Archive for May 2008

A Simple Conceptualist Argument?

May 26, 2008

1) All propositions are effects of some minds (Conceptualism).
2) With respect to proposition p, all possible worlds entail either the truth of p or the falsity of p.
3) All worlds are mental effects.

Since possible worlds express a “picture” in a way that propositions do (and this will be your position unless you subscribe to modal concretism, I think) then (2) appears to be uncontroversial.


Foreknowledge and election

May 20, 2008

Theological juggernaut Jaltus recently provided a link to this amazing study of prognosis in the NT:

Click here

In an influential essay, S. M. Baugh has attempted to rescue Rom 8:29 and similar texts for Reformed theology by arguing that the meaning of foreknowledge in the NT renders “impossible” the “Arminian notion of ‘foreseen faith’ … as an interpretation of God’s knowledge” when foreknowledge concerns predestination.1 He vigorously objects to the common Arminian interpretation-to Baugh such readings of Scripture import theology into the meaning of the sacred texts in a way that does unconscionable violence to them.2

Aware that his basic position appears to enjoy widespread support among recent and contemporary Calvinist theologians,3 we challenge Baugh’s conclusions. In this essay, we look first at Baugh’s word studies and the conclusions he draws from them. We then focus attention on the work that these conclusions are called to do for his theology, and we argue that he has not made a convincing case that the Arminian interpretation is “impossible.” Noting that Baugh tends to conflate exegetical and logical issues, we find Baugh’s arguments to be both unclear and unpersuasive; we conclude that he has not closed the door to the Arminian view of foreknowledge and predestination.

The Conceptualist Argument

May 20, 2008

Chad McIntosh has produced one of the most thought-provoking pieces of philosophy on the internet. I suggest a thorough study of what he has written in the paper, but also glance through his footnotes and explore the sources he has put together. He is writing on the “Conceptualist Argument” for God’s existence which I take to distill into the following:

C. Concepts are mental effects
A. Propositions are concepts
N. Some propositions exist necessarily
.: 1 Some concepts exist necessarily
.: 2 Minds exist necessarily (where mind is defined as that which produces mental effects)

He defends each premise quite ably, but I think that if one is tempted towards conceptualism they will have a tough time escaping the conclusion that God exists. I recently came in possession of a book by Hartry Field defending fictionalism, so perhaps I’ll offer a few thoughts on the subject once I make my way through the book.


May 16, 2008

Can’t have Josh and JB being the only blokes welcoming visitors to Pretentious Apologetics, now can we?  Actually we can.  Nevertheless, I’m BronzeArcher and unlike those two I will only write about the few topics I strenuously attempt to limit myself to: social-scientific criticism of the NT and Mediterranean anthropology.  I do not have the skill to appear in a blaze of glory or to hop in and out of discussions; I embed myself into a wall somewhere and stay there for quite some time.  I have been at TWeb longer than both Josh and JB, which suggests I am more screwed up than both of them combined.  I do not know what a podcast is, but I have read many publications of various Context Group members.  My interests as a sociology and anthropology student involve neoliberalism, marginality, language and power, and the various ideologies behind activist groups.

I do not really like apologetics because in the six or so years I’ve been involved with it and similar discussions, I find that an attack/defense framework often polarizes discussions to the point where fellow human beings cannot state the positive aspects of their opponent’s arguments.  I also am frequently sympathetic to non- and anti-Christian thought.  My role here is to aid, in the areas I can (social-scientific criticism), any genuine investigation.  Josh and JB are fine folk and I am glad to post with them.



May 15, 2008

Can’t have Josh being the only bloke welcoming visitors to Pretentious Apologetics, now can we?  I’m JB, and much like Josh I intend to write various odds and ends from time to time: philosophy, theology, Bible-type stuff, perhaps politics here and there if I feel like aggravating the masses.  Again like Josh, the frequency of my presence and involvement can be rather variable, so be not alarmed if I either vanish suddenly or perhaps appear from the recesses of the unknown in a blaze of superhuman glory, as is my custom.  Josh may be a member of TheologyWeb, but I’m staff, which makes me a superior specimen of humanity.  I can’t say I’ve done much work in the realm of podcasts, as he has, but I can say that I’ve had the privilege of being a contributor to the upcoming book Shattering the Christ Myth: Did Jesus Not Exist?, which I believe will prove to be one of the most comprehensive demolitions of the absurdities of the “Christ myth” thesis (in all its assorted manifestations) to date.  I’m sure I have other meritorious distinctives as well, but it may perhaps be better to allow my future work to speak for itself.  At any rate, enjoy.

Gratia vobis,



May 15, 2008

Welcome to Pretentious Apologetics. I am Josh and this is my introductory post…

I plan on writing on things like philosophy, politics, theology and whatnot, but there really are no bounds to what I will spew uniformed vitriol about. I’m also prone to bouts of absence from discussions, so expect me to hop in and out of the discussions here without warning. I am a member (probably the best) of theologyweb where I try and pass off as some kind of philosophy expert, but I’ve also made appearances on the podcast A Christian and an Atheist. Enjoy.