Blog — 13 November 2014
Conversation with a Nihilist

In the following dialog, I have a conversation with a person who wanted to challenge belief in a Christian worldview. “The Nihilistic Potato” began this conversation based on a video I had posted on YouTube. This video was called “Can Atheists Be Moral?” You can view it at: http://www.marketfaith.org/2013/06/can-atheists-be-moral. The premise of video was that, based on a naturalistic worldview platform, there is no objective basis for making any kind of moral judgements. That is, when Atheists pronounce something moral or immoral, it is nothing more than an expression of personal opinion.

In truth, though, this person was not really interested in a having a conversation with me. He was simply trolling my video in hopes of catching me in some kind of misstatement in order to put down the Christian faith. This became quite evident early on, but I chose to engage him anyway for a couple of reasons. First, I always look at these kinds of interactions as a witnessing opportunity. You just never know when you will strike a chord with someone. The second reason I chose to interact with him is because whenever these kinds of conversations occur, there are always many other people who are watching from the sidelines looking for excuses to “dis the Christian” and, themselves, put down the Christian faith. I see this as a way to share Christ with this wider audience, as well.

This particular interaction was rather strange in some ways and was somewhat different than those that usually emerge from this venue. This person seems to have been relatively knowledgeable concerning some things related to philosophy and logic. At the same time, as you will see, he was totally clueless in regard to other things – particularly regarding matters related to the concept of worldview. As you read the conversation, it is my hope and prayer that you will recognize that these anti-Christian pretenders do not have anything on our Christian faith, and that you will be motivated to, yourself, get up to speed related to how you can stand strong for your Christian faith in the face of these kinds of antichrists.

The nihilistic Potato
Hi! Christians say that if God exist then objective moral duties and values exist. But i don’t see the connection. Even if God exist why should anyone care about God’s opinion? That is to say that in what sense God’s commands are binding independently of human opinion?
– Thanks!

Freddy Davis
Don’t see the connection? Then you don’t understand the discussion. Let’s use a different illustration. Even if gravity exists, why should anyone care anyway? That is to say, in what sense is gravity binding independent of human opinion? You’re welcome.

The nihilistic Potato
That is category error. Gravity or gravitational force is something that objectively exist. But morality describes codes of conduct how one ought to behave.

Freddy Davis
And there is your mistake. You are making an assumption that God does not exist and that the morality he has revealed in the Bible is not objectively real. Would you care to give me the experimental data which proves your presupposition?

The nihilistic Potato
You don’t seem to understand my question. I grand you the assumption that God exist for the sake of argument. But even then, why should anyone care to obey God’s commands? This is called meta-ethical question.

Freddy Davis
I understand your question perfectly. You are the one who doesn’t seem to understand the implications of your own question. Let me try again. Since you have granted me the assumption of God’s objective existence, my reply to you ought to be very obvious. If God actually exists and is the ultimate expression of reality, then you can’t break God’s law, you can only break yourself on it. Thus my reply concerning gravity. If you don’t care about aligning your life with spiritual reality, why would you care about aligning it with material reality (given that they are both objectively real)? You will end up destroying your life in both cases. This is called a meta-ethical answer.

The nihilistic Potato
“Since you have granted me the assumption of God’s objective existence, my reply to you ought to be very obvious.”
My dog exist objectively. Word objective just means that there is a fact of the matter/mind independent reality. That word alone does not tell anything about moral state of the affairs.

“break yourself on God’s law,”
That seems very vague. Lets make this simple. Is murdering someone objectively morally wrong? If so, why?

Freddy Davis
It seems to me you are reneging on your granting of the assumption that God objectively exists and that he has revealed his will and his ways to us. I am saying that God does exist objectively as a fact of the matter and that he has actually revealed his will and his ways to mankind. Since what he has revealed expresses the actual truth about the existence of reality (and murdering people has been revealed in the Bible as morally wrong), living life in opposition to that puts one in a condition of separation from him. Whether or not you care about your eternal existence (which is another objective reality) is your own choice. Given that you will spend eternity either in relationship with God or separated from him, I would think the truly rational person would care. [I could give you a theological rationale based on the biblical revelation, but you don’t seem to be asking for that since, in spite of your “granting of the assumption,” you don’t really believe it to be true. So, I guess I’m left wondering what your point is in asking the question.]

The nihilistic Potato
“Whether or not you care about your eternal existence (which is another objective reality) is your own choice. Given that you will spend eternity either in relationship with God or separated from him, I would think the truly rational person would care.”
The person could just say that he don’t care about the punishment. If only reason why someone should not murder is because he will be punished, then that reduces your objective morality to utilitarian self legislation. Which does not provide objective moral duties and values. Haven’t you ever watched William Lane Craig to criticize utilitarianism? That also means that you have no objective basis of judging Hitler if he would not care about hell.

You are clueless about this subject. You should say something like murder is immoral because it is contrary to God’s holy nature.

Freddy Davis
It is rather disingenuous for you to put words in my mouth. Up until now you have done nothing more than provide a hypothetical while granting assumptions – assumptions which you are not honoring. I gave you an answer based on those assumptions and now you are accusing me of answering badly, but are doing so based on a set of assumptions from a different place (assumptions, BTW, which you have neither explicitly stated nor defined). If you want this to be an honest discussion, then I suggest you quit playing around with your hypotheticals and make your point. I have actually already answered your question and you have done nothing but ignore my answer and change the subject.

First of all, I never said someone should not murder because he will be punished. That is your characterization. All I said was you have your choice concerning what you do with your eternal destiny. Beyond that, murder is not the trigger for eternal punishment. Given the right conditions, God will forgive the murderer (or the person who commits any other sin you want to use with your hypothetical).

The main problem is, you seem not to understand the biblical worldview objective of life. It is not to avoid sin and its punishment, but to live in relationship with God. Striving to avoid sin is an expression of a life in relationship with God, not the source of it. You are the one who seems to be clueless about this topic. You are making arguments about the Christian faith which do not actually correspond with the core beliefs of the Christian faith. You are arguing against Christianity using naturalistic presuppositions which is, literally, senseless. If you want to argue based on those presuppositions, then, as I asked at the very beginning, I want to see the experimental data you have which proves that your point of view is actually objectively real. Your naturalistic point of view is a fantasy.

The nihilistic Potato
“I never said someone should not murder because he will be punished”
Then why the murderer should not murder then? You aren’t providing justification for your moral beliefs here. You said in your videos that you believe in objective morality.

“Your Naturalistic point of view is a fantasy.”
That is putting words into someones mouth. You are assuming that I’m naturalist. Which I’m not.

The nihilistic Potato
“you seem not to understand the biblical worldview objective of life”
The murderer obviously don’t value life.

Freddy Davis
First, excuse me for assuming you were a Naturalist. I was basically going by your line of argument. You seemed to be arguing from that point of view.

Talk about mixing up categories… There are all kinds of reasons a person should not murder, and the reasons a person might choose are going to be personal. So, is your question: Why should a person not murder? Or, What is the biblical reason people ought not to murder? These are two different questions and require entirely different types of answers. You seem to be mixing up the two.

I have provided justification for my moral beliefs – which you either don’t understand or have purposely ignored. God is an objectively real person and I know him in a personal relationship. I love him and he has revealed that murder is morally wrong. I want to please him and thus will not murder. The fact that you don’t (or won’t) understand does not mean that I have not answered. You don’t seem to grasp the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith.

So, if you are not a Naturalist, what are you? Is this an attempted game of “gotcha” for you or are you interested in a real discussion?

The nihilistic Potato
“These are two different questions and require entirely different types of answers.”
Do you understand the difference between objective morality and subjective morality? Either it is wrong to murder or it is not. If God exist then it is apparently wrong.

Here’s classical argument for objective morality;
1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2. Objective moral values do exist.
3. Therefore, God exists.

I’m asking you to validate premise two. Otherwise you believe in objective morality is unjustified. If you have different argument for objective morality then I’m all ears.

“God is an objectively real person and I know him in a personal relationship. I love him and he has revealed that murder is morally wrong. I want to please him and thus will not murder.”
How is that a justification? That statement does not mean anything beyond subjective preference. I could say to you; My dog is objectively real creature. I love him and he has revealed that he wants to have dog food instead of salad. I want to please him and thus I will give him dog food instead of salad.

“So, if you are not a Naturalist, what are you? Is this an attempted game of “gotcha” for you or are you interested in a real discussion?”

It does that matter if I’m naturalist or not. That is red herring, since I’m only asking you to justify your belief in objective morality.

Freddy Davis
Your assertion that it does not matter whether or not you are a Naturalist is simply false. You have stated that you are not, yet you continue to use naturalistic arguments to make your point and insist that I do, as well. I will answer you again because you, obviously, do not get it. But it does matter what point of view you are coming from because it helps me frame my responses in ways which can, hopefully, make better sense to you.

You asked me to validate point #2. I have already done it in my explanation about knowing God in a personal relationship. You have simply, by fiat and without justification, dismissed my point. Then you turned right around and insisted that I provide you a naturalistic proof instead of the theistic/relational one I gave you. The fact is, God exists whether you believe it or not and my giving you a naturalistic proof, or not, will never change that fact.

Once again, if you are going to insist that I give you a naturalistic proof for the existence of God, I am going to insist that you justify yourself by proving the presuppositions of Naturalism using experimental science. You are attacking me based on philosophical assumptions which don’t even meet the criteria you have established for me. Your approach is simply using a different set of religious assumptions. Now, are you going to get serious about this discussion, or are you going to continue trying to play “gotcha” games. So far, your entire approach is failing miserably.

The nihilistic Potato
“Your assertion that it does not matter whether or not you are a Naturalist is simply false.”
If you give argument that has premises and conclusion then we can check if your argument is valid or not. My “position” is complete red herring whether your argument is valid or not. But If you don’t even have formal argument for your position then i guess you don’t have a case.

“I have already done it in my explanation about knowing God in a personal relationship.”
Some Nazis had personal relationship to Hitler. What is your point?

Freddy Davis
So, you are going to continue this conversation as a troll – simply jumping out from under your bridge and attacking me and crawling back underneath? YOU CANNOT PROVE THEISTIC ARGUMENTS USING NATURALISTIC PROOFS! Your insistence that I must prove God based on Naturalism is simply ludicrous. And, until you prove the validity of Naturalism, I simply don’t feel any need to even try. Your entire line of argumentation is completely useless until you can demonstrate, using experimental science, that it is valid. My answer was a formal argument, but it was based on a theistic premise rather than a naturalistic one.

Hitler was not God, so your snide comment is meaningless.

The nihilistic Potato

What are you rambling about? There is (no) such thing as “naturalist proof” or “theistic argument”. We determine the soundness of the argument by validity its formal structure and virtue of its premises. Not by postulating presuppositions.

Freddy Davis
Really? First, I did not say “naturalist proof” or “theistic argument.” I said “naturalistic” proofs and theistic “arguments.” And if you think there is no such thing, then you are totally clueless as to what I have said about anything. And in that case, none of the arguments you have made are valid whatsoever. Do you even understand the concept of worldview? Seemingly not since you are saying things don’t exist which do and are trying to make counter arguments against my worldview explanations which do not even logically fit with what I have said.

And your statement about presuppositions is completely wrong. EVERYTHING you think and do is based on the worldview presuppositional base you operate from. In your case, you are filtering all of your arguments through naturalistic presuppositions (without even knowing what you are doing) and can’t even understand the rationale of an argument that is based in Christian Theism.

Before you embarrass yourself more, perhaps it would be good for you to take a little time to understand worldview concepts. And, again, you have bluntly stated you are not a Naturalist, so what are you? Are you really that afraid to say?

The nihilistic Potato
Ah yes, Bahnsen’s worldview concept. In other words, ad hominem fallacy. It is absolutely irrelevant what my “worldview” is. Since I don’t want to just confirm my presuppositions to my satisfaction, i want to know if they are true. Thus your worldview objection fails as desperate tool to avoid giving justification for your beliefs. Shame on you. That is extreme dishonest argument tactic.

Freddy Davis
Not really. Bahnsen has a good overall approach, but I have not used his method in my argument. But besides you not being able to pigeonhole me like you think you can, all you have really revealed is how little you know about the topic. If anyone’s argument is based on ad hominem, it is yours. You have made assertions but have failed to, even once, give any justification for your point of view. In fact, since you continue to refuse to state overtly what it is, I am not really certain that you even understand your own philosophical foundation.

If you think that your worldview presuppositions are irrelevant, then you have done nothing more than confirm the total irrelevance of your argument. That argument itself is based on worldview presuppositions. You want to know what is “true” but you haven’t even defined what you mean by that. You argue based on a particular set of presuppositions (which you lie about having), then claim the basis for your argument is irrelevant. How crazy is that? So, just how do you determine what is true? Whatever it is cannot help but be based on your worldview presuppositions. What has failed is your ability to even understand what you are talking about. And I can’t even call you dishonest because you really seem to believe that it is possible to operate without a basis in worldview presuppositions. Your entire approach is that of a troll. You have, literally, said nothing.

The nihilistic Potato
“You want to know what is “true” but you haven’t even defined what you mean by that”
That is yet another red herring but if you must know, Truth is a semantic axiom. That is to say that truth value of a statement is reducible to a coherent set of propositions.

Are you happy know? Can you now justify your belief in objective morality without category error, word salad, personal incredulity, appealing to your subjective preferences, ad hominem fallacy and red herrings?

To be honest, you really are grasping at straws here. You dont even know what constitutes a formal argument.

Freddy Davis
You really are clueless, aren’t you? Let me try once again to spell it out for you. I will try to do this as simply as possible to help you out.
1. Every argument against any point of view is an argument FROM some other point of view. So, as you try to shoot down Christian Theism, you are doing it from some other point of view. For some reason, you seem to think that by not overtly identifying your foundational starting point that you are not accountable for it. That is not true, however. Your arguments are valid or invalid based on YOUR position, not on mine.
2. The arguments you have been putting forth are naturalistic arguments. Thus, the validity of your arguments necessarily depend on the validity of naturalistic presuppositions.
3. Naturalism has no basis in reality. As such, the arguments you are making have no basis in reality (see further explanation below).
4. Other observations:
a) What you are calling red herrings are not red herrings, as I have explained above. Every one of the things you are calling red herrings are my challenges to the validity of your argumentation. However, instead of demonstrating the validity of you your argument, you have resorted to trying to escape the shortcomings of your point of view by dismissing my questions out of hand. The implications of my questions will not go away, however. Your approach is not valid until you demonstrate it to be so.
b) Truth is not a semantic axiom. This assertion, once again, demonstrates the degree to which your argumentation is tied to your worldview beliefs. Truth is the objective reality which corresponds with the way reality is actually organized. Semantics is only one part of that. You seem to be so focused in on that one thing that you are not even aware of the other elements which make it up. BTW: As I mentioned before, your very definition of truth is, itself, based on a particular worldview paradigm – which you are unable to demonstrate to be true.
c) I don’t know why you keep asking me to justify my belief in objective morality when I did it the first time you asked. Just because you don’t like my answer doesn’t mean I have not answered. My belief is based on my objectively real personal relationship with the personal creator God who has revealed himself to mankind. I know him. Contrary to your worldview presupposition, this is not a subjective preference but an objective knowledge. The fact that you don’t understand the Christian Theistic worldview paradigm does not make it subjective or unreal. You are only decreeing that point of view because you have a different belief (which, again, you have not been willing to demonstrate to be true).

The problem here is not that I don’t understand formal argument, but that you think formal argument is the be all end all of reality. It is not. It is merely a communication construct to help us get at a larger reality. Part of reality is expressed in the material universe which operates by natural laws and laws of logic (which are, themselves, based on our observation of the operation of the natural universe). But there is a part of reality which extends beyond the natural universe. The problem with your argumentation is that you are trying to treat the concept of morality as if it were a part of the natural universe when its actual origin is transcendent. Until you understand that distinction, you will continue to make the same errors you have been making.

The nihilistic Potato
“Truth is the objective reality which corresponds with the way reality is”
That is not what the correspondence theory of truth is .. You are conflating truth to reality. You are committing category error again. Even quick look to wikipedia page would prove that to be false. Correspondence theory of truth is about statement and how that statement corresponds to reality.

“As I mentioned before, your very definition of truth is, itself, based on a particular worldview paradigm – which you are unable to demonstrate to be true.”
No you idiot. Axioms are self evidently true. Otherwise they would not be axioms. You are basicly asking me to prove that truth itself is true. God for example is not an axiom since it is controversial. Thus it is illogical to just presuppose God.

That rant of yours is just sophistry at the highest degree. Only “point of view” that I have is bias towards the truth. If we only see word through our presuppositions then we could not entertain such concepts like possible world scenarios.

Do you have any background in philosophy at all? I don’t have time nor interest to teach you basics of philosophy. Your knowledge of philosophy is as fake as your hairpiece.

Freddy Davis
What? Conflating truth and reality? Are you saying that there can be truth outside of reality? Reality comes first (the way things actually exist) and the definitions emerge based on that. I have not posited a correspondence theory of truth (once again you are so tied to your presuppositions that you can’t even understand a different set). I have posited the existence of an objectively real, personal God who has revealed himself to mankind – a God who is transcendent and exists outside of the limits of material reality. Any “axiom” which denies that is not really an axiom. Your problem is that you are so boxed in by your naturalistic worldview beliefs that you simply can’t envision possibilities which don’t fit your paradigm.

I’m the idiot? Self-evidently true? Seriously? Self evident based on what presuppositions? I hate to tell you, but every worldview (understanding of the structure of reality) has its own set of presuppositions, and what is self-evident to people who hold one set of beliefs is fantasy to those who hold a different set. By the same token, what is controversial and illogical based on one set may not be controversial or illogical if you are working from a different set. That is why you have to demonstrate truth at a worldview level – which not only have you not done, but don’t even seem to understand the concept. It is really interesting that you are lecturing me on only seeing the world through my own presuppositions. Everything I am proposing requires an understanding of the presuppositions of all of the worldview possibilities in order to be able to make comparisons. You give lip service to “possible world scenarios” but the only possibilities for dealing with logic you acknowledge are the ones you argue from.

Here is how that plays out as you look at my beliefs. God is certainly not controversial to me because I know him in a personal relationship. What is illogical is a point of view which denies God. Now, I understand how a naturalist looks at my beliefs. That is why I have been able to identify your approach as a naturalistic approach. I also know the logical problems associated with Naturalism – which is the reason I have dismissed it as a system worthy of allegiance. Your problem is that all you understand is your beliefs. You cannot even imagine the operation of reality which does not fit your paradigm – which is a serious problem for you when you deal in a conversation such as this one.

I won’t even call your rant sophistry. In order for that to be true, you have to understand what you are talking about. All you understand is the single approach to philosophical reasoning that you keep trying to assert. Mind you, I am not dissing logical argumentation. However, logical argumentation has limitations when you start dealing with transcendent issues. And you have bumped up against its limits and don’t even realize it.

Let me try again. If God actually exists, he is, by definition, transcendent. Logical arguments based on your system are logical only within the confines of the material universe but cannot deal with matters which are outside of it. Based on naturalistic thought, it is not logical that a being could be all powerful, all knowing, or eternal without beginning or end. Yet, God is all those things and more. Thus, the logic which deals only with temporal reality only gets you part of the way in understanding that part of reality which is transcendent. You have made an assumption that material reality and the logic associated with it is all there is. So, again, prove your assumption. Until you do, your argumentation is meaningless.

The nihilistic Potato
Now you are just being buthurt. Prove to me that God exist or your argumentati… oh wait. You don’t even have an argument.

You are constantly criticizing my naturalistic position. Which is a strange since i have said multiple times that I’m not naturalist. What is wrong with you?

And there is no such thing as my logic. Logic is universal system. If you have some special theist logic or “worldview” then please demonstrate how that works. Is there some special Jesus system? When i speak about logic i mean basic inference rules in classical logic.

And you must be totally divorced from reality if you don’t think that God is controversial. Have you ever heard these people called atheist before? And It is complete irrelevant whether you personally don’t find God assertion to be controversial. There are also these people who belief in Loch Ness Monster, but just because there are couple of crazy people does not make Loch Ness Monster universally uncontroversial belief.

Freddy Davis
What is your problem? Resorting now to insult because you can’t justify your position? The fact that you don’t understand how different worldview presuppositions result in entirely different approaches to logic is not my problem, it is yours.

Yes, you do keep saying you are not a Naturalist, but you have been totally unwilling to say what you are AND you keep using worldview presuppositions which are based on Naturalism. As long as you continue to do that, I am going to continue to call you on it and insist that you justify your approach.

What do you mean there is no such thing as “my” logic. There is a logic you are using. Are you saying that you don’t own your own arguments? You are simply not making any sense with that. I understand completely what you mean when you use the word “logic” but the problem is, you simply don’t seem to grasp where your approach to logic comes from and the limitations of your approach. Classical logic is still based on worldview presuppositions and it still has limits when it tries to address transcendent matters.

And you really ought to read more carefully what I write before you respond. You are making arguments which have no relationship to what I actually said. Did I say that the concept of God is not controversial? No! I said it is not controversial to me. And if you actually read my reasoning you would have known that the point of my argument was that acceptance or rejection of God is based on the presuppositions people hold. It doesn’t, in any respect, speak to whether or not God actually exists. You don’t seem to be able to grasp the difference, and you obviously don’t have even the most basic understanding of worldview concepts.

Now, you have resorted to calling me crazy. And so, I will ask again. On what basis are you doing that? What have I said which you find untrue to the point that you think I am crazy? And when you answer, I want to know what foundational presuppositions you are basing that assertion upon. Simply continuing to call me names and rejecting my arguments does not support your attack. So far, you have not supported anything you have said with reasoning which could even remotely demonstrate that what you are saying is true. Your argument is almost completely tautological.

The nihilistic Potato
“Resorting now to insult”
Oh c’mon. You do the same thing to me. And strawmanning my position is also form of a insult. You are not being persecuted by evil atheist with asking you to simply to justify your beliefs.

“Classical logic is still based on worldview presuppositions and it still has limits when it tries to address transcendent matters.”
No it is not. When you provide arguments logic is the only way to do it. Very basic logical inference rules are called a priori principles and not a “worldview”. Like; if X then Y. If you conflate legimate philosophical consept like a priori to your “worldview” then I’m justified to label you as unreasonable person. Nobody is going to rewrite logic books just because you don’t like the truth.

“What do you mean there is no such thing as “my” logic. There is a logic you are using. Are you saying that you don’t own your own arguments?”
Is 1+1 “my” logic or universally true?

“It doesn’t in any respect speak to whether or not God actually exists.”
Exactly. Thus you need to justify your belief. You are starting to get it. Now, do you have logical proof or just some personal experience. If you don’t have logical proof, then I’m not interested.

And i did not call you crazy. I called people who belief in Loch Ness Monster crazy. I know Christians who have rational basis for their faith. But unlike you, they don’t play word games they justify their beliefs. See the difference?

Freddy Davis
I have not strawmanned your position. I have questioned the presuppositions for your position and you have refused to answer. I don’t know why unless you are concerned that they won’t stand up to scrutiny.

So, you have asked me to justify my beliefs, I have done it, and you refuse to accept my justification. In other words, you will not accept my assertion that I know God in a personal relationship just as God has revealed is possible to do. And your refusal to accept my answer is based on … ? What you are demanding is not simply for me to justify my beliefs, but to justify them based on YOUR presuppositions (which you continue to refuse to overtly disclose). Your assertion that classical logic has no worldview basis is simply ludicrous. Once again, all you have demonstrated by that statement is that you have no idea what worldview concepts are all about.

Let me give you an example: For the person who believes in one of the Far Eastern pantheistic/monistic belief systems, classical logic is actually considered to be playing with illusions. A priori to them does not conflate to X then Y (or any other logical principle you wish to put forth). What you are calling “the truth” is, to them, illusion. And they would tell you that nobody is going to rewrite their logic books just because you don’t like the truth. Now you and I would both agree that their form of logic is way off base. But what do you have to counter it? Are you just going to tell them that their logic is screwed up because it doesn’t fit with yours, or do you have some actual explanation as to why yours is true? You see, your “logic” comes from a different worldview system than theirs and their rules of logic do not correspond with what you claim. They would say that your logic is not universally true.

In fact, even in our own Western culture 1 + 1 does not always = 2. Operating in a binary system, 1 + 1 = 10. Different system, different rules.

So, we are back to you justifying why your approach to understanding reality is right and mine is wrong. I have (several times already) given you my logic (God has revealed himself, I have met him, and what he has revealed corresponds to the relationship I have entered into with him). The fact that you don’t like my answer means nothing unless you can demonstrate either that my understanding is wrong or you can prove that yours is correct. I am still waiting.

The nihilistic Potato
“I have not strawmanned your position. I have questioned the presuppositions for your position and you have refused to answer. I don’t know why unless you are concerned that they won’t stand up to scrutiny.”
I don’t have presuppositions. I use logic (that is not presupposition). Specifically, classical logic. Stop strawmanning me. You don’t seem to understand the difference between mere presupposition and self-evident axiom. If you reject classical logic, then you reject reason itself. But i guess you don’t necessarily reject logic you just don’t understand it. Thus your stupid question of justifying logic. Which is to say that truth itself requires justification. Do you see how your question is idiotic now?

“I know God in a personal relationship just as God has revealed is possible to do”
That is personal anecdote which only serves your personal biases. Thus that does not serve as reasonable basis for establishing belief. There, your faith is unreasonable.

“Are you just going to tell them that their logic is screwed up because it doesn’t fit with yours,”
You are conflating apples and oranges again. There is no “their” logic there is only logic. If you have different system then that is not by definition logic. How is this so hard for you to understand?

And wait a minute.. First you apologize for assuming that I’m naturalist, and then when I explicitly state that I’m not a naturalist, you say that you are going to just assume that I am a naturalist?

You are one walking talking dishonest contradiction. No honest person does that.

Freddy Davis
Do you even know the definition of a presupposition? Saying you don’t have presuppositions does not mean you don’t have them, only that you don’t have a clue as to what they are. You seriously need to read up on this.

Of course logic is not a presupposition. I never said any such thing (Seriously, you do need to learn how to read.). But logic (any form of logic) is based on presuppositions. You don’t get to be an exception to that. The fact that you do not understand what that means does not change the reality.

Again (we have been through this before), truth does not require justification. Truth is simply an accurate description of the actual structure of reality. Reality exists in a particular way and does not exist in any other way. Any kind of “justification” must come out of that. God exists and I know him the way he has revealed himself to exist, so my justification is based on the congruence of those two things. You seem to think he does not exist, so if you think that represents reality, then what is your justification? Regardless, until you understand that concept, no argument you ever make will have any justification whatsoever.

You say that my testimony about knowing God is anecdote, but how do you know that? How do you know that God does not actually exist and reveal himself? How do you know that your perception about reality is true? Truth has an objective basis and you have yet to explain anything about how you know that what you are saying is true. You continue to make the same assertion but the only justification you give is that it is true because you believe it. The truth is, it is your faith that has no reasonable basis. You seem to be doing nothing but parroting some textbook that you have read somewhere.

The explanation I gave about other bases for logic is not a comparison of apples and oranges. But you, obviously, know better. You have your own personal definition of logic that has a single basis regardless of any other factors. Again, all that shows is that you have no clue what you are even talking about.

As for your last paragraph, I really wish you would learn to read. How many times have you “quoted” me but it turns out I did not say what you asserted. I never said I am going to just assume you are a Naturalist. I said, all of your arguments are based on naturalistic presuppositions. And while you continue to be afraid to actually say what your formal position is, if you use only arguments based on naturalistic presuppositions, you are a functional Naturalist. If the shoe fits, wear it. If you are something else, own it. As it is, you continue to take the route of a troll and a coward.

The nihilistic Potato
“You say that my testimony about know God is anecdote, but how do you know that?”
All that i know is that you could be delusional about your revelation. Thus personal anecdote does not serve as evidence for anything.

“Of course logic is not a presupposition. I never said any such thing (Seriously, you do need to learn how to read.). But logic (any form of logic) is based on presuppositions.”
Lets see what philosophers say about this topic.

“Typically, a logic consists of a formal or informal language together with a deductive system and/or a model-theoretic semantics.”
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-classical/

Is logic presupposition in any way? No. Because presupposition is;
“We discuss presupposition, the phenomenon whereby speakers mark linguistically the information that is presupposed or taken for granted, rather than being part of the main propositional content of a speech act.”
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presupposition/

And a priori is;
“One function of reason involves “seeing” how evidence supports a conclusion, and in deductive reasoning, “seeing” how conclusions follow from premises.”
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/apriori/

– Nothing to do with your “worldview.”

Right. So philosophers agree with me on definitions. Presupposition is about linguistic content and not about propositions. Therefore you are wrong.

Freddy Davis
Of course, you could also be delusional. You continue to say my testimony is a personal anecdote, but it corresponds with the testimonies of literally billions of people throughout the world over centuries of time. It is not as personally anecdotal as you say. If you are trying to say that the number of people who adhere to a particular point of view get to claim that their view is correct, you are going to lose badly on this one. There are way more people in history who have claimed a personal relationship with Christ than the number who would agree with your assertions. But, obviously, that is not the point, is it? Your dig is simply more trolling. The truth is, you simply have no grasp of the topic you are talking about.

And once again, can you even read? How many times do I need to repeat myself. I NEVER SAID LOGIC IS A PRESUPPOSITION!!! Go back and read it yourself. I SAID, LOGIC IS BASED ON PRESUPPOSITION. You really need to learn the difference. Beyond that, even the definitions you have quoted are based worldview presuppositions. You really do need to do some reading about what worldview is all about. The more you go down this road the more ignorant you look.

Presupposition is not merely about linguistic content, it is about assumptions people make about reality before they ever consider content. Therefore you are wrong.

The nihilistic Potato
“but it corresponds with the testimonies of literally billions of people throughout the world over centuries of time.”
Appeal to popularity fallacy. Since that does not tell anything about the legitimacy of that revelation.

“I SAID, LOGIC IS BASED ON PRESUPPOSITION”
I don’t really know what else to say that philosophers disagree with you. If you have problem with logic I suggest that you go pack to school and get Ph.D. in Philosophy and start to publish scholarly articles. Either that or whine in youtube. Right know your opinion is irrelevant to the facts at hand.

Freddy Davis
Do you consider yourself a nihilist as is implied in your tag?

The nihilistic Potato
Yup.

Freddy Davis
So, everything I have been saying is right on target. I hate to be the bearer of bad news for you, but Nihilism is an expression of Naturalism. You are a Naturalist by virtue of being an Nihilist. So, if you want me to take you seriously, then I want some experimental evidence that your naturalistic presuppositions are true. Absent that, you have no standing in your arguments.

As for my education, you might want to consider a little more for yourself. The fact that you had a class in logic (perhaps) does not mean you know everything there is to know about either logic or the greater context of logical thinking. If you know anything about philosophers, you will know that there are some who may disagree with my particular point of view and some who agree. However, all of them who truly understand the context of the topic itself do understand that different presuppositions lead to different conclusions as it relates to philosophical positions. Why in the world do you think there are so many philosophical positions? You are coming across as a college student who just had his first class in logic with just enough knowledge to get himself in trouble.

The nihilistic Potato
Even if there were God, nihilism would be coherent idea. I’m existential nihilist and also moral anti-realist.

But I’m kinda curious now what you even mean by naturalism. Surely nobody in these days rejects methodological naturalism. So do you mean ontological, methodological or a priori metaphysical naturalism? Does post-Kuhnian positivism count as naturalist position? How about posterior empiricism?

“different presuppositions lead to different conclusions as it relates to philosophical positions.”
Conclusion is entailed by premises. Presuppositions don’t play part in that. Unless we postulate metaphysical possibilities. Which still follows same inference rules.

Freddy Davis
Are you serious? You have been asserting from the beginning that you are not a Naturalist yet now say you don’t even know what it means.

Since you don’t seem to want to look up anything on your own, let me help you out a little. There are various ways the word Naturalism is used, but when dealing with worldviews, it is simply the belief that there is no such thing as a supernatural reality. There are numerous belief systems which flow out of that, including Nihilism, Positivism, Existentialism, Secular Humanism and others. If you want to get more specific with terms, Naturalism, in the general sense, relates to metaphysical naturalism. Christians have no issues whatsoever with methodological naturalism. But Naturalists, such as yourself, conflate metaphysical and methodological naturalism which is why I have been so insistent on you proving your naturalistic beliefs using experimental science. After all, if material reality is all there is, and everything is based on natural laws, that has to be possible. Yet, you continue to assert your metaphysical naturalism and say my demands are irrelevant. Well, they are not irrelevant. Until you can demonstrate that your understanding of reality actually corresponds with the way reality is structured, all you have put forth is a religious belief.

Conclusion is entailed by premises which are based on worldview presuppositions. You really ought to do some study on the broader topic.

The nihilistic Potato
“There are various ways the word Naturalism is used”
Thus i asked you to clarify. And i’t seems that you understand different kinds of naturalism quite well. Well done, Freddy.

“Until you can demonstrate that your understanding of reality actually corresponds with the way reality is structured”
Reality is empirical data. I think we both can agree that empirical “stuff” exist. Thus it is self evident axiom. If you postulate the supernatural then you have the burden of proof. And personal hallucinations don’t count as evidence.

I’m not going to justify truth itself or self evident axioms. We have been over this already. Logic is self-evidently true. Truth is not affected by your personal incredulity. If you reject logic you reject reason.

If you dont have arguments for God or objective morality then you have no case for your theism.

Freddy Davis
Do you still not understand your predispositional bias? After all of the explanation I have already done? I have explained it, given you examples and illustrations, and you still don’t understand? How did you ever get through school (if you have)?

You say that reality is empirical data. That is a classic assertion of a naturalistic worldview presupposition. Now, if there is no supernatural reality you are necessarily right. But simply asserting it to be true does not make it true. Where is your evidence? Where is the “empirical data” to back up your case? If you are going to insist that I back up my position using empirical data (which does not depend on it), then you MUST provide it since you are operating from a framework that requires it. If you can’t do it (which you can’t), then all you have done is express your opinion about the matter based on your religious predisposition. What you are calling “self-evident” does not even gibe with naturalistic concepts. You must be able to account for everything using natural means. I am not the one rejecting logic. You are the one who is not able to follow (or even account for) your own logical approach. Nothing you are saying makes any sense based on your own foundational beliefs. You can continue to play Nihilist in the fantasy world you are living in, but that point of view simply does not correspond with reality.

The nihilistic Potato
Now i understand why you are so hangup to your wordwiev thingy. I visited your website and that is nothing but sophistry about your imagenary concept of wordview. You stole all your material from Calvinist like Bahnsen, Clark and Van Til and you cant even argue for that position coherently! There are couple of books that you need to read if you don’t want to appear to be complete ignoramus. like;
Van Til’s Apologetic by Greg L. Bahnsen and Bahnsen (Jul 1, 1998)
Theonomy in Christian Ethics by Greg L. Bahnsen (Jan 1, 2002)
House Divided: The Break-up of Dispensational Theology by Greg L. Bahnsen and Kenneth L. Gentry Jr. (1997)

Don’t read Clark. He’s an idiot.

You should take example from Catholics. They are knows for their intellectual and spiritual endeavor to understand God. Summa Theologica is awesome. There’s some good arguments in there. I have read the first part of Summa. And next in my quest to understand Christianity is to read Augustine’s City of God. But I’m not sure should I read Confessions or City of God first.

Freddy Davis
Oh? And where did you steal your ideas from? I suppose you thought them all up yourself?

First of all, I continue to wonder if you even read what I write. Did I not say specifically that I do not follow Bahnsen’s theology? Yes I did. (BTW: I am also not a dispensationalist). Your characterization of what I believe is so off base that I don’t even recognize it. If you don’t want to appear to be a complete ignoramus, perhaps you ought to understand what it is you are criticizing before you speak.

Second, the fact that other people have used worldview concepts has nothing to do with the rightness or wrongness of it. You have criticized something without any justification at all. You call worldview concepts imaginary based on what? What is imaginary is your belief that you understand what it is all about.

Also, I am not Roman Catholic and have some very serious problems with Roman Catholic theology. There are numerous places where their theology is made up out of whole cloth just as yours appears to be.

Again, you have absolutely no room to criticize my beliefs until you can justify yours. How do you know that what you believe is true? You don’t and you can’t. All you have told me is that what you believe is true just because you believe it. No intelligent person would ever buy that.

The nihilistic Potato
Dispensationalist. Yeah, they are known for habits of altering evangelic doctrine. But you Baptists too embrace heretical theology so easily. Now you really need to justify your revelation first at hand.

So you belief that God has revealed you true knowledge, right? But what is the justification for your belief?

Freddy Davis
I’m sorry, Potato. I don’t need to justify anything to you. You obviously don’t know anything about worldview, about Baptists or even about the beliefs you claim for your own. Until you can demonstrate the validity of your beliefs, nothing you say has any meaning. In spite of the fact that I have given you every opportunity, you continue to do nothing but troll.

The nihilistic Potato
Ok, i admit that I only took quick wikipedia search what dispensationalism means. And that’s ok, since why should i take your beliefs seriously if you don’t justify them? Nobody has to give them any serious thought if they are nothing more than fairy tales for children.

I’m only interested in truth. And apparently you are lacking of it.

The nihilistic Potato
Yeah. I think its better we stop.

Freddy Davis
I think your entire understanding of the topic at hand has come from Wikipedia. And actually, I don’t expect you to take my beliefs seriously. It is very difficult to be serious about things you don’t understand. Your statement about fairy tales for children is a perfect case in point. How can you possibly know that my beliefs are a fairy tale if you don’t even understand how to evaluate for truth. The problem is, you don’t even know how to evaluate for truth based on your own beliefs, much less my beliefs, which you obviously know nothing about. Once again, you have answered as a troll.

The nihilistic Potato
Sure! I love you too! Take care =)

Freddy Davis
No need to worry about me. I know what I believe and why. I hope someday you will figure out yours. Peace out.

© 2014 Freddy Davis

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