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I'm a theist and I rarely see this argument dealt with here.  It is a personal favorite of mine. 

(1) Rationality exists

(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

(3) The three principles are ontologically dependent upon thought.

(4) The three principles are universal and a priori.

(5) Only a thinking being which is eternal, immutable, and infallible can account for the universality and  a priority of the three principles.


Objection #1: The logical principles are simply descriptions of the behavior of the universe.

Response: If that's true, then they cannot be a priori.  Statements regarding the behavior of the universe are a posteriori.  This would reduce logical principles to inductive statements.  This, in turn, would compromise their universality.  It is impossible for us to observe the entire universe, so how could we know that the logical principles apply to the entire universe?  At best, we could formulate them as scientific laws which are potentially revisable. 

Beyond that, saying that they are descriptions of the universe does not account for the fact that the process of perception and the scientific method itself requires the employment of these principles, which means that they would have to already be in place within us.  Even when life begins, anything you experience is subject to your a priori judgments.  When you were a baby, your perception of a bottle required you to judge that the bottle was a bottle and was not a non-bottle.  It wasn't conscious, but you were doing it.

 

 


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Objection #2:  The logical

Objection #2:  The logical principles are not universal, they only apply in certain situations.  In trivalent logic, the principle of excluded middle does not apply.

Response:  For you to even judge that to be true, you would have to use the three aforementioned principles.  This argument reminds me of something a murderer would say: "Yes, I did kill your child.. but that was only true within your logical system.  Under my logical system, it was neither true nor false that I killed your child.  It was undetermined."  If you are to deny the universality of rationality, then I could easily tell you that you have no right to tell me that I'm wrong because according to you, the principles are not universal. 

 

Objection #3: The logical principles are invented by humans.

Response:  Prior to the existence of humans, was a squared circle possible?  Was it possible for a rock to be a rock and tree at the same time?  If truth existed prior to the origin of humans, then the concepts have application in that universe and existed before humans.  Therefore, it could not have been invented by humans.  Moreover, human minds are different and what one person believes to be rational may differ from what someone else believes to be rational.  Who would be right?  Moreover, what would be the criteria to judge who is right and wrong?  You would have to have some underlying standard of rationality.

 

Objection #4: The logical principles are based on language.

Response:  Language is invented by humans and requires logic and the logical principles to already be in place.  Next.

 
Objection #5: The logical principles are not concepts. 

Response:  Matt Dillahunty used this in his debate with Matt Slick.  Yet he could not say what they were.  If they are not concepts, then what are they?  It is empirically evident that logical principles are thought and therefore must exist in a mind.  What else could they be?  If you say "I don't know, but they are not concepts", then you need to offer evidence.   

 

Objection #6:  If all minds disappeared from the universe, the same truths would apply to the universe.

Response: Not true.  If you are going to posit a mindless universe and then say that it is still true that it is what it is and is not what it is not, you are making a truth statement about this universe and applying the standards of rationality, which cannot exist in that universe because there are no minds.  This ultimately reduces to absurdity, so much that nothing can be said about this universe because any statement regarding this universe that has a truth value automatically applies the principle of excluded middle.  You would then have to fall back on the idea that the principles are not concepts, which was just addressed.

 

Objection #7: If God is God is a not not God, then isn't it the case that the principles apply to God?  Therefore, he could not have invented them.

Response: This is not really relevant to the argument but I see it used a lot by atheists.  TAG never asserts that God "invented" the logical principles.  The logical principles are a manifestation of God's rationality, itself not separate from the nature of God.  In medeival philosophy, this is the doctrine of divine simplicity. The principles apply to God because he is always consistent and it is for this reason that he will never violate the principle of non-contradiction, identity, or excluded middle.  But again, not really relevant.


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 Quote:Beyond that, saying

 

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Beyond that, saying that they are descriptions of the universe does not account for the fact that the process of perception and the scientific method itself requires the employment of these principles, which means that they would have to already be in place within us.


Alternatively, they could simply have been asumptions that we began with, then tested, determined to work, and have thus stuck with. The only principle required for Science to work is the principle that the universe functions according to observable processes. However we don't need to worry about this being a priori or a posteriori because we have observed the universe to work based on observable principles. Thus, whether this idea began simply as an assumption is unimportant, it is confirmed.

This is little more than a minor point.

The Laws of Logic are merely our method of describing the fundamental aspects of the Universe, thus they are both concepts and aspects of existence simultaneously.  Much like how the number one is both a concept, and a measurement of an actual physical property. This does undermine their universality, for we may one day discover them to not necessarily be entirely perfectly corect in all situations, however this does not make consciousness or existence impossible.

Your analogy of the baby and its bottle is flawed, for the baby does not know what a bottle is until he has suckled from it.

This frees these logical concepts from their supposed dependency upon the mind. As these concepts exist in their truest form as fundamental aspects of the universe, and the concepts themselves are merely our method of describing them.

Two apples are two apples whether a person is there to count them or not.

In answer to your objections, I present the answer to one of the timeless questions;

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

The answer, simply, and as a matter of course, being; Yes No Maybe and I Don't Know.

 

 

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...


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Sinphanius

Sinphanius wrote:

Quote:
Beyond that, saying that they are descriptions of the universe does not account for the fact that the process of perception and the scientific method itself requires the employment of these principles, which means that they would have to already be in place within us.


Alternatively, they could simply have been asumptions that we began with, then tested, determined to work, and have thus stuck with. The only principle required for Science to work is the principle that the universe functions according to observable processes. However we don't need to worry about this being a priori or a posteriori because we have observed the universe to work based on observable principles. Thus, whether this idea began simply as an assumption is unimportant, it is confirmed.

For us to be able to determine that logic "works" would itself require an underlying criteria and that is something you did not specify.  What would the criteria be for determining that it works?  And if we know this criteria prior to the testing, then wouldn't we already be applying those principles?  Otherwise, why could it not be the case that this standard is both the criteria and not the criteria for determining that logic works?  Even if you want to say that we just assume that the logical principles are true, we would still need an underlying criteria which is regarded as objective and not assumed.  

Moreover, you've essentially reduced logic to mere convenience.  That is essentially subjective and problematic when you consider that different people may feel that a different sort of rationality is more convenient for them.

The statement about science is vague and still presumes a standard of rationality that is already in place.  Yes, the logical absolutes are needed for science.  Every field of study operates in accordance with rationality.

Quote:
The Laws of Logic are merely our method of describing the fundamental aspects of the Universe, thus they are both concepts and aspects of existence simultaneously.  Much like how the number one is both a concept, and a measurement of an actual physical property. This does undermine their universality, for we may one day discover them to not necessarily be entirely perfectly corect in all situations, however this does not make consciousness or existence impossible.

This has already been addressed.  If you say that logical absolutes are extrapolated from the behavior of the universe, then you reduce them to a posteriori scientific laws.  But codification of such principles presupposes a standard of rationality already in place.  So if you do not want to grant that they are inherent, then you are essentially saying that humans invent the laws of logic, which means that your basis for determining whether I am right or wrong is subjective and could not be justified.

Quote:
Your analogy of the baby and its bottle is flawed, for the baby does not know what a bottle is until he has suckled from it.

It wasn't an analogy.  It was an example of the unconscious application of a priori judgments.  As soon as the baby perceives the bottle, he is already making a judgment. 

Quote:
This frees these logical concepts from their supposed dependency upon the mind. As these concepts exist in their truest form as fundamental aspects of the universe, and the concepts themselves are merely our method of describing them.

I've already addressed that.  How do you determine what aspects of the universe are fundamental?  A uniformity of nature cannot be extrapolated through empirical observation.  You could observe the behavior of the universe a million times over and you'll never have adequate enough justification for a universal law.  So if this is true, then they cannot be justified as universal.  Also see what I wrote about the presuppositions already in place and the problems contained in logical principles as a human invention.

Quote:
Two apples are two apples whether a person is there to count them or not.

In answer to your objections, I present the answer to one of the timeless questions;

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"

The answer, simply, and as a matter of course, being; Yes No Maybe and I Don't Know.

The tree falling in the forest is a statement of truth.  You are applying the laws of logic and therefore presupposing the existence of a mind.
 


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Welcome to the forum.You

Welcome to the forum.

You could try this article, and see what you think.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/ontological_and_epistemological_blunders_tag

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Sleepy wrote:So if you do

Sleepy wrote:
So if you do not want to grant that they are inherent, then you are essentially saying that humans invent the laws of logic,

I think you're misunderstanding. The laws of logic are an abstraction/description of the laws that exist in our universe. This does not mean that we "invented the laws of logic;" we've merely expressed them in a way that is more convenient for us. We can use another method of displaying the relationship 2 + 2 = 4, but the law does not change.

Sleepy wrote:

I've already addressed that.  How do you determine what aspects of the universe are fundamental?  A uniformity of nature cannot be extrapolated through empirical observation.  You could observe the behavior of the universe a million times over and you'll never have adequate enough justification for a universal law.  So if this is true, then they cannot be justified as universal.  Also see what I wrote about the presuppositions already in place and the problems contained in logical principles as a human invention.

It is my belief that we must begin with the observable universe, our rational mind, and our senses, and form conclusions based on these tools. Inevitably, virtually everything that we know and can know about this world, must, at some point, be based on induction, so we simply cannot determine what aspects of the universe are "fundamental." We can only determine what we have always observed to be constant; it is sufficient that they are constant for all pragmatic purposes.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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Sleepy wrote:I'm a theist

Sleepy wrote:
I'm a theist and I rarely see this argument dealt with here....

Well, you joined 2009-06-19
and this is your userid's 3rd post, however, you "rarely see this argument dealt with here".

I take it you've got a bunch of oter userids, and have been hanging around long enough to claim something is
"rare."

Hang out some more and you'll find the word "frequently" is an appropriate substitution for "rare", in the sunject matter of a vast number of threads.


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butterbattle wrote:Sleepy

butterbattle wrote:

Sleepy wrote:
So if you do not want to grant that they are inherent, then you are essentially saying that humans invent the laws of logic,

I think you're misunderstanding. The laws of logic are an abstraction/description of the laws that exist in our universe. This does not mean that we "invented the laws of logic;" we've merely expressed them in a way that is more convenient for us. We can use another method of displaying the relationship 2 + 2 = 4, but the law does not change.

What am I misunderstanding?

"The laws of logic are an abstraction/description of the laws that exist in our universe" is vague.  Are you saying that the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle are actually descriptions of different laws?  Or are you saying that the three principles are simply descriptions of the behavior of objects in the universe? 

Either way, the position is riddled with problems as it does not account for the universality of logical principles nor does it account for the a priority of logical principles.

If what you say is true, then it would follow that, say, the principle of non-contradiction is simply based on the consistency the objects that we've observed as not being contradictory in their behavior.

My first objection would be this:  How are we able to codify such a principle from empirical observation unless we have a pre-existing standard of rationality which would allow us to do this?  We build knowledge through experience.  IOW, we perceive things and they are retained in our memory.  Yet underlying all that are a priori judgments that we make.  Take the process of perceiving the grass on the ground.  We perceive its color, its texture, its temperature, etc.  From the perception, we extrapolate knowledge of this grass in our minds and unconsciously codify certain statements about the grass in our minds, i.e. "The grass is green".  Yet underlying the codification process are the principles of identity, excluded middle, and non-contradiction.  Otherwise, truth statements would not be possible. "The grass is green" assumes the law of identity to be true (the grass is what it is, we do not assume that the grass is what it is not), the law of non-contradiction (the grass cannot be both green and not green at the same time), and the law of excluded middle ("The grass is green" cannot be both true and false at the same time).

My second objection would this: If the laws of logic are simply abstracts or descriptions of the universe, then how can you account for their universality?  You would have to observe the entire physical universe to know that they apply across the board.  Therefore, you cannot justify the idea that the principles have universal application and therefore you would not know the truth of anything you experience because you do not know if the laws of logic apply in that case.  Yet this is contradictory since you are asserting that we are able to empirically judge that they have application which assumes an underlying criteria that is objective and universal which allows such things to be judged. 

Quote:

It is my belief that we must begin with the observable universe, our rational mind, and our senses, and form conclusions based on these tools. Inevitably, virtually everything that we know and can know about this world, must, at some point, be based on induction, so we simply cannot determine what aspects of the universe are "fundamental." We can only determine what we have always observed to be constant; it is sufficient that they are constant for all pragmatic purposes.

You've stated that we must begin with our "rational mind".  Rationality is judged in accordance with the three logical principles and therefore you are assuming that they are inherent.

Given your worldview (and if I'm wrong in my assumption of what your worldview is, feel free to correct me), you've made a self-refuting statement.  You've stated that "we simply cannot determine what aspects of the universe are fundamental".  That itself is an absolute statement and presupposes that you have an understanding of some fundamental aspect of the universe, namely, that we cannot know which aspects are fundamental.  You are thereby using an internal criteria that you take to be objective and I would presume that as an atheist you would grant that this criteria is a product of the universe itself.  The only way to salvage this is to assume that there are certain principles which transcend the universe, which is what I am arguing from the beginning.


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butterbattle wrote:Welcome

butterbattle wrote:

Welcome to the forum.

You could try this article, and see what you think.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/ontological_and_epistemological_blunders_tag

I didn't notice that article in the articles section but I'll read it later.  It's quite long.

EDIT:  Okay, I've responded to some parts of it.


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 Quote:The tree falling in

 

Quote:
The tree falling in the forest is a statement of truth. You are applying the laws of logic and therefore presupposing the existence of a mind.

Had I a little bell, it would be ringing. There will be no Nirvana for you.

Quote:
which means that your basis for determining whether I am right or wrong is subjective and could not be justified.

I'll start the countdown to you making the 'Atheists cannot account for Morality' argument.

Quote:
It wasn't an analogy. It was an example of the unconscious application of a priori judgments. As soon as the baby perceives the bottle, he is already making a judgment.

A Judgement which happens to be wrong, as the baby, when he first observes the bottle, judges it to be his mother's breast. Either way, the fact that humans can judge something on incomplete or non-existent data doesn't really help you argue that logical laws are universal.

Continuing with the baby analogy, babies actually don't understand the laws of logic until later in their growth. If I remember correctly, babies, and other animals, cannot recognize themselves in a mirror until around age 2 or so. They are taught to understand the concept of identity.

But other than those, I shall not enter into a quote war with you. Suffice to say, you didn't understand a single thing I said.

The Laws of Logic are both simultaneously mental concepts and descriptions of the universe which we have found to hold true, and evident in the universe themselves. Really, the core of my argument was not that they are not universal, for as my answer to the tree states clearly and simply, we don't really know whether they are or not, merely that they do not require a mind to exist.

An Apple will always be an apple even if there is no one around to observe it, we can shoot probes deep into space, far to far away for any human to observe, however they do not lose their definition and become anything as soon as we let them leave unless this is Star Trek.

All of the logical principles are aspects of the universe, just like everything else we know or think we know. They may be wrong, they may not be universal, and there very well could be a multitude of alternate realities and other universes who have somewhat different logical principles. However until such time as positive evidence indicative of those other universes is discovered, believing in them is not rational.

The point of my argument was that the laws are not concepts, they exist both as concepts and as aspects of reality that we have observed. To be philosophically correct we don't know that they are universal, however this doesn't matter. Grass is not green* simply because we say it is, it is green because it reflects a specific wavelength and frequency of light that lands on the green portion of the visible light section of the spectrum of light. It is grass because its molecules are arranged into the configuration necessary for a blade of grass, and it is not both a blade of grass and the blade of a sword because the arrangements of molecules necessary for it to be either of these two blades are different, thus preventing it from being both at the same time. No where does this require a mind, or at least, if it does, it is to you to tell us why it requires a mind, so far you have not.

To close, all of the laws of logic can be determined based purely on observation of the universe, and that is how they were devised. I understand it may seem like they are inherent within your mind, however this is simply because you were taught them at a very young age, and they have become so crucial to your functioning within society that it is difficult to imagine how they could not apply.

A Child does not understand the concept of the continuing existence of unobserved objects, which is why they think covering their eyes will cause you to cease to exist.

Now I will ramble.

The starting point for all of our appraisal of existence and thus the laws of logic is that age old phrase, 'I think, therefore I am.' This began as an assumption whichw was then evaluated. We do think, the fact that we think is indisputable, as we are thinking now and can observe these thoughts as they form. However this phrase goes deeper than that, for the usual response to the statement of thought is that we could just be a brain in a jar somewhere. However this doesn't apply to the statement of thought as it never stated anything about the universe, merely that a thinker existed somewhere within it. Thus whetehr that thinker is a brain in a jar or if this is all just the Matrix Neo is irrelevant, the thinker still exists somewhere.

We then proceed to the next statement "I observe the Universe". This is the difficult one, and fights most often against the same brain + jar rebuttal. However this statement is also immune to that, because it never states that what we observe is all there is, merely that we observe the universe. If the universe is merely a jar, we still observe it, or if the world we live in is merely a computer simulation, all this does is further localize the universe. If this is the Matrix, then the Matrix is our Universe, no matter how much might exist outside of it. This is essentially a more generalized version of the old riddle with the people chained to the wall of a cave.

From there, we can observe and determine everything we have about the universe. Including your laws of logic.;

Identity: A = A, by definition. That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is it? It is. We know this only because we have observed it and defined it to be such. Of course, we have trouble thinking of a way for this to be wrong, however ignorance is not an argument. In deed, Omnipotence would require the omnipotent being to be capable of both being and not beign, or holding and not holding some attribute in order to bypass certain paradoxes and be capable of absolute omnipotence. The most famous of these paradoxes is the boulder paradox, where the answer is that, to be omnipotent, god would need to create a boulder that he both can and cannot lift simultaneously, henceforth referred to as Schrodinger's Boulder, otherwise there is some limit to his power, even if that limit is simply that he cannot approach this problemm.  

However that is merely philosophical waxing, in practice, that that is, is, because it is. The law is contained in the definition. That that is, cannot be not, for then it no longer is and is only applicable to the second sentence; that that is not, is not.

Furthermore, this is not the case in Berkeley, California, so the law cannot be universal anyways, just as people don't necessarily die when they are killed in Japan.**

Non-Contradiction/Excluded Middle: These laws are really just extensions of the law of Identity and aspects of Identity itself. The law of Excluded Middle is also only really applicable in dichotomous situations.

None of those require a mind, they require only a universe that functions according to them. We, so far, appear to live within such a universe. It is still to you to explain why they require a conscious mind.

REGIS mk.5; I'm going to have to go with Objection #5. Yes, that is my final answer. Now get back to destroying everything.

*If you start arguing that green is a human word to define subjective color, please be advised this will do nothing but prove that you didn't understand a single thing I typed.

**These are jokes.
 

 

When you say it like that you make it sound so Sinister...


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Quote:(3) The three

Quote:
(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

(3) The three principles are ontologically dependent upon thought.

How is the fact that my car is not simultaneously a pretzel "dependent upon thought"?


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Sleepy wrote:Objection #1:

Sleepy wrote:


Objection #1: The logical principles are simply descriptions of the behavior of the universe.

Response: If that's true, then they cannot be a priori.  Statements regarding the behavior of the universe are a posteriori.  This would reduce logical principles to inductive statements.  This, in turn, would compromise their universality.  It is impossible for us to observe the entire universe, so how could we know that the logical principles apply to the entire universe? 

It's been empirically shown that they may not be universal. For example there is phenomenon of superposition at very small scales of matter.

This, of course, implies that they are a posteriori observations of the behaviour of the universe, not universal principles. Moreover, observations which can be inducted reliably, only in the certain and specific domain that is common to the entities (namely ourselves) which experience them.

 

Sleepy wrote:

Beyond that, saying that they are descriptions of the universe does not account for the fact that the process of perception and the scientific method itself requires the employment of these principles, which means that they would have to already be in place within us. 

True enough, and there is certainly some good reason to believe that they are in place in us.

As I mentioned already, we've seen that the domain of these "principles" is that of the physical magnitude common to the human experience. That is, there exists a distinct correlation between the very basis of being a human in the universe, and the principles of rationality. The only issue, and the only place the TAG God can fit, is in which came first. But of course, the question presupposes a succession of intervals, in turn presupposing the excluded middle and its counterparts in domains where we have established by observation that they don't apply. So, the question is ultimately synthetic; "first" is a synthetic proposition and TAG does not require answering.

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Sleepy wrote:If you are to

Sleepy wrote:

If you are to deny the universality of rationality, then I could easily tell you that you have no right to tell me that I'm wrong because according to you, the principles are not universal. 

Lucky I'm not telling you that you're wrong then, hey?

I realise that my argument can't support saying you're wrong, but it does demonstrate that TAG doesn't compel any immediate reply in the case that those principles aren't universal.

 

Sleepy wrote:

Objection #6:  If all minds disappeared from the universe, the same truths would apply to the universe.

Response: Not true. 

I agree, it's pretty much already been demonstrated that this just isn't the case.

 

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Sinphanius wrote:A Judgement

Sinphanius wrote:


A Judgement which happens to be wrong, as the baby, when he first observes the bottle, judges it to be his mother's breast. Either way, the fact that humans can judge something on incomplete or non-existent data doesn't really help you argue that logical laws are universal.

The nature of the bottle itself is an a posteriori judgment on the part of the child.  But the fact that there IS something there, that the baby is latching on to and sucking IS a judgment of truth that the baby is making. 


Quote:
Continuing with the baby analogy, babies actually don't understand the laws of logic until later in their growth. If I remember correctly, babies, and other animals, cannot recognize themselves in a mirror until around age 2 or so. They are taught to understand the concept of identity.

And the very process of being taught requires a pre-existing standard of rationality to which one is able to use as the means of codification.  It is not about being able to say, "I know the law of identity".  These need not be consciously employed.

Quote:
The Laws of Logic are both simultaneously mental concepts and descriptions of the universe which we have found to hold true, and evident in the universe themselves. Really, the core of my argument was not that they are not universal, for as my answer to the tree states clearly and simply, we don't really know whether they are or not, merely that they do not require a mind to exist.

"Descriptions of the universe" is a mental existent, so you cannot separately the two.  If you do not know that logical absolutes are universal, then you cannot tell me that I am right or wrong, since it could conceivably be the case that I am BOTH right and wrong at the same time.  If logical absolutes are not universal, then how do you know this isn't the case right now?  You would clearly be employing some underlying objective standard which apparently supersedes the laws of logic in order to judge that they are applying in this instance, which means that you are clinging to the idea of some absolute concepts which you have yet to provide an account for.

Quote:
An Apple will always be an apple even if there is no one around to observe it, we can shoot probes deep into space, far to far away for any human to observe, however they do not lose their definition and become anything as soon as we let them leave unless this is Star Trek.

If there are no minds, then you cannot make any truth statements about the apple.  If it is true that an apple is what it is in some distant universe, then the law of identity, a concept, still has application and there is a mind through which it is thought.

Quote:
All of the logical principles are aspects of the universe, just like everything else we know or think we know. They may be wrong, they may not be universal, and there very well could be a multitude of alternate realities and other universes who have somewhat different logical principles. However until such time as positive evidence indicative of those other universes is discovered, believing in them is not rational.

Once again, by what criteria do you assume that we ought to obey the logical principles if they *may* not be universal?  If I tell you that I am right because you are transgendered and you do not exist in uggablav, then on what basis do you judge that I am wrong?  You are using the principles of logic.  You would say that I've committed a logical fallacy.  But if they may not be universal, on what basis would you argue that my logic is wrong? 

Quote:
The point of my argument was that the laws are not concepts, they exist both as concepts and as aspects of reality that we have observed. To be philosophically correct we don't know that they are universal, however this doesn't matter. Grass is not green* simply because we say it is, it is green because it reflects a specific wavelength and frequency of light that lands on the green portion of the visible light section of the spectrum of light. It is grass because its molecules are arranged into the configuration necessary for a blade of grass, and it is not both a blade of grass and the blade of a sword because the arrangements of molecules necessary for it to be either of these two blades are different, thus preventing it from being both at the same time. No where does this require a mind, or at least, if it does, it is to you to tell us why it requires a mind, so far you have not.

So logical absolutes are not concepts but they are concepts?  That is what you've said.  You said they are not concepts but that they exist as concepts AND aspects of reality.  That makes absolutely no sense.  Yet you did assert earlier that logic may not be universal, so I would suppose that I have no basis for making that statement.

The statements you've made about grass are clearly employing the law of identity and non-contradiction, which you've already agreed MAY not be universal.  So why should I believe that your statement is true?  Then again, if the principles may not be universal, then statements could possibly be both true and false at the same time.

This requires a mind because the STANDARDS you are using to make these truth statements about the world are conceptual by nature and concepts cannot exist without minds.

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To close, all of the laws of logic can be determined based purely on observation of the universe, and that is how they were devised. I understand it may seem like they are inherent within your mind, however this is simply because you were taught them at a very young age, and they have become so crucial to your functioning within society that it is difficult to imagine how they could not apply.

I've already addressed most of this.  This position is riddled with problems.  Would you say that "1 + 1 = 2" simply because we've repeatedly observe that when we put one object together with another object that it comes to two objects?  Is "134314(932094) = 125193273516" true simply because the calculator says it is or have you ever actually physically multiplied 134314 objects by 932094?  How exactly do you derive the law of identity from observing the behavior of moving objects?  And exactly which natural scientists codified the laws of logic?  What year was this done in?

Like I've said, PERCEPTION requires an internal standard of rationality.  This is presupposed in the very thought process. 

Quote:
The starting point for all of our appraisal of existence and thus the laws of logic is that age old phrase, 'I think, therefore I am.' This began as an assumption whichw was then evaluated. We do think, the fact that we think is indisputable, as we are thinking now and can observe these thoughts as they form. However this phrase goes deeper than that, for the usual response to the statement of thought is that we could just be a brain in a jar somewhere. However this doesn't apply to the statement of thought as it never stated anything about the universe, merely that a thinker existed somewhere within it. Thus whetehr that thinker is a brain in a jar or if this is all just the Matrix Neo is irrelevant, the thinker still exists somewhere.

So you believe that the laws of logic did not exist before Descartes? 

Even the assertions you've made are underlied by rationality.  "I think, therefore I am" presupposes the law of identity.  It must necessary be true that something is what it is and is not what it is not in order for "I think, therefore I am" to be true.  "The fact that we think is indisputable" is a truth statement.  It's true because we can observe ourselves thinking now?  Then the law of excluded middle must already be true, because in accordance with that, nothing can be both true and false at the same time.

You've already admitted that the rest of what you've written is just rambling.  I don't feel like reading through the rest.


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Ctrl Y wrote:Quote:(2) The

Ctrl Y wrote:

Quote:
(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

(3) The three principles are ontologically dependent upon thought.

How is the fact that my car is not simultaneously a pretzel "dependent upon thought"?

Because the standards by which you judge the rationality of that statement are conceptual.


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Sleepy wrote:Ctrl Y wrote:

Sleepy wrote:
Ctrl Y wrote:
How is the fact that my car is not simultaneously a pretzel "dependent upon thought"?

Because the standards by which you judge the rationality of that statement are conceptual.

Yes, of course the proposition "my car is not simultaneously a pretzel" is true or false based on the concepts that I take to be the referents of those words. That's a mundane linguistic point that you could never use to argue for God. My question was about the referents of the words, not the words. Do you believe that it is only by the grace of some act of thought that things out there in the world do not go from being themselves (e.g., a car) to being both themselves and not themselves (e.g., a car and a pretzel) at once?


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Eloise wrote: It's been

Eloise wrote:

 

It's been empirically shown that they may not be universal. For example there is phenomenon of superposition at very small scales of matter.

I've addressed this in one of my objections.  Would you say that a species of individuals who are the size of subatomic particles would have a rationality that is different from ours?  Would they deny that statements are either true or false?  This is not a valid objection.

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This, of course, implies that they are a posteriori observations of the behaviour of the universe, not universal principles. Moreover, observations which can be inducted reliably, only in the certain and specific domain that is common to the entities (namely ourselves) which experience them.

Can you offer me any sort of example where something is neither true nor false or that something is and is not something at the same time? 

"This statement is false" will not work because all statements contain an implicit assertion of their own truth, which means the statement reduces itself to "This statement is true and this statement is false" and is dealt with by the law of non-contradiction.

Schrodinger's Cat is just based on arbitrary criteria invented by physicists, itself requiring the employment of the fundamental logical principles.

Do you have anything else?

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True enough, and there is certainly some good reason to believe that they are in place in us.

As I mentioned already, we've seen that the domain of these "principles" is that of the physical magnitude common to the human experience. That is, there exists a distinct correlation between the very basis of being a human in the universe, and the principles of rationality. The only issue, and the only place the TAG God can fit, is in which came first. But of course, the question presupposes a succession of intervals, in turn presupposing the excluded middle and its counterparts in domains where we have established by observation that they don't apply. So, the question is ultimately synthetic; "first" is a synthetic proposition and TAG does not require answering.

We have never established by any sort of observation that excluded middle does not apply, since in the very statements where it supposedly doesn't, there is an underlying assertion of the TRUTH of that statement, which in turn violates the law of non-contradiction.  Moreover, you misrepresent TAG.  TAG does not ask, "What came first?", since that presupposes a temporal succession of events leading to the creation of logical absolutes.  That is not part of the argument.  TAG examines the necessary CONDITIONS for rationality to be possible. 


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Ctrl Y wrote:Sleepy

Ctrl Y wrote:

Sleepy wrote:
Ctrl Y wrote:
How is the fact that my car is not simultaneously a pretzel "dependent upon thought"?

Because the standards by which you judge the rationality of that statement are conceptual.

Yes, of course the proposition "my car is not simultaneously a pretzel" is true or false based on the concepts that I take to be the referents of those words. That's a mundane linguistic point that you could never use to argue for God. My question was about the referents of the words, not the words. Do you believe that things out there in the world could go from being themselves to being both themselves and not themselves at once?

You are employing the principle of non-contradiction in order to judge that the car is not a pretzel.  Without the principle of non-contradiction, there would be no basis for saying that the car is not a pretzel because you are judging the falsity of the statement by employing that very principle.  You are also employing the law of excluded middle, which says that statements are either true or false.

I'm not talking about the words either.  I'm also talking about the referents. 

Do you believe the logical absolutes are conceptual?  If not, then what are they?


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Eloise wrote:SNIPBy the way,

Eloise wrote:

SNIP

By the way, when I have the time, I would love to debate you on the absurdities of Panentheism.


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Sleepy wrote:Ctrl Y wrote:

Sleepy wrote:
You are employing the principle of non-contradiction in order to judge that the car is not a pretzel.  Without the principle of non-contradiction, there would be no basis for saying that the car is not a pretzel because you are judging the falsity of the statement by employing that very principle.  You are also employing the law of excluded middle, which says that statements are either true or false.

Good, because using those principles is not problematic for anything I've said.

Stuck in autopologetics mode?

Quote:
I'm not talking about the words either.  I'm also talking about the referents. 

Then you need to explain your previous response at greater length.

Quote:
Do you believe the logical absolutes are conceptual?  If not, then what are they?

I'll answer your question after you answer mine unambiguously.


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Ctrl Y wrote:Then you

Ctrl Y wrote:

Then you need to explain your previous response at greater length.

What do you need clarification on?


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Sleepy wrote:Ctrl Y

Sleepy wrote:

Ctrl Y wrote:

Then you need to explain your previous response at greater length.

What do you need clarification on?

All of it. Explain what you meant by "because the standards by which you judge the rationality of that statement are conceptual." That is a brief and fairly vague explanation of your position. I would like you to say essentially the same thing you said there, but at greater length. Just expound on it for me.


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Ctrl Y wrote:Sleepy

Ctrl Y wrote:

Sleepy wrote:

Ctrl Y wrote:

Then you need to explain your previous response at greater length.

What do you need clarification on?

Explain what you meant by "because the standards you use to judge that statement are conceptual." That is a brief and fairly vague explanation. I would like you to say essentially the same thing you said there, but at greater length. Just expound on it a bit for me.

Okay.  

Do you believe in the existence of intelligence?  Intelligence is our capacity for reason and understanding.  

Do you believe in the existence of reason?  Reason refers to the process of forming concusions, judgments, or inferences.  This process is also known as "logic".

Logic is based upon certain rules.  The three rules are the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle.  All logical systems, even those which assert to disprove the univesality of the three principles, are built off them.  For example, propositional logic, predicate logic, syllogistic logic, trivalent logic, etc.

Now what is the nature of these three principles?  In other words, what are they and what can we say about them?  What is their category of existence?

"Existence" refers to the state of reality whereby something is actualized.  Different things exist in different ways.  Smiles exist on faces, colors exist on surfaces, bodies exist in space, etc. 

So in what way do logical principles exist?  They are not physical.  They cannot be seen, heard, or felt.  They certainly are not spiritual.  So what are they?

They are THOUGHTS.  They are conceptual.  And thoughts have ontological dependence upon minds.  A thought cannot exist without a mind, period.

So we have three principles, three truth statements:


"A & ~A" is impossible

"A is A and A is not ~A"

"All statements are either true or false"

 

These have to exist in a mind. 

 

Does that help?


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Sleepy wrote:Do you believe

Sleepy wrote:

Do you believe in the existence of reason?  Reason refers to the process of forming concusions, judgments, or inferences.  This process is also known as "logic".

Logic is based upon certain rules.  The three rules are the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle.  All logical systems, even those which assert to disprove the univesality of the three principles, are built off them.  For example, propositional logic, predicate logic, syllogistic logic, trivalent logic, etc.

I agree that reason requires logical principles, but the logical principles that reason requires are not the same as the logical principles that govern the universe. Reason is governed by the thought that "a thing is itself." The universe is governed by the fact that a thing is itself. My thought that "a thing is itself" cannot exist outside my mind, true. But that is not a reason to think that the fact that a thing is itself is caused by a mind.


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Sleepy wrote:Eloise

Sleepy wrote:

Eloise wrote:

SNIP

By the way, when I have the time, I would love to debate you on the absurdities of Panentheism.

 

 

 

 

 


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Ctrl Y wrote:Sleepy wrote:Do

Ctrl Y wrote:

Sleepy wrote:

Do you believe in the existence of reason?  Reason refers to the process of forming concusions, judgments, or inferences.  This process is also known as "logic".

Logic is based upon certain rules.  The three rules are the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle.  All logical systems, even those which assert to disprove the univesality of the three principles, are built off them.  For example, propositional logic, predicate logic, syllogistic logic, trivalent logic, etc.

I agree that reason requires logical principles, but the logical principles that reason requires are not the same as the logical principles that govern the universe. Reason is governed by the thought that "a thing is itself." The universe is governed by the fact that a thing is itself. My thought that a thing is itself cannot exist outside my mind, true. But that is not a reason to think that the fact that a thing is itself requires a mind.

I don't like to use the word "govern", but I'll go with that for the purposes of my response.

What are the logical principles which govern the universe and how are they different from the logical principles which govern our rationality?  Are you saying that the universe behaves in a way such that objects are A and ~A at the same time?  Are you saying that in the context of the universe, it is neither true nor false that the Earth revolves around the sun?

In both instances, though, you are positing conceptual entities.  As you've stated, the universe is governed by principles.  Principles are conceptual entities and require minds, whether they are governing rationality or the universe itself. 

Another problem is that you did not provide an actual account of these principles.  You've just outlined their category of existence.  What is the grounding for our logical principles which govern our rationality?  Are you saying that it is just chemistry of the brain?  And are you saying that the principles governing the universe are codified by us after empirical observation?  If so, are we applying the three logical principles in order to undergo the codification process?  That being the case, it would follow that the logical principles do in fact have application to the universe and you are right back to where we started.  And, in fact, we are back where we've started.  You've applied the logical principles to this universe, which is supposedly governed by different principles.  You've made a truth statement judged in accordance with the laws of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle.


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apologists and master-de-baters

Don't theists have their own sites?? lol   Go on...  I think someones calling you.  That's it... run along now and leave the rational people in enlightened peace. Smiling  lol


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Apologists and Masterdebaters

Don't theists have their own sites?  lol   Go on now...  I think I here someone calling you.   That's it...   run along now.  Leave the nice non-theists to their enlightened peace.  Smiling lol


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Sleepy wrote:I'm a theist

Sleepy wrote:

I'm a theist and I rarely see this argument dealt with here.  It is a personal favorite of mine. 

(1) Rationality exists

(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

(3) The three principles are ontologically dependent upon thought.

(4) The three principles are universal and a priori.

(5) Only a thinking being which is eternal, immutable, and infallible can account for the universality and  a priority of the three principles.

 

Are you saying that this "being" can exists without those logical principles?  Does that mean it is illogical in nature? If it is illogical in nature on what grounds can you suggest it is eternal, immutable or infallible as these are part of its identity which you suggest it accounts for?


 

Sounds made up...
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Magus wrote:Are you saying

Magus wrote:

Are you saying that this "being" can exists without those logical principles? 

Not at all.

 


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Sleepy wrote:Magus wrote:Are

Sleepy wrote:

Magus wrote:

Are you saying that this "being" can exists without those logical principles? 

Not at all.

 

So how then is this being required for them to be?

Sounds made up...
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Magus wrote:So how then is

Magus wrote:

So how then is this being required for them to be?

That's all in the argument, specifically 3 through 5:

(1) Rationality exists

(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

(3) The three principles are ontologically dependent upon thought.

(4) The three principles are universal and a priori.

(5) Only a thinking being which is eternal, immutable, and infallible can account for the universality and  a priority of the three principles.

 

Allow me to refer you to the last objection that I've addressed:

Objection #7: If God is God is a not not God, then isn't it the case that the principles apply to God?  Therefore, he could not have invented them.

Response: This is not really relevant to the argument but I see it used a lot by atheists.  TAG never asserts that God "invented" the logical principles.  The logical principles are a manifestation of God's rationality, itself not separate from the nature of God.  In medeival philosophy, this is the doctrine of divine simplicity. The principles apply to God because he is always consistent and it is for this reason that he will never violate the principle of non-contradiction, identity, or excluded middle.  But again, not really relevant.

 

 


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Sleepy wrote:Magus wrote:So

Sleepy wrote:

Magus wrote:

So how then is this being required for them to be?

That's all in the argument, specifically 3 through 5:

(1) Rationality exists

(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

(3) The three principles are ontologically dependent upon thought.

(4) The three principles are universal and a priori.

(5) Only a thinking being which is eternal, immutable, and infallible can account for the universality and  a priority of the three principles.

 

Allow me to refer you to the last objection that I've addressed:

Objection #7: If God is God is a not not God, then isn't it the case that the principles apply to God?  Therefore, he could not have invented them.

Response: This is not really relevant to the argument but I see it used a lot by atheists.  TAG never asserts that God "invented" the logical principles.  The logical principles are a manifestation of God's rationality, itself not separate from the nature of God.  In medeival philosophy, this is the doctrine of divine simplicity. The principles apply to God because he is always consistent and it is for this reason that he will never violate the principle of non-contradiction, identity, or excluded middle.  But again, not really relevant.

 

So the standards of ratonality are based on the manifestion of rationality(Gods)?

Sounds made up...
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Magus wrote:Sleepy

Magus wrote:

Sleepy wrote:

Magus wrote:

So how then is this being required for them to be?

That's all in the argument, specifically 3 through 5:

(1) Rationality exists

(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

(3) The three principles are ontologically dependent upon thought.

(4) The three principles are universal and a priori.

(5) Only a thinking being which is eternal, immutable, and infallible can account for the universality and  a priority of the three principles.

 

Allow me to refer you to the last objection that I've addressed:

Objection #7: If God is God is a not not God, then isn't it the case that the principles apply to God?  Therefore, he could not have invented them.

Response: This is not really relevant to the argument but I see it used a lot by atheists.  TAG never asserts that God "invented" the logical principles.  The logical principles are a manifestation of God's rationality, itself not separate from the nature of God.  In medeival philosophy, this is the doctrine of divine simplicity. The principles apply to God because he is always consistent and it is for this reason that he will never violate the principle of non-contradiction, identity, or excluded middle.  But again, not really relevant.

 

So the standards of ratonality are based on the manifestion of rationality(Gods)?

Yes.  More specifically, God's nature. 


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Sleepy wrote:I'm a theist

Sleepy wrote:

I'm a theist and I rarely see this argument dealt with here. 

 

Then you are not looking.

 

Quote:

It is a personal favorite of mine. 

Its a really bad argument.

 

Quote:

(1) Rationality exists

(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

(3) The three principles are ontologically dependent upon thought.

(4) The three principles are universal and a priori.

(5) Only a thinking being which is eternal, immutable, and infallible can account for the universality and  a priority of the three principles.

Premise 5 does not follow.  (Also, this isn't exactly TAG as I've seen it before, but I digress)

This article demonstrates the flaw in the argument you are presenting here.

A Materialist Account for Abstractions - or - How Theists Misplace the Universe.

 

You probably already know how this complaint goes:

"How can you account for axioms in a materialistic universe? What part of your brain are axioms located in? Can you actually point to some neurons and say 'these are what the axioms really are'? Also, how can you account for their universal nature? Since the axioms of math are carried around in people's heads, are there really millions of little axioms of math running around? Finally, how come you also call an axiom written on the page the axiom' and the axiom in your head 'the axiom'? After all, paper isn't a bunch of neurons, and you are a materialist after all..."

Let's take this apart, piece by piece:

How do you account for the 'laws of logic' in a materialistic universe.

The laws of logic? Which set of laws? For which logic? First-order logic, first-order predicate logic, second-order predicate logic, modal logic, fuzzy logic? Which one? Logic is not a monolithic entity, and there is no one set of 'laws' for all of logic. Not all logical systems even require axioms. The set of axioms for the sentential, or propositional, logic is {} - the empty set:

"The point is that there can be no axioms in this logic (the writer is referring to predicate logic), the most basic of all modern logics (there are other formulations that do have axioms, though): everything in predicate logic is definitional. And how does one argue with a definition? My point is: the answer to the question "why doesn't everyone accept the axioms of logic?" is that it can be the case that there's nothing to accept. Literally." - Gregory Lopez.

Now that we have done away with the blunders attached to that misunderstanding, let's explain the basic metaphysics requires for the creation of an a priori system. The only metaphysic required for the creation of an a priori system is the existence of sentient brains. The basic axioms of existence, identity and consciousness - the so called laws of reason (prior to any logical system and not part of logic itself), are necessary elements of reason; to reason one must first exist, and exist as something. These axioms are therefore implicitly inescapable - an explicit awareness of these axioms is another matter.

We can express this truth thusly:

To exist is to exist as something. And to be aware of this is to be conscious.

The axioms are necessary truths, given the existence of consciousness. They are defended through retortion. But they are not a part of logic, per se. Other rules, such as the other laws of classical logic, can also be gleaned a priori, all of them flow from the axiom of identity (i.e. classical logic, a system of tautologies, can be traced back to the axiom of identity). The specifics of which rules we create do not matter here; what matters is as long as we have sentient brains, we will have the basis for the creation of any a priori system.

Mavaddat, from this site, writes:

(T)o explain the human invention of logical systems as somehow the indirect work of God is to explain precisely nothing at all. It is as good of an explanation as saying "it just happened." Invoking God to explain anything is the very abdication of reason and insight. It is giving up the investigation and search for truth and filling it with some supernatural nonsense (literally). Instead, I think that people like Paul Feyerabend, Karl Popper, and Thomas Kuhn give us a good idea about how science and human knowledge progresses.

"What part of your brain are axioms (or abstractions) located in?"

The cerebral cortex, frontal lobes. http://www.waiting.com/brainanatomy.html#anchor2587568

"Also, since the axioms of math are carried around in people's heads, are there really billions of little axioms of math running around?"

Billions of representations of the same axioms. Billions of sentient brains coming to the same, necessary, analytic, unavoidable, a priori conclusion, just as billions of different bits of falling matter all conform to the same phenomenon of nature that we can summarize in one law: the law of gravity.

If you fail to find it puzzling how 'different pieces of matter' can all conform to the same law of gravity, then you ought to re-examine your supposed puzzlement over axioms. The process is similar. Billions of sentient brains encountering the same, singular reality - the unavoidable basic metaphysics of our universe. If you are looking for a missing 'constant' for the materialistic account, it is this: the universe. You've misplaced the universe. One universe with a basic set of unavoidable, inescapable metaphysics. One universe imprinting itself onto phylogenetically similar sentient beings, who are able to draw the same abstractions from the same stimuli, based on the same rules...

Axioms, are abstractions that exist in a brain. The reason we see the 'same axiom' in different brains is because the same idea can be gleaned, analytically, a priori, by similar brains in the same exact universe. The same idea can be represented in multiple copies - the same firing of neurons in my brain as someone else's (more or less), which then become emergent phenomenon such as "abstract concepts" to our consciousnesses.

"Finally, how come you also call an axiom written on the page the axiom' and the axiom in your head 'the axiom'? After all, paper isn't a bunch of neurons, and you are a materialist after all..."

Ah, but you forget something else: Abstract entities written on a page have no meaning in and of themselves. They are interactive phenomena - a sentient brain is required to interpret them and provide them with 'meaning'. Thus, when we say that the number "eighteen" is written on a page, what materialists are really saying is that this sensory input'18' through some social convention (some rule), yields the same firing of neurons in my brain as someone else's (more or less), which then become emergent phenomenon such as "abstract concepts" to our consciousnesses.

A word written on a page and the same word spoken and traveling as a wave through the air are not 'the same matter'. However, when I read the word, and when I hear the word, my brain eventually interprets them the same way, producing similar electrochemical responses with enough fidelity that slightly different brains can reproduce the same abstraction, based on the same rules.

Of course, the mapping itself is completely arbitrary. Our written alphabet needn't be what it is, and we could choose totally different symbols to represent the same thing as the spoken word.

Common Responses:

The Identity of Indiscernibles is usually formulated as follows: if, for every property F, object x has F if and only if object y has F, then x is identical to y. Or in the notation of symbolic logic:

∀F(Fx ↔ Fy) → x=y.

This formula can be used to demonstrate that if x shares the same properties of y, then x and y are the same entity.

The argument continues:

A material entity cannot be in more than one spatio-temporal location at the same time.

Response: This claim confuses fails to consider that abstractions are tokens or representations - formed in neurons by the same set of rules. However, the claim is doubly false, for even if we presume that abstractions are in fact the same identical entity, quantum physics tells us that there is no contradiction in having the same material entity in more than one spatio-temporal location:

http://www.fizyka.umk.pl/~jkob/physnews/node30.html

For more in the principle of Identity of indiscernibles and Liebnitz' transposition of the principle, the law of Indiscernability of Identicals, see here:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-indiscernible/#Rec

 

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Hello Sleepy,  just wanted

Hello Sleepy,  just wanted to share some thoughts with you.

I think you've confused causality in your responce to objection #1.  Transcendental laws -> the universe -> the mind -> logic which is indeed an approximation of the transcendental laws because, as you pointed out, our minds do not the totality of the universe make.  Transcendental laws = a priori.  Logic = a posteriori.  See the difference?

As for your responce to objection #2, I'm going to skip because I'm not sure what the objection means.

On your responce to objection #3, I'm just going to agree and say that the underlying standard that you are referring  to are the transcendental laws and that your example of the square circle proves their existence.

Objection #4 is basically the same as objection #3.

Response #5, logic is a concept, transcendental laws (what I assume you mean by 'logical principles') are not.  For example, you draw a picture of an apple which you see on a table.  The picture you've drawn is a physical representation of what you see.  The idea of 'apple' which you think and imagine in you're mind is conceptual.  The apple which you see is physical and exists apart from your ability to see it.  Therefore, apples are not conceptual whereas the thought 'apple' is.

Response #6, I agree that the objection #6 is false if only because you worded it incorrectly.  'Truth' is indeed a construct of the mind, a concept, and therefore dependent upon the existence a mind to think it.  However, the transcendental property a truth statement is being made about (I believe Matt Dillahunty refered to this as an 'essence' or essential property) is not dependent upon the existence of an observer.  For example, the answer to the age-old question "If a tree falls in a forest and there's no one around to hear, does it make a sound?" is yes.  Reality doesn't disappear simply because you close your eyes.

Response #7, you are correct that God is irrelevant.


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Sleepy wrote: (2) The

Sleepy wrote:

 

(2) The standards by which rationality is judged are the three logical principles: (a) non-contradiction, (b) excluded middle, (c) identity.

 

In case it is not clear from my above post, the three 'principles' you discuss here are actually the three axioms of Aristotlean logic. No modern logician holds that these axioms are actually axioms for all logic any longer.  In fact, paraconsisent logic holds that the law of non contradiction is NOT universal.

 

So to clarify

 

1) You've not given a set of standards for rationality, you've given the three axioms of syllogistic logic.

2) No modern logican holds that they are axioms for all systems.

3) Holders of dialetheism reject the law of non contradiction as a universal!

4) Even if you disagree with dialetheism, the law of non contradiction is NOT an axiom in propostional logic. In fact, there is a PROOF for non contradicition in propostional logic:

Proof (by reductio):

1) (A & ~A) [Proposition]
2) A [Conjunction elimination from 1]
3) ~A [Conjunction elimination from 1]
4) ~(A & ~A) [Reductio, 1 - 3]

QED

 

Which of course demonstrates that we need not accept the law of non contradiction as an axiom in propositional logic, meaning that it is not universally required as an axiom.

 

QED.

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Anon O Moose wrote:Hello

Anon O Moose wrote:

Hello Sleepy,  just wanted to share some thoughts with you.

I think you've confused causality in your responce to objection #1.  Transcendental laws -> the universe -> the mind -> logic which is indeed an approximation of the transcendental laws because, as you pointed out, our minds do not the totality of the universe make.  

 

I do hope that people also recognize that 'transcendental' is a meaningless term unless it is used in the sense that similar minds come to the same conclusion, in the same univese,. Only then can say that something 'trancends' any one particular brain.

 

 

 

 

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todangst wrote:SNIPThe

todangst wrote:

SNIP

The article you've cited is full of obvious flaws.  I'll address it later.


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Sleepy wrote:todangst

Sleepy wrote:

todangst wrote:

SNIP

The article you've cited is full of obvious flaws.  I'll address it later.

If the flaws are obvious, why do you need time to address them?

 Again, you've given the axioms of syllogistic logic in your initial post, not rational thought.  Propositional logic is rational, but it does not rely on ANY of the axioms of syllogistic logic.  Propositional logic does not require those axioms.


Can you at least concede this error? 

 

PS - Took me about a minute to point out this obvious flaw. Got a minute to point out one of mine?

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I prefer to think of it as

I prefer to think of it as meaning that brains are the result of the coherence of the universe.  If the universe weren't coherent, brains wouldn't exist.


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I didn't think so. Here are

I didn't think so.

 

Here are two more posts for you to chew on.

 

Ontological and Epistemological blunders: TAG

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The Transcendental Argument for the Existence of God (TAG) asserts that whenever the non-believer employs the use of morality, logic, and science we do so from the presupposition that God exists, otherwise, how can we suppose that these sets of 'laws' would operate consistently? Without god as a foundation, they argue, everything falls into 'relativism' – where there are no absolute truths or valid foundations to justify any claims of knowledge. Christians themselves maintain that their own knowledge claims are validated through revelation that is received by them from God. In the absence of such revelation it is believed that the only alternative is chaos and a necessary ignorance of every issue.

Here is a review of how others have defined it:

Michael Martin writes:

Some Christian philosophers have made the incredible argument that logic, science and morality presuppose the truth of the Christian world view because logic, science and morality depend on the truth of this world view [1]. Advocates call this argument the Transcendental Argument for Existence of God and I will call it TAG for short.

http://www.reformed.org/apologetics/martin_TAG.html

The transcendental argument (TAG) is an argument for the existence of God that attempts to show that logic, science, ethics, and other often-thought-to-be good things in philosophy presuppose God's existence. That is, you can't make sense of them unless you stipulate that God exists. The argument is used by presuppositional apologists. Transcendental reasoning is inference about the prerequisite conditions for the possibility of knowledge. All major philosophies have transcendental theories.

http://www.fact-index.com/t/tr/transcendental_argument_for_the_existence_of_god.html

The transcendental argument (TAG) is an argument for the existence of God that attempts to show that logic, science, ethics, and other often-thought-to-be good things in philosophy presuppose God's existence. That is, you can't make sense of them unless you stipulate that God exists. The argument is used by presuppositional apologists. Transcendental reasoning is inference about the prerequisite conditions for the possibility of knowledge. All major philosophies have transcendental theories.

The TAG aims to prove God's existence from the impossibility of the contrary. Theists and nontheists alike rely on logic, science and ethics. The Christian God, being all logical, all uniform, and all good, exhibits his character in the created order. It is the Christian's contention that no other worldview can account for these things. Therefore, Christianity is true by being the sole contender left standing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_argument_for_the_existence_of_God

The proof of God's existence lies in the fact that God's existence is the necessary presupposition for all human knowledge. Man, as a limited being, must START their knowledge with God and His revelation in order to know anything at all and interpret the universe at all. God, as the measure of all things, is where our reasoning MUST start.

http://www.christianguitar.org/forums/archive/index.php/t-12980.html

The problems with TAG involve errors in ontology and epistemology so basic and so numerous that my attempt to write a refutation is stymied by the puzzle of which refutation to choose to use first. Let's begin here:

TAG is a Naked Assertion

TAG is an assertion based on a presumed dilemma. It does not define its terms nor does it give us an explanation of just how TAG accomplishes the goal of eradicating the dilemma. It simply assert that belief in god is required for the world to make sense. How so? What does this belief accomplish? How does it work? No answer comes from the TAGer.

"Archer says, "Without a good and holy God in heaven above, however, there is no solution to be found in freethinking or any other kind of thinking." Again no proof or justification is provided. Just another assertion that is supposed to be sufficient unto itself. Too bad I didn't think of that approach! Instead of devoting so much time and effort to reading and research, I could have just forgotten about all my studies, thrown away my notes, discarded my citations, and told it like it is. That certainly would have been easier.'' - Dennis McKinsey from Bible Errancy (http://mywebpages.comcast.net/errancy/issues/iss160.htm)

Mavaddat, from this site, writes:

(T)o explain the human invention of logical systems as somehow the indirect work of God is to explain precisely nothing at all. It is as good of an explanation as saying "it just happened." Invoking God to explain anything is the very abdication of reason and insight. It is giving up the investigation and search for truth and filling it with some supernatural nonsense (literally). Instead, I think that people like Paul Feyerabend, Karl Popper, and Thomas Kuhn give us a good idea about how science and human knowledge progresses.

TAG is a Naked Assertion that relies on Incoherent Terms

TAG claims that one must presuppose 'god' in order to come to certain conclusions, but this claim is proven nonsensical when one considers that TAG is incoherent: it relies on incoherent terms. Terms such as "immaterial' and "transcendent' and "god' are purely negative terms without any ontological status.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/god_is_an_incoherent_term

TAG is a Naked Assertion that Relies on Incoherent terms, and violates the Concepts of Contingency and Necessity.

TAG offers up a confusion: While 'god' cannot be defined in positive terms, secondary traits assigned to 'god' such as 'omnipotent' and 'omniscient' can be examined independently. And it follows from the definitions of these secondary traits that anything created and sustained by an 'omnipotent creator' would exist contingently, as omnipotence obviates necessity by definition. Yet tautologies are necessarily true. How can a tautology be contingently true and necessarily true, at the same time?

TAG is a Naked Assertion that Relies on Incoherent terms, and violates the Concepts of Contingency and Necessity as well as Basic Ontology

Let's first consider the problem of a 'supernatural being' being as the fountain of natural laws.  We've already discussed the ontological dilemma with making a reference to anything beyond nature - anything defined solely in negative terms. Next, we know that nothing natural can point back to its own antithesis, the supernatural, as nothing with ontological status can point towards something without any ontological status. In addition, we would expect that any universe created by, contingent upon, and sustained by a 'supernatural' 'force' would be magical, not lawful. Otherwise, if this 'god' 'worked' lawfully, causally, this 'god', this 'god' would then enter the causal chain, and be a natural entity. And this would undermine the entire supposed point of requiring this 'necessary' being as the solution to the Kalam-esque problem of creation. Any 'god' that is part of the causal chain could not create ex nihilo.

So to return to the original point, any universe created by a supernatural 'being' would be a universe created by fiat, where every parameter of existence would exist by fiat alone... it wouldn't follow predictable, basic physical laws. It would be a world of magic. Does this represent our universe?

No.

On the other hand, if logic, reason, and order are universals that 'god' has to 'follow' if god were limited in some way, we leave theism altogether and enter pantheism. We'd have Spinoza and Einstein's god. The god of Christian theology would be out of a job.

Clever readers will recognize this answer to the transcendental argument as a permutation on Socrates' Euthyphro dilemma, indicating that the solution to this problem predated Christianity itself.

The most common theist response:

Theists will seek to avoid this dilemma by arguing that a third option exists: "Logic, etc. is/are part of god's 'character'. However this attempt to avoid both horns of the dilemma commits two blunders that, and ultimately forces the honest theist to return to one of the two horns of the dilemma.

Blunder number 1:

Ontological: This claim leads to a stolen concept fallacy. Here's how: 'Supernatural', 'is' defined as beyond nature - i.e. 'not nature', a purely negative definition without any remaining universe of discourse, ergo the term "supernatural" is a broken concept. As a broken concept it cannot refer to anything by definition. So to say that something beyond nature, has a nature, is to steal the concept of naturalism.

Attempted Rebuttal: Some balk at this as a play on words, by claiming that 'nature' and 'having a nature' are two different concepts altogether. This commits two more ontological errors. 1) This merely begs the question that we can speak of nature, devoid of nature! 2) Basic ontology tells us that to exist is to exist as something, to have identity, to have positive attributes. It is these positive attributes that give something a character. To define something as beyond nature is to rule out the ability to apply any positive attributes. Another way to understand this error is to recognize that any positive attribute is a limit. To have identity is to have limits. To define something as unlimited is to hold that it can't have limits. Ergo, it is beyond character/nature/identity.

Review:

Basic ontology, built off the basic axioms of reason, tell us that to exist is to exist as
something, to have identity, to have attributes. Existence and identity speak to limits. To be something is to not be what it is not. A=A. A does not equal NOT A.

To define something as supernatural is to say it is beyond limits, hence, beyond identity, hence beyond character, hence without a nature.

**********************

Blunder number 2:

It is a bizarre notion that 'logic' could be a part of any thing's 'character'. This is a category error of the first order! Logic applies to arguments, the referents to entities, not the entities themselves! By "logic" the TAGer can only mean that this 'god' has an ontology, a set of positive attributes, i.e. the TAGer can only be referring to metaphysics: ontology, and not "logic".

But we know from above that this 'god' has no ontological status.

Leaving this aside, let's assume for the sake of argument that this 'god' somehow has a 'character' and that this character is 'logical'. This leads us to the TAGer's next blunder:

Blunder number 3:

we must ask: can this 'god' change 'it's character?

If 'he' can, then we return to the first horn of the dilemma.

If 'he' cannot, we return to the second.

The attempt to seek sanctuary by placing 'logic' within 'god's character' fails on multiple fronts.

QED

TAG is a Naked Assertion that Relies on Incoherent terms, and violates the Concepts of Contingency and Necessity as well as Basic Ontology, including the concepts of Axioms

Whether or not the theist uses the term 'axiom', or other terms like 'reference point' (How can nature refer to it's own antithesis, the supernatural?!) is irrelevant. TAG boils down to a claim for 'god' representing an axiom, i.e. a necessary foundational part of any claim. (The fact that TAGers don't grasp what an axiom is is apparent in the flaws of TAG itself.)

1) Why God can't serve as an axiom*, and the Necessity of Epistemological Autonomy

A) The Presuppositionalists' "Presuppositions"

Leaving aside, for a moment the ontological problems of any reference to the supernatural, the second major fatal flaw of the presuppositionalist position is that there are axioms more 'properly basic' than his 'god' claim. In fact, the advocate of TAG must presuppose and employ the basic metaphysical axioms of existence, identity and consciousness before he 'presuppose' his 'god'.These axioms are properly basic to reason, they are epistemological in nature; they allow us to identify and know the world. Hence it is the TAGer who is stealing the concept within his own argument! He must rely upon naturalistic epistemology.

Can a presuppositionlist simply deny this claim?

If the presuppositionalist were to declare that God is more basic than the axioms of existence, identity, and consciousness he would argue himself into incoherence. He would turn 'nothing' into an axiom. Literally.

Finally, TAG advocates have asserted (not argued) that while logical law may certainly be axiomatic, the non-believer is unable to account for why these axiomatic laws exist. Here the theist appears to wander off into cosmology. These axioms exist because, again, because any entity has positive attributes, and any sentient entity is able to work out, a priori, from basic ontology, the basic axioms of existence: to exist is to exist as something, to have identity, and to be aware of this is to be conscious.

TAG is a Naked Assertion that Relies on Incoherent terms, violates the Concepts of Contingency and Necessity as well as Basic Ontology, including the concepts of Axioms and actually commits the same error that it supposedly exists to solve

I discuss this error in full here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/an_easy_argument_to_refute_van_tillian_calvinist_presuppositionalism

Briefly:

The Christian "solution" for the insufficiency of the assumption of the Uniformity of nature is "God told me (via the biblical revelation) that he promises to uphold the general uniformity and intelligibility of nature."

In doing this the Christian believes he has at once justified induction (because our inferences will be made against a universe that will act uniformly) AND avoided the essential problem of induction because their conclusion about the Uniformity Of Nature is not based upon induction; but upon revelation. They have a "third way" of knowledge, unacknowledged in our world view, which "solves" such epistemological problems.

But...even accepting this as true for the sake of argument.... they don't solve it! They've just slipped the problem back a step. The Christian has simply predicated the Uniformity Of Nature on the Uniformity Of (a) God (who will purportedly uphold the uniformity of nature). You ain't gonna have any uniformity of nature if the God upholding it isn't uniform Himself. So we can ask the same question to the Christian about the foundation for their belief in the uniformity of God: Leaving aside, for a moment, the insurmountable ontological problems with the 'god' term, on what non-question-begging grounds can you justify your expectation that God will keep his promise, or that God will be as he is tomorrow as he was yesterday?" You run into the same meta-problems that follow from using the uniformity of nature argument!*

On the same argument used by the presupper, the conclusion is inescapable: they can't do so. They ARE appealing to induction whether they refuse to acknowledge it or not.

Recap

TAGers cannot explain how TAG actually works. They merely assert a dilemma based on a misunderstanding of the problem of induction, without even offering a proof that the dilemma exists. TAGers reveal a poor grasp of the basics of logic, metaphysics. TAG advocates fail to recognize the slew of concealed presuppositions that the transcendental argument ultimately relies upon. It does so in that it presents god to be the foundation for logical process and yet must employ the exact opposite view of using the axioms of logic in order to confirm its position.

On the other hand, non-believers need only presuppose these axioms when employing the use of logical process and therefore God as a presupposition is unnecessary and ultimately irrelevant.

See:

The Transcendental Argument for the Nonexistence of God

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/michael_martin/martin-frame/tang.html

TAG and the Fallacy of the Stolen Concept:
An Overview of TAG and Internal Reasons Why It Must Fail
by Anton Thorn

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/1019/Morgue/TAG_Stolen_Concept.htm

* A metaphysical axiom is an atomic statement, not capable of being broken down into smaller components, that is defended through retortion.

Retortion: Defense through retortion occurs when one is forced to rely upon the concept one seeks to refute. To deny existence, you must concede the existence of the axiom in order to deny it! There is nothing to the term 'god does not exist' that leads to an internal contradiction.

Question: Don't naturalists have to start out with unsupported assumptions?

This is a question that relates to foundationalism: the claim that all systems of thought must begin by making basic assumptions that are in turn used to get any system of knowledge 'off the ground'. Some putative examples (I don't necessarily agree on any of these being unsupported) might be: assuming the reliability of the senses allows me to make inferences from sensory knowledge, the assumption of the utility of reason to accurately know the world allows me to rely on reason, the need to assume that others experience a first person ontology, allows me to enter into meaningful discourse with others, etc.

I want to first note that one's epistemological starting point need not be foundationalism. One may employ other models instead, such as coherentism, (which denies that there is a need for foundationalism as there is no infinite regress problem), contextualism and pragmatism, which 'sidesteps the issue' by looking at the value of any human practice. Of course, one could also combine elements of any system, particularly if one is a Hegelian!

Now, I'd like to talk about naturalistic assumptions.
There are two types in my estimation: axiomatic knowledge, and basic assumptions that are not defended through retortion.

Axioms of reason would include the axiom of existence, identity and sentience.

Unfortunately, these axioms don't tell us anything about the 'world' around us, other than that 'something' exists, that whatever exists, exists as one thing and not another, and that these deductive truths demonstrate that we, the gleaner of these axioms, must be aware, seeing as we are aware of these axioms. If all we wanted out of life was a very basic metaphysic grounded in bedrock certainty, we would be content. If we want more, we must move past these axioms, and risk error.

And this is where a naturalist foundationalist would move to basic assumptions: self evident 'first principles' - beliefs that any natural being seems forced to make in order to operate in the world.

(Note: not all naturalists are foundationalists, see how complex this discussion really is?)

Hearing this, some might hold that since we must start with assumptions, this somehow grants us a freedom to assume whatever we like. However, this is a ridiculous strawman of the situation. While there are no deductive proofs for naturalistic assumptions, this does not mean that they are accepted without any grounds at all! And this is the basic error in theistic claims for equity between their assumptions, and naturalistic assumptions.

Let's look at how wrong their claim is:

1) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would only justifies what is required in order to begin knowing the world.

If, for example, there is in fact a need to assume the existence of other first person ontology other than my own, this assumption only allows me to assume whatever is needed to unpack first person ontology, nothing more.

2) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would never justify holding to an assumption that fails to adequately account for reality.

This is where pragmatism enters into any foundationalist approach to justifying knowledge. Pragmatic philosopher Nicholas Rescher declares that we are within our epistemic rights to hold to a basic assumption only as long as there is a bilateral feedback loop between assumptions and knowledge. Any claim, such as the future will resemble the past - may be presupposed, as long as the claim is open to revision/falsification. Thus, any assumption we use not only undergirdles attempts to gain knowledge, but must be subject to testing in the very process of gaining knowledge.

The presupposition of 'god' is incapable of being tested, rendering the 'god presupposition' pragmatically meaningless.

3) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would not justify making any assumption that violated what we know of the world through rational-empirical methods.

Consider Stephen Hawkings here, in his description of speculative cosmological theory:

"There are cosmological models that have as much evidence going for them as astrology. They differ from astrology, however, in that they do not violate what we already know of the universe." - Universe in a Nutshell.

4) The claim that we must make assumptions in order to begin to know the world would not justify any supernatural or 'transcendent' assumption. Why? Because these terms, "supernatural" and 'transcendent' are defined from the outset, in such a way that they preclude the possibility of holding to them as 'properly basic beliefs' because each definition is a negative definition, devoid of any universe of discourse.

To clarify further:

A negative definition requires a universe of discourse for it to be able to tell us 'anything'. For example, if I hold out a box with two objects, a penny and a pencil and rule out the penny as the object I want to point out to you, the universe of discourse (items in the box) provides you with information concerning what the object in question 'is" - the pencil.

However, a negative definition devoid of any universe of discourse is necessarily meaningless. There's 'nothing' left over for it to 'be', so the definition cannot provide any ontological status. So, to go right to the heart of the matter, to say that the 'supernatural' is the antithesis of nature is to render the concept meaningless.

Review:

So, to review: a naturalist only assumes what is needed in order to active a particular system of thought, she drops any any assumption that is falsified*, she does not assume what appears to contradict what we know of the world, and she never assumes what violates basic ontology itself.

So, in finally answer the question: are these beliefs unjustified, I can say this: Yes, these beliefs are basic and they are unjustified in the epistemological sense in that there is no set of proofs or inductive evidence for them. But the claim that these beliefs are 'unjustified' in the colloquial sense of the word: that there's NO reason to hold to them, they are taken on faith!", is rendered nonsensical.

 

 

*************************************************

 

 

 

 

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Anon O Moose wrote:I prefer

Anon O Moose wrote:

I prefer to think of it as meaning that brains are the result of the coherence of the universe.  If the universe weren't coherent, brains wouldn't exist.

If by this you mean the universe has what we call laws, I'd say that isn't all of it.

The universe isn't coherent on its own. Our brains are able to render parts of it coherent.... the relationship is dyadic.


But I think we probably agree on this.


The real issue is this: a universe that allows for the existence of sentient brains will lead to 'axioms' - the sentient brains will come up with them, at least implicitly, in thought.

 

 

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todangst wrote:If the flaws

todangst wrote:

If the flaws are obvious, why do you need time to address them?

It's a long article. 

Quote:
Again, you've given the axioms of syllogistic logic in your initial post, not rational thought.  Propositional logic is rational, but it does not rely on ANY of the axioms of syllogistic logic.  Propositional logic does not require those axioms.

That is incorrect.

Propositional logic specifically employs the principle of the excluded middle.  This can be clearly observed in the process of computing truth values.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Formal_Logic/Sentential_Logic/Truth_Tables

Notice that there is no middle ground between assigned "T" and "F" to a statement.

Propositional logic specifically employs the principle of non-contradiction, particularly when employing indirect proofs.  By deriving p & ~p from an assumed premise, the assumed premise is negated. 

http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/prop-log.htm#SH5e

Proposition logic specifically employs the law of identity.  In this case, the values for "p" are what they are not and they are not "~p".

But this is all a moot point.  I am not talking about systems of logic.  I am talking about the LOGICAL ABSOLUTES through which such systems are built.  To even assert that different systems do not employ the three principles would require you to employ them in making the assertion.  I've already addressed this.


 


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Sleepy wrote: Yes.  More

Sleepy wrote:

 

Yes.  More specifically, God's nature. 


 


Here's yet another problem with your argument. Any argument that attempts to solve a supposed problem for rationality by relying on 'god's nature' suffers from the same problem that TAG supposedly identifies in non theological justifications for logic!

 

Talk about irony!

An easy argument to refute: Van Tillian/Calvinist presuppositionalism.

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I demonstrate the numerous flaws in TAG here:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/ontological_and_epistemological_blunders_tag

However, a poster named "Prof" from the old Infidelguy site raises yet more problems with TAG. His original posts can be found here:

http://www.infidelguy.com/forumarchives/modules.php?name=Boards&file=viewtopic&t=21132&highlight=

Basically, Presuppers make these additional errors:

1) They fail to grasp that the assumption of uniformity of nature is considered to be only a necessary, not sufficient justification for induction, and thus the UON is not used as a justification for induction in the first place.

2) They misunderstand the actual problem of induction - it is not the circular relationship between induction and the 'uniformity of nature' but a concern about a logical connection between a sample and a population. No one uses the UON to justify induction.

3) Their attempts to 'solve' the 'problem of induction' by arguing for an assumption of uniformity of 'god' (the implication of presuppositionalism) therefore do not even address the actual 'problem', seeing as the UON isn't used to justify induction in the first place! Furthermore, the UOG argument leads to even greater problems than using the UON to justify induction.

4) Finally, they fail to grasp that it is a mistake to presume that a failure to provide an adequate justification for induction leaves us without any grounds to rely on induction other than 'faith': The fact one cannot provide a justification for a system doesn't imply that one cannot know that the system is useful. A child is unable to prove that his name is his name; does this mean that he is without any grounds for holding that his name is his name? Knowledge and justification are two different philosophical concepts. The Problem of Induction relates to philosophical justification.

So many errors in one bad argument. Let's roll up our sleeve and begin.

From this page discussion Van Tillian presuppositionalism:

http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=3644

We get the following quotes from Van Till:

“It is fatal to try to prove the existence of God by the ‘scientific method’ and by the ‘appeal to facts’ if . . . the scientific method itself is based upon a presupposition which excludes God."

and...

"Our argument as over against this would be that the existence of the God of Christian theism and the conception of his counsel as controlling all things in the universe is the only presupposition which can account for the uniformity of nature which the scientist needs. But the best and only possible proof for the existence of such a God is that his existence is required for the uniformity of nature and for the coherence of all things in the world."

This is not a rational grounds for justification, it is an appeal to magic. It does nothing to actually provide a justification, it merely asserts that there is one. One might as well say that there is a council of twelve, universe-creating elves (tm)" who create uniform universes. This universe being an example of their handiwork. That "accounts" for the universe being uniform just as cogently as does positing the Christian God: in other words, its just a label - a magic word - abracadbra- without any content behind it. "Goddidit"

Next, there is an utterly unsupported assertion contained with statements like these: "the God of Christian theism and the conception of his counsel as controlling all things in the universe is the only presupposition which can account for the uniformity of nature." It is the presumption that the uniformity of nature needs to be "accounted for." In other words, the implication is: "without a God, a universe wouldn't be uniform." But precisely on what basis is such an assumption made? Exactly what experience, or special insight, does the author have of universes forming, that give
him the grounds for sneaking in the implicit assumption that Universes without a God are not uniform? How many "non-uniform," "un-created" universes has he been privy to, on which to derive his assumption?

The answer would be "none." So where does this assumption come from? The error has two sources: the first, a confusion between being able to doubt a claim and unseating a claim. To bring a claim into doubt is not a grounds for unseating the claim on it's own. To confuse the ability to doubt for the ability to unseat is to commit the 'fallacy of arguing to uncertainty."

The next source for the error comes from the presupper's utter confusion as to what Hume's problem of induction actually is - which in turn stems from the fact that most people using this argument have never actually read Hume's Enquiry into the Human Understanding. So let's correct this second here: Whether or not there is a satisfactory philosophical justification for induction, there is nothing within this 'problem' that grants anyone an epistemic grounds to suppose that induction cannot work without a 'god' to sustain it.

So we have two amateurish errors here born of a basic ignorance of logic: an assumption that providing a 'label' answers a problem and the unwarranted assumption that a lack of a satisfactory justification for induction somehow grants the theist epistemic grounds for holding that induction cannot be justified without turning to a deux ex machina: a 'supernatural', nature-sustaining 'god'.

Now that we understand the level of ignorance behind presupper's misunderstanding of Hume is, let's continue:

The Presupper's Misunderstanding of the nature of the Problem of Induction

The presuppers protest they have a firm epistemology (theory of knowledge, which means they must have a theory of what knowledge is, how they "know" things, and the scope of knowledge). But when they fling the "problem of induction" in the face of the atheist, as if our worldview leaves it problematical while theirs offers a solution, the presupper reveals a naive understanding of the problem. They believe their solution; that God purportedly tells them nature will remain uniform - operate today as it did yesterday - justifies induction. In this they tend to mix up the problem of justifying a belief in the Uniformity of Nature (UN) with the problem of Induction itself (the latter being more of a logical/practical problem).

This much is true: Inductive inferences aren't much good if nature is not uniform, because if it's not, a principle you discovered via past experience couldn't give you insight to future experience (because there would be no uniform pattern to experience either future or past). So this leads to one other knock against induction - it needs the UN to work, but can not itself justify a belief in the UN. How can we know nature will remain operate tomorrow as it did today?

Well, if we say "because it has been uniform in my experience so far" you are using induction to establish the uniformity of nature. The problem is of course that you are simultaneously presupposing nature is uniform in order to make the inductive argument that nature is uniform. So you are stuck in circular question-begging (in the classic understanding of this "problem&quotEye-wink.

But the presuppers assert they have an epistemological answer to the dilemma: The Christian presupp asserts that they needn't rely on question-begging induction to infer nature is uniform; their 'god' has given them the knowledge that nature is uniform through revelation and has promised it will remain so. Therefore, says the presupper, "in my world view I know nature will remain uniform via means other than induction, which means the UN is not established by question-begging assumptions. As well, the UN also justifies inductive reasoning. Thus my use of induction as a tool of gaining knowledge about the world is justified - something you can not say about your inductive inferences."

Two main problems start here. It starts with the fact that If the Christian adduces Hume's problem of induction as a real epistemological problem that needs a solution, then the Christian binds himself to solving the problem. However, the Christian has shot himself in the foot because he does not have a solution to the problem.

Here's why the Christian's proposal for establishing induction on God's promise of the UN is insufficient:

1. This is to actually ignore the fundamental "problem" of induction actually is (this is, if you are going with Hume, and some of those who followed, e.g. Popper, Russell etc). The Uniformity of Nature is necessary for induction but it is not a sufficient justification of inductive inference, therefore, the circularity problem is actually a moot issue, seeing as the assumption of a uniformity of nature could never solve the problem in the first place. That is precisely why modern philosophers do not rely on it as a 'solution' in the first place.

The actual knock against induction is that there is no valid logical "connection" between a collection of past experiences and what will be the case in the future. The classic "white swans" example serves: the fact that every swan you've seen in the past was white means simply that: every swan you've seen has been white. There is no logical "therefore" to bridge the connection "all the swans I've seen are white" to "all swans are white" (or "the next swan I encounter will be white&quotEye-wink.

As Hume pointed out, it may be our habit to make such leaps, and it may have so far been fairly useful to do so up to now, but there is no actual logical justification for doing so. We just do it (use make inductive inferences, from past experience to universal statements of knowledge) based on habit.

As Hume and others point out, this being the case, how can such an inductive inference from a bunch of past observations to universalizing "all swans are white" or predicting the future "the next swan I see will be white" count as knowledge? **

This epistemological quagmire is something that even the Uniformity of Nature simply doesn't solve. So if a presupper who has seen all white swans proclaims inductively: "All swans are white." ask:

"Really, does that count as knowledge? How do you know that?"

To which he'll answer...????....

If the presupper is going to say: "Well, all the swans in my past experience were white - I'm using induction, justified by my world view. I can use induction because my God promises nature will remain uniform, and therefore be intelligible to me."

Then say: "So?... Remember the problem of induction? There is no logical connection between having seen a bunch of white swans and your unwarranted logical leap to "all swans are white." Here you go, I will grant you "Nature will remain Uniform." Now...how does that justify your statement of knowledge that "all swans are white?"

Christian: "Well, all the swans I've seen so far are white so..."

"Yes...."?

Christian: "So, I'm making an inference to "all swans are white."

Which is logically unsupported. And that's what Hume was saying as anyone who's actually read him already knows.."

"THAT's the fundamental Problem of Induction (as opposed to the problem of logically establishing the uniformity of nature) . Yes induction presupposes the uniformity of nature, but while necessary, the UN is hardly sufficient to justify inductive inferences epistemologically. When the next swan turns out to be black, it shows your statement "all swans are white" had no more "knowledge" content then the same words coming out of my mouth. And you can justify calling it "knowledge" no better
than I can. What you've done is presupposed nature to be uniform, but not in fact justified any particular inductive inference you may wish to make (and that includes ANY inference, whether you are inferring all swans are white, or doing science and inferring from past experience gravitational computations that you are attempting to apply to future experience).

"So, in fact, the fundamental epistemological challenge has not been met by your Christian presupposition. Your purported "knowledge" that the world remains uniform provides no solution to the very problem of induction you lobbed at us atheists: the fundamental epistemological problem being "How do we know that we know something?"

And an even more fundamental problem for the Christian Presuppositionalist:

2. The Christian protests that atheists have no non-question-begging grounds upon which to argue the Uniformity of Nature (UN), and yet the Christian ignores he is in precisely the same situation. The Christian has been promise that nature will remain uniform by God, which means the Christian's belief in the Uniformity of Nature is hung upon...you guessed it...the Uniformity Of God (UOG).

If God is not uniform from one moment to the next, then He can hardly be relied on as the source of Uniformity in Nature. But how does one know that God will remain uniform tomorrow as today? Uh-oh, you aren't going to rely on what God said or did in the past to infer how He'll act in the future, are you? 'Cause, you know, that would be using induction - the very reasoning you are trying to justify. Same as if you appeal to any "inner experience" of God or whatever. Whenever you are appealing to something that happened "yesterday" (or now) to make a knowledge statement about tomorrow (or universalizing to that which you have not observed), you are making an inductive inference, and therefore begging the question you are supposed to be answering.

Simply take the "problem of induction" argument for the UN and insert the UOG instead, and you end up with precisely the same question-begging assumptions. Of any Christian who claims induction is justified by their God, ask how they justify the Uniformity Of God without question-begging...and watch them squirm. I've never, ever, once seen a Christian presuppositionalist do anything but ignore, flail, or just run away from this problem.

And if the Christian retreats to "Well, that's my point really, we all have our presuppositions...." then he's being disingenuous, because he'd made a challenge to atheist reasoning that the Christian himself can not meet. So why adduce the problem of induction, as if it were some sort of "gotcha" for atheists but not for Christians in the first place? (Let alone the unwarranted puffing of chests with which the Christian flings the POI at the atheist).

And the atheist can point out that for adressing the problem of induction, the presupposition of the Uniformity Of God (or that God isn't lying etc) in fact holds no more epistemological value - does no more epistemological "work" - than the simpler presupposition that Nature is Uniform. BOTH presuppositions appear to set the necessary (if not sufficient) rational for induction, but one (God) is infinitely less parsimonious (and parsimony is vital to creatures like us with limited knowledge/time spans, who thus have limited resources in being able to gather useful beliefs. A non-parsimonious approach to adding layers of explanation opens the Pandora's box to an infinity of logical possibilities, which we simply do not have the time or mental resources to handle). Not to mention that, in having to swallow the "pill" of the Bible whole in their presupposition, they behave inconsistently - on one hand saying their presupposition justifies reason, logic and evidential reasoning, then in the next breath ignoring any application of those tools when they show the bible to be in error.

So...Christian presuppositionalists not only do not solve the fundamental issues of induction; they typically don't even seem to understand what they are dealing with when they wield that particular "weapon" carelessly, as so many of them do.
 

Review of The Failure of the "Uniformity of god" Argument

It is particularly ironic that for presuppers to adduce Hume's Problem Of Induction, given that it lands them skewered on the same dilemma.

The Christian "solution" is "God told me (via the biblical revelation) that he promises to uphold the general uniformity and intelligibility of nature."

In doing this the Christian believes he has at once justified induction (because our inferences will be made against a universe that will act uniformly) AND avoided the essential problem of induction because their conclusion about the Uniformity Of Nature is not based upon induction; but upon revelation. They have a "third way" of knowledge, unacknowledged in our world view, which "solves" such epistemological problems.

But...even accepting this as true for the sake of argument.... they don't solve it! They've just slipped the problem back a step. The Christian has simply predicated the Uniformity Of Nature on the Uniformity Of (a) God (who will purportedly uphold the uniformity of nature). You ain't gonna have any uniformity of nature if the God upholding it isn't uniform Himself. So we can ask the same question to the Christian about the foundation for their belief in the uniformity of God: Leaving aside, for a moment, the insurmountable ontological problems with the 'god' term, on what non-question-begging grounds can you justify your expectation that God will keep his promise, or that God will be as he is tomorrow as he was yesterday?" You run into the same meta-problems that follow from using the uniformity of nature argument!*

On the same argument used by the presupper, the conclusion is inescapable: they can't do so. They ARE appealing to induction whether they refuse to acknowledge it or not.

In addition, simply appealing to "revelation" as some form of knowledge distinct from empirical, sense-based inference doesn't work, because the "problem of induction" is one of logic and reason - not one restricted to inferences based upon materialistic sense-input. In other words, it asks "what justifies an inference from past experience to future experience. And revelation is just one more form of experience. Whether the Christian encountered God's "revealed" claims in an old book, or whether he even wishes to claim God beamed an experience of revelation right into his mind...the same question is begged: "On what grounds do you have the expectation that your experience of God means that God will be the same tomorrow as it was today?"

If he simply retreats to "Well, part of my presupposition is that God is immutable" or some such nonsense, then he has still failed to justify or solve the problem of induction - he's just "presupposed" it away. He has offered no more rational justification than anyone else who holds the mere expectation that nature will remain uniform - the very expectation he says secularism fails to justify! And since the
Christian's God claim does absolutely no more epistemological duty than the mere presupposition that nature is uniform, he can hardly claim it's necessity. And we all tend to (as a matter of habit) presume nature will remain uniform anyway.
 



* As Howson & Urbach point out, assuming a uniformity of nature is a nonsolution, since it's a fairly empty assumption. For how is nature uniform? And what, really, are we talking about. What would really be needed are millions upon millions of uniformity assumptions for each item under discussion. We'd need one for the melting temperature of water, of iron, of nickel, etc, etc. For example "block of ice x will melt at 0 Celsius;" for these types of assumptions actually say something. Furthermore, the uniformity of nature assumptions fall prey to meta-uniformity issues - for how are we to know that nature will always be uniform? Well, we have to assume that too. And how do we know that the uniformity of nature is uniform? Ad infinitum. So, to "solve" induction by uniformity of nature solutions doesn't really work.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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todangst
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Sleepy wrote:todangst

Sleepy wrote:

todangst wrote:

If the flaws are obvious, why do you need time to address them?

It's a long article. 

Quote:
Again, you've given the axioms of syllogistic logic in your initial post, not rational thought.  Propositional logic is rational, but it does not rely on ANY of the axioms of syllogistic logic.  Propositional logic does not require those axioms.

That is incorrect.

No, it is correct. You are not following what a universal is, what an axiom is... this is your mistake.

 

Quote:

Propositional logic specifically employs the principle of the excluded middle. 

But NOT as an axiom to the system!

 

You can't cut and paste your way through a logic course. You have to actually study it.

 

Please take a look at my logic site:

http://www.editthis.info/logic/The_Laws_of_Classical_Logic

the so-called "laws of logic" are not necessary to create an axiomatic formal logic: they are, however, derivable theorems of certain systems. Such systems which do not assume the "laws of logic" can be found in E. Mendelson's "Introduction to Mathematical Logic," as well as S.C. Kleene's "Mathematical Logic." To be clear, I freely admit that the axioms and rules of inference for both of these systems were designed so as to imply the "laws of logic." I still disagree with assertions, however, that these laws are fundamental axioms to all logical thought, and need not be defended or proposed as such.


 

So, while the laws can be derived from the logics ( I never deny this) they are NOT axioms for these systems.

 

 Well Formed Formular are NOT axioms... they are not universals.

 
The point being made here is that propositional logic does not require any axiom at all. It does not need the axioms of syllogistic logic to work, and the law of non contradiction is derivable from a set of defintions or well formed formular.


In other words, your confusion is this: Yes, propostional logic uses the law of non contradiction, but it is NOT an axiom in the system, and it is in fact derivable from the system....

 

Do you see the difference? Its subtle.  But it renders your argument false. 


In addition, I've not even shown you paraconsistent logic yet. There's NO law of contradiction in that logic at all!

Which again refutes your argument.


As casey stengel might say: you can look it up.

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

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Sleepy

Sleepy wrote:

 

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Formal_Logic/Sentential_Logic/Truth_Tables

Notice that there is no middle ground between assigned "T" and "F" to a statement.

Propositional logic specifically employs the principle of non-contradiction, particularly when employing indirect proofs.  By deriving p & ~p from an assumed premise, the assumed premise is negated. 

http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/prop-log.htm#SH5e

Proposition logic specifically employs the law of identity.  In this case, the values for "p" are what they are not and they are not "~p".


Again, what you are missing is that these are NOT axioms for the system, they are derived in propositional logic from well formed formular.

 

This is your error.

 

I hope you see it now.

 

Quote:

But this is all a moot point.  I am not talking about systems of logic. 

Again, your supposed laws of rationality are NOT laws for rationality per se, they are the axioms of syllogistic logic. So you are, by accident, talking about a system of logic:

 

Again, from my logic website:

 

The Axioms of Classical Logic

  • The Law of Identity: Metaphysically, this law asserts that "A is A" or "anything is itself." For propositions: "If a proposition is true, then it is true."
  • The Law of the Excluded Middle: Metaphysically, this law asserts "anything is either A or not A." For propositions: "A proposition, such as P, is either true or false." We also refer to such statements as "tautologies"
  • The Law of Noncontradiction: Metaphysically, this law asserts:: "Nothing can be both A and not-A." For propositions: "A proposition, P, can not be both true and false."

All of our syllogisms rely on these laws - that any thing is equal to itself, that tautologies must be true, and that contradictions must be false. Classical logic holds that everything has a definite, non-contradictory nature. A metaphysical law of identity would hold that to be perceived or even exist at all it must have a definite, non-contradictory nature, but for our purposes, it is enough to say that If A is true, then A is true!

 

Quote:

 I am talking about the LOGICAL ABSOLUTES through which such systems are built. 

You are trying to talk about the so called laws of reason.... which are not part of any particular logic, per se... but you've failed to actually identify the actual laws of reason.  And this is because, again, you've given the axioms of classic logic.

The so called laws of reason are identified in my posts above.

 

And, as I demonstrate, they are gleaned from pure reason, the only metaphysic required is the existence of sentient brains.  I demostrate this in my post.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
To even assert that different systems do not employ the three principles would require you to employ them in making the assertion.  I've already addressed this.

You are talking about retortion. The mistake you are making is twofold

 

1) We are talking about universality of axioms, not rules that can be dirived from a set of definitions... since propositional logic allows for a proof of the law of noncontradiction, the law is not axiomatic for propositional logic!

This refutes you. Right here. Your argument dies here.  But there is a second flaw to be dealt with:

2) The law of non contradiction has flaws - and I hate admitting this myself, so we are on the same side here ... please look up dialetheism and paraconsistent logic. You may have heard of the 'liar's paradox', perhaps that will give you a clue as to the point being made here.  Retortion doesn't save the law. 

 

You do know what retortion is, right?

 

Anyway, I must run. Please don't read what I've given you as an attack. Stay a theist. But drop TAG, its a horrible argument and it demonstrates a lack of study of logic. 

 

Oh, and again, take a look at paraconsistent logic. the law of non contradiction does NOT hold there... it is not universal:

 

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-paraconsistent/
 

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todangst wrote:No, it is

todangst wrote:

No, it is correct. You are not following what a universal is, what an axiom is... this is your mistake.

Read my response to your article.  You are the one who couldn't define "axiom" properly.  Not me.

Quote:
But NOT as an axiom to the system! 

It really doesn't matter.  We can make systems anyway we want.  This has nothing to do with the UNDERLYING PRINCIPLES of rational thought.  You want to deny them from the outset.  That's fine.  Do not tell me that I am wrong because you have no basis for that assertion. 

Quote:
Please take a look at my logic site

No thanks.  The quote you've cited begs the question. 


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Todangst isn't going to be

Todangst isn't going to be offended if you don't respond to him, but I feel a little unloved, especially since my post was much shorter and generally easier to follow (I think... but then all of my thoughts are generally easier for me to understand since I'm the one who thought them).


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todangst wrote:Sleepy

todangst wrote:

Sleepy wrote:

 

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Formal_Logic/Sentential_Logic/Truth_Tables

Notice that there is no middle ground between assigned "T" and "F" to a statement.

Propositional logic specifically employs the principle of non-contradiction, particularly when employing indirect proofs.  By deriving p & ~p from an assumed premise, the assumed premise is negated. 

http://www.iep.utm.edu/p/prop-log.htm#SH5e

Proposition logic specifically employs the law of identity.  In this case, the values for "p" are what they are not and they are not "~p".


Again, what you are missing is that these are NOT axioms for the system, they are derived in propositional logic from well formed formular.

This is what YOU'VE said:  "Propositional logic is rational, but it does not rely on ANY of the axioms of syllogistic logic.  Propositional logic does not require those axioms."

So propositional logic does not require them but just HAPPENS to employ them in EVERY structured argument?  I challenge you to find one logic class in any college campus that will use "(p & ~p)" as a premise and assign it a positive truth value.  Seriously.  Please explain to me how you can have propositional logic without the principle of non-contradiction, identity, and excluded middle. 

Moreover, you are saying that we DERIVE these principles from logical systems that we create?  Do you not realize how absurd this is?  How can we create a system of logic without a preexistent rational guiding post?  You are not making any sense.  You are simply dropping buzzwords and shifting the conversation into areas which are not at all relevant. 

If you haven't noticed, I've addressed your objection.  If the principle of non-contradiction is not universal, then why am I wrong?  Why can I not be both right and wrong at the same time? 

Quote:
Again, your supposed laws of rationality are NOT laws for rationality per se, they are the axioms of syllogistic logic. So you are, by accident, talking about a system of logic

Umm, no.  Aristotle BUILT this system using the principles that I've mentioned.  You are an atheist who, in addressing the TAG argument, is laying out a certain framework that will accomodate your worldview and that includes positing that the three principles are nothing more than just general axioms of syllogistic logic.  So Aristotle INVENTED the law of non-contradiction?  Are you kidding me?  Was it possible for a square to be a circle before Aristotle was born?

Quote:
You are trying to talk about the so called laws of reason.... which are not part of any particular logic, per se... but you've failed to actually identify the actual laws of reason.  And this is because, again, you've given the axioms of classic logic.

Once again, you are building a framework that will accomodate a worldview and deliberately defining the logical principles into something that will prove atheism.  Please do not pretend that you are neutral in this area. 

Quote:
1. We are talking about universality of axioms, not rules that can be dirived from a set of definitions... since propositional logic allows for a proof of the law of noncontradiction, the law is not axiomatic for propositional logic!

How is that in any way a valid inference?  Since we can prove the law of non-contradiction using propositional logic, it therefore is not axiomatic for propositional logic?  I'm not quite seeing how this is a valid premise.

Quote:
2) The law of non contradiction has flaws - and I hate admitting this myself, so we are on the same side here ... please look up dialetheism and paraconsistent logic. You may have heard of the 'liar's paradox', perhaps that will give you a clue as to the point being made here.  Retortion doesn't save the law. 

Dear lord.  If you are going to pass yourself off as a expert logician, then please do not bring things to the table such as the liar's paradox.  That has been dealt with ages ago.  I've already mentioned this:  ALL statements have an implicit assertion of their own truth.  ANY statement you make has as a hidden assertion, "This statement is true"  Even if you said, "This statement has no hidden assertions and this statement is false," it would lead itself to "This statement is true and this statement has no assertions and this statement is false," which is dealt with by non-contradiction.  No matter how you rewrite the statement, the assertion will be there ad infinitum. 

 


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Wow, you just got pwned.

Wow, you just got pwned.

edit: Oh, I thought this was over.