Presuppositions of Science

Given recent posts here at TSZ challenging the validity of presuppositions and self-evident truths I thought the following list might be worthy of debate.

Presuppositions of Science

1. The existence of a theory-independent, external world
2. The orderly nature of the external world
3. The knowability of the external world
4. The existence of truth
5. The laws of logic
6. The reliability of our cognitive and sensory faculties to serve as truth gatherers and as a source of justified true beliefs in our intellectual environment
7. The adequacy of language to describe the world
8. The existence of values used in science
9. The uniformity of nature and induction
10. The existence of numbers

When critics object to the Logos as a presupposition and offer instead 10 other presuppositions, Ockham’s Razor flies out the window.

788 thoughts on “Presuppositions of Science

  1. Mung: I’ve never looked into it. I am more likely to pray for myself, since I am probably the one who most needs changing.

    Cop out. I asked you a question about the scientific analysis of prayer and Williams interpretation of that, and you respond with this?

    Coward.

  2. Mung,

    I am more likely to pray for myself, since I am probably the one who most needs changing.

    You could just meditate and leave out the unevidenced middleman.

  3. Patrick: You could just meditate and leave out the unevidenced middleman.

    What are you meditating on? If you’re mediating on thoughts of how to harm yourself it’s probably not going to be of much advantage to you. On the other hand if you are mediating on God’s goodness you probably would see some benefit.

    peace

  4. keiths,

    Okay, so we have an uncle standing by doing nothing while a dog eats the head of a live baby — the uncle’s niece. Everyone recognizes that the uncle’s behavior is irresponsible, appalling, despicable, and inexcusable.

    Now God does exactly the same thing. Are Christians outraged? Of course not. Drunk on dogma, they fall all over themselves making excuses for God, and they insist not only that he is loving — this God who watches the baby’s skull being crushed in the dog’s jaws, and says to himself “This is exactly what I want” — but they also insist that he is perfectly loving.

    Your analogy would be closer to the actual god claims made by Christians if the uncle forced the dog to eat the baby’s head. Their god doesn’t just let it happen, it causes it to happen.

  5. fifthmonarchyman: don’t think you are quite grasping the point. I was not offering a theodicy.

    I have no reason to believe anything I suggested is actually the case, I was merely pointing out possible contexts where the events you mentioned would not be evil

    Right. Because you’re a theist who belongs to the world’s single most evil religion, of course you don’t think any of the event mentioned would be objectively evil, because your theology has rotted away your entire sense of morality. (It’s all for the glory of a rotten genocidal tyrant god).

    In order to have anything approaching a decent morality, one cannot be a christian. Or at least, not a christian of the type fifthmonarchyman presents himself to be.

    peace

    War against every smarmy good-for-nothing christian who has the goddamned nerve to say that my child’s torturous death from cancer is all for the glory of god.

    You all suck. You, personally, and all your kind.

  6. fifth, on the other thread:

    Appeal to emotions instead of relying on rational thought appears to be driving force in problem of evil arguments as well.

    Yes, for God’s defenders. I’m just pointing to the evidence and drawing the rational conclusion. It is believers like you who claim, against enormous countervailing evidence, that their God is omnipotent, omnisicient, and perfectly loving. Like a daddy’s girl who can’t quite believe that her father really isn’t the smartest, strongest, and kindest man in the world, you can’t believe that your God isn’t an omniGod — or worse yet, that he doesn’t even exist. It’s pure emotion, and it drives you to ignore the evidence.

  7. keiths, I am still waiting for your response.

    SEE HERE

    Where and how did I falsely claim that you haven’t offered an argument against Christianity? I don’t believe I ever uttered those words, so the HOW part is very important.

    Or a retraction.

  8. Mung,

    Are you hoping to distract our audience from the fact that you haven’t answered my questions? They really make you uncomfortable, don’t they?

    I’ll repeat them here for your convenience.

    Read the entire passage and then answer a couple of questions for us:

    If God is omniscient, he knew that the dog was about to eat the baby’s head. If God is omnipotent, he could have prevented it. He knew it was going to happen, but he made the choice not to prevent it.

    Now suppose that the baby’s uncle had been present, that he had observed the dog killing the baby, and that he hadn’t lifted a finger to stop it. Who in their right mind would say, “Oh, what a loving uncle!”

    Your God is that uncle — but even worse, because he could have stopped the tragedy before it even got started. He knew it was going to happen, after all.

    You can tie yourself in knots trying to make excuses for God, or you can accept the obvious conclusion: your omniGod doesn’t exist. If there is a God, he isn’t the omniGod. And more likely still, there is no God at all.

    1. Do you think the uncle in the example above is a loving uncle? Why or why not?

    2. Do you think your God is a perfectly loving God? Why or why not?

  9. The challenge is open to any Christian, not just Mung. Step forward and defend your faith by answering my questions above.

    Or you can hang back and let Mung squirm in the spotlight. Better him than you, right?

  10. keiths: Are you hoping to distract our audience from the fact that you haven’t answered my questions?

    I’m hoping to see you defend your claim:

    keiths: Then step forward and defend your faith instead of falsely claiming that I haven’t offered an argument against it.

    You remind me a lot of the bullies I encountered growing up who turned out to be cowards. Are you like them, keiths?

    You’ve got the bullying bit down pat. I’m just looking for the actual “I defend my positions” bit to make an appearance.

  11. keiths: Go tell Mommy that keiths — that bully– is again asking you questions that you can’t answer.

    Actually, I never went to my mommy about it. I would eventually get fed up with their bullying and bloody them up and then they would leave me alone. But their bullying was physical, and I could look them in the eye.

    Your bullying is more cowardly and I haven’t yet devised an effective strategy to deal with it. Doesn’t mean I won’t.

    You asserted that I made a false claim.

    When you were asked to substantiate that assertion you responded by firing off a list of completely unrelated questions.

    One might reasonably ask if you’re not the one trying to divert attention.

    Take your claim that you are offering up questions I can’t answer. We don’t know if that’s true or not. I’ve largely ignored your questions. I made a thread just for you where you could ask them and you chose not to.

    But even if I cannot answer your questions, the problem still remains for you that you can answer mine, but don’t.

    And no one likes a bully, not even God.

  12. Mung,

    You’ll do much better at TSZ once you accept that people are supposed to ask you difficult questions. It isn’t bullying.

    Don’t feel bad about being unable to answer them. I’ve yet to hear a plausible answer to the problem of evil from any Christian.

    What you should feel bad about, though, is the fact that you believe something that makes no sense. The evidence points overwhelmingly away from the omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly benevolent Christian God. Why do you believe in him?

  13. keiths, why should I care what you think when you make claims that you can’t defend?

    You’re desperate to talk about anything as long as it doesn’t involve defending your claims.

    Let’s start with this one:

    keiths:
    Mung,

    Then step forward and defend your faith instead of falsely claiming that I haven’t offered an argument against it.

  14. Mung,

    I’m not saying that you should care what I think. I’m saying that you should feel bad about believing in the Christian omniGod when that flies in the face of the evidence. Why do you believe it, Mung?

    I’m not going to fall for your attempts to change the subject. However, I’m willing to offer you a deal: if you answer my questions (link, link), I’ll happily answer yours.

  15. keiths, I fail to see why I should strike a deal with someone who has accused me of making a false claim against them and then refused to either produce the goods or retract.

    This is just so unlike you.

    If your word cannot be trusted, your word cannot be trusted. Even you must see that.

    keiths:

    Then step forward and defend your faith instead of falsely claiming that I haven’t offered an argument against it.

    Mung:

    What are you babbling about? I create a number OP’s in your honor, dedicated to your campaign of whatever it is you’re campaigning about, and from this you take it that I am claiming that you’ve made no arguments against Christianity? What planet are you on?

    Do you have some specific post of mine in mind when you accuse me of “falsely claiming that [you] haven’t offered an argument against [Christianity]”? I’d sure like to know how you managed to twist it into this accusation, so when you find it, please explain your reasoning.

  16. Why the hesitation, Mung? The deal I’m offering gives you exactly what you say you want — an answer to your question. In return, all you have to do is answer mine.

    After all your trash talk about cowardice, it will be pitiful if you are the one who chickens out.

    Come on, Mung — it’ll be fun. For me, anyway.

  17. I understand keiths. Heads bully. Tails coward.

    I’m just asking you to defend your position. Something you claim you do.

    You will or you won’t.

  18. My little questions frighten you that much?

    My offer stands. If you summon the courage to accept, you know where to find me.

  19. keiths, if you can’t defend your claims, I have no reason to go looking for you, anywhere. What would be the point?

  20. keiths: I called your bluff, Mung.

    What does this even mean? You made a claim you can’t defend and refuse to admit it? You lied and got caught and refuse to admit it?

    Every person in their right mind can see what is going on here.

    You wrote:

    Then step forward and defend your faith instead of falsely claiming that I haven’t offered an argument against it.

    You are pretending that you never said it. The evidence is not in your favor.

  21. Mung,

    Every person in their right mind can see what is going on here.

    That’s for sure.

    I’m offering a deal in which each of us will answer the other’s questions. I’m willing to answer yours, but you’re not willing to answer mine.

    Seriously, Mung — why do my questions frighten you so?

  22. keiths,

    I’m offering a deal in which each of us will answer the other’s questions. I’m willing to answer yours, but you’re not willing to answer mine.

    Write out your answer, post it encrypted with GPG, and you can both unveil at the same time.

    Who says there aren’t technical solutions to social problems?

  23. I’m willing to go first. I just want a commitment from Mung before I do so.

    How about it, Mung? Will you publicly commit to answering my questions? They aren’t that scary, are they?

  24. keiths: Seriously, Mung — why do my questions frighten you so?

    Again I ask, what planet are you from?

    The following is not a question, it’s an assertion:

    Then step forward and defend your faith instead of falsely claiming that I haven’t offered an argument against it.

    You either defend your claims or you don’t.

  25. petrushka: My favorable vote goes to whoever moves first. HeSaidSheSaid doesn’t float my boat.

    keiths already lost that one.

    But this isn’t a case of he said she said. This is a case of he said but wants to proceed as if he did not say.

  26. By the way, keiths, given that I don’t interpret the “lake of fire” literally, what on earth leads you to believe you’ll have any better luck on some other issue where your position is based upon your literal interpretation of the text?

    I’ve already invited you to return to engagement in the thread on Hell, but as yet you have declined to do so. Why is that? Why, after repeatedly challenging me to set forth my view on Hell, do you want to talk about something completely different?

    The door is open, all you have to do is walk back through it.

  27. Is it actually possible that keiths doesn’t understand that the issue that I am raising is the assertion he made that I made a false claim about him?

    I’m not saying and have never said that he cannot offer an argument against Christianity, or whatever he has in mind with his “I want to ask you questions.”

    I am saying that he asserted that I made a false claim about him. He said I lied.

    My questions are:

    1.) Where did a make that [alleged] false claim?
    2.) From what I actually wrote, how did you, keiths, arrive at your conclusion that I was claiming you had never offered any argument against Christianity?

    These two questions have nothing to do with anything other than the assertion by keiths that I made a false claim. That I lied. Period.

    All anyone has to do is look at keiths/Alan, keiths/walto, keiths/anyone to see taht he keeps a record of everything said and can quote it back at will. Except now.

    Maybe there’s a natural explanation for why keiths can’t find the post. Computer virus maybe?

    Maybe God came along and erased the post.

  28. Mung,

    There’s a deal on the table. Answer my questions and I’ll answer yours.

    Why are you so afraid? Are you really that helpless when it comes to defending your faith?

    As for the ‘Munging Hell’ thread, I’d be happy to pick it up right where we left it. I was waiting for you to answer yet another question that frightened you:

    I’ve been explaining your problem for the last five and a half days, OldMung:

    keiths on September 2, 2015 at 4:06 am said:

    Mung,

    You say that Satan no longer exists, if he ever did.

    The Bible says that he exists and is being tormented forever.

    Who is wrong — you, the Bible, or both?

    Do you ever learn, Mung?

  29. All anyone has to do is look at keiths/Alan, keiths/walto, keiths/Erik, keiths/anyone to see that he keeps a record of everything said and can quote it back at will. Except now.

    This is keiths. He defends his claims. Except when he doesn’t.

  30. Trouble is Mung, nobody cares. You are playing to an unsympathetic audience that you yourself have alienated.

    Ever heard of the story of the boy who cried wolf? That’s you that is.

    So your claims have to be seen in that light. Sure, you might be right, but I don’t give a shit. If you had not cried wolf in almost every post you might have a point. But you did, and you don’t.

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