Rebuttals to Objections Encountered on the Internet
All rebuttals authored by David G. Nesbitt (a.k.a. Ryft Braeloch)
Sunday - June 1, 2003
Anarchist-Superstar: All you do is bitch about fallacies and presuppositions. Heaven forbid you actually validate any of your bullshit claims. Things like "God creates himself" and "God transcends space and time."
It is no wonder why so little progress is made when discussing the existence of God with Anarchist-Superstar -- he invests a great deal of time and energy attacking positions his opponent does not hold, and has never held. His opponent (in this case, myself) is entirely too preoccupied contending with all the misrepresentations to make any significant advances in the dialogues. For example, Anarchist-Superstar invested time and energy in refuting the position that God exists in nature. Well, kudos to the effort, however God does not exist in nature. In other words, refuting the idea that bricks can read and write is a waste of your time because I never claimed they could. Try tackling positions I actually hold.
Otherwise I am spending most of my time contending with your irrational misrepresentations, like that one above. You want me to validate my bullshit claim that God creates himself? That will be a little difficult, considering the fact that I have never made that claim. As a matter of fact, that claim is a direct contradiction of what I do believe and have claimed. It would be like me asking you to validate your claim that God exists. Pardon? Oh, you mean you do not believe God exists, and have never claimed he does?
And as regards to validating my claim that God transcends space and time, I already have. As a matter of fact, it was published on the Internet and to this day still remains there for you -- and all -- to see. But I can repeat myself.
NOTE: The following is an argument validating that God transcends space and time. The following argument assumes that God exists and created the universe; it does not argue either point. An argument validating the claim that God exists is a separate argument entirely, and so is an argument that he created the universe. Any rational person understands this obvious fact. I was not asked to validate that God exists. I was not asked to validate that God created the universe. I was asked to validate that he transcends it. This I shall do.
When it comes to God, I can see only two possible options: he either exists in nature or he does not. I have already said that God does not exist in nature, so the only position left for me is that he transcends nature... "nature" being our material universe. Nature, our material universe, we understand from science is the result of four dimensions of space-time that began expanding from the Big Bang event (and String Theory posits six additional dimensions that stopped expanding at some point after the Big Bang and exist at all points in the four space-time dimensions that continue to expand, a theory which has made predictions now confirmed by observations). This is what God created, and by virtue of being the creator he must transcend it. Why? Because a creation cannot be its own creator, or as Anarchist-Superstar put it one evening, "No thing can create itself."
And that is the only logical conclusion possible. To state that someone is a creator is to state that he transcends (exists independent of) his creation. Basic rational logic. A sculptor transcends his sculpture. An artist transcends his painting. An architect transcends his building. Therefore, if God created the universe, it follows that he must transcend it (exist independent of it).
This validates my claim that God transcends space and time. Does God exist? Did God in fact create the universe? Those are separate issues entirely, and neither are claims I was asked to validate.
Thursday - July 3, 2003
Anarchist-Superstar: Ryft, I worked on my theorem. God(s) can only exist as concepts. I'll agree that god(s) exist, as long as you agree on a few rational things. All gods are equally possible, faith proves all claims equally, no gods are omnipotent, all gods had a beginning, and all gods exist within nature/reality. Gods in all their essence as concepts are inconsistent, and no inconsistencies exist within nature. Perhaps you know why.
Where do I start?
All gods simply are not equally possible. For example, if someone's definition of a god includes a self-contradiction, such a god is impossible. For it is self-evident that a contradiction cannot be true -- a dead horse that is alive is impossible, illogical, and false. The consideration of other definitions of gods is not necessary, for it is reasoned already that all gods are not equally possible.
Faith does not prove all claims equally for the simple fact that faith does not prove any claims at all. If faith does anything equally, it is that it fails to prove all claims equally. Additionally, the very notion (that you share with Svengali) -- "faith proves all claims equally" -- demonstrates adequately your utter ignorance of what faith actually is.
"No gods are omnipotent." Really? That seems to be a claim to knowledge. The burden of proof rests upon you. Please demonstrate your conclusion in a logical argument.
"All gods had a beginning," which in effect goes hand-in-hand with "all gods exist withing nature." This, again, is a claim to knowledge. The burden of proof therefore rests upon you. Please demonstrate your conclusion in a logical argument.
"Gods in all their essence as concepts are inconsistent." Please demonstrate this conclusion of yours in a logical argument.
Anarchist-Superstar, you can email your logical arguments to me at firstname.lastname@example.org <link>.
Sunday - July 6, 2003
glk4: If the god they claim exists is not a delusion, where is it shown to exist?
Ryft: Is belief in God a delusion?
glk4: It appears gods are illusions and delusions.
Ryft: A delusion is a belief held despite invalidating evidence. Since you claim that it appears belief in God is delusional, please present the invalidating evidence.
glk4: The evidence opposing the reality of gods is they are not observed.
Ryft: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Such a position is irrational and illogical. You do not have evidence that my coffee cup is sitting on my desk; however, my coffee cup is neither an illusion nor a delusion. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Since you claim that it appears belief in God is delusional, please present the invalidating evidence."The truth-tracking method of effective philosophic inquiry would lead us to believe a proposition when the evidence available to us justifies our believing it, to reject a proposition when our evidence disconfirms it, and to suspend judgment about it when our evidence neither confirms nor disconfirms it." 
"This fallacy [argumentum ad ignorantiam] occurs in both of the following examples: There is insufficient evidence to establish that God exists. Therefore, God does not exist. There is no proof that God does not exist. Therefore, God exists. The reasoning in both these arguments is fallacious, because ignorance or lack of proof or evidence about a claim establishes neither that it is true nor that it is false." 
"We shall regard assertions as unsupported unless evidence is actually given to support them, whether or not anyone has evidence for them ... An argument consists of more than just a statement; it consists of a conclusion along with supporting evidence." 
 David H. Lund, Making Sense of It All: An Introduction to Philosophical Inquiry, 2nd ed. (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003)
 S.N. Thomas, Practical Reasoning in Natural Language, 5th ed. (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1997)
 Wesley Salmon, Logic, 3rd ed. (New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1984)