On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit

This 2015 paper ought to provoke provoke an interesting discussion:

On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit

Abstract

Although bullshit is common in everyday life and has attracted attention from philosophers, its reception (critical or ingenuous) has not, to our knowledge, been subject to empirical investigation. Here we focus on pseudo-profound bullshit, which consists of seemingly impressive assertions that are presented as true and meaningful but are actually vacuous. We presented participants with bullshit statements consisting of buzzwords randomly organized into statements with syntactic structure but no discernible meaning (e.g., “Wholeness quiets infinite phenomena”). Across multiple studies, the propensity to judge bullshit statements as profound was associated with a variety of conceptually relevant variables (e.g., intuitive cognitive style, supernatural belief). Parallel associations were less evident among profundity judgments for more conventionally profound (e.g., “A wet person does not fear the rain”) or mundane (e.g., “Newborn babies require constant attention”) statements. These results support the idea that some people are more receptive to this type of bullshit and that detecting it is not merely a matter of indiscriminate skepticism but rather a discernment of deceptive vagueness in otherwise impressive sounding claims. Our results also suggest that a bias toward accepting statements as true may be an important component of pseudo-profound bullshit receptivity.

484 thoughts on “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit

  1. keiths: No, I brought up your claim that revelation is not piecemeal,

    Exactly you keep bringing up my presuppositions. Even starting threads to discuss them. Its like you are obsessed or something

    keiths: No, he claimed that. He ran for the hills when I asked him to actually support his claim:

    That is not how it looks from my perspective. You did not even explain your theory of truth comprehensively. You can’t expect him to show were your error is unless you share your position.

    Ive shared mine why not share yours

    How do you know stuff?

    peace

  2. keiths:

    Then by all means, send the URL to your pastor and fellow congregants. I’m sure they’d “have a ball” with your time-traveling Mary-impregnating physical Jesus, too.

    Nothing to be ashamed of, right? Just “orthodox Calvinism”.

    fifth:

    I think we will discuss it at tomorrow’s bible study.

    No, share the URL. If it’s up to you, you’ll sugar-coat your abysmal performance. They should be able to see for themselves how much of a liability you are to the faith, and how you struggle to keep up with the atheists who are running circles around you here.

    keiths:

    I’m sure they’d “have a ball” with your time-traveling Mary-impregnating physical Jesus, too.

    fifth:

    That is your straw man.
    My Jesus is the Alpha and Omega that is ever present and ever active in his creation.

    No, because you’ve told us that it is only the physical Jesus that can interact with the material world. The physical Jesus exists within time — that was his whole reason for incarnating, according to you — and he incarnated in the womb of Mary some 2000 years ago.

    And since he only incarnated once, as you maintain, then the physical Jesus must have traveled back in time in order to moon Moses and to impregnate his own mother, Mary.

    Of course, you didn’t anticipate any of this. You’re bad at thinking things through, and you didn’t realize the implications of your incarnation argument. An atheist had to spell it out for you.

    Now you’re embarrassed by the heretical position you’ve inadvertently adopted and ashamed to share the URL of this thread with your pastor and fellow congregants.

    Meanwhile, God is clearly not helping you. He let you screw up yet again, in a very embarrassing way. Why is he so fond of seeing you defeated by atheists again and again?

  3. keiths:

    He [Erik] ran for the hills when I asked him to actually support his claim:

    Demonstrate that fifth’s statement is either correct, or at the very least “not obviously wrong”, given the theory of two truths.

    fifth:

    That is not how it looks from my perspective. You did not even explain your theory of truth comprehensively. You can’t expect him to show were your error is unless you share your position.

    I didn’t ask him for an evaluation of my position. I asked him to defend his position:

    Demonstrate that fifth’s statement is either correct, or at the very least “not obviously wrong”, given the theory of two truths.

    Focus, fifth. These distinctions are not difficult.

  4. fifthmonarchyman:

    He also assumes that his views are the default that need to be proven wrong rather than supported themselves.

    My “views” are the default for me. Just as yours are for you.

    Wrong. Some of us are capable of understanding that we need to support our claims.

    If you wish to convince me that my views are incorrect then the burden of proof is on you.

    You still don’t understand the burden of proof. You are making positive claims here. It is up to you to support them. If you cannot, intellectual honesty requires you to retract them.

  5. fifthmonarchyman:

    keiths: Poor fifth is desperate to deflect attention away from the mess he’s created in this thread.

    See, there you go focusing only on what I do again.

    Actually it’s on what you don’t do: Support any of your claims.

    You’ve been challenged by multiple people here and yet your only response is to attempt to change the topic to what other people think. You are not behaving like an honest person with confidence in his views would.

  6. fifthmonarchyman:

    I love nothing more than quoting Scripture and thinking about Christ.

    Yes, we’ve noticed. This is, however, The Skeptical Zone. Your proselytizing is not aligned with the goals of the site. You need to start supporting your claims or retracting them.

  7. fifthmonarchyman: Exactly you keep bringing up my presuppositions.

    No, you keep making claims, calling them presuppositions, and refusing to support them. It’s intellectually dishonest behavior. Apparently people other than me are also getting tired of it.

  8. Patrick: Speaking of not supporting your claims, FFM, how did Saul die?

    When did I ever make a claim about Saul’s death?

    Apparently not only do you think that presuppositions are claims but you think my silence is a claim as well.

    Is my pointing out the silliness of your demand a claim as well?

    peace

  9. fifthmonarchyman:

    Speaking of not supporting your claims, FFM, how did Saul die?

    When did I ever make a claim about Saul’s death?

    You claimed that your bible contains no contradictions. I provided the contradictory verses about Saul’s death. Your claim has been refuted.

  10. keiths: No, because you’ve told us that it is only the physical Jesus that can interact with the material world.

    once more into the breach

    no I never said that only the physical Jesus interacts with the materiel world. You are being way too woodenly literal and deliberately obtuse, To the point of misrepresenting your opponent wildly.

    I interact with God all the time yet Jesus physical body is not present in my living room.

    What I said was that incarnation is necessary for God to interact with the physical world.

    Incarnation is much more than just a deity having a physical body it’s about a relationship between the creator and creation.

    I can interact with you with out being physically present at your location. But I can’t interact with you unless we share some cognitive compatibility and common understanding.

    check this out

    quote:

    For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
    (Heb 4:15)

    and

    He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.
    (Heb 5:2)

    end quote:

    God did not suddenly become gentle and able to sympathize at Bethlehem.

    Since God is omnipotent and Atemproral he was always able to be gentle with us. There is never a time that he was not able to be sympathize with our weakness

    However if there was no incarnation he would not be able to be gentle with us.

    This is not rocket science.

    quote:

    whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
    (Rom 3:25-26)

    end quote:

    God passed over sins that happened before the incarnation but the only reason that God can pass over sins while remaining righteous is because of the incarnation

    Surely you are not as dense as you are pretending to be

    The incarnation’s benefits were applied retroactively. That is how sins were forgiven before the crucifixion and that is how revelation was possible before the birth of Jesus.

    no time travel required

    peace

  11. Patrick: You claimed that your bible contains no contradictions. I provided the contradictory verses about Saul’s death.

    Nope you made a claim that the verses are contradictory you need to provide support for your claim. We Christians are not unfamiliar with the verses you provided but we don’t think they represent contradictions

    The burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that you are right and conservative biblical scholarship is wrong.

    Yet you have not even interacted with the scholarship you wish to dispute with your claim. All you did was present verses and assume your interpretation of them was the default

    At the same time you demand that I support claims that I did not even make.

    Talk about hypocrisy

    peace

  12. keiths: I didn’t ask him for an evaluation of my position. I asked him to defend his position:

    all you do is make demands of others you never reciprocate. Even when asked repeatedly and nicely

    Is this considered appropriate behavior according to your subjective morality?

    Because the rest of the world thinks it is boorish and rude

    peace

  13. FMM, keiths is indeed boorish and rude. I have never actually understood why he feels the need to ridicule everyone he disagrees with. I find his style extremely distasteful myself, and I speculate as to what would make a person so unpleasant.

    But that doesn’t mean his comments are not often correct. In particular, many of his criticisms of your posts on this thread seem right to me, and his obnoxiousness is beside the point with respect to the substance of his remarks (when you can find them amid all the garbage).

    You actually DO make arguments (hence the syllogistic form), and they are often clearly unsound. When you say things like “that’s not an argument; it’s a presupposition” you should know that a bad argument cannot be saved that way. It’s like saying, “Well, it may have fallen down, but it’s not actually a house; it’s an example.”

    It is, however, to your credit that you generally don’t respond in kind–either to keiths’ shit-slinging or to patrick’s.

  14. walto: But that doesn’t mean his comments are not often correct. In particular, many of his criticisms of your posts on this thread seem right to me,

    I’m not surprised that you agree with his criticisms. You do share his worldview after all.

    I would enjoy discussing this stuff with you I think you might do a better job of communicating criticisms than he does

    However I just don’t think an internet forum would be the best place for that kind of interaction. If we could sit on a front porch with a glass of lemonade we might do a better job of crossing the considerable divide between our presuppositions.

    walto: You actually DO make arguments (hence the syllogistic form), and they are often clearly unsound. When you say things like “that’s not an argument; it’s a presupposition” you should know that a bad argument cannot be saved that way.

    At times I do make arguments. like when I argue that knowledge is possible or that conflicting consciences bear witness to objective reality.

    However I will not ever intentionally make arguments to support my one presupposition that the Christian God of Scripture exists.

    I think the reason you think I’m making an argument is because you don’t take for granted the truth of what I’m sharing.

    If I was coming from your perspective you would quickly recognize that it’s not an argument it’s an axiom

    I assume you presuppose the law of non-contradiction

    So if I said that “I know that X can not be non X or I can know nothing at all.” it would not strike you as an argument but simply as a starting point for rational thought.

    But if you did not presuppose the law of non-contradiction it might sound like a claim or an argument of some kind.

    Does that make sense?

    peace

  15. fifthmonarchyman: o if I said that “I know that X can not be non X or I can know nothing at all.” it would not strike you as an argument but simply as a starting point for rational thought.

    But if you did not presuppose the law of non-contradiction it might sound like a claim or an argument of some kind.

    Does that make sense?

    Yes

  16. fifthmonarchyman:

    You claimed that your bible contains no contradictions. I provided the contradictory verses about Saul’s death.

    Nope you made a claim that the verses are contradictory you need to provide support for you claim.

    Wrong, again. I provided evidence in response to your claim that your bible contains no contradictions. Here it is again:

    Saul committed suicide.

    1 Samuel 31:4-6

    Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

    And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.

    So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

    1 Chronicles 10:4

    Then said Saul to his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. So Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

    Saul was killed by an Amalekite.

    2 Samuel 1:8-10

    And he said unto me, Who [art] thou? And I answered him, I [am] an Amalekite.

    He said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life [is] yet whole in me.

    So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that [was] upon his head, and the bracelet that [was] on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.

    Saul was killed by the Philistines.

    2 Samuel 21:12

    And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, which had stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:

    God killed him.

    1 Chronicles 10:14

    And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

    No claim there, simply contradictory verses from your own holy book.

    Now, the intellectually honest thing to do is either explain, in your own words, why those are not contradictory, or retract your claim. Which is it going to be?

  17. fifthmonarchyman:

    keiths: I didn’t ask him for an evaluation of my position. I asked him to defend his position:

    all you do is make demands of others you never reciprocate.

    That’s simply not true. When keiths makes a claim he does at least attempt to support it. You never do. When you aren’t trying to evade your burden of proof by renaming claims as “presuppositions” you’re squirming like this to try to deflect attention from your failure to support what you’re saying.

    Is this really how you think your god wants you to behave?

  18. fifthmonarchyman:
    However I will not ever intentionally make arguments to support my one presupposition that the Christian God of Scripture exists.

    You misspelled “claim” again. Your refusal to even attempt to support it speaks volumes about your intellectual integrity.

    I think the reason you think I’m making an argument is because you don’t take for granted the truth of what I’m sharing.

    Yes, just assuming that you’re right would make your life easier.

    This is The Skeptical Zone, FFM. Claims get questioned, arguments get challenged. It’s past time for you to man up and participate honestly.

  19. Patrick: Wrong, again. I provided evidence in response to your claim that your bible contains no contradictions. Here it is again:

    all you did ——again—–was post some verses with your naive minority interpretation.

    here is a dumbed down summary of the conservative scholarship you claim to have refuted

    quote:

    This would be the correct order of events: Saul is wounded in battle and then kills himself by falling on his own sword. An Amalekite comes across his dead body and takes his crown and armlet. The next day, the Philistines find Saul’s body, behead him, strip him of his armor, send the report, and fasten his body to the wall of Beth Shan (1 Samuel 31:10). Men of Jabesh Gilead travel overnight and take Saul’s body and those of his sons and burn them at Jabesh. The bones are buried under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and the men of that city fast for seven days. The Amalekite arrives at David’s camp on the third day with the crown and armlet, reporting his story. David and his men fast and mourn until evening. David then has the Amalekite killed. David would soon become king and honor the men who buried Saul’s body (2 Samuel 2:4–7).

    end quote

    This very basic summary could have been located in seconds with a simple google search

    https://www.gotquestions.org/death-of-Saul.html

    But you made absolutely no effort to even interact with scholarship instead you acted as if your silly uncharitable out of context interpretation should be the default .

    talk about hypocrisy.

    If you want to support your claim you need to demonstrate why the very basic summary I posted could not possibly be correct.

    good luck

    peace

  20. walto: Yes

    Great.

    So hopefully you have a better Idea of where I’m coming from.

    You are back to being my favorite

    peace

  21. Patrick: No claim there, simply contradictory verses from your own holy book.

    you claim they are contradictory.
    No one on my side of the fence agrees with you.

    Now support your claim or retract it.
    Do so or you are being intellectually dishonest.

    you hypocrite

    peace

  22. Patrick: Yes, just assuming that you’re right would make your life easier.

    I presuppose the Christian God not to make my life easier but because I know of no other grounding for knowledge that is consistent and sufficient to do the job.

    If you know of such grounding please——–please ———present it here. I would be happy to presuppose it for the sake of argument

    However so far you have offered nothing so I have no choice but to go with my own presupposition.

    peace

  23. Patrick: This is The Skeptical Zone, FFM. Claims get questioned

    you have not despite my repeated inquires even offered an answer to the “how do you know?” question.

    Is that because you are unwilling to question your own “claims”?

    peace

  24. I’ve never really understood what “how do you know?” means, which is why I haven’t answered it.

  25. keiths:

    He [Erik] ran for the hills when I asked him to actually support his claim:

    Demonstrate that fifth’s statement is either correct, or at the very least “not obviously wrong”, given the theory of two truths.

    fifth:

    all you do is make demands of others you never reciprocate.

    Not only is that false generally, it’s even false in this particular instance. As you already know.

    I responded to Erik’s demand:

    Erik,

    Your OP. You first.

    You were hoping I wouldn’t call your bluff?

    I hold to a correspondence theory of truth, under which fifth’s inane statement…

    Every piece of true information when properly understood contains within it all truth.

    …is true if in fact every piece of true information, when properly understood contains within it all truth.

    I explained why fifth’s statement was wrong right after he made it:

    fifth:

    When your grandma reveals to you that she want’s an album for her birthday the revelation has a context. It’s your Grandma who is revealing so the context includes everything there is to know about your grandma. Her experiences, environment and proclivities etc.

    If you extend it out far enough the context extends to everything there is to know in the entire universe

    Therefore every piece of true information when properly understood contains within it all truth due to context.

    keiths:

    That’s obviously wrong.

    A piece of information is not the same thing as its context, and it does not include its context.

    If Grandma reveals that she wants a Metallica album, she is revealing that she wants a Metallica album. She is not revealing that she used to babysit James Hetfield when he was a boy. If you know that about her, you learned it separately. Her desire for the album does not convey the context.

    This is extremely simple and obvious stuff, fifth. Why does it baffle you?

  26. fifthmonarchyman:

    This would be the correct order of events: Saul is wounded in battle and then kills himself by falling on his own sword. An Amalekite comes across his dead body and takes his crown and armlet. The next day, the Philistines find Saul’s body, behead him, strip him of his armor, send the report, and fasten his body to the wall of Beth Shan (1 Samuel 31:10). Men of Jabesh Gilead travel overnight and take Saul’s body and those of his sons and burn them at Jabesh. The bones are buried under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and the men of that city fast for seven days. The Amalekite arrives at David’s camp on the third day with the crown and armlet, reporting his story. David and his men fast and mourn until evening. David then has the Amalekite killed. David would soon become king and honor the men who buried Saul’s body (2 Samuel 2:4–7).

    That is not in accordance with the actual text. The actual text contradicts itself no matter how you squirm.

  27. fifth,

    When the truth is inconvenient for you, you deny it. Do you think Jesus approves? Are you “bringing glory” to him when you behave this way?

    Please share the URL with your pastor and fellow congregants so they can see you in action.

  28. fifthmonarchyman:

    No claim there, simply contradictory verses from your own holy book.

    No one on my side of the fence agrees with you.

    You don’t have to agree, but if you say those verses don’t contradict each other you’re being willfully dishonest.

  29. fifthmonarchyman:
    I presuppose the Christian God not to make my life easier but because I know of no other grounding for knowledge that is consistent and sufficient to do the job.

    You have yet to support your claim that your god is necessary and sufficient.

    Face it, FFM, it’s just you being very attached to your childhood indoctrination. You can’t actually defend your views. At least be honest enough to admit it.

  30. KN,

    I’ve never really understood what “how do you know?” means, which is why I haven’t answered it.

    It’s a basic question of epistemology, which asks things like “what can we know?” and “how can we know it?”

    Many people, including me, have addressed fifth’s question. He pretends we haven’t, because Jesus.

  31. fifth, to Patrick:

    you claim they are contradictory.
    No one on my side of the fence agrees with you.

    That’s because you’ve defined “your side of the fence” as the side where inerrancy is assumed.

    You assume inerrancy, and when Biblical contradictions are presented to you, you claim that they are only apparent, not real. Why? Because you’ve assumed that the Bible is inerrant.

    It’s standard, simple-minded, fundagelical circular reasoning.

  32. Patrick,

    Face it, FFM, it’s just you being very attached to your childhood indoctrination. You can’t actually defend your views. At least be honest enough to admit it.

    Were you ever exposed to religions indoctrination? Did you ever believe christianity was true? If so what caused your beliefs to change?

  33. fifthmonarchyman: you claim they are contradictory.
    No one on my side of the fence agrees with you.

    Now support your claim or retract it.
    Do so or you are being intellectually dishonest.

    you hypocrite

    peace

    There is a downside of using Patrick’s argument against him.

  34. keiths:

    I’m sure [your pastor and fellow church members] would “have a ball” with your time-traveling Mary-impregnating physical Jesus, too.

    fifth:

    That is your straw man.
    My Jesus is the Alpha and Omega that is ever present and ever active in his creation.

    keiths:

    No, because you’ve told us that it is only the physical Jesus that can interact with the material world. The physical Jesus exists within time — that was his whole reason for incarnating, according to you — and he incarnated in the womb of Mary some 2000 years ago.

    And since he only incarnated once, as you maintain, then the physical Jesus must have traveled back in time in order to moon Moses and to impregnate his own mother, Mary.

    fifth:

    no I never said that only the physical Jesus interacts with the materiel world. You are being way too woodenly literal and deliberately obtuse, To the point of misrepresenting your opponent wildly.

    I interact with God all the time yet Jesus physical body is not present in my living room.

    What I said was that incarnation is necessary for God to interact with the physical world.

    To incarnate is to take on a physical body. You’ve stressed that Jesus had to do this so that he could enter into time, since — according to you — an atemporal, immaterial being cannot interact with the temporal and material, including humans.

    So Jesus took on a physical body, in the form of a fetus in Mary’s womb. Yet you’ve also told us that when God mooned Moses hundreds of years earlier, it was Jesus’s physical butt that Moses saw.

    Conclusion: The physical Jesus had to travel backward in time in order to moon Moses.

    Similar reasoning applies to the incarnation itself. The physical Jesus had to travel backward in time in order to impregnate Mary with his own fetus.

    It’s goofy shit, indeed, and it’s the direct result of your goofy theory about the necessity of the incarnation.

    As I said above:

    Of course, you didn’t anticipate any of this. You’re bad at thinking things through, and you didn’t realize the implications of your incarnation argument. An atheist had to spell it out for you.

    Now you’re embarrassed by the heretical position you’ve inadvertently adopted and ashamed to share the URL of this thread with your pastor and fellow congregants.

    Meanwhile, God is clearly not helping you. He let you screw up yet again, in a very embarrassing way. Why is he so fond of seeing you defeated by atheists again and again?

  35. Patrick: You have yet to support your claim that your god is necessary and sufficient.

    I think you’re misunderstanding FMM here. FMM cannot support this claim, because his entire methodology is committed to presupposing it.

    If it could be justified on the basis of some other claim, then it could not play the role of epistemic foundation that he ascribes to it.

    What you want FMM to do is think that rational evaluation of evidence and argument is itself neutral between theism and atheism. But that’s simply an outright rejection of presuppositional apologetics. And he’s not going to do that, which means he an’t do that you want him to do. Continually hectoring him isn’t going to change his attitude here.

  36. colewd, to Patrick:

    Were you ever exposed to religions indoctrination? Did you ever believe christianity was true? If so what caused your beliefs to change?

    My own answer to that question.

  37. KN, to Patrick:

    I think you’re misunderstanding FMM here. FMM cannot support this claim, because his entire methodology is committed to presupposing it.

    KN,

    You’re confusing fifth’s claim with his presupposition. (Fifth does this also.)

    His claim is that the Christian God is a necessary basis for knowledge. His presupposition is that the Christian God exists.

    Do you see the difference? It’s crucial.

  38. Kantian Naturalist: I’ve never really understood what “how do you know?” means, which is why I haven’t answered it.

    well at least you are not ignoring me,
    That is a start

    😉

    peace

  39. keiths: Many people, including me, have addressed fifth’s question.

    Addressing the question is not the same thing as offering a consistent answer that is not subject to further regress.

    I can’t assume your presuppositions for the sake of argument until you can do that.

    peace

  40. Patrick: That is not in accordance with the actual text. The actual text contradicts itself no matter how you squirm.

    no your uncharitable out of context interpretation of the text contradicts it’s self.

    Your claim is that the actual text contradicts itself no one on my side agrees

    you need to support your claim or retract it

    you hypocrite

    peace

  41. keiths: You assume inerrancy

    yes of course I assume that an omnipotent God can reveal stuff with out error.

    That is part of what it means to be omnipotent

    peace

  42. GlenDavidson: newton: walto!!!

    Walto’s reached the pinnacle.

    While we all seethe and rage in jealousy.

    I am a hot shit. (And in case there are people who don’t realize it, that’s supposed to be a GOOD thing.)

  43. keiths: His claim is that the Christian God is a necessary basis for knowledge.

    That is not a claim that is a hypothesis. It will be falsified if an alternative basis is offered that is sufficient and consistent with itself.

    The “how do you know?” question is how the hypothesis is tested.

    peace

  44. fifth,

    It gets very boring when I have to explain the simplest of concepts to you again and again.

    Here’s the definition:

    claim
    klām
    noun
    1.
    an assertion of the truth of something, typically one that is disputed or in doubt.

    This is a claim:

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

    It’s an assertion of the truth of something, and what you’re asserting is disputed.

    On the basis of that claim, you make a further claim, which is that it’s either “Christianity or absurdity”.

    You use that second claim to justify your goofy presupposition that the Christian God exists.

    Your whole presuppositional house of cards collapses if you can’t demonstrate the truth of that second claim.

    You can’t.

  45. fifthmonarchyman:
    yes of course I assume that an omnipotent God can reveal stuff with out error.

    That is part of what it means to be omnipotent

    peace

    So your presupposition is grounded by your presupposition? That kind of sounds like an infinite regress.

  46. fifth:

    keiths: You assume inerrancy

    yes of course I assume that an omnipotent God can reveal stuff with out error.

    That is part of what it means to be omnipotent

    Nice quote mine. We were talking about Biblical inerrancy, as you know perfectly well:

    keiths:

    That’s because you’ve defined “your side of the fence” as the side where inerrancy is assumed.

    You assume inerrancy, and when Biblical contradictions are presented to you, you claim that they are only apparent, not real. Why? Because you’ve assumed that the Bible is inerrant.

    It’s standard, simple-minded, fundagelical circular reasoning.

    Quote mining is a sign of desperation, fifth.

  47. Just to point out, whether something is a claim (assertion, statement, etc.) is a question of its semantic and also pragmatic properties. “Please pass the salt” is a not a claim, but a request — it’s neither true nor false. Likewise, “I see a rabbit!” is not a claim, because it’s not something that anyone can make — it’s my seeing a rabbit, an observation report.

    Whether a claim is functioning as a presupposition, hypothesis, conclusion, etc is a question of its epistemological properties, and specifically its function in inference. A claim can function as a premise, or as a conclusion, or as a mediating claim between premises and conclusions.

    When a presuppositionalist takes it that there cannot be objective knowledge unless God exists, she is taking that claim as a presupposition, because she is not attempting to justify that claim on the basis of any other claims. That is, she is saying that God is a necessary and sufficient condition for rational discourse, which means that one cannot engage in rational discourse without already admitting, in the very act of doing so, an implicit acceptance of the existence of God. Thus the presuppositionalist attempts to convict the atheist of a ‘performative contradiction’.

    What the presuppositionalist must deny, therefore, is that idea that rational discourse can function as a neutral space from which the existence or non-existence of God can be assessed.

    And that is what makes presuppositionalism fundamentally anti-philosophical.

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