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. Chris C says:

    Dr. Lisle,

    In one of your videos you said, “General revelation tells us three things: It tells us there is a God; in particular the biblical God. It tells us His righteous standards; that is, there is certain standards of behavior that are hardwired into us. And three, it tells us that we cannot live up to God’s standards and therefore we are deserving of God’s wrath.”

    My question is when you say “in particular, the biblical God,” (and I agree that unbelievers know THE one true God)… what does that mean exactly? Do they know He is Triune? Do they know He is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, ect? If not, what does it mean that they know (not just A god), but THE God? If someone in a remote tribe never read the Bible but was somehow given access to the Qur’an, are we saying general revelation is enough for him to be able to know that the Qur’an is wrong?

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Chris,

      Yes, unbelievers know THE God, and that necessarily entails some of His attributes. His omnipotence is easy to see in the universe – no problems there. And yes even His omniscience and omnipresence are revealed (as evidenced by the fact that non-believers rely upon laws of logic as absolute and universal, which only makes sense if God is omnipresent and omniscient.) I’m inclined to think that even the Trinity is seen, as suggested by Romans 1:20, perhaps because the universe is one in one sense, and yet diverse in another. Unity and diversity make sense in light of the biblical God.

      General revelation includes a sense of morality and justice that stems from God. This is one way that someone reading the Koran would know that Allah cannot be God from general revelation. There is no ultimate justice in the Koran, because Allah does (sometimes) forgive people of their sins, but the sins are never paid for.

      • taka no mi says:

        ” There is no ultimate justice in the Koran, because Allah does (sometimes) forgive people of their sins, but the sins are never paid for”
        YES that’s because its called FORGIVENESS, you clearly don’t understand what forgiveness means,

        [Forgiveness means to pardon someone – to treat them as if they had not transgressed. But the penalty must still be paid if there is to be justice. Only a corrupt judge would let a murderer go free and not demand any payment for the crime. There is no justice in Islam because many sins are never paid for. In the Christian worldview, there is both forgiveness and justice. Some people are forgiven their sins, but the price for all sin is ultimately paid.]

        though its rather foolish trying to call Allah “kind” or “forgiving” I’ll merely add that the Buddhists also confronted the problem of infinite regression, and arrived at a conclusion very different from that of Western philosophers and theologians. Their view is that as any phenomenon must have a cause, a creator would also require one, therefore a creator can’t exist. In their system, an Unmoved Mover is logically inconsistent.cause and effect, which we seek to systematize as “logic”,

        [Dr. Lisle: cause and effect is different from laws of logic, though we use both of course. Since cause and effect involves temporal succession, it follows logically that a Being who is eternal or outside of time cannot have a cause. There is no logical problem of having a first cause, providing that cause is eternal.]

        break down at the quantum level and as you approach a singularity,also ive notice you say that logic is the same at the quantum level despite several comments ive seen here and on other sites saying otherwise, so then who is right?

        [Dr. Lisle: A little thought should resolve the matter. If laws of logic do not apply in some situations, then they are not universal. If they are not universal, and do not apply in some situations, then rational argumentation would be impossible because I might be addressing one of those claims where laws of logic do not apply. If I contradicted myself, “I own a cat and it is not the case that I own a cat”, you couldn’t argue with me because I could just say that this is one of those situations where laws of logic do not apply.]

        • Antichus "Tony" says:

          no Dr.Lisle i must add forgiveness is not contrary to justice, you are looking at this through an extremely euro-centric point of view of things

          [Dr. Lisle: I didn’t say that “forgiveness is contrary to justice.” In the Christian worldview we have both forgiveness and justice. In an atheistic universe, “justice” is a meaningless term.]

          • Tony says:

            No it’s not its apart of our evolution I know you will never agree with me

            [Dr. Lisle: If it were part of our evolution, then it would be different for different people, since we all evolved a bit differently according to your worldview. Moreover, justice might mean something different tomorrow than it does today if it were part of our changing evolution.]

      • Chris C says:

        Thanks Dr. Lisle, I realize an argument can be made by acknowledging that the universe consists of both unity/diversity, one/many, ect… but it’s still difficult to image someone coming up with the Trinity apart from Scripture. That was a great point about general revelation including a sense of morality and justice, and how (therefore) Allah cannot be the God from general revelation.

  2. Chris C says:

    Dr. Lisle, in your book you mentioned how “non-Christian circles” always blow themselves up. And then you mentioned empiricism and materialism. I realize they are self refuting, but how are they circular?

    • Antichus "Tony" says:

      i actually can answer that for you, Dr.Lisle will ask that how do you know the only way to get knowledge is empiricism?

      • Chris C says:

        That’s how it “blows itself up”… but I’m asking how empiricism itself is circular.

      • Chris C says:

        Disregard.

        • Chris C says:

          I’m debating someone on vicious circles vs virtuous circles and he said “self-refuting is the same as a contradiction.. related to circular reasoning, but not it. Circular reasoning is when your conclusion is already found in the premises”… I think he was missing the point and in the process caused me to miss the point… smh

  3. Jacob Howard says:

    Hi,

    I was wondering: have my comments been removed from this article? I realized nobody ever responded to them but now I don’t see them anywhere on this page. I also couldn’t find my exchange with Neil. Anybody know what is going on?

    In Christ Jesus alone,

    Jacob Howard

    http://www.theyspeak.org

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Jacob,

      I haven’t removed any comments. So they should still be there. Since there have been so many posts lately, I set up WordPress to divide the comments into multiple pages. Try clicking on the “newer comments” or “older comments” tabs at the top and bottom of the comments section.

  4. J says:

    Hello all,

    Thank you to Dr. Lisle for facilitating this blog and also to his followers and skeptics alike for their posts. Reading through these posts have been helpful.

    I have a quick question and I apologize if it seems elementary. I understand why a literal Genesis is essential for the Gospel to make sense. Dr. Lisle mentions this in his Nuclear Strength Apologetics lecture. I am having trouble articulating why a literal Genesis is essential to the transcendental argument though. Any tips or insights would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • Chris C says:

      I would say inerrancy is an issue. If we can’t trust what Genesis says then how can we trust what anything else says? God’s revelation to us is essential for knowledge, we need to be able to trust it. Also there are certain things in Genesis specifically that we appeal to in order to account for the preconditions of intelligibility (1) that we are created in God’s image and therefore have reason to believe our senses, memory, and reasoning are valid, (2) our basis for induction/uniformity in nature Gen 8:22, and I’m sure Dr. Lisle could provide more examples…

      • tim says:

        I couldn’t disagree more: My bible only indicates ONE THING that I MUST believe. Why muddy the waters by attaching such labels as ‘inerrancy’ or ‘metaphorical’? Do I NEED to believe Genesis is literal to believe John 3:16? Nope.

        • John W says:

          You are appealing to the Bible to argue that you do not need to believe the Bible. If you believe what the Bible states in John 3:16, why do you not believe what the Bible states in Genesis?

          • tim says:

            That’s the beauty of faith: I don’t have to believe all that other stuff to get to heaven. Why do you HAVE to?

            [Dr. Lisle: Actually, that is the folly of inconsistency. It would be absurd to place faith in a book that is known to be largely wrong. If God isn’t capable of getting the details right in Genesis, why would you arbitrarily accept that He got the details right about salvation?]

          • tim says:

            So, let me get this straight: Are you saying I SHOULDN’T believe Jesus if I don’t believe in a LITERAL 6 days for creation?? Wow.

            [Dr. Lisle: You should believe Jesus AND you should believe in 6 days of creation for exactly the same reason. They are the clear teaching of Scripture.]

            • tim says:

              You’re ADDING to scripture by your statement. Nowhere does it say that I have to believe what you’ve stated.

              [Dr. Lisle: Luke 24:25, ‘And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!”‘ Matthew 4:4, ‘But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'”‘ John 3:12 “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” John 5:46-47, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” How different your opinion is from Christ’s!]

              It’s perfectly possible to believe Christ without believe a literal translation of every jot and tittle of the OT.

              [Dr. Lisle: Again, we take the Word of God literarily, as Jesus did. Jesus quoted the Old Testament history as literally true. How can you believe in Him as the Son of God, and yet simultaneously believe that He is wrong about how to interpret the Scriptures?]

              The ‘extra burden’ of believe you’re prescribing was deal with by Paul in Galations 5: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The ONLY thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

              [Dr. Lisle: No, Paul in Galatians 5 is dealing with those who believed that we should continue to follow the Old Testament ceremonial laws that pointed symbolically toward a future, coming Messiah – laws that were set aside with Christ’s atonement (Hebrews 7:18). Now that Christ is come, we no longer need the tutor of such symbols (Galatians 3:24-25). Paul did not believe that we are now free to ignore the rest of the Scriptures as long as we have “faith”. Indeed, he wrote passionately against such a licentious position in Galatians 5:13, Romans 6:1-23. James points out that a faith that does not show obedience to God’s law is a “dead” faith that cannot save anyone (James 2:17-20). Moreover, it is impossible to love God without obeying (and thus knowing) his commandments (1 John 2:3-6, 5:2-3, 3:24).]

              • John W says:

                Once again, you appeal to God’s Word, to argue that you do not need to believe God’s Word. How do you know that God is trustworthy in Galatians if he is not trustworthy in Genesis?

        • Brian Forbes says:

          That’s not true. You believe thousands, even trillions of things (depending on how you count). There’s also things that you believe not. You make hundreds of faith-based decisions every day. Why would you want to muddy the water with a lack of belief in God’s existence or Divine Revelation? Why would anyone want to *gasp* deny the truth of Genesis?

          You don’t need to believe anything to believe John 3:16. Belief doesn’t require a logical foundation. You can be illogical in your beliefs.

          Implied in John 3:16, though, is a need to be justified to the Creator and that Jesus’ sacrifice was a sufficient one. The reason that his sacrifice works logically is because Genesis is literally true.

          • tim says:

            Wrong: Creation in 6 days (or more) has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with whether Jesus’s sacrifice was sufficient. It would be whether or not creation took 2 hours, or 6 days, or 4 billion years.

            [Dr. Lisle: Actually, it does. How do you know that Jesus’s sacrifice was sufficient? There is only one way you could know: the Scriptures teach this. But then again, they also teach that God created in six days. If six days isn’t true, then the Scriptures are not trustworthy. If they are not trustworthy, then you lose the only basis you have for believing that Christ’s atonement is sufficient.]

            [By the way, where do we get the idea that death is the penalty for sin anyway? Where did that idea originate? It goes back to Genesis. But if fossils are millions of years old, long before human beings came on the scene, then death existed long before sin. In such a case, it cannot be the penalty for sin. If death isn’t the penalty for sin, then what did Christ’s death on the cross accomplish?]

        • Dr. Lisle says:

          Hi Tim,

          You are partially correct. The Bible does not say, for example, that you must believe that God created in six days in order to be saved. We know Scripturally that we are saved by God’s grace received through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8). A correct view of Genesis is not a prerequisite for salvation (though it is to fully understand salvation). For that matter, good works are not a prerequisite for salvation either. The Bible teaches very clearly that we are not saved by doing good works (Ephesians 2:9).

          So should we therefore be unconcerned about doing good works? It’s not a prerequisite to get to heaven, right? We don’t HAVE to do them, correct? So should we not bother doing them, and not bother encouraging others to do good works, since they aren’t necessary for salvation? This is the central topic of James 2:14-26 which you should read very carefully. James writes of a hypothetical individual who professes to have faith in Jesus, but produces no good works. James rhetorically asks in verse 14, “Can that faith save Him?” He then points out the absurdity of professing faith in Christ, while not showing any concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ (James 2:15-16) and concludes that faith without works is “dead” and a dead faith is “useless” (James 2:20) and cannot save anyone.

          James points out that even demons have a type of faith in God (James 2:19). Yet their faith is not a saving faith, because it does not produce good works. James argues that good works are the natural consequence of saving faith, and are the way that we show to the world (“justify”) that we are genuinely saved. Thus, a person who professes faith, but has no desire to produce good works is not genuinely saved. When Christ saves you, you become a “new creation” and your desires change (2 Corinthians 5:17). You will want to obey God in all areas, and want to better understand His Word (1 John 3:8-9, 2 John 2:9). This doesn’t mean that you will feel such enthusiasm every second – we still have a sin nature. But our sin nature will bother us, and we will desire to overcome it (Romans 7:19).

          The person who professes Christ but has no desire to study or obey Christ is not saved, as John makes clear in 1 John 2:4. Like the demons, such a man might have a type of faith in Christ, but it is not a saving faith. Imagine the Christian who says this: “I don’t care about having correct theology. I don’t really care about properly understanding God’s Word. I am going to heaven when I die, so why even bother to read the Bible? And since good works aren’t a requirement for heaven, I’m not concerned about those either.” The Bible makes clear that such a person is not really a Christian.

          A desire to study, understand, and defend all of God’s Word does not cause you to go to heaven any more than a thermometer causes warm temperatures. A desire to have correct theology is not a prerequisite for salvation, but rather a consequence of salvation. A genuine Christian will seek to honor God by carefully studying His Word, and contending for the faith. The Christian does not do this in an attempt to earn salvation, but rather out of love and gratitude for the salvation that God has freely bestowed upon him. The genuine Christian will want to learn and understand all Scripture, so that he will be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

          I hope this is helpful to you.

  5. Barton Waldon says:

    Hey Dr. Jason Lisle,

    I read both Ultimate Proof of Creation and Discerning Truth and they have helped me immensely with apologetics. I have been a little confused with the fallacy of reification however. Do these statements commit this fallacy?

    “Evidence, once looked at with biblical glasses, confirms a young earth.”

    “Empirical science showed Mt. Saint Helens ash dissipated quickly.”

    Any help would be fantastic.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Barton,

      Reification is tricky because it’s not always a fallacy, such as when used in poetry. It becomes fallacious when it is used in a logical argument to conceal or minimize an important point in the argument. “Science says” is an example, because (1) science doesn’t literally speak – scientists speak, and (2) this conceals the fact that scientists are people with opinions and biases and they do not always agree on a particular claim. “Science says” fallaciously gives an argument apparent authority that it doesn’t rightly deserve.

      “Evidence confirms” is probably not reification, because we understand that the phrase means that certain data are consistent with the hypothesis under consideration. It’s not giving a concrete characteristic to an abstraction.

      “Science showed” could be reification, but only if it is used in the sense of science “leading” me to a conclusion, or “teaching” me something. But that is probably not the intention in the above example. In that case it just means “We can understand by observing this scientific evidence that…” So that wouldn’t be reification at all. I hope this helps.

      • Barton Waldon says:

        Thank you. Would I be right in labeling these statements as reification (these are from an actual debate):

        “What do most of the best studies say?”

        “The fossil record shows that some species of fish have been around in the same basic form for more than 400,000 million years (much longer than humans). ”

        “And seeing as the bible says nothing about humans having extra vertebrae and tails and evolution does.. I think evolution wins. clearlyyy..”

        • Micah says:

          “What do most of the best studies say?”

          Hmm, that one sounds a bit more like the faulty appeal to authority/majority than reification.

        • Dr. Lisle says:

          Hi Barton,

          “Studies say” might be considered reification, but normally when a written work is used in this way, it is metonymy, and is not considered a fallacy. Metonymy is a short hand way of saying, “The people who wrote these studies say…” It substitutes the object for the people behind it, as in “Today, the white house said…” However, the statement could still be a fallacy if the author uses “best” to select only the studies that agree with his conclusion. This would be a question-begging epithet, or a “no true Scotsman fallacy.”

          “The fossil record shows…” also could be reification, but I wouldn’t count it as a reification fallacy in this instance, because it is not being used to conceal a problem. The statement is indeed a fallacy because it begs the question in assuming that fossils have been deposited over millions of years (and the number is way off too).

          “The Bible says…” is metonymy. In this particular context “evolution [says]” is also probably metonymy, a short-hand way of saying “people who believe in evolution say…” The argument is still fallacious, because the unstated premise is that humans have extra vertebrae and tails, which they don’t.

  6. billy says:

    Why does Jupiter still radiate heat after ‘billions’ of years? It’s the same answer as to why the sun is still burning after an equivalent amount of time (which Lysle should well know): Nuclear reactions/decay are able to emit heat over the timescales described (millions/billions of years) when mathematically forecast into the future, so why is it no logical that they can have done so equivalently into the past?

    [Dr. Lisle: No. Nuclear reactions and nuclear decay do not occur on Jupiter. Nuclear fusion (as occurs in the core of the sun) requires temperatures in excess of 10 million degrees. But the core temperature of Jupiter is estimated to be around 35 thousand degrees Celsius. That’s not anywhere close enough to have nuclear fusion. Nor can nuclear decay generate heat on Jupiter because this only happens in heavy elements, such as uranium. But Jupiter is made out of light elements, primarily hydrogen and helium. It does not have the abundance of radioactive heavy elements that Earth has.]

    Earth’s magnetic field isn’t linear, it’s cyclical. Geologists have plenty of evidence of mulitiple polarity shifts over the 4.54 billion years of its existance, which involves strengthening and diminishing magnetic fields along that cycle.

    [Dr. Lisle: Be careful not to confuse energy with dipole field strength. Actually, the evidence based on actual measurements over the last century and a half is that the magnetic energy is experiencing an exponential decay. This is what we would expect from first principles. There is evidence of polarity reversals during the flood year due to the rapid tectonics that took place at that time. But there is no mechanism today to cause such field reversals, nor is there evidence of such occurring today. Even during field reversals, the total energy in the magnetic field continues to drop.]

    The moon ‘touching’ the earth at 1.5 billion isn’t really a ‘problem’, since science postulates that the moon actually came out of a part of the earth as the result of an impact with a large object.

    [Dr. Lisle: First, “science” doesn’t postulate anything – that’s a reification fallacy. Second, many secularists do believe that the moon was created by a large impact on the earth. But they believe this happened 4.5 billion years ago – not 1.5 billion. So the recession rate of the moon is a serious problem in the secular view.]

    However, that aside, the moon’s rate of departure is being assumed constant by Lisle when evidence is to the contrary.

    [Dr. Lisle: And what evidence would that be? Actually, the 1.5 billion-year age estimate does not assume a constant rate. Rather, the calculation includes for the effect of larger tides in the past when the moon was closer to earth, and the tidal forcing would have been stronger. The effect goes as roughly 1/r^6 which is not remotely constant.]

    Galactic rotational issue: Old news, resolved in the 60’s (search for the ‘winding problem’).

    [Dr. Lisle: Then why did we discuss it in my grad school classes (~2000) as if it is still a problem today? Density wave theory was postulated in the 1960s as a solution to the problem, but it has met with serious difficulties of its own; such as how to start such a wave, and how to form new stars within it. These are the sorts of problems you have to ignore in order to maintain a belief in billions of years.]

    Here’s the point, and I mean this in the most gentle way possible: One only has to resort to such contortions of both science AND faith as Lisle has done

    [Dr. Lisle: Well, I think we now see that neither science, nor Scripture needs to be contorted in order to accept the clear evidence that the universe is thousands of years old.]

    when attempting to reconcile a literal interpretation of the bible with science.

    [Dr. Lisle: why would you attempt to reconcile good friends? There is nothing in science that is at odds with a straightforward reading of the Bible. It is only evolutionary/naturalistic beliefs that are at odds with both science and the Bible. The history in Genesis is the precondition for science.]

    However, a literal interpretation is not required to maintain a strong faith (I would argue that belief/faith under the premise that not all scripture is to be taken literally is actually stronger than the former).

    [Dr. Lisle: We don’t take all Scripture literally, rather we take it literarily. That is we interpret the historical sections as literal history, the poetic sections as poetry, the parables as parables, and so on. All language must be interpreted according to the type of literature in which it is written, otherwise communication would be impossible. And we know that Genesis is written as history because it is written in the standard historical narrative form, using the verb forms that are associated with historical sections. To take it any other way would be irrational, and contrary to the author’s intentions.]

    As both Scientists and Christians, we have no problem with the findings and applications of Physics (e.g., magnetic imaging, atomic clocks, HDPE, microwaves, etc..) when they don’t clash with our faith, but when it comes to subjects like radiometric dating

    [Dr. Lisle: Once we begin asking questions about the past, we have left the realm of operational science. Interpretations of past events will be greatly influenced by a person’s view of history, are best answered by a history book written by eye-witnesses (when possible), and are rarely if ever provable by scientific means (since the past cannot be tested or repeated in the present).]

    (of which there are numerous/diverse methods that are both internally and externally validated)

    [Dr. Lisle: Actually, radiometric methods have been both internally and externally invalidated. That is, different radiometric methods on the same rock often give widely divergent age estimates (see for example, Woodmorappe’s book “The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods”) and this does not include the many examples that are never published because the answer they give is so contrary to expectations. Externally, we have tested radiometric dating on rocks of known age, and find that it often gives vastly inflated ages, hundreds of thousands to millions of years on rocks that are brand new. It would certainly be a blind leap of faith to trust a method that has been so thoroughly scientifically discredited.]

    , we say, “Oh no, Carbon Dating – which is only 1 of many methods, actually – is wrong/bad/evil/whatever).

    [Dr. Lisle: Actually, if you study this topic, you will find that carbon dating is one of the more reliable methods. We like carbon dating. It’s not infallible either of course, but it tends to give the right answer when used to estimate artifacts of known age. So we have some degree of confidence in it. And, carbon dating never gives millions or billions of years, even on things that evolutionists believe to be hundreds of millions of years old, like coal beds. If you carbon-date coal, you will find that it always has measurable C-14 in it which limits the age to thousands of years. We have even found C-14 in diamonds, which evolutionists assume to be billions of years old; but the C-14 limits their age to thousands of years. We have even detected C-14 in dinosaur remains, demonstrating that dinosaurs lived thousands, not millions, of years ago. The evidence is consistent with the history recorded in Genesis, and contrary to evolution / deep time.]

    The result tends to be an entirely new, and false, doctrine (e.g., Dinosaurs & Humans living together).

    [Dr. Lisle: According to the history of Genesis, dinosaurs and humans did live at the same time because they were created on the same day (Genesis 1:24-31). This accounts for the abundant archaeological evidence of people encountering dinosaurs (or “dragons” to use the ancient term) as documented in various resources such as Vance Nelson’s book “Dire Dragons.” Evolutionists tend to ignore such evidence because it doesn’t fit into their worldview.]

    See Revelation 22:18 for details on God’s reaction to ‘adding unto these things’ (and if that’s to be taken literally as well, then these folks should be very concerned).

    [Dr. Lisle: Actually, Revelation 22:18-19 is a warning not to add to or take away from the words of this prophetic book (i.e. Revelation). However, there are similar warnings in other Scriptures that apply to all of God’s Word, such as Deuteronomy 4:2, 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, Matthew 5:19. So when God tells us that we are not to take away or add to His Words, we had better take this very seriously! As a corollary, when God says that He created heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them in six days (Exodus 20:11), we dare not subtract from those six days nor add to them!]

    [Sadly, today many professing Christians distort God’s Word into all sorts of nonsense to make it line up with the secular/naturalistic myth of origins – big bang, evolution, millions of years, etc. How did Jesus respond to those that attempted to alter God’s Word to fit the common opinion (the tradition) of the time? Matthew 15:3b, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?” Mark 7:9b “You are experts at setting aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.” Jesus sharply rebukes them for contradicting the clear teaching of the Scriptures, e.g. Matthew 15:4-5 “For God has said _____ … But you say ____…” Matthew 15:6b-9 “And thus you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.”]

    We’re teaching our children something that’s a Frankenstien hybrid of this vain attempt at reconciling

    [Dr. Lisle: I cannot think of a better description of theistic evolution and/or day-age creation as a Frankenstein hybrid of secularism and Christianity.]

    science/faith,

    [Dr. Lisle: Keep in mind that there is no disparity between actual science and biblical creation. Indeed the latter is the logical foundation for the former. So we like science. It’s a shame that many evolutionists put forward their beliefs in evolution and deep time and call them “science.”]

    and the most likely result is that as they grow up, they either leave the faith

    [Dr. Lisle: Unfortunately, many churches today have compromised biblical doctrine (e.g. 6-day creation, the global flood, etc.) for the sake of accepting worldly ideas, forming a “Frankenstein” hybrid that makes no rational sense. Indeed, many students are taught this position, and end up walking away from the church. They hear the Pastor say, “The Bible is true” but then he talks about millions of years as reality, as if the Bible isn’t true at least in Genesis. They rightly see such a position as hypocrisy, and they walk away from the church – though I would say they never really had a genuine saving faith in Christ to begin with.]

    (unfortunately) once they come to grips with how ridiculous some of the resulting doctrine has become,

    [Dr. Lisle: It amazes me how many professing Christians have bought into the absurdity of evolution and big bang. They talk as if the universe really did just “explode” into existence, and everything formed spontaneously over millions of years, and that we are biologically related to a turnip! Apparently, once the literal history of Genesis is rejected, common sense goes out the door too.]

    or they become so rigid and mixed up that they’ll believe anything a religious leader tells them without thinking critical (and thus become vulnerable to money-grubbers and false prophets).

    [Dr. Lisle: The false prophets that have been most successful in our culture today are the evolutionists. They teach that we are all biologically related to an onion, and people buy this claim hook, line, and sinker. The remarkable thing is: most people can’t even give one good logical reason to believe in particles-to-people evolution. They simply repeat what they’ve heard the false prophets say (“It’s a scientific fact!”), without any critical thinking at all. It’s amazing.]

    I recognize that most of you won’t agree, but at least think critically about not only my message but the message your getting from your spiritual leaders (Galations 5:1-6).

    [Dr. Lisle: Thank you for posting.]

    • tim says:

      ^Agreed. According to the bible in my possession, there’s only ONE thing I HAVE to believe. Why make it more complicated?

      [Dr. Lisle: If God only intended for you to read and accept John 3:16, then why did He give you the rest of the Bible? Why did He make it more complicated?]

      • tim says:

        Ultimately, I believe you’re setting yourself up for failure by requiring belief in every word of the bible…

        [Dr. Lisle: Jesus says the opposite. He said that we should live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Not only every word, but every jot and tittle (a jot is the smallest Hebrew letter and a tittle is a small extension of a line) will not fail (Matthew 5:18). Jesus indicated that His Word was more sure and stable than the universe (Matthew 24:35). Jesus’s ultimate standard was the written Word of God as evidenced by His treatment of it as absolutely authoritative (e.g. Matthew 4:4,7,10; 11:10; 21:13; 26:24; 26:31). He indicates that anyone who does not base his thinking on God’s Word is setting himself up for failure (Matthew 7:24-27). So Christ’s attitude about the Word of God is quite different from yours.]

        literally:

        [Dr. Lisle: Perhaps you missed my response to your other thread, but in fact we do not take the Bible literally, but literarily. We take history as literal of course, because that’s what history is. But we recognize that the Bible contains poetic sections, like the Psalms, and uses occasional figures of speech even in historical narrative. But we dare not use this as an excuse to reject the clear teaching of Scripture, as you seem to want to do.]

        GEN 3:14 – Do you believe snakes literally eat dirt/dust?

        [Dr. Lisle: You should have recognized this phrase as a figure of speech indicating humiliation, as it is used that way in the Old Testament (e.g. Psalm 72:9, Micah 7:17, Isaiah 49:23). Interpreting the Bible literarily, there is no problem.]

        GEN 1 & 2 give different orders of creation. Only one can be correct if they’re taken literally.

        [Dr. Lisle: No. You haven’t done your homework on this issue. Genesis 2 does not give an order. In Hebrew, if no order is given, it is inappropriate to assume one based on when things are mentioned. Genesis 2 is a detailed account of the events of day 6.]

        II SAMUEL 24:13: So God came to David, and told him, and said unto him, shall SEVEN YEARS OF FAMINE come unto thee in thy land? or will thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee?

        vs.

        I CHRONICLES 21:11: So God came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee. Either THREE YEARS OF FAMINE or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee;

        [Dr. Lisle: {sigh} I read so many of these types of poorly-researched arguments, it really becomes tiresome. If you had studied this, you would find that there had already been three years of famine on account of Saul’s sin (2 Samuel 21:1). One of the options David was given was an extra three years of famine which when added to the previous three years of famine plus the Sabbath year in which they were not allowed to plant adds up to a total of seven years. 1 Chronicles 21:12 gives the number of years due to David’s sin alone, whereas 2 Samuel 24:13 gives the total. Last I checked, 3+3+1=7.]

        etc… etc…

        [Dr. Lisle: People often try to point to alleged contradictions in the Bible as an excuse to reject its clear teaching. What they fail to realize is that without the clear teaching of Scripture, there would be no basis for saying that contradictions are always wrong. The law of non-contradiction stems from the nature of God as revealed in Scripture.]

        The point being, WHY pigeon-hole your belief like this when it’s clearly not required in the new covenant (this theme repeated numerous times by Paul).

        [Dr. Lisle: (1) Jesus did. He took Genesis as literal history, and the historical basis for Christian doctrine (e.g. Matthew 19:3-8). (2) The apostles did (e.g. Acts 17:24, 2 Corinthians 11:3). Paul did not have a cavalier attitude about following all of God’s commands even though it is not required for salvation (Romans 6:1-2,15). (3) The Bible tells us to (Deuteronomy 4:2, Matthew 5:19, 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16). (4) The Bible specifically teaches that it is not based on fiction (2 Peter 1:16) but on real history. (5) If you are unconcerned with obedience to all the Scriptures, then you are probably not saved (James 2:14,17,20, 1 John 2:3-4; 3:6-10).]

        You ask why the rest of the bible is important and given to us? Did it occur to you that it could be for a reason other than to take literally or as precise history?

        [Dr. Lisle: Since Jesus took the historical portions of Scripture (e.g. Genesis) as literal history (e.g. Matthew 19:4-8; 24:37-39, Mark 1:44; 7:10; 10:3; 12:26; Luke 5:14; 20:37; 24:27,44, John 3:14, 5:46; 7:19,22), how can I as a follower of Christ do anything less? It makes little sense to say “I’m a follower of Christ, but I totally disagree with His belief in the Old Testament as history!”]

        It’s the THEMES/CONTEXT that provide guidance and literary development going into the new testament.

        [Dr. Lisle: Truth cannot be based on fiction. If God did not get the details of history right, then how can we trust that He got the details of morality and salvation right? The morality the Bible teaches stems from its history. For example, it is wrong to murder because humans are made in the image of God as recorded in the true history of Genesis (Genesis 1:26-27).]

        They don’t have to be historically accurate to provide the big picture of entire point of Christ’s life, death, and atonement.

        [How can an incorrect history correctly account for the present? The Bible ties in the reality of Christ’s work on the cross to the historical fact of Adam’s original sin (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). If it is not literally true that death came into the world as a result of Adam’s sin (1 Corinthians 15:21), then is there any reason to believe that it is literally true that we will be resurrected as a result of Christ’s obedience?]

        I’m truly sorry for you and yours for treating your entire belief system as though it was a house of cards. For myself, pull any card other card out, it matters not. The only one that matters, I’ve already mentioned. Peace.

        [Dr. Lisle: Jesus taught very differently than you do. He taught that we should not subtract from even the least of the Scriptures (Matthew 5:19). Jesus taught that we should live by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4), not just the ones that you think are important. And when Jesus wanted to explain the cross, and salvation to His disciples, where did He begin? He started with the history recorded in the Old Testament (Luke 24:27). Jesus sharply rebuked those who reinterpreted the Scriptures to match present day opinions (Matthew 15:3-9). Jesus said that the person who does not act upon His Word is like a fool who builds his house upon sand (Matthew 7:24-27). The apostle Paul taught that ALL SCRIPTURE is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. The apostle John says that if we don’t care about obedience to God’s commandments, then we are not really saved at all (1 John 3:6-10, 2:29). So should we just believe John 3:16 and ignore/distort/disobey the rest of the Scriptures? The apostle John (1 John 2:6) says, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”]

        • Brian Forbes says:

          That was a good one! This is exactly why I follow your blog.

        • Micah says:

          Very good response Jason.

        • tim says:

          +++In observing someone pass judgement equating a difference of belief that was never specified by Jesus as essential for salvation to ignorance/distortion/disobedience you’ve received kudos. That’s actually a little sick (as is the accusation), but I forgive you.

          [Dr. Lisle: Again, you misrepresent me. But I forgive you. I have never claimed that anything beyond genuine faith in Christ is necessary for salvation. A passion for studying, defending, and obeying God’s Word in its entirety is not a prerequisite for salvation; rather it is a consequence of salvation. Thus, those who teach and act (consistently) contrary to the Word are not really saved, even if they profess to be (Romans 16:17-18, 1 John 1:6-7; 2:3-6; 3:6-10,14,24; 5:3).]

          {Ultimately, I believe you’re setting yourself up for failure by requiring belief in every word of the bible…

          [Dr. Lisle: Jesus says the opposite. He said that we should live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Not only every word, but every jot and tittle (a jot is the smallest Hebrew letter and a tittle is a small extension of a line) will not fail (Matthew 5:18). Jesus indicated that His Word was more sure and stable than the universe (Matthew 24:35). Jesus’s ultimate standard was the written Word of God as evidenced by His treatment of it as absolutely authoritative (e.g. Matthew 4:4,7,10; 11:10; 21:13; 26:24; 26:31). He indicates that anyone who does not base his thinking on God’s Word is setting himself up for failure (Matthew 7:24-27). So Christ’s attitude about the Word of God is quite different from yours.]}

          +++In contrast, His yoke is easy and His burden light (MATT 11:30).

          [Dr. Lisle: It isn’t a difficult burden to study God’s Word and obey Him, for His commandments are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). Thus, we should indeed live by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.]

          His salvation is a free ‘gift’ (EPH 2:8-9). Expecting absolute aquantance with and certainty in every jot at tittle is hardly consistent with such.

          [Dr. Lisle: The Lord knows that we will sometimes sin even after salvation, and He is faithful to forgive us. But He does expect us to live in accordance with His commandments (Matthew 4:4, John 14:15). And this necessarily includes the commandment to study God’s Word so that we can rightly interpret it (2 Timothy 2:15). Jesus obeyed perfectly every jot and tittle of the commandments of God (Hebrews 4:15), and He said that if we love Him we will keep His commandments (John 14:15). And we cannot obey God’s commandments if we interpret the Scriptures incorrectly. Thus, we must study God’s Word in its entirety if we are to obey Christ.]

          literally:

          [Dr. Lisle: Perhaps you missed my response to your other thread, but in fact we do not take the Bible literally, but literarily. We take history as literal of course, because that’s what history is. But we recognize that the Bible contains poetic sections, like the Psalms, and uses occasional figures of speech even in historical narrative. But we dare not use this as an excuse to reject the clear teaching of Scripture, as you seem to want to do.]}

          +++I did indeed miss your other post, and I hadn’t recognized your ‘literally’ vs. ‘literarily’ (which is actually the angle I’m coming from, though moreso than you and your followers, obviously). I’m happy to see that clear up.

          [Dr. Lisle: Okay. Though I suspect there may still be misunderstaning, which I infer by your use of “more so.” “Literarily” isn’t subject to gradation; you can’t take something more “literarily” than someone else. “Literarily” means we interpret according to the rules of that style of literature. This is something you either do, or you don’t do. For history, that would be literal, for poetry non-literal, for prophecy symbolism, and so on. It doesn’t mean that we interpret according to our wishes, or that we interpret history as symbolic, for example. Hopefully that is now clear.]

          {GEN 3:14 – Do you believe snakes literally eat dirt/dust?

          [Dr. Lisle: You should have recognized this phrase as a figure of speech indicating humiliation, as it is used that way in the Old Testament (e.g. Psalm 72:9, Micah 7:17, Isaiah 49:23). Interpreting the Bible literarily, there is no problem.]}

          +++I see, and I agree with interpreting this ‘literarily’ only. My qualm is that where you draw the line isn’t readily apparent.

          [Dr. Lisle: It’s not a question of a “line.” We interpret Scripture according to the rules for the type of literature under investigation. For history, that is literal, with allowances for figures of speech which are evident by their use elsewhere.]

          Whether God created the universe in 6 days

          [Dr. Lisle: He did (Exodus 20:11). Both Exodus and Genesis are written in historical narrative, and thus are to be interpreted literally if we are to interpret them literarily. The Scriptures are clear. But many people don’t want to believe this because it goes against secular tradition. Jesus had something to say about dismissing or reinterpreting God’s Word to fit with the traditions of the day (Matthew 15:3-9).]

          (like to a 1000 years – II PET 3:8 – This simile suggests the permisibility of literarily in this case, at least to me,

          [Dr. Lisle: No. 2 Peter 3:8 is not addressing the days of creation at all, rather it refers to the coming judgment as indicated by the next two verses. So to apply it as if it were speaking of Genesis would be to take the Scriptures out of context.]

          though I’m sure you’ll have some creative dismissal since it contravenes your belief system,

          [Dr. Lisle: It would violate the rules of literary interpretation to take a New Testament passage that refers to coming judgment, and use it to modify the meaning of an Old Testament passage about creation. That’s not proper hermeneutics. It’s distorting God’s Word, plain and simple (2 Peter 3:16).]

          and that’s fine, we don’t have to beat any more expired equine) or 6 minutes or 6 millenia.

          [Dr. Lisle: The text says six days – in fact this is the basis for our work week according to Exodus 20:8-11. So if it is not six days, then you’ll have to adjust your work week accordingly. I realize that many people don’t want to believe this Scriptural claim because it runs contrary to what they’ve been taught in secular schools. But there is no logical, hermeneutical basis for taking the text any other way than in six days. Indeed, most compromises undermine the Gospel (e.g. if fossils are millions of years old and came before man, then death is not the penalty for man’s sin; so why did Jesus die on the cross?). We can discuss if you want to.]

          My ‘line’ would simply be whether the belief itself is essential to salvation or not.

          [Dr. Lisle: It sounds to me like you feel that you have freedom to interpret Scriptures any way that you like so long as it is not essential to salvation. But this is diametrically contrary to everything that Christ taught in His earthly ministry (e.g. Matthew 4:4; 5:18-19; 7:24-27; 24:35).]

          Since neither Jesus nor Paul touched directly on the creation days issue (you can make all the indirect inferences you wish), I surmise it’s not essential for me to believe it was literally 6 rotations of our planet.

          [Dr. Lisle: (1) It’s not essential for salvation to believe in 6-days. I agree with you on that. But it is essential if you want to be right (Romans 3:4, Psalm 119:160), and if you want to live a life that is pleasing to God (Luke 6:46). If you really are saved, don’t you want to cherish, study, understand, and obey all of God’s Word? The person who wants to do the bare minimum to avoid hell, but has no desire to read or obey the rest of God’s Word is likely not genuinely saved (1 John 1:6-7; 2:3-6; 3:6-10).]

          [And (2) Jesus does directly state that creation took six days. Jesus is God, and it was God who directly wrote Exodus 20:11 with His own finger (Exodus 31:18). Furthermore, all Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16). The words of Jesus are not limited to the red letters.]

          {GEN 1 & 2 give different orders of creation. Only one can be correct if they’re taken literally.

          [Dr. Lisle: No. You haven’t done your homework on this issue. Genesis 2 does not give an order. In Hebrew, if no order is given, it is inappropriate to assume one based on when things are mentioned. Genesis 2 is a detailed account of the events of day 6.]
          +++It appears that your homework is as well lacking: Genesis 2 cannot be a detailed account of day 6 because portions revert prior to day 3 (GEN 1:11 – vegetation produced on day 3; GEN 2:5 – no shrubs/rain yet).

          [Dr. Lisle: Again, I would encourage you to read some of our literature on the topic before making such claims. No, only the garden was planted on day 6, and even that need not be so because Hebrew verbs do not have tense like English verbs. E.g. “God had planted a garden…” as the NIV renders it. Regarding Genesis 2:5, “shrub of the field” refers to cultivated plants. The original plants had not been cultivated, because there was no man to cultivate them – that’s the point of the verse. And likewise, no plant of the field had yet sprouted because the original plants were supernaturally created, not by sprouting from a seed. (Of course, this refutes the notion that plants had been sprouting for millions of years before man.) And there was no rain on day 6 – no problems there.]

          {II SAMUEL 24:13: So God came to David, and told him, and said unto him, shall SEVEN YEARS OF FAMINE come unto thee in thy land? or will thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee?

          vs.

          I CHRONICLES 21:11: So God came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee. Either THREE YEARS OF FAMINE or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee;

          [Dr. Lisle: {sigh} I read so many of these types of poorly-researched arguments, it really becomes tiresome. If you had studied this, you would find that there had already been three years of famine on account of Saul’s sin (2 Samuel 21:1). One of the options David was given was an extra three years of famine which when added to the previous three years of famine plus the Sabbath year in which they were not allowed to plant adds up to a total of seven years. 1 Chronicles 21:12 gives the number of years due to David’s sin alone, whereas 2 Samuel 24:13 gives the total. Last I checked, 3+3+1=7.]}

          +++If you read about which choice was ultmately made (i.e., 3 days of plague/pestilence), now we have 3 years of famine (plus your hypothetic 1 year sabbath included in the equation), PLUS the equivalent entirety of the ‘bill footed’ (this ends up more than ‘7’, in terms of the equivalencies initially laid out in the choice). Why would God vary the choice if part of the penalty had already been extracted? Even more concenrning, why would the punishment proceed the choice? Your answer, unlike your math, doesn’t fly.

          [Dr. Lisle: I guess you didn’t read my answer very carefully, or look up the verses. The 3 years of famine that had already happened were due to Saul’s sin (2 Samuel 21:1) not David’s. If David had chosen 3 more years of famine, then the total number of years of famine, including the Sabbath year (which is not “hypothetical” – Leviticus 25:4), would have been seven. Instead David chose 3 days of pestilence.]

          etc… etc…

          {[Dr. Lisle: People often try to point to alleged contradictions in the Bible as an excuse to reject its clear teaching. What they fail to realize is that without the clear teaching of Scripture, there would be no basis for saying that contradictions are always wrong. The law of non-contradiction stems from the nature of God as revealed in Scripture.]

          The point being, WHY pigeon-hole your belief like this when it’s clearly not required in the new covenant (this theme repeated numerous times by Paul).

          [Dr. Lisle: Study and proper interpretation of all of God’s Word may not be “required” for salvation, but that doesn’t mean it is not required to live a life that is pleasing to God (2 Timothy 2:15, Romans 6:1-2,15-16.) My answer below still applies.]

          [Dr. Lisle: (1) Jesus did. He took Genesis as literal history, and the historical basis for Christian doctrine (e.g. Matthew 19:3-8). (2) The apostles did (e.g. Acts 17:24, 2 Corinthians 11:3). Paul did not have a cavalier attitude about following all of God’s commands even though it is not required for salvation (Romans 6:1-2,15). (3) The Bible tells us to (Deuteronomy 4:2, Matthew 5:19, 2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16). (4) The Bible specifically teaches that it is not based on fiction (2 Peter 1:16) but on real history. (5) If you are unconcerned with obedience to all the Scriptures, then you are probably not saved (James 2:14,17,20, 1 John 2:3-4; 3:6-10).]}

          +++ I thought we were talking about belief, not obedience.

          [Dr. Lisle: Belief cannot be separated from obedience. Those who have genuine saving faith in Christ will want to obey God. Obedience is the lifestyle of saving faith. Jesus clearly indicated this in Matthew 19:17. See also 1 John 2:3-4.]

          I’m very confused as to where you obtain such attributions when you don’t even know me. It’s a very COC tactic: If someone doesn’t agree or believe the same as you, they must be disobedient.

          [Dr. Lisle: Again, you misrepresent me. I take you at your word when you say that a belief in John 3:16 is “the only one that matters.” My claim is that all Scripture matters (2 Timothy 3:16) and if someone disagrees with Christ, then they are disobedient. Christ said that man should live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God – a reference to the entirety of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:4). He said that we should keep His commandments (John 14:15; 15:10, Matthew 19:17), even the “least” commandments (Matthew 5:19). Thus, if someone claims that we need not be concerned with any portion of the Bible except John 3:16, then such a person is speaking contrary to Jesus, and is disobedient.]

          I’m guessing it’s an ad hominem fallacy you’re attempting to create? I’d prefer civility, but perhaps you’ve found this tactic effective because thereafter people are less inclined to continue discussing? I think mission accomplished! It’s obviously pointless to continue going around with you as your arguments and positions are so extensively presupposition-laden you can only ever attract like-minded followers or ‘haters’. I prefer to be neither, so carry on.

          [Dr. Lisle: Actually, what you have just attempted is an ad-hominem fallacy. But that’s okay. Let’s move on.]

          {You ask why the rest of the bible is important and given to us? Did it occur to you that it could be for a reason other than to take literally or as precise history?

          [Dr. Lisle: Since Jesus took the historical portions of Scripture (e.g. Genesis) as literal history (e.g. Matthew 19:4-8; 24:37-39, Mark 1:44; 7:10; 10:3; 12:26; Luke 5:14; 20:37; 24:27,44, John 3:14, 5:46; 7:19,22), how can I as a follower of Christ do anything less? It makes little sense to say “I’m a follower of Christ, but I totally disagree with His belief in the Old Testament as history!”]

          It’s the THEMES/CONTEXT that provide guidance and literary development going into the new testament.

          [Dr. Lisle: That doesn’t make sense. The historical sections of the Bible can only be a guide to us if they are historically true. Jesus took the Old Testament history as actual history and based His theology on it (e.g. Matthew 19:4-8). Suppose someone said, “We must juggle tomatoes every Thursday for a half hour in order to please God, because Jacob did this and God blessed him for it and then God commanded all believers to do this.” And when a person asks, “Is that historically true?” the first person responds, “No. But that doesn’t matter. It is the theme and context of the story that is important.”]

          [Dr. Lisle: Truth cannot be based on fiction. If God did not get the details of history right, then how can we trust that He got the details of morality and salvation right? The morality the Bible teaches stems from its history. For example, it is wrong to murder because humans are made in the image of God as recorded in the true history of Genesis (Genesis 1:26-27).]}

          +++”Truth cannot be based on fiction”. Absolutely incorrect, and you stretch the argument by suggesting such as some well-defined dichotomy. Truth can very much so have a basis in myth. An example: A native tribe in Indonesia has a legend of a great mystical bird that brings with it Fire from the mountains and the periodic shaking of the earth. Can you guess what truth their legend imparts (anyone with even a remote knowledge of the geology of the region can recognize)? I have little doubt that such a firebird exists in reality, but fortunately reality isn’t the only possible tool for learning.

          [Dr. Lisle: This doesn’t make any sense at all. If the native tribes of Indonesia have such a myth, then they are wrong about the cause of volcanism. Likewise, if Jesus thought that Adam and Eve are the basis for marriage, but if they never actually existed, then Jesus is wrong. Truth cannot be based in fiction; this is logically provable. All the authors of all the books of the Bible treat Genesis as real history, and the factual basis for Christian doctrines. If God didn’t get the historical details right in the historical narrative of the Scriptures, then how can we trust that He got the morality right in the moral parts of the Scriptures? Jesus said, “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12). Indeed, if God tells us about earth history and we reject it, how can we have confidence in what He says about heaven?]

          {They don’t have to be historically accurate to provide the big picture of entire point of Christ’s life, death, and atonement.

          [How can an incorrect history correctly account for the present? The Bible ties in the reality of Christ’s work on the cross to the historical fact of Adam’s original sin (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). If it is not literally true that death came into the world as a result of Adam’s sin (1 Corinthians 15:21), then is there any reason to believe that it is literally true that we will be resurrected as a result of Christ’s obedience?]

          +++Now it’s my turn to sigh: No one said anything about things being ‘incorrect’.

          [Dr. Lisle: You did when you wrote that “They don’t have to be historically accurate to provide…” When historical narrative is not historically accurate, it is incorrect – by definition. Accurate means correct or “free from error”.]

          Do you always put words into the mouths of those you disagree with (ad hominem again)? I guess it makes your arguments more appealing to your fans. As mentioned above, I was applying the ‘literarily’ concept, but now that seemingly has morphed into full-blown ‘incorrect’.

          [Dr. Lisle: “Literarily” means that we take history as literal. That is always the way history is to be taken with allowances for occasional obvious figures of speech. Poetry is non-literal; history is literal. No one picks up a book on American history and says, “I wonder what it really means when it says that ‘George Washington rode his horse into battle’? What does the horse symbolize? It is the theme that matters; no one believes this actually historically happened.” That would be absurd. It’s just as absurd to think, “Now what does Genesis really mean when it tells us what happened on each day of creation? And what does ‘day’ mean?”]

          {I’m truly sorry for you and yours for treating your entire belief system as though it was a house of cards. For myself, pull any card other card out, it matters not. The only one that matters, I’ve already mentioned. Peace.

          [Dr. Lisle: Jesus taught very differently than you do. He taught that we should not subtract from even the least of the Scriptures (Matthew 5:19). Jesus taught that we should live by EVERY WORD that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4), not just the ones that you think are important. And when Jesus wanted to explain the cross, and salvation to His disciples, where did He begin? He started with the history recorded in the Old Testament (Luke 24:27). Jesus sharply rebuked those who reinterpreted the Scriptures to match present day opinions (Matthew 15:3-9). Jesus said that the person who does not act upon His Word is like a fool who builds his house upon sand (Matthew 7:24-27). The apostle Paul taught that ALL SCRIPTURE is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. The apostle John says that if we don’t care about obedience to God’s commandments, then we are not really saved at all (1 John 3:6-10, 2:29). So should we just believe John 3:16 and ignore/distort/disobey the rest of the Scriptures? The apostle John (1 John 2:6) says, “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”]}

          +++I don’t claim to ‘teach’, we only have 1 Teacher (MATT 23:8).

          [Dr. Lisle: Then why are you trying to teach me something? We have one primary or ultimate teacher, but the Bible does authorize teachers other than Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:28, Ephesians 4:13, Acts 13:1, Hebrews 5:12). When you post your position publically, as on the internet, you are acting as a teacher whether you like it or not. So it is important that what you post is accurate, since God holds teachers accountable (James 3:1).]

          Just as you point to the ending of Revelation as applying only to that book (and I actually agree, but most literalists extend it’s application for ‘safety’), Pauls reference above is actually only to the Torah (the NT didn’t exist at the time of the statement).

          [Dr. Lisle: If you are referring to 2 Timothy 3:16, then no. Paul says that all Scripture is inspired by God, and that would necessarily include the New Testament as well, even though it was not completed at the time. In 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peter discusses the epistles that Paul wrote, and says that some people distort Paul’s teaching “as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” The “rest” of the Scriptures shows that Peter did consider Paul’s epistles to be Scripture. Paul did too. In 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul writes, “For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,’ and ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’” The first quote is from Deuteronomy 25:4, whereas the second it from Luke 10:7. So Paul considered both the Old Testament and the New Testament as Scripture.]

          However, profitable doesn’t equate to the necessity of believing that something requires being taken literally. One can obviously (at least to me) profit from the literary points in Genesis whether or not they’re scientifically valid.

          [Dr. Lisle: It’s not merely profitable in some generic sense, but profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness. History would not be profitable for such things if it were inaccurate.]

          Oh well, as mentioned above, I decline replying anymore, since I find the stooping to false attributions distasteful (but I guess you have to do what you have to do to maintain control; it is afterall your website).

          [Dr. Lisle: I believe I took you at your word. In any case, thank you for posting.]

          • taka no mi says:

            “People often try to point to alleged contradictions in the Bible as an excuse to reject its clear teaching. What they fail to realize is that without the clear teaching of Scripture, there would be no basis for saying that contradictions are always wrong. The law of non-contradiction stems from the nature of God as revealed in Scripture”
            but since there are contradictions in the bible and according to the bible contradictions are wrong and therefore according to your reasoning then the bible is wrong!

            [Dr. Lisle: There cannot be contradictions that the Bible affirms, because it is God-breathed and God cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). But (hypothetically) if the Bible were not true, what would be your reason for assuming that contradictions cannot be true?]

  7. Chris C says:

    Dr. Lisle, what are you thoughts on John 20:27 and John 14:11? they are always brought up by evidentialists.

    What I would say is that, in John 20:27 when Jesus says to Thomas, “stop doubting and believe,” that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘because you have seen and felt’, but rather “stop doubting and believe”…..’because it’s true…. and what you have seen and felt affirms that.’ Is that right or am I missing the point? I’m not sure how I would answer John 14:11.

    • Dr. Lisle says:

      Hi Chris,

      Thanks for that question. Sometimes evidentialists mischaracterize the presuppositional method as not using evidence. But this just isn’t the case. Presuppositionalists do affirm the use of evidence. The difference is in how we use the evidence. The presuppositionalist maintains that evidence can only be rightly understood (and thus knowledge is possible) because of Christian presuppositions. And so the Bible is the ultimate standard that tells us what the evidence means. This is something that God Himself has claimed (e.g. Proverbs 1:7, Romans 1:18-22, Colossians 2:3,8). And so our ultimate standard for all truth claims is ultimately God’s Word. And this includes the claims of Christ. The evidentialist approach would use another standard (not God’s Word) in an attempt to establish the truth of Christian claims.

      So how do we deal with John 14:11, where Jesus tells us to believe Him on account of the authority of the Father or else for the sake of the works themselves? The first part sounds very presuppositional, so no problem there; we ought to believe Jesus on the basis of the Father’s authority as revealed in Scripture. But the second part refers to believing by virtue of the works of Christ – this would be a reference to His miracles. Is this appealing to evidence? Yes. But in what way – an evidential way or a presuppositional way?

      Of course the answer is presuppositional. Jesus refers to His works as confirmation of His deity, not by some other standard, but by the standard of Scripture. It is God’s Word that teaches that the Messiah would bring sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf (Isaiah 29:18-19; 35:5), make the lame walk (Isaiah 35:6), preach the gospel to the poor and afflicted (Isaiah 61:1). And Jesus explains that His fulfilling of these Scriptural criteria is proof that He is the Messiah (Matthew 11:2-5). The Bible is Christ’s ultimate standard! So He defends Himself in a purely presuppositional way. God laid down the criteria in the Scriptures by which we could recognize the Messiah when He comes, and Jesus points out that He fulfills those Scriptural criteria.

      Apart from biblical authority, miracles would not prove Christ’s deity. They would just prove that He can do some really cool tricks. (And indeed, there were people who saw His miracles, and yet did not believe. They had not accepted the Scriptures, and so evidence didn’t convince them, see Luke 16:31). If Christ were arguing in an evidential fashion, then his argument would be fallacious. It would be “1. I can do miracles. 3. Therefore I am God.” But that doesn’t follow. A secularist might suppose that some people can do such things – it doesn’t make them divine. Only the presuppositional approach can supply the missing premise: “2. Only God can do these sorts of miracles – e.g. Psalm 146:8.” It is the Christian worldview that teaches that God is the one who makes the lame to walk, and opens the eyes of the blind (Psalm 146:8). God makes the seeing eye and the hearing ear (Proverbs 20:12). And so when Jesus appeals to His works as evidence, He does so in the context of biblical authority. Christ’s argument is only valid in a presuppositional approach, since premise 2 is based on biblical authority.

      Regarding John 20:27, Thomas is definitely using a quasi-evidential approach, because he decided that he would not accept the Scriptural teaching of the resurrection (Mark 9:31), unless Jesus physically appeared to him and Thomas was able to touch Him (John 20:25). Thomas wanted physical evidence and he wanted it on his own terms. The really interesting thing is this: Jesus seems to acquiesce to Thomas’s standard. He does appear physically and encourages Thomas to see and touch Him, and He also commands Thomas to relinquish his disbelief, and start believing. And of course, Thomas does believe. Is Jesus endorsing Thomas’s evidential approach? I would argue that instead this is an example of the graciousness of our Lord. My reason for concluding this comes from Christ’s response.

      John 20:29 ‘Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”’ Jesus is (gently) rebuking Thomas. The implication of the verse is the Thomas missed out on a blessing of God because he demanded that God appear on His terms, rather than accepting God’s Word. It seems to me that if Jesus were endorsing evidentialism, He would have commended Thomas, rather than rebuking him: “Good for you Thomas! You didn’t just believe on the basis of my Word; you waited for physical evidence on your own terms, which I am all too happy to provide. Blessed are those who wait to believe until they have seen!” – If you’ll permit my heretical hypothetical.

      I hope this helps.

      • Brian Forbes says:

        This is my major problem with the bulk of the Creation Science movement. It’s true because the Bible says so. No! It’s true because it’s true, and the Bible says so is darn good evidence we can use to support our faith. And it is faith, of course, that makes it possible to please God. (Heb. 11:6)

        [Dr. Lisle: Hi Brian. I’m not exactly sure what you mean here. I think that “because the Bible says so” is actually a really great reason to believe something – the best reason really. It’s tempting for us to think that truth exists independently of God, and God happens to know everything that is true and only tells the truth by His choice. But the Bible teaches something quite different. Jesus says that He is the way, the truth, and the life. It’s not just that God tells the truth (though He does of course), but He IS the truth. God’s mind determines what is true. And since the Bible is God’s Word, it is necessarily true (John 17:17). I totally agree that the Bible is good evidence we can use to support our faith – indeed the best evidence. And without faith it is impossible to please God. Quite right.]

        So here’s the trouble. Not all of scriptural prophesy is fulfilled. Some is yet to come. How do you know, without using scriptural revelation, that the prophesy is being fulfilled. You’re using new evidence. You’re thinking about it. Did those who were watching the Red Sea divide look to Scripture to determine if it was an act of God? We can have faith in other things too, beside Scripture.

        [Dr. Lisle: I think I might understand what you’re getting at here. Yes, we can have faith in things other than Scripture (as long as they are not contrary to Scripture); yes, we can use sensory experience to see how prophesy is fulfilled; yes, we can use evidence outside the Scriptures to learn things (and we are supposed to). My position is that the Bible is (or at least it should be) our ultimate standard. I consider other standards to be secondary, and would relinquish any if I found them to be contrary to Scripture. And, it is the Christian worldview (as articulated in Scripture) that gives us the rational justification for secondary standards. As one example, I do believe that my senses are basically reliable – I have faith in them. But that faith is well placed since God made my senses (Proverbs 20:12).]

        [So yes, the Hebrews could have known that the parting of the Red Sea was divine even though the event had not yet been recorded in Scripture. They already had some revelation from God, and therefore they could recognize His hand. I think that we have a great advantage today, because we have the complete Bible.]

        I can’t give you any examples of this from scripture, because then you’d turn around and claim it’s scripture! If you turned that around, almost every story in scripture is proof of my point when you realize it wasn’t written down yet.

        [Dr. Lisle: I understand. My position is that revelation from God is what makes knowledge possible, and people have had some revelation from God from the very beginning. God talked with Adam. So knowledge has always been possible. We have a great advantage today because we have much more revelation than the Hebrews had in their time.]

        And, of course, your faith should be logical, even if it doesn’t stem from complete or perfect knowledge.

        [I agree with that too, at least for faith in a generic sense (belief in something not observable with the senses). I am okay with believing in many things for probabilistic rather than conclusive reasons. However, I don’t take the Scriptures as merely probably true. For one, this would mean that the Scriptures are not my ultimate standard, since I would need a greater standard by which to evaluate the likelihood that the Scriptures are true. More importantly, the Bible states in so many places and ways that our knowledge of God is certain, not merely likely (e.g. Acts 2:36, Genesis 15:13, Exodus 3:12, Leviticus 5:19, Daniel 2:45). And Jesus treated the Scriptures as absolutely authoritative: “It is written” (e.g. Matthew 4:4) settled the argument conclusively as far as He was concerned.]

        I believe what I just said whether it’s true or not. Kinda makes it hard to refute my position, I know. The prophets, apostles, and even Jesus, they were all logical. I can supply evidence of that if you don’t believe me.

        [Dr. Lisle: Oh, I agree completely. God is perfectly logical, because logic is the name we give to how God thinks about things. Jesus, as God, is perfectly logical, as are the apostles (at least when writing under divine inspiration. ]

        But this is the disconnect between those who are good at math (you), and those who like to read parables (me), and those in-between. We simply think differently.

        [Dr. Lisle: No problem with having different preferences (though actually I like to read parables too). Both of us (and all Christians) should strive to align our thinking with Christ (Romans 12:2, Colossians 2:8) and take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

        I don’t have to have a absolutely solid basis for everything I believe. If you have a solid basis for everything you accept, faith is no longer.

        [Dr. Lisle: We need not have certainty about many beliefs – such as the belief that it will probably rain tomorrow. We should have a reason though. But I suggest that we can and should have certainty about the Bible, since the Bible teaches this (e.g. Acts 2:36, 1 John 5:13). Be careful not to buy into the secular mis-definition of faith as “belief without evidence or without proof.” This isn’t biblical faith. Biblical faith involves evidence and confidence because it is based in the certain truth of God’s Word (e.g. Hebrews 11:1, 1 John 5:13). Biblical faith is not contrary to proof; rather it is the prerequisite for proof.]

        • Brian Forbes says:

          I think we agree on most of that then. But I felt like there was a conflict as I read your response to Chris C. It may be in the idea that the Bible is the ultimate standard. If there was a contradiction, for instance, in one of the books of the Bible, what could you do? Would you toss out the Law of Non-contradiction? No. More likely, you’d toss out the passage that had the conflict. It would be attributed to a scribal error, or a section added by zealots at a later time. You would blame your own ability to reason. You could toss out the whole book. Of course this is hypothetical, and I don’t believe there is a contradiction in scripture, but if there were, I would trust the Law of Non-contradiction over the scriptures. And I think it’s ok, because that law is in line with God’s nature.

          Here’s another hypothetical to drive the point home (or to 2nd base). Say you were in your living room one day, and you had a heart attack. You were drawn to heaven, and you saw things that were inexpressible. The sensory input of that experience was more vivid and more memorable than you have here on earth. You have revelation there that the book of Jude, say, is not perfectly correct, and that the popular Christian stance on homosexuality is wrong. The EMTs bring you back. Are you going to trust that experience as God’s revelation to you personally? This scenario isn’t so far fetched, as I’ve seen people make these sorts of claims before. I understand that hearing the story from the guy that had the experience wouldn’t be half (a tenth) as convincing as if you had had it yourself, but I wager 99% of the Christians in the world would accept their personal revelation over the councils and canons that brought us what we have in our bibles today. Some of the reformers were very loose with what books they held to be inspired. There are some books that, though maybe not inerrant are very powerful texts. The Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache come to mind. But that’s opening a can of worms… or a Diet of Worms. Yum! (See what I did there?!)

          So, I’m not sure just how true your position is to you… or anyone, really. We have to take everything on faith. And that’s what I fall back on. I trust God, not because He is trustworthy, but because I’ve chosen to trust that He is trustworthy. It’s my choice that makes me who I am, not my ability to reason. (That quote was from Harry Potter – another non-biblical text with much wisdom — and a little folly. I hope you’ll forgive me.)

      • Chris C says:

        Very helpful. That was a great reply. Thanks!

  8. Norm says:

    If we can trust our senses because God gave them to us, how do we know he’s being honest?

    [Dr. Lisle: We know God is honest from the impossibility of the contrary. If God were not honest, we couldn’t know anything at all. Thus, you would not even be able to post on my blog.]

    How do we know that God is the good one and the devil is the evil one?

    [Dr. Lisle: It is analytically true (true by definition) that God is good. Good is defined as that which corresponds to God’s will. Any alternative definition leads to absurdity.]

    Maybe he’s just more powerful and is able to put a plug in our hearts to tell us that he’s the good one.

    [Dr. Lisle: He is all-powerful, and He has given us a conscience to know right from wrong. But apart from Him, right and wrong, good and bad would be meaningless.]

    How can we tell the difference between being schizophrenic and hearing God?

    [Dr. Lisle: What God reveals to people will be (1) consistent with previous revelation (2 Timothy 2:13, Romans 16:17, Galatians 1:8-9), (2) logically self-consistent (2 Timothy 2:13) and (3) will always come to pass (Deuteronomy 18:22, Isaiah 46:9-10).]

    How do I know God is the one speaking to me?
    [Dr. Lisle: Same answer as previous.]

    How do I know I’m interpreting God correctly?
    [Dr. Lisle: Same answer as previous.]

    How can God know he knows everything?
    [Dr. Lisle: It is logically inescapable; any being who knows everything must necessarily know that he knows everything; otherwise it would be something that he doesn’t know, in which case he doesn’t know everything, which would be contradictory. In the Christian worldview, truth is defined as that which corresponds to the mind of God. Thus, whatever God thinks must necessarily be true, and therefore God has all knowledge since whatever God thinks is what God thinks (Colossians 2:3).]

    Saying that I know my senses are reliable because they are made by God doesn’t seem to have helped me get around the problem secularists (and all philosophers) have of possibly being wrong/deluded, or being just a brain in a vat.

    [Dr. Lisle: Merely saying that “I know my senses… are made by God” indeed doesn’t help you. But knowing that your senses are made by God and are thus reliable, would help you tremendously. It would give you a rational basis for being able to rely on your senses to learn other facts about the observable universe.]

    It has added a whole slew of other questions that seem unanswerable.
    [Dr. Lisle: Yes, questions of this sort are unanswerable apart from the Christian worldview. This is something the Bible itself teaches in many ways (Romans 1:18-22, Proverbs 1:7, Colossians 2:3,8). You can either accept the Christian faith and have genuine knowledge, or reject it and be reduced to absurdity. (Proverbs 1:7)]

    It doesnt matter if I believe that I’m a fallen mortal interpreting a spirit connected to divine cosmic truth or a biological machine using evolved senses and the scientific method to get as close to an objective reality as I can.
    [Dr. Lisle: Actually, it matters quite a lot. If the Christian worldview is true, then you have good reasons to trust that your senses are basically reliable, that your mind has the capacity to be rational, that the universe obeys logical orderly laws that don’t arbitrarily change with time or space, that the human mind can probe the universe through human senses to discover such laws (which is what science is all about), that there are universal, invariant laws of logic, laws of morality, etc. In other words, you can have knowledge, science, morality, human dignity and freedom. If on the other hand you are merely an evolved bag of chemicals in a chance universe, then there is no rational reason to believe any of the above, and knowledge would be impossible.]

    But if my beliefs are corroborated, consistent, verifiable, repeatable, demonstrable and coherent with one another;
    [Dr. Lisle: This presupposes the Christian worldview. The notion that truth will be self-consistent and self-coherent is because God doesn’t deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13) and all truth is in God (Colossians 2:3). The notion that corroboration leads to truth is based on Scriptural principles as well (Matthew 18:16). The notion that the universe will act in repeatable ways is justified only by God’s promise to uphold it that way (Genesis 8:22). The notion that we can verify and demonstrate truth claims by use of our mental facilities makes perfect sense if we are made in the image of God. But none of these things would make any sense in a chance universe where we are just chemical accidents. Again, apart from the biblical God, knowledge would be impossible.]

    I can create a sense of predictive probability that will enable me to get up in the morning and tie my shoes.
    [Dr. Lisle: Not apart from biblical presuppositions you can’t. Predictive probability presupposes an underlying uniformity in nature, such that we can rely on past experience as an indicator of what will probably happen in the future. But this is only rationally justified in the Christian worldview, where God has promised to uphold the future like the past (Genesis 8:22). Hume pointed out that such uniformity cannot be justified in the secular worldview. Therefore, the fact that you can tie your shoes is actually proof of the Christian worldview.]

    And it wont be merely an opinion any more than it’s opinion that the earth revolves around the sun, because I can show it, I can demonstrate it. I can do this secularly regardless of believing in God or not.

    [Dr. Lisle: No, apart from God you have no rational reason to think that future experiences will probably be like past experiences. Nor would you have any reason to suppose that your sensory perceptions are reliable, or that your mind has the capacity to be rational. See my conversation with Tony on this site for examples of this. Apart from God, you can’t really know that your thoughts are nothing but some chemical reactions taking place in a mud puddle on some planet. In such a case, you really couldn’t demonstrate anything at all.]

    • Antichus "Tony" says:

      “Nor would you have any reason to suppose that your sensory perceptions are reliable, or that your mind has the capacity to be rational. See my conversation with Tony on this site for examples of this”
      remember what i told you about axioms? i guess not

      [Dr. Lisle: Remember how I responded? I guess not. You still haven’t provided any rational reason on your own worldview to know that you are not a mud puddle.]

      • Tony says:

        And I’ve told you they are axiomatic it it seems you just cannot understand that

        [Dr. Lisle: Axioms are normally considered to be unprovable. As such, they can be wrong. So my question for you is really very simple: “How do you know that your axioms are true?” In your worldview, thoughts are just complex chemical reactions in the brain. There are all sorts of complex chemical reactions in the universe. So, we can easily imagine a mud puddle on some distant planet having chemical reactions similar to your brain that it interprets as “thoughts” and “perceptions.” It may even think that it is having a blog discussion with me. And when I ask it how it knows that its thoughts and perceptions are reliable, it reasons (and thinks that it is responding by typing) that “It is axiomatically true that my thoughts and perceptions are reliable.” But of course, that wouldn’t make it so. So my question for you is this: How (on your worldview) do you know that you are not that mud puddle?]

      • Tony says:

        Like I said you just can’t seem to understand the argument,you just want to run around in circles because it’s the only way you can possibly defend your untainable ideas

        [Dr. Lisle: The irony of course is that you continue to steal intellectual capital from the Christian worldview in order to justify your own. You assume that your senses and thoughts are reliable – as if they were designed by God. You assume that the universe will behave in an orderly and predictable way – as if upheld by the mind of God. You assume that humans have intrinsic value when you argue that their survival is morally commendable – as if people were made in the image of God and not merely chemical accidents. You assume that laws of logic are universal, invariant, exception-less entities that human beings can access to help understand what is true, as if such laws were reflections of God’s perfectly sovereign nature. But none of these things would make any sense at all in your worldview. And when I ask you to account for them in your worldview, you just cannot give a good self-consistent answer that makes any sense. You have even tried inventing your own gods to account for such things. Tony, your position is simply rationally untenable.]

        • Tony says:

          ” You have even tried inventing your own gods to account for such things.”
          you don’t even understand that argument didn’t you?

          [Dr. Lisle: Tony, with respect, if you had understood my argument, you would not have responded by creating a fictional god and then claiming that appealing to your fiction has the same logical cogency as me appealing to reality. The preconditions of intelligibility are justified in the Christian worldview, and no other.]

          “The irony of course is that you continue to steal intellectual capital from the Christian worldview in order to justify your own”
          Again you dont understand any of my arguments nothing in evolution is an accident,

          [Dr. Lisle: According to the dictionary, an accident is “any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.” Now, in your view everything in the universe that happened before people is necessary an accident by definition, because it happened without a deliberate plan or cause. You cannot have a planned universe apart from a Creator who deliberately planned it.]

          logic is just the nature of reality,

          [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that? You assert things without any justification. How can you know that laws of logic are universal, invariant, or exception-less? We’ve been through this before. Only Christianity can justify the properties of laws of logic.]

          and it is not invariant as demonstrated by quantum physics,

          [Dr. Lisle: Evidence? I already showed that this is not the case. By the way, “invariant” means that it doesn’t change with time. I think you meant “universal.” And even that is false because quantum physics doesn’t violate any laws of logic. Think about it: if quantum physics does violate laws of logic then it doesn’t. It would be impossible to learn anything about quantum physics if it were not consonant with laws of logic.]

          and the universe is orderly because that’s its nature to be orderly its a brute fact,

          [Dr. Lisle: Perhaps so. But how do you know that? You just asserted it without evidence. If you say “I know by experience” then I must point out that your experiences are extremely limited. Thus, you would have no reason to expect that unexperienced regions of the universe are orderly. Furthermore, you would have no reason to expect that in the future the universe will be orderly, because neither you nor anyone else has experienced the future. So your assumption is unjustified apart from the Christian worldview.]

          our senses are reliable because we need them to survive in the environments humans live on

          [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that humans need reliable senses in order to survive? Surely you won’t argue that you have observed this with your senses, for that answer assumes as a premise that your senses are reliable – the very thing I am asking you to prove. Do you have a non-circular reason to believe in reliability of the senses? So far you haven’t provided any.]

          • Tony says:

            oh and you continue to beg the question over and over

            [Dr. Lisle: How so? You have asserted this, but you haven’t (as yet) demonstrated it. You seem to start with the assumption that I’m begging the question, and then use this to conclude that I’m begging the question, which means ironically that you are begging the question, in arbitrarily assuming what you are attempting to prove. Is begging the question always wrong in your worldview (and how would you know)?]

          • Micah says:

            >logic is just the nature of reality, and it is not invariant as demonstrated by quantum physics

            You are just proving that you haven’t even been reading Jason’s replies, or are just ignoring the parts you cant refute. Jason already explained how quantum physics does not violate the laws of logic.

            • Tony says:

              i cant read them all

              [Dr. Lisle: If you are not reading my replies, then you really shouldn’t be posting responses. It is irrational to attempt to refute an argument that you haven’t even read!]

              and they do i even asked a few other Christians and they admitted it and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAWSn9mB10A&list=PL515BB2B62E8AAAE3

              [Dr. Lisle: This is a faulty appeal fallacy. If you want to debate quantum physics with me, I would be happy to do so. But you will have to make an actual argument, and not just appeal to what others have claimed.]

    • Antichus "Tony" says:

      “But apart from Him, right and wrong, good and bad would be meaningless.”
      People like you really don’t get it, do they? They don’t oppose slavery because it’s horrific for the people enslaved – no, they oppose it because God (so they think) tells them to.

      [Dr. Lisle: Tony, you are not thinking this through. Why are the things you consider to be horrific, actually morally wrong? On your worldview it makes no sense at all to say that murder is wrong. You can say that you don’t emotionally like it. You can say it is displeasing to you. You can say it reduces the survival value (of the victim). But if people are just chemical accidents then none of these are logical reasons to call it “wrong!” It would just be the outworking of chemistry. Just because you don’t emotionally like something doesn’t make it morally wrong. I don’t particularly like it when people put anchovies on a pizza. But does that make such actions immoral?]

      It is possible to monitor the effects of one’s actions and learn by trial and error, or just by observation, what is beneficial and what is not. That is a fairly objective standard.

      [Dr. Lisle: Hitler would have agreed with your view. He felt that Jews were a problem and that their absence would tremendously benefit society. And he learned very quickly by trial and error and observation that when he executed the Jews, the problem was reduced, and society was benefited and came closer to his vision of what it should be. Now by your reasoning Tony, what Hitler did was morally right. Anyone can observe that Hitler’s actions benefited society in exactly the way that he deduced that they would. Hopefully you now see that what is “beneficial” is not the objective standard that you had claimed.]

      Morality, like everything else, evolved. It is innate.

      [Dr. Lisle: If it evolved, then there is no reason to follow it. In your view, my stomach evolved too. So should I use my indigestion to tell me right and wrong? In your view, everything in the universe has “evolved.” Why trust what the mind says if the mind is just a chemical accident, as opposed to some other chemical accident – like an oil spill? Moreover, different people evolved a bit differently. Thus, in your view, different people should have somewhat different moral codes. So if I murdered somebody, how could you say that I’m wrong? I could say, “Maybe that’s wrong for you and the way your moral code evolved. But according to my moral code, it’s perfectly fine for me to murder people. In fact, it is morally commendable.” How could you respond?]

      ” If on the other hand you are merely an evolved bag of chemicals in a chance universe, then there is no rational reason to believe any of the above, and knowledge would be impossible”
      ” Again, apart from the biblical God, knowledge would be impossible.”
      Every time I hear this particular line, the more trashy and bullying it sounds. It is like a childish attempt at a mind game except its too dumb to be even considered one

      [Dr. Lisle: I suggest the reason you feel that way is because you have no rebuttal to the claim. And despite many attempts you have not been able to come up with a rational alternative. I could see how that would be frustrating, and how it would be tempting to simply dismiss an argument you can’t refute by calling it childish. Nonetheless, from a rational perspective, only the Christian worldview makes knowledge possible. We have seen this demonstrated in the very dialog that you and I have had. I don’t mean that in a personal or disparaging way. I have very much enjoyed our conversion. But you have demonstrated the Christian claim by your own claims. The latest of these is that you take reliability of the mind and senses as an axiom – which is unprovable and therefore could be totally wrong. And if that’s wrong, then all the other things you think you know are also potentially wrong, or at least you don’t know that they are true. And if you don’t know anything at all, then that demonstrates the claim I made at the start (Proverbs 1:9).]

      • Robert says:

        Tony, by your standard, it would seem that slavery is beneficial for those not enslaved (the owners) and therefore would be good. That is what personal standards based on ones good would lead to.

      • Tony says:

        I gave you SEVERAL rebuttals and refuted it several times

        [Dr. Lisle: Where? So far, all you’ve been able to say is that you accept your beliefs as an axiom, which is unprovable. Basically, this is an admission that you have blind faith.]

        its YOU who cant realize the arguments been refuted many times it is childish because you can realize how bad it is ,and also I told you this axiom CANNOT be wrong!

        [Dr. Lisle: Of course axioms can be wrong. Axioms are unprovable, and sometimes they end up being refuted. A mud puddle might think that it has the ability to reason rationally, and it might accept that as an axiom. But that wouldn’t make it true. How do you know (on your worldview) that you are not a mud puddle? Can you answer that without begging the question, or without appealing to Christian principles?]

        • Tony says:

          this axiom is true because of the impossibility to the contrary,

          [Dr. Lisle: No, it is not impossible for a mud puddle to be wrong in thinking that it has reliable senses. If mud puddles do think that they have reliable senses, then they are definitely wrong. So the contrary of reliable senses is certainly possible if you are a mud puddle. How do you know that your aren’t?]

          if it is wrong we cannot have proof

          [Dr. Lisle: Yes – and how do you know that isn’t the case? How do you know that everything you think you know isn’t wrong? How do you know that your thoughts are not merely chemical reactions taking place in a mud puddle?]

          and a mud puddle cannot think

          [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that? In your worldview, thoughts are just electrochemical reactions. And mud puddles do experience electrochemical reactions. How is that any different from “thoughts” in your worldview?]

          and it doesn’t matter,

          [Dr. Lisle: It matters a lot! If your senses are not reliable, but are merely chemical reactions taking place in a mud puddle, then you couldn’t know anything about the universe! That’s pretty important I’d say.]

          i don’t care if they can because and it doesnt matter as well

          [Dr. Lisle: It matters a lot. If you are made in God’s image, and have been created with reliable senses and a rational mind, then you can learn and understand things about the universe. If on the other hand your “thoughts” are just chemical reactions taking place in a mud puddle, then everything you think you know is likely wrong.]

      • Tony says:

        Again you fail to understand the idea of morality from innate evolution

        [Dr. Lisle: Evolution is a (bad) attempt to explain what is; it cannot explain what should be. Hence, evolution cannot account for morality. Don’t confuse morality with behavior.]

        • Tony says:

          yes it can evolution has programed in just how we should behave,

          [Dr. Lisle: First, this presupposes that evolution is true, which it isn’t. Second, it makes no sense: how can random mutations and selection of the favorable ones lead to knowledge of what “should be”? How does what “should be” make any sense in a chance universe, and who decides?]

          if you think that envovles “killing the weak” then you cannot see the bigger picture

          [Dr. Lisle: Evolution is supposed to work by those organisms with favorable variations out-competing those that don’t have such variations. If the weaker organisms (with traits less favorable to survival) do not die, then evolution cannot work even in principle.]

      • Take no mi says:

        No incase you haven’t realized what hitler did wasn’t good because it wasn’t beneficial

        [Dr. Lisle: Hitler argued that it was indeed beneficial! He eliminated those people that were (in his view) inferior, thus improving the stock of humanity. In your worldview, how can you call that morally wrong?]

        • Micah says:

          So moral is defined by what is beneficial? Who decides what is beneficial or not? If ‘beneficial’ is defined by what increases survival value, then, eliminating people with extreme defects and bad genes would be ‘beneficial’ and therefore moral.

          I still haven’t seen you or Tony give a good response to Jason. Why, in an evolutionary universe, is it immoral to kill? I keep hearing that what is ‘beneficial’ or what ‘increases survival value’ should be considered that standard for what is right. But this leads to ridiculous results.
          First, if ‘beneficial’ is what determines morality, then that means it is moral for me to eliminate all other males on the planet. That way i would be the only one who could reproduce and my genes would live on and on. It benefits me, so it is therefore moral.
          Second, if ‘survival value’ is what determines morality, then that means it is moral for me to steal as much money as i possibly can if i can get away with it. After all, money greatly increases ones survival value.

          With that i dont see how ‘beneficial’ or ‘survival value’ can be considered the basis for what is moral, so i am still left wondering how the evolutionist can account for an objective moral code.

          • Tony says:

            Now i now you or Dr.Lisle will NEVER agree with me and you and him will come up with a really bizarre response to this just like to most of mine responses, that doesn’t really answer the question or is a non-sequitor, and as well i wouldn’t call it an “absolute” morality but one that “evolves” and gets better and better over time

            [Dr. Lisle: That will lead to absurd results. If morality evolves, then it changes with time. If it changes with time, then it might be okay to rape people next Thursday, even if it is wrong today. For that matter, if people are just the result of evolution, then it stands to reason that some are more evolved than others. Therefore, different people would have different moralities. You couldn’t condemn murder as wrong, because the murderer might have a more evolved morality that yours – a morality that you cannot as yet apprehend.]

            One of humanities evolutionary adaptations which have helped us to survive and thrive is our ability to work together in groups. It is very unlikely that you would be able to find a person who is completely self-sufficient. Everything we have in our society, we have because we are able to work together. Because humans are complex creatures, we need rules to help us deal with the complexities of cooperative living. This is the beginning of morality.

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, morality is about “what should be,” not “what is.” You are trying to explain why people do behave in a particular way (because it benefited their survival in the past). But that doesn’t explain why we should continue to behave that way today. First, you are arguing that “right” is what achieves a particular end – in this case, the survival of the most people. But that presupposes that such an end is itself morally commendable. In a Christian worldview, yes, people have innate value to God and are worth saving. But in an evolutionary worldview, how would maximizing the survival of a bunch of chemical accidents be morally commendable? Is it also morally commendable to maximize the chemical reactions taking place in a car engine? Should we try and create as many internal combustion engines as possible since this is morally right? So you are stealing from the Christian worldview when you presume that people have innate value.]

            [Second, even if I grant that people have intrinsic worth (which makes no sense on your system), it would still lead to absurd results. If maximizing the survival of people is what determines morally right, then we should outlaw all extreme sports (sky-diving, car-racing, etc.) since these sometimes result in fatalities. In fact, if you really believed that maximizing human survival was what determines “right” then you would want to restrict as much human freedom as possible in order to accomplish this, e.g. along the lines of the robots in “I Robot.” It would be against the law to not have children. etc.]

            The social contract is a tacit agreement between everyone in the community to help us work together. While this social contract is great at first glance, it is not sufficient. What happens when those who make the social contract do so to favor their own interests rather than the interests of those with less power?

            [Dr. Lisle: Answer: evolution. The strong survive and the weak perish, and humanity leaps forward in evolution. Hence evolution is contrary to your opinion of right. So how can it be the foundation for what is right?]

            Enter the concepts of fairness and justice.

            [Dr. Lisle: These concepts are meaningless in an evolutionary universe. The strong dominate the weak. That’s how evolution allegedly progresses. The concepts of fairness and justice are the opposite. Why should the weak be protected from the strong (in an evolutionary universe)? Of course, fairness and justice are Christian concepts. So again, you are stealing from the Christian worldview.]

            These concepts arise out of our sense of empathy and compassion. We have evolved to the point where we can imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s situation. We wouldn’t want to be treated unfairly ourselves, so when someone else is being treated unfairly, we generally feel compassion toward them.

            [Dr. Lisle: From an evolutionary perspective, that makes no sense. The organism most likely to survive is that which makes its own survival a priority at the expense of all others. Empathy and compassion are Christian concepts based on the inherent value of people made in God’s image. In an evolutionary universe, group efforts would only be honored as long as they are of benefit to all parties. Once they cease to be, there is no logical reason to expect the strong not to dominate the weak.]

            When rules are unfair,

            [Dr. Lisle: Tony, “unfair” has no meaning in a chance universe. Some people are faster, stronger, smarter than others. Why should the more/better evolved (in your view) not dominate the less evolved? Your position on morality seems contrary to your belief in evolution.]

            the people who are treated unfairly tend to feel resentment and that resentment isn’t helpful to society as a whole. It goes without saying that it isn’t helpful for the individuals either.

            [Dr. Lisle: Why in your worldview shouldn’t the strong simply eliminate the weak along with their feelings of resentment? By eliminating the weak and genetically inferior, would that help drive evolution forward? Your view of morality does not comport with your view on origins.]

            It is important to note that morality doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If there were no sentient creature (or only one) then there would be no need for morality. While to some extent it can be argued morality is a human construct, it would not be accurate to claim that morality is made-up out of whole cloth at our relativistic whim.
            Morality is simply our understanding of cause and effect coupled with our desire for the wellbeing of society and individuals in society. Those desires are born out of our sense of empathy and compassion for others. No deities involved.

            [Dr. Lisle: If that were true, then morality reduces to human desire and feelings – what most people want. But that leads to absurd results. Suppose that most people on earth just didn’t like anyone named “Steve.” The mere existence of “Steves” on this earth disrupts their well-being, and people strongly desire an earth with no Steves. Now on your worldview, the “right” thing to do would be to kill anyone named “Steve.” This is based simply on our understanding of cause and effect coupled with our desire for the well being of society and individuals in society. Indeed, Hitler could easily justify his actions based on your view of morality. Yet, I suspect you don’t really believe that.]

            • Robert says:

              I just read a movie review that describes exactly what you mean. Very pro-evolution up until the end. http://www.pluggedin.com/movies/intheaters/purge.aspx
              I now understand better what you are trying to describe.

              • Tony says:

                NO you do not! You don’t understand ANYTHING I said

                • Robert says:

                  As you like to say, you obviously do not understand evolution.

                  • Tony says:

                    You clearly don’t understand anything I wrote! You just hate so much what I wrote because I refuted what all you people believe you are just making these non seneical comments!

                    • Robert says:

                      I do understand what you wrote and it makes no sense if you actually believe in evolution. It has been shown why in several locations in this blog. You should really look into what you believe because you keep making the same flawed argument over, and over, and over, and over …. Are you hoping that your argument will naturally evolve into something logical through coping errors?

                    • Tony says:

                      Again what you wrote shows extremely compartalmemtalized thinking that you are unable to see the big picture and its you that is the flawed one-you can’t see how that the argument isn’t flawed

                    • Robert says:

                      Tony, you saying that I am flawed and/ or mentally hindered is not showing empathy or compassion for me. Have you no “morals”??? By disagreeing with me (lack of empathy, resentment, etc) you show that that is indeed the case. Are you trying to bring down society?

              • Tony says:

                This just shows Robert you have severely comparmentalized thinking and that you also have problems with the part of your brain that is in charge if empathy, I am rather scared for your and you really need to see a mental doctor

            • Micah says:

              >Now i now you or Dr.Lisle will NEVER agree with me and you and him will come up with a really bizarre response to this just like to most of mine responses, that doesn’t really answer the question or is a non-sequitor

              …And the irony rings throughout the blog into all our ears.

              >and as well i wouldn’t call it an “absolute” morality but one that “evolves” and gets better and better over time

              How does a ”what should be” evolve? If its because it evolved alongside our brains then we are again faced with an absurd results. Namely, who’s ‘what should be’ is the correct one? People all over the world have different views about what should be, why does any one persons view of what should be outweigh another? If its because the majority believe a certain view to be true then that only shifts the opinion of 1 person to a majority and still doesn’t solve the problem of what should be. After all, in that view i could just kill everyone in the planet and decide for myself that what i did was moral because i would now be the new majority. So we know that morality cannot be based off of personal preference or because of what the majority believes.
              So why is everyone held to the same standard?

              >One of humanities evolutionary adaptations which have helped us to survive and thrive is our ability to work together in groups.

              You seem to take ‘survival value’ as the basis for what should be moral. But again, if that is the basis then stealing as much money as possible should be moral in that view. After all, money has great survival value. A person who has money doesn’t even need to live in groups or work.

              >It is very unlikely that you would be able to find a person who is completely self-sufficient. Everything we have in our society, we have because we are able to work together.

              All humans really need to survive is food and water. Working together may help you live better, but so does having money. So why not take as much as you can?

              >Because humans are complex creatures, we need rules to help us deal with the complexities of cooperative living. This is the beginning of morality.

              Why do we need rules? Who gets to decide these rules, and why should they be the one to decide? Essentially what you are saying here is that morality boils down to the opinion of someone.
              I’m still unsure as to why, in an evolutionary universe, we should care about working together? So what if it increases survival value? Why is survival the goal in the first place? Survival seems pretty meaningless in an evolutionary world.

              >The social contract is a tacit agreement between everyone in the community to help us work together. While this social contract is great at first glance, it is not sufficient. What happens when those who make the social contract do so to favor their own interests rather than the interests of those with less power?

              Why should the interests of those with less power be more important than the interests of those with more power?

              >Enter the concepts of fairness and justice. These concepts arise out of our sense of empathy and compassion.
              We have evolved to the point where we can imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s situation. We wouldn’t want to be treated unfairly ourselves, so when someone else is being treated unfairly, we generally feel compassion toward them.

              It seems you still can’t separate the idea of what ‘ought to be’ and what ‘is’. Why should we feel compassionate toward other people?

              >When rules are unfair, the people who are treated unfairly tend to feel resentment and that resentment isn’t helpful to society as a whole.

              Why should helping society be the goal? Again if helping society is what defines morality, then killing off people with extreme genetic defects should be considered moral!

              >It is important to note that morality doesn’t exist in a vacuum. If there were no sentient creature (or only one) then there would be no need for morality. While to some extent it can be argued morality is a human construct, it would not be accurate to claim that morality is made-up out of whole cloth at our relativistic whim.
              Morality is simply our understanding of cause and effect coupled with our desire for the wellbeing of society and individuals in society.
              Those desires are born out of our sense of empathy and compassion for others. No deities involved.

              Why should we listen to our sense of empathy and compassion though? You see, you just keep begging the question. Evolution is about survival of the fittest. If a person can find a way to survive better than that should be morally commendable in an evolutionary view. After all, survival is the basis from which all the other of your supposed moral claims come from. But killing of undesirable people would benefit society and help all of our survival value, so that should be considered moral.

              But this is what happens when you base your thinking on arbitrary opinions of man rather than on the absolute Word of God: you are reduced to foolishness.

              • Tony says:

                “It seems you still can’t separate the idea of what ‘ought to be’ and what ‘is’. Why should we feel compassionate toward other people? ”
                it allows our species to survive
                “But killing of undesirable people would benefit society and help all of our survival value, so that should be considered moral.

                But this is what happens when you base your thinking on arbitrary opinions of man rather than on the absolute Word of God: you are reduced to foolishness.”
                wrong this just shows how compartmenalized and flawed your thinking is, you just cant see the bigger picture nor can you think ahead into the future
                “Evolution is about survival of the fittest. If a person can find a way to survive better than that should be morally commendable in an evolutionary view.”
                except all these things you mentioned are NOT good for survival of the human species again you cannot see the bigger picture but this is what happens when you base your reasoning on bronze age mythology of a tribal god by shephearders you are reduced to abusrdity!
                “It seems you still can’t separate the idea of what ‘ought to be’ and what ‘is’. Why should we feel compassionate toward other people? ” cant you read? We have evolved to the point where we can imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s situation. We wouldn’t want to be treated unfairly ourselves, so when someone else is being treated unfairly, we generally feel compassion toward them.
                “A person who has money doesn’t even need to live in groups or work.” Again you cant see the bigger picture,you can have all the money in the world but money only has the value people place on them,and that person still needs society to function for his money to be useful!
                “Survival seems pretty meaningless in an evolutionary world.”
                again you demonstrate your ignorence natural selection remeber as well all animalshave primitive inisticts that makes them fear the unkown, fear death….

                • Micah says:

                  >it allows our species to survive

                  This again begs the question. Why is the survival of our species the goal? Why should I care if other people survive or not? By this logic we should kill off all the people that are a crutch to society, all the old people should go, those with mental disabilities, etc. etc. After all they aren’t helping our species survive, or at least, the amount of resources it takes to care for them far outweigh what the give in return? So I am still left wondering how you can possibly think that survival of our species is what defines morality.

                  >“But killing of undesirable people would benefit society and help all of our survival value, so that should be considered moral. But this is what happens when you base your thinking on arbitrary opinions of man rather than on the absolute Word of God: you are reduced to foolishness.”
                  >wrong this just shows how [sic] compartmenalized and flawed your thinking is, you just cant see the bigger picture nor can you think ahead into the future

                  You can throw out accusations and unsubstantiated allegation all you want, you still didn’t answer the question. Why not kill of people who are a burden on society? That would greatly help our species survive because 1:They would no longer be using our resources and 2:they couldn’t reproduce and spread their bad genetic flaws throughout our species.

                  >“Evolution is about survival of the fittest. If a person can find a way to survive better than that should be morally commendable in an evolutionary view.”
                  >except all these things you mentioned are NOT good for survival of the human species

                  Taking as much money as you can would greatly increase your chances of survival. Killing off people with genetic defects would greatly help our species survive better as well; obviously the survival of our species is not the basis for your morality because if that were true then you would support the killing of people who are genetically inferior, just like Hitler.

                  >“It seems you still can’t separate the idea of what ‘ought to be’ and what ‘is’. Why should we feel compassionate toward other people? ”
                  >cant you read? We have evolved to the point where we can imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s situation. We wouldn’t want to be treated unfairly ourselves, so when someone else is being treated unfairly, we generally feel compassion toward them.

                  With all due respect, I think it is you who needs to read more carefully. The question was not whether or not we do in fact feel compassion toward people. The question was why should we feel compassion? Maybe people should all just hate each other instead? After all, that supposedly evolved with us too, maybe that is what we should be feeling. Why should one feeling be elevated to a higher moral standing than another?

                  >“A person who has money doesn’t even need to live in groups or work.” Again you cant see the bigger picture, you can have all the money in the world but money only has the value people place on them, and that person still needs society to function for his money to be useful!

                  Yes, and people place a lot of value on money right now. So why not exploit that, if it will help you survive?

                  >“Survival seems pretty meaningless in an evolutionary world.”
                  >again you demonstrate your [sic] ignorence natural selection [sic] remeber as well all animals have primitive [sic] inisticts that makes them fear the [sic] unkown, fear death…

                  So what if we all fear death? I don’t see how you refuted my point. Why bother surviving at all? What’s the point? If all we are is a big accident, chemicals reacting with each other…how are we any different from a star that just burns and burns and burns until it eventual dies? Why is dying sooner rather than later bad? Evolution is a sad and tragic worldview, where hate might as well be love, where happiness might as well be sadness and where meaning might as well be meaningless.

                  • taka no mi says:

                    also nothing in evolution is a mere “accident” again showing that you or Lisle dont understand it,

                    [Dr. Lisle: By definition, anything resulting from evolution is necessarily an accident. According to the dictionary an accident is an “unplanned event or circumstance” involving “lack of intention… rather than by design.”]

                    we bother to survive because of natural selection

                    [Dr. Lisle: Natural selection is simply the name given to the fact that variations conducive to survival of an organism are more likely to help the organism to survive. It’s not a reason to survive as you seem to suggest, but rather the fact that some variations are more useful in a particular environment.]

                    “So why not exploit that, if it will help you survive?” First of all it wont help the survival of the species and second of all We have evolved to the point where we can imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s situation. We wouldn’t want to be treated unfairly ourselves,

                    [Dr. Lisle: So, you are saying that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us? It seems to me I’ve read something like that somewhere before… 🙂 In an evolutionary universe such an attitude makes no sense. ]

                    so again the inablility to see the bigger picture

                    • Tony says:

                      yes i have read it in the works of Mozi,”If people regarded other people’s families in the same way that they regard their own, who then would incite their own family to attack that of another? For one would do for others as one would do for oneself.” – Mozi
                      and again you cant see the bigger picture, this makes perfect sense in an evolutionary universe, we could not have built society unless we devloped morals and we dont just kill those who are we because we have devloped empathy so we know we know we wouldt want to be treated that way

                  • Micah says:

                    b>>also nothing in evolution is a mere “accident” again showing that you or Lisle dont understand it,

                    So then how did life start? Was there deliberate intention involved? If not then it is by definition, an accident.

                    >Why bother surviving at all? What’s the point?
                    >we bother to survive because of natural selection

                    Okay, but that wasn’t the question. I know how organisms survive. My question was why bother surviving. Why is survival the end goal?

                    >Yes, and people place a lot of value on money right now.
                    So why not exploit that, if it will help you survive?

                    >First of all it wont help the survival of the species

                    Why should people care about the survival of the species? An animal doesn’t think about the survival of its species while its trying to survive, it only tries to survive.

                    >and second of all We have evolved to the point where we can imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s situation. We wouldn’t want to be treated unfairly ourselves,

                    Irrelevant. That doesn’t answer the question. Just because we can imagine what it is like to be in someone else’s situation doesn’t explain why we should want them to be treated fairly.

                    >so again the [sic] inablility to see the bigger picture

                    What bigger picture is there in evolution except survival?

                    >Again if helping society is what defines morality, then killing off people with extreme genetic defects should be considered moral!
                    >no incase you dont know all societies that do such things often [sic] destory themselves from inside out,and again by helping the weak [sic] scoiety its self becomes stronger

                    Sorry I don’t buy it. First show me how eliminating people with genetically inferior traits would lead to a society destroying itself. Hitler tried it and was stopped its true, but they weren’t stopped from the within.
                    Also how does helping the weak make society stronger? If you get rid of all the weak people then you are left with only the strong? Thus a stronger society.

                    • Tony says:

                      “My question was why bother surviving. Why is survival the end goal?” the primative insitinct all animals have that makes them fear death

                      [Dr. Lisle: Animals also have a primitive instinct to fear fire. So are you saying that fire is morally wrong?]

                      “Hitler tried it and was stopped its true, but they weren’t stopped from the within.”
                      NO if it was taken to its concusion then Germany would have destoryed its self from within, you see if you just killed “undesriables” you would have people who barely made the cut- and then what is to stop the people who think like that from then killing the people who barely made the cut, and that would continue over and over again until your civiliation collapsese from all the murder

                      [Dr. Lisle: That is called slippery slope fallacy, because it’s absurd to think that those in power would allow themselves to be under the cut, nor could they completely eliminate those under them or they wouldn’t be in power. So it would not result in the collapse of civilization. Not at all. Actually, from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes perfect sense to eliminate the most severe genetic disorders, say the bottom 10%, thereby ensuring that such disorders are gradually removed from the human species. But from a Christian point of view, all people have innate value and are not to be murdered even if they have health problems.]

                    • Micah says:

                      >My question was why bother surviving. Why is survival the end goal? >the [sic] primative [sic] insitinct all animals have that makes them fear death

                      That doesn’t really explain much. So what if we fear death? Why does that mean we should survive? Why is it better to survive rather than die?

                      >Hitler tried it and was stopped its true, but they weren’t stopped from the within.
                      >NO if it was taken to its [sic] concusion then Germany would have [sic] destoryed its self from within, you see if you just killed [sic] “undesriables” you would have people who barely made the cut- and then what is to stop the people who think like that from then killing the people who barely made the cut, and that would continue over and over again until your [sic] civiliation [sic] collapsese from all the murder

                      Not really, Hitler wanted to eradicate the Jews. Why would that naturally morph over into killing people other than Jews?

                    • taka no mi says:

                      you dont know alot about the nazis dont you

                      [Dr. Lisle: That is a question-begging epithet fallacy, and easily reversible.]

                    • Tony says:

                      then dr.lisle let me tell you a story from the times of old china-their was a family of 4 a son and his parents and his grandpa, at the dinner table,the grandfather had very jittery hands and kept on dropping his food and his bowl, and the parents got angry that he was wasting food so they made him sit in the corner, andone day they saw their son placing a few bowls and chopsticks in a corner and asked him why, the son told them it was for them when he grew up and they started acting like his grandpa, the parents were horrified and they stopped being mean to the grandfather got it?

                      [Dr. Lisle: Got it. So in your view, morality is what benefits the person in the long run. Yes? In this view, morality is logically equivalent to selfishness: what is “good” is what benefits “self” in the long run. The parents in the above example started acting “morally” because they reasoned it would benefit them later in life. Of course, one problem (among many) with this view is that it would condemn noble actions (such as self-sacrifice) as immoral. In your view, if a person takes a bullet for another, his actions would be immoral since this action does not benefit him on the long run. Is that really what you believe?]

                    • Tony says:

                      again moral reasoning comes from the emergence of group reciprocity and altruism in our nearest common ancestors, around 8 million years ago

                      [Dr. Lisle: This again confuses behavior (what people do) with morality (what people
                      should do). For example, you could describe what Hitler did to explain how the Jews were treated in Germany; but this doesn’t account for how Jews should be treated. You might explain behavior by appealing to your view of history, but not morality.]

                    • Tony says:

                      contragulations dr.lisle you still did not understand the morale of that story

                      [Dr. Lisle: Actually Tony, you apparently don’t understand the moral of the story. You have just tried to defend the view that morality = selfishness. This again confirms my claim that objective morality only makes sense in the Christian worldview.]

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      so Dr.lisle, according to your reasoning Jesus would have taught morality is based on selfishness!

                      [Dr. Lisle: I don’t know where you got that idea. In the Christian worldview morality is what corresponds to God’s preceptive will. Christians obey God out of gratitude for salvation.]

                      As well i think you purposely butchered the moral of the story because you did not want to admit how much more advanced Chinese morality was! At anyrate your interpretation of this story would get you laughed out of any Asian country

                      [Dr. Lisle: That’s a question-begging epithet fallacy. The moral of your story was very clear. The parents changed their behavior because they saw that their previous actions might lead to undesirable results for them in the long term.]

              • Tony says:

                “Again if helping society is what defines morality, then killing off people with extreme genetic defects should be considered moral!”
                no incase you dont know all societies that do such things often destory themselves from inside out,and again by helping the weak scoiety its self becomes stronger

                [Dr. Lisle: Actually, helping the weak causes a society to become genetically weaker. Moreover, it inhibits evolution, which allegedly is based on the strong dominating over the weak. Again, your view on morality is contrary to your view on origins.]

              • Tony says:

                Those who look after others from their community become trusted and respected. Others look after them and their relatives in turn. People seen as moral are attractive sexual partners. Especially people looking for more than casual sex want a responsible partner. Being moral helps us to pass on our genes. We want to be moral. Modern people know about others outside our immediate community through the media including television and the Internet. That increases the number of people who potentially belong to our community. We can even develop compassion and a sense of responsibility towards sentient animals because we believe that animals feel things in a similar way to the way other people feel things.

                [Dr. Lisle: Actually, if you think about it, these are only reasons to not be caught acting immorally. These are reasons to appear moral, not to be moral. If you could do something wrong, (lie, cheat, steal, kill) and you were guaranteed to not be caught an no one would find out, would it still be wrong? The Christian has a rationally consistent answer.]

                • Steve says:

                  Moral behavior is not genetically inherited. A do-gooder is not going to give birth to a do-gooder by genetic inheritance. A bank robber is not necessarily going to give birth to a bank robber. It’s a behavior. The offspring may see the parent’s behavior and mimic it but that was learned behavior.
                  The idea that a more moral person may be more sexually attractive to a mate is totally arbitrary and has no bearing on their offspring.

                • taka no mi says:

                  In the 18th century, David Hume objected to the authors of morality should shifted from statements like “is” or “is not” to other connected by “ought ” or “ought not” which he said “expressed a new relation.” To Hume, it seemed “altogether inconceivable” that all relationships were deducible from “is” ones as “entirely different.” This is commonly interpreted to mean: we cannot infer what we morally ought to do from purely factual premises. We can’t derive an “ought” from an “is.” Further reading gives a different emphasis. Here is what Hume says about willful murder, “The vice entirely escapes you as long as you consider the object. You will never find it until you turn your reflection into your own breast and find a sentiment of disapprobation that derives from you towards this action.” Here is a matter of fact: but ’tis the object of feeling, it lies in yourself not in the object. In other words, evil isn’t a feature of willful murder but in a judgment arising in sentiment.

                  [Dr. Lisle: This position reduces morality to subjective feelings. Inevitably, this further reduces to absurdity when we consider that different people have different feelings. You couldn’t say that “murder is wrong” because maybe for the murderer, it didn’t bother his feelings at all to murder the victim.]

                  When Hume objects from the shift from “is” to “ought” he is criticizing those who mistake their own feelings about things like murder for intrinsic qualities like murder, echoing the for mentioned of error for projecting ones own attitude onto the object of that attitude. Of course, whatever Hume’s original meaning, the idea that we can’t derive moral “oughts” from factual “is” statements has spawned a great deal of debate in our own time.

                  Is the so-called “is or ought” problem really a problem? All it is saying is that moral obligations aren’t deducible purely from nonmoral facts.

                  [Dr. Lisle: I agree. The problem is that in the secular worldview, all you have are nonmoral events of nature. Morality just doesn’t make sense in a secular worldview.]

                  And this seems quite true if moral obligations involve emotional elements. I don’t like pain, but my dislike of pain isn’t arbitrary. I am biologically biased to dislike pain.

                  [Dr. Lisle: I don’t like it when people put anchovies on a pizza. But does that make it morally wrong for them to do so? Skydiving increases your odds of death. Is it therefore morally wrong to skydive?]

                  Indeed, the inverse quality of disliking pain protects us by prompting our retreat from harmful stimuli. Knowing also that I have no valid basis for thinking my comfort is not uniquely important. If I don’t want other people to hurt me, then to avoid hypocrisy,

                  [Dr. Lisle: Why would hypocrisy be wrong in your worldview? That makes no sense. Hypocrisy should be a positive thing if it benefits my survival, right?]

                  this obliges me not to hurt others.

                  [Dr. Lisle: You are stealing from the Christian worldview when you do unto others what you want them to do to you. You say “this obliges me” but to whom? Why would one chemical accident be obliged to do anything at all?]

                  This obligation isn’t unconditional, it arises largely from biologically influenced preferences.

                  [Dr. Lisle: If biologically influenced preferences determine moral obligation, then it would follow that different people have somewhat different moralities, since they have somewhat different biology. Perhaps murder is okay if you are lactose-intolerant. So that view just wouldn’t make any sense.]

                  Some say preferences has no role in our morality. After all, rapists like raping, but we don’t say they ought to rape. But of course that is misleading. Morality has never meant doing whatever you prefer no matter who it hurts.

                  [Dr. Lisle: This seems to contradict what you’ve just been arguing. If raping someone increases the probability of a man passing on his genes, then why shouldn’t he do so (in your way of thinking)? Survival of the fittest, yes?]

                  Part of morality’s essence is considering our impacts upon others.

                  [Dr. Lisle: WHY? In the Christian worldview, yes, we should be concerned about others since they are made in God’s image and have intrinsic value. But if other people are just rearranged chemical accidents, why on earth should I consider my impact on them? Perhaps I might consider helping those who are in a position to help me. But why should I help the less fortunate? How does that increase my survival value?]

                  And asking “why rapists shouldn’t do what they prefer” completely ignores the preference of the victim. No one is saying ALL preferences are morally relevant, but some are.

                  [Dr. Lisle: You can’t have it both ways. Either subjective preferences are the basis for morality, or they aren’t. If you say they sometimes are and sometimes are not, then you need a greater standard to tell you which is which. In such a case that greater standard will be your true basis for morality, not subjective feelings.]

                  We have numerous moral prohibitions about inflicting pain, but our dislike of pain ultimately reduces to preference doesn’t diminish its relevance. When we dissect any moral obligation, we always find some element of preference, even if it is a preference largely determined by biology.

                  [Dr. Lisle: So inflicting pain is wrong because you dislike it? I don’t like watching football; does that make it morally wrong?]

                  As Mackie notes, for any argument that supports an evaluated conclusion, whether this conclusion has some action guiding force that is non-contingent of our desires or chosen ends, someway into the input of this argument there will be something that cannot be objectively validated, some premise which is not capable of being simply true, or some form of argument not valid by any logic whose authority or cogency is not objective.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Is this an admission that you have no logical, objective basis for morality? That’s been my claim all along. Apart from Christianity, there is no logical objective basis for morality.]

              • Tony says:

                also again you only believe something is bad because god told you so not because it causes pain and suffering,

                [Dr. Lisle: In your worldview, pain and suffering are simply chemical reactions taking place in a bag of chemicals. Why would that be wrong? When baking soda reacts with vinegar do you get upset? Do you say that it is morally wrong? Your view of morality does not comport with your view on origins. In my worldview, people have intrinsic and objective value, since they are made in the image of God. It is because the Bible is true that we can call pain and suffering “bad.” In the evolutionary view, they can never be more than chemistry.]

                this again is a sign of an extremely broken mind and even perhaps of sociopathy….

                [Dr. Lisle: That seems to be question-begging epithet fallacy. And in any case, sociopaths simply have evolved different brain chemistry than you did (in your view). So why would you assume that your mind is the one that is proper, and not the sociopath’s?]

                • Tony says:

                  I could ask the same thing to you how do you know you don’t have psychosis? I mean a person with psychosis, i don’t think has valid reasoning, so then does God reveal that to them? I mean you said God revealed himself to EVERYONE

            • Tony says:

              congratulations you have affirmed what ive said in my last post, that you don’t even understand my arguments-again nothing is evolution is an accident,so STOP CALLING PEOPLE CHEMICAL ACCIDENTS and it seems like you dont even understand evolution and its concepts!

      • Taka no mi says:

        In case you don’t know dr., no all people evolved the same the differences are superficial at best

        [Dr. Lisle: Hardly! Some people are very big, others very small. Some are able to play music, others are good at math, some are very strong, some are very intelligent, some are stocky, some are thin, etc., etc., etc. Now in the Christian worldview, all people have intrinsic value before God, and should be respected and treated equally under the law. But in an evolutionary worldview, there is no reason not to consider some people to be far superior to others. Darwin certainly did.]

        ,if a person did say that is shows that they don’t understand evolution at all! also according to you if a fish shouldn’t use it’s gills since it evolved it and has no reason to use them,

        [Dr. Lisle: What? First, gills didn’t evolve; they were designed (a partially evolved gill doesn’t do much good). And fish do need them. But other creatures don’t, and those creatures don’t have gills. God has created different organisms with both similarities and different capacities to survive in different niches by different means.]

        and your stomach did not evolve to tell you about morals your brains did!

        [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that? Did you draw that conclusion using your brain (the wrong organ)? If so, then you shouldn’t rely on it. Perhaps you’ve been trusting the wrong organ all these years!]

        • Tony says:

          ” But in an evolutionary worldview, there is no reason not to consider some people to be far superior to others. Darwin certainly did.”
          wrong only in an evolutionary worldview there is a reason to believe that all humans are equal,it was only with the fall of religious fundamentalism that racism became unacceptable in your country again those “differences” you mentioned are just small variations, and yes i do believe football (the super bowl kind)is a terrible sport and should be banned cause its so boring

      • Tony says:

        “I could see how that would be frustrating, and how it would be tempting to simply dismiss an argument you can’t refute by calling it childish”
        IT IS CHILDISH and a total joke because you cant actually win a real argument like any good creationist, all you are doing is preaching to the chior

        [Dr. Lisle: I think I have rationally answered all your points, and refuted your claims. If I missed one, let me know and I’ll be happy to respond as time permits. In any case, dismissing an argument as childish is not a rational response – just a question begging epithet.]

    • taka no mi says:

      “We know God is honest from the impossibility of the contrary. If God were not honest, we couldn’t know anything at all. Thus, you would not even be able to post on my blog.”
      again you run around in a circle, you clearly don’t even understand this argument…… FACEPLAM

      [Dr. Lisle: Then please enlighten me and explain how knowledge would be possible apart from God.]

      • Bill says:

        I assume that we both accept that the law of non-contradiction is a veridical representation of reality, yes?

        [Dr. Lisle: The law of non-contradiction is not a representation of reality exactly, but a law that governs the relationship between concepts. Though it is true of course that we never experience or observe a violation of it in the physical universe. Laws of logic are contingent upon God in a similar fashion to a house being contingent upon its foundation. The foundation is the necessary precondition for the house, just as God is the necessary precondition for laws of logic.]

        And that if it were not to be so we could have no epistemology, no propositional speech, no knowledge, etc, right? Then we’re done. IF reality exists in such a way as to render the LoNC true, then we don’t need “god” or any other entity to explain how we can have knowledge.

        [Dr. Lisle: That would be like saying, “If houses didn’t exist, then we would have no place to live. So, if we do have a place to live, which of course we do, then houses do exist. We don’t need a “foundation” or any other entity to explain how we can have shelter.” But that doesn’t follow logically, since a house cannot stand without a foundation. Likewise, laws of logic and their properties make no sense apart from the biblical God. The question is not “do laws of logic exist?” We agree that they do. The question is “What worldview can make sense of the properties of laws of logic?” And we find that only the Christian worldview can. You needn’t acknowledge the existence of a foundation in order to live in your house; but the foundation does have to be there.]

        And it simply can NOT be the case that the truth of the LoNC depends upon the will of any being (for then it would be *possible* for it to be false).

        [Dr. Lisle: That’s not quite the claim. Laws of logic depend on the nature of God (not the “will” of God exactly). And God cannot change His fundamental nature (Malachi 3:6). They are unchanging and universal precisely because God is unchanging and omnipresent. Apart from the Christian worldview, there is no way to justify such properties or to know them.]

        So we know that the LoNC is absolutely true and cannot depend upon any type of conscious will in order for it to be true.

        [Dr. Lisle: Actually, there is no way to know that the LoNC is absolutely true, or unchanging or universal apart from the Christian worldview. You could at best say that it seems to work in your experiences. But your experiences are very limited compared to the entirety of the universe. Thus, it would be a hasty generalization fallacy to assume that such experiences are representative of the entirety of the universe.]

        Quite simply, we just don’t need your god in order to have knowledge. That doesn’t mean, of course, that the features of reality that render the LoNC true couldn’t be anchored in the nature of a god, but it does mean that they don’t NEED to be.

        [Dr. Lisle: Laws of logic are conceptual. They reflect the thinking of God. This is why the physical universe never violates them, since it is upheld by the mind of God. It is why they are unchanging, and universal, and it is why we can know them since we are made in God’s image. I have not found any other worldview that can make sense of the properties of laws of logic. And if the properties of laws of logic are not justified, then it would be irrational to rely upon them. In such a case, we could know absolutely nothing about anything. Thus, Christianity alone makes knowledge possible.]

    • Tony says:

      “We know God is honest from the impossibility of the contrary. If God were not honest, we couldn’t know anything at all. Thus, you would not even be able to post on my blog”
      again you are begging the question, a dishonest god can still tell the truth

      • Chris C says:

        We know things by and through revelation from God. If God could lie then we couldn’t know anything because we would never know if He was being truthful or not. But the Bible makes it clear that God can’t lie, He is truth, He’s the source of truth, and that is how WE account for truth. How do YOU account for truth? If you can’t then you have no basis to say that we are wrong.

        • Tony says:

          first of all you are begging the question,but the statement “we would never know if He was being truthful or not. ” is still knowledge!

          [Dr. Lisle: No, “we would never know…” indicates that we would not have knowledge. If God could lie, then we would never know which parts of the Bible to believe, including the parts about our senses, or rationality, etc. We could not know that our minds have the capacity to be rational, or that laws of logic are universal or exception-less, or that our mind is rational. In short, we couldn’t know anything at all.”]

          so that fails, so if God can lie you still can know things! like the uncertainty of whether God is telling the truth or not

          [Dr. Lisle: No. Uncertainty is lack of knowledge. Perhaps you mean that you could know that you lack knowledge. But, amazingly, you couldn’t even know that. You’d have to use logic to draw that conclusion. But since logic corresponds to the mind of God, which you can’t be sure of since He might be lying to you, then you can’t know that logical reasoning is valid. Apart from the biblical God, you can’t know anything at all.]

          • Chris C says:

            I already told you, in the Christian worldview God is truth. If He could lie, He would be denying Himself, and truth can’t deny itself.. (that is how we account for the law of non-contradiction). You can object to that all you want, but the problem is, in doing so you are presupposing a standard of truth which you cannot account for in your worldview.

            • Tony says:

              so why don’t you pray to truth then? and how do you know God didnt lie about being truth

              [Dr. Lisle: Same as above. If God can lie, then we couldn’t know anything at all. We can know things. Thus, God cannot lie. Chris’s explanation below is spot on.]

              • Chris C says:

                I know because of Titus 1:2. But for the sake of argument, if God could lie, you’re right we couldn’t know if He was lying about that, but we also couldn’t know if He wasn’t lying about everything else, in which case we couldn’t know anything because the way we know things is by and through revelation from God. If you have another avenue to certainty, I’m all ears.

                • taka no mi says:

                  again false facts are still knowledge, so you still could know things

                  [Dr. Lisle: “False fact” is an oxymoron. It is self-contradictory because a fact is by definition true or “actual.” Perhaps you meant “False claims are still knowledge”, but that too would be wrong, because knowledge is “true, justified belief.” If something is not true then it is not knowledge.]

                  • Chris C says:

                    Do you know that? How do you know it’s not a false fact?

                    • taka no mi says:

                      again a false fact is still a fact and therofore is stil knowledge, also look up the word fact

                      [Dr. Lisle: According to the dictionary a fact is “Something that actually exists; reality; truth.” So a fact cannot be false because truth cannot be false.]

                    • taka no mi says:

                      but a false fact is still knoweldge because you know what the revelator has told you even if it was true or false

                  • taka no mi says:

                    No Dr.Lisle that Plato’s definition of knowledge

                    [No. This is the standard definition that logicians would use. To know something it must be (1) true. It wouldn’t make sense to say, “I know that grass is purple, even though that isn’t remotely true.” And (2) it must also be justified. Suppose a lady says, “I just know that it will be sunny at the church picnic next month.” Then when it happens to by sunny, she says, “See, I knew it all along.” Did she really? Even though her belief turned out to be true by accident, she didn’t really know it because she didn’t have any justification.]

                    • taka no mi says:

                      in case you dont know Dr.lisle Plato’s definition is anything but universal so to justify what you just told me you must prove why Plato’s epistemology is better then that of Kant and a various other number of philosophers

                      [Dr. Lisle: Not really. I just have to explain that this is the definition I’m using in my argument that only God can make knowledge possible. If you want to use another definition, you may of course. But it will not refute my argument because it won’t be addressing my argument since you would not be using the terms in the same way. Any response using a different definition would be an equivocation fallacy.]

                    • taka no mi says:

                      again wrong its not the standard definition that logicians use only ones that follow plato use this definitions

                      [Dr. Lisle: Again, wrong and irrelevant. Wrong because alternatives lead to absurdity (e.g. you could “know” things that you don’t really know). Irrelevant because alternatives do not deal with my argument.]

                    • Take no mi says:

                      Again you can’t just change the meanings of words to suit your beliefs

                      [Dr. Lisle: My point exactly! If you are not going to use the definition that I used in my argument, then any counter-argument will not really be addressing my argument, and will thus not refute it.]

          • taka no mi says:

            again you just keep begging the question over and over and over……also it shows how you cant even understand the argument

            [Dr. Lisle: How so?]

            Re: Jason Lisle- captian circular and his transcendtal argum

            [Dr. Lisle: This is a question-begging epithet fallacy. Is circular reasoning wrong in your worldview?]

            Post #13 Postby Gord » Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:04 am

            wakawakawaka wrote:You tell them that they are reasoning in a circle and they say ITS OKAY to do so!

            Once upon a time there was an idiot who found a rather splendid looking stick, and he thought to himself, “This stick would make a good seat for a swing.” But he had no rope to hold up the stick, so he took one end in one hand, and the other end in the other hand, and thought to himself, “I will hold it up while I sit on it and swing.” And so he sat on the stick that he was holding in both hands, and promptly fell

            [Dr. Lisle: vulgarity/profanity removed. It is not allowed on this site.]

            because he had nothing supporting his argument but circular reasoning.

            [Dr. Lisle: I really like this story because it describes your worldview perfectly. You have no reason to believe that your senses are reliable, that your mind is rational, that the universe has uniformity, that laws of logic are invariant and universal, that there is an objective moral code, etc. And yet you have absolutely no reason to believe any of these things on your own worldview. You believe them because you believe them, and nothing else. Your thinking is based on your thinking. It is the ultimate example of arbitrary circular reasoning, as you have demonstrated repeatedly.]

            • taka no mi says:

              I gave you hundreds of reasons- its just that you can even understand them! yet alone “refute” them

              [Dr. Lisle: I have refuted each one. (If I missed one, please let me know.) Apparently, you cannot understand my refutations. But I will be happy to explain any – just ask.]

            • Tony says:

              YES exactly is describes you perfectly your entire argument is based on circular reasoning!

              [Dr. Lisle: In what way? You really haven’t shown this, you’ve just asserted it.]

              again Dr.Lisle of all the arguments i ve shown you , you cant actually refute any of them!

              [Dr. Lisle: With respect, I have refuted each of them. Let me refresh your memory with just a few examples. (1) You tried to invent a fictional god to account for the preconditions of intelligibility. But I refuted this by pointing out that a fictional god cannot account for any reality, since reality cannot be based in fiction. (2) You tried to argue that reliability of senses or the mind is a self-evident axiom. But I pointed out that axioms are assumed, not proved, and thus can be wrong. Also some people do not have reliable senses or a rational mind, so obviously it is not a self-evident truth. Moreover, it is in the Christian worldview alone that it makes sense for humans to be born with knowledge – knowledge programmed into us by God. (3) You tried to argue that morality is somehow associated with survival. But I refuted this by showing multiple problems: That it assumes that survival is itself morally commendable, that some morally commendable actions are contrary to survival, and that it confuses what is with what should be. If you didn’t understand my refutations, please ask and I will be very happy to clarify.]

              You cant even realize that you are begging the question!

              [Dr. Lisle: If this is so obvious, then it should have been easy for you to explain why you think that is so. Why didn’t you? Of course, the irony is that you have tried to use laws of logic to prove laws of logic, and you have assumed the reliability of your mind in order to prove the reliability of your mind. Doesn’t that beg the question?]

              Also you promote a false dichotomy between moral relativism and objectivity

              [Dr. Lisle: If you mean “relativism” in the sense of different for different people or in different situations, then this is contrary to “objective” which does not depend on the person or situations. Morality is either person-dependent or it isn’t. This follows from the law of the excluded middle.]

              • Micah says:

                >Dr.Lisle of all the arguments i ve shown you , you cant actually refute any of them!

                Its extremely bizarre to think that you and taka no mi actually believe this. Anybody who has read this blog can clearly see that Jason has repeatedly refuted most, if not all, of your points. Indeed, it is you who fails to understand Jason and wont answer the questions he puts to you. It seems like whenever a question is too hard for you to answer you simply ignore it and hope no one notices.

              • Tony says:

                ” But I pointed out that axioms are assumed, not proved, and thus can be wrong.”
                and if the senses are not reliable then arguments and debates would not exist!

                [Dr. Lisle: That’s the fallacy of irrelevant thesis. Senses are indeed reliable because they have been created by God, and debates are possible because laws of logic are universal and invariant since they are reflections of God’s thinking. The question is: how can you account for such things? How could it be true and known on your worldview that senses are reliable, and laws of logic are universal, invariant, etc.?]

                • Tony says:

                  I already did told you the senses are an axiom that if wrong, then argument and debate would be impossible

                  [Dr. Lisle: Again, that’s the fallacy of irrelevant thesis. Senses are indeed reliable because they have been created by God, etc. My question is how do you know that the axiom is true on your own worldview? How would it make sense for a pile of atoms with no designer to somehow “know” that its senses are reliable?]

                  this axiom cannot be wrong for someone who has the ablilty to argue and debate

                  [Dr. Lisle: But how – on your worldview – do you know that you have the ability to argue and debate? On my worldview, yes, God has given us reliable senses and the capacity to be rational. But how on your worldview do you know that you are not a mud-puddle with chemistry that you interpret as “thoughts” and “axioms”?]

                  and we already been through the stuff about logic it is a description of the nature of reality

                  [Dr. Lisle: Again, that cannot account for the universality nor invariance of laws of logic. Reality is constantly changing; hence, if laws of logic were a description of reality then we would expect them to constantly change. Moreover, no one has experienced future reality. So on what basis do you believe that laws of logic will continue to apply even one second from now?]

                  • Tony says:

                    “But how on your worldview do you know that you are not a mud-puddle with chemistry that you interpret as “thoughts” and “axioms”?”
                    first of all that is irrelevant

                    [Dr. Lisle: It is very relevant. If you are a mud puddle and your “thoughts” and “sensory perceptions” are merely the chemistry taking place in the mud puddle, then you don’t really know anything at all. That’s pretty relevant!]

                    and i don’t care,

                    [Dr. Lisle: You should care. If you are a mud puddle and your thoughts have no bearing on reality, that has some pretty large consequences.]

                    second of all this axiom cannot be wrong

                    [Dr. Lisle: You keep saying that. But if your thoughts and sensory experiences are just chemistry in a mud puddle and yet you assume as an axiom that you can’t be wrong, well you are wrong. So yes, that axiom can indeed be wrong.]

                    • Tony says:

                      no this axiom cannot be wrong

                      [Dr. Lisle: Did you even read my answer? Yes, a mud puddle assuming as an axiom that it has accurate thoughts and sensory perceptions is indeed wrong. Isn’t that obvious?]

                      and second of all in both of these responses you commit fallacies of divison

                      [Dr. Lisle: The fallacy of division is falsely assuming that what is true of the whole (or group) is also true of the parts (or individual members). How do you think I’ve committed such a fallacy? By the way Tony, please try supporting your claims with rational justification as I do. If you make a claim but don’t back it up with anything, I have no reason to accept it. Make sense?]

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      you cant even realize when you commit fallacies despite supposedly knowing so much on logic and arguments?? wow

                      [Dr. Lisle: If you think I have committed a fallacy, please give your reasons. (I don’t think you can). Otherwise, I can rationally dismiss your accusations as question-begging epithet fallacies.]

                    • John W says:

                      I find it ironic that, while accusing Dr.Lisle of unknowlingly committing fallacies, Tony’s entire post is a question-begging epithet fallacy.

                  • Tony says:

                    “Again, that cannot account for the universality nor invariance of laws of logic. Reality is constantly changing; hence, if laws of logic were a description of reality then we would expect them to constantly change. ”
                    WRONG again if you supposedly have a PHD how could you still not figure out how this argument doesn’t even make any sense! Logic is just a description of reality

                    [Dr. Lisle: The statement “Jupiter is in the constellation Taurus” is a “description of reality,” and it is true – for now (June 24, 2013). But next week, it will not be true. Jupiter will be in Gemini. If laws of logic were merely a “description of reality” as you suggest, then we would expect them to change with time, since reality changes with time. But they don’t. Thus, your claim stands refuted.]

                    • Tony says:

                      No reality did not change,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Certainly reality changes. Jupiter is indeed in Taurus as I write this. But just wait. Next week it will be in Gemini. Things change Tony. Now if laws of logic were descriptions of reality as you claim, like “Jupiter is in Taurus”, then we would expect them to change with time. But they don’t. So they cannot be merely descriptions of reality.]

                      now tell me people change right? But if people change why don’t some of us gain the power to fly? Would you say it’s not in the nature of humans to do such things?

                      [Dr. Lisle: Ironically, this is a question that your worldview cannot answer; mine can. In the Christian worldview God regulates the changes that take place. He allows some kinds of changes, like the changing of the seasons, but does not allow certain other kinds of changes, like seasons ceasing to exist (Genesis 8:22). But in your worldview, you cannot account for either. In a chance universe, who is to say that any kind of change cannot happen? Of course you don’t believe that. But that is because in your heart of hearts you do know God (Romans 1:18-20).]

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      you confuse metaphysical change with physical change!

                      [Dr. Lisle: Thank you for clarifying. Let’s see if the secular worldview can justify a difference.]

                      The universe changes physically because of its nature but it cannot change its own nature, just like a human can change physicaly, but he cannot change his nature!

                      [Dr. Lisle: There are two problems here: First, you don’t ultimately know what the nature of the universe is, at least not on your own worldview. You have experienced only the tiniest fraction of the universe. And on your limited observations you pretend to know the nature of everything! But that isn’t remotely reasonable. Ironically, in your worldview, humans have changed their nature many times (if evolution were true then we were once fish)!]

                      [Second, you cannot know on your own worldview that the universe will behave tomorrow as it has today. You are appealing to uniformity, but the secularist has no rational basis for uniformity as David Hume pointed out. I’m happy to discuss this further if you wish.]

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      actually you committed the fallacy of equivocation and the fallacy of division as well! They are descriptions of reality,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Here you have equivocated on the very issue you accused me of equivocating on. Namely, you claimed it was important that laws of logic describe the nature of reality, not reality. But here, you have switched back to them supposedly describing reality (which cannot be because reality changes). Laws of logic cannot be mere descriptions of reality (or the nature of reality) because they can be used to predict future situations; yet no one has observed the future such that they are in a position to describe the future.]

                      stop trying to make them other wise into something they are not,

                      [Dr. Lisle: With respect, it seems that you are the one doing this.]

                      it seems that you just wont admit you are wrong because of your stubbornness because you are so shocked that you’ve been refuted!

                      [Dr. Lisle: With respect, it seems that you are the one doing this.]

                    • Tony says:

                      you seem to imply that i believe in a “random” and a ‘chance” universe, again a fallacy of equivocation

                      [Dr. Lisle: According to the dictionary, “by chance” means “without plan or intent, accidentally.” I’ve always used the term in that sense. If you don’t believe the universe is without plan, then who planned the universe?]

              • Tony says:

                “But I refuted this by pointing out that a fictional god cannot account for any reality, since reality cannot be based in fiction. ”
                you just cant see the irony in what you said cant you?

                [Dr. Lisle: Tony, it seems that you’ve missed the main point. I assert that God is real, not fictional or made up like your gods. And my proof of this is that only His characteristics can account for the preconditions of intelligibility that you affirm. Your own worldview cannot make sense of them, and fictional gods cannot justify anything. You could hypothetically argue that some other god can account for such things, but only if you admit that this other god does actually exist. People have tried this, but other gods have not been able to justify the preconditions of intelligibility. Do you understand now? I am happy to elaborate if necessary.]

                • Tony says:

                  But just copying what you claim your God makes life intelligible and projecting it on an another deity totally refutes your arguement!

                  [Dr. Lisle: No it doesn’t, and this shows that you haven’t understood the argument. It is not the claim or conception of God that makes life intelligible, but the existence of God as described in the Bible. And you cannot copy God’s existence, you can only copy and distort the concept.]

                  It shows how really worthless it is

                  [Dr. Lisle: You have confused a linguistic token with its referent. Hopefully this is now clear. Only the biblical God (not the concept of the biblical God) can make knowledge possible.]

                  • John W says:

                    An entity that posesses all the attributes of the Biblical God is, by definition, the Biblical God. Therefore, appealing to an entity that posesses all the attributes of the Biblical God to refute the claim that only the Biblical God can justify the preconditions of intelligibility is absurd. It is akin to attempting to refute the claim that Istanbul is the most prominent city on the Bosphorus by claiming that Constantinople is the most prominent city on the Bosphorus.

                    • Tony says:

                      Uh no it’s not, I am pretty sure the name of the Christian god is Yahweh and not the cosmic wombat or mystic taco, nor do these deities exist in a trinity

                      [Dr. Lisle: If you have invented these gods for argument’s sake to prove a point, then it is obvious that they cannot account for the preconditions of intelligibility, since reality (intelligibility) cannot be justified by fiction (invented gods). If you want to argue that one of these gods is real and you sincerely believe in him/it, then we can discuss why competitors cannot account for the preconditions of intelligibility based on their nature. As one example, you have said that your gods are not a trinity. Thus, they cannot account for the one-and-the-many, the way the biblical God can. Moreover, there is no objective revelation from these gods. In order to account for all the preconditions of intelligibility, your alternative god would have to be identical in all respects to the biblical God, in which case it would have to be the biblical God, as John rightly stated. But such a conversion can only take place when you concede that you do sincerely believe in such a god, since a fictional god cannot logically justify anything. ]

                    • Tony says:

                      The “one and the many” arguments don’t make any sense

                      [Dr. Lisle: You are right – secular arguments for the one and the many do not make much sense. But the Christian can account for a universe that is one in one sense (“uni”), and many in another sense (“verse” as in “diverse”), since God is one and more-than-one and upholds the universe.]

                      and as well the natures of these deities might be similar or the same but their history and actions in the mortal world are not

                      [Dr. Lisle: If the nature of a competing god is only similar to God, then it cannot account for all the preconditions of intelligibility. If the nature is exactly the same as God, then the competing god isn’t a competitor at all, but actually God, as John W pointed out. But this conversation is moot unless you are willing to concede that you actually believe that such a god really exists.]

            • taka no mi says:

              if you have no reason to believe any of those things then how is it circular reasoning?

              [Dr. Lisle: I DO have reasons to believe in the preconditions of intelligibility. It is your position that is in trouble. Circular reasoning is when a chain of thinking leads to a conclusion that is also one of the premises. If you argue that you know that your mind is rational because you have reasoned such, the argument is circular and proves nothing beyond what it assumes as a premise. It is arbitrary because you don’t have any reason for believing in the rationality of the mind, you have merely assumed it and argue for it on the basis of itself, which is circular – like trying to sit on a stick that you yourself are holding up.]

              That reasoning there would be in a straight line! and no, circular reasoning is always fallacious,

              [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that “circular reasoning is always fallacious?” What would be your reason for believing this? What is the most foundational standard by which you judge other truth claims? And how do you know that this foundational standard is true?]

              NO this story describes you perfectly because you even said circular reasoning is valid!

              [Dr. Lisle: Do you know what “valid” means? Circular reasoning is valid by definition because the conclusion follows from the premise since it is merely a restatement of the premise. It is not always sound however.]

              and this story shows how its not ever valid

              [Dr. Lisle: Actually, if you take a class or read a book on logic, you will be surprised to learn that circular reasoning is always valid. It is not always sound. This is an important distinction that you should learn.]

              • Tony says:

                No circular reasoning is never valid, I you just seem to be in denial, circular reasoning is always listed as a fallacy even on basic websites about logic

                [Dr. Lisle: Circular reasoning is always valid. It is often unsound, which is why it is classified as a fallacy. You are confusing soundness with validity.]

                • Tony says:

                  well actually circular reasoning can be sometimes valid, but its always worthless because you haven actually proven anything!

                  [Dr. Lisle: This is closer to the truth than your previous answer. Circular reasoning is valid because validity means that the conclusion follows from the premise. In circular reasoning the conclusion has been assumed as a premise, and so the conclusion necessarily follows from the premise. A therefore B, therefore A. When the conclusion follows from the premise, the argument is valid, regardless of whether or not it is sound. Circular arguments are indeed usually considered “worthless” as you say, because they do not prove anything beyond what they have assumed. (They do prove something! It’s just not useful in persuasion because anyone who denies the conclusion will necessarily deny the premise.)]

              • Tony says:

                i did take classes on logic and circular reasoning was considered a fallacy and can be rarely valid, but always fallacious

                [Dr. Lisle: With respect, you should have learned in your logic classes the difference between valid and sound. Circular arguments are indeed valid since the conclusion is a restatement of a premise. They are normally considered fallacious. (Do you know why?) Are they always fallacious? And how – on your worldview – do you know that? Have you examined all possible circular arguments?]

              • Tony says:

                mmm, i might have confused validity with fallacy in my last comment, but still first of all not all circular arguments are valid

                [Dr. Lisle: If the argument is truly circular, it will be valid. (A therefore B therefore A) is valid because the conclusion A follows necessarily from the premise A.]

                and they are always fallacious,

                [Dr. Lisle: how do you know that? Why on your worldview are they fallacious? How do you know that all of them are? You love to assert things, but you almost never give any rational support for your beliefs.]

                but according to you is it okay to run around in a circle when it is not “arbitrary” and provide an example

                [Dr. Lisle: How do you know that modus ponens is true – without using circular reasoning? What is your ultimate standard for judging truth claims? And how do you know that the standard itself is correct? I think you will find those very difficult to answer. Of course, you may not use circular reasoning, for that would be fallacious.]

                • Tony says:

                  The truth of logic is an axiom,

                  [Dr. Lisle: Axioms can be wrong. So how do you know that logic isn’t?]

                  and logic cannot be denied or wrong or else it’s self refuting!

                  [Dr. Lisle: That’s a very logical point. I like it. Unfortunately, you used logic to make it, the very thing you are attempting to prove. So your argument is circular (using logic to prove logic). But previously you claimed that circular reasoning is “always fallacious”, “always worthless”, and “a fallacy.” Thus, to be consistent, you must reject your own argument as fallacious.]

                  It is not circular reasoning because it is beyond proof!

                  [Dr. Lisle: Then why did you just attempt to prove it? How do you know things to be true if they are “beyond proof”?]

                  If it needs proof then it would invoke either infinite regress or circular reasoning.

                  [Dr. Lisle: A very interesting point. So how do you actually know that logic is a legitimate way to understand the universe? An infinite regress won’t work because the argument could never be completed. And you have stated that circular reasoning is always fallacious. So how do you know that something is true if it can never be proved?]

                  Logic cannot not be correct

                  [Dr. Lisle: Reducing the double negative, your statement becomes “Logic is / must be correct.” But how do you know? You say it’s beyond proof. So then, how do you know?]

                  • Tony says:

                    I did not exactly “prove” logic I showed that denying logic is self refuting, and that is axiom is impossible to be wrong

                    [Dr. Lisle: “Showed” is a synonym of “proved.” By the way, I liked your argument. It’s just that you used logic to show that logic cannot be wrong – which is circular. Yet previously you argued that circular reasoning is “always fallacious” and “always worthless.” Thus, by your own claim, your latest reasoning is fallacious and worthless since it is circular.]

                    • Tony says:

                      no i used no-logic to show logic cannot be wrong

                      [Dr. Lisle: if you used “no-logic” then we shouldn’t trust your conclusion, for you have not been logical, by definition.]

                    • Tony says:

                      i said denying logic is impossible that is not circular

                      [Dr. Lisle: You stated, “logic cannot be denied or wrong or else it’s self refuting!” Your implicit assumption is that logic is not self-refuting. And so your argument is this:

                      1. If logic were denied then then it is self refuting.
                      2. Logic is not self-refuting.
                      3. Thus, logic cannot be denied.

                      I think that’s a reasonable argument, but it is a logical argument (modus tollens). Thus you have used logic in your attempt to defend logic, which is indeed circular.]

                    • Tony says:

                      Actually logic cannot be wrong because all attempts to prove its wrong fail

                      [Dr. Lisle: Again, you have used logic in your defense of logic – which is circular reasoning. And you’ve previously argued that circular reasoning is “always fallacious” and “always worthless.” Hence, by your own reasoning, your current argument must be “fallacious” and “worthless.”]

                    • Tony says:

                      no it is not Logic needs no justification,

                      [Dr. Lisle: You have attempted to justify it by arguing that it is the precondition for justification and proof.]

                      because it is the precondition for justification as well proof

                      [Dr. Lisle: Your argument is that logic is justified because it is the precondition of justification and proof, and thus without it we could not justify or prove anything. (This is a transcendental argument by the way). I’m not disagreeing with your argument. But it is circular because you have had to use logic in order to make the argument.]

                  • Tony says:

                    ” Then why did you just attempt to prove it?”
                    i did not attempt to “prove” logic i showed how the opposite is absurd and makes no sense

                    [Dr. Lisle: “showed” = “proved.” According to the dictionary to “prove” is “to establish the truth or genuineness of, as by evidence or argument.” Is that not what you did? If you did not demonstrate the truth or genuineness of logic, then it is still unjustified in your worldview – you have no foundation for it. Thus it is arbitrary and irrational for you to use it.]

                    • Tony says:

                      anyways the truth of logic needs no justification, and it cannot be wrong

                      [Dr. Lisle: If it needs no justification, then how do you know “it cannot be wrong?” Is it reasonable to accept some things as axioms with no justification, and claim that they cannot be wrong? If so, then I accept that “Tony is wrong” as an axiom that requires no justification and an axiom that cannot be wrong.]

                • Micah says:

                  >no it is not Logic needs no justification, because it is the precondition for justification as well proof

                  Since logic is the precondition for logic, then it is, by definition, circular. But you have previously said that circular reasoning is always fallacious. So why are you being circular?

                  • Micah says:

                    >anyways the truth of logic needs no justification, and it cannot be wrong

                    Logic does need justification. If something doesn’t have justification it is arbitrary and therefore irrational. In the case of logic, the justification for it is the impossibility of the contrary. Arguing for logic on the basis of logic is still circular though. Which you previously said is ‘always fallacious’.

                  • Tony says:

                    wrong-axioms are not circular reasoning, they are the bedrock of reasoning that needs no further justification

                  • Tony says:

                    i didnt say that i said logic is the precondition for PROOF, stop inventing ad hoc anwsers to continue your excuses for circular reasoning!

                    • Micah says:

                      Logic must be justified by itself. How else do you justify it? ‘Its an axiom.’ You may say, but axioms still must be justified, otherwise they are arbitrary and could be wrong. Axioms will always be justified by themselves because they cannot appeal to anything greater(otherwise they wouldn’t be axiomatic). Justifying logic by logic is NOT arbitrary though because of the impossibility of the contrary. It is therefore not fallacious. But it is still circular.

                      If axioms didn’t need justification then how could you possibly know they are true? Answer that please.

                    • Tony says:

                      this axiom is true because its the precondition for proof

                      [Dr. Lisle: When you say “because” you are giving justification for that axiom.]

                    • Tony says:

                      wrong- logic is beyond proof so it doesnt need justfication,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Did you read my answer? If some things don’t need justification, then “Tony is wrong.” You must accept this without justification.]

                      and since its beyond proof any accusations of circular reasoning doesnt work either

                      [Dr. Lisle: And yet you continue to use circular reasoning in using logic to justify logic all the while arguing that logic doesn’t need justification! This is the intellectual mess you end up with when you reject Christianity. You just can’t make sense of anything.]

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      no an axioms goes on an assumption, all reasoning does

                      [Dr. Lisle: If your belief that logic is reliable or that your senses are reliable is merely an assumption, then you don’t really know it. And if you don’t know that, then you don’t really know anything based on it. That means all your observations of the universe and all your reasoning about the universe is unjustified and unreliable. In other words, you don’t really know anything at all. Of course, this is the claim I made when we first started this dialog: apart from the Christian worldview, you can’t know anything.]

                    • Antichus "Tony" says:

                      uh no, this is the proper result when you realize that all proper reasoning in a LINE not all circle

                      [Dr. Lisle: The inevitable result of your reasoning is that you can’t know anything at all. All your reasoning is based on an assumption which you accept by blind faith. Since your fundamental standard is merely assumed (not known or proved), all of your others beliefs are unreliable.]

                    • John W says:

                      And yet, by using logic to justify your assertion that logic needs no justification, you reason in a circle.

                    • Tony says:

                      uh no John, you clearly dont understand what an axiom is

                      [Dr. Lisle: John is right. Tony, you have tried to argue for why we should accept logic, which means you are attempting to justify it as if it were not an axiom. But then you state that it is an axiom and needs no justification. Which is it? If we are allowed to accept axioms with no justification, then it follows logically that “Tony is wrong.” (I notice you haven’t dealt with that one.)]

                    • John W says:

                      If it is acceptable to not justify one’s assertions, ie to be arbitrary, then it is equally acceptable to arbitrarily assume the exact opposite. As such, I can claim, with authority equal to Tony’s, that it is Tony who understands neither axioms, nor the nature of logic.

                      However,since this line of argumentation is clearly not useful, I propose that everyonejustify the assertions they make? Is this not reasonable?

                    • Tony says:

                      “I made when we first started this dialog: apart from the Christian worldview, you can’t know anything.” again you are not making any sense,

                      [Dr. Lisle: I’m happy to explain. Many beliefs are based on other beliefs. A is justified by B, which in turn is justified by C. Since A is based on B, which is based on C, if C turns out to be false or unjustified, then A and B are not truly known after all. One of your most basic beliefs (and mine) is that logic is a legitimate tool. We use it to justify many other beliefs. But if you can’t justify logic (if you merely assume it as an axiom), then none of your beliefs that are based on logic are actually known. Clear?]

                      you are just trying to keep on trying to reason in a circle even after i told you about axioms,

                      [Dr. Lisle: An axiom is assumed for the sake of hypothesis to see what implications follow from it. If in your worldview, if logic is an axiom then you don’t actually know it. You just assume it, by definition. Axiom = blind faith. So when you say that you accept logic as an axiom, you are conceding that you don’t have a reason for it. You have blind faith. That means that all your other beliefs (which are based on logic) are also unjustified.]

                      but you keep spouting this random stuff that makes no sense, also this assumption is different than others,because when i assume it it cannot be wrong

                      [Dr. Lisle: I can tell you’re confused, so I will try to help you out here. I am asking you to justify laws of logic – that is to give a reason why they must be true. If you cannot do that, then your faith in laws of logic is a blind faith. When you say that logic is an axiom, you are conceding that you don’t have a reason; you have blind faith, though I don’t think you’ve realized that.]

                      [On your secular worldview you have three options: (A) admit that you have no reason to accept logic – you have blind faith and accept it as an axiom (in which case you don’t really know anything). (B) you can argue for logic using logic, which is circular and (according to you) fallacious and worthless. (C) you can argue for logic using something other than logic – which by definition would be illogical. You are stuck in an epistemological trilemma for which there is no escape in the secular worldview. This is the problem with secular worldviews. They would make knowledge impossible.]

                    • tony says:

                      no axioms differ from an act of faith in that an axiom is typically either accepted “for the sake of argument”, or is simply “self-evident”. it is accepted as true with out the need for proof , there is a great differance between circular reasoning and axioms and i think you need to realize that. An axiom is just “true”

                      [Dr. Lisle: Accepting something “as true with out the need for proof” is pretty much the definition of blind faith. But let’s go ahead and accept your premise. Okay then, it’s a self-evident axiom that ‘Tony is wrong.’ No need to prove it. It’s just “true.” ]

                    • Micah says:

                      Tony….an axiom is true, because it is true? That is the most blatant form of circular reasoning. Can you really not see that?

                      As Dr. Lisle has said many times over, if an axiom is allowed to be accepted with no justification then, ‘Tony is wrong.’ is and axiom that i dont need to give any justification for.

                    • Tony says:

                      Uh no dr.lisle that’s not what an axiom is, it’s not blind faith there is a big difference,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Not by your definition. You state that an axiom is accepted as true without proof. That’s what blind faith is.]

                      an axiom is just true,

                      [Dr. Lisle: How do you know? If you can’t give an answer, then your faith is blind – by definition.]

                      and I am talking about the most primitive of beliefs, so ” Tony is wrong” is not a very useful axiom

                      [Dr. Lisle: It is very basic and very useful (it explains, for example, all of your previous lines of argumentation). And it’s an axiom which (by your thinking) cannot be wrong.]

                    • Tony says:

                      wrong- again you don’t seem to know anything about axioms!

                      [Dr. Lisle: That’s ironic. I was just thinking that about you. In any case, the question is: can you justify your axioms, or are they accepted by “blind faith?”]

                      the axiom “Tony is wrong” cannot be a true axiom because you can go back further

                      [Dr. Lisle: No, I am asserting it as a properly basic axiom. It’s just true. And we don’t need to prove it. You really can’t object to that without being hypocritical.]

                      , with something like logic it is pointless to go back any further,

                      [Dr. Lisle: Then how do you know it’s true? Or do you not really know that it’s true at all, but you just believe/accept it on blind faith?]

                      again you are just trying to keep up your excuses for using circular reasoning, because you dont want to accept what an axiom is

                      [Dr. Lisle: If it is okay to accept something as an axiom that is simply true with no proof, then you must accept that “Tony is wrong.” You are being terribly inconsistent.]

  9. taka no mi says:

    “Animals don’t have morality. What one animal does to another is morally irrelevant”
    no it is not many “moral values” and behaviors that appear to be instinctual;

    [Dr. Lisle: This is the naturalistic fallacy – arguing for morality from behavior. But these are two distinct and very different concepts. Behavior is what a person does. Morality is what a person should do. People don’t always do what they should do; thus behavior does not always match morality. In any case, do not confuse behavior with morality. Animals have behavior; they do not have morality.]

    observations of social animals reveal that many have moral codes that are similar to that of humans.

    [No, they have behavior similar (in some cases) to that of humans. You cannot observe morality, only behavior.]

    To whom are we morally responsible? In moral systems that lack a divine component, we are accountable to those around us.

    [Dr. Lisle: Why? There is no rational basis for such an assumption, and it leads to absurd results. If one man were to kill all other humans, then by your definition he is not morally responsible to anyone. Thus, the action cannot be rationally condemned.]

    The fact that the Bible condemns murder, theft and lying is trivial because peoples and even many other ANIMALS that are unfamiliar with the Bible also hold these moral values.

    [Dr. Lisle: Actually, the fact that people know that murder, theft, and lying are wrong is proof that the Bible is true. The Bible teaches that God has given awareness of His standards to all people. His law is “written in their hearts”; even people who have not read the Bible have some knowledge of right and wrong (Romans 2:14-15). It wouldn’t make sense for murder, theft or lying to be wrong in a chance universe; because what one accretion of chemicals does to another is morally irrelevant. When baking soda reacts with and neutralizes vinegar, you wouldn’t put the baking soda jail and argue that it was morally wrong.]

    [Animals have only behavior – not morality. Again, we don’t put the lion on trial for killing the antelope. Animals do what animals do. It is impossible to derive what “ought” to be from what “is” in a secular worldview. ]

    Also that Lion website you had shown is irrelevant that is just a very minor exception to the rule,

    [Dr. Lisle: It is very relevant to the claim at issue. The claim was that lions MUST eat meat. The example I provided proves conclusively that they don’t. I’d say that’s pretty relevant. One exception is all that is needed to disprove a “rule.” The fact that the majority of lions choose to eat meat does not detract from the scientific fact that they do not have to do so.]

    besides if lions do not eat Zebras then there would be too many zebras and everyone would starve to death because the Zebras would eat all the plants if the lions dont keep them under control

    [Dr. Lisle: You may want to rethink that argument in light of its implications for your worldview. There are people starving in many parts of the world. By your reasoning it would be morally right for me to kill large numbers of them, so that the remaining ones would have more food to eat. Now of course, I believe that such an action is morally reprehensible because people are made in God’s image and murder is morally wrong. But in your worldview, there is no logical reason to call such genocide “wrong” in light of your previous argument.]

    • Take no mi says:

      Again no you are wrong you indeed can observe morality animals DO have morality,

      [Dr. Lisle: Again, you cannot observe what “should be” (morality). You can only observe “what is” (behavior). Behavior is what animals do, and we can observe this. Morality is what “ought to be done,” and you cannot observe an “ought.” Think about it: what would an “ought” look like? You have committed the naturalistic fallacy.]

      genocide is wrong because it hurts people

      [Dr. Lisle: In the Christian worldview that makes sense: people are made in the image of God, and valuable to Him. Thus, murder is wrong, being contrary to God’s will. On the other hand, if evolution were true, and people were just bags of chemicals, then why would it be wrong to hurt people? Your answer presupposes the truth of the Christian worldview.]

      and also lions only kill what they MUST kill

      [Dr. Lisle: First, I’ve already demonstrated conclusively by example that they don’t need to kill anything to survive. Their taste for meat is a preference, not a biological necessity. Second, lions sometimes kill other lions to take over the pride. So it is obvious that lions do not only kill what they must in order to survive. Cats sometimes kill mice for the fun of it. It would be absurd to argue that this is immoral, because what one animal does to another is morally irrelevant.

      • Antichus "Tony" says:

        “It is very relevant to the claim at issue. The claim was that lions MUST eat meat. The example I provided proves conclusively that they don’t. I’d say that’s pretty relevant. One exception is all that is needed to disprove a “rule.” The fact that the majority of lions choose to eat meat does not detract from the scientific fact that they do not have to do so”
        Again that is not true, that was just a minor exception, exceptions are not rules, if you want to challenge ALL of modern day biology, not just evolution be my guest

        [Dr. Lisle: All it takes is one counter-example to disprove a rule. If the claim at issue is “Lions must eat meat to survive”, then one counter-example is sufficient to refute that claim. If the claim is “Presidents of the United States cannot be assassinated.” Then pointing to Lincoln or JFK would refute the claim. If the person argued “those are just minor exceptions. It is still the case that Presidents of the United States cannot be assassinated. So if you want to challenge ALL of American history, be my guest”, that wouldn’t be a very effective response. It would be irrational to continue to believe the claim after the contrary has been observed.]

        “No, they have behavior similar (in some cases) to that of humans. You cannot observe morality, only behavior.”
        Yes you can observe morality, and animals do have morality!

        [Dr. Lisle: Think about what you are stating. You think we can “observe morality?” Morality is about what should be. How can we observe that? We can only observe what is. Our senses do not allow us to perceive hypotheticals, such as what ought to be. We can only observe what is. You have committed the naturalistic fallacy. We can only observe behavior, not morality.]

        findings in neurological science are pulling back the curtain in religious moral thought. In a revealing study by Nicholas Eply (Eply, N. et al 2009, “Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 106), Christian volunteers were asked to report their own views, the views of their deity, and the views of others on a range of controversial issues (such as legal euthanasia) while having their brain activity scanned. Results show that thinking about divine views activated the same brain regions as thinking about their own views, indicating that when believing themselves to be consulting the divine moral c
        compass, theists may instead be doing is doing what the rest of us do: searching their own conscience.

        [In the Christian worldview, this makes sense. God has written His law (what should be) on our hearts according to the Scriptures (Romans 2:15). God’s moral code is built-in to people, and thus we can reflect on it using our brain. No problems there. But in the secular view, if “right” and “wrong” are merely chemical reactions in the brain, then what is right for one person will be wrong for another, since we all have different neural activity. And again, chemistry really can’t explain what should be, only what is. If the brain is just a chemical accident, then morality would make no sense. It would be no different than looking for what is “right” by looking at patterns in an oil spill.]

        An idea further supported by the finding that manipulating the subjects beliefs consistently influence their views about divine beliefs. As Eply put it, “Intuiting God’s beliefs…may serve as an echo chamber to validate and justify one’s own beliefs.” The worry that a without religion or god we’ve no basis for which to discuss morality, is without foundation.

        [Dr. Lisle: That just doesn’t follow logically. The fact that God made our mind to use chemical reactions and built His law into our brain doesn’t detract from the importance of the Christian worldview. Apart from this worldview, you could never know if the chemical reactions in a person’s brain are “right” or “wrong.” In fact, the question of right and wrong is meaningless in an evolutionary universe, since bags of chemicals are amoral.]

        Plain empathy can trigger natural help responses to others distress and crate natural aversion to causing others harm.

        [Dr. Lisle: In your worldview, is empathy just a chemical reaction that occurs in the mind that happened to convey some survival value in the past? Or is it fundamentally right – something we should feel and act upon in the future? The first question concerns what is, the second concerns what should be. How in an evolutionary worldview can you determine what should be?]

        Likewise, the simple experience of living alongside others is a simple feedback about how our actions affect each other and how we might have to affect our conduct in response. The human brain contains “mirror neurons”; which mimic the activity of other parts of the brain or of other brains. This provides a literal biological foundation for empathy: individuals with mirror neurons, including humans and other primates, can actually feel what others feel

        [Dr. Lisle: At best, this might explain why people do behave in a particular way. But it doesn’t explain why people should behave in a particular way, i.e. morality. In cases where doing the right or noble thing is contrary to survival (self-sacrifice to save someone else), how would you justify it as right in your worldview?]

    • Antichus "Tony" says:

      “Dr. Lisle: Why? There is no rational basis for such an assumption, and it leads to absurd results. If one man were to kill all other humans, then by your definition he is not morally responsible to anyone. Thus, the action cannot be rationally condemned.”
      No it doesn’t it just seems like you don’t understand the argument if he kills everyone else he himself cannot survive, and again i believe that you wont understand the full crux of the argument

      [Dr. Lisle: Certainly he can survive. Since he has killed everyone else, he helps himself to their possessions and resources. He has enough food, shelter, clothing, and other resources to last the rest of his life with plenty more. So, why in your worldview would his actions be morally wrong? Or would they?]

      “Animals have only behavior – not morality. Again, we don’t put the lion on trial for killing the antelope. Animals do what animals do. It is impossible to derive what “ought” to be from what “is” in a secular worldview. ” We do not call well-fed cats who kill mice, or small children who crayon on expensive wall paper immoral, because we do not attribute them with the capacity to grasp reasons for not doing so!

      [Dr. Lisle: This misses the point under discussion. Why would there be reasons to not do things in a chance universe, particularly when such things improve our survival value? (e.g. a man killing all others so that he can help himself to their food and resources). You keep talking about applications of morality as if morality exists; but I’m asking how there could be such a thing as an objective moral code in a chance, evolutionary universe.]

      • Taka no mi says:

        “Since he has killed everyone else, he helps himself to their possessions and resources. He has enough food, shelter, clothing, and other resources to last the rest of his life with plenty more. ”
        so who is going to help him when he gets hurt or sick?

        [Dr. Lisle: He is a careful guy, so is unlikely to get hurt. And with no other people around, he is very unlikely to get sick.]

        and what will he do for fun- watch CSI miami re-runs for the rest of his life?

        [Dr. Lisle: Yes, and episodes of “24.” Great show.]

        also one man cannot manage all those resoruces by himself,

        [Dr. Lisle: Sure he can. Some people build bomb shelters that have sufficient resources for them to survive the rest of their lives without outside help. And our hypothetical murderer would have access to all of those, and everything else on the planet.]

        again you cant understand the argument,one man cannot run all the infrastructure needed for human survival all by himself

        [Dr. Lisle: Sure he can. It would be easy now that he is the only person left. He only has to keep himself alive, which would be trivial since he has access to all the resources of the planet. So in your worldview you would have to consider his actions of genocide as morally right.]

        • taka no mi says:

          ” So in your worldview you would have to consider his actions of genocide as morally right.”
          again it sounds like you cant understand my argument, it is impossible for one person to survive on their own in the world,

          [Dr. Lisle: People have survived on their own. Thus, people can survive on their own. But for the sake of discussion, we could do the same thought experiment with whatever the minimum number of people you think are necessary for their own survival. This small group kills off all others. They all agree that it was a great thing to do. How in your worldview would that be wrong, or would it?]

          all you demonstrated is that you don’t know how the world or society works, all you have shown is how compartmentalized your reasoning is, and as well Christianity cannot provide us with absolute morality, you yourself admitted that

          [Dr. Lisle: No. I’ve stated that unless Christianity is true, absolutely morality would be meaningless. The biblical God is the foundation for absolute morality. Christianity can and does provide us with absolute morality.]

          “He is a careful guy, so is unlikely to get hurt. And with no other people around, he is very unlikely to get sick”
          is that supposed to be a joke? that is an idiotic and terrible answer,

          [Dr. Lisle: Then it should have been easy for you to refute, instead of just writing a question-begging epithet fallacy.]

          but anyways all those dead bodies around can easily attract rats and various germs as well the rotten flesh attracts various wild animals and diseases that can easily kill that one person off

          [Dr. Lisle: In the hypothetical scenario that I’ve proposed, he has been able to eliminate these things as well. Yet, in your worldview he has done nothing immoral in killing off the rest of humanity, because he is not accountable to anyone. You’ve missed the point of the example.]

          “Sure he can. Some people build bomb shelters that have sufficient resources for them to survive the rest of their lives without outside help. And our hypothetical murderer would have access to all of those, and everything else on the planet” and they (bombshelters) first of all never work as they boast to be,

          [Dr. Lisle: evidence? rational support for this statement? The astronauts can live for months at a time in the ISS with very limited supplies. It seems reasonable that with greater supplies people can live in a small space for much longer.]

          second of all how does he get access or find all of them.

          [Dr. Lisle: Anyone smart enough to kill off all humanity without harming himself should have no problem locating a few bomb shelters. He doesn’t need to find all of them. Only one really.]

          third of all he would just go insane and kill himself from being alone, if he wasn’t already insane

          [Dr. Lisle: You’re getting quite silly here. Some people prefer to live alone. Hermits do exist without killing themselves or going insane.]

          ” Sure he can. It would be easy now that he is the only person left. He only has to keep himself alive, which would be trivial since he has access to all the resources of the planet”Uh no… again one person cannot manage so much rescources

          [Dr. Lisle: Since some people do live alone, it follows logically that people can live alone. Thus your claim is refuted.]

          “Dr. Lisle: Yes, and episodes of “24.” Great show.”
          Again this tells me you again dont understand my argument,

          [Dr. Lisle: I’ve let this statement go by many times because it isn’t a rational response; it is a question-begging epithet and I was being generous in not calling attention to it. But if we’re going to go that way, then I suggest that you do not understand the fatal problems with your position. I have refuted your claims, but you just don’t seem to understand. If a small group of people (whatever the minimum number you think is necessary for survival) killed off all others, and agreed that it was morally right to do so, how in your worldview would that be wrong? Another fatal problem with your position is that it presupposes that the survival of human beings is morally commendable, and thus actions which achieve that end are morally commendable. But there is no basis for that in your worldview, since you maintain that humans are merely the inevitable outcome of mindless chemistry. Why should they be valued more than a pile of rust, which is also the inevitable outcome of mindless chemistry?]

    • taka no mi says:

      also are you saying that its impossible to find out by observation what kind of moral code people hold on to?

      [Dr. Lisle: I’m saying that we cannot learn what should be merely by observing what is; hence, we cannot learn what people should do merely by watching what they actually do. Is that clear?]

      • taka no mi says:

        “we cannot learn what people should do merely by watching what they actually do. Is that clear?”
        yes it is clear, but wrong as well

        [Dr. Lisle: How is it wrong? How can you learn what should be merely by observing what is?]

        • Bruce Williams says:

          By watching the reactions of the parties involved.

          [Dr. Lisle: That might reveal what they believe to be moral, but it doesn’t shed any light on what is actually moral. Suppose a group of people decide to rape and murder a young lady. They all respond very positively; they enjoy the experience. Would that make it right?]

  10. Joseph Tertius says:

    It is indeed sad when believers accept Bible-scoffers’ definitions. I was not particularly surprised when Richard Dawkins defined FAITH as “belief without evidence.” But I was absolutely appalled when I started seeing believers ACCEPTING that definition! How could any Christ-follower possibly read the Bible and come away thinking that faith in Christ was void of evidence?!

  11. Bruce Williams says:

    Where did the land of Nod come from and its people? God never said he created it.

    [Dr. Lisle: The land was made by God along with all other land (Genesis 1:1,9-10). The people are the descendents of Cain (Genesis 4:16-18).]

    And how could the people there be as old as Cain?

    [Dr. Lisle: They weren’t. Nod was uninhabited until it became populated by Cain, his wife, and their descendents (Genesis 4:16-18).]

    • Bruce Williams says:

      And were did Cain get a wife?

      • Robert says:

        A daughter/descendant of Adam and Eve.

        • Bruce Williams says:

          His sister!

        • Bruce Williams says:

          Apparently god wasn’t intelligent enough to make other people? Or was his plan to create inbreeding problems so he could blame humans for their defects?

          • Aaron says:

            This is a good article to answer your objections about making other races and defects as a result of inbreeding. http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/who-was-cains-wife

          • Robert says:

            Yes, you get 99.99% pure genes and you don’t have inbreeding problems we do today with genes that have much larger mutations that have adverse interactions. If you have issues with inbreeding, how do you account for that in evolution where there is supposedly an upward benefit to inbreeding?

            • Micah says:

              Exactly, good response.

              Aarons link is good too.

            • Bruce Williams says:

              You don’t have problems THAT GENERATION. But what about the coming generations. Your god new well the DNA he used to make humans (either that or he wasn’t as smart as you think) so he knew good and well that he was setting his “children” up for failure. Quite the “father” wouldn’t you say.

              [Dr. Lisle: This is a straw-man fallacy – a misrepresentation of the biblical view either deliberately or due to ignorance on your part. God has created mechanisms in the cell that can repair mutations. Today, these don’t work 100% of the time. But before the curse, mutations would not have been a problem – ever. Had Adam and Eve not sinned (nor those who followed), there would never have been any genetic defects.]

              • Micah says:

                Which would be why God later condemns marrying close relations.

                • Bruce Williams says:

                  Actually, its kind of a wash, having sex with your close relatives – Genesis 19:32-36 says it is ok, and Leviticus 18:6 says not so much.

                  [Dr. Lisle: Where does Genesis 19:32-36 say it’s ‘okay’ to have sex with close relatives? The Bible does not endorse as right all the events it records as true. You have committed the naturalistic fallacy. The Bible only endorses sex within marriage. And people always marry a relative since all humans are related. By the time of Leviticus (over 2000 years after creation), sufficient genetic mistakes had accumulated to the point that it would be unhealthy for close relatives to marry. Hence God instituted a law against marriage of close relatives at that time.]

                  So, its not so unambiguous what your god thinks. And the other refrences are about wives/mothers in law – not applicable to brother sister sex.

                  [Dr. Lisle: The text is really very clear, when you don’t distort it.]

          • Bruce Williams says:

            Just out of curiosity. How many generations do you think it takes to produce mutations?
            You see your starting point of “perfect” does not exist. Are Blue eyes perfect, or Brown. How about hair color – Which is “perfect”? And height – What is the “perfect” height? What is the “perfect” body type? What about skin color and nose shape? Your god made man in the Arabic part of the world and he made them in HIS image, not yours (note – the only ones who left were the defective ones). All of these are different from person to person because of “mutations”. So, how and where did your god define perfect? And if there is no answer, why did he hide this from you?

            [Dr. Lisle: Bruce, you are confusing alleles with mutations. They are not the same thing. Some alleles may have resulted from a mutation, but others have not. The original alleles that God placed in Adam and Eve and their gametes were all perfect, and contained many different variations (e.g. for brown eyes or green or blue, etc.)]

            • Micah says:

              >You see your starting point of “perfect” does not exist. Are Blue eyes perfect, or Brown.

              If we take mutation to mean just the reshuffling of the genetic code, and not a loss of information or something that is detrimental to us, then they both would have been perfect.

              >How about hair color – Which is “perfect”? And height – What is the “perfect” height? What is the “perfect” body type? What about skin color and nose shape?

              They are all perfect, again, its because of genetic variation. Adam and Eve had the all the genetic information to produce the variability we see in each other today, it didn’t require mutations in the same sense that causes close relations to be unable to reproduce effectively, just simple reshuffling of the genetic code.

              >Your god made man in the Arabic part of the world and he made them in HIS image, not yours

              When the Bible says God made us in his image it is not talking about physical appearance, God is not a physical being after all. Rather, what it means is that we have access to things that animals and other things don’t, Gods Laws of Logic and Morality (etc..).

              >(note – the only ones who left were the defective ones). All of these are different from person to person because of “mutations”.

              Mutations, in the sense of reorganization of the genetic code. The reason close relations shouldn’t reproduce is because chances are they have the same genetic defects(defects that were caused because of mutations that decreased the genetic information). If two people reproduce that have the same genetic defects then chances are their children will be more likely to have the same genetic defects. But, back when adam and eve were alive those genetic defects didn’t exist. So there wasn’t a problem for close relations to reproduce.

              >So, how and where did your god define perfect? And if there is no answer, why did he hide this from you?

              The standard for perfectness is God Himself. Since God made a perfect world because He Himself is perfect, there would have been no genetic defects in Adam or Eve, this doesn’t mean their children couldn’t have varied genetic information, it just means mutations did not cause loss of information, the information in the human population would have just continued to vary and vary.

              I hope things are now clearer.

              • Bruce Williams says:

                Really, the rock of knowledge uses the words “in his image” and we have to interpret that?

                [Dr. Lisle: It’s not really very hard. An “image” of something bears resemblance to that something. Yet it is not the same and it not as substantial. A picture of a horse is an image, and so there are some similarities between the picture and the horse. But of course the image is much more limited and cannot do what the horse can do. Likewise, we bear some of the characteristics of God (rationality, sentience, emotion, creativity), but in a much more limited way, and we cannot do what God can do (speak things into existence).]

                Your rock sounds like a grouping of patched together pebbles.

                [Dr. Lisle: How about sticking to rational arguments instead of name-calling? And I would strongly recommend that you not make disparaging remarks about God.]

                Every time I turn around it is not what it says, but rather something else.

                [Dr. Lisle: The biblical God is personal, so “Him” is the appropriate pronoun. God uses the most accurate language to describe Himself that we as finite beings can understand.]

                If I make a statue “in my image” and “perfect” it will most definitely look like me!

                [Dr. Lisle: It will be like you in some respects, but less than you in most respects. It won’t move like you, or look like you on the inside; and it cannot think, or do most of what you can do. Yet, when people look at it, they will be reminded of you. Likewise, when we look at people, we don’t see God, but we do see something that reminds us of God’s nature.]

                If not then how do you define perfect?

                [Dr. Lisle: Perfect is that which matches the precepts of God. Something is perfect if it is what God has instructed it to be.]

                You think we are not perfect but are not willing to say what is perfect and neither is your bible.

                [Dr. Lisle: Actually it does. “Perfect” is that which corresponds to God’s preceptive will; it is what God is and that which God does (Matthew 5:48, Deuteronomy 32:4).]

                Where is the “rock of knowledge”?

                [Dr. Lisle: God is a spirit (John 4:24); His presence is everywhere (Jeremiah 23:24, Psalm 139:7-8).

                Where is the truth in what perfect DNA would produce. It can only produce Blue or Brown or Hazel or Green eyes. Which is perfect?

                [Dr. Lisle: All of those are perfect if they are what God has prescribed. God has designed variation in people.]

                You claim perfect now tell me what perfect is if you can or if not why doesn’t your rock of knowledge tell us?

                [Dr. Lisle: The Bible is really very clear about all this. The original world was a paradise that God Himself called “very good” (Genesis 1:31). It corresponded perfectly to His preceptive will, and was thus perfect. But when Adam rebelled against God, God allowed us to experience the imperfect consequences of that imperfect action. And now we have disease, suffering, death and other unpleasant things in the world (Genesis 3:17-19, Romans 8:20-22).]

              • Bruce Williams says:

                Just out of curiosity. How many generations do you think it takes to produce mutations?

                [Dr. Lisle: One.]

              • Bruce Williams says:

                What form does Perfect human DNA take? What characteristics do they produce? What color eyes, nose shape, etc. It cannot be all of them. If Adam and Eve were perfect, then what is perfection?

                [Dr. Lisle: You are mistaken in thinking that only one DNA pattern is perfect (corresponds exactly to God’s precepts). God has built in tremendous variety in the various combinations of DNA that are expressed as difference in traits. There will be variation in human beings in heaven, where everything will be perfect. But there won’t be disease or death.]

              • Bruce Williams says:

                “If we take mutation to mean just the reshuffling of the genetic code” – This has to be one of the saddest things I have ever heard. Really, Really sad. If you reshuffle the genetic code you have by definition mutated it.

                [Dr. Lisle: No. Not correct. A mutation is a change of the nucleotide sequence. It is not a reshuffling of the genetic code that occurs, for example, during recombination.]

                And since you will not define Perfect but you know it exists then you know that means god knew in advance he was setting his children up for failure because in every change you “loose” some part of what the DNA does, and this is damaging because you are no longer “Perfect”.

                [Dr. Lisle: No. Before the curse, there would have been no deleterious mutations, but there would indeed have been genetic recombination, resulting in new traits and tremendous diversity in each generation of human beings. Since no one would have died, no genetic information would ever have been lost from the human genome (though each person would contain only some of the total information of the human genome.)]

                This loose then results in new less “Perfect” DNA.

                [Dr. Lisle: No. As long as the DNA present in the subsequent generation corresponds to God’s preceptive will, it remains perfect. There are many possible combinations of DNA that produce variety in human traits, but are not disease and are perfectly healthy.]

                So, you had to start with Perfect DNA to begin with but you will not tell what that DNA produced as far as characteristics.

                [Dr. Lisle: One possibility is that Adam and Eve both had a very heterozygous genome, and we do know what traits that produces. They would have had middle-brown colored skin for instance. But it’s also possible that God created even greater variation in the gamete cells of Adam and Eve, in which case we can’t know what they looked like.]

      • Steve says:

        Genesis 5:4

        And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:

        • Bruce Williams says:

          And were does it say one of those children was Cains wife?

          [Dr. Lisle: Genesis 3:20]

          • Steve says:

            You quoted the verse yourself. Genesis 4:17. “Cain knew his wife”… God gave us logical reasoning minds and expects us to use them. So a person asks himself, “Cain knew his wife? Where did he get his wife? There were no other people!”…. Press ahead to Genesis 5:4 “Adam… begat sons and daughters”
            Oh! There WERE other people! God may not have made the answer in the format that you desire but the answer is there.

            • Bruce Williams says:

              You’re ASSUMPTION that Cains unnamed wife was his sister is also invalid.

              [Dr. Lisle: Actually, it is logically conclusive that Cain’s wife was a close relative, because Eve was the mother of all people (Genesis 3:20). A sister makes the most sense, though I suppose it could have been a niece. But we know it was a close relative since all people are descended from Adam and Eve.]

              Apparently your god didn’t think enough of his female children to even acknowledge them!

              [Dr. Lisle: He does acknowledge them (Genesis 5:4). He just doesn’t list the names.]

              Name just 1 of Adam & Eves daughters that are mentioned in your gods bible.

              [Dr. Lisle: Your unstated premise is that if something is not mentioned in the Bible then it is not important. But that is a baseless assertion, and leads to absurdity. If the Bible included the names of all people that existed, it would be very difficult to read! God gave us only the essential information that we need to be saved and to live a life pleasing to Him.]

              • Steve says:

                My assumption is the only logical conclusion as I have already detailed.
                What is your point regarding the female children?

                • Bruce Williams says:

                  Actually its not the only logical conclusion. Since you maintain that god told Cain that murder was wrong and just never told us,

                  [Dr. Lisle: What? God has placed His law in our hearts such that we all know that murder is wrong (Romans 2:14-15). We also have the explicit teaching of the Scriptures (e.g. Exodus 20:13). Whether God told Cain verbally or in physical writing, we know that God’s law was written on his heart. There is no excuse for murder.]

                  it would be just as logical that his wife was one of the Great Apes.

                  [Dr. Lisle: What? In the Christian worldview, marriage is defined as the lifelong union of a man and woman before God (Genesis 2:24). Anything else is not a marriage. Of course in the secular worldview marriage is merely a cultural trend, and can therefore literally become anything. It could be a man and an ape, an woman and a stapler, a pizza and bar of soap, etc.]

                  Or his wife was a human that evolved from the Great Apes (Neanderthal).

                  [Dr. Lisle: First, the Bible denies particles-to-people evolution. It tells us that man was made from the dust of the earth, not from an ape (Genesis 2:7). Second, Neanderthals were not Great Apes, they were 100% human, as evidenced by their anatomy. Third, it is the rejection of the biblical God that leads to evolutionary notions (Romans 1:20-23).]

                  It could also be possible that they were aliens, beings your god had created elsewhere.

                  [Dr. Lisle: No. The Bible indicates that Adam was made directly by God from the ground (Genesis 2:7), and Eve from his side (Genesis 2:21-22).]

                  Where is your rock of knowledge that gives us the answers we seek?

                  [Dr. Lisle: The answers are right in the Scriptures. You just haven’t read them, apparently.}

                  • Steve says:

                    But that’s not a logical conclusion. That’s simply fictitious story-writing. Entertaining as it sounds, based on what we read in Genesis, the only logical conclusion is that Cain married a close relative.

                  • Bruce Williams says:

                    No, actually my logic is as valid as yours. Since your bible is the whole truth and nothing but the truth

                    [Dr. Lisle: Where does the Bible say that it is exhaustive truth (that everything that is true is stated somewhere in the Bible)? Hint: it doesn’t. God’s Word is the foundation of knowledge, not the entire body of knowledge. The Bible gives us the necessary preconditions of intelligibility so that we can know the basics. Then you are supposed to reason from those basics and learn new things (Isaiah 1:18).]

                    and god did not even mention Cains wife’s name it is logical that she had no name

                    [Dr. Lisle: By such fallacious reasoning we would have to conclude that you have no name, since it isn’t mentioned in Scripture. No, this is a really silly argument, e.g. “The Bible doesn’t mention X therefore X doesn’t exist.” Many things exist that are not mentioned in the Bible. The Bible is the foundation of knowledge, not the entirety of knowledge.]

                    – i.e. a great ape, descendant of the great apes, or alien. Please explain how this is not logical.

                    [Dr. Lisle: See previous paragraph. Also, by your own reasoning your claim fails. After all, great apes and extra-terrestrials are not mentioned in Scripture, and thus by your reasoning they cannot exist.]

                    And in that explain the logic of not giving us Cains wife’s name.

                    [Dr. Lisle: It wasn’t necessary to the essence of the account. I’m so glad God didn’t record in the Bible everything that has ever happened, as you seem to think He should have. Just imagine how big the Bible would be. Most people don’t even read it now!]

            • Bruce Williams says:

              Doesn’t even give Eve full credit for all the children. But then maybe they weren’t all her children. Maybe many of them were Adams daughters children by him.

              • Steve says:

                With all due respect, what is your point?

                • Bruce Williams says:

                  And were does it say one of those children was Cains wife?

                  • Brian Forbes says:

                    If you try hard enough, you can disbelieve anything.

                  • Steve says:

                    If you look at this line of questioning, your last question doesn’t follow.
                    “Doesn’t even give Eve full credit”
                    “What’s your point?”
                    “where does it say… Cain’s wife?”

                    That’s like this questioning.

                    “What are clouds made of?”
                    “Water vapor”
                    “Yeah but where is Montana?”

                    • Bruce Williams says:

                      Your ranting – I was asked what is your point? And my answer is – Where in teh bible does it say Cain’s wife was one of Adam and Eve’s children (his sister)? That is my point – The initial question that you refuse to show me where your bible says who Cains wife was.

                    • Brian Forbes says:

                      Reply to Bruce:
                      The daughters throughout the tribes of Israel who are in line to inherit property must marry within their tribe, so that all the Israelites will keep their ancestral property. 9 No inheritance may pass from one tribe to another; each tribe of Israel must hold on to its allotted inheritance of land.” 10 The daughters of Zelophehad did as the LORD commanded Moses. 11 Mahlah, Tirzah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Noah all married cousins on their father’s side. 12 They married into the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. Thus, their inheritance of land remained within their ancestral tribe. (Num. 36)

                      It may not be expressly stated that they married their sisters, but it’s a simple logical inference. Given the scriptural support of other early inbreeding, and ridiculously ample support outside scripture, your stubbornness has nothing left to fall back on?

                      And what’s the point of the question? Does it prove something that if they didn’t marry their sisters?

                    • Bruce Williams says:

                      Where does it say Cains wife was his sister? Please show me in Genesis where it says this. I could care less about inheritance. There was no one else but the tribe of Adam and Eve. There were no inheritance issues!
                      Let me repeat it agian – WHERE in Genesis does your god say Cain married his sister?

              • Steve says:

                I know what your intial question was. I asked what is your point about mentioning “Doesn’t even give Eve full credit for all the children. but then maybe they weren’t all her children. Maybe many of them were Adams daughters children by him.”
                That sounds like ranting.
                As far as who was Cain’s wife? It has been answered many times. This constant rejection of explanation implies that you are not here looking for answers.

                I do not see the purpose in repeating the same explanation so perhaps this lengthy explanation will help.

                http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/who-was-cains-wife

                Without God, there is no basis for knowledge or logic, therefore you wouldn’t be able to have this discussion or ask the question.

                • Bruce Williams says:

                  Your redirecting does BOT answer the question. Where did your god write that Cain married his sister and not an ape or neanderthal or alien. Your god gave no name so where did he just say it was his sister? A really easy question, and your posturing will never answer the question. Where does your infallible bible tell us that Cains wife was his sister. That is the question here, really simple!

                • Bruce Williams says:

                  Your redirecting does NOT answer the question. Where did your god write that Cain married his sister and not an ape or neanderthal or alien. Your god gave no name so where did he just say it was his sister? A really easy question, and your posturing will never answer the question. Where does your infallible bible tell us that Cains wife was his sister. That is the question here, really simple!

                  • Aaron says:

                    Bruce, since you cited a verse that says Cain knew his wife, she conceived, and bore a son, you should know that since she conceived and bore a son Cain’s wife could not have been anything but human. The only humans around at the time would have been Cain’s sister or niece or another female relative. It is more likely that she was his sister, and even if she was his niece or another kind of relative, someone had to marry their sister in order to bear that relative. God gave you the ability to reason. If you would sincerely use that ability, you would see that the question is very simply answered.

      • Brian Forbes says:

        Incest was normal in Noah’s day. Zeus married his sister. Abraham married his sister. Isaac married his cousin. In fact, a lot of people were marrying close relatives back then, if you believe the extra-biblical sources. You don’t have to believe them, though. Abraham’s family is evidence enough.

    • Bruce Williams says:

      {4:16} And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. {4:17} And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch:

      Your comments I am assuming are from the above statements. Your god never said where Cains wife from. Apparently she is insignificant in his eyes, if not he would have included her history as well as Cains. Your god never did say were she came from, and your bible being the rock of knowledge any claim at all relative to Cains wife is unknowable.
      Apparently your god can not figure out that someone may someday question him and as such he would have to supply details. Either very egotistic in thinking no-one would ever challenge him or considerably less intelligent than you claim!

    • Bruce Williams says:

      Oh yes, you say Nod was created by your god when he made all the other land. The problem is that the name of a “Land” in those days was the name of the tribe that controlled it. So, the Nod’s (or equivalent) existed when Cain left the tribe of Adam and Eve. Now, lets look at the sequence of events as your god wrote them in your bible:
      Genesis
      {4:1} And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. {4:2} And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the
      ground.

      {4:16} And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. {4:17} And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch

      {4:25} And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, [said she,] hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.

      {5:4} And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: {5:5} And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

      You will notice that the birth order of humans was:
      Cain, then Abel, then Enoch (Cains son), then Seth, then Adams other sons and daughters.

      Now, according to your gods record, and he supposedly wrote the bible with no defects in it – Cain had a son when the only humans that existed were Adam, Eve, and Cain. So, we are left with only 3 possible sources for Cains wife. It could not have been his mother Eve because god had a name for her already and she is not listed as Cains wife. It also could not be his sister, since Adam did not beget his other sons and daughters until after Seth was born which was after Cain had Enoch.
      This leaves us with a female of the great ape family, an evolved member of the great ape family such as Neanderthal, or an unnamed alien. There were only 3 humans at this time, and his mother had a name but his wife didn’t so she was not it and that only leaves the other 3.

      • Aaron says:

        1. A land is not necessarily named after a person. Who is Eden? As far as I’ve understood, “the land of Nod” is a play on the word “vagabond.” Cain became a vagabond and went to “Vagabond-land.”
        2. Even if the land of Nod is named after a person, places that are referred to in the Bible are sometimes called by the name they were known by at the time the book was written, rather than the name it was called by when the events took place.
        3. There is no reason to assume that the verses you cited are chronological. In fact, they are not. 16-24 tell of events in Cain’s family after Abel was murdered, and 25-32 tell of events in the lives of Adam and the patriarchs after Abel was murdered.
        4. There is no reason to assume Cain’s wife had no name just because her name is not mentioned.
        5. Cain and his wife bore Enoch, and Enoch and his wife bore offspring. Cain and his wife could not have borne a child that could also have a child if one of them was not human.

        As has been previously stated, it is clear that you are not truly seeking answers. Rather, you are raising irrational objections that are frankly frustrating because of your refusal to accept any answers despite their validity. You constantly accuse the Bible of being false because it does not tell you everything about everything, and you claim that it is not “the whole truth.” If you are in court and told to tell the whole truth, are you going to spout off all the knowledge in the universe? You will not, and that does not make your witness any less truthful. A quote from Ken Ham’s blog today in regards to 1 Corinthians 13:12 seems to address your qualm quite nicely.

        “But what Paul is implying about Scripture, if anything, is that Scripture does not reveal everything. It’s adequate for us, but it’s not exhaustive in what it communicates. In fact, God is infinite in wisdom and knowledge, so we finite beings can never know everything! But can we trust that what has been revealed to us is without error? Absolutely.”

        Bruce, I truly wish the best for you and hope that you will some day choose to call on God to remove your blindness and give you a heart of flesh rather than a heart of stone.

    • Bruce Williams says:

      The sequence in the bible is critical. After all, you recognize that perfect DNA (whatever that might be) allowed early people to engage in incest and it wasn’t morally wrong, therefor your god did not have to tell people it was bad until later.

      So, one must also say murder wasn’t bad at the beginning because god didn’t tell Adam, Eve, or anyone else for quite a while that it was. If it had been bad then he would have told the people at the time and for all time that one of his commandments was true at the beginning of time. But he didn’t tell anyone because he would have written it into his bible just like when he told Adam not to eat of the fruit of knowledge.
      And yet he punished Cain for murdering Abel.

      And Romans 2-15 does not say god put morality in mans heart – it says:
      {2:15} Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, . . .
      It does NOT say “I put morality in mans heart” or even anything like that. All it says is that it is there. Who put it there is never stated. Maybe your satan put it there to cause your god grief since the people would then not have to rely on your god so much as they could rely on that and their own intelligence? Your god never claims nor denies putting it there.

  12. Bruce Williams says:

    Cain and Able – God had not told them killing was bad.

    [Dr. Lisle: We don’t actually know that. But it’s possible.]

    How could he punish Cain? Unless humans have an inherent sense of morality and God intended them to follow it even without his direction.

    [Dr. Lisle: God has written His law on the hearts of all people (Romans 2:14-15). We all have revelation from God (Romans 1:18-20), and so it makes perfect sense for God to hold us accountable when we transgress His law.]

    So apparently a belief in God is not necessary for understanding morality or living a moral life.

    [Dr. Lisle: That doesn’t follow at all. First, Cain and Abel did believe in God (Genesis 4:3-4). Second, it’s not belief in God that is the precondition for a moral code, but rather the existence of God. (Just as a profession of belief in air isn’t needed to breathe, but air is needed to breathe.)]

    • Bruce Williams says:

      So you agree. I do not have to believe in your god to be moral?

      [Dr. Lisle: You do have to believe in God to be fully moral, because disbelief in God is a sin (Psalm 14:1). However, you don’t need to profess a belief in God to have an awareness of morality, since God has placed that in you. Nonetheless, it would be absurd and irrational to believe in morality without believing in God, since apart from God morality would be meaningless. But God has given you the freedom to be absurd and irrational if you so choose.]

      • Bruce Williams says:

        It’s not in the bible that God ever told Adam or Eve or Cain or Able. And since you state that the Bible is a rock of knowledge then by that rock I DO KNOW he did not tell them!

        • Aaron says:

          It’s also not in the Bible that your specific name on this blog is Bruce Williams, so by your reasoning, I DO KNOW that’s not your name!
          An argument from silence isn’t a good one, because I can have just as good a reason (still not a good reason) to say the opposite. “It’s not in the Bible that God didn’t tell Adam or Eve or Cain or Able (that murder is wrong), so I know He didn’t tell them!”

          • Aaron says:

            *last “didn’t” is supposed to be “did”. Sorry.

          • Bruce Williams says:

            It’s your claim that the bible is the truth, not mine. If it is truthful and god wrote it then he would have said that murder is wrong. After all, he warned Adam about eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge didn’t he? And from the point of silence I can most assuredly draw conclusions based on your assertion that the bible is the truth, and the whole truth. Your god never mentioned murder was wrong – live with it he didn’t think it was that big a deal.

            • Steve says:

              Actually, God did say so at least twice….
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thou_shalt_not_kill

              Perhaps you’re saying that God didn’t tell Cain prior to him committing the murder. As Jason pointed out previously, we don’t know that. Not every conversation in ancient past was
              recorded. We have history books that tell us about George Washington and what he said as an adult. Are we to presume he never said anything prior to what was recorded in history books? Of course not, you can’t claim “God never told him” because you can’t know and it cannot be proven or disproven. But further, (as was already pointed out) God wrote his laws on our hearts. He did not have to literally speak the words “Do not murder” in order for us to know it is wrong.

              • Bruce Williams says:

                So, your bible is not complete and we do not know what your god decided to leave out. Interesting – I am supposed to follow a god who isn’t willing to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
                And Wikipedia is not exactly a reliable source and most definitively not the bible.

                • Micah says:

                  How is not telling you every single detail not telling you the truth? That doesn’t follow logically. If i dont tell someone my age, does that mean i am no longer truthful? It is easy to deduce from the Bible where cain got his wife, even if it doesn’t explicitly say it.

                • Steve says:

                  The Bible doesn’t meet your standards of completeness? How much have you studied the Bible? Also, continuously calling him “your god” doesn’t make him any less your own God too. The fact is, He IS your God too. Why do you believe He is not real?

              • Bruce Williams says:

                Also, do you believe in killing your children if they are rebellious or drunkards?
                And if not maybe you know HIS plan better than he does and when you meet up you can give him your almighty opinion and let him know who knows what!

                • Steve says:

                  Laws change. But on your worldview, why do you have a problem with it?

                  • Bruce Williams says:

                    Your god evolves?

                    • Steve says:

                      Hmm, that’s a fallacy. Why would a law changing mean that God evolves? If you decide to live on the East coast and change your mind and move to the West coast, does that mean you are evolving?

                      I also noticed you didn’t reply to my link that explains the drunken children question you had. I hope that means it is now resolved in your mind.

                  • Bruce Williams says:

                    That being the case, I now understand that he doesn’t teach his children the things that are wrong, and he really doesn’t know that awful much or he wouldn’t have to evolve to get things right!

                  • Bruce Williams says:

                    My problem is your god is no better than the average joe actually and yet demands submission, killing and oppression.

                • Steve says:

                  A while after I posted my response to your drunkard children question, I found the following link purely by accident while I was reading an article on a different subject. Perhaps God showed it to me so I may pass it onto you. I hope this helps.

                  http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/09/24/feedback-killing-the-rebellious-son

          • Bruce Williams says:

            True, but your god quit talking to people 2000 years ago. And neither my story nor yours is in the bible!

      • Bruce Williams says:

        And by His law I assume you also mean the parts about stoning your children to death if they are drunkards and defiant, and all the many many other examples where your God has said we must kill people. Those to are your gods laws impressed on peoples hearts.

        [Dr. Lisle: I have written about this topic on this very web site. No, God does not authorize the stoning of children. (Would children be drunkards?) He does authorize capital punishment of those (adults) who are guilty of capital crimes, so as to protect the innocent. Of course, if evolution were true, then people are just bags of chemicals, so why not kill whomever you want?]

        • Bruce Williams says:

          Yes actually I know of children that were/are drunkards.

          [Dr. Lisle: Bruce, you’re getting desperate and a bit silly. I’m just picturing a 4-year old waddling around drunk and being obnoxious.]

          And yes, your god did say to kill the children that were drunkards.

          [Dr. Lisle: where? book, chapter, and verse please. (Hint: it doesn’t say this anywhere).]

          Matter of fact he COMMANDED you to do that! You and I both know that!

          [Dr. Lisle: No, which is why you were not able to find any passage in Scripture that teaches this. (I shall help you out here and point out that the Bible only condones the stoning of “sons” – never “children” – and only in cases where they were beating up on their mother, cursing their father, were continually drunk (so this would not be a toddler), and remained violent despite repeated punishment.) God does endorse capital punishment for extreme crimes. To fail to punish people for such heinous crimes would be unjust. Of course, you would have known this if you had bothered to read the article on this very blog that covers it, or the Bible for that matter.]

          And of course you know HIS plan so well that when you meet up with him you are going to tell him how it is aren’t you!

          [Dr. Lisle: The irony, Bruce, is that you are the one trying to tell God how wrong He is. If you want to know what God’s plan is, you’ll have to read about it in His Word, rather than erecting straw-man arguments against it.]

      • Steve says:

        That’s correct. You don’t have to believe in air to breathe… but air exists regardless of your belief.

      • Bruce Williams says:

        No – You just verified that you can be moral without your god.

        • Steve says:

          “be moral” as in have morals. I would refer to Dr. Lisle’s latest response to your question. He points out that you cannot be ‘fully’ moral while disbelieving in God as that is a sin.
          So while agreeing with Dr. Lisle, I am saying that you can “be moral” in a general sense, not a complete sense, without believing in God.

        • Micah says:

          To add on to what Steve said, you would also have no basis for being moral apart from God.

          • Bruce Williams says:

            I see. In other words unless I am willing to kill my children if they are rebellious or drunkards I am not moral.
            To be truthful your gods definition of moral is the definition of cruelty and inhumanity. Not what I consider to be moral!

            • Micah says:

              So what is your basis for morality then? Why should we care about what happens to other people?

              • Bruce Williams says:

                My morality is based in the empathy I have for my fellow human beings.
                Your morality is based on the fear of eternal damnation.
                I prefer my empathy to your fear mongering.

                • Aaron says:

                  Yes, I see. That empathy you have is especially evident in your posts. And I’m sure you feel just as deceived as the person you’ve lied to when you ever do lie (and after the person has found out). Perhaps you picked the wrong word with “empathy”. And where does that “empathy” come from anyway? If it specially comes from you, then morality is relative and everyone can do what is right in their own eyes. After all, “it is your right and responsibility to stand up for yourself and your beliefs.” You have constructed a straw-man fallacy by saying our morality is out of fear. Christian morals come from God and we follow them 1)because we humbly acknowledge that God is perfect and greater than all and deserves obedience anyway, and 2) because we are grateful for God’s love and mercy in saving us and even giving us the chance to be saved, so we want to please Him.

                  • Bruce Williams says:

                    Empathy includes the ability to know when someone is going down a path that will ultimately do them harm and attempting to show them how they are wrong.
                    And no – it is not straw man. It is the truth. Your supposed morality is based on fear mongering. Believe me or burn in hell forever! That is what your god promises isn’t it! That is the definition of fear mongering.

                    • Aaron says:

                      Empathy is feeling what someone else feels, as opposed to sympathy which is simply feeling sorry for someone. BTW, you still haven’t answered where that empathy comes from.
                      It’s not that God can’t accept those that don’t bow down to Him, for all will bow. He won’t accept those that don’t accept Him (belief alone isn’t enough) and He won’t let someone spend eternity with Him if they don’t want to. God has to punish sinners because He is a righteous Judge. If a judge lets a murderer go without any payment for the crime, is he a good judge? How do you, as a person who has done wrong at some point in your life, have any basis to say what God does is evil? What Hitler did was pure evil, but in your worldview, why is that? There is a fear of Hell, but the obedience comes from the knowledge that the God who made the heavens and the earth, the seas, and all that is in them, who cannot do wrong and sees how horrible we are, who didn’t have to give us a chance to be saved– that He would even be mindful of us and even more that He would love us enough to save us. So yes, there is a spark of fear, but the fear isn’t what pushes obedience. We are obedient because of the hope and gratefulness that comes from the great love and grace we are offered in place of that fear. Replies will have to be posted somewhere else on this page for readability.

                  • Bruce Williams says:

                    And it is fine if you want to love your god. But your god has a problem. He cannot accept people who will not bow down to him.

                    [Dr. Lisle: Far from being a “problem”, it is only logical that God will accept only people who accept Him for who He is: God. Those who continually reject God’s offers of mercy, who wish to live apart from His rule will receive exactly what they have asked for: existence apart from Him]

                    And your god professes to burn those types in hell forever.

                    [Dr. Lisle: He offers salvation to anyone who will receive Him as Lord. Since God is love, joy, peace, life, hope, etc., it is logically inescapable that those who reject God are choosing sorrow, death, hopelessness, etc. If they will not allow God to pay the penalty for their sin, then justice demands that they pay for it. The existence of hell proves that God honors human freedom of choice. God will allow those who wish to exist apart from His loving presence to do so.]

                    That is just wrong.

                    [Dr. Lisle: By what standard? How is it wrong to honor a person’s choice, and give him what he has asked for?]

                    Pure evil.

                    [Dr. Lisle: By what standard? What is evil about honoring a person’s decision? There is no “good” or “evil” apart from the Christian worldview.]

                    Gives people free will and then burns them in hell for eternity for not bowing down to him.

                    [Dr. Lisle: If God forced people into heaven who rejected Him, then it would mean He is not honoring their free will. If people reject God who is love, and peace, etc., aren’t they logically choosing death, suffering, hopelessness, etc.? God will allow them to receive what they desire.]

                    That is pure fear mongering no questions asked.

                    [Dr. Lisle: How? If people want to reject an eternity of boundless joy, comfort, and fellowship with the God who is love, then God will honor their choice. Hell is proof that God respects human freedom.]

                  • Bruce Williams says:

                    Answer me – How is the truth a straw man argument?

                    [Dr. Lisle: A straw man argument is when a person misrepresents the position of his or her opponent, regardless of whether the opponent’s position is true or false.]

                  • Bruce Williams says:

                    P.S. Don’t read into my saying your love for your god is good for my saying your god is good!

              • Bruce Williams says:

                And to show that I am not just blowing hot air, please see http://www.themoral21.net for my complete philosophy. It’s only 1 page long.

  13. Christopher says:

    God’s ‘word’ is NOT a primary source, your argument is condescending and baseless.

    [Dr. Lisle: Proverbs 1:7, Matthew 4:4, 7:23-27.]

  14. taka no mi says:

    also, the way that Dr.Lisle talked about polythesitic religons in his “Ultamite Proof of Creation” just shows an incrediblely bad understanding of them, like he didnt even give half a thought before writing!

    [Dr. Lisle: If that were true, then it should have been easy for you to give an example. Why didn’t you?]

    I guess you dont need to be smart to get a PHD

    [Dr. Lisle: abusive ad hominem fallacy – often used when a person cannot give any rational response.]

    • taka no mi says:

      because i am not a part of a polytheistic faith, and i thought you would have known better about what they would have believed in like the part where you talked of the Mormon religion, it shows that you dont understand anything of metaphysics in a polytheistic faith!

      [Dr. Lisle: In that case it should have been very easy for you to explain why and give an example. Again, you didn’t. Until you give some actual evidence for your view, I will have to dismiss it as baseless.]

  15. Steve says:

    Hi Jason (and everyone)
    Trying to define another fallacy. In a debate, if someone simply responds “get a clue”, is that a fallacy or would you call that response something different?

    [Dr. Lisle: That would probably be classified as a question-begging epithet fallacy.]

  16. Chris C says:

    Dr. Lisle,

    I know “I think therefore I am” is begging the question, but is it sound….? Or not necessarily? Or does it depend on your worldview?

    I might have a follow up question, depending on your response.

    • Micah says:

      I think i read about that phrase somewhere on AIG once. If i remember correctly, its fallacious because its arbitrary. After all, thinking already assumes that you ‘are’ (you cant ‘think’ unless you ‘are’), so using it to prove you ‘are’ is circular.
      You would need a reason to already assume your thoughts are reliable, thankfully the Christian worldview provides that reason.

      I could be wrong, so Jason can correct me if thats the case.

      • Chris C says:

        That’s Descarte’s syllogism, and I agree the conclusion is already assumed in the first premise “I think” and if you’re an unbeliever it’s arbitrarily assumed. It seems that “I think therefore I am” is a valid and sound argument (for the Christian).. but according to Dr. Lisle an unbeliever can’t know if he’s a mud puddle so does that mean the premises aren’t necessarily true for the unbeliever? If so, then the argument wouldn’t necessarily be sound.

        • Chris C says:

          Also, Dr Lisle, I was wondering how you would argue that unbelievers don’t even know they exist. I understand that, at best, they can say “there is thinking” but not really know “they” (as in, themselves in the reality they think they’re in) are the ones doing it. You’ve mentioned that unbelievers can’t know they are a mud puddle or a tree, but wouldn’t it be the case that either way they still exist? After all, muddle puddles and trees would still count as “existing” would it not?

  17. David says:

    Hello all,
    I just want to say I have learned so much reading these blogs. in the last month and a half I have read most of Coming to Grips with Genesis, all of Scientific Creationism, half of The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, and I think for father’s day i have The Genesis Flood and Many Infallible Proofs coming my way…also I use a Day-Timer to carry my iPad and it happens to fit The Ultimate Proof of Creation snugly inside as well. I have a question for you Dr. Lisle. Recently my direct manager where I work has revealed…well…I am not sure how to say it…New Age, Reincarnation…we are god, god is everywhere (which i think of your example that you use with that statement.) She talks about learning here and then coming back and learning…5d earth…how do I address this when a conversation comes up? i was actually told that “my soul wasn’t at stake”…also how we are energy and nothing is really solid…could you suggest some quick responses…or if anyone on the post would be willing…Micah…Robert…the author she is reading is Delores Cannon and she has referenced the Essene teachings…which i noticed were different to say the least……

    Thanks so much!

    D.

    • Brian Forbes says:

      You don’t defeat this kind with logic. This is a doctrine of demons, and it has just about zero logical basis. You can’t argue someone out of a position they didn’t argue themselves into. You have to be filled with the Spirit through prayer, worship, and fellowship – with God and other believers. Then you cast that spirit out! 🙂 Miracles are always helpful too… if you can pray for her broken bone and have it mended instantly, that helps.

      Of course, that means God does the work… but I’m sure Dr. Lisle would argue that God always does the work. It’s easy to forget that sometimes, especially when we always have an answer. Pray for her. God knows what to do.

      Brian

      • David says:

        Thanks Brian, I appreciate the insight. I have picked up several resources on new age and what not. However, I am more interested in learning from Dr. Morris and Dr. Lisle than spending time learning what she believes, although a little reading tends to encompass ALOT of what she already has said..either she has read ALOT, or all the books are the same and I think it’s a little of both. Thanks again!

        D.

  18. David says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pssmfMMa-nw

    Any chance you could respond to this…Dr. Lisle…please!

  19. Chris C says:

    Dr. Lisle,

    I’ve been studying up on logic, and I have some questions that I can’t seem to be able to figure out. For instance, how can we know whether our reasoning is correct or not?

    [Dr. Lisle: In an ultimate sense, our reasoning is correct when it lines up with God’s thinking as revealed in His Word. The more you study Scripture, the more your thinking will become clear and logical. Of course there are other tools that the Lord has given us as well.]

    You might say, “if the premises are true, and the conclusion follows, it’s correct”, but how can we know if our inferences are correct?

    [Dr. Lisle: In formal logic, the inferences are correct if the argument has a valid form, and there are only a finite number of valid forms. For example, of the 256 possible categorical syllogisms, only 15 are valid. You can always look these up, or you can figure out for yourself which ones are valid using a truth table. So with formal logic, it’s pretty easy.]

    [With informal logic, it’s a bit less clear-cut. But in general, an argument is weak/fallacious if it commits a fallacy, and cogent otherwise. And there are only so many types of informal fallacies, and only three categories of such fallacies.]

    How can we know if modus ponens and modus tollens are always correct?

    [Dr. Lisle: modus ponens is Scriptural (e.g. Exodus 10:4,10-12, 8:2-6) and God has hardwired it into us as well. Most of the other ones (such as modus tollens) can be proved by truth tables or derived from others. Once we discover a law of logic, we know it is always correct because logic reflects God’s thinking which is always right and cannot change.]

    How can we know if fallacies are always wrong (or what we think are fallacies)?

    [Dr. Lisle: With formal logic, you can prove them by truth tables. Once you’ve established that a form is invalid, it will always be invalid since God does not change His mind. With informal logic, it is a bit harder, because some of these are a matter of degree (such as a hasty generalization) and it can be a bit subjective. There are several ways to do it. One way is to show that the argument has true premises and a false conclusion. You can also demonstrate a fallacy by showing that an argument is the same in essence as another argument that has true premises and a false conclusion.]

    Is it because they’re reversible, like arbitrary arguments are reversible? Is that one way to show/prove fallacies?

    [Dr. Lisle: Yes. If an argument is equally cogent when reversed, then it is arbitrary and fallacious.]

    I know it doesn’t make sense to deny that there is a such thing as correct reasoning, because to do so would assume correct reasoning. But I just can’t seem figure out how we can know if our reasoning is correct or not, or how we can know all of the “rules” of logic are always true.

    [Dr. Lisle: In an ultimate sense, our reasoning is correct when it aligns with God’s nature as revealed in His Word (Isaiah 55:7-8). Once a law (or “rule”) of logic is discovered, we can know it is always true since God does not change. Laws of logic are discovered, in a way similar to mathematical truths.]

    I know God doesn’t change, but that doesn’t mean the “rules” we think are immutable really are.

    [Dr. Lisle: (Rules of logic = laws of logic). If it is really a law of logic then it will never change (though the way we formulate it may change since language is somewhat conventional). Of course it is possible to think that something is a law of logic when it really isn’t. I don’t think that’s very common though.]

    If you could help me or point me in the right direction, I’d really appreciate it, because nothing I’m reading seems to be helping me.

    [Dr. Lisle: I hope that helps. Maybe a textbook on logic such as Copi&Cohen would be helpful too, in showing how certain laws of logic can be derived.]

    • Micah says:

      Hey Chris, you touch upon some really interesting concepts here.
      >How can we know if modus ponens and modus tollens are always correct?
      I dont think its a matter of whether or not modus ponens can be ‘correct’ or not, and thats because a person either uses modus ponens or they dont. In other words, if the premises are true and the conclusion follows, they have successfully used modus ponens! If not, then they havent used modus ponens.

      Now i guess someone could ask ‘Why should we use modus ponens? How do we know that is the correct way to reason?’
      The answer would be, ‘Because the opposite would lead to absurd results.’

      Think about this example i got from the Dr. Lisle:

      1: If it is snowing, then it must be cold outside.
      2: It is snowing.
      3: Therefore, it is cold outside.

      This is classic modus ponens. If the two premises are true then the conclusion must also be true.
      Now if i didn’t use modus ponens it might looks something like this.

      1: If it is snowing, then it must be hot outside.
      2: It is snowing.
      3:Therefore, I am eating pancakes.

      The first premise is necessarily false. The second premise could be false or true. And the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises at all. So i didn’t use modus ponens, and i got an absurd result. So i would say that the reason modus ponens is one of the correct ways to reason would be because, it doesn’t lead to absurdity. Even just small changes to modus ponens leads to absurdity, for example:

      1:If it is snowing, then it must be cold outside.
      2: It is cold outside.
      3:Therefore, it must be snowing.

      But just because its cold outside doesn’t mean it is snowing. So now we have to name these little errors in reasoning that lead to absurd results, and we call those errors fallacies! The one above would be the fallacy of affirming the consequence.
      We can know these fallacies are wrong because they dont line up with reality. Take the fallacy above as an example, we know that just because it is cold outside does not mean that it is snowing. Indeed, there are many cases where it is extremely cold outside and there is no snow whatsoever. Therefore we can know that that type of reasoning is in error (the type of reasoning that involves affirming the consequence).

      Here you say something i would like to address.
      I know God doesn’t change, but that doesn’t mean the “rules” we think are immutable really are.

      Okay, here is my take on it. These ‘rules’ of logic, are based on certain things, like uniformity in nature and induction. These ‘rules’ wont change because the things they are based on wont change. Similar circumstances will lead to similar results. So if a true contradiction cannot exist on earth, then i can assume that a true contradiction cannot exists on other planets as well. After all, God tells us that he is Truth, and that He cannot deny Himself. So it stands to reason that truth will never go against itself.
      I realize you were talking more about the methods of argumentation and the fallacies, but i think it still remains true.
      Us, as Christians, can know that these rules wont change because God has promised to give us some degree of uniformity in nature(so that we can know if the circumstances are the same we will have the same result), therefore, when it is snowing I know that it must be cold outside! Also, God made us and designed our mind, so we can know that our past experiences are ‘real’ and not just chemicals reacting. Our past experiences can be relied on because God designed us to have reliable memory. These ‘rules’ of logic help us keep reality straight, they help us separate what might be true from what is true from what is necessarily false.

      And one last thing, these rules only make sense in a biblical worldview, and thats because other worldview’s cant justify things like uniformity in nature and induction. Think about the first premise in the snow example.
      1: If it is snowing, then it must be cold outside.

      We Christians can take it for granted that if it is snowing then it must be cold outside. But ONLY because God has promised us uniformity! The evolutionist, for example, has no basis for assuming this. Snow may have been cold in the past(granting their senses are reliable), but this doesn’t mean snow will necessarily be cold in the future. Because of this, it doesn’t make sense for evolutionists to use this type of argumentation because that first premise is not necessarily true.

      Anyways, thats my take on the whole thing.
      I realize I’m not Dr. Lisle, and he can feel free to jump in here and correct me on anything.

      I hope this is a little bit helpful to you. I really like discussions on logic.

      Micah

      • Chris C says:

        Hey Micah, thanks for the reply. I’ll try to clarify a few things. The reason why I asked if modus ponens is always correct is because I’ve heard Dr. Lisle say it’s a law of logic (it’s without exception). I’m just wondering how we could know that in the case of modus ponens. You provided some examples; I realize you can show how modus ponens works when done properly, but how do we know it works every time? You kind of address that later when you touched on the “rules” being based on uniformity. But how do we know the rules are based on uniformity? How do we know “similar circumstances will lead to similar results”? For me, some examples are easier to show than others. The law of non-contradiction is an easy one, because it’s impossible to deny it. But I guess my main issue is how do we know our inferences are correct? How do we really know if the conclusion follows from the premises? You said:

        //And one last thing, these rules only make sense in a biblical worldview, and thats because other worldview’s cant justify things like uniformity in nature and induction. Think about the first premise in the snow example. 1: If it is snowing, then it must be cold outside.//

        in other words “If it is snowing, then it must be cold (and we know that because of uniformity in nature.”).. but when you imply “we know that because of uniformity in nature” that in itself is an inference. Do you see what I mean? I’m sure some of my questions are dumb and probably have some very obvious answers, but those are the ones I have trouble with. If you have anything else to add, feel free. I appreciate the feedback.

        -Chris

        • Chris C says:

          oops I misread one of your statements: “similar circumstances will lead to similar results” I agree with that. Mostly I’m just having trouble with how we can know our inferences are correct, how we can know our conclusion truly follows from the premises.

        • Micah says:

          Hey Chris, ill try to answer your follow up questions to the best of my ability.

          I realize you can show how modus ponens works when done properly, but how do we know it works every time?

          I may not be understanding you here, using modus ponens would mean that the persons premises are true and the conclusion follows, that would mean it must work every time. When someone sets up an argument using modus ponens, it will either be A: Set up properly, in which case it’s premises are true and the conclusion follows from the premises, or B: Set up improperly, in which case its premises may not be true and the conclusion may not follow from the premises.

          I believe when Jason says its without exception he is referring to the fact that modus ponens would apply equally well in a distant part of the universe as it would apply here on earth. So a person arguing on Mars for instance would still need to have his premises be true and have his conclusion follow from the premises if he wants his argument to be valid. This is what it means for it to be a ‘law’. It doesn’t change with time and applies everywhere. I cant think of any arguments where it would be considered okay to not have you premises be true and to not have your conclusions follow.

          how we can know our conclusion truly follows from the premises.

          Well, i would say that the conclusion truly follows from the premises when they are based on the premises. Using the snow example again, if the first premise 1: If it is snowing, then it is cold outside, is true and the second premise 2: It is snowing outside, is true as well, then the conclusion will follow the premises in the sense that it wont be irrelevant and it wont contradict the premises.
          So if i did an argument somewhat like this:
          1:If it is snowing, then it must be cold outside.
          2:It is snowing.
          3:Therefore it must not be cold outside.
          This contradicts the premises, which must be true for the argument to be sound. So either 1 of the premises are wrong or the conclusion is wrong(because it doesn’t follow, it contradicts). The premises cant both be true and also the conclusion, you see what i’m saying? This would be one way to tell if the conclusion follows or not.

          but when you imply “we know that because of uniformity in nature” that in itself is an inference. Do you see what I mean?

          Yeah I think i do. The thing here though, is its not an unjustified inference, we can know uniformity exists because God has told us in the Bible to expect some degree of uniformity. So because uniformity exists, and because God made our senses basically reliable, we can use past experience to help us know what will happen in the future. So because i know that snow has always been cold, i can know that in the future snow will continue to be cold.

          I’m sure some of my questions are dumb and probably have some very obvious answers, but those are the ones I have trouble with.

          No i dont think they are dumb at all, they are very good and i would actually like to hear what Jason has to say on this. Anyways, its getting late so ill be off now, i hope this helps a little.

          • Chris C says:

            Hey Micah, what I mean is: “affirming the consequent” and “denying the antecedent” are fallcies whereas modus ponens and modus tollens are not (as long as the premises are true and the conclusion follows). I was just wondering how we know that is always the case? For instance, the snow example does a good job of showing the validity of modus ponens. And we could even try a couple other examples, but how we know every example works? I think you’ve answered that, but that’s what I was getting at.

            As far as the other point I was making about conclusions following from premises, it just seems that we could always ask “how do you know the conclusion follows from the premises?” (because of this this and that).. “How do you know ‘this this and that’ is a correct explanation for why the conclusion follows?”… and so on. It almost seems like at some point the only thing we can say is, “because it works, and I know it works because I have reason to believe my reasoning is valid.” But that only answers the question of how you know your reasoning is (for the most part) valid, not how do you know your reasoning is correct.

            • Brian Forbes says:

              Faith! You can never get away from making a choice for God. It’s been set up this way since Eden.

              • Micah says:

                I think Brian makes a good point here. Eventually it will come down to a question of God or not. Because in the Christian worldview He is our Ultimate Standard.

                So someone may ask how i can know my reasoning is correct, and i could reply because it lines up with God. That is, it doesn’t contradict itself, is self consistent, etc. I believe Jason has stated on this blog before that being ‘logical’ is ‘thinking Gods thoughts after Him’. He can correct me if i’m wrong about that. Thats an excellent way to put it, if logic is based on the character of God which never changes then we have good reason to believe laws of logic wont change, since we know God wont change.

                Of course, the person i am arguing with must accept the premise that laws of logic do not change with time or space. If he did not accept that then he would have no reason to use laws of logic, since what is considered a ‘valid’ argument today could be ‘invalid’ tomorrow or invalid a second from now.

                So we can know laws of logic dont change, because if they could, we couldn’t know anything.

                Any reasoning that is not correct would, by definition, be unreasonable. So the way to know if reasoning is correct or not is to see whether it lines up with Logic(Gods thoughts after Him). Sorry if it seems like i’m repeating myself, i’m just trying to find a better way to answer your question.

                I would like to go back to what Brian was saying.
                Ultimately the argument will come down to God. Someone will either have to accept that God exists and that logic flows from his nature, or they will have to be irrational. Because no other worldview can give us the basis for believing law of logic dont change or have the properties they do.

                I hope this helps.

                • Chris C says:

                  I agree that laws of logic don’t change. But I was mostly talking about the rules of logic, like the rule of inference. Everything I’ve been reading so far only touches on “if the conclusion follows it’s a valid argument”, but it never explains how you can know the conclusion follows. I know it seems obvious to us (for the most part) whether or not a conclusion follows, but I’m having a hard time explaining in words how one could know the conclusion follows. I get what you’re saying about uniformity, and that does help to explain part of what I’m confused about. Take for instance the snow example, if it is snowing then it is cold, it is snowing therefore it’s cold. Now we know that from past experiences and we can even go outside and check if the argument is true if, say you live in Wisconsin during the winter time. But just because the conclusion is true, doesn’t necessarily mean it follows. I think that’s where I’m getting stuck.

                  • Chris C says:

                    I know in that example the conclusion does follow, but there are arguments where the conclusion is true and doesn’t follow. And I think most of us would agree on which ones do and don’t. But I guess what I’m asking is what is the rule as to whether it does or not?

            • John W says:

              Formal logic, such as modus ponens, is concerned with the validity of an argument, not with the truth of its premise/conclusion. Formal logic has a mathematical quality to it. Similar to how X + X = 2X is always true, regardless of what the value of X acutually is; if p, then q, p, therefore q (modus ponens) is always true (or valid) regardless of what propositions p and q actually represent. Although modus ponens is always valid, it is not always sound. A sound argument is both valid, and has true premises. An example from Dr.Lisle’s book of an unsound, valid argument is such:

              1) If the sun is hot, then Martians will invade the earth.
              2) The sun is hot.
              3)Therefore, Martians will invade the earth.

              The argument is valid (it is modus ponens) but unsound because it contains a false premise. Conversely, there are invalid arguments that have a true conclusion. In such cases although the conclusion may be true, it has not been demonstrated by the argument. An example of this is as follows:

              1) All dogs are cats.
              2) All cats are reptiles.
              3) Therefore, the sky is blue.

              The above example is both invalid, and has false premises, but has a true conclusion. The truth of the conclusion does not determine the validity of the argument. The form of the argument determines the validity, and the truth of the premises determines the soundness of a valid argument. This logically brings us to the question of how we can determine the truth of a premise (p). It can be said that the truth of p can be ascertained from premise (o), and the truth of o can be ascertained from premise (n). This chain can be continued ad infinitum until you eventually reach the most foundational premise (lets call it m), or standard, which must be self-attesting, since all chains must end somewhere. If m is untrue, or not self-attesting then n, o, and p are all unproven and therefore their truth is undetermined. I assert that God’s Word (The Bible) is the most foundational standard (m). It is self-attesting (rejection of its truth leads to absurdity), and it is from its revealed truth that we are able to determine the truth or falsity, through a chain of reasoning, of all other claims.

              • Micah says:

                Thanks John, that is very helpful!!

              • Chris C says:

                Thanks John W, yes I understand all of that. I know what sound vs unsound is, valid vs invalid, the problem of infinite regress, self attesting authorities. What I was having trouble with is more basic than that, but I think I got it now. But I think I was asking the wrong question. Now that I think about it, what I was really getting hung up by was how we can know premise 1 is true. I think that’s where our reasoning ability truly comes in. Take for example: if the speedometer says I’m going 50 mph, then I’m going 50 mph. The speedometer does say I’m going 50 mph, therefore I’m going 50 mph. That sounds good, but the speedometer could be broken, so it’s not necessarily true. I’m not sure if that would qualify as an inductive argument or an unsound deductive argument.

    • Chris C says:

      Thanks Dr. Lisle, that was very helpful. Now that you mention it, I think I do remember you saying something about modus ponens being Scriptural; that’s a great point. I’ll have to look more into truth tables. I think between your’s and the other responses I’ve got, my questions have pretty much been answered. The only one remaining is the one I addressed to John W about the difference between an inductive argument and an unsound deductive argument.

      • John W says:

        The conclusion of a valid deductive argument is definately true if the premises are true. This is because the form of the deductive argument demands certainty. The conclusion of a strong inductive argument is very likely to be true, but not certainly so. With this in mind, let us examine the speedometer example, reproduced below for clarity and convenience,

        1) If the speedometer reads 50 mph, then I’m going 50 mph.
        2) The speedometer reads 50 mph.
        3) Therefore I’m going 50 mph.

        Although valid, this argument is unsound, because the first premise is false. The speedometer reading does not necessarily reflect the actual speed of the vehicle because the instrument could be malfunctioning. The argument, rephrased to include a true first premise, is detailed below:

        1) If the speedometer is functioning properly, it will accurately display the speed of the vehicle.
        2) The speedometer is functioning properly.
        3) Therefore, the speedometer will accurately display the speed of the vehicle.

        This argument captures the essential point of the original argument, that the speedometer reading can be used to determine the speed of the vehicle, while possessing a true first premise. The argument is deductive (the conclusion is necessarily true if the premises are true), valid (it is modus ponens), and the first premise is true (by definition), thus the only way that the conclusion can be false is if the second premise is false. Therefore, to have confidance in the conclusion of the above argument, the second premise must be justified, and here is where inductive argumentation enters the picture. Relying on the principle of induction, an argument can be made thus,

        1) The speedometer has been tested many times in the past.
        2) Every time the speedometer was tested, it was shown to be functioning properly.
        3) Therefore, it is very likely that, in the future, the speedometer will function properly.

        This is a strong (the conclusion is very likely given the premesis), inductive (it uses past experience to predict the future) argument. Although the conclusion is very likely, it is not certain, because even a speedometer that has always functioned properly in the past may unexpectedly malfunction in the future. However, in order to have confidence in the conclusion of the above argument, the principle of induction would have to be justified, which, as David Hume pointed out, is very challenging to do in a non-fallacious manner. I mantain that the only non-fallacious way to justify the principle of induction is by appealing to God’s Word (Genesis 8:22), which justifies itself (rejection of the truth of God’s Word leads to absurdity), thus terminating the chain of reasoning.

        When the conclusion of this inductive argument is applied to the second premise of the earlier argument, it takes the following form,

        1) If the speedometer is functioning properly, it will accurately display the speed of the vehicle.
        2) The speedometer is very likely to be functioning properly.
        3) Therefore, the speedometer is very likely to accurately display the speed of the vehicle.

        The inclusion of an inductively supported premise in a previously deductive argument causes the entire argument to become inductive, and thus the conclusion is now very likely, but not certain as was previously the case.

        My intention with this post has been to clarify the relationship between inductive and deductive argumentation by using examples to illustrate the point. I hope it proves to be successful in that endeavor.

  20. Jacob Howard says:

    Hi Dr. Lisle,

    I was wondering if you had an email? I would like to talk about some things but I don’t have Facebook and the comment section here doesn’t work for the type of questions and stuff. If you don’t want to put it out here for everyone to see then you could just send me an email with it since you have my email already. Thanks alot!

    In Christ Jesus alone,

    Jacob Howard

    http://www.theyspeak.org

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