Peter had written:
"Something that is not physical is not made of material items, and is
"Can you define what you mean by 'immaterial' in affirmative terms? If
'immaterial' can only be defined in negative terms (e.g., "immaterial is
that which is not material," etc.) then obviously the
concept 'material' holds primacy over the concept 'immaterial', since it is
only in contrast to that which is material that one can form the concept
'immaterial' to begin with. Otherwise, it's just another stolen concept, and
without an affirmative definition, it is contentless as well."
Peter now writes:
"First of all, I
reject that a concept holding primacy over another necessitates a 'stolen
And you should. That was
not what I stated though. Read it again with the following points in mind.
"We define things
that we do not fully understand by comparing it to something that is familiar
Agreed. That is why I
stated "If 'immaterial' can only be defined in negative terms (e.g.,
'immaterial is that which is not material,' etc.) then
obviously the concept 'material' holds primacy over the concept 'immaterial',
since it is only in contrast to that which is material that one can form the
concept 'immaterial' to begin with."
"--that does not
mean that the one is superior to the other, merely that we cannot understand
it without reference to the other."
It means that the prior
concept ('material' in this case) holds conceptual primacy to the contrasting
concept ('immaterial' in this case), since we first need the former
concept ('material' in this case) in order to make the contrasting concept
('immaterial' in this case) possible to begin with. This is a matter of
conceptual hierarchy, Peter. You implicitly acknowledged this when you
commented that "We define things that we do not fully understand by
comparing it to something that is familiar to us."
"We have simply
given the concept based on the material world."
Right! This certainly
implies that the perceptually available facts hold conceptual primacy over
facts which are not perceptually available. This affirms Objectivism: Since
our awareness begins with the senses, our knowledge begins with the facts
which our senses directly perceive. We give those facts names: 'existence',
'identity' and 'consciousness'. These are the axioms, are conceptual starting
Now, I still would like
to know what "immaterial" refers to. So far, you have introduced
this term, and you have only stated that to which it does not refer.
Can you give us any more details in terms of the affirmative reference of this
"Something that is
immaterial is something that we can prove exists in the consciousness, but
that we cannot prove exists physically."
I'm still wondering what 'immaterial' means
here. This does not tell me anything. If anything, it seems that what you
state here takes the point of understanding in question for granted. I'd like
a little more substance, if you please.
Peter had written:
"As such, existence is eternal, self-existent, outside the realm of time,
immutable, consciousness, and is itself immaterial."
"Here Peter's package-deal grows another tentacle."
Peter now writes:
"And I suppose it's
a good argument to simply ignore it and say that it's a package-deal and never
interact with any actual arguments and trust that the fact that you have a
friendly audience will keep you safe."
Now Peter, you sound
like an utter hypocrite here. For look how much material I've presented in
response to yours, and how little you've responded to mine by contrast. And
now you whimper that I am not interacting enough!? Good grief, man! You really
are a character! I think my point above is well established, if you integrate
many of the points I've presented in previous posts in response to your
"argument." It's up to you at this point to try to fit it all
together, because no one can do this for you. It's called thinking (as
opposed to simply believing what you learned in Sunday School).
I mean, after all,
they're not going to point out that you don't have an argument whatsoever and
are merely diverting attention from the main issues while obfuscating on the
lesser points that my argument does not rest on."
"they"? And what argument are you expecting me to put forth? I have
no god-belief. That is my position. You're the one who believes there is a
god, so I am giving you the honor of examining your argument toward this end.
I have found that your argument commits crucial errors which may go undetected
if I don't jump in to save the day and restore some element of rationality, to
any degree of which I am capable. It is clear that you resent this.
"They might even be
deluded into thinking that you have a real argument here, but anyone who
actually wants to take the time to look through it will see that you haven't
Again, what argument are
you expecting me to put forward? I am not the one who claims that a god
exists. You are, sir. Therefore, we patiently await any legitimate argument
you can put forward to that end. And you know what, we're still waiting, but I
can tell quite a few are not so patient any more. Several others on the
Atheism vs. Theism web have taken you to task on some of the articles
you've posted to your website, so I am not the only one who is finding flaws
in your god-belief arguments.
"You simply state a
charge over and over."
I've done much more than
this. Now you are belittling all the time and effort which I've put into
showing where your arguments fail. You should be thanking me. Instead, you
come across as an ingrate.
"I can only surmise
that, because of your popularity on the list, you will assume that people will
believe you if you just state it enough times without demonstrating any actual
basis to charge me with it."
Peter, I don't think I'm
all that popular. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if many atheists attending
this list disagree with me on many fundamental points. To be honest, I think
they aren't participating to the extent that I have because they give you less
credit than I do, and arguably for very good reasons. It's clear that you
reject reason, and that you simply believe that a god exists because you want
to. Your zeal for argument and debate is confessionally motivated, not a
matter of conviction for truth and honesty. I really can't blame them for
ignoring you, as your arguments and website are quite inconsequential.
"Well, I won't have
Fine. Move on, then.
"I don't care if
the non-thinkers out there don't want to look into the issue; but everyone who
can understand an argument knows that you haven't answered mine."
I see. Okay then. Perhaps it's time for you
to move on then, if you think no one here will hear you out fairly and
squarely. What else are you going to do? Continue to go blue in the face?
Peter had written:
"Something that is eternal, self-existent, outside the realm of time,
immutable, conscious, and immaterial can be nothing other than God."
"And voila! Thus the road to god-belief is always paved with fallacy.
Clever (though not
very), but still completely invalid. But keep trying! We know you want your
god to exist!"
Peter now writes:
"Something that is
completely invalid is hardly "clever", CV."
Oh, but it surely can
be. Read the work of Cornelius Van Til, John Frame, JP Holding, Greg Bahnsen,
David Byron, Alvin Plantinga, and a whole host of other academic
apologists.... Their stuff is full of all kinds of neat twists and turns!
"And since I've now
shown that you haven't interacted with my argument at all, then obviously your
statements are most certainly not clever."
HA! Now it's obvious that you recognize
you're on the ropes.
"You skipped any
argument about whether existence is eternal, whether it is self-existence,
whether it is outside the realm of time; you only briefly touched on whether
or not it was immutable, conscious, and immaterial. What part of the
argument logically fails? You have not demonstrated a single
Actually, that's not
true. For in past posts on other threads in which we've interacted, I
consistently held that, according to Objectivism, existence is absolute
("self-existent"), the universe (the sum total of existence) is
eternal (i.e., outside of time) and that reality is immutable (e.g., it does
not conform to a form of consciousness), etc. All these points have been dealt
with long ago, that's why I was a little surprised to see you bring them up
and harp on them now.
Furthermore, if I show
that your argument commits a cognitive error at one point, then the argument
must be rejected as fallacious. I have done this in numerous points. And your
failure or reluctance to acknowledge and accept this fact only re-affirms what
we've all suspected to be the case all along: Peter claims that there is a god
simply because he wants there to be one, and all his posturing about providing
an argument on behalf of his confessional investment is mere pretense.
And here I will rest, for now I consider my
work final and complete.
Thank you, and best regards,