• Philosophical Failures of Christian Apologetics, Part 2: Absolute Truth

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    Please read before commenting:

    This is a conversation that needs to be had. Nearly every debate I've seen on God's existence always looks like two people playing a board game. The atheist is trying to play by the rules of chess while the Christian is playing by the rules of checkers (and creationists are just pigeons who famously shit on the board and knock over the pieces). You cannot have a rational conversation with someone whose very idea of reason is completely misguided and incoherent. So in order for the God debate to go anywhere, we need to establish what the rules are. And if Christians don't want to play by the rules of rational discourse, then everything they have to say on the matter is already wrong before it even begins.

    I do not pretend that everything outlined in this video is the perfect, end-all be-all authority on epistemology. But I will contend that what you see here is far more rigorous and functional than anything Christians have ever come up with. I've read several books on theory of knowledge, and it absolutely baffles me how so many "professional philosophers" throughout history have abjectly failed to see the obvious in front of their faces. The reason we "believe" anything at all is so that we can eventually use that information to guide our decisions. If your epistemic system cannot, in some capacity or another, help me to make real decisions in the real world, then it is irrelevant and worthless.

    Read the script here:





    1:45 - This is actually more of a colloquial use of the word tautology. In propositional logic, a tautology is any formula that is always true for any arbitrary combination of truth assignments.

    2:33 - This phrasing here is a little misleading. A mapping function between propositions and truth values is called a "truth assignment function." Technically, the word "epistemology" simply means the study of knowledge. However, I've seen people use that word to imply a more active process, like "what epistemology are you using?" In that sense, you can think of your own personal epistemology as the set of truth assignment functions that you operate with.

    2:43 - I realize now that the traffic signal analogy used here is kind of terrible. "Stop on red" is not really a proposition, but an order. It therefore has no truth-value. I also butchered the meaning of axiom. Axioms are propositions that we declare to be true by rote fiat (like "A = A"). We then derive other true statements through the use of rules of inference. These usually take the form of IF-THEN statements, like "if A = B and B = C, then A = C". The result of this process is called a theorem.

    3:22 - It's actually possible to derive these axioms from the rote definitions of the logical operators themselves. So they're not really "axioms" in the strictest sense, but tautological consequences of the operators involved. But that's kind of getting technical.

    10:32 - Apparently the banana tree is not really a "tree," but a "herbaceous flowering plant." Who knew? Show less
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