Transcendent principles (new version of TAG)

Lord_of_Rock
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Transcendent principles (new version of TAG)

For reasons that will become clear by the time I get to the end of this, I am not going to present my argument in a formalized way.  Let's get started:

(1) Human reasoning occurs within the context of a formal system It is formal systems which set the rules and guidelines for our discourse.

(2) All formal systems contain axioms, or principles which are considered justified in themselves and thus need not be proven within that system.

(3) Axioms either constitute the basis for the formulation of a formal system or they are themselves derived from a formal system.

(4) An infinite regression of formal systems being derived from axioms is impossible, since, if that was true, then there could be no justification within any formal system because there would ultimately be no undergirding principles.

(5) An infinite regression of axioms being derived for formal systems is impossible since axioms ultimately supersede formal systems.  It is conceivable that axioms may exist without a formal system, but formal systems cannot exist without axioms.

(6) There must therefore be axioms which are themselves not derived from any other formal system.  They just simply are.  Herein, I'll refer to such axioms as "transcendent principles".

(7) Transcendent principles cannot be invented.  Formulating a principle requires rules of inference, which can only occur within formal systems.  Yet it has been established that transcendent principles cannot be derived from formal systems.

(Cool Transcendent principles cannot be physical attributes of the human brain because such physical facts are contingent facts about a human subject and it would follow that any subject with a physicality even slightly different would have different principles, thus precluding them being transcendent.

(9) Transcendent principles cannot be inductive principles extrapolated from empirical observation.  Observing something in nature and then codifying it into a scientific law requires a preexisting formal system, which, as I've established earlier, requires transcendent principles to already be in place or else there would just be an infinite regress of axioms and/or systems, which is impossible.  Furthermore, universality can never be derived from induction and we would then have no basis for applying transcendent principles because we could not possibly observe the entire universe.

(10) Transcendent principles are conceptual by nature, thus they are ontologically dependent on a mind. 

(11) Transcendent principles do not change.  They are always so and cannot be otherwise.

(12) Thus, transcendent principles necessitate a thinking being which is eternal, intelligent, and infallible.  That being we can call "God"


Jeffrick
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Nice try Rock.

 

 

         You had me agreeing right up to number 6.  Where some how "goddidit!"  btw  he didn't. The rules and regulations of scientific principles, their regulated systems and axioms as you put it, do not suddenly jump to transendental priciples just because YOU believe in a god.

 

          Transendental  means something above and beyond human experience;  a prime ingredient for any religion.  But not science!!!

 

          Science and theology ARE NOT interchangable!!!!

 

          You have a religion; enjoy it!!  Believe what ever you want to believe  but it IS NOT SCIENCE!!!!

 

          You made a Leap of faith to believe in something above and beyond reality;   go for it, that's why you are religious.  I refuse to leave the plane of reality without sound evidence as to why;  that is what makes me rational & sane.

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

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BobSpence
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You went wrong from the

You went wrong from the start.

Actual human reasoning does not take place within the context of, or depend on, any formal system.

Formal systems are a posteriori descriptions and formalizations of natural, informal, human thought, which evolved under the pressures of natural selection to allow a useful, while not perfect, internal modeling of external reality, to allow some level of prediction of the course of events given certain actions, among other things.

The axioms of logic are the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction, which reflect the minimum characteristics of reality for there to be distinguishable entities within it, ie some part of reality which can be identified, as A, as distinct from the rest of reality, ie Not A.

Neither infinite regression of axioms or 'transcendental principles' required.

Formal systems do not need to be 'pre-existing', they are codified from basic properties of coherent reality.

Axioms merely need to be formal descriptions of some fundamental aspect of reality, perhaps in some idealized form. They are derivations from primary reality.

Minds are emergent properties of certain complex systems, which emerge from simpler forms, just as crystals form from formless collections of simpler elements of matter, just as the adult human body forms from a single cell, just as our visible Universe appears to have formed from the featureless singularity of the Big Bang. This is what allows a convergent regression not requiring any real infinities, that entities arise ultimately from simpler entities. Any principle requiring that entities require some 'greater' entity to ultimately 'create' them does inevitably run into the infinite regress problem, and is unnecessary anyway.

Once again, you demonstrate total misunderstanding of just about everything.

 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Lord_of_Rock
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BobSpence1 wrote:You went

BobSpence1 wrote:

You went wrong from the start.

Actual human reasoning does not take place within the context of, or depend on, any formal system.

Give me an example of a human reasoning about something without using a formal system.

Quote:
Formal systems are a posteriori descriptions and formalizations of natural, informal, human thought, which evolved under the pressures of natural selection to allow a useful, while not perfect, internal modeling of external reality, to allow some level of prediction of the course of events given certain actions, among other things.

Sorry, but saying that formal systems are a posteriori descriptions of human thought does not work.  There isn't just one formal system.  We have syllogistic logic, propositional logic, modal logic, predicate logic, paraconsistent logic, etc.  Which one would you say is an accurate reflection of human thought, if you are claiming that they are a posteriori (mind you, I believe they are all interconnected by transcendent principles, but you've denied the existence of such principles)?

Furthermore, saying that our logic is a result of evolution does not work either.  Saying this commits yourself to a claim about the uniformity of nature, since there could conceivably be someone out there whose thought process evolved with different variations.  It would then follow any fundamental axioms that this person evolves to have could be mutually exclusive with the fundamental axioms that everyone else has and we would have no way to discern which is correct.  It would just be subject to majority vote and thus evolution as your fundamental basis breaks down entirely.

Quote:
The axioms of logic are the law of identity and the law of non-contradiction, which reflect the minimum characteristics of reality for there to be distinguishable entities within it, ie some part of reality which can be identified, as A, as distinct from the rest of reality, ie Not A.

Those are just the axioms of syllogistic logic.  They may not be transcendent principles.

Quote:
Formal systems do not need to be 'pre-existing', they are codified from basic properties of coherent reality.

So we are able to magically codify the things we perceive without any preexistent rational guiding posts?  Perception and the human brain magically close the epistemic gap?  Perceptions just turn to knowledge automatically?

Quote:
Axioms merely need to be formal descriptions of some fundamental aspect of reality, perhaps in some idealized form. They are derivations from primary reality.

That doesn't work. 

First of all, why do you get to choose what aspects of reality are "fundamental"?  If you are observing this empirically, then how can you possibly discern a "fundamental" aspect from an aspect that is not fundamental?  Second of all, you are claiming there is no epistemological gap between perception and knowledge.  You are then claiming that perception turns to knowledge automatically.  Can you account for this?  Third, you are making contradictory statements.  "Axioms" are defined as principles which are self-justified within the context of a formal system.  If they are derived from empirical observation of reality, then they are justified in something other than that and thus they are no longer axiomatic.  Fourth, the scientific method which you highly endorse itself requires a formal system, which means that the codification process you are describing requires that axioms already be in place.

Quote:
Minds are emergent properties of certain complex systems, which emerge from simpler forms, just as crystals form from formless collections of simpler elements of matter, just as the adult human body forms from a single cell, just as our visible Universe appears to have formed from the featureless singularity of the Big Bang.

Can you prove this?

Actually, it does not matter.  Even if it were true that this was the origin of the mind, it has nothing to do with the argument that I am making.


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You really think changing a

You really think changing a few words makes TAG work?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


BobSpence
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'Formal systems' are no more

'Formal systems' are no more required for thought than English language is a prerequisite for identifying specific visible objects and their relationships and interactions. They are required to discuss such things, and essential to develop much more complex theorems which follow from the axioms, but are not required for basic direct mental application of the elementary principles. 

Many animals clearly have the capability to analyse and solve problems relating to finding their way thru obstacles to get to food, forming and using simple tools, and so on.

The variety of formal systems devised to cover the complexity of real world in no way supports your position, it is perfectly consistent with such systems being the product of observation and experience.

If you aren't able to grasp this, which is to me blindingly obvious, I feel it is pointless continuing this discussion.

EDIT: TAG is the second dumbest argument for God, after the ontological argument. Are you going to regurgitate that piece of nonsense next?

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


BobSpence
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Quote:BobSpence1

 

Quote:

BobSpence1 wrote:

'Formal systems' are no more required for thought than English language is a prerequisite for identifying specific visible objects and their relationships and interactions.

Formal systems are required for logical reasoning.  Whether or not thought (which, as it is, is a fuzzy term) can exist without logical reasoning is a different question.  But that doesn't matter because we already know that logical reasoning exists (which, mind you, can be scientifically proven).  Therefore, since we do have to start with the premise that logical reasoning exists (it does, after all), we now have to look at its necessary preconditions. 

Quote:
not required for basic direct mental application of the elementary principles. 

Are you kidding me?

"Basic direct mental application of elementary principles" confirms that we require basic axioms applied within the context of a formal system. 

Why would you tell me I am wrong and then agree with me?

 

Those basic principles exist in the same sense that the properties of matter and energy and the way they interact existed prior to their description by man in the 'Laws of Physics'. I was not saying that thought requires an explicit conceptualization of a formal logical argument.

Quote:

 

Quote:
Many animals clearly have the capability to analyse and solve problems relating to finding their way thru obstacles to get to food, forming and using simple tools, and so on.

Animals do not analyze or solve anything.  They simply follow natural instinct.  Equating that to the process of human reasoning is like saying that there is no qualitative difference between a child who can recite the theory of relativity because he memorized the publication and Albert Einstein, who is also able to recite the theory of relativity but can do so because he actually researched the data.

That is simply wrong. I was not equating the reasoning powers of animals to our own, but there are now many experiments and observations of behavior in which animals are presented with novel situations which do not correspond in any simple way to what they could have encountered in the 'wild', in which they find solutions which cannot be explained by 'instinctive' behavior.

Quote:

Quote:
The variety of formal systems devised to cover the complexity of real world in no way supports your position, it is perfectly consistent with such systems being the product of observation and experience.

(9) Transcendent principles cannot be inductive principles extrapolated from empirical observation. Observing something in nature and then codifying it into a scientific law requires a preexisting formal system, which, as I've established earlier, requires transcendent principles to already be in place or else there would just be an infinite regress of axioms and/or systems, which is impossible. Furthermore, universality can never be derived from induction and we would then have no basis for applying transcendent principles because we could not possibly observe the entire universe.

Of course we have to start with simpler assumptions, but the whole structure of mathematics is testimony to the fact that deductive systems can be developed and elaborated virtually without limit give the most basic assumptions. And of course we must be prepared to adjust those initial assumptions if presented with a different set of initial assumptions which seem to fit reality better than ours.

'Universality' is a minimal assumption, and does not need to be proved - if it did not 'work' adequately, then we would not have been able to develop science  to the degree we have.

All we need as a starting position is a Universe of distinguishable entities ( ie allowing the Law of Identity and the Law of non-Contradiction to be applicable) behaving in some fundamentally consistent fashion. Minds, and the formulation of formal systems can then logically follow as a consequent.

We don't need to prove induction works, any more than we need to prove basic logic works. We actually cannot 'prove' either system within the system itself - that was demonstrated, specifically for those categories of formal systems capable of expressing the concept of self-verification, by Kurt Godel, who was referenced earlier.

You have not demonstrated any problem with this scenario, only that it is not compatible with your pre-suppositions. But, as per Godel, it appears there is no way I can demonstrate the problems of your world-view within the context of that world-view, so you will be unable to  understand my arguments while stuck inside yours.

So how do I show that my world-view is 'superior' to yours? Perhaps by pointing out clear examples of factual observations which fit mine but not yours, like animal problem-solving, perhaps. But if you are simply going to deny any such contra-evidence, I should not waste any further time on this discussion.

Pity.

 

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Anonymouse
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What's going on here then ?

What's going on here then ?


Strafio
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Lord_of_Rock wrote:Give me

Lord_of_Rock wrote:

Give me an example of a human reasoning about something without using a formal system.



There's your example right there.
Just reasoning in informal language like we are here.
Formal systems are conventions.
If you're using the system you're biding by it's rules, otherwise not.