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The Reasonableness of God as World-root Being, the IS that grounds OUGHT and Cosmos-Architect

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The core challenge being addressed (as we respond to abuse of a critical thinking curriculum)  is the notion that belief in the reality of God is a culturally induced, poorly grounded commonplace notion. An easily dismissed cultural myth or prejudice, in short.

Let us remind ourselves of the curriculum content used by teachers in a district in Texas until protest led to removal of the focal question:

God_myth_sch_test

Fox26_God_myth_20pts

Having:

  • shown that such belief is deeply rooted in key, serious thought (also note vids 1: Kreeft, 2: Zacharias, 3: Craig, also 4: Stroebel on Jesus),
  • (exposing the flying spaghetti monster parody as strawman fallacy)
  • and noting (cf here in op and here as a comment)  how it underpins the moral fabric of governance for modern liberty and democracy by way of reference to the US DoI 1776 in context
  •  and having reminded one and all that lab coat clad evolutionary materialist scientism is self-referentially incoherent and so self-falsifying [as in, the shoe is on the other foot],

. . . we should now turn to the responsible reasonableness of ethical theism.

No, we are not here claiming certain proof of the reality of God that once dismissed can lead to an assumed atheistical default. Instead, ethical theism starts as a responsible worldview with substantial evidence and reasoning so that proper education will respect it as a serious option and will address the comparative difficulties challenge (cf. tip sheet) — factual adequacy, coherence (logical and dynamical) and explanatory adequacy — faced by all worldviews:

A summary of why we end up with foundations for our worldviews, whether or not we would phrase the matter that way}
A summary of why we end up with foundations for our worldviews, whether or not we would phrase the matter that way}

Just the opposite of the cynically dismissive one liner presented by the critical thinking curriculum, so called.

As a first point, we briefly reflect on modes of being and the significance of such for world-roots given functionally specific complex organisation, cosmological fine tuning and our patent staus as under moral governance as pointers.

First, an in-brief:

>>Our observed cosmos — the only actually, indisputably observed cosmos — is credibly contingent. That points beyond itself to adequate cause of a fine tuned cosmos set to a locally deeply isolated operating point for C-Chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based terrestrial planet life. Life which BTW is based on coded information . . . language! right from the origin of cell based life . . . used in exquisitely intricate cybernetic systems that run the smart gated, encapsulated metabolic automata with integral code using von Neumann kinematic self replicators we find in cells. That in the end through even multiverse speculations, points to necessary, intelligent, awesomely powerful being as source. Design by a creator beyond the cosmos. One intent on life like ours. Mix in moral government and we are at the inherent reasonableness of a creator capable of grounding ought. Just one serious candidate, the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of our loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature. No, we are not talking about poorly supported popular notions here, but of course, when the evolutionary materialist lab coat clad magisterium controls and censors what gets into the curricula they can make it seem that way.>>

Now, we can think of possible vs impossible beings (you, me, a unicorn vs a square circle). The latter cannot be in any possible world as the cluster of core requirements (a) squarishness and (b) circularity stand in mutual contradiction and cannot all be actualised in one and the same thing at once under the same circumstances.

The former, can exist in at least one possible world, whether or not they are actual in this world (the only generally observed actualised world).

Also, try to imagine a world in which the truth asserted in: 2 + 3 = 5 is false or was not so then came into being at some point or can cease to be so. No such world is possible, this proposition is a necessary though abstract being. That is, it is so anchored to the roots and framework for a world to be actualised that it will be so in any possible world:

|| + ||| –> |||||

(Where we can start with the set that collects nothing and compose the natural numbers etc, {} –>0, {0}–> 1, {0, 1} –> 2, etc.)

This allows us to understand that of possible beings some are contingent, some are necessary. Contingent beings will exist in some actualisable worlds but not in all such possible worlds. Necessary beings, by contrast are foundational to any actualisable world existing.

Contingent beings, then, depend on what I have termed external, on/off enabling causal factors (strictly, dynamically necessary causal factors), much like a fire depends for its beginning and sustained existence on heat, fuel, oxidiser and an un-interfered- with combustion chain reaction:

Fire_tetrahedronBy contrast, necessary beings do not have that sort of dynamical, causal dependence.

This has a major consequence, especially when we see that we live in a world that per the big bang and fine tuning considerations, is credibly contingent and in fact credibly finitely old, typically 13.7 or 13.8 BY being a conventional estimate:

The Big Bang timeline -- a world with a beginning
The Big Bang timeline — a world with a beginning

Typically the talk is of a singularity and perhaps a fluctuation. But the point is, finitely remote, changeable, composite, contingent. Caused, requiring a sufficient cluster of underlying dynamical antecedents/ factors that include at minimum all necessary factors.

But there is more.

For by contrast with being we can have non-being, a genuine nothing (and no a suggested quantum foam with fluctuations, etc, is not a genuine nothing, regardless of clever talking points).

vNSR
Illustrating a von Neumann, kinematic self replicator with integral universal computer

Non-being can have no causal capabilities, and so if there ever were a genuine nothing, such would forever obtain. That is, if a world now is (and a credibly contingent one) it points to something that always was, a necessary, independent, world-root being dynamically sufficient to account for the world that now is. A world with evident beginning at a finitely remote point, with evident fine tuning that sets its physics to a locally deeply isolated operating point that sets it up for C-chemistry, aqueous medium terrestrial planet, cell based life. Life, that is based on smart gated, encapsulated metabolic automata that enfold an integral code using — language! communication and control systems! — von Neumann kinematic self replication facility. A class of machines we know how to conceptualise and initially analyse, but not at all how to design and implement. Worse, where we are conscious, intelligent, morally governed life forms in this cosmos that require a bridge between IS and OUGHT.

Already, we see that a very reasonable worldview stance would be that the cosmos comes from a necessary, highly intelligent, designing world root being who is a necessary being, and thus would be immaterial and intelligent, so minded. Even, through a multiverse speculation (which is spectacularly in violation of requisites of empirical substantiation and the multiplication of entities without clear necessity).

Moreover, as one scans the debates on worldviews foundations across the centuries, it is clear that there is just one credible place for there to be an IS that also grounds OUGHT in a reasonable way: the roots of reality.

There is just one serious candidate to be such a necessary being — flying spaghetti monsters et al (as we already saw) need not apply, they are patently contingent and are material — namely,

THE GOD OF ETHICAL THEISM: the inherently good and wise Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being; one worthy of our loyalty and of the reasonable and responsible service of doing the good in accordance with our evident nature and circumstances.

That is, ethical theism is a reasonable, and intellectually viable worldview stance. It is also a descriptive term for the underlying worldview of the Judaeo-Christian Faith and theological tradition that is core to our civilisation and the foundation of that tradition, God. Where the God of Scripture says of himself c 1460 BC, I AM THAT I AM, i.e. necessary, eternal being, something not understood as to significance until many centuries later.

And in that context, it is the Christian tradition that this same God has come among us, as Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ who fulfills the prophecies in that scriptural tradition and now sends forth his apostles and disciples into the world who are to be as wise as serpents but harmless as doves:

the_stone_of Daniels_vision

cornerstone-foundn_of_the_kingdomseven_mountains_fulness_vision

So, let us ponder Stroebel on Jesus:

embedded by Embedded Video

vimeo Direkt

And, let us ponder Peter as he faced death by sentence of Kangaroo Court on a false accusation of treasonous arson against Rome, c 65 AD:

2 Peter 1:13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body,[h] to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty . . . .

19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

In short, contrary to the false impression created by the authors of the curriculum in Texas, ethical theism in the Judaeo-Christian tradition is a reasonable faith and worldview stance, one to be treated with respect rather than their patent disdain.

And, of course, this post is open for responsible discussion. END

171 Replies to “The Reasonableness of God as World-root Being, the IS that grounds OUGHT and Cosmos-Architect

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    Let us discuss the reasonableness of ethical theism, in response to the talking point that such is at best a culturally induced ill-supported commonplace notion.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    You mean the stone striking the feet of the image and filling the whole earth is not some future event we’re still waiting for (e.g., ten toes = the revived roman empire)?

    I’ll make a preterist of you yet kf!

    😉

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    Mung, I come from Kgn Ja mon, where just to look up to the North you see peaks climbing away and not the valleys between. I always thought the stone was Messiah, and his kingdom is an already and not yet that fills more and more. KF

    PS: Let me add here on principles.

  4. 4
    Mapou says:

    kairosfocus:

    God as World-root Being…Comos Architect

    World-root being? Cosmos Architect? Man, I’m sorry. The English language is a very powerful and expressive language. There is no need to invent new expressions to make a simple point. A simple “creator” would have been adequate.

    Also, brevity is divine. Ernest Hemingway has taught us all how to write clear prose decades ago and the Bible is a powerful example on how to use simple metaphors to get one’s point across without a deluge of words. We live in a world that is saturated with information. Time is precious. I bet that few readers have time to read even a fraction of what you post on UD.

    PS. No hostility on my part. Just my honest criticism.

  5. 5
    kairosfocus says:

    Mapou, the necessary being root of reality needs not be a creator (e.g. 100 years ago it was commonly felt that the observed cosmos was eternal, hence the steady state concept and the resistance to the Big Bang; and many today have no background to understand necessary being or the consequences of there ever having been utter nothing . . . as certain recent assertions by Krause [sp?], Hawkins and Dawkins etc have shown). The Cosmic Architect and IS grounding ought will be personal, moral and Creator. That is, there is a cumulative case to be addressed. And, there is more need for the argumentation above (and in earlier posts, e.g. on FSM) than you seem to realise. KF

  6. 6

    There we go again with the “necessary” being construct.

    The necessary being construct makes us forsake choosing in reaching the conclusion God exists, and forces the conclusion God exists by logic of necessity. That way it puts all subjectivity in doubt.

    Creationism is the only philosophical construct which validates both subjectivity and objectivity into 2 separate domains, creator and creation.

    How ordinary subjectivity works, like saying “the painting is beautiful”, is to choose about what it is that chooses, resulting in an opinion.

    It means any opinion is only valid when chosen, and that the opinion must reference agency of a decision, agency being that which makes a decision turn out the way it does. (in regards to the beautiful painting the agency is love, and the other option was ugly / hate)

    In contrast, how objectivity works is to make a model of something. For example there is the moon and a book about the moon containing the facts about it. The book about the moon models the actual moon. If there is a crater there and there on the actual moon, then so it says in the book, there and there is a crater on the moon.

    So we have 2 domains

    1 creator

    – what is in this category chooses, which is the mechanism of creation

    – spiritual domain

    – subjectivity: what is in this domain can only be found out by choosing if or not it is, by expression of emotion with free will

    2 creation

    – what is in this category is chosen, meaning that the entire universe is a contingency

    – material domain

    – objectivity: what is in this domain can only be found out by a way of evidence forcing to produce a 1 to 1 model of it.

    And while naturalists, atheists, materialists, etc. have done a pretty good job with facts, they have totally sucked at opinions, subjectivity. That is because there is no accommodation for subjectivity whatsoever in those philosophies.

    And while I say in general they have done a pretty good job with facts, they also suck in describing the facts of anything in terms of freedom, including human behaviour. This is also why they oppose intelligent design / creation theory. Because intelligent design theory is based on freedom, while they reject freedom is real, because they reject subjectivity.

    But that lack of knowledge about how things work in a free way is just a minor point of criticism, in comparison to the point of their anti-human rejection of subjectivity.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    First, the logic of reality in the face of the consequences of an utter nothing ever having obtained [=> nothing forever after] requires that something always was.

    Something at the root of reality not dependent on any other being, a necessary being.

    That is basic philosophy, but with profound worldview implications.

    Not least, as matter in aggregate is inherently contingent and composite and the material cosmos we observe is credibly finitely old, we are looking at the observed material cosmos not being a credible candidate for the root of reality.

    A multiverse is a speculation and is problematic, but it is the main half viable materialistic alternative. (And in a world with moral government and responsible rational freedom, it runs into the next brick wall head on.)

    Necessary beings are going to be mind or abstractions . . . which arguably reside in minds. And abstractions such as the number 2 do not have dynamical, causal capacity.

    It is a partial result but an important baseline, one that in fact allows us to understand a lot about God, when it comes to that.

    Including even I AM THAT I AM.

    Take the fine tuning that fits the observed cosmos for C-chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life . . . it points to purpose and design, as does the functionally specific complex organisation and information in such life.

    Not to mention, codes. Language before cell based life!

    Designing mind as best explanation of evident design [note the distinction], absent imposed ideological question-begging lockouts, as we have exposed so often at UD.

    Mix in our responsible rational freedom and inescapable moral government and we need a root of reality adequate to account for that.

    This is the level where ethical theism, dry as it is as a bare philosophical proposal, becomes a serious worldview option. The option to beat.

    With evolutionary materialistic scientism stumbling fatally in the starting gates as it is self-falsifying.

    In short, we have 150 years worth of intellectual reforms to undertake.

    Beyond, we can now appreciate that the ethical theistic, Judaeo-Christian tradition is not just an arbitrary notion put up by a bunch of priests and hucksters, a culturally enforced commonplace, intellectually ill-founded notion.

    No, before we get to history, prophecy, the resurrection, onward prophecy in fulfillment around us and the transforming power of meeting God in the face of Jesus, we see that there is a bill of particulars to be met that this specific tradition fills powerfully thank you.

    Or, if you want scriptural backative, let me cite Rom 1:

    Rom 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

    19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

    20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

    21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

    22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

    24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! . . . .

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind [–> the fool says in his heart . . . ] to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

    In short, we should not be surprised in the end to see the sort of evidence and implications out there that point us so strongly to what we are seeing.

    KF

    PS: In a day of rampant, ideologically embedded atheistical domineering, is it any surprise to see a wave of calls to dismiss and even publicly sneer at, shame and silence prayer, weeping with the mourning and thoughts of condolence, in the interests of a political agenda patently intent on disarming the public (creating ever so many more soft targets and locking out the 10 second responder when police etc are 10 minutes away)? At a time when the shooting and incident were still in progress and many caught up were calling for prayer? (Would it not make a lot better sense to be organising a civilian marshals corps and making it as pervasive as possible? But that is for later on, the first response in the face of an existential threat and the anguish of shock grief is prayer to the God who loves, suffered awfully for us to bring us salvation, healing and deliverance, and who heals by the power of his own awful stripes. I guess the sneering objectors have never read or taken seriously the touchstone of Bible prophecy, Isa 53.)

  8. 8

    @kairosfocus

    I presented 2 concerns in regards to the necessary being idea. Validation of ordinary subjectivity, and intelligent design science. You write nothing to address those concerns.

    To do intelligent design science it is obviously required to have knowledge about how things are chosen, because choosing is the mechanism of creation.

    The concept of choosing does not function when agency is regarded as a factual issue. That means intelligent design science, and subjectivity, is out the window, if you so define agency as a factual issue.

    And it seems to me that you place necessary being as fact, in place of agency.

    It might be possible to argue for God as a necessary being. OK, but doing that you have done nothing yet to validate either subjectivity or intelligent design science, which both operate by choosing.

    You probably forget that in principle intelligent design science also has to explain how Mozart created his music. That is to say that intelligent design must apply generally.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    I actually wrote in the context of the OP’s concerns which — witness prayer and condolences shaming (yes, it is that bad now) — are all too topical as issues.

    In terms of subjectivity and choosing etc, my thought is, it is more important for us to understand implications of our utter dependence on being able to freely choose and reason responsibly, if we are to have knowledge and reason. Indeed, as the OP links, it is by undermining responsible, rational freedom that evolutionary materialist scientism undermines itself and self-falsifies.

    For design inferences to work, what is crucially necessary is that we recognise THAT design exists and that designers exist so design is a possible being and designers are possible beings. Likewise, we need to have some understanding of cause, of necessary enabling factors and the need for adequate cause.

    All of this is abundantly empirically substantiated.

    Then, we focus on design, as process and as artifact from process. Design uses purpose, and insight to intelligently direct configurations to fulfill targetted function. As a result, with sufficiently complex entities, we see functionally specific complex organisation and associated information, FSCO/I, beyond 500 – 1,000 bits. At such a threshold it becomes maximally implausible for blind chance and/or mechanical necessity to directly search the space of possible configs on available atomic and time resources. Likewise, search for a golden search is coming out of the power set of the original space of possibilities, which makes the haystack exponentially harder. 500 bits is 3.27*10^150 possibilities and as searches are subsets of a set, the power set space to find a golden search is of order 2^(3.27*10^150)

    So, FSCO/I — as is inductively warranted — is an empirically reliable sign of design as key causal process.

    You will note, there is no speculation as to designers, their nature, how they come to be, their subjective inner life, how choice is made and effected bodily, etc etc etc.

    No one really knows that.

    But, we can readily show that just to have a credible intellectual life in which we can reason, warrant and know, we must be responsibly and rationally free. Thus, such is integral to design.

    So, we let the chips of that first premise to be responsibly rational and effective as thinkers, knowers and designers lie where they fly.

    Evolutionary Materialist scientism, never mind the lab coat clad magisterium, fails this test. It self-falsifies.

    We then look at cases where FSCO/I is relevant. Language and computer programs. Communication and Control systems. Manufacturing automatons. Highly complex integrated chemical manufacturing process-flow networks, the von Neumann kinematic self replicator. Fine tuning of complex systems that sets them to locally deeply isolated operating points.

    So, at this point, we see that the technological world provides trillions of cases in point that underscore the power of FSCO/I.

    Then, we have learned that cell based life is like that, only with much more sophisticated versions of what we have discovered.

    Then, we begin to realise that the observed cosmos is fine tuned in its physics in many ways that set the stage for C-chemistry, aqueous medium, terrestrial planet cell based life. And we learn, increasingly, that our solar system is evidently a rare and privileged zone in the cosmos.

    All of these, long before one wonders about inner workings, point to design. Of life, of the cosmos behind life, of main body plans. Including our own.

    That is already enough for a drastic paradigm shift in science.

    Which is what is being fought out now.

    Where, we do not need to explore the causes and operations of responsible rational designing intelligent freedom. Just, we need to recognise its possibility.

    Going back, the purpose of this thread is to address a worldviews foundation challenge in the wider context of understanding our world and what is at stake in the widespread secular humanist evolutionary materialist scientism rooted atheistical indoctrination we find in our schools. Even, targetting 12 year olds.

    This is not about the design inference, as the list of categories will show.

    Going beyond, we must follow Newton: I feign no [speculative] hypotheses, in scientific work.

    Question begging controlling assumptions need to be challenged, such as evolutionary materialist scientism.

    So, no, to make a scientific design inference, it is NOT necessary to understand how designers choose, just we need to recognise such are possible, commonly act by intelligently directed configuration and thus frequently leave empirically reliable traces. Such as FSCO/I.

    And, we have every good reason to first seek facts of observation and experience on the fact of design. Models and theories explain credible facts. Science seeks to describe, explain, predict, influence.

    No, necessary being is not a fact placed instead of agency. It is seen that our cosmos traces to a root of reality that must be necessary, i.e. no world is possible unless such a root is there.

    Then, it was drawn out that the cosmos is fine tuned and has FSCO/I rich, cell based life in it set up through such fine tuning. Of such life we find ourselves as intelligent, designing, rational, morally governed and significantly responsibly free.

    We now see that design and intelligence, purpose and moral grounding are on the table. Where, it is easy to see that there is only one place where moral government can enter the cosmos: its root.

    We seek a necessary being IS grounding both the evidently designed cosmos and world of life and a class of beings governed by OUGHT.

    That brings to the table, before we get to religious traditions etc, that the world without and heart, mind and conscience within all join with one voice to point to ethical theism.

    In which we see not only an abstract necessary being, but a designing mind and moral governor.

    Thus person.

    Such frames a bill of particulars that is best filled by the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being and moral governor, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable service of responsibly doing the good and the right in accord with our evident nature.

    This is the God of the philosophers, yes, the God of generic ethical theism.

    But already, he is someone worthy of loyalty, prayer, penitence and service by persistence in the path of the good.

    I have already cited from Rom 1.

    Let me now clip from Rom 2, to bridge further to the Judaeo-Christian tradition and scripture:

    Rom 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse or justification, everyone of you who [hypocritically] [a]judges and condemns others; for in passing judgment on another person, you condemn yourself, because you who judge [from a position of arrogance or self-righteousness] are habitually practicing the very same things [which you denounce]. 2 And we know that the judgment of God falls justly and in accordance with truth on those who practice such things . . . .

    5 But because of your callous stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are [deliberately] storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will pay back to each person according to his deeds [justly, as his deeds deserve]: 7 to those who by persistence in doing good seek [unseen but certain heavenly] glory, honor, and immortality, [He will give the gift of] eternal life. 8 But for those who are selfishly ambitious and self-seeking and disobedient to the truth but responsive to wickedness, [there will be] wrath and indignation . . . .

    14 When Gentiles, who do not have the Law [since it was given only to Jews], do [c]instinctively the things the Law requires [guided only by their conscience], they are a law to themselves, though they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the [d]essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts; and their conscience [their sense of right and wrong, their moral choices] bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or perhaps defending them 16 on that day when, [e]as my gospel proclaims, God will judge the secrets [all the hidden thoughts and concealed sins] of men through Christ Jesus. [AMP]

    Similarly, Eph 4, in the context of the church breaking in as witness to the clearer, demonstrated incarnate truth of God manifest in Christ:

    Eph 4:9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had previously descended [from the heights of heaven] into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the very same as He who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things [that is, the whole universe]). [–> echoes of Dan 2!]

    11 And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], 12 [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; 13 until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity].

    14 So that we are no longer children [spiritually immature], tossed back and forth [like ships on a stormy sea] and carried about by every wind of [shifting] doctrine, by the cunning and trickery of [unscrupulous] men, by the deceitful scheming of people ready to do anything [for personal profit]. [–> sounds familiar?]

    15 But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ . . . .

    17 So this I say, and solemnly affirm together with the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the [unbelieving] Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds [and in the foolishness and emptiness of their souls], 18 for their [moral] understanding is darkened and their reasoning is clouded; [they are] alienated and self-banished from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the [willful] ignorance and spiritual blindness that is [deep-seated] within them, because of the hardness and insensitivity of their heart. [–> sounds familiar?]

    19 And they, [the ungodly in their spiritual apathy], having become callous and unfeeling, have given themselves over [as prey] to unbridled sensuality, eagerly craving the practice of every kind of impurity [that their desires may demand]. [–> remind you of a civilisation all around us?]

    20 But you did not learn Christ in this way!

    21 If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], 22 that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], 24 and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].

    25 Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ].

    26 Be angry [at sin—at immorality, at injustice, at ungodly behavior], yet do not sin; do not let your anger [cause you shame, nor allow it to] last until the sun goes down. 27 And do not give the devil an opportunity [to lead you into sin by holding a grudge, or nurturing anger, or harboring resentment, or cultivating bitterness]. 28 The thief [who has become a believer] must no longer steal, but instead he must work hard [making an honest living], producing that which is good with his own hands, so that he will have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].

    30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [but seek to please Him], by whom you were sealed and marked [branded as God’s own] for the day of redemption [the final deliverance from the consequences of sin]. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor [perpetual animosity, resentment, strife, fault-finding] and slander be put away from you, along with every kind of malice [all spitefulness, verbal abuse, malevolence]. 32 Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave [c]you. [AMP]

    In short, the inner and outer realities of our existence point decisively, so that we are without excuse. And, those who seek, groping and stumbling but persisting, God will welcome.

    Where, a major test is our responsiveness or unresponsiveness to the truth we know or should acknowledge.

    Where also, turning from truth and right darkens both the intellectual and the moral, so the church is inherently a reforming, transforming influence in culture. (Note, seven mountains and the fulness theme.)

    If it is faithful to its Risen Lord.

    KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I should add from Jn 3:

    Jn 3:19 This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the [c]darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned. 21 But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence on Him].” [AMP]

  11. 11

    We kind of do already know how choosing and subjectivity work, in common discourse. That is something everybody understands, while qm is an example of what basically nobody understands.

    You are not really validating freedom. You says that you support it, but when push comes to shove you say that nobody really knows how choosing works, so it is weak, and the requirement for a necessary being convolutes the concept of agency.

  12. 12
    kairosfocus says:

    MN:

    I have argued that we are familiar with being responsibly and rationally free and have shown in outline how attempts to deny this are self-undermining.

    In short, it is self referentially absurd to directly deny or deny by implication, that we are significantly responsibly free and rational. Not least, the very process of reasoned discussion and argument would become pointless.

    We do not have any serious empirically validated models of choice and of linked responsible rational freedom, much less of claimed emergence.

    However, we are familiar with the possibility and actuality of designers and designs, also marks of design in things.

    It is from such we may reason.

    Next, the issue of a necessary being root of reality is NOT tied to agency. It is a simple, worldview level analysis of modes of being/non-being linked to contingency and cause.

    That non-being has no causal powers implies that if ever there were an utter nothing, such would forever obtain.

    Something is, so something always was, and at root independent of other beings and tied to a world existing at all.

    This opens up a concept that is largely unfamiliar but important in reasoning correctly: necessary being.

    Being, necessarily connected to the existence of a world, thus involved in its roots and framework.

    The issue then is candidates.

    Formerly, the cosmos as a whole in some form was favoured by those who did not take God seriously, but the steady state cosmos notion collapsed in favour of the formerly suspect big bang approach. A cosmos with a beginning, begging for adequate begin-ner.

    It is on onward issues that Mind comes in, also person and Moral Governor.

    KF

  13. 13

    The whole point of creationism vs evolution is for people to accept subjectivity is valid.

    So when you say you don’t have an empirically validated model of choice, it means atheists, materialists, and a whole lot of religious besides, are going to crappify the definition of choosing, so as to undermine subjectivity.

    The atheists, like Zachriel, are going to use and promote a definition for choosing which uses a logic of sorting, because that definition leaves no room for subjectivity.

    Then you have already lost the boat.

    There is an empirical working model of how choosing works, which is the logic we use in common discourse in regards to talking about choosing things. That model is the basis for creationism.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    Pardon, it is not just Creationism vs evolution.

    The core challenge contemplated here is prior, worldview foundations and particularly the reasonableness of ethical theism. (Which has to address all comers, BTW.)

    Notice, the agenda in the curriculum imposed on 12 year olds in the school district in Texas, was to create the idea that the “correct” answer in critical thinking is that God is a culturally induced, ill founded commonplace notion. In effect a myth.

    Under false colours of education.

    Failing to do due worldviews grounding diligence and comparative difficulties analysis on live options.

    A foundation has to be laid, including on our understanding of being; even before that, we need to understand worldviews. Cf here on — part of a draft demo course on sys theol, BTW.

    When it comes to responsible rational freedom, the notion of mechanism is actually likely to be antithetical. Mechanisms interact by causal chains of force, including in computational machines. Chance is equally non-rational, and the combination of the two make utterly no progress in the right direction.

    Cf the previous discussion on evolutionary materialism as is linked in the OP as part of “Having . . .”

    We have to start elsewhere.

    One step is to point out the two-tier controller Smith model, as appears in the just linked in outline.

    Namely that an in the loop i/o controller can be supervised by a higher order controller. For bio-cybernetic things, the brain-body loop is such that it has been suggested — note my term — that quantum level influences on neurons in appropriate regions would be a possible mechanism; i.e. information flows and influences not brute mechanical forces triggering blind chains of cause-effect bonds.

    (Cf here on.)

    But the fundamental point is a logical one, something that seems to be very hard for this generation to grasp.

    Let me start with JBS Haldane:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

    Mind cannot be reduced to electrochemistry and neuron network architecture.

    And, building on C S Lewis picking up from Haldane, Reppert hits hard on the notion of reducing reasoning to computation:

    . . . let us suppose that brain state A, which is token identical to the thought that all men are mortal, and brain state B, which is token identical to the thought that Socrates is a man, together cause the belief that Socrates is mortal. It isn’t enough for rational inference that these events be those beliefs, it is also necessary that the causal transaction be in virtue of the content of those thoughts . . . [[But] if naturalism is true, then the propositional content is irrelevant to the causal transaction that produces the conclusion, and [[so] we do not have a case of rational inference. In rational inference, as Lewis puts it, one thought causes another thought not by being, but by being seen to be, the ground for it. But causal transactions in the brain occur in virtue of the brain’s being in a particular type of state that is relevant to physical causal transactions.

    Suitably organised brain as neural network computer works as an in the loop controller but that cannot account for responsibly free rational, self-aware contemplation, choice and action.

    We have to again open ourselves to rational, responsible mind that transcends matter.

    On pain of self-referential incoherence almost as spectacular as Crick in his The Astonishing Hypothesis, 1994:

    . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.

    To which we say: including you, Sir Francis, when you wrote this and when you did your Nobel Prize winning work?

    Being comes first.

    But before this, it needs to be put on the table that evolutionary materialist scientism is a fail, right in the starting gates.

    Which I did and linked.

    (Remember, if I write a mini novella length post, there are many who would be all too eager to dismiss on just length.)

    Trying to redefine choice to fit a dead horse worldview is patently futile.

    And the point is that if we do not have responsible, rational freedom, we cannot reason so the very exercise of arguing and seeking to warrant collapses.

    And that is one reason why I speak in these terms not “choice.”

    Similarly, I have taken time to show why reducing reason to computation fails.

    And Z et al have seen all of that before — year after year, they are locked into flogging a dead horse.

    The issue is the reasonable person, and eventually when a critical mass recognises that evo mat is a dead horse, such will finally walk away.

    They are not acting reasonably but rhetorically and politically, looking for talking points that make an agenda go through.

    It is that agenda that has to be broken.

    And exposing how it was snuck into a curriculum and how ethical theism is in fact a serious worldview from ground up, are part of that long term response.

    And that includes understanding being and non being at worldview level.

    KF

  15. 15

    Again, it’s not the case that people don’t understand choosing, otherwise they would not be able to talk in terms of making choices.

    People know, so it means we can teach students what they already know, teach the logic of how choosing works in common discourse, which is basically a scientific hypothesis of how things work. Bring their common knowledge about how choosing works to a more formal level of awareness.

    And part of teaching about how choosing works, would be to teach that the question what the agency of a decision is, is a matter of opinion, thus validating subjectivity.

    And when subjectivity is validated, then atheists will forever be stuck at this course in school. No atheist will ever pass the test of accurately describing how subjectivity works. That’s important, what you say is not important.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Note Wiki on choice:

    Choice involves mentally making a decision: judging the merits of multiple options and selecting one or more of them. One can make a choice between imagined options (“what would I do if …?”) or between real options followed by the corresponding action. For example, a traveller might choose a route for a journey based on the preference of arriving at a given destination as soon as possible. The preferred (and therefore chosen) route can then follow from information such as the length of each of the possible routes, traffic conditions, etc. If the arrival at a choice includes more complex motivators, cognition, instinct and feeling can become more intertwined.

    Simple choices might include what to eat for dinner or what to wear on a Saturday morning – choices that have relatively low-impact on the chooser’s life overall. More complex choices might involve (for example) what candidate to vote for in an election, what profession to pursue, a life partner, etc. – choices based on multiple influences and having larger ramifications.

    Most people[quantify] regard having choices as a good thing, though a severely limited or artificially restricted choice can lead to discomfort with choosing, and possibly an unsatisfactory outcome. In contrast, a choice with excessively numerous options may lead to confusion, regret of the alternatives not taken, and indifference in an unstructured existence;[1] and the illusion that choosing an object or a course leads necessarily to control of that object or course can cause psychological problems.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    MN: It is choice itself which is being obfuscated and clouded though illegitimate injection of lab coat clad evolutionary materialism. So, the issue is to expose the agenda and its question-begging censoring illegitimacy, both moral and intellectual. That takes us to worldviews level, and so there is a need to understand being, as being comes before mind and agency. Yes, we may have a vague common sense notion walking in the door, but the mystique of the lab coat and the magisterium is being used to subvert education to say that the intuition is a culturally induced, ill grounded commonplace notion. And if you dare mention the Bible, that is theocratic right wing bigotry and imposition of Christofascist tyranny. The worldview issue has to be put on the table and dealt with in a context of exposing the illigetimate imposition. KF

    PS: You really need to read my previous post in this series on evo mat scientism, you clearly have missed what I have to say about responsible, rational agency and its importance to reasoning, warranting and knowing there and elsewhere. Our self-aware conscious, contemplative experience is our first fact and what we know most directly. Any scheme that would make such out to be delusional or inherently non rational is in big trouble. Which is the problem of evo mat scientism. At the same time, per science there is no generally accepted empirically grounded model of consciousness and rational, responsible freedom. Smuggled in evo mat priors are used to artificially lock out what does not comport with that view. So the view has to be broken at self referential incoherence level before its captives can be set free from its censorship. Logic cannot be banned in the classroom.

  18. 18

    wiki is a socialist / atheist, or whatever, encyclopedia.

    The traditional and common understanding of choosing is same as the creationist understanding. It is making a possibility which is in the future, the present or not. Or also defined as making one of alternative futures the present.

    That is the definition of choosing which accomodates subjectivity, as is the common and traditional understanding of choosing.

    I read what you said about freedom, but you also said that nobody has a working empirical model of choosing. So it is kind of empty words when you say you support freedom, agency etc. because you don’t have any logic tied in place with that.

    For example Daniel Dennett uses the word choosing with the logic that he could not have done otherwise.

    So you see, you have to tie down exactly what the concept of choosing is, the mechanism of creation, otherwise the “atheists” will corrupt it.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    The reason I cited wiki is to note an admission against interest. The force of the matter is so strong they admit that or face being patently ludicrous.

    You still are not registering that in the name of critical thinking they are forcing kids to think: fact, opinion, culturally induced poorly supported commonplace notion, falsehood etc.

    And so, common sense, tradition, intuition etc are being systematically and deliberately undermined by being deemed a folk notion, a myth, an ethnocentric prejudice etc.

    Jordan Wooley, who challenged the assignment of God’s reality to the myth category, a 12 year old, was then confronted by teacher to substantiate. Of course, now being denied and the official investigation says nope. But the local news was able to find other families supporting the accuracy of her complaint.

    My more direct concern is that we can substantiate what was in the curriculum, and it is highly plausible that the assignment that “myth” is correct according to the curriculum is plausible. (Indeed, that is why there was a challenge.)

    In this series, I have been showing that the reality of God is a serious and substantial view that ought to be respected, not a mere ill supported prejudice.

    One small part of that is to show that evolutionary materialist scientism is self refuting, on the precise issue of responsible rational freedom, as a first necessity of being able to reason, warrant and know. In the course of which freedom to reason, weigh, value, assess moral obligation and decide then act are involved.

    Trying to appeal to common sense as a 12 year old or as a parent or the like, is not going to work very well in that context.

    Common sense is itself under attack.

    Oh the power of the lab coat clad magisterium!

    ” Science sez . . .”

    Actually, science [–> evolutionary materialist scientism dressed up in a lab coat] sez . . .

    And, it is necessary to show that responsible rational freedom is a condition of reasoning, then that evolutionary materialist scientism, because of the only forces and factors it allows, cannot ground it, in fact ends up using reasoning to undermine reasoning ending in incoherence.

    Show from in common starting points.

    KF

    PS: You cannot assume “creation” at outset in this context.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Observe, Lewontin letting the cat out of the bag:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    See what is going on?

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    PPPS: Johnson replied:

    For scientific materialists the materialism comes first; the science comes thereafter. [Emphasis original] We might more accurately term them “materialists employing science.” And if materialism is true, then some materialistic theory of evolution has to be true simply as a matter of logical deduction, regardless of the evidence.

    [–> notice, the power of an undisclosed, question-begging, controlling assumption . . . often put up as if it were a mere reasonable methodological constraint; emphasis added. Let us note how Rational Wiki, so-called, presents it:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    Of course, this ideological imposition on science that subverts it from freely seeking the empirically, observationally anchored truth about our world pivots on the deception of side-stepping the obvious fact since Plato in The Laws Bk X, that there is a second, readily empirically testable and observable alternative to “natural vs [the suspect] supernatural.” Namely, blind chance and/or mechanical necessity [= the natural] vs the ART-ificial, the latter acting by evident intelligently directed configuration. [Cf Plantinga’s reply here and here.]

    And as for the god of the gaps canard, the issue is, inference to best explanation across competing live option candidates. If chance and necessity is a candidate, so is intelligence acting by art through design. And if the latter is twisted into a caricature god of the gaps strawman, then locked out, huge questions are being oh so conveniently begged.]

    That theory will necessarily be at least roughly like neo-Darwinism, in that it will have to involve some combination of random changes and law-like processes capable of producing complicated organisms that (in Dawkins’ words) “give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”

    . . . . The debate about creation and evolution is not deadlocked . . . Biblical literalism is not the issue. The issue is whether materialism and rationality are the same thing. Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses. [Emphasis added.] [The Unraveling of Scientific Materialism, First Things, 77 (Nov. 1997), pp. 22 – 25.]

  22. 22

    You are not properly evaluating the importance of subjectivity. How important is it for people to talk in terms of beauty, love and goodness etc. ? It is of course of essential practical importance for people’s daily lives.

    So subjectivity is of paramount importance in this whole thing. The atheists, materialists etc. reject it. And in order to reject it, they need to corrupt the meaning of choosing, because subjectivity operates on a free basis.

    So the definition of choosing, the mechanism of creation, must be guarded from these attempts at corruption. The definition of subjectivity must be formalized and guarded. Subjectivity is a creationist concept.

    The proper understanding is that the existence of God is a matter of opinion. Meaning that the conclusion God does not exist is equally logically valid to the conclusion God does exist. Same as saying the painting is beautiful is equally logically valid to saying the painting is ugly, that’s how opinions work.

    Then religion becomes linked to democracy, the freedom of opinion and religion, because of requiring choice. While if you argue God is a necessary being, well then what stops the government from forcing to accept the existence of a “necessary” being? The government might just argue the acceptance of the necessary being is necessary for basic morality, or basic reasoning.

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    I must directly ask: have you read the already indicated previous post in the series and engaged, e.g. Nancy Pearcey’s critical summary on implications of naturalistic, evolutionary epistemology?

    What are the implications of what she has highlighted?

    Do you, therefore, appreciate what imposition backed by the presumption of “science” that many common sense or commonly held views are little more than ill informed prejudices and notions means, especially when coming in a curriculum for 12 year olds from their educators?

    That is what we are up against.

    Let me clip just as one illustration William Provine from his 1998 U Tenn Darwin Day address, with annotation:

    >Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    In short, on a priori imposition of methodological naturalism, the suspect supernatural and linked superstitions and folk myths are locked out as pre scientific. Such cannot be put in a test tube or a test rig, are not subject to falsification, etc etc, so we rule them out. Sounds ever so reasonable and progressive, educated, we are moving beyond dark ages superstitions and their bronze age genocidal sky war gods, etc etc.

    Here is the US National Science Teachers Association Board, 2000:

    The principal product of science is knowledge in the form of naturalistic concepts and the laws and theories related to those concepts . . . .

    [[S]cience, along with its methods, explanations and generalizations, must be the sole focus of instruction in science classes to the exclusion of all non-scientific or pseudoscientific methods, explanations, generalizations and products . . . .

    Although no single universal step-by-step scientific method captures the complexity of doing science, a number of shared values and perspectives characterize a scientific approach to understanding nature. Among these are a demand for naturalistic explanations supported by empirical evidence that are, at least in principle, testable against the natural world. Other shared elements include observations, rational argument, inference, skepticism, peer review and replicability of work . . . .

    Science, by definition, is limited to naturalistic methods and explanations and, as such, is precluded from using supernatural elements in the production of scientific knowledge. [[NSTA, Board of Directors, July 2000. Emphases added.]

    To deal with that, you have to address the underlying worldview assumptions and their self-referential incoherence and question-begging. Talking about subjective states in a context where that is regarded as scientifically discredited delusion, gets you only to the point of being seen as exemplifying the problem they are defining and therefore dismissible as caught up in culturally induced ill supported [not SCIENTIFICALLY supported!] commonplace notions.

    That is one reason I have already highlighted Lewontin and Johnson’s retort, as well as Crick vs Haldane and Reppert and the problem of reducing mind to either electrochemistry or computational processing of signals and tokens.

    It needs to be clearly understood that responsible, rational freedom as we experience it is a necessary condition of being able to reason, and that evolutionary materialist scientism ends up in self-falsification because it undermines this.

    So, what we subjectively experience as rationally contemplative, responsible, freely thinking and reasoning beings is not to be dismissed or sidelined but accepted as a base for all further engagement in intellectual activity, in valuing, judging, deciding etc.

    Further to this, we need to highlight what Lewontinimplies and say Rational Wiki openly admits:

    “Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses.”

    This needs to be exposed as imposing ideological censorship, far from being a plausible methodological constraint.

    Likewise, it has had to be pointed out that since Plato in The Laws Bk X 2350 ya, nature as chance and necessity can legitimately be alternated with the ART-ificial, where intelligent direction of configuration creates observable outcomes. So natural vs supernatural is a strawman, especially where signs of design can be empirically validated as reliable, such as FSCO/I.

    So the imposition has to be cogently addressed.

    Which it is.

    In this context there is a specific context for addressing ethical theism as more than mere myth.

    And that requires worldview level analysis, including nature of being and non being, as this OP above speaks to.

    In short, you are coming across as missing the point.

    People need to have a first level way to see that theism cannot be simplistically pigeonholed and dismissed like was being tried.

    That requires a lot more than talk about subjectivity and choice.

    KF

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    Continuing, I must pick up on your view of opinions:

    >>The proper understanding is that the existence of God is a matter of opinion.>>

    1 –> We are dealing here with worldview alternatives, and how they are able to address comparative difficulties.

    2 –> The issue is that (hijacking government power in education) it is being promoted that ethical theism especially by implication of context the Judaeo-Christian tradition, is not a substantial, serious worldview but at best a commonplace myth . . . if this sounds like the attitude of the new atheists, that should be no surprise.

    3 –> So, the first level of response is to go to that level, and identify what the nature of being says about the roots of reality.

    4 –> What it shows (and which you have not seriously addressed) is that we have possible vs impossible and of possible, contingent and necessary. The former would be in at least one possible world, but not in at least one other possible world; the latter — being connected to what is required for a world to exist — would be in any possible world. In our day, we are mostly unfamiliar with this, and need worldviews 101. Impoverished education systems and an anti-intellectual spirit of the age, also the contempt of scientism for learning beyond science. Such is so ignorant it does not realise that rejecting knowledge beyond science explicitly or implicitly, becomes self referentially incoherent as this is an epistemological knowledge claim, a philosophical view that is a basic error.

    5 –> Where also, non-being is such that it has no causal powers, thus if there were ever an utter nothing, such would forever obtain. So, as a world is, there must have been always something independent of other things, the root of reality.

    6 –> This is a general and basic point, rooted in the point that from a real nothing, nothing comes.

    7 –> There is nothing here that forces such a necessary being at the root of reality to be God or whatever, this is just an abstract point.

    >> Meaning that the conclusion God does not exist is equally logically valid to the conclusion God does exist. Same as saying the painting is beautiful is equally logically valid to saying the painting is ugly, that’s how opinions work.>>

    8 –> Not at this level, worldview alternatives that are serious have to stand up to comparative difficulties. (BTW, aesthetics, too is not just opinion, it has objective grounding and principles. Just, again, not commonly studied today.)

    >>Then religion becomes linked to democracy, the freedom of opinion and religion, because of requiring choice.>>

    9 –> Religion as such has not entered at any stage, you are introducing religion which here would have to be addressed as worldviews expressed in a tradition of one kind or other.

    10 –> What is of significant interest is the worldview, and how it meets comparative difficulties.

    11 –> And, in any reasonable worldview discussion there has to be a recognised right to differ. If you scroll up you will see that there are diverse possible core clusters of presuppositions and basic beliefs thus faith-points that are diverse.

    >> While if you argue God is a necessary being, well then what stops the government from forcing to accept the existence of a “necessary” being?>>

    12 –> That a necessary being lies at the root of reality is pretty well undeniable on the logic of the consequences of utter nothing. The onward issue is what are viable candidates and what do you choose, why i/l/o comparative difficulties.

    13 –> 100 years ago, the physical cosmos was taken by many as steady state and self sustaining, eternal. The Hubble expansion discoveries and the principle of expansion lurking in General Relativity, shook that up from the 1920’s, with the 2.7 K background microwave radiation in the 60’s putting paid to the Steady State theory.

    14 –> There are and have been oscillating cosmos, budding expansion and multiverse speculations, all of which have grave difficulties but are held by some.

    15 –> One difficulty with an eternal physical cosmos that is often under-recognised is that of traversing a transfinite number of finite steps or stages that are causally connected, one at a time. Namely, such a traversal is dubious, given the problem of arrival. There are many other technical problems and the biggie, that his is not science as it is beyond empirical testing. (Note, I do not say, falsification.)

    16 –> I have already pointed out the problem with any evolutionary materialistic theory . . . at broad level: cosmological –> solar system –> chemical –> OOL –> biological maco –> origin of humans with our characteristics of mindedness and moral government . . . in accounting for responsible, rational freedom and its resulting self referential incoherence as the theory depends critically on our ability to reason.

    17 –> It is particularly important to underscore that without responsible, rational freedom [pace Provine et al] the life of reason collapses, landing advocates of such in self-referential incoherence.

    18 –> Likewise, we are inescapably morally governed, which pervades not only what we think of as morality but the responsibility involved in reasoning and responding appropriately to evident facts and realities. Or even just balance of warrant in a context of actions that can have consequences that may be costly.

    19 –> This sets up the key and directly evident hole in:

    >> The government might just argue the acceptance of the necessary being is necessary for basic morality, or basic reasoning.>>

    20 –> At immediate level, the point just highlighted is that we are responsibly, rationally free, so a government that attacks or unduly trammels such freedom, is tyrannical and has undermined its legitimacy.

    21 –> But also, that a government respects the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of loyalty and the reasonable responsible service of doing the good in accord with our evident nature is historically an ANCHOR for liberty, not a trammel upon it. Witness, the US DoI of 1776 (which of course I discussed earlier and linked on from the OP):

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . .

    22 –> The 55 Founders (no, it was not just Jefferson) here argue that God anchors liberty and rights, with government legitimate as a defender of the proper balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities thus the civil peace of justice.

    23 –> So to portray governments that acknowledge such and live by the implied covenant of government under God in the context of nationhood under God — and that is the classic double covenant view — as though they were inevitably and invariably closet tyrants is to erect a strawman caricature.

    24 –> But there is more.

    25 –> For, the point is the facts of the world include us, our inner life and the artifacts that flow from us. So,

    26 –> responsible rational freedom and moral government are part of the reality to be accounted for, not dismissed by arbitrary and backdoor imposition of censoring a priori evolutionary materialist scientism. (And insofar as subjectivity and choice are a part of such, they are taken up in these concepts, so it is an error on your part to keep on writing as though I have not taken such seriously.)

    27 –> This is the context in which we face the God of ethical theism as a serious candidate to be the required necessary being at the root of the world.

    28 –> Where, the cosmos itself shows fine tuning that sets it to a locally deeply isolated operating point that supports C-chemistry aqueous medium, terrestrial planet, cell based life. Which is full of FSCO/I, itself a strong sign of design. This points to design of cosmos and of the world of life in it, with unified intent. Thus purpose and power to effect such, i.e. design pointing to designer.

    29 –> Multiply by responsible rational freedom and moral government, and we are needing an IS capable of grounding OUGHT. Which obviously will only happen at the root of reality.

    30 –> Across centuries, there is just one serious candidate, the God of ethical theism.

    31 –> Which is not antithetical to responsible, rational freedom and moral government, but are instead foundational.

    32 –> Thus it is a strawmannish distortion to infer or suggest that ethical theism is an inevitable enemy of liberty and justice for all. Properly understood, it is just the opposite.

    KF

  25. 25

    I addressed the school assignment, by explaining how the existence of God is opinion, in stead of fact, or common assertion. I addressed the necessary being construct, and pointed out the convolution in it, in regards to agency. I read what was on offer.

    Subjectivity is a big thing, you are talking in a dismissive way about it, not properly evaluating the importance of it.

    When people accept subjectivity is valid, sure they can still say God is not real, because with the rules of subjectivity this is equally as valid as saying that God is real.

    But the thing is that people don’t reject God when they accept subjectivity is valid. The only thing what keeps people from acknowledging God is real is rejection of subjectivity. People require evidence of God, thus making it into a factual issue, and then start to try to measure God, which is of course impossible.

    Atheism, philosophical naturalism, materialism, nazism, communism etc. they all reject subjectivity. A nazi will assert as pseudoscientific fact what the spiritual qualities of the races are, replacing subjectivity with objectivity. An atheist will say to measure love in the brain, replacing subjectivity with objectivity. etc. etc. I can give you loads and loads of examples demonstrating the rejection of subjectivity amongst the wellknown enemies of faith.

    Now you listen to me, we are here doing creation science, and choosing is the mechanism of creation. So we are going to describe the origins of things in terms of the decisions by which they came to be. No excuses that you cannot find an empirical model for how choosing works. You are supposed to be on the creationist side, then you must support science about how things are chosen.

    This seems to me a very obvious request that creationists do creation science.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, Kindly see what I posted across this afternoon. KF

  27. 27

    1 creationism as I described it validates both fact and opinion. Fact and opinion are the basics of any reasoning. Or so to say, creationism as I have described it beats any other worldview for practicality including your necessary being construct.

    2 obviously “commonplace assertion” is an odd category in the test, besides the fundamental categories of fact and opinion. It is indeed atheism to assert common assertion, the correct answer is opinion.

    3 and I addressed that with saying there are 2 categories for existence, creator and creation, spiritual and material, opinion and fact

    4 obviously nobody will get away with “worldview” education, and your worldview is wrong. but teaching kids how subjectivity works, the same as it is in common discourse, that is immediately practically useful, that can be taught.

    5 the mechanism of creation is not cause and effect, but choosing. God chooses a cause together with it’s effect, as one thing. It is wrong to say God is the cause, and the universe is the effect of God.

    6 creatio ex nihilo, and, ex nihilo, nihil fit. That is the correct theory of everything. An action has an opposite and equal reaction, signifying a totality of zero. The theory of everything (every material thing) is then mathematics ordered by zero.

    7 you contrast the contingency of the universe with the necessity of God. But necessity belongs to the universe as well, the relationship between a cause and it’s effect is necessary. Meaning the cause and effect are 1 thing together. There are no causes without effects, nor effects without causes.

    8 it is no surprise to me that you would bring objectivity into aesthetics. You do not comprehend the subjective part to aesthetics, which is the essence of it.

    9 belief in God as opinion is religion. That is the tradition called “faith”, which is the largest tradition within religion.

    10 refer to 1, fact and opinion, they have enormous practical usefulness

    11 First freedom is accepted, then because of freedom we can differ. But you offered necessary being, and freedom you weakened for not having an empirical model.

    12 The comparison must be between God as necessary being, and God as subjective being.

    13 I agree the universe is a contingency. That is integral to my explanation of creationism, that the universe is *per definition* chosen.

    14 oscillating universe seems to be in line with the universe as a contingency

    15 I see no problem in acknowledging the reality of infinities. One can do maths with infinities.

    16 the fault of materialism is much more obvious, in that it does not provide any conceptual room for saying things are beautiful and such

    17 to put the words responsible and rational in front of freedom, is rather to pussyfoot around the fact that any decision can turn out one of several different ways in the moment. That freedom is in essence spontaneous.

    18 there was no logical progression presented from God as necessary being, to responsible freedom. There is a logical progression from God as subjective being, to responsible freedom. When the belief in God is by choice, then this choice of belief in God conditions responsible choosing in general.

    19 As before, no logical progression from necessary being to responsible freedom

    20 as before

    21 God as subjective being straightforwardly links to freedom of opinion. The declaration is more reasonably interpreted as that the existence of God is a matter of faith, which is a form of opinion, and not the logical acceptance of a necessary being.

    22 To relate God to freedom, and subjective issues like worth, all the more indicates God as subjective being

    23 it is questionably tyranical to require the acceptance of the existence of God.

    24
    25 inner life, your emotions, that is not a factual issue. It is a matter of opinion whether you are loving or hateful. And the final judgement is the last word on it.

    26 subjectivity is a fundamental category next to objectivity. You have said things about there not being a model, about objectivity being part of aesthetics, about “just” opinion. all not good.

    27 People believing in spiritual emptiness can be charmingly pathetic in my opinion. It is just that the atheists reject subjectivity altogether. They don’t choose the conclusion of emptiness, they pretend the lack of evidence forces them to this conclusion, which is not charming at all.

    28 many constants in the universe follow from the ordering of mathematics by zero, meaning the constants could not be other than they are. There is design in the cosmos still. For organisms, it is obvious they are designed.

    29 oughts are grounded in agency of decision. At root the univers is chosen.

    30 31 32 it is very obviously a doubtful point to REQUIRE acceptance that God is real. George W. Bush emphasized that only chosen religion is meaningful religion, as one of the reasons for the war with Iraq.

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, please look again. KF

  29. 29

    I don’t see anything relevant in what you seem to have been posting in the afternoon. I don’t know what you are referring to.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    MN

    I will briefly note that earlier on in the series, I showed from the critical thinking education literature that culturally induced but ill supported commonplace notions and egocentric and/or ethnocentric prejudices are used as a major category of classifying thought.

    There is some limited legitimacy to such, but failure to properly address worldview foundations and alternatives substantially and fairly readily lends itself to the sort of strawmannish one liner dismissals of ethical theism that we saw. (NB: such is the general class of worldview that the Judaeo-Christian Tradition falls under.)

    FYI, the step by step reduction of lines of reasoning and warrant to face the triple issue of infinite regress, circular question-begging and finitely remote start points is a fairly standard worldviews analysis issue; it leads to the question of basic beliefs and presuppositions. Similarly, comparative difficulties analysis across factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power is actually a fundamental philosophical method. (I have added a link in the OP that further explains.)

    Next, I suggest you acquaint yourself with the logic of abductive inference to the best (current) explanation.

    I will finally note that the focal issue here is not creationism or creation science [which are in themselves major tangential issues in an educational policy and curriculum context], much less how choice and subjectivity become important, but addressing a significant case of manipulation of a question in critical thinking curricula that has come up through actual case.

    This requires worldviews analysis and start points that do not trigger well known lockout triggers. There is no point in setting oneself up to be slotted into the stereotypes to be dismissed with one liners, in the classroom, on the curriculum development committee, or the district school board. This leads straight to worldviews analysis and presentation of argument at that level that shows substantial support rendering the commonplace ill founded notion category patently improper.

    And, it is not opinion but worldviews analysis that crucially counts. At this level, that something is a responsible and substantial, informed worldview not an ill-informed notion, is what is needed. And, I strongly suspect, this is where this and likely other critical thinking curricula have gone astray.

    Where, nature of being is a significant issue and the issue of the root or source of the world is a major consideration and concern. Similarly, it is my considered view that the pivotal issue in addressing implications of self-aware, minded and enconscienced agency such as we experience, is responsible, rational freedom.

    Beyond that I have outlined sufficient of the case as to why ethical theism is a serious major worldview option that one liner dismissal is not a proper educational response.

    That is the main thing, and I think enough has been exchanged on tangential matters that such can be left to the onlooker to follow up. Especially on the issue that God as root of being and of morality being understood as an Eternal independent root of reality in whom we live and move and have our being and Creator – Sustainer of the world, is somehow undermining of freedom. And yes, an eternal independent I AM THAT I AM would be a necessary being, as will come up in a systematic theology course or text that engages philosophy of religion issues.

    KF

    PS: Note UK A Level Syllabus: http://www.ocr.org.uk/Images/7.....cation.pdf

    PPS: I glanced at Wiki and ran across a telling note for Texas (the incident in view occurred in Texas):

    In its 2012 platform, the Republican Party of Texas rejected the teaching of “Higher Order Thinking Skills… critical thinking skills and similar programs,” giving as a reason that this sort of teaching has “the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” Media ridicule led to a response from RPT Communications Director Chris Elam that the inclusion of the term “critical thinking skills” was an oversight which cannot be corrected until 2014, when the next state convention will occur.

    Of course, the Republicans are made to sound like they fall right into the ill informed prejudice category (and seem to perpetually have problems in formulating position statements), but the case in view of improper and morally seriously irresponsible categorisation of the concept that God exists by what are plainly activists abusing curriculum development roles equally plainly documents how improper undermining of responsible worldviews and community standards can be smuggled into something seemingly as innocuous as a critical thinking unit in a Reading curriculum for 12 year olds. Agendas, agit prop activists and enablers are serious issues in our dying civilisation.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I followed up, noting a WP article.

    First, what the Texas Republican Party 2012 platform (cf here) is cited as having said:

    Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority

    This is how the WP writer responded:

    Yes, you read that right. The party opposes the teaching of “higher order thinking skills” because it believes the purpose is to challenge a student’s “fixed beliefs” and undermine “parental authority.”

    It opposes, among other things, early childhood education, sex education, and multicultural education, but supports “school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded.”

    When taken with the other parts of the education platform(see below), it seems a fair conclusion that the GOP Party in Texas doesn’t think much of public education. Unfortunately, this notion isn’t limited to the GOP in Texas but is more commonly being seen across the country by some of the most strident of “school reformers” . . . . It sees “critical thinking” as something subversive. Scary stuff.

    The tone of the Valerie Strauss article makes it plain that she and her editors think the Texas Republicans are ill informed, driven by prejudices and have no substantial basis for concern.

    But despite the advertisement and ideal that critical thinking:

    consists of seeing both sides of an issue, being open to new evidence that disconfirms your ideas, reasoning dispassionately, demanding that claims be backed by evidence, deducing and inferring conclusions from available facts, solving problems, and so forth. Then too, there are specific types of critical thinking that are characteristic of different subject matter: That’s what we mean when we refer to “thinking like a scientist” or “thinking like a historian.”

    . . . it is quite clear from the case in point of curriculum abuse to indoctrinate in radical secularism smacking of new atheism, that the Texas Republican Party 2012 platform had a point. Likely, driven by similar complaints, cases and concerns we are not hearing about. Certainly, values clarification, outcome based education and other topics that can be made to sound wonderful when presented as ideal definitions and high level curricular goals, have commonly fallen far short in practice and far too often have been implicated in radical abuse of curriculum power driven by activists operating under secular humanist, evolutionary materialist scientism and cultural marxist/ critical theory agendas that could not stand up in open debate on the merits.

    It seems that the tip of the iceberg we see through this case is pointing to deeper, dangerous but largely hidden agendas.

    KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I clip key education provisions of the platform:

    American Identity Patriotism and Loyalty

    – We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the American and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism.

    Basic Standards

    – We favor improving the quality of education for all students, including those with special needs. We support a return to the traditional basics of reading, writing, arithmetic, and citizenship with sufficient discipline to ensure learning and quality educational assessment.

    Bilingual Education

    – We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within three years . . . .

    Controversial Theories

    – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories.

    We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind . . . .

    Knowledge-Based Education

    – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority

    In context, there is a clear concern to return to a focus on basics and discipline, multiplied by responses to cultural marxist, secular humanist, and similar agendas of radical character.

    It seems that there is need for a fair and reasonable discussion of both sides of some deeply troubling issues that are coming out in education policy and curriculum issues.

    KF

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: I have long been of the view that students in school of appropriate age — there are biological and nurturing linked maturation issues — should be given education in genuine straight-thinking skills informed onwards by worldviews and logical analysis factors. I am now becoming concerned that something good — as usual it now seems — is being ridden piggyback by the sadly usual radical agendas.

    In this case, I notice how ever so much of the news coverage on the focal issue has sought to isolate and discredit Jordan Wooley, a 12 year old student (I note only that FOX 26 indicates interviews with families show that her summaries of fact and concerns were accurately put) but did not probe the obvious policy question: how did such a patently manipulative, polarising radical agenda serving point get into a curriculum and make it into the classroom? Especially in a context where due to other policies and law the other side of the story such as has been outlined here at UD will likely be locked out. Surely, one side of a contentious story is NOT what genuine critical thinking is about.

    We are seeing the tip of an iceberg.

    PPPS: I should link two of my related resources:

    straight thinking: http://www.angelfire.com/pro/k.....inking.pdf

    media spin: http://www.angelfire.com/pro/k.....r_spin.htm

  34. 34

    I agree that there is a lot of teaching of atheism going on in the disguise of “critical thinking”. The atheists always drone on and on, and on, and on, about the scientific method. Whic is really again just a fact only approach, omitting opinion.

    I must simply insist on teaching generic creationism, as I explained it. It is simple and straightforward, solves the problem of atheism, materialism etc.

    The sort of test that the 12 year old took, would actually be one of the main teaching tools in teaching creationism.

    Distinguishing matters of opinion, from matters of fact.

    Putting opinion in the
    creator,
    spiritual,
    choosing,
    category,

    and fact in the
    creation,
    material,
    chosen,
    category.

    Atheists, materialists would fail such a test.

    What category does love belong to?

    Well love is in the creator, spiritual and choosing category.

    That means love can do the job of choosing, make a decision turn out one way or another.

    It also means one can only reach the conclusion love exists by choosing if it is real or not.

    That is the hardest part to get across, how making an opinion works.

    That with opinions you reach the conclusion by expression of emotion with free will, thus choosing.

    While with facts you have evidence forcing to a conclusion, producing a model.

    People will always, always, try to make everything into a factual issue.

  35. 35
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, All you would achieve is to put yourself in a pigeonhole. There is a need to engage the worldview level issues to open up space for rethinking. For those willing to actually think. KF

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Collins English Dictionary:

    fact (fækt)
    n
    1. an event or thing known to have happened or existed
    2. a truth verifiable from experience or observation
    3. a piece of information: get me all the facts of this case.
    4. (Law) law (often plural) an actual event, happening, etc, as distinguished from its legal consequences. Questions of fact are decided by the jury, questions of law by the court or judge
    5. (Philosophy) philosophy a proposition that may be either true or false, as contrasted with an evaluative statement
    6. (Law) after the fact criminal law after the commission of the offence: an accessory after the fact.
    7. (Law) before the fact criminal law before the commission of the offence
    8. as a matter of fact in fact in point of fact in reality or actuality
    9. fact of life an inescapable truth, esp an unpleasant one
    10. the fact of the matter the truth
    [C16: from Latin factum something done, from factus made, from facere to make]
    ?factful adj

    Consider: the fact of the resurrection attested to by 500 witnesses and recorded well within their lifetime, multiplied by the further facts of 300 or so fulfilled scriptural prophecies of Messiah, constitute a strong proof of the reality of God in the face of Christ. Further, the fact of life transforming experience of God for millions across the ages through penitent trust in Jesus is a further support for the reality of God.

    KF

  37. 37

    From discussing on the internet I have loads and loads of evidence that all this philosophical naturalism / materialism / atheism etc. amounts to, is rejection of subjectivity. I know for certain I am right about that.

    Atheism can be gotten rid of by teaching these 2 categories, much the same as was already taught to that little girl. But that test was just in error.

    What I propose is doable, as is shown by that there are already many tests learning students to distinguish fact from opinion. It is then simply a matter of being more precise about what a fact and an opinion is, to make the test into teaching creationism.

    Teaching worldview theory is not doable because it’s controversial. I disagree with the necessary being worldview.

  38. 38

    Only the definition of fact as model would be taught. That a fact corresponds 1 to 1 with something in the material domain. That is the main, and practically useful definition of fact.

    We want people to understand that when they are asked about the facts of what happened, that then they must go into copy mode, and provide an exact as can be model of what happened. This is very practically useful for many situations.

  39. 39
    kairosfocus says:

    MN: The actual primary commitment typically involved, as inadvertently exposed by Lewontin:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    KF

  40. 40

    Obviously science will be limited to facts, so is thereby limited to the material domain. That leaves opinions relevant to the spiritual domain, which spiritual domain chooses the way the material domain turns out.

    So it means Lewontin just doesn’t understand about subjectivity, expression of emotions, forming an opinion. And because of that he also doesn’t understand about the facts of how things are chosen.

  41. 41
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, we are dealing with radical secular humanist, evolutionary materialistic scientism, as Lewontin inadvertently so aptly described and exemplified. That is the focal issue, and it is what lies behind the manipulation of critical thinking curriculum, indeed I am beginning to suspect cross links to critical theory, i.e. Frankfurt School Cultural Marxism, known to be unduly influential in the social sciences and arts. To deal with such, we need worldviews analysis, thus the series and the focus of the OP. KF

  42. 42
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Ruse on Dawkins (HT Bevets):

    Does he [= Dawkins] honestly think that no philosopher or theologian has ever thought of or worried about the infinite regress of the cosmological argument? If God caused the world, what caused God? The standard reply is that God needs no cause because he is a necessary being, eternal, outside time. Read Saint Augustine’s Confessions. Just as 2+2=4 is uncaused and always true, so is God’s existence. Now you might want to worry about the notion of necessary existence. [–> including understanding how it comes up as an issue for worldviews] But at least you should know that it is something to worry about. And if you are going to reject the notion, then you must yourself address the key question behind the proof, the question that Martin Heidegger said was the fundamental question of metaphysics: Why is there something rather than nothing? If not God, then what? ISIS December 2007 p.815

    Notice, one way in which necessary being is on the table, and the implied need to address why that is so in general.

    Why is there something rather than nothing?

    KF

  43. 43

    The necessary being adds 1 layer of complexity. Then you will have at least 3 forms of existence.

    1. the necessary being

    2. spiritual, subjective being, choosing agency / creating, like love and hate, the existence of which is a matter of opinion

    3. material, objective being, chosen / created thing, the universe, the existence of which is a matter of fact

    And you can already get rid of atheism / materialism, by teaching the difference between fact and opinion more precisely, which is already taught at school.

  44. 44
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    Pardon, but you underscore the point on needed worldview education as a part of basics on how to think seriously. (Cf here on. Not Creationism or Religion, but first steps in phil.)

    For the case in view, simple analysis of being shows: possible vs impossible.

    For the latter, core characteristics stand in mutual contradiction so the proposed being cannot exist in any possible world. Classically, a square circle.

    Possible beings would exist in at least one possible world.

    These may be seen as two categories: contingent and necessary.

    Contingent beings such as my PC or me, will exist in at least one possible world, nut not in at least one other neighbouring possible world. That is, they depend on factors that vary across worlds, causes. Including on/off enabling factors such as the fire example in the OP illustrates.

    We commonly hear that that which begins to exist, or depends on external factors to sustain existence or may cease to exist has a cause. That is we here begin to probe what cause means.

    This is prior to science, for example. And I have used the fire example educationally for this purpose.

    However, there are also beings (broadly conceived) that must exist in any possible world, being bound up in its framework.

    For instance, the truth asserted in 2 + 3 = 5 did not begin, and cannot cease from being. It is a necessary being, an eternally and necessarily true and indeed self evident proposition. A thought-entity that must be so soon as anything exists.

    That takes us to a whole cluster of onward insights but let us stop here for now, necessary beings exist.

    Given that matter is composite, variable etc, no material entity can be a necessary being.

    Serious candidate necessary beings will be things like minds and things contemplated by minds such as necessarily true propositions.

    This sets a context for people indoctrinated in an evolutionary materialist scientism dominated era to begin to think outside the box of their programming.

    For instance, consider the idea of popping a cosmos out of “nothing” as Krauss and Dawkins recently championed.

    Properly, nothing is non-being and such has no causal powers. If ever there were utter nothing, such would forever obtain.

    So as a world now is, something — something utterly independent of other things — always was. Something both necessary and eternal.

    For many today, that is shocking.

    Further shocker, 100 years back, the steady state universe notion envisioned that somehow the physical cosmos as a whole was eternal.

    Big bang evidence blew that up and the scramble across budding off sub cosmi, oscillating universes, multiverse brane etc is the result, All highly speculative metaphysics not observationally anchored physics.

    So, all serious alternatives need to sit to the table as of right.

    This includes a necessary being as world root who fundamentally is mind, or from another view, spirit. Eternal Spirit and cosmic architect.

    Immediately, this is not an irresponsible, ill supported culturally stamped commonplace myth to be dismissed with a critical thinking class talking point one liner.

    The shamefulness of what happened in Katy indep school district TX, is laid bare.

    But this raises further issues. The cosmos shows fine tuning pointing to design setting up a habitat for C chemistry aqueous medium cell based life. We are such life, we are minded, we find we must be responsibly and rationally free to be minded and we find we are under moral government. As the reference to shame just illustrated.

    That puts up a very special serious candidate necessary being: the inherently good creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, worthy of loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in accord with our nature.

    That is, ethical theism is a serious live option worldview, not something to be brushed aside with a bigoted one liner as happened in Texas.

    But one more shocker remains.

    Once something is a serious candidate necessary being, and is not impossible [i.e. it would be in at least one feasible world] it must exist in all possible worlds and thus also the actual one.

    So the issue is not whether necessary beings are a serious concept.

    It is not whether such things do exist.

    It is not whether such is relevant to the roots of reality.

    It is not whether God is a serious candidate necessary being.

    It is whether God as understood by ethical theism, is impossible as a being.

    Formerly of course, atheistical objectors were fond of trotting out the problem of evil, but the problem has been blunted by Plantinga’s free will defense.

    And more significantly, long since it is stopped cold by the linked problem of the good: for as evil is the perversion and/or privation or frustration of the good out of purpose, if evil is real, the good is real and points to its root. (And yes, absent a nature and purpose, perversion, privation and frustration do not exist and good/evil becomes a socially conditioned commonplace notion, leading straight to might and manipulation make ‘right’ and ‘good’ and ‘truth’ etc. As Plato warned against so long ago in The Laws Bk X. The curriculum developers of Katy District were playing with big matches indeed.)

    So, we are back at the real challenge to atheism: can atheists back their implied claim that God as understood by ethical theism is impossible as a square circle is impossible?

    And no, trying to wiggle out by redefining atheism as absence of belief in God is an evasion. The issue is you imply that you have sufficient grounds to reject and disbelieve that claim, that the inherently good eternal Creator God exists. If so, what are the grounds, please.

    And so, we are at a very important point.

    KF

  45. 45

    The girl who did that test was actually a post-modernist. She talked about how it was a “fact for her” that God exists, while she “understood”, how it would not be a fact for other people. That really means to say that opinion is inherent to facts, which is post-modernism.

    You are not actually addressing what I write. I mean…total unresponsiveness.

    As already mentioned, nothing is properly the mathematical zero. Creatio ex nihilo. Nothing has forever been the mainstay of the material part to the philosophy of creation.

    The grounds for disbelief in God is to consider what is in the spiritual domain, and then decide that God is not there. Expression of emotion with free will, thus choosing, resulting in a finding of emptiness.

    So my criticism of the necessary being construct

    1. it convolutes subjectivity

    Subjectivity is held separate from belief in God (in stead the belief is forced by logic), and subjectivity is ignored for the rest of it.

    2. it is counterintuitive in respect to creatio ex nihilo

    3. denial of the mechanism of creation as choosing

    You do no science about how things are chosen, at all. Because there is no logical progression from necessary being, to that being choosing anything.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    First, the girl is a 12 year old, and should never have been put on a spot like that.

    She tried to defend her faith with what she has heard, which is whatever ill-instructed things are talked about in church, Christian, Christian media and general circles.

    One of the sobering things about such targetting is that it will force responsible pastors etc to indoctrinate in standard responses through a catechism style question-answer on what was memorised.

    And, should the following triggers be pulled, here is the speed dial to the religious freedom law firm.

    There is a biologically and socially linked process of cognitive maturation and 12 year olds are not normally ready for abstract thought and reasoning. Though, they can be great parrots if suitably programmed . . . but that is a dangerous procedure if handled with a lack of integrity and/or usurpation of parental authority. Indeed there are questionable elements to the critical thinking unit that tie to that, before we come to such a loaded question. The whole seems to be educationally irresponsible practice.

    Similarly irresponsible praxis pervades education in a day where institutions are dominated by radically secularist evolutionary materialist scientism and fellow travellers including cultural marxism and its own fellow travellers.

    I have seen some literature books for the same age that are revered by teachers etc that should never be in curricula. And BTW, I was not happy with the underlying messages in the Harry Potter series, Far better would have been Chronicles of Narnia. Which of course is locked out.

    Secondly, the concept necessary being does not involve consciousness as such. It is based on — as was repeated yesterday for convenience — an assessment of modes of being as possible/ impossible and of possible contingent and non-contingent. Non contingent possible beings are necessary beings.

    Further, it so happens that God as eternal, independent etc is a serious candidate necessary being. This is not novelty or dubious, it is standard, save that I am emphasising candidacy to go to the next point. Namely that such a serious candidate will be possible or else impossible (as a square circle is impossible) and once possible will be actual. As for why, I have already outlined.

    The fact that God as necessary being is a standard part of systematic theology should serve to highlight that such is not contrary to Creation ex nihilo. For just one instance necessarily true propositions are thoughts and would be among things eternally contemplated by God.

    Creation as instantiated is highly contingent and thus reflects the free choice of God.

    As for science, it is no shame to point to weaknesses and limitations thereof. It also seems that you have yet to examine the Smith model for bio-cybernetic entities, as was already pointed out to you.

    Your points on subjectivity and creationism etc as I have repeatedly highlighted, will simply slot you into a handy exclusionary pigeonhole based on the established frames of thought entrenched in institutions.

    The approach may work to a certain extent online but not in the context of curricula and schooling in today’s ideological climate.

    Which is directly relevant.

    The required approach is to go all the way back to worldviews and show why ethical theism is not properly dismissible through a one liner talking point as a culturally stamped, ill supported commonplace notion.

    I have also showed why the understanding that God is necessary being etc is not antithetical to responsible, rational freedom but instead undergirds it.

    And more.

    You do not have to agree, but the point has long since been made.

    KF

  47. 47

    You want kids to not be taught the difference between fact and opinion? It should be taught, it is generally practically useful. And if it is taught more precisely, then it is the same as teaching creationism in a general sense.

    Somebody who can do creation science would also have to understand how people design things, because in science all theories are stated in their general form. So intelligent design theory is about all design in general.

    So then, in practical effect we get rid of atheism, and we establish creation science, by teaching the difference between fact and opinion more precisely.

    That would be of great benefit. You know how much difference that makes for people’s lives, when people acknowledge each others emotions? It’s a huge difference, an enormous benefit.

    The mention of God can be left out in teaching the difference between fact and opinion, because of it being controversial.

  48. 48
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, briefly, a typical 12 YO can memorise the definitions of fact, opinion, commonplace notion, truth, falsity, lie etc. Indeed, should be taught such and trained how o use good dictionaries. S/he can be taught typical cases and will be able to solve closely similar cases, but will lack ability and experience to think abstractly and to be independently analytical or synthetic, especially on worldviews or in novel and unexpected situations. This BTW is linked to struggles to learn Mathematics such as Algebra or Calculus or Physics at that age. The curriculum was manipulative. Later. KF

  49. 49
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    I follow up.

    First, I have utterly zero interest in “establishing Creation Science” or the like. There is no good reason to try to impose any scheme by which interpretations of any scriptural tradition control, canalise and censor either science or science education. That would be as distorting as the present situation where a priori evolutionary materialism does the same.

    I have high confidence instead that truth is truth, and will be ultimately coherent and comprehensive.

    Which is reason enough to pursue science as a way to understand the world, without force-fitting ideological agendas on it.

    So also, natural theology — much broader than science — is also worth looking at in its own right as a philosophically linked study. And, we may readily see that if it is true that we are the creation and children of God, God who is there and is not silent, then that will be evident from the world without and our inner life within. So evident, that turning from such truth will require a strained effort that patently distorts and clouds our reasoning.

    This is also actually the declared view of the Judaeo-Christian scriptural tradition, and particularly of Paul as stated in the most consciously systematically theological statement of Christian theology in the Bible, Romans. Let me clip Rom 1, here expanding the themes sounded in Ac 17 and complementing and supplementing those in 1 Cor 1 – 2:

    Rom 1:18 For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them.

    20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through His workmanship [all His creation, the wonderful things that He has made], so that they [who fail to believe and trust in Him] are without excuse and without defense.

    21 For even though [d]they knew God [as the Creator], they did not [e]honor Him as God or give thanks [for His wondrous creation]. On the contrary, they became worthless in their thinking [godless, with pointless reasonings, and silly speculations], and their foolish heart was darkened.

    22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory and majesty and excellence of the immortal God for [f]an image [worthless idols] in the shape of mortal man and birds and four-footed animals and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their own hearts to [sexual] impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin], 25 because [by choice] they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! . . . .

    28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or consider Him worth knowing [as their Creator], God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things which are improper and repulsive, 29 until they were filled (permeated, saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice and mean-spiritedness. They are gossips [spreading rumors], 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors [of new forms] of evil, disobedient and disrespectful to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful [without pity].

    32 Although they know God’s righteous decree and His judgment, that those who do such things deserve death, yet they not only do them, but they even [enthusiastically] approve and tolerate others who practice them.[AMP]

    And indeed, that is precisely what we find, on considering carefully:

    1 –> We find that pondering being and linked themes such as non-being and cause, the cosmos is rooted in necessary being. So the concept of an eternal, independent root of reality is more than viable.

    2 –> Of serious necessary being candidates, we find abstractions and mind successful, matter [being composite] fails. So it is reasonable to acknowledge mind as root of reality. (BTW, this also sets up the principle that mind can act on matter, hence the promise in the Smith two-tier controller view of bio-cybernetic systems.)

    3 –> On actually looking at the cosmos, the often philosophically preferred steady state view of the material cosmos collapsed from the 1920’s – 60’s, as evidence forced general acceptance of an expanding observed cosmos that points back to a singularity [big bang] c 13.7 BYA. A beginning, crying out for an adequate beginner.

    4 –> Speculative attempts to project oscillating universes, ever budding fluctuations, multiverses, branes etc all run into serious problems in themselves and all run beyond observational testing/confirmation and so are strictly philosophical rather than scientific exercises.Never mind the lab coats, telescopes and pictures.

    5 –> Further to this, the physics of the cosmos shows itself in many ways to be fine tuned, setting up a habitat for C-Chemistry, aqueous medium, terrestrial planet in galactic habitable zone, cell based life.

    6 –> This strongly points to design by a cosmic architect beyond the cosmos.

    7 –> The world of cell based life is replete with functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information. Including coded — thus both linguistic and purposeful — information in the heart of the cell. This points to design at origin of life and to design of major body plans including our own.

    8 –> Design in the world of life on earth does not by itself point to design within or beyond the cosmos much less by who, but in the above context, a clear pattern emerges.

    9 –> As we turn to ourselves and our inner life, it becomes clear that just to reason, warrant and know, we must be responsibly, rationally free. This implies that brains and neural networks are not adequate to account for rationality, as computation is blindly mechanical and is not equal to freely rational contemplation.

    10 –> Further to this, we find ourselves under moral government, pointing to the need for an IS that grounds OUGHT; which post Hume, can only be found at the root level of reality.

    11 –> For which, historically, after centuries of debates, there has been precisely one serious candidate: the inherently good, eternal, independent Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, thus worthy of loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good in light of our evident nature. That is, the God of ethical theism.

    12 –> So, we now come up against the logic of necessary being: if X is a serious candidate necessary being, X must be either possible or impossible (as a square circle is impossible as its core characteristics are in mutual contradiction and cannot be instantiated).

    13 –> Where, a possible being would exist in at least one possible world. But if a necessary being would exist in any one possible world that means that it is foundational to the framework of existence of any world and so would be present in ANY possible world. (E.g. try to compose a possible world in which 2 + 3 = 5 does not obtain.)

    14 –> This brings out that the real challenge faced by atheism is not whether it is possible for someone to disbelieve the reality of God. It is that such disbelief (sometimes presented as “absence of belief”) implies a commitment to the impossibility of God; which is a seriously challenged notion especially after Plantinga’s free will defence has gutted the rhetorical power of the former favourite appeal of atheists to the problem of evil.

    15 –> Beyond such, in fact millions of people have been transformed across the ages by meeting God in the face of the risen Christ. Starting with the core 500 witnesses at the foundation of the Christian contention who could not be shaken in the face of dungeon, fire and sword or worse.

    16 –> In short, experiencing the life changing reality of God and/or of our sense of being under moral government thus a moral governor is not a culturally stamped, ill-supported, commonplace delusion — such would bring the general credibility of the human mind into question — but a massively grounded fact of direct experience.

    17 –> Instead, it is those who cavalierly imply mass delusion of such millions who seem to be labouring under questionable though widely promoted notions.

    So — contrary to what was slipped into the Katy School District, TX curriculum — ethical theism is in fact a substantial belief system with significant warrant; it is not an easily dismissed ill supported culturally stamped commonplace notion.

    Nor does such pivot crucially on differences between what facts, opinions and mythical notions etc are. The hard work of substantiating where one stands, why, stands as a duty for those who advocate any significant worldview alternative and its first plausible commitments.

    Patently, ethical theism meets that test.

    KF

  50. 50

    It is just obviously required to do creation science, intelligent design science, to be a creationist. And that means to do science about how things are chosen in the universe.

    It means to describe the facts about how people choose things, and to describe the facts about how things are chosen in nature in general.

    And the main benefit of teaching creationism would be acceptance of the validity of subjectivity, because subjectivity operates by choosing it is also taught. Besides that creationism would provide some interesting knowledge, and useful technology, but that does not compare to the benefit of acceptance of the validity of subjectivity.

    Atheists / materialists, disregard the human spirit, as well as God the holy spirit, because the philosophies are in practise based upon rejection of subjectivity in general. They ignore people’s emotions, just as well as they ignore God. So that is how atheism / materialism is a blight on society, occasioning societal disasters such as nazism and communism.

    By not teaching creationism, you are essentially respecting the controversy over free will. You are saying well we cannot teach how things are chosen, because we are not sure. But of course kids need knowledge about how things are chosen for their daily lives.

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    MN,

    Intelligent design and creation science are very different things, particularly as regards the insertion of scriptural traditions in control of scientific reasoning and education. Yes, there are claims that the scriptures record the testimony of God who was there, but specific interpretations are debated and there is no general acceptance of such claims.

    Public education cannot reasonably be expected to impose such.

    As has already been highlighted, contingency is a part of the analysis of being.

    As to how contingent outcomes arise, that is by chance and/or choice. The former being comparable to what happens when dice or coins etc are tossed or when radioactive atoms decay, the latter based on the purposes and preferences of a being with significant freedom.

    Atheistical evolutionary materialism does struggle with responsible, rational freedom. That is a part of the self referential incoherence it falls into.

    And no, in a context of deep disagreement, simply imposing creation science will not effectively answer to evolutionary materialism that seems to be backed by science.

    Indeed, to make the attempt will simply slot oneself into dismissible pigeonholes.

    The real approach is to take genuine critical thinking deeper, to address worldview issues. As has been done above.

    KF

  52. 52

    I apply the rule that in science theories are stated in their general form. So with creationism I just mean creation in general, and not creation as it is in scripture.

    Intelligent design then just applies to a sophisticated way of choosing, while creationism covers all choosing.

    And creationism in this general form has 2 categories of creator and creation (what chooses and what is chosen), and opinion applies to the creator category, and fact applies to the creation category.

    So that is how by teaching the difference between fact and opinion, which is already established in education, one can teach creationism.

    The straightforward approach is the default approach. So teaching creationism, is simply to teach about how anything is chosen in the universe.

    I expect that your idea about how choosing works is wrong, because the concept is highly vulnerable to corruption.

    It could only be that you have false concept of how choosing works, saying the things you do, that nobody knows how choosing works empirically and so on.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, general form Creationism is strongly linked to scriptural traditions and to particular schools of thought on their interpretation. Science and science education should be free of ideological imposition, and should proceed on fair assessment of the epistemological limitations of inductive investigations, laying out strengths, weaknesses, issues, evidence, gaps, points of test and potential falsification, inherent provisionality, etc. The design inference on empirically tested sign shown to be reliable, is reasonable by these standards and has a longstanding status independent of religious traditions; it is not “creationism in a cheap tuxedo.” Further to all this, in the relevant jurisdiction, it is deemed illegal to attempt to teach creationism in public schools; the particular context of the thread is such a school district. My critique of what was done to insert the notion that the existence of God is a culturally stamped, ill supported commonplace notion, does not pivot on inserting Creationism into schools. What is needed — and which you consistently dodge to the point that your talking points inadvertently serve the agenda of those who wish to project the notion that design thought is stealth creationism, etc — is to go to worldview grounding issues and address these. Which I have done and which no objector has been able to cogently overthrow. G’day. KF

    PS: No one has any well grounded theory of how responsibly free and rational choices made by humans are impressed into the brain-body system. Indeed, there is an attempt to reduce such to activity within the system considered as an electrochemical computing entity; e.g. Crick’s Astonishing Hypothesis. However, this runs into self-referential incoherence. Again, you seem to have failed to consider the issues linked to say the Smith Model. (Cf here for more.)

  54. 54

    You are hung up on the name creationism, that you cannot conceive of it in general terms, that you conceive of it only in terms of scripture.

    We already have knowledge about how things are chosen, in daily life we talk in terms of choosing things continuously.

    And it is obviously required for a basic education to teach kids how things are chosen And included in that is the distinction between fact and opinion, objectivity and subjectivity, and creationism in general. You would see that is all just straightforward common sense, if you understood how choosing works more precisely.

    And by precisely I mean to understand the logic of it as it is in common discourse, not precisely as in exactly knowing how the decisionmaking in the brain is organized per neurons or whatever.

    I don’t care about creation science or intelligent design science either. This creationism vs evolution controversy is soley about acceptance of the validity of subjectivity, the science is secondary. And you failed to support acceptance of the validity of subjectivity, as in teaching the difference between fact and opinion more precisely.

  55. 55
    kairosfocus says:

    Accidental cross post

  56. 56
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, since I am here, I will simply say that you are beginning to sound like a parody. Enough substance has been given, and it is indeed the general view that Creationism is based on scriptures. Indeed that is precisely one of the criticisms of design theory by Creationist advocates: it is not tied to scripture. So, while I am aware of general creationism, I am also recognising the implications of that critique. KF

  57. 57

    The people who conceive of good and evil as fact, belong to the group of people who reject subjectivity. And whether they attach the label creationist, christian, materialist or whatever else to their beliefs is inconsequential, because the issue is most defining of their beliefs.

    When people accept subjectivity is valid, then because of accepting the freedom of opinion, then there is a genuine wide variety of beliefs among that group of people.

  58. 58
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, it is a fact that it is self evidently true that to kidnap, bind and gag, torture and sodomise or rape a young child then stifle or strangle it for pleasure is evil, a privation, frustration and perversion of the good. Now, reduce that to that is a matter of opinion and see where it lands you apart from might and manipulation make ‘right.’ KF

  59. 59
    George Edwards says:

    KF: “MN, it is a fact that it is self evidently true that to kidnap, bind and gag, torture and sodomise or rape a young child then stifle or strangle it for pleasure is evil,…”

    I agree with everything except the “self evident” part. Based on my upbringing, and subsequent observations and experience, I have concluded that what you describe is evil.

    I have also come to the belief that killing the innocent is evil. I have also arrived at the belief that instructing/pressuring/counceling someone to kill an innocent person is evil. I have arrived at the conclusion that raping women is evil. I think that we both agree that the acts I described are evil. Do you agree? We can start discussing the self evident part if we can agree on what is evil.

  60. 60
    Seversky says:

    kairosfocus @ 58

    MN, it is a fact that it is self evidently true that to kidnap, bind and gag, torture and sodomise or rape a young child then stifle or strangle it for pleasure is evil, a privation, frustration and perversion of the good.

    I agree, and I’m sure everyone else here does as well. But let’s look at a different example

    To me, abducting the women of a captive population and distributing them amongst the victorious soldiers as concubines, as ISIS has done with the Yazidi women, is self-evidently evil. Yet, by the version of Islam espoused by ISIS, it is apparently a necessary and virtuous act. I need hardly point out that it also has parallels in Old Testament accounts describing how the Israelites did exactly the same, with the approval and encouragement of their God. So, tell me, is that self-evidently good or evil?

  61. 61

    That you state it as fact means you have no emotions about it. It means you look at the law and look at the act, and correctly observe that such act is penalized in the law.

    Justice requires spirit, it is not an automated process. And you help create the environment where people become monsters through rejection of subjectivity.
    And I would gladly forgive such monsters, but never forgive the intellectuals who from their armchairs conspire to destroy people’s emotional life by ruling out subjectivity.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    Seversky and GE:

    The issue of self evidence is not whether it is obvious to oneself, or whether one may deny or dismiss the point, but the patent consequences of that. Even, if one proceeds to the denial of those consequences or imagines s/he has the power or cleverness to avoid facing the consequences.

    First, a self evident truth (such as fundamental rights to life and person) is so, and is seen as necessarily so on understanding what is being claimed, what is at stake, on pain of patent absurdity — typically manifest in gross logical, moral or dynamical incoherence — on attempted denial.

    As the Angelic Doctor long ago highlighted, the understanding is not necessarily a given.

    The willingness to acknowledge consequences and to be led by them is another that is not a given.

    Beyond mere primary ignorance and want of insight there is such a thing as a darkened understanding, a reprobate mind with an utterly calloused conscience and a habitual addiction to wrong and evil.

    This is where demonic evil epitomised by a Nero or a Hitler enters.

    The direct point is that a young child has no might nor eloquence and if caught and gagged cannot even scream for help. (This was the horrific fate of the boy I specifically have in mind.)

    The woman or girl from a freshly conquered community is in much the same boat.

    But such patently share with us the common grace of responsibly free, rational life and nature from conception to the span of life that can flourish if properly nurtured. Hence the moral governance that pivots on recognising fundamental equality and worth of neighbour as self.

    The denial or willful neglect of this ends in the absurdities of might and manipulation make ‘right.’

    The consequences of which speak for themselves.

    Long ago now, in Ch 2 Sec 5 of his 2nd treatise on civil govt, Locke rightly cited “the judicious Hooker” from Ecclesiastical Polity, 1594+:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [[Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . ] [[Eccl. Polity,preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80]

    If we are sane as a civilisation, we will rise up to defend the powerless in the face of those who would prey on them.

    If.

    In our increasingly insane day and age, that is not a given.

    Hence, a significant slice of my pessimism about our future.

    KF

  63. 63
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, it is a fact that were you to leap from the 100th floor of the burning WTC on Sept 11, 2001, you would die, and at that time it was a fact that if you stayed inside you would burn. Many chose to jump rather than burn. Now, I challenge you to conclude from such facts that those who faced them had no feelings about the matter, or that their feelings were inappropriate or contradictory to the facts. KF

  64. 64
    George Edwards says:

    KF, claiming that something, if denied, is patently absurd, is not an argument. It is an assertion. Assertions themselves are patently absurd without supporting argument and/or evidence.

    What you consider “self evident” I consider rules that societies arrive at by mutual acceptance in order to be part of the society. If they are internally inconsistent, the society will not survive, as has occurred repeatedly throughout human history.

    For example, do you consider slavery to be self evidently wrong? Not just wrong, but self evidently wrong. The bible doesn’t say so. And many human societies employed it. So, it obviously isn’t self evidently wrong. But I still think that it is wrong. But I believe this because of my parents teachings and subsequent observations and experiences. There is nothing self evident about the equality of races. This belief requires work to become established within a person, and far more effort for it to be established in society.

    There are many things that are almost universal. Do not kill, do not steal, etc. But universality does not make it self evident. It just makes it universal.

  65. 65
    Jack Jones says:

    @64 ” I consider rules that societies arrive at by mutual acceptance in order to be part of the society. If they are internally inconsistent, the society will not survive, as has occurred repeatedly throughout human history. ”

    If moral right and wrong are not objective then why should anybody care about whether society survives or not?.

    On your chance evolutionary world view then there is no line of demarcation between humans and organisms like rats and cockroaches etc and yet you are not concerned about their continued survival as if you recognize that man is in a different category which is not consistent with your evolutionary position.

    Chance evolutionists are not consistent.

  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, without acknowledging responsible rational freedom the life of the mind collapses into absurdity, including even the process of argument you indulge. I suggest a reading of the 101 here in context as a step to broadening your thought. And I add, this is the general context where evolutionary materialistic scientism also falls into self-referential incoherence, cf the 101 here, paying particular attention to Crick vs Johnson, Haldane, Pearcey and Reppert — the audio may help too. Nope I am not making naked, empty assertions; I am summarising in a context that traces through the OP to much else. KF

  67. 67
    mike1962 says:

    George Edwards: Do not kill, do not steal, etc. But universality does not make it self evident. It just makes it universal.

    Firstly, they are not universal. 4% of the human population are sociopaths. They go by a different fundamental standard.

    Secondly, so what you’re giving us is your private morality based on subjective feelings due to genes, upbringing, and what-not, that happens to agree with what you consider to be a majority view (at this particular time in history.) Okie dokie. Duly noted. You might want to inform ISIS of that. Apparently, they didn’t get the universal memo.

    By the way, do you consider all unborn humans worthy of the benefit of that “universal” do-not-kill notion?

    So, why exactly, shouldn’t I get a sword and cut your head off if it benefits me, or if I simply feel like it?

    P.S. If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved.

  68. 68
    Jack Jones says:

    @66

    Good points KF, If humans are nothing more than meat machines then they could not be morally accountable for their actions.

  69. 69

    @kairosfocus

    You threw out feelings when making what is good and evil into fact. And you help create monsters by failing, and indeed objecting, to teaching kids how choosing works. Protest teaching the difference between fact and opinion, and create an environment where people’s emotions are not acknowledged, for the reason emotions cannot be measured.

  70. 70
    Jack Jones says:

    @67

    You make good points Mike

  71. 71
    George Edwards says:

    Mike: “P.S. If nothing is self-evident, nothing can be proved.”

    It is not self evident that when I mix red and yellow I get orange. But I can prove it. It is not self evident that when I combust oxygen and hyrogen that I will get shared. But I can prove it.

    KF: “without acknowledging responsible rational freedo…”

    Who’s denying it?

    KF: “…the life of the mind collapses into absurdity…”

    There you go again, dismissing any disagreement as an absurdity. You can do better. With regard to the rest of your OP, you link to your own blog. Sorry, I refuse to read OPs on blogs that do not permit comments. If you can summarize it in a couple paragraphs, I will respond to you here.

    JJ: “Good points KF, If humans are nothing more than meat machines then they could not be morally accountable for their actions.”

    Why not?

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, just to start, you cannot reason without key self evident truths such as the first principles of right reason. Starting with the law of identity [A is itself, which partitions the world: W = {A | ~A} . . . ] and its direct corollaries non contradiction and excluded middle. As to morality, ask yourself how IS and OUGHT are jointly founded and what it means for us to be under moral obligation and government. Just, to begin with. KF

    PS: Here is William Provine at Darwin Day U Tenn 1998:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    Also, here is Sir Francis Crick in his 1994 The Astonishing Hypothesis:

    . . . that “You”, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. As Lewis Carroll’s Alice might have phrased: “You’re nothing but a pack of neurons.” This hypothesis is so alien to the ideas of most people today that it can truly be called astonishing.

    Though I have already linked and invited reading to see more on why I wrote as above, let me clip Haldane to amplify just a tad:

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter.” [[“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.]

  73. 73
    George Edwards says:

    Sorry KF, what are you responding to?

  74. 74
    Jack Jones says:

    “Why not?”

    You are asking me why determined machines would not be responsible for their actions?

    How could you be held morally responsible if your behavior was determined?

  75. 75
    kairosfocus says:

    GE you challenged on self evidence and reasoning including specifically proof. Also on morality and the self-referential incoherence of materialism and the need for responsible rational freedom. You also asked who challenges such. People like Crick and Provine as well as many more. My comment immediately follows yours. KF

  76. 76
    George Edwards says:

    KF, the discussion about whether morality is objective or subjective has been had many times here and elsewhere, and I have not read anything to convince me that morality is anything but subjective. You keep referring to your IS and OUGHT as if they were some kind of proof of objective morality, but they aren’t.

    Morality is something that we develop as a necessity to live in society. If I conclude that it is in my best interest to live amongst other people, then it is also in my best interest to ensure that I don’t do anything to jeopardize that. I didn’t instinctively know that it is not in my best interest not to hit someone or steal from someone. This is something that most of us learn at an early age, either by parental force or through our own experiences (usually a combination of both. But, in every cohort there will be a small number that never learn this. And, as long as this number remain small, society will muddle along. There was nothing objective about this. It was purely subjective.

  77. 77
    George Edwards says:

    JN: “How could you be held morally responsible if your behavior was determined?”

    Again, who is saying this? Certainly not me.

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, subjectivist morality boils down to might and manipulation make right, as Plato long since aptly highlighted. And it has nothing to do with persuading you, it has to do with warrant and your duty of care to hold what is warranted. But then, as a subjectivist you do not assent to duties beyond what you feel you like or must conform to out of fear. Oops. Case proved. KF

  79. 79
    Jack Jones says:

    @77″Again, who is saying this? Certainly not me.”

    It is what follows from materialistic evolution.

    @76 “Morality is something that we develop as a necessity to live in society.”

    If morality is not objective then why would anyone care about how their behavior affects others?

    “I didn’t instinctively know that it is not in my best interest not to hit someone or steal from someone”

    Morality is not about personal interests because personal interests and morality do not always converge, A person could benefit from stealing from somebody else, People can benefit from exploiting others, ie slave labor, that does not make it morally right. We have people profiting from exploitation ie: sweat shop workers.

    In fact, it is perfectly consistent with the dog eat dog idea of survival of the fittest.

  80. 80
    Vy says:

    It was purely subjective.

    So in essence, there’s no good or bad. Just what IS.

    ISIS killing people is absolutely ok because “it is in [their] best interest to [kill] other people [they consider infidels]”. Same goes for Hitler and Pol Pot and Stalin and racists and rapists and pedophiles and bullies and burglars and mass murderers and every other normally considered “bad” thing you can think of.

    Why? Because “it is in [their] best interest to [do what they feel they should do to] other people”.

    At least you’re being consistent with evodelusionary Atheopathy. That utopia half-baked Darwinists blab about on the internet is looking real good.

  81. 81
    George Edwards says:

    KF: “GE, subjectivist morality boils down to might and manipulation make right, as Plato long since aptly highlighted.”

    Then Plato knew nothing about subjective morality. Maybe he should have thought a little more about it.

    JJ:”It is what follows from materialistic evolution.”

    Which only highlights your lack of understanding of evolution.

    JJ: “Morality is not about personal interests because personal interests and morality do not always converge, A person could benefit from stealing from somebody else, People can benefit from exploiting others, ie slave labor, that does not make it morally right. We have people profiting from exploitation ie: sweat shop workers.”

    Sounds a lot like how humans have acted for all of recorded history. Where’s that much vaunted objective morality?

  82. 82
    Jack Jones says:

    “Sounds a lot like how humans have acted for all of recorded history. Where’s that much vaunted objective morality?”

    That is a strange objection, People can act immorally therefore you are saying that there is no “objective morality”

    If people act immorally then it just means they have strayed from the moral path.

    People can give the wrong answer to equations, that does not mean there are no correct answers.

    Very strange reasoning you have George.

  83. 83
    Vy says:

    Which only highlights your lack of understanding of evolution.

    Or yours. Under evodelusion, morality is an illusion:

    Morality then is not something handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai. It is something forged in the struggle for existence and reproduction, something fashioned by natural selection. It is as much a natural human adaptation as our ears or noses or teeth or penises or vaginas. It works and it has no meaning over and above this.

    . . .

    Morality is just a matter of emotions, like liking ice cream and sex and hating toothache and marking student papers. But it is, and has to be, a funny kind of emotion. It has to pretend that it is not that at all! If we thought that morality was no more than liking or not liking spinach, then pretty quickly it would break down. Before long, we would find ourselves saying something like: “Well, morality is a jolly good thing from a personal point of view. When I am hungry or sick, I can rely on my fellow humans to help me. But really it is all bullshit, so when they need help I can and should avoid putting myself out. There is nothing there for me.” The trouble is that everyone would start saying this, and so very quickly there would be no morality and society would collapse and each and every one of us would suffer.

    . . .

    Now you know that morality is an illusion put in place by your genes to make you a social cooperator, what’s to stop you behaving like an ancient Roman? Well, nothing in an objective sense.

    . . .

    Morality has no foundation. Long live morality. Thank goodness!

  84. 84

    The schoolbook for the Hitleryouth starts out with a chapter titled “factual outlook on life”. It then proceeds to denote the unlikeness of men to each other, denothing spiritual qualities of people as fact, denoting their worth as fact.

    Communism, or socalled scientific socialism, has the same focus on fact as nazism has.

    And that is ofcourse how conscience is sabotaged, by rejecting subjectivity, so emotions play no role, and what to do all becomes a matter of coldhearted calculation. The facts about good and evil act as sortingcriteria, sorting out what to do.

    Rejection of subjectivity is always accompanied with rejection of freedom. So that is why nazi’s conceived of people as predestined by race, and communists conceived of people as predestined by evolutionary class struggle.

    Creationism sets forth other ideas, it validates subjectivity and objectivity into seperate domains of creator and creation.

    Kairosfocus has said good and evil is fact. He has made the existence of God a fact of logic. He has said beauty has an objective element, not explaining the subjective element. He has rejected science about how things are chosen.

    It is what it looks like, it is plainly rejection of subjectivity altogether, like all the millions of others who reject subjectivity. To attach the label creationist and faith to that position is to make the labels creationist and faith meaningless.

  85. 85
    George Edwards says:

    JJ: “Very strange reasoning you have George.”

    It was a very strange question. Let me ask you a question. Is slavery objectively immoral, or subjectively immoral? If objective morality comes from god, one would think that it would be mentioned somewhere in the bible. Even if it is only alongside those crimes punishable by death such as being homosexual, adultery, not being a virgin on your wedding night and dishonouring your parents. But not a peep.

    Yes, there are people who do not follow the subjective morals of the society, but if it was a majority of people then the subjective morality of society would change. Which is what has happened throughout history.

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, get a clue that when you try to flip off Plato with a one liner you are going up against one of the ten all time top minds in our civilisation, and BTW Aristotle his pupil is there with him, Ari’s pupil? Alexander the Great. I suggest you would have been wiser to have actually read and responded to what he said, which was cited above. A glance at the life of Alcibiades and his damaging impact on Athens would then have given context. You are showing, with all due respect, sophomoric superficiality and repeated refusal to cogently address substance. KF

  87. 87
    Vy says:

    OT
    Exodus 21:16

    Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found sin possession of him, shall be put to death.

    NT
    Mark 12:31

    The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

    1 Timothy 1:8-11

    Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the slaw is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

  88. 88
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, see how readily subjectivity shades off into subjectivism? And the HY handbook was focussing on the superficial with a boost from Haekel’s faked up manipulative drawings that tried to rank races and apes. Which were commonly used in Germany. KF

    PS: Notice the moral fact I pointed to, a key example of self evident moral truth. Try to engage cogently on substance. Try to deny the knowability of the claim beyond subjective opinion and see where that ends real fast.

  89. 89

    @George Edwards

    The declaration of independence of the USA roots morality in the pursuit of happiness. Happiness is not a measurable thing, that is how morality is made subjective.

    The creator made people in such a way that they cannot but choose. That is why the rights are inalienable. To make people slaves goes against the nature of people to choose. The human spirit chooses, and happiness is the goal of the choices. Happiness is a spiritual quality, so the choosing is by and for the spirit.

  90. 90
    Jack Jones says:

    “It was a very strange question”

    No, it was a perfectly reasonable question. You are in a muddle when it comes to morality so you cannot see it.

    “Is slavery objectively immoral, or subjectively immoral”

    Subjective morality is a contradiction in terms, when we say somebody has acted immorally then we are talking as if there is an objective standard, if there is no correct standard then why would you moralize about how others act?

    Telling somebody that they have acted incorrectly while advocating that there is no correct standard makes no logical sense whatsoever. That is indeed what you are arguing for.

    “subjective morals of the society”

    A contradiction in terms.

    Subjective denies a correct standard, Morality is about a correct standard, if there is no correct standard then it makes no sense to use the term Morality.

    You need to contrast Morality against subjective right and wrong for your position.

    “if it was a majority of people then the subjective morality of society would change.”

    You are repeating the contradictory phrase again.

    “but if it was a majority of people then the subjective morality of society would change.”

    You are using that contradictory phrase again. Morality does not change, people can change from immoral to moral behavior, there is no such thing as moral or immoral behavior on your position, just amoral behavior.

    “Which is what has happened throughout history.”

    No, What has happened historically is that people can act morally and they can act immorally but on your evolutionary position where people would just be unintended meat robots who just act out according to physical laws then there is no morality and morality would just be an illusion.

    Yet on the other thread you were moralizing about people forcing their views on others as if you believe in objective right and wrong.

    Why are you so inconsistent.?

    Now…If morality does not exist which it does not on your position and right and wrong are just personal choices then you have no basis to say anyone needs to care about the good of others.

    If we are going to die and become nothing more than worm food which would be the case on your position and the universe is going to suffer a heat death then why would you expect others to care about what happens to society?

    If survival of the fittest is the case and there is no objective right and wrong then you really are not being consistent when you tell people what they should do on their short time on earth, ultimately it wouldn’t really matter on your faith, Nihilism is perfectly consistent with your faith.

    PS: You need to stop talking about subjective morality and objective morality as Morality already implies an objective standard, You need to contrast morality with subjective right and wrong in your arguments.

  91. 91

    @kairosfocus

    Your argument makes no sense. You profess objective morality, the nazi’s profess objective morality. It is very obvious how objective morality sabotages conscience, as I have explained.

    The schoolbook for the Hitler Youth refers directly to Charles Darwin and natural selection. So it is all quite obvious that there is a straight line from evolution theory to nazism, and that line is rejection of subjectivity.

    Nazism would not be nazism if it taught students to reach the conclusion about what is good and evil by choosing it with their heart. By expression of emotion with free will, thus choosing. Thus mandating to take care to have a well ordered emotional life, to cultivate a tender judgement. That form of nazism would be more like, let’s all get together nationally and take care of each other, and not the murderbent ideology that it was.

  92. 92
    Vy says:

    Nazism would not be nazism if it taught students to reach the conclusion about what is good and evil by choosing it with their heart.

    And who or what exactly would determine whose conclusion about what is good and evil is right or wrong? How would that person or thing know that it/s/he’s “hearted” conclusion is right or wrong?

    Did you forget Jer 17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”?

  93. 93

    People who accept subjectivity is valid usually accept the existence of God. So the choosing in general is conditioned by the choice to believe in God.

    So normally people would believe they have a soul, which soul chooses, and believe in God, and believe that God will judge their soul in the final judgement. And the judgement is a form of opinion.

    Of course there are still laws which laws can be objectively known. Both laws of society, and laws of God can be objectively known.

    But this does not make morality objective, because agency is not an objective issue. Any goodness or evil is in the agency of a decision.

  94. 94
    Jack Jones says:

    “does not make morality objective”

    Morality implies objectivity, If it is not objective then it is not morality.

    Morality contains objectivity within itself as it deals with objective should and should nots, So the term “objective morality” is tautologous.

    Just like when people say ” safe haven”

    If a place is a haven then it is already safe, the term safe before haven is not necessary.

    Now…. saying somebody is acting morally or immorally and then arguing that people decide for themselves what is right and wrong is contradictory.

    You believe in subjective right and wrong vs Morality which already implies objectivity, objective morality is a tautology.

  95. 95
    Vy says:

    People who accept subjectivity is valid usually accept the existence of God.

    You’re the first theistic promoter of subjectivity I’ve met.

  96. 96

    Respectfully, you don’t know what you are talking about. I know because I’ve talked to a lot of atheists about this.

    Atheists conceive of subjectivity as related to uniqueness, not related to choosing. For example a statement related to a unique position from which is viewed. So it means the statement is forced by the parameter of position, not chosen. This they will call subjectivity.

    And even if atheists use the word choosing, then they will conceive of choosing in terms of sorting, using the facts about what is good and evil as sorting criteria. So that is why atheists talk about good and evil being relative to the environment. The sortingcriteria change with the environment, but in every scenario good and evil are still held to be facts.

    No atheist acknowledges the existence of the human spirit on a subjective basis. Meaning to choose it exists, and choosing meaning to have several options available, any of which options would be valid when chosen. I have NEVER seen that. They regard love and hate as objectively measurable electrochemical processes in the brain. Atheists / materialists / naturalists etc. don’t do subjectivity.

    Subjectivity is an inherently creationist concept. Atheists don’t accept creationism.

  97. 97
    Vy says:

    Respectfully, you don’t know what you are talking about. I know because I’ve talked to a lot of atheists about this.

    That’s as valid as me saying you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Why you elevate your opinion about what the Atheists you’ve spoken to believe as greater than mine is quite interesting.

  98. 98
    Vy says:

    I don’t really understand the rest of your post.

  99. 99

    When you’ve had about 200+ examples of atheists rejecting subjectivity in conversing with them, then naturally I find my findings reliable.

    If you had also focused on the issue of subjectivity, and talked to large numbers of atheists about that issue, then of course I would consider your findings more reliable.

    I do one issue, that issue is subjectivity.

    And this is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of fact issue. One can denote as fact the way atheists deal with subjectivity intellectually. It is bad form that you call that opinion, in a discussion about subjectivity.

  100. 100
    mike1962 says:

    George Edwards: It is not self evident that when I mix red and yellow I get orange.

    Inferred was what I had in mind.

  101. 101
    Vy says:

    When you’ve had about 200+ examples of atheists rejecting subjectivity in conversing with them, then naturally I find my findings reliable.

    Well…that’s odd, considering the fact that it’s accepted right here:

    George: KF, the discussion about whether morality is objective or subjective has been had many times here and elsewhere, and I have not read anything to convince me that morality is anything but subjective.

    So it’s either you’re wrong or your definition of subjective is something else entirely OR your explanation of your position is inadequate.

    The “200+ … Atheists” part just makes LOL!

  102. 102
    Jack Jones says:

    I have never seen anyone other than atheists push the contradictory idea of subjective morality.

  103. 103

    I already explained that. Atheists relate the word subjectivity to uniqueness. And atheists conceive of choosing in terms of sorting. As for example Daniel Dennet with his blunt essay “I could not have done otherwise, so what?”

    The spirit chooses, and the conclusion what the spirit is, is reached by choosing it.

    That is subjectivity, it is choosing about what the agency of a decision is. This procedure results in an opinion. That is how subjectivity is an inherently creationist concept.

    This is how it is equally logically valid to say the painting is beautiful, as it is to say the painting is ugly. In case of beauty then love is identified as agency, and in the case of ugly then hate is identified as agency. The existence of the love and hate is therefore a matter of opinion. Which means to say one can choose whehter or not it is real, and any conclusion chosen would be logically valid.

    Of course using choosing in the creationist sense of the term. Having alternative futures available, any of which can be made the present. Not using the word choosing in the atheists sense of sorting out variables, where the result is forced by the sorting criteria.

    And your meaningless joking and lol and whatever is typical rubbish trying to deflect actual argument.

  104. 104

    @jack jones

    Is completely bogus. The word faith is almost interchangeable with religion, and faith is generally understood to be subjective. Remember Dawkins tirade against faith in general.

    How come I never see all these supposed religionists carrying their measuring devices into the mosque, measuring the objective morality?

    The atheist Sam Harris a few years ago advanced objective morality. When science is all you’ve got, then of course you are going to make morality objective.

  105. 105
    Jack Jones says:

    @98

    I don’t understand what Mohammad is going on about either.

  106. 106
    Jack Jones says:

    “The word faith is almost interchangeable with religion”

    Not sure what that has to do with anything we are discussing, It is false of course, You couldn’t live your life without faith. You have faith when you drive that people coming from the opposite side are responsible and are not going to veer on to your side of the road.

    “How come I never see all these supposed religionists carrying their measuring devices into the mosque, measuring the objective morality?”

    I wouldn’t look to Muslims for your guidance Mohammad.

    Now… You are saying because something cannot be measured physically then it does not exist objectively?

    But the claim something doesn’t exist objectively because it hasn’t been measured empirically has not been empirically measured.

    Your own claim fails your own criteria.

  107. 107
    Vy says:

    Are you sure you’re not confusing freewill with subjectivity?

    And your meaningless joking and lol and whatever is typical rubbish trying to deflect actual argument.

    I don’t remember joking, what I did do is LOL at your meaningless posturing.

    As for deflecting, it’s pretty hard to discuss when you’re trying to understand gibberish.

  108. 108

    @jack jones, vy etc.

    It is a very simple conceptual scheme.

    In creationism there are 2 fundamental categories, creator and creation.

    1 creator

    – what is in this category chooses, which is the mechanism of creation

    – spiritual domain

    – subjectivity: what is in this domain can only be found out by choosing if or not it is, by expression of emotion with free will, resulting in an opinion

    2 creation

    – what is in this category is chosen, meaning that the entire universe is a contingency

    – material domain

    – objectivity: what is in this domain can only be found out by a way of evidence forcing to produce a 1 to 1 model of it, resulting in a fact.

    So you see that is how creationism can be taught by teaching about fact and opinion, as was the original issue of this topic.

  109. 109

    @Vy

    To call it gibberish is just another way that you reject subjectivity.

  110. 110
    Jack Jones says:

    @108 We are not disrespecting you Mohammad, You are talking in a way which is hard to make sense of.

    Maybe you have an argument in your mind but you are struggling to articulate it.

  111. 111
    Vy says:

    The atheist Sam Harris a few years ago advanced objective morality.

    What that Atheopath did is promote the sub-Atheistic belief of scientism and delude himself into thinkin…er, randomizing that it has any basis in reality.

  112. 112
    Vy says:

    subjectivity: what is in this domain can only be found out by choosing if or not it is, by expression of emotion with free will, resulting in an opinion

    Arrrgh, that’s one way to use English to make someone’s head hurt.

    And now it sounds like you’re rejecting freewill. Hmmm.

  113. 113

    @jack jones

    To say God is objective, but we cannot measure him is to say that God is hidden. God does not hide. That is a ridiculous notion. The common and scientific understanding of fact is to have a 1 to 1 corresponding model. We cannot model God. Neither can we model love, jealousy, happiness. All conclusions about agency of a decision can only be chosen.

  114. 114
    Vy says:

    To call it gibberish is just another way that you reject subjectivity.

    I call it gibberish because I don’t understand what you’re saying and you’ve failed to make it understandable.

    In #103 it sounds like you’re confusing freewill with subjectivity but in #108 it sounds like you reject human freewill and propose some sort of God-only freewill.

    I agree with what JJ says in #110.

  115. 115

    @vy

    You only provide garbage and no conceptual scheme of how subjectivity works.

  116. 116
    Jack Jones says:

    “To say God is objective, but we cannot measure him is to say that God is hidden. God does not hide.”

    No, it just means that we do not have the tools to directly measure his existence.

    Though in Christianity then it is taught that he has been revealed through Jesus Christ.

    You are however, committing a category error by comparing God when in an immaterial form with beings with a physical body.

  117. 117
    Vy says:

    You only provide garbage and no conceptual scheme of how subjectivity works.

    You are projecting.

  118. 118

    @vy

    My argumentation is basically mathematically specific. To then talk about “what it sounds like” is to miss the point of specific procedures which are laid out.

    Specific procedures are highly open to criticism. If I talked vaguely about personality, consciousness and such, then you would have no clear target to criticize. But you do have this target.

    Simply if there is just 1 valid answer to a question about what the agency of a decision is, and not 2 or more, then what I say would be wrong. Because then the answer could not be chosen, because you need at least 2 options for choosing. So you can criticize very easily, except that the conceptual scheme of creationism is simply right.

  119. 119

    @jack jones

    I see no effort on the part of any religious person to try to develop the tools to measure God. It is all just a ridiculous notion which has no place in religion.

  120. 120
    Vy says:

    Okaaaaaay.

    JJ, do you get that? Perhaps you can explain it because mohammad isn’t quite ready to do so.

  121. 121
    Jack Jones says:

    In the essence of morality cut to subjectivity in its primal form obliterates knowledge of reason knowing less, specific agency checking procedures only leaves the option that subjective morality cannot be right as conceptual schemes of targets not known cannot generate right moral answers.

    If that is not intelligible, then don’t worry, neither is most of what Mohammad is posting.

  122. 122
    Jack Jones says:

    “I see no effort on the part of any religious person to try to develop the tools to measure God. It is all just a ridiculous notion which has no place in religion.”

    I see no effort on the part of Mohammad to develop the tools to measure the claim that things do not exist objectively unless they are empirically measured and that we cannot use other criteria like logical reasoning and inference from what we do see for existence, it is just a ridiculous self refuting claim that has no place in debate.

  123. 123
    Jack Jones says:

    @120 Vy

    There is more chance of nailing jello to the wall than people understanding post 118.

    You know what they say “Bullshit baffles brains”

  124. 124
  125. 125

    It is not self refuting. It is a coherent conceptual scheme as laid out in post 108

    Objectivity is there defined by making a corresponding model. It is also defined that it applies only to creation.

    You want to screw with that conceptual scheme, then it’s not going to work out. Then you will end up with several definitions for fact, several definitions for opinion, and a general conceptual mess.

    I provide a working coherent conceptual scheme where it all fits. And this scheme is in line with scripture as well as common discourse.

    When people talk in terms of fact they mean a corresponding model. As in “there are 5 sheep in the meadow”, the statement is a 1 to 1 reflection of the 5 sheep in the meadow.

    And I already explained how the opinion “the painting is beautiful is arrived at.”

    I do the work of providing a coherent conceptual scheme and demonstrating it in practise. You do the work of scoffing.

  126. 126
    Vy says:

    Ciao. 😀

  127. 127

    @jack jones

    Argumentation by scoffing. You are just no good.

    That is expression of my emotion with my free will about who you are making the decisions that you do. The agency of your decisions is evil. That is my judgement.

  128. 128
    Jack Jones says:

    Still no idea about what mohammad is going on about. This is interesting about him though.

    http://neophilosophical.blogsp.....yamsu.html

  129. 129

    You can see how neopolitan’s output crashes after I engaged him. First it is 60, 60, per year, then it is a measly 18. I make problems for atheists.

    And that you bring up this nonsense, I mean that I find contemptible. Either you present a different conceptual scheme for how subjectivity works, or you shut up.

    The topic under discussion is the difference between fact and opinion.

  130. 130
    Jack Jones says:

    Mohammad I have absolutely no idea what you are going on about and life is too short, you will need to find somebody else to try and make out what the hell you are going on about.

    see ya.

  131. 131

    The rules in the conceptual scheme are more simple than the rules of tic tac toe. That it is so simple leaves no room for not understanding it.

    That you say not to understand while scoffing and trying to do some character assassination, simply means that you reject subjectivity.

    Meaning that you reject the procedure of reaching a conclusion about what the agency of a decision is by choosing the conclusion, resulting in an opinion.

  132. 132

    And you can see in neopolitan’s blog.

    I provide a conceptual scheme fitting fact and opinion. The response is:

    You do not write proper English, and oh yeah, you are duplicit because you present yourself as dutch while you are Indonesian, oh sorry I am wrong maybe you are dutch.

    I mean that is the total garbage I deal with. People checking up on my nationality and whatever other nonsense. They NEVER provide a conceptual scheme to lay side by side the creationist conceptual scheme, to see which one works best.

    That is because there is no error in creationism, it simply works.

  133. 133
    George Edwards says:

    KF: “GE, get a clue that when you try to flip off Plato with a one liner you are going up against one of the ten all time top minds in our civilisation, blah blah blah”

    Unlike you, I am willing to accept the possibility that civilization has learned a thing or two in almost 2500 years. An intelligent and curious man would have asked me why I think Plato was wrong in this respect rather than blowing it off in a pompous dismissive manner. But you didn’t. Very telling.

  134. 134
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, a FYI. Pursuit of happiness in a reformation, dual covenant of nationhood and government under God speaks to fulfillment of individual calling/ purpose and nature under the inherently good Creator-Sustainer. Thus the import is that we have a duty to neighbour to facilitate or nurture, not frustrate, and that as individuals we must heed our evident nature in seeking to grow into stewardship of our potential, talents etc. This is not a licence to pervert ourselves or addict ourselves to evils etc. KF

    PS: To give a measure of context, here are two successive Congressionally issued national calls to prayer, 1776 and 1777:

    May 1776 [over the name of John Hancock, first signer of the US Declaration of Indpependence] : In times of impending calamity and distress; when the liberties of America are imminently endangered by the secret machinations and open assaults of an insidious and vindictive administration, it becomes the indispensable duty of these hitherto free and happy colonies, with true penitence of heart, and the most reverent devotion, publickly to acknowledge the over ruling providence of God; to confess and deplore our offences against him; and to supplicate his interposition for averting the threatened danger, and prospering our strenuous efforts in the cause of freedom, virtue, and posterity.. . . Desirous, at the same time, to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely, in all their lawful enterprizes, on his aid and direction, Do earnestly recommend, that Friday, the Seventeenth day of May next, be observed by the said colonies as a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness; humbly imploring his assistance to frustrate the cruel purposes of our unnatural enemies; . . . that it may please the Lord of Hosts, the God of Armies, to animate our officers and soldiers with invincible fortitude, to guard and protect them in the day of battle, and to crown the continental arms, by sea and land, with victory and success: Earnestly beseeching him to bless our civil rulers, and the representatives of the people, in their several assemblies and conventions; to preserve and strengthen their union, to inspire them with an ardent, disinterested love of their country; to give wisdom and stability to their counsels; and direct them to the most efficacious measures for establishing the rights of America on the most honourable and permanent basis—That he would be graciously pleased to bless all his people in these colonies with health and plenty, and grant that a spirit of incorruptible patriotism, and of pure undefiled religion, may universally prevail; and this continent be speedily restored to the blessings of peace and liberty, and enabled to transmit them inviolate to the latest posterity. And it is recommended to Christians of all denominations, to assemble for public worship, and abstain from servile labour on the said day.

    December 1777: FORASMUCH as it is the indispensable Duty of all Men to adore the superintending Providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with Gratitude their Obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther Blessings as they stand in Need of; And it having pleased him in his abundant Mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable Bounties of his common Providence, but also to smile upon us in the Prosecution of a just and necessary War, for the Defence and Establishment of our unalienable Rights and Liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a Measure to prosper the Means used for the Support of our Troops and to crown our Arms with most signal success: It is therefore recommended to the legislative or executive powers of these United States, to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise; That with one Heart and one Voice the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favour, and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD, through the Merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole; to inspire our Commanders both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE; That it may please him to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People and the Labour of the Husbandman, that our Land may yet yield its Increase; To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand, and to prosper the Means of Religion for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”[i.e. Cites Rom 14:9] [Source: Journals of the American Congress From 1774 to 1788 (Washington: Way and Gideon, 1823), Vol. I, pp. 286-287 & II, pp. 309 – 310.]

    Most of us never heard of these in school and were never guided to see what significance they have for how we should understand the US DoI and Constitution (e.g. “secure the blessings of liberty . . . “) and apply to national life and government.

  135. 135
    George Edwards says:

    SNIP — this is not going off the rails on Evil Bible, village atheist snip-snipe out of context rants. I suggest those so tempted will find the refutation here helpful, and the discussion here helpful. Further to this, no discussion of slavery and social ills that fails to reckon with the force of Philemon and its impact down to literally being the source of the motto of the antislavery society, and the hardness of heart principle of amelioration and reform across time will have any sound balance to it. If you want to go off on such debates there is a whole free Internet out there. No further warnings will be given. ED

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    GE,

    again, you are arguing to the man and failing to address substance. Nor do we tell truth by the clock (which is made to tell . . . time) — sound reformation generally works by calling us back to core, often self-evident principles and lessons of history that have been on record for a long time; likely first identified by the key circle of thinkers who pioneered the field of study and in phil matters refined across centuries. In such fields, if it is good it is likely to be old and successively refined, and if it is utterly novel it is highly likely to be error. Thus the importance of classic voices and works. Of course, again, it is fact-logic that grounds, No expert, witness or authority is better than his facts and logic and our emotions are no better than the underlying perceptions, expectations, treasures of the heart and evaluations that drive them. (Think, the differences between lust, infatuation, first love and its fulfillment in stable covenantal love.)

    Indeed, even the concept, radicalism speaks to going back to the radix, the root.

    However the tendency to imagine that on core issues we are progressing and can dismiss the past, is again a characteristic mark of the manipulative radical secularism and marches of folly of our day which exaggerate the fashionable or novel at the expense of the tried, tested, found sound.

    Here is a thought: the sound lessons of history were paid for in blood and tears; those who ignore, neglect or distort them doom themselves to pay the same price over and over again.

    There is a summary from Plato already in play, for convenience, I cite again.

    See if you can actually cogently answer to this warning in light of the career and impact of Alcibiades. Note also the force of his parable of the cave and of the self-referentially incoherent nature of evolutionary materialism as linked. Where too evolutionary materialism turns out to have been ancient and known to be morally bankrupt and prone to destructive factions in Plato’s day:

    Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them.

    KF

  137. 137
    George Edwards says:

    KF@136, can I take this that you have no desire to hear why I think that something a man said 2500 years ago might not be correct? That is your perogative. But man would not have advanced to where we are now if everyone had your attitude.

  138. 138
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, consider yourself as under sole, final warning as at 135. KF

  139. 139
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, your standard argue to the man while studiously avoiding substance tactic continues. You full well know that if you have something cogent to say in regards to evolutionary materialism and its fellow travellers, the threads have long been open. KF

  140. 140
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Just to set a benchmark, let us put again, Pearcey’s summary in Finding Truth on how evolutionary materialistic scientism self-refutes by undermining knowledge:

    A major way to test a philosophy or worldview is to ask: Is it logically consistent? Internal contradictions are fatal to any worldview because contradictory statements are necessarily false. “This circle is square” is contradictory, so it has to be false. An especially damaging form of contradiction is self-referential absurdity — which means a theory sets up a definition of truth that it itself fails to meet. Therefore it refutes itself . . . . An example of self-referential absurdity is a theory called evolutionary epistemology, a naturalistic approach that applies evolution to the process of knowing. The theory proposes that the human mind is a product of natural selection. The implication is that the ideas in our minds were selected for their survival value, not for their truth-value.

    But what if we apply that theory to itself? Then it, too, was selected for survival, not truth — which discredits its own claim to truth. Evolutionary epistemology commits suicide.

    Astonishingly, many prominent thinkers have embraced the theory without detecting the logical contradiction. Philosopher John Gray writes, “If Darwin’s theory of natural selection is true,… the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth.” What is the contradiction in that statement?

    Gray has essentially said, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it “serves evolutionary success, not truth.” In other words, if Darwin’s theory is true, then it is not true.

    Self-referential absurdity is akin to the well-known liar’s paradox: “This statement is a lie.” If the statement is true, then (as it says) it is not true, but a lie.

    Another example comes from Francis Crick. In The Astonishing Hypothesis, he writes, “Our highly developed brains, after all, were not evolved under the pressure of discovering scientific truths but only to enable us to be clever enough to survive.” But that means Crick’s own theory is not a “scientific truth.” Applied to itself, the theory commits suicide.

    Of course, the sheer pressure to survive is likely to produce some correct ideas. A zebra that thinks lions are friendly will not live long. But false ideas may be useful for survival. Evolutionists admit as much: Eric Baum says, “Sometimes you are more likely to survive and propagate if you believe a falsehood than if you believe the truth.” Steven Pinker writes, “Our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. Sometimes the truth is adaptive, but sometimes it is not.” The upshot is that survival is no guarantee of truth. If survival is the only standard, we can never know which ideas are true and which are adaptive but false.

    To make the dilemma even more puzzling, evolutionists tell us that natural selection has produced all sorts of false concepts in the human mind. Many evolutionary materialists maintain that free will is an illusion, consciousness is an illusion, even our sense of self is an illusion — and that all these false ideas were selected for their survival value.

    [–> that is, responsible, rational freedom is undermined. Cf here William Provine in his 1998 U Tenn Darwin Day keynote:

    Naturalistic evolution has clear consequences that Charles Darwin understood perfectly. 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists; 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent . . . .

    The first 4 implications are so obvious to modern naturalistic evolutionists that I will spend little time defending them. Human free will, however, is another matter. Even evolutionists have trouble swallowing that implication. I will argue that humans are locally determined systems that make choices. They have, however, no free will [–> without responsible freedom, mind, reason and morality alike disintegrate into grand delusion, hence self-referential incoherence and self-refutation. But that does not make such fallacies any less effective in the hands of clever manipulators] . . . [1998 Darwin Day Keynote Address, U of Tenn — and yes, that is significant i/l/o the Scopes Trial, 1925]

    So how can we know whether the theory of evolution itself is one of those false ideas? The theory undercuts itself.

    A few thinkers, to their credit, recognize the problem. Literary critic Leon Wieseltier writes, “If reason is a product of natural selection, then how much confidence can we have in a rational argument for natural selection? … Evolutionary biology cannot invoke the power of reason even as it destroys it.”

    On a similar note, philosopher Thomas Nagel asks, “Is the [evolutionary] hypothesis really compatible with the continued confidence in reason as a source of knowledge?” His answer is no: “I have to be able to believe … that I follow the rules of logic because they are correct — not merely because I am biologically programmed to do so.” Hence, “insofar as the evolutionary hypothesis itself depends on reason, it would be self-undermining.” [ENV excerpt, Finding Truth (David C. Cook, 2015) by Nancy Pearcey.]

    Until such is resolved, advocates of that view are flogging a dead horse that stumbled fatally in the starting gates.

    KF

  141. 141
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N2: Like unto it, here is Hawthorne on the inherent amorality and thus moral bankruptcy of evolutionary materialism:

    Assume (per impossibile) that atheistic naturalism [[= evolutionary materialism] is true. Assume, furthermore, that one can’t infer an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ [[the ‘is’ being in this context physicalist: matter-energy, space- time, chance and mechanical forces]. (Richard Dawkins and many other atheists should grant both of these assumptions.)

    Given our second assumption, there is no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer an ‘ought’. And given our first assumption, there is nothing that exists over and above the natural world; the natural world is all that there is. It follows logically that, for any action you care to pick, there’s no description of anything in the natural world from which we can infer that one ought to refrain from performing that action.

    Add a further uncontroversial assumption: an action is permissible if and only if it’s not the case that one ought to refrain from performing that action . . . [[We see] therefore, for any action you care to pick, it’s permissible to perform that action. If you’d like, you can take this as the meat behind the slogan ‘if atheism is true, all things are permitted’.

    For example if atheism is true, every action Hitler performed was permissible. Many atheists don’t like this consequence of their worldview. But they cannot escape it and insist that they are being logical at the same time.

    Now, we all know that at least some actions are really not permissible (for example, racist actions). Since the conclusion of the argument denies this, there must be a problem somewhere in the argument. Could the argument be invalid? No. The argument has not violated a single rule of logic and all inferences were made explicit.

    Thus we are forced to deny the truth of one of the assumptions we started out with. That means we either deny atheistic naturalism or (the more intuitively appealing) principle that one can’t infer ‘ought’ from [[a material] ‘is’.

    Of course, we are inescapably under moral government in a world where Hume long since pointed out the leap from is is to ought. The only level at which is and ought can be unified in our world is its roots. Hence the point argued in the OP and pointed out thereafter in the thread above.

    KF

  142. 142
    George Edwards says:

    KF: “GE, consider yourself as under sole, final warning as at 135. KF”

    Fair enough. Can I then ask that Vy’s comment be “snipped” and she be given a final warning. After all, my comment was simply a response to hers.

    KF: “GE, your standard argue to the man while studiously avoiding substance tactic continues.”

    I have attempted to argue substance. You have quoted Plato about might and manipulation makes right. When I claimed that he was wrong and offered to explain, you continue to take it as a personal insult. You either want an actual discussion or you want to preach. Which is it?

  143. 143
    kairosfocus says:

    Vy replied to a prompt, and appropriately. No further posts on that side track will be entertained.

  144. 144
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, we await your cogent response on the merits, where I have provided a first level expansion on the point brought out by Plato already just above. Meanwhile your resort to arguing to the man rather than to fact-logic on substance is again duly noted. KF

    PS: I remind:

    Nor do we tell truth by the clock (which is made to tell . . . time) — sound reformation generally works by calling us back to core, often self-evident principles and lessons of history that have been on record for a long time; likely first identified by the key circle of thinkers who pioneered the field of study and in phil matters refined across centuries. In such fields, if it is good it is likely to be old and successively refined, and if it is utterly novel it is highly likely to be error. Thus the importance of classic voices and works. Of course, again, it is fact-logic that grounds, No expert, witness or authority is better than his facts and logic and our emotions are no better than the underlying perceptions, expectations, treasures of the heart and evaluations that drive them.

  145. 145
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, I remind you from the OP that the topic is a reply to the attempt to manipulate 12 yo school kids through a critical thinking assignment that tried to induce the view that belief in the reality of God is a culturally stamped, ill supported, commonplace notion; and its material context. Perhaps you need to refresh your memory by reading it. Riding a favourite rhetorical hobby horse on and on regardless is not going anywhere positive. KF

    PS: On the Smith Model for bio-cybernetic systems and relevance to the two tier controller (thus having context for agency interfacing with a cybernetic computational-cybernetic loop, perhaps through quantum level influences as Hameroff and Penrose suggested) kindly cf here: http://wayback.archive.org/web.....etics.html

  146. 146
    George Edwards says:

    OK. Plato’s quote, or at least the one you used in your argument, simply states might and manipulation makes right. There is absolutely no allowance for mutual understanding and agreement. That is neither might nor manipulation.

    Most modern societies function on the mutual understanding and agreement idea. With a modicum of might thrown in to keep everybody honest. There are, of course, governments who rule by the might makes right axiom (North Korea as an example). But they seldom last with the same structure more than a couple generations.
    So, in that context, your quote (might and manipulation makes right) is a complete misrepresentation (maybe unintentionally) of what we see as subjective morality.

  147. 147
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, At last, something substantial. However, mutual understanding and stable agreement depend on enduring foundational moral governance principles which are exactly what evolutionary materialism kicks over. Hence Plato’s comment about ruthless factionalism and its lawlessness; which is just what is going on as the long march of folly through the institutions continues apace. Further to this the sort of principled consensus you allude to, as the US DoI of 1776 understood in context shows, is rooted in the moral government of God. The ongoing radical secularisation and relativisation that we have been seeing are pointing to the breakdown of the delicate balances that undergird democratic self government by a free people. The likely outcome is a move towards breakdown and anarchic chaos, triggering a snap-back to autocracy or most likely a domineering manipulative elite, an oligarchy. Likely, concealed behind republican and/or democratic forms, a stunt that goes back all the way to Octavian’s subtle coup that transformed the Roman Republic into Empire after a long period of factional instability culminating in a huge civil war. The sad fate of constitutional law under the US Supreme court over the past 100+ years is a clear example. In short, moral government through godly principles or breakdown as might and manipulation make ‘right’ or ‘consensus’ and even ‘truth’ take over. [And if you dare differ with the magisterium of the 97% or whatever, you will be locked out, belittled, denigrated and even punished.] A process that is already in progress. KF

  148. 148
    George Edwards says:

    Sorry KF, but what is written In a political document, which the DOI is, is not proof of what the drafters actually believed. It was written to convince the masses, and the masses were largely Christian. Even today, no politician is going to admit that they are atheist, even though the law of averages suggest that some are.

    Canada, by most measures, is far more secular than the US. But society seems to be as strong as ever. Admittedly, Christianity does not have the power over society that it once did, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Just ask our native citizens. I understand that you, as a devout Christian, might see any weakening of Christian influence on society as a bad thing, but that is an opinion that cannot be supported by evidence. Unless you have some that you would like to share.

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    GE,

    A FYI.

    In fact the US DoI’s collective responsible drafters — the Continental Congress, overwhelmingly, were Christian (as has been documented) . . . as would be expected at that time and place.

    And the calls to prayer of May 1776 and Dec 1777 give a clear context.

    Besides, the force of the principles depends on what they state in documentary and historical context, rather than what particular beliefs or unbeliefs given individuals involved may have held. Another factor is the Hebraic sense of reverence for the name of God led to a tendency to indirectly refer to God.

    As we look at the actual key 2nd paragraph of the DoI as was cited above, it is clearly founded on ethical theism and the double covenant view of nationhood under God and legitimate government under God with the consent of the governed.

    Indeed, I will also point to an exemplar that seems to have influenced the DoI, the Dutch declaration of 1581 that is shaped by themes in Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos of 1579, and is of course part of the political legacy of Calvinism:

    . . . a prince is constituted by God to be ruler of a people, to defend them from oppression and violence as the shepherd his sheep; and whereas God did not create the people slaves to their prince, to obey his commands, whether right or wrong, but rather the prince for the sake of the subjects (without which he could be no prince), to govern them according to equity, to love and support them as a father his children or a shepherd his flock, and even at the hazard of life to defend and preserve them. And when he does not behave thus, but, on the contrary, oppresses them, seeking opportunities to infringe their ancient customs and privileges . . . then he is no longer a prince, but a tyrant, and the subjects are to consider him in no other view . . . This is the only method left for subjects whose humble petitions and remonstrances could never soften their prince or dissuade him from his tyrannical proceedings; and this is what the law of nature dictates for the defense of liberty, which we ought to transmit to posterity, even at the hazard of our lives. . . . . So, having no hope of reconciliation, and finding no other remedy, we have, agreeable to the law of nature in our own defense, and for maintaining the rights, privileges, and liberties of our countrymen, wives, and children, and latest posterity from being enslaved by the Spaniards, been constrained to renounce allegiance to the King of Spain, and pursue such methods as appear to us most likely to secure our ancient liberties and privileges.

    I note a comment made by the Library of Congress on a recent exhibition of founding documents which I believe is still online:

    The Continental-Confederation Congress, a legislative body that governed the United States from 1774 to 1789, contained an extraordinary number of deeply religious men . . . both the legislators and the public considered it appropriate for the national government to promote a nondenominational, nonpolemical Christianity . . . . Congress was guided by “covenant theology,” a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people . . . The first national government of the United States, was convinced that the “public prosperity” of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a “spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens,” Congress declared to the American people, would “make us a holy, that so we may be a happy people.”

    This context extends to the framework of the constitution.

    Indeed, in spiritual terms the overlooked key founding documents are precisely the calls to prayer of 1776 and 1777, which jointly express a definite understanding of a covenant of nationhood under God. God understood in a distinctly Judaeo-Christian frame. And unsurprisingly so as the sense of American-ness was strongly shaped by the first American, national event: the Great Awakening under George Whitefield et al. (Another commonly overlooked factor.)

    Having already pointed to the DoI and calls to solemn assembly and prayer under God, let me show the grand statement documentary structure of the 1787 Constitution, by way of further illustration:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America . . . . [Main Body, Arts I – VII] . . . . Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names. . . . . [AMENDMENTS].

    This document seeks to deliver (second time around) on the good government clause of the DoI, in accord with the right of reformation. In so doing it speaks to the blessings of Liberty that are in the key calls to prayer and it sets itself as a part of the world of Christendom, referring to the year of our risen Lord.

    In the first amendment, the freedom and non establishment of religion clauses apply the principles of the 1648 Westphalia settlement to federal republican circumstances. Instead of the locality following the religion of the prince that is left to the will of the state, while protecting dissenters; in a context where freedom of expression is guaranteed as well as association, press, assembly and petition for redress. Yes, these are specifically responsive to the concerns of the dissenters who pushed for specific guarantees on rights; wisely as can be seen. At that time, nine states did in fact have their own established churches. And, by granting it no jurisdiction to rule on establishment of a church of the united States, the amdt locked out of the federal government the power to set up a national church. (Long since usurped by the de facto establishment of the anti church of radically secularist evolutionary materialist scientism and its fellow travellers. Which has produced precisely the sort of intractable conflicts that the framers tried to head off.)

    While I am at it, let me show the similar structure of attempt no 1, the articles of confederation of 1778:

    To all to whom these Presents shall come, we the undersigned Delegates of the States affixed to our Names send greeting.

    Whereas the Delegates of the United States of America in Congress assembled did on the fifteenth day of November in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy seven, and in the Second Year of the Independence of America, agree to certain articles of Confederation and perpetual Union . . . in the words following, viz:

    Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union between the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia . . . .

    [ARTICLES I – XIII]

    And Whereas it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union. Know Ye that we the undersigned delegates, by virtue of the power and authority to us given for that purpose, do by these presents, in the name and in behalf of our respective constituents, fully and entirely ratify and confirm each and every of the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union . . . .

    In Witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands in Congress. Done at Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania the ninth day of July in the Year of our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Eight, and in the Third Year of the independence of America.

    So, the ethical theistic and particularly Judaeo-Christian context is plain. The secularist revisionists are demonstrably wrong.

    The Trinity US Supreme Court decision of 1893,summarising the history and heritage, is correct — not a nation with a dominant national church but a Christian nation nonetheless:

    The Act of February 26, 1880, “to prohibit the importation and migration of foreigners and aliens under contract or agreement to perform labor in the United States, its Territories, and the District of Columbia,” 23 Stat. 332, c. 164, does not apply to a contract between an alien, residing out of the United States, and a religious society incorporated under the laws of a state, whereby he engages to remove to the United States and to enter into the service of the society as its rector or minister . . . .

    We find, therefore, that the title of the act, the evil which was intended to be remedied, the circumstances surrounding the appeal to Congress, the reports of the committee of each house, all concur in affirming that the intent of Congress was simply to stay the influx of this cheap unskilled labor.

    But, beyond all these matters, no purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation. The commission to Christopher Columbus, prior to his sail westward, is from “Ferdinand and Isabella, by the grace of God, King and Queen of Castile,” etc., and recites that “it is hoped that by God’s assistance some of the continents and islands in the

    Page 143 U. S. 466

    ocean will be discovered,” etc. The first colonial grant, that made to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, was from “Elizabeth, by the grace of God, of England, Fraunce and Ireland, Queene, defender of the faith,” etc., and the grant authorizing him to enact statutes of the government of the proposed colony provided that “they be not against the true Christian faith nowe professed in the Church of England.” The first charter of Virginia, granted by King James I in 1606, after reciting the application of certain parties for a charter, commenced the grant in these words:

    “We, greatly commending, and graciously accepting of, their Desires for the Furtherance of so noble a Work, which may, by the Providence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the Glory of his Divine Majesty, in propagating of Christian Religion to such People, as yet live in Darkness and miserable Ignorance of the true Knowledge and Worship of God, and may in time bring the Infidels and Savages, living in those parts, to human Civility, and to a settled and quiet government; DO, by these our Letters-Patents, graciously accept of, and agree to, their humble and well intended Desires.”

    Language of similar import may be found in the subsequent charters of that colony, from the same king, in 1609 and 1611, and the same is true of the various charters granted to the other colonies. In language more or less emphatic is the establishment of the Christian religion declared to be one of the purposes of the grant. The celebrated compact made by the pilgrims in the Mayflower, 1620, recites:

    “Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid.”

    The fundamental orders of Connecticut, under which a provisional government was instituted in 1638-39, commence with this declaration:

    “Forasmuch as it hath pleased the Allmighty God by the wise disposition of his diuyne pruidence

    Page 143 U. S. 467

    so to Order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and vppon the River of Conectecotte and the Lands thereunto adioyneing; And well knowing where a people are gathered togather the word of God requires that to mayntayne the peace and vnion of such a people there should be an orderly and decent Gouerment established according to God, to order and dispose of the affayres of the people at all seasons as occation shall require; doe therefore assotiate and conioyne our selues to be as one Publike state or Comonwelth, and doe, for our selues and our Successors and such as shall be adioyned to vs att any tyme hereafter, enter into Combination and Confederation togather, to mayntayne and presearue the liberty and purity of the gospell of our Lord Jesus weh we now prfesse, as also the disciplyne of the Churches, weh according to the truth of the said gospell is now practiced amongst vs.”

    In the charter of privileges granted by William Penn to the province of Pennsylvania, in 1701, it is recited:

    “Because no People can be truly happy, though under the greatest Enjoyment of Civil Liberties, if abridged of the Freedom of their Consciences, as to their Religious Profession and Worship; And Almighty God being the only Lord of Conscience, Father of Lights and Spirits, and the Author as well as Object of all divine Knowledge, Faith, and Worship, who only doth enlighten the Minds, and persuade and convince the Understandings of People, I do hereby grant and declare,”

    etc.

    Coming nearer to the present time, the declaration of independence recognizes the presence of the Divine in human affairs in these words:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that thet are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. . . . We therefore the Representatives of the united states of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name and by Authority of the good these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,”

    etc.;

    “And for the

    Page 143 U. S. 468

    support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

    If we examine the constitutions of the various states, we find in them a constant recognition of religious obligations. Every Constitution of every one of the forty-four states contains language which, either directly or by clear implication, recognizes a profound reverence for religion, and an assumption that its influence in all human affairs is essential to the wellbeing of the community. This recognition may be in the preamble, such as is found in the Constitution of Illinois, 1870:

    “We, the people of the State of Illinois, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political, and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations,”

    etc.

    It may be only in the familiar requisition that all officers shall take an oath closing with the declaration, “so help me God.” It may be in clauses like that of the Constitution of Indiana, 1816, Art. XI, section 4: “The manner of administering an oath or affirmation shall be such as is most consistent with the conscience of the deponent, and shall be esteemed the most solemn appeal to God.” Or in provisions such as are found in Articles 36 and 37 of the declaration of rights of the Constitution of Maryland, 1867:

    “That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty, wherefore no person ought, by any law, to be molested in his person or estate on account of his religious persuasion or profession, or for his religious practice, unless, under the color of religion, he shall disturb the good order, peace, or safety of the state, or shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure others in their natural, civil, or religious rights; nor ought any person to be compelled to frequent or maintain or contribute, unless on contract, to maintain any place of worship or any ministry; nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed incompetent as a witness or juror on account of his religious belief, provided he

    Page 143 U. S. 469

    believes in the existence of God, and that, under his dispensation, such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefor, either in this world or the world to come. That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this state, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this constitution.”

    Or like that in Articles 2 and 3 of part 1st of the Constitution of Massachusetts, 1780:

    “It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. . . . As the happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality, and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community but by the institution of the public worship of God and of public instructions in piety, religion, and morality, therefore, to promote their happiness, and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic or religious societies to make suitable provision at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God and for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.”

    Or, as in sections 5 and 14 of Article 7 of the Constitution of Mississippi, 1832:

    “No person who denies the being of a God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state. . . . Religion morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind, schools, and the means of education, shall forever be encouraged in this state.”

    Or by Article 22 of the Constitution of Delaware, (1776), which required all officers, besides an oath of allegiance, to make and subscribe the following declaration:

    “I, A. B., do profess

    Page 143 U. S. 470

    faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore, and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.”

    Even the Constitution of the United States, which is supposed to have little touch upon the private life of the individual, contains in the First Amendment a declaration common to the constitutions of all the states, as follows: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” etc., and also provides in Article I, Section 7, a provision common to many constitutions, that the executive shall have ten days (Sundays excepted) within which to determine whether he will approve or veto a bill.

    There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning. They affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. These are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons. They are organic utterances. They speak the voice of the entire people. While, because of a general recognition of this truth, the question has seldom been presented to the courts, yet we find that in Updegraph v. Commonwealth, 11 S. & R. 394, 400, it was decided that

    “Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law of Pennsylvania; . . . not Christianity with an established church and tithes and spiritual courts, but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.”

    And in People v. Ruggles, 8 Johns. 290, 294-295, Chancellor Kent, the great commentator on American law, speaking as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, said:

    “The people of this state, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity as the rule of their faith and practice, and to scandalize the author of these doctrines is not only, in a religious point of view, extremely impious, but, even in respect to the obligations due to society, is a gross violation of decency and good order. . . . The free, equal, and undisturbed enjoyment of religious opinion, whatever it may be, and free and decent discussions on any religious

    Page 143 U. S. 471

    subject, is granted and secured; but to revile, with malicious and blasphemous contempt, the religion professed by almost the whole community is an abuse of that right. Nor are we bound by any expressions in the Constitution, as some have strangely supposed, either not to punish at all, or to punish indiscriminately the like attacks upon the religion of Mahomet or of the Grand Lama, and for this plain reason, that the case assumes that we are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those impostors.”

    And in the famous case of Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, 2 How. 127, 43 U. S. 198, this Court, while sustaining the will of Mr. Girard, with its provision for the creation of a college into which no minister should be permitted to enter, observed: “It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law of Pennsylvania.”

    If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life, as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs, and its society, we find every where a clear recognition of the same truth. Among other matters, note the following: the form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, “In the name of God, amen;” the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing every where under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe. These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. In the face of all these, shall it be believed that a Congress of the United States intended to make it a misdemeanor for a church of this country to contract for the services of a Christian minister residing in another nation?

    For more, cf here on in context.

    More broadly, the issue is not that things seem not too bad now, but the implications of the undermining of foundations of moral government.

    An excellent example of across time implications is from Heinrich Heine’s literary, prophetic warning to Germany at the turn of the 1830’s, which speaks to both Prussianism and Nazism:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered [–> the Swastika, visually, is a twisted, broken cross . . do not overlook the obvious], the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame [–> an irrational battle- and blood- lust]. …

    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …

    Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world.

    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead [–> cf. air warfare, symbol of the USA], and lions in farthest Africa [–> the lion is a key symbol of Britain, cf. also the North African campaigns] will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll. [Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831]

    We do not realise the potential force of the matches we are playing with.

    KF

  150. 150
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, pardon the docs dump, but there is a pervasive revisionist narrative that needs to be corrected and on long observation only original documents will have sufficient force; where on recent observation a mere link will be ignored. Meanwhile we need to reckon with the curriculum manipulation pointed out and addressed in the OP. KF

  151. 151
    Vy says:

    Fair enough. Can I then ask that Vy’s comment be “snipped” and she be given a final warning.

    I bet you’d love that.

    Here’s the reality: You claimed there’s not a “peep” about slavery (in the modern context) in the Bible. A simple google search confirmed 2 things everybody who isn’t as confused as you already knew:

    – it was a baseless and demonstrably false claim.
    – whenever an Atheist says anything about the Bible, never deceive yourself into believing telling the truth is a priority.

    After all, my comment was simply a response to hers.

    Whatever your typical Atheistic regurgitated response was, it amounts to nothing more than a poorly set up bait-and-switch.

    Your claim was false. Full Stop.

    And it’s “he”, not “she”.
    That’s all I have to say.

    [Okay, Vy, you felt a need to reply, on balance I will let this pass, but the side track is gavelled. KF]

  152. 152
    Vy says:

    The rules in the conceptual scheme are more simple than the rules of tic tac toe. That it is so simple leaves no room for not understanding it.

    That’s certainly true for you, after all, you’re the one with the ideas but for everyone else, it makes no sense whatsoever.

    As for a “conceptual scheme of subjectivity”, the only one I know of (assuming I understand what “scheme” means to you) is the one which is so obvious even from the definition of the word: Your opinion takes precedence.

    All this talk about xyz is inherently creationism or whatever no makes sense, at all!

    You can accept that or get angry but the fact is that you’ve been unsuccessful in presenting a coherent explanation of your position. Good luck.

  153. 153

    More of your scoffing, without doing any work whatsoever.

    You are just like the 10’s of millions of communists and nazi’s who conceive of good and evil as fact. Or so to say, the rejection of subjectivity follows from the commonly human head vs heart struggle. So you have no point that “nobody” understands it, it is very common to reject subjectivity.

    One can see that you are just being fascistic in that you provide no argumentation whatsoever, and then you try to dig up some personal dirt on me on the internet.

    You are evil. I express my emotions with my free will, about who you are making the decisions that you do. And that choice results in the opinion that you are evil.

    Supposedly you do not understand this procedure of forming an opinion, but I take it that you are just a fascist and a liar, you do understand perfectly.

  154. 154

    @kairosfocus

    The topic is also the test that 12 year old took distinghuishing between fact, opinon and common assertion. So the issue of distinguishing between fact and opinion applies.

    Again, I am simply right.

    You could teach creationism by teaching the difference between fact and opinion more precisely, as I have explained.

    Atheism / materialism etc. is simply one more manifestation of the commonly human head vs heart struggle, rejecting subjectivity. The hollywood stereotype of an atheist is also that they reject subjectivity, that they regard what is good, loving and beautiful as fact. As for example the Sheldon character in the big bang theory tv sitcom.

    Atheism, materialism etc. is more this mental condition of rejection of subjectivity, rather than a well thought out set of ideas.

    Still you provide no evaluation of the importance of subjectivity in people’s lives. It very obviously has immediate practical importance, unlike theories about something happening thousands of years ago, which only have incidental importance.

    So to say, you are ignoring the big issue in creationism vs evolution.

  155. 155
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, A test to discriminate fact, opinion and common notions of questionable basis that involve major worldview debates is not suited for 12 year olds. KF

  156. 156

    As before, I am pretty sure 12 year olds already benefit directly on a practical basis, from being taught to distinguish fact from opinion. There is a plethora of teaching material readily available on google.

    https://www.google.nl/search?q=fact+opinion&rlz=1C1CAFB_enNL644NL645&espv=2&biw=1280&bih=855&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBpdyrs9vJAhVB_g4KHQuLDYgQ_AUIBigB

    And creationism has 2 simple categories. I don’t see why children wouldn’t be capable to put statements in the creator, choosing, spiritual, opinion category, and the creation, chosen, material, fact category.

    It is much intuitive to put love, hate, fear etc into the cateory of opinion, and put stones, tables, plants into the fact category

  157. 157
    kairosfocus says:

    MN, you seem to be oblivious to the state of the law in the USA (the relevant context) as regards Crestionism and public education. Never mind the issue that worldviews is what has to be dealt with. KF

  158. 158
    Vy says:

    More of your scoffing, without doing any work whatsoever.

    Oh pumpkin, sorry I don’t speak gibberish. It’s nice to see you’re very fluent in it.

    You are just like the 10’s of millions of communists and nazi’s who conceive of good and evil as fact. Or so to say, the rejection of subjectivity follows from the commonly human head vs heart struggle.

    [Snip. Ed]

    So you have no point that “nobody” understands it, it is very common to reject subjectivity.

    Looks like you can’t read straight, I said nobody understands what you are babbling about, not nobody rejects subjectivity.

    One can see that you are just being fascistic in that you provide no argumentation whatsoever

    The only “One” here is YOU and so all your babble is just hot air.

    and then you try to dig up some personal dirt on me on the internet.

    Er, what???

    You are evil.

    Pick up a mirror and read that to your reflection. 😀

    I express my emotions with my free will, about who you are making the decisions that you do. And that choice results in the opinion that you are evil.

    A simple mirror will suffice.

    Supposedly you do not understand this procedure of forming an opinion

    I do not understand the gibberish you’re spitting out, FULL STOP.
    Stop displaying your lack of reading comprehension, it’s making your already minuscule credibility vanish.

    but I take it that you are just a fascist and a liar, you do understand perfectly.

    Get that mirror!

  159. 159
    kairosfocus says:

    Vy, language. Also, perhaps it is time to simply note a for record and move back to the thread’s proper focus. KF

  160. 160

    @vy

    Actually it was jack jones who tried to look up dirt on me on the internet, and put that up for argument. So I stand corrected.

    The issue is a test a 12 year old took on the difference between fact and opinion. I explained how fact and opinion work.

    You do nothing but scoffing. You perfectly understand when I call you evil. It is the way common discourse works, expression of emotion with free will, in regards to agency, resulting in an opinion. You are a liar.

  161. 161
    George Edwards says:

    KF: “MN, A test to discriminate fact, opinion and common notions of questionable basis that involve major worldview debates is not suited for 12 year olds. KF”

    You greatly under underestimate the reasoning capabilities of children. In many cases they are better at reasoning than many adults because they have not yet institutionalized the biases that we all have.

    But let’s take you opinion to its logical conclusion. If 12 year olds are too young to be involved in worldview debates, then they are too young to be taught that any one worldview (e.g., a religious worldview) is correct. As such, children should not be taught any religion until they are old enough and mature enough to decide for themselves what worldview they think is the right one.

    I think that the question that the teacher asked was ill advised. Not because it is not a valid question, but because it has no place in a public school. But on a blog like this, or even in a blog designed for 12 year olds, it is a valid question. My answer to the question would be “opinion”, and can support it with reasons that I think rational and justified. KF’s answer would be “fact”. And he would support it with reasons that he thinks are rational and justified. That’s life. Accept it.

  162. 162

    @george edwards

    To say the answer is “opinion” is just empty words without a conceptual scheme to back it up.

    As before, the atheist Daniel Dennett accepts free will is real. But he defines free will as that he could not have done otherwise.

    Is Dennett a supporter of the concept of free will, or is he an enemy of the concept trying to corrupt it?

    Are you a supporter of the concept of “opinion”, subjectivity, or are you trying to corrupt the meaning of “opinion” / subjectivity?

    “Opinion” as it is in common discourse, like with the statement “the painting is beautiful” is an inherently creationist concept, depending upon having faith in the existence of agency of a decision.

  163. 163
    George Edwards says:

    MN (you really need a user name that is easier to type out on a small smart phone): “To say the answer is “opinion” is just empty words without a conceptual scheme to back it up.

    I did say that I had reasons for my answer. If you want to hear them, I will certainly tell you. All you have to do is ask.

    With respect to free will, I am of the opinion that it can’t be proved one way or the othe so it is not worth wasting time over it.

    Are you a supporter of the concept of “opinion”, subjectivity, or are you trying to corrupt the meaning of “opinion” / subjectivity?”

    Never bothered thinking about it. I was just answering the question.

    “Opinion” as it is in common discourse, like with the statement “the painting is beautiful” is an inherently creationist concept, depending upon having faith in the existence of agency of a decision.”

    I disagree. I think the concept of beauty is completely subjective. For example, I think I am a beautiful person. I suspect KF and Jack Jones disagree. But I will still sleep well at night.

  164. 164

    @george

    It is of course empty words to say the answer is opinion when you never thought about how forming an opinion works, what an opinion is, as distinct from how a fact is obtained, and what a fact is.

    And your disagreement with the creationist concept of opinion is likewise based on the say so of the oracle that is George Edwards, and not on any argumentation, any conceptual scheme.

  165. 165
    George Edwards says:

    It is of course empty words to say the answer is opinion when you never thought about how forming an opinion works, what an opinion is, as distinct from how a fact is obtained, and what a fact is.”

    Why do you assume I haven’t?

    And your disagreement with the creationist concept of opinion is likewise based on the say so of the oracle that is George Edwards, and not on any argumentation, any conceptual scheme.”

    But, again, I find it strange that people would conclude this about me without once asking me what my “conceptual scheme” was. As KF says (ad nauseum), “Very telling”, or “Speaks volumes”.

  166. 166

    I guess I read your post wrong then. What is your concept about fact and opinion?

  167. 167
    Vy says:

    You do nothing but scoffing. You perfectly understand when I call you evil. It is the way common discourse works, expression of emotion with free will, in regards to agency, resulting in an opinion. You are a liar.

    I see you haven’t bought the mirror.
    You cannot explain your position, deal with it!

  168. 168

    @vy

    I’ve dealt with dozens the likes of you. You’ve got no argumentation, so then you scoff. And then you just go on and on and on, although you’ve got nothing. You’re a liar.

  169. 169
    Vy says:

    You can keep on churning those diatribes, ranting all over and posturing left and right or you can face the truth:

    You cannot explain your position, deal with it!

    It’s your credibility at stake.

    Next time you post something that deserves a response, I’ll comment but if you wanna keep burping, talk to the combox. It’ll keep you comfy and safely tucked into your imagination.

    Ciao 😀

  170. 170

    As before, anybody who can understand tic tac toe can understand the conceptual scheme as I have explained it. The conceptual scheme has a few simple rules. You are a liar.

    You say that you “don’t understand” is because you define choosing in terms of sorting out the best option, using the facts about good and evil as sorting-criteria.

    KJB
    “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

  171. 171
    kairosfocus says:

    GE, I call a name, Piaget. Abstract thinking ability typically develops under stimulation across the teens, but it is only fully developed in 1/3 of adults. Under good circumstances with abundant stimulation. This does not include typical idiot box fare and typical entertainment music. A culture of serious reading helps a lot. Learning real literature helps. Apparently, playing serious music and learning to understand it helps. So does the pattern concrete, pictorial, abstract. Visual analysis languages such as block diagram algebra and flow charts help. Thus, study of computer science and core electronics or the like. This is tied to struggles with learning Mathematics, etc. I repeat, the typical 12 year old is not ready to handle a worldviews analysis with sophisticated elements. When it comes to the idea of God and Systematic Theology, a short survey is 1,000 pp and full bore works are 3,000 – 6,000 pp, with Barth at was it 12,000. Yes a 12 yo can memorise the Nicene creed and learn rudiments including decisive evidence that is historically anchored, but that is worlds different from independently handling a full bore worldviews case. It is not for nothing that Peter noted of co-apostle Paul that in his theologically sophisticated writings are things hard to be understood that the unstable and unlearned wrench to their ruin, as they wrench the other scriptures. Where, too a similar thing can be said about mathematical or scientific foundations, but there is of course no hesitation to teach rudiments. And such issues are particularly relevant in a context where due to manipulation of law, a serious presentation of the case for ethical theism in the US is censored out. What was done in Katy TX was inexcusible, and the manipulation, back pedalling, damage control and snide dismissing of a brave little girl who blew the whistle was equally inexcusible. KF

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