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Thread: Underlying Presuppositions

  1. #61
    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    And since it is not random and can be relied upon, this is evidence that God exists.
    That is one possibility, but not a compelling one, IMO. We have seen perfectly natural processes can produce order to varying degrees. Evolution is one, and the concept applies to both living and nonliving systems. As I noted to Seer, I do not tend to leap to "god did it" by default.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber Adrift's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    Adrift, what do you think Paul means by this: But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
    1 Corinthians 2:14 isn't an anti-apologetic passage, if that's what you're getting at. The philosophers of Paul's period (Epicureans, and Stoics and the like) were struggling to figure out the meaning of life without knowledge of the Hebrew God. And as Ben Witherington points out, Paul is indicating a general principle here, not a specific one. Witherington writes, "Paul would say that the only way the nonbeliever understands enough to accept the gospel in the first place before receiving the Spirit is that the Spirit has already been working unnoticed." (Conflict and Community in Corinth). And the Holy Spirit can, and likely does, work within our apologetic. Like I said above, the purpose of apologetics is not to replace the work of the Holy Spirit, but to offer people compelling arguments and evidence to get people to a place where they're responsive to his calling. The Holy Spirit can move us, the evangelizers, to present the right sort of arguments and evidence to plant or water a seed, so that God may give the increase. In his commentary on 1 Corinthians chapters 1 and 2, Craig Blomberg writes,

    Source: 1 Corinthians by Craig Blomberg

    Paul's thesis affirms that there are only two kinds of people in the world--those in the process of perishing and those in the process of being saved (v. 18). Each will respond to the gospel message in diametrically opposite ways. Verse 19 quotes Isaiah 29:14 for support, from a context in which the prophet is proclaiming God's intentions to judge Israel for her superficial and hypocritical religion. "Frustrate" in this verse comes from a word that means "reject, refuse, ignore, make invalid, set aside, break." Verse 20a rebukes the seemingly learned. "Wise man," "scholar," and "philosopher" are intended to be roughly synonymous; the latter two are more literally "scribe," and "debater," respectively. Paul may be intending to address both Greek and Jewish wise men with his labels.

    Verse 20b makes it clear that Paul is not disparaging Christian wisdom, intelligence, scholarship, or philosophy; indeed 2:6-16 will expound the appropriate wisdom for believers. Rather, he is predicting the ultimate demise of the sages, legal experts, and orators "of this age" or "of this world"--parallel expressions for sinful humanity apart from Christ.

    © Copyright Original Source



    As I have alluded to in my previous post, Paul himself used the wisdom of his age in unpredictable ways so that it became the wisdom of God. He quotes a number of poets, and philosophers that his Gentile audience would have been well familiar with in order for them to make connections to the Gospel. Here's a fantastic list: https://biblethingsinbibleways.wordp...ek-philosophy/
    Last edited by Adrift; 02-09-2018 at 03:40 PM.

  3. #63
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    That is one possibility, but not a compelling one, IMO. We have seen perfectly natural processes can produce order to varying degrees. Evolution is one, and the concept applies to both living and nonliving systems. As I noted to Seer, I do not tend to leap to "god did it" by default.
    It is what Lewis was arguing. That if everything (evolution) was random, then there is no reason to expect that we would have a rational mind. Your "answer" to him as "well we have a rational mind" which plays right into his argument that since we have a rational mind there is a God. So you "answer" to him was not really a rebuttal at all but just a confirmation of his argument. That's all I was getting at.

    You are using the result (a rational mind and world) and assuming the cause is evolution and then using that as your argument that evolution can produce a rational world. Cart before the horse.

  4. Amen seer amen'd this post.
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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    That is one possibility, but not a compelling one, IMO. We have seen perfectly natural processes can produce order to varying degrees. Evolution is one, and the concept applies to both living and nonliving systems. As I noted to Seer, I do not tend to leap to "god did it" by default.
    This is what I see if you are correct:

    1. Did something rather than nothing need to exist - no.

    2. Did the universe need to be intelligible - no.

    3. Did the laws of physics need to allow a life permitting cosmos - no.

    4. Did biological life need to show up - no.

    5. Did biological life need to be self-aware - no.

    6. Did biological life need to think morally - no.


    I guess it is all extremely lucky from your point of view...
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.” C.S. Lewis

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    It is what Lewis was arguing.
    I know. I'm disagreeing with him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    That if everything (evolution) was random, then there is no reason to expect that we would have a rational mind. Your "answer" to him as "well we have a rational mind" which plays right into his argument that since we have a rational mind there is a God. So you "answer" to him was not really a rebuttal at all but just a confirmation of his argument. That's all I was getting at.
    First of all, evolution is not "random." It is a process that combines (not consciously) random changes and a dynamic we call "natural selection" (again, not consciously) to produce increased probability of survival. If the process produces a human mind that does not accurately capture the surrounding environment, that being would have a much lower chance of survival, so evolution naturally leads to a mind that reasonably grasps external reality. I do not need to posit a god for any of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    You are using the result (a rational mind and world) and assuming the cause is evolution and then using that as your argument that evolution can produce a rational world. Cart before the horse.
    No - not cart before the horse. The evolution process does not require a "sentient mind" to operate, and can produce a "sentient mind" which, once produced, can understand evolution. The process itself is not sentient. You appear to be doing what Seer was doing in another thread: assuming that sentience can only arise from sentience. I do not see that as a justified assumption.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    This is what I see if you are correct:

    1. Did something rather than nothing need to exist - no.

    2. Did the universe need to be intelligible - no.

    3. Did the laws of physics need to allow a life permitting cosmos - no.

    4. Did biological life need to show up - no.

    5. Did biological life need to be self-aware - no.

    6. Did biological life need to think morally - no.


    I guess it is all extremely lucky from your point of view...
    I have no idea how anyone would measure "luck" in that context. That the universe is not necessarily any of those things does not preclude that it can be any or even all of those things. You seem to be making a probablistic argument from a sample space of one. Not only that, the universe IS, so probability becomes somewhat moot.

    If I consider what might happen when I flip a coin, there is a 50% (1/2) probability of a head (or a tail). If I then flip the coin and it lands heads, probability no longer applies: the coin is heads.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    No - not cart before the horse. The evolution process does not require a "sentient mind" to operate, and can produce a "sentient mind" which, once produced, can understand evolution. The process itself is not sentient. You appear to be doing what Seer was doing in another thread: assuming that sentience can only arise from sentience. I do not see that as a justified assumption.
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.” C.S. Lewis

  9. Amen Sparko amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    I have several things on my list:

    1. The laws of logic and mathematics are immutable, universal, and eternal.
    2. The universe is intelligible - it operates according to principles that can be codified and understood.
    3. I have the ability to use my five senses to (imperfectly) collect information about the reality of the universe.
    4. I have the (imperfect) capacity to reason and process that information to arrive at conclusions.
    5. Because my sensing and reasoning is imperfect, I should check my reasoning against that of others as much and as often as possible. That will help me to find flaws in my reasoning.
    6. Because of 3) and 4), it is never possible to be 100% certain about any conclusion.
    7. I should never add something to an explanation that is not strictly necessary to arrive at the conclusion (Occam's Razor)
    My list is shorter:

    1. My senses provide reasonably accurate data
    2. My mental faculties (including memory) are generally reliable


    Everything else is verifiable to sufficient extent that it is not an unquestioned assumption.
    Starlight: "In America a lot of tap-water is contaminated with lead or chemicals from fracking, because the right-wing crazies are anti-regulation."
    Lilpixieoferror: "Another day another Starlight fable. What actually causes high lead levels in water is lead pipes or lead solder, not industrial waste from any source. Well, so much for this Starlight fable... I wonder what tomorrow’s made up story will be in his ‘I HATE AMERICAN CHRISTIANS!!!’ quest."

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carpedm9587 View Post
    I have no idea how anyone would measure "luck" in that context. That the universe is not necessarily any of those things does not preclude that it can be any or even all of those things. You seem to be making a probablistic argument from a sample space of one. Not only that, the universe IS, so probability becomes somewhat moot.

    If I consider what might happen when I flip a coin, there is a 50% (1/2) probability of a head (or a tail). If I then flip the coin and it lands heads, probability no longer applies: the coin is heads.
    And your answer is either ignorance or "nature did it."
    "We can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.” C.S. Lewis

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    tWebber carpedm9587's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    So I'll jot down where I think he goes wrong as I listen (yes, I am assuming there is a flaw in his reasoning because his conclusions are not consistent with mine. If I finish listening and find no flaws, my list will be empty and I will have to conclude that I need to reassess my beliefs/argument):

    • Evolution doesn't prove naturalism, it is simply a possible explanation for it.
    • Naturalism does not necessitate materialism.
    • His argument about beliefs not needing to be true seems extremely weak to me, for the same reasons I cited before. If our minds evolved in such a way that our perceptions/reasoning were disconnected from reality - then our probability of survival is diminished. Our perceptions and our ability to reason on those perceptions enhances our survival only if it aligns with what is real. Since beliefs are based on those same faculties: perception and reasoning, it follows that our beliefs are likewise able to be true/correct. Consider it this way, if our perceptions are skewed, then the probability that we will see the man-eating beast is reduced, reducing our survival. The probability that we will see the cliff edge is reduced, reducing our survival. He completely ignores this reality, coming to a faulty conclusion as a consequence. Indeed, the rest of his argument fails because of this flaw.


    I listened to the rest, but the rest depends on the third item above, so when that failed, the rest failed along with it.
    The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    -Martin Luther King

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