Thursday, October 23, 2014

Presuppositionalism, Atheism, and Confusion over the Primacy of Existence

It is not uncommon for me to find even intelligent adult thinkers confused over the primacy of existence. In fact, confusion over this fundamental principle is a norm among those who are not familiar with Objectivism. It’s even worse for those who have heard about the primacy of existence from sources other than Objectivists who know what they’re talking about, sources which may in fact be hostile toward Objectivism for whatever reason. Sometimes this confusion is occasioned in thinkers who are otherwise well-meaning but have learned the expression “primacy of existence” from non-Objectivists who themselves do not understand what it means or its implications for knowledge.

Anyone who examines the entries I have published on my blog over the years, going back to March 2005 – nearly 10 years ago now – will find many posts that deal directly with the primacy of existence, how it is fundamental to human cognition, and how it is incompatible with theism.

In a Youtube video titled Why the Primacy of Existence is No Problem for Any Presuppositionalist, video blogger Ozymandias Ramses II (whom I’lll refer to as simply “Ozy” from here on out) makes some startling statements intended to support what the title of his video affirms.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jason Petersen’s “Epistemology”

In a discussion titled Philosophical Vlogs Debates Jason Petersen of Answers For Hope, “Clarkian presuppositionalist” Jason Petersen explains his “epistemology.” (The whole discussion offers a fascinating glimpse of the profound embarrassment that Petersen makes of himself when trying to pontificate as an apologist.)

I think it would be instructive to take a look at what he describes and probe it for the virtues he claims on its behalf.
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Jason Petersen's Abysmal Ignorance of Concepts

A rather lengthy paragraph, said to have been composed by “Clarkian Presuppositionalist” Jason Petersen, was posted to a comment by a frequent visitor on my blog entry Petersen’s Failed Attempts to Refute Leonard Peikoff: Objection 4 and Conclusion.

Now, I do not know the original source of this paragraph, but I have no reason to suspect that Petersen did not author it. That said, I do suspect that the ideas contained in it are not original to Petersen, but rather that he is simply recycling the same kind of ignorance-borne, fallacy-ridden objections we’ve seen here at Incinerating Presuppositionalism for many years now, for the locution and tactics Petersen uses are quite familiar. Regardless, while I am happy to suppose that Petersen is the author of the paragraph in question, I’d welcome any readers to post a link to the actual source if they are aware of one.

In this paragraph, Petersen is apparently attempting to refute the role of concepts as the basic units of knowledge. This is evident from the concluding sentence, which states: “Thus, concepts are not ultimately reflections of reality and do not lead to knowledge.” More specifically, Petersen’s aim here is to dismantle the Objectivist position by denying the role of concepts in human cognition altogether. Perhaps this is ambition is motivated at least in part by the fact that Christianity has no theory of concepts and thus offers no conceptual understanding of the nature of knowledge. So his statements here can be taken as an attack against Objectivism.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

“Christian Epistemology”: The Blind Leading the Blind

Consider the following dialogue between Pastor Billy Bob and Lisa, a saved and sanctified church member troubled over basic questions about knowing.

Here are some study questions to keep in mind as you read this:

What is the source of Lisa's problem?

Why does Lisa have such a problem?

How would you answer Lisa’s questions?

What do you think is the proper solution to her persisting dilemmas?

How would Christians whom you know answer Lisa's questions?

If you are a Christian, how would you address Lisa's concerns? How do you address them in your own life?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Petersen’s Failed Attempts to Refute Leonard Peikoff: Objection 4 and Conclusion

This is the fifth and final entry in a series examining attempts by Christian apologist Jason Petersen to discredit anti-theistic statements by Objectivist philosopher Dr. Leonard Peikoff.

The first entry in this series can be found here.

The second entry in this series (Objection 1) can be found here.

The third entry in this series (Objection 2) can be found here.

The fourth entry in this series (Objection 3) can be found here.

Dr. Peikoff’s statements in question can be found here.

Jason Petersen’s response to Peikoff can be found here.

In this entry I will examine Petersen’s attempts to refute Peikoff’s “Objection 4” against theism as well as Petersen’s concluding remarks. We will examine certain claims about “God’s nature” as Petersen would have us imagine it. Petersen raises a series of point-missing objections to one of Peikoff’s statements. Along with this, we will find just what a catastrophe Petersen's "Christian epistemology" really is.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Petersen’s Failed Attempts to Refute Leonard Peikoff: Objection 3

This is the fourth entry in my series examining attempts by “Clarkian presuppositionalist” Jason Petersen to refute a series of statements by Objectivist philosopher Dr. Leonard Peikoff on the topic of the existence of a god.

The first entry in this series can be found here.

The second entry in this series (Objection 1) can be found here.

The third entry in this series (Objection 2) can be found here.

Dr. Peikoff’s statements in question can be found here.

Jason Petersen’s response to Peikoff can be found here.

In this entry I will examine Petersen’s attempts to refute Peikoff’s “Objection 3” against theism. In the present entry, we come to certain claims about “God’s nature” as Petersen would have us imagine it. Petersen raises a series of point-missing objections to one of Peikoff’s statements.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Petersen’s Failed Attempts to Refute Leonard Peikoff: Objection 2

This is the third entry in my series examining attempts by “Clarkian presuppositionalist” Jason Petersen to refute a series of statements by Objectivist philosopher Dr. Leonard Peikoff on the topic of the existence of a god.

The first entry in this series can be found here.

The second entry in this series (Objection 1) can be found here.

Dr. Peikoff’s statements in question can be found here.

Jason Petersen’s response to Peikoff can be found here.

In this entry I will examine Petersen’s attempts to refute Peikoff’s “Objection 2” against theism. As in his approach to Peikoff’s “Objection 1,” Petersen again tries to perform an internal critique against Peikoff. In the present case, Petersen charges that Peikoff is making affirmations which Objectivist epistemology cannot support. We will find that Petersen makes this charge in glaring ignorance of what Objectivist epistemology actually teaches. Not to give the whole thing away, but Petersen repeatedly shows that he has little if any understanding of concepts. This lack of understanding, of course, can be traced back to Petersen’s own worldview, Christianity, which provides no understanding of concepts.

So let’s jump in and see what we see.
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