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  1. #61
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Don't you theists often say something like an absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. Playing by your rules then, just because we've yet to discover physical evidence of Santa does not mean such evidence doesn't exist nor does it mean that Santa doesn't exist.
    I didn't say that Santa didn't exist. I said that the Santa with the properties that traditionally define him cannot exist because it is those very properties that require such evidence TO exist. There is nothing complicated about this Rod.

    That's a beginner's error in understanding the actual argument being made. It's not that "atheist objectors" want to redefine your god for you. It's that "atheist objectors" want to help you to understand that by your saying there is "nothing tangible to hang on to" there, you've given a very good reason to believe that there is nothing there, period!
    That's great, but irrelevant and a weak objection. It is a weak objection because it is saying "There is no physical evidence for the non-physical therefore the non-physical does not exist." Not only is this truly a "beginner's error" (because it insists that God must be a physical being with physical properties [tangible evidence] but also one that is contradictory (that which is non-physical in nature will not have physical evidence).

    You see, by taking away the property of physicalness (ie, 'that which can be described by physics') from the definition of an alleged entity, you've taken away the best reason to believe that the alleged entity exists.
    I don't know of any theist who believes in God because of any physical evidence. It would seem that you may not know the actual theist's position nor their arguments for the existence of God.

    Besides, do all theists claim that their god isn't physical? Apparently not since some theists believe that Jesus was God while he was on earth.
    This is another "beginner's error" that confuses temporal, physical manifestation for intrinsic properties of a being.

    I'll spare you the embarrassment of explaining just how such a thing is possible by not asking about it.
    Obviously the "embarrassment" is all yours for neither understanding the theist position nor for exercising proper critical thinking.

    In actuality, different people do mean different things by the term "Santa" just as they do when they use the term "God." You weren't aware of that?
    Sure. But were you not aware that the op failed to define the term "Santa" and instead left it up to each person to define for themselves while accepting that ALL definitions of Santa are applicable to the fallacious argument?

    The "Judeo-Christian version" of god??? Would that be the one who once appeared physically on earth calling himself Jesus or are you referring to some other one?
    See above re: your confusion between temporal manifestation and intrinsic property.

    ---------- Post added at 03:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:58 PM ----------

    To be clear about the op's argument...

    Xeno:
    For example, I stand up to his definition of good and I got a present from him last Christmas. So did a million of my friends. There you go, anecdotal evidence of Santa's direct interaction with the world. Just like the anecdotal evidence theists give of God answering prayers (directly interacting with the world).

    Apok:
    If all you wanted to do was to show that x population of theists shared a similar reasoning pattern with those who believe in something else (that is not God...such as Santa)...that's fine. But then, it's really it just begs the question of "So what?" Even theists would agree with you on that point. That point in no way challenges theism.

    Xeno: I never said it does. People just assumed that because they saw the word Santa.


    To be clear...Xeno's argument apparently can be stated as follows:


    Some theists claim that because they believe their prayers have been answered that this is evidence for God. But this type of reasoning is the same as the reasoning offered for those who believe in Santa.

    So, a couple things here:
    1. If this is the new argument, then the argument in the op isn't a real world argument that anyone can actually relate to. The new argument refers only to a subset of theists, not theists as a whole.
    2. The new argument attacks the reasoning of this subset of theists but doesn't explain why the reasoning is bad. I agree that it is bad reasoning, but the argument is bad because it merely makes the assumption that the reader will agree that it is bad (the hidden assumption should be stated not implied).
    3. Lastly, the new argument is seemingly irrelevant since no theist at ODN identifies with this type of reasoning and there doesn't appear to be a significant enough number of this subset of theists for it to matter.
    4. But even if it did matter, since the op's argument has no relation to any real world application.


    In other words, it's just another irrelevant attack on theism (see other links in my first post) that has no foundation from which to build from.

    Xeno...you continuously either ignore your opposition's actual position or have just routinely misunderstood it. Either way, until you actually DO understand the theist's position and theist's arguments your arguments against theism in this line (see other links in my first post) will continue to falter because they are based on fallacious reasoning. The first step to ANY objection is to actually know what it is you are objecting to. It is insufficient to say "I am objecting to theism" because that just begs the question of why you are objecting. And now that we know the why (your revised argument above) we now know the the objection is based on erroneous reasoning. And any objection based on erroneous reasoning is not an objection that stands to scrutiny or challenges what it is being objected to.

    Know your opponent's position and arguments before objecting to them.
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  2. #62
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Staples
    I don't think I'm clear on what "Santa" really is, according to this hypothetical. Is he a human? Is he some sort of higher entity that still has a physical form?
    Now you know how it feels to atheists when theists keep moving the god goalposts. For instance, MyX, in this thread, talks about the similarities between the belief some theists have in god and the belief some children have in Santa and immediately theists, like you, deny the validity of the comparision simply because it doesn't happen to agree with your particular belief in god.

    That's not very charitable of you, Clive, even if it is typical.

    Rodriguez wrote: Now, is any of this likely? Well of course not. But we're comparing this belief with the belief in particular gods, remember?, so the belief doesn't have to be likely true, but only possibly true, an exponentially lower threshhold to meet.

    CliveStaples wrote: Who said that the belief only has to be possibly true?
    Some agnostics say this. In particular, the agnostic to whom I addressed the remarks that you butted into seems to imply it with some of the arguments that he makes. Most notably, he's claimed that there is no evidence for any god's existence and no evidence for any god's nonexistence and that that these two facts constitute some reason to believe that it's just as likely as not that some god exists.

    Look, A-Rod, you wondered why people weren't blown away by MyX's masterful analogy. I explained why: because his analogy has nothing to do with my faith, or with the faith of anyone I know. So I don't really have any reason to give two sh*ts about it.
    Then don't comment on it.

    In response to your comment about your particular beliefs and those of the people you know (presumably you're talking about the relatively tiny circle of Christians familiar with the writings of Alvin Plantinga and other exponents of reformed epistemology) well all I can say is -- you need to get out more. Maybe turn on the TV every now and then. Maybe read a newspaper occasionally.

    Or continue to live in a closet with Alvin Plantinga -- a very attractive man btw -- and pretend that your beliefs actually have something to do with popular belief of the vast majority of Christians.

    Alvin Plantinga:

    And before anyone asks: Yes, this really is Alvin Plantinga, the great Christian apologist. You can't make this stuff up, folks.

    Well, the short answer is that I simply didn't make that argument. The long answer is that you're making up strawmen because of some pathological inability to properly construe the arguments of your opponents.
    Well, to be fair, I don't fail to properly construe the arguments of all my opponents; although doubtlessly I do sometimes misconstrue those of them who try to cram their entire apology for the existence of god into two short, pithy sentences. Sorry you were so deeply offended by my failure. Maybe you should sue?

    Seriously though -- you wrote: "I see our world as one among many different possible worlds. So my belief in God is not grounded in facts particular to this world."

    When you say, "my belief in God is not grounded in facts particular to this world" what does that mean? For instance, is your belief in god grounded in any facts? If so, then what are those facts and in what world, if not in this one, do they obtain as fact?

    If your belief is not grounded in facts or evidence, then is your belief actually an assumption similar to an assumption like the one that says the world was created five minutes ago?

    Any elucidation you can provide that might help me better understand your two-sentence thesis on your belief in the existence of god is appreciated.

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  4. #63
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    This isn't navel-gazing. This is a fundamental skeptical question. Dismissing it because you don't want to bother to examine your assumptions...well, that's just lazy.
    I obviously disagree. I'm a pragmatist and I think pragmatic decision making will typically yield better results than a acting on imagination and inkling. We could all be rainbow unicorn farts, but unless that changes the reality we experience in some way its irrelivant. Unless I can give the unicorn a beano tablet it just isn't the least bit important.

    If the universe sprang into existence a millisecond back looking as if it had a history going back to the big bang, well then its functionally no different than if it really did have a history going back to the big bang so the speculation has no impact on anything I actually decide to do. Any argument with no practical application is not much of an argument at all, its just hot air. Anyhow I'd rather go with your clarification than the original dialog.

    Suppose you have a memory of doing X. How can you verify that you actually did X?

    So far as I can tell, we're in something like an 'eternal present'. We don't have direct access to the past; all we have is a set of memories of past experiences. But even if our current reality is consistent with our memory of the past, that doesn't mean that the past events must have actually happened. There might be many different pasts that would yield a current set of circumstances identical to what we're observing now.
    Lots to talk about in this statement.
    In an eternal present the past is not co-existent with the present nor is the future. "the past" is just a prior state of the present. Memories are present tense faximilties of prior events. A movie of an event is not the event itself after all, it is a recording of the light and sound produced by the event that is then re-created in limited for you. I think you are getting at this here. And indeed the faximily may not be true to the event it is imitating. In fact I'd say its impossible for it to be 100% accurate since only the original even had those exact properties of time and space.

    But, inductively if we limit the scope of the question of "what happened" to a set of properties that we have some success recording, then we can have some level of confidence that the faximilty is functionally equivalent for the purpose of the question. Some doubt remains, we always have doubt, but the doubt is small enough we have confidence/faith in the relative truth of the recording.

    The testing of all this really comes down to prediction. Prediction is the human survival tool that is the most powerful part of our minds. We can "outsmart" animals and nature because we can predict what will happen under imagined conditions, then we can work to create those conditions to determine an outcome. To do this we need "knowledge" which is mostly in the form of memories of how things happen and what causes result in what effects and why. The better they are, the more commonly we predict well and achieve our aims. Memory has proved very useful. Physical media as a kind of prosthesis memory even more so. None of it has proven perfect but it is good enough that we trust in it unless there is a compelling reason not to.

    Suppose I have a memory of tying my left shoe, then tying my right shoe. My memory is that I did this just now. I look down, and my shoes are tied in exactly the knots I remember tying. I even have a video of me tying my left shoe first, then tying my right shoe. There are people around me who will all swear up and down that they watched me tie my left shoe, then tie my right shoe--among them is the cameraman who remembers making the video recording.

    None of this demonstrates that I tied my left shoe first, then my right shoe. For we may have come into existence, shoes tied, just an instant ago with all of those memories--the cameraman with the memory of making a video, me with the memory of tying my left shoe first and then my right, and so forth. The video tape could have come into existence along with all of us, as well. So in fact, I never tied my shoes at all.
    But we don't have that experience, and even if true, its meaningless because the experience of tying your shoe is the same in either scenario. A reality created that has you having all the evidence of tying your shoe is the same as one where you actually tied it for any and all practical purposes.

    Now, I'm guessing that most of us would conclude that I did in fact tie my left shoe first and then my right shoe. And most people would think that that's a reasonable conclusion to draw. The question is, why? Why should a skeptic draw that conclusion?
    They why is because it works well for us to achieve our desires most of the time.
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  5. #64
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Alvin Plantinga:

    And before anyone asks: Yes, this really is Alvin Plantinga, the great Christian apologist. You can't make this stuff up, folks.
    ...has to be one of the all-time most absurd and "retarded" attacks from any atheist in ODN's history. It begs the question..."And?"

    Yes, that was Plantinga in 1955. So what? You do realize that it's 2012 and over the course of even just 10-15 years style changes? In the course of 20-30 yeas there are dramatic changes in cultural style. That picture is 50+ years old.

    This is Plantinga in 2009:

    Name:  220px-AlvinPlantinga.JPG
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    But let's apply the same "reason" or critique to some notable atheists...



    Here's atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett (1984).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Dan_Dennett_in_Tahiti.jpg 
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    roflcopterz!

    Here he is recently:

    Name:  220px-Daniel_Dennett_in_Venice_2006.png
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    ...wait...it looks like Santa DOES exist and he teaches at Tufts U!

    Let's not forget another one of the atheist's little darlings...the late Christopher Hitchens...

    Name:  hitch.jpg
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    Truly...an inspiring figure of intellectual progress Rod...

    Is that really the best that some of our atheists have now? Can't use reason...may as well try to "discredit" by poking fun of someone's appearance?

    Like I advised to Xeno...you need to go to Sig and Dio for help with your posts.
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  7. #65
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Now you know how it feels to atheists when theists keep moving the god goalposts. For instance, MyX, in this thread, talks about the similarities between the belief some theists have in god and the belief some children have in Santa and immediately theists, like you, deny the validity of the comparision simply because it doesn't happen to agree with your particular belief in god.

    That's not very charitable of you, Clive, even if it is typical.
    I don't move the goalposts. Nobody I know has the kind of beliefs that are implicated by MyX's analogy. That's why I'm not blown away by it. Other people may have different responses.

    Some agnostics say this. In particular, the agnostic to whom I addressed the remarks that you butted into seems to imply it with some of the arguments that he makes. Most notably, he's claimed that there is no evidence for any god's existence and no evidence for any god's nonexistence and that that these two facts constitute some reason to believe that it's just as likely as not that some god exists.
    I didn't say it. Why did you attribute it to me?

    Then don't comment on it.
    ...uh, what? I can't analyze or criticize an argument that I don't personally care about?

    In response to your comment about your particular beliefs and those of the people you know (presumably you're talking about the relatively tiny circle of Christians familiar with the writings of Alvin Plantinga and other exponents of reformed epistemology) well all I can say is -- you need to get out more. Maybe turn on the TV every now and then. Maybe read a newspaper occasionally.
    TV and newspapers don't give a good sample of the typical Christian believer. There's a sampling bias toward 'newsworthy' / atypical events.

    Or continue to live in a closet with Alvin Plantinga -- a very attractive man btw -- and pretend that your beliefs actually have something to do with popular belief of the vast majority of Christians.

    Alvin Plantinga:

    And before anyone asks: Yes, this really is Alvin Plantinga, the great Christian apologist. You can't make this stuff up, folks.
    So, because you've seen Christians on TV and read about them in the newspapers, you know the beliefs of the typical Christian? That's a pretty big assumption. Also, I never said that most Christians' beliefs are like mine; I may be a very atypical Christian. All I said was that none of the Christians I know have beliefs of the kind MyX describes.

    And what an odd metric to use. Do you judge the merit of a system of thought based on how pretty the originator was?

    Well, to be fair, I don't fail to properly construe the arguments of all my opponents; although doubtlessly I do sometimes misconstrue those of them who try to cram their entire apology for the existence of god into two short, pithy sentences. Sorry you were so deeply offended by my failure. Maybe you should sue?

    Seriously though -- you wrote: "I see our world as one among many different possible worlds. So my belief in God is not grounded in facts particular to this world."

    When you say, "my belief in God is not grounded in facts particular to this world" what does that mean? For instance, is your belief in god grounded in any facts? If so, then what are those facts and in what world, if not in this one, do they obtain as fact?

    If your belief is not grounded in facts or evidence, then is your belief actually an assumption similar to an assumption like the one that says the world was created five minutes ago?

    Any elucidation you can provide that might help me better understand your two-sentence thesis on your belief in the existence of god is appreciated.
    Well, apparently you deduced from "My belief isn't grounded in facts particular to this world" that "My belief is grounded in the fact that God possibly exists in this particular world."

    So I'll try to clear it up:

    I think that God exists necessarily. I don't think that if God exists in this world, then He just happens to exist in this world. I don't think God is a contingent being.

    I'm tempted to say that belief in God is like belief that the world didn't come into existence five minutes ago with the appearance of age, or that there are other minds. I'm tempted to say that, but I don't think I have the requisite expertise in epistemology and ontology to make the argument carefully enough.
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  8. #66
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    I didn't say that Santa didn't exist. I said that the Santa with the properties that traditionally define him cannot exist because it is those very properties that require such evidence TO exist.
    The point is, Apok, such evidence may indeed exist. Simply because you and I and everyone else on the planet has yet to find such evidence doesn't mean that one of us won't find it tomorrow; thus, it is incorrect to write that such a being cannot exist.

    You should have written something like, "We have no good evidential reason to believe such a being exists," not "Such a being cannot exist."

    That's great, but irrelevant and a weak objection. It is a weak objection because it is saying "There is no physical evidence for the non-physical therefore the non-physical does not exist."
    That's great but it's not the argument and it's irrelevant and weak. Of course there is no physical evidence for the non-physical but unless you are implying that there is some sort of non-physical evidence for the existent of the non-physical, then it must be the case that there is no evidence of any kind for the existence of the non-physical and, thus, no reason to believe that anything non-physical exists.

    Is this your belief? Do you believe there are no evidential reasons to believe in your god?

    I don't know of any theist who believes in God because of any physical evidence. It would seem that you may not know the actual theist's position nor their arguments for the existence of God.
    My advice to you is the same advice I gave Staples: You should get out more. Maybe turn on a TV every now and then just to check on the real world.

    Or alternatively, you could just read the bible. It is teeming with those who begin to believe after physical evidence is presented to them.

    You and I both know that it is ridiculous to claim that some theists -- probably the majority of theists in fact -- believe god exists because of accounts of physical evidence that they've heard about or allegedly witnessed themselves.

    This is another "beginner's error" that confuses temporal, physical manifestation for intrinsic properties of a being.
    You made the claim that god is intrinsically non-physical. If god is intrinsically non-physical then Jesus was not god when Jesus was a physical being on earth.

    Sure. But were you not aware that the op failed to define the term "Santa" and instead left it up to each person to define for themselves while accepting that ALL definitions of Santa are applicable to the fallacious argument?
    So how is this any different than when a theist around here talks about god? Seldom do any of you begin by offering a strict definition for the term but instead you tend to leave it vague, equivocal, open-ended. That may have been a part of MyX's thesis in comparing the beliefs in god and in Santa.

    Rodriguez wrote: The "Judeo-Christian version" of god??? Would that be the one who once appeared physically on earth calling himself Jesus or are you referring to some other one?

    Apok wrote: See above re: your confusion between temporal manifestation and intrinsic property.
    Is this to say that you really do believe that Jews and Christians and, I suppose, Muslims believe in the same god???

    And don't blame me for the way Alvin Plantinga looks.



    He's your boy.

    And finally . . . just curious but what on earth possessed you to show a grown man showering? I hope it's not that you just happen to have those images lying around in your computer files and thought others might be interested in your hobbies.

  9. #67
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I obviously disagree. I'm a pragmatist and I think pragmatic decision making will typically yield better results than a acting on imagination and inkling. We could all be rainbow unicorn farts, but unless that changes the reality we experience in some way its irrelivant. Unless I can give the unicorn a beano tablet it just isn't the least bit important.

    If the universe sprang into existence a millisecond back looking as if it had a history going back to the big bang, well then its functionally no different than if it really did have a history going back to the big bang so the speculation has no impact on anything I actually decide to do. Any argument with no practical application is not much of an argument at all, its just hot air. Anyhow I'd rather go with your clarification than the original dialog.
    But you are acting on imagination and inkling. You're relying on unevidenced assumptions.

    Now, maybe you don't care about the evidence. Or maybe you don't care about the belief--you don't agree that the universe didn't come into existence five minutes ago with the appearance of age. Maybe you just don't care about it. (That's essentially phenomenology, so far as I can tell).


    Lots to talk about in this statement.
    In an eternal present the past is not co-existent with the present nor is the future. "the past" is just a prior state of the present. Memories are present tense faximilties of prior events. A movie of an event is not the event itself after all, it is a recording of the light and sound produced by the event that is then re-created in limited for you. I think you are getting at this here. And indeed the faximily may not be true to the event it is imitating. In fact I'd say its impossible for it to be 100% accurate since only the original even had those exact properties of time and space.
    Facsimile.

    But, inductively if we limit the scope of the question of "what happened" to a set of properties that we have some success recording, then we can have some level of confidence that the faximilty is functionally equivalent for the purpose of the question. Some doubt remains, we always have doubt, but the doubt is small enough we have confidence/faith in the relative truth of the recording.
    But what is that confidence based on? Is it just guessing?

    The testing of all this really comes down to prediction. Prediction is the human survival tool that is the most powerful part of our minds. We can "outsmart" animals and nature because we can predict what will happen under imagined conditions, then we can work to create those conditions to determine an outcome. To do this we need "knowledge" which is mostly in the form of memories of how things happen and what causes result in what effects and why. The better they are, the more commonly we predict well and achieve our aims. Memory has proved very useful. Physical media as a kind of prosthesis memory even more so. None of it has proven perfect but it is good enough that we trust in it unless there is a compelling reason not to.
    Gah.

    You don't know that memory has proved very useful, because you're assuming that your memory of how useful memory has been is accurate.

    But we don't have that experience, and even if true, its meaningless because the experience of tying your shoe is the same in either scenario. A reality created that has you having all the evidence of tying your shoe is the same as one where you actually tied it for any and all practical purposes.
    Except that it's not. A world where you have a false memory of raping someone is different than a world where you have a true memory of raping someone.

    They why is because it works well for us to achieve our desires most of the time.
    Isn't that an awful metric to use? What if we have bad desires? Or do those not exist.

    ---------- Post added at 06:27 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez
    My advice to you is the same advice I gave Staples: You should get out more. Maybe turn on a TV every now and then just to check on the real world.
    How many real-life Christians have you met that have the kind of beliefs MyX is talking about? How many churches have you been to? How many sermons have you heard? How many services have you attended in how many communities?

    I really hope that the guy telling us to "get out more" isn't getting all his information from TV, newspapers, and the internet.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  10. #68
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    But you are acting on imagination and inkling. You're relying on unevidenced assumptions.
    Granted to a point. The imagination I work with is testable and tested in various ways. They are not absolute in their proof, but they are none the less more than mere supposition. But yes, all "we" are in our mental worlds are to an extent imagined. But we none the less find solid ground in our tests and the consistency of the results.

    Now, maybe you don't care about the evidence. Or maybe you don't care about the belief--you don't agree that the universe didn't come into existence five minutes ago with the appearance of age. Maybe you just don't care about it. (That's essentially phenomenology, so far as I can tell).
    Yes, I'd say that phenomenology is how I think human beings are forced to interact with reality. I feel that it is not itself reality but a limited Facsimile (thanks for the correction) of it.

    But what is that confidence based on? Is it just guessing?
    Its based on our perceived experience. Like I said, we swim in uncertainty, but there are clearly different degrees of it from the utterly random to those based in repeated and largely independent tests.

    Gah.
    You don't know that memory has proved very useful, because you're assuming that your memory of how useful memory has been is accurate.
    Yet it is the best a human being can do so I none the less use it as my standard of measure. I am after all human so far as I am aware.

    Except that it's not. A world where you have a false memory of raping someone is different than a world where you have a true memory of raping someone.
    How so? Because you can discover its false? But then how would you know the discovery of it being false is not the falsehood? Its an intellectual trap. You have to live in your mental construct regardless of what it is. If you can discover the "truth" then there is clearly a test you can perform to show that the world was post constructed. If not, if you are claiming a kind of infinite doubt of the reality of the past, then you are saying there is no test that could show definitively that it wasn't a reality. You get stuck in your own mental paradox.

    Isn't that an awful metric to use? What if we have bad desires? Or do those not exist.
    Its the only metric we have so we use it. You would have us use none at all? If there is no memory, no establishment of percieved truth then there is no rational thought possible and thus no need to even attempt reason.

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Granted to a point. The imagination I work with is testable and tested in various ways. They are not absolute in their proof, but they are none the less more than mere supposition. But yes, all "we" are in our mental worlds are to an extent imagined. But we none the less find solid ground in our tests and the consistency of the results.
    How is it testable? You're "testing" your assumptions based on tests that assume your assumptions are true.

    Yes, I'd say that phenomenology is how I think human beings are forced to interact with reality. I feel that it is not itself reality but a limited Facsimile (thanks for the correction) of it.
    I'm sympathetic to phenomenology, myself.

    Its based on our perceived experience. Like I said, we swim in uncertainty, but there are clearly different degrees of it from the utterly random to those based in repeated and largely independent tests.
    You're still using the same set of assumptions. There's no point in bothering to test things when you're just assuming that they work anyway.

    Yet it is the best a human being can do so I none the less use it as my standard of measure. I am after all human so far as I am aware.
    But it isn't the best you can do. In fact, it isn't doing anything. It's just saying, "Yup, that's my assumptions, time to continue on." There are other alternatives, which is why people still do work in epistemology.

    How so? Because you can discover its false? But then how would you know the discovery of it being false is not the falsehood? Its an intellectual trap. You have to live in your mental construct regardless of what it is. If you can discover the "truth" then there is clearly a test you can perform to show that the world was post constructed. If not, if you are claiming a kind of infinite doubt of the reality of the past, then you are saying there is no test that could show definitively that it wasn't a reality. You get stuck in your own mental paradox.
    You're not being rigorous, and as a result you're not analyzing the right thing.

    I said that the world was different. I didn't say that the world would seem different to you.

    Its the only metric we have so we use it. You would have us use none at all? If there is no memory, no establishment of percieved truth then there is no rational thought possible and thus no need to even attempt reason.

    Flibberchopsnot!
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    The point is, Apok, such evidence may indeed exist. Simply because you and I and everyone else on the planet has yet to find such evidence doesn't mean that one of us won't find it tomorrow; thus, it is incorrect to write that such a being cannot exist.

    You should have written something like, "We have no good evidential reason to believe such a being exists," not "Such a being cannot exist."
    This is not true.

    Since I* define Santa as the traditional jolly old, fat fellow in a red suit, living in the N. Pole, who comes out once a year on Dec 25th on his magic sleigh pulled by magic reindeer and gives something to each and every child on the planet (toys if they are good, coal if they are bad).

    Now...since Santa is a being who by very definition, gives something out to every child, once a year on Christmas, then if a child does not receive a toy or coal, then this Santa cannot exist. Period. His very existence is contingent upon the physical act of giving physical goods to physical children (every one of them).

    Since it is the case that my children have never received any toys or coal from Santa, then Santa as I have defined him cannot exist. It is logically impossible. It is possible however that a different Santa exists...one that doesn't meet my definition. But the op argues that no matter what definition is used for the being Santa, that the argument is necessarily applicable. And that is patently false. You should know better.

    * "I" because the op requires each person to define Santa on their own terms and as such, each definition is said to be applicable to the op's argument (which is clearly false).

    That's great but it's not the argument and it's irrelevant and weak.
    That is the argument. There is no reason to believe otherwise especially considering your failure to provide the alternative argument.

    Is this your belief? Do you believe there are no evidential reasons to believe in your god?
    No.

    My advice to you is the same advice I gave Staples: You should get out more. Maybe turn on a TV every now and then just to check on the real world.
    I'm out a lot. This is also merely introducing anecdotal evidence. Surely you've got something better than this type of weak evidence...right?

    Or alternatively, you could just read the bible. It is teeming with those who begin to believe after physical evidence is presented to them.
    Is God directly and intentionally providing physical evidence to the characters in the Bible? Of course He is. Is there any reason to believe that He is doing the same today? No. Again, you should know what you object to. If you did know what you object to (Christianity), then you'd know that each time physical evidence was provided it was always provided with a distinct purpose and was not done for the benefit of the individual.

    You and I both know that it is ridiculous to claim that some theists -- probably the majority of theists in fact -- believe god exists because of accounts of physical evidence that they've heard about or allegedly witnessed themselves.
    Of course. I've even posted about this already (post #61). It begs the question "And?" It also renders the op dead in the water for trying to apply a particular to a universal (like almost every single one of Xeno's opening arguments (see my first post in this thread).

    You made the claim that god is intrinsically non-physical. If god is intrinsically non-physical then Jesus was not god when Jesus was a physical being on earth.
    Well...what part of temporal do you not understand? You used the term "intrinsic" so I'll assume you actually know what that word means.

    So how is this any different than when a theist around here talks about god? Seldom do any of you begin by offering a strict definition for the term but instead you tend to leave it vague, equivocal, open-ended. That may have been a part of MyX's thesis in comparing the beliefs in god and in Santa.
    1) Tu quoque fallacy.

    2) There is something called "universe of discourse." When a Christian speaks of God, makes an argument for God, defends God...they are almost always speaking of what they believe to be the only true God...the Christian God. The same for Jews, Muslims, Hindu's, etc... Surely you know who the Christians are in this community but if you are confused about the matter...why not just ask? Does it really take that much effort to ask for a clear definition? The problem here however, is that there is no such universe of discourse for Santa Clause. As such, we were to take our own understanding of SC and it be applicable to the op's argument...which again, is clearly false.

    Is this to say that you really do believe that Jews and Christians and, I suppose, Muslims believe in the same god???
    Nope. Why would it? The "Big 3" do not believe in the same God, but they do believe that their God has some shared properties (hence..."Judeo-Christian concept of God"). You introduced the idea of God being intrinsically physical...which the Judeo-Christian God is not.

    He's your boy.

    And finally . . . just curious but what on earth possessed you to show a grown man showering? I hope it's not that you just happen to have those images lying around in your computer files and thought others might be interested in your hobbies.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    I didn't say it. Why did you attribute it to me?
    I didn't attribute to you. The comment you quoted was in a reply to mican.

    I don't move the goalposts. Nobody I know has the kind of beliefs that are implicated by MyX's analogy
    So what? Do you believe that reformed epistemology is responsible for most belief in Jaysus. Seriously?

    ...uh, what? I can't analyze or criticize an argument that I don't personally care about?
    ...uh, sure you can. But you really shouldn't bitch about it later as if someone was forcing you to comment on something you profess to have no interest in. It's poor form, old man.

    TV and newspapers don't give a good sample of the typical Christian believer. There's a sampling bias toward 'newsworthy' / atypical events.
    I'm not talking about news stories. I'm talking about on-air church services, letters written to editorial pages by true believers, etc.

    Also, I never said that most Christians' beliefs are like mine; I may be a very atypical Christian.
    What? Different Christians believe different things about God? Now there's a bit of news.

    And what an odd metric to use. Do you judge the merit of a system of thought based on how pretty the originator was?
    What are you trying to say here? I happen to think Alvin Plantinga is a very distinguished looking Christian apologist. Do you mean to say that you don't share my view?

    Alvin Plantinga, leading Christian apologist and wannabe backwoodsman:


    I think that God exists necessarily. I don't think that if God exists in this world, then He just happens to exist in this world. I don't think God is a contingent being.
    That's what I said: You assume God exists. It's a way to account for the complete lack of evidence for God, I'll give Plantinga, Alston, and others credit for that much. All in all, it is a serious, well-thought-out attempt at providing a credible epistemology for theistic belief, although in the end it fails to convince.

    I'm tempted to say that belief in God is like belief that the world didn't come into existence five minutes ago with the appearance of age, or that there are other minds. I'm tempted to say that, but I don't think I have the requisite expertise in epistemology and ontology to make the argument carefully enough.
    Yeah, it would probably be a good idea for you to take some time and write a post on reformed epistemology since you want to believe it so badly. You want to believe it, because IMO you see the gaping holes that most believers don't see in evidentialist arguments for the existence of gods. Maybe writing that post would help you sort out your own thoughts on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Apok
    Well...what part of temporal do you not understand? You used the term "intrinsic" so I'll assume you actually know what that word means.
    I do; although I apparently don't know what you mean by the word when you use it.

    intrinsic: of or relating to the essential nature of a thing; inherent.

    An intrinsic property then is an indispensable property that a thing has; it and other intrinsic properties are what makes the thing what it is.

    For instance, if "god" has the intrinsic properties a, b, and c then Jesus is still god whether or not he has property d just as long as Jesus has properties a, b, and c. He, however, is not god if he lacks property b.

    You said that god has the intrinsic property of being non-physical, yet Jesus lacked this property when Jesus was alive on earth; IOW, Jesus was a physical being. Therefore when Jesus was alive on earth, Jesus was not God.

    Put another way: If being non-physical is an intrinsic property of god, then any being who is physical is not god. Jesus was physical while on earth. Jesus was not God while on earth.

    A thing cannot both at the same time have a property and not have the same property, Apok. Sorry.

    Since it is the case that my children have never received any toys or coal from Santa, then Santa as I have defined him cannot exist. It is logically impossible.
    No, it is not logically impossible. Apparently you don't know what logically impossible means. It would be logically impossible for Santa to both give your kids toys for xmas and to not give them toys for xmas.

    It, however, is not logically impossible for you to firmly believe that they've never received toys from Santa and to find out later that they've actually received toys from Santa.

    If you, somehow, demonstrate that it is impossible (not unlikely, but impossible!) for you to find evidence in the future that you are mistaken in your current belief that your kids have never received toys from Santa, then you'll have a point.

    Good luck with that.

    Hope to be able to get around to the rest of your post tomorrow (Thurs.).
    Last edited by Rodriguez; July 31st, 2012 at 11:44 PM.

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I do; although I apparently don't know what you mean by the word when you use it.

    intrinsic: of or relating to the essential nature of a thing; inherent.

    An intrinsic property then is an indispensable property that a thing has; it and other intrinsic properties are what makes the thing what it is.

    For instance, if "god" has the intrinsic properties a, b, and c then Jesus is still god whether or not he has property d just as long as Jesus has properties a, b, and c. He, however, is not god if he lacks property b.

    You said that god has the intrinsic property of being non-physical, yet Jesus lacked this property when Jesus was alive on earth; IOW, Jesus was a physical being. Therefore when Jesus was alive on earth, Jesus was not God.

    Put another way: If being non-physical is an intrinsic property of god, then any being who is physical is not god. Jesus was physical while on earth. Jesus was not God while on earth.

    A thing cannot both at the same time have a property and not have the same property, Apok. Sorry.
    Don't be sorry, just try harder. In the immortal words of Rob Schneider..."You can do eeeht!"

    God has the intrinsic property of being a spiritual being. Being all-powerful, God can (and did) transform Himself into a temporal, physical manifestation of His creation (man). Jesus is a spiritual being. He has always been a spiritual being (a 3rd person of the Godhead). Around 2,000 years ago, Jesus transformed Himself into a man so that He could interact with man in a way that men would would understand and forever would be changed. Jesus took on the temporal change from spiritual to physical for around 30 years. Upon His physical death, He went back to His natural, spiritual self. Jesus being temporally physical is not an intrinsic value. Jesus being a spiritual being (and thus, Him being non-physical intrinsically) does not prevent Him from becoming physical temporally.

    What you have done Rod, is confused "intrinsic" with "extrinsic" property. Metaphysically, an intrinsic property is one that the object has by virtue of itself, depending on no other thing (thus, God's spiritual nature). An extrinsic property is a relational property that is contingent upon other factors. What are the other factors? Well, we know that Jesus was not a physical being prior to being born by Mary (and was spiritual); man is physical and God chose to temporarily manifest Himself as one of mankind; in order to be among men and be a man God needed a physical form; God needed to have the power (and even authority) to become temporarily physical; and when Jesus died He went back to being His natural state of being (spiritual).

    Jesus, taking on the physical form of man is in a sustained state of being, not a natural state of being. Just because something changes form doesn't mean that it is no longer what it is. An apple in a pie doesn't cease to become an apple just because it is baked. It extrinsic properties have changed, but its intrinsic property which makes it what it is, has not and cannot.

    Jesus has all the attributes of God. He knows everything (Mt 16:21; Luke 11:17; John 4:29), is everywhere (Matthew 18:20; 28:20; Acts 18:10), has all power (Mt 8:26, 27; 28:18; Jn 11:38-44; Lk 7:14-15; Revelation 1:8), depends on nothing outside of Himself for life (Jn 1:4; 14:6; 8:58), rules over everything (Mt 28:18; Rev 19:16; 1:5) never began to exist and never will cease to exist (John 1:1; 8:58), and is our Creator (Colossians 1:16). Jesus is God regardless of His temporal , extrinsic nature.

    No, it is not logically impossible. Apparently you don't know what logically impossible means. It would be logically impossible for Santa to both give your kids toys for xmas and to not give them toys for xmas.
    ...right. Since Santa did NOT give toys for Christmas and this is the contingency for Santa to exist, then Santa cannot exist.

    It, however, is not logically impossible for you to firmly believe that they've never received toys from Santa and to find out later that they've actually received toys from Santa.
    I already know they did not. I know where all the toys are in my home and what they are and who gave them. There is nothing complicated about raising a family Rod and taking care of your home.

    I also as a child did not receive any toys. This isn't an issue of "not knowing" it is is an issue of knowing and following through with the logical consequences.

    Look, if you wish to believe in magical beings like Santa, Tooth Fairy, Leprechauns and unicorns that's on you. You have a much greater faith that I could ever have. It's just misplaced, unfounded and illogical.
    Last edited by Apokalupsis; August 1st, 2012 at 09:00 AM.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Put another way: If being non-physical is an intrinsic property of god, then any being who is physical is not god. Jesus was physical while on earth. Jesus was not God while on earth.A thing cannot both at the same time have a property and not have the same property.
    That would be correct if we consider that a physical thing only has physical properties. At the subatomic level of atoms, we know that everything is held together by light. That's really interesting if you think about it.... light holds all atoms together. What is light?

    In reference to God vs. physical and non-physical, the word light is used in the Bible about 200 times. In fact, it looks like it all started with Light, if we consider Genesis "And God said let there be Light." (even before there was a sun.)

    As far as "a thing cannot both at the same time have a property and not have the same property," do we really know or understand all the properties of invisible light and how it interacts with physical objects?
    Last edited by eye4magic; August 1st, 2012 at 02:43 PM.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    That would be correct if we consider that a physical thing only has physical properties. At the subatomic level of atoms, we know that everything is held together by light. That's really interesting if you think about it.... light holds all atoms together. What is light?
    Wait, what?!? Where did you hear this? Please support this.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Wait, what?!? Where did you hear this? Please support this.

    Nature's glue is supplied by forces. These are carried by particles that have a sort of ghostlike ethereal existence as they deliver their information from one particle to another. Most of them have a very short life because the matter particles they are acting on are very close together. Some, however, can live for billions of years, such as those brining information to us from quasars on the edge of the known Universe.

    Gravity is the most familiar force. In everyday life it seems to be the most important yet it is the weakest of them all. At the other end of the scale is the strong force, the force that acts between the quarks. It is the one responsible for holding the nucleus together. In between are the electromagnetic force and the weak force.

    Gravity is 100 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 times weaker than the strong force, yet it governs the behaviour of the large scale Universe. That is because its range is infinite, it is always attractive and it acts on all particles. Gravity is most important for large objects; planets, stars and people for example. Individual particles hardly notice it's there. Because it is so weak, the particles that carry gravity, called gravitons, remain but a theory. They have not yet been detected experimentally and there is a major effort around the world to find them

    The electromagnetic force is the second most powerful force of nature, over 100 times weaker than the strong force. It acts on electrically charged particles, holding electrons in orbit around atomic nuclei and sticking atoms together into molecules. The electromagnetic force also carries light to us from stars and galaxies, brings electricity into our homes and even allows us to see each other. The particles that carry the electromagnetic force are called photons, they are particles of light.
    Particle Physics Education CD-ROM ©1999 CERN
    http://www.clab.edc.uoc.gr/materials...ve/forces.html



    Light is transported by particles, called photons. They have no mass, but carry sizeable amount of energy. When hitting a photomultiplier, a highly sensitive light detector, this energy can set an electron free, which – after multiplication – can be measured as a current impulse. If this current impulse is sent to a loudspeaker, it makes a click. If the light beam hitting the detector is gradually dimmed, the clicks still have the same loudness but their frequency gets smaller, see Fig. 1. This is one of the simplest manifestations of the particle nature of light. In vacuum, photons fly with the highest speed possible in nature, with the speed of light, see box.
    http://www.attoworld.de/Home/attowor...ons/index.html


    Explaining the world of nature through light, the adhesive that holds matter together
    FTOP (Femtosecond Time-Resolved Optical Polarigraphy) is used to capture the behavior of light in time periods too short to be observed with the naked eye. This technique makes it possible, for the first time, to capture femtosecond optical pulses propagating in a medium as consecutive snapshots, with a femtosecond time resolution.
    http://jp.hamamatsu.com/en/hamamatsu...ndamental.html


    Matter bound by light
    Scientists in the UK have made 2D arrays of particles that are held together by nothing except light. The "optical matter" arrays developed by Colin Bain of Durham University and Christopher Mellor, now at the National Institute for Medical Research, consist of polystyrene nanospheres that are trapped by light that has been scattered off a prism. The arrays provide a new way of assembling matter on the nanoscale, and could also shed light on processes inside crystals that take place at even smaller scales (ChemPhysChem to be published).

    Bain and Mellor began by overlapping two laser beams on the surface of a silica prism. The beams were made to strike the surface above the critical angle, so that only the evanescent -- or surface -- fields penetrate out into the space beyond the prism. Next, the researchers placed a drop of water containing a dilute solution of polystyrene beads about 300 to 600 nm in diameter on the surface of the prism. The spheres are attracted by the evanescent field and spontaneously assemble into 2D arrays (see figure 1).

    "For most physicists, the idea of materials held together by light is still foreign," says Bain. "The most surprising result in this new work is the formation of a square array of 390 nm particles with orthogonally polarized laser beams. Although the electric field is quite uniform in the plane of the surface, a large regular array is observed."
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/...bound-by-light

    Light as Form of Matter
    Light is a little wave of force and energy. Just a little wiggle in the carpet of space, that flies by very fast, like a fast little earthquake under your feet. If it is not moving, it does not exist!

    Matter can exist standing still. It has mass. And it has a location, a particular place in space where it is.

    Waves like light are kind of spread-out instead. (Fuzzy, fluffy, cloudy, we need a good word for this.)

    Make a little wave in a bowl of water. Look for the edges of that wave. There are no sharp edges, and it is pretty hard to decide where the wave begins or ends. Light waves are like that too. That is what I mean by fuzziness.

    In the last century scientists figured out that matter can be turned into energy and back. We cannot quite build matter-things out of energy; so far it is too messy and we cannot control it. But it still means that matter and light-waves are sort of the same stuff, even though they move differently. Scientists call that stuff "Mass-Energy".

    And guess what: Really small pieces of matter are spread-out and fuzzy too, just like light.

    As pieces of matter get bigger, the fuzziness gets smaller. Big pieces of matter are all the normal objects we are used to handling. They seem almost perfectly sharp, not fuzzy at all. But scientists now have a few kinds of instruments that can measure some of the tiny, atom-sized fuzziness around their edges.

    This is another way in which Light and Matter seem almost the same.
    http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasc...0/phy00936.htm
    Last edited by eye4magic; August 1st, 2012 at 02:39 PM.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    [INDENT][INDENT]Nature's glue is supplied by forces.
    I don't want to derail the thread too much so I'll suffice it to say that you've grossly misinterpreted what is being said here. The two forces that hold sub-atomic particles together are the Strong Force and the Weak Force, neither of which is related at all to the electromagnetic spectrum of which light is a portion. This is especially obvious because they act so very differently. The strong and weak forces act only over a very short distance, smaller than an atom, while the electromagnetic force (same link) can act over millions of kilometers.

    I believe the error came from the section labeled: matter bound by light. This is a situation where multiple atoms were held in an array by the use of light as a kind of herder or sheepdog nudging them and holding them in position. This was not however, sub atomic particles being held together by the electromagnetic force in any form.

    The last section is refering to the probability functions. Matter, when unobserved exists as a probability function in Quantum Mechanics, and so is "fuzzy." The best example of this is the electromagnetic spectrum which acts as both a wave and a particle.

    Sorry to derail a bit, I just wanted to be sure we weren't going down an incorrect path here.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I didn't attribute to you. The comment you quoted was in a reply to mican.
    ...huh? This is what you wrote:

    I don't get this, CS. Why should the mere fact that it is possible that a god of some sort exists in our world count as a good reason to believe that one does exist here?


    This was clearly addressed to me, and it was in response to this, from me:

    EDIT: I thought that I should explain my reasons for believing in God just a little bit. My reasons for believing in God have almost nothing to do with any particular set of events that has happened, is happening, or will happen in our universe. I see our world as one among many different possible worlds. So my belief in God is not grounded in facts particular to this world. (I'm speaking of "God the Father" here, the transcendent person of the triune Godhead. Some thinkers (e.g. Aquinas) hold the position that the Incarnation is also a necessary event in the actual world--that any world which doesn't contain the Incarnation is ipso facto worse than one that does. I am not making so strong a claim here.)

    And now you're claiming that this was a response to Mican? I'm baffled.

    So what? Do you believe that reformed epistemology is responsible for most belief in Jaysus. Seriously?
    I didn't say that. I'm not sure where you're getting this; are you under the notion that the only kinds of Christian belief not implicated by MyX's analogy must employ reformed epistemology?

    ...uh, sure you can. But you really shouldn't bitch about it later as if someone was forcing you to comment on something you profess to have no interest in. It's poor form, old man.
    Nobody's forcing me to comment on anything. You had stated:

    Frankly, I am a little surprised that more people do not see the obvious parallels in the beliefs in Santa and in their favorite god that MyX points out.

    I was merely explaining why I didn't see any "obvious parallels" between my own beliefs--nor in the beliefs of most people I know--and beliefs in Santa.

    I'm not talking about news stories. I'm talking about on-air church services, letters written to editorial pages by true believers, etc.
    And why are those representative samples of the population of U.S. Christians? There's sampling bias there, as well--the typical Christian probably doesn't write a lot of letters to the editor; candidates for television broadcast are also not selected randomly, but are instead selecting according to certain preferred traits; and so on.

    What? Different Christians believe different things about God? Now there's a bit of news.
    I know, right?

    What are you trying to say here? I happen to think Alvin Plantinga is a very distinguished looking Christian apologist. Do you mean to say that you don't share my view?

    Alvin Plantinga, leading Christian apologist and wannabe backwoodsman:

    I'm not stupid. You're not stupid. Let's not pretend that either of those statements are false, alright?

    That's what I said: You assume God exists. It's a way to account for the complete lack of evidence for God, I'll give Plantinga, Alston, and others credit for that much. All in all, it is a serious, well-thought-out attempt at providing a credible epistemology for theistic belief, although in the end it fails to convince.
    See, I don't know if I'm willing to say that it's merely an assumption in my case. There might conceivably be some sort of intuitive deduction occurring that I am failing to account for. Plantinga et al. are greater thinkers than I am, and are far more likely to properly comprehend the source of their thought than I am currently able.

    Yeah, it would probably be a good idea for you to take some time and write a post on reformed epistemology since you want to believe it so badly. You want to believe it, because IMO you see the gaping holes that most believers don't see in evidentialist arguments for the existence of gods. Maybe writing that post would help you sort out your own thoughts on the matter.
    I don't want to believe anything, other than the truth. I hope that I would never allow myself to be guided by what I want to think is true.

    It, however, is not logically impossible for you to firmly believe that they've never received toys from Santa and to find out later that they've actually received toys from Santa.
    But that's not what he wrote. His argument is something like:

    1) If Santa exists, then he gives out gifts to every child. (Premise)
    2) If Santa gives a gift to a child, then that child has received a gift from Santa. (Premise)
    3) There is a child who has not received a gift from Santa. (Premise)
    4) Therefore, there is a child to whom Santa did not give a gift (by contraposition of 2).
    5) Therefore, Santa does not exist (by contraposition of 1).
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    But that's not what he wrote. His argument is something like:

    1) If Santa exists, then he gives out gifts to every GOOD child. (Premise)
    2) If Santa gives a gift to a child, then that child has received a gift from Santa. (Premise)
    3) There is a child who has not received a gift from Santa. (Premise)
    4) Therefore, there is a child to whom Santa did not give a gift (by contraposition of 2).
    5) Therefore, Santa does not exist (by contraposition of 1).
    This is an extremely important part of the premise.
    abc

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  22. #79
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by MyXenocide View Post
    This is an extremely important part of the premise.
    Not really. Santa gives coal to all the children who are NOT good. This means that EVERY single child gets SOMETHING from Santa...either a toy or some coal. If they do not get something, then by definition, Santa cannot exist.
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    Re: Eyes of an Atheist

    Quote Originally Posted by Apokalupsis View Post
    Not really. Santa gives coal to all the children who are NOT good. This means that EVERY single child gets SOMETHING from Santa...either a toy or some coal. If they do not get something, then by definition, Santa cannot exist.
    If a child is neutral (neither good nor bad) then s/he would receive nothing.
    abc

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