Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Whole God Issue So Far

[Still contains some raw dialogue from commenters not yet integrated.]



THE THIRD FRONTIER in analyzing universal claims is that there are two new metatheoretic (or meta-philosophical, meta-scientific, meta-logical, meta-rational) arguments for Atheism.

1. The Prior Moral Standard Argument

2. The Prior Truth Standard Argument.

These two new arguments are directly based on the concepts of argumentation, logic, and general rationality themselves, especially the notion of prior principles, standards, and criteria supervising all thought and argumentation and all morality, moral theorizing, and valuing. Consequently, they are logically deductive arguments.

That's a first for atheism. Two in one. Two positive arguments that operate in tandem.

But equally important is the fact that they are meta-theoretic. They are based on what we are already assuming in theorizing about God or the total reality in the first place. (The historical beginnings of metatheoretic analysis are in the use of the term "dialectic" in the 1800s and early 1900s.)

Most importantly, these prior standards preclude God as any kind of relevant factor in deciding the issue. And an independent prior standard for what is moral or good, and for what is true, is atheism.

So to enter into the discussion at all is to already accept the clearly positive and logically parallel atheistic standards of a truth-indicating rational system as obligating mind to believe various claims and assumptions in order to survive and flourish in relation to a good in any sense.

And while those factors themselves are at first glance simply fatal to belief in God, belief in God already requires and logically depends on those standards of general rationality, and on belief in those standards, even to merely make sense of the concept of God itself.

These two new arguments for atheism will elevate the public intellectual profile of atheism and drastically increase the sheer number of atheists worldwide.

It hasn't even begun. Yet.

So procedurally, atheism is a legitimate initial given in thought, even if God exists. Carrying out a complete basic assumption/implication inventory is the only thing that could possibly reveal a Logos-like theistic system entity anyway. The very idea of God requires a constructed system of basic universals as its legitimacy and justification, and a complete inventory of those universal claims as cognitive operating system in turn constitute the ultimate being in question. To deny their effect on mind in theistic ways is to assume that same effect in the process.

But the real problem for atheism is the necessary crypto-theism of reason. What are the background standards that govern the discussion of the issue, what are their assumptions, and what are their implications?

The question of why belief in God must be rational in the first place is going to be what atheists will use to transition to these two prior standards arguments I've developed from Nielsen. The New Atheism is nothing compared to what's coming.

To repeat the pivotal statement by Kai Nielsen: If believers say that they know that God is good because of some belief-deciding reasons shows that they have some prior criterion for moral belief that is not itself based on or even being influenced by there being a God.

This has already been addressed through the moral argument. If there is no God, then there's no basis for objective moral reason. If there is a God, there's something to base moral reasons upon, though it may vary depending on what that God's nature is like (maybe it's a God who favors murder). If it is the God of the Bible, then objective moral reason can be deduced from those inspired texts.

Is there some moral obligation to pay attention to moral theorizing in the first place?.

Ditto for a "basis". Without an obligation to base anything on anything, this too can just be ignored.

Objective moral reasoning cannot be deduced from anything, since one would have to first observe a moral obligation to value deduction and so on.

And to try to logically justify logic is itself the fallacy of assuming in an argument what is in question that that argument is supposed to justify.

The only way to argue for the ultimacy, adequacy, etc. of reason and logic is to argue for the necessity of the grasp of them as part of a comprehensive system that leaves out no claim that cannot be questioned, doubted, or even thought about at all without being assumed in the process.

The new atheism of 2004 through the present is almost exclusively based on “old-school” atheism from writings dating from Bertrand Russell until those of George Smith and Peter Angeles, maybe with a few more recent atheist authors’ writings from them until Sam Harris’s ingenious work, The End of Faith (although it too is lacking in anything new against belief in God).

And of course compounding the new atheism’s problems has been its attitude problem. Juvenile insults and caricatures continue to be common among them. As Roy Varghese has concisely put it, those who complain about the Inquisition and witches being burned at the stake seem to enjoy hunting heretics themselves. But tolerance advocates have never been very tolerant. Religious zealots haven’t quite monopolized dogmatism, incivility, fanaticism, and paranoia.

But fortunately for everyone involved in the debate, these two new arguments for atheism get beyond all that. And they will be evangelized by younger and younger people because of their relative simplicity, especially as these new arguments are distilled into simplified rhetoric for the general public and smoothly connected to the notion of standards in daily life and technology.

The question of how we know a school ruler is accurate is going to be one of the main analogies leading to the conclusion that God needs reason to even make sense as a concept, but reason doesn't need God at all, and yet reason must be used with ultimate authority for all questions, issues, and problems, including questions about the existence of God itself and reason’s objective decisiveness in practical as well as theoretic issues.

In other words, in the order of logically justifying anything as being true, and thereby being able to believe it to be true, reason doesn’t need God for anything. The simple but subtle reason why this argument is actually the opposite of what it attempts to conclude is the Fourth Frontier. But that’s getting ahead.

Ironically, these two new meta-deductive arguments for atheism actually clear the air of much of the hostility and ill will between believers and nonbelievers, concerning the permanently-obsolete traditional public-proof arguments against as well as for the existence of God, while narrowing the issue to a more naturally civil debate, simpler, more focused, easier to understand, and with essential core assumptions necessarily in common.

Whether you argue for or against the existence of god, all previous arguments on all sides of the issue are now logically preempted, logically superfluous, logically irrelevant, and therefore obsolete because of these two arguments involving the standards that already rule the entire analysis of the issue before that analysis even begins.

Any objection to this must assume that same system of standards as the ultimate criteria of all thought. To say anything requires connecting subjects with predicates according to a system of fixed definitions, basic concepts, relations, linguistic rules, procedures, purposes, meanings, and values. And every individual statement assumes some general theory. To say anything implies that we know at least some truth, because any position about anything assumes some knowledge of background supervisory standards (among other things), even if a person is unaware of them. A person’s questions about causation, justification, meaning, value, and purpose clearly reveal this.

What have academics and scientists not questioned? What are they now not questioning? Why do the trans-theoretic or metatheoretic standards of human thinking get exempted from scrutiny?  Why is logic never taught to children? And evaluative standards are used for everything, but why not for those evaluative standards themselves as well? And where is the scientific verification and documentation for all of this?

So what no one on any side of the God debate talks about is that there is an independent already-operating moral system of supervisory standards necessarily assumed in considering anything good, whether an ultimate perfect goodness or just any good at all beyond merely liking something, a transpersonal goodness, and whether that good is embodied in some kind of sentient being or not.

But why stop at morality and ethics? Why stop at obligation and the good? What are the standards for thinking or believing that anything is true or false about anything? And what standards do we use in relying on those standards of thinking themselves? What are the standards for those standards? And what is their own justification if they are already themselves the standards of all possible logical justification?

No standards are needed if they are themselves already in question concerning their own justification. Or are they? To question them is to assume them as universal standards of inquiry, a system of standards of all possible analysis including the assuming and choosing of those standards or any standards.

Reasoning to justify reason would be (and in a sense is) ordinarily a fallacy according to first-order logic itself, which is a core aspect of general reason. But there can be no fallacy without assuming them as standards for what is a properly held belief. Any questioning of the logical justification of the standards of logical justification themselves necessarily assumes those same standards and their ultimate authority for deciding what to believe, because that questioning is itself a request for logical justification according to those same logical justification standards.

Someone says we can't logically prove the merits of logic through logic itself. We are thus forced to accept logic on an assumption that it is is true, and that it works.

But the only way to prove logic is through logic, but it cannot be done appealing only to logic but appealing to the entire set of values, obligations, general rules of rationality, and self-interest.

Why do the merits of logic have to be proved in the first place?

Being forced to be decisive is necessity, but it only applies to what cannot be denied or even thought about without being assumed in the process. It's an equivalence class of definitions and rules of logic, language, and even empirical data with regard to the mundane conditions of possible inquiry in an empirical world.

The objection can arise only if the standards of rationality already have the ultimate authority in question. So pointing out any logical or rational deficiencies in reason necessarily depends itself on that same system of general reason in order to have any legitimacy as a criticism of reason. And that implies in turn that there can be no legitimate criticism of reason on pain of self-referring inconsistency other than pointing out the consequences of that error.

So the core mistake in questioning the logical status of reason and logic themselves, is that in that questioning itself---and in any allegation of a flaw in metatheoretic or dialectical reasoning for the ultimate status of reason---it’s ultimacy is already required in order to level any objection to it to begin with. Objections proceed only from the nature and standards of reason itself.

Those transcendental standards of reason enable us to determine in a logically prior way, before all experience, certain truths about all possible objects and how we must deal with them.

But the most important point is that the fact that reason and logic are defined as logically basic in the first place, exempts them from the need, the necessity, and even the possibility and desirability of purely logical justification in the same way as non-logically-basic claims and assumptions. The fact that they are logically basic means that there are no logically deeper levels of logical justification possible than them.

They are not self-justifying in the purely logical sense. That’s impossible. And it’s a mistake in logic. They are only metatheoretically justifiable both logically and experientially. Otherwise, there would be a vicious regress instead of an irreducibly basic necessarily-assumed system of procedures and assumptions for determining what is true or false, and which repeats when any supervisory claim is analyzed about that system of reason itself.

So reason and logic are not exempted from some kind of justification, but they are necessarily self-exempted from first-order linear logical justification due to how they are defined as the logically primitive system of all thinking in the first place.

They are rock-bottom logically basic already, which means that there is no possibility of anything more logically basic to how those principles themselves are initially defined and justified. There’s more to justification at the level of the most logically basic assumptions, than meets the purely logical eye, especially when the logical eye itself is part of what is in question anyway.

But even that justification, a more comprehensive meta-logical and even meta-rational justification, must itself proceed according to that same system of general standards of rationality or reason. It simply takes into account more truth-determining factors than logic since logic itself is in question. There’s far more than logic to the justification of logic itself as an instrument necessarily used to decide what is true or false.

So the more general argument for atheism is for a logically and experientially necessary independent prior standard that covers all our thinking about all truth claims.

Or in other words, we all must accept the assumption of logic and reason on the basis of a need for a most basic level of thought.

Frank Wasson

10:00 PM Apr 24

I would say on the basis of survival and additional interests of the self, even though logic and reason must be used even to do that. But without all other valuational, meaning, etc. factors, basing logic and reason on anything is already a fallacy in the basing relation itself.

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Frank Wasson

3:56 PM May 9

I don't think it's a need in the ordinary sense but instead is an immediately necessity that is automated at the most basic perceptual level. Universals emerge through sense experience in the form of perceptions we grasp through observing their uniformity and universality.

Now to most people this generalized prior standards argument for atheism is going to seem totally baffling until you get it, and then after you get it, it seems so simple that you wonder why you didn’t understand it when you first heard it.

So here is what I consider to be the ultimate and last or logically ultimate and final argument for atheism. I call it, among other things, the Prior Standards Argument for Atheism:

To reason that God exists is to use an independent standard that does not itself require that God exists in order to have the authority to decide the issue. And it does not assume any kind of theism but precludes it in that process of  functioning as the basis for deciding what is true.

"Special pleading"

Frank Wasson

10:04 PM Apr 24

How is this special pleading. A, B, therefore G assumes the higher authority of A and B, otherwise they could not be appealed to as the basis of the concluded truth of G (God exists, for example). And A and B cannot assume G because that would itself be a mistake in logic and would nullify the need for an argument for G in the first place.

Reason already rules the analysis of the issue, even how the concept of God itself is to be construed in the first place. To give reasons for anything is to assume and appeal to a more authoritative independent commonly-held system of standards for deciding what is true.

An assumed appeal to a system of logic for example. Though, as previously covered in great detail, logic is the most basic level, therefore we're "forced" forced to take it upon an assumption. What we must also do it use the system itself to conclude how else it may be relevant. "where does it come from?"

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Frank Wasson

10:07 PM Apr 24

I'm not sure about any origin relevance, but the point is that reason and logic are a God of Mind prior to arguments about God or anything else.

That’s an atheistic criterion or standard. It stands on its own. It cannot be denied, argued against, doubted, or questioned without assuming it and using it in those processes. And that’s whether you believe in God or not.

Before the question of the existence of God occurs to a person for the first time in their life, and prior to analyzing and comparing the respective logical justifications of that question’s possible answers, pro and con, reason must already be assumed to have an ultimate and even greatest conceivable authority for deciding what is true about anything, what to believe about God or any other issue.

Reason must also have its own authority upon it relies. An origin of basis.

Frank Wasson

10:09 PM Apr 24

Its own authority can only be itself, since any argument to the contrary would itself have to use reason. Origin is irrelevant, and skips out on justifying the need for an origin, which would also require the authority of reason prior to any talk about origin.

David McCormick

2:35 PM Apr 23

You could make a similar argument that one doesn't need God to know how to walk. Though the idea of walking has its own origins, and those origins have their own, and they all lead back to a need to a unmoved start. Most know this to be God.

David McCormick

2:36 PM Apr 23

But, true. One does not require God to come to a conclusion based in a use of logic. I'm not sure how this goes in favor of atheism.

Frank Wasson

10:13 PM Apr 24

There's no need for an origin just as there's no need for an origin theory for the concept of origination.


And even aside from that, the need itself has to be proved from premises that themselves must be exempted from origin issues. There's no moving issue with non-physical objects such as concepts, nor is there any origin, since concepts and statements are not things that begin and end.


It's in favor of atheism because the authority of both belief and non-belief in God must be based on criteria which necessarily preclude God from consideration because God is what is being proved or disproved.

Unless one is willing to accept reason’s system of rules, and use that system with greater logical authority than the inferences it generates, and the objects it might infer, no justification of any claim is possible and no inference to any conclusion can ever occur. There is no way to avoid thinking according to those rules.

And not only does using reason limitlessly not require belief in God, it makes the discussion of any question possible in the first place. All logically possible arguments for the existence of God, are necessarily based on atheistic standards, standards that do not themselves require belief in God, yet are used with ultimate authority as the rules for analyzing and deciding whether or not God exists.

This aims to make the grounds that one must start as an atheist to later become a theist. I'm not sure how this goes in favor of atheism, especially if we consider the origins following all these concepts, outside the argued point that they all walk back into themselves. That's to say, has logic existed eternally? That of course would be another self defeating process of thought that requires something unbound to it, though also abiding by its rules.

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Frank Wasson

10:19 PM Apr 24

It's in favor of atheism because God is not even a factor in arguments for or against. If God was a factor in concluding his existence, there would not only be no need for an argument in the first place, any such argument would be a mistake in logic, assuming God somewhere in the premises in order to conclude God.


Not sure what you mean by "origins following all these concepts" or "walk back into themselves.


To know anything about eternality or anything else, one must already hold logic to be real.


An origin can occur only in the case of things that come into existence and go out of existence. These issues have nothing to do with traditional arguments, which are obsolete due to the supervisory criteria that are already held to be exempted as a part of a system that governs truth/falsity attributions of all claims.

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8:29 PM May 9

But God is the critical factor in your arguments Frank, you are just not labelling the theistic 'authority' you rely upon as "God', but apart from the change in label, it is clearly the God of presuppositional apologetics.

Frank Wasson

3:27 AM May 12

Where in the argument do you get that?


4:51 AM May 12

Where in your argument did I get the idea? Well you call it the theism of reason, the 'ultimate authority' and 'greatest conceivable authority' are references to the God of theism.

Your whole argument is simply an adaptation of presuppositional apologetics - but applying them to atheism makes no sense.

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Frank Wasson

11:47 AM May 30

Then prove that from presuppositionalist literature. Presuppositionalism does not make a single argument that exists in this essay, and you haven't specified any evidence for a single claim you've made.


If I'm going to claim that your view is X, I'm going to demonstrate it from the literature advocating X, complete with quotes from their actual arguments, not phrases from it, and then I'm going to actually quote specific arguments of those advocates and your own arguments.

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12:22 PM May 30

Why would I need to prove that your argument is simply a re-construction of presuppositionalism Frank? You already agreed that it was. You just don't want to use the word 'presuppositionalism' because you think that many people would not be familiar with it. Have you forgotten saying that?


If I am going to claim that your view is X, and you have agreed that it is X - why would I need to go further than quoting where you agreed with my claim?

Belief in god logically requires belief in reason, but belief in reason does not logically require belief in God, and even precludes the whole issue of God in determining what is true. Therefore, atheism wins by God-preluding prior logical and experiential default. 


*     *     *



THE FOURTH FRONTIER in analyzing universal claims is that those two new deductive arguments for atheism (the Third Frontier, see link at bottom) are successful as far as they go, but they’re Trojan horses. They have unwittingly proved the existence of God with metatheoretic finality.

The main point arising out of the new prior-standards-arguments atheism will be that a rational perspective necessarily precludes the existence of God as a factor in deciding what's true, and therefore the starting point of any rational view is necessarily atheistic.

The most logically basic standards of thought are atheist in the sense that one does not have to believe in God in order to use those standards of rational thinking limitlessly and with ultimate authority for deciding what to believe, but that they necessarily function thereby as The God of Thought, as a Logos. The most logically basic standards of thought as a system, are necessarily identical to essential core characteristics of an ultimate mind or God. In fact, when analyzed closely, that system turns out, in its assumptions as well as its implications, to be indistinguishable from a classical non-anthropomorphic theistic God.

That system of standards is necessarily used to decide, not just whether or not God exists, but also what it means for something to be called a person, because those standards are also the only possible standard for defining and identifying anything in the first place, including personhood. So due to their necessarily God-level authority and comprehensive functioning in relating to people’s daily lives, and even in determining what is a person, that system of standards of our thinking is a factor in knowing that is indistinguishable from core features of a personal ultimate being in the traditional belief in God. It’s necessarily The Logos, instantiated in us as the image of God in the mind.

So it’s clear that while belief in God could have, for example, originated from spontaneous inference from visible phenomena to a suspected invisible cause, when logically analyzed, the issue of the existence of God is really about personhood in relation to this ultimate notion of sentient reason as necessarily the image of God. In the logical beginning is the Logos, logically prior---and preemptively decisive over the issue of a temporal beginning.

So the response from believers in God can only be that those two new atheistic arguments, while correct in their claims about the universality, comprehensiveness, prior logical independence, ultimate authority and necessary decisiveness of the prior standards of reason, necessarily thereby treat reason as essentially indistinguishable from the classical idea of God, and that that system of standards we must use to think, does not already assume God, only certain aspects of what God must be, but that system of standards implies God because as ultimate universal standards, they themselves must be used to determine the nature of personhood and the concept and existence of God. So what is necessarily used to get to either belief in God or atheism, turns out necessarily itself to be God.

In reason, we necessarily use a set of standards as a system that fully exemplifies a god’s-eye-view of the total reality. Reject that claim, and you’re doing the exact same thing that the claim describes. Denials affirm negations.

The issue of whether or not there is a God is in the end only about personhood in relation to the ultimacy, universality, adequacy, efficacy, and influence-immune mind-supervising verification-transcendent authority of reason. And any atheism that claims to be rational is at least going to have to go to a notion of reason as a transcendent logically prior moral as well as cognitive system, like a pervasive DNA structure, already in the world, for thinking and knowing ourselves and everything else. It’s also going to have to admit that supervising the analysis of allegedly determining causes necessarily transcends those causes and physical reality in general in order to authoritatively decide their status and state other things about them, especially in relation to what is true or real or actual about them. Otherwise, truth is just a dressed-up word for sheer physicalistic eventuation in the brain and nothing else, and the notion of truth is just a myth. That is, from the atheistic standpoint, these standards of thinking are both ultimate as the standards for deciding what to believe and morally obligating due to their abstract generality and universality of personal application, in addition to their practical necessity and benefit. In other words, reason is necessarily, in all the core essentials, indistinguishable from the classical notion of  God.

So there’s the logically and experientially prior independent moral criterion for calling anything good, whether perfectly good or a trans-personal good per se.

And then there’s the generalized argument for a prior universal criterion for calling anything true or false, and without that universal standard itself requiring belief in God. That’s not just the most powerful argument for atheism to date. It’s an entirely different kind and level of argument from anything ever constructed previously for atheism. It is a transcendental metatheoretic argument, an argument about the principles of argumentation themselves.

But the believer in God must respond that the arguments are for a God of Reason, which necessarily has an ultimate authority tantamount to the authority of a classical theistic concept of God or Logos.

The greatest freedom is achieved by willing what Reason prescribes and not willing what it prohibits. And so on.

And yet how can anything that is not a person have an authority for obligating persons to think according to any rules or principles?

The ultimate authority, adequacy, and efficacy of reason, the logical foundation of atheism, is indistinguishable from a classical non-anthropomorphic theistic Logos or God.

So the fourth metatheoretic frontier in analyzing universal claims is that atheism necessarily assumes a mind-God entity in its own system concept of durable general rationality and in general rationality’s assumed relation to how each person’s mind is obligated to relate to that general specification of reason in just functioning as a being living in this context, just to merely survive as well as flourish. God is manifested in our awareness of moral obligation, but that’s only because moral obligation is already built into the notion of general reason, logically prior to thinking about first-order theorizing about moral obligation, and how we must act in relation to reason as a Logos, as indistinguishable from an obligation-imposing subject outside of and separate from ourselves even though it functions within us.

And for reason to be prescriptive means that it specifies obligations. Therefore, rational atheism necessarily attributes qualities of God to reason itself, and without logically prior justification of any kind for that.

Certain assumptions are logically basic standards for all our thinking. They are the standards of analysis for any possible mind including intelligent agents created through artificial intelligence programming.

Therefore, these universal background standards of analysis are necessary for recognizing and knowing that certain objects of our experience are minds.

But only a mind using those standards can recognize and know whether any object is a mind, and to use those standards for that purpose is to assume that those standards have mind-obligating powers, even about how those concepts themselves are to be construed. Go through the detailed questioning process to understand this more fully. The implications of questioning it will clarify its justification.

Therefore, the ultimate standards of thought are necessarily used to determine whether or not an object is a mind.

And relations between these assumptions and the objects in question (minds) are themselves objects that can be predicated only by a mind.

Therefore the ultimate standards of thought are indistinguishable from an ultimate truth-determining mind, since that system of standards authorize and supervise the evaluation of all truth claims due to their necessarily-assumed truth, necessarily-assumed authority and necessarily-assumed guidance for minds according to an obligating ideal system of thinking.

Any argued denial of this, logically itself depends on those same assumptions for its own truth, meaningfulness, significance, goodness, value, relevance, and so on.

Therefore, this system of assumptions of general reason necessarily decides all truth claims about everything including itself, as well as the denials of those claims and arguments against them. The system is just a list of statements that are related to each other according to those statements themselves.

Therefore, this system of assumptions is all-knowing as the truth-evaluating instrument of all possible knowledge, ultimately authoritative or sovereign as the final court of appeal, as the universally decisive inferential factor, omnipresent. As Anthony Kenny said, “The philosopher knows that reason is the sovereign of the world.” Reason is also eternal like mathematics in it’s physically and temporally universal applicability. And it is transcendent in being perfectly functional and influence-immune, and operates at the highest conceivable level of supervisory analytic authority over all issues concerning all domains of predication including issues about itself.

And these assumptions of general rationality are the specifying standards for defining everything in the first place, including minds, persons, standards, and God.

And we have to refer to them because as limited beings we don’t perfectly actualize that ideal system of standards in our lives, and often even forget those standards or forget to apply them, or misapply them, even though we are called back to them, in order to recognize our defections from those standards.

Without the logically necessary God-like obligating authority of reason, neither God's existence nor anything else can be concluded.

Remember that everything thought and claimed involves and assumes universals, universal claims, universal assumptions. Natural science is concerned with things in their universal aspects, as exemplifying types, and with repeatable events that exemplify laws that are universal across time and space.

So essential aspects of God's being must be assumed in WHATEVER we use to decide whether or not God exists. And THAT is THE problem of BOTH atheism AND belief in God when it comes to reason.

Consequently, this system of general reason or rationality, this system of necessary and logically basic assumptions is as ultimate and mind-like or person-like as any personal ultimate God is conceivable of being. There is nothing that those guiding assumptions do not already cover in our thinking about ourselves and the world. They are the image in us of a God-like mind, however imperfectly they are instantiated in us individually in our lives.

Relying on and treating this mind structure as a reality-wide guide in all our thinking is therefore unavoidably necessary, even in reasoned denials of this.

To proceed in thinking at all, we must approximate whatever reason is always indicating as the perfect standard of thought that it is. To disagree with that is to do the exact same thing.

And my actions in relation to that ideal are whatever they are only when judged by that same rational standard. All criticism assumes ideal rationality. All thinking assumes ideal rationality. As Sam Harris has said, certain logical relations are etched into the very structure of the world, including being etched into us as well.

Any contemplation of these ultimate assumptions of mind such as reason, formal logic, the rule-set of an ordered context of reality, a hierarchy of values, and the obligation to proceed according to a system of rules of thinking results in an endless stream of new knowledge when applied to our ongoing experience of the world. The rules of reason are a precondition, not simply of experience but of communication and therefore of society.

Consequently, these ultimate decisive rules and ideals of thought actually convey knowledge and even wisdom by merely thinking about our world of objects, our experience, our history, our belief systems, and our lives in relation to those rules and ideals of general reason.

The fact that we must refer to or assume those standards of rationality implies an equally ultimate purpose. Use the standards for what? Why use them in the first place? And an ultimate purpose necessarily depends on a hierarchical set of ultimate values.

This system of assumptions is a unified instrument of thinking, which necessarily obligates, defines, and influences the mind as the ultimate operating system for thinking about anything.

Consequently, all thinking necessarily both assumes and references, an already idling engine, an unchanging, and enduring supervisory system of thinking made up of prescriptive evaluative standards of thought necessarily assumed together as a system just for us to be able to think or get out of bed in the morning. It decides everything and makes inquiry itself possible.

Arguments, whether for or against the existence of God, assume a kind of reason theism, reason as supervisory God of mind, immune to influences, transcending verification, immutable, universally applicable, obligating in relation to life, inert yet belief-deciding, and so on. Arguing against this merely re-invokes it all over again.

And the rationally necessary is necessarily the experientially real, because any argument denying that is self-contradictory in trying to rationally necessitate its own truth about the experientially real, namely that there can’t be any.

Reason is the only thing that can decide these matters, so if reason is not God then it's difficult to see what powers it lacks, since the knowledge of everything about God, including arguments in support of that belief that God exists, is determined completely and only by the power and authority of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, everything else follows.

Therefore, the essential properties of our own system and standards of thinking are indistinguishable from the defining essential properties of a classically construed concept of God. God is present and active through reason operating in our moment by moment thinking, among many other things and influences that reason operates in.

And if two objects are indistinguishable from each other with respect to all of their essential operational properties, how are they different from each other?

The solution is always in the total structure of truth which is common to all views in spite of themselves, and regardless of what those views may claim. As Sam Harris said about differing moral codes, each competing view presumes its own universality. That includes anti-universal views such as nominalism, relativism, subjectivism, social constructionism and expressivism as well. One must be open to the world and all its possibilities. But that includes all questions as well, which narrow down those possibilities.

One must scrutinize all prior assumptions including one’s own and the assumptions of that questioning process itself. As Richard Rorty said, a philosophical problem is a product of the unconscious adoption of assumptions built into how the problems are stated—assumptions which are to be questioned before the problem itself can be solved, or even taken seriously.

Once again, the magic questions which if you just remember them, will enable you to see the logically fatal errors in many popular self-inclusive universal claims, and get completely clear on all arguments for and against in the God debate.

What about that claim itself?


How does that claim impact its own truth?