Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Glossary of Terms

Some weeks ago I thought it would be a good idea to assemble a glossary of terms that would be helpful for thinkers who are interested in understanding Objectivism and my approach to atheology. Below I have assembled a glossary of 50 terms which are frequently used in many of my writings. Some of the definitions offered are my own, but most come from other sources (a good bulk of them coming directly from Ayn Rand’s writings). For most items, I have provided links for further reading.


by Dawson Bethrick
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Saturday, November 01, 2014

Jason Petersen on the Fallacy of Pure Self-Reference

While Floyd FP was making efforts to raise objections against Objectivism and defend his subjecto-solipsistic position from the charge that it commits the fallacy of pure self-reference (see here), I found a Q&A article by none other than Jason Petersen in which the strapping young “Clarkian presuppositionalist” attempted to bring into question the legitimacy of there being such a thing as a the fallacy of pure self-reference. Petersen is apparently replying to a visitor to his website who raised questions about the fallacy of pure self-reference.

Here we have more proof that Petersen is content to make pronouncements about things of which he has little if any understanding. Why anyone would go to Jason Petersen in an effort to become better informed on anything falling under the purview of philosophy is beyond me. But he’s set himself up in a “ministry” and apparently that is all it takes, within Christianity, to become some sort of “expert” on philosophy.

Today’s [sic]-fest comes from Petersen’s 28. Q + A: The Fallacy of Pure-Self Reference [sic] (right – he doesn’t even get the hyphen correct!). In this “Q + A,” Petersen feigns to have the acumen to address a question about the fallacy of pure self-reference (notice where the hyphen goes).
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Primacy of Existence vs. the Prior Certainty of Consciousness

Recently I posted a lengthy blog entry comprehensively analyzing a Youtube video titled Why The Primacy of Existence Is No Problem For Any Presuppositionalist by someone calling himself “Ozymandias Ramses II” – or simply “Ozy” – who apparently has a number of videos discussing presuppositionalism.

In my examination of what Ozy states in that video, I found a number of outstanding errors, errors which bring into question Ozy’s familiarity with Objectivism, and I set out to correct them in that examination.

Yesterday I received two comments responding to my blog entry by one or more anonymous visitors to my blog. Both comments are posted by “Unknown,” and the commenter did not sign his or her posts with a name. The second comment appears to be an elaboration on the initial one, and it came before the first one was published on my blog for visitors to read. So all indicators are that both comments were submitted by the same author.
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Presuppositionalism, Atheism, and Confusion over the Primacy of Existence

It is not uncommon for me to find even intelligent adult thinkers confused over the primacy of existence. In fact, confusion over this fundamental principle is a norm among those who are not familiar with Objectivism. It’s even worse for those who have heard about the primacy of existence from sources other than Objectivists who know what they’re talking about, sources which may in fact be hostile toward Objectivism for whatever reason. Sometimes this confusion is occasioned in thinkers who are otherwise well-meaning but have learned the expression “primacy of existence” from non-Objectivists who themselves do not understand what it means or its implications for knowledge.

Anyone who examines the entries I have published on my blog over the years, going back to March 2005 – nearly 10 years ago now – will find many posts that deal directly with the primacy of existence, how it is fundamental to human cognition, and how it is incompatible with theism.

In a Youtube video titled Why the Primacy of Existence is No Problem for Any Presuppositionalist, video blogger Ozymandias Ramses II (whom I’lll refer to as simply “Ozy” from here on out) makes some startling statements intended to support what the title of his video affirms.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jason Petersen’s “Epistemology”

In a discussion titled Philosophical Vlogs Debates Jason Petersen of Answers For Hope, “Clarkian presuppositionalist” Jason Petersen explains his “epistemology.” (The whole discussion offers a fascinating glimpse of the profound embarrassment that Petersen makes of himself when trying to pontificate as an apologist.)

I think it would be instructive to take a look at what he describes and probe it for the virtues he claims on its behalf.
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Friday, October 17, 2014

Jason Petersen's Abysmal Ignorance of Concepts

A rather lengthy paragraph, said to have been composed by “Clarkian Presuppositionalist” Jason Petersen, was posted to a comment by a frequent visitor on my blog entry Petersen’s Failed Attempts to Refute Leonard Peikoff: Objection 4 and Conclusion.

Now, I do not know the original source of this paragraph, but I have no reason to suspect that Petersen did not author it. That said, I do suspect that the ideas contained in it are not original to Petersen, but rather that he is simply recycling the same kind of ignorance-borne, fallacy-ridden objections we’ve seen here at Incinerating Presuppositionalism for many years now, for the locution and tactics Petersen uses are quite familiar. Regardless, while I am happy to suppose that Petersen is the author of the paragraph in question, I’d welcome any readers to post a link to the actual source if they are aware of one.

In this paragraph, Petersen is apparently attempting to refute the role of concepts as the basic units of knowledge. This is evident from the concluding sentence, which states: “Thus, concepts are not ultimately reflections of reality and do not lead to knowledge.” More specifically, Petersen’s aim here is to dismantle the Objectivist position by denying the role of concepts in human cognition altogether. Perhaps this is ambition is motivated at least in part by the fact that Christianity has no theory of concepts and thus offers no conceptual understanding of the nature of knowledge. So his statements here can be taken as an attack against Objectivism.
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

“Christian Epistemology”: The Blind Leading the Blind

Consider the following dialogue between Pastor Billy Bob and Lisa, a saved and sanctified church member troubled over basic questions about knowing.

Here are some study questions to keep in mind as you read this:

What is the source of Lisa's problem?

Why does Lisa have such a problem?

How would you answer Lisa’s questions?

What do you think is the proper solution to her persisting dilemmas?

How would Christians whom you know answer Lisa's questions?

If you are a Christian, how would you address Lisa's concerns? How do you address them in your own life?

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