Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feser's Ontological Parts Warehouse: You Name it, We've Got it!

The real world is as complex as the vocabulary required to describe it.

--Slightly redacted from Edward Feser, The Last Superstition, page 171. I deliberately don't quote his actual core arguments because I want people to read the book. These examples are either just great quotes *about* the issues, aphoristic provocations such as the above, or sheer intellectual-cultural commentary. Always keep in mind that I'm only interested in his strictly philosophical views and arguments, and may not even agree with his act-potency, causation, hylemorphism, or his argument for God. The jury's still out, although so far I suspect his metaphysics is correct.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hitchens, Shave Thyself

Hitchens assures us that theists "have consistently failed to overcome [Ockham's] objection [to a First Cause]." In fact, as we have seen, it was overcome long before Ockham was born. What Hitchens should have written is: "I wouldn't know the difference between conceptualism and realism, essentially and accidentally ordered causal series, Aristotle and Hume, etc., *even* *if* I were intellectually honest; but then neither will the book reviewer at the New York Times, so who cares?"


--Edward Feser, The Last Superstition, pages 169-170.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Usual Self-Exempting Suspects


"Hitchens is no scientist, but he did take a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Oxford forty years ago, where, presumably, he came upon Karl Popper's dictum that "a theory that is unfalsifiable is to that extent a weak one." It never occurs to him that by refusing to allow even one of the 100 million corpses produced by Communism to count as evidence against the moral claims of atheism, he makes his own position far more "unfalsifiable" than anything Paley ever said (since, after all, the latter did allow that it was at least *possible* that organisms could have arisen through impersonal process). But then, that is the Christopher Hitchens recipe for Serious Journalism: one part real knowledge, one part filibuster, one part sheer bluff."


---Edward Feser, The Last Superstition, page 160.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Left Out

Liberalism: The view that you're a bigot and I'm not.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Final Causal Hypocrisy

"Compared to the way in which final causality has maintained its grip on biological thinking in actual practice, the Darwinian revolution is a trivial blip on the continued silent and unacknowledged hegemony of Aristotle. The unhealthy fixation of Dawkins, Dennett, and Co. on the relatively insignificant Paley has kept them from seeing this fatal difficulty with their position. They have been frantically shooting their flit guns at a gnat even while an elephant grinds them into paste under its feet."

--Edward Feser, The Last Superstition, page 130.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hidden Ghosts of Materialism 2

If thought is merely the motion of physical components in the brain (or anywhere else in the organism for that matter), how can I remember a previous experience? Once a motion becomes a past motion, it never recurs as the same motion. How could one know or even be aware of generic similarities between two motions? To classify two entities within the same genus, I must observe some similarity between them. But materialism claims that the thought "This motion and that motion are similar" would also itself be merely a motion. And before the motion of predicating that similarity occurs, the motion of the original experience and the motion of the alleged memory experience would be in the past, and no longer exist. And no motion could connect two motions that no longer exist. Consequently, for it to be even possible for me to think generically similar thoughts, which is necessary to remember anything, I must assume that materialism is false.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hidden Ghosts in Materialism's Inferential Methodology Machine


1.  The very process of materialist theory development already involves its falsity.

To seek correlates in the brain and nerves of the organism to explain observed differences in how we perceive things such as colors---already assumes that:

(1 the conscious state is -something- distinct from the physical correlate one is seeking for it,

(2 the conscious state can pass judgment on physical reality and all distinctions and relations between objects (such as those between correlation and the objects correlated), and

(3 all physical correlates are necessarily insignificant to the most basic and transcendent universal judgments about the comparative status of conscious states, and judgments about conscious states, in relation to those physical objects.

--Highly redacted from Stuart Hackett, The Resurrection of Theism, 1957, page 222.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Analysis Predicts The Empirical

Computer simulations based on just 50 or 60 atoms are able to mimic the properties of real matter. If a small group of atoms is surrounded by other identical groups, every atom behaves as if it were part of a larger material. This makes it possible, for example, to simulate the behaviour of solids and liquids at high temperatures, and to study chemical reactions at surfaces to aid in the design of better analysis.

--Slightly redacted from the QPB Science Encyclopedia, "Quantum Simulation"

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Uninferable System of Inference



Any kind of distinction between what is and what is not empirical is *itself* a non-empirical object. Moreover, the necessary system of thought whose aim is necessarily truth, is uninferred. Not only that, it is uninferable in the strict sense of inferential sequence. But at epistemic rock bottom, that's really not a problem, due to two factors.


First, the definition of the system, in the nature of the case, epistemically exempts the system itself already, yet the reasons that *are given for that system---logic, general reason, and so on---still provide *some kind of justification on the basis of motives, which are in turn driven by values. The reason this is necessary is because the system already has a set of operating values in its standards of intellectual propriety, And because that propriety itself is made up of universals, that system necessarily predicates universal values.


Second, if you could infer this thought system, it would not be the system as defined, because it would itself be justified as true *only* by means of one or more premises that are even more epistemically basic, which contradicts the original definition of the system as the methodologically basic set of cognitive assumptions. If it's basic, it does not itself need a logical basis.


But the system does need an existential basis in motivation and values to be meaningfully preferred as the necessary means of purposive thinking in the pursuit of universal truth---or anything else for that matter. The system of inference is still operating in that sense, but on top of a set of background universal predications of both the rules of thought and basic values, including the values behind standards of intellectual propriety with regard to such universals---as well as those standards themselves.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Empirical Void Discovered in Axiomatic Mummies During Epistemic Audit


There's no -logical- basis for logicality in the strict sense of inferential sequence, since logicality itself must be merely preferred at the outset of thought as an operative value. Otherwise, a fallacy of logic is committed in an attempt to provide such a basis. The necessity of logic, even in these statements of mine themselves, is an -existential- necessity based on a situated grasp of a -system- as a whole, with logic as an integral aspect (along with a set of definitions, an instruction set, language rules, contextual simples, and other primitives). But this cannot be said to be merely -arbitrary- since that claim to arbitrariness would -itself- rely on the same uninferable necessity of logic to have any import.


But again---reasoning at that epistemic level is an existentially or heuristically or if you like, an intuitively grasped inference system. It is, and functions as, the ultimate operating system of thought, some grasp of which occurs in not-so-ultimate finite minds with the various tendencies toward willed self-contradiction and the need for constant tune-ups, both caused by defecting from the envisioned ideality of the structure of God's mind. And even though that structure is operatively a set of predications, operative is the key term. God's mind is an irreducible design integrity, as Buckminster Fuller might have said (at least if he had talked to me at length), and IS a set of simultaneous predications, the rational necessity of which determines the structure of the world, God, and all reality. Aside from also being an aspect of God's being, namely God's mind.

So the necessity of logic at that basic level would be intuitive, although not in a vacuum. Logic's necessity in this sense is a situated grasp of a comprehensive and universal system whose aim at truth is existentially necessary (an intuitive sine qua non or epistemic cul-de-sac) as a heuristic package deal. It -would- be arbitrary and relative, except that any claim to that effect would -itself- be dependent on this same -existential-, and not inferential, necessity. Nice try. Too bad. You're still singing my song in spite of yourself.

But just what is it, this necessity? Un-inferred, it's still---itself---an inference system. But in the case of this particular system (or engine, make the synonym circle---still doesn't change anything) the aspects of its nature can only be a mind object, precisely because a universal ultimate inference system and a universal ultimate mind are indistinguishable.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

God's Mind Under the Hood

Universals and similar mind objects are thoughts in the divine intellect.

--Redacted from Edward Feser, The Last Superstition, page 90, characterizing a statement by St. Thomas Aquinas.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mental Reality Detectors Behind the Curtain



"The problem is turning mental being into real being. Because scientists use concepts that exist in mind but can't have independent existence in reality they start to attribute real existence to these mental entities."
---Aquinas3000 over at Edward Feser's blog.

But it's no problem if you're not assuming that the mental can arbitrate that initial difference between "mental" and "real" to begin with in the analysis itself.


Also, why should mind objects need to exist beyond the factors they are in thought? In fact, that is even more real than the unstable "reality", since mind objects adjudicate and pass constant judgment on what is "real" and what is mental just to use them as distinct terms in the discussion.


I don't know how anyone could decide what is "independent" existence in "reality" without criteria that is itself already independently existing as a necessary operating system of evaluative thought that we necessarily use universally in analysis.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reasons Decide The Conclusions

The criteria for evaluating the issue of the existence of God is already God level. It has to be, in order to have the authority as sole systemic instrument for analysis---the ultimate epistemic court of last resort---to decide this universal ultimate question. Those criterial assumptions not only imply the existence of God---they are a proper subset of the divine mind. That's guaranteed by their universality, necessity, and ultimacy, even _prior_ to a successful argument.

To give reasons is to appeal to a higher authority than the conclusion for precisely the purpose of judging that conclusion's truth value. But in the case of arguing for God on the basis of criterial and other background assumptions, those ultimate reasons end up being necessary aspects of the ultimate mind whose existence those reasons necessarily imply.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Autobahn To Damascus

Yet another change of philosophy because of arguments for the existence of God.

Oh, the -threat- to the vested interests of anti-intellectualism!
The following Facebook post was written by Darrin Rasberry on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 9:05pm.
[The fb link is iffy, goodbye to them eventually anyway, but here's the post from there:]

"There has been some confusion and more than a few requests for explanation about what is going on with my core beliefs. Some time last week, I realized that I could no longer call myself a skeptic. After fifteen years away from Christianity, most of which was spent as an atheist with an active, busy intent on destroying the faith, I returned to a church (with a real intention of going for worship) last Sunday. Although I know I may struggle with doubt for the rest of my life, my life as an atheist is over.


The primary motivator in my change of heart from a Christ-hater to a card-carrying Disciples of Christ member was apologetic arguments for God's existence. Those interested in these arguments may pursue them in the comments section, but I don't want to muddle this explanation up with formal philosophical proofs. Briefly, I grew tired of the lack of explanation for: the existence of the universe, moral values and duties, objective human worth, consciousness and will, and many other topics. The only valid foundation for many of those ideas is a personal, immaterial, unchanging and unchangeable entity. As I fought so desperately  to come up with refutations of these arguments - even going out of my way to personally meet many of their originators, defenders, and opponents  - I realized that I could not answer them no matter how many long nights I spent hitting the books. The months of study rolled on to years, and eventually I found an increasing comfort around my God-believing enemies and a growing discontent and even anger at my atheist friends' inability to kill off these fleas in debate and in writing, an anger that gave birth to my first feeling of separateness from skepticism after reading comments related to a definitively refuted version of the Christ Myth theory, the idea that Jesus Christ never even existed as a person at all. Line after line after line of people hating Christianity and laughing at its "lie," when solid scholarship refuting their idea was ignored completely. It showed that the motive of bashing and hating Christianity for some skeptics wasn't based in reason and "free thinking" at all, although it would be unfair to lump many of my more intellectually rigorous and mentally cool skeptic friends in this way.


As time went on, I reverted the path I traced after giving up Christianity so long ago: I went from atheist to agnostic to … gulp … *leaning* in the direction of God, to finally accepting that he very well could exist, and then to coming out and admitting (quietly) He did exist. After considering Deism (the belief in a God who abandons His creation), Islam, Hinduism (yes, Krishna, don't laugh), Baha'i, and even Jainism briefly, I have decided to select Christianity due to its superior model for human evil and its reconciliation, coupled with the belief that God interacted with man directly and face-to-face and had *the* crucial role in this reconciliation. This, of course, doesn't prove that Christianity is absolutely true (although I can prove that God exists), but rather reflects my recognition that Christianity is exactly what I would expect to be the case given that God exists.


There are problems that I have with adopting any specific layout of Christianity, which explains my current attendance at what many of you may consider to be a very liberal denomination in the Disciples of Christ. Their aim is to unify all believers in the essentials, while leaving nonessential beliefs (however important) up to the member to decide. The essentials are about all I can honestly grasp at this moment. At its philosophical core, I prefer the Reformed (Calvinist) tradition, perhaps by a long shot, but there are many very serious practical issues I can't resolve. Conversely, Catholicism is a practical Godsend (pardon the term) but I have problems with their philosophy. And I don't agree with many political issues of either of those branches or the majority of Christian branches in general. I have a long way to go and I know the many problems religion has in general and that Christianity has in specific, but they do not exceed the fatal problems in skepticism.


I understand that this may confuse and even upset many of the friends I've had for a long time, both in my personal life and in the years-long journey I've made as a skeptic-to-believer. Christianity is not without its critics, and given the absolutely shameful way many "Christians" have treated homosexuals, drug addicts, people of other faiths (and of no faith) and races, and even people of different Christian denomination, and given the often intellectually embarrassing way we've handled science and philosophy, I would not blame you for a second if you did not want to associate with me based on the track record of those who claim to believe similarly to what I believe now. I am the same Darrin as I was before, a math teacher, a storm chaser, D&D gamer, drunk philosopher, a lover of beer that's too strong and spice that's too hot,  and all the rest of it. I just hope to be a little cleaner, more honest, more Christ-like. I won't throw the Bible at you and I won't preach to you with wild eyes and a million mile stare about how you shouldn't be gay or how you should focus on what Hitch calls the "eternal theme park." This is all the evangelism you'll get from me (unless you ask after I've had too much Guinness) and I do hope it's quite enough to motivate you to study the evidence for God's existence yourself and to read the Bible without the predetermined idea of tearing it apart. Come over to the dark side; we have tea and cookies.


-Darrin


P.S. Although I am loath to bring it up because I hate to take the focus off of my brother and niece, I would be dishonest to not acknowledge the fact that I have lost my wonderful mother and my brother's beautiful young wife in the span of ten months. I've also managed to settle down and get married in the midst of all of that, meaning I've commenced a family life on my own, an idea that probably seems ludicrous for those of you who've known me for any length of time. Many of you would, understandably, wonder if such things have upset me to the point of dropping all I knew and following some guy who two thousand years ago said "follow me." I've reflected deeply about this very thing and wondered if this is all reactionary, but all of my study of God's existence and all of my existential woe predates even my mom's heart attack two years ago. The events of the past year served only to highlight the pressing need to address my changing ideas, rather than being the cause of them."

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Zeno Trick: Prior-Inclusion Conditional Equivocation

‎"Consider All of Reality. All of Reality includes our universe, any gods that might exist, any other universes that might exist, and all abstracta. If it exists, then it's part of All of Reality. Does All of Reality have a sustaining cause?"

But does this mean a cause included already as a prior condition of the scenario in your definition of "All of Reality"? Or something separate from that defined "All of Reality"?

Something separate would contradict the prior definition of "All of Reality", unless you're questioning something that you've already included in that totality merely to claim an implied contradiction in any claim alleging a sustaining cause in -addition- to the already-defined "All".

There is one entity in that All, God, which is uncaused, and sustains all other existing reals. So there's no "sustaining" cause needed for the total due to God's unique causal necessity, and in God's sustaining the rest of the "All".

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Self-Exempting Reductionism Rides Again

‎"After comparing more than two thousand DNA samples, an American molecular geneticist, Dean Hamer, concluded that a person's capacity to believe in God is linked to his brain chemicals. . . . , and if he has refrained from arguing that a person's capacity to believe in molecular genetics is linked to a brain chemical, it is, no doubt, owing to a prudent sense that once -that- door is open, God knows how and when anyone will ever slam it shut again."


 --David Berlinski, The Devil's Delusion


http://tinyurl.com/77ve7m8

Monday, November 07, 2011

Secret Reductionist Suicide Pact Revealed!


"And where is the objectivity of physical science when knowledge of any object is no more than a change in the brain-state of the observer-subject?"
--jack bodie, from Ed Feser's blog combox.

An excellent and challenging question. In some senses baffling, in fact.

The implications of such reductions for both objectivity and knowledge, seem to reduce those reductions themselves to nothing more than their own alleged universal explanatory factors.

Sort of a built-in cognitive death wish. Three cheers, I say.

Two Analysts Walk into a Method


"The major task of logic has been to establish a systematic way of deducing the logical consequences of a set of sentences." (First line of the 2007 Britannica "Knowledge In Depth" article, "Logic", Macropaedia Volume 23, page 225.)

True enough. But only minds or mind-based objects have tasks.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dressing Up in God's Clothes

How do you even approach the question of atheism or God without using a system of assumptions whose status, if recognized or admitted, shows that they function as exact substitutes for features of God that were part of the basis for objecting to the very possibility of the existence or goodness of God in the first place?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Gods of Mind and the Mind of God

A universal is just a quantification of a term in a claim or statement or predication. Is the "denial" of universals saying that no one can use the word "no" and other universal quantifiers? If so someone's flat out of luck, in the nature of the case, because of what that statement itself asserts.

Moreover---and I'm following Grisez and Boyle very closely here---once communicated, that universal denial becomes performatively and empirically inconsistent---not "just theory", as the presets of loop guruism would say. Notice that I'm no longer distinguishing between atheists and theists, except of course concerning The Grand Conclusion itself.

Because the set of communications is itself quantified so as to affect the set of objects with that name, "communication" (data transfer, sends, etc., call it what you like, doesn't change a thing)---including that communication itself---that same communication is thereby itself neutralized because of a self-imposed impossibility.

Kordig, the "Man With No Name" of the philosophy of logic, turned this kind of analysis into a science, and---sure enough---he was a theist. He knew well that divine mindfulness was inherent and necessarily assumed in the mind-ruling authority of how we treat our most basic and irreducible assumptions.



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hoisted by a Shared Petard

It's going to be funny to watch atheists and theists stumble all over themselves trying to explain why they've mutually ignored issues of criteria and the philosophy of logic for -decades- (centuries?), once the issues finally get traction in the media.

But first I'll make one point (there are many) about the Little Bo Peep "problem" of evil: An atheist can have an objective concept of good in the sense that any kind of reasoned approach to reality as a whole necessarily assumes a good in the notion of intellectual propriety. In other words, a good is already assumed in the logical/illogical distinction that prefers logicality. However, atheist thumpers still beg the question in assuming that an ultimate being must be good in order to exist, an assumption that remains unquestioned in the loop guru mentality among most atheists.

But the same type of thing is shared by both atheists and theists concerning background assumptions and meta-theoretic criteria. The longer they spar on a relatively adolescent level, philosophically speaking, the more explaining they'll eventually have to do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pathological Collectivism

"We are living in an age and in a culture increasingly antagonistic to individualism and to the ideal of personal autonomy. Many psychologists and psychiatrists share this antagonism and express their hostility through therapeutic practices that are subversive not only of the patient's autonomy but also of their self-esteem and mental health. Personal autonomy and self-esteem are essentials of the individual's well-being."

--Slightly redacted from a blurb on the dust jacket of Nathaniel Branden's The Disowned Self, 1970, from a paper delivered at the American Psychological Association annual convention. Why get the paperback when the used hardcovers are so cheap?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Moonstruck Bovinity 1980 - Critique of Marxism and the West

"If someone really wants to perform a service, he should make comfortable people uncomfortable, and calm people agitated. He should plant contradiction and conflict in stagnant people. By God, it would be a thousand times over a greater service to sow doubt among some of these people than to sow certainty, since that certainty is being injected into people at such a rate that it acts like a narcotic; it is worthless. We 700 million Muslims have a certainty that is not worth two bits. What comes into existence after doubt, anxiety, and agitation has value: "Belief after unbelief!"

. . . We see the other kind of certainty all through history, and it is worthless. . . . The prophets came essentially to produce controversy. Otherwise, the people would have gone right on grazing peacefully in their folly."


--Ali Shari'Ati, Marxism and Other Western Fallacies, Mizan, 1980, page 99. Just came across this today, and there is some kind of translation and or language issue in this English version, but I'm going to have to read it at some point.

Theistic Enthymeme

Just off the top of my head at this point in time, if asked why I believe in God, I say, "Because the principles necessary for me to evaluate any universal claims, including atheistic and skeptical claims, imply a personal mind which is the universally and ultimately referenced standard of all thought, including the recognition of mind."

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Vacation Entropics

Every problem is a market. That's the fascinating thing about recognizing a distinction between universal ideals and their mere approximation caused by defections from them. Suddenly it's a capitalism of arguments about possible alternatives. The fallibility of finite beings and their tendency to will self-contradiction in an entropic universe requires it.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Epistemic Aspergers Syndrome

The questions and objections themselves always point in the right directions, they just aren't followed out as far as the questioners want to go. Instead there are dismissals and or loops. Of course there are necessary logical loops and existential loops. But they’re not the presets used by the loop gurus. They’re the loops discovered by following out the questions and objections, simply following the responses in the natural order of knowing through discussion. Moreover, either be up front and specific about it and capable of justifying it in some sense,  or expect to get accused of begging the question---in addition to looping presets. Consequently, an adequate philosophy of logic has to be called in as arbiter, when reason and logic themselves come under scrutiny. There's nothing else left.

Moreover, when logical sequence and existential reality are conflated as a means of determining truth, and a logical question about inferential sequence gets answered with something involving what was supposedly in question and now being argued for---that is frustrating and, for many, infuriating, regardless of belief or disbelief in God. Is -that- good news?

For the self-fulfilling martyrs out there, of course, it's a sign from God to commence personal judgments.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Balking on Command

For all the lambasting of the mainstream media, it's almost an unwritten rule that until an issue is raised in that media vocal advocates on any side simply will not talk about it. I first raised the following issue in 2006.

If an argument for a claim about the ontological status of certain objects is made, the question is how to arbitrate that ontology without self-exempting both the criteria and the premises based on that criteria. If they are self-exempting, the same question arises about them. If they're not self-exempting, then their own authority to arbitrate ontology is merely question-begging as long as the issue is not even being addressed.

Not sure why theists, as well as atheists, continue to ignore this issue.  Philosophers and apologists are remiss in posturing about logicality and yet maintaining mutual silence about this. It's like a secret agreement to just collectively whistle past the epistemic graveyard. I can guarantee that these questions will only loom larger as they continue to be ignored.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tell-Tale Atheism: Still Aping Paranoid Fundies


If I was still an atheist, I wouldn’t waste my time shadowing some haunted paranoia about religion, because the mere non-existence of God, if true, is sufficient to eliminate the entire enterprise. The very idea of there being the slightest need or “obligation” to engage in such implicit pandering, when atheism was supposed to be enough, is an insult to serious atheist thinkers who have no need for such tiresome hand-wringing.

Today’s atheists think some favorable comparison to Christianity or religion in general is going to somehow strengthen their case or show others that they are in some sense “better”, when this is merely an admission that they can’t quite handle the complete absence of any standard of good, obligation, ought, or should or any other standard for what is nothing more than a fundy-like lust to scold others. It's an admission that atheism is somehow not enough to keep them from moralistic whining, and only mirrors their religious counterparts.

Talk about playing into the same syndrome that was the original basis for rejecting an opposing view.

And now we’re going to have scientific commandments thumped at us by the “new” fundy atheists.

I’ve got some arbitrary news for such sunday schooler wannabees.

But the philosophically parasitic atheists' need to justify or falsify anything is the real  god getting a free ride here.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Kai Nielsen's Elephant Sighting

"For 'God commanded it' to be a morally relevant reason for doing something, let alone a definitive moral reason for doing it, it must, at least, be the case that God is good. A believer, of course, believes this to be the case, but what grounds does he have for this belief? If he says that he knows this to be true because the record of the Bible, the state of the world or the behavior of Jesus displays God's goodness, the believer himself clearly displays by his very response that he has some logically prior criterion for moral belief that is not based on the fact that there is a deity."

--Kai Nielsen, Ethics Without God, Buffalo NY: Prometheus, 1973, page 22.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Calling Philosophy's Bluff

I'm constructing a database that will be graphically renderable in a similar way to that of the chart, in my fb profile, of the history of art and philosophy movements, but instead of movements, the graphical objects will be statements. Instead of historical connections, logical connectors (claimed inference relation labels) between them will be visible at a glance or click, similar to zooming in and out of online geographical maps, thus making lines of inference instantly traceable from any particular statement to any other in the same logical thread. Logically primitive statements will be labeled ap, as in my public databases already, to designate them as Assumed Premise, until and unless something arises that is claimed to infer them.

Consequently, I'm going to be looking for individuals who want to -own- areas I'm not interested in or dont' have the time to cover (including some aspects of the atheism-theism debate), and who will fill out the entire scope of argumentation on whatever issues they may be interested in. Such individuals do not have to be formally trained in philosophy, but must have a public history of logical analysis in philosophy and must be involved in an ongoing systematic program of reading and studying philosophical journals and books.  It could -possibly- lead to a paid position eventually (I'm working on this), but don't contact me about it unless you have the time and are already involved in these activities. The project will be open source, both in programming and content, which means you must already be motivated to collect comprehensive inventories of views, arguments, objections, refutations, and so on, for your chosen issues, aside from any additional benefit you might derive from participating in this project. Open to individuals of any persuasion who are interested in all the arguments for, and all the objections to, all views---and all analyzed to the nth degree. Heavy emphasis on background assumptions, self-reference, metatheoretic issues, and philosophy of logic.

Friday, July 29, 2011

111 Years Ago Today



Of the many signs of an approaching death, perhaps the most infallible indication is the growth of large cities. City people are traditionless, matter of fact, religionless, clever, unfruitful, and contemptuous of the considerate person, especially the considerate person from the country. It's a doom that grips mankind and brings the inevitable results. There's no use in hoping for the impossible. We may deplore the present, but it cannot be otherwise. If someone says that fatalism is discouraging, we reply that false hopes are hardly a source of enduring optimism. Those who are able to avoid wishful thinking can see the handwriting on the wall. We of today face---we of today are---the decline of the West.

--Redaction of Gordon Clark, summarizing Spengler's The Decline of the West. From Gordon Clark, A Christian View of Men and Things, Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmans, 1952, pages 55-56. This gives the context of the "handwriting on the wall" quote I posted recently. Clark is summarizing Spengler, but it's clearly Clark's statement.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Being vs Knowing

The question of atheism is precisely what is the inferential or epistemic justification of the claim that God exists. Sure, given the premise that God exists, everything is existentially based on God's being and sovereignty. But in the role of atheist, I'm not questioning that conditional implication.

I'm questioning only its antecedent: that God exists.

My question would be how belief in God can be justified logically, as well as how to logically justify the notion that God is the only adequate ontological or whatever ground for morality. But by morality I just mean deciding from among the various possible proximate or ultimate consequences in relation to possible actions. If God exists, then there is a mind that can bring about ultimate consequences, and I would do well to pay attention to that mind just like any other inescapable factor I might confront as an existing finite mind, precisely and especially because of its ultimate capabilities.

Meta-Morals Already Drive the Moral Argument Debate

There are background moral values running in parallel to the process of inquiry of any kind, but the point from an atheist perspective is that mere personal preference (for whatever reasons) is enough to equal the commitment to certain values on the part of those who believe in God. Having known a number of atheists literally in my neighborhood for decades, I think this is true. In fact, in some instances I've never seen such commitment to certain values with which we obviously agreed. So I think the no morals without God thing is off target, counterproductive, and simply unneeded anyway as an argument for God. There may be a successful moral argument for God, but nothing I've seen so far seems successful.

Conditional Preferences vs. Moral Obligations and Arguments

To construe morality in any way already assumes a supervisory propriety or obligation to think in certain ways and according to certain rules and values. This is independent of first-order analysis of morality, given -any- particular construance of it, and necessarily so, to be able to recognize such propriety, analyze it, and possibly decide the question itself in the first place. I don't see how anyone can get around that. To believe in God or morality for reasons assumes the prior, independent---and most importantly: higher---epistemic authority of those reasons, one's own mind, and the principles that make those reasons viable and adequate to the conclusions they support.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Early Darwinian Prophet of Sam Harris's Human Flourishing Doctrine


"Natural selection needs a boost, like me with a shotgun."


--Eric Harris, Columbine shooter, 1999



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Supervisory Demons of False Assumptions

"Those attracted to nominalism usually seek to press it as far as it can go, and understandably so. For if one's nominalism is motivated by a desire to defend materialism or naturalism, there isn't much point to being selective about it, since to admit that at least some sorts of abstract (hence non-material and non-natural) objects exist seriously weakens the plausibility of materialism or naturalism as a general position."

--Edward Feser, The Last Superstition, 2008, 274-275.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ed Feser on The Philosopher

"How significant is Aristotle? Well, I wouldn't want to exaggerate, so let me put it this way: Abandoning Aristotelianism, as the founders of modern philosophy did, was the single greatest mistake ever made in the entire history of Western thought. More than any other intellectual factor . . . this abandonment has contributed to the civilizational crisis through which the West has been living for several centuries, and which has accelerated massively in the last century or so. It is implicated in the disintegration of confidence in the rational justifiability of morality and religious belief, in the widespread assumption that a scientific picture of human nature entails that free will is an illusion; in the belief that there is a "mind-body" problem and that the only scientifically and philosophically respectable solution to it is some version of materialism; in the proliferation of varieties of relativism and irrationalism, and also of scientism and hyper-rationalism; in the modern world's corrosive skepticism about the legitimacy of any authority, and the radical individualism and collectivism that have followed in its wake; and in the intellectual and practical depersonalization of man that all of this has entailed, and which has in turn led to mass murder on a scale unparalleled in human history."

--Edward Feser, The Last Superstition

An Epistemic Chance for Natural Selection

Maybe most people would still say they believe in God, if they had to answer a questionnaire. But if you have to ask people pointed questions for them to acknowledge belief in God, that's not serious conviction. It's the vestigial remains of their grandparents' religion.

--Redacted from Gordon Clark in 1952. A Christian View of Men and Things, Grand Rapids MI: Baker, 1981, page 13.

To Be Rather Than To Seem

"You must more than try, Mrs. Hudson. You must succeed."

--Sherlock Holmes

Friday, July 01, 2011

A Rose by Another Name

Philosophies that ignore the tendency toward self-contradiction in human nature do so at their own risk.

The Real Crash of 1929

"Human conduct and belief are now undergoing transformations profounder and more disturbing than any since the appearance of wealth and philosophy put an end to the traditional religion of the Greeks. It is the age of Socrates again: our moral life is threatened, and our intellectual life is quickened and enlarged, by the disintegration of ancient customs and beliefs. Everything is new and experimental in our ideas and our actions; nothing is established or certain any more. The rate, complexity, and variety of change in our time are without precedent, even in Periclean days; all forms about us are altered, from the tools that complicate our toil, and the wheels that whirl us restlessly about the earth, to the innovations in our sexual relationships, and the hard disillusionment of our souls. The passage from agriculture to industry, from the village to the town, and from the town to the city, has elevated science, debased art, liberated thought, ended monarchy and aristocracy, generated democracy and socialism, emancipated woman, disrupted marriage, broken down the old moral code, destroyed asceticism with luxuries, replaced Puritanism with Epicureanism, exalted excitement above content, made war less frequent and more terrible, taken from us many of our most cherished religious beliefs, and given us in exchange a mechanical and fatalistic philosophy of life. All things flow, and we are at a loss to find some mooring and stability in the flux."

--Will Durant, The Mansions of Philosophy: A Survey of Human Life and Destiny, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1929, pages vii-viii.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Forgotten Details of a Lost Universal

An objection I heard recently is that a good argument must contain premises that are more probable than their negations. But if one has two premises that are each 51% probable, then the conclusion can have only a 25.5% probability of being true.

It depends on whether the -probabilities- (technically, the underlying random variables) of the premises are in any way dependent on each other. Only if their probabilities are independent of each other would that calculation be correct.

If valid, the objection's argument would work against any two probability-independent premises including its own.

But the more basic question is how could one know the probabilities of -any- basic philosophical premise in the first place. What about the probabilities of the premises that imply the truth of that probability statement itself or the premises underlying any claims about the relation between a way of construing such probability and the existence of God.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Guilty Conscience of Irrationalism

Disparaging the intellect always involves trying to justify the disparagement using an intellectual argument.

--Redacted from Gordon Clark, Religion, Reason, and Revelation, Nutley NJ: Craig Press, page 71.

Feser on Intentionality

Many scientists think their scientific competence excuses them from having to do their homework in philosophy before commenting on the subject.

--Redacted from Edward Feser, "Coyne on Intentionality"



http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/05/coyne-on-intentionality.html#more

Saturday, June 04, 2011

I know the conditions, I know them not,...

Kant set out to discover the pre-conditions of experience while denying that those pre-conditions themselves are objects of our experience.

--redacted from Gordon Clark, Religion, Reason, and Revelation, Nutley NJ: Craig Press, pages 61-62.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Atheist of Oz

Methodological gods are necessarily crypto-theistic, and unquestioned assumptions of any kind are always the -real- gods getting a pass. But implicit self-exemption is so much fun! At least, as long as the Christians don't get wise to the meta-theoretic con. Fortunately for atheism, they rarely do.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Realizing My Machinehood

The observations used to describe behavior are the only enduring evidence available for concluding that something has consciousness.

Consequently, once a physical system is constructed that will do anything observable that a human can and is therefore indistinguishable in behavior from a person, we will not be able to deny it consciousness, and therefore personhood.

To argue that it's impossible for machine intelligence to be or become a person is to argue that it's impossible for many beings to be conscious who are currently thought to be human.

In fact, if the requirements stated in the argument against machine consciousness are at some point no longer being met by certain people, then that same argument could be used to revoke their personhood, and thus deny their humanity.

The point is that if you list the observable requirements that are not met in machine intelligence but are required to attribute personhood, you end up eliminating certain groups of humans who for one reason or another do not themselves fulfill all those requirements either. Once the two classes of beings are observably indistinguishable (which factor is usually ignored in reactions to this argument), it will be difficult to tell whether you are talking about one or the other in making an argument for -or- against personhood. In that situation, the argument will not even be able to get started, since the being in question is observably the same, which is the key premise of the original problem. Since one cannot at that point -begin- the argument with a predisposition either way, what would then be left as evidence?

To restate this somewhat differently: If we list the observable requirements that are not met in machine intelligence but are required to attribute consciousness to human persons, we may end up eliminating certain humans as being conscious, who don't strictly fulfill all those requirements either.

On the other hand,, once technology develops to the point where the two classes of beings are observably indistinguishable (a factor almost always ignored in reactions to this argument but will fade as AI and humanoid robotics technology develops), it will be impossible to tell whether we're talking about one or the other in making an argument for -or- against consciousness in specific beings.*

Since we could not at that point even -begin- an argument for or against the existence of consciousness in such an indistinguishability scenario with a predisposition either way, nothing would be left to count as evidence. At that point, the problem of the definition of consciousness will reassert itself with the challenge to develop new criteria at a higher level of abstraction.

And because of the implication for human beings, once indistinguishability obtains in both appearance and behavior, as it surely will, we will not be able to deny consciousness---or personhood---to machines.*


--*Compare Michael Arthur Simon, "Could there be a Conscious Automaton?", American Philosophical Quarterly, Volume 6, Number 1, 1969, pages 71-78.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Revenge of the Concept Mummies

Theistic Case Builder: An Open-Source Community Philosophical Development Project

This spreadsheet is merely a table in a database. It's just a quick-and-dirty way to jump-start an open-source database for the edification of anyone who wants to use it. Right now it contains only my redaction of a brief first part Craig's opening statement in the Craig-Harris debate. I will do this to the entire debate, and hope to complete it over the next week or two. I will then start reading the blog reviews for new things to include so that people can see how new material can be integrated into an overall logically continuous sequence.

Thanks to Norman Geisler for sparking this idea in me, from the finely detailed outline of argumentation he gave me decades ago. I still have it and will eventually integrate the argumentative essence of it's theistic components into this database.

I will try to show in a real-world way, how the views, arguments, objections, and counter-objections can be collected, how the assumed premises can be readily identified, how they can all be organized in a simple numbered sequence, and how the arguments can be inferentially tracked with precision. If you think of a better way of doing this, that will be a major Mission Accomplished for me.

Although it is -my- database, it can be copied or downloaded, and then edited or enhanced any way anyone else wants to. Let a thousand architectonic flowers bloom inferentially.

Here's an explanation of the simple table/spreadsheet format:

Column 1: A hard-coded and at this point arbitrary number for the statement.
Column 2: The statement itself.
Columns 3-6: The number of any statement or statements that imply the current statement.
[ap=assumed premise is the default until a reason is given.]
Column 7: Note: This could be the source from which I got the statement, to help anyone who needs to write papers. It's optional for purely analytic purposes, but I'm including it for illustrative purposes and I will document it as much as possible given my time constraints.

For now, there is no automated way to get changes or additions populated to other versions, but this will at least push through the concepts and the possibilities.

As mine is edited, you should be able to get a feel for how any statement can be questioned or countered or objected to, how this can get visually noticed so that the oppositions are easily distinguished but with readability, and how supporting arguments eventually are to be numbered and organized for both clarity and flow, in spite of the strict system of derivation tags and numbering.

It's not the final word on how to do this, but it's -something- that might prevent a lot of duplication in separate efforts, and the data can be easily ported to whatever anyone else might want to use it for.

Right now, you'll have to just message me if you want something included and are not interested in constructing one of these things yourself, and I'll try to be as accommodating as I can in adding to the thing. Or you can just observe the changes as they occur.

But the idea is to enable and motivate others to do the same kind of thing, while helping those who don't have time to do it to profit from this organized expanding collection of positions and arguments. Comments and contributions from anyone interested, is encouraged.


https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Atcf0vXDCaTNdDl4N0hiaWpSS21UbUZSbnB1SkJXMWc&authkey=CNzxoegK&hl=en#gid=0

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Criterial Argument for the Existence of God - Version 2.0

[Version 2.0 is below this, because of the way the search results appear on the internet.]

Version 5:

Certain assumptions are logically basic criteria of all thought. They are the standards of analysis for any possible mind.
 

Therefore, these background standards of analysis are necessary for recognizing and knowing that certain objects of our experience are minds or persons.
 

But only a mind or person using those standards can recognize and know whether any object is a mind or person, and to use these standards for this purpose is to imbue them with mind- and person-determining powers.
 

Therefore, the ultimate standards of thought are necessarily used to determine whether or not an object is a mind or person.
 

And relations between these assumptions and the objects in question (minds and persons) are themselves objects that can be predicated only by a mind.

Therefore the ultimate criteria of thought are indistinguishable from an ultimate truth-determining mind or person, since they do nothing of themselves but only authorize and supervise the evaluation of truth claims due to their necessarily-assumed authority and guidance.
 

Therefore, these criterial assumptions are necessary for recognizing and knowing that certain objects of our experience are minds or persons.
 

Any argued denial of the necessary universality and logical authority of this system of assumptions logically depends on those same assumptions for its own truth, meaningfulness, significance, goodness or value, and so on.
 

Therefore, this system of assumptions necessarily adjudicates all truth claims about everything including itself, as well as their denials.
 

Therefore, this system of assumptions is omniscient as the truth-evaluating instrument of all knowledge, ultimately authoritative as the final court of appeal, sovereign as the universally decisive inferential factor, omnipresent in it’s physically universal applicability, and transcendent in being perfectly functional at any level of supervisory authority over all issues concerning all domains of predication.
 

Furthermore, these assumptions are the specifying standards for defining everything including minds or persons and God.

Consequently, this system of necessary and logically basic assumptions are as ultimate and mind-like or person-like as any personal ultimate God is conceivable of being.

Treating this aggregate mind-structured object as a reality-wide guide in all thinking about everything is therefore unavoidably necessary, even in reasoned denials that this object has that status as an ultimate universal ruling system factor.
 

To proceed in thinking at all, we must approximate whatever reason is always indicating as the perfection standard of thought.
 

Moreover, there is no controversy about the ultimate authority of what this standard or specification reveals to me, even if I don't live up to it, or perfectly actualize the rational ideal in some way.

Those actions are what they are only when judged by that same rational ideal.
 

Any contemplation of these ultimate assumptions of mind such as reason, formal logic, the rule-set of an ordered context of reality, a hierarchy of values, and the obligation to proceed according to a system of rules---all methodological primitives---results in an endless stream of new knowledge when applied to our ongoing experience of the world.
 

Consequently, these ultimate decisive rules and ideals of thought actually communicate knowledge and even wisdom by merely contemplating them and their relationship to our belief systems and our world of objects.
 

The fact that we must reference these principles implies an equally ultimate purpose.
 

And an ultimate purpose, necessarily depends on a hierarchical set of equally ultimate values.

This system of assumptions is a unified instrument and object of cognition, which necessarily obligates, defines, and influences the mind as the ultimate operating system for thinking about anything.


Consequently, all thinking already necessarily both assumes and references an unchanging and enduring God-level personal mind object made up of prescriptive criterial evaluative principles of thought taken together as a system for the possibility of thinking, that adjudicates everything including mind and personhood themselves, and makes possible inquiry into anything and everything that can be thought.
 

Therefore, in all defining senses, this comprehensive mind object is indistinguishable from an ultimate personal mind or God.
 

The rationally necessary is necessarily the existentially real.

Any argument denying this is self-contradictory in trying to rationally necessitate its own truth about the existentially real in spite of what that argument asserts.
 

And if two objects are indistinguishable from each other with respect to all of their properties, then they are identical.

Therefore, this comprehensive mind object---this necessarily operating rational ideal system of thought---is itself an ultimate personal mind or God.

[NOTE: The only problem I see with this argument is in what constitutes a person. The ultimate nature, authority, and role of reason is indisputable.]



[Version 2.0 follows]


Our most basic assumptions are necessarily used and referenced to be able to think about anything.

Therefore, our most basic assumptions are necessary to recognize and know that certain objects of our experience are persons.

But only a person can arbitrate whether an object is a person.

Therefore, taken together like the operating system of a computer, the standards and fixed values we operate with as running assumptions or control statements, are necessarily referenced, and treated as the unified predicative and adjudicative structure of an ideal ultimate personal mind.

This criterial structure must be applied universally.

Therefore, this non-local rational structure arbitrates all truth about everything including itself.

Hence, there is a sense in which this structure is omniscient as the instrument of all knowledge, ultimately authoritative as the final court of appeal, sovereign as the universally decisive inferential factor, omnipresent in it’s physically universal applicability, and transcendent in being perfectly functional at any point in the spacetime nexus.

Consequently, the characteristics of this structure are just as ultimate and inherently mind-like as any personal ultimate God is conceivable of being.

Treating this aggregate intellectual object as a reality-wide guide in all thinking about everything is therefore unavoidably necessary, even in reasoned denials that this object has that status as an ultimate universal ruling factor.

I often wonder about the reliability of my computer, but not about reason. Without even thinking about it, I necessarily try to approximate to some achievable extent whatever reason is always unwaiveringly indicating as the perfection standard of thought.

Moreover, there is no controversy about the ultimate authority of what it reveals to me, even if I don't live up to it, or perfectly actualize the rational ideal in some way.

Furthermore, we merely need to contemplate these ultimates of mind such as reason, formal logic, the rule-set of an ordered context of reality, a hierarchy of values, and so on, in order to discover an endless stream of new knowledge when applied to our ongoing experience of the world.

Consequently, there is some sense in which these ultimate decisive rules and ideals of thought actually communicate knowledge and even wisdom by merely thinking about them and their relationship to our belief systems and our world of objects.

Lastly, the necessity of our referencing of these principles itself implies both purpose and value, which are equally ultimate in this comprehensive set of guiding operational principles. We reference inferential factors for various purposes, and those purposes are based on a hierarchical set of values.

Consequently, I believe in God because my thinking already necessarily assumes and references an unchanging and enduring god-level object of mind that arbitrates all things including personhood, makes inquiry of anything and everything possible including itself, and is indistinguishable from an ultimate personal mind or God.

A Proverb for Discriminating Atheists

Question protected and unargued universals, and a lot of mind-gods suddenly disappear.

Friday, March 25, 2011

They also work who only sit and wait

Everyone has their own pace of digesting the arguments and feeling they are their own person in engaging, whenever that happens... otherwise it could be a miserable experience to try to interact in any kind of challenging way... it's also like math in that the slowest can become the most effective because they've done more low-level grappling with the basics and thus understand how most people really think through the issues than the quick study types. I'm sure there are some silent ones who are going to end up tremendously effective and influential in philosophy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How to Get Rid of Your Competition

The pressure that induces governments to regulate does not come from reformers bemoaning abuses by powerful business interests. It comes from the business interests themselves, asking government to shield them against the harsh winds of competition.

Redacted from Dan Smoot, The Business End of Government

Friday, March 04, 2011

Wild Wild West

She threw away the key. And woe to the calamitous curiosity which might peer just once through a crack in the chamber of consciousness and look down, and sense that humanity rests upon the merciless, the greedy, the insatiable, the murderous, in the indifference of their ignorance---and in their dreams hanging on the back of a tiger.

In view of all this, where in the world does the urge for truth come from?

--redacted from Nietzsche, 1888

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Irony of Weightlifting

All ultimate and necessary truths are aspects of God's being, including the truths that are the means to all truths including themselves, truths that make up reason, logic, a set of values and conditionals, intentions and purposes.

There is a sense in which courage of one's convictions is in direct proportion to the extent to which one is willing to attack those convictions. Moreover, this way of negation is not only necessary for completing the structure of one's understanding of one's perspective and oneself, it is also required to understand surviving claims and their argumentative structures in the sharpest contrast to arguments for their negations. This prepares one more fully to examine competing claims, although again the resulting comparative analysis either contributes to the edification of one's view, or else changes it or negates it altogether. That's the necessary risk one takes.

 Moreover, one is already taking a risk in not knowing whether one will live through the coming day, and in operating according to whatever default view is assumed already. There's no such thing as a philosophical neutral zone.

The essence of the self-critical process is the attempt to approximate an ideal structure of justification. So why not an all-out attack on every front? Systematic, comprehensive, from the ground up, and developed into more than a habit---like breathing.

The result of course is to strengthen one's view, assuming it's true, and render being one's own worst enemy the greatest of friendships.

Anti-Randianism Necessarily Mimics Objectivism

I used to think that the 2D-characters complaint about Atlas Shrugged and other novels of Ayn Rand was legitimate criticism, but statist and and other coercive collectivists keep using the same arguments that the supposedly cardboard-cutout villians used in the book. The elusive 3rd dimension compulsively acts out Ayn Rand's characters for us, while criticizing her novels for not having realistic characters. One of the most striking ironies of the modern world.

I'm even starting to wonder if they are secretly copying certain passages for use in their ritualistic scolding.

If the characters are 2D, it's because Rand is holding up a mirror to flatland, even if possibly in spite of herself as well.

Adapted from a comment by robc at reason.com

Thursday, February 10, 2011

While You Slept

In terms of the mind, everything God-like is already assumed in our principles of thinking, analyzing, and evaluating, and is referenced as a somehow distinct system of exceptionless infallible thought compared to our own error-prone system of thinking. As a universal criterial system, they embody rules for everything including determining which objects of experience are persons. Yet these principles themselves are necessarily treated as an independent unified guidance system, a God of personhood recognition criteria, exempt from the limitations of our imperfect aim at its ideality. It's personal because this system is necessarily the determiner of what is personal. It is therefore a personal being. We function in its image, however approximative. It doesn't *need* any ontological status that might be negated of it, and that precisely because of what it is as a factor that must be constantly reckoned with nonetheless, if not up front then in the background mimicking what it is denying.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Orthodox Rationalism

Being accurate to all concerns is what drives the emphasis on precision in philosophical and theological thinking, and self-reference is in a sense just as crucial as the most basic criteria.

But there is a salvation principle operating in the use of reason and logic. The salvation of God as a general notion of the ultimate mind as it influences the world of finite minds, and what God’s principles of being imply for a finite knower, include an operational saving principle in that same valuing and implementing of reason and against entropy and the probably entropy-driven tendency toward self-contradiction.

Add universal causality and you have the potential for a series of willful finitely-unrectifiable defections from the ideal of rational and logical thought and action. Sort of a sin cocktail that’s subtlely yet radically bad for you, but which we drink periodically nonetheless.

So the constant use of reason as necessary for life is already a partial taking advantage of the salvation of God in terms of some kind of general common grace granted by virtue of existing in God’s substantially rational and logical world, by instantiating and referencing transcendental principles that are nothing other than necessary instrumental aspects of the divine mind. And the fact that we don’t perfectly actualize the ideal also requires that we operate on the basis of reason in order to realize and recognize willful defections from that same reason and logic. The universal applicability of reason is a universal power of a nonlocal transcendent mind whose principles of thinking are necessarily instantiated in any finite mind. A perfect instantiation is all-powerful, which makes possible and guarantees the salvation offered through Jesus Christ, which is paralleled already in cognitive and evaluative processes which also must be believed in to survive and thrive in the immediate experiential world.

If Jesus saves, it’s only because a saving method of thought paved the way through principles that must be used for that saving action to have any meaning. Since one core aspect of God’s being simply *is* logical and rational principles, only God can perfectly rectify the effects of deliberate irrational acts and thoughts in a context of universal causality, and transform the whole person, eventually comprehensively.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Straining to Convince Themselves

 
"They are rid of the Christian God and now believe all the more firmly that they must cling to Christian morality. They must rehabilitate themselves after every little emancipation from religion by showing in a veritably awe-inspiring way what moral fanatics they are. That is their penance."
 Friedrich Nietzsche