Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Eric Hyde on the no-evidence charge


1. There is no evidence for God’s existence.
There is at least one major problem with this line as it is typically presented.
One often hears, “there is no evidence for God, therefore Christians believe in fairytales,” (or something to that effect) when what is actually meant is more like, “there is no physical proof of God’s being in the physical world, therefore Christians believe in fairytales (since all ‘real’ things are physical).”
The fact that Christians have never claimed to believe in a physical God – as merely one more physical being among all other physical beings in the universe – does not stop these sorts of atheists from thinking they have laid waste to 40 centuries of religious thought, experience, and refinement with the mere mention of this evidentiary boogieman. It rarely occurs to them that such physical proof would actually run 100% counter to Judeo-Christian theistic claims. Their argument against a physical God is actually applauded and defended by Christians.
This fact is not, of course, proof that the Christian claim is true, but merely proof that with such attacks the atheist has not even begun to swing in the direction of Christianity.
However, if what they mean is something more like, “There is no logical evidence of God’s existence…” then the straw man suddenly becomes a brick wall. The logical arguments for God are vast and time tested against some of the greatest minds of all time working tirelessly against them. They are well-known arguments and can be easily found online or in print, but let me give one quick example. I recently read someone who claimed that I conceded the atheist’s argument that God is not real since the faith teaches He is not physical. Let me help those who might struggle with this idea using a quote from David Bentley Hart: “Why can’t there be a physical explanation of existence? Because anything physical is, by definition, something that exists. So there cannot be a physical cause of existence.” The faith claims this non-physical, yet real, entity is God. His absolute “existence” is more real than physical existence by order of priority.

But besides logical arguments an additional reason why atheists often fail with this approach is because they run up against Christians with living experiences with God. There is no amount of speculative babbling from the uninitiated that can oppose the one whose faith is built on a living subjectivity to the presence of God. On these matters Kierkegaard had it right – in objectivity there is no truth for the single individual; the truth is subjectivity.


78 comments:

B. Prokop said...

One admittedly imperfect analogy (as all analogies ultimately are) that I like to use is that of a painter and his painting. The painter is the Creator God. We live inside the painting (the natural world). The only things we can see and examine ("empirical evidence") are other objects within the painting. We have no capability of seeing or otherwise detecting the painter's studio or the painter himself. Our only means of knowing they exist are either by reason (logical argument) or by revelation (the painter manipulates the painting to alert us to his existence).

Jezu ufam tobie!

Cal Metzger said...

You have highlighted this post because you want to show quickly how bad religious (and in particular Christian) arguments are, no?

The post: "The fact that Christians have never claimed to believe in a physical God....It rarely occurs to [critical thinkers] that such physical proof would actually run 100% counter to Judeo-Christian theistic claims."

Wha??????

The bible is nothing more than bunch of stories (claims) about how God is real. God walks around and talks, speaks from a burning bush, parts seas, casts plagues, lives on the planet for awhile hanging out and eating food and taking craps and pissing and turning over tables and drinking wine, and eventually getting himself crucified, and walking around afterward and showing to doubters, again, how physically realsy he is. And after all that, the writer of the post you highlight states the exact, complete, most profound opposite of all Christian claims: that Christians "have never claimed to believe in a physical God."

But it gets better, because the author, lest he lose the Christians among the readership who are confused about their hopes for god being real in the way the bible says it is, blathers on in a way that writers who try to go for deepity can't ever pull off as well; you have to really, really believe that deepities are somehow true (but not in a real way!) to write something as inconclusive and vague and meaningless as this:

The post: "But besides logical arguments an additional reason why atheists often fail with this approach is because they run up against Christians with living experiences with God. There is no amount of speculative babbling from the uninitiated that can oppose the one whose faith is built on a living subjectivity to the presence of God. On these matters Kierkegaard had it right – in objectivity there is no truth for the single individual; the truth is subjectivity."

Um, what?

John Moore said...

If we can only see what's in the painting, and if the painter is outside the painting, then how can the painter ever alert us to his existence? Certainly the painter can apply more paint to the painting, but that just alerts us to the existence of extra paint. The painter himself remains outside the painting, and we still can't see him.

Some people say the extra blob of paint came from the painter, but others say the blob just oozed over this way from a different part of the painting. Maybe the paint is running. Indeed, all sorts of things seem to be happening within the painting itself without the painter specifically doing it. The paint dries by itself. The color starts to fade. Cracks appear in the old paint. Dust accumulates on the paint surface.

Who can tell what the painter does from what the paint itself does?

Cal Metzger said...

John Moore (offering his own deepity): "If we can only see what's in the painting, and if the painter is outside the painting, then how can the painter ever alert us to his existence?"

He could paint "The world is made up of atoms, and microscopic organisms cause disease, and light is a wave and a particle, and the comos are far larger than can be seen by the naked eye, and on, and on, and on." But he didn't, and you're stuck here, wondering why.

Here's a thought: maybe because men tell stories, and the God you imagine and hope for doesn't exist, and you should accept that.

Victor Reppert said...

What is "physical proof" supposed to look like? OK, theists provides all sorts of arguments. one approach that makes sense to me would be to say the that's some evidence of course, but the evidence going the other way is stronger.

Christians believe that God's actions have physical effects. Is that enough for something to be physical? If so, then intelligent design is a physical theory, so why the bellyaching about it not really being science. Shoot, there is specific amount of kinetic energy it took to raise Jesus from the dead, and in theory science can measure it.

Some that is more likely to exist if there is a God than if there is not a God is evidence. And there is a boatload of that.

Victor Reppert said...

People tell stories, therefore God does not exist? How many premises are missing from this one?

Cal Metzger said...

Reppert: "People tell stories, therefore God does not exist? How many premises are missing from this one?"

Retorts like this one reveal you to be either disingenuous, or a kind of idiot.

B. Prokop said...

John,

Like I said, the analogy is not perfect. It's just to get one thinking about the relationship between the natural world and the supernatural world which enfolds it. My point is that knowledge about the larger world outside the universe is basically a one way street. If that world wishes to reveal itself, then it can do so. But no amount of (unaided) searching from our end will ever find it. I believe this to be the meaning behind the words, "No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him." (John 6:44)

The good news is that anyone who sincerely seeks will be drawn. "For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." (Luke 11:10)

Jezu ufam tobie!

Cal Metzger said...

VR: "What is "physical proof" supposed to look like?"

Like all of life. Physical proof is where you live. We all have internal lives, but the physical world is where we arbitrate between what we experience subjectively, and what exists outside of ourselves (and is experience intersubjectively).

This is the most obvious answer there is, and only a deluded person could miss it.

VR: "Christians believe that God's actions have physical effects. Is that enough for something to be physical?"

It should be. And that is why your god fails to exist. Your god is summed up this way: he could exist, but he doesn't.

You don't like that, so you search for some other reason why he could exist. Your life seems like it's devoted to this. It seems like you are wasting your life.

VR: "If so, then intelligent design is a physical theory, so why the bellyaching about it not really being science."

Because science offers a testable hypothesis. Welcome to middle school! Don't worry -- if you keep on struggling like this, maybe someone else can be your tutor.

VR: "Shoot, there is specific amount of kinetic energy it took to raise Jesus from the dead, and in theory science can measure it."

I can think of no better epitaph for the contributions you have provided to humanity than that. That sentence appears to be the summation of your life's intellectual work. That is your legacy.

If I were you, and I were still alive, I would try to fix that.


Victor Reppert said...

This is what you said.

Here's a thought: maybe because men tell stories, and the God you imagine and hope for doesn't exist, and you should accept that.

That's a badly constructed sentence, so I guess I misconstrued it. Oh and John Moore is himself on the atheist side.

A little cleverness can come up with an at least possible naturalistic explanation for anything you think would be decisive evidence. Or, if we have such evidence, all you have to say is that there is a naturalistic explanation for it that we haven't found yet, so the argument is a god of the gaps argument.

Why not follow Richard Dawkins and say that no evidence is even possible for the existence of God.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNcC866sm7s

Legion of Logic said...

Why even engage with Cal? He offers the same teenage-esque level of extremely shallow thinking and petty insults as the least intelligent of new atheists. He couldn't even figure out that John Moore is an atheist.

Victor Reppert said...

Opponents of ID keep going back and forth between saying it's not testable and that it's been tested and found wanting. Both cannot possibly be true. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Victor Reppert said...

Here's what I said:

"Shoot, there is specific amount of kinetic energy it took to raise Jesus from the dead, and in theory science can measure it."

And here is what you said:

I can think of no better epitaph for the contributions you have provided to humanity than that. That sentence appears to be the summation of your life's intellectual work. That is your legacy.

Now, assume that you are right and that that was really a stupid comment. Nothing you have said here shows anyone who didn't agree with you to begin with that there is anything wrong with what I said. There is nothing suggesting what, if anything, is wrong with what I said. It looks to me like a charade of pretending that what you said was perfectly obvious, and if you just lay on some more insults, people will be afraid to reject or even question your statement.

If your contributions are not more substantial than this, I will ban you.

Cal Metzger said...

VR: "A little cleverness can come up with an at least possible naturalistic explanation for anything you think would be decisive evidence. Or, if we have such evidence, all you have to say is that there is a naturalistic explanation for it that we haven't found yet, so the argument is a god of the gaps argument. "

This is what people say when they don't have any evidence.

Do you know who doesn't have to say stuff like this? People with evidence. And that's because we don't have to believe them, we can believe the evidence. And that's what you seem to consistently fail to understand. People don't make evidence; evidence is. And that's why it's so sad that you remain so confused that you write:

VR: "Why not follow Richard Dawkins and say that no evidence is even possible for the existence of God."

For many reasons: I believe you would rather complain about an imagined double standard because you don't have any evidence; I believe that you don't understand how to properly employ basic epistemology; I believe you routinely mischaracterize Dawkins' criticisms of religious belief; I don't think you understand evidence or basic science.

Here's how easy it is to know that god exists; describe him, and examine your description.

That's it for knowledge. It's that simple. Describe what you perceive, and examine it.

You can't do that, and instead you make excuses. Hence, this blog.


Victor Reppert said...

What I said is what people say when they offer up piece after piece of evidence and have the evidence dismissed because it doesn't fit your preconceived idea of what evidence is supposed to look like.

Let's start with this:

http://quake.stanford.edu/~bai/finetuning.pdf

If someone were to tell me that all of the evidence presented here might possibly be explained some other way, or that the evidence for God given here is outweighed by a bunch of other counterevidence, that would make sense to me. But to say this isn't evidence at all??? I don't get this.

Cal Metzger said...

VR: "If your contributions are not more substantial than this, I will ban you."

I suppose that you and some of your commenters suspect you are scared by my intrusion here. I suppose that this is because you know that I am the real deal. I am not the smartest person who has posted here, and I am not the most educated, but I am enough of both to terrify you all.

Ban me. If you do, if you ever do, you and your readers will know that because you are terrified. You will have banned me because of what I exposed here, using language less coarse and less insulting than you regularly entertain from your theist-commenters.

If you want to throw away pretenses of intellectual curiosity, then ban me.

Cal Metzger said...

VR: "Let's start with this: / http://quake.stanford.edu/~bai/finetuning.pdf"

I know what fine tuning supposes. I know what the evidence is as well as you do.

Fine tuning is an argument based on the evidence, and I think it's a really bad one.

When you don't have evidence, you go with (bad) arguments.

And that's your problem. We all have the same evidence. The problem is that when all look at the same evidence, your claims aren't supported. At all.

And when your claims aren't supported by the evidence, guess what one does?

Complain about the evidence.

Victor Reppert said...

I'm not complaining about the evidence. I am complaining about the way the evidence is assessed by some people.

Legion of Logic said...

No one can be as dense as Cal is presenting himself to be, so he's obviously a troll. However, before he gets himself banned for being an idiot, I will respond really quickly.

And after all that, the writer of the post you highlight states the exact, complete, most profound opposite of all Christian claims: that Christians "have never claimed to believe in a physical God.

To anyone with any knowledge of the subject, this obviously means no Christian claims that God is made of matter and energy that are detectable by science. You know, physical stuff. Is that too hard for you to grasp?

This is the most obvious answer there is, and only a deluded person could miss it.

You didn't even understand the question, so your little juvenile insult sort of rebounded and smacked you right in the face, didn't it?

This is what people say when they don't have any evidence.

This is literally the dumbest thing I have read since I heard Obama invited Clock Boy to the White House for fashioning a clock to look suspicious in order to claim Islamophobia when he got in trouble.

For many reasons: I believe you would rather complain about an imagined double standard because you don't have any evidence; I believe that you don't understand how to properly employ basic epistemology; I believe you routinely mischaracterize Dawkins' criticisms of religious belief; I don't think you understand evidence or basic science.

This paragraph demonstrated that you are probably a novice in this topic of discussion. I've seen many others like you, you think you got something figured out because of your unjustifiably high opinion of your own intellect, so you run around the internet seeing how many insults you can throw around at Christians because you're oh-so-smart. I can safely say that all of the Christians on this site have seen many like you, and have seen many far, far smarter and better informed than you. And to top the hilarity off, you say this:

I suppose that you and some of your commenters suspect you are scared by my intrusion here. I suppose that this is because you know that I am the real deal. I am not the smartest person who has posted here, and I am not the most educated, but I am enough of both to terrify you all...you and your readers will know that because you are terrified. You will have banned me because of what I exposed here, using language less coarse and less insulting than you regularly entertain from your theist-commenters. If you want to throw away pretenses of intellectual curiosity, then ban me.

Seriously? You couldn't even figure out that John Moore is an atheist! Any theist here could wipe their hind end with your arguments and not even have to think about it. All you are spouting is juvenile insults and wrong assumptions. All you are displaying is a lack of familiarity with the other side's arguments, as well as recognizing and interpreting evidence.

Come back in ten years after some study and maybe you might be able to challenge someone. Until then, hopefully VR bans you just so you quit taking up 0's and 1's.

Victor Reppert said...

Faith is pretending to know what you don't know, right? If so, Cal is a poster child for faith.

planks length said...

you are scared by my intrusion

A bit full of yourself there, Cal? No one here is frightened by the infantile blather you've posted so far. If you have anything serious to contribute, we have yet to see it. So far, it's all been bluster and unsupported statements. You remind me of a certain Australian who used to post here. Is it possible you're the same person using a different moniker?

"The [B]ible is nothing more than bunch of stories" Really? Nothing more than that? And you can back this assertion up how?

"Fine tuning is an argument based on the evidence, and I think it's a really bad one." OK, so you think it's a bad argument. But you don't say why you think it is. Apparently, you feel that just saying something is enough.

You frighten Victor like a high school football team frightens the New England Patriots.

Cal Metzger said...

VR: "I'm not complaining about the evidence. I am complaining about the way the evidence is assessed by some people."

Which, again, is the kind of thing that people say when they can't support their claims with evidence. Same same.

Cal Metzger said...

Legion of Logic: "To anyone with any knowledge of the subject, this obviously means no Christian claims that God is made of matter and energy that are detectable by science. You know, physical stuff. Is that too hard for you to grasp? "

Reconcile your above with the claims of the bible.

Reconcile your above with the Christian claims of miracles.

My point here being that I don't have to be very smart, or very educated, to show how scared you all are by cutting through the endless obscurantism that is a site like this.

You, and the OP, and Victor, all pose various forms of bluster about god and evidence and the reasons you have for belief in god, and so you have to go on about how easily my basic questions can be dismissed by you, if only you had the time, or I went away and took ten years to chase rabbits down holes, etc.



Cal Metzger said...

Legion of Logic: "Seriously? You couldn't even figure out that John Moore is an atheist!"

I don't really care. John Moore wrote a paragraph of deepity that would make any theist proud. He can explain himself if he wants to, but that's how it reads to me.

Cal Metzger said...

Planks: ""The [B]ible is nothing more than bunch of stories" Really? Nothing more than that? And you can back this assertion up how?"

By pointing out that there is no evidence whatsoever for any of the supernatural events of the bible outside the bible itself.

By pointing out that Hogwarts must exist because you will fail to back up an assertion that it does not in the same way you have challenged me here.

By asking you to provide evidence for the supernatural claims of the bible outside the bible, and seeing you fail.

By pointing out that you must be inconsistent in order to believe one set of stories and not others, and by pointing out that inconsistent and ad hoc processes for acquiring knowledge are reliably worse than ones that are consistent.

Etc.

Edgestow said...

Reconcile your above [concerning the non-materiality of God] with the claims of the bible.

"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
(John 4:24)

planks length said...

you must be inconsistent in order to believe one set of stories and not others

Really? That's interesting. I believe everything my wife tells me, because she has a perfect track record and I trust her. I don't believe a word that Vladimir Putin says, because he is a proven liar and doesn't deserve my trust.

Where's the "inconsistency" there?

Legion of Logic said...

We "go on" about how easily dismissed you are because you don't understand how easily dismissal you are. You are one of the least intimidating atheists I have ever encountered online, because you have no arguments based in knowledge.

Miracles are not God, thus claiming miracles indicate a physical deity is just dumb.

Legion of Logic said...

The funny thing about Cal is, assuming no trolling, he seems to honestly believe he is attacking with devastating effect, utilizing powerful arguments that he seems to think we haven't all seen and refuted a billion times before. It's cute.

Cal, I read the John Loftus book "The Christian Delusion" and was not in the least bit impressed or troubled. I've read Dawkins, Harris, Boghossian, Coyne, Myers, Krauss, and a host of smaller names like the "Friendly Atheist" and JT Eberhard. None of them are scary to me, and I am possibly the least experienced dealing with atheists of all the members of this blog. So why is it you think your juvenile antics are making us wet ourselves?

planks length said...

Legion,

Being a threat is a trope amongst internet atheists. They like to imagine that their comments are somehow unsettling, when at most they are sadly comical (and more often just plain pathetic). But even funnier than their desire to be Big and Scary is their delusion that they are somehow being original, as though we haven't heard it all before. I've been reading blogs like this one for several years now, and I have yet to find an original thought expressed by a single atheist commenter. Cal seems blissfully unaware of the fact that all of his "objections" have long ago been asked and answered - multiple times. He hasn't even worded them as cleverly as have others. He fails to achieve even the incoherence of the self-styled im-skeptical or the bloviating verbal diarrhea of a certain Australian.

Cal Metzger said...


Me: "Reconcile your above [concerning the non-materiality of God] with the claims of the bible."

Edgestow: "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

The Bible (Luke 24:41-43): "41While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, [Jesus] said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" 42They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43and He took it and ate it before them."

So, according to you, we should ignore the above passage, pretty much every part of the NT and significant portions of the Old, because some passages were influenced by superstitious notions about breath and also Platonism and eastern mysticism? And no Christian has ever believed that God is real, or physical, which is exactly why the passage above was written -- to let Christians know that God (Jesus) is physical, and realsy. Except that no Christian has ever believed that, I mean. What?


planks length said...

Oh, Good Lord, Cal. You really need to shut up, read The Catechism (or some similar work), and come back when you actually know something. Till then, go sit at the Children's Table - try Loftus's debunking blog. That seems more your speed. You'll feel right at home -they're about at your intellectual level over there.

Cal Metzger said...

The OP: " The fact that Christians have never claimed to believe in a physical God – as merely one more physical being among all other physical beings in the universe – does not stop these sorts of atheists from thinking they have laid waste to 40 centuries of religious thought, experience, and refinement with the mere mention of this evidentiary boogieman. It rarely occurs to them that such physical proof would actually run 100% counter to Judeo-Christian theistic claims."

The Bible (Luke 24:41-43): "41While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, [Jesus] said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?" 42They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43and He took it and ate it before them."

People with the intelligence of a child: "I see a problem here."

Apologists: "My dear boy / Look, a rabbit hole! / I won't deign to answer / You should be banned / We agree that amongst ourselves we will deny that there is a problem / etc."

SteveK said...

Likewise, there is no evidence (the same kind they're asking for God) of subjective experiences, therefore..... *Shrug*.

Legion of Logic said...

Cal still thinks he's clever. Obviously hasn't actually thought about what we've said.

So God the Son now has a physical body. Your point? Do you expect us to be able to find him through a telescope? The whole, entire reason that Christians say God is not a physical being (and we are not talking about Christ post-crucifixion) is that God is the creator of the universe but is not OF the universe. In other words, hopefully words that you can understand, that which creates all matter and energy is not itself matter or energy, otherwise it didn't create it.

You are correct, Christ post-crucifixion has a body. At the creation of the universe? Nope. This is why we say God is not physical, because if he was physical he would be of the universe and thus could not have been the creator.

What's your next challenge, oh mighty sage?

Cal Metzger said...

Legion: "Cal, I read the John Loftus book "The Christian Delusion" and was not in the least bit impressed or troubled."

I don't care if an argument does or does not impress you. I care if an argument can be demonstrated.

Legion: "I've read Dawkins, Harris, Boghossian, Coyne, Myers, Krauss, and a host of smaller names like the "Friendly Atheist" and JT Eberhard. None of them are scary to me, and I am possibly the least experienced dealing with atheists of all the members of this blog."

I don't care if an argument does or does not scare you. I care if an argument can be demonstrated.

Legion: "So why is it you think your juvenile antics..."

What juvenile antics? I have spoken bluntly in pointing out the obvious problem in the OP. Do you mean that I have pointed out the problems a child could see? If so, then I accept your characterization.

Legion: "... are making us wet ourselves?"

Your words, not mine.

Cal Metzger said...

Legion: "So God the Son now has a physical body. Your point?"

My point is that the OP states that having a physical body "would actually run 100% counter to Judeo-Christian theistic claims."

According to the OP, you's statement above is "100% counter to Judeo-Christian theistic claims." It seems that you find yourself agreeing with me that the OP is kind of full of it.

Legion: "The whole, entire reason that Christians say God is not a physical being (and we are not talking about Christ post-crucifixion) is that God is the creator of the universe but is not OF the universe."

Genesis 3:8-10 "They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" 10He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.""

Listen, if you want to prattle on about the god of classical theism then knock yourself out -- I think metaphysical talk like that is meaningless but also mostly harmless. If you want to defend the OP's silly assertions that a physical god is ""100% counter to Judeo-Christian theistic claims," then it sounds like you're starting a fight with yourself as well.

Ilíon said...

To summarize much of the commentary in this thread -- as I keep pointing out: until a God-denier ends his (obstinate) denial of the reality of the Creator-God, he has nothing to say about Christianity or anything else; he doesn't even get a seat at "the kid's table", he belongs down on the floor with the other dumb brutes.

Ilíon said...

Apparently, someone doesn't understand that time is also a created thing, a part of the "physical" universe. And thus, to speak of the Second Person of the Godhead "having a body" post-incarnation is to speak merely from *our* perspective, as time-bound beings.

B. Prokop said...

Ilion,

Yikes! I truly hope that I've misunderstood your last comment. Because if you mean that Christ's physicality was "merely" a matter of perspective, then that ain't Christianity - it's Gnosticism!

Care to clarify your comment? 'Cause I know you're no Gnostic.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Ilíon said...

B.P[ainter]: "One admittedly imperfect analogy (as all analogies ultimately are) that I like to use is that of a painter and his painting. The painter is the Creator God. We live inside the painting (the natural world). The only things we can see and examine ("empirical evidence") are other objects within the painting. We have no capability of seeing or otherwise detecting the painter's studio or the painter himself. Our only means of knowing they exist are either by reason (logical argument) or by revelation (the painter manipulates the painting to alert us to his existence)."

John Moore: "If we can only see what's in the painting, and if the painter is outside the painting, then how can the painter ever alert us to his existence? Certainly the painter can apply more paint to the painting, but that just alerts us to the existence of extra paint. The painter himself remains outside the painting, and we still can't see him. ..."

If Tolkien had had the power to make Middle-Earth real -- if he could have created Middle-Earth such that it exists distinct from (*) his own thoughts -- is it *really* logically impossible that he could communicate with Frodo? For that matter, is it *really* logically impossible that he could entered into Middle-Earth himself and "physically" (**) interacted with the denizens?

(*) let me emphasize that I am distinguishing between 'distinct from' and 'independently of'

(**) "physically" in the context of the physics of Middle-Earth, rather than in the context of the physics of Earth

B.P[ainter]: "Our only means of knowing [the studio and the Painter] exist are either by reason (logical argument) or by revelation (the painter manipulates the painting to alert us to his existence)."

John Moore: "If we can only see what's in the painting, and if the painter is outside the painting, then how can the painter ever alert us to his existence? Certainly the painter can apply more paint to the painting, but that just alerts us to the existence of extra paint. The painter himself remains outside the painting, and we still can't see him. ..."

Already been answered -- reason tells the painting that it did not paint itself, and that it did not *just happen*; reason tells the painting that there is a Painter; reason allows the painting to evaluate alleged revelations from the Painter.

Ilíon said...

Ilíon: "Apparently, someone doesn't understand that time is also a created thing, a part of the "physical" universe. And thus, to speak of the Second Person of the Godhead "having a body" post-incarnation is to speak merely from *our* perspective, as time-bound beings."

B.Prokop: "Yikes! I truly hope that I've misunderstood your last comment. Because if you mean that Christ's physicality was "merely" a matter of perspective, then that ain't Christianity - it's Gnosticism!"

What is the important part of the first sentence I wrote? "... time is also a created thing, a part of the "physical" universe."

Now, hold that thought in mind while considering the second sentence, and within the context of the (ahem) discussion in this thread: "Apparently, someone doesn't understand that time is also a created thing, a part of the "physical" universe. And thus, to speak of the Second Person of the Godhead "having a body" post-incarnation is to speak merely from *our* perspective, as time-bound beings."

What I was attempting to draw the reader's attention to it this -- that by the means of conflating our time-bound perspective with God's eternal/timeless perspective (*), along with not even understanding the particular doctrine, Cal Metzger imagines he is uncovering an absurdity inherent in one of the most the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.

But, in fact, "the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world" (i.e. since Creation) has *always* "had a body" ... "from the foundation of the world". In other words, God has *always* been a man ... "from the foundation of the world".

(*) That is, as best we, being time-bound, even can visualize God's eternal perspective.

B. Prokop said...

"Now, hold that thought in mind while considering..."

Unfair! You're asking me to think about two things at once!

Kinda the opposite of "Now whatever you do, don't think about a blue elephant!"

Cal Metzger said...

The OP: "It rarely occurs to them that such physical proof would actually run 100% counter to Judeo-Christian theistic claims."

Ilion: "God has *always* been a man ... "from the foundation of the world"."

Prokop: "Because if you mean that Christ's physicality was "merely" a matter of perspective, then that ain't Christianity - it's Gnosticism!"

Legion: "So God the Son now has a physical body. Your point?"

SteveK: "Likewise, there is no evidence (the same kind they're asking for God) of subjective experiences, therefore..... *Shrug*."

Edgestow (quoting the bible) "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

From this gobbledygook I think it's reasonable to conclude that none of you knows what the heck you're talking about.

B. Prokop said...

I don't know about the rest of you guys, but from now on I'm ignoring this troll. He has more than demonstrated that he has nothing of value to say. Let him rave on for a bit. If we don't rise to the bait, eventually he'll get bored and move along.

The record of his comments here will serve as an eternal monument to the intellectual bankruptcy of militant atheism.

Legion of Logic said...

He can post for as long as VR lets him. I'm showing people his abject foolishness as yet another example of why even those Christians completely uninitiated in apologetics have nothing to fear from atheists.

Cal Metzger said...

All I have done is point out the obvious, bald-faced foolishness of the OP, which states that what atheists who criticize Christians for lacking evidence for god fail to understand is "such physical proof would actually run 100% counter to Judeo-Christian theistic claims."

Instead of joining me in agreeing that the Judeo-Christian tradition makes lots and lots and lots of claims about god's physicality / realness (see: the bible; also the OP's vague and new-agey "Christians with living experiences with God", etc.), I have been greeted here with the standard apologist tropes. To wit:

Apologists: "My dear boy / Look, a rabbit hole! / I won't deign to answer / You should be banned / We agree that amongst ourselves we will deny that there is a problem / etc."

In the defense of this blatant inconsistency in your thinking, you have done all of the above.

Please please please show my criticisms here to everyone you can, and please please please then show these same people how you can answer my questions (even though you won't deign to do so here).

Legion of Logic said...

Quote your questions. All I see are declarations. The only question marks I found in your posts were to asinine questions like your first sentence you posted.

B. Prokop said...

Just in case anyone is still confusing atheism with some sort of enlightened thinking, just look at this comment posted today to an article in the British newspaper The Guardian: "Religion is a sickness infecting the planet. Like ebola & polio, we should seek to eradicate this disease and its carriers."

Catch that? "and its carriers" They (i.e., people) are to be ERADICATED. Cue the League of the Godless.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Victor Reppert said...

OK let me cut through the passel of insults which I think do terrible harm to the possibility of real discussion, and try to identify the real argument here. Christians like Hyde say that the demand for physical proof is misguided because God is not a physical being. However, when Jesus walked on earth, he was the Incarnate Deity, according to orthodox Christianity. Therefore the actions of the Incarnate God were subject to "physical proof." What this shows, according to the argument, is that what Christians say about God is contradictory, and therefore necessarily false.

I happen to think that the Christian view is a coherent one.

http://marccortez.com/2013/08/29/is-the-incarnation-an-absurd-contradiction

And further, while a supernatural being might produce observable effects, the possibility is still open that these effects might be explained in other ways, or that people, in the absence of a good naturalistic explanation readily available, might say "well, this is interesting, and I don't know how to explain it, but God is the ultimate wrong answer, so the has to be an explanation out there somewhere, even if I don't know what it is."


Legion of Logic said...

VR,

Jesus walking on Earth would only be physical proof to those alive to see it. What atheists consistently fail to do is provide what evidence SHOULD be available if, 2000 years ago, the son of God walked in Israel, was crucified, and rose again the third day. What would we have? People who wrote letters about what they saw? Perhaps a religion springing up from his actions?

Furthermore, while Ilion's point is honestly a topic I haven't put much thought into until today, it inherently does not matter to the idea of whether science can directly detect God. It can't. God is the philosophical First Cause, that which exists by necessity and which all contingent things are dependent upon for existence. Science by design and necessity studies the creation; it has no tools to study the creator. The way that Hyde is talking about a "physical God" is the usage that I am also using - science isn't going to find God (though it does strongly support his existence) because God is not a physical being in the sense that he exists within, and is part of, the universe / multiverse / whateverse. He transcends the creation, so whatever form his physical body has, science is useless until his return, at which point science would be a ridiculous method of determining his existence anyway.

In order to demonstrate the necessity of a creator deity, all it takes is the ability for the listener to reason. Take all the things we know (or at least suspect) to be true about our world and universe, from science and observation and experience, and which does it support better, atheism or theism? I maintain that there are zero good arguments for atheism, no matter how much science they throw around, so the default logical position is theism. Or deism, I suppose. Atheism will have to become far more advanced of a position before I can even seriously entertain it as a possibility.

To demonstrate the truth of Christianity over other religions or deism? I personally would not be able to do that purely with deductive logic, but there is plenty of supporting evidence in its favor. Caricatures of Christianity can be brought down, but I've never seen a truly good argument against Christianity itself.

Cal Metzger said...

VR: "OK let me cut through the passel of insults which I think do terrible harm to the possibility of real discussion, and try to identify the real argument here."

And then you go on for a paragraph, one sentence, a link, and another paragraph. And yet I still don't see the argument. Are you saying that

a) atheists are wrong to criticize Christians for not being able to provide any evidence (outside of the stories in the bible)?
b) Christians are coherent by saying that god is not physical but physical even though there's no evidence for this outside the stories told in the bible?
c) atheists are wrong to point out that there are simpler explanations for the superstitious, ad hoc, and otherwise unsupported stories told in the bible?

I seriously don't know which of the above, if any, you are identifying in your last comment.

Also, can you, in your own words, explain what it is that you found coherent in the link you provided? (http://marccortez.com/2013/08/29/is-the-incarnation-an-absurd-contradiction)

grodrigues said...

@B. Prokop:

"I don't know about the rest of you guys, but from now on I'm ignoring this troll. He has more than demonstrated that he has nothing of value to say. Let him rave on for a bit. If we don't rise to the bait, eventually he'll get bored and move along."

There is some amount of satisfaction of beating a troll at his own game. But you are right, we should not lay our pearls before swine; and besides, Victor is unfailingly gracious and does not deserve that the comments section degenerate into an insult-fest.

"The record of his comments here will serve as an eternal monument to the intellectual bankruptcy of militant atheism."

Judging the collective group of atheists by a certified idiot like Carl is unfair -- but you already know that, so you must have something else in mind.

Cal Metzger said...

Apologists: "My dear boy / Look, a rabbit hole! / I won't deign to answer / You should be banned / We agree that amongst ourselves we will deny that there is a problem / etc."

grodrigues: "But you are right, we should not lay our pearls before swine"

B. Prokop said...

grodrigues,

You are correct that we shouldn't lump all atheists in with one know-nothing troll, but note that I was referring only to "militant" atheists. Theirs is a special breed of ignorance.

Legion of Logic said...

Interesting. I ask Cal to quote his questions, and he keeps with his "dear boy rabbit hole" schtick. I guess I should just imagine what his questions are.

Favorite color? dark blue
Favorite food? cheeseburger
Favorite drink? Pepsi, but the high fructose corn syrup hurts my stomach
Favorite movie? couldn't say
Favorite book series? Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan
Favorite insect? dragonfly

Do those answer your questions, Cal? If not, quote your questions from your previous posts, or admit you haven't actually asked any worthwhile questions. Also, just to try an experiment, ask them without a single assumption or insult built in, and no nonsensical loaded questions like "Do you oppose atheists pointing out that you have no evidence?"

I bet you can't do any of those.

Ilíon said...

LoL: "Furthermore, while Ilion's point is honestly a topic I haven't put much thought into until today, it inherently does not matter to the idea of whether science can directly detect God."

Nor was it meant to.

LoL: "In order to demonstrate the necessity of a creator deity, all it takes is the ability for the listener to reason. Take all the things we know (or at least suspect) to be true about our world and universe, from science and observation and experience, and which does it support better, atheism or theism? I maintain that there are zero good arguments for atheism, no matter how much science they throw around, so the default logical position is theism. Or deism, I suppose. Atheism will have to become far more advanced of a position before [amy rational being] can even seriously entertain it as a possibility."

Atheism (including "agnosticism", which is the atheism-that-will-not-own-the-name) will *never* meet this criterion; and that people like Reppert and Vallicella -- people who know, or *ought* to know, that there is no "there" to atheism -- continue to insist upon treating atheism as an intellectually respectable and viable position, is .... grrrr.

There are "zero good arguments for atheism, no matter how much science they throw around", in part because it is the false position, and in part because reason itself points inescapably to the Creator-God. Thus, *every* attempt at an atheistic argument has at its heart at least one logical fallacy. Perhaps it was different in other eras, but in this time it seems the most popular logical fallacy amongst the God-deniers is question-begging, as amply illustrated in this very thread.

LoL: "To demonstrate the truth of Christianity over other religions or deism? I personally would not be able to do that purely with deductive logic, but there is plenty of supporting evidence in its favor."

It's well known that without recourse to Revelation, reason cannot get us all the way to the specifically Christian doctrines. How could it? That God became man and lived among us and allowed us to murder him and that *that* is his means to restore us to himself -- reason can no more derive that from first principles than it can that you chose to go to Cleveland.

Nevertheless, reason can get us quite a ways to Christianity. For instance, reason can establish these fact that have to be true for Christianity to be true --
. there is a Creator-God;
. this Creator is personal: a 'he' rather than an 'it';
. there is *one* God;
. the God is a multiplicity of Persons (*);
. that 'deism' is an inadequate understanding of God;
Of course, when starting from false premises, reason can also lead to false ideas about God. For instance, the pagan pre-Christian Greeks reasoned that God is impassive, and this false idea has been brought into Christianity. But the false premise from which the pagans started -- an artifact of their culture -- is that love is a weakness. And, more generally, that 'desire' or 'want' necessarily arises from 'lack'; whereas, in truth, 'desire' or 'want' can also arise form 'abundance'.

Consider: a mother wants/desires to give suckle to her newborn, one might even say that she needs to do so; and likewise, the child wants/needs to suckle . Yet it is not the mother who lacks, but rather the child; the child's want/need is borne of lack, but the mother's want/desire is borne of plenty.

(*) the non-Christian neo-Plaronic philosophers even reasoned that "The One" is three persons.

Ilíon said...

grodrigues: "Judging the collective group of atheists by a certified idiot like Carl is unfair -- but you already know that, so you must have something else in mind."

B.Prokop: "You are correct that we shouldn't lump all atheists in with one know-nothing troll, but note that I was referring only to "militant" atheists. Theirs is a special breed of ignorance."

You're both wrong, of course. This is a variation on the (false) insistence that "atheism is an intellectually respectable position".

But, the difference between the likes of a 'Cal Metzger' and a 'Jeffrey Jay Lowder' is one of degree, not of kind; and *every* God-denier will behave and "reason" just as this most recent apparition of 'The Troll' is doing if one logically corners them. The difference between them is that some God-deniers can tolerate tighter corners than others can.

B.Prokop: "Theirs is a special breed of ignorance."

*ALL* atheism is based in that self-same "special breed of ignorance", and it's a willful ignorace: they *will not* see what reason shows them, and every one of them will deny the efficacy of reason if that is what it takes to protect their God-denial from rational evaluation.

B. Prokop said...

Following Legion's example, I'll lay my own cards on the table:

Favorite color? the blue the western sky is about 30 minutes after sunset
Favorite food? pizza
Favorite drink? "English Breakfast" tea with milk
Favorite movie? anything directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Favorite book series? Lewis's Space Trilogy
Favorite insect? ladybug

I'll even add one:

Favorite composer? Gustav Mahler or Ralph Vaughan Williams (tie)

Legion of Logic said...

I'm not sure I could name a favorite composer, but Moonlight Sonata is one of my all time favorite songs of any style or era.

Cal Metzger said...

Legion: "Interesting. I ask Cal to quote his questions, and he keeps with his "dear boy rabbit hole" schtick. I guess I should just imagine what his questions are."

I forgot that you asked this.

Pretty much everything I've written here is a challenge. You can choose to rise to that challenge, or you can continue to do as I have described: Apologists: "My dear boy / Look, a rabbit hole! / I won't deign to answer / You should be banned / We agree that amongst ourselves we will deny that there is a problem / etc."

Challenges are questions. You can choose to rise to them, and answer the challenges laid before you, or you can divert, and complain.

Which will you do? [<--Does that invite you to respond differently?]

Victor Reppert said...

My own response to the "no evidence" charge is, I think pretty well known, and it goes like this:

We first have to define what evidence is.

I understand evidence in Bayesian terms. For me, X is evidence for Y just in case X is more likely to exist given Y than given not-Y. By this definition, something can have evidence for it and be false.

There is a whole boatload of stuff that look to me to be a LOT more likely to exist if God exists than if God does not exist. Some of it's in the Bible, most of it isn't.

Here's a short list:

1) The fact that we can reason about the world. The fact that it is even possible to go from evidence to a conclusion. If this isn't possible, then science isn't even possible. But that implies that our acts of reasoning are governed by the laws of logic, as opposed to the laws of physics. But naturalism says the laws of physics govern everything, and the laws of logic are superfluous as an explanation for any even in the universe.
2) That there are stable laws of nature, so that the distant past resembles the recent past. It's easy to imagine an atheistic world with no stability at all, where the laws keep changing for no reason. Why is that not the world?
3) The we have just the right cosmic constants for life to emerge.
4) That DNA allows for gradual change, as opposed to being completely static or so radically changeable that it is completely unpredictable.
5) That monotheism arose against all odds in a polytheistic world in a country that hardly qualifies as a world superpower, and that it persisted in spite of the efforts of the superpowers like Assyria, Babylon, the Seleucids, and the Romans, to get it to assimilate into a polytheistic culture.
6) That the disciples of Jesus got in the faces of those responsible for Jesus's crucifixion and told them that the Jesus they crucified was Lord and God, and lived to tell the tale and found Christianity. (If they killed Jesus, they can kill you too).
7) That archaeology has discovered that if Luke was writing a story about the founding of Christianity, it wrote it in such a way that the "research" for his "fictional" story was corroborated centuries later by archaeology, "research" that would have required him to know all sorts of detail from Jerusalem to Malta at just the right time in the first century.
8) That Christianity became the dominant religion of an empire in spite of getting no help, and intermittent persecution, from the political leaders of that empire, for nearly three centuries.

I can understand concluding, at the end of the day, that this evidence is outweighed by the evidence for atheism. What is beyond my comprehension is the idea that this somehow isn't evidence AT ALL.

Cal Metzger said...

I agree that we should share our definition for evidence.

What would make you reconsider your approach toward what constitutes evidence? If your approach was shown to not be a correct application of Bayes theorem, for instance, would you adopt an approach that did use Bayes theorem correctly?

Victor Reppert said...

Well, to do that you'd have to show me that what I learned from a leading Bayesian theorist was wrong. Were you about to say something like this?

Bayes' Theorem REQUIRES quantifiable prior probabilities to have any meaning, especially when those probabilities are likely to be low. And miracles are not miracles if they are not highly improbable.

I'm afraid that's not the only way Bayes' theorem is used. It is often used that way, but the theorem allows for a plurality of assessments of priors, where reasonable people with different priors can come to different conclusions. How much improbability attaches to the miraculous nature of a claim is going to depend on background beliefs.

Legion of Logic said...

Well Cal, not only could you not even quote yourself, you also was unable to refrain from posting yet again your "dear boy rabbit hole" gibberish. Looks like my bet was safe.

If you can't even be bothered to give an alleged challenge in a mature fashion, I'm not too concerned with responding. VR gave a similar, though smaller, list of evidence than I would have, and a similar opinion on the ridiculous charge of "no evidence".

I feel bad cluttering up his comments section responding in kind to you, so I'm bowing out unless you present a question or request in an appropriate form.

Sorry VR

Legion of Logic said...

Were unable. These things seriously need an edit function

B. Prokop said...

Legion,

In this case, I think "you also was unable" is entirely appropriate!

Legion of Logic said...

Haha. I have an irrational hatred of my own typos. Probably shouldn't type on a phone as quickly as I can.

Cal Metzger said...

I can't be more explicit. My first comment direct to you gave you this challenge:

Legion of Logic: "To anyone with any knowledge of the subject, this obviously means no Christian claims that God is made of matter and energy that are detectable by science. You know, physical stuff. Is that too hard for you to grasp? "
Me: "Reconcile your above with the claims of the bible. / Reconcile your above with the Christian claims of miracles."

At first you responded, "Miracles are not God, thus claiming miracles indicate a physical deity is just dumb."

I chose to ignore that because a) your response seems too vapid to me, and b) you (conveniently) ignore the first part of challenge, where I asked you reconcile your claim that god isn't mad of "physical stuff" with the bible. When people do that I've found that they're not interested in meaningful or thoughtful responses to the challenges I pose.

Your response is vapid because we are talking about, per the OP, "physical proof of God’s being in the physical world" and the plain, obvious, fact that Christians cite miracles as evidence that god exists. That this underlying information needs to be explained is almost always a sure sign that you aren't engaging with my challenge.

And you skipped my first question. So I surmised that can't rise to the challenge I posed to you in any meaningful way, and that you prefer to complain.

God is real all over the bible. He walks around, he talks to people, he sets bushes on fire, parts seas, later on he divide himself and squirts out from Mary, walks around and eats and drinks talks and (presumably) pisses and craps and does everything that physical human beings (are there non-physical ones?) are supposed to do (plus supernatural stuff). The god of the Judeo Christian bible is about as physical as it gets.

The OP wants to pretend that the stuff in the bible isn't part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and that is because subsequent Christians find it more and more embarrassing that the bible has all these cool stories about god doing really cool, physical stuff in the world, but hasn't been heard from since.

So, guys like the one who wrote the OP want to pretend that Jews and Christians never even believed in all that physical, real stuff in the first place.

At least that's what it seems like to me. Now do you really need me to phrase the above into a question, and put a question mark at the end, to recognize your challenge, and to muster a meaningful or at least thoughtful response?

Cal Metzger said...

Me: "What would make you reconsider your approach toward what constitutes evidence? If your approach was shown to not be a correct application of Bayes theorem, for instance, would you adopt an approach that did use Bayes theorem correctly?"

VR: "Well, to do that you'd have to show me that what I learned from a leading Bayesian theorist was wrong. Were you about to say something like this?"

That depends on what you learned from a "leading Bayesian theorist" (whatever that means, as if Bayes theorem was a field of science instead of a mathematical tool). I think that Bayes Theorem is straightforward math, that it's slightly difficult to organize for real world problems (hence the field of statistics, or probability), and that it can be controversial when to use it. I think this is pretty uncontroversial.

My question is: if you couldn't justify any, some, or all of the "evidence" you cite as something that could be evaluated using Bayes theorem, would that diminish your belief in the Christian god at all?


Victor Reppert said...

Bayesianism is a mathematical concept, but it is used in epistemological contexts. Basically, it is a model of what confirmation is.

Though a mathematical triviality, the Theorem's central insight — that a hypothesis is supported by any body of data it renders probable — lies at the heart of all subjectivist approaches to epistemology, statistics, and inductive logic.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/bayes-theorem/

My overall picture of epistemological justification goes something like this. We all start from different places, and have different initial dispositions with respect to the world as we experience it. Then, we acquire further information. Historically people have tried to pull their model of the world apart and start only from certain basics, and believe only what can be built up from there, but I don't think that's necessary, especially when the people who say we have to do it disagree about what has to be in the base. I think it makes more sense to adjust the beliefs we have as we go along and move incrementally toward consensus as evidence comes in. And with some things, the hope of consensus is pretty slight in the foreseeable future, so we are going to keep disagreeing. I think, for example, that atheists and theists are here to stay for a long time, and the fact that we aren't closing in on agreement does not necessarily mean that one side or the other is just being stubborn or delusional. I would say it's because the issue is too complex and there are too many parameters to it to be sure that we have considered everything, and fairly. It's easy to come up with motives for our opponents, but that in itself proves nothing whatsoever.

I believe in God, but there is plenty of disconfirming evidence. It is just that the confirming evidence, all told, outweighs it.

Legion of Logic said...

I would refer you back to my post from Sept. 30 at 5:43. Perhaps I misunderstood what the OP point was, but I took his "not physical" to mean "not part of the physical universe" (and thus beyond the ability of science to directly detect).

I find the topic to be an odd hangup to fixate on.

B. Prokop said...

Logic,

You and I were apparently thinking along the same lines. The natural world is a closed system, and all "empirical evidence" will point only to things within that system. the Creator God is not an element within that system. (How could He be? If He were, He could not have created it.)

The Incarnation (the event that Cal seems all hung up upon) is a unique, non-repeatable event within the history of the universe, and by its nature not subject to the laws normally operative within that universe. To fall back upon my (admittedly very imperfect) analogy, the painter has painted himself into the painting. This should not surprise us, as "all things are possible with God" (Luke 1:37).

Tbis takes us back to my very first posting to this thread. Rather than repeat myself, I suggest one go back and re-read it. It's quite clear.

Jezu ufam tobie!

Victor Reppert said...

It seems to me that the statement "God is not physical" can mean

1) God's acts are not determined by the laws of physics.
2) God has no location in space and time.
3) God's acts have no physical effects.

The first true are true, orthodox, and biblical. The third is, of course unorthodox.

Cal Metzger said...

1) God's acts are not determined by the laws of physics.

This is the stuff of metaphysic, which I find to be meaningless. If that's the case, I have no comment on this.

Unless you mean that god has ever interacted with this world in some way, at which point god's acts MUST be determined, at some point, by the laws of physics. If god speaks from a burning bush, then at some point that fire must burn (or it's not a fire), and at some point that voice must be heard (or it's not a voice). If god parts the red sea, then at some point that water must move (or it's not water), and at some point that water will flow back into a low point (or there's no water, and no gravity), so the only way that god could have an effect on earth is if, at some point, his actions are determined (which really just means "described" here) by the laws of physics.

2) God has no location in space and time.

God supposedly walked on earth at one point. God supposedly interacted with physical things, and also animals and people, etc. The above could only be orthodox and biblical if the bible doesn't mean what it says. If god was never located on earth at any place and time (which I entirely agree with), then what does the bible even mean to Jews and Christians?

3) God's acts have no physical effects.

This god might exist, but no one cares about this god.

Ilíon said...

VR: "And with some things, the hope of consensus is pretty slight in the foreseeable future, so we are going to keep disagreeing. I think, for example, that atheists and theists are here to stay for a long time, and the fact that we aren't closing in on agreement does not necessarily mean that one side or the other is just being stubborn or delusional."

When one's position entails that one cannot reason, and indeed that one doesn't even exist, then one is indeed being "stubborn [and] delusional" in holding to it.

Being "nice" is all well and fine, but not at the cost of reason or truth.

ehyde said...

Hey Victor. I'm a big fan of your book so it's a pleasure to have you post a snippet from my article on your blog. Just one correction, my name is Eric not David.

Cheers. :)

Victor Reppert said...

Corrected.