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Hey, I’m Ron.. Nice to meet you all.
Posted: 09 September 2012 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi there.

My name is Ron. I’ve known about the CFI community in Daytona Beach for a while now, but have been a little shy to join up and get to know everyone. I’ve probably waited entirely too long to get in touch with people who have come to the same conclusions about things that I have.

I look forward to meeting all of you and swapping ideas and perspectives.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 04:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welcome to the CFI Forum, Ron. No reason to be shy here, please do feel free to post away on whatever interests you.

Cheers,

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Posted: 10 September 2012 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Welcome Ron,

looking forward to your posts.

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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
W4U

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Posted: 10 September 2012 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Welcome aboard!

Take care,

Derek

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“It is noble to be good; it is still nobler to teach others to be good—and less trouble.”—Mark Twain

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Posted: 10 September 2012 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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And you don’t have to be shy here.  You can post your real views and no one will know who to put down if they disagree.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 11 September 2012 07:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for the warm welcome.

I said ‘shy’ because I’ve been on atheist forums before, and the interactions I’ve had were not very positive.

I used to be a member of a Presbyterian church, and was studying philosophy so I could get into a theological seminary to study Apologetics and ‘Christian Thought.’ I studied the type of apologetics known as ‘presuppositionalism’ which, though typically unconvincing, seems pretty airtight if you really understand the points that are made.

I left the faith when I realized that this apologetic is not at all airtight, and there are some pretty clever ways to refute it that I’ve not seen anyone talk about before.

At other atheist sites I wanted to articulate my ideas, but people dismissed it as unnecessary because, “Nobody takes presuppositionalism seriously anyways.” No one cared to hear about what I discovered. They instead liked to think about presuppositionalism as something to be ignored and laughed at, because it’s all confusing anyway and “not convincing to anyone.” But, “That doesn’t convince me” is not a valid rebuttal to an argument or position. What I see is that people who say things like that just don’t understand the presuppositionalist arguments - they don’t grasp what’s really being argued for.

I also found a dilemma that effectively refutes Young Earth Creationism based on an internal analysis of what they believe, and not by a comparison with external scientific understanding. That is, most people are content with seeing that the theory of evolution refutes YEC. And it does. But YEC’s don’t see it that way, and so little progress can be made by going over the same old arguments. My refutation looks only at what they themselves affirm, and shows that YEC cannot be true.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Well its not like you can get an entirely positive response on an atheist forum. Welcome

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Posted: 12 September 2012 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I wouldn’t worry too much about what interests other people. Given any topic, some will find it not to their taste.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 04:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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E-C, I’ve never heard of presuppositionalism.  Could you give short definition of it, or should I go to Wikipedia to learn what it is?  We can’t discuss its rationale until we know more about it.

Occam

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Posted: 12 September 2012 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Eulercircles - 11 September 2012 07:32 PM

Thanks for the warm welcome.

I said ‘shy’ because I’ve been on atheist forums before, and the interactions I’ve had were not very positive.

I used to be a member of a Presbyterian church, and was studying philosophy so I could get into a theological seminary to study Apologetics and ‘Christian Thought.’ I studied the type of apologetics known as ‘presuppositionalism’ which, though typically unconvincing, seems pretty airtight if you really understand the points that are made.

I left the faith when I realized that this apologetic is not at all airtight, and there are some pretty clever ways to refute it that I’ve not seen anyone talk about before.

At other atheist sites I wanted to articulate my ideas, but people dismissed it as unnecessary because, “Nobody takes presuppositionalism seriously anyways.” No one cared to hear about what I discovered. They instead liked to think about presuppositionalism as something to be ignored and laughed at, because it’s all confusing anyway and “not convincing to anyone.” But, “That doesn’t convince me” is not a valid rebuttal to an argument or position. What I see is that people who say things like that just don’t understand the presuppositionalist arguments - they don’t grasp what’s really being argued for.

I also found a dilemma that effectively refutes Young Earth Creationism based on an internal analysis of what they believe, and not by a comparison with external scientific understanding. That is, most people are content with seeing that the theory of evolution refutes YEC. And it does. But YEC’s don’t see it that way, and so little progress can be made by going over the same old arguments. My refutation looks only at what they themselves affirm, and shows that YEC cannot be true.

I may be way off base in suggesting this, but I think that a forum member, Dom1978, might be interested in discussing these issues.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Occam. - 12 September 2012 04:49 PM

E-C, I’ve never heard of presuppositionalism.  Could you give short definition of it, or should I go to Wikipedia to learn what it is?  We can’t discuss its rationale until we know more about it.

Occam

If I were a presuppositionalist, I would say that all science is based on certain underlying assumptions that cannot be proven.  Therefore, it is just as valid for me to have the underlying assumption (or to presuppose) that God exists. Since, I assume the existence of God, everything that is, and our understanding of everything that is, must conform to that assumption.

Ant way, that’s my take on it.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Jennifer Stallone - 12 September 2012 11:51 AM

Well its not like you can get an entirely positive response on an atheist forum. Welcome

dougsmith - 12 September 2012 12:32 PM

I wouldn’t worry too much about what interests other people. Given any topic, some will find it not to their taste.

Thank you for the advice.

Occam. - 12 September 2012 04:49 PM

E-C, I’ve never heard of presuppositionalism.  Could you give short definition of it, or should I go to Wikipedia to learn what it is?  We can’t discuss its rationale until we know more about it.

The Wikipedia article is pretty decent, but only to give you an idea of what it is.

Basically it’s the idea that everyone has a worldview, and every worldview has an epistemological starting point (unquestionable presuppositions - unquestionable because they form the basis for the entire worldview). The apologist tries to get to the unbeliever’s unquestionable starting point (since nothing could be logically prior), and uses it to put him on the defensive. Basically he wants to find contradictions in the most basic assumptions that the non-believer has, while defending his own from the same criticisms.

There are two types of presuppositionalism. The one started by Cornelius Van Til, which was taken up by Greg Bahnsen, and the other started by Gordon Clark. Vincent Cheung has taken up Gordon Clark’s apologetic, and has modified it a bit. Cheung’s adaptation is the strongest of them, and is the most maddening to people who try to argue with him. People are just not used to arguing this way, and so they get beaten. They want to give up without much of a fight and say it’s crazy, and not worthy of attention, because they already know the Bible is B.S. Of course it is, but this form of apologetic allows them to turn a blind eye to any other avenue of disproof. Scientific reasoning, for instance, is based on different presuppositions. If the person who is arguing against Christianity assumes his own presuppositions, then he’s ultimately going to be reasoning in a circle, and not addressing the argument that’s before him.

Gordon Clark’s main idea is every philosophical worldview starts with a set of axioms that the system of thought is deduced from. Axioms cannot be proven. If they could they would rely on more logically primitive axioms, which would result in an infinite regress. Instead of ‘proving’ axioms, you judge their merit by seeing how well the resulting philosophical system (worldview) solves the major philosophical problems. He wrote a book that attempted to look at all such worldviews throughout the history of philosophy and to show that they do not solve any problems at all. Yet, in his view, a worldview based on propositions of the Bible as axioms solves all of them. Again, with Clark, this does not *prove* that the Bible is true. For any axiomatic system (any at all, not just Clark’s Bible-based system), that kind of proof is unreasonable to ask for.

TimB - 12 September 2012 07:51 PM

I may be way off base in suggesting this, but I think that a forum member, Dom1978, might be interested in discussing these issues.

Ok, thanks. I will look Dom1978 up.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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TimB - 12 September 2012 08:08 PM
Occam. - 12 September 2012 04:49 PM

E-C, I’ve never heard of presuppositionalism.  Could you give short definition of it, or should I go to Wikipedia to learn what it is?  We can’t discuss its rationale until we know more about it.

Occam

If I were a presuppositionalist, I would say that all science is based on certain underlying assumptions that cannot be proven.  Therefore, it is just as valid for me to have the underlying assumption (or to presuppose) that God exists. Since, I assume the existence of God, everything that is, and our understanding of everything that is, must conform to that assumption.

Ant way, that’s my take on it.

It’s kind of like that, but there is more to it. They say that any given person’s worldview is based on certain underlying assumptions that cannot be proven. Everyone on the planet including Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc… and that this is necessarily so (otherwise you’d be left with the regress problem and end in utter skepticism). The presuppositionalists claim is that all systems that do not start with the Bible fail to make coherent sense of the resulting worldview. They all somewhere have fundamental and unresolvable difficulties (mainly in the interplay between epistemology and metaphysics). But, since we all get on just fine, are able to make sense of things, reason, etc… we, from their point of view, seem to be *borrowing* premises from the Bible even though we claim to not believe in it. In their view we’d have to, or else we wouldn’t be able to make sense of anything.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Eulercircles - 12 September 2012 08:35 PM

...The presuppositionalists claim is that all systems that do not start with the Bible fail to make coherent sense of the resulting worldview…

I would think that they derail there, as the Bible, itself, seems to be quite incoherent.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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TimB - 12 September 2012 08:41 PM

I would think that they derail there, as the Bible, itself, seems to be quite incoherent.

They have their own explanations about how the Bible is successful in making a coherent philosophical system.

And if they get a chance to explain it, it does seem to make sense. But in the end it all boils down to what I call “God-did-it-ism.” All philosophical problems are ‘solved’ by simply saying, “God is omnipotent, so he can (for instance) bridge the gap between mind and body.” So, you see, the mind-body problem is no longer a problem. They have similar answers for other philosophical conundrums, but it’s usually pretty well masked.

The other problem is that they import a LOT of philosophical ideas from ancient Greece and just claim that that’s what the text means. If anyone is familiar with Bible studies, what they do is called ‘eisegesis’ (as opposed to exegesis), which is reading things into the text that may not necessarily be there.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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While I certainly agree that nothing can be proven to another and only that which we experience do we usually accept as true reality.  The problem is that most people think in terms of the deductive true or false dichotomy, and that’s not the way the world works.  Rather, we have to think and live in terms of probabilities.  Gravity may not always be the case, but I operate in my everyday life as it it’s functioning, and so far my behavior has worked for me.  Although that’s an extreme example, it illustrates the idea.  While I can’t disprove the existence of any god, similarly, I can’t demonstrate its existence.  Further, I can’t find any situation where the existence or the effect of any god has been shown.  As such, introduction of such a concept just adds unnecessary and often destructive complications.   

While they may introduce all sorts of philosophical ideas, it would seem to me that a weakness in their argument is whether they can demonstrate where not applying any of them will cause me to be less effective in my behavior.

This may not respond to all of presupposition, but does it apply at all?

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