Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Tom Gilson analyzes the fourth L in the LLL argument

LLL, is, of course, Liar, Lunatic, or Lord. It is based on C. S. Lewis's argument in Mere Christianity:


I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

It is sometimes thought you can refute it just by adding a logically possible fourth option, such as Legend. However, in a Presidential election, adding a third party does not make it less likely that either the Republican or the Democratic candidate will win the election. The additional alternative has to be plausible, and Gilson here argues that the Legend option is not. This is his blog treatment of it.

68 comments:

Aron Zavaro said...

As a strictly logical matter, the fourth option does not need to be plausible. What matters is whether the disjunction of all non-Lord alternatives is plausible. This can be the case even if the individual alternatives are not plausible.

Jo F said...

What matters is whether the disjunction of all non-Lord alternatives is plausible...As a strictly logical matter, the fourth option does not need to be plausible....This can be the case even if the individual alternatives are not plausible.
No, that definitely does matter. An aggregate of failing arguments don't equate to a successful one.

Now, observing that the vast majority of naturalistic alternatives given are mutually contradictory, perhaps you're thinking that the more naturalistic alternatives that are given, the more opportunities for error there are for for determining the supernaturalistic explanation as being most plausibly true. But this is, I think, misguided: one should always go by probabilistic standards of logic for determining the adequacy of explanations, not their conformance to the assumption of naturalism. In the same way, one should not test all facts by their conformance to whatever one's world-view assumption is.

And their disjunction just isn't plausible, either, as the naturalistic explanations given are not merely implausible but evidently absurd. If it is so that the accounts of Jesus' life are true, one could hardly be honest and come away thinking of Him as a liar (consider: this Person spent His entire life giving with none to gain, trying to help and love people, and when you finish the bible there is no "call to action" that reveals a selfish cause behind it all such as "now give us all your money" or "join our wars and conquer such and such territory (as in the case of Muhammed)-- rather, one finds the only "call to action" left is simply the emphatic call to do the same, living a life of altruistic love and moral development), or an idiot/lunatic/profoundly-confused-moral-teacher (reading the NT and subsequent letters of those who knew Him, it's obvious to me Jesus had a far more practical understanding of the world than anyone I've ever met, His words changed my life and the lives of so many people, even those I've met and/or come to personally know, etc.) Further, one should take such an argument along with a cumulative case for the veracity of Christianity--i.e. apply the same argument to the numerous people who were motivated to spend the rest of their lives unselfishly sharing the message of Christ until their gruesome deaths.

"Then Jesus told His disciples, 'If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mat 16:24-26

"And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time."

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you."

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."

"But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

"Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone."

"Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."

"For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

What would make a man say such things? When I was an atheist, it was easier to dismiss God, but Jesus is just so in-my-face. By that I mean, He's made such forthright statements, yet proven such authenticity in His life, that it cries out for an explanation.

Jo F said...

Jesus Christ claimed to be God, in addition to making several other radical personal claims that would either have us dismissing Him as a liar, or a lunatic, or a person subjected to some kind of childhood indoctrination, or a legend, etc....or as a man speaking the truth, in which case He would not be merely a man but God Himself. As C.S. Lewis said, I don't care if you think you're a poached egg and you're looking for some butter to suit you, but if you think you're God or have any of His supernatural powers, you're hopeless.

Now, as stupidly simple as this appeal to credibility is, that's just it: God knows what He's doing, and He has made it so that we can either accept His radical personal claims on the basis of His teachings, His life story and the historicity of that story, His purported performance of miracles and resurrection from the dead, His practical understanding of the world and uncanny altruism, or we can nail Him to the cross for blasphemy like the rest. He did not intend to leave another option, it would seem. The question will then come down to the individual's pursuit of Him and the truth as to whether He was Who He said He was, and his willingness to accept what he learns if he finds it an authentic testimony.
____
Here are some resources for studying this yourself (the majority of which I recommend you look into *after* you actually read the New Testament's gospels and at least Paul's letters for learning what people said about Christ)

[On the Historicity of the New Testament](http://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/the-historicity-of-the-new-testament)

[Archeological Corroboration of the NT](http://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/archaeology-and-the-historical-reliability-of-the-new-testament)

[An Analytic Philosopher and Historical Apologetics Communicator's Series on the Reliability of the Bible](http://www.apologetics315.com/2012/11/audio-resources-by-tim-mcgrew.html), which I emphatically recommend you listen to when you get the chance.

[On the Historical and Historiographically Corroborated Resurrection of Jesus](http://www.lydiamcgrew.com/Resurrectionarticlesinglefile.pdf), with multiple independent witness chains and wide, early attestation to His actions indicative of His divinity. I think the facts undergirding this argument make for the most defensible and persuasive argument from miracles for the existence of God (and His appearing incarnate in Christ).

In assessing His character and intellectual capacity, I recommend you read the New Testament's accounts of His life and the Apostle's letters following (especially those of St. Paul...such an argument, also known as Lewis's trilemma, could also be applied to Paul in assessing whether he was a liar, a lunatic... and the same with each and every person who was in contact with Jesus and wrote about Him in the New Testament).

Jo F said...

Taking this all as a cumulative case for Christianity, I'll also commend you to read about the great lengths the disciples of Jesus went to spread the Gospel. Paul of Tarsus, for example, spent the rest of his life traveling the world to share this news, and was somehow so determined that he let himself fall into Roman imprisonment and an eventual execution. Similar historical events are known to have occurred with the rest of the apostles except for one, each going to extreme lengths to share what they'd learned. One thing's for sure: they were convinced that Jesus rose from the dead. There have been many who have died for a lie, but there are very few people who will die for what they *know* is a lie. Considering the excruciating executions these would-otherwise-have-been fishermen went through for the sake of this message and without denying its truth, we find both confirmation and another reason to consider Christ's purported verifications of His radical personal testimony as being unprecedented and unique in comparison to any other situation in which a man made claims nearly as radical. We need to look to history to determine the veracity of any religion.

Ilíon said...

In any event, "Legend" would be mostly "Liar" with a dash of "Lunatic"

Aron Zavaro said...

"one should always go by probabilistic standards of logic for determining the adequacy of explanations"

I agree, though some visitors of this blog strongly disagree with using probably to assess religious claims. But since we're on the same page, here we go. My point was this: Consider 2 mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive hypotheses: Jesus was the Lord (L) and he was not the Lord (~L). ~L is composed of a variety of different subhypotheses: Lunatic (~L1), Liar (~L2), & Legend (~L3). Each of these is itself composed of subhypotheses. For example, ~L1 is composed of theories saying that Jesus was schizophrenic, that he had narcissitic personality disorder, etc. So there are LOTS of different theories that make up ~L's probability space. And even if these individual hypotheses have a low probability, this is not sufficient to show that ~L has a low probability, because P(~L)=P(~L1)+(~L2)+(~L3). So in order to show that P(L)>.5, more work needs to be done than simply showing that the individual alternatives are improbable.

Additionally, there are other probabilistic problems with how the LLL argument is usually presented. Usually the the argument works by taking a piece of data (D) - the the depiction of Jesus in the Gospels - and examining how well the alternative theories predict this data. It is commonly argued that if Jesus was a liar, he wouldn't have told THIS type of lie because it wasn't in his interest, and therefore P(D|~L2) is low. It is similarly argued that if Jesus was a lunatic he wouldn't have been so charismatic and eloquent and influential, and therefore P(D|~L1) is also low. Likewise, Gilson writes that "he life of Christ is just too good to be have been produced through legendary processes. It's too good to be false." He is saying that if Jesus was an ordinary man, its very improbable that we'd end up with the accounts we have in the Bible, and therefore P(D|~L3) is low.

It goes without saying that just because P(D|~L1), P(D|~L2), and P(D|~L3) are low, it does not follow that P(~L1|D), P(~L2|D), and P(~L3|D) are low, or that P(L|D) is high. To make this inference, we also need to consider the prior probability of these various theories, which requires an investigation into the various arguments for and againt God, arguments for and against the incarnation, arguments for and against the Trinity, arguments for an against the reliability of the Old Testament. I hardly ever see proponents of the LLL theory do this. They think they can take this one piece of data in the Gospels and arrive at the conclusion that Jesus must have been God. This is clearly a violation of the Principle of Total Evidence.

Joe Hinman said...

I am a believer. I take the Lord option. But I never thought much of the trilima. I always thought it could be defused by just cliamimng that he never said he was God. that was added on by followers. Although there are things you could argue on that but no way to prove it.

Jo F said...

"I am a believer. I take the Lord option. But I never thought much of the trilima. I always thought it could be defused by just cliamimng that he never said he was God. that was added on by followers. Although there are things you could argue on that but no way to prove it."

The New Testament is profuse with claims just as radical, so I don't have to show that He even explicitly made a claim to His divinity (though, several times over, He made claims amounting to this). Jesus doesn't go four sentences without saying something that could be used in a "trilemma" type argument. I.e. he forgave people who did Him no wrong, unless, of course, He were God Himself and the wrongs were done to Him. He claimed to be able to forgive sins, that He would bring about the kingdom of God, that He was the truth way and life, that only He could make salvation possible,

“You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?” (John 8:57 NLT)

Then Jesus shocked them even more:

“The truth is, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:58 NLT)

"He says … ‘I am begotten of the One God, before Abraham was, I am,’ and remember what the words ‘I am’ were in Hebrew. They were the name of God, which must not be spoken by any human being, the name which it was death to utter.” said C.S. Lewis

“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12)

“I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6)

“I am the only way to the Father” (John 14:6)

“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)

“I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11)

“I am the door” (John 10:9)

“I am the living bread” (John 6:51)

“I am the true vine” (John 15:1)

“I am the Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 1:7,8)

When people told Jesus they realized who He was, He said they were correct in their presumption.

Chris said...

I think there could be another possibility, a fifth option. Perhaps Christ had contact with Eastern philosphy and was simply making claims of nondual realization? Granted, it is unlikely that Christ had travelled very far or that he encountered those that did, but it doesn't strike me as impossible. So, was Jesus Christ a nondual mystic who was basically misunderstood by an audience of a different spiritual universe? Plausible?

Ilíon said...

^ That would be a variation of "Lunatic"

Chris said...

Why?

Walter said...

I always thought it could be defused by just cliamimng that he never said he was God.

Exactly. I don't believe that he ever did consider himself to be God Incarnate, the second person of the Trinity. What he most likely claimed to be was Israel's messiah, an agent of Yahweh who acts with a special authority that has been granted to him.

I don't think proclaiming oneself as the messiah in that cultural context would be considered lunacy at all.

B. Prokop said...

"I don't believe that he ever did consider himself to be God Incarnate"

Interesting. Then explain these:

"I tell you, something greater than the temple is here." (Matthew 12:6)

There is only one thing greater than the temple – God Himself.

"Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" … "Man, your sins are forgiven you." (Luke 5: 21,20)

Asked and answered.

"This cup is the new covenant in my blood." (1 Corinthians 11:25)

Only God may institute a covenant with Israel.

One doesn’t need to quote John to find numerous examples of Christ proclaiming his divinity. These are but a sampling. (Admittedly, the most blatant of such assertions would be John 8:58.)

John Mitchell said...

"Interesting. Then explain these:"


Here is a good explanation: Somebody wrote them down

Walter said...

Divinity is a weasel word, Bob. Proclaiming oneself as divine does not necessarily equate to a declaration that you are God Incarnate. These claims are compatible with a belief in oneself as a chosen human agent of the one true God.

"Who can forgive sins but God only?"

Catholic priests seem to believe that they have an authority granted to them by Christ which allows them to forgive sins. Jesus could have felt that he too had a special authority granted to him by Israel's Heavenly Father.

Also, I am not an inerrantist, so I don't believe that everything we read in the gospels is some kind of verbatim transcript of what was actually said.

B. Prokop said...

"Divinity is a weasel word, Bob. Proclaiming oneself as divine does not necessarily equate to a declaration that you are God Incarnate."

Fair enough. Allow me to edit my comment:

One doesn’t need to quote John to find numerous examples of Christ proclaiming that He is God incarnate, come to Earth.

Chris said...

"Divinity is a weasel word..."

As I was alluding to before, is it possible that Christ's words of identification with God reflect a nondual philosophical perspective? If that is the case, then I don't see why that should be interpreted under the "lunatic" category of the trilemma?

B. Prokop said...

"is it possible that..."

Well, in one sense anything can be labeled "possible". But why engage in groundless speculation for the sake of speculation?

Chris said...

Bob,

I'm inclined to say that not all "anythings" are created equal. The "anything" that I suggested is far "from speculation for the sake of speculation". As you have stated on numerous occasions, it all comes down to the truth or falsehood of the Resurrection.

B. Prokop said...

Chris, your original posting is riddled with conditionals:

"I think there could be another possibility, a fifth option. Perhaps Christ had contact with Eastern philosphy and was simply making claims of nondual realization? Granted, it is unlikely that Christ had travelled very far or that he encountered those that did, but it doesn't strike me as impossible. So, was Jesus Christ a nondual mystic who was basically misunderstood by an audience of a different spiritual universe? Plausible?"

With so much bet hedging, your speculation becomes nothing more than that. To answer your final question (Plausible?): No.

(Sorry for all the deleted comments. Fingers not working properly today!)

Chris said...

Hey Bob,

No worries. Sure, that's a whole lot of hedging. Nevertheless, the "anything" that I've suggested doesn't require the denial of either Christ's existence or His words or His miracles- making it a legit other option (unlikely as it might be).

Cal Metzger said...

The best explanation is that from the primordial soup of religious communities around Judea several flourished for centuries, and some have for millennia. Like all successful religious communities, those that emerged from Judea offered practical support for their followers, and they competed for converts and developed ways to maintain their bases and spread their influence.

From the accounts of the Gospels we can see how the theology behind Christianity evolved over about 100 years, and from extra-canonical sources we can see what religious variations won and lost in this competition. From the accounts of the first 400 years, we learn that leaders in these communities competed for followers, and that documents were destroyed, and that the texts describing histories were altered according to theological dogma. We have scant documentation, all of it written and preserved by the victors, and what little we have surviving from outside these sources either contradicts what is claimed by the proselytizers or makes no mention of what should have been so remarkable.

So, the stories around Jesus need no special explanation, other than that the compilation has been, more or less, useful as a religious concept for millennia with regard to the various religious groups that have borrowed from it to win and keep converts.

The above isn't just plausible. It's the only real explanation. To say otherwise would be to accept that Xemu must exist in order for scientology to have flourished as it has, or that the golden plates must have been real in order for Mormons to find new converts.

This is all so transparently obvious that only someone raised in a cult-like understanding regarding the supposed exceptionalism of their religious stories could rationalize otherwise.

Chris said...

"The above isn't just plausible, it's the only real explanation."

That's simply not true. I presume that you categorically deny the alleged paranormal phenomena in the Gospel narrative. Lewis demolished that perspective in his book "Miracles".

Cal Metzger said...

Chris: "I presume that you categorically deny the alleged paranormal phenomena in the Gospel narrative."

I see no reason to privilege them over real world experience, other contradictory superstitious claims, and to observe that every time superstitious claims are examined in ways that objective, reliable, and verifiable (in ways that the claims of the Gospels conventently cannot be), they are shown to be mirages.

Chris: "Lewis demolished that perspective in his book "Miracles".

Why don't you summarize what you found so persuasive.

B. Prokop said...

Why don't you just read the book?

Cal Metzger said...

Prokop: "Why don't you just read the book?"

Because I only have so much time. And because whenever someone suggests that I will find the answer in a book, but they can't or won't summarize what I will find in said book, I have found that reading said book is a HUGE waste of my time.

Why don't you summarize what Chris is referring to?

B. Prokop said...

I won't give you Lewis's argument - I'll leave that to him (i.e., "Read the book.").

However, I will give you mine. You might recognize it, since it was addressed to you.

Which brings up what is most wearisome about all these atheist demands for "show me", "tell me", "write me a doctoral thesis in your next comment". We do just that, and 10 minutes later it's like they've never read it, and are asking for the same damn information all over again (and again, and again).

Ilíon said...

"Interesting. Then explain these:"

Also, and has already been mentioned: "Before Abraham was, I am". The people who *heard* that assertion had no doubt that he was claiming to be God; that's why they tried to kill him on the spot.

Here is another claim of divinity -- "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

Ilíon said...

Read the Book, don't wait for the movie.

bmiller said...


"Which brings up what is most wearisome about all these atheist demands for "show me", "tell me", "write me a doctoral thesis in your next comment". We do just that, and 10 minutes later it's like they've never read it, and are asking for the same damn information all over again (and again, and again)."

Like I said. Groundhog Day.

Joe Hinman said...

my argument with Dusty he says there id no valid God argument,

I show him he doesn't know what valid means and the modal argument is valid

He says: there's no sound argument..."

I showed its sound too or at least that he didn't prove its not

Joe Hinman said...

Jo F says:


“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12)

“I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6)

“I am the only way to the Father” (John 14:6)

“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)

“I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11)

“I am the door” (John 10:9)

“I am the living bread” (John 6:51)

“I am the true vine” (John 15:1)

“I am the Alpha and Omega” (Rev. 1:7,8)

When people told Jesus they realized who He was, He said they were correct in their presumption.

January 18, 2017 5:15 AM

I said there are things you can say

John Mitchell said...

"Which brings up what is most wearisome about all these atheist demands for (...)"write me a doctoral thesis in your next comment". We do just that..."

Come on now....

Aron Zavaro said...

"We do just that, and 10 minutes later it's like they've never read it, and are asking for the same damn information all over again (and again, and again)."

It's not like they forgot what you wrote. They just disagree. Now it's your turn to try again. That's how debates work. You EVER see an argument that was settled after one single exchange?

Cal Metzger said...

Zavaro: "It's not like they forgot what you wrote. They just disagree. Now it's your turn to try again. That's how debates work. You EVER see an argument that was settled after one single exchange?"

Thanks for this.

And I'd mention that by consistently failing to recognize when a claim is not supported, and when an argument is obviously fallacious, one can make one's side seem pretty silly. And it seems even worse when the only reasons for doing so seems to be a desire to seem respectable (instead of accepting the criticism and moving on) and maintain group solidarity.

As I've thought many times before, I think that internet apologists represent pathological thinking -- a pathology that's interesting because it helps bring into starker relief the kind of biases and imperfections all of our brains share.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Joe Hinman said...

" my argument with Dusty he says there id no valid God argument,"
False, and given the number of times you have been corrected on this textual falsehood it is beginning to look a lot like a lie.

"There are no sound arguments for a theistic god as a necessary being that have ever been published into general circulation."

That is my claim. You either do or should know that by now.



" I showed its sound too or at least that he didn't prove its not"
Ha Ha Ha. You don't know the difference between a logical possibility and an existential possibility.

Line 3. of your retold ontological argument is a non-sequtur because an existential possibility does not follow from a logical possibility.

But don't fret grasshopper, with age and maturity you might gain the honesty and reasoning capacity to grasp these critical facts.


January 19, 2017 12:54 AM

Chris said...

Stardusty,

I am curious. Would you say that refuting the arguments of natural theology is sufficient to conclude that philosophical materialism is true? Or would say that further work is required? For example, a positive case for atheism or a refutation of idealism and/or panpsychism.

Cal Metzger said...

Chris,

While you're waiting for a reply from Stardusty, maybe you could get around to answering the question I asked you in your last comment to me?

Chris: "I presume that you categorically deny the alleged paranormal phenomena in the Gospel narrative."
Me: I see no reason to privilege them over real world experience, other contradictory superstitious claims, and to observe that every time superstitious claims are examined in ways that objective, reliable, and verifiable (in ways that the claims of the Gospels conventently cannot be), they are shown to be mirages.
Chris: "Lewis demolished that perspective in his book "Miracles".

Why don't you summarize what you found so persuasive?

bmiller said...

@Aron Zavaro,

"It's not like they forgot what you wrote. They just disagree. Now it's your turn to try again. That's how debates work. You EVER see an argument that was settled after one single exchange?"

It's fair to criticize my and B. Prokop's sentiment if you took it to mean that we thought it applied to all atheist interlocutors. I can say in my case it only applies to some of them.

For me, I realize that others may end up not agreeing with me but we shouldn't have to start from square one each time a topic comes up again as if there were not an exchange made in the first place.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Chris said...

Stardusty,

" I am curious. Would you say that refuting the arguments of natural theology is sufficient to conclude that philosophical materialism is true?"
That depends on your definition of some terms such as "truth" and "material".

The only absolute truths I am aware of are derived from my self awareness, such as I exist in some form and therefore it is absolutely certain there is an existence as opposed to absolutely nothing at all.

I am personally convinced of a number of things regarding the nature of existence, so maybe that is what you mean by "conclude". Yes, I have concluded that materialism is the case and that there is no theistic god as most commonly formulated.

In my view this is a rational conclusion given the refutation of the arguments of natural theology, but not an absolutely provable conclusion.

" Or would say that further work is required? "
There always is! In my sensibilities life is for learning. I have no expectation of reaching a nirvana before I die, but I intend to continue my journey in that direction as long as I am able.

"For example, a positive case for atheism or a refutation of idealism and/or panpsychism."
A mind is a process of a structure. The notion of a wholly disembodied and immaterial mind is incoherent. A mind must be a process of something else it is based on absolutely nothing at all.


January 20, 2017 12:33 PM

Cal Metzger said...

bmiller: "For me, I realize that others may end up not agreeing with me but we shouldn't have to start from square one each time a topic comes up again as if there were not an exchange made in the first place."

The routine here is this:

1. Apologists make a claim (for example: The First Way is a sound argument that demonstrates that a deity must exist.)
2. Critics point out that claim 1 fails for the various reasons that claims fail -- not valid, premises not sound, fallacious, not supported by the evidence, etc.
3. Apologists now claim that a valid demonstration for their original claim lies elsewhere.
4. Critics ask for support for claim 3.
5. Apologists fail to do more than re-assert claim 3, never providing a demonstration that does not fail for the reasons that claims fail.
6. Critics get bored of asking for support for claim 3 while listening to complaints about universally accepted methods for testing claims.
6. After some time passes, apologists return to Claim 1 above.
7. Critics point out that claim 1 has already been refuted, and that apologists have never offered support for claim 3.
8. Apologists pretend that none of the above ever happened.

Do you know where readers can observe this?

Look at the threads where Stardusty interacts. Compare the number of questions he responds to promptly and directly, and the acumen in which he addresses them, with the quality and number of replies to direct questions by apologists in the same threads, as well as the non-sequiturs, insults, and casserole of fallacies and just plain whoppers they write.

By virtue of apologists being a group here, they apparently seem to be able to reassure one another that my description above is somehow not accurate. But to those not so blinkered, there's just no way to deny it.

bmiller said...

@Cal Metzger,

I disagree with your characterization of that particular argument. I don't think that SP would agree with it either, but I'll let him speak for himself if he chooses to do so.

I recall a series of claims against the First Way, that were all engaged and answered.
Specifically:
1) The First Way demonstration depends on the ad hoc addition of "this all understand to be God".
2) The First Way requires infinite past time.
3) There are really no such things as causes.
4) Newton's laws of motion disprove the First Way
5) The argument is old, actually medieval even.
6) The argument uses "defective definitions"
7) Change is eternal in the past, but an actual infinite is illogical.
8) An infinite regress of causes is illogical.
9) The being in the conclusion of the First Way could be named something else.
10) The argument is not about everything bouncing around
11) There is an attempt to hide a problem with"convoluted obfuscating terminology"
12) My mind is not freed from "ancient and false simplifications"
13) WL Craig made an argument I refuted.

You may not like the answers and I could have missed some, but as Aron Zavaro said "They(your opponents) just disagree (with you). Now it's your turn to try again."
If you disagree with the answers, then engage the answers, and don't just repeat the original claim.

@Aron Zavaro,

This is what you meant, right?

Cal Metzger said...




@bmiller,

Okay, let’s see how your characterization holds up.

bmiller: “I recall a series of claims against the First Way, that were all engaged and answered.
Specifically:
1) The First Way demonstration depends on the ad hoc addition of "this all understand to be God”.”

1) above remains unanswered. The First Way, as an argument that “shows that something with the attributes of a transcendent deity must exist” (the words of an apologist commenting here, fails completely.

Why? It is (for the umpteenth) time ad hoc. It is a non-sequitur, a hodge-podge ad on to an ancient argument that describes (without successfully concluding) an ancient existential riddle.

Why does it rain? We all understand the answer to be god. That’s not an argument; it’s a prima facie false claim (I am among everyone, and I don’t agree), and it doesn’t relate to the premises of the argument. Fail, fail.

But please quote, as in cite, where you think the answer to this fallacy was previously answered. And by answered, I understand you to mean completely resolved so as to show that is it NOT false that not everyone understands a deity to be the only or even possible conclusion to the First Way, and how it is that that conclusion is not a non-sequitur.

Don’t repeat your false claims about having covered all this in some unspecified place at some unspecified time earlier. Cite where this was done. You are not only claiming that you are right, but that you already covered this (in your words), “ALL OVER AGAIN (AND AGAIN, AND AGAIN).”

Or, even better, you could just summarize novel and non-fallacious answers to my characterizations and criticisms of the First Way — thus doing something that not only has no one done here on this blog, but also in, well, ever.


Cal Metzger said...

I’d like to quickly explain the misunderstandings regarding what you recall as “claims against the First Way”. Bmiller’s claims are those that immediately follow the numbered item; mine are in the line below.

2) The First Way requires infinite past time.
I don’t know what this means; I would need a citation.

3) There are really no such things as causes.
The First Way borrows from an intuitive but naive understanding of physical interactions that are better described by forces first posited by Newton, and which have been substantially improved since. Think, inertia.

4) Newton's laws of motion disprove the First Way
Newton’s theories underdetermine Aristotlean physics (which Aqunias borrowed). When it comes to explanations, better wins. If you disagree, try orbiting a satellite using Aristotlean physics. Then try setting gps with relativity. Better. Wins.

5) The argument is old, actually medieval even.
This is true, but it’s not the claim against the First Way, per se. It’s an explanation for its shortcomings — no doubt, Aquinas would not have promoted the First Way if he knew of modern physics. Actually, he’d probably be very ashamed of what apologists now cling to.

6) The argument uses "defective definitions"
I can’t remember this, and would need a better citation.

7) Change is eternal in the past, but an actual infinite is illogical.
If the First Way is supposed to be cosmological (and it’s up to its proponents to make that determination), then it asserts that an infinite regress into the past is impossible. This can’t be demonstrated, but relies on this as an assertion in its premises. This is a problem for any argument that can’t be tested.

8) An infinite regress of causes is illogical.
Actually, THIS IS A CLAIM THAT AQUINAS MAKES, not critics of the First Way. In the First Way, Aquinas writes, “If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover.” It is particularly amusing that you should mischaracterize an actual claim of the First Way as as a previously refuted “claim agains the First Way”.

9) The being in the conclusion of the First Way could be named something else.
There is no reason whatsoever to conclude that any “being” is the logical conclusion of the existential riddle posed by the First Way.

10) The argument is not about everything bouncing around
In our current understanding of how the world operates, everything is bouncing around. Aristotle didn’t understand this, and neither did Aquinas. This helps explain why they surmised what they did.

11) There is an attempt to hide a problem with"convoluted obfuscating terminology"
Well, as I pointed out earlier, when your modern treatise on physics has whole sections covering the topic of “Angelology” and how angels relate to the physical world, I think you’ve abdicated the high ground for meaningful terminology.

12) My mind is not freed from "ancient and false simplifications"
That is a possible explanation for those who can somehow overlook the obvious problems with the First Way.

13) WL Craig made an argument I refuted.
I doubt very much that this was offered as a criticism of the First way, but is your mischaracterization. Without a citation, that’s what I’m going to conclude.

bmiller said...

@Aron Zavaro and John Mitchell,

"It's not like they forgot what you wrote. They just disagree. Now it's your turn to try again. That's how debates work. You EVER see an argument that was settled after one single exchange?"

Please read Cal's 2 previous comments and tell me if you think he's interacted with any of the responses that were given to the claims against the First Way that I listed from the Aswedenism post. He's just restating the claims.

I rest my case. Ground Hog Day.


SteveK said...

Regarding #3, inertia. Something can be said on that but we don't need to. The argument stands anyway. Quoting Feser:

"But there are several problems with this objection [inertia]. First and most obviously, Newton’s principle concerns only “local motion” or movement from one place to another, while motion in the Aristotelian sense includes (as we have seen) not just local motion, but also changes in quality (like water becoming solid when it freezes), changes in quantity (as when a pool of water gets larger or smaller), and changes in substance (as when hydrogen and oxygen are combined to make water) (In Phys III.2.286). (There is a strict sense of “motion” within the Aristotelian tradition on which changes in substance are not counted as motions, but they are motions or changes in a loose sense; and as several commentators have noted, they do in any case count as reductions of potency to act of the sort the argument from motion seeks to account for.) At the very least, then, the defender of the First Way can say that whether or not local motion needs an explanation of the sort the argument provides, these other kinds of change do need such an explanation."

SteveK said...

That also addresses #4 and #5. Modern physics don't make a dent

grodrigues said...

@bmiller:

"It's fair to criticize my and B. Prokop's sentiment if you took it to mean that we thought it applied to all atheist interlocutors. I can say in my case it only applies to some of them."

And the ones it applies to are the ignorants who have no clue about how the argument works and yet pretend to have an informed opinion on it or that they have refuted anything whatsoever -- and this quite apart from whether the argument actually works or not. When, for example, one is told, with all the seriousness of a buffoon, that the First Way is about beginnings and comings to be or that the First Mover could be a causally disconnected multiverse, in explicit contradiction to what St. Thomas and all of his commentators, without exception, hold, we know that we have crossed into Cuckoo land where all good sense and judgment has been sucked out into the black hole of stupid nothingness.

Cal Metzger said...

Grod: "When, for example, one is told, with all the seriousness of a buffoon, that the First Way is about beginnings and comings to be or that the First Mover could be a causally disconnected multiverse, in explicit contradiction to what St. Thomas and all of his commentators, without exception, hold, we know that we have crossed into Cuckoo land where all good sense and judgment has been sucked out into the black hole of stupid nothingness."

Grod, describing what other things those like me just can't really understand from Aquinas's writing: "He is just quoting random portions of the ST (seemingly, his criterion of choice is to quote the portions that look the more stupid to him) and that are completely irrelevant to the question of God -- which he *full* well knows -- portions having to do with cognition, how cognition works in angels or to use the Scholastic term, separate intellectual substances, and angelology. "

Cuckoo land indeed.

-----

Apologists: It's respectable for us to believe in a deity because... of the First Way!
Skeptics: Are we reading the same First Way as you? Because we don't see a part that actually demonstrates -- as in follows a logical progression, employs sound premises, is supported by the evidence, etc. -- the existence of a deity.
Apologists: Fool, that's not what the First Way is about!
Skeptics: Okay, wait, what?

Stardusty Psyche said...

1.Our senses prove that some things are in motion.
---No, not proved, but on the acceptance of the basic reliability of the human senses this is rational.

2,Things move when potential motion becomes actual motion.
---"Potential motion" is a vague and useless notion. This might be some notion of potential energy or some muddled idea that a stationary thing can later be caused to move.

3.Only an actual motion can convert a potential motion into an actual motion.
---Ok, only actual things do actual things. Congrats on the tautology.

4.Nothing can be at once in both actuality and potentiality in the same respect (i.e., if both actual and potential, it is actual in one respect and potential in another).
---This might be some muddled way of expressing that a thing cannot be at rest and also moving. Actually, objects that appear to be at rest are in truth buzzing beehives of internal motion and not truly at rest.

5.Therefore nothing can move itself.
---In the sense that a thing at rest does not spontaneously start moving, yes. But given that Aristotelian physics was considered true at this time Aquinas likely did not realize that an object in uniform motion will continue in uniform motion until a force acts upon it, since these concepts were not developed until centuries later.

6.Therefore each thing in motion is moved by something else.
---Ok, everything is moving and bumping into adjacent things and being affected by fields which are in turn associated with even very distant things. Aquinas is vastly oversimplifying things but is basically correct as a very simplified microcosm view.

7.The sequence of motion cannot extend ad infinitum.
---That is the great riddle that god does nothing to solve. Everything is indeed in motion so that does indeed call for the question of how it all got started moving.

8.Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other;
---This violates 5. and 6. above. Aquinas defeats himself.

9.and this everyone understands to be God.
---This is a blatant lie, or at least patently ignorant. I am someone and I do not understand this to be god. Further, if there can be a violation of 5. and 6. then the violator need not be god, just some sort of superviolationstuff. I mean, if we are making up entities ad hoc that violate logic one made up speculation is about as good as another.
---Certainly there is nothing necessary about the formulation of the Christian god other than a fundamental capacity to initiate an uncaused cause. All the rest of the attributed features such as omniscience, omnipotence, all loving, etc. etc. are all unnecessary to violate 5. and 6. above.


So, the whole argument contains a lot of muddled ideas, but that is not why it fails. The argument does correctly state the problem of infinite regress, albeit in a very hamhanded and muddled manner of language.

The core problems with Aquinas here are
A. He defeats himself in 8 by contradicting 5.
B. He correctly states that an infinite regress is logically irrational, but fails to prove it is necessarily impossible to realize. Nobody has solved this riddle.
C. He falsely states what everybody supposedly understands.
D. He commits another non-sequitur by assuming that a first mover would have to be a god.

Thus, the above strawman characterizations of atheistic arguments have no merit.

SteveK said...

LOL, Dusty!

Cal Metzger said...

Me: "The First Way borrows from an intuitive but naive understanding of physical interactions that are better described by forces first posited by Newton, and which have been substantially improved since. Think, inertia."

stevek: "Regarding #3, inertia. Something can be said on that but we don't need to. The argument stands anyway. Quoting Feser:
'But there are several problems with this objection [inertia]. First and most obviously, Newton’s principle concerns only “local motion” or movement from one place to another, while motion in the Aristotelian sense includes (as we have seen) not just local motion, but also changes in quality (like water becoming solid when it freezes), changes in quantity (as when a pool of water gets larger or smaller), and changes in substance (as when hydrogen and oxygen are combined to make water) (In Phys III.2.286). (There is a strict sense of “motion” within the Aristotelian tradition on which changes in substance are not counted as motions, but they are motions or changes in a loose sense; and as several commentators have noted, they do in any case count as reductions of potency to act of the sort the argument from motion seeks to account for.) At the very least, then, the defender of the First Way can say that whether or not local motion needs an explanation of the sort the argument provides, these other kinds of change do need such an explanation.'

LOL indeed. Are you trying to tell us that you (and indeed Feser?) have never taken a high school level chemistry or physics class?

Are you really so poorly educated in science that you think Aristotle better explains changes in state than modern physics?

Why don't you summarize how it is that you think the above quote from Feser relates to the point I made regarding #3?

Cal Metzger said...

After I point out, yet again, the obvious and fatal flaw in The First Way as as a demonstration that a deity must exist, and then go through a point by point response to bmiller's characterizations (none providing a citation, as I had asked for), we get this:

bmiller: "Please read Cal's 2 previous comments and tell me if you think he's interacted with any of the responses that were given to the claims against the First Way that I listed from the Aswedenism post. He's just restating the claims. / I rest my case. Ground Hog Day."

Stardusty then goes through and, premise by premise, repeats the numerous ways in which the First Way fails to demonstrate that a deity must exist.

To this, all we get of substance in return is:

Stevek: "LOL, Dusty!"

---------------

bmiller: "Which brings up what is most wearisome about all these atheist demands for "show me", "tell me", "write me a doctoral thesis in your next comment". We do just that, and 10 minutes later it's like they've never read it, and are asking for the same damn information all over again (and again, and again)."

Psychologically project much?


SteveK said...

You missed my previous 2 comments before that, Cal, which prompted my LOL. We give you guys water and you refuse to drink. It's getting to be funny in a tragic comedy sorta way.

SteveK said...

"Why don't you summarize how it is that you think the above quote from Feser relates to the point I made regarding #3?"

I'd rather focus on the easier ones that Feser mentions. The argument only has to be valid for one example to be correct.

bmiller said...

@Stardusty Psyche,

SP:"Thus, the above strawman characterizations of atheistic arguments have no merit."

I think you are referring to the list of challenges you offered that I responded to from the "Aswedenism" post, but I welcome that fact that you are not bringing (most of) them back here.

Since you listed what you consider the core problems with the argument, let me respond.

SP:"A.He defeats himself in 8 by contradicting 5."
The Unchanged Changer is not in changing so there are no contradictions. If you disagree, let's have that discussion.

SP:"B. He correctly states that an infinite regress is logically irrational, but fails to prove it is necessarily impossible to realize. Nobody has solved this riddle."
Your objection assumes the First Way is addressing how” Everything is indeed in motion so that does indeed call for the question of how it all got started moving.” The First Way is not addressing “how it all got started moving” at all, only what is happening at this very moment. The objection is irrelevant to the First Way. If you disagree, let's have that discussion.


These:
SP:"
C. He falsely states what everybody supposedly understands.
D. He commits another non-sequitur by assuming that a first mover would have to be a god."

If one disregards the context of the setting, purpose and particular question the First Way is addressing as well as the classical definition of God, these may seem like reasonable objections. But let’s examine these.

First the Summa Theologica can be translated from Latin as a summary of the study of God. Students taking the course would know the definition and attributes of God going in and so would not be *shocked* and consider it irrelevant that an argument would show the existence of God. It would be very relevant to the course.

The argument appears in the section titled “The Existence of God” (Note that the section is not titled “Everything That Can Be Known of God Through Reason Alone”).

This section has 3 sub-articles titled ” Is the proposition "God exists" self-evident?”, “Is it demonstrable?” and “Does God exist?”. The First Way argument appears in the 3rd sub-article after the first 2 articles concluded with “no, *God exists* is not self-evident” and “yes, the existence of God is demonstrable”. So the purpose of the First Way is to demonstrate the existence of God.

This particular form of demonstration moves from known premises to a logical conclusion to gain knowledge. The knowledge gained from the First Way demonstration is: that there must be an actual and ultimate cause of the change that is happening at this very moment and that this actual being is not changing. The formal demonstration is thus concluded. The statement “this everyone understands to be God.” is not a formal part of the demonstration but rather an epilogue to the demonstration.

So in context, his audience will have understood the classical definition of God as a singular category unto Himself, not part of a category of a number of “gods”. The establishment of an Unchanged Changer by demonstration, establishes that something exists that fits into the definition of God classically understood. As I mentioned previously you would not have been included in that audience and therefore would not be included in the “everybody” he was addressing. If you want to dispute that he intended to prove something else or was addressing atheists, then let’s have that discussion.

bmiller said...

@grodrigues,

"we have crossed into Cuckoo land where all good sense and judgment has been sucked out into the black hole of stupid nothingness."

OK, I don't care who you are. That is funny! :-)

Stardusty Psyche said...

bmiller said...

SP:"A.He defeats himself in 8 by contradicting 5."
" The Unchanged Changer is not in changing so there are no contradictions. If you disagree, let's have that discussion."
5.Therefore nothing can move itself.
8.Therefore it is necessary to arrive at a first mover, put in motion by no other.
Clearly, 8 and 5 are mutually exclusive. If something moved without a mover then something moved itself. If nothing can move itself then there can be no thing put in motion by no other.


SP:"B. He correctly states that an infinite regress is logically irrational, but fails to prove it is necessarily impossible to realize. Nobody has solved this riddle."
" Your objection assumes the First Way is addressing how” Everything is indeed in motion so that does indeed call for the question of how it all got started moving.” The First Way is not addressing “how it all got started moving” at all, only what is happening at this very moment. "
??? Same thing. Something started it all moving, else it has always been moving. So, either there was a first mover or motion is eternal in the past. Both choices are irrational, hence the great existential riddle.


January 21, 2017 1:03 PM

Stardusty Psyche said...

bmiller said...

These:
SP:"
C. He falsely states what everybody supposedly understands.
D. He commits another non-sequitur by assuming that a first mover would have to be a god."

" If one disregards the context of the setting, purpose and particular question the First Way is addressing as well as the classical definition of God, these may seem like reasonable objections. But let’s examine these.

First the Summa Theologica can be translated from Latin as a summary of the study of God. Students taking the course would know the definition and attributes of God going in and so would not be *shocked* and consider it irrelevant that an argument would show the existence of God. It would be very relevant to the course.

The argument appears in the section titled “The Existence of God” (Note that the section is not titled “Everything That Can Be Known of God Through Reason Alone”).

This section has 3 sub-articles titled ” Is the proposition "God exists" self-evident?”, “Is it demonstrable?” and “Does God exist?”. The First Way argument appears in the 3rd sub-article after the first 2 articles concluded with “no, *God exists* is not self-evident” and “yes, the existence of God is demonstrable”.

***So the purpose of the First Way is to demonstrate the existence of God.***"
Which it fails to do. What's your point in all this?

" This particular form of demonstration moves from known premises to a logical conclusion to gain knowledge. The knowledge gained from the First Way demonstration is: that there must be an actual and ultimate cause of the change that is happening at this very moment and that this actual being is not changing. The formal demonstration is thus concluded. The statement “this everyone understands to be God.” is not a formal part of the demonstration but rather an epilogue to the demonstration."
So now it isn't ***an argument to demonstrate the existence of God***.

Make up your mind. Is there an attention span issue here? Try to focus. Keep your eye on the ball, OK?


" So in context, his audience will have understood the classical definition of God as a singular category unto Himself, not part of a category of a number of “gods”. "
Then the audience is ill informed as to the alternative sorts of first movers one can speculate.

"The establishment of an Unchanged Changer by demonstration, establishes that something exists that fits into the definition of God classically understood."
No, that is a non sequitur. A logical fact does not necessitate a realized fact (existential fact).

And that is being generous due to the hamhanded way 5. is worded. Later apologists have repaired this defect in a vain attempt to salvage this argument but in the 13th century that defect was glaringly present.

Even after repairing the obvious error by Aquinas in the absolute wording of 5. the argument still fails for other reasons.

" As I mentioned previously you would not have been included in that audience and therefore would not be included in the “everybody” he was addressing."
Then Aquinas was a narrow minded fool. His problem, no mine.

I don't care if he was addressing everybody in that audience and if it was true for that limited number of people. The attribution of "everybody" is false as presented in general circulation today.

" If you want to dispute that he intended to prove something else or was addressing atheists, then let’s have that discussion."
How absurd. By your reasoning Jupiter is the king of gods because some Roman addressed a crowd of Jupiter believing Romans and said everybody understands that Jupiter is the king of gods and that statement was true at that time for that audience. So what?


January 21, 2017 1:03 PM

bmiller said...

It looks like Victor has set up a post for the Traveling Circus of the First Way. I will respond there.

Sorry Victor, for derailing your LLL post.

Legion of Logic said...

"Psychologically project much?"

I'll get a dictionary to confirm, but I'm pretty sure that "psychological projection" and "accurately describing the situation" are not synonymous. And he accurately described the situation, so...

Cal Metzger said...

Apologists: Aquinas's First Way demonstrates that god must exist.
Critics: The First Way is obviously flawed; it violates its own premises, and as an argument for god its conclusion is false and ad hoc.
Apologists: We have resolved these objections many times.
Critics: Where?
Apologists: All over the place.
Critics: Where?
Apologists: Everyone knows that we have answered these objections.
Critics: What are the answers?
Apologists: You wouldn't understand them.
Critics: Try us.
Apologists: We're running out of time.
Critics: Just reference / cite / summarize these answers you speak of.
Apologists: God isn't bound by mere argument.
Critics: Then what's the point of claiming that Aquinas's First Way demonstrated that a god must exist?
Apologists: Let's stop talking about Aquinas.
Critics: Great.
Apologists: Aquinas's First Way demonstrates that god must exist.

Legion of Logic said...

That conversation has never happened. Ever. Any apologist who understands the First Way argument is probably the type to also explain why he believes it to be a good argument.

Incidentally, your personal acceptance of the argument and the quality of the argument are not synonymous. That we cannot convince you means nothing except we cannot convince you.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Legion of Logic said...

" That conversation has never happened. Ever."
Dunno, I am starting to experience elements of it. As a satirical piece I got a good hard chuckle out of it. I don't think it was meant to be a precise transcription of a single conversation, rather, a satirical amalgamation of various conversations.

I have moved my postings on this subject here
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=10584495&postID=6725134901932984729&page=1&token=1485104460062
out of respect for the owner of this blog, since a thread for this subject has been opened up.

Your mileage may vary, just sayin...

Cal Metzger said...

Legion: "Any apologist who understands the First Way argument is probably the type to also explain why he believes it to be a good argument."

This would explain much of what has transpired here over several posts.

Legion: "Incidentally, your personal acceptance of the argument and the quality of the argument are not synonymous."

The inconsistencies found in the argument are not a product of my acceptance or non-acceptance of the argument's conclusions; They are inconsistencies found in the argument.

Inconsistencies are not a matter of opinion; they are a matter of fact.

The best explanation for apologists being unwilling to acknowledge the obvious deficiencies found in the First Way is that such an admission would undermine cherished beliefs. And so it is informative to see how minds work to rationalize away obvious facts and inconsistencies, and what tactics those minds adopt, in order to avoid acknowledging them.

Legion: "That we cannot convince you means nothing except we cannot convince you."

Notice how I have not been saying that The First Way fails because it does not convince me.

Notice how I have pointed out what the inconsistencies are in the First Way, where the conclusion fails, and basically affirmed Stardusty's criticisms -- which track my own criticisms before his participation in these posts, but which are also more thorough and well explicated than mine have been.

Notice how rather than try and save the First Way by tinkering with its premises, etc. as so many more astute apologists have subsequently realized, you are the one who has insisted that the First Way as presented by Aquinas must be convincing because you should deem it so.

As if.

Legion of Logic said...

"The best explanation for apologists being unwilling to acknowledge the obvious deficiencies found in the First Way is that such an admission would undermine cherished beliefs. And so it is informative to see how minds work to rationalize away obvious facts and inconsistencies, and what tactics those minds adopt, in order to avoid acknowledging them."

I have never seen such a fascinating mixture of armchair psychology and projection. Please, continue.

Stardusty Psyche said...

Legion of Logic said...

CM "The best explanation for apologists being unwilling to acknowledge the obvious deficiencies found in the First Way is that such an admission would undermine cherished beliefs. And so it is informative to see how minds work to rationalize away obvious facts and inconsistencies, and what tactics those minds adopt, in order to avoid acknowledging them."

LL "I have never seen such a fascinating mixture of armchair psychology and projection. Please, continue."

Ok, what then is your explanation? See, rationalists like myself, believe it or not, actually try to give theists the benefit of the doubt, rather than just saying things like "you blithering idiot", we search for more nuanced explanations for the obvious breakdown in rationality among those we engage who are theists.

I mean, theists are typically highly functional human beings, otherwise capable of all sorts of advanced learning and problem solving, sometimes palpably superior to my own. Yet, on something as simple and glaringly defective as the First Way the average theist melts down rationally and begins to blather all manner of confused nonsense, displaying an attention span that seems to go no further back than the last post, and an inability to read simple sentences for comprehension, or spot sophomoric errors in the "argument".

Why is that? Perhaps you would be so kind as to come over to the First Way thread and enlighten me.


January 23, 2017 7:44 PM

Cal Metzger said...

Legion: "I have never seen such a fascinating mixture of armchair psychology and projection. Please, continue."

Sure. Here's the problem for religious believers that non-believers don't have when approaching the same question:

https://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/03/25/the-sunk-cost-fallacy/