Response to templestream’s “challenge”.

Templestream brags on his site frequently that he has made a blog proving the existence of a personal god which is so ironclad that all the atheists on xanga, nay the internet, are terrified of responding to it and refuse to meet his challenge.

I saw him bragging about it awhile back and asked where this blog that none of the “top atheists” on xanga dare respond to (though all have been challenged to) and asked where my invitation was and asked where the “challenge” was.  He said he would give me the link (and didn’t).  So I went looking for it, and found a blog on his site “challenging” atheists to answer certain objections and replied to it.  He then immediately blocked me.

Now I saw a blog where he is still bragging here about how no atheist can meet his challenge (because he blocks anyone he thinks might be able to), and gives a link to the blog he was apparently talking about on another blog site.  So now I will proceed to tear that blog to ribbons without breaking a sweat.

Here goes:

“How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God’s Existence”

The same way the flu proved the existence of demons – through the power of ignorance.

“In terms of the meaning of life, the question of identity is a critical one. What is the basis of identity? Is it mainly extrinsic or intrinsic? Are we to understand reality and identity based on appearance alone?  How are logic, truth and identity related? The following is a brief outline of how identity, logic and physics prove God’s existence, with a full outline at the end of the article:
How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God’s Existence:
I. Formal logic presupposes certain truths theoretically exist as a basis for sound reasoning.
II. The foundation of cohesive logic appears to have been undermined by quantum physics.
III. NDE Cases support a cohesive, logical understanding within a theistic framework.
IV. Materialism has failed to provide support for answers to foundational questions while Theism has provided such support.
V, Conclusion: proof is affirmed by logic and material evidence and the preponderance of evidence supports a theistic interpretation of the universe.”

Will respond to each one below.

“I. Formal logic requires certain elements as a basis for sound reasoning.

Since the foundation of classical philosophy was laid in Aristotle’s time, the principles of formal logic have been developed and refined. From the beginning, it was noted that universal truth and validity must be presupposed in order for formal logic to work. To this day, a formal philosophical proposition, known as a categorical syllogism, must have both true premises and a valid form in order to be considered logically acceptable. It’s possible to have false premises and a valid form and vice versa.[1 ]The following is an example of a syllogism:
Premise 1: A conventional syllogism offers proof using true premises and a valid form.
Premise 2: Certain philosophies deny true premises and valid forms can exist.
Conclusion: Certain philosophies deny that a conventional syllogism offers logical proof.
As the above syllogism shows, the conventions of formal philosophy have certain philosophical implications in and of themselves. Like today, many philosophers in Aristotle’s day tried to reject the fact that consistent truth and validity are required as a basis of debate. They were called Sophists. The Sophist Protagoras stated, “Man is the measure of all things.” Everything is relative and there are no values because man, individual man, is the measure of all things.“[2] We see this same opinion today widely accepted in society in various forms.”

::waiting for him to get to some kind of point::

“Among intellectual atheists, the laws of logic are about as popular as pork chops at a bar mitsva. Atheist Ayn Rand defined logic mainly as a subjective art: “Logic is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification.”[3] Logic, however, consists mainly of objective laws and principles. I offered to debate atheists at the Debunking Christianity blog but the basic answer was “We don’t do logic.”

I’m sure he’s quoting them verbatim…

“Instead, they offer what is called an “Outsider Test” in an attempt to disprove God’s existence. The fact is, though, their experiment is based upon the primary laws of logic. The law of identity, law of the excluded middle, and the law of non-contradiction all come into play. Any critical thinking depends on the laws of logic, even if people don’t realize they are using the laws intuitively. These laws are quite easy to understand. The law of non-contradiction basically says it is not possible that something be both true and not true. The law of identity says A is A and A is not B. In other words, something is what it is and needs at least one identifying characteristic in order to differentiate it from something else.

This droning “proof” that never seems to get to the point is really just presuppositional apologetics.  One thing I’ve noticed is that because presupper’s arguments are so poor and so easily defeated, they prefer not to make the arguments explicitly but just allude to them vaguely.  The idea is that a law requires a law giver – “laws” of logic and physics exist therefore they must be “written” by god.  But it’s faulty reasoning, because laws of logic and physics are flawed, man-made systems of thought.  The laws of logic break down in quantum physics with particles being in multiple places at the same time (law of non-contradiction) and in relativity with a line or object being straight or curved depending on where you are observing it from due to the effects of gravity.  The “laws” of physics similarly break down much of the time such as newton’s laws of motion only applying to relatively slow objects and new “laws” being required for objects approaching the speed of light.  The notion that these are “laws” that are decreed is a theological assumption dating back to the middle ages and beyond, if you believe there is a god and the earth is round you will assume god made the earth round.  If you believe in a god and you see that gravity pulls things to the earth at a set rate you will believe god “set” that rate.  But it’s an assumption, not something that was ever proven.  So the logic of presuppositional apologetics is “assume there is a god and that that god made the world the way it is, then conclude that because the world is the way it is there must be a god”.  It’s circular reasoning, it’s chasing it’s own tail.  It just relies on the term “law” which was an assumption made centuries ago.  Now they’re called principles because they are only in principle universally consistent.

“II. The foundation of cohesive logic appears to have been undermined by quantum physics.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy testifies of how discoveries in quantum mechanics have shaken the basis of our understanding of the physical world including the nature of identity and uniqueness: “Indeed, the transition from classical to quantum physics marks a genuine revolution in our understanding of the physical world.”[4] “This should not suggest that the uncertainty principle is the only aspect of the conceptual difference between classical and quantum physics: the implications of quantum mechanics for notions as (non)-locality, entanglement and identity play no less havoc with classical intuitions.”[5]

So the laws of logic being universal prove there’s a god despite them not being universal?  What?

“The definition of Materialism according to Webster’s Dictionary states, “Materialism: a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter.”[6]

Actually it gives four definitions – the definition I subscribe to is the philosophy that either matter is all that exists or it is all that “matters” because it is all that is currently knowable.  In other words fairies and hobgoblins and an afterlife and vengeful gods on the mountain top could be real, but until I have a reason to think they are (and better than the stuff in this blog) I’m not going to waste my time on hypotheticals.

“Materialists, however, has so far failed to fulfill this definition as a theory. Precious little “can be explained” regarding the most important metaphysical questions of existence. Why is there something instead of nothing? What’s the origin of matter, the universe, the origin of life, the origin of information, the origin and makeup of consciousness? Quantum mechanics has undermined the basis of materialist reasoning and logic as well. Quantum physics offers mainly metaphysical under-determinism and more questions than answers.

Not having the answer to a question doesn’t give you license to write whatever unsupported claim you want in the blank space.  Not knowing how the universe began no more proves the existence of a god than not knowing where lightning comes from proved the existence of zeus or thor or not understanding how a card trick works proves the magician has supernatural powers, or not understanding why someone recovered from an illness (or got sick in the first place) means that god, demons or voodoo is responsible.  I don’t know how the universe began – do you?  You may delude yourself into thinking you do, but “god did it” isn’t a valid answer to the question any more than “it happened” is an answer for the materialist.

“As you consider the following essential definition of entanglement, you can understand why QM has created a problem for many philosophers: “Quantum entanglement is a process in which two objects are linked together in such a way that any changes to the properties of one can be measured from the other regardless of the distance between them.”[7] Quantum particles remain mysteriously connected no matter how far away. This phenomenon forms the basis of new quantum Internet technology. Boundaries that were assumed to be finite and localized are not. Because of the implications, many materialist philosophers have felt the need to reject proven science in order to maintain their worldview. Take, for example,  this quote by Ayn Rand objectivist Dean Sandin:
“Quantum Mechanics holds that a particle is nowhere and everywhere throughout some extended region, until magic happens and instantaneously it’s at one place. Of course, QM doesn’t say “magic”. But rationally speaking it means magic, i.e., non-identity in various guises, whether named non-locality, backwards-in-time causality, indeterminacy, the (literal and physical) primacy of consciousness, or whatever.
“To reject QM as physically wrong is fine. It’s necessary. But it is not merely physically wrong. The deeper rot in QM is the admission of non-identity into physical reasoning. Doing physics right doesn’t merely mean getting the right answers from a mathematical formalism – not while the underlying entities can’t be non-contradictorily grasped. It also means eliminating the contradictions that prevent the clear grasp of the physical entities. And that means rediscovering identity, and admitting back into the basis of physics the real entities that QM gives up on.”[8]

What does any of this have to do with your premise?  It’s not even worth addressing.  I will assume quantum entanglement is bullshit for the duration of this response.  How does that support your views?  Which by the way you’ve yet to even address pretty far into your “proof”.

“Note how the “objectivist” materialist philosopher must “reject” proven science because it opposes his subjective view of reality. Sandin’s view is not isolated, but represents objectivists in general, according to  “In Objectivists circles, one major application of the Law of Identity is to reject the Copenhagen model of Quantum Physics… These, and other ideas, are based on the idea that the light particles do not exist as anything until they are detected. It exists as both a particle and a wave, and yet neither. It has no specific attributes until the probability wave is collapsed. The point of all of this is that it says that something that exists doesn’t exist in a particular way. The Law of Identity rejects this.”[9]

Waiting for you to get to any sort of point…

“Objectivists are moderate relativists who recognize the importance of logic to some degree. Atheists who desire to justify their beliefs logically must somehow come to terms with QM paradoxes and address them. Many atheists simply live in denial pretending there is no conflict. According to the objective scientific method, if your hypothesis does not line up with documented scientific facts, the correct decision is not to preemptively reject science, and not to live in denial, but to consider another hypothesis, another explanation. According to the MIT Technology Review, QM studies by scientists in Poland and around the world are identifying information as the bedrock of reality and this point is in perfect agreement with a theist view of creation: “All this work stems from the growing realization that it is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round.”[10]

What?  This makes no sense.  If I reject quantum physics I must therefore be christian for some vague, undisclosed reason?

“In Darwin’s day, scientists naively referred to the living cell as a simple cell or a simple  lump.. Now we know living cells are incredibly complex. In a similar manner, the subatomic world, as the apparent foundation of the physical world, is more mysterious than first imagined. Article “Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory” by Stanford University has outlined present problematic metaphysical issues related to identity and under-determinism.[11]

This follows the models of many modern evanglical creationist websites, throw a bunch of accurate (but irrelevant) science information at you to sound legitimate, logical, intellectual – and slip in your philosophy as though one supported the other.  Kind of like someone without a degree wearing a white lab coat to look legitimate.  They will say “due to quantum blah blah blah and nucleotide yada yada yada one can scarcely come to any other conclusion than the bible was right all along.”  And people eat it up despite the fact that it’s a total non-sequiter because they are looking for confirmation of their beliefs and are willing to suspend disbelief.  But it doesn’t work on someone unless they want to believe.

“Scientific American has outlined how the quantum world is not neatly compartmentalized and separated from our visible day-to-day environment, as philosophers and scientists had thought: “The impression that quantum mechanics is limited to the microworld permeates the public understanding of science… Yet this convenient partitioning of the world is a myth. Few modern physicists think that classical physics has equal status with quantum mechanics; it is but a useful approximation of a world that is quantum at all scales… Until the past decade, experimentalists had not confirmed that quantum behavior persists on a macroscopic scale. Today, however, they routinely do.”[12] The studies mentioned in Scientific American show there is an overlap of quantum physics and classic physics in both the micro- and macro- worlds, however, quantum logic and classic, Aristotlean logic remain unreconciled for the materialist, especially since the more mysterious quantum physics forms the primary foundation of the physical world. Studies in quantum physics reveal an under-determinism of specific particles in addition to an under-determinism with regard to larger questions of how sets and systems in the physical world interrelate.

Again no specifics, no logic, just drop a quote and pretend it supports your position.

“III.  NDE Cases support a cohesive, logical understanding within a theistic framework.

If quantum mechanics seems to dismantle a cohesive logical explanation of the universe, it is likely that there is a non-materialist explanation.”

Yes, if we don’t understand how the quantum world works, then it’s clearly likely that the explanation for natural phenomenon has nothing to do with matter, the stuff every observable or testable or understandable thing in the universe is made out of.  Similarly if the atomic model is in jeapardy then clearly the correct model must have nothing to do with matter or energy and be about auras instead.  I’m sorry but you can’t support theory B by attacking theory A.

“Consider another possible explanation of identity. Research has shown that many people, including Ernest Hemingway, have had near death experiences wherein they perceived their spirits were leaving their physical bodies. Ernest Hemingway describes his experience during WWI:”

“A big Austrian trench mortar bomb, of the type that used to be called ash cans, exploded in the darkness. I died then. I felt my soul or something coming right out of my body, like you’d pull a silk handkerchief out of a pocket by one corner. It flew around and then came back and went in again and I wasn’t dead anymore.”[13]”

Research has also shown that people are capable of experiencing things that aren’t real and do so on a daily basis by dreaming  or via ingesting or breathing in or injecting chemicals into themselves – often the same chemicals their bodies naturally produce.  Further research has shown that people have known about this for thousands of years and still give credence to subjective sensations and visions.

“The Apostle Paul described a possible out-of body experience in 2 Corinthians 12. 3-4: “And I know how such a man– whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows- was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak.” 

And he saw dead people.

“A skeptic may argue that people who tell of visiting heaven and hell are describing mere psychological experiences, but additional research has shown that eyewitness accounts are, in fact, verifiable.” 

I’m not sue how a visit to heaven or hell could be verified…

“Pamela Reynolds described a NDE account wherein she realized she was observing her own body from an elevated perspective describing images she could not have seen with her taped-shut natural eyes: “The saw thing that I hated the sound of looked like an electric toothbrush and it had a dent in it, a groove at the top where the saw appeared to go into the handle, but it didn’t … And the saw had interchangeable blades, too, but these blades were in what looked like a socket wrench case …”

Just one plausible explanation is that she doesn’t live in a cave and has seen a tv show with an operating theater and seen real surgical instruments, and her subconscious mind used that imagery as fodder for her dream state.  Another is that when she was shown or saw what instruments were used by trying to remember if that’s what she saw in her “out of body” experience she inadvertently replaced one image with another – this happens all the time and is known as the power of suggestion.  It is the reason why police never ask a witness “did the man have brown hair”, because they know the suggestion will distort the memory of the witness.  Instead they ask “what color hair did the man have”.  This is also why they don’t just show a witness one person and say “was that the man you saw?”  They learned from experience people will often remember seeing the person even if it’s not the person they saw.  Similarly I do not know how this information was procured and whether she was shown the surgical instruments before giving a detailed description – though even that can be explained.  Another plausible explanation is that she is lying, to make money or feel important, or get attention or to justify belief in the supernatural to herself.  The difference between these explanations and yours is that my explanations rely on phenomenon known to exist – we know people experience things that aren’t real, we know injury, chemicals and mental states cause this, we know memories we can’t consciously recall can be accessed in dreams or through hypnosis, we know that suggestion can distort memories and we know that people lie every single day for the reasons I mentioned above.  All explanations which rely on things that are factually true, not wild speculation.

“She also described statement made during her operation while she was under heavy anesthesia with special clicking earplugs in her ears: “Someone said something about my veins and arteries being very small. I believe it was a female voice and that it was Dr. Murray, but I’m not sure. She was the cardiologist [sic]. I remember thinking that I should have told her about that … I remember the heart-lung machine. I didn’t like the respirator … I remember a lot of tools and instruments that I did not readily recognize.”[14] The account was documented by BBC and is free for viewing on YouTube,.[15] And part 2, where doctors describe more of the precise details, is also on YouTube[16]“

Three explanations are a) she heard it with her ears and either wasn’t under or did not react typically to the anesthesia (not everyone is the same), b) she is lying, or c) she read that in her chart or was told about it and conjured a false memory.  This happens all the time, it is why investigators no longer ask little timmy if uncle sam “touched you here”, they ask questions that don’t suggest anything because if they merely suggest that something happened, the child’s mind, by trying to recall it, will actually conjure a false memory of something that never happened.  The minds of people of all ages are susceptible to this and the phenomenon was first confirmed in studies on college students where they said they were studying repressed memories and just by suggestion got student after student to “remember” the same events which never happened.  I myself have experienced this – I was told that when I was 1 I walked into the street in front of our house and my mom ran in front of a drunk driver and threw me clear and was hit herself and broke her leg.  I remembered this vividly for many years but when I described my recollection to my mother she told me the car was going the opposite direction and was a different color.  I was confused as to how I could remember something so differently until I learned about the power of suggestion.

“Critics have stated the interview with Reynolds took place three years after the operation and is therefore invalid. However, Pam’s recollection of other details that day remained extremely detailed and vivid and a 13 year Dutch study published in the Lancet, a prestigious, peer reviewed journal, stated the following: The scientists were surprised that the NDErs recalled their experience with the same degree of detail when interviewed again several years later.”[17]”

It’s not invalid because memory fades over time, it’s invalid because there is no chain of evidence, so to speak.  If two people witness a crime and are immediately separated, that their descriptions of the events and the suspect are very similar means something.  If they’ve been comparing notes for an hour however it means much less since memories are distorted this way.  If she drew the surgical tools and they were as she described before ever seeing them again for instance, it would at least eliminate some of my explanations as possibilities – but if she was shown the surgical tools and then “remembered” them looking like that – well that’s far less impressive.  Either way there are more than enough plausible explanations for this to be seen as clinching proof of anything.

“The Lancet published information on another case: “In another account, from a prospective Dutch NDE study, a nurse removed the dentures of an unconscious heart attack victim, and was identified after his recovery as the one who removed them. This surprised him, as that patient had been in a deep coma and undergoing cardie-pulmonary resuscitation at the time.”[18]”

This could be anything from a lucky guess to a medical mistake to a medical mystery.  It can also be the power of suggestion – again if he had drawn a picture of the woman beforehand and had an objective record to compare to the person (and had never seen her before) then you might have something, but memories can easily be distorted or replaced with another image, the same way my recollection (if any) was distorted by the power of suggestion.

“People who have been born blind who have recorded testimonies in hospitals with detailed, visual accounts of rooms, instruments, equipment and people they could not have seen with their nonworking natural eyes. Kenneth Ring has interviewed over 30 such blind people with NDE testimonies and describes the accounts in his book Mindsight: Near-death and out-of-body Experiences of the Blind.[19] A videotaped interview with Vicki Noratuk, who had been born blind but saw during her NDE, is listed on YouTube. [20]

I watched the video (which is here btw the link below is copied wrong) and it doesn’t amount to proof of anything for the simple reason that it is impossible both for us to know what she perceived and for us and her to know if that in any way resembles visual sight.  How can you know what it is like to see if you have never seen?  She says earlier in the video that people ask her if she sees black and she says she doesn’t – how would she know?  This is like someone who has no tastebuds going into surgery and saying they tasted coffee.  How could anyone possibly confirm that?  How could the person making the claim confirm it?  They couldn’t.

“IV. Materialism has failed to provide support for answers to foundational questions while theism has provided such support.

Giving an answer to a question and it being the correct answer are two different things.  “Fairies make it happen” is grammatically an answer to the question “how do cars go?”  It is however not something anyone has verified or supported in any way.  “God did it”, while technically a response to any question (the same way “fairies did it” is technically a response) does not mean we can (or should) just say “case closed” and end all lines of inquiry.  And there are many testable, verifiable explanations we have today which we would not have if people (both theists and non-theists) held that attitude.  Even a theistic scientist wants to know and understand how (and if they’re particularly brave – if) god did it.

“Concepts of truth and validity are required as implied tandem universal certainties in order to propose a conventional philosophical argument.”

Logical principles just like principles in physics are forever open to revision.  Nothing in logic or science is considered absolute, especially in fields like quantum mechanics.  If for instance you wanted to make a calculation to figure out where a rocket will land with x fuel, y angle, z contours etc – you will need to figure out what are your constants and your variables in order to make a good calculation.  Your wind is a variable which will effect your margin of error, and gravity is a constant.  But if tomorrow scientists discovered that over say volcanoes gravity doesn’t act the same way and it pulls a little more or less, then they will revise their calculations or add this new factor into them.  This is how science works, constants are only constants in principle, and only considered absolute until proven otherwise by observation.  The distinction is a practical one, not some cosmic absolute written into the stars.

“But absolute truth is mainly rejected by materialists because either they don’t like the implications there is an absolute moral standard,”

Actually many truths can be demonstrated to be relative, such as… well, with relativity.  If I am on a train and I toss a ball into the air it will go straight up and straight down.  But did it really?  If a man standing on the ground still as the train goes past sees the ball it will have traveled in an arc as if it had been thrown across the room.  So which is “absolutely true”.  The truth is neither is absolutely true, because many things like direction, speed, size and even morality are relative and contextual and cannot be described in absolute terms without facing serious logical problems.

“or, because it seems to be an admission of a transcendent reality.”

Or they don’t believe in the existence of a transcendent reality and therefore have no reason to assume a transcendent basis for things.  Not everything in the world revolves around you and your worldview – I can believe what I believe all on my own based on my own reasoning and lines of inquiry without it having to be about not wanting to be christian.

“They philosophically depend on implied absolute truth as a foundation for making their arguments while at the same time they mainly reject the reality of the foundation and its wider implications. Quantum physics has further highlighted the logical inconsistency of materialism. Materialists mainly use Aristotelian logic in the day-to-day world, while attempting to apply a separate logic for QM phenomena. However, there is no real clear boundary between these worlds, as referenced in the aforementioned Scientific American article.

This is the problem with presupper apologetics, it is built on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of scientific and logical “laws” and the history of how we arrived at (and surpassed) that terminology. 

“Materialism has also failed to provide specific answers for and/or evidence regarding the origin of the universe, the origin of matter, the origin of life, the origin of information, the origin and makeup of consciousness. Many materialists had assumed that dualism had been refuted. But NDE cases and evidence have revived this debate.”

I don’t see how.  And I don’t see how not understanding something points to any particular conclusion.  It’s like those ghost hunter shows “I heard a sound – it must be a ghost!”  As if that’s automatically the only possible explanation.

“Theism does provide a logical and cohesive framework and specific answers to the above questions in keeping with documented evidence and critical reasoning. In theism, the basic laws of logic, such as the law of identity, can be used as tool for comprehensively describing the physical and spiritual world because there is a deeper foundation than the quantum world as a basis for reality. This basis of identity is described in scripture. As note previously, The MIT Technology Review summarized how “ it is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way round.”  Hebrew 11.3 confirms how Logic, information and the spiritual dimension form the basis of prime reality. John 1.1, 14 shows how God, as the Logos,  is the logical basis of prime reality. Colossians 1.17 shows how God is both the creator and ultimate enabler of the physical world.”

So in other words the bible.  That’s your proof?  You wasted many, many peoples’ time to work your way in the most painfully roundabout way to “the bible says god made everything and here’s everything – what more proof do you need?!”  If the koran says something and it turns out to be true in some vague way, that does not substantiate the claims of the koran, any more than if someone named voldemort becomes a ruthless dictator it means that he must be a sorceror and we muggles just can’t see magic.  Many ancient philosophies line up remarkably well with modern findings – earth, wind, water, fire and aether were the five elements the ancients said everything was made of – the 5th being a purer element the stars were made of.  They were perfectly describing the five states of matter, solid, gas, liquid, energy and plasma (what the stars are made of).  Does this mean everything they believed is correct?  No.  Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and they based their conclusions on observations and logic just like we do, it’s not as though we have eyes and they don’t.  That they would be right about some things in some sense isn’t at all surprising.

“Also, scientific studies show that practicing unconditional forgiveness offers incredibly health benefits, likened to quitting smoking.[23]. A lifestyle of thanksgiving[24] and a lifestyle of religious worship also offer significantly increased health and happiness[25]. These facts are not logically supported by a materialist paradigm.”

Um, what?  Stress causes health problems, negative emotions cause stress – how is this hard to explain?  And beliefs have more consequences than how they effect your blood pressure.  How a religion effects the world has no bearing on whether you want to believe it, only how it effects you personally?  In many, many instances the truth is unpleasant and a lie is comforting.  That a lie is comforting doesn’t make it true and that a truth is unpleasant doesn’t make it false.  As far as the truth of a claim this stuff is utterly irrelevant.

“Materialist theorists claim that both forgiveness and vengeance are natural and good moral actions. If both forgiveness and vengeance are supposedly morally natural, practical and good instincts, then why do they have opposite health effects? These combined facts underscore the truth that the identity of Christ serves as the reference point for the ideal moral life.“

What?  Some people think revenge is good, others don’t, whether you’re a materialist or christian, muslim, atheist, whatever.  And that something is unhealthy doesn’t even logically mean it’s all bad – after all never eating dessert would probably be healthier, but I’d like to live a little before I die.  I’m not advocating revenge but your logic is flawed.  And many, many people have espoused the moral ideals christ espoused, many of them centuries before he espoused them.  Even if I granted that they are the ideal way to live that in no way logically proves there is a god. 

The rest is just the outline and references, you can skip it.

Full Outline: How Identity, Logic and Physics Prove God’s Existence:
Formal logic presupposes certain truths theoretically exist as a basis for sound reasoning.
    A. A categorical syllogism, for example, requires the existence of implied universal truth and validity.
        1. At least two laws of logic apply in all possible worlds.
             a. Law of non-contradiction: It is not possible that something be both true and not true.
             b. Law of identity: A = A. Something is what it is and has at least one identifying characteristic.
he foundation of cohesive logic appears to have been undermined by quantum physics.
    A. A quantum particle has ambiguous identifying characteristics until it is measured and collapsed.
    B. Quantum non-locality and entanglement imply boundaries that were assumed to be finite and localized are not.
    C. QM phenomena and influences are not neatly compartmentalized apart from the Visible day-to-day World
    D. If the physical world is truly interconnected by energy, there is only one implied physical identity.
    E. It is not the laws of physics that determine how information behaves in our Universe, but the other way around.
III. NDE Cases Support a Cohesive, Logical Understanding within a Theistic Framework.
    A. NDE patients describe situations they could not have perceived with their physical senses.
    B. Reynolds described the appearance of a unique instrument used and recalled a specific conversation.
    C. A Dutch NDE patient described aspects of an operation that occurred observed during clinical death with a cardiac arrest.
    D. People born blind have made accurate, detailed descriptions of images they could not have seen with their natural eyes.
    E. A specific identity and locality is maintained while experiencing clinical death, consistent with the law of identity.
    F. NDE accounts imply that human volition (free will) exists and operates on a spiritual level.
    G. NDE accounts imply a God with a loving nature exists. This supports the theist view over other religions.
Materialism has failed to provide support for answers to foundational questions while theism has provided such support.
    A. Universal and certain Truth and validity are implied as a necessary combination in making formal philosophical arguments but the possibility of absolute truth is rejected by materialists because of the theistic implications.
    B. Studies in quantum physics offer metaphysical under-determinism while cohesive logic regarding identity remains beyond reach.
    F.  Materialism has Failed to provide minimal answers with regard to the origin of the universe, the origin of matter, the origin of life, the origin of information, the origin and makeup of consciousness.
    G. Theism does provide a logical and cohesive framework and specific answers to the above questions in keeping with related evidence. 
V. Conclusion
     A. Proof is affirmed by logic and material evidence and the preponderance of evidence supports a theistic interpretation.
         1. The materialist view is logically inconsistent and in conflict with science and evidence implying the supernatural.
         2. The Christian view is supported by cohesive logic, science, evidence and scriptural text.
              a. Hebrew 11.3: Logic, information and the spiritual dimension form the basis of prime reality.
              b. John 1.1, 1.14: God is the logical basis of prime reality.
              c. Colossians 1.17: God is both the creator and enabler of the physical world.


[1] Philosophy Pages: Categorical Syllogisms, Fundamentals of Logic,
[2] The History Guide: Greek Thought: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle,
[3] Ayn Rand Lexicon: Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 125.,
[4] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The Uncertainty Principle
[5] Ibid.
[6] Webster’s Online Dictionary, Materialism,
[7] Australian Scientists may have Worked out the Mystery of Teleportation,
[8] Incinerating Presuppositionalism: In Comment posted By Dawson Bethrick October 23, 2010
[9] Objectivism101: Law of Identity
[10] MIT Technology Review: The Foundation of Reality: Information or Quantum Mechanics?
[11] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Identity and Individuality in Quantum Theory,
[12] Scientific American,  Living in a Quantum World,
[13] IANDS: 17 Near-Death Experience Accounts from “Beyond the Light”
[14] Testimony of Pam Reynolds,
[15] YouTube: BBC: PAM SEES GOD. NDE Pam Reynolds. Amazing! Full version!,
[16] YouTube: BBC: PAM SEES GOD. NDE Pam Reynolds. Amazing! 2 part,
[17] the Lancet , Dutch NDE Study,
[18] The Lancet, “Near-Death Experience in Survivors of Cardiac Arrest: A prospective Study in the Netherlands”
[19] Near Death: People Born Blind Can See During a NDE,
[20] Near Death Experience – Blind woman SEES while OUT OF BODY,
[21] New Testament; Romans 1.18-23
[22] Burns, Jennifer; Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right; p2

[23] Templestream, Christmas: The Beauty and Challenge of Forgiveness,
[24] Templestream, The Health and Logic of a Thankful Lifestyle,
[25] Templestream, Gallup Polls Highlight Happiness, Health and Logic in Spirituality,

But yeah, this is barely coherent and literally barely even addresses the issue of whether there is a god.  It’s based on faulty assumptions and bad logic, and is totally unoriginal.  It’s also propped up as some ultimate proof that atheists cower in fear of, apparently mainly by blocking atheists who can adequately respond to it, or by emailing it or posting it to the blogs of well-known bloggers who probably get a million emails and citing their lack of enthusiasm to reply to it as proof that it must be logical.

Anyway, hope this didn’t annoy or bore you too much, I just wanted there to be a full debunking of this on xanga so maybe templestream will shut up finally (but somehow I doubt it).


About agnophilo

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12 Responses to Response to templestream’s “challenge”.

  1. I have to admit that I ended up skimming a lot of it.  That aside, you can’t reason with idiots.  Not even with the most sound of logic.  

  2. YouToMe says:

    I congratulate you for even skimming all that. I was just about to read it but marks grandma called so I’m going to wait til he is off the phone. But hahaha. I kept scrolling and sc rolling and scrolling and told him I was going to congratulate the first person to read and comment. LolI agree with you about trying to reason with @the_rocking_of_socks – 

  3. Doitean says:

    “Research has also shown that people are capable of experiencing things that aren’t real and do so on a daily basis by dreaming  or via ingesting or breathing in or injecting chemicals into themselves – often the same chemicals their bodies naturally produce.  Further research has shown that people have known about this for thousands of years and still give credence to subjective sensations and visions.”^ I nominate this as one of the best paragraphs of the year.

  4. musterion99 says:

     I will assume quantum entanglement is bullshit for the duration of this response. Why do you assume that?

  5. I too doubt that it will make him shut up

  6. YouToMe says:

    No more blogging for you! LolI’m citing my lack of enthusiasm to reply to it as proof that I am tired. Lol

  7. liquor90 says:

    That was horribly boring and I couldn’t get the connection to ayn rand. Was he criticizing her for her lack of belief? and did you defend her? If so I applaud you. Ayn Rand help me beat schizophrenia

  8. I went through the blogs at your links and didn’t see any proofs. They were mostly philosophical definitions. There was also science stuff having to do with quantum mechanics but no proofs that I  could make out.Was anyone able to get to the bottom line of all that stuff and make out a proof?

  9. liquor90 says:

    Would someone also explain the cartoon at the beginning of the post? I really don’t feel like researching stuff

  10. Nous_Apeiron says:

    So in essence… his argument was that certain phenomena can’t be accounted for in a materialist worldview, while those phenomena can be accounted for in a Christian worldview.  That’s true enough, but it’s hardly a new argument or a good one.

  11. I’ve got to stop trying to read your blogs at 3am….Attitudes like his make me somewhat sad. I hope he learns to deflate his ego.

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