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Everything posted by disillusioned

  1. Welcome @pkbutrfli! Stick around. I hope you'll find this a welcoming, rewarding place to be.
  2. See above. PA begs the question, and boils down to "believe this book". For the final time, prove me wrong.
  3. See, this is how conversations die. Why should I explain my understanding to you before you explain yours to me? Why isn't it courteous for you to go first? Even here, you assume implicitly you're right and I'm wrong. If you are to instruct me in the correct view, I should first describe my flawed views. Does that about cover it? But here's the really important thing: it's your faith that makes specific, strong, absurd truth claims. It's on you to defend these, not on me to explain my current understanding of them. Where I make claims, I'm happy to defend them. Why can't you do the same? And no, I have not seen it all and done it all. Not by a long stretch. But one thing I have seen before is a Christian who is actually willing to attempt to defend his or her faith. Just not in this thread.
  4. Yes, I understand that this is an argument that is commonly made, but it isn't a good one. It amounts to begging the question. The answer to the question "how do you know the Bible to be true" is "to know the Bible to be true, you must presuppose God", but not only that, you must also reason "correctly", whatever that means. I could easily assert that if you do everything "correctly" you'll arrive at the conclusion that the Bible is false, even with the presupposition of God. But I suppose that could be countered by saying that one's presupposition of God is flawed. It does seem to me though that you have to also presuppose the "correctness" of your reasoning, although I suppose that this could be seen as flowing from, or as an aspect of, the original presupposition. But in either case, you have now basically just presupposed the Bible's truth. Hence, "believe this book". The statements "The Christian God exists" and "The Bible is true" are roughly equivalent logically. One can't be true without the other. If the Christian God exists, then the Bible is true, otherwise it wouldn't be the Christian God that exists. And if the Bible is true, then the Christian God exists because the Bible makes that claim. But this means that to assume one of these statements is simply to assume the other. Again, "believe this book".
  5. Well, both my parents are pastors who tend towards presuppositionalism, so there's that... Like mwc, I'm not going to give you actual names of people I know who are presuppositionalists, but I know and have known quite a few. I am aware of what I'm speaking here. You seem to like very much to pretend as if no one but you has any inkling about, well, anything, but you don't seem inclined to actually present anything substantive in support of this pretense. If my claim that the arguments boil down to "believe this book (or else, as RNP would have it)" is incorrect then prove me wrong. Give me an argument which I can't reduce to that. Or don't, but then realize that if you keep talking you look pretty silly.
  6. The bolded is not apparent though, and efforts to demonstrate it basically amount to "believe this book" in my experience. It gets dressed up a bit, but that's the essence.
  7. An interesting point came up in another thread which might have some relevance to this topic. The question of what happens when we die may be asked. My default answer to this us "nothing". Does this run counter to the assertion that the idea that there could not actually be nothing rather than something, or that the idea of "nothing" itself doesn't really make sense? I think the answer here is "no", but justifying the answer fully requires that we get a bit more clear on a few underlying notions. Take the question of what happens when I die. To answer this question properly, we first need to know what "I" am, and what it means for me to die. On my view, I am a biological organism which functions in such a way as to give rise to consciousness. I am a body that works in a particular way. The way it works makes me a person. At the end of the day, it is my consciousness which I take to be the defining feature of my personhood. When my body ceases to function in such a way as to produce consciousness, I will be dead. So when I say that there will be nothing after death, what I mean is that there will be nothing for me, not that there will actually be nothing. Obviously my body will remain, and even after it falls apart its constituent matter will remain. So there will still be something. Just not for me.
  8. This is interesting. When I said here that I expect there will be nothing after my death, what I meant was that the will be nothing for me, not that there will be nothing in general. More on this in the other thread.
  9. I don't know what will happen when I die, but I expect it's nothing. As you said, much like before I was born. I'm not at all afraid of death. Dying might suck, but such is life. As to what I would say to God, I'm honestly not sure. Probably something along the lines of "well played".
  10. It's how you defend it, and it's how every Christian I've ever met defends it. Prove me wrong. Why should I believe the Bible?
  11. ... That IS how christianity is defended. Prove me wrong.
  12. On the contrary, Zeno's paradoxes are basically parallel to what I'm saying here. We can get as close as we like to the beginning of time, but never quite reach it. The problem with Zeno is that he says things like "you can't ever reach the wall". Well, obviously I can prove him wrong by simply touching the wall. What I'm saying is similar formally but significantly different practically. The beginning of time is not something we can simply reach out and touch. So I think I can avoid the problems associated with Zeno's paradoxes, even if there is a similarity between them and my underlying point.
  13. I agree, not a good answer. But still. The premise of your post was that if God exists, then "not God" must exist in relation to it. I think it's relatively easy, on a trinitarian point of view, to simply assert that you are wrong, and that God may simply exist in relation solely to the other parts of God. Note that I don't espouse this point of view.
  14. Answering for rhetorical purposes: the trinity. God has always existed in relation to the other parts of God. Not a good answer, in my view, but an answer nonetheless.
  15. Now, this seems slightly different to how I orginally understood your meaning. But still a good point. The way I see it, time may be thought of as asymptotically approaching zero as we move towards "the beginning" (the big bang, singularity, whatever). Thus, we can have an infinite regress in time without having an actual infinty in the past. To my mind, this solves a lot of issues.
  16. Maybe, but I would never say of you that you're "too simple". I think that often these issues become confused because they are not easily understood. So people think about them for a while, asign a lot of fancy sounding jargon, restate the original questions, and then pretend like they have a superior understanding because they sound smarter. This is not in any way to say that there is nothing to be learned by careful consideration of these issues, or that I think that those who have thought about them more than I have do not understand them better. No, I'm just saying that there are often simple ways of stating profound philosophical (and mathematical, and scientific!) truths, and quite often, in my limited experience, when one looks at an issue long enough, one finds oneself presented with sonething which approaches a "common sense" solution, albeit dressed up in, perhaps unnecessary, technojargon. What I think Hegel was trying to say (and perhaps someone more knowledgeable will correct me...) was that if we are to start philosophy without presuppositions, what we have is being (here we are), and, potentially, nothing (we might not be). And maybe, when nothing becomes being and being becomes nothing, we have becomming. But here we seem to have nothing and being as two sides of the same coin, and becomming as a kind of flipping the coin. I don't know that this is necessarily inherently more complicated than what you wrote.
  17. This is the essence of Hegel's starting point, if I understand it correctly (which I probably don't).
  18. Another perspective on the original question which I've just now come across while listening to a lecture on Hegel's Science of Logic is that the question itself doesn't make sense, the reason being that any answer which might be given would amount to an appeal to something. So if the answer to "why is there something rather than nothing?" is "because X", well, X is something. So the question can't ever get off the ground, because there is no possibility of an answer.
  19. I agree in general that we should trust modern physics as far as it goes, but I do think there are some things to be learned from ancient philosophy. Let's leave that aside for now, though. The bit about extrapolation seems to me to border on approaching the problem of induction, which is something I'd be very happy to explore if people were interested.
  20. This is pretty much exactly what I think. We can approach the beginning of the universe asymptotically, but not absolutely. As I've said before, we can wind the clock back as far as we like, but we can't quite get to zero, because when we do, the clock disappears.
  21. This is important. I tend to agree that if we have time, then we have something. But the very idea of time beginning doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. If time began, was there a prior time when there was no time? I think this is fairly incoherent.
  22. At the risk of pushing this analogy too far, I think the bolded "probably" is very important here. It seems to me that strictly speaking, we don't know that the tree fell. We just know there is a tree on the ground. Similarly, we don't know something came from nothing; we just know there is something.
  23. Yup. It's hard to conceive of something coming from nothing, so God is introduced. I think it's fairly clear that this raises more questions than it answers, but it does have a certain naive appeal, because it does answer the original question, albeit not very well.
  24. This is very well said. I agree that it doesn't make a lot of sense to discuss a broader context for the universe or reality. This just seems to be what we have.
  25. On vacation with spotty mobile service. I will respond when I can. In the meantime, please carry on...
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