About TheSire

I'm a Christian, Trinitarian, rational scientific anti-realist, Baptist, Van Tilian, Covenant theology, Inerrancy, Substance dualist, Classical theist, Protestant, Reformed, and a particularist. Here is a place where I take information from many different sources and place them in a useful format. My influences are Steve Hays, Dr. James Anderson, Dr. Greg Welty, Dr. Vern Poythress, Dr. John Frame, R. C. Dozier, Dr. Greg Bahnsen, Ronald W. Di Giacomo, R. C. Sproul, Dr. James White, Dr. Paul Helm, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, Paul Manata, Turretinfan, Milton Friedman, James A. Gibson, and others. " You're one of the most intricate thinkers I know so if you believe something I would like to understand why and be challenged to think about it." Tyler Vela I'd like to thank Vincent Ransom for the profile picture.

Do Men have Bodily Autonomy?

Shane responded to my article written in response to his position. Shane abandons his prior position because I brought up that it is obviously false. His position is analogous to a person that states the NBA hall of fame is filled with only black men. You respond by pointing out that it isn’t true(Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Steve Nash). He then tells you to ignore all the exceptions. This is the same tactic that Shane takes to avoid the fact that he is wrong. Remember his original position:

My position is that men are causally responsible for all pregnancies. That’s a biological fact. Women can have plenty of sex & orgasms with 0 chance of pregnancy. I am not sure if you can separate morality and causality, but pregnancy is 100% caused by men’s pleasure, so …

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2019/06/24/fletchers-cause/

So, pointing out exceptions are legitimate when they undermine the position. Your statement was simply you reverting to your prior position. But if we are specifically speaking to male caused pregnancies then he’s simply has asserted to a tautology. All male caused pregnancies are caused by males. Moving along:

ii) I was clear that I am talking about causality of pregnancy. I started my sentence about the morality of the situation with “I am not sure”. To make a claim about what I believe about the morality of the situation is a mistake.

Well, you’re mistaken on both fronts. Shane’s being deceptive. He is using this to propose a moral view. According to Fletcher, we should chemically induce men to stop producing sperm. Take his statements:

He is sure enough that he wishes doctors would chemically emasculate males in their teens. Furthermore, I’ve shown how women can be the cause of their pregnancies. Shane is operating on a narrow view of causation. Shane abandons the feminist argument about bodily autonomy to present that we should violate males bodily autonomy by force:

Abortion was never truly about the belief in bodily autonomy. This is a clear example that the debate is simply about no serious principles on the leftist side other than deceitful arguments to get to their ends by any means necessary. I’ve already collected resources debunking the mythical bodily autonomy that Fletcher thinks is taken from women:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2019/05/25/the-pro-life-catalogue/

ii) cont. And again you bring up the idea of women sleeping with lots of men resulting in pregnancy. That is not a prerequisite for pregnancy, and belies a bias against women that you obviously harbour. More about this below. Women’s voluntary sexual actions CAN NOT result in pregnancy. Only a man ejaculating into a woman can result in pregnancy. So it is a Mans voluntary sexual actions that are the cause.

Fletcher simply ignores my point about counterfactual causation. He operates on such a simple view of causation that it is difficult to whether he fully grasps there are many types of causes that exist. The points are being muddled here. My first point was that it is intuitive to think that a person that voluntarily engages in sexual activity takes the risk of getting pregnant(without coercion, deception, etc). Fletcher seems to think that any risk in an activity magically evaporates because you get results that you don’t want(only for women though). I wonder what Fletcher would think about a man that contracts an STD from a woman. Is it his fault or hers? Secondly, Fletcher simply doesn’t understand counterfactual causation. The point is that the situation wouldn’t have obtained if it wasn’t for something. So, mentioning that other causes are necessary isn’t proof that a woman can’t be a different kind of cause for her pregnancy.

iii) An interesting question that could have been the source of a dialogue. We could have used this to try and understand each others POV. Instead, you want to put words in my mouth in order to strawman an argument. Do you want to have an adult discussion or not?

Here Fletcher states that I’m not dialoguing with him and simply mispresenting him but I’ve corrected that already(look above). I’ve written 3articles in response to him. So, it seems like we are communicating about something. I have also quoted him verbatim with links to the threads.

iv) You end with a factually untrue statement. My wife has had 4 children during the course of our marriage. By you estimation, how many men did she have to sleep with in order to have those children? Pregnancy has nothing to do with how many sexual partners you have.

Shane doesn’t show the statement is false. The article explained counterfactual causation. Shane continuously brings up his wife. so, I’ll use her in a new example:

If Fletcher’s wife chose not to have sex with Fletcher, then their children(their entire lives in fact) wouldn’t have been born.

So, in this regard, Fletcher’s wife is a cause of her pregnancies. Fletcher may deny this only by asserting that he was a cause as well. But where did I deny that men are also causally responsible? I simply pointed out that they both can be causes.

v) I am a determinist. But that doesn’t mean that men depositing sperm in a vagina is not the cause of pregnancy. It just means that cause also has causes. And for this discussion, I can put myself in your world view, and have an opinion on it. Which is what I have done.

Nowhere has Fletcher stepped into the Christian worldview. He has simply created artificial rules and imposed them onto the Christian worldview. My point is subtle. If women aren’t morally responsible for their children because they were caused to be pregnant with such an unwanted pregnancy, then men are also not culpable because they were caused to impregnate the woman. I understand that given normal usual circumstances men impregnate women(ignoring miracles, artificial means). I never denied that and have clarified that already(see above).

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Fletcher’s Cause

i) Men can’t be responsible for all pregnancies given the reason two lesbians can go to a sperm bank. Or suppose we can even make synthetic sperm. Clearly, then a man wouldn’t be causally related.

ii) It seems like Shane operates on a false dichotomy. Men and Women can be morally responsible for their actions. Shane is under the illusion that women are never morally responsible for the children that may result from voluntary sexual actions. A woman can sleep with every man in the world and not be culpable for a child produced out of it.

iii) What if a woman agrees to get pregnant but changes her mind? Is it the Father’s fault she has an unwanted pregnancy? He doesn’t seem morally to blame for her change of mind.

iv) Ethics and causality are not separate things but they aren’t identical. Given certain theories of causation, a woman can be casually related to why she has a child.

A leading approach to the study of causation has been to analyze causation in terms of counterfactual conditionals. A counterfactual conditional is a subjunctive conditional sentence, whose antecedent is contrary-to-fact. Here is an example: “if the butterfly ballot had not been used in West Palm Beach, then Albert Gore would be the president on the United States.” In the case of indeterministic outcomes, it may be appropriate to use probabilistic consequents: “if the butterfly ballot had not been used in West Palm Beach, then Albert Gore would have had a .7 chance of being elected president.” A probabilistic counterfactual theory of causation (PC) aims to analyze causation in terms of these probabilistic counterfactuals. The event B is said to causally depend upon the distinct event A just in case both occur and the probability that B would occur, at the time of As occurrence, was much higher than it would have been at the corresponding time if A had not occurred. This counterfactual is to be understood in terms of possible worlds: it is true if, in the nearest possible world(s) where A does not occur, the probability of B is much lower than it was in the actual world. On this account, the relevant notion of `probability-raising’ is not understood in terms of conditional probabilities, but in terms of unconditional probabilities in different possible worlds.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-probabilistic/

Suppose we use the counterfactual theory of causation: “If A did not obtain, then B would not have obtained”.

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2009/04/calvinism-determinism.html

We can just state: “If such a woman didn’t sleep with many men, then it wouldn’t have obtained that she would have gotten pregnant.” So, Shane is not exhausting conceptual resources about causation. So, here is a clear example of how a woman is a cause of her pregnancy. Shane can’t distinguish different kinds of causes.

v) In Shane’s worldview, everything is caused by natural events outside the control of the person. So, that means men were caused by extrinsic forces to do as he does. So, on Shane’s own view men wouldn’t be causally responsible for pregnancies.

Further Suggestions:

TheCouncil:

Beta-Male Abortionist

The Pro-life Catalogue

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Did God create Time?

Dr. William Lane Craig doesn’t hold my perspective on time and he doesn’t hold most of any position that I hold. He and I are on different sides of the theological pendulum. But even he sees that the Bible teaches that the creation event is the beginning of time. So, I’ll quote one of his works:

Defenders of divine timelessness might suggest that the biblical authors lacked the conceptual categories for enunciating a doctrine of divine time-

lessness, so that their temporal descriptions of God need not be taken literally. But Padgett cites the first-century extra-biblical work 2 Enoch 65:6-7 as evidence that the conception of timeless existence was not beyond the reach of biblical writers:

And then the whole creation, visible and invisible, which the Lord has created, shall come to an end, then each person will go to the Lord’s great judgment. And then all time will perish, and afterward there will be neither years nor months nor days nor hours. They will be dissipated, and after that they will not be reckoned (2 Enoch 65:6-7).

Such a passage gives us reason to think that the biblical authors, had they wished to, could have formulated a doctrine of divine timelessness. Paul Helm raises a more subtle objection to the inference that the authors of Scripture, in describing God in temporal terms, intended to teach that God is temporal.6 He claims that the biblical writers lacked the “reflective context” for formulating a doctrine of divine eternity. That is to say, the issue (like the issue of geocentrism, for instance) had either never come up for explicit consideration or else simply fell outside their interests.

Moreover, it must be said that the biblical data are not so wholly onesided as Padgett would have us believe. Johannes Schmidt, whose Ewigkeitsbegriff im a/ten Testament Padgett calls “the longest and most thorough book on the concept of eternity in the OT,”8 argues for a biblical doctrine of divine timelessness on the basis of creation texts such as Genesis 1:1 and Proverbs 8:22-23.9 Padgett brushes aside Schmidt’s contention with the comment, “Neither of these texts teaches or implies that time began with creation, or indeed say [sic] anything about time or eternity.” 10 This summary dismissal is all too quick. Genesis 1:1, which is neither a subordinate clause nor a summary title, 11 states, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” According to James Barr, this absolute beginning, taken in conjunction with the expression, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (v. 5), indicating the first day, may very well be intended to teach that the beginning was not simply the beginning of the physical universe but the beginning of time itself, and that, consequently, God may be thought of as timeless. 12 This conclusion is rendered all the more plausible when the Genesis account of creation is read against the backdrop of ancient Egyptian cosmogony. 13 Egyptian cosmogony includes the idea that creation took place at “the first time” (sp tpy). John Currid takes both the Egyptian and the Hebrew cosmogonies to involve the notion that the moment of creation is the beginning of time.t4

Certain New Testament authors may be taken to construe Genesis 1:1 as referring to the beginning of time. The most striking New Testament reflection on Genesis 1:1 is, of course, John 1:1-3: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” Here the uncreated Word (logos), the source of all created things, was already with God and was God at the moment of creation. It is not hard to interpret this passage in terms of the Word’s timeless unity with God-nor would it be anachronistic to do so, given the firstcentury Jewish philosopher Philo’s doctrine of the divine Logos (Word) and Philo’s holding that time begins with creation. 15 As for Proverbs 8:22-23, this passage is certainly capable of being read in terms of a beginning of time. The doctrine of creation was a centerpiece of Jewish wisdom literature and aimed to show God’s sovereignty over everything. Here Wisdom, personified as a woman, speaks: “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old. From everlasting I was established, From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth” (NASB). The passage, which doubtless looks back to Genesis 1:1, is brimming with temporal expressions for a beginning. R. N. Whybray comments, It should be noted how the writer … was so insistent on pressing home the fact of Wisdom’s unimaginable antiquity that he piled up every available synonym in a deluge of tautologies: res’Jit, beginning, qedem, the first, me’iiz, of old, me ‘oliim, ages ago, mero’J, at the first or “from the beginning” (compare Isa. 40.21; 41.4, 26), miqqad’ me’are:f, before the beginning of the earth: the emphasis is not so much on the mode of Wisdom’s coming into existence, … but on the fact of her antiquity. 16 The expressions emphasize, however, not Wisdom’s mere antiquity, but that there was a beginning, a departure point, at or before which Wisdom existed. This was a departure point not merely for the earth but for time and the ages; it was simply the beginning. Ploger comments that through God’s creative work “the possibility of speaking of ‘time’ was first given; thus, before this

time, right at the beginning, Wisdom came into existence through Yahweh [the LORD].” 17 The passage was so understood by other ancient writers. The Septuagint Greek translation of the Old Testament renders me ‘o/iim in Proverbs 8:23 as pro tou aionios (before time), and Sirach 24:9 has Wisdom say, “Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all ages I shall not cease to be” (cf. 16:26; 23:20). Significantly, certain New Testament passages also seem to affirm a beginning of time. This would imply just the same sort of timelessness “before” the creation of the world which Padgett sees in 2 Enoch “after” the end of the world. For example, we read in Jude 25, “to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever” (pro pantos tau aionos kai nun kai eis pantas taus aionas) (emphasis added). The passage contemplates an everlasting future duration but affirms a beginning to past time and implies God’s existence, using an almost inevitable de par/er, “before” time began. Similar expressions are found in two intriguing passages in the Pastoral Epistles. In Titus 1:2-3, in a passage laden with temporal language, we read of those chosen by God “in hope of eternal life [zoes aioniouJ which God, who never lies, promised before age-long time [pro chronon aionion] but manifested at the proper time [kairois idioisJ” (author’s translation). And in 2 Timothy 1 :9 we read of God’s “purpose and grace, which were given to us in Christ Jesus before age-long time [pro chronon aionion J, but now [nun] manifested by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus” (author’s translation). Arndt and Gingrich render pro chronon aionion as “before time began.” 18 Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 2: 7 Paul speaks of a secret, hidden wisdom of God, “which God decreed before the ages [pro ton aionon] for our glorification.” Such expressions are in line with the Septuagint, which describes God as “the one who exists before the ages [ho hyparch6n pro ton aionon]” (LXX Ps. 54:20 [Ps 55:19]). Expressions such as ek tou aionos orapo tonaionon might be taken to mean merely “from ancient times” or “from eternity.” But these should not be conflated with pro expressions. That such pro constructions are to be taken seriously and not merely as idioms connoting “for long ages” (cf. Rom. 16:25: chronois aioniois) is confirmed by the many similar expressions concerning God and His decrees “before the foundation of the world” (pro kataboles kosmou) (John 17:24; Eph. 1:4; 1Pet.1:20; cf. Rev. 13:8). Evidently it was a common understanding of the creation described in Genesis 1:1 that the beginning of the world was coincident with the beginning of time or the ages; but since God did not begin to exist at the moment of creation, it therefore followed that He existed “before” the beginning of time. God, at least “before” creation, must therefore be atemporal. Thus, although scriptural authors speak of God as temporal and everlasting, there is some evidence, at least, that when God is considered in relation to creation He must be thought of as the transcendent Creator of time and the ages and therefore as existing beyond time. It may well be the case that in the context of the doctrine of creation the biblical writers were led to reflect on God’s relationship to time and chose to affirm His transcendence. Still the evidence is not clear, and we seem forced to conclude with Barr that “if such a thing as a Christian doctrine of time has to be developed, the work of discussing it and developing it must belong not to biblical but to philosophical theology.” 19

Craig, William Lane. Time and Eternity: Exploring God’s Relationship to Time (Crossway) (pg.15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21)

Craig gives a good case for the biblical evidence for divine eternity. I would also add that the author of the letter to the Hebrews teaches that Christ is the creator of all the ages:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/12/21/creator-over-all/

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God in Sequence

I had an exchange with Brian Wagner on Ephesians 1:4. It instantly turned into a debate about time and God’s knowledge:

Brian Wagner:

When God supposedly “chose” you before creation, where you unchosen at some point and then chosen? What did God see when He supposedly chose you… just your name, your life up to the point where He decided He wanted to get involved noticeably to you, your whole life forever and all His involvement in it already? What did “you” mean when He chose “you” back then before you existed?

TheSire:

We know the “us” refers to those that receive the heavenly blessings. So, we know it is believers. We know he chose them before the creation event. If your worldview was true, then God only chose a hypothetical group of individuals but without knowing that any of them would exist.

If B-theory is true then you always exists in your own temporal moments.

But God chose persons. People. That means that he chose them to be saved in the outplaying of events. Since God is timeless we were never at any time unchosen.

Brian Wagner:

fantasy… for why are we not cogniscient of our future moments right now?

Ps 90, 2 Sequential Reality

There are two definitions for “time”. One is connected only to creation… it is the measurement of matter in motion. The other is connected to reality which is from God’s nature.

Reality is sequential events… befores and afters going backwards infinitely and forwards infinitely. “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps 90:2)… “who was and is and is to come” (Rev 4:8). There were events of communication, relationship, and decision making in the Godhead before creation of space and matter… right?

A reality that is sequential and non-sequential for God at the same “time” is a logical contradiction borrowed into Christianity from neo-platonism. The Scripture gives no other “competing” reality for God’s presence, which is contradictory to the word “reality” anyway.

His foreknowledge is dynamic therefore and not static. His understanding is infinite (Ps 147:5). He knows all the possibilities that still exist and all things that are already determined that limit those possibilities.

*********** 

Some like the illustration of God as a blimp watching the full parade below. But for a blimp to watch a parade, the full parade has to exist. The future does not exist as a completed entity to watch either as a place or in God’s mind.

Reality is only sequential, and comes from God’s eternal nature – “from everlasting to everlasting” (Ps 90:2), “who was and is and is to come” (Rev 4:8). Relationship and communication in the Godhead before creation were sequential (befores and afters). 

The underlying important issue is – does God’s mind reflect univocally the sequential reality of His Word, or have scholars discovered in their philosophical reasoning that God hid from Scripture His perspective of reality? It would be a perspective that also makes man’s perspective in Scripture actually faulty, for Scripture makes the future as not yet existing, but in reality it is already existing as completed (forever), for God’s reality is the only true one.

TheSire:

Do you think the Kalam argument is true? That everything to begin to exist has a cause.

Brian Wagner:

Everything that needs a cause to exist has a cause. 😉 But you didn’t answer my question. Why are we not knowing/recognizing the reality of the future that you think we already exist in the moments of?

TheSire:

I’m not sure you answered my question either. I asked if you affirmed the Kalam. B theory doesn’t state that every moment is the same but merely that they’re equally real. So, there’s no reason to suppose B theory would entail us remembering events that come later in the story. My point is going to be that you have problems with infinite regression.

Brian Wagner:

TheSire an infinite God doesn’t… 😊

TheSire:

Well, then you do because God couldn’t be thinking or have created the world because an infinite amount of time hasn’t been transversed. So, either infinite regressions are good or they’re problematic.

Brian Wagner:

So God can’t do what you think is impossible, even though He declares it in His Word… hmmm?

TheSire:

I asked if you thought the Kalam argument was true. I don’t think the bible says God transverses infinite regressions.

Brian Wagner:

Psalm 90:2 NKJV — Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

Sounds to me like He clearly does!

TheSire:

Brian Wagner quotes Psalm 90 as proof of this sequential theory of divine time.

Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

It is hard to see how stating that God is “everlasting to everlasting” is inconsistent with the theory that God is timeless. The Psalm is about contrasting the Eternal God with the fleeting lives of humans. Commentators on the psalms can’t find this inconsistency:

And so the final affirmation of this little hymnic section keeps our attention on his eternality: “from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” The doctrine of God in Scripture asserts that God has no beginning and no end—he is eternally present. Interestingly, although the Greek version incorrectly read the word “God” (72$) as the negative (‘78) and joined it to the next verse, it made perfectly good sense to the translator to read the remaining words as “from everlasting to everlasting you are.” There is no other god who can compare. There is no other god.

Allen Ross-A Commentary on the Psalms: 90-150 (Kregel Exegetical Library)(Page 29).

The point is that God never came into being nor can he cease being who he is. The other verse mentioned was Revelation 4:8.

And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say,

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almightywho was and who is and who is to come.”

Arminian scholar and commentator Grant Osborne get the exact opposite interpretation then Brian Wagner:

Finally, the living beings celebrate the eternality of the one ὁ ἦν καὶ ὁ ὢν καὶ ὁ ἐρχόμενος (ho ēn kai ho ōn kai ho erchomenos, who was and is and is to come), following the title used in 1: 8 rather than that in 1: 4, which reversed the past (“ who was”) and the present (“ who is”). The emphasis is on the God who sovereignly controls past, present, and future. Each aspect should not be overly stressed (contra Thomas 1992: 363, who says the past is emphasized and the future relates to the longing of creation for redemption), but the effect of the whole predominates. God is eternal and sovereign. Mounce (1998: 126) may be correct in calling this an expansion of the interpretation of “Yahweh” in Exod. 3: 14, “I AM WHO I AM.” The eternality of God is repeated twice more in 4: 9, 10, “him who lives forever and ever.”

Osborne, Grant R.. Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) (Kindle Locations 5504-5511). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

An expert commentator on the book of Revelation G. K. Beale comes to the same conclusion as Osborne:

The use of “the Lord God Almighty” in v 8c is based on its recurrent use in the LXX (e.g., Amos 3:13; 4:13; 5:14–16; 9:5–6, 15; Hos. 12:6[5]; Nah. 3:5; Zech. 10:3; Mal. 2:16). The second name for God—“the one who is and was and is coming” (v 8d)—as observed in regard to 1:4, is based on OT and Jewish exegetical tradition. The threefold title expresses an idea of divine infinity and sovereignty over history. Furthermore, in the light of 11:17, the last clause of the formula, ὁ ἐρχόμενος (“the one coming”), expresses a future, once-for-all eschatological coming of God (see on 11:17 and 1:4).
The significance of the two titles “Lord God Almighty” and “the one who is and was and is coming” is to emphasize that the God who transcends time is sovereign over history. But this is no abstract theology of God. Through John the readers are being given information from the heavenly, secret council room of the Lord. The titles show that the intention of this crucial vision is to give the supra-historical perspective of “the one who is, was, and is coming,” which is to enable the suffering readers to perceive his eternal purpose and so motivate them to persevere faithfully through tribulation. As with the uses of both titles in the OT and as already seen in 1:4 and 1:8, so here God is able to fulfill his prophetic purposes and deliver his people despite overwhelming odds (for the background and significance of the two titles see further on 1:4 and 1:8).

Beale, G. K. (1999). The book of Revelation: a commentary on the Greek text (pp. 332–333). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.

So, Brian has to further explain God’s relationship to this dimension God resides in. Where did time come from? If God is subject to time, then it doesn’t originate from him. This leaves him needing to explain where did God’s domain come from. Why is there a divine being in an infinite regress of time rather than nothing? Another issue is why does the bible always paint the sole ultimate reality as Yahweh alone and not Yahweh in some temporal dimension? What was God doing for this actual infinite of time? Didn’t God create time?

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2019/06/21/did-god-create-time/

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/12/21/creator-over-all/

Further Suggestions:

Wagering Wagner

 

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The Book of Eli

Recently. Eli Alyala had a conversation with a popular Atheist YouTuber Tom Jump. I’ll give my thoughts about this conversation.

Others have commented about the conversations Tom Jump have had at other times.

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2019/03/is-there-no-evidence-for-gods-existence.html

The conversation starts with the issue of the foundation of ethics(metaethics). Tom Jump is a moral realist that bases his metaethical view on the basis of human intuition and consensus. Eli presses on the issue of subjectivity. Many people don’t have those intuitions and completely different intuitions. So, why privilege Tom Jump? Why does his intuition have the final say? Tom responds that most people have the same intuitions as him. So, he simply has no means to argue it with Eli. That leaves many questions as to why think Human intuitions are apt towards true ethical norms. Why suppose the majority of human intuitions are correct?  Furthermore, Tom Jump is simply ignorant of the other arguments for moral realism. Dr. James Anderson that moral realism is necessary for rationality:

https://www.proginosko.com/2016/08/atheism-amoralism-and-arationalism/

There are other issues to be discussed  about the issue of the foundation of ethics but I’ve argued that issue elsewhere has a Christian foundation:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/01/12/absolute-personality/

Tom Jump states that the problem of evil(logical) shows that the Christian God can’t exist. Eli does a fine job of pointing out the flaws in that objection. Tom Jump simply presupposes that God could have higher morally superior reasons compared to the morally sufficient reasons he has. But he bases this all on his intuition. For further reflection on the problem of evil:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/01/18/problem-of-evil/

This leads us to a conversation about what are presuppositions. Tom Jump states that they are merely unjustified assumptions. Eli agrees with him on this and this is where I disagree with them both. There are different theories about what presuppositions are:

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/presupposition/

We have no reason to accept that definition. The presupposition of scripture is justified by God’s own self-testimony. I’ve discussed that while discussing revelational epistemology:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/07/04/parsing-revelational-epistemology/

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/12/01/meals-on-wheels/

Tom Jump appeals to Descartes to find something he knows apart from the evil world of ontology. Eli wisely asked him “How do know reality isn’t such a way that that is impossible to know?” and I’m not sure if that ever gotten responded to. Eli raises questions of what the “I” means. I’ve discussed the continental rationalist elsewhere:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/03/17/the-continental-rationalist/

Tom Jump is a bit of a Kantian. He maintains that he can’t know anything about ontology but merely the world of appearances. He says that he doesn’t hold to an ontology but that seems rather impossible to pull off. Imagine Heraclitus’ Flux. If knowledge can change to non-knowledge, then how can Tom Jump maintain that he has knowledge?

Tom Jump mentions that presuppositionalist has no real response against say a Muslim. The issue with that response is that it is silly. He is saying that another theist could simply make the same argument. But that applies to any argument. The ability to take the same form of an argument doesn’t mean each argument is equally sound. You could argue that the Flying-Spaghetti-Monster is necessary for rationality but it will be very difficult to show that logic depends on his noodles.

He mentioned that he has the moral intuition that it is never okay to take the life of an infant. Many atheists are abortionist and are perfectly fine with the taking of the life of infants. So, it seems like many “superior” minded atheist would disagree with him. But let’s suppose a thought experiment:

A woman is going to die by giving birth to an infant. The woman is unconscious and has moments to live with no close relatives to make a decision for her. Who does Tom Jump choose to live? If he chooses the woman, then he admits that infant mortality is acceptable for the equal good of a woman surviving. If he chooses the baby, then he is saying that a woman’s death can play to either the equal or greater good of her child surviving.

So, when Tom Jump answers he then allows for God to have morally superior reasons to his for choosing one to live and another to die.

Tom Jump appealed to naturalistic panentheism. If this force that permeates and pervades all things in the world is the case, then it permeates evil. Why trust a force that is known to also be evil? The other issue is if such a force existed, then how do you preserve individuality? If we are this “one” force, then how can we draw distinctions that aren’t merely illusory? How can science be possible if change is illusory? I’ve talked about this here:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2017/10/12/panentheism-and-christian-theology/

I’ve also talked about this issue here while discussing Spinoza:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2018/03/17/the-continental-rationalist/

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Beta-Male Abortionist

I’m going to share an edited version of the conversation I had with an abortionist over Twitter. Twitter isn’t the best format for these kinds of conversation. So, I have edited my statements to be clearer and left his alone. I also was asked to remove his name and he is fine with being referred to as Beta-Male from now on. The original conversation can be found here:

 Beta-Male:

And to be clear, I can’t get pregnant at all. Neither can you. Only a woman can get pregnant. What does she need for that to happen? A man to ejaculate into her vagina. It’s not going to happen without that. The man who does that is responsible for the pregnancy.

TheSire:

It probably the case that women should start wanting their children and become good mothers instead of murderers. That is another option. The morally superior option because to imply women are not responsible for their sexual activities is ridiculous.

Secondly, you conflate causal categories with moral categories. It doesn’t always follow that if you’re casually responsible that you’re morally culpable.

Third, why suppose he is culpable for anything given your worldview? Isn’t he simply a byproduct of evolution? He is biologically determined to act that way.

Beta-Male:

No. The morally right option is for the man to not impregnate the woman when she doesn’t want to be pregnant. Men are the cause of all abortions. Every baby murdered is their fault.

TheSire:

That’s hardly self-evident. What if he uses protection and it fails? How is he faulty? What if she agrees to have unprotected sex? That imply she voluntarily acquired that risk by participating in those activities.

Secondly, you’ve conceded the mother is murdering her child. So, the real statement here is that you’re in favor of a women’s right to murder their children.

Ironically, the people that benefit most from abortion laws are men.

Beta-Male:

I have no problem with people sleeping with whoever they want. I just think pregnancy should be kept for when people want to be pregnant. I think men should be implanted with a chemical birth control, that can only be removed when a woman consents to becoming pregnant by him,

You also need to provide an argument for your belief. For the same reasons of being uninteresting.

TheSire:

I believe women should be forced to give birth to their children. So, telling me what you think isn’t interesting unless with an argument

My argument was provided in the article I linked you:

http://spirited-tech.com/COG/2019/05/25/the-pro-life-catalogue/

I think it is rather obvious when you conceded that mothers murder human babies earlier that abortionist are doing something they ought not to be doing. Unless you maintain murder is morally acceptable there is nothing else to say.

Beta-Male:

A man is obligated to not impregnate a woman, who doesn’t want to be pregnant, IF he is against women having abortions. That’s pretty obvious. If he is okay with abortion, it’s more of a grey area, but still probably better that he didn’t inflict a medical procedure on a woman.

TheSire:

A man’s not obligated to not impregnate a woman. If the women allows for unprotected sex then it’s her fault. If the protection fails, then it isn’t his fault. A man’s obligated to try not getting the woman pregnant. If he goes through the precautions then it’s hard to see it as his fault. The logic of your entire case can be reversed. If women didn’t engage in sexual activities with men, then no unwanted pregnancies would have occurred. Therefore women are only culpable for the child.

Beta-Male:

So the man is never responsible for a pregnancy?

TheSire:

On my worldview, parents are obligated to their children. That implies the mother is obligated to her children aswell. Are fathers culpable for unwanted children? If a child is unwanted, then can the mother kill it?

Why suppose a man is ever responsible for anything on your worldview? If a mother isn’t obligated to the unborn baby, then it seems inconsistent to make three father culpable.

Beta-Male:

No, I blame men for men’s poor choices.

TheSire:

Yep, and you make excuses for women’s poor choices.

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Wagner’s Open Theism

Brian Wagner is a common face in internet circles that I remain in. But he is often overlooked because Leighton is more popular, while he is more heretical. He has an odd position on Open Theism. He never responded to my article on Open Theism and I doubt he ever will. I asked him what his form of Open Theism was and he responded:

Well, there are many errant definitions of open theism out there, and many open theists that do not believe in inerrancy, like I believe in it. Inerrancy is not foundational to the definition of open theism, but the rejection of it by many of them has given it a bad rep.

That’s probably because most Open Theist are liberals. So, it more results in them creating a religion to suit their intuitions about what God ought to be instead of believing in a book. Or they realize that LFW agents can corrupt the Bible and therefore have no ability to affirm doctrines like inerrancy. How does Brain know the originals weren’t corrupted from the beginning by the authors?

The ETS accepts open theist members who hold to inerrancy, and many good theologians (like Erickson and Smith) see it as welcome to the biblical/theological discussion of God’s nature.

ETS can let anyone in that it desires. It is a different question of whether they should or not. But frankly, I don’t care if they do.

The encyclopedia of philosophy gives it this definition – “Open Theism is the thesis that, because God loves us and desires that we freely choose to reciprocate His love, He has made His knowledge of, and plans for, the future conditional upon our actions. Though omniscient, God does not know what we will freely do in the future.”

Basically, this definition isn’t that precise because it doesn’t fully explain why LFW is incompatible with exhaustive Foreknowledge. Open Theists give different answers to that question.

If that is what you were thinking when you thought I was an “open theist”, then you are correct, if limited to that definition. I like term “dynamic omniscience” better. I would even add the words to the last sentence “…God does not know *the outcome of* what we will freely do in the future, *but He knows all the possibilities He and we will have to choose between in the future.”

Wagner settles for something called “sequential thinking” for God. He has stated that elsewhere but not here. Now, that doesn’t mean anything to me as it probably doesn’t for you. Does it mean God thinks only one thing at a time? What about prior to creation? Doesn’t Wagner think that God is timeless sans creation? So, does Wagner think God didn’t think apart from creation?

God knows everything possible but not the future. How can an Open Theist God know every possibility? What does it mean that something is “possible” on Wagner’s scheme?

Further Suggestions:

TheCouncil:

Wagering Wagner

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America’s Idols

America has a habit of protecting it’s idols. MLK in liberal states is treated as if he was an omni-benevolent force for good. They leave out that he was a heretic, theological liberal, alcoholic, woman beating, fornicator, and possible rape accessory. This is the same for others like JFK and such. They protect their own in their shrine to themselves.

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