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Eric's & Sye's TAG: One way of looking at it!

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  • rlbaty50
    (This may help explain, at least in part, how I was able to so easily rout Eric Hovind, Danny Hoogestrat, and their champion Sye Ten Bruggencate and the value
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2013
      (This may help explain, at least in part, how I was able to so easily rout Eric Hovind, Danny Hoogestrat, and their champion Sye Ten Bruggencate and the value of that discussion as preserved here since being deleted by Eric from his FaceBook page where my encounter with them took place. - RLBaty)


      Transcendental argument for God


      The transcendental argument for the existence of God (TAG) is
      a self-congratulating mind game, first proposed by Immanuel
      Kant in 1763, in his work The Only Possible Argument in Support
      of a Demonstration of the Existence of God.

      It argues that logic, morals, and science ultimately presuppose
      a theistic worldview, and that God must be the source of logic
      and morals.

      It has been widely discredited ever since the scientific enlightenment, though it remains hugely popular with Christian evangelicals, who think it makes them sound cleverer than they actually are when arguing with atheists.

      In its modern form, TAG is predominantly used by Christian
      apologists to "prove" that the god Yahweh, from Judeo-Christian mythology, is a plausible explanation for the origin of human attributes such as moral reasoning.

      This contradicts the prevailing scientific consensus on the
      emergence of group reciprocity and altruism in our nearest
      common ancestors, around 8 million years ago.

      For this reason, it is often the case that proponents of TAG
      are also creationists with an allergic reaction to library books.

      Its primary weakness is that it neither proves nor disproves the existence of any specific gods and fails to account for the fact
      that modern science explains that traits such as love, morality, compassion and a capacity for critical thinking and problem
      solving, are in fact an emergent property of our evolutionary heritage, rather than a magic trick instantaneously breathed
      into all human life, by the Israelite god of war, at the very
      moment a mummy and daddy begin to love each other very much.

      TAG, in common with other forms of Christian apologetics,
      presumes the existence of Yahweh in order to make the selectively chosen evidence fit the unfalsifiable theory that logic, human
      senses and moral reasoning are necessary preconditions of human experience, and could only therefore stem from a supreme
      intelligence which exists beyond the physical, observable

      Since this is a truth-claim which can be neither deduced nor
      induced from empirical observations it is therefore meaningless.

      Despite this, TAG apologists assert that it is a logically
      consistent proposition, even though it isn't.

      They stomp their feet and cry like babies until they think
      they've argued you into believing it is, but it isn't and
      they haven't.

      TAG remains a popular debating tactic in the atheist versus religionist debate, since it pulls a rather neat trick on
      those who are unfamiliar with it.

      The wordplay involved in making TAG seem to be rather more interesting than it actually is, has become so steeped
      theological in-speak and the technical terminology of
      academic religious philosophy, that it is popularly believed
      to be one of the best arguments against anti-theism — not
      because it depends on any less of a logical fallacy than many
      other theological arguments for the existence of a specific
      deity, but because to understand it, is to be aware of certain
      flaws in various scientific theories, such as the theory of
      mind - which appear to be rather more important than they
      actually are.

      In reality, TAG is somewhat easier to debunk than its
      proponents would like to admit and doesn't so much offer
      positive evidence in favour of the existence of a particular
      God, as much as it wilfully misrepresents what certain
      scientific theories actually mean, in contrast to what they
      actually describe.

      There are many...semantic word traps and circular reasoning
      built into TAG apologetics, of which the debating skeptic /
      positive agnostic / atheist, unfamiliar with the TAG modus
      operandi can easily fall foul.

      But however the basic arguments of TAG apologetics are phrased,
      and however insistent the interlocutor is that it is actually
      the skeptic who needs to "open their mind", it is an inescapable
      fact that the TAG fails to pass the first basic test as to
      whether or not it constitutes a logically valid proposal, since
      it assumes the basic existence of that which its own claims are predicated upon, but which cannot be objectively demonstrated.

      How do you know?

      TAG apologists will then use this as a metaphor to beg the

      > "how do we know we exist within the universe",

      on the presumption that this somehow validates their primary
      truth-claim, that the only way to know such a thing, is to acknowledge the existence of Yahweh; vindicating the biblical truth-claim that God "is, was and always will be".

      The problem here is that, by invoking the problem of infinite regress, it therefore becomes possible to argue for the validity
      of myriad other hypothetical scenarios in which consciousness
      itself is fundamentally incapable of telling us anything about
      the true nature of existence.

      For instance, The Matrix hypothesis; which suggests that human experience is merely an illusion being artificially fed to our brains, when in reality we are little more than rats in an alien laboratory.

      Hence this tract gets us no further forward in proving the
      existence of anything, other than the human capacity for a
      vivid imagination.

      Touched by his noodly appendage

      When a religious person claims to have had a "personal
      experience" which they cannot explain, it does not logically
      follow that the only possible explanation for this experience,
      is that it was projected onto their consciousness by a
      supernatural entity.

      Yet the claim,

      > "you have to have faith,
      > before you can believe it"


      > "I was touched by the hand of God"

      is so commonly thought of as being a legitimate explanation
      of the unexplainable, that a more rational explanation of
      the experience is often dismissed as being merely naturalistic;
      that you have to look beyond the material world, into the
      spiritual aspect, to understand the experience from the point
      of view of the person who experienced it, rather than the
      objective view of their description of that experience from
      the outside looking in.

      The TAG is not without its fair share of advocates, who fail
      to see the problem with this kind of special pleading.

      Hence it is particularly popular with apologists who have
      become so convinced of their own beliefs, that to merely
      question the logical basis upon which they are built, is
      to be accused of casting aspersions about the mental
      capacity of its proponents.

      For this reason, refutations of the TAG are often mistaken
      for an ad hominem attack upon those who hold it in high
      regard, rather than a legitimate criticism of the TAG itself.

      This has been made all the more vexing in recent years,
      since such a significant number of those who defend the
      TAG in online discussion forums only understand it from
      the perspective of popular Christian fan fiction and

      They assume, because of a deliberate obfuscation of the
      facts in this area, that there is a new argument for the
      existence of God, corroborated by modern scientific
      observations such as the 'many worlds' interpretation of
      Quantum Electrodynamics.

      Their enthusiasm for this notion often makes them
      indistinguishable from a satirical parody of the Crazy
      Christian stereotype - hence rendering completely futile
      any attempt to explain to them that metaphysical
      truth-claims of this nature were rejected as "meaningless"
      by the Vienna Circle of Logical Positivists in the early
      20th century, and later refined by Karl Popper in his
      1934 work 'The Logic of Scientific Discovery'.

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