Please note that this post is not a part of my current debate with Nocterro.
Excited? I am not.
The title of Nocterro’s most recent post at Urban Philosophy is A Conversion. The title is puzzling. In what way has Nocterro experienced a “conversion”? One thing is for certain; he is no Christian. Nocterro has merely changed his position on the matter of the existence of “God”. He now professes to be a theist.
Not only is “conversion” not being used in a Christian sense here but neither is “God”. One learns quickly that what Nocterro has in view in his post is far from a description of the Christian God. It is readily apparent that Nocterro provides a definition of his own god suitable to his liking. No really. Go check it out. Nocterro begins with what he believes to be reasonable apart from the existence of God and then seeks to make his god conform to those standards. Meanwhile the Christian God cannot be known through the methods Nocterro employs.
Nocterro has not moved up any ‘scale’. Classical apologists and ministries like Campus Crusade for Christ may teach that there is some sort of scale which ranges from Atheism all the way ‘up’ to Christianity and that people can ‘move up’ this scale going through (for example) agnosticism, Buddhism, deism, and theism on their way to Christianity but this is not a teaching that is derived from Scripture. One either stands with Jesus Christ or against Him. There is no neutrality. Those who build upon the shifting sand rather than the solid rock will be washed away. Nocterro is just as much an unbeliever now as he was from the womb. So while apologists may celebrate over such “conversions to theism” as Nocterro and Antony Flew have entered into I do not join their party. When did our thinking about Christian apologetics become so twisted and thoroughly unbiblical?
It needs to be made exceedingly clear that Nocterro did not change his view due to our debate. I still plan to write a closing statement in said debate. Nocterro instead employs an argument for a necessary being using deductive logic. I presume he still takes logic to be necessary without such an argument. (It is a bit puzzling to me as well.) Nocterro also contends that “things can only be necessary or contingent.” Here Nocterro must apply the Law of Excluded Middle with respect to N v C. He presumably still believes this law is necessary and employs it in an argument for…a necessary.
Nocterro goes on to assure us that “something contingent cannot cause the beginning of the existence of contingent things; this thing would have to cause itself to do that.” Now I did not look at the argument very closely yet but why must there be a “beginning” of the existence of contingent things at all? Setting this question aside my mind immediately moves to another; how does one know that a contingent thing cannot be uncaused?
How does all of this square with Nocterro’s intuitive Neo-Confucianism?
And people wonder why I have such major issues with classical apologetics…