Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A critique of my defense of critical rationalism

From a critical analysis of my book by Kyler Kuehn:


After dispensing with faulty understandings of Lewis’s apologetic stance, Reppert broadens the scope of his inquiry to deal with more general epistemic issues, in order to show where Lewis’s apologetic position fits within the spectrum of ideas. The first view described is fideism, which is comparable to the Presuppositional view of epistemology (and apologetics) held by Van Til, Bahnsen, Frame, and others. As an example of this view, Reppert quotes the well-known televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who opines (p. 29), “Man can’t use his mind to know the truth; if he uses his mind he just comes up with something stupid like the theory of evolution”. This captures the essence of fideism, which requires that one’s ultimate religious questions are not open to critical analysis by one’s mental faculties. The problems with mutually conflicting fideistic claims are obvious, and Reppert does not spill any additional ink reviewing them. Instead, moving on to strong rationalism, he describes the other extreme: the belief that our rational faculties are the sole arbiter of truth claims, so that claims that cannot be verified logically or empirically do not warrant our belief. Bertrand Russell is given as a paragon of strong rationalist beliefs, in that he explains away beliefs in the supernatural (and especially God) as the product of irrational fears. Interestingly, Reppert points out that claims to holding a “monopoly on rationality” are expressed on the theistic side as well, as shown by Josh McDowell’s statement in Evidence that Demands a Verdict that “a rejection of Christianity is usually not so much of the ‘mind’ as of the will, not so much ‘I can’t’ but ‘I won’t’”.


Now there are two main problems with such a view. The first is that at the very least a de facto, operational answer is given to the problem of the criterion by every single thinking, observing being. Either one begins with experiential forms of knowledge and one builds a worldview (including a definition of knowledge) from that starting point, or one posits logically necessary criteria for what constitutes knowledge, and then one seeks experiences and observations that fulfill such criteria. Unfortunately for Reppert, his view proves too much; if both options that are able to solve the dilemma of the criterion are disallowed, then it is not the case that definitions of knowledge are up for grabs, with radically different worldviews resulting in internally “rational” beliefs. Rather, no view of knowledge whatsoever is valid! Only radical skepticism denies in principle the attainability of knowledge; however, his entire purpose for writing is that he believes that true and rationally justified beliefs (i.e. knowledge) are attainable. And it is important for our later considerations to point out that there is a sense in which even those who doubt the validity of knowledge in general make practical use of (even tentatively held) beliefs—though they would not call such a thing “knowledge”, of course.

The second problem with Reppert’s analysis of critical rationalism is that he vastly overestimates the necessity of “neutral” ground from which to analyze competing truth claims. While it is true that no finite being can attain an unbiased “view from nowhere”, Reppert errs when he thinks such a view is necessary for clearly discerning the truth in any given situation. Yes, psychological effects can influence one’s beliefs, but they do not utterly overturn and negate one’s innate rational capabilities (once again, Reppert ironically appears to be attacking one of the foundational pillars of his argument from reason—namely, that truth actually exists and is knowable by humans). What is necessary, then, is not “neutral” ground, but instead common ground between disputants in any argument. In an adversarial situation, such as within a court of law, both the prosecution and the defense have a bias in that they want their own position to be true, but they have a mutually agreed upon framework within which to present their respective arguments. Indeed, the common presumption is that our legal system works precisely because both sides are biased towards their own view, and will thus work with all possible skill to prove their position true and their intellectual opponent’s position false. A disinterested defense attorney leads not to justice, but to a mistrial!

Since Reppert merely requires that his position be defensible given his assumptions, we will see that his argument, while valid, will not ultimately prove convincing to skeptics unless the further step is made to justify the premises of his arguments. This also colors his view of Lewis’s arguments, such that he seeks to explain away Lewis’s more confrontational statements as not being truly representative of his actual views. But if Reppert’s definition of critical rationalism lacks the clarity to distinguish between rationally acceptable arguments (valid solely within one’s framework) and rationally compelling arguments (that hold across all reasonable frameworks), then he will of course be at a loss to fit Lewis’s bold claims of exclusive rationality into a more tentative “critical rationalist” stance. But this is only a definitional problem for Reppert, not a consistency problem for Lewis.

46 comments:

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

The fact that Kyler treats presuppositionalism as "comparable" to fideism really casts the entire critique in a very dubious light.

Victor Reppert said...

But a lot of people do that.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

A lot of people aren't qualified to critique your defense of critical rationalism.

Ilíon said...

Ah, I was about to make the same comment as DBT. I guess I don't need to.

Anonymous said...

Other comments aside, I'd agree with the off the cuff estimation of this challenge to VR as rather weak. But oh well, nice of him to share it anyway.

Perezoso said...

A lot of people aren't qualified to critique your defense of critical rationalism.

Quite right: like, for instance, calvinist theologians.


moving on to strong rationalism, he describes the other extreme: the belief that our rational faculties are the sole arbiter of truth claims, so that claims that cannot be verified logically or empirically do not warrant our belief. Bertrand Russell is given as a paragon of strong rationalist beliefs, in that he explains away beliefs in the supernatural (and especially God) as the product of irrational fears.

Why is that "extreme"? Perhaps it seems extreme, since, like Hume, Russell has a number of solid reasons why we should question theistic claims. The believer, or theologian should at least be aware of the positivistic maxim: ""claims that cannot be verified logically or empirically do not warrant our belief""". It's unfortunate that zealots and dogmatists of all types--christian, muslim, jewish, communist, newager---generally fail to understand that maxim, which is not far from Locke's urging that all claims of religious revelation be judged at the "court of reason."

Russell thus points out that neither the supposed logical/axiomatic arguments for God (ontological, etc), nor the inductive, empirical arguments hold water. His points on the problems with the supposed Argument from Design (they are online somewhere) remain in force, given the recent interest in Intelligent design, and ""irreducible complexity."" However, Russell does not, like many cafe-atheists, simply reject the theistic claim out of hand--he calmly points out the absurdities which follow from the premises (i.e., an omnipotence, monotheistic Creator). Religious belief may have some force--sunday school might do some people some good--but that belief should not be mistaken as rational or based on sound evidentiary reasoning, but as "credo que absurdum"--.

Russell was admittedly a bit glib and arrogant, and that tends to offend the usual Billy Bob Calvinist; Americans tend to regard british- aristocratic manners--including rationality, really-- as a sign of depravity or vice, so whatever a cambridge or oxford gent says is dismissed, regardless of content--the Hannibal Lector meme, in a sense.

Anonymous said...

Locke also regarded atheists as singularly incapable of being accepted in civilized society.

As for the rest: A whole lot of assertion, not much reason. About par for the course from a cafe-atheist.

Perezoso said...

You're par for the anti-rationalist believer. Theists are the ones making the outrageous claims (indeed, miraculous claims). It's part of their BS to make it seem like unbelievers are the anomalous, when THEY are the ones who uphold anomaly (as Hume's points on miracles, and uniformity of experience showed as well).

You're not the logicians, regardless of your chants of the old windy Thomistic jargon. Russell's the logician: ""claims that cannot be verified logically or empirically do not warrant our belief""".

Scripture cannot stand up to that criteria. Nor can the neo-thomistic wind machines.

Anonymous said...

Yes yes, Perezoso. Atheists make utterly rational, believable claims: The universe is all just a big purposeless ball of chance-spewing chaos that just happens to shoot out apparent design and minds now and then, and mind cannot in any way be fundamental to the universe. You know this for certain, because you're logicians. And sometimes you have spiffy british accents, which lends tremendous credibility.

Atheists make plenty of lol-worthy claims. They just prefer - vastly, exclusively prefer - to take the role of the skeptic. Always questioning, but never offering anything of substance. Because the moment the atheist flying spaghetti monster of whirling chance and magic is put on stage, it's hard to think of an idea that's more ridiculous. ;)

Perezoso said...

Ad hominem, as usual. Did you read Russell's maxim yet? The point on empiricism remains in force, especially given the Craig like litany--new evidence, etc--supposedly showing proof of the gospels. Quatsch.

The point on the other thread regarding conflicting evidence of miracles also relevant: anyone who has read a bit of roman history--say Suetonius, Tacitus, etc-- notes that miracles, omens are often mentioned, as with the death of Caesar, or during the time of plague, Nero, etc. I suggest that biblical miracles fall in that category. They are most likely exaggerations inserted by some ancient scribe, passing on news from some other ancient writers, or symbolic, metaphorical (miracles attending Buddha's entry into nirvana, etc). At any rate, anecdotal, hearsay, not really fact claims as even say history writing is (not to say natural history).

That the methods of logic, science, rationality result in unpleasant or unsettling conclusions is neither here nor there, except to crypto-victorians. Rah-thur!
Tens of thousands of zombies marching into baptist warehouses to hear the local Rev. Hagee or Rev. Wright chant from the Book of Revelation should unsettle us more than Russell's cool prose does.

Anonymous said...

I did read the various arguments Russell gave against religious belief. Weak and flippant, but it impresses those of a small-minded, wannabe-intellectual bend. I notice you're one of those types who loves to whip out insult after insult, then when you get a bit of teasing - 'ad hominem'! But e-trolls have never been known for their constitution.

All you do is assert, assert, assert, then act like you've done something. But just as I predicted, you're only here to attack a worldview. You don't want to promote what you must believe in, because you know how downright hilarious it will be: Irrational, illogical, and violating the spirit of science and reason. Because at the end of the day, science and reason don't do the job you so desperately want it to do: Make allegiances that disturb you unworthy of serious consideration, or even committed belief. The people you can't stand have more justification in their beliefs than you wish was possible.

Too bad, Perry. Life just ain't fair. ;)

Perezoso said...

More deception. Which part do you disagree with? You think scripture can be empirically verified? Hah. Let's see some proof of the bizarre visions of the Book of Revelation: holy bloodred heifer, batman. Your arguments are not merely weak, but non-existent. So chant ad hominems and the usual veiled gestapo-speak. I wager you're from the Triablogue Reichstage.

Not only did Russell show how implausible the scriptural record was, so did Hume, Spinoza, Founding fathers, Sagan, etc. You think any old text which proclaims a miracle occurred is true? Then Ima's point on other thread holds: why scriptural miracles over the pagan claims of miracles, buddha, etc? Your entire argument is circular, dependent on dogma and on holding New and Old Testaments as authentic, regardless of evidence (and lack thereof)--including Darwin and Lyell's rather grand --and empirically sound--counterargument to Old T. creation myth.


"Weak"'s another ad hominem, has nothing to do with reason: Russell cooly demonstrates the problems with theism, and that's rather unsettling to most fundies: their little crutch book--the sayings of Jeezuss-- now sits on the shelf next to Bulfinch, or Tacitus (and makes for good reading once in a while).

Perezoso said...

You want to play macho stuff, Im in LA. Marquess of Queensbury rules, like mano a mano? Let's do it macho man for Jeezuss.


You're the anti-rationalist, but too corrupt to admit. You're no logician. Comprendes?

Anonymous said...

Oh dear Lord. He's actually pretending to challenge an anonymous poster to a fight over the interwebs. Because he was teased about being irrational. *lol*

Sorry to spoil your blog with teasing Perry to faux-violence, Victor. I'm sure this goes beyond even your lax standards - but come on, nutters like this are hard to resist!

Perezoso said...

You even misread that, Mentirador, along with ad hominems: it's the "disbelief is ghastly" meme. Russell however arrogant also had more class than the usual American biblethumper: mentor to and pals with DH Lawrence, TS Eliot, Popper, Wittgenstein, Keynes, etc.

That's a challenge, like having to do with honor.

Now, back to the question: can scripture (including miracles) be empirically confirmed, or no? Is it infallible? (hint : nyet). That's not merely a cambridge philosopher's view, that's the view of the Founding Fathers (including Madison), SJ Gould, Darwin, Lyell, Hume, Spinoza, the french encyclopedists, etc. That you have the support of millions of biblethumping zombies doesn't count.

In effect, the infallibilist (usually a calvinist) denies the principles of the American Revolution (as well as "public reason")

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Not Spinoza! Anyone but Spinoza! And the Founding Fathers weren't biblical literalists? Oh noooooooo!

...

*bwahahahaaaaaa*

Call me a calvinist again, Perry! You keep right on guessin' what my religious faith is. Much less my nationality. Your Sherlock-fu is lacking.

C'mon, Perry. Tell us how the universe is a lovecraftian monster, spitting out rationality, minds, and universes without rhyme nor reason, neither purpose nor foresight. All you know for sure is, darnit, there is no God or gods of any type, because chaos reigns supreme. Tell us how that's the conclusion of a rational mind.

Behold the mighty logician. He knows for certain there is no God! He's got James Buchanan on his side! *lol*

Perezoso said...

Hey Troll: you're not merely showing your anti-rationalist colors, but the anti-semitic, and anti-American-secularist colors! Anything to duck the question (let's try it again--holy Darwinian falsification of scriptural creation myth, batman: ergo, fallibility)

Perhaps just like quote Mein Kampf, in good Triablogue fashion--or perhaps post your pics of Reichmarshall Goering: there's a protestant role model for the Triabloggers.

Perezoso said...

And lying as well: did I say I was certain, or even claim to be atheist? Did Russell? Nope. You show your irrationalism again: demonstrating there's no convincing evidence, and no logical proofs does not equate to a trivial claim of atheism.

Even according to your code, a cardinal lie, Calvinist. Buh bye (here's another one: check say Ezra Pound's thoughts re Calvin.......not in a real nice section of perdido)

Anonymous said...

And so Perry continues to rapidly turn ever more irrational, frantically shooting into the dark with the hopes that one of the random labels will stick! Alas, they miss and miss. I happen to believe in evolution, I'm not protestant (what makes you think I'm christian?), and anti-semite? Bwahahaha.

Oh, Perry. Perry, Perry, Perry... this is the act of the rational? This is how logicians conduct themselves? You've never had reason on your side, and you can barely grasp logic to begin with. But you make a beautiful, wonderful example of atheist irrationality. You're a living testament to the value of religion faith, whether hindu, catholic, protestant, mormon, muslim, or otherwise. Because any of those options, any at all, are more rational that the zaniness that is atheism. As you so unwittingly demonstrate.

Thank you. ;)

Anonymous said...

"At the age of eighteen, however, shortly before I went to Cambridge, I read Mill's Autobiography, where I found a sentence to the effect that his father taught him the question "Who made me?" cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question "Who made God?" This led me to abandon the "First Cause" argument, and to become an atheist."

From Russell's autobiography. So much for "Did Russell?" If you're going to rely on wikipedia for you details, Perry, you should bother to read them from start to finish.

I don't blame you for wanting to take that ever-popular 'I'm an agnostic, not an atheist' dodge, though. It's a tried and true tactic to avoid having to defend what's entailed by atheism, namely the utterly ridiculous. Keep on calling me a calvinist, though! It's utterly inaccurate, but for some reason the long string of misses from your shots in the dark are making me smile more and more. ;)

Perezoso said...

Not quite, Nonny. You're losing an argument, so you resort to insults. Time-honored yokel baptist technique: why not just call Russell a commie pinko or something.

Of course, the yokel xtian doesn't really know what an argument consists of (like true premises, valid conclusion--which they don't have), so they don't realize when they've lost, and usually don't care. May the good lord bless n keep ya, Nonny.

Ilíon said...

Oh, now, Perezoso, Calvinists can be amusing if you don't let them get under your skin.

And, more importantly, they do sometimes have valid criticism of the rest of us. We *can* learn from them, even though they are so critically wrong on their fundamental issues.

For instance, does it matter to *anyone's* salvation whether or not he believes (*) that he is free-and-able to reject God?


(*) Well, believes that be believes ... Calvinists' behaviors and arguments indicate that they don't really believe their own doctrines.

Ilíon said...

Yes, pretty much par for the course for Homo atheos internetensis.

Ilíon said...

... pardon me. Homo atheos internetensis is the familiar old 'village atheist' with an ethernet cable.

Perezoso said...

Ilion, you're el chistoso de pueblo, little man: homo yokeli americanus. DSL, any way.

Xtianity Inc. had nothing to do with the advances of computer age (yet Russellian formal logic did, as did programming languages, many which make use of type theory, and logical operators).

It's just that like most biblethumping anti-rationalists you're sort of cowardly : Russellian logos tends to frighten the herd animal.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

For the record, although it should be obvious, Perry is a well-known troll on Triablogue. I guess he stowed away on my coattails. Sorry about that—I didn't mean to traipse trash in here. He seems to have a list of (sometimes dubiously notable) thinkers who disbelieved key Christian truths, and his modus operandi is to continually reference them as they uncontroversially disproved these Christian truths—and Christians only need to be reminded of this to be utterly confuted. At no stage, ever, will Perry make an actual argument of his own. He will merely make oblique references to the presumed arguments of the people he mentions. I would assume that, as with most trolls, starvation is the best method of removal.

Perezoso said...

Wow: Author-tay!


For the record, I'm not a troll: you are. I'm just not in the sunday school union. Trolls were traditionally defined as spreaders of misinformation (tho' I doubt you know the usenet from a catechism): so, "Troll" defines the calvinist liar, doesn't it Father? You're a liar, not to say anti-rationalist.



However aristocratic and foppish Bertrand Russell was, his philosophical and journalistic writings are worth a boxcar of old thomistic jargon. It's just that Reason unleashed tends to scare the old roundheads and enthusiasts, has them reaching for some justification for the divine right of kings or something.

Perezoso said...

I said, provide a true premise, fraud. "The Bible says so," Or "Plantinga suggested this old thomistic argument still sound" is not one of those, alas. You're the one making ad auctoritas arguments, puto.

Now, let's reiterate: Darwinian evolution falsified old testament claims of creation, and thus showed the fallibility of scripture. That's an argument, supported by boo-coo evidence. So scripture's not authoritative (like 150+ years ago), and indeed that's what the secular, US Constitution (ever heard of that?) suggests as well. No need even for Russell.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

For the record, I'm not a troll: you are. I'm just not in the sunday school union. Trolls were traditionally defined as spreaders of misinformation

And you are spreading the misinformation that atheism is rational and Christianity is not. You aren't arguing; you're just trying to disseminate the propaganda. That is classic troll behavior. You then deny what you're doing by appealing to some tendentious definition of trolling. Again, classic troll behavior. And the definition you appeal to actually applies to you anyway—you just try to obfuscate the fact. Classic troll behavior.

However aristocratic and foppish Bertrand Russell was, his philosophical and journalistic writings are worth a boxcar of old thomistic jargon. It's just that Reason unleashed tends to scare the old roundheads and enthusiasts, has them reaching for some justification for the divine right of kings or something.

However forthright and plain speaking C S Lewis was, his philosophical and journalistic writings are worth a boxcar full of old Russellian jargon. It's just that Reason unleashed (please, leave the capitals to the Christians; you don't get to use Reason as a proper noun) tends to scare the old roundheads and enthusiasts; has them reaching for some justification for the naturalistic fallacy or something.

Now, let's reiterate: Darwinian evolution falsified old testament claims of creation, and thus showed the fallibility of scripture. That's an argument, supported by boo-coo evidence.

I must apologize. I didn't actually notice this argument at first because I was blinded by its awesome. Now that you draw my attention to it, I feel compelled to lay it out syllogistically here, so that everyone can see how staggeringly great it is.

1. Darwinian evolution falsified Old Testament claims to creation (from Perry's hat).
2. ???
3. Profit!!

Although this is a resplendent argument which almost raises me to a state of Nirvana with its logical sublimity, I think my philosophical genius exceeds even your own. Witness:

1*. Old Testament claims falsified Darwinian evolution (from Bnonny's hat).
2*. That's all.
3*. I win, Perry fails.

I suppose the humble theistic evolutionist may argue differently, though of course he does not approach the subtlety of discourse which we do:

1**. Darwinian evolution didn't falsify Old Testament claims to creation.
2**. That's all.
3**. Perry fails.

Either way, though, I'm afraid the conclusion is inevitable old chap. You sir, are a failure—constitutional rights notwithstanding.

Perezoso said...

Oh time for some baby syllogisms from the McCalvinists.


Not even worth refuting, but let's put it this way: radiocarbon dating itself goes back tens of thousands of years before the jews were around, even before human writing was around. Were was say T-Rex in the old testament? Or other extinct animals, unearthed in the fossil record centuries after the writing of the old test?


The traditional accounts went back to like 4 or 5 thousand BC. That WAS falsified, regardless of your silly faux-logic.

Here's a better argument.

1--Evolutionary theory is supported by ample empirical evidence, facts, and has been observed in nature (adaptation). It accounts for and justifies an "old earth".

2--Judeo-christian Scripture is based on the visions of old , pre-scientific soothsayers, and says the earth's 4 or 5 thousand years old.

Scientific reason and evidence should always be considered superior to the visions of old , pre-scientific soothsayers. Ergo 1 is correct, and 2, BS.

Q E f-n D.


Besides, you don't even have the honesty to flesh out your cheesy enthymemes: like you are assuming an unprovable God created an unprovable soul, so you think you can sort of twist the Bible into a metaphorical reading. Typical BS. It WAS taken as literally true, until Chas Darwin and Co came around--and Darwinian theory while limited was later updated by others.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

McCalvinist reporting for duty.

1--Evolutionary theory is supported by ample empirical evidence, facts, and has been observed in nature (adaptation). It accounts for and justifies an "old earth".

2--Judeo-christian Scripture is based on the visions of old , pre-scientific soothsayers, and says the earth's 4 or 5 thousand years old.

Scientific reason and evidence should always be considered superior to the visions of old , pre-scientific soothsayers. Ergo 1 is correct, and 2, BS.


1*. Uniformitarian evolutionary theory is falling to pieces as unsupportable and contrary to the best evidence. It accounts for, but can no longer justify, an old earth. Catastrophism is the better paradigm, which accounts for and justifies a young earth.

2*. Christian Scripture is based on the plenary inspiration by God of old, pre-scientific prophets, and says the earth is of an indeterminate age; probably less than 10,000 years old.

3*. Scientific reason and evidence should always be considered inferior to the word of God.

Perry fails.

Perezoso said...

Also, you have no "a priori" arguments, and any that seem somewhat plausible have nothing to do with ju-xtian scripture. Even the philosophasters agree with that. The ontological argument's bogus (idea of perfection?? whose? where? of what? are those ideas all the same? and existence is not a predicate--it's implied in any sentence); the cosmological's argument's BS--causality (and big bang) an empirical matter, not "necessary" --and no contradiction in infinity. And so on.

And funny, much of the bible is lifted nearly verbatim from Egyptian sources (Moses, Ra, etc ) For that matter, the rig veda predates the Old Test, as do other writings--Gilgamesh. Why Old T over gilgamesh, or even older chinese writings? Because that's the dogma you have been conditioned to accept.

Radiocarbon dating, or Ra, plagiarized??

Reasonable humans go with the techies and radiocarbon dating. calvinistas go with Ra.

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

Also, you have no "a priori" arguments, yadda yadda yadda...

So's your face.

And funny, much of the bible is lifted nearly verbatim from Egyptian sources (Moses, Ra, etc )

No it isn't.

For that matter, the rig veda predates the Old Test, as do other writings--Gilgamesh. Why Old T over gilgamesh, or even older chinese writings?

Because it's true. I guess God didn't realize that writing Scripture is a race. Too bad, or he could have done it first and then Christianity would have won!

Because that's the dogma you have been conditioned to accept.

Were you conditioned to accept that statement as dogma, I wonder?

Reasonable humans go with the techies and radiocarbon dating. calvinistas go with Ra.

Where does that leave the reasonable Calvinist radiocarbon-dating techies, then? No one ever thinks of them, do they? Why won't anyone think of the reasonable Calvinist radiocarbon-dating techies, Perry? Why?!

Perezoso said...

No, Dommski, you're not arguing, but flinging your inept McCalvinist ad homs (and indeed betraying your own code---Jeezzuss says turn the other cheek, brutther)

You've never understood that all those thomistic chestnuts were overturned years ago: starting with like Hobbes (we have no clear ideas of God, for one). The French encyclopedists. Hume (his points in miracles themselves nearly sufficient to show fallibility, and thus no authority). Then Kant. Darwin and Lyell just provided more evidence, as have other evolutionary biologists.

Then Russell and positivists showed the difficulties of establishing any ancient knowledge via empiricism. The bible could be complete BS: it's all anecdotal. Any historical texts (including religious ones) are merely knowledge by description, and indeed anecdotal. You weren't there.

Now, dating fossil record, C14 etc. has been confirmed REPEATEDLY by experiments--that's knowledge via aquaintance. Not anecdotal, but confirmed fact--and indeed confirmable, unlike religious dogma.

Ilíon said...

DBT,
you can't starve him if you keep feeding him.

Ilíon said...

By the way, I didn't mean at all to imply that Calvinists, *because* they are Calvinist, are of the sort that coud get under one's skin. The comment must be seen in its context, which is as a reply to a simple 'village atheist.'

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

No, Perry, you're not arguing, but flinging your inept McAtheist ad homs (and indeed betraying your ignorance of what "turn the other cheek" means).

You've never understood that all those naturalistic chestnuts were overturned years ago. I haven't got my Cliff's Notes on the history of philosophy handy, but that doesn't really matter since we aren't making any arguments anyway, are we? We're just name-dropping.

Now, dating fossil record, C14 etc. has been disconfirmed REPEATEDLY by experiments--that's knowledge via aquaintance. Not anecdotal, but confirmed fact--and indeed confirmable, unlike atheistic dogma.

Ilíon, I know, but I have a weakness for feeding trolls. I love to watch them spaz.

Perezoso said...

You're the troll, fool.

For one, you assume written information in a text about events from centuries years ago is necessarily true. So much for logic. Descriptive anecdotal evidence, whether religious dogma, or historical narrative, which is incapable of being proven true is NOT admissable as a premise. "The bible claims there was a virgin birth (in some ancient language); therefore, there was a virgin birth" is not necessarily true. It's not even plausible in empirical terms. In technical terms, it's stooopid.

Not only do you fail to grasp the distinction between empirical knowledge and dogma, you don

You just flunked

Dominic Bnonn Tennant said...

No Perry, you're the troll, remember?

For one, you assume wirtten information in a text about events from centuries years ago is necessarily true.

Indeed I do, because it's the word of God.

So much for logic.

What logical law have I violated? Logic, in fact, is intrinsic to God; see John's use of the Greek term logos.

Descriptive anecdotal evidence, whether religious dogma, or historical narrative, which is incapable of being proven true is NOT admissable as a premise.

Prejudiced assertions, whether atheistic dogma or name-dropping, which are incapable of being proven true, are NOT admissible as premises.

"The bible claims there was a virgin birth (in some ancient language); therefore, there was a virgin birth" is not necessarily true.

Unless the Bible is necessarily true—which of course it is.

It's not even plausible in empirical terms. In technical terms, it's stooopid.

It's perfectly plausible unless you stoopidly beg the question.

Not only do you fail to grasp the distinction between empirical knowledge and dogma, you don

I don?

You just flunked

I wonder if it's worse to be a flunker, or a flunky.

Perezoso said...

No, you're the troll, Domski. This thread was about critical rationalism, and not about theology, until you derailed it: so, that like leaves biblethumping morons out. Dogma is not admissable as premise, as evidence, or even as humor. You're not a logician. Verstehen Sie das? Chanting thomistic chestnuts does not matter , whatsoever.

Crawl back under the Triablogue rock, fraud.

Perezoso said...

""" Either one begins with experiential forms of knowledge and one builds a worldview (including a definition of knowledge) from that starting point, or one posits logically necessary criteria for what constitutes knowledge, and then one seeks experiences and observations that fulfill such criteria. Unfortunately for Reppert, his view proves too much; if both options that are able to solve the dilemma of the criterion are disallowed, then it is not the case that definitions of knowledge are up for grabs, with radically different worldviews resulting in internally “rational” beliefs. Rather, no view of knowledge whatsoever is valid!"""""

Why is that an exclusive disjunction? Russell's criteria (as described above) does not say either logic, OR empiricism, but both. Anyway, given a choice, choose experiential forms of knowledge, even over the sacred abode of Logick: when sick, you call a doctor (medicine a rather key type of experiential knowledge), not logicians; When you need to build a bridge, an engineer, not logicians (nor Osiris forbid, calvinist witchdoctors).

There's a functionalist issue to all this as well. Experiential knowledge works (when done right). Other types don't--including mere logical tautologies. Logic does have a place--like the logic of the OS system of your computer, the operators used in programming, some mathematical foundation work (tho often a hindrance)-- but in and of itself logical form doesn't really mean much, and arguments are only as good as their premises ( a point lost on most thomistic windbags).

Ilíon said...

"... I know, but I have a weakness for feeding trolls. I love to watch them spaz."

It can be mildly amusing on a slow day, I will admit.

Perezoso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perezoso said...

More fun is laughing at your attempts at "logic", Ilion the troll. You don't quite grasp even Russell's fairly elementary point on analytic and synthetic truths. Heh heh. Then someone who upholds the Rapture code is not concerned with either logic or facts, eh: Idion?

Here's one for you, deeep thinker: prove that any "a priori" truths hold. If not, then all knowledge would be experiential, even the sacred abode of logic. The nemesis of all fundies, Hume said much the same: "no ideas without antecedent impressions."

Buena Suerte

Gregory said...

Perezoso said this:

""claims that cannot be verified logically or empirically do not warrant our belief""".

Is this "claim" a logical truth, as to be related strictly to matters of reason? Does this "claim" derive from the human sense faculties, such that pertain to matters of fact? No. Then commit it to the flames....for it can be nothing other than sophistry and the vain opinion of the speculative metaphysician.

Jack Reylan said...

Carbon dating is far from accurate. It is more accurate in today's time because th eparts of it we use are almost linear, but the big assertions against religion are based on the most non-linear and hardest to judge parts. Scientists feel very nice telling you how the Atlantic was formed frm Gondwana or Pnagaeia, but they forget to tell you this is the same story as Noah, Deucalius, Utnapistus, and Atlantis, all of which are said to have occured six thousand years ago, when dragons, or dinosaurs, were recorded by men to exist. However, this mistaken carbon dating method lead them to put both events tens of millions of years ago. If they were so good, why don't they cure cancer or fix the economy or make cheap, non-polluting gasoline before they take on such big and sacred things?