Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Removed Intense Debate Client

Because of the bugginess of the intense debate client, I have removed it. I apologize, because with it goes a lot of comments. However, it was preventing me from commenting on my own blog, so it had to go.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Technical Difficulties

Apparently Blogger had some issues yesterday. I think that may have been the reason the comment client was so buggy. I'm keeping it for now, but as someone has pointed out using the reply function can make things more confusing than it's worth. Those commenting and replying to comments just use the new comment box at the bottom of the thread. Don't reply unless it's pretty short. It'll make conversations easier.

Friday, May 6, 2011

God's Outta Time!!!

A combox discussion caught my eye. I don't have time to read through the whole thing, but the issue of time came up and God's relation to it especially regarding whether His omniscience implies divine determination. I've shown here why that isn't the case. However, to counter the claim that a future time must be already existent for God to know it, and therefore it is already existing, which means that free will doesn't exist, the Arminian in the discussion felt it was necessary to say that God is outside of time.

I've seen this a lot from Arminians when confronted with this argument. However, I think there's a much stronger retort to this deterministic assertion. Pulling God outside of time isn't necessary to defeat the determinist assertion that divine omniscience implies divine determination. Rather, one simply needs to see God's omniscience as innate. As an omniscient being, God knows only and all true propositions. So say God knows that at 12:00 tomorrow, I will go to Chick Fil' A for lunch and enjoy a tasty chicken delight. Does that event have to exist in a concrete way or be determined for God to know about it? Not if He has knowledge of only and all true propositions. That fact alone means that, if the scenario is in fact going to be true, that God knows it.

So the answer to the claim that event E must exist to know the truth of event E is simply an assertion. It seems patently false that a being that knows all true propositions must have that knowledge based on the actuality of the event itself actually existing in that concrete manner.

PS, this is really just the grounding objection re-stated in a different context. I've shown why that objection doesn't seem to hold too much water here and in the comments here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Viral Representative's Argument for Homosexual Marriage

No, this isn't about a sick representative, nor is the modifier "Viral" meant to demean him. Rather, the video I am critiquing has gone viral. State Rep. Steve Simon of Minnesota gives a little speech in the midst of debate on whether to put on the state ballot a measure that would amend their state constitution to prohibit homosexual marriage (*cough* oxymoron *cough*). Oooh, look at that. Liz Goodwin of Yahoo news calls the speech "eloquent" and "impassioned." Wowee zowee this must be something else then, right? Uh, no...

Right from the beginning, he asserts that we shouldn't rely on a religious argument. Why is the religious argument invalid (hint: because it doesn't agree with him)? He never extrapolates on this. Whether or not this country is a "Christian" nation or whatnot, it derives its freedoms from a divine source, and sets laws up around those. Marriage laws are of a certain interest to the state, and giving benefits to homosexual couples doesn't fit into the state interest.

At about 1:00, he states there's scientific data that sexual orientation is fundamentally genetic. First, there's absolutely no evidence that that is the case. Second, it's irrelevant to whether the state should actively support and endorse homosexual unions. There are known addictions and diseases that may have genetic roots, ie alcoholism and schizophrenia. In the case of the former, the government doesn't introduce legislation to encourage alcoholism because it makes some people emotionally fulfilled. Furthermore, people can choose to act against their alcoholism, as they can choose to not have sex. In the case of the latter, we medicate people who have this most likely genetic aberration. Simply saying you're born with something doesn't do anything to show it should be endorsed by the state.

At about 1:20, he asks about the moral implications if God were the one who determined people's homosexual proclivity, which is funny, because he stated 1 minute before that we shouldn't use a religious argument here. Obviously, he just meant the traditional and Biblical religious argument. But a liberal and pagan religious argument is clearly just dandy.

If one concedes that homosexual orientation is God given and innate, then it would have to be considered natural and therefore not a sin. I do not concede this, however, and the onus is on the the dear Representative to show us that God does in fact do that. Even if he could show that, something not being a sin doesn't therefore show that the state should actively endorse the behavior.

From the biological observation, as well as nearly all purported revelation from God, homosexuality is anything but natural. There's certainly no biological benefit from it. That being the case, there seems to be no benefit to the state in terms of continuing the species, which is the main reason they have an interest in marriage. In fact, it looks to me that homosexuality would be detrimental to the society simply because it would result in fewer children. But I digress.

At 1:30, he simply asserts that God is creating people as gay, and that this proves God approves of gayness. Of course he did nothing to show this at all. Then morons in the crowd who apparently can't think applaud. That's right, drink that kool-aid.

1:50, continues with his unsupported argument. Nothing eloquent or spectacular in the least about this segment. Frankly, it's pretty unspectacular.

I want to emphasise how absolutely silly this is. The guy starts by saying that the religious arguments shouldn't be considered because that's not our heritage, and then he gives almost solely a religious argument. I am baffled at how this video has gone viral. I suppose it shows the lack of the majority of the population to think logically about things. Lord Jesus, please help us.