Of Tangible Ghosts, and The Ghost of the Revelator, by L.E. Modesitt Jr. - A couple of posts ago I wrote about *Solar Express*, by L.E. Modesitt Jnr., and mentioned that I have *Of Tangible Ghosts *and* The Ghost of the Revelator...
2 hours ago
|Russell Glasser vs Stephen Feinstein?|
No my friend. I will give you a lot of evidence. I will use much reasoning and logic. I will fall back to epistemology frequently. And at the end of it, your position will no longer justifiably be called as rational. To see it as rational would be to do so in spite of reality. I understand that this is bold for me to speak like this, but I am so convinced of the transcendental necessity of the Biblical God and all of the reasoning and evidence to go along with it, that I have this confidence. I am so convinced of the truthfulness, perspicuity, and infallibility of the Bible and the worldview it presents that I confront your position with such boldness. ...
Russell, I will give you good reasons to believe in the God of the Bible and I hope to demonstrate to you that you are the one who believes in atheism for no reason, whereas I have plenty of reason to believe in my God. I think by this point I’ve shown you which direction I am going to take this. I am interested to see where you are planning to take it. I think the phase of using feelers is coming to an end.
You say that a Godless universe must necessarily be a universe in which consistency and patterns do not exist. The ball’s in your court to demonstrate any reason why this follows.
The ball is also in your court to show how it makes any sense to say that a sentient God could actually “create” the laws of logic at all. Did logic not exist before God spoke it into existence? Is it your hypothesis that there used to be a universe in which A = not A, and then God decided to change it? Could God have decided to make all laws of logic the opposite of what they are now? And if he did, would it logically follow that he did not? Can God perform tasks which are illogical, simultaneously both A and not A, or is he bound by the laws of logic himself? What, in short, does it mean for God to “decide” that the laws of logic are one way and not another?
You spent your first two posts promising to build up to an argument without making one; you spent your third post making empty assertions about how you think the God must work; and you’ve spent your most recent post trying to get people to reread the third post to mine out arguments that aren’t there. ...
In the last post I asked you to justify your God. Instead of doing that, you kept repeating the mantra that God is “necessary” and other things are “contingent.” While this obviously sounds very thorough to you and you seem extremely satisfied that you have explained yourself, all you’ve actually done is begged the question by repeating the same claim with different words.
In other words, you are asserting that the laws of logic are “contingent,” by which you mean “something which requires an explanation”; while God is “necessary,” by which you mean “I don’t have to provide an explanation.” If you think that this kind of thing passes as any kind of rigorous proof, rather than self-satisfied word salad, then I don’t think you understand this discussion as well as you think you do. ...
I know you’ve decided that you’re being terribly clever by ruling out “axioms” and then claiming that “preconditions by definition cannot apply to a necessary being.” But all you’ve done is declared God to be your axiom using a different word, while at the same time demanding that axioms be off limits. No wonder you can declare victory so often. [my emphasis]
From the ancient Greeks onward, many civilizations have seriously believed that it was possible to determine fundamental truths about the nature of reality without coming into direct contact with any part of reality. That is to say, if you could use mathematical deductions, philosophical arguments, and logical inferences to make a case then you don’t need to learn anything from the natural world; you can just conclude things about it. Usually, of course, the desired conclusion is a God of some sort, although needless to say, which God varies widely. ...
Even apart from religion, the application of so-called “pure reason” in the absence of experiment has led to centuries of serious misinformation about the nature of the universe. Aristotle was utterly convinced that heavy objects fell faster than light objects, because it just seemed obvious. It took over 1900 years before Galileo corrected that record. ...
One thing I can say about this debate is that it has greatly increased my awareness of the tactics of presuppositional apologetics. Unlike much of modern evangelism, presuppositionalism is an unrepentant throwback to a simpler time, when you could simply ignore evidence and assume that “pure logic” can lead you to a desired tangible conclusion, devoid of any connection to the observed world. ...
The bottom line is that Stephen believes that all things require a creator… except when they don’t. He wants you to believe that it is impossible and absurd for logic to simply stand on its own without a justification, but when asked to supply the justification for God, he becomes strangely petulant. ”I told you that God is necessary!” he insists. ”Why can’t you understand that if I describe something as necessary, I don’t have to account for it anymore?”
This monster storm aimed at America and ready to inflict severe damage during election week is not a coincidence. Hurricane Sandy may flood Washington, DC on election day! It is like the hurricane is a huge bucket of vomit in America’s face during the election. What a sign from the holy God of Israel that American politics is an abomination to Him. A pro-homosexual Mormon along with a pro-abortion/homosexual, Muslim Brotherhood promoter, Hard Left Fascist are running for president. And there is no cry of repentance from God’s people! I see this storm as a warning from the LORD to call His church to repentance, This might be the last call from the Holy God of Israel.
God is systematically destroying America. Just look at what has happened this year.
There was an incredible heatwave and drought that destroyed massive amounts of the crops. This drought has not let up and now covers about 65 percent of the country.
The drought triggered record forest fires in the West.
The East was not affected by the drought, but now the most powerful hurricane on record is heading directly towards Philadelphia and New York City. It could do catastrophic damage to the entire Northeast!
If you add the area of the drought and now the hurricane together, it would be about 80 percent of the country! As I said, the Holy God of Israel is systematically destroying America right before our eyes.
Right now, Hurricane Sandy is projected to hit Washington, DC and then come directly over my house! I live in central Pennsylvania and the storm is scheduled to hit here Wednesday.
There are some objective logical absolutes.
We can have concepts of these logical absolutes.
These logical absolutes are not physical (you can't find them within the natural world).
These logical absolutes are therefore conceptual.
Concepts require a mind.
Since the logical absolutes are true everywhere they must exist within an infinite mind.
That mind is God.
Logic is rational, but atheism presupposes that everything comes from material sources.
Logic isn't material, so atheism lacks any objective source for logic.
Without an objective source for logic, atheism cannot employ logic.
Therefore atheism is self refuting.
Since atheism is refuted, theism must be true.
The video points out some of the main problems with the different versions of TAG. All versions equivocate between the consistent behavior of nature (facts of reality), and the language that humans have developed to describe it (laws of logic). The language of logic simply represents and points to what exists objectively, in the same way a map represents a real location in space without actually being a location itself.
TAG proponents are essentially trying to claim that the symbolic representation of reality (logical statements made with language, math, etc) are "things" that exist in their own right and must be accounted for, but this is simply false. All that actually exists is matter, energy, and forces that interact in consistent ways. Human logic is merely a verbal DESCRIPTION of what nature is doing, and does not need to exist for nature to behave the way it behaves.
To summarize, a simple analogy to the logical absolutes would be abstract mathematics. The number 4 is “transcendent” by the TAG definition. It isn't a 'thing' that 'exists'. It cannot be photographed, frozen, weighed, or measured. It is always the number 4. It always remains the same. It always remains true.
However, if there were no minds in existence to conceive of the number 4, the shape we currently call a square would still have the same number of sides it has now. It would not physically gain or lose any sides. The abstraction of the number 4 is conceptual, but the concept isn't dependent on a transcendent mind for the real world underpinning of the concept to remain true.
It should always be remembered that theists are in the same position as non-theists once enough layers are peeled back. The goal of TAG and other presuppositionalist arguments is to stay on the offensive and keep asking "why" and "how do you account for" questions until you hit bedrock at "The universe just exists and behaves consistently".
This is a brute fact and it makes no sense to ask for "why" beyond this point, however the TAG proponent will declare victory if you don't have an answer, then baldly assert that they do (God did it). This usually trips up atheists because they don't realize that they are being asked an impossible question that equally applies to ANY worldview, including the theistic one. Your goal should be to mirror the questions they ask you and go on the offensive yourself until you expose that they also don't have answers to the "why" question at the bottom of their worldview.
You will find that TAG proponents are trying to account for the consistent behavior of nature by appealing to the consistent mind of a god that can't be accounted for! They can't account for why god exists instead of not existing. He "just exists" for no reason and no cause, and just has the properties he has for no reason and no cause. His will is effective rather than ineffective, for no reason and no cause. In other words they cannot account for the existence or capabilities of the being they are appealing to as the foundation of logic! So they have actually accounted for nothing. They've just pushed the question back a level.
With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, there is a deep divide among Republican leaders over whether to emphasize misogyny or racism as the campaign’s closing theme.
In one camp is the Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who says that his view that God is sometimes O.K. with rape is “gaining real traction with a key demographic: men who don’t like women very much.”
“I can’t tell you how many misogynists have come up to me at my rallies and said, ‘Thank you for saying what you said,’” he told reporters today. “I think they’re like, finally, someone’s taking a more nuanced position on rape.”
But in the other camp is the former New Hampshire governor John Sununu, who worries that the Republican Party’s emphasis on misogyny is threatening to drown out its “winning message of racism.”
“I understand the appeal of Mourdock’s anti-woman theme, but I worry that it’s going to overshadow our core value of racism, which is still our best shot at winning this thing,” he said. “In politics, you’ve got to dance with the one who brung you.”
Hoping to heal a possible rift with so little time left until Election Day, the R.N.C. chairman Reince Priebus said today that there is room for both views in today’s Republican Party: “Our ‘big tent’ message to voters should be this: come for the misogyny, stay for the racism.”
"Frankly when you take a look at Colin Powell whether that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama," Sununu told CNN.
"What reason would that be?" asked host Piers Morgan.
“Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you’re proud of being President of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him," responded Sununu.
For it's an iron law of politics that whenever an African-American endorses the president, the
goodpeople at the Free Republic will make you want to cleanse your eyeballs with soap…
"Colin Powell will endorse Barack Obama for president again today. Just came across the AP Wire. No link just yet hut [sic] it is fact... And of course, no surprise."
"Gee, I wonder why."
"Powell’s a racist!"
"Color is thicker than water."
"It’s a black thing."
"Obama’s still black."
"Now we know. He places race ahead of all else."
"One black man endorses another. That’s news." [But it's different when one white man endorses another?]
"Race before country."
"He’s a racist for sure."
"what you do expect? it’s not like Obama changed color these past 4 years! Powell is a traitor."
"It is becoming increasingly clear that Obama is an enemy of this country and when someone with Powell’s level of awareness chooses to side with him, it has to be because he is also an enemy of this country and seeks its destruction. May they all rot."
"Birds of a feather. Affirmative action guys got to stand together."
"Powell just has melanin envy." [I'll bet this commenter was really proud at his own cleverness, don't you think?]
"No surprise there. Does anyone really give a rat's ass about what the "equal opportunity" general has to say about anything? I think not." ["Equal opportunity" in scare quotes? Really?]
"Mulattos [sic] got ta stick together ya know."
"He's an angry, racist, half dimwit who is only where he is because of the color of his skin- and hates the system that promoted him on his race." [Yeah, these 'mulattos' are just one-half dimwit, huh? Gee, I wonder what he means by that?]
"Color before country.."
"Powell’s a racist! This is really the only logical conclusion"
"Anybody see Condi Rice’s utter refusal to see anything negative about Benghazi and explicit throwing of Republican platform social concerns under bus? On Greta last night."
Dunham's tongue-in-cheek references to losing her virginity are not lost on Republicans, many of whom say they are outraged by the ad and call it 'disgusting.'
'Talk about desperation,' a conservative blogger wrote on 'The Right Scoop.'
'They've finally sunken to a new low trying to get the youth vote by comparing voting for the first time to having sex for the first time.'
RedState editor-in-chief and CNN contributor Erick Erickson wrote, 'If you need any further proof we live in a fallen world destined for hell fire, consider the number of people who have no problem with the President of the United States, via a campaign ad, ridiculing virgins and comparing sex to voting.' ...
Fox News analyst and conservative author Monica Crowley called the ad 'sick' and 'degrading' on Twitter.
'Of the many sick things about this degrading Lena Dunham "lose your virginity to Barack" ad? The left thinks it's "empowering" to women,' she wrote.
Conservative blogger John Nolte of Breitbart News added: 'How could a president with two young, blossoming daughters release an ad as disgusting as this?'
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Richard Mourdock's Rape Comment|
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Bulls#%t Mountain: Episode I - The Phantom Menace|
This is what brings us back to 'not optimal' and how Bullshit Mountain works its magic. Because as ridiculous and hyperbolic and unfounded as the pronouncements from Bullshit Mountain are, for some reason, other news networks can't resist its siren song.
That's the thing about Bullshit Mountain. You may not live on it, but whenever it rains, you get the mudslide.