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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Science And Wisdom Part I

Introduction

The role of science and technology in modern life, particularly in western culture, cannot be slighted.  Science has changed (and keeps changing) virtually every facet of our lives, from entertainment to national defense.  Even the way we "socialize" today has been altered, be it for good or for bad, by technological advances brought about by science.  It should come as no surprise that science has earned highest regard among the disciplines, even by those who have little knowledge of or care about science themselves, but would rather just reap the benefits. 

Science is the one discipline today that seems to be seen as a safe-haven for unbelief.  Due to the advances brought about by science, it is tempting for many to demand a blind adherence to a strictly materialistic worldview.  After all, if science has the answers to how the universe operates, what need is there of any other discipline?  Would we not expect science to to provide an answer to any conceivable issue?  Some materialists have suggested such.

Bertrand Russell stated that, “Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attainable by scientific methods, and what science cannot discover, mankind cannot know.”  Oxford Professor Peter Atkins reiterates Russell's point. “There is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence.”  Atkins adds, “There is certainly no justification for asserting that the powers of science are circumscribed and that beyond the boundary the only recourse to comprehension is God.” (Chemistry and Industry - January 20 1997).  Not to be outdone, mathematician Karl Pearson explains that "...modern science does much more than demand that it shall be left in undisturbed possession of what the theologian and metaphysician please to term its 'legitimate field'. It claims that the whole range of phenomena, mental as well as physical-the entire universe-is its field. It asserts that the scientific method is the sole gateway to the whole region of knowledge." (The Grammar of Science (1892), 29-30.)

The case is clear.  Advocates of materialism want more than just to have science be a useful tool to tell us about the world we live in.  For them, science is absolute in its authority and unlimited in its scope.  It is the "sole gateway to the whole region of knowledge" and any challenge to strict materialism must be impugned and placed in the category of mythology.  There can be no room for Divine Revelation.  One of the most brazen admissions concerning the metaphysical commitment to materialism can be found in this statement by Biologist Richard Lewontin.

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a priori commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” (Richard Lewontin, “Billions and billions of demons,” The New York Review (January 9, 1997), 31.)

Of all the criticisms leveled against Christendom today, the charge of being "unscientific" seems to invoke more dread than any other.  Does science have the absolute final word to all truth claims?  If one were, for the sake of argument, accept materialistic presuppositions, a hosts of questions naturally arise.  A brief glance at the history of science shows that a variety of scientific paradigms have existed in past ages.  If science demands absolute authority, we need to decide which paradigm should be granted such authority.  Would it be Aristotle's Dynamics, Newton's Mechanism, Einstein's Relativity, Modern Quantum Theory, or the next scientific revolution that is sure to take place within the next 200 years?  In attempting to answer that question, we are faced with what is referred to as the Demarcation Problem.  What do we accept as scientific truth, and what is myth?

"If these out-of-date beliefs are to be called myths, then myths can be produced by the same sorts of methods and held for the same sorts of reasons that now lead to scientific knowledge.  If, on the other hand, they are to be called science, then science has included bodies of belief quite incompatible with the ones we hold today."  (Thomas Kuhn - The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, p. 2)

If the scientific method can produce either myth or contradictory beliefs, then what are we to make of this "sole gateway to the whole region of knowledge"? One may object to this problem by suggesting that science is "self-correcting", but not only does that not solve the problem, it introduces a whole new set of problems.  For one, how can one verify that something is "self-correcting" without some standard of truth by which to compare it?  Moreover, something that is constantly "self-correcting" must needs also be constantly false.  That which is true needs no correction.

In addition to the fact that science seems to change paradigms quite often, more foundational issues arise.  Can science operate in any type of worldview? If not, what are the metaphysical requirements needed for science to function?  Can science itself be justified among those who demand human autonomy in terms of natural reason or materialism?  What exactly are the laws of nature?  Are they universal?  Are scientific laws "discovered" or are they "selected"?  What type of role, if any, does science plays in establishing truth?  And what of the scientific method itself?  Is it really "the sole gateway to the whole region of knowledge", or merely a useful tool?  Can it really prove anything as being objectively true?  And most important of all, what, if anything, does science have to say about God?

161 comments:

Anonymous said...

hello Puritan Lad, now the problem here is that you seem to believe uniformity of nature then science, when it is actually the exact opposite! As well when you speak of naturalism, you confuse methodological naturalism (studying only natural things) with metaphysical naturalism,(natural world is all that there is)as well no, the Christian and I most of the time unfortunately do not have the same evidence. I dont claim a T-rex fossil is 70 million years old just because i felt like it
- Tatsu-no-guchi

Puritan Lad said...

Anonymous: hello Puritan Lad

Response: Hello Anonymous. You can feel free to use a username. We don't burn witches here. Now the NSA, well, that's another matter.


Anonymous: now the problem here is that you seem to believe uniformity of nature then science, when it is actually the exact opposite!

Response: Now sure what your objection is here. Are you suggesting that the scientific method can prove the uniformity of nature rather than rely upon it? Have you been able to provide a refutal of David Hume's skepticism of induction (which you will come across in the next few articles)?


Anonymous: As well when you speak of naturalism, you confuse methodological naturalism (studying only natural things) with metaphysical naturalism,(natural world is all that there is)

Response: I'm not sure where I confused these. I fully embrace methodological naturalism, with the understanding that my study of nature relies on that which I cannot substantiate by empiricism. It is metaphysical naturalism that I'm battling against.


Anonymous: as well no, the Christian and I most of the time unfortunately do not have the same evidence. I dont claim a T-rex fossil is 70 million years old just because i felt like it.

Response: You are confusing the evidence itself with the act of drawing a conclusion based on evidence. (As well as begging the question. I happen to support, or at least be sympathetic to, the idea of an old earth.)

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

I am saying PL that science does not need the uniformity of nature, we believe nature is uniform because we have observed it with science!The scientific method does not rely on uniformity of nature.
And speaking of Dave Hume, you probably are going to talk about circular reasoning and stuff about how nature functions, but this raises an interesting point for me- i want to know, since i found Greg Bahsen videos on your blog, you must think its actually okay to use circular reasoning in certain circumstances,because i think thats what ive read on the internet about him so tell me if you do when exactly is it okay to do so?
Also you have to realize that it is impossible for nature not to be orderly, i can give an example later if you dont undertand what ive meant
And the stuff with the T-Rex skeleton, well, i am not conflating those two different things, i am saying that I honestly don't have the same evidence as the Christian many times,you know Answers in Genesis right? well they always claim that they have the same evidence but interpret it differently than other scientists,"We’re using the same evidence,” they say, “only we’re just interpreting it differently. We’re just as sciencey as you are!” Only they aren’t. They’re leaving out all the evidence that they dont like their views.And then they make stuff up!

Puritan Lad said...

Hey Tatsu,

You are dealing with alot of things here that haven't been addressed in the article. What specifically have I written above that you would find in error?

Tatsu-no-guchia: I am saying PL that science does not need the uniformity of nature, we believe nature is uniform because we have observed it with science!The scientific method does not rely on uniformity of nature.

Response: Interesting. Can you explain to me what a scientific law is and how it is arrived at via the scientific method?

Tatsu-no-guchia: And speaking of Dave Hume, you probably are going to talk about circular reasoning and stuff about how nature functions, but this raises an interesting point for me- i want to know, since i found Greg Bahsen videos on your blog, you must think its actually okay to use circular reasoning in certain circumstances,because i think thats what ive read on the internet about him so tell me if you do when exactly is it okay to do so?

Response: My point in bringing up David Hume has nothing to do with circular reasoning. In any case, not all circular reasoning is a logical fallacy. All reasoning is circular at the metaphysical level. No one comes to any discussion without presuppositions. Circular reasoning is a fallacy when that which is being debated is presented as a premise to arrive at the desired conclusion.

In any case, since you suggest that "nature is uniform because we have observed it with science", you feel that the scientific method itself has provided a refutal of Hume's skepticism of induction. If so, please provide the hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion that justifies inductive reasoning.

Tatsu-no-guchia: Also you have to realize that it is impossible for nature not to be orderly, i can give an example later if you dont undertand what ive meant.

Response: Please do. This is getting interesting.

Tatsu-no-guchia: And the stuff with the T-Rex skeleton, well, i am not conflating those two different things, i am saying that I honestly don't have the same evidence as the Christian many times,you know Answers in Genesis right? well they always claim that they have the same evidence but interpret it differently than other scientists,"We’re using the same evidence,” they say, “only we’re just interpreting it differently. We’re just as sciencey as you are!” Only they aren’t. They’re leaving out all the evidence that they dont like their views.And then they make stuff up!

Response: Well, which is it? Do they have the same evidence, or do they make stuff up (that would not be evidence)? In any case, I'll let Answers In Genesis defend their own assertions as they are irrelevant to my position.

Puritan Lad said...

BTW: I don't know what you read on the internet about Bahnsen, but if you find a logical fallacy in his arguments, please post it here so that we may discuss,

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"Can you explain to me what a scientific law is and how it is arrived at via the scientific method?"
a scientific law is a description of how nature functions, derived from repeat observations of nature. if something somehow changes, well then we will make new scientific theories in response
as well in case you haven't realized it yet, if there was no order what so ever in our reality,there would still be order! because you can assume that upcoming events will be totally random-so in a sense there is still order, its in its own ironic way predictable

Puritan Lad said...

Are scientific laws universal? If not, is it really a law? If so, then how do we justify a law as being universal without relying on the uniformity of nature? Just saying that "we believe nature is uniform because we have observed it with science" doesn't cut it. We cannot observe a universal law.

You need to decide, does science rely on uniformity, or does science prove uniformity? You seem to want to say both, ie...

"The scientific method does not rely on uniformity of nature", and "if there was no order what so ever in our reality,there would still be order! because you can assume that upcoming events will be totally random-so in a sense there is still order, its in its own ironic way predictable".

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

". In any case, not all circular reasoning is a logical fallacy. All reasoning is circular at the metaphysical level. No one comes to any discussion without presuppositions. "

um then why in textbooks circular reasoning is always presented as a FALLACY instead of saying its a fallacy UNLESS you are talking about metaphysical levels. You know what an essential axiom is right? or what an axiom is? I mean what are they teaching you in those religous schools of yours

Puritan Lad said...

Even though I didn't address this in the article, I'll oblige your question and deal with the issue of circularity at the metaphysical level. Are your senses reliable? How would you prove this?

Obviously, your answer will require some type of circular reasoning. As I stated, all reasoning is circular at the metaphysical level, including yours.

Back to my original question. Since you hold that science proceeds uniformity, can you provide the hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion that justifies uniformity?

DannyM said...

TNG,

How do you account for axioms ('essential' or otherwise) on a naturalistic scheme of things?

Also, I suggest you evaluate what you think you know about circularity. Circularity at the ultimate metaphysical level is not merely valid but NECESSARY. If an ultimate authority is not self-referential, and has to refer to something outside of itself for authentication, then it is NOT the ultimate authority.

I mean, what are they teaching you in those secular schools of yours!

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"How do you account for axioms ('essential' or otherwise) on a naturalistic scheme of things?"
they are the bedrock of reality that all others rest on, and you need not or cannot go any further
"Also, I suggest you evaluate what you think you know about circularity. Circularity at the ultimate metaphysical level is not merely valid but NECESSARY."
no an essential axiom is not only just true, but needs no further justification,from anyone or anything else because all reasoning relies on them being true and not fallacious. if they were not, they nevertheless would be, because only logic rules out contradictions). But logic is not self-proving via circular reasoning. Logic is an essential axiom
Also to Purtian Lad, all observations of nature proves and justifies uniformity, it helps but is not necessary to do science

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi: "no an essential axiom is not only just true, but needs no further justification,from anyone or anything else because all reasoning relies on them being true and not fallacious. if they were not, they nevertheless would be, because only logic rules out contradictions). But logic is not self-proving via circular reasoning. Logic is an essential axiom."

Response: I would think Kurt Godel has proven otherwise. Nonetheless, this is itself an illogical argument. Your psychological need to establish logic as an essential axiom in a naturalistic worldview does not necessitate that your axioms are true. (BTW: The laws of logic, if they are to be considered universal, also rely on uniformity).


Tatsu-no-guchi: "Also to Purtian Lad, all observations of nature proves and justifies uniformity, it helps but is not necessary to do science."

Response: This would be highly debatable even if we could observe the uniformity of nature (I'm still waiting for the scientific experiment that proves nature to be uniform.) However, since we cannot observe that which is beyond our own limited time and space, we cannot observe any universal claim concerning uniformity (or any other universal claim). You cannot, for example, prove that the sun will rise tomorrow by mere observational empiricism.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"BTW: The laws of logic, if they are to be considered universal, also rely on uniformity)"

no they dont rely no uniformity, even if there wasn't any uniformity logic would still be correct. And no it is not an illogical argument, because to go any further would either be infinite regress, or circular reasoning. It just is true with no need of further justification.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

" You cannot, for example, prove that the sun will rise tomorrow by mere observational empiricism. "
yes you are right!. To be truly absolute in certainty, you would require precognition; however, that is generally useless. It's much more accurate to state that based on the evidence of many days prior as well as our understanding of chemistry and the composition of stars that the sun will not soon cease to rise. besides it does not matter, for if it didn't rise, we just change our scientific theories

DannyM said...

DannyM: How do you account for axioms ('essential' or otherwise) on a naturalistic scheme of things?


TNG: ‘they are the bedrock of reality that all others rest on, and you need not or cannot go any further’


DannyM: You mean you CANNOT go any further so you NEED NOT go any further – that’s the correct order you’re looking for. What is your source for these axiomatic truths? As my friend PL says, there are no philosophical freebies. So, given a naturalistic worldview, how do you account for universal, unchanging, immaterial and transcendent principles?


DannyM: Also, I suggest you evaluate what you think you know about circularity. Circularity at the ultimate metaphysical level is not merely valid but NECESSARY."


TNG: ‘no, an essential axiom is not only just true, but needs no further justification, from anyone or anything else because all reasoning relies on them being true and not fallacious. if they were not, they nevertheless would be, because only logic rules out contradictions). But logic is not self-proving via circular reasoning. Logic is an essential axiom’


DannyM: How does this address my point about the necessity of a self-referential ultimate authority? And how does this avoid begging the question?


TNG:‘Also to Purtian Lad, all observations of nature proves and justifies uniformity, it helps but is not necessary to do science’


DannyM: Have you *observed* ‘all observations’ of nature? Do you understand what a ‘proof’ is? Do you realise you are appealing to uniformity to justify uniformity? Try again.

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu,

You just proved my point, that all reasoning is circular on the metaphysical level. Why should I accept your axioms as a arbitrary starting point just so you can avoid infinite regress of circular reasoning? They are "necessarily true" in your worldview because you know that you cannot go any further (or more likely afraid to.) In the end, the worldview of metaphysical naturalism cannot justify anything as bing true.

Can scientific laws be changed?

BTW: The scientific method is also based upon a logical fallacy (Affiring the Consequence). But you'll find that out as you keep reading this series.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

" Why should I accept your axioms as a arbitrary starting point just so you can avoid infinite regress of circular reasoning?"
you cant have arguments or even survive if you don't accept these axioms, its not so i can avoid it, its so that EVERYONE can avoid so
Yes i know about affirming the consequent,but In fact the scientific method is based on the valid argument form known as Modus Tollens.Science is not attempting to prove the truth of a hypothesis via experiments. The sole purpose of experiments is to falsify hypotheses.
"How does this address my point about the necessity of a self-referential ultimate authority? And how does this avoid begging the question?"
Because it is an essential axiom, it is beyond proof so it avoids begging the question
"Can scientific laws be changed?"
we will see in the future.....

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"Have you *observed* ‘all observations’ of nature? Do you understand what a ‘proof’ is? Do you realise you are appealing to uniformity to justify uniformity? Try again."
i dont need to, because uniformity of nature is not actually required for science, besides like i said it is impossible for there to be no order

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi: "you cant have arguments or even survive if you don't accept these axioms, its not so i can avoid [infinite regress or circular reasoning], its so that EVERYONE can avoid so."

Response: As I stated before, this is not a logical argument, but a psychological one (wishful thinking), ie. I need P to be true, therefore, it is true. What if I were to argue for the existence of the Christian God in that manner. We need for God to exist in order to make sense of my world, therefore, the Christian God exists. (That is actually my argument, but we need to build up to that first.)

It is understandable that a metaphysical naturalist wants to hide behind axioms to avoid certain questions. However, accepting necessary axioms alone will not help you avoid begging the question at the metaphysical level, ie. "Can you prove that your mind is dependable?" Even if you somehow succeed in proving this via Evolution and Natural Selection (which is highly doubtful), you still have to assume that your mind is dependable in order to prove that it is dependable, ie. argumentum ad circulum.


Tatsu-no-guchi: "Yes i know about affirming the consequent,but In fact the scientific method is based on the valid argument form known as Modus Tollens. Science is not attempting to prove the truth of a hypothesis via experiments. The sole purpose of experiments is to falsify hypotheses."

Response: Good, then we agree that science cannot provide us with truth. So let me ask, can a scientific experiment falsify a hypothesis in a universal sense, or can it only falsify a hypthesis in the immediate time and location where the experiment takes place? If the former, than I once again ask you for the scientific experiment that justifies uniformity, since uniformity is required in order to justify any universal, unchanging entity.



Tatsu-no-guchi: ""Can scientific laws be changed?" we will see in the future....."

Response: Interesting response considering that you previously defined a scientific law as "a description of how nature functions". I would suggest perhaps another definition, that a scientific law is an expression of how we observe nature to function. If it were an actual description of how nature functions, then either 1.) They could never change (lest they lose their law-like character), or 2.) Nature not uniform, thus scientific inquiry is a useless endeavor.

BYW: Why is it impossible for their not to be order?

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

Your first comment reminds me of a recent post on the website Bahsen Burner..... about the validity of the mind and senses
"Thus, to answer D.A.N.’s question, any attempt to prove the validity of the senses by means of a deductive argument would itself have to assume their validity, and in this sense such an argument could be said to be circular. But the broader take-away here is the fact that since the validity of the senses is axiomatic, no one needs to prove that the senses are valid in the first place. One can only be rightly accused of engaging in circular reasoning in the present context if he is attempting to infer the validity of the senses by means of a formal proof. Since proof as such presupposes the validity of senses, such an undertaking is unnecessary. I already know this, and that is why D.A.N. will not be able to find any instance in my writings where I am attempting to conclude that the senses are valid by means of a deductive proof. Even if he did, this would not undermine either the validity of the senses or the overall soundness of my worldview, which does not depend in the least on a formal proof of the validity of the senses."
http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.ca/2013/04/on-validity-of-senses.html

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

" Good, then we agree that science cannot provide us with truth."
yes but it can provide us with what is false, and when we find out what is false, then we can easily sort the truth out!
" Nature not uniform, thus scientific inquiry is a useless endeavor."
again science doesn't actually depend on the uniformity of nature, and like i said earlier if there was no order what so ever in our reality,there would still be order! because you can assume that upcoming events will be totally random-so in a sense there is still order, its in its own ironic way predictable

Puritan Lad said...

This sounds quite arbitrary to me. Please explain how the validity of the senses can be axiomatic in an evolutionary, non-teleological worldview. When there are differing worldviews involved, then yes, you must prove (or at least justify) the validity of your senses within that worldview. One is not required to accept your empiricist worldview a priori. Just asserting that certain things are axiomatic doesn't make it so. There are a plethora of Eastern philosophies that would deny the validity of the senses. On what basis would you disagree?

Puritan Lad said...

How can something be "random" and "predictable" at the same time? Only that which is contingent can be predictable, and contingency requires uniformity.

DannyM said...

T-n-g,

Do you know how to answer questions without constantly circling back on yourself and repeating the same non-answers?

Your personal axiom of 'all circular arguments are fallacious' is not an 'essential axiom' by any stretch of the imagination. It is your own axiom and we reject it as fallacious. An axiomatic truth, say the law of identity, is an axiom that helps form the basic parameters of our thinking. THAT is an 'essential axiom'; your personal (not to mention false) axioms are of no interest here.

Now again I ask you, on a naturalist ontology, how do you account for universal, unchanging, immaterial / transcendent principles? What or Who is the source of these axiomatic truths? Saying 'They just are' is not an argument and is not rational; in fact, it is irrationality of the highest order.

And by the way, if science did not presuppose the uniformity of nature then there'd be no such thing as the *scientific METHOD*. You are making arguments that if you yourself believed you'd never get out the house in the morning! This is what anti-theism does to people when they attempt to reason against God.

Back to axioms: an example of a personal axiom: Every woman has the right to abort her child. This is clearly debatable. And your own axiom of: All circular arguments are fallacious, is another debatable point; not only that, it is easily demonstrated to be a false axiom. Moreover, you yourself have employed circular reasoning while explicitly stating you are avoiding circular arguments!

You've defeated yourself, my friend.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

" how do you account for universal, unchanging, immaterial / transcendent principles"
the 10th dimension
" On what basis would you disagree?"
they assume their senses are valid all the time
"And by the way, if science did not presuppose the uniformity of nature then there'd be no such thing as the *scientific METHOD*. "
no its the other way around, and i never said that all circular reasoning is bad or even an "essential" axiom, or an axiom at all, i am just saying that circular reasoning should always be avoided. The essential axiom i spoke of was logic.
"You've defeated yourself, my friend."
again keep on dreamin'

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

oops i made a mistake with my last comment i meant to say all circular reasoning is fallacious

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"Please explain how the validity of the senses can be axiomatic in an evolutionary, non-teleological worldview."
because in a secular view they are the bed rock of reasoning, with no point or possibility to go any further down the line.If the senses are not valid, neither are any concepts, including the ones used in the attack.
read more at- http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.ca/2013/04/on-validity-of-senses.html

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"How can something be "random" and "predictable" at the same time? Only that which is contingent can be predictable, and contingency requires uniformity"
randomness becomes predictable, you would assume things in the future would be random, which means in its own ironic way predictable, saying that there is no order is actually a self-refuting statement in any universe

DannyM said...

T-n-g,

You're not addressing the points in any meaningful way, my friend. One-line retorts with no additional substance does not amount to rational discourse. You are once more begging the question before us, and your anti-rational approach is not helping us along.

Is there some atheistic teleology which makes it incumbent on you to be here arguing for the validity of your senses?

DannyM said...

T-n-g,

My apologies if I misread you. But your correction/clarification helps us... Whence did we derive these universal, unchanging, immaterial and transcendent laws of logic?

BTW, you DID imply that all circular reasoning was fallacious when you questioned PL's statement about circularity being valid in some circumstances. You then appealed to (obviously deficient) textbooks on logic.

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi: "they (Hindus, etc.) assume their senses are valid all the time"

Response: Really? Can you justify this statement? Do you "sense" this to be true (ie. circular argument) or are you going to simply write this off as another axiom?


Tatsu-no-guchi: i never said that all circular reasoning is bad or even an "essential" axiom, or an axiom at all, i am just saying that circular reasoning should always be avoided. The essential axiom i spoke of was logic.

Response: And what we are saying is that circular reasoning at the metaphysical level is unavoidable, and your metaphysical world is no exception. It is interesting that, after preaching to us that "in textbooks circular reasoning is always presented as a FALLACY" you make your own exception in regards to the validity of the senses on the basis that it wasn't proven with "formal" logic. Most circular arguments are not presented as "formal" logic, but that doesn't make them valid.


Tatsu-no-guchi: "Please explain how the validity of the senses can be axiomatic in an evolutionary, non-teleological worldview."
because in a secular view they are the bed rock of reasoning, with no point or possibility to go any further down the line.If the senses are not valid, neither are any concepts, including the ones used in the attack."

Response: Again, this is the "wishful thinking" argument, and justifies our belief that the secular worldview is incapable of proving anything to be true. As C.S. Lewis suggested, “ If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on biochemistry, and biochemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.”


Tatsu-no-guchi: "randomness becomes predictable, you would assume things in the future would be random, which means in its own ironic way predictable, saying that there is no order is actually a self-refuting statement in any universe"

Response: With all due respect, that is pure psychobabble. Randomness, by definition, is not predictable. Predicting something to be "random" is tantamount to admitting that it is unpredictable.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

the reason i am here is because you guys asked questions, and i will say it again, i never said circular reasoning is always bad,i never called it an "essential axiom" nor even an axiom at all, it is a statement regarding logic, and i gave you an example of how essential axioms are not justified with circular reasoning

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

also puritan lad-your comment about CS Lewis- that is a fallacy of division, and it seems you dont understand what truth is,truth is based on reality, and since reality by definition is real,i have more than enough reason to prove things to be real-see this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9FaCdc4uLw

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi: "the reason i am here is because you guys asked questions, and i will say it again, i never said circular reasoning is always bad,i never called it an "essential axiom" nor even an axiom at all, it is a statement regarding logic, and i gave you an example of how essential axioms are not justified with circular reasoning"

Response: But you did cite textbooks saying that it was always fallicious. We disagree. At the metaphysical level, it is always necessary. It is only fallicious when the point set forth for debate is included in, or implied in, the premise. Even your Bahnsen Burner guy admitted that discussions involving the validity of the senses "could be said to be circular".

And you really didn't give much of an example of anything, only a mere assertion. To be honest, I would much prefer a circular argument to your even more irrational wish argument.


Tatsu-no-guchi: also puritan lad-your comment about CS Lewis- that is a fallacy of division, and it seems you dont understand what truth is,truth is based on reality, and since reality by definition is real,i have more than enough reason to prove things to be real-see this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9FaCdc4uLw

Response: Bad video, as it entirely misses the point. The video speaker merely switches from empiricism to realism in order to avoid the pitfalls of empiricism. In any case, my point is that a metaphysical naturalist has no basis whatsoever to assume that his mind has any fruitful connection to reality, regardless of what that reality may be. And he can't even approach the question without being circular, whether using formal logic or not.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

" In any case, my point is that a metaphysical naturalist has no basis whatsoever to assume that his mind has any fruitful connection to reality, regardless of what that reality may be."
since reality is real by definition and we live in reality, our mind must have a fruitful connection to reality, besides what of logic, if our minds were no connected to reality fruitfully,how could we use logic? which is study of the relationships between things in reality

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

also puritan lad, it is an impossibility to the contrary that forms a basis for our mind to have a good connection to reality

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"Again, this is the "wishful thinking" argument, and justifies our belief that the secular worldview is incapable of proving anything to be true. "

no its not, its an axiom because it not because it want it to be but because it is the bedrock with no further need to go down

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi: "since reality is real by definition and we live in reality, our mind must have a fruitful connection to reality"

Response: Non-sequitir. Please provide the necessary antecedent as well as the resulting consequence. Make sure that you avoid all circular reasoning.


Tatsu-no-guchi: "besides what of logic, if our minds were no connected to reality fruitfully,how could we use logic? which is study of the relationships between things in reality"

Response: The answer to these questions depends upon ones worldview. These are a few of many questions to which the naturalistic worldview has no answer, so they are forced to hide behind arbitrary "axioms".


Tatsu-no-guchi: "also puritan lad, it is an impossibility to the contrary that forms a basis for our mind to have a good connection to reality"

Response: OK, then please provide the necessary modus tollens complete with antecedent and consequence. Make sure that you avoid all circular reasoning.


Tatsu-no-guchi: "no its not [wishful thinking], its an axiom not because I want it to be but because it is the bedrock with no further need to go down."

Response: Mere assertion. Why should one accept your secular worldview as a default position?

DannyM said...

T-n-g,

You appealed to 'textbooks' that say all circular reasoning is fallacious. You did this in support of your questioning PL's statement to the contrary. It started out as your pet axiom and now you are trying to disown it. Step up and claim it!

BTW, do these textbooks mention your 'valid, non-deductive' circular arguments?

You talk of truth and reality; but whose reality would this be, yours or ours? Let's get down to the nitty-gritty. An atheist philosophy dictates that nothing at all matters. We are the product of blind, non-purposeful natural forces, we come from nothing and are going nowhere. Just matter in motion, man.

The Materialist Fallacy tells us that it is fundamentally irrational to believe that

a) human sense organs developed from blind and non-purposeful forces, and that

b) these sense organs give us accurate information about things beyond themselves rather than merely inferred from these sense organs.

What is 'meaning' on this worldview? Why should matter think about itself and its surroundings? What is 'truth'on this scheme?

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

" It started out as your pet axiom and now you are trying to disown it. Step up and claim it! "
No it wasnt, it wasnt even an axiom, i dunno what you trying to say
" Why should one accept your secular worldview as a default position?"
others don't make sense that's why
" An atheist philosophy dictates that nothing at all matters."
you are conflating atheism with nihilism
"You talk of truth and reality; but whose reality would this be, yours or ours?"
you are conflating a model of reality with reality itself
"The answer to these questions depends upon ones worldview. These are a few of many questions to which the naturalistic worldview has no answer, so they are forced to hide behind arbitrary "axioms"."
these axioms are not arbitrary, it seems you are just using it as a snarl word, I can just claim you use God as an arbitrary axiom...logic- Goddunit! uniformity of nature- Goddunit!

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi,

Why don't you answer my requests above? Your statement that "since reality is real by definition and we live in reality, our mind must have a fruitful connection to reality" is not only a non-sequitur, it is also blatantly false. There are many minds in our real world today that are not reliable, just as a matter of common observation. So please provide the necessary antecedent as well as the resulting consequence (either modus tollens or modus poenens) to prove your assertion. Make sure that you avoid all circular reasoning.


Tatsu-no-guchi: "Why should one accept your secular worldview as a default position?"
others don't make sense that's why

Oops. Guess what we call that. Argumentum ad Circulum. It is the secular worldview that doesn't make sense. As I have repeatedly shown, it cannot prove anything.


Tatsu-no-guchi: these axioms are not arbitrary, it seems you are just using it as a snarl word, I can just claim you use God as an arbitrary axiom...logic- Goddunit! uniformity of nature- Goddunit!

And what would make my axiom less valid than yours? It is only in a Christian worldview that we can account for universal, unchanging laws (a subject that you keep trying to dodge.) You've even suggested that science does not require uniformity (which is, with all due respect, ridiculous) and that science itself justifies uniformity. I have repeatedly asked for the scientific experiment that does this, and have been met with silence. Please comply.

It is the axiom (or metaphysical presupposition) of God's Creative attributes and His Providential governance that is the basis for logic, science, ethics, uniformity, and meaningful sense experience. Without it, we cannot resolve any mind-body issues, or come up with any objective way to define what "reality" is. So it is the atheist worldview that makes no sense. This will become all the more obvious as you read through this series (assuming you do so).

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

so are you asking me about logic and what it is?

and also i did a check through out the internet, it turns out only calvinist, fundamentalist Christians accept what you say about circular reasoning and metaphysics
" It is the secular worldview that doesn't make sense. As I have repeatedly shown, it cannot prove anything."
no you have all you have shown is that you have an appreciation for committing fallacies of division, and equivocation. You conflate the word logic with what logic is describing. At least you unlike sye ten bruggengate aren't crazy enough to start denying the antecedent

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

to anwser your question about uniformity in nature i go again to bahnsen burner
http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.ca/2012/04/answering-dustin-segers_12.html and and http://bahnsenburner.blogspot.ca/2012/04/answering-dustin-segers_15.html

DannyM said...

T-n-g: 'you are conflating atheism with nihilism.'

DannyM: No I am not. Nihilism is the logical outworking of an atheistic worldview. The two are not mutually exclusive; atheism logically entails nihilism. Again, why should matter think about itself and its surroundings? What 'meaning' should matter bestow upon itself?

T-n-g: you are conflating a model of reality with reality itself'

DannyM: Extraordinary! Yet again you beg the question. What is 'reality' apart from your own MODEL? And why is your MODEL of reality more authoritative than mine? Why are the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced your beliefs more authoritative than the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced *my* beliefs? Can you demonstrate a 'reality' that transcends what you SENCE reality to be?

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi,

It would be helpful if you would take a position and stick with it. You have been telling us all weekend that science does not rely on uniformity, and that science proves uniformity. Now you post a link to an article "to answer your question about uniformity in nature" that tells us just the opposite. Does science rely on uniformity or not?

The article itself is nonsense, and totally misses the point. The author insists upon trying to treat uniformity (metaphysics) and induction (epistemology) as if they were totally unrelated. The fact is that induction relies on uniformity. Ones metaphysics is a huge factor in ones epistemology. The same is true with your metaphysics (naturalism) and your epistemology (which is empiricism thus far).

In addition, the real question isn't whether or not nature is uniform, but rather how one can know that nature is uniform. Even if I grant that nature is uniform (I actually have a reason to believe that it is), that still doesn't answer the epistemological question. Bahnsen Burner appeals to objectivism in an effort to dodge that question. Just believing that reality is independent of the human mind does not answer the question of how the human mind can establish the belief in uniformity. Your guy writes, "the first point to make note of in response to this line of inquiry is the fact that the uniformity we observe in nature is not a product of conscious activity, but is an inherent fact of existence which obtains independent of any conscious activity." The problem, as I have pointed out many times, is that we CANNOT observe uniformity in nature. Doing so would require universal sense experience. We cannot observe anything outside of our own limited time and space.

Yet science relies on uniformity and assumes it to be true. But why? That's the question that needs to be answered. I have an answer, but you aren't going to like it.

It doesn't help that Segers, Hays, etc. have made poor arguments using uniformity, but you need to deal with my arguments, not theirs. The uniformity of nature is only a problem for belief in miracles only if you assume that scientific laws are mere "brute fact" as opposed to what they are, an outworking of God's Providence.

Anyway, since this article espouses the very opposite of the position that you have presented, I have to wonder if you even read the article, or if you are trying to find something that will help you out of the dilemma that you are in. You need to pick a position and justify it without being circular are borrowing metaphysical capital from my worldview.

BTW: I'm still waiting for you to answer my question about the mind's reliability without using circular reasoning.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

first of all the first part- about circular reasoning and the mind-If the mind is not valid, neither are any concepts, including the ones used in the attacking the validity of the mind."So which means that the reliability of the mind does not need to be proven

Puritan Lad said...

Not true. We all have different minds, therfore it is very possible that the concepts of one mind attacking the validity of another can be valid while the mind being attacked is invalid. This is especially true in a materialistic worldview, when individual minds are reduced to matter.

What is the mind T? Is it material in nature? If so, then you need to respond to the questions in Danny's latest post.

In any case, you just used your mind to attempt to validate your mind. Guess what that is...

Like I said, circular reasoning at the metaphysical level is unavoidable.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

" The problem, as I have pointed out many times, is that we CANNOT observe uniformity in nature. Doing so would require universal sense experience. We cannot observe anything outside of our own limited time and space."
your right, that's why reality upholds the fact that nature will be uniform. Besides the laws of nature are descriptive,not proscriptive, and you never can really break a descriptive law anyways
"In any case, you just used your mind to attempt to validate your mind. Guess what that is...

Like I said, circular reasoning at the metaphysical level is unavoidable."
no i did not, Using my mind to identify objects is not circular.Using my mind and reason to identify the operation is not circular.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

Uniformity is not a presupposition, it is simply an observation. It is possible that the earth will stop rotating around the sun tomorrow, but it is not rational to think it will, unless some force causes it to stop. What force would that be?

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

You fail to grasp that the assumption of uniformity of nature is considered to be only a necessary, not sufficient justification for induction, and thus the UON is not used as a justification for induction in the first place.
you misunderstand the actual problem of induction - it is not the circular relationship between induction and the 'uniformity of nature' but a concern about a logical connection between a sample and a population. No one uses the UON to justify induction.
your attempts to 'solve' the 'problem of induction' by arguing for an assumption of uniformity of God (the implication of presuppositionalism) therefore do not even address the actual 'problem', seeing as the UON isn't used to justify induction in the first place! Furthermore, the UOG argument leads to even greater problems than using the UON to justify induction.
Finally, you fail to grasp that it is a mistake to presume that a failure to provide an adequate justification for induction leaves us without any grounds to rely on induction other than 'faith': The fact one cannot provide a justification for a system doesn't imply that one cannot know that the system is useful. A child is unable to prove that his name is his name; does this mean that he is without any grounds for holding that his name is his name? Knowledge and justification are two different philosophical concepts. The Problem of Induction relates to philosophical justification.
you protests that i have no non-question-begging grounds upon which to argue the Uniformity of Nature (UN), and yet you are in precisely the same situation. The Christian has been promise that nature will remain uniform by God, which means the Christian's belief in the Uniformity of Nature is hung upon...the Uniformity Of God (UOG).
If God is not uniform from one moment to the next, then He can hardly be relied on as the source of Uniformity in Nature. But how does one know that God will remain uniform tomorrow as today? Uh-oh, you aren't going to rely on what God said or did in the past to infer how He'll act in the future, are you? 'Cause, you know, that would be using induction - the very reasoning you are trying to justify. Same as if you appeal to any "inner experience" of God or whatever. Whenever you are appealing to something that happened "yesterday" (or now) to make a knowledge statement about tomorrow (or universalizing to that which you have not observed), you are making an inductive inference, and therefore begging the question you are supposed to be answering.
Simply take the "problem of induction" argument for the UN and insert the UOG instead, and you end up with precisely the same question-begging assumptions. I've never, ever, once seen a Christian presuppositionalist do anything but ignore, flail, or just run away from this problem.

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi: "your right, that's why reality upholds the fact that nature will be uniform

Sorry Tatsu. That just doesn't cut it. How do you justify a statement like this? Again, you need to decide. Are you an empiricist or an objectivist? You cannot simply bounce from one to the other in order to avoid the pitfalls of each. How do you know that nature is uniform? If you are an empiricist, than how do you justify uniformity by sense experience, since you cannot experience universal uniformity? If you are an objectivist, how you do even know what reality is, since it exists independent of sense experience? There are no philosophical freebies Tatsu. You will need to choose a side and defend it.

As for the circularity regarding the use of your mind to defend the validity of your mind, I'm satisfied to let the reader decide. It is obviously circular. Even the statement "the reliability of the mind does not need to be proven" is itself a circular argument which presupposes the validity of the mind.

Tatsu-no-guchi: "Uniformity is not a presupposition, it is simply an observation..."

Again, are you an empiricist or an objectivist? Please choose one and try to be consistent.

Tatsu-no-guchi: "It is possible that the earth will stop rotating around the sun tomorrow, but it is not rational to think it will, unless some force causes it to stop. What force would that be?"

Argumentum Ad Circulum. A force is needed to stop the earth only if you assume that nature is uniform. Otherwise, it could stop with no force causing it. Since no law of logic is being violated by supposing such, how is this "not rational"?

I am fully aware of the difference between knowledge and justification. I'm not arguing that unbelievers have no "knowledge" of uniformity. Indeed, they do in spite of their worldview. They live in God's universe, and cannot function apart from acknowledging Him in some way, in this case, recognizing His Providential Governance while denying the Providential Governor. I'm saying that the unbeliever has no justification for the uniformity that he claims to know. (As per my article series, one certainly cannot prove uniformity via science.)

In short, by claiming a knowledge of uniformity, you are borrowing capital from my worldview. Only the Christian worldvire can justify uniformity.

In any case, you still need to decide. Is unformity something justified by we observe, or does it exist outside of our observation? You can't have it both ways.

Puritan Lad said...

Correction: Only the Christian worldview can justify either uniformity or a knowledge of uniformity. (The unbelieving worldview can justify neither.)

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

but you still have not anwsered by most important question you protests that i have no non-question-begging grounds upon which to argue the Uniformity of Nature (UN), and yet you are in precisely the same situation. The Christian has been promise that nature will remain uniform by God, which means the Christian's belief in the Uniformity of Nature is hung upon...the Uniformity Of God (UOG). So how do you justify the uniformity of God without begging the question?

Puritan Lad said...

That's easy. Since God is the ultimate authority, He has revealed His own uniformity. God's revelation need not be justified, because there is no external standard by which He may be judged. Like we said, begging the question is not a fallacy at the metaphysical level. (Or if you prefer, we'll just call God's unchangeableness a "necessary axiom".)

There is "neutral" position. You will either presuppose God, and thus have a basis for belief in logic, science, ethics, and intelligible experience, or you will presuppose "no God", in which case you cannot justify anything.

So we do beg the question concerning our presupposition, but so does everyone else. Simply trying to establish empirical "axioms" as necessary does not avoid begging the question. At the heart of the matter, the unbeliever needs to assume a priori that the human mind is capable of meaningful activity outside of God's Creative attributes and providence. That is very much begging the question, and it is an assumption that I don't accept. This will have to be proven.

DannyM said...

T-n-g: 'reality upholds the fact that nature be uniform'

DannyM: We have a two-fer! A double question-begging statement.


T-n-g, why won't you address the issues put in front of you? Is your refusal to be drawn to the very heart of your presuppositions, and very foundations of your worldview, tantamount to an admission that your position is utterly bankrupt?

T-n-g: 'the laws of nature are descriptive...and you can never break a law anyways'

DannyM: What do you mean by 'break a law'? Aside from AGAIN begging the question (since scientific 'laws' can never be proven), you fail to define what a 'law' is. Science can never give us absolute 'laws' since any scientific experiment, or 'law' can be overturned tomorrow. So saying 'you can never break a descriptive law' is itself unscientific, ignorant and question-begging.

T-n-g: 'Using my mind and reason to identify operation is not circular.'

DannyM: How do you know that your blindly-developed sense organs can give you accurate information about things beyond themselves, not merely inferred from them?

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

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

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

believe that there is consistency in the universe because there is no god that has the power to mess with it.
Indeed, if there is no invisible magic being which has the ability to manipulate the objects populating the universe according to its will, the objects in the universe can be reasonably expected to behave in a manner consistent with their own natures. In this way, the uniformity of nature logically implies an alternative which is not theistic in nature.

Puritan Lad said...

Well, actually it's more than just a presupposition. God Himself had revealed that He is immutable. The fact that you don't accept my answer doesn't mean that it is unjustified.

If it makes more sense to you, I'll provide this proof, taken from http://covenant-theology.blogspot.com/2013/03/science-and-wisdom-part-iv_15.html


P1: If the laws of nature exists, then God exists, since God is the precondition of the laws of nature.

P2: The laws of nature exists.

Conclusion: God exists.

Puritan Lad said...

Or, I can do like Tatsu, presuppose that my worldview is correct (begging the question), and call it an essential axiom.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

once, again you have offered no more rational justification than anyone else who holds the mere expectation that nature will remain uniform - the very expectation my calvinist friend says secularism fails to justify

Puritan Lad said...

You may assert that idea all you like, but I'm willing to let the reader decide.

conspiracykiller said...

Puritan Lad said:

P1: If the laws of nature exists, then God exists, since God is the precondition of the laws of nature.

P2: The laws of nature exists.

Conclusion: God exists.

------------------------------
While you may have presented a valid logical argument as far as your form is concerned, the problem you have conveniently overlooked is that one of your premise are faulty [God exists is a premise based on zero evidence] so your arguments content is flawed.
Therefore your output becomes completely debatable, since your outcome could be positive [god exists]or negative [god does not exist] due to the fact having a faulty premise will never create a sound argument.

Inductive reasoning follows the following order, and your order comes under the valid argument with false premise.

Invalid argument

Put in false premise(s) → get out either a true or false conclusion

Put in true premise(s) → get out either a true or false conclusion

Valid argument

Put in false premise(s) → get out either a true or false conclusion

Put in true premise(s) → get out only a true conclusion


So the correction you need to add into your reason is the following.

P1: If the laws of nature exists, then God exists, since God is the precondition of the laws of nature.

P2: The laws of nature exists.

Conclusion: God exists or does not exist

Puritan Lad said...

"God exists" was my consequence, not my premise. My premise was that his existence is a precondition of the laws of nature. Since the premises are true, and the logic sound, the proof stands.

conspiracykiller said...


Your faulty premise is right there in P1 stated 'then god exists', Yes you state god exists as your conclusion too funnily enough, which is also faulty as your conclusion must be true or false based upon your faulty premise in P1.


You can't just slip in a debatable premise as if it stands as truth based upon your own suppositional belief, and then conclude a truth based upon that faulty premise.

It's just faulty logic and extremely poor reasoning.

Not only are you incapable of even understanding that basic error you made, you appear incapable to admit error when it's pointed out to you, which further proves you aren't even using logic, and are simply trying to bend it to agree with your faith.

If you don't even understand the absolute basics of induction and reason, it's probably fair to assume that the complexities slide by you also.

Puritan Lad said...

If my premise is "debatable", then let's debate it. How about this as proof of my premise:

Prove P: God is the precondition of the laws of nature.

Step 1 ~P: (Assume the opposite) God is the NOT precondition of the laws of nature.

Step 2 (~P->Q): If God is the not precondition of the laws of nature, then the laws of nature can be accounted for in a godless, material world.

Step 3 (~Q): The laws of nature CANNOT be accounted for in a godless, material world.

Step 4 (~~P): It is NOT the case God is the NOT precondition of the laws of nature.

Step 5 (P): God is the precondition of the laws of nature. (Law of negation.)
Q.E.D.

You may substitute any of Kant's "Transcendentals" in for the laws of nature, such as knowledge, ethical absolutes, etc., and the proof would still stand.

Having proven my premise to be true, my original proof stands. Of course, you may prove my premise false by either...

A.) Denying that their are laws of nature, or...

B.) Accounting for the laws of nature in a strictly material world. (Perhaps you can add something here that Tatsu has overlooked.)

CK: "If you don't even understand the absolute basics of induction and reason, it's probably fair to assume that the complexities slide by you also."

Feel free to educate me on induction and reason. How does one account for induction in a material world?

conspiracykiller said...

You have to first prove P1 is true to make the conclusion true. Since you can't make P1 true, without going through an infinite regress, god exists is neither a true outcome of any previous argument made in human history either. For if it were a proven true premise already we wouldn't be even having this debate.

You are simply stating that god exists is a true premise, no matter how much you complicate the matter, you simply can not make that premise true without a leap of faith or belief.

You can overcomplicate it in order to confuse others reading this, but really all it boils down to is you are incapable of making P1 true, therefore your conclusion will always render true or false.

The most you can hope for is an agnostic conclusion. Sorry, but that's just how it is, and if you are unwilling to even concede that point, then your argument is rendered moot by inability to even address the basics of inductive reasoning.

Puritan Lad said...

I just proved P1 to be true, unless you reject modus tollens.

Are you going to answer my question regarding induction in a materialist worldview?

conspiracykiller said...

No you didn't prove God exists, you asserted an old argument that quite honestly lacks any real power in philosophical circles other than to theologians.

And no I won't be sidetracked by your question.

Your Premise P1 is faulty, and your conclusion has to be agnostic period.

Puritan Lad said...

CK:

With all due respect, I'm not sure if you are deficient in logic, or in the English language. Nonetheless, I'll accomodate your objection to having the phrase "God exists" in my P1. It doesn't really change anything, ie.

P1: God is the precondition of the laws of nature.

P2: The laws of nature exists.

Conclusion: God exists.

The "if-then" statement was included to clearly set forth both antecedent and consequence. However, since it apparently causes you come issues, it has been removed.

conspiracykiller said...

The only problem happening here, is your inability to discern the difference between a valid argument and a sound argument.

I am unsure if this is intentional or if it is through lack of observation. Perhaps you even hope readers can not understand the difference.

There is no debate about the validity of your arguments. You and I know that a sound argument is something altogether different in logic circles though.

conspiracykiller said...

Actually since we are discussing inductive reasoning here I should probably use the word cogent in place of sound in the previous comment to be precise for anyone reading it.

Puritan Lad said...

Fair enough. I'm willing to let the readers decide. In the meantime, I want to thank you, Tatsu, and Danny for a good and spirited discussion, and pray that Christ will claim you both for Himself, whether or not this blog plays any part in that. Feel free to stop by often.

conspiracykiller said...

Cheers, all the best to you man.

photosynthesis said...

Puritan Lad,

I wonder if you would be able to understand that you make too many assumptions in your supposed proofs.

«Prove P: God is the precondition of the laws of nature.»

Which god? Why this and not any other god? Why not a bunch of gods? If you are proposing that this is the Christian god, then you have too many problems, since this god is utter nonsense, therefore false and nonexistent. Why would the laws of nature require a precondition?

«Step 1 ~P: (Assume the opposite) God is the NOT precondition of the laws of nature.»

Why should there be a precondition for the laws of nature? Why can't those laws simply be what they are just because that's what they are? Or else, why can't they be due to some inner law of nature that is just what it is because that's it? Please make sure that you offer a sound reason for a necessary precondition for the laws of nature.

«Step 2 (~P->Q): If God is the not precondition of the laws of nature, then the laws of nature can be accounted for in a godless, material world.»

Why should the laws of nature be accounted for? Is "accounting" a synonym to having a necessary precondition?

«Step 3 (~Q): The laws of nature CANNOT be accounted for in a godless, material world.»

Again, you have neither established that there's a need for accounting, nor that there's a necessary precondition for the laws of nature.

«Step 4 (~~P): It is NOT the case God is the NOT precondition of the laws of nature.»

It cannot but be the case that your god, which you call "God," is not the precondition for the laws of nature because your god is nonsensical. Therefore, if there's a necessary precondition, it cannot be your god.

«Step 5 (P): God is the precondition of the laws of nature. (Law of negation.)
Q.E.D.»

You reached a false conclusion by employing a series of unfortunate assumptions and misconceptions.

Q.E.D.

Presuppositionalism is a series of tricks. A training camp on debating and obfuscating techniques. Nothing more.

As you, I am willing to let the readers decide. Be well.

photosynthesis said...

I would like to offer these words to readers:

Are presuppositionalists honest enough to admit that they learned this line of debating and obfuscation? If they are, then they would be admitting that they justify their reason with reason. Unless they could prove that they did not use their reason to learn any of this presuppositionalist trickery.

DannyM said...

P,

Talking of assumptions, your next paragraph just ASSUMES the Christian God to be 'nonsense' and 'therefore false'! Care to provide the syllogism in support of your bare assertion?

Also, you need to refute Step3 of PL's modus tollens if you wish to object (you do not get to say 'Why can't they just be because they just are?' - this is a serious blog not some 'pop atheist' blog).

The definition of the Triune God of Christianity, as Christians have understood Him for millenia, IS the necessary precondition for the laws of nature. YOUR ignorant and unstated prejudices of OUR God does not override OUR definition! The proof is valid and you need to address the argument and not simply beg the question. Saying the laws of nature 'just are' is simply a breathtaking ignorance on your part.

When you accuse people of making assumptions it'd be a wise thing not to immediately litter the rest of your post with outrageous and ignorant assumptions of your own.

Now, if you wish to start again in a rational and logical manner, then you need to refute PL's Step 3. Otherwise PL's argument stands as a formal deductive proof.

DannyM said...

C,

Actually, PL is offering DEDUCTIVE proof here. And the proof stands completely unscathed.

I don't know what 'logic circles' you are hanging around in, but I find it strange that you'd actually ignore a valid proof such as modus tollens.

DannyM said...

Sorry PL, I didn't see this.

Let's see if C or P can actually deal with the proof itself without trying to steer the conversation away.

Puritan Lad said...

Photosynthesis,

I realize that there are a lot of posts is this thread. There are many reasons that we cannot consider the laws of nature as brute fact, some which have been discussed here already.

Even if we were to assume, for the sake of argument, that the laws of nature are self-existing, ie. "laws simply be what they are just because that's what they are", it would:

1.) Be no less of an assumption than the one I made. I would ask you, "Why can't God simply be what He is just because that's what He is?" You wouldn't accept this line of reasoning, so why should I?

2.) Provide no explanation of how one can know these laws to be true, much less have confidence in them. I would refer you to David Hume's skepticism of induction for starters, as well as the obvious pitfalls of all known secular epistemologies which I have covered prior to this series on Science.

3.) Lead to genetic and epistemological determinism. While strict materialists often take refuge in the ideas that matter is all that exists, and that the laws of nature are simply brute fact, they rarely consider the ramifications that this belief would have on their own ability to think, learn, and act. Of necessity, this belief would require that our minds and actions are themselves subject to natural laws. There can be no right or wrong thoughts (or behaviors, or logic), just natural laws acting upon matter in our brains. We are what our genes say we are, we act the way natural impulses make us act, and we think what our neurons tell us to think. In a materialistic world, there is no reason to even have this debate.

As I have pointed out throughout this discussion that there is no "neutral" territory. We either assume God, and thus have a valid ground for belief in human knowledge, intelligible experience, universal and unchangeable laws, etc., or we assume "no God", and thus cannot prove anything to be objectively true.

I'm not sure how the way I learned my debating skills has any bearing on the subject at hand, but if it makes you feel better, I've learned a lot from others. In any case, just the complaint that I "learned" anything precludes a strict materialistic universe (see point 3 above.)

conspiracykiller said...

It's easy to ignore it Danny, because all he is doing is submitting a valid argument, which is not sound do to the fact that without any actual evidence the premise can never be proven true. Regardless of the formal logic being valid, the outcome is quite simply fantasy.

Nice try though I will give you that. It's all too easy to use formal logic to create a probability, even one as remote as a super human being controlling nature.

conspiracykiller said...

All gods are fantasy if the laws of nature exist.

The laws of nature exist

Therefore all gods are fantasy.


Discuss

Puritan Lad said...

That's what we call a non-sequitur. (Logical Fallacy)

Not to mention that you now need to prove that the laws of nature exist. Considering your materialistic presuppostions, you have a tall order ahead. Good luck.

conspiracykiller said...


Try again

Non sequitur, a logical fallacy where a stated conclusion is not supported by its premise

However my conclusion follows the premise perfectly. I know it's hard for you to accept the validity of it as it combats your own previous attempt to utilise the same construct you used above.


photosynthesis said...

D,

I don't assume that your god is nonsense. I have concluded so after many years of being a Christian, after many years of reasoning about many scenarios trying hard to justify my prior belief in this god. Not possible. It's nonsense. In order to show this to you we would have to first establish what you actually believe, which could take quite a long time. I don't know if I have that much time, but I can tell you this: at many points, both the Bible and the doctrines clash with reality. At many points, following the logic of either leads to internal contradictions within and without them (within the Bible/doctrine; between them). Often, the differences among Christians have a lot to do with how much they rather think to be literal parts of the Bible and which they think are metaphors.

Anyway, you do know that you play around in circles, don't you? That you put an imaginary being in your circles does not make your circles any less fallacious. Also remember that Christians themselves disagree about this presuppositionalist view. To me, before you could even suggest that your god is the source of anything, you would have to prove:

1. That you did not learn this line of rhetoric.
2. That your god exists.
3. That whatever philosophical conundrums you have come to accept as valid (like Hume's) just because you find it nice for defending this presuppositionalist rhetoric would really invalidate a reality where things are what they are regardless of whether your philosophy/metaphysics can establish it so or not (careful here, be very very careful, if you need clarification let me know).

Note, please, that I have not said that I have no metaphysics. Right now I am just exploring to see if we can reach some understanding.

«you do not get to say 'Why can't they just be because they just are?' - this is a serious blog not some 'pop atheist' blog»

When considering philosophical issues seriously, we can and should object to unwarranted assumptions. You don't get to say what I can and cannot say myself. I am a human and I think with my own mind. So, if you can't justify the assumption that the laws of nature have to be accounted for via a necessary precondition outside of reality, then I can reject that assumption. I don;t claim to know everything, but I do claim that if we don;t know everything we can't go around buying assumptions just because you happen to like them. The argument is awfully, painfully, invalid from the very beginning.

conspiracykiller said...

Prove P: The laws of nature exist without a god controlling them.

Step 1 ~P: (Assume the opposite) The laws of nature do NOT exist without a god controlling them.

Step 2 (~P->Q): If the laws of nature do NOT exist without a god controlling them, then the laws of nature can NOT be accounted for in a god FILLED, material world.

Step 3 (~Q): The laws of nature CAN be accounted for in a godless, material world.

Step 4 (~~P): It is the case God does NOT control the laws of nature.

Step 5 (P): God is NOT the precondition of the laws of nature. (Law of negation.)
Q.E.D.

photosynthesis said...

Puritan Lad,

You are the most decent presuppositionalist I have ever encountered. I am impressed (by the decency, not by the arguments). I shall answer your objections. I will try and give myself some time. For now I have to go to work.

Best!

DannyM said...

C,

Apparently you have no idea what a deductive argument is. *Inductive* arguments establish the *probability* (depending on degree) of a conclusion; *deductive* arguments are intended to *guarantee* the truth of the conclusion. This can be done via true pemises or via premises considered so strong in support of the conclusion that, if true, it would be an impossibility for the conclusion to be false. A deductive argument is either valid or invalid; there is no 'probability' involved!

PL's initial modus ponens is a valid deductive argument. That *you* find it unpersuave doesn't negate the validity of the proof. Now, we do not expect you to find it persuasive, hence PL's *modus tollens*, which offers you the chance to contend for your foundational assumptions by refuting Step 3 and *accounting for* laws of nature in a naturalistic worldview. But since you *cannot* refute Step3, then the proof stands and your position lies naked on the floor.

Your refusal to even attempt to address the proof says it all.

photosynthesis said...

Danny,

I will give you a few more answers later too. Though I'm not very impressed by you. I know that it might be my fault. Too aggressive myself.

Ciao

Puritan Lad said...

CK:

With all due respect, I have already proven that God is the precondition of the laws of nature. Thus the premise of my arument was true, the logic was sound, and the proof stands.

With regard to your "proof", let us examine them.

P1: All gods are fantasy if the laws of nature exist.

I call that a non-sequitur. Even if I haven't already proven the opposite, the fact that the laws of nature exist does not preclude the existence of any God, much less "all gods". Therefore, you must show how your consequence is somehow inevitable based upon your conclusion. Otherwise, it is a non-sequitur, despite your objections.


P2: The laws of nature exist.

Even if your first premise were valid. You still have to prove the second premise is true in a materialistic worldview. So how do you propose to do this? Logic? Empiricism? The Scientific Method? Other?


Conclusion: Therefore all gods are fantasy.

Since your first premise is a non-sequitur (not to mention, false), and your second one needs validation in a materialistic worldview, your conclusion is invalid.


With regard to your second proposed "proof", I'm not sure if if includes typos or not (They probably do).

Step 2, as presented, is a non-sequitur. In addition, step 3 is also a non-sequitur as it does not rationally follow from step 2. (It is entirely possible that the laws of nature cannot be accounted for in any worldview, or even that they don't exist at all.)

Not hard to see these logical errors. Try again.

Puritan Lad said...

PS.

Thanks for the accolades. Trust me, Danny is decent as well. In a debate such as this, it is inevitable that both side tend to be passionate (I'm not immune to aggressiveness either.)

conspiracykiller said...

Danny apparently you are in denial of your utilisation of the informal fallacy: Begging the question.

That is all this presuppositional nonsense is based upon. As Photosynthesis and myself have already pointed out, the arguments being used expect us to accept your premise of a god to be true in the first place. Outside of your own belief it is true you have nothing. To be fair to you, I don't mind that you believe you are correct, however this reality is in your own head. Outside of your typing you have yet to actually prove that the god you insert into your premise even exists.

This is what your entire argument hinges upon. If you can't even provide that evidence for that then putting it into your formal logic just makes it fantasy. Sorry bud, that's just how it is.

That's all that there is to all this presupposition you guys do it's admirable that you utilise logic and learning, but it's also disingenuous the way you bend it to fit your faith. That's pretty much how you guys are viewed, you may be good guys but in all honesty your tactics are just deception.

DannyM said...

P,

1. Then can you show your proof for the Christian God being 'false'? You could start by refuting Step 3 of PL's proof.

2. It is, in fact, your position which goes around in circles. Our ultimate reference point is God and His revelation; your ultimate reference point is your autonomous reason (you!).

3. Since you do not believe in God, you don't get to define God for us - do you see the point?

4. That you reject the demand for an *account* for what you know the materialist/naturalistic worldview *cannot* account for does not get you off the hook.

DannyM said...

C,

I've explained to you where you have gone awry, and all you can reply with is a disjointed rant about presuppositionalism?

A sound deductive argument *must* have the truth of the conclusion contained within the truth of the premises!

Are you ready to discuss or merely rant and accuse from the sidelines?

DannyM said...

P,

I'm sorry you have decided to judge me in such a manner.

If I am 'like you,' then are you equally as unimpressed with yourself?

Whether or not you are 'impressed' by me has no bearing on the issue.

DannyM said...

C,

All you and P can offer is a tu quoque, which *does not* exonerate either of you! The only deception here is the self-deceit of both of you in thinking you do not need a justification for things you know your worldview cannot justify.

Tell me, if there was a rational and logical account for universal, unchanging, immaterial and transcendent laws in a naturalistic universe, do you think you'd be so coy about divulging such information? Or would the cries of 'They just are!' be a distant noise in the wind as you eagerly set about providing the account?

Puritan Lad said...

CK:

There is no neutral position. One either begins with God as a starting point, or they begin with "no God". You may accuse of of begging the question concerning our presuppositions, but you do the same. You haven't given us any reason to accept materialism as the default position. You want to assume it in advance (begging the question.)

You tell us that we have to prove that God exists. What kind of proof would suffice? Obviously, a logical demonstration is inadequate for you, since I have done just that.

In the end, we both have unproven presuppositions. The difference is that Christianity can make sense of the world. Materialism cannot.

DannyM said...

C: '...it's admirable that you utilise logic and learning, but it's also disingenuous the way you bend it to fit your faith.'

C,

It has been pointed out that you do not even understand the difference between a deductive argument and an inductive argument.

Since you tell us it is 'admirable' that we 'utilise logic and learning', and given your own ignorance of logical argumentation, how can you confidently pronounce that we 'bend' logic to fit our faith?

Also, given your foundational assumptions about the universe and the nature of reality, can you explain why you are here arguing against the 'beliefs' of fellow primates? Shouldn't you be arguing against the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced the belief itself? And even then, how would that make any sense?! Are the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced your beliefs more authoritative than the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced MY beliefs? If so, how?

Why lash out at the belief (which is meaningless in a material, non-meaningful universe) and not the *cause* of the belief, i.e., the biologically-determined neurons responsible for the 'thoughts' and 'beliefs'?

photosynthesis said...

Danny,

Sorry man but if the premises are contentious then no matter how you want to call your arguments, modus ponens, modus tollens, deductive, inductive, whatever, the issue remans that the argument falls apart. If we agreed to start with step 3, we would be accepting a lot of contentious and fallacious assumptions already. I truly don't understand how you guys learn logic, but surely not from an omniscient god, since the omni would guarantee that you understood that it is neither a matter of "proper form," nor a matter of setting up traps, but about sound premises before you can even start.

Starting from step 3 would be akin to me asking you to start by showing that you have really stopped beating your wife. You would not like that, since starting there means accepting two things at least: (1) that you have a wife (maybe you do, maybe not), and (2) that you have been beating her. Well, in the same way that you would not like to start wherever I tell you, I won't start wherever you tell me. Your assumptions are contentious and I won't accept them without a sound argument for accepting them. That means that the "proof" is not proof at all. It's just a bunch of fallacious premises leading to a fallacious conclusion. You will have to live with it. Sorry.

Sure, you have no reason to accept my conclusion about your particular god being nonsensical. After all, I have not presented to you the reasons for my conclusion. But who cares? That you won't accept my conclusion does not invalidate the very problem that you start with unwarranted and fallacious premises.

You keep telling us that your worldview allows you to "justify" all kinds of stuff, yet, I can quickly show you that it does not. I can show you that your "justifications" remain, not just circular, but viciously circular, since they include a contentious item in their circle: your god. You still need logic, for example, to justify logic, since there's no point in which logic would not play a role in your justification. Example, you say that your god justifies logic, yet your god would have to be your god and not not your god at the same time and in the same way. The "method" for your god to give you the justification would have to be the method and not not the method in the same way and at the same time, et cetera. Since logic is unavoidable, but your god is not, your justification is viciously circular. Congrats, you have nothing.

It does not matter if you view the above as a "tu quoque." Presuppositionalism is predicated on the claim that you can justify those things without being fallacious. Yet, there you have it, you're obviously and painfully fallacious. Presuppositionalism is a series of traps, and I will not just go meekly into the traps just because you want me to. Your assumptions are yours to hold as dearly as you want. That does not mean that I have to accept them without proper justification.

It gets much better: You say that logic is absolute. But then you tell us that it has to be justified. You are therefore contradicting your first point, and telling us that logic is relative, that it depends on something else. Namely your god (starting to see your nonsense for what it is yet?). So, take a stand. Is logic absolute or is it relative? Be careful, either answer is devastating to your proposition. Think about it really carefully.

You're welcome

photosynthesis said...

conspiracykiller,

"As Photosynthesis and myself have already pointed out, the arguments being used expect us to accept your premise of a god to be true in the first place"

Not just that, but many many other assumptions. I wonder if they really dont know the fallacies that they are employing, or if they just pretend. If maybe all they want it for us to fall into one or another of these traps and feel victorious. After all, we can see the traps. Sometimes we miss one or the other, and we could fall into it. They might then declare victory, but they would have convinced nobody but their flock that they "won." We would still see that it was just some trick. So then what?

photosynthesis said...
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photosynthesis said...

Puritan Lad,

As you might read above, presuppositionalism does not stand a chance. Yet, I said I would answer your points. I will start with one for now since I am still working, but will try and be back. Only I don't know how long before I come back.

I will start with this one:

«1.) Be no less of an assumption than the one I made. I would ask you, "Why can't God simply be what He is just because that's what He is?" You wouldn't accept this line of reasoning, so why should I?»

I wouldn't presume that you should accept that nature is just the way it is just because that's the way it is. The point was that there's no reason to accept your assumptions in the first place. therefore your proof cannot even get beyond your first proposition.

Also, no, I would not accept that your god is what he is just because that's what he is, but that's exactly what you believe and exactly what you want us to accept. Take a careful look. All of your arguments propose/assume that everything needs justification (and therefore that nothing is absolute! yet you state the opposite), except your god. That your god is what he is just because that's what he is.

More later, but you have a lot to think about. I truly hope that Danny will not answer too soon, but that would be rare for a presuppositionalist.

conspiracykiller said...

Photosynthesis,
"Not just that, but many many other assumptions. I wonder if they really dont know the fallacies that they are employing, or if they just pretend. If maybe all they want it for us to fall into one or another of these traps and feel victorious. After all, we can see the traps. Sometimes we miss one or the other, and we could fall into it. They might then declare victory, but they would have convinced nobody but their flock that they "won." We would still see that it was just some trick. So then what?"

I honestly think this about sums it up. However, I think your last point is the most important. Since it's obvious that the premise is fallacious, and that the circular argument due to it's inclusion leads to an unsound/non cogent outcome. They can justify it based solely on the fact that they have faith and their dogma explains the world nicely for them. All we can do is point out the traps and leave it there. At least Puritan Lad has admitted begging the question above, which is at least a level of honesty that these conversations require. Everything for them is down to faith of a superhuman entity that can not be measured, seen, touched, or heard. Even the belief in that on its own becomes a cartesian theatre, the ultimate circular argument.

I don't claim to be able to reason the meaning of human existence [if such a thing even exists] or how life on Earth itself came into being. However, there is no way in this world I would start off with an unmeasurable entity if I was going to attempt rational debate.

For me this debate is pretty much concluded, the traps are painfully obvious to those who pay attention to the details. The traps are merely a bait into accepting they have something worth consideration.

DannyM said...

P,

I'm going to reply in 3 or 4 separate posts, becausr that way it will be easier to focus on the many errprs you make.

You do not appear to understand formal logic. A sound deductive argument must cpntain within the truth of its premises the truth of the conclusion. What is it that you do not understand here? The fact you reel off 'modus ponens, modus tollens, deuctive, inductive, whatever, the issue remans (sic) that the argument falls apart' shows you have precisely zero appreciation of logical argumentation. In fact, you demonstrate quite clearly that you simple *do not care* about logical argumentation. Hey, as long as you don't like it! Do you understand that, if God exists, His ultimate authority would be, by NECESSITY, Himself? Are you that devoid of rationality that you'd disagree?

You clearly have no idea what an analogous argument is, either.

tbc

DannyM said...

Cont.

P,

What were you thinking when you compared Step 3 of PL's proof to beating one's wife? Step 3 makes no assumptions and is a *truth*; if it *wasn't you'd have dealt with it by now! You say Step 3 is contentious; well, stop the press! Of course it is contentious. What's the matter, P? Don't you like an argument? Then why are you here? Are you here just to tell us our arguments are controversial?

You say you 'won't accept' our premises; so *contest* them, then! Do you know how to put forth an actual argument? Are you honestly just here to spit in the wind? If Step 3 is fallacious then prove it.

Is this what passes for rational discourse in your world, P? This is truly remarkable. Atheists simply assume they need no rational argument; all they need do is shout and protest from the sidelines.

DannyM said...

C,

The readers will judge for themselves. Fortunately PL does not take his readers for fools, and he presents his arguments clearly and methodically. The readers of the blog can identify hot air when they see it.

Be good, my friend.

Danny

DannyM said...

P,

We do not say God is who He is just 'cause He is what he is. I mean, can you provide such a quote?

And even if we did, so what? You cannot prove there are laws of nature, and YOU yourself, P, have pleaded, 'Why can't the laws of nature just be?'! Talk about hypocrisy!

We hold that the Triune God is behind all of man's intellectual efforts. We hold that the universe is intelligible and rational because it reflects an intelligent and rational God. We hold that the laws of nature reflect the providence of God in creation. We hold that man has an innate knowledge of right and wrong and good and bad because these are written on men's hearts. Special revelation makes clear you know God but suppress the truth in unrighteousness. This is shown in spades in yours and C's attempted use of the tools God gave you to prove a worldview you *cannot prove*. That you *misuse* and *abuse* these tools is further evidence that your thinking 'has become vain'; when you try to argue and rail against the one true God, your thinking becomes absurd; you misunderstand logic, proof, evidence etc. Is it any surprise that God's enemies should malfunction when they try to use His tools against Him?

Take a moment, P, and ask yourself why your 'reasoning' here is so shallow. Ask yourself why you allow yourself to engage in hypocrisy and non-arguments. On a naturalist ontology, why are you here?

photosynthesis said...

conspiracykiller,

"For me this debate is pretty much concluded, the traps are painfully obvious to those who pay attention to the details. The traps are merely a bait into accepting they have something worth consideration."

Exactly! One huge problem is that we are so damn tempted to make them see the obvious. We think we can. We just don;t think that they will dodge debating their main problems. Anyway, for examples of how their stuff is merely debating techniques, tricks, and rhetoric, you should notice that Danny avoided the most damaging of my points. Curious, since the very roots of his claims were obliterated. His only defence was to make a series of claims as red herrings.

DannyM said...

P,

State the claim I 'avoided'.

DannyM said...

P,

State the claim I 'avoided',how it 'obliterates' my argument, and state the 'red herrings'.

Should be easy, even for you, no?

photosynthesis said...
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photosynthesis said...

Danny,

You are being a sport by being the prime example of presuppositionalism being just a series of debating techniques, tricks and rhetoric. Thanks.

«A sound deductive argument must cpntain (sic) within the truth of its premises the truth of the conclusion»

Exactly. therefore you cannot use faulty, fallacious, over-assuming, premises. You have to start with proper ones.

It would seem that it is you who has zero appreciation of logical argumentation. Quite a contradiction to your professed worldview, since, if you think that logic comes from your god, as fallacious and viciously circular as such a claim can be, then you should have much more respect for it. Yet you don't have any.

«You say you 'won't accept' our premises; so *contest* them, then!»

I contested them quite clearly above. After that, since those "premises" contain your assumptions, false dichotomies, et cetera, they are your burden of proof. Not mine.

Then you offered more claims and assumptions in hopes that they would serve as red herrings. But no sir, you forgot to answer the most devastating points I made. I have many more, but you may want to check this one first:

You say that logic is absolute. But then you tell us that it has to be justified. You are therefore contradicting your first point, and telling us that logic is relative, that it depends on something else. Namely your god (starting to see your nonsense for what it is yet?). So, take a stand. Is logic absolute or is it relative? Be careful, either answer is devastating to your proposition. Think about it really carefully.

That alone seems to leave you naked in the middle of the room. No wonder you avoided it and offered those red herrings.

As I said, you're welcome!

Puritan Lad said...

photosynthesis: "Sorry man but if the premises are contentious then no matter how you want to call your arguments, modus ponens, modus tollens, deductive, inductive, whatever, the issue remans that the argument falls apart."

Response: That's what you have to demonstrate, like I showed with conspiracykiller's attempted modus poenens. BTW: modus poenens and modus tollens are valid forms of logical argumentation. You may reject them if you wish, but that would make your rejection, by definition, illogical.


photosynthesis: "If we agreed to start with step 3, we would be accepting a lot of contentious and fallacious assumptions already".

Response: I'm assuming that you are referring to step 3 of my modus tollens, "The laws of nature CANNOT be accounted for in a godless, material world." I'm with Danny in that I don't know what you mean by contentious. If you mean that I'm making my case, then I'm guilty as charged. I hold that the statement in step 3 is objectively true. You could prove it false by accounting for the laws of nature (or any laws for that matter) in a materialistic universe. Your failure to do so does not render my statement fallacious. If anything, it is every bit as true as the most widely accepted scientific laws as it passes every attempt to refute it.


photosynthesis: "I truly don't understand how you guys learn logic, but surely not from an omniscient god, since the omni would guarantee that you understood that it is neither a matter of "proper form," nor a matter of setting up traps, but about sound premises before you can even start."

Response: Apparently, you seem to know enough about logic to criticize our use of it. In that case. you should have no problem exposing the flaws in my premises since you consider them to be unsound. As for setting up "traps", that is unnecessary. Materialism sets it's own traps when it tries to say on one hand that the material world is all that exists while on the other hand trying to apply transcendental qualities to science, knowledge, logic, ethics, etc. All we have to do is expose those inconsistencies.


photosynthesis: "Starting from step 3 would be akin to me asking you to start by showing that you have really stopped beating your wife. You would not like that, since starting there means accepting two things at least: (1) that you have a wife (maybe you do, maybe not), and (2) that you have been beating her. Well, in the same way that you would not like to start wherever I tell you, I won't start wherever you tell me. Your assumptions are contentious and I won't accept them without a sound argument for accepting them. That means that the "proof" is not proof at all. It's just a bunch of fallacious premises leading to a fallacious conclusion. You will have to live with it. Sorry."

Response: Photosynthesis, you are getting desperate by comparing my objectively proven statement with a fallicious complex question. If there is a complex question in my line of reasoning, then please expose it. Show us the question that contains the circular antecedent. I just can see it, and I'm certain that no objective reader will see it either.

As for my proof, you are confusion proof with persuasion. The validity of my proof is not contingent upon whether or not you accept it. The proof is valid because the premises are true and the logic is sound. As for persuasion, I would that I could persuade everyone, but that is not within my power.

As for the rest of your post, it is pretty much a repetition of what I have already dealt with. If my premises are indeed fallacious, then please expose the fallacies without comparing them to a fallacy that I never used.

photosynthesis said...

As expected, Danny avoided the main issues and offered more red herrings. Thank Danny. I knew I could count on you to be a prime example that presuppositionalism requires you to avoid your own issues by a series of rhetorical tricks and traps.

I'm not distracted by your red herrings Danny. Can we expect you to deal with your main flaws? Nah. Not something that presuppositionalists are ready or willing to do. But I'm not surprised. You have no answers and acknowledging my points would be devastating to your position.

Be well. I out to work.

Puritan Lad said...

photosynthesis: "«1.) Be no less of an assumption than the one I made. I would ask you, "Why can't God simply be what He is just because that's what He is?" You wouldn't accept this line of reasoning, so why should I?»

I wouldn't presume that you should accept that nature is just the way it is just because that's the way it is. The point was that there's no reason to accept your assumptions in the first place. therefore your proof cannot even get beyond your first proposition.

Also, no, I would not accept that your god is what he is just because that's what he is, but that's exactly what you believe and exactly what you want us to accept. Take a careful look. All of your arguments propose/assume that everything needs justification (and therefore that nothing is absolute! yet you state the opposite), except your god. That your god is what he is just because that's what he is."


Response: I'm afraid that you are missing the point, and this drives home the real bone of contention between our two worldviews. The fact is that everyone is a presuppositionalist. Everyone accepts circular reasoning at the metaphysical level. The problem with materialism is that it refuses to acknowledge it's own presuppositions. Why does a materialist accept universal laws of nature? They are not observable my mere sense experience, since their validation would require universal sense experience. And as we have already discussed, the scientific method cannot prove anything to be objectively true.

To clarify, I'm not denying universal laws of nature. But given my presuppositions, I do have a basis for believing in them. You do not.

The point is that everyone reasons in a circle at the metaphysical level. It's just that materialists cry foul when Christians do so, even though materialists do the same. They simply don't accept our presuppositions, but consider us silly for not accepting theirs.

We'll get more into this as you attempt to deal with points 2 and 3, but the reason that I've given for not accepting your presuppositions is that, in a materialistic world, we cannot prove anything.

DannyM said...

P,

Responding to every paragraph in irder.

1. This claim itself is mere *rhetoric*. Thank you!

2. You say 'Exactly' to my description of a 'SOUND deductive argument', then you say this is 'faulty, fallacious' and 'over-assuming'. Come again? So deductive arguments are bith sound and faulty at the same time? Can you spell out your 'reasoning' here? Tell me then, P, what a 'proper premise' must look like in a sound/faulty deductive argument... BTW, do you also believe in square circles?

3. This paragraph is filled with more rhetoric. If you'd read the entire comment section you'd have seen 'T-n-g' taken to task on this very issue. It is your autonomous reason that is *viciously circular*, P. I explained this to you earlier and you ignored it, much like you ignore whole swathes of argumentation! If God is the ultimate authority, then the ontological Trinity must by definition be self-referential. *Our* reference point is God, not *ourselves*; *your* reference point is own autonomous reason.

4. You have 'contested' nothing, P; just rhetorical meanderings on your part.

5. So this is your coup de grace, is it, P? The whole paragraph is simply littered with confusion. Yes there are absolute laws of logic; that they need to be *accounted for* does not make them relative. How does the quality of absoluteness *become*a relative quality merely by inspection?

P, you are in a vortext of confusion, my friend.

Instead of hypocritically accusing others of swerving your 'killer arguments', why not honestly address everything put your way?

Very easy question: given a naturalistic ontology, why are you here?

DannyM said...

P,

You're in a bunker of irrationality, desperately trying to avoid the outside (rational) world.

Your super duper arguments are fluff, my friend.

I've seen and seen off your type a hundred times. I see you're at the 'Claim avoidance of arguments' and 'Claim victory' stage; seen it all before and recognise it to be your springboard for leaving the discussion. You want out. But before you go let's try once more:

Please can you provide the red herrings of mine?

photosynthesis said...

Hey Danny!

«2. You say 'Exactly' to my description of a 'SOUND deductive argument', then you say this is 'faulty, fallacious' and 'over-assuming'...»

Wait right there Danny. Are you really desperate enough that you had to pretend being mentally challenged? Here for your readers to check again:

You said:
«A sound deductive argument must cpntain (sic) within the truth of its premises the truth of the conclusion»

I said:
«Exactly. therefore you cannot use faulty, fallacious, over-assuming, premises. You have to start with proper ones.»

Under what kind of mental illness could anybody misconstrue what I said to mean that I agree with your description, and then that I find your description to be faulty fallacious and over-assuming? I know that presuppositionalism is about tricking, and I know that you've been a sport about showing this off. But here you went way overboard.

«3. This paragraph is filled with more rhetoric. If you'd read the entire comment section you'd have seen 'T-n-g' taken to task on this very issue.»

No, it's not. You do claim that logic comes from your god, and you indeed show little if any respect for it. Yes, it is fallacious and viciously circular to claim that your god justifies logic. I showed you exactly how, and you remain ignoring the issue.

« It is your autonomous reason that is *viciously circular*, P. I explained this to you earlier and you ignored it, much like you ignore whole swathes of argumentation!»

Nope. You explained nothing. You claimed, assumed, asserted, but you did not explain anything. I did explain how your reliance in your god is viciously circular, and it is you who ignored the answer. here again for your eyes to feast:

Quoting myself:
«I can show you that your "justifications" remain, not just circular, but viciously circular, since they include a contentious item in their circle: your god. You still need logic, for example, to justify logic, since there's no point in which logic would not play a role in your justification. Example, you say that your god justifies logic, yet your god would have to be your god and not not your god at the same time and in the same way. The "method" for your god to give you the justification would have to be the method and not not the method in the same way and at the same time, et cetera. Since logic is unavoidable, but your god is not, your justification is viciously circular.»

So it seems like instead of me ignoring anything, it is you who does not read the answers. Again, not a surprise, thinking carefully about your own issues is not something you really want to do.

[more to come]

photosynthesis said...

Continued for Danny:

«4. You have 'contested' nothing, P; just rhetorical meanderings on your part.»

Your failures to read and understand do not mean that I have contested nothing.

«5. So this is your coup de grace, is it, P?»

Nah. It's but one of your many contradictions and fallacies.

«Yes there are absolute laws of logic; that they need to be *accounted for* does not make them relative. How does the quality of absoluteness *become*a relative quality merely by inspection?»

Well, it is not "mere inspection." Is it or is it not your claim that in order for there to be logic your god has to exist? If so, then you are making logic dependent, which is what relative means, on your god, therefore your claims would be contradictory. If that's not your claim, then your god is not justifying anything, and you've got nothing. We then can be happy and conclude that your line of argumentation is all fluff. A series of tricks, traps, rhetoric. Nothing more.

Welcome to reality.

photosynthesis said...

Hello Puritan Lad,

«That's what you have to demonstrate, like I showed with conspiracykiller's attempted modus poenens.»


I did. I demonstrated that no matter what you want to call your argument, modus this, modus that, the fact remains that it's premises are charged.

«BTW: modus poenens and modus tollens are valid forms of logical argumentation. You may reject them if you wish, but that would make your rejection, by definition, illogical.»

But I did not say that I reject valid forms of logical argumentation. I said that if your premises are faulty it does not matter what form of logical argumentation you use, the form alone won't get you there.

Your step 3 "The laws of nature CANNOT be accounted for in a godless, material world" is contentious because it is a charged argument. It assumes that the laws of nature have to be accounted for. Not only that, this assumption contains another assumption within: any account made within nature will be deemed to be a law of nature itself, therefore you are forcing the answer to be "supernatural." Not only that, if I started at this step I would be grating that your other steps are valid. Since those steps are also charged with contentious assumptions I'm not about to do that.

«Photosynthesis, you are getting desperate by comparing my objectively proven statement with a fallicious complex question. If there is a complex question in my line of reasoning, then please expose it»

Far from desperate. I showed you some of those assumptions that charge your premises before, I showed more here. I could show even more. Let me know. I could make a list of fallacies and compounded fallacies, perhaps for every premise in your "proof."

«As for my proof, you are confusion proof with persuasion.»

No, I'm not.

«The validity of my proof is not contingent upon whether or not you accept it.»

I agree. I'm far from suggesting such a thing.

«The proof is valid because the premises are true and the logic is sound.»

The proof is not valid because the premises are fallacious.

«then please expose the fallacies without comparing them to a fallacy that I never used»

Do you really mean to say that all the flaws I have described elude you? Do you really want a step by step description of what a charged argument means? Then show you step by step how your assumptions are built into your premises? Then to show how if I started by trying to refute your premises, rather than explaining how they are fallacious, I would intrinsically be accepting your many assumptions? Really?

DannyM said...

P,

My apologies for misreading you. (No need for insults, P, it shows a desperation on your part.)

So you are saying my definition of what a deductive argument should look like is flat-out wrong. Great! So please actually *show* us what a valid deductive argument should look like; *show* me a 'proper premise'. Here's a clue: this is the form of a modus ponens:

If P then Q
P
Therefore, Q

Now, can you show exactly where PL's modus ponens went wrong? Do you see the structure? Do you see how the truth of the conclusion must by necessity be contained within the truth of the premises?

Stop the rhetoric, P, and address the *detail*.

DannyM said...

P,

You talk of trickery, but your presence here has been marked by one big long-winded attempt to 'trick' us with your continued rhetoric and evasiveness.

You haven't even the wherewithal to admit how 'viciously circular' your autonomous reasoning is, yet you throw out 'viciously circular' about our pisition. We are honest about our *narrowly circular* position; we also take the time to *explain* how our circularity *is not* fallacious, since an ultimate authority must by *necessity* be self-referential! I mean, do you even know *how* to engage others?

To your 'coup de grace':

You are yet to *explain* ( surprise surprise) how universal and unchanging laws of logic can 'become' relative. Where did I 'claim' that 'in order for there to be logic' my 'god (sic) has to exist? I never said something so disjointed! Why are you making stuff up, P?

photosynthesis said...

Puritan Lad,

Continuing with your three points from way before:

&laquoEven if we were to assume, for the sake of argument, that the laws of nature are self-existing, ie. "laws simply be what they are just because that's what they are", it would:

2.) Provide no explanation of how one can know these laws to be true, much less have confidence in them. »

So what? Whether being brute facts did or did not provide an explanation of how one can know those laws to be true, would not make them any less of a brute fact. That some part of reality may or may not give you an answer for every philosophical conundrum you happen to like does not mean that it is not a brute fact.

«3.) Lead to genetic and epistemological determinism.»

I thought that you said that their being a brute fact provided no epistemology above ("Provide no explanation of how one can know these laws to be true"). Does it or does it not?

DannyM said...

P,

Aside from your abject failure to show either PL or myself *why* his premises are fallacious, apart from your just asserting so (the fallacy of Bare Assertion), can you give us a materialistic account for why matter matters? On your own naturalistic/materialist sceme, why should matter think about itself and its surroundings? Are the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced your beliefs more authoritative than the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced MY beliefs? If so, why? Can you explain why 'thoughts' and 'beliefs' MATTER in a materialistic world?

photosynthesis said...

Danny! :D

«So you are saying my definition of what a deductive argument should look like is flat-out wrong»

Why do you apologize for misreading me and then you continue by misreading me again?

Here once more.

You said:
«A sound deductive argument must cpntain (sic) within the truth of its premises the truth of the conclusion»

I said:
«Exactly. therefore you cannot use faulty, fallacious, over-assuming, premises. You have to start with proper ones.»

Under what kind of mental illness could anybody misconstrue what I said to mean that I think that your definition is flat out wrong?

«You haven't even the wherewithal to admit how 'viciously circular' your autonomous reasoning is,»

I have no reason to admit that my reasoning is viciously circular because it isn't. No reasoning can be "autonomous." In order to reason there must be something to reason about.

«yet you throw out 'viciously circular' about our pisition.»

I demonstrated so. Your god is avoidable, logic is not. Check it out. Carefully this time.

«We are honest about our *narrowly circular* position; we also take the time to *explain* how our circularity *is not* fallacious, since an ultimate authority must by *necessity* be self-referential!»

Yet your "ultimate authority" would have to rely on logic, which means that the "ultimate authority" is not the one you propose, but logic itself. Therefore your circularity is fallacious.

«I mean, do you even know *how* to engage others?»

Yup. I know how. You seem quite prone to try and disengage.

«You are yet to *explain* ( surprise surprise) how universal and unchanging laws of logic can 'become' relative.»

Me? It is you who is proposing them to be relative while calling them absolute, not me. That you do not know what absolute and relative mean, and thus remain oblivious to the faults of your own rhetoric is your problem, not mine.

«Where did I 'claim' that 'in order for there to be logic' my 'god (sic) has to exist?»

OK then. Therefore there's no justification, no accounting for, and no argument for your god. (there's no (sic) here, I said "your god," I did not call it by its "proper name")

«I never said something so disjointed! Why are you making stuff up, P?»

Then what's your claim Danny? How does your god "justify" and "account for" logic? Be very very clear and try not to contradict yourself.

Puritan Lad said...

photosynthesis,

You haven't shown any flaws. The only "suggested" flaw that you have shown is that I assumed that the laws of nature have to be accounted for. Of course they have to be counted for. There are no philosophical freebies photosynthesis. You need to defend your view of the laws of nature, or else you have to relinquish appealing to them. That would be the height of irrationality, for you are borrowing capital from the Christian worldview in order to argue against it.

Let me repeat yet again, because you aren't dealing with the heart of the matter. By attempting to suggest that the laws of nature are merely brute fact, that "they are just the way they are", you trying to establish your worldview as the default. That just won't cut it in a battle of worldviews. You are arguing in a way that you will not accept from your opponent.

I have already, for the sake of argument, considered your idea of the laws of nature being brute fact, and have shown that the end result is irrationality. You cannot prove anything.


photosynthesis: "So what? Whether being brute facts did or did not provide an explanation of how one can know those laws to be true, would not make them any less of a brute fact. That some part of reality may or may not give you an answer for every philosophical conundrum you happen to like does not mean that it is not a brute fact."

Response: Because we are in a battle of worldviews, and you are simply not allowed to assume a priori that yours is correct. Even if we were to assume that the laws of nature are brute fact, at the very least, you have to account for the ability of your mind to used them. Your suggestion that the laws of nature are brute fact are no more valid that my argument that God is brute fact. The difference is that I have examined your position and proven it to be irrational. You, on the other hand, have only objected to me making the same type of metaphysical assumptions that you make yourself. There is no neutral position photosynthesis. You will either start with God or No God, and I have shown No God to be irrational.


photosynthesis: "I thought that you said that their being a brute fact provided no epistemology above ("Provide no explanation of how one can know these laws to be true"). Does it or does it not?"

Response: It does not. Following 2 and 3 both lead to the same problem for materialism. You cannot justify anything as being objectively true.

I'm quite disappointed photosynthesis. I waited nearly 24 hours for you to provide a decent response to the delimma that materialism finds itself in with epistemology and genetic determinism. And what do you provide me with? "So what?" "Materialism is just the way it is". That doesn't even begin to pass as a rational argument.

photosynthesis said...

Danny,

«Aside from your abject failure to show either PL or myself *why* his premises are fallacious,»

I did not fail to show so. You failed in reading comprehension. I suspect that you fail on purpose. It's part of the presuppositionalist MO.

«apart from your just asserting so (the fallacy of Bare Assertion)»

I did not just assert it so. I showed that the premises are charged with contentious assumptions.

«On your own naturalistic/materialist sceme (sic),»

Here you are assuming (what a surprise!) that I subscribe to a materialistic/naturalistic "scheme." But that so far I have encountered no compelling reason to accept the existence of anything that is not physical or natural does not mean that I adhere to such a view. Unlike you, I am willing to live and learn, rather than to start by adhering to some philosophical school of thought such as physicalism (the offspring of materialism).

« why should matter think about itself and its surroundings?»

Why shouldn't it?

«Are the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced your beliefs more authoritative than the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced MY beliefs?»

What do you mean by "authoritative"? Why would the ones be more "authoritative" than the others? Why would it matter of the ones are more "authoritative" than the others? Why do you think that thoughts are devoid of context?

«Can you explain why 'thoughts' and 'beliefs' MATTER in a materialistic world?»

How would I know? Ask a materialist.

DannyM said...

P,

You are becoming quite the joker, I see.

Is my explanation of what a deductive argument should look like correct or incorrect?

Why are you REFUSING to show us what a 'proper premise' looks like?

Why are you REFUSING to present your version of a valid deductive argument? I showed you EXACTLY what a modus ponens should look like. Why have you FAILED to address this?

photosynthesis said...

Puritan Lad,

We were talking about how your argument was fallacious, not about whether my position is, or is not, that natural laws are a brute fact. I offered that option just to show that you had contentious assumptions and that other options existed. If comparing our worldviews is what you want, you have to do much better than assert that you have demonstrated such and such. Also, if we are to start there, then we have to agree that whatever you hold against my worldview should be applicable to yours. Just as you would not like it if I held to double standards, you have to understand that I will not accept double standards from you.

Let me exemplify:

«You haven't shown any flaws. The only "suggested" flaw that you have shown is that I assumed that the laws of nature have to be accounted for.»

That was one. Another one I mentioned was that you assume that the only god to be considered was your god, and nothing else. There's more problems, but should we go there or talk about worldviews?

«Of course they have to be counted for. There are no philosophical freebies photosynthesis.»

Again, mere assumption. Yet, you yourself propose your god as a philosophical freebie. So?

«You need to defend your view of the laws of nature, or else you have to relinquish appealing to them.»

I don't see why should I defend or relinquish anything.

«That would be the height of irrationality, for you are borrowing capital from the Christian worldview in order to argue against it.»

You have stated yourself that your worldview is circular. that you won't accept that it is also viciously circular does not mean that I borrow anything from it.

«Let me repeat yet again, because you aren't dealing with the heart of the matter. By attempting to suggest that the laws of nature are merely brute fact, that "they are just the way they are", you trying to establish your worldview as the default. That just won't cut it in a battle of worldviews. You are arguing in a way that you will not accept from your opponent.»

Well, I have shown that your "justifications" rely on logic all along, and therefore that your "justifications" are no better than any other justification you have rejected so far. Therefore, the only way you would claim that I "borrow" from your worldview, despite it being fallacious, is if you establish your worldview as the default for no reason but your preference. Isn't that something that "just won't cut it in a battle of worldviews"?

«I have already, for the sake of argument, considered your idea of the laws of nature being brute fact, and have shown that the end result is irrationality. You cannot prove anything.»

No you haven't. For one, I showed you that your thinking was fallacious. That whether natural laws as brute facts provide with what you demand or not would not make them any less of a brute fact if that's what they are. Brute facts are brute facts. If your god existed, that would be a brute fact whether I liked it or not, whether it provided me with meaning or not, whether it gave me a basis for knowledge or not. You should not mistake brute facts with their ability or lack thereof to offer you something other than being what they are.

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was done. Your problems with materialism are also charged with fallacies and unwarranted assumptions (some made by physicalists themselves I grant you).

So, if it's about the heart of the matter, we would have to start by making lots of clarifications, since your line of argumentation relies on conflating realities with our conceptualizations of such realities. Example, natural laws are descriptions of the way nature works. As such they are our conceptualizations about some brute facts, but not the brute facts themselves.

So. Are you willing to be fair or you rather keep to your double standards? If the latter then I say good bye and that it was fun.

DannyM said...

P,

Do immaterial things exist?

Can you justify your reasoning without appealing to reason?

Re matter: so matter CAN think about itself? Interesting. Can thoughts be reduced to the material?

Why are the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced your beliefs RIGHT and the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced my beliefs WRONG?

Is there an objective RIGHT and WRONG?

Is there some atheistic teleology that compels you to be here fighting for your cause?

Do you know how to ANSWER questions and not merely deflect them?

Laws of logic are absolute and unchanging. They are immaterial and they transcend a naturalistc/materialist ontology. Do you believe we are the product of blind and non-purposeful natural forces? Do you believe we are the product of Darwinian evolution? Are we simply matter in motion in this ever-changing universe?

The laws of logic require justification on a naturalistic/materialist worldview. Needing a justification does NOT mean these laws are relative.

Laws of thought make perfect sense in a Christian worldview since they REFLECT the mind of God.

Laws of thought are NOT 'dependent' in God as though they wete arbitrarily constructed.

On a Christian worldview the laws of logic do not need accounting for since they REFLECT the very mind of the rational God.

Pretty easy to work out, P.

Now, you have lowered the tone considerably in your last few posts. I suggest you dispense with the insults, rhetoric and evasiveness and start addressing the substantive points from both PL and myself.

You are displaying an attitude classically in line with someone looking to get banned in a hail of 'glory'.

Time to grow up, P.

photosynthesis said...

Danny,

«You are becoming quite the joker, I see.»

Oh you have provided most of the entertainment yourself. Don't be modest.

«Is my explanation of what a deductive argument should look like correct or incorrect?»

When did I say that it was incorrect. My problem all along has been with the fallacious nature of the premises employed in PL's "proof."

«Why are you REFUSING to show us what a 'proper premise' looks like?»

Really? Are you really that obtuse? Your premises should contain no contentious issues. Engaging with them should not force me to accept unwarranted assumptions. Can you start by refuting that you have not stopped beating your wife?

«Why are you REFUSING to present your version of a valid deductive argument? I showed you EXACTLY what a modus ponens should look like. Why have you FAILED to address this?»

Why should I address the form when the problems I found are about content?

photosynthesis said...

See ya much later guys. Lots of work to do. It's been a lot of fun seeing Danny squirming around his own issues. We shall see if he will ever engage with them. I doubt it. I am convinced by now that Danny knows that presuppositionalism is all about tricks, traps, techniques, rhetoric, and not about substance. Danny has shown a plenty his desperation to distract me (often successfully), from the fact that he can't and won't address these issues. But, despite I went behind a few red herrings, his lack of engagement is evident for readers to notice.

See ya Danny. Thanks for the entertainment.

DannyM said...

P,

You can REFUTE the 'contentious' premise by REFUTING Step 3of PL's modus tollens, that other valid deductive PROOF.

Don't you get it?! You can PROVE the 'contentious' (and VALID) premise wrong by confronting the modus tollens that you appear too scared to confront!

Go on, P, REFUTE Step 3!

Care to take a stab at a deductive proof that DOESN'T have the truth of the conclusion contained within the truth of the premises?

Come on, P, show us your work!

DannyM said...

P,

Keep telling yourself that, won't you? It's pretty evident for anyone to see that it is YOU who has bern squirming, ducking, diving, bobbing and weaving. If this was a boxing match the ref would be demanding you come out of defence and start throwing some punches!

Let's see, from the top of my head:

1. P has failed to show why our position is viciously circular. (Does P even understand the difference between 'viciously' and 'narrowly' circular?)

2. P has failed to identify (let alone admit to) the (vicious!) circularity of his own position.

3. P has failed to actually show why PL's modus ponens is at fault (other than his personal distaste with the 'contentious' nature of the proof).

4. P has failed to demonstrate his own version of what a deductive proof should look like. This after numerous invitations.

5. P has failed to show how the absolute laws of logic are 'dependent' on and 'relative' to God.

P, you're an utter failure. The rhetoric and the bluster fool no one but yourself and your 'pop' atheist friends.

P has failed to address MANY arguments from PL and myself. Instead he chooses to litter his posts with ranting, insults, bravado and deflection.

Once again, P, you've failed. It's been woeful.

Puritan Lad said...

photosynthesis: "We were talking about how your argument was fallacious, not about whether my position is, or is not, that natural laws are a brute fact. I offered that option just to show that you had contentious assumptions and that other options existed. If comparing our worldviews is what you want, you have to do much better than assert that you have demonstrated such and such."

Response: And I examined the option that you put forth and proved it to be impossible. See especially points 2 and 3, and see if you can offer up something better than "So What?"


photosynthesis: "Also, if we are to start there, then we have to agree that whatever you hold against my worldview should be applicable to yours. Just as you would not like it if I held to double standards, you have to understand that I will not accept double standards from you."

Response: I've done nothing other that this. See below.


photosynthesis: "«You haven't shown any flaws. The only "suggested" flaw that you have shown is that I assumed that the laws of nature have to be accounted for.»

That was one. Another one I mentioned was that you assume that the only god to be considered was your god, and nothing else. There's more problems, but should we go there or talk about worldviews?"


Response: There are apt reasons to reject non-Christian worldviews other than materialism as well, but since neither of us hold to any of those, introducing them would be a Red Herring in an attempt to cover the failures of materialism.


photosynthesis: "«Of course they have to be counted for. There are no philosophical freebies photosynthesis.»

Again, mere assumption. Yet, you yourself propose your god as a philosophical freebie. So?"



Response: No, I didn't. I proved His existence with a set of true premises and a valid logical consequence.


photosynthesis: "«You need to defend your view of the laws of nature, or else you have to relinquish appealing to them.»

I don't see why should I defend or relinquish anything."


Response: Because in your worldview, there can be no universal invariant laws of nature, or anything else. Unless you can prove otherwise, your use of these laws is baseless (or worse, must assume my worldview to be correct).


photosynthesis: "«That would be the height of irrationality, for you are borrowing capital from the Christian worldview in order to argue against it.»

You have stated yourself that your worldview is circular. that you won't accept that it is also viciously circular does not mean that I borrow anything from it."


Response: Explain the difference between circular and viciously circular. All worldviews are circular at the metaphysical level, and yours is more so than mine. As for "borrowing", see above.


photosynthesis: "I have shown that your "justifications" rely on logic all along, and therefore that your "justifications" are no better than any other justification you have rejected so far."

Response: But you haven't justified anything. "So What?" and " laws are what they are just because that's what they are" are not a justification.

Puritan Lad said...



photosynthesis: "Therefore, the only way you would claim that I "borrow" from your worldview, despite it being fallacious, is if you establish your worldview as the default for no reason but your preference. Isn't that something that "just won't cut it in a battle of worldviews"?"

Response: False. The claim that you are borrowing from my worldview is based upon the fact that my worldview can justify universal invariant laws while your cannot, not because of any "default" position. Therefore, by appealing to univeral invariant laws, you are borrowing from my worldview.


photosynthesis: "«I have already, for the sake of argument, considered your idea of the laws of nature being brute fact, and have shown that the end result is irrationality. You cannot prove anything.»

No you haven't. For one, I showed you that your thinking was fallacious. That whether natural laws as brute facts provide with what you demand or not would not make them any less of a brute fact if that's what they are. Brute facts are brute facts. If your god existed, that would be a brute fact whether I liked it or not, whether it provided me with meaning or not, whether it gave me a basis for knowledge or not. You should not mistake brute facts with their ability or lack thereof to offer you something other than being what they are."


Response: OK. So how would one go about proving something without a knowledge of universal invariant laws, even if they were brute fact. And they were "brute fact", then how could any judgment be rendered right or wrong if they are simply results of the matter in our minds being controlled by those brute fact laws in a non-teleological environment?


photosynthesis: " I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was done. Your problems with materialism are also charged with fallacies and unwarranted assumptions (some made by physicalists themselves I grant you)."

Response: Ad nauseum. You keep repeating this hoping that it will stick, but I have made no unwarranted assumptions. If so, please clearly list them so that we can discuss.


photosynthesis: "So, if it's about the heart of the matter, we would have to start by making lots of clarifications, since your line of argumentation relies on conflating realities with our conceptualizations of such realities. Example, natural laws are descriptions of the way nature works. As such they are our conceptualizations about some brute facts, but not the brute facts themselves."

Response: I haven't conflated anything. In fact, I dealt separately with each in points 2 and 3, to which you responded with the rational discourse of "So what?" In any case, materialism can neither justify brute facts nor their conception, so you may pick either.


photosynthesis: "So. Are you willing to be fair or you rather keep to your double standards? If the latter then I say good bye and that it was fun."

Response: You can choose any excuse you want to escape this discussion, even if you have to make things up like complex questions, red herrings, tricks, or double standards. I'm more than satisfied that the reader can see the validity of my proof, that God exists because of the impossibility of His non-existence, which would render us unable to prove anything.

Puritan Lad said...

Danny: "Don't you get it?! You can PROVE the 'contentious' (and VALID) premise wrong by confronting the modus tollens that you appear too scared to confront!

Go on, P, REFUTE Step 3!"



photosynthesis, I have to agree (as soon as you finish work). It's time to pay the piper.

«Step 3 (~Q): The laws of nature CANNOT be accounted for in a godless, material world.»

If this premise is fallacious, then you must show the fallacy as opposed to asserting an impossible alternative. (And even if that alternative were allowed, you must at least justify the conception of that alternative.) There are no philosophical freebies PS, so you will have to justify the laws of nature (or at least your conception of them.)

BTW: Among the other issues that I already presented, the assertion that the laws of nature don't need to be accounted for actually proves step three to be true, not fallacious.

I'm humble enough to acknowledge a logical fallacy when it is shown that I have committed one. So have at it. Please supply the necessary antecedent and conclusion for your position. Until then, my premises remain true, my logic sound, and thus my proof stands. Soli Deo Gloria.

photosynthesis said...

Dear Puritan Lad,

«Go on, P, REFUTE Step 3!"

photosynthesis, I have to agree (as soon as you finish work). It's time to pay the piper.»

I don;t think so. Your lines of argumentation are so I don't have any compelling reason to follow at a step, again, that would make it appear as if your argument has any validity. In the best case scenario your only victory would be on muddling the issues. As far as my experience goes with presuppositionalists, that's the goal, muddling the issues, but that's not your goal, or is it?

«If this premise is fallacious, then you must show the fallacy as opposed to asserting an impossible alternative.»

I have been showing the many fallacies in most of your premises, also in this one. I have not just asserted the fallacies, and the alternatives I suggested were just examples that there's alternatives.

Your complains against the particular alternative suggested were nonsensical. The first was that it would be as much an assumption as your god. To me that admission, that your god is but an assumption defeats your whole worldview. Congratulations.

«See especially points 2 and 3, and see if you can offer up something better than "So What?"»

I offered something better than a so what, and that you would pretend that I did not should be taken as your failure, because any reasonable person can find my answer and notice that there's an explanation after the words "so what?"

In any event, your points 2 and 3 contradicted each other, in 2 you say that natural laws as brute facts don't lead to epistemology, in 3 you say that it does lead to an epistemology. When I asked you to decide you said that natural laws as brute facts don't lead to an epistemology. OK then, that means that despite your point 3 is loaded with unwarranted assumptions too, I don't need to go there because you have renounced the point. Mind you, that means that there's a lot of the presuppositionalist rhetoric that you are renouncing. Good job from you so far!

As per point 2. I defeated it completely. Brute facts don't owe you explanations. By definition brute facts are what they are whether we like them or not, whether they do or do not answer questions, even if you happen to think that those questions have to be answered by something, brute facts owe you nothing. So, unless you can demonstrate that brute facts have to answer your philosophical conundrums, then your point 2 is defeated.

So there you have it. Your arguments are indefensible, and we don't even need to visit any other worldview. yours is nonsensical.

It would be good to stop here, because presuppositionalism relies on distractions built upon our tendencies to over-explain, and our failure to let go of other nonsensical points made by presuppositionalists. But, since we both know that your line of argumentation is nothing else but rhetoric, I do this exercise mostly as an exploration of your techniques. I find them fascinating.

So more to come

photosynthesis said...

These will be just exemplars of your rhetorical strategies made evident.

« Please supply the necessary antecedent and conclusion for your position. Until then, my premises remain true, my logic sound, and thus my proof stands.»

I'm sorry to inform you, but it does not work that way. You have to prove that your premises are true, and you have done nothing of the sort. If all it took was a well-formed modus-whichever, then conspiracykiller's argument would also remain true until you proved his premises false. Since I can reject your complains against them as "mere assertions" (remember, no double standards) then his proof stands and your god does not exist.

«Soli Deo Gloria.»

Wow! That must be the epitome of cognitive dissonance! Ending a series of rhetorical tricks with these words! Yet again proof that your worldview is nonsensical.

&laquoThe claim that you are borrowing from my worldview is based upon the fact that my worldview can justify universal invariant laws»

Sorry, but no. What you have proven is that in order for you to feel as if your worldview can justify those things you imagine that your god offers you a solution. Since, by your own admission, your god is an assumption, and since your problems are also of your own devising, and since your imaginary solution solves nothing, I can't be borrowing from your worldview.

«There are apt reasons to reject non-Christian worldviews other than materialism as well, but since neither of us hold to any of those, introducing them would be a Red Herring in an attempt to cover the failures of materialism.»

This is a nice excuse for your false dichotomy, but a false dichotomy it remains. By setting things up so that there appears to be just two alternatives, namely your god, or materialism, you are building an edifice of fallacies and traps as follows:

1. You are presenting the issue as if one of them has to be right, when it could well be that both are wrong and then that the answers, if they are needed, lie elsewhere.

2. You are assuming that those questions (a need for justifying things that you describe as absolute, which is already contradictory) are valid.

3. You are trying to put me into a cage that does not fit me: your own cartoon of materialism.

4. You are proposing an alternative based on a nonsensical god, namely the Christian god. (If, for example, logic had to be justified, which you have not established, then the "justification" cannot be nonsensical, therefore it cannot be your god.) That means that you already lost this cause in the eyes of most of those atheists who have found the many logical flaws of your god.

Therefore you are building a false dichotomy where on the one side we have a nonsensical god, and on the other we have a cartoon that you devised in order for you to be able to distract the audience from the nonsensical nature of your god y pointing at how ridiculous that cartoon is. It's your nonsense against a straw-man.

Your starting point is nothing but fallacies. The number of fallacies is staggering. This is why I often describe presuppositionalism as a series of compounded fallacies. I have to say that it is pretty ingenious. With so many fallacies people have no time to think about what's going on. By pointing to one fallacy they buy into another, and then get into the muddle, and then you guys declare your nonsensical worldview as victorious by pointing to a muddle of your own making. That's fascinating.

There's much more, but I stop with you here for now.

photosynthesis said...

Hello Danny!

As I said, you're a lot of fun. Let's see.

«Do immaterial things exist?»

Sure. Besides matter there's energy. There's also antimatter and such. I'm no physicist, so I can't give you an exhaustive list. Ask a physicist if you are that much curious.

«Can you justify your reasoning without appealing to reason?»

Did you or did you not learn presuppositionalism?

«Re matter: so matter CAN think about itself?»

That was not your question. Your question was why should matter think about itself. I asked why it shouldn't.

«Interesting. Can thoughts be reduced to the material?»

I don't know what you mean here. Do you mean to ask if thought can be explained in material terms, or in physical terms? If so, which one, material or physical? What's the purpose of putting the word "reduced" in your sentence rather than building a more appropriate and clear question?

«Why are the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced your beliefs RIGHT and the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced my beliefs WRONG?»

I think that you are quite confused about many many things. I would suggest you to take a course on neurology and see if that helps you clarify your concepts and help you make a clear and meaningful question.

«Is there an objective RIGHT and WRONG?
»

In what sense?

«Is there some atheistic teleology that compels you to be here fighting for your cause?»

I'm not fighting for any cause. I have fun exploring your nonsensical line of rhetoric.

«Do you know how to ANSWER questions and not merely deflect them?»

I do. You on the other hand don't seem to.

«Laws of logic are absolute and unchanging. They are immaterial and they transcend a naturalistc/materialist ontology.»

Curious that you would say these things. Let's see. It seems like you are conflating two things: the way reality works, and our descriptions about how it works.

«Do you believe we are the product of blind and non-purposeful natural forces?»

I don't "believe it." The evidence suggest so, and I have no option but to accept the evidence. Evidence is evidence is evidence.

«Do you believe we are the product of Darwinian evolution?»

I am not the product of Darwinian evolution alone. You and me are the products of evolution, but Darwinian is just one of many forms in which evolution happens.

«Are we simply matter in motion in this ever-changing universe?»

That sounds quite poetic. I din't know that you have it in you. My answer: I don't know because your question is not very clear. We are physical as far as I have seen. As I said, I'm no physicist. Ask one about matter, energy, and other forms of physical stuff.

«The laws of logic require justification on a naturalistic/materialist worldview.»

1. What does it mean to require justification exactly?
2. How would you know if they require "justification" in a worldview whose only version you know is your own straw-man of it?
3. Given that you use logic to make that demand, your demand is self-defeating. In order to prove that logic requires something, you should be able to make your case without using logic. You're welcome to try.

«Needing a justification does NOT mean these laws are relative.»

Of course it means so. Your friend Puritan Lad here insists on calling your god, for example, a standard, an ultimate standard, and such. Only relative stuff requires standards.

[1/2]

photosynthesis said...

[2/2]

«Laws of thought make perfect sense in a Christian worldview since they REFLECT the mind of God.»

In order for logic, for example, to reflect the mind of anything, such anything would have to be what it is (identity), such "mind" would have to be what it is, the act of reflecting would have to be what it is, etc. Therefore logic is much more basic than a reflexion would be, and therefore your proposal is nonsensical.

«Laws of thought are NOT 'dependent' in God as though they wete arbitrarily constructed.»

Of course not. If your god existed, its mere existence would have to comply with logic. Existence, any existence, cannot but be logical. Therefore logic does not need justification, let alone a justification as nonsensical as your god.

«On a Christian worldview the laws of logic do not need accounting for since they REFLECT the very mind of the rational God.»

As I said above, in order for logic to reflect anything the whole thing would have to be logical, and therefore this statement is nonsensical. Worse, by saying that logic reflects the mind of your god you are saying that everything else about your god is not logical. The existence of the mind would not be logical, for example. But any existence is by necessity logical. Therefore logic as a reflexion of the mind of anything is nonsense, which leads your worldview, gasp, to absurdity

You are contradicting Puritan Lad who said that there was no philosophical freebies.

Pretty easy to work out Danny.

As I said, you're a lot of fun.

photosynthesis said...

Back to work guys. This time around I will be extra busy, which means that you will get away with your rhetoric for a good while.

Ciao for a while and it's been loads of fun.

Puritan Lad said...

photosynthesis,

I know that materialists are desperate to establish their worldview as the "default" position, but that's just not going to fly. There is an old saying, something to the effect that when your in the hole too deep, stop digging.

In the first place, a "fact" is something that is justified as being objectively true. Asserting that the brute facts don't have to be justified means that they are not "facts", but merely "ideas", "opinions", or in the best case, "conventions". Unless you want to build your worldview on the idea that the laws of nature are mere conventions, then you have to justify them as facts. Until you do so, they are, by definition, not "facts".

Secondly, the way that you dealt with the alleged "contradiction" in points 2 and 3 have actually proven my point, that a materialistic worldview cannot justify anything as being objectively true. The only way that my "points 2 and 3 contradict each other" is if you accept epistemological determinism as a valid epistemology. Do you really want to go there? If so, then I rest my case. Game, Set, Match...

DannyM said...

P: As I said, you're a lot of fun. Let's see.

DannyM: Of course I am, P – it is customary (if not downright compulsory!) for the ‘New Atheists’ to abandon all rational argumentation (have a guess why!) in favour of an anti-rational approach to the debate. You, P, are a prime example of this juvenile approach. As the rational readers of this blog will see below, you are the epitome of the incoherent atheism.

DannyM: Do immaterial things exist?

P: Sure. Besides matter there's energy. There's also antimatter and such. I'm no physicist, so I can't give you an exhaustive list. Ask a physicist if you are that much curious.

DannyM: Come again? Energy is actually *equivalent* with matter, can be *converted* into matter and vice versa. How can energy cause things to happen around us if it is immaterial? Do you understand what I am talking about when I say ‘immaterial’, P? Can the immaterial laws of logic be measured? Can they be weighed? Tell me, how much does the law of identity weigh on a scale, P?

The same goes for antimatter. I’m no physicist either, P, but a little thought would have prevented you from making this monumental gaff. Tell me, P, why is it you seem completely unable to offer anything other than poor thought and attempts at diversion?

Bad start, P.

DannyM: Can you justify your reasoning without appealing to reason?

P: Did you or did you not learn presuppositionalism?

DannyM: I guess you could say that, by the grace of God, yes, I most certainly did receive the eyes to see the biblical (because that is what the ‘Presuppositional’ apologetic is) approach to apologetics. But guess what, P? It’s not my worldview in the dock here – my worldview has an *answer* to why we should trust our senses and our reason; no, P, it is *your* worldview that stands in the dock today. Let me spell it out, in case you missed it back in the thread.

The Materialist Fallacy tells us that it is fundamentally irrational to believe that

a) human sense organs developed from blind and non-purposeful forces, and that

b) these sense organs give us accurate information about things beyond themselves rather than merely inferred from them.

So, P, time to answer the question: why on earth should you imagine, on this scheme, that your senses can give you accurate information about things *beyond* themselves and not merely *inferred* from them? And since, on this scheme, there is no *standard* outside your own autonomous reason, how would you propose to justify your reasoning without *appealing* to (since on a naturalistic/materialist ontology there is no greater authority than your own autonomy) your own reasoning?

Here’s the news, P: *this* is what we call viciously circular! These are the serious philosophical questions which you must (if you are at all a serious thinker) address. Blithely walking by these questions merely exposes your abject ignorance. And your attempts to deflect the questions reveals an utter failure to grasp the gravity of the issue.

DannyM said...

Part 2

DannyM: Re matter: so matter CAN think about itself?

P: That was not your question. Your question was why should matter think about itself. I asked why it shouldn't.

Originally DannyM: why should matter think about itself and its surroundings?

Originally P: Why shouldn't it?

DannyM: This is indeed a mesmerising level of ignorance and abstinence. Your initial answer *clearly* implies that matter can think about itself. Who do you think you are kidding here, P? Are you playing dumb for anyone in particular, other than yourself?

DannyM: Interesting. Can thoughts be reduced to the material?

P: I don't know what you mean here. Do you mean to ask if thought can be explained in material terms, or in physical terms? If so, which one, material or physical? What's the purpose of putting the word "reduced" in your sentence rather than building a more appropriate and clear question?

DannyM: No. The point is not difficult (at least it shouldn’t be) to understand. It really could not be any clearer. Can thought be reduced to the material? In other words, P, *are thoughts material*?
Here’s another, P: are propositions reducible (you understand the term now, I gather) to empirical investigation? Think about it, P…

DannyM: Why are the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced your beliefs RIGHT and the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced my beliefs WRONG?

P: I think that you are quite confused about many many things. I would suggest you to take a course on neurology and see if that helps you clarify your concepts and help you make a clear and meaningful question.

DannyM: Extraordinary! Who looks confused in this little exchange, P? Can I gather from your feeble reply that you have taken a course in neurology? If so, then why are you being coy? If not, then why would you suggest I take a course? Would it be that you are utterly lost and out of your depth? The concept (oops – let’s not go *there*!) is pretty simple, P. If we are a blind and non-purposeful collection of atoms and other relevant matter, bopping about aimlessly in a blind and indifferent universe, then why are the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced your beliefs ‘authoritative’ at all, let alone ‘more authoritative’ than the neurons that produced the thoughts that produced *my* beliefs?

DannyM: Is there an objective RIGHT and WRONG?

P: In what sense?

DannyM: In an objective sense! In this blind, indifferent, pitiless universe, P, is there a ‘right’ worldview and a ‘wrong’ worldview?

P: I'm not fighting for any cause. I have fun exploring your nonsensical line of rhetoric.

DannyM: You’re exploring nothing, P! You’re here because your worldview is under attack and you don’t like it. You’re here for the cause of Atheism and you know it! This very fact should highlight the absurd and conflicted nature of your position; not for you (since you’ll no doubt not ‘get it’), but for the rational folks reading your folly.

DannyM: Do you know how to ANSWER questions and not merely deflect them?

P: I do. You on the other hand don't seem to.

DannyM: Wow. This guy’s my hero! What questions have you asked that I’ve deflected, P? BTW, I’m still waiting on those ‘red herrings’ you accused me of chucking out there; not to mention your profound new definition and demonstration of a ‘proper premise’ in a deductive syllogism… We shan’t hold our breath!

DannyM said...

Part 3

DannyM: Laws of logic are absolute and unchanging. They are immaterial and they transcend a naturalistc/materialist ontology.

P: Curious that you would say these things. Let's see. It seems like you are conflating two things: the way reality works, and our descriptions about how it works.

DannyM: Nope. Laws of logic are not descriptive but *prescriptive*; they help form the basic and unbreakable parameters of our thinking. Try again.

DannyM: Do you believe we are the product of blind and non-purposeful natural forces?

P: I don't "believe it." The evidence suggest so, and I have no option but to accept the evidence. Evidence is evidence is evidence.

DannyM: Evidence please. And I mean evidence, not your convoluted version.

DannyM: Do you believe we are the product of Darwinian evolution?

P: I am not the product of Darwinian evolution alone. You and me are the products of evolution, but Darwinian is just one of many forms in which evolution happens.

DannyM: Come again? Could it be that we are the product of both a Darwinian process and a Gouldian process? You’ll have to elaborate on that rather thin statement, P.

DannyM: Are we simply matter in motion in this ever-changing universe?

P: That sounds quite poetic. I din't know that you have it in you. My answer: I don't know because your question is not very clear. We are physical as far as I have seen. As I said, I'm no physicist. Ask one about matter, energy, and other forms of physical stuff.

DannyM: Poetic but not very clear? Yeah, muddled poetry, I love it!

Again, P, it’s very simply to grasp. Are we merely matter in motion in this universe, or is there something very non-matter-like about us, something which transcends the matter and cannot be reduced (yep) to the material?

DannyM: The laws of logic require justification on a naturalistic/materialist worldview.

P: What does it mean to require justification exactly? How would you know if they require "justification" in a worldview whose only version you know is your own straw-man of it?

DannyM: It means an *explanation*, P. Put simply, non-material (immaterial) concepts such as the laws of logic require an explanation from those who posit that the material world is all there is (metaphysical naturalism). Are you with me now?
Can you state this straw-man, please, P? One wonders if you even know the meaning of the term.

P: Given that you use logic to make that demand, your demand is self-defeating. In order to prove that logic requires something, you should be able to make your case without using logic. You're welcome to try.

DannyM: This is painful, P. How many times do I need to tell you this: we have an answer – you do not. Our worldview is not on trial here; yours is! We have *no need* to *justify* laws of logic given our worldview.

DannyM said...

Part 4

DannyM: Needing a justification does NOT mean these laws are relative.

P: Of course it means so. Your friend Puritan Lad here insists on calling your god, for example, a standard, an ultimate standard, and such. Only relative stuff requires standards.

DannyM: No. The laws of logic are universal, unchanging, immaterial and transcendent; this literally makes no sense on your scheme; hence why, on a naturalistic/materialist ontology they need to be explained!
As PL has said, you do not get to swerve your responsibilities, and your worldview *is not* the default position in a battle of worldviews.

DannyM: Laws of thought make perfect sense in a Christian worldview since they REFLECT the mind of God.

P: In order for logic, for example, to reflect the mind of anything, such anything would have to be what it is (identity), such "mind" would have to be what it is, the act of reflecting would have to be what it is, etc. Therefore logic is much more basic than a reflexion would be, and therefore your proposal is nonsensical.

DannyM: Excuse me? The grammar and syntax here is awful here, P. Please reword in intelligible English.

DannyM: Laws of thought are NOT 'dependent' on God as though they were arbitrarily constructed.

P: Of course not. If your god existed, its mere existence would have to comply with logic. Existence, any existence, cannot but be logical. Therefore logic does not need justification, let alone a justification as nonsensical as your god.

DannyM: Are you familiar with proper nouns, P? Why is it you are apparently so angry with the non-God that you are willing to assault grammar just to spite Him?
Please expand and explain how God’s existence ‘would have to comply’ with logic… Do you mean to say that God is by definition the ultimate rational being? If so, I agree. Do you go on to mean that existence cannot but be logical since God as the necessary being is the very definition of rationality? Again, I’d agree. But I don’t think you mean this at all. I think you are just pulling stuff out of your behind (or from some ‘pop atheist’ sites – same diff!), because this is incoherent and dire.

Please explain *why* ‘Existence, any existence, cannot but be logical’… what’s your thinking here, P?

DannyM said...

Part 5

DannyM: On a Christian worldview the laws of logic do not need accounting for since they REFLECT the very mind of the rational God.

P: As I said above, in order for logic to reflect anything the whole thing would have to be logical, and therefore this statement is nonsensical. Worse, by saying that logic reflects the mind of your god you are saying that everything else about your god is not logical. The existence of the mind would not be logical, for example. But any existence is by necessity logical. Therefore logic as a reflexion of the mind of anything is nonsense, which leads your worldview, gasp, to absurdity

DannyM: Again this is just incoherent.

Laws of logic *embody*, or represent the one true God in a wholly faithful and appropriate way.

How does this entail ‘everything else about your god (sic) is not logical?

The existence of the mind would not be logical?

But any existence is by necessity logical?

P, you are all over the place (I’m not surprised). Please explain your own absurdity, here. Take your time and think about what you’re saying, because this is just painful.

If anyone had any doubt what anti-theism does to (probably otherwise) rational people, then we have a master class of an example here. The mind’s existence cannot be logical? But any existence (any) is by necessity logical? Not only does the rebel have no account for transcendent laws of logic (to name but one), they largely have no idea how to even *employ* logical reasoning and argumentation.

P: You are contradicting Puritan Lad who said that there was no philosophical freebies.

DannyM; PL and I are, I have no doubt, in complete accord. The trouble, P, is that you have an overinflated (and highly misplaced) opinion of your ability to engage in philosophical discussion. Sorry to tell you, P, but you have been woeful.

P: Pretty easy to work out Danny.

DannyM: It sure is, P. I’m simply aghast. I shouldn’t be. But I am!

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"Nope. Laws of logic are not descriptive but *prescriptive*"

nope logic is descriptive not prescriptive, its is fallacy of equivocation that you have committed, the majority of presupptional claims come from this fallacy

Puritan Lad said...

Hey Tatsu,

Would you like to tackle the prof that I offered at http://covenant-theology.blogspot.com/2013/02/science-and-wisdom-part-i.html?showComment=1375128208894#c7625086814776262869

You seemed to disappear after that one, and your friends CT and PS did nothing to further your cause. How does a materialists escape epistemological and genetic determinism?

DannyM said...

Hey Tatsu,

Looks like the dead & buried *do* rise again!

If laws of logic are descriprive, what might they be descriptive of, exactly? Do they describe the way in which we reason, or how we think? If so, what about those who use faulty reasoning, or the mentally impaired whose reason often malfunctions?

No, laws of logic prescribe how we *ought* to think. This has been shown in spades throughout this thread as PL and myself have constantly had to correct the faulty reasoning displayed by yourself, CK and PT.

To your charge of fallacy, could you spell out for us the fallacy of equivocation and how it applies to presuppositional apologetics?

Bare Assertion will not do.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

The logical absolutes -- the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, the law of excluded middle -- are a set of descriptive statements which describes fundamental property of the nature of reality . These logical absolutes then provide the foundation for the laws of formal logic, a set of prescriptive laws about what logic can or can not do. (ie. the logical fallacies).

the laws of logic and the logical absolutes are not the same thing, they are related but separate. The majority of presuppositional claims stem from equivocations.

a simple analogy to the logical absolutes would be abstract mathematics. The number 4 is “transcendent” by the TAG definition. It isn't a 'thing' that 'exists'. It cannot be photographed, frozen, weighed, or measured. It is always the number 4. It always remains the same. It always remains true.

However, if there were no minds in existence to conceive of the number 4, the shape we currently call a square would still have the same number of sides it has now. It would not physically gain or lose any sides. The abstraction of the number 4 is conceptual, but the concept isn't dependent on a transcendent mind (like that of your god) for the real world underpinning of the concept to remain true.

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu,

You may want to examine this article refuting Realism as a valid (or at least useful) epistemology.

http://covenant-theology.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-knowledge-of-god-part-v.html

Tasty no guchi said...

I did look at it and it contains nothing but boastful eurocentricism so common in people like you

Puritan Lad said...

In other words, you have no answer. Instead, you want to establish Materialistic Realism as the default worldview (Begging the Question). When faced with the irrational pitfalls of your worldview (namely that you can't prove anything), instead of providing any rational response, you attack anyone who doesn't accept such a default as boastful eurocentric. (ad hominem. BTW: You obviously haven't been following European culture for about 150 years.)

As far as any issues that you take with my personality, I guess I'll simply write those off as a product of my genes. That's the only possible explanation that would be consistent with what you claim to believe.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

what you said is totally irrelevant to the proof i gave that your presuppositionism was worthless and when you said "you cant prove anything" you are not making any sense ,gave you plenty of proof of how logic has nothing to do with your god
" You obviously haven't been following European culture for about 150 years."
it was boring and worthless no point

Puritan Lad said...

And your proof, in a materialistic worldview, is nonsense. The very fact that you must rely on some sort of cognitive function in order to define what a square is or what a "logical absolute" is makes Realism an unworkable and unjustifiable epistemology. They are merely ideas that are the result of materialistic laws operation upon human neurons. In other words, if Realism were valid, we would have no basis by which we could know it to be valid. Realism owes the human mind no truthful concepts. Realism is to atheism what Deism is to theology.

Puritan Lad said...

BTW: There was no "proof" given, only assertions.

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

no wait it seems i was mentioning the 4th part of your knowledge of god series when i was talking of euro-centrism, but any rate i also read the 5th part, and it is filled with fallacies of division. Just because the composition of your mind is made up of "mindless" things doesn't mean the mind is! Its like saying because the lugnuts tha tmake up a jet engine cannot fly, the engine also cannot fly!

Tatsu-no-guchi said...

"There was no "proof" given, only assertions."

no it was all proof, i showed how logic is not dependent on your god

"They are merely ideas that are the result of materialistic laws operation upon human neurons."

no they are descriptions of reality

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi: "Just because the composition of your mind is made up of "mindless" things doesn't mean the mind is!"

Response: Whoa there. Are you suggesting that there is something behind the operation of the human mind that is, itself, not mindless?

I agree. I wonder what that could be. I have an answer. What is yours? Natural selection doesn't seem to provide any.

Puritan Lad said...

Tatsu-no-guchi: "The logical absolutes -- the law of identity, the law of non-contradiction, the law of excluded middle -- are a set of descriptive statements which describes fundamental property of the nature of reality."

Response: That's not a proof. That's an assertion. It is merely an attempt to establish Realism as a default worldview.

There are no philosophical freebies Tatsu. If you are going to offer "proof" for Realism, then please provide the antecedent and the necessary consequence. Just stating it as a brute fact doesn't make it so.