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Re: PE 2.2.1 Naturalism ... `Nature is all there is' (was PE 1.3.2 ... Shifting definitions of `evolution' & PE 6.1 ... `Fitness of the environment' ...)

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  • Stephen E. Jones
    Group On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 21:09:57 -0800, elf wrote: EC But God, so say the Christian theologians, is a logically ... Yes. God, if He exists, cannot not exist.
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 14, 2004
      Group

      On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 21:09:57 -0800, elf wrote:

      EC>But God, so say the Christian theologians, is a logically
      >necessary being.

      Yes. God, if He exists, cannot not exist. IOW, if God exists, He
      always has and always will exist

      EC>So Christ, in the hypostatic union, must be wholly logically
      >necessary and wholly logically unnecessary. X and not-X.

      By "Christ" I take it Elf means the God-man Jesus Christ? "Christ" can also
      refer to the pre-incarnate Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son. The
      latter is a necessary being, i.e. he cannot not exist. But the former is
      not, in that He has not always existed.

      EC>But Christ *is* God by the Trinitarian formula.

      Christ (i.e. the Second Person of the Trinity, i.e. God the Son) "*is* God" in
      the sense of having the same nature or essence with God, which is what
      "hypostatic" means in this context:

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      http://m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=hypostatic
      Main Entry: hypostasis ... Function: noun ...
      Etymology: Late Latin, substance, sediment, from Greek, support,
      foundation, substance, sediment, from hyphistasthai to stand under,
      support, from hypo- + histasthai to be standing -- more at STAND
      Date: 1590 [...]
      3 a : the substance or essential nature of an individual b :
      something that is hypostatized [...]
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Or as Elf himself posted:

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      On Wed, 14 Jan 2004 13:26:58 -0800, elf wrote:

      >Hypostatic Union
      >
      >A theological term used with reference to the
      ><http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07706b.htm>Incarnation to express the
      >revealed truth that in <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374c.htm>Christ
      >one person subsists in two natures, the Divine and the human.
      > [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07610b.htm%5d [...]
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------

      But Jesus, the God-man has not always existed. Prior to ~4BC, Jesus did
      not exist. So Christ, in the sense of Jesus, the God-man, is not a logically
      unnecessary being.

      Indeed this very reference that Elf cites is about the "Incarnation", in
      which Christ, as the Second Person of the Trinity, a necessary being with
      the nature of God, took upon Himself in addition a human nature, forming
      "one person [Jesus] subsist[ing] in two natures, the Divine and the
      human", which up to that point had not existed.

      EC>So God is both X and not-X.
      >
      >Which makes the Christian God a logical impossibility.

      Not really. See above.

      Steve

      PS. Here is my section PE 2.2.1 on Naturalism itself:

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/pe02phls.html#ntrlsm
      "PROBLEMS OF EVOLUTION": 2. PHILOSOPHY [...]
      2. Naturalism
      1. "Nature is all there is"
      Naturalism is the view that nature is all there is (Johnson, 1997, p.15;
      Dembski, 1999, p.100; Geisler, 1999, p.522; Macdonald, 1984, p.750).
      Naturalism views nature "the whole show", as a vast, all-encompassing,
      interlocking closed system of matter and energy, space and time (Geisler,
      1999, p.521; Nash, 1997, p.120; Mautner, 1996, p.377; Macdonald, 1984,
      p.750). Since nature is the sum total of reality according to naturalism,
      then the supernatural does not exist (Nash, 1997, p.120). Naturalism is
      thus an <I>apriori</I> metaphysical position, not a scientific theory based
      on evidence (Dembski, 1999, p.144). Nature, according to naturalism is a
      single sphere in which there cannot be incursions from outside by
      supernatural beings or agencies (Lacey, 1995, p.604). Since everything
      there is belongs to the natural world, only that which can be studied by the
      methods of the natural sciences is real and apparent exceptions can be
      explained away (Lacey, 1995, p.604).

      Metaphysically therefore naturalism is most akin to materialism (Lacey,
      1995, p.604). However, naturalism occur in at least two forms,
      materialism and pantheism (Geisler, 1999, p.521). Because naturalism
      maintains that ultimately nature consists of nothing more than material
      particles, in this context the terms naturalism and materialism are
      interchangeable (Johnson, 1997, pp.15-16).

      Naturalism denies the existence of supernatural beings (Mautner, 1996,
      p.377), including God, so naturalism is atheistic (Macdonald, 1984,
      p.750). Because naturalism claims there is nothing outside of nature,
      including a God who could intervene in nature's closed-system of natural
      cause and effect (Johnson, 1993, p.116; Johnson, 1994, p.7; Johnson,
      1995, p.38; Dembski, 1999, p.67; Richards, 2001, p.105; Sire, 1988, p.93),
      naturalism rejects miracles outright (Geisler, 1999, p.521), irrespective of
      the evidence, regarded them as simply not possible and so they must be at
      best improbable natural events which have yet to be explained (Nash,
      1997, p.120; Dawkins, 1986, pp.159-160). By ruling out a spiritual part of
      the human person which might survive death and a God who might
      resurrect the body, naturalism also rules out an afterlife (Macdonald, 1984,
      p.750). Naturalism therefore does not leave one accountable to a God who
      punishes sin (Dembski, 1999, p.100). Indeed, naturalism dissolves the very
      concept of sin (Dembski, 1999, p.100). Because naturalism exalts the
      creation over the Creator, it is a form of idolatry (Dembski, 1999, p.226).

      Since naturalism assumes the matter/energy that makes up the universe has
      never been created, it must have always existed in some form (Nash, 1997,
      p.120). It also follows that if nature is all there is, then nature must be self-
      sufficient to develop itself to its present state of order and complexity
      (Dembski, 1999, pp.17, 99).

      Mental powers are also regarded as normal parts of the natural world
      describable by science (Mautner, 1996, p.377). Naturalism tends to deny
      human freedom on the grounds that every event must be explainable by
      deterministic natural laws (Macdonald, 1984, p.750).

      Naturalism denies any absolute values that cannot be grounded in a world
      made up only of matter and energy (Macdonald, 1984, p.750; Lacey, 1995,
      p.604; Clark, 1993, p.14). Naturalism denies that the universe has any
      ultimate meaning or purpose because there is no God, or anything else
      which can give to give it meaning or purpose (Macdonald, 1984, p.750).

      It follows that if the supernatural does in fact exist, for example if the
      supernatural miracles and predictive prophecy in the Bible are true, as
      claimed by Christianity, then naturalism is false. Or to put it another way,
      either naturalism is true, and then the Biblical conception of reality is an
      illusion, or the Bible is true and it is naturalism that is fantasy (Byl, 2001,
      p.224)! [...]
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------

      I am less than halfway through my references, so this is incomplete. I have
      left out several major problems of Naturalism, plus a discussion of
      methodological naturalism, which I will add in due course.

      Remember the Bibliography of all the references I cite, is at:
      http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/pe19bibl.html.

      PPS. As regards naturalism regarding miracles as at best "natural events
      which have yet to be explained" (Nash, 1997, p.120), see tagline quote
      where Dawkins says he would not believe it was a miracle if a statue
      waved at him, or even if a cow jumped over the Moon! And Dawkins thinks
      Christianity is a mind-virus.

      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
      "So, what do we mean by a miracle? A miracle is something that happens,
      but which is exceedingly surprising. If a marble statue of the Virgin Mary
      suddenly waved its hand at us we should treat it as a miracle, because all
      our experience and knowledge tells us that marble doesn't behave like that.
      I have just uttered the words 'May I be struck by lightning this minute'. If
      lightning did strike me in the same minute, it would be treated as a miracle.
      But actually neither of these two occurrences would be classified by science
      as utterly impossible. They would simply be judged very improbable, the
      waving statue much more improbable than the lightning. ... In the case of
      the marble statue, molecules in solid marble are continuously jostling
      against one another in random directions. The jostlings of the different
      molecules cancel one another out, so the whole hand of the statue stays
      still. But if, by sheer coincidence, all the molecules just happened to move
      in the same direction at the same moment, the hand would move. If they
      then all reversed direction at the same moment the hand would move back.
      In this way it is possible for a marble statue to wave at us. It could happen.
      The odds against such a coincidence are unimaginably great but they are
      not incalculably great. A physicist colleague has kindly calculated them for
      me. The number is so large that the entire age of the universe so far is too
      short a time to write out all the noughts! It is theoretically possible for a
      cow to jump over the moon with something like the same improbability."
      (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," [1986], Penguin: London, 1991,
      pp.159-160)
      Stephen E. Jones http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
      Moderator: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    • elf
      ... ELF: When you agree with what I say, it s really not necessary to add so much uneccessary linguistic baggage to the posts. A simple okay , or even
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 15, 2004
        At 10:48 PM 1/14/2004, you wrote:
        >Group
        >
        >On Tue, 13 Jan 2004 21:09:57 -0800, elf wrote:
        >
        >EC>But God, so say the Christian theologians, is a logically
        > >necessary being.
        >
        >Yes. God, if He exists, cannot not exist. IOW, if God exists, He
        >always has and always will exist

        ELF:
        When you agree with what I say, it's really not necessary to add
        so much uneccessary linguistic baggage to the posts. A simple "okay", or
        even snipping that part of the post entirely makes it much easier for
        everyone to follow.


        >EC>So Christ, in the hypostatic union, must be wholly logically
        > >necessary and wholly logically unnecessary. X and not-X.

        STEVE:

        >By "Christ" I take it Elf means the God-man Jesus Christ?




        ELF:
        Where else would I be talking of a hypostatic union?

        STEVE:
        > "Christ" can also
        >refer to the pre-incarnate Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son. The
        >latter is a necessary being, i.e. he cannot not exist. But the former is
        >not, in that He has not always existed.

        ELF:
        Glad you have some slim grasp of the problem.

        Now, how can one being be both? [hint: he can't]


        >EC>But Christ *is* God by the Trinitarian formula.
        >
        >Christ (i.e. the Second Person of the Trinity, i.e. God the Son) "*is*
        >God" in
        >the sense of having the same nature or essence with God,

        <redundant verbage snipped>


        ELF:
        Glad we agree.

        >STEVE:
        >But Jesus, the God-man has not always existed.

        ELF:
        The "god man" *CANNOT* exist, not as described in the doctrine of
        the hypostatic union.

        STEVER:
        Prior to ~4BC, Jesus did
        >not exist. So Christ, in the sense of Jesus, the God-man, is not a logically
        >unnecessary being.

        ELF:
        Until you rephrase that without the double negative there's no
        response that can be made, the sentence is logical gibberish.

        >STEVE:
        >Indeed this very reference that Elf cites is about the "Incarnation", in
        >which Christ, as the Second Person of the Trinity, a necessary being with
        >the nature of God, took upon Himself in addition a human nature, forming
        >"one person [Jesus] subsist[ing] in two natures, the Divine and the
        >human", which up to that point had not existed.

        ELF:
        Which is nonsene for the reasons already stated: For the being so
        'united' would have to partake of two contradictory essences - being both,
        as god, and hence as the very essence of its being, logically necessary
        while *at the same time* being, as the *very essence of its being*,
        logically unneccessary.

        To be and do everything that Christian Christology requires, Jesus
        has to be both wholly God and wholly man, he must partake completely of
        both natures -- but that requires that he be a walking logical
        contradiction, as noted.


        >EC>So God is both X and not-X.
        > >
        > >Which makes the Christian God a logical impossibility.
        >
        >Not really. See above.

        ELF:
        Really, see above.

        remaining logically yours,

        elf



        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.
      • elf
        ... ELF: Hah. The from of the argument is valid (it a Sorites by name). SO, if the Premesis are true (and they re each either Christian doctrine or can be
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 15, 2004
          At 06:00 AM 1/15/2004, you wrote:
          >Group
          >
          >On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 00:06:50 -0800, elf wrote:
          >
          >[...]
          >
          > >SJ>Prior to ~4BC, Jesus did
          > >>not exist. So Christ, in the sense of Jesus, the God-man, is not a
          > logically
          > >>unnecessary being.
          >
          > >EC>Until you rephrase that without the double negative there's no
          > >response that can be made, the sentence is logical gibberish.
          >
          >[...]
          >
          >My apologies. I meant of course "logically necessary being" I noticed the
          >error after I had posted it, but thought it not worth wasting a post
          >correcting
          >what I assumed everyone would realise what it should have been.
          >
          >I assume Elf that did too, but because his argument has failed

          ELF:
          Hah.

          The from of the argument is valid (it a Sorites by name). SO, if
          the Premesis are true (and they're each either Christian doctrine or can
          be found expressed as true in writings of Christian philosophy, Protestant
          and Catholic, from the most conservative to all but the most "liberal, so
          if any one of them is false, you have a lot of doctrine to rewrite), then
          the conclusion necessarily follows.

          That you're reduced to insults/ fallacy of ridicule is a good
          indication that if the argument isn't flawless, then at least it exceeds
          your ability to find a flaw anywhere.

          STEVE:
          > he is reduced
          >to scraping the bottom of the barrel!


          ELF:
          It was something like 1:00 in the morning my time when I was
          writing And I prefer not to guess at what you mean, particularly given the
          inerrantist penchant for solving problems with "what this really means is".

          If I'm scraping the "bottom of the barrel" then either
          there is a mistake in the form of the argument (there's not), or one of the
          premises if false (but they're statements made by Christian theologians as
          dogmatically true).

          So which premise are you willing to abandon?

          Did I make an illegal step somewhere in the sorites? All you have
          to do is show where.


          >STEVE:
          >I am ignoring Elf's low-quality post.

          ELF:
          Shame on you.

          STEVE:
          > Does he *really* think he has
          >discovered a logical proof that "the Christian God [is] a logical
          >impossibility", that has escaped the best minds (Christian and non-Christian
          >for 2,000 years)?

          ELF:
          Yes.

          STEVE:
          >If so, Elf is wasting his time posting it to CED. I suggest he send it off
          >to a
          >leading philosophy journal, and he will be world-famous as the unknown genius
          >who single-handedly destroyed Christianity!


          ELF:
          I may re-subscribe to SCP [Society of Christian Philosophers] and
          see how well it floats there.


          >Steve
          >
          >PS: In the meantime, in what little time Christianity has left before Elf's
          >article is published (should I stop going to church? <g>), here is another
          >tagline quote (long) on Daniel's 70 weeks, from one of my commentaries.

          ELF:
          Pout if you wish, but if you can't find a flaw in the logical form
          of the argument, or find a premise you're willing to abandon -- then I
          submit you've got a real problem, and all the fallcies of ridicule you care
          to heap on me won't make the problems go away. Nor is there any help to be
          had in all your volumes of conservative apologetics.

          And see how much quicker that was than the typical inerrantist debate?

          Oh, and you're still begging the question of Christ's birth and
          making an Ignorantiam in your tagline.

          ciao

          elf


          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.
        • Donald McLaughlin
          ... Thus a more reasonable question is why do you continue to defend a religion which is internally contradictory as well as inconsistent with science and
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 16, 2004
            > ELF:
            Thus a more reasonable question is why do you continue to defend a
            religion which is internally contradictory as well as inconsistent
            with science and archeology? Why do you spend so much effort in a
            futile effort to refute the most successful single theory in science?

            Paul: The most successful single theory in science being Newton's
            Laws of Motion? Newton's Law of Gravity? Maxwell's Electromagnetic
            Theory? Pauli's exclusion principle? Einstein's Special or General
            Theory of Relativity? Thermodynamics? Quantum Physics? I have
            great respect for them all. You're confused Elf.

            Donald:

            Of course, what Elf means is the theory of evolution. Didn't you know that
            that theory eclipses all others? It's interesting to note that if any of
            theories you mention above had the same level of problems and lack of
            explanations as evolutionary theory, their "success" would be seriously in
            doubt.
          • elf
            ... ELF: You mean like in the nineteenth century when physicists couldn t explain where all the energy the sun was emitting was coming from? ciao
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 16, 2004
              >
              >Donald:
              >
              >Of course, what Elf means is the theory of evolution. Didn't you know that
              >that theory eclipses all others? It's interesting to note that if any of
              >theories you mention above had the same level of problems and lack of
              >explanations as evolutionary theory, their "success" would be seriously in
              >doubt.

              ELF:
              You mean like in the nineteenth century when physicists couldn't
              explain where all the energy the sun was emitting was coming from?

              ciao
            • pk4_paul
              ... know that ... if any of ... lack of ... seriously in ... couldn t ... Paul: But there is a big difference. Some admitted they could not explain the
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 16, 2004
                --- In CreationEvolutionDesign@yahoogroups.com, elf
                <mischief.haler@c...> wrote:
                >
                > >
                > >Donald:
                > >
                > >Of course, what Elf means is the theory of evolution. Didn't you
                know that
                > >that theory eclipses all others? It's interesting to note that
                if any of
                > >theories you mention above had the same level of problems and
                lack of
                > >explanations as evolutionary theory, their "success" would be
                seriously in
                > >doubt.
                >
                > ELF:
                > You mean like in the nineteenth century when physicists
                couldn't
                > explain where all the energy the sun was emitting was coming from?

                Paul: But there is a big difference. Some admitted they could not
                explain the phenomenon unlike advocates for evolution like you who
                substitute verbiage in place of evidence for your pet theory. When
                the scientific explanation for the energy became clear prior
                theories were abandoned. Evolution appeals to your philosphical
                preferences and for that reason evidence is of secondary importance
                to you.
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