Things are only Justification of Existing to Themselves
Things are only justification of existing to themselves. They need to do more than simply exist to justify it to others.
For mundane claims, I could believe that on your testimony, like you telling me you have a friend called Tom. Especially if we have a good rapport, I trust you, you’ve not been shown to be a liar, there is no ulterior motive etc.
If you tell me there’s a man with 3 fully functional arms that exists then that’s a bit fanciful. I’ve never heard of anything like that. I may still believe you if you are someone I trust and have never been shown to lie or twist things or constantly misunderstand things, but I would definitely be more hesitant to accept such a claim. If it came from someone that clearly gets things wrong a lot, I doubt I would believe them at all.
Sure, if that 3 armed person really exists then they are the justification of their own existence, and if you have met them that would count as justification that they exist to you. They still exist even if their existence is not justified to me.
With God… this all-powerful, all-knowing, loving being that wants a relationship with his children… All we have is the Bible.
The justification for God existing is that it says so in the Bible. And the reason we should accept the Bible is that it’s the word of God, and we should accept that it is the word of god because it says it is, and we should accept that because God exists…
This is circular reasoning, it’s completely different and a totally false equivalence… God saying, “I AM” in the Bible is not the same as me jumping on the internet and saying “Hello world!”
So the fact that anyone would say (to paraphrase) “the hiddenness argument is wrong, it’s wrong because God exists, we know God exists because of the Bible and the Bible is true because God exists” is question-begging.
The justification for God existing and the justification for rejecting the hiddenness argument beg the question and therefore are not sufficient.
To then go down some strange path misrepresenting me saying that I said that DEFINING God using the Bible was question-begging was absolutely wrong. I had not said that, though if you do indeed think God exists by definition then I will say the way you define god is question-begging, but not getting a definition using the Bible.
To then try and say that my comment on the JUSTIFICATION was saying definition shows a lack of understanding of what justification is, and the continued comments show a lack of understanding of what begging the question is, even though one can copy and paste some other examples from on the internet, it’s clear an understanding is not held, otherwise one would know that this whole justification is also question-begging.
Even if Daniel Ray genuinely misunderstood me originally, and that was the reason for the misrepresentation… He definitely misrepresented what I said.
In trying to engage him and explain the reasons he misrepresented me, he just made excuses and showed what seemed like poor understandings of things like logic and justification rather than take on board anything that was said.
I’ve seen him misrepresent people a lot, give bad takes, assume people’s positions, and not take on board any criticism or correction from others and continue the same narrative in the face of all evidence.
I don’t want to get too personal and attack him. I don’t think that will reach him. I do want to explain how his behaviours seem to me and to others that interact with him.
I think a big part of the issue is actually tribalism. Both us atheists and theists suffer from this. We have a bad habit of assuming “the other side” are out to get us. We assume that they are not acting in good faith, are mocking, are wrong. In fact, I often get othered by fellow atheists because I hold a number of views that are not typical in the atheist community and support/stand up for theists.
Whether it is tribalism or not, due to these bad takes and not taking the time to understand people before he makes these tweets about things he thinks have happened, he causes people frustration. He seems dishonest even if he is just mistaken. When people get frustrated with him and point out what he is doing, he seems to play the victim and try to elicit sympathy from others. This is compounded by taking comments out of context or only giving half the story.
An example of this is when he wanted a 1 on 1 conversation with the Real Atheology, Alistair, and Philip. He says they refused and made out that he did all the leg work. The fact is, RA wanted a group chat and Daniel refused that. Philip hadn’t even responded as he was seeing how things were going to evolve. The fact that Daniel only gave half the story made it seem, at least to the people who know the full story, that he was trying to make himself look good and others bad/unreasonable.
I think you can understand why this sort of behaviour can lead people to be frustrated and say negative things about him, which then seems to feed this victim like behaviour.
I am not sure he is aware of his behaviour though. I think he is probably well-intentioned and perhaps struggles with logic, reason, dialogue, fallacies and the like, especially when it is to do with the Bible and God. His misrepresentation could be completely accidental and maybe the reason he feels so hard done by is that no matter how plainly things are explained to him, he either doesn’t understand or it causes a form of cognitive dissonance that he deals with by filtering what is said.
Whatever the reason, the end result will be the same though. Unless he realises what he has said or explains himself more clearly, he will justify his question-begging by question-begging, and likely misrepresent what you say.