Consistent Thinking

From Battleground God at TPM Online (The Philosophers’ Magazine):

You have been awarded the TPM medal of distinction! This is our second highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.

The fact that you progressed through this activity without being hit and biting very few bullets suggests that your beliefs about God are internally consistent and well thought out.

A direct hit would have occurred had you answered in a way that implied a logical contradiction. The bitten bullets occurred because you responded in ways that required that you held views that most people would have found strange, incredible or unpalatable. However, because you bit only two bullets and avoided direct hits completely you still qualify for our second highest award. A good achievement!

Click here if you want to review the criteria by which hits and bullets are determined.

Analysis of your Bitten Bullets

Click here if you want to see a complete listing of the questions that you answered.

Bitten Bullet 1

You answered “True” to questions 7, 12 and 15.

These answers generated the following response:

You’ve just bitten a bullet! You are consistent in applying the principle that it is justifiable to base one’s beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, regardless of the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity this conviction. The problem is that it seems you have to accept that people might be justified in their belief that terrible things are right. You have agreed that the rapist is justified in believing that he carries out the will of God, and in an earlier answer you indicated that you think that God defines what is good and what is evil. Therefore, to be consistent, you must think the rapist is justified in believing that he acts morally when he acts on his inner conviction. Hence, you bite the bullet and justify the rapist.


Bitten Bullet 2

You answered “True” to Question 16.

This answer generated the following response:

You’ve just bitten a bullet! In saying that God has the freedom and power to do that which is logically impossible (like creating square circles), you are saying that any discussion of God and ultimate reality cannot be constrained by basic principles of rationality. This would seem to make rational discourse about God impossible. If rational discourse about God is impossible, there is nothing rational we can say about God and nothing rational we can say to support our belief or disbelief in God. To reject rational constraints on religious discourse in this fashion requires accepting that religious convictions, including your religious convictions, are beyond any debate or rational discussion. This is to bite a bullet.


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