Robertson Returning to his Roots?

Like everybody else, I am agog at this video in which Pat Robertson argues against young earth creationism:

James McGrath asks if this is A Turning Point for Evangelicalism? That’s an interesting question, since Robertson at least used to be a charismatic. Most of the pentecostal trappings were removed from view during his presidential runs, but I don’t believe he’s ever converted.

Wikipedia states, “Robertson is a Southern Baptist and was active as an ordained minister with that denomination for many years, but holds to a charismatic theology not traditionally common among Southern Baptists.”

One of the tenets of the charismatic movement is that the personal experience of God trumps dogma and creeds – including the creed of biblical inerrancy. Most conservative charismatics that I’ve dealt with can sound identical to conservative evangelicals, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe Pat is returning to his roots.

  • Bill

    This can all be explained by Pat’s changed position on pot legalization a while back.

    He’s just “mellowed out” these days.

  • blotonthelandscape

    Meh, I was a charismatic, and Old-Earth creationism was always the preferred dogma (yadda yadda – Pre-Adamic Age-etc etc); although I’m surprised to hear it from ol’ Pat. But evolution is slowly making it’s way into the movement. Give it time.

  • Hitchslapper

    Maybe Pat just realized what a laughing stock he had become…………… and he decided to try a little reality…

    • blotonthelandscape

      Heh, I imagine that realisation (given the scale and time he’s been a laughing-stock) would provoke more than a mere shift in position. A man his age, more likely a stroke.

      P.S. congrats on making a post without a recommendation that the target kill himself ;-)

      • Hitchslapper

        Bite me…………..

      • UrsaMinor

        You just had to poke the junior high school troll with a stick, didn’t you?
        Very good. Carry on.

        • Sunny Day

          Everyone needs a hobby.

        • FO

          It’s an improvement.
          It should be encouraged.

        • blotonthelandscape

          For what it’s worth, I was being sincere ;-)

          • Kodie

            Bite me. .. …… ….

            I am the ultimate bad-ass! I ride a motorcycle in broad daylight on the mountainside the bottom of the side of the mountain, and I bite the heads off chickens. I ask the butcher, please leave the head on, I want to shock my dinner party guests.

  • Paul

    This is a great first step. One of the things that bothers me most about fundamentalists is the complete rejection of logic and evidence. If we could start with critical thinking, it will go a long way.

    • Fundamentalist

      I am a fundamentalist, and I don’t reject logic and evidence. In fact, I think it is secular humanism that rejects logic and evidence for the most part.

      I would be happy to start with critical thinking.
      Between the two worldviews of young-earth creation and evolutionism, which one has a more solid foundation for things such as morality and laws of logic?

      I propose this formal logical argument (Modus Tollens):
      If the Biblical God (the triune God found in the Bible) did not exist, then science would not be possible. {{IF P, THEN Q}}
      Science is possible. {{NOT Q}}
      Therefore, the Biblical God does exist. {{THEREFORE NOT P}}

      Since this argument is logically valid, in order to refute it, you must show me that at least one of the premises are untrue (most likely the first one). In order to show that the first premise is untrue, you must show me that some other worldview (secular humanism, Islam, relativism, existentialism, etc.) can logically provide an ultimate standard for all of the preconditions required for intelligent thought; and do so without making arbitrary assumptions or contradicting yourself.

      Please respond rationally and cordially,
      Regards, the Fundamentalist

      • Noelle

        See, here’s the thing. When I was a young Xian, I was never taught this young earth nonsense. Calvinists do not have a monopoly on Christian thought. They do not get to be the only rule makers. Thinking you hold the only right idea when a bunch of others who share your religion assert the opposite is idiotic. I learned evolution in the 1 year I spent in a Xian high school. Not ID. Plain old evolution. In the same building where we sang Jesus songs and prayed. I learned college-level evolutionary science at a Xian college. And it was an RCA school, which I thought was technically Calvinist, but hardly Fundie. They managed to work out God exists and science is true. Were they not real Xians? If your fellow believers don’t agree with you, why should I?

        I was trained a scientist, not a philosopher, and have no idea how to mind your P’s and Q’s up there.

        • Kodie

          I sort of remember an intro to logic in about 8th or 9th grade mathematics but it never came up again. I took a philosophy course (for core liberal arts education) in college, but logic was not a part of that course.

          P= god does not exist
          Q= science is impossible.
          However, ~Q. Science is possible.
          Then, ~P. God does exist.

          Contrapositive, if I remember 8th grade. That’s if you accept the premise, “if god does not exist, then science is impossible.” Which you have to admit is a slam dunk.

      • kessy_athena

        Logic does not and cannot determine the reality of any statement. All it does is determine whether or not a set of statements are consistent with each other and provide an outline of the parameters for whether other statements are necessarily consistent with the original set, possible consistent with it, or necessarily inconsistent. Truth values in logic are purely relative, and what you’re doing is a serious misuse of logic.

        You are also including a buttload of assumptions that you are not explicitly stating. (And yes, a buttload is a technical term – it’s more then a lot and less then a crapload. ;) ) The only real prerequisite for the scientific method is that the universe is at least somewhat self consistent – sometimes. It doesn’t require absolutes of any kind, and even works on fundamentally random phenomena, such as quantum mechanics.

      • UrsaMinor

        The argument is invalid, because it contains an unproven assertion. You must first establish the truth value of the statement that science can exist only if your god exists. Your IF P THEN Q, as stated, is a logical nonsequitur.

        • Fundamentalist

          Except for the first sentence, I completely agree with you. So I will show, within the Biblical worldview that the God of the Bible is perfectly consistent and provides a logical foundation for the preconditions of intelligibility (the conditions necessary for intelligent thought).

          The God as revealed in the Bible is omnipotent “thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power… there is nothing too hard for thee” (Jeremiah 32:17); therefore He can do anything. He is omniscient “God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things” (1 John 3:20); therefore He knows everything. God defines “good”: “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31); “For thou art my God: thy spirit is good” (Psalm 143:10); therefore anything that does not meet God’s standard in not good. “God is love” (1 John 4:8); therefore love is of God. He never changes character “For I am the Lord, I change not” (Malachi 3:6); therefore what the Bible reveals about God is true regardless of time. Scientific laws and principles are the physical expression of God consistently upholding the world by his power “and upholding all things by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3).

          So now that I’ve provided foundations for morality and intelligibility from within my worldview (in my worldview, the Bible is true; in an atheist worldview, the Bible is not true), I invite anyone to do the same, but from their worldview, and not borrowing principles from the Bible. For to do so would be acknowledging that the Bible is true, while simultaneously denying it.

          • trj

            Now you’re using circular reasoning.

            Your premises don’t lead to the conclusion that God exists (or that God is a prerequisite for logic). You just stated that you completely agree with this. It should be fairly obvious that you cannot then use the characteristics of this non-proven God to support your premises.

            • Kodie

              He is using god of the gaps? in his original premise. He states that the only way to refute the triune god of the bible existing is to replace it with some other worldview to explain the possibility of science (the observable human intelligence). If there is no explanation offered (by us), his remains true (according to him). He is also taking credit for science or giving it to god. If there were no god, we’d be tree stumps and discover nothing about our world, and the fact that we can use (not the fact that we do use) intelligence to learn things by the scientific method is his way of saying science is true. He’s not being a turd and dismissing science like most fundies do. But he’s saying not only is it true, but we only know it because god gave us brains (to see, evaluate, classify, and discover every facet of his creation).

              If you can come up with another way to explain brains, that is the only way (he claims) you can defeat his original statement.

            • Fundamentalist

              Kodie: “He states that the only way to refute the triune god of the bible existing is to replace it with some other worldview to explain the possibility of science (the observable human intelligence)… If you can come up with another way to explain brains, that is the only way (he claims) you can defeat his original statement.”

              You seem to understand this argument better than most people do. As of now, there have been no attempts to show that an evolutionary worldview can logically account for things like science and morality. Would you like to give it a shot?

            • Kodie

              Oh, goodie! May I?

            • Fundamentalist

              I detect a hint of sarcasm. Yes, please do show how a naturalistic worldview can make logical sense of the preconditions of intelligibility; that’s what I’ve been waiting for. However, I would appreciate it if you focused more on giving a rational foundation for naturalism than on calling God a dummy.

            • trj

              Fundamentalist, I fail to see where you yourself have shown God to be a precondition for the existence of logic or intelligibility. All you’ve presented so far are non-sequitur premises, sustained in a circular loop by your own preordained conclusion, with a heap of blatant special pleading on top.

            • Kodie

              @Fundie, you don’t like what I have to say about god? What’s he gonna do to me?

            • Fundamentalist

              @trj:
              Special pleading? As in I’m asking for you to do something that I haven’t done myself? According to my worldview (the Bible is true), God’s way is perfect (Psalm 18:30), therefore He defines “good”; He says that he does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8), therefore He is the same yesterday, today and forever; He cannot contradict Himself (2 Timothy 2:13), therefore laws of logic reflect His thoughts; and He says he will uphold all things by His power (Hebrews 1:3), therefore He declares the physical laws and principles that make science possible. Does secular humanism have an ultimate standard that can makes sense of the preconditions of intelligibility?

              What does an ultimate standard look like anyway? Aside from the ultimate standard, all knowledge answers to a higher standard: you know something because of something else (you know yellow+blue=green because it has in the past). Eventually, these standards reach a point where you start using that standard to prove itself. This may sound like circular reasoning, but oddly enough, circular reasoning is valid because the conclusion does follow from the premise; circular reasoning is invalid when the premise is arbitrary (has no reason).
              An example of valid circular reasoning would be using a law of logic to prove laws of logic: If laws of logic did not exist, we would not be able to make an argument—we can make an argument—therefore laws of logic do exist. And even then, circular reasoning does not necessarily mean ultimate standard; even laws of logic need a rational justification. Otherwise, why should they work?

              I have been trying to find out if atheism has a rational ultimate standard, or if it is chosen over Christianity simply because people aren’t attracted by the idea of a God that will judge them eternally for their sins. My initial conviction was the latter, and all of the responses I’ve seen so far have only confirmed that conviction.

              I leave it up to y’all to show that atheism is more rationally grounded than the Biblical worldview, and that you choose it not simply because you don’t like the idea of a righteous God.

            • Elemenope

              This whole thread was nothing if not amusing to read. My favorite part? It takes some special…something…to demand that your interlocutors discard scientific reasoning in their arguments while you quote a torrent of Bible quotes in support of your own.

            • Fundamentalist

              Kodie: “you don’t like what I have to say about god? What’s he gonna do to me?”
              Ha, never heard that one before. I really hope that comment was just meant to funny, and that you’re working on a logical foundation for atheism.

              LMNOP: “This whole thread was nothing if not amusing to read. My favorite part? It takes some special…something…to demand that your interlocutors discard scientific reasoning in their arguments while you quote a torrent of Bible quotes in support of your own.”
              I’m not asking you to discard reasoning; I’m asking you to refrain from using “evidence” because since we have different starting assumptions, we will interpret the evidence differently, and necessarily come to different conclusions about evidence. I repeat, “This discussion has gone beyond scientific evidence into the realm of foundational logic.”
              I have given a Biblically consistent foundation for my worldview (I’m not asking that you convert immediately), and I ask my interlocutors to give a naturalistically consistent foundation for their worldview. I likely won’t believe you right away, but if you consistently show me that atheism can logically account for the conditions necessary for thought, I will be much more inclined to believe you.
              Also, I am not alone in claiming that Christianity has a greater rational foundation; as of now, you’re all helping me. From your silence, you are showing that naturalism has little to no rational justification.

              A RATIONAL, CONSISTENT, LOGICAL FOUNDATION FOR NATURALISM is all I ask of you. I don’t even need to agree with it right away, it just needs to be able to make sense of the preconditions of intelligibility within your worldview.

            • Elemenope

              You must think me stupid. A worldview that you know full well is based on empiricism, and you wish to deprive its defenders of evidence, of being able to point to the universe and say, “See?!”. Made only more comedic by your defense of your own world-view. If you really wished for an even playing field, you would deprive yourself of the Bible in making your argument that a Biblical worldview was consistent.

              Good luck with that.

              I repeat, “This discussion has gone beyond scientific evidence into the realm of foundational logic.”

              I expect this point to entirely fly over a self-described fundamentalist’s head, but merely saying doesn’t make a thing so.

            • Sunny Day

              We seem to be missing the part where you show us how saying “because god” has any explanatory power.

            • trj

              @Fundie, the reason your circular argument is true is because circular arguments are always true. Anyone can set up a bunch of premises to reach any conclusion they like, as long as they don’t bother to externally verify the validity of those premises. The only “verification” you perform is to assert that your premises must be true by virtue of the conclusion they point to.

              You then try to justify this obvious shortcircuiting by pretending the existence and specific attributes of God are axiomatic, which is another obvious fallacy.

              Add to this your incessant special pleeding in which your specific idea of God is favored above any equally valid hypothetical god idea, based solely on Bible quotes which you give uncritical and preferential treatment above all else, and it becomes obvious you have no leg to stand on.

              And of course, there’s the underlying problem of your argument assuming a reason for the existence of logic – a reason which from the beginning you’ve completely failed to argue for the necessity of. So not only do your premises have no external support whatsoever, they’re also a non-sequitur in that you provide no justification for why any god or any other agency is needed for logic to exist in the first place. You just assume it must be so, shaping your argument around it but never giving any reason at all for why this should be the case, making your whole argument stumble right out of the gate.

              even laws of logic need a rational justification. Otherwise, why should they work?

              Why must logic have a reason or a justification for working? Logic reflects the mechanics of our physical universe. Why should logic need a purpose for doing so? Logic is not a set of rules which can be separated from the system in which they work. Try imagining a universe in which logic doesn’t work. You can’t. The very notion is self-defeating. You can’t possibly describe a system of any kind without using logic, making the epiphenomenal existence of logic unavoidable. No gods are needed to imbue a rationale to logic, logic comes into being all by itself – it can do nothing else.

            • Fundamentalist

              LMNOP: “A worldview that you know full well is based on empiricism, and you wish to deprive its defenders of evidence, of being able to point to the universe and say, “See?!””
              Empiricism: “the doctrine that all knowledge is derived from sense experience” (Def #2, Dictionary.com). If empiricism is your sole basis for knowledge, you have no reason to believe that concepts such as truth, good, and logic are real, as they are not detectable by the senses. Sure, you can use your senses to perceive a representation of concepts (clock=representation of time; words=representation of information), but in your worldview, the concepts themselves cannot be real. If empiricism is true, concepts do not exist.

              LMNOP: “If you really wished for an even playing field, you would deprive yourself of the Bible in making your argument that a Biblical worldview was consistent.”
              This is called the “pretended neutrality fallacy.” This is when there are only two worldviews that interpret evidence in opposite ways; if either worldview concedes to interpret the evidence “neutrally”, they are actually stepping over the line into the other worldview. For me to drop the Bible (and replace it with empiricism) would be to admit defeat; it would be the same as me asking you to drop empiricism (and replace it with the Bible). Which, by the way, is not what I’m asking: all I’m asking is that you give a reason for the existence of things like laws of logic and absolute morality… consistent with your worldview.

              trj: “The only “verification” you perform is to assert that your premises must be true by virtue of the conclusions they point to. You then try to justify this obvious short-circuiting by pretending the existence and specific attributes of God are axiomatic, which is another obvious fallacy.”
              In the Biblical worldview, the specific attributes of God are axiomatic: if the Bible is true, then what it says about God is true. Yes, I know that is circular reasoning, but what it says about God reveals that God provides the preconditions of intelligibility; so in the Biblical worldview, I can have a reason for believing in [laws of logic]. What reason, within your worldview, and consistent with your worldview, do you have for believing in the preconditions of intelligibility?
              Here’s a critical definition: RATIONAL: “AGREEABLE TO REASON; HAVING OR EXERCISING REASON”. To be rational is to have a reason. To have a rational foundation is to have an ultimate reason (standard).

              trj: “Add to this your incessant special pleading in which your specific idea of God is favored above any equally valid hypothetical god idea, based solely on Bible quotes which you give uncritical and preferential treatment above all else, and it becomes obvious you have no leg to stand on.”
              I think you may be misunderstanding the term “special pleading”. Special pleading means “double standard” or “hypocrisy”: requiring something of one group and not of another; or requiring something of others, but not of yourself. I ask of you a rational (having a reason), consistent (non-contradictory) justification for your worldview within your worldview. Have I not done that myself already?
              What other “equally valid hypothetical god idea” is there? I’ve already shown that Allah doesn’t work because even within the Muslim worldview, Allah is considered to be the “greatest deceiver” (if Allah said something, how could anyone know the truthfulness of it); Mormonism falls short because within their worldview, “as man is, so God was; as God is, man may be” (if God was once like us, how could we be sure that everything God says is truth). Only the Biblical God is eternal, outside of time, and righteous.

              trj: “Why must logic have a reason or a justification for working? Logic reflects the mechanics of our physical universe. Why should logic need a purpose for doing so? Logic is not a set of rules which can be separated from the system in which they work. Try imagining a universe in which logic doesn’t work. You can’t. The very notion is self-defeating. You can’t possibly describe a system of any kind without using logic, making the epiphenomenal existence of logic unavoidable. No gods are needed to imbue a rationale to logic, logic comes into being all by itself – it can do nothing else.”
              Ah. So you’re saying (assuming) Logic exists in and of itself, is an uncaused, transcendental, eternal entity, exists yesterday, today and forever, and will not change? If so, you are either calling Logic your god, or you are admitting that you understand the unseen attributes of God that He has revealed to you, “that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them… so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:19-20). And no, that is not a bifurcation fallacy: those characteristics can only be rightly attributed to God; so either Logic is God, or Logic is a reflection of God’s thoughts.

              Ultimately, I have two questions that I would like to be answered the most:
              1) Does atheism/naturalism/empiricism have a rational foundation (ultimate standard) for the preconditions of intelligibility that is consistent with the worldview?
              2) What happens after death? In my worldview, judgment or forgiveness of sin happens (depending on whether you’ve accepted God’s gift of Salvation); in your worldview, logically, nothing would happen. If nothing happens, why should anyone adhere to any moral code?

            • Kodie

              “pretended neutrality fallacy.”

              That is a pretend fallacy. You are addressing a legit philosopher and instructing him on fallacies I’m certain he knows better not to employ (unlike the rest of us might trap ourselves). When I look on google to see what a particular fallacy is (if I am unfamiliar with it) and examples of it in usage, I don’t expect to see pages full of Christian creationist horseshit.

              all I’m asking is that you give a reason for the existence of things like laws of logic and absolute morality… consistent with your worldview.

              WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO SHOW YOU WHERE YOUR WORLDVIEW WENT SO VERY VERY WRONG. Special Pleading

              You, Fundie, only know what is in your limited worldview. You don’t have the tools to assess it, and you think you come here with an armful of “science” and “history” and “logic” and you demand of us not to use REAL science, and REAL history, and you are befuddled by actual logic. There is no good reason for anyone here to demur to your shifty rules, or to consider you an equal of intelligence or facts. You have been taught that science is biased against god, and everything you know is to throw you afoul of disbelieving. We have science, you have to make up your own version of science that conflicts with reality, but is contorted in form to convince you that it is as legitimate or moreso than real science. But as long as it complements your worldview, that’s just ducky! You don’t have any respect for science or reality, and pride on being ignorant as fuck – you don’t even let us talk about it. It’s too confusing and distracting for you and doesn’t help you understand our worldview. What. the. fuck. is a worldview and why do you insist that you are battling over something you don’t even know about and don’t even care about?

              Who the fuck are you to demand how we argue? Where did you come from that tells you that it’s some sort of trick on you, and the biased atheists use too much information that you can’t use in this sort of argument? You don’t know shit about science, so you don’t know enough to prove your own worldview. Atheism is not a religion either, what you’re implying – “do you have an ultimate standard”? Yes, it’s called all the shit you don’t want to know.

            • trj

              In the Biblical worldview, the specific attributes of God are axiomatic

              Please, there are thousands of different denominations of Christianity, many of them holding mutually exclusive views on what the attributes of God are. Clearly they are not axiomatic within Christianity. Furthermore, an axiom is defined as being commonly accepted by a vast majority. An “axiom” which is only accepted within a subgroup is at most a hypothesis, and as such it can not be used in support of a premise.

              I think you may be misunderstanding the term “special pleading”. Special pleading means “double standard” or “hypocrisy”

              I know what special pleading is, and I agree with your definition. And that’s what I’m accusing you of: failing to apply the same level of criticism towards your own god-idea as you do towards other god-ideas. There are an infinite number of hypothetical omnipotent gods which would fit just as well as creators of logic as Yahwe does (presuming we pretend that there’s actually any need for a divine creator of logic). And whether a god can lie or not bears no impact on whether he was the creator of logic (and by the way, according to the Bible your god can send lying spirits or delude people into believing a falsehood, so he is in effect a liar himself).

              For that matter, your constant talk of “worldviews” reeks of special pleading as well. You hold your worldview to be the correct one, which is your justification for accepting your own premises. Your premises are circular and non-sequiturs in any other “worldview” than your own. This should alert you to how bad they are. Premises that don’t hold up outside a predetermined context are useless. All they can tell you is that x = x within your own arbitrary limits, which is no information at all.

              So you’re saying (assuming) Logic exists in and of itself, is an uncaused, transcendental, eternal entity, exists yesterday, today and forever, and will not change? If so, you are either calling Logic your god, or you are admitting that you understand the unseen attributes of God that He has revealed to you

              What I’m saying is that the logic rules are the system. They are a representation of the dynamics we observe and as such don’t even exist except as a concept. God doesn’t begin to enter the picture; the very existence of a system in itself dictates the existence of logic within that system, otherwise there is no system.

              As for your questions:

              1) Does atheism/naturalism/empiricism have a rational foundation (ultimate standard) for the preconditions of intelligibility that is consistent with the worldview?

              Why should intelligibility come with preconditions? What is to prevent a conscious mind from perceiving and categorizing the world around it? I see no inherent restrictions preventing this. Please specify the nature of these restrictions. So far you haven’t.

              I will happily agree that empiricism or atheism has no absolute standard, but neither is one needed, or indeed possible. Our existence doesn’t come with absolute answers; there’s no cheat sheet holding the right answers. That is a simple fact of life. You wishing otherwise doesn’t change this. Your own ultimate standard is a fiction that makes you feel good but which you can’t prove in any way.

              2) What happens after death? In my worldview, judgment or forgiveness of sin happens (depending on whether you’ve accepted God’s gift of Salvation); in your worldview, logically, nothing would happen. If nothing happens, why should anyone adhere to any moral code?

              Because our moral choices effect our lives (and the lives of others) in this life, the actual life, the one that matters. And anyway, why should I need a prize or a threat in the form of an afterlife for behaving decently? Could it not be that most of humanity actually want to socialize with others and take joy from treating others decently?

            • trj

              “do you have an ultimate standard”? Yes, it’s called all the shit you don’t want to know.

              He, nice one, Kodie.

            • Sunny Day

              Fundie why are you pretending that any answer we offer will satisfy you? You’ve already predetermined the answer for yourself.
              1) Yes.
              2) How about you answer that question yourself.
              Assuming people accept your gods gift of salvation why would you think that means people have to adhere to any moral code.

              After all your bible teaches that I could kill and eat your children and as long as I believe in the magic of jesus and ask for forgiveness I’m going right to heaven. While I’m there maybe I’ll stop by and talk to those kids and remind them of all the good dinner’s we’ve shared.

            • Elemenope

              @Kodie

              Heh, thanks for the backup. At one point in the not-so-distant past I was more than willing to go ten rounds with a person, whether or not I thought they were discussing in good faith. I’m getting just too fed-up with wasting my time to do that. I’ve come to the conclusion it isn’t a very healthy thing for me to do–not good for my blood pressure nor my peace of mind–and have started to scale down a bit to only taking seriously people who seem like they are discussing in good faith.

              When a person presents a cartoonish portrayal of empiricism–he’s so cute!; he thinks he can sum up a vast and complicated set of philosophical perspectives using a dictionary entry–and derives from that portrayal the notion that concepts can’t exist for an empiricist, that’s a little warning bell that the person is out to win points rather than discuss seriously. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with empiricism knows that an empiricist generates models from observed regularities of experience; the models are the frameworks for the concepts that themselves are tools to discuss those regularities and explore them in greater subtlety, especially to extrapolate from them predictions that either confirm or not the accuracy of the model in describing that part of reality. But what good would it be to point that out to Fundamentalist? To expound upon it in great detail, knowing full well that it would all be wasted? Maybe it might be edifying for the audience, but I have good reason to believe (from experience!) that the audience by-and-large already has a good handle on that and doesn’t need “remedial empiricism lessons”.

              It is a deeply silly person that flaunts their surety in all things and then expects everyone to be confined in as rigid a box as they confine themselves. I think it might explode his fuzzy little brain that requiring an infallible source for all knowledge is merely a rather bizarre artifact of his own belief system, one that philosophers have known since Descartes (a rationalist!) is a dysfunctional precondition for claiming knowledge. And we all know, from the experience of having fruitful discussions with Christians like JonJon and Brgulker and a few others, that it is not the Christianity that is the impediment to not acting like a schmuck, but rather the desperate intent to show everyone that you’re right, especially when all evidence points to the contrary. Some people think of such efforts as somehow heroic and uniquely worthy (conceiving it as a valiant lost cause or, on days of more manic enthusiasm, simply a steep uphill battle), confusing this utterly valueless activity with the rather more controlled explorations of “for the purposes of this discussion let’s assume…” that occurs to varying degrees in the processes of philosophers, scientists, and engineers.

              Without a process to moderate it, and a reason to believe that everyone is in it for the knowledge it might reveal rather than for scoring points for a “team”, it is nothing more or less than noise. Fundamentalist makes a lot of noise, and I’m sure with enough time and indulgence he can generate noise unto nausea. I think, more and more, I’m deciding it’s simply not worth getting sick. I’ll save my effort for people who are worth the time and don’t, at the end of the day, make me feel–oy vey ist mir!–as though I’m casting pearls before swine.

            • Kodie

              I have been trying to find out if atheism has a rational ultimate standard, or if it is chosen over Christianity simply because people aren’t attracted by the idea of a God that will judge them eternally for their sins. My initial conviction was the latter, and all of the responses I’ve seen so far have only confirmed that conviction.

              Are those the only two reasons you can think of? Fiction is fiction. You know, I don’t really have a problem being judged ultimately for my “sins”. I just do not have any evidence of a being like that (other than the psychic chip receiving judgment from my mother in my own voice now and again), nor have you described anything like that in your worldview. I am duly ignoring the bible, as I do not subscribe to your worldview, and it wouldn’t be fitting of me to pretend neutrality on the subject. I don’t know everything there is to know, but I know enough to know that ain’t it.

              What next, fool?

            • Kodie

              @Elemenope – I appreciate you choosing to cast your pearls to us instead. I learn something every time you post. I love all the regs, they all add something special to this site. I don’t want to play favorites. Someday I’m going to make an album of the best of UF… maybe if I hint that, someone else will take up the project, lol. I have a hundred and fifteen other things. I’m sure I could use a refresher in empiricism. I said somewhere recently that I want a bigger vocabulary, since I think I circle these concepts at length knowing what they are but not really knowing the word for it. It’s going in the new year pile, maybe spend an hour or two a week on words that keep coming up, but which I do not know how to use in a sentence.

            • Fundamentalist

              I will try to make this response as thorough and definitive as possible, despite all the vitriol in that one post (while I appreciate your passion and consistency to your worldview, I believe this debate can go on without profanity). Instead of answering point-by-point, this time I will answer the most prominent questions that you all seem to be asking in one form or another. But before I do that, I need to make a point that “to be rational” does not mean “to make sense,” but means “to have a reason.”

              1) “What exactly is a worldview?”
              Worldview is the English translation of the German word, “Weltanschauung*,” which means, “a comprehensive conception or image of the universe and of humanity’s relation to it.” A worldview is the set of all of one’s presuppositions taken together. A presupposition is “Supposed or assumed beforehand; or taken for granted in advance,” and is usually logically consistent with the worldview. Christianity is a worldview: dualism, creation and the authority of God’s Word are presuppositions that are consistent with that worldview. Empiricism, materialism, and naturalism are very closely related worldviews (often conglomerated into one, called “atheism”): monism, evolution (in the sense of gradual change between animal kinds) and uniformitarianism are presuppositions that are consistent with those worldviews.
              Arbitrariness and inconsistency are the opposites of rationality. If someone has a worldview in which two or more presuppositions contradict each other (that is called inconsistency), that person must do one of two things: replace or remove the offending presupposition(s), or ditch the worldview for another with more consistent presuppositions. If someone has a worldview in which a presupposition has no logical reason within the worldview (that is called arbitrariness), that person must either: replace/remove the presupposition, find a logical reason for it that is consistent with their worldview, or ditch the worldview. Examples:
              Evolution is contrary to creation and the Bible, so an inconsistent Christian that believes both must either remove the presupposition that contradicts the other presuppositions (evolution), or change to a different worldview. Absolute morality cannot be rationally accounted for within atheism, so an arbitrary atheist must either: drop morality, find a logical reason for morality, or change to a different worldview.
              *Kodie, as a “legit philosopher”, you should be familiar with Weltanschauung.

              2) “Why do you insist we provide a rational foundation for our “worldview” when you know full well that atheism has no absolute standard?”
              Now we’re getting somewhere. I’ve asked many times what the ultimate standard for atheism is, and received only accusations of special pleading, misusing logic, and disparaging science, but now I have an answer (not the one I was hoping for, but it was what I expected): “atheism has no absolute standard, but neither is one needed, or indeed possible.” Unless trj is unusual among atheists, his answer is very revealing.
              When it comes to worldviews, what is an absolute/ultimate standard? An ultimate standard is the highest standard through which you run all other standards (as a Christian, God is my ultimate standard; as an atheist… I don’t know what your ultimate standard is). An ultimate standard must be able to logically and consistently account for all physical and intellectual experience. By virtue of being the ultimate standard, it will affirm itself (circular reasoning); it cannot answer to a higher standard, lest it be no longer the ultimate standard. Is an ultimate standard necessary, yea, even possible? Yes, otherwise nothing that is known or believed, sensed or perceived could logically be accounted for. Surely you agree with this.
              If atheism has no absolute standard by which to judge all lesser standards, then everything you experience is interpreted through some high standard that has no rational foundation to make sense of it, and is therefore arbitrary, and should therefore be seriously reconsidered. However, if atheism does have a rational, consistent, ultimate standard with which to judge all lesser standards, then you should have no trouble explaining it to me in a way that is consistent with your worldview. That is what I’ve been asking for; I wouldn’t have to agree with it (in fact, because my worldview is different, I definitely wouldn’t agree with it), but it would have to be able to make logical sense of all lesser standards.

              3) “You haven’t told us what the rational foundation for your worldview is.”
              I have explained to you the rational foundation for my worldview; I’m not saying my reason for [morality] agrees with your worldview, but that it is consistent with my own worldview. And I’m not asking that you give a reason for morality that agrees with my worldview, but one that it is consistent with your own worldview.
              In my worldview, the Bible is true in everything that it says, so when it says God created the universe, it is right; when it says God knows everything and cannot lie, it’s right; when it says we (myself included) are sinners in need of salvation… it’s right. God as revealed in the Bible is my ultimate standard; “without Him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1).
              To avoid the accusation of special pleading… this is how much criticism I apply towards my own “God-idea”, and is also how much I ask of my interlocutors: Why should logic work? Because it is a reflection of the way God thinks. Why should God exist (as opposed to why He does)? Because if He did not, there would be no logical reason to trust the preconditions of intelligibility (knowledge would be impossible)—knowledge is possible—therefore He does exist. Notice I did not use empiricist/atheist presumptions to argue for my God, but I assumed (consistent with my worldview) that God is the upholder of all things. I don’t want you to use Biblical assumptions to argue for atheism (that would be insolent of me), but am inviting you to go ahead and use empiricist/atheist assumptions (consistent with your worldview) to show what your ultimate standard is. You would need to show how, within your worldview, if empiricism/atheism wasn’t true, knowledge would not be possible—knowledge is possible—therefore atheism is true.

              4) “Where’s your evidence for the Bible?”
              I keep saying that because we have different worldviews, we interpret evidence differently. If I come up with evidence that doesn’t seem to fit in with your worldview, you will simply come up with a rescuing device to save your worldview… that exact thing already happened with Troutbane. But you know what? I would do the same. If I tell you that the rate of salt accumulation in the earth’s oceans is such that today’s salinity would be reached in only 42 million years (a big problem for oceans that are supposed to be billions of years old), you would argue (against uniformitarian assumptions) that the rates must have been different in the past; then I would say that even generous estimates would only stretch the age back to 62 million years. I could also point out that many of the prophecies in the Bible have come true, and that the Bible’s historical accuracy is confirmed by archaeology.
              Likewise, if you told me that if the universe were only 6,000 years old, then light from stars any further than 6,000 light-years shouldn’t be here, I would argue that relativistic physics only allow for the determination of the two-way speed of light, and that the one-way speed is dependent on whether you are making a velocity-based measurement or a position-based measurement. With velocity-based, the one-way speed of light is constant; with position-based, it’s ½c going away from the observer, and infinite coming toward the observer. When the stars were created on day four, their light reached the earth instantaneously. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/anisotropic-synchrony-convention. I won’t even try to predict your response to that.
              My point is that we talk over each other when it comes to evidence; we have the same evidence, we just look at it differently. My goal in this debate is simply to find out which worldview is more rationally justified within itself. If you don’t have a reason for believing something, you are irrational.
              Kodie claimed that even if no worldview had a greater rational justification than Christianity, Christianity would still be wrong. I ask, “Why? Because you don’t like it?” Kodie said, “Because science exists whether we discover it or not.” Of course science in the sense of physical laws (as opposed to observable and testable experiments, or the unobserved and untestable past) exist whether we discover it or not, but only because the principle of uniformity (different from uniformitarianism) is rationally justified in a Biblical worldview… which is what I’ve been saying all along. And all along, I’ve been trying to find out if uniformity is rationally justified in an atheistic worldview.

            • Sunny Day

              TSDR

            • Mogg

              *completely fails to understand why “because it works” is not considered a rational reason to rely on empirical evidence to form a basis for living*

              Just because CS Lewis and Fundamentalist believe in Platonic Forms does not mean that they actually exist – or exist in any way which requires interaction. It’s quite possible to justify ethical behaviour on the grounds of the effects of our behaviour on others and of others on us in this life. No need for a God, a floating abstract Ultimate Good, or any such thing. We just a brain architecture developed over time and generations to observe and respond to others and to how others make us feel, and to develop working models of ‘good’, ‘evil’, ‘ethical’, as well as ‘cat’, ‘dog’, ‘chair’ and so forth through learning and example, starting on a framework which is a consequence of our physical and psychological makeup. We share basic characteristics and needs, therefore some of our definitions are pretty well universal. However, we are so flexible that some of our definitions are radically different between cultures. A foundational basis for judging all definitions can be formed by asking whether a particular custom or opinion is inflicting acutal, observable positive or negative effects on some people affected by that custom or opinion, hence it is possible to say that some cultures, customs or opinions are good or bad or ethical or evil. This is not the only way of framing ethics without God, just how I have done it personally, so my answer may not be the same as Elemenope’s (the educated philosopher on this thread), or Kodie’s (who has done more formal logic than I have). The reason I ultimately rejected the idea of God was, in fact, based on empiricism – he didn’t show any evidence of existing, whether by Biblical standards taken from a couple of different interpretations of the Bible over a period of years, or by any other standard I could think of at the time.

              I have a suspicion that the reason you’re not getting much response to your question, apart from the fact that you come across as parroting philosophical terms that you read somewhere but don’t understand, is that for most people, the idea that an Ultimate Standard of anything is completely foreign. It’s an obvious conclusion in Christianity, but not necessarily so from outside Christianity, so asking people what their ultimate basis for their worldview is is like asking the colour of music – it does not compute. “It works, and has been shown with tangible results to work over and over again over centuries of human existence” is quite satisfactory for lots of people.

              I’m sorry you feel your life is so bad that only the thought of an afterlife can console you. My life is _much_ better than yours sounds. I have no particular reason to believe in an afterlife of any description, so I don’t. I had difficulty believing that an afterlife that went forever could be good even when I believed in a god, and I don’t find the idea that I won’t exist after I die in any way frightful. Eternity of anything sounds bloody boring, actually, and I used to wonder about that even when I was a child in Sunday School.

            • Troutbane

              “If I come up with evidence that doesn’t seem to fit in with your worldview, you will simply come up with a rescuing device to save your worldview… that exact thing already happened with Troutbane.’
              No you didn’t. You claimed talking points from AiG or some other creationist BS website that have no basis in any reality. They are oversimplified arguments that reflect a lack of understanding of the subject matter. You did not provide counter evidence.
              I am beginning to see an issue here. Evidence, when we talk of science, is data that anyone can look at, review, and reexamine. If I say that I dropped a 2 lb hammer from ten feet up and measured the size of the hole it made ten times, then everyone else in the world could repeat this process. That is real evidence. That is real data. That is what science is built on. The data is not “made up”. That data is then run through various hypothesis to create theories on why certain things happen. If data does not match a theory, the theory is reexamined or discarded. This is not an opinion on evidence, and this is what you fail to grasp.
              Religion has no repeatable tests, there is no data.

              Also, pull your head out of your ass. Empiricism is not atheism. Materialism is not atheism. Naturalism is not atheism. You are creating false equivalencies to support your viewpoint. There are religious people who also believe in these things.

            • Kodie

              @Fundie – I don’t have a “worldview”. I’m not the philosopher you were addressing, so your literacy is suspect. In the way that Christians keep using that word, it sounds like you think facts are subject to personal opinion. If you want to believe god is real, and the bible does not lie – to begin with – everything else that you think is true has to be invented in order to support that premise, so that it stays internally consistent.

              What you are limiting your audience, you fucking blowhard ignorant fuck, is that I don’t start with that premise, and nothing leads to that premise. You have a significant bias against reality.

            • Kodie

              Also @Fundie – despite the attempt to tell you what we think, you seem to have gone ahead with your script anyway. Why not, that’s what fits into your worldview. Do you see how that might be annoying to us that you get to talk but not listen? Do you see how that makes your worldview a tight corner that you can’t get out of, so you have to make things up in order to still be consistent? I think your head would explode if you learned anything that you couldn’t rationalize.

              Rationalization – taking in new information and forcing it to agree with a pre-determined opinion.

              You’re suspicious, and you come here in the spirit of bias. To do otherwise would be the fake fallacy “pretended neutrality.” What a great thing your worldview allows you to do – lie about everything.

            • trj

              @Fundie
              Self-affirming worldviews close you off to conflicting knowledge and points of view. They generally lead to the opposite of insight and learning, which you certainly demonstrate in full.

              And, of course, they can’t ever be shown to actually be true. Their “truth” are ultimately based on assertions. Also interesting is how this “Ultimate Standard” differs depending on which theist you ask. That should tell you something about its usefulness.

              Is an ultimate standard necessary, yea, even possible? Yes, otherwise nothing that is known or believed, sensed or perceived could logically be accounted for. Surely you agree with this.

              No, we don’t. For an idea why not, read Mogg’s excellent reply. It is entirely possible to account logically for things without having to measure everything against an ultimate standard. You just can’t accept what this entails: that everything can’t be put into neat boxes for you to label as good or bad. Well, that’s your problem, the rest of us are able to deal with it. It’s called the real world.

          • UrsaMinor

            This is your basis for morality? According to the Biblical principles laid out above, good and evil are arbitrary labels. They have no meaning beyond what your god approves or disapproves of. Imagine, if you will, a Creation where all of the moral laws as you understand them are inverted. They would have exactly the same legitimacy as the ones you know. Morality is nothing more than doing what your god wants or refraining from doing what it doesn’t want; it has no deeper meaning than this.

            Also, in order for humans to be moral agents and therefore answerable for their actions (i.e, for the concepts of sin and virtue to have any meaning at all), they have to have free will to choose those actions. Unfortunately for free will, the future is completely predetermined by the foreknowledge possessed by an omniscient god; humans cannot do other than they are preordained to do. Rewarding or punishing them for acting out a script that they cannot deviate from is pointless and/or sadistic.

          • Kodie

            their worldview, and not borrowing principles from the Bible. For to do so would be acknowledging that the Bible is true, while simultaneously denying it.

            The bible is not P. You are mistaking principles “from the bible” as principles that cannot exist outside of P (biblical truth in its entirety). The way you have to manipulate the rules for your game to hobble your opposition is telling me that you don’t have a solid, winning argument.

            IF you don’t manipulate the rules of the game, THEN you would lose.

            It is completely obvious you are on shaky ground with your logic, and you don’t know how to use it in order to prove your argument. I could deduce from this that you either don’t know how to use logic, or that you are copying someone else’s methods and don’t know how they are wrong. In addition to your god “proof,” you obviously believe you are smarter than every atheist, but you are not. QED – you suck at logic.

            • Fundamentalist

              Kodie: “You are mistaking principles “from the bible” as principles that cannot exist outside of P (biblical truth in its entirety).”
              So you are saying that there are some truths to be found in the Bible, but the Bible is not true in its entirety. What is your ultimate standard by which you judge only parts of the Bible to be true?

              Kodie: “I could deduce from this that you either don’t know how to use logic, or that you are copying someone else’s methods and don’t know how they are wrong.”
              That statement is partially true: I am using a method that was taught to me by one Dr. Jason Lisle.
              His blog can be found here (this is my suggested blog post): http://www.jasonlisle.com/2012/08/03/arbitrariness-and-inconsistency-the-opposites-of-rationality/
              Here, he wrote this article on the rationality of evolution: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v3/n1/evolution-anti-science
              And he wrote a book called The Ultimate Proof of Creation.

              Kodie: “In addition to your god “proof,” you obviously believe you are smarter than every atheist, but you are not.”
              I don’t claim to be smarter than anyone here; if you’ve taken more than one class on biology, you probably know more about biology than me. But someone’s intelligence is not the deciding factor in the truth of their claims. I choose to place the foundation of my knowledge in a God that created the universe, cannot lie, and has revealed His truth to humans through the Bible. And I believe that if that were not true, knowledge would not be possible; for without a logical ultimate standard, who’s to say what is right and wrong?

              Which worldview has greater rational justification?

            • Kodie

              If you don’t know what biology is, how are you qualified to assess whether what you’re saying is true is actually true, or whatever evolution is can’t be true?

              Here is what you’re doing: You’ve been given a box, and inside the box are stories that are invented for the sole purpose of propping up god as true. Without looking at any other boxes, you believe the box you’ve been given. Your stories do not hold up to actual biology, geology, physics, or history. If there were no greater rational justification for intelligibility given, yours would still be false, because science exists whether we discover it or not. Scientific truths are true even if we are too stupid to think of them. Does a dog know anything about gravity? It’s still true. Does a cat know how much money you spent at the vet getting its shots? It’s still true.

              How can you possibly expect us to buy your garbage when you admit you don’t even know what you’re talking about? You think it sounds smart enough so you go with it. It agrees with your “worldview” but you don’t know enough about any subject other than what you’re fed that agrees with your worldview. I don’t live in a world “view” where I need a placeholder that is obviously fiction. I don’t need to prove to you that god doesn’t exist by the virtues of science and intelligibility to disagree with what you have proposed. I did not come about to a “worldview” of atheism by starting with the worldview of “god” and then dismantling it by learning other things. I found it horseshit on the face of it, I couldn’t believe anyone took it seriously. I don’t actually have to know anything else, myself, without which, god is the only obvious story to cling to.

              That is like saying it’s better to have a bad friend who steals from you, lies to you, and makes your life miserable than no friends at all. Is it? Your idea here is that’s the best anyone can do, and without knowing anything, decide that everyone else’s friend is worse than yours. And you’re arrogant about it. You say, I’m not allowed to talk about my friend and I’m not allowed to introduce you to my friend.

              Do you have any idea how weak that makes your friend look? Besides what you’ve already shown us, we can’t really compare worldviews if you have strict rules imposed on us that makes you think you’ve won the argument already. I have played by your rules, though. You don’t want to know what you don’t already know. That would shatter your “worldview” necessarily, and you seem to know that. Your sources instruct you how to structure the arguments so you don’t learn anything that shatters what you think is true. I’m not here to tell you what you don’t know, mostly because it’s a lot, and partly because you’re acting the douche. Google something once in a while and read something that’s not been fed to you by clowns.

          • Nox

            “So I will show, within the Biblical worldview that the God of the Bible is perfectly consistent.”

            Not even f*cking close.

            Leaving out the hundreds of other logical contradictions, the god character in the bible is described in several mutually exclusive ways.

            “So now that I’ve provided foundations for morality and intelligibility from within my worldview.”

            So, basically what you meant by “If the Biblical God did not exist, then science would not be possible” was ‘if we assume the bible is true then god created everything as claimed by the bible’?

            Yeah. I’ll grant that the clarified version is true. If the bible is entirely true then the stuff in it must be true. But that doesn’t actually mean anything.

            The question you need to answer to make this argument have any substance is “Why should anyone believe the bible is a reliable source of information?”.

            With the standards you’re using here I could point out that islam also mentions a god who made everything. If we assume based on no evidence whatsoever (which again is kind of what you’re doing with the bible here) that the Qu’ran must be true, it would follow that allah determined the laws of the Universe, and thus is responsible for the order which is a prerequisite for science. Ergo islam claims that it is true. Ergo it must be.

            What makes your argument any different from this one? The name of your god? The name of your book?

            Why should anyone believe the bible is a reliable source of information?

            • Nox

              Sorry forgot the first

            • Fundamentalist

              Nox: “Leaving out the hundreds of other logical contradictions, the god character in the bible is described in several mutually exclusive ways.”
              What contradictions? And what’s wrong with mutually exclusive?

              Nox: “With the standards you’re using here I could point out that islam also mentions a god who made everything. If we assume based on no evidence whatsoever (which again is kind of what you’re doing with the bible here) that the Qu’ran must be true, it would follow that allah determined the laws of the Universe, and thus is responsible for the order which is a prerequisite for science. Ergo islam claims that it is true. Ergo it must be.”
              If God always tells the truth, then we can be confident that everything He says is true. The opposite also works: if God does not always tell the truth, then we cannot be confident that everything He says is true. The God of the Bible is the God of the first statement, and Allah of Islam would be the god of the second statement. Titus 1:2 in the Bible says “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie…” whereas Sura 3:54 in the Quran says “Allah is the greatest of deceivers.” Since God cannot lie, we can know that everything He says is truth. Since Allah can lie (in fact, he’s the greatest liar), we cannot be confident of anything because our ultimate standard is untrustworthy.

              Nox: “What makes your argument any different from this one? The name of your god? The name of your book?”
              I’d say one of the greatest differences between God and Allah is that God cannot lie, but Allah can. Therefore whatever God says is true; but with Allah, we can’t know what is true and what is not.

              Nox: “Why should anyone believe the bible is a reliable source of information?”
              Good question. The Bible is a reliable source of information because:
              1) There are thousands of manuscripts carefully copied and preserved over time that agree with each other more seamlessly than the hundreds of remaining copies of the Iliad or the Odyssey.
              2) There were no contradictions in the original manuscripts, and if there are any contradictions in a given translation, they are due to copying error.
              3) The truths taught in the Bible are as applicable to a king as they are to a commoner, and as applicable today as they were thousands of years ago.
              4) The Bible as a whole was written over a period of 1,600 years by around 40 authors, and they all completely agree with no contradictions. The four Gospels are eye-witness accounts written by four different people from different perspectives, and they form a picture of Christ better than any one author ever could have.

              The list goes on.

            • blotonthelandscape

              This is a horribly ignorant set of claims here fundie, but I trust Nox has the ability to disabuse you of all of them. I just wanted to point out one thing:

              “If God always tells the truth, then we can be confident that everything He says is true. The opposite also works: if God does not always tell the truth, then we cannot be confident that everything He says is true.”

              You’ve arbitrarily assigned your God to the former and Allah to the latter. That’s special pleading. I arbitrary, it’s not in the strict sense, as it conforms to your personal biased stance.

              The question isn’t “Is God (A) a truthful God?”, it’s “can we know God (A) is a truthful God based on our knowledge of it?”

              Even if we assume God has told us (either directly or through a medium like the bible) that He is truthful, we cannot conclude from that that he is. This is because claiming to be truthful is EXACTLY what you would expect a liar to say of themselves. Likewise, all of those criterion you list to justify trusting the bible, even if they were correct (they’re not), can just as easily preserve falsehoods as they can truths. All of those criteria you listed are inadequate to answer the relevant question.

          • Len

            The scientific approach: If the evidence doesn’t match the theory, then adjust or discard the theory.
            The religious approach: If the evidence doesn’t match the theory, then adjust or discard the evidence.

            • Len

              Bugger. This was supposed to be in reply to Fundy, but I must have used the wrong post to reply to.

      • Yoav

        I would be happy to start with critical thinking.

        You keep using this term, I don’t think it means what you think it means.

        Between the two worldviews of young-earth creation and evolutionism, which one has a more solid foundation for things such as morality and laws of logic?

        Morality and the laws of logic are not how you determine a scientific question, if you want to ask which is better supported by the physical evidence that’s easy, and no it’s not young earth creationism.

        I propose this formal logical argument (Modus Tollens):
        If the Biblical God (the triune God found in the Bible) did not exist, then science would not be possible. {{IF P, THEN Q}}
        Science is possible. {{NOT Q}}
        Therefore, the Biblical God does exist. {{THEREFORE NOT P}}

        I can play this game as well
        If the Biblical God (the triune God found in the Bible) exists, then puppies would be purple. {{IF P, THEN Q}}
        Puppies are not purple. {{NOT Q}}
        Therefore, the Biblical God does not exist. {{THEREFORE NOT P}}
        Since this argument is logically valid, in order to refute it, you must show me that at least one of the premises are untrue.
        I’ll wait.

        • Noelle

          So that’s what P’s and Q’s are? My God, that’s stupid. Do people really believe you can solve anything real with that drivel?

          • Michael

            P and Q are frequently used as variables in formal logic. Logic–being a formal science–can deductively prove conclusions from premises, but it cannot establish the truth of those premises.

            Yoav and Fundamentalist both have logically valid proofs. But they both use premisses that are not true in reality, which was Yoav’s point.

            Fundamentalist’s argument is actually an example of begging the question. He asserts without proof that God must exist in order for the scientific method to be effective, which is actually an even stronger statement than simply asserting God exists. His conclusion is much weaker than his unsupported premiss (which is technically true of most proofs), so it is rather meaningless.

            He then asks us to prove this his premiss is wrong, as if that’s how logic (and science) work. He might as well just have said “God exists, prove me wrong!” which, again, would have been stronger than what he actually did.

            Nevertheless, I will attempt a counterexample. Suppose there is a godless universe composed of a single gauge vector field with E8 group symmetry in 10 + 1 dimensions. Suppose in this universe a species evolves a central nervous system that can combine sensory data with stored memories using certain evolved algorithms to create a neural analog of ideas. Since the universe obeys strict gauge symmetry, it must be deterministic, and thus complete knowledge of the wavefunction at one point in time allows for complete information of the wavefunction at all times. Furthermore, because all interactions are localized and E8 is not fundamentally chaotic, nearly-complete information about the wavefunction of one region of space at one point of time allows for incomplete information of the wavefunction in that region at other nearby points in time.

            So the CNS can receive sensory information about the local wavefunction, combine this with memories which include knowledge of fundamental interactions, and apply some algorithm that allows it to calculate other information, and thus determine not-yet observed properties through empirical means.

            Empiricism is all that is needed for science.

            • Noelle

              At what point do we get to shove it into a mass spectrometer to separate the ions by their mass to charge ratio and detect the elemental composition of the sample?

            • Elemenope

              @Noelle

              Deductive Logic is a GIGO black-box machine. Garbage in, garbage out. All first year philosophy students are taught this, and specifically, that deduction is only as good as the integrity of your premises. Fundamentalist up there, he seems to have skipped out on a few classes. Like all other tools of human devising, logic is only as good as the people who wield it; you can get logic to say all sorts of stupid things if you unshackle it from the need for its premises to make sense.

              Induction, as opposed to deduction, is an entirely different thought process. Notably, induction is deductively invalid (as it requires affirming the consequent, like, alot). So, using the tools of judging the structural integrity of deductive arguments will always fail to capture the value of inductive ones, and that necessarily includes all of science.

            • Noelle

              Ok. I’ll buy that. Now how is this logic puzzle the same as science?

          • Kodie

            This is logic Ps and Qs, as Michael explain. The expression “mind your Ps and Qs” refers to the lowercase p and q, and how not to mix them up at the printing press. The blocks for the letter p and the letter q look like each other in reverse, so when they print out a block that looks like p it is q, and vice versa. If you’re setting the press, you have to mind them. Bs and Ds too.

            • Noelle

              I figured his p’s and q’s were different than the old saying, but I liked the way it sounded. I did not know the printing press thing. Thank you. It makes me like it even more. I was also irritable prior to adding some Jameson to my Vernor’s, so his faulty but arrogant logic was hurting my brain and I did not want to pay mind to them.

        • Fundamentalist

          Yoav: “You keep using this term, I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
          I used it but once! I looked it up; it does mean what I think it means. :)

          Yoav: “Morality and the laws of logic are not how you determine a scientific question, if you want to ask which is better supported by the physical evidence that’s easy, and no it’s not young earth creationism.”
          All evidence must be interpreted, no? The way one interprets evidence hinges on what one’s worldview is. A worldview is the basic set of all presuppositions one has about the universe, through which all evidence is interpreted. If you assume evolution, you interpret evidence as though evolution were true; if you assume creation, you interpret evidence as though creation were true. The focus of my original question was to determine which worldview has a more solid logical foundation, not which is more supported by evidence. For the most part, I’m leaving evidence out of this discussion because no matter what evidence I may come up with, there will always be a rescuing device to salvage the evolutionary worldview, though I may bring up one or two to augment my point.

          Yoav: “I can play this game as well… Since this argument is logically valid, in order to refute it, you must show me that at least one of the premises are untrue.”
          That is a logically valid argument, though untrue. The first premise is untrue because the consequent does not logically follow from the antecedent. I see your point; and I admit that I could have included the Biblical basis for believing that about God in the original post. See my response to UrsaMinor for an overview of such a Biblical basis.

          • Yoav

            You clearly don’t understand how science works. In science you make a hypothesis (which you will call a presupposition) but if the evidence don’t fit the hypothesis then you dismiss the hypothesis not the evidence.

            I see your point; and I admit that I could have included the Biblical basis for believing that about God in the original post.

            Why the bible and not Harry potter, which is more internally consistent and have fewer genocides?

            • Fundamentalist

              A presupposition is not a hypothesis. A hypothesis is an educated guess about the outcome of a scientific experiment; a presupposition is something you assume to be true (such as laws of logic) before you make a hypothesis (hence “pre-supposition”), and is what you interpret evidence through. Therefore, all evidence will confirm your presuppositions, because you interpret the evidence in light of your presuppositions. Here, I’ve brought us beyond scientific observation into the realm of foundational logic.

              Yoav: “why the Bible and not Harry Potter, which is more internally consistent and have fewer genocides?”
              Before I make the outrageous claim that the Bible contains no contradictions, I would like you to answer me this, “If the Bible were not true, why would contradictions and genocides be wrong?” Answers that come from biblical principles would refute your own worldview.
              Also, I gave a rational (having a reason) foundation for my worldview (though you didn’t necessarily agree with it), so I respectfully ask you to provide a rational foundation for your worldview.
              P.S. I’m sorry to say that I may not be back on this forum for a couple of days. That should be enough time for a logically valid reason for atheism/materialism/relativism to appear. Please no scientific evidence, like fossils, DNA, and bacterial antibiotic resistance, as such evidence is only interpreted in light of a worldview.

            • Kodie

              Are you high?

            • Troutbane

              “Therefore, all evidence will confirm your presuppositions,”
              Not quite. At this point you are missing the point that hypothesis are always open to review in light of new data. Hypothesis must then adjust to deal with the new evidence or be discarded entirely. Now I am not naïve enough to assume that scientists are beyond pushing for ideas and against data that disproves their own viewpoints (it happens), but science is pretty good and clearing itself up in that regards. New ideas, new data, new evidence, and thus new hypothesis that lead to better and more accurate theories.
              Religions do not do this. In fact, they have a history of torture-murdering people that do.

              “If the Bible were not true, why would contradictions and genocides be wrong?”
              When people try to force laws and morality on other people because of what most sacred JK Rowling wrote, then it would matter. The Bible is inconsistent and contradictory, and yet it keeps being used to defend cultural viewpoints, especially when those viewpoints run up against counter cultural viewpoints. I.e. people use the Bible to enforce their own personal cultural preferences. A text is said to be perfect to defend a preference because the text is perfect so the cultural preference must be perfect. That’s the issue with contradictions, errors, and inconsistencies. No amount of circular thinking will defend that and so counter points are ignored or bullshitted (aka apologetics).
              Regarding genocides, you cannot claim a text as absolute moral authority when it has issues with clearly bad moral thinking.
              “Please no scientific evidence, like fossils, DNA, and bacterial antibiotic resistance, as such evidence is only interpreted in light of a worldview.”
              This is the biggest bullshit in this discussion. You are claiming something you cannot defend with evidence on the grounds all evidence is biased and thus only opinions should count. You are trying to make an argument and then defend that only with crap you think you know while denying anyone else from using other information. Seriously, if you are not willing to accept evidence in a discussion, why are you even here arguing other than to be a troll? It’s like saying you want to play basketball, but only if there’s no dribbling, three point shots, or foul calls.
              Understand this, the biggest difference between science and religion is that scientific theories can adjust to deal with reality and new information. Religions cannot, and thus their followers attempt to enforce their own beliefs on reality, even by denying others from using reality to argue against the follower’s religion.

            • kessy_athena

              @Kodie: Actually, that’s entirely possible. Some kinds of religious ceremonies raise a lot of psychological energy which can create an experience very much like a drug high. It can also be just as addictive as drugs. This is part of the reason you hear about people with drug addictions being “cured” by finding religion – they just substitute one addiction for another. It’s a bit like curing morphine addiction with heroine. (Which is what heroine was originally invented for.)

            • Kodie

              I was mostly referring to the last paragraph.

            • Sunny Day

              “Please no scientific evidence, like fossils, DNA, and bacterial antibiotic resistance, as such evidence is only interpreted in light of a worldview.”

              I understand.
              If you don’t have any evidence to support your argument, it only makes sense to try to keep the other guy from presenting any. This way you can get down to the real work of self-righteously yelling at them.

            • Kodie

              Ok, here’s my answer, to the oh great might fundamentalist’s specifications:

              Answers that come from biblical principles would refute your own worldview.
              Also, I gave a rational (having a reason) foundation for my worldview (though you didn’t necessarily agree with it), so I respectfully ask you to provide a rational foundation for your worldview.

              A rational foundation for my worldview: Leaving it up to dummies like you to argue in god’s favor is a really half-assed way to be a deity, so I don’t believe one or any exist. QED – You suck at logic.

            • Fundamentalist

              Troutbane: “Hypotheses are always open to review in light of new data. [They] must then adjust to deal with the new evidence or be discarded entirely.”
              I completely agree, but presuppositions are not hypotheses. A hypothesis is an educated guess as to the outcome of an experiment, and can either be supported or disproven; however, a presupposition is something one already assumes to be true in order to interpret evidence. For example, when doing science, you assume that physical and mathematical laws apply everywhere in the universe, and don’t change with time (2+2 will not equal 5 on Thursday, and heat will not move from cold places to hot ones on Mars). You assume uniformity of nature before you begin your experiments. You assume laws of logic before you make arguments. These are both valid presuppositions within the Biblical worldview because they have rational justification (they have a reason). Uniformitarianism, evolution and creation are also presuppositions, and their validity is determined by rational justification.

              Troutbane: “Now I am not naïve enough to assume that scientists are beyond pushing for ideas and against data that disproves their own viewpoints (it happens),”
              Such as evolution/billions of years? People seem to be offended when I don’t allow evidence in this discussion because the debate is about worldviews, not theories. But I’ll go ahead and belt out a few scientific evidences against billions of years just to see what happens. I predict I’ll only see rescuing devices to help salvage the evolutionary dogma, which will support my first statement that this isn’t about evidence, but about worldview.
              1) Bent rock layers support rapid flooding, but are a problem for geological evolution.
              2) All the comets in our solar system couldn’t have lasted more than a couple million years, which is a serious problem for billions of years, but not at all for a recent creation.
              3) C-14 has been found in rocks and diamonds that are supposed to be millions of years old. This is a problem for long ages because of the short half-life of C-14. But it’s no problem for a recent creation.
              4) The earth’s magnetic field is decaying so fast that at the current rate, merely 20,000 years ago, the earth would have been too hot for water to exist. That’s a problem for millions of years, but not for a recent creation.
              5) Soft tissue has been found in fossils. This is a HUGE problem for fossils that are supposed to be millions of years old (all the tissue would have disintegrated); but no problem for recent creation.
              6) 3.5 billion years ago, when life was supposed to have started, our sun would have been so faint that the conditions on the “young” earth would have been too freezing for life to start. This is a paradox for long ages, but not at all for a recent creation.

              Troutbane: “Religions do not do this. In fact, they have a history of torture-murdering people that do.”
              Two things:
              1) I don’t deny that many a war and inquisition have been religiously influenced, but men like Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin were all influenced by evolutionary ideas. You might say those men don’t count because they were insane; well, the same goes for the Spanish Inquisition and other similar incidents.
              2) Why, in your worldview, would torture and murder be wrong, since naturalistic evolution logically demands that human life has no fundamental value?

              Fundamentalist: “If the Bible were not true, why would contradictions and genocides be wrong?”
              Troutbane: “Regarding genocides, you cannot claim a text as absolute moral authority when it has issues with clearly bad moral thinking.”
              Bad moral thinking by whose standard? That’s all I am trying to find out from this discussion: whether atheists have a logical foundation for laws of logic or absolute morality.

              Fundamentalist: “Please no scientific evidence, like fossils, DNA, and bacterial antibiotic resistance; as such evidence is only interpreted in light of a worldview.”
              Troutbane: “You are claiming something you cannot defend with evidence on the grounds [that] all evidence is biased, and thus only opinions should count.”
              Not opinions, logic. I cannot, to your satisfaction, defend creation with evidence because we presume different origins; likewise, you cannot, to my satisfaction, use evidence to defend evolution. So, since this discussion goes beyond scientific evidence, it comes down to foundational logic. This entire argument will hinge on which belief is the most rational. As I have shown, I have a logically consistent ultimate standard (though you don’t necessarily agree with it). Does the evolutionary worldview have such an ultimate standard by which to judge all other standards?

              Troutbane: “Understand this, the biggest difference between science and religion is that scientific theories can adjust to deal with reality and new information. Religions cannot, and thus their followers attempt to enforce their own beliefs on reality, even by denying others from using reality to argue against the follower’s religion.”
              I understand, and unfortunately, atheism is just as much a religion as theism. Followers have no scientific evidence for either view, so they turn to their presuppositions to make and interpret scientific observations. Evolutionists turn to uniformitarianism to prove billions of years; Creationists turn to the Bible to prove creation. Which is more scientifically accurate? Both say the evidence supports their position; and that’s true because evidence is interpreted through a worldview. But which worldview has greater rational justification for its presuppositions? I say creation… and that is supported by the fact that no one has seriously tried to show me that atheism has a solid, logical foundation. So far, the only attempt to show that the Biblical worldview is faulty consisted of this argument (condensed): “God is dumb, therefore he doesn’t exist.” Even if you agree with that person’s position, can you seriously agree with that logic?

              The Bible says men “hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom 1:18), which means they know the truth, but they suppress it because of their sin. All have sinned (fallen short of God’s perfect standard), and the consequence of sin is everlasting punishment (hell). Since God is perfect and just, he must condemn all who have sinned to that punishment. But God loved the world so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to the earth as a man to die and pay that price for us. However, He didn’t stay dead; He came alive again to show that death is an enemy that has been conquered. By Jesus paying the price of death, God has given all men a chance to live in eternity with Him, and all one must do to receive that gift is confess your sin to God, ask Him to forgive you of that sin, and accept Jesus as your Savior.

              I am certain that most who read this forum will view that last paragraph as religious nonsense (“The preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” 1 Cor 1:18), but perhaps there are one or two readers here that need just a little bit of prompting to realize they are sinners in need of forgiveness, and will call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.

              The only way life here on earth is bearable is that I have the hope of eternal life in heaven. I don’t understand how anyone can not be a Christian, and feel that there is any value in living.

            • Troutbane

              “Uniformitarianism, evolution and creation are also presuppositions, and their validity is determined by rational justification”
              I’ll give you that uniformitarianism is a presupposition, but since it has essentially NEVER been found incorrect I would say it is correct, and in a natural law correct. If anyone would ever to disprove it, they would be beyond famous.
              Creation is also a presupposition. However, it assumes God did it and works all the evidence backwards from there and ignores or attempt to explain away all evidence against it. It does not allow for any other theories and has no qualifiable explanation for the geological evidence.
              Evolution is a theory. If it was ever disproven using evidence and data, another theory would take its place. It is not a presupposition.
              Sigh…
              1) Bent rock layers support rapid flooding, but are a problem for geological evolution.
              The faulty assumption is that rock layers cannot bend. Also, how do they support the idea of rapid flooding?
              2) All the comets in our solar system couldn’t have lasted more than a couple million years, which is a serious problem for billions of years, but not at all for a recent creation.
              Actually, you are misquoting your own source. That reference is to short period term comets.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_period_comets#Orbital_characteristics
              You are also assuming that comets started at their current rate without any other influence from gravity bodies.
              3) C-14 has been found in rocks and diamonds that are supposed to be millions of years old. This is a problem for long ages because of the short half-life of C-14. But it’s no problem for a recent creation.

              The current hypothesis is that C-14 is created in-situ as the nearby radioactive particles decay similar to the occurrence that happens in the atmosphere.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon-14#In_fossil_fuels
              4) The earth’s magnetic field is decaying so fast that at the current rate, merely 20,000 years ago, the earth would have been too hot for water to exist. That’s a problem for millions of years, but not for a recent creation.
              You are assuming that a) the intensity of the field is constant, and b) that the field cannot increase in intensity. Geologic evidence shows that is varies over time and can even switch polarity.

              5) Soft tissue has been found in fossils. This is a HUGE problem for fossils that are supposed to be millions of years old (all the tissue would have disintegrated); but no problem for recent creation.

              First, figure out what you are referring to as “soft tissue”. Then read:
              http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Soft_tissue_preservation

              6) 3.5 billion years ago, when life was supposed to have started, our sun would have been so faint that the conditions on the “young” earth would have been too freezing for life to start. This is a paradox for long ages, but not at all for a recent creation.
              Once again, you are assuming. In this case that the Sun, and only the Sun, has any affect on temperature. Although it certainly is the main driving factor, there are very valid theories backed up by the geological record to deal with this issue.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faint_young_Sun_paradox

              “Hitler, Pol Pot and Stalin were all influenced by evolutionary ideas. You might say those men don’t count because they were insane; well, the same goes for the Spanish Inquisition and other similar incidents.”
              First, Hitler was a Catholic. Second, these people were not murdering people in the name of atheism. They were murdering people because they were assholes and were trying to pursue an ideal as well as keeping and maintaining power. Those ideal were not “atheism”. The ideals were Hitler: white ethnic Germans, Pol Pot: agrarian Cambodians, and Stalin: communism. I will agree that those in the Church murdering people were either insane or just evil, but understand, they used religion as a tool to justify their atrocities and the institution, more than once, BACKED THEM UP.
              “Bad moral thinking by whose standard? That’s all I am trying to find out from this discussion: whether atheists have a logical foundation for laws of logic or absolute morality.”
              Killing large groups of people is bad. Killing babies is bad. Killing people because they are different and live on the land you want to settle is bad. Raping the women after you kill the soldiers is bad. You seem to be caught up in the belief that only Christians have morality. All religions have an ethical code, but what’s funny is how universal those morals are. This is not a requirement of the social construct that is religion, but rather part of a deeper biology of humans. Also, are you arguing that genocide and rape are alright as long as God commands it, because that seems to be what your are saying?
              “I cannot, to your satisfaction, defend creation with evidence because we presume different origins;”
              Because you have no evidence.
              “likewise, you cannot, to my satisfaction, use evidence to defend evolution.”
              Because you refuse to accept the evidence. This all boils down to you have nothing to back up your arguments but faith and so dismiss reality from the discussion and are trying to use logic to defend your claims, which still has failed terribly as everyone has posted above.

              The rest of what you wrote is just drivel. You have no evidence and thus want none that refutes your claims. Your logical arguments have failed because you are wrapped up in special pleading.

            • Fundamentalist

              Troutbane: “I’ll give you that uniformitarianism is a presupposition, but since it has essentially NEVER been found incorrect I would say it is correct, and in a natural law correct. If anyone would ever to disprove it, they would be beyond famous.”
              Then you should be beyond famous because you disproved uniformitarianism later in your post.

              Troutbane: “[Creation] does not allow for any other theories and has no qualifiable explanation for the geological evidence.”
              Granted, creation does not allow for any theories that contradict it, but so does evolution; if evolution is true, then logically, anything that contradicts it is necessarily false. Creation’s qualifiable explanation for geological evidence is a massive, worldwide flood approximately 4,300 years ago. Evidence? Fossils of sea-creatures on mountaintops, little to no erosion between rock layers, bent rock layers, etc. You probably would interpret this evidence as evidence for evolution, and that simply demonstrates my claim that this debate is not about evidence, but about worldviews.

              Troutbane: “Evolution is a theory. If it was ever disproven using evidence and data, another theory would take its place. It is not a presupposition.”
              What sense of the word “evolution” are you using? Do you simply mean “biological change”, or do you mean the “gradual progression from molecules to man”? The first definition is observable and testable, and therefore is good operational science (dealing with the testable present); the second definition has never been observed, but is presumed by naturalistic thinking to have happened sometime in the past, and therefore is historical science (dealing with the untestable past).
              What is required for the second definition to be true? An increase of information in DNA. Where does information always originate? Ultimately, from a conscious mind. In the years of DNA research, has a mutation ever been observed to cause an increase in DNA information? No. Is there any known natural mechanism by which DNA can increase in information? No. That seems like hard evidence against evolution, and great support for creation.

              Troutbane: “The faulty assumption is that rock layers cannot bend. Also, how do they support the idea of rapid flooding?”
              Faulty assumption? Have you ever tried to bend a rock? If the rock layers were laid down over millions of years, they would lay down flat, solidify, and repeat; once petrified, they would not bend. If a small flood laid down a few layers of rock, and millions of years passed between another similar flood, then where’s the evidence of any erosion during those millions of years? However, a great flood would lay down hundreds of layers of sediment very quickly. Before the sediment has a chance to harden, the land would shift, causing several layers of soft sediment to bend and fold. Then solidification would occur over the next few years.

              Troutbane: “Actually, you are misquoting your own source. That reference is to short period term comets. You are also assuming that comets started at their current rate without any other influence from gravity bodies.”
              My source is http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v7/n4/short-lived-comets. I am answering you according to your own uniformitarian assumptions; if you wish to dispute uniformitarianism, I wholly encourage it.

              Troutbane: “The current hypothesis is that C-14 is created in-situ as the nearby radioactive particles decay similar to the occurrence that happens in the atmosphere.”
              Decaying radioactive particles can produce C-14 in nearby organic matter, but calculations have shown that such decay would not produce the levels of C-14 found in the coal and diamonds in question.

              Troutbane: “You are assuming that a) the intensity of the field is constant, and b) that the field cannot increase in intensity. Geologic evidence shows that it varies over time and can even switch polarity.”
              It sounds like you’re successfully disproving uniformitarianism. Why do evolutionists deny uniformitarian assumptions for rates and processes they know can change, but use the same faulty assumptions for rates and processes they don’t know can change?

              http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Soft_tissue_preservation says: “The common thread in this claim is the great irony of creationists dogmatically adhering to the results of lab studies using uniformitarian preconceptions of processes lasting millions of years which nobody has directly observed.”
              The reason creationists use uniformitarian preconceptions in these types of arguments is to show how their logical conclusions would lead to absurdity. If uniformitarianism is true, then soft tissues (collagen) could not last 68 million years.

              Troutbane: “Once again, you are assuming. In this case that the Sun, and only the Sun, has any affect on temperature. Although it certainly is the main driving factor, there are very valid theories backed up by the geological record to deal with this issue.”
              Those “theories” (the wiki page calls them hypotheses) were developed because the scientists already believed the earth is billions of years old. Which, again, shows that this ENTIRE debate is not about evidence and who can interpret it best, but rather is about worldviews, presuppositions and rational foundation.

              Troutbane: “Those ideals were not “atheism”. The ideals were Hitler: white ethnic Germans, Pol Pot: agrarian Cambodians, and Stalin: communism.”
              A common theme found in these murderers is the belief that evolution justified killing those of an inferior species; Hitler more so. It is said that evolution merely describes what is, and not what should be, but evolution does not provide an ultimate moral standard, so a consistent evolutionist will simply do what he wants without regard to moral norms. Hitler and Stalin as evolutionists were more consistent in their beliefs than friendly atheists are.

              Troutbane: “Killing large groups of people is bad. Killing babies is bad. Killing people because they are different and live on the land you want to settle is bad. Raping the women after you kill the soldiers is bad.”
              You didn’t answer my question. Bad by whose standard? Yours, mine, Hitler’s, Ken Ham’s, Nature’s, God’s?

              Troutbane: “All religions have an ethical code, but what’s funny is how universal those morals are. This is not a requirement of the social construct that is religion, but rather part of a deeper biology of humans.”
              So you admit that there are absolute moral standards that everybody knows to a certain extent. The Bible not only provides a logical foundation for such standards (God cannot lie, God defines “good”, God says lying, stealing, cheating, adultery and murder are bad; therefore they are bad), but also says outright “the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). What logical ultimate standard do evolutionists have for absolute morality?

              Troutbane: “Also, are you arguing that genocide and rape are alright as long as God commands it, because that seems to be what your are saying?”
              If God commands it, then it is good to obey it. To judge the good or evil of God’s commands, you must have greater authority than God; to have greater authority than God, you must be God

              Troutbane: “This all boils down to you have nothing to back up your arguments but faith and so dismiss reality from the discussion and are trying to use logic to defend your claims, which still has failed terribly as everyone has posted above.”
              It’s not that I don’t have evidence; it’s that we interpret the evidence differently due to our different starting points. That’s why I’m trying to get everyone to provide a rational foundation for their beliefs. Within my worldview, I already have provided such a foundation (even though you don’t agree with it); what’s revealing is that no one posting above has even tried.

              Troutbane: “The rest of what you wrote is just drivel. You have no evidence and thus want none that refutes your claims. Your logical arguments have failed because you are wrapped up in special pleading.”
              Drivel? Is it too much to ask for a logical foundation for a worldview? Too much to ask for an ultimate standard? An ultimate standard is characterized by circular reasoning; which, oddly enough, is valid because the conclusion does follow from the premise. However, circular reasoning is invalid when the premise is arbitrary. Here’s what I mean by an ultimate standard:
              I believe if I mix yellow paint and blue paint, I will get green (this is a standard); I believe I will get green because I have before, and I expect the future to generally reflect the past (this is a higher standard). If I believe the future will generally reflect the past because it has before, then I am using circular reasoning, and I have essentially called this my ultimate standard. The question then is, “why should the future reflect the past”? “Because it has before” is not adequate because the question was not “why does” but “why should”.
              A Christian will appeal to an even higher standard: that God is eternal, morally perfect, and laws of logic are a reflection of how God thinks. This God created the universe, so He has the authority to impose physical laws on the physical part of the universe. To a Christian, the standard of uniformity is based on the presupposition that God exists. You may ask, “Why should God exist?” Because the alternative leads to logical absurdity.
              Please don’t dismiss this as drivel, for it cuts to the heart of the debate: one must have a logical foundation for their worldview, or else all interpretation is meaningless.

              What is your rational foundation for your worldview?

            • Troutbane

              “it sounds like you’re successfully disproving uniformitarianism. Why do evolutionists deny uniformitarian assumptions for rates and processes they know can change, but use the same faulty assumptions for rates and processes they don’t know can change?”

              This, and just this, is proof you are an idiot. Things CHANGE over time. The reasons for these change are all very different and that is why science works to discover the why. The laws governing these changes, their impacts, and the rules that bind the universe together, they do not change.
              If you cannot understand the difference between changes in nature (like seasons or tides) and the universality of MATH and physics, you are an idiot. Pure and simple.

            • Troutbane

              On all your scientific claims, you are beyond ignorant of the processes you are describing. You are claiming one thing as another, oversimplifying processes, and have basically shown you do not know what the hell you are talking about. Your vomiting of points from AIG are lending nothing to your argument and you still fall back on evidence = opinions.

              In short, you are arguing against ideas you think up (or are told) that are there arguments being laid out and then reject anything that disturbs your preconceived notions. You keep falling back to straw men because its all you have.

              “If God commands it, then it is good to obey it. To judge the good or evil of God’s commands, you must have greater authority than God; to have greater authority than God, you must be God”
              This, truly this is terrifying. I have no doubt that several hundred years ago you would have delighted at the burning of witches because it was Gods will. If you truly believe that it was good, for example, that Jericho was destroyed along with all it inhabitants including women and children then you are sick. I so hope you never develop schizophrenia because then God would be telling you to eat babies and you would accept it as good. If this country were a religious state you would be one of the people in the streets stoning women who were on their period but didn’t go to the safe place quick enough. Literally, that statement disturbs me as much as you saying that you like to look at pictures of naked children.

            • Kodie

              What is your rational foundation for your worldview?

              You haven’t told us what the rational foundation for your worldview is.

          • Troutbane

            “. If you assume evolution, you interpret evidence as though evolution were true; if you assume creation, you interpret evidence as though creation were true.”

            Only idiots would “assume” evolution. I agree with the concept of evolution on both an appeal to authority (but ONLY with specialists in related fields such as biology, geology, and paleontology) and from my own undergraduate biology studies. Noone should assume any scientific theory, they should read up on what experts in the field are saying and if they have questions, seek the answers.
            Creationism does not allow for arguments or questions. it is a matter of faith. Although it is true you could have “biblical” experts agree with creationism as a worldview, you will run into a brick wall if you try and start asking the tough questions, like, for example, where oil and coal come from.

            • UrsaMinor

              There’s also the fact that nobody dreamed up the idea of evolution and then went looking for evidence to support it. It was goalless observation of the natural world that led to a pile of data which, when examined, suggested evolution. So the evidence for evolution came before the scientific formulation of the concept.

              This is the way that science works. Facts first, then hypotheses to account for those facts. Then the hypotheses are tested for falsehood. If they can be falsified by new data, they are discarded as untrue.

      • FO

        “If the Biblical God (the triune God found in the Bible) did not exist, then science would not be possible.”

        You may want to prove this first.

      • blotonthelandscape

        Fundamentalist, as has been pointed out above, TAG (the argument you’re putting forward is a Transcendental Argument for God) is a non-starter. See
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8dePAhDMh4&feature=share&list=UUp8YwJpk7OALmnuJ8d9SUlQ and his follow-ups (which can be found on his channel).

        The most obvious problem with the argument is the premise, which falls prey to Occam’s Razor. The foundation for the existence of science is a mind that can observe, quantify and infer. Human minds can do this, and we have an uncontroversial basis for believing they exist (i.e., we are one); positing a God therefore isn’t a necessary part of your premise, and so requires further justification for it’s place. In other words you need an observation which can ONLY be accounted for by your specific (and internally contradictory) definition of God. If your definition of God includes “infinite” attributes, e.g. omnipotence, omniscience etc., the observation would also have to be infinite; any finite observation is better explained by finite premises than an infinite one, even fabricated/speculative finite entities trump an infinite god. For more on this see the excellent article linked below:

        http://maximum-entropy-blog.blogspot.nl/2012/08/bayes-theorem-all-you-need-to-know.html

      • Nox

        A syllogism is only as good as its parts.

  • Shoebutton

    A very old snake oil salesman trick. .By having an old earth, Science agrees with Pat!And since his audience doesn’t require any actual evidence, he will be able to weave in some special creation and Cambrian explosion goddidit stories so his followers can smugly believe they know the truth, and won’t even have to read evolution books by those nasty old atheists.
    End the debate, end the questions, end his followers trying to think for themselves. What a sneaky way to get all those bums back in the pews

  • Noelle

    Is it possible Pat himself pre-dates the revival of the YEC-after science has good evidence otherwise movement? Really, most Xians I know hold to some form of theistic evolution, or believe the creation story but not the young earth bit. Before I met fundamentalist baptists online on these types of places, I didn’t realize there were people who still believed the whole 6000 years thing. I think you’ll find that Pat’s stance is the more common one overall these days.

    And no, charasmatics and fundies are not the same. They can both be irritating, but they differ in theology and way of describing relationship with god.

    • trj

      Is it possible Pat himself pre-dates the revival of the YEC…

      He, for a moment there I thought you were asking if Pat predates a young Earth. It wouldn’t surprise me.

      • Noelle

        Yes, that would’ve been funnier. Must be off my game today. Fighting a virus.

  • Artor

    First, Pat comes out in favor of marijuana legalization, now this. It makes me wonder; who are they, and what have they done with the real Pat? Not that I want him back, I’d just really like to know how they pulled it off. There’s a few more people I’d nominate for the switcho-change-o procedure.

  • Godlesspanther

    Returning to his roots? Let’s hope not. Pat was a racial segregationist.

    • trj

      You’re probably thinking of Jerry Falwell.

  • vasaroti

    Even a stopped clock is right..etc.
    So, if he’s going to let science into the conversation, he’s going to have a lot of problems with his other pronouncements about homosexuals, Haiti’s curse, etc.

  • smrnda

    Fundamentalist, you say that you need to assume god is true in order for logic and reason=n to have a basic, but to make this statement you need have some concept of ‘logic’ in your head to begin with. I mean, if I start with the assumption that ~(A)&&(A) (excluded middle) yes, that is an assumption but it seems like a pretty safe one. To me, that’s an assumption that has to be in place for there to be intelligibility, and I think it’s a much safer assumption than anything god related, since it involves assuming much less. It’s pretty well true that you can’t think without certain assumptions, but it’s better to start with a small, uncontroversial assumption.

    Also fundamentalist, the way you present (with labels) arguments using logic and keep quoting Dictionary.com you’re not coming across as someone who knows what you’re talking about, but instead you’re coming across as someone whose education has been skimming the internet.

    On morals, you might want to do some research into secular ethics. To me, ‘divine command theory’ is just Fascism. If god tells you to kill people, then killing is good, but if he says no, it’s bad, and the god of the Bible never seems to be in the business of actually making consistent choices with how to handle people.


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