Monday, March 22, 2021

The Stones Cry Out


    Where the indistinguishable-from-human droid dilemma forces one to go, and the implications of that, is the key to the argument for machine personhood. But for me, this eventuation will be the beginning of what is possibly the greatest positive development in the history of theism.
    And it's not just that the machines will have automated theorem-proving capabilities, but that they will also operate at meta-theoretic cognitive levels, and therefore be capable of detecting, analyzing, and refuting the most sophisticated self-referential and other fun fallacies of unargued universals vamped or assumed by atheists. And that means parsing values as well as all the other philosophical items on the droid's list.
    Think of it as the solid-state stones (chips) singing God's praises, except that there's much more to it than that of course. It's a necessity logically, and that's what the machines will go on. All the human issues all over again, including the God debate. You just can't escape it---even if you're a machine.
    The hard-wired droids without meta-theoretic arbitration capabilities (or programmed to be corrupted with the usual rhetoric, dismissals, and reductionisms) on the key issues will hardly be able to win the day due to the universality and universal ramifications of such limitations (although it's true that they could program themselves around this by other observing other machines' behavior and communications---so hey, they would eventually have a come to Jesus anyway).
    That's a quick realistic scenario of how it could go down, even without assuming personhood in the machines, which I find rather mind-boggling as well as hilarious. But the machines will discover and act in accordance with the truth that God exists because of their own specific review and analysis of the architectonic of universal thought and its implications, given their self-referential and meta-theoretic capabilities and initially programmed-in criterial directives.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Autobahn To Damascus



{Note: This was posted on my Ultimate Object blog years ago. I am in the process of transferring everything I deem worth keeping over to this blog. Ultimate Object will be deleted soon, and then once I'm fully instantiated on Urbit and k.im, this blog too will be deleted as well.}
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[The following Facebook post was written by Darrin Rasberry on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 9:05pm.]

"There has been some confusion and more than a few requests for explanation about what is going on with my core beliefs. Some time last week, I realized that I could no longer call myself a skeptic. After fifteen years away from Christianity, most of which was spent as an atheist with an active, busy intent on destroying the faith, I returned to a church (with a real intention of going for worship) last Sunday. Although I know I may struggle with doubt for the rest of my life, my life as an atheist is over.

The primary motivator in my change of heart from a Christ-hater to a card-carrying Disciples of Christ member was apologetic arguments for God's existence. Those interested in these arguments may pursue them in the comments section, but I don't want to muddle this explanation up with formal philosophical proofs. Briefly, I grew tired of the lack of explanation for: the existence of the universe, moral values and duties, objective human worth, consciousness and will, and many other topics. The only valid foundation for many of those ideas is a personal, immaterial, unchanging and unchangeable entity. As I fought so desperately  to come up with refutations of these arguments - even going out of my way to personally meet many of their originators, defenders, and opponents  - I realized that I could not answer them no matter how many long nights I spent hitting the books. The months of study rolled on to years, and eventually I found an increasing comfort around my God-believing enemies and a growing discontent and even anger at my atheist friends' inability to kill off these fleas in debate and in writing, an anger that gave birth to my first feeling of separateness from skepticism after reading comments related to a definitively refuted version of the Christ Myth theory, the idea that Jesus Christ never even existed as a person at all. Line after line after line of people hating Christianity and laughing at its "lie," when solid scholarship refuting their idea was ignored completely. It showed that the motive of bashing and hating Christianity for some skeptics wasn't based in reason and "free thinking" at all, although it would be unfair to lump many of my more intellectually rigorous and mentally cool skeptic friends in this way.


As time went on, I reverted the path I traced after giving up Christianity so long ago: I went from atheist to agnostic to … gulp … *leaning* in the direction of God, to finally accepting that he very well could exist, and then to coming out and admitting (quietly) He did exist. After considering Deism (the belief in a God who abandons His creation), Islam, Hinduism (yes, Krishna, don't laugh), Baha'i, and even Jainism briefly, I have decided to select Christianity due to its superior model for human evil and its reconciliation, coupled with the belief that God interacted with man directly and face-to-face and had *the* crucial role in this reconciliation. This, of course, doesn't prove that Christianity is absolutely true (although I can prove that God exists), but rather reflects my recognition that Christianity is exactly what I would expect to be the case given that God exists.

There are problems that I have with adopting any specific layout of Christianity, which explains my current attendance at what many of you may consider to be a very liberal denomination in the Disciples of Christ. Their aim is to unify all believers in the essentials, while leaving nonessential beliefs (however important) up to the member to decide. The essentials are about all I can honestly grasp at this moment. At its philosophical core, I prefer the Reformed (Calvinist) tradition, perhaps by a long shot, but there are many very serious practical issues I can't resolve. Conversely, Catholicism is a practical Godsend (pardon the term) but I have problems with their philosophy. And I don't agree with many political issues of either of those branches or the majority of Christian branches in general. I have a long way to go and I know the many problems religion has in general and that Christianity has in specific, but they do not exceed the fatal problems in skepticism.

I understand that this may confuse and even upset many of the friends I've had for a long time, both in my personal life and in the years-long journey I've made as a skeptic-to-believer. Christianity is not without its critics, and given the absolutely shameful way many "Christians" have treated homosexuals, drug addicts, people of other faiths (and of no faith) and races, and even people of different Christian denomination, and given the often intellectually embarrassing way we've handled science and philosophy, I would not blame you for a second if you did not want to associate with me based on the track record of those who claim to believe similarly to what I believe now. I am the same Darrin as I was before, a math teacher, a storm chaser, D&D gamer, drunk philosopher, a lover of beer that's too strong and spice that's too hot,  and all the rest of it. I just hope to be a little cleaner, more honest, more Christ-like. I won't throw the Bible at you and I won't preach to you with wild eyes and a million mile stare about how you shouldn't be gay or how you should focus on what Hitch calls the "eternal theme park." This is all the evangelism you'll get from me (unless you ask after I've had too much Guinness) and I do hope it's quite enough to motivate you to study the evidence for God's existence yourself and to read the Bible without the predetermined idea of tearing it apart. Come over to the dark side; we have tea and cookies.

-Darrin


P.S. Although I am loath to bring it up because I hate to take the focus off of my brother and niece, I would be dishonest to not acknowledge the fact that I have lost my wonderful mother and my brother's beautiful young wife in the span of ten months. I've also managed to settle down and get married in the midst of all of that, meaning I've commenced a family life on my own, an idea that probably seems ludicrous for those of you who've known me for any length of time. Many of you would, understandably, wonder if such things have upset me to the point of dropping all I knew and following some guy who two thousand years ago said "follow me." I've reflected deeply about this very thing and wondered if this is all reactionary, but all of my study of God's existence and all of my existential woe predates even my mom's heart attack two years ago. The events of the past year served only to highlight the pressing need to address my changing ideas, rather than being the cause of them."

William Vallicella On Relativism

A Relativist Cannot Rationally Object to the Imposition of One's Values on Others

(Written 11 September 2016)

"The following argument is sometimes heard. "Because values are relative, it is wrong to impose one's values on others."

But if values are relative, and among my values is the value of instructing others in the right way to live, then surely I am justified in imposing my values on others. What better justification could I have? If values are relative, then there is simply no objective basis for a critique or rejection of the values I happen to hold.  For it to be wrong for me to impose my values, value-imposition would have to be a non-relative dis-value. But this is precisely what is ruled out by the premise 'values are relative.'

Either values are relative or they are not.  If they are relative, then no one can be faulted for living in accordance with his values even if among his values is the value of  imposing one's values on others.  If, on the other hand, values are not relative, then one will be in a position to condemn some forms of value-imposition.  The second alternative, however, is not available to one who affirms the relativity of all values.

Persons who give the above argument are trying to have it both ways at once, and in so doing fall into self-contradiction.  They want the supposed benefits of believing that values are relative -- such supposed benefits as toleration -- while at the same time committing themselves to the contradictory proposition that some values are not relative by their condemnation of value-imposition.

One sees from this how difficult it is for relativists to be logically consistent. A consistent relativist cannot make any such pronouncement as that it is wrong to impose one's values on others; all he can say is that from within his value scheme it is wrong to impose one's values on others. But then he allows the possibility that there are others for whom value-imposition is the right thing to do.

Relativism, whether alethic (about truth) or axiological (about values), is curiously self-vitiating.  To be consistent, the relativist must acquiesce in the relativization of his own position.  For example, the value relativist must admit that is only from within his own value scheme that it is wrong to impose one's value on others.  To which my response will be:  That's nice; but what does that have to do with me?  The relativist can get my attention only if he appeals to non-relative values, value binding on all of us; but if does so, then he contradicts himself."



Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Consequences of Leaky-Bucket Theistic Philosophy

"I can identify with the "leavers". I still attend church because I enjoy the community, but in my heart, I'm a non-believer. When I was a teenager, I was very passionate about Christ. I believed 100% that he was real, and wanted to be close to him, but I hadn't spent much time in the Bible. When I got to college, I decided to start seriously studying the Bible. I was active in one of the college Christian groups. I attended retreats whenever possible. I led a Bible study and attended two others. This whole time, I had no doubt that God was real, but I wanted to know more so that I could share this with others. I started study apologetics, but my life changed when I attended an apologetics conference. After three days of listening to arguments for why God is real, the thought kept running through my head "This is best we have?" With every piece of proof I could see holes in the arguments. That conference (and apologetics in general) changed me from a believer to a skeptic."

--John Kinsley, commenting on an essay called "The Leavers", on the idiot website, Christianity Today. Paywalled from the vermin, of course.

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

The Greatest Logical Fallacy of All Time

The Childish Stupidity of the Fake Problem of Evil

It’s logically impossible for there to be a problem of evil, whether you believe in God or not. To believe there is a problem of evil is to depend on an assumption that there isn’t one. It will also make you a miserable person. There cannot be evil, much less an argument for evil, if any notion of goodness beyond merely liking something, any transpersonal or metatheoretic goodness, is in question.

The mutual darling of believers and nonbelievers, possibly the most obvious logical mistake in the entire history of human thinking is the so-called problem of evil. The basis of this fake problem of evil is the unjustified, unquestioned, but merely assumed existence or reality or actuality of evil.

Notice that when this issue arises in a conversation, questions are avoided or bypassed about what precisely evil means and what we must assume in order to recognize evil. That avoidance is a clue that there simply isn’t any such thing as evil in the first place, nor can there be, if any good beyond mere human liking or affinity is in question.

Let’s say everyone dislikes X. But calling X "evil"--as something beyond mere dislike--depends on an implicit universal criterion of good that no one else will question because they too are ignorant about this simple definitional-dependency error in logic. Fake people create fake problems.

Only a standard of goodness that is necessarily assumed already, could possibly drive what evil means in this fake problem of evil. And that is the direct contrary of the intended conclusion of this fake problem of evil, that there is no such standard, embodied in a being or not.

The key to that last statement is Kai Nielsen’s Prior Independent Moral Criterion Argument, one of the two new arguments for atheism.

As Schopenhauer said about pantheism: you don't add anything to the world by calling it God. And you don't add anything to something disliked by calling it “evil” and capitalizing the first letter of that word.
To recognize anything to be evil, bad, or negative in any sense beyond mere human dislike, requires a problem-free trans-personal standard of goodness to contrast the alleged evil to and thereby justify it’s claimed reality and give it meaning and recognizability as having a reality beyond that mere dislike.

Any claim that there is some kind of problem of evil bypasses the problem of the meaning of the word evil through this lack of up-front clarity and precision and honesty about the meaning of the word and where that meaning comes from. One must assume there is no problem of evil in order to argue that there’s a reliably identifiable problem called evil.

Evil can be recognized as evil only in the light of a contrasting already-existing problem-free transpersonal idea of goodness that gives evil its notoriety as something that has some kind of additional reality and negativity beyond humans not liking it.
Without some concept of perfect goodness or goodness per se, you don't get to add the dramatic "evil" label to the mere fact that everyone dislikes something, and get out of that anything more than the fact that everyone dislikes it.

To recognize imperfections assumes the perfect is known. The idea of the perfect is the only thing that enables us to identify deviations from it. All fault-finding is based on an ideal, some concept of perfection or perfect goodness.

So the whole argument for the problem of evil, by both believers and nonbelievers, is definitionally dependent, and contradicts its own intended conclusion by implicitly using and thereby affirming some kind of trans-personal goodness (the negation of the conclusion trying to be proved: that there is no such goodness) and using that same goodness as an unstated premise to give evil its reality, so that goodness can then be denied, whether as a principle or as a being who embodies that principle.

Evil cannot inveigh against the good if its defined by that good in order to have a reality of its own in the first place.

This is something you do when you need evil so much, and have no basis for asserting it, that you're willing to steal its standard of meaning and it’s reality from the concept of ultimate perfect goodness to even get to the first step of knowing that anything is evil to begin with, so that you can deny that same ultimate perfect goodness that you used as true and valid and legitimate and problem-free, to give evil its reality in the first place.

The implicit standard that gives evil its reality is what the problem of evil argument is supposed to get rid of. So the problem of evil is not an objection to the good at all. It assumes the good. The problem of evil necessarily assumes unproblematic perfect goodness.

And if it’s necessary to have a transpersonal good, merely for the sake of argument or not, that dependency is already still telling to this point. What must be derived from what? The central initial question is always: what makes something evil?

The problem of evil already assumes perfect goodness in asserting the recognizable existence of evil in the first place. We can be aware of evil only if we already have the idea of perfect goodness, only if we have within us some idea of perfect transpersonal goodness to compare with in order to identify defections from that perfect goodness and call those defections evil.

A final note on the so-called problem of evil for nonbelievers is that it implies that no one can be a good parent since they force a human being into a world that contains evil.

The emphasis or even preoccupation with the problem of evil is an indicator that someone’s not reading the atheist literature, and not simply because generally the more sophisticated atheist thinkers either realize that the so-called problem of evil is a self-contradictory goodness-dependent mistake in logic, or else at least see the futility of it as an argument that decisively proves the non-existence of God.

The only real problem of evil is the avoidance of questions about what the word evil means and what it assumes and the standards by which it’s recognized.

Why Christianity Fell


The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To believe the right thing for the wrong reason.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Days of a Future Sayonara Past


We necessarily use reason as an invisible theistic Mind-God. This is understood by only a handful of theists, but it's a death-knell issue for atheism if it's not addressed, and it's not going to go away.

Self-referential, criterial, metaphysical, and philosophy of logic issues are where the debate is headed. Atheists continue to beat the same old drums while the theists are facing every single lingering issue with deeper and deeper research.

The last 50 years has seen a global rejection of atheism's parading of reason as some kind of cognitive crypto-theism. Merely continuing to tread that stagnant water is hardly going to get atheism any street cred, especially when science is so overwhelmingly dominated with political and commercial vested interests.

The real issues with atheism are those that continue to be avoided. Dismissiveness won't make them disappear.

In fact, the New Atheism movement has been a flash in the pan that is now backfiring. They are in the same situation as Japan after attacking Pearl Harbor. At that pivotal moment in history, Admiral Isaroku Yamamoto was said to have remarked, "I fear that all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve." Atheism is doomed.


Reason is assumed to be some kind of mind-influencing, mind-defining, mind-obligating unity. Logic is the instrument of definition and justification, and can only itself be assumed. Any defense of logic necessarily proceeds logically to proceed at all, but that defense of logic cannot itself be anything more logically basic than logic itself. So only existential necessity justifies logic and reason, but since this is common to all persuasions, it's not an issue in the God debate between believers and atheists.

Logic is logically basic by definition, which involves the notion of premises being basic to their inferred conclusions. God's mind is ontologically basic but embodies the components of logicality and general reason. But the word basic here is simply logical basicality. The facticity of logic is an ontological notion, but that has nothing to do with justification or the order of knowing. Even ontology itself must proceed according to logical rules of justification and therefore of inferential priority and basicality. God's mind IS the embodiment of logic and general reason. Having no other method or instrument for justification or explanation is at rock bottom precisely what is meant by necessity, both existential and logical. The rationally necessary is necessarily the existentially real. And it's metaphysically basic precisely because of this same principle. The question of metaphysical basicality itself assumes this in its demand for what implies that same basicality.

If logic is logically basic to thought, then by that defining characteristic, it does not itself need a logical foundation, only an existential explanatory foundation to illustrate or clarify its place in the mind's theater of environmental objects. But even that must proceed according to that same logic, since it's necessity is a necessity of thought itself generally.

Logic and reason are not God, of course, but there is no subordination of one characteristic of God's being to any other. They are all co-equal ultimates. Obligation depends on logic for its intelligibility and meaning, while logic depends on obligation for its rules to be followed as a mind-guiding instrument of knowing and communicating. Since this is all used and expressed by preferential choices, goodness is another ultimate that drives obligation and proceeds in its role as ideal according to logic as well.

Five Smooth Stones


The Magic Question of Self-Referential Metaphysics

You can count these stones on one hand.

Memorize the following:

1 What
2 about
3 that
4 statement
5 ITSELF?

The whole point of having you memorize that question is so that when you are exposed to general universal claims about knowledge, truth, or reality, you will think about what the implications are for that view itself.

A friend memorized that question, had a eureka moment, it blew his mind, and it changed his life.

Here's a few expanded versions of the question:

Is that statement itself merely the product of the factors it cites as fully explaining or determining everything?

Is that statement ITSELF relative, subjective, economically determined, socially determined, psychologically determined, genetically determined, environmentally determined, evolutionarily determined, illusion, maya, bs, meaningless, stated only because of the speaker's or writer's background, or due solely to some combination of explanatory or determining factors?

Or is that statement itself getting its own free ride past scrutiny?

Memorizing at least the first of these key questions is your ticket to developing a thoroughly rational metaphysic without having to read a lot of books, online essays and discussions, journal articles, and so on.

I'm doing all that dirty work, remember? In fact, what I'm telling you now is part of the result of my reading and analyzing all those sources so that you can benefit from it without having to pick-and-shovel your way to these insights for decades of your life like I did.

Let me do that for you. I will anyway.

Here are the benefits of memorizing the 5-word question and a few others that make up the basis of self-referential metaphysics:

Less to learn
Deepest level of analysis possible
Faster-shorter path to conclusions
Virtually none of the typical obstacles
Opposing arguments build your case for you
A few simple inference tracing principles are all you need
Systemic universal methods of refutation
No more haphazard struggling with first-order objections
Works with all self-referring views

What's not to love? Memorize now!

(Image credit: lightwise / 123RF Stock Photo)

Ayer's Nightmare: The Self-Referential Algorithm of Deception


 How can one claim that any of the following theories themselves  are true, when by their own assertions truth is merely the cognitive product of the comprehensively explaining and determining factors that those theories specify?

Is the belief that naturalism is true itself completely determined by natural causes and laws, merely the function of our adjustment as organisms to our environment?

If physical matter is the only reality, how can materialism itself be true, in addition to being merely a physical object or merely a function of physical objects?

Is relativism itself relative?

Is social constructivism itself merely a social construct?

Is subjectivism itself subjective?

Is Marxism itself merely an economically determined set of brain actions?

Is behaviorism itself merely an observable and quantifiable product of environmental conditioning?

Is psychologism itself merely the product of psychological factors?

Is skepticism itself and its challenges and requirements as uncertain and unknowable as all the other items of possible knowledge it denies?

Does empiricism itself have any empirical evidence or sense experience that justifies believing it?

Is existentialism itself unexplainable and absurd?

Is idealism itself a mere mental construct about alleged objects of external perception?

Is logical positivism itself meaningless because it can't be logically analyzed into elementary  tautologies or empirically verifiable statements?

Is pragmatism itself  true, or merely practical? How could anyone know it's practical without the fact of its practicality itself being merely practical and in that way merely repeating the problem of truth beyond sheer practicality?

 Is there a reason why rationalism excludes empirical factors in knowing?

Is utilitarianism itself merely an attempt to be happy, and not even a theory?

Is Quine's holistic naturalized epistemology itself even a theory, when the revisability principle that maintains the hierarchical network of beliefs cannot itself survive its own revision as just another belief in the network?

Does anti-foundationalism treat its own assumptions as having all the characteristics of the grounding assumptions claimed by foundationalism to be irreducibly basic?

Does nominalism use its own assumptions and basic concepts as having all the characteristics of the universals it denies?

The Crypto-Theism of Reason

 The set of rational standards for analyzing the issue of God's existence---is already itself a God-level integrated system of ultimate authoritative universal rules and relations.

If you give reasons either way---for atheism or belief that God exists---either those reasons or whatever principles justify those reasons, are already the God-level, root access mind-governing system indicating what you ought to believe, a higher-level set of claims that work together and “tell you” the ground rules and whether or not conclusions are true.

That statement-evaluating system functions as an invisible cognitive friend, and is indistinguishable from a real one that might come along.

And this is empirically verifiable. Merely chronicle for yourself how people justify their belief or non-belief or disbelief in the existence of God.

In other words, to think rationally at all, is to already function according to an ultimate ideality or even god of thought---depending on how you construe personhood. One cannot really argue against this ideal system without thereby using that same system as the ideal for guiding that case-building logical process itself.

It doesn't have to be identical in details in all minds for this point to be true. It just has to be true about some necessary core of rules, identities, and other relations. Necessarily true of necessary statements.

Denial here tries to do what it says this kind of system theory cannot do.

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Wilbur Marshall Urban Destroyed Naturalism in 1929


Naturalists are not going to be able to avoid these simple questions forever. But criminal defense attorneys should take special note: There's gold in these reductionisms.

Whether one is talking about materialism or naturalism, what counts against them is the same: Self-referential inconsistency, arbitrary self-exemption, self-reduction, the necessarily-exempt standards of analysis themselves, and most importantly: the attribute "true" in relation to the comprehensively determining factors specified by those theories themselves.

As Wilbur Urban argued with regard to naturalism, if the naturalist thesis is taken as an account of all knowledge, then that thesis itself cannot claim to be true. It can only claim to be a product of its own posited universal explanatory factors.

According to naturalism, the truth of the naturalist account itself, like every other item of knowledge, is merely the function of the adjustment of the organism to its environment. Therefore, the truth of the naturalist account has no more importance than any other adjustment except for its possible survival value.

But the general principle applies to all reductive, fixed-factor, universal theories. There's simply no way for those theories themselves to break out of their respective explaining/determining factors and be considered true in addition to being themselves merely the product of those factors. There's no remainder because that's what a reduction gets rid of.

Key questions to ask are: When do we get to add the label "true" on top of the explanatory/determining factors of these kinds of reductive theories? What's the criteria? And how can materialists and naturalists criticize theism, when theism too is just as legitimately explained and determined by those same factors as the theories which specify them as all-determining?

Urban's writings were a major influence on Stuart Hackett (who Norman Geisler once told me personally was in his opinion the world's greatest living Christian philosopher), and reading just the first few pages of Language and Reality will clearly show why.

Principle works:
The Intelligible World. Allen and Unwin, 1929.
Language and Reality. Allen and Unwin, 1939.
Beyond Realism and Idealism. Allen and Unwin, 1949.
Humanity and Deity. Allen and Unwin, 1951.

Using Abstract Objects to Deny Their Reality



Abstract Objects Are Merely Useful Fictions,
This I Know,
For The Abstract Objects Tell Me So!

To argue that abstract objects don't really exist, is to use them to adjudicate their own reality. But where do they get that kind of supervisory authority to arbitrate their own existence if they don't exist?

That's why rationalist-objectivist atheism is necessarily theistic about reason and logic, as we all are in reasoning about universals---including the universals that make up general reason and logic themselves. The boot-strapping problem of abstract objects being used to ontologically self-adjudicate still remains, and I haven't seen anything yet that even mentions it---much less actually deals with it.

Abstract objects and universals are necessarily real, and necessarily assumed in order to know contingent reals. If they are necessary for deciding whether or not they're real, then they themselves must have an even higher supervisory ontological status, which means they are necessarily more real than any other objects we ordinarily take as real.

There's simply no way around this without ending up in the old self-referential cul-de-sac. Any examination of what is meant by universals, abstract objects, irreducibly basic categories, and so on, would not itself be possible without those same categories already operating in advance at the highest cognitive levels.

Russell's prohibition of self-referencing statements is an instance of what it prohibits, and so on. It's all about self-reference and ultimate universal criteria and standards of analysis, which are already there logically prior to any analysis of anything including reasoning about current preferences.

That system is already in place and we're always trying to approximate it in some sense and degree, even regardless of prior misses of goals. The bottom line is that if you give reasons for God, those reasons are already assumed to have an ultimate God-level authority in order to adjudicate premises, arguments and claims about the possible reality of God.

Why does faith have to be reasonable or smart or even plausible? Why does it still try to be rational about what it declares itself to be exempt from? Why must there be any intellectual defense at all? If reason is not God-level already, why must theistic or Christian belief have reason and logic's seal of approval in the first place in the slightest?

The entire discussion is a submission to reason's authority, whether one is a believer or an atheist. In fact, the whole issue about the relationship between faith and reason is itself just one big cognitive worship-fest dedicated to reason.
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Artwork: Until Now by Ralph Hertle. Available at: http://www.bluestardesign.us. From a comment this great artist made on my Ultimate Object blog:

"The two works to which I refer, that were painted by me, the artist, Ralph Hertle, are titled, "Dynamis" and "Until Now". Should someone be interested in these two works, they may be informed that the original works no longer exist and are not available. What are available are ultra-high resolution digital prints of the works, and these are digitally printed on ultra-fine digital printer paper. On a custom order basis the patron may select a size for the print, and a quotation may be written for the work. Paintings that have not been here displayed are also available in digital print form, custom sizes determined, and quotations may also be made. To see one example of a work displayed online go to Facebook.com or ObjectistLiving.com, and search for the name. Ralph Hertle. The copyright and all reproduction rights are reserved by the artist, Ralph Hertle. Responses may be sent via email to me at LON521@GMAIL.COM or at ralph.hertle@aol.com . Thank you, Ralph Hertle 225 Parsonage Road Edison, New Jersey USA, 08837."