Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

488 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. Keith’s still has not offered a list of beliefs so that we can evaluate his new worldview for consistency.

    I would conclude that he does not really believe in Rumracketism at all but that would be a violation of the rules.

    so we wait

    peace

  2. keiths:
    fifth,

    You’re not fooling anyone.Putting me on Ignore (or pretending to) is just a way for you to try to save face.

    If you had any confidence in your position, you’d address my arguments instead of pretending not to see them.

    I wonder who the patron saint of cowards is?

    St. Peter

  3. Cowards, and is someone who wasted several weeks of my time claiming to have a design detector (anyone remember the program), only to find out it only detected design if you already knew the answer.

    There was never any real attempt to test it on my data.

  4. newton: If you had any confidence in your position, you’d address my arguments instead of pretending not to see them.

    I can’t address your arguments unless I know what your actual beliefs are.

    I would address a professed atheist in a different way than I would address a follower of Rumracket who presupposes the truth of scripture for example.

    If I was to ignore what you post about your new faith and treat you like I would any atheist I would be violating the rules here to assume you are posting in good faith.

    On the other hand treating you like someone who now grants that a god exists would be impossibly difficult because you constantly contradict that stated claim.

    There is just no way to get around this dilemma until you explicitly spell out what you actually believe and abandon either your Rumracketism or your atheism.

    I’m puzzled by your failure to do so as of yet.

    peace

  5. fifth,

    That comment was from me, not newton, and the only thing stopping you from addressing my arguments is cowardice.

    I asked:

    I wonder who the patron saint of cowards is?

    …and newton replied:

    St. Peter

    Has the cock crowed yet? Why are you cowering behind your Ignore button instead of standing up for Jesus?

  6. fifthmonarchyman:
    Keith’s still has not offered a list of beliefs so that we can evaluate his new worldview for consistency.

    I would conclude that he does not really believe in Rumracketism at all but that would be a violation of the rules.

    so we wait

    peace

    How many propositions have to be in such a list? Why can’t someone just have a vague feeling that everyone is being looked after by a sort of divine parent who loves them, without having any other theories about creation, the Bible or anything else involving theology.

    It strikes me that while you claim that nobody is really an atheist, you only allow for your favored species of theism.

    Rumraketeers just aren’t monarchymen. Sorry. Your job is to take them as you find them..

  7. walto:

    Rumraketeers just aren’t monarchymen.

    Amen. We are far superior to those human-sacrifice fetishizers with their Holy Ghoul.

    peas

  8. walto: Why can’t someone just have a vague feeling that everyone is being looked after by a sort of divine parent who loves them, without having any other theories about creation, the Bible or anything else involving theology.

    For one thing a divine parent can’t justify knowledge unless he has certain attributes like omnipotence and faithfulness.

    In fact once we start exploring what sort of God can justify knowledge the list quickly becomes quite short.

    walto: It strikes me that while you claim that nobody is really an atheist, you only allow for your favored species of theism.

    I’m perfectly willing to entertain the idea that other gods can justify knowledge but we need to examine them to see if they are up to the task.

    We can’t do that with out some basic information.

    walto: Rumraketeers just aren’t monarchymen.

    I’m not sure how you can say that when keiths is unwilling to say what Rumraketeers are.

    peace

  9. I didn’t realize that rumraketeers were required to hold that their God justifies their knowledge claims. Is that a prerequisite for theism on your view?

  10. walto, to fifth:

    I didn’t realize that rumraketeers were required to hold that their God justifies their knowledge

    We aren’t. His Raketness encourages us to figure things out for ourselves, unlike Christians like fifth who depend on their pathetic, pedantic God to reveal every single thing to them.

    As the prophet Bob said:

    quote:

    Rumraket giveth brains to all men, wherewith they might think. Therefore gettest thou off thine ass and think. His Raketness doth not deign to answer stupid questions at all hours both of daylight and of darkness.

    endquote:

    peas

  11. walto: I didn’t realize that rumraketeers were required to hold that their God justifies their knowledge claims. Is that a prerequisite for theism on your view?

    Of course no one is required to believe anything but keiths seemed to be claiming that rumracket’s existence allowed him to say that his knowledge was justified for some reason.

    It was all pretty confused and all over the map IMO. That is why I thought he might benefit from a little time to collect his thoughts and decide what he actually believes about this new faith.

    walto: Is that a prerequisite for theism on your view?

    Not at all, But if you claim that your God can justify knowledge just as well as the Christian God you should expect to be quizzed about how your god’s attributes compare to his.

    peace

  12. Just a friendly hello to all the fine folk at TMZ. Haven’t said hello or participated in a bit, so I thought I’d stop by. Hope all are doing well. I’ll sit back and lurk for a bit and see what’s new.

  13. Hi Robin 🙂

    Robin: what’s new

    The number of ID theories and novel arguments from our ID friends has multiplied recently. Of course zero times x is still zero, but hey…

  14. Was the first flower Irreducibly complex?

    quote:

    Sokoloff says that a fundamental problem of eFLOWER’s approach was evaluating each trait of a flower independently before assembling those traits into a coherent bloom. “They analysed the evolution of each character separately,” he says. “But some combinations of characters are impossible.”

    end quote:

    from here

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01539-8

    peace

  15. dazz,

    🙂

    Yeah, I read through several pages of very familiar rebuttals to arguments. The whole “god is necessary for grounding reality because without god there can be no reality” or similar is one of my personal favorites. Good times…

    I’ll keep reading. It’s a bit of nostalgia…

  16. Thanks, dazz. It’s very exciting for me, particularly since the last time I had a paper in a top-5 journal was 1986.

    Geezer power, baby!

  17. FWIW, I really wanted to acknowledge keiths, since his remarks on a couple old threads got me thinking about skepticism for the first time in many years, but, preferring to remain anonymous here, he didn’t want to give me his name!

    Anyhow, thanks, Keith!

  18. How flipping cool is that Walto?

    Not only is it a great honor
    It sounds really interesting as well.
    That is something you don’t see everyday

    peace

  19. Thx, FMM.

    Let me say here that I’m sorry if I sound harsh with you when you discuss philosophy. So I will take a moment to explain. I apologize to others who may think this should have been done in a DM, but I think it may be helpful in understanding my take on much of the material regarding religion here at TMZ.

    You are obviously a very religious man. You get a great deal from your religious convictions. They are what is most important to you in your life. I would never think of suggesting you give any of that up. It’s lovely. It clearly makes you happy, and, I imagine, it also makes you a better person, kinder, more generous, etc. That’s all good, and I haven’t the slightest desire for you to change your mind about any of it.

    The thing is, you (like Plantinga, e.g.,) decided at some point in your life that it would be really nice if all the views in which you take solace could be demonstrated to be true. Not being as smart as Plantinga yourself (which is no sin–neither am I!) you started casting around for material that seemed to you to prove conclusively that everything you believed about God, Christianity, revelation, etc. was…..demonstrably TRUE! And, lo and behold, you found literature that seemed to you to do just that! How glorious was that! Not only was the religion you’ve believed in with all your heart for much of your life comforting, but it had been proven to be the case by people considered to be experts!

    As time went on, you began to not just refer to these experts, but mimic their arguments as well. Why not? After all, you now knew you were correct. Thus, anybody who disagreed with you must be wrong! And so you post your thoughts at places like this, comfortable in your knowledge that, as you are demonstrably right, everyone who disagrees with you is certainly wrong. And as the philosophy is all correct, you have proven that the Bible must all be literally true. You’ve got the whole world in your hands–because your God does and He has deigned to give his Word to you.

    Again, I have no problem with you believing whatever makes you and your loved ones happy and better people. I just tell you that those arguments that you enjoy actually aren’t right. Not a single one of them. Not for the presuppositionism, for the trinitarianism, for the Bible. Not a single one. I don’t want to sound cocky, but the simple truth is that I can tell you this because I understand what makes philosophical arguments actually work better than you do.

    You will not see or agree with this, because at this point in your life you seem to have reached a station where you depend on those arguments; you take what was, perhaps at one time a simple faith, now to be philosophical verities that not only can be defended, but are always provably correct! After all, do any of those who disagree with you have an omniscient God on THEIR side? Certainly you do! And this is not just any God who happens to be omniscient, this isn’t one of the false pretenders either from the impersonal philosophers or the believers of other provably false religions. You’ve got the real one! Our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Look, I get that you have clearly reached a point where you simply cannot hear any of this and will continue to argue argue argue in the way you now need to. To much riding on all this for you now. I just tell you that these philosophical underpinnings you’ve come to depend on are wrong, defective, fallacious, no good at all.

    I’m sorry if your religious views now hinge on the world being otherwise. It is no goal of mine to claim that your religion is false. Maybe it’s not. Whether the religion part is true or not, I urge you to find a way either to believe it without the utterly bogus philosophical patina or, if it’s now to late for that, to keep that patina to yourself. This is because you are not really interested in hearing what is defective about your arguments–unless, of course, someone has an alternative to provide you that he or she assures you DOES work. You are now both so convinced and needy that it is impossible for you to actually engage in real dialogue. So the discussions are pointless, fake even. You say you really want to talk about science here, but I’m afraid that, too, isn’t really the case. Or, anyhow, what you want is perhaps to find other nuggets here and there that you can pluck and make you even more sure–make the protective barriers even thicker.

    Anyhow, that’s my piece. I understand that we all have our needs, and, as we get older, some of them seem more pressing. And who knows what’s courage and what’s foolhardyness. I just want to tell you that while you are perfectly free to keep your faith, you will never get a real philosophical argument for any of it. You can protest and link all you want; it’s just yammering. For good or ill, that’s how it is.

    Again thanks for the congratulations.

    Peace.

  20. Just wanted to add the answer to a question that I think might naturally be engendered by my rant/sermon above. That is, “Since you admit Plantinga is smarter than you, why not also admit that he might be right and you wrong about all this stuff?”

    That’s a good question, and the answer is that although I may be no Plantinga, there are many philosophers at least his equal out there, and, even if I’m not the guy whose refutations ought to be given much weight (a priori weight, anyhow), I am perfectly capable of assessing the arguments of those on both sides. Furthermore, while Plantinga and van Inwagen (the two main honchos in their tiny pond) have a lot riding on these issues, those who assess their work don’t. They’re impartial. In spite of some of the weird accusations sometimes heard around here, few would mind finding out that they were immortal and that an omnicient, all-perfect God loves them. It is not to “hate” god, to be resigned to the fact that he’s just an artifact of wishful thinking. Nearly everyone except a few misanthropes would be delighted to learn the “good news.” They are simply capable of assessing the claimed reality of this delivery.

    The Plantingas and van Inwagens of the modern world are forgiven their poor theology by the philosophical community because it’s clear that they are smart people one can learn from by examining their work (especially that portion of it having no religious implications), even if it’s also clear they’re a little nuts. They have their followers, of course, but they’re all like you, FMM: people who are too needy to be capable of ever admitting that a spade is not a heart. You and they are not in a position to make assessments. But the rest of the philosophical world (the vast, vast majority of it, incidentally), while may admire the talents of these men, they simply try not to mention in public how ridiculous their theological claims are–largely because they are careful to exhibit more courtesy than I am showing here. Cheers.

  21. walto, to fifth:

    You are now both so convinced and needy that it is impossible for you to actually engage in real dialogue. So the discussions are pointless, fake even. You say you really want to talk about science here, but I’m afraid that, too, isn’t really the case. Or, anyhow, what you want is perhaps to find other nuggets here and there that you can pluck and make you even more sure–make the protective barriers even thicker.

    Take that to heart, fifth. Far from seeking the truth, you are actually fighting it and trying to seal yourself off from it.

    That’s your choice. It’s a free country, as you like to say. But don’t pretend to be open-minded when in fact your mind is shut, sealed, and padlocked for good measure.

  22. walto, to fifth:

    You are obviously a very religious man. You get a great deal from your religious convictions. They are what is most important to you in your life. I would never think of suggesting you give any of that up. It’s lovely. It clearly makes you happy, and, I imagine, it also makes you a better person, kinder, more generous, etc.

    I don’t see any evidence that it makes him a better person. It isn’t “better” to fight against the truth, tooth and nail. It isn’t “better” to worship a God who you believe is the author of all the evil and suffering in the world. And it isn’t “better” to cite, with relish, passages like the following:

    11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she [Rebekah] was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

    “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

    19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

    22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
    Romans 9:-24, NIV

    Anyone who cites that passage with approval is not a “better” person because of it.

  23. Vincent,

    If you’re reading this, I’m curious to know what you make of that passage from Romans. Do you think Paul got it right?

  24. keiths: walto, to fifth:

    You are obviously a very religious man. You get a great deal from your religious convictions. They are what is most important to you in your life. I would never think of suggesting you give any of that up. It’s lovely. It clearly makes you happy, and, I imagine, it also makes you a better person, kinder, more generous, etc.

    I don’t see any evidence that it makes him a better person. It isn’t “better” to fight against the truth, tooth and nail. It isn’t “better” to worship a God who you believe is the author of all the evil and suffering in the world. And it isn’t “better” to cite, with relish, passages like the following:

    11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: 12 not by works but by him who calls—she [Rebekah] was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

    “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
    and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    16 It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17 For Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

    19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who is able to resist his will?” 20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

    22 What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? 23 What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory— 24 even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?
    Romans 9:-24, NIV

    Anyone who cites that passage with approval is not a “better” person because of it.

    Some of that stuff doesn’t seem so bad if it’s taken as a kind of instruction not to take bad luck too hard: after all, it doesn’t do any good, and we are all subject to the vagaries of nature.

    What I have in mind is this sort of reading:

    11 Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that the vicissitudes of life might be apparent 12 not by works but by providence (i.e. dumb luck)—she [Rebekah] was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 Just as it is written: “Jacob was lucky but Esau was not.”

    14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses,

    “The world is such that it will seem to have mercy on some but not others,
    and compassion on some but not others. This is life.”

    16 It does not, therefore, entirely depend on human desire or effort, but to some extent on the luck of the draw. Some will suffer who seem not to deserve to, others will be happy through no good works of their own. It profits not to strive against this fact of life.

    Etc.

    I actually think it’s kind of a good lesson if understood in that fashion. But I admit it’s hard to take all of it that way–for one thing there’s too much personalization. And, of course, no “true believer” would ever be likely to take it that way.

  25. walto,

    Some of that stuff doesn’t seem so bad if it’s taken as a kind of instruction not to take bad luck too hard:

    That isn’t what the passage says at all.

    It says “Who are you to complain if God screws you over? He’s the potter, and you’re the clay. He’ll do what he wants.”

    Fifth actually worships this god.

  26. walto,

    I suppose not. Kind of a nice “interpretation” though.

    Yes, and it’s the kind of “interpretation” that liberal Christians might gravitate to. But it’s more of a rationalization than an interpretation. Paul clearly meant what he wrote.

  27. walto: I just want to tell you that while you are perfectly free to keep your faith, you will never get a real philosophical argument for any of it.

    I appreciate the long address to me and the thought you must have put into it. but you are gravely mistaken if you think I am looking for “philosophical argument for it”.

    Rather I think it is the Christian God that makes philosophical argument possible. I think that we can engage in philosophical discussion only because God exists.

    I don’t think God can be proven or disproven by argument and I think the effort to do so is idolatry whether intentional or not.

    I think you know that is what I believe but you have a hard time accepting it precisely because argument is so important to you.

    I do enjoy argument and debate but I don’t engage in them for much beyond my own personal enjoyment and the possibility that I might learn something new.

    I’m definitely not trying to prove God’s existence to you myself or anyone else.

    I do tend to get my hackles up when I come across folks who are passionate about proving or disproving God’s existence and when I do find folks engaged in that pursuit I will at times remind them that it is God’s existence that makes such foolishness on their part possible in the first place.

    peace

  28. I’m sorry if I misrepresented you and glad you’re not angry. I note, however, that the stuff about the xtian God making argument possible is both equivocal and, obviously, quite controversial. Those seem to me clearly ‘fighting words.’

    I don’t deny your charge that correct argumentation is very (too?) important to me and is likely responsible for how emotionally I respond at times.

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