an atheist viewpoint

thoughts from a non-theist

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

On Presup

Seems that here would be a good place to reproduce the bulk of a lengthy email I’ve just written. In it I explain the basic points of presubullshit, and why it is nonsense.
Hopefully this will be helpful for some –
If you’re unfamiliar with Presup, it’s simply a variation on the Transcendental Argument for God (TAG) which goes as follows –
P1. For logic to exist the Christian god must exist
P2. Logic exists
C. The Christian god exists
Obviously, as you can see, the TAG is entirely circular, and rests on an unproved assertion
Eric (Hovind) has taken hold of the even dafter version that Sye (Ten Bruggencate) peddles, which goes a bit like this -Sye/Eric: I can prove that god exists. To do this I begin by presuming that he does.
Seriously – that’s the whole argument!
They usually use the question ‘is it possible you could be wrong about everything you know?’ as an ‘in’ when discussing this with non-believers. Faced with this for the first time, most unbelievers will be entirely honest and reply that it IS possible that they may be wrong about everything they know – despite the fact that they’re not. Eric and Sye will then say ‘if you don’t know everything how do you know there isn’t something that will disprove everything else?’, following up with ‘you have no certainty in your worldview, so your worldview is absurd!’. This is usually attached to ‘if you could be wrong about everything you know, then how can you know anything??’. They then claim that THEY have certainty because they have a ‘revelation’ from their particular version of their particular god. To get to that they will ask ‘Is it possible that an omnipotent being could reveal things to us in such a way that we may be certain of them?’ – the unwary may answer ‘yes’, at which point Eric/Sye have made their hit and they smugly baffle the unbeliever into submission.
Then they’ll acknowledge that, clearly, the atheist DOES know things, and that this is proof that god exists……even though it isn’t, and no matter how much they nakedly assert this it does not become true.
They will also chuck in a load of bullshit along the lines of ‘do you reason your reasoning is valid’, and ‘how do you know your reasoning is valid? Your reasoning? That’s viciously circular!’. They’ll finish by stating that the atheist actually DOES believe in the Christian god, citing Roman 1:18-21 (“18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since 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 people are without excuse.”
Now, the argument they present fails on several levels –

1. It is NOT possible that we’re wrong about everything we think we know – we can know with absolute certainty that we are thinking, as the very act of considering it self verifies. Once we have identified that we can know at least one thing for certain we can use this to confirm the Primacy of Existence, recognising that a thing has to first exist before it can consider the existence of itself or other things. The Primacy of Existence (basically ‘reality is real’) is the bedrock for all subsequent knowledge, allowing us to measure and describe the Universe, and leading us to ever increasing understanding…..all without the need for ‘absolute certainty’ that Eric/Sye claim we need
2. The Presupper claims that they are also unable to gain certainty, but that they have access to a being with perfect knowledge which has revealed himself to them. However, they face a major and insurmountable problem – by the very argument they present they CANNOT know ANYTHING for certain BEFORE they receive this ‘revelation’, including whether the source of the revelation is genuine – they have to accept the ‘revelation’ BEFORE they have the knowledge they claim they need to be able to confirm its accuracy. The ONLY way they could possibly be able to confirm they weren’t just hallucinating, or being misled by a ‘being of sufficient power’ (the ‘Evil God’ hypothesis) would be if they too were omniscient and were able to fact check the source of the revelation to verify that it’s genuine. When asked about this both Sye and Eric have floundered, whilst their fellow pressupper, Dustin Seger, mumbled out some nonsense about the revelation not being bounded by temporality! I think he was trying to say that the knowledge of the validity of the ‘revelation’ could be projected back in time or something, so that you could be certain of it before you were certain.
3. even if the presupper was able to make a valid point, it would bring them no closer to WHICH god had given the ‘revelation’, proving that it is their particular version of the Christian god is still entirely impossible – in short they are still stuck at step one.


Hopefully that’ll help if you’re faced with presubullshitters.

Jason Petersen: Liar for Jesus

I was going to write a long article addressing the torrent of dishonesty in this post from a Creationist simpleton we shall call JP, but I just can’t be bothered to get worked up enough about it. Go read it, then I’ll just answer the biggest lies.

Back? Good.

Lie 1. that I posted an ‘edited’ image of a discussion

The truth: I posted a screen shot of the first few messages from a longer conversation (which can be seen here), the sole purpose of which was to prove that I had not instigated the talk of a debate with JP. Once the full conversation was posted by the other person involved, it did nothing to contradict my initial claim.

Lie 2. that I ‘went out of my way’ to hide the other messages in the conversation

The Truth: I hid nothing, I simply posted the part that was relevant to the point I was trying to make. As you can see from the full conversation there was nothing in the ‘hidden’ part that changed any of the meaning of the section I posted. (EDIT: JP has subsequently claimed that I ‘hid’ part that showed me ‘dodging’ a written debate, but the screen shot at the bottom of this post shows that to also be a lie)

Lie 3. that I am avoiding a written debate because I am scared of JP

The Truth: I have never shown any interest in written debate, and have always preferred to be able to speak to someone live. I find written debates dull and, as I stated before, often see Creationists hiding in the format and avoiding answering questions.

Lie 4. well, not so much a lie, as JP relying on the opinion of Bob Sorensen, a man with a hatred and fear of me that verges on the pathological.

We all know Bob’s opinion of me, we also all know that his opinion isn’t worth the weight of the pixels that present it on our screens. That JP has hooked up with such an outright nutter should be enough to tell you everything you need to know!

Lie 5. that I am ‘wilfully lying’ about the debate that never happened in an attempt to gain ‘e-cred’ (whatever the fuck THAT is!)

The Truth: The only person being dishonest here is JP, who seems to be spinning events harder than Alastair Campbell in an attempt to save face in front of his small gang of followers.

To be honest, the whole of JP’s article reeks of desperation, desperation to turn events into something that they are not. Here’s his last paragraph –

“Alex should probably stop spreading falsehoods and making unfounded assumptions regarding events in which you can’t verify yourself. It might save you from being bitten on the rear again. If I were him, I’d be feeling pretty embarrassed after reading this.”

Jason, I don’t feel remotely embarrassed….well, not for me anyway! I DO feel deeply embarrassed for you after you’ve made such a meal of trying to cover your arse. Disagree? You know my Skype user name, and you know where I am.

Oh, the comments are a shower of shite as well.

Anyway, that’s enough on this blog for this year!

EDIT: Petersen is now trying to spin this further! Unfortunately for him he seems to be forgetting what he’s previously said….compare the top comment, from two hours ago on Facebook, with the highlighted section from his blog post –



ADDITIONAL EDIT: Jason is NOW claiming that he HAS debated me. So he’s flipflopped back to his original claim, the one he then stated was incorrect. How strange –

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 20.51.02


And another!



Might as well point this absolute honking failure by one of JP’s fans –


EDIT: More spin from Petersen today, this time claiming that a back and forth on Eric Hovind’s facebook wall was a ‘debate’. Nice try, JP, but no dice. I’m through with dealing with him, and will be ignoring the insane creationist minnow from now on.

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