DEBATE OpenAirAtheist (James Stillwell) vs Fatfist on ABSOLUTE TRUTH
As an ex-theist and now a self-proclaimed “God”, addressing himself as OpenAirAtheist, I-Theist or James Theodore Stillwell; this fellow has been pushing his Religion of Absolute Truth all over the Internet. He harasses folks for a debate over email/pm rather than in a public forum. Several folks have brought this to my attention, as I’ve already debated James Stillwell in the past. He recently PM’ed me with the same debunked arguments from our last debate. He is known for bombarding people with PM’s like a spambot when he doesn't get his way. And even resorts to using 5000-year-old Sophist PERSUATION TRICKS to elicit a forced contradictory response from his opponents. If this fellow is an intellectual with a legitimate argument, then why is he so scared to defend it publicly? What can he possibly accomplish with these tricks? Instead of attacking his ignorance, why won’t Mr. James Stillwell read the article he hates so much, attack it head-on and destroy it?
You can see the painful exchange between myself and James Stillwell on July 2012 in my article on Absolute Truth. It was like pulling teeth trying to get him to define the key terms (i.e. truth) that make or break his argument. But he finally answered two critical questions which destroyed his Religion of Absolute Truth. To cut the crap and spare you the boredom of his pathetic attempts at deflection, I have summarized his argument in this article.
Every single “Truther” out there uses the same contradictory arguments as Mr. Stillwell. His responses underscore the fact that what is ‘true’ for you, is always a ‘lie’ for your neighbor. Truth is always a debatable claim. The anthropocentric concept of truth necessarily resolves to an observer’s opinion.
OpenAirAtheist, I-Theist, James Stillwell: FAILED ARGUMENTS
OpenAirAtheistfirst messaged me in July of 2012 requesting a private debate. I declined and told him to post his argument in my article on Absolute Truth. After several painful exchanges, he finally posted his argument:
OpenAirAtheist: “Your assertion that there are no absolute truths is logically fallacious. Let me give you an example. 1+1 always =2. A=A and it's always true in all situations, and possible worlds that square circles cannot exist. Period! You stand ruted!”
Obviously James Stillwell doesn’t realize that Systems of Logic like Mathematics and Classical Logic are pre-defined tautologies. His contentions are refuted as addressed with extreme detail in the following articles in my profile:
· LOGIC: The Law of Identity (A=A) is NOT True.
· What is Logic: Logic Does NOT Provide Proofs and Truths
James Stillwell was also oblivious to the fact that square circles are impossible BY DEFINITION! A square has four right angles and equal length sides (by definition). Ergo, it is impossible for squares to be circular. This has to do with definitions, not with truth (i.e. empirical verification). We learn this on day 1 of Junior Kindergarten.
Then he accuses me of making a CLAIM that there are no absolutes:
OpenAirAtheist: “[You are] claiming absolutes do not exist“
OpenAirAtheist is a typical Religionist who doesn’t understand the difference between a ‘claim’ and a ‘justified rational argument’. A ‘claim’ is an assertion without any supporting argument whatsoever. In fact, he has no argument for his claim of “there is absolute truth”. A ‘justified rational argument’ is a non-contradictory argument which explains why absolute truth is impossible. Such an argument cannot be contradicted. And such an argument was provided to Mr. James Stillwell in the very article he was contesting. Like most of the folks who comment on that article, Mr. Stillwell didn’t make it past the title. He chased his tail arguing solely with the title. He didn’t have the attention span or intellectual capacity to read the argument in the article which unequivocally justifies absolutes to be impossible….and without contradiction to boot!
After much teeth-pulling, he finally decides to provide a definition for ‘truth’:
OpenAirAtheist: “Truth is what exists objectively independent of wishes whims and desires”
He irrationally claims that ‘truth’ is a synonym for the term ‘exist’. Obviously James Stillwell has never taken a Philosophy or Logic 101 course to understand that the word ‘truth’ is concept of validation. As a concept, truth has been conceived by humans for the utility of a conceptual label of validation on statement types known as PROPOSITIONS. Propositions are statements which propose an alleged case or scenario. As proposals, propositions need to be validated before they can be labelled as ‘true’. Hence, this anthropocentric concept of truth is used by people to intentionally decree a label of “validated acceptance” (i.e. true) or of “validated rejection” (i.e. false) to propositional statements.
James Stillwell doesn’t understand that, as a concept of VALIDATION, truth necessarily requires an observer to use his extremely limited sensory system to empirically validate a propositional statement as either ‘true’ or ‘false’. So, yes indeed, the subjective concept of ‘truth’ is necessarily DEPENDENT on the wishes, whims, desires and biases of a human observer! All this stuff is explained in extreme detail in my article which he never bothered to read:
· There is NO Truth. Truth Resolves to OPINION.
It’s quite pathetic for people to attempt an intellectual argument without first understanding the basics of the very issue at the core of their argument. James Stillwell is either trolling or needs to go to school and learn the basics of logic, propositions and Philosophy.
Just to showcase his contradictions and to put an end to his nonsense, I told James Stillwell that Christian Apologist, Matt Slick, has already VERIFIED and VALIDATED the following two propositions as true:
P1: “God created space and matter”
P2: “The sky is blue”
So that’s it….there is NO debate on these issues…I mean, they are TRUE. We heard it from the horse's mouth. We're done!
James Stillwell doesn't think so. He responds:
OpenAirAtheist: “I cannot accept or reject the god claim”
OpenAirAtheist: “"the sky is blue" I would say that this statement is false since "blue" is qualia and not the sky it's self. Qualia is a product of consciousness and not intrinsic to the sky but to INDIVIDUAL human consciousnesses......subjective experience”
James Stillwell finally puts his foot in his mouth. He now admits that TRUTH is synonymous with a CLAIM (i.e. the truth claim that God created space & matter). It seems that truth is not absolute for Mr. Stillwell anymore, but rather a claim that can always be contested. But what is there to contend with? Matt Slick already saw God who showed him a video of how He created space and matter. Furthermore, Matt Slick already saw the sky to be blue. He obviously has two VERIFIED truths for P1 and P2. So what's James Stillwell's problem then? According to Mr. Stillwell's reasoning, both of Matt Slick's statements must be true.
But no! Mr. Stillwell concedes that the concept of ‘truth’ is dependent on the subjectivity of an observer, in what a person feels like accepting, rejecting, or even on his subjective experience and limited sensory system. Hence, he argues that what Matt Slick verified as TRUTH, is nothing more than his OPINION. Obviously, Mr. Stillwell consistently falls back to human wishes, whims, desires, biases, opinions and other subjectivities in order to account for one’s validation of a proposition as ‘truth’; just as he did on behalf of Matt Slick. Well, you can’t have it both ways, Mr. Stillwell.
Of course, ‘truth’ is necessarily a subjective human-dependent concept. Truth necessarily resolves to OPINION! Truth is what is claimed, not what is rationally justified. Unjustified truth claims are nothing more than opinions.
Mr. OpenAirAtheist, I-Theist, James Theodore Stillwell….you have contradicted your claim that truth is objective. All you can possibly propose is a SUBJECTIVE sensory-dependent method to verify propositional statements as ‘true’. Your argument falls back to TRUTH = OPINION.
This summarily contradicts your proposal of Absolute Truth. I don't understand how you can keep up your persistence for Absolute Truth without first understanding the underlying issues. Please have the intellectual decency to read the article in question and then try to contradict its core argument if you disagree with it, ok?
OPEN AIR ATHEIST’S ANTIQUATED SOPHIST TRICKS EXPOSED!
With any rationally-justified response you provide to James Stillwell, he instantly spams you with the thoroughly debunked 5000-year-old Sophist rhetoric:
“Is that absolutely true?” – James Stillwell
“Is it absolutely true that there are no absolute truths?” – James Stillwell
That’s all he parrots. Give it up already! This is not an argument! It’s a pathetic linguistic persuasion trick of lexical syntax, no different than: “Is it true that you stopped beating your husband?”
James Stillwell is nothing but a door-to-door vacuum salesman trying to persuade people to buy his wares. I have dedicated a whole article in exposing and refuting this pathetically old trick of Sophist Rhetoric, check it out:
· ABSOLUTE TRUTH: Is it Absolutely True that there are NO Absolutes?
Mr. Stillwell is showcasing his ignorance and chasing his tail with this line of circular questions. You cannot use the term ‘absolute’ to evaluate the term ‘absolute’. Similarly, you cannot use the term ‘truth’ to evaluate the term ‘truth’. Why is it that some people just cannot grasp this obvious futile exercise in circular reasoning?
For example, you cannot use the “law” to evaluate the “law”. This is Begging the Question, circular and contradictory. Even a student of Logic 101 knows this. To evaluate the “law”, you need to go outside the law, conceptually at a time when there was no law, in order to critically reason a rational argument from a non-legal perspective (i.e. non-circular). Same goes for the concepts of truth and absolute. If you want to evaluate a concept, any concept, then you must evaluate it at the conceptual level where its relation is established. That is, you must evaluate the intrinsic definition or meaning of the concept in question. All concepts are defined, including ‘truth’ and ‘absolute’. Language demands it, otherwise communication is impossible.
God only knows why people like James Stillwell try to circumvent the ultra-basics of language, logic and Philosophy, but rather choose to sucker-punch you with these circular tactics of ancient rhetoric.
OPEN AIR ATHEIST BOLDLY CLAIMS TO BE A PHILOSOPHER
James Stillwell has various blogs proclaiming to be a critical thinker, logician and a philosopher. That’s fine, people make tons of claims. But very few can justify them. He also calls himself an “I-Theist”, which he purports to mean that he is his own God. Whatever the heck that means!
“I am my own God” – James Stillwell, from his youtube video i-theist (TheSatanicSeries P2)
Ummm…yeah….sure you are, Mr. Stillwell. Let’s see… first you were a Christian Apologist, then an Agnostic Atheist… and now you’re a God, huh? Whatever tickles your fancy! Even my neighbor’s shapely blonde wife with the luscious tanned skin and large silicone implants believes herself to be a Goddess. People are free to have their own delusions. Mental illness is at an all-time high in developed societies, as explained by John B. Calhoun.
James Stillwell’s youtube account idolizes philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche with Superman or God-like status. He references many Nietzsche quotes which he claims make Nietzsche an I-Theist…a God of sorts. OMG, how many Gods do we need?
Regardless, if James Stillwell is going to be a fanboy of Nietzsche while pushing his nonsense of absolutes, he should at least do the minimum of research on the man. Nietzsche clearly stated that the very idea of an Absolute Truth is unintelligible and contradictory.
“There are no eternal facts, as there are no absolute truths.” – Friedrich Nietzsche: Human, All-too-Human
“I shall reiterate a hundred times that ‘immediate certainty’, like ‘absolute knowledge’ and ‘thing in itself,’ contains a contradictio in adjecto [contradiction in terms]: we really ought to get free from the seduction of words!” -- Friedrich Nietzsche (BGEI.16)
And Nietzsche was rational in his assessment because an ‘absolute’ is an irrational concept which is decreed to be: without relation to anything.
All concepts are necessarily relations (i.e. relative). You cannot conceive of any concept without it necessarily referencing or relating something else. Concepts are relations by definition! It’s unavoidable. It is impossible to have anything in the Universe standalone without being related to something else, just as it is impossible to have any term in language that has no relations to something else. Those who disagree should try to conceive of anything standalone (i.e. without relations) in order to show an exception to my rational argument. But you can’t! It is impossible!
It goes without saying that “absolutes are impossible”. Not because I say so; opinions and other subjectivities play no role here. This is an OBJECTIVE issue because the term ‘absolute’ contradicts the meaning of the term itself (i.e. self-refuting). Therefore, the term ‘absolute’ is an oxymoron: a LINGUISTIC CONTRADICTION!
OPEN AIR ATHEIST CONCEDES THAT TRUTH = OPINION
Even putting aside proposition P1 about God, James Stillwell boldly claims that something as obvious as proposition P2 (“The sky is blue”) is false! So there you have it folks: Mr. Stillwell confirms that what is true for him is not true for you. Truth is clearly a matter of opinion! What a funny circus show this monkey-business of truth is, huh?
James Stillwell confirmed that ‘truth’ is necessarily an anthropocentric concept. The human ape is front and center stage in the definition of ‘truth’, as this subjectively-biased observer is required to validate and dogmatically decree a proposition as 'true'. But we know damn well that not everyone will “agree” on the validator’s version of ‘truth’. Your version of truth will always be different than your neighbor’s version of truth. And that’s the last nail in the coffin for all the “Truthers” out there. All their alleged ‘truth’ boils down to is their own personal OPINION!
So Let’s Recap:
1) James Stillwell decrees that there is Absolute Truth and that truth is objective without any injection of human subjectivity, wishes, whims, desires, biases, etc.
2) As an example to justify his above claim, James Stillwell subjectively states that he doesn’t want to accept Matt Slick’s ‘truths’ that “God created space & matter” and that “the sky is blue”. He subjectively decided to do so solely from his wishes, whims, desires, biases, etc.
3) Therefore, James Stillwell’s response is yet another confirmation that TRUTH necessarily resolves to OPINION, and hence, is not absolute.
Absolutes are impossible, not because I say so….but they are necessarily impossible because:
a) All concepts are necessarily relations (i.e. relative).
b) The term ‘absolute’ is an oxymoron (i.e. linguistic contradiction) of non-relative relativeness!