1. Standard memberOmnislash
    Digital Blasphemy
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    20 Oct '05 05:551 edit
    I went to my local Walmart a few days ago. I found the item I came for and went to check out. It was early in the morning, so there was only one register open. I approached the register, but there was no one behind it. There was an employee behind me, but she was on her cell phone at the time. She saw me, I waved at her, she went on talking and staring at the ceiling.

    After about five minutes or so, the lady got off her phone and went behind the register to check me out. She scanned my one item across and I proceeded to swipe my debit card for payment. All went as it usually should at first. I swiped the card, entered my PIN#, declined the cash back option, and the system waited for the cashier to do whatever cashiers do at that point.

    All good up to here, but then the terminal reverted back to the PIN# step. The lady told me I had entered my PIN# incorrectly and should attempt again. I thought this was strange, but assumed I had made a simple mistake and did as she said, repeating the process and taking special care to enter my number correctly. The same thing happened again. The cashier Became frustrated with me, and told me if I entered my PIN# incorrectly again my account would be frozen for atleast 24 hours. I explained to the lady that I was very certain that I had entered my number correctly. She simply refused to hear of the matter. stating that it was impossible that I had done it right.

    I told the lady to hold my item while I went to a nearby ATM in the store. Well, I did so, and had no problem with it at all. Got money just fine. No problem with my PIN# at all. I returned and paid the lady. I told her that I had no idea what the problem was while I was using her terminal, but I had no problem with the ATM. The lady exploded at me, shouted "That's not my problem sir!" and practically threw my change at me.

    I stood there for a moment, absorbing the absurdity, hearing coins spin and roll on the floor. Then.......I burst out laughing. The lady was taken aback at first, then she got truly furious. "What's so damn funny!" she yelled at me. I said to her, "Miss, of course you don't think that's your problem. You have no way of knowing if I was entering my PIN# correctly or not. You made the choice to disbelieve me based on the evidence before you. You chose your machine over my word, as the machine is apparent before you. You can see the machine, calculate with it, and so on. My word is simply a possibility that you refuted because it did not fit with the evidence before you."

    The lady looked puzzled for a moment and then got angry again. "What the hell are you babbling about?" she said. I continued, "You see, it is not your problem because you choose to refute other inferences. My position worked for me. That is apparent. Yet, you refute my position because you are incapable of understanding that all that which functions need not be perceivable, and that which can be rationally entertained need not be probable. Quite simply madam, it is not your 'problem' because you refuse any other solution."

    The lady just looked at me for a bit. I'm sure she didn't get anything of what I was saying. None the less I thanked her and wished her a good day and began to leave. Then the lady said to me, "Just who do you think you are mister!?". I said to her, "Who I am is irrelevant. What is relevant is that your name is Anne. What is also relevant is that your managers name is Steve. I would recommend that when Steve speaks to you about this matter you simple tell him the truth and as him for help. It's a funny thing, but that is also a subject akin to my premise, but never mind. I am certain you will refute the notion regardless of what Steve asks fo you." And then I left.

    Is there a spiritual story here? I think so. I don't know. I haven't slept in days. Perhaps that is why I translate a simple transaction into a metaphor for mans relationship with a higher power, thusly inciting me to rant semi-coherantly to an old lady at Walmart who probably hates her job and the fact that she still has to work, subsequently motivating me to call managament later in the day and offer the softest spoken 'constructive and positive feedback' (I balked at the term "complaint"😉 I have ever given.

    So, if my post was of spiritual value to you I am pleased that I was not completely off the mark. If it was not, consider this an ad for public awareness of insomnia (brought to you by the coalition to keep schools a stimulation free zone).

    Best Regards,
    Omnitired
  2. Hmmm . . .
    Joined
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    20 Oct '05 06:08
    Originally posted by Omnislash
    I went to my local Walmart a few days ago. I found the item I came for and went to check out. It was early in the morning, so there was only one register open. I approached the register, but there was no one behind it. There was an employee behind me, but she was on her cell phone at the time. She saw me, I waved at her, she went on talking and staring at ...[text shortened]... t to you by the coalition to keep schools a stimulation free zone).

    Best Regards,
    Omnitired
    Obviously, Sean, you had entered the machine Matrix. Since the lady was still plugged in, she couldn’t believe you were real—which was probably quite frightening for her nevertheless. Fortunately, you were able to realize that inside the Matrix, you weren’t really real either, and so were able to laugh about it.

    I’m sure it was traumatic for her when you departed via the telephone….

    Good story. Very Zen. Next time I’m confronted with a situation like that, I’ll try to remember that I’m not really real either—to the Matrix. 🙂
  3. Colorado
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    20 Oct '05 06:26
    Originally posted by Omnislash
    I went to my local Walmart a few days ago. I found the item I came for and went to check out. It was early in the morning, so there was only one register open. I approached the register, but there was no one behind it. There was an employee behind me, but she was on her cell phone at the time. She saw me, I waved at her, she went on talking and staring at ...[text shortened]... t to you by the coalition to keep schools a stimulation free zone).

    Best Regards,
    Omnitired
    I commend your restraint. I probably would have handled it differently....eesh....😞
  4. Joined
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    20 Oct '05 06:41
    Originally posted by Omnislash
    I went to my local Walmart a few days ago. I found the item I came for and went to check out. It was early in the morning, so there was only one register open. I approached the register, but there was no one behind it. There was an employee behind me, but she was on her cell phone at the time. She saw me, I waved at her, she went on talking and staring at ...[text shortened]... t to you by the coalition to keep schools a stimulation free zone).

    Best Regards,
    Omnitired
    "That's not my problem sir!"

    I would have guessed that you were a chick. I guess that is the problem with insufficient evidence.

    Concerning the type of evidence of which one may be privy and not another, one question I have been interested in recently is "Can belief in God's existence be properly basic?" I plan on starting a thread on this question sometime down the road once I am finished reading some of Alvin Plantinga's work on the subject.
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    20 Oct '05 06:46
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    [b]"That's not my problem sir!"

    I would have guessed that you were a chick. I guess that is the problem with insufficient evidence.

    Concerning the type of evidence of which one may be privy and not another, one question I have been interested in recently is "Can belief in God's existence be properly basic?" I plan on starting a thread on ...[text shortened]... ometime down the road once I am finished reading some of Alvin Plantinga's work on the subject.[/b]
    Can belief in that Moon be properly basic?

    Sorry, LJ. I'm as bad as you are--at least. Although, sometimes the questioning perhaps can be a kind of song of its own.
  6. Joined
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    20 Oct '05 07:04
    Originally posted by Omnislash
    I went to my local Walmart a few days ago. I found the item I came for and went to check out. It was early in the morning, so there was only one register open. I approached the register, but there was no one behind it. There was an employee behind me, but she was on her cell phone at the time. She saw me, I waved at her, she went on talking and staring at ...[text shortened]... t to you by the coalition to keep schools a stimulation free zone).

    Best Regards,
    Omnitired
    Out of something simple, came something big.

    I like everything you said.

    I see something spiritual in this story. By saying this, the only thing I can think of is God.
  7. Donationbbarr
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    20 Oct '05 07:14
    Originally posted by Omnislash
    I went to my local Walmart a few days ago. I found the item I came for and went to check out. It was early in the morning, so there was only one register open. I approached the register, but there was no one behind it. There was an employee behind me, but she was on her cell phone at the time. She saw me, I waved at her, she went on talking and staring at ...[text shortened]... t to you by the coalition to keep schools a stimulation free zone).

    Best Regards,
    Omnitired
    Nice story. A quick note: "refute" does not mean the same thing as "disbelieve". "Refute" means to show conclusively that some claim is false. If she were to have refuted your claim that you were entering your pin number correctly, she would have had to provide evidence sufficient to show that your claim was incorrect.
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    20 Oct '05 07:181 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Can belief in that Moon be properly basic?

    Sorry, LJ. I'm as bad as you are--at least. Although, sometimes the questioning perhaps can be a kind of song of its own.
    he heh. You are probably right; my instrument is often nowhere to be found. It is funny how that dreaded candle only shows up during the nights, when the fever for dance and merriment should be most fierce.
  9. Donationbbarr
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    20 Oct '05 07:231 edit
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I plan on starting a thread on this question sometime down the road once I am finished reading some of Alvin Plantinga's work on the subject.
    Right on. Are you reading Warranted Christian Belief? What graduate program are you in, by the way?
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    20 Oct '05 07:43
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Right on. Are you reading Warranted Christian Belief? What graduate program are you in, by the way?
    I am currently reading a few short-ish essays by Plantinga including:

    Warranted Belief in God
    Religious Belief as "Properly Basic"
    Is Naturalism Irrational?


    My program of study is in the engineering sciences at Stanford University. I research and characterize new and evolving materials for advanced computer applications. However, the good news is now that my coursework load is light, I have time to just sit in on random lectures here and there as I please around campus -- mostly in the Philosophy Dept. I'd kick myself later on if I didn't take advantage of such opportunities, particularly since I regret that I did not take more of those classes as an undergraduate.
  11. Donationbbarr
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    20 Oct '05 07:48
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    I am currently reading a few short-ish essays by Plantinga including:

    Warranted Belief in God
    Religious Belief as "Properly Basic"
    Is Naturalism Irrational?


    My program of study is in the engineering sciences at Stanford University. I research and characterize new and evolving materials for advanced computer applications. However, the go ...[text shortened]... ties, particularly since I regret that I did not take more of those classes as an undergraduate.
    Cool. Is Plantinga defending an epistemically externalist conception of warrant in those essays?
  12. Joined
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    20 Oct '05 08:44
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Cool. Is Plantinga defending an epistemically externalist conception of warrant in those essays?
    The essay Warranted Belief in God is freshest in my mind. In this essay, Plantinga's goal is to argue for the Aquinas/Calvin (A/C) model of warranted Christian belief. To show the belief is warranted, Plantinga attempts to show that the belief is "produced by a process that is functioning properly in a congenial epistemic environment according to a design plan successfully aimed at the production of true belief." According to the A/C model, there exists a cognitive mechanism resembling a sense of divinity, sensus divinitatis, which forms the belief inside the believer.

    With respect to externalist/internalist, I would have to say that yes, Plantinga is putting forth an externalist conception. I base this on the following: Plantinga himself concludes that if in fact God does exist, then religious belief formed under the A/C model is very likely warranted; however, he goes on to conclude that if in fact God does not exist, then such religious belief is very likely not warranted.* This sounds externalist to me: since the belief's being warranted depends on the truth of theism, I don't see how the justification of the belief could be directly recognizable to the agent merely through internal reflection on his own state of mind (and hence is not internalist). I might be confused, but does my thinking sound right to you?

    *This sounds like an odd thing for Plantinga to want to show, but his ultimate purpose in the essay is to demonstrate that the question of whether theism is warranted cannot be divorced from the question of whether theism is in fact true. Plantinga is clearly tired of the de jure challenge that resembles something like "I have no idea if theism is true, but I can tell you that theism is irrational because...." Plantinga is trying to show that such a challenge is without any merit.
  13. Donationbbarr
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    20 Oct '05 08:50
    Originally posted by LemonJello
    The essay Warranted Belief in God is freshest in my mind. In this essay, Plantinga's goal is to argue for the Aquinas/Calvin (A/C) model of warranted Christian belief. To show the belief is warranted, Plantinga attempts to show that the belief is "produced by a process that is functioning properly in a congenial epistemic environment according ...[text shortened]... rrational because...." Plantinga is trying to show that such a challenge is without any merit.
    Yes, this is exactly the same line he takes in Warranted Christian Belief. In short, if God exists and if we have a reliable God-detecting cognitive mechanism, then the beliefs produced by that mechanism are warranted (though defeasible). I look forward to your thread on this issue.
  14. DonationPawnokeyhole
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    20 Oct '05 12:33
    Originally posted by bbarr
    Yes, this is exactly the same line he takes in Warranted Christian Belief. In short, if God exists and if we have a reliable God-detecting cognitive mechanism, then the beliefs produced by that mechanism are warranted (though defeasible). I look forward to your thread on this issue.
    Mightn't God decide, if He existed, *not* to give us a reliable God-detecting mechanism, so that we would have complete freedom to make the meritorious leap of faith, without any helpful hints?
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