Another Way to Handle the Tossing-the-Elephant Fallacy

This ungodly thinker is tossing the elephant. It’s a way to cause confusion in a discussion. In these cases, summary dismissal is one option. Another is to find some way to organize the thoughts. The following diagram shows one option for doing that organization.

On some discussion groups, they’ll allow you to upload your images. On others, you may be able to point to a web page or blog where you put your images. This way, you can keep the discussion from becoming confused. Though the hardened ungodly thinker may never turn to Christ, someone may be silently reading your post, and it may help that person.

Below, is some more of the conversation context:

Sandbuilder stepped into a conversation from the outside with a demand for a definition and a weird rule-setting tactic of wanting Rockbuilder to “like” his comments because “no one gets notified of your comments unless you . . .” Actually, they get notified if you click “reply.”


Sandbuilder: Define “rational thought”.

Also note: No one gets notified of your responses unless you react (“like”, etc) to their comments. If younwant an extended comversation then I encourage you to react to each comment.


Rockbuilder: I don’t know that I want extended conversations. LOL. As to rational thought, we can just follow the standard rules of logic: true premises and valid form. For truth, the form must be deductive. For opinions, any form will do, premises need not be true, and no rational thinking required.


Sandbuilder: So what DO you want here?

You never actually defined “rational thought”. You only (partially) indicated how to achieve it.

So you don’t give any credence to inductive or even abductive reasoning?


Rockbuilder: Some people think that all abductive reasoning is just guessing. I don’t agree. My experience is that God often communicates through the intuition. Inductive reasoning is OK, too. I check the weather forecast. This weekend was supposed to be a total washout, but it was really nice when we actually lived out those days. I wouldn’t bet my life on inductive reasoning. But, sound inductive reasoning also requires a true premise, doesn’t it? Without divine revelation, how do you reason to a true premise? Is there any path you know of to absolute proof without divine revelation?


Sandbuilder: So why assume it isn’t just a guess that “God often communicates through the intuition”? I mean, you even use the word “often” to imply not all the time. Does that mean you can’t even nail down exactly when your god is communicating through intuition? It seems quite non-deductive.

You absoultely DO bet your life on inductive reasoning! We all do. The most basic line of indictive reasoning we all use is that the future will be much like the past. There is no way to deduce thise from experience because you haven’t actually experienced the future. We get in our cars and travel at deathly speeds, betting our lives, that the car and traffic will operate much like it has done in the past. If we don’t assume that, then we wouldn’t be able to live productive lives, Bob.

All premises come back to nature, Bob. Does it work for our lives right here and right now? Nature is the (or maybe a) revealler. Now, whether there is another objective revealler at the foundations of nature is another question worth pondering. But there certainly doesn’t NEED to be a “divine revelator” in order for nature to be its own revelator. In fact, many speculate that the divine revelator is one and the same with nature (ie. pantheism).

You STILL haven’t defined “rational thought.” You keep claiming that others aren’t capable of it, yet you won’t even define what it is.

And you still haven’t told me what you do want here…?


Rockbuilder: I’ll answer your questions after you answer these two. Let’s have a conversation or cut it off. Without divine revelation, how do you reason to a true premise? Is there any path you know of to absolute proof without divine revelation?


Sandbuilder: I JUST answered that. Re-read my “all premises come back to nature” paragraph. Even for the theists, “divine revelation” has to comport with nature. And even when another nature is revealed in the afterlife, revelation still has to comport with that nature. Something is “true” if it aligns with nature.

Of course, that begs many questions, first and foremost which is, “Can we ever fully know nature?” I would just say that right now it doesn’t seem we do, but maybe someday. But of course, non-coincidentally, that is what theists tend to say about their god. So theists and atheists are in the same “reasoning boat.”

You still haven’t defined what “rational thought” is, or explained what you are doing here.

And as I said before, if you want a conversation then it is best to react to my comments. I will lose the conversation if you don’t, and won’t respond simply because I can’t find it anymore.

Note that Sandbuilder does everything in his power to diffuse the conversation into many rabbit trails that are hard to follow. Sandbuilder is pretending not to know what it is to be rational. Rockbuilder ignores that and sticks to the point. Sandbuilder keeps asking, “What are you doing here?” That was a reaction to Rockbuilder’s remark about not always wanting to get into extended conversations. Since Rockbuilder is building on the Rock of Jesus Christ, extended conversations with dogmatically ungodly persons indicate that Rockbuilder has failed to make his points clearly or that Sandbuilder is extending the conversation through invincible ignorance. Rockbuilder keeps working toward one point. The choice is divine revelation versus made-up stuff.

Pragmatically reacting to stimuli from the senses isn’t rational thought. Earthworms do that. Ungodly thinkers have no path to a true premise, so they can’t rationally reason beyond their sensory experience. When they do, they use made-up stuff to do so. Their sense experience includes muscle memory of skills, memories of techniques that worked, etc., and it’s not really terribly limiting as long as ungodly thinkers to stick to their sense experience and pragmatics. They can do science for instance. They can note the results and share those results with others. Others can learn from those notes and carry on further research. However, this only works for what can be observed and tested. It doesn’t work for topics like spirituality, God, morality, or truth. They can never come to a knowledge of the truth without Christ.

On the other hand, those of us who follow Christ are led by Christ. Christ leads, teaches, and corrects us moment by moment. We know Him. Since He knows all things and cannot lie, we can reason rationally. It’s not that we always do. We’re learning to listen to His voice and to react in submission and obedience. We often follow our own fleshly desires rather than following God, but the Holy Spirit eventually corrects us if we’re sincere about wanting His will over ours. We do create inner strongholds against the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will tear down those strongholds but not against our wills. He waits patiently for our submission. God promises to give us the Holy Spirit if we ask for the Holy Spirit. If we prefer a certain dogma, then that dogma will blind us until the Holy Spirit can gently work in our lives to relax our grip on it.


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