Author Archives: Cory

Transcendental Argument Not Not Even Wrong

The double not in the title isn’t a grammatical error of a double negative. It is actually saying that the claim that the transcendental argument isn’t refuted by the philosophical argument called “not even wrong” which suggest that the transcendental argument is so whacked that it’s not even logically wrong let alone being logically right. Like saying “the beefy delight, tornado blkafa max is make”.

The Transcendental Argument is the philosophical apologetic that logic, science, knowledge and morality cannot be accounted for without a self existent eternally powerful God. Fundamentally, it points out that the presuppositions of the other party’s worldview cannot be accounted for without eternal knowledge or accepting universals, like logic, as being utterly immaterial.

I really like what this website says about it:
http://carm.org/transcendental-argument

Here is a good lesson on the argument (granted he’s not a proponent of leading with or wholly maintaining this argument during a debate:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pazLQsT-9Es

Now I did add “knowledge” in there because without knowledge, we can know nothing of what can be known including the fundamentals of the argument. Therefore base-lining the argument with epistemology, through logic, as being the starting point of the argument. Granted, most apologists do not lead with this apologetic, some do. The Transcendental Argument is fundamentally a solid method of Presuppositional Apologetics in which I believe is a very biblical approach to defending the faith against the argument God. The two reasons for this are that most other apologetics allow for God to be put on Trial, the defender is you (providing evidence), and the judge and jury is the unbeliever. When faced with Romans 1, which ultimately says that people suppress the truth about their knowledge of God in unrighteousness, this should lead the unbeliever’s worldview to the trial stand and not God. This passage nor apologetic leaves any room for true atheism before God. I do give that perhaps you may argue that one cannot prove the Christian God with this argument; however, most if not all gods of other religions has key flaws in their character. The bible says God has made it plain to them so that they are without excuse. Not that there is just a god, but that there is a specific one with specific attributes (otherwise, they would have an excuse right?!).

This Cornelius Van Til’ish form of apologetics is re-gaining modern traction due to folks like Dr. Jason Lisle (Astrophysicist), Sye Ten Bruggencate (Canadian Presuppositional Apologist) and Eric Hovind (the son of the infamous Kent Hovind and president of Creation Today) and many others.

This argument fundamentally answers that the law of non-contradiction can not be violated and to reason existence and reason as an axiom bypasses the infinite regress problem. This, fundamentally is a rejection of God and an acceptance of living with a worldview filled with illogical contradictions. One might even say that many people’s worldviews are “not even wrong”.

Anyway, to say that this argument is so absurd that “it’s not even wrong” is absurd. There is no basis for this and I submit that this is a cop out. Funny, because most opponents of this method often say that the transcendental argument is a dodge, but what they neglect to acknowledge is that opponents are stuck with a problem they can’t solve without turning to God and, to deny it, would mean they need to attack the validity of the argument and reduce it down to name calling, ad hominem argument or outright saying that its “circular” and doesn’t make sense (not even wrong).

Is the argument “not even wrong”? Debate Sye Ten Bruggencate and see where it gets you, other then accepting you are ok with continuing in a worldview that’s viciously circular, unaccounted for or included with a few gut wrenching contradictions.

The Omnipotence Paradox

The omnipotence paradox is simply a fancy way of saying that there are folks out there that believe there are intrinsic problems with absolute omnipotence of God. The argument lends to the the following problems: that he cannot create something large enough he can’t lift, or that if he created something he can’t lift, then either way, he is not all powerful. This then leaves God’s omnipotence to be questioned.

This is a philosophical debate that has gone on for centuries and so I’m not about to solve this here and now by any “empirical evidence”, but help readers to understand that there are serious logical implications to the question itself. What we need to realize here is that the question “Can God create an object in which he cannot lift?”, at its core, violates the law of non contradiction, and that it is also a self refuting argument.

First of all, a quick dichotomy of infinity and eternity. I am using infinity not in terms of starting and never ending but having no start and no end. By this I mean God’s self existence or eternal nature. In terms of God’s attributes, admittedly impossible to fathom or explain. I actually like use the word “isness” of God. In the bible God presents himself as “I am” which gets to the core of his eternal nature and self existence. This is also why one cannot compare themselves with God nor try to anthropomorphize his eternal ability.

Nothing can be added onto infinity and if God is infinite in his nature, nothing can be larger then the largest thing. Anything super big or super strong is only infinitely smaller or less powerful then God. This is a good apologetic towards polytheists. There is no other God but God, which in himself is self existing and omni-all-inclusive; therefore, nothing else can be defined as God.

God creating something he cannot lift is like saying: “what happens when an infinitely unstoppable force meets an infinitely unmovable object?”. Both of these would have to be mutually exclusive within God and not opposed to God himself and therefore maintain omnipotence. Granted God is the only one that is unstoppable and unmovable and to pit this against each other would be contradictory to his eternal nature and the very logic which comes from God.

People like to then rebutt that God can still not do something, like violating his own nature or will. Think about that people. It is a contradictory argument again. If His will or Logic is one way and that statement is true, then it cannot also be true that God will violate it.

I really like what Dr. Jason Lisle has to say about this, and I paraphrase:

“Laws of logic are rooted in the character and nature of God. Two contradictory statements cannot both be true because God does not deny himself (1 Timothy 2:13), God is self consistent. Truth, which comes from God, will always be self consistent and it will always be like that because God is immutable as part of his nature.”1

Like flying unassisted is not part of your nature, contradicting himself is not part of God’s nature. So in that, God would never create something in which he cannot lift because its contrary to his eternal nature. In that he does not violate logical contradictions.

I really like how Sye Ten Bruggencate’s response to this makes “answering the fool according to his folly” so practical.

There’s many things God can’t do. God can’t lie it says in Hebrews 6:18, can’t deny himself 2 Tim 2:13. There’s lots of things God can’t do. “Well if God is all powerful or omnipotent he has to be able to do anything”. I say, look, God cannot do the logically impossible. But I know what your friend’s going to say, “If God can’t do the logically impossible, then he is not all powerful”. I say, look, the logically impossible is not a power it’s a weakness. I’d say, I tell you what, you know what you do to your friend. say “Look, I’ll answer your question”. Such a God, if you want him to be able to do the logically impossible, can make a rock so big he cannot lift it”. You know what he is going to say “AH HA! See there is something your God cannot do, he can’t lift that rock.”. You know what you say to him then? “If God can do the logically impossible, he can lift the rock he can’t lift.”
2

1. Dr. Jason Lisle –
2. Objections Answered – June 26, 2013 – Sye Ten Bruggencate. Westminster Presbyterian, Sermon Audio

Tropism – Change and Uncertainty

Tropes is a type of epistemological skepticism that concludes, in principal, that you can’t know anything to be certain due to relative truths or the change in property of the object in question. This then renders any form of certain knowledge inconclusive, as opposed to a universalistic approach that we can know things to be certain by similar characteristics. Example is that an apple can be green and that is true only to my perception for the period of time in which it occurred. It can’t be certain truth because another’s perception may be different. Also, if it rots, it is no longer true the apple is green, nor can it be considered an apple. In universalism, one can say: that is, that was, or that can be an apple or it’s “appelish” dispute perception or change.

In light of this example, a trope here is that if the apple rots and becomes dirt, the next person to see it next says that it’s dirt, not even aware of it’s previous state. So it’s no longer true the dirt is an apple.

The ten examples of this view is the Ten Tropes of Pyrrhonian Principles which adopt an Epoch√© view, fundamentally holding off all judgement of ontology or certainty because it can’t be qualified by absolutes. Certainty being unattainable. The reason for this is that one can’t qualify certian truth due to varying perception of the knowledge bearer or the change that could occur. It’s true at the time for that person, but not absolutely true because it can change or the perception of another person could be different. Essentially, the belief that all truth is relative to the one experiencing it. That said, someone who considers tropism at their core worldview is a Relativistic Nominalist. Funnily enough, the motivation to reject absolutes was for reasons in which believers yearn for a bliss of ataraxia in the afterlife. This ignorance is bliss theory ultimately leads to an excuse to reject God and suppress ones own pursuit of knowledge by rejecting the ability to really know anything for certain based on ones own individual experience. This is all dispute the fact they make assertions on God, universals and abstract objects . Ultimately, leaving them in an ataraxia state of ignorance and no real purpose in the pursuit of knowledge. I don’t think the problem of “no more need to seek knowledge” is intended, but it make the pursuit a waste of time then. Most people that have just understood what I just said here, why do you even seek to prove “the concept of” God wrong if you can never nor never wish to qualify him with certainty? You have no reason to argue because the outcome will be treated as a trope and therefore is fleeting or as inconclusive as you current belief. So what is it? Are you absolutely sure there are no absolutes?

You see, the problem with tropism (notice that was written in a universal term) is that it collides with the basics of logic and reason.
By this I mean that even if one believes in the fact that there are tropes, there is universals and absolutes as well. Logic is a universal and it does not change, nor does physics. We discover more about them, like quantum physics, but we are bound by them. Because one can choose to reject that truth=truth or false=false, doesn’t mean that the rule doesn’t governs us. Even thinking of the implications of the question “is it absolutely true there are no absolute truths” leaves a huge contradiction in this viewpoint.

Secondly, if I took law as relative to my perception, I could come with all kinds of interpretations of that law I wish according to my reality. Like if I were raised in a home where theft was acceptable and that was my reality, if in the real world I steal, the lawmakers don’t take these as relative and I will be thrown in prison. Again, perhaps despite all the warnings of others about the cliff in front of me, I ignore their “perception” in light of my own and walk off the cliff. I will fall. Granted, scientific method says if it’s tested lots, chances are it will be like that again (which is another topic altogether). There may be a cause in which the cliff is no longer there at the time you walk over it, but it doesn’t mean there wasn’t a cliff or that there is a cliff still. So it’s absolutely true there was a cliff or, if you are falling, it’s absolutely true that there is a cliff. You think this is relative, but anyone falling of the cliff experiences the absolute truth. Because everyone experiences something different, it doesn’t mean it isn’t absolutely true.

For our apple, despite it’s now dirt and the fact it is no longer an apple, it’s absolutely true it was an apple regardless of my knowledge or perception.

Getting A Reboot

It’s been a long time since I’ve focused on this blog and I have had a new found desire to build this blog out and hopefully provide some kind of insight insomuch as it’s worth. ¬†Please check back as I revise and re-add the previous blogs I’ve written.

Some key things to look for is a expanded presuppositional evidence for God and some surveys on key philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God.

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