2,657 thoughts on “Elon Musk Thinks Evolution is Bullshit.

  1. John Harshman: Why “the Christian God” specifically? Wouldn’t any god, or in fact any organizing force whether an entity or not, work as well?

    Van Til would insist on the Christian God specifically because he thinks that only the doctrine of the Trinity resolves the philosophical problem of the one and the many.

    How can “non-rational factors” be equated with “blind chance”? Is, for example, natural selection a non-rational factor?

    Well, since presuppositionalists do not impress me with their understanding of evolutionary theory . . . the presuppositionalist story is something like this (I just read an article on Van Til and Plantinga recently).

    For there to be genuine knowledge, the world in itself must have a categorical structure, such that when we employ our categories, our thoughts correspond to reality. But if our cognitive capacities are the result of natural selection (and other causal factors), we have no reason to believe that any of thoughts could ever correspond to the world’s categorical structure — our own cognitive capacities would be geared towards successful action, not accurate representation. (Needless to say, I dispute the Van Til/Plantinga claim that successful action and accurate representation can be teased apart in this way.)

    Independent of assuming the Christian God, Van Til argues, we could not account for the uniformity of nature required by induction, nor could we even account for the possibility of comparing and contrasting our differing conceptual schemes as being about the same shared reality.
    Hence we cannot be guaranteed that we really know what we take ourselves to know.

    And is this not circular? God being the source of knowledge and of the validity of reason entails the assumption that God does not lie or deceive and has constructed us to be capable of valid reasoning. How can we know that, other than by assuming its truth? And if so, why can’t we just assume that evolution has done the same thing? This seems to reduce to “God never lies and is always right, and we know this because God says so, and he never lies and is always right”.

    The presuppositionalist argues rather as follows:

    (1) If God does not exist, then no one can know anything.

    (2) But we know things.

    (3) Therefore (by modus tollens) God exists.

    The argument for (1) turns on trying to show that only God can do the epistemological work here, because no non-theistic epistemology can account for how we can have any knowledge of reality independent of all finite human minds. (One could deny that we have any such knowledge, but the presuppositionalist would then say that that’s just skepticism. At that point it’s not clear what the presuppositionalist would say is that it’s not possible to actually live as a skeptic.)

    The issue here isn’t that Christian theism is circular — I think that the presuppositionalist would say that it is! — but that all the alternatives to Christian theism are inconsistent

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  2. Kantian Naturalist: The presuppositionalist argues rather as follows:

    (1) If God does not exist, then no one can know anything.

    (2) But we know things.

    (3) Therefore (by modus tollens) God exists.

    (1) If I am not a god, then I can know nothing surely.

    (2) But I know surely that I am.

    (3) Therefore I am a god.

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  3. Kantian Naturalist: Van Til would insist on the Christian God specifically because he thinks that only the doctrine of the Trinity resolves the philosophical problem of the one and the many.

    What is the philosophical problem of the one and the many?

    Kantian Naturalist: Hence we cannot be guaranteed that we really know what we take ourselves to know.

    I presume “the Christian god” as a concept is supposed to entail a being who wouldn’t create us to have faulty reasoning. But does that actually follow other than by fiat? How, given the existence of god, do we have any more confidence in our powers than without it? Even if alternatives to Christian theism are inconsistent, that isn’t an argument that Christian theism is consistent. Perhaps there is no consistent view.

    I see problems with proposition 1 and with proposition 2. How do we know that we know things? Don’t we need some foundation for assurance that we can know things in order to make that claim, thus stuffing proposition 1 inside proposition 2?

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  4. Tom English: (1) If I am not a god, then I can know nothing surely.

    (2) But I know surely that I am.

    (3) Therefore I am a god.

    I don’t think the presuppositionalist will take 1.

    ETA: S/he’ll say, “I can know with surety that I exist and that God exists. So you don’t have to be God to know those things.”

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  5. John Harshman: I see problems with proposition 1 and with proposition 2. How do we know that we know things?

    I think the presuppositionalist will simply take the common-sense picture here. I.e., “You think you know things, right? Well I do too! I mean, we’re not solipsists, are we? So we can all agree that we know things and move on.” FWIW, I think 2 is true, myself or everybody uses “know” very weirdly.

    It’s 1 that’s the problem, IMO.

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  6. walto,

    Right. The presuppositionalists claim that Christian theism is the only rational alternative to skepticism. They would say that if one doesn’t assume that God exists, one cannot offer a consistent alternative to skepticism.

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  7. Proposition 1 introduces the possibility that the common-sense picture might be wrong, i.e. that we could be unable to judge whether the things we know are true if in fact god does not exist. I don’t think you can just wish that away. So our ability to assert the proposition “But we know things” relies on the conclusion being true. A better syllogism would be:

    1. Without god, we can’t know things.

    2. We think we know things.

    3. Therefore, either god exists or we don’t know things.

    But sure, proposition 1 is an obvious problem.

    Also, my god-given reason tells me both that proposition 1 is false and that god does not exist. I think I know both of those things. According to the syllogism in its original form, god’s existence leads to the conclusion that god doesn’t exist. Which would seem to be a proof by reductio ad absurdam.

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  8. John:

    Why “the Christian God” specifically? Wouldn’t any god, or in fact any organizing force whether an entity or not, work as well?

    Fifth’s argument is rather rickety (and heretical, in fact).

    In his view, any interaction between the spiritual and the physical is impossible without incarnation (something about the “infinite ontological gap” between the physical and the spiritual, the timed and the timeless). No word on why he thinks incarnation is possible for a Christian God but not for any others.

    So the Incarnation had to precede the Creation, and every time God interacted with the physical world, he did so via his incarnated form, Jesus. For example, when God mooned Moses (Exodus 33) it was Jesus’ butt he saw.

    How is incarnation possible across the “infinite ontological gap” if creation is not? Fifth can’t tell you.

    How is it possible that Jesus incarnated before the Creation, when standard Christian doctrine is that the Incarnation occurred when the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary? Fifth can’t tell you. He’s a heretic, though that makes him very uncomfortable.

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  9. John Harshman: 1. Without god, we can’t know things.

    2. We think we know things.

    3. Therefore, either god exists or we don’t know things.

    2 isn’t doing anything there. 3 follows from 1 alone.

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  10. keiths:
    John:

    Fifth’s argument is rather rickety (and heretical, in fact).

    In his view, any interaction between the spiritual and the physical is impossible without incarnation (something about the “infinite ontological gap” between the physical and the spiritual, the timed and the timeless). No word on why he thinks incarnation is possible for a Christian God but not for any others.

    So the Incarnation had to precede the Creation, and every time God interacted with the physical world, he did so via his incarnated form, Jesus.For example, when God mooned Moses (Exodus 33) it was Jesus’ butt he saw.

    How is incarnation possible across the “infinite ontological gap” if creation is not? Fifth can’t tell you.

    How is it possible that Jesus incarnated before the Creation, when standard Christian doctrine is that the Incarnation occurred when the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary?Fifth can’t tell you.He’s a heretic, though that makes him very uncomfortable.

    That’s good stuff. I kind of leave the Bible portion of his argument alone, because I don’t know much about that. But it’s not entirely surprising that that’s not much good either. It’s good to have somebody calling him on that.

    Proving the existence of God is a pretty big thing and if it has to be a trinitarian xtian God on top of that, it’s uh monumental. So I guess he shouldn’t be faulted too much for failing. But in so many places!

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  11. Kantian Naturalist:

    The issue here isn’t that Christian theism is circular — I think that the presuppositionalist would say that it is! — but that all the alternatives to Christian theism are inconsistent

    Better inconsistent than circular. Better inconsistent than slavish. Better inconsistent than deluding oneself that the same “entity” which you think is the basis for thought gives a damn about whose genitals touch whose.

    All christians are inconsistent – which is fine – that’s only human. The problem is the goddamned holier-than-thou assholes who pretend they aren’t.

    Clearly Van Til is a member of the second group.

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  12. hotshoe_: All christians are inconsistent – which is fine – that’s only human. The problem is the goddamned holier-than-thou assholes who pretend they aren’t.

    Yup. The problem is all those non-christian holier-than-thou assholes who pretend they aren’t.

    #Mung_HotshoeConvergence

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  13. Patrick: In other words, given the fact that many participants here are atheists and discuss issues related to atheism, you’re planning to derail nearly every thread in this forum.

    How does one discuss “issues” related to “lack of belief”? I think Patrick is Panicking.

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  14. Patrick: I read Rumraket as simply asking for honesty.

    Which implies lack of honesty. Which is against the rules.

    #TheFourDipshits

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  15. keiths: Well, Dumbest, you’re certainly welcome to step in and set me and Dumber straight.

    I protest the implication that _hotshoe is anti-gay.

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  16. Patrick: My understanding is that he claims to know both of those by revelation. Seriously.

    This is a fantastic demonstration of a lack of understanding. Seriously. Not that ignorance is against the rules, mind you, it isn’t.

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  17. Kantian Naturalist: I find FMM’s own views incoherent.

    His view is that your view is incoherent. So no wonder there. Shouldn’t you present and defend your view, before discounting his view as incoherent?

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  18. walto: I don’t think the presuppositionalist will take 1.

    ETA: S/he’ll say, “I can know with surety that I exist and that God exists. So you don’t have to be God to know those things.”

    But Tomathustra spake of a god, not the God, and of I, not thou. The God is dead, and we have killed Him, thou and I! A god am I, for I have willed it!

    Seriously (somewhat), the presuppositionalist bit is just “Neeny-neeny, nyah-nyah. I-I’m consistent, and you-u’re naw-ot.” Give me transcendence to play with, and I’ll come up with all manner of logically consistent malarkey. Then the question is why presuppositionalism should be regarded as something other than malarkey.

    Quine observed that evolutionary epistemology is necessarily self-referential long before Plantinga came up with his “killer” argument. The notion that reality must permit logically consistent claims of knowledge has always seemed ludicrous to me. Who made up that rule? (To FMM: Can it.) The title of my blog, “Bounded Science,” is not something I pulled out of my ass. Nor is the subtitle: “The Self-Explaining Universe Is a Paradox. And That Explains Nothing.” Why should we expect to be able to make consistent, rather than paraconsistent statements (i.e., in paraconsistent logic [SEP]) about our own knowledge?

    By the way, the lead author of the SEP article, Graham Priest, published an outstanding essay on paraconsistent logic (without using the term) for general readers in Aeon: “Beyond True and False.” (How about the tie-in to Nietzsche and Tomathustra!?)

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  19. walto: Proving the existence of God is a pretty big thing and if it has to be a trinitarian xtian God on top of that, it’s uh monumental.

    Except that, according to the presuppositionalists, we cannot prove that God exists. That would assume that there’s some neutral epistemic standpoint, independent of God, from which that prove could then take place.

    Yet that’s exactly what Van Til & Co. deny. As they see it, there is no such neutral epistemic standpoint. Either one is arguing from within a Christian theistic standpoint or one is not — and if one is not, then the only intellectual task for the Christian presuppositional apologist is to argue that one cannot account for knowledge if one starts off from a non-Christian standpoint.

    That’s the key difference between presuppositionalism and other approaches. Evidentialists accept that we have some worked-out conception of empirical evidence, and then tries to show that God exists within that conception. (Paley’s argument from design counts as a version of this.) Thomism accept that we have some worked-out conception of rationality, and then tries to show that God exists within that conception. Presuppositionalism rejects both evidentialism and Thomism for starting off within God and then trying to get to Him.

    hotshoe_: Better inconsistent than circular. Better inconsistent than slavish. Better inconsistent than deluding oneself that the same “entity” which you think is the basis for thought gives a damn about whose genitals touch whose.

    All christians are inconsistent – which is fine – that’s only human. The problem is the goddamned holier-than-thou assholes who pretend they aren’t.

    The inconsistency that concerns presuppositionalists is not an inconsistency of belief and desire, or of belief and action, but a rational inconsistency. The allegation is that there is no non-inconsistent way of rejecting skepticism without presupposing Christian theism.

    (It should go without saying that I regard this position as utterly flawed.)

    If it should turn out that Christian theism is also inconsistent, then if the presuppositionalists are right about non-theistic worldviews as well, we have a nice argument for skepticism.

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  20. Mung: Yup. The problem is all those non-christian holier-than-thou assholes who pretend they aren’t.

    #Mung_HotshoeConvergence

    We got both kinds around here. 🙂 🙂

    Edit: that should be two sad faces instead 🙁 🙁
    because, honestly, two kinds of assholes is not a happy thing.

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  21. Kantian Naturalist: If it should turn out that Christian theism is also inconsistent…

    So you don’t think Christian theism is inconsistent?

    Jewish theism?

    Islamic theism?

    Philosophical theism?

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  22. Mung:

    keiths: Well, Dumbest, you’re certainly welcome to step in and set me and Dumber straight.

    I protest the implication that _hotshoe is anti-gay.

    Oh hell, how did I miss that!!!!

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  23. Mung: So you don’t think Christian theism is inconsistent?

    Jewish theism?

    Islamic theism?

    Philosophical theism?

    I don’t think there’s anything inconsistent about any theism, Christian or otherwise. And I don’t think that naturalism is inconsistent (as Van Til thought) or self-undermining (as Plantinga thought).

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  24. Paraconsistent logic.

    I’m saving that one for the next time I’m caught out.

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  25. Mung: I protest the implication that _hotshoe is anti-gay.

    Really, folk, take this patter to Noyau. Otherwise I might change my mind an guano a whole bunch of posts.

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  26. Neil Rickert: Really, folk, take this patter to Noyau. Otherwise I might change my mind an guano a whole bunch of posts.

    As long as you don’t over-rule Patrick.

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  27. Kantian Naturalist: I have been told that Cornelius Van Til, the originator of presuppositionalism, was motivated by then-current debates between idealism (as represented by Bradley, Bosanquet, McTaggart) and realism.

    I just have a minute but I wanted to correct this misunderstanding.

    Van Til was only the originator of Presuppositionalism in the same way that Reid was the originator of common sense realism.

    Van Til just expressed the common already present reformed christian belief in philosophical terms

    Presuppositionalism is simply the expansion of Reformed Christian systematic theology in to the area of epistemology. It’s the default Christian position.

    Most Christians in the pews don’t give much thought to epistemology but they know that their Beliefs are justified because God is faithful.

    It would never occur to them that they might be a brain in a vat or living in a simulation. They know they can generally trust their perceptions because they were created by a loving and gracious God. They know that all knowledge comes from revelation (general and special)

    Average Christians also know that those who reject God have no basis for doing so. They know that rebels have no excuse for their rebellion. They know that atheist’s know deep down that God exists.

    What Van till (and Clark) did was explore these common sense Christian beliefs from a philosophical perspective. That is all

    It’s important to understand that this is a Christian position not a generic theist one.

    Presuppositionalists understand that a Muslim is still in rebellion against the Christian God and is in the same position when it comes to knowledge as the atheist

    more later

    peace

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  28. keiths: So the Incarnation had to precede the Creation, and every time God interacted with the physical world, he did so via his incarnated form, Jesus.

    In my view the incarnation precedes the creation logically but not temporally. It’s an outworking of my supralapsarianism. It’s an uncommon position on the eternal decrees but not heretical in the least

    I’ve repeatedly explained this to keith’s but he is unable to understand that time has no meaning before the creation of the universe or to a timeless being.

    His inability to understand the position he is attacking is a problem he seems to have with everyone he disagrees with

    peace

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  29. fifth:

    In my view the incarnation precedes the creation logically but not temporally…

    I’ve repeatedly explained this to keith’s but he is unable to understand that time has no meaning before the creation of the universe or to a timeless being.

    No, fifth, your position is that God had to enter into time before he could create the universe or communicate with it. For example, you wrote:

    It’s logically impossible for a timeless being outside the universe to communicate with temporal beings inside the universe.

    Since God communicates with Adam and Eve in the Genesis account, it follows by your reasoning that the incarnation temporally preceded those acts of communication.

    You’ve mistaken your own sloppy thinking for a revealed truth, and it’s made you a heretic.

    But why be so uncomfortable about your heretical inclinations? Your skepticism regarding orthodoxy is a good thing. We just need to get you thinking rationally about it.

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  30. walto,

    You’re missing the point. The knowledge remark [in exchange #1] is weird (only) BECAUSE the belief remark is weird.

    No, because the exchange remains nonsensical even when you remove Yolanda’s belief remark:

    Exchange #1a:

    Xavier: Do you believe X?

    Yolanda: I know X.

    Xavier: How likely is it that X is true?

    Yolanda: Extremely unlikely.

    walto:

    One other point. Belief doesn’t “depend” on justification except causally, sometimes. That is, while one can’t know anything without justification, one can believe things without any. So when there’s “dependence”–like when we come to believe something after hearing more evidence–it’s causal, not conceptual.

    That’s why I wrote this:

    The fact that knowledge depends on justification doesn’t mean that belief can’t (or shouldn’t) depend on it also.

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  31. walto,

    So, again, the legitimate connection is between BELIEVING something and thinking it’s likely. And since knowledge that p requires belief that p, there is a connection between KNOWING that p and thinking that p is likely. In fact, one entails the other. But this isn’t a function of any necessary connection between justification and probability–its a function of a connection between belief and subjective probability.

    Subjective probability is what’s relevant in discussions of Cartesian skepticism. Whether KN is being Carteased at time t is either true or false in reality, with probability 1. It’s the subjective probability that can take on a range of values.

    KN claims to know that he is not being Carteased, whether in Bostrom’s scenario or any other. That only makes sense if he regards it as unlikely that he is being fooled. But as he admits, he lacks the information needed to decide whether it’s likely or unlikely.

    His belief isn’t justified. It isn’t knowledge.

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  32. keiths: Since God communicates with Adam and Eve in the Genesis account, it follows by your reasoning that the incarnation temporally preceded those acts of communication.

    again

    1) those acts are after the creation.
    3) Communication before Bethlehem can be seen as an adumbration
    2) from God’s God’s a Se perspective there is no temporal at all

    3) Temporality only makes sense from a human’s limited perspective “in” time
    4) your inability to understand this after being told multiple times is telling

    keiths: You’ve mistaken your own sloppy thinking for a revealed truth, and it’s made you a heretic.

    no your inability to understand the nature of my speculation after I’ve explained it many times makes you willfully obtuse

    peace

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  33. keiths:
    walto,

    No, because the exchange remains nonsensical even when you remove Yolanda’s belief remark:

    walto:

    That’s why I wrote this:

    Knowledge requires belief as a componwent ans it’s THAT aspect, not the justification aspect, that is producing the weirdness you are noticing. You can tell this by taking each separately and looking at it for the same effect. That way you can determine which one is the culprit. I don’t know how to put that any more clearly.

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  34. keiths: KN claims to know that he is not being Carteased, whether in Bostrom’s scenario or any other. That only makes sense if he regards it as unlikely that he is being fooled.

    I don’t agree with that.

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  35. keiths: Subjective probability is what’s relevant in discussions of Cartesian skepticism. Whether KN is being Carteased at time t is either true or false in reality, with probability 1. It’s the subjective probability that can take on a range of values.

    Subjective probability is an assignment of likelihood, which one may or may not make with respect to any proposition. I agree that one will not believe p if one assigns it a probability of less than .5. But I think it’s false that that has anything to do with justification.

    I don’t object to the claim that if kn believes he’s not being deceived then he must assign a subjective probability of greater than .5 to it. So what? The question comes down to whether he has any actual justification for the belief, i.e. whether that assignment of his is rational. He’s given his reasons (good or bad) for saying that he does. Your criticism is off the point.

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  36. fifthmonarchyman: again

    1) those acts are after the creation.
    3) Communication before Bethlehem can be seen as an adumbration
    2) from God’s God’s a Se perspective there is no temporal at all

    3) Temporality only makes sense from a human’s limited perspective “in” time
    4) your inability to understand this after being told multiple times is telling

    Nor from God’s a Se perspective are numbers characterized by ordinality.

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  37. RB:

    Nor from God’s a Se perspective are numbers characterized by ordinality.

    Evidently. 🙂

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  38. I wonder: Is it possible from such a God’s perspective (of what Quine calls “eternal sentences”) to know that I finished my coffee after I had a bagel this morning? If so, what non-temporal fact or facts could makes his non-temporal assessment true?

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  39. fifth:

    1) those acts are after the creation.

    That doesn’t help you, because they happen long before the incarnation.

    3) Communication before Bethlehem can be seen as an adumbration

    You should have done your Googling before committing to a position. Do you even understand what an ‘adumbration’ is? It doesn’t help your case at all.

    2) from God’s God’s a Se perspective there is no temporal at all

    3) Temporality only makes sense from a human’s limited perspective “in” time

    You are the one who told us:

    It’s logically impossible for a timeless being outside the universe to communicate with temporal beings inside the universe.

    From the shared perspective of Jesus and humans within time, the incarnation had to precede any communication between God and Adam and Eve, according to your requirement above.

    4) your inability to understand this after being told multiple times is telling

    Your failure to anticipate the obvious (and heretical) implications of your position is telling.

    Your ramshackle presuppositionalism rests entirely on the supposed necessity of the Christian God as a basis for knowledge. Yet the reason you’ve given for that supposed necessity is bogus and leads to heretical conclusions.

    It wasn’t revelation, fifth — just a brain fart.

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  40. walto,

    I wonder: Is it possible from such a God’s perspective (of what Quine calls “eternal sentences”) to know that I finished my coffee after I had a bagel this morning?

    I think so. A timeless God needn’t be blind to time, just unconstrained by it.

    Fifth’s claim isn’t true:

    It’s logically impossible for a timeless being outside the universe to communicate with temporal beings inside the universe.

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  41. Everything FMM says makes total sense provided you replace the word ‘know’ with ‘staunchly believe with great conviction’.

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  42. walto,

    I don’t object to the claim that if kn believes he’s not being deceived then he must assign a subjective probability of greater than .5 to it. So what? The question comes down to whether he has any actual justification for the belief, i.e. whether that assignment of his is rational. He’s given his reasons (good or bad) for saying that he does. Your criticism is off the point.

    That’s obviously false. If it were true, then it would always be “off the point” to criticize anyone for making unjustified knowledge claims.

    At the time KN made his claim, he obviously thought it was justified. He wouldn’t have made it if he thought it was likely to be false. Later, he realized that he lacks the information required to decide whether Bostrom’s scenario is likely or unlikely. My point is that this later realization conflicts with his knowledge claim, and that the rational thing for him to do is to withdraw that claim.

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  43. keiths: That’s obviously false. If it were true, then it would always be “off the point” to criticize anyone for making unjustified knowledge claims.

    No, it makes sense to criticize the justification. What doesn’t make sense is to demand an estimable probability. I won’t repeat the reasons a fifth time.

    At the time KN made his claim, he obviously thought it was justified. He wouldn’t have made it if he thought it was likely to be false. Later, he realized that he lacks the information required to decide whether Bostrom’s scenario is likely or unlikely. My point is that this later realization conflicts with his knowledge claim, and that the rational thing for him to do is to withdraw that claim.

    Yes, he thought it was justified, and yes he wouldn’t have made it if he thought it was likely to be false. But the rest is wrong: he doesn’t need the information required to decide what the likelihood of Bostrom’s scenario is of being correct. I won’t repeat my reasons again, unless you say something new on this matter. I’ll just say that if you want to criticize his approach you need to argue that, in spite of his claim to the contrary, he doesn’t actually have any justification for believing that he’s not being deceived. That could well be a legitimate criticism, in spite of my not liking it myself. But be careful what you dream. My sense is that that if it WERE a dispositive criticism, then we’ll end up either with the solipsist or sleeping with FMM. I would resist such a criticism myself with some sort of foundationalism/”original evidence”–I can’t really understand KN’s apparently Sellarsian approach myself, but I do think SOME effective response has to be right or we either don’t know anything or some kind of whack “revelation” is needed for knowledge–a suggestion I don’t actually follow.

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  44. Rumraket:
    Everything FMM says makes total sense provided you replace the word ‘know’ with ‘staunchly believe with great conviction’.

    Many decades ago, I had a summer job as an orderly at a state mental institution. Some of the patients were simply poor people their families didn’t want to bother with, but most did have real mental issues, and delusions were common.

    The worst cases were outright I-am-Napoleon types – believed with exactly the same intractable and impenetrable conviction as FMM. Perhaps for the same underlying reason, though FMM apparently functions better in the real world. Still, the symptoms are identical.

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  45. keiths: I wonder: Is it possible from such a God’s perspective (of what Quine calls “eternal sentences”) to know that I finished my coffee after I had a bagel this morning?

    I think so. A timeless God needn’t be blind to time, just unconstrained by it.

    Fifth’s claim isn’t true:

    It’s logically impossible for a timeless being outside the universe to communicate with temporal beings inside the universe.

    I’m quite confused by that whole business. It seems to me that the universe must be either in time or not in time. This Spinozistic approach of it being both doesn’t really sink into my head. If the world “can be viewed” sub species aeternitas, must that view be right, or is it just missing stuff?

    Also, if it’s logically impossible for a timeless being outside the universe to communicate with us temporal worms, does this mean (again) that one of the trinitarian aspects has to be appealed to for revelation to happen. I.e., does the claim rely on God being both timeless and not timeless? And this is supposed to be a support for the God is logic claim???

    It’s all mostly gibberish to me–and I wrote my thesis on Spinoza.

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  46. keiths: That doesn’t help you, because they happen long before the incarnation.

    Actually fifth’s position was that the Incarnation happened simultaneously with creation, not at the birth of Jesus. Incarnation in fact was required to create. Not sure if he still holds that position

    Edit: Reading back in the thread fifth does appear to still hold the position. He has modified it with ” logically not temporally ” whatever that means.

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  47. newton,

    Actually fifth’s position was that the Incarnation happened simultaneously with creation, not at the birth of Jesus. Incarnation in fact was required to create.

    After I pointed out that it was heretical, he started backing away from that idea.

    I think he should embrace his heretical side. He’s not going to get burned at the stake, and a willingness to question orthodoxy is essential to good intellectual hygiene.

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  48. Reciprocating Bill: Nor from God’s a Se perspective are numbers characterized by ordinality.

    I agree that is why incarnation is so important

    walto: I wonder: Is it possible from such a God’s perspective (of what Quine calls “eternal sentences”) to know that I finished my coffee after I had a bagel this morning?

    again this is why it is important for God to also be in time ie incarnated

    keiths: I think so. A timeless God needn’t be blind to time, just unconstrained by it.

    in the same way a reader is constrained when he reads a book. The only way to affect a story after it has commenced is to enter the action. The Christian God can do this because of the incarnation

    newton: Actually fifth’s position was that the Incarnation happened simultaneously with creation, not at the birth of Jesus. Incarnation in fact was required to create. Not sure if he still holds that position

    It’s a logical position rater than a temporal one. I fear that in the past I have not made that distinction clear enough. It seems obvious to me apparently it is hard for non-Christians to get their head around

    A temporal concept like “simultaneously” only makes sense from a perspective inside time. God can take this perspective only because of the incarnation.

    Guys this is a fascinating subject to speculate about but it’s difficult to understand why folks who don’t claim to believe in any deity at all are interested in what is purely a discussion about the abilities of different perspective gods

    peace

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