"Fossils Are Real" – A Fundamentalist Atheist Shuns Knowledge

dios mio: i as just listening to WLC versus keith parsons debate  keith parsons blasphemed on the mic several times heh  i bet the the audience cringed WLC will debate this blonde english guy.. something Law  in a few weeks, i am looking forward to that

Chris: Yes for some reason atheists like to say offensive things as though it helps their case.

dios mio:heh yeah keith parsons was furious…

Chris: And others are afraid to capitalize “God”. i.e. Paul Baird.  (Stephen Law btw.)

dios mio:wow.. i cannot imagine myself debating a muslim guy in such an event, and be this bold.. i would be lynched yes stephen law  he has a blog  i never meet an intelligent muslim apologist.. there are very few intelligent ones, and those are not intellectually honest

Chris: I find a lot of similarities between Muslim apologists and fundamentalist atheists.

dios mio:james white started doing debates with muslims in recent years too.. i wonder if he is good Chris, WHOA!! that was a low blow  i am impressed with the debates of this guy sam shamoun, he is a good debater against islam

Chris: Low blow?

dios mio:Chris, muslims are uneducated and retarded on average … atheists are just the opposite

Chris: Um. No. Most atheists I encounter on the Internet are clearly uneducated. And Paul Baird cannot even follow a modus ponens. Which is about as simple as you get so…

dios mio:hmm paul baird the new blog atheist you taking on?

http://articles.cnn.com/2010-02-26/health/liberals.atheists.sex.intelligence_1_sexual-behaviors-liberalism-exclusivity?_s=PM:HEALTH read and weep Liberalism, atheism, male sexual exclusivity linked to IQ it is a scientific study bro

Chris:  Seen it. Read and weep – http://analytictheologye4c5.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/bad-economy-make-money-by-selling-beachfront-property-in-arizona-to-atheists/

dios mio:lol  ok whatever.. we still got the brightest philosophers… you guys got people like kirk Cameron and that banana guy

Chris: Um. Kirk Cameron is an actor. Not a philosopher.

dios mio: lol are you ashamed of him?? awwww 🙂 ken ham? awww 🙂 heh ray comfort lol

Chris: Atheist philosophers are all dead.

dios mio: ok lets see who we got… dawkins, oxford professor… hmmm  the hitch…. that everyone fears…. hmm 🙂

Chris: Dawkins is one of the worst philosophers I’ve ever heard. And I have heard him, live. The atheists there were ashamed of some of the things he said.

dios mio:philospher or not… he is brilliant

Chris: No, he’s good at writing rhetoric. And what do you know….that’s what Hitchens does for a living as well!

Now if you want to talk about leading philosophers – WL Craig, JP Moreland, Alvin Plantinga, Alex Pruss, Richard Swinburne, Kelly Clark…

dios mio:Chris…. says who? Chris, whose ideas dominating the field right now? what about QUINE ore WITTGENSTEIN? these are the true legends, and atheistic

Chris: There’s a post somewhere on CH about the lack of atheists.

dios mio:if you want ordinary atheisti philosophers, we got a ton of them.. just check the author listin infidel.sorg

Chris: Not at all.

dios mio: Chris, like, what ideas?  what can christians offer to philosophy? Nothing christianity has got nothing to do with it

<Chris>Well, for one thing, they get past these fun sociological discussions into actual arguments. So for example, if biological evolution is true, then how do you know your cognitive faculties produce mostly true beliefs dios mio?

dios mio: Chris, thats it? lol thats what you guys contribute? that is good for nothing!

Chris: I didn’t see an answer.

dios mio:Chris, ok look, the evidence for evolution is SOLID… so what are you gonna do? will you just say, “if we accept it, we got an epistemological problem”… yeah so? what is your solution? that we pretend the evidence never happened, the fossils never found, and we go back to jesus?

Chris:  I’m assuming evolution is true for the sake of argument. Could you answer my question then? If biological evolution is true, then how do you know your cognitive faculties produce mostly true beliefs?

dios mio:Chris, well for one I thought that for evolution to produce surviving animals, it has to give them good eyesight for one

Chris: What does that have to do with belief?

dios mio:Chris, seeing is believing heh

Chris: Except that you do not form beliefs about everything perceived through your eyes. So that’s not correct.

Good eyesight and eyesight that produces true beliefs are two different things. People in insane asylum can have perfectly good eyesight. So this brings me back to my question. If biological evolution is true, then how do you know your cognitive faculties produce mostly true beliefs?

dios mio: Chris, well I know for one that there is a book out there collecting articles by around a dozen philosophers rebutting plantinga’s argument… how many people accept his idea in the academy? only you christians will jump on it, because it suits your agenda

Chris: Wait, you’re citing a book that hasn’t been written in response to my question?

What’s the title? Who is the editor?

dios mio:Chris, I am only telling you that, if plantinga has such an idea, it is just that: an idea, and I just told you that a dozen philosophers wrote critiques for it… and I know for one that Daniel Dennett evaluates it in his work too

Chris: Plantinga destroyed Dennett in a debate on this topic. Dennett did not understand the argument. So moving on…If biological evolution is true, then how do you know your cognitive faculties produce mostly true beliefs?

dios mio:Chris, oh he did now?

Chris: Yes, he did.

dios mio:Chris, ok, lets assume plantinga is right.. what now? what do you think that implies for us and our biological science? or just any prospect of science or knowledge? does plantinga or do you suggest that we should just give it up and accept God and Jesus on faith, otherwise we got an epistmeological crisis in our hands?

Chris: It entails that you have an undercutting defeater for all of your beliefs. And yes, you should believe on Christ. The first is clear in the conclusion of the argument. So again…If biological evolution is true, then how do you know your cognitive faculties produce mostly true beliefs?

dios mio:Chris, no no.. thats not my question.. the conclusion of the argument is that it is a defeater, yeah.. and I know that you want me to accept jesus not necessary in connection to this subject but in general anyway.. you are an apologist after all… my question is this: so that we got a defeater with this plantinga argument.. and what does that imply? and what is the solution you offer?

Chris:  ”…the conclusion of the argument is that it is a defeater, yeah…” is a concession to the reductio. In other words, you do not know anything. And the solution I offer is that God exists and created us in His image. Again, that’s clear in the argument.

dios mio:Chris, yes, I told you before.. lets just assume plantinga’s idea is correct… now what? thats what i am asking you. how do you make the connection? I mean you may as well offered me an apple too.. there is no logical connection that “plantinga has a point, therefore lets accept god”

Chris: How do I make what connection? I presuppose the existence of God, hence I know that my cognitive faculties produce mostly true beliefs. You reject the existence of God and hence have an undercutting defeater for *all* of your beliefs. So if you are correct about God and evolution, then you are an emu. Can you show me why you are not an emu?

dios mio:Chris, the connection from plantinga’s argument, to the suggestion that we must discard what biologists tell us, and instead turn to the bible

Chris, right.. I know you do… but that is just saying “look, plantinga is pointing at a problem, and as a christian I am immune to that problem”… so that is like saying “your car’s carburator is broken, but thats not my problem because i use a bike anyway”

Chris: Yes, it is saying I am immune to the problem, because I am. You are not. You have no reason for accepting any one of your beliefs. So you concede this?

dios mio:Chris, my point is, it is not as easy to pretend the fossils dont exist.. you see what I am getting at? and you suggest that because of an epistemological problem, we should pretend it never happened.. 150 years of biological science, like hundreds of thousands of articles published in peer-reviewed journals… I mean.. what is your suggestion? what do we do now?

Chris: Well those are nifty beliefs, but you have no reason for accepting them. As you admit. Have anything better? You see, anything you say right now is just an expression of a belief that you have no reason to accept. Every word you write will be further evidence that God exists.

dios mio:Chris, ok bro, lets say you are right, that we have an epistemological crisis in our hands… but I still dont see how that is really helping the christian case…we still have the same scriptures that are in question and have been discredited by biblical historians and archeologists.. we still have the same biological papers and books and fossils and evidence.. and we still live in a worl that doesnt look like there is a God that cares at all… so what is your point?

Chris:  Everything you just wrote is merely expression of belief that you have no reason to accept. Do you get that?

dios mio:Chris, look, plantinga, and van til, and all you presupers here, all you do is doing epistemology… you may prove that atheism has an epistmeological crisis, maybe an unfixable problem… but there are CONCRETE FACTS ion our hands.. you can go to a museum and touch the fossils with your own hands!… what now?

Chris:  Everything you just wrote is expression of belief that is undercut by my argument. Do you have anything better to offer?

dios mio: look… fossils are real.. believe me that are… they are concrete, real objects, that you can touch, and feel and bite!*

Chris: I have to go. Later dios_mio.

dios mio: Chris, I see your point… maybe plantinga is right, and van til is right too.. maybe the atheist is doomed to be in self contradiction epistemologically, and still making assertions of belief and fact in a paradoxical way, in contradic tion with his worldview that makes such impossible… but then again… can the weight of an epistemological argument really change the balance for an atheist who “knows” what the biblical archeologists and historians and the evolutionary biologists have discovered?

_________

dios mio: so Chris were you convinced with what i said earlier today?

Chris:  Not at all dios mio. I think your position is clinically insane.

dios mio: huh? only because I admit a crisis in secular epistemology? it is what most postmodernist philosophers do you know. starting from nietzsche and on. even quine sort of admits it.. and retreats to pragmatism and rorty was explicit about it. wittgenstein? do you think he tried to do speculative philosophy? or just “therapeutical”? all these men must be clinically insane

Chris:  Do you know any of those things you just said?

dios mio: take heidegger… do you think he didnt admit to the failure of the project of modern epistemology?

Chris:  dios miowhat you’re arguing is the impossibility of the contrary. That in terms of secular epistemology we cannot have knowledge.

dios mio: Chris, yeah so? it is not our fault. this is how the world is

Chris:  So if your view is true, then we do not have knowledge. You don’t know that this is how the world is.

dios mio: well actually we do have knowledge, we just cant justify it. project of foundationalism is bankrupt

Chris:  You don’t know that we do have knowledge but can’t justify it. That’s also a category error. Since justification is a part of knowledge. And foundationalism isn’t the only difficulty.

dios mio: we can have pockets of knowledge that are sensible within its own sphere, but they must all be tied to reality in an overarching foundationalist system…. and that is the job of epistemology… and they failed. apparently, the universe doesnt owe us anything such as perfectly concistent system of knowledge with a working epistmeology

Chris:  You make a great case against yourself. And, you can’t know any of what you just said, according to yourself.

dios mio: Chris, the moment you admit the truth of christianity, and accept jesus in your heart, and finally you are qualified to have knowledge, then you can now go and pick up books on evidence for evolution, and critical studies on the bible, and the failed attempts to justify biblical stories with archaeology..and what are you left with then? you have your faith… which is now problematic itself

Chris:  Yes, I have knowledge on my view, and yes, there are “problems,” but they can be reconciled, and they certainly are not fatal like on the anti-Christian view, so the analogy does not hold. I’ve read books on evolution, critical studies on the Bible, and some archaeology. I have accredited degrees that pertain to these areas. So I’m not sure I understand the difficulty.

dios mio: the problem here is… just because secular epistemology is in trouble, or even worse like it is dead for good, doesnt mean that now we can enjoy the truth of christianity… we are just forced to accept the truth of christianity, which we KNOW isnt true! because it is self contradictory in its doctrines, biblical passages, and it is in conflict with what science has discovered about the  planet and the biosphere

Chris:  Um…but you don’t know any of that. i.e. “…which we KNOW isnt true!” No you don’t know, by your own admission.

dios mio: Chris, you know those studies our there.. the books, papers, all the academic work is out there… the bible has been dissected to the letter, and israel dug up all around… biology cracked the code of life… so now when I now accept christian God, and now I have a working epistmeology that can let me speak of what is true about the world, now I can read those works Ijust mentioned, and found out that christianity is false

Chris:  You’re citing things without any names or titles. I’ll just offer all the books, papers, etc. that support my view. Without naming them. There ya go.

dios mio: ok so now finally you agree to discuss the evidence? that is what we atheists wanted all along.. and you presuppers say “no, you got epistmeology problem”… yeah, ok, but the evidence.. the academic work thats been done… they ARE RELEVANT and must be evaluated if we are seeking truth

Chris:  Again I’ve studied biblical history, text criticism, and some archaeology. None of those things is neutral at all.

dios mio: so i guess you guys should spend more time discussing such problems of your religion, that comes from the realms of biological science, geology, biblical criticism, and biblical archaeology.. but you guys feel so comfortable just sitting there and telling the atheist “you got  and epistemological crisis, so shut up” so that is all you do. that is how you spend your apologetics time. I just want you to understand that, we would be better of sitting and discussing whether for instance what to make of the work of Israel Finkelstein, or Bart Ehrman, or this or that… and how to take all this evidence in favor of biological evolution that biologists are talking about.. they keep publishing academic papers on evolution, confirming it with every new fossil find but you just want to sit there and do the epistmeological defence… as if that can stop scientists from digging up fossils, and dating them, and fid out how it just fits timeline of evolution in the fossil record.. no new fossil ever falls in the wrong place.. and they keep decoding entire genomes, and find more evidence for evolution and you sit here all day telling people “atheist got an epistemological problem, so we win”

Chris:  I don’t think you follow dios_mio. Scientists *cannot* do those things in your view.

dios mio: lets say as an atheist now I am not rationally allowed to talk about this evidence from biology or biblical studies or what not… and I have to accept the christian God, because until then my world has no basis for meaning or intelligibilty… adn the moment i accept that God, and like putting on glasses and suddenly the world has intelligibilty, THE FIRST THING I SEE IS THE MOUNTAIN OF EVIDENCE AGAINST CHRISTIANITY from biology, biblical criticism and archaeology. get it?

Chris:  There is no evidence against Christianity if Christianity is true.

dios mio: Chris… right… that would be really ideal, wouldnt it? I am afraid, it is not that easy.

Chris:  But you don’t know that. (You’re so inconsistent.) I’ve spent hours studying that stuff, but only from within the Christian worldview.

dios mio: how can you deny the conclusions of biologists about their discoveries when you are a christian? christian or not, you still have to believe that, this dino fossil is 100 million years old. do christians have different dating methods?

Chris:  No I don’t.

dios mio: Chris…ok tell me please

Chris:  Sure, the scientists are mistaken.

dios mio: Chris… and how will we decide if they are? is it the job of the biologist and paleontologist? or the epistmelogist and the bible teacher to tell how to date the fossils?

Chris:  God told me.

dios mio: you fail Chris. fail

Chris:  That’s an assertion. Do you have an argument?

Oh wait…you can’t know anything. So, no arguments.

dios mio: now you are just not being intellectually honest anymore

Chris:  Excuse me?

How much text criticism have you studied? What’s the name of 1 John 5.7?

dios mio: ok I accept jesus right this moment now lets talk like christian brothers. now, as a christian brother of yours i have a question. what do i do with this mountain of evidence in favor of evolution? and how do i interpret the work of biblical historians like bart ehrman? and biblical archaeologists like israel finkelstein?

Chris:  Okay, listen if you want answers. I agree with Bart Ehrman on most text critical issues. If you want to discuss them, we can. If you will stop talking and accusing me of intellectual dishonesty, I will explain the evolution thing to you.

dios mio: Chris.. why do you want to discuss evidence now? i thought you guys win with the epistemology thing. it is a good trick. what else do we need?

Chris:  “It seems to me that extrapolating an earth age of billions of years is like my claiming to be 400 years old since I gained half a pound this year. Drawing on maybe a few thousand years of observation (an almost infinitesimally small slice of history on their model), they insist that the past must have operated like the present. But the Bible speaks of catastrophes and ‘fast-forwards’ – childhood and adolescent growth spurts, if you will – which depreciate latter-latter-latter-day uniformitarian fantasies.” (Mark Coppenger)

So, there’s a difficulty. But, aside from all of that, what you keep missing is that you have conceded to us that there is no knowledge. Not of evolution, not of archaeology, not of Bart Ehrman, and not of his Grandma either.

dios mio: and now you admit that it is important to address the claims of evolutionists, and bart ehrman and israel finkelstein, then should I not see how their work is received in their own fiels, by their peers? instead guys like you who is by profession a philosopher, and is not qualified to refute stuff biologists, or biblical historians or biblical archaeologists publish? would you let them come and lecture you about modal logic?

Chris:  I’ve told you, I spent hours addressing those things from within the context of Christian theism.

dios mio: Chris.. are you saying that there are huge scientific and methodological errors in biology and geology that the entire science needs to be revised? thousands of published papers worthless? what do the experts in those fields think of your opinions on that? and how do they receive your interpretation of facts and data? and the same for biblical criticism and history, and archaeology as well …give me a concrete example of such an error in their work please…

Chris:  They assume that their cognitive faculties produce mostly reliable beliefs.

You’re not listening to me on text criticism either. I’ve told you several times that Ehrman is generally correct concerning his text criticism. It’s when he tries philosophy that he sounds like an ignoramus. Do you realize that conservative Christian schools use Ehrman for their textbook?

dios mio: israeli archaeologists dug all over israel and sinai peninsula… so they failed to find any evidence of exodus or contradicting evidence for thebook of joshua, because they got the wrong presupposition? if they were christians would they find the relics from the exodus? or if paleontologists were christian, would they only find few thousand year old fossils? and never hundreds of millions old ones? or transitional ones?

Chris:  Have you studied Kenyon dios_mio? Okay everyone let’s play name that fallacy… “We cannot find evidence of the Exodus, so it didn’t happen.” What’s that fallacy?

dios mio: look… will you guys finally admit that, playing the games of van til or plantinga can only go so far, and sooner or later you got to get your hands dirty and address all the discoveries of modern science and biblical studies, that seem to create problems for christianity?

Chris:  dios miolook…. will you admit that I’ve already said that I have addressed those in my studies? They are Christian sciences. They’re not yours.

dios mio: but you think you dont even have to address it…. because “secular epistemology is in crisis.. we win by default anyway!” the whole game of the presupper is the find a way to dismiss the case against christianity, without even having to look into it.. perfect for a lazy truth-seeker.

Chris:  dios_mio…again, I said I have addressed them.

dios mio: Chris.. I am glad you did…will you admit that the real battle field is the evidence battle? to see how to interpret the findings of those guys like biologists, geologists, or biblical critics or archaeologists?

Chris:  No, not at all.

dios mio: the game of epistemology can only go so far… will you admit?

Chris:  That’s naive evidentialism.

dios mio: Chris… yes, and you were just saying “lets discuss evidence”… why stray from the path?

Chris:  You can’t have the evidence you keep suggesting unless you have *knowledge*. But you say we don’t.

dios mio: what you fail to understand is that, epistemology is just that: epistmeology… darwin’s book may be ultimately meaningless if there is crisis in secular epistmeology, but that doesnt mean that when you accept the bible, you can now just pretend there is no such book! and there is no 150 years olf ACADEMIC TRADITION that has built upon it! sooner or later you have to realize that presupp game is a loser… and if you are honest truth seekers, you got to evaluate the evidence

Chris:  dios miodo you know if there is such a thing as Darwin’s book?

dios mio: Chris… do you?

Chris:  Yes dios mio I do. Do you?

dios mio: Chris, and what do you make of it?

Chris:  I think it’s terribly outdated. Do you know if there is such a thing as Darwin’s book?

dios mio: Chris, I know nothing..ok.. what do you make of darwin’s work, and the 150 years of academic tradition that built upon that work, and mendel’s too of course, with hundreds of thousands of pulnished academic papers? what do you make of it? I know nothing… now you tell me what you make of it. what do you make of israel finkelstein’s work? or all those biblical critics work that deny any biblical character older than David is just myth?

Chris:  Wait, you know nothing, but then you ask what I make of Darwin’s work? What work? How do you know he had any?

dios miodo you know if Darwin existed?

dios mio: Chris.. no.. I know nothing… ok? but why do we have to talk about me only? lets talk about you.. what do you make of the evidence? and all the academic work thats been done so far? in various disciplines? that create problems for the biblical inerrantist?

Chris:  dios miodo you know if I exist?

dios mio: Chris, no, I know nothing. dont you see that, van til’s game can only go so far?

Chris:  dios_mio, so you don’t know if Darwin exists, you don’t know if I exist, but you want to talk about them…

dios miodo you know that you know nothing?

dios mio: yes, why not?

ok bro.. let me just accept the christian God… can we talk as christian brothers now? i want to ask you some questions that BOTHER ME

Chris:  So you do not know anything, but you know that you do not know anything?

dios mio: would you help a christian brother?

Chris:  Absolutely, but you’re not one.

dios mio: no.. I know things now.. I know that there is God, and his Son Jesus is our Saviour now can I ask a question thats been bothering me?

Chris:  I’m still puzzled about whether or not you know that you do not know anything.

dios mio: Chris.. so basically, for you pressuppositionalism is just a good tool for avoiding any serious assesment of evidence that is creating problems for the bible believers? dont you see that you are just evading the issue here?

Chris:  No, not at all. I’ve told you at least 3 times that I do assess that evidence. You’re back on the “know train”? Toot toot!

dios mio: yes, I told you, I just accepted Jesus

Chris:  No you didn’t.

dios mio: so lets now talk as christian brothers.. in family. why do you want to avoid talking about the evidence in biology or biblical studies? there are things that bother me, as a christian

Chris:  Why do they bother you?

dios mio: dont you think there needs to be done REAL apologetics now? van til can only come so far. it makes me uncomfortable because what they found goes against the bible. dont you think those need to be addressed?

Chris:  They have been.

If you accept them you say idiotic stuff like “I don’t know if Darwin or Chris exist.”

dios mio: many christians LEAVE chrisianity every day because of those exact problems I am talking about… that you all refuse to pay any attention to. you think you can just dismiss it altogether because you got the epismtemological upper hand! I might have been a real question, and struggle with the conflict i see between science and the bible and I would rather go listen to those pesky “evidentialists” instead you guys… because you are good for nothing I win this debate you all know it

Chris:  dios mioI think that what you should do is recognize your lostness and repent of your foolish sin. Turn to Christ Jesus who was crucified for sins, buried, and raised again. Trust Him for salvation.


One Comment

Matthias McMahon

This was a pretty awesome exchange. Where’s DM been anyhow?


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