For our philosophically inclined readers who are interested in divine aseity and Platonism, here's a great little philosophical exercise: Where does this review by Ed Feser go wrong? (Hint: do I hold that mathematical truth is conventional? Why think I should?)
End quote. Bill evidently thinks I have misunderstood him. However, it seems he has misunderstood me. I neither said nor implied in my review that Bill is a conventionalist about mathematics. What I did say – and I put great emphasis on the point and developed it at some length – is that his position is in danger of collapsing into a kind of divine voluntarism about mathematics. It isn’t human convention, but divine arbitrary stipulation, that seems in his view to be the foundation of mathematical truth.
Mind you, I also made it clear that I don’t think Bill wants to end up with such a voluntarist position either. But I think his view inadvertently opens the door to voluntarism, for reasons I spell out in the review. I also explain why I think this is a problem.
As near as I can tell, Bill’s misunderstanding is based on a line in the review where I say: “For the Aristotelian, the Platonist is correct to regard mathematics as a description of objective reality rather than as mere linguistic convention.”
But it would be a mistake to infer from that line that I think that Bill takes a conventionalist view about mathematics. Again, I didn’t think that and I wasn’t saying that. First, the context in which that remark occurs is a general explanation of what an Aristotelian approach to mathematics involves and how it contrasts with the best-known alternative positions. The line in question wasn’t meant to contrast the Aristotelian position with Bill’s views, specifically, but rather to contrast it with the best-known versions of anti-realism.
Second, I now see that what I originally wrote had been slightly altered by the copy editor in a way that, unfortunately, I overlooked when I went over the proofs. In my original draft, the sentence in question ended: “…a description of objective reality rather than mere linguistic convention or the like.” Those last three words were intended to indicate that convention is not the only thing an anti-realist might regard as the ground of mathematical truth. (And I had already made it clear earlier in the review that anti-realism comes in many versions.)
Unfortunately, the copy editor apparently thought those three words otiose and removed them, and, again, I failed to notice the change when reviewing the proofs. (I’m not blaming the copy editor, but myself. These things happen, and copy editors have saved me from many infelicities over the years!)
Anyway, as I say, the rest of the review makes it clear that it is the threat of voluntarism that is the problem. I also point out that there are two serious lacunae in Bill’s discussion: first, too superficial a treatment of the Aristotelian realist approach to mathematics; and, second, a failure to consider how absolutely central the doctrine of divine simplicity is to the way the classical theist tradition understands both divine aseity and divine conceptualism.
These three issues – voluntarism, Aristotelian realism, and divine simplicity – are the ones my critique of Bill’s position hinges on. It has nothing to do with conventionalism.
By the way, as I hope my review also made clear, none of this should keep anyone from reading Bill’s book. On the contrary, anyone interested in these issues ought to read it. You will always profit from reading and engaging with Bill’s work, even when you end up disagreeing with him.
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on mathematical Platonism says in sections 1.3 and 1.4 that some philosophers distinguish between two forms of realism about math, "object realism" (which they say is necessary for what they mean by 'mathematical Platonism') and "truth-value realism". So I wonder if when Craig suggests fictionalism is an option for the theist, he would still say the fictionalist must accept a form of truth-value realism where given a particular axiomatic system like the Peano axioms for arithmetic, there is still a unique truth about which statements are correct (2+2=4) and which are not (2+2=5) within that specific system. This would be analogous to the way a fictionalist might say there are certain truths about Sherlock Holmes given that we take all the Doyle stories as canon, though we are free to consider what would be true given a different choice of canon (just as we might consider different possible axiomatic systems in math, like Euclidean vs. non-Euclidean geometry).ReplyDelete
Note that once you have chosen some axioms in the language of first-order logic, any mathematical deductions from them are purely logical ones treating the axioms as premises, and Craig does seem to agree that God cannot change the laws of logic in the piece at this article, where he says that "the necessary truths of logic (and perhaps math) just are representations of the way God's mind essentially thinks". It's not even clear to me that there is any clear distinction between this form of truth-value realism and object realism within the context of a divine conceptualist philosophy that sees mathematical "objects" as ideas in the mind of God rather than distinct substances.
"Note that once you have chosen some axioms in the language of first-order logic, any mathematical deductions from them are purely logical ones treating the axioms as premises,"
Ok, so in that case the truth value of mathematical statements would be by human convention, the convention of humans having chosen axioms.
In the OP Dr. Feser states " his position is in danger of collapsing into a kind of divine voluntarism about mathematics. It isn’t human convention, but divine arbitrary stipulation, that seems in his view to be the foundation of mathematical truth."
So, rather than the human convention of choosing axioms Dr. Feser seems to consider it would be a problem that god might arbitrarily choose those axioms.
In that case, if god does not choose the axioms of logic it would seem logical truths are in some sense ontologically prior to god.
But how can anything be ontologically prior to god? In that case, why call him god?
That God doesn't choose axioms of logic doesn't imply that those axioms are prior to God; it may well be (and I think this is precisely our claim given Divine Aseity) that those axioms are stated from the Divine Nature in a way similar to how the transcendentals (Good, Truth, Being) are stated of/from God. That a thing cannot be and not be at the same time and in the same way is already contained in what it means to be; to state it as an axiom doesn't imply a rule that exists separately from existence as such, except in the mind.Delete
Please be advised that SP is a troll. Please don't feed him.Delete
Ok, I agree that I presented a dichotomy of arguments when there are in fact other arguments in circulation.
It seems you are suggesting that logic is a nature of god, like good, truth, being.
But how is god's nature not ontologically prior to god? Since god did not create himself, and god has always been as god is, and god did not choose his natures, then his natures must be ontologically prior to god.
Thus, god is not omnipotent in the fullest sense, rather, god can only do the things god is able to do within the bounds of his nature which he did not create, nor can he choose, nor can he change.
In that case, it seems to me, that god's nature calls for a source, perhaps god's god, leading to an infinite regress of gods.
Thus, the assertion of god solves no logical problem, and only leads to another sort of infinite regress.
Further, you equate, in some sense, the principle of non contradiction, good, being, and existence. Yet good is a highly variable value judgement. How can good be as fundamental a nature as the principle of non-contradiction?
Also, how can a being, a single being, have and express so many very different aspects such as logical axioms, good, truth, and being, yet be absolutely simple?
Supposing God is identical to each one of those aspects of god, then those aspects are identical to each other, thus a logical contradiction arises.
Are Logic, Good, Truth, Being identical to each other? How is that at all coherent?
Logic is just a subset of truth. They are necessarily true statements.Delete
"Further, you equate, in some sense, the principle of non contradiction, good, being, and existence."
I love how you left out truth in this statement. Of course we can equate the principle of non-contradiction with Truth, because it is true. It is one participation in the transcendental Truth, which is God.
"But how is god's nature not ontologically prior to god? Since god did not create himself, and god has always been as god is, and god did not choose his natures, then his natures must be ontologically prior to god."
Could you give an argument for that? You are begging the question when you make such a claim, as a Thomist would argue that there is one nature in God, which is Himself (not natures). We don't have a voluntaristic conception of God, though you seem to assume one when you say that if God did not choose his nature it is ontologically prior to him. To repeat a point that has been made countlessly many times on this blog, God just is Being, Truth, and Goodness. It is no mystery that this is coherent, as they are all subsumed under the genus of being: Being simpliciter, Being actualized intentionally in an intellect, and Being actualized in fulfillment of a thing's ends.
Though you claim to point out a logical contradiction in your final paragraph, you have not. You simply resort to a question-begging, incredulously-staring, philosophically insubstantial rhetorical question.
“I love how you left out truth in this statement. Of course we can equate… (of “Further, you equate, in some sense, the principle of non contradiction, good, being, and existence”-Christian).
To “equate” does not mean to find a common aspect, rather it means that all aspects are identical.
To find a similar aspect among items that are otherwise dissimilar is not to equate those items, rather, it merely identifies those aspects of those items that are in that respect equivalent.
If god is identical to the principle of non-contradiction, and god is identical to good, and god is identical to being, and god is identical to existence then the principle of non-contradiction, good, being, and existence are all identical to each other, which is incoherent.
“Could you give an argument for that?” (that god’s natures are ontologically prior to god on the Christian assertions provided).
I just did. To restate, since god did not choose his natures, nor can he change them those natures simply are the way they are independent of any will or action powers upon his natures, because god has none. Yet god is dependant on those natures to be as he is, to do what he does, to will what he does, to act as he does. He can only act in accordance with his natures, but he cannot act against or change or choose or alter his natures, so clearly his natures are ontologically prior to him.
“a Thomist would argue that there is one nature in God”
Incoherent. That would mean that logic, good, being, existence, and all the rest are all identical to each other.
“God just is Being, Truth, and Goodness. It is no mystery that this is coherent, as they are all subsumed under the genus of being: Being simpliciter, Being actualized intentionally in an intellect, and Being actualized in fulfillment of a thing's ends.”
That statement takes the form
“The following is not incoherent”
(Incoherent statement set)
What is it that is existing in existence itself?
Absolutely nothing at all? Then in what sense does absolutely nothing at all have an existence?
Something? Then the existence is not of itself, rather, of that something.
The term “existence itself” is clearly incoherent.
“an intellect” of a perfectly simple being.
Incoherent. As are many of your statements.
You claim complexity is simple. What sense does that make?
See not even bill craig made a meal out of the contrastive PSR slip of the tongue.ReplyDelete
I see a debate in the works between Feser and Craig.ReplyDelete
(Hint: do I hold that mathematical truth is conventional? Why think I should?)ReplyDelete
Is it just me, or is this comment irritatingly badly presented? The "Why think I should" seems to call for a "not" in the prior sentence, like this: 'I do not think mathematical truth is conventional'. And similarly, Dr. Feser's response seems (in my ears, at least) to operate on the belief that Craig does say "not":
I neither said nor implied in my review that Bill is a conventionalist about mathematics.
That comment, too, works if Craig had said "not" and poorly otherwise.
Am I just missing the whole point?
I don't feel the need for the 'not'. The first question indicates that Craig himself thinks the answer is no; the second is suggesting that it hasn't been adequately argued that he is committed otherwise.Delete
What I found odd about the comment was that he asked his readers to find out what's wrong with the review as an exercise and then told them the answer. But it's just social media.
I would really enjoy a debate between Feser and Craig on abstract objects.ReplyDelete
If they ever debate, the first topic should be divine simplicity. Everything in Thomism flows from that.Delete
I don't know. Divine Simplicity is important, but it's not like you have to accept it in order to have a broadly thomistic metaphysics.Delete
Realism about abstract objects doesn't immediately require divine simplicity. Neither does hylemorphism. And a lot of other things.
While a debate on Divine Simplicity would be very interesting, I think a debate about abstract objects would be better, at least at first. Even because the idea of God as real ground of real abstracta is something that can contribute to a case for Divine Simplicity. And more things hinge on realism about abstracta, even in the philosophy of religion: while DS is an intramural debate among theists, realism about abstracta contributes to the case for theism against atheism.
I don't agree. You can't call yerself a Classic Theist in any sense without divine simplicity. Pure Act in principle cannot contain any real physical or metaphysical distinctions. Without divine simplicity Thomism breaks dowDelete
Well Thomism=/=Classical Theism, you can be the latter without being the former (I wouldn't call myself a Thomist). Although I am inclined to agree with you, it has to be noted that CT doesn't require the strong simplicity Thomism argues for (e.g. Leftows work still falls under the umbrella of CT) and there is a reasonable debate of what pure actuality actually entails. The recent SES discussion on divine simplicity with two Thomists and Stephen Davis and WLC has been a fantastic resource and especially Davis has interesting points.Delete
Btw if we take Simplicity as the main issue, WLC counts as Classical Theist, because he uses van Inwagens argument to deny the existence of any composite objects.
Except that Craig specifically rejects divine simplicity and insists that there is a real essence/existence distinction in God. Moreover, he also avers that God is not identical with His properties. Sorry, but that doesn't wash.
@Bill...I should have replaced the word "properties" with "attributes."Delete
I agree with Bill. Divine Simplicity means God can't contain in his essence any real physical or metaphysical distinctions. Strong Simplicity might suggest God can contain absolutely no real distinctions of any kind (which would negate the doctrine of the Trinity which allows for mysterious real distinctions of subsisting divine relations but that is outside of natural theology) but at minimum God cannot have real physical and or real metaphysical distinction contained in the divine essence.Delete
I don't think Craig counts at all as a Classical Theist. At best his theistic personalism might lean more toward the classic but his denial of divine simplicity renders it impossible he be considered one.
I wonder if the doctrine of the trinity does require a kind of theistic personalism. If there are three divine persons, then doesn't that give god a personal nature?Delete
God IS personal in Christianity. Personhood is a perfection and, as the source of it, God also has it, eminently. "Theistic personalism" is a bad label; the idea it is criticizing is that so-called "personalists" make God too much like a person exactly like us when there should be subtler distinctions. "Classical theists" are correct on this point, but "personalism" is a terrible label, as it makes it seem as if classical theists do not believe God is personal, when in fact God must (at the very least) have as much personhood as any personal creature He creates.Delete
In any case, the dispute between "classical theism" versus "theistic personalism" is overblown. It is mostly a matter of having an adequate understanding of the divine nature, but for all practical purposes it's all theism at the end of the day. And there are different versions of DS, anyway - the scotist version, for instance, holds that there are formal distinctions between God's attributes.
I mean no offense to anyone (truly I don't) but it is not an overstatement to say that this is just another example of how Nominalism poisons everything. Feser's argument in both the review and the response to Craig just plainly makes sense; it's just obvious. Craig cannot, however, accept it because doing so would ultimately undercut everything distinctive of Protestant Christianity: forensic justification; the capricious will of God as a result of His Sovereignty; symbolic "sacraments"; a God who is stuck in a book and can't get out (Sola Scriptura); Calvinist regeneration alone (though they, of course, don't say it that way); and much more.ReplyDelete
I've spent decades on these subjects and expended mental energy until it's painful just to see if I'm wrong and there really is an argument that justifies it all. But there is not. I cannot understand--and I guess I never will--why it is that someone as bright as Craig would sacrifice his sanity to maintain what, for lack of any better explination, is merely an emotional prejudice.
Certainly I'm not infallible, but if I am wrong it is not due to an unwillingness to suffer the intellectual pain of truly seeking to understand rather than dismiss one's opponents, for I have certainly paid that price.
I don't think nominalism is a requirement for Protestantism. A lot of protestant philosophers and theologians have been realists. What is your argument for how Protestantism hinges on nominalism?Delete
"I've spent decades on these subjects and expended mental energy until it's painful just to see if I'm wrong and there really is an argument that justifies it all."
Oh, there are arguments on both sides of the classical versus personalist god debate, just not sound arguments to truly justify either position.
Craig will correctly point out how Feser is making an unsound argument in some regard, and then Feser will correctly point out how Craig is making an unsound argument in some other regard.
Both men are correct that the other is arguing unsoundly.
It is true that Craig is stuck in a book and can't get out, sola scriptura making the bible a source of inevitably incoherent arguments due to the large set of mutually exclusive traits attributed to god in the bible.
Feser has the advantage of being able to reason from what is manifest and evident to the senses but has his own books from which he cannot get out, those of Aristotle and Aquinas, both of whom made profound and obvious mistakes that Dr. Feser seems to find impossible to recognize.
For example, in reviewing Craig Dr. Feser said "For example, there are actual triangles in the physical world". Of course, this is wrong, there are no actual triangles in the physical world. No actual object in the real world meets the definition of a triangle.
In this OP Dr. Feser is concerned that Craig, even though he does not hold that mathematics is by human convention (of choosing axioms), is at risk of asserting that god instead chooses those axioms.
Thus, Dr. Feser has painted himself into a version of the Euthyphro dilemma.
Are the axioms of logic true because god chooses them, or does god choose them because they are true?
There might seem to be a couple ways to call this a false dilemma.
Perhaps god does not choose the axioms of logic at all, rather the axioms are true independently of god and are a feature of the nature of reality. But in that case, why call him god? If aspects of the universe can be true without the need of a god to make them true then god is not necessary for all aspects of the universe.
In the original Euthyphro dilemma the subject was piety, or what Craig now calls the good. Craig attempts to invalidate the dilemma by using the incoherent assertion that god simply is the good.
Craig, however, elsewhere recognizes the Thomistic assertion that the essence and existence of god being identical is incoherent. But Craig fails to recognize that his assertion that the good is identical to god is equally incoherent.
Dr. Feser, on the other hand, makes a host of incoherent assertions while recognizing none of them as such. Thomisim is the epitome of using incoherent combinatorial terms as faux solutions to logical problems encountered in regression analysis.
To assert that the axioms of logic are identical to god is incoherent. What would that even mean? How is it that so many aspects of god are all identical to god yet god is somehow absolutely simple? Utterly incoherent, totally lacking in any sensibility whatever.
I’d say you’re right in a sense. To quote Chesterton from The Dumb Ox: “The Protestant theology of Martin Luther was a thing that no modern Protestant would be seen dead in a field with . . .”
It’s a large subject and can hardly be expounded in a comm box, but some years ago I was asked to give a talk on Chesterton’s comments about Luther in the above work. My thesis was how forensic justification is a result of Nominalist denial of universals. On the face of it, it seems intuitive: what is "Divine life" in terms of justification, but a universal? The contradiction is immediately seen when Luther (and subsequent Protestantism) simultaneously said that Divine “indwelling” occurs in sanctification which happens concurrently with justification. What is one to make of the insistence that one is merely declared but not made righteous, along side the claim that one is made righteous, it’s just that you must use a different word?
But the influence of Nominalism on Protestantism is hardly my unique discovery. The influence of the Via Moderna--particularly Gabriel Biel and his student (whose name I can’t remember right now) who was Luther’s professor at Erfurt is of historical record. (hopefully I'm remembering this right)
My bibliography included the following:
Louis Boyer, The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism
Heiko Oberman, The Dawn of the Reformation, and The Harvest of Medieval Theology
Fredrick Coppleston’s history of philosophy
Alister McGrath, Iustitia Dei (I love this work but, good grief, the single volume is enough!)
Richard Marius, Martin Luther: Man Between God and the Devil
All of the above make the case in varying ways.
I'm far from an expert on Protestant theology, so maybe you're on to something with respect to the idea of forensic justification and the like. But still it seems like a huge stretch to suggest Protestantism stands or falls with nominalism. Many Protestants have been realists.Delete
Also, I always thought that Protestantism could be more broadly conceived as a rejection of the Church's authority and rituals, and that a lot of Protestants wouldn't care much for these theological details. Though a large part of them indeed seem almost obsessed with some very technical issues (works vs faith, etc).
I don't think Craig is motivated by any desire to maintain traditional Protestant views, in any case. I think he really is just failing to see the problem with his position. I find it weird too since realism is a position I think is very, very strong. But sometimes people just don't see these things, weirdly enough.
". I think he really is just failing to see the problem with his position."
You are correct. Craig fails to see the problem with with his position.
You might not be aware the same is true of Feser, that he fails to see the problem with his position.
The problem is that for both Craig and Feser their sources, premises, and methodologies inevitably lead to incoherent or simply ad hoc assertions.
Identifying the errors in the arguments of both Craig and Feser is actually not very difficult, once you realize that in spite of their education and long experienced studies in their fields they still fail to see the problems with their positions.
Fair enough. I appreciate your thoughtful commentary on this forum.
I'm just saying that the fingerprint of Nominalism is found throughout Protestant theology, not that Craig (or Protestants in general) are consciously advocating for it. I'd say the historical evidence is very strong, but, of course, there is not going to be some smoking gun argument when the subject is someone's psychological motives.
Examples can be mulitplied: Why is God stuck in a book (Sola Scriptura)? If the Holy Spirit is active in the Church/Community/whatever, how is the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church not authoritative? Now I know all this is arguable, but that's the gist of it. A full examination would require more than brief comments.
Certainly Luther sided with Occam, Biel, and the Via Moderna on the issue of the sovereignty of God being such that He can do anything he wants (make square circles, command that evil is good, etc) and this is not compatible with Realism.
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
@TN: very interesting on nominalism as an influence on the Reformed doctrine of forensic, imputed righteousness.Delete
This may have been only a typo, but I point out that the author of The Spirit and Forms of Protestantism was Louis Bouyer, not Boyer. A convert from Lutheranism, Bouyer preached and celebrated mass at my parish once.
You are correct. I wrote all that from memory, so I wonder how many other things I messed up.
Incidentally, on page 48 of Feser's "Scolastic Metaphysics: A Contempory Introduction", there is a quote from Occam about effects following from a direct act of God apart from anything inherent in any secondary cause, which is a very apt description of Luther's theology of forensic justice where the sinner is not really inherently just, but only proclaimed so by a direct act of God. This is a very clear example of Lutheran Nominalism I just thought I'd mention.
This seems of a piece with Craig's favouring of divine command ethics.ReplyDelete
While Craig is a worthy conversation partner for the professional philosopher, he's pretty flawed as the public face of Christian apologetics (which he has become). There's just too much eccentricity to his philosophical positions: denying divine simplicity, taking the Kalam as the strongest argument for God's existence, divine command ethics, anti-realism in mathematics.
I should add that I really admire Craig's work on the resurrection.Delete
There's nothing wrong with taking the Kalam to be the strongest argument. I think the Leibnizian argument is the strongest, but thomists should be weary of giving way too much room for atheists (time having a beginning is actually more plausible than the view that it is eternal, why act as if we're on equal playing fields here?), especially since Aristotle's and Aquinas's arguments against the Kalam were very weak. Philoponus, Saint Bonaventure, etc. were right. Oderberg is a very serious thomist and also a great defender of the Kalam argument.Delete
And in any case, "strongest argument" will vary from person to person, it depends on what positions one finds more plausible.
"giving way too much room for atheists (time having a beginning is actually more plausible than the view that it is eternal, why act as if we're on equal playing fields here?), "
How does that follow givin that the Thomistic argument for a first mover is a present moment argument?
The Kalam simply posits a hypothetical unknown (god) as a substitute for another unknown (the origin of existence in the deep past).
"And in any case, "strongest argument" will vary from person to person, it depends on what positions one finds more plausible."
Indeed, no solution has been found to the riddle of the origin of existence in the deep past. No philosopher, theologian, scientist, or mathematician has demonstrably solved this ancient riddle.
Thomism, however, is demonstrably false because its arguments contain demonstrably false premises and demonstrably invalid reasoning.
Craig recognized the fact that Thomism is demonstrably incoherent, so he has retreated to that ever receding corner of scientific ignorance. What caused the big bang, and if the answer is the multiverse then what caused the multiverse? All attempts to answer this question lead to an irrational assertion of some sort, so Craig just postulates a super duper being that is somehow able to defy these irrationalities.
Thomism is demonstrably false because its primary argument (literally the First Way) depends on the Aristotelian notion that all sublunary motion is in an impeding medium such that objects will slow and stop and their motion will be lost absent an external mover.
In truth all motion is in space, which is not an impeding medium, rather, lossless. Motion is never lost, rather, motion is perfectly preserved by being transferred or transformed in net lossless mutual interactions between material in motion. Thus there is no need for a first mover to account for observed motion because motion is net perpetual.
Objects do in fact move themselves (examples abound) because at base submicroscopic material objects move each other, terminating the regress finitely.
Since the First Way is so easily shown to contain false premises and invalid logic Craig does what theists do, move his argument to a zone of remaining scientific ignorance and then declare ad hoc that a speculated being can somehow do what otherwise seems impossible, be an actual infinite.
Personally, I never use the Kalam. Every Internet Atheist thinks that Krauss and Hawking have shown (or at least could in principle) that the universe didn't have a beginning so then you have to go through all the effort to show otherwise. In that sense it's not the "strongest".Delete
The "Aristotelian proof" is much better in a practical sense IMO. It's logically air tight, but you have all the work of getting the Dawkins worshipper to understand that you're talking about an ontological heirarchy and not a chronological series. If you can get that far, then they will likely claim that quantum mechanics dismantles causality and then you have to go through all that.
The most efficient approach IMO is to point out the determinacy problem for Naturalism: If everything is a chemical reaction, then why can't 2+2=5, or why is it "wrong" for some brain chemicals to believe in an "imaginary friend"? But, it invariably takes forever to get them to understand what's being said. I guess it's because they're used to thinking that shallow quips and acerbic wit are all that's needed to win the day.
" Every Internet Atheist thinks that Krauss and Hawking have shown (or at least could in principle) that the universe didn't have a beginning"
Actually Krauss deceitfully passed off an equivocation to sell books on the nonsense of something from nothing. Hawking naively and irrationally misused GR where it is known to break down to claim time began at the big bang, which others then absurdly used to assert asking what caused the big bang is an invalid question.
"The "Aristotelian proof" is much better in a practical sense IMO. It's logically air tight,"
Aristotle made the mistake of asserting that all sublunary motion is in an impeding medium such that objects will slow and stop and their motion will be lost.
Aquinas used that false premise to reason that therefore any observed motion is due to something else moving that object.
In fact all motion is in space, which is a lossless medium. Motion is never lost, rather only transferred and transformed in net lossless perpetual interactions of material, eliminating the necessity for an unmoved mover.
Aquinas used the false premise that objects do not move themselves, obviously wrong, just hold your breath and move yourself. The stars move themselves. Clocks, battery cars, and on and on all move themselves.
The reason macro objects move themselves is that submicroscopic objects move each other, finitely terminating the present moment regress of movers.
Thus the dichotomy between an infinite regress of movers and an unmoved mover is false, there being a third option, mutual motion, which is how the "laws" of physics are formulated.
Since the First Way uses false premises and invalid logic it fails, and with it the foundation of AT collapses.
"they will likely claim that quantum mechanics dismantles causality and then you have to go through all that."
Agreed. Grod commented on this recently as have I. Bell showed that local determinism is ruled out, except maybe some loopholes. So we still have the possibility of non-local causality or maybe some loophole will be demonstrated. Thus, the PSR still holds, mandating determinism, ruling out free will, another problem for AT.
" If everything is a chemical reaction, then why can't 2+2=5,"
Non-sequitur. Math is an abstraction based on the axioms of logic. Chemical reactions are irrelevant.
"why is it "wrong" for some brain chemicals to believe in an "imaginary friend"?"
You can believe whatever you want. But if you agree by convention to follow certain axioms of logic and reasoning processes then that forms an objective standard, which is not the same thing as an objective truth, rather a means to determine truth conditioned on the asserted validity of the axioms.
On that basis all arguments, in general circulation, for god fail.
" But, it invariably takes forever to get them to understand what's being said."
False, since I understood every word you said immediately.
I have already used clear logic to discount your assertions.
Are you able to use logical argumentation in return?
My logical conclusion, deduced through careful syllogistic reasoning...is that you are a moronic troll, who's high school freshman-level grasp of physics is only slightly better than your superficial and spotty understanding of A-T philosophy, principles and underlying metaphysical concepts.
"you are a moronic troll, who's high school freshman-level grasp of physics"
Can you point out something about physics I got wrong?
You do realize, don't you, that all motion is in space, you are in space right now?
There is no dividing line between the surface of the Earth and interplanetary space, your realize that, correct?
Are you familiar with the fact that Aristotle considered sublunary motion to be in a medium such that an object in motion would slow and stop absent an external mover and its motion would thus be lost?
Whereas, that is not true of space, rather, motion is not slowed by space, and thus motion is never lost, rather, motion is only transferred from object to object when they interact, or transformed into some other form of energy?
Is there some part of the above you assert I have wrong specifically?
Now, if Aristotle had been correct then the First Way would make sense, and we could reason from observed motion of objects to a first mover who is continuously nudging things along lest everything grind to a halt.
But Aristotle was wrong, you do know that, don't you? Yes, we observe motion, and nobody knows how or why it is that everything in the universe was in motion in the deep past. But the reason everything continues to be in motion is simply that there is nothing to stop the motion of objects.
Think about it, if motion were somehow lost where would it go? Hence, motion is never lost because it can't go anywhere else, rather, it is trapped in our universe.
A lesser known fact of Aristotle is that he understood that unimpeded motion is not a reduction from potentiality to actuality, it is not a change, and it is perpetual. He said as much in his Physics Book IV
But in a void none of these things can take place, nor can anything be moved save as that which is carried is moved. Further, no one could say why a thing once set in motion should stop anywhere; for why should it stop here rather than here? So that a thing will either be at rest or must be moved ad infinitum, unless something more powerful gets in its way.
Unfortunately, Aristotle failed to expand upon the great insights of his predecessors the Greek Atomists, who provided us with the stunningly prescient model that everything is composed of atoms moving in the void.
Instead, Aristotle made the mistake of believing that all sublunary motion is in a medium such that it's motion would be lost absent a First Mover.
Aristotle understood that motion unimpeded will simply continue ad infinitum.
Space does not impede motion, therefore the present motion of all that is in the universe continues ad infinitum, eliminating the necessity of a First Mover.
The First Way fails because Aristotle failed and Aquinas copied that failure.
"Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another"
But Aristotle said an object in motion, unimpeded, would move ad infinitum.
The mistake both men made is thinking sublunary motion is somehow impeded and lost in a perceived but false impeding medium.
In truth, all motion is in space, which does not impede motion, and thus the First Way fails as an argument for the necessity of a First Mover.
Per Feser's request, please don't feed trolls. Just ignore them. The troll in question has been banned by Feser. Any decent human being (which Stardust is not) would leave when told he was not welcome. The fact that he continues to post here demonstrates what a lowlife he is.
"The fact that he continues to post here demonstrates what a lowlife he is."
Apparently you and I have differing value systems.
Clearly, I value sound rational arguments.
You value wild personal attacks containing no rational arguments whatever.
You said I have a "high school freshman-level grasp of physics".
Above I made several assertions above wrt physics. Can you point out any errors on the merits in my actual words?
I have found that in general the more insulting a person becomes the weaker the arguments the person is capable of, but that is just a general trend I have observed over time.
It might be the case that you both make use of the ad hominem and also are capable of making actual rational arguments.
Can you make as argument, on the merits, against my assertion that all motion is in space, and you are in space?
What do you guys think of this response to Dr. Feser? https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MI2nGrQIQqacONg7IPbpUoBrezo3STibtQKbG96Owco/edit?usp=sharingReplyDelete
It is not from Dr. Craig, but a defense of his view. A quote from Craig that is on the reply:
"We can still affirm the truth of predications involving singular terms for things like numbers and properties, for example, ‘2 + 2 = 4’ and ‘Wisdom is exemplified by Socrates’, without implying ‘There is something which is identical to 4’ or ‘There is something which is exemplified by Socrates’, since in free logic the rules of Existential Generalization and Universal Instantiation apply only to things of which metaphysically heavyweight existence has been truly predicated, and we have not agreed or asserted that 2 + 2 exists or that Wisdom exists. Thus, one need not with the fictionalist deny the truth of such predications"
Even if wrong(as i believe he is here), Craig is no divine voluntarist, he believes that things like mathematical or logical truths are necessary, but does not believe this forces us to believe in abstract objects of any kind.
I wrote the response. Where do you think Craig goes wrong?Delete
Actually, Craig view on the idea of ontological commitment seems plausive to me. The idea that language is not literal enough to Indispensability Arguments to work, makes sense even if i feel there is something wrong.
Craig is still wrong in being a anti-realist about universals, i do believe things have natures or essences, picking personally Thomistic Realism(a bit like Aristotle + Divine Conceptualism). Craig does not believe in the existence of these* and so is wrong, but i don't believe his view on the ontology implicity in language is necessarily wrong.
*i mean, if you do believe in natures or essences, Craig Moral Argument and critique of the lack of values on Atheism just fails
Thanks, Talmid. What reason might you give for thinking that "natures" and "essences" exist as objects rather than just true descriptions? Also, could you elaborate on why you think Craig's moral argument does not work if one rejects the existence of natures and essences?Delete
And I would just note that Craig thinks one can make objectively true statements which use universals as objects even if one rejects the existence of universals as objects that exist "out there."
"Nature" and "essence" are the same, the formal cause of a thing on diferent words. For me, the best argument to the existence of formal casuality probably is that a denial of it would make the existence of different material things ilusory. If, like a metaphysical naturalist, you deny that forms or essences exist, is hard to see how exactly the material world is not just a bunch of particles moved by... something.
If there is no formal casuality, them there is no diference between a rock, a cat, a bottle etc. They would just be particles moving and nothing else, as a more clever naturalist like Alex Rosenberg defends. If you do believe that the particles of say, a banana, are truly the parts of a thing, them the particles on this arrangement does have something different that the others: they are part of a thing(the banana) and not your average floating particles.
The only way to explain our experience if you deny formal casuality would be to defend a kantian view where the mind gives the raw data the order and variety we see. Not only we have no reason to believe in that but a kantian view would force Dr. Craig to worry more about Kant denial of the possibility of knowledgment of the Noumena(not that he care, since Craig correctly reject Kant idea of antinomies: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/the-limits-of-reason/)
Other big problem is that on this view the soul can only be a efficient cause of the moviment of the body(since formal casuality like in Hylomorphic Dualism is out), getting you stuck with Substance Dualism, a view i think just can't work.
I'am just assuming Aristotelian Realism, where the natures are in things and in minds. I do believe, like Aquinas, that the universals exist in God(exist in a way, since He is simple), but i need to find a way to argue to this conclusion(mostly to find a way to save the Augustinian Proof).
"Also, could you elaborate on why you think Craig's moral argument does not work if one rejects the existence of natures and essences?"
On the contrary, Craig argument only works if you don't believe in objective natures. That is what i said before:
"if you do believe in natures or essences, Craig Moral Argument and critique of the lack of values on Atheism just fails"
Craig argument first premise is something like "if there is no God there are no objective values and duties", if you do believe in some sort of realism about universals, you can get something like natural law and defend that this premise is false. Craig denial of morality and value in atheism only works if the atheist don't believe in formal and final casuality(like most do today).
I have no problem with Craig view on the ontology of language, is just that his anti-realism is false.
""if there is no God there are no objective values and duties""--Craig
I agree with Craig that on atheism there are no objective moral truths, only a sort of herd morality.
"if you do believe in some sort of realism about universals, you can get something like natural law and defend that this premise is false."
I don't see how this is the case. Realism can get you the personal sense of ought that is generally shared by most members of a social species given their broadly similar physiology, hence the herd morality Craig describes rather well, I think.
I don't see how one would get from the orderly progression of submicroscopic material interactions to an absolute moral truth of any kind.
I disagree with Craig on many points, but I agree with him that on atheism there can be no objective morality.
Very thoughtful response, Talmid. I don't think Craig would necessarily reject formal causation. He explains formal causation in several places as "a sort of pattern or information content of the effect." So, for bananas, he would say that the formal cause is God himself, who supplies the information content for the model of bananas. So, it's not the particles being constituent parts that makes a banana a banana. It is a banana because God considers certain patterns of particles to be banana-like according to his model. But notice that one does not need "models" or "patterns" to be existing things in order to make true statements about them.Delete
You mentioned that you didn't think substance dualism can't work. Do you reject it due to the so-called interaction problem or is there another reason?
You also say that natures are "in things and in minds." Do you take natures to be objects or do you take them to be true descriptions of things? The latter seems consistent with Craig's neutralist anti-realism.
Oh, thanks, on my view i writed a lot, but okay.
"It is a banana because God considers certain patterns of particles to be banana-like according to his model."
So it is mind-dependent or not? Is the organization really a feature of the banana or God just look at this bunch of particles and call they a banana?
It seems clear to me that this bunch of particles being a banana and other bunch being my cat are objective features of the universe and not just my or God point of view, so i defend that there are in each bunch of particles a formal cause, a nature, that make a thing what it is, Aristotle Hylomorphism.
So the bunch of particles that we call a banana are what they are because they have a banana form that unites them, the cat the cat form, we the human form etc. This probably sounds strange, but i can't see how there would even exis diferent material objects if there are no objective diferences between diferent bunchs of particles.
"You mentioned that you didn't think substance dualism can't work. Do you reject it due to the so-called interaction problem or is there another reason?"
How interaction would happen is pretty much it. In this view, the body is like a bunch of dominos, where every particle moves another. The soul them would be like someone from outside who hits the dominos, essencially changing the order.
Now, to this to work, the immaterial soul has to generate a force capable of moving the particles or be capable of redirectioning the energy that already exist. Not only would be hard to explain how she can move something being immaterial(this is the less important, since angels exist), how she can change the order of the dominos in a way we can't detect it with modern technology and how exactly this interaction feels so natural to us when it would be like a angel moving objects.
If you pick this dificults and add my problems with the early modern denial of formal and eficient causes, you can see why i think the soul relation to the body is best explained by Hylomorphic Dualism.
"Do you take natures to be objects or do you take them to be true descriptions of things?"
Do you mean objects as like a abstract object? I don't believe abstract objects or platonic forms truly exist. I do believe they exist in things and intellects, but i'am no platonist.
Just correcting a mistake:Delete
"If you pick this dificults and add my problems with the early modern denial of formal and final causes, you can see why i think the soul relation to the body is best explained by Hylomorphic Dualism."
//So it is mind-dependent or not? Is the organization really a feature of the banana or God just look at this bunch of particles and call they a banana?//
Yes, I think Dr. Craig would say that the model is mind-dependent. But that doesn't mean that God could simply consider any arrangement of particles a "banana," since the model may simply be a necessary derivative of God's perfect rationality. Whether or not God chooses to create such things is surely contingent, but perhaps the model itself is not.
To help motivate this intuition, consider that Saul Kripke developed the idea of necessary a posteriori truths, such as the atomic numbers of the elements. Since there are such necessary truths about elements, perhaps there are also such necessary truths about the model of bananas. But on free logic and a deflationary theory of truth, one need not have "natures" as actually existing objects in the mind of God in order to have necessary models of things. Nor does it seem that one needs to reject formal causation, as God himself could serve as the formal cause of the models of all created things rather than "natures."
//How interaction would happen is pretty much it. In this view, the body is like a bunch of dominos, where every particle moves another. The soul them would be like someone from outside who hits the dominos, essencially changing the order.//
Admittedly, I've always found Hylomorphic Dualism difficult to understand. Proponents seem to be saying that the soul is essentially the structure of the body, and that it is this unity of structure or form with body which comprises a human being. But then it seems to me that identity over time is inexplicable, since the loss of a single atom changes the identity of the body and therefore the identity of the total form-body composite. The new composite might still be a human being, but since identity is a necessary relation, it would be an entirely new human being with every change. On substance dualism, the immaterial soul is the seat of enduring identity, not the body. This also seems to make sense of the biblical claim that to be absent the body is to be present with the Lord. Perhaps you can provide some clarity here regarding how hylomorphic dualism handles these issues.
I think we are kinda talking past each other a bit, so sorry because i think i need to be clear snd so this will be long.
"Yes, I think Dr. Craig would say that the model is mind-dependent. But that doesn't mean that God could simply consider any arrangement of particles a "banana," since the model may simply be a necessary derivative of God's perfect rationality. Whether or not God chooses to create such things is surely contingent, but perhaps the model itself is not."
You are saying that God has a sort of model of what a banana is and that this model is necessary like 1 + 1 = 2?
I agree. It seems that we both agree that there are necessary "models" that we and God knows and that we use to classify things. The platonist believe that these things exist in a world different from the material and mental ones, a thing we both reject.
Our disagreement here seems that i think things actually follows these "models". To me, the "models:" do exist on a sort of universal way in our minds(i mean, the concept of triangle you or i have is no way particular) and in a particular way on things. Like, the "model" or form of a banana exist not only on ours or God minds but also in every banana as a sort of part of they.
You seems to believe that we and God have these concepts in our minds but that they are not part of the physical world at all, with the physical world being only a bunch of particles moving with no real order. Dr. Craig seems to believe in this as well, especially seeing his defense of there being no possibility of value of any kind on atheism(a true thing of Naturalism but not of every form of Atheism).
Now, i argue that this point of view entail a sort of Mereological Niilism where there are no physical objects but just a bunch of particles moving and every appearence of real order just come from the way the mind is forced to organize experience by her structure. A world view where we have God, non-physical minds and a bunch of particles: a non-materialism Atomism like in Pierre Gassendi, i guess.
Not only this view has no good reason to be believed but he also makes our experience of the world pretty away from reality, forces us to believe in Substance Dualism(i view i believe is false) and he also makes material things a bit unintelligible, since, like George Berkeley defended, the idea of a separation of primary and secundary qualities on things is hard to make, to say the least.
"Admittedly, I've always found Hylomorphic Dualism difficult to understand"Delete
I understand, ancient philosophy is pretty hard to get at first, even i might make some mistakes here. Since you seems to have problems getting Hylomorphism, i will try to help:
What you think is the form, the structure of the body, is actually a proper accident: it is not the form, but is a caracteristic that "flows" from the form. You can't really "feel" the forms with the senses, so don't try to form mental images much.
First you need to forget a bit our modern concepts and understand what Aristotle meant by matter and form:
Matter: What has the potential to be material things. Prime matter(which can't exist,but who cares) would be matter completely separate from form, pure potentiality.
Form(or "model"): What actualizes that potential and makes the matter be the matter of a thing.
So any material thing you see is a composite of form and matter, cats, bananas, rocks, cells, molecules, quarks etc. Real prime matter can't really exist, every material thing has matter and form.
Now, there are substancial forms(who defines the substance or nature) and accidental forms(accidents on the form). A marble block has the substancial form of marble but his shape or weight are accidents, they can change and the thing still is a bunch of marble, but if the block changes so much that the substancial form changes them that marble is gone and the matter turns into the matter of another thing.
So, on your example our body number of atoms is a accident, they can change a bit and the body remains the same as long as the substancial form remains the same, this being valid of anything. In fact, what we call soul just is a living thing substancial form, no interaction needed.
Now, thomists like me(and probably Aristotle himself) believe that the rational part of the human mind does not needs the body directly, meaning it does not need it after it is gone so the human soul survives death in a deficient way(God help her, so no problem here), but we don' think we need the soul being immaterial to have identity over time, even a material being like a cat or a banana have identity over time as long as the substancial form remains.
I hope this helps you understand Hylomorphism better. I believe it can deal with a lot of philosophical problems.
And a debate between Feser and Craig has to happen! Ther different views in ontological commitment would be a even more interesting subject that Divine Simplicity.ReplyDelete
Speaking of misunderstandings, what do you guys make of this criticism: http://puritanreformed.blogspot.com/2020/03/fesers-failure-in-logic-example-2.html?m=1ReplyDelete
He says that Dr. Feser makes an invalid argument in Aristotle's Revenge, which he glosses as follows:
P1) "If Aristotelianism is true, then there is irreducibility of animal life to vegetative life, and irreducibility of rational life to animal life."
P2) "This irreducibility seems to be true as seen in the failure of modern science to account for the origins of life and rationality
C) Therefore, the traditional Aristotelian position is true.
But it seems to me that in the section he quotes from Feser's book (last paragraph on p. 41), Feser is not making that argument. P1 and P2 seems to be something Feser would affirm, even in that section. But I dont think Feser is making the argument ascribed to him. First, he knows Aristotelianism is not the only nonreductive philosophy out there. In the same paragraph quoted by the critic, he describes materialism as 'quite unlike Aristotelian philosophy', which would seem to imply he would say that philosophies similar to Aristotelianism would not face this problem, not as acutely anyway. Regardless, the presence of irreducibility would at least be evidence in favor of Aristotelianism; so "confirm" would not mean "deductively prove". Further, these remarks are part of a larger book, itself one of many, where he has contended with other more plausible rivals to Aristotelianism.
So P1 would more charitably be taken as: If and only if . . .Delete
That is, assuming Feser is intending a deductive argument there.
One can subscribe to both premises, but the argument is still invalid. Feser doesn't go from those irreducible properties to the truth of Aristotelianism simpliciter, rather he states that Aristotelians expected the inability of the natural sciences to reduce the mentioned properties, and as such aspects of the Aristotelian worldview are vindicated. The page is quite clear though that this example does not confirm Aristotelianism as a whole, so I don't know where he got this strange idea fromDelete
If the argument is not actually made by Dr. Feser then it seems dubious to attribute it to Dr. Feser.
But, supposing P1 is a representative AT assertion.
P2 is false therefore C is not upheld.
In what sense would one expect an animal to be reducible to a plant? Taken literally for an individual living animal that seems absurd.
Taken over billions of years it is reasonable that modern day plants and animals share a common ancestor, assuming abiogenesis occurred only once, or in one way with multiple interacting individual organisms, or in multiple ways with multiple interacting organisms that later merged to form one homogeneous population.
The scientific evidence that plants and animals do share a common ancestor is so overwhelming that denial of it is limited to those who either have not studied the subject or are part of a disrespected fringe.
If abiogenesis happened once or in the same way in multiple organisms then a common ancestor would be expected, and that is what the scientific evidence strongly indicates.
If abiogenesis happened more than once in very different ways, one strain leading to plants only and one strain leading to animals only then P1 has no basis at all.
The further point of P1, the assertion that science cannot account for rationality, is false, and even if it were true C would be a non sequitur on that basis.
To begin to see how science accounts for rationality, mentally line up every extant species with any sort of nervous system, in order of complexity. You will quickly realize that we do not see huge jumps in brain development and information processing capabilities as we consider each species in order. This site can begin to illustrate that point.
Now, suppose we switch our focus from extant species to all species that have ever lived on our line of evolution. Those species are not the same as the extant species on the linked wiki page, but they are analogous.
Creatures very much like a monkey, rat, lizard, fish, etc... are in our evolutionary line.
So, we can see that rationality developed incrementally over billions of years and is in fact easily accounted for scientifically.
Thus, C is not upheld in this argument.
I do not know if you are the Anonymous that keeps telling Stardusty to go away, but if you are, thank you. It keeps us (or I should say, at least me) in line and the combox moderately clean and orderly. There is no reasoning with him and it is now clear that the man has no shame and will continue talking about anything and everything, elbowing its way into any conversation because public forums are a freeferall, even if no one responds him. He has now become an annoyance, like a sore boil, that one wishes away but bears with the best good will one can muster and God's grace grants -- it is a penance, in keeping with the spirit of Lent.
" There is no reasoning with him"
How would you know? You never post actual arguments against my points, and thus you have no demonstrated capacity to do so.
"will continue talking about anything and everything,"
False, my posts are almost entirely in direct reference to the OP on the merits of the arguments of the OP.
Else, I post in direct response to the arguments made by some other poster, again on the merits of the arguments.
You assert that you a Portuguese mathematical physicist, or some similar sort of academic, correct? Perhaps you can find an error in one or all of these statement for the benefit of another poster here who seems to deny them:
All motion is in space.
You are in space.
There is no dividing line between the surface of the Earth and interplanetary space.
Motion, or perhaps more accurately, kinetic energy, is never lost, only transferred or transformed.
Thanks for stopping by, would you please point out my errors in the above statements?
If I had my way I would just spend every waking hour calling Stardusty gay & repeating ad nausea the same gay meme joke I tell referencing Milo Yiannopoulos and other troll insults I could think of(& I can think of a lot) but Ed dinna wants me to lower the discussion.
Well he naturally has a point and of course I respect his rules.
But at some point Trolls only merit trolling.
Anyway good to see you join the discussion. I thought I sensed a disturbance in the Force where the collective intelligence of the blog rose exponentially. Not that I am in any way dissing the intelligence of the majority of the fine people who post here its just that Stardusty is just a drag on said collective intelligence when his stupidity is countered by a fine intellect it cannot go unnoticed.
Cheers sir. Carry on the good fight.
We also shouldn't restrict P2 to the sciences alone, rather the reduction from the sensitive to the vegetative is in the area of the philosophy of biology, while the step from sensitive to rational involves philosophy of mind. So letting out the empirical evidence for a second, the failure is deeper as the attempts of formulating a mechanistic account of life or intentionality while not eliminating crucial parts of either, has been unsuccessful, which gives more evidence to the Aristotelian position of irreducibility.
To further Dominik's correct observation:Delete
"Thus, C is not upheld in this argument"
Assuming that claim is made by one affirming Reductionism of some sort ((not Dominik etc.)), we can reply as follows:
There are several reasons why the Reductionist cannot retain lucidity as he moves from "Z" back to "A". A few of them:
1. One must assume that the ontological history of becoming of the Cosmos "just is" the ontological history of becoming of the Conscious Observer. But one must commit at least two errors there, the first of which is that one must "equate" Physics/Cosmology to Ontology "as if" they are convertible, and the second is that one must land with the Churchlands and the Rosenbergs ((Etc.)) and embrace ((eventually)) a full on Eliminativism.
2. See Survivalism and Corruptionism at https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2016/03/so-what-are-you-doing-after-your-funeral.html
3. One must insist on a metaphysically impossible Chain of IOU's as per https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/03/an-exchange-with-keith-parsons-part-iv.html
4. And so on.
Thanks for your replies.Delete
Your welcome, although Dominik and Meta have very different approaches to P2 than I do, and Meta seems to have connected my words with Dominik, still, it seems the 3 of us reached the same answer for different reasons.
If you get the chance, could you respond to the commenter from Dr. Craig's facebook post? He wrote a 7 page response here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MI2nGrQIQqacONg7IPbpUoBrezo3STibtQKbG96Owco/edit?fbclid=IwAR1YEoDplVWUv_26IQbYg9vGQ9mr6HSDMyzenrYvtNdOXqFmDzdwI0-hNj0
Tyson James who wrote that article is one of the most unethical characters I have ever come across. I asked him to provide the page number from William Lane Craig’s book that made what William Lane Craig said clear and so as to refute Feser.ReplyDelete
Tyson James flat refused to do that after I asked him a number of times. He instead tried to force me to read his article / reply that he wrote to Feser.
I told him that if he kept posting to me then I would block him. He then threatened me by ‘implying’ that if I blocked him that there would be consequences ( as he told me he worked for Reasonable Faith ).
Because he would not stop I blocked him and sure enough he had me removed from Reasonable Faith. He used his position of authority to get his own way.
Tyson James is a try hard who wants to be desperately noticed when I suspect he has not even got an undergraduate degree in Philosophy or Theology.
Craig, I understand that you're probably still sore about being blocked from the Reasonable Faith Facebook page because of your consistent insults. You had been warned several times, and not just by me. You just can't talk to people like that and expect there to be no consequences.Delete
But, as I said before, the page numbers you're asking for are in my article, which you apparently still haven't read. I've had several very amicable conversations with people who have been willing to read what I've already written (see the above thread with @Talmid). If you'd still like to have a civil conversation, then please read my response to Feser and let me know your thoughts.
Also, here are my degrees:
- BA Spanish/International Trade (double major from University of Central Arkansas)
- BA Religious Studies (University of Nebraska - Omaha)
- MA International Relations (American Military University)
- MA Christian Apologetics (Biola University, Talbot School of Theology)
The truth of the matter, is that, you used your position to threaten me. You ‘implied’ that if I blocked you that there would be consequences.ReplyDelete
You can’t force someone to read an article and that is what you were trying to do with me. You were trying to force me.
If the page number was in your article, then all you had to say is …
“ The page number in William Lane Craig’s book is XX and it is also in my article if you would like to read that. “
No one from ‘Reasonable Faith’ at any time emailed me or messaged me or tagged me and asked me to tone things down.
On the post regarding the Rapture I have read where people called William Lane Craig a “Biblical Moron” and a “False Teacher”. I have never said anything like that about William Lane Craig and I suspect that those people were never blocked.
It is also the case that I never made a habit of positing under someone else’s name or their part of the main thread. Sometimes I did but mostly I did not.
Rather, I made my own post and people would come and troll me under my own post. I would ask people to stop and they would not.
The further truth, is that, I studied William Lane Craig’s arguments for years - especially and mainly the moral side of things. WLC’S Molinism shows a cruel and immoral God. His God creates people whom He knows will reject Him and go to Hell. This is morally repulsive.
I showed what the problems were with William Lane Craig’s position and arguments in a legitimate way and I can see that Reasonable Faith ( including yourself ) did not like that. I cut too close to the bone and you can only cut too close to the bone for so long until you get removed.
The fact is that you have been given a little bit of power and you’re on a power trip. If people don’t read what you want them to read and do what you want them to do then you will throw your weight around and try and get them removed from the page.
You are bound by a different ethical code that I am. You never followed that ethical code and try and win me for Christ. In fact, you turn me off Christ by your behaviour.
As Paul writes ….
“ Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person “.
( Colossians 4:6 English Standard Version )
You failed to do what Paul wrote. Apologetics is pointless if you can’t win people to Christ but rather turn them off Christ by your behaviour.