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Conflicting Worldviews and Presuppositions, Who is Right?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by rjw
    So there is no necessity for anarchy in my claim that ultimately I decide. I think we all do ultimately decide. It’s just that we know that the consequences can be terrible if we make some choices as opposed to others. Or it’s that we agree with the law - that there are some things we must not do, even though we have the choice whether to do them or not.
    Originally posted by LtL
    Again, if we are the product of the ToE then what you think is based on how you've evolved. I've evolved differently, and so have others. What we think is based on our evolution. So there is no basis for AT in such a worldview, and no basis for what we must and must not do.
    Hey, you are into science now.

    No, you haven’e evolved differently to me. We have both evolved to be homo sapiens sapiens. We both share a common ancestor with the (other) great apes. However, we are both at the same evolutionary end-point. We are at the same endpoint as are the British, the Chinese, the Africans, the Indians, etc.

    That you and I think differently is largely due to culture. That you can play music and I cannot is in part largely due to the genes we inherited from our parents, and in part due to culture. Your height difference to my height difference is mostly due to genes, if we were well looked after as children.

    So how we think is because of what we share as humans - reason, logic, language, mathematics, religion, science, philosophy, culture.


    I’ve just realised. This is the shortest post I’ve ever done to you.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by luvthelord View Post
      Then we are back to square one – if truths are human constructions (based on the way we've evolved to think) then there really is no AT that anyone can assert.
      Yes. That is what I think.

      But remember, asserting "I have AT" is not necessarily the same thing as AT. Return to my analogy of 'Who won the 180 AD Olympic marathon?". There is an AT out there. On the assumption that the Olympics did really occur, then someone really did win it.

      But who did. I don't know. I'll guess you don't know. I'll guess that no one knows. However, we might find something that is suggestive that Fred won it. But that evidence might be suspect, doubtful in some way. Even if it is really compelling evidence, there will nevertheless be some argument against it. And you can bet that someone, somewhere, sometime, will be very persuasive in arguing why Fred could not have won it. Or even if everyone agrees that Fred won it, everyone can still be wrong.

      So, while there is an ultimate reality out there, I don't think we can ever really be sure that we know it.


      Originally posted by LtL
      It's just how we've evolved. But no one lives like that! Even as you say they are human constructions, you still think you are correct.
      Yes.

      However despite me living like that, there have been many times where I would swear on a stack of Bibles that X is true, only to be reminded later of some fact which undoes all my dead certainty.

      It's this kind of thing that makes me abandon the notion of AT. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe you really do have the AT. However, simply asserting that you do, does not mean that you do.


      Originally posted by LtL
      That is a self-refuting position.
      I'm not sure that it is. See above. Also ...

      The question is this "is it AT that there is no AT?"

      Well, I'm not saying that this is AT. I am not saying that there is no AT. I'm saying that there is an AT, but it's just that none of us can know it. I think that is different.

      We can assert that we know it. But asserting the AT of something does not make it so.



      (I hope that last bit makes sense. It's been a long day at work.)
      Last edited by rjw; 06-26-13, 07:25 AM.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by luvthelord View Post
        How could we start with truth if our ideas are human constructions?
        I think truth is something we try to discover using things like logic and evidence.

        Go back to my "Who won the 180 AD Olympic marathon?" (assuming the Olympics were held then).

        There is an absolute truth about the marathon and who won it. But we don't start with it. We try to find it out. And we can never know for sure if we really have found it.

        Originally posted by LtL
        So we would never know for sure that we were arriving at truth, just that it seems that way based on what we constructed.
        I think the only truth we can arrive at is what we think is most likely based on the soundness of the arguments we present in favour of any idea we hold to.

        Thus, an idea that we defend with an argument that is illogical, is not an idea worth having. Or an idea we defend by wild assertions is not an idea worth having. An idea that's logical with some evidence for it is much better, but not as good as an idea that's logical with a ton of supporting evidence.

        There are many ideas we have however that we cannot defend with evidence. For example, the answer to the question of who won the 180 AD marathon is an idea that cannot be defended with evidence. We just have to live with the fact that soooo many ideas are of this nature. There is an awful lot we can never know.


        Originally posted by LtL
        If that were so, you would be wrong in what you just said. Self-refuting again.
        I'm not sure as to how well I've addressed this point.


        Originally posted by LtL
        That people, including me, are wrong about things doesn't mean there isn't AT at that we can't know it.
        To my mind, it's more the issue of being able to know that we actually do have the AT.

        I can understand the application of the concept in the case of things of this world. For example, I'd consider it an AT if you claimed that you typed your post to me on a computer.

        But for things less tangible, less easy to grasp?

        That's where I have real trouble with the notion.


        Originally posted by LtL
        It just shows our ignorance.
        Exactly. That's what I am trying to say.

        There is an AT, and absolute reality. But essentially we remain ignorant of it. When we think we know it, just how do we demonstrate that our knowledge is 100% truth?


        Originally posted by LtL
        I disagree. If we don't establish that there is AT, then there is no reason to debate anything with anyone. We'd all be right, or wrong, but that would still be right.
        Well, in the context of the world we do know about, the world of things, of logic, of cause and effect, of evidence, there is every reason to debate things.

        Providing we accept common rules of logic, language and evidence then we can decide certain issues.

        However, when it comes to the more abstract things like God, his existence or non existence or life on other planets, it's existence or non existence, while there is an AT regarding these questions, it's a lot harder to be able to show that we really do have the AT.


        Originally posted by LtL
        Let me know if you're done with AT and want to move to the next thing!
        Thanks.

        I thought I'd be ready to move on by now. However, given the relatively slow pace of our discussion, then I find myself happy with this for now.

        In your reply, there might be something that pushes us onto another topic anyway.

        If you want to move to something else, then feel free to toss it into the ring.



        Regards, Roland

        (It's darn cold here, and that's the absolute truth. )

        Comment


        • #34
          [SIZE=3]There is no way I'm going to be able to address this point by point. I'll try to do an overarching response and hit a couple specific points.[/SIZE] (I said that as I started, but now it looks like I went on as much as you did ).

          [SIZE=3]Addressing people not interpreting Scripture the same: that's not God's fault, it's that we are clouded by sin. However, the message is definitely clear enough for us to understand who God is, what He did to redeem His people through Christ, what is required of us for salvation, and how we know we're saved by His grace. (BTW, you have received misinformation about how the canon of Scripture has come to us. Also, the places like the end of Mark that probably weren't in the originals don't change the message or any major doctrines of Scripture. This is all another topic for a debate of it's own, so I'm going to move on. If you want reliable info on how we received the canon of Scripture just ask and I'll recommend a good book for you.)[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]Knowing who won the Greek Olympics doesn't effect anyone's worldview. Therefore I'm going to dismiss all that as a bad analogy. I think your idea of AT is that there is one but no one knows all things. That is absolutely true that no human on earth knows all things. But no one knowing all things is different than knowing there is AT, and how to account for there being an AT. [/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]Now, you say there is AT but that no one can know it. Is that absolutely true that no one can know AT? If you say yes, you refute your own claim since you would be stating that you know an absolute truth for sure in context of worldview while you also claim no one can know it. Your claim is that no one can know it, but you are claiming you KNOW that no one can know it. If you say no, it's not absolutely true that no one can know the AT that exists, then it stands that you accept someone CAN know AT.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]I'll submit that there is One who is Truth. He created all things and knows all things. That is YHWH, the God of the Bible, in the persons of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He has given us a revelation of who He is and what He has done in this world. We all know it, but suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1). We don't get all knowledge, but enough that when we start with His Words to us and base our thoughts on His truths and revelations, AT is consistent and non-arbitrary within a Biblical worldview. Funny thing is, each person lives as if AT exists and assumes he/she knows it – even if it's claiming that there is no AT, or claiming that there is AT but no one knows all things. Only Biblical Christianity can account for AT since YHWH, who is a perfect thinking being, created all things and has given us the precondts of intell that we need (which are reflective of His thoughts, not exactly like His) in order for us to know anything.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]You said in your first of 5 replies: “To my mind, evidence and logical argument are the crucial things for deciding what we should accept as the closest we can get to understanding reality, knowing full well that there is some unimaginable reality (the AT) behind it all that we simply cannot fathom.” Well, why do you assume that your mind can think logically and determine what the evidence means, when at the same time you know there is AT we can't know? You can't account for absolute logic in your worldview, so to be consistent you would have to deny being able to use logic logically to determine what the evidence means.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]In your 2nd of 5 posts you talk about EMs. After explaining them, you say: “I think our minds are like this. The trillions of neurones in our brains, which are made of matter and powered by energy, have an organisation such that mind emerges as one of these EMs.” In essence, you are describing what I said. I said atoms, but instead of saying atoms you're saying neurons made of matter and powered by energy. That would be matter in motion. You say our thoughts emerge like an EM, which is a chemical reaction or matter in motion. In your worldview, we think because of how the chemicals in our brain have evolved. We are just chemical reactions. Therefore, our thinking is based on how chemicals have evolved. We could NEVER know what truth is if that were true. We would, as I said before, be held captive to how matter moves in our brains.
          Despite that, you stated in the context of knowing whether or not your assertions about the non-existence of God are true by saying: “Well I don’t other than by looking at your arguments, and the arguments of others, and seeing whether or not they make sense to me, no matter how reality works in practice.” Despite saying you can't really know AT, you have made yourself the determining factor of AT! You have set yourself up as the assessor of arguments, weighing the evidence according to the workings of your own mind. God calls that idolatry. You have created a god in our own image, and that god is yourself. Your god is the person or thing to whom you base what is true and false. In your case, you listen to yourself.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]I know what truth is in the sense of worldviews because the Creator has revelaed it to all of us in creation, and because He also has personally granted me repentance leading to the truth (2 Tim. 2:25). When you say “It’s why I think the only things we do have are the natural world, matter, mind, energy, cause and effect, logic, (and now that you mention it), language and ideas. We know we have these. We accept we have these. They are all that we have to use, notwithstanding exactly what the ultimate nature of reality is,” you are using presupps based on the Bible to support what is missing in your worldview – namely, accounting for preconditions of intelligibility, accounting for things we need BEFORE we can even being to process information and have a consistently-operating creation. God, in His nature, has always had thoughts (although different from ours, we are creation He is Creator) that are perfectly logical and consistent, and that is Truth. He has graciously made us as a reflection of His ability to think, and we can know Truth when we start with the right foundation – His Word, as He is Truth.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]In post 3 you say I get into science. However, I say I'm talking history. The ToE is based upon a history developed by man, a history based upon self-professed claims that man can know the truth by starting with himself observing the present and then working back into the past. How can you even know THAT is true, based on what you said that we don't really know AT? See rjw, you agree with man's idea that we should start with ourselves in the present and assume things have pretty much been the same, and then go back and force those assumptions onto scientific interpretations. I start with God's Word, the AT giver, since as part of a fallen creation I realize that our minds CANNOT take present observations and determine what happened in the past without a revelation from someone who was there and does not lie. We don't have that ability or the intelligence, no matter who or how many people claim we do. It's the same old thing, as Adam and Eve decided they didn't need to listen to God and wanted autonomous thinking (if you eat this your eyes will be open and you will be like God). People today still do the same old thing, trying to think autonomously instead of relying on the One who has given us Truth. [/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]Of course I don't think we've evolved differently, because I reject autonomous-thinking man's ideas of the past. We think differently not because we've evolved differently, but because you accept a worldview where you are god and nature has ...created? developed?....into what we see today, whereas I accept that God knows (because He determined) what happened in the past (creation, fall, flood, tower of babel, Christ's life and His work on the cross) and I do not, not without His revelation of it.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]You said, “So how we think is because of what we share as humans - reason, logic, language, mathematics, religion, science, philosophy, culture.” Yes! It's because we're made in the image of God, and He is consistent, perfectly logical, communicates, etc. We are who we are because God has placed within humans a reflection of His nature. Unfortunately, with our sin natures we want to give glory to creation (what we call nature) instead of the Creator (see Romans 1 again).[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]Post 4 she said, he said, SHE: Then we are back to square one – if truths are human constructions (based on the way we've evolved to think) then there really is no AT that anyone can assert.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]HE: Yes. That is what I think.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]But you keep asserting you know we can't really know AT, and asserting it as an AT. Like you, I'm not saying anyone knows all things (except God). I'm using AT in the sense of knowing where Truth comes from. If you agree that AT doesn't come from human constructions, where does it come from? Certainly not “nature” (what the Bible calls creation), since it doesn't have a mind to give truth. Your worldview cannot account for the AT that you know is there. Only a Biblical worldview can account for the precondts of intell that we need, and Truth from the Creator, because His nature determines such.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]In Post 5 (the last, whew!) you say, “I think truth is something we try to discover using things like logic and evidence.” But you have to account for logic and thoughts that are able to accurately determine the truth of the evidence we see! In your worldview our thoughts are based on matter in motion, and we would be assuming the moving matter to be giving us the precondts of intell (while thinking we need them only because of the way the matter moves). It's a nasty circular argument that one cannot escape in order to account for Truth.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]About debating even if, as you say, we can't know AT, you say “Providing we accept common rules of logic, language and evidence then we can decide certain issues.” Those rules we all use are based on Biblical principles, things God gave humans when He made us in Him image to rule over His creation. Again, you're using God's rules to determine what you think is true, such as when you say “However, when it comes to the more abstract things like God, his existence or non existence or life on other planets, it's existence or non existence, while there is an AT regarding these questions, it's a lot harder to be able to show that we really do have the AT.” It's not hard. It's just that without God changing your nature you won't be able to understand. I desire God to change you, so I continue, hopefully bringing Him glory and planting the seeds of Truth for the Holy Spirit to work.[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]I'm done with AT. There isn't anything more I can really say on it at this point. If you want, you can have the last word, but then perhaps we can hit morality?[/SIZE]
          [SIZE=3]Stay warm ! [/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


          • #35
            Gidday LtL,


            While on another enforced gardening leave, I thought that I would look up the term “presuppositional apologetics”, given that, from time to time, I think certain posters use it in the science forum as a means of arguing “for creation science” by making sets of assertions against mainstream science, particularly the theory of evolution, or by making sets of assertions for creationism.

            It struck me that much of what I came across in the articles I found on the net, matched phrases or concepts I see in your writing and it confirmed a feeling that I had that, in our discussion here, that you were arguing from that perspective as well.

            Accordingly, I was gearing up for a big reply focusing largely on presuppositional apologetics.

            However, I’m happy with your:-

            Originally posted by LtL
            I'm done with AT. There isn't anything more I can really say on it at this point. If you want, you can have the last word, but then perhaps we can hit morality?
            - for the reason I will shortly explain.

            With respect to morality, I presume that you will argue that there is an absolute morality and state that your world view accounts for it, offering the claims of the Bible as your evidence.

            I will assert that my world view accounts for it.

            However, as explained in a much earlier post, I think we have two very different understandings of what the term “accounts for” entails. To me, “accounts for” involves explanation, description, and preferably evidence brought to bear on whatever it is being explained or described. Assertions and presuppositions are simply the background setting to allow this to happen.

            And, in all world views, even the presuppositions themselves should not be beyond inspection and critique.

            By delving into morality, I think we will cross many of the points I was hoping to raise with you this time around.

            Before I throw an argument to you dealing with morality, first I will list the sites I looked at to learn more about presuppositional apologetics. After that, I give you, what I think in a nutshell, presuppositional apologetics is.

            Then I will put my morals argument to you.

            I will also write a post which tackles your claim about evolution and me presupposing it. That is a comment I think I’ve seen on a few occasions, and it needs to be addressed, because, as with the term “account for”, I think we have different views as to what “presuppose” means.


            References I used to learn more about presuppositional apologetics

            To give you a taste of what I looked at:-

            http://richwendling.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/presuppositional-apologetics-an-analysis-and-critique/

            http://www.*****************/presuppositional-apologetics.html

            http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Transcendental_argument

            http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n4/presuppositional-apologetics

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presuppositional_apologetics

            http://carm.org/presuppositional-apologetics

            http://formerfundy.blogspot.com.au/2010/04/problems-with-presuppositional.html

            http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Presuppositional_apologetics

            http://freethoughtblogs.com/reasonabledoubts/2012/02/09/episode-97-presuppositional-apologetics-part-1/

            http://www.doubtcast.org/podcast/rd97_presuppositional_apologetics_part1.mp3

            http://www.doubtcast.org/podcast/rd98_presuppositional_apologetics_part2.mp3

            http://philosophyandpolity.com/2011/09/07/presuppositionalpart1/


            What I think presuppositional apologetics is

            I think it’s a set of claims which are also used as an argument that goes something as follows:-

            1) All our ideas about the world are based on world views.
            2) World views, at their basis, rely on presuppositions which are unprovable assertions.
            3) Any set of presuppositions are as good as any other set, given their unprovable status.
            4) One world view is that (the Christian) God exists.
            5) The other is that (the Christian) God does not exist.
            6) Christians live in a world where world view 5) predominates and they have always had to justify their own beliefs to others who operate from world view 5).
            7) There is no reason as to why Christians should not insist that their world view predominate, given the equality of presuppositions.
            8) From 7), Christians should not have to justify their own claims about reality but rather non Christians should.

            This is, I think, one kind of argument that is made by presuppositionalists. There are variations to this.

            If I am correct then, for now, rather than get into the technicalities with what I see wrong with preseuppositional apologetics, I’ll offer the following broad points against such the apologetic and some of its claims, as I understand them:-

            1. I don’t think we have ever lived in a world where “there is no God” is the predominant view. In fact, it seems to me the other way.

            2. I think it has always been so that both sides to the God/no God debate have been expected to justify their claims. It’s why we have these arguments.

            3. If one group can argue purely by assertion and expect that the other side should justify its claims, then it’s quite legitimate to switch roles. And if not switch roles, then it's quite legitimate for both sides to use it to argue from. This includes how the apologetic is actually used in practice.


            Is morality absolute?

            Well, while I am convinced that there is an AT, it’s just that we cannot know it, I am less convinced that there is an absolute morality. If there is, we cannot know it in any absolute manner.

            On the other hand, there are some moralities that are universal, or near universal in that there are some ideas held to by humans in general as being good, desirable, the law, to be followed. Such an example is that we should not kill. Another is that we should not steal.

            Perhaps what makes some morals universal is that, disobeying them would run counter to some universal aspect held to by all humans. Consider killing. If killing (a form of destruction) were a good thing, a right thing, then undertaking it would be a good thing. But destruction and killing runs counter to the existence of something. Existence is a universal attribute of anything recognisable and so destruction seems to be the antithesis of existence. We humans are a social animal. Across all cultures we demonstrate our sociability. Killing upsets that universal sociality we have. It denies us our existence. And so, out of practicality, we all naturally have an instinct that rails against it killing.

            In this sense, some morals are universal (as opposed to absolute) in that their antithesis strikes at the very heart of what it means to exist and most particularly, what it means to be human. And so we articulate principles and practice behaviours that strike against behaviours that deny this. That is, we have universal morals.


            I don’t think, however, than there is anything that can be demonstrated to be absolute, in an objective sense. Consider the claim that it is absolutely wrong to kill. If it is absolutely wrong in some external, objective sense, then:-

            1) It seems that most, if not all folk, sooner or later find a reason to justify killing.

            2) Even those who claim that killing is absolutely wrong, most often seem to find a justification for it, some time, some place.

            3) I don’t know of any God or gods that has not sanctioned killing, undercutting any claim they might make to killing being absolutely wrong. If it is absolutely wrong, then presumably there can be something good about doing something absolutely wrong, if God or the gods do it.

            So, if there is something absolutely wrong about it, everyone, including God or the gods seem to partake of it anyway. That undercuts any claim to absoluteness, except in word only.



            In my other post I will tackle your claim about evolution and presupposing it.


            Originally posted by LtL
            Stay warm !
            Oh I am, I am. I’ve just returned from a two week holiday to Canberra where my daughter lives. There, the nights are often 8 or so degrees colder than here in Adelaide. It can hit -4 degrees C. But then I suspect that is still quite warm, relative to your winters.

            It annoyed me that as soon as I reached Canberra, I began to feel the beginnings of a cold. It kept me somewhat subdued while I was there.

            Murphy’s Law. It rules the universe.
            Last edited by rjw; 07-26-13, 05:08 PM.

            Comment


            • #36
              With respect to ToE you wrote:-

              Originally posted by LtL
              However, I say I'm talking history. The ToE is based upon a history developed by man, a history based upon self-professed claims that man can know the truth by starting with himself observing the present and then working back into the past. How can you even know THAT is true, based on what you said that we don't really know AT?
              Exactly. The ToE does, like all scientific ideas, have a history behind it, a history that was carried out by human agents doing and thinking things. But like all scientific ideas, it’s more than just history.

              Like, for example, germ theory, atomic theory, meteorological theory, embryological theory, the ToE has the following aspects to it:-

              1. The scientific theory itself - the evidence that underpins it, the testing that is done to validate it, etc.
              2. The history of the idea - how it came to be.
              3. The underpinning philosophy - the philosophy of science.

              Men and women construct all these. And in the context of history, people do things. They write about the things they do. When they don’t write or if their writings are destroyed, then they often leave artifacts behind.

              However, I cannot know that any idea’s history (nor the idea nor it’s underlying philosophy) is true in any absolute sense. This history could, for all I know, be some gigantic conspiracy between historians. Or we could live inside some matrix where all our thoughts are pre-programmed.

              However, I don’t think for a minute that any of the above is true, even though the logical possibility is there.


              The history of the idea can be read about in various books and publications. We have the letters, the diaries, the journals of many of the actors of that history. These do not provide us with a perfect history, but they do provide us with a story that is open to verification. And they make sense within the human realm. From our own daily experience, we know that humans think up ideas, and that others disagree with said ideas, and that the ideas often are open to dispute and testing, and that these ideas and their disputes may get written down and subsequently become artifacts of history. Or we know from experience that past events do leave evidence in the present that we can observe and from there subsequently test our ideas about those past events.

              That something happened in the past does not necessarily mean that there is complete and utter silence about that something. Even when there is no written record, it’s often the case that the something leaves evidence in the presence which can be observed.

              There is nothing new about this.


              Originally posted by LtL
              How can you even know THAT is true, based on what you said that we don't really know AT?
              I know it is true, based on experience and testing my claims against evidence. What I am doing however, is not claiming that my words are absolute truth. They are true in that I think they are true, until something comes to make me believe otherwise.

              If you are not sure as to what I mean by this then consider what happens in the next section. I make a claim regarding something about you I think is true. But then I put it to the test. My failure to achieve a positive result about something that happened in the past, causes me to rephrase my whole argument.

              There is nothing unusual about this procedure. You and I do it many times each day. We make truth claims about things were were not there to see and we use evidence to back up those claims. We accept those claims until additional evidence comes along which causes us to doubt the idea we were advocating. But as long as the existing evidence holds firm, we accept our claim to having some kind of truth.

              Watch ...


              Do I presuppose evolution?

              I thought I had seen you make this claim. However when I went to check for such a statement from you, I could not find it.

              Do you see what is going on here? I had a truth claim. I would swear that I read you stating that I presuppose evolution. (I could never write that my truth was absolutely correct because I know how easy it is to be wrong.)

              Before discussing this claim with you, I needed to find an example of you making the claim. That is, I needed to test my truth claim. I went searching for the word “presuppose” and could find nothing.

              So I have had to modify my version of the truth. Whereas a short while ago, I would state it as true that you made the claim, now I am not so sure.

              Even then, I could be wrong, because my search was a quick one and I only scanned through our set of exchanges here. Maybe you had made the claim in the science forum. I did not look there. For now, I have to accept that perhaps you made no such claim, notwithstanding that I had been certain about it.


              So what am I to do?

              I held to a truth, tested it, and now have to modify my truth claim.

              My new truth claim is as follows:- You might have written it, but I can find no evidence for it. Yet I have this nagging feeling that I’ve seen you say it. So, I will accept for now, that you did not write it, but will nevertheless, explain why I don’t presuppose ToE, any more than I presuppose germ theory, atomic theory, heliocentric theory, embryological theory. I am doing this, just in case.

              There is an AT out there. Either you have written that I presuppose ToE, or you have not written it. I thought you had. However I can find no evidence for it. This nagging doubt remains. Yet I have to accept that I can find no evidence for it. That is, even though an AT exists, I cannot necessarily know it.


              Well, just in case you have made the claim, let me state that I don’t presuppose ToE any more than I presuppose meteorological theories, germ theory, atomic theory and so on. Some of my reasons are as follows:-

              1) Presupposition means to assume. To take for granted some claim, with no proof or supporting evidence. To consider an assertion to be true.
              2) Like any scientific theory, ToE has a history behind it, showing that people did not simply think “I shall believe this, even though I have no evidence for it.”
              3) ToE largely deals with past events. But past events leave evidence in the present for us to observe. We use that evidence to test ideas about past events.
              4) Much of science is like this. Even science dealing with processes operating now (evolution is one such process), has to deal with that which cannot be directly observed. For example, geoscience often deals with events at the earth’s core. No one has directly seen the earth’s core. Astrophysics deals with events inside stars. No one directly observes the insides of stars. Physics deals with quarks, protons, neutrons. No one directly observes these. And so it goes. That is, so much of science deals with processes that are not directly observable. All that can be done is rely on evidence these processes do leave us with, and use this evidence to test our ideas about the underlying and unobservable processes.
              5) Among the things I do presuppose with respect to evolution are these:- that the researchers who do the experiments are not committing some fraud; that they are not deceiving themselves; that the nature they claim to be testing, is in some sense real and that the human mind can understand it to some degree. Etc. And these are the same presuppositions I use for all science.


              Those five points will do for now.

              But do you see my point about truth (as I perceive it) versus absolute truth? There is an absolute truth. Either you did claim that I presuppose evolution or you did not. I swear that I saw you make the claim. That was my truth. However, I put it to the test and went looking. I have now had to modify what was just a moment ago, a firmly held truth. My truth now is, that I remain suspicious, but cannot demonstrate it, so maybe you never made any such claim.

              But just to be on the safe side, I’ve written the above, because I think it an important point to make.



              Perhaps another point I’d make against the notion of absolute truth, and whether or not a person can actually know it. Claiming to have it, does not seem to help any.

              You might believe that you have AT, but in what sense does it help you resolve these daily issues more so than any other person resolves the same kinds of problems? In the science forum, several posters attempt to use presuppositional apologetics to argue against ToE but they make all the demonstrable mistakes under the sun, and one comes across as something of an habitual liar.

              People may believe that they have AT, but it does not seem to help in any way when it comes to deciding what truth is and what it is not.

              Comment


              • #37
                ^^^ Dang. Well I did try to keep it short. Looks like I failed again.

                Comment


                • #38
                  I put your stuff in quotes and my response under each quote. Now let's see if I have to eliminate anything or if it all fits....
                  Nope, 695 characters too long. Chop time!

                  [SIZE=3]While on another enforced gardening leave, I thought that I would look up the term “presuppositional apologetics”, given that, from time to time, I think certain posters use it in the science forum as a means of arguing “for creation science” by making sets of assertions against mainstream science, particularly the theory of evolution, or by making sets of assertions for creationism.
                  It struck me that much of what I came across in the articles I found on the net, matched phrases or concepts I see in your writing and it confirmed a feeling that I had that, in our discussion here, that you were arguing from that perspective as well.
                  Accordingly, I was gearing up for a big reply focusing largely on presuppositional apologetics.
                  However, I’m happy with your:-[/SIZE]

                  Originally Posted by LtL

                  I'm done with AT. There isn't anything more I can really say on it at this point. If you want, you can have the last word, but then perhaps we can hit morality?
                  - for the reason I will shortly explain.
                  With respect to morality, I presume that you will argue that there is an absolute morality and state that your world view accounts for it, offering the claims of the Bible as your evidence.
                  I will assert that my world view accounts for it.
                  However, as explained in a much earlier post, I think we have two very different understandings of what the term “accounts for” entails. To me, “accounts for” involves explanation, description, and preferably evidence brought to bear on whatever it is being explained or described. Assertions and presuppositions are simply the background setting to allow this to happen

                  Yes, I'm dealing with presuppositions within your worldview and mine. We all presuppose things according to our worldview. Then, we take those presupps and interpret the evidence around us. I guess I thought you knew that was what we were discussing.....after all, the title of our debate is only “Conflicting Worldviews and Presuppositions....”

                  I would agree that yes, in accounting for something within your worldview there needs to be explanation and a description. However, you said preferably evidence. The problem there is that presupps determine how we interpret the evidence, so when bringing in evidence to support your presupp you're begging the question. One who denies God must be able to show how such a worldview can account for, justify, explain (without resting on fallacious arguments or being arbitrary), the preconditions of intelligibility (PoI) we need to presuppose anything. What I'm trying to show you is that a worldview that presupposes the non-existence of YHWH and believes in the ToE cannot account for any PoI without begging the question, appealing to authority or the majority, or being plain arbitrary. And even more, any worldview outside of Biblical Christianity cannot stay consistent with its claims.

                  Before I throw an argument to you dealing with morality, first I will list the sites I looked at to learn more about presuppositional apologetics. After that, I give you, what I think in a nutshell, presuppositional apologetics is.
                  Then I will put my morals argument to you.
                  I will also write a post which tackles your claim about evolution and me presupposing it. That is a comment I think I’ve seen on a few occasions, and it needs to be addressed, because, as with the term “account for”, I think we have different views as to what “presuppose” means.
                  For sites referenced, see previous post by rjw
                  AiG, yes. CARM I frequent of course, but they deal with classical and evidential apologetics too, not strictly presupp. Seen ************ a couple times (don't seem to be strictly presupp at all). I don't know any of the others.


                  What I think presuppositional apologetics is
                  I think it’s a set of claims which are also used as an argument that goes something as follows:-
                  1) All our ideas about the world are based on world views.
                  2) World views, at their basis, rely on presuppositions which are unprovable assertions.
                  3) Any set of presuppositions are as good as any other set, given their unprovable status.
                  4) One world view is that (the Christian) God exists.
                  5) The other is that (the Christian) God does not exist.
                  6) Christians live in a world where world view 5) predominates and they have always had to justify their own beliefs to others who operate from world view 5).
                  7) There is no reason as to why Christians should not insist that their world view predominate, given the equality of presuppositions.
                  8) From 7), Christians should not have to justify their own claims about reality but rather non Christians should.
                  This is, I think, one kind of argument that is made by presuppositionalists. There are variations to this.
                  I don't know where you got that list, but it's not how anyone I know describes presupp apologetics. There are varying degrees of “presuppositionalists” out there. Van Tillian (the one I follow) and Clarkian (sort of, not so popular either) are the 2 main types of this method of apologetics, but more recently there seems to be a following of some street preachers that use ½ of the apologetic by reducing someone's worldview to absurdity.......and then leaving it there. The other half seems to be missing and it makes me a tad bit bonkers, although I am glad they are out there and I believe many of them proclaim the gospel, which is the main focus (should be!) of any apologetic encounter. It's not that hard, with a bit of study, to show especially an atheist or agnostic or postmodern that his worldview is completely illogical and irrational and self-refuting. But the most important part is teaching the person about the character of God, the fall of man, and redemption through Christ. So there has been a pulling away by some, taking a name under covenantal apologetics, which utilizes the Van Tillian method, which is based on Biblical presupps and the way the apostles defended and Jesus taught the Truth of God. Acts 17 is a big passage, where Paul addresses the men of Athens.

                  If I am correct then, for now, rather than get into the technicalities with what I see wrong with preseuppositional apologetics, I’ll offer the following broad points against such the apologetic and some of its claims, as I understand them:-
                  1. I don’t think we have ever lived in a world where “there is no God” is the predominant view. In fact, it seems to me the other way.
                  2. I think it has always been so that both sides to the God/no God debate have been expected to justify their claims. It’s why we have these arguments.
                  3. If one group can argue purely by assertion and expect that the other side should justify its claims, then it’s quite legitimate to switch roles. And if not switch roles, then it's quite legitimate for both sides to use it to argue from. This includes how the apologetic is actually used in practice.
                  I really don't want to debate what's wrong or right with “presupp apologetics.” I'm just trying to let you know where I stand so you don't find some variety of an online “presupp” website and assume that's what I'm trying to do. Besides CARM and AiG, and Jason Lisle, I'm a fan of Choosing Hats, where they teach the covenantal method I'm trying to use. I'm certainly not the best, but I pray God will use me as I learn more and that He will be glorified by the communication of His truth and gospel.

                  Is morality absolute?
                  Well, while I am convinced that there is an AT, it’s just that we cannot know it, I am less convinced that there is an absolute morality. If there is, we cannot know it in any absolute manner.
                  Here is where I'll use the method to show you why your view cannot hold here. Do you know absolutely that there is not an absolute morality (AM)? If so, you just gave an absolute statement about morality (which contradicts that we can't know if there is AM absolutely). Let's run with that though. A man just an hour north of where I live held 3 women hostage for about 10 years. He didn't kill them. They stayed alive, so he must have fed them. He did things they didn't like such as rape, but who is to say he violated any moral code? In his mind, that was an OK thing to do. It gave him pleasure. Turning the women lose would have caused him great distress, maybe enough to kill someone. rjw, if anyone holds to no AM, there is no basis except one's own opinion that the man did anything wrong. Perhaps the majority would agree with your opinion, but still, an opinion it remains. And if the majority opinion fell the other way, oh well, it's just all opinion and the majority rules.

                  On the other hand, there are some moralities that are universal, or near universal in that there are some ideas held to by humans in general as being good, desirable, the law, to be followed. Such an example is that we should not kill. Another is that we should not steal.
                  Here is where I employ the other part of the method and explain why there are universal and absolute morals and defend the gospel. AM exists because we are made in the image of God as revealed in the Bible. When God created Adam, he was to mirror God's character (being made in His image). However, Adam did not fulfill this. You see, God is a Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The persons of the Godhead are in complete unity, and man was made to be in unity with God. Adam decided to do his own thing and eat from the tree, placing his ideas and thoughts above God's. That act brought sin to the world, and we are born in Adam as sinners and deserve eternal punishment for rebelling against God.

                  The 10 commandments tell us God's moral character. We aren't to lie because He cannot lie; we aren't to covet or steal because He never does those things, as all things belong to Him; children are to honor their parents, as the Son and Holy Spirit perfectly honor the Father; there is no other god to worship, so we are to only worship the One God and not make any others for ourselves; God never takes a life unjustly (He could destroy us at our first sin and be right to do so but He doesn't), so we are not to murder. You already know it's wrong to steal and kill. What about when you lie? Although we are 6,000+ years in a world of sin and a fading image of God, it still remains in us as His creatures and deep down we know right from wrong. We just suppress it in unrighteousness because we are born in sin. Only Jesus, God in the flesh, lived without sin. God forgave us on the cross as Jesus took the punishment that we deserve by bearing the sins of His children in His body; then rising from the grave and fulfilling the OT prophecies about Him being the firstborn among many. The Bible never tries to defend any of this – it presupposes the truth of all it says, and declares it with authority. Without submitting to God's authority and admitting He is right and you are wrong, trusting Christ alone to save you by His death and resurrection, you will remain in Adam and spend eternity in hell.

                  Perhaps what makes some morals universal is that, disobeying them would run counter to some universal aspect held to by all humans. Consider killing. If killing (a form of destruction) were a good thing, a right thing, then undertaking it would be a good thing. But destruction and killing runs counter to the existence of something. Existence is a universal attribute of anything recognisable and so destruction seems to be the antithesis of existence. We humans are a social animal. Across all cultures we demonstrate our sociability. Killing upsets that universal sociality we have. It denies us our existence. And so, out of practicality, we all naturally have an instinct that rails against it killing.
                  From already accepting the ToE, you interpret most humans not going around murdering based on the idea that we are a “social animal” so instinctively we preserve ourselves. I think you brought up the ToE later, so I'll reserve my bullets at this point and fire away in a bit .

                  I don’t think, however, than there is anything that can be demonstrated to be absolute, in an objective sense. Consider the claim that it is absolutely wrong to kill. If it is absolutely wrong in some external, objective sense, then:-
                  1) It seems that most, if not all folk, sooner or later find a reason to justify killing.
                  2) Even those who claim that killing is absolutely wrong, most often seem to find a justification for it, some time, some place.
                  3) I don’t know of any God or gods that has not sanctioned killing, undercutting any claim they might make to killing being absolutely wrong. If it is absolutely wrong, then presumably there can be something good about doing something absolutely wrong, if God or the gods do it.
                  So, if there is something absolutely wrong about it, everyone, including God or the gods seem to partake of it anyway. That undercuts any claim to absoluteness, except in word only.
                  Ah, but no my friend. You don't understand Creator/creature relationship. It's natural for us as humans to want a god that is at our level, doing what we think is right and wrong. The God of the Bible commands us not to murder, meaning not to take a life unjustly. That is, as I said above, because He never does so. He can righteously end the life of any sinner any time He wants and is perfectly justified to do so, as we fail to reflect His image as we are to do. Remember, He told Adam obey/don't eat of this tree and you will live; disobey and eat and you will die. Disobeying God brings death, and we all deserve it since we've all disobeyed and continue to do so. I know that sounds harsh and people, even Christians, recoil in horror at that. But rjw, God is the Creator who is Holy and Good. We are sinners that think we know better than God...just like Adam did in the garden.

                  Also, although God says not to murder, people in their sin still do so. He works everything according to His will, and even though we don't always understand why He allows such things we have to trust that He knows better than we do, as He is the Creator and we are simply His creatures. That goes starkly against the idea that we as humans are good and deserve a god who is going to appreciate all of our goodness.

                  In my other post I will tackle your claim about evolution and presupposing it.
                  I look forward to addressing it!


                  Stay warm !

                  Oh I am, I am. I’ve just returned from a two week holiday to Canberra where my daughter lives. There, the nights are often 8 or so degrees colder than here in Adelaide. It can hit -4 degrees C. But then I suspect that is still quite warm, relative to your winters.
                  It annoyed me that as soon as I reached Canberra, I began to feel the beginnings of a cold. It kept me somewhat subdued while I was there.
                  I hope you enjoyed your visit, despite your cold!!

                  Murphy’s Law. It rules the universe.
                  Cough...
                  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


                  • #39
                    With respect to ToE you wrote
                    However, I say I'm talking history. The ToE is based upon a history developed by man, a history based upon self-professed claims that man can know the truth by starting with himself observing the present and then working back into the past. How can you even know THAT is true, based on what you said that we don't really know AT?
                    Exactly. The ToE does, like all scientific ideas, have a history behind it, a history that was carried out by human agents doing and thinking things. But like all scientific ideas, it’s more than just history.

                    Like, for example, germ theory, atomic theory, meteorological theory, embryological theory, the ToE has the following aspects to it:-
                    1. The scientific theory itself - the evidence that underpins it, the testing that is done to validate it, etc.
                    2. The history of the idea - how it came to be.
                    3. The underpinning philosophy - the philosophy of science.
                    Men and women construct all these. And in the context of history, people do things. They write about the things they do. When they don’t write or if their writings are destroyed, then they often leave artifacts behind.
                    Science is supposed to be something that is testable and repeatable. Evolution, meaning change, is testable and repeatable. The ToE, based on the idea of a common ancestor that came about because of the theory of abiogenesis.....neither of those ideas are scientific because they are not testable or repeatable. They are interpretations that stem from man's self-appointed authority to determine what happened in the past, even though no one was there to see it. Change/evolution is repeatable and testable. The ToE is not. It's not science. In that sense, God creating in 6 days 6,000 years ago is not scientifically testable either. It's history too. We have a book from the One who created, revealing to us what we need to know in order to understand the world in which we live, and more importantly to understand salvation through Christ. You have man's ideas about the past and how we got here, all based on man's ideas about the past and how we got here, based on man's self-assumed ideas that man can reason enough to know the truth of the past by starting with the present.


                    However, I cannot know that any idea’s history (nor the idea nor it’s underlying philosophy) is true in any absolute sense. This history could, for all I know, be some gigantic conspiracy between historians. Or we could live inside some matrix where all our thoughts are pre-programmed.
                    However, I don’t think for a minute that any of the above is true, even though the logical possibility is there.
                    So in your worldview the logical possibility is there that it's true – we could possibly, although you think not probably, be in a matrix world or all history is a lie. Well, if the ToE were true all of your thinking would be due to chemical changes over millions of years. How could you ever know anything for sure? How are we even having a conversation and understanding each other? Because we've evolved this way? Begging the question in that regard is amazingly blind, because people assume we're this way because we evolved this way....from lower life forms...to intelligence....all because we think how we do because that's how we've evolved to think!! It's just incredible to me that people can't see how hilarious such a notion is, but instead they believe it because “science” says so. (science “saying” anything is another discussion, as personification is for poetry, not science)

                    Living in a worldview where people think according to the chemical reactions that we've evolved into, how would you absolutely know anything? You wouldn't even know for sure that your chemical evolution has evolved so that you can know we've evolved. In my worldview, I know without doubt that there is One who knows all things, and He has revealed Himself to us through His creation. However, in our sinful state we suppress the truth and instead come up with ideas to honor creation instead of the Creator. So He has revealed Himself to us in writings as well, telling us what we need to know in order to be saved from His wrath. The second person of the Trinity took on flesh, lived a sinless life (which Adam failed to do), and then took the sins of His people in His body on the cross to redeem them to Himself. Through repentance (a change of mind knowing that God through His revealed Word is right and you and other people are wrong) and faith in Christ's work on the cross and His resurrection, God saves. The Holy Spirit reveals the truth to us, and we are then to go and tell the world. I am honored to tell you the truth, and I pray you will repent and trust the work of Christ.


                    The history of the idea can be read about in various books and publications. We have the letters, the diaries, the journals of many of the actors of that history. These do not provide us with a perfect history, but they do provide us with a story that is open to verification. And they make sense within the human realm. From our own daily experience, we know that humans think up ideas, and that others disagree with said ideas, and that the ideas often are open to dispute and testing, and that these ideas and their disputes may get written down and subsequently become artifacts of history. Or we know from experience that past events do leave evidence in the present that we can observe and from there subsequently test our ideas about those past events.
                    That something happened in the past does not necessarily mean that there is complete and utter silence about that something. Even when there is no written record, it’s often the case that the something leaves evidence in the presence which can be observed.
                    There is nothing new about this.
                    I know, and we have God, who cannot lie, who gave us the history of the universe in a book. We are commanded to believe Him, not ourselves, and to start with His thoughts instead of ours when assessing the world in which we live. Instead, people come up with ideas about coming up with ideas and finding truth, just as you wrote in the paragraph above.

                    How can you even know THAT is true, based on what you said that we don't really know AT?
                    I know it is true, based on experience and testing my claims against evidence. What I am doing however, is not claiming that my words are absolute truth. They are true in that I think they are true, until something comes to make me believe otherwise.
                    Do you see where you are making yourself the determiner of truth, that something has to come along to make you believe differently than you do now? You decide if something makes you believe otherwise. Is it because you've evolved to think that way, and you're restricted to thinking that way; or could it be that you, like the rest of sinful humanity, desire to decide what is true and what is false?


                    If you are not sure as to what I mean by this then consider what happens in the next section. I make a claim regarding something about you I think is true. But then I put it to the test. My failure to achieve a positive result about something that happened in the past, causes me to rephrase my whole argument.
                    There is nothing unusual about this procedure. You and I do it many times each day. We make truth claims about things were were not there to see and we use evidence to back up those claims. We accept those claims until additional evidence comes along which causes us to doubt the idea we were advocating. But as long as the existing evidence holds firm, we accept our claim to having some kind of truth.
                    Watch …
                    Before I read below I predict that you use your presuppositions to interpret the evidence and make a conclusion, all based on your worldview of naturalism and using empiricism. And no, I'm not a prophet .


                    Do I presuppose evolution?
                    I thought I had seen you make this claim. However when I went to check for such a statement from you, I could not find it.
                    Do you see what is going on here? I had a truth claim. I would swear that I read you stating that I presuppose evolution. (I could never write that my truth was absolutely correct because I know how easy it is to be wrong.)
                    Before discussing this claim with you, I needed to find an example of you making the claim. That is, I needed to test my truth claim. I went searching for the word “presuppose” and could find nothing.
                    So I have had to modify my version of the truth. Whereas a short while ago, I would state it as true that you made the claim, now I am not so sure.
                    Even then, I could be wrong, because my search was a quick one and I only scanned through our set of exchanges here. Maybe you had made the claim in the science forum. I did not look there. For now, I have to accept that perhaps you made no such claim, notwithstanding that I had been certain about it.
                    So what am I to do?
                    I held to a truth, tested it, and now have to modify my truth claim.
                    Your presupposition is that your thoughts and senses can accurately test a truth claim and accurately modify that claim, all while assuming your testing and modifying are true. Also, you presuppose that you are able to interpret evidence accurately. Is it because you evolved that way, and you know it because you are that way?

                    Being wrong about thinking someone said something when they didn't is much different than being wrong about your entire worldview. Bad analogy .


                    My new truth claim is as follows:- You might have written it, but I can find no evidence for it. Yet I have this nagging feeling that I’ve seen you say it. So, I will accept for now, that you did not write it, but will nevertheless, explain why I don’t presuppose ToE, any more than I presuppose germ theory, atomic theory, heliocentric theory, embryological theory. I am doing this, just in case.
                    There is an AT out there. Either you have written that I presuppose ToE, or you have not written it. I thought you had. However I can find no evidence for it. This nagging doubt remains. Yet I have to accept that I can find no evidence for it. That is, even though an AT exists, I cannot necessarily know it.

                    Well, just in case you have made the claim, let me state that I don’t presuppose ToE any more than I presuppose meteorological theories, germ theory, atomic theory and so on. Some of my reasons are as follows:-
                    1) Presupposition means to assume. To take for granted some claim, with no proof or supporting evidence. To consider an assertion to be true.
                    2) Like any scientific theory, ToE has a history behind it, showing that people did not simply think “I shall believe this, even though I have no evidence for it.”
                    3) ToE largely deals with past events. But past events leave evidence in the present for us to observe. We use that evidence to test ideas about past events.
                    4) Much of science is like this. Even science dealing with processes operating now (evolution is one such process), has to deal with that which cannot be directly observed. For example, geoscience often deals with events at the earth’s core. No one has directly seen the earth’s core. Astrophysics deals with events inside stars. No one directly observes the insides of stars. Physics deals with quarks, protons, neutrons. No one directly observes these. And so it goes. That is, so much of science deals with processes that are not directly observable. All that can be done is rely on evidence these processes do leave us with, and use this evidence to test our ideas about the underlying and unobservable processes.
                    5) Among the things I do presuppose with respect to evolution are these:- that the researchers who do the experiments are not committing some fraud; that they are not deceiving themselves; that the nature they claim to be testing, is in some sense real and that the human mind can understand it to some degree. Etc. And these are the same presuppositions I use for all science.
                    You presuppose that humans (who hold your view of empiricism) are able to accurately interpret their observations. So you believe whatever the scientists who hold your view of empiricism say.
                    Those five points will do for now.
                    But do you see my point about truth (as I perceive it) versus absolute truth? There is an absolute truth. Either you did claim that I presuppose evolution or you did not. I swear that I saw you make the claim. That was my truth. However, I put it to the test and went looking. I have now had to modify what was just a moment ago, a firmly held truth. My truth now is, that I remain suspicious, but cannot demonstrate it, so maybe you never made any such claim.
                    But just to be on the safe side, I’ve written the above, because I think it an important point to make.
                    Whether you think I said you presuppose evo or not, and whether I did or not, doesn't show the truth of anyone's worldview.


                    Perhaps another point I’d make against the notion of absolute truth, and whether or not a person can actually know it. Claiming to have it, does not seem to help any.
                    You might believe that you have AT, but in what sense does it help you resolve these daily issues more so than any other person resolves the same kinds of problems? In the science forum, several posters attempt to use presuppositional apologetics to argue against ToE but they make all the demonstrable mistakes under the sun, and one comes across as something of an habitual liar.
                    People may believe that they have AT, but it does not seem to help in any way when it comes to deciding what truth is and what it is not.
                    I don't have AT, but I know who does – YHWH. Therefore, I start with His thoughts and account of the past. There is no logical alternative. As you see, in your worldview there is no way you can know anything you believe is true for sure. So to argue against anyone saying they know the truth (whether they do or not) is actually being inconsistent with the worldview you profess.

                    And, you may think people make mistakes, but how do you know for sure that you aren't the one making logical mistakes? If the ToE were true, it's just your evolved logic verses someone else's evolved logic. You wouldn't know if you or the other person had evolved with superior thought ability. You just assume your thoughts are superior and correct, not the other person's.
                    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


                    • #40
                      Part 1

                      Gidday LtL,


                      The length has blown out again, and I've addressed only one small part of your reply. There is no expectation that you will address all of this. I have asked a question which I highlight. However, the length of the replies simply turn out that way because I'm expressing my ideas on the subject.

                      If anything, reading them might help you get to sleep at night.


                      In what follows, because I am linking you to lots of research papers, but can only post two or three links, then I have had to offer most of my links in a “noparse” from. Hence, if you wish to see the underlying referenced material, then you will need to cut ‘n past the links into your address bar. The posting of this is not meant to intimidate, but rather to show you what is actually out there. Often it’s the case that by reading the abstract and the introduction to a paper, as well as the conclusion, one can get a bit of a feel for what the paper is about.

                      I have tried to write my reply largely in note form. Sometimes I think that doing so makes it a bit more readable.

                      I’ve tried to separate sections by the use of bolding, underlining and coloring.

                      Unfortunately, by putting all these no parse “links” in, with the headings of the papers, it’s made the style of the post look somewhat messy. Hence the need for the colour etc, in an effort to distinguish sections.


                      A QUESTION FOR YOU.

                      With respect to ToE you wrote:

                      Originally posted by LtL
                      S Science is supposed to be something that is testable and repeatable. Evolution, meaning change, is testable and repeatable. The ToE, based on the idea of a common ancestor that came about because of the theory of abiogenesis.....neither of those ideas are scientific because they are not testable or repeatable. They are interpretations that stem from man's self-appointed authority to determine what happened in the past, even though no one was there to see it. Change/evolution is repeatable and testable. The ToE is not. It's not science.
                      What to you mean by the terms “testable” and “repeatable”?

                      That might sound like a funny question from me, but I am serious in asking them, for the reasons I’ll explain shortly.

                      But first, my ideas as to what science is then some opinions from me regarding abiogenesis and ToE.


                      B WHAT SCIENCE IS

                      Here is an OP I started some years ago, explaining what I think science is:-

                      To Fundancer: What science is.


                      C. TWO CONCEPTS ARE SEPARATE, ABIOGENESIS AND ToE

                      1. ABIOGENESIS

                      Abiogenesis is a distinct process to biological evolution.

                      As far as natural science is concerned, abiogenesis is a process that operated in an environment in which there were no genes.

                      It brought about the existence genes.

                      It is about physics and chemistry bringing genes into existence.

                      Hence chemists and physicists have as much to do as biologists, perhaps even more so, with experiments on abiogenesis.

                      As far as a natural origin of life goes, we don’t really have a good idea as to how this could have occurred. However, we do test the ideas we have and these tests can be repeated and the nature of the tests extended and improved upon.

                      I will explain what I mean by the word “test”, shortly, and I will also extend this into the realm of history.

                      Here is an example of an experiment in abiogenesis (front page of the research article only):-
                      Reactions depending on iron sulfide and linking geochemistry with biochemistry
                      http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2361306?uid=3737536&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&si d=21102629639727

                      If you look at the front page, then you will see that it’s mostly about chemistry.

                      Logically, ToE does not have to have a natural origin of life. And this is because it relies on the existence of organisms which have genes and can reproduce. Hence, ToE can take its starting point from life created by a supernatural deity.

                      It’s just that natural science is based on what nature can do, and abiogenesis is about trying to work out plausible pathways by which life could have come about naturally.


                      2. THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION

                      The theory of evolution is about the change in life across time and between different locations on earth.

                      More specifically, it’s about the changes to the genes of living organisms across time and between different locations.

                      There are other evolutionary concepts (e.g. the evolution of the earth’s crust, or the evolution of the earth’s atmosphere). However, when I refer to ToE, I am referring to the evolution of life.

                      For life to change across time, and from location to location, the genes of organisms have to change, and organisms have to pass these genes on from generation to generation. This is because what organisms look like, to a large extent, and how they behave, to a large extent, is governed by genes.

                      Genes are what get passed on from generation to generation.

                      So, unlike abiogenesis, evolution requires genes to be in existence.

                      As such, ToE is researched mainly by geneticists and biologists.


                      D. TESTING EVOLUTION

                      1. WHAT DO I MEAN BY TESTING?

                      In short, by “testing”, I mean experimenting.

                      Experiments, as done by scientists, are different to experiments done by students in a high school lab. Scientists do experiments to demonstrate that an idea they have is a workable idea. That is, they do it to demonstrate that the idea has some evidence in support of it.

                      Experiments can be done in the controlled environment of the lab. Or experiments can be done by undertaking restricted observations in the field e.g. by observing how animals react to some stimulus placed into their natural environment.

                      The purpose of experiments is to allow people to undertake very specific observations in order to collect data.

                      This is done to confirm or disconfirm some idea the researcher may have.

                      The data are used to confirm or disconfirm the idea.

                      It is the data that are interpreted.

                      If disconfirmed, the idea is either rejected (sometimes) or modified (most likely).

                      Processes that happened in the past, like processes operating in the present, leave things in the present for us to observe. This is often the source of our data.

                      A classic example of a past process(s) leaving something in the present for us to observe is a process of life, death, burial, heat and pressure, followed by erosion. This leaves us with patterns in rocks which we call “fossils”.

                      I will have more to say about fossils later, save for the fact that their supposed existence, death, and turning into rock are all events that happened in the unobserved past. Yet most creationists don’t doubt that these fossils are indeed the remains of once live organisms, and this is despite the fact that there are other interpretations for the existence of those patterns.

                      2. HERE ARE SOME TESTS TO DO WITH ToE

                      In science, it’s often the case that two kinds of tests are done.

                      One is to show that an idea is correct - that something exists, that a process does in fact occur, etc.

                      Then, having shown that something did or does exist or that it does occur, the other kind of test is done in order to learn more about it. That is, we undertake tests in order to confirm or disconfirm our ideas about it, what it is made up of, how it works and so on.

                      Thus, the idea that the atom exists requires one kind of testing.

                      The idea that the atom is like a plumb pudding in structure (positive and negative charges all mixed together) requires another kind of testing. This kind of testing is based on the acceptance that the atom does indeed exist.

                      Likewise, the idea that that evolution occurred and still occurs requires one kind of testing.

                      The idea that evolution requires random mutations to the genome and selection of those mutations requires another kind of testing. This kind of testing is based on the acceptance that evolution did, and still does indeed occur.

                      a. TESTING TO GET EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION (and evidence of atoms)

                      Here is one kind of test that demonstrates that organisms do evolve:-

                      The nested hierarchy of species
                      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section1.html#nested_hierarchy

                      An actual science paper dealing with the above kind of thing (note the title):-

                      A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry
                      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v465/n7295/full/nature09014.html

                      • Organisms are observed to have defining characteristics.
                      • These characteristics can be nested. That is, organisms A and B share characteristics with each other. A and B and C also share characteristics, but A and B have characteristics that C does not have. A, B, C and D share characteristics, but A, B, and C have characteristics that D does not have. A, B, C, D and E share characteristics, but ..., and so it goes on and on.
                      • There is only one process we know of which naturally and necessarily gives rise to this process of a nested hierarchy of characters and it’s any process that involves common descent with modification.
                      • Sexual reproduction and speciation are two processes of common descent with modification which quite naturally give rise to these nestings of characters.
                      • So whenever you find that you can classify things in this kind of manner, then you have very good evidence that some kind of process of common descent with modification is behind the origin of these things.

                      The above is no different to this kind of test:-

                      Brownian motion and ideal gases
                      http://tap.iop.org/energy/kinetic/601/page_47422.html

                      - to demonstrate that matter is made of atoms.

                      An actual science paper on the above:-

                      Investigations on the theory of, the Brownian Movement
                      http://users.physik.fu-berlin.de/~kleinert/files/eins_brownian.pdf
                      • Microscopic particles in the air or in water, can under certain circumstances be observed to be jostled in random directions.
                      • The theory is that matter is made of atoms which are in constant random movement.
                      • This atomic movement can explain why those microscopic particles behave as observed.


                      2. TESTING IDEAS ABOUT THE MECHANISM OF EVOLUTION (and atoms)

                      Here is a test done with respect to ideas about the mechanism of evolution:-

                      Observations re the evolution of increased complexity of a molecular machine.
                      http://pages.uoregon.edu/joet/PDF/finnigan-thornton_nature2012.pdf

                      In essence, it’s about research done to demonstrate the plausibility of a pathway leading to the increase in complexity of a small molecular motor that sits in cellular membranes and pumps protons across the membrane boundary to increase the acidity inside a cell or a component of a cell. What the researchers did was kind of reverse the logic behind the phylogeny (tree like evolutionary relationship) of organisms. In doing so, they constructed putative ancestral proteins making up the motor. They then used yeast, genetically engineered to have their machinery run with these proteins to see if the cells remained viable. Doing this they were able to demonstrate a plausible pathway involving gene duplication and subsequent mutation which took a more simple motor requiring two proteins of different kinds hooked up in any order, to a more complex kind of motor, requiring three proteins of different kinds hooked up in a more specific order.

                      Perhaps the biggest uncertainty in this kind of research is just how reliable are their ancient protein reconstructions which rely, largely on the reliability of their phylogeny. However, it’s not as if they are ignorant of this question, because in the paper, they show how they tackle it.

                      Ancient protein reconstruction is not simply a wild guess undertaken by geneticists and biologists either. As this paper shows:-

                      Chemical Paleogenetics Molecular “Restoration Studies” of Extinct Forms of Life
                      http://actachemscand.org/pdf/acta_vol_17sup_p0009-0016.pdf

                      - the idea was first mooted back in the 1960s and is only now beginning to bear fruit, thanks to improvements in technology. However, if you can struggle through the paper you will see that there is a clear logic underpinning the technique and the logic is based on :-
                      • Our understanding of genetics and
                      • Our understanding of hereditary.

                      Again, just to show how testable these things are, here is some research being done with directly calls our current understanding of phylogenies into doubt:-

                      Phylogeny: Rewriting evolution
                      http://www.nature.com/news/phylogeny...lution-1.10885

                      Clearly there is a brawl in academia going on here, because these things are open to testing and to scrutiny.

                      The above is no different to this kind of test:-

                      [Abstract from science article]
                      Proton structure from the measurement of 2S-2P transition frequencies of muonic hydrogen.
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23349284

                      [Layperson’s writeup]
                      Proton Size Puzzle: Surprisingly Small Proton Radius Confirmed With Laser Spectroscopy of Exotic Hydrogen
                      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124140704.htm


                      - to demonstrate what atoms are and how they work. Physicists thought they had a very good handle on some basic properties of atoms, for example, their sizes. This smugness was, a few years ago, called into question by experiments that showed their understanding worryingly out of kilter.

                      Note that these ideas are the ideas of human beings and that they are ideas that humans themselves test.

                      There is, as far as we can tell, no other input to these ideas, no matter what you think the source of ultimate reality is, and no matter what I think the source of ultimate reality is. Let me put it this way, I think the universe is its own source of reality. However, I cannot demonstrate that the universe caused these ideas to be thought of and then tested. I can, demonstrate that humans thought of the ideas and then tested them. You think that some supernatural agent caused them and then (presumably) that humans tested them. I doubt that you can demonstrate this either.

                      I’d suggest that the best both of us can do is demonstrate that humans thought of these ideas and tested them, and this demonstration is in the realm of human action in a natural world. Beyond that, we are largely silent.

                      This is a lot like you and I exchanging our ideas about various matters.


                      Continuation next ....
                      Last edited by rjw; 09-15-13, 04:56 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Spillover from Part 1

                        c. OTHER EXAMPLES OF TESTING MECHANISM IN ToE

                        Speciation with gene flow in a heterogenous virtual world: can physical obstacles accelerate speciation?
                        http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2012/04/17/rspb.2012.0466.full.pdf+html

                        A read of the abstract will provide an idea of the question the researchers were attempting to address by setting up their virtual world.

                        Here is another:-

                        Genomic analysis of a key innovation in an experimental Escherichia coli population

                        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7417/full/nature11514.html

                        A layperson’s write up is here:-

                        The Birth of the New, The Rewiring of the Old
                        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2012/09/19/the-birth-of-the-new-the-rewiring-of-the-old/#.UjN_V-BQ1S8

                        Basically, it’s about an experiment that’s been running for some 20 years, trying to work out some of the “rules” underpinning evolution. Some four or five years ago, researchers noticed a remarkable change in one of the lineages of bacteria they had been observing. It was using as a food source, a compound it could not normally use as food when in the presence of oxygen. It took them 4 years to track down the genetic changes and basically what had happened was something of a big jump, relative to other mutational changes. In this case, a few gene duplications had occurred in such a way that the duplications found themselves near a gene regulator that allowed this new functionality to occur. That got the new functionality started, then extra copies of this mistake, along with a few other mutations and a bacterium arose that was very efficient at feeding in a way that, under normal circumstances, was completely abnormal for it to do.


                        E TESTABLE AND REPEATABLE

                        All scientific theories are ideas. In this context, ToE is a theory. More so, as the above papers show, like atoms and what atoms are, ToE is testable and these tests are repeatable. Furthermore those tests can be extended, additional tests done, and even different tests altogether be performed.

                        That is, like the atomic theory of matter, the theory of evolution is testable and these tests can be repeated.

                        You might object that the problem is that evolution cannot be observed because it’s a process that happened in the past.

                        However, no one seriously suggests that evolution happened in the past and has stopped. We think it continues today. It’s just that, on the human timescale it’s relatively slow, and chancy. That is, one simply cannot select on particular organism with the idea that one will sit down and watch it for 1000 years to see if it evolves new legs and arms.

                        But then much of science is of that nature. We have a theory which no one, as far as I can tell, denies as science. The theory is that stars shine because of fusion reactions happening at their cores, and these fusion reactions happen because of the shear mass of the start which causes enough internal pressure and thus heat, such that atoms literally fuse together, and in the process, release energy.

                        Yet if you claim that to be science, something that has to be directly observed, then this theory cannot be scientific:-
                        • No one directly observes the insides of stars, let alone watches any supposed reactions going on there.
                        • It is physically impossible for a human to get a quadrillion, zillion tons of hydrogen gas together in one place, to see if fusion will begin.

                        So, despite the concepts underlying the theory not being directly observable, the theory is nevertheless testable. This is so because the unobserved processes happening inside the star, do leave evidence for us to observe and we can use this evidence to test our ideas about what goes on inside a star. And it is testable because other ideas in physics allow us to do calculations to show that if such and such a mass of gas did exist, then it ought to begin fusion reactions at its core. But no one can actually perform this experiment to actually see that it does happen. Here is an example of such a test, showing that stars shine via fusion reactions:-

                        Observation of a Neutrino Burst from the Supernova SIV1987A
                        http://prl.aps.org/pdf/PRL/v58/i14/p1490_1

                        Remember, no one observes the insides of stars such that we are even in a position to watch ions (electrically charged atoms) bump together and fuse. However, if such reactions are going on inside stars, then neutrinos are expected. A few neutrinos were finally observed a while after the explosion itself was witnessed, coming roughly from the direction of the explosion. That is, the physicists observed evidence they think comes from inside the star, evidence that unobservable processes do leave for us to observe.

                        F. WHAT YOU CALL EVOLUTION.

                        When you call evolution change across time, then like the evolution of life, these evolutions have both a history and they occur in the present.


                        G. SUMMARY

                        In short, there are two kinds of tests in science. The first kind demonstrates the reality of something or some phenomenon. The second kind accepts that this something or this phenomenon does exist, and from there attempts to learn more about it.

                        By providing you with links to papers, hopefully I’ve been able to provide some evidence that, just as with atoms so it is with evolution. Tests that the phenomenon exists have been provided. Tests designed to learn more about the phenomenon have also been provided.

                        In essence, by doing this I have put your idea:-

                        “ToE is not testable”

                        - to the test.

                        Hence, if you don't think the ToE papers are bonafide scienctific tests, then my question to you is, what do you mean by "science", and what do you mean by "test"? To address this question, I think you need to consider the range of theories you do consider to be science. I say this because I note often that creationists reject things like birds evolving from dinosaurs because it happened in the unobservable past, yet they will accept things like domestic doges evolving from wolves, despite the fact that this also happened in the unobservable past. Or they will accept as scientific, ideas such as the earth having a semi-molten core, despite the fact that this core is deep inside the earth, a place that is not (directly) observable.


                        Next I want to discuss your claims about history and the past. However, I just might take a dip back into presuppositional apologetics. I'm unsure, just at the moment.
                        Last edited by rjw; 09-15-13, 05:01 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Part 2 - history.

                          Heh. Well I'm back to my bad habit of long posts.

                          However this one is a lot shorter. In it, I am simply putting a grab-bag of ideas on history to you. In a sense, historical claims are different to claims about the present, because history is about the past. However, historical claims are often testable and repeatedly so. And, as I hopefully showed in my previous essay, claims about the present, which are generally considered to be scientific, cannot be directly tested.

                          Anyway, my grab bag of comments:-


                          History. Our interpretation of the artifacts left behind by people who preceded us. Historical claims are often testable, and repeatedly so. Forensic science is a great example of this.

                          Our testing of history often relies on human artifacts, but this is not always the case. For example, we have testimony of the destruction of Pompeii, but we also have geological evidence from the volcano itself, and this often feeds into what we can say about the destruction of that city.

                          Artifacts are most often documents. But this is not always the case.

                          History is our interpretation of what past processes (people writing) left for us in the present to observe. See my comments about Pompeii above and Ramses II below.

                          Our interpretations are often being adjusted in the light of more and better evidence.

                          Hence it is often the case that historical claims can be tested, and repeatedly so. Patterns re-occur with respect to history and we can relate historical activities to what is observed now. But then, this is no different to other scientific claims about the past. Claims about the past are in general, made with respect to what we observe in the present.

                          But this (the discovery of human artifacts) is no different to other processes in nature, which happened in the past, leaving things for us in the present to observe.

                          The only difference is that people from the past can describe what they did and what they saw. But we still have to interpret it, e.g. make allowances for culture, and validate it. Often the claims of folk in the past can be mistaken, are propaganda, and even lies.

                          Examples of mistaken claims by folk from the past - how medieval folk used to report the “monsters” that inhabited other lands. Examples of propaganda and lies? Well there, the classic is the great Egyptian Pharaoh, Ramses II and the Battle of Kadesh

                          If one were to go from the “eyewitness” reports of the Egyptians, then they won a massive victory against the Hittites at the battle of Kadesh. However, Hittite “eyewitness” reports suggest anything but that. In fact, at best the battle may well have been a draw and at worst, a near disaster for Ramses.

                          (In actuality, it was a victory for the Egyptian, but not in the manner Ramses may have wanted his subjects (and later readers) to believe. It seems that the inconclusive outcome of the Battle forced both great powers to the peace table. The result of this was some 60 years of stability for the Egyptians.)

                          Thus, when it comes to dealing with the past, we start with what the past leaves for us in the present. This includes documents, rocks, bones, chemicals, structures, geologic layers, etc. etc. and etc.

                          Hence your claim that God created the world in 6 days, 6000 years ago, should be testable to some extent, at least, because presumably, modern life forms have a history which goes back to that time, because, presumably we have rocks that date from that time, and so on.


                          If you think that the past is untestable then what claim do you make about these patterns we see in rocks that look as if they could be some kind of remnant organisms that once lived, then died, then got turned into rock (fossils)?

                          As far as I can tell, most creationists now accept that these patterns are in fact the remains of organisms that were indeed once alive, then died, and changed into rock. And they seem to accept this idea as totally reasonable, if not a scientific idea.

                          If I am correct here, then how can this be so, if it is the case that the past is untestable?

                          History can be as uncertain as is anything else humans do. While we have the advantage of eyewitness reports, we also have the disadvantages of human bias, lies, propaganda,and mistakes. The history which people from the past tell us, requires validation and interpretation.

                          This need for interpretation and validation is no different to the need for interpretation and validation of claims we make about the present.

                          Forensic science, always deals with the past. It’s a classic case of being able to test the past, repeatedly. Often cases are re-opened because the development of new tools allows a re-examination of the data, or it allows forensic scientists to extract even more data from the crime scene.

                          You in your daily work, often have to draw conclusions, either via deductive or inferential reasoning, with respect to unobserved events that did happen in the past. And I’d suggest that, no matter what conclusion you draw, there are always other explanations.



                          Next, I shall return to presuppositional apologetics and make some comments there ...
                          Last edited by rjw; 09-19-13, 05:11 PM.

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                          • #43
                            Part 3: The presupposition of God & the Bible. The presupposition of nature as real.

                            Gidday LtL,


                            I feel that I need to apologise for what comes next, for fear that I might come across as insulting and blaspheming. I know you have said that you have broad shoulders and I agree, you do. However, you also come across as a good person and someone who does not disgrace her faith but rather who witnesses for it in a positive manner. Hence it is important to reiterate my apologies, recognising that in making my point, I am trespassing on ideas close to your heart.

                            There is another reason for the above words, and it stems from them. Our world views are important to us. They are indeed who we are. Hence there is an unfortunate aspect to them in that when another person criticises them, then in a manner of speaking, the person who holds to the view, is also being criticized.

                            It’s just an unfortunate part of being human and holding to ideas. They are precious to us, and others can find them utterly odd-ball, and say so. And it’s hard to completely separate the person holding the idea from the idea.

                            So with that in mind, allow me to offer my thoughts on the presupposition of God and the Bible and the presupposition of nature. I think the latter is prime and the former is derived from it.


                            You wrote:-

                            Originally posted by LtL
                            So in your worldview the logical possibility is there that it's true – we could possibly, although you think not probably, be in a matrix world or all history is a lie.
                            Exactly.

                            There are possibilities that our ability to prove or disprove are well beyond any capacity we have.

                            However, there are almost an infinite number of these kinds of things. For example, there could be a cement truck out of control, careening down the road, heading for my house right now. It will hit my house in two minutes time and cause me massive injuries which, on healing, will leave me in permanent, terrible pain for the rest of my life.

                            The question is, what should I do, given this possibility?

                            These possibilities can be played out, even with respect to the supernatural. For example, and there is no way it can be demonstrated to be wrong, or right, a Uber God may have created God who created the universe. However, God thinks he is the only God.

                            In the face of these possibilities, we really have no option but to ignore them. So it is true that we might be inside a matrix, but I have no way of knowing, one way or the other. The world seems to be real, matrix or no matrix. Hence I ignore the idea unless I’ve had a few too many wines or am in a more philosophical mood. Likewise, there could be a thousand things about to hit me and cause my life to be in pain - a meteorite, a cement truck, a murderous hit in which the hit man identified the wrong person, a friend who thought of a great prank that will, unfortunately go terribly wrong, etc.

                            Remember, your presupposition of God and the infallibility of the Bible? Presupposing them does not make them right, just as presupposing the matrix does not make it right.

                            What you offer me is just that, presupposition.

                            And some presuppositions are seemingly good ones, and others are seemingly bad ones. Here is what I think, a good one - nature exists and is real. Here is what I think is a bad one - we live inside a matrix.

                            What about God and the infallibility of God?

                            I think the notion of God is a reasonable one for us to make. However I think it is bad to presuppose it’s reality.

                            You might protest at this stage and argue that presupposing the reality of nature does not make it so, either. I agree. It’s impossible to prove that nature and the human mind are actually real. To be able to do so, one has to know exactly what reality is, and how nature and the human mind fit into this reality.

                            However, we all seem to agree that nature is in some sense real, no matter what might ultimately be behind it.

                            But that the ultimate behind nature? I don’t think we can presuppose that one, with any safety.

                            And as I wrote above, all you have given me is a presupposition.

                            At the best, all I can do is presuppose that nature is real in some way and suggest to you that both of us do actually agree with this presupposition.

                            The claim that God and the infallibility of the Bible are presuppositions on which everything else depends can be turned on its head.

                            I think it goes like this. We know that nature exists. We see that nature causes things. We see that we, by mimicking nature, can also cause things. So we presuppose there must be something like us behind nature, in order to account for the existence of nature. So the ideas of God and the infallibility of the Bible depend on the presupposition of the reality of nature. Hence the reality of nature accounts for God.

                            If you challenge me here and ask “How does nature account for God?” then you are asking me to do something that you don’t do yourself, namely explain how one thing accounts for the other.


                            Thus:-

                            Originally posted by LtL
                            Well, if the ToE were true all of your thinking would be due to chemical changes over millions of years. How could you ever know anything for sure?
                            Well we don’t know anything for sure, if by that you mean with 10000000% certainty, cross my heart and hope to die. Even our most cherished ideas can be upset.

                            That upsetting may cause them to be rejected utterly. More often that not, we modify them as we come to face new facts. A part of life is an ongoing adjustment to new ideas and new facts. New circumstances can force us to change old ideas or to consider things we had never thought about before.

                            All we can do is know things with a degree of certainty, given the constraints of the natural world of mind, matter, energy, cause and effect, etc which we presuppose is real.

                            And simply asserting that “God is real and God accounts for knowing something for certain” does not help.

                            I could likewise simply presuppose “nature” and assert that “nature accounts for my knowledge with certainty”.

                            You would rightfully point out that my claim is just that, an assertion.


                            And so when I get to this:-

                            Originally posted by LtL
                            The Holy Spirit reveals the truth to us, and we are then to go and tell the world. I am honored to tell you the truth, and I pray you will repent and trust the work of Christ.
                            I revert to the point I made a long time ago. We have on these forums folk who say exactly these things and who then go on to make claims that are demonstrably wrong, or claims that are silly and in one or two cases, claims that belong to those of a poseur (to put it mildly).

                            So, even if I were to accept your presupposition, in the end I am still challenged by the above knowledge that this kind of guidance does not prevent mistake and error.

                            At best I acknowledge the sincerity of your belief and acknowledge the kindness and good regard you have such that you want to share it with me.

                            I cannot knock you for that, and must acknowledge that you are genuine and offering me something that is very important to you. Yet my problem with your argument remains.


                            Originally posted by LtL
                            Do you see where you are making yourself the determiner of truth, that something has to come along to make you believe differently than you do now? You decide if something makes you believe otherwise. Is it because you've evolved to think that way, and you're restricted to thinking that way; or could it be that you, like the rest of sinful humanity, desire to decide what is true and what is false?
                            I think you are correct here, if I understand you correctly. Yes, what is truth, is a decision we humans make. And it’s often so that it’s hard to actually determine what truth is, particularly when our own notions of it are challenged.

                            We humans are biased. We can lie. We can be honest but deceived. And, at day’s end, we have only our fallible faculties to rely on.

                            However, I don’t see that there is any difference for you. “All” you have is your own presupposition which is, at day’s end, just that. And, as pointed out, it’s no guarantee of truth as the forums on CARM show.


                            I agree, we all desire truth. And we do decide what it is, notwithstanding the ultimate nature of reality.

                            In essence, I might proffer that if we can get so much wrong with respect to our daily banal world, then what makes us think that we get it right when it comes to whatever it is that is behind it all?


                            Originally posted by LtL
                            I don't have AT, but I know who does – YHWH. Therefore, I start with His thoughts and account of the past.
                            But if you don’t have AT, then how do you know that YHWH does? At best you seem to claim that he does. It’s a presupposition, if I understand you correctly. And it’s a presupposition which you claim accounts for things.

                            Yet, that’s all it is, a presupposition. Beyond this, how do you know that your claim is AT?


                            So yes ...

                            Originally posted by LtL
                            Your presupposition is that your thoughts and senses can accurately test a truth claim and accurately modify that claim, all while assuming your testing and modifying are true. Also, you presuppose that you are able to interpret evidence accurately. Is it because you evolved that way, and you know it because you are that way?
                            These are presuppositions I hold to. I cannot prove that when I claim “nature is real” that nature is, in fact, real. I don’t actually know what reality is, in the sense of some eye or mind that exists beyond nature. All I think I know is that I live in a universe of mind, matter, energy, cause and effect, logic, etc. And I think the human mind can understand this universe to some degree.

                            But there is no way I can actually prove all this with 100% accuracy. It seems to work. Using empirical science which is based on these presuppositions we have been able to make machines that give us the ability to generate abundant energy or to destroy cities, to give us machines to save lives or to take lives. And these machines are based on the theories we have about reality, theories which are in no way the final word on what reality actually is.



                            I’d better stop here, because I’ve been naughty and written three essays. This has really blown out.
                            Last edited by rjw; 09-27-13, 12:58 AM.

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                            • #44
                              Part 4: Don't worry.




                              I’d better stop here, because I’ve been naughty and written three essays. This has really blown out. You might have to abandon your family to address them.

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                              • #45
                                Well, I guess I better copy and paste your replies in a word document so I can get started on a reply. I'll try to narrow it down..........
                                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.

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