It’s not “Human Reason vs. God’s Word”!

Perhaps you have heard the origins debate as being about “human reason” on the one hand, and “the Bible” on the other. Many evolutionists like to frame the debate this way. It creates a “heads I win: tails you lose” type of situation. By contrasting the Bible with “reason”, they are implying that the Bible is unreasonable. They may use some other terminology. Whether framed as “Rationality vs. faith” or “science vs. religion,” the implication of framing the debate this way is that the Bible is anti-reason, anti-science, anti-rational.

But nothing could be further from the truth! The Bible is very pro-reason, pro-science, pro-rational. In fact, the biblical God is the basis for these things (see The Ultimate Proof of Creation). God made our minds and He wants us to use them. We are supposed to think in a way that is consistent with the character of God – that’s what rationality is.

And so it is really a shame that many Christians also frame the debate this way. Yes, I have seen “reason” contrasted with “God’s Word” coming from Christian literature. Perhaps by “reason” they mean “secular philosophy.” (If so, then that is what they should say!) But secular philosophy is not biblical, whereas human reason is. The Bible tells us to reason (Isaiah 1:18) and gives us examples of it (Acts 17:2, 18:4). Perhaps by “human reason,” they mean “secular reasoning.” But this is very misleading. Not all humans are secularists! Are not Christians also human? Even Jesus is human (and God as well), so there is nothing wrong with that. By allowing the debate to be framed in such a way, such Christians have inadvertently accepted the standards of the secularist. And what happens when we allow the critics to determine the parameters of the debate in such a way? The answer is: we lose the debate.

A debate is supposed to show that one position is more rational than another. So if you allow your opponent to define his position as the “rational” position in contrast to yours, then you have pretty well lost at the outset. The Bible tells us that we are not supposed to engage in a debate using the critic’s foolish standard (Proverbs 26:4). Do not allow the secularist to define his position as “human reason” and yours as “faith” or some equivalent term. The fact of the matter is both creationists and evolutionists have a type of faith, and both use some degree of reasoning.

What then is the difference? The difference is our starting point – the standard upon which we build our reasoning. The Christian should take the Word of God has his or her ultimate standard. We are supposed to reason from the truths given to us in the Scriptures. God’s Word is like a solid rock; and reasoning that rests upon that rock will stand. What is the alternative structure on which non-Christians attempt to build their thinking? There is none. God’s Word is the only ultimate standard by which can truly know anything about anything. Yes, we can learn new truths about things outside the Bible, mathematical truths, facts about ducks, or quasars. But the only reason we can know these things is because our mind and our senses have been designed by God to interface with the universe in a way that is truthful. If our mind and senses were just the result of chance mutations that conveyed survival value, there would be no reason to think we could ever know the truth about anything!

So when people reason from an ultimate standard that is not God’s Word, they are really simply basing their thinking on an arbitrary opinion. But there is no reason to trust an arbitrary opinion. The Bible refers to such people as being like a “fool” who builds his house on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). Since the house does not have a true and proper foundation, it is destroyed by the first storm that comes along. Likewise, those who reason from a secular opinion rather than God’s Word will find their philosophy is easily destroyed by rational analysis.

1,213 Responses to It’s not “Human Reason vs. God’s Word”!

  1. Dr. Lisle says:

    Hi Tony,

    That link was a fun read. Thank you for suggesting it. He didn’t really rebut my claims, but I enjoyed reading his view. Let me comment on a few of his statements:

    > Numbers were not created by a supernatural being. No deity, no matter how powerful, could have created a universe where numbers didn’t exist, or didn’t work.

    How does he know? What is his evidence of this? He merely states it, but gives no reason.

    By the way, I agree that any universe God created would have the same numbers and the same laws of mathematics, because these reflect the thinking of God which is completely self-consistent. But apart from God, how could anyone know that math would work even in a hypothetical other universe? It’s not like the author has been to all the other universes to check. So how does he know? It seems like he is borrowing from the Christian worldview to support his own.

    > This is a surprisingly difficult and subtle point. But numbers, in some sense, aren’t real. They’re purely conceptual. There’s no such thing in the real universe as the number 2.

    Perhaps the author means that numbers are not physical. But they are real in the sense that they exist. If they didn’t exist, then we couldn’t use them to solve problems (it is very hard to use something that doesn’t exist).

    > Numbers are an artifact of reasoning

    Numbers cannot be an artifact of human reasoning, because they go beyond human reasoning. There are numbers (like infinities for example) that we cannot fully comprehend. Numbers and laws of mathematics were not created by human reasoning. They were discovered by human reasoning, and there are undoubtedly other mathematical truths that exist that we have not discovered yet. Numbers and the relationships between them existed before people, and therefore cannot be an artifact of human reasoning. But the author is – in a sense –correct. Numbers can be thought of as an artifact of God’s reasoning.

    > There’s no way that God can change the nature of an abstraction that doesn’t really exist. He could make it impossible for us to conceive of those rules. But the rules would still work. Even if there was no universe at all, those rules could still be said to exist, and therefore, that the numbers still exist.

    Here the author correctly subtly contradicts himself in saying that an abstraction (like a number) doesn’t really exist, but then he says at the end that numbers still exist. Numbers do exist. Only a materialist would arbitrarily assume that only physical things exist. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I suspect he meant in his previous statement that numbers are non-physical, but they do exist.

    How does the author know that God cannot change the rules of mathematics? How does he know that these rules would exist even if there was no universe at all? (This contradicts your position that laws of mathematics are merely conceptualized patterns that we find in nature.) Of course, I agree with the author that laws of mathematics must exist, even if the universe did not. But I can make sense of this. God exists and has thoughts and God is beyond the universe that He made.

    So, in summary, the author has not refuted my argument at all – he has actually demonstrated it. He has made many claims about numbers and the laws that govern them. And some of those claims are true, but they can only be rationally defended in the Christian worldview.

    • Tony says:

      those rules are discriptive, the things that they are describing still exist even if the person who describes it do not, it can be proven with a little experiment that the universe need not exist, not even god for those numbers to exist

      • Dr. Lisle says:

        They are describing the relationships between concepts – mental constructions. Who decides what the relationship between mental constructions should be? How can mental constructions exist apart from a mind? (“Mental” means “mind”). Why does the physical universe obey these immaterial mental constructions?

        • Jason K says:

          I think its backwards. The mental constructs describe behaviors in nature. Newton’s law of gravity is a mental construct but the physical universe does not obey such a construct at the quantum level. Numbers are often both mental and physical. The number pi cannot possibly exist in the physical world as the number of digits it posses exceed the atoms in the universe but we find that this mental construct aptly describes the relationship between a perfect circle (which again doesn’t truly exist in nature) and its diameter. This mathematical relationship does not govern the forces of creating a circle but is a causal inference. The Game of Life, http://www.math.com/students/wonders/life/life.html, shows how simple rules can give rise to behaviors that are described as “gliders” or “spaceships” which are mental constructs that accurately describe a behavior of the system. These constructs are not found in the source code and were not designed into the system.

          Curious question: Can a mental construct exist in a computer without any humans to interpret?

        • tony says:

          mental constructs are often just descriptions of nature

    • Tony says:

      but Dr.lisle there is one question that i really need to ask you and i think its more important then any other, about logic, science, or morality -Do you base your position upon objectively valid evidence for Yahweh/Jesus/Holy Ghost’s basic existence, or do you adopt a faith-based position?

      [Dr. Lisle: Well, that’s a bifurcation. But I’m happy to clarify. I define “faith” as “confidence in something not observed with the senses.” This is consistent with the biblical use of the word. All people have a type of faith because we all believe things that we have not observed with our senses. Even the notion that our senses are reliable is a type of faith. The question then is whether or not that faith is rationally justified. To answer your question, I believe the existence of God is objectively provable. And I believe that it involves faith in the sense in which I have defined it. We cannot see God directly with our senses under normal conditions, and thus my confidence in His existence is faith, albeit a logically provable faith.]

      When on one hand it claims to be a faith-based argument, while on the other it claims to present objectively valid evidence for Yahweh’s basic existence. In some instances it appears to tackle this, by borrowing from one to explain the other, and hopes no-one will notice it fails to do either.

      [Dr. Lisle: Perhaps you were thinking of faith as “something that cannot be proved,” but that isn’t my position. The proof of the Christian faith is that without it you couldn’t prove anything at all. And we can prove things. Thus, the Christian faith is true. Hopefully it is clear now.]

      • Tony says:

        Again your,proof,of the Christian faith is not only unfalsiable but question begging as well

        [Dr. Lisle: It is very falsifiable in principle. All you have to do to falsify the proof is come up with some other worldview that makes knowledge possible in a self-consistent way. That would refute the first premise, and the argument would be rendered unsound. But no one has been able to do that. I’m not sure why you think it begs the question. Begging the question is assuming as a premise what you are attempting to prove. For example, arguing that my senses must be reliable because I have observed with my senses that I am an organism that requires reliable senses.]

        • Tony says:

          Want I’ve meant that you began your argument with a conclusion!

          [Dr. Lisle: No. My conclusion is that Christianity is true. I did not start the argument with that as an assumed premise. Rather I showed that alternatives to Christianity would make knowledge impossible (you helped me demonstrate that) because there would be no rational reason to believe in reliability of the sense or the universal and invariant nature of laws of logic (as two quick examples). And then I took that fact as premise #1 in the argument. Premise #2 is that knowledge is possible. And the conclusion is that Christianity is true. There was no fallacy there. Modus tollens is a valid argument in logic; it is not begging the question.]

          Reasoning is not supposed to begin with a conclusion also that’s the problem you refuse to accept any evidence that would make what you believe to be wrong,you just say “oh it’s not my beliefs that is wrong but the evidence!”

          [Dr. Lisle: Hardly. First, you haven’t presented any evidence that I’m wrong, for me to allegedly reject. Second, I’ve never said that the evidence is “wrong.” And third, I have suggested a simple way that you could refute my position if it were wrong: come up with another worldview that would make knowledge possible. But you haven’t been able to do that.]

          As well remember the cosmic wombat arguement?

          [Dr. Lisle: Remember how I refuted it? A fictional god that you make up as a spoof cannot be the rational foundation for any truth. Truth cannot be based in fiction.]

          You see now if I took all your arguments for Christianity and replaced God or Jesus or any term thats related to christianity with Cosmic Wombat and his revelations , guess what I have the exact same arguement as you….

          [Dr. Lisle: No, you won’t have the same argument for several reasons. First, recall that I have not been arguing that some sort of “god” must exist, rather I have showed that the God revealed in the Bible must exist because He alone has the characteristics necessary for justifying the preconditions of intelligibility. Remember? The universal, unchanging, nature of laws of logic stems from the omnipresent, invariant nature of God as objectively revealed in His Word.

          By analogy, suppose a kid says, “You had better not mess with me, because my dad is a professional boxer who has never lost a match, and he watches out for me.” His friend tries to counter this by saying, “Well I can take that argument, and substitute ‘my baby sister’ for ‘your dad’ and it proves the same point about me!” This obviously will not work because the baby sister does not have the characteristics that the dad has that made the original argument so strong. To make matters worse, it turns out the friend has no baby sister at all. He thought that he could make up a fictional person with the wrong characteristics and substitute that for the real person and the argument would have the same weight. But clearly that will not work. It’s the fear of the LORD that is the beginning of knowledge, not the fear of some hypothetical deity that may or may not exist. Clear?

          Second, recall that a fictional entity cannot be a rational foundation for anything that is true. So if you want to argue for some other god, you will have to assert that you genuinely believe in that god. In other words, you will have to concede that atheism is false, and our conversation will now move on to which god is the real God.

          Third, this is again the ABG (Anything But God) principle in action. People would rather make up and worship the most ridiculous false god they can think of than submit to the real God who has revealed Himself in Scripture, and has freely offered them salvation.

          Fourth, when making up a false god, most people forget that unless God reveals Himself, we can know nothing about Him. The biblical God has revealed Himself objectively in the pages of Scripture, open for all to inspect. Thus the Christian worldview makes objective knowledge possible, but other worldviews don’t.]

          And you cant refute it with out offering “evidence”

          [Dr. Lisle: The four points above refute any false god you can think of.]

          and guess what then youwould be putting God on trial!

          [Dr. Lisle: What? God is the one that tells us that knowledge begins in Him (Proverbs 1:7). I’m simply applying that principle, and showing how it works. You are resisting the God who gave you the very mind and senses that you are now using to rebel against Him. You have demonstrated the truth of the Christian position by failing (after considerable effort) to provide any basis for knowledge apart from God, which is exactly the Christian claim.]

          That’s what I’ve meant with unfalsiable arguement ….

          [Dr. Lisle: Again, all you have to do to falsify the argument is to provide a basis for knowledge apart from the Christian worldview.]

          • Tony says:

            “Remember how I refuted it?” Uh no… All you have shown is that you CAN’T refute it according to a van Tillain apologetic. I can just replace every time you wrote Jesus or God , or bible with cosmic wombat and his revelation and it refutes any arguement you can think up of!

            [Dr. Lisle: It won’t work for the reasons I listed above. Only the biblical God has the characteristics necessary to satisfy the preconditions of intelligibility. A god you make up is fictional, and a fictional god cannot provide the preconditions for any truth claim.]

            In case you haven’t figured out yet, you see now this refutes impossility to the contrary, it’s a demonstration of the sheer pointlessness of your arguement, I am typing from an iPad right now and I will demonstrate my point later incase you haven’t realized yet

            [Dr. Lisle: I don’t know if you are not reading my posts or what, but a god that you make up is fictional by definition. And a fictional god cannot justify anything. In the same way that you cannot substitute “baby sister” for “dad” and have the argument still be cogent, you cannot substitute any other god for the LORD and have knowledge still be possible.]

          • Antichus "Tony" says:

            No, you won’t have the same argument for several reasons. First, recall that I have not been arguing that some sort of “god” must exist, rather I have showed that the Cosmic Wombat through his universal revelation must exist because He alone has the characteristics necessary for justifying the preconditions of intelligibility. Remember? The universal, unchanging, nature of laws of logic stems from the omnipresent, invariant nature of the Cosmic Wombat revealed through his infallible universal revelation!

            [Dr. Lisle: This response fails because you haven’t demonstrated at all that your god can account for laws of logic, etc. I have demonstrated that the biblical God can. You can’t just substitute “baby sister” for “dad” and think that you’ve made an equally powerful argument.]

            By analogy, suppose a kid says, “You had better not mess with me, because my dad is a professional boxer who has never lost a match, and he watches out for me.” His friend tries to counter this by saying, “Well I can take that argument, and substitute ‘my baby sister’ for ‘your dad’ and it proves the same point about me!” This obviously will not work because the baby sister does not have the characteristics that the dad has that made the original argument so strong. To make matters worse, it turns out the friend has no baby sister at all. He thought that he could make up a fictional person with the wrong characteristics and substitute that for the real person and the argument would have the same weight. But clearly that will not work. It’s the fear of the Cosmic Wombat that is the beginning of knowledge, not the fear of some hypothetical deity that may or may not exist like your Jesus fellow. Clear?

            [Dr. Lisle: Whoops! In your haste to substitute your god for the biblical one, you made a silly mistake: you forgot to swap “dad” and “my baby sister” to complete the analogy. But if you had done that, you might have seen why your argument fails.]

            Second, recall that a fictional entity cannot be a rational foundation for anything that is true. In other words, you will have to concede that Christianity is false,as anything except the Cosmic Wombat would make knowledge impossible

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you are not thinking this through at all. We are now debating which God exists. It is atheism that we must both now concede to be wrong. Do you agree?]

            Third, this is again the ABCW (Anything But Cosmic Wombat) principle in action. People would rather make up and worship the most ridiculous false god they can think of than submit to the real God-the Cosmic Wombat who has revealed Himself in the Universal revelations which are SO CLEAR and obvious that the Cosmic Wombat doesn’t NEED a holy book, and has freely offered them salvation.

            [Dr. Lisle: And where is that revelation exactly? My Bible says “the LORD.” So your argument again fails. It is the fallacy of false analogy.]

            Fourth, when making up a false god, most people forget that unless Cosmic Wombat reveals Himself, we can know nothing about Him. The Cosmic Wombat has revealed Himself objectively his Universal Revelation, so blatantly clear for all to see i mean its so obvious that why would you even NEED a holy book to see that the Cosmic Wombat exists.!Thus the Cosmic Wombat’s worldview makes objective knowledge possible, but other worldviews don’t.

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, if you had bothered to read what you have written in haste, you could easily have seen why it fails. Just read the first sentence in your last paragraph. There is no revelation from the god you made up. We have revelation from the biblical God – the Bible. And there are a handful of alleged revelations from competitors, such as the Koran. If God doesn’t reveal Himself, then we can’t know anything about Him. And again, a god you make up cannot justify anything! I don’t know how many times I’ll need to write that before it sinks in. A fiction cannot justify reality.]

            [One last thing. Now that we’ve seen the futility of trying to make up a god that can do what only the biblical God can do, it will be your sinful nature (Romans 1:18-22) to again resist God, and try to come up with a better god of your own making. So, you will try to argue that your god has all the characteristics of the biblical God, in order to make knowledge possible. But if your god has all the characteristics of the biblical God, then your god IS the biblical God – by definition; you have simply called him by the wrong name.]

            • Antichus "Tony" says:

              This response fails because you haven’t demonstrated at all that your god can account for laws of logic, etc. I have demonstrated that the Cosmic Wombat can. You can’t just substitute “baby sister” for “dad” and think that you’ve made an equally powerful argument
              Dr. Lisle if you had bothered to read what you have written in haste, you could easily have seen why it fails. Just read the first sentence in your last paragraph. There is no revelation from the god you made up. We have revelation from the Cosmic Wombat -he has revealed himself SO explicitly that only a total fool would say he is a false god! And there are a handful of alleged revelations from competitors, such as the Bible, Koran,Book of Mormon,Bhadvad Gita but they all fail when compared to the revelation of the Cosmic Wombat. If Cosmic Wombat doesn’t reveal Himself, then we can’t know anything about Him. And again, a god you make up cannot justify anything! I don’t know how many times I’ll need to write that before it sinks in. A fiction cannot justify reality!

              One last thing. Now that we’ve seen the futility of trying to make up a god that can do what only the Cosmic Wombat can do, it will be your sinful nature to again resist Cosmic Wombat, and try to come up with a better god of your own making. So, you will try to argue that your god has all the characteristics of the Cosmic Wombat, in order to make knowledge possible. But if your god has all the characteristics of the Cosmic Wombat , then your god IS the Cosmic Wombat- by definition; you have simply called him by the wrong name.
              ” And where is that revelation exactly? My Bible says “the LORD.” So your argument again fails. It is the fallacy of false analogy.”
              You already know the revelation WORD FOR WORD you just choose to suppress it because you hat the Cosmic Wombat
              “Dr. Lisle: Tony, you are not thinking this through at all. We are now debating which God exists. It is atheism that we must both now concede to be wrong. Do you agree?”
              Okay you clearly don’t understand the point of this argument, so i am going to have to continue it until you do

              [Dr. Lisle: Tony, this makes no sense. If you have an actual rational response, please make it. A parrot can do what you did, except he can whistle too. That hardly constitutes a rational answer.]

              • Tony says:

                Well unfortunately I sometimes have trouble articulating my points so maybe that’s why you have a bit of a problem understanding the point i am trying to make, or maybe not

        • Tony says:

          And no it’s not falsable in principle as well the the proof cannot be satifiyied because you keep moving the goal posts

          [Dr. Lisle: Tony, that just isn’t true. My argument has always been the same: only the Christian worldview makes knowledge possible. And knowledge is possible. Thus Christianity is true. To falsify it, just come up with some other system that makes knowledge possible. To make things easier for you, let’s pick just one aspect of knowledge: uniformity. How (apart from the Christian worldview) can you know that the future will reflect the past in terms of the laws of nature? Uniformity (or induction) is the principle whereby we can use past experiences to help predict future outcomes. It is made possible because God is beyond time and has revealed to us that He will uphold the future like the past (e.g. Genesis 8:22). Apart from Christianity, can you account for this? Without it, science would be impossible.]

        • Tony says:

          “Rather I showed that alternatives to Christianity would make knowledge impossible (you helped me demonstrate that)”
          no i havent i gave you countless examples but you refused to listen,

          [Dr. Lisle: Tony, the examples you provided didn’t work, and I carefully explained why. Remember? For example, you tried to argue that we know laws of logic because they have passed certain tests. But this would not allow us to know that they are universal or unchanging, since we have not tested all laws of logic in all situations. It also begged the question because you had to use logic to draw your conclusion. Then you tried to argue that laws of logic are merely tautological statements, defined by truth tables. But then that cannot account for why they apply to the physical universe. You attempted to argue that you know your senses are reliable because you’ve observed (with your senses) that you are an organism that requires reliable senses. But that begs the question. And so on. None of your answers have rationally worked. If you didn’t understand my explanation, just ask and I will be happy to clarify. If you think I’m wrong in my refutation, make a counter-argument. I’ll listen.]

          you just tried to explain it away with a post hoc rationalisation the problems is that no matter how good my counter arguement is not matter how sound logically it is you will not accept it because it condraicts what you believe and you just will not accept that!

          [Dr. Lisle: Irony. Tony, I’ve shown you that the Christian worldview can make sense of knowledge, science, etc. The revelation of God in the Scriptures is exactly what we need to justify things like laws of logic, and reliability of the senses. But, “you just tried to explain it away with a post hoc rationalization. The problem is that no matter how good my counter-argument is and no matter how sound logically it is you will not accept it because it contradicts what you believe and you just will not accept that!”]

          • Antichus "Tony" says:

            “Then you tried to argue that laws of logic are merely tautological statements, defined by truth tables. But then that cannot account for why they apply to the physical universe”
            no its the physical universe that applies its self to logic, not the other way around

            [Dr. Lisle: Okay. But then why is the universe so kind as to apply itself to logic that we have defined? You see, what you are proposing just doesn’t make any sense.]

            ” You attempted to argue that you know your senses are reliable because you’ve observed (with your senses) that you are an organism that requires reliable senses”
            uh no they are axiomatic,

            [I understand that, but they still need to be justified. And I want to know how that’s possible in your worldview. How would it make sense that we are chemical accidents that just happen to have reliable senses? Those two beliefs do not comport.]

            The validity of the senses is an axiom. Like the fact of consciousness, the axiom is outside the province of proof because it is precondition of any proof. Proof consists in reducing an idea back to the data provided by the senses. These data themselves, the foundation of all subsequent knowledge, precede any process of inference. They are the primaries of cognition, the unchallengeable, the self-evident.any attempt to prove the validity of the senses by means of a deductive argument would itself have to assume their validity, and in this sense such an argument could be said to be circular.

            [Dr. Lisle: Earlier you were criticizing me for allegedly arguing in a circle, but now you seem to think it’s okay for you to do so. Which is is?]

            But the broader take-away here is the fact that since the validity of the senses is axiomatic, no one needs to prove that the senses are valid in the first place. One can only be rightly accused of engaging in circular reasoning in the present context if he is attempting to infer the validity of the senses by means of a formal proof. Since proof as such presupposes the validity of senses, such an undertaking is unnecessary.

            [Dr. Lisle: I agree with some of your reasoning here. Though I would still maintain that your faith in your senses is ultimately (and ironically) a “blind” faith, since you don’t have a good reason for it on your own worldview. You and I both presuppose that our senses are reliable. But in my worldview, when I read Scripture, I find that my confidence in that presupposition is well-justified, because God created my senses to be able to probe the universe. It makes sense that there is a correlation between my perceptions and reality, since the same God created both. But in your worldview, your senses and mind are just chance accidents of nature, nothing but the result of unplanned, mindless chemical reactions. That doesn’t comport with your initial presupposition that your perceptions correspond to reality, because chance chemical reactions do not normally produce a mental picture that corresponds to reality. So your worldview is self-defeating.]

            • Brian Forbes says:

              You know, this whole discussion reminds me why Power Evangelism (see John Wimber) is so much more effective than arguing logical points from faith perspectives. God (or the Wombat) can reveal Himself in real life, then all this argumentation becomes hot air. Trouble is, we aren’t God, and all we can do is hope he shows up (see the story about the 3 friends of Daniel). We have to find what God is doing in the situation. Trouble is, we can’t know that either, unless it’s revealed. So what we truly need is God’s revelation.

              Isa. 59:1-2
              Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.

            • Antichus "Tony" says:

              ” Earlier you were criticizing me for allegedly arguing in a circle, but now you seem to think it’s okay for you to do so. Which is is?”
              i told you One can only be rightly accused of engaging in circular reasoning in the present context if he is attempting to infer the validity of the senses by means of a formal proof. Axioms are different then circular reasoning.

              [Dr. Lisle: I’m not sure that answers my question. But I’ll move on. My main question is this: How do you know that your axioms are true?]

              I read an artical called “NOT circular reasoning” on creation ministries international that said circular reasoning is never acceptable and creationists are not guilty of using circular reasoning to prove the truth of the bible.
              “That doesn’t comport with your initial presupposition that your perceptions correspond to reality, because chance chemical reactions do not normally produce a mental picture that corresponds to reality”
              again like i said before natural selection, if they don’t correspond to reality survival would be difficult

              [Dr. Lisle: Again, 99.999999999% of the chemical accidents in this universe do not have “perceptions that correspond to reality” as far as we know. Yet they exist. They have “survived.” So your claim that something is unlikely to survive without reliable senses is easily refuted. You keep stating it. But it’s still refuted by the 99.99999999% of cosmic chemistry that does not have reliable senses, and yet has survived. You must have some really compelling reason to think that you (amazingly) beat the odds. What is that reason?]

              • Antichus "Tony" says:

                “My main question is this: How do you know that your axioms are true?”
                i told you axioms are premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy

                [Dr. Lisle: Your answer does make some sense within the Christian worldview. God can “hardwire” knowledge directly into us, such that we can know certain premises as self-evident. But how would that make sense in an evolutionary universe? Mindless chemicals with no knowledge at all just happen to come together to form a working mind with reliable senses that has built-in self-evident knowledge! It just strains credulity to the breaking point. If our mind is really just a chance accident, then is there any reason to assume that what we take as self-evident truth is really true at all? Is there any reason to assume in a chance universe that our minds formed in such a way as to correctly understand that universe? C.S. Lewis argued that this is like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London.]

                  • Robert says:

                    Well he has already stated that he lives in the matrix where his thoughts are actually not real but that he has some certainty that his sense just came to him through evolution and the the universe obeys whatever the most people agree on, as long as they agree with him.
                    He has claimed faith in the cosmic wombat as the 1 and only god, all while not believing in a god at all. Other than Magog and Gog that is.
                    Actually all of this sounds kinda schizophrenic now that i list out all of the beliefs he has claimed. At least A.D.D. at a minimum.

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      well if your thoughts are in a matrix then they still technically exist, and again you seem to fail to understand my arguments, there where many avenues that i could have persued down with dr.lisle but instead i chose not to, because i honestly didnt think Dr.lisle would understand my argument and i felt it was pointless to go certain ways because of this problem

      • Tony says:

        Also I am curious dr.lisle are you a calvinist, dominionist and post-millennialist?

        [Dr. Lisle: I don’t take a public position on those issues at this time. Sorry.]

  2. Josef says:

    ..it just seems logic is universal and absolute..

    It just seems like logic is universal and absolute? Don’t you see how you just proved Dr. Lisle’s very argument?

  3. Dr. Lisle says:

    Hi Tony,

    “said, “well, it just seems that all houses are blue.” Would that be rational?”
    well since all the houses you saw where [sic] blue, i guess it might be okay for u to assume so otherwise, until proven wrong

    Actually, no, that would not be rational. It would be the fallacy of the hasty generalization and the appeal to ignorance. In logic, it is not appropriate to extrapolate from one or a handful of experiences to the entire world unless there is a good reason to do so. Also it is not appropriate to assume something for the sole reason that no one has proved the opposite. It would be fallacious to assume that all houses are blue, merely because in my limited experience they are. That thinking leads to incorrect conclusions.

    “If not, what is your justification for assuming that it does continue to apply in future or untested situations?”
    simple by keep testing it

    Testing it by what? Laws of logic? How do you test whether or not laws of logic are true? And even assuming that you could prove that they are true today, why do you assume they will continue to be true in the future – say one second from now? You cannot experiment on the future.

    “would you consider the possibility that the sentence might be true?”
    well if your car had the power to be in several locations at once then yes!

    Is that really your answer? Do you believe that my car can be in several places at once? Even if that were so, it wouldn’t resolve the paradox. I didn’t say that “my car is here and also there at the same time.” Rather, I said, “My car is in the parking lot and it is not the case that my car is in the parking lot.” Having a car that can be in several places at once won’t resolve that dilemma.

    So, are you open to the possibility that two contradictory statements can both be true?

    • Tony says:

      You test whether logic is true by seeing if it works, and there are times when paradoxes do work, and I said since all the house u saw where blue, then it is reasonable to believe it until you seen or learn otherwise

      • Dr. Lisle says:

        Hi Tony,

        > You test whether logic is true by seeing if it works,

        There are (at least) two problems with that answer. First, there is a difference between what works and what is true. The Ptolemaic solar system works reasonably well in terms of predicting positions of planets. But it isn’t true. Also, how would know if logic works without first assuming it?

        But let’s put those questions aside. And let’s assume for argument’s sake that indeed something is true if it works. We’ll label the proposition “logic works” as “p” and the proposition “logic is true” as q. Furthermore, let’s grant that logic works. Then we can conclude that logic is true. Yes? The argument is like this:

        1. If p then q. (If logic works, then it is true).
        2. p. (Logic works).
        3. Therefore q. (Logic is true)

        Seems like a good argument doesn’t it? And it is. In fact, this argument is a law of logic called “modus ponens.” But there is just one problem. The truthfulness of the laws of logic is the very thing we are supposed to be proving. And modus ponens is a law of logic. You would have to assume laws of logic (at least modus ponens) in order to prove laws of logic. The reasoning is circular. Moreover, it doesn’t answer how we can know that laws of logic will work in the future, that they have worked in the past, or that they work in unobserved/unexperienced situations.

        Only the Christian worldview can provide a rational foundation for the existence and properties of laws of logic. I hope you are now beginning to see this and to appreciate why the transcendental argument has never been defeated.

        > and there are times when paradoxes do work,

        A paradox is not a contradiction. A paradox is something that seems contradictory at first, but in reality is not. I might say, “I have a big little brother.” Now this may seem contradictory at first. How can someone be big and little (not big) at the same time and in the same sense? But the paradox is resolved by realizing that “big” and “little” are being used in two different senses. The former refers to size, whereas the latter is a colloquial way of saying “younger.” And there is no contradiction in having a big younger brother.

        Apart from the Christian worldview, you have no reason to think that genuine contradictions are always false. Yet, everyone somehow knows that contradictions are always false. This is because they know God in the core of their being, even if they won’t admit it (Romans 1:18-23). The Christian worldview could save them from an intellectually bankrupt philosophical outlook that makes genuine knowledge impossible. But because of our sin nature and our pride, we would rather be irrational than turn to God.

        > and I said since all the house u saw where blue, then it is reasonable to believe it until you seen or learn otherwise

        No, this is still the fallacy of the hasty generalization. In logic, a good argument is one in which the conclusion follows from the premise. The premises should provide reasons to believe the conclusion. However, it does not follow logically that because one house is blue, all of them must be blue. In fact, they aren’t. So a person who reasons using hasty generalizations will almost always be wrong. His thinking is not logical. If a person only had knowledge of his own blue house, he cannot logically conclude that other houses are (or are not) blue because there isn’t any reason to do so. Such a belief would be unwarranted by evidence. So, from a rational perspective, he shouldn’t assume anything about other houses.

        Do you believe that two genuinely contradictory sentences can both be true at the same time and in the same sense? If not, why?

        • tony says:

          ” Do you believe that two genuinely contradictory sentences can both be true at the same time and in the same sense? If not, why?”
          yes i am both chinese and canadian, you cannot be 2 different ethnicities at once according to your logic, but yet i am both,
          “Yet, everyone somehow knows that contradictions are always false. This is because they know God in the core of their being, even if they won’t admit it (Romans 1:18-23). ”
          uh that’s because contradictions (generally) do not reflect reality as humans percive
          “You would have to assume laws of logic (at least modus ponens) in order to prove laws of logic.”
          testing a machine to see if a machine works is not circular reasoning
          ” Also, how would know if logic works without first assuming it?”
          simple through experiance
          also remember about when i talked about Calvinism and presupptionalism and… well you might want to take a look at this http://www.choosinghats.com/2012/05/why-dr-jason-lisle-of-answers-in-genesis-does-not-understand-presuppositional-apologetics/

          • Dr. Lisle says:

            Hi Tony,

            >> ”Do you believe that two genuinely contradictory sentences can both be true at the same time and in the same sense? If not, why?”
            > yes i am both chinese and canadian, you cannot be 2 different ethnicities at once according to your logic, but yet i am both,

            No, this is not a contradiction. A contradiction is “A” and “not-A” at the same time and in the same relationship. A contradiction would be to say I am Canadian (from Canada) and not-Canadian (not from Canada) at the same time by the same definition. It’s not a contradiction to say that a car is fast and also red.

            By the way, if you don’t believe in the law of non-contradiction, then you do believe in the law of non-contradiction. My question is: why do you believe in it?

            >> “Yet, everyone somehow knows that contradictions are always false. This is because they know God in the core of their being, even if they won’t admit it (Romans 1:18-23). ”
            > uh that’s because contradictions (generally) do not reflect reality as humans perceive [sic]

            That’s a hasty generalization fallacy. How do you know that human perceptions are (1) truthful, and (2) representative of all knowledge?

            >> “You would have to assume laws of logic (at least modus ponens) in order to prove laws of logic.”
            > testing a machine to see if a machine works is not circular reasoning

            Again, it is if you arbitrarily assume that machine is working in order to make the test. Effectively, you are assuming (1) laws of logic work, (2) you then “test” laws of logic and use logic to conclude that (3) laws of logic work. But this is what you started with. Your reasoning is circular. You’ve used modus ponens (a law of logic) in your effort to prove laws of logic. See my previous post.

            >> ” Also, how would know if logic works without first assuming it?”
            > simple through experience [sic]

            The notion that we can learn from experience is a Christian presupposition. The universe has an underlying uniformity because it is upheld by the mind of God, and God made our minds to be able to systematically discover that underlying order. Therefore, we can learn through experience. But from a non-Christian worldview, why would you assume that you can learn from experience.

            > also remember about when i talked about Calvinism and presupptionalism [sic]

            Remember that I pointed out that this is the genetic fallacy. Josef also answered this pretty thoroughly.

            So, I will ask yet again, how do you account for the existence and properties of laws of logic on your worldview?

            • tony says:

              ” Effectively, you are assuming (1) laws of logic work, (2) you then “test” laws of logic and use logic to conclude that (3) laws of logic work. ”

              no some one tells me about them, i am not sure if they work, then i test the laws of logic,and concludes it works

              • Dr. Lisle says:

                Hi Tony,

                Again, your reasoning is circular:

                > no some one tells me about them, i am not sure if they work, then i test the laws of logic,and concludes it works

                How are you “testing” laws of logic? You have decided that if laws of logic pass a certain test then you can conclude that they work. That is itself a proposition of the form “If p then q.” If laws of logic pass Tony’s test (“p”), then they work (“q”). Whatever that test is, let’s suppose that laws of logic indeed pass your test (“p”). So “p” is the proposition “laws of logic pass Tony’s test.” Then you conclude that they work (which is “q”). But in order to draw this conclusion, you have relied upon the law of logic called modus ponens.

                You have assumed that the laws of logic work (at least modus ponens) in order to draw your conclusion that they work. Do you see how you are begging the question (assuming what you are attempting to prove)?

                • tony says:

                  “How are you “testing” laws of logic?”
                  with experience!

                  [Dr. Lisle: How can you prove a universal law from limited experience? I’ve not experienced Antarctica. Can I rightly conclude that there is no Antarctica? You’ve never experienced a true contradiction. Can you conclude that there are none? Moreover, you have used logic to draw your conclusion. But that’s what you are supposed to be proving.]

                  “You have assumed that the laws of logic work ”
                  no i have not, i assume that they might work, or they might not work
                  “But in order to draw this conclusion, you have relied upon the law of logic called modus ponens. ”
                  again ,no some one tells me about them, i am not sure if they work, then i test modus ponens,and concludes it works

                  [When you say “and concludes” you are assuming modus ponens.. It baffles me that you haven’t realized that. I’m not blaming you; perhaps I haven’t explained it well. Whenever you draw a conclusion, a “therefore” (even if the word “therefore” isn’t actually there), you are relying upon logic. Normally that’s fine. Logic is what we use to prove other things. But now I’m asking you to prove that logic itself is a reliable standard apart from the Christian worldview. Can you do that without arbitrarily assuming logic as part of the argument? And then I’m going to ask you again how you know that logic applies in situations that you have not experienced.]

                  • tony says:

                    ” But now I’m asking you to prove that logic itself is a reliable standard ”
                    simple it works, it helps us understand reality

                    [Dr. Lisle: The Ptolemaic model of the solar system also “works” and “helps us understand reality”, yet it is wrong. So your answer fails. Besides, how do you know what reality is?]

                    ” I’m going to ask you again how you know that logic applies in situations that you have not experienced.”
                    i am assuming that they do,work because really what i am i supposed to do?

                    [Dr. Lisle: Answer: either (A) accept the Christian worldview as true, to have a reason to believe in the universal and invariant nature of laws of logic, or (B) stop assuming such. A rational person has a good reason for his or her beliefs. Therefore, if you don’t have a good reason to believe that laws of logic work beyond your limited experiences, then you should not assume that they work beyond your limited experiences. The fact that you do believe that laws of logic are universal shows your suppressed knowledge that the Christian worldview is true.]

                    then again aren’t you just assuming that we exist? that we arent just a figment of someone elses imagination ?

                    [Dr. Lisle: Perhaps you are just assuming that. But I have a good reason to believe otherwise. The Bible tells me that God has created a real universe and that people are real and made in His image. Thus, my experiences do correspond to the universe which God also made. But how could a non-Christian possibly know that he or she is not just a figment of someone else’s imagination? Or, a blade of grass?]

            • tony says:

              [Dr. Lisle: I’ll answer in brackets to save space.]

              “By the way, if you don’t believe in the law of non-contradiction, then you do believe in the law of non-contradiction. My question is: why do you believe in it?”
              through experience, i look at each case differently, i never said that i dont believe in this

              [How can you know about a universal law “through experience?” Do you have universal experience? Have you tested every pair of contradictory statements to see if there is never a case where they are both true? If not, then “experience” is not an adequate answer. How do you know that contradictions are false when you have only experienced a tiny fraction of them?]

              “The notion that we can learn from experience is a Christian presupposition.”
              uh no its not, according to presupptionalists all knowledge is from relevations,that human beings cant know anything unless god tells them like from that site i gave you a linked to,…

              [This is a straw-man argument. You have misrepresented what presuppositionalists teach. Although we would say that knowledge is possible because of revelation from God, we do not deny that there are other ways to obtain knowledge than by direct revelation. We believe that our senses are basically reliable, and we believe in laws of logic by which we are able to learn new things. Our point is that the reliability of the senses and the existence and properties of laws of logic would not make sense and would not be justified apart from revelation from God.]

              also there would be no order in the universe if the christian god was real one minute snakes talk the other moment water turns to blood…..

              [The opposite is true. If there were no God, there would no reason to expect any sort of order in the universe at all. You wouldn’t bother typing your next message because literally anything could happen. Maybe when you hit the letter “A” you become a tulip. There’s no reason to think otherwise in a chance universe. But God has guaranteed us that the basic cycles of nature will continue as long as the earth remains (Genesis 8:22). This doesn’t mean that God cannot do something extraordinary. But it does mean that there are basic cycles in nature that persist in time. Therefore, we can use past experience as a basis for what is likely to happen in the future. Apart from the Christian worldview, how can you justify uniformity?]

              “Remember that I pointed out that this is the genetic fallacy. Josef also answered this pretty thoroughly. ”
              Did you even READ the link i sent you i told you????? Calvinists say that if you deteach presupptionalism from Calvinism it ceases to truly work, and that a non Calvinist is being inconsistant when they use these arguement

              [That’s wrong. It continues to be the genetic fallacy. Did you even read my explanation of why, or Josef’s explanation? You seem to think that by stating this fallacy over and over that it will cease to be a fallacy. But it doesn’t work that way. Nor will appealing to authority, via external links. If you have a rebuttal, then make it. If you think Calvinism is necessary to use the transcendental argument, then please explain to me how limited atonement is required in order for knowledge to be possible.]

              “So, I will ask yet again, how do you account for the existence and properties of laws of logic on your worldview?” i told you before logic is a description of reality

              [How do you know what reality is, without appealing to the Christian worldview? “Experience” isn’t the answer, since (1) how would you know that your perceptions correspond with the real universe and (2) your experiences are very limited compared to the whole of reality. How do you know that laws of logic are universal and invariant?]

              “A contradiction would be to say I am Canadian (from Canada) and not-Canadian (not from Canada)”
              technically that’s what i am

              [No, not in the same sense. You can be from Canada in one sense (say Mother’s side) and not from Canada in another sense (say Father’s side), but not in the same sense. A contradiction would be “some of my ancestors are from Canada, AND it is not the case that some of my ancestors are from Canada.” Is it possible to have two (genuinely) contradictory statements true in your worldview?]

              • tony says:

                “If you think Calvinism is necessary to use the transcendental argument”
                i have told you Dr.lisle read the article i provided

                [Dr. Lisle: I read it. And I explained to you why it was false. If you have an argument, then make it. Please don’t keep stating the same fallacy over and over.]

                ” How do you know that contradictions are false when you have only experienced a tiny fraction of them?”
                i check them one at a time

                [Have you checked all (infinity) of them? If not, then how do you know that there aren’t some true contradictions out there – ones that you haven’t gotten around to checking yet? This question is easy to answer rationally in the Christian worldview. Can you answer it rationally?]

                • tony says:

                  Besides, I would claim that one can be completely justified in believing the uniformity of nature without reference to a Creator. Ask yourself: Is uniformity simpler than variety? Is it simpler for things to behave the same way throughout all time rather than behaving several different ways over the course of time? It certainly is,

                  [Dr. Lisle: The problem here is that things in fact change. The universe does have variety – a lot of variety! The universe changes – it is not the same as it was yesterday. And it was quite different when it first came to be (regardless of what position on origins we take). A static universe may be “simpler” than a changing one, but the fact is that the universe does change. Why on your worldview would you therefore expect to find patterns in those changes that are themselves unchanging?]

                  [On the Christian worldview, I can answer these questions. God allows a large variety of changes in the universe. But He has promised that there are certain patterns of change that will not change. There is an underlying orderliness that will continue into the future. Thus, we can use past experience as a basis for what will likely happen in the future. Given sufficiently similar conditions, we will get a similar result. But how could you expect that in a chance universe?]

                  and since Occam’s razor tells us that “the simplest explanation is most probably correct”

                  [Actually, Occan’s razor is only justified in the Christian worldview. In the biblical worldview truth tends to have a simplicity to it because there is simplicity in Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3) and all truth is in Christ (Colossians 2:3). But in a chance universe, why should the true view be the simplest?]

                  then it follows that certain regularities in the behavior of matter that we observe today were very probably the same in the past, and very probably will be the same in the future.

                  [Actually, that doesn’t follow. Even if I grant that there is uniformity in the universe today, even if I grant there has been some in the past, it would not logically follow that there probably will be in the future unless we already assumed uniformity. We assume uniformity when we rely on past experience as an indicator of what will probably happen in the future. But without uniformity, past experience would be utterly irrelevant to future success. It takes people a while to catch this. Take a look at the Copi&Cohen quote (shown in green text) earlier in these comments. Feel free to ask a follow-up question if you would like further elaboration.]

                  This brings us to another question: atheists and agnostics may be justified in believing that nature is uniform because of their experience, but wouldn’t it still be true that theists have a reason to expect a uniform universe in advance while atheists do not?

                  [It’s a good question. First let me add that I would not grant the first premise – that atheists and agnostics may be justified in believing that nature is uniform by experience. The notion of relying upon past experience to predict probably futures is itself the assumption of uniformity. To suppose that there will be uniformity in the future because there has been in the past is to assume the very thing one is trying to prove. It begs the question. A Christian has a genuine reason to believe in such uniformity based on the nature and character of God, and God’s promise to uphold the world in a consistent way.

                  Perhaps so, but then again there is no more reason to presuppose that a consistent God exists (prior to examining the real world) than there is to suppose that a consistent universe exists (prior to examining the universe).

                  [I understand what you are trying to argue. You could certainly take as a presupposition that there is underlying order in nature apart from God, such that the future will be like the past. But apart from God, you could never actually know it. All you could say is “in my limited experiences, assuming my memory and senses are reliable, nature has been – in the past – uniform.” But there would be no rational justification for supposing that nature will continue to be uniform in the future. It might be of course, but it would be fallacious to assume it because it begs the question. See the Copi & Cohen quote.]

                  [On the other hand, in the Christian worldview, God has revealed Himself to us. He has told us about uniformity in nature, and He would certainly know because all truth is in Him. God is beyond time, and therefore does not change in terms of His essential nature. He knows the future, He determines the future, and therefore we have a good reason to believe in uniformity in nature. Laws of logic, the uniformity of nature, the basic reliability of our sense, and the rationality of the mind are all justified in the Christian worldview.]

                  [Keep in mind too, that when we examine the universe, we presume that our senses are reliably probing the universe, and that our mind is able to rationally understand what we see. Our perceptions of reality are presumed to correlate well with reality. But apart from the Christian worldview, even that assumption is unjustified. If we are just a bag of chemicals that happened by chance, there would be no reason to assume either of these.]

                  [So when you say that there is no reason to presuppose that a consistent God exists prior to examining the real world, I would say that unless the Christian God is presupposed, there is no point to examining the real world, because there is no reason to think that we could learn anything about it. The proof of God and the Christian worldview is that without such a worldview, you couldn’t prove anything at all. Christianity is the only way to be saved – not only from hell, but from irrationality.]

                  [I really enjoyed reading your latest comments. Thank you for posting.]

                  • Robert says:

                    Tony,
                    when you say “Is it simpler for things to behave the same way throughout all time rather than behaving several different ways over the course of time? It certainly is, and since Occam’s razor tells us that “the simplest explanation is most probably correct” ” Does that mean that you don’t believe in evolution then since it would be much simpler for the monkey to stay a monkey right?

                    • tony says:

                      “Does that mean that you don’t believe in evolution then since it would be much simpler for the monkey to stay a monkey right?”
                      no man did not evolve from monkeys they did from an ape like ancestor to both monkeys and men, it would not be more simplier because then the “monkey” would not be able to survive in mulitapleenvironments, or adapt to different situations

                    • Robert says:

                      So if it was going to make the change, why not all go to men? Seems simpler then to become a man.

                    • Robert says:

                      And, your origional response didn’t answer the question. It would still be simplest to remain an Ape, or go all the way back, a single cell bacteria, or even just the chemicals w/o life.

                    • tony says:

                      no it would not robert,because the planet changes, and life needs to adapt

                    • Robert says:

                      Your reponse seems very inconsistent. Non-life would be much simpler and less complex than life. Also, if “something simple is less complex and more likely and easier to be formed by chance” would work in the opposite direction of evolution.

                    • tony says:

                      thats because things dont go backwards robert

                  • tony says:

                    ” But in a chance universe, why should the true view be the simplest?”
                    something simple is less complex and more likely and easier to be formed by chance

                    [Dr. Lisle: By your reasoning, you shouldn’t believe in a universe at all. It is far simpler to believe that only your mind formed by chance, than it is to believe that your mind and the rest of the universe formed by chance.]

                • tony says:

                  [W]here you can get down to any knowledge of what atoms actually do, you will find they are much less subject to law than people thought,

                  [Dr. Lisle: No, laws of physics apply perfectly well at the quantum level. It is simply that the laws turned out to be different than people were expecting them to be. But atoms are not “lawless.” They perfectly obey the laws of physics as described by quantum mechanics.]

                  and that the laws at which you arrive are statistical averages of just the sort that would emerge from chance.

                  [Some laws can be derived logically from other laws. This makes sense in the Christian worldview because God is logical and the way He upholds the universe is logical and systematic. God allows things to change in the universe, but there are underlying patters of change that God maintains for our benefit. Some of these patterns are statistical / probabilistic in nature, such that even though we do not have information on each particle, there is a collective unified behavior due to the underlying uniformity of God’s sustaining power that we can describe. But how would that be so in a chance universe?]

                  There is, as we all know, a law that if you throw dice you will get double sixes only about once in thirty-six times, and we do not regard that as evidence that the fall of the dice is regulated by design; on the contrary, if the double sixes came every time we should think that there was design.

                  [I understand what you’re saying. When we roll dice, we are not consciously controlling the outcome because the conditions necessary to achieve the desired outcome are beyond our abilities to produce or even compute. However, I would ask you to think about the laws of probability themselves; why would there be such laws in a chance universe? In the Christian worldview, I see probability as a gift from God. God upholds the universe in such an organized way that even when we cannot possibly compute the outcome of a single event because the initial conditions are too complicated, we find that we are able to predict a pattern when many events are averaged. So I fully agree that rolling two 6’s will happen one time in thirty six (as the number of trials approaches infinity). Such mathematical precision makes sense in a universe upheld by the mind of God, where God ultimate controls the roll of the dice (Proverbs 16:33). But I have to ask, why would that be the case in a universe that is not upheld by the mind of God? Why would we expect any emergent patterns at all?]

                  The laws of nature are of that sort as regards a great many of them. They are statistical averages such as would emerge from the laws of chance; and that makes this whole business of natural law much less impressive than it formerly was.

                  [I suggest it is even more impressive that you can take a large sample of things (like atoms), so many that we cannot possibly know the information on any one of them, and then predict successfully the behavior of certain collective properties (like pressure, or temperature). It makes sense that underlying patterns exist in the Christian worldview. But how would a secular worldview make sense of this?]

                • tony says:

                  ” Can you answer it rationally”
                  I check them based on the circumstanced i am in, i dont need to check all of them because its unlikely i will be in all places of the universe

                  [Dr. Lisle: This doesn’t answer the question. How do you know that laws of logic will work in future situations that you have not yet experienced, or in places you’ve never been? You’ve never been to my home and have never tested laws of logic here. So how do you know they work here?]

                  “If you have an argument, then make it”
                  “sigh” you really cant tell cant you….. if a non -Calvinist uses this argument they are being inconsistent with their world view , i never said you cant use is, but you are bing inconsistant when you do,

                  [Dr. Lisle: The ironic thing about your claim here is that it is inconsistent with your worldview. Universal and invariant laws of logic, uniformity in nature, and absolute objective morality all presuppose a Christian worldview. Yet you use them while denying the Christian worldview. That’s very inconsistent. Plus, you have not really demonstrated that presuppositionalism requires Calvinism, nor have you demonstrated that I’m not a Calvinist. For the purposes of our discussion, let’s suppose that I am a Calvinist. Now, do you have any legitimate counter-argument to the transcendental argument?]

                  Presuppositionalism in general (apart from TAG in specific) does not aim for demonstrating God’s existence,

                  [Dr. Lisle: That just isn’t true. Again, with respect, and I really don’t mean to be disrespectful, but you need to read up on this topic Tony if you’re going to dialog cogently. I recommend Dr. Bahnsen’s book “Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended.” That will give you the background to dialog intelligibly about such things.]

                  since they(Calvinists)typically hold men are saved by the grace of God apart from any workings of their own (total deprativity), that men are too depraved to see evidence for God,

                  [Dr. Lisle: not exactly. The presuppositional claim is that men DO see evidence of God – unmistakable evidence of God, but that they suppress that truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-20).]

                  so there for you have to change their “worldview”;

                  [Dr. Lisle: No. As a presuppositionalist I believe that I am required to give a defense of the faith (1 Peter 3:15). I am required to challenge the unbelievers worldview, but only God can change it (2 Timothy 2:25).]

                  therefore, this method suits the general Calvinist philosophy and is generally not found outside this Christian philosophy.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Let’s not commit the genetic fallacy by conflating the soundness of an argument with its origin. The question is: can you account for the preconditions of intelligibility without invoking the Christian worldview? So far you haven’t been able to do so. As such, you continue to demonstrate the truth of Scripture, and the validity of the presuppositional method.]

                  • Chris H says:

                    Presuppositionalism in general (apart from TAG in specific) does not aim for demonstrating God’s existence, since they(Calvinists)typically hold men are saved by the grace of God apart from any workings of their own

                    I do not think that you understand Total Depravity… as a matter of fact based on your definition I can guarantee that you do not.

                    What you just described is unlimited grace. Total Depravity (which you got right the second time you defined it) states that no one except those called by God can be saved.

                    However, the Calvinists make a pretty significant mistake in their hermeneutic.

                    Free will, Total Depravity, and Limited Atonement are all taught by Scripture. Thus, they are all completely true and not mutually exclusive. Our understanding of them leads us to perceive them to be that way, but they are not. Thus, it is ENTIRELY logical and consistent for ANY Christian who believes in either Limited Atonement and Unlimited Grace/Unmerited Favor, or Free Will.

                    To deny free will is to logically deny culpability for ones actions, and the Scriptures teach that we are culpable, Paul also writes in the Epistles that we have the ability to Choose. Where you draw the line for that ability is up to you, but the Bible teaches man CAN make a choice, and it also teaches that all those who are saved have been individually called by God.

                    • Chris H says:

                      states that no one except those called by God can be saved.

                      *Because they are unable to choose God over their own sinful desires.

                      (clarification)

              • tony says:

                “Is it possible to have two (genuinely) contradictory statements true in your worldview?”
                until proven otherwise, i am open to these possbilities

                [Dr. Lisle: then you are not open to these possibilities. Right?]

              • Chris H says:

                If you think Calvinism is necessary to use the transcendental argument, then please explain to me how limited atonement is required in order for knowledge to be possible.]

                Dr. Lisle, John McCarthur explained it this way in his commentary on Ephesians.

                (This is not related to your quetstion, by the way, simply limited atonement.)

                Limited Atonement is true (election)
                Scripture makes this very clear.

                Man’s free will to choose is true.
                Scripture (Paul) also teaches this.

                The fact is that the two terms appear mutually exclusive to us, who are finite and limited in our understanding. But to God, these things make sense. There are still mysteries left in the world, and the mystery of how both can be true has not been revealed to us.

                My simple answer? I am a Biblicist, and I believe in Limited Atonement, and man’s free will.

                • Chris H says:

                  (I am paraphrasing. I could get the exact quote if that would also be helpful.)

                • Dr. Lisle says:

                  Yes. My argument was not against limited atonement. It was in response to Tony’s claim that only a 5-point Calvinist can consistently use the transcendental argument. I want to know how the argument depends on limited atonement, which is one of the 5 points of Calvinism.

                  • Tony says:

                    No it is dependent on total deprativity, the idea that man can’t come to Jesus unless Jesus first permits it

                    [Dr. Lisle: Even if I grant that, lots of Christians accept total depravity while rejecting the other points of Calvinism. You claimed that a person must be a 5-point Calvinist to use TAG, so I’m waiting for you to show how Tag depends on limited atonement.]

                    • tony says:

                      also unconditional election as well, but the fact is that you always claim athiests are inconstant, so using these arguments would put according to you in the same place as the athiest!

                      [Dr. Lisle: I appreciate the attempted tu quo que but it just won’t fly. Even an Arminian has a good reason to believe in universal, invariant laws of logic, laws of nature, and objective morality. The atheist doesn’t.]

                • Chris H says:

                  Please explain, Tony. How is presuppositional logic dependent on the total depravity of man?

                  I read the link you posted, and it never once gave a good reason to believe Total Depravity must assumed to use presuppositional logic.

                  I would be curious to see how you necessitate the one for the other.

    • Jason K says:

      If we can’t prove the laws of logic then does that mean contradictions are allowed to exist? “Modus Tollens” is a logic proof that shows if the conclusion part of an if statement is false then so must the premise. Since we don’t observe contradictions as actually existing we can then state that logic does indeed exist.

      I think there are two separate senses of the word “logic” that are being used. The first is the idea that logic is the tool to resolve two or more conflicting view points. Obviously we are all actively using logic to debate among ourselves and arguing that one must prove logic whilst using logic seems a bit absurd especially when one tries to use logic to advance the argument!

      The other is the idea that everything that exists must exist without contradiction. If God existed “before” logic or outside of logic then that means God existed with contradictory versions of himself (otherwise God was never in contradiction and thus always bound by logic). If logic was always there just as God has always been (presumably because logic is part of God’s nature) then I’m not sure such a statement can be falsified or adds any predictive power.

      P.S. I am not a mathematician but from my understanding of integers one only needs the number “1” and the definition of addition to get infinity. Add in the definition of divisibility and you get fractions and prime numbers. All the interesting facets of numbers happen as a consequence of simplicity and the single concept that something exists, “1”, as opposed to nothing existing (a universe with only “0”). For the number “1” to play out differently in any other way then contradictions would have to exist.

      • Dr. Lisle says:

        Hi Jason,

        > If we can’t prove the laws of logic then does that mean contradictions are allowed to exist?

        That’s really my question to the secularists. I can justify the law of non-contradiction in my worldview, so I know it exists. God never denies Himself, and all truth is in God. Therefore, truth will never contradict itself. Laws of logic and their universal invariant properties make sense in the Christian worldview. But how can a secularist justify such things? And if he cannot, then why should he continue to believe in them?

        > “Modus Tollens” is a logic proof that shows if the conclusion part of an if statement is false then so must the premise.

        Yes. It’s a law of logic.

        > Since we don’t observe contradictions as actually existing we can then state that logic does indeed exist.

        Actually, that doesn’t follow because of two fallacies. First, it’s the fallacy of affirming the consequent. “(1) If there were laws of logic, then contradictions cannot be true. (2) We observe that contradictions are not true. (3) Therefore, there exist laws of logic.” But the form of this argument is invalid. To see why, it has the same form as this argument: “(1) If it is raining, then the grass will be wet. (2) the grass is wet. (3) Therefore, it is raining.” But this doesn’t follow because the grass could be wet for other reasons – like maybe the sprinklers are on.

        Second, the fact that we have not observed a contradiction does not mean that there are none. To assume a universal from a few limited examples is called the fallacy of the hasty generalization. I have never seen it rain in Africa (I’ve never been to Africa), but this does not warrant the conclusion: “Therefore, it never rains in Africa.” Since our experiences are very limited compared to the entire universe, it would be fallacious to say “I’ve never seen X, therefore there is no X.”

        > I think there are two separate senses of the word “logic” that are being used. The first is the idea that logic is the tool to resolve two or more conflicting view points.

        If logic is merely a tool to resolve conflicting viewpoints, then it is no different than a gun. A gun can readily resolve conflicts. A person can quickly end a dispute by simply shooting his opponent. And yet somehow we know that logic is more than merely a tool to resolve conflicting viewpoints. The Christian worldview can make sense of laws of logic. But I have yet to see any other worldview that can do so.

        > Obviously we are all actively using logic to debate among ourselves and arguing that one must prove logic whilst using logic seems a bit absurd especially when one tries to use logic to advance the argument!

        If a person were to argue that the way to win a debate on theology is to see who could eat the most hot dogs in 5 minutes, wouldn’t it be reasonable to ask him to explain why he thinks that should be the criterion for truth? Shouldn’t we ask, “how do you know that this is the correct way to resolve a debate?”

        In the Christian worldview, truth is determined by the mind of God and laws of logic reflect God’s thinking. Therefore, laws of logic are helpful in defending truth claims. But in the secular worldview, what are laws of logic, and how would you justify their relevance in determining what is true? If one arbitrarily assumes that laws of logic are the right standard, but has no reason to believe that on his own worldview, how can that be considered rational?

        > The other is the idea that everything that exists must exist without contradiction. If God existed “before” logic or outside of logic then that means God existed with contradictory versions of himself (otherwise God was never in contradiction and thus always bound by logic). If logic was always there just as God has always been (presumably because logic is part of God’s nature) then I’m not sure such a statement can be falsified or adds any predictive power.

        In the Christian worldview, laws of logic reflect the thinking of God. They have always existed because God has always had thoughts. They are self-consistent because God is. They are universal, invariant, and exception-less because God is omnipresent, unchanging, and sovereign. But how can a secular worldview account for any of those things? The “predictive power” of the Christian worldview is that laws of logic will continue to exist unchanged, and will continue to work universally without exception.

        > P.S. I am not a mathematician but from my understanding of integers one only needs the number “1″ and the definition of addition to get infinity.

        Get your own number “1”, and stop stealing God’s! 🙂 Actually, numbers are not “created” when we add one to something. Numbers already exist – all of them. The laws of addition simply tell us about the relationship between those numbers.

        > Add in the definition of divisibility and you get fractions and prime numbers. All the interesting facets of numbers happen as a consequence of simplicity and the single concept that something exists, “1″, as opposed to nothing existing (a universe with only “0″). For the number “1″ to play out differently in any other way then contradictions would have to exist.

        The rules of mathematics (multiplication, division, etc.) all make sense in a Christian worldview. They define the systematic way that numbers relate to other numbers. But in a chance universe, why would numbers be “related” by such simple rules? Why do these rules not change with time? Why do they seem to apply everywhere? The simplicity and yet complexity of mathematics makes sense in light of the thinking of God. But how can a secularist make sense of this?

        • Jason K says:

          You inverted the proof.

          [Dr. Lisle: Transcendental arguments are indeed “inverted” in the sense that the conclusion is the necessary precondition for the premises. Thus, if we grant the premises, then the conclusion is necessarily true.]

          You are positing that logic cannot be proven to exist (without G-d), therefor we are testing for the negative.

          [Dr. Lisle: It’s not just that laws of logic exist. The argument is that only the Christian worldview can make sense of laws of logic and their properties.]

          The proof is as follows:
          (1) If there is no logic then contradictions exist
          (2) Contradictions do not exist
          (3) Since contradictions do not exist there is logic

          [The argument is valid but unsound. The first premise need not be true because there could be other reasons why contradictions do not exist. As far as I know, pink two-headed turtles do not exist. But I don’t think that there is necessarily a law of nature that prevents such a thing from existing. Perhaps nothing exists, in which case neither laws of logic would exist nor contradictions.]

          [Your second premise can never be proved in your worldview. You can say that you’ve never seen a true pair of contradictory propositions. But I’ve never seen Australia. In both cases it would be fallacious to conclude that such things therefore do not exist.]

          Your grass/rain example is false analogy as there are no other explanations for the existence of contradictions other then the suspension of logic.

          [Oh certainly there are. Perhaps laws of logic have exceptions. Perhaps laws of logic only work in certain places, or at certain times, or only with particular kinds of truth claims. How could you know, since you have experienced less than 0.01% of all possible truth claims? My worldview disallows any of those possibilities of course. But I don’t see how a non-Christian worldview possibly can.]

          Invoking a supernatural cause for a posited contradiction is at odds with G-d being logical as he would be a source of contradictions.

          [In the Christian worldview, two contradictory propositions cannot both be true precisely because of the nature of God. God is completely self-consistent, and all truth is in Him, therefore truth will always be self-consistent.]

          It is not a hasty generalization to say that we have not observed any contradictions if that is indeed the case.

          [The hasty generalization is in the conclusion “Therefore, there are no contradictions.” To extrapolate from specific isolated instances to a universal conclusion without a sufficient reason is the hasty generalization.]

          You are miss attributing the term “conflict”. I used the term in the sense of two in congruent view points where both cannot both be true.

          [Ah, but how do you know that two incongruent viewpoints cannot both be true? I know they can’t both be true because such a thing would not comport with the self-consistent nature of God. I have a universal law of non-contradiction in my worldview. But how can you account for this on your worldview?]

          Resolving conflicts with guns is a different sense of the word.

          [In the Christian worldview – yes. There is an objective truth that is independent of who “wins” the debate by any standard other than God’s. But in a secular worldview, why would there exist laws of logic, and how can you know that they are always the standard by which truth claims should be judged? If laws of logic are just “chance”, then why should we rely on them to decide the outcome of a debate any more than a gun?]

          As for the number “1”, take number theory and group theory classes – your statement on mathematics are void of these concepts.

          [That’s not much of an answer – a bit of question-begging epithet, particularly since I have taken quite a number of classes on mathematics. In any case, it doesn’t answer my question about numbers. What are numbers in your worldview, and how do you account for the existence and properties of the laws of mathematics which describe and prescribe the relationship between numbers?]

          • Micah says:

            You’re premise 2 is flawed. You cannot know that contradictions do not exist. You can only know that in your very limited experience contradictions do not exists, but since you have yet to observe the entire universe you cannot know for certain that contradiction are always false.

            It IS a hasty generalization to assume contradictions must always be false just because in your limited experience they have been. If i had only ever seen a poodle in my lifetime and then came to the conclusion that all dogs are poodles, well, that would not be a rational conclusion. Its a hasty generalization, which is what you are doing when you assume contradictions must always be false just because in your experience they have been.

            • Jason K says:

              By that same token it would be a hasty generalization to say evolution does not exist since you have not observed the entirety of the universe.

              [Dr. Lisle: If that were the only basis for rejecting particles-to-people evolution, and if we had no basis for extrapolation, then yes. Of course, that’s not my argument. My argument is that evolution is false because it would render knowledge impossible, by failing to provide any logical justification for science, laws of logic, the reliability of sensation, and human rationality.]

              • Tony says:

                Again like any good creationist you are confusing abogensis with evolution, evolution just explains the diversity of life, I don’t see how that is supposed to provide justification for those things

                [Dr. Lisle: A lot of evolutionists would like to sidestep the problem of how life could possibly get started in their worldview. But if life can’t get started, it can’t diversify.]

                [The problem, Tony, is that the evolutionary explanation for the diversity of life would render knowledge impossible, because there would be no justification for science, logic, human rationality, and so on. It is fine to come up with explanations for things. But if these explanations would make it impossible to know anything, then they are not true. We do know things after all.]

                • Tony says:

                  What are you talking about there is plenty of justification for knowledge, again you think that evolution automatically means atheist

                  [Dr. Lisle: No, theistic evolution won’t save the day. How would a theistic evolutionist justify uniformity in nature, or the universal, invariant, absolute properties of laws of logic? Without such things, knowledge would be impossible.]

              • Jason K says:

                Perhaps in another part of the universe life comes from non-life as natural as the stars shining. To dismiss that possibility is a hasty generalization as you have not observed the entirety of the cosmos.

                [Dr. Lisle: That presupposes that observation is the only way to know things. But in the Christian worldview, that is not the case. God upholds the entire universe by His power, and He does it in a way that is logically consistent because of His self-consistent nature. Therefore, the Christian has a rational reason to make inferences about the distant universe from his observations of the local universe, since He knows that the same God upholds both.]

                The real counterpoint is that stating we can’t know X because we haven’t observed the entirety of the universe is nonsensical. If we accept that then we cannot derive any general knowledge (physical laws, math, or logic) from observation unless we have observed the whole.

                [You’ve almost got it Jason. Essentially your question boils down to: “How can we know anything unless we know everything?” The Christian worldview can answer this. If the only way to acquire knowledge were through observation, then you would be right: we could never know that physical laws are universal or invariant because no one has observed the entire universe. But in the Christian worldview, we can also know things by revelation. God, in whom is all truth, has told us some things about Himself and about the universe. For one, we know that God upholds the entire universe by the expression of His power. We know that God is logical and orderly. Therefore, we expect to find underlying patterns in nature. When we discover such a pattern, we can use it to make inferences about the unobserved or future universe since God is sovereign over space and time.]

                [Without such revelation from God, how could any generalization not be a hasty generalization? Without a reason to expect underlying uniformity, how could we ever conclude uniformity from observations alone? The Christian worldview alone can save people from hopeless irrationality.]

                • Micah says:

                  Very nicely put Jason!

                • Jason K says:

                  Observation is the only way to know things.

                  [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that? Have you observed all things? If not, then you cannot know by observation that all things are proved by observation. And if you prove the statement some other way, then the statement would have to be false. Strict empiricism is self-refuting.]

                  Certainly you would agree you can’t possibly know the mind of God without first observing the Bible or a revelation.

                  [No. The Bible teaches that God reveals Himself in many ways. The Bible is the clearest. But God has also revealed Himself in nature (Romans 1:20), and in our conscience (Romans 2:15). Our innate moral awareness (of what should be) does not come from observations of what is.]

                  Revelations are just another form of observation.

                  [No, the law of God that is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15) is not something that people necessarily have observed by their senses. God can give revelation directly to people.]

                  Have you observed all the revelations given unto man?

                  • Josef says:

                    Observation is the only way to know things? So I take it you don’t believe in logic, right? Have you observed logic? What does the law of non-contradiction look like? What does the law of the excluded middle look like? I also take it that you don’t believe in evolution either. Have you observed the first life coming from non-life? Did you observe reptiles changing into birds?

                    Not only that, but observation is only reliable if you can trust your senses. But aside from the biblical God, how could we ever trust our senses? Do you trust your observation when you see a magician cut someone in half?

                    • Jason K says:

                      Can you trust your senses enough to read the Bible?

                      [Dr. Lisle: Yes. In the Christian worldview, our senses are made by God who is truth. So we can have some confidence in their reliability. We presuppose the reliability of senses before we read the Bible which provides the rational foundation for reliability of senses. This is always the case with presuppositions – they are justified after the fact. But in the secular worldview, they can never be justified at all.]

                    • Tony says:

                      Yes but how do you know dr lisle that ? Your senses ar reliable? and they are not fooling you to think that you are reading the bible when you really are reading a spider man comic?

                      [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, that would not be possible due to the nature of God (1 Corinthians 14:33). God created our senses, and as such they will be basically reliable. But a non-Christian can never know that his senses are reliable on his own worldview.]

                  • Jason K says:

                    Dr Isle how can you know it is written in your heart unless you have observed it to be so? Presumably you experienced something in order to let you know it is the case and I posit that experience is observation.

                    [Dr. Lisle: No, this again sounds like you are assuming that all knowledge is acquired through observation. But I showed previously that such is a self-refuting position. In the Christian worldview, God has placed certain knowledge directly into the core of our being. We did not acquire such knowledge by taste, smell, touch, sight, or sound. We know it because God programmed it into us. In the Christian worldview, God cannot lie. Therefore, we can have confidence in the knowledge He has placed in us.]

                    If revelations are “revealed” then they are done through the senses (a burning bush or a guilty voice in your head are things one perceives). Let us even say that G-d directly influences the neurons in your brain to reveal a revelation, how is it you know it is from G-d unless you are allowed to sense that is the case? You can quote the Bible but that too relies on the senses.

                    [No, God can reveal Himself directly, or by other means that involve our senses. The knowledge that God has directly hardwired into us includes the knowledge that our senses are basically reliable. We get objective confirmation of this when we read God’s Word. How do we know it is God? God has hardwired us to recognize His voice (John 10:27). It’s not a problem in the Christian worldview for our Creator to reveal knowledge to us. But in any other worldview (I’ll let you choose), how would knowledge be possible? Can you think of any worldview (aside from Christianity) that can justify uniformity in nature, or reliability of the senses, or laws of logic and their properties?]

                    • Jason K says:

                      I’m not assuming I am merely pointing that the modes of knowledge you claim are not derived from observation are in fact done through observation. You have to first observe the pragamming in order to know that it is there.

                      [Dr. Lisle: No. A computer need not ever observe its own programming. It is able to function because it is programmed. Its initial ‘knowledge’ comes directly from its creator, not through its ‘senses’ (camera, etc.)]

  4. Dr. Lisle says:

    Hi all,

    Have a look at the cartoon on this page:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2009/08/24/logical-fallacies-question-begging-epithet
    and see if it reminds you of anyone who recently posted on this blog.

    • Chris H says:

      That is the image I had in mind the entire time.

    • tony says:

      again its not an emotional reaction, Meyers was speaking the truth, that your museum is entirely based on a special interpretation of the bible!

      • Dr. Lisle says:

        Hi Tony,

        (This wasn’t in response to your comments by the way.) The reason the critic’s comment was a question-begging epithet concerned the loaded language he used. He put the word “museum” in quotes as if to indicate that it really isn’t – but he made no argument for that. And he said it was based on a “peculiar, quirky, very specific interpretation of the Bible.” It was the “peculiar” and “quirky” that were loaded terms. This is especially evident considering it is hardly “peculiar” or “quirky” to read a history book as literal history.

        • Jason K says:

          In historical sciences no book is regarded as literal history. Rather books are an artifact of history just like manuscripts. Also it takes allot of cajones to tell the Jewish people they got their stories wrong.

    • John W says:

      That exact illustration came to mind many times while while reading recent posts.

  5. Chris H says:

    Dr. Lisle,
    A Christian friend of mine stated that “While Christianity does indeed appear to be the most logical and rational worldview, it cannot ever be stated with 100% certainty that non-theistic platonism is not correct (and in context account for concepts like the laws of logic and science) or the deism is not correct. (in the same context.

    What are your thoughts and views on this?

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Chris,

      Platonic dualism suffers from the same ultimate problem – it cannot justify the preconditions of intelligibility. The specifics differ because of course dualists do affirm the existence of non-material things. So it is not immediately contradictory from them to have laws of logic, as it would be for a materialist. One of the problems with dualism is how to connect the material world to the immaterial. Why does the material universe obey immaterial laws? If the immaterial world does not change, then how can the material world change?

      And of course, there is still the problem of knowledge. How does the dualist know that laws of logic are universal and invariant? How does he know that the future will be like the past in terms of the basic cycles of nature?

      Dr. Bahnsen has a wonderful teaching series that includes refutations of platonic dualism. If memory serves, this is the “Defending the Christian Worldview against all Opposition” – CD sets vol I and II.

      God bless.

      • Jason K says:

        The response misses the point of 100% certainty. You could be in the matrix (or whatever metaphor for everything you know being a conspiracy) and never know (are you god? you just have a petty human brain) and there is no way of being 100% that it is not the case. We can play this mental experiment through but eventually it tends to end with “faith”. So while people often claim they are 100% certain it has no bearing on reality.

        [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview we can have certainty, only because of revelation. God has revealed Himself to humanity in a way that is absolutely inescapable (Romans 1:18-19). Consequently, God says in His Word that there is no excuse for people to reject Him. (Romans 1:20). To reject God is to be reduced to foolishness (Romans 1:21-22, Proverbs 1:7).]

        [But you are correct that – apart from the Christian worldview – you could never know if you were in “the matrix.” Good analogy.]

        • tony says:

          but how do u know that?

        • Jason K says:

          Even with a Christian worldview you could never prove revelations weren’t planted there by the “matrix”. God could be another metaphor for an illusion pulled over your eyes. Your statements and rejection of this possibility plays perfectly into the mental experiment. So again, please don’t force me to play this mental experiment all the way through, it comes down to faith, ergo not 100%

          [Dr. Lisle: No, this presupposes that truth can only be obtained by observation. In that worldview, you could never really know anything. In the Christian worldview, God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). His mind determines truth, and He can reveal Himself directly to us (Romans 1:19), as well as through His Word. He assures us that the world is real (Genesis 1:1), and therefore we can have confidence in reality. But the secularist can’t know anything on his own worldview.]

          • Jason K says:

            Let us suppose you are in the Matrix and the Bible is now a conspiracy. Everything you have said does not negate that possibility. The revelations you experience are just programs uploaded directly to your brain, like “The Burning Bush v2.0”. It is cute you presuppose that this isn’t the case but it doesn’t negate the possibility – hence you are relying on faith. I could copy you and just presuppose the conclusion but I would only do so to show the folly of such a practice.

            [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview (I realize that you don’t as yet affirm it – take it as a hypothesis for now), God is an infinitely powerful Being and is able to put knowledge directly into human beings. Modus ponens is one example of something that God has hardwired into us (it is impossible to learn modus ponens without using it). In addition, God doesn’t lie, and He isn’t the author of confusion. Therefore it is impossible for the knowledge that God has “uploaded to your brain” to be wrong (again, in the Christian worldview). So we can trust that our sensory perceptions correspond to the universe. So, if the Christian worldview is true, then it is not possible that we are in “the matrix.”]

            [On the other hand, apart from the Christian worldview, there would be no way to know that your senses are reliable, or that your mind is rational. You can’t know that you are not in “the matrix” apart from the Christian worldview. In such a case, you can’t really know anything at all. Apart from the Christian worldview, knowledge would be impossible. So you can either be a Christian, or admit that you know absolutely nothing. By the way, I don’t deny that Christianity is a faith system. It’s just the only faith system that makes knowledge possible. It’s the only rational possibility.]

            • Tony says:

              Also you read in the bible that god doesn’t lie, so you had to ASSUME that your senses where infalliable when you read it!

              [In the Christian worldview, God cannot lie because His word is truth. And God made our senses, so they are basically reliable. God knew that we would need this knowledge before we could read His Word and see the objective justification for these things. Therefore, He “hardwired” such knowledge into us. God’s revelation is therefore absolutely inescapable (Romans 1:18-22).]

            • Tony says:

              You just don’t get it do u dr.lisle? Just saying god doesnt lie doesnt just make it true unless you are god.

              [Dr. Lisle: Actually, God is the one who makes this claim. It’s in His Word (e.g. Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Hebrews 6:18). You can consider the hypothesis that God does lie, but you will find that such a worldview will inevitably lead to the conclusion that it is impossible to know anything. So, if knowledge is possible, then God does not lie.]

              How do you know your mind didn’t play tricks on you when you saw what you believed was reality and your mind then played tricks on you to make you think that god was giving you revelations that seemingly correspond with what you believed to be reality.

              [You can’t know – apart from the Christian worldview. And that’s the point Tony. God’s revelation is certain precisely because it’s from God. God gave us enough direct revelation that we recognize His Word for what it is (John 10:27), and then we can learn the justification for all the presuppositions that basically everyone has. But apart from the Christian worldview, a person’s starting axioms can never be known to be true, which means none of the conclusions that follow from them can be known to be true. In other words, knowledge would be impossible.]

              Also are you admitting that you are omniscient? Because you said god gave you knowledge that can’t be wrong, and the only way that you can know it can’t be wrong is if you yourself is omniscient!

              [No. God alone is omniscient, and therefore He knows that everything He knows is true. His thoughts determine truth. And since God cannot lie, what He reveals to man is necessarily true. Therefore, we know it with certainty (even though it is a finite quantity) because it comes from an infallible source. You are very welcome to consider alternatives to the Christian worldview. But in all cases, they make knowledge impossible. If knowledge is possible, then Christianity is true. So my next question for you is: “Do we really know anything?” God says that knowledge begins with Him (Proverbs 1:7), and therefore if you reject God’s revelation you can’t really know anything.]

              • Brian Forbes says:

                Opt. A – God is a liar.
                Opt. B – God tells only the truth.
                Opt. C – God is like you and me – a little of both.

                If A or C are true, all certainty of truth is lost! I suppose you should take B on faith! Now do that same thing with your wife – to accuse her of being a liar – and see how it makes her feel. Logic without emotion is mechanical and rude.

                • Jason K says:

                  The options you listed are not exhaustive, ie false dichotomy.

                  • Brian Forbes says:

                    If there’s another option, give it. Don’t be lazy in your argumentation.

                    • Jason K says:

                      Can God tell truths that are in contradiction? He is God so that shouldn’t be beyond his power. If we presuppose reality depends on God then he can do just this.

                      [Dr. Lisle: No. God cannot do that which is contrary to His nature. He cannot lie or deny Himself (Titus 1:2, 2 Timothy 2:13). Thus, there is a law of non-contradiction.]

                      Or God is just a Matrix program.

                      Or there is another God ruling over the God if this universe but isn’t aware that he is lying or isn’t technically lying (perhaps in GOG the less Gods are still part of the large whole).

                      I’m sure there are more possibilities then what I just listed.

                      [Dr. Lisle: All of those scenarios would make knowledge impossible.]

                    • Brian Forbes says:

                      I’m not able to reply to your response, so I’m replying to mine. Your other options were just denying God. You said, in essence, if anything is possible (God has all power), the impossible can happen. That isn’t very useful information. And in any case, either we can trust truth claims or we can’t. You’re taking on faith that we can’t trust truth claims. So what’s the point in arguing with you about it? I have better things to do.

            • Jason K says:

              It seems you can’t maintain your position without first assuming your conclusion. In your Christian world view example I just take everything you said and attribute it to the Matrix. Just take your statements and replace “God” with “The Matrix” and they mean the exact same thing!

              [Dr. Lisle: I appreciate the scenario, but it won’t work because the matrix and God are fundamentally different. The matrix is an impersonal computer simulation capable of deception/lying, etc. God is a personal Being who never lies. The Matrix would make knowledge impossible. God makes knowledge possible. (Proverbs 1:7)]

          • Tony says:

            But how do u know dr lisle that? And it’s not just an illusion or your mind playing tricks on you about god assuring reality is real?

            [In the Christian worldview, reality is what corresponds to the mind of God. When God reveals His thoughts directly to us, they inevitably must correspond to reality. In the Christian worldview, knowledge is possible. Any alternative would make knowledge impossible. In such a case, it would be pointless for you to comment on this website, because it may not even be real. Can you think of any other worldview that would make knowledge possible?]

            • Tony says:

              But if your senses are fallible how do you know that the messages are valid? How do you know your mind isn’t playing tricks on you? Into thinking what reality is and fooling your self with messages thinking they were from God?

              • Micah says:

                You seem to be wanting us to reject our worldview, and then try and prove our worldview after rejecting it.

                In the Christian worldview our senses are generally reliable and trustworthy. We can probe the universe and understand it because God upholds the universe with His power and created us with the ability to observe and learn from it.
                In the Christian worldview our mind wouldn’t ‘play tricks’ on us or ‘fool’ us without good reasons to believe it is, because in the Christian worldview we have a basis to believe in rationality and logic and the basic reliability of our senses. So all this talk about our mind playing tricks on us and fooling us is irrelevant because it first presupposes that our position is wrong.

                • Tony says:

                  But how do you know that your mind isn’t playing tricks on you? Are you omniscient?

                  [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, God gave us several different sensory organs, and the ability to reason rationally. Thus, our senses are generally reliable. Because of the curse, there may be some circumstances where one or two senses fail, but God has given us other senses to verify this and a mind that can figure out when those rare instances happen. E.g. an optical illusion may fool my eyes, but not my fingers. So in the Christian worldview, we can have confidence in our senses, and we can discover those rare instances where one or two senses are not reliable. However, in the secular worldview, you could never know that any of your senses are ever reliable.]

                • Tony says:

                  You are presupposing that you mind is trust worthy before you can believe that it’s not playing tricks on you or before you read the bible

                • Tony says:

                  Sorry let me word that question better-how do you know that your senses are generally reliable, how do you know your mind would not play tricks on you, how do you know god up holds the universe? From the bible you say? Well then your senses must be infalliable or else there could be no way you could know if the bible is infalliable

                  • Micah says:

                    Any other possibility besides presupposing the truth of the Bible would lead to absurdity, as Jason has pointed out many times before. So its not just that we believe the Bible is true because it says it is, it because it says it is AND any other explanation is irrational.

                    • cloak and stagger says:

                      again you are presupping your senses are infalliable when you read the bible, and how do you know every other explainition is irrational? do you know all of them?and what is irrationality anyways, is it something you humans gave to stuff you just dont like?

                    • Micah says:

                      My reply will be below.

            • Cloak and stagger says:

              I did I created the universe 10 years ago, made the universe look like it was a lot older than it is and I implanted false memories in everyone so they think the earth was a lot older(6000 or 6 billion what ever you want to think), but don’t worry you senses are reliable enough to analyze your environment and be aware and survive its just that I made think look old not your sense tricking you ,and your mind is reliable its just that I made false memories for you!

              [Dr. Lisle: This is a variant of “Last Thursdayism.” Josef’s response below answers this masterfully.]

              • Josef says:

                Funny actually. Because if the Bible were not true, then it would be very hard to disprove what “Cloak and stagger” is saying.

                Because without God, we couldn’t prove anything at all. We couldn’t prove that we don’t live in some matrix or that the universe wasn’t just created 10 minutes ago and all of our memories that we think go further than 10 minutes are false memories. We really wouldn’t have any reason to be able to trust our senses, our thoughts or anything.

                Only by presupposing the biblical God and what he says is true can we then have a coherent and rational worldview.

                • Cloak and stagger says:

                  But I did create the universe 10 years ago! You humans have just been in denial that I did! I told you your memories are reliable and so are your senses

                  • Josef says:

                    Funny thing is Cloak is that you presented a situation that just demonstrates what we’re saying with the transcendental argument: witout God, you couldn’t prove anything.

                    And ironically, even though I know you don’t really believe your claim that you created the world 10 years ago.

                    So thank you for demonstrating exactly what we’ve been saying all along: if the Bible were no true, then the only other possibility is irrationality.

                    • Josef says:

                      I meant to say that even thought you don’t believe your own claim, the ironic thing is you can’t even refute your own ‘joke’.

                    • Tony says:

                      you dont need absoulte certainty because the only way you can get absoulte certainty is if you urself where omniscient!

                      [Dr. Lisle: Are you absolutely certain about this Tony? 🙂 Are you omniscient?]

                      I must remind you that GOG (the God over God) and MAGOG (the multitude above God over God) disagree that your god’s word is infallible

                      [Dr. Lisle: irrelevant. The infallibility of God’s Word has been established by the impossibility of the contrary.]

                    • Tony says:

                      Oh, and don’t bother arguing that there is no higher being than God, or that they don’t have any authority since I just made them up. GOG and MAGOG say otherwise.

                    • Tony says:

                      “irrelevant. The infallibility of God’s Word has been established by the impossibility of the contrary.]”
                      irrelevant, The infallibility of GOG (the God over God) and MAGOG (the multitude above God over God) has been established by the impossibility to the contrary

              • Micah says:

                We couldn’t trust that our senses are reliable. Implanting false memories in someone would be lying, therefore we have no reason to trust you or what you say. No basis for believing what you just wrote, therefore your point is irrelevant and can be ignored.

                • Cloak and stagger says:

                  But I told you your sense are reliable up to ten years in the past and so is your mind

                  • Chris H says:

                    Unfortunately the fact that you lied at all means that we cannot trust you or anything that you are saying. (Including the duration of how long our memories/senses are reliable)

                    (Because you have shown that you are no longer the ultimate standard for truth, we have no grounds to believe anything that you say.)

                  • Chris H says:

                    “Opt. A – God is a liar.
                    Opt. B – God tells only the truth.
                    Opt. C – God is like you and me – a little of both.

                    If A or C are true, all certainty of truth is lost.”

                    In your circumstance, Stagger, you are claiming to be option ‘C’. Therefore all certainty of truth is lost.

                • Cloak and stagger says:

                  No it seems you are just serpressing the truth in unrighteousness

                  • Josef says:

                    Like I said Cloak, ironically you’re attempting to belittle the transcendental argument, but yet, you actually prove the very point we make with it: without the biblical God you couldn’t prove anything. Now I know you don’t really believe what you’re saying, however, the funny thing is, you can’t even refute your own claim that you use to try to poke fun at the biblical claim.

                    • cloak and stagger says:

                      no with out cloak and stagger you can prove anything,just because i made things with the appearance of age doesnt mean i am deceptive, it just means you with your finite mind cant understand it, like for example can Einstein teach a 5 year old physics? clearly not! but is it because he is too stupid? by all means no! its just that the child doesnt have that learn capacity

              • Micah says:

                >again you are presupping your senses are infalliable when you read the bible

                Actually i presuppose that what the Bible says is true, and that means my senses are generally reliable since the Bible tells me that they should be. So yes it is circular reasoning but circular reasoning is valid if it isn’t arbitrary, which, in this case, its not. See below for details.

                >and how do you know every other explainition is irrational?

                Well, i guess i dont really know that every explanation is irrational. But as of yet, no one has presented a worldview to me that has not lead to irrationality or absurd results. If you have an explanation that is not irrational i would love to hear it.

                >and what is irrationality anyways, is it something you humans gave to stuff you just dont like

                Well rationality would be having reasons for things you believe, so irrationality would be not having reasons for what you believe. I can tell that you do believe in rationality or else you wouldn’t be trying to be rational in our exchanges.

                • Tony says:

                  first of all no circular reasoning is never valid,

                  [Dr. Lisle: Technically, circular reasoning is always valid. Validity simply means that the conclusions follow from the premises. And with a circular argument they always do.]

                  second of all even if i do accept your special pleading, no you are presupposing that your mind can read the bible and that your mind does it with no error!And if your senses are generally reliable than it means you still can be wrong about whats written on the bible or if its actually a spider man comicbook your holding

                  [In the Christian worldview we can know that our senses are basically reliable, and God has given us the ability to discern those rare instances where one or two senses are not reliable. So Tony’s objection fails.]

                  • Micah says:

                    >first of all no circular reasoning is never valid,

                    No, you’re just wrong here. Circular reasoning is a valid form of reasoning. You must use circular reasoning to prove something like the laws of logic, but its not irrational to be circular in that case because the other possibility (laws of logic dont exist) could never be true. Circular reasoning is only irrational because its almost always arbitrary.
                    In the case of the Bible, like the laws of logic, its not arbitrary because the other possibility (the Bible is not true) leads to absurdity(having no reason to believe in the unchanging nature of laws of logic, basic reliability of our senses, preconditions for intelligibility and so on).
                    If you think its untrue then just show how another worldview(e.g. Evolution) can account for things like laws of logic and the preconditions for intelligibility.

                    >second of all even if i do accept your special pleading

                    There was no special pleading. Please show how.

                    >no you are presupposing that your mind can read the bible and that your mind does it with no error!

                    Yes, but the only reason i can (rationally) presuppose the basic reliability of my senses is because the Bible must be true. If it were not then there would be no reason to tust my senses whatsoever.

                    >And if your senses are generally reliable than it means you still can be wrong about whats written on the bible or if its actually a spider man comicbook your holding

                    When we say generally reliable we mean that we dont have to assume or senses are tricking us without good reason. If i just took a hallucinogen drug, then i have a good reason to not believe what my senses are telling me for example.

                    • Tony says:

                      “You must use circular reasoning to prove something like the laws of logic, ”
                      uh no Logic is a tool. We use tools to do things. Logic is a tool that we use to evaluate the truth or falsehood of claims. There is nothing circular about that state of affairs, and it is not an argument.

                      [Dr. Lisle: if it’s not an argument, then you haven’t proved anything. You’ve merely asserted it. I’m asking how you know laws of logic work on your worldview. You have suggested that if they pass certain tests (although you haven’t really given us any details other than “observation and experimentation and ‘metaphysics stuff’” which is rather vague) then that shows that they work. You have further asserted that laws of logic indeed pass such tests. And you have concluded that they work. But in drawing that conclusion you have used modus ponens, which is a law of logic. You are reasoning in circles because your test for laws of logic presupposes the truthfulness of laws of logic.]

                      And as well you presuppose the bible to be true with your senses! As well how do you know you KNOWyour senses are not tricking you without a good reason?you will probably talk about the bible but it would mean that your senses are infalliable when reading the bible!

                      [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, we have a good reason to trust our senses: they were made by God who is not the author of confusion. It is true that we must act on the presupposition of the reliability of our senses before we read the Bible and get justification for it (that is always the case with presuppositions). But we do have justification. In the secular worldview, such justification never comes.]

                    • Tony says:

                      “. You are reasoning in circles because your test for laws of logic presupposes the truthfulness of laws of logic” no you fail to understand i dont presuppose them ,i say they might work thats why i am testing them, as well since your sense are falliable you can never be certain that they tell you what the bible really says, so you cant really know

                    • Tony says:

                      While modus ponens is one of the most commonly used concepts in logic it must not be mistaken for a logical law; rather, it is one of the accepted mechanisms for the construction of deductive proofs that includes the “rule of definition” and the “rule of substitution”

                      [Dr. Lisle: My logic textbooks say otherwise. If modus ponens is not a law, but merely an “accepted mechanism” then it might be wrong, because some things that are “accepted” later turn out to be wrong. If it is universally true, then it is a law by definition. If not, then you cannot rely on it as part of your test for laws of logic. So which is it?]

                      Again I am NOT presupposing the truth of logic i am presupposing that they MIGHT work! When i run tests to see if logic works i presume they might work!

                      [Dr. Lisle: When you conclude that they work because they pass your test, you are using logic. If you aren’t then you haven’t really proved that they are true.]

                    • taka no mi says:

                      “My logic textbooks say otherwise.”
                      well mine says other wise-Herbert B. Enderton, 2001, A Mathematical Introduction to Logic Second Edition,

                      [Dr. Lisle: does it use an equivalent term like “rule of inference?”]

                      “but merely an “accepted mechanism” then it might be wrong, ”
                      just because it MIGHT be wrong doesnt mean it is and there is no reason to assume that it ISNT wrong

                      [Dr. Lisle: if it could be wrong then any argument based on it is unreliable! Once again, we see that the non-Christian position would make knowledge impossible.]

              • Micah says:

                >no with out cloak and stagger you can prove anything,just because i made things with the appearance of age doesnt mean i am deceptive,

                You are deceptive because you placed false memories in us (yes i will humor this ridiculous notion for now), you wrote earlier : ‘and I implanted false memories in everyone so they think the earth was a lot older’.
                Because of this, you have shown to be an unreliable source to truth, since truth is always self consistent and non contradictory. Since you are an unreliable source of absolute truth we can reject anything you say that is not backed up with reasons.

                >it just means you with your finite mind cant understand it

                Why should we believe anything you say now? You have already demonstrated that you are an unreliable source for truth.

                • cloak and stagger says:

                  If “deceptive” memories that made you think the earth was more 10 years old where not place in your mortal minds, you couldn’t know anything!

                  • Micah says:

                    >If “deceptive” memories that made you think the earth was more 10 years old where not place in your mortal minds, you couldn’t know anything!

                    That doesn’t follow. How does the age of the earth have any bearing on whether or not we could know anything at all?

                    • cloak and stagger says:

                      your tiny mortal mind cannot comprehend these things, if you really did understand you would go mad with insanity because of your weak mortal mind

                    • Micah says:

                      Translation: I cant answer you so im just going to say you cant understand.

  6. Dr. Lisle says:

    Hi Tony,

    > The accounting goes as follows: The logical absolutes — the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, the law of excluded middle — are a set of descriptive statements which describe “the uniformity of nature”, a fundamental property of the nature of the reality we observe.

    There are several problems here. First of all, laws of logic are not descriptive of nature at all. Laws of logic do not deal with the relationships between energy and matter for example. That would be laws of nature. Laws of logic deal with the relationship between propositions – truth claims. Truth claims exist in the world of concepts, not in the physical universe. You cannot “see” (literally) a truth claim, or accidentally stub your toe on one. Truth claims are conceptual.

    Second, you take for granted that there is uniformity in nature. Now I certainly believe that there is uniformity in nature. God has promised this (e.g. Genesis 8:22). God upholds the universe in an orderly way that we can describe with “laws of nature.” And since God promises to uphold the future in the same way that He has upheld the past, I have a good reason (a promise from God) to be able to rely on past experience as a good indicator of future success. But how can you – apart from the Christian worldview – make sense of such uniformity. In particular, how do you know that there has been uniformity in the past, and that there will be uniformity in the future? This is not as easy to answer as you might first assume, so please really give it some careful thought.

    > These logical absolutes then provide the foundation for the laws of formal logic, a set of prescriptive laws about what logic can or can not do. (ie. the logical fallacies).

    Again, there are some problems here. It doesn’t follow that because the physical universe has uniformity (which is also unjustified in your worldview) that there are conceptual laws that govern the relationship between concepts. I also notice that you have jumped from descriptions to prescriptions. But that is logically unwarranted unless you know that there is underlying uniformity. But how can you know about such uniformity on your worldview?

    > Please note, the laws of logic and the logical absolutes are not the same thing, they are related but separate. The majority of presuppositional claims stem from equivocations.

    Strangely, what you call “logical absolutes” above, are in fact laws of logic. The law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, and the law of the excluded middle are considered to be the three most basic laws of logic. That’s why they are called “laws.” Other laws of logic include things like modus ponens, modus tollens, and de Morgan’s theorem, among many others. These laws are absolute in that they have no exceptions.

    > When the apologist claims “using logic to prove logic is viciously circular” he is intentionally using terrible sounding grammar to try to trick the atheist into equivocating the “logical absolutes” with “the laws of formal logic”.

    My position is that laws of logic are absolute. “Absoluteness” is a property of laws of logic, meaning that they have no exceptions, and apply at all times, in all situations, in all locations. My question then is how can you account for the absolute nature of laws of logic, or even the existence of laws of logic, without begging the question?

    • tony says:

      i told you the laws of logic and the logical absolutes are not the same thing, they are related but separate.

      [Dr. Lisle: Yes, you asserted that. But I showed you that “absoluteness” is actually a property of laws of logic, not an independent entity. What you were calling “logical absolutes” are in fact laws of logic. I can refer you to a textbook on logic if you want to confirm this for yourself. Just let me know.]

      • tony says:

        a property of the laws of logic=/= laws of logic

        [Dr. Lisle: How do you account for the properties of laws of logic on your worldview? Is it “blind faith” or do you have a reason?]

        • Tony says:

          They are descriptive of the universe

          [Dr. Lisle: The universe is very different in various places. Are laws of logic also that way, if indeed they describe the universe? The universe changes with time. If laws of logic describe the universe, wouldn’t they too change with time?]

      • tony says:

        Logic is a tool. We use tools to do things. Logic is a tool that we use to evaluate the truth or falsehood of claims. There is nothing circular about that state of affairs, and it is not an argument.

        [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, your answer does make some sense. God has provided us with certain conceptual tools that can aid us in our search for truth. Laws of logic reflect God’s thinking, and therefore they are universal, invariant, and exception-less. So we can have confidence that laws of logic correctly describe the relationships between all truth claims. But I don’t understand how you can have such confidence in your worldview. For example, how can you know that laws of logic will work tomorrow? How can you know that they work at all without arbitrarily assuming them?]

        [Furthermore, you’ve said that laws of logic are a human invention. But people make mistakes, and have no knowledge of the future, and our experiences are extremely limited. So how could you have any confidence that laws of logic will work in the future, or in not-yet-experienced situations. People assume that they do. Is that belief “blind faith?”]

        We prove ideas by showing how they follow from more basic ideas, often in several stages, ultimately coming to rest on a set of axioms. Axioms are ideas that are so basic that there isn’t anything more basic to prove them with.

        [So how do you know that your axioms are true?]

        So we cannot prove anything absolutely.

        [Can you prove that statement absolutely? Are you absolutely sure that we cannot prove anything absolutely? For that matter, can you be absolutely certain in your ability to assess the probability that a claim is true?]

        All we can do is prove that a statement follows from the truth of one or more unproven axioms.

        [Even that would only be possible if you knew for certain that laws of logic are reliable on your worldview. And even if I granted that, it would put you in the rather awkward position of not actually knowing anything at all. If laws of logic (granting for argument’s sake that they are reliable) can only get you from assumed axioms to various conclusions, but they cannot tell you if the axioms are actually true, then you cannot know that any of your conclusions are true either. The secular worldview reduces to utter skepticism. This is the claim of Christianity, that apart from the Christian worldview, knowledge would be impossible.]

        But this does not mean that logical proof is equivalent to blind faith. Axioms are not accepted on a whim, or just because we want them to be true. We accept axioms because they are tautologies (a thing is equal to itself), …

        [But that assumes the law of identity. How do you know that such a law of logic is reliable, exception-less, universal, and invariant?]

        or because they seem self evident (ex. two things that are equal remain equal no matter what you name them), …

        [“seem self-evident” is basically intuition, which can be wrong. There is no reason to assume that our intuition must be true, particularly if our brain were just the chance produce of natural forces working over deep time.]

        or because their falsehood would produce a very different world from the one we observe.

        [but that presupposes that your observations are trustworthy. How would that make sense if our brain and sensory organs are ultimately the result of chance natural forces? Tony, a lot of your axioms do make sense, but only in the Christian worldview.]

        [When people have a disagreement over their starting axioms, how can such a debate be resolved? I have suggested that one way is to see that only one set of presuppositions can make sense of the existence and properties of laws of logic, the uniformity in nature, moral absolutes, the reliability of the senses, the rationality of the mind, and so. In other words, only Christian presuppositions will make knowledge possible.]

        Still, an axiom could turn out to be wrong.

        [In that case, you couldn’t rely on any of the conclusions derived from it. If your starting axioms are wrong, then you couldn’t really know anything.]

        But it’s the best system that anyone has come up with.

        [So the best system that anyone has come up with would make knowledge impossible. This is exactly what God has said in His Word. If you reject His revelation, and make up your own worldview, then you must give up knowledge and you are reduced to foolishness (Proverbs 1:7, Colossians 2:3,8, Romans 1:18-22).]

        It might even be the best that can possibly be done.

        [No. God has a much better epistemology. In Him are found all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). God knows everything. And we can know some things by starting with God’s revelation and reasoning in a way that is consistent with His nature.]

        And it works.

        [How do you know? Are you trusting in your senses, which in your worldview are merely the accidental byproduct of mutations and natural selection? Are you trusting in the conclusions of your brain? But isn’t the brain an accident of nature in your view? How can your brain assess its own truthfulness?]

        That alone makes a sharp distinction to the method of just believing what you wish was true.

        [Actually, that’s exactly what it reduces to. You’ve wished that your brain and senses are reliable, that laws of logic work in future, un-experienced situations, and you believe these things, yet you have no reason to believe any of them on your own professed worldview. It seems to me that your axioms are completely arbitrary on your worldview. ]

        That has a track record of working very poorly. Sometimes spectacularly so.

        [Any time people reject God’s Word, the only alternative is their own arbitrary opinions. And such opinions are not reliable. Only the Christian worldview can rescue people from epistemological absurdity.]

    • tony says:

      you dont understand do you? “logical absolutes” are not the same as the laws of logic, laws of logic is about what logical absolutes can or cannot do .

      [Dr. Lisle: Laws of logic describe and prescribe the relationships between propositions. A proposition is a truth claim. Laws of logic are absolute, because they have no exceptions.]

      “In particular, how do you know that there has been uniformity in the past, and that there will be uniformity in the future? This is not as easy to answer as you might first assume, so please really give it some careful thought. ”
      we go on assumptions, and hope for the best since we cant do anything else

      [Dr. Lisle: Your answer here logically reduces to “I don’t know.” An assumption is just that. It means you don’t know. The non-Christian has no basis whatsoever on his own professed worldview to believe that there will be any uniformity at all in the future, yet he assumes that there will be. This is the logical equivalent of jumping off of a 20-story building and assuming (for no reason) that you can fly. The unbeliever assumes things and hopes, but he doesn’t have rational reasons. That’s the problem with unbelievers, they just have too much blind faith.]

      “There are several problems here. First of all, laws of logic are not descriptive of nature at all”
      i was talking about the nature of “reality” not nature as in the natural world

      [Okay. Then clearly observations of the material universe and experimentation within the universe are not how laws of logic can be tested.]

      • tony says:

        ” Then clearly observations of the material universe and experimentation within the universe are not how laws of logic can be tested.”
        yes they can because they operate n the material universe

        [Dr. Lisle: Where in the universe can I see modus ponens operating? I have a telescope, if that helps.]

        • Tony says:

          cut open a guy’s head and look for the cognitive parts,

          [Dr. Lisle: Nope. You won’t find laws of logic in the brain. They are immaterial laws. You cannot put them in the refrigerator, or stub your toe on them, or find them in a brain. So in your worldview, how can the physical brain use them?]

          again you fail to realize logic is descriptive of the nature of reality

          [Dr. Lisle: Reality is constantly changing. So if laws of logic were descriptions of reality, then they would be constantly changing too. But no one could reason that way.]

          • Micah says:

            Laws of logic are immaterial. You cant physically observe them. If laws of logic were a part of the brain then every one would have a different standard for logic (since everyone is different). So why bother having rational debate in the first place?

            • Tony says:

              Yes but everyone has the same compostion and chemicals in their brains (well most people anyways)

              [Dr. Lisle: The synapses in people’s brains are different from one person to another. We all have different memories and different beliefs, and different thoughts. So if laws of logic were a function of the brain, then everyone would have different laws of logic. Do you believe that laws of logic are different for different people Tony?]

    • tony says:

      “My question then is how can you account for the absolute nature of laws of logic, or even the existence of laws of logic, without begging the question?”
      First of all observation and experimentation of reality and various metaphysics stuff

      [Dr. Lisle: Laws of logic are truth claims, and you cannot literally observe a truth claim. I don’t know how you can literally experiment on a law of logic either. Perhaps you could elaborate a bit more on this. Keep in mind that laws of logic are not descriptions of the material universe; rather, they deal with the relationships between concepts. So it is hard to believe that observations of nature, and experimentation in nature could somehow arrive at laws that describe or prescribe purely conceptual relationships. And I’d like to hear about the “metaphysics stuff” by which you somehow conclude the absolute nature of laws of logic and their properties. And of course, you’ll need to explain how you know what “reality” is – on your worldview. I don’t see how a non-Christian can answer that one either.]

      [Before, you seemed to suggest that you in fact do not know that laws of logic are absolute – that there may be some circumstances in which two contradictory claims can both be true. Is this your position, and how do you know?]

      Many Christian theists like to claim that a law requires a law-giver, but this all overlooks the distinction between descriptive and prescriptive laws. A good analogy might be music theory. One could easily argue for laws of music, because of the descriptive rules that tell us what makes something music, what makes a song a certain key, a certain tempo, and so on. However, there is no person or being forcing these rules to be what they are, nor is there anyone forcing us to observe them. By the consequence of what music is, and how instruments work, all musicians and instruments naturally conform to music theory.
      the operation of reality is not informed by logic, but logic is informed by it, and then we human beings are informed by logic.

      [If I understand you, you are saying that logic is contingent upon the universe. If that is true, then there is no reason to believe that laws of logic will be the same tomorrow, since the universe changes. There would be no reason to think that laws of logic are the same everywhere, since the universe is very different in different places. If laws of logic are contingent upon external circumstances, then they are not absolute. So, this position cannot account for the properties of laws of logic.]

      The law of non-contradiction is not told how to behave by some being, but is simply a law to help ‘govern’ our thought processes. Now, at this point you could ask, “If we just created logic for ourselves, doesn’t that make it subjective?” Yes and no. Under any worldview – Christian or atheist – logic is a human invention, a standard of rules we have devised to aid our thinking.

      [No. Maybe in your worldview it is. But in the Christian worldview, laws of logic reflect the thinking of God. They are discovered by humans, not created by humans. If laws of logic are a human invention, then did laws of logic exist before people did? Could contradictions be true before people made up these laws?]

      However, the operation of reality is not subjective, nor of human origin. If logic is not descriptive of objective reality, we correct and refine it accordingly.

      [But how do you know what reality is, in your worldview, so that you could then use it to refine the laws of logic? How do you even know that your brain is working properly, seeing how it is merely an accident of nature in your view? Can you answer these questions without begging the question (reasoning in a circle)? Perhaps it would help if you would give a specific example of a law of logic that you know corresponds to reality, and show us how you know this.]

      Are logical absolutes tenable under the atheistic position? Quite obviously they are, despite the best intentions of Christian apologists to prove otherwise.

      [You still haven’t explained how that could be, particularly if you are going to make laws of logic human inventions that merely describe the current state of an ever-changing universe.]

      Some may still object that, if these absolutes are part of a human invention, then there is no real way to know that they are, in fact, absolutes.

      This must be granted, but it is yet again a problem for the theist as well as the atheist. No worldview has thus far given us the means to prove that logical absolutes are absolute other then just saying logical absolutes are absolute every where because their god told them .

      [No – (tu quoque fallacy). In all non-Christian worldviews, you’re correct: laws of logic and the properties cannot be rationally justified. However, in the Christian worldview, the existence and properties of laws of logic follow necessarily from the nature of God. In the Christian worldview, God is the very essence of truth and therefore cannot lie. Therefore we can rely on what He has revealed in His word. Since God alone has all knowledge, only He is in a position to tell us that the basic cycles of nature will continue in the future as they have in the past. We expect to find underlying patterns in nature since God upholds the universe. Therefore, science is justified in the Christian worldview. God’s self-consistent nature – as revealed to us in His word – ensures that truth will always be self-consistent. The laws of logic are necessarily absolute, invariant, exception-less, and universal, since they stem from the very nature of God. The Christian worldview can even make sense of why we humans can use laws of logic – since we are made in God’s image, and can (in a finite way) think God’s thoughts after Him.]

      So long as we strive to keep logic descriptive of existential reality, there is no need to fear that our laws of logic have no force.

      [You previously claimed that laws of logic are descriptive, rather than prescriptive – in which case they have no force at all. In the secular worldview there simply isn’t any reason to think that laws of logic will work in the future or in other places. Yet secularists continue to apply them as if they do. Why? I suggest that this reveals their suppressed knowledge of God.]

      [Laws of logic do have force because they reflect God’s thinking, and God is sovereign over all of reality – both conceptual and physical. Therefore laws of logic will always govern the relationship between truth claims. However, the non-Christian is left in the embarrassing position of relying upon God’s laws of logic without being able to give a good reason for it on his or her own worldview. So we’re back where we started. Christians have good reasons to believe in laws of logic and their properties, laws of nature and their properties, the reliability of human sensation, human rationality and so on. But the non-Christian just cannot make sense of any of these things in his own worldview. So Tony, in your attempt to refute the transcendental argument, you have actually demonstrated it. Why not genuinely consider the Christian worldview?]

      • Tony says:

        No I have not demonstrated what you believe in,you just don’t get it do you? You are just ham high tailing everything! As well it confirms your arrogance! It seems like you almost every other person who tries these types of arguments are just too arrogant tho realize they are wrong

  7. Charles Alexander says:

    Jason L, there are plenty of document ‘smoking gun’ stories if you’d care to look. While some creationists can submit to secular peer reviewed journals (‘peer reviewed’ is a noble concept, but fatally flawed because of bias, error, fraud & human nature), they are rejected if they attempt to promote a creationist position. Some creationists are rejected because they are creationists. Check it out.

  8. Josef says:

    Tony, you just keep wanting to pass the buck here, instead of explaining how the transcendental argument is dependent on Calvinist. Since you’re the one making the argument, it is reasonable that you should be the one to explain it and back up your argument.

    Besides, you still haven’t provided proof that 1. the way Dr. Lisle uses the transcendental argument is depended on Calvinism, and 2. that he isn’t a Calvinist.

    I suppose there are certain views of epistemology that one could argue makes more sense from the Calvinist perspective, but Dr. Lisle doesn’t make such arguments. In fact, in the way Dr. Lisle uses the transcendental argument is a way in which any non-heretical view of Scripture can use.

    But until you can prove that the way Dr. Lisle uses the transcendental argument is dependent on Calvinism, and that he isn’t a Calvinist you can’t really accuse him of being inconsistent about anything.

    • tony says:

      i told you read the posts i gave and if you dont think it they make sense tell me why, as well i told you ask some calvinists, they can explain it better
      but there is a few quotes by calvinists about presupptionalism
      “You’re on the right track, in fact Van Til often belabours the point that presuppositionalism flows from the Calvinistic doctrine of God, while evidentialism will flow from the Arminian/Roman Catholic/Greek etc. doctrine of God.

      The evidentialist say’s “Here are the facts, they are what they are, now let’s be gods unto ourselves and be judges of God to see whether he is true or not”. The evidentialist places the authority in the individual, pure rationalism.

      So to does the Arminian say “Here is the Gospel, now be a god unto yourself and judge whether God is worthy” making salvation, just like truth above, dependant upon man. The Arminian, by consequence of his theology, must allow for man to be purely autonomous, thus his apologetic, to be consistent with his theology, must be one of pure rationalism”

      Douglas Padgett
      “It is impossible to be a presuppositional apologist when your theology is Arminian in nature. Presuppositional apologetics only can function within theology that holds to Total Depravity / Total Inability. Otherwise, you cannot believe that the Will is held in Bondage. ”
      “Rom”

      • Chris H says:

        Tony.

        I am attending a Calvinist college (semester is almost over, actually) and I can tell you that you are misunderstanding several key things about Calvinism.

        Total Depravity is that man is unable to choose anything except sin.

        Unlimited Grace/Unmerited Favor, Christ’s death is the only sufficient way to heaven.

        Limited Atonement, the election by God of the saints.

        and then we have

        Free Will (The red headed step child).

        Man’s nature is evil at the core “for there is no one righteous, no not one.” “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

        However, to suggest that he is incapable of choosing anything else is to suggest (logically) that he is not culpable for those actions. Man is held culpable for his actions even without God, and so while Election is true, (the Scriptures document it very well) Choice is also true, because the Scriptures frequently tell us to make a choice. And we are also held culpable for our actions.

        John Mccarthur states, “The Bible affirms human responsibility right alongside the doctrine of divine sovereignty. Moreover, the offer of mercy in the gospel is extended to all alike. Isaiah 55:1 and Revelation 22:17 call “whosoever will” to be saved. Isaiah 45:22 and Acts 17:30 command all men to turn to God, repent and be saved. First Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that God is not willing that any should perish, but desires that all should be saved. Finally, the Lord Jesus said that, “the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37)”

        And, “Occasionally someone will suggest that God’s election is based on His foreknowledge of certain events. This argument suggests that God simply looks into the future to see who will believe, and He chooses those whom He sees choosing Him. Notice that 1 Peter 1:2 says the elect are chosen “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,” and Romans 8:29 says, “whom He foreknew, He also predestined.” And if divine foreknowledge simply means God’s knowledge of what will happen in advance, then these arguments may appear to have some weight behind them.

        But that is not the biblical meaning of “foreknowledge.” When the Bible speaks of God’s foreknowledge, it refers to God’s establishment of a love relationship with that person. The word “know,” in both the Old and New Testament, refers to much more than mere cognitive knowledge of a person. Such passages as Hosea 13:4-5; Amos 3:2 (KJV); and Romans 11:2 clearly indicate this. For example, 1 Peter 1:20 says Christ was “foreknown before the foundation of the world.” Surely this means more than that God the Father looked into the future to behold Christ! It means He had an eternal, loving relationship with Him. The same is true of the elect, whom we are told God “foreknew” (Romans 8:29). That means He knew them — He loved them — before the foundation of the world.”

        Thus, it could be said that God already began the initial work with His Son when He died on the Cross. Even nature could be said to be pointing towards His divine love and work to bring us to Him. “The heavens declare the glory of God.”

        (If anyone has any tips or criticisms about that last paragraph, it is not a hill I am sure that I am willing to die on. I will welcome any advice.)

        • Chris H says:

          Eh. Actually the more I think about it the more I am unsure about that last paragraph I wrote. I completely agree with John McCarthur, however. I just think I might have jumped one track out of dodge with my own paragraph.

        • tony says:

          “However, to suggest that he is incapable of choosing anything else is to suggest (logically) that he is not culpable for those actions. Man is held culpable for his actions even without God, and so while Election is true, (the Scriptures document it very well) Choice is also true, because the Scriptures frequently tell us to make a choice. And we are also held culpable for our actions.”
          but i thought logic like the law of non contradiction is supposedly to be according to a Christian a reflection of the nature of god who does not contradict himself? So here you are admitting that God contradicted himself? That while you logically cant be responsible for all those bad things, but yet you are? That you have a choice while you cant do anything except sin???

          • Chris H says:

            So here you are admitting that God contradicted himself?

            Where did I admit that, Tony?

            hat while you logically cant be responsible for all those bad things, but yet you are?

            If you do not understand Calvinism, why don’t you actually take the time to actually do the legwork? You did not read any of this, did you?

            “The Bible affirms human responsibility right alongside the doctrine of divine sovereignty. Moreover, the offer of mercy in the gospel is extended to all alike. Isaiah 55:1 and Revelation 22:17 call “whosoever will” to be saved. Isaiah 45:22 and Acts 17:30 command all men to turn to God, repent and be saved. First Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that God is not willing that any should perish, but desires that all should be saved. Finally, the Lord Jesus said that, “the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37)”

            It is man’s fault if he does not accept.

            That you have a choice while you cant do anything except sin???

            Does man commit sin under coercion? Does someone force him to do so? If someone goes left because they reached an alley where there is no path to turn right, they still chose to turn left.

            Occasionally someone will suggest that God’s election is based on His foreknowledge of certain events. This argument suggests that God simply looks into the future to see who will believe, and He chooses those whom He sees choosing Him. Notice that 1 Peter 1:2 says the elect are chosen “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father,” and Romans 8:29 says, “whom He foreknew, He also predestined.” And if divine foreknowledge simply means God’s knowledge of what will happen in advance, then these arguments may appear to have some weight behind them.

            But that is not the biblical meaning of “foreknowledge.” When the Bible speaks of God’s foreknowledge, it refers to God’s establishment of a love relationship with that person. The word “know,” in both the Old and New Testament, refers to much more than mere cognitive knowledge of a person. Such passages as Hosea 13:4-5; Amos 3:2 (KJV); and Romans 11:2 clearly indicate this. For example, 1 Peter 1:20 says Christ was “foreknown before the foundation of the world.” Surely this means more than that God the Father looked into the future to behold Christ! It means He had an eternal, loving relationship with Him. The same is true of the elect, whom we are told God “foreknew” (Romans 8:29). That means He knew them — He loved them — before the foundation of the world.”

            • Chris H says:

              There is a lot more going on in this argument through Church history that you are not aware of, and as such you are missing about 3/4 of it and are seeing it from the outside. If I even could explain everything to you with relation to Calvinism vs. Arminianism, I would probably be sitting at this desk for a long time.

              • Chris H says:

                And finally, if there is any misunderstanding, that would be on my shoulders and not on God either for faulty explanation, or faulty understanding. There is a significant difference in forecasting my shortcomings beyond me and onto other people, or onto God.

            • tony says:

              “It is man’s fault if he does not accept.”
              but according to Calvinism man CANNOT accept unless God first permits him to do so
              “If someone goes left because they reached an alley where there is no path to turn right, they still chose to turn left.”
              exactly they cant do anything EXCEPT sin! and if you get predestined to hell by God you have no right to complain cause well, God said so!

              • Chris H says:

                exactly they cant do anything EXCEPT sin!

                Thank you for agreeing with me that it is still a choice to turn left! (and by extension, sin.)

                You didn’t read the sermons. (twice now) that I posted. If you expect other people to read your links and respond to them, yet you refuse to read material that is actually provided for you, that is a bit arbitrary and hypocritical, is it not?

                If you have no real response to it, then there is no need to continue this particular thread.

                God Bless!

                • tony says:

                  “First Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that God is not willing that any should perish, but desires that all should be saved”

                  “His patience is not so He can save all of them, but so that He can receive all of His own…”
                  John MacArthur , The MacArthur Study Bible, p.1959
                  “Thank you for agreeing with me that it is still a choice to turn left! ”
                  its not a choice because you are forced to do so

                  • Chris H says:

                    I believe that John MacArthur is the man I posted the sermon from, correct? So you are either intentionally ignoring it… or intentionally ignoring it?

                    This is the third time you have ignored it, Tony. There is no reason for me to continue. As I said before:

                    God Bless.

              • Chris H says:

                but according to Calvinism man CANNOT accept unless God first permits him to do so

                John Macarthur is a Calvinist (Actually he is a biblicist).

                Why not see what someone who has studied this out better than I have has to say on the topic? Like, the man himself? 😀

      • Josef says:

        Tony,

        Those quotes do nothing to disprove Dr. Lisle’s position or the transcendental argument itself. You are entirely missing the point and I’ll succinctly state them again:

        1. The way Dr. Lisle uses the transcendental argument is a way in which any non-heretical Christian position can use. It doesn’t matter if well known Calvinists claim that the transcendental argument “flows out of Calvinism” because you have not demonstrated that the way Dr. Lisle uses it is not consistent with a non-Calvinist position. Perhaps the way they use the argument makes more sense from the Calvinist’s perspective, but they might use it in a way that isn’t quite Dr. Lisle’s argument.

        2. You haven’t even proven that Dr. Lisle is not a Calvinist. So this entire argument of yours could very well be a moot point. Dr. Lisle hasn’t stated one way or another what his stance is with Calvinism, but he certainly has not disclaimed Calvinism.

        3. Even if Dr. Lisle were inconsistent, that still doesn’t disprove the transcendental argument. Because the validity of an argument is independent from the one making the argument.

        And another point that you are falling into a trap with is that it is a false dichotomy to think someone is either a Calvinist or Arminian as many Christians (perhaps even most contemporary ones) would not fall into either category.

        Take myself for example. I am a Calvinist now, but before I came to this position, I believed that God had to draw a person, that only he could enlighten someone, but that person had the free will to choose or reject God once he “reached out”. I also believed in the perseverance of saints, i.e. that once someone is truly saved God keeps them forever. I also believed that salvation was a free gift of God’s grace but the person “activates” it by faith.

        Anyone who is familiar with Calvinism or Arminianism would read the description of my former beliefs and realize that it does not quite fall into the category of Calvinism or Arminianism. Some Christians have humorously dubbed this position, “Calminianism”. Most Baptists fall into this category and some well known defenders of the Christian faith like Walter Martin fell into this category as well.

        So based on the quotes you gave, this idea that the transcendental argument flows out of Calvinism and not Arminianism doesn’t even take into account “Calminianism”.

        • Tony says:

          The thing is Josef when you use transcendtal arguemental you are implying that humanity is so depraved that they cannot see evidence for God’s existence, just like Calvinists, so as long as you believe in total deprativity and unconditional election you can use the argument consistently, the way he uses the argument is exactly the same as Calvinists,so unless that Christian position believes man is too depraved to see evidence for God, then the person using it is being inconsistent.

          [Dr. Lisle: This isn’t true to the Christian position. The Bible teaches that everyone does have inescapable knowledge of God (Romans 1:18-20). Even the most depraved individuals do see evidence of God. But rather than acknowledge Him as God, they suppress what they know to be true.]

  9. Josef says:

    What “Cloak and stagger” is doing is trying to poke fun at the transcendental argument. But ironically he ends up demonstrating the very point: The bible must be true and any other position will lead to irrationality.

    See, if what Cloak and stagger is saying is true, then it would make the preconditions of intelligibility and impossibility, therefore, science itself wouldn’t even be possible.

    However, here’s what is ironic: if the Bible we not true, then it would be nearly impossible to refute what he says. In fact, to add to the irony, even though “Cloak and stagger” most likely doesn’t even believe his own claims, if the Bible were not true, he wouldn’t even able to refute his own claim even if he thinks he knows he is just making it up to demonstrate a point.

    • Micah says:

      Good point Josef. Thanks.

      • Josef says:

        Micah, thanks. And what’s funny about this is that for you and me and any other person who has a coherent world view based on the Bible’s revelation, we have reason to know that “Cloak and stagger’s” claim is false. If his claim were true, then like I said, it would make all preconditions of intelligibility an impossibility, thus science itself would be worthless.

        However, if one did not hold to the biblical world view, how could he ever know what “Cloak and stagger” says is false?

        Actually, this ironically creates a big problem for the unbeliever, not the believer. Because the unbeliever’s only choice is to either 1. dismiss his claims arbitrarily, which is irrational. Or 2. trust his own senses to attempt to disprove “Cloak and stagger’s” claim, but he can never do so since “Cloak and stagger” claims that he is deceptive and everything was “planted” by him even memories. Either way the unbeliever is stuck as far as I can tell.

        I find it funny that “Cloak and stagger” was trying to make the biblical world view look silly when he actually demonstrates our argument and shows the predicament that the unbeliever is in.

        To top if off, even though “Cloak and stagger” most likely does not believe his own claims, he can never refute them. Because what if he really did create the universe 10 years ago, and then decided to wipe out his own memories and cease his own powers of creation so that he would think he is just living a normal human life? He can’t even disprove his own attempted rebuttal to the transcendental argument given an unbelieving world view. That’s why as ironic as it is, to even argue the non-existence God requires that God exists!

        • cloak and stagger says:

          “f his claim were true, then like I said, it would make all preconditions of intelligibility an impossibility, thus science itself would be worthless. ”

          no it would not like i said if those “false” memories where not planted you cannot have actual knowledge!

          • Josef says:

            lol was that an attempt to disprove what I said? You ended up proving it again.

            • Tony says:

              I will say this again I must remind you that GOG (the God over God) and MAGOG (the multitude above God over God) disagree that your god’s word is infallible

              Oh, and don’t bother arguing that there is no higher being than God, or that they don’t have any authority since I just made them up. GOG and MAGOG say otherwise.

              • Micah says:

                How do you know GOG exists? Also they can disagree all they want, but i’d like to see them actually prove it.

                • Jason K says:

                  Why do we need to prove GOG exists? Do you not presuppose that your own God exists? By that same token we can presuppose GOG and observe it has no more conflicts then presupposing a singular God.

              • Josef says:

                Ok, tell me how GOG or MaGOG satisfy the preconditions of intelligibility for you and how do you know him/them/it and how has he/she/it/they revealed themselves to you?

                • Tony says:

                  MaGOG gave GOG gave God the power to create a stable universe where MaGOG gave GOG gave God the ability to create logic, science and morality as a part of his perfect and unchanging character where also MaGOG cant lie so everything that he says is trust worthy

                  • Micah says:

                    Yes, we know thats what you say. We want to know how you know this. How did you come about this information?

                  • Micah says:

                    >MaGOG gave GOG gave God the power to create a stable universe where MaGOG gave GOG gave God the ability to create logic, science and morality

                    Your GOG and MAGOG cannot be the basis for morality since they lie. If God was made by GOG and MAGOG and given morality from them then why does God lie? God makes the claim that he is the only God. But according to you there are 2 others over Him. If God lies and got his morality from GOG and MAGOG then that means GOG and MAGOG lie as well. Thus we have no reason to trust them, since they cannot be the source of truth.

                    >also MaGOG cant lie so everything that he says is trust worthy

                    If he cant lie then how did he give the ability to lie to God? Your god/s seem very inconsistent and illogical.

                    • Tony says:

                      No sinful man corrupted the bible

                    • ware no kuni says:

                      “God makes the claim that he is the only God. But according to you there are 2 others over Him. If God lies and got his morality from GOG and MAGOG then that means GOG and MAGOG lie as well” Tony does not speak for MAGOG and GOG I do! He is a heretic! After creating the universe God had rebelled against MAGOG and GOG like lucifer against him and made people think he was the only god, but on judgement day God is really gonna get it!

                  • Josef says:

                    “MaGOG gave GOG gave God the power to create a stable universe where MaGOG gave GOG gave God the ability to create logic…”

                    If “Gog/MaGog” had to give the biblical God the ability to create logic, then that means logic didn’t exist before the biblical God created it meaning that MaGog/Gog has no choice but to be illogical since logic didn’t exist. Therefore, it is illogical to believe in Gog/Magog.

                    Nice little game Tony, but not only have you apparently kept your head in the sand (none of us claim God created logic!), but you didn’t even answer my question, but actually in turn demonstrated how Gog/MaGog cannot justify the preconditions of intelligibility.

                    • ware no kuni says:

                      *sigh* i think what the heretic meant to say was that logic is a reflection of the character of MAGOG, everything that makes the world intelligible is a reflection of the great character of MAGOG who also made GOG in his image and who made God in his image and God being a headstrong rebel rebelled against both GOG and MaGOG and will be cast into the lake of fire

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      “then that means logic didn’t exist before the biblical God created it meaning that MaGog/Gog has no choice but to be illogical since logic didn’t exist” WRONG this is a false dictonomy just because logic did not exist does not automatically mean illogic, a good analogy would probably be the fact that logical absoultes differance with the laws of logic, logical absoultes existed as uncreated as MAGOG, but the laws og logic where created by God, i think ware no kuni is saying that both logical absolutes and the laws of logic are uncreated while i saw only one of them are

  10. Josef says:

    Micah says: “You must use circular reasoning to prove something like the laws of logic, ”

    Tony responds: “uh no Logic is a tool. We use tools to do things. Logic is a tool that we use to evaluate the truth or falsehood of claims.

    But to evaluate requires that you use logic! If logic were not presupposed, then we would behave illogically and how can an illogical position lead to a logical conclusion? And even if it could, if you’re illogical, how would you determine whether something is logical?

    “There is nothing circular about that state of affairs, and it is not an argument.

    Yes there is because to even be able to evaluate something, even laws of logic, would require that you presuppose logic. A

    “And as well you presuppose the bible to be true with your senses! As well how do you know you KNOWyour senses are not tricking you without a good reason?

    The nature of preconditions of intelligibility, such as logic, is that you must presuppose them before you can prove them to be true. If we presuppose logic to be true, we then can prove logic to be true. I would love to see you come up with a way of testing logic that does not first presuppose logic. By presupposing the biblical God is true and that he has spoken to use through special revelation, I can know that my senses are generally reliable.

    “you will probably talk about the bible but it would mean that your senses are infalliable when reading the bible!

    Upon reading the Bible initially, I may or may not know that my senses are generally reliable. However, upon reading that they are because we were created by God, I can make one of two choices: 1. keep assuming that my senses are unreliable, and therefore, I can never have a coherent world view. The very preconditions of intelligibility can never be justified by this view, and scientific research of any kind would be an impossibility. Or option 2. upon reading the biblical claim, I can presuppose that what it says is true and therefore, I can trust my own senses. By doing this, I can justify the preconditions of intelligibility and be able to make sense of the world. Unfortunately for you, you’re really stuck at option 1, because you reject God’s revelation, you really don’t have any justification for the preconditions of intelligibility. You simply assume without justification that your sense are reliable.

    • Tony says:

      “I would love to see you come up with a way of testing logic that does not first presuppose logic”
      testing a machine to see if it works is not circular reasoning

      [Dr. Lisle: It is circular if you are using the machine to evaluate the results. Suppose you had a scale, and when you put a penny on it, it read “ten pounds.” Someone asks you how you know the scale is accurate. So you test it by putting a penny on it. You know from the scale that a penny weighs ten pounds. So when the scale again read “ten pounds” it passes the test. Is it reasonable to say that we now know that the scale is accurate?]

      “Unfortunately for you, you’re really stuck at option 1, because you reject God’s revelation”
      but the only way to know if the revelation is valid is if you were omniscient

      [Dr. Lisle: Or if the revelation were from a being who knows everything and never lies. This is precisely the Christian claim. That is why our knowledge must begin with reverential submission to God (Proverbs 1:7). Any alternative to Christianity would make knowledge impossible. We have seen that demonstrated in these very exchanges.]

      • Antichus "Tony" says:

        “It is circular if you are using the machine to evaluate the results. ”
        no its not since after testing it, if it be reliable then you can use it!

        [Dr. Lisle: The problem is that you are judging whether the machine is reliable by the machine itself. But this presupposes that the machine is reliable. You are reasoning in circles. Suppose we had a faulty scale, such that when you put a penny on it, it read “10 metric tons.” You presume that the scale is reliable, and that a penny really does weigh 10 metric tons. So, to test the scale, you put a penny on it, “knowing” that it weighs 10 metric tons. The scale again reads “10 metric tons.” So you conclude that the scale is right because it gives (what you think is) the right answer. But such reasoning is circular and fallacious.]

        “Or if the revelation were from a being who knows everything and never lies. This is precisely the Christian claim. That is why our knowledge must begin with reverential submission to God (Proverbs 1:7). Any alternative to Christianity would make knowledge impossible. We have seen that demonstrated in these very exchanges”
        But how do you know the revelation corresponds to the reality that is true since our senses are fallible?

        [Dr. Lisle: There are two reasons. First, God has made Himself inescapably known to all people (Romans 1:18-20). He has hardwired knowledge of Him into us. It is not processed through the senses. Second, in the Christian worldview, God made our senses. Therefore, they are basically reliable. They may not be infallible due to the curse. But in the Christian worldview, our senses are trustworthy most of the time. And we can always double check, using different senses which are also basically reliable. We can therefore have confidence when we read God’s Word that it really states what we read. And we thereby learn the reason why we can have such confidence in our senses. But in an evolutionary worldview, we could never know that our senses are reliable.]

        And no we have not knowledge is plenty possible you are just doing the Ham Hightail

        [Dr. Lisle: If we don’t have knowledge, then you couldn’t post on this blog. You wouldn’t know how to type, or know how to read or write. Clearly we do have knowledge. The Christian worldview can make sense of this. Can you? So far you haven’t been able to do so.]

        • Tony says:

          Also if the our sense are fallible how would we know its from a being that doesn’t lie?

          [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview truth is by definition what corresponds to God’s mind. And God is totally self-consistent, which is why we have a law of non-contradiction. If God could lie, then He could contradict Himself, and there would be no logical justification for the law of non-contradiction. Therefore, we know that God does not (and cannot) lie because there is a law of non-contradiction. The self-consistent and fully truthful nature of God is a necessary precondition for laws of logic.]

          Just cause you think you got a revelation from God that doesn’t lie doesn’t mean it actually happened Face it the only way you know or not its from god or if its truly valid is if you where omniscient!

          [Dr. Lisle: No. Again, we can know that the revelation is from God because any alternative would make knowledge impossible. And we do have knowledge. Thus, the revelation is from God. Only the Christian worldview, in which God has revealed Himself inescapably to all people, can make knowledge possible. Any alternative to Christianity leads to absurdity. Tony, your posts have demonstrated this.]

          • tony says:

            sigh- so how do you know its not someone pretending to be god giving us information about a false world, that only exists in or mind?

            [Dr. Lisle: One reason is that it would make knowledge impossible, for the reasons I’ve listed previously. If our Creator is not truthful, we cannot know anything about anything.]

            • Tony says:

              ” If our Creator is not truthful, we cannot know anything about anything.”
              Again you aren’t even answering the question! You are assuming that the one giving you these “revelations” is the real creator, so how do you know its the real creator? the one pretending to be the creator can also give you revelations

              [Dr. Lisle: By definition only our Creator can create us with built in knowledge of Himself.]

              • Micah says:

                Of course we assume that the one giving us these revelations is the real Creator. Thats why we have a christian worldview and not some other one. You are free to believe that God is just a pretender giving us false information but such a worldview would lead to absurd results, like we couldn’t know anything about anything.

            • taka no mi says:

              a guy pretending to be God can give us knowledge too in a world he makes us think we live in, of course you would never admit that and continue to just run around in circles or claim that God breaks the law of non-contradiction

              • Micah says:

                We could never trust the information we have in that worldview, the reason being that the guy pretending to be God is unreliable. Therefore we could never know anything about anything.

                Also, Jason never made the claim that God breaks the law of non-contradiction.

                • Tony says:

                  again Micah, you cant know if its really an impostor or the true God! I am asking you how do you know its God and not a faker? a liar can also give true knowledge, and second of all how do you know your “worldview” isnt absurd? i mean its sounds quite subjctive doesnt it?

                  • Robert says:

                    How do you know that it is subjective, since you as “a fallible being can always be wrong and therefore [you] can’t have infallible knowledge” of what is not subjective. Right? That is your logic that you are pushing isn’t it. As you can see based on your logic, no knowledge is possible because we can always use the wording above to make anything subjective and there would be no reason for debate at all. Thus you have proved that only the Christian God can make knowledge possible.

                    • Tony says:

                      uh, no.. i proved that you and your God are trying to lay claim to something you dont and cant have

                    • Robert says:

                      I have no idea what you are refering to. How do you know that something can’t be had, since you as “a fallible being can always be wrong and therefore [you] can’t have infallible knowledge” of what can and can’t be had. Right?

            • Tony says:

              you are assuming liars cant tell the truth! a guy pretending to be God can easily tell you the truth to gain your trust, after all the best liars are ones who seem the most truthful

              • Micah says:

                Even if a liar can tell the truth, there would be no reason to trust anything he says because he could be lying. The only way you could know for certain is if the person giving you the information never lies. Which is the christian claim.

                • Tony says:

                  But the guy pretending to be God can have you fooled into thinking he is God,

                  [Dr. Lisle: He might be able to fool you Tony, but not one of God’s children. God has hardwired us to recognize His voice (John 10:27) – something only our Creator can do.]

                  and that he never lies, so how do you objectively prove to everyone that its God and not a liar?

                  [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, truth is that which corresponds to the mind of God. Something is true if it is something God would say. Thus, it is impossible for God to lie (Titus 1:2). In the non-Christian worldview, you can never know anything at all.]

                  “Even if a liar can tell the truth, there would be no reason to trust anything he says because he could be lying. ”
                  well according to that type of reasoning than you cant trust anyone, not even your closest family members
                  and ever heard of Sye Ten Brugenggate? he is a champion of the type of apologetic that Dr.Lisle really likes, and on a radio interview with an atheist, he ADMITS that if a being came up to him and said it never lies and is infallible, he would listen to it no matter what and follow it blindly……

                  [Dr. Lisle: No, that isn’t true. A liar could make such a claim, but only the biblical God can demonstrate such a claim by being the necessary precondition for all knowledge. The only way we can know anything at all is to either be omniscient, or to have revelation from someone who is omniscient. Either the Christian worldview is true, or it is impossible to know that anything is true.]

                  • Robert says:

                    Track record is a good way to tell. So far the Christian God has given no reason for us to doubt his truth.
                    Does this mean that you distrust everything then because everything could be a lie?

                    • Tony says:

                      “. So far the Christian God has given no reason for us to doubt his truth.”
                      but that begs the question! Dr.Lisle said that if you think the future will be like the past because of past experiances, you are begging the question! so isnt this the same thing?

                      [Dr. Lisle: Assuming uniformity as the sole proof for uniformity indeed begs the question. But Christians have a legitimate reason to believe in uniformity: God, who is beyond time, has promised to uphold the future like the past (e.g. Genesis 8:22). Thus, we Christians can validly use past experience to predict future success. It’s the non-Christians that are in a bind.]

                    • Robert says:

                      Track record is a way to find out if something is a lie or not up to that point. You asked for a way to see if he is a liar. I did not claim that it relates to the future. Please see all of the other comments on this blog.

                  • Tony says:

                    ” The only way we can know anything at all is to either be omniscient, or to have revelation from someone who is omniscient. Either the Christian worldview is true, or it is impossible to know that anything is true.”
                    and the only way to know if the revelation is from one that is omniscient is if you yourself was! also that doesn’t even make any sense! Your are first of all begging the question second of all this is straight up fidelism!third of all your position holds no water among REAL thinkers, and is considered a total joke! fourth of all how do you know THAT? Omniscience is not required for knowledge you need to take a class on thinking from a REAL phliospher

            • Tony says:

              ” One reason is that it would make knowledge impossible, for the reasons I’ve listed previously”
              that has nothing to do with the question I asked you,i told you how do you know the knowledge given to you isn’t something that only makes sense in a world that we THINK exist but doesnt really exist?

              [Dr. Lisle: I have answered the question Tony. You just don’t like my answer. In the Christian worldview, God cannot give false knowledge, so His revelation is certain. In any other worldview, you can’t know anything. And you do know things. Thus Christianity is true.]

              • Micah says:

                You can believe that there is someone pretending to be God if you want. But such a worldview is irrational and means you couldn’t really know anything.
                Jason did answer the question, the reason we can know the knowledge given to us isn’t made up is because the Christian worldview is the only worldview that doesn’t lead to absurd results, any alternative (like the guy pretending to be God) would make knowledge impossible and therefore there would be no reason in even having discussions.

                • Tony says:

                  “But such a worldview is irrational and means you couldn’t really know anything.”

                  again your just assuming the revelation is correct, and that the information given to us about the world is correct,this revelator can be giving us info that only worlds in this world we percive, but not the “real” world that actually exists

          • tony says:

            ” Any alternative to Christianity leads to absurdity. Tony, your posts have demonstrated this.”

            no its just that you are too stubborn to admit that you are wrong,

            [Dr. Lisle: Irony. We started this whole series when I pointed out that only the Christian worldview can make sense of the preconditions of intelligibility. And now XX posts later, what have we found? That only the Christian worldview can make sense of the preconditions of intelligibility.]

            again you cant know if the revelation is correct if you yourself was omniscient!how do you know the world you see is the “real” world?

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you are forgetting that God is all-powerful and can do as He pleases. It is within God’s capability to give His creations limited knowledge with absolute certainty. We can know that the revelation we receive from God is certain precisely because it is from God! Apart from this, how could you possibly know that know anything about the real world?]

            • tony says:

              “we can know that the revelation is from God because any alternative would make knowledge impossible”
              so again you are claiming omniscience, since the only way to know any alternative would make knowledge to be impossible is of course if you yourself where omniscient!

              [Dr. Lisle: Only God is omniscient. And He cannot lie. Therefore, revelation from Him is absolutely certain. The argument is sound and does not require omniscience of people.]

              • Tony says:

                “The argument is sound and does not require omniscience of people.”
                no it is not sound, humans are falliable and therofore can be wrong,being absolutely certain means you cant be wrong

                [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you don’t realize it, but you have tacitly assumed that the human mind is the ultimate standard for all truth claims. Since the human mind is fallible, any worldview that is based ultimately upon it cannot have certainty (and cannot even have probability since you’d have to be certain of your ability assess probabilities). Thus you can’t know anything. But in the Christian worldview, we CAN have knowledge by revelation from God. Such knowledge is necessarily certain because of the nature of God. We can have infallible knowledge about some things ONLY because of revelation.]

                • Tony says:

                  ” We can have infallible knowledge about some things ”
                  a fallible being can always be wrong and therefore they cant have infallible knowledge!

                  [Tony, since you are a fallible being, that means you might be wrong about what you just said. Right? Thus, a finite being can indeed have infallible knowledge, if it was revealed by an infallible source.]

                  Also you DON’T NEED absolute certainty to know things!

                  [Dr. Lisle: Are you absolutely certain about that? If not, then you might be wrong. And if you might be wrong, then you don’t really know do you?]

                  • Micah says:

                    A fallible being can have infallible knowledge about some things if they are getting the information from an infallible source.

                    • Tony says:

                      but they wouldn truly know that source to be infalliable unless they themsleves where infalliable!

                      [Dr. Lisle: Or, if the infallible source informed us of such – which is precisely the Christian claim.]

                    • Micah says:

                      If every alternative lead to irrationality then they would know it was infallible.

                    • Robert says:

                      Tony,
                      what you are claiming leads to knowledge not being possible.

                    • Tony says:

                      robert that begs the question

                  • Chris H says:

                    Tony, we have been through this already. I am not going to bring out the definitions of words again, but I think you should really go back and see our last conversation on the topic of “know” and “certainty”.

              • taka no mi says:

                but how do you know God is Omniscient? You do realize the only way to know if God is Omniscient is if you yourself were also omniscient

                [Dr. Lisle: You have overlooked another way we can know this: if God reveals it to us. Of course, this is precisely the Christian claim.]

            • Tony says:

              “It is within God’s capability to give His creations limited knowledge with absolute certainty.”
              so then are you saying that God doesnt obey the laws of logic???

              [Dr. Lisle: Tony, I don’t know how you got that from my statement. In the Christian worldview, we can have certain knowledge by revelation from God. What law of logic did you think that this violates?]

              • Tony says:

                the law of non-contradiction, you are saying that a fallible being can have infallible knowledge

                [Dr. Lisle: There is no contradiction here. A contradiction is “A” and “not A” at the same time and in the same relationship.]

                • Tony says:

                  YES exactly you are saying that a fallible being can have infallible knowledge, are you saying that is not contradictory?

                  [Dr. Lisle: A person who is not a cup of water can be given a cup of water. A person who is tall can be given something that is short. A person who is fallible can be given some knowledge that isn’t fallible. There is no contradiction.]

                  infallible means you cant be wrong, if one piece of knowledge you have cannot be wrong, then all your knowledge cant be wrong!

                  [Dr. Lisle: That makes no sense, and is easy to refute. I might know that 2+2=4, but that doesn’t mean I won’t make an arithmetic mistake about something else. I might know that it is sunny outside right now, but that doesn’t mean that I know what the weather will be like next Thursday. Certain knowledge in one area does not imply certain knowledge in all areas.]

                  • Robert says:

                    Tony, that doesn’t even begin to make sense. So if you know for certain that you have a left hand, then all of your knowledge must be true? And by extension, if you missed a question in grade school (a case of infalliable knowledge), then you are saying that you never know anything. Your all or nothing mindset is very flawed but does show that you concede that you cannot know anything based on your worldview.
                    Dr. Lisle did say certain knowledge by the way, not all knowledge.

                • Tony says:

                  this is A and not A at the same time! a fallible being making infallible statements???

                  [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you are confusing what a person is with what a person possesses or does. An illiterate child could hold a book full of meaningful words. The child’s illiteracy has no bearing on the literary content of the book. If someone is given a book of infallible truths, the book would not suddenly become fallible merely because the person holding it is fallible. If person read from the book, the statements would be infallible, even though the person is fallible.]

                  oh comon you know you have to be infallible to make the statements you just did, but you refuse to admit it!

                  [Dr. Lisle: Actually Tony, on your worldview, you couldn’t know anything at all.]

                  • Micah says:

                    You dont have to be infallible if you are getting the information from an infallible source.

                  • Tony says:

                    Again dr.lisle like any good presupptionalist you resort to insults like” you can’t know anything” when you are losing

                    [Dr. Lisle: It’s not an insult Tony. It is the Christian claim. God alone makes knowledge possible (Proverbs 1:7, Colossians 2:3). And knowledge is possible, therefore God. This has been my argument that entire time. To be clear, my claim is not that you don’t know anything. It is that if your worldview were true, then you couldn’t know anything. In fact, you can and do know things because the Bible is true. Revelation from God makes knowledge possible for both you and me.]

            • Tony says:

              “And now XX posts later, what have we found? That only the Christian worldview can make sense of the preconditions of intelligibility”
              no all we found was that you are claiming that God violates the laws of logic

              [Dr. Lisle: That’s about as opposite of what I’m claiming as one can get. God is the foundation for laws of logic. No, He does not violate them.]

              [If you disagree that only the Christian worldview can make sense of preconditions of intelligibility, then please show me how your worldview can make sense of them. This is what I’ve been asking you to do, but so far you haven’t been able to do so. How do you know that the laws of logic are universal and invariant, that laws of nature don’t arbitrarily change with time or space, that there is an objective moral code (and how do you know what it is)? How do you know that your senses are reliable, or that your mind is capable of rationality?]

              [I have shown you how the Christian worldview can make sense of all these things. But you haven’t been able to rationally account for such things on your own worldview. Each post you make where you don’t account for these things, you confirm my claim that only Christianity can.]

              • Tony says:

                ” How do you know that the laws of logic are universal and invariant, that laws of nature don’t arbitrarily change with time or space, that there is an objective moral code (and how do you know what it is)?”
                first of all why didnt you say so! well i have several
                i) the laws of logic exist and are themselves intrinsically necessary, and are not underpinned by anything.

                [Dr. Lisle: Okay, but you will still need to justify them. You will simply have to do it in an a posteriori fashion, rather than an a priori fashion. And that is perfectly acceptable. But I don’t see how it is possible to get the universal and invariant properties of laws of logic by such a construction. Perhaps they are just that way. But then the question becomes: “How do you know that they are that way?”]

                They are themselves bedrock (after all, all explanation has to stop somewhere – so why not here? Why add on a further necessary thing: God? I’m thinking Hindus, elephants and turtles.)

                [Dr. Lisle: I understand your point, and it is well-stated. I used the turtle analogy in my book in chapter 9 which discusses this very issue. The answer to your question is this: If we take laws of logic to be the ultimate “bedrock”, then knowledge won’t be possible. The reason is that you then cannot justify uniformity in nature, or morality, (such things do not follow from the existence of laws of logic) nor can you ever know what the properties of those laws of logic really are. I.e. how do you know that laws of logic apply to all truth claims, independent of time or space? If God is the ultimate “bedrock” for knowledge (as He claims to be – Proverbs 1:7), then we find that we can justify the existence and properties of laws of logic, objective morality, uniformity of nature, reliability of senses, and (in an a posteriori fashion) even God’s nature. God is the only rational bedrock that makes knowledge possible.]

                (ii) rejecting the question (e.g. in the style of the later Wittgenstein). There may be something wrong with the question: “What makes the laws of logic necessary?” (as there is with the question “What makes all the vixens female?”). In which case, the question doesn’t need an answer.

                [Dr. Lisle: it still needs an answer. It is just a very easy question. Vixens are defined to be female. Thus, the proposition “all vixens are female” is true by construction. It is an analytic proposition.]

                Suppose someone asks “What makes all stallions male? What is this strange force – a super force – that forces the world to be such that nothing is both a stallion and not male?
                Clearly, this person is confused. Nothing is required to make it the case that all the stallions are male. rather, “stallion” just means male horse. Understand what “stallion” means and you are immediately in a position to know they will all be male. Indeed, there is nothing to make the case because “non-male stallion” does not describe some state of affairs that the world some conspires to prevent from obtaining. Rather, that combination of words makes no sense, given how “stallion” and “male” are used. So there is nothing to “prevent”.
                Now consider this. “and” and “not” are defined in logic by truth tables
                “P and Q” is true if, and only if both P is true and Q is true, and false otherwise. “Not P” is false if P is true, and vice verse.
                Given these definitions of “and” and “not”: “Not [P and not-P]” is guaranteed to be true. The law of non-contradiction obtains because of what “and” and “not” mean. To ask, “But what makes it the case that both P and not-P can’t both be true is to misunderstand how “and” and “not” are used in logic.
                In short, the question: “What makes it the case that P can’t be both true and false?” is confused, and makes no sense. There’s nothing to “make the case”, because there is nothing to prevent. “P and not-P” does not describe some state of affairs that the world somehow conspires to prevent from occurring. It does not describe anything at all. That combination of words is just ruled out by the rules governing “and” and “not”.

                [Dr. Lisle: Thank you – that was an excellent articulation of your position. If I understand correctly, you are proposing that laws of logic are analytic propositions: propositions that are true by construction due to the way words are defined. Yes? The statement “all bachelors are unmarried” is an analytic truth because the predicate concept contains the subject concept. It is necessarily true by construction. You seem to put laws of logic in this category. We define “and” and “not” and “true” and “false” such that certain combinations of propositions and these operators have one truth value or another. And so the question “why is this law of logic true?” is answered with “because it has been constructed that way. It is true by definition.”]

                [If I have understood you correctly, then it seems to me that there is a fatal flaw with this approach. Analytic propositions are not used to learn anything about the universe; they merely flesh out the meaning of a particular word or phrase. “All bachelors are unmarried” doesn’t tell me anything about whether or not bachelors exist or what properties they might have in the actual universe. It merely expounds upon the meaning of the term. I could equally well say, “Unicorns are horses with a horn growing on their head.” But that doesn’t have anything to do with the real universe. It doesn’t imply the existence or non-existence of such a creature, nor does it really teach me anything other than a definition.]

                [Thus, if laws of logic were merely analytic propositions, then they would not be useful in terms of learning anything about the actual universe. Yet – and here is the problem – laws of logic are useful in learning about the actual universe. We can use laws of logic along with certain propositional truths to learn other propositional truths that correspond to the actual universe. We use them every day so naturally that we don’t really even consciously think about it. If laws of logic are simply the rules that we have made up for words that we have made up, then why does the universe feel compelled to go along with those rules?]

                [Let me put it this way. You say that “and” and “not” are defined in logic by truth tables. That being the case, I am free to use a different definition as long as I am up front and clear about it. And if I could get others to agree, we could start using these new definitions of “and” and “not.” I hereby define “and” such that “p and q” is true if either p or q is false (or both), and false otherwise. So the truth table becomes:
                p…q…p and q
                T…T…F
                T…F…T
                F…T…T
                F…F…T ]

                [But we would find that if we apply this truth table to propositional claims about the universe, it would not be terribly helpful and would not match our observations about the state of things. Of course, we use only one particular truth table (one set of rules) for operators because we find that this set alone corresponds to our observations of the universe. But why is that? Why is it that the particular truth table you listed for the “and” operator corresponds so perfectly to the actual state of the universe? One answer might be that we have rejected alternatives because they do not reflect that actual state of the universe. But that doesn’t actually explain why the remaining one does. Why should a chance universe be organized in such a marvelous way that we are able to discover any truth table and set of operators at all that is useful in describing it? For that matter, how can you know that the standard truth table definitions will continue to be useful and correspond to reality in the future, or in distant parts of the universe?]

                [The Christian can answer this. Laws of logic reflect the thinking of God. And God upholds the physical universe. Thus, there is a necessary correspondence between laws of logic and the physical universe. How can the unbeliever account for this?]

                As Witmer says, it’s open to an atheist to say, “Hey the laws of logic, moral principles, etc are just “brute” – they are basic features of reality not further explicable. They constitute our presuppositions. aren’t atheists/agnostics are allowed to have presuppositions too?

                [Dr. Lisle: Yes, everyone has presuppositions. But those presuppositions must be justified if they are to be considered rational. What is the rational justification for morality in an atheistic universe? I have never seen an atheist give a cogent response to that question. And if he cannot answer it, yet continues to believe in such things, then he is being irrational like a child who believes in monsters in the closet for no good reason.]

                They can also allow for a Platonic heaven of abstract entities, if they wish.

                [Dr. Lisle: Certainly. But just imagining something does not make it so. A rational person will have a reason or reasons for his or her beliefs. This is what I am challenging the unbeliever to start doing – to think through whether or not his presuppositions are justified.]

                There are countless other options we might pursue. The one option I am not much tempted to pursue is The laws of logic are explained and underpinned by the Christian God

                [Dr. Lisle: Yet that is the only one that has actually been able to account for these preconditions of intelligibility. But the Bible explains why you are resistant to turning to God. John 3:19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” The Bible explains that people (since we are all sinners) do not want to have our sin exposed. We don’t want to be held accountable to God. So we deny Him, not for logical reasons, but for spiritual ones. I call it the “Anything But God” principle. We would rather have a philosophy that is full of holes, and self-contradictory, then to admit that we need God. Yet, if we repent God is willing to forgive us and give us a renewed mind. Many people think that salvation is just an escape from hell. But it is more than that. Salvation includes an escape from the intellectual “hell” of self-refuting philosophy. Colossians 2:3,8]

                and the thing is Dr.Lisle according to the bible there isn’t really an objective moral code,because for example not keeping the sabbath is no longer an immoral crime

                [Dr. Lisle: I suspect you are confusing moral laws with ceremonial laws. The Bible contains both. If you go back to my first several blog entries, you will find that I have written an extended series on the law of God that addresses this very issue. The Christian worldview alone makes sense of an objective and absolute moral code: e.g. it is wrong to murder because people are made in God’s image and He has said that we are not to murder and He will hold us accountable for our actions. This applies to all people at all times because of the sovereign and eternal nature of God.]

                [In closing, we still haven’t seen how the unbeliever can account for the properties of laws of logic (or how he or she knows that laws of logic have such properties) that correspond with the actual state of affairs in the universe, that there is any underlying uniformity in nature, that there is an objective moral code (and who decides what it is?), or that our senses are reliable. The Christian worldview accounts for all of these masterfully.]

                • Tony says:

                  “. We don’t want to be held accountable to God. So we deny Him, not for logical reasons, but for spiritual ones. I call it the “Anything But God” principle. We would rather have a philosophy that is full of holes, and self-contradictory, then to admit that we need God.” if maximizing hedonistic pleasure is the goal of an atheist, this desire would form a poor basis for him or her to reject a theistic religion that promises eternal bliss. After all, is an eternity of bliss not more hedonistic (pleasure-maximizing) than several decades of “sin”?

                  [Dr. Lisle: I agree. But that isn’t why people reject God. It is because they love darkness rather than light; they would rather be a god unto themselves than to submit to the Living God. And God will honor that decision for all eternity.]

                  • Antichus "Tony" says:

                    ” It is because they love darkness rather than light; they would rather be a god unto themselves than to submit to the Living God” in case you haven realised yet Dr.Lisle that is what ive been saying, what you said here says that people reject God because they want physical and mental pleasure

                    [Dr. Lisle: Not exactly the same thing. People do not want to submit to God because they want to be a god unto themselves (e.g. Genesis 3:5) – in some cases even if they would have to endure an eternity in hell. My main point is that no one rejects Christianity for logical reasons.]

                • Tony says:

                  ” I suspect you are confusing moral laws with ceremonial laws. ”
                  no i am not,God says slavery is OK, but you will say that slavery is unacceptable !

                  [Dr. Lisle: Will I say that? If you had done a little homework, you would have seen that I have already written in detail on this topic on this very blog. Again, I strongly recommend that you read up on some of these things; it will save you significant embarrassment.]

                  this is moral relativism right there… in 1856 Reverend Thomas Stringfellow, a Baptist minister from Culpepper County in Virginia, wrote an essay called “A Scriptural View of Slavery”, which is full of passages that support his opinion, such as:

                  “Job himself was a great slave-holder, and, like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, won no small portion of his claims to character with God and men from the manner in which he discharged his duty to his slaves.”

                  “It is certain that God interposed to give Joseph the power in Egypt, which he used, to create a state, or condition, among the Egyptians, which substantially agrees with patriarchal and modern slavery.”

                  “If, therefore, doing to others as we would they should do to us, means precisely what loving our neighbor as ourself means, then Jesus has added no new moral principle above those in the law of Moses, to prohibit slavery, for in his law is found this principle, and slavery also.”

                  • Tony says:

                    ” I strongly recommend that you read up on some of these things; it will save you significant embarrassment.”
                    I did and it shows that if you believe slavery to be immoral you are a moral relativist, so then let me ask you does God approve of slavery, is it morally acceptable

                    [Dr. Lisle: The ironic thing about your claim Tony is that it makes no sense on your worldview. Moral absolutes just do not comport with a chance universe, where people are just chemical accidents. Your question is only meaningful in the Christian worldview, which shows that in your heart-of-hearts you really do know God. Yes, the type of slavery advocated in Scripture (helping an irresponsible person get out of debt by paying all his debt and training him to become financially responsible) is morally right. But apart from the Christian worldview, the phrase “morally acceptable” is fundamentally meaningless. You again demonstrate the truth of Christianity by the very questions you ask.]

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      ” You again demonstrate the truth of Christianity by the very questions you ask.”
                      Again if you cant even tell if i am assuming your “worldview” for the sake of argument you are in big trouble

                      [Dr. Lisle: No, you are assuming it in fact, to get a basis for rationality so that you can then attack the very basis for that rationality. You haven’t been able to provide a basis for knowledge on your own worldview. Yet you act as if we can have knowledge, which is only possible in my worldview.]

                      “Yes, the type of slavery advocated in Scripture (helping an irresponsible person get out of debt by paying all his debt and training him to become financially responsible) is morally right. “Even the part where the bible says you can beat your slave as much as you want and if he does not die within two days its okay?

                      [Dr. Lisle: Despite your misunderstanding of the Scriptures, again, I must point out that you have no basis for morality on your own worldview. What one bag of chemicals does to another is morally irrelevant. Your question is only meaningful if Christianity is true.]

                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MFmC6BD1B4

                    • Tony says:

                      No knowledge is impossible in your “worldview” because all you can do is run around in circles,

                      [Dr. Lisle: It is really strange that you would state that, because I have given an actual argument for my position: namely, it makes knowledge possible. You haven’t explained why that is circular. Conversely, you continue to rely on your own mind which in your view is simply the product of mutations, and therefore cannot be relied upon as rational. It just doesn’t make any sense.]

                      again like any good presupptionalist you resort to insults when you know you lost

                      [Dr. Lisle: First of all Tony, you have demonstrated my claim over and over. I have pointed out that only the Christian worldview makes knowledge possible. Yet, you have confirmed that on your worldview, you could not even know that you are not a blade of grass. You’ve confirmed what I’ve been arguing the entire time. And you haven’t been able to refute my claim. Declaring that I’ve lost after you’ve proved all my points seems a bit ironic. Second, where do you think that I have insulted you? That was certainly not my intention.]

                    • the_ignored says:

                      Lisle said:
                      “Yes, the type of slavery advocated in Scripture (helping an irresponsible person get out of debt by paying all his debt and training him to become financially responsible) is morally right”

                      Lisle seems to be ignoring the fact that people get into debt for many other reasons beside their own “irresponsibility” (ie. medical debt)…

                      Dr. Lisle: No. Although slavery was an option available for any kind of debt, medical debt was not likely to have occurred in the Old Testament administration. But even today, it is the obligation of the church and individuals to help those – who through no fault of their own – need help (James 1:27, Matthew 25:34-46, Isaiah 1:17). The biblical form of slavery was a benevolent system designed to provide for the poor and help them get out of debt. It was very different from the racial and often brutal slavery seen in other places.

                      Other problems with your view, Lisle, as brought up by a smarter person than me:

                      1) That isn’t the only type of slavery in the Bible. That’s the type of slavery you could use for other Jews. When applied to people captured in war or gentiles it was a form of oppression, not a repayment of debt.

                      Dr. Lisle: No. God allowed the Israelites, in some cases, to take slaves of conquered people-groups so that those people could repay their debt to Israel. These people-groups had been squatting on land that belonged to Israel without paying any rent for decades or even centuries. They owed massive back-rent.

                      Foreign slaves were slaves for life.

                      Dr. Lisle: Again, no. Even foreign slaves were freed once their debt was payed. Why did you think otherwise? The Hebrews, as God’s chosen people, had special obligations and privileges; one of those privileges was that a Hebrew slave was released after seven years even if his debt had not yet been fully repaid. Foreign slaves would have to pay their debt in full to be freed.

                      2) Repaying a debt is one thing. Being a slave is quite another.

                      Dr. Lisle: One is a subset of the other. Namely, becoming a slave is one way to repay a dept. It is a last resort for people who have nothing left to repay with, so they must repay with themselves.

                      You can’t beat someone to repay a debt.

                      Dr. Lisle: Slaves were not beaten “to repay a debt”, and so this is a ridiculous straw-man argument. You continue to misrepresent the biblical position. Slaves were only allowed to be beaten if they continued to act irresponsibly or sinfully. A good, loving father spanks his child when the child disobeys so that the child learns to become responsible. Only a wicked father would withhold appropriate discipline.

                      You can beat a slave so long as they don’t die in a couple days from the beating.

                      Dr. Lisle: Wrong. Under biblical law, slaves can only be punished if they act wickedly. And that punishment must not cause any actual damage. Slaves were not allowed to be mistreated under biblical law, or they were immediately freed and their debt was considered paid in full.

                      You can make a slave do things that violate their rights…

                      Dr. Lisle: What?! First, what do you mean by rights? That is a creationist concept, incompatible with an evolutionary worldview. Bags of chemicals do not have rights. And thus, neither would humans if we were merely the accidental result of chemistry acting over time. Humans do have rights because we have been endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. By the way, we do not have the right to food without work.

                      Second, where in Scripture do you see any law that says that masters were allowed to violate the rights of their slaves? Not only is there no such verse, but there are verses that protect the rights of slaves, such as Exodus 21:26-27. The text of Scripture is very different from your mischaracterization of it.

                      …, whereas someone who’s doing community service work or doing chores for someone to repay a debt still has the right to say “no” if they’re asked to do something that violates their rights.

                      Dr. Lisle: I hate to tell you this, but community service work is essentially a modern application of the biblical form of slavery. Indeed a judge will often sentence a person to community service to repay the person’s debt to society. And both modern and ancient slaves of this sort have the right to say “no” if they are asked to do something that violates their God-given rights.

                      A slave can be raped and beaten and they’re expected to accept it.

                      Dr. Lisle: Excuse me, but where does the Bible say that a slave may be “raped” and they’re expected to accept it? Hint: it doesn’t. This is another blatant straw-man fallacy. No one may be raped under biblical law. In fact, God is so against rape that He institutes the death penalty for this insidious crime (Deuteronomy 22:25). And again, slaves may not be beaten in a way that brings actual physical harm, or they are immediately freed and their debt is cancelled (Exodus 21:26).

                      A vandal who gets caught defacing a business can sue the business and get the owner arrested if he’s beaten and/or sexually violated.

                      Dr. Lisle: What a bizarre hypothetical. So someone is vandalizing a business, perhaps spray-painting graffiti on the building, and rather than calling the police, the owner chooses to sexually assault the man? Okay. Well, under biblical law, the owner would not only be arrested, but if found guilty he would be executed.

                      3) Owning a person is never right. Even for a short time.

                      Dr. Lisle: Whoa! You just made a moral claim. But apart from the biblical worldview, how can you say that anything at all is objectively right or wrong? If people are just rearranged pond scum, why not own another person? After all, you can own pond scum. In the biblical worldview, God ultimately owns everything, including all people. Therefore all people, whether slave or free, have certain inalienable rights. Under biblical law, masters were not allowed to mistreat their slaves, and there were penalties for violations of this. But under any non-biblical worldview, why should any person have any rights at all?

                      Paying back a debt and doing thing you don’t like? Fine.

                      Dr. Lisle: THAT’S biblical slavery.

                      Being forced to do your master’s bidding, whatever it is? No. A person needs autonomy, even if they are in debt to you.

                      Dr. Lisle: Under the biblical system, slaves did have rights and thus some autonomy. They could not be raped or murdered or damaged physically. So the biblical system is quite different from your straw-man misrepresentation of it.

                      Lisle said:
                      “You again demonstrate the truth of Christianity by the very questions you ask.”

                      How does the debate about moral absolutism prove that Yahweh created a garden with a talking snake in it, flooded the world, impregnated a virgin with himself, became a carpenter, died, and came back to life?

                      Dr. Lisle: I wrote an entire book on this topic. I’m not going to repeat it here just because you are too intellectually lazy to study the issue.

                      I’d LOVE to see the train of logic that leads from A to B on that one.

                      Dr. Lisle: Then you will actually have to read the book.

                      What’s to stop any other religion from making the same claim? Try and answer that without circular reasoning and begging the question.

                      Dr. Lisle: Simple: they cannot rationally justify objective morality. Can you provide some non-Christian system that justifies objective morality without circular reasoning and begging the question. (If you cannot, then you demonstrate my case).

                      If we actually got our morality from your holy book, Lisle, then slavery would still be morally “right”, as would killing witches, those who work on the sabbath, etc…

                      Dr. Lisle: If we don’t get our morality from God’s book, then absolutely anything could be considered morally right: killing babies, racism, theft, rape, murder, you name it.

                      Our morality does not hinge in any way upon the christian “god”. In many cases, they diverge.

                      Dr. Lisle: Your subjective “morality” (what you personally prefer to call “right” and “wrong”) may indeed differ from God’s objective morality. But that’s your problem. Just about all evil-doers think they are in the right. Those who steal believe they have the right to another’s property. Those who murder believe that their victims “had it coming” – that they deserved to die and that killing them was justified. Those who murder the disabled believe they are doing humanity a service. For the most part, people do “what is right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6). And that’s the problem: what many people call “right” is actually objectively wicked (Isaiah 5:20). So when you disagree with God’s law, that doesn’t prove that God is wicked; rather it proves that you are (Ezekiel 18:29). On Judgment Day, there is only one set of moral standards that will matter: God’s. God will hold us accountable to His Law and no other. The bad new is: we all fall short. We deserve eternal death for our treason against God. The Good News is that God offers to pay our penalty if only we will repent and trust in Him.

                • Tony says:

                  “If laws of logic are simply the rules that we have made up for words that we have made up, then why does the universe feel compelled to go along with those rules?”
                  because those words are based in the reality that we observe also

                  [Dr. Lisle: two fatal problems here: (1) This presupposes that our observations are reliable, which is unjustified in an evolutionary worldview. (2) You could never conclude from observations that laws of logic extend to unobserved or future situations, since we have not observed unobserved or future situations. Yet we all presume that logic does apply universally and invariantly. Remember Tony, you are supposed to be showing how we can know that laws of logic are universal and invariant. Otherwise, they remain unjustified. But this cannot be shown through observation/experience alone because no one has universal observation/experience.]

                  The version of the transcendental argument for the existence of God which claims that the classical laws of logic depend upon God may be refuted simply by pointing out that its conclusion, if taken seriously, is absurd.
                  If the classical laws of logic depend upon God for their existence, then the classical laws of logic must not apply to God.

                  [Dr. Lisle: That premise is false. In the Christian worldview, laws of logic reflect God’s thinking. They necessarily apply to Him because God always thinks the way that He thinks.]

                  If they did, this would be like a mother giving birth to her mother, a ceiling supporting itself in the air, or an effect causing itself or the cause of its parent cause.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Be careful not to confuse causation with justification. God did not “create” laws of logic. Rather, laws of logic are a reflection of His thoughts. They cannot exist apart from God any more than your reflection in a mirror can exist without you. God is limited (only) by His own nature. God is logical (that is tautologically true in my worldview). Thus, we have laws of logic.]

                  Since the law of the excluded middle would not apply to God: any statement about God, as well as its negation, may both be true. So, “God exists,” and “God does not exist,” may both be true. Demonstrating “God exists,” would fail to imply that “God does not exist,” is false.
                  Since the law of non-contradiction would not apply to God: contradictory statements about God may be true. Therefore, “God exists and does not exist,” may be true.
                  Since the law of identity would not apply to God: God may be other than, or not, God.

                  [Since your premise is false, the conclusion is not proved. Each of these laws of logic is rooted in the character of God, He does not violate them because they are reflections of His character. The law of non-contradiction (2 Timothy 2:13), the law of the excluded middle (e.g. Mark 9:40, Matthew 12:30), the law of identity (Exodus 3:14) are all rooted in the character of God. Of course He cannot violate them, for God is Himself!]

                  If this variant of the transcendental argument for the existence of God is accurate,

                  [Dr. Lisle: It isn’t.]

                  any attempt to think rationally about God proves itself absurd. This, of course, includes any and all logical arguments for the existence of God, including this variant of the transcendental argument for the existence of God. It would also render all other claims made concerning God meaningless.

                  [Dr. Lisle: The ironic this is that without God, you lose all rational justification for laws of logic and their properties. You could never know that the law of non-contradiction, or excluded middle, or identity, or any other law will actually continue to work in future situations – in fact, you can’t even know for sure that they work now since you lose any basis for reliable senses. Apart from God, any discussion of God (or anything else) is meaningless.]

                  P1 God does not exist. P2 Tag proposes that if god does not exist, then truth does not exist. P3 If god does not exist then P1 is true. Conclusion: from 2 and 3, TAG is not sound.

                  [Dr. Lisle: The argument you’ve constructed is unsound because the first premise is false, and also because it is self-contradictory. It’s like “This statement is false.” In supposing that logic has any merit at all in distinguishing truth from fiction, you have tacitly assumed that God does exist (since without Him there would be no reason to assume that laws of logic have any connection to reality). But then your first premise contradicts your underlying unstated presupposition. It was a fun argument to analyze though. Thanks for posting.]

                  • Tony says:

                    1. The existence of the Cosmic Wombat is a necessary precondition of the existence of the laws of logic.For the great Cosmic Wombat upholds logic as they are a refelction of his great nature

                    [Dr. Lisle: This is another example of the ABG principle (Anything But God). When the unbeliever finally recognizes that his own worldview will not account for preconditions of intelligibility, and that the Christian worldview does, he will consistently try to make up some other god, rather than submit to the Living God. The problem is, no other God can make sense of the preconditions of intelligibility. You see Tony, Proverbs 1:7 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Not “a god” – but rather, the Lord. By the way, it should be obvious that a fictional god that you make up cannot be the preconditions for anything, because truth cannot be based on fiction. It is the nature of the Living God as revealed in His Word that provides the necessary preconditions of intelligibility.]

                    2. The laws of logic exist
                    Therefore, the Cosmic Wombat exists.

                    [Dr. Lisle: since the first premise is false, the argument is unproved.]

                    s we are still talking about whether atheists/agnostics can “account” for (i.e. justify, allow for, and explain) the laws of logic, here’s a third possibility
                    Quine’s view is that the laws of nature are not necessary. This is a popular view (more so in the U.S., largely because of Quine’s influence). Quine considers them very high level empirical propositions. And revisable in the light of experience.

                    [Dr. Lisle: We can discuss that view if you like. But I think you will find it impossible to defend in a consistent fashion. You could never know that laws of logic are universal or invariant if they were based on experience, since no one has universal experience.]

                    • Tony says:

                      Uh no the cosmic wombat was just a joke and a jan at impossility to the contrary , also the cosmic wombat is the truth!

                      [Dr. Lisle: It can’t be both just a joke and also the truth. You are contradicting yourself again.]

                      you are just saying that he is fiction because you suppress the truth in unrighteousness !its what I like to calABCW anything but cosmic wombat, when unbelievers like you know you don’t have the preconditions for knowledge ou make up for own god! Who can’t be the preconditions for anything because truth can’t come from fiction! It is the nature of the cosmic wombat that does so, thought his revelations to all of us!

                      [Dr. Lisle: You are welcome to try and defend that position, but you will have to concede that it is not a joke. The characteristics of the biblical God as objectively revealed in the Scriptures are what make the preconditions of intelligibility possible. Many have tried to do this with some other god, but no one has been able to.]

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      again in case you haven’t realized why ive made the cosmic wombat argument, as stupid as it was you are in big trouble

                      [Dr. Lisle: That may have been your intention. But the fact is that if you want to be rational, you will have to deal with the transcendental argument, and not just poke fun. Anyone can mock what they can’t rationally refute.]

                    • taka no mi says:

                      “Anyone can mock what they can’t rationally refute”
                      no Dr.Lisle its called Reductio ad absurdum, aslo it refutes the idea of impossibility to the contrary of Christianity

                      [Dr. Lisle: No, a reductio ad absurdum is quite different. It pushes a claim to its ultimate conclusion, which is absurd, thereby showing that the claim itself must be false. For example: if evolution were true, and our thoughts are just the result of mindless chemistry, there would be no reason to trust them. Thus evolution is false.]

                    • TOny says:

                      Again dr.Lisle if you cant realize the reason behind this arguement and how ACTUALpresupptionalist take this VERY seriously, well not clarkian presupptionalists anyways

                      [Dr. Lisle: Tony, if you have a worldview besides Christianity that can account for the properties of laws of logic, uniformity of nature, objective morality, reliability of our senses, etc., then please demonstrate it. Don’t just claim it. I’ve shown you how the Christian worldview can make sense of such things. But you haven’t been able to make sense of such things on your own worldview. You keep unwittingly making my point: The alternative to Christianity is irrationality.]

                    • Tony says:

                      Sigh again its you who keep proving my point that the only way you can defend your beliefs is wall banging circular reasoning, I already gave you COUNTLESS number of posts about these things you mentioned and yet you just ignore them! You provd my point that you can’t even understand the argument I make

                    • Tony says:

                      Also dr.lisle your abducto absurdium is itself absurd,if evolution was true then are mind has been evolved to help you survive so therefore you must trust your mind to survive

                  • Tony says:

                    “This presupposes that our observations are reliable, which is unjustified in an evolutionary worldview.”
                    Yes they are reliable because they are necessary for our survival

                    [Dr. Lisle: No, grass does not have reliable senses, yet it survives perfectly well. How do you know that you are not a blade of grass, with all your “thoughts” and “perceptions” being merely a side effect of photosynthesis?]

                  • Tony says:

                    the thing is Dr.lisle what you seem to claim is ” the impossibility to the contrary” you do say I must “prove ‘impossibility of the contrary’ is NOT an argument.

                    [Dr. Lisle: The transcendental argument is usually stated as a modus tollens, which is indeed an argument.]

                    Well I have already proved that – an argument involves premises and conclusion. This doesn’t. Here’s the proof:

                    1. An argument contains premise(s) and conclusion
                    2. ‘impossibility of the contrary’ does not contain premises and conclusion
                    Therefore: ‘impossibility of the contrary’ is not a proof.

                    [Dr. Lisle: The argument is the transcendental argument. The “impossibility of the contrary” means that any alternative to Christianity is self-refuting, making knowledge impossible. If a position is necessarily false, then its contradiction is true. Understand?]

                    Now, identify that argument. Supply the premises and conclusion to support your first premise that 1. God is the necessary precondition for logic. Or I am left with no choice but to conclude you have none.

                    [Dr. Lisle: I’ve already done this, but perhaps I can state it in a different way that will help you understand. Only God as articulated in the pages of Scripture can make knowledge possible. Any alternative would make it impossible for us to know anything at all. This is because we are not omniscient. And so the only way we could be certain about anything, is if it were revealed to us by an omniscient Being, which is exactly the Christian claim. So, if Christianity were not true, knowledge would be impossible. But knowledge is indeed possible: we do know things. Thus, Christianity is true.]

                    And thus no proof.

                    [Dr. Lisle: The argument is simple. 1. Apart from the Christian worldview, knowledge would be impossible (because there is no justification for logic, uniformity, reliability of senses, etc.) 2. It is not the case that knowledge is impossible. 3. Therefore, the Christian worldview is true. This is a modus tollens argument.]

                    • Tony says:

                      Well in case you don’t know dr.lisle you don’t need absolute certainly for knowledge

                      [Dr. Lisle: Are you certain about that? Actually, you do need certainty for knowledge. Just think about it. If I said, “I think the service starts at 6:00, but I could be wrong”, do I really know it? Clearly not. If you could be wrong then you don’t really know.]

                      but at least you pre suppers now state the trancesdental argument as an actual argument unlike a few years ago

                      [Dr. Lisle: It has always been an argument. Consider the Bahnsen-Stein debate of 1985, as one example.]

                  • Tony says:

                    Since these logic laws depends on god to exist, they come after him, since a reflection comes after the being that is being reflected and the arguement still stands as the reflection depends on the reflector to exist

                    [Dr. Lisle: Be careful not to pull more from the analogy than it is intended to convey. Laws of logic do not come “after” God in a temporal sense because God is beyond time. He is eternal and has always had thoughts. Nonetheless, laws of logic depend on Him because without God, God’s thoughts cannot exist, just as your reflection in a mirror cannot exist without you.]

                • Tony says:

                  “In closing, we still haven’t seen how the unbeliever can account for the properties of laws of logic (or how he or she knows that laws of logic have such properties) that correspond with the actual state of affairs in the universe, that there is any underlying uniformity in nature, that there is an objective moral code (and who decides what it is?), or that our senses are reliable. “The Christian worldview accounts for all of these masterfully.”
                  The Laws of logic are about how reality functions,

                  [Dr. Lisle: I like that statement, and I more-or-less agree. Laws of logic are not just defined operators that people have invented. They correspond to reality. But how can your worldview make sense of this? How do you know what reality is? Even if I generously grant that your senses are reliable, you have experienced only the tiniest fraction of the universe. So on what basis can you say that laws of logic work on truth claims that you have not yet experienced, or in places that you’ve never been?]

                  incase you dont know even in the most distrubing of chaos there is order,

                  [Dr. Lisle: Yes. But why would that be in a chance universe? Why should we expect to find underlying patterns even in chaos, if the universe is not controlled by a mind?]

                  the fact that there is no order in chaos its self is technically a pattern

                  [Dr. Lisle: This seems to contradict what you said above. But perhaps I misunderstood. In any case, I expect to find order in all sorts of places in the universe, because in my worldview, God upholds the universe by the expression of His power. Thus, I expect the universe to obey mathematical laws that are universal and do not arbitrarily change. I expect my mind to be able to progressively discover such patterns, since I am made in God’s image. But how can an unbeliever make sense of such things?]

                  (like chaos THEORY),

                  [Dr. Lisle: It’s a fascinating branch of mathematics. Happy to discuss if you want to.]

                  if our senses are not reliable then we cannot survive, and we would not have been naturally selected,

                  [Dr. Lisle: Does grass have reliable senses? Do algae? Do trees? Do mushrooms? By your reasoning, these have not survived. Yet they have survived, and outnumber people by a large margin! How do you know that you are not a tree, and that your “sensations” are actually just the internal chemistry of the tree?]

                  also there is no need for an objective moral code,

                  [Dr. Lisle: If someone were to pull a gun on you, I suspect that you would rapidly change your mind. In any case, in your view, was what Hitler did wrong?]

                  and you dont have one either

                  [Dr. Lisle: 🙂 That’s a tu quo que fallacy. And it’s false. In the Christian worldview, God holds everyone accountable to exactly the same standard. He does not show partiality (Romans 2:11). Hence, we have objective morality.]

                  • Tony says:

                    ” If someone were to pull a gun on you, I suspect that you would rapidly change your mind.”
                    again if it takes an omniscient and omnipotent being to tell you killing is wrong then Dr.lisle you are in BIG trouble, it would mean you lack basic empathy that even monkeys and chimps have

                    [Dr. Lisle: Apart from the biblical God, there would be no reason to think that anything is wrong. The reason you have empathy Tony, and the reason why you know that murder is wrong is because you know in your heart-of-hearts that the Christian worldview is true, but you suppress that truth in unrighteousness. You know that God has made people in His own image, and thus we are different than animals or plants. Presumably, you don’t believe that it is wrong to kill and eat a carrot. But in the evolutionary worldview, that is your distant relative! Both people and carrots are just chemical accidents in the evolutionary worldview. So why would it be “right” to kill one and “wrong” to kill another?]

                    • TOny says:

                      first of all i would like to make a comment about how do i know human senses are not side effects of photosynthesis? well first of all its an unfalsifiable argument,

                      [Dr. Lisle: It wasn’t an argument, just a question: how do you know that your senses are reliable? If you think that it cannot be proved at all, then knowledge would be impossible. Right? Of course, this has been my claim all along: if Christianity is not true, then knowledge would be impossible.]

                      second of all there is no reason to think otherwise

                      [Dr. Lisle: This is called the “appeal to ignorance” fallacy. This is when a person assumes that a claim is true solely on the basis that its contrary has not been proved true. But that doesn’t follow logically. And frankly, in a chance universe, there is no reason to expect that chance chemical reactions would have reliable senses. If you think we do, then please give some reason. That’s all I’m asking.]

                      “the reason why you know that murder is wrong is because you know in your heart-of-hearts that the Christian worldview is true, but you suppress that truth in unrighteousness. ” again a loaded statement which automatically fails,

                      [Dr. Lisle: why does it “fail”? If you give no reason, then I have to reject your claim as arbitrary. Secondly, this is what the Bible states about all unbelievers (Romans 1:18-20). Third, you have confirmed the truthfulness of Romans 1:18-20 by believing in morality without being able to give any rational foundation for it on your own worldview.]

                      secondly its just an insult!

                      [Dr. Lisle: Not really. I’m just exposing your suppressed knowledge of God. You insult Him by relying on His presuppositions, His laws of logic, His uniform upholding of nature, His moral code, all the while denying Him.]

                      you think a iron age tentmaker would have anything good to say about people who disagree with him???

                      [Dr. Lisle: I’m not sure what your point is here, if you have one.]

                      Also elephants must know God exists according to you and supress that truth in unrighteousness because they also think murder is wrong!

                      [Dr. Lisle: First, that is a straw-man fallacy, since I have never argued that animals have a moral code. Second, elephants may have a limited awareness of God, but they do not suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Only people do that. Only people sin. Third, elephants do (on occasion) kill people, or animals. Animals don’t have morality. What one animal does to another is morally irrelevant. The lion kills the antelope; we don’t put the lion in jail.]

                      As to carrots unless you can prove to me they have minds and can think,

                      [Dr. Lisle: First, why would you arbitrarily assume that only thinking beings have a right to life? In the Christian worldview, people are made in God’s image and have elevated value. But in a chance universe, where “thinking” is just chemistry in the brain, why would it be “right” to destroy some kinds of chemistry and “wrong” to destroy other kinds, and who decides? Secondly, how – on your worldview – do you know that carrots do not think, or that other people do think? That’s not an easy question to answer in a secular worldview.]

                      and “killing” is detrimental to human society and existence as a species

                      [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you have made several mistakes here. First, you have arbitrarily presupposed that “wrong” is what is detrimental to human society. But why in a chance universe should that be? If humans are just chemical accidents, why should we be concerned about them at all? Again, you seem to be stealing from the Christian worldview in which people have fundamental value before God.]

                      [Second, on your worldview, who decides what is “detrimental to human society?” We could, for example, improve the overall genetic health of humanity by executing all people with significant genetic defects. Is that “right” in your worldview? Hitler had some ideas about improving society, that I hope you would not endorse.]

                      i will continue to think its nothing wrong with eating them even though i honestly dont like to eat them.

                      [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, a distinction between carrots and people is warranted, because people are made in the image of God, and carrots are not. In the Christian worldview, plants were designed to be eaten, and so that is morally right. But in an evolutionary universe, both carrots and people are just the result of mindless chemistry. So why you would arbitrarily think that one chemical accident is to be cherished while another can be destroyed, makes no sense.]

                      and people and carrots are not chemical “accidents” nothing in evolution is an accident everything has been adapted to live in its environment

                      [Dr. Lisle: An accident is something that happens unintentionally, without a deliberate plan. In the evolutionary scenario, both people and carrots (and everything else) are accidents by definition, because there was no intention, and no deliberate plan.]

                    • Tony says:

                      “What one animal does to another is morally irrelevant. The lion kills the antelope; we don’t put the lion in jail.”
                      a lion needs to eat antelopes to survive

                      [Dr. Lisle: Actually, they don’t. Lions can survive without any meat in their diet. http://suite101.com/article/little-tyke-a-gentle-vegetarian-lioness-who-refused-to-eat-meat-a309974%5D

                      it really has no choice,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Of course it has a choice.]

                      and antelope is a different species to the lion

                      [Dr. Lisle: Lions sometimes kill other lions. Should they be put in prison?]

                      “- do you know that carrots do not think, or that other people do think? That’s not an easy question to answer in a secular worldview”Lets see now carrots dont have brains,

                      [In the secular worldview, thinking is just the emergent result of chemistry in the brain. But carrots also have chemistry. So how do you know they don’t experience thoughts?]

                      they dont wince when you cut them,

                      [They don’t have muscles. But how do you know they don’t have thoughts? For that matter, how do you know that other people do have thoughts?]

                      we as a species need to eat them to surivive so often times we dont have a choice even if you are right

                      [Dr. Lisle: We do have a choice. We could choose to die rather than harm another form of life. How (in your worldview) can you justify killing millions of life forms just so that you yourself can survive?]

                      “But why in a chance universe should that be? If humans are just chemical accidents, why should we be concerned about them at all?”
                      why not?

                      [Dr. Lisle: That’s not a cogent answer. You would not be concerned about the well-being of milk going sour. It’s just chemistry.]

                      They can think,

                      [Dr. Lisle: On your worldview, how do you know that anyone besides you can actually think?]

                      they have empathy,and they can interact with us

                      [Dr. Lisle: So? The notion that we should be concerned about sentient beings is a Christian concept. God cares about the well-being of people, and even animals to a lesser extent. Thus, we should too. But in a chance universe where sentience is just an emergent property of chemistry, why should we arbitrarily assume that such has value, or rights?]

                      “So why you would arbitrarily think that one chemical accident is to be cherished while another can be destroyed, makes no sense”One is a being that can is sentient the other is a vegetable who are not sentient beings

                      [Dr. Lisle: First, how do you know that (A) other people are sentient, and (B) carrots are not? Second, why on your worldview would there be a moral obligation to be concerned about chemical accidents that have the emergent property of “sentience,” and not other chemical accidents? Again, you are stealing from the Christian worldview.]

                      “how do you know that your senses are reliable?”
                      First of all evolution, a being who needs to survive would most likely need to evolve reliable senses also the validity of the senses is axiomatic
                      [Dr. Lisle: Tony, I have already refuted this many times. Most organisms do not have reliable senses, and yet they survive perfectly well. Thus your claim is demonstrably false.]

                      – we do not need to establish the validity of the senses by means of deductive proof

                      [Dr. Lisle: Okay, but you’ll need to find some way to validate them if your belief in them is to be considered rational. Rational people have good reasons for their beliefs. Do you?]

                      – the senses are self-validating in a non-circular way

                      [Dr. Lisle: That is contradictory. How can something be self-validating and yet non-circular? If you are using your senses to evaluate your senses, how would that not be circular?]

                      – skeptical attacks on the validity of the senses commit the fallacy of the stolen concept

                      [Dr. Lisle: Two problems here. First, I’m not arguing that senses are unreliable. I affirm that senses are reliable because God made them; this is part of the Christian worldview. My point is that apart from Christianity there would be no reason to believe that senses are reliable. Second, the ironic thing about your claim is that all of your arguments so far have stolen from the Christian worldview. You presume that your senses are reliable, that your mind has the capacity to be rational, that laws of logic are the correct standard for reasoning, that there is uniformity in nature, and so on. Yet none of these things would make any sense apart from the Christian worldview. Talk about stolen concepts!]

                      – efforts by skeptics to cite examples of “faulty” perception ignore the distinction between perception and identification

                      [Dr. Lisle: Again, I affirm that our perceptions do generally correspond to the real world, because God has created our mind, our senses, and the world. But in a secular worldview, how can you make sense of that?]

                      If the senses are not valid, neither are any concepts,including the ones used in the attack.

                      [Dr. Lisle: Exactly! You couldn’t know anything if your senses were unreliable. Yet, in a secular worldview there is no rational reason to think that your senses would be reliable. Thus, knowledge would be impossible apart from the Christian worldview.]

                    • taka no mi says:

                      “You insult Him by relying on His presuppositions, His laws of logic, His uniform upholding of nature, His moral code, all the while denying Him” Again logic and uniformity of nature are descriptive laws,

                      [Dr. Lisle: if they were merely descriptive of our experiences so far, then there would be no reason to believe that they are universal or unchanging. Yet everyone relies upon them as if they are universal and unchanging. How can you make sense of that?]

                      and you steal ideasfrom evolution all the while denying it! You if it wasnt for evolution you wouldnt be able to project morals

                      [Dr. Lisle: if evolution were true, there would be no basis for moral laws. Laws like “you shall not murder” are designed to prevent the strong from overpowering the weak. But evolution is based on the strong overpowering the weak.]

                      we have devloped on to your God as being first recongized there should be morals so they can then project them on to gods!

                      [Dr. Lisle: if there were no God, then necessarily there can be no objective morality. Chemistry does what chemistry does – it’s morally irrelevant.]

                      So that your preachers can have power!

                      [Dr. Lisle: The ironic thing is that evolution supposedly happens by the strong overpowering and dominating the weak. So if you really believed in evolution, you shouldn’t have a problem with some people dominating others.]

                      Also if morality came from God than according to him you shouldnt feel upset if religous freedom of a nother group is being violated

                      [Dr. Lisle: That doesn’t make sense. God has given people the freedom to reject Him, and we should respect that. As long as people behave within certain guidelines (e.g. not murdering others) they are permitted by God to construct their own false gods.]

                    • Tony says:

                      “Lions sometimes kill other lions. Should they be put in prison?”
                      Lions have their own distinct society, with their own unique ways, you can force human ideas on them when they dont understand them yet

                      [Dr. Lisle: I see. You think it would be inappropriate to force my ideas of right and wrong on another group of animals with their own unique ways, yes? The Nazis had their own distinct society, with their own unique ways. Would you say that it is therefore inappropriate for us to say that what they did was wrong?]

                      “Most organisms do not have reliable senses, and yet they survive perfectly well. Thus your claim is demonstrably false.”
                      again you are making a mistake of category its like asking what does blue taste like, also they evolved in different circumstances

                      [Dr. Lisle: That doesn’t follow logically. You had argued that reliable senses are necessary for survival. So I showed a counter-example that refutes your claim. If evolution were true, there would be no reason to think that your thoughts and perceptions have any correlation whatsoever with the real universe. On your worldview, you can’t even be sure that you are not a mud puddle. Of course, you and I both know that you are not a mud puddle. And that’s the point.]

                      “If you are using your senses to evaluate your senses, how would that not be circular?”
                      no its not circular to evlaue your sense of smell with your eyes or your touch

                      [Dr. Lisle: I understand. You want to check one sense by using another. But doesn’t that presuppose that the other sense is reliable? How do you know that? You might check sense A by sense B, and sense B by sense C and so on. But how do you know that your ultimate sense (E) is reliable? If it isn’t, then you cannot have any confidence in any of the others. If you say, “I check sense E by sense A” then you are reasoning in a circle – by definition. The reliability of sense A depends ultimately on the reliability of sense E which depends on the reliability of sense A. Do you believe that such circular reasoning is legitimate?]

                      ?You never heard of an axiom haven’t you?

                      [Dr. Lisle: Yes, I know what an axiom is. What I have claimed is that only Christianity makes knowledge possible. You’ve made a counter-claim, but you have yet to demonstrate how you could actually know anything at all apart from Christianity. How do you know that your starting presuppositions are true? If you don’t know that, then you really don’t know that anything is true, since all other knowledge depends upon your starting presuppositions.]

                      Also there is no like ive said we evolved all those things like the ability to be rational and the ability to use logical arguments

                      [Dr. Lisle: How do you know? Why would you arbitrarily assume that you have the ability to be rational if you are merely the product of mindless (irrational) chemistry? That’s a bit like spilling a glass of milk, and expecting that the spill will have the capacity to rationally understand the universe. And again, you haven’t even been able to account for the properties of laws of logic on your worldview, let alone how people could possible know about such properties.]

                      “You couldn’t know anything if your senses were unreliable.”but if you know you cant know anything its still techincally knowledge which means are senses are still reliable because they bring us knowedlge

                      [Dr. Lisle: Well that presupposes the law of the excluded middle, which is unjustified apart from the Christian worldview. You literally couldn’t know anything apart from the Christian worldview; strangely, you couldn’t even know that you don’t know anything! Is such a position absurd? Yes – and that’s the point. Non-Christian philosophies always reduce to absurdity.]

                    • Tony says:

                      ” God has given people the freedom to reject Him, and we should respect that. As long as people behave within certain guidelines (e.g. not murdering others) they are permitted by God to construct their own false god”
                      really? where does in the bible it say the the 1st commandment was less important the 6th commandment?

                      [Dr. Lisle: I suspect you misunderstood my comment. It is immoral to break any of God’s standing commandments, and we will all have to answer to God for those times when we do. But God does allow us to sin. He has authorized the government to punish certain sins, but not others. Biblically, the government may not punish someone for worshipping a false god in the privacy of his own home. But it is still immoral – make no mistake.]

                      Also the Bible if anything is still clearly against freedom of religion as since if laws of america are based on the 10 commandments then the first amendment clearly violates the 1st commandment!

                      [Dr. Lisle: The founding fathers of our nation were, for the most part, Christians. And so when they referred to “religion” it was always in the sense of the Christian faith. They never for one moment felt that our nation guaranteed the right to religions such as cannibalism, or those involving human sacrifice. By the way, there can be no “freedom” of any kind if we are just a complex chemical reaction, because chemicals cannot choose. Chemicals must always act according to the fixed laws of nature. So again, you are stealing (“freedom”) from the Christian worldview.]

                    • Tony says:

                      Logical absolutes are abstract descriptions of things that exist, therefore they do not require a mind to conceive of them,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Then how do you account for the properties of logical absolutes? How do you know that they will apply in the future, or in situations that we have not yet observed?]

                      therefore the idea that there needs to be an infinite mind to conceive of logical absolutes for them to be true everywhere is unnecessary

                      [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you keep claiming that there is some other explanation for laws of logic besides God, but you haven’t been able to provide one that consistently accounts for their universal, exception-less, invariant nature. The Christian God makes sense of the existence and properties of laws of logic, but no other worldview has been able to do that. You may not emotionally like that. But you haven’t been able to provide a logical alternative, despite many, many posts.]

                    • Tony says:

                      “How do you know that your starting presuppositions are true? ”
                      The validity of the senses is an axiom.

                      [Dr. Lisle: I understand that, but it doesn’t answer the question. Axioms are assumed. If you take validity of senses as merely an assumption, I want to know how you know that assumption is actually true. If you can’t answer that, then you really don’t know that it is true. And in that case, you don’t really know that anything is true, since your other claims depend upon validity of the senses.]

                      Like the fact of consciousness, the axiom is outside the province of proof because it is precondition of any proof.

                      [Dr. Lisle: If it cannot be proved, then how do you know that it is true? If your answer is “I don’t know”, then you don’t really know anything, do you?]

                      Proof consists in reducing an idea back to the data provided by the senses.

                      [Dr. Lisle: But again, that presupposes that the senses are reliable, which is not only unproved, but unreasonable in an evolutionary worldview where such senses are merely the result of chance mutations.]

                      These data themselves, the foundation of all subsequent knowledge, precede any process of inference. They are the primaries of cognition, the unchallengeable, the self-evident.
                      http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.ca/2013/04/on-validity-of-senses.html

                      [Dr. Lisle: The problem is, it is not remotely self-evident in an evolutionary worldview that the product of mindless chemistry should necessarily be able to perceive the universe. Your worldview just doesn’t make any sense. It is like assuming as an axiom that a magic 8 ball is rational. You do believe in things like laws of logic, and reliability of the senses, the ability of the mind to be rational. But these things only make sense in the Christian worldview. To accept as an axiom something that only makes sense if your worldview is wrong is irrational.]

                      “Yes – and that’s the point. Non-Christian philosophies always reduce to absurdity” again Ive told you with the law of excluded middle is a description of a nature of reality!

                      [Dr. Lisle: Tony, I have refuted that. If the law of the excluded middle were merely a description of reality, then it would be unreasonable for it to be universal and invariant, because reality changes with time, and no one has universal experience. Descriptions based on our observations (“tractors are red”) are only legitimate until someone observes a counter-example (“I found one that isn’t.”) If laws of logic, such as the law of the excluded middle were merely descriptions of our observations of reality, then there is no reason to assume that they would apply to future situations or unexperienced truth claims.]

                    • Tony says:

                      ” He has authorized the government to punish certain sins, but not others”
                      where does it say that in the bible specifically? Because i cant find it,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Romans 13:1-4 shows that God authorizes the government to punish certain sins. If you want to know which ones specifically, you’ll have to actually read the Bible, particularly Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. For example, God authorizes the death penalty for someone whose willful negligence results in the death of another (e.g. Exodus 21:28-29). But God does not authorize any civil penalty for coveting, even though it is a sin that God will ultimately judge (Exodus 20:17).]

                      the freedom of religion is a concept alien to that of the bible,

                      [Dr. Lisle: God does not grant unlimited freedom of religion, nor does anyone else. For example, if I made up my own religion in which I earn salvation by killing as many people as I can, the government would have a God-given right to stop me and punish me. However, if you want to be a peaceful atheist and not attend church services, the Bible does not authorize the government to interfere with your choice, but you will still have to stand before God and face judgment (Revelation 20:12-15). The ironic thing about your claim is that it makes no sense on your worldview. If evolution were true, and we were just chemical accidents, there would be no freedom whatsoever. Chemistry has no “choice.” Chemicals always must react according to the fixed laws of nature.]

                      and in case you have forgotten the laws of nature are descriptive, in your last post you have impiled they where prescriptive, its not that nature must act to fixed laws, its the other way around and as well also with the question of logic http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.ca/2012/04/answering-dustin-segers_08.html

                      [Dr. Lisle: Tony, it seems that you have forgotten that I have already refuted the notion that laws of nature are merely descriptions of our observations of the universe. That would make them contingent upon the universe which is always changing; thus, we would expect laws of nature to be always changing. But they aren’t. When we sent people to the moon, we did not assume that laws of nature were merely descriptions of the way the universe has behaved in the past. Rather, we assumed that they prescribe the way the universe will be in the future. Otherwise, we could not have put people on the moon. Science and technology would be impossible if laws of nature were not prescriptive. Likewise with laws of logic. If they are merely descriptive, then there is no reason to assume that they are universal or invariant. Yet people act as if they are.]

                    • Tony says:

                      “You do believe in things like laws of logic, and reliability of the senses, the ability of the mind to be rational.” thats because this axiom allows us to access these things,

                      [Dr. Lisle: How is that anything more than wishful thinking in your worldview? It’s like asking “Why do you believe that humans can travel much faster than light?” and then answering “Because it allows us to access distant planets.” How do you know that your brain (which in your view is just a chemical accident) has the capacity to be rational?]

                      also like i told you an animal like a human who can live in so many enviroments and conditions reliable senses are a must!

                      [Dr. Lisle: That presupposes that you are an animal or human. But how do you know that you are not a mud puddle on some distant world, and that your “thoughts” are actually just the chemistry happening in that mud puddle? 99.999999%+ of the chemical reactions in the universe are not reliable senses. Why against all odds would you assume that yours are the exception?]

                      As well ive chatted with several evanglical christians and they also agreed that at least natural laws are descriptive

                      [Dr. Lisle: They cannot be merely descriptions of our observations of the universe because they can be used to predict future outcomes. I don’t mind if you call them “descriptions,” as in they are descriptions of the predictable and uniform way that God upholds the universe. But in a secular worldview, how could you possibly know that they will continue to describe the behavior of the universe? This principle of uniformity allows us to rely on past experience to predict future success. I have God’s promise of this (e.g. Genesis 8:22), but how do you know that laws of nature will continue to be in the future as they have been in the past? Without that principle, science would be impossible.]

                  • Tony says:

                    one last thing Dr.Lisle, you said that God upholds logic and that for that reason its universal and unchanging, but What would such a violation look like? That is to say how would we actually recognize one? Indeed an we have any idea of what the effects of such a violation might mean to us?

                    [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, no truth will ever violate a law of logic because God is sovereign over all truth. In the non-Christian worldview, there is no reason to believe that A and not-A couldn’t both be true at the same time in the same way.]

          • taka no mi says:

            you clearly Dr.Lisle, dont know what fallible means do you? it means you CAN be wrong, and if you CAN be wrong how can you know its from a being that CAN NOT be wrong?

            [Dr. Lisle: On your worldview, you can’t know anything at all. But on the Christian worldview, infallibility on our end is not necessary. God, being all-powerful, can reveal Himself to us in a way that is absolutely certain. And this is exactly the biblical claim (Romans 1:18-22). Any alternative would make knowledge impossible. You can either accept God’s revelation as inescapable knowledge, or you can’t know anything about anything.]

            • taka no mi says:

              “Any alternative would make knowledge impossible.”
              again Dr.Lisle you are claiming omniscience, since you must know ALL alternatives

              [Dr. Lisle: I affirm that God is omniscient. He knows all things because truth is that which corresponds to His mind. And God is the one that makes the claim that knowledge must begin with Him (Proverbs 1:7). He is certainly in a position to make such a claim since He is omniscient. God knows all the alternatives, and He has told us that knowledge is only possible in Him (e.g. Colossians 2:3). Without these facts, we couldn’t know anything at all.]

              • taka no mi says:

                but you dont know the alternatives yet you act as if you do…and since you CAN be wrong it means you can be wrong about what you just said

                [Dr. Lisle: You are again tacitly assuming that God cannot reveal Himself. God knows all the alternatives and He has told us that knowledge must start with Him (Proverbs 1:7). I know this by revelation, not experience. (However, the posts on this site have served to confirm this fact). Most of what you learn in schools is by revelation (from people), not personal experience. Why arbitrarily assume that God cannot do what people can do?]

                • Tony says:

                  “Why arbitrarily assume that God cannot do what people can do?”
                  because you claim god gave people infallible knowledge, but we are fallible, if we are fallible then we could be wrong about ant knowldge we have

                  [Dr. Lisle: “Fallible” simply means that we can be mistaken sometimes about some things. It does not mean that we must be mistaken about anything, or that we can be mistaken about everything. I am fallible, but there is no chance of a mistake when I say that 2+2=4.]

                  • Flip says:

                    But just because we could be wrong does not mean we are wrong. A person could be right about what he/she knows.

                  • Micah says:

                    In the christian worldview our senses are basically reliable, so we can know that we are actually reading what we are reading in the Bible. It seems like you are first wanting us to assume that God does not exist (reject our worldview) before trying to prove that knowledge of Him is inescapable. In the Christian worldview people are fallible yes, but God is infallible. And He has provided revelation to us (His Word) which is also infallible. Therefore, even though we are fallible, we can know things with absolute certainty because we have an infallible source.

                    In any other worldview besides Christianity you would be correct about not being able to know anything though. Its true.

                    • Tony says:

                      “because we have an infallible source” but to know the source is infallible you yourself would have to be infalliable

                      [Dr. Lisle: that presupposes that all knowledge is determined by self. But in the Christian worldview, we can have revelation from God.]

                    • Robert says:

                      How do you know that he would have to be infallible, since you as “a fallible being can always be wrong and therefore [you] can’t have infallible knowledge” of what is required. Right? That is your logic that you are pushing isn’t it. As you can see based on your logic, no knowledge is possible because we can always use the wording above to make anything subjective and there would be no reason for debate at all. Thus you have proved that only the Christian God can make knowledge possible.

            • 民國 says:

              ” God, being all-powerful, can reveal Himself to us in a way that is absolutely certain”
              Dr.Lisle, what you are claiming is like saying God can make a rock so heavy even he cannot lift it! That God can create logical contradictions!

              [Dr. Lisle: No, just the opposite. God cannot be contrary to His nature. Thus He cannot lie. And He knows everything. Moreover, God is a linguistic Being – He communicates. Therefore, what God communicates to us is necessarily absolutely certain.]

              • 民國 says:

                “God is a linguistic Being – He communicates. Therefore, what God communicates to us is necessarily absolutely certain.” but WE are falliable beings and we can be wrong, including if and what God has revealed to us if he is real

                [Dr. Lisle: Since God is all powerful, He can overcome any human weakness, and reveal Himself in an inescapable way, despite our fallibility. The only question is, does He choose to do this? The answer is yes, for He has told us that in His Word. Romans 1:18-20 indicates that God has revealed Himself in such a way that there is absolutely no excuse for denying Him. If our knowledge of God were less than certain, then we would have some excuse, albeit a very weak one. But the fact that God tells us that there is no excuse indicates that the knowledge of Him that He has put in us is absolutely certain.]

                • Tony says:

                  again what you say amounts to claiming that God can create married bachelors and square circles,

                  [Dr. Lisle: It’s not clear to me why you think this. You do not have to be what you are given. You don’t have to be a gold coin to be given a gold coin. You don’t have to be an apple to be given knowledge of apples. You don’t have to be infallible to be given infallible knowledge (from an infallible Being).]

                  if God doesn’t violate his own nature, than wouldn’t it also be impossible for humans to violate their nature?

                  [Dr. Lisle: No. Humans can be (and often are) inconsistent with themselves. This is part of our fallen sin nature, which God does not share.]

                  and one part of our nature is that we can be wrong about any stuff we know since after all we are falliable humans

                  [Dr. Lisle: Yes. If it weren’t for revelation from God, we couldn’t really know anything at all. Of course, this has been my point all along. Thanks for helping me prove it.]

                  • Flip says:

                    Another part of our nature is that we could be right.

                  • Robert says:

                    Tony,
                    so your purpose here is to inform us so that we will join in your thinking that your worldview is the correct one. But then you follow up by saying that in your worldview that we cannot know anything at all. Seems conterintuitive that your aim is to teach people, when everything in your belief system is to know that everything is wrong.

                    • Tony says:

                      ” But then you follow up by saying that in your worldview that we cannot know anything at all. ”
                      i never said that, you dont need absolute certainly for knowledge,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Are you absolutely certain about that?]

                    • Robert says:

                      How do you know that you don’t need absolute certainty for knowledge, since you as “a fallible being can always be wrong and therefore [you] can’t have infallible knowledge” of what is required for knowledge. Right? That is your logic that you are pushing isn’t it. As you can see based on your logic, no knowledge is possible because we can always use the wording above to make anything subjective and there would be no reason for debate at all. Thus you have proved that only the Christian God can make knowledge possible.

                    • Tony says:

                      well lets see now when you ride an airplane, there is always a change of the plane malfunctioning and crashing, killing everybody onboard, but you still do it dont you? so absolute certainty is not needed to live

                  • Micah says:

                    That doesn’t make any sense. How did what Jason say ‘amounts to claiming that God can creat married bachelors and square circles’?

                    Also, humans can be both wrong and right about some things (although apart from the Christian worldview we could never know when we are right and when we are wrong). God can only ever be right, since all truth is in Him and he cannot deny himself.

                  • taka no mi says:

                    again objectively prove that this is the Christian God revealing stuff and not the Mystic Taco, again i like to remind you an impostor can also tell you the truth,but how do you know if its an impostor or not? I mean just asserting an impostor cant be the source of all knowledge, doesnt mean that the being revealing stuff to you ISNT an impostor feeding you truths to get your trust

                    [Dr. Lisle: Many people have tried to come up with another ‘god’ that will make knowledge possible. But no one has succeeded. All imposters have turned out to be self-defeating upon careful scrutiny. Knowledge belongs to Jesus alone, and no other god can make sense of the preconditions of intelligibility. Yet, people would rather live in absurdity than repent and turn to God.]

          • taka no mi says:

            “No. Again, we can know that the revelation is from God because any alternative would make knowledge impossible. And we do have knowledge. Thus, the revelation is from God.”

            you are begging the question,

            [Dr. Lisle: No, it is a valid modus tollens.]

            and second of all a liar can also give you knowledge

            [Dr. Lisle: A liar can tell me lies. But he cannot create me with pre-installed knowledge. Only my Creator can do that.]

            • Micah says:

              You could never know if the liar is giving you truthful information so no, you wouldn’t really have knowledge in that situation. The only way you could be certain is if the person could only tell the truth, which is the Christians claim.

              • taka no mi says:

                but you do realize a good liar would tell you that he would NEVER lie…..and second of all how do you know its a liar and not God?

                [Dr. Lisle: Only our Creator can create us with pre-installed knowledge. He has also hardwired us to recognize His voice from all others – John 10:27]

                I mean the guy pretending to be God can have access to God’s secret cosmic knowledge and you wont know when he is mixing truth with lies

                [Dr. Lisle: Anyone with access to “God’s secret cosmic knowledge” would have to essentially be God, since omniscience is one of the characteristics that belongs to God alone.]

            • taka no mi says:

              ” But he cannot create me with pre-installed knowledge”
              but a liar can make you THINK he was the one who created you with pre-installed knowledge

              [Dr. Lisle: No, other created beings can tell me things which I can then choose to accept or reject. But they can’t make me think anything.]

              • Robert says:

                And based on this liar God scenario you are presenting, how would evolution be a better solution for what is?

      • Antichus "Tony" says:

        “Is it reasonable to say that we now know that the scale is accurate?”
        well it depends on how heavy 10 pounds is considered…..

        [????????]

    • Tony says:

      but face it you are just looking for an excuse to use circular reasoning because its the only way your arguement could even come close to working

      • Josef says:

        I said: “I would love to see you come up with a way of testing logic that does not first presuppose logic”

        Tony responded: “testing a machine to see if it works is not circular reasoning”

        That explained nothing. Again: give me a method in which we can test logic without first presupposing logic.

        I said: “Unfortunately for you, you’re really stuck at option 1, because you reject God’s revelation”

        Tony responded: “but the only way to know if the revelation is valid is if you were omniscient”

        No, I can know the revelation is valid because I presuppose the God who is omniscient and has revealed it. This gives justification for the preconditions of intelligibility; if God did not exist, then there would be no justification for the preconditions and all world views would lead to irrationality, i.e. we wouldn’t be able to prove anything.

        “but face it you are just looking for an excuse to use circular reasoning because its the only way your arguement could even come close to working”

        Again, circular reasoning is valid so long as it is justified and not arbitrary. You have not even been able to demonstrate how to prove logic without first supposing logic. To even “evaluate” a machine, as you call it, you must first presuppose logic. So here is my challenge for you: explain how you can prove logic without first presupposing logic.

        • Tony says:

          i told u already testing a device or tool to see if it works is not circular reasoning, there is a machine/tool “logic” and you test it to see if it works by trying it out

          [Dr. Lisle: It is circular if you evaluate the test by the machine itself.]

          ” I presuppose the God who is omniscient and has revealed it.”
          but are you for certain?

        • Tony says:

          But if you don’t know everything, how can you trust that the other being/person knows everything? You can’t know it for certain, so you can’t trust whatever is being told to you

          [Dr. Lisle: Perhaps it would help if I pointed out that faith must come before its justification. It is by faith that we understand (Hebrews 11:3). When we trust God’s revelation, we find that we can know things. If we reject God’s revelation, we find that we cannot know anything. This confirms Proverbs 1:7, Romans 1:20-22]

          ” This gives justification for the preconditions of intelligibility; if God did not exist, then there would be no justification for the preconditions and all world views would lead to irrationality, i.e. we wouldn’t be able to prove anything. ” How do you know that these justifications provide us with the knowledge to know what the universe really is? and not just some fake-intelligablity that gives us what we want to see

          [Dr. Lisle: We know because of the nature of God. He is not the author of confusion, He is truthful. In fact, in the Christian worldview truth is defined as that which corresponds to the mind of God. Necessarily, God’s revelation is truthful and makes sense of those things that we rely upon for knowledge. No other worldview can do this.]

        • Tony says:

          but in fact the conceptual form in which human minds identify and integrate general truths which they discover about the world in which they exist. There’s nothing otherworldly about these laws. In fact, they pertain in this world precisely because they are formed on the basis of what is discovered in this world.

          [Dr. Lisle: If that were true, then you could never know that laws of nature/logic apply in unexperienced regions of the universe or at future times. Yet, you behave as if you believe such laws will continue to work in the future as they have in the past. But you don’t seem to have any justification for this belief on your own worldview.]

          The reason why religious thinkers treat them as indications of a supernatural dimension is precisely because they do not understand their inherent relation to this world, which again implicates the argumentum ad ignorantium nature of presuppositional apologetics: the apologists do not know how the laws of logic, mathematics, science and morality can be derived by the human mind from their awareness of the world around us, therefore they couldn’t possibly be derived from awareness of the world around us.

          [Dr. Lisle: That is a whopping big misrepresentation of the presuppositionalist claim. The argument is not “we don’t know, therefore God.” Rather the argument is based on what we do know: laws of logic are universal invariant entities which govern all correct reasoning in this universe, and laws of nature describe and prescribe the relationships within this universe such that we can predict future states given sufficient knowledge of the present. What worldview can make sense of this knowledge? We find that only the Christian worldview can. THAT is the presuppositional claim. Any alternative leads to the absurd yet inescapable conclusion that we cannot know anything. Ironically, it is the atheist claim that is an appeal to ignorance: “There must be some naturalistic explanation for laws of logic / laws of nature, etc. After all, no one has proved the reverse.”]

          Consequently, they must derive from some awareness alien to this world, they must derive from a supernatural mind. After all, goes the reasoning, this world is nothing but matter in constant flux, particulars that are ever-changing. So how could these laws, which are “immaterial,” unchanging and universal find their basis in this world? If such reasoning were true, how could these laws have any applicability in this world if they didn’t have any basis in it? Again, to address such questions, apologists appeal to the supernatural: because the laws reflect the nature of a supernatural being, and the supernatural being created this world (this world which is a chaos of particulars constantly undergoing change).

          [Again, this is not the argument at all. Given the various worldviews that exist (atheism, monism, dualism, Christianity, etc.) which of them rationally comports with the preconditions of intelligibility. Only the Christian one does. Now Tony, you may not emotionally like to believe in the supernatural. But that is irrelevant to the truth of the situation. Like it or not, Christian theism is the only worldview that can make sense of the things you take for granted in order to know anything about anything. So you can either be a Christian, or you can be irrational. There just isn’t a third option.]

          Still we are left with imagining something beyond what we perceive, beyond what we can infer from an objective basis, beyond what we can reach by means of reason.

          [Dr. Lisle: Not at all. We can infer God’s existence from the objective basis that knowledge is possible, and only the Christian worldview provides the rational basis for this. This is perfectly reasonable, it’s just that you don’t emotionally like the conclusion.]

          You just have to have faith in the apologist’s claims that the defense he gives for his god-belief is true, for it will never make sense on the basis of reason.

          [We’ve seen that the opposite is true. Only the Christian worldview makes sense on the basis of reason. Any alternative would render knowledge impossible. Yet, the non-Christian has blind faith (he hopes and he hopes without evidence) that someday he will find a rational basis for his beliefs.]

          • Antichus "Tony" says:

            ” Like it or not, Christian theism is the only worldview that can make sense of the things you take for granted in order to know anything about anything.”
            uh no sorry Dr.Lisle but stop trying to lay claim to something that Christianity is clearly against

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, this is a straw-man fallacy. Christianity is pro-knowledge. After all, God is the ultimate source of all knowledge, and He commands us to get knowledge (Proverbs 4:5). But apart from the Christian worldview, you can’t really know anything at all. You have demonstrated this by failing to account for the preconditions of intelligibility on your own worldview (e.g. laws of logic and their properties). Without a basis for such things, you can’t really know anything at all.]

            “So you can either be a Christian, or you can be irrational. There just isn’t a third option.”
            uh no what you believe is irrational,and you proven that with all your comments, that the only way to support your beliefs is with circular arguments

            [Dr. Lisle: Actually, if my claim is wrong, then it should be very easy for you to come up with a worldview that accounts for knowledge and makes rationality possible. But you haven’t been able to do that in any of your many posts. So you have proved my point. Your beliefs are irrational by definition because they would make knowledge impossible. My worldview is self-consistent and makes knowledge possible. And so I have a good reason for it. That’s not a vicious circular argument. On the contrary, it is perfectly rational.]

            “Not at all. We can infer God’s existence from the objective basis that knowledge is possible, and only the Christian worldview provides the rational basis for this. This is perfectly reasonable, it’s just that you don’t emotionally like the conclusion.”
            Yes and knowledge shows us that the Christian god doesn’t exist!

            [Dr. Lisle: And what knowledge would that be? On your worldview, you can’t really know anything at all. Therefore, you cannot know that God doesn’t exist. It is impossible to prove the non-existence of God, because in order to know for certain that God doesn’t exist, you would need universal knowledge. But only God has universal knowledge. Thus only God is in a position to know that He doesn’t exist, which would be self-defeating. Plus, as I have shown you many times, the Christian God is the necessary precondition to account for the properties of laws of logic, uniformity in nature, reliability of senses, etc., upon which we base our knowledge. Thus, knowledge proves that God does exist.]

            uh no its not reasonable you are just like any good van tillian a fidelist

            [Dr. Lisle: This again shows that you don’t know anything about presuppositional apologetics. Van Til’s view (and mine) is that the Christian God is objectively provable, which is the exact opposite of fideism.]

            screaming at the top of your lungs that your right and hes wrong its just that YOU don’t like the conclusion

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, with respect, you are describing yourself. I can rationally account for the things necessary for knowledge. My worldview has been proved by the impossibility of the contrary. Yours stands refuted, because it would make knowledge impossible. But you don’t emotionally like that, so you keep stating your position over and over. But from a rational perspective, you’ve lost.]

            that the earth is more then 10000 years old

            [Dr. Lisle: I would be happy to talk about evidence for a ‘young’ earth, after you come up with a worldview that makes reasoning and science possible. (It would be pointless to share scientific evidence with someone whose worldview makes science impossible, as it would be in a chance universe.)]

            so you hide behind circular arguments ad nauseum,

            [Dr. Lisle: Again, Tony, you are describing yourself. Your view that you know your senses are reliable because you’ve observed that this has survival value is begging the question. The notion that your mind is basically reliable because your mind informs you of such is also completely circular. My argument is that only Christianity can make sense of things like the laws of logic and their properties, which make knowledge possible. And since knowledge is indeed possible, it follows that Christianity is true. How is that circular?]

            ive provided plenty of proof of you being wrong but you just choose to ignore and deny what you dont like like any good presupptionalist apologist

            [Dr. Lisle: What proof? Tony, you haven’t provided any proof at all. You have stated your position over and over, but you haven’t provided any explanation as to how your worldview would make knowledge possible. I have. I have shown that the Christian worldview can make sense of such things. But apparently, you just ignore that and deny what you don’t like. The Bible says that this is the state of unbelievers. (John 3:19) They would rather live in intellectual darkness than repent and allow God to correct their thinking and have knowledge.]

            “Yet, the non-Christian has blind faith (he hopes and he hopes without evidence) that someday he will find a rational basis for his beliefs.”
            First of all they have been found,

            [Dr. Lisle: Then why haven’t you shared them? That has been the entire point of all our interaction – that only Christianity can provide a rational foundation for rationality itself. You haven’t been able to account for these preconditions on your own worldview. You’ve even tried inventing fictional gods to rescue you. But so far, you have merely demonstrated blind faith.]

            and second of all the idea of the superioirty of “reason” is based in eurocentrcism

            [Dr. Lisle: I don’t believe in the superiority of reason. My ultimate standard is God’s Word, which is what makes reasoning possible. However, I do believe that people should be rational – that they should have good reasons for their beliefs. Non-Christians just don’t. They behave as if the universe is upheld by the mind of God, all the while denying it with their words. Irrational.]

            • Tony says:

              i have provided with you 3 separate secular justifications of logic (what they are and why should we trust them)

              [Dr. Lisle: Unfortunately, none of your explanations could account for the properties of laws of logic, why these laws are unchanging, universal, exception-less, why they apply to physical experience, and so on. As such, they do not justify laws of logic at all. And three bad arguments do not add up to one good one. Also, you still haven’t given any justification for why you can rely upon your own mind’s ability to be rational, or to believe that your perceptions correspond in any way to the actual universe.]

              if you really are hungry for more to talk about such things in greater detail then i am able to provide then read stuff by Richard Carrier (warning:you might not the like books he writes about Jesus)
              “My worldview has been proved by the impossibility of the contrary. ”
              impossibility to the contrary is first of all not an actual argument,

              [Dr. Lisle: “The impossibility of the contrary” is a short-hand way of saying that a claim must be true because the contradiction has been demonstrated to be false. In the Christian worldview, a claim always has the opposite truth value of its negation. So it really is an argument.]

              second of all its not with the possibility of the Cosmic Mystic Taco deity,you have to prove this ” transcendental god ”

              [Dr. Lisle: Again, only the Christian God as revealed in the Scriptures has the characteristics necessary to justify the preconditions of intelligibility. I have already demonstrated this to some extent, e.g. God does not deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13), and all truth is in Him (Colossians 2:3), thus, truth will not deny itself. God is beyond time, thus laws of logic which reflect His thinking will never change. God is sovereign and omnipresent, thus laws of logic apply everywhere the same and have no exceptions. And so on. Other gods cannot justify the preconditions of intelligibility. Certainly, a fictional god that you make up cannot, because truth cannot be justified by fiction. That should be obvious. If you want to argue that there is another god that can justify the preconditions of intelligibility, then I’m happy to discuss; but you will have to concede that you believe this other god to be real, not just a joke or made-up.]

              (you do realize that a Clarkian presupptionalist would have no problem with the taco argument right?)

              [Dr. Lisle: I do not hold to the Clarkian position.]

              third of all it hasn’t been proven with the impossibility of the contrary, i find is the ASSERTION that the contrary is impossible

              [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you yourself have demonstrated the impossibility of the contrary by your responses. You have made several attempts to account for the preconditions of intelligibility apart from God, but none of them can account for why laws of logic have the properties they do. If it was just an assertion that there is no other worldview that makes knowledge possible, then surely it would have been easy for you to provide one counter-example.]

              “Yours stands refuted, because it would make knowledge impossible. But you don’t emotionally like that, so you keep stating your position over and over. But from a rational perspective, you’ve lost.”
              you need a mirror, YOU stand refuted i gave you SEVERAL justifications and it appears you dont like them so you ignore them if anyone else was read this stuff they know YOU lost,

              [Dr. Lisle: In each case where I have disagreed with you, have you noticed that I have provided a reason? For example, when you claimed that laws of logic were true by analytic construction, I pointed out that this would not explain why they apply to the physical universe. You haven’t had any counter-argument to that, so as far as I can tell, all of your claims have been refuted. If I missed one, let me know.]

              besides if you admit I was right you would pretty much be out of a job, but hey if i admit you to be right I could get famous (hey a YEC creationist with actual science education… that’s not from a diploma mill) so there is a good reason for you to refuse to admit you are wrong

              [Dr. Lisle: This is the circumstantial ad hominem fallacy. It is fallacious because a person’s motivation for making an argument are irrelevant to the cogency of the argument. In any case, I think most people reading this exchange will see that I have answered all your claims, but you haven’t been able to answer mine. This of course proves my point that only the Christian worldview makes knowledge possible.]

              and “making knowledge impossible” is just an appeal to consequences, and a terrible at that just because you don’t like something doesn’t make it not true

              [Dr. Lisle: Again Tony, it isn’t. I’ve already explained this, but I’ll make one more attempt. The appeal to consequences fallacy is when a person argues for a claim because its alternative would lead to undesirable consequences. This is fallacious because what is desirable is not necessarily true. My argument is quite different. I’m arguing for a claim because the alternative would lead to factually untrue consequences. In logic, we say “That which implies what is false is itself false.” This is a modus tollens argument. Now, modus tollens is not a fallacy, it is always valid and is in fact a law of logic. (If p then q. not q. therefore not p.) In this case, p is “The Christian worldview is untrue” and q is “knowledge would be impossible.” Knowledge is indeed possible Tony, otherwise we could not be having this exchange. Hence, it follows that the Christian worldview must be true. I hope this is clear now.]

      • Chris H says:

        If logic is merely a tool to resolve conflicting viewpoints, then it is no different than a gun. A gun can readily resolve conflicts. A person can quickly end a dispute by simply shooting his opponent. And yet somehow we know that logic is more than merely a tool to resolve conflicting viewpoints. The Christian worldview can make sense of laws of logic. But I have yet to see any other worldview that can do so.

        Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, your answer does make some sense. God has provided us with certain conceptual tools that can aid us in our search for truth. Laws of logic reflect God’s thinking, and therefore they are universal, invariant, and exception-less. So we can have confidence that laws of logic correctly describe the relationships between all truth claims. But I don’t understand how you can have such confidence in your worldview. For example, how can you know that laws of logic will work tomorrow? How can you know that they work at all without arbitrarily assuming them?]

        [Furthermore, you’ve said that laws of logic are a human invention. But people make mistakes, and have no knowledge of the future, and our experiences are extremely limited. So how could you have any confidence that laws of logic will work in the future, or in not-yet-experienced situations. People assume that they do. Is that belief “blind faith?”]

        Tony, your claim for it being a machine/tool has been answered by Dr. Lisle already, but you still insist on using it.

        • Tony says:

          “Tony, your claim for it being a machine/tool has been answered by Dr. Lisle already, but you still insist on using it.”
          because he didnt answer it, he just avoided it, a cheap excuse to continue using his circular reasoning

          [Dr. Lisle: Tony, with respect, you haven’t given this careful thought, and your reasoning is circular. You have confidence that laws of logic are a useful tool for discerning between truth and error. That makes sense in the Christian worldview where laws of logic reflect the thinking of God who is truth. But in a secular worldview, how do you know what is true, so that you can then test to see if laws of logic indeed are useful in distinguishing truth form error?]

          [If someone had built an apple sorting machine that separates good apples from bad apples, and you wanted to test the machine to see if it works, wouldn’t you have to already know at least something about the difference between good and bad apples? If you knew nothing about apples, how would you know if the machine is working? In a secular worldview, how can you know anything about truth in advance, so that you can then test to see if laws of logic work?]

          • Antichus "Tony" says:

            “If you knew nothing about apples,how would you know if the machine is working? ”
            figure out what it is used for sorting first,learn about that thing THEN i test it

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, what you have written does not make any sense. How can you “test” an apple sorting machine if you don’t know anything about apples? If the machine separates the apples into two baskets, one labeled “good” and the other labeled “bad”, how can you know if the machine works unless you yourself know the difference between a good apple and a bad apple?]

            “But in a secular worldview, how do you know what is true, so that you can then test to see if laws of logic indeed are useful in distinguishing truth form error?”
            Its true if it pertains to reality as seen by humans

            [Dr. Lisle: It seems that you take human observations to be the ultimate standard by which truth claims are tested. Namely, something is true if it corresponds to observations by humans. Is this your view? One problem with such a view is that human observations are not always reliable. Most people have some experience with optical illusions, where what we see does not correspond to the truth. But that would be impossible by your standard. Moreover, why from an evolutionary perspective would there be any reason to think that our sensory perceptions have any correlation to the universe at all? In the evolutionary view, human sensory organs are merely the results of mindless chemistry working over long times. How would they be any more reliable than a magic 8 ball?]

            • tony says:

              “It seems that you take human observations to be the ultimate standard by which truth claims are tested”
              no thats what you believe because after reading the bible with fallible human senses, you then declare the bible to be infalliable

              [Dr. Lisle: No, that’s not what I believe, nor is it my argument. My argument is that unless the Bible is infallibly true, there would be no reason to think that our senses are generally reliable (nor any justification for universal, invariant laws of logic, uniformity in nature, and so on). I note that you previously suggested that truth is what corresponds to human observation, but now you seem to be denying that. Which is it? What is ‘truth’ in your worldview, and how could you possibly know it?]

              “Moreover, why from an evolutionary perspective would there be any reason to think that our sensory perceptions have any correlation to the universe at all? ”
              Because if they did not work we would be dead since we couldnt figure out what is danger and what allows us to survive

              [Dr. Lisle: That is very easy to refute. Grass has (as far as we know) no sensory experiences at all. Yet, it survives just fine. In terms of total numbers, grass is doing far better than people. Accurate senses are therefore not necessary for survival. How do you know that your thoughts and perceptions of the universe are really nothing more than a side-effect of photosynthesis? Survival value does not equate to truth.]

              • tony says:

                ” Accurate senses are therefore not necessary for survival”
                yes they are because grass are plants they dont need senses to survive, but we as animals need to

                [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that you are an animal? How do you know that you are not a blade of grass, and that what you perceive as “thoughts” and “sensations” are not just a byproduct of photosynthesis?]

                • tony says:

                  if our senses are not accurate we could not figure out what is safe to eat, or where something that threatens our lives is located, and therofore not be able to survive

                  [Dr. Lisle: Many organisms have no senses at all, yet they survive perfectly well. How do you know that you are not one of them? There is no reason (in an evolutionary worldview) to suppose that your senses correspond to reality at all. They could just be a side-effect of some process that benefits the organism.]

                  • tony says:

                    for example
                    But wouldn’t natural selection favor reliable and accurate memory? Does accurate memory not increase an organism’s chances of survival? Wouldn’t a caveman eventually realize that running away from a tiger is a good idea(since he could remember how things turned out last time when his buddies got eaten)?

                    [Dr. Lisle: I understand. But there are several problems with this. First, it would only have a chance of working in the biblical worldview. The notion that more accurate memories will help us achieve better success in the future presupposes uniformity in nature, which is a creationist concept. The secularist has no basis for believing that the future will be like the past, as David Hume noted.]

                    [Second, we can easily think of examples where an incorrect belief or untruthful memory has positive survival value. If I “remember” that a friend of mine was once eaten by a poison ivy plant when he got close to it, I might avoid poison ivy – which improves survival odds even though the memory is completely false.]

                    [Third, it presupposes that the mind has some correspondence to reality at all. But I don’t know how you could conclude this on an evolutionary worldview. How do you know that your memories are nothing more than a necessary side-effect of photosynthesis? It has survival value, and yet the memories have no correspondence to reality at all.]

                  • Tony says:

                    ” Many organisms have no senses at all, yet they survive perfectly well.How do you know that you are not one of them? Because if i didnt use them i cant survive
                    your senses correspond to reality because if they didnt you cant survive!

                    [Dr. Lisle: This begs the question. How do you know that you are not a blade of grass, and that your “sensory experiences” are actually just a side-effect of photosynthesis? You can’t say, “because I wouldn’t survive” because in fact grass survives perfectly fine without accurate senses.]

                • Tony says:

                  “How do you know that you are an animal? How do you know that you are not a blade of grass, and that what you perceive as “thoughts” and “sensations” are not just a byproduct of photosynthesis?” Because I am hetertrophic and not autotrophic, i cant make my own food, so i must go and find it which means my senses must be reliable and correspond to reality to do so

                  [Dr. Lisle: 🙂 Tony, this begs the question. How do you know that you can’t make your own food or that you are not photosynthesizing food right now? You might be a tomato plant in someone’s garden. You might say, “My senses tell me this is not the case” – but the reliability of your senses is the very thing I’m asking you to justify. How do you know that your senses are nothing by a side effect of the tomato’s chemistry? You may not arbitrarily assume that your senses are reliable for the purpose of proving it. How can you justify the reliability of your senses (without arbitrarily assuming them) in an evolutionary worldview?]

                  • Tony says:

                    “how do you know that you can’t make your own food or that you are not photosynthesizing food right now?”
                    if i could photosynthesize food right now,i would not need to eat,when i feel sunlight i would feel full

                    [Dr. Lisle: But how do you know that you need to eat? How do you know that your mental experience of “eating” is nothing more than a bi-product of photosynthesis?]

                    “How do you know that your senses are nothing by a side effect of the tomato’s chemistry? ”
                    because a tomato would not need to evolve those things to survive

                    [Dr. Lisle: A tomato plant does need photosynthesis to survive. So if your perceptions and thoughts are simply the necessary result of photosynthesis, then you would have no reason to believe they are true. The green color of a leaf is necessary for photosynthesis, because chlorophyll is green, not because the greenness itself has survival value. Likewise, how do you know that your perceptions are nothing more than what happens when plants make sugar?]

                    • Tony says:

                      first of all it is an unfalsifiable argument,and WHY would a tomato create perceptions when they make sugar??

                      [Dr. Lisle: Why would its leaves be green? What survival value does “greeness” have? Probably none. But chlorophyll happens to be green. So if plants are going to undergo photosynthesis, they will have to be green. Perhaps what you perceive as “thoughts” is like the greeness of plants. How do you know otherwise? In a secular worldview, what reason do you have to rely upon your own thinking?]

              • tony says:

                but tell me Dr.lisle, if accurate senses are not needed for survival what do you use to tell if your drinking water or poison? what do you use to tell if you are about to fall of a cliff or not?

                [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you are conflating your worldview with mine. I affirm that senses are indeed reliable since they have been created by God. My question is: how on an evolutionary worldview can you know that your senses are reliable? How do you know that you are not a tree, and that your “thoughts” are nothing more than the internal chemistry of the tree?]

                • Tony says:

                  because trees dont need to eat, nor do they move,

                  [How do you know that you are able to eat or move, if your “sensory experiences” are just the side-effect of photosynthesis?]

                  • Antichus "Tony" says:

                    because plants dont really need to things things like that

                    [Dr. Lisle: plants don’t need to be green either for its own sake, yet they are because it is a necessary aspect of photosynthesis. How do you know that your perceptions of reality are not also a necessary aspect of photosynthesis?]

                    • Tony says:

                      but you cant prove i am not a plant cant you so there is no point with this argument

                      [Dr. Lisle: Sure I can. In the Christian worldview we have a good reason to believe that our senses are basically reliable. But on your worldview, you could never know that you are not a plant. Are you at least starting to see how giving up Christianity would make knowledge impossible?]

                    • Tony says:

                      also its more likely that an animal would evolve reliable senses that pertain to reality then to claim all these senses are just reactions from photosyhtnsis,

                      [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that? You didn’t give any reason.]

                      also i dont care if these senses are just reactions of photosynthesis

                      [Dr. Lisle: Well, you should care because if your perceptions and thoughts are just a result of photosynthesis, then you wouldn’t really know anything at all.]

                    • Tony says:

                      again no…if we didnt trust our senses we cannot survive because we have evolved this way,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Again, most organisms do not have senses at all, and they survive just fine. How do you know you are not such an organism?]

                      and i do not fit the definition of a plant

                      [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that? Are you merely assuming that your perceptions are accurate? You would be reasoning in a circle.]

        • Jason K says:

          Seriously the gun argument again? Those are two different senses of the word “conflict”. You don’t solve equations with firing a bullet but rather with logic and math.

          [Dr. Lisle: In a secular worldview, why not? Logic, math, and guns would all be things invented by people, which are just the results of random chemical interactions. Why arbitrarily assume that some of these are relevant to truth claims, and others are not? How could you possible know what truth is apart from Christianity, so that you can then say that some things are relevant to truth and others are not?]

          Killing someone won’t solve for X nor would it likely be sufficient to prove something unrelated (like “I shot the sheriff who said my reactor won’t work, I proved him wrong.”). This gun analogy is absurd.

          [In the Christian worldview it is quite absurd. God’s mind determines truth, and therefore laws of logic and mathematics which reflect God’s thinking will correctly describe truth relationships. Therefore, we can use such things to rationally resolve conflicts. But in a secular worldview, why would that be? You continue to steal from the Christian worldview to support your own.]

          • Antichus "Tony" says:

            “God’s mind determines truth, and therefore laws of logic and mathematics which reflect God’s thinking will correctly describe truth relationships.”
            no, it doesn’t, because they dont solve the problems according to the persons need, that where the truth relationships come from

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, again, what you have written doesn’t make any sense to me. Laws of logic can indeed be used to solve problems according to a person’s needs. But they can also be used in situations far removed from our needs. If truth relationships come from people solving problems, then that would make laws of logic contingent on people. Laws of logic could not be universal or invariant in such a view, because people change with time and are only found on Earth. Yet, laws of logic do not change with our culture, and they apply everywhere and at all times, even in places where people do not exist. How can your worldview make sense of this?]

            “Why arbitrarily assume that some of these are relevant to truth claims, and others are not?” Because they dont work!

            [Dr. Lisle: Actually, they do work. A gun can end a debate very quickly and permanently. It works. If truth is just about solving problems according to a person’s needs (as you seem to think), then there is no reason why you couldn’t win a debate by simply shooting your opponent. As far as the shooter is concerned, the debate is over and the problem is solved.]

            ” You continue to steal from the Christian worldview to support your own.”
            no you are just grasping on to straws

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you continue to steal from the Christian worldview in order to support your own. This is dreadfully inconsistent and irrational. If you reject the biblical God and His revelation, then you need to find some other logical basis for the universal, invariant, exception-less laws of logic, laws of nature, reliability of your senses, and so on, or else relinquish using them.]

            • uru says:

              “why you couldn’t win a debate by simply shooting your opponent”
              because the intellectual problem has not been solved

              [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that? Who told you that laws of logic (and not guns) are the proper tool to solve intellectual problems? In the Christian worldview, I can answer that.]

              also i think this had been said before logic is a description of how reality functions according to humanity

              [Dr. Lisle: If that were so, then we would expect laws of logic to change, since reality is constantly changing (e.g. as the universe expands). Also, different parts of humanity describe reality differently. A Hindu believes that this world is merely an illusion, and that “all is one.” That is a description of how reality functions according to (a significant subset of) humanity. Is it therefore a law of logic?]

              • Robert says:

                Well if you believe the sun is yellow, and I believe it is blue and we get into an argument over it, then you shoot me. There is only 1 mind left (intellect) so intellectually you would win and the sun is yellow in your evolved reality.

                • tony says:

                  not really because the argument its self has not been defeated, and again this shows you know very little about evolution

  11. Steve says:

    Hi Jason,

    Anyone can probably answer this. I recently had a conversation with someone and I had the perfect opportunity to address a fallacy and I couldn’t remember what it was called. In the seminar for Ultimate Proof of Correction, you made the comment “if Hitler said 2 + 2 is 4, it wouldn’t make it false just because he is a meanie”… or something along those lines. Is that the Faulty Appeal to Authority?

    The actual discussion involved the person citing supposed Bible contradictions and I quickly refuted one and gave a link for her to see just for good measure. She asked for a non-christian website. I asked “why would I do that?”. She said because they are biased. So instead of citing the fallacy here, I went forward on the argument of everyone having biases to which she agreed. I just think it would have been nice to point out the error of rejecting evidence based on the source.

    • John W says:

      What you are describing is the genetic fallacy. Concisely put, the genetic fallacy is dismissing an argument because one objects to the source of the object. It is fallacious because an argument should be evaluated on its merit, not its source.

    • Steve says:

      Ok… re-listened to some of the conference. Jason was speaking about Ad Hominem’s and said something like “we shouldn’t listen to what Joe says because he’s not a nice guy… well if Hitler said 2 + 2 is 4, it wouldn’t be false just because he’s a meanie.”
      So that’s where I got that from. I don’t know if Ad Hominem would be the appropriate way to define my situation in this case. I am thinking Faulty Appeal to Authority as well as what John W describes which I had not heard Jason discuss in his talks. Genetic Fallacy? Interesting.

      • Steve says:

        Oh… and it has a dash of the No True Scotsman fallacy.
        Example:
        “No source debunks my list of Bible contradictions”
        “well I have several Christian sources that debunk your list of Bible contradictions”
        “No TRUE [or unbiased] source debunks my list of Bible contradictions”

  12. Josef says:

    “WRONG this is a false dictonomy just because logic did not exist does not automatically mean illogic…”

    Actually it would only be a false dichotomy if there really were more than two options. But mutually exclusive concepts such as logic or illogic exhaust all other possibilities. Otherwise if this really is a false dichotomy, then feel free to go ahead and tell me how one can not behave logically, but still refrain from being illogical.

    “…a good analogy would probably be the fact that logical absoultes differance with the laws of logic, logical absoultes existed as uncreated as MAGOG, but the laws og logic where created by God”

    Once again, you show your head is in the sand as God did not create the laws of logic. How can it be absolutely true that contradictions are always false if the law of non-contradiction didn’t exist? (Any refutation of the law of non-contradiction would be self-refuting.)

    “i think ware no kuni is saying that both logical absolutes and the laws of logic are uncreated while i saw only one of them are”

    And I say it’s actually pretty funny how you have apparently recognized that the atheist’s worldview cannot coherently justify such abstract concepts as logic, so you’re attempting to create a “god” to be able to explain them. So in a broad sense, it seems that you have admitted that God does exist.

    And the problem with your false ‘gods’ is that they apparently contradict each other, and therefore, logic cannot be contingent upon them.

    • Tony says:

      First of,all i am showing you the rediculessness of your arguments it’s called abducto absurdium, second of all I can just keep getting “revelations” from various gods and give everything you claim that your god makes this universe possible and give it to him/her/it. Also the law of non contradiction is not actually the same as the laws of logic, similar but different

      • Josef says:

        “First of,all i am showing you the rediculessness of your arguments it’s called abducto absurdium”

        Actually you have not been able to refute the transcendental argument, but instead have demonstrated how you cannot justify the preconditions of intelligibility within atheism.

        “second of all I can just keep getting “revelations” from various gods and give everything you claim that your god makes this universe possible and give it to him/her/it”

        But your gods have already shown themselves to contradict each other and if there is only one, then this couldn’t possibly explain the unchanging nature of logic as each so called god would be unique, therefore, logic wouldn’t be invariant.

        “Also the law of non contradiction is not actually the same as the laws of logic, similar but different”

        Demonstrate how the the law of non-contradiction is not one of the laws of logic.

        • Josef says:

          “But your gods have already shown themselves to contradict each other and if there is only one…”

          I meant that if there ISN’T only one God, then the invariant nature of logic couldn’t be contingent on them.

          • Tony says:

            But if u want what I really believe please tell me all the stuff you believe gives us intelligibility and how your god upholds this I Will anwser these questions once and for all there

        • Tony says:

          You still don’t get the argument do you? I am showing you that I can just make up gods that give us the precontitions of intelligibility!

          [Dr. Lisle: Of logical necessity, a “made-up” fictional god cannot provide preconditions for anything, precisely because it is fictional. Fiction cannot provide rational justification for reality. You would have to argue that you genuinely believe that such a god is real in order for your argument to even be considered.]

          Therofore there is no impossiblity to the contary!Also logic is upheld by MAGOG who then created,GOG and God, just like why your god created angels

          [Dr. Lisle: not possible because the biblical God is eternal, and therefore not created. But I really like this post because it demonstrates a biblical truth: ABG – “anything but God”. People reject God because they don’t want to be accountable to Him. God could save them from an irrational worldview. But rather than turning to Him, they prefer to live in irrationality (Romans 1:18-22).]

          [Hence, when their own secular worldview is logically refuted, they attempt to make up a worldview that is similar in some respects Christianity in an attempt to justify the preconditions of intelligibility, but still reject God (ABG). But it just won’t work because all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are found only in the biblical God (Colossians 2:3). Thus knowledge starts with Him alone (Proverbs 1:7).]

          • Josef says:

            I get what your attempting to do but I have already explained why your made up ‘gods’ did not work and weren’t able to justify the preconditions of intelligibility.

            Furthermore, you still haven’t even been able to justify them within the world view you actually believe in, atheism.

            • Tony says:

              Well I can just make up another hypothetical religion!

              [Dr. Lisle: A made-up religion cannot account for the preconditions of knowledge, because truth cannot be justified by fiction.]

              But i stand by MaGOG and GOG, you see now just take every claim of intelligibility you give to your god and replace the word “Jesus” with MaGOG…. And MaGOG created GOG and God for his glory

              [Dr. Lisle: It won’t work. Only the biblical God can make knowledge possible (Proverbs 1:7).]

              • Josef says:

                So in other words you can keep attempting to use a “made up” hypothetical worldview to explain things that your actual worldview of atheism cannot account for.

                ” you see now just take every claim of intelligibility you give to your god and replace the word “Jesus” with MaGOG…. And MaGOG created GOG and God for his glory”

                So in other words MaGOG claims to be able to create an uncreated being so logic cannot be contingent upon MaGOG so therefore, logic cannot be contingent on MaGOG.

                Furthermore, like I said, you’re hiding behind this hypothetical because you know that your real worldview cannot justify the preconditions of intelligibility, one of which is logic. Because if logic is not justified, we cannot actually know anything.

                But I know why you’re hiding behind this hypothetical worldview. It is a tactic that people use so that if it gets refuted, you can always fall back on, “Yeah, well, that’s not what I really believe so who cares if that didn’t work.”

                And, as much as you have participated on here, you’ve already been told what the preconditions of intelligibility are, and how the biblical God can justify them. What is the point of me explaining what Dr. Lisle & others have been explaining to you if you won’t pull your head out of the sand?

                • Tony says:

                  First of all according to Magog did not create an uncreated being MaGOG is the only uncreated being, well cause I forgot what they are in this giant mess of comments

            • Tony says:

              But tell me what all the needed pre conditions for knowledge are according to you?

              • Wayne says:

                I very much doubt that you have forgotten(as it has been repeated multiple times).

                It seems more likely to me that you are simply phishing for someone to make a mistake and catch them in it.

  13. Micah says:

    > You are reasoning in circles because your test for laws of logic presupposes the truthfulness of laws of logic
    >no you fail to understand i dont presuppose them ,i say they might work thats why i am testing them, as well since your sense are falliable you can never be certain that they tell you what the bible really says, so you cant really know

    You would have no reason to test anything if you first didn’t presuppose the laws of logic. Why would you think testing could be reliable in the first place? Only if you first presuppose uniformity and logic.

    We can really know that our senses are generally reliable, because the Biblical worldview provides the justification for why they should be reliable. You are partially right though, because in any other worldview besides christianity we would have no reason to trust our senses at all.

    >While modus ponens is one of the most commonly used concepts in logic it must not be mistaken for a logical law; rather, it is one of the accepted mechanisms for the construction of deductive proofs that includes the “rule of definition” and the “rule of substitution”

    If its not a law then are you suggesting that there are times when modus ponens can be untrue? If thats true then please demonstrate it.

    >Again I am NOT presupposing the truth of logic i am presupposing that they MIGHT work!

    Why would you presuppose that they might work? Why not just presuppose the exact opposite? The fact is when you test anything, you are presupposing that the method of testing itself is reliable.

    • Tony says:

      Because I am optimistic cause it makes me feel good on the inside, so I presuppose they might work, also if your senses are generally reliable it means they still can be wrong about what the bible is saying, if its really there, if the reality we see is the real one, which makes your senses the final arbiter of truth! But really are you saying that we should accept on faith that are senses are correct when reading the bible? I thought presupptionalism claims that everyone KNOWS there is a God, if everyone knows then there is no need for faith!

      • Chris H says:

        Merriam-Webster:

        Faith: something that is believed especially with strong conviction

        By definition, faith is required for everything. 🙂

        • Tony says:

          But I have talked and watched videos of presupptionalist and they claim everyone even those who deny it KNOWS without a doubt God exists. If you know without a doubt what’s the point of faith? Which means that since if I know a omnipotent being who is infalliable and doesn’t lie what’s the point if having faith?

          [Dr. Lisle: By faith, we mean “a confidence in something that is not observed with the senses.” This goes along well with Hebrews 11:1. Since many things can be known without being observed with the senses (e.g. mathematical truths), there is no necessary contrast between faith and knowledge. Biblical faith is actually a prerequisite for knowledge. Believing that laws of logic always work is an act of faith because you cannot observe all truth claims (or “observe” any truth claim literally). However, that faith is logically justified in the Christian worldview.]

          • Chris H says:

            Merriam-Webster:

            Know:to be aware of the truth or factuality of : be convinced or certain of

            If you do not have a conviction about something, you cannot be convinced of something. If you are convinced of something, you cannot know something.

            Faith is required for everything, Tony.

            • Chris H says:

              *If you are not convinced of something

            • Tony says:

              So does absolute certainly require faith as well?

              [Dr. Lisle: Yes. Hebrews 11:3]

              • Wayne says:

                Merriam-Webster:

                Certainty: something that is certain

                Synonym Discussion of Certainty: certainty, certitude, conviction mean a state of being free from doubt.

                If you do not have faith, you do not have conviction, if you do not have conviction then you are not free from doubt about something, and you do not have conviction or certainty about what it is that you are saying.

                Conversely, if you have faith it means that you do have conviction and certainty about what it is that you are saying.

                Synonym discussion of Sure:
                sure, certain, positive, cocksure mean having no doubt or uncertainty.

                Thus, Faith is required for everything.

                • Chris H says:

                  Similarly, if you are not free from doubt or uncertainty about something, then you do not have conviction. If you do not have conviction, you are not convinced of something. If you are not convinced of something, you do not know it.

                  If you lack Conviction and Certainty, you have no faith. If you have no faith, you have no knowledge and you cannot know anything.

                  Conversely, if you have faith, you have conviction & certainty because you have no uncertainty or doubts. If you have conviction about something, then you know it.

                  Thus, faith is required to know anything, Tony.

                • Chris H says:

                  Secondary note*

                  If you use the adjective “absolute” to define “certainty” you are further saying that you have no doubt uncertainty in your claim. You are suggesting that you have conviction about it. By extension, you have faith in it and know it.

                • Chris H says:

                  Of equal note.

                  Know: to be aware of the truth or factuality of : be convinced or Certain of.

                  (Did you catch that word there that I capitalized?)

  14. Josef says:

    “Can God tell truths that are in contradiction?”

    I’m not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean he can use a contradiction to demonstrate a truth? Or are you saying can he make a contradiction be true?

    “He is God so that shouldn’t be beyond his power. If we presuppose reality depends on God then he can do just this.”

    If what you meant was, “Can God use a contradiction to illustrate a truth” then I suppose he could as even we can do this much. But if you mean can he make a logical contradiction true, then no. Logic itself is contingent on God and since God cannot deny himself, no, he cannot make a contradiction true.

    That God is all power means he can do anything that is consistent with his nature, not that he can do anything imaginable or do what is logically impossible to do, because that would violate his very nature.

    And being all powerful means that God can do anything that power can do. How much power would it take to make a contradiction true? Can you measure it in watts?

    “Or God is just a Matrix program.

    Or there is another God ruling over the God if this universe but isn’t aware that he is lying or isn’t technically lying (perhaps in GOG the less Gods are still part of the large whole).

    I’m sure there are more possibilities then what I just listed.”

    Oh sure, no one is denying that you can use your imagination and come up with any number of “what ifs”. However, if God is not who he has revealed himself to be, then this would lead to a worldview that can only ultimately lead to absurdity and make knowledge impossible. For all you know, you could be just a brain hooked up to electrodes and everything you see around you is just a computer program interacting with you and you don’t even know it. However, such a worldview would make knowledge an impossibility and rather pointless. What would be the point in scientific research if everything were just an illusion?

    • Tony says:

      But how do you know it’s god and not someone pretending to be god? I mean wouldn’t a good liar always tell you he would never lie? The bible even said satan appears as a messenger of light

      • Robert says:

        Well, like any lie, you have to keep adding lies to keep it up, and eventually you run out of room to go.
        Even with you making up random worlds, hypothesis, etc. , it still sounds like the christian God is the best option.
        Christian God – logic, knowledge, you have worth, purpose, etc
        Evolution – arbritary, contradictory, you are just worthless pond scum, survival only, etc
        Sounds like a pretty easy to see which one is correct and which one you should select. God loves you and wants you to accept his free gift of salvation through Jesus.

        • Tony says:

          It sounds like you know very little about evolution, and second of all how do you know the reality we see isn’t an illusion, and we just wanted it so badly to be real that we think its real?

          • Josef says:

            Like I said Tony, you can choose to have an irrational worldview.

            • Tony says:

              No you can choose you live in denial, thinking that yo believe the bible is the final arbiter of what is true or not, while in practice you act as if human senses are the arbiter of truth!
              As well its clear that you are reading too deeply into th bible where it is self does not go, and the mental gymnastics you play is quite amusing with the bible

            • Chris H says:

              I’m still waiting for him to show how we–here, on this site–are ignorant of evolution.

          • Chris H says:

            It sounds like you know very little about evolution

            We actually know quite a bit about evolution–at least some of us do. (And I would suggest most people on here who have been in exchanges with you understand it pretty well.) What part of evolution do you find us ignorant of? Please present it.

            • Josef says:

              Chris, isn’t it obvious? We don’t believe in evolution, so therefore we must not understand it!

              • Chris H says:

                Evidently. But one would think that if we were so ignorant that someone (particularly someone posting on this blog) would expose us to the “truth”.

            • Tony says:

              Lets see how about the ham high tail? Or the Gish gallop?

              • Chris H says:

                You are right, I am completely ignorant of what you are referring to as the “ham high tail” and “gish galop”. Perhaps you could explain, are these the religious services/ceremonial procedures that one must use in order to be initiated into the faith of Secular Humanism?

                • Tony says:

                  You do realize that they are named after major figures in the “creation science” movement right? So why would they have anything to do with “secular” religion?

                  • Chris H says:

                    You said that we (here) were ignorant of evolution, and then proceeded to give your examples as the ham high tail and the gish galop. Grammatically speaking (and contextually, of course) it is proper to associate our apparent lack of understanding in evolution by such processes and mechanisms as the “gish galop” and “ham high tail”.

                    If it was a lack of understanding, it was on not being clear on the part of the sender, not the receiver. Still, my point remains. Produce your evidence that we are ignorant of evolution, or you could continue making arbitrary (reason-less) assertions.

                  • Chris H says:

                    Look, my response was harsh, overtly so. I apologize.

                    Secondly, I did not realize that they actually were named after Ken Ham and Duane Gish; however, this point is irrelevant. I asked you to respond and show what part of evolution it is that we are ignorant of.

                    Your response was “the ham hightail” and the “gish galop”. Contextually, it was proper to ask my follow-up question.
                    However, this is not English class. So I will again apologize.

                    Thirdly, I will still ask you to illuminate our ignorance on evolution (if indeed we are not well informed).

                • Josef says:

                  I’ve noticed that Tony tends to have a growing list of questions from myself and others that he has simply ignored or tried to answer with very ambiguous replies.

                  • Chris H says:

                    I’ve noticed that, too.

                  • Tony says:

                    I can’t even find some of the questions, and those two techniques I mentioned where creationist ways of denying all contrary evidence of evolution by just ignoring, denying, or lying and just making up half truths

                  • Chris H says:

                    Tony, if we (here, on this site) have proven ourselves ignorant, you should be able to point out our ignorance instead of continuing to state generalities as you have been.

                    You have given no examples for your claims, and you appear to (purposely) ignore our questions.

                    You can say “creationists do this” all you want, but the fact remains that you have specifically accused us of using them and being ignorant.

                    If you want to make those statements, you need to supply evidence beyond arbitrary assertions.

                  • Chris H says:

                    You can hide behind quotes that you got from other people, Tony. I will let you. However, we here (on this site) will ask for evidence of how we demonstrated our ignorance of evolution every time you accuse us of being ignorant of it. It is not enough to accuse someone of something, you must demonstrate how what you are asserting is true, otherwise it is simply another arbitrary assertion.

                  • Chris H says:

                    Hey, Tony. I just did a CTRL-F search of every page on this thread. Not once has anyone here said the word “Lucy” in any conversation until you yourself said it just now. (And if you yourself do a CTRL-F search at this point, you will only see two instances. You were the first to use the word, and I am the second.) In effect, we never made that argument.

                    So explain, and give examples to us of how we are ignorant of evolution. Do not use examples from other people that were not used here (because that is not suggestive of our understanding, but of another’s).

                    You accused us (the people here, on this blog) of being ignorant of evolution. I am asking you to show us how we (the people here on this blog) are ignorant of evolution.

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      ok fine then what do you think is the biggest point that makes evolution wrong?

                    • Chris H says:

                      Are you refusing to answer my question, Tony? Responding to a question with a question is not answering the original question.

                      We have presented our arguments here. If you have no examples to show, then your claim of our ignorance is arbitrary and baseless.

  15. Brian Forbes says:

    Is there a distinction between debate and bickering? What is that difference?

    • Chris H says:

      One involves name calling and character attacks without evidence and is based on arbitrary reasoning. (In other words: You are an idiot. No, You are an idiot.)

      That is the way that I always understood the difference.

      Bickering in my mind has always been the opposite of debating.

      • Brian Forbes says:

        I always saw it as including a back and forth of, “No, you’re wrong,” without giving any valid reasons. And they argue it for no reason other than, be it for pride or fun, they don’t want to admit that they’re wrong. Anyway, this whole series of discussions (at least to the point where I stopped reading) has been more bickering than debating. I don’t think any reasonable person would be convinced of anything useful by reading it. Bickering is a waste of time and energy, and a drain on the emotions.

        • Josef says:

          Which is why I stopped responding. I figure there is no point in debating someone who only selectively answers a response and simply ignores direct questions.

          Take Chris’s question to Tony. Chris asked a very valid and straight forward question that Tony back up his claim that we don’t understand evolution. And Tony couldn’t even simply answer that. That, unfortunately, is evidence of someone not wanting to engage in debate, but just argue for the ask of arguing.

  16. Patrick Gernert says:

    “If the earth was created ex nihilo on the First Day as per the standard interpretation of Genesis 1:1, then, by logical extension, the heavens (comprised of the sun, moon, and the rest of the story hosts according to the ancient Hebrew understanding and usage of the word) were also created ex nihilo in the First Day due to their being grouped along with the earth in the same sentence. This means that that the sun and moon were present from day one all the way to the end of the creation weekly series.

    If the earth was not created in the First Day, then it must have been created either after day one or before there was even a concept of a day. Since the existence of the earth is affirmed in Genesis 1:2 before God began to pronounce the existence of light upon the earth in verse 3, then the earth along with the rest of the universe (based on the conclusion derived in the first paragraph above) were already present before there was a First Day too. Therefore, the sun existed before the First Day, it being the thing that defined the rest of the days of the creation series.”

    Has anyone come across this view? I was wondering if there is any refutation or article about it? This person also asked where in Genesis is the phrase, “Let there be water” since in the first verses it appears water is already there from the verse:

    Gen1:2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

    So when was water created? First day or part of the essence of God?

    • Josef says:

      Patrick,

      ““If the earth was created ex nihilo on the First Day as per the standard interpretation of Genesis 1:1, then, by logical extension, the heavens (comprised of the sun, moon, and the rest of the story hosts according to the ancient Hebrew understanding and usage of the word) were also created ex nihilo in the First Day due to their being grouped along with the earth in the same sentence. ”

      Two things: first most understand Genesis 1 to be a merism. That is from what I understand, Hebrew didn’t have a word for “universe” so to capture the idea they used merisms like, “Heaven and earth” meaning everything. So basically Genesis 1:1 is sort of the broad picture and then it goes into the details starting in verse 2.

      Also, even if one wasn’t aware of merisms in the Bible, one could also view it this way: God created the heavens (the actual space) and the earth that was placed into the empty space. That doesn’t mean that the sun and other stars and planets were created at this moment, as this wouldn’t necessarily mean that everything in the heavens/space & earth were created yet.

      I think either position pretty much refutes the person’s arguments.

      “This person also asked where in Genesis is the phrase, “Let there be water” since in the first verses it appears water is already there from the verse:”

      Ok, but where in there is “Let there be dirt”? We would naturally assume that dirt or rock/crust was there when the earth was formed. Or where is, “Let there be an atmosphere”? Or “Let there be atoms? (before the earth of course)” since we know that the earth as we know it cannot exist without atoms, etc.

      Basically if God revealed all the smallest details of what he created, when, etc then the first chapter of Genesis would be so large that I doubt the earth itself could contain it! Basically Genesis is an outline of how God created and one which days, but that doesn’t mean he gives every little detail. Perhaps when God created the “earth” he did so with water on it simultaneously, sort of like, “Let there be the earth” and the earth already had a core, mantle, crust, water, atmosphere, etc.

      But I don’t see this person’s arguments as at all compelling.

  17. Chris C says:

    Dr Lisle,

    If someone said they don’t know if laws of logic are universal, how would you answer them “according to their folly?” What would be some examples of problems of denying the universality of the laws of logic?

    • Micah says:

      Chris, i think it would make science impossible to do.
      If the laws of logic are not universal, then there is no reason to do any scientific experiments at all. If a contradiction can be false in one second and then true in another it means we cant know anything at all. Experimentation is grounded on the unchanging nature of laws of logic. If they could change it would mean our method of experimentation is useless and thus any results we get from experiments are subject to change on the whim of changing laws of logic.

      That would be my answer anyways.

      • Chris C says:

        Thanks, but I’m not talking about the invariant aspect, I’m talking about the universal aspect.

        • Josef says:

          I still think Micah’s reply answers this. If logic were not universal, then how could we really do a scientific experiment? What if the logic in Australia is different than the logic in the United States? In fact, when you typed out this post, you expected that logic from where you are would still apply to where the reader is, wherever they are, right?

          If logic were no universal, then it would make it impossible to pass knowledge from what location to the next.

          • Chris C says:

            That’s a good point. I only bring it up because I was talking with my co-worker about it the other day. He asked me how I knew laws of logic applied 8 feet from us? I told him that if he didn’t have reason to believe they apply everywhere then what reason would he have to believe they applied where we were conversing. He said “well we tested them out and they worked.” I said yes, but in order to test them you’d first have to assume that they work, but what reason would you have to assume that they work?” He didn’t have an answer for that. But I was thinking another good point was that when he says “we tested them out and they worked here”… what does he mean by here? The earth is rotating and orbiting so in the ultimate sense we really aren’t even in the same spot that we were a minute ago.

      • Chris C says:

        I have a few ideas in mind that would be sufficient to answer the unbeliever, but I was just looking for some more good examples of behavioral inconsistency. Dr Lisle always has some good ones.

        • Dr. Lisle says:

          Hi Chris and others,

          Some good responses already. Basically, if someone denies the universality of laws of logic, then you ask, “Then way do you behave as if they are universal?” Even unbelievers will travel to a place they’ve never been before, and will assume that laws of logic are the same there as in other places. But in a chance universe, why would that be? The Christian can easily address this issue: we presume that laws of logic are the same everywhere because they reflect God’s thinking, and God is omni-present and sovereign over all truth. But the unbeliever has no reason on his professed worldview to assume that laws of logic will work in a room that he’s never been in before, yet he assumes that they will. This reveals his suppressed knowledge of God.

          Hope this helps.

          • Chris C says:

            That does help. Thanks!

          • tony says:

            but the thing is though dr.lisle do you know alot about quantum mechanics? i mean the thing with the cat seems to contradict a logic law that you believe to be universal

            • Dr. Lisle says:

              Hi Tony,

              Quantum physics does not violate any laws of logic. You are referring to the “Schrodinger’s cat” thought experiment which is a way of explaining the Copenhegan interpretation of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle to laymen. That an unobserved cat may be thought of as both dead and alive until observed is essentially the point. But it is not the case that the cat is actually both dead and not dead at the same time. Rather, it exists as a “wave.” A particle behaves as a wave with an extended position in space until an observation is made that collapses its wave-function, at which point it behaves as a particle with a discrete position in space. The probability of detecting the particle at a particular position is proportional to the square of the wave function. But a particle never behaves as a wave and not a wave at the same time. It never behaves as a particle and not-a-particle at the same time. So there is no violation of any laws of logic.

              So… the non-Christian is left in the awkward position of relying upon laws of logic as if they were universal and unchanging, without having any logical basis for that position. Basically, you can either be a Christian, or you can be irrational. There just isn’t a third option.

              • tony says:

                again, like i said before you are seemingly in denial, also you don’t assume logic would be the same, you test to see if its the same, about what logic actually is,and logic in quantum physics is still different then on our regular level

                [Dr. Lisle: Tony, again, I have already refuted this. You are assuming the truth of laws of logic when you make your test. Your reasoning is circular, the fallacy of begging the question. Namely, you suggest that if laws of logic pass some test then they work. And then you argue that they have passed that test. You conclude, “Therefore, they work.” But in saying “therefore” you have arbitrarily assumed the correctness of laws of logic. You’ve assumed modus ponens. But that’s a law of logic – a rule of inference. I’m asking how you know that modus ponens is always true. Can you answer that? For that matter, have you tested laws of logic in Antarctica? If not, do you assume that they work there, or in China, or on the moon, or on Proxima Centauri?]

                [No, laws of logic work the same on the quantum level. Why did you think they were different? If laws of logic are different on some levels or in some situations, then how do you know they work where I am located? Have you ever tested them at my current location?

                • tony says:

                  but enough serious stuff lets play a little game
                  My claim: Dr.Lisle’s mind is addled and his thinking unreliable because he was hit on the head by a rock.

                  Prove this is false, Dr.Lisle.

                  [Dr. Lisle: For one, I wouldn’t be able to create blog entries if that were the case. And I can create blog entries (which you have proved by responding to them). Therefore your proposition is not the case. This is a modus tollens argument which is always valid regardless of the reliability of the mind that states it. There are other ways to prove this as well.]

                  Try to, and I will say – “But your “proof” presupposes your mind is not addled and you can recognise a proof when you see it. So it fails.”

                  [Actually, it didn’t. The premises of the argument above don’t presuppose the reliability of my mind. But I believe I understand the point you are attempting to make. You are attempting to point out that certain foundational truths must be presupposed in the process of proving them. And that is true. However, such reasoning cannot be arbitrary or it really proves nothing. You will need to find independent justification for such claims if your argument is to avoid the fallacy of begging the question. Preconditions of intelligibility must be assumed before they are justified. But if they are never justified (beyond just assuming them), then they ought to be abandoned.]

                  Ask me to prove my claim and I will say: “But prove to me your mind is not addled, then, Doctor”. Which you won’t be able to, for the above reason. I might then add, with a flourish – “So you see, my claim is proved by the impossibility of the contrary”.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Actually “the impossibility of the contrary” is the situation when certain truth claims are proved by showing that their contrary must presuppose said truth claim. For example, if someone were to argue that laws of logic do not exist, he would have to use laws of logic to make the argument. Thus, laws of logic do exist. Your argument here is not this at all, because you have not established the lack of reliability of a mind by showing that the alternative must presuppose the lack of reliability of a mind.]

                  [Again, with all respect, you really need to read up on this stuff if you are going to debate cogently on the topic. I have already recommended some resources, and I would be happy to suggest others too. Just ask. For this particular topic, I suggest you look at chapter 9 in my book “the Ultimate Proof of Creation” where you will find extended discussion on circular reasoning, the nature of presuppositions, and transcendental arguments.]

                  And of course I have a good explanation for why your brain is addled,Dr.Lisle – you were hit on the head by a rock.

                  [Dr. Lisle: And that would be an example of the fallacy of begging the question because your reason for your belief is merely the belief. While we’re at it, can you prove that your mind is reliable? Suppose I suggest that your thinking is unreliable, because it is the product of evolution – chance mutations. What you perceive as thoughts is merely the side-effect of photosynthesis, as you are actually a blade of grass. Can you disprove that – without begging the question?]

                • tony says:

                  first of all modeus ponens is not a law of logic

                  [Dr. Lisle: My logic textbooks disagree with you. In any case, if it is not a law of logic, then way do you rely on it as if it is? If it is not a law, then it might not be true in some circumstances. Thus, any argument in which you use modus ponens is unreliable. Consequently, your argument for the truthfullness of laws of logic on your worldview fails, since you relied upon modeus ponens, which you now say is not actually a law of logic.]

                  second of all “You are assuming the truth of laws of logic when you make your test.” NO i told you i assume they MIGHT work,again i told you the test is REALITY if the laws of logic comport to reality then it its true and as well

                  [Dr. Lisle: Again, how do you know what reality is on your worldview? If you are going to argue that laws of logic comport with reality, you would have to know something about reality. So how did you obtain that knowledge? It can’t be from sensory observation since that is not always reliable (and there’s really no reason to think that it is ever reliable in an evolution worldview). Moreover, how can you assume the reliability of laws of logic in new situations that you have not yet “tested”? How do you know they work in my home?]

                  again logic is a description of reality according to human minds, so you are placing them in the wrong catagory

                  [If laws of logic were merely descriptions of reality according to human minds, then there is no reason to suppose that they would apply in unexperienced or future situations. Yet, you behave as if they are universal laws, not observed trends. Furthermore, human minds disagree on what reality is. So if your premise were true, we would expect different people to have different laws of logic. This would make rational argumentation impossible.]

                • tony says:

                  Dr.Lisle, i told you your head was hit with a rock and your mind has been addled,

                  [Dr. Lisle: And I refuted that by pointing out that you would not be able to dialog with me if that were the case. And you are dialoging with me. Thus you have proved my point.]

                  your “proof” presupposes your mind is not addled and you can recognise a proof when you see it.

                  [Dr. Lisle: No, it only presupposes that this dialog is real, which you cannot deny without refuting yourself.]

                  So it fails.So you see, my claim is proved by the impossibility of the contrary

                  [Dr. Lisle: Your claim is actually the fallacy of begging the question. See Dr. Bahnsen’s research on transcendental arguments if you want to learn what the “impossibility of the contrary” actually is.]

                  • taka no mi says:

                    “And I refuted that by pointing out that you would not be able to dialog with me if that were the case”
                    or maybe you just think your having a conversation with me when really you arent because your mind was addled and unreliable

                    [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview, such would not be possible since God is not the author of confusion. But in the non-Christian worldview, you would be right – you could never know that you are rational. And since other knowledge depends on this, in the non-Christian worldview, you can never actually know anything at all.]

                • Tony says:

                  An on the quantum level logic is still a bit different,form what I can find out

                  [Dr. Lisle: Perhaps you missed it, but I have already shown this to be false. I’ve taken many classes in which we used quantum physics, and we never found it necessary to violate the standard laws of logic.]

                  [For the sake of argument, if laws of logic were different in some situations, then how do you know that they are not different for me than for you? Or perhaps they are different where I live than where you live. How do you know otherwise?]

                  • Josef says:

                    Tony, no offense or anything, but is there a reason why you post so many replies instead of just making it one post? You seem to make a bunch of little posts all of which could easily just be a single post. You’ve complained before that this blog has too many posts already, but from what I’m seeing, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re the biggest contributor to that. Not trying to make you feel bad, but I’m just making a suggestion.

                • Micah says:

                  >>but enough serious stuff lets play a little game
                  My claim: Dr.Lisle’s mind is addled and his thinking unreliable because he was hit on the head by a rock.

                  Prove this is false, Dr.Lisle.

                  Try to, and I will say – “But your “proof” presupposes your mind is not addled and you can recognise a proof when you see it. So it fails.”

                  The thing is Tony, whether Jasons mind is addled or not is the very issue at hand. You arbitrarily make the claim (and i say arbitrarily because you did not provide a reason for why we should believe Jasons head was hit with a rock, you merely state it) that Jason was hit on the head by a rock.

                  >Ask me to prove my claim and I will say: “But prove to me your mind is not addled, then, Doctor”.

                  Since Jason would be arguing for the exact opposite of what you claimed (i.e. he was not hit in the head with a rock and therefore his mind is not addled) then of course he must assume his head was not hit and therefore not addled. This is true for anything that you argue though, if i were to argue for the existence of rocks i would first have to assume that they do, in fact, exist wouldn’t I? Just like the person who argues against the existence of rocks would have to assume that the dont exist.
                  Also you are the one making the claim that Jasons head was hit, so the burden of proof is on you to prove this is true.

                  >Which you won’t be able to, for the above reason. I might then add, with a flourish – “So you see, my claim is proved by the impossibility of the contrary”.

                  You havent shown how the contrary (i.e. Jason was not hit on the head by a rock) would be impossible so no that wouldn’t make much sense if you said that.
                  You seem to be wanting us to first accept that what you say is true, and then try to prove how its not true. But since we don’t need (and shouldn’t) to accept what you say as truth first, then we shouldn’t do so.

                  >And of course I have a good explanation for why your brain is addled,Dr.Lisle – you were hit on the head by a rock.

                  That would be a good explanation, except, its arbitrary. There would be no reason to not assume the exact opposite of what you say.

                  • tony says:

                    “you did not provide a reason for why we should believe Jasons head was hit with a rock”
                    because his reasoning is flawed and also like i mentioned impossibility to the contrary!

                    • Micah says:

                      Your reasoning in a circle.

                      You: Jasons reasoning is flawed because he was hit in the head with a rock.

                      Me: Why should we believe his head was hit with a rock?

                      You: Because his reasoning is flawed.

                      But you say the reason his reasoning is flawed is because he was hit in the head with a rock.

                      In other words, he was hit in the head with a rock because he was hit in the head with a rock.

                      Again, you havent showed how the contrary would be impossible.

                    • tony says:

                      i told you! since he cant prove he was not hit by a rock then he ust have been since his reasoning is flawed!

                    • Micah says:

                      i told you! since he cant prove he was not hit by a rock then he ust have been since his reasoning is flawed!

                      And again, i’m telling you, you’re being irrational (reasoning in a circle).

                      You say that his (Dr. Lisles) reasoning is flawed because he was hit in the head by a rock.

                      And then when asked to explain how you know he was hit in the head with a rock you say its because his reasoning is flawed. But whether or not his reasoning is flawed is the very issue at hand. It cannot be assumed in your premise since that is what you are trying to prove.

                      Also just because someone cant prove something doesn’t mean it is false.
                      I can’t prove that i ate toast for breakfast this morning but it is true none-the-less.

                      Likewise Jason may not be able to prove that he wasn’t hit in the head with a rock. But that doesn’t mean its true that he was hit in the head by a rock.

                    • taka no mi says:

                      i read a whole bunch of your posts i thought you said circular reasoning is valid….

                      [Dr. Lisle: circular reasoning is always valid. But it is often unsound. It is fallacious (begging the question) when it is arbitrary.]

          • tony says:

            Dr Lisle, Dr.Stephen Law from the university of London might be interested in having a little chat with you about your arguments for the existence of God, just search “Stephen law,blog”

            • Dr. Lisle says:

              Hi Tony,

              Sometimes when people cannot defend their faith, cannot give rational reasons for their beliefs, they then appeal to someone else. E.g. “well, my friend could answer those questions.” Well, then perhaps the friend is rational. But not the person himself. A rational person has good reasons for his beliefs, rather than just assuming that others have good reasons for his beliefs. I have asked for the rational foundation for the universal, invariant nature of laws of logic, laws of nature, and objective morality. So far, no non-Christian has been able to account for these. So the transcendental argument stands. (By the way, it is one argument, not “arguments”). But if you ever are able to come up with a rational explanation for these things apart from the Christian worldview, please feel free to post it here. Until then, I remain convinced that Christianity alone is rational for people to hold.

              • tony says:

                no its just that i want to see a debate between you two and how it goes

                • Dr. Lisle says:

                  Fair enough. I have some upcoming debates lined up already. One of them is on apologetic method. I’ll probably post about it here at some point.

                  • Chris C says:

                    Dr. Lisle is that going to be against an unbeliever or evidentialist?

                    [Dr. Lisle: it will be a believer who holds to the “classical method.”]

                    • tony says:

                      also you have to realise that presupptionalist arguments arent meant to actually “convert” anyone, just go ask sye ten bruggengate…..

                      [Dr. Lisle: That’s true, since only God can convert people. (Ephesians 2:4-5,8; 1 Corinthians 12:3). Presuppositional apologetics exposes the unbeliever’s suppressed knowledge of God. It’s up to God to grant repentance as He sees fit.]

                    • tony says:

                      but if he is going to debate another christian about the best way to do apologetic of his christian faith, but does he realize that there are other methods
                      then presupptionalism/traditional method

                      [Dr. Lisle: Yes. And they are welcome to set up their own debates.]

                  • Chris C says:

                    Dr. Lisle, I hope you don’t mind, I told this Presup group I’m in on FB about your upcoming debate. They’re all curious about when it’s going to be. Any idea when it will take place? I told the I’d keep them posted.

                    [Dr. Lisle: It’s in two ‘phases.’ The first part is a written exchange, and the second part is in person. The second part is more of an informal debate / panel discussion, whereas the written exchange will be standard debate rules. The written part begins in July. The panel takes place in October.]

              • tony says:

                also they have all been answered by me and dr.law,

                [Dr. Lisle: Where? Certainly not on this blog. I’ve lost track of how many posts we’ve had between us, and yet in not one of them have you provided a basis for the universal, invariant nature of laws of logic, or a basis for objective morality. You claim that you test laws of logic (somehow – the details are unclear as to what constitutes your test) and then say they pass the test, therefore the work. But when you say or imply, “therefore” you are assuming laws of logic. “Therefore” is the conclusion of a logical argument.]

                and it just seems you dont like them out of personal choice or you dint check them,

                [The responses you’ve given so far either have not answered the question at all, or have committed a fallacy – such as the fallacy of begging the question. Do you have a rational basis for laws of logic that doesn’t arbitrarily assume them?]

                but the thing is saying that logic cant exist without god is like saying how can horses exist with out unicorns???

                [That would be the fallacy of false analogy since a unicorn is not a necessary precondition for a horse. A better analogy would be to conclude that a house has a foundation, even if that foundation is unseen because otherwise, the house couldn’t stand. The foundation is the necessary underlying precondition for a the house, much as God is the necessary precondition for universal, unchanging laws of logic, and objective morality.]

                • tony says:

                  Dr.Lisle, i told you your head was hit with a rock and your mind has been addled,

                  [Dr. Lisle: And I refuted that by pointing out that you would not be able to dialog with me if that were the case. And you are dialoging with me. Thus you have proved my point.]

                  your “proof” presupposes your mind is not addled and you can recognise a proof when you see it.

                  [Dr. Lisle: No, it only presupposes that this dialog is real, which you cannot deny without refuting yourself.]

                  So it fails.So you see, my claim is proved by the impossibility of the contrary

                  [Dr. Lisle: Your claim is actually the fallacy of begging the question. See Dr. Bahnsen’s research on transcendental arguments if you want to learn what the “impossibility of the contrary” actually is.]

                • tony says:

                  also prove a unicorn is not a necessary pre condition for a horse,

                  [Dr. Lisle: That’s easy. We can account for the existence and properties of a horse without invoking the existence of a unicorn. We observe that horses exist and have certain features such as legs, tail, eyes, etc. And in the Christian worldview, our observations are reliable because our senses and mind have been created by God, in whom is all truth (Col 2:3). Thus, horses are accounted for in the Christian worldview.]

                  but first of course you must prove that your mind isnt addled and can recognize proofs

                  [Dr. Lisle: already did that.]

  18. Jesse says:

    Tony is incorrect. Many of the geologists like James Hutton and Charles Lyell started out with anti-biblical, materialistic assumptions before they studied geology, and they filtered everything through those assumptions. As a result, they rejected the Global Flood before even examining any evidence. Lyell was even quoted as saying that he wanted to “free the science from Moses”. These articles give much more details:

    http://creation.com/the-origin-of-old-earth-geology-and-its-ramifications-for-life-in-the-21st-century
    http://creation.com/charles-lyell-free-science-from-moses
    http://creation.com/st-huttons-hagiography

    • tony says:

      again, trying to link evolution with social decay is stupid, at best, first of all, its an appeal to consequences,One could just as well say that “Since more Americans have joined churches, crime rates and other social ills have increased.”

      [Dr. Lisle: That would be the fallacy of false cause, not an appeal to consequences. My argument is neither of these things. Rather, my argument is that in an evolutionary universe, there is no fundamental basis for objective morality. Therefore, we would expect social ills to rise as people increasingly embrace an evolutionary worldview.]

      Church membership increased from 25 percent to 65 percent between 1870 and 1990.

      [Perhaps you meant that as a hypothetical. But in reality, church attendance has steadily dropped in the United States over the past century. Current attendance is around 20% or so, though the details depend on which study is reported, and how they conducted the study.]

      The point is, while both statements could be technically correct, both are misleading and irrelevant, in that correlation does not mean causation.

      [As an interesting aside, in an evolutionary universe, causation can never be deduced from correlation or succession, which would render science impossible. However, my argument is that evolution cannot account for the existence of an objective, universal moral code. Remember that morality is about what people should do, not what they in fact do. Evolutionists can never make the leap from what is to what should be.]

      During the large crime drop in the 1990’s, there was no significant change in how widely evolution was taught. If there had been a correlation, then the teaching of evolution would have decreased as well. Crime has been with us far longer than the Theory of Evolution. The 19th and 20th centuries were marked by increased urbanization. This is a more plausible explanation for increases in crime than is the teaching of evolution.
      Crime statistics are better tracked now than they were a century or more ago. So, without careful study, it is not clear whether the actual incidence of crime has increased. The case of “social ills” is even more ambiguous. It depends what social ills one is concerned with, but likely with respect to some social ills we are better off than we were a century ago. In short, a correlation of crime rates or social ills to the teaching of evolution has not been demonstrated.

      [Ultimately the source of all social ills is not evolution, but sin. When people rebel against God’s laws, we all suffer. Evolution, however, gives people a way of rationalizing their sin by giving them an excuse to reject Scripture. Therefore, as people increasingly embrace evolution, we expect to see as a general trend an increase in social ills such as school violence. However, a number of schools do allow criticism of evolution. And creationists are having a greater influence than in the past. Therefore, we might expect to see social ills decrease as people begin embracing Scripture.]

      • tony says:

        “Therefore, as people increasingly embrace evolution, we expect to see as a general trend an increase in social ills such as school violence. ”
        please tell that to Canada, or Japan, or Taiwan, or Singapore, or France, or even the UK
        “Therefore, as people increasingly embrace evolution, we expect to see as a general trend an increase in social ills such as school violence.” During the large crime drop in the 1990′s, there was no significant change in how widely evolution was taught.
        dont be ridiculous like i told you

  19. Professor Tertius [Joseph P. Tertius] says:

    I came upon these claims in a comment from about two weeks ago. It appears to be presenting what is assumed to be common knowledge in these circles so perhaps someone can explain it to me even if the original comment-poster is no longer here:

    “Yes, it is among the many examples of things that do not fit well with the Evolutionary time scale. The fact that the Tappeats Sandstone layers in the Grand Canyon have no Quartzite, and the Mauve Limestone layers have no Marble are two other excellent examples. Further, to continue with Geography we have proof that Mount St. Helens created a similar canyon in response to its eruption in the 80’s that took only 3 days to form. It was complete with the same layers and formations found in the Grand Canyon. Layering that (anywhere else, and if it had not been observed) would have been said to have formed over millions of years.”

    Obviously there is no “Grand Canyon” in the Mt. St. Helens area so I’m not sure what is being said in this paragraph. (But it sounds interesting.)

    Thank you for any help.

  20. Good to see you blogging again. I had fallen out of the habit of checking your site, and here you have “snuck in” a new article without my looking. Good article too. Thank you for it. I’ll be checking back more often now that I know your active agian.

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