Can one infallibly detect self-evident truths?

There’s been an interesting conversation at UD over self-evident truths lately. I think I’ve run up against the Uncommon Descent policy on dissent (don’t dissent), and the whole thing has devolved into “we are right” and “they are liars and also dumb.” But the underlying conversation was interesting, and I’d like to get some outside opinions on it. Especially KN, or anyone else with actual training in philosophy. I’m going to number positions for the sake of convenience, so that people with an opinion can react to any that interest them without feeling the need to engage them all. I’d love to hear where I’m wrong.

So as to my position:

  1. I make mistakes. I know this as certainly as I know anything—certainly enough not to doubt it in practice. This shows that I do not have the ability to perfectly perceive error in my own thinking.
  2. I cannot therefore be logically, absolutely certain of anything—not even that A=A. Because the faculties I would use to be perfectly, logically certain of that are the same ones that are not perfect.
  3. I think the trickiest question here is whether I can be certain that “I think, therefore I am.” But even there, is the fact that I cannot imagine any counter-example because it’s perfectly true, or because I have an imperfect and limited mind? I can’t know without a perfect, limitless mind, so I have to say even here, it’s not logically absolutely certain. (But obviously practically certain, and I don’t doubt it in practice.)

Does that make sense?

 

Now as to StephenB and Barry Arrington’s position.

  1. I think one major motivator of the “you’re a liar!” style of debate they’ve adopted is community identification. I’ve been thinking of this as building a wall. The point of the conversation is largely, not entirely, to show that “we think like this:” and “they think like that:”, or more pointedly, “look how stupid and ugly they are.” It makes it very easy to avoid questioning beliefs, because we cling particularly to those notions that separate us from them. It identifies and strengthens the community of us by redefining it in opposition to the ugliness and stupidity of them. And once that wall is built, it’s extremely hard to dismantle. Why on earth would you stop and seriously consider something a stupid and dishonest person says? And what would it say about you if you agreed with them? The wall exists to separate.
    1. This is not to say their positions are dishonest—I think they’re very upfront with their beliefs, and mean what they say.
    2. I think this is demonstrated particularly by BA’s habit of bailing out of a conversation and posting a new thread that very explicitly says look at how stupid and ugly those people are!
    3. I think I’m doing the same thing right now. I think that wall-building is wrong, but I don’t know how not to do it—especially as observing that someone else is building a wall is as good as laying a brick in your own.
    4. I can try to fight back against that by observing that walls exist to keep people in as well as out; the point is largely to have a bulwark against having to reconsider one’s beliefs and identity. So it’s important to ask, “Am I wrong?” Which I’m doing here, and attempting with some success to do in my own head.

And now the conversation itself. This is tricky because they’re cagey about answering questions. I suspect they know they’re on uncertain ground, and don’t want to commit to a position whose implications they can’t perfectly predict. I think they’re leery of inadvertently contradicting each other, too, because they’re aware that it would be awkward for two people professing infallibility to disagree. So gathering dribs and drabs of what they’ve said, I think this is a reasonably fair representation of their position. I’m not confident that it is, but I’m doing my best.

  1. Self-evident truths (SETs) exist.
  2. People can perceive SETs. I refer to the faculty for doing so as “SET-sense,” because it’s alliterative.
  3. People do not use reason to perceive SETs. If one needs reason to arrive at a truth, it is not a SET.
  4. People can be uncertain about whether a SET exists.
  5. People cannot be wrong when they identify something as a SET. No false positives are possible.
    1. This is some guesswork on my part; SB started calling me a liar rather than answer, and I didn’t bother to ask BA. I think he’s said in the past that no such error is possible, but I can’t recall where.
    2. I think their position entails “no false positives.” If you can falsely believe that something is a SET, then the very existence of undoubtable SETs is out of reach.
  6. I’m not certain whether false negatives are possible.
    1. BA and SB have both suggested in the past that anyone who disagrees with them that it is self-evident that certain moral truths are objectively wrong must be lying, which suggests that the answer is “no.”
    2. On the other hand, uncertainty is possible for them, which suggests that false negatives might be too.
  7. Mathematical operations can be SETs.
  8. 2+2=4 is a SET.
  9. 17*45=765 is not a SET.
    1. I don’t think the operation itself, + or *, makes a difference.
    2. Things that have to be reasoned out aren’t SETs. I think that must include calculation, and I think BA at least agreed with that.
  10. There is no grey area, in which it’s impossible to tell whether a truth is self-evident or just a possibly flawed intuition.
    1. This is BA’s position, at least.
  11. For n+n=2n, we know that:
    1. If n=2, we have a SET.
    2. If n+n has to be calculated to get the answer, we don’t have a SET.
  12. So for those values where n>2 and n+n can be known without reasoning through the addition, we may or may not have a SET.
  13. Pursuant to F, there are no false positives.
  14. Pursuant to J, there are no grey areas. It’s a SET or it isn’t.

Whoo! This is improbably great fun. So with all that as background, let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s increment n and see what happens!

If we tested one million people by asking them to solve the iterations (what’s 2+2, 3+3, 4+4, etc.) we could chart out the percentage that got it right. For n=2 and probably 3 and 4 and 5, we’d get pretty much 100%. But that number would start to decline pretty quickly!

Some people, especially uneducated people, would start being unable to answer without doing a calculation. And remember, if you have to calculate it, you aren’t using SET-sense. Others will be uncertain, so also not using their SET-sense. They’re out of the sample—we only care about people who are arriving at an answer without having to guess or calculate it. That means we’re at 100% getting the problem right… or are we?

Some number of people are going to get the problem wrong. As n increases, more and more will do so. At some point, say n=17, we’ll have two groups of people left in the study: those who were confident they were right and answered 34, and those who were confident they were right and answered something else.

Uh oh. Now we have people believing they’ve arrived at a self-evident truth, but being wrong about it. False positives.

It’s possible to be in error about at least some apparent SETs. SteRusJon escaped this by identifying all math problems as SETs, but that’s not BA’s or SB’s position, and I don’t think they’ll back down. That’s one consequence of building a wall: you can’t leave the walled-in area very easily. Having belittled and insulted those who doubted them, it’ll be very difficult for them to consider whether their confidently-asserted positions had inconvenient entailments.

Another escape, and the one I think they’d prefer to use, is to mind-read. Those people who got n=17 wrong didn’t really believe that 17*2=38. They just thought they believed it. I’m dubious of any solution that requires redefining someone else’s belief, and this again introduces the possibility of error. If you can think you’re using your SET-sense, then how do you ever know for a fact that you are?

I think probably BA regrets trying to use math to show how obviously right he is, and will rely in the near future on simpler, more aggressive tactics to build the wall.

But! Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe my logic is off, in one way or many. What do you guys think?

125 thoughts on “Can one infallibly detect self-evident truths?

  1. Elizabeth:
    Barry’s seems to be arguing:

    X is self-evidently true
    If you cannot see that X is self-evidently true you are a fool.

    From which follows, it seems to me:

    Therefore X is only self-evidently true to non-fools.

    Which would seem to have a relativity that he would probably not want to own.

    🙂

  2. I accept A = A

    and
    A ≠ not-A

    What the heck does it matter if I classify it as “self-evident” or not?

    I don’t care, I never encountered so much BS discussion in over 150 hours of math, science, and logic classes as I have over this on the internet.

  3. I am not qualified to discuss whether or not self-evident truths exist. But Barry’s motivation in insisting that they do is quite obvious. Barry is a very insecure, and unimportant, little man who has an unnatural need to feel superior to others, and to be perceived as being superior to others. He can’t do so with intelligent debate and logic so he resorts to his childish little antics. Declaring a self-evident truth and labelling anyone who disagrees with him as liars, evil and insane (I think he was referring to you Colin) and declaring victory.

    So I don’t think that it is a case of building walls as you have described it, but more in erecting demons to slay. Even if they are not real.

  4. stcordova:
    I accept A = A

    and
    A ≠ not-A

    What the heck does it matter if I classify it as “self-evident” or not?

    I don’t care, I never encountered so much BS discussion in over 150 hours of math, science, and logic classes as I have over this on the internet.

    I can’t argue with that! The discussion is interesting, though, and useful for me; it’s really refined my own thoughts about my own certainty.

  5. KN, thanks for your thoughts. Do you think it’s (a) necessary or (b) valid to say, “I am not certain of anything, even my own uncertainty”? And what about, “I am certain only of my own uncertainty”?

  6. keiths: Barry at UD:

    ““Error exists.”

    That’s KF’s favorite, and I agree that it’s true, but I’m not absolutely certain of it.

    How could I be? To be absolutely certain of it, I would have to be absolutely certain of the rules of logic and absolutely certain that I was applying them infallibly.

    If that is an example of a “self-evident truth”, by KF’s and Barry’s standards, then self-evident truths are not absolutely certain.

    Royce’s point — it’s from “The Argument From Error” — is that it is absolutely certain to me that I can make mistakes, because if I could never make mistakes, then I could never be in doubt. I can be, on the contrary, absolutely certain about my own fallibility. The point of saying “error exists” is that one can be absolutely sure that one doubts.

    I’m not sure if KF appreciates this, because he once admitted that he hasn’t read Royce, but rather an apologist named Trueblood who got it from Royce, whereas I’ve read Royce’s article — but only once, and quickly.

    Fun fact: Royce uses this as a premise in his proof the only way to refute solipsism is by inferring that the external world is really the Mind of God.

  7. Elizabeth: Barry’s seems to be arguing:

    X is self-evidently true
    If you cannot see that X is self-evidently true you are a fool.

    Right.

    He is using “self-evidently true” as a rhetorical device, in order to demonize people. How very unChristian of him.

  8. Kantian Naturalist: it is absolutely certain to me that I can make mistakes, because if I could never make mistakes, then I could never be in doubt.

    That argument (of Royce’s) is a complete mess, IMHO.

    BTW, I’ve had a very attractive two-volume Royce work sitting in a bookcase of mine for over 30 years, and I’ve still never opened.it. Probably never will.

  9. Richardthughes:
    Final one:

    “You are either sympathetic to the point or you are not sympathetic to the point. The law of the excluded middle precludes any other position on your part.”

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/self-evident-does-not-mean-apparent/#comment-578497

    From Barry’s latest album, “Binary Sympathy”

    Thanks for that link.

    For the life of me, I can’t comprehend how people can stand to deal with Arrington. I think he must be one of the most pompous assholes living in America today. I guess there’s a sense in which it’s impressively mature when people as smart as Learned Hand (e.g.) don’t mind getting shat upon over and over, but it’s seems so weird to me. An immature sort myself, I lasted one day there–and it was very difficult for me to make it that long.

  10. I’m literally trained to accept unpleasantness. I won’t say I’m always good at it, but it’s something litigators (which I used to be) and negotiators (which I currently am) just have to accept as a reality. Barry’s not that bad. I suspect he only behaves that way when he has total power over the conversation (which would explain why he doesn’t ever comment here). I’ve met people who behaved that way in depositions, on the record, and even under certain circumstances in open court.

  11. Colin:

    Barry’s not that bad. I suspect he only behaves that way when he has total power over the conversation (which would explain why he doesn’t ever comment here).

    Barry was once the substitute host for a radio call-in show, with Denyse O’Leary as his guest. I called in and was pleasantly surprised at his demeanor.

    Reciprocating Bill listened to the show and wrote:

    Barry was sorta chipper and even winning. Doesn’t sound at all like the pompous dildo his writing seems to suggest. Denyse did her usual wheezy grandma thing.

  12. keiths,

    You’re probably right. As you know, patience and the ability to observe with tranquility are not virtues of mine.

    Colin:
    I’m literally trained to accept unpleasantness. I won’t say I’m always good at it, but it’s something litigators (which I used to be) and negotiators (which I currently am) just have to accept as a reality. Barry’s not that bad. I suspect he only behaves that way when he has total power over the conversation (which would explain why he doesn’t ever comment here). I’ve met people who behaved that way in depositions, on the record, and even under certain circumstances in open court.

    My wife is a former litigator and current administrative judge. But most of the unpleasantness she has had to learn to deal with is closer to home. 🙂

  13. Colin,

    I think its the paradigm of UD, which is clearly modeled on a church. There is a Pulpit, preachers and a flok. Infallible information flows one way, affirmation flows the other way. Its much closer to monologue than dialogue, and the flock are insulated and protected from reality by the preachers.

  14. Colin:
    KN, thanks for your thoughts. Do you think it’s (a) necessary or (b) valid to say, “I am not certain of anything, even my own uncertainty”? And what about, “I am certain only of my own uncertainty”?

    I suppose I would interpret the first one as saying, “it is beyond my ability to doubt whether there are limits to what I can doubt” and “it is beyond my ability to doubt that there are limits to what I can doubt”.

    But that’s just a rough paraphrase. I don’t really understand what either of those claims means, or how one could determine if they are true.

    I like to think of “certainty,” as Wittgenstein does, as that which it makes no sense to doubt — that doubt would be meaningless. I am certain that I am or have a living body, that I am conscious, that I am aware of both mental states and physical objects, and that there are many things I can and cannot do.

    I don’t understand what would be going on in the mind of someone who would say, “I believe I am aware of physical objects, but I could be wrong”. That just looks like a category mistake to me; it consists of applying the appearance/reality distinction to the concept of appearance. Someone who says that doesn’t seem to understand what the word “aware” means. (By contrast, it is perfectly intelligible to say, “I am certainly aware of physical objects, but I don’t know if there really are any”.)

    So I am not averse to talking about certainty, in a Wittgensteinian or phenomenological way.

    What I am averse to is the further thought that certainty is a “foundation” for knowledge. I prefer to think of certainty and knowledge as distinct categories, rather than as certainty as furnishing us with premises from which other knowledge-claims can be derived.

  15. I know Elton Trueblood. Not personally. He was something of the Gilderoy Lockhart of Earlham College. Used to be followed around by acolytes. I guess that makes me one or two degrees of separation from Herbert Hoover.

    He has a couple of semi-famous quotes attributed to him.

    The world is equally shocked at hearing Christianity criticized and seeing it practiced.

    A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit

  16. Kantian Naturalist: I don’t understand what would be going on in the mind of someone who would say, “I believe I am aware of physical objects, but I could be wrong”.

    Being aware of the possibility of hallucinations.

  17. petrushka: Being aware of the possibility of hallucinations.

    I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, that when he says “I believe I am aware of physical objects, but I could be wrong,” that “wrong” refers to the awareness of physical objects (or the belief in that awareness) rather than the existence of the objects. Is that right?

    Does Wittgensteinian uncertainty mean that one can doubt, but there’s no point to doubting?

  18. Sounds Arringtonesque to me.

    What is this “I” thing that could believe it is aware but be wrong?

    Sounds like nested homunculi.

  19. Colin: I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, that when he says “I believe I am aware of physical objects, but I could be wrong,” that “wrong” refers to the awareness of physical objects (or the belief in that awareness) rather than the existence of the objects. Is that right?

    Basically, yes. The tricky part is to describe the standpoint of experience, abstracting from all metaphysical commitnents (i.e. about what exists) without opening the door to skepticism.

    Does Wittgensteinian uncertainty mean that one can doubt, but there’s no point to doubting?

    Not quite; Wittgenstein thinks that we can only understand doubt and certainty as contraries, but that we can only understand knowledge and doubt as complementary. He thinks this is a semantic point about the meanings of “knowledge”, “doubt”, and “certainty”.

    Perhaps one might say that it is the lack of certainty, not the having of it, that makes knowledge possible.

  20. keiths:
    fifth:

    One word “revelation”

    One word: “deception”

    Plus, it doesn’t solve the demarcation problem. It’s easy to say “revelation,” but if someone had a list of 100 propositions (2+2=4, the pope is the representative of Christ on Earth, Mary Baker Eddie is the representative of Christ on Earth, etc.), could they check each one off as true or false with perfect certainty? How would they distinguish their perception of revelation from their education and acculturation?

    Then what happens when you put ten people in a room and show them each others’ test results? They’ll disagree about some of them. How do you tell who’s right?

  21. Colin: One word: “deception”

    Yes it’s true that people can be deceived but God does not deceive.

    If God revealed a self evident truth to you in such a way so that it was impossible for you to doubt you would know that truth infallibly. That was the question in the OP was it not?

    Colin: Plus, it doesn’t solve the demarcation problem.

    I agree but that is another question entirely,

    I would say the demarcation problem is tentatively solved by using the gospel as a touchstone/litmus test.

    see the angry at God thread for details. I don’t have the energy to go over it again

    peace

  22. fifthmonarchyman: If God revealed a self evident truth to you in such a way so that it was impossible for you to doubt you would know that truth infallibly.

    I asked an Imam if there was any possibility he was mistaken about the truth of his religion, and he said no, God had revealed it to him as absolute truth.

    Who do I believe, you or the Imam? You both say the same thing!

  23. OMagain: Who do I believe, you or the Imam? You both say the same thing!

    I think we already covered this but here are the cliff notes

    Because the Imam has no account for how knowelege is possible in his worldview.

    When I have asked how a infinite timeless Allah can communicate with finite temporal humans I have gotten incoherent answers or no answers at all. The Imam owes us an answer if he expects us to buy his argument.

    On top of that, the the Imam has no reason to trust the revelation of Allah any way because Allah is a deceiver

    quote;

    Qur’an 3:54—And they (the unbelievers) planned to deceive, and Allah planned to deceive (the unbelievers), and Allah is the best of deceivers.

    and

    Qur’an 7:99—Are they then safe from Allah’s deception? No one feels safe from Allah’s deception except those that shall perish.

    and

    Qur’an 8:30—And (remember) when the unbelievers plotted deception against you (O Muhammad), to imprison you, or kill you, or expel you. They plotted deception, but Allah also plotted deception; and Allah is the best of deceivers.

    end quote:

    The phrase is often translated into English as “best of planners,” “best of schemers,” or “best of plotters,” but the root word (makr) means “deception.”

    Finally the Koran commands that Christians test Muslim revelations against they gospel and they obviously fail that test.

    quote:
    Qur’an 5:47 And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.
    end quote:

    from here

    http://quran.com/5/47

    peace

  24. fifthmonarchyman: When I have asked how a infinite timeless Allah can communicate with finite temporal humans I have gotten incoherent answers or no answers at all. The Imam owes us an answer if he expects us to buy his argument.

    There’s a certain irony here . . .

  25. Well, you see KN, if this Imam had simply uttered the words “logos” and/or “incarnation” (with the appropriate far-away look, of course) , Fifth would have been completely satisfied.

    I mean, who wouldn’t be?

  26. fifth,
    I put your points to the Imam and he said that you have not interpreted those passages correctly. And that you are mistaken, and that in fact knowledge is indeed possible under his worldview.

    Furthermore he referenced a few passages in the Bible that he believes show that your God lies:

    Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1 Kings 22:23

    Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets. 2 Chronicles 18:22

    Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people. Jeremiah 4:10

    O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived. Jeremiah 20:7

    And if a prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet. Ezekiel 14:9

    For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. 2 Thessalonians 2:11

  27. All the Abrahamic sects look to me like siblings rifling the house of a deceased parent, looking for the will.

  28. 5mm, I cede my time to all those excellent responses! I’d add only one very simple point: you say that “God doesn’t deceive.” That’s a predicate belief–you need to accept it in order to conclude that you know something absolutely. If that belief has to come before the conclusion that you know something absolutely, then how can you logically tell that predicate belief is absolutely true?

  29. fifth:

    Yes it’s true that people can be deceived but God does not deceive.

    OMagain:

    Furthermore he [the imam] referenced a few passages in the Bible that he believes show that your God lies:

    Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1 Kings 22:23

    Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets. 2 Chronicles 18:22

    Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people. Jeremiah 4:10

    O Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived. Jeremiah 20:7

    And if a prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet. Ezekiel 14:9

    For this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. 2 Thessalonians 2:11

    LOL. Poor fifth is fighting the Bible again.

  30. OMagain: Furthermore he referenced a few passages in the Bible that he believes show that your God lies:

    That is not what those verses say

    There is a difference between universal primary causation and particular secondary causation.

    Since the Christian God is sovereign in a sense he is cause of everything including deception and at times God withholds the truth from rebels as a judgement. In Christianity allows folks to be deceived when they refuse the truth

    quote:

    and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,
    (2Th 2:10-11)

    end quote:

    Notice the rebel acted first and the deception is judgement.

    On the other hand Allah is an active deceiver he deceives as a matter of proactive policy and not as means to judgment he is a trickster like Loki

    For example according to Islam, Christianity itself is the result of a clever ruse perpetrated by Allah himself to protect Jesus.

    quote:

    Qur’an 4 :157-158
    And [for] their saying, “Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah .” And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but [another] was made to resemble him to them. And indeed, those who differ over it are in doubt about it. They have no knowledge of it except the following of assumption. And they did not kill him, for certain.Rather, Allah raised him to Himself. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.

    end quote:

    hope that helps

    peace

  31. Colin: That’s a predicate belief–you need to accept it in order to conclude that you know something absolutely.

    correct.

    The truth of Christianity is unique in that it is both a presupposition and a revealed truth.

    The Logos (presupposition) became flesh and dwelt among us (revealed truth).

    Peace

  32. On this issue, presumably, the Imam can be believed, Not incoherent at all,the way he is on other stuff. The key to coherence so far as I have been able to discern seems to be consistency with what Fifth believes.

  33. Since the Christian God is sovereign in a sense he is cause of everything including deception and at times God withholds the truth from rebels as a judgement.

    That’s a lame defense, fifth.

    God doesn’t merely “withhold the truth” in those verses. He actively deceives.

    …the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets…

    Therefore God sends them a strong delusion…

    …I the Lord have deceived that prophet.

    You’re fighting the Bible again, fifth.

    You say:

    God does not deceive.

    The Bible says you’re wrong.

  34. more teenage apostate bible study— goodie

    http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/does-god-lie

    and

    http://christianthinktank.com/godlies.html

    Have at it, there is more where that came from if you want

    You may as an apostate disagree with the consensus interpretation of these texts but it does not matter.

    You see if you were to somehow convince me that God lies it would mean that I can’t know anything at all. I would be left in the matrix without any hope for escape.

    I choose not to go there

    By the way how do you know stuff in your world view?
    peace

  35. keiths: Poor Mung.

    Poor keiths. Sez he covered all that already. Somewhere. At least I gave Richardthughes the link he asked for.

    Where did you “cover” the point I raised? A link to the specific post, please.

  36. keiths: LOL.Poor fifth is fighting the Bible again.

    By which keiths means, his interpretation of the bible is the one and only true and correct interpretation, without possibility of error, and he is certain of it.

  37. Skeptic: There are no self-evident truths.

    Skeptic: Oh, what’s a self-evident truth, anyways? No matter. Can’t be any. Might lead one to infer God.

    SalSkeptic: I believe A=A

    SalSkeptic: But I don’t know why and I don’t care to think about why, and why anyone would call that a self-evident truth or why it should even matter is not covered in any engineering course I ever took.

    Obviously there are no self-evident truths. Stupid Barry.

  38. fifth,

    Have at it, there is more where that came from if you want

    You may as an apostate disagree with the consensus interpretation of these texts but it does not matter.

    What matters here is what the texts say versus what you say. You say that God doesn’t deceive. The Bible says that he does. (It also says that he doesn’t. No surprise there — the Bible contradicts itself right and left.)

    You see if you were to somehow convince me that God lies it would mean that I can’t know anything at all. I would be left in the matrix without any hope for escape.

    First of all, I’m not trying to convince you that God lies. I don’t think he exists. I’m just pointing out that your beliefs conflict with what the Bible says.

    Second, if God lies it doesn’t mean that you can’t know anything — it simply means that you can’t be absolutely certain of anything. You’re in the same boat as the atheists and the apostates. Welcome to reality.

    By the way how do you know stuff in your world view?

    I’ve answered your question again and again, including here:

    I examine evidence, and think, and when something is sufficiently well-supported — like the idea that there is calamansi juice in my refrigerator right now — then I treat it as knowledge.

    Do you think it honors Jesus to pretend that I haven’t answered?

  39. keiths: First of all, I’m not trying to convince you that God lies. I don’t think he exists. I’m just pointing out that your beliefs conflict with what the Bible says.

    And the bible says what keiths says it says. How convenient.

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