Friday, March 30, 2012

Let's try again with the McGrew paper

Here.

55 comments:

Cole said...

Even if McGrew is correct you still need to weigh the TOTAL evidence and not isolate specific facts while ignoring other facts that are against your position. This is exactly what Licona and Habbermas do in their minimal facts approach. However, even William Lane Craig sees a problem with arguing probabilities for the resurrection. This is why He goes for abductive reasoning and inference to the best explanation. So, maybe Plantinga is wrong. Maybe not. It still doesn't change anything. If you already have a prior conviction then, yes, "the evidence" is perfectly clear and there much of it. If I believe in bigfoot I see lots of evidence for bigfoot. The trouble is with the prior conviction and how it creates an epistemological filter, literally creates the evidence you want to see. It's called confirmation bias. And to suggest that Christians, alone, are unaffected by this universal feature of human psychology confirms what atheists already think, that Christians are naive and afraid of critical analysis.

Victor Reppert said...

But of course, McGrew isn't trying to establish that the historical argument works, he is trying to show that Plantinga's dwindling probabilities argument.

Cole: And to suggest that Christians, alone, are unaffected by this universal feature of human psychology confirms what atheists already think, that Christians are naive and afraid of critical analysis.

VR: And to suggest that atheists, alone, are unaffected by this universal feature of human psychology confirms what Christians already think, that atheists are naive and afraid of critical analysis.

Cole said...

Dr. Reppert,

I agree. But I would also say that atheists aren't claiming someone rose from the dead either. That's quite a claim. It seems that on ballance we are left with agnosticism. You seem to agree that the evidence can be taken this way or that way depending on one's assumptions.

Victor Reppert said...

Our own probabilities are the only ones we have, and there is no obligation that I can see to adopt someone else's in the interests of "objectivity." Science operates by whittling down divergent probabilities through the examination of evidence, not by demanding that everyone adopt certain "correct" probabilities to begin with. That is how such a divergent community can move toward discovering the truth.

Cole said...

Well, that's why you should agree with the Christian philosopher Kelly James Clark. His doctoral dissertation was in this very thing. He examined cumulative case arguments for and against God's existence. He finally tossed in the hat and admitted that he doesn't know whether or not we can show Christianity to be rationally superior (more likely than not) to it's rivals.

Crude said...

Victor,

VR: And to suggest that atheists, alone, are unaffected by this universal feature of human psychology confirms what Christians already think, that atheists are naive and afraid of critical analysis.

I think this also tends to feed back into the 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence' slogan. There are various problems with the concept, but one - and I think you've hit on this in the past - is that what counts as 'extraordinary' isn't apparent from some 'view from nowhere'. What's "extraordinary" is determined to be so by way of the viewpoint you start the conversation off with.

That also affects what you can or cannot 'show' to someone else with arguments and evidence. I can't prove to someone else that I'm conscious, if they're stubborn enough. The proper response in that case isn't to throw in the towel and be agnostic about whether or not I'm conscious - it's, at least by my view, to say 'oh, piss off'.

You can reply there 'Ah, but I know I'm conscious, so that's different. I can't know there's a God the way I know I'm conscious.'. (There are guys out there would disagree, and argue it's possible to be mistaken about your being conscious. Again - 'oh, piss off.') That, say, various philosophers can't come to agree on the probability or truth of this or that doesn't seem like something that should worry me. If that's the case, then we should be agnostic about everything from naturalism to materialism to physicalism regarding minds to platonism to more. (Ignoring for the moment that near universal agreement among philosophers doesn't strike me, personally, as something that necessarily grants much security anyway.)

I think, as I said in the previous thread, that that's what's most terrifying. That there's no magic formula not only to decide if God exists or not, but whether or not agnosticism, theism, or atheism is the most rational choice to have. Agnosticism's just another position - it's not the "view from nowhere" either.

Zach said...

Can anyone summarize McGrew's counter against the dwindling probablities argument? Has someone here read it and understood it?

Cole said...

Zach,

Why don't you read it and summarize it for yourself.

Victor Reppert said...

You can achieve the view from nowhere by taking the Outsider Test for Faith (TM). :)

Zach said...

Cole I didn't understand it. Apparently I'm not the only one.

Anthony Fleming said...

Cole, there seems to be a common theme in your posts: that not all theists fully agree on any particular argument or evidence for God's existence and that (somehow) such a fact is detrimental to theistic arguments.

I fail to see however how such an idea is detrimental to theism. Do you have any evidence for what type of evidence or how much evidence one should have to accept any particular proposition?

There may be certain dispositions that people have which make them more willing or hesitant to accept certain evidence. So what? The same could be said of propositions from within any discipline, including science and even mathematical proofs. When I look and read in depth from different scientists I also see very similar disagreement. Does that mean the theories they agree on (or the conclusions) are wrong?

Your main argument here could just as easily be used the other way. We could say, "Hey look at all people who have reached similar conclusions from a diverse range of rational and logical arguments for God's existence, that really must say something for God's actual existence." See the problem here?

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

Dr. Reppert,

my bias and experiences of strong delusions causes me to interpret the evidence of Paul's experience of the risen Christ as something delusional. Some people think that if you have had delusions before then you must be this violent person who sacrifices your only Son to cover the sins of people with blood in order to forgive them. But this simply isn't so. I've had delusions but I've never hurt anyone physically or tortured my only Son to death for blood. It is a known psychological fact that if you already have a prior conviction then, yes, "the evidence" is perfectly clear and there much of it. If I believe in bigfoot I see lots of evidence for bigfoot. The trouble is with the prior conviction and how it creates an epistemological filter, literally creates the evidence you want to see. It's called confirmation bias. The evidence simply isn't strong enough to say Christianity is more likely than not. As the Christian philosopher Kelly James Clark states:

"Reason is not neutral. It does not stand dispassionately without prejudice (prejudgment), overlooking the evidence; it is not bias-free (at least on matters of fundamental human concern). Believing, very often, is seeing. Reason is situated, located, embodied in this person at this time and in this place. It is moved by our biases to attend to this sort of evidence and to ignore that sort of evidence. It values this experience and discounts that one....we are psycho-socio-historico-conditioned creatures....we cannot stand outside ouselves to compare our beliefs to the reality we suppose they tell us about. We simply cannot get the view from nowhere....Reason is situated, located, embodied in this person at this time and in this place. It is moved by our biases to attend to this sort of evidence and to ignore that sort of evidence....Can we show that theists are in an epistemically superior position? Here the answer is a resounding-'I don't know'...We don't have belief independent access to the factors that condition our acceptance or rejection of the evidence. We can't gain a 'godlike' grasp of all the relevant evidence."

David B Marshall said...

Zach: Tim spends most of his time arguing that the Resurrection needs to be included as part of the evidence for God, if I read him right. But his strongest argument seems to simply be that Plantinga just doesn't know the relevant scholarship well enough to evaluate it.

Interesting, Plantinga's list of scholars who argue that a strong historical case for the resurrection:

"F. F. Bruce, William Lane Craig, Stephen T. Davis, Gary Habermas, and N. T. Wright . . . have produced serious and sometimes impressive historical arguments . . . " (hope I joined those two phrases correctly).

Interestingly, in Where the Conflict Really Lies (2011), Plantinga makes a similiar list, this time including the McGrews:

"Of course it could be that a given proposition can be known both by faith and by reason; perhaps one of the deliverances of faith -- for example, that Jesus arose from the dead -- can also be shown to be very probable with respect to what one knows by way of reason." 11

Then, in footnote 11:

"See some of the many attempts to give arguments from reason (taken as including history) for Jesus' resurrection -- eg, NT Wright, WL Craig, Stephen Davis, Gary Habermas, Timothy and Lydia McGrew, Richard Swinburne, and many others."

Interestingly, later in the book Plantinga takes McGrew to task for being too rough (for a reason that really doesn't seem to make sense) on anthropic arguments for God.

You may also find my last blog post, on the prior probability of the resurrection, interesting.

David B Marshall said...

Wow, why did I leave the word "interesting" in that post four times? Bad editing.

Cole: One doesn't need confirmation bias to think Jesus rose from the dead. That's what all the reports from his friends say. One needs a philosophy, an argument, or at least an assumption about what can and cannot happen, to filter those reports out, to explain why we should ignore them, and so on. The problem is, it turns out this is a lot harder to do than it looks.

Cole said...

David,

You are the perfect example of what psychologists are talking about. The Gospels aren't reliable. You are obviously unaware of your biases. You think we can somehow rise above everything and get a 'godlike' grasp of all the evidence. Again, If you already have a prior conviction then, yes, "the evidence" is perfectly clear and there much of it. If I believe in bigfoot I see lots of evidence for bigfoot. The trouble is with the prior conviction and how it creates an epistemological filter, literally creates the evidence you want to see. It's called confirmation bias. And to suggest that Christians, alone, are unaffected by this universal feature of human psychology confirms what atheists already think, that Christians are naive and afraid of critical analysis.

Crude said...

Kelly James Clark again, not truncated, but with my emphasis added:

Can we, as Craig claims, show our opponents that we are correct and that they are wrong? Must a person whose cognitive faculties are functioning properly and who is sufficiently informed come to the conclusion that a creator of the universe exists? Here the answer is a resounding "I don't know". We can provide reasons or evidence that, for all we can tell, support our beliefs. But we can't tell if we are sufficiently informed or if our cognitive faculties are working properly (or, on the other hand, if the nontheist's are working properly.) All we have direct epistemic access to is the evidence that is presently available. We don't have belief-independent access to the factors that condition our acceptance or rejection of the evidence. We can't gain a godlike grasp of all the relevant evidence. We are finite believers with limited information and limited access to the conditions that ground our believings.

"Showing" is a success term indicating the successful demonstration of something to someone. [...] Cognitive deficiency exists on both sides of the equation. It doesn't follow from this that everything is true or that nothing is true. I consider myself a skeptical realist - there is truth, but it is very hard for humans to grasp.


I quote this at length to illustrate a few things.

* Clark is not saying it's objectively and certainly the case that "the evidence isn't strong enough to say the truth of Christianity is more likely than not" in the quoted section. In fact, his skepticism is directed at the very act of supposing we're capable of evaluating the strength of the evidence in so objective a manner. Which is why Clark says in footnote 5 (my emphasis added): "As Craig rightly points out, Christians may be in an epistemically superior position without being able to show it."

* You can see this more with the fact that Clark puts so much emphasis not on the question of whether it's more likely than not that Christianity is true, but on the ability to show this, at least in a non-controversial manner. He is saying - much as Victor has said, over and over - that none of us occupy, or can occupy, a 'view from nowhere', and that we come to the table with a certain mindset that we can alter or stand back from to a degree, but only to a degree. Note that in pointing this out, Clark does not therefore conclude that atheists should give up their atheism for agnosticism, and theists likewise. He's pointing out the limits of argument and of the problem of objectively showing that someone is wrong.

* Insofar as Clark does this, the upside isn't that Christianity becomes untenable by Clark's reckoning. It's that the OTF, as often promoted, is unreasonable. The OTF is touted as an objective way to demonstrate that a given faith or lack of faith is unreasonable, while Clark is specifically denying that such a demonstration is possible. Clark has a bone to pick with Craig, insofar as he takes Craig to claim it's possible to objectively establish the truth of theism. But he also has a bone to pick with someone who believe it's possible to objectively establish the truth of atheism, or even to show, in an objective way, that the atheist or theist is in an epistemically superior position.

Crude said...

The short version is that Clark's views are incompatible with the OTF as commonly presented: by denying that it's possible to demonstrate the epistemic superiority of any view (atheist, theist or otherwise), the OTF never even gets off the ground. Nor does Clark conclude that this limitation mandates agnosticism or the rejection of theism generally nor Christianity specifically, any more than the inability to demonstrate (to the satisfaction of all parties*) the existence of an external world mandates agnosticism regarding that question. He's pointing out the limitations we work with, and using that to show why airtight demonstrations of the truth or falsity of certain propositions is not, in his view, available. It goes without saying that people are going to disagree with him - OTF proponents would have to disagree, if they want to argue the OTF can demonstrate the epistemic superiority of atheism.

(*This is important here, since part of the reason Clark comes to the conclusion that he does is because he knows people are going to disagree about fundamentals before the debate has even begun. But there is no way to step back and evaluate all biases, intuitions, and 'starting points' with zero input. Again, something Victor himself has said, repeatedly.)

Cole said...

Kelly James Clark believes that Christianity is RATIONAL. Not more likely than not. Crude's attempt to twist the evidence just confirms what I previously said. The evidence DOES NOT make Christianity more likely than not. The historical case can be taken this way or that way depending on one's assumptions.

Crude said...

Kelly James Clark believes that Christianity is RATIONAL. Not more likely than not. Crude's attempt to twist the evidence just confirms what I previously said.

Cole, I twisted nothing. What I did was something you apparently don't know how to do: I read the footnotes.

Again, footnote 5: As Craig rightly points out, Christians may be in an epistemically superior position without being able to show it.

In other words, it's wrong to present Clark as saying that 'the evidence isn't strong enough to say Christianity is more likely than not', because our (whether atheist, theist or agnostic) ability to objectively demonstrate the strength of the evidence is precisely what Clark is questioning. The problems Clark is pointing out are far less on the side of the evidence, and more on the side of those who are evaluating the evidence. In Clark's own words, it may well be the case that the evidence as such places the Christian in the epistemically superior position.

Cole said...

It is not clear to me that reason can establish enough about God to permit the evidence of the resurrection to overcome the vast implausibility of the incarnation and the resurrection. The evidence is after all unusual.

I wish Reformed Epistemology and/or Theistic arguments could do more than establish that belief in God is rationally permissable, but I'll settle for rational permissability. That way I can know that my faith is not blind. I may be taking a leap in the dim but it's not a leap in the dark.

Kelly James Clark in Five Views On Apologetics.

Crude said...

Do you realize that none of what you quoted conflicts with my claims here? I've pointed out that Clark's position isn't that 'the evidence isn't good enough to establish...', but that he's skeptical of our ability to evaluate the evidence in an objectively demonstrable way, and to be totally confident in or evaluations. He explicitly states that it's possible the evidence we have grants Christianity epistemic superiority. The problem as Clark sees it isn't on the end of the evidence, but on the end of the evaluator(s).

Cole said...

Craig and Feinberg are the most modest in their claims but I think they claim too much. Kelly James Clark page 366.

Crude said...

Right, Clark thinks Craig's position is too strong. I quoted as much in my own comment. It speaks against nothing I've said here.

I'll take this to mean you recognize that yes, I'm right about Clark.

Cole said...

Craig claims that the evidence makes it more likely than not like Dr. Reppert does. Kelly James Clark disagrees. He thinks the evidence can make theistic belief rationally acceptable without refuting atheism. The claims by Dr. Reppert are too strong. The evidence can be taken this way or that way depending on one's assumptions. Of course, almost anything is possible.

Crude said...

Craig claims that the evidence makes it more likely than not like Dr. Reppert does. Kelly James Clark disagrees. He thinks the evidence can make theistic belief rationally acceptable without refuting atheism.

Yeah, you may want to go through the archives and see what Victor has to say about rationality, evaluating evidence, and 'refuting atheism'.

Cole said...

By demonstrating the rationality of religious belief while not refuting atheism, intellectual space has been reopened for belief in God. - Kelly James Clark

Cole said...

Perhaps demonstrating that Christian belief is as rational as it's alternatives is the best that can be expected of apologetics. - Kelly James Clark.

Crude said...

That's nice. Quote some more things that neither conflict with what I've argued here, or with what Victor has said. I'm sure it accomplishes something.

Haven't the foggiest idea what that something is, but I assume there's a reason all the same.

Cole said...

The fact of the matter is that we are all biased. As I already stated, the gospels are unreliable. The only reliable evidence we have for the resurrection is Paul's experience. My bias and experiences of strong delusions causes me to interpret the evidence of Paul's experience of the risen Christ as something delusional. Some people think that if you have had delusions before then you must be this violent person who sacrifices your only Son to cover the sins of people with blood in order to forgive them. But this simply isn't so. I've had delusions but I've never hurt anyone physically or tortured my only Son to death for blood. It is a known psychological fact that if you already have a prior conviction then, yes, "the evidence" is perfectly clear and there much of it. If I believe in bigfoot I see lots of evidence for bigfoot. The trouble is with the prior conviction and how it creates an epistemological filter, literally creates the evidence you want to see. It's called confirmation bias. The evidence simply isn't strong enough to say Christianity is more likely than not. As the Christian philosopher Kelly James Clark states.

Crude said...

The fact of the matter is that we are all biased. As I already stated, the gospels are unreliable.

I agree with you that your bias is the reason you regard the gospels as unreliable.

Why do you keep copying and pasting this crap? Especially since...

As the Christian philosopher Kelly James Clark states.

Is flat out wrong. I pointed out, repeatedly, that Clark does not have the same view of the evidence you claim he has. Nor have you showed where Clark has talked about 'confirmation bias', or that Christians 'only see the evidence they want to see'. You've butchered what Clark has said - thanks for making it clear that that you don't even understand the guy you've not been able to shut up about for the past couple of weeks - and now you're just in replay mode.

Waste of goddamn time.

Cole said...

I do understand him, as anyone who reads the quotes I provided can see. The part about confirmation bias comes from psychology. In particular a Christian psychologist that I've studied. You might want to learn more about psychology before you continue with beliefs in talking animals, mind controling forces, and human sacrifices.

BenYachov said...

Crude,

Ignore Cole, remember it's not his fault because of this state of mind.

If he is the only one here defending Atheism then in effect nobody is doing so.

Cole said...

Ben,

Whose fault is it then? Perhaps Christ can perform a miracle and cast the demons out of me. I'm sorry that I can't believe in your blood sacrificing God. I just don't see how a God who needs to satisfy His wrath with death and blood is something worth following.

Cole said...

Just so it's clear what Kelly James Clark believes about the probabilities:

The probabilities involved are either inscrutable (we simply cannot tell what they are) or non-existent(there just aren't any relevant probabilities).

He goes on to explain how Reformed Epistemologists have studied Theistic arguments and have found them to be lacking. Says Clark:

A suspicion arises: Theistic proofs and Christian evidences support what the Christian evidentialist wishes, with all her heart, to believe (and vice versa for the atheist).

Crude wants people to believe that Kelly James Clark believes it is more likely than not that the evidence supports Christianity. This is nonsense. If anyone doubts then get the book "Five Views On Apologetics" and see for yourself. Saying something is POSSIBLE doesn't carry much weight like Crude would have people think. As William Lane Craig and J.P. Moreland state in Philosophical Foundations, "possibilities come cheap". What Crude is doing here is trying to hang on by the skin of his teeth with a mere possibility not reading Kelly James Clark in context. He's twisting things to confirm his own bias.

Crude said...

Crude wants people to believe that Kelly James Clark believes it is more likely than not that the evidence supports Christianity.

Funny, then, that I've never said this. At all. You have said that Clark says the evidence doesn't support Christianity. I've pointed out that this is not what Clark said - in fact, he agreed that it's possible (do you know what possible means?) the evidence places Christianity in a superior position to the alternatives. The question is, whether or not this is the case, can we demonstrate it to the degree Clark mentions? And Clark reasons, no.

You couldn't understand what Clark was saying. And you either can't understand what I'm saying, or think you're being *really, really smart* by misrepresenting what I've said. In a thread that anyone can read back and check up on.

You know, Cole, there's a lesson you've never learned in all your months of copy-pasting on the internet. When you became an atheist the first time, you claimed that it was because you were tired of looking stupid. But you've switched your religious beliefs probably 10 times since then, and you've looked stupid each and every time.

Maybe, just maybe, your various religion(s) are not to blame. Maybe the problem is you. If you want to stop looking stupid, the answer for you isn't "find the right religious belief" or even "become an atheist".

The answer is to be quiet.

Zach said...

David, thanks I got that from the paper, I am specifically curious about his response to the dwindling probabilities argument.

I am also not sure if it actually applies to what Victor originally aimed it at: someone here who multiplied probabilities to end up with a very low probability. I'm not even sure that is actually the dwindling probabilities argument.

But I dont' know, dont' understand it, and McGrew seems to assume familiarity with it, which I don't have.

I have looked over Christian blogs, and they seem to cite McGrew: I have not yet seen a cogent discussion of the issues, just more citations.

Cole said...

For those who are following this. Crude told me the other day that he wasn't going to respond to anything I say and he was trying to encourage others to do the same. A few minutes later he was still responding to my comments. He ended his comment by saying 'I'm out'. Ten minutes later he was back responding to my comments. Now today he is back (after saying he was through responding to me) responding to me some more. He's obviously searched google to try to find out about me. He's even went to wikipedia doing research on what schizo-affective is. He's obviously insecure with himself right now or he's in love with me. He claims to be a Christian yet he's using God's name in vain. It's kind of creepy how you are this obsessed with me Crude.

Crude said...

Crude told me the other day that he wasn't going to respond to anything I say and he was trying to encourage others to do the same.

I said that it was not productive to argue with you, and possibly harmful to you given your track record of switching religious beliefs repeatedly and - and this is the important part - the fact that you're a diagnosed schizophrenic receiving therapy. I also said that I would correct whatever you said that was incorrect.

Pretty much everyone took the attitude that you're quite capable of being discussed with. Despite wild evidence to the contrary.

He ended his comment by saying 'I'm out'. Ten minutes later he was back responding to my comments.

Several minutes later, I left a reply - and was gone for the night afterwards.

Now today he is back (after saying he was through responding to me) responding to me some more.

Goodness, I'm replying to someone in the comments section of a blog? How scary!

Yes, I changed my mind. Everyone seems to think you're quite fit for rational conversation. Though admittedly, they quieted up after the "I can't believe in God because I ain't a homosexual!" diatribe. Solid gold, that one. ;)

Your problem, Cole, is that I'm right. I'm right about Clark. I'm right about your failed arguments. And about your looking stupid? That was you admitting that you looked stupid for what - decades? - arguing. I'm pointing out that you've misplaced why you look it. Hint: it's not because of your particular religion.

It has to do with things like, after you scream on every blog you visit about your having schizo-affective disorder, that you try to suggest that someone quoting the wikipedia entry for it is a sign of love.

I'll say again: would you like to stop looking stupid? Here's how you do it: you be quiet. It's pretty much the only route available to you.

Shhhhh. ;)

Cole said...

Crude,

Where are you right about Clark? Anybody who can read can see what I'm trying to say. If you want to be the Bride Of Christ then you go right ahead. As for me, I don't want to be anybody's bride. Christ was a man. If the love in the Bible is strickly platonic Christians would not be referred to as the Bride Of Christ. To see what I'm saying go here and listen to this Christian song about falling in love with Jesus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKTW-srvr6E

Cole said...

I'm more into stuff like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_ZkUROJ86Y

Zach said...

Cole: it isn't news that Crude is less interlocutor than knee-jerk insult monkey. There are good people here. Focus on them.

Zach said...

Cole with this 'bride of Christ' stuff you are taking things way too literally. Your arguments are totally uncompelling on that one. Nobody wants to have sex with Christ. If you can't see that, then I can't help you. :P

David B Marshall said...

Cole: "You are the perfect example of what psychologists are talking about. The Gospels aren't reliable."

Shouldn't you at least pretend to consider the rational basis for my opinion, before you ascribe it to bad psychology?


"You are obviously unaware of your biases. You think we can somehow rise above everything and get a 'godlike' grasp of all the evidence."

Again, the psychological. You really go straight to the ad hominem, don't you?

Sorry, but arguments of the form, "You're biased, so you're wrong" bore the crap out of me. Is there an "ignore" function around here, somewhere?

David B Marshall said...

Zach: Well if Plantinga didn't know the scholarship well, and has recently simply moved to citing McGrew as an interesting perspective on the subject, how much force can his original argument hold? Plantinga made a seriously defective argument on page 276 of Warranted Christian Belief, I fully agree with McGrew, and am glad Tim called him on it. He basically just waved his hands and said, "The scholars don't agree, this is inscrutible," which is nonsense and a huge cop-out.

The truth is, in those pages Plantinga doesn't really discuss the historical evidence for the Rez at all. He's talking rather about the reduced likelihood that God is endorsing Christian theology, by raising Jesus from the dead -- and multiplying probabilities to arrive there. That is where Plantinga multiplies probabilities, and finds them dwindling.

McGrew also claims Plantinga relies too much on Meier; I agree that would be a problem, since Meier does accept questionable skeptical assumptions, IMO. His take on Swinburne's argument, I can't evaluate, not having read Swinburne on that point.

David B Marshall said...

But the point SEEMS to be that for Swinburne, the Resurrection is taken as one of the factors that makes faith in God more probable, as well as the other way around. How exactly that should work, mathematically, I don't know.

Crude said...

Zach,

Cole: it isn't news that Crude is less interlocutor than knee-jerk insult monkey.

Oh really? Read this thread, Zach. I played it nice and cool and polite, until Cole, predictably, wigged out after being shown he didn't even understand the guy he's been quoting for weeks.

I'm both a good interlocutor, AND an insult monkey. But when I say Cole is quite stupid, I'm not insulting. I'm stating a freaking fact.

Ook, ook. ;)

William said...

The paper is hard to follow partly because rather disorganized, being a set of 3 or 4 loosely associated criticisms of Plantinga's paper.

Look at pages 30-31 for the only argument that seems to apply to the much of discussion here. McGrew is pointing out that the Bayesian X = (A|B) is not the same as A*B.

BenYachov said...

Crude

>Yes, I changed my mind. Everyone seems to think you're quite fit for rational conversation.

I understand your frustration because it isn't immediately apparent to others Cole is clearly mentally ill.

Like many persons with his affliction he seems to lack empathy and basic reasoning skills.

If I didn't already know about the Schizophrenia he would come off as a really badly behaved & not very intelligent person. In short a jerk.
(Like a certain Teacher from down under you & I both know & love).

But because of his affliction we should not blame him but pity him.

Granted the mentally ill & mentally challenged can come off as annoying but we must continue to remind ourselves it's not their fault. I spend 13 years of my life learning this lesson with my own kids.

It is prudent for you warn persons who might argue with Cole & assume he has the mental state to argue in good faith that they might be wasting their time.

But try not to hold it against him.

He can't help himself.

BenYachov said...

The believer as the Bride of Christ does not equal JC & me sharing an apartment in The Village and opening a hair Salon together while going antiquing on the weekend.

People who think otherwise are clearly not all there & thus it is futile to argue with them.

Steve Lovell said...

Well, I think this thread has now lost McGrew again ... but then perhaps it is because McGrew loses us ... ?

Hi Cole,

You wrote up above that "He goes on to explain how Reformed Epistemologists have studied Theistic arguments and have found them to be lacking."

Now Kelly James Clark may say that, I don't know, but that doesn't make it true. Have you seen/heard of Plantinga's "Two Dozen (or So) Theistic Arguments"? Or his defence of the Ontological Argument? The bare existence of these makes it difficult for me to know what the quote means by "found them to be lacking".

I think the point of reformed epistemology is not that natural theology is a failure, but that it's not necessary for rational belief in God. At least that's how I see it. Reformed Epistemology and Natural Theology are not incompatible.

I'm sure you already know this, but sometimes you give the opposite impression.

Zach said...

Crude Jackoff:
>Yes, I changed my mind. Everyone seems to think you're quite fit for rational conversation.

I understand your frustration because it isn't immediately apparent to others Cole is clearly mentally ill.


Seriously? ben i'd expect better of you than such pointless put-downs. Why is it important at all that others know about cole's mental health? This is truly a nadir in this blog.

Which is saying a lot.

BenYachov said...

>Why is it important at all that others know about cole's mental health?

Because arguing with him is a waste of time. He ignores arguments he can't answer and simply repeats himself. While falsely claiming has wasn't answered.

People should be warned before they waste their time.

>Crude Jackoff

So Zack are you just another Gnu?

That gutless and libelous claim I denied the problem or reality of evil on your part comes to mind.

Zach said...

Ignore him then. Address the argument, not the person. If all you have to say is about the person, then you have lost your way as a worthy interlocutor.

I've love to see one thread on this blog that solely focuses on arguments, never someone else's mental health, degree of delusion, stupidity, whatever.

I'm punching out, going to read a book and grow my mind a bit, fight the atrophy it suffered here.

BenYachov said...

>Ignore him then. Address the argument, not the person. If all you have to say is about the person, then you have lost your way as a worthy interlocutor.

But if there is something genuinely wrong with the person a heads up is a courtesy.

>I've love to see one thread on this blog that solely focuses on arguments, never someone else's mental health, degree of delusion, stupidity, whatever.

Till one finds a vaccine against Gnus and Trolls that's not going to happen.

Good day.