Monday, July 24, 2017

Death to Euthyphro!

Wes Morriston, philosopher from University of Colorado, Boulder, writes an excellent [1] paper against divine command theory and specifically attacking William Lane Craig. The guys over at secular outpost (or as I like to call it, "Kill Bill's ideas) link to that article. Divine command theory in it's simple direct form says that what is good is that which God commands and it is good because God commands it. The paper is very long and covers a lot of ground, I have isolated what I think is one of the  key points and i will deal with just that small but important section: the ground of moral duty as grounded in the divine.

Craig is answwering the Euthyphro dilemma, This is a problem raised by Plato in the from of Socrates question to Euthyphro, " is found in Plato's dialogue Euthyphro, in which Socrates asks Euthyphro, "Is the pious (τὸ ὅσιον) loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?"  [2] The answer Craig takes to it is one I have also argued for years, that the good flows out of God's character so it's neither arbitrary now does it constitute a standard above God.

Morriston takes issue with Craig at the point where he says the good "flows out of God's character.

One might wonder about the phrase ‘flow necessarily from his moral nature’. Does it mean that each divine command is necessitated by God’s moral nature – that God’s moral nature makes it impossible for him not to command what he does in fact command? Or does it mean merely that it is necessary that all divine commands flow from God’s moral nature, where the ‘flow from’ relation is understood in a weaker sense ?Craig doesn’t say.[3]

He's really conflating two different issues here: (1) do all commands flow equally from God's nature (2) could god chose to violate his nature? The question here is still veg because we are talking about Biblical commands? Or, are we talking about the human capacity to be moral itself? The latter is the kjey to the answer. Paul tells us the moral law is written on the heart (Romans 2:6-14). C.S. Lewis shows a great harmony in many Axial age civilizations as far flung as Briton and China. Although there are problems will will bracket them for fn.[4] These similarities of course don't prove divine inspiration but they may indicate that if human moral nature is God given then God's commands must be generally flowing through that basic moral nature and even though filtered through cultural constructs the basic sense of moral goodness grounded in agapic sense of human dignity is possible universally. So the latter "weaker sense" would come closer to the answer, although I would not think of it as "weaker."

But whatever the details, it’s clear that the main point of the claim that God’s commands ‘flow necessarily from his moral nature’ is to head off a familiar objection to the divine command theory. It will be convenient to refer to it as ‘ the arbitrariness objection’. It goes something like this. Either God has good reasons for his commands or he does not. If he does, then those reasons (and not God’s commands) are the ultimate ground of moral obligation. If he does not have good reasons, then his commands are completely arbitrary and may be disregarded. Either way, the divine command theory is false.[5]
That's a fair assessment of the dilemma, and the answer is all moral motions ultimately point to love. God's character is love, thus there is warrant for the assertion that Divine love stands behind morality that God's  commands are neither arbitrary nor are they stemming from a source higher than God. "Those reasons" are bound up in God's character, They are of concern to God because he is love. Obviously they are not "completely arbitrary since they arise out of the same basic aspect of who and what God is. The question about the goodness of reasons is transgression upon the concept of the transcendental signified. Truth is what is and the basis of what is is the ground being ie God). Thus God's reasons are a priori good not because they arbitrarily manufacture good via command but because they stem from the nature of God which is the ground of being. This idea that God's commands are arbitrary ( the "arbitrariness objection") is regarded as an ace in the hole by many skeptical philosopjhers.

Some philosophers think the arbitrariness objection is decisive (Shafer-Landau (2004), 80–81). But Craig thinks his version of the divine command theory is completely untouched by it. To see why, consider the duty to be generous to those in need. On Craig’s account, we can endorse all three of the following claims.

(A) God has a good reason for commanding generosity: generosity is good.

(B) Generosity is good because, and only because, God is (essentially) generous.

(C) Nevertheless, it takes a divine command to turn generosity into a duty for us.
Given (A), it might be thought that there is nothing objectionably arbitrary about God’s commanding generosity. Given (B), the goodness of God’s reason for issuing this command is rooted in his moral nature; it is not therefore independent of God. (C), finally, assures us that it is God’s command, and not merely the goodness of generosity, that raises it to the level of a moral imperative.[6] 
I take issue with the last sentence and with B to which it refers. "Generosity is good because, and only because, God is (essentially) generous." Basically true but it requires some tweaking that zi think matters. It's not just that God is generous so requires that we be generous but that generosity is a of love, it's an expression of love in the agapic sense., The reason It is played that generosity is good only because God is generous is to avoid the prospect of atheists claiming they can be generous without God. Of course that's  begging the question unless it's answering a certain kind of moral argument for God. If God exists it's legitimate to think that goodness flows from God's nature, If there is no God we are just Whistling in the dark anyway. From a purely metaethical standpoint generosity could be grounded in any number of things such as social contract theory, but they would all have a hard time establishing an ought denontologically without going teleological. It would be more certain to assume grounding in God. But switching from answering Euthephro a God argument would change the trajectory of the answers.

"Many questions remain. Could God have failed to command generosity? Could generosity have failed to be a duty ? Just what degree of generosity is required ? And why did God choose to require just that degree of generosity rather than some other ? " If love is the background of the moral universe, as is my assumption, (ala Joseph Fletcher) [7] then the direct proximity of God's will to a specific command might be less important in terms of metaethical theory than understanding the nature of love. In other words, rather than seeking to pin down a list of rules we need to be seeking ways to learn to love people. Of course that doesn't mean it's unimportant that God issues a particular command. Yet the important thing is not keeping rules but internalizing values of the good.

At this point he moves on to a second objection. If God turned around tomorrow and ordered something that is now evil such as eating children would it then become good to do so? Craig says can't happen it's opposed to God's nature.[8] That should be enough for rational people. But if you are an atheist looking to throw a wrench in the works of belief, or a philosopher, no it's not. If you are both well better start looking for that eye of the needle. "Even if such commands are incompatible with God’s nature, isn’t it still true that according to the divine command theory eating our children would be morally obligatory if – per impossible – God commanded it?" It's another version of  can God make a rock so big he can't lift it? The answer I've always given to that is "why should we expect God to do non sense.?"  It's a cleaver question for skeptics to ask because it's a perfect double bind. If we do say "well theoretically if God did command even God would be wrong," we have relativized God's authority. If we say no we relativize his goodness. Either way we make belief in higher power seem silly.

Morriston kind of concedes that the question doesn't make sense and thus it doesn't matter what is said but he still concludes in such a way as to raise doubt with the oblivious:

Remember that for Craig God is, necessarily, a perfect being. If that is understood, then it really doesn’t matter to Craig’s position whether it’s impossible for a perfect being to command such a thing. Why ? Because if a perfect being commanded it, the being would have a morally sufficient reason for doing so; and if – per impossibile, perhaps – a perfect being had a morally sufficient reason for commanding us to eat our children, we should do it. If I am right about this, then Craig’s divine command theory escapes refutation – not for the reason he gives, but rather because the alarming-sounding counterpossibles implied by it turn out to true! 10 What’s so special about being God-like? Given fairly standard assumptions about God’s moral nature, [9]

The real problem is that the skeptics have underrated the scope of God's relation to reality. We are not just talking about the most powerful being. They approach it like the question is "this powerful guy is not like this but what if he was.?" It's not about the will of a powerful guy. It's about the nature of reality and trust and the relationship of that to love itself. Like the rock issue I refuse to believe that truth can be stumped by nonsense. Truth is what is (a simplified version of correspondence theory) and God is Being itself. Love is the background of the moral universe because God is love and God is the basis of reality. Thus if God is love, truth, and being. Thus morality is an extension of the good, and the good is wrapped up with the nature of truth and being. We must understand particular moral codes as best we can having filtered moral motions through culture. There is a reality back there behind it all that can't be cheated by questions like the one about the rock.

[1] Wes Morriston, "God and the ontological foundation of morality," Religious Studies,   Cambridge University Press 2011 (2012) 48, 15–34 f doi:10.1017/S0034412510000740 URL:  accessed 2/27/2016.

 WES MORRISTON Department of Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0232 email: Wes.Morriston@Colorado.EDU

[2]Plat, "Euthephro," Five Dialogues, 10a, or see on line copy, see "Euthephro" by Plato,  Translated by Benjamin Jowet, Internet archieve UROL:

[3] Morriston, op. cit. 18.

[4] C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of man: With Reflection on Education With Special Reference to The Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools. New York, NY: Harper One, 1971, 83.
The problem with this is that it's limited to a segment of history from a period known as the Axial age, roughly from the 900 to 200 BC. The term is from Karl Jaspers. It excludes new world, Africa, Russian steppes and times before and after. Bit it is probably the best attempt to show universal moral sense. It does at least show large segments of humanity share similar moral motions.

[5] Morriston, op.cit., 18-19

[6] Ibid. 19-20

[7] Joseph Fletcher, Situation Ethics The new Moraloty.Louisville, Lomdon:  Westminster John Knox Press. 1966,    58.
Fletcher discusses the same dilemma but not by the name "Euthephro." He discusses the nominalist position and argues that modern ethical thinking is nominalist and that is what's wrong with it. That's why philosophers ask questions about this dilemma because they can't ground moraloity in love since they are reductionists and can't understand values.

[8] Morriston, op cit.,20-21

[9] Ibid

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Burning Bush: God is not a list of attributes but the basis of reality

Image result for metacrock's blogImage result for metacrock's blog

In the discussion on my argument I in the "debate" with Bowen Eric Sotnak raised an argument in order to preempt a possible answer from me, the possibility that I could argue that the Vacuum flux or whatever physical situation science finds caused the big bang expansion,is God. Of course I don't argue That but in preempting it he asserted that the real Christian concept of God is standardized consisting of "traditional theistic attributes. " One can't help but think of the big man in the sky,

Eric Sotnak said...

It seems to me that for something to be deserving of the name "God" some substantive set of traditional theistic attributes must be predicated of it. Thus far in the presentation of your argument, I think little has been done to fill in the missing details. Presumably those details will center on the sense of the numinous you invoked in the original argument. Am I correct in assuming that such details are planned for future stages of the argument?
my reply:
No I think this is a case where Christian apologetic has done a disservice because it;s lent itself to setting this easy little list of omni's as a quick shorthand to God's description and identity,it's really missing the point about the nature of God and what it means to attack that word to some set of characteristics.That gives me a great theme for Wedneday's blog. I will save the brunt of my comet for then, but I'll says this:first SON is about love, love is personal so the personal dimension is implied in my argument. I think TS would imply the omni's but we really have to re think the omni's.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

My defense of the contingent nature of the universe: Answer to Ryan M,

Image result for metacrock's blog

In my debate with Bradley Bowen I argued that naturalistic phenomena are contingent and temporal. To back up that premise i argued three things, but the third answer is the one that usually catches fire, I said we have no examples of anything in nature that lacks a cause and is not temporally bound, As a counter point Ryan M, in the comments of this blog argues that we have no examples of anything that is not physical. I countered this by arguing that we do actually. I gave four examples, mind, numbers,shapes,and justice. After some exchange Ryan made the following statement upon which I will expound:

Ryan M said...
Here are a list of things you have said are not physical:
I will go as far as saying that there are no known sound deductive arguments for the truth of any of those. In addition, there are no non controversial arguments for the plausibility of the immateriality of any of those. In the case of numbers and shapes, I tend to agree with my logic professor, Dr. John Lane Bell, that Platonism is akin to a disease of the mind and ought to be abandoned.
I don't think you understood my criticism of your claim about natural phenomena. Your premise and defence of it is the following:
Premise A - Everything natural is both temporal and contingent.
Defence of A - everything we know of that is natural is both temporal and contingent.
The defence of A does not establish A to be true. That is, you cannot deduce the truth of A from the defence of A.
All the defence of A would do is make it the case that you can make a strong inductive argument for the truth of A. But even then, all you could do is make a strong inductive argument that "The types of natural phenomena we know of are both temporal and contingent" which is a weaker hypothesis than your argument requires. In any case, my criticism was that by parallel inductive reasoning we could conclude that anything with a cause has a material cause. E.g. 
Premise B - Every dependent being has a material cause.
Defence of B - Everything we know of that is a dependent being is a being with a material cause.
If the defence of A works, then the defence of B works, so you could not establish that an immaterial GOB exists. 

Let's break it down: "I will go as far as saying that there are no known sound deductive arguments for the truth of any of those." I bet I can come up with one, but what if I dom't Where is the law of logic that says empirical arguments as good as deductive ones? Moreover, I think it's self evident that mind is not physical, It's obvious that justice is not physical. I wont bother to defend numbers or shapes because I think they were ill-considered; they are different kids of things from mind or justice. they are abstractions I don;'t think an abstraction created the universe. Mind is really all I need to make my point.

"In addition, there are no non controversial arguments for the plausibility of the immateriality of any of those." Yes but I don't mind being controversial. I think Mind is self-evidently not physical; confusing mind with brain creates the sense that mind is physical but there is a distinction. Even though mind requires physical brain chemistry to be accessed that does not make it physical. Moreover the physicality is in more trouble than is physical recognized, He can;t really tell us what exactly it means to be physical. Physical thins are made of matter but matter is known to be energy in another from, So what is energy? The physicalist usually strikes out to answer this by dutifully giving the names of all subatomic particles it's quacks and bozons ect. ect, but when asked to explain it goes something like this,"they are charges," what are charges 
made of? "more charges," Turns out no one really knows. When dealing with the level of existence beyond space/time we know nothing, it's not so cut and drained.[1]

"In the case of numbers and shapes, I tend to agree with my logic professor, Dr. John Lane Bell, that Platonism is akin to a disease of the mind and ought to be abandoned. " I am not a Platonist, I've already discussed numbers and shapes.
"I don't think you understood my criticism of your claim about natural phenomena. Your premise and defence of it is the following:Premise A - Everything natural is both temporal and contingent.Defence of A - everything we know of that is natural is both temporal and contingent.The defence of A does not establish A to be true. That is, you cannot deduce the truth of A from the defence of A." 
You have no disproof, you have only the gap left by my lack of  proving. But we do not have to remain at an impasse, I am not attenuating prove to that God exists,I am merely aging that belief is warranted. The reality that there are no uncased phenomena in the physical world is a good reason to assume that nature is contingent and temporal (besides my two other arguments backing the premise). That the physical world is contingent still the best assumption to make, there is no counter example.

"All the defence of A would do is make it the case that you can make a strong inductive argument for the truth of A. But even then, all you could do is make a strong inductive argument that "The types of natural phenomena we know of are both temporal and contingent" which is a weaker hypothesis than your argument requires. " First I am assuming that you mean by that "than your argument requiters" you are thinking of a proof for the existence of God not an argument to warrant belief. I don't see why a warrant for belief would
require  a stronger backing. Moreover it's still the best assumption  see as how you have no counter examples 
or evince. You have nothing more than casting doubt on my assumption which is backed and yours is not. Secondly, I argued in my opening speech the concept of nature is clearly in the empirical world of flesh and blood thus confining it to space/time. Thirdly I argued Big Bang cosmology which would understand physical law as limited to time.Neither of these arguments have been touched.

"In any case, my criticism was that by parallel inductive reasoning we could conclude that anything with a cause has a material cause. E.g. " Except you might not pull it off since I think it;s self evident hat mind is not physical that ruins your argument, at least I have more with which to counter your argument than you have to counter mine. Btw we could also argue that if an aspect of being transcends space/time it;s more likely that we should think of it as non physical since it transcends physical law. See my third argument on the premise one.

In terms of my argument that physical existence is not as clear cut as we think see my that's a major reason to assume the assumption I make in defense of my premise is more defensible than your parallel,

[1] Joseph Hinman, "Can Science really prove the basis of Modern Physics." Metacrock's blog  (accessed /17/17) URL

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Bowen -Hinman Debate: existence of God; Hinman Second defense arg. 1

there are tree documemts to whichI will allude, they are thoeI;ve already written about this debate:

1. "Preparation," or  Q/A" [1]

2. Opening argumemt [2]

3. First Defense [3]

Being famous and admired does not prevent Tillich from Being unclear, however, the fact that the argument I make is by by Tillich,due to his position as a highly regarded thinker of the 20th century,is a good indication that it's not so unclear that it can't the view point seriously,

Stanford Encyclopedia of Phil article on concepts of God opens with Tillich's view and he is the only major theologian the article names. He is also named in their article on faith.[4]

Among the great theologians of the twentieth century, Tillich was perhaps the one with the widest horizon. His approach was interdisciplinary and interreligious. It was also historical. He believed that the tragic situation of contemporary civilization was a great opportunity for realizing the goal of religion in concrete life. For this, he felt the religious dimension had to permeate the secular sphere, neither of the two being able to survive meaningfully without the other. He believed that such a time of fulfillment had come when Jesuswas on earth, and that a similar opportunity was coming to Europe after World War I.[5]

Britannica Encyclopedia
Tillich was a central figure in the intellectual life of his time both in Germany and the United States. It is generally held that the 20th century has been marked by a widespread breakdown of traditional Christian convictions about God, morality, and the meaning of human existence in general. In assessing Tillich’s role in relation to this development, some critics have regarded him as the last major spokesman for a vanishing Christian culture, a systematic thinker who sought to demonstrate the reasonableness of the Christian faith to modern skeptics. Others have viewed him as a forerunner of the contemporary cultural revolution, whose discussions of the meaning of God and faith served themselves to undermine traditional beliefs.[6]

Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German American Christian existentialist philosopher and theologian who is widely regarded as one of the most influential theologians of the twentieth century.[7]

Tillich's religious thought has been enormously influential, particularly in English-speaking countries. He was strongly influenced by existentialism, and he held, as did Søren Kierkegaard, that religious questions are appropriately raised only in relation to problems that are inherent in the "human situation" and that theological claims are not mere responses to theoretical puzzles. Thus, Tillich presents Christian doctrines as resolutions of practical problems. His discussion of anxiety in The Courage to Be is a good example of his method. He first analyzes thoroughly and with great sensitivity what he considers the three great anxieties of modern manthe anxiety of death, that of meaninglessness, and that of guilt. These three forms of anxiety are three modes of response to various kinds of threats from nonbeing, threats to which existence as such is subject. As a practical solution to this practical problem, theology presents God. [8]

Tillich delivered the Gifford Lectures (like the noble prize for Philosophers)[9]

(A) The Ground of Being is identical with any aspect of being that is eternal and necessary.

The notation “[=GOB]” does NOT merely specify an acronym for a term already present in the argument; rather, it introduces a new and additional concept into the argument, a concept that is very unclear.  Since premise (A) includes at least three unclear terms (“The Ground of Being”, “any aspect of being that is…”, and  “eternal”), I judge this premise to be VERY unclear.

He knows very well I said necessary and eternal, he leaves the term necessary out of that last quote. He cannot give me any concept that is both necessary and eternal? I have repeatedly said that necessary not only means broadly  logical necessary as in Plantinga's definition (of course his expertise should grasp immediately)  it also includes Hartshorne's argument that the dependence of contingencies upon necessity is also tied to the concept.

I told him it was a concept as far back as my first Q/A post but he didn't think about it and he still doesn't understand.

(1) ground of being unclear

The main problem with the ABEAN argument is that it is UNCLEAR.  This is the same problem that I encountered repeatedly in my analysis and evaluation of Norman Geisler’s case for God in his book When Skeptics Ask.  The problem is not so much that ABEAN uses false premises or invalid inferences.  The problem is that nearly every claim in the argument is unclear, making it nearly impossible to rationally evaluate the argument.
what is he calling unclear?: he does not say!!!!
If Mr. Hinman were to provide clear definitions for the many problematic words and phrases in his ABEAN argument, then it would be possible to rationally evaluate this argument, but I suspect that if he could have provided such definitions then he would have done so already.  So, I’m doubtful that he will be providing clear definitions for all of the many problematic words and phrases in ABEAN.
from "First Defense", my previous speech in this debate Metacrock's blog (July 9,17)

"Ground of Being:  the primordial aspect of all that is, the basis of all realty the origin of all thinks, can be construed as first cause. but more organic than Aquinas concept. There is a huge literature on this concept,i did not make it up. It's in Vatican II theologians have been talking about it since the 8th century Paul Tillich made it more popular than it ever was before in the 30s-60s. It's Tillich's notion of the God beyond the God of theism, read Tillich Systematic Theology  vol I."

from my opening argumemt(JULY 02, 2017): "Ground of being (or being itself): The eternal, necessary aspect of being"

from what I call the Q and A post: (JUNE 25, 2017) "Preparation for my debate with Bowen" Metacrock's blog
What does the phrase "Ground of Being" mean?

"Above I indicated that this is a synonym for Primordial being.  If I said "the original being" that would give the wrong impression, you might  think meant a localized entity. Below I will say more about the phrase ground of being with reference to it's history."

So you can see I've made an attempt to define it in every speech, He has never acknowledged a single definition. In addition to my own attempts here are those of others,

God is the ground of being

Boston  Collaborative "being and God," from article on "Paul Tillich (1886-1965)" 

For Tillich, God is being-itself, not being among other beings. To describe the relationship between being-itself and finite beings, Tillich takes the word, "ground." For Tillich, God is the ground of being, the ground of the structure of being. God as being itself is the ground of the ontological structure of being. In other words, every ontological being has its power to be in being itself, participate in the ground of being. All accounts of God are expressed through what we comprehend. Can we know God? For Tillich, the answer is clear: we can. Adopting the theory of analogia entis (analogy of being), that is, "that which is infinite is being itself and because everything participates in being itself" (239), The theory of analogia entis explains the possibility of knowing and saying anything about God. However, for Tillich, the analogia entis justifies our ways of saying about God only under a fact that "God must be understood as being itself" (240). Thus, existential approach to God through the category of finitude must be described symbolically. God is the ground of being, being-itself; who concerns us ultimately. Thus, God is our ultimate concern.[10]

Though in many ways unorthodox and reformist Tillich was undoubtedly a Christian theologian. His concern was to develop a satisfying Christian theology in the context of an acceptable philosophy. Heidegger’s influence can be seen in Tillich’s existential starting-point in his ontology of beings and being itself. He uses the existentialist motif of ‘nothingness’ in his characterisation of the experience of beings as confronting the nonbeing inherent in our finitude. He opposed himself to any understanding of God that might give the impression of deity as a being among others; God in Tillich’s view had to be understood as ‘the ground of being’ or to use a not-unfamiliar expression being itself. The manner in which he spoke of God with such remarks as ‘God does not exist. . . . He is being itself beyond essence and existence’ led to some accusations of atheism and pantheism.[11]
what is wrong with these definitions? He does not say. Why are they unclear? he does not say. Is there a problem with the idea of a basis of reality? He does not say! Does he not conceptually understand the attempt or the concept to represent God in some means other than a localized object? He does not say. Can he not see that such a project would be inherently difficult and would contain inherent aspects of unclear? He does not say but apparently no. But he makes a chart! It desn't mean anything but it's pretty and it's chart-like!

"Here is my view of the general unclarity of Hinman’s ABEAN argument (click on image below for a better view of the chart):"

Ridiculous meaningless chart, it's claiming that he  finds things unclear but why, what is unclear about them? since he never replies to any of the expostulations I gave of those terms did he even read them? what's wrong with them? This chart is meaningless because he doesn't even bother to define what is unclear about anything, I hate to say this but his charge of unclarity is unclear!

(2) list of terms he finds unclear

The unclarity that I based this chart on is the unclarity of the meaning of several problematic words and phrases: [of course I have defined each of these terms in every thing I;e written about this debate, but he makes no attempt to acknowledge that]
  • naturalistic phenomena
This is obvious,self evident, it;s a common term there is no reason to assume I'm using it in any unusual way. Yet I did define it last time and in fact I used your ever loving secular web to do so,quoting Keith Augustine.

  • temporal
another self evident term that everyone understands he makes no attempt to say why it's unclear. 

  • some aspect of being
I specifically addressed this phraseology as far back as the Q/A post

What does it mean to say that an "aspect of being is eternal"?


There are only three alternatives for origin of all things given the assumption of cause and effect. They are (1) reality began in a state of nothing and something emerged from nothing, (2) There is an Infinite Causal Regression (ICR) that just happens to always be as a brute fact. (3) Something exists eternally that gives rise to all that is. for various reasons I reject 1 and 2. From the premise that something cannot come from true absolute nothing, something must be eternal and thus able to give rise to all that is not eternal. So at this point we have a distinction between the eternal which I might call "primordial being;" the first form of being, or "ground of being,"  and temporal being or "the beings." McQuarrie makes the distinction between primordial being and the beings.
I speak of it as an aspect of being because I want to avoid the assumption that it is a big man in the . want to use new models for thinking of "God" that don't play off of thinking of God as a magnification of a human king.

  • eternal
from my first defense, the previous post: 
Eternal: Not limited to the duration of time

  • the Ground of Being
see above where I show that I have defined it every time (preparation, or Q/A,opening statement and previous post) and I also quoted definitions from other sources. I essentially define it as the basis of all being, the foundation upon which being cohere's, 

  • being itself
From the preparation document (Q/A) means the same thing as ground of being,I was explicit about that.

  • a sense of the numinous
I told you this is a standard term  used by all writers of mysticism including psychology of religion. It is both a theological term as well as a clinical term. All the major studies on mysticism refer to it. I sure as hell did define it, In fact i foot noted the Spilka and Hood book which is a major source in psych of religion, they talk about it in chapter 11,

from my previous post: "Sense of the numinous: That term is carefully and succinctly defined,I pointed out in the Q/A post that it is well defined by doctor Hood in empirical research in chapter 11 of his book, he uses common definition from the scientific field of psychology of religion,[1] (Bernard Spilka, Ralph Hood Jr., Bruce Hunsberger, Richard Gorwuch. The Psychology of Religion: An Empirical Approach. New York, London: the Guildford Press, 2003. 33)
 Its salient feature:  all pervasive presence of love usually identified with God's presence, by those who experience it. "

In my post of July  2 "opening argument" I said "SON: Sense of the Numinous; an aspect of mystical experience that my have given rise to the very concept of religion"
I also definded QA post

  • God (Hinman has an idiosyncratic understanding of this word)
idiosyncratic is it? I used the phrase "job description in reference to the TS. That is a functional description and I said as much. I said "In using this term I intend to indicate God's job description as the basis of all meaning and value. The grounding of all moral axioms, the basis of eternal concepts such s truth,justice, the good. The creator, the foundation of all being that bestows existence upon all continent things. "

there is nothing idiosyncratic about any of that. That includes some very orthodox ideas, Clearly i stressed it;s a functional description. My actual concept is clearly the Tillich being itself thing. That is literally orthodox I fn Ware the Orthodox Church (see 'first defense")  which is propaganda for the literal Orthodox church, It's also in Vatican 2 and accepted by most liberal protestants.

his use of idiosyncratic is as an anti-intellectual scare word. this whole exercise in bullshit like most of the atheist movement is very anti-intellectual.

  • the transcendental signified
 I just got through talking about, I told you specially what  it is and what it's for, from the previous post "First defense:"
 Transcendental signified: The actual reality refereed to by all marks of signification  the top of the metaphysical hierarchy. In using this term I intend to indicate God's job description as the basis of all meaning and value. The grounding of all moral axioms, the basis of eternal concepts such s truth,justice, the good. The creator, the foundation of all being that bestows existence upon all continent things. 

  • universal truth at the top of the metaphysical hierarchy
I said that as part of my explain of TS. this is more anti intellectual hockum. be careful about that thinking stuff. Don;t let your mind wonder about things science can't prove that's how people fall into religion, very anti thought, anti intellectual for a free thinker, don't foget to be afraid of new ideas/.

  • believing in… (Hinman has an idiosyncratic understanding of this phrase)
That is quite insane. He doesn't know what it mean to believe in things,I wouldn't put that post most atheists on CARM but I thought better of Bowen.

(3)more quibbles over necessity and contingency
The terms “necessary” and “contingent” are also problematic words, but Hinman provides fairly clear definitions of these two words, which in turn made it possible for me to evaluate the inference from premises (1) and (4) to premise (5) as being an INVALID inference (see Part 2 of this series).  The one time that Hinman provides clear definitions, makes it clear that ABEAN is a bad argument.  This is why, I suspect, that Geisler and Hinman are so unclear and fuzzy-headed when they argue for God.  When they think and reason clearly, their arguments for God fall apart.
[all he said there is that N/C are problematical,he does NOT say anything about the way I define them or why my version of them is problematic. He says nothing as to why they are, he makes no effort to deal with any content i disclosed,]

Geisler the ultimate threat, o please don't say I'm like him, gosh i better drop all my arguments, I don't want to be like Geisler.

 What we see here is his inability to think off script. Lack of a God forbid he should learn anything about Tillich. He has this one gimmick of attacking this other guy so of course lump them in together. Geisler is as different from Tillich as Trump from Obama, or Adam Sandler from Bertrand Russell. He's still stuck trying to compare my argument to Geisler's because he can't deal with the real ideas.

(4) he finds another way to say the very same thing, this time with numbersm and yet no detail no analysis, no ideas

I judged premises (1), (2), (4), (A), (5), (7), (8), (9), (10), and (11) to be VERY UNCLEAR because they each contain at least two different unclear words or phrases, which Hinman failed to adequately define or explain.
He's going to repeat the numbers,  He has nothing to say,he has made no argument

(5) now he;s going to put it in caps so we really know it!

I judged premise (6) to be UNCLEAR, but not to be VERY UNCLEAR, because of the use of the phrase “a sense of the numinous” in that premise.  Given the subjective nature of that concept, it would be difficult for anyone to provide a clear definition of that phrase, and Hinman did make a brief attempt to provide some clarification of this term, but his attempt was inadequate in my judgment.  As it stands, this phrase is too vague to allow one to make a rational evaluation of the truth or falsehood of premises (7) or (8) with any degree of confidence.

what is unclear? he doesn't say, what;s wrong with the explanations i've given?he doesn't say,...
(6) now he tries the stunt of redefining
How Many Possible Interpretations are there of ABEAN?
The easiest sort of unclarity to fix is ambiguity.  There are eight different unclear words or phrases used in ABEAN. (NOTE: some of the unclear words and phrases in the list above are not used in the ABEAN argument, but are used in definitions of terms.)  Most of these unclear words or phrases have MANY different possible meanings, not just two.  So, most of these unclear words or phrases have a more serious problem than that of being ambiguous between two alternative meanings.

Ok for the first time he gives an idea to play with, unfortunate it was already answered in my first answer to him last time. That sort of lea way for re-interpretation is ruled out by the specificity of defining terms,I did define them and he has not bothered to look.

But, for the sake of illustration, let’s assume that all eight unclear words or phrases each have only two alternative meanings.  Let’s also assume that these words or phrases are consistently used with the same meaning in all premises where they occur.  How many different possible interpretations of ABEAN would there be, based on those assumptions?  There would be 2 to the 8th power different interpretations of ABEAN:

Of course we don't need to assume that because I already defined them he has no argument about my definitions. 
2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 =  4 x 4 x 4 x 4 = 16 x 16 = 256 Different Possible Interpretations

Of course that assumes I havnet already defined them,
There are well over two hundred different possible interpretations of ABEAN if the unclear words and phrases in the argument each have only two possible meanings.  But most of the unclear words and phrases have a more serious problem of unclarity than this, so it would not be unreasonable to estimate that there is an average of three different possible meanings for each of the unclear words and phrases.  How many possible interpretations of ABEAN would there be on that assumption?  There would be 3 to the 8th power different interpretations of ABEAN:
3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 =  9 x 9 x 9 x 9 =  81 x 81 = 6,561 Different Possible Interpretations
Given these two estimates of the number of different possible interpretations of ABEAN, it is reasonable to conclude that it is very likely that there are more than 200 but less than 7,000 different possible interpretations of ABEAN.   So, I would need at least 200 blog posts to adequately evaluate all of the various possible interpretations of ABEAN.  Not gonna happen.  Wouldn’t be prudent.  I have better things to do with my time.
wow I'm bowled over with the incompetence of this tactic this is bad high school debate,

(7) critique something from nothing

One Premise in ABEAN is OK
I’m OK with premise (3):
3. Something did not come from nothing.
The wording and clarity could be slightly improved:
3a. It is NOT the case that something came from nothing.
I accept this premise as true, although I’m not entirely certain that it is true.  I think it is based on the Principle of Sufficient Reason, and I’m inclined to accept that principle (i.e. “Every event has an explanation.”)

I am not sure that the abhorrence of something from nothing is directly related to PSR. I know they overlap but I think one would have that same idea with no reference to PSR just a matter of intuitive sense, as well as empirical judgement.

A Couple of Other Problems with ABEAN
I have many objections and concerns about ABEAN in addition to the basic problem of unclear words and phrases.   But I will just mention two of those problems here.  One objection concerns the statement that Hinman failed to make clearly and explicitly:

(8) GOB = any aspect Eternal and necessary
(A) The Ground of Being is identical with any aspect of being that is eternal and necessary.

Premise (4) asserts that “Some aspect of being is eternal and necessary.”  The word “some” is ambiguous here, just like the word “something” as used by Aquinas and by Geisler in their arguments for God.  What premise (4) actually means is this:

No it is not ambiguous at all it is entirely precise: it means not all aspects of being are temporal and contingent some are eternal. Some means not all that's clea I couldsay :ome being is not temporal: but that would cast God the role of a being rather than being itself and defeat the purpose of discussing bedimming the first place.

4a.  Some aspect or aspects of being are eternal and necessary.There is no reason or justification given for limiting the relevant aspects to just ONE aspect.  So, we have, yet again, an ambiguity in quantification that leads to confusion and illogical inferences.  If there are many aspects of being, and if more than one aspect of being is eternal and necessary, then that casts doubt on premise (A).  
It has to be more than that  it has to also be capable of giving rise to all else.He has not shown  that such a thing exists; numbers and shapes are eternal and necessary but they are not creators.

If there are multiple aspects of being that are eternal and necessary, then it is doubtful that we ought to identify “the Ground of Being” with that collection of aspects.
Since it is logical to assume that we are talking the origin of all being then that aspect must be creator and that rules out the other things I can think of,he has not answered,he has no example of other such things. He might suggest a committee of gods but we are not talking about individual beings, God is not a being we are talking the ground of being. This is not just another very powerful being, that's the point Tillich is making. It is literally  an aspect of being.
This is particularly the case if an “aspect” of being is an individual thing or event.  The concept of an “aspect of being” is VERY UNCLEAR, so it is not at all obvious that we can rule out the possibility that individual things or events could count as aspects of being.  Clearly, Mr. Hinman would NOT accept the idea that “the Ground of Being” is composed of various individual things or events (that would lead us in the direction of Polytheism or Pantheism), so the identification of “the Ground of Being” with “some aspect or aspects of being” might well turn out to be an incoherent claim, a claim that contradicts the implications of Hinman’s concept of “the Ground of Being”.
It's at all un clear, it may well be beyond our understanding but the concept is specific. Now I have my own wrinkle in the plot because I think Tillich was trying to bring Platonic Christianity into modern age,so I use the Platonic Christian concept of universal mind that is the explanation I give as to what this aspect of being is;  the knowing conscious aspect that produces all being apart from itself.
This is one more example that illustrates the need for clear definitions of problematic words and phrases such as “an aspect of being” and “the Ground of Being”.  Without such definitions, we may well be stumbling over various logical errors and incoherent claims.
I also have a problem with premise (9):

That actually might be so but it's not a valid reason to reject the argument. There's still enough validity in the idea to warrant belief it just requires more understanding of the concept of mind. I am not seeking to prove God exists I am only arguing that belief that God "exists: is rational.

(9) now he's going to repeat the same BS he said before about GOB but without acknowledging any of the answers I've already given/

9. GOB = God.First of all, this premise needs to be spelled out in a clear sentence of English:

why? Especially since it is spelled out in Vatican II.
9a. The Ground of Being is identical with God.Although Hinman fails to provide a clear definition of “the Ground of Being” or of the word “eternal”, I strongly suspect that by “eternal” he means “outside of time”, and it is clear that Hinman believes “the Ground of Being” to be “eternal”.  Given these assumptions, it follows that “the Ground of Being” cannot change.   But God is a person, or at least a being with personal characteristics like “can think”, “can communicate”, “can make choices”, and “can perform actions”.  But only a being that can change can have such personal characteristics.  Therefore, given the assumption that “the Ground of Being” is something that is “outside of time” it follows that “the Ground of Being” is NOT identical with God.  Premise (9) appears to be false.

 I had a whole big analytical thing in first speech about Orthodox church their distinction between God;s essence and his energies that answers the time problem i also argued universal mind solves the problem, he doesn't answer any of  that, he doesn't even acknowledge it,

He also totally misses the fact than Tillich's;s view God is not a person he;s not a being,so that is just his lack of willingness to learn the concept he argues against,
more obfuscation ignoring the explicates I gave,see above;he has no critique of any of it, he doesn't even admit i gave you see he just lied abouit my not giving one, for my answer see above,

turn back to the Boston collaborative source and look at the quote in the larger context:
Here is a paragraph that essentially sums up my argument, It is from the Boston Collaborative site, The interesting thing is they don;t find it so unclear they seem to get what he;s talking about and to take it seriously,

Being and GodThe question of God is the fundamental question of theology. Without a doubt, God is the answer to the question of theology. Yet, where can we find the answer? For Tillich, he believes that the answer is implied in the analysis of being. Tillich turns the question of God to the question of being from which the answer to the question of God lies. Examining the question of being (i.e., What is being-itself?) is not to examine the particular being or a group of beings. Rather, it is to examine the question of what it means to be. Tillich believes that such an ontological question of being-itself springs from the "shock of nonbeing." Nonbeing is experienced as the threat to being, which generates a sense of finitude. In other words, finitude unites being with nonbeing. Thus, the fundamental questions are of being and nonbeing, namely, to be and not to be. Human’s finitude is incomprehensible without the concept of nonbeing because finitude is experienced on the human level. Nevertheless, we have the capability to operate our imagination to surpass our finitude and to point to infinity. Therefore, we are able to be aware of infinity. This awareness presupposes the question of God. Yet, this awareness of infinity is rooted in our awareness of finitude. The concept of the finitude is necessary for Tillich’s works because this concept drives him to the question of God. For Tillich, we are able to ask the question of God, because we are aware of infinity. "The question of God is possible because an awareness of God is present in the question of God. This awareness precedes the question" (206). "The question of God must be asked because the threat of nonbeing, which man experiences as anxiety, drives him to the question of being conquering nonbeing and of courage conquering anxiety. This question is the cosmological question of God" (208). Accordingly a quest for God is inevitable for human beings.God is the answer to the question implied in the human awareness of the finitude. God concerns us ultimately. Whatever we grasp as our ultimate concern we call "god." "god" must be encountered by us in concreteness (214). Tillich uses the lowercase "g" to stress the necessity of concreteness over against ultimacy in the idea of god. Yet, our ultimate concern must transcend every concrete concern. Therefore, Tillich uses the uppercase "G" to stress the transcendent dimension over the concrete concern. However, in transcending the finite, our ultimate concern breaks off the concreteness of a being-to-being relationship with us. This is the indispensable inner conflict in the idea of God. For Tillich, this conflict is the guide to examine the history of religion. Tillich argues that polytheism rising from the need for concreteness or absoluteness motivates a step toward monotheism; and that one’s "need for a balance between the concrete and the absolute drives him toward trinitarian structures" (221). Trinitarian monotheism is not that it allows only one god, but that the ultimacy prevails over the concrete. It is rather a qualitative than quantitative characteristic of God. It also allows human to speak of the living God in whom the concrete and the ultimate are united. "Trinitarian monotheism is concrete monotheism, the affirmation of the living God" (228). The question is how we describe this living God?For Tillich, God is being-itself, not being among other beings. To describe the relationship between being-itself and finite beings, Tillich takes the word, "ground." For Tillich, God is the ground of being, the ground of the structure of being. God as being itself is the ground of the ontological structure of being. In other words, every ontological being has its power to be in being itself, participate in the ground of being. All accounts of God are expressed through what we comprehend. Can we know God? For Tilich, the answer is clear: we can. Adopting the theory of analogia entis (analogy of being), that is, "that which is infinite is being itself and because everything participates in being itself" (239), The theory of analogia entis explains the possibility of knowing and saying anything about God. However, for Tillich, the analogia entis justifies our ways of saying about God only under a fact that "God must be understood as being itself" (240). Thus, existential approach to God through the category of finitude must be described symbolically. God is the ground of being, being-itself; who concerns us ultimately. Thus, God is our ultimate concern [12]

[1] Josesph Hinman, "Preparation for my debate with Bowen." Metacrock's blog, (JUNE 25, 2017)(acessed  7/12/17)

this is Preperation or Q/Q doc

[2] Joseph Hinman, "Opening argument Resolved : that belief in God is rationally warranted
," Metacrcock's blog (JULY 02, 2017)(accessed 7/12/17 )
[3] Joseph Hinman, "First Defense of God Argument 1," Metacrock's blog(JULY 09, 2017) (accessed
[4]Wainwright, William, "Concepts of God", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>.
that's the archived URL, the dynamic is below-

[5] "Paul Tillich," New World Encyclopedia,  Project Chairman: Dr. Chung Hwan Kwak, Project Director: Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, Editor in Chief: Dr. Frank Kaufmann, no date indcated (accessed 7/12/17) URL:
[6]  Arne Unhjem, "Paul Tillich,American Theologian and philosopher," Britannica Encyclopedia, on line, Encyclopedia Brotannica inc. on line (accessed 7/12/17) last updated 2017 URL:

[7] "Paul Tillich." Wikipedia, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; last edited (July 9,2017)  (accessed 7/12/17)URL

[8] Thomson Galen, "Tillich,Paul." Encyclopedia of Philosophy 
COPYRIGHT 2006 (July 13,2017) (accessed 7/12/17)URL

[9] "Paul TilichProfessor of Philosophical Theology, Union Theological Seminary, New York" The Gifford Lectures: Over 100 years of  Lectures on Natural Theology, University of St Andrews, website by Templeton press. 2017.b (accessed 7/12/17) URL

[10]James Wu  and Wilfredo Tangunan .Boston  Collaborative Encyclopedioa of Western Theology. "being and God," from article on "Paul Tillich (1886-1965)" ed Derek Michaud,copyright ©1994 onwards, Wesley Wildman (accessed 7/12/17)URL

[11] Gifford Lectures, op cit
[12] James Wu  and Wilfredo Tangunan. Boston  Collaborative, op cit