, then you can not accept anything. IOW, you aren't saying it is difficult to make a deductive argument, you're saying that one is not possible for anything.

"Furthermore, there's no logical contradiction inherent in the relationship between OM and FW. No part of the definition of OM is "a thing that precludes FW." That OM and FW are contradictory is a synthetic construction, not an analytic one."

Sorry, but you are wrong. No, the definition doesn't say that FW can't exist, but it is the logical conclusion of the structure of an OM entity.

"By all accounts then, OM/FW is a paradox, not a conclusion."

Then, I suggest you show a possible way that it can look false but still be true. I've yet to see one example that illustrates how FW and OM can co-exist.

"In the same manner, your limited perspective precludes you from demonstrating P3."

I disagree. It's logically contradictory for an omni-benevolent god to send people to hell to be eternally tormented. It is infinitly unjust and immoral. Even if god does not send people to hell, it is unjust and immoral to visit upon us natural evil, of which we have no hand in creating ourselves.

"Since you never consented, I did not want to be presumptuous."

You're right, my mistake. Where would you like to go?

Quixote said...

"What possible supernatural factor of omni-max is going to change the definition of the word as we know it and somehow make it compatible with free will?"

That's the point, you don't know! Why don't you take your argument and apply it to the sub-atomic realm. There's a lot going on there that people used to not know that changes the way we think now.

"What kind of certainty are we talking about?"

To demonstrate P3, you'ld need working knowledge of the supernatural realm. You don't have it.

"but it is the logical conclusion of the structure of an OM entity."

Only if the premsises can be defended. P3 isn't.

"I suggest you show a possible way that it can look false but still be true."

I just demonstrated that the concept is non-contradictory. Address the argument.

"I disagree."

You are probably the only atheist with a knowledge of philosophy in the entire world that does, then.

"You're right, my mistake. Where would you like to go?"

I'll find an impartial place and let you know.

Anonymous said...

"That's the point, you don't know!"

Well, I guess I can't win if one is allowed to re-define words on a whim in this debate.

"Why don't you take your argument and apply it to the sub-atomic realm. There's a lot going on there that people used to not know that changes the way we think now."

There's a world of difference between a gap in knowledge and a wholesale redefinition of the terms being used and what they mean in a logical sense.

"To demonstrate P3, you'ld need working knowledge of the supernatural realm. You don't have it."

No, I don't. I need knowledge of the workings of this world. Also, I'll note that this "defense" can be used on ANY claim, thus making it useless.

"Only if the premsises can be defended. P3 isn't."

Yes, it can. It doesn't require supernatural knowledge, it only requires knowledge of the world and the terms under discussion.

"I just demonstrated that the concept is non-contradictory. Address the argument."

No you did not. You asserted that it is non-contradictory. I've shown a path that demonstrates contradiction. You've simply denied that the concept is contradictory and clung to it without ever actually demonstrating anything. Let's have an actual formal argument (since you like those so much) or better yet an example.

Quixote said...

"There's a world of difference between a gap in knowledge and a wholesale redefinition of the terms being used and what they mean in a logical sense."

Still, there could be properties of the supernatural realm that would alter your logical conclusions, just as properties of the sub-atomic realm alter certain conclusions when factored in.

"No, I don't. I need knowledge of the workings of this world. Also, I'll note that this "defense" can be used on ANY claim, thus making it useless."

Since the supernatural is assumed in your argument, knowledge of the supernatural is required to defend P3. This defense cannot be therefore used on any argument.

"Yes, it can. It doesn't require supernatural knowledge, it only requires knowledge of the world and the terms under discussion."

The "world" under consideration here includes the supernatural, thus, it can alter the terms under discussion.

"No you did not."

Yes, I did. Here it is again:

{Furthermore, there's no logical contradiction inherent in the relationship between OM and FW. No part of the definition of OM is "a thing that precludes FW." That OM and FW are contradictory is a synthetic construction, not an analytic one. So what is not being said by OM, definitionally, is this:

A thing cannot be a "thing that precludes FW" and a "thing that does not preclude FW" at the same time in the same relationship.

By all accounts then, OM/FW is a paradox, not a conclusion.}

I said conclusion there? That should read contradiction. Formally then:

P1) Contradiction is described by the following formula: a thing cannot be A and Non-A at the same time and in the same relationship.

P2) A property of OM is not "something that precludes FW".

Thus, it is meaningless to claim OM is something that precludes FW and does not preclude FW at the same time and in the same relationship. Hence, OM and FW are not contradictory; they exhibit a paradoxical relationship.

Anonymous said...

I've been busy at work, so sorry to not get back to you for a while.

"Still, there could be properties of the supernatural realm that would alter your logical conclusions, just as properties of the sub-atomic realm alter certain conclusions when factored in."

Not in a meta or definitional sense. IOW, our founding concepts of what words mean are unaffected by sub-atomic particle interactions.

"Since the supernatural is assumed in your argument, knowledge of the supernatural is required to defend P3. This defense cannot be therefore used on any argument."

No, it isn't necessary. I need to show that it is contradictory to the universe that we live in, not some supernatural universe.

"The "world" under consideration here includes the supernatural, thus, it can alter the terms under discussion."

But, not in a way that can break the rules of logic, etc. Can something be A and not A at the same time? According to you, it can.

"Yes, I did. Here it is again:..."

Which is an assertion, not a demonstration. You claim that there's no inherent logical contradiction, but my example has demonstrated that there is. Big difference. The rest of your post is the same thing - a long assertion. You're merely asserting that OM and FW are not contradictory, but not demonstrating it. Give me an example how they can co-exist that doesn't lead to logical contradiction. I've already given an example that does lead to logical contradiction. Defeat that by doing something more than asserting.

Quixote said...

"Not in a meta or definitional sense. IOW, our founding concepts of what words mean are unaffected by sub-atomic particle interactions."

That's beside the point. the point is that previously unknown knowledge from the subatomic realm has added new information that changes arguments. in the same way, new knowledge from the supernatural realm could affect your conclusions.

"No, it isn't necessary. I need to show that it is contradictory to the universe that we live in, not some supernatural universe."

Assumedly, the Omnimax God would inhabit the supernatural realm as well. You can't demonstrate contradiction without access to the realm the omnimax god inhabits, as there may be factors you are unaware of.

"But, not in a way that can break the rules of logic, etc. Can something be A and not A at the same time? According to you, it can."

I specifically mentioned that the rules of logic would not need to be broken, just that new information causes new conclusions. Here it is again:

[But if something is logically contradictory, it's false in all possible worlds, right? We could argue that, though I tend to agree. Please note, though, that my contention here does not disavow logic, it only claims that the mechanics of logic are working with insufficient data based n your finitude and limited knowledge. With additional data, the OM/FW harmonizer for instance, the conlcusion driven by the logic would change.]

"You claim that there's no inherent logical contradiction,"

And defended it. look at the argument and tell me why it's incorrect:

{Furthermore, there's no logical contradiction inherent in the relationship between OM and FW. No part of the definition of OM is "a thing that precludes FW." That OM and FW are contradictory is a synthetic construction, not an analytic one. So what is not being said by OM, definitionally, is this:

A thing cannot be a "thing that precludes FW" and a "thing that does not preclude FW" at the same time in the same relationship.

By all accounts then, OM/FW is a paradox, not a conclusion.}

Quixote said...

BTW- I made good on the promise to seek an impartial atheist opinion:

http://www.asktheatheist.com/question/a_question_of_logic#comment

I'll be happy to meet you at another impartial site of your choosing to get a second opinion if you like.

Anonymous said...

"That's beside the point. the point is that previously unknown knowledge from the subatomic realm has added new information that changes arguments. in the same way, new knowledge from the supernatural realm could affect your conclusions."

It doesn't change the logic of arguments or the definition of words.

"Assumedly, the Omnimax God would inhabit the supernatural realm as well. You can't demonstrate contradiction without access to the realm the omnimax god inhabits, as there may be factors you are unaware of."

Au contraire. It is contradictory in this universe that something can not be A and not A at the same time, correct? In this universe, when things are contradictory, they contradict and can not hold, regardless of what god can do in his supernatural realm. So, when FW and OM contradict in this universe, I've shown they are impossible in our situation.

"I specifically mentioned that the rules of logic would not need to be broken, just that new information causes new conclusions."

And, your new conclusion would be that A and not A both exist at the same time. OM determinism precludes the ability for us to do anything different than what god has preordained. No new information is going to change that.

"And defended it. look at the argument and tell me why it's incorrect..."

What's incorrect is that there's no actual defense there. All you are asserting is that OM isn't "defined" in the actual wording as something that precludes FW, but if you actually look at the logic of it and what it entails, it's pretty easy to see that it does end up precluding FW. You're saying that the definition of X doesn't specifically spell out all the things that are mutually exclusive to it, so therefore anything that is not spelled out in the defintion is not mutually exclusive. This is simply not so.

"BTW- I made good on the promise to seek an impartial atheist opinion..."

Works for me. I've been swamped at work lately, so I've been unable to devote time to this. I should have time coming up though. Shall I pop over there and ask the question, or would you like to do the asking? If you want to do it, let me know (and link to it) when you do.

Quixote said...

"It doesn't change the logic of arguments or the definition of words."

So let me repeat for the third time. I'm not saying the logic changes or is disallowed. I'm saying that you potentially don't have all the information for the logic to function with. If you did, that same logic would force you to a different conclusion.

"It is contradictory in this universe that something can not be A and not A at the same time, correct?"

See above.

"This is simply not so."

Sure it is. You need to take a look at the difference between analytic and synthetic contradictions.

"If you want to do it, let me know (and link to it) when you do."

I already posted the question. The link is above.

Anonymous said...

I've been busy...

What link is it? I don't see one.

Anonymous said...

Duh, I see the link now.

It's a shame that the person answering the question didn't actually understand the question and answered something different.

Anonymous said...

Quixote,
There's been some discussion on the "Ask an atheist" site that you might want to check out.