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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency: Book Review

Theism and Ultimate Explanation: Review

by Mike Robinson

Timothy O’Connor (Professor: Philosophy, Indiana University) delivers a fascinating and innovative new volume: “Theism and Ultimate Explanation: The Necessary Shape of Contingency.” Professor O’Conner presents the reader with a fine overview of philosophy, metaphysics, with an aim toward philosophical theology. Herein O’Conner provides a fine leap into various unexplored regions (not fully metaphysically surveyed) within philosophical religion; the examination and application thereof. The author partitions this volume into two chief divisions as he explores the truth and relationship relating to that which is possible and/or necessary. He then proceeds to posit a coherent metaphysical structure that seeks to advance an “ultimate explanation.”

This volume may be a bit pricey, nonetheless the reader receives much more than what he paid in dollars; a unique, provocative, and I affirm, compelling work which discloses captivating conjectures concerning an ultimate explanation of the cosmos and human experience.

Alexander Pruss opines: “This is a superb book in the philosophy of religion, the like of whose quality and originality is rare.”

Chapters include:

  • The Explanatory Role of Necessity:
  • Modality and Explanation
  • An Epistemological Worry About Modality: Causal Contact With Modal Facts
  • Modal Nihilism
  • Modal Reductionism and Deflationism
  • Modal Anti-Realism and Quasi-Realism

The Necessary Shape of Contingency:

  • Ultimate Explanation and Necessary Being: The Existence Stage of the Cosmological Argument
  • Necessary Being as the Explanatory Ground of Contingency?
  • From Necessary Being to God, I: Transcendent, Not Immanent
  • From Necessary Being to God, II: Logos, not Random Chaos
  • Necessary Being and the Scope of Possibility
  • Necessary Being and the Many Necessary Truths
  • The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Anselm?
  • Natural Theology in the Understanding of Revealed Theology
    and much more.

This volume has some technical language, but with concentration most college grads should gain comprehension of this essential topic.

Also see my book that contends for theism utilizing the necessity of Reason and Knowledge:

http://www.amazon.com/Truth-Knowledge-Reason-God-Christianity/dp/1432765914

http://thelordgodexists.com/

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Frege on the Laws of Logic


The laws of logic are not psychological laws of takings-to-be-true, but are laws of truth. … They (the laws of logic) are boundary stones set in an eternal foundation (Frege: Basic Laws of Arithmetic).

See my book that demonstrates that the Laws of Logic require God at: http://thelordgodexists.co​m/books/

or the E-Book at: https://www.smashwords.com​/books/view/35432

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Making of an Atheist: How Immorality Leads to Unbelief -- A Book Review


The Making of an Atheist by James Spiegel: A Review

by Mike Robinson
Many scholars spend the majority of their adult life carefully husbanding their thoughts and shielding their worldview and ultimate pre-commitments from critical analysis. Not so with James S. Spiegel in The Making of an Atheist. Speigel argues that many atheists base their philosophy on wishful thinking as they seek to put away theism's moral absolutes. Countess atheists (the author provides numerous quotes) do not want to be restrained from their profligacy so they vociferously declare that God doesn't exist. Rubbish. Just disliking something doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

Paul draws this out: Romans 1:18-25 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. ... 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.”

He then quotes Jonathan Edwards: “There is no one thing whatsoever more plain and manifest, and more demonstrable, than the being of God. It is manifest in ourselves, in our bodies and souls, and in everything about us wherever we turn our eye, whether to heaven, or to the earth, the air, or the seas. And yet how prone is the heart of man to call this into question! So inclined is the heart of man to blindness and delusion, that it is prone to even atheism itself.”

Spiegel presses Plantinga's potent argument as he demonstrates that atheists cannot know that their beliefs are true given their rational pre-commitments to naturalism, consequently, atheism under its own presuppositions stultifies itself.

In refuting atheism Spiegel utilizes:

- Philosophy
- The biblical worldview
- The importance of theoretical frameworks and paradigms
- Biographical history of famous atheists
- A type of Paschal's wager
- The confession of atheist Thomas Nagel who admitted: “I don’t want there to be a God”
- Paul C. Vitz’s discovery that numerous renowned atheists lacked a father or a defective father
- The argument from the fine-tuning of the cosmos
- Flew’s embrace of theism.

God Does Exist!: Defending the faith using presuppositional apologetics, evidence, and the impossibility of the contrary

A few significant quotes from the author:

- “There is really nothing new about the new atheism, except the degree of bombast in their claims” (p. 10).
- “The biblical message is that there are moral dynamics involved in the abandonment of faith” (p. 13).
- “The truth is that atheism is profoundly false. It is a misconstrual of reality at the most basic level” (p. 17).
- “Atheism is not the result of objective assessment of evidence, but of stubborn disobedience; it does not arise from careful application of reason but from willful rebellion” (p. 18).
- “From a naturalist standpoint the objection from evil is incoherent. This is because naturalists have no grounds to call anything evil” (p. 27).
- Since atheism is self-refuting: “What could be more futile than a worldview that undermines itself? Atheism is a sort of suicide of the mind” for as Chesterton noted “Darwinism … is an attack upon thought itself” (p. 60).
- The author quotes William James: “If your heart does not want a world of moral reality, your head will assuredly never make you believe in one” (p. 84).
- “Perfect objectivity is impossible, at least for mere mortals. Yet some persist in claiming that science gives us an objective, unfiltered view of the world.” For scientists are not “immune to the influence of their own beliefs and values as they do their research and theory formulation” (p. 92).
- “All scientific observation is to some extent interpreted though a paradigm. However neutral he or she might pretend to be, the scientist always filters data through a set of unspoken (or unconscious) presuppositions” (p. 100).
- Atheists suffer from “paradigm-induced blindness. Their theoretical framework prevents them from seeing the truth, even when it is right in front of them” (p. 102).
- “If a worldview, such as naturalism, gives us no reason to think that our belief-forming mechanisms are generally trustworthy, then we have no reason to believe that worldview is true” (p. 108).


The good professor quotes Dawkins: “It is pretty hard to defend absolutist morals on ground other than religious ones” (TGD, 2006, p. 266). He then adds a citation from Aquinas: “To know that God exists in a general and confused way is implanted in us by nature” (Summa Theologica, vol. 1, p. 12).

I would adjoin: To make sense out of our world, the atheist, still must presuppose theism. It alone supplies the required pre-essentials for the immutable universals such as the laws of thought (A=A; A~~A). These laws are necessary for predication, communication, and for the intelligibility of human experience. When the perspective of God's revelation is rejected, then the unbeliever is left in foolish ignorance because his philosophy does not provide the a priori conditions for knowledge and meaningful experience. This contravenes anti-theism. In reality, a pugnacious atheist has an empty philosophy that works on the assumption that his sweeping statements made with harsh, stinging, and bitter force against Christianity are settled facts since he makes them with dogmatic stridency. Insults and blind faith do not just make for bad arguments; they are embarrassing delusions that cannot account for argumentation at all. Only Christian theism can supply the pre-essentials needed for debate, evidence, and knowledge.
-----

Here in is a treasure trove of powerful and compelling apologetic argumentation addressing various relevant topics. The author provides a formidable, precise, wide-ranging, and appealing approach in countering atheism.

http://www.amazon.com/Truth-Knowledge-Reason-God-Christianity/dp/1432765914

Ephesians 4:17-18 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.

Gary Habermas Resurrection Proof Outline via Tria/Bugay


via Triablogue: JOHN BUGAY SAID:


Gary Habermas has thoroughly addressed that issue:

Twelve Historical Facts (Most Critical Scholars Believe These 12 items)

1. Jesus died by crucifixion.

2. He was buried.

3. His death caused the disciples to despair and lose hope.

4. The tomb was empty (the most contested).

5. The disciples had experiences which they believed were literal appearances of the risen Jesus (the most important proof).

6. The disciples were transformed from doubters to bold proclaimers.

7. The resurrection was the central message.

8. They preached the message of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem.

9. The Church was born and grew.

10. Orthodox Jews who believed in Christ made Sunday their primary day of worship.

11. James was converted to the faith when he saw the resurrected Jesus (James was a family skeptic).

12. Paul was converted to the faith (Paul was an outsider skeptic).

see my Apologetic Book that offers the resurrection proof within a presuppositional framework:

God Does Exist! at:
http://www.amazon.com/God-Does-Exist-presuppositional-impossibility/dp/1420827626


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mathematics: Is God Silent? by James Nickel: Book Review


Mathematics: Is God Silent? Review by Mike Robinson

The great mathematician Paul Erdos remarked, "Mathematics is the only infinite human activity." He admitted, "It will be millions of years before we'll have any understanding and even then it won't be a complete understanding, because we're up against the infinite." Mathematics cannot be explained by the physical world alone. Erdos goes on to profess, "If you believe in God, the answer is obvious. Mathematical truths are there ... and you just rediscover them." Number theorist Andre Weil quipped, "God exists since mathematics is consistent, and the Devil exists since we cannot prove it."

Truth and oddities found in Mathematics can bring great glee, yet there is also awesome power within. And in James Nickel's, "Mathematics: Is God Silent?" one finds how the apologetic of Van Til relates to mathematics. Nickel shows why mathematics can only be accounted for by Christian theism; He reveals how the ontic attributes of God are evidenced in mathematical truths as he demonstrates that the application and understanding of math is never neutral. Infinite numbers exist in theory and only presupposing an infinite triune God can epistemically justify infinite numbers. One can count from one to two to three... and go on infinitely. Yet our vast universe is finite. God is the a priori truth condition for infinite numbers. Without an infinite God, one cannot account for infinite numbers whereas the cosmos is finite and lacks the capacity to account for mathematics; something not limited to the material finite universe but something transcendent is the only ground possible: God.

Mathematics: God's Diversity in Unity

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite (Psalms 147:5).

Newsweek magazine reluctantly conceded its ignorance with the question: "Why are the laws of nature mathematical? It's something that's been gnawing at scientists for about 2500 years." God sustains and holds all things together. This is the reason that mathematical truth applies to the physical sciences and physics. God lays the foundation, so that rational mankind can trust and utilize mathematics and physics. The diverse parts (diversity of particular numbered things - the many) and specific applications of mathematics agree (agreement is an expression of unity - the one) with one another because of the tri-unity of God. Without God, one could not study mathematics because it is a theological study of the unity and the diversity in our world. The eternal and infinite God is the absolute precondition that makes mathematics possible.

Mathematics Requires Morality

The use of mathematics demands morality. Disclaim God and His moral law and there is no obligation to affirm that two plus two equal four, and that "A" cannot be "A" and "non-A" at the same time, in the same way. "Must" I affirm mathematical or logical truth? If so, I must provide objective unchanging moral grounds for the obligation, and that requires an unchanging God. For two plus three not to be four, anywhere at any time, requires a universal truth: which presupposes an all-knowing God (who supplies the moral law). God's law commands all men to tell the truth and forbids lying. This is the reason we "ought" to affirm two plus three equal five.

Presupposing God as the solution to all questions and the standard for truth does not mean that we must construct a theological postulate just to perform mundane tasks. Yet every simple task and every piece of routine communication presupposes the triune God because we use logic and morality in all those endeavors. God is the precondition for all logic and morality. If we presuppose anything other than God as our starting point, we end up with absurd and contradictory affirmations. The tri-unity of God--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--is inescapable if we want to make sense out of our world. To reject the triune God is to end up asserting your own philosophical demise. Deny God and you commit logical suicide.

James Nickel offers many sundry quotes concerning the history of mathematics and delivers numerous assertions pertaining to the necessity for the theistic grounding of math (yes many are touching on Ad Verecundiam, but all treatises must at times tread this ground for communication purposes). This is a great book for apologists, philosophers, ministers, and is written in an accessible style for students.

Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting (Psalms 93:2).

see my New apologetic book that maintains the existence of God is necessary for knowledge, mathematics, and truth:
http://www.amazon.com/Truth-Knowledge-Reason-God-Christianity/dp/1432765914

God Does Exist!: Defending the faith using presuppositional apologetics, evidence, and the impossibility of the contrary or One Way to God: Christian Philosophy and Presuppositional Apologetics Examine World Religions

Friday, July 8, 2011