Your worldview destroyed with two questions
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11-05-2017, 11:05 AM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
(11-05-2017 10:50 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(11-05-2017 10:44 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, more seriously this time.

There's a lot wrong with this, erm, argument. But I think that the key to dismantling it is noticing that a bit of an equivocation is being played on the word "certain".

"Certain" has two meanings relevant here. The first I'll refer to as "emotional certainty". In this, a person feels complete confidence, beyond any personal doubt, in a proposition, course of action, or something similar. The second I'll refer to as "logical certainty". In this type of certainty, there is not the slightest possibility that the proposition is false, the course of action is unwarranted, etc. The first type of certainty is subjective and the second objective.

To clarify with an example of emotional certainty absent logical certainty, imagine a contestant on The Price is Right who, for some reason, gets a hunch that the prize is behind Door #3.... and believes it completely and whole-heatedly. Is it certain that the prize is behind Door 3? No. Are THEY certain? Yes.

For an example of logical certainty without emotional certainty, again to The Price is Right and the Monty Hall Problem. The contestant has worked through the math, seen others worked through the math, and KNOWS that their odds of winning the prize are twice as good if they switch doors. It is logically certain that this is the better (though not perfect) path to take. However, like most people faced with the Monty Hall Problem, the contestant finds the answer to be counterintuitive and can't shake the feeling that it's wrong. Is it certain that switching has better odds? Yes. Is the contestant certain? No.

So, let's look at this, um, argument twice, each time with a different definition of certainty. Remember, the strategy is to get the atheist to admit both that a Christian CAN be certain, and that an atheist CAN'T be certain. Failing either of the points means that the, ah, argument doesn't work.

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EMOTIONAL CERTAINTY

Is it possible that the God of the Bible could reveal some things to us in such a way that we can know them for certain? Well, if such a deity could possibly exist, yes. God is described as manipulating emotions in several ways, hardening Pharaoh's heart as one notable example. Though if you believe in free will, I suppose the answer to that would have to be no.

How do you know anything for certain? By gaining such a high degree of personal confidence in them that all doubt is banished from our minds. This can be done through logic, evidence, faith, trust, or hallucinations.

The argument fails under the emotional type of certainty, because both theists and non-theists can achieve that type of certainty.

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LOGICAL CERTAINTY

Is it possible that the God of the Bible could reveal some things to us in such a way that we can know them for certain? No. I'll refer yet again to the example of Deana Laney, who received direct revelation from God that she was supposed to beat her children to death with a rock. In actuality it turned out that she suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. What manner of revelation, manifestation, command, or so forth could not be met with the alternative explanation of such a delusion, or of a brain-in-a-vat scenario? The only sort of logical certainty to be had would be, say, from a truism or other deductively certain bit of logic.

How do you know anything for certain? Again, the only complete logical certainty to be had is from some manner of truism or other deductive logic.

So again the, uh, argument fails because for this definition of certainty, the answer is NO to both questions, both for the theist and the non-theist. Except for truisms and deduction, to which both answer yes. But remember, you have to answer yes to the first and no to the second for this thing to work.

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The only way that the, eh, argument works is by using EMOTIONAL certainty for the first question, and LOGICAL certainty for the second one. It's a clear equivocation.

There's other MAJOR problems with this, oof, argument, such as the abstract possibility of a certain revelation not equating to the supposed receptor of that supposed revelation having the truth. But I think this approach is the best strategy for reasoning with someone presenting this.... argument.

Also his standard of certainty is completely arbitrary and ignores the fact that man's knowledge is always finite and thus contextual and so therefore certainty is always contextual.

.... well if you want to be terse about it...

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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11-05-2017, 11:18 AM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
(11-05-2017 09:26 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  Hovind is the spawn of Satan's version of the Unwed Mother.* .

The Unwed Mother!

If there's one plot device that makes me stop whatever I'm reading/watching and throw it across the room (figuratively, am not the throwing/punching things type Rolleyes ) it's time travel. But I love the movie they made based on that one (possibly because he wrote it as an illustration of the paradox that time travel is)




"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderĂ²."
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11-05-2017, 11:26 AM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
The other major problem with this dimwit is, even if you play along with him and say "Yes" to his first question, and "You can't be certain" to his second question, he immediately will contradict himself and ignore both questions to jump from those answers to "The god of the bible is the real god and it's all true".

Answering "yes" it's possible to the first question in no way means it's actually true. That's like saying because it's humanly possible that a person can run a 4.2 40 yard dash (becuase it's been verified) in no way proves that I personally can do that.

Answering that "you can't know anything for certain" should be an obvious problem to his own faith, and the fact that he even goes through with asking that shows you how little he actually thinks things through.
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11-05-2017, 11:29 AM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
(11-05-2017 08:59 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  The first question asks: Is it possible that the God of the Bible could reveal some things to us in such a way that we can know them for certain?

My response would be- I doubt it, because I find no evidence that your god exists, until you can provide credible evidence, I'll dismiss every assertion that you make about this imaginary being.

Quote:The second question: How do you know anything for certain? He goes on to say "this question focuses on the fact that ultimately an unbeliever will have to say that he cannot know anything for certain."


A believer can't truthfully say that they know everything for certain since absolute knowledge is impossible. All that imagination boy Hovind can do is assert without justification that he knows stuff.

This is typical apologism, they like to pretend that they have the ultimate "gotcha" questions that no one can refute, when those that aren't inside of his Christian circlejerk dismiss it with a second's thought.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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11-05-2017, 11:32 AM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
(11-05-2017 11:05 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(11-05-2017 10:50 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Also his standard of certainty is completely arbitrary and ignores the fact that man's knowledge is always finite and thus contextual and so therefore certainty is always contextual.

.... well if you want to be terse about it...

Sorry, I didn't anticipate this much response. I'm dealing with limited time right now. Tonight I'll have more time to sit down and digest everyone's response.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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11-05-2017, 11:39 AM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
(11-05-2017 11:26 AM)ResidentEvilFan Wrote:  Answering that "you can't know anything for certain" should be an obvious problem to his own faith, and the fact that he even goes through with asking that shows you how little he actually thinks things through.
Well, implicit in his question is the notion that I, as an atheist, can't know anything for certain because I do not accept the Holy Bible as the source of certitude, but he can, because he does. In point of fact, neither he nor I (nor anyone) can know anything with absolute certainty, his claims to the contrary notwithstanding. And secondly, that fact is not the practical problem he thinks it is anyway. We can approach an accurate understanding of reality, based on probabilities, sufficiently to be entirely adequate for making good judgments and decisions in life. Certitude is a false requirement ginned up to create a false value proposition for religion. Religion's main product is certitude, after all. And the more conservative / literalist / inerrantist / authoritarian the flavor of religion you're talking about, the more that statement holds true.

You have to remember that apologists exist to play to the choir more than to potential converts. Apologetics is a (largely failed) attempt to inoculate believers against unbelief, to instill fear of questioning dogma, to create fear and loathing of skepticism itself, to create the impression that there is a massive body of logical argument in favor of dogma, and to generally hold people in line. Sure they will get a convert here and there, but that's just icing on the cake. The real boon of apologetics is to staunch the hemorrhaging of deconverts AWAY from the faith. It works best with certain weak / needy personality types who are vulnerable to guilt and fear and disapproval, or those who are a little heady and need at least an ersatz intellectual basis for their faith. It doesn't work very well with their young people who go out into the Real World, especially higher education, and find out that it's actually possible to disagree with their religious overlords and that their religious overlords are actually full of shit.
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11-05-2017, 11:53 AM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
My world view

I believe the planet is a, slightly squished at the poles, sphere like material object with several layers of varying material like dirt, bedrock, crust, mantle, etc.

Our planet orbits our local star, that we call the Sun or Sol.

I believe the components of the universe that I'm aware of are completely natural, including all of the natural laws of physics.

If something off should happen that I can't readily explain, I conclude "Hey, that was odd. I wonder what caused that ?"

I don't makeup an explanation, I create a hypothesis and test that hypothesis or I move on with my day saying "I don't know how that happened."

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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11-05-2017, 12:06 PM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
This "god of the bible" sure is a funny fella. Mysterious and speaking in riddles for some to decipher, then having a close personal relationship with others.
Of course there follows the old explanation of having to believe before you know god, an argument truly Trumpian in persuasiveness.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. (G.B.Shaw)
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11-05-2017, 02:50 PM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
(11-05-2017 08:59 AM)true scotsman Wrote:   Is it possible that the God of the Bible could reveal some things to us in such a way that we can know them for certain?
In order for that question to make any sense, one first has to prove that this God actually exists.

AFAIK, there has yet to be an independent, verifiable answer to that claim. Until the claim that a God - any God - exists is verified, the question is meaningless.
(11-05-2017 08:59 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  The second question: How do you know anything for certain?
This is standard presuppositionalist nonsense, and would apply just as much to the questioner as the one being questioned.

Isn't this Hovind fellow the one that went to prison for tax fraud or something?
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11-05-2017, 03:03 PM
RE: Your worldview destroyed with two questions
Quote:Isn't this Hovind fellow the one that went to prison for tax fraud or something?

His father Mr. Kent Hovind. But as they say, 'the apple falls not far from the tree.'

~ The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you ~
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