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7675Re: PE Naturalism refuted by supernatural Biblical prophecies (e.g. Mic 5:2 & Dn 9:24-26, etc ...)

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  • elf
    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
      >it stands.

      (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
      problem clear"

      "It is up to my opponents to [prove] [naturalism] [by disproving]
      my claim that Naturalism is false, otherwise my claim [that Naturalism is
      false] stands."


      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
      flying saucers.

      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.

      Johnson: Why?
      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.

      logically yours,


      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
      necessary being.

      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
      been found.

      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."
      (Scientific American)

      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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