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Conflicting Worldviews and Presuppositions, Who is Right?

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  • Conflicting Worldviews and Presuppositions, Who is Right?

    Gidday luvthelord (LtL),


    Let us see where this leads. A short one for openers, just to locate our place within this forum.


    The title you suggested got me looking up the definition of “worldview” because I considered the word to mean the sum total of ideas I hold to which in some sense define how I think about reality in general. Yet on looking the term up, I came across this:-

    What is a World View?

    - in which I did not consider Freud’s definition:-

    Originally posted by link above
    ... an intellectual construction which solves all the problems of our existence uniformly on the basis of one overriding hypothesis, which, accordingly, leaves no question unanswered and in which everything that interests us finds its fixed place.
    - to be a reasonable one.

    I cannot think of any one construction I hold to that solves all problems of existence uniformly on the basis of one overriding hypothesis etc. Science does not. Atheism does not. Religion does not. History does not. Philosophy does not. X does not. Well they don’t do it for me. There is an awful lot I simply do not know nor understand and if pressed to give an answer to so many questions, would have to shrug and say “I don’t know”. Or I might mumble my way through some half-baked answer I really have no justification for, other than I "feel" it makes some kind of sense. Besides, I cannot claim to be fully rational nor fully logical. Perhaps it’s more likely to be the other way round.


    The other three definitions captured it more. I have not read the whole article and can only comment on the definitions on offer from it's introduction.


    So in the context of what follows in our debate, I think "worldview" is how I defined it at the start:-

    “The sum total of ideas I hold to which in some sense define how I think about reality in general.”

    That definition needs to be flexible for the reason I gave. There is no way to describe or explain every thing with certainty and by allowing for a flexible definition of world view, one does not become so tied to dogma.

    At best you could sum me up as atheist, materialist, leftist, etcetera-ist. But if you were to throw any particular definition of "materialist" or "atheist" or "leftist" at me, you might well find another discussion on your hands, simply because I might not exactly agree with the provided definitions. The words above can only be a guide.


    What do you think?

  • #2
    Originally posted by rjw View Post
    Gidday luvthelord (LtL),
    Let us see where this leads. A short one for openers, just to locate our place within this forum.
    Short for you, LOL!

    The title you suggested got me looking up the definition of “worldview” because I considered the word to mean the sum total of ideas I hold to which in some sense define how I think about reality in general. Yet on looking the term up, I came across this:-
    What is a World View?
    - in which I did not consider Freud’s definition:-

    - to be a reasonable one.
    I cannot think of any one construction I hold to that solves all problems of existence uniformly on the basis of one overriding hypothesis etc. Science does not. Atheism does not. Religion does not. History does not. Philosophy does not. X does not. Well they don’t do it for me. There is an awful lot I simply do not know nor understand and if pressed to give an answer to so many questions, would have to shrug and say “I don’t know”. Or I might mumble my way through some half-baked answer I really have no justification for, other than I "feel" it makes some kind of sense. Besides, I cannot claim to be fully rational nor fully logical. Perhaps it’s more likely to be the other way round.
    The other three definitions captured it more. I have not read the whole article and can only comment on the definitions on offer from it's introduction.
    So in the context of what follows in our debate, I think "worldview" is how I defined it at the start:-
    “The sum total of ideas I hold to which in some sense define how I think about reality in general.”
    That definition needs to be flexible for the reason I gave. There is no way to describe or explain every thing with certainty and by allowing for a flexible definition of world view, one does not become so tied to dogma.
    Defining words - great start rjw! The definition you chose for worldview is fine with me. The one I use, which basically says the same thing, is "a network of our most basic beliefs about reality in light of which all observations are interpreted." (that's from Jason Lisle's Ultimate Proof of Creation)

    At best you could sum me up as atheist, materialist, leftist, etcetera-ist. But if you were to throw any particular definition of "materialist" or "atheist" or "leftist" at me, you might well find another discussion on your hands, simply because I might not exactly agree with the provided definitions. The words above can only be a guide.
    Those words will certainly come up. We can define them as they arise in the discussion, to make sure when we say "materialist" we both understand what that means, even if we tweak something from it's official dictionary definition in order to understand each other's position. I just want to understand you and have you understand me, not quibble over what you or I want a word to mean.


    What do you think?
    OK! So let me ask a question for us.........how, in your worldview which encompasses the ToE, do you account for the logical thought process we have to have for this debate?
    Romans 1:19-20 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by luvthelord View Post
      OK! So let me ask a question for us.........how, in your worldview which encompasses the ToE, do you account for the logical thought process we have to have for this debate?
      How do I account for ...?

      Very messily, with a lot of um-ing, erm-ing, and hand waving.

      If by “account for” you mean “explain”, that is, offer an evidence based, cause and effect description of how they came to be - then I cannot, other than in the manner just mentioned.

      Your question is very similar to one which mathematicians and philosophers ponder - is mathematics embedded in the universe, waiting for us to discover its rules and laws, or is it something we make up, something which nevertheless allows us to understand the universe in a way that makes sense to us? Mathematicians and philosophers have not been able to solve that one either.

      It’s a bit like time. Does time really exist as some fundamental aspect of the universe or does it exist only in our minds? It seems so obvious that time really does exist as a fundamental aspect of the universe, that one would be perverse to think otherwise. Yet physicists (and philosophers) honestly have good reason to doubt that time is necessarily something fundamental to the universe. It’s a problem that’s been around since we first began wondering about time, and we continue to draw blanks on resolving it.

      I suspect the laws are somewhat hard wired into our brains and given that we are finding that various animals can use logical thinking, then possibly they are something very dependent on the structure of our brains and how our brains evolved over time.

      For now, I simply see the laws of logic as a given. Like the “laws of nature”, they exist.

      Which is unsatisfactory I know.


      So my guess? I think logic and its laws are probably something our minds “made up” and that logic, like mathematics (and perhaps like time), might not exist out there in any real sense.

      Here’s a write up on what I’m talking about:-

      Philosophy of mathematics

      In particular look at the section titled “Mathematical realism” and then the “Embodied mind theories”. Both are under the major section titled “Contemporary schools of thought.”

      This is another small post. However, the above read is a big one. Not really. Just glance at those two sections and maybe read the introductions, just to get an idea of where I am coming from. (Naturally, if you are really interested then read the whole lot. That will keep you out of mischief and I’m sure the nippers would love it. Time to play while mum’s away, lost in the world of mathematics.)

      I think my preferred idea is the “embodied mind” set of ideas.
      Last edited by rjw; 12-10-12, 01:39 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Music. Perhaps it's like that thing we call music. Does it exist out there independently of us and our mind's or is it something our minds created? Sure we can find frequencies, tones, and harmonics in nature. We can hear melodies and chords. Frequencies come in the waves on an ocean, or as a property of a light wave. Melodies come in the songs of some birds. Harmonics come with how the surfaces of some stars fluctuate in response to the nuclear furnaces deep below.

        Yet grabbing all of this and putting it together in something that pleases our human brains. Is it something we invented or is it something that existed out there waiting for us to discover? Logic is like that. We invented it ........ I think.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by rjw View Post
          How do I account for ...?
          [SIZE=2]I appreciate that you answered the question about logic instead of side-stepping it. Thank you. I am now going to provide the answer to the same question only according to my worldview: “how, according to the Christian worldview, do I account for the logical thought process we have to have for this debate?” [/SIZE]

          [SIZE=2]OK RJ(w).......let's see if I can do this in a clear way that is understandable and not confusing. Logic is most interesting when discussing worldviews, because we have to assume logic to use it. This makes logic a precondition of intelligence, because it's necessary to assume it in order to use it. Kind of circular, yet everyone relies on using logic in order to prove logic exists and to have discussions and debates like this! [/SIZE]


          [SIZE=2]With a Biblical worldview, I don't have to guess and wonder in a vicious circle at why logic exists and how it got here. We are made in God's image, the Biblical God whose thoughts are perfectly logical because that is His nature (it's not that He “made up” laws of logic, it's who He is). We're not the exact image of God, so we aren't perfectly logical in a world cursed with sin, but He graciously gave us the ability to communicate and think logically. The 3 main laws of logic are from God, as He cannot be anything other than who He is within His nature (YHWH). I'm sure you've heard about A cannot be A and not A in the same time and in the same place, the nature of something is what it's nature is, and a statement being true or false. So with a Biblical worldview, I can account for the reason why we all assume logic to use it – because we're made by a God whose nature is just that – logical. But the only way to come to this conclusion, which steps out of being circular and actually gives an account, is to start one's reasoning with the sour[SIZE=2]ce of [SIZE=2]log[SIZE=2]ic[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]. [/SIZE]


          [SIZE=2]When people start their reasoning from their human mind, or use ideas given by philosophers and mathematicians and scientists who start with their own minds, that is working backwards. People reasoning from people, we take what we [SIZE=2]observe going on in ou[SIZE=2]r world [/SIZE][/SIZE]and then give concluding ideas based on our what – our logic that we assume to be logical? Our logic that evolved, as many assume, again making such an idea beg the question? We observe that we are using logic (although we can't see logic, as it is a concept) and then work backwards to figure out how it got here. When done that way, all we do is make more assumptions about what we already assume (logic), leaving human reasoning based on human reasoning arbitrary and viciously circular. We have to start with the source of logic in order to account for it consistently and with good reason. That source is the logical, consistent nature of God revealed in the Bible, and we both must presuppose His logic in order to have this debate. So you're unknowingly using my worldveiw to argue against my worldview (well, now you know you are [/SIZE][SIZE=2])![/SIZE]



          [SIZE=2]You said that you think “logic and its laws are probably something our minds 'made up' and that logic, like mathematics (and perhaps like time), might not exist out there in any real sense.” Let's go with that and see what happens. If we just made logic up in our minds, then we could change them too. A majority of people might make up the idea that it's perfectly fine for contradictions to exist, and that the majority is always right (which would take the majority to begin with!). A person from that group would not be able to have a rational conversation with anyone from outside the group, as the standards for rational reasoning would be different. Therefore, if the laws of logic were made up and not universal, there would be no reason to assume (like we all do!) that when we talk with someone from another place in the world that we are going to have a rational discussion that is based on universal standards of reasoning. [/SIZE]

          [SIZE=2]What if logic doesn't exist in any real sense......eh.....that would be impossible to do, because you would have to know what wasn't logical in order to live in a way that logic doesn't exist. [/SIZE]
          [SIZE=2]Your math and philosophy guys start their reasoning with themselves, which I addressed earlier in the post. (although, that was an interesting article, seeing how many different ways people can come up with ideas by not starting with the God of the Bible!).

          [/SIZE]
          [SIZE=2]In your post about music you said you think we invented logic. But how could we invent something that we had to have already in order to invent it?[/SIZE]


          [SIZE=2]Those are some things about logic from the Biblical worldview that I hope you will consider when comparing our worldviews. If you want to discuss logic more, I'm fine with that. If you want to move on, how do you account for absolute truth in your worldview (or do you think there is absolute truth)?[/SIZE]
          Romans 1:19-20 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by luvthelord View Post
            [SIZE=2]I appreciate that you answered the question about logic instead of side-stepping it. Thank you. I am now going to provide the answer to the same question only according to my worldview: “how, according to the Christian worldview, do I account for the logical thought process we have to have for this debate?” [/SIZE]

            [SIZE=2]OK RJ(w).......let's see if I can do this in a clear way that is understandable and not confusing. Logic is most interesting when discussing worldviews, because we have to assume logic to use it. This makes logic a precondition of intelligence, because it's necessary to assume it in order to use it. Kind of circular, yet everyone relies on using logic in order to prove logic exists and to have discussions and debates like this! [/SIZE]


            [SIZE=2]With a Biblical worldview, I don't have to guess and wonder in a vicious circle at why logic exists and how it got here. We are made in God's image, the Biblical God whose thoughts are perfectly logical because that is His nature (it's not that He “made up” laws of logic, it's who He is). We're not the exact image of God, so we aren't perfectly logical in a world cursed with sin, but He graciously gave us the ability to communicate and think logically. The 3 main laws of logic are from God, as He cannot be anything other than who He is within His nature (YHWH). I'm sure you've heard about A cannot be A and not A in the same time and in the same place, the nature of something is what it's nature is, and a statement being true or false. So with a Biblical worldview, I can account for the reason why we all assume logic to use it – because we're made by a God whose nature is just that – logical. But the only way to come to this conclusion, which steps out of being circular and actually gives an account, is to start one's reasoning with the sour[SIZE=2]ce of [SIZE=2]log[SIZE=2]ic[/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]. [/SIZE]


            [SIZE=2]When people start their reasoning from their human mind, or use ideas given by philosophers and mathematicians and scientists who start with their own minds, that is working backwards. People reasoning from people, we take what we [SIZE=2]observe going on in ou[SIZE=2]r world [/SIZE][/SIZE]and then give concluding ideas based on our what – our logic that we assume to be logical? Our logic that evolved, as many assume, again making such an idea beg the question? We observe that we are using logic (although we can't see logic, as it is a concept) and then work backwards to figure out how it got here. When done that way, all we do is make more assumptions about what we already assume (logic), leaving human reasoning based on human reasoning arbitrary and viciously circular. We have to start with the source of logic in order to account for it consistently and with good reason. That source is the logical, consistent nature of God revealed in the Bible, and we both must presuppose His logic in order to have this debate. So you're unknowingly using my worldveiw to argue against my worldview (well, now you know you are [/SIZE][SIZE=2])![/SIZE]



            [SIZE=2]You said that you think “logic and its laws are probably something our minds 'made up' and that logic, like mathematics (and perhaps like time), might not exist out there in any real sense.” Let's go with that and see what happens. If we just made logic up in our minds, then we could change them too. A majority of people might make up the idea that it's perfectly fine for contradictions to exist, and that the majority is always right (which would take the majority to begin with!). A person from that group would not be able to have a rational conversation with anyone from outside the group, as the standards for rational reasoning would be different. Therefore, if the laws of logic were made up and not universal, there would be no reason to assume (like we all do!) that when we talk with someone from another place in the world that we are going to have a rational discussion that is based on universal standards of reasoning. [/SIZE]

            [SIZE=2]What if logic doesn't exist in any real sense......eh.....that would be impossible to do, because you would have to know what wasn't logical in order to live in a way that logic doesn't exist. [/SIZE]
            [SIZE=2]Your math and philosophy guys start their reasoning with themselves, which I addressed earlier in the post. (although, that was an interesting article, seeing how many different ways people can come up with ideas by not starting with the God of the Bible!).

            [/SIZE]
            [SIZE=2]In your post about music you said you think we invented logic. But how could we invent something that we had to have already in order to invent it?[/SIZE]


            [SIZE=2]Those are some things about logic from the Biblical worldview that I hope you will consider when comparing our worldviews. If you want to discuss logic more, I'm fine with that. If you want to move on, how do you account for absolute truth in your worldview (or do you think there is absolute truth)?[/SIZE]

            Before I respond, LtL, I hope you are happy with the format as it currently exists? I’ve been able to do two short posts, and I think I can keep this one that way as well.

            In order to keep moving forwards, I’ll offer a brief critique of your argument from the previous post, then address your question. You might want to respond to my critique and/or offer new questions. Whichever way, I’ll try to:-

            pick out something to keep moving forwards, and

            2) address your questions.


            My response to your accounting for logic.

            In the context of “account for” as in “explain” as in “a mechanistic/cause and effect description”, I don’t see that you have offered anything different to me to what I offered you, except something with an additional problem. You appear to be as much in the dark as I am concerning accounting for logic and you have something additional to account for.

            Let me explain.

            By postulating that God explains logic because God is logic, you have simply moved the problem of logic back another step, and, as far as explanations go, have now to explain how it is that logic is associated with God (as opposed to how it’s associated with the universe), and how it is that God actually made logic a part of the universe we exist in.

            It’s like explaining the origin of us. Saying that God created us leads us back to the origin of God and still leaves the question begging, how did God create us?

            And if it can be asserted that God needs no explanation, then logically, we don’t really need to explain the universe. Let me put it this way, if you can simply postulate that something exists then I can as well. We can at least both agree that the universe (and logic) exists, but God is another matter altogether. With the former we go out the back door, look and agree that we see things, even the same things, but with the latter it’s problematical as to what it is we see.

            So back to logic. If it exists because God exists, then I can simply posit that it exists because the universe exists or it exists because we make it up.

            In all ways, I’m still in the dark as to how we explain how logic came to be.


            My response to your question.

            You asked:-

            ”How do you account for absolute truth in your worldview (or do you think there is absolute truth)?”[/u]

            Yes I think there is an absolute truth. Logically there has to be some ultimate reality “out there” or “beyond” what we can perceive in the here and now. (Even if it is so that there really is no ultimate reality! )


            How do I account for it?

            Well again, very messily and with a lot of umming and erming. It’s like “world view”. I simply don’t think that Freud was correct when he suggested that world view is some all encompassing explanation that allows us to understand/answer (to our own satisfaction) all things. And so it is with absolute truth and the ultimate nature of reality.

            St Paul expressed in beautifully when he, or the KJV said in 1 Corinthians 13:12 (and bolding is mine):-

            "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

            I much prefer the above version, which is KJV, as opposed to the NIV’s:-

            “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; ...”

            - because I think we see through a glass darkly, very darkly and although there is an absolute truth out there, it’s beyond us.

            So how do I account for it? Well it’s like asking me to account for existence in some absolute sense.

            I cannot.

            Existence is something so fundamental, that just as the universe exists so, presumably for the theist, does God exist.

            How do you account for existence in the context of God by appealing to ideas and evidences that are outside of God?

            All I can say is that although I think there is an absolute truth out there, and logically there must be, I cannot account for it.

            What I know, what I presume are the some absolute truths, are the presuppositions I hold to with respect to the universe I think actually exists.


            I don’t think any of us can escape from this material universe in which we exist, nor from our material bodies and immaterial minds, and the language we use to communicate and understand. We have enough problems understanding these, let alone understanding some ultimate reality which may or may not include God. And should the latter exist, then we are still going to have to try to account for it from the perspective of our own limitations. And if we choose not to account for God because we presuppose that God needs no accounting for, then we are back to the same problem I discussed above with respect to explanations for logic. One can simply presume that its a part of the universe which needs no accounting for.


            Hey this one’s for you. It’s tongue in cheek but it’s a prologue to a book I’m about to read:-

            A Quick Proof That There Must Be Something Rather Than Nothing, for Modern People Who Lead Busy Lives

            Suppose there were nothing. Then there would be no laws; for laws, after all, are something. If there were no laws, then everything would be permitted. If everything were permitted, then nothing would be forbidden. So if there were nothing, nothing would be forbidden. Thus nothing is self-forbidding.
            Therefore, there must be something. QED.
            Last edited by rjw; 12-16-12, 01:05 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rjw View Post
              Before I respond, LtL, I hope you are happy with the format as it currently exists? I’ve been able to do two short posts, and I think I can keep this one that way as well.
              In order to keep moving forwards, I’ll offer a brief critique of your argument from the previous post, then address your question. You might want to respond to my critique and/or offer new questions. Whichever way, I’ll try to:-
              pick out something to keep moving forwards, and
              2) address your questions.
              For the most part, yes, this format is working well for me. What about you?
              I jumped the gun though and added absolute truth. I thought maybe you would be done with logic, but I should have known better!!

              My response to your accounting for logic.
              In the context of “account for” as in “explain” as in “a mechanistic/cause and effect description”, I don’t see that you have offered anything different to me to what I offered you, except something with an additional problem. You appear to be as much in the dark as I am concerning accounting for logic and you have something additional to account for.
              Let me explain.
              By postulating that God explains logic because God is logic, you have simply moved the problem of logic back another step, and, as far as explanations go, have now to explain how it is that logic is associated with God (as opposed to how it’s associated with the universe), and how it is that God actually made logic a part of the universe we exist in.
              It’s like explaining the origin of us. Saying that God created us leads us back to the origin of God and still leaves the question begging, how did God create us?
              And if it can be asserted that God needs no explanation, then logically, we don’t really need to explain the universe. Let me put it this way, if you can simply postulate that something exists then I can as well. We can at least both agree that the universe (and logic) exists, but God is another matter altogether. With the former we go out the back door, look and agree that we see things, even the same things, but with the latter it’s problematical as to what it is we see.
              So back to logic. If it exists because God exists, then I can simply posit that it exists because the universe exists or it exists because we make it up.
              In all ways, I’m still in the dark as to how we explain how logic came to be.
              [SIZE=2]
              Since discussing the existence of God is in another category, I'm not going to address that issue at the moment (because then you would also have to explain how the universe came into existence). Let's save that for later, since we both already know each other's assertion about the existence or non-existence of God.

              My assertion is that the God of the Bible exists, your assertion is that He doesn't. So seeing which worldview makes sense of logic..... I'm saying that logic comes from the thoughts and nature of God, and you are saying logic exists because we made it up or because the universe exists. So both of us are relying on something that makes our reasoning circular. However, the difference is that in my worldview I can consistently say that laws of logic won't change (i.e., there can't be any contradictions in the universe) and I'm giving a basis as to why we have rational, logical conversations and thoughts (for the most part, although people often need to be corrected of illogical and irrational thoughts with rationality and logic!).

              Consistency – The God of the Bible is consistent, cannot contradict Himself, and truth comes from Him. This sets the standard for laws of logic that are universal and unchanging. In your worldview, what basis do you have for such consistency? If we made them up, then we can change them; if they exist because the universe exists, not only is that arbitrary but also it doesn't give any assurance that they won't change tomorrow based on what happens with chemical reactions in the universe. The clincher is that you and I (and I will assert that most people) live our lives with the assumption that the laws of logic will not change. The Biblical worldview in which God made us in His image and we are to think our thoughts after Him is consistent with human lifestyle, but a worldview that embraces the BB and ToE cannot say for sure that logic will remain the same (although you and others will live according to the Biblical standard that gives us assurance they will not change).

              And rjw, can we at least agree that there is no way we could have invented or made up logic? We give such laws a name (i.e., law of excluded middle, non-contradiction); but in order to even begin to think, we already have to have logic hardwired into our brains. We have to have logic in order to even presuppose it, making logic not just a presupp that we all hold, but a precondition of intelligence.

              So.....if you still think your assertion that logic exists because the universe does is the same as me saying that logic exists because God does, can you give me a good reason for why logic even exists in the first place if the ToE were true?

              [/SIZE]
              My response to your question.
              You asked:-
              ”How do you account for absolute truth in your worldview (or do you think there is absolute truth)?”[/u]
              [SIZE=2]Do you mind if we table absolute truth until we're done with logic (I know, I know, I was the one who brought it up!!)? I would really like to focus on one topic at a time, and your answer about logic was worthy of a response, and I'm assuming at this point you will want to respond to what I presented too. You don't give up too easily ! When we're ready to move on, I can cut and paste your absolute truth answer so you don't have to redo it.
              [/SIZE]
              Last edited by luvthelord; 12-20-12, 08:44 AM. Reason: font way too small
              Romans 1:19-20 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

              Comment


              • #8
                Family is arriving later today for Christmas LtL. So for now I'll just post this which deals with your first and last paragraphs. I will tackle your main point later, which could mean anything from a few days time, to a week or so's time - depending on activities.

                Originally posted by luvthelord View Post
                For the most part, yes, this format is working well for me. What about you?
                Yes, I'm happy with it.


                Originally posted by LtL
                Do you mind if we table absolute truth until we're done with logic (I know, I know, I was the one who brought it up!!)?
                That's fine.

                Originally posted by LtL
                I would really like to focus on one topic at a time, ...
                Yes. I think it's getter this way.

                Originally posted by LtL
                ... and your answer about logic was worthy of a response, and I'm assuming at this point you will want to respond to what I presented too.
                Yes.

                We need to be careful however about getting bogged down when we reach an impasse. At that point we need to move on. So let's dwell on logic for the time being until we feel an impasse has been reached, then see how we move on.

                Originally posted by LtL
                You don't give up too easily
                Neither of us do, hence the danger of the impasse at which we both try to beat a dead horse. Unfortunately on debate forums dead horses don't smell thus driving each party away to something fresher.

                Originally posted by LtL
                When we're ready to move on, I can cut and paste your absolute truth answer so you don't have to redo it.
                Thanks, but no need to. When ready, just ask me to get back to absolute truth and I can bring it forward. You might have an extra question or two or further statements to make regarding it.


                In case I don't get back to you before Christmas, I'll wish you and your family a great and safe Christmas.


                Will reply to the rest either in a few days time or a week or so - as per above.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Quick question LtL

                  It's one I often ask so put it down to my advanced years if you have addressed it elsewhere.

                  How are you using the term "account for"?

                  To my mind there are at least three ways in which we account for things:-

                  1) A guess, even a wild guess.

                  2) An argument that is essentially logical only.

                  3) And argument that is explanatory in that it offers a detailed mechanism and evidence for that detail. The argument is also logical.

                  4) ?

                  To an extent these can overlap. For example a wild guess can be a detailed mechanism, but lacks any evidence at all, and furthermore it can even be crazy. Yet it is a detailed mechanism. A logical argument can be detailed and mechanistic, but lacks evidence. A detailed, evidence based mechanistic argument cannot explain absolutely everything within it's domain so to an extent it will rely on educated guesses.


                  Clearly you are not using 1). I think you are offering something along the lines of 2).

                  How do you think you are offering your argument in the context of accounting for logic? By 2), or 3) or is there another way, 4)?
                  Last edited by rjw; 12-21-12, 02:05 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My reply to your main point.

                    The family is off visiting. ‘Tis all silent here now and I have some quiet time before the next round begins in a few hours. Hence I can reply.

                    I’ve scrubbed an initial attempt at addressing your post because I was responding on a point by point basis and it began to blow out. In blowing out, I think the essence of my reply was being lost in a lot of trees.

                    So I’ll throw a couple of points to you and hopefully this will keep it readable, provocative , and flowing. Then I’ll address a question you asked.


                    Because you appear to be using an argument that is only logical in nature, (see my ”Quick question” post, then I’ll tackle your response from that perspective


                    Originally posted by LtL
                    ...(although you and others will live according to the Biblical standard that gives us assurance they will not change
                    On reading your post I’m unsure of what you are arguing here. I’ll put two possibilities to you and address them:-

                    Option 1. God ‘invented logic, gave it to us, and assures us that it will not change

                    I cannot see how God could have invented logic. I get an impression that logic, like existence, is something independent of God.

                    Hence, if your interpretation of the Bible is correct (an interpretation which is based on the very logic we are attempting to account for), then God has no option but to give us that assurance. And it’s not because God invented logic and so gave it to us, but rather because it exists independently of God. For example, even for God, angels exist or they do not; God exists or he does not; Satan rebelled or he did not; etc.

                    So in that sense, God does not account for logic, because it exists independently of Him.

                    To get around that we would need perhaps, to invoke a uber God, one that accounts for the logic that is independent of God.

                    But then we would face the same conundrum.

                    Option 2. God is logic and because God is unchanging then logic is unchanging.

                    This appears to be how you are arguing, although I’m a bit unsure. If so, then it’s an assertion you make, or if not one you make because you read it from the Bible, then it’s an assertion someone else made, an assertion which you accept.

                    Under that circumstance, I fail to see why I also cannot argue by assertion. That is, I make my assertions, stand by them, and say that they account for logic.

                    For me, the universe could not make sense if things could both exist and not exist, and it seems to be that way for you, and for God.

                    And why exactly should logic change tomorrow in my universe? And why should God not go back on his word in your universe?

                    If God cannot go back on his word because the universe would not make sense, then you seem to be saying that God himself is somehow constrained, and this brings us back to the point 1) I made above. Logic appears to be independent of God.

                    If you insist that God is not constrained, then it seems to violate the principle which I think you could be arguing here - God is logic and God/logic cannot change because if they did, then the universe could not make sense.


                    I agree. Logic cannot change otherwise things don’t make sense. But I do so with out asserting the existence of God. I assert that the universe exists and that logic is a part of it.

                    IOW I continue to think that when it comes to accounting for logic, even from the perspective of a logical argument, we remain in the same boat.

                    Originally posted by LtL
                    ... can you give me a good reason for why logic even exists in the first place if the ToE were true?
                    Well yes. I can get part of the way there at least.

                    If an organism cannot make rudimentary logical judgements at least, either by intelligent judgement or hard wiring then it ceases to exist. Either food is there or it is not. Either a predator is there or it is not. Either a mate is there or it is not. If a predator is there, then run in opposite direction. If food is there, then move towards it.

                    But be careful. Here you appear to want me to give you a mechanistic description to account for the existence of logic. If so, then I will need to ask you for one.


                    Anyway, time for me to go.


                    Definitely have a good Christmas.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rjw View Post
                      Family is arriving later today for Christmas LtL. So for now I'll just post this which deals with your first and last paragraphs. I will tackle your main point later, which could mean anything from a few days time, to a week or so's time - depending on activities.
                      Yes, I'm happy with it.
                      That's fine.
                      Yes. I think it's getter this way.
                      Yes.
                      We need to be careful however about getting bogged down when we reach an impasse. At that point we need to move on. So let's dwell on logic for the time being until we feel an impasse has been reached, then see how we move on.
                      Neither of us do, hence the danger of the impasse at which we both try to beat a dead horse. Unfortunately on debate forums dead horses don't smell thus driving each party away to something fresher.
                      Thanks, but no need to. When ready, just ask me to get back to absolute truth and I can bring it forward. You might have an extra question or two or further statements to make regarding it.
                      In case I don't get back to you before Christmas, I'll wish you and your family a great and safe Christmas.
                      Will reply to the rest either in a few days time or a week or so - as per above.
                      [SIZE=2]I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family too, and that you were able to keep up with all the grandkid activities! Now that the festivities are over, I expect you to reply in a more timely fashion ! (you know I'm kidding, the slowpoke that I am!)
                      [/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]Also, yes, when one of us thinks we're at an impasse and need to move on, tell the other person. While we will definitely want to give a rebuttal to the other person's position, we could go on and on so I agree there needs to be a point where we will have to agree to move on.[/SIZE]
                      [SIZE=2]
                      [/SIZE]
                      Romans 1:19-20 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rjw View Post
                        It's one I often ask so put it down to my advanced years if you have addressed it elsewhere.
                        How are you using the term "account for"?
                        To my mind there are at least three ways in which we account for things:-
                        1) A guess, even a wild guess.
                        2) An argument that is essentially logical only.
                        3) And argument that is explanatory in that it offers a detailed mechanism and evidence for that detail. The argument is also logical.
                        4) ?
                        To an extent these can overlap. For example a wild guess can be a detailed mechanism, but lacks any evidence at all, and furthermore it can even be crazy. Yet it is a detailed mechanism. A logical argument can be detailed and mechanistic, but lacks evidence. A detailed, evidence based mechanistic argument cannot explain absolutely everything within it's domain so to an extent it will rely on educated guesses.
                        Clearly you are not using 1). I think you are offering something along the lines of 2).
                        How do you think you are offering your argument in the context of accounting for logic? By 2), or 3) or is there another way, 4)?
                        [SIZE=2]I don't believe you've asked me to explain “account for” in the past. So it's good for us to hash that out! I will choose #4. When I'm saying to account for, I mean to justify, to give a good reason. On the online Merriam-Webster dictionary it says: “to furnish a justifying analysis or explanation —used with [/SIZE][SIZE=2]for[/SIZE][SIZE=2] <couldn't [/SIZE][SIZE=2]account[/SIZE][SIZE=2] for the loss>”[/SIZE]
                        So what I'm essentially saying is that only a Biblical worldview can give a good reason why we have logic. The argument I'm using is of course logical, but not only logical. The reason is because to be logical we have to assume logic in the first place. That is circular, and alone it would be a fallacious argument. So we have to go a step further and account for, or justify/give a good reason, for our position about the existence of logic. Of course that good reason needs to be logical; and we need to examine the reasons we give and see if when reduced to their ultimate conclusion, do we live in a manner that is consistent with the reason(s) we give.
                        I hope that clarifies what I mean. If it's not clear, let me know.
                        Romans 1:19-20 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=rjw;3783872]
                          On reading your post I’m unsure of what you are arguing here. I’ll put two possibilities to you and address them:-
                          I'll pick up on the main points of your post. Option #1 here is not my position.

                          Option 2. God is logic and because God is unchanging then logic is unchanging.
                          This appears to be how you are arguing, although I’m a bit unsure. If so, then it’s an assertion you make, or if not one you make because you read it from the Bible, then it’s an assertion someone else made, an assertion which you accept.
                          Under that circumstance, I fail to see why I also cannot argue by assertion. That is, I make my assertions, stand by them, and say that they account for logic.
                          For me, the universe could not make sense if things could both exist and not exist, and it seems to be that way for you, and for God.
                          And why exactly should logic change tomorrow in my universe? And why should God not go back on his word in your universe?
                          If God cannot go back on his word because the universe would not make sense, then you seem to be saying that God himself is somehow constrained, and this brings us back to the point 1) I made above. Logic appears to be independent of God.
                          If you insist that God is not constrained, then it seems to violate the principle which I think you could be arguing here - God is logic and God/logic cannot change because if they did, then the universe could not make sense.
                          I agree. Logic cannot change otherwise things don’t make sense. But I do so with out asserting the existence of God. I assert that the universe exists and that logic is a part of it.
                          IOW I continue to think that when it comes to accounting for logic, even from the perspective of a logical argument, we remain in the same boat.
                          Let me see if I can also address this in a flowing manner so as not to have it broken up and blowing out! First, the nature of God. Yes, there is a “constraint” on God. He is who He is, and He cannot be anything other than Himself. He cannot lie. He cannot contradict Himself. He cannot change His nature. Part of His nature is logic. He is not independent of logic; logic is how God thinks, and because He cannot change then logic (His way of thinking) cannot change. So, because God exists and is perfectly logical and made us in His image, we are to think His thoughts after Him.

                          Yes, the Bible asserts that God's thoughts and ways are perfectly, consistently logical, good, and right. It doesn't defend the position because no defense is needed. The Words are God-breathed, ultimately it's His message and not just messages from humans. The Bible does not seek to defend what it says – it asserts the truth of itself being from God.
                          You believe what other people tell you (or you believe what you deem right). We are all fallible humans who make mistakes and change our minds about what is right or wrong, good or bad, etc. God does not do that. He chose to reveal that to us in a book. We can believe what He says, or we can believe what humans say. When we believe God and pattern our thoughts after Him, we can be consistent with our logic and lifestyle. A person who refuses to believe God's Word patterns his thoughts after himself or other people. What person is perfectly logical, that we should pattern our thoughts after him or her?
                          You and I agree that logic is universal and will not change. However, let's step into a godless universe and see if that assertion could hold true.
                          (1) “People have made up logic.” If so, then they can change it. No one person has the authority to define logic for every other person. Plus, as we evolve into higher intelligence we can change logic to make it fit with the intelligence we think we are gaining. Also, there is no reason logic would be universal if we just made it up. Different people groups with different ideas on thought processes could develop their own logic. Talk about a mess when communicating – each person could use his own arbitrary logic!
                          (2) “We just evolved this way, to think this way, which is universal logic.” OK, that's what we observe, but that doesn't account for (justify/give a good reason) why logic exists in the first place. And if we just evolved this way, which would be chemicals reacting, we could only think according to how the chemicals fire and have no independent thought processes. You believe there is no god because that is how your chemicals fire, and I believe God exists because that is how my chemicals fire. Therefore, neither one of us would have a reason to argue our position (except because our chemicals tell us to) and post-modernism is true....which is self-refuting, illogical.
                          (3) “The universe exists and logic is part of it. God need not exist for logic to exist.” Arbitrary assertion. I gave a good reason as to why the God of the Bible must exist for logic to make sense, therefore being non-arbitrary. And I showed in points 1 and 2 above why the typical atheist reasons for “logic but no God” don't work – they defy the logic the atheist asserts and assumes at the outset! One more........
                          (4) “Neither one of us can adequately explain the existence of logic.” That's the Tu Quoque fallacy. Even if you don't agree with my reasoning (which I don't expect you to unless you start with God's Word instead of human ideas), I still provided a logical reason for laws of logic to exist; and I showed why the evolutionary ideas don't work, as they end up being illogical when thought out to their logical conclusion.



                          ... can you give me a good reason for why logic even exists in the first place if the ToE were true?
                          Well yes. I can get part of the way there at least.
                          If an organism cannot make rudimentary logical judgements at least, either by intelligent judgement or hard wiring then it ceases to exist. Either food is there or it is not. Either a predator is there or it is not. Either a mate is there or it is not. If a predator is there, then run in opposite direction. If food is there, then move towards it.
                          The differences here are: we don't assume food to eat it; we don't assume a predator for it to be there; we don't assume a mate to have one; we HAVE to assume logic in order to use it. Also - food, predators, and mates are physical in nature, whereas logic is conceptual. I'd say this is a category mistake, to compare logic to physical things. Care to try again to give a good reason why logic exists if the ToE were true?


                          But be careful. Here you appear to want me to give you a mechanistic description to account for the existence of logic. If so, then I will need to ask you for one.
                          No mechanistic descriptions - logic is not physical in nature! But if you think it's physical in nature, I'd love an explanation!
                          Romans 1:19-20 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by luvthelord View Post
                            [SIZE=2]I don't believe you've asked me to explain “account for” in the past. So it's good for us to hash that out! I will choose #4. When I'm saying to account for, I mean to justify, to give a good reason. On the online Merriam-Webster dictionary it says: “to furnish a justifying analysis or explanation —used with [/SIZE][SIZE=2]for[/SIZE][SIZE=2] <couldn't [/SIZE][SIZE=2]account[/SIZE][SIZE=2] for the loss>”[/SIZE]
                            So what I'm essentially saying is that only a Biblical worldview can give a good reason why we have logic. The argument I'm using is of course logical, but not only logical. The reason is because to be logical we have to assume logic in the first place. That is circular, and alone it would be a fallacious argument. So we have to go a step further and account for, or justify/give a good reason, for our position about the existence of logic. Of course that good reason needs to be logical; and we need to examine the reasons we give and see if when reduced to their ultimate conclusion, do we live in a manner that is consistent with the reason(s) we give.
                            I hope that clarifies what I mean. If it's not clear, let me know.
                            Seeing you on the forum has kicked me into action here. Christmas and New Year were great, particularly having everyone together again for the first time in so many years. But unfortunately it's replacing fence time, and the weather is hot. I don't normally get happy when another person gets sick, but my neighbour John had to give up on the fence first thing this morning because he was feeling unwell, and the day is going to be over 100 degrees F. Over the previous days, whenever I'd come inside from fencing, generally because the heat and dirt were making it too hard, I would head for the forums with the idea of getting back to our discussion a bit later.

                            Well that bit later never quite arrived - till now.

                            I'll address this post first and return to your other post - a bit later.

                            Your dictionary definition I find reasonable. It's what you write after that I have a problem with.

                            So let me explain.

                            Where I agree
                            M-W offers - "to furnish a justifying analysis or explanation", and in that I would proffer that the best explanations are those that are logical and evidence based. (One could argue that, given some circumstances, an emotional rant could be a better "explanation", in the sense that it might cause others to undertake some task they were dragging their feet over. However, that rant need not have anything directly to do with some perceived reality, but rather it might force an action simply because it generates fear. In other words, explanations that are logical, deal with causative processes and have supporting evidence are the best explanations.)

                            Where I disagree or don't exactly see the point
                            You extended M-W with the following (numbering is mine, coloring is mine):-

                            1. "So what I'm essentially saying is that only a Biblical worldview can give a good reason why we have logic."

                            O.k. Yes, this is your claim and I understand that it is.

                            2. "The argument I'm using is of course logical, but not only logical. The reason is because to be logical we have to assume logic in the first place. That is circular, and alone it would be a fallacious argument. "

                            O.k. Yes, I agree. We are trying to use logical statements to explain/account for logic.

                            3. "So we have to go a step further and account for, or justify/give a good reason, for our position about the existence of logic."

                            Yes. I see this statement as being essentially the same as statement 1.

                            4. "Of course that good reason needs to be logical;"

                            Yes. Logical, and better still, have some causative explanation with supporting evidence. We are still at the using logic to account for logic stage - point 2 above.

                            5. "and we need to examine the reasons we give and see if when reduced to their ultimate conclusion, do we live in a manner that is consistent with the reason(s) we give."

                            And this is where my problem lies.

                            I don't see where you have done any of this. Do you see what I mean LtL or am I missing something here? That is, it's one thing to say that you have a better system, but its another thing altogether to show that you have it. Is it that point you made right at the end, which I have coloured, which you are arguing for?

                            Can you clarify this for me please, before I address it?
                            Last edited by rjw; 01-07-13, 09:19 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rjw View Post
                              Seeing you on the forum has kicked me into action here. Christmas and New Year were great, particularly having everyone together again for the first time in so many years. But unfortunately it's replacing fence time, and the weather is hot. I don't normally get happy when another person gets sick, but my neighbour John had to give up on the fence first thing this morning because he was feeling unwell, and the day is going to be over 100 degrees F. Over the previous days, whenever I'd come inside from fencing, generally because the heat and dirt were making it too hard, I would head for the forums with the idea of getting back to our discussion a bit later.
                              Well that bit later never quite arrived - till now.
                              I'll address this post first and return to your other post - a bit later.
                              Your dictionary definition I find reasonable. It's what you write after that I have a problem with.
                              Always a pleasure to hear about your life events!

                              So let me explain.
                              Where I agree
                              M-W offers - "to furnish a justifying analysis or explanation", and in that I would proffer that the best explanations are those that are logical and evidence based. (One could argue that, given some circumstances, an emotional rant could be a better "explanation", in the sense that it might cause others to undertake some task they were dragging their feet over. However, that rant need not have anything directly to do with some perceived reality, but rather it might force an action simply because it generates fear. In other words, explanations that are logical, deal with causative processes and have supporting evidence are the best explanations.)
                              Where I disagree or don't exactly see the point
                              You extended M-W with the following (numbering is mine, coloring is mine):-
                              1. "So what I'm essentially saying is that only a Biblical worldview can give a good reason why we have logic."
                              O.k. Yes, this is your claim and I understand that it is.
                              2. "The argument I'm using is of course logical, but not only logical. The reason is because to be logical we have to assume logic in the first place. That is circular, and alone it would be a fallacious argument. "
                              O.k. Yes, I agree. We are trying to use logical statements to explain/account for logic.
                              3. "So we have to go a step further and account for, or justify/give a good reason, for our position about the existence of logic."
                              Yes. I see this statement as being essentially the same as statement 1.
                              4. "Of course that good reason needs to be logical;"
                              Yes. Logical, and better still, have some causative explanation with supporting evidence. We are still at the using logic to account for logic stage - point 2 above.
                              5. "and we need to examine the reasons we give and see if when reduced to their ultimate conclusion, do we live in a manner that is consistent with the reason(s) we give."
                              And this is where my problem lies.
                              I don't see where you have done any of this. Do you see what I mean LtL or am I missing something here? That is, it's one thing to say that you have a better system, but its another thing altogether to show that you have it. Is it that point you made right at the end, which I have coloured, which you are arguing for?
                              Can you clarify this for me please, before I address it?[/QUOTE]

                              [SIZE=2][/SIZE]Gladly. I'm sorry if I've been unclear. [SIZE=2]
                              [/SIZE][SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]What I'm basically saying is that you have no basis or standard for defining logic. If the ToE and [/SIZE]naturalism [SIZE=2]were true, whose standards would we use to say what logic is? Logic would just be what a person says it is because that is how he/she evolved to think, not because that's what logic is. The ToE leaves us no standard but our own selves; but since logic had to exist for us to even think logically, there has to be a standard outside of ourselves that defines what logic is. The standard, if using the ToE, would be how the chemicals evolved in our brains; in which case we could never know for sure that we are thinking truly logical – it's just how we evolved.
                              But no one lives like that. I'm sure that you, rjw, think that you think logically, and that others should hold to the same logic that you do. But why should that be so in your worldview, because if the ToE were true there would be no real standard of logic and each person would be fine to think how his/her chemicals evolved for him/her to think. After all, maybe someone most people think is illogical is really logical, but the rest of us haven't evolved with such superior thinking ability – which again leaves us wondering who has the correct standard of logic?
                              [/SIZE]

                              [SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]
                              [/SIZE]
                              [SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]Above you mentioned that we should have causative explanation with supporting evidence. The God of the Bible is the cause, and the evidence is that we all use the same standard of logic (for the most part) and assume all others will use it too - that is how people live. People don't like according to what n[/SIZE]aturalism[SIZE=2] would leave us with, which is no standard of logic (unless one appeals to fallacious arguments, which I covered in my post below.) People live assuming from the outset of a conversation that, for the most part, people will communicate in a logical manner – using the same logic that anyone else in the world would use. Only a Biblical worldview is consistent with how people live. [/SIZE]

                              [SIZE=2][/SIZE][SIZE=2]
                              [/SIZE]
                              [SIZE=2]
                              [/SIZE]
                              Romans 1:19-20 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

                              Comment

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