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Old 10-07-2008, 02:33 AM   #11
Samuel Dravis
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Originally Posted by Arcesious View Post
This does not prove God...
It's not supposed to.

Originally Posted by Achilles
I just wanted to point out that this itself is a strawman fallacy
Originally Posted by Arcesious
No, it's still the Strawman fallacy.
I'm curious why you would both say it was a strawman fallacy within the context of the debate. Stein responded to Bahnsen's statement which you (Arcesious) quoted with this:
Originally Posted by Stein, p. 6
Now, Dr. Bahnsen repeated for me that the existence of God is a factual question. I don't think he would dispute that. I think he misinterpreted what I said, when I said we resolve factual questions in the same way. I didn't mean exactly in the same way; I meant with the use of reason, logic, and evidence. And that is what I am holding.
But look at what Bahnsen said:
The assumption that all existence claims are questions about matters of fact, the assumption that all of these [existence claims] are answered in the very same way is not only over simplified and misleading, it is simply mistaken. The existence, factuality or reality of different kinds of things is not established or disconfirmed in the same way in every case.

We might ask, "Is there a box of crackers in the pantry?" And we know how we would go about answering that question. But that is a far, far cry from the way we go about answering questions determining the reality of say, barometric pressure, quasars, gravitational attraction, elasticity, radio activity, natural laws, names, grammar, numbers, the university itself that you're now at, past events, categories, future contingencies, laws of thought, political obligations, individual identity over time, causation, memories, dreams, or even love or beauty. In such cases, one does not do anything like walk to the pantry and look inside for the crackers. There are thousands of existence or factual questions, and they are not at all answered in the same way in each case.
Bahnsen's Crackers in the Pantry fallacy covers a variety of mistaken assumptions, some of which do not apply to Stein. While the choice of name for the fallacies he is talking about is certainly unfortunate (it's clear that Stein does not care about how we find out whether there are crackers in the pantry), I don't think he has committed a fallacy himself by saying that Stein has made a category error.

Does he allow God to be a falsifiable concept?
If you try reading the debate you'll find out that such objections aren't legitimate answers to his argument.

It's just as easy to lose track of what is and idea and what is a fact... God is an idea, not an absolute fact. How can you claim something, such as God, as an absolute, when the idea of God is non-falsifiable?
You read the debate.

Yes, yes it can. But we have no evidence for God. He can't support Christian theism with this argument, only deism. Both annoyingly non-falsifiable positions.
See above.
He's already making all these concepts harder than they need to be.
And just how hard do they need to be? Bahnsen's objective is to win a debate. He obviously thought that his was a better tactic than trying other ways, like natural theology. It may be that his ideas are unnecessary to us, but quite necessary for him, in which case he hasn't made them harder than they need to be.

He wants them to have a transcendental necessity, but there is no evidence for one.
I don't know what would constitute evidence for transcendental necessity. I'd venture to guess that Bahnsen isn't too worried by a lack of evidence.

He claims that they are abstract- he cannot prove that. Logic isn't abstract, it simply gets very complex and slightly confusing when you consider all the different ways you can look at logic. We have not tried all of them, no, but we've tried all the ones we are capable of trying. Again, he wants there to be a 'hidden' meaning to all of this, but there simply is no proof for it. Call me materialistic if you wish, but IMHO, what ifs are a waste of time.
Logic is practically the definition of abstraction. Being abstract doesn't mean it's mysterious, just generalized: you can use the same kind of reasoning with different specific instances of the same class of concepts.

Bahnsen's problem with logic in an atheistic universe is that it asserts as its domain everything, yet provides no justification for that generality. He sees it as an unfounded assumption that A=A will always be so. There is no such thing as proving the laws of logic by experiment, so he comes to his conclusion that logic is not justified. And he's right; logic isn't justified in that way.

He does contradict himself. Science proves quite a bit. If he wants to embrace this metaphysical view of things, there's a lot of scientific concepts and facts he must deny. Let's see... Law of gravity, evolution, modern medicine, abiogenesis, the illogicality of any and all theistic Gods... (I will elaborate on the illogicalities if you with, but the reason I am not elaborating on them in this post is because the argument he have about them is very long and probably won't fit in this post.
I don't know if he did disagree with any of those items or not, but his argument would not force him to deny any of them (save of course, the illogicality of theist Gods. He might deny that a theistic God is illogical, but agree that God is a non-logical concept).

Incorrect on so many levels... We have very strong (falsifiable) claims of concepts of all those things. The 'irreducible complexity' and 'to unlikely to happen' arguments aren't as irreducable and unlikely as he'd like to think.
I imagine he is talking about the problem of induction there, in which case no amount of scientific, falsifiable claims are going to help at all. For example, why should the nature be uniform? Why should how things happened in the future reflect how things happened in the past? Those are not a scientific questions insofar as you would have to use the scientific method in order to check the scientific method - an obvious nonstarter. He talks about induction later in the debate transcript starting on page 27.

So he thinks his argument is the best... How arrogant. I wanted to be nice to this guy, but that's pretty arrogant.
I'd hope you think your argument is best. I certainly think that of mine; that's why I hold it. In any case, Bahnsen was making a point: if the laws of logic are physical, then they are conditional. They couldn't be universal, so Stein couldn't say they apply the same everywhere (in Bahnsen's brain, for example, so that he would agree with Stein).

This isn't proving his specific argument. "Extraordinary (sp?) claims require extraordinary evidence."
He's making a point: that we wouldn't be satisfied if we just decided to define God as existing or not, and then manufactured "evidence" to show that our assertion was true. Why wouldn't we be satisfied by that if truths were truths because we agreed to them?

To me, his argument seems to simply be like Stein's, only rephrased to seem different. When you get right down to it, Bahnsan is arguing in metaphysics just like Stein.
Well, yes. Bahnsen is arguing for God, after all. Bahnsen just wants Stein to realize that some of Stein's ideas are metaphysical and can't be made sense of without a metaphysical explanation. I disagree with him there, but I've already said why in the first post.

I'm not sure what the rest of your post had to do with the debate so I won't respond to it.
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