My 'Debate' with Kelly Tripplehorn from the "Stanford Challenge"

todangst
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My 'Debate' with Kelly Tripplehorn from the "Stanford Challenge"

I decided to email the fellow running the 'Stanford Challenge'

 

http://i53network.org/The_Stanford_Challenge.html

 

Here are our exchanges.

 

#1 Todangst to Tripplehorn

Dear Kelly:

From your site, you write:

"If you answered that the law of noncontradiction is material, then in order to collect your money, you must give an empirical demonstration"

What other types of demonstration are there?

"of where the law of noncontradiction is located."

Simple. In a brain. The demonstration is that I can provide you with the law by telling you about it.


"Moreover, you must tell us, in pounds, the exact weight of the law of noncontradiction."


The law is encoded, neurochemically, in my brain. The bundle of neurons devoted to the concept are in my cerebral cortex... I don't see much value in giving you a weight for these neurons...

"Lastly, if you claim that the law of noncontradiction is located in an object like a symbolic logic textbook, then you must prove that if the textbook was destroyed, the law of noncontradiction would perish with it."


The concept is created a priori, whenever a sentient brain contemplates existence. One concept, multiple representations.

Now, you tell me: how can something exist immaterially? How can an idea exist without a brain? You use the term 'immaterial, I have a challenge for you:

Give me a (positive) ontology for 'immateriality' that does not steal from materialism Do not provide a completely negative description, ( i.e. devoid of any universe of discourse). I offer you 5300 dollars if you succeed.

 

 

From Kelly to todangst #2

Thank you for your email.

If the law of non-contradiction is material, then the laws of logic in my brain are different from the laws of logic in your brain. If i said that 2+2=5, and you said that 2+2=4, how would you settle that dispute. Because you see, i could just appeal to my personal laws of logic that exist in my brain, and you could then appeal to your personal laws of logic that exist in your brain. The laws of logic then becomes subjective, and rational discourse is impossible. Anyone could say anything, and they would be right since they are appealing to the laws of logic that exist inside their brain.

The only way to resolve this contradiction is to appeal to a transcendent principal that exists outside of ourselves that governs both of us (and the principal remains true whether or not we agree with it).

Secondly, you write, "How can an idea exist without a brain?"

Is it your position that man created the laws of logic or discovers the laws of logic because if he created the laws of logic, then that means before the evolution of the first brain, 2 plus 2 did equal 5 (and 6, 7, 8,9,10, etc.). So i guess i am asking did man create math or discover math? For if man created math, then what is from stopping me from creating my own math (such as having a system where 2+2=5), and how would you go about trying to rationally prove me wrong.

Yours
Kelly

 

From Todangst to Kelly #3

Hello,

Thank you for your email.

If the law of non-contradiction is material, then the laws of logic in my brain are different from the laws of logic in your brain.


Sorry, but this is incorrect. There is one universe, impacting upon similar brains, in a similar fashion. For any particular law of logic, we have one law, based on one definition, and multiple representations of that law, in material brains, or books, etc. And we would expect this to be so, since we would expect the same universe with one set of basic metaphysics, to have the same impact on similar brains.

Your response is a basic error that leaves out the fact that the universe is a singular constant. Once you recognize this error, you see that the assumption that there would be 'different laws of logic' is unsubstantiated.


>If i said that 2+2=5, and you said that 2+2=4, how would you settle that dispute. Because you see, i could just appeal to my personal laws of logic that exist in my brain, and you could then appeal to your personal laws of logic that exist in your brain.


This comment is defeated by my above points. One universe with one basic metaphysics. One definition, multiple representations. You must explain how different brains could possibly, sanely glean different metaphysics, given ONE universe with one basic metaphysics.

Hint: You can't.


The only way to resolve this contradiction is to appeal to a transcendent principal that exists outside of ourselves that governs both of us (and the principal remains true whether or not we agree with it).

The only way to solve the 'contradiction' is to refer to the rules that govern the numbers 2 and 4. We can expect that two minds can conceive of the same rule, given that the universe itself is the constant, with its one basic metaphysics.


Secondly, you write, "How can an idea exist without a brain?"

Is it your position that man created the laws of logic or discovers the laws of logic because if he created the laws of logic, then that means before the evolution of the first brain, 2 plus 2 did equal 5 (and 6, 7, 8,9,10, etc.).


You didn't answer the question. In fact you ran from it. So I'll ask it again:

How can an idea exist without a brain. For you to make your claims, you have to be able to answer this question. Please don't respond with another argument from ignorance.

Can you also provide an ontology for immateriality that doesn't steal from materialism? Oh, and please don't send a list of negatives, provide a postive set of attributions.

Thanks.

Kelly to todangst #4

Hello Chris, Thank you for your reply. For this email, I am going to assume that you are an atheist but if you are not, i am sorry that i might have misrepresented your positions. You write that "the universe is a singular constant" How do you know that. Do you now have an answer for Hume regarding the problem of induction. First, you are going to have to establish that the universe is a singular constant, and if you cannot establish that, then there is no reason for someone to say that different laws of logic exist in my brain than from your brain. You write, "How can an idea exist without a brain" My answer is that no idea can exist apart from the mind of God. I will now ask you the question that did math exist before the evolution of a brain. So when 2 organisms were laying next to 2 other organisms, were there 4 total organisms, or does a brain have to authorize that there are 4 total organisms for there to be 4 total organisms. If a brain is not there to authorize the 4 organisms, are there then 5 total organisms. My positive ontology is the Bible as interpreted in the Westminster Confession of Faith. (this is my first principal.) Below is something i wrote to someone else. I am copy and pasting it so that you might better understand my position. The ONLY valid way to argue for the Bible is to presuppose it and if you do not, I completely undermine my own argument. Here is why. "You are right, i cannot prove the Bible, if i did, then i would simply undermine my own position since the Bible is suppose to be believed on by faith, and not on logic. The Bible is my ultimate authority, and if seek to use extra-biblical principals (such as autonomous logic, archeology, autonomous science, etc.) to prove the bible, then those extra-biblical principals become my ultimate authority, and thus i undermine my own position.

The Bible is therefore my axiom, I assume that it is true, and then test it. We do the same thing with math, we assume math is true, and therefore we are able to "know" that 2+2=4. We cannot prove math with math without begging the question. We are all forced to beg the question somewhere, but i as a Christian only beg the question once, that is, with the Bible, and through the Bible, i am able to understand the rest of reality." Your first principal is yourself (i assume), and if you presuppose yourself as your ultimate epistemological authority, you can literally know nothing. I believe i establish that on the third question on the 5300 Challenge. Well anyway, thanks for your email. I look forward to hearing from you. Kelly p.s. the next email i receive from you, i may not respond right away. I am pretty busy in general, so please be patient... Talk so you soon.

 

Todangst to Kelly #6

Hello Chris, Thank you for your reply. For this email, I am going to assume that you are an atheist but if you are not, i am sorry that i might have misrepresented your positions. You write that "the universe is a singular constant" How do you know that.



Hi Kelly.

You are misreading my words as if they are an inductive statement. Instead, I am providing you with simple, basic metaphysics. To exist is to exist as something, to have identity. We know these things axiomatically. We know them a priori.

These axioms are defended through retortion. Any attempt to refute them must rely upon them.

From the fact that something exists, and that it exists as something, and not it's own negation, we have a basic metaphysical basis for deduction.


Do you now have an answer for Hume regarding the problem of induction.

You probably don't know what the 'problem' actually is. You probably, mistakenly, believe that the 'problem' is that one must assume a "uniformity of nature" as both a necessary and sufficient grounds for induction.

This post will refute your commonly held misperceptions as to what the problem is:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/an_easy_argument_to_refute_van_tillian_calvinist_presuppositionalism

And this post will show why there's no 'real problem' with induction:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/why_the_problem_of_induction_really_isnt_a_problem_and_why_theists_dont_even_get_it_right

Even Hume himself argued that induction was not irrational, but merey without an axiomized foundation. However this problem was solved by Kolmogov in 1933.

I have a lengthy examination of Hume's work if you'd like to read it... (have you ever even read his work, let alone the centuries of philosophical responses to it? Do you even know what the 'problem' is?

In addition, you probably are unaware that the scientific method is both inductive and deductive, working from statistical probabily and falsification, meaning that the 'problem of induction' is simply not a problem to science at all.


> First, you are going to have to establish that the universe is a singular constant


I've already answered this: This is simple, basic metaphysics.

You write, "How can an idea exist without a brain" My answer is that no idea can exist apart from the mind of God.

That is not an answer. It's a naked assertion, that relies on an incoherent term "god"

To actualy answer, you must provide:

1) an ontology for immateriality that does not steal from materialism.

2) A method for demonstrating how ideas can exist part from brains.

Please do so in your next response, or concede that you are unable to do so.

I will now ask you the question that did math exist before the evolution of a brain.

No a priori system can exist without a brain, and a universe/set of constants.But this does not mean that people can ignore the basic metaphysics of our universe, so it is not a grounds for arguing that math is entirely subjective or random.

Now, I will again ask you to answer my question above.


My positive ontology is the Bible as interpreted in the Westminster Confession of Faith.
(this is my first principal.)

This is NOT an ontology for immateriality. The bible does not provide a positive ontology for immateriality, or 'transcendence"

Please be honest with yourself and concede that you don't have an answer.


Below is something i wrote to someone else. I am copy and pasting it so that you might better understand my position.


I understand your position - you don't actually have one. Your inability to answer my questions is proof... now, all I need you to do is recognize this. addendum: Here is my lengthy examination of Hume's "An Enquiry Concerning the Human Understanding"

http://candleinthedark.com/hume.html

Now, honestly ask yourself:

Have you actually, really, read Hume?
Have you critically examined what you read?
Have you really understood what the 'problem' is?
Do you realize that even Hume, the one who recognized the problem, was not unseating induction?
Do you know Hume's own solution?
Do you know what the 'arguing to inductive uncertainy' fallacy is?
Have you read the wealth of philosophical responses to Hume?
Do you know the various methods in science that have arisen to deal with the problem? (Hints: statistical probability, falsification)?


If you can't answer these questions, you have no business debating this issue.
Kelly to todangst, #6

 

Thank you for your email.

I understand the problem of induction enough to know that it cannot be justified, and even if the SEP recognized that you justified your inductive inference with some formula (Bayes' theorem, etc.), then you would still need to justify how you know that formula would continue to operate uniformly in the future. Hume did not take his problem of induction far enough because he did not include math as part of the problem. For instance, every time he added 2+2, he got 4. The next time he added 2+2, there is no way he could have known that he would have gotten 5. In the same way that he could not know that fire caused hotness, he also could not know that 2+2 caused 4. The laws could change at anytime. So my question to you then is how do you know that 2+2 could not equal 5 in the next 10 minutes. Unless the non-Christian knows everything, he can know nothing (and not even that). In order for your answer to be self sufficient you must base it off your first principal (which is yourself). If you simply axiomize math as an independent principal, this is not an acceptable answer, and you have not justified how you know that the laws of math will continue to operate the same in the past as they have in the future. I, as a Christian, can bring back all my information to my first principal, and i expect you to be able to do the same.

In regards to my positive ontology. If you go to the bottom of the 5300 challenge, you will note that i answered all the questions i posed. Lastly, i have already told you that an idea can exist apart from a human brain because all ideas originate in the mind of God. I could not be more clear on this.

If in your next answer you cannot tell me how it is that you are 100% certain, without simply axiomizing your answer, that the laws of math will continue to operate the same way in the future as they have in the past, then there is a good chance you may not receive an email back from me.

I apologize fthat the tone of this email came off harsh.

Anyhow, i do look forward to hearing from you again.

Yours
Kelly

p.s. I noticed that your email was hanniballecturer. Are you a professor?

 

todangst to Kelly #8

Hello Chris,


Thank you for your email.

I understand the problem of induction enough to know that it cannot be justified,


Kelly you don't understand what the "problem' actually is, nor do you seem to even have a understanding of the centuries of philosophical responses to the 'problem'. In order to debate an issue, you have to actually know what your opponent's position is, and be able to argue it as well as he or she can.

I think that the "problem of induction" is only a problem because: a) Some people look for certainty in induction, when induction is probablistic b) historically, the problem arose before probability theory was mature and c) People assume that a 'problem of induction' somehow justifies questioning induction itself, when in fact this would be a logical fallacy: a reason to doubt an outcome is not a reason to reject the outcome in of itself. You need negating evidence to reject the prediction outright. These are just some of the errors implicit in your misunderstanding of induction.

If you don't look for certainty, and you know about modern probability and statistics, the problem of induction is not a problem at all. The whole (deductively-created) theory of probability and statistics is dedicated to telling us something about "populations" from "samples." It's made for induction.

Basically, today, logicians only see the 'problem' as a problem if and only if one holds to inductive arguments as if they were deductive. The fact that some people are unsatisfied with the various solutions to the problem is hardly a reason to reject induction.

Oh, and the idea that induction can be 'justified' by 'assuming god' is utterly nonsensical. You can't even provide a positive ontology for your claim. Please read here for more:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/supernatural_and_immaterial_are_broken_concepts

And assuming a 'uniformity of god' is even more problematic than assuming a 'uniformity of nature." Please also understand that simply asserting 'the bible is your ontology' is just ridiculous. You know that's not an answer. It's a dodge.

>and even if the SEP recognized that you justified your inductive inference with some formula (Bayes' theorem, etc.), then you would still need to justify how you know that formula would continue to operate uniformly in the future.

You really don't know what the problem is. You assume, erroneously, that the assumption of "uniformity of nature" is both a necessary and sufficient condition for justifying induction and that logicans actually rely on this as a 'response'. This is a common error - usually seen in people who've never read Hume or any philosophical response to Hume.

Science does NOT attempt to justify induction by using the assumption of a uniformity of nature: (Science also works through falsification (rejecting the null hypothesis) and statistical probability, not 'induction', so this is yet another response to the problelm you are probably unaware of...)

From one of the essays I sent to you:

As already mentioned previously, the assumption of a uniformity of nature is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for building inferences from the past to the future. So the assumption is not only circular, it simply fails to provide a justification for such inferences. In addition, Howson & Urbach point out, assuming a uniformity of nature is doubly 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" the philosphical problem of justifying induction by uniformity of nature solutions doesn't really work.

From:
http://www.rationalresponders.com/why_the_problem_of_induction_really_isnt_a_problem_and_why_theists_dont_even_get_it_right

I addressed this error in my previous emails to you. You don't even seem to realize that no one uses the assumption of a uniformity of nature as a sufficient justification for induction - OTHER methods are used.

You might also be interested to learn how assuming a 'uniformity of god' utterly fails to provide a justification for induction, and in fact falls to the same problems faced by someone using a uniformity of nature argument!

http://www.rationalresponders.com/an_easy_argument_to_refute_van_tillian_calvinist_presuppositionalism

> Hume did not take his problem of induction far enough because he did not include math as part of the problem. For instance, every time he added 2+2, he got 4. The next time he added 2+2, there is no way he could have known that he would have gotten 5.

Hume did not discuss mathematics under the problem of induction because math is not inductive!! Math is deductive! There is no problem of deduction! There is no need to justify deduction by assuming a uniformity of nature! Deductions are axiomatically true!

> In regards to my positive ontology. If you go to the bottom of the 5300 challenge, you will note that i answered all the questions i posed.

Kelly. Please. You have not answered a single thing concerning a positive ontology for immateriality. Please stop fooling yourself. Again, please read this essay:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/supernatural_and_immaterial_are_broken_concepts

And actually learn why your position is incoherent.

 

> Lastly, i have already told you that an idea can exist apart from a human brain because all ideas originate in the mind of God. I could not be more clear on this.

 

Actually, you could be infinitely more clear. You could begin by defining 'god' coherently, without stealing from materialism. Then you could explain how saying "ideas originate in the mind of god' actually answers the question of how something could be immaterial!

You see, the truth is, you're not answering anything.



> If in your next answer you cannot tell me how it is that you are 100% certain, without simply axiomizing your answer,

Without 'simply axiomizing my answer"? You really don't grasp how justification procedes by providing a deduced, axiomized system, do you?

Funny how you wave your hand at that, yet believe that saying "my ontology is the bible' is actually a coherent response concerning your ontology!

> that the laws of math will continue to operate the same way in the future as they have in the past,

One more time: Math is a deductive system. Mathematical truths are necessary truths. We define numbers, a priori. There is no 'problem of deduction' and deduction does not depend upon a uniformity of nature as both a necessary and sufficient justification for propostions that are tautologically true!

If you can't even figure out that math is deductive, then I see little reason to continue. You've been exposed as someone who doesn't really grasp the issue. Sorry.

I've written the following brief essay to deal with people who hold to the common errors your argument is built upon:

http://www.rationalresponders.com/a_materialist_account_for_abstractions_or_how_theists_misplace_the_universe

I do hope that you actually take the time to actually read Hume some day, and perhaps even learn about what induction is.... Again, I, unlike you, have actually read Hume. I actually know what the problem he identified, and you are completely misrepresenting the problem, and you simply are unaware of how logicians actually deal with the problem. Anyone who tells me that they actually think that logicians rely on 'a uniformity of nature' as the 'solution' to the problem clearly hasn't read anything written in the last 200 years.

My entry on Hume.
http://www.candleinthedark.com/hume.html

If you can't take the time to read Hume, at least read a review of the work where he discusses induction.

Take care, and good luck in your learning.

 

Kelly to todangst #8

Hello Chris,

This conversation we are having is worthless. In the below email, you misrepresented my position in several spots (for instance i NEVER thought that induction was certain), and on top of that, you are mocking me as if i do not understand what you are saying. Our problems (or disagreements) are not intellectual but ethical, thus debating over the email is a waste of both of our times. If you live close to the Texas area, we should schedule a public debate.

Well you will be in my prayers tonight (even though i know you dont believe in that sort of thing)

Take Care,
Kelly

Todangst to Kelly # 9

Hello Chris,

This conversation we are having is worthless.

Is it really that it's worthless, or is it that you're really not prepared for this conversation, and that you need a way to run off while saving face?

Let's test my hypothesis by seeing you go on to ignore the facts of our discussion and simply focus on your emotional reaction to the discussion.

In the below email, you misrepresented my position in several spots

You need to demonstrate this then.

>(for instance i NEVER thought that induction was certain),

And I never said that YOU said it was certain. I just said that it was a mistake to hold to induction as if it were deduction. I never said it was YOUR specific mistake, per se. So you've jumped to a conclusion and made an erroneous assumption.

And this is probably because you really don't spend much time learning about the points I've sent you.... you're too much in a rush to ignore and avoid the facts of this matter, Kelly. You really should take a look at that, and see for yourself where you're fooling yourself.

This is a complex matter, and no one should make grand pronouncements over a topic that they are fundamentally ignorant in.

> and on top of that, you are mocking me as if i do not understand what you are saying.

Well here we go, as predicted, you're hurt and this email is about your emotions.

I am not mocking you. But it is obvious that you never read Hume, that you really don't know what the 'problem' is, and that you have no idea how logicians and philosophers have dealt with the problem.

And I don't just assert that. I demonstrated that you really don't grasp the situation accurately. I showed that you held (and probably still hold) to the common error that philosophers actually try to justify induction through an assumption of a uniformity of nature. However, again, while this is a necessary condition of induction, it is not a sufficient condition for justifying induction, therefore, other means are required for justifying induction.

Rather than being open to learn about your mistake, and correct it, you choose to react to this all as an insult. You're hurt, and you wish to lash out, rather than just accept that you really don't grasp the issue.

But what's wrong with not knowing something? Isn't it better to concede some ignorance and learn from it? What about that famous christian humility?

> Our problems (or disagreements) are not intellectual but ethical,

You can say this to yourself in order to make yourself feel better, but reality dictates that our disagreements are intellectual.

> thus debating over the email is a waste of both of our times.

Again, in other words, you need to run off, while also saving face.

It's only a "waste of time" to you now that I've demonstrated that you don't know what you're talking about.

Your answers concering the ontology for your postion are proof of that. Your erroneous assumptions about the use of uniformity of nature as a justification for induction are proof of that. Your inability to even recognize that math is deductive, not inductive, is proof of that.

And rather than keep this intellectual, you instead opt to focus on your wounded pride. Again, everyone is ignorant of something. I wasn't born with this information, and I once made the same sort of basic errors you make. I learned.

Why aren't you willing to learn?

Is your wounded pride too overwhelming?

> If you live close to the Texas area, we should schedule a public debate.

I don't live in Texas. However, we can debate on the Rational Response squad any day, any time.

I will also post our emails on the site, now that you've asked to go public.

I must caution you however: you cannot debate an issue over which you are fundamentally ignorant.

> Well you will be in my prayers tonight (even though i know you dont believe in that sort of thing)

And I will think for you, and learn for you, even though I know you don't believe in that sort of thing.

Take Care,
Kelly

Take care Kelly. You've been exposed. I hope you find the courage to concede this to yourself and allow this to inspire you to learn.

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

Books on atheism.


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Good job, Todangst!

Good job, Todangst! Smile


BGH
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todangst wrote: And I

todangst wrote:
And I will think for you, and learn for you, even though I know you don't believe in that sort of thing.

This is a classic, perfect statement. 


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American Atheist

American Atheist wrote:
Good job, Todangst! Smile

 

My favorite part was when I asked him to provide an ontology for immateriality, and he said:

"My positive ontology is the Bible as interpreted in the Westminster Confession of Faith."

 

 

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

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todangst wrote: American

todangst wrote:

American Atheist wrote:
Good job, Todangst! Smile

 

My favorite part was when I asked him to provide an ontology for immateriality, and he said:

"My positive ontology is the Bible as interpreted in the Westminster Confession of Faith."

 

 

 

Yes, my jaw dropped at this part. 

"The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously." [Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946]


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Mordagar wrote: todangst

Mordagar wrote:
todangst wrote:

 

My favorite part was when I asked him to provide an ontology for immateriality, and he said:

"My positive ontology is the Bible as interpreted in the Westminster Confession of Faith."

 

Yes, my jaw dropped at this part.

He struck me from the start as someone in way, way over their head. I'm not claiming expert status either, but at least I have a at least a cursory background on the matter.

 Kelly has one thing over me, however: I'd never have the temerity to offer up a challenge (or suggest a debate) on a matter that I know absolutely nothing about...  

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

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Awfully bold of him to

Awfully bold of him to offer to debate you in Texas (most likely at the Texas Center for Empty Challenges) especially being as that, even in this short exchange, he's all but forced to admit that he doesn't even have a coherent concept on which to hang his own metaphysical hat. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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A few more emails, received

A few more emails, received in the last few hours:

 Kelly: 

I have no problem with you posting the emails, all i ask is that you post all 10 responses, and do not edit anything.

thanks

 todangst:

Who'd need to edit your comments? I'm reprinting them all, verbatum.  There's already a few comments on the Rational responders site concerning your emails.  Just a head's up - you really should learn more about this topic before continuing.... you should at least learn enough to be able to be concerned with how little you know.... 

 

Kelly:

also, i would ask that you post my emails, in their full entirety so that people can read them all the way through without reading your comments, and then have a chance to read your response email which has my comments in it.

thanks again
kelly

 

Todangst:

That's precisely how I posted them.

I dont' see why you think this will help, however. You really don't grasp the problem of induction, and your responses on the ontology of your position were embarrassing.

 

Kelly:

If you want to, I would like to debate you in July on the rational responders. I would do it earlier but i have three debates between now and then, and during the whole month in June, i will be in London shooting the Great Commission. Not only that, but i am in my Finals right now in seminary. So i am pretty busy to say the least.

Does that sound good to you? Will mid July work?
Let me know
Kelly

 

Todangst:

 You seem to have plenty of time to write me emails... why not just come to the site now and continue?

 

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

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Quote:  The ONLY valid

Quote:

 The ONLY valid way to argue for the Bible is to presuppose it and if you do not, I completely undermine my own argument.

OMG!  Its a presupper! Run away! Run away! 


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caseagainstfaith

caseagainstfaith wrote:

Quote:

The ONLY valid way to argue for the Bible is to presuppose it and if you do not, I completely undermine my own argument.

OMG! Its a presupper! Run away! Run away!

The only way to argue REALITY is to presuppose there is no proof for god and the bible is mythology... 


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caseagainstfaith

caseagainstfaith wrote:

Quote:

The ONLY valid way to argue for the Bible is to presuppose it and if you do not, I completely undermine my own argument.

OMG! Its a presupper! Run away! Run away!

I sorta agree, but this is the first polite presupper I've ever met, so it interested me.

However, his argument is actually subpar even for presuppers... he didn't even bring up 'modal logic' - he seems to be a basic Van Tillian 

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So, if I'm reading this

So, if I'm reading this right -- and I like to think that I am -- the reason you can't logically infer from "nature is uniform" to "all swans are white" is because, even if you've somehow justified the idea that nature is uniform, you still have said nothing about the manner in which nature is uniform. There's still the possibility that the uniform fact of nature is that all swans but one are white, and we just haven't found the black swan. Essentially, the argument is that, even if the facts of nature are uniform, we can't be sure we have the facts themselves right.

 Right?

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I have one question about

I have one question about the "location" of that law in the first series of questions.

How do you know a law located in your brain has any berring on reality? Logic is supposed to be derrived from the observations of imperfect beings, so I can see why what is on the outside should be reflected inside the mind, but I cannot see why, given atheistic assumptions, the reverse must need to be so as well. 

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"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

I have one question about the "location" of that law in the first series of questions.

How do you know a law located in your brain has any berring on reality?

berring = bearing?

Ok, this is an excellent question, and I think it's too deep of an issue to just try to answer in one post.

I'd say that first, any deductive statement is necessarily true, seeing as we can reword any deductive argument into a tautology. However, this doesn't mean that any deduction has a real world correlate... In fact, we know that there are no such things such as a square, outside of our brains. I'd go as far as to say that no deductive statement has a precise, exact real world correlate....

So your question relates to verdicality, and even the concept of 'truth'.... which I think requires a discussion of the various ways to determine truth.

See how complex this is?

Quote:

Logic is supposed to be derrived from the observations of imperfect beings,

I'm not sure what you mean here. Deductive logic is created a priori, a brain in a vat, without any eyes, could produce such a system. Whether or not people are 'perfect' is moot here.

Now, if you are talking about inductive logic, then there must be a different conversation altogether.

Quote:

so I can see why what is on the outside should be reflected inside the mind,

You need to clarify what sort of logic you are talking about.

 

Quote:

but I cannot see why, given atheistic assumptions, the reverse must need to be so as well.

Atheistic assumptions? Logic is not 'atheistic' or 'theistic'... the matter of belief in a god has no relation to logic at all. Let's say non-theistic.

Logic, meaning in this case, deductive logic, is a priori. The metaphysical basis for it is the existence of a sentient brain. No other metaphysic is required to produce an a priori system.

As for induction, we'd need to get more specific first, as to what problems you are having. I hold that Bayes' theorem provides a deductive foundation for induction, basically by basing it on probability. What problems do you have with probability?

Science also works through falsification, which rests upon the logically valid form of Modus Tollens:
p > q
~q
~p

Since falsification relies on a logically valid form, we know that there are no cases where a set of true propositions can lead to a false conclusion!

So anyway, give me a more specific concern, and we can continue to talk... Finally, I cannot fathom how a 'theistic assumption' could possibly be of any help. A 'theistic assumption' merely runs away from the problem altogether by saying some incomprehensible 'god did it'... this is not a response, its a label without any content.

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JeremiahSmith wrote: So,

JeremiahSmith wrote:

So, if I'm reading this right -- and I like to think that I am -- the reason you can't logically infer from "nature is uniform" to "all swans are white" is because, even if you've somehow justified the idea that nature is uniform, you still have said nothing about the manner in which nature is uniform.

I think that's it. As written in the essay you are referencing:

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.

The bridge required would read: "this SAMPLE of swans from my past is REPRESENTATIVE of all swans, ERGO"... all swans are probably white.

Quote:
 

There's still the possibility that the uniform fact of nature is that all swans but one are white, and we just haven't found the black swan. Essentially, the argument is that, even if the facts of nature are uniform, we can't be sure we have the facts themselves right.

Right?

The uniformity of nature does not make the above bridge, the connection between our prior experience of the world, and the world itself.

For this bridge, we need a probability theory...

Saying 'goddidit' is worse than saying nothing, it's giving up.

 

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Wow, that guy got

Wow, that guy got todangst-owned!

 

You're a bit over my head Tod, I'm not going to lie, but what I did understand was brilliant. Wink


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 Todangst is the man!  I

 Todangst is the man!  I can honestly say I've learned a lot from reading this. Thank you.

Sounds made up...
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Quote:How do you know a

Quote:
How do you know a law located in your brain has any berring on reality?

berring = bearing?

Ok, this is an excellent question, and I think it's too deep of an issue to just try to answer in one post.

Sorry, I don't use spell checks.

Glad you agree that epistemological foundations are importiant, because, let's face it, without them whatever scientific discoveries that are made are moot.

Whe I say "logic" in this context, I mean both deductive and inductive, although inductive has an apparent degree of immunity until pressed. You can see this illustrated in the "My conversion challenge to GodTube" thread.

Also, rather than saying "atheistic assumptions" I should have said "naturalistic assumptions," which is more metaphysically accurate as atheism is a manifestation of naturalism.

Naturalism asserts that all that is is physical. I know that this is probably an oversimplification, but this is the basic jist of the metaphysic.

So far, you have drawn a dicotomy between the realm of ideas and reality, asserting that the laws of deductive logic are a priori. While I agree with you that there is no real world correlary with a "square" (except perhaps us nerds...) I do not see how anything, given naturalistic assumptions can be a priori.

Under the naturalistic metaphysic, there isn't really such a thing as "an idea" or "a category." Rather there is a series of chemical reactions in the brain as illustrated with the first few questions of the initial post. The problem with deductive logic being a priori under the naturalistic metaphysic is that there is no connection by nessecity between the chemical reactions in the brain to a physical actuality. If you assume that there is such a thing as an idea, then the laws of logic can be a priori, BUT that assumes that some things -conceptual things- exist, even if there is no real world correlary. Taking this to it's logical conclusion as that "new thoughts" can be thought, it follows that even if an idea only exists as a pure idea and is never encoded into a biochemical reaction in a brain, it still is an idea because of the potential of becoming a biochemical reaction as such. Along a swimilar note, two people thinking "the same thing" are not biochemically thinking the same reaction, but does that make the ideas two seperate ideas?

Put simply, the idea must only be manifested in the biochemical reaction. It in and of itself must exist apart from that reaction, but in accepting this, one must deny the naturalistic metaphysic that reality is defined purely by the phyisical.

The idea of "the idea" is required for logic (in this case specifically deductive, but a similar argument can apply to inductive as well) to be affirmed, but the idea of "the idea" is a non sequitor from the naturalistic metaphysic.

EDIT: Out of intellectual honesty, this is not exactly my own argument. It is a derrivative from the late Greg Bahnsen's Trancendental argument which I developed and applied to this context. As todangst's opponent indicates, precursor arguments to this are circulating around and, more likely than not, this is not the final form of this argument either. The up side is the more I use it, the more I understand it and the pressure on the argument will refine it into an even better argument. Even though I think this argument is nearing water-tight, it is still merely a precursor argument.

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I've said it before, I'll

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Todangst, you are brilliant. Simply brilliant. Did I hear that you are writing a book? If not, you should be.

Kelly complains over and over that placing oneself at the centre of epistmological reality means that we can know nothing. But why is it required that we know anything? Why does Kelly assume that he knows anything? Why must theists cling to this fantasy that their thoughts and actions are somehow the hub on which the entire universe turns? Basic arrogance and insecurity it seems to me.

I'm perfectly cool with the notion that I know nothing and that everything I take as axiomatic could turn out to be wrong. Then I address myself to the question of how I now go about my day. Knowing nothing, I suppose the best way to proceed would be to construct a mental framework which will produce results that seem useful and pleasing to me. Since making an a priori assumption that there's a big sky daddy who wants me to feel bad about myself doesn't really fit the bill, I think I won't make that assumption today, thank you very much.

I think the basic response to Kelly's theory that the first sentient creatures would have no common logic would be to point out that this is great evidence of evolution. Those that thought 2+2=5 are no longer with us. 

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 Another brief email

 Another brief email exchange:

 

 On 5/3/07, kelly tripplehorn <i53network@gmail.com> wrote:

I am not the one who cannot justify his inductive inference. The challenge still stands. Convince the SEP, collect $1000.

I thought you were done!

Now, you're back!

Actually, you cannot justify induction through any supernatural/biblical means, and I offer you $1000 to do so.

As for 'convincing the SEP', you don't even know what the problem of induction actually is (as I proved in our exchanges), so how can you judge as to whether it has been justified!

As for your claim that Stanford will be a disinterested judge - you're obviously being dishonest on this point.

If you do appear on the Rational Response show, you'll be exposed.

 

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
Quote:
How do you know a law located in your brain has any berring on reality?
Quote:

berring = bearing?

Ok, this is an excellent question, and I think it's too deep of an issue to just try to answer in one post.

Sorry, I don't use spell checks.

Glad you agree that epistemological foundations are importiant, because, let's face it, without them whatever scientific discoveries that are made are moot.

This is a non sequitur.

Imagine we are both primitive men, out in a wilderness. If I discover fire, and am not able to provide you with an epistemological foundation, will you refuse to use it to warm yourself from the winter cold?

Epistemological foundations are a concern for philosophers. We don't need to justify induction in order to know that fire is warm, or that cooked food tastes better, or that medicines make us well. Again, I've noticed over and over that people who discuss the problem of induction have never even been in the same room with a person who's met a cousin of a friend of an uncle who's read David Hume's Enquiry, which provides an actual account of what the problem really was, in his eyes.

Let me ask you a question to see if we are at least on the same page: Do you accept that the fact that you can doubt a claim, is not, on its own, a justification for rejecting the claim?

For example, let's say that I assert that there is something called gravity. You, knowing that that is an inductive claim say "Aha, but you cannot be absolutely certain that there is gravity"

And I say "yes, agreed".... do you think it then follows that you can assert:

"So, there is no gravity"?

If not, you've just agreed that the 'problem of induction' is hardly the 'problem' internet theists make it out to be... (and this is just one small part of the misperception.)

Quote:

Whe I say "logic" in this context, I mean both deductive and inductive, although inductive has an apparent degree of immunity until pressed.

Induction has a degree of immunity until pressed?! What do you mean here?

Quote:

Also, rather than saying "atheistic assumptions" I should have said "naturalistic assumptions," which is more metaphysically accurate as atheism is a manifestation of naturalism.

Atheism is nothing more than a lack of belief in the claims of theists. It's not an ontological or epistemological position, it's not a worldview, it's not a philosophy.

Quote:

Naturalism asserts that all that is is physical. I know that this is probably an oversimplification, but this is the basic jist of the metaphysic.

I think it may be an oversimplification to equate naturalism with physicalism, seeing as there can be naturalistic dualists.

Quote:

So far, you have drawn a dicotomy between the realm of ideas and reality, asserting that the laws of deductive logic are a priori.

Not precisely. Ideas are part of reality. It's just that we can form an idea that has no real world correlate.

As for 'asserting' that the laws of deduction are a priori, this wasn't something I came up with while folding my laundry. It's an old idea and I can provide references if you like.

Ok, I rarely bother to fold my laundry...

Quote:

While I agree with you that there is no real world correlary with a "square" (except perhaps us nerds...) I do not see how anything, given naturalistic assumptions can be a priori.

I don't see how you can build any case, at all, on supernaturalism. Your side tends to ignore that minor detail. Instead, you focus on trying to find weaknesses in naturalistic accounts, based on, (now admit this) a less than vigorous exploration of naturalistic accounts by logicians and philosophers.

Quote:

Under the naturalistic metaphysic, there isn't really such a thing as "an idea" or "a category."

Sure there are. You're not going to make a fallacy of composition, are you?

Quote:

Rather there is a series of chemical reactions in the brain as illustrated with the first few questions of the initial post.

Fallacy of composition. The fallacy of composition occurs when we erroneously transpose of a characteristic of a part of a system, or a person, to be characteristic of the whole

By the same logic, there is no such thing as water, merely a bunch of Hydrogen and oxygen gas. So next time you go scuba diving, don't bring oxygen... there's already plenty!

What we call a category or a concept is composed of neurons. A category is an emergent property of neurons, just as wetness is an emergent property of H2O, so you cannot reduce a category to its individual neurons and still retain the nature of a category, just as you cannot reduce water to hydrogen and oxygen and still retain what 'water' is. The category IS the sum of its neurons, interacting, not merely its individual neurons.

Thus dies this bad argument. It relies on a fallacy of composition.

Quote:

The problem with deductive logic being a priori under the naturalistic metaphysic is that there is no connection by nessecity between the chemical reactions in the brain to a physical actuality.

This is the fallacy of composition already identified above.

Quote:
Taking this to it's logical conclusion

Impossible as the first premise is false.

Quote:

as that "new thoughts" can be thought, it follows that even if an idea only exists as a pure idea and is never encoded into a biochemical reaction in a brain, it still is an idea because of the potential of becoming a biochemical reaction as such.

How can an idea 'exist' as a 'pure idea' sans a physical brain?

Do you see why your 'side' is so disengenuous? You claim to be so concerned with justifying induciton, yet you assert incredible claims like 'pure ideas' without even bothering to provide an ontology... oh, let's skip the fancy talk.. you assert these things without even bothering to say how the FUCK ideas can exist without any material at all!

So if you really so, so concerned with justification, why not justify the idea of an idea existing sans a physical brain, or physical matter!

Seems you are straining at a gnat..... while swallowing elephants whole...

Quote:

Along a swimilar note, two people thinking "the same thing" are not biochemically thinking the same reaction, but does that make the ideas two seperate ideas?

I already addressed this common mistake in my exchanges with Kelly.

It's two representations of the same idea.

That's how an idea can exist in a collection of neurons... as a token.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/a_materialist_account_for_abstractions_or_how_theists_misplace_the_universe

Now, can you explain how an idea can exist without anything?


Quote:

EDIT: Out of intellectual honesty, this is not exactly my own argument.

I'm glad for your sake, as its a bad argument.

Quote:

It is a derrivative from the late Greg Bahnsen's Trancendental argument

TAG is a very, very bad argument. Do yourself a favor and learn just why it's so bad:

You can start here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/ontological_and_epistemological_blunders_tag

But by all means, read the people I've referenced.

Theists would do themselves a favor to recognize all the flaws in TAG. By the time you are done, it will be as if you took a crash course in logic 101.

 

Quote:

As todangst's opponent indicates, precursor arguments to this are circulating around and, more likely than not, this is not the final form of this argument either. The up side is the more I use it, the more I understand it and the pressure on the argument will refine it into an even better argument. Even though I think this argument is nearing water-tight, it is still merely a precursor argument.

Near water tight? It's based on a fallacy that a college freshman ought to be able to recognize. 

And it does nothing to actually support a supernatural justification for induction. Merely identifying a weakness in an opponent's argument does nothing to support your side, that's a false dichotomy fallacy.

Furthermore, there are pressing ontological dilemmas for your side. You assume that one can refer to terms like 'pure idea' coherently... it never even recognizes the problem of an idea existing as 'nothing'

 

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Quote: Under the

Quote:
Under the naturalistic metaphysic, there isn't really such a thing as "an idea" or "a category." Rather there is a series of chemical reactions in the brain as illustrated with the first few questions of the initial post. The problem with deductive logic being a priori under the naturalistic metaphysic is that there is no connection by nessecity between the chemical reactions in the brain to a physical actuality. If you assume that there is such a thing as an idea, then the laws of logic can be a priori, BUT that assumes that some things -conceptual things- exist, even if there is no real world correlary. Taking this to it's logical conclusion as that "new thoughts" can be thought, it follows that even if an idea only exists as a pure idea and is never encoded into a biochemical reaction in a brain, it still is an idea because of the potential of becoming a biochemical reaction as such. Along a swimilar note, two people thinking "the same thing" are not biochemically thinking the same reaction, but does that make the ideas two seperate ideas?

Let's begin here:

Quote:
there is no connection by nessecity between the chemical reactions in the brain to a physical actuality
The only way this can be true is if you assume from the beginning that the mind is not in the brain (that the chemical reactions in the brain are not a physical actuality themselves). From this, you then conclude that the mind is not in the brain. In short, you are assuming your own conclusions.

It is true that we must separate the idea from the reality of the process that carries it. But this does not allow one to infer a mystical duality. Physicality still accounts for all. If we could infer a duality, we would have to conclude that the function of a computer programs exists in a real world all its own separate from the actual program itself. We would also have to conclude that the Playstation produces an alternate reality with real x-wing fighters flying around and destroying real death stars.

The absurdity of the dualistic notion becomes clear when we depersonalize it in this way (which is one of the things that convinced me that the mind/body problem is primarily born of egoistic ideas that "my mind" is something special, even supernatural, a "divine spark" "like an angel" might posess). All that we are talking about with the brain vs the mind and programs vs their functions and video game consoles vs playing games on them is transmitters and transmissions.

The dualistic notion is that the transmission is in a different reality (on a different plane) than the transmitter. Nope. They are merely 2 different parts of the same overarching reality. The transmitter and the tranmission are made of the same stuff.


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todangst wrote: Fallacy of

todangst wrote:

Fallacy of composition. The fallacy of composition occurs when we erroneously transpose of a characteristic of a part of a system, or a person, to be characteristic of the whole

By the same logic, there is no such thing as water, merely a bunch of Hydrogen and oxygen gas. So next time you go scuba diving, don't bring oxygen... there's already plenty!

What we call a category or a concept is composed of neurons. A category is an emergent property of neurons, just as wetness is an emergent property of H2O, so you cannot reduce a category to its individual neurons and still retain the nature of a category, just as you cannot reduce water to hydrogen and oxygen and still retain what 'water' is. The category IS the sum of its neurons, interacting, not merely its individual neurons.

This is cool!  I don't remember having come across this fallacy before, and I really liked the water analogy!

 


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I only see a few points

I only see a few points worth dealing with. If you honestly think you have delt with my points I will let them slide, regardless of how I feel. Being stubborn about debate points tends to create thick-headedness on both sides.

1.

Quote:
I don't see how you can build any case, at all, on supernaturalism. Your side tends to ignore that minor detail. Instead, you focus on trying to find weaknesses in naturalistic accounts, based on, (now admit this) a less than vigorous exploration of naturalistic accounts by logicians and philosophers.


I have seldom seen a more egregious error than this. Historically scientists, logicians, mathemeticians, and philosiphers especially have tended to be religious, before or durring the "enlightenment." Even now when atheism claims a divine right of kingship to the universities the most active areas of research in philosiphy is still religious -partly fueled by the need for skilled apologists- and there is still a small fringe of what mainstream science calls "fundamentalists" doing good scientific research.

Some names/ organizations to chew on:

Francis Bacon, creator of the scientific method, a Christian
Copernicus, a monk who challenged Roman Catholic assumptions
Newton, inventor of calculus, discovered gravity, etc. Christian
Moody Institute of Science. A small Christian organization

Concidering where most of your methods and present understanding of science come from, modern science to me looks less like a legitimate endevour and more quite a bit of borrowed intellectual capital.

Quote:
Fallacy of composition. The fallacy of composition occurs when we erroneously transpose of a characteristic of a part of a system, or a person, to be characteristic of the whole

By the same logic, there is no such thing as water, merely a bunch of Hydrogen and oxygen gas. So next time you go scuba diving, don't bring oxygen... there's already plenty!

What we call a category or a concept is composed of neurons. A category is an emergent property of neurons, just as wetness is an emergent property of H2O, so you cannot reduce a category to its individual neurons and still retain the nature of a category, just as you cannot reduce water to hydrogen and oxygen and still retain what 'water' is. The category IS the sum of its neurons, interacting, not merely its individual neurons.

Thus dies this bad argument. It relies on a fallacy of composition.


Fallacy of irrelivent thesis. I won't bore you with rhetorical flourishes. I said "biochemical reaction," which may occur over the entire brain or just in the space of the synapse. My point is that an "idea" must be a wholly different substance from the reaction, and that point remains untouched.

Quote:
TAG is a very, very bad argument. Do yourself a favor and learn just why it's so bad:

You can start here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/ontological_and_epistemological_blunders_tag

But by all means, read the people I've referenced.

Theists would do themselves a favor to recognize all the flaws in TAG. By the time you are done, it will be as if you took a crash course in logic 101.


No offense for being perfectly blunt, but I know better than to trust an atheist on what arguments do and do not work against atheism. You are going to respond just like I would if the situation was reversed: "There isn't one."

Rather, I trust history, and the trancendental argument, while seldom accepted as an argument, does work well in the field. Take Bahnsen V Stein (where Stein's not accepting the trancendental argument as a real argument made him look like a fool) and Bahnsen V Smith.

Oh, by the way, the that last bit of your statement that I was so kind as to not quote you on was a question begging epithet.

I can't help but...feel a sense of anticlimax to tell you the truth.

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Tod, as is usual, I should

Tod, as is usual, I should never try to read your discussions on this little sleep.  You make my brain spin with your amazing grasp of philosophy and logic.  Teach me your ways great Jedi master.

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
I have seldom seen a more egregious error than this. Historically scientists, logicians, mathemeticians, and philosiphers especially have tended to be religious, before or durring the "enlightenment."

Really? A closer look will show you that religiousness has declined.
If you take a proper look at the religiousity of these people you will notice that even though the modern ones might carry some kind of religiousness with them, their religiousness is less than that of their ancestors and almost always less than the religious authorities of the time that they would often have to tiptoe around for political survival.

Galileo would be considered very religious by modern standards, more religious than most scientists around today. In is time though, he was tortured for being a godless heretic.

Quote:
Even now when atheism claims a divine right of kingship to the universities the most active areas of research in philosiphy is still religious -partly fueled by the need for skilled apologists- and there is still a small fringe of what mainstream science calls "fundamentalists" doing good scientific research.

'Good' scientific research?
On the one hand they do deserve kudos for attempting to look at things another way, exploring another line of thinking and trying out ideas that have been rejected in the mainstream. Behe's paper, although it was ultimately refuted (to the best of my knowledge), brought up some interesting questions.

However, this small achievement by Christian-based scientific research is small and insignificant compared to the outrage they have caused by their dirty politics. Behe's paper (as far as I'm aware) is the only serious contribution to the scientific community. Other than that, their work has mainly been directed towards non-scientific lay-people. Rather than use research and reason to win over the scientific community they've used bulldog politics to try and bypass the scientists and have their unsubstantiated theories taught in schools.

It's commendable to try and research something controversial.
It's a fair cop if this attempt fails - it happens to the best of us and even the best scientists in history are usually only remembered for the small bit they got right.
What's not alright is when you use abuse politics to try and push half-baked theories into the education system.

Quote:
Some names/ organizations to chew on:

Francis Bacon, creator of the scientific method, a Christian
Copernicus, a monk who challenged Roman Catholic assumptions
Newton, inventor of calculus, discovered gravity, etc. Christian

Three people who lived in times when atheism was punishable by torture and death, let alone publically discouraged, let alone intellectually stifled. Thomas Hobbes was perhaps the closest one could come to being an atheist - declaring himself to be an English Protestant a couple of chapters after justifying that one should atleast appear to get along with the local religious authorities because it was a silly argument to lose your life over.
What's more, the stronger arguments against theism (that, to my knowledge, started with Spinoza and Hume) were yet to come about.
Even philosophers who advocated theism and faith such as Descartes and Kant had to tread very carefully not to upset religious authorities of the time with their reasoning.

Quote:
Concidering where most of your methods and present understanding of science come from, modern science to me looks less like a legitimate endevour and more quite a bit of borrowed intellectual capital.

Um... logical methods pre-date Christianity you know...
Late Greek and Early Roman civilisations were very enlightened in this respect. A lot of knowledge was lost once Christian ideas took over and started burning up rival ideas as heretical, plunging Europe into the Dark Ages (because they'd burned up all their knowledge and were left in the dark).

Thankfully, just before fundies took over the Islamic empire, Arabic Scholars were able to translate and share with Latin Europe Eastern copies of the knowledge they had burned, works of people like Aristotle. Unfortunately, Islamic fundies carried on the purging, the Alexandrian library in Egypt was torched and many works have been lost for good.

All this history is irrelevent however.
The point in question isn't "which 'side' used to behave more rationally" or "which 'side' did the best scientific research and reasoning", the question is which 'side' currently has the best reasoning. Christianity is not doing well.

Quote:
Fallacy of irrelivent thesis. I won't bore you with rhetorical flourishes. I said "biochemical reaction," which may occur over the entire brain or just in the space of the synapse. My point is that an "idea" must be a wholly different substance from the reaction, and that point remains untouched.

Sounds very Cartesian.
You have to face the same problem that he did - explain how there can be a causal relation between two separate substances. It turns out to be, if not a conceptual impossibility, then atleast a clear violation of the laws of conservation that require physical events have physical causes.

(Or perhaps you could take the route of Lebniz and Malebranch and declare that our thoughts aren't caused by our actions - God just makes it look like they do!)

Quote:
No offense for being perfectly blunt, but I know better than to trust an atheist on what arguments do and do not work against atheism. You are going to respond just like I would if the situation was reversed: "There isn't one."

It's not a matter of trust.
If I said that the sky is green, would it be that you found me untrustworthy or would you disbelieve because you know that the sky is really blue? Read Todangst's article on the TAG.
We're not saying believe it, we're saying to take on board the arguments and see where the atheist is coming from. If there's a flaw in our beliefs then that is the only way to find it.


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I will deal with a few of

I will deal with a few of your points, then because it is clear that I am making no progress I will change tacts.

Quote:

Really? A closer look will show you that religiousness has declined.
If you take a proper look at the religiousity of these people you will notice that even though the modern ones might carry some kind of religiousness with them, their religiousness is less than that of their ancestors and almost always less than the religious authorities of the time that they would often have to tiptoe around for political survival.

Galileo would be considered very religious by modern standards, more religious than most scientists around today. In is time though, he was tortured for being a godless heretic.

Newton "jotted over 2 million words on religion." Oh, and next time please be so kind as to actually research the history before pretending to know something. Galileo was never tortured because only the verbal threat was authorized. He also was not censured for "being Godless" but rather publicly assailing Roman Catholic doctrine based on astronomical observations.

Quote:
It's not a matter of trust.
If I said that the sky is green, would it be that you found me untrustworthy or would you disbelieve because you know that the sky is really blue? Read Todangst's article on the TAG.
We're not saying believe it, we're saying to take on board the arguments and see where the atheist is coming from. If there's a flaw in our beliefs then that is the only way to find it.

I disgree with Todangst on this point for a very specific reason: he is applying a double standard.

Logically speaking, to "disprove God," a reverse of the transendental argument is needed, specifically the portion dealing with the "impossibility of the contrary." Otherwise a negative, like "God doesn't exist is impossible to prove.

Atheists use plenty of questions like "Can god make a stone so big that He can't lift it?" and other logical binds to try to disprove God as a logical impossiblity. This ammounts to nothing short of a Reverse-Transendental Argument for Naturalism, henceforth R-TAN.

If TAG is an illegitimate argument and TAG shares a contested proving method with R-TAN, R-TAN is also an illiginimate argument. The use of any logical binds to "disprove God," then, is nothing short of an application of a double standard.

assuming you do not use R-TAN, you are left with only the physical reality and empirical evidence to prove or disprove God. As that this is not a sufficient base for disproving Deism, it is an insufficient base for disproving theism, therefore the atheist is forced to use R-TAN.

Declaring an argument of mine to be a non-argument is fine with me. what I have a problem with is you using the same argument form in reverse, claiming it to be a real argument. If TAG goes, so must R-TAN.

EDIT: Regardless of this, it isn't exactly like I expect you to say  "You're absolutely right. Please feel free to use the TAG argument." even though that would be nice. What will probably happen is that someone will isolate the impossiblity of the contrary part from TAG and say that the rest of TAG is useless, but even just the impossibility of the contrary is enough for me to use TAG effectively.

 

Now, let me change my argument slightly.

 

You assume, like all humanity, that you have a functional epistemic model, but given only a naturalistic world, this is a non sequitor. If the universe was shaped by purely natural forces, with or without chance added to the equation, it follows that the one half cubic foot that is your brain is no different from any other half cubic foot in the universe as that the same forces shaped them both. Therefore, it should come as a surprise that man is able to think and an even greater surprise that what man thinks when combined with a few precepts of his own thought and a starting point, it invariably reflects actuality. While there is no such thing as a "triangle," it is undeniable that the forces on a body in orbit can be mapped out trigonometrically using vectors.

On the same note, there is no assurence that scientific discovery is within that one half cubic foot's capability, so science, even while utilitarianistic in causality, is an assumption from the beginning.

 

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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todangst wrote: American

todangst wrote:

American Atheist wrote:
Good job, Todangst! Smile

 

My favorite part was when I asked him to provide an ontology for immateriality, and he said:

"My positive ontology is the Bible as interpreted in the Westminster Confession of Faith."

 

 

I knew it was coming as I am sure you did as well.

 

Let's see..where have we heard this before....

 

thinking...my..ontology...is...christian...theism...

 

Manata.

 

got it.  Nothing but sheer dodge material.  You wiped the floor with Kelly, just as Manata gots his panties cleaned with the same argument,what, over a year ago?

 

 

 


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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
Newton "jotted over 2 million words on religion."

It's still likely that he was less religious than the standard of the day. It's certain that he was less religious than those who had been born 200 years earlier. It's definate that the work we remember him for was the least religious of his work and that his mystical/religious work (that I was aware of) has more or less been forgotten as insignificant.

Quote:
Oh, and next time please be so kind as to actually research the history before pretending to know something. Galileo was never tortured because only the verbal threat was authorized. He also was not censured for "being Godless" but rather publicly assailing Roman Catholic doctrine based on astronomical observations.

I guess my use of 'Godless' was a bit over-retohrical. Smile
The point was, his science was contradicting what the Christians of the time believed to be God's word. So they tortured him. Dogma won out over reason. The more authority reason gained, the less authority religion held and it gradually retreated to where it is today, where reason is thriving like never before.

Quote:
Logically speaking, to "disprove God," a reverse of the transendental argument is needed, specifically the portion dealing with the "impossibility of the contrary." Otherwise a negative, like "God doesn't exist is impossible to prove.

Hmmm...
Transcendental arguments aren't the only "impossibility of the contrary" arguments. I think you mean arguments of deductive logic in general. For instance, if:

Premise 1) All elephants are grey
Premise 2) Jim is an elephant
Conclusion) Then Jim must be an elephant.

If the two premises are true then the conclusion cannot be false.
However, this is only the premises logically follow from the conclusion. This is difference between TAG and the transcendental arguments that we accept.

Quote:
Atheists use plenty of questions like "Can god make a stone so big that He can't lift it?" and other logical binds to try to disprove God as a logical impossiblity. This ammounts to nothing short of a Reverse-Transendental Argument for Naturalism, henceforth R-TAN.

Reverse-Transcendental Argument is the wrong word to use, but I  think I see where you're going with this.

Quote:
If TAG is an illegitimate argument and TAG shares a contested proving method with R-TAN, R-TAN is also an illiginimate argument. The use of any logical binds to "disprove God," then, is nothing short of an application of a double standard.

I see what you're saying now.
We are not disputing transcendental arguments in general.
For instance, by the fact that I am typing this, the fact that I exist and am conscious it transcendentally necessary. What we are denying is that God is transcendentally necessary for... well, anything.

Todangst's link denies the transcendental arguments for God, not transcendental arguments in general.

Quote:
Declaring an argument of mine to be a non-argument is fine with me. what I have a problem with is you using the same argument form in reverse, claiming it to be a real argument. If TAG goes, so must R-TAN.

Hmmm...
Perhaps we should clarify what a transcendental argument is.
Transcendental arguments are of the form:

1) X is true.
2) Y is a necessary condition for X to be true.
C) Therefore, Y must also be true.

It relies on a logical deduction.
The argument depends on the premises being true.
In TAG the second premise is false.
God is not a necessary condition for logic, uniformity, morality, or anything else for that matter. That is why we deny the TAG.

Quote:
Now, let me change my argument slightly.

You assume, like all humanity, that you have a functional epistemic model, but given only a naturalistic world, this is a non sequitor. If the universe was shaped by purely natural forces, with or without chance added to the equation, it follows that the one half cubic foot that is your brain is no different from any other half cubic foot in the universe as that the same forces shaped them both. Therefore, it should come as a surprise that man is able to think and an even greater surprise that what man thinks when combined with a few precepts of his own thought and a starting point, it invariably reflects actuality. While there is no such thing as a "triangle," it is undeniable that the forces on a body in orbit can be mapped out trigonometrically using vectors.

On the same note, there is no assurence that scientific discovery is within that one half cubic foot's capability, so science, even while utilitarianistic in causality, is an assumption from the beginning.


I think I see what you're saying:
Although most knowledge is empirical, we need non-empirical knowledge before hand, like techniques on how to organise our knowledge. Triangle isn't a material object like a chair, it's an abstract concept and so can't be learnt by 'experiencing' n object called 'triangle'.

I agree with you on that, but what makes you think that God is necessary? I think there's a much more obvious explanation behind this knowledge. What's more, if you read Todangst's link, you'll notice that mentioning God doesn't solve the problems - you still need to make the same assumptions that the naturalist makes before you even think about God.


How were these replies?
Did they grasp the point that you were getting at?


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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
I only see a few points worth dealing with. If you honestly think you have delt with my points I will let them slide,

I notice you didn't bother to respond to the first four points in my reply, where, in each case, I correct a basic error.

Should I let that slide?

Quote:
I don't see how you can build any case, at all, on supernaturalism. Your side tends to ignore that minor detail. Instead, you focus on trying to find weaknesses in naturalistic accounts, based on, (now admit this) a less than vigorous exploration of naturalistic accounts by logicians and philosophers.


Quote:

I have seldom seen a more egregious error than this. Historically scientists, logicians, mathemeticians, and philosiphers especially have tended to be religious, before or durring the "enlightenment."

First of all, you're not even responding to my point.

Here is it again, for the first time:

I don't see how you can build any case, at all, on supernaturalism. Your side tends to ignore that minor detail. Instead, you focus on trying to find weaknesses in naturalistic accounts, based on, (now admit this) a less than vigorous exploration of naturalistic accounts by logicians and philosophers

I am talking about your side of this debate. People such as yourself.

Now you tell me: can you give me one person who gives a justification of induction based on supernatuarlism? Can you actually deal with the actual point?

 

Now, onto your odd tangent:

The fact that many philosophers and scientists are christians does not mean that chrsitianity played a part in their discoveries.

And none of them have justified induction through supernaturalism either.

Quote:

Even now when atheism claims a divine right of kingship to the universities the most active areas of research in philosiphy is still religious -

You're ranting...

 

Quote:


Some names/ organizations to chew on:

Francis Bacon, creator of the scientific method,

What an egregious error. The fact that Bacon was a christian does not mean that supernaturalism or christiany played a part in the formation of his scientific method.

Quote:

a Christian
Copernicus, a monk who challenged Roman Catholic assumptions

Copernicus was a christian, but he was going against christian thought when he rediscovered heliocentric theory. The fact that you'd cite a christian who so feared christian persecution for his scientific discovery that he didn't allow his works to be published before his death, just shows how ridiculous your argument is.

Again, the fact that a person is a chrsitian in no way means that their scientific discoveries are of a christian inspired origin.

I see no reason to continue with the rest of the list as the point is the same. In fact, you chose people who were persecuted by christains FOR their scientific thinking (I.e. Copernicus, Galileo) making your claim doubly ridiculous.



Quote:
Fallacy of composition. The fallacy of composition occurs when we erroneously transpose of a characteristic of a part of a system, or a person, to be characteristic of the whole

By the same logic, there is no such thing as water, merely a bunch of Hydrogen and oxygen gas. So next time you go scuba diving, don't bring oxygen... there's already plenty!

What we call a category or a concept is composed of neurons. A category is an emergent property of neurons, just as wetness is an emergent property of H2O, so you cannot reduce a category to its individual neurons and still retain the nature of a category, just as you cannot reduce water to hydrogen and oxygen and still retain what 'water' is. The category IS the sum of its neurons, interacting, not merely its individual neurons.

Thus dies this bad argument. It relies on a fallacy of composition.


Quote:

Fallacy of irrelivent thesis. I won't bore you with rhetorical flourishes. I said "biochemical reaction," which may occur over the entire brain or just in the space of the synapse.

LOL.  

A biochemical reaction in neurons, or across neurons in the brain is precisely what I am referencing above.

Synapses/synaptic clefts, are connection points across neruons, i.e. part of the neural network.

Neurons work both chemically (NTs) and electrically (action potentials) 

I am referencing precisely what you are referencing. 

You're checkmated here.  

Quote:

My point is that an "idea" must be a wholly different substance from the reaction, and that point remains untouched.

No, it was not only touched, but refuted. You attempted to rule out neurons as being able to produce ideas through a fallacy of composition, and I demonstrated the error.

Now, again, I'd like to ask you to demonstrate how ideas can exist without a physical brain, or any matter at all?

Will you dodge the question again? YES!


Quote:
TAG is a very, very bad argument. Do yourself a favor and learn just why it's so bad:

You can start here: http://www.rationalresponders.com/ontological_and_epistemological_blunders_tag

But by all means, read the people I've referenced.

Theists would do themselves a favor to recognize all the flaws in TAG. By the time you are done, it will be as if you took a crash course in logic 101.

Quote:


No offense for being perfectly blunt, but I know better than to trust an atheist

What an odd complaint. You don't have to 'trust me', just read the argument. The argument speaks for itself.

Funny how you studiously ignore actually reading what the opposition says.

Instead, you just blindly trust theistic argumets 'work'

Quote:

on what arguments do and do not work against atheism.

Notice how I asked you to read the references as well.

So you're free to actually critically examine the argument.

But you refuse, and instead, go on blind faith.

Thanks for demonstrating your lack of critical thinking for the board.

Quote:

Rather, I trust history, and the trancendental argument,

On blind faith, while refusing to see the opposition's side!

Quote:

while seldom accepted as an argument, does work well in the field.

 

Then why don't you try to argue it here, and see?

Never mind, anyone who admits to taking his position on trust is a waste of time. Please don't waste my time futher. Please.

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

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More emails: Hello

More emails:

Hello Chris,

Here are the terms and conditions of the debate. Sometime in mid July, we are going to have a debate on this topic. I will take the position, "Is an inductive inference possible in a non-theistic universe." You will take the position, "Is an inductive inference possible in a Christian-theistic universe."

In order for us to debate, my 7 minute video must be posted on the rational responders home page for at least three weeks prior to the debate. You also must post a video (under 8 minutes) refuting my position. These videos must be side by side each other on the home page.

This part is optional. I think it would be great if the Rational Responders made a 1-2 minute promotional video concerning our debate. They could then post it on youtube, and this will obviously generate more publicity for the debate. The promotional video must be fair, representing my position without any sort of bias. If the video depicts me with pejorative language or anything of the like, this would obviously be unfair, and I have the right to refuse it. In other words, before the promotional video is released, I will need to approve it. (Also, on a side note, the Rational Responders might want to promote the video under the heading of inductive science instead of induction since most people do not know what the word induction means.)

The format of the debate will go like this.

2- five minute opening statements

2- five minute cross examinations

2- five minute closing statements.

Thus, the debate will last 30 minutes total, and our only focus will be induction. We will not be talking about Christian ethics, historicity, etc. We can debate those matters some other time but not in this short 30 minute debate.

If you refuse to accept this debate, then I will know that you are all talk and no action. Let's not make this another Greg Bahnsen vs. Michael Martin.

The ball is in your court,

Kelly

 

My response:

On 5/5/07, kelly tripplehorn <i53network@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello Chris,

Here are the terms and conditions of the debate. Sometime in mid July, we are going to have a debate on this topic. I will take the position, "Is an inductive inference possible in a non-theistic universe." You will take the position, "Is an inductive inference possible in a Christian-theistic universe."

 You don't get to decide the debate unilaterally.

You must defend this position:

Can induction be justified through supernaturalism.

After all, this is YOUR claim.

You must provide an ontology for your theory, and then demonstrate how it works to justify induction.
 

In order for us to debate, my 7 minute video must be posted on the rational responders home page for at least three weeks prior to the debate. You also must post a video (under 8 minutes) refuting my position. These videos must be side by side each other on the home page.


I'll ask Brian if he's up for this. 

This part is optional. I think it would be great if the Rational Responders made a 1-2 minute promotional video concerning our debate. 



It's up to Brian if he's even interested.
 

The format of the debate will go like this.


Brian will decide the format.
 

Thus, the debate will last 30 minutes total, and our only focus will be induction. We will not be talking about Christian ethics, historicity, etc.  


You will have to defend a supernatural justification for induction.
 

If you refuse to accept this debate, then I will know that you are all talk and no action.


We are already debating. And , I've already proven you are all talk and no action. You completely run from even attempting to defend your postion, and this is precisely why your cowardly emails were posted on RRS.
 

Let's not make this another Greg Bahnsen vs. Michael Martin.

You live in a fantasy world - your lack of any real knowledge of these topics insulates you from recognizing how bad your arguments are. Bahnsen can't be taken seriously, and Martin's TANG completely refutes TAG.
 

The ball is in your court,


No, it's in yours. Let's see you defend your claim.

 

 

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

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gregfl wrote: todangst

gregfl wrote:
todangst wrote:

American Atheist wrote:
Good job, Todangst! Smile

 

My favorite part was when I asked him to provide an ontology for immateriality, and he said:

"My positive ontology is the Bible as interpreted in the Westminster Confession of Faith."

 

 

I knew it was coming as I am sure you did as well.

 

Let's see..where have we heard this before....

 

thinking...my..ontology...is...christian...theism...

 

Manata.

 

got it. Nothing but sheer dodge material. You wiped the floor with Kelly, just as Manata gots his panties cleaned with the same argument,what, over a year ago?

 

They all borrow from each other, and none of them even bother to read what actual philsoophers and logicians say on the matter. Take a look at the last 'response' from VST..... nothing in his exchange even attempts to deal with my points, instead he goes into odd tangents .... 

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todangst wrote:gregfl

todangst wrote:
gregfl wrote:
todangst wrote:

American Atheist wrote:
Good job, Todangst! Smile

 

My favorite part was when I asked him to provide an ontology for immateriality, and he said:

"My positive ontology is the Bible as interpreted in the Westminster Confession of Faith."

 

 

I knew it was coming as I am sure you did as well.

 

Let's see..where have we heard this before....

 

thinking...my..ontology...is...christian...theism...

 

Manata.

 

got it. Nothing but sheer dodge material. You wiped the floor with Kelly, just as Manata gots his panties cleaned with the same argument,what, over a year ago?

 

They all borrow from each other, and none of them even bother to read what actual philsoophers and logicians say on the matter. Take a look at the last 'response' from VST..... nothing in his exchange even attempts to deal with my points, instead he goes into odd tangents .... 

 

Of course.  Instead of facing down the weakness in their copy and past argumentation, they go on rant attacks and duck into transcendental 'safe houses'.

 

 

 

Nothing new here.  This debate is going to be a slaughter....

 

 


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No comment on R-TAN?

I am not afraid of slaughters or humiliation. Whatever does not "deconvert" me only makes me stronger.

...No comment on R-TAN? Can I take it that you agree with me, then?

EDIT: So...exactly how does your epistemic model work?

Mine is pretty simple: God is rational, and He created both nature and man, and as part of the Divine Image gave man the ability to reason. As that nature was made by a rational God, reason and nature can, must, and do correlate.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

I am not afraid of slaughters or humiliation. Whatever does not "deconvert" me only makes me stronger.

...No comment on R-TAN? Can I take it that you agree with me, then?

EDIT: So...exactly how does your epistemic model work?

Mine is pretty simple: God is rational, and He created both nature and man, and as part of the Divine Image gave man the ability to reason. As that nature was made by a rational God, reason and nature can, must, and do correlate.

I read through this thread and I thought I saw something from you along the lines of not being able to use logic to prove or disprove God. If that is so, on what basis can you claim that God is rational (other than having to assume it for your argument to 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


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^ With a very simple

^ With a very simple deductive logical sylogism.

Major premise: God created everything.

Minor Premise: Part of that creation is rational

Conclusion: God is rational

If God was not rational, then any creation of His being rational is a non sequitor. If any part of His creation is rational, then God must be rational.

According to Godel's Theorem as well, as that God is a higher axiomatic system than nature, the axioms of nature are dependent on His own axioms. I would also add that God is also the definer of rational or irrational, but contextually, that's beside the point.

Also, that wasn't really an argument, but an exposition of my worldview's basis for logic and ,indirectly, knowledge in general. Please distinguish the two.

The context you are most likely referring to is my defense of the TAG. No? My argument there was that if logic cannot be used by theists to prove God, it can't be used by atheists either to disprove Him...unless a double standard is being applied, which is what I suspect the case is and is.

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"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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I replied to you bringing up

I replied to you bringing up of 'TAN'.
Todangst is unlikely to disagree with what I wrote in reply to it.
We don't deny all transcendental arguments, just invalid ones.
God is not sufficient, let alone necessary, for there to be rules of logic.
God is not sufficient or necessary for the assumption of the uniformity of nature.

So the TAG fails in that it assumes that atheists are lacking a justification for logic and uniformity and it also fails in the thought that if atheists did need such a justification then belief in God would provide it. If God is necessary for these things then why don't you prove it to us?


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Fine then. I will.

Fine then. I will.

I will challenge that logic (deductive in this case) cannot be accounted for using the naturalistic metaphysic. That isn't to say that you don't use it, just that you can't properly account for it.

Todangst accounts for deductive logic as being a tautology, or in other words an identity statement.

Quote:
I'd say that first, any deductive statement is necessarily true, seeing as we can reword any deductive argument into a tautology.

There are several problems with this.

First off, without reason, there is no "reason" to think that 1 = 1 is a valid statement. Tautologies themselves are dependent on logic, so to use them to explain the laws of logic is circular reasoning.

Also, deductive syllogisms are already in their simplest possible form and cannot be reduced into a tautology. If they can, then please reduce the following syllogism into tautologies and only tautologies while still reaching the conclusion as a necessity. If you can do that, I will concede the point.

Major Premise: Cardboard burns well.

Minor Premise: The box I put into the fire is cardboard.

Conclusion: The box will burn.

The problem is that, while all of these statements can individually be reduced into tautologies, the relationships between categories that they represent cannot be.

Feel free to try to prove me wrong, though.

 

There is one other source of logic that naturalism tries to draw from to create logic: conventions of society or thought.

In essence, this argument says that the laws of logic are conventions of thought learned through empirical observation. The logic is usually derrived from the experiences of the individual, but there have been some arguments for a social construction of logic.

It ammounts to the same thing either way: logic is a learned pattern based on observation.

Again, this has problems. First off, observation cannot be interpreted without logic, so logic is required to comprehend the observation, and the observation must be interpreted for the logic to be present. It is another case of circular reasoning.

Also, a "convention of thought" is bound to change and develop over time, so there is both no assurance of the staticness of logic (in fact, there is good reason to conclude the opposite) and there is no reason why a new law of logic could be added at any time, not to mention that the laws of logic will undoubtably vary, depending on whom you talk to, just because experiences from infancy vary.

So, why don't you come over tomorrow evening so that we can have a cookout. I'll cook some steaks and you'll cook up some new laws of logic?

While some of you may think that this is all well and good, for those of us who like our steaks "rare," and our thoughts "well done," this is absolutly unacceptable.

There are three ways to prove me wrong thus far.

1. Disprove BOTH of the problems with the tautological model. only one is not sufficient.

2. Disprove ALL FOUR of the social construct model. Again, only a few will not suffice.

3. Come up with a model for the source of logic that I have not heard of, then give me a while to chew on it and conclude that I can find no such faults in it.

I would conclude with my own logical origins model, but as that I have already done so, I will just quote myself.

Quote:
Mine is pretty simple: God is rational, and He created both nature and man, and as part of the Divine Image gave man the ability to reason. As that nature was made by a rational God, reason and nature can, must, and do correlate.

I know it isn't exactly humble, but unless you prove otherwise, the only functional source of logic given thus far is my own. Given that, I can make the following syllogism:

MJ P: A source of logical origins is required to be justified in using logic.

Mn P: Only SVT's logical origins model so far has worked.

Conc: Given present evidence, if anyone is reasoning he must either have a logical origins not thus far discussed or people are borrowing from SVT's logical origins model on some level, even if purely unconsiously.

Refution option #4: Show some reason why SVT's logical origins is impossible. (note: This only refutes the final syllogism. This on its own will not justify one of the above positions.)

Funny, TAG seems to be working just fine.

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Cool stuff.That was a good

Cool stuff.
That was a good presentation of your argument.
Now we can get going. Smile

The first thing I'd like to draw your attention to is the difference beween two types of 'because'. There's the causal explanation and rational justification.
The causal explanation explains why something is.
The rational justification explains why something ought to be.

"Why do you believe in God?"
Causal Explanation - "Because that's how I was brought up!"
Rational Justification - "Because the TAG proves it!"
The first one explains the events that caused your belief, the second one explains why you rationally ought to believe.

Here is my first part to the refutation of the TAG:
You ask why we should abide by the rules of logic? What makes them infallible? Why should we believe in them?
What you are asking for is a rational justification.
However, the TAG only gives you a causal explanation.

If even the TAG doesn't justify logic, doesn't that mean we're all relying on faith?
Not quite. There are naturalistic explanations on why logic is justified and that in turn will give us a causal explanation of it. You want to know why a tautology is necessarily true.

We'll start with the law of non-contradiction.

P & ¬P is false.

How do I try to justifiy this statement?
I say that so long as you understand the meaning of & and ¬ then it has to be so. The meanings of & and ¬ make contradictions semantically possible. Perhaps a good way to show this is in this dialogue:

"The law of contradiction doesn't apply to me!"

"Really? Are you gay?"

"No. I'm not gay."

"That doesn't mean you can't still be gay though. You're gay, aren't you!"

"No, I told you I'm not!

"And I told you that you can still be gay as well!"

"How can I both be gay and not gay?
It makes the word 'not' worthless as the whole
point of it is to show something isn't the case."

"So the law of contradiction does always apply then, so long as you understand the meanings
of 'not' and 'and' and are applying the words properly. For language to work we need to follow the rules.
If you misuse words so fundamentally it can render your words meaningless.
That's why a square circle isn't merely an object we haven't found yet, the word
'square circle' actually fails to define an object because the words contradict each other.
This means that they cannot refer to anything and are unintelligible."

 

This means that the law of contradiction applies to any language that has translation of the word 'and' and 'not'. Because we reason in language, the law of contradiction will apply to all arguments we make. This is why rules of logic, like the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction and the law of the excluded middle are infallible - they follow from the meanings of the words we are trying to use.

Now we know that logic is rooted in the rules of our language, a causal explanation of how logic arose will be the causal explanation of how we develloped language. Once language had reached a certain complexity and we were familiar with the notions of true and false, it came to our attention that some types of sentences could not be false. They were tautologies. etc...


Any objections? Smile


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Yes. Several, in

Yes. Several, in fact.

First of all, you have not refuted my argument along one of the 4 refutation possibilities I offered, but rather along a fifth option which you did not define the parameters of.

Secondly, you have done exactly what I said you have had to do to prove a tautology as true: use reason. You're source of the laws of logic remains circular.

Finally, you have not done as Todangst insists is possible and reduce my example syllogism into a tautology, but rather only prove the logical identity statement, something which we both agree on, but the means of justifying it is what we disagree on.

While your dialogue is interesting, it deflects the issue because it failed to reduce a deductive syllogism into a tautology. Remember the two preconditions that I gave before I would accept the tautological model of deductive logical origins? Both the conditions remain un-met.

If you want to defend the tautological model of logic that Todangst uses, you have only one option: show how you can use the law of non-contradiction before logic to avoid circularity, and then reduce an example deductive syllogism (I would like my example best, but I will accept others if properly done) into only tautologies to prove the effectiveness of the system.

...But you can also pick another rebuttal option I gave, or invent and define your own. 

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Strafio wrote:I replied to

Strafio wrote:
I replied to you bringing up of 'TAN'.
Todangst is unlikely to disagree with what I wrote in reply to it.
We don't deny all transcendental arguments, just invalid ones.
God is not sufficient, let alone necessary, for there to be rules of logic.
God is not sufficient or necessary for the assumption of the uniformity of nature.

So the TAG fails in that it assumes that atheists are lacking a justification for logic and uniformity and it also fails in the thought that if atheists did need such a justification then belief in God would provide it. If God is necessary for these things then why don't you prove it to us?

 

Agreed. Well said.

 

 

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

EDIT: So...exactly how does your epistemic model work?

Mine is pretty simple: God is rational, and He created both nature and man, and as part of the Divine Image gave man the ability to reason. As that nature was made by a rational God, reason and nature can, must, and do correlate.

1) "god" is an incoherent term.

http://www.rationalresponders.com/god_is_an_incoherent_term

 

Thus your argument fails, because the very first premise is incoherent.

2) Saying "god created the universe" not only suffers the ontological dilemma just outlined, it also says absolutely nothing about justifying logic. It merely asserts that something incoherent made the universe. In short, it's bad cosmology, not a justification for logic.

 

Quote:
According to Godel's Theorem as well, as that God is a higher axiomatic system than nature, the axioms of nature are dependent on His own axioms.

I'll leave aside your attempt to invoke Godel...

However, to cut to the quick: The axioms of naturalism include the axiom of existence. How can something be more basic than the axioms of existence and identity.

How can you even refer to your 'god' without relying on the axioms of existence and identity?

I deal with these errors in my essay concerning TAG.

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

Fine then. I will.

I will challenge that logic (deductive in this case) cannot be accounted for using the naturalistic metaphysic. That isn't to say that you don't use it, just that you can't properly account for it.

Todangst accounts for deductive logic as being a tautology, or in other words an identity statement.

Quote:
I'd say that first, any deductive statement is necessarily true, seeing as we can reword any deductive argument into a tautology.

There are several problems with this.

There are no problems with this.

I do hope that you are aware that a deductive argument can be reworded into a tautology. I do hope further that you recognize that the law of excluded middle is not 'part of classical logic" but instead an axiom that exists prior to any logical system. If not, then you are ignorant of the very basics of logic. Pick up a copy of Copi and Cohen, or take a course in logic 101 before continuing.

Quote:
Tautologies themselves are dependent on logic,

Really? How so?

What logical system is PRIOR to the law of the excluded middle?!

 

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

If you want to defend the tautological model of logic that Todangst uses, you have only one option: show how you can use the law of non-contradiction before logic to avoid circularity,

The law of non contradiction is not 'part of logic'. It is an axiom that classical logic rests upon. It is defended through retortion, and not through any logical argument.

Ergo it is used prior to logic. Ergo your argument is refuted.

By the way, non classical systems do not even use the law of non contradiction as an axiom. Propositional logic can procede without any axioms... (i.e. it relies on rules defined within the system).

Oh, and since you steadfastly refuse (to your own detriment) to actually read what logicians have to say about logic, I will just post a quick review of axioms here:

Classical logic rests upon the following axioms. These axioms are held to be 'self evident'. We hold that they are are self evident because all syllogisms rely on them, and because they can be defended through retortion. "Retortion" means that any attempt to create a syllogism to refute these axioms will require an argument that relies on these axioms - leading to a self refutation (we call this type of self refutation the "Stolen concept fallacy&quotEye-wink.

The Law of Identity: For things, 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 Excluded Middle: For things, "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: For things: "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. 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, then A.

 

 

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Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
First of all, you have not refuted my argument along one of the 4 refutation possibilities I offered, but rather along a fifth option which you did not define the parameters of.

I thought it was clear that I did both 3 and 4 of the refutation possibilities. I showed that you couldn't use God to justify logic (number 4) and then I showed our logic is entailed by the rules of our language (number 3), so the rules of logic hold for anyone who speaks our language.

Quote:
Secondly, you have done exactly what I said you have had to do to prove a tautology as true: use reason. You're source of the laws of logic remains circular.

I showed that as long as you are using a language (such as English) to communicate your ideas, the rules logic will apply. Logic is tied to our language and our language is tied to logic. It wasn't circular because I didn't use logic rules to prove logical rules, I used basic words in the english language to show that the logical rules follow from them.

I did this by starting with the meaning of the words '&' and 'not' and showed that so long as you are using them properly then contradictions cannot be true because a contradiction forces the rules of language use to be broken and these rules are necessary for meaning. What more do you need?

I can show that the rules of a deductive inference is based upon the laws of identy, non-contradiction and excluded middle... but I'll leave that until you agree that these laws are absolute to anyone who uses language.


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Strafio wrote:Sir Valiant

Strafio wrote:

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
First of all, you have not refuted my argument along one of the 4 refutation possibilities I offered, but rather along a fifth option which you did not define the parameters of.

I thought it was clear that I did both 3 and 4 of the refutation possibilities. I showed that you couldn't use God to justify logic (number 4) and then I showed our logic is entailed by the rules of our language (number 3), so the rules of logic hold for anyone who speaks our language.

You did show this, but I don't think our friend is able to recognize it.

He continues to use terms like 'god' without recognizing the insurmountable ontological problems.

 

Quote:
Secondly, you have done exactly what I said you have had to do to prove a tautology as true: use reason. You're source of the laws of logic remains circular.

Quote:

I showed that as long as you are using a language (such as English) to communicate your ideas, the rules logic will apply.

Let me get this straight, he asks you for a proof, and then calls it a 'circle' if you rely on reason for a proof?

Whoa... 

 

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Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
please reduce the following syllogism into tautologies and only tautologies while still reaching the conclusion as a necessity. If you can do that, I will concede the point.

Major Premise: Cardboard burns well.

Minor Premise: The box I put into the fire is cardboard.

Conclusion: The box will burn.


This can be re-worded as:
Either 'the box will burn' or ('cardboard burns well' & 'the box I put into the fire is cardboard&#39Eye-wink is not true.
By the law of the excluded middle, this is a tautology.
Any problem you find with the tautology will be a problem with the syllogism. This is easier to show with First Order Formal logic.


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todangst wrote: Let me get

todangst wrote:
Let me get this straight, he asks you for a proof, and then calls it a 'circle' if you rely on reason for a proof?

Whoa...

 


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Strafio wrote:I can show

Strafio wrote:


I can show that the rules of a deductive inference is based upon the laws of identy, non-contradiction and excluded middle... but I'll leave that until you agree that these laws are absolute to anyone who uses language.

If you notice my last few posts, you'll see that our friend confuses these axioms for 'logic' itself... 

 

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Gentlemen, prepare

Gentlemen, prepare yourselves. Whether you are going to admit it, even to yourselves, or not is irrelevant. You are about to be had all the way to the limits that logic permits.

Quote:
Either 'the box will burn' or ('cardboard burns well' & 'the box I put into the fire is cardboard&#39Eye-wink is not true.

By the law of the excluded middle, this is a tautology.

I take by his failing to comment on this that Todangst agrees with you. I thought as much. It all ends here for you both.

First of all, you have created a tautology from a logical syllogism, but you have excluded the minor premise, therefore the conclusion does not follow and you have only succeeded in reducing the entire argument into the major premise. The conclusion will not follow from the major premise only.

But is this really even a "tautology?"

A tautology is a logical identity statement. This means that the center of the sentence is a "to be" verb, and that the two ends can be flipped without effecting the argument.

So this is what we have:

Cardboard = thing that burn

And this is the inversion

Thing that burn = cardboard

Hold it. I'm getting Deja vu here. I know that this is a fallacy. COULD IT POSSIBLY BE OUR GOOD OLD FRIEND THE FALLACY OF COMPOSITON?

What we have here isn't a tautology, but a classification statement. The category of cardboard is a subset within the category of things that burn, not identical to it. You have confused the part for speaking for the whole category, which is what the proper definition of the fallacy of composition is.

The way that you are arguing is less of an argument, and more of a search for reasons that you are right. My logic teacher had a name for that: rationalizing.

 

Quote:

Let me get this straight, he asks you for a proof, and then calls it a 'circle' if you rely on reason for a proof?

Whoa...

If and only if we are talking about the source of logic, in which case using logic results in circular reasoning by definition.

If this paradox is beyond your skill to solve -and it probably is, seeing that no one ever has- I will allow this one point of circularity because all philosophical models must have an "Ultimate Self-Attesting Authority" which the proofs of are inherently circular.

Quote:

I showed that as long as you are using a language (such as English) to communicate your ideas, the rules logic will apply. Logic is tied to our language and our language is tied to logic. It wasn't circular because I didn't use logic rules to prove logical rules, I used basic words in the english language to show that the logical rules follow from them.

I did this by starting with the meaning of the words '&' and 'not' and showed that so long as you are using them properly then contradictions cannot be true because a contradiction forces the rules of language use to be broken and these rules are necessary for meaning. What more do you need?

So which came first, the chicken or the egg? The Logic or the Language? If they came gradually together like evolution says it did presently, how can we safely conclude that they both have finished coming?

Re-Cap: you have failed to prove that the tautological model is not circular, and what is worse, you have egregiously failed to live up to its primary premise that all deductive arguments can be reduced to tautologies. BOTH of my objections are still standing.

EDIT: I have no idea what is wrong with the quotes, or my signiture, I double checked both and they should be fine.

[MOD EDIT - Fixed quotes. (No, you don't want to know because it had to do with multiple funky HTML tags. Possibly this post was created using a text editor of some kind, then copied and pasted into a comment box with its own HTML tags.)]

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Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
First of all, you have created a tautology from a logical syllogism, but you have excluded the minor premise, therefore the conclusion does not follow and you have only succeeded in reducing the entire argument into the major premise. The conclusion will not follow from the major premise only.

Um... perhaps we should look at what I wrote again, this time with magical highlighter in order to illuminate the special details! Wink

Strafio wrote:
Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
please reduce the following syllogism into tautologies and only tautologies while still reaching the conclusion as a necessity. If you can do that, I will concede the point.

Major Premise: Cardboard burns well.

Minor Premise: The box I put into the fire is cardboard.

Conclusion: The box will burn.


This can be re-worded as:
Either 'the box will burn' or ('cardboard burns well' & 'the box I put into the fire is cardboard') is not true.
By the law of the excluded middle, this is a tautology.
Any problem you find with the tautology will be a problem with the syllogism. This is easier to show with First Order Formal logic.


As you can see, both the premises and conclusion were present in the tautology.

Quote:
But is this really even a "tautology?"

A tautology is a logical identity statement. This means that the center of the sentence is a "to be" verb, and that the two ends can be flipped without effecting the argument.


Identities aren't the only form of tautology.
A statement of the form "P or ¬P" is a tautology.
It's basically the negation of a contradiction.
That's the kind of tautology I re-wrote your syllogism into.

Your 'fallacy of composition' claim depended on the two misunderstandings and a complete rewriting of my tautology into the completely different sentence 'cardboard = thing that burns'.
You were supposed to be finding flaws with what I wrote, not making up something new to refute!

Quote:
So which came first, the chicken or the egg? The Logic or the Language? If they came gradually together like evolution says it did presently, how can we safely conclude that they both have finished coming?

...
Language evolved as it did...
Logic came after it as people began to realise that some things (say, tautologies) were true by definition and that this could be used to settle arguments and solve problems. As for your strange remarks on the evolution of language, while I won't rule out the potential of it changing so completely that the current rules of logic don't apply, I am tying the current logical methods to the current language we use. Our context is language as we currently understand it.

Remember, logic is the techniques that make use of the law of non-contradiction.
The law of non-contradiction is a building block for these techniques.
And the law of non-contradiction follows from the rules of our everyday language.

Another thing I should note is that my reasoning here is not circular.
I am pointing out properties of language and how they relate to the foundations of our logical methods. In doing this, I am not assuming the validity of logical methods. My only assumption is that I am using a language that you understand. Perhaps your approach is to make us sceptical of this assumption... it would make your last few posts a little more... understandable...
Tongue out


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Like I said earlier, if you

Like I said earlier, if you can work the tautological model down to only being circular, I will accept it because no philosiphy can help being circular in the long run.

...But if you really think that you have reduced the syllogism into a tautology, you are gravely mistaken.

According to your own definition, a tautology can either be an identity statement, or a statement of = either = p, or does not = p.

So you could have made a tautology from my argument by saying that cardboard either burns, or does not burn.

But you knew better than to do this because, even given the non-tautological minor premise, the conclusion does not follow.

So your statement that "cardboard burns" or to be more correct "cardboard is flammable" is not a tautology, but a categorical statement.

OK, what the heck is your problem? These are really simple mistakes that even I can avoid, but rather than admitting the mistakes, you defend your position, even though it is obvious, at least to me, that you are not answering the issues, but trying to deflect the issues.

This is why the model of TAG that I use is the latest and post powerful of the TAG argument series. Early on in his essay, Todangst complains about the inability of the TAG argument to explain the manner that the unbeliever is borrowing unconsciously from the theists position. No more. Behold the concept of Self -Deception.

The TAG argument begins with the assertion that a persons conscious worldview has "presuppositions" that cannot be questioned unless the person consciously tries to question them, or according to my position, is allowed to question them by God. These presuppositions force the person to beg the question and make all sorts of logical leaps that, to the person appear perfectly rational because they say what the person wants them to, but these are not properly justified conclusions.

The presuppositions then act as a pair of sunglasses, blinding the person to all of the logical errors of their argument, or at the very least demeaning the errors until the person rationalizes them.

Not to be insultive, but I think that this is exactly what is going on in your head right now, and as far as I can see your frantic scrambles to patch together a defense proves this...or at least suggests it greatly because these defenses crumble, even if only exposed to moderate TAG pressures (no, this is not the full bore argument. I am not good enough to use the argument to its limits yet.)

But what really suggests the self-deception is that your "defences" don't even make logical sense. They do to you because your presuppositions blind you to the contrary, but I can clearly see holes in it, even if I cannot convey these holes to you because, again, your presuppositions blind you to the alternative.

The further you go the more you think that you have defended your position, but also the more you have proven that your presuppositions are your god. God may not send you to Hell for not calling Him the right name, but He might if you cannot prove to Him that you even exist.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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