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Old 03-18-2010, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Metromess
11,798 posts, read 21,463,077 times
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Not all argumentation has "ultimate authority". Science relies on observation, but is can be replicated by others. Your mystical revelations cannot be replicated in any objective way. "Self-authenticating" is a completely spurious concept. Only "faith" can do that, and its very definition includes an innate impossibility of proof. So one may accept on faith whatever he wants, but cannot claim his beliefs as facts.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:08 PM
 
702 posts, read 815,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catman View Post
Not all argumentation has "ultimate authority".
Sorry, that's not true. If it were, you'd end up with infinite regress.

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Science relies on observation, but is can be replicated by others.
Which only means that you're still relying on observation.

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Your mystical revelations cannot be replicated in any objective way.
They don't have to be.

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"Self-authenticating" is a completely spurious concept. Only "faith" can do that, and its very definition includes an innate impossibility of proof.
Several problems:

1. Self-authentication is not spurious because it is God who does it.
2. Proof is not the issue when it comes to revelation, so again, you are misapplying the rules of science to revelation.

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So one may accept on faith whatever he wants, but cannot claim his beliefs as facts.
From the standpoint of the one who rejects those beliefs, yes. But they can be claimed as facts because they have been revealed by God. The fact that they have not been established by scientific means does not invalidate them.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:13 PM
 
4,047 posts, read 4,395,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
Hermeneutics, actually.
You have to observe the written texts, don't you? And then you have to decide based on that observation if they hold up to scrutiny. Oh, I guess you skip that part...

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God's Spirit authenticates his word in the hearts of those who have faith. I know that won't satisfy you, but then we're not talking about the realm of science here.
Muslims, Mormons, etc. do the same. You don't have consistency on your side.

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As to whether that's circular, well, no more so than anyone else who has any other starting point. You guys still insist on believing that you are above this circularity.
Nothing as blatantly circular as "the bible is true because the bible says so."

Observation may not give me the "absolutely true" knowledge, but it gets me working knowledge that allows me to operate in this world. The circular reasoning you are using for the bible will not help you.

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Observation is my ultimate authority. How do you know it's true?
Because observation has led to correct findings.
How do you know those findings are correct?
By observation.
Observation is my ultimate authority. How do you know it's true?
Because observation has led to CONSISTENT findings that enable me to predict outcomes of actions.

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What you still don't get, or don't want to see, is that all argumentation is at bottom circular. As soon as you have a starting point, you have circularity. It all boils down to this: My starting point is my ultimate authority because my ultimate authority is my starting point. The only way to break out of that loop is to establish the authority by appealing to another authority, but now that second authority is your starting point, so you're right back where you started.
Your starting point is observation as well; it is necessary to function in this world we experience. But you have further circular arguments that are not necessary to make.
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:40 PM
 
702 posts, read 815,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicIsYourFriend View Post
You have to observe the written texts, don't you? And then you have to decide based on that observation if they hold up to scrutiny. Oh, I guess you skip that part...
No, not at all. It's better to say that I interpret the text.

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Muslims, Mormons, etc. do the same. You don't have consistency on your side.
The vast majority of Christians all agree on the major doctrines of the faith, so there is consistency regarding the Bible.

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As to whether that's circular, well, no more so than anyone else who has any other starting point. You guys still insist on believing that you are above this circularity.
Nothing as blatantly circular as "the bible is true because the bible says so."
Circularity is circularity. Comparing degrees of circularity doesn't accomplish anything.

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Observation may not give me the "absolutely true" knowledge, but it gets me working knowledge that allows me to operate in this world.
Agreed. You do have, though, an unprovable foundation on which your conclusions rest. That you cannot avoid.

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Observation is my ultimate authority. How do you know it's true?
Because observation has led to CONSISTENT findings that enable me to predict outcomes of actions.
In that case, observation is not your ultimate authority since observation for you is proven by the findings. That means that the findings are your ultimate authority.

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Your starting point is observation as well;
No, not true. The Bible is my starting point. I then interpret what that authority says. That does not prove the authority of the Bible; it merely interprets what it says. If it proved the Bible's authority, then the Bible would not be the ultimate authority for me. Likewise, if your findings prove your observations, then the findings are your ultimate authority since they stand in judgment upon your observations. If the findings do not prove your observations, and if nothing else proves them, then those observations are your ultimate authority.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:20 PM
 
4,047 posts, read 4,395,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jremy View Post
No, not at all. It's better to say that I interpret the text.

The vast majority of Christians all agree on the major doctrines of the faith, so there is consistency regarding the Bible.
Hardly. The bible is 1000 pages and the things the majority of Christians all agree on can fit on one page.

But that doesn't solve the problem of consistency where a Muslim uses the exact same "personal revelation" to decide that the koran is correct and that the bible is not.

With empiricism observations are generally consistent, and when they aren't the reasons can be studied to find the consistency behind it.

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Circularity is circularity. Comparing degrees of circularity doesn't accomplish anything.
Not degrees of circularity, but where is the circularity applied? For observation, it is applied by necessity when one experiences and takes part in their world.

For the bible, one still applies observation to read the bible, but then forms another circularity on top of observation to conclude that the bible is true because the bible says so.

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Agreed. You do have, though, an unprovable foundation on which your conclusions rest. That you cannot avoid.

In that case, observation is not your ultimate authority since observation for you is proven by the findings. That means that the findings are your ultimate authority.
What is the difference between observations and findings?

The moment one starts experiencing and interacting with this world, observation is assumed. It's unavoidable. It's how we know anything about this world, including the bible.

It is not circular to say that observations are consistent with other observations, nor is it circular to say that observations are the best way (and only way) that I know of to gather information about this world I experience and interact with. In effect, observation is the world.

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No, not true. The Bible is my starting point.
The bible which you know about through OBSERVATION.

Observation first > observe the bible second > conclude despite inconsistencies that the bible is true.

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I then interpret what that authority says. That does not prove the authority of the Bible; it merely interprets what it says. If it proved the Bible's authority, then the Bible would not be the ultimate authority for me.
Oh.. so you don't say the bible proves itself? The bible isn't proven at all? You just feel like choosing it over the koran, or the Tanakh, or the Iliad, or Dianetics, etc.

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Likewise, if your findings prove your observations, then the findings are your ultimate authority since they stand in judgment upon your observations. If the findings do not prove your observations, and if nothing else proves them, then those observations are your ultimate authority.
Again, observation and the bible are on vastly different levels. With observation, there is no equal alternative that I am arbitrarily choosing observation over; with the bible, there are plenty of equal alternatives that you have arbitrarily chosen the bible over.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:23 PM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,254,953 times
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No one knows more than anyone else, not the ones who claim to KNOW, or are sure, or have faith. No one knows.
No one can be sure. Only the dead know.

But there is that haunting that no one answers, and no God has appeared to anyone.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:08 PM
 
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Jremy, revelation is not a reliable measurement of truth or reality. The vast number of conflicting revelations do not agree with each other.
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Old 03-19-2010, 03:51 AM
 
Location: USA
4,980 posts, read 8,254,953 times
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But maybe we are all wrong and this guy is right. That is a possibility. Because no one has more information than anyone else about any god or gods.

We do know from science no God has presented himself. We know scientifically how to explain many things that for eras, man had to explain with gods.

But, if this is indeed a test, as some say, then this God would lurk and observe, and take himself from the picture so the test would be without his influence.

I remain agnostic.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:41 AM
 
702 posts, read 815,202 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicIsYourFriend View Post
Hardly. The bible is 1000 pages and the things the majority of Christians all agree on can fit on one page.
I still disagree, Logic. The vast majority of Christians agree on major teachings such as the deity of Christ, the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, Christ's resurrection, everlasting punishment, the return of Christ, and so on. Yes, there are disagreements, but there is also agreement. There is also disagreement among scientists. Some believe in creation, and some don't, yet they are all educated scientists who claim to be observing the natural world. The fact is that agreements and disagreements don't prove the truth of something.

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But that doesn't solve the problem of consistency where a Muslim uses the exact same "personal revelation" to decide that the koran is correct and that the bible is not.
You're continuing to try to apply your rules to the realm of faith. Revelation is not "proven" as you hope it to be. To those who want to obey him, they will know whether Jesus' teaching came from God or not (John 7:17). I know, I know: That's too subjective for you. Well, faith is not within the realm of science, so it doesn't go by the same rules. And besides, all argumentation is ultimately based upon a subjective bias of some kind.

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With empiricism observations are generally consistent, and when they aren't the reasons can be studied to find the consistency behind it.
Then why are there groups of scientists who believe in creation and groups who do not? Because they have different presuppositions.

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Agreed. You do have, though, an unprovable foundation on which your conclusions rest. That you cannot avoid.

In that case, observation is not your ultimate authority since observation for you is proven by the findings. That means that the findings are your ultimate authority.
What is the difference between observations and findings?
Unless I misunderstood you, your findings are arrived at through observations.

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The moment one starts experiencing and interacting with this world, observation is assumed. It's unavoidable. It's how we know anything about this world, including the bible.
I agree with you. However, the way we interpret what we observe depends in large part on our presuppositions. Even what is "obvious" can be interpreted in different ways by different people depending on whether they are willing to acknowledge it. I used the example of a stop sign in another post. That's as clear as clear can be, but many people decide to interpret it to mean something other than "stop moving." For some, the clear meaning of the word is altered to mean, "Slow down." For others (hopefully very few), the meaning could be drastically twisted to mean, "Keep moving." Yet that is not at all what the sign says. Now I know that's a very simple example, but it is one from everyday life that we all are familiar with. The fact is that mere observation of what we see is not the only factor involved in our conclusions. We approach the "obvious" with our own set of presuppositions, background experience, desires, etc. We cannot detach ourselves from our humanness.

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The bible which you know about through OBSERVATION.
Of course.

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Observation first > observe the bible second > conclude despite inconsistencies that the bible is true.
I'd lay it out this way:
The Bible has authority first --> Observe the Bible second --> Interpret the Bible using hermeneutics.

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I then interpret what that authority says. That does not prove the authority of the Bible; it merely interprets what it says. If it proved the Bible's authority, then the Bible would not be the ultimate authority for me.
Oh.. so you don't say the bible proves itself?
I'm not sure how you got that out of what I said. The Bible is God's "voice" (note the quotation marks, since it's not a literal voice, yet like a voice it "speaks"), containing spiritual content. If someone wants to obey God, they will know whether the content is from God or not. I know that won't satisfy the demands of science, but frankly that's okay to me since revelation does not follow the same rules as science. I think that's one of the presuppositions you and others have in this discussion: All things must follow the rules of science. That is simply untrue. To use an example that is not religious, does science try to test and measure morality? Do lawmakers, for example, submit their legislative decisions to scientists for empirical testing before they are approved as official law? Of course not. It's a completely different realm with different rules. The same is true of revelation.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:57 AM
 
598 posts, read 813,858 times
Reputation: 139
"Religious Ultimate Authorities" = Myth

Well said about what religion is.
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