Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Can you give me an example of anything other than God that is immaterial?

David L. Bahnsen recalls the “Great Debate.” Here is his favorite part:

Dr. Bahnsen: Are all factual questions answered in the same way?

Dr. Stein: No, they are not. They’re answered by the use of certain methods, though, that are the same - reason, logic, presenting evidence, and facts.

Dr. Bahnsen: All right. I heard you mention logical binds and logical self-contradictions in your speech. You did say that?

Dr. Stein: I said…I used that phrase, yes.

Dr. Bahnsen: Do you believe there are laws of logic, then?

Dr. Stein: Absolutely

Dr. Bahnsen: Are they universal?

Dr. Stein: They’re agreed upon by human beings. They aren’t laws that exist out in nature. They’re consensual.

Dr. Bahnsen: Are they simply conventions, then?

Dr. Stein: They are conventions, but they are conventions that are self-verifying

Dr. Bahnsen: Are they sociological laws or laws of thought?

Dr. Stein: They are laws of thought which are interpreted by men and promulgated by men.

Dr. Bahnsen: Are they material in nature?

Dr. Stein: How can a law be material in nature?

Dr. Bahnsen: That’s a question I am going to ask you

Dr. Stein: I would say no.

[MODERATOR: Dr. Stein, you now have an opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Bahnsen]

Dr. Stein: Dr. Bahnsen, would you call God material or immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen: Immaterial

Dr. Stein: What is something that is immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen: Something not extended in space

Dr. Stein: Can you give me an example of anything other than God that is immaterial?

Dr. Bahnsen: The laws of logic

[MODERATOR: I am going to have to ask the audience to hold it down please. Please. Refrain from laughter and applause. Can you hold that down please?]

[HT: James Grant]

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