Infinite Regression of Citations

Infinite Regression of Citations

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

How do we know that an academic intellectual’s claims are true? We see the citations that reference the claims of other academic intellectuals. How do we know that those claims are true? We see that they base their claims on citations that reference the claims of still other academic intellectuals. But how do we know about those claims? They cite others who cite others who cite others to infinity. We never get to anything we can call “the truth.”

</end quote>

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Christ is the Only Foundation

Without a foundation for reason, we can’t know anything.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Without a foundation for reason, we can’t know anything. So, we create a strong illusion of knowing and defend this illusion until we’re dogmatically closed-minded. Thinking this way, we can’t have precise and accurate knowledge of truth with certainty. We can’t have knowledge because we’re rationalizing instead of reasoning rationally. And though we can observe reality around us, how do we reason from those observations to a conclusion?

</end quote>

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11

Notice the Foundation.

Is it human reason?

Is it science?

Is it philosophy?

Is it religion?

Is it doctrine?

Is it theology?

Is it a denomination?

Is it the Bible?

That’s not to put down any of these, but none of these is a god we’re supposed to worship. Jesus is the Foundation of the Bible, true theology, true doctrine, true religion, true philosophy, true science, and true religion.

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Infinite Regression: Phantom Proof

Infinite Regression Image

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Infinite Regression

Here’s an example of how infinite regression works. Sandy makes a bare claim. Rocky asks for proof. Sandy says, “The proof is . . .” and makes another bare claim as proof, without proving the so-called “proof.” Then Rocky asks for proof of the so-called proof. So Sandy says, “The proof is . . .” and makes another bare claim as proof. Sandy has an unsolvable problem. When Sandy tries to prove his claim, he uses proof, but he has no proof for his proof other than yet another unproven claim. So he can never prove any proof. He can’t rationally draw any conclusion. With infinite regression, showing unproven proof continues to infinity. Therefore, Sandy never shows real proof for anything, and every statement of supposed proof is just one more bare assertion.

Since Sandy never decisively proves any proof, he only creates the illusion of proof. Sandy never has proof and never has certainty, and because of this problem in thinking, Sandy can never prove any conclusion true. Therefore, Sandy can’t know anything by infinite regression. Consider a conversation between another Sandy and Rocky.

Sandy, a dedicated atheist, challenged Rocky, a Christian co-worker, to a Creation-evolution debate, and though Rocky said he didn’t want to debate, he said he’d be glad to have lunch with Sandy. At the restaurant, they sat at a small corner table. Sandy immediately gave Rocky what he considered evidence for molecules-to-humankind evolution. Rocky tried to understand what Sandy was saying instead of arguing. He asked, “What makes you think your claim is true?” Sandy enthusiastically answered with a rationalization to support his “evidence.” Rocky asked, “You probably have a reason for believing that this statement supports your proposition; would you mind explaining your reasoning to me?”

Rocky continually probed. He was looking for substance. He was looking for some proof that didn’t need further proof. He was looking for definite proof. Sandy continually answered with a confident tone, even bravado. After about an hour, Rocky considered ending the conversation since it wasn’t moving toward any solid point. Sandy had presented an infinite regression of proofs. Not one so-called “proof” was conclusive. Each so-called “proof” was unproven.

Rather than cut off the conversation, Rocky decided to be patient. He’d see what Sandy would say. Sandy confidently gave one more bit of “proof.” Rocky once again asked for the proof of the proof. Sandy, who had been so bold and sure of himself, suddenly got a startled look on his face. He said, “I guess I’m making the whole thing up.” Time stopped for a moment. Then both men laughed.

As Sandy and Rocky began to walk back to the office where they worked, Sandy suddenly stopped and turned to Rocky as if remembering something, “Wait! You have to prove God’s existence to me.” The answer from Rocky came as a prophecy. “Why would you listen to me, Sandy? You don’t listen to God, and He’s speaking to you all the time.” After a moment of shock, both men laughed again.

Someone here lost touch with reality. If we lose touch with reality, we’re insane, but if we know the difference between good versus evil, truth versus error, or reality versus make-believe we’re sane.

The next week was hard for Sandy. When he discovered he was basing all his beliefs on made-up stuff, it shook his self-confidence. He even stopped himself in mid-sentence while speaking to a group about how a piece of software works and admitted he was just making up the whole thing. He didn’t really know. Time passed. Memories faded. Sandy returned to his old self. He again had full confidence in his atheistic worldview, unhindered by his discovery because he forgot what he had discovered.

In this scenario, Sandy finally realized that he was basing all his thinking on made-up stuff. Even so, he fell back into his old ways of thinking within a few weeks. He decided that he prefers life without God despite knowing that he’s stuck making up stuff and calling the made-up stuff real.
</end quote>

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Few Options for Godless Thinking

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>
Now that we understand the three horns of the trilemma, what’s the scope? For scope, this trilemma applies to any claim, but we must be aware that ungodly thinkers have developed mindless pat answers to this problem. Mostly, they say the trilemma only applies to absolute knowledge. To state it another way, they claim that, without knowing Jesus Christ, humans can know truth but not absolutely. But that’s also a bare claim. It’s an axiomatic thinking fallacy. It fails because of one of the horns of the trilemma.

They can’t escape the trilemma that way. So they say that we’re just supposed to believe them when they say, “Humans can know truth, just not absolutely.” And we’re not supposed to question this claim. However, it’s a lie to claim that the trilemma only applies to absolute knowledge. It applies to all knowledge since all knowledge is either absolute or just opinion masquerading as knowledge. (We’re defining “knowledge” as “knowledge of truth” rather than “knowledge of lies.” We find that no one can name an ungodly conclusion about anything that couldn’t have a different explanation, yet ungodly thinkers argue absolutely for their made-up stuff. Therefore, we can’t have knowledge of any kind if we don’t base our thinking on divine revelation. The trilemma destroys rational thought for ungodly thinkers.

Nevertheless, we can know things, but we know them because God reveals them. We don’t know them because we make up stuff and call the made-up stuff true. Just because ungodly thinkers refuse to thank God and give Him glory for what He reveals to them, the fact that they reject God doesn’t mean that no one can know anything.

Even though they deny Him, God mercifully reveals reality to them and gives them everything else they need for survival because if God didn’t show mercy to them, they wouldn’t survive. And Apostle Paul explained this truth to the Greeks on Mars Hill. Ungodly thinkers receive divine revelation, but they refuse to acknowledge God, so they can’t tell the difference between what they base on made-up stuff and what they base on God’s revelation. As a result, they lose the distinction between good versus evil, truth versus error, or reality versus make-believe. For this reason, they defend lies with the same enthusiasm they defend truth because they can’t tell the difference between truth and lies.

Also, God has given each of us a brute-beast mind. With this mind, we can react to our senses as we’ve already discovered. The trilemma notes that we can’t know that a real world exists unless Christ reveals this fact to us. We can’t know that our senses aren’t fooling us. We can’t know that we aren’t in a dream. We can’t know that logic and reason are of any value at all. While we can stay alive for a while by responding to our senses, we can’t know truth by responding to our senses alone. Responding to our senses isn’t always reliable, but it’s pragmatic.

Ungodly thinkers try to reason beyond their senses without divine revelation, but they become irrational every time they do that. When they try to reason about history, God, morality, ontology, epistemology, or anything else that they can’t sense, they’re irrational. They can define concepts and opinions, but concepts and opinions aren’t part of reality.

So obviously, none of the three choices of the trilemma can create knowledge of truth. All three choices result in not knowing. With these three choices, ungodly thinkers can’t know that anything is true, nor can they know that anything is false. Even when they’re feeling self-confident, they can’t even “sort of” know anything using any of these three fallacies. They can only think pragmatically. They can’t go beyond their immediate sensations. Well, they can go beyond their immediate sensations, but not rationally. The more they extrapolate, the more errors they make.

The trilemma affects the starting point for thinking. It claims that no one has a rational starting point. It asserts a universal negative, and we would need infinite knowledge to assert a universal negative. That means the trilemma is self-refuting since it’s claiming to have infinite knowledge to claim to have zero knowledge. Still, we can see that the trilemma limits knowledge to divine revelation and divine revelation alone. We see this truth by divine revelation, and we’ll further explore why the trilemma limits ungodly thinking as we proceed.

Ungodly thinkers observe the problem of the trilemma. They see it in their own lives and in the lives of everyone they observe. Then they assert a universal negative beyond their sensory experience. That’s irrational.

When we merely think that something is true, we can’t say, “We know,” and still be rational. Of course, we can have our opinions, but they’re just opinions, and opinions are vapor. By experience, we find that ungodly thinkers almost always deal with this problem in one of two ways. Some will go to skepticism and say no one can know anything, but this skepticism refutes itself as we’ve already discovered. Others will just make bare claims without proof to assert that the trilemma isn’t a problem for them, but that’s irrational. In every case, they use the fallacies of the trilemma to assert their opinions. That means they’re proving their problem with the trilemma while denying their problem with the trilemma.

There we have the ungodly thinking fallacy. Without divine revelation, we have three possible foundations for thought. In naturalistic thinking, we’re limited to axiomatic thinking fallacies, circular reasoning, or infinite regression. Without Christ, we can make up stuff (axioms), use circular reasoning, or lose our minds in an infinite regression of unproved proofs. Without Christ, we have no rational choices for concluding anything.

This trilemma leaves no rational starting point for thought, and no one can be rational without an absolute starting point for thought. As the top ungodly thinkers freely admit, having no absolute starting point for thought would destroy science, logic, reason, and evidence as we’ve already seen. Here’s the most insane part: ungodly thinkers claim to use science, logic, reason, and evidence, but their ungodly worldview excludes all of these.

So we have the three horns of the trilemma: (1) infinite regression, (2) circular reasoning, and (3) axiomatic thinking. Simply put, infinite regression and circular reasoning are smokescreens for axiomatic thinking fallacies. That means the first two horns are ways to fog up the third horn. The first two horns make it seem sane when we make up stuff and call the made-up stuff “true.” In the next leg of this trip, we examine each of these three horns in more depth as promised.
</end quote>
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A Quick Tour of the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

A Quick Tour of the Trilemma

The logical fallacy of infinite regression:

When someone tries to prove a conclusion C using proof P but has no proof for the proof, this person ends in infinite regression. Infinite regression is a problem with the premise, the proof P.

Form:

P proves C. P1 proves P. P2 proves P1. P3 proves P2. (Continue infinitely)

Each P is a premise (proof). C is the conclusion.

This regression of unproven proofs goes on infinitely with no real proof for the proof.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says we can trust his reasoning. How does he know? He states an argument to support his reasoning using a premise, but how does he know his premise is true? He has to create a second logical argument to prove his original premise, the premise he used to support his claim that we can trust his reasoning. Of course, he hasn’t gotten anywhere since his second logical argument also has a premise that he must prove. He can then try to prove that premise with another logical argument, but this chain of unproven reasoning goes on forever. Well, not forever, but until he runs out of time. So, he never finds solid ground and never has sound reasoning because not one of his claims can stand on its own. Therefore, he knows nothing since he needs further proof for every claim he makes.

The logical fallacy of circular reasoning:

A persuader starts with what looks like infinite regression, but the infinite regression hooks up to itself in a circle of reasoning. With circular reasoning, the proof for one of the premises is one of the previous premises. Circular reasoning hides the problem of the unproven premise.

Form:

P proves C and C proves P.

C proves P, P1 proves P, and C proves P1.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says we should trust her reasoning. But how does she know? She uses her reasoning to try to convince us to trust her reasoning, but using her reasoning to prove we can trust her reasoning is circular reasoning.

The logical fallacy of axiomatic thinking:

Axiomatic thinking is just making up stuff and calling it true.

Form:

X is true. It just is.

Example:

An ungodly thinker says, “I take the validity of my reasoning ability as an axiom.” While we can ask for proof, we won’t get any. The ungodly thinker says, “It’s self-evident, and I don’t need to prove it because it’s an axiom.”

</end quote>

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Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

You can BUY  it on Amazon, but you can get your FREE copy of Real Faith & Reason, which shows the intersection of faith, reason, truth, and sanity.

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We Call It the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma

The following quote is referring to the Münchausen Trilemma. We call it the Ungodly Thinking Trilemma because it only affects us when we try to think without the influence of the Holy Spirit. At this point in the book, we’re exposing the fact that the trilemma has flaws.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Even though the trilemma has real implications for ungodly thinking, it’s an illusion since the trilemma presents three choices when we have at least five choices. The trilemma eliminates two choices, so it’s a false trilemma. But even though it’s not real, it acts as a trilemma for ungodly thinkers because of its assumption of naturalism, and naturalism allows only three choices rather than five. The trilemma keeps all ungodly thinkers from thinking rationally about anything unless they would be willing to lift their self-imposed limitation of naturalism.

</end quote>

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Most People Don’t Understand Logic or How to Know What’s True.

It’s really about truth. How can we know the truth? The truth will set us free. Lies put us into bondage. Most people don’t know how to tell the difference between truth and untruth. That’s a problem.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

According to the rules of deductive logic the premise must be true or it proves nothing. If the premise is true and the form is valid, the conclusion follows from the premise. Then the logic is sound, and the conclusion is true. So a true premise and valid form are necessary for truth, but the trilemma doesn’t allow a true premise without divine revelation. Therefore, the trilemma is a terrible problem for ungodly thinkers, and this problem results in the inability to be rational while thinking without God.

Baron Münchausen said he had pulled himself out of the swamp by his beard. Of course, he was using humor to make his point that the human mind, by itself, has no way to reach logical conclusions under its own power. While something outside of the Baron could pull him out of the swamp by his beard, he couldn’t pull himself out by his beard. In the same way, logical conclusions need something outside one’s self since truth only comes from a person who knows all things and who can’t lie.

</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

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Without Christ, We Can Know Nothing

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

While thinking based on made-up stuff may provide intellectual freedom, it’s not sane, and while escaping from sanity may be exhilarating, sanity is important. As a result, sound reason still requires a true premise. No one can rationally use an unproven premise to prove a conclusion. Otherwise, how could we know whose made-up stuff to use as a premise?

Is it the one who’s the most violent?

Is it the one with control of the media and schools?

Is it the one who controls scientific funding and the scientific journals?

Is it the one who can kill all who disagree?

Is it the one with the best persuasive skills?

Is it the one with the money to create the best presentation?

Are there some other criteria to decide whose made-up stuff will be the correct made-up stuff?

</end quote>

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Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

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It’s Not Against Reason but Irrational Reason

It’s not uncommon to read something by a godly Christian where the Christian appears to be bashing reason. If we were able to sit down with that Christian and clarify, I doubt that the Christian means what we are to be irrational or insane in our thinking. In many cases, we would find that the Christian hasn’t really given the matter serious thought, but they have seen many examples of irrational reasoning that’s not based on true premises. As is often said, “You can rationalize anything.”

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

Even Christians sometimes try to depend on their own minds. One Christian said the following:

“But this can’t mean an abandonment of reason, for God commands us to serve Him with our entire mind, so surely we should strive to reason to true conclusions using our minds alone without God.”

While this statement may almost seem true at first, it’s false because God never asked us to disconnect from the Holy Spirit to use our minds. This statement defines rebellion against God. God is looking for a close relationship, but we don’t realize how close He wants this relationship. Of course, it’s a relationship in which He is God and we are in submission to God.

To clear up this muddy reasoning, abandonment of reason isn’t the issue, but rather the abandonment of UNSOUND reason is the issue. We want true premises and valid form so we can be sane, and we’re rejecting the common insanity of the culture even though this insanity has crept into the Church in many places.

</end quote>

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Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

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Godless People Can’t be Rational?

Wait! What? Ungodly people can’t be rational? Really?

To claim that ungodly thinking (trying to reason without the Truth that comes from God) will always be irrational—that seems like a wild claim. However, it’s obviously true. The following quote explains one of the problems the human ego has trouble accepting.

<quote from Real Faith & Reason>

As promised, we’ll now carefully examine the reason ungodly thinkers can’t possibly be rational. To start, let’s evaluate the ungodly thinking trilemma. A trilemma is like a dilemma, but it has three choices instead of two. With a trilemma, we must choose one of three undesirable alternatives.

Agrippa the Skeptic taught about the ungodly thinking trilemma 2,000 years ago, so it’s sometimes called “Agrippa’s trilemma.” Münchausen wrote about it in the 1700s, so it’s also known as the “Münchausen trilemma.” Hans Albert also wrote about it in 1968, so it’s sometimes called “Albert’s trilemma.” But a more descriptive name, “ungodly thinking trilemma,” is the name we’ll use, and as we explore this trilemma, we’ll find it to be an ungodly illusion caused by closed minds. To take this thought a step further, consider the following quote:

“The Münchhausen trilemma is a problem in philosophy that all statements can be questioned and then need evidence. This problem has been well known in philosophy for thousands of years, but rarely gets addressed because it breaks the legs of philosophy, science, and any other possible approach to reality.” ~ rationalwiki.org

This ungodly thinking website is pointing to a philosophy that still stands against all ungodly challenges today. As RationalWiki.org states, the Münchausen trilemma isn’t popular “because it breaks the legs of philosophy, science, and any other possible approach to reality.” However, the trilemma only destroys rational thought for ungodly thinkers, so it seems that the wiki has ignored the possibility of the real God Who reveals reality.

If the statement in RationalWiki.org is true, then all reasoning on RationalWiki.org is going to be irrational. It has to be. RationalWiki.org is claiming to be irrational in the quote above. They’re claiming that every article on their site is irrational and without merit, and they’re right for their site content, but they also try to project this problem out to others. They also claim that this problem holds true for all information everywhere, but their claim is also irrational because of the trilemma. As they try to project this problem, their claim “can be questioned and needs evidence,” so the trilemma “breaks the legs” of their own claim. Shortly, we’ll get into the reasons the trilemma is inescapable for ungodly thinkers and why it only applies to those who aren’t listening to Christ and following Him. The trilemma guaranties insane thinking for ungodly thinkers.

We might question this trilemma when we first hear about it. We might feel that we could prove things tentatively even if we couldn’t prove anything absolutely with human intellect alone. Or we may imagine that we could falsify arguments, that is, prove that something is false. Or we could try to prove that something is reasonable. We might try to come up with other arguments against the trilemma. And we might even be able to come up with an argument that sounds good enough for a superficially convincing fog. However, ungodly philosophers have been trying to get around this trilemma for thousands of years, but they haven’t been able to do it without God. Therefore, if we think we have a naturalistic way around the trilemma, someone has probably already tried it and failed. Every such argument fails because every argument against the trilemma is based on one of the three fallacies of the trilemma, so the trilemma “breaks the legs” of the argument. That means that we should demand a true premise without any made-up stuff from anyone who claims an exception to the trilemma. Of course, we should never accept an unproven claim anyway. If someone makes a claim, we need a true premise.

Therefore, we can only imagine how embarrassed those who worship their own minds feel when they discover human minds can’t be rational without Christ. It’s embarrassing. As a result, ungodly thinkers present many futile and irrational arguments to fight against this reality. We’ll go over some of them in the book Real Faith & Reason Volume Three. Though arguments exist, not one of those arguments is rational.

</end quote>

#RealFaith&Reason

Have you read this FREE book yet? “Real Faith & Reason” gives the absolutely certain proof of the Bible and the God of the Bible and shows how you can have real faith. This is faith that changes situations and transfigures you from glory to glory.

http://RealReality.org/Real_Faith_and_Reason_Vol_1_-_Scientia.pdf

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