7675Re: PE 22.214.171.124 Naturalism refuted by supernatural Biblical prophecies (e.g. Mic 5:2 & Dn 9:24-26, etc ...)
- Jan 14, 2004
>Expressed in logical premises and conclusions syllogistic format (I this
>together in 5 minutes, so it could no doubt be tightened up but it would
>not change its basic structure) my claim simply is:
>1. Naturalism is the claim that "nature is all there is" (i.e. the
>supernatural does not exist);
>2. Naturalism would therefore be refuted if the supernatural exists;
>3. The supernatural does in fact exist in the form of Fulfilled
>Biblical prophecy, that cannot plausibly be explained naturalistically
>(e.g. Mic. 5:2 and Dan. 9:24-27)
>4. Therefore naturalism is false.
>So the premise (1) does *not* contain the conclusion (4). And (2) follows
>from (1) by definition. Only (3) needs to be established, which is what I
>am prepared to debate.
>It is up to my opponents at (3) to provide a naturalistic explanation
>that: a) fits all the facts; and b) is more plausible than my supernatural
>explanation; without c) begging the question by ruling out supernatural
>explanations; and my claim that Naturalism is false, fails. But otherwise
(3) assumes that the event of the (supposed) prophecy - the birth
of the Messiah who was in fact god himself - in fact occurred, and thus (3)
presupposes two things (a) that a birth occured AND that it was a
supernatural birth of a god. Ergo anyone who accepts the debate on your
terms has already accepted the existence of the supernatural by accepting
the existence of a supernatural god-man.
But it's the existence of the supernatural you're supposedly
trying to prove, so you can't just assume as a premise the existence of the
supernatural - that is begging the question.
And I could kick myself for not noting this before -- but you have
another insurmountable problem.
Let me remove a bit of verbage and make an edit or two to make the
"It is up to my opponents to [prove] [naturalism] [by disproving]
my claim that Naturalism is false, otherwise my claim [that Naturalism is
I. Argumentum ad Ignorantiam: (appeal to ignorance) the fallacy that a
proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false
or that it is false simply because it has not been proved true. This error
in reasoning is often expressed with influential rhetoric.
A. The informal structure has two basic patterns:
Statement p is unproved.
Not-p is true.
Statement not-p is unproved.
p is true.
B. If one argues that God or telepathy, ghosts, or UFO's do not exist
because their existence has not been proven beyond a shadow of doubt, then
this fallacy occurs.
C. On the other hand, if one argues that God, telepathy, and so on do exist
because their non-existence has not been proved, then one argues
fallaciously as well.
II. Some typical ad ignorantiam fallacy examples follow.
In spite of all the talk, not a single flying saucer report has been
authenticated. We may assume, therefore, there are not such things as
No one has objected to Lander's parking policies during the last month of
classes, so I suppose those policies are very good.
Since the class has no questions concerning the topics discussed in class,
the class is ready for a test.
Biology professor to skittish students in lab: There is no evidence that
frogs actually feel pain; it is true they exhibit pain behavior, but as
they have no consciousness, they feel no pain.
Johnson: It is impractical to send more men to the moon because the money
spent for that project could be spent on helping the poor..
Hanson: It is not impractical.
Hanson: Just try to prove that I wrong.
(Hanson is defending his claim by an ad ignorantiam, i.e., his claim is
true, if Johnson cannot refute him.)
[rest of article following tag line]
Your claim, succinctly stated, is that if the person arguing
naturalism can't "prove you wrong", that then naturalism is false.
A classic Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam.
No one with the least feeling for logic is going to waste his time
arguing under your terms.
Is an essential (as in inherent, "involved in the constitution or
essential character of something : belonging by nature or habit")
part of the nature of a human person to be a contingent (as in not
logically necessary) being?
That would seem to be part of our constitution.
But God, so say the Christian theologians, is a logically
So Christ, in the hypostatic union, must be wholly logically
necessary and wholly logically unnecessary. X and not-X.
But Christ *is* God by the Trinitarian formula.
So God is both X and not-X.
Which makes the Christian God a logical impossibility.
"The Soviet news agency Tass declared Saturday that the abominable snowman,
thought by some to stalk the Himalayan Mountains, does not exist.
Quoting arguments by Vadim Ranov, a man described as a well-known Soviet
explorer, Tass said that no remains--skull or individual bones--had ever
Alleged yeti tracks spotted in the mountains are more likely to be those of
other animals distorted by bright sunrays, Tass said.
Accounts by 'eye witnesses' are the fruit of their imagination,' the
official news agency said." (New York Times)
(Be sure to note why this argument is not a case of the ad verecundiam
"Our universe, however, did begin with the primordial explosion, since we
can obtain no information about events that occurred before it. The age of
the universe, therefore, is the interval from the big bang to the present."
III. The uses of the ad ignorantiam in rhetoric and persuasion are often
similar to the technique of "raising doubts." E.g., suppose you wanted to
convince a police officer not to give you a ticket by using this technique.
"I'm sure you know how unreliable radar detectors are. Why, I saw an a news
program a tree was timed at 50 mph, and Florida, at one time, threw out
such evidence in court. I certainly wasn't going that fast. Some other
driver must have sent back that erroneous signal. You probably timed the
car passing me which looked like mine."
IV. Non-fallacious uses of the ad ignorantiam: in science, the law courts,
and some specific other situations, one must, for practical reasons, assume
that something is false unless it is proved true and vice-versa. E.g., "the
assumption of innocence until proved guilty" is a practical, not a logical,
process. Obviously, someone can be legally innocent, but actually guilty
of a crime.
In many instances, if a decision must be made and we cannot prove something
in spite of serious attempts to do so, then we presuppose as a pragmatic
consideration, without deductive proof, that whatever that something is,
is probably the case.
At one time scientists concluded that DNA would not crystalize because
after extensive testing, there was no proof that it would. This conclusion
is not fallacious even though now it is known that DNA will crystalize.
There is no fallacy in the following passage:
"Today we can be confident that a sample of uranium 238, no matter what its
origin, will gradually change into lead, and that this transmutation will
occur at a rate such that half of the uranium atoms will have become lead
in 4.5 billion years. There is no reason to believe that the nature of rate
of this process was any different in the very remote past, when the
universe was new." Schramm, Scientific American (January, 1974), 67.
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