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Atheists Who Want Atheism to be True

The existence of God is a topic that tends to elicit strong passions. People have their beliefs about whether God exists or not, but they also have their hopes. Many people hope God does exist, but some prominent voices express a hope quite to the contrary.

This idea that one might hope God doesn’t exist appears deeply perplexing from a Christian perspective, so it is perhaps understandable why a Christian might be inclined to assume such a hope is automatically indicative of sinful rebellion. But is that necessarily the case? Or might there be other reasons why a person might hope God doesn’t exist?

Before going any further, we should take a moment to define the topic under debate. As the saying goes, tell me about the god you don’t believe in because I probably don’t believe in that god either. The same point applies to hope: if you hope God doesn’t exist, there is a good chance that I  also hope God (as defined) doesn’t exist. So it is critically important that we start by defining God so as not to talk past one another.

With that in mind, we can define God as a necessary being who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good and who created everything other than God. If that is what we mean by God, is it possible that a person might reasonably hope God doesn’t exist?

You might think that the place to begin is with the new atheists, for they have surely been among the most vocal in expressing their opposition to the very idea of God. But I will turn instead to a much-discussed passage from Thomas Nagel’s 1997 book The Last Word. Nagel’s testimony is particularly relevant here because while the new atheists are populists with an iconoclastic ax to grind, Nagel is a deeply respected and sober philosopher, a professor at New York University and the author of such critically acclaimed books as The View From Nowhere and Mortal Questions. What is more, while the new atheists are unabashedly partisan in their critiques of God and religion, Nagel is measured and very fair. One can find evidence of Nagel’s objectivity in the fact that he has occasionally angered many in the broader atheist community, and endured substantial derision as a result, by endorsing positions or making arguments at odds with majority atheist opinion.1

With that in mind, Nagel’s candid observations about atheism in The Last Word have attracted a lot of attention from theists. He wrote:

“I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.
 
My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time.”2

It’s not surprising that this quote should have caught the attention of Christians committed to the Rebellion Thesis. After all, as already noted, Nagel is a leading philosopher and an independent thinker so his testimony immediately carries far more weight than your typical new atheist polemicist, Nagel speaks the truth as he sees it without lens-distorting party-line commitments. Moreover, after beginning with a reflection on his own state of unbelief, he then opines that many atheists share the same “cosmic authority problem.” Now that’s starting to sound promising. In the accompanying footnote, Nagel refuses to speculate on which sources, Oedipal or otherwise, might explain the genesis of this aversion. This, in turn, leaves it open for the Christian to attribute that opposition to sin, just as the Rebellion Thesis supposes.

Given the aura of this quote, it shouldn’t surprise us that several Christians have appealed to it as support for the Rebellion Thesis. Steven Cowan and James S. Spiegel draw attention to the passage in their book The Love of Wisdom: “Nagel, like others, has a problem with ‘cosmic authority.’ He doesn’t want there to be an omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good deity to hold him accountable.”3 Even more significant, in his commentary on the quote, Douglas Groothuis opines that Nagel’s words harken back to Paul’s description of cosmic rebellion: “Nagel’s visceral disclosure resembles the apostle Paul’s description of those who, in opposition to the divine knowledge of which they have access, suppress the truth of God’s existence, fail to give God thanks, and thus become darkened in their understanding (see Rom 1:18-21).”4

Perhaps Cowan, Spiegel and Groothuis are on to something. It is true that the Rebellion Thesis doesn’t look quite as outrageous after considering Nagel’s quote. Add to this the self-described antitheist Hitchens as he gripes about “the prospect of serfdom” under God and you just might see a pattern emerging. So could it be that Nagel is demonstrating that this cosmic authority problem really does bring us to the heart of atheism? To put it another way, did Nagel inadvertently produce his own “47 percent” quote, one which lays bare the intransigent spirit of atheism?

As we consider whether Nagel’s quote supports the Rebellion Thesis, let’s start by noting that Nagel himself nowhere suggests that all atheism can be attributed to a “cosmic authority problem.” He merely speculates that many instances could be. He also suggests that there is nobody neutral about the existence of God.5 But one simply can’t support the Rebellion Thesis based on those comparatively meager results.

What is more, a careful reading of The Last Word suggests that Nagel provides at least one explanation for this aversion toward God which is not, in fact, driven by antitheistic hostility. In the following passage, Nagel offers a fascinating speculation on the ultimate source of this aversion and this source is not tied to any problem with cosmic authority per se:

“there is really no reason to assume that the only alternative to an evolutionary explanation of everything is a religious one. However, this may not be comforting enough, because the feeling that I have called the fear of religion may extend far beyond the existence of a personal god, to include any cosmic order of which mind is an irreducible and nonaccidental part. I suspect that there is a deep-seated aversion in the modern ‘disenchanted’ Weltanschauung to any ultimate principles that are not dead—that is, devoid of any reference to the possibility of life or consciousness.”6

Note that in this passage Nagel suggests that the aversion to God may, in fact, be sourced in a more fundamental aversion to, or even fear of, ultimate explanatory principles that are personal in nature. If Nagel is right about this then his problem, and that of other atheists like him, may not be that they are against God but rather that they have an aversion to unknowable or mysterious personal explanations.

Perhaps you’re not exactly clear about what Nagel is referring to here, so let me try an illustration to unpack his speculation a bit further. Imagine that there is an indigenous tribe living beside some sweeping sand dunes. Day after day there is a low, mysterious hum emitting from the sand dunes and the indigenous people attribute that hum to a supernatural cause, i.e., mysterious spirits that live in the dunes. Many western visitors to this community would not only be inclined to think there is a natural explanation, but they also might prefer there to be a natural explanation. Why? This could be for at least two reasons. To begin with, the westerners would prefer the parsimony (that is, the simplicity) and familiarity of a picture of the world in which novel phenomena can ultimately be attributable to natural causes. In addition, those westerners might simply find the notion of spiritual agencies wandering the dunes to be unsettling.

And why exactly is this unsettling? Well, consider another illustration closer to home. Indeed, it could be in your home. When I hear a strange bump in the night, I could attribute it to a ghost, but I’d certainly prefer to think it was the dog! The prospect of unknown (and perhaps unknowable) nonphysical personal agencies interacting in our world is indeed unsettling. It isn’t that the westerners are necessarily hostile to spirit beings humming in the dunes. But they hope such beings don’t exist just the same. In a very interesting passage in The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis locates this fear, this aversion with respect to Rudolf Otto’s conception of the numinous:

“Suppose you were told there was a tiger in the next room: you would know that you were in danger and would probably feel fear. But if you were told ‘There is a ghost in the next room,’ and believed it, you would feel, indeed, what is often called fear, but of a different kind. It would not be based on the knowledge of danger for no one is primarily afraid of what a ghost may do to him, but of the mere fact that it is a ghost. It is ‘uncanny’ rather than dangerous, and the special kind of fear it excites may be called Dread. With the Uncanny one has reached the fringes of the Numinous. Now suppose that you were told simply ‘There is a mighty spirit in the room,’ and believed it. Your feelings would then be even less like the mere fear of danger: but the disturbance would be profound. You would feel wonder and a certain shrinking—a sense of inadequacy to cope with such a visitant and of prostration before it—an emotion which might be expressed in Shakespeare’s words ‘Under it my genius is rebuked.’ This feeling may be described as awe and the object which excites it as the Numinous.”7

As Lewis points out, the fear of the ghost is quite different from the fear of the tiger. It is a fear that appears to overlap significantly with Nagel’s aversion to “ultimate principles that are not dead.” The key to recognize is that this aversion (which, in its purest form, Otto referred to as the mysterium tremendum) is not necessarily indicative of hatred or hostility. Instead, it is closer to that uncanny fear of the unknown, like Lewis’ ghost in the next room, or mysterious entities wandering the sand dunes.8

Speaking of those entities in the sand dunes, let’s return to that illustration for a moment. The indigenous people in the illustration represent a perspective that we can call the “enchanters” while the westerners represent the “disenchanters” position. Enchanters tend to be drawn to magic and mystery and mental agencies. Consequently, they seem to find ultimate personal explanations and the numinous to be appealing. By contrast, the disenchanters prefer natural and scientific explanations that appeal to matter, energy and forces. In their sociological study of atheism in America, sociologists Williamson and Yancey effectively contrast the two perspectives:

“For many believers [i.e., enchanters], this may seem a dismal thought — that there is no mystery, that there is no ‘other,’ and that there is no eternal father to protect and comfort them. For many nonbelievers [i.e., disenchanters], though, the idea is liberating: no fear of death and no fear of judgment, just a marvelous universe to experience and explore — empirically.”9

To be sure, the disenchanter’s perspective is consistent with some degree of active rebellion against God. The desire to avoid divine judgment, for example, could reinforce a predisposition to the disenchanter’s position. But the key for us is that we simply don’t know to what extent Nagel’s aversion toward God is generated by antitheistic impulses versus a more general aversion to the Uncanny side of life. It could be that Nagel maintains a preference for a simpler, predictable and familiar world which is reducible to certain fundamental material principles. And thus it is for that reason that he hopes atheism is true. Consequently, we simply don’t have enough information to count Nagel’s comment as evidence for the Rebellion Thesis.

Nagel gives us a bit more on what I’m calling the disenchanter position elsewhere in The Last Word when he ties this drive for disenchantment to the laudable desire to have explanations that we can understand. As he puts it, “the idea of God serves as a placeholder for an explanation where something seems to demand explanation and none is available . . . .”10 Further, he adds, “I have never been able to understand the idea of God well enough to see such a theory as truly explanatory: It seems rather to stand for a still unspecified purposiveness that itself remains unexplained.”11 From this perspective Nagel’s aversion to God is an aversion to giving up the quest for further understanding. Once again, we see that we need not attribute his words to any divine rebellion.

When we draw all these points together we find that Nagel’s initial comment offers very little to support a robust Rebellion Thesis. It is true that Nagel speculates that many atheists may have a cosmic authority problem, but he never suggests that all do. Moreover, he also offers another plausible explanation for the desire that God not exist, one which is rooted not in an aversion to divine authority, but rather in the disenchanter’s drive for simplicity, predictability, and explanations that can be grasped by the human mind. And as Lewis illustrates, every one of us can sympathize with this impulse, at least to some degree. (I sure hope that thump in the next room wasn’t caused by a ghost.) To cap it off, Nagel also warns atheists about allowing preferences to color their reasoning. At one point he cautions, “it is just as irrational to be influenced in one’s beliefs by the hope that God does not exist as by the hope that God does exist.”12

To sum up, while Nagel’s quote allows for the possibility that an indeterminate number of atheists may be in rebellion against God, it simply does not provide good evidence for the Rebellion Thesis. If I may be blunt, it seems to me that Christians who attempt to play isolated quotes like that of Nagel as a “47 percent trump card” to support of the Rebellion Thesis are engaged in little more than quote-mining. (And yes, quote-mining is as bad as it sounds.)

 

NOTE: This article is adapted from a section of my book titled Is the Atheist My Neighbor?: Rethinking Christian Attitudes toward Atheism.

Notes:

  1. In his book Mind and Cosmos, Nagel argues that the reigning philosophical paradigm among contemporary atheists—a position called naturalism—is a failure and should be replaced with another philosophical theory. This thesis rankled many atheists who believed the attack on naturalism was unjustified. Equally controversial was Nagel’s high profile endorsement in the Times Literary Supplement of Christian intelligent design theorist Stephen Meyer’s monograph Signature in the Cell as one of the best books of 2009. Whether you agree with him or not, Nagel speaks the truth as he sees it without lens-distorting party-line commitments.
  2. Nagel, The Last Word, 130, emphasis added.
  3. Cowan and Spiegel, The Love of Wisdom: A Christian Introduction to Philosophy, 256.
  4. Groothuis, “Why Truth Matters Most: An Apologetic for Truth-Seeking in Postmodern Times,” 444. See also Moreland and Issler, In Search of a Confident Faith: Overcoming Barriers to Trusting in God, 59. Other Christian apologists are more nuanced in their appeal to Nagel’s quote. See, for example, Copan, That’s Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Skeptics Who Challenge Your Faith, 21.
  5. Nagel, The Last Word, 130, n.
  6. Nagel, The Last Word, 133, emphasis added.
  7. Lewis, The Problem of Pain, 17.
  8. In 1974 Canadian singer Burton Cummings walked into St. Thomas Church in New York and was suddenly overcome with the sense of a presence he could not understand, a presence very much like Lewis’s Uncanny and Otto’s mysterium tremendum. After this unsettling experience Cummings wrote a song about it that became a big hit. He called the song “I’m Scared.”
  9. Williamson and Yancey, There is No God: Atheists in America, 12.
  10. Nagel, The Last Word, 132–3.
  11. Nagel, The Last Word, 75–6.
  12. Nagel, The Last Word, 131.
Dr. Randal Rauser

Written by

Dr. Randal Rauser is Professor of Historical Theology at Taylor Seminary where he has taught since 2003. He is the author of many books including What on Earth do we Know About Heaven? (Baker, 2013); The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails (InterVarsity, 2012); Is the Atheist My Neighbor? (Cascade, 2015); An Atheist and a Christian Walk into a Bar: Talking about God, the Universe, and Everything (Prometheus Books, 2016); and his most recent book, What's So Confusing About Grace? (Two Cup Press, 2017)"Randal also blogs and podcasts at RandalRauser.com and lectures widely on Christian worldview and apologetics.

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  • Jim (hillclimber)

    The irony, according to Charles Taylor in A Secular Age, is that disenchantment seems to have deeply Christian roots. The sense that God is in the world (as expressed most fully in the Incarnation) and is moreover sovereign in the world (as expressed most fully in the Resurrection) seems to have combined to produce a sense that one needn't worry about evil spirits in the woods, magic spells, the inherent power of sacralized objects, etc.

    Based on Christian intellectual history so far, it is apparently not easy to strike the correct balance, even within a theistic framework. Too much emphasis on [a particular conception of] God's sovereignty in the world leads to voluntaristic theologies and ultimately to conceptions of creation wherein things don't have natures and teloi of their own, but are dumbly and mechanically pushed around as if on auto-pilot. On the other hand, too little emphasis on God's sovereignty seems to lead to religiosity that, in the tradition Protestant critique at least, is "excessively Catholic", with all the emphasis on the power of saints, angels, sacraments ... and secondary causality.

  • Jim (hillclimber)

    In support of the OP, I would add that the Rebellion Thesis is additionally problematic because atheism is often adopted precisely because of its association with a way of life that appears to be more morally rigorous and compelling than the Christian path. Especially, it is seen as more noble to give of oneself quasi-Stoically, without any expectation of eternal reward, than it is to do so "for the denarius of salvation" that Christians seem to seek. (And FWIW, as far as that goes, I think that moral assessment is in some sense correct; nonetheless I think that unilateral moral heroism can miss the mark by closing one off to the relational depths of reality.)

    • Rob Abney

      Jim. You have mis-represented the Christian path, you represent it as doing good so that you may be rewarded but from the beginning of Christianity the reason for doing good is for love of neighbor. Atheists also do good for love of neighbors but they almost always come up short because the highest good is for you and your neighbor to know God.

      • Jim (hillclimber)

        Please note first of all that I was trying to characterize the way the choice appears to (some) atheists. I am saying that atheism appears to them to be a more moral choice, not a less moral one. Whether their assessment on this point is correct or incorrect, in either case it invalidates the Rebellion Thesis, because at the end of the day they are doing what they think they should do, as opposed to doing what they want to do and rebelling against what they should do. (Obviously I don't actually think atheism is the more moral choice, otherwise I would be one myself. But again, my primary intent was to characterize their position, not to stake out my own.)

        As far as what the Christian path consists of, I would say it this way. Love of neighbor is a participation in agape, and that is a participation in the undying reality of God. Thus, even if love of neighbor entails pain or even death, it is understood that that participation will fulfill our deepest longing in an eternal way. That IS an eternal reward. By contrast, some atheists seem intent on doing good for their neighbor while ostensibly not acknowledging the reality of any attendant eternal reward. And I am saying that I can understand how that seems more noble.

        • Rob Abney

          Jim, if you perform an act of love for an external reward then it is not an act of love even if that reward is the fulfillment of our deepest longing. As you’ve told me before, you cannot earn salvation.

          some atheists seem intent on doing good for their neighbor while ostensibly not acknowledging the reality of any attendant eternal reward

          That does sound noble, do you mind giving me an example?

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            OK, I agree that "reward" was not a good word for me to use, insofar as that implies something transactional or something earned. "Reward" is a crude Sunday-school approximation to the more subtle concept of unearned grace that is made efficacious through participation in faith and good works. So, I accept that correction.

            Nonetheless, I emphasize again that I was making a point about decisions made in light of perceptions of morality. It is certainly a widespread perception (even among Christians) that Christians "do good things so that they get to go to heaven". And it is also (in some circles, at least) a widespread perception that atheists just "do good things because that's just the right thing to do". Whether these perceptions are right or wrong is beside the point. The point is that a person who perceives the moral landscape in this way and chooses atheism because of its perceived moral superiority is not a person with a cosmic authority problem. Such a person may be wrong for other reasons, but "cosmic authority problem" is not the right diagnosis in such cases.

          • Milton Platt

            The broader discussion of morality aside, I think it is still reasonable,to say that Christians have to do a percieved good to get into heaven, that percieved good being faith in a concept that cannot be demonstrated to exist, ie: a god.
            They “earn” the right to go to heaven by being gullible about the god proposition.
            Also, what happens to a hypothetical Christian who believes in god, Jesus, etc. but does a preponderance of evil during his lifetime? Does he go to heaven while a non-believer goes to hell even though he lived a more moral life?
            If one would say that if you really believe in a god, you cannot live such a life, then what of Satan, who supposedly rebeled against a god he knew more directly than any Christian possibly could? Surely Satan believes god exists, and yet his life is by Christian measure wholly evil.

          • David Cromie

            Have you ever heard of supererogation? Atheists are well known for it.

          • Rob Abney

            Do you have an example since atheists are well known for it?

          • Mark

            Are you going to let David know supererogation is a Catholic term? ;)

        • BA

          "because at the end of the day they are doing what they think they should do"

          Jim,

          I think this view misses perhaps the more important part. In rigorous atheism, there is no "Should", only the silence of "Is".
          As Lewis put it, you can't get "Ought" from "Is".... that is to say one cannot look at a stone and conclude he should feed the hungry. He can so feed if he wishes and many atheists do but there is no more "merit" in feeding than in not feeding. Both are mere actions in a directionless world.

          I think Sartre saw this when he emphasized "authenticity" .....that is to be authentic, a man must choose. The choice didn't matter but the act of choosing does. It mattered not whether you pick up a stranger on the side of the road or mow him down......as long as you made a willful choice.

          Once you eliminate the Lawgiver, there is NO Law....only opinion.

  • Jim (hillclimber)

    [Re-post after spam-detector denied me.]

    The irony, according to Charles Taylor in A Secular Age, is that disenchantment seems to have deeply Christian roots. The sense that God is in the world (as expressed most fully in the Incarnation) and is moreover sovereign in the world (as expressed most fully in the Resurrection) seems to have combined to produce a sense that one needn't worry about evil spirits in the woods, magic spells, the inherent power of sacralized objects, etc.

    Based on Christian intellectual history so far, it is apparently not easy to strike the correct balance, even within a theistic framework. Too much emphasis on [a particular conception of] God's sovereignty in the world leads to voluntaristic theologies and ultimately to conceptions of creation wherein things don't have natures and teloi of their own, but are dumbly and mechanically pushed around as if on auto-pilot. On the other hand, too little emphasis on God's sovereignty seems to lead to religiosity that, in the tradition Protestant critique at least, is "excessively Catholic", with all the emphasis on the power of saints, angels, sacraments ... and secondary causality.

  • I don't hope there is no god. Nor do I hope there is. I hope there is an afterlife, that I nor anyone else is ever anihilated.

    I hope that if there is a god it is not required to hold discriminatory views of women, homosexuals, or the transgendered. I hope that god does not require those who lack a belief or relationship with him to be killed or deprived of a not unpleasant afterlife. I hope any gods that might exist are sex positive and don't want me to take dangerous positions in contraception.

    I hope that any god that exists would recognize that a person is good if one values other conscious beings as valuable in themselves and not ends, and would frown on any kind of worship.

    I hope that any god that exists would be able to forgive based on repentance alone and not need to instantiate a system of belief around a good being being tortured to death, one that would view substantitutional atonement as wrong.

    I would hope that any god that exists that is all powerful and good would intervene to mostly alleviate or prevent human suffering, or explain why she doesn't.

    I'd hope that any god that exists and for some reason felt a need to communicate a message to humans would simply do so directly to each of us to avoid the kind of massive religious divisions strife and slaughter that has plagued humans for centuries.

    • Rob Abney

      Wow, all your "hopes" will be fulfilled. All of your desires are met by the God of classical theism, who is the God that catholics worship! If only hou can accept the "authority" of God.

      • James

        That’s not the God I remember from Catholic school.

        • Rob Abney

          We describe God in different terms depending on whether we are discussing with adults or teaching school children.

          • James

            Gotta keep the kids in line.

          • Rob Abney

            I don’t know how old you are, but most adults agree that that is the right thing to do. Would you have preferred that Catholic school kids be taught about another god?

          • James

            You’re missing the point.

            The God you describe as the one Catholics worship doesn’t resemble the God I was taught about in Catholic school or, for that matter, have heard about from other Catholic sources.

            For starters, I have never heard God be described as “sex positive”. Certainly the Catholic God doesn’t frown upon worship either.

          • Rob Abney

            I agree, I'm missing your points, please explain.

          • James

            You claimed the God Brian Green Adams is looking for upthread is the God Catholics worship. Yet Brian Green Adams description bears little resemblance to the Catholic idea of God.

            Either you didn’t understand Brian Green Adams or you don’t understand the God Catholics worship.

          • David Cromie

            Of course - a 'god' for every occasion.

      • All of your desires are met by the God of classical theism, who is the God that catholics worship! If only hou can accept the "authority" of God.

        Don't you mean: If only you will accept what Catholics say about God?

        • Rob Abney

          No, I mean that bga described many situations that he is hopeful for and the Catholic position is in agreement.

          • So your remark about accepting God's authority was irrelevant to the point you wanted to make?

          • Rob Abney

            No, it’s relevant unless there is an anti-Catholic lens used to view the remarks.

          • If I don't agree up front that Catholics represent God's authority in this world, am I being anti-Catholic?

          • Rob Abney

            No, but you also can't deny it up front either.

          • I am not giving Catholics any special treatment, favorable or unfavorable. Whatever moral and intellectual authority I deny up front to every other human institution, I will deny to the church until it can show me compelling and irrefutable evidence that I should grant it an exception.

          • Rob Abney

            You can’t do anything about having 46 chromosomes but you can replace presuppositions with an open mind.

          • An open mind is not a mind without presuppositions. An open mind is willing to change its presuppositions.

          • Rob Abney

            Sure, I agree, but I've read enough of your comments to know that you don't change your presuppositions especially concerning Catholicism or Aristotle!

          • I don't expect you to credit me with any intellectual virtues. For the lurkers, though: In my time on this forum, no one has shown me a good reason to change my presuppositions. A mind that changes without good reasons is not an open mind. It's a credulous mind.

          • Rob Abney

            I thought we were having a dialogue, I didn't realize that you were concerned about how lurkers might view your answers and make judgements about you.
            Here is some commentary on Aristotle's thoughts about virtues: There are several ways in which Aristotle approaches the question of what happiness consists in. First, he notes that flourishing for plants and animals consists in their functioning well according to their natures. So one question we should ask is this: What is the proper or peculiar function of a human being? Aristotle thinks it obvious that our proper function consists in reasoning and in acting in accord with reason. This is the heart of the doctrine of virtue, both moral and intellectual. So on this line of reasoning we are led to the conclusion that the possession and exercise of moral and intellectual virtue is the essential element in our living well.

            A second approach is to survey the goods which we find ourself desiring, since happiness presumably consists in the attainment of some good or set of goods such that to have them in the right way is to be living well. One division of goods is into (i) external goods (wealth, fame, honor, power, friends), (ii) goods of the body (life, health, good looks, physical strength, athletic ability, dexterity, etc.), and goods of the soul (virtue, life-projects, knowledge and education, artistic creativity and appreciation, recreation, friendship, etc.). The problem then is to delineate the ways in which such goods are related to happiness. Aristotle's view is that (a) certain goods (e.g., life and health) are necessary preconditions for happiness and that (b) others (wealth, friends, fame, honor) are embellishments that promote or fill out a good life for a virtuous person, but that (c) it is the possession and exercise of virtue which is the core constitutive element of happiness. The virtuous person alone can attain happiness and the virtuous person can never be miserable in the deepest sense, even in the face of misfortune which keeps him from being happy or blessed. So happiness combines an element over which we have greater control (virtue) with elements over which we have lesser control (health, wealth, friends, etc.).
            https://www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/courses/180/nicomach.htm

          • I thought we were having a dialogue

            We are, but it’s happening in a public venue. I have no reason to pretend that nobody else is paying any attention to what we say to each other.

            So on this line of reasoning we are led to the conclusion that the possession and exercise of moral and intellectual virtue is the essential element in our living well.

            I don’t accept Aristotle’s reasoning, but I partly agree with his conclusion in this instance. I agree that the proper exercise of moral and intellectual virtue is an essential element in our living well.

            The virtuous person alone can attain happiness and the virtuous person can never be miserable in the deepest sense, even in the face of misfortune which keeps him from being happy or blessed. So happiness combines an element over which we have greater control (virtue) with elements over which we have lesser control (health, wealth, friends, etc.).

            I’m tempted to say I agree, but I’m not assuming that I would agree with everything Aristotle had to say about virtue.

          • Rob Abney

            Here's another recommendation, watch Bishop Barron's talk at Google about the opening up of the mind. https://www.wordonfire.org/resources/lecture/religion-and-the-opening-up-of-the-mind-google-talk/5770/

          • Thank you. I enjoyed watching it. He's good. I'll post some comments after I've had time to get my thoughts organized.

          • A couple of preliminary comments . . . .

            Barron says, “Religion authentically construed is meant to open up the mind and the will.”

            That's nice to hear, but it's really difficult for us non-religious folks to take seriously anyone's claim that their own religion is more authentic than someone else's. That is perhaps especially so of us who are familiar with the arguments between Catholics and Protestants about which of them represents authentic Christianity.

            Next: According to Barron, channeling Aquinas, the mind wants to know all unconditioned truths, and the will seeks an unconditioned happiness that Aquinas called beatitudo. But as Barron notes, Aquinas’s own argument rests on Aristotle’s notion of final causation. Now, Barron says that regardless of what we think about final causation in nature, we cannot deny it when talking about our own lives as human beings. But there is a problem with this line of thinking. At least, it's a problem for us non-Aristotelians.

            I agree that we cannot reasonably deny that we, as conscious agents, act with purpose. We do what we do in order to accomplish certain ends. We have goals toward which we direct our behaviors. But it is reasonable, I would argue, to deny that we must assume the existence of any purpose beyond the immediate. We are products of natural selection. I get it that this is consistent with Catholic doctrine as far as it goes, but Catholic doctrine insists on going farther. Appealing to scripture and to Aristotle, it says we each have a purpose that exists independently of our own minds. Barron calls it the “first mover” of our wills and says it “cannot be any good in this world.” But the existence of any such mind-independent purpose presupposes Aristotle's metaphysics or some similar ontology. In other words, it presupposes the falseness of philosophical naturalism and therefore, as a defense of Christianity, just begs the question.

          • Rob Abney

            Religion is the consideration of the highest things and ideals; neither you nor anyone else can claim to be non-religious. It may be relative, as in the fact that some people can ponder great mysteries whereas others ponder simple things as great mysteries.

            You reject formal and final causes in general but you haven't made a case for your reasoning, you've just followed your previous way of thinking, that is contrary to the term "open-minded". Give one example of an immediate purpose and I will give you another larger, encompassing purpose, just as the Bishop did in his commentary.

          • Religion is the consideration of the highest things and ideals

            That is not what most people usually mean when they talk about religion. I was using the word in its conventional sense.

            neither you nor anyone else can claim to be non-religious.

            And therefore, what?

            I am not arguing “This is a religious belief, therefore it is wrong.” I am arguing that a particular philosophical belief that has been endorsed by a particular religion can reasonably be denied. Whether I myself happen to have any religion is beside the point.

            You reject formal and final causes in general but you haven't made a case for your reasoning

            Making a case is not the same thing as persuading. I haven’t changed your mind. That could mean I didn’t make my case very well. It doesn’t mean I haven’t made it.

            you've just followed your previous way of thinking, that is contrary to the term "open-minded".

            You have a troubling notion of what it means to be open-minded.

            Give one example of an immediate purpose and I will give you another larger, encompassing purpose, just as the Bishop did in his commentary.

            I expressed no disagreement with his observation about nested purposes.

          • Rob Abney

            From memory, the talk was to an assumedly secular crowd, who are wealthy and intelligent, they need someone to boldly say to them that despite all that they have there is more. He had to persuade them to open their minds to the possibility. He did a great job of demonstrating that there is always more because the great ideals are only known when you understand that they exist, when you step beyond your presuppositions that hold you back.

          • I have no problem with anybody encouraging open-mindedness. I have a problem with the assumption that whenever a mind doesn't change, it's because the mind is closed.

          • Rob Abney

            Your mind may not be closed but you have roadblocks in the form of presuppositions as you admitted.

          • I have admitting nothing except being like all other humans. We all have presuppositions. Unlike some people, I will admit that any of mine could possibly be in error.

            The church claims to have identified one or more particular presuppositions of mine that are in error, but the church's argument to that conclusion depends on certain of its own presuppositions. I am no more obliged to change any of my presuppositions just because the church says they're wrong than the church is obliged to change any of its presuppositions just because I say they're wrong.

          • Rob Abney

            The church claims to have identified one or more particular presuppositions of mine that are in error, but the church's argument to that conclusion depends on certain of its own presuppositions

            What presuppositions are you referring to? Which ones has the church said you have and which ones does the church rely on to make that claim? That should facilitate a good discussion!

          • David Cromie

            The overriding christer presupposition is that a supposed 'god' actually exists, and that the collection of myths, legends, and folklore, usually referred to as the 'bible', is the 'word' of that supposed 'god'.

            But no 'believer' has yet adduced the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence to demonstrate that any supernatural entities, whatsoever (not even Aquinas), actually exist anywhere outside the minds of 'god' believers. However, that does not mean that the consideration of what it means to lead a good life is meaningless for we mortals who are non believers.

            In other words, there is no reason to believe what any church leader says about morals, etc. when we have the concrete, historical, evidence of the hypocrisy, nefarious dealings, control freakery, bigotry, and sexual deviance of clercs to hand.

            I wonder what Aristotle would have to say on these matters if he were alive today, or what would even the Scholastics have to say (remembering that they probably never considered that there would be thousands of christer sects/denominations to choose from, and each of them considering itself to be the one 'true' version).

          • Dennis Bonnette

            "But no 'believer' has yet adduced the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence to demonstrate that any supernatural entities, whatsoever (not even Aquinas), actually exist anywhere outside the minds of 'god' believers. "

            And just how do you plan to demonstrate the truth of this claim?

            Please do not just assert that you have never seen such a demonstration or that you expect someone else to provide one if such exists.

            You have just asserted a baldfaced universal negative.

            Now prove it.

          • David Cromie

            "And just how do you plan to demonstrate the truth of this claim?"

            The onus is logically on any believer, including you, to show that I am wrong, by producing the cogent evidence for the existence of their supposed 'god'.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            The onus is on the person making the claim.

            You claimed that "no believer has yet adduced...."

            That is a universal negative assertion with no accompanying proof.

            You need to take a course in logic.

          • David Cromie

            "no believer has yet adduced...." is a statement of fact, unless you can prove, irrefutably, and falsifiably, that your supposed 'god' actually exists. That is a logical claim.

            If I were to assert that I kept a friendly unicorn in my garden, the obvious reply would be, 'Show it to me'. If I claimed that it is invisible, you would rightly come to the conclusion that I had a mental problem, and it would be to no avail that I truly believed that my unicorn is real.

            That is the fix you find yourself in, vis-a-vis your supposed 'god'. It is obviously time you took a course on Logic 101.

          • You're questioning on four lines here all of which demonstrate your own comfort or satisfaction with all sorts of half-starts and outright contradictions. Those four are as follows:

            First you claim that no one has demonstrated the forced reductio ad absurdum "Given Any Non-Theism" and that's false. In fact Non-Theists themselves insist on illusory ends with respect to all contingent abstractions our own the intentional Self/Mind and our own first person experience of "i-am" . You've been asked to address that ((...at http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3...)).

            Second you claim your own claims about "Not Enough Evidence" are NOT based on anything at all.... meaning that you've denied that it is necessarily the case that one can doubt a belief only by basing that doubt on other beliefs . You've been asked to address that ((...at http://disq.us/p/26oa9td...)).

            Third you're wrongheaded to claim "no contingent mind has proven x" because logic demonstrates that the inverse of that is ipso facto your defeater. But of course that yield is nothing more than a kind of Metaphysical Armistice which leaves you in the question-begging circularity of both 1 and 2 discussed at the start of this comment.

            ((...this comment is ....))

          • You are reasoning against yourself. By that I mean you are questioning on four lines here all of which demonstrate your own comfort or satisfaction with all sorts of half-starts and outright contradictions. Those four are as follows:

            1. you claim that no one has demonstrated the forced reductio ad absurdum "Given Any Non-Theism" and that's false. In fact Non-Theists themselves insist on illusory ends with respect to all contingent abstractions our own the intentional Self/Mind and our own first person experience of "i-am" . You've been asked to address that at http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3

            2. you claim your own claims about "Not Enough Evidence" are NOT based on anything at all.... meaning that you've denied that it is necessarily the case that one can doubt a belief only by basing that doubt on other beliefs . You've been asked to address that at http://disq.us/p/26oa9td

            3. you're wrongheaded to claim "no contingent being vis-à-vis the contingent mind vis-à-vis the contingent abstraction has proven the abstraction’s full-on instantiation in X" because logic demonstrates that the inverse of that is ipso facto your defeater. But of course that yields nothing more than a kind of Metaphysical Armistice which leaves you once again back up in the question-begging circularity of both 1 and 2 discussed at the start of this comment.

            4. as per 1 at the start you claim that no one has demonstrated the forced reductio ad absurdum "Given Any Non-Theism" and that's false ((even by Non-Theist’s own concessions far too often)). However, the flip side of that claim is the claim that you have found a fault in the natural progression of observation & perception through ten thousand intermediate syllogisms to finally End in the explanatory terminus of Being Itself as Reason Itself vis-à-vis that which goes by various terms within the Christian Metaphysic such as Absolute Consciousness or Divine Mind or Pure Act or the Absolute’s Reference Frame. But of course you’ve not demonstrated that you have and therein we can invert your Metaphysical Armistice as described above in 3.

            With respect to Logic 101, a basic framework is as follows:

            Begin Excerpts:

            “…More importantly, we can defend them by the method of retorsion, which involves showing that one cannot deny them on pain of self-contradiction or incoherence. This method is sometimes misunderstood. Some people think it merely involves showing that we can’t help *thinking* a certain way, but where this leaves it open that this way of thinking might nevertheless not correspond to reality. In other words, they think that retorsion arguments are essentially about human *psychology*. That is not at all the case. Rightly understood, such arguments are a species of *reduction* *ad* *absurdum* argument. They involve defending a claim by showing that the denial of the claim entails a contradiction, and thus cannot as a matter of objective fact (and not merely as a contingent matter of human psychology) be correct… …The word “proof” has, historically, been used in different senses.

            Naturally, I don’t mean that the arguments are proofs in exactly the same sense in which a mathematical proof is a “proof.” They are mostly not *a* *priori* arguments, for one thing. But I used the word deliberately, and I certainly claim a high degree of certainty for the claim that God exists. For example, I would claim that it is as certain that God exists as it is that the world external to our minds is real and not an illusion foisted upon us by a Cartesian demon or the Matrix. How can I say that? Well, the point of the book to show this. The arguments are “proofs” in that, first of all, the conclusion is claimed to follow *deductively* from the premises. They are not mere probabilistic inferences, arguments to the best explanation, or “God of the gaps” arguments. (I hate “God of the gaps” arguments.) The claim is that the arguments show, not merely that God is the most likely explanation of the facts asserted in the premises of the arguments, but rather that God is the *only *possible *explanation *in *principle of those facts. Second, the premises are knowable with certainty.

            The premises include both empirical premises (for example, the premise that change occurs) and philosophical premises (for example, the premise that everything has an explanation or is intelligible). The premises in turn can be defended in various ways that show them to be beyond reasonable doubt. For example, some of them can be defended via retorsion arguments (which, again, are a species of *reductio *ad *absurdum argument). That is to say, such arguments try to show that anyone who denies such-and-such a claim is implicitly contradicting himself. So in arguments of the sort I am defending, the conclusion is claimed to follow necessarily from the premises, and the premises are claimed to be knowable beyond any reasonable doubt. That sort of argument fits one traditional use of the word “proof.”

            Naturally, I am aware that some people will nevertheless challenge the arguments or remain doubtful about one or more of them. But that’s true of every single argument one could give for any conclusion, even mathematical proofs. A determined and clever enough skeptic will always be able to come up with *some* grounds for doubt, even if the grounds are bizarre or far-fetched. That doesn’t mean that the grounds are, all things considered, going to be reasonable ones. Anyway, my calling something a “proof” doesn’t entail that I think every reader, even every fair-minded reader, is immediately going to be convinced. What it is meant to indicate is the nature of the connection between the facts described in the premises and the fact described in the conclusion. It is a *metaphysical* claim, not a *sociological* claim. Too many people mix these things up. They think that as long as a significant number of people are likely not to agree with some argument, you can’t call it a “proof.” That just misunderstands the way the term is being used…”

            End Excerpts ((…from https://strangenotions.com/ama-dr-feser-answers/...))

            ((...this comment is http://disq.us/p/26x58j6 ....))

            Etc.

          • There is a typo or two in my reply to you at http://disq.us/p/26x58j6 ~~ In the first item the second sentence should instead read as follows:

            In fact Non-Theists themselves insist on illusory ends with respect to all contingent abstractions of our own contingent minds vis-à-vis the intentional Self/Mind and our own first person experience of "i-am" . You've been asked to address that at http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3

          • David Cromie

            Even more pseudo philosophical, Scholastical, BS. You really do need a refresher course in logic, but from a credible, non popish college, this time around.

          • You needn't be intimidated by the topic of our own mind's perception of the world as it is centuries old. It's odd that you want to label 200 years of Non-Theistic/Atheistic and Theistic philosophy on that topic as unrelated to the topic at hand. Perhaps you can demonstrate as much by addressing the following:

            1. you claim that no one has demonstrated the forced reductio ad absurdum "Given Any Non-Theism" and that's false. In fact Non-Theists themselves insist on illusory ends with respect to all contingent abstractions our own the intentional Self/Mind and our own first person experience of "i-am" . You've been asked to address that at http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3

            2. you claim your own claims about "Not Enough Evidence" are NOT based on anything at all.... meaning that you've denied that it is necessarily the case that one can doubt a belief only by basing that doubt on other beliefs . You've been asked to address that at http://disq.us/p/26oa9td

            3. you're wrongheaded to claim "no contingent being vis-à-vis the contingent mind vis-à-vis the contingent abstraction has proven the abstraction’s full-on instantiation in X" because logic demonstrates that the inverse of that is ipso facto your defeater. But of course that yields nothing more than a kind of Metaphysical Armistice which leaves you once again back up in the question-begging circularity of both 1 and 2 discussed at the start of this comment.

            4. as per 1 at the start you claim that no one has demonstrated the forced reductio ad absurdum "Given Any Non-Theism" and that's false ((even by Non-Theist’s own concessions far too often)). However, the flip side of that claim is the claim that you have found a fault in the natural progression of observation & perception through ten thousand intermediate syllogisms to finally End in the explanatory terminus of Being Itself as Reason Itself vis-à-vis that which goes by various terms within the Christian Metaphysic such as Absolute Consciousness or Divine Mind or Pure Act or the Absolute’s Reference Frame. But of course you’ve not demonstrated that you have and therein we can invert your Metaphysical Armistice as described above in 3.

            With respect to Logic 101, a basic framework is as follows:

            Begin Excerpts:

            “…More importantly, we can defend them by the method of retorsion, which involves showing that one cannot deny them on pain of self-contradiction or incoherence. This method is sometimes misunderstood. Some people think it merely involves showing that we can’t help *thinking* a certain way, but where this leaves it open that this way of thinking might nevertheless not correspond to reality. In other words, they think that retorsion arguments are essentially about human *psychology*. That is not at all the case. Rightly understood, such arguments are a species of *reduction* *ad* *absurdum* argument. They involve defending a claim by showing that the denial of the claim entails a contradiction, and thus cannot as a matter of objective fact (and not merely as a contingent matter of human psychology) be correct… …The word “proof” has, historically, been used in different senses.

            Naturally, I don’t mean that the arguments are proofs in exactly the same sense in which a mathematical proof is a “proof.” They are mostly not *a* *priori* arguments, for one thing. But I used the word deliberately, and I certainly claim a high degree of certainty for the claim that God exists. For example, I would claim that it is as certain that God exists as it is that the world external to our minds is real and not an illusion foisted upon us by a Cartesian demon or the Matrix. How can I say that? Well, the point of the book to show this. The arguments are “proofs” in that, first of all, the conclusion is claimed to follow *deductively* from the premises. They are not mere probabilistic inferences, arguments to the best explanation, or “God of the gaps” arguments. (I hate “God of the gaps” arguments.) The claim is that the arguments show, not merely that God is the most likely explanation of the facts asserted in the premises of the arguments, but rather that God is the *only *possible *explanation *in *principle of those facts. Second, the premises are knowable with certainty.

            The premises include both empirical premises (for example, the premise that change occurs) and philosophical premises (for example, the premise that everything has an explanation or is intelligible). The premises in turn can be defended in various ways that show them to be beyond reasonable doubt. For example, some of them can be defended via retorsion arguments (which, again, are a species of *reductio *ad *absurdum argument). That is to say, such arguments try to show that anyone who denies such-and-such a claim is implicitly contradicting himself. So in arguments of the sort I am defending, the conclusion is claimed to follow necessarily from the premises, and the premises are claimed to be knowable beyond any reasonable doubt. That sort of argument fits one traditional use of the word “proof.”

            Naturally, I am aware that some people will nevertheless challenge the arguments or remain doubtful about one or more of them. But that’s true of every single argument one could give for any conclusion, even mathematical proofs. A determined and clever enough skeptic will always be able to come up with *some* grounds for doubt, even if the grounds are bizarre or far-fetched. That doesn’t mean that the grounds are, all things considered, going to be reasonable ones. Anyway, my calling something a “proof” doesn’t entail that I think every reader, even every fair-minded reader, is immediately going to be convinced. What it is meant to indicate is the nature of the connection between the facts described in the premises and the fact described in the conclusion. It is a *metaphysical* claim, not a *sociological* claim. Too many people mix these things up. They think that as long as a significant number of people are likely not to agree with some argument, you can’t call it a “proof.” That just misunderstands the way the term is being used…”

            End Excerpts ((…from https://strangenotions.com/ama-dr-feser-answers/...))

            Etc.

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/271iz1c

            ~

          • David Cromie

            I am not sure what this convoluted word salad of pseudo philosophical jargon is supposed to convey to any sane, intelligent person, who is capable of critical thinking.

            Do you ever think for yourself, and if so, are you not able to express your thoughts in cogent English?

          • Which terms are big & scary or confusing to you wrt mind and perception? Was it “contingent”? Or maybe “being”? Or perhaps “eliminativism”? Notice that Bennett and myself keep offering specific claims which are standard-fare wrt the philosophy of mind Etc. and we understand one another while you only come back to us with “Gibberish!”

            What does that tell you?

          • David Cromie

            It tells me that you both use words to try to create a 'us and them' division among your readers. IOW, you think you are part of a select 'in' crowd, and are weaponizing words in an attempt to intimidate others whom you falsely believe are inferior to you in some way (as your last post proves), but to no effect.

            Now, back to the subject, where is your proof that your supposed 'god' actually exists?

          • And

          • David Cromie

            What has 'dualism' got to do with the existence of your favourite supposed 'god', any more than 'yin' and 'yang' might do?

            Just another word salad, but still no cogent answer to my question!

          • Dualism?

          • Not related?

          • David Cromie

            The question is; What has dualism got to do with the existence of your favourite supposed 'god'?

            From reading the so-called 'bible' I can accept that it is billed as both the embodiment of 'evil', and of 'good'. That is, for me, 'dualistic' enough to last for a lifetime of rejection.

          • God?

          • God? We can’t even get out of the gate with respect to basic concepts about perception and reality given your own claim that you don’t know what some fairly basic terms actually mean. Let’s recap why we’ve stalled out here:

            Dr. Bonnette said http://disq.us/p/26wzwo3
            I said http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3
            So then you said http://disq.us/p/26x46gt

            Then I said a. http://disq.us/p/26x58j6 and a typo correction at b. http://disq.us/p/26x5f55

            You didn’t find any of the terms ((…dualism…etc…)) comprehensible and so you said http://disq.us/p/2716tt2

            So then I said http://disq.us/p/271iz1c

            You again didn’t find any of the terms ((…dualism…etc…)) comprehensible and so you said http://disq.us/p/271rqud

            ((…notice that this is still from the start with Dr. Bonnette’s fairly basic content and my own fairly basic reminder that the nature of our own perceptions/abstractions are inextricably relevant…))

            So then I said http://disq.us/p/271s4ax which was the following:

            Which terms are big & scary or confusing to you wrt mind and perception? Was it “contingent”? Or maybe “being”? Or perhaps “eliminativism”? Notice that Bennett and myself keep offering specific claims which are standard-fare wrt the philosophy of mind Etc. and we understand one another while you only come back to us with “Gibberish!”

            What does that tell you?

            You didn’t find any of the terms ((…dualism…etc…)) comprehensible and so you said http://disq.us/p/274kja7

            So then I said http://disq.us/p/27521lw which was the following:

            Not only do you claim that the historical person “Jesus” never existed as per http://disq.us/p/271neoz but, also, when it comes to the general arena of the philosophy of mind you’re now insisting that terms related to dualism ((which both Theists and Non-Theists discuss in a myriad of works)), and that terms related to contingency & necessity ((which both Theists and Non-Theists unpack in a myriad of works)), and the term Being Itself as per the thousand years of Thomism // Divine Mind ((which both Theists and Non-Theists unpack in a myriad of works)), and the term Eliminativism which is in fact foisted by countless Non-Theists such as the Churchlands, Rosenberg, and others, and which is unpacked by both Non-Theists and Theists in a myriad of works, are all, every one of them, “made-up” by Non-Theists and Theists? Or that they use them in order to dissect various In/Out groups rather than the actual topic at hand ((the nature of mind/consciousness))? Or that Non-Theists and Theists are using them because they each believe the other is clueless? Just as it’s satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point of “Jesus Never Existed” so too it’s satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point here with respect to these terms. So the description above is accurate — Yes?

            You found the term dualism ((..again…)) to be incomprehensible and so you said http://disq.us/p/2766g54

            ((…notice that this is still from the start with Dr. Bonnette’s fairly basic content and my own fairly basic reminder that the nature of our own perceptions/abstractions are inextricably relevant…))

            So then I said http://disq.us/p/276gg2j

            Again I’m happy to let you persist in your insistence that these sorts of basic terms are all just incomprehensible to you and that there is ZERO evidence that the historical Jesus existed – and so on. Just as it’s satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point of “Jesus Never Existed” as per your "Zero Evidence" claim, so too it’s satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point here with respect to these terms. So the descriptions of terms and what you feel/think they mean/referent given above is accurate — Yes?

            Recall that you're the one who called all of those concepts gibberish. I took you at your word. If you DO understand those concepts and they DO apply to the philosophy of mind, but you only PRETEND/EVADE and merely call it all gibberish, well then you're just disingenuous. It's one or the other. Yes?

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/277yk77

          • David Cromie

            Where have I claimed that I don't understand the terms you mention? They have only been introduced by you as a red herring, in order to dodge answering my question, thus I have ignored them as spurious, and ultra vires.

          • Oh good so you DO understand the meanings of Dr. Bonnette’s fairly basic content as well as the meanings of the terms used by me ((…in my own fairly basic reminder that the nature of our own perceptions/abstractions are inextricably relevant to claims of validity wrt interpreting reality…)). Terms such as “Mind” and “Reasoning” and “Perception” and “Dualism” and “First Person Experience” and “Abstraction” and “Eliminativism” and “Being Itself” and “Retorsion” and so on ((…as described in http://disq.us/p/277yk77...)).

            But that only brings us back to earlier where I’ve expressed my own satisfaction with using your claims thus far as a good demonstration for the stopping point of so many of our Non-Theist friends. That is to say it is satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point of "Zero Evidence" that the historical Jesus ever existed just as it is satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point here with respect to your claim of irrelevance of those concepts when it comes to interpreting reality. That is to say that it is satisfying that you claim that on your view mind itself and ((therefore)) all of the terms which we employ to unpack it ((…mind /consciousness / reasoning vis-à-vis the terms above etc…)) has ZERO RELEVANCE when it comes to interpreting reality and, so, your own epistemic experience is ALSO that which sums to ZERO relevance ((..by epistemic experience we mean of course nothing less than mind /consciousness / reasoning and so on vis-à-vis the terms above etc…)).

            It’s also satisfying that on your view the following is a FALSE claim: "....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief...."

            As before I take you at your word on ALL of that but of course IF you ((in reality)) DO understand the meaning of those concepts and that they DO apply to the philosophy of mind and that the nature of Perception/Mind IS in fact inextricably tied to veracity BUT you’re actually only PRETENDING / EVADING well then you're simply disingenuous. But that too is a stopping point and/or a clarification point which has been left at your feet three times now. And? So? Surely we’re both content/satisfied with using all of the above claims of yours as stopping points. Yes? No? If so then you’re done – yes?

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/279d8al

          • Continuing from http://disq.us/p/279d8al ~~ Our Epistemic Experience and God....We keep bringing you up to the Doorstep of various proofs of God but you keep replying with comments such as "What's that got to do with God ! Gibberish! Word Salad!" The nature of the Christian Metaphysic vis-a-vis the Divine // Contingent Mind and Divine // Contingent Consciousness isn't something you are up to speed on by your own admission and when you reply like that to our very candid initiations of introducing you to a few basic arguments for God you prove far more, namely that you're ALSO not at all familiar with the Christian Metaphysic as such. That explains in large part Dr. Bonnett's comment to you:

            And, no, I have no intention of trying to explain its more than two hundred page complexity to you on this thread. For one thing, you need a much better background in logic as well as the basic insights of metaphysics. ((...brief excerpt from http://disq.us/p/271rcnq ...))

            You cannot demonstrate your claim of an incoherence in your/our own Contingent Mind/Consciousness nor in the Divine Mind / Absolute Consciousness and therefore you cannot do so in the Christian Metaphysic ~ and all for the same reason: you simply lack familiarity with the material and want it spoon-fed to you in a thread.

            Even further, your own level of logic hasn't grasped the very basic concept of retorsion ((... http://disq.us/p/26x58j6....)). But of course even if you DID it's clear that you would not be able to apply it to the Christian Metaphysic given your lack of a grasp on WHY the Christian brings you to something as basic and elementary as the Divine Mind ((and by extension all that is the Contingent Mind...)).

            All of that explains your behavior as we are forever bringing you up to the Doorstep of various proofs of God but you keep replying with comments such as "What's that got to do with God! Gibberish! Word Salad!" The nature of the Christian Metaphysic vis-a-vis the Divine // Contingent Mind and Divine // Contingent Consciousness is the gateway being offered to you and you refuse it, don't understand it, and, while not understanding it, claim that Mind & Consciousness are irrelevant to the question at hand regarding God "per" the "Christian" Metaphysic.

            Now, that claim of yours is actually silly of you and if you knew what the Christian Metaphysic "housed" you'd know that. But, here too as in http://disq.us/p/279d8al we are satisfied to let you stop there with that claim about Mind, Consciousness, Interpreting Reality, your own Epistemic Experience, and the relations of all of that to the Christian Metaphysic. You're is actually a helpful demonstration on the unfortunate stopping point of so many of our Non-Theist friends.

            So you're done. Yes?

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/279fhzr

          • The Epistemic Experience upon which you reply — and God: We keep bringing you up to the Doorstep of various Christian proofs of || Christian arguments for [God] but you keep replying with comments such as "What's that got to do with God! Gibberish! Word Salad!" ((…as per my reply at http://disq.us/p/277yk77 followed by your reply at http://disq.us/p/2797r70 and now this reply etc…)).

            Why do you reply in that fashion? Do you prefer that the Christian give you some Non-Christian set of arguments?

            The nature of the Christian Metaphysic vis-a-vis the Divine // Contingent Mind or vis-a-vis Divine // Contingent Consciousness isn't something you are up to speed on by your own admission and when you reply like you have been here (("Gibberish!" etc.)) to our very candid initiations of introducing you to a few basic arguments for God you prove something else too, namely that you're ALSO not at all familiar with the Christian Metaphysic as such and expect some OTHER line of argument. But notice that you never actually TAKE ON the specifically Christian line-of-sight with respect to "Perceiving God" ((Etc.)).

            And yet you keep asking for the Christian’s argument. And yet you keep refusing to take-on what the Christian brings to you. All of THAT is done WHILE you also demonstrate that you really have no idea what to expect nor what is relevant with respect to interpreting “….Reality, Being, Consciousness, and Bliss….” vis-à-vis the “….metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility…” ((…to borrow from others…)).

            You cannot demonstrate your claim of an incoherence because you will not meet Head-On ((so to speak)) ANY-thing the Christian brings to you. You’re merely a Wall of Stone who shouts insults while never engaging actual content. Further, you cannot demonstrate coherence and justified closure in your/our own Contingent Mind/Consciousness vis-à-vis your/our own epistemic experience. Further still you cannot demonstrate incoherence / lack of closure in the Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis the topography of the Divine Mind vis-à-vis Absolute Consciousness. Therefore you not only HAVE NOT but in fact CANNOT demonstrate anything more than the following:

            —You simply lack familiarity with the material and want it spoon-fed to you in a thread. That all explains in large part Dr. Bonnett's comment to you:

            And, no, I have no intention of trying to explain its more than two hundred page complexity to you on this thread. For one thing, you need a much better background in logic as well as the basic insights of metaphysics. ((...brief excerpt from http://disq.us/p/271rcnq ...))

            Even further, your own level of logical analysis has brought you to the point of scoffing at the rather straightforward concept of retorsion. Why? Is it because you’ve not grasped that concept of retorsion ((...as per http://disq.us/p/26x58j6....)). But of course even if you DID grasp retorsion it is clear that you would not be able to apply it to the Christian Metaphysic given that you don’t “get” WHY the Christian brings you to something as basic and elementary as the Divine Mind ((…and by extension all that is the Contingent Mind...)).

            All of that explains your behavior as we are forever bringing you up to the Doorstep of various proofs of God || arguments for God ((Etc.)) but you keep replying with comments such as "What's that got to do with God! Gibberish! Word Salad!" The nature of the Christian Metaphysic vis-a-vis the Divine // Contingent Mind or Divine // Contingent Consciousness is the gateway being offered to you and you refuse it, don't understand it, and, while not understanding it, while refusing to interact with it, you go on to also claim that Mind||Consciousness is in fact irrelevant with respect to the question at hand regarding God "per" the "Christian" Metaphysic.

            Unfortunately for you that claim of yours is actually silly of you and if you knew what the Christian Metaphysic "housed" you'd know that. But, here too as in http://disq.us/p/279d8al we are satisfied to let you stop there // stand there with that series of claims of yours about Mind, Consciousness, Interpreting Reality, your own Epistemic Experience, and the relations of all of that to the Christian Metaphysic. It is satisfying to allow you to Stonewall, Refuse Interaction, and then make the sort of claim of “irrelevant” and that is meant in the same sense as when we say that it is satisfying to let you stop / stand on your claim that there is ZERO evidence for the existence of the historical Jesus. You actually provide a helpful demonstration on the unfortunate stopping point of so many of our Non-Theist friends.

            So you should be done then? Yes? No? You’re satisfied with your performance as are we and, so? Do you have more? Let’s add another layer here – You said,

            Where have I claimed that I don't understand the terms you mention? They have only been introduced by you as a red herring, in order to dodge answering my question, thus I have ignored them as spurious, and ultra vires.

            Yes and so you DO in fact understand the meanings of Dr. Bonnette’s fairly basic content as well as the meanings of the terms used by me ((…in my own fairly basic reminder that the nature of our own perceptions/abstractions are inextricably relevant to claims of validity wrt interpreting reality…)). Terms such as “Mind” and “Reasoning” and “Perception” and “Dualism” and “First Person Experience” and “Abstraction” and “Eliminativism” and “Being Itself” and “Retorsion” and so on ((…as described in http://disq.us/p/277yk77...)).

            But that only brings us back to our mutual satisfaction with using your claims thus far as a good demonstration for the stopping point of so many of our Non-Theist friends. You’re happy. We’re happy. Yet you keep going on. I’ve asked you three times now in previous comments “So you’re done then? Yes?” and yet you just keep going on with the SAME reinforcement of what we already know you believe/insist on ((Etc.)).

            Again: It is satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point of "Zero Evidence" that the historical Jesus ever existed just as it is satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point here with respect to your claim of irrelevance of the aforementioned concepts when it comes to justifying ANY epistemic experience, interpreting reality, God, and so on. That is to say that it is satisfying that you claim that on your view mind itself and ((therefore)) all of the terms which we employ to unpack it ((…mind /consciousness / reasoning vis-à-vis the terms above, Etc., Etc…)) has ZERO RELEVANCE when it comes to interpreting reality and, so, your own epistemic experience is ALSO that which sums to ZERO relevance ((…according to you…)).

            You insist that YOU can grant a kind of “Immunity” to your own epistemic experience and thereby merely put your head down and push-forward, eyes closed, fists clenched, and leave out/expunge one’s own mind and one’s own reason from your formulas, syllogisms, and maps. And it’s satisfying to let you stop there with that claim / stand atop that claim. You’ve been offered opportunities to clarify and correct but since you do not do so, well, we’ve got your Map well in hand and if you’re satisfied you can rest assured that we are too.

            It’s also satisfying that on your view the following is a FALSE claim:

            "....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief...."

            We’ve discussed that here and the nature of beliefs, perceptions, and what counts as evidence ((Etc.)) has been and remains the topic at hand but of course you refuse all of it and simply shout “Bring me your Christian argument for God!” only to then refuse any/all interaction when we do.

            As before I take you at your word on ALL of this so far and make corrections when you offer clarifications but of course IF you ((in reality)) DO understand the meaning of those concepts and IF you actually “get” that they DO apply to the philosophy of mind and that the nature of Perception/Mind IS in fact inextricably tied to veracity BUT and IF you actually “get” that the Christian Metaphysic begins and ends with the Divine Mind // Absolute Consciousness and that such thereby necessarily entails unpacking all that sums to the Contingent Mind/Abstraction but have been all along only PRETENDING / EVADING well THEN you're simply disingenuous.

            But that too is a stopping point and/or a clarification point which has been left at your feet three times now. And? So? Surely we’re both content/satisfied with using all of the above claims of yours as stopping points. Yes? No? If so then you’re done – yes? If you reply please offer something NEW rather than what you have been offering – namely nothing more than reinforcements that you are satisfied using your claims thus far to stop at // stand atop.

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/279oaqw

          • David Cromie

            There is a cure for the Epistemic Experience you are having, seek advice as soon as possible.

          • Straightforward arguments for // proofs of "God" are being offered but by your own terms you're expecting a different line of argument and refuse to actually interact with actual Christian premises and claims with respect to those fairly straightforward arguments for and proofs of "God". Instead you claim the Christian premises cannot be "those". You even deny the relevance of perception//mind to ANY of this whether Pro or Con Christianity Etc. In short your own epistemic experience is actually refusing to interact with what your own senses tell you about the real world as it actually is. As described more fully in
            a. http://disq.us/p/279oaqw and in
            b. http://disq.us/p/277yk77 and in
            c. http://disq.us/p/271iz1c and in
            d. http://disq.us/p/26x58j6 and in
            e. http://disq.us/p/27521lw and so on.

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/27b8zp2

          • Straightforward arguments for // proofs of "God" are being offered but by your own terms you're expecting a different line of argument and refuse to actually interact with actual Christian premises and claims with respect to those fairly straightforward arguments for and proofs of "God". Let’s recap the parts of the real world you are out-right denying/avoiding:

            1— You claim that the Christian premises/arguments for God cannot be "those" – cannot be what they in fact are vis-à-vis the Divine Mind & Absolute Consciousness & so on.
            2— You actually deny the relevance of perception//mind to ANY of this whether Pro or Con Christianity Etc. “as-if” it is not inextricably tied to veracity.
            3— You insist that this or that category of [Knowledge] cannot house veracity at bottom IF/WHEN the Neonate/Baby does not house that [Knowledge]. Despite reality’s litany of proofs of the error of that silliness you actually reached for that Golden-Cherry in these threads/comments.
            4— You actually deny, despite all evidence landing against you, the truth of the following, “…no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....”.
            5— In short your own epistemic experience is actually refusing to interact with what your own senses tell you about the real world as it actually is.
            6— As described more fully in the first “section” of our discussions here:
            a. http://disq.us/p/26n6x52
            b. http://disq.us/p/26oa9td
            c. http://disq.us/p/26p1zc9
            d. http://disq.us/p/26rb3ak
            e. http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3
            7— And also as described in the second “section” of our discussions here:
            a. http://disq.us/p/279oaqw
            b. http://disq.us/p/277yk77
            c. http://disq.us/p/271iz1c
            d. http://disq.us/p/26x58j6
            e. http://disq.us/p/27521lw

            And so on.

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/27b9dlr

          • David Cromie

            'actual Christian premises', and therein lies the problem, since such premises are totally imagined to be real.

          • You also claim they are not the Christian's actual claims and premises even though they are. In other words you're refusing to interact with the real world as it actually is. Let’s recap the parts of the real world you are out-right denying/avoiding:

            1— You claim that the Christian premises/arguments for God cannot be "those" – cannot be what they in fact are vis-à-vis the Divine Mind & Absolute Consciousness & so on.
            2— You actually deny the relevance of perception//mind to ANY of this whether Pro or Con Christianity Etc. “as-if” it is not inextricably tied to veracity.
            3— You insist that this or that category of [Knowledge] cannot house veracity at bottom IF/WHEN the Neonate/Baby does not house that [Knowledge]. Despite reality’s litany of proofs of the error of that silliness you actually reached for that Golden-Cherry in these threads/comments.
            4— You actually deny, despite all evidence landing against you, the truth of the following, “…no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....”.
            5— In short your own epistemic experience is actually refusing to interact with what your own senses tell you about the real world as it actually is.
            6— As described more fully in the first “section” of our discussions here:
            a. http://disq.us/p/26n6x52
            b. http://disq.us/p/26oa9td
            c. http://disq.us/p/26p1zc9
            d. http://disq.us/p/26rb3ak
            e. http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3
            7— And also as described in the second “section” of our discussions here:
            a. http://disq.us/p/279oaqw
            b. http://disq.us/p/277yk77
            c. http://disq.us/p/271iz1c
            d. http://disq.us/p/26x58j6
            e. http://disq.us/p/27521lw
            f. http://disq.us/p/27b9dlr
            And so on.

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/27c73el

          • David Cromie

            The bottom line in the 'real world' is that no believer in any supposed supernatural entities has ever managed to adduce the irrevocable, falsifiable, evidence that any one of them actually exists.

          • The bottom line is that you cannot rationally claim that unless and until you actually interact with what is actually in front of you. The real world as it actually is. But you demonstrably refuse to do that. You keep re-inventing reality to fit your feelings/wants. Straightforward arguments for // proofs of "God" are being offered but by your own terms you're expecting a different line of argument and refuse to actually interact with actual Christian premises and claims with respect to those fairly straightforward arguments for and proofs of "God". Let’s recap the parts of the real world you are out-right denying/avoiding:

            1— You claim that the Christian premises/arguments for God cannot be "those" – cannot be what they in fact are vis-à-vis the Divine Mind & Absolute Consciousness & so on.
            2— You actually deny the relevance of perception//mind to ANY of this whether Pro or Con Christianity Etc. “as-if” it is not inextricably tied to veracity.
            3— You insist that this or that category of [Knowledge] cannot house veracity at bottom IF/WHEN the Neonate/Baby does not house that [Knowledge]. Despite reality’s litany of proofs of the error of that silliness you actually reached for that Golden-Cherry in these threads/comments.
            4— You actually deny, despite all evidence landing against you, the truth of the following, “…no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....”.
            5— In short your own epistemic experience is actually refusing to interact with what your own senses tell you about the real world as it actually is.
            6— As described more fully in the first “section” of our discussions here:
            a. http://disq.us/p/26n6x52
            b. http://disq.us/p/26oa9td
            c. http://disq.us/p/26p1zc9
            d. http://disq.us/p/26rb3ak
            e. http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3
            7— And also as described in the second “section” of our discussions here:
            a. http://disq.us/p/279oaqw
            b. http://disq.us/p/277yk77
            c. http://disq.us/p/271iz1c
            d. http://disq.us/p/26x58j6
            e. http://disq.us/p/27521lw
            f. http://disq.us/p/27b9dlr
            g. http://disq.us/p/27c73el

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/27cza3w

          • David Cromie

            Meaningless word salad, and utter BS.

            You obviously do not live in the real world, but in a bubble of superstitious make-believe and culpable ignorance. The real world is thus a foreign, and frightening, place to you, where a supposed 'hell' awaits you around every corner. This inculcated fear is your mental prison.

            Why is it that 'believers' have always failed to prove that their favourite supposed 'god' actually exists, and run a mile when asked to do so?

          • God? We have yet to get to even one argument for God because you keep avoiding challenges, re-defining premises, and insisting that "Absolute Consciousness" either cannot or else must not have anything to do with "God / Being Itself". You simply expect or else want a different argument to face.

            You have not actually interacted ((yet)) with the premises and claims that are actually in front of you. In real people. In the real world. Just as it actually is. You demonstrably refuse to interact with that. You keep re-inventing reality to fit your feelings/wants.

            Straightforward arguments for // proofs of "God" are being offered but you avoid them and shout "Gibberish". When you say "gibberish" are you [A] again circling back to claiming that you do NOT comprehend basic and long-standing Christian syllogisms? Or are you [B] again circling back to saying you DO understand them but don't mean to demonstrate any incoherence in them?

            Didn't we decide that we're both happy with your performance there? Shouldn't you be done then? Yet you keep circling back. Why? Let’s recap the parts of the real world you are out-right denying/avoiding:

            1— You claim that the Christian premises/arguments for God cannot be "those" – cannot be what they in fact are vis-à-vis the Divine Mind & Absolute Consciousness & so on.
            2— You actually deny the relevance of perception//mind to ANY of this whether Pro or Con Christianity Etc. “as-if” it is not inextricably tied to veracity.
            3— You insist that this or that category of [Knowledge] cannot house veracity at bottom IF/WHEN the Neonate/Baby does not house that [Knowledge]. Despite reality’s litany of proofs of the error of that silliness you actually reached for that Golden-Cherry in these threads/comments.
            4— You actually deny, despite all evidence landing against you, the truth of the following, “…no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....”.
            5— In short your own epistemic experience is actually refusing to interact with what your own senses tell you about the real world as it actually is.
            6— As described more fully in the first “section” of our discussions here:
            a. http://disq.us/p/26n6x52
            b. http://disq.us/p/26oa9td
            c. http://disq.us/p/26p1zc9
            d. http://disq.us/p/26rb3ak
            e. http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3
            7— And also as described in the second “section” of our discussions here:
            a. http://disq.us/p/279oaqw
            b. http://disq.us/p/277yk77
            c. http://disq.us/p/271iz1c
            d. http://disq.us/p/26x58j6
            e. http://disq.us/p/27521lw
            f. http://disq.us/p/27b9dlr
            g. http://disq.us/p/27c73el
            h. http://disq.us/p/27cza3w

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/27e4w1z

          • David Cromie

            Just adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that would show your favourite supposed 'god' actually exists, and stop skirting around the question. Until you do, all the rest is mere superstitious piffle, and red herrings.

            Remember, to know that X is the case is to be able to prove unequivocally that X is indeed the case.

          • And

          • Adduce? When you refuse to interact and dialogue? We are forever bringing you up to the Doorstep of various proofs of God || arguments for God ((Etc.)) but you keep replying with comments such as "What's that got to do with God! Gibberish! Word Salad!" The nature of the Christian Metaphysic vis-a-vis the Divine // Contingent Mind or Divine // Contingent Consciousness is the gateway being offered to you and you refuse it, and while refusing to interact with it you go on to also claim that Mind||Consciousness is in fact irrelevant with respect to the question at hand regarding God "per" the "Christian" Metaphysic.

            Unfortunately for you that claim of yours is actually silly of you and if you knew what the Christian Metaphysic "housed" you'd know that. But, here too as in http://disq.us/p/279d8al we are satisfied to let you stop there // stand there with that series of claims of yours about Mind, Consciousness, Interpreting Reality, your own Epistemic Experience, and the relations of all of that to the Christian Metaphysic. It is satisfying to allow you to Stonewall, Refuse Interaction, and then make the sort of claim of “irrelevant” and that is meant in the same sense as when we say that it is satisfying to let you stop / stand on your claim that there is ZERO evidence for the existence of the historical Jesus.

            You actually provide a helpful demonstration on the unfortunate stopping point of so many of our Non-Theist friends in that you never actually TAKE ON the specifically Christian line-of-sight with respect to "Perceiving God" ((Etc.)).

            So you should be done then? Yes? No? You’re satisfied with your performance as are we and, so? Do you have more? Let’s add another layer here – You said,

            Where have I claimed that I don't understand the terms you mention? They have only been introduced by you as a red herring, in order to dodge answering my question, thus I have ignored them as spurious, and ultra vires.

            Yes and so you DO in fact understand the meanings of Dr. Bonnette’s fairly basic content as well as the meanings of the terms used by me ((…in my own fairly basic reminder that the nature of our own perceptions/abstractions are inextricably relevant to claims of validity wrt interpreting reality…)). Terms such as “Mind” and “Reasoning” and “Perception” and “Dualism” and “First Person Experience” and “Abstraction” and “Eliminativism” and “Being Itself” and “Retorsion” and so on ((…as described in http://disq.us/p/277yk77...)).

            But that only brings us back to our mutual satisfaction with using your claims thus far as a good demonstration for the stopping point of so many of our Non-Theist friends. You’re happy. We’re happy. Yet you keep going on. I’ve asked you three times now in previous comments “So you’re done then? Yes?” and yet you just keep going on with the SAME reinforcement of what we already know you believe/insist on ((Etc.)).

            Again: It is satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point of "Zero Evidence" that the historical Jesus ever existed just as it is satisfying to let you stand on your stopping point here with respect to your claim of irrelevance of the aforementioned concepts when it comes to justifying ANY epistemic experience, interpreting reality, God, and so on. That is to say that it is satisfying that you claim that on your view mind itself and ((therefore)) all of the terms which we employ to unpack it ((…mind /consciousness / reasoning vis-à-vis the terms above, Etc., Etc…)) has ZERO RELEVANCE when it comes to interpreting reality and, so, your own epistemic experience is ALSO that which sums to ZERO relevance ((…according to you…)).

            You insist that YOU can grant a kind of “Immunity” to your own epistemic experience and thereby merely put your head down and push-forward, eyes closed, fists clenched, and leave out/expunge one’s own mind and one’s own reason from your formulas, syllogisms, and maps. And it’s satisfying to let you stop there with that claim / stand atop that claim. You’ve been offered opportunities to clarify and correct but since you do not do so, well, we’ve got your Map well in hand and if you’re satisfied you can rest assured that we are too.

            It’s also satisfying that on your view the following is a FALSE claim:

            "....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief...."

            We’ve discussed that here and the nature of beliefs, perceptions, and what counts as evidence ((Etc.)) has been and remains the topic at hand but of course you refuse all of it and simply shout “Bring me your Christian argument for God!” only to then refuse any/all interaction when we do.

            As before I take you at your word on ALL of this so far and make corrections when you offer clarifications but of course IF you ((in reality)) DO understand the meaning of those concepts and IF you actually “get” that they DO apply to the philosophy of mind and that the nature of Perception/Mind IS in fact inextricably tied to veracity BUT and IF you actually “get” that the Christian Metaphysic begins and ends with the Divine Mind // Absolute Consciousness and that such thereby necessarily entails unpacking all that sums to the Contingent Mind/Abstraction but have been all along only PRETENDING / EVADING well THEN you're simply disingenuous.

            But that too is a stopping point and/or a clarification point which has been left at your feet three times now. And? So? Surely we’re both content/satisfied with using all of the above claims of yours as stopping points. Yes? No? If so then you’re done – yes?

            Notice that you never actually TAKE ON the specifically Christian line-of-sight with respect to "Perceiving God" ((Etc.)).

            And yet you keep asking for the Christian’s argument. And yet you keep refusing to take-on what the Christian brings to you. All of THAT is done WHILE you also demonstrate that you really have no idea what to expect nor what is relevant with respect to interpreting “….Reality, Being, Consciousness, and Bliss….” vis-à-vis the “….metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility…” ((…to borrow from others…)).

            You cannot demonstrate your claim of an incoherence because you will not meet Head-On ((so to speak)) ANY-thing the Christian brings to you. You’re merely a Wall of Stone who shouts insults while never engaging actual content. Further, you cannot demonstrate coherence and justified closure in your/our own Contingent Mind/Consciousness vis-à-vis your/our own epistemic experience. Further still you cannot demonstrate incoherence / lack of closure in the Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis the topography of the Divine Mind vis-à-vis Absolute Consciousness. Therefore you not only HAVE NOT but in fact CANNOT demonstrate anything more than the following:

            —You simply lack familiarity with the material and want it spoon-fed to you in a thread. That all explains in large part Dr. Bonnett's comment to you:

            And, no, I have no intention of trying to explain its more than two hundred page complexity to you on this thread. For one thing, you need a much better background in logic as well as the basic insights of metaphysics. ((...brief excerpt from http://disq.us/p/271rcnq ...))

            Even further, your own level of logical analysis has brought you to the point of scoffing at the rather straightforward concept of retorsion. Why? Is it because you’ve not grasped that concept of retorsion ((...as per http://disq.us/p/26x58j6....)). But of course even if you DID grasp retorsion it is clear that you would not be able to apply it to the Christian Metaphysic given that you don’t “get” WHY the Christian brings you to something as basic and elementary as the Divine Mind ((…and by extension all that is the Contingent Mind...)).

            IF you AGAIN reply please offer something NEW rather than what you have been offering – namely nothing more than reinforcements that you are satisfied using your claims thus far to stop at // stand atop.

            Let’s recap the parts of the real world you are out-right denying/avoiding:

            1 You claim that the Christian premises/arguments for God cannot be "those" – cannot be what they in fact are vis-à-vis the Divine Mind & Absolute Consciousness & so on.

            2 You actually deny the relevance of perception//mind to ANY of this whether Pro or Con Christianity Etc. “as-if” it is not inextricably tied to veracity.

            3 You insist that this or that category of [Knowledge] cannot house veracity at bottom IF/WHEN the Neonate/Baby does not house that [Knowledge]. Despite reality’s litany of proofs of the error of that silliness you actually reached for that Golden-Cherry in these threads/comments.

            4 You actually deny, despite all evidence landing against you, the truth of the following, “…no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....”.

            5 In short your own epistemic experience is actually refusing to interact with what your own senses tell you about the real world as it actually is.

            6 As described more fully in the first “section” of our discussions here:

            a. http://disq.us/p/26n6x52
            b. http://disq.us/p/26oa9td
            c. http://disq.us/p/26p1zc9
            d. http://disq.us/p/26rb3ak
            e. http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3

            7 And also as described in the second “section” of our discussions here:

            a. http://disq.us/p/279oaqw
            b. http://disq.us/p/277yk77
            c. http://disq.us/p/271iz1c
            d. http://disq.us/p/26x58j6
            e. http://disq.us/p/27521lw
            f. http://disq.us/p/27b9dlr

            Notice your failure to respond to “F” which garnered more attempts via repeating:

            g. http://disq.us/p/27c73el
            h. http://disq.us/p/27cza3w
            i. http://disq.us/p/27e4w1z

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/27fh7wn

          • gquenot

            Sounds like "déjà vu". I do not want here to resume the discussion that I left long ago. Just in case that would be of interest to you:

            1. I dug a bit to better position my views with respects to others' and it turns out that I would not consider myself as an eliminativist but rather as a fictionalist, and maybe one of an extreme sort. If necessary, you may learn about that through Kwame Anthony Appiah's excellent talk: The Philosophy of "As If".

            2. I also took some time to read Edward Feser's "Five Proofs of the Existence of God" and, in short, he didn't make it.

          • GQ!
            Greetings and I hope you and yours are staying healthy and safe these days ~

            So.... Fictionalism is more coherent than Platonism for sure but unless you mean something else it's not related to the problem of eliminativism ((....see perhaps a. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/graham-oppy-reviews-dr-craigs-book/ and also b. https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/scholarly-writings/divine-aseity/god-and-abstract-objects-2018-2/ etc....)).

            The only real issue with Eliminativism is what is eliminated. The fundamental nature revealed in the First Person Experience just is i-choose / i-think / i-exist / i-am and so on. Hence I don't know what you're referring to as Non-Eliminated there in any ontology which does not Begin/End in the Irreducible I-AM as per Being Itself as Reason Itself as Logic Itself as Absolute Consciousness and so on ((....in the Christian Metaphysic we also find logical compulsion ((else Reductio)) into "The Good" viz. Timeless Reciprocity ((Trinitarian Life)) viz. Ceaseless Self-Giving ((Trinitarian Life)) viz. Procession ((Trinitarian Life)).

            The "Non" in "Non-Theism" leaves one with the Necessary Conservation of "No-I-AM" in ALL/ANY "Fundamental Nature of X" where X is ANY-thing. It's not that "physicalism" is the problem because the Non-Theist can invoke/appeal to anything he desires, however, it is the case that "nothing-but" Irreducible Intention viz I-AM will save the First Person Experience from deconstruction.

            ((.....of course if "one day we find X" and "x is that irreducible intentional-i-am/etc." well then one just is within Theism at that point. Hence Pantheism, Idealism, and Monotheism all press in and we then repeat the same metrics of following Logic and Reason viz I-Exist/I-AM and so on....))

            Regarding Books, well, yes it's all good given the illusory content of one's own claim of i-am and the peculiar reductio ad absurdum which that forces :-}

          • gquenot

            Thanks for the nice words. We are all fine and I also hope that you and yours are staying healthy and safe these days.

            So.... Fictionalism is more coherent than Platonism for sure but unless you mean something else it's not related to the problem of eliminativism

            Well, I do see fictionalism as different from -and alternative to- both realism and eliminativism. Maybe Naomi Thompson explains it better than I would in her talk on Fictionalism about Grounding.

            The only real issue with Eliminativism is what is eliminated. The fundamental nature revealed in the First Person Experience just is i-choose / i-think / i-exist / i-am and so on.

            Regarding all of these, realism considers them to really exist; eliminativism consider them to not really exist; and fictionalism considers that such “things” approximately exist or that “sorta” such things exist. Basically, we do “as if” such things exist while understanding (or believing or suspecting) that only “sorta” such things do. This is different from saying that nothing close to what they idealize exists. I really do not want to go into that again and again as this is now purely dissipative but such approximations “work” because they are often so good that they are practically indistinguishable from what would be a “true” realization of what they idealize. Also, quite often and for various “reasons”, we fail to realize how poor they actually are.

          • Abstract Objects do not exist in Fictionalism ~ unlike Platonism in which they do exist. The semantic intent of Almost Being doesn't change that given that it sums to Non-Being with respect to one's heavyweight metaphysical commitments. The language for any such semantic intent is "ontologese" and "carves reality at its joints".

            Pulling back from that we can find “Almost Tables” and such is not costly to the Conscious Observer making that statement / using that semantic intent. However, that Non-Cost to the Conscious Observer is not the case with “Almost-I” vs. Non-Self / “Almost-Exist” vs. Non-Existence / “Almost Being” vs. Non-Being and to avoid THAT in these discussions is a. to equate the Non-Intentional to the Intentional, which just is b. to avoid all together the question of the veracity of the First Person Experience.

            Intellectual Certainty in the sense of Mathematical Proofs still ipso facto leaves us without the Self-Explanatory and still carries us back into Fictionalism, Platonism, the Divine Mind, Realism, Antirealism, and our "Ontologese". All Roads have their heavyweight metaphysical commitments and that is expressed when we employ our respective Ontologese but in Fictionalism we've an Ontologese expunged of the specific//relevant metaphysically heavyweight commitments populating the First Person Experience. That is WHY the end of the line is the death of a thousand equivocations and the loss of I-AM.

            Notice that there is no Bridge to the Real from within Fictionalism-Full-Stop. The Real is going to be found carved out by one's Ontologese, one's semantic intent with respect to heavyweight metaphysical commitments. Absolute Consciousness just is the Great-I-AM and in Fictionalism all Bridges lead to Nowhere with respect to all semantic intent ((...Ontologese...)) specific to i-am. Besides, if the Real is Intentional Full-Stop and if the Real is i-am Full-Stop well again that's just Theism. But the Real is not Intentional nor is it i-am and it cannot be either of those, not even in principle given the "Non" of Non-Theism.

            Both Fictionalism and Antirealism are fine but the Being Itself of the Real-Itself as I-AM vis-à-vis Absolute Consciousness isn't the end of the line in any Non-Theistic terminus.

            Notice the Ontologese here:

            "The Fundamental Nature of X Is Almost-X And Almost-Being Is Non-Being" which is simply the flip side of Non-Theism in the sense that one is always going to house the heavyweight metaphysical commitment to the Necessary Conservation of "No-I-AM" given the "Non" of Non-Theism.

            Fictionalism doesn't salvage veracity "THERE". The best the Non-Theist can do given his metaphysically heavyweight commitment to the Necessary Conservation of [No-I-AM] is to insist that we're all in the same boat.

            That leads to a kind of "Shrug" on the part of the Non-Theist as he concludes with something akin to:

            "Okay it's illusory with respect to actual Being and any coherent heavyweight commitment but so to then the Theist and the Theist's commitment must suffer that fate too. That too must also fall into the incoherent. i-intend/i-choose/i-think/i-reason/i-exist/i-am is for the Theist what it is for the Non-Thiest... Reductio... Illusory...Absurdity....

            But the Theist does not share the Non-Theist's artificial pre-supposed ontologese as per the Non-Theist's heavyweight metaphysical commitment to the Necessary Conservation of [No-I-AM]. He use to. But then he followed the evidence, logical lucidity, and reason's relentless demand for full-on closure and that's when he let go of that commitment, that Pre-Supp in that Pre-Being in that Pre-Logic in that Pre-Mind.

          • gquenot

            […] Almost Being [..] sums to Non-Being […]

            That depends on the perspective. For any practical purpose, it makes sense to consider that there are hydrogen atoms. From another perspective, a hydrogen atom is an idealization of an isolated system, which, for what we know, does not happen to exist in our universe, strictly speaking, even though there are extremely good approximations of that in some regions where the density is only about one “hydrogen atom” per cubic meter. Basically, fictionalism covers the cases like those in which we consider that “there are” “hydrogen atoms”, while suspecting that this is only a useful fiction. Regarding whether there exists “true” hydrogen atoms is a claim, the burden of proof of which is on the one making it. This would be the same for the “true” existence of the hydrogen atom concept.

            Pulling back from that we can find “Almost Tables” and such is not costly to the Conscious Observer making that statement / using that semantic intent. However, that Non-Cost to the Conscious Observer is not the case with “Almost-I” vs. Non-Self / “Almost-Exist” vs. Non-Existence / “Almost Being” vs. Non-Being and to avoid THAT in these discussions is a. to equate the Non-Intentional to the Intentional, which just is b. to avoid all together the question of the veracity of the First Person Experience.

            I already narrowed down the origin of our disagreement as much as I could (i.e., as much as your willingness to cooperate allowed me to) and progressing beyond that now seems totally hopeless. As I got it, you unquestionably take at face value some feeling of irreducibility while I don’t. The “cost” you are talking about is only to be paid by those taking at face value this feeling of irreducibility, which I do not. So, until proved otherwise, the case of the “Conscious Observer” is no different from the one of the “hydrogen atom” or from the one of the “table”. There is no shrug here, I just don’t happen to feel the irreducibility that you feel.

          • Right but that heavyweight metaphysical commitment just is the terminus of eliminativism as the Intentional can and does equate to the Non-Intentional.

            That just is also where you said you didn’t land.

            But we (already) knew you <had to land there because we (already) knew the veracity of the First Person Experience cannot be retained within any Non-Theistic metaphysic given Non-Theism’s Necessary Conservation of [No-I-AM].

            Hence we land (again) at that Fateful and Eternal “Shrug” of the Non-Theist:

            Sure it’s entirely illusory but we’re all stuck in the same Final Reductio!

            ((...“As-If” he can say even that much...))

          • Right but that heavyweight metaphysical commitment just is the terminus of eliminativism as the Intentional can and does equate to the Non-Intentional and of course that just is where you said you didn’t land. But you do land there and we (already) knew you had to land there because we (already) knew the veracity of the First Person Experience cannot be retained within any Non-Theistic metaphysic given Non-Theism’s Necessary Conservation of [No-I-AM].

            Fictionalism isn't the solution to the Philosophy of Mind viz. Causality.

            Mind is is the only thing that WILL do because it is the only thing that CAN do because there just is the Intentional Agent or else there just is no such thing.

            Hence we land (again) at that Fateful and Eternal “Shrug” of the Non-Theist:

            Sure it’s entirely illusory but we’re all stuck in the same Final Reductio!

            ((.....“As-If” he can say even that much.....))

          • First

          • gquenot

            I don’t get which “heavyweight metaphysical commitment” you are talking about. I don’t buy “irreducibility” and I don’t buy either any “Necessary Conservation of [No-I-AM]”.

          • Your commitment is simple:

            The category of illusory means to Hydrogen is the identical category of illusory means to i-am.

            Unless you’re willing to *commit* to a *distinction*?

            A different path to the same terminus of elimination doesn’t mean the terminus isn’t the terminus.

          • gquenot

            The category of illusory means to Hydrogen is the identical category of illusory means to i-am.

            This is not a commitment, this is rather a non-commitment.

            Unless you’re willing to *commit* to a *distinction*?

            Precisely, I am not making such a commitment and I am not making either any opposite commitment. I am just open to the epistemic possibility of both. I think I have already said that many times. This is what I mean by “this is now purely dissipative” and I see no point in continuing it.

          • I didn’t say you equated Hydrogen’s fundamental nature to the fundamental nature of i-think/i-intend/i-am.

            I said your treatment is identical both in the illusoriness of semantic intent and in the means to all semantic intent.

            That just is the eliminativist’s same inability to rise above non-distinction wrt both his illusoriness of semantic intent and wrt his means to all semantic intent.

          • gquenot

            […] your treatment is identical both in the illusoriness of semantic intent and in the means to all semantic intent.

            I don’t understand that.

          • Your semantic intent — there is no distinction ((there)) in your a. treatment of Hydrogen and in your b. treatment of i-am.

            ((....and Non-Distinction just is the terminus of eliminativism....))

          • gquenot

            OK. First, I would say that I am agnostic about a “fundamental nature” in the same way both for the “hydrogen atom” and for “i-am”. Second, would they both have such a “fundamental nature”, I don’t see any principled reason for positing a distinction between these. I get that this not what you say I do but, similarly, I do not see any principled reason for having distinct treatments for each of them.

          • Non-Theism’s semantic intent only goes as far as the Means which feed into it. The illusoriness of Non-Theism’s semantic intent is the same everywhere regardless if the target is Mind or Non-Mind, Self or Non-Self, and so on and that is because Non-Theism’s Means to say anything more would amount to carving reality at its joints vis-à-vis distinction.

            From earlier:

            Your commitment is simple:

            The category of illusory means to Hydrogen is the identical category of illusory means to i-am.

            Unless you’re willing to *commit* to a *distinction*?

            A different path to the same terminus of elimination doesn’t mean the terminus isn’t the terminus.

            Etc.

          • gquenot

            Obviously, we are both wasting our time and I should probably not have mentioned fictionalism.

            Non-Theism’s […]

            I don’t get why you persist in mentioning “Non-Theism” here while I never referred either to theism or to non-theism. That I did not refer to God does not in itself qualify me as a non-theist, how could it?

            […] semantic intent only goes as far as the Means which feed into it.

            I don’t understand that and I didn’t refer to any intent either. I have no idea about what you mean by “the Means which feed into it”.

            The illusoriness […] is the same everywhere regardless if the target is Mind or Non-Mind, Self or Non-Self, and so on […]

            I am not sure of what you mean with that either but you are the one referring to “Mind / Non-Mind” and to similar distinctions and the burden of defining and justifying such distinctions is therefore on you.

            […] and that is because Non-Theism’s […]

            Again, I never referred either to theism or to non-theism.

            […] carving reality at its joints vis-à-vis distinction.

            What are these “joints” that you keep talking about? And you have the same burden of definition and justification as above regarding the “distinction” you are referring to. Either you make a claim about the existence of distinction and you have this burden or you don’t and you can’t refer to it for criticizing other views.

            From earlier: […]

            We are back again into a purely dissipative loop and it would be pointless and even irrational to continue to waste our energy into it. As I already wrote, I already narrowed down the origin of our disagreement as much as I could and I don’t see any hope of further progress.

          • Non-Theism:
            So that only refers to syllogisms or maps or Etc. in which ultimate reality isn’t Absolute Consciousness vis-à-vis the Great I AM. It’s not a referent to your claims, but to any and all forfeitures of that ultimate reality. Such as with eliminativism.

            Feeding semantic intent:
            Semantic intent is fed and nourished by perception and thinking and reasoning. Our words are then the outward expression of our inward meaning ((hence semantics/syntax/etc.)).

            The burden of defining:
            The burden you mention of defining the difference between Intentionality and Non-Intention or Self and Non-Self or Mind and Non-Mind isn’t relevant. What’s relevant is that your semantic intent stops short of drawing any such distinction outside of Fictionalism. You don’t make that commitment because you CAN’T. That Non-Distinction there subsumes all things and just is the terminus of eliminativism.

            Can’t refer to it for criticizing other views:
            There is no criticism though. There is only the observation that your semantic intent stops short of drawing any such distinction outside of Fictionalism. You don’t make that commitment because you CAN’T. That Non-Distinction there subsumes all things and just is the terminus of eliminativism.

            The veracity of the First Person Experience is left exactly where it is within eliminativism, and the cost of eliminativism is the reductio ad absurdum.

            Typically this is where all Non-Theists ((there are many sorts)) insist that the Theist is too is Lost in that same Ocean of Non-Distinction. "Absurdity For All Of Us! All Around!"

          • gquenot

            Thanks for the effort, even if you left out the “joints” question. We may try to investigate some of the points of disagreement that I see there, one after another, as I explained recently. Let’s start with this:

            The veracity of the First Person Experience […]

            Are you making a claim here? If yes, which one exactly?

          • Yes. Non-Distinction. The claim is that you do not and cannot ((by your own admission)) draw any distinction between the fundamental nature of i-am and the fundamental nature of non-being. The semantic intent landing at "It's Almost As If" is as far as your semantic intent DOES go because that is ((by your own admission)) as far as it CAN go.

            Your complaint is not the observation of "that" but, rather, that the Christian and in fact all explanatory termini you've seen "so far" are stuck in that same Reductio.

          • gquenot

            That was not the question. You are saying that fictionalism leaves out “The veracity of the First Person Experience”. That makes sense only if you claim at the same time that there exist such a thing. So, are you making that claim?

          • Veracity with respect to Being and Non-Being fails on your own terms. I'm not making a claim that that is the case but, rather, I am only following your claims to their logical terminus of Non-Distinction.

            That is to say that YOU claim that we do not and cannot ((by your own admission)) employ a semantic intent which out-reaches Fictionalism so to allow us to draw any distinction between the fundamental nature of i-am and the fundamental nature of non-being or if it helps we cannot draw any distinction between the fundamental nature of intentionality and the fundamental nature of the intentionless. The semantic intent landing at "It's Almost As If" is as far as our semantic intent DOES go because that is ((by your own admission)) as far as it CAN go.

            That just is the explanatory terminus of eliminativism.

          • gquenot

            It seems that we have entered a dissipative loop once again.

            Veracity […]

            If no one claims the existence of such a “thing”, not being able to reach it can’t be a problem.

          • gquenot

            Let’s try to phrase it differently. Why should we bother at all for the logical consequences of claims that no one is making? Fictionalism is not able to (and does not aim to) provide an account of “true” distinctions. Agreed. From the beginning and even before I introduced the term. Now, so what if no one is making the claim that such “true” distinctions actually exist? Or are you making that claim?

          • It’s not the statement of a problem. One’s paradigm is ultimately a Stand-Alone set of premises. For example the Christian does not have to endlessly compare & contrast his Metaphysic & his Definitions to a *different* Paradigm in order to “Draw His Map” as it were. Rosenberg & Churchland ((for example)) simply “State Their Case” so to speak. They don’t need the Christian Map endlessly placed in continuous juxtaposition to do so.

            So to your own proverbial Map.

            We have an observation of a terminus wrt the semantic intent behind and leading up to “I” and “intend” and “intentionality” and therefore behind and leading up to “i-think” and “i-reason” and “i-exist” and “i-am”. All inquiries regarding The Fundamental Nature Of X eventually arrive at that terminus. That terminus is simply the conclusion that one’s semantic intent ((regarding that question)) infers no distinction from non-existence — and so from non-being.

            That is simply the terminus of the paradigmatic state of affairs behind all truth value vis-à-vis all semantic intent ((in said Map)).

            It just is the absence of distinction from Eliminativism. From Churchland. From Rosenberg.

          • gquenot

            It’s not the statement of a problem.

            You referred to a “reductio”, which I understood to be a contradiction, either internal or with reality. I would call that a problem. However, if no one is making a claim related to the existence of “true” distinctions, I don’t see any such contradiction or “reductio” with fictionalism.

          • Eliminativism
            Churchland
            Rosenberg

          • gquenot

            I am not familiar with that and I still don’t see any contradiction in fictionalism unless one considers the existence of “true” distinctions as a premise.

          • Juxtaposition again? You need to take full ownership of your own Map as a Stand-Alone body of premises. Realism and Antirealism are not ipso facto problematic. Like all things they too have a few key forms in which they first arrive and in which they eventually terminate. Part of your Map is your claim that there is no Internal Breakdown with respect to Truth Value and that too is, again, part of your map and so you don't need the endless juxtaposition of some other Map such as the Christian Metaphysic in order to make that claim or in order to Draw Your Own Map, as it were. Non-Distinction amid all semantic intent behind and leading up to The Fundamental Nature of X is simply the terminus of the paradigmatic state of affairs behind all truth value vis-à-vis all semantic intent in your Map. Now, it just so happens that those features of that Map ((of your map)) just is the absence of distinction from Eliminativism, Churchland, and Rosenberg, but that's neither here nor there with respect to you Drawing your own Map and making your own claims. Of course it is interesting that your own assessment of things ends up in the same place as theirs.

          • gquenot

            Too many points of disagreement or ambiguities at once, once again.

            Juxtaposition again?

            Juxtaposition? What is that? By nature, fictionalism does not commit to the existence of (“true”) distinctions or to the existence of “fundamental natures”. It does not necessarily commit either to their non-existence and therefore, for what it is worth, it is less ontologically committing than other views that would commit either to their existence or to their non-existence. Besides that, indeed and by its name, fictionalism does recognize “fictive” distinctions.

            Realism and Antirealism are not ipso facto problematic.

            Let’s stay focused, we are currently discussing fictionalism. I am not sure of what you mean by “ipso facto” here. Is fictionalism problematic or is it not?

            Part of your Map is your claim that there is no Internal Breakdown with respect to Truth Value and that too is, again, part of your map and so you don't need the endless juxtaposition of some other Map such as the Christian Metaphysic in order to make that claim or in order to Draw Your Own Map, as it were.

            What a complicated sentence. I don’t even get “Part of your Map is your claim that there is no Internal Breakdown with respect to Truth Value”. I have no idea of what “Internal Breakdown with respect to Truth Value” might mean and I don’t think a priori that I am making a claim about such a thing.

            There is no point in addressing anything beyond as long as this is not clarified.

          • —By “juxtaposition” I didn’t mean any of that. I meant simply that you don’t need to compare & contrast your Map to the Christian Map in order to draw your Map.

            —By breakdown etc. I was only referring to your own claim that your own Map has no Reductio on your own terms.

            It’s very simple ((....see Eliminativism wrt *distinctions* viz. “The Fundamental Nature Of X” etc...)).

          • gquenot

            OK for the first two points. This is indeed clearer like that though it would have been even clearer to just say that my view is self-sufficient and consistent (i.e. non-contradictory). Unless there is a trap I haven’t seen, I agree with that.

            It’s very simple ((....see Eliminativism wrt *distinctions* viz. “The Fundamental Nature Of X” etc...)).

            Too bad, we are back to an abstruse formulation that I don’t get. I still don’t get that either:

            Non-Distinction amid all semantic intent behind and leading up to The Fundamental Nature of X is simply the terminus of the paradigmatic state of affairs behind all truth value vis-à-vis all semantic intent in your Map.

            Not sure this is related to what you had in mind but, indeed, fictionalism is agnostic about “true distinctions” and “fundamental natures”; these have either to be postulated or to be established (if this is possible) without pre-supposing them. Otherwise, we are left to what we can do only with fictive distinctions and natures, which does not make any difference for almost any practical purpose. A difference is made almost only when one engages into metaphysical questioning.

          • ? I wasn’t referring to anything more than your own map ~ via your own statement of,

            Fictionalism is not able to (and does not aim to) provide an account of “true” distinctions.

          • gquenot

            Dissipative loop again and again: so what if no one claims the existence of "true" distinctions?

          • Any Terminus of Non-Distinction with respect to the fundamental nature of ABC and the fundamental nature of XYZ ipso facto has no claim & makes no claim of ‘true’ distinctions.

            One doesn’t “need” some other Map which, say, does draw out “true” distinctions ((or claimed to)) in order to draw one’s own Map.

            “If no one claims true distinctions” — that simply means we’ve landed in one of those Maps with a Terminus of Non-Distinction with respect to the fundamental nature of ABC and the fundamental nature of XYZ.

          • gquenot

            “If no one claims true distinctions” — that simply means we’ve landed in one of those Maps with a Terminus of Non-Distinction with respect to the fundamental nature of ABC and the fundamental nature of XYZ.

            If? We? That is the question: do you have “landed” in “one of those Maps”? If you can’t even tell just that, there is really nothing more that we can hope from this discussion.

          • But your Map isn’t any different regardless of my Map. You don’t need some other Map in order to draw your own map nor to claim that there’s no Reductio in/on that Map. By your own terms there cannot be a *real* *distinction* between the terminus of your Map and the terminus of any other Map. Congratulations — you’ve therein achieved *Closure*. Just like Eliminativism’s Closure. ((....referring to your “Fictionalism is not able to (and does not aim to) provide an account of “true” distinctions”....))

            ___________

            Trivial observation:

            Fictionalism per se isn’t fatal because within theism there’s room to maneuver in some respects there but of course that’s a state of affairs in which Fictionalism is only one part of a Wider Map etc.

          • gquenot

            If you can’t even tell just that, there is really nothing more that we can hope from this discussion.

            Indeed, you could not and there is really nothing more that we can hope from this discussion.

            But […]

            This amounts to saying that you accept questioning of your view only by those who already endorse it and that would do the questioning while strictly staying in the context of this endorsement. If you don’t see a methodological problem with this approach, this is probably a safe way of protecting your view from any serious threat. This also means that there is really nothing more that we can hope from this discussion.

            It is indeed possible to go beyond fictionalism by adding to it an ontological commitment to “true” distinctions (about which my view of fictionalism is agnostic so it is possible to discuss it in its context). However, unless proved otherwise (and without relying on it, which would be a trivial logical fallacy), this additional premise is both arbitrary and unjustified. It is also known, at least since Eubulides to be dubious. It can at best be supported by some intuition / feeling, which is both weak and unshareable.

          • There cannot be a methodological problem given that by your own terms there cannot be a *real* *distinction* between the terminus of your Map and the terminus of any other Map regarding the Truth Value in all semantic intent referencing the First Person Experience ((....referring to your “Fictionalism is not able to (and does not aim to) provide an account of “true” distinctions”....)).

            If there is a problem in methodology with respect to drawing distinctions then perhaps it's in this or that Map which cannot Find Distinctions amid "The Fundamental Nature of A vs. B vs. C vs. D" and so on, but you've not shown that to be a "problem" in and by your own Map. In fact that just is ((on your terms)) the most accurate Map of "i"—am vs. non-being vis-à-vis such things as Mind & Non-Mind and/or Intentionality vs. Intentionless and so on.

            You disagree with the Christian Metaphysic but that's neither here nor there given that such is the case with ALL/ANY termini/terminus which reach beyond embedded margins of Non-Distinction at the terminus of your own Map. Sorry but you’ve affirmed a Lens through which No True Distinctions can be spied and so your request to be shown True Distinctions amounts to a request for pointless triviality. On. Your. Own. Terms.

          • What problem with Method? There cannot be a methodological problem given that by your own terms there cannot be a *real* *distinction* between the terminus of your Map and the terminus of any other Map regarding the Truth Value in all semantic intent referencing the First Person Experience ((....referring to your “Fictionalism is not able to (and does not aim to) provide an account of “true” distinctions”....)).

            If there is a problem in methodology with respect to drawing distinctions then perhaps it's in this or that Map which cannot Find Distinctions amid "The Fundamental Nature of A vs. B vs. C vs. D" and so on, but you've not shown that to be a "problem" in and by your own Map. In fact that just is ((on your terms)) the most accurate Map of "i"—am vs. non-being vis-à-vis such things as Mind & Non-Mind and/or Intentionality vs. Intentionless and so on.

            You disagree with the Christian Metaphysic but that's neither here nor there given that such is the case with ALL/ANY termini/terminus which reach beyond embedded margins of Non-Distinction at the terminus of your own Map. Sorry but you’ve affirmed a Lens through which No True Distinctions can be spied and so your request to be shown True Distinctions amounts to a request for pointless triviality.

            On. Your. Own. Terms.

            Recall the points which you've previously resisted:

            First, that your own Map ends in the same Non-Distinction as eliminativism.

            Second, that your own Map precludes discovering True Distinctions.

            Third, because of those first two the only rational thing you can do is slide in that fateful Eternal Shrug followed by the utterance of, "Sure it's all illusory but we're all stuck in that same ocean!"

            But that's just one more claim that the contingent mind begins and ends Reality and so all True Distinction is lost within the abyss of the Münchhausen trilemma.

            While there are lucid paths out of that Trilemma and into the Christian Metaphysic the goal ((if you recall)) is to find out if you believe you have the means to even discover true distinctions and to own your own Ya/Na ((whatever it may be)).

            Do you have the means to discover true distinctions?

          • gquenot

            What problem with Method?

            You misunderstood me. The methodology that I was referring to was the one that you are using for evaluating your view: “you accept questioning of your view only by those who already endorse it and that would do the questioning while strictly staying in the context of this endorsement”.

            In fact that just is ((on your terms)) the most accurate Map of "i"—am vs. non-being vis-à-vis such things as Mind & Non-Mind and/or Intentionality vs. Intentionless and so on.

            That? My terms? You must be joking. That was not the question anyway.

            Do you have the means to discover true distinctions?

            My current set of premises does not seem to provide any way to discover true distinctions, would they exist, nor to even just establish their existence. However, it is clearly compatible with the existence of true distinction. It can also be extended with other premises and I am willing to consider any additional premise that make some sense and even to reconsider the premises that I already have, also provided that that makes some sense, and then see where this leads to. However, you have offered nothing so far beyond “it’s out there, do your homework, I won’t help you”. As I don’t expect this to change, I think that we are done.

          • Evaluating OTHER views/termini/maps?
            How?
            Didn't you just say that your own view does not provide you with the means to see true distinctions?
            Sorry but how on earth are you to proceed?

            BTW does your Map ((let's call it Map-Elim)) tell you WHY and HOW it is a Truth that Map-Elim houses that Hard Distinction from Truth-Finding Maps by which Map-Elim knows it cannot see a True Distinction? ((...not sure if that sentence makes any sense.... if it doesn't then just forget the question....))

            What does Map-Elim say is missing by which it cannot See True Distinctions? Is it Reason that is missing? Something else? ((...not sure if that sentence makes any sense.... if it doesn't then just forget the question....))

          • gquenot

            Nothing new.

          • You're the one who said you ((we all)) lack the tools to discover true distinctions. ©Reason tells us that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason.

            All that one can do is display that fateful Eternal Shrug and follow it with "Oh Well. We all hit the same dead-end."

          • gquenot

            Nothing new. Nothing helpful. Nothing but the endless and dissipative repetition that your view cannot be evaluated without first being endorsed. If you don’t see a methodological problem with a view having to be endorsed before it can be evaluated, that is up to you. On my side, I see a circularity and therefore a major flaw there.

            Regarding “Map-Elim”, this name itself is a strawman as I am not eliminating anything: the existence of what you say is eliminated has never been established in the first place, even though many people did “as if” while taking at face value what they were talking about. The premise about the existence of true distinctions (or anything stronger) is just not part of my default set of premises.

            By “we all hit the same dead-end” (though this is not my formulation, I agree with that), I just mean that until proved otherwise, one has either to endorse such a premise (or a stronger one) without justification, or to establish it without using it (or a stronger one), or do without it. And there is no shrug here, just a mere observation or logical fact.

          • Eliminate? Not at all. It was pointed out earlier that the inability to house True Distinctions vis-à-vis one’s semantic intent when referring to self and non-self and mind and non-mind and intention and non-intention and being vs. non-being is where the convergence with the Elimativist’s Map lives. THAT terminus. Not any claim of eliminating. This is probably the tenth time that clarification has been made.

            Endorse? Not at all. I’m happy to unpack any Map with you so long as you own what it is you are stuck doing with all Claims & Perceptions and Semantic Intent. You cannot “See” True Distinction and yet you claim you can rationally unpack and ferret out and flush out and, well, “see” True Distinctions should, oh, say, Reason and/or Logic and/or Being deliver them to you. Well that’s a contradiction.

            Either you have the Means to such Ends or you don’t. If you DON’T then HOW can we proceed?

            That’s the question. Remember it is YOUR Brand of Antirealism BY WHICH you claim that you ((that we all)) lack the tools to discover true distinctions because in YOUR BRAND of Antirealism it is SOMEHOW the case that ©Reason tells us that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason.

            Dead End? Not at all. See all of the above.

            We are left at a kind of Metaphysical Armistice demonstrating your own Claim of Cannot-See in juxtaposition to your own Demand to Show-Me which is all fine so long as you can own / affirm your own universal solvent vis-à-vis “Cannot See True Distinction” vis-à-vis your own Means vis-à-vis your own terms WHILE telling us HOW it is you mean to “See”. What’s missing? Reason? Being? Both? Something else? Nothing at all?

            Either you have the Means to such Ends or you don’t. If you DON’T then HOW can we proceed?

            That’s the question. Remember it is YOUR Brand of Antirealism BY WHICH you claim that you ((that we all)) lack the tools to discover true distinctions because in YOUR BRAND of Antirealism it is SOMEHOW the case that ©Reason tells us that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason.

          • gquenot

            Nothing new again and again but let’s check that:

            Either you have the Means to such Ends or you don’t. If you DON’T then HOW can we proceed?

            You are saying here that I should have these means before you can show me anything but having these means amounts to endorse your view. So I would have to endorse your view and stay within this endorsement for evaluating it. I disagree with almost everything else.

          • Show me where I say you should have the means before unpacking another's Map. I said nothing of the kind. I said exactly what the problem is and what you have to take ownership of and what it is you need to tell us.

            I’m happy to unpack any Map with you so long as you can make sense of the following for us:

            a. Take intellectual ownership of what it is your Means leave you doing with all Claims & Perceptions and Semantic Intent, including those in other Maps. If there ARE True Distinctions you already know you cannot "See" them. That is on YOUR own terms because it is YOUR Brand of Antirealism BY WHICH you claim that you ((that we all)) lack the tools to discover true distinctions because in YOUR BRAND of Antirealism it is SOMEHOW the case that ©Reason tells us that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason.

            b. YET you claim you can rationally unpack and ferret out and flush out and, well....what? Well you tell us you can rationally unpack and flush out and “see” True Distinctions should, oh, say, Reason and/or Logic and/or Being deliver them to you and all WHILE your own brand of Antirealism lacks the means to do so.

            c. Hence we have the obvious problem that "a" is a contradiction to "b" for the simple reason that either you have the Means to such Ends or you don’t, and, so, IF you DON’T have said Means THEN "a" is true which leaves "b" as an impossibility given the fact of "a". If you DO have said Means then "a" is false and you have left this or that Means out of your Antirealism.

          • gquenot

            I replied here: http://disq.us/p/2adm6ar

          • gquenot

            In complement to http://disq.us/p/2adm6ar let’s again check that:

            Either you have the Means to such Ends or you don’t. If you DON’T then HOW can we proceed?

            As I see it, and assuming that it makes sense at all to speak of “true” distinctions (which should be possible at least in situations A and B below), one has to be in one of the three following situations:

            A: One has the ability to see true distinctions and has the ability to immediately exercise this ability (to see […]), say by simple will;
            B: One has the ability to see true distinctions but currently does not have the ability to exercise this ability (to see […]), say for instance because for any reason one does not know yet how to exercise this ability (to see […]);
            C: One does not have any ability to see true distinctions (and a fortiori any ability to exercise such an ability (to see […]).

            As I see it, I am not in situation A and situation C is the only one in which “everything is lost from the beginning” but it is epistemically possible that I am in situation B and that I can be taught or explained to how to exercise my ability to see true distinctions. I can’t even exclude to be in situation B and you probably can’t exclude it either.

            Working in the context of B is HOW we can proceed.

          • We have “....working in the context of B is HOW we can proceed...” and also “…you require endorsement…

            Let’s start with this: Where did I say REQUIRES? Please show me. What I DID say is for you to take intellectual ownership of what it is your Means leave you doing with all Claims & Perceptions and Semantic Intent, including those in other Maps. Notice that your own conclusion is just as predicted, which is fine, and notice that, again, you don’t take ownership of it but instead cast it “As-If” it is something being forced upon you from OUTSIDE of your own Map ((….you keep insisting I am requiring your endorsement to proceed…)). What is that conclusion? Well it is driven by your own universal solvent when you say, “…..in [BOTH] the context of both “true” and “as if” distinctions….it amounts to a circularity….

            Again you are insisting that I am demanding something of you OTHER than showing us a way forward beginning in YOUR own Brand of Antirealism and progressing OUT OF your inevitable convergence with Eliminativism’s Non-Distinction.

            OF COURSE you give that Eternal Shrug and insist “Well we’re all stuck in the same Circularity-Reductio…!” but that’s again as predicted and it is again for you to take ownership of rather than trying to cast it “As-If” it is something being forced upon you from OUTSIDE of your own Map.

            Grace: Grace to see Circularity-Reductio is itself Circularity-Reductio. Non-Being isn’t “A-Thing” and hence “Grace To See Non-Being” just is “Grace To See Illusion” which just is Grace to see Circularity-Reductio. So AGAIN that is as predicted because AGAIN you fail to take ownership of your Terminus and AGAIN foist some sort of Nonsensical Circularity-Reductio in an attempt to cast it “As-If” it is something being forced upon you from OUTSIDE of your own Map (((…..the Christian Map does not claim Grace-To-See-Non-Being whereas in YOUR BRAND of Antirealism it is SOMEHOW the case that ©Reason tells us that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason. The Christian Metaphysic doesn’t claim that, which is why re-inventing “Grace” can’t help you…..))).

            Take ownership of your own brand of Antirealism. It’s not being forced on your Map from OUTSIDE of your Map nor by demands of “REQUIRE” from OUTSIDE of your Map.

            Working in the context of B is HOW we can proceed

            It’s up to you to find what it is that can take us beyond Reason given the fact that on your terms it is the case that we are all stuck with [A]…..in [BOTH] the context of both “true” and “as if” distinctions….it amounts to a circularity….” and with [B] YOUR BRAND of Antirealism in which it is SOMEHOW the case that ©Reason tells us that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason. You’ve reasoned your way into your Map and with it your Map’s terminus. And so you’ve reached the End of Reason or the Edge of Reason.

            Which is fine. It’s your Map. Mind, Perception, Reason, and Being. That’s all you’ve brought to the table and none of it is enough so you’ll have to present some Fifth-Fundamental-Something by which we can outreach Reason/Being/Mind/Perception. As you recall I have even said that you can present ANY “In Principle Fundamental Nature “X” Which We’ve Not Discovered Yet” and so name ANY “X” you wish in order to get your Map to some other Terminus.

            I’ve hand-written all sorts of those Blank-Checks for you. Repeatedly. Meanwhile, I’ve “required” nothing of you other than to take ownership of your own peculiar brand of Antirealism vis-à-vis Reason||Being and vis-à-vis Mind||Perception. The Map you claim forced one’s ship to reach ((as you clearly have)) that fateful Edge/End of Reason. Which is fine. I’m happy to sail ahead with you. You’re merely being asked to take us up to the Bow of your Ship and point out for us what lay ahead as we travel forward.

          • gquenot

            I’ll have a closer look to the remainder but there does not seem to be much novelty there. For now, we are already stuck here:

            Where did I say REQUIRES?

            This is playing with words. You said ”HOW?”, indicating that something was missing.

            Again you are insisting that I am demanding something of you OTHER than showing us a way forward beginning in YOUR own Brand of Antirealism and progressing OUT OF your inevitable convergence with Eliminativism’s Non-Distinction.

            Can you at least confirm that you are demanding of me “showing a way forward beginning in my own Brand of Antirealism and progressing OUT OF my inevitable convergence with Eliminativism’s Non-Distinction”? And wouldn’t that be a requirement? Indeed, in case you answer “Yes”, we would have to clarify what this request actually is.

          • You said ”HOW?”, indicating that something was missing.

            Where did I say something is missing? I asked you IF something is missing IF you mean to get beyond your terminus of Non-Distinction. You are not required to get out of the Map you’ve reasoned your way into. The problem is on you and your own Map ONLY because of your claim that you want to rationally explore OTHER Maps. You are not "required" to do THAT.

            We saw that earlier ((..but you’ve not addressed it so perhaps you will now…)) when we found that "a" is a contradiction to "b" ((…see the following re-quote etc…)).

            That contradiction is on you. You need to get rid of either “a” or “b” or you need to modify one of them. Here’s that a/b/c from earlier:

            a. Take intellectual ownership of what it is your Means leave you doing with all Claims & Perceptions and Semantic Intent, including those in other Maps. If there ARE True Distinctions you already know you cannot "See" them. That is on YOUR own terms because it is YOUR Brand of Antirealism BY WHICH you claim that you ((that we all)) lack the tools to discover true distinctions because in YOUR BRAND of Antirealism it is SOMEHOW the case that ©Reason tells us that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason.

            b. YET you claim you can rationally unpack and ferret out and flush out and, well....what? Well you tell us you can rationally unpack and flush out and “see” True Distinctions should, oh, say, Reason and/or Logic and/or Being deliver them to you and all WHILE your own brand of Antirealism lacks the means to do so.

            c. ((...adding bold...)) Hence we have the obvious problem that "a" is a contradiction to "b" for the simple reason that either you have the Means to such Ends or you don’t, and, so, IF you DON’T have said Means THEN "a" is true which leaves "b" as an impossibility given the fact of "a". If you DO have said Means then "a" is false and you have left this or that Means out of your Antirealism.

          • gquenot

            Where did I say something is missing?

            This is playing with words again but forget it for now. Let’s just see if you are able to answer this question: are you demanding of me “to show a way forward beginning in my own Brand of Antirealism and progressing OUT OF my inevitable convergence with Eliminativism’s Non-Distinction” for unpacking your view?

          • No. Not at all. I'm happy to have you show me Other Maps on whatever terms and blank-checks you wish to cash out. I am honoring your request to explore Other Maps. It's simple really. You've reasoned your way into a Map which terminates at Non-Distinction and you've found that to be the case so far with anything that you've seen so far that all other Maps are stuck in the same abyss. That's fine. You tell us that reason has reasoned you to the point where reason cannot get you any further than the Illusory....which includes reason somehow.

            Yet you then contradict yourself and say that your Mind and therefore Map is open to Other Maps if only someone will show your Mind where your Map needs to plug/shift/whatever/etc . ((...as if there's a Distinction between your Mind and Map in the first place...)). It's fine if you want to claim that your Map is open to Other Maps but GIVEN that you've ALSO claimed that your Map cannot get you to Other Maps ((to Distinction)) you have two claims that are contradicting each other.

            Notice again you did not address that contradiction.

            Is that a contradiction? It is BOTH true that your Map cannot get you further by the use of reason for reason has done all she can do, which is nothing Real viz Distinction AND your Map is open to reasoning further to The-Real viz Distinction.

            Is that a contradiction?

            You've actually told us that your Map cannot get you to Other Maps. That's still NOT a problem. There is ONLY a problem BECAUSE you ADD the CLAIM that you want to rationally explore OTHER MAPS. Its only then, with that added claim, that you have a problem because you've already stipulated that your Map cannot get you to Other Maps. You've Reasoned your way into that terminus. You say you cannot Reason your way out of that Terminus.

            Notice that again: You claim that Reason has gotten you to Reason's End with respect to Sight and that Reason cannot get you any further than the SAME terminus of Non-Distinction which we find in the Eliminativist's Map. But the Christian follows Reason. So he is asking you how to proceed now that Reason is out of the picture in YOUR Antirealism. That is NOT a "Requirement" because YOU are the one who claims to want to explore OTHER Maps. And that's fine. And the Christian is happy to join you and Leave Reason's very Being behind ((literally).

            Hence the Floor is yours. The Christian asks nothing of you but only how to proceed now that Reason is out of the picture as far as what it is that can take us further. There is no "requirement" to proceed because it is YOU who claims to want to journey forward with the Christian and the Christian is happy to do so but it will have to be on your terms because the Christian has told you that the Christian follows Reason, and it is Reason which has come to her End/Terminus in YOUR brand of Antirealism. You're not required to leave Reason behind. Rather, it is simply the case that you claim that by reason you have reasoned your way into leaving reason behind ((whatever that means)) because as far as reason can show you SOMEHOW it is the case that ©Reason tells us ((you say)) that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason ((you say)) ((whatever that means)).

            Notice that the only difference between your terminus and the Eliminativist's terminus is that the Eliminativist "Claims" that "Non-Distinction" is "True". That's not where you end but the distinction between the Ends of your Means ((Reason/Perception)) in full-on Non-Distinction and the Eliminativis'ts Ends of his Means ((Reason/Perception)) in his terminus of Non-Distinction is Zero/None/Nada/No-Distinction. You're just a bit more Fuzzy and Illusory in your Terminus because it ends with the simple evaporation of Truth Value, whereas, the Elimativist's Terminus has that same evaporation of Truth Value and then a bizarre kind of "VOICE FROM NOWHERE" echoes from within the Nothingness "And This Is The-True".

            Just because you're more honest doesn't change the Terminus. Sure, you've stopped short of that VOICE-FROM-NOWHERE but, while that's to your credit, sadly it doesn't "change" the "Non-Distinction" viz "Evaporation".

            Notice that none of this is a "Requirement" because YOU are the one who claims to want to explore OTHER Maps. And that's fine. And the Christian is happy to join you and Leave Reason's very Being behind ((literally)).

            Hence the Floor is yours. The Christian asks nothing of you but only how to proceed now that Reason is out of the picture as far as what it is that can take us further.

          • gquenot

            At least an answer to a question but we are still stuck there. Let’s see. You wrote:

            Again you are insisting that I am demanding something of you OTHER than showing us a way forward beginning in YOUR own Brand of Antirealism and progressing OUT OF your inevitable convergence with Eliminativism’s Non-Distinction.

            Now you say:

            No. Not at all.

            i.e. you say (given the question you are replying to):

            No, I am not demanding of you “to show a way forward beginning in your own Brand of Antirealism and progressing OUT OF your inevitable convergence with Eliminativism’s Non-Distinction” for unpacking my view

            Let’s recapitulate. Let’s first call A: “to show a way forward beginning in your own Brand of Antirealism and progressing OUT OF your inevitable convergence with Eliminativism’s Non-Distinction”. Then, you say both: “you are insisting that I am demanding something of you OTHER than A [for unpacking my view]” and “I am not demanding of you A for unpacking my view”. At the same, you are not unpacking your view. So are you demanding A for unpacking your view (it seems you just replied “No” but just checking), are you demanding something OTHER than A for unpacking your view or are you demanding nothing at all for unpacking your view?

          • Comment was to spam. Will re-post.

          • See attached image. Will re-address shortly. BTW you left out the reason given regarding WHY you alone can take the lead and show us the way forward AND the fact that it's YOUR request to travel into other maps whereas the Christian is merely along for the ride
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f9bfe6d42f2411693423b698222ab3bea96535f6a45483230b6bc94990237903.jpg

          • gquenot
          • gquenot

            You're not required to leave Reason behind.

            What do you mean by “leave Reason behind” here?
            If I am not required to do that, why even mention it?

          • Requiring? No. Demanding? No. In your initial reply to this you left out WHY it is you ALONE who can take the lead and show us the way forward into Other Maps and WHY it is the case that you have a contradiction in your own terms and WHY it is the case that the Christian can only come along for the ride. Let’s review.

            I'm happy to have you show me Other Maps on whatever terms and blank-checks you wish to cash out. The problem is that you’re asking the Christian to show you the way but the Christian follows Reason. Notice that you've reasoned your way into a Map which terminates at the Pains of Non-Distinction ((….the same which we find in the Eliminativist’s Map btw…)) vis-à-vis Irreducible Non-Being ((on the one hand)) and Irreducible i-reason / i-think / i-intend / i-choose / i-exist / i-am ((on the other hand)). And that's fine. You tell us that BY reason you have reasoned your way to the point where reason cannot get you any further than said Non-Distinction and obviously we can all see that said Non-Distinction somehow includes/subsumes reason too. HOW that is logically possible is besides the point.

            So far so good. You’ve your own bizarre brand of Antirealism in which SOMEHOW it is the case that ©Reason tells us ((you say)) that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason ((you say)) ((whatever that means)). But again that’s no problem So far so good. You’re not claiming anything about Other Maps. So all is well.

            THEN the trouble begins. Why? Because you want to start messing with OTHER Maps, and especially Maps which follow Reason.

            So that brings us to where you contradict yourself by saying that your Mind and therefore your Map is open to Other …Minds… Maps if only someone will show your Mind where your Map needs to shift or dip or morph or whatever, as if there's a Distinction between your Mind and Map in the first place. It's fine if you want to claim that your Map is open to Other Maps but GIVEN that you've ALSO claimed that your Map cannot get you to Other Maps ((to Distinction)) you have two claims that are contradicting each other.

            Notice that you did not address that contradiction yet. Is the following a contradiction?

            A. It is TRUE that with your Map reason cannot get you further by the use of reason for reason has done all she can do which is nothing Real vis-à-vis Distinction.
            B. It is TRUE that your Map is open to reasoning further to The-Real vis-à-vis Distinction.

            There is ONLY a problem BECAUSE you ADD the CLAIM that you want to rationally explore OTHER MAPS. It is only then, with that added claim, or that added “wish” as it were, that you have a problem because you've already stipulated that your Map cannot get you to Other Maps and it is by reason whereby you've reasoned your way into that terminus and it is by reason whereby say you cannot reason your way out of that Terminus.

            Notice two things. First, it is the case that reason cannot get you any further than the SAME terminus of Non-Distinction which we find in the Eliminativist's Map. Second, it is the case that we have that observed contradiction between A and B just two paragraphs above this one (Etc.).

            Requirement / Demands:

            You WANT to SEE. You WISH to SEE. You ASK to SEE. And you ASK the CHRISTIAN.

            The Christian is happy to reply but unfortunately your own Mind||Map ((you have no True-Distinction)) ipso-facto has no room in which Reason can go further. Again that’s fine if you have a solution but the Christian follows the Metaphysical Singularity of Reason||Reciprocity which is the very SAME Metaphysical Singularity of Logic||Love which is the very SAME Metaphysical Singularity of Being Itself.

            The Christian follows Reason, however, your Map has no ROOM for THAT to actually “DO” anything further and so the Christian is not DEMANDING anything from you, but, rather, if and only if you want to set sail with the Christian well then and only then the Christian is asking you how to proceed now that Reason is out of the picture in YOUR Antirealism. That is NOT a "Requirement" because YOU are the one who claims to want to explore OTHER Maps. And that's fine. And the Christian is happy to join you and Leave Reason's very Being behind ((literally)).

            Therefore the Floor is yours. The Christian asks nothing of you but only replies to your request to set sail together by INFORMING YOU that TO DO SO is fine BUT you will have to show the Christian how to proceed BECAUSE Reason is out of the picture as far as what it is that can take us further. BECAUSE that is the case it ((traveling)) will have to be on YOUR terms but the Christian DOES NOT KNOW what THOSE terms ARE or even what they COULD BE in principle.

            The Christian follows Reason, and it is Reason which has come to her End/Terminus in YOUR brand of Antirealism.
            You're not required to leave Reason behind. Rather, it is simply the case that you claim that by reason you have reasoned your way into leaving reason behind ((whatever that means)) because as far as reason can show you SOMEHOW it is the case that ©Reason tells us ((you say)) that Reality is ©Opaque to Reason ((you say)) ((whatever that means)).

            Observation Of Convergence:

            It is interesting that the only difference between your terminus and the Eliminativist's terminus is that the Eliminativist "Claims" that "Non-Distinction" is "True". He “eliminates” “by intention” at the end of his line. That is NOT where you end up but the distinction between the Ends of your Means ((Reason/Perception)) in full-on Non-Distinction and the Eliminativis'ts Ends of his Means ((Reason/Perception)) in his terminus of Non-Distinction is, well, Zero/None/Nada/No-Distinction.

            You're just a bit more Fuzzy and Illusory in your Terminus because it ends with the simple evaporation of Truth Value as True Ontic Distinction fades into Non-Distinction – whereas – the Elimativist's Terminus has that same evaporation of Truth Value and then a bizarre kind of "VOICE FROM NOWHERE" sort of echoes from within the Nothingness "And This Is The-True" ((…it’s all very spooky…)).

            So, just because you're more HONEST doesn't change the Terminus. Sure, you've stopped short of that VOICE-FROM-NOWHERE but, while that's to your credit, sadly it doesn't "change" the "Non-Distinction" vis-à-vis that "Evaporation" ((so to speak)).

          • gquenot

            Requiring? No. Demanding? No. […] I'm happy to have you […] the Christian is asking […]

            I call that playing with words. Indeed, the background is that I am interested in understanding your view.

            […] the Christian can only come along for the ride.

            That means that I would have to endorse the view first (were I able to find it without help).

            A. It is TRUE that with your Map reason cannot get you further by the use of reason for reason has done all she can do which is nothing Real vis-à-vis Distinction.

            This is a strawman. My “Map” is not closed and does exclude neither the existence nor the accessibility of “true” distinction. It might not be able alone to reach that but it can be completed with whatever would be necessary for that. If A. does not hold, neither does your contradiction.

            […] if and only if you want to set sail with the Christian well then and only then the Christian is asking you how to proceed now that Reason is out of the picture in YOUR Antirealism.

            First, I do not recognize myself as an antirealist bus rather as an “agnostico-realist”. The problem is that “Reason” is currently out of the picture? OK. Fine. Let’s get it into. How can I do that? I guess that you are going to tell me that you can’t help me for that if I don’t already have it, aren’t you? Yet, my “Map” is not closed.

          • It went to spam.

          • It went to spam.
            Watch for another post.
            You haven't shown us a real distinction wrt the fundamental nature of reason. In fact you're not sure if the first person experience breaks down into illusion or not viz i-think / i-reason / i-exist / i-am and so on. That's okay inside your Map but the problem with that is that you can't claim that you can now move to "Reason And-Something-Else" because THAT won't have any real distinction from "Reason Alone" ((how can it?)) as you try to point to "that" in your attempt to lead the Christian towards The Real.

          • gquenot

            It went to spam.

            Yes. I gave you hints about why this happens. This is how anti-spam bots work (any of and combinations of long posts, recycled contents, numerous links and more).

            The problem is that “Reason” is currently out of the picture? OK. Fine. Let’s get it into. How can I do that? I guess that you are going to tell me that you can’t help me for that if I don’t already have it in, aren’t you?

            Indeed, you did not answer to that. Not only are you unable to tell me how to get Reason in the picture but you are not even able to recognize (to “take ownership of” in your jargon) that you can’t help me for that if I don’t already have it in. This is the same for “Reason”, for “true distinctions”, or for whatever of the like.

            You haven't shown us a real distinction wrt the fundamental nature of reason.

            Yes. That is now new. I have recognized or acknowledged that (I did “take ownership of” that in your jargon) many many times though, importantly, the state of affairs that I am acknowledging is that I am currently unable to show us a real distinction wrt […]. The question remains: so what? as, on your side, you are unable to recognize or to acknowledge (or to “take ownership of”) that you are unable / unwilling to expose anything as long as I have not “shown us a real distinction wrt the fundamental nature of reason” (or anything equivalent or stronger). You are the one not taking ownership here.

            That's okay inside your Map but the problem with that is that you can't claim that you can now move to "Reason And-Something-Else" because […]

            Whether I can or I can’t (claim that I can now move to [...]) is irrelevant as I don’t. And it seems that you are unwilling either to claim that I can’t (now move to […)].

            You're not required to leave Reason behind.

            What do you mean by “leave Reason behind” here?
            Is I am not required to do that, why even mention it?

          • I didn’t say you claim *that*. I said you claim the current end result of your semantic intent when you refer to intentionality and reason — which is Non-Distinction. You’re stuck and you even say you need to perhaps add something to that endpoint in order to get past that. See other reply from a few minutes ago. When I have time I’ll consolidate these and delete the last few because they’re now scattered into about 3 different mini-sections.

          • gquenot

            This is the only part in my comment where claim is mentioned so I guess you are replying to that part:

            That's okay inside your Map but the problem with that is that you can't claim that you can now move to "Reason And-Something-Else" because […]

            […] Whether I can or I can’t (claim that I can now move to [...]) is irrelevant as I don’t (claim that [...]). And it seems that you are unwilling either to claim that I can’t (now move to […]).

            I didn’t say you claim *that*.

            Indeed, you did not and where do you see that I said you did? So, if you are not saying that I claim that, why mention at all that I can’t?

            I said you claim the current end result of your semantic intent when you refer to intentionality and reason — which is Non-Distinction.

            I probably disagree with that but this is not “[I] can now move to "Reason And-Something-Else" because […]” which is *what* you said I could not claim.

          • gquenot

            Edit for clarification in http://disq.us/p/2af6sjk

          • gquenot

            What you have to “take ownership of” (i.e. to acknowledge) is that you can’t provide me any help as long as I have not brought “Reason” (or “true” distinctions or whatever else equivalent or stronger) “in the picture”, which means that you can’t provide me any help at all since, would I have achieved this without your help, I would no longer need it. If you can’t even acknowledge this, we will definitely have wasted our time. So. Can you? Do you?

          • The Christian can’t help you. Because the Christian follows reason. Wasn’t that pointed out to you? Wasn’t the reason also pointed out? You don’t see reason, nor intentionality. You can’t. Not with your current tools. You even claim it is intentional reasoning which leads you to that inability to distinguish between a final state of non-being/illusion ((on the one hand)) and the intentional-i-am vis-a-via reason and intentionality ((on the other hand)) .

            As if that were even possible.

            When pressed on it you merely insist we’re all in the same predicament. Now you want to “add” something to reason as if Non-Distinction + Non-Reason gets you anywhere.

            The Christian’s Map is there but this is about what you have any intellectual right to claim about Maps & Truth. But it’s perfectly clear you’ve no right to claim anything about any Map. Not wrt heavyweight ontologically commitments. Even “It’s all illusion” fails to rise above lightweight semantic intent.

            You willfully trade away reason instead of following reason to her bitter end and so instead you settle for circularity, self-negation, and the peculiar absurdity of “Reason tells me that Me & Reason & Non-Being just may all be [Identical] vis-a-vis being vs. non-being vs. almost-being.”

          • gquenot

            The Christian can’t help you.

            Well, at least, you certainly can’t. I got that.

            Because the Christian follows reason. Wasn’t that pointed out to you?

            Well, not clearly. What was especially unclear was that you could not help me to understand what you mean by “reason / Reason” as long as I would not already have got it without your help. And that is something you have still not taken ownership of, let alone mentioning it clearly.

            You don’t see reason, nor intentionality.

            That makes no sense to me. I indeed see these as “(possibly) as if” up to a point that they would be indistinguishable in all practical aspects from what their idealizations, would they exist, would be. Just as I see “hydrogen atoms”.

            You willfully trade away reason […]

            This is a bit more claiming than “you're not required to leave Reason behind” but questions remains. You are making two claims here. You are claiming that there is something that you call “reason” that I trade away, meaning that I had it, and you are claiming that I trade it away willfully and therefore knowingly.

            So you are claiming that there is something that I had, that I knew I had. Yet, I no longer have even the remembering of it. That something, you call it “reason” yet it is radically different in a way that you are unable to tell me about (claiming also that this is because I don’t have it) from the “(possibly) as if reason” that I routinely use in everyday life. Honestly, I can hardly make sense of that. I wish you could tell me how it can make sense for you but I got that you definitely cannot help for that.

            instead you settle for circularity, self-negation, and the peculiar absurdity of “Reason tells me that Me & Reason & Non-Being just may all be [Identical] vis-a-vis being vs. non-being vs. almost-being.”

            Definitely dissipative and energy-wasting loop. There is no point for me to continue to explain to you that this is conflating “possibly extremely good approximations of what an idealization of reason would be” with that idealization. “Possibly extremely good approximations of hydrogen atoms” (and even not so good ones) works for all practical purposes indistinguishably as well as would “true” instances of them. Until proved otherwise, this (epistemically) might be exactly the same for reason, intentionality and the like. That “possibly as if reason” works for any practical purposes exactly as would “true reason” tells nothing.

          • gquenot

            Replying here as the original comment went to spam.

            Not sure this is worth continuing but:

            Sure, you've stopped short of that VOICE-FROM-NOWHERE but, while that's to your credit, sadly it doesn't "change" the "Non-Distinction" vis-à-vis that "Evaporation" ((so to speak)).

            Trying to stay in the context of your metaphor though I am not sure that this is a good idea (my feeling is that it is always better to express oneself in a non-figurative way as doing otherwise has a lot of inconveniences), you are talking here of “evaporation” ((so to speak)). This makes sense only if you claim that we start with a “liquid phase” ((so to speak)). Do you?

          • gquenot

            Maybe it is time to conclude. Besides my interest for understanding your view, for which I eventually got you could not help (so let’s just forget it), there was the question of moral discussions. Reusing your “Map” jargon, you draw a distinction between persons having, say, a “basic” Map and persons having a “Theist” or “Christian” Map. Whatever this might mean, as this could not be clarified, you pretend to exclude the former from discussing moral question on this basis.

            Seriously, do you really expect people to accept without fighting (even literally if no other option is made available) to be discriminated against on such important questions without even being explained why they are discriminated against?

          • Attempting a post ~

          • gquenot

            It is still there but I don't see anything new.

          • gquenot

            The comment is still there after several hours but the only thing I can say about the contents is that I found nothing new, only recycled stuff with some reformatting and reformulations. I disagree with most of it but I already replied to most of the points and I can’t address the other as long as the previous ones are not cleared. You persist in making me say things that I already denied to say or to mean, for instance the following:

            The following are BOTH true on your view:
            A. It is TRUE that with your Map reason cannot get you further by the use of reason for reason has done all she can do which is nothing Real vis-à-vis Distinction.
            B. It is TRUE that your Map is open to reasoning further to The-Real vis-à-vis Distinction.

            while I already denied A. and I explained why.

            That you continue looping on things I already replied to does not help. We already get that you could not help me anyway. The only things that you can do is to bite your bullets with respect to “evaporation” ((so to speak)) and to the fact that I need to know or to have “Reason” before you can tell me about it. But I know that you won’t. So why persist?

          • gquenot
          • gquenot

            Still trying to see if I can get anything from that. You have used no less than four times “metaphysically heavyweight commitments populating the First Person Experience”. Can you explain what this is referring to? Can you at least name just one such conjectured commitments?

          • Two observations. First, you ask about “metaphysically heavyweight commitments populating the First Person Experience” but it isn't relevant to what YOU mean to lead us by because it entails irreducible distinction between i-choose / i-think / i-exist / i-am ((on the one hand)) and Intentionality as that which is NOT irreducible with respect to Being ((on the other hand)). The REASON it's not relevant here is given in "Conclusion 2 of 2" at the end of http://disq.us/p/2ag7p46 Secondly, see the attached picture in this comment. Is there something you want to add to that terminus regarding how far you can take the Christian into other Maps? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca39e14878995ea037eb8a6ec3653e1cb09e67abae60151ca0e44163b35e4dbe.jpg

          • gquenot

            You have used no less than four times “metaphysically heavyweight commitments populating the First Person Experience”. Can you explain what this is referring to? At least even name just one such conjectured commitments?

            First, you ask about “metaphysically heavyweight commitments populating the First Person Experience” but […]

            I take that to be a double “No”. You can’t. This is not exactly a surprise. Acknowledged then. However, if you persist in using terms or expressions, the meaning of which you are unable to explain, we can’t go anywhere beyond noticing that communication is just impossible (assuming that we can even achieve that).

            Is there something you want to add to that terminus […]

            You are the one talking of “terminus”. On my side, my position is open.

            You did not address either the “evaporation” ((so to speak)) question.

          • Again, we don't need the Christian's commitments because you're still not taking ownership of where you are stuck when it comes to making claims on OTHER Maps. It is fine if you want to say the Christian is stuck "TOO" as that would be as predicted by the Eliminativist's Map and it is also predicted given where your Map ends which is Non-Distinction rather than Eliminativism.

            You say "Open" as if that changes what you mean by "As Far As I Can Go So Far". Well? One's "Self" has Mind and Perception and Reason and perhaps a brand of Fictionalism or Antirealism. That's all fine. You've "reasoned-your-way-there" and so it is BY REASONING that you are now where you are ((...Open / Non-Distinction...)).

            But then "OPEN" is what I said you said. That isn't Eliminativism. It's Non-Distinction regarding the fundamental nature of the first person experience in being/existence vis-a-vis i-exist / i-am. You don't eliminate that. Rather, you simply cannot bring yourself to commit to an ontic/true distinction between the "Really Real" of THAT and of, say, the Non-Intentional Rolling Stone vis-a-vis Illusion.

            See the attached picture in this comment for that same "what I said you said" content. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ca39e14878995ea037eb8a6ec3653e1cb09e67abae60151ca0e44163b35e4dbe.jpg

          • gquenot

            […] we don't need the Christian's commitments because […]

            Why even mention that if we don’t need it?

            "what I said you said"

            This is what you said I said. This is certainly not what I said.

            I don’t get what you expect. We got that you can’t explain your view to me and you can’t explain either to me why you can’t (because doing so would refer to you view, which you can’t explain to me). Whether you are unable or unwilling to answer any of my question does not make any difference: this will just never happen. Therefore, I think we are done.

          • The former comment went to spam and so a recap: The Christian's commitments are not relevant because you're still not taking ownership of where you are stuck when it comes to making claims on OTHER Maps.

            The Eliminativist's Map predicts that one will end with, "Sure but the Christian is stuck TOO." That is also predicted given where your specific Map ends over inside of Non-Distinction (rather than Eliminativism).

            You're "OPEN" which is what I said you said. That isn't Eliminativism. It's Non-Distinction regarding the fundamental nature of the first person experience in being/existence and therein of i-exist / i-am. You don't eliminate that as the Eliminativist does. Rather, we observe two features of your Open-End, as follows:

            First, you simply cannot bring yourself to commit to "The Fundamental Nature of X Is In Fact X" should "X" sum to the Intentional Self and therein i-exist / i-am.

            Second, given that openness you also cannot bring yourself to commit to the claim of an actual True/Irreducible Distinction between that "X" and "The Fundamental Nature of Y" should "Y" sum to the proverbial Non-Intentional and Non-Conscious Rolling Stone.

            The Eliminativist claims that X IS Y in that there IS NO DISTINCTION between those two natures as one is in fact truly / ontologically an illusion. You do not make that claim. Rather, you claim that by reason you have reasoned your way into your claim that the current end result of your current commitment behind/within your own semantic intent when you refer to the fundamental nature of intentionality and reason ((on the one hand)) and the fundamental nature of the Non-Intentional / Non-Reason ((on the other hand)) ends at the point of Non-Distinction. You simply do not know if they are in fact irreducibly and ultimately distinct or else ultimately identical. You simply cannot now say.

          • gquenot

            The former comment went to spam […]

            Yes but I had a chance to reply before it did. The answer is here: http://disq.us/p/2aj6e98

            […] You simply cannot now say.

            This is what I mean by “agnostico-realist”. I disagree with the formulation of what you said before that. The simple and correct way of expressing this is just to say that I found no ground so far for such a “true” distinction and that that commits me neither to its existence nor to its non-existence. What I got is that you claim to have such a ground but that you are unable to tell me about it as long as I do not have found it without your help and, here, we are stuck and there is no point in continuing beyond this observation.

          • 1. Did you disagree with something I said in my reply? I mean the reply that did NOT go to spam which is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-4990937331

            2. Not the spammed post since it's no longer visible ((see attached picture)) ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/887bb512ad4222dce293ff3b51f7a2fe27af464f9888d7f1d76a7a9c7510be72.jpg

          • gquenot

            My reply, too, went to spam, probably because of my long quote of yours. You should have got it directly in your mailbox.

            In short, attempting again without quotation:

            I disagree with you referring to irrelevant stuff. I also disagree with you using terms or expressions, the meaning of which you are unable to explain, whether relevant or not.

            I disagree that I make no prediction regarding what others may reach or may not reach.

            I disagree if, by all that, you mean anything else or anything more than “You found so far solid ground neither for nor against a “true” distinction between, say, “intentionality / reason” and “non-intentionality / non-reason”, and that commits you neither to the existence nor to the non-existence of such a “true” distinction.”

          • Right. Two claims. The second is no solid ground etc. The two in succession run as follows:

            Your first claim is that it is by reason that you have reasoned your way into your second claim.

            Your second claim is that the current end result of reason's work or of your reasoning process here etc. is your current commitment behind/within your own semantic intent when you refer to the fundamental nature of intentionality and reason ((on the one hand)) and the fundamental nature of the Non-Intentional / Non-Reason ((on the other hand)) and that commitment ends at the point of Non-Distinction.

            You simply do not know if they are in fact irreducibly and ultimately distinct or else ultimately identical. We speak there of "The Fundamental Nature of X" where X is Intentionality and i-am and then also of "The Fundamental Nature of Y" where Y is the Non-Intentional and Non-Conscious Rolling Stone.

            Regarding Rolling Stone: That's a blank check so to speak as it can be ANY whatchamacallit which is NOT that Fundamental/Irreducible Intentionality / i-am and so one can insert perhaps the quantum wave function, the four fundamental forces of nature, some as-of-yet-to-be discovered 5th fundamental force/wave-function, and so on...)).

            So far or as of now it is the case that you simply cannot now say because reason itself leads you to that point of no solid ground by which to justify reason's distinction from non-reason.

            So far or as of now it is the case that Intentional Reason has done her work and has led you to THAT terminus with respect to your current semantic intent. That means that on your own terms SOMEHOW it is the case that ©Reason tells us that The-Real is ©Opaque to Reason.

          • gquenot

            No.

            That I found so far solid ground neither for nor against “true” distinction is a mere observation, not the outcome of any reasoning.

            It is also the case that I commit myself neither to the existence nor to the non-existence of such a “true” distinction. You may want to see that as a logical consequence of the previous statement and of a principle saying that one should not commit oneself to something without justification but such a “reasoning” is not even necessary.

            You simply do not know if they are in fact irreducibly and ultimately distinct or else ultimately identical.

            Again, this is what “agnostico-realist” means.

            So far or as of now it is the case that you simply cannot now say because reason itself leads you to that point of no solid ground by which to justify reason's distinction from non-reason.

            Again, there is no reasoning here, only a mere observation: it just happened that I found no (solid) ground.

            […] on your own terms SOMEHOW it is the case that ©Reason tells us that ™The-Real is ©Opaque to ™Reason.

            No. These are certainly not my terms and this is not a valid representation of what I said either. On the contrary, I would certainly do not claim that “the real is opaque to reason” and even less that reason tells me that. We are definitely both wasting our time.

          • I didn't say it was your conclusion. I said it is the point to which you have gotten SO FAR. You keep missing that true distinction. Funny, that. And we both know you've reasoned your way to that point SO FAR. You then "describe" the landscape as you "see" it ((so far)). If you want to say that you are NOT reasoning your way through via i-reason / i-think / i-intend / i-weigh / i-exist / i-am then you will have to tell us what is guiding and what is being guided. You DO, after all, want to explore OTHER Maps. With no guide? No reasoning?

          • gquenot

            I didn't say it was your conclusion. I said it is the point to which you have gotten SO FAR.

            This is playing with words.

            […] you've reasoned your way to that point SO FAR.

            I ended there for a lot of causes and reasons and this is not something I can change anyway. How I happened to end at “that point” is irrelevant. What matters is what I see now. I suspect that you are going to argue that, at some earlier point, I did see something else and that I “reasoned” and or chose to no longer see that. If this is what you have in mind, it is not the case that I saw that at any earlier point.

            […] you will have to tell us what is guiding and what is being guided.

            This is a locked question, no different from, for instance, “Who created the world?

            You DO, after all, want to explore OTHER Maps. With no guide? No reasoning?

            I am curious about that but I got that you are unable to help. We might start with identifying some common premises or “properly basic beliefs” but we are stuck on the one that you want us to agree upon before examining anything else.

          • And also

          • gquenot

            [...] lying [...]

            Just forget it.

          • So far the reply is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-4997519639 assuming it does not go to spam etc.

          • gquenot

            […] You are consistent in lying […] your lie […]

            You may want to withdraw or to reformulate that.

          • It's a matter of logically compulsory termini. The qualification has been all along and was there in that comment and still is that you are free to offer the Christian something Better than Reason, and/or Reason, for the simple fact that the Christian only needs to see what it is you are pointing to, what stepping stone there on the ground, so to speak, atop which to place his foot, and that by extension is for the simple reason that Blind-Faith won't do.

            Regardless of which you choose, of what you point at as the final arbiter in any or all "Points of Ontic Armistice" as it were, will it be Reason's Satisfaction you appeal to in any possible Better?

            It seems so because so far you offer your own Self-Report of reason's satisfaction ((somehow)) not finding enough justification to make that final distinction between the Irreducible i-am vis-à-vis the being ((on the one hand)) and ((on the other hand)) non-being ((…and so illusion…)). As goes the very being of Self so too goes the very being of Reason and by extension then so too the entirety of one's Epistemic Justification.

            A few other ways of expressing that are as follows...here's one way:

            “The seventeenth century French philosopher, René Descartes, insisted that what we first know is expressed as “Cogito, ergo sum” ~ “I think, therefore, I am.” In so doing, he recognized that, in the act of knowing, there is reflexive consciousness of the self as an existing knower. But what Descartes missed is that in every perceptive act of knowing – the kind first experienced in sensation – what is immediately known is given as an extramental object.

            The equally French contemporary Thomistic philosopher, Jacques Maritain, corrects Descartes’ omission by restating the initial proposition as “Scio aliquid esse” ~ “I know something to be.” In so saying, he affirms what is first and primarily known is something presented to the knower as an extramental sense object. It is solely in knowing such an object that I become conscious of my own act of knowing – and thereby, reflexively, of myself as the knower. In fact, direct experience tells us that both intramental and extramental objects are known clearly and distinctly, while they are also known as radically distinct from each other.” ((...https://strangenotions.com/why-reason-demands-absolute-certitudes/...))

            And here's another way:

            The First Person Experience ((Etc.)) gives what you cannot justify in your own Map, namely the epistemic objection against Non-Distinction because "...any view which blurs to extinction ((Non-Distinction)) the existence of the Self is epistemologically incoherent since the existence of the Self is known in and of and as infallible evidence while any argument against it is based on premises that are far from infallible..." ((Diego Claramunt))

            Which essentially echoes:

            As goes the very being of Self vis-à-vis i-am so too goes the very being of Reason and by extension then so too the entirety of one's Epistemic Justification.

            But ANY epistemology which begins and ends in I-AM vis-à-vis Being is NOT an epistemology which your Map can offer. And that's FINE. No problem. Why? Because you are free to offer the Christian something Better than all of that, better than Reason for the simple fact that the Christian only needs to see what it is you are pointing to, where to place his foot to take that next step and all of that ((by extension)) is for the simple reason that Blind-Faith won't do.

          • gquenot

            […] logically compulsory termini.

            Who says “compulsory”?

            […] you are free to offer the Christian something Better than Reason, and/or Reason, for the simple fact that the Christian only needs to see what it is you are pointing to, what stepping stone there on the ground, so to speak, atop which to place his foot, and that by extension is for the simple reason that Blind-Faith won't do.

            We reach here the limits of the figurative discourse. Could you express that in a non-figurative way, i.e. without “so to speak”?

            “So to speak”, what I understand is that you are unable to provide a foundation from scratch and that you are requiring me to provide one for you.

          • 1. Compulsory:
            Compulsory with respect to Logic because you're stuck inside of the Münchhausen trilemma when it comes to Identity ((such as the form of A = B vs. A ≠ B)), non-contradiction ((again we can say in the form of A = B vs. A ≠ B)) and so on. We've reviewed at least three of your options such as a. denying logic outright or else b. eliminating logic as per eliminativism or else c. your current armistice within Non-Distinction when it comes to Identity and to Non-Contradiction as you give your own Self-Report of reason's satisfaction ((somehow)) not finding enough justification to make that final distinction between the Irreducible i-am vis-à-vis the being ((on the one hand)) and ((on the other hand)) non-being ((…and so illusion…)).

            2. Figurative:
            It's all about the First Person ~ the Self ~ You ~ and there is no "figurative you". How can there be? In your own Map you cannot find any epistemic objection against Non-Distinction when we arrive inside of the First Person Experience and so you've this tendency to slide into "Figurative". You probably didn't even realize what you were asking for there. And what even asking for it costs your epistemology ((...though there were two quotes in the previous comment which alluded to that...)).

            3. Speaking of Epistemic Weight:
            As goes the very being of Self vis-à-vis i-am so too goes the very being of Reason and by extension then so too the entirety of one's Epistemic Justification.

            But ANY epistemology which begins and ends in I-AM vis-à-vis Being is NOT an epistemology which your Map can offer. And that's FINE. No problem. Why? Because you are free to offer the Christian something Better than all of that, better than Reason vis-à-vis Being for the simple fact that the Christian only needs to see what it is you are pointing to as your Guide. Why? Because Blind-Faith won't do.

          • gquenot

            1. Compulsory: […]

            Yes, the adversarial consequence of not having a “terminus” is being stuck into a trilemma and left into a less than ideal epistemic situation. The question is: who says that we can not be stuck there?

            2. Figurative: […]

            You missed the point. The question was not about a (non-)figurative self, it referred to “[…] needs to see what it is you are pointing to, what stepping stone there on the ground, so to speak, atop which to place his foot […]”. I guess that you are literally talking neither of a “stepping stone there on the ground” not of “placing a foot atop of”. So, non-figuratively, what exactly are you talking about with these two expressions?

            3. Speaking of Epistemic Weight:
            As goes […]

            I believe this to be the root of our difference in perspective. Where you say this, I would rather say “As comes the very being of Self vis-à-vis i-am so too comes the very being of Reason and by extension then so too the entirety of one's Epistemic Justification” (assuming an agreement on the details). Where you see an “evaporation ((so to speak))”, I rather see an unjustified ((literally)) “condensation ((so to speak))”.

            […] you are free to offer […] something Better than all of that

            Better than what? Better than the (possibly strong) feeling that some have of the “irreducibility” of their self? That is just blind faith to me.

          • 1/You: “And who says that we can not be stuck there?”

            1/Me: You say you want to explore Other Maps. You’re now saying you can’t do so with your current means/resources and you’re open to new information or new discovery of some new “fundamental” “nature” short of I-AM ((…because that’s just Theism…)). Yes you’re open to Theism but the point here is your own “Reach” WITHOUT all of that lucidity & distinction. YOU are saying YOU are (so far) stuck. That’s the point you’re not taking ownership of because you still insist you CAN explore Other Maps WHILE being unable to draw real distinctions. You’re not saying you’re stuck given your current means/resources. Or are you owning that "So Far Stuck" whatchamacallit? Sometimes you seem to say that and that’s fine if you do as then we can settle that question once and for all ((...given your means/resources "so far" etc...)). Again feel free to tack onto the end of that the long-ago predicted “Eternal Shrug” which our Non-Theist friends given in a feigned nonchalance of “Well sure it all reduces to self-negation and circularity but YOURS DOES TO and so we’re even!((…I didn’t say YOU are a Non-Theist…I’m merely observing the convergence which you have with them there…)).

            2/You: “What stepping stone”

            2/Me: Nothing less than i-think / i-intend / i-reason / i-exist / i-am vis-à-vis Self/Mind/Reason

            3/You: The “as comes” vs. the “as goes”

            3/Me: Both Arrows ((whether Ontic or Figurative)) leave you in your own Map where you cannot find any epistemic objection against Non-Distinction when we arrive inside of the First Person Experience.

            4/You: “Better than what?”

            4/Me: Well, first of all, please stop trying to distinguish between Feeling/Intuition/Reason ((on the one hand)) and Non-Feeling/Non-Intuition/Non-Reason ((on the other hand)). The entire first person experience either enjoys or else suffers the same Means/Ends. Second of all the answer to “better than what” is this: See “2/You & 2/Me” above. Why? Well broadly speaking because of Logic and Reason. Sorry but [A] does not equal [Non-A] in any possible world – well – pending your own self-negation and circularity with respect to Logic||Identity of course.

          • gquenot

            1/Me: You say you want to explore Other Maps.

            Say, other views.

            You’re now saying you can’t do so with your current means/resources […]

            No. You and only you are saying that I can’t do so.

            and you’re open to new information or new discovery of some new “fundamental” “nature” short ofI-AM

            Yes. That or whatever else.

            […] you still insist you CAN explore Other Maps […]

            No. I am saying neither that I can nor that I can’t. You and only you are saying that I can’t.

            […] WHILE being unable to draw real distinctions.

            Yes. I got that you can’t tell me about real distinction unless I already have them. That is where we are stuck. There is no point insisting on that.

            2/You: “What stepping stone”

            2/Me: Nothing less than i-think / i-intend / i-reason / i-exist / i-am vis-à-vis Self/Mind/Reason

            That does not speak to me at all (and I know that you can't unpack it before I get it) and that can’t be what I was asking for. The question is about the type of what is expected, e.g. premise, observation, or whatever.

            3/Me: Both Arrows ((whether Ontic or Figurative)) leave you in your own Map where you cannot find any epistemic objection against Non-Distinction when we arrive inside of the First Person Experience.

            The direction of the arrows does make a difference regarding where we start from. We obviously consider two different “default” positions.

          • Didn’t you say you cannot justify true distinctions when we arrive at the First Person Experience?

            If [X] is “i-am/i-intend/i-think” and via speech your own semantic intent relays your own first person perception/observation vis-à-vis “i-am/i-intend/i-think” can you justify a claim that the “Fundamental Nature of [X]” just is “i-am/i-intend/i-think”?

            If so then do you claim that that [X] is irreducibly and so ontologically distinct from, say, the “Fundamental Nature” of [gravity]?

          • gquenot

            Didn’t you say that "so far" you cannot justify true distinctions when we arrive at the First Person Experience?

            This is in no way specific to “the First Person Experience”, I just don’t know how to justify anything in an absolute, self-sufficient and complete way.

            If [X] is “i-am/i-intend/i-think” and via speech your own semantic intent relays your own first person perception/observation vis-à-vis “i-am/i-intend/i-think” can you justify a claim that the “Fundamental Nature of [X]” just is “i-am/i-intend/i-think”?

            I don’t understand this and I don’t see why I should believe in “Fundamental Natures” in the first place.

          • Okay. So you do not or cannot find any true distinction between [A] what your own speech means to refer to in and by your own semantic intent as you relay to us your own first person perception/observation vis-à-vis the experience of ((your first person experience of)) “i-am/i-intend/i-think” ((on the one hand)) and [B] what your own speech means to refer to in and by your own semantic intent as you relay to us your own first person perception/observation vis-à-vis the experience of ((your first person experience of)) Gravity ((on the other hand)).

            That fits with what you said earlier:

            "...I am agnostic in the same way about a “fundamental nature” for both the “hydrogen atom” and “i-am”. Second, would they both have such a “fundamental nature”, I don’t see any principled reason for positing a distinction between these..."

            Neither of us need to worry about what "irreducible nature" means. It's irrelevant because no matter how far down we go you are "so far" unable and/or unwilling to affirm any principled reason for positing any real distinctions.

            Isn't that right? You're stuck "there" "so-far". Yes? No? If you are NOT stuck there "so far" well then you ARE able and willing to affirm your principled reason for positing real distinctions then and you can retract your previous self-reports.

          • gquenot

            I am sorry but [A] and [B] just sounds gibberish to me. I recognize what you quoted however.

            […] you are "so far" unable and/or unwilling to affirm any principled reason for positing any real distinctions.

            As I just wrote, I just don’t know how to justify anything in an absolute, self-sufficient and complete way. I can add that this includes “principled reasons”.

            You're stuck "there" "so-far". Yes? No?

            I can say “Yes” once more and I perfectly understood that you are unable / unwilling to help me to “get out of it” as long as I would have not succeeded without your help. That is where we are stuck. So, are we done?

          • A vs. B ? That is simply what you "mean" when you refer to "thinking" vs. what you "mean" when you refer to "gravity".

            "...I am agnostic in the same way about a “fundamental nature” for both the “hydrogen atom” and “i-am”. Second, would they both have such a “fundamental nature”, I don’t see any principled reason for positing a distinction between these..."

            That just affirms your "Yes" again in that no matter how far down we go you are "so far" unable and/or unwilling to affirm any principled reason for positing any real distinctions.

            You still want me to help you. Not so fast. It is you who is claiming to want to explore other maps. Well then do that. Draw real distinctions of real error and real veracity inside other maps.

            A1. Can you do that "so far"?

            A2. This is the part you keep failing to take ownership of.

            B1. If you should take ownership of that, well THEN we can get to your "WE are stuck" mantra which we predicted all those months ago.

            B2. But we can't get to that yet because of the delay in processing A1 etc.

          • gquenot

            You still want me to help you

            No. I got that you have nothing to offer.

          • You just implied ((you are hedging)) that you cannot make any such true discovery regarding other Maps ~ and yet now you boldly declare such of another Map "As-If" your declaration is composed of a justified semantic intent. And, well, for now that's fine. Other Maps may or may not be able to help you. But we cannot address your predicted "WE are all stuck" until you are willing to take ownership of your own premises. Additionally, it's subtle, yes, but notice that your A1 is required in order for us to Map out the veracity of your B1.

            CAN you map out true distinctions with respect to real error and real veracity inside other maps?

            A1. Can you do that "so far"?

            A2. This is still the part you keep failing to take ownership of.

            B1. If you should take ownership of that, well THEN we can get to your "WE are stuck" mantra which we predicted all those months ago.

            B2. But we can't get to that yet because of the delay in processing A1

          • gquenot

            You got me wrong once more. Trying again.

            It may be that I am currently “stuck” in “non-distinction”. However, I am NOT saying that we should all be stuck there and not even that you are stuck there. It might (say epistemically for me) be that you are not stuck there.

            I am saying that we, i.e. you and me, are stuck BUT I am NOT saying that “non-distinction” is where we are stuck.

            Where you and me (and just you and just me) are stuck is in your inability to help me. You can’t help me because you are unable and/or unwilling to tell me about how to find (true) distinction unless/until I am already able to justify it (in which case, it would be pointless for me to seek help about it).

            So. I got that you could not help me and that and only that is where you and me are stuck.

          • That's why I said "so far". You keep failing to make that distinction. Remember when I drew that distinction between you and the full-on eliminativist? You should do a word-search for "so-far". You'd be surprised.

            ....would they both have such a “fundamental nature”, I don’t see any principled reason for positing a distinction between these...."

            You want to explore other maps, yes? Can you as of now? Note the "as of now".

            Yes? No? Did you notice the syntax of A1? Did you notice the "so far"? Here it is again:

            A1. Can you do that "so far"?

            That was from the following, unedited, unchanged series:

            CAN you map out true distinctions with respect to real error and real veracity inside other maps?

            A1. Can you do that "so far"?

            A2. This is still the part you keep failing to take ownership of.

            B1. If you should take ownership of that, well THEN we can get to your "WE are stuck" mantra which we predicted all those months ago.

            B2. But we can't get to that yet because of the delay in processing A1

            Once we get to "B1" we can fuss over "We ARE stuck" vs. "WE MAY be stuck" but so far you keep avoiding A1. CAN you "see" any more than you do "so far"?

          • gquenot

            That's why I said "so far".

            I italicized “currently”.

            You want to explore other maps, yes?

            I am curious about other world views.

            Can you as of now?

            I am no longer expecting anything from you but I see no reason for which I could not learn from someone else.

            CAN you map out true distinctions with respect to real error and real veracity inside other maps?

            A1. Can you do that "so far"?

            I may try to answer that once you will have clearly defined what it is that you call a “map”.

          • Sorry, I thought the quote about true distinctions was obvious. Here it is again:

            ....would they both have such a “fundamental nature”, I don’t see any principled reason for positing a distinction between these....

            Mapping:

            That's where your current Map stalls out "so far".

            CAN you "see" any more than you do "so far"?

          • gquenot

            That's where your current Map stalls out "so far".

            I may try to answer that once you will have clearly defined what it is that you call a “Map”.

          • Exactly what you said about “...almost so close we can’t tell the difference..” and your...

            ....would they both have such a “fundamental nature”, I don’t see any principled reason for positing a distinction between these....

            You said those things about Hydrogen vs. Intention and so on. Well that’s your Map.

            It ends in your self-report that you don’t see any principled reason for positing (real) distinctions.

            That's where your current Map stalls out "so far".

            CAN you "see" any more than you do "so far"? The Eliminativist can’t. But you’re more honest because you know you might be wrong despite the same self-reports.

          • gquenot

            Exactly [...] stalls out "so far".

            This is not a definition. This is at best an example and it is not clear what example it is. I don't know how to make a category out of that.

            CAN you "see" [...]

            Please try to ask that in a non-figurative way. Assuming that I got it right, the answer is: I don't know and I see no reason for which I could not.

          • You said it yourself regarding Hydrogen and Intention:

            “....would they both have such a “fundamental nature”, I don’t see any principled reason for positing a distinction between these....”

            Is your map of Hydrogen & Intention ((Non-Distinction)) still the case “so far”?

          • gquenot

            Is your map of Hydrogen & Intention ((Non-Distinction)) still the case “so far”?

            I may try to answer that once you will have clearly defined what it is that you call a “map”.

            I don’t see the point in asking me to confirm this again and again and … It is still the case that I did not find yet and I have not been told yet about a reliable way to figure out whether the distinctions that we perceive are “true ontic ones” or just “useful approximations” of what these “true ontic ones” would be.

          • That's your Map then. You really don't get the analogy? Haven't we been talking about [A] real/ontological distinctions as opposed to [B] distinctions that, in the end, are not real/actual? We're mapping A vs. B and so on....the turn of phrase is really befuddling you? You really had/have no idea that "map" refers to the "landscape" which exists either via A or else via B?

            Really?

          • That's your Map then. We've been talking about [A] real/ontological distinctions as opposed to [B] distinctions that, in the end, are not real/actual. We're mapping A vs. B and so on....the turn of phrase is really befuddling you? You really had/have no idea that "map" refers to the "landscape" which exists either via A or else via B?

            "So far" then we can say that you, on your own, so far, regardless of what anyone else brings to the table, on force of reason have reasoned that reason/reasoning cannot "so far" ((with available data so far etc.)) tell us what is in fact Real/True regarding Self/Non-Self "so far" ((....and therefore cannot "so far" tell us what is in fact Real/True regarding Reason/Non-Reason "so far"....)).

            That is simply what brings us to your quote about Hydrogen and Intention in which intention||i-am may be irreducibly/actually distinct from a non-intention||photon ((A ≠ B)) or may in the end converge to Identity ((A = B)). The quote I'm referring to is the following:

            “....would they both have such a “fundamental nature” I don’t see any principled reason for positing a distinction between these....”

            Is all of that correct so far?

            Part II

            Assuming the above is correct "so far" then before going further, I'm curious why you say "both" when referring to "fundamental nature" there with H and Intention. I read that as you remaining open to the possibility "so far" that the following may or may not be the case:

            There "Might Be" in fact "multiple" "fundamental/ultimate realities" some of which sum to.....

            1. Identity to Reason/Intention/i-am ((A = B viz the First Person Experience)) and then....

            2. And then some others which sum to, say, the four fundamental forces/interactions via physics and then....

            3. And then some others which perhaps sum to those four plus a 5th and 6th yet-to-be-discovered irreducible force/interaction. and then...

            And so on...and so "Reality" ends up at a minimum being "Dualistic" at bottom with Irreducible/Real/Ontological distinctions between Intention/Non-Intention ((Etc., Etc.)).

            That is to say that it may be the case that that at-a-minimum-dualistic state of affairs may be (or may not be) the case as opposed to a state of affairs in which there is only ONE "Fundamental/Ultimate Reality" in the sense that "Reality" sums to a rock-bottom which has only ONE of the above options.

            Is that why you mention "fundamental natures" plural instead of singular ((because you remain open to that possibility))?

          • gquenot

            […] the turn of phrase is really befuddling you?

            Yes. Really. We have reached the limits of the figurative discourse here. Analogies sometimes helps but when they fail, we must return to direct and non-figurative explanations. “Landscape” speaks no more to me than “map”.

            […] either via A or else via B

            I really don’t get your point. I can think of what would follow assuming [A] and I can think of what would follow assuming [B]. Logic rules are the same on both sides, only some premises differ.

            "So far" then we can say that you, on your own, so far, regardless of what anyone else brings to the table, on force of reason have reasoned that reason/reasoning cannot "so far" ((with available data so far etc.)) tell us what is in fact Real/True regarding Self/Non-Self "so far" ((....and therefore cannot "so far" tell us what is in fact Real/True regarding Reason/Non-Reason "so far"....)).

            NO. I have already denied that multiple times.

            Is all of that correct so far?

            Indeed it is not.

            Assuming the above is correct "so far" […]

            It is not but I can still attempt to answer the question.

            […] I'm curious why you say "both" when referring to "fundamental nature" there with H and Intention.

            When I say “would they both have such a “fundamental nature””, I am just pointing out that there are questionable ontological commitments that I am not necessarily making behind the question of whether “H” or “Intention” have the same or distinct “fundamental natures”. “Both” here just refers to two of these questionable ontological commitments, namely the existence of a “fundamental nature for H” and the existence of a “fundamental nature for Intention”. And I guess that you are unable / unwilling to explain what “fundamental nature” precisely means.

          • Regarding Part 1:

            You said "NO". I'll change the wording of that paragraph then to the following:

            "So far" then we can say that you, on your own, so far, regardless of what anyone else brings to the table, on force of reason have reasoned that reason/reasoning CAN ((changed from cannot)) "so far" ((with available data so far etc.)) tell us what is in fact Real/True regarding Self/Non-Self "so far" ((....and therefore you CAN ((changed from cannot)) "so far" tell us what is in fact Real/True regarding Reason/Non-Reason "so far"....)).

            Since you said earlier that you see no good reason to draw real distinctions, I merely echoed that with "cannot-so-far". However, you said that is wrong. So I changed it FROM your earlier "no good reason to draw" to now by reasoning through all available data you CAN find a good reason to draw and etc. And since you CAN find a good reason "so far" then "so far" as of now you DO.

            Is that correct?

            If you cannot "so far" commit to real distinctions then what was the problem with the first version?

            Perhaps this: The "regardless of what others bring to the table" might better be worded "regardless of what others may one day bring to the table later one....as we are at this point only looking at what you have now in your own hands...as of now so far and NOT what is POSSIBLE should more data arrive later on..."

            Or was it something else that was wrong? I ask because I don't think you mean that you CAN/DO "so far" make/draw ((commit to)) real/ontic distinctions. Yet you said that was all wrong. Hence these follow up questions to clarify.

            Regarding Part 2:

            Okay yes it's not key at this point but I was specifically asking if you meant to leave open the possibility that each of the two ((H and Intention) in fact May/Might/Possibly have their own distinct "Rock Bottom" such that "Reality" would then have more than one "irreducible nature" ((...one of which would be i-am / intention...)) in some sort of seamless juxtaposition ((or amalgamation...the wording isn't key at this point)).

          • And then

          • gquenot

            Regarding Part 1: […] Is that correct?

            Still not. Not even close. May I suggest that you learn about how to build the negation of a statement? The negation of “you have reasoned to A” is not “you have reasoned to non-A”, it is “you have not reasoned to A”.

            "So far" then we can say that you, on your own, so far, regardless of what anyone else brings to the table, on force of reason have reasoned that reason/reasoning […]

            Please note so I do not have to say it again and again: I have so far not identified anything to even begin to reason from on the “true distinction” question. This includes what I have been able to find on my own and what others (others than you indeed since you did not bring anything so far) “brought to the table”. In both cases, I found nothing decisive or convincing, not to mention absolutely justified.

            Regarding Part 2: […] I was specifically asking if you meant to leave open […]

            I leave everything epistemically open regarding the “true distinction” question.

          • Regarding Hydrogen and Intention/Self you find nothing decisive or convincing that allows you or justifies you in committing to true/ontic distinctions between those.

            Yes?

          • gquenot

            I found so far nothing decisive or convincing that justifies me in committing to true/ontic distinctions between “Hydrogen and Intention/Self”.

            I found so far nothing decisive or convincing that would prevent me from committing to true/ontic distinctions between “Hydrogen and Intention/Self” (such a commitment would just be unjustified so far).

          • A. But then it is the lack of epistemic justification in both directions ~ Yes?

            B. Hence the same goes for your commitment to non-distinction too ~ Yes?

            C. There's nothing stopping you from making that commitment but that move too would just be unjustified so far, just like the opposite commitment which you just addressed ~ Yes?

          • gquenot

            It seems that you eventually got it.

          • Your lack of epistemic justification? Well yes it's been a long time coming.

            Arrow-Left: You cannot make any justified claim of distinctions. So far. As of now. Given the available Perception / / Experience / Data / Etc.

            Arrow-Right: You cannot make any justified claim of Non-Distinction. So far. As of now. Given the available Perception / / Experience / Data / Etc.

            What do you disagree with in the following:

            You have gotten to that point by seeking reason's satisfaction such that reason has led you to that point of your claim that reason cannot ((so far)) find epistemic justification ((so far)) in any of those Two Ontic Arrows when it comes to interpreting reality.

            If you disagree then which part is not accurate "so far"?

          • gquenot

            What do you disagree with in the following:

            You have gotten to that point by seeking reason's satisfaction such that reason has led you to that point of your claim that reason cannot ((so far)) find epistemic justification ((so far)) in any of those Two Ontic Arrows when it comes to interpreting reality.

            If you disagree then which part is not accurate "so far"?

            Yes. This is what I disagree with. I have not reasoned on this so far in the sense that I have not drawn any conclusion from any premise so far. It just happened that I could not identify so far relevant premises from which to reason.

          • Okay. Then is the following accurate?

            Your conclusion "at this point" that so far as of now you have no epistemic justification ((at this point so far)) to move up either of those Two Arrows is a conclusion which you have NOT reasoned your way "up to" "so far".

            ?

          • gquenot

            "Observation", not "conclusion".

          • gquenot

            To conclude is to build a conclusion statement by applying logic rules to other statements (other conclusion statements or premise statements). My “Current Status” regarding “epistemic justification” is not such a conclusion. I would not even say that it is a statement. It is just the case that I did not find so far appropriate premises from which to (fully) justify “true distinctions” (or anything at all).

          • Then it is not reasoning/thinking by which you have come to your current understanding of and by which you define and measure "appropriate premises".

            And it is not reasoning/thinking by which you have come to your current understanding of and by which you define and measure "logic".

            And just the same in your "I find no good reason by which to justify X" it is not reasoning/thinking by which you've come to your current understanding of and by which you define and measure "reason" nor is it reasoning/thinking by which you define and measure "good" reasons from "bad" reasons.

            How is that possible? From the Neonate's blank slate beginning with Perception/Experience how is it that you have arrived all these years later with your present understandings of all of the above without reasoning/thinking/weighing/drawing-distinctions?

          • gquenot

            Then it is not reasoning/thinking by which […]

            We were talking only of reasoning, which I understand as drawing conclusions from other conclusions and/or premises by applying logic rules. We were not talking of thinking in a broad sense, even if reasoning can be thought of as a particular kind of thinking.

            […] define and measure "appropriate premises"

            Good point. Actually, “appropriate premises from which to (fully) justify “true distinctions”” is redundant because I would precisely define “appropriate premises” as “premises from which to (fully) justify “true distinctions””. I can therefore withdraw “appropriate” in my previous reply. Regarding measuring this, I would not consider that as reasoning, even though my judgment about whether or not some premises can (fully) support “true distinction” may involve some attempts of reasoning. The main problem that I encounter however is not to figure out whether some premises can make it to that or not, it is to even find premises at all in the first place that (i) do not depend upon other premises (as these would not be premises but already conclusions) and that (ii) is not eventually a mere call to intuition.

            From the Neonate's blank slate […]

            The “Neonate slate” might not be so “blank”.

            […] how is it that you have arrived all these years later with your present understandings of all of the above without reasoning/thinking/weighing/drawing-distinctions?

            I already replied to that but I will make an effort to make it clearer with the hope that you will eventually get that too. I indeed draw distinctions. I have always done that and I do that all the time but this does not mean in any way that I hold or that I held that these are “true ontic ones”.

            Regarding “how is it that I have arrived all these years later with my present understandings”, all of that happened with distinctions, which I never knew whether they were “true ontic ones” or just “useful approximations” of what “true ontic ones” would be. At some point, it happened that my attention was drawn upon this question, specifically regarding the “subject / object” distinction (I already “knew” that the “cat / dog” one for instance was dubious). Since then, I am in this “agnostico-realist” situation as I did not find any way to figure out which was the case. But before that, it was in no way the case that I committed to either of the alternatives, I was just not even aware of an alternative there.

            Hope this helps.

          • Architecture:

          • gquenot

            I have indeed reasoned (whether this was “truly” or “as if” remains epistemically open for me) in the past and I am still reasoning for many things. I also have little doubt on the fact that my constitution and my past experience, including reasoning, strongly shaped how I see things today. However, when I say that it is just the case that I did not find so far appropriate premises from which to (fully) justify “true distinctions” (or anything at all), this is not the conclusion of a reasoning. If you think that it is reasoning, what would be the premises this conclusion would be based upon?

            I don’t buy “no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief”.

          • "I also have little doubt on the fact that my constitution and my past experience, including reasoning, strongly shaped how I see things today."

            No. Reason does not shape how you see things today. Because you are saying what you see today and telling us that reason had nothing to do with it.

            BTW "Doubt" entails Belief-State. When you doubt X what do you base that on? No-Data? No-Thing? No-Perception? No-Experience?

          • To think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic ~ is a fairly straightforward definition of the verb reason. The noun would simply be the capacity/power to do that verb.

            Is it true that whenever someone says "I honestly don't know either way if it's X or not. I don't have any real justification either way" that such is a statement that has not been reasoned to? That one has not arrived there by thinking, understanding, and forming judgments by a process of logic?

            "I also have little doubt on the fact that my constitution and my past experience, including reasoning, strongly shaped how I see things today."

            No. Reason does not shaped how you see things today. Why? Because "how you see things today" is what you just told us and you just told us that reason had nothing to do with it.

            Again that raises the following question:

            Is it true that whenever someone says "I honestly don't know either way if it's X or not. I don't have any real justification either way" that such is a statement that has not been reasoned to? One has not arrived there by thinking, understanding, and forming judgments by a process of logic?

            Belief-State:

            "Doubt" entails Belief-State. When you doubt X what do you base that on? No-Data? No-Thing? No-Perception? No-Experience?

          • gquenot

            Is it true that whenever someone says "I honestly don't know either way if it's X or not. I don't have any real justification either way" that such is a statement that has not been reasoned to?

            We obviously don’t have the same understanding of “reason” and that is indeed a term with multiple meanings and delineations. Just let’s try to do without it.

            That one has not arrived there by thinking, understanding, and forming judgments by a process of logic?

            I would say that one has likely arrived there by thinking and understanding but not necessarily by forming judgments by a process of logic. In the latter case the judgement would not be worth more the premises onto which the process of logic was applied. In the former, this is largely intuition that is at work.

            Reason does not shaped how you see things today.

            I sai”reasoning”, not reason and, specifically, I was referring to what was reasoned about and the conclusion reached, for what the premises were worth.

            When you doubt X what do you base that on? No-Data? No-Thing? No-Perception? No-Experience?

            Commitment does requires justification. Doubt is just the non-commitment state and it does not require other justification than the absence of decisive reasons for committing. Well, that is at least (part of) how I conceive reason.

          • I gave you the definition of reason:

            To think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic ~ is a fairly straightforward definition of the verb reason. The noun would simply be the capacity/power to do that verb.

            If you're layering stuff on top of logic then you're reasoning. Hence the definition.

            Doubt: There was no commitment. There's your mind and perception and thinking and understanding and forming judgments by a process of logic that something is justified or not justified and so on.....it is a fairly straightforward definition of the verb reason. The noun would simply be the capacity/power to do that verb.

            So?

            Are you Reason-Free and Logic-Free there in your "I'm not sure" or not?

            It's okay if you are Free of Logic but I want to be sure you mean that when you say Reason-Free.

          • gquenot

            I gave you the definition of reason: […]

            This is one definition of reason. It has the inconvenience to mix what is related to the application of logic rules and what is related to the use of intuition.

            Doubt: There was no commitment. There's your mind and perception and thinking and understand and form judgments by a process of logic that […]

            This is exactly the mix. Either reasoning only involves applying logic rules to statements or it involves additional components.

            Are you Reason-Free and Logic-Free there in your "I'm not sure" or not?

            Logic-free. In order to answer the “Reason-Free” question, I need to know what it is exactly that you add to the use of logic in reasoning. That is interesting by the way if you mind to clarify.

          • Also that other one.

          • gquenot

            […] Without Logic. Since you feel it's not part of Reason.

            I read again what I wrote and I really don’t see how you could misunderstand me up to that point. Indeed, I do feel that logic is part of reason. The question is what else is part of reason?

          • Logic is part of reason and that's fine ((anything you want to use/remove/plug in is fine)) but "the rest" is whatever you want to include in that which you use as your mind's tools/guides when interpreting reality. It's your Show/Map/Self-Report or whatever regarding interpreting any perceived distinctions between ((from earlier)) your first person experience of Intention and Thinking and Inferring and so on ((on the one hand)) and a Photon ((on the other hand)).

            Again you can include/exclude whatever you want since you disagreed with the earlier definition. Whatever it was that has gotten you to your current "I'm not sure if X is justified nor am I sure if Not-X is justified". From earlier you mentioned that when people come to that same point of "I'm not sure if X or Not X is justified" they've NOT reasoned their way to that point ((based on what you said earlier)) BUT now we have Logic as a part of reason and so we need to clarify:

            Do you mean everything other than "Applying Rule(s) of Logic" was NOT used.
            ....or...
            Do you mean everything other than "Applying Rule(s) of Logic" WAS used.

            ((I'm assuming that you leave out "Applying Rule(s) of Logic" when you are working through interpreting data/reality only because you said Logic-Free earlier, but I'm clarifying in this comment because it's not quite clear what you mean to say IS used vs. is NOT used)).

          • gquenot

            Logic is part of reason and that's fine

            At least, we agree on that.

            […] "the rest" is whatever you want to include in that which you use as your mind's tools/guides when interpreting reality.

            Whatever one wants to use as a mind's tools/guides when interpreting reality? There might be a multitude of reasonable yet incompatible world views with such a broad understanding.

            […] you disagreed with the earlier definition.

            I did not disagree with it, I asked for clarifications about it.

            Whatever it was that has gotten you to your current "I'm not sure if X is justified nor am I sure if Not-X is justified".

            I am not saying that this is justified or reasonable.

            From earlier you mentioned that when people come to that same point of "I'm not sure if X or Not X is justified" they've NOT reasoned their way to that point ((based on what you said earlier))

            NO. I was only speaking for myself.

            we need to clarify: […]

            I will first clarify again that I was speaking only for myself and I can clarify everything that was used WAS other than "Applying Rule(s) of Logic". I just noticed that I had no fully justified premise onto which apply them for concluding either way on the “true distinction” question.

          • Right but none of that matters because you can't tell us if there's really any difference between any of the above, yes? Intuition vs. Think vs. Intend vs. Identity A vs. Identity Non-A vs. Mind vs. the veracity of i-intend/i-am vs. the illusion of i-choose/i-am. We already established that earlier with the following:

            A. But then it is the lack of epistemic justification in both directions ~

            B. Hence the same goes for your commitment to non-distinction too ~

            C. There's nothing stopping you from making that commitment but that move too would just be unjustified so far, just like the opposite commitment which you just addressed ~

            When you say, "I can clarify everything that was used WAS other than "Applying Rule(s) of Logic"...." how are you inferring any real distinction between "Applying Rules of Logic" and all the rest ((whatever it may be))?

          • gquenot

            [...] how are you inferring any real distinction between "Applying Rules of Logic" and all the rest ((whatever it may be))?

            I am drawing a distinction between “Applying Rules of Logic” and “all the rest” but this one is no different from any other distinction that I draw: it may or may not be a “true” or a “real” one and I have not been able so far to figure out which it is. The reason for which I am not able to figure out which it is, in this case as in any other, is precisely because, were it actually only a useful approximation, it is such an excellent one that (i) it makes no difference at all in any practical respect and (ii) it is just indistinguishable from what a “true” or a “real” distinction would be with the means I have.

          • And the other

          • gquenot

            I am not a syllogism though I do have some (imperfect) ability to produce and to check syllogisms but, in some sense, I would say that I am my premises or, at least, that my premises are part of what I am. Indeed, I don’t think that I have any absolute justification for these premises but there are some that I consider to be (more or less) plausible, at least approximately, and I can reason, at least approximately, and take decisions from them. All of these premises eventually rely on my feeling of them being likely correct or, in other words, on my intuition. Unlike the application of logic rules (on which we would probably agree), intuition is not something that we can share or check for someone else. We can say “I disagree with this inference” and easily argue about whether and why it is a valid one or not. With intuition, we can only say “well, I just happen to have a different intuition on that”. And I think that we can tell each other what our intuitions are even if we are not able to absolutely justify them (or to justify them at all).

            Do you plan to do this when asking others for their Maps too?

            I got that you can’t tell how you find absolute epistemic justification to someone that does not already have it. Therefore (inference) I am no longer expecting any help from you on this question and I also think (intuition) that you are fooling yourself somewhere if you think that you have one. That does not mean that I can’t get help from someone else.

          • “ I would say that I am my premises.” [A] = [A]

            “I would say that my premises are a part of what I am.” [A] = [Part of X]

            Surely you realize that those are irreducibly distinct wrt logic, identity, and non-contradiction.

            Also, you avoided the actual question: Do you plan to continue your search while not reasoning through anything when looking for differences between your own intention/self and a rock laying on the side of the road? Including when other Maps are explored?

          • gquenot

            I clarified that I was not only my premises and, no, there is nothing more necessarily “irreducibly distinct” here than anywhere else. When I say “my premises are part of what I am”, this may still be either a “true distinction” or just a “useful approximation” and I still feel that I have no way to figure out which it is.

            Do you plan to continue your search while not reasoning through anything when looking for differences between your own intention/self and a rock laying on the side of the road?

            I am looking for anything to reason from (or through) in the first place.

            Including when other Maps are explored?

            I am curious about what it is that the owners of these “Maps” reason from (or through) in the first place. I got that you have nothing to show. I did not find so far anything convincing in what others showed but, at least, in their case, I was able to figure out which intuitions they relied upon, even though they do not necessarily recognize them as such and even though I happen not to share them. I am still open to being shown anything better.

          • The other option:

          • gquenot

            You say you cannot tell which is the case between [A] = [A] ((on the one hand)) and [A] = [Part of X] ((on the other hand)).

            NO.. What I can’t tell is whether, when I say “my premises are part of what I am”, this is a “true distinction” or just a “useful approximation”.

            You say you are looking for anything to reason from (or through) in the first place.

            Well, first of all that’s not relevant given that "you" are not a syllogism and so you've no justification to keep going on about reason in search of premises.

            That’s weird. I said that I was not a syllogism but I also said that I have an ability to produce and to check syllogisms. In order to exert this ability, I have to identify premises, whether absolutely justified or not.

            WHY do you claim that those two options regarding Premises vs. i-am in the aforementioned [A] = [A] and [A] = [Part of X] are not necessarily distinct vis-à-vis Logic, Identity, and Non-Contradiction?

            There are two levels in this question. This first is whether logic itself is something absolute or only an approximation of something that would be so. Whichever is the case is probably not important compared to the second level and, for all practical matters, “true” logic and excellent approximations of it works exactly in the same way.

            The second level is whether what logic is applied onto does correspond to true ontic categories or only to approximations of “things” that would be so (and, indeed, so it goes for the distinction between the first and the second level but that can go with the first level itself). Actually, I see so far absolute justification for none of this. The second level was more what I had in mind.

            a. [...]

            I don’t see why the lack of an example can lead to any incoherence.

            b. [...]

            I am sorry but this is just gibberish for me. My lack of absolute epistemic justification is ultimately only an observation (or only a feeling).

            c. [...]

            I don’t see any link with a.

          • Before getting to your unsteadiness regarding Logic and possible [A = Non-A] loss of intentionality and etc., it’s helpful to remember that we know you’re not committed to any conclusion and you’re only communicating your own self-report regarding what evidence you find or don’t find, and that’s fine. Nothing I say to you ought to make you think I’m inferring that you are “saying” as in “concluding” anything. I point that out because you changed what I said to “What I can’t tell is whether…” and you (there) used the word “True” and word “Distinction” in your clarification. But you needn’t given that “the fact of the matter” or “the truth of the matter ((about the distinction between “you” and “not-you”)) was NOT what I was pointing at or ever would be given the convergence you have with the Eliminativist in all but one or two final claims…)).

            So, returning to the replies, I have some clarification ((apologies)) regarding your application of logic regarding the following three whatchamacallits:

            1. “You / The First Person / the i-am / etc.” as [A]

            2. “Not-You / Non-Being ((….the terminus of “non-being” as the full-on metaphysical alternative to the terminus of “i-am” / “i-exist”…)) as [B]

            3. Logic vis-à-vis Identity and Non-Contradiction

            So far it seems you’ve already said that when you pause at various intervals in your journey to turn towards us and give us your own self-reports about your own ((current, in that moment)) belief-states regarding all of the above, what you are describing to us ((the belief states you’ve gotten to up until that point just before you stopped in order to turn towards us to give your latest update)) are belief-states which have not come about by “reasoning thorough data” ((perception, mind, processing, interpreting, testing, applying logic to, etc.)).

            Fortunately you made the distinction that you do apply logic to get to those belief-states. And if I read you correctly, in that list of three whatchamacallits it is the case that the third whatchamacallit above is not helping you when looking at the first two whatchamacallits. If that is so then aren’t you trying to reason and find premises again? You need not because all we’re doing is applying logic to ((to make it basic for now)) “I-Exist” and “I-Don’t Exist”.

            It may be easier to juxtapose two different semantic intents or two different self-reports of “what we mean” when referring to two distinct events or qualities. Our words are messages telling others what our own internal “me/i” is “seeing/knowing” and so on and, so, here when we say to others that your First Person Experience sums to “i-intend / i-think / i-exist / i-am…” we have our semantic intent there which is “A” and when we say to others “That rock rolling down the hill is not intentional….” we also have what we mean there which is “B”. ((Intent vs. Non-Intent)).

            Regarding your own meaning, when you say [A] you are intentional but [B] the rock is not intentional, is it that you cannot apply logic there? Or is it that you think by doing so you would be committing to some kind of conclusion and so you don’t want to? Your words mean different things and so A is not B and in fact Intent cannot ever be Non-Intent ((not even in principle)). It seems that logic applies there. Yes? A cannot be Non-A?

            The nature or quality of i-am may survive or may not survive further out as we continue to make new discoveries, and that’s fine because the question or “Map” is only about right here and right now, at this current self-report of yours “so far” and not about making conclusions.

            Yes we know that you don’t know if you’re making an ontologically true claim or not or if one is suffering from something wholly illusory, but again that’s fine because we are not making conclusions. We’re merely placing one foot in front of the other and stepping on what we “see” vis-à-vis i-am vis-à-vis Reason & Logic ((…we agree that for you we’ll just stick with Logic alone and leave out the bit about reason…)).

            Is “A” identical to “B” there within your semantic intent?

            Once we get that figured out we can look at A. “Almost-Being” and compare that B. “Non-Being” and compare those to C. “Being” ((…with respect to i-am/i-exist and so on….)) and presumably apply Logic to that Trio as well in the sense that “Almost-Being” or “Almost-Exists” is not identical to “Is” or “Exists” ((…the typical Being vs. Non-Being etc…)). It may be that there IS something “out there” by which we CAN be “Close” or even “Same” or it may be that there is nothing which is even in the same universe as i-am ((…of course assuming we don’t equivocate…)).

          • gquenot

            There are many things I disagree with here and I will not go through all of them again and again.

            Here is where I think is the meat:

            [...] when you say [A] you are intentional but [B] the rock is not intentional, is it that you cannot apply logic there?

            In short, my answer is: I have not seen established that logic can validly be applied here and this is because I have not seen established that the [A]/[B] distinction is vagueness-free (leaving aside the question of the “absolute and autonomous existence of logic)”.

            Regarding 1. versus 2., I am serious when I suggest you to learn how to build the negation of something. “Something” and “(the same) something as something else” are not identical and the negation or the complement of the former is not identical to the negation or the complement of the latter. In short: false dichotomy and implicit postulation of the existence of a “metaphysical terminus”.

          • Qualities.

          • gquenot

            You're still thinking about conclusions.

            “I have not seen established that logic can validly be applied there” is a primary observation / feeling, not a conclusion.

            None of what you wrote (again, I did read all of it) establishes the “truth” of the [A] / [B] distinction or the “truth” of the “intent to [A]” / “intent to [B]” distinction or the “truth” of any of the like. All of this is just call to “self-evidence”.

            For what analogies are worth, I will try one. There are two ways to explain the apparent motion of the Sun around the Earth. The first one is that the Sun is moving around the Earth and the second one is that the Earth it rotating (leaving aside more complex alternatives, including the “exact” one). You just can’t tell by just looking at the apparent Sun trajectory in the Sky as both “theories” would predict exactly the same apparent motion. In this case, it is possible to figure out however (without even looking at the Sun but in a much more complicated way than just “looking at”) using a Foucault pendulum. Though you may still find skeptics, the question is generally considered to be sorted out.

            Regarding the “truth” of the [A] / [B] distinction or the “truth” of the “intent to [A]” / “intent to [B]” distinction or the “truth” of any of the like, this is exactly the same: I just can’t figure out which is the case by just looking at how things appear as they would appear exactly in the same way with “true instances” of what we are talking about and with excellent approximations of what these would be. Even worse, whatever you might say in arguing about this would still appear in the same way in both cases. And, so far, I have nothing like the equivalent of a Foucault pendulum in sight for this case.

            Regarding [...], is it that you cannot apply logic there?

            I already answered to that: It has not been established that logic can be applied there.

            A. “Almost-Being” // "I Almost Exist" (Reductio)
            B. “Non-Being” // "I Do Not Exist" (Reductio)
            C. “Being” // "I Exist" (Lucidity)

            I would rather call A. “(excellent) approximation of being” and before claiming a reductio, it should be first established that logic can validly be applied there.

          • Why did you say, “None of what you wrote establishes the “truth”” given that we are not looking for Conclusions?

            Perception of the motion of the sun is perception of “you” ?

            Sorry but you may as well get to the point. If you intend to keep avoiding the first person experience on introspection then just say so and we can stop. Epistemic justification starts with the truth value of i-am / i-exist given that we have to start with “You” yourself having to start with “You” given that everything else is only secondary to that as “You” are the only voice saying anything about anything within any and all self-reports including your reports about the perception of the sun or of anything else. This is nothing more than basic philosophy of mind vis-à-vis language and WHY the elimination of Self/I/Me just is the elimination of all epistemic justification. We already noted that you’re NOT an eliminativist so the fact that you avoid the eliminativist’s one last step ((…a step which the eliminativist does not avoid…)) ought to do enough ontic work for you and so allow you to avoid having to equivocate there at the very fountainhead of all epistemic justification.

            This is basic but since you avoid it:

            On introspection we do not have “an experience of Self” as that would be second hand ((… “I” have an experience OF “Me”/i> is the second hand reflection in the mirror…)). Rather we have “Me/I” and that is “first hand” as in “first person” and so we say “The First Person Experience”. Notice that is not accurate to say “The First Person Experience OF Me” because that would fall back into “you are observing/experiencing you — as in a mirror — and any such reflection only brings us back to the Second Hand, which isn’t the semantic intent regarding “I” when we say I-Am / I-Exist / I-Think / I-Reason / I-Intend.

            Notice how simple that is and notice that we are not looking for conclusions about irreducible truth. We don’t have to. Because “so far” that is all Walled-Off by the Eliminativist’s Own Choice to devalue Logic. Yes, we know you are NOT an eliminativist and so that won’t apply to you until the very last step ((…your last step…not the eliminatvist’s last step…as he does have one additional step after your last step….as we map our way to I-AM….)). So stop fussing about anything that might lead you to say “None of what you wrote establishes the “truth””.

            You’re merely speaking as “You” regarding “You” and the “Language” of Intend / Think / Reason / i-exist / i-am.

            You come along and tell us the following as per your own introspections||perceptions:

            [A] i-intend / i-think / i-reason / i-am
            [B] that rock does not intend / think / reason / say-i-am / much less “say” anything at all

            Semantic Intent: Do YOU claim that YOU mean to convey to us in YOUR own report to us there as per “You” via “The First Person Experience” that “You” and “That Rock” either are identical such that A = B or else the reality of both your First-Hand and The-Rock’s First-Hand are identical such that A = B?

            Don’t worry about conclusions. You don’t have those. You have introspection ((…in here…)) and perception ((…out there…)) and logic ((…you said you don’t reason through anything so we can leave out Reason…)).

            ?

          • gquenot

            Why did you say, “None of what you wrote establishes the “truth”” given that we are not looking for Conclusions?

            I did not mentioned conclusion. Rather I would say that we are looking for justified premises or maybe for what you call “termini”. I did not see anything like that in what you wrote, only calls to “self-evidence” regarding a “true” [A] / [B] distinction.

            Perception of the motion of the sun is perception of “you”?

            We may loop forever on this or we may both try to spend our time in a smarter way. Again and again, I do draw a distinction between “perception of the motion of the sun” and “perception of “me””. The question for me remains to figure out whether this distinction is a “true” one or it is just a “useful approximation” of what a true one would be.

            If you intend to keep avoiding the first person experience on introspection then just say so and we can stop.

            See below.

            Epistemic justification starts with the truth value of i-am / i-exist given that we have to start with “You” yourself having to start with “You” given that everything else is only secondary to that as “You” are the only voice saying anything about anything within any and all self-reports including your reports about the perception of the sun or of anything else.

            That is a quite long and complicated sentence. Would it be possible to analyze it? Or just see below.

            [...] the elimination of Self/I/Me just is the elimination of all epistemic justification.

            This is how I see it: “the postulation of Self/I/Me just is the postulation of all epistemic justification” or “the (epistemic) justification of Self/I/Me just is the (epistemic) justification of all epistemic justification”. The question is that of the postulation or of the justification of “Self/I/Me” and of what properties we attach to it (e.g. irreducibility) in order to make it an appropriate “starting point for all epistemic justification”. I am open to some “self-evidence” but I have yet to see which exactly you are calling to and how you actually ground epistemic justification upon them. Also see below.

            This is basic but since you avoid it:

            That is stunning. You have been the one unable / unwilling to unpack anything before I am able to show an ability to draw “true” distinctions (and you eventually do so without it).

            On introspection [...] we have “Me/I” and that is “first hand” as in “first person” and so we say “The First Person Experience”.

            Maybe this is what you get from introspection. For me, what is primary or secondary and what is “self-evident” or not is not that clear. Regarding the “self-evident” part, I would say that “sentience is happening” and “there is something” are statements that are as certain as any statement can be for me. Yet, these appear as “brute facts” to me. Nothing else appears as certain to me from introspection and I don’t think we can get very far in epistemic justification from just these two statements. Indeed, I did use “I” and “me” in this report but that does not commit me to a “true” realization of an “irreducible” self. Excellent approximation of what that would be would do exactly as well. That I used “sentience” in one statement does not commit me either to the existence of an “irreducible self” as the “experiencer” of that sentience. That the language that we use expect “actants” for some terms or use pronouns do not by itself make anything “true” or “real” either.

          • Speaking as “You” regarding “You” and the “Language” of Intend / Think / Reason / i-exist / i-am.

            You come along and tell us the following as per your own introspections||perceptions:

            [A] i-intend / i-think / i-reason / i-am
            [B] that rock does not intend / think / reason / say-i-am / much less “say” anything at all

            Semantic Intent: Do YOU claim that YOU mean to convey to us in YOUR own report to us there as per “You” via “The First Person Experience” that “You” and “That Rock” either are identical such that A = B or else the reality of both your First-Hand and The-Rock’s First-Hand are identical such that A = B?

            Don’t worry about conclusions. You don’t have those. You have introspection ((…in here…)) and perception ((…out there…)) and logic ((…you said you don’t reason through anything so we can leave out Reason…)).

            ?

          • gquenot

            You come along and tell us the following as per your own introspections||perceptions:

            [A] i-intend / i-think / i-reason / i-am
            [B] that rock does not intend / think / reason / say-i-am / much less “say” anything at all

            Please read again. There was nothing like that in my report.

          • Really?
            Ever?
            Sure.

            So introspection and comments about the rock are out.

            So we're done then. Yes?

          • "I think such and such...."
            "I don't think rocks are sentient...."

            You never have said as much?
            You can't imagine saying it?

            Okay. Sure.

            So you're done then?

          • Why are you looking for irreducible conclusions? You're being asked about what you mean as of now regarding [A] your own use of "I" & "think" in "I think" and in [B] your own use again should you say "Rocks Think Too" or else "I don't believe Rocks Think".

            You've your Brute Fact of "I" but we already know that given that no one affirms or believes the alternative of introspection summing to the perpetual state of watching yourself in the mirror as that other person in the mirror does things. The other person in the mirror isn't Brute-Stop. "I" is the Brute Stop.

            We aren't looking for Conclusions. We're talking about your own language about A & B when you tell us about yourself and about rocks.

            As of now, with the data you have, you either do believe or do not believe that Rocks are Sentient Agents who likewise affirm their own Brute Stop of "I Am".

            Well?

          • gquenot

            Why are you looking for irreducible conclusions?

            I already said that I was not looking for conclusions but rather for premises and I have no idea of what an “irreducible” conclusion could be.

            You're being asked about what you mean as of now regarding [A] your own use of "I" & "think" in "I think"

            I don’t see how any of these terms can be defined in a non-circular way or without referring to some experience that the one they would be defined to can have to. I only have an intuitive feeling about what they might mean and that feeling is both very vague and context-dependent. I am curious to see if you can do any better than me in telling what these two terms means for you. You should just stop asking questions, the answer to which you are unable to provide yourself. Same for [B] indeed.

            You've your Brute Fact of "I"

            NO. what I referred to as brute facts (though this is practically the same one) was “sentience is happening” and “there is something”. At no point did I mention “I” as a brute fact.

            [...] We're talking about your own language about A & B when you tell us about yourself and about rocks.

            Again, you should just stop asking questions, the answer to which you are unable to provide yourself. You first.

          • Again you're answering questions far beyond what you're being asked. We're only talking about your own present intention when you talk of you yourself thinking and of rocks not thinking. Or is it that you do not, upon introspection, perceive any degree of distinction between that state of affairs in your own first person experience of sentience and the state of affairs within the rock? No data? No inference?

            When you say "Sentience Is Happening" is it sentience you perceive? Is it sentience you experience? If you don't perceive or experience it then how do you report it? If you do perceive or experience it then who is perceiving it? You? That Man over there in the Mirror?

            So far you are throwing in the white flag and forfeiting even the ability to utter your own intelligible "I don't perceive so and so" nor "I think so and so". We don't even need the Rock.

            Why not? Because "I don't perceive X" and "No I did not say I perceive X, I only perceive something happening..." is all self-negating and incoherent. You need to communicate all of that without using the terms I/My/Me...and it needs to be coherent.

            If you've no ""I" then when you say "I think such and such" and "I don't perceive such and such" what do you mean by "I"?

            Is "They" a better word?
            Or "Us"?
            Or "That Event Over There"?
            How about "The Event In Here That I Perceive"?
            Oh..wait...there's no I...hence no report....

          • gquenot

            Let’s try this and see what follows: “I” perceive “my perceived intention when I talk of myself thinking” and “my perceived intention when I talk of rocks not thinking” as distinct.

          • You don’t have the term “I” to use.
            Nor My.
            Nor Me.
            Only “Something Happens”. Not “I perceive...” nor “No, I don’t perceive...”

            Didn’t you just infer as much in your last reply?

          • gquenot

            I don't understand.

          • You made the simple inference that your own self-report is more concrete over in the language zip code of reporting “sentience is happening” and “there is something” rather than "I think such and such" or "No, I don't think such and such" or "I'm here".

            When you say "Sentience Is Happening" is it sentience you perceive? Is it sentience you experience? If you don't perceive or experience it then how do you report it? If you do perceive or experience it then who is perceiving it? You? That Man over there in the Mirror?

            So far you are throwing in the white flag and forfeiting even the ability to utter your own intelligible "I don't perceive so and so" nor "I think so and so". We don't even need the Rock.

            Why not? Because "I don't perceive X" and "No I did not say I perceive X, I only perceive something happening..." is all self-negating and incoherent. You need to communicate all of that without using the terms I/My/Me...and it needs to be coherent.

            If you've no ""I" then when you say "I think such and such" and "I don't perceive such and such" what do you mean by "I"?

          • gquenot

            You made the simple inference [...]

            Do you know what an inference is supposed to be? It is about forming conclusions from premises using (typically) syllogisms.

            [...] that your own self-report is more concrete over in the language zip code of reporting “sentience is happening” and “there is something” rather than "I think such and such" or "No, I don't think such and such" or "I'm here".

            There is no inference here. This is just an intuition / feeling. It just happens that “Sentience is happening” and “there is something” do appear as “self-evident” to me while “I think such and such” or “No, I don’t think such and such” or “I’m here” just do not. This is just “intuition / feeling”, it is not “reasoning / inferring”.

            When you say "Sentience Is Happening" is it sentience you perceive?

            I would say no. Report are generated after the fact. At sentience time, no report is made.

            Is it sentience you experience?

            I don’t see a difference between sentience, experience, feeling and all of the like at this level. Neither do I see a need for invoking an “I” at sentience time.

            If you do perceive or experience it then who is perceiving it?

            That there need to be an “I” perceiving or experiencing might be only an artifact of our language structure that imposes itself only when one wants to issue a report.

            So far you are throwing in the white flag and forfeiting even the ability to utter your own intelligible "I don't perceive so and so" nor "I think so and so".

            I am not throwing any white flag and I don’t have to forfeit even the ability to utter my own intelligible “I don’t perceive so and so” nor “I think so and so” because I have not seen that I had such an ability established in the first place. How can you say that I forfeit something it you can’t establish that I had it in the first place? Or can you establish that?

          • Conclusions? Why are you even attempting it? We both know you’ve said you’ve no epistemic justification to do so. Even worse is that we’re not even discussing ontology or conclusions. We’re discussing language, semantic intent, introspection, and distinctions drawn in or by one’s own self-report.

            I am here” does not appear self-evident to you. Who cares? We’re talking about your own experience.

            What are you even talking about? It doesn’t appear self-evident to WHO? You?

            How about “I am” and “I Exist”? You cannot answer with, “They do appear to me to be…” nor can you answer with, “They do not appear to me to be….” given that “Me” and “Am” are apparently not found in your own introspection.

            …X does not seem so to me…” Sorry but again your use of I/Me/My in your reports are not communicating your own introspective experience now that you’ve assured us that “I-Exist” is not language which your semantic intent ((in describing introspection)) leads you to.

            You’ve gotten rid of I-Exist and so too I/Me/My and that’s fine, but you’re going to have to stick to that. No cheating.

            ..because I have not seen that I ever had such an ability established in the first place…” Sorry but “I” have not? and “I have not had”? You’ve assured us that there is no genuine “I” as per your own introspection and therefore no actual First Person Experience.

            The term “I” does not capture “me” during experience” We’ve established that and again you self-negate because you cannot now answer this question: Who is experiencing the experience you describe?

            …it does capture “me” as “producing” a “report”…” Report? As in “I-Produce-Speech” As in “I-Say”? As in “I can report such and such…”? Sorry but recall: You’ve gotten rid of I-Exist and so too I/Me/My and that’s fine, but you’re going to have to stick to that. No cheating. Again you self-negate because you cannot now answer this question: Who is experiencing the experience you describe? You? There is no You ((according to you, that is)).

          • You are not Language.

          • Reports are generated after the fact. At sentience time, no report is made.” That’s redundant. You are not your language. You are not your Sentences. Are you a premise? Are you your language? No sane person equates “My Language” or “I Say” or “I Experience” “I”/ “Me”.

            You again go on about conclusions but you’ve no epistemic justification to do so nor are we even discussing ontology or conclusions. We’re discussing language, semantic intent, introspection, and distinctions drawn in or by one’s own self-report.

            Why do you tell us that “I am here” does not appear self-evident to you? What does self-evident even mean? We’re talking about your own experience and that raises the question: what are you even talking about? WHAT doesn’t appear self-evident to WHO? YOU?

            I’m curious. Given that “I am here” is not language which your semantic intent ((in describing introspection)) leads you to, what then will you do without “I am” and “I Exist”? Notice the peculiar fact that you cannot answer with, “They do appear to me to be…” nor can you answer with, “They do not appear to me to be….” given that “Me” and “Am” are apparently not found in your own introspection.

            …X does not seem so to me…” Sorry but again your use of I/Me/My in your reports are not communicating your own introspective experience now that you’ve assured us that “I-Exist” is not language which your semantic intent ((in describing introspection)) leads you to.

            You’ve gotten rid of i-am||i-exist and so too I/Me/My and that’s fine, but you’re going to have to stick to that. No cheating.

            ..because I have not seen that I ever had such an ability established in the first place…” Sorry but ““I” have not…” ? and “I have not had…”? You’ve assured us that you have no experience of yourself — and so it goes without saying that there is no “I” as per your own introspection and therefore you’ve no actual First Person Experience.

            Again: “Reports are generated after the fact. At sentience time, no report is made.
            Again: That’s redundant. You are not your language. You are not your Sentences. Are you a premise? Are you your language? No sane person equates “My Language” or “I Say” or “I Experience” “I”/ “Me”.

            The term “I” does not capture “me” during experience” That’s more redundancy as we’ve already established that i-am||i-exist is not language which your semantic intent leads you — and that makes sense given that you’ve no experience of yourself — no “I” — and therefore no actual First Person Experience. Also, you’re still self-negating because you cannot answer the following question: WHO is experiencing the experience YOU say YOU are describing in YOUR self-report?

            …it does capture “me” as “producing” a “report”…

            Report?
            As in “I-Produce-Speech” ?
            As in “I-Say” ?
            As in “I can report such and such…”?
            As in “I report…” ?

            Sorry but recall: You’ve just told us that you’ve no semantic intent of i-am||i-exist and so too then you’ve no semantic intent of I/Me/My and that’s fine, but you’re going to have to stick to that.

            No cheating.

            I am not throwing any white flag and I don’t have to forfeit any ability to utter my own intelligible “I don’t perceive so and so because I have not seen that I ever had such an ability established in the first place.….

            You’re again drifting off into Conclusions and Ontology. Why? None of that was required. What I said is that SINCE you’ve insisted that i-am||i-exist is not language which your semantic intent leads you — and SINCE that makes sense given that you’ve no experience of yourself — no “I” — and therefore no actual First Person Experience — THEREFORE you’re being held to that and you need to communicate coherently without using those words ((…I, Me, My…)).

            You seem to have mistaken that as a call to build an intelligible ontology but it was nothing of the kind. Why would it be given the fact that you’ve no epistemic justification to do so nor are we even discussing ontology or conclusions anyway? We’re discussing language, semantic intent, introspection, and distinctions drawn in or by one’s own self-report.

          • GQ,

            Reports are generated after the fact. At sentience time, no report is made.

            That’s redundant. You are not your language. You are not your Sentences. Are you a premise? Are you your language? No sane person equates “My Language” or “I Say” or “I Experience” to one's [Self].

            You again go on about conclusions but you’ve no epistemic justification to do so nor are we even discussing ontology or conclusions. We’re discussing language, semantic intent, introspection, and distinctions drawn in or by one’s own self-report of your experience as yourself.

            Why do you tell us that “I am here” does not appear self-evident to you? What does self-evident even mean? We’re talking about your own experience as yourself and that raises the question: what are you even talking about? WHAT doesn’t appear self-evident to WHO? YOU?

            I’m curious. Given that “I am here” is not language which your semantic intent ((in describing introspection)) leads you to, what then will you do without “I am” and “I Exist”? Notice the peculiar fact that you cannot answer with, “They do appear to me to be…” nor can you answer with, “They do not appear to me to be….” given that “Me” and “Am” and “My” and “I” are ((apparently)) neither found nor used in your own introspection

            …X does not seem so to me…” Sorry but again your use of those ((I/Me/M)) in your reports are not communicating your own introspective experience now that you’ve assured us that “I-Exist” is not language which your semantic intent ((in describing introspection)) leads you to.

            You’ve gotten rid of i-am||i-exist and so too I/Me/My and that’s fine, but you’re going to have to stick to that. No cheating.

            ..because I have not seen that I ever had such an ability established in the first place…” Sorry but ““I” have not…” ? and ““I” have not had…”? You’ve assured us that you have no experience as yourself — and so it goes without saying that there is no “I” as per your own introspection and therefore you’ve no actual First Person Experience.

            Again recall your: “Reports are generated after the fact. At sentience time, no report is made.
            Again the reply: That’s redundant. You are not your language. You are not your Sentences. Are you a premise? Are you your language? No sane person equates “My Language” or “I Say” or “I Experience” one’s [Self].

            The term “I” does not capture “me” during experience” That’s more redundancy as we’ve already established that i-am||i-exist is not language which your semantic intent leads you to — and that makes sense given that you’ve no experience of yourself as yourself — no “I” — and therefore no actual First Person Experience. Also, you’re still self-negating because you cannot answer the following question: WHO is experiencing the experience YOU say YOU are describing in YOUR self-report? YOU?

            …it does capture “me” as “producing” a “report”…

            Report?
            As in “I-Produce-Speech” ?
            As in “I-Say” ?
            As in “I can report such and such…”?
            As in “I report…” ?

            Sorry but recall: You’ve just told us that you’ve no semantic intent of i-am||i-exist and so too then you’ve no semantic intent of I/Me/My and that’s fine, but you’re going to have to stick to that.

            No cheating.

            I am not throwing any white flag and I don’t have to forfeit any ability to utter my own intelligible “I don’t perceive so and so because I have not seen that I ever had such an ability established in the first place.….

            You’re again drifting off into Conclusions and Ontology. Why? None of that was required. What I said is that SINCE you’ve insisted that i-am||i-exist is not language which your semantic intent leads you to — and SINCE that makes sense given that you’ve no experience as yourself — no “I” — and therefore no actual First Person Experience — THEREFORE you’re being held to that and you need to communicate coherently without using those words ((…I, Me, My…)).

            You seem to have mistaken that as a call to build an intelligible ontology but it was nothing of the kind. And why would it be given the fact that you’ve no epistemic justification to do so nor are we even discussing ontology or conclusions anyway? We’re discussing language, semantic intent, introspection, and distinctions drawn in or by one’s own self-report.

            End.

          • gquenot

            Is “You can’t speak if you don’t acknowledge an “I”” all you have? Seriously?

          • gquenot

            I did not find anything else there. Please try to reformulate without that if there is something else.

          • Okay so you've gone as far as you can go.

          • gquenot

            So you’ve finally landed then.

            NO. Again, you got it wrong. I have not landed anywhere. This is just the opposite. For what your “landing” analogy is worth, “I” rather find “myself” floating with nothing like a ground to land on in sight.

            By your own self-report [...] you seem instead to “experience” not “I am thinking” but instead “there is sentience happening” or just “something is happening”.

            NO. There is experience of “I am thinking”. The question is that of the reliability or of the certainty of experience contents. While that experience occurs appears rather self-evident and certain, the trustability of its contents does not.

            By your own self-report your own introspection’s semantic intent landing in [A] and your own introspection’s semantic intent landing in [Non-A] are indistinguishable not only experientially ((…by your own admission…)) but they’re also indistinguishable vis-à-vis “applying logic” ((…by your own admission that logic pitters out into blind faith’s unjustified epistemology…)).

            You are talking here as if many things (e.g. “semantic intents”, “logic”, the applicability of the latter to the former ...) were given a priori. I don’t buy that. That is all the question. Indeed, I do find myself “floating” with such intuitions and perceived abilities but I also have no clue about their trustability. And please note once for all that I did not find so far anything solid to land on.

          • More generally it is that way?

          • gquenot

            We’re not looking for [...] ontology [...]

            I don’t get why you say that while, just after it, you mention “experiential distinctions nor logical distinctions in [any] true/ontic sense”, which you say I could not commit to.

            [...] You’ve already said that you can’t commit to Ya/Na regarding experiential distinctions nor logical distinctions in any true/ontic sense [...]

            I certainly can commit to these. What I am saying is that I don’t think/feel that I would be justified in doing so (indeed, I already said that many times). What follows after that is not clear for me. I don’t get your concept of “semantic intent”.

            “I said many times that you could not help me.”

            It’s not clear but so far it seems that experientially and Logically the problems remain in your map and [...]

            Obviously, you can’t help me solve these problems.

          • Also the ontic of being to being.

          • gquenot

            We clearly have a communication problem. I can hardly make sense of what you have just written and of what you write in general. Your systematic use of a figurative style certainly does not help.

            It seems that you insist that there should be a contradiction somewhere in my view but I can’t figure out which one exactly and how you pretend to exhibit it. I always have that feeling that you are playing with words and take at face value what the use of natural language seems to commit us to.

            One point should be clarified first. You often say that we don’t care about “true ontic” distinctions and at the same time you constantly refer to it. So, when reporting on introspection, do we care about that or don’t we?

            It might help that you share your own introspection report so that I can at least have an idea of what is expected.

          • We've only been talking about your own semantic intent when you report the first person experience. That's all. That was the reason for the following:

            a. You've said that you are led into the semantic intent of “something is happening” and/or “there is sentience” as the language which your own semantic intent ((upon introspection vis-à-vis “you”)) leads you to use.

            b. You then flipped-back to “I am” / “I-am-thinking”.

            a = b That leaves you “equating” those experiences which leads you to use both of them interchangeably. Hence your own "I said" and "I can" and "I take that to be so and so" ((according to your report)) in fact are experientially indistinguishable from "there is sentience or something happening". Your semantic intent ((intended meaning)) in each is each given the same ZEST in your replies even as you cannot say that experientially they are distinct.

          • gquenot

            You almost exactly repeated the same thing and you did not even clarify what I asked you to so I can’t still make sense of it.

            [...] you cannot say that experientially they are distinct.

            Whatever “they” might be, this is the question. All “I” can “say” is that “experientially”, “they” feel “distinct”. Pushing from there to “they” are “distinct” would require to add trust in my feeling.

          • Again we're talking about what you experience "as you". But you deny that you’ve a genuine experiential distinction between the aforementioned “A” and “B”. Sooner or later you'll have to Promote, Demote, or Equate "I" vs. "Rock". That is quite the opposite of regular’Ol’ho’hum everyday non-religious lectures such as the following from David Chalmers:

            As I see it, the science of consciousness is all about relating third-person data - about brain processes, behavior, environmental interaction, and the like - to first-person data about conscious experience. I take it for granted that there are first-person data. It's a manifest fact about our minds that there is something it is like to be us - that we have subjective experiences - and that these subjective experiences are quite different at different times. Our direct knowledge of subjective experiences stems from our first-person access to them. And subjective experiences are arguably the central data that we want a science of consciousness to explain.

            I also take it that the first-person data can’t be expressed wholly in terms of third-person data about brain processes and the like. There may be a deep connection between the two – a correlation or even an identity – but if there is, the connection will emerge through a lot of investigation, and can’t be stipulated at the beginning of the day. That’s to say, no purely third-person description of brain processes and behavior will express precisely the data we want to explain, though they may play a central role in the explanation. So as data, the first-person data are irreducible to third-person data.

            The job of a science of consciousness, then, is to connect the first-person data to third-person data: perhaps to explain the former in terms of the latter, or at least to come up with systematic theoretical connections between the two. We ought at least to be able to come up with broad connecting principles, saying e.g. that certain sorts of experiences go along with certain sorts of processes in the brain (and/or vice versa), or that certain sorts of experiences go along with certain sorts of information-processing (and/or vice versa), and so on. If we're successful with this, perhaps we'll eventually be able to formulate simple and universal laws that underlie these broad connecting principles. That would be what I've called a "fundamental theory" of consciousness. We're a long way from that now, but we can at least make a start on connecting third-person data to first-person data at a broad level.

            Fortunately you have no such “data” for you report that experientially speaking you find no such distinction even as you report that experientially speaking there is no justifiable reason to apply the rules of logic vis-à-vis Identity and Non-Contradiction even as you report that experientially speaking you have paused in your search just long enough to give us these reports and that right-up-till-that pause your entire noetic journey by which you arrived at said reports are traversed without reasoning through anything at all – in particularly “data”. Worst of all, even if you want to place value on the semantic intent of “I” you’ve already denied that you’ve a genuine experiential distinction between the aforementioned “A” ((…"there is sentience or something happening"…)) and “B” ((…“I am” / “I-am-thinking”….)).

          • gquenot

            [...] you deny that you’ve a genuine experiential distinction [...]

            Once and for all, NO. “I” do acknowledge an experiential distinction. I don’t deny that it is a genuine one. What I am saying is that I don’t know whether it is a genuine or fundamental one or not.

            David Chalmers: [...]

            There are a number of statements here that are just David Chalmers’ opinion or intuition, particularly the one on “irreducibility”.

            Fortunately you have no such “data” for you report that experientially speaking you find no such distinction even as you report that experientially speaking there is no justifiable reason to apply the rules of logic vis-à-vis Identity and Non-Contradiction even as you report that experientially speaking you have paused in your search just long enough to give us these reports and that right-up-till-that pause your entire noetic journey by which you arrived at said reports are traversed without reasoning through anything at all – in particularly “data”.

            Wow... What a long and complicated sentence. I am sorry but this is too hard for me to parse. Please decompose it into simpler parts.

            [...] you’ve already denied [...]

            See above.

          • What distinction? You've a genuine experiential distinction between the aforementioned “A” ((…"there is sentience or something happening"…)) and “B” ((…“I am” / “I-am-thinking”….))?

            Well okay so which is experientially accurate then? Do you experience any manifest fact about being present in which there is something that it is like to be "you"? Do "you" have direct knowledge of your own subjective experiences stemming from your own "i" first-person access to them?

            If you DO then what words "fit" your semantic intent ((your intended meaning))? Would that fit be via A or via B? So far you've avoided linking that first person experience to semantic intent ((your intended meaning).

          • gquenot

            You've a genuine experiential distinction [...]

            NO. We may loop forever on this: that I don’t deny something does not imply that I endorse that something.

            Utterances are not what is experienced. Utterances are produced after the experience and “aim” at describing it. It is not known in the first place whether such descriptions can be meaningfully and reliably made. Some utterances are “felt” both as meaningful and as accurate. That does not mean that they are so in any absolute way.

          • “I” do acknowledge an experiential distinction. I don’t deny that it is a genuine one.

            Now your self-report ((your description)) is the opposite. So again you avoid the topic and you just flip-flop. Is this topic really so foreign to you? Didn't we both settle months ago that you never mean to affirm/deny any true ontic terminus of being or non-being or any other flavor of irreducible / true terminus? Why then do you continue to think that I read anything you say as referring to any such terminus? One more time: Why then do you continue to think that I read anything you say as referring to any such terminus?

            You are not your Self-Report. We're discussing your experiential reality as you experience it. When you describe it you've your semantic intent and you say "....“I” do acknowledge an experiential distinction. I don’t deny that it is a genuine one....." and then I follow with, "Oh? You do? Well okay so which set of descriptions fits it best amid the aforementioned “A” ((…"there is sentience or something happening"…)) and “B” ((…“I am” / “I-am-thinking”….))? Which is experientially accurate? Do you experience any manifest fact about being present in which there is something that it is like to be "you"? Do "you" have direct knowledge of your own subjective experiences stemming from your own first-person access to them?

            If you DO then what words "fit" your semantic intent ((your intended meaning))? Would that fit be via A or via B? So far you've avoided linking that first person experience to semantic intent ((your intended meaning).

          • gquenot

            Now your self-report ((your description)) is the opposite.

            If you can’t get that “I don’t deny” neither means not implies “I endorse”, just stick to “I don’t know”. Let’s say that “I” experience distinctions but I don’t know whether they are “genuine” ones or not.

            We're discussing your experiential reality as you experience it.

            Just tell me about yours so that I can figure out what is expected.

          • Of course you experience access as the first person (((....and of course you are not your words/report/syllogisms. A ≠ B...)))

            So the question remains:

            What words "fit" your semantic intent ((your intended meaning))? Would that fit be via A or via B? So far you've avoided linking that first person experience to semantic intent ((your intended meaning)).

          • We all, and now you too it seems, experience first person data.

            (((...we all agree that you are not your words/report/syllogisms A ≠ B // I am not my premises/reports/speech A ≠ B...)))

            So the question remains:

            What words "fit" your semantic intent ((your intended meaning))? Would that fit be the via A or via B described in the previous few posts? So far you've avoided linking that first person experience to semantic intent ((your intended meaning)).

          • gquenot

            I disagree on many points but I don't get the problem with the link. There is a feeling about such a link to (assuming I get what it is about). So what?

          • You say [A] “...I don't get the problem with the link...” Experientially that’s your descriptive ? Or would it be a more accurate descriptive if you said [B] “...there is sentience or something happening over there, or in here, and it’s not problem-solving the link ...”?

            If you don’t experience first person data that’s fine but then you’ve no need for the terms I/Me/My. Similarly, if the semantic intent behind the other descriptive ((B)) is more fitting that too is fine and there again you’ve no need for the less accurate ((A)).

            And yes, it’s true that you are not your words/reports/premises.

          • gquenot

            If you don’t experience first person data that’s fine but then you’ve no need for the terms I/Me/My.

            We are back to that fact that this is all that you have.

          • You can't say what any Map has yet because you've still not said what your Map has. You say [A] “...I don't get the problem with the link...” Experientially that’s your descriptive ? Or would it be a more accurate descriptive if you said [B] “...there is sentience or something happening over there, or in here, and it’s not problem-solving the link ...?

            This is the 10th time you've been asked which is more accurate regarding your First Person Data.

          • gquenot

            [A] and [B] seems to change quite often and, here, I don't know how to make sense of the latter.

          • Yes that works given where your own explanatory terminus is located as “i-am//i-exist” won’t be first person data experientially and therefore won’t be your self-report. Is it that *you* don’t exist while *you* instead are busy *speaking* and thereby *reporting* to us *your* experience of “...there is sentience or something happening over there, or maybe in here, or somewhere...”?

            We agree, btw, that YOU are not *your* self-report, *your* premises, *your* syllogisms, *your* utterances.

            Whence Any Utterance At All ~ if not from “You”?

          • gquenot

            I understand almost nothing in this comment.

            Whence Any Utterance At All ~ if not from “You”?

            This is a good question but physical systems are able to produce utterances (approximately).

          • Then you've looped back to your self-report in which one of the following is NOT "experientially more accurate" then the other:

            [A] First Person Data ((I/Me/My)) wins out: “...I don't get the problem with the link...

            [B] You ((well, not "you'" but "something")) have no First Person Data ((I/Me/My)) and so there is no available syntax there: “...there is sentience or something happening over there, or happening in here, and it’s not problem-solving the link ...

            You want to pretend that you're being asked which is more "Ontologically True" but of course you can't because we've clarified that the last twenty times we've arrived at this very point and you know you're only being asked which is more experientially accurate.

            Your Options:

            You really mean it and experientially there is no perception of "I/Me/My" at all. None. Ever. There is ONLY [B] and so you CAN'T answer because there is NO experiential I/Me/My..... no [A]. That must be the case because if you DO experience both [A] and [B] then you're either pretending you don't experience any distinction in accuracy there, or else you're just lying, or else you're just evading, or else you're equating [A] and [B] such that [A] = [B].

            Either way you have clearly lost the ability to generate an intelligible self-report regarding ((even your own)) First Person Data and Third Person Data and as such all "Mapping" is no longer an option. The reason why is because even the most basic Mapping has now become unintelligible as demonstrated in and by your inability and/or unwillingness to reply to the following the last twenty times we've arrived at its topography:

            When asked about "A" vs. "B", is it that you don’t exist while you instead are busy speaking and thereby reporting to us your experience of "B" via “...there is sentience or something happening over there, or maybe in here, or somewhere...”?

            If you do exist while you report "B" then which is more experientially accurate: "I-Am there /I-Exist there" or "I-Am-Not there /I-Don't-Exist there" ?

            If there is no experiential "A" there as the experiential "B" is reported, who is reporting "B"? You? No one?

          • gquenot

            Then [...]

            I don’t see the link with my previous reply.

            [...] you've looped back to [...]

            I would say that you are looping on that and we could do that until one of us dies or loses its mind.

            I don’t get your [A] / [B] dichotomy and I can’t even figure out what these [A] and [B] might be. What “I” can say is that, at least as a very good approximation, there is “First Person Data”.

            Either way you have clearly lost the ability to generate an intelligible self-report

            Lost? where did you get that I ever had such an ability?

          • Which is more experientially accurate? No one is asking which is more ontologically accurate. You've listed both "A" and "B" in previous replies describing your own first person data but have persisted for days in avoiding this one simple question about your own self-report.

            If you really are confused then whey did you give those two self-reports about what you experiences "As You" via First Person Data? Perhaps you may want to read on some basic "consciousness" literature and content regarding what is meant by "first person data" and "third person data" since you seem confused by what those terms refer to not only academically wrt basic definitions but also experientially. Non-Theists and, well, everyone uses those terms in a fairly standard fashion...even full-on reductionists ((...which you're not....)). Your inability to comprehend what is being referred to by those basic concepts just won't do here given that we're discussing, well, consciousness and I've no time to teach such basic-level content.

          • Both "A" and "B" are your own self-reports. How is it that you don't know what you meant? The question is simple: Which is more experientially accurate? No one is asking which is more ontologically accurate. You've listed both "A" and "B" in previous replies describing your own first person data but have persisted for days in avoiding this one simple question about your own self-report.

            If you really are confused then whey did you give those two self-reports about what you experiences "As You" via First Person Data? Perhaps you may want to read on some basic "consciousness" literature and content regarding what is meant by "first person data" and "third person data" since you seem confused by what those terms refer to not only academically via basic definitions but also experientially. Non-Theists and, well, everyone uses those terms in a fairly standard fashion...even full-on reductionists ((...which you're not....)). Your inability to comprehend what is being referred to by those basic concepts just won't do here given that we're discussing, well, consciousness and I've no time to teach such basic-level content.

          • gquenot

            Both "A" and "B" are your own self-reports.

            I don’t think so, I think you did some cut and paste and complement mix, which I do not recognize.

          • Is it just “A” then? Just “B”? Neither?

          • gquenot

            Maybe I was not clear.

            I do not recognize "First Person Data ((I/Me/My)) wins out: “...I don't get the problem with the link...”" as a self-report of mine.

            I do not recognize "You ((well, not "you'" but "something")) have no First Person Data ((I/Me/My)) and so there is no available syntax there: “...there is sentience or something happening over there, or happening in here, and it’s not problem-solving the link ...”" as a self-report of mine.

          • Then you don't know how you would report your own First Person Experiential Data as opposed to anyone's ((including your own)) Third Person Data?

            Is that correct? If so then perhaps you may want to tell us what you think Non-Theistic and Theistic folks mean when they use those terms ((Frist/Third Person Data)).

            After all these months you've suddenly forgotten what those refer to?

            After all these months you've suddenly forgotten which you find more accurate regarding your own introspective experience?

            After all these months it is now the case that "i-think / i-am / i/me/my" isn't anything you've claimed to populate your own reports regarding your own introspective experience?

          • gquenot

            Then [...]

            I don’t see the link. I just mentioned that your [A] and [B] statements do not adequately represent what I have said or what I would say. Nothing less, nothing more.

          • That's why I changed it all back to straight-up First Person Data and Third Person Data. Why did you not address that? David Chalmers is not a Theist and his use of those terms are quite on par with standard/common use in discussions about models of consciousness. You were given specific references to that earlier at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5027772675

            Don't have a clue? Really? Let's give it a try for the 498th time now and ask you about those terms ((First and Third Person Data)) and the regular'ol hum-drum syntax of i-reason / i-think / i-am / i-exist.

            Well? When you report your own First Person Experiential Data as opposed to anyone's ((including your own)) Third Person Data is there something more accurate than i-reason / i-think / i-am / i-exist?

            See the link above if it helps with respect to regular'ol hum-drum use of First Person Data and Third Person Data and thereby help you in answering this question:

            What is your semantic description ((using words to describe, as opposed to, say, drawing pictures for us)) of your own experiential data upon introspection? Will your self-report to us ((to give us your descriptive of your own first person experience "as" "you" via introspection)) be in the form of "I wonder what the price of that book will be....?" ?

            Or, instead....

            Would your self-report to us ((to give us your descriptive of your own first person experience "as" "you" via introspection)) be more accurate in the form of, say, something without the First Person Expeience and so without the First Person semantic intent of "I/Me/My" such as, perhaps, a sentence in the form of the following:

            "Something like sentience inside here, or over there, or in this thing they call a brain atop these shoulders, or something, seems to happening and it seems to be "curious" about what the price of a book someone in here, or someone out there, or something, saw the other day....perhaps a feeling is in here, or out there....something like sentience took place.... yes... indeed..."

            Okay, so, sure, I made that up ~ pulled it out of thin air ~ but it's a basic/generic of "using words" to describe a NON-First-Person self-report IN CASE you happen to find that MORE accurate.

            Well? Is that more accurate/correct than the earlier example? If that IS more accurate then perhaps you may want to tell us what you think the many folks who are modeling consciousness ((their books, research, etc.)) mean when they use those terms ((Frist/Third Person Data)).

            After all these months you've suddenly forgotten what those terms ((First Person Data / Third Person Data)) refer to?

            After all these months it is now the case that "i-think / i-am / i/me/my" is NOT what you've claimed to populate your own reports regarding your own introspective experience?

            Please recall: "You" are not "Your Self-Reports" just as "You" are not your premises/syllogisms/speech. You've sorta-kinda blurred-ish those-ish in the past-ish so if you talk about those "distinctions" please try to keep them
            categorically separate.

          • gquenot

            That's why I changed it all back to straight-up First Person Data and Third Person Data. Why did you not address that?

            The concepts of “first-person data” and “third-person data” as considered by David Chalmers do make sense for me, even though, as I mentioned it, I do not buy his “as data, the first-person data are irreducible to third-person data” statement.

            [...] When you report your own First Person Experiential Data as opposed to anyone's ((including your own)) Third Person Data is there something more accurate than i-reason / i-think / i-am / i-exist?

            First, note that in the same document David Chalmers also writes: “When it comes to first-person formalisms, there may be even greater obstacles: can the content of experience be wholly captured in language, or in any other formalism, at all?”, i.e., he is not certain that such reports can be made accurately at all. Second, against which criterion would I judge that some report is more accurate than some other? Just my feeling / intuition about it? Any other suggestion?

            What is your semantic description ((using words to describe, as opposed to, say, drawing pictures for us)) of your own experiential data upon introspection?

            You may also read in the same document what David Chalmers points out as methodological difficulty in this exercise. I could say many things as “introspection reports” (and I already said some). “I” could report both “I feel” and “there is feeling”. At this point, these are just utterances.

            [...] You've sorta-kinda blurred-ish those-ish in the past-ish so if you talk about those "distinctions" please try to keep them categorically separate.

            Again and again, this is just one possible way of seeing things. Equally validly, one can see that, in the first place, you arbitrarily sharpened / delineate things with a claim of absoluteness without any justification for doing it.

          • [1] “….I don’t buy his….. first-person data are irreducible to third-person data” statement….”

            No one cares about ontological validity. You’re still unable to give a basic report about that book and its price in the two examples. Nothing you just said tells us which of the two examples you find most accurate, or if there’s a third you prefer. Hint: Pick something and let us know your self-report, even if it is something ridiculous like “A = B”.

            [2]“….Just my feeling / intuition about it? Any other suggestion?....”

            See above.

            [3] “…“there is feeling”…”

            Oh dear. Says who? You? If You then I. You are not your report/premise/syllogism/speech/syntax. Remember? A is not B. So, again, see above.

          • Three of your Same-Old-Dance:

            [1] “….I don’t buy his….. first-person data are irreducible to third-person data” statement….formal...”

            No one cares about ontological validity. You’re still unable to give a basic report about that book and its price in the two examples. Recall the two "First Person Experiences" of ....Book...price.... ...and then run with it. I have confidence that you can do it! Yes! Tell us which fits best! "But Ontic? But Valid?" Why that fuss about formalism? Don't forget that no one cares because this is still just 6 months of you not wanting to commit to the "experiential" (not ontological) reality of "I-Exist".

            We get it.

            So, again, as for months and months now, nothing you just said tells us which of the two examples (...book.... price...) you find most accurate, or if there’s a third you prefer. Hint: Pick something and let us know your self-report, even if it is something ridiculous like “A = B”.

            [2]“….Just my feeling / intuition about it? Any other suggestion?....”

            See above.

            [3] “…“there is feeling”…”

            Oh dear. Says who? You? If You then I.

            Which necessarily precedes the other?

            Are "You" identical to your report/premise/syllogism/speech/syntax such that A = B? If so, how?

            So, again, see above.

          • gquenot

            No one cares about ontological validity. [...] something ridiculous like “A = B”.

            Something ridiculous like “A = B” is just what you get when you don’t care about ontological validity.

            [3] “…“there is feeling”…”

            Oh dear. Says who? You? If You then I.

            Indeed, this word game is just all that you have.

          • Language Avoidance? Semantic structure carries no meaning at all of course, yes? Are you really going to insist on a total deflationary truth value of all language? It's all games? Perhaps Wittgenstein can help you as per “Goodill on Scholastic Metaphysics and Wittgenstein” at Ed Feser’s blog

          • gquenot

            Again, what you write is mostly ununderstandable to me and I do not recognize what you say I say as what I say.

            Semantic structure carries no meaning at all of course, yes?

            No. Certainly not no meaning at all. At least approximate or relative meaning and, maybe (this is an open question), exact and absolute meaning.

          • Don’t recognize the phrase “I wonder...”?
            It’s simple. Which of the two examples more accurately captures your experience of introspection when considering the price of the book ((per the example)).

            Befuddled by that, eh?

          • gquenot

            In ordinary life, I would say [A] but there is no ontological commitment into that. In the "ontology room", I would be more careful and I would probably formulate it differently though certainly not as you caricature it in [B]. More likely, I would say that ordinary language is not adequate for formulating it and that probably no other formalism would be, as David Chalmers envisions.

          • Well, yeah, sure, but you always say that in the last 100 times when we get to this point. That is to say you always state that from the get-go you want to insist that i-am / i-exist fails to retain ontological veracity. We get that. The Conscious Observer goes and all Epistemic Justification with it. But the problem is that in those SAME 100 times we got to this point you then immediately pulled back and instead stalled out at leaving it open to the in principle possibility that "you" reason and "you" apply logic and thereby "you" conclude that "you" as per i-am as per i-exist fails to retain ontological veracity because, "for all we know" there may not be any real distinction between i-am and non-being ((...with respect to "you" the Conscious Observer....)). So, before going further, which of the above two moves would you like to go with here at number crossing number 101?

          • Yes of course sure but you have always said that during the last 100 times we've gotten to this point. That is to say you [A] always state that from the get-go you want to insist that i-am / i-exist fails to retain ontological veracity. We get that. The Conscious Observer goes and all Epistemic Justification with it. However, the problem with that is the fact that during those SAME 100 times we have arrived at this point you then [B] immediately pulled back from "A" and that's fine because we know you never commit to Ya/Na regarding distinctions between, say, the fundamental content that is "Introspection" and, say, "Gravity" ((...you had mentioned a Proton vs. The Self or something of that nature...)).

            So, after that adjustment from "A" back into "B" you sort of stall out at leaving that distinction open to the in principle possibility ((...hence logically possible etc...)) that "you" reason and "you" apply logic and thereby "you" conclude that "you" as per i-am and as per i-exist fails to retain ontological veracity because, "for all we know" there may not be any real distinction between i-am and non-being ((...with respect to "you" the Conscious Observer....)) and it is "you" who so "Says" all these things. For all we know it may be the case that [I-AM = Non-Being].

            So much for "applying logic". Yes?

            You're more honest than the full-on Eliminativist there, which is good. It is interesting that the only difference between your terminus and the Eliminativist's terminus is that the Eliminativist "Claims" that "Non-Distinction" is "True". He “eliminates” “by intention” at the end of his line.

            That is NOT where you end up but notice this:

            The distinction between the Ends of YOUR Means ((Reason/Perception)) in full-on Non-Distinction and the Eliminativis'ts Ends of HIS Means ((Reason/Perception)) in his terminus of Non-Distinction is, well, Zero/None/Nada/No-Distinction.

            You're just a bit more Fuzzy and Illusory in your Terminus because it ends with the same deflation of Truth Value over inside of Non-Distinction – whereas – the Elimativist's Terminus has that same loss of Truth Value but then also one more step which you do not take ((because you are more honest)) and that is his bizarre kind of "VOICE FROM NOWHERE" which somehow ((he can't say how)) echoes from within the Nothingness "And This Is The-True" ((…it’s all very spooky…)).

            Now, just because you're more HONEST doesn't change the Terminus. Sure, you've stopped short of that VOICE-FROM-NOWHERE but, while that's to your credit, sadly it doesn't "change" the "Non-Distinction". And remember we are discussing the Conscious Observer. All epistemic justification Lives and Dies with the I-AM//i-am.

            So before going further we need to know which of the above two moves would you like to go with here on this 101st time? The initial "A" at the start of this comment or the "B" which you have ((so far)) always pulled-back into?

          • Yes more careful and so if it is not the unified self as per "you" the experiencer giving us the report of your first person data of i-reason / i-think / i-exist / i-am what then might that first person data reduce to? What is Non-Material and Intentional? What of [A = Non-A]?

          • gquenot

            As David Chalmers envisions, it might just be the case that there is no adequate formalism for “first person data” in the ontology room: “When it comes to first-person formalisms, there may be even greater obstacles: can the content of experience be wholly captured in language, or in any other formalism, at all?” There would not be any [A = Non-A] because there could just not be any valid [A] or [non-A] (or vice-versa).

          • You're adept at avoiding simple questions. The question is simple. If it's not YOU giving the self-report of i-reason / i-think / i-exist / i-am then WHO or WHAT is it? You already said your "A" is "I". Now you're being asked what ELSE "works" to "say" the "same". Or do you want to change your "A" to something other than "I"? There's no need for Ontology/Conclusion.

            Why do you think that's what this is about when YOU and WE have long, long ago established that you have no such footing? This is not about that. It's about your dishonest and evasion when describing first person data. Your Language so far says "I". If there is now no "A" then there is now no "I". Is that your reply? Or is it that there might be some "other" "something"? If so then again we are back at the start here:

            You're adept at avoiding simple questions. The question is simple. If it's not YOU giving the self-report of i-reason / i-think / i-exist / i-am then WHO or WHAT is it that "captures" or "says" the "same" precision as you initially chose as your "A" ((...namely "I"...))?

          • Why do you think Ontology is what this is about when YOU and WE have long, long ago established that you have no such footing? This is not about that. It's about getting past your dishonesty and evasion when describing first person data. Case in point:

            Your Language so far says "I". If there is now "No Valid A" that's fine and we can stop as there now no "You" to "say" anything. No "I" per No Valid A. Are you saying that?

            It's okay if you don't want to say that but would rather say "BOTH that AND the Valid I for All We know ((or for all language can capture)). But this constant dodge about Ontology is dishonest when we both KNOW you're going to end up blurring your own truth value beyond all distinctions. This is the now about the 110th time you've avoided this SAME question.

            The question is simple. If it's not YOU giving the self-report of i-reason / i-think / i-exist / i-am then WHO or WHAT is it that "captures" or "says" that "same" semantic precision which we found in what you initially chose for your "A" ((...namely "I"...))?

            I phrase it that way because you initially said your "A" is "I". Now you're being asked what ELSE "works" to "say" the "same". Or do you want to change your "A" to something other than "I"? There's no need for Ontology/Conclusion.

            Also, Chalmers is fine but be specific. "Not Captured" means what? Is it "I" PLUS Something? As in "YOU" PLUS something?

            Is it more accurate?

            What do folks report as first person data? "Me-Plus-Someone/Something-Else-am/is-curious- what the book will be about...." In other words, "Not Capturing" is fine by you've not said anything about what you mean.

            If it's not wholly captured then is there "I" there but "also" some "other" "something"? Is THAT what you mean by "Not Fully Captured"?

            "Not Capturing" is fine, but so far you've ONLY stated that your most precise report is via "I" / "YOU". And, so, do YOU mean to "say" that there might be some "other" "something" in addition to "YOU"?

            Is that what Chalmers means?

            Or is it in the opposite direction where "I" is not "retained but added to" but instead is in fact lost with respect to distinction from, say, that which is NOT "YOU"? As in that which does NOT "capture" "YOU" as in the "I" when "you" "give report" of introspection viz. i-reason / i-think / i-exist / i-am?

          • Why do you think Ontology is what this is about when YOU and WE have long, long ago established that you have no such irreducible terminus? Whether we speak of “What Is” / Being or of “What Is-Not” / Non-Being we already KNOW that your claim that you have no justified claim to affirm a solid “conclusion”. And that’s fine. You’re not denying anything. You’re just being honest about your own status with respect to epistemology and justification. This is not about any conclusion. It’s not that. It's about getting past your dishonesty and evasion when describing first person data and when applying reason and logic. Case in point:

            We already know your report as of now is, “I find no justified claim to a conclusion about the veracity of First Person Data or the irreducibility of “I” / “Self”…..” ((…etc. etc…)) and we also know that you claim you did NOT “arrive at that sentence” through a process of “reasoning through all available data”. You were not quite clear about how “Reasoning About All Available Data” is NOT the process “by which” you “arrived at” your Self-Report about your own belief-state, and, so, we let that drop off and went with what you DID say you “Do” which is to “Apply Logic” to “All Available Data”.

            And so again here we are. Take # 110-ish or something. Your Language so far says "I". In your everyday language the “Captures” the First Person Data. You don’t know if it “Captures” the “Ontology” though and that’s okay. It’s not about ontology/conclusion/irreducible hard-stop ((…not sure how many times that has to be said….)).

            So, then, in your last comment you then moved into “No Valid A” and “No Valid Non-A” ((…where “A” is “YOU” as per First Person DATA as per of i-reason / i-think / i-exist / i-am as per “I”/“My”/“Me” and so on and where “B” was any syntax for which “A” does not “Match” as per “YOU” as per introspection….)).

            So, IF there is now "No Valid A" that's fine and we can stop because there is now no longer the Valid-YOU to "say" anything. No "I" per “No Valid “A”” Are you saying that as per your First Person Data ((…not per ontology…the question is not about ontology…))?

            It's okay if you don't want to say that but would rather say "Well it is BOTH that AND the Valid-A “…for all we know…” or perhaps “…for all language can capture…”. Either is fine. But what/which? This constant dodge about Ontology is dishonest when we both KNOW you're going to end up blurring your own truth value beyond all distinctions ((literally)). This is the now about the 110th time you've avoided this SAME question.

            The question is simple. If it's not YOU giving the self-report of i-reason / i-think / i-exist / i-am then WHO or WHAT is it that "captures" or "says" in that "same" semantic precision that which we found in what you initially chose for your "A" ((...namely "I"...))?

            I phrase it that way because you initially said your "A" is "I" ((First Person Data // First Person Syntax…the beauty of language….)).

            Now you're being asked what ELSE "works" to "say" the "same". Well? Here are a few options:

            **Option: If you can give us a Self-Report “OF” First Person Data “WITHOUT” First Person Language that is fine. What is it?

            **Option: Or, is it that there IS something MORE but you can’t find the term for it?

            **Option: Or do you want to change your "A" to something other than "I"? ((..again there is no need for Ontology/Conclusion…))

            Do you see how Chalmers is fine but you need to be specific? “Not Captured" means what? Is it that Language wants to say "I" PLUS Something? As in "YOU" PLUS something…but you can’t find the words? Yes we know Chalmers means ontology but remember we are attempting to just get past your evasiveness about the perceptual / experiential accuracy here. So when I refer to “Chalmers and Not Capturing / No Formalism” I am not worried about ontology ((he is about that)) but only about getting something coherent/honest from you about Language an First Person Data vis-à-vis perceptual / experiential accuracy. Not ontological accuracy.

            So, with that clarification, do you mean to say that THAT is more accurate in something akin to, "Me-Plus-Someone/Something-Else-am/is-curious-about-what how the movie will end...." In other words, "Not Capturing" is fine but you've not said anything about what you mean. Is it MORE that is needed? LESS? If it is “not wholly captured” then is there “YOU” / "I" there but "also" some "other" "something"? Is THAT what you mean by "Not Fully Captured"?

            "Not Capturing" is fine, but so far you've ONLY stated that your most precise report is via "I" / "YOU". And, so, do YOU mean to "say" that there might be some "other" "something" in addition to "YOU" ((…as per perceptual / experiential accuracy and not ontological accuracy…))?

            Do you suppose that might be what Chalmers means in SOME parts of his Map?

            Or is it in the opposite direction where "I" is not "retained yet added to" but instead is in fact lost with respect to distinction from, say, that which is NOT "YOU" ((…as per perceptual / experiential accuracy and not ontological accuracy..))? As in that which does NOT "capture" "YOU" as in the "I" when "you" "give report" of introspection viz. i-reason / i-think / i-exist / i-am?

          • gquenot

            I am sorry. Almost nothing makes sense to me in this and I don’t get where you want to go.

            This constant dodge about Ontology […]

            You can meaningfully expose something like “A = non-A” only if you draw “A” from some ontology. Without any ontological commitment, anything can be said without any consequence.

            […] you're going to end up blurring […]

            We may loop on that forever. No, you are the one sharpening things without justification in the first place.

            Do you suppose that might be what Chalmers means in SOME parts of his Map?

            What I suppose that David Chalmers means is that it might just be the case that there is no way at all to meaningfully talk of “first person data”.

          • Did you even read before you replied to a few blips? See the attached picture of the 12 places where I took the time to mention the fact of ontology and that both of us MONTHS AGO determined that you don't have any desire to claim any justified move for ontology and so we have long ago left ontology behind.

            If you really do mean to say that language is at this point of NO MORE USE in communicating more/less accurate meaning/reports BECAUSE we don't know the end-game, well then please do say so. Are you aware that that is what you actually tried to pull off on your last reply/evasion/dodge?

            It is fine that we don't know the end game because the only goal we have is of demonstrating your dishonesty and your own incoherence ((given Non-Theism)) and your Toolbox's lack of means to Map the Christian Metaphysic as ((the Christian Metaphysic etc.)) first fills and then subsumes and then leaves behind the self-negating restraints of the Münchhausen trilemma.

            Your dishonesty about reporting the merely experiential is a good case in point there as you inexplicably again and again reply with "But you need or want ontology!" when months ago that was left behind for the merely experiential. Even worse you now infer that "sharpening" is of no use and we cannot do so BECAUSE we don't know the end game. As if we cannot start at the beginning ((perception/reality hitting us in the face)) "because" we don't know the end-game.

            So much for "reasoning through" and so much for "applying logic" as you simply can't bring yourself to give an honest report about the merely experiential.

            You ((rightly)) call it "sharpening" when we speak of trying to rule in some implied meanings and rule out other implied meanings ((with respect to language and capturing the merely experiential)) which entails you seem to perceive more accuracy in language over in one area of the merely experiential than with language over in another area of the merely experiential.

            Do you? That's the whole question here that you're avoiding for months.

            Language isn't so hard you know.

            You are welcome to use any term you want to replace "I" in your report. Perhaps Proton? Gravity? ANY-thing will do. Just be honest. Easy.

            Options:

            A. If you do find more accuracy in some areas of language then you're holding back here despite our goal of veracity and precision, which is dishonest on your part. In fact you're even lying by saying you don't understand that question.

            B. If you want to say you do NOT perceive a distinction in accuracy then we can leave off here as you have confirmed that you experience no difference in accuracy ((...about the merely experiential...)) between your inferred meaning when you use, say, "I" as when you use, say, "Mailbox" ((or whatever)).

            C. Perhaps Wittgenstein can help you as per “Goodill on Scholastic Metaphysics and Wittgenstein” at Ed Feser’s blog https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5040844327

            D. See attached picture.... 12 hits.... ontology etc.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4aca2ac3087d542cbf2a64f5fdaca3e1124b745b7e8f200335690bac052299e1.jpg

          • gquenot

            Did you even read before you replied to a few blips?

            I did, yes, as I did for that one too. Beyond almost nothing making sense to me, I found many misrepresentations again of what I said and many repetitions of (no more intelligible) old stuff. I see no point in replying to everything point by point when we are lost from the beginning.

            [...] you don't have any desire to claim any justified move for ontology

            Misrepresentation. I never mentioned desire. I would actually like to see a justification for a move to ontology.

            [...] and so we have long ago left ontology behind.

            I don’t have the feeling that you have left your “reductio” obsession behind. Would it be the case, that would be good news. Otherwise: no ontology, no reductio.

            If you really do mean to say that language is at this point of NO MORE USE in communicating more/less accurate meaning/reports BECAUSE we don't know the end-game, well then please do say so.

            I can say so with two restrictions: (i) I am not saying that language is so; only that it might (epistemically) be the case that it is so, (ii) I would say that only regarding meaning/reports of first-person experience.

            It is fine that we don't know the end game because the only goal we have is of demonstrating your dishonesty and your own incoherence ((given Non-Theism))

            No ontology, no incoherence, no dishonesty. I don’t get what you mean by “given Non-Theism” as we never discussed Theism.

            Your dishonesty [...]

            I think that we can stop here.

            about reporting the merely experiential is a good case in point there as you inexplicably again and again reply with "But you need or want ontology!" when months ago that was left behind for the merely experiential.

            If you mean “reductio”, or incoherence or whatever of the like, you mean ontology.

            Even worse you now infer that "sharpening" is of no use and we cannot do so BECAUSE we don't know the end game. As if we cannot start at the beginning ((perception/reality hitting us in the face)) "because" we don't know the end-game.

            I am not saying that “sharpening” is of no use, I am only saying that I don’t see it as a justified move.

          • What is more accurate with respect to your self report of the merely experiential then? "I" or "Mailbox"?

            What of "I-Intend"? Will "Mailbox" work for "Intentionality"?

            We don't need Ontology to confirm Linguistic Contradiction nor do we need it for Absurdity. Your intended meaning when you report "I" and "I-Intend" reduce to an absurdity if you replace "I" and "Intention" and "I-Reason" and "I-Think" and i-am and finally "i" with terms that cannot house the property under review. Do you want to "SAY" that you "Experience" "Non-Self"? If so we can start unpacking THAT. If not then...what...? Mailbox?

            It's odd that you think we need ontology to demonstrate Contradiction and Absurdity. Dr. Bonnette is correct when he points out, "I see clearly that the same thing or property cannot both be and not be. You seem to argue that perhaps they can be..."

            We already know the Christian is not willing to employ language, semantic intent, nor equivocation in any terminus of explanation when it comes to Truth-Telling and reporting First Person Data but we nothing of the kind from you so far. You've been dishonest and evasive on that rather simple point and that simple point is still the merely preliminary/initial steps in discovering if you will meet the Christian AT that same "Y" in the road Mile Marker before continuing on.

            That means we need to find out if you are willing to follow your own language, semantic intent, and veracity through to a terminus of coherence ((language, semantic intent, non-contradiction)) or else if you mean to "permit" the "in principle possibility" of "Non-A = A" when assigning language, terms, and semantic intent ((intended meaning)) and veracity through to what terminus you wish to reveal/use with respect to Truth-Telling about your First Person DATA ((.....first person data as defined by Chalmers if you want, or if you want to use a different definition then present it but you've appealed to Chalmers with respect to Formalized ends and so I am assuming you're content with his definition of First Person Data...)).

            As Bonnette observed: ".....we all know there are times when we don't know whether something is one way or the other. The only violation of the PNC would be to affirm that it is both ways at once.... You can construct a sentence in which you affirm that you deny it, while at the same time, you very affirmation violates it.... Your skepticism to me comes across as a chosen attitude toward knowledge, not something that can be rationally defended....."

          • Linguistic Contradiction? Is this all you have? This is just nothing.

            Except I did not say that. The first “Y” is language and the second is ontology. You keep evading these decision points between the lucid and the absurd. Ontology is what Language REPRESENTS and so ontology is coming. Meaning Makers necessarily precede and underlay all of our Language because Language is ONLY a carrier of something ELSE ((meaning, ontic, and so on)). You’ve been specifically invited to join the Christian in looking into the ontological truth of things and that has been the case for months.

            The comment you replied to here had that reminder given to you again by again pointing out to you that the only way to get to the ontological truth of things is to first push through our accuracy in our self-reports and IF you are Willing and IF you are Able to do “that” well THEN we can repeat the same process over inside of the logical side of ontology.

            In other words, you have had for months the open invitation to the ontic side of things, but, as long as you are unwilling and/or unable to maintain coherent reports ((speech, language, semantic intent)) then we cannot do so. That is why Linguistic Incoherence is all that YOU have to use to evade and dodge. Remember the “Y” in the road almost a year ago and recall how you evaded ever having to address that “Y” in your chosen path? Well that is all this is. I specifically pointed that out in my last reply:

            We already know the Christian is not willing to employ language, semantic intent, nor equivocation in any terminus of explanation when it comes to Truth-Telling and reporting First Person Data but we nothing of the kind from you so far. You've been dishonest and evasive on that rather simple point and that simple point is still the merely preliminary/initial steps in discovering if you will meet the Christian AT that same "Y" in the road Mile Marker before continuing on.

            So long as you want to be dishonest and insist that YOU can appeal to LANGUAGE INCOHERENCE as your REASON TO STOP well then we cannot TEST and PUSH into Language and finally into all Meaning Makers which necessarily precede and underlay all such Language. Language is ONLY a carrier of something ELSE you know. So if YOU cannot get YOUR LANGUAGE to RETAIN coherence well then you have no hope of traversing what that Language REPRESENTS, which of course is where Ontology arrives. Recall again from my previous reply:

            That means we need to find out if you are willing to follow your own language, semantic intent, and veracity through to a terminus of coherence, as in language, semantic intent, non-contradiction. Or, if you mean to "permit" the "in principle possibility" of "Non-A = A" when assigning language, terms, and semantic intent, as in intended meaning, and veracity through to what terminus you wish to reveal/use with respect to Truth-Telling about your First Person DATA.

            The “Y” in the road is nothing more than Coherence vs. Absurdity/Contradiction and you are dishonestly avoiding that “Y” both in testing your Language and when we WOULD test your ontology IF you should ever be honest enough about “applying logic” to your own language.

            BTW: Regarding first person data I am assuming such as defined by Chalmers if you want, or if you want to use a different definition then present it but you've appealed to Chalmers with respect to Formalized ends and so I am assuming you're content with his definition of First Person Data.

            Bonnette made the following observation and it reflects again on your dishonest use of language and your dishonest attempts to hide behind incoherent language:

            .....we all know there are times when we don't know whether something is one way or the other. The only violation of the PNC would be to affirm that it is both ways at once.... You can construct a sentence in which you affirm that you deny it, while at the same time, you very affirmation violates it.... Your skepticism to me comes across as a chosen attitude toward knowledge, not something that can be rationally defended.....

            Are you really going to insist on a total deflationary truth value of all language AND STOP AT LANGUATE INCOHERENCE? Is that ALL you have? The Christian is waiting for you to go up that “Y” in the road and pick your path of what you VALUE. Is it Reason/Logic? Something lese?

            For example, if we take your intended meaning when you report "I" and "I-Intend" we find that they will reduce to an absurdity if you replace "I" and "Intention" and "I-Reason" and "I-Think" and i-am and finally "i" with terms that cannot house the intended property under review. Do you want to "SAY" that you "Experience" "Non-Self" or “I-Plus-Something” perhaps? If so we can start unpacking THAT. If not then fine. But, either way, you are stuck at your unwillingness or your inability to get past these preliminary steps of Language so that we can move into what the Language is ABOUT. As in the Meaning Makers which necessarily precede and underlay all such Language. Again language is ONLY a carrier of something ELSE. So if YOU cannot get YOUR LANGUAGE to RETAIN coherence well then you have no hope of traversing what that Language REPRESENTS ((…as in ontology…)).

            Since you are stuck in “Language Games” and the dishonest posture of insisting on Zero Truth Value Within All Language perhaps Wittgenstein can help you as per “Goodill on Scholastic Metaphysics and Wittgenstein” at Ed Feser’s blog via https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5040844327

          • G.Q.,

            The main reply is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5046696665 and I'll follow you after that one etc. You said the following:

            More likely, I would say that ordinary language is not adequate for formulating it and that probably no other formalism would be, as David Chalmers envisions.

            That's fine and that is why I asked you about several different options about inaccuracy only to have you say you cannot answer quite obvious examples. For example is "I" more accurate than "Mailbox" regarding your first person experience and even there you're dishonest. It's fine to say you would formulate it differently but to then go on avoiding attempts to locate where and to what degree any of that inaccuracy actually is with respect to your own inferred meaning when reporting your first person experience, and with painfully simplistic examples, is, again, dishonest.

          • gquenot

            You did not formulate it that way and, as far as no ontological commitment is implied, "I" is a better approximation than "mailbox".

          • gquenot

            Replying here as you comment disappeared, probably into spam.

            We don't need Ontology to confirm Linguistic Contradiction nor do we need it for Absurdity.

            Linguistic Contradiction? Is this all you have? This is just nothing.

            It's odd that you think we need ontology to demonstrate Contradiction and Absurdity.

            For exposing contradictions or absurdity, we need utterances to have definite meanings and truth values, which itself requires the absence of vagueness in what it is talked about.

            Dr. Bonnette is correct when he points out […] As Bonnette observed: […]

            I replied there: http://disq.us/p/2bguie3 and there: http://disq.us/p/2bhpfcr

          • Language and Ontology are both up but your avoiding each. Sorry but you're still being dishonest. See https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5052374914

          • gquenot

            It seems that your last comments went to spam. Nevertheless, from what I got in my mailbox, there was not much novelty there (and that might explain why they were identified as spam).

            As David Chalmers envisions, it might be that I cannot validly say “I” in the “ontology room” and it might even be that we cannot say anything validly there. Now what?

          • Goodill on Scholastic Metaphysics and Wittgenstein” at Ed Feser’s blog is the link in the attached screenshot of the reply. That screenshot is attached here in case that reply goes to spam. Feser's link may trigger spam so only the title is enclosed here ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e69fcda233408dd89b09bd9499477bfcc47f9fad63d1d0818b48ae00451399b0.jpg

          • The reply is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5034979442 If it goes to spam than use this comment's attached screenshot of that reply. BTW you may want to read on some basic "consciousness" literature and content regarding what is meant by "first person data" and "third person data" since you seem confused by what those terms refer to not only academically wrt basic definitions but also experientially. Non-Theists and, well, everyone uses those terms in a fairly standard fashion...even full-on reductionists ((...which you're not....)). Your inability to comprehend what is being referred to by those basic concepts just won't do here given that we're discussing, well, consciousness and I've no time to teach such basic-level content. Again see screenshot here if the other main reply goes to spam etc. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f48654985297b082a01783b96bbce6f9c264dae199488da041131c43c54f896.jpg

          • gquenot

            BTW you may want to read on some basic "consciousness" literature and content regarding what is meant by "first person data" and "third person data" since you seem confused by what those terms refer to not only academically wrt basic definitions but also experientially.

            For your information, I routinely read more than just basic literature on consciousness. If you have not read it yet, the one I find to be (by far) the best on the subject is: Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts by Stanislas Dehaene. I really recommend it.

          • And yet First Person Data and Third Person Data are terms you are unable to address https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5038937358

          • gquenot

            See my reply there.

          • Also, the reply is over at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5028710970 but see the attached screenshot of the sentence I referred to regarding your "....“I” do acknowledge an experiential distinction. I don’t deny that it is a genuine one...." ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9ad507f8550789fb63818ede5a44215776604b61cb0b9d8aebf3a899ed3273e5.jpg

          • gquenot

            Regarding your goal of Mapping Other-Maps besides your own Map ((….in which the above distinctions are never experienced and so not found…)), well that requires that “you” be able to communicate with “others” about “your” “own” perceptions about their Maps.

            Specifically about that. I got and I said many times that you could not help me. Same for the use of the “map” term that does not speak to me. Still for what analogies are worth (not that much as you might have guessed), here is how this appears to me. What you say gives me the feeling to be a person born blind wishing to know about how others see colors and to which you reply “Nope. If you don’t see colors, I can’t tell you about them.” And, indeed, would I see colors, I would not need you to tell me about them.

            But that is exactly the basic noetic architecture that is no longer available to you now that by your own report you’ve preferred

            “No longer”? “Now”? That is neither a choice, nor a preference. This is just a brute fact: this just happens to be the case. And this is not something that changed at some point either. The only thing that changed is that, I some point, I became aware of the question and, before that, I did not think otherwise, I just did not think at all about it.

          • The reply to both of your replies is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5024673174 and if it goes to spam then see this comment's attached screenshot of that reply etc. ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d7cbc971cb9901d62f9f7108c97b2fb89f443d0bc2e732c70ba65424db158aca.jpg

          • gquenot

            Minor edits in http://disq.us/p/2b16nkt

          • gquenot

            Your last comments are no longer online.

          • gquenot

            Replying here from what I received in my mailbox since your last comments disappeared.

            Again you self-negate

            I don’t think so.

            [...] you cannot now answer this question: Who is experiencing the experience you describe?

            Whether or not there must be an (“irreducible” or “true”) experiencer when an “experience” occurs is precisely the question. That in ordinary language “experience” expects an “experiencer” is nothing more than an artifact, it does not make anything “real” or “necessary”.

            You’ve gotten rid of I-Exist and so too I/Me/My and that’s fine, but you’re going to have to stick to that.

            I am just unsure of a “true ontological status” for these. There may still exist so excellent approximations of them that experiencing such approximations of them would be indistinguishable from experiencing these directly, which is precisely the problem. I can still (approximately) talk “from” such an approximation.

          • gquenot

            Removed again. Maybe your comments are too long and too redundant, both internally and with your previous comments. I suggest concision and novelty. I got it anyway. Here is my answer:

            Is “You can’t speak if you don’t acknowledge an “I”” all you have? Seriously?

          • gquenot

            [...] there's no I... hence no report...

            Exactly.

            If “I”s are only excellent and useful approximations (not saying that they are nor that they should be) then so must be reports (and almost everything). And it is easier to figure out how that could be for reports.

          • What "I"? That term does not capture "you" in your own experience. The reply is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5020613052

          • gquenot

            Right the “I” term does not capture “me” during experience or as experiencing, it does capture “me” as “producing” a “report” about it. And all of these “” could be only excellent and useful approximations.

          • Me first? You mean to extract "me" and "I" and "my" from your own Map and therefore your own semantic intent and therefore your own language. If you want to explore other maps besides your own that's fine but you need to be able to at least show up at the Gate. This isn't the main reply though..... The main reply to your comment is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5020211468

          • gquenot

            Minor edits in http://disq.us/p/2azx6wn

          • gquenot

            Minor edits in http://disq.us/p/2ayervz

          • gquenot

            Please not a few edits in http://disq.us/p/2au3au1

          • gquenot

            What about you, by the way?

          • gquenot

            See a few edits in http://disq.us/p/2atawan

          • gquenot

            Please note minor edits to http://disq.us/p/2asjccy

          • The reply is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5003066563 but if it goes to spam then see the attached picture in this comment, which is a screenshot of that reply ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/accf910bf86e05a4edfa40bc7cbaf1f467a0af24df3b122672ba0fd6cd8a6b4a.jpg

          • The reply is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-5003066563 but if it goes to spam then use this comment as the reply and see the attached screenshot of the reply here ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6dd838b825f6ce509e17f6fe519a51a9b9f34d9e9cbc7468f2c4096bf163dd20.jpg

          • The reply is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-4999947411 and if that goes to spam then see the attached picture here of that screenshot as then this will be my reply etc. ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8c4afb95aa118b4f0c782399ca4cc889b16025eec06fb8347ea60e200547c4e.jpg

          • gquenot

            […] “Scio aliquid esse” ~ “I know something to be.” In so saying, he affirms what is first and primarily known is something presented to the knower as an extramental sense object. It is solely in knowing such an object that I become conscious of my own act of knowing – and thereby, reflexively, of myself as the knower. In fact, direct experience tells us that both intramental and extramental objects are known clearly and distinctly, while they are also known as radically distinct from each other.”

            It seems that (i) this kind of stuff works with you and with many others while it does not work with me and with many others too. It (roughly) seems that (ii) those it works with are those who are already gained to the conclusion and that those it does not work with are those who are not already gained to the conclusion. It seems that (iii) what appears as self-evident to the former does not appear so to the latter. Yet, (iv) the former do think that it is effective and that they are absolutely justified by it in believing what they believe. Do you agree with (i)-(iii)? How can (iv) be if (i)-(iii) hold?

          • My reply is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-4997519639 but if that goes to Spam then see the attached picture of that content here. I'll eventually delete this comment if the reply stays out of Spam etc. See attached picture ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/914872e3b1a0997cb6101775d3e0712cea083eaa6440d911b8f99222cd3766ca.jpg

          • If my reply goes to spam there is a picture of it here and this will be my reply. If it does not go to spam I'll delete this comment etc. See attached picture ~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d085b4a4589c2e66b1d5818fd58c147b1585b1e520a4e6b41dedd2a8862db6c5.jpg

          • Attached is a picture of my reply in case it goes to spam. If it doesn't go to spam I'll delete this reply. If it does then this comment is/will be my reply. See attached picture.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1db0a1f2a7bb8dd2ba234af2cbe2c51bb67a0863588bf7f3c128c4ea2812fa30.jpg

          • GQ you may want to give it a few hours to see if it goes to spam before replying..... it if takes I'll delete this comment later etc.

          • gquenot

            It is on my screen so I will save it in case it disappears.

            Maybe I missed it but a quick screen indicates that you repeated many old things but you did not address my question about “evaporation” ((so to speak)). As I believe it to be the key, I try to reformulate it concisely (though we might reach here the limits of the figurative discourse): the one who refers to the “evaporation” ((so to speak)) of whatever should be prepared to endorse an ontological commitment to a prior “liquid state” ((so to speak)) of that whatever. Can you acknowledge this commitment? If not, how can you mention any “evaporation” ((so to speak))?

          • GQ — WOW it’s still there! Excellent. I’ll reply later today or tomorrow to your replies and delete this reply and prior blip about waiting etc. ~ finally didn’t go to spam :-0

          • gquenot

            Many strawmen here but let’s not waste our time with that beyond mentioning it.

            Basically, you are claiming that evaluating claims that there are true distinctions requires the ability to see true distinctions. That claim (that evaluating […] requires […]) can be evaluated in the context of both “true” and “as if” distinctions and, in both, it amounts to a circularity.

            I think I found the answer to that riddle (though this does not help much):

            What’s missing? Reason? Being? Both? Something else? Nothing at all?

            Something that you need for seeing, that you can’t get by yourself, and that is not communicable, that must be what I have heard of at catechism as “Grace”. Assuming that this concept makes sense, epistemically, it might be that you were given it while I was not. It might as well be that you are just deluded in believing to have it.

          • The reply is after the Part 2 to your reply, and so it is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-4982554251

          • gquenot

            Regarding Books, well, yes it's all good given the illusory content of one's own claim of i-am and the peculiar reductio ad absurdum which that forces :-}

            Basically, this means that this kind of stuff works only in comforting those that somehow already endorse the conclusion in their idea that they are right to do so. That it works only in this case should interpellate on how good it actually is for that but that is up to you. At least, I gave it a try.

          • Reply to both of your comments is at https://strangenotions.com/atheists-who-want-atheism-to-be-true/#comment-4972576824

            Be careful for that fateful "Shrug" :-}

          • Comments are going to spam. This may still be up.... or not.... at http://disq.us/p/2a94shf

          • gquenot

            That tends to happen with long comments, with many links and with contents reproduced from already published material.

            In any case, it is more efficient to make short contributions with a single and clear point rather that to unfold everything at once many times, each with small variations and/or additions. In most cases, there is a disagreement in the very beginning and, as everything beyond depends upon that, it becomes pointless as long as the initial disagreement is not solved. it is better to introduce and "secure" the relevant points one after another, which does not prevent from giving a general idea (i.e. without details) about why this matters. At least, this is how I proceed.

          • You're the one who called all of those concepts gibberish. I took you at your word. If you DO understand those concepts but PRETEND/EVADE and merely call it all gibberish, well then you're just disingenuous. It's one or the other ~~ see http://disq.us/p/27521lw

          • Dennis Bonnette

            Given the exhaustive response to you made by scblhrm_MetaChristianity below, I probably need not give any reply here at all.

            Still, I must admit to chuckling slightly at your telling me that "it is obviously time you took a course on Logic 101."

            I not only have taken Logic 101, but have taught it at university level as well. In fact, I have a doctoral minor in symbolic logic from the University of Notre Dame. Still, your overreaching claim is not a matter of even very sophisticated logic.

            Please note that I made no claims at all to you. You made the positive assertion of a universal negative proposition when you said that "no believer has yet adduced...." You don't have to be much of a logician to know that universal negatives are rather challenging to defend.

            Your claim is only an alleged statement of fact unless and until you provide supporting arguments. You provided none at all.

            Even to begin to support your wild claim, you would have to show that you know in detail and can refute every single demonstration of God's existence that ever has been or could possibly be offered. You fail to do so. In fact, if you could do so, you would nearly be as omniscient as the God you claim does not exist.

            Your only other logical move would be to prove that the very concept of God is self-contradictory, and thus, since the being in question cannot exist, no proof of his existence can possibly be offered. Again, you fail even to make a squeak of argument in that direction.

            That latter claim would itself be a daunting task and many rebuttals to such claims, such as the free will defense to the problem of evil, exist. But, again, you are completely silent on this line of argumentation -- despite your massive, unsupported claim that no valid arguments for God's existence exist: that logically problematic universal negative.

            Now do you want to produce the massive tome of evidence for your universal negative claim which it implicitly entails? Or, will you simply admit you just failed Logic 101?

          • David Cromie

            A graduate of the 'University of Notre Dame' explains it all.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            In addition to all the logical challenges entailed in your position that I outlined above, did you not just add what is known as the ad hominem fallacy?

          • David Cromie

            No. I merely highlighted one source for your idiocy - your less than impressive Alma Mater.

            A 'doctoral minor in symbolic logic' is not very impressive, in any case. A course in critical thinking would have served you better.

          • Jim the Scott

            > I merely highlighted one source for your idiocy...

            People have been banned here for less.

            Attention Brandon!

            PS. Ditch the insults.

            PSS Where are the usual suspects that kvetch when I get fierce? Just wondering?

          • David Nickol

            less than impressive Alma Mater.

            Here are the first twenty schools from US News & World Report's 2020 rankings of national universities (399 total). Schools with the same number rankings are tied with one another.

            (1) Princeton University
            (2) Harvard University
            (3) Columbia University
            (3) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
            (3) Yale University
            (6) Stanford University
            (6) University of Chicago
            (6) University of Pennsylvania
            (9) Northwestern University
            (10) Duke University
            (10) Johns Hopkins University
            (12) California Institute of Technology
            (12) Dartmouth College
            (14) Brown University
            (15) University of Notre Dame
            (15) Vanderbilt University
            (17) Cornell University
            (17) Rice University
            (19) Washington University in St. Louis
            (20) University of California--Los Angeles

            I would say a degree from Notre Dame is quite impressive.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I mentioned the doctoral minor just to underline that I have had a course in logic -- in spades. I really don't care whether I impress you or not, but if a doctoral minor in some area of concentration within the general field of the doctorate itself "is not very impressive," pray tell, what is supposed to be?

            I suppose you do not allow a medical doctor to treat your illness because his doctorate is not very impressive?

            Oh, I forgot. Now you will attack the University of Notre Dame. I might not defend its Catholicity myself, but one of its causes of secularization has been its pursuit of secular academic excellence. That does not tell you much about my own background there, since I finished my Ph.D. there half a century ago.

          • Jim the Scott

            So as per yer response to Dr. B I take it that is a "no" then?

            Ah well......

          • A reply to David was as follows http://disq.us/p/26x58j6

          • Rob Abney

            that does not mean that the consideration of what it means to lead a good life is meaningless for we mortals who are non believers.
            In other words, there is no reason to believe what any church leader says about morals, etc. when we have the concrete, historical, evidence of the hypocrisy, nefarious dealings, control freakery, bigotry, and sexual deviance of clercs to hand.

            Are you able to put forth a non-believer who is not guilty of the same acts, so that we can know what it means to lead a good life?
            I do agree that you should consider what the scholastics might have to say about such issues, fortunately we can, they would condemn those acts for being against God and the church.

          • David Cromie

            "Are you able to put forth a non-believer who is not guilty of the same acts...".

            Me, for instance, and none of my close friends.

          • Rob Abney

            Sure, I’ll believe that unless you are a teacher, a scout leader, a coach, a supervisor, a business owner, a divorcee...
            The point being that not all members of a certain group are guilty just because some members are, that’s called over generalization.

          • Rob Abney

            The overriding christer presupposition is that a supposed 'god' actually exists, and that the collection of myths, legends, and folklore, usually referred to as the 'bible', is the 'word' of that supposed 'god'.

            You are on a Catholic site, you should argue against what Catholics believe. We don't presuppose God, we use rational arguments to demonstrate His existence. We consider the bible to be inspired by the Holy Spirit while Jesus Christ is the Word of God.

          • David Cromie

            Just because this is a 'catholic' site does not mean I have to accept any claim that your, or anyone else's, supposed 'god' actually exists.

            As for your 'rational arguments', re. your supposed 'god's' existence, I would love to see them - indeed the whole of christendom would much appreciate the clinching proof being revealed, once and for all.

          • Rob Abney

            You don’t have to accept Catholic claims but when arguing against us you should know what our arguments are, and it’s obvious that you don’t or you wouldn’t be requesting rational arguments about God’s existence because they are easily found at this site and many others.

          • David Cromie

            I have listened to 'catholic' arguments for many, many years, including the Five Ways regurgitated by Aquinas. These have been debunked many times over, and there is reason to believe that Aquinas himself was not too sure of their validity. However, they served their purpose well, and the illiterate masses were taken in, and still are, it seems.

            The 'logic of religious belief, it seems, is quite different from that of everyone else:

            Rob - Is this conversation taking place on Mars?
            David - No
            Rob - Then it must be taking place somewhere else
            David - Yes
            Rob - If it is taking place somewhere else, then it cannot be taking pace here!

          • Jim the Scott

            My dear Mr. Cromie,

            ANSWERS IN GENESIS is right here.
            https://answersingenesis.org/

            If that doesn't work for ya the ID people are here.
            https://uncommondescent.com/

            Both of the above groups advocate a type of "scientific" Theism and or fundamentalist version of Christianity EVERY Catholic here rejects a priori. Have at them.

            They seem more yer speed unless you want to learn some philosophy and actually present a challenge to our beliefs. Until then all yer objections are what we call non-starters and I can assure you nobody here cares about yer "feelings" regarding God or religion. It is not a therapy blog either.

            Cheers and peace be with you.

          • David Cromie

            'Answers in Genesis'? You must be joking!

          • Jim the Scott

            No I am serious. They are more at yer level of sophistication in terms of anti-theist polemics. I am sure you would do well arguing against their erroneous version of theism. But you clearly lack any ability to argue against anything more sophisticated then them.

            So have at them.

          • David Cromie

            Any attempt to use the so-called 'bible' as proof of its own claims is the fallacy of the circular argument.

            If christianity does not presuppose the existence of any supernatural entity termed a 'god', then where is the irrefutable, falsifiable, proof that it actually does exist? Mere belief/faith will not reify it into manifestation, any more than my sincere belief in faeries would make them real entities in our universe, or even outside it.

          • Jim the Scott

            >Any attempt to use the so-called 'bible' as proof of its own claims is the fallacy of the circular argument.

            Yes and in other news "water is wet". So what?

            >If christianity does not presuppose the existence of any supernatural entity

            Which version of "Christianity"? Like i said some of the Reformed are presuppositionalists and even they believe one must make some type of positive philosophical argument as to why we should presuppose the existence of God. We Catholics don't agree. Reason must precede faith is our view.

            Yer "one size fits all" pseudo intellectual omni-anti-theist polemic is tedious and irrational. Even if there are no gods.

            > termed a 'god', then where is the irrefutable, falsifiable, proof that it actually does exist?

            So you want quantitative evidence for something that is a product of a qualitative philosophical argument? Well that is like demanding someone prove the existence of a Higg Boson particle by digging it up in a fossil bed.
            It is called a category mistake. Some skeptical philosophers from 1949 called Dave. They want you to give them their positivism back.

            >Mere belief/faith will not reify it into manifestation, any more than my sincere belief in faeries would make them real entities in our universe, or even outside it.

            Again "water is wet" and Vatican One condemned Fideism as heresy. Really Dave. ANSWERS IN GENESIS is over there. Take yer arguments to them. They won't work here since no Catholic here believes the existence of God is an empirical scientific question. God's existence is a philosophical question only. Unless you are prepared to give us some philosophical defeaters you are going to continue to sound uninformed and irrational.

            Now off you pop. I am sure the YEC will run in fear from you. We Catholics OTOH are unimpressed.

          • Rob Abney

            Here's an interesting article that explains teleology since one of your presuppositions is that final causes are not real.
            https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/evolution-and-the-purposes-of-life

          • A complete response would far exceed the length appropriate for posting here. These are some of my thoughts.

            Talbott says, “Dawkins’s formulation has the virtue of making explicit the idea that the organism is a designed artifact, or machine.” That interpretation is disingenuous, to put it as charitably as possible. What Dawkins explicitly says - - so explicitly as to make it hard to see how Talbott could have misunderstood him - - is that organisms are not designed except in a strictly metaphorical sense. It is an apt metaphor, so apt that biologists can use it comfortably, but that doesn't make it literally true that organisms are designed.

            He says the question is whether the design had a purpose. This is semantic legerdemain. There is no useful concept of agentless design. The term “intelligent design” is a redundancy. Design implies a designer, with a mind and with a purpose.

            Talbott says, “If the results are in fact the same as if they were intended, then perhaps we should be open to the possibility that they simply were intended.” Sure, let us be open. But let us not be intimidated into thinking that being open an idea entails an obligation to accept the idea.

            He tries to disparage the claim that purpose is an illusion by inquiring about its agency, as if to ask, “If we're being fooled, then who or what is trying to fool us?” But we might as well ask who is trying to trick us when we see a mirage. Illusion per se does not require agency. It requires only that that we be mistaken about what we are perceiving. If any agent must be involved, it is the perceiving agent.

            Talbott asks, “If, as Ernst Mayr wrote in 1964, Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection ‘solved the problem of teleology,’ what, exactly, needed solving?” The problem to be solved was the apparent difficulty of explaining the earth’s biological history without teleology. Talbott suggests that teleology bothers no one but “those who long for a purely mechanistic understanding of the world.” But can we all admit that nature seems resolutely indifferent to our longings? Teleology exists in nature or it doesn't. If it does, then it makes no difference how many naturalists wish it didn't. But if it doesn't, then it also makes no difference how much our adversaries want it to. And the only way to make a reasoned judgment as to which is more likely the case is to examine the relevant evidence with as much impartiality as we are capable of mustering.

            Talbott, uniquely in my experience with naturalism’s adversaries, identifies the problem with teleology in something he calls its “inwardness.”

            It occurs wherever a conscious, purposive designer, traditionally taken to be God, is assumed to have created organisms, and again wherever the organism itself, once created, becomes a locus of end-directed functioning. Resolving the issue of teleology has meant, for the biologist, eliminating inwardness on both fronts, and the argument often makes little distinction between them.

            If biologists seem not to distinguish the two hypotheses, it's because the same objection applies to both. Neither of them is needed to explain anything.

            The process of evolution, he says, “is universally presented to us as a tinkering with programs and executive machinery.” Universally? I don't think so. I have been reading what scientists have to say about evolution for many decades, and I have never before now seen it so presented. Of course the presentations can be restated in terms of programs and executive machinery, but a lot of vital details would get lost in the translation.

            Talbott says,

            Everyone agrees that natural selection cannot work unless the organisms available to it are capable of carrying out all the activities necessary to their life and survival, while also reproducing and preparing an inheritance for their offspring. But these are the very activities that presented us with the problem of teleology in the first place. If natural selection must assume them in order to do its work, then to say it solves the problem of teleological origins looks very much like question-begging.

            Who is begging the question here? It is Talbot and his allies who are claiming that “all the activities necessary to their life and survival, while also reproducing and preparing an inheritance for their offspring” are inexplicable without teleology. Now that the scientific community has responded with a non-teleological explanation, he accuses them of assuming teleological origins. That is just incoherent, unless he has redefined teleology to mean “all the activities necessary to their life and survival, while also reproducing and preparing an inheritance for their offspring.”

            Then he tries to link purpose with a definition of life. It has been famously difficult for biologists to reach a consensus definition of their subject. Some of the characteristics usually listed as definitive of life can be described in terms of purposive activity, but none of them has to be. The fact that a certain process has a certain outcome does not make that outcome the purpose of that process. Water flowing in a river erodes whatever land it flows through, but land erosion is not the purpose of rivers.

            Natural selection, he says, “does not account for the fact of end-directed behavior, which is inseparable from the fact of life itself.” But it does account for behavior that enhances the survival prospects of organisms that engage in that behavior, without having to assume the existence any entity that has any interest in the organisms’ survival, indeed without assuming even that the organisms themselves care whether they live or die. To explain life, purpose is a hypothesis that we just don't need.

            He devotes a section of the essay to “Natural Selection as Agent.” It is not entirely clear what his problem is here unless it is an odd literalism. Sure, in most contexts, selection presupposes agency, which presupposes intelligence and purpose. But Darwin’s point in calling it natural selection was that it was just like artificial selection in every relevant respect except for its requiring no agency. To call natural selection itself an agent of anything is to speak metaphorically.

            Talbott says,

            I referred above to an entrenched dualism. Having inherited mind and matter as the incommensurable products of Descartes’s cleaving stroke, the scientist today rightly concludes that something is badly awry. But, rather than going back and undoing that fateful stroke in order to find a different way forward, he meekly accepts both mind and matter from Descartes’s hand, and then decides he can be rid of the contradiction between them only by throwing away one of them.

            That is one way to describe what happened. Here is another. Descartes was intellectually committed to both his science and to his Catholic faith. He believed he had found a way, without presupposing either, to prove that his and every other human mind existed independently of any material substance. Mind-body dualism necessarily followed, more or less by definition. It was not clearly inconsistent with any scientific principle, and it was obviously supportive of what Christianity had to say about the soul. But the non-Christian portion of the scientific community was not obliged to go along with Descartes. Some accepted his dualism and some did not, but denying mind-body dualism is not denying the mind. It is saying that the body is sufficient to account for the mind. Nothing is being thrown away except for the prospect of personal survival beyond physical death.

            And as Talbott himself remarks, this is one reason for the popular disacceptance of evolution. The other reasons, he says, are its atheism, amorality, and nihilism. The claim that any of these is a logical consequence of evolution has been addressed in too many other places to need repeating here.

            This much is true, though: If anyone studies naturalistic evolution looking for answers to questions about God’s existence, or the difference between right and wrong, or the meaning of life, they won't find any - - not wrong answers, but no answers at all. This is not a problem for either evolution or naturalism. It is a problem for the assumption that these questions ought to have scientific answers.

            He concludes the essay with a remark about the “value of a little humility on our part in the face of profound and unanswered questions.” Very well, but no one is denying that there are many such questions. We are denying that some of the questions Talbott wants us to ask are among them. And as long as he misrepresents so much of what we say, we are not the ones lacking humility.

          • David Cromie

            The 'soul', as depicted by Aristotle, has nothing to do with the 'soul' as depicted in christer religious thought, and never the twain shall meet.

          • Jim the Scott

            Rather the soul in Aristotle has everything to do with its depiction in Catholic Christian Scholastic thought. Yer "one size fits all" over generalization of different religious traditions is tedious and irrational even if their are no gods.

            >and never the twain shall meet.

            That would be a surprise to Aquinas and Boneventure and Scotus and all the Popes etc....and myself and or Dr. B. or Rob Abney and or Mark.

            Good grief man do some research before you post.

          • Mark

            I'm not going to be surprised about anything David has to say. Here's some disqus posts from David this month:

            Christo-fascists make sure their offspring are indoctrinated into their own version of christianity as soon as possible, and do all in their power to discourage learning about anything significant concerning the sciences, at any stage in their intellectual development. That is, quite simply, child abuse.

            The church of Rome has been trafficking the newborn for centuries, via their children's 'homes' run by nuns

            Indeed, and this 'rebellion' is loved by the christofascists who worship the 'vile disgusting' Great Orange Maggot, and his gang at the centre of it.

            You may be unaware that most atheists do know the 'bible', often better than those who claim to be christers, and are thus able to criticise, with authority, the 'perspectives' of militant believers, including popes.

            Only religious nuts pray to inanimate objects, and imaginary supernatural entities.

            That was, and is, the modus operandi of the Roman church (and all other fundagelical sects), as exemplified by the Inquisition in its day. The current striving of the christers of America to found a homegrown theocracy is an attempt to emulate, outdo even, the Roman church of the Middle Ages.

            "Really? If true, then you must know that Aquinas has been thoroughly debunked. So what is your real problem? I suspect your basic problem is dealing with the encumbrance of semi literacy, and thus an inability to understand what you read, exacerbated by the indoctrinated obliteration of critical thinking.

            Since there is no evidence, whether written or archaeological, that any man-god named JC ever existed, he might as well have claimed that his pet unicorn loves everyone.

            I saved David's best for last for you Jim because I was worried you wouldn't read past these two:

            That old scumbag 'Mother' Teresa claimed that suffering is beautiful,and it seems that lots of other christers feel the same way

            That old fraud Mother Teresa once proclaimed that 'suffering is beautiful' (except when it came to her, of course, as she jetted around the world for medical treatment for herself, treatment that she denied to the children she was watching die for lack of it).

          • Dennis Bonnette

            I just want to be very clear here that you are referring in all your citations to comments by David Cromie and not the very gentlemanly, carefully researched comments of David Nickol.

          • Mark

            Edited. Ty.

          • Jim the Scott

            What Dr. B. Said.....

          • Fabbeyond

            Wow, yikes . Seems Like a angry tamper tantrum .

          • Jim the Scott

            This speaks for itself. He is a Jesus Mythist then. As Mr. Tim O'Neil(self proclaimed Australian Atheist bastard) said "Jesus Mythers are the Young Earth Creationists of Non-belief".

            He is just a more lyrical version of Ellabulldog.

          • David Cromie

            Thank you for this collected edition of my posts. But what was your purpose in producing it?

          • Mark

            You're welcome. My purpose was to warn any charitable interlocutor of your combox tactics and dialogue abilities. Jim specifically has mentioned a heart condition that seems aggravated by blatant ignorance and contempt of reason.

          • David Cromie

            You could supply the 'cure' for my 'blatant ignorance and contempt of reason' by adducing the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence for the real existence of your favourite supposed supernatural entities. Why not do so?

          • Mark

            Why not do so? I can't even supply you with irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence you really exist. Existence as you experience may well be an illusory. No such cure exists for that philosophical position. How should one respond to such questions other than correct the categorical mistake and acknowledgement the limitations and presuppositions of evidence that is adduced. Reasking the same question only shows me you have yet to adduce what classic theists are claiming and what presumptions we acknowledge.

          • David Cromie

            Neither logic nor critical thinking feature in your posts.

          • David Cromie

            The facts 'would be a surprise abhorrent to Aquinas and Boneventure(sic) and Scotus and all the Popes etc....and myself and or Dr. B. or Rob Abney and or Mark', and they would self interestedly ignore any fact-based argument that challenged their hold on power over the ignorant masses, or exposed their venal ways.

            This ploy was much easier for the Roman church to achieve in a theocracy (the penalty being death), of course, but today not so much, as the dwindling number of 'believers' decrease, day by day, poves.

          • Dennis Bonnette

            You wrote: "In other words you, and your supporters, are fighting a losing rearguard action as the masses become more informed, and intelligently critical of christianity, and its far-fetched claims."

            After all your other logical fallacies, now you add what is called argumentum ad populum.

            This fallacy is sometimes called the "bandwagon fallacy" or the "appeal to the masses."

            In other words, you are arguing that, because, "day by day," more and more people are coming to agree with you, this "proves" you must be right.

            "Description: When the claim that most or many people in general or of a particular group accept a belief as true is presented as evidence for the claim. Accepting another person’s belief, or many people’s beliefs, without demanding evidence as to why that person accepts the belief, is lazy thinking and a dangerous way to accept information."
            https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/24/Appeal_to_Common_Belief

          • David Cromie

            Your attempted use of the Argumentum ad Populum fallacy against me has misfired. It is a simple fact that the number of believers in a supposed 'god' is diminishing daily, mainly for the reasons put forward in my post. Nowhere do I suggest that they all agree with my atheist views.

            On the other hand, it is christers (apologists for the Roman church in particular) who tend to say that their claimed several billions of believers in a supposed 'god' proves that such a supernatural entity must exist.

            In case I have not posed the question to you previously, I am 'demanding', as you put it, that you provide the irrefutable, falsifiable, 'evidence' for the existence of any supernatural entity, whatsoever, that you hold to actually exist (from archangels, to ghosts, to devils, etc,).

          • Dennis Bonnette

            You wrote: "Nowhere do I suggest that they all agree with my atheist views."

            You misread my citation: "Accepting another person’s belief, or many people’s beliefs, without demanding evidence as to why that person accepts the belief, is lazy thinking and a dangerous way to accept information."

            As you can see, argumentum ad populum fallacy can be committed merely by basing your argument on "many people's beliefs." The fact that you appeal to an increasing minority of atheists to affirm your position is sufficient to commit the fallacy.

            You also misread the need for "demanding" here. Read the citation carefully. It is you who are not "demanding evidence as to why that person accepts the belief...." What belief? Which persons' beliefs? Well, you are citing the increasing number of atheists, so it is the atheists from whom you should be demanding the belief of their position -- not the theists.

            Yet again, your logic is fallacious.

            As for your new "demand" to me, it is also illogical to expect that a valid philosophical demonstration would be evident to all its readers -- since such demonstrations require an adequate philosophical background for their proper understanding as well as the ability and willingness of the reader to see their logical force.

            There was a time when it was said that very few people in the world could understand relativity theory, but that did not mean it was fallacious.

            As the French existentialist, Gabriel Marcel, pointed out long ago, it is not always possible to "prove to another" some truth, since the complexity and diversity of mental backgrounds may cause a pedagogical barrier that is no person's fault.

            Still, the Council Fathers at Vatican I who defined that the existence of God could be known by the light of unaided natural reason were, for that very reason, careful not to use the naive expression, "could be proven."

            For myself, I am comfortable with the nature and validity of the classical proofs for God's existence, since I even wrote the book entitled, Aquinas' Proofs for God's Existence (Martinus-Nijhoff, 1972).

          • Jim the Scott

            >The facts 'would be a surprise abhorrent to Aquinas.....

            The fact is Aquinas(& the others I cited) relied heavily on Aristotle for forming his(their) teachings on the soul.
            What you did not know that? Well that seems self evident....

            >they would self interestedly ignore any fact-based argument that challenged their hold on power over the ignorant masses....This ploy was much easier for the Roman church to achieve in a theocracy ...

            Trying to change the subject & going off on a useless tangent to mask the fact you simply don't know what you are talking about is not convincing.

            >as the masses become more informed, and intelligently critical of christianity, and its far-fetched claims.

            I am sorry to say that so far you are quit unimpressive. You are not intelligently critical of Christianity. At best you might offer some rigor to a Young Earth Creationist fundamentalist. Or someone who holds to Scientific Theism(which we all reject FYI).

            But against Philosophical Theism you clearly lack even basic competence.

            >they would self interestedly ignore any fact-based argument...

            The fact is Aquinas and the whole Scholatic Tradition rely on Aristotle. We are not Sola Scripturists like the Protestants and even the best among them will head philosophy.

            You know Dave maybe there is not God. But it is clear you lack the skill and learning to convince anyone here of that fact.

            Sorry I calls em likes I sees em....

    • Mandla Vilakazi

      Unfortunately Brian Green Adams, no such God exists. As much as I would like a God of another nature to exist, that fits my needs right now. God is an entity upon himself and your ideologies mean very little to Him. What you are hoping for is to be a god yourself and make a world that is to your liking. Your views on sex and gender issues and oppression and so forth, are your own (and the group that you belong to, I assume) And however you may dress your attack on the God that already exists, there has been many, with very different reasons. The God you are looking for is called man and his nature. This God cannot save you, but he'll allow you pleasure, indulgence and all that you request. Just vote him in. God is all good, as per His own definition, because we are not all good enough to know the measure. So, your sense of right may be a far cry from what He considers goodness and you may sound downright evil to Him, right now; even with the ideas that you find righteous and good, in your own sight.

      • >What you are hoping for is to be a god yourself...

        No I'm not.

        >and make a world that is to your liking.

        I'd like to improve the world. I don't hope for that.

        >Your views on sex and gender issues and oppression and so forth, are your own (and the group that you belong to, I assume)

        My views are my own, not a group's.

        >And however you may dress your attack on the God that already exists, there has been many, with very different reasons.

        I don't attack any gods. I don't believe any gods exist. I have discussions with people about there are good reasons to believe any god exists.

        >The God you are looking for is called man and his nature.

        Man is not gods, they are people. I'm not looking for men, they are abundant.

        You have smugly preached, good for you!

        If you think you have convincing reasons to belubel a god exists I suggest you post at the debate an atheist sub Reddit. I will be happy to discuss any arguments you'd care to advance .

      • David Cromie

        No supposed 'gods' exist, not even your favourite model, unless you can provide the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that I am wrong. Can you manage that?

        • Mark

          A positivist expecting irrefutable, falsifiable evidence for the existence of gods is much the same as expecting a metal detector to find a gemstone. It doesn't matter how many metal detectors you've shown can't find a gemstone, what matters is that you've limited your ability to find gemstones to only metal detectors.

          • Sample1

            The reverse is true. It is the believer limiting gem discovery to faith detectors.

            Mike

          • Mark

            I appreciate the absurd humor approach :)

            Provide me with irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that aesthetics, infinite numeric sets, or human rights exist. You might need to get out your faith detector.

          • Sample1

            The real finger in the pie here is the detector. A faith detector leads to contradictory world views: multiple beliefs about origins and destinations. A metal detector reliably detects metal.

            Aesthetics is claimed to be subjective and objectively true by David Deutsch, kind of a neat guy:https://www.nature.com/articles/526S16a.pdf?origin=ppub

            I’m agnostic about the nature of numbers. Of course they exist, at a minimum, conceptually. And again, there is one math detector that reliably works, universally.

            Human rights are codified by humans. Unlike early followers of Jesus and other cultures, modern society does not accept owning people as property.

            Mike

          • Rob Abney

            modern society does not accept owning people as property.

            Are you sure about that assertion? There are 400,000 slaves in the modern U.S.
            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/19/us-modern-slavery-report-global-slavery-index

          • Sample1

            Think about it again.

            Mike

          • Rob Abney

            Good point. The supply chain for products we buy is enslaving more people than at anytime in human history.
            http://slaveryfootprint.org

          • Rob Abney

            Nature can only get so beautiful, but humans can paint something that is more beautiful than any scene.

            I agree that there is objective beauty, but Deutsch makes the mistake of confusing a concept, beauty, with an image. A painter can never paint his true concept of beauty although he can paint an image that tries to represent that concept.
            He does frequently refer to the immaterial although he will not admit that immateriality is a real thing.

          • Sample1

            Glad you’re reading Deutsch!

            Mike

  • David Nickol

    I am not sure it makes sense to hope there is a God or to hope that there isn't. I am reminded of a Zen saying that goes as follows: "If you believe, things are such as they are. If you don't believe, things are such as they are." (Caution: I am no expert in Zen, so I may be interpreting the saying all wrong!) In any case, it seems pointless to me to hope there is or isn't a God when hoping can have no effect whatsoever on what is actually the case.

    What I can say is that I would be relieved if there were a convincing proof that there was no God. On the other hand, I would be ecstatic for a proof that there was an all-good, all-powerful God. However, the God of "official" Christianity (including Catholicism) does not seem to me to be all-good or all-merciful.

    • Jim (hillclimber)

      The point isn't that our hopes will have an effect on what is actually the case. The point is that certain types of hope may distort our understanding of what is actually the case.

      • David Nickol

        I get that. And it of course applies to people who may believe in God because they hope there is a God.

    • OMG

      Our perspective of God may need some correction. Perhaps He seems to be no good and without mercy, but I wonder whether you've really come to know Him.

      The Council of Chalcedon posits the theology of Christology--how God may 'become' man--perhaps you'd find it of interest. Some people seem to struggle with the notion that a Supreme being could perform a miracle. So an Incarnation seems beyond our ability to comprehend. Jesus attests that miracles often follow faith.

      Augustine embodied a philosopher's training as well as a devout Christian perspective. He wrote at length on 'mystical' theology and the Church today accepts much of his wisdom without major revision. His prime idea is that a person must desire to know God. This desire to know is called 'eros' in Pope Benedict's encyclical "God is Love." This eros is a passionate movement toward, a wanting to 'know.'

      Knowledge of Him is hidden from many. Mastery of Him as object of study is achieved by contemplative union with Him. How is that done? Catholicism teaches and holds the keys to that kingdom.

      In another OP commentary, you noted with gratitude that the opinions of JPII's Theology of the Body are not Church Teaching. I could not respond then but today have time to suggest that Church Teaching is ALL about Theology of the Body. Ours becoming His, and He gifting us through His.

      • David Nickol

        Our perspective of God may need some correction. Perhaps He seems to be no good and without mercy, but I wonder whether you've really come to know Him.

        Let me say without hesitation and without reservation that I have no criticisms of God. He does not seem to me to be "no good and without mercy." If I have ever said such a thing—and I don't think I have—I formally retract it now. I think God is omniscient, omnipotent, all-good, and all merciful. I don't have a single criticism of God . . . if he exists. The thought of a God of any less perfections than Dr. Bonnette describes in his philosophizing is too frightening to even contemplate.

      • David Nickol

        The Council of Chalcedon posits the theology of Christology--how God may 'become' man--perhaps you'd find it of interest.

        Do I really come across as someone who has never heard about the Council of Chalcedon?

        Some people seem to struggle with the notion that a Supreme being could perform a miracle. So an Incarnation seems beyond our ability to comprehend. Jesus attests that miracles often follow faith.

        I have no problem at all believing an omnipotent God can perform miracles. I have no real problem with the idea the Incarnation. However, I think if such a thing happened, it is a profound mystery, and what I do have a problem with is people who feel they can explain it, and particularly people who feel superior because they believe they understand it and look down their noses at people who doubt. (This is not directed at Dr. Bonnette, by the way.)

        I have often thought how fortunate the Apostles and early followers of Jesus were, since there did not exist two-thousand years of accumulated dogma that they were required (under pain of sin) to assent to. Peter and Paul would not have had the slightest idea what you were talking about if you tried to explain the hypostatic union or transubstantiation or sacramental marriage.

        In another OP commentary, you noted with gratitude that the opinions of JPII's Theology of the Body are not Church Teaching.

        Because you noted with gratitude that the opinions of Pope Francis are not Church teachings. And of course his personal opinions are not Church teachings. But he is the legitimate pope, and you apparently disapprove of him. Where is your faith in the Holy Spirit?

        • OMG

          DN, You ask: "Where is your faith in the Holy Spirit?"

          My faith in the Holy Spirit resides in my understanding of the Trinity as taught in the Catholic Church.

  • Rob Abney

    Jesus Christ gave us a church with a visible heirarchy so that all men can know God, love God, and serve Him. There is certainly a rebellion against cosmic authority and it was the unintended consequence of the protestant rebellion against that heirarchy, when they tried to replace the church with the bible alone that led to the atheistic rebellion.

    • Jim (hillclimber)

      I think one has to distinguish between cosmic authority per se and purported representatives and mediators of that cosmic authority. One can object to the latter precisely as a matter of obedience to the former. This seems to be what Luther was doing: however misguided he may have been, he surely understood his actions as acts of obedience to, and not rebellion from, the authority of God. Moreover, I would even say that the same can be said of most atheists. Most atheists I have conversed with here seem to understand their objections to religion as objections made in the name of truth. And of course, classically, "the truth" and "God" are just two ways of referring to the same grounding of reality. To the extent that that is true, far from rebelling against the authority of truth, they are rebelling against purported purveyors of truth, which is quite different. Those who have a true Nietzschean rebellion against the truth itself seem few and far between, and frequent obscure places like the Oval Office.

      • Rob Abney

        I don't expect atheists to accept the authority of the Catholic church but I would expect the Christian author to explain why he doesn't. Atheists don't accept objective truth, they are searching for a relative truth. And the author is asking them why they don't accept his relative truth. I think that you agree that the Catholic church teaches the objective truth, right?
        I don't think I agree with your last sentence but it seems purposefully vague.

        • Jim (hillclimber)

          In the context of the OP, Dr. Rauser is not explicitly promoting Christianity at all, much less his own understanding of Christianity. As such I don't see why his opinions about the authority of the Catholic Magisterium are at all relevant.

          The OP is focused on evaluating the plausibility of the "Rebellion Thesis". In the course of arguing that the Rebellion Thesis per se is not well-supported, the OP also invites us to consider whether something related to the Rebellion Thesis may be true, namely that some people have a psychological (or perhaps aesthetic?) aversion to understandings of reality involving “ultimate principles that are not dead.”

          I think it's a very interesting line of inquiry to open up, one that can be pursued without getting into theistic / atheistic polemics, and without getting into Catholic / Protestant polemics.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            I might add:

            It's interesting (to me) not primarily as an inquiry into human psychology, but as an inquiry into the historically anomalous nature of the modern "anti-vitalist" worldview. As John Haught has pointed out in some of his talks and papers, some sort of "panvitalism" -- the view that everything was in some sense "alive" -- seems to have characterized most ancient worldviews. And now here we are in a world where some question whether, at a fundamental level, there is even such a thing as "life".

            It's worth pondering how we got to this point.

          • And now here we are in a world where some question whether, at a fundamental level, there is even such a thing as "life".

            It's worth pondering how we got to this point.

            One place to look is Iain McGilchrist's The Master and His Emissary. Via amassing a tremendous amount of scientific data about what happens when one brain hemisphere is somehow disabled or separated from the other, McGilchrist concludes that the two hemispheres approach reality very differently. The left decontextualizes and understands according to machines (I think: formal systems), while the right remains sensitive to ever-changing context and thus is more ambiguous. McGilchrist thinks that modernity in some sense a story of the left hemisphere becoming ascendant, to our detriment.

            Another place to look is Robert Rosen's Life Itself; Rosen rigorously formalizes the term 'machine', explaining how it is actually an exceedingly limited mathematical structure which doesn't allow a great deal of possibilities to happen, and kinda-sorta, to even be thought about. He suggests category theory as a superior mathematical formalism to model more ways that causality can happen and more ways that parts can be deeply related. It is only through this more expansive formalism that Rosen thinks "life itself" can even be defined.

            I would of course welcome additional resources; I completely agree with your "worth pondering"!

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            Thanks Luke. Life Itself looks especially interesting to me.

          • Rob Abney

            I reread the article to be sure we were understanding it similarly. It is an excerpt so some information is missing and I’m not sure what 47% refers to.
            From a quick look at Rausers webpage it appears that he considers this approach to be a rational explanation for unbelief whereas he says conservative Christians are more comfortable referring to unbelief simply as sinful behavior. That is not the approach that most of us take here at SN though.
            If he is saying that atheists rebel against cosmic authority then I agree. If he is saying that atheists want atheism to be true so that they can feel confident that they understand the universe fully then I agree also.
            But his rejection of the authority of the Catholic Church and his rejection of Catholic understanding of how the world works (such as the need for sacraments) is pertinent because it demonstrates relativism. He accepts a higher percentage of the truth than atheists do but not all of it.
            I’m not boasting about myself being Catholic, I could potentially revert, I pray that doesn’t happen, but I’m saying that there are 3 general levels of objective truth, God, Jesus Christ, and the Catholic Church.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            But his rejection of the authority of the Catholic Church ... is pertinent because it demonstrates relativism.

            No, it does not. Again, this is really an entirely separate conversation, but briefly: even within Catholicism, we speak of both "the earthly Church" and the Church as "mystical body of Christ". The earthly Church points toward and has essential continuity with the mystical body of Christ, but the earthly Church exists "as a pilgrim", which is to say it is still in a state of imperfection. That the earthly Church is imperfect does not imply relativism, because that which is imperfect and subjectively tainted can still point toward that which is perfect and objectively true. If Dr. Rauser accepts, as you say, "a high percentage of the truth", then he is not in a qualitatively different position than those of us in the Roman communion, who also, so long as we are journeying in this world, do not yet possess the fullness of truth.

          • Rob Abney

            I prefer the interpretation of the CCC.

            770 The Church is in history, but at the same time she transcends it. It is only "with the eyes of faith"183 that one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality as bearer of divine life.
            The Church - both visible and spiritual
            771 "The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth his holy Church, the community of faith, hope, and charity, as a visible organization through which he communicates truth and grace to all men."184 The Church is at the same time:

            - a "society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ;

            - the visible society and the spiritual community;

            - the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches."185

            These dimensions together constitute "one complex reality which comes together from a human and a divine element":186

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            Prefer it to what? That’s what I quoted from??

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            As your excerpt makes clear, the Church distinguishes two aspects of the Church's (unified) identity: "one can see her in her visible reality and at the same time in her spiritual reality"

            This is further clarified in the section of 771 that follows your excerpt:

            "The Church is essentially both human and divine, visible but endowed with invisible realities, zealous in action and dedicated to contemplation, present in the world, but as a pilgrim, so constituted that in her the human is directed toward and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible , action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, the object of our quest."

            What this should clarify is that the Church understands her existing-now-in-the-world "visible reality" to be directed toward not-yet-fully-present-in-the-world "invisible reality". Thus, the "visible reality" is seen as an entity directed toward the fullness of truth, and not as a repository of the fullness of truth.

          • Rob Abney

            Thanks for the discussion Jim.
            If I am facing east then I am directed toward the east but when would you say that I’ve arrived at the “east”?
            My point is that our teleos is part of the here and now not just the destination. I would speculate that the difference between the visible and the invisible Church is that we can still stray from the visible Church. So our position toward atheists, protestants, and Catholics should be that conversion is needed everyday. But the protestant position is that those who are reborn are already part of the only church, the invisible one and they cannot stray from it, so their approach is that we all need one conversion not daily conversion.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            I don't object at all to engaging in argument with Protestants (or with fellow Catholics, or with atheists, or whomever), and I don't object at all to prodding others toward conversion.

            I'm just saying, firstly, that Protestantism does not imply relativism. Working with the metaphor you provided: a relativist would be akin to a person who denies that there is any single objective "East". Protestants and Catholics have various disagreements about exactly "which way East is", but they generally have a common understanding that there is a real "true East", even if no one knows with absolute precision which way that is.

            And then secondly, especially in light of the above, I can't see how the discussion space for this OP is a sensible place to engage in Catholic-Protestant polemics (as valid as it might be to engage in those polemics in other contexts). The central point for discussion in the OP is whether some people have an aversion to “ultimate principles that are not dead.” It seems that Catholics and Protestants, all of whom ostensibly agree that there are "ultimate principles that are not dead" (most notably our "living God"), wouldn't have any obvious reason to split along confessional lines on this issue.

          • David Nickol

            One of the best responses I have ever seen on Strange Notions. Bravo!

          • Rob Abney

            You don't have to discuss in this space if you feel it is out of place and not sensible, but it is a space for dialogue.
            My point about heading east was to bolster my interpretation of the meaning of the visible Church not to say anything more about relativism. You and I don't see it the same.
            If you consider that to be polemical then you could just as easily say that you and I, both as Catholics, are engaging in polemics.

          • VicqRuiz

            (resubmitted thanks to the increasingly irritating Disqus spam filter)

            Dr. Rauser has raised this issue recently on his own blog as follows:

            ....if God wants to convey important doctrinal and ethical information to people, why does he allow for reasonable disagreement on the truth of the matter?

            And that basic problem arises with countless important ethical and doctrinal topics. For example, Christians disagree on important ethical issues including normative theories of ethics (e.g. deontology;virtue theory) and various applied ethical topics (e.g. just war vs.pacifism; abortion; meat-eating; divorce and remarriage; immigration; gender relations);

            important doctrinal issues including the boundaries of the canon, the nature of biblical inspiration, authority, and interpretation; the doctrines of the Trinity, atonement, salvation, election, the sacraments, the millennium, final judgment, and so on.

            In all these cases we find Christians disagreeing on topics that are important, topics about which God presumably wants us to have the right answer.

            This is something which continues to confirm me in my agnosticism, even more so than does the problem of natural evil. Every time I hear Catholics and Protestants (or Protestants and Protestants) going at it hammer and tongs over core elements of the faith (often using the term "heresy" and occasionally even "satanic"), it maintains my conviction that if there is an tri-omni God who desires a loving relationship with humanity, the God of the Christian scriptures can't be him.

            I'm nearing the conclusion that the best possible approach for me as a skeptic is to contemplate the sort of God whom I think should exist, and then to live my life as if he did.

          • David Nickol

            I suppose many Catholics would answer that the only place to go for answers about Christianity is the Catholic Church. Of course Catholics and Protestants disagree: The Protestants are wrong! But it is not as if there is unanimity even within Catholicism. Many "conservative" Catholics seem to think Pope Francis is a danger to the Catholic Church. I suppose that makes some of us relative outsiders wonder why these "conservative" Catholics believe themselves to be more Catholic than the pope!

          • Rob Abney

            I'm nearing the conclusion that the best possible approach for me as a skeptic is to contemplate the sort of God whom I think should exist, and then to live my life as if he did

            Amen! I sincerely believe that that approach will work.

          • Jim (hillclimber)

            I agree in one sense. All of us finite mortals are groping a bit in the dark, trying to navigate as best we can in a world where the truth of things is at least partly hidden.

            On the other hand, I wonder if you are overcomplicating things a bit by emphasizing the differences. It's true that there is no end to Christian doctrinal disputes (this is true even within Catholicism), but almost all Christians would agree that the Resurrection is the fundamental keystone for understanding and participating in reality, and few would disagree with the "Cliff Notes" summary of the Gospel message provided by the Nicene Creed. And yes, Protestants and Catholics disagree about the status of the so-called "Apocrypha", but almost all Christians would agree on the centrality of texts like Genesis, Isaiah, 1 Corinthians, Romans, the Gospels and would (informally) relegate many other books of the Bible to a somewhat lesser status. (In other words, there is a bit of a vague gradation anyway, even within an accepted canon.) And then ethically and morally, sure, there are serious disputes to be had around various thorny issues, but that shouldn't occlude the broad agreement on fundamentals, as reflected, say, in the decalogue and the Sermon on the Mount.

            Don't get me wrong, I also get distracted and even depressed by Christian (and specifically Catholic) "in-fighting" which often seems to me to make mountains out of mole-hills. (To quote Pope Francis: "It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else.") But I think it is possible to pull back to a broader perspective and see that there is, after all, a real mountain, a real "deposit of faith" (and not just in the technical, specifically Catholic, sense), even if its boundaries are only vaguely perceptible.

            This seems important, because if we convince ourselves that our religious traditions are mere cacophony, then we will have convinced ourselves that there are no serious external challenges to our own religious intuitions. And while I think it is good to "contemplate the sort of God whom I think should exist", I also think there is a serious risk that if I do only that, I will end up contemplating a God who is just a projection of my own desires.

        • I don't expect atheists to accept the authority of the Catholic church

          Why should we? We have only the church's say-so that it has any authority.

          • Rob Abney

            Like I said, I don’t expect you to, your ladder is missing some important rungs that would get you there.

          • your ladder is missing some important rungs that would get you there.

            You say so. Can you do better than that? Like, for instance, tell me specifically what those rungs are?

          • Rob Abney

            I borrowed that from a Peter Kreeft book https://www.amazon.com/Jacobs-Ladder-Ten-Steps-Truth/dp/158617732X
            Here are some of the 10 rings that he explains.
            Do you have the passion to know?
            Does truth exist?
            What is the meaning of life?
            What is love, and why is it so important for our lives?
            If there is a God, what proof is there for his existence?
            Has God revealed himself to us in a personal way?

          • Google Books has excerpted the first two chapters and part of the third. I'll get back to you after I've had a chance to digest them.

          • The book is subtitled Ten Steps to Truth. That is unobjectionable. Unless we’re postmodernists, we should all want to know the steps to truth, though we may differ about how many steps there are. But Kreeft has a problem. From the chapter titles, it is apparent that he intends to show the reader not a path to truth in general, but the truth of certain Christian doctrines. That doesn’t have to be a problem, but it is fraught with risk – in particular, the risk of circularity.

            It is not wrong per se to argue “If you really cared about knowing the truth, then you would accept conclusion X,” provided that X is the conclusion of a sound argument. But if X happens to be false, then no argument with X as a conclusion can be a sound argument. It must either be invalid or depend on at least one false premise. I will not here critique the validity of Kreeft’s argument. I don’t need to, because I think I can reasonably doubt some of his premises, and if it’s reasonable to doubt his premises, then it’s reasonable to doubt his conclusion.

            On to it, then.

            First rung: passion for truth.

            That sounds good, and I’m not going to disparage passion. But I will reject the notion that a passion for truth facilitates one’s ability to perceive it. There are particular attitudes that will facilitate it, and it’s OK to hold those attitudes with some passion, but it is the attitudes that work, not the feelings with which they are held. Our passion must be for the methods by which we discover truth, not the particular truths that those methods lead us to find. Otherwise we succumb to the universal human tendency to conflate passion for truth with passion for particular beliefs that we assume to be true.

            I have a passionate belief in the truth of biological evolution, but only because I have a prior passionate belief in the epistemological efficacy of the scientific method. It would be contrary to the scientific method itself to argue that the method must be correct because it leads us to accept evolution. For all we know at this time in our history, future discoveries could lead us to conclude, using the scientific method, that evolution is not true. We have to be prepared to accept that possibility, because the scientific method is not justified in terms of its current conclusions. It is justified in terms of the means it employs to compensate as much as possible for ineliminable errors in the way we humans perceive reality. It works by accepting human fallibility, not by trying to deny it. To the scientific mind, there is nothing we cannot be wrong about, but there are measures we can take to reduce the likelihood that we are wrong about some things.

            To me, a passionate desire to know the truth is a desire to know the truth no matter what it is, and it means you will change your mind about what the truth is, regardless of your feelings, if confronted with a good enough reason to change your mind. If you are passionate about a belief because you think it is true and important, that’s fine. But if you think it is true and important because you are passionate about it, that is not so fine.

            Second rung: truth.

            It is not quite clear to me what Kreeft intends this rung to comprise. The whole book is supposed to be about finding the truth, so if truth is to be a rung, it can only be the final rung. From the chapter’s opening, it looks like it might be an admonition to discard skepticism, or at least a certain kind of skepticism. Mother says, “So let’s take on skepticism today. Let’s look at the reasons for it.” OK, but how about first we get clear on what we mean by skepticism?

            Skepticism, according to Mother, “contradicts itself. It says, ‘The truth is that there is no truth’, or ‘I know that I don’t know’, or ‘I’m certain that there is no certainty.’” Very well. There are people who say those things, and they call themselves skeptics. But as a critique of skepticism, it is about as relevant as the observation that there are people who handle snakes during church services and they call themselves Christians.

            For many of us who are not religious, our skepticism amounts to nothing more than a persistent demanding of “Show me why” when we’re told we should believe something. We do not deny that there are truths, and we do not deny that we can and actually do know some of those truths. What we do deny, though, is that (with exceptions irrelevant to this discussion) we human beings can know anything infallibly. We do not define knowledge in terms of perfect, incorrigible certainty. We can justifiably claim to know something if our reasons for believing it are good enough. It may happen, notwithstanding our justification, not to be true, and in that case our claim to know it is mistaken. But it’s OK (within a slew of ceteris paribus parameters) to be wrong. What is not OK is thinking it’s impossible for you to be wrong.

            Mother then goes on to criticize relativism, the notion that “Truth becomes ‘my truth’ or ‘your truth’”. That is not skepticism, or at least not a kind of skepticism that I was ever attracted to. And so on for the rest of the chapter: Kant, Nietzsche, etc. Skepticism is not just any of them, and it certainly is not all of them. When someone says, “I don’t believe what you say because I’m a skeptic,” your next question has to be, “What do you mean when you call yourself a skeptic?”

            Third rung: meaning.

            Kreeft quickly explains that he is talking here about the meaning of life. And, through Mother, he elaborates:

            When we say ‘meaning’ here, we mean ‘purpose’, don’t we? Everything we do has a purpose, right? . . . So if each particular thing in life has a purpose, does life as a whole have a purpose or not? That’s the first question about the meaning of life: Is there one?”

            I get it that meaning is related to purpose, but no, when I say ‘meaning,’ I don’t mean ‘purpose,’ and neither do people in general, so far as I can tell. To treat them as the same thing presupposes, I suspect, certain ideas from Aristotle’s metaphysics that I don’t accept.

            And one of those ideas is that everything in the universe must have a purpose. But as I understand reality, purpose is a function of minds. We have no compelling reason to believe it can have any other source. And so whatever is produced by a mindless process has no purpose. This doesn’t mean it cannot be used for a purpose, but that purpose must originate in a creature that has a mind. I can pick up a rock and use it to crack open a walnut or kill an enemy. It is my purpose, not the rock’s purpose, to feed myself or defend myself. Likewise, I can choose a purpose for my life, or I can let others tell me what its purpose is, but in either case, the purpose is my choice. I don’t avoid the responsibility of choosing just by letting other people make the decision.

            That was as far as I could read without either buying or borrowing the book, but it’s as far as I need to go to make my point. The first three rungs of the ladder won’t get me off the ground, so it doesn’t matter where the other seven could take me.

          • I have attempted twice to post a response. Either the software or a moderator rejected it both times.

          • Rob Abney

            Looking forward to your response. Im guessing that either you didn't finish it because you don't like the dialogue style or you got stuck on the self-refuting argument in chapter 3 (?).

          • I did finish it. As I said, either the website software or somebody in charge of the website is not allowing me to post it.

          • I had to put it on my website. Here it is:
            http://dougshaver.net/religion/kreefts_ladder.html

          • Rob Abney

            You can keep climbing. Rung 1 is that you need passion, you need to care enough to pursue the truth. You have that even though you misrepresented the issue. Rung 2 is that truth exists, no one is a full skeptic including you based on your statement that you “know” that man cannot be infallible, that’s not skepticism that’s a truth statement. Rung 3 you agree with by stating that a rock has a purpose if someone like you uses it for a purpose.
            I’ll send you my copy if you want to finish it.

          • You can keep climbing.

            Yes, I could, if I wanted badly enough to become a Catholic.

            Rung 1 is that you need passion, you need to care enough to pursue the truth.

            I believe I have cared very much for most of my life about pursuing the truth, but without presupposing what the truth must be.

            Rung 2 is that truth exists

            If that was all Kreeft was saying, then I agree, but it was not all he said.

            no one is a full skeptic

            I'm not saying that anybody is.

            Rung 3 you agree with by stating that a rock has a purpose if someone like you uses it for a purpose.

            I stated some points, which I thought Kreeft was advocating, that I disagreed with. Are you saying that I misunderstood him? Does his argument, or does it not, depend on the premise that everything in the universe must have a purpose? That premise is in no way implied by my saying that a rock has a purpose if someone uses it for a purpose.

          • Rob Abney

            You make presuppositions throughout your commentary, especially about the first chapter. You need someone like mother to guide you, you have badly misunderstood the premise of each chapter so far, maybe purposefully because you presuppose where the argument is headed.
            Chapter 3 was that there is purpose in the universe, not that you should be able to know the purpose of everything.

          • You need someone like mother to guide you, you have badly misunderstood the premise of each chapter

            That is like saying I would need Jean Valjean to guide me if I misunderstood Victor Hugo's message in Les Miserables. Kreeft is the one who needs to set me straight about his premises in Jacob's Ladder.

            Kreeft would not be the first apologist I misunderstood, if I did misunderstand him. But whenever any reader misunderstands any author, it can be the author's fault as much as the reader's if not more so.

            You make presuppositions throughout your commentary, especially about the first chapter.

            My presuppositions are based on what I have been hearing for many years from Catholic and other Christian apologists. If he is really so different from them that I should just forget everything else I've been told until now, then he needs to stop sounding so much like all the others.

            Chapter 3 was that there is purpose in the universe, not that you should be able to know the purpose of everything.

            I said nothing about what we should be able to know. I am disputing the Aristotelian assumption that a purpose exists for everything, never minding whether or how we can know what that purpose is.

          • Rob Abney

            I said you need someone"like" mother not a fictional character.
            Since you admit to having ingrained presuppositions then I don't think this simple book will help you.

          • you admit to having ingrained presuppositions

            Nobody is without presuppositions. You might as well say that I admit to having 46 chromosomes.

    • Jesus Christ gave us a church with a visible heirarchy so that all men can know God, love God, and serve Him.

      That's what the church says.

      There is certainly a rebellion against cosmic authority

      The rebellion is against some people who claim to represent cosmic authority.

      • Rob Abney

        The rebellion is against some people who claim to represent cosmic authority.

        That’s not a good hill to die on.

        • What you will have to do to take that hill will be our vindication.

  • It is not possible to initiate a philosophical inquiry into the existence of God, with a definition of God. Each conclusion of St. Thomas’ five ways, is not: therefore God exists. It a variant of: therefore a being exists, beyond direct human experience, whom all men refer to as God. A philosophical inquiry can only start with a definition of a being, if that being is within direct human experience. Also, there is no necessary being or all-powerful being within our direct experience, so such expressions are meaningless at the initiation of a philosophical inquiry.

    • Rob Abney

      What would qualify as direct experience in your opinion? It sounds as if you require sensory/material experience. I thought that you billed yourself as a philosopher.

      • Philosophy is the determination of what principles must be true, given the fact that the human experience of reality is by means of material sensation.

        • Rob Abney

          Are you sure that human experience doesn’t include the immaterial?

          • Isn’t human knowledge of the immaterial, an abstraction, by the individual knower, from his material experience?

    • Jim (hillclimber)

      I don't disagree with your point, but the definition of God provided in the OP was clearly intended merely to clarify usage, and not to provide a point of departure for an argument for God's existence.

  • Ben

    “Nagel is a leading philosopher and an independent thinker…Nagel speaks the truth as he sees it without lens-distorting party-line commitments.”

    Is anyone truly an independent thinker? Don’t we all have a lens through which we see intangible things like the good, the beautiful and the true? We all believe things we can’t prove, and these things help to form our lens, and then guess what happens…we get a “worldview”.

    If I believe God (if he exists) is some sort of competitor, then “the prospect of serfdom” is what I see through my lens. If I believe God is Goodness itself, then I see the prospect of true freedom.

    As far as an aversion to “ultimate principles that are not dead” what I find most profound is comparing the thinking of the past, which suggested a highly-ordered and intelligible universe must ultimately have an intelligence behind it, to today’s “progressive” thinking that suggests a highly-ordered and intelligible universe must ultimately come from mindlessness. I’d call this having an irrational
    "faith" in mindlessness.

  • As the saying goes, tell me about the god you don’t believe in because I probably don’t believe in that god either.

    The god that I don't believe in is all the ones I've heard about so far. If the one you believe in is different from any of those, you'll have my attention.

    • SpokenMind

      Out of curiosity, do you have any fear that there may be a higher power “out there” that you are somehow unable to identify?

      • Out of curiosity, do you have any fear that there may be a higher power “out there” that you are somehow unable to identify?

        I am open to the possibility that there is. I can think of no reason to be afraid of it.

        • SpokenMind

          For what it’s worth, I think you have the proper approach.

          If you are open to the possibility that a higher power exists, would that make you agnostic?

          • In my lexicon I'm both an atheist and an agnostic. Given the question "Does a higher power exist?" I am an atheist because, notwithstanding my thinking that it possibly could, I do not believe it does, and I am an agnostic because I make no claim to know whether it does.

          • SpokenMind

            Thanks for clarifying. No “final answer” but an atheist for now.

          • How final does any answer need to be? Between now and tomorrow I could change my mind about anything, depending on what I learn over the next 24 hours.

          • SpokenMind

            Amen to that.

  • Christopher

    Check out this 11 y/o genius explain why there is a God! Interesting indeed! However, If one can't agree on God then one can agree on love because love overcomes all difficulties. We know real truth is discovered as time goes forward. And Christian’s truth is all about love and that is something atheist do believe in. They believe in love because they have experienced it. We do have something in common! Let’s forget about religion for one minute. When love thy neighbor is preached if people forget about the source of that thinking they just may agree. So, if we can’t agree on religion or God can we agree on love? I think so!

    https://catholic-link.org/this-11-year-old-thinks-he-can-prove-hawkings-theory-wrong-and-much-of-the-internet-agrees/

    • I don't care how smart he is. "Hawking was wrong, therefore God exists" is not a valid argument.

      • Christopher

        That's a mischaracterization of what he said. And dismissal of the facts he presented is clearly my way bias. But hey, no big deal. He just explained why Hawkins was wrong in his view, of course. Now, I can't argue the validity of astrophysics and neither can you unless you are astrophysicist or plan to be so your judgements are fair. The only point I was making is that what he said, which was explained in lay people terms, was interesting. Also, while the right and wrong of it is an endless debate we do agree that love is something to agree on! Right?

        • That's a mischaracterization of what he said.

          I intended no characterization of what he said. I was characterizing what the web page's author said about the video.

          He just explained why Hawkins was wrong in his view, of course.

          His view about Hawking could be entirely correct, for all I care in this context. According to the website, Hawking "claimed that his theory proved there was no God." If Hawking was wrong to say that, then he failed to actually prove the nonexistence of God. Fine, but that is nothing like a proof that God does exist.

          • Christopher

            You like to copy and the paste your answers. However, you did not copy and paste with an answer to my question,

            "Also, while the right and wrong of it is an endless debate we do agree that love is something to agree on! Right?" Any answer? Hint I am pulling for you to say yes! (Smile).

          • It depends. Without any elaboration, I'm never quite sure what Christians mean by love, considering what so many of them think is consistent with love.

          • Christopher

            True, some people think love means being abused or being mean. I am not speaking about the crazy or fanatical mind's operations. I am speaking about normal people so it is not a trap question which requires elaboration. You as an atheist have experience true love. I know you have experienced it. So the christians view of love is the same as atheist. We love our parents, our children, our spouses and friends just like you love them. Compassion is a form of love too that allows us not to pretend we do not see a stranger's hunger, clothings or shelter needs. It means you have a heart. Love has no religion! Do you agree? Because if you agree then that agreement becomes the basis of making the world a better place. As the old says goes, "Love is the answer who cares what the question is?".

          • I am speaking about normal people so it is not a trap question which requires elaboration. You as an atheist have experience true love. I know you have experienced it. So the christians view of love is the same as atheist.

            I as a human being have experienced love on a few occasions. On at least one of those occasions, when I was much younger, with some hindsight I'm not at all sure how true it was. It seemed true enough at the time, but we humans can be very good at self-deception.

            The Christian view of love is said to be consistent with allowing people to suffer in hell for eternity, and whatever hell is supposed to be, a lake of fire is said to be at least an appropriate metaphor. Most atheists don't agree with that love is consistent with hell, so understood.

            "we do agree that love is something to agree on! Right?" It is something we ought to agree on. It is unfortunate that we apparently don't.

          • Christopher

            I was not speaking of all you we speaking of that view you explained. I get that disagreement of love.
            "I as a human being have experienced love on a few occasions". I bet more than you admit! We do agree!

          • Christopher

            Looks like you answered the question you wanted to answer rather then the question that I asked. You have been debating too long on line and you want to win your point. I get it. But, I did not ask about what you disagreed about Christian love. I asked if you ever loved yourself and I wanted to point out to you that “atheist love”. Is the same a Christian love. I know about theological differences. You see it is my position that without true love in your life one just exist and life has no meaning. Maybe if you told me what atheist view of love Is, not what it’s not or why Christian love is bad in your eyes, We can get to an agreement. But if atheist don’t love then you are right and we don’t have anything in common.

          • Looks like you answered the question you wanted to answer rather then the question that I asked.

            It was a question you asked. I copied and pasted it from your post to me.

            Maybe if you told me what atheist view of love Is

            There is an atheist view about God's existence. There is no atheist view about anything else.

            In my personal view of love, I love someone if their happiness is essential to my own.

          • Christopher

            Interesting view. So your love has the condition of someone being important to you first. Then you recepicate your feelings.You don’t initiate your feelings to someone or a stranger based on compassion or kindness? Of course I cannot argue with your prerogative.
            Christ view was different. In about a 150 word story of the Good Samaratin he described the three great philosophies of life. 1 what’s yours is mine and I am going to take it. 2. What’s mine is mine and I and am going to keep it. 3. What’s mine is yours and I am going to share it. So by your definition you are number two. Do you ever practice number 3?

          • This is a forum for dialogue between atheists and Catholics. I am here to defend my disagreement with Catholic teachings, mainly by defending a particular alternative worldview on which I base that disagreement. The consistency or inconsistency of my personal behavior with that worldview is, I believe, not relevant to that defense.

          • Christopher

            You must be a lawyer because I see you are taking the 5th on my questions(smile). Questions, by the way, that are very much relevant to the dialogue between atheists belief systems and Catholics. This web site’s purpose is to learn about differences and not judge the other for those differences.
            So what I have learned from you, from the atheist world view, is that since atheist do not believe in God, what follows is a belief system that makes helping others optional, and in your case, if it is not to your benefit you will not help. Accordingly, when the atheist dies that’s it. There is “no skin in the game” to love people if it is not to their advantage. But to a Catholic since he believes in God and believes he has a soul then Catholics believe that when their soul leaves their body the informational gaps during this life will be given. At that point the soul will have a life review, as reported by people who have near death experiences. And at that point what is not currently understood about life will be explained. Interestingly, Catholics, unlike other Christian religions, believe atheist’s information gaps and gripes they have with God and how he runs His business will be explained to them to give them a fair chance to get to heaven. Then they will have to choose. We do not judge you! Catholics believe God sends no one to hell, but rather souls chooses hell rather the. accepting God’s life program. I am sure in your life you have experienced a change of thinking once more information was given to you. For example, do you fully understand space time? I know I don’t, but maybe the comos laws would be more understandable if it was explained clearly. Back to my other point, not being nice and not helping people that could have been helped by a person in their life will be subject to God’s judgement. What I was hoping for from your answers was to see if their was common ground on that “helping people issue”. Apparently, from your responds there is not. What is yours is yours and you are going to keep it. With that there is no more debate. Thank you for your responses.

          • You must be a lawyer

            I’ve worked and socialized with a few lawyers, and I learned a thing or two from them.

            Questions, by the way, that are very much relevant to the dialogue between atheists belief systems and Catholics.

            Not just any question. Whether a question (or a declarative statement) is relevant depends on its subject.

            This web site’s purpose is to learn about differences

            Differences in beliefs, yes.

            So what I have learned from you, from the atheist world view, is that since atheist do not believe in God, what follows is a belief system that makes helping others optional

            One, you did not learn that from me, because I neither said it nor implied it.

            Two, I did say that there is no atheist view except a view about God’s existence, and so I must doubt your claim to have learned anything at all from me.

            Interestingly, Catholics, unlike other Christian religions, believe atheist’s information gaps and gripes they have with God and how he runs His business will be explained to them to give them a fair chance to get to heaven.

            Interestingly, many of those other Christian religions are in total agreement with Catholics on that particular issue. I know that the noisiest ones would have you think otherwise, but as you might have heard, Protestants don’t all think alike.

            I am sure in your life you have experienced a change of thinking once more information was given to you.

            That’s very true. For just one example, I used to be a Christian until I got more information.

            What I was hoping for from your answers was to see if their was common ground on that “helping people issue”. Apparently, from your responds there is not. What is yours is yours and you are going to keep it.

            I did not say that. You are putting words in my mouth.

            With that there is no more debate.

            More debate? There wasn’t any to start with, considering that you are telling me what I think while ignoring what I say.

          • Christopher

            Well, I have learned from you already is to get your thoughts on an issue just put words in your mouth (Smile)! Your lawyer friends must have shared with you that if you don't answer a statement then you allow people to assume their thoughts on an issue is correct. You answer everything else with dissecting detail line from line. So tell me strait up then, so I won't have to put words in your mouth, what is your position on helping strangers in need?
            Also, I like your "I use to be a Christian "until I got more information" line. Great, funny line for your side! Wrong in my opinion, of course, but another long story. By the way, in my opinion it is more intellectually honest to be an agnostic than an atheist because you don't have ALL the information! Like, what was life like before the Big Bang? How did the Big bang happen? Do you have that information? Please share it with me. And what frustrates me about atheist is only their information is correct and any information that contradicts their position is wrong. For example, a line or a square is possible, but a three dimensional cube is impossible no matter what proof is presented. So you can teach me something. What does an atheist accept as proof of fact? Is it eyewitness testimony, miracles accepted by other atheists, videos, photos, historical events, newspaper articles with pictures. Does a cut off leg have to grow back? What is accepted?

          • what is your position on helping strangers in need?

            It depends on the situation. I have no algorithm that would tell me what to do in every imaginable situation.

            By the way, in my opinion it is more intellectually honest to be an agnostic than an atheist because you don't have ALL the information!

            The other people following this discussion can make their own judgments, based on everything I actually say, about my intellectual integrity.

            And what frustrates me about atheist is only their information is correct and any information that contradicts their position is wrong.

            Some atheists are like that. So are some Christians, in my experience.

            For example, a line or a square is possible, but a three dimensional cube is impossible no matter what proof is presented.

            That is some interesting literature you must have been reading. I have never seen anybody deny the possibility of a three-dimensional cube.

            What does an atheist accept as proof of fact?

            It depends on the atheist. We don’t all think alike.

          • Christopher

            I see you choose to be vague in your answers, choose not to answer some questions leaving it to "other people" and choose not understand abstract comparisons. So thank you for the responses you have given to me.

          • By the way, in my opinion it is more intellectually honest to be an agnostic than an atheist because you don't have ALL the information!

            The fact that I don't know everything doesn't mean I can't come to a reasonable position on the question of whether any gods exist. Is it likely that aliens have visited Earth, and started abducting people? I think the answer to that is a strong no!

            Regarding atheism, and agnosticism, it's important to understand that these are not mutually exclusive positions. Being a theist means that one believes that at least one god exists, and atheists do not believe that any gods exist. Gnosticism addresses what you claim you know. This means that one can be an agnostic theist, a gnostic theist, an agnostic atheist, or a gnostic atheist.

            Depending on how you define God, I may be an agnostic or gnostic atheist, because incoherent definitions of God are assumed not to be describing things that can exist.

            Further, I'll admit that my atheism is partly an assumed position, because all existential propositions should be assumed false until we can show that it's true. This does not imply that I'm being intellectually dishonest!

          • SpokenMind

            [The Christian view of love is said to be consistent with allowing people to suffer in hell for eternity, and whatever hell is supposed to be, a lake of fire is said to be at least an appropriate metaphor. Most atheists don't agree with that love is consistent with hell, so understood.]

            This comment stirred my interest.

            What should a loving God do with someone who completely rejects him? Honor his free will choice to be completely separated or override his free will and force him to stay?

            In my opinion, God honors people’s free will choice to completely reject him. Anyone who completely rejects him with their dying breath, end up in a love-less place completely devoid of God, also known as hell.

          • Anyone who completely rejects him with their dying breath, end up in a love-less place completely devoid of God

            Three questions: What is that place like? Who made it that way? And how do you know?

          • SpokenMind

            Thanks for hearing me out on this one. My answers are largely faith based, which I’m guessing will be unsatisfying for you – nothing you can really sink your mind into.

            [What is that place like?]

            I don’t personally know what it’s like, but my belief is, it’s an extremely unpleasant place. There have been mystics and people with near death experiences who claimed to have gotten a glimpse of the “place” and were horrified to the core.

            [Who made it that way?]

            Good question. I don’t know how to answer that. I would defer to theologians on this one. My guess is, when you completely remove God (who is love) from “something” what is left over is hell. Maybe it’s more an absence of, rather than something made.

            [And how do you know?]

            My “knowing” is faith based.

            If I’m understanding you correctly, you are specifically rejecting the Christian understanding of God. I think I get the subtlety.

            So from your perspective, in my hypothetical scenario, what should a "higher power" do when confronted with the free willed person who completely rejects him to the end? (I'm assuming you believe in free will, which may be incorrect.)

            Peace.

          • I'm assuming you believe in free will, which may be incorrect.

            As far as my actions are concerned, I will stipulate that I have it. If I thought God was real, I could choose to do or not do whatever I believed he was telling me to do.

            I do not believe in doxastic voluntarism, though. I cannot believe anything by a mere act of will.

          • SpokenMind

            Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

            I’ve never heard of the term doxastic voluntarism. Are you saying, you don’t have control over what you believe? If so, that is interesting and I wouldn't agree.

            Back to my original thoughts. Please correct me if I’m misunderstanding, but you seem to be saying that a loving God would not allow one of his creations to suffer apart from him (hell), which is why you disagree with God as Christians understand him.

            The point I am trying to make is, what should God do with someone who completely rejects him? Force him against his will to exist with his enemy (God)? Give him what he wants and let him exist apart from God? Some other option?

            What is the most loving thing to do in that situation?

            Is it possible that what God is doing with the people who completely reject him, the most loving thing he can do?

            I understand this is a hypothetical situation for you, so it may be difficult to imagine. Also, I'm not very knowledgeable with philosophy, so I may be a little slow understanding what it is you are trying to say. Please bear with me.

            All the best!

          • I’ve never heard of the term doxastic voluntarism.

            Don’t feel bad. It’s not in widespread usage outside of philosophical circles.

            Are you saying, you don’t have control over what you believe?

            No, I’m not saying I have no control. I’m saying I don’t have the kind of control that would justify anybody saying that I can acquire a belief merely by an act of will. Just wanting to believe something is not enough to cause me to actually believe it.

            Please correct me if I’m misunderstanding, but you seem to be saying that a loving God would not allow one of his creations to suffer apart from him (hell),

            You’re misunderstanding. I didn’t say that. I said that I don’t believe a loving God would allow one of his creations to suffer, period, for eternity. That is an ethical issue. Whether separation from God would cause a creature to suffer is a theological issue.

            what should God do with someone who completely rejects him?

            It depends. What do you mean by “rejects”?

            Is it possible that what God is doing with the people who completely reject him, the most loving thing he can do?

            I don’t claim to know what, if he is real, he is doing with anybody. That’s what you Christians claim to know. All I’m saying that what you say you know is not credible, and neither is the method by which you claim to have gotten that knowledge.

            I understand this is a hypothetical situation for you, so it may be difficult to imagine.

            I’m giving it my best shot.

            Also, I'm not very knowledgeable with philosophy, so I may be a little slow understanding what it is you are trying to say. Please bear with me.

            Not a problem. I’m always glad to share stuff that I think I know and clarify as needed.

          • SpokenMind

            [No, I’m not saying I have no control. I’m saying I don’t have the kind of control that would justify anybody saying that I can acquire a belief merely by an act of will. Just wanting to believe something is not enough to cause me to actually believe it.]

            Ok, I think I understand. Wanting (or willing) to believe something is not enough to actually believe something. I would agree with that.

            [You’re misunderstanding. I didn’t say that. I said that I don’t believe a loving God would allow one of his creations to suffer, period, for eternity. That is an ethical issue. Whether separation from God would cause a creature to suffer is a theological issue.]

            Are you saying God wouldn’t allow suffering at all, for eternity or both? I can understand why you would disagree with the Christian notion of a loving God, because suffering exists – but does the existence of suffering absolutely rule out a loving God?

            I’m not a theologian (big surprise) but if God is love, then separation from God would be loveless, in the theological world.

            [What do you mean by “rejects”?]

            Wants nothing to do with, no interaction with.

            [All I’m saying that what you say you know is not credible, and neither is the method by which you claim to have gotten that knowledge.]

            I should probably have elaborated more on my “knowing” comment. It’s difficult for me to put an encounter with God into words, but based on those experiences, I believe God is real.

            Thanks for taking the time to share some of your knowledge with me. I’m always interested in learning more.

            And if you are a father, Happy Father’s Day!

          • What should a loving God do with someone who completely rejects him?

            I am not rejecting God. I am rejecting what Christians say about God. You may assume that they are the same thing. I don't.

  • Ashwin

    Atheists may not identify what Christians call as Rebellion in negative terms. They would more probably define it in terms of freedom to determine one's belief's/ moral actions according to one's own will.
    Self determination would be a good word to describe this attitude.
    This would definitely make them averse to any definition of a God who commands personal obedience.
    So Atheists tend to be more friendly/sympathetic towards deist or pantheistic views of God as opposed to a monotheistic view of God.
    Hence, the vehemence shown against Abrahamic faiths by New atheists is indicative of their rebellious attitude towards God.

    • Sample1

      Hence, the vehemence shown against Abrahamic faiths by New atheists is indicative of their rebellious attitude towards God.

      Tone is always tricky to decipher online but are you saying that’s a negative?

      I don’t believe gods/God exist so like most atheists, I suspect, we aren’t rebelling against that. You might disagree but at least you can understand the logic behind “our” lack of rebellion, per se.

      Mike

      • Ashwin

        Of course, whether one percieves an action as rebellion depends on one's world view.
        Which is why I started out saying atheists need not view their motivations as rebellious per se . While from a Christian perspective, it would be perceived as rebellion..
        Hence, there will be situations where atheists don't "get it" and vice versa.

        • Sample1

          Yep, I liked your post hence the upvote.

          Mike

    • Atheists may not identify what Christians call as Rebellion in negative terms. They would more probably define it in terms of freedom to determine one's belief's/ moral actions according to one's own will.

      If the issue is what atheists are thinking, you could just ask them and assume they're answering honestly unless they manifest evidence to the contrary.

      Or, you could just let your dogma tell you what they're thinking. Sort of like some Protestants let their dogma tell them what Catholics are thinking.

      • Ashwin

        I have spoken to many atheists.. been one myself for some time..
        The comment was based on dialogue with athiests.

    • Ellabulldog

      You are projecting your emotions onto others. Atheists are not emotional about gods at all.

      The Deist god be definition isn't worth considering. It doesn't exist but no reason to argue about it because humans are not trying to apply their religious views to others regarding the Deist god. There aren't any. Other gods are asserted and dismissed because they don't exist either. Not because atheists don't agree with the god's rules. Atheists do have issues with theists trying to force their rituals and rules on others. Just as other theists do.

  • David Nickol

    Reading for today—Luke 18:9-14:

    He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.

    “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.

    The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.

    I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’

    But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’

    I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

    • OMG

      Today's official Gospel reading in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is John 19:31-37. It begins and ends thus:

      Since it was preparation day,....
      They will look upon him whom they have pierced.

  • Michael Murray

    With that in mind, we can define God as a necessary being who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good and who created everything other than God.

    I'm reminded of the apocryphal story popular amongst mathematics graduate students of the student who defined a particular kind of new complicated mathematical object and wrote a detailed PhD thesis of 100 pages plus deriving all the remarkable properties of such objects. At their viva the first question asked by the external examiner was: "are you aware that nothing satisfying this definition exists" ?

    • Rob Abney

      I recently heard Joe Rogan lambast a guest on his show after she said that although she knows very little about climate change she doesn't believe it. He insisted that she should say "I don't know" rather than "I don't believe". Another option which applies also to the existence of God is " I don't understand"

    • Craig Roberts

      I don't get it. Mathematical expressions represent material world phenomenon but do not "exist" in the material world. The number 3 does not "exist" in any way like a material object but we still acknowledge it's usefulness as a concept.

      • Michael Murray

        I mean exist in the sense that mathematical things exist. The student had done something like defined "special" numbers to be numbers that are both even and odd. There aren't any. Making such a definition is OK if you are aiming to explore the existence or non-existence of "special" numbers. The problem comes when you just assume they exist and go on to explore their other properties.

        • Craig Roberts

          Interesting. Thanks.

          BTW, wouldn't irrational numbers be properly considered neither even or odd and be included in both subsets of numbers? I know you were just making up an example but it made think.

          • Michael Murray

            No I'd avoid that by defining a number to be even if it is a whole number (i.e 1, 2, 3, 4, ... ) and after dividing by two you still have a whole number and odd if it is a whole number and after subtracting one it is even. Irrational numbers then are neither because they aren't whole numbers.

          • David Nickol

            As I understood it, you defined a "special number" as one that is both odd and even. The fact that an irrational number is neither odd nor even would be irrelevant, wouldn't it?

          • Michael Murray

            Ah yes. True. They are neither odd nor even so included in neither set.

  • "Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n".

    The words of that supreme narcissist encapsulate atheism perfectly.

    • Ficino

      Not really. Atheists I know don't want to reign over people. They do see no reason to follow what preachers say must be done, esp when preachers want their taboos enacted as laws over everyone.

      • Yes, I suppose that is a valid point. They would not even be rulers in hell, just servants.

    • The words of that supreme narcissist encapsulate atheism perfectly.

      It has nothing to do with my atheism. And according to the source of that quotation, it was not spoken by an atheist.

  • we can define God as a necessary being who is all-knowing, all-powerful,
    and all-good and who created everything other than God

    It's clear since the Euthyphro that this style of definition can be immediately rejected unless caveats are attached to the "all-" terms. But there isn't much agreement on which caveats are the best ones to use. Also it doesn't match how the word is ordinarily used. I think that we should instead use a definition of "god" that leaves its existence open as a possibility, and that also matches how people have historically used the word. So a god is better defined as:

    "a personification of natural phenomena or of ethical, social, or philosophical concepts, and/or an entity with supernatural origin that has the power to control those things by supernatural means"

    And that definition fits with every religion I'm aware of. It fits how ordinary pious people talk about gods, and it also fits how mystics and philosophers speculate about gods. For a traditional Catholic capital-G God, it fits because they talk about their God as if it were a personification of the philosophical concepts of existence, power, and goodness, with the power to supernaturally control everything that exists.

  • Pueblo Southwest

    Seldom mentioned, and never by atheists, is that the ultimate destination of atheism is oblivion upon death. This seems a concept, like nothing (total absence), that the human mind has trouble grasping. The usually counter with a vague statement about living in someone's memory but beyond that; a total blank. All in all, a philosophical concept impossible to explain and even difficult to posit for the sake of argument.

    • David Nickol

      This is obvious, and has been said before, but the oblivion after death seems no harder to conceive of than the "oblivion" prior to conception. Contemplating one's own nonexistence may be a bit mind boggling, but that is no reason to conclude that there must be life after death. It is difficult to contemplate the oblivion after death, because we won't be there to experience it! But it is difficult to contemplate the oblivion prior to conception, and yet no one concludes we all must have pre-existed.

    • Michael Murray

      The ultimate destination of not believing in gods doesn't have to be oblivion on death. There could be an afterlife but not organised by a god. There could be reincarnation.

      Many atheists however do think it is oblivion and they do talk about this. Imagine a general anaesthetic but you don't wake up. Hardly a difficult concept.

      A quick google finds you the late Stephen Hawking discussing what death means to him as an atheist.

      “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail,” he told the Guardian. “There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

  • James

    That makes sense.

    If there is no God (or an absent God), then the universe is fair in the sense that it is governed by universally applicable laws. There is no special pleading for favors from a higher power.

    The dilemma is that subjectively the universe will never be fair on a human level because some people have advantages others do not. The greatest act of human morality, therefore, is to lessen one’s privilege to make a subjectively fairer game, in the sense of good sportsmanship.

    The theist idea that there can be special pleading is deeply troubling because it makes the universe more arbitrary and dependent on the whims of a higher power.

    • Rob Abney

      Are you referring to prayer as special pleading? Do you know that prayer doesn't change God's providence, but it does change the one who is praying.

      • James

        Then what’s the point?

        • Rob Abney

          Just what I wrote, you need to change.

      • David Nickol

        Do you know that prayer doesn't change God's providence, but it does change the one who is praying.

        If I understand the thought of Thomas Aquinas, this is a bit misleading. Prayer cannot change God's mind, but that does not mean it makes no difference to the outcome of events whether or not one prays. The changes prayer may bring about are not limited to changes in the person who prayed. If I pray for my grandfather to recover from his heart attack, that prayer may indeed be responsible for his recovery if God so chooses. But (as I understand the argument), God wills "from all eternity" that my grandfather recover because of my prayers. It is a matter of God's providence "from all eternity" that my grandfather will recover because I pray.

        I find it a difficult concept to accept, and I don't endorse it myself, but you seemed to be saying that prayer doesn't have any effect except upon the person who prays, and that is not classical theism (as I understand it).

        • Rob Abney

          Yes thsts a good explanation, that's why I referred to it as God's providence, I think we mean the same thing.
          You should take the advice of Chris Pratt from the MTV awards show, learn to pray.
          Don't be selfish, you probably have friends and relatives who need your prayers.

          • David Nickol

            I didn't say whether or not I personally pray. I said I found it difficult to accept Thomas Aquinas's theory about how prayers can be efficacious given his theories about God's nature.

            Don't be selfish, you probably have friends and relatives who need your prayers.

            I will ignore your implication that I am selfish. Are you saying God will not look after the welfare of my friends and relatives if I don't pray for them?

            If I don't pray for my grandfather to recover from his heart attack, and he dies, would I be held responsible for his death because God might have healed him if I had prayed?

          • Rob Abney

            Fortunately your friends and relatives have other friends and relatives who do gladly pray for them everyday. You are not held responsible but you may be asked one day why you neglected to help.

            "How long will you straddle the issue? If the Lord is God follow him, if Baal is God follow him." Elijah.

          • Ellabulldog

            Prayer doesn't work. Never has. Never will.

            No god is listening to any of them.

            It might make you feel like you are doing something.

          • Rob Abney

            Prayer to the one true God does work, despite your faith in your own certainty, you can never prove otherwise.

            I am doing something real when I join in prayer with your friends and relatives that you will return to full communion with the Church.

          • Ellabulldog

            what one true god? lots of gods out there according to others. which fictional one do you believe in? Bob? He's famous.

            there is no record anywhere of any prayer working.

            correlation doesn't count.

            can't prove it? don't have to. you say it works. you have to prove it. since you can not your assertion is dismissed.

          • Rob Abney

            This is reality, there is a creator and there are creatures, the creatures owe their existence to the creator, the creatures naturally owe gratitude to the creator; this is Justice to give to each what is deserved. Prayer is a form of justice, it is an acknowledgement that the one true God has the power to answer prayers.

            Do you deny a creator? Do you believe in justice?

          • Sample1

            Lmao.

            Mike

          • Rob Abney

            Laughing boy, It's no only hard to vary, it's immutable.

          • Sample1

            Hard-to-vary? Scoot, scoot...go publish.

            Mike

          • Rob Abney

            It's already published!
            http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3.htm
            scroll down to the section titled Justice

          • Sample1

            Any member of a fallible species who claims a statement is immutable is going to get a laugh from me. They are the worst kind of rascal and historically dangerous to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

            Mike

          • Rob Abney

            Now you are making me laugh as you Declare the gifts provided by our Creator and worry that those gifts could be taken away by fallible humans.

          • Sample1

            Nah, you have no evidence of an Omni-max creator anymore than the Muslims or Loch Ness monster believers do.

            Mike

          • Phil Tanny

            And you have no proof that evidence (rules of human reason) is relevant to subjects the scale of gods.

            But you don't care, just as Rob won't care about any of your insanely clever little snarkyisms. Everybody just believes whatever they want to believe.

          • Sample1

            We don’t choose our beliefs bucko...

            Mike

          • Phil Tanny

            Here's the site you're looking for. Facebook.com

          • Ellabulldog

            there is no creator. life is matter made up of common elements found all over the universe.

            gods are superstitious twaddle.

            reliigon is cultural.

            I don't need to deny anything. Your assertion is much about nothing.

            take some classes and learn gain some knowledge.

            I know why you believe. You have no clue.

          • Rob Abney

            "life is matter made up of common elements found all over the universe."
            Where did these elements come from?

          • Ellabulldog

            Where did your goddy come from?

          • Rob Abney

            He didn't come from anywhere, but the elements had to have come from somewhere, where that is you cannot say.

          • Ellabulldog

            so why do elements have to come from somewhere but the thing you assert exists that you have no evidence of doesn't need to come from anywhere?

            oh, yeah. It comes from your imagination.

          • Rob Abney

            because elements are material

          • Ellabulldog

            what are gods made of?

          • Rob Abney

            intellect and will

          • Phil Tanny

            Prayer to the one true God does work...

            This seems a reasonable claim, so long as we remain open minded about what is meant by "work".

            I am doing something real when I join in prayer with your friends and relatives that you will return to full communion with the Church.

            Yes, you are doing something real, trying to drag as many people as possible in to your belief system so that increasing numbers of believers will further validate your belief system, thus helping you maintain your faith.

            Typically, a rich layer of self serving sanctimonious fantasy is layered on top of the evangelical process so as to hide it's true purpose from yourself.

            This is why many religions advise their followers not to spend much time with non-believers because doing so raises the odds this fantasy process may be punctured.

          • Rob Abney

            Don't worry Dr Phil, prayer does work but it doesn't work by dragging you unwillingly into a belief system!
            And if faith depends upon increasing numbers of believers then it is not faith.
            I'm glad to spend time with unbelievers, it is the irrational that I try to avoid.

          • Phil Tanny

            How dare you call me Dr. Phil, holy mother of god that fellow is annoying! :-) Seriously.... Well, ok, so my last post was a tad annoying too, so maybe the label is deserved. I do speak of sanctimonious fantasy because, um, I know something about that. :-)

            I'm receptive to your notion that faith that depends on something else is not really faith, but then one wonders about the purpose of the Church, the holy books, the theologians and other self appointed experts etc.

            And, is faith in something particular really faith? Big can of worms might be opening here...

          • Rob Abney

            "but then one wonders about the purpose of the Church, the holy books, the theologians" The purpose is to pass on the information we need to know to believe.

          • Phil Tanny

            So faith is dependent on information given to us by authority figures? What happens if those authority figures are then discovered to be, say for example, raping children?

          • Rob Abney

            I thought that perhaps we could have a conversation, but it seems that you have another agenda.

          • Phil Tanny

            It's a real concern. Many Catholics are now suffering faith issues because the people they looked to as authoritative sources of information turned out not to be credible in their eyes. There's nothing wrong with the phrase "raping children" when that's an accurate description of what happened on a global scale over a period of decades.

            If you can't handle discussing such things, ok, no problem, we don't have to.

          • David Cromie

            You might as well pray to your favourite dog, with just as much certainty that it will answer your prayers, and deliver the desired outcome. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, every time, guaranteed.

          • Phil Tanny

            FYI, I'm not the person above selling prayer.

          • David Cromie

            If you wish to avoid the irrational, then get out of the religion business.

  • James

    The key question I believe is “Is God good?”

    Most believers see God as synonymous with goodness and are comforted by the idea that a benevolent higher power is in charge.

    Some believers see God as “good” in the sense that “The King can do no wrong” and that it is not our place to question God’s goodness. Whether we find this comforting or not is irrelevant.

    Non believers are skeptical of the goodness of God (or if God is good, then they are skeptical of His ability to carry out His Will). If God is arbitrary, incompetent, or malevolent, then the presence of God is not comforting, but terrifying.

    • Rob Abney

      You ask the wrong question. You should ask and try to refute this: Is God goodness?
      Did you study St Thomas' Summa in catholic school? Here's his answer, http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1006.htm#article4

      • James

        You just restated my first paragraph.

    • Ellabulldog

      Not at all. Many use the claims of theists that "God" is good and use examples of how horrible the world really is to toss that particular argument out. Not gods themselves.

      Atheists are discussing the literary concepts. It's like discussing if Darth Vader is evil or if he is good and just controlled by the Sith.

      Neither exist in reality.

      Gods don't exist in reality.

      Believers use "God" to help them cope with reality. It's a psychological crutch.

      • James

        If it is a crutch, then it is a crutch with quite a few evolutionary advantages.

  • Gandolf

    I'd seriously like to believe there might be a God.I wish i felt able to.Because right now i can see that the world is sitting in dire straight,and in great need of one right now.What with fires that are burning fiercely and killing loads of people.Not really so much within my own country NZ,hardly any deathly fires happen around these parts as yet, but do rather constantly now happen within some other countries.Even so i feel empathy.I feel so sad to see the amount of suffering and death.The loss of loved ones.I imagine the immense pain being suffered by loads and loads of animals and insects and birds and so on.Plus all the social disharmony and wars that still loom

    I cannot help but feel deeply worried.Worried that there may not be a God after all.Even though the majority of the world population,still remains fairly deeply convinced that a God must surely exist

    The majority of our worlds population still lives according, as if a God exist.Perhaps even recklessly so.Lives constantly as if there is always this safety net,hanging in the background, of what can be relied on, to protect and provide help

  • Karun Sagar

    If you haven't realized athieism isn't the same as believing there is no god, you aren't qualified to write articles regarding athiesists

    Also "hope" is not congruent to "belief", so again, athiesim is utterly irreleavant here.

  • Ruben Villasenor

    Why do theist always conflate the anti-theist position (God does not exist) with the atheist position (I don't believe your claim that god exist)? The default position is to not believe X exist until it has been demonstrated to exist.

    • Rob Abney

      How do you conclude that unbelief is the default position?

      • Ruben Villasenor

        The null hypothesis. It basically says X is not related to Y until it is demonstrated to be connected. That and if you set the default position to believing everything until it is demonstrated to not exist you run into problems. Eventually you may come to believe mutually exclusive claims.

        • Rob Abney

          My default position would not be based upon a statistical theory. I would not take an indifference approach either because I would assign higher levels of value to the historical reality of the beginning of the Church and to the many great thinkers who have used their reasoning to demonstrate the existence of God.
          Even more fundamental, I have received a gift of faith at baptism (as an infant) that makes my default position to believe.

          • Ruben Villasenor

            So your default position is to believe first and eliminate things as they are disproven? How did you eliminate Ganesha, Brahma or Allah? What method/mechanism did you use?

          • Rob Abney

            Again, my default position is to believe those things that have high value. My upbringing as a citizen of the west exposed me to Catholicism. As I considered the others I eliminated them on the principle of non-contradiction, but I didn't just consider them false initially.

          • Ruben Villasenor

            We have a misunderstanding. The default position is to not believe X is true/correct which is different from saying X is false. It is similar to the default position in a court of law. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the prosecution to convince the jury of guilt. The jury considers guilty vs not guilty, they do not consider guilty vs innocent.

          • Rob Abney

            I'll respond more tomorrow, bur for clarity, are you identifying yourself as an atheist or an agnostic or something else? Thanks.

          • Ruben Villasenor

            I am an agnostic atheist.

          • Rob Abney

            Most defendants in court proceedings are there because the police caught them engaged in illegal activity, so the prosecutor already has an advantage as he relies on the legal authority of the police.
            I rely on 2000 years of Christianity, and great thinkers with credibility. In other words the case is already tilted strongly toward belief.
            An atheist may say that he needs to see the evidence but in reality he has rejected the good evidence that is all around him.

          • Ruben Villasenor

            Yes most defendants do not go to trial but not all. In the case of claiming god (specifically the Christian god) exist I find god "not guilty" of existing. The burden of proof is on those claiming he does. Just because Christianity is old or X number of people believe is not evidence for the truth of a claim. A claim must stand on its own with its own evidence to back it up.

          • Rob Abney

            I wasn't appealing to the truth of Christianity because it is old but rather because it has been credible to a large number of people consistently for a long time as well as to a large number of humanity's best thinkers consistently for a long time.
            In addition, the claim does stand on its own. Which demonstrations for the existence of God have you rejected specifically? Also, have you ever been baptized?

          • Ruben Villasenor

            Yes I have been baptized and confirmed. I have not been presented with a demonstration of god's existence which is why I am an atheist. I have been presented with arguments, assertions and claims but no evidence connecting X to Y.

          • Rob Abney

            Thomas Aquinas presented the best arguments for God's existence, he wrote in the 12th century, are you familiar with these? What premises or conclusions of his do you reject?
            http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1002.htm

          • Ruben Villasenor

            Yes I am familiar with Aquinas five ways. Aquinas has 5 arguments but an argument is not evidence it is an argument but here is my answer.
            1. The Argument from Motion is a special pleading fallacy.
            2. The Argument from Efficient Causality no evidence for this premise
            3. The Argument from Contingency of Being Again special pleading
            4. The Argument from Degrees of Perfection uses outdated Aristotelian physics
            5. The Argument from Final Causality this is a human concept not an actual thing in reality. There is no evidence X has an intrinsic purpose

            All these so called argument do not get you to a deistic god much less the Christian god.

          • Rob Abney

            Why do you accept the null hypothesis, it is an argument not evidence.

            Please give a little more specific detail on any of your objections.

          • Ruben Villasenor

            The null hypothesis is similar to the axioms of logic it continually demonstrates its reliability. You can not prove the null hypothesis you falsify it just like in science. My main objection is a lack of demonstration of the premises. Basically claims keep being made X is true without any demonstration that X is in fact true/correct. There must be an uncaused cause? Why and how did you determine this fact? If everything must have a cause but you make a special exception for your God that is special pleading. If you say everything we observe has a cause how did X start? That is the argument from ignorance which is a fallacy. Even if you grant the uncaused cause how is that God, it just means X has a cause.

          • Rob Abney

            It is special pleading If everything must have a cause, but the argument says that everything that is caused must have a cause not that everything must have a cause.

            “So, too, the intellect knows immediately, from the concept of being (which it forms from its very first experience of anything at all), the metaphysical first principles that (1) contradictions are impossible, (2) things must have reasons, and (3) failing to have reasons of themselves, things need extrinsic reasons or causes to explain themselves. These self-evident metaphysical first principles are necessarily employed even by those who deny their existence, and most certainly, validly apply to the Five Ways of St. Thomas Aquinas as well as to other legitimate metaphysical proofs for God’s existence and to any and all aspects of the real world.”
            From:
            https://strangenotions.com/are-metaphysical-first-principles-universally-true/

          • Ruben Villasenor

            If God does not require a cause then then same can be said of the cosmos which our universe is part of. Even if I grant that the universe must have a cause the best we can say is the universe had a cause period. We have no information on what that cause is or can be. No where in the cosmological argument of first cause is God mentioned much less the Christian God. You can not have a proof for God in which God is not in any of the premises.

          • Meepestos

            I find Hermit’s take on the Kalam Cosmological Argument astute. What do you think?

            “First the Kalam Cosmological Argument is not based on any evidence at all, meaning it doesn't qualify as science, but as woo. It is a logical and ontological argument based on the faulty premise that everything has a cause, when the evidence is that at the quantum level underlaying all reality, if a cause were present and known, quantum indeterminacy would cause evaporation of the particles whose attributes are so exposed. So the fact that the Universe exists is compelling evidence that no such cause exists.

            Further disproof of the Kalam Cosmological Argument is the solid mathematical proof that no significant system can be both complete and prove itself true in finite time, requiring an actual infinity (despite the odd properties of infinity) to prove any theory dependent on anything as or more complex than the natural numbers, including all science, raising a contradiction with the Kalam Cosmological Argument which depends on there being no infinities.

            Then there is the fact that the Kalam Cosmological Argument depends on a cause prior to and independent of our Universe, but if such a force existed, it would not be part of our Universe, and could not affect our Universe without becoming part of it, because our Universe is, by definition, everything real and imaginary which can be experienced.

            Finally there are many alternative choices possible, rather than those made by the proponents of the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and many of the choices made by its proponents are blatantly made on the basis of their delusions about god thingies. For example, we know that a micro fluctuation in the quantum flux could trigger the instantiation of any possible Universe, yet most KLA proponents specify that the instigator is necessarily enormously powerful. Most proponents also attempt to argue for a single instigator and take recourse to Ockham's razor (another logical argument, often contradicted, which is why it is a razor, not a law), yet nothing in nature is a singleton, so Ockham's razor would equally suggest that the cause is one of many, and so on.

            In other words, even though the Kalam Cosmological Argument is arguably the best argument that the christers have come up with, it isn't a very good argument, being holier than well made Gruyère cheese or arguments about angels dancing on the head of pins, and remains neither persuasive not scientific; suggesting that the argument is based on faulty ideas propagated by ill-educated people of limited outlook. Nothing new there.”

          • Ruben Villasenor

            Well put.

          • Meepestos

            She certainly has.

          • Rob Abney

            In other words, even though the Kalam Cosmological Argument is arguably the best argument that the christers have come up with, it isn't a very good argument

            You should do your homework, it's not the best argument and its not scientific.

          • Meepestos

            Take it up with Hermit Disqus, it is her assertion, that it is arguably the best argument that Christians can come up with. Where does she mention it is Scientific?

          • Meepestos

            For some reason my reply disappeared so I'll try again.

            Take it up with Hermit on Disqus, as she is the one asserting it is arguably the best argument that Christians have come up with. Where does she mention it is scientific?

          • Rob Abney

            “First the Kalam Cosmological Argument is not based on any evidence at all, meaning it doesn't qualify as science, but as woo

            I read that as implied that it was intended to be scientific but that it was not. I won't take it up with Hermit, but with you since you commented here not her.
            I understand that it is exciting to see someone hurl insults but you have to get past that if you want to find the truth.

          • David Cromie

            "I read that as implied(sic) that it was intended to be scientific but that it was not".

            Your English comprehension is abysmal, if that is what you thought.

          • Rob Abney

            Respectfully, I don't think that you have studied this with much attention to detail.

            If God does not require a cause then then same can be said of the cosmos which our universe is part of.

            How do you come to that conclusion?! The cosmos is is changeable/contingent, one day it might not exist.

            We have no information on what that cause is or can be. No where in the cosmological argument of first cause is God mentioned much less the Christian God

            If you grant that there is a cause then you should agree that such a cause is what all men call God. That is not an argument for the Christian God but it leads to Him.

          • Ruben Villasenor

            Our universe has time and may be contingent but we have no idea if the cosmos has the same limitations. This entire conversation began because I am skeptical of the theistic claim that god exist and no one has demonstrated it. Your argument boils down to the assertion "God exist and the evidence for this is that god exist". I tried to help by granting that our universe had a cause and you jumped to that cause is god without any evidence to connect the two. If the universe has a cause it is unknown at this time. If you have an idea or hypothesis of what that cause can be great throw it into the pile of possible explanations. The time to believe you have the correct explanation is when there is evidence not before. Thanks

          • Rob Abney

            Thanks for the discussion. You seem to be of above average intelligence so I think that if you study the arguments closer then you'll form different opinions than you have now. If you want to find the truth you can but you cannot find it if you cling to full skepticism.

          • David Cromie

            Metaphysics is argument about mere suppositions/beliefs that are without evidenced foundation, and their claimed consequences for the world.

          • it has been credible to a large number of people consistently for a long time

            Yes, but a larger number of people have found it not credible. Do you think that datum has any relevance to your argument?

            as well as to a large number of humanity's best thinkers consistently for a long time.

            Would that large number constitute more or less than half of all of humanity's best thinkers?

            In addition, the claim does stand on its own.

            This seems, in your mind, to be something of an afterthought, as if it were not the most important consideration.

            What do you think it means for a claim to stand on its own? Do you mean that there is sufficient evidence for it that it would be reasonable to believe it even if most of humanity, and most of the world's best thinkers, did not believe it? And if you do think so, why even bring up any other reason to believe it?

          • Rob Abney

            Yes, but a larger number of people have found it not credible. Do you think that datum has any relevance to your argument?

            That's not true. Most of the ones who find it not credible do not address the actual arguments. Even you with a lot of philosophical background admit to having "read very little" of Aquinas.

            That is not an afterthought, it is the most important aspect and I have been trying to show why there is value in considering who understands it. Not all thinkers have the same abilities.

          • Most of the ones who find it not credible do not address the actual arguments.

            Do you have any statistics to back that claim up with?

            Besides, you did not say, "it has been credible to a large number of people who have studied and addressed the arguments." All you said was that lots of people do believe it -- as if, in your judgment, it does not matter whether they have studied the arguments.

            Even you with a lot of philosophical background admit to having "read very little" of Aquinas.

            That doesn't mean I am unfamiliar with the best arguments for Christianity. I have also read hardly any of Darwin's On the Origin of Species, but I know exactly why the scientific community believes biological evolution to be a fact. I can defend evolution against any creationist without once quoting Darwin or any other biologist who has written on the subject since him.

          • Rob Abney

            Do you have any statistics to back that claim up with?

            Anecdotal evidence from reading comments on the internet.

            Those with the gift of faith, have faith in Aquinas's reasoning even if it is beyond their ability because the Church recommends him.

            That doesn't mean I am unfamiliar with the best arguments for Christianity.

            It means you are unfamiliar with Aquinas' best arguments; especially you, who do not take others' interpretations without closely examining them yourself.

          • It means you are unfamiliar with Aquinas' best arguments;

            No, it does not, assuming that the scholars whose commentaries I have been reading are actually familiar with them and have correctly represented them in their own writings. Those commentators have included Dennis Bonnette, who posts frequently to this forum, and Edward Feser, whose book The Last Superstition I have read and who has also contributed occasionally to this forum.

          • Not all thinkers have the same abilities.

            Their abilities are manifest in their arguments, not in their academic or historical fame.

          • Rob Abney

            True.

          • David Cromie

            Any Argumentum ad Populum is fallacious.
            As for 'consistency', how do you account for the myriad versions of religion that have existed over the centuries (some few very new to the table, it must be admitted) and the rancour between them, often descending into extreme violence?

          • David Cromie
          • Rob Abney

            Thanks for supporting my position.

          • David Cromie

            Do you not understand English?

          • Rob Abney

            Are you referring to your infancy atheism or your elementary school cartoon?

          • David Cromie

            I leave you with that superficial quandary, to work it out for yourself, if your superstition-addled brain is up to it.

          • Robert

            Thanks! I'm 'stealing' that one!

          • David Cromie

            Please demonstrate the real existence of your favourite 'god' for the rest of us.

          • Rob Abney

            There is something rather than nothing.

          • David Cromie

            Your point is???

          • Rob Abney

            This is a good indication of why you have not progressed from your infancy of atheism, you have to have everything spelled out for you. (Just kidding!)
            Why is there something rather than nothing? Do you have a theory?

          • David Cromie

            You are the one who seems to have the hypothesis/theory, so defend it.

            'Something rather than nothing' does not imply a 'god'.

            'Something' from' nothing' occurs all the time, as your posts abundantly illustrate.

          • Rob Abney

            You keep evading, I'm not implying I am stating that there is something rather than nothing because of God.
            You either believe that something came from nothing or that there was always something. Which?
            If there was always something what was it.
            Do you want to discuss or do you already have all your answers.

      • David Cromie

        We are all born as atheists!

        • Rob Abney

          And then the majority of us learn better!

          • David Cromie

            No! The majority are brainwashed into some religion or cult. Thankfully, many also see through the religiot scam when they mature into adulthood.

        • Jim the Scott

          We are born mute so by that reasoning not talking is our default? We are born with undeveloped cognitive faculties. So not thinking is our default? We have no bladder control when we are born...nuff said.

          Do ye not realize even if there are no gods that is just a really, really, really, really, lame argument?

          • David Cromie

            We are not all born mute, if healthy. The first cries of the neonate are a sign that it has a voice. What are the first signs indicating that a neonate believes in a 'god', and at what stage of cognitive development?

          • Jim the Scott

            >We are not all born mute, if healthy. The first cries of the neonate are a sign that it has a voice.

            Perhaps "mute" was in incorrect use of terms on my part? But my point was we don't speak. We have no language and thus according to your goofy analogy not speaking is our default state. We are born not believing in Evolution. Therefore denial of evolution is our natural state by this silly bit of "reasoning" on your part. Do you really not see this analogy is goofy? One need not believe in any gods to see that.

            >What are the first signs indicating that a neonate believes in a 'god', and at what stage of cognitive development?

            What does that matter? Again one could say what are the first signs indicating that a neonate believes in evolution, and at what stage of cognitive development? Because according too this goofy invalid analogy none belief in evolution is our default state.

            It is a silly analogy and argument. Regardless of the existence or non-existence of God or gods. Bizarre that you can't see that.

          • David Cromie

            All healthy neonates have the ability to acquire a language when they reach the required mental development (see Noam Chomsky on language, and educate yourself).

            You are right, neonates do not believe in evolution, either, but when they are old enough to understand, a liberal education will help them to grasp the basics, a least, even if they never become scientists.

            This is not indoctrination, unlike being taught that there are supernatural entities, for which no evidence-based rational argument is forthcoming, or possible.

          • Jim the Scott

            >All healthy neonates have the ability to acquire a language when they reach the required mental development (see Noam Chomsky on language, and educate yourself).

            What does that have to do with your goofy claim just because new born children lack belief in God due too their lack of cognitive development that therefore non-belief is their default state? Nothing, your statement was still silly regardless if gods exist or not. Obviously you lack the education and self possession to simply admit that. I don't know why? You don't have to change any of your fundamental beliefs you just have to own the fact that was a foolish statement. But if you have this deep need to deathlessly defend silly arguments I can't help ya mate.

            >You are right, neonates do not believe in evolution, either, but when they are old enough to understand, a liberal education will help them to grasp the basics, a least, even if they never become scientists.

            But they don't believe in it till they are indoctrinated into it. Of course I am using the archaic meaning of indoctrinate meaning to teach or instruct. Anyway by your initial standards disbelief in it is the default. Or you can just admit what a baby does or does not believe really is not significant in the scheme of things.

            >This is not indoctrination,

            Given the archaic definition it pretty much is indoctrination. As for the modern definition it is unremarkable some people have a better quality of education then others. Also there is no reason why when they are old enough to understand, a liberal education in philosophy will help them to grasp the basics of metaphysics and logic, a least, even if they never become philosophers. It is perfectly moral to teach my young son God exists and it is perfectly moral to tell him the Earth revolves around the Sun even when he is to young to grasp orbital mechanics.

            > unlike being taught that there are supernatural entities, for which no evidence-based rational argument is forthcoming, or possible.

            Ah positivism! The most intellectually bankrupt philosophical view of modern Gnu Atheist types! No wonder you think "babies lack belief" is a clever statement. You are the non-believer equivalent to the guy who thinks "the 2nd law of thermal dynamics "refutes" evolution" argument is clever and you are twice as silly.

            I am a Classic Theist. I strongly believe God's existence is something we can only know via Philosophical argument not scientific experimentation. The view that only what can be known by scientific investigation is valid knowledge cannot itself be known to be true by scientific investigation. The later you would have to argue philosophically which refutes itself since even if you are successful then this bit of knowledge you would know by philosophy not science. Therefore you would know something to be true apart from science.

            I am not an ID supporter. I don't believe in Theistic Personalism. So unless you have some good philosophical defeaters you want to share by definition all your "objections" are non-starters. Try it on the ID fundies I am not interested.

            Saying there is no scientific evidence for God is like saying a Higg boson must not exist unless I can dig it up from a fossil record. It's called a category mistake.

          • David Cromie

            Where were you dragged up, and so cruelly brain-damaged?

          • Jim the Scott

            That is the best ye can do laddie?

            I guess your "Atheism" will never be anything more sophisticated then "Blah! Blah! Brainwashed! Cult!" or "Blah! Blah! Science!" or "Blah! Blah! Babies are Atheists!" or "Blah! Blah! Philosophy what now?"

            Bye.

          • David Cromie

            Not a very sophisticated post, so I take it that that is the best you can do, with your religion-addled brain, and superstition- induced idiocy.

            No irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence for the real existence of your favourite supposed'god', then?

            Goodbye!

          • Jim the Scott

            I guess that is the best you can do.

            BTW the 1950's called they want their positivism back.

            Good day.

          • David Cromie

            ???

            No irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence for the real existence of your favourite supposed'god', then?

          • Jim the Scott

            Still stuck in Positivist mode I see?

          • David Cromie

            Still unable to answer my question, I see!

          • Jim the Scott

            Now you are just repeating yourself. It is kind of sad.

            It's a "do you still beat your wife type question" so why should I waste my time? God is not a scientific question. God is a philosophical one. Live with it. Since you clearly lack the intelligence and education to address God philosophically what would be the point in us having a conversation?
            You are like the Young Earth Creationist who stamps his foot demanding the Evolutionist produce an "Ape who gives birth to a human" & touts he "won" the argument because the Evolutionist cannot answer his foolish question.

            Well I don't have to waste my time on your foolish question. The existence of God is a philosophical question not a scientific one. Live with it. Propose a philosophical defeater for some philosophical argument or go home.

  • Rob Abney

    Do you consider extramental reality to be natural or supernatural?

  • Rob Abney

    Apparently it is something you've rejected without even understanding it, similar to most of your provocative statements you've made on this site.

  • Rob Abney

    You don't have very good google skills, the first definition that came up for me was "existing outside the mind", how does that make it physical?
    I prefer this definition from Dr Bonnette:
    "all of science presupposes that we can classify things, and that these classifications exist in extramental reality as well as in our minds. Otherwise, science exists only in the mind and has no basis in reality."

  • Rob Abney

    I'm sure that is as far as your concerned.

  • Albion

    I think that one of the reasons that many atheists hope and wish that God does not exist is because they very often have too much of a good thing going in this life, and thus see God as getting in their way, reminding them that they are not as omnipotent and invincible as they would like to think they are. To sum it up, they are all too often motivated by pride.

    • Ficino

      And you are not?

      • Albion

        Don't worry. I also have moments when I feel that many of my assumptions about God do not add up.
        The problem with pride is that it is a very subtle kind of sin: we (including myself) don't know how proud we are unless we are truly tested. I admit that it is easier to see it in others than in ourselves. This is why we should be vigilant and regularly examine our conscience.

        • Ficino

          When I was transitioning from Calvinism to Catholicism, my Calvinist mentor told me that my growing doubts about the truth of Calvinism were the fruit of my sin of pride.

          Since pretty much anyone can be called prideful, I don't think that accusations that the interlocutor is prideful do much to establish the falsity of that interlocutor's views, as they do not establish the truth of the "accuser's" views. From what you replied above, though, I gather that you'd agree.

          • Albion

            It could well be that your Calvinist mentor lost the argument against your conversion to Catholicism, so he resorted to the accusation of the sin of pride. All too often, getting personal instead of putting forward a good argument is an admission that one has lost the argument. Of course, this is no indication as to who is right and who is wrong: we are not all good communicators and debaters.

    • Rob Abney

      I think that you've taken an almost universal motivation and applied it specifically to one group.

      • Albion

        I specifically have in mind those atheists who wish and hope that God does not exist, not those who disbelieve in God because of lack of exposure to the Christian/Catholic worldview.
        If Richard Dawkins is so convinced of his atheism and can take comfort that most British people are functional atheists, why would he need to bang on about it unless deep inside of him a silent voice is telling him that there is a God, but he is working hard to rationalise Him out of existence?

        • David Cromie

          I do so love those 'silent voices'!

          • Albion

            Either Richard Dawkins is wrestling with a phantom that he claims does not exist, or he is trying dispel this 'silent voice.'

          • David Cromie

            Dawkins is wrestling with religiots, such as you, who are trying hard to establish a theocracy comfortable to their own religious beliefs, so as to impose same on everyone else.

            The problem is that there are so many versions and sects of religious belief that they would end up killing each other for the privilege (my religion is the one true religion syndrome).

            Where is the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that your favourite supposed 'one true god' actually exists?

          • Albion

            No, I certainly do not want a theocracy; there's enough of that in the Islamic world. By the way, why not take comfort in the fact that here in the Western world people like me are in a minority and in no position to impose some kind of theocracy? I for one am reconciled to the fact that we live in a post-Christian society. Otherwise people like you and Dawkins are tilting at windmills. If you REALLY want to take on religious bigotry, how about taking on Islam? I bet you wouldn't dare; you prefer easy targets like Christianity that is fading out of view. Richard Dawkins, to be fare, is prepared to give the same kicking to Islam as he gives to Christianity. But not what happened? He was dis-invited to Berkeley University by FELLOW-ATHEISTS precisely because they did not want him to attack Islam. Why? What are they afraid of?

          • rubellapox2

            Are you kidding? The minority? Christians make up 70% of the population in this country.. many of those, about 21%, are of the fundamental strain.. and many of them would love to see us become a theocracy... atheist don’t believe in your god nor the god of Islam.. the only reason we’re talking about Christians sometimes is because it is the prevalent religion in this country.. and yes, Christians discriminate in this country.. some Christian bakers refuse to sell a product they advertise to gay people.. Kim Davis refused to hand out wedding licenses to consenting eligible gay couples, claiming it was her religious beliefs as her reason... Albion you seem like a good person, look around.. really look and you’ll see why maybe some atheist and others aren’t to happy with the religious lately..

        • rationalobservations?

          As an atheist I do not contend that the originally Canaanite and now Judaeo-christian god "Yahweh" does not exist. I observe that there is no evidence of the existence of any and all the many millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men and merely include the unremarkable and evidence devoid "Yahweh" and "Jesus" among them.
          Non belief in ALL the undetectable gods is not another form of belief.

          Christians may possibly suggest that they believe in one of the imaginary gods without evidence because evidence of it's nonexistence is not available? That appears irrational since evidence of the nonexistence of none of the millions of gods is available and therefore logic appears to demand belief in all without evidence or belief in none until evidence of one (or some, or all) becomes apparent.

          Of course: Evidence of the nonexistence of the nonexistent is nonexistent because the nonexistent is nonexistent. (Read that again until the meaning sinks in?)

          You are not alone in your confusion, Albion. Christians are often baffled how atheists could deny the existence of their particular undetectable and originally Canaanite god, "Yahweh". But they shouldn’t be. Christians deny many thousands of the same gods that atheists deny. Atheists just deny one more god than Christians do (or is that three, maybe?).

          Some of my favorites fictional gods include: Aakuluujjusi, inuit creator goddess, Abora, polynesian supreme god, Pratibhanapratisamvit, Buddhist goddess of context analysis, Adamas, gnostic christian creator god and Acat, Mayan god of tattoo artists, Agu’gux, aleut creator god, not forgetting Tsa’qamae, north american god of salmon migration and too many more to begin to list.

          The concept that atheists are "in rebellion" against any of the gods is ridiculous unless christians consider themselves to be in rebellion against Odin or Zeus and all the other gods dreamed up by men?

          It's as childish to imagine that those who do not believe in all the millions of gods are rebelling against them as it would appear to be to believe in any/all of them.

          https://monicksunleashed.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/99-percent-atheist.jpg
          https://godless.no/wp-content/uploads/Atheist.jpg

          • Albion

            Trying to use scientific criteria to prove God's existence is like using a metal detector to detect plastic, and then to conclude that because you could not detect plastic using a metal detector - that there is no such thing as plastic.
            So you are baffled that we believers believe in a God whose existence we cannot prove? Well. I am equally baffled that many of you atheists believe in the principles of Marxism/Communism/Socialism despite the fact that it failed spectacularly in the Soviet Union, eastern European countries, China, Cuba and Venezuela as an economic and social experiment that cost up to 100 million innocent lives in the last century. Your faith in this dreadful atheistic ideology remains nevertheless undiminished. How's that for blind faith in the face of reality?

          • rationalobservations?

            You fail to demonstrate the existence of any of the undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men and also display that you have little grasp on the concept of logic.

            I am not baffled by anything and fully understand the 1600 years of propaganda and threat that is behind belief in the fraudulent 4th century founded Roman "Jesus" cult.

            I am opposed to the totalitarianism of Marxism, communism and communism-lite socialism. I am equally against political tyranny and religious tyranny.
            The antidote to that poison has proved to be education and free, secular democracy.

            http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/files/2016/05/StalinPig.jpg

          • Albion

            Of course I cannot demonstrate God's existence - I accept Him on faith on the basis of revelations and insights by Biblical personalities, saints and mystics of the Church. However, God is like a dim light at a distance; dim enough to ignore it if that is what you want to do, but just bright enough to attract attention of the curious who desires to look into the source of the light. As you get nearer to the light, it gets brighter and all-encompassing. If you think that such beliefs are manifestations of wishful thinking, I can tell you that even I wished that many of the Christian claims were not true. But I now accept them, and would not wish to go back.

          • rationalobservations?

            You describe the result of your imagination being stimulated by fantasy, wishful thinking, fear and indoctrination.

            Your faith is based exclusively upon indoctrination with belief and your belief relies exclusively upon being brainwashed into blind and unquestioning faith.

            Having blind faith that something for (which no evidence exists) is "true" has no influence upon the possibility/impossibility that it is true.

            You describe your delusion but present nothing that would cause any of us to share it or those who are rejecting it to return to it.

          • Albion

            Am I brainwashed? I came to the faith by searching the truth for myself. NOBODY brainwashed me. In fact I am surrounded by non-believers.
            Wishful thinking? How I wish there was no Hell! It's a vile doctrine, and yet justice cries out for its existence, especially when you come to know about the evil that men do.
            Blind faith? My faith does not exclude perplexities. I also have moments of doubt.
            So I present nothing that would cause anybody to share my faith? Supposing you have no desire to look deeper into the faith because it is considered "uncool" within your social set and because if you come to the conclusion that it is the truth, you would have to change the way you live and be prepared to lose friends.

          • rationalobservations?

            Your condition of blanket unqualified denial is noted once again.
            Self delusion is also a form of brainwashing and you confirm your condition of fear.

            Your pathetic assumptions and presumptions about me are wrong in every detail.

            A long, happy and very fulfilled life has included detailed research into the origin and nature of the lies you have sold to yourself and bought into but cannot validate, justify or excuse.

            Your ignorance remains only exceeded by your egotism and arrogance.

          • Albion

            You have demonstrated a closed mind eager to be confirmed in its narrowness. Your tendency to get personal with me is an indication that you have exhausted all your arguments, reiterating words like arrogance, ignorance, egotism, etc. In psychology there is a phenomenon known as 'psychological projection' - a tendency to project the vices and moral failings of oneself onto another person because of the unwillingness to come to terms with them in oneself. This is what you militant atheists do: you project your arrogance, narrow-mindedness and wilful ignorance onto people who don't share your worldview because of your reluctance to look at yourselves in the mirror.
            I don't see any point in continuing this debate with you because we are going in circles. To continue to put my case forward to you is like casting pearls before the swine. I now draw this argument to a close.

          • rationalobservations?

            You have demonstrated that you mind is locked to reality by the indoctrination and terror to which you have succumbed.

            I find it hilarious that those who have nothing to offer but propaganda, opinion and ad hominem have the naivete to suggest that those who expose their shortcomings "get personal".

            You have yet to offer any evidence supported arguments so it could be a very limited period before you exhaust demonstrating the fact that you have nothing to offer that validates, justifies, excuses or defends your enthrallment to superstition and lies.

            I am delighted to note that you have grown tired of being humiliated and are now cutting and running from further exposure to logic and reason. You will save us both some time although I must thank you for providing a platform for the exposure and rebuttal of the garbage of one of the many fraudulent and dishonest religions that are in decline all around the educated and free, secular western democracies and further afield.

            Many thanks and farewell - but please remember that religious mania is a recognised psychological condition and ignorance is merely the absence of knowledge. Both are treatable.

          • David Cromie

            Perhaps, before you go, you could adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that your favourite supposed 'god' actually exists? That would settle any argument about the rationality of your beliefs/world view.

          • Albion

            The Universe is not a product of chance or accident in the same way that a car in its form and functions is not a product of an accident. There is a will and an intelligence that willed the existence of the car; so it is with the Universe which is also sustained by fixed laws ordained by this will and intelligence. This intelligence and will is the personal God as revealed in the Bible, Accept Him or reject Him; but I guess that you made your choice, although it is not too late to change your mind. There are consequences for the wilful rejection which will be faced in the afterlife. I guess that you'll assert that with death there will be a cessation of conscience, but there are people alive who were clinically dead for a while and came back to tell us of their out-of the-body-experience. What they claim is generally consistent and repetitive; they simply could not have made them up.

            Here for the last time I conclude my communication with you.

          • David Cromie

            The cosmos is not a motorcar, nor anything like one (unless you are a Cartesian). There is no deus ex machina!

          • Ficino

            Albion, the grounds that justify belief in the God of the Bible, in your view, are provided by an intelligent design argument? OK, unless you've fleshed it out elsewhere, i don't see an argument above - only an analogy, the aptness of which is questionable. I'm wondering whether some of your premises will beg the question, e.g. about laws of nature.

            Thomists often say that the Fifth Way is not an argument from design like the watchmaker argument, since Aquinas was not a deist. Do you have a design argument, perhaps the Fifth Way or one like it, that gets farther than deism?

          • David Cromie

            "I came to the faith by searching the truth for myself".

            So you brainwashed yourself. That is your problem, arising from the lack of the faculty for critical thinking, and a need to believe in something that would allow you to join a herd of like-minded superstitious sheeple.

          • Ellabulldog

            atheism is not communism.

            I am not baffled about why you believe. I know why you believe. You don't know why you do.

          • Albion

            Even if atheism in theory is not communism, nevertheless history seems to indicate that communism is applied atheism - atheism tooth and claw.

          • Ficino

            Affirming the consequent.

            Dorothy Day said this: "The three fundamentals of Communist belief are: 1. There is no other world than this; our last end is death and the grave, not God. 2. The ideal state is a Communist state in which there is no individual ownership but communal ownership. 3. Since there is no other way of achieving this except by violent means, then we must use those violent means. It is a cause worth dying for."

            https://www.catholicworker.org/dorothyday/articles/212.html

            For your comments to be relevant, it must be true that atheists in general subscribe to 2. and 3. But they don't in general.

          • Albion

            If you are so sure that there is no God why do you need to come back to the subject of God? I don't believe in fairies, as I'm sure that you don't, but why would I need to bang on about the fact that I don't believe in fairies, unless in the back of my mind I do believe in them?
            Stalin - a militant atheist, is a case in point. According to his daughter, Svetlana, the last gesture that he made before he died was to raise his fist in the air as if to make a last show of defiance to God. If he was so convinced that there is no God, why would he do it? He seemed to have believed in God so much to defy Him in this manner. By the way, his daughter, Svetlana, became a Catholic,

          • Ficino

            Reread what I wrote, which was directed to you.

          • DeadBabyJoke

            "If you are so sure that there is no God why do you need to come back to the subject of God? I don't believe in fairies, as I'm sure that you don't, but why would I need to bang on about the fact that I don't believe in fairies, unless in the back of my mind I do believe in them?"
            Because asshole believers can't and won't keep their beliefs to themselves and have to talk about them CONSTANTLY? Because believers are always trying to impose their religious beliefs on others, regardless of their beliefs and wishes? Because believers are CONSTANTLY ignoring the Constitution and the law by passing religious laws to further their goals? Because believers persecute, oppress, and discriminate against others while hiding behind religious beliefs? Because believers are CONSTANTLY trying to undermine education and science, because they assert that their incompatible with their holy book and religion? Believers are always making their religion everybody else's problem, then they have the nerve to turn around and complain when people rightfully criticize them and push back against their nonsense?! Fuck you.

          • Ellabulldog

            communism is about economics.

            atheism is just a rejection of theist's assertions.

            religion is a powerful cultural tool that leaders use to assume power over the people. It's mind control.

            a few evil leaders tried to rid their country of religion. not god belief. it was about power only not what anyone worshipped or didn't worship.

            the US when founded practiced slavery for 70 years. That was Capitalism. Would you blame theism for every evil a theist leader did?

          • Albion

            "atheism is just a rejection of theist's assertions."
            Denial of God's existence, or rejection of God? They are two different things. If you are so sure that God does not exist, then why do you need to come back to me on this matter? Perhaps you actually DO believe in God's existence; you are just working so hard to rationalise Him out of existence. You are just chasing your own tail.

          • Ellabulldog

            A rejection of human superstition is all it is.

            Just as you reject voodoo or other gods.

            Take it a step further.

            Yours is no different.

            Xenu, Jesus, Marduk, Ometecuhtli and others don't exist either.

            The thing in the sky is not a god by the way. Some think it is and call it Ra.
            It's a star. Our planet revolves around it.

          • Ellabulldog

            another analogy for you.

            Do you agree that Darth Vader is fictional? Or do you think that somewhere in this vast universe he exists as asserted by Lucas?

            We can take a child and tell him Darth really exists. We can say the movie is a documentary and not fictional. Say it over and over again for thousands of years while killing those that disagree and you would have a religion.

          • David Nickol

            Do you claim to know for a fact that God doesn't exist? Do you know with absolute certainty? My position as an agnostic (to somewhat oversimplify how I self-identify) is that it is impossible to know with absolute certainty one way or another. I think either being a theist or an atheist is a perfectly defensible position if absolute certainty is not claimed. I don't think absolute certainty is necessary (or possible) to hold either position. But you seem to be stating the nonexistence of God as a fact. If so, how do you know?

          • Mark

            You wouldn't know literary soteriology if it bit you in the nose. The only more humorous analogy I could think of is if you would have asked Albion if he thought Thorin Oakenshield really exists.

            https://catholicexchange.com/examining-christian-imagery-star-wars

          • David Nickol

            A number of years (decades) ago, I was fortunate enough to be with a small group of people surrounding Frank Herbert (author of Dune) at a book-signing event. Someone mentioned Star Wars, and Herbert said, "It's really not science fiction, you know." There was general agreement.

          • Mark

            Frank formed the "We're Too Big To Sue George Lucas Society." Frank's son,said it was his style to use humor to mask the pain. Thanks for the story David, that must have been pretty cool. What an interesting man.

          • Ellabulldog

            well the Harry Potter reference gets old too.

            myth is myth.

            when people confuse them they start to think religions are true.

            like Tolkien.

          • David Cromie

            Sounds just like the so-called 'bible'.

          • DeadBabyJoke

            The burden of proof is on the believers making God claims, which they have yet to provide. That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. If you're so sure that your God exists, then provide irrefutable proof that your God exists, is the One True God, and that your holy book/religion is true and correct.

    • rubellapox2

      how about no ones seen a god ever.. that’s a good reason.. how the fact that many who claim to represent a god are scam artists or like to harm children.. I see many good reasons why atheist don’t believe in god/gods.. your reason is silly..

  • rationalobservations?

    The very first sentence of this almost meaningless diatribe if fatally flawed:
    "The existence of God is a topic that tends to elicit strong passions. People have their beliefs about whether God exists or not, but they also have their hopes. Many people hope God does exist, but some prominent voices express a hope quite to the contrary."

    This is as ridiculous as the binary "god vs no god" Pascal's wager when considering the millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men dreamed up by humans among which the far from unique and original Yahweh and Jesus merely feature.

    Pascal's wager reveals the odds of millions to one against any particular deity. But
    that's an aside.

    As an atheist I do not contend that the originally Canaanite and now Judaeo-christian god "Yahweh" does not exist. I observe that there is no evidence of the existence of any and all the many millions of undetected and undetectable gods, goddesses and god-men and merely include the unremarkable and evidence devoid "Yahweh" and "Jesus" among them.
    Non belief in ALL the undetectable gods is not another form of belief.

    Christians may possibly suggest that they believe in one of the imaginary gods without evidence because evidence of it's nonexistence is not available? That appears irrational since evidence of the nonexistence of none of the millions of gods is available and therefore logic appears to demand belief in all without evidence or belief in none until evidence of one (or some, or all) becomes apparent.

    Of course: Evidence of the nonexistence of the nonexistent is nonexistent because the nonexistent is nonexistent. (Read that again until the meaning sinks in?)

    You are not alone in your confusion, Randal. Christians are often baffled how atheists could deny the existence of their particular originally Canaanite god, "Yahweh". But they shouldn’t be. Christians deny many thousands of the same gods that atheists deny. Atheists just deny one more god than Christians do (or is that three, maybe?).

    Some of my favorites fictional gods include: Aakuluujjusi, inuit creator goddess, Abora, polynesian supreme god, Pratibhanapratisamvit, Buddhist goddess of context analysis, Adamas, gnostic christian creator god and Acat, Mayan god of tattoo artists, Agu’gux, aleut creator god, not forgetting Tsa’qamae, north american god of salmon migration and too many more to begin to list.

    The concept that atheists are "in rebellion" against any of the gods is ridiculous unless christians consider themselves to be in rebellion against Odin or Zeus and all the other gods dreamed up by men?

    It's as childish to imagine that those who do not believe in all the millions of gods are rebelling against them as it would appear to be to believe in any/all of them.

    https://monicksunleashed.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/99-percent-atheist.jpg
    https://godless.no/wp-content/uploads/Atheist.jpg

  • 9.8m/ss

    What a load of sophistry. Both positions, the evangelical deity advocate and the militant atheist are illogical.

    Let me define miracles. A miracle is a local exception to the laws of physics which otherwise appear to apply uniformly to everything in the universe, which can only be explained by direct intervention in the processes of the universe by the same entity that wrote the laws of physics, or an entity of similar supernatural power. We have no direct evidence of miracles. We have no direct evidence of the existence of the deity. All we have is the creation itself, which may be evidence of a creation event or which may simply have always existed.

    Without any evidence either way, there is no way to know. The question of the existence of the deity is moot. The answer is not knowable, and it wouldn't matter if we knew.

    • Phil Tanny

      Without any evidence either way, there is no way to know.

      Agreed, and not only do we not have compelling evidence for any position within the God debate, we don't even know if the processes of human reason (such as a request for evidence) are relevant to issues of such enormous scale. Let us please recall how incredibly small human beings are in comparison to the realm claims and counter claims are being made about, all of reality.

      So, we've conducted a 500 year long investigation led by some of the brightest minds among us on all sides, and at least some of us have concluded from that investigation that we don't know, and maybe even can't know.

      The investigation is not a failure. It has revealed useful information. We are ignorant (in regards to questions of this scale).

      The investigation need not be over. We've discovered useful (if unwelcome) information and we have the option to now put this information to work for our benefit. There is no requirement that we remain locked inside simplistic assumptions such as knowledge=good, ignorance=bad.

      Imagine that we dig a deep mine in search of diamonds, but find only coal. What shall we do? Whine and complain, give up and quit and go home? No, we can start a coal company.

      We dug the God debate mine in the hope of finding huge answers, but found only ignorance instead. Ok, let's be rational, what shall we do with this asset that we have discovered?

      As the God debate door closes, a new door opens.

  • Did you perhaps drop out of high school?

  • Chump Trump

    Probably that fart-you just cut.

  • Chump Trump

    Are you still complaining about religion Habib?

  • Chump Trump

    I thought your parents were muslims.

  • Chump Trump

    Sure Jeffry. Mental Case.

  • Chump Trump

    Jeffry are you sodomizing farm animals again.

  • Chump Trump

    You were a disciple of the teachings of Moe, Larry, and Curly.

  • Rob Abney

    I'll assume that you are not one of the deeper thinkers.

  • Sample1

    You don’t want to watch Sacrifice on Netflix. Just released. Or maybe you do. Not sure what you’re in to. Sacrifice/Netflix.

    Mike

  • Albion

    Your pride might be a deadly liability if you display it before such atheistic pin-ups, like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Robespierre. They are atheistic substitutes for God - they demanded devotion and the sacrifice of millions of innocent people. If you were living in Islamic-dominated Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, you would keep your atheistic dribbles in the closet; alternatively, you will try to conform with the rest because, as we know, most people just want to fit in with the crowd.

  • Albion

    I agree with that.
    So does Communism/ Socialism, i.e. applied atheism that produced a holocaust of 100 million innocent lives in the last century.

    • rubellapox2

      Communism and socialism are not atheism... they are political and economic constructs/systems.. atheism is just a non belief in gods... religious wars killed millions of people, why aren’t you bringing that up... in 1939 when hitler came to power Germany was 98% Christian according to their census and they allowed that maniac to kill millions..my point is many atrocious have been committed by mankind.. blaming atheist for every death in the past is silly, especially since we make up and have historically made up such a small part of the population..

  • Chump Trump

    Jeffry you’re a gayboy.

  • Jim the Scott

    Simplistic.....

  • Jim the Scott

    Nerds are awesome ya dumb jock.

    So basically you are admitting you have no intelligent response? You just disbelieve because you prayed for a pony at Christmas and didn't get it so concluded there is no God.

    You are simple minded.

  • Jim the Scott

    I'd love to know how you intend to challenge Theism intectually without knowing any philosophy? It is like being a Young Earth Creationist with a 4th graders knowledge of biology trying to challenge Evolution.

    But it is clear you are simple minded.

  • Jim the Scott

    Whatever......go back to watching Star Trek.

  • Jim the Scott

    Kay....

  • Jim the Scott

    You are saying it all.

  • Jim the Scott

    or Barney which seems more your level.

  • Jim the Scott

    I think you are holding back? Tell us how you really feel?

  • SpokenMind

    Hi Jeff,
    I was wondering if you would be willing to explain further why in your view, the act of creating is not loving.
    I know you're not buying this "god" thing for a second, but if by some one in infinity chance, a "higher power" did create you, you seem to be suggesting that your existence is pretty good.
    Peace.

  • SpokenMind

    Hi Jeff,

    I don’t see the act of creating as not loving. Most people when they create something here on earth do so out of love. A child is usually produced out of an act of love, for example, even though that child is mortal.

  • SpokenMind

    Hi Jeff,

    I think we have at least a little common ground. I think we can agree there are some cases where the act of creating can be loving. I'm not here to say what's the best way to relate to one's wife/girlfriend, but I wouldn't try the line let's go make impulse ;)

    Have a great evening!

  • Sample1

    Ah, a GG Allin fan? Yikes!

    Mike

  • Phil Tanny

    Perhaps the explanation is far simpler, and applies to all of us, theist and atheist.

    We make our living on this Earth by knowing things. It's who we are, it's what we do. Birds fly, fish swim, we know. And so it feels unsettling not to have answers to the very largest of questions, or even have any way of moving towards an answer.

    So we make stuff up. We invent knowings out of nothing. Some of us say they know there is a God, some say they know there isn't a God, and some say they aren't sure but they'll probably figure it out eventually. Each party finds a way to convert the troubling reality of ignorance in to a fantasy knowing, and feels better for it. It's an experience we all share, only the fantasy knowing we choose varies. I'm doing it too, right here and now, crafting a story to fill the void.

    When somebody tries to poke holes in our fantasy knowings we'll likely resist, perhaps with great enthusiasm, because we just don't wish to stare our incredible smallness in the face.

    But what if we could? What if we were brave enough, and logical enough, to make peace with not having answers to the very largest of questions, or any way to move towards an answer?

    What if we turned and faced our ignorance, accepted it, made peace with it, turned it in to a friend, and put our intelligence to work mining it's great value?

    Might such a project at least be more interesting than continuing to ride the children's merry-go-round to nowhere of the God debate for another 500 years? Round and round and round we go, always returning to right where we began.

    • David Cromie

      The way out of the revolving door is for believers in a supposed 'god' to adduce the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that supports their belief. No believer has yet achieved that, so the uncorroborated arguments for existence of any supposed supernatural entity are sterile and pointless, since believers have only obdurate 'faith' that they are justified in their chosen world view.

      • Phil Tanny

        If you should apply that same methodology to your own beliefs you would see the God debate, all sides of it, collapse under it's own weight.

        I applaud your methodology, but not your apparent (as best I can tell) unwillingness to apply it to all claims by all parties. Such an unwillingness by any of us is not reason, but rather mere ideology.

        And if your goal should be to have an ideological battle, ok, go for it, but you stand no chance of beating the theists at that game for they are masters of the ideological medium.

        • David Cromie

          "...apply that same methodology to your own beliefs...".

          I do not have any religious beliefs to which I could apply the methodology of seeing both sides.

          All I ask of believers is that they provide the irrefutable, falsifiable, evidence that would show that their favourite supposed 'god' actually exists. Is that too much to ask?

          In the ordinary course of events it would not matter to me one iota what religious people believe. But when 'believers' try to force their superstitious delusions as a blueprint for my lifestyle, by resorting to theocratic means, then I oppose them, and ask all such parties for justification of their actions, whatever their religious sect/denomination.

          • Phil Tanny

            I do not have any religious beliefs to which I could apply the methodology of seeing both sides.

            Yes, your comment made that clear. I have no problem with you not having religious beliefs.

            I was speaking about your atheist beliefs. And, please do think carefully before trying to tell us there are no atheist beliefs.

            All I ask of believers is that they provide the irrefutable,falsifiable, evidence that would show that their favourite supposed 'god' actually exists. Is that too much to ask?

            And all I'm asking of you is that you provide irrefutable evidence that human reason is qualified to do a meaningful credible analysis of the most fundamental nature of everything everywhere, the scope of god claims.

            That is, I'm asking you to be loyal to your own chosen methodology, and apply your challenge equally to all parties and all their chosen authorities. This is what is required of a person of reason.

            If you are making no claim to being a person of reason, if you should admit your position is faith based, then I withdraw all complaints and will respect your right to your preferred ideology.

            And of course, you can simply ignore me if this is too inconvenient of a challenge, no complaint with that either.

          • David Cromie

            Please give examples of 'atheist beliefs'.

          • Phil Tanny

            The belief that human reason is qualified to generate meaningful credible statements about any subject, no matter how large or outside of our experience. Put another way, the belief that reason is a God, capable of anything.

          • David Cromie

            If humans were not capable of reasoning we would not be known as homo sapiens, and the technology we both are using would not exist, and this exchange would be impossible. Even more serious, language, at its best, would be nothing more than a few grunts among members of primitive tribes people.

          • Phil Tanny

            None of which proves that human reason is capable of generating meaningful statements on any and all questions, no matter how large the scale.

            We could agree that human reason is the best tool available to us, and that too would prove nothing about whether human reason is capable of addressing the very biggest questions.

          • David Cromie

            When human reasoning is applied to the observed cosmos it has made a lot of progress in terms of testable hypotheses, and repeatable scientific experiment outcomes.

            When dealing with the supposed supernatural realm, the atavistically superstitious among us have invented metaphysically inspired 'theology' (based mostly on supposed inerrant religious texts), leading to claimed 'eternal truths', which have led to a long series of disasters for the human species, over the centuries.

            N.B. The latter is not an 'atheist belief', in any sense, since we have the undisputed history of applied religious belief acting on the world in support of it.

          • You're begging the question with respect to Material, Immaterial, Reason, & Being. And all based on your own beliefs about just those sorts of things and what counts as rational metrics/inquiry. As per this thread's http://disq.us/p/26n686s ~

          • David Cromie

            'Meta christianity' belongs in a barren no man's land of pseudo philosophy. So no help there when dealing with the real world.

          • The nature of human belief ((...doxastic experience etc...)) isn't Magic and so far you've failed to address your own Atheistic-Beliefs and why you claim Atheism is a denial rather than an affirmation. That is to say you failed to address how it is your claim of "I do not believe X" is based on no prior beliefs. How is that vacuum of "nothing-but-non-belief" even possible given the contingent nature of ALL semantic intent?

            Your own syllogisms regarding the Trio of Perception, Reason, and Reality are in fact affirmations and therein all self-reports are in fact based on beliefs about that Trio.

            “.....total skepticism about ultimate beliefs is… impossible… no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief, [so] indifference is always in danger of giving place to …a fanaticism that can be as intolerant as any religion has ever been…...” (by L. Newbigin)

            The fallacy is that "Nothing-But-A-Lack-Of-Belief" can actually exist. As if a Doxastic Vacuum were possible. But such a vacuum of "Nothing-But" is impossible given the nature of our own doxastic experience and the nature of the contingent abstractions of the contingent minds of contingent beings.

            ((...this comment is http://disq.us/p/26oa9td ...))

          • David Cromie

            All children are born atheist. It takes indoctrination to abuse their minds into believing black is white because some malign, deluded, religious 'savant' says so, with menaces, as she/he takes absolute control over their dupes, for their own nefarious purposes. Critical thinking is therefore absolutely prohibited.

            This is the exact opposite of 'Nothing-But-A-Lack-Of-Belief', and the question then arises; which belief is the 'true' one?

          • Do you mean to say that neonates make claims of not enough evidence? We can stop here with your trivially true claim that neonates are A-Everything because if that is all you mean to state about the claims of Atheists then we can grant that mathematics and chemistry are also Non-Entity per the category which you’re actually addressing there ((…babies etc…)). But of course you don’t mean to say THAT. You’re merely dancing to avoid addressing the veracity of “…. no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief….” from the following:

            “.....total skepticism about ultimate beliefs is… impossible… no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief, [so] indifference is always in danger of giving place to …a fanaticism that can be as intolerant as any religion has ever been…...” (by L. Newbigin)

            It’s trivially true that neonates are A-Everything but if that is all you mean to state about the claims of Atheists then we can grant that mathematics and chemistry are also Non-Entity per the category which you’re actually addressing there ((…babies etc…)). The category error which charges the neonate with Presuppositions ((…do you mean to do so…?)) is obvious.

            Again you've failed to address your own Atheistic-Beliefs and why you claim Atheism is pure denial rather than that which is inextricably woven into multiple affirmations. That is to say you failed to address how it is your claim of "I do not believe X" is based on no prior beliefs. How is that vacuum of "nothing-but-non-belief" even possible given the contingent nature of ALL semantic intent? Again the fallacy is there is blatant because the claim of "Nothing-But-A-Lack-Of-Belief" cannot actually exist simply because any such Doxastic Vacuum vacuum of "Nothing-But" is impossible given the contingent nature of our own doxastic experience ((….and the nature of the contingent abstractions of the contingent minds of contingent beings etc….)).

            Of course we can stop here with your trivially true claim that neonates are A-Everything because if that is all you mean to state about the claims of Atheists then we can grant that mathematics and chemistry are also Non-Entity per the category which you’re actually addressing there ((…babies etc…)) and so on.

            ((...this comment is http://disq.us/p/26p1tjr ....))

          • Do you mean to say that neonates make claims of not enough evidence? We can stop here with your trivially true claim that neonates are A-Everything because if that is all you mean to state about the claims of Atheists then we can grant that mathematics and chemistry are also Non-Entity per the category which you’re actually addressing there ((…babies etc…)). But of course you don’t mean to say THAT. You’re merely dancing to avoid addressing the veracity of “…. no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief….” from the following:

            “.....total skepticism about ultimate beliefs is… impossible… no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief, [so] indifference is always in danger of giving place to …a fanaticism that can be as intolerant as any religion has ever been…...” (by L. Newbigin)

            It’s trivially true that neonates are A-Everything but if that is all you mean to state about the claims of Atheists then we can grant that mathematics and chemistry are also Non-Entity per the category which you’re actually addressing there ((…babies etc…)). The category error which charges the neonate with Presuppositions ((…do you mean to do so…?)) is obvious.

            Again you've failed to address your own Atheistic-Beliefs and why you claim Atheism is pure denial rather than that which is inextricably woven into multiple affirmations. That is to say you failed to address how it is your claim of "I do not believe X" is based on no prior beliefs. How is that vacuum of "nothing-but-non-belief" even possible given the contingent nature of ALL semantic intent? Again the fallacy is there is blatant because the claim of "Nothing-But-A-Lack-Of-Belief" cannot actually exist simply because any such Doxastic Vacuum of "Nothing-But" is impossible given the contingent nature of our own doxastic experience ((….and the nature of the contingent abstractions of the contingent minds of contingent beings etc….)).

            Of course we can stop here with your trivially true claim that neonates are A-Everything because if that is all you mean to state about the claims of Atheists then we can grant that mathematics and chemistry are also Non-Entity per the category which you’re actually addressing there ((…babies etc…)) and so on.

            ((...this comment is http://disq.us/p/26p1zc9 ....))

          • David Cromie

            More to the point; have you ever heard of an unindoctrinated young child autonomously proclaiming that she/he was 'saved by the blood of christ'?

          • You already told us your trivially true claim that neonates are A-Everything || A-Theist and we already established that such is all you really mean to state about the claims of Atheists, which is fine as you're now on record as placing mathematics and chemistry in that same category of False/Tenuous "...because neonate..." Apparently your evasion does not end there, however, as we find in a. your comment http://disq.us/p/26q9ni7 and my reply b. http://disq.us/p/26rawrj that you are on record as denying the veracity of the following

            "....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief...."

            But why do you deny that? Clearly that is impossible.

            ((...this comment is http://disq.us/p/26rb3ak ....))

          • David Cromie

            Christo-fascists make sure their offspring are indoctrinated into their own version of christianity as soon as possible, and do all in their power to discourage learning about anything significant concerning the sciences, at any stage in their intellectual development. That is, quite simply, child abuse.

            As for "....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....". Anyone with a working faculty for critical thinking will base their 'beliefs' on the discoverable evidence for the veracity of the claim/belief under consideration (usually obtained via the scientific method, no matter that christers think otherwise).

            Having 'faith' that X is true, is almost certainly an indication that X is false, a fortiori when no incontrovertible, falsifiable, independent, evidence is offered in support of said claim. IOW, to claim that X is true, when based on nothing but mere belief/faith, is irrational.

          • Four observations:
            But first recall that you're premise of Indoctrination of Mathematics & Chemistry & ANY-thing at all "...because neonate...." won't work. Sorry. Fortunately after you mumbled something about that lingering bit of Straw in your syllogism you finally do try to get on topic when you say:

            As for "....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....". Anyone with a working faculty for critical thinking will base their 'beliefs' on the discoverable evidence for the veracity of the claim/belief under consideration (usually obtained via the scientific method, no matter that christers think otherwise).

            1. We'll get to Positivism / Scientism / Empiricism / and the fallacy that Physics/Cosmology is convertible with ontology ((....and why Physical Systems and what physical systems do are fully subsumed by || warm & cozy with the Christian Metaphysic...)) but first....

            2. ....but first there's the key/initial problem which you're still avoiding, namely....

            3. ...namely you are still denying that all self-reports of Not-Enough-Evidence are not vacuums of "nothing-but" a lack of belief but in fact ARE possible ONLY by spring-boarding off of other Affirmations/Beliefs.

            4. *IF* you agree with that claim ((.... ""....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....".....)) well then we can examine those Affirmations/Beliefs as we unpack Mind, Perception, Time, Change, and the First Person Experience of Self/Intention which so many Non-Theists assure us all sum to Illusion ((and given Non-Theism's toolbox they're correct of course)).

            ((....this comment is http://disq.us/p/26rr6dz ....))

          • Almost. So Here's Six Observations:

            1. Recall that your premise of "...Indoctrination..." of Mathematics & Chemistry ((& ANY-thing at all)) "...Because Neonate...." won't work. Sorry. Fortunately after you mumbled something about that lingering bit of straw in your syllogism you finally do try to get on topic where you say:

            As for "....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....". Anyone with a working faculty for critical thinking will base their 'beliefs' on the discoverable evidence for the veracity of the claim/belief under consideration (usually obtained via the scientific method, no matter that christers think otherwise).

            2. We'll get to your hints of Positivism / Scientism / Empiricism / Whatever and the fallacy that [Physics/Cosmology] is convertible with [Ontological Bookkeeping] and we'll also get to....

            3. ....to why Physical Systems and what physical systems do are fully subsumed by || warm & cozy with the Christian Metaphysic...)) but first....

            4. ....but first there's the key/initial problem which you're still avoiding, namely....

            5. ...namely you are still denying that all self-reports of Not-Enough-Evidence are not vacuums of "nothing-but" a lack of belief but in fact ARE possible ONLY by spring-boarding off of other Affirmations/Beliefs.

            6. *IF* you agree with that claim (("....no belief can be doubted except on the basis of some other belief....")) well then we can examine those Affirmations/Beliefs as we unpack Mind, Perception, Time, Change, and the First Person Experience of Self/Intention which so many Non-Theists assure us all sum to Illusion ((and given Non-Theism's toolbox they're correct of course)).

            ((....this comment is http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3 ....))

          • In addition to my earlier reply to you at http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3 there is the observation that in another of your comments you reveal that you are one of "those" sort of "Critics" who claims that there is no evidence that Jesus ever existed ((...see attached picture etc...)) and yet far too many folks who are not a friend of Christianity nonetheless affirm that on standard metrics of historicity we are essentially certain that both Jesus and Pilate existed & that Jesus was executed by direct order of the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea (Pilate). Given your extreme line there it's not easy to justify your credibility ~~ see attached etc. ~~ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2b9c8808d760e27b7efe4b96dad4fd42549f3cd03d22459bb0cffd83e73c8316.jpg

          • rubellapox2

            No, we are not certain that any of those people historically existed and if they did we have no proof of their divinity ..

          • See the attached http://disq.us/p/26ts9uc and we can agree that you too along with David claim what he claims, namely that there is zero evidence of any kind that both Jesus and Pilate existed & that Jesus was executed by direct order of the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea (Pilate).

          • rubellapox2

            Again, there might have been a historical Jesus, but there is no evidence for his divinity/godhood.. no one has proven or brought forth any evidence for that...

          • That's still irrelevant to David's claim which is that there is zero evidence of any kind for any of it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1a85428eae0cfb5bd429de80b126bbabb9eaf08131833e507beacccd90c339c.jpg

          • In addition to my earlier reply to you at http://disq.us/p/26rrlm3 there is your claim that there is zero evidence of any kind that the person Jesus existed, a claim which contradicts Non-Theistic historians of all sorts as they affirm that the person Jesus and the person Pilate both existed and that such is essentially certain based on standard, every-day rules of historicity. The evidence that Jesus existed is actually greater than the evidence that Pilate existed and yet the historical statement "Pilate Existed" isn't seriously questioned even by folks who are not friends of Christianity. You're an outlier against fairly standard modes of evaluating ((historical)) evidence and that presents a difficulty when trying to take your syllogisms/reasoning seriously. The observation that you claim "zero evidence of any kind" is based on your comment in the attached picture https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a1a85428eae0cfb5bd429de80b126bbabb9eaf08131833e507beacccd90c339c.jpg

          • David Cromie

            Where is the 'evidence', for any man-god named JC. If you cannot find it, then where is it kept, and why is it so secret?

          • It's enough to watch you claim that there is zero evidence that Jesus existed given that the evidence that Jesus existed is actually greater than the evidence that Pilate existed and yet the historical statement "Pilate Existed" isn't seriously questioned even by folks who are not friends of Christianity.

            On the standard-fare rules of historicity you're an outlier there. By far in fact and that's given nothing more than fairly standard modes of evaluating ((historical)) evidence ((...can we add Pontius Pilate to your list of of "Zero Evidence" with respect to the historical question of his existence...? ~~ would you like to change your claim with respect to the historical person from "Zero Evidence" to something evidence-based....?))

            That you're sooo far outside of the main here presents a difficulty when trying to take your syllogisms/reasoning seriously.

            ((....the observation that you claim "zero evidence of any kind" is based on your comment pictured in the comment at http://disq.us/p/26vbf7r ....))

            ((...this comment is http://disq.us/p/26x3zb9 ....))

          • DeadBabyJoke

            "It's enough to watch you claim that there is zero evidence that Jesus existed given that the evidence that Jesus existed is actually greater than the evidence that Pilate existed and yet the historical statement "Pilate Existed" isn't seriously questioned even by folks who are not friends of Christianity."
            You're a liar. There isn't more evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ than there is for Pontius Pilate. I keep hearing these assertions about this alleged evidence, but believers can never provide any. They just quote the Bible, even though the Bible is one of the claims we question in the first place. Where is this alleged nom-biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus? The burden of proof is on you.

          • Okay so we can add you to the list with David on it and we can add Pilate too, such that we now have the claim that there is ZERO evidence of any kind for the historical existence of Pilate & Jesus ((....as per http://disq.us/p/26x3zb9 ....)).

            So you're done then, yes?

            (....this comment is http://disq.us/p/26xudk6 ....)

          • DeadBabyJoke

            No, I said that the claim that there's more evidence for Jesus than there was for Pontius Pilate isn't true. I also said that believers keep asserting that there's non-biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus, but the evidence that they give is scarce to nonexistent. I'm also going to point out that at no point in my posts to you did I claim that Jesus didn't exist, just the lack of evidence for those claims (outside of the Bible.) I personally think that Jesus was most likely based on an actual person, but beyond that, we have no actual, reliable evidence or sources on Jesus as a person.

          • Why do you disagree with David then? He insists there is ZERO evidence for the historical existence of Jesus. Do you agree with his own unevenhanded/biased application of Non-Standard-Fare rules of historicity ((... https://www.str.org/blog/22-historical-confirmations-in-two-verses#.Xi8mUGhKhPY ....))?

            BTW what do old documents like we have in the old documents which make up the Bible and any other old documents we can find all collectively "sum" to "say" etc. about the historical existence of the following:

            Ketef Hinnom Amulets
            John Rylands Papyrus
            Dead Sea Scrolls
            Beni Hasan Painting
            Basalt Stelae from Dan
            Gilgamesh Epic
            Pool of Gibeon
            The Seal of Baruch
            King Sargon II of Assyria
            Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
            Caiaphas Ossuary
            Pontius Pilate Inscription
            Pool of Siloam
            Beersheba Horned Altar
            Cyrus Cylinder

            ?? Pure Fiction according to old documents ~ Yes? That is to say, according to standard-fare rules of historicity ~ Yes?

            ((...this comment is http://disq.us/p/26xv535 ....))

          • But you didn't explain why you disagree with David.
            Why do you disagree with David then?

            He insists there is ZERO evidence for the historical existence of Jesus.
            Do you agree with his own unevenhanded/biased application of Non-Standard-Fare rules of historicity ((... https://www.str.org/blog/22-historical-confirmations-in-two-verses#.Xi8mUGhKhPY ....))?

            It’s an old tale… the whole Pure Fiction thing but David is insistent on and you are now on record of defending his claim given your insistence on.... what? What's missing? What is the "thing" that is "missing" that is causing you to DEFEND DAVID'S CLAIM? And if Jesus DID exist then what is the "thing" that is "missing" that matters at all given regular old, standard-fare historicity?

            DEFENDING DAVID is what you are now doing, but WHY? https://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/05/22-historical-confirmations-in-two-verses.html?cid=6a00d83451d2ba69e201b7c78f37fa970b#comment-6a00d83451d2ba69e201b7c78f37fa970b

            BTW what do old documents like we have in the old documents which make up the Bible and any other old documents we can find all collectively "sum" to "say" etc. about the historical existence of the following:

            Ketef Hinnom Amulets
            John Rylands Papyrus
            Dead Sea Scrolls
            Beni Hasan Painting
            Basalt Stelae from Dan
            Gilgamesh Epic
            Pool of Gibeon
            The Seal of Baruch
            King Sargon II of Assyria
            Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
            Caiaphas Ossuary
            Pontius Pilate Inscription
            Pool of Siloam
            Beersheba Horned Altar
            Cyrus Cylinder

            Pure Fiction according to old documents ~ Yes? That is to say, according to standard-fare rules of historicity ~ Yes?

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/26xveqt

            ~~

          • But you didn't explain why you disagree with David. Why do you disagree with David then?

            He insists there is ZERO evidence for the historical existence of Jesus. Do you agree with his own un-evenhanded, biased application of Non-Standard-Fare rules of historicity ((... https://www.str.org/blog/22-historical-confirmations-in-two-verses#.Xi8mUGhKhPY ....))?

            It’s an old story, the whole Pure Fiction thing, but David is insistent on it and you are now on record for defending his claim given your insistence on.... on what? What's missing? What is the "thing" that is "missing" that is causing you to DEFEND DAVID'S CLAIM? And if Jesus DID exist then what is the "thing" that is "missing" that matters at all given regular old, standard-fare historicity? You seem upset as you agree that Jesus existed. Why? What’s missing?

            DEFENDING DAVID is what you are now doing because you keep saying there’s a “problem” with the claim that Jesus existed. Well? What & WHY? https://str.typepad.com/weblog/2015/05/22-historical-confirmations-in-two-verses.html?cid=6a00d83451d2ba69e201b7c78f37fa970b#comment-6a00d83451d2ba69e201b7c78f37fa970b

            BTW are you even-handed in your own meandering within the crazy’ol vectors of historicity? Do old documents like we have in the old documents which make up the Bible and any other old documents we can find all collectively "sum" to "say" etc. anything at all ((…or instead maybe David’s “ZERO” evidence…?)) about the historical existence of the following:

            Ketef Hinnom Amulets
            John Rylands Papyrus
            Dead Sea Scrolls
            Beni Hasan Painting
            Basalt Stelae from Dan
            Gilgamesh Epic
            Pool of Gibeon
            The Seal of Baruch
            King Sargon II of Assyria
            Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
            Caiaphas Ossuary
            Pontius Pilate Inscription
            Pool of Siloam
            Beersheba Horned Altar
            Cyrus Cylinder

            By David’s peculiar “rules of historicity” nearly all of it was or used to be or still is Pure Fiction according to regular’ol ancient documents ~ Yes? That is to say, according to standard-fare rules of historicity ~ Yes?

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/26xvr51

            ~~

          • DeadBabyJoke

            "BTW what do old documents like we have in the old documents which make up the Bible and any others etc. have to say about the historical existence of the following:

            Ketef Hinnom Amulets
            John Rylands Papyrus
            Dead Sea Scrolls
            Beni Hasan Painting
            Basalt Stelae from Dan
            Gilgamesh Epic
            Pool of Gibeon
            The Seal of Baruch
            King Sargon II of Assyria
            Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III
            Caiaphas Ossuary
            Pontius Pilate Inscription
            Pool of Siloam
            Beersheba Horned Altar
            Cyrus Cylinder

            Pure Fiction according to old documents ~ Yes? That is to say, according to standard-fare rules of historicity ~ Yes?

            (....this comment is http://disq.us/p/26xudk6 ....)"
            Those are a bunch of pathetic handwaves and excuses to explain away the scarce to nonexistent non-biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus. You can bring this stuff up all you want, but it's irrelevant since none of this supports the claim that there is a bunch of ALLEGED non-biblical evidence for Jesus. Nice try.

          • DeadBabyJoke

            I already did. And it was a load of crap.

          • You agree then that Jesus existed. And yet you continue to complain. Why? What's missing? What is the "thing" that is "missing" that is a. causing you to DEFEND DAVID'S CLAIM or else b. *IF Jesus DID exist then what is the "thing" that is "missing" that matters at all given regular old, standard-fare historicity? You seem upset as you agree that Jesus existed. Why? What’s missing?

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/26ycpqr

          • Either way it seems you agree that Jesus existed. And yet you continue to complain. Why? What's missing? What is the "thing" that is "missing" that is a. causing you to DEFEND DAVID'S CLAIM or else b. *IF Jesus DID exist then what is the "thing" that is "missing" that matters at all given regular old, standard-fare historicity? You seem upset as you agree that Jesus existed. Why? What’s missing?

            The phrase "....he fits into "it's highly improbable the guy didn't exist" with or without it...." is what the clear majority of Non-Christian historians & Christian historians conclude. Perhaps as per
            http://disq.us/p/26xyw46
            http://disq.us/p/26y3ra3
            http://disq.us/p/26y780j

            And so on.

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/26ycumn

          • DeadBabyJoke

            I said Jesus was MOST LIKELY based on a real person. But there's little to no evidence outside of the Bible which supports his existence. And I'm not defending David's claim, you liar. I took issue with your BLATANTLY FALSE claim that there's more evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for Pontius Pilate. You're apparently too stupid to tell the difference.

          • Your premise is that Scripture is unreliable wrt Pilate. But Scripture was right all along about many things which over time extra-biblical sources affirm. Yes? That crosstalk back and forth amid all available data points just is what “doing historicity’s work” means. Pilate’s historical existence has ALL those data points (Extra/Intra) just as the historical existence of Jesus does. Have you counted the number of extra + intra biblical data points for EACH? Which has more? Be careful.

            Also, why do you expunge extra-biblical commentaries which buttress and affirm biblical commentaries? You’re exercising bias there — Why?

          • More evidence for Pilate? That’s odd. You’ve completely stacked the deck outside of standard-fare historicity. Why? Your premise is that ancient commentaries in the canon are unreliable about Pontius Pilate. But given that those ancient commentaries are reliable about Pilate why should anyone believe you? The ever-growing pool of data points actually converges with those ancient commentaries quite nicely on all sorts of facts. Yes?

            The historical existence of Pontius Pilate has ALL available data points ((…both Extra/Intra Biblical data points…)) converging in agreement even as the historical existence of Jesus also has ALL available data points ((…both Extra/Intra Biblical data points…)) converging in agreement. Yes?

            Have you added up the number of extra-biblical commentaries and intra-biblical commentaries for Pontius Pilate and for Jesus? Which has more in total? Be careful. Allowing cross-talk amid all data points such that the convergence of contemporary and non-contemporary voices may tell whatever narrative is going to emerge “just is” what doing the “work of history” amounts to. Clearly. But then WHY do you expunge ancient documents found in the Canon from your pool of available data points? That's a bizarre move on your part ((...bias...?)) especially given the demonstrable fact that the content there mixed into standard-fare historicity continues to converge with content elsewhere.

            Curiously you still have not told us what is MISSING from the pool of data points vis-à-vis the historical existence of Jesus. Why? Contemporary & Non-Contemporary? It seems you want to treat some data points as "special" and others as "non-existent" or something. No? Yes? Do you have another way that you could justify your nagging feeling that something must be missing?

            Perhaps a reminder again that allowing cross-talk amid all data points such that the convergence of contemporary and non-contemporary voices may tell whatever narrative is going to emerge “just is” what doing the “work of history” amounts to.

            Lastly, I said you were supporting David and then followed that with an “IF” which captured the other half in which you disagree with David and affirm that he is wrong to say there is ZERO evidence. Did you miss that? There was no lie, only an option of If/Then and another option of another If/Then. Perhaps you may want to slow down and read more carefully and….well… allow ALL data points to “speak” ((…so to speak…)). Yes? After all you wouldn’t want to get the narrative wrong.

            This comment is http://disq.us/p/26ypo6z

          • DeadBabyJoke

            "More evidence for Pilate? That’s odd. You’ve completely stacked the deck outside of standard-fare historicity. Why? Your premise is that ancient commentaries in the canon are unreliable about Pontius Pilate. But given that those ancient commentaries are reliable about Pilate why should anyone believe you? The ever-growing pool of data points actually converges with those ancient commentaries