Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Andalucia - switchbacks accident and Sye's "script"


Had a great day Sunday with Switchbacks, doing singletrack trails with group of 6 plus tutor Michael. Was excellent, except at end we did a 3ft drop off, and when I compressed my fork for lift off, nothing happened as I had a front puncture (Michael tells me) so hit ground hard. Lost consciousness for a moment, woke making horrible breathing noise as I was winded. Nothing broken but can no longer drive or raise either arm from shoulder.

This does not prevent me typing, however, and replying to Sye, who's is being very tenacious...

I should say, Sye, that I think you are a bright, and nice, bloke - and obviously concerned for our well-being too, which is why you are pursuing this - but are using your intelligence to create a sort of intellectual black hole from which you cannot now escape.

In this case, you seem to have constructed a kind of script, as Paul C. nicely puts it, that has us, and you, going round and round in circles, with no way out but the one your script determines. It's like dealing with one of those cold call telesales scripts, where, whatever you say in response to the double-glazing salesperson's questions, you will inevitably find yourself directed to "Buy!" - their script allows for no other answer. Cults are fond of these scripts too... They have little to do with logic, and much to do with - marketing.

I guess you, Sye, think I am simply under the influence of Satan...

Anyway, do please respond to my latest posts if you get time.

111 comments:

Sam Norton said...

Hi Stephen,
I agree with your comments on Sye's argument. I wonder if you have any thoughts on this short article by Abp Rowan?

The Barefoot Bum said...

I got sucked into discussions on transcendental argument and presuppositional metaphysics on IIDB about seven years ago. Never in my life has more ink (in a metaphorical sense) been spilled to so little effect.

You have opened a very tightly compressed can of worms. Best of luck to you.

Stephen Law said...

Thanks for the link, Sam. Hadn't seen that article before. I am familiar with those kind of moves, though (Hegel, MacIntyre, etc.). It's standard, Enlightenment-bashing stuff.

It also provides a convenient smear against anyone like myself who is (i) keen on applying reason to what the Archbishop believes, and (ii) is (inevitably) an individual, as philosophically naive, stuck in an outmoded conception of rationality. Thus deflecting attention away from the fact that what the Archbishop believes is, rationally speaking, a load of cobblers.

Harsh, I know. Especially as it's all dressed up in such avuncular and sage-like tones. Makes me sound like a crude, unthinking brute and him like the font of all wisdom.

anticant said...

Rowan Williams: "In the pre-modern view, as a human being you were capable, unlike other creatures, of knowing who you were. You knew that you were given the task of using your freedom of choice to act coherently, in accordance with the whole flow of the universe OR, MORE SIMPLY, THE CREATIVE WILL OF GOD".

Twaddle, twaddle, twaddle. Etc. etc. etc. This, of course, is what Archbishops are paid for.

Maragon said...

Good morning, Stephen.

I just wanted to drop by and say how much I admire your rebuttals to Sye. I've learned alot just in the few days that I've lurked around your blog.

I did, however, want to pass along a bit of a warning - the same warning I myself got when I engaged Sye here. Regardless of how good your points are, regardless of how well you conduct yourself, regardless of how many times you attempt to explain why he is wrong, regardless of how many times you ask him to answer to or account for 'x' - in Syes mind, Sye can't ever really lose. And at the point Sye feels that he IS losing, he'll simply start employing ad homienem attacks and leave your blog for the next. There's a pretty clear trail across blogs and sites like ours where Sye has been refuted over and over again. Yet never changes his mind or his tactics - and he never concedes anything.

In fact, I'm still waiting for Sye to explain;
why we must be 100% certain about something in order to make a relevant and useful claim(accounting for falsifiability and the fact that science is based upon us NEVER being that certain),
how him claiming that he knows his god will keep nature uniform based on the promises of that god is anything less than circular,
why we need to be 100% certain about some things(ie the existence of god, uniformity of nature) but it is acceptable to be less than certain about other things - and how Sye decides what we need be 100% certain of,
and last, but not least, I'm waiting for Sye to debunk random numbers - he told me that he doesn't 'believe' in randomness.

I'm waiting on my answers from a week ago because Sye got trapped, changed his tactic to ones where he ignored my points and insinuated I was ugly(which as we all know, makes his points extra valid)and ended up leaving my blog, for this one.

Obviously your arguments in the realm of philosophy will(and are) be better than my own, but I just wanted to point out the fact that hundreds of people have refuted Syes hogwash, and the fact that he continually gets refuted has absolutely no effect on his arguments or attitudes.

I wish you luck, and I hope that you can get him to concede - rather than arbitrarily insulting you and running off into the bloggosphere in search for someone more gullible.

Regards,

Meagan

Anonymous said...

How successful I wonder is the transcendental argument? I don't mean in terms of its philosophical merits but in terms of ts ability to persuade people to the cause of its proponents? I imagine both Sam and Stephen have had experience of converts to and from their respective points of view, and probably have an idea of the sorts of things that have convinced those concerned.

I wonder if, in fact, the "script based" approach is on the whole working against Christianity a bit like the famous Strand cigarette advert?

Any thoughts?

Reynold said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reynold said...

Wait a minute...it just hit me:
Had a great day Sunday with Switchbacks, doing singletrack trails with group of 6 plus tutor Michael. Was excellent, except at end we did a 3ft drop off, and when I compressed my fork for lift off, nothing happened as I had a front puncture (Michael tells me) so hit ground hard. Lost consciousness for a moment, woke making horrible breathing noise as I was winded. Nothing broken but can no longer drive or raise either arm from shoulder.

This does not prevent me typing, however, and replying to Sye, who's is being very tenacious...

How in blazes could I have missed that? If you hadn't had "accident" in the title, I'd have never read that part!

At least there's no broken bones. What does it say about us that we've seemed to have passed that right by?

If your doctor or physiotherapist said it's ok to type, go for it, but I would not do anything that could potentially mess you up.

get_education said...

Hi Stephen and partners in crime,

An intellectual black hole is a fitting description. I found it hard to follow your explanation in the linked thing. But that is ok, the words speak for themselves.

I was about to warn you about Sye before, but many guys were doing such a good job that I thought I would be able to learn something else behind Sye's "belief system."

My problem at defining the guy is that he often uses awful tactics, such as taking a bit of an explanation that you attempt, gives it an interpretation proper for his cause (ignoring your context, or even his own context), then mock your assertion and continue with his charade. All of this in your face. Then, after a few times, the obvious thing a person would do is answer to these insults. He then takes offense of course.

So, maybe he is sincere in describing himself a christian, maybe he has some sort of schizophrenia that does not allow him to see how obvious his "dirty tactics" are. I do not know. Overall, I catalog the guy as a troll. Whether unwilling troll I do not know, but a troll nonetheless.

I do not think there is a way of making him see his problems, logical or otherwise. Or he sees them but denies them. Whenever he feels he is in trouble he jumps into "I am not interested in ...", or "You have not answered my question ..." (even if you did), then the classic "How is this logical in your worldview, how do you account ..."

Sorry I did not warn you before, and thanks for those very interesting arguments.

G.E.

Papilio said...

Reynold:

I was thinking much the same until I read your post. Where, I thought, were the polite, if largely insincere, injunctions to 'get well soon'?

Well, be damned. Get well soon. Sincerely too! An inch the other way and you might be dead! Must be a miracle™!

I arrived late on the discussion and felt I had to read through all of it before casting a note into the cacophany. Overall impression: it would be possible to replace Sye with a robot, a device that was preprogrammed to come up with certain responses to certain stimuli... the conversation, though lengthy, has been over the same ground many times. However the rational posters try to draw him out, Sye always retreats into repetitive assertions that have been unsupported and severely challenged. But you knew that already - you all were here before.

The cosmic wombat angle Sye finds ridiculous (the premise that logic cannot exist without the wombat), but what he cannot see is that atheists find the premise equally ridiculous when God replaces the wombat. But perhaps the wombat is a bridge too far; let's replace it with a God as popular as the Christian one, namely Allah. Does Sye balk at the premise now? You bet.

Atheists balk at the premise whatever entity is entailed, Sye balks if any entity but his version of God is entailed. If he can accept this much, he may also begin to see that his selection of Christianity over another faith or none was at least in part due to historical accident - where he was born, the faith of his parents, &c. That he treats others' faiths as unlikely should give him some reason to empathise with those who doubt the variety he adheres to.

Nutcasenightmare said...

To get_education's description of Sye:

Yeah! That fits Sye's personality exactly! Taking things out of context, evading the main questions, selectively choosing what to answer, (usually out of context) strawman arguments, ad nauseum, ad hominem, hypocrisy, etc!

I never really thought of him being a 'troll'; now I feel a little guilty for feeding the troll. I admit that his stubborness did really annoy me.

Kyle s said...

I've been reading some of the posts on this debate (not all of them) and i think you're giving Sye a very hard time.

I agree with what Sye is saying, at least, I agree with his conclusions. I believe that all reason is grounded in God. However, I find statements like that extremely difficult to argue for, and I tend to avoid arguing for them simply because I've never seen any come close to being convinced of them.

Here is a thought I have that may go some way to persuading people that what Sye is saying has some truth in it:

When we talk about laws we can divide them into two categories: laws that you cannot break, like the law of gravity; and laws that you can break like muder is illegal.

Clearly logic is a set of laws that can be broken. I can reason like the following if i wish:

1. The sky is blue
2. All blue things are coloured
3. Therefore, today is Tuesday

There is nothing to stop me doing this. However, I think most of us would like to say that there is something wrong, or defective with that argument.

What is it that makes a something law if you can break it. It can't just be a general agreement because agreeing that 'you shouldn't wave at people with your right hand' wouldn't make it a law unless it was enforced in some sense.

There must be some sense in which breaking the law has a negative consequence.

How does breaking the laws of logic have negative consequences?

The theist can say something like: your thinking will be out of step with the creator's or things will not go well for you in his universe because he has created it based on these laws. Or something else like that. This clearly needs more work, and for that I am sorry.

What can the atheist say?

It exists in the platonic world of the forms? I don't see how this helps because go against the forms would have negative consequences since the forms do not have any causal efficacy.

It is just the way the universe is - a brute fact? Maybe that is so, but it means that our understand of logic is seriously flawed. It would mean that experiments would be a better way of understanding logic, not abstract reasoning.

I think the intuition behind some of what Sye is saying is that there seem to be promising avenues for the theist to claim that there are negative consequences involved in breaking the laws of logic but appealing to God. On the other hand it is not clear that the atheist can give a reason for following the laws of logic as opposed to not following them.

Andrew Louis said...

Kyle, (nice, I think someone really should help Sye out a little)
you're sort of following then, in an absolute world view?

So perhaps you can do what Sye could not? and that is:

Prove, "that absolute truth exists", is a valid proposition, and give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

get_education said...

Kyle,

"I've been reading some of the posts on this debate (not all of them) and i think you're giving Sye a very hard time."

I take your meaning to be that these guys have been giving Sye an "unjust" hard time. Is this what you are saying?

I would suggest you truly try and understand both sides of the discussion before coming to such a conclusion, and to separate your heart-held beliefs so that you can properly see what is going on. Most probably you are allowing yourself to be deceived by a tool, or script as Stephen defines it, designed with such a purpose, deception disguised as rationalization. Pay close attention. Sye convinces many christians because he is talking, at least apparently, for christianity. Try to look at it like you do not know which side is rational. But truly.

See if Sye fits anything I said, for instance.

You made little if any sense, so after you weight things better come back. I do not want to insult your intelligence by answering harshly without giving you a chance to take a second look.

G.E.

get_education said...

Hey Stephen,

I hope you get well soon.

Anyway, I reread, now carefully, your post about intellectual black holes. Wow, I got scared.

Thanks, this blog is very interesting.

G.E.

Kyle s said...

G.E.: "You made little if any sense, so after you weight things better come back. I do not want to insult your intelligence by answering harshly without giving you a chance to take a second look."

Kyle S: Wow! That was patronising.

I do agree with Sye's conclusion. I'm just not sure he has presented a very persuasive argument for it. I'm also not sure that I have ever seen a persuasive argument for such a conclusion.

However, I wished to add my thoughts on the issue to the mix.

The reason that I thought that people were giving him a hard time is that some people seem to be suggesting that Sye is irrational, or deceptive or something else equally evil. I think these comments are unfair. I don't know Sye, so I can't really comment, but nothing I have seen here leads me to believe that he is any of those things.

Also, what Sye is saying is not really his own idea (and I'm sure he would admit that). He is speaking out of school of Christian thought that has included people such as Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen and John Frame. These people are/where serious academics, so I think it is unfair to dismiss this argument as some crackpot idea.

Andrew Louis: "Prove, "that absolute truth exists", is a valid proposition, and give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic."

Kyle S: If you deny any kind of absolute truth then isn't this whole argument pointless?

I reread some of your previous posts and I think your understanding of absolute truth is slightly flawed.

You say that propositions don't exist without language.

That is not true. Sentences don't exist without language, but sentences are not the same as propositions.

1. I have brown hair

2. Kyle has brown hair

When I assert 1 and 2 I am asserting the same proposition each time, but I am not using the same sentence.

Nutcasenightmare said...

Kyle S: "When we talk about laws we can divide them into two categories: laws that you cannot break, like the law of gravity; and laws that you can break like muder is illegal. Clearly logic is a set of laws that can be broken."

Hi Kyle!

You have to differentiate between breaking, as in disproving, and breaking, as in ignoring.

You can ignore the laws of logic, (fallacy) but that's entirely different from disproving logic.

For example, saying that
"All men are mortal, Socrates is a man, therefore Socrates was immortal" ignores the laws of logic, but does not disprove the laws of logic, or prove that Socrates was immortal.

Likewise, ignoring the laws of gravity will not disprove gravity. Walking off a cliff convinced that you won't fall won't stop you from falling.

=============

Kyle S: "He is speaking out of school of Christian thought that has included people such as Cornelius Van Til, Greg Bahnsen and John Frame. These people are/where serious academics, so I think it is unfair to dismiss this argument as some crackpot idea."

This is sort of an appeal to authority... ideas should stand for their merits, not the presenter, for anyone can present an idea.

Besides, 'serious authorities' HAVE been wrong, even in their own field. Aristotle thought heavier objects fell quicker. Newton thought gravity worked across distances instantaneously. Einstein once thought that quantum mechanics was a sham.

But you're right. We shouldn't dismiss it as a crockpot idea off the bat. We prove it's a crackpot idea. Then dismiss it.

=============

Hope you consider these thoughts!
~Nutcasenightmare

Andrew Louis said...

Kyle,
You’ve merely made a claim about my understanding; you haven't actually answered the questions.

My idea of Systemic Truth is here:
http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2008/07/sytemic-truth-vs-absolute-truth.html

Let me take a moment for what it's worth(and not much) to explain my position. I AM NOT an atheist, I have no problem with the existence of "god". My problem is with the existence of the exclusive "Christian god". This is a perfect example (as one might say from the Buddhist perspective) of mistaking the finger for the moon, and nothing more then religious absolutism and ethnocentrism. In my view religion is merely a language for getting at "something", and the fact that religions are different is merely a reflection of cultural differences.

My problem with Sye's argument is the idea of absolute idealism. It is the hallmark of Jihads’ from the theist side, and spawned atheist characters such as pol pot and Stalin. It is a poison. I'd even go so far as to argue that my own country believes so much in the absolute nature of capitalism that it marches off into the middle east for lust and conquest (but that's just talk).

With respect to Sye,
if I deny the existence of absolute truth and Sye cannot account for it, then HIS argument is pointless. If you allow that sort of talk, then you allow such absolute claims to God's that spawn from specific books as apposed to a mere language that we all share across the globe. People often claim that religion has caused some pretty horrible things, but in all cases it wasn't religion, but absolutism; and that is Sye's claim, plain and simple.

I wish Sye the best with God, I honestly do, but I fear his absolute idealism.

Now of course I could be wrong about all this, but perhaps you can see where I'm coming from.

Andrew Louis said...

Kyle,
sounds like Sye has gotten to you.

Well congrats Sye! You got one!

get_education said...

No Kyle, it was not patronizing, but take it whichever way you like.

We know that Sye is using presuppositional apologetics, and that such things were proposed by others before Sye. I does not give him any more credit.

As for his deceitful ways, as I said, you decided not to see them. He is deceitful, and his argument is crackpot. No amount of "academics" wishing badly to find something to strengthen their belief will do. Self delusion and designing of a treacherous and fallacious strategy so that the "other side" will always look unacceptable is just that, a script as Stephen described.

Now, as of unfair, just see how Sye says we have to accept his worldview, even if we do not like it, yet he will not accept any other worldview because he does not like them, or how once confronted with his own contradictions he will just jump back into his position of "I do not care how others justify logic, but how YOU do," but then changes (his latest post) to "I'd like to know how they can exist, in ANY, preferably your, atheist wordlview, expecially considering the random, material nature of the universe which most atheists espouse."

Lots of heavily charged premises. And charged premises are clearly treacherous.

So, charged premises, changing his position according to his convenience, changing the meaning and forgetting the context to his convenience, and so on. If you do not think any of these are deceitful and irrational you have a very strange way of defining these terms.

Now, your arguments did not make a lot of sense. I think, but I might be wrong, that your whole complain is that disengaging the possibility that god (the christian god?) is the source of logic would have negative consequences, but that is the most I got. If this is what you said. I could not care less about debating such pointless and unsupported statement.

G.E.

Kyle s said...

Hi Nutcasenightmare,

even if you ignore the law of gravity you are still obliged to follow it, you cannot do otherwise.

This is not the case with logic. When I said you can break the laws of logic I did not mean that in so doing you disproved them, just that nothing forces you to follow them in the way you are forced to follow the law of gravity.

To Andrew Louis:

I don't see why you think that proof precedes truth. I believe many things to be true that I don't have a proof for. For example, I believe that the Holocaust happened, but I don't have a proof that it did.

Also, absolute truth is not the same as necessary truth. A necessary truth is one where the contradictory is not possible. 'My hair is brown' is an absolute truth, but it is clearly possible that it was otherwise.

You say that it is impossible for there to be truths before there are minds, fine, God is eternal, so truths can be eternal since they could exist in the mind of God.

Kyle s said...

G.E.:

"Now, your arguments did not make a lot of sense. I think, but I might be wrong, that your whole complain is that disengaging the possibility that god (the christian god?) is the source of logic would have negative consequences, but that is the most I got. If this is what you said. I could not care less about debating such pointless and unsupported statement."

Kyle:

Hi GE,

I was wondering how we account for calling the laws of logic laws when we can blantantly ignore them.

It seems to me that the theist has some promising ways to give an account of this, but I can't see what account the atheist can give.

However, perhaps someone will prove me wrong my sketching an account.

I'm not claiming that "refusing to regard God as the source of knowledge will have negative consequences". Rather, don't we regard laws as being something which have negative consequences if we don't follow them. Otherwise how do we distinguish between laws and generally accepted principles?

Andrew Louis said...

Kyle,
I'm not talking about
"necessary" truth. Something being "necessary" may also fit the systemic mantra anyway.

If you don't think the proof is valid Kyle, then answer my questions:
Prove, "that absolute truth exists", is a valid proposition, and give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

That your hair is brown is NOT an absolute truth. In any case, you must first prove it to be a valid proposition. If you believe that your hair is brown is an absolute truth, then it is you who don't understand what absolute means. For something to be absolute it must be the case for every possible circumstance (eternal, and not relative). Sure systemically it is true your hair is brown now, but what color was it before you were born?

(again, I left the link to my idea of Systemic Truth if you'd like to read it first)

Kyle s said...

Andrew I'm not sure what you mean by 'valid proposition'. (btw I did read your link)

Also, absolute truths to not have to be eternal.

However, I won't press this point.

Let's just say 'God exists' is an absolute truth.

I realise that i have not done what you asked for and shown that this is not systemic, but I don't know how one is supposed to go about doing that.

get_education said...

Hi Kyle,

Thanks, this helps a heck of a lot. So the question is how can we justify calling these things laws. I am not sure "laws" is the most proper term, but that is beyond the point, your question has a simple answer, which you, actually, provided before (now I got it):

We can call them laws, because if we break them, then rationalizing does not work properly. This is a negative consequence that does not require a god. Now negative consequences of improper reasoning can vary in magnitude. For instance, If you reason improperly that gravity will fail within the next two minutes, and you walk out a precipice, then there you have one obvious negative consequence of "breaking the laws of logic." Other negative consequences might not be that damaging, but there you are.

G.E.

Andrew Louis said...

You said Kyle:
How does one go about proving that something is not systemic.
EXACTLY: If Sye cannot account for it, then he has nothing. There you have it.

You don't want to press the point, I respect that. So I'll stop here.

Sye TenB said...

Glad you're okay. My only injuries from today were slight sunburn and sore feet :-)


Stephen said: "I guess you, Sye, think I am simply under the influence of Satan..."

Actually, I think your sin, like mine, comes from within. Still though, Satan is certainly cheering you on.

Nutcasenightmare said...

Kyle S: "When I said you can break the laws of logic I did not mean that in so doing you disproved them, just that nothing forces you to follow them in the way you are forced to follow the law of gravity."

Premise One: Gravity says that if I step off the cliff, I will plummet.
Premise Two: I stepped off the cliff.
Conclusion: I plummet.

Even if you ignore logic, you are still subject to it. You can choose not to use logic in an argument, but likewise you can choose not to consider gravity in a physics equation. It still affects you.

(Side note: The laws of gravity are mathematical, and arguably, math is a form of logic.)

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "Premise One: Gravity says that if I step off the cliff, I will plummet."

On what basis do you proceed with the assumption that you will plummet when you step off the cliff?

Cheers,

Sye

Sam Norton said...

Stephen - it would be fair to say I'm persuaded of the anti-Enlightenment arguments (philosophically not politically) made by people like MacIntyre, Toulmin, Taylor etc. Have you ever engaged with those people publicly, that is, is there anything of yours that I could read on this?

anticant said...

There are so many conceptual, epistemological, and linguistic confusions in this discussion that it would be nice if, instead of continuing the futile attempt to lure Sye off his mental treadmill [why are we trying to convert him, anyway? His fallacies are obvious without engaging with him in endlessly repetitive debate], some the more experienced philosophers here provided some critical analysis.

For instance, I would like to know what actual basis there is for the concept of ‘absolute truth’? If there is such a thing, how does it differ from relative truths? i.e. if there are no absolutes, how do you know that one thought or action is more true or less true, or better or worse, than another? In opposition to Sye, I think that is more than just a matter of personal preference, and that there are valid values even if truth is not absolute. What do we mean by “truth”, anyway?

And what do we mean by “laws”? As someone with a legal training, I find the assumption that there are “laws” of logic, mathematics, or gravity a misuse of the term. These are not ‘laws’ in the human, legal sense of properly constituted rulings by a legislative body – they are statements of observed regularities which enable us to make sense of the physical universe and to think coherently. There is no penalty for breaking them, except the inconvenience [such as walking off a cliff if you don’t take gravity seriously] which results from flouting them. As Kyle S. says, they are simply a description, formulated through observation, experiment, and experience, of the way the universe is – a brute fact. They don’t require any further justification, or the sanction of a hypothetical divine approval.

What Sye, Kyle S. and other theists attempt to do is to convince us, having convinced themselves, that the figment of their imaginations they call “God” – which they are unable to describe in a convincing or coherent way – is a brute fact: not merely part of the way the universe is, but its very essence. Despite historic efforts through 2000 years by Aquinas and other profound theologians, they have not yet succeeded in doing this, and it is unlikely that it is about to happen here. Sye is not irrational and intentionally deceptive; he is irrational and sincere, like all too many religious folk. Dangerously so – as Andrew points out, absolutist idealism is totalitarian poison.

Kyle S asks: “If you deny any kind of absolute truth then isn't this whole argument pointless?” My answer to that is “No” [using Sye’s method of argument by assertion]. No doubt Stephen and others who do believe in absolute truth will point out why I’m wrong – if I am.

Kyle S says: “I believe that the Holocaust happened, but I don't have a proof that it did.” In that case, he is remarkably ignorant. There is abundant contemporaneously documented proof of the Holocaust and its grisly consequences. Where is the contemporaneously documented proof of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus? The Gospels were all written many years after the alleged event. The insoluble problem about religion is that believers and non-believers will never agree about the facts, whatever they are. Which is why so much argument about religion is sheer waste of time.

Anti-Sye said...

Stephen won, but of course, Sye denies it. So the question is not who won, but how long before Sye's stubborness and schizophrenic stereotypy makes Stephen snap?

Place ye bets:
http://raytractors.blogspot.com/2008/07/sye-vsstephen-law.html

=====================

Nutcasenightmare said: "Premise One: Gravity says that if I step off the cliff, I will plummet."

Sye: "On what basis do you proceed with the assumption that you will plummet when you step off the cliff?"

Stepping off a cliff, (presumably with no glider) and not plummeting?

"Please don’t waste my time arguing something which neither of us believe."

(Does that sound familiar, Sye? It SHOULD. YOU said it.)

Oh fine, do you want me to show why you WOULD plummet? Due to "impossibility of the contrary".

(Yes, I'm honoring you, Sye. I will honor you even more by ignoring all protests without justification of doing so, accuse you of taking drugs, and assert my premise ad nauseum with no proof for it.)

===============

Beers,

the Anti-Sye

Anti-Sye said...

Anticant: "why are we trying to convert him, [Sye] anyway? His fallacies are obvious without engaging with him in endlessly repetitive debate."

Mockingbird: "Is that absolutely true? How do fallacies fit in your atheistic worldview? By which standard of logic do you determine fallacies? {Why am I completely ignoring Systemic logic, axioms, direct observation, and all other secular justifications for logic?} You haven't started drinking have you?"

This is why mockingbirds don't hang out on blogs.

====================

Beers,

~the Anti-Sye

Anonymous said...

anticant - I agree the use of "law" has confused things rather. It isn't helped by the historical accident of the names of many of them e.g. Newtons Laws of Motion, Archimedes Principle, Einsteins Theory of Relativity and the list goes on. There is little to allow a non-expert to disentangle the descriptive from the necessary. It would appear that the whole presuppositional apologetics thing and Kyle S's more thoughtful attempt stem from this confusion and the possible senses of "broken".

A legal type law may be broken in the sense that it is possible to act in a way which is not in accordance with it and requires someone to enforce any penalties or consequences of so doing.

Breaking this type of law in this way will not remove it from the statute books.

A logical type law may not be broken in the same sense because it stems from the definition of something.
It requires no agency to "enforce" it.
Kyles example deduction of the day of the week from the colour of the sky is "against the law" because it does not conform to the set of definitions of a valid deduction.

If Kyle were somehow to "break" one of the mathematical type laws, then what he would have done is to show that what we thought was such law was incorrectly described or not a law in the first place. There are no nasty consequences (Kyle may in fact get a paper published and possibly a lucrative book deal or lecture tour on the back of it) because it wasn't a "law" in the first place.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Reynold has a point that made me re-read what Stephen said about his accident. I have to admit I glossed over it when you said you could still type.

"Nothing broken but can no longer drive or raise either arm from shoulder."

Stephen, it sounds like you may have torn ligaments or tendons, which take a long time to heal. I know, because I did it in one of my ankles once. I could walk fine, not even a limp, but I couldn't run for 2 months, not even to run across the road.

I've said everything I have to say to Sye. But you've answered it in one paragraph, by explaining what an 'atheist world view' is. It's brilliant, absolutely true, and I'm not even an atheist.

Regards, Paul.

Sye TenB said...

Paul P Mealing said: "I've said everything I have to say to Sye. But you've answered it in one paragraph, by explaining what an 'atheist world view' is."

Um Paul, I fully agree with Stephens definition of an atheist worldview.

"It's brilliant, absolutely true, and I'm not even an atheist."

What constitutes 'absolute truth' according to your worldview?

Andrew Louis said...

Guess I was on the wrong thread:

Sye,
I'll make this easier for you. You say:
"The laws of logic are universal, abstract, and invariant."

State a "law of logic" and show how it is absolute and not systemic.

Keep in mind that once you start typing, you're doing so RELATIVE to a system of proof with you (your mind, your language, what you propose) and everything around you as the method of resolution. So, I'm not really sure how you're going to do this, but anyway, you may proceed.

Say something for me like, "can the sun be the sun and not the sun?" What I love about you saying things like this is that, THE SUN IS NOT TRUE (lets say it together, "the sun is true?", sounds odd doesn't it Sye). That the sun exists is not absolute, nor is it that it's yellow, or hot, or bigger then the earth. Although it is systemically true that all these propositions are true right now.

Things, remember, do not hold the property truth. The only thing true about things, is what we say ABOUT them. In the same way, the laws of logic are not true. What we say about logic (meta-logic) however, may be either true of false.

So come on Sye, let's get to your proof now... Pretty please, with some sugar on top, and a cherry.

SYE: Andrew, is that absolutely true?

ANDREW: Oh that's right, you don't know how to answer questions

Kyle S said...

I think there is still some confusion about laws.

I agree that calling the law of gravity, the laws of logic and the law that you will go to prison if you murder someone all laws is very confusing and can lead to error.

However, what I am trying to do is to unravel this, and understand what we mean when we say that the laws of logic are laws.

With the law of gravity you have no choice but to follow it. You can ignore it, or talk like it didn't exist, but if you walk of a cliff you can't just dedcide to float, you will fall.

Laws of logic, on the other hand, do give you a choice. You can believe that

1. All men are mortal

and

2. Socrates is a man

You can even recognise that

3. Socrates is mortal

follows from 1 and 2, but that does not stop you believeing 1 and 2 and asserting

4. Socrates is immortal

You are free to do that. This is what I mean by breaking the law. You see what logic dictates, but you decide to go another way. Notice that this sort of thing is not an option when it comes to the law of gravity.

What could the laws of logic be?

1. True by definition

This is impossible. If you don't believe me look up 'Truth by Convention' by Quine. If people are upset by this appeal to authority i will try to sketch the argument later.

2. Are they a description

I'm not sure what they would be a description of. The way that humans happen to think - this doesn't seem to give them very much authority, because why would we think that the way humans happen to think was a very good way.

A description of the nature of the universe? This would make the laws of logic based on experience and experiment. I don't see how you would go about this without already assuming they were true. Perhaps someone can help me understand how this would be possible?

3. Something else?

Can anyone think of another option?


I'm trying to think of ways that atheists could explain logic.

Andrew: When I said I didn't want to press the point I meant about whether or not absolute truths are eternal.

Why do you think that "God exists" couldn't be an absolute truth?

Andrew Louis said...

Kyle,
I've already answered all these questions. It's you and Sye's turn.

If you're so convinced by absolutes, then prove it. You're becoming like Sye by the fact that you don't answer anything. I've been quite clear about my stance.

Paul C said...

Kyle:

However, what I am trying to do is to unravel this, and understand what we mean when we say that the laws of logic are laws.

They're simply words that we've inherited from our intellectual history through the mixed-up English language. The laws of logic are just tools to help us think more clearly.

I'm not sure what they would be a description of. The way that humans happen to think - this doesn't seem to give them very much authority, because why would we think that the way humans happen to think was a very good way.

Humans don't think in a very good way. That's why logic is useful, because it helps to strip things down. Logic is not the only mode of thinking, nor always the most useful.

A description of the nature of the universe? This would make the laws of logic based on experience and experiment. I don't see how you would go about this without already assuming they were true.

In what way do you need to assume that A=a in order to observe A=a?

Anonymous said...

kyle S : Re Socrates mortality.

Your assertion of (4) surely does not "break" the law though any more than your protestations to the contrary would save you from the clutches of gravity. It simply leads to an incorrect or unsupportable conclusion.

The other attempt on breaking this law might come from Socrates himself. Supposing he demonstrated immortality to our satisfaction (tricky I know but lets stick with it..) and also his humanity We would rather revise our belief in (1) wouldn't we since we would appear to have found an example which disproved it?

i suppose the analogy for gravity would be the helicopter. It may defy gravity until it runs out of fuel but it does not "break the law of gravity"

I will have a look for Quine's paper. Don't suppose you have a ready URL do you?

if logic is a description of how humans think we do not need to look further. It may not be very good but it reflects the universe of our minds allowing us to reason about ourselves and take a fair stab at the external universe - if there is one.

Anonymous said...

If "The laws of logic are universal, abstract, and invariant."

Why do we need to justify them?

Kyle S said...

This is just a quick one, I'll to respond to some people later.

Andrew,

I'm still not sure what you're asking for. You seem to want a proof that doesn't assume that there is any kind of language. Also, your description of absolute truths seems to suggest that you think that things are only true after they have been proved.

Do you accept this:

'God exists' is an absolute truth because God can make up his own system that is eternally sustained by him and in it he is eternally aware of his own existence by introspection (if God does introspection). I'm not really sure that you will find that satisfying.

Also, if you don't think there is any absolute truth, then I will just say that Sye's argument is valid in his system, and why are you trying to burden him with your own?

Andrew Louis said...

Kyle,
This is really simple. State for me something that you believe to be absolute, and how it is not systemic. Absolute as in, not relative, true for every possible circumstance; it’s that simple.
We have not even got to the point about GOD yet, but you’re cutting right to the chase. If you believe the laws of logic to be absolute, then state for me a law of logic that you believe to be absolute and how it is not systemic. Just pick one, if you believe them to be absolute, then throw something out there and lets see a proof.

Kyle,
You said:
”Also, if you don't think there is any absolute truth, then I will just say that Sye's argument is valid in his system, and why are you trying to burden him with your own?”

Kyle, look; Sye’s arguments ARE NOT valid in his system unless he can prove that he has a valid system. As it stand I’ve proven his system wrong and he cannot account for it. For his proof that God exists to even get off the ground he needs to first establish this. Further more I am “burdening him” with my argument because at the start Sye’s main question was “how do you account for logic”. Notice he qualified that with “invariant” laws of logic to suggest absolutism, so from the start he essentially says if you don’t subscribe to my world view I will not debate with you. But I’ve done just the opposite and simply proved his absolute worldview invalid and without proof.

Again, all you or Sye have to do is give me a law, just one, and prove that it’s absolute and not systemic. If you can’t do that, then you’re proceeding from one assumption to the next, to the next, to the next and you have no proof. You’re just waving your hands in the air.

Andrew Louis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Louis said...

Kyle,
I'll help you with a formal definition of what is generaly considered absolute:

something that is conceived or that exists independently and not in relation to other things, something that is not relative, Something that is true for every prossible circumstance.

Name one THING, LAW, whathaveyou, that exists "INDEPENDENTLY" and NOT in relation to other THINGS, is "NOT RELATIVE" and is true for "EVERY POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCE".

Do you understand now, what I mean by Systemic?

anticant said...

Kyle S asks: "Do you accept this:

'God exists' is an absolute truth because God can make up his own system that is eternally sustained by him and in it he is eternally aware of his own existence by introspection (if God does introspection).

No.

Andrew says: "Name one THING, LAW, whathaveyou, that exists "INDEPENDENTLY" and NOT in relation to other THINGS, is "NOT RELATIVE" and is true for "EVERY POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCE".

I anticipate that Sye and Kyle will answer: "God".

Doesn't get us much further, really!

Anonymous said...

andrew -

So the law which states "There can be no absolute truths" is what?

Sye TenB said...

Anonymous said: ” If "The laws of logic are universal, abstract, and invariant."
Why do we need to justify them?”


Because not all (read only one) worldview is consistent with universal, abstract, invariant entities, such as the laws of logic.

When the Bible speaks of people being “without excuse” for denying God, this is one of the reasons. People use logic, without paying heed to the only possible source of logic. It’s not such a big deal that people cannot, or refuse to, answer me, but when they stand before God, and have no answers, the stakes are higher. When they stand before God, and say: “I don’t have to justify logic, or morality, or my ability to do science,” they will learn that such a response will not serve them well.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Kyle,
there is no law that says that, it simply doesn't make sense to even say it. You can't say that it's absolutely impossible, that's meaningless.

Which is why I state that you must first prove that it's a valid proposition.

Anticant:
they can certainly answer God, which I'm fine with. But if that's all they have they have no claim to absolute ideas, and no claim to a proof.

Reynold said...

Sye TenB:
When the Bible speaks of people being “without excuse” for denying God, this is one of the reasons. People use logic, without paying heed to the only possible source of logic.

Where do you get the idea that your god is the only "possible" source of logic? Can you show that without him, "logic" could not exist?

You made the claim, time to back it up. Difficult, since you've never been able to point to any bible verses that enumerate the laws of logic, just those that make similar assertions that you do.

Perhaps it's the greek gods who came up with logic, or allah, or Asmodeus, the OverLord of Baator?

Sye TenB said...

Reynold said: "Where do you get the idea that your god is the only "possible" source of logic? Can you show that without him, "logic" could not exist?"

This is true by the impossibility of the contrary, no other worldview can account for universal, abstract, invariant entities.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”Mockingbird: "Is that absolutely true? How do fallacies fit in your atheistic worldview? By which standard of logic do you determine fallacies?

I don’t blame you for not posting under your real handle after that ‘chess’ fiasco :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Reynold said...

Sye TenB:
Reynold said: "Where do you get the idea that your god is the only "possible" source of logic? Can you show that without him, "logic" could not exist?"


This is true by the impossibility of the contrary, no other worldview can account for universal, abstract, invariant entities.
Mere assertion. Where is the argument? Can't find any bible verses to show that your god even knows what the laws of logic are?

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”Please don’t waste my time arguing something which neither of us believe."

The difference being, I have given you the basis for my beliefs, what is the basis for your belief that gravity will ‘work’ when you jump of that cliff?

”Oh fine, do you want me to show why you WOULD plummet? Due to "impossibility of the contrary".

Nope, according to your worldview, there is no reason to expect gravity to ‘work’ even 5 seconds from now. So here’s a contrary for you. You will not plummet because gravity will not work when jump off that cliff. Why is that wrong?

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
I have given you the basis for my beliefs. Now:

"Name one THING, LAW, whathaveyou, that exists "INDEPENDENTLY" and NOT in relation to other THINGS, is "NOT RELATIVE" and is true for "EVERY POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCE".

Sye TenB said...

Andrew said: "Name one THING, LAW, whathaveyou, that exists "INDEPENDENTLY" and NOT in relation to other THINGS, is "NOT RELATIVE" and is true for "EVERY POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCE".

The law of non-contradiction.

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
you said:
"the law of contradiction"

Sorry, this won't do, but thankyou Sye for finally TRYING to answer my questions.

how does the "law of non-contradiction" not stand in relation to other things? How is it independent? How is it not systemic? Where in a priori space doth float the proposition without objects and subjects.

For things to contradict, there exists things in RELATION to contradict with, and thereofore it is NOT INDEPENDENT. Therefore it's systemic and relative to a system of proof and requires a method of resolution to come to a conclusion.

Sye TenB said...

@ Andrew Louis,

The law of non-contradiction exists in the absolute, independent mind of God.

Reynold said...

Sye TenB
The law of non-contradiction exists in the absolute, independent mind of God.
Can you show that it would not exist without him? Or is this just another mere assertion without argument on your part?


Still waiting for the bible verses where god explains the rules of logic, Sye.

anticant said...

If God's mind is absolute and independent, it surely has the freedom to break the rules of logic, including the law of non-contradiction.

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
ok Sye, I get where you're at now. So what your're saying is that you can't actually prove that anything like laws of logic so and so forth are actually absolute. And you can't actually prove that truth is not systemic. What you're saying is that since GOD is absolute (or so you assume), then so are the laws of logic, so on.

What this means is that, you start your argument out on an ASSUMPTION that there is absolute truth, and go on to assume that math and logic are absolute, and then go on to assume that morality is absolute, and then go on to assume that God is absolute.

So really, as Stephen initially suggested, you really have no proof at all for anything, other then to simply assert that God exists.

Which gets me to my original point. You use the assumed idea that laws are absolute to prove God, but since we now know that you freely admit you don't know this to be true (and can't prove it) you're really just working off the assumption (faith) of God.

Ahhhhh, yes. You definately lost now Sye, your argument is DONE.

Thankyou, drive through. ALL HAIL SYSTEMIC TRUTH

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "Sye,
ok Sye, I get where you're at now. So what your're saying is that you can't actually prove that anything like laws of logic so and so forth are actually absolute. And you can't actually prove that truth is not systemic. What you're saying is that since GOD is absolute (or so you assume), then so are the laws of logic, so on."


Nope. You asked a simple question, I gave you a simple answer. Nice straw-man though :-D

Heading out now, hope to get to more later.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Furthermore Sye,
if everything is absolute in the mind of God. Then EVERYTHING is absolute. Which is hopelessly meaningless and essentailly says nothing is absolute.

And.... We're right back to systemic truth.

POW! It's magic.

Anonymous said...

If the laws of logic are absolute they are not dependent on a worldview, otherwise they would be relative to that worldview.

If the laws of logic are absolute then they stand for themselves, they do not need to emanate from any god(s). Otherwise they would be relative to whichever god in question.

If we have to justify the laws of logic then they are not absolute, nor invariant.

Why would any other worldview imply that gravity will vary in five seconds? Can you prove it? Remember, you cannot use logic to prove it until you can justify logic.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew said: "Furthermore Sye,
if everything is absolute in the mind of God. Then EVERYTHING is absolute."


Lovely more straw-men. I really am heading out, but it looks like you don't need anyone to argue with anyways :-D

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Evidently you don't know what straw man means Sye.

At any rate, what form of logic are you using to evaluate my claim and how does that logic necessarily apply to it.

If your logic is absolute, the give me an example of an absolute truth and how it's not systemic.

oh right, you can't. We jsut covered that.

Anonymous said...

If Sye can use "logic" without properly justifying it, then we can use logic without properly justifying it.

If Sye can reject our justifications using "logic," then we can reject his using logic.

Papilio said...

Sye tenb: "Nope, according to your worldview, there is no reason to expect gravity to ‘work’ even 5 seconds from now."

Is it not a valid inference that, since we (all of us who have not been in space) have experienced gravity for our entire lives, we should expect that situation to be maintained? It would rather be illogical to announce the contrary, that we should expect gravity to flip 180 degrees or disappear altogether.

It is alleged that some 350 years ago a rather famous chap sat in an orchard and was struck by a falling apple, which prompted him to describe a law which states that two masses are attracted to one another by a force equal to the product of their masses divided by the square of the euclidean distance between them, multiplied by a derived constant called big G.

It's a law in the sense that it accurately describes what has been observed and further experiments confirm the predictions it makes.

I am happy to trust the countless observations and experiments that confirm the law of universal gravitation... and it is not even correct! It's roughly correct, but not quite. You will not be splitting hairs when you plummet from the cliff edge, of course. You may be praying for a miracle, if you believe in those. Atheists do not. Indeed I would put it this strongly: only theists believe that physical laws are inconsistent, to be broken at a whim of the Creator; the rest of us know we'll fall.

Anonymous said...

"Evidently you don't know what straw man means Sye."

He knows because god changed the meaning of "straw man," in a way that we all can be certain of it, so that Sye could "win" this argument. God will do this change of meaning any time Sye needs it. But wait, then logic is not absolute, but relative to whether Sye will win the debate using one set of laws or another, no, bad example, well, they are absolute to the particular instance when Sye needs a different definition to win the debate. Yes, now it is clear. For a second I thought Sye would lose the debate, but god changed the meaning of absolute just in time (in a way that we ALL can be certain of it, not just Sye, ALL of us, so stop pretending that the meaning did not change accordingly, you are without excuse)!

Sye's backup

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget that Sye accounts for logic by revelation because is was revealed to him that revelation is the only way to account for logic. Which is hopelessly circular.

Maragon said...

"This is true by the impossibility of the contrary, no other worldview can account for universal, abstract, invariant entities."

Wouldn't it be nice if he would provide proof for this?

get_education said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
get_education said...

Hey Maragon,

Wouldn't it be nice if he would provide proof for this?

He can't. When I asked him at the raytractors blog, he got cornered, so he said "I am not interested on discussing a system none of us belongs to. I want to know how do you account for the invariant ... in YOUR worldview."

So, since he can't he jumps back to "his interest."

Of course, he waits until people forget that he could not prove such exclusivity to bring it again (that his worldview is the only one that can account ...).

Then he wonders why we think he is dumb, irrational, and treacherous. anticult described Sye as irrational but sincere. But to me the treachery is so obvious that he cannot be honest in his methods. He might be sincere in believing in god, but treacherous in his methods, sure thing.

I think the guys here gave him a good deal of things to think about. I noticed he changed a few things that he stated to me at the raytractors, so I guess he just re-thinks the script and comes back. If nothing new occurs to him, then he just waits hoping people forgot. But Andy seems to have very good memory.

G.E.

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
Let me take a moment to reminisce in your crappie flop.

Here is how you lay down the argument on your website:
1.)Absolute truth exists
2.)Laws of Logic
3.)Laws of Math
4.)Laws of Science
5.)Absolute Moral Laws Exist
6.)All these laws are absolute and immaterial
7.)They are universal
8.)They are unchanging
9.)Only a universe Governed by god can 2 – 4 exist. God is universal and unchanging.

So Sye,
It’s clear that you proceed on the assumption that absolute truth exists, and that 2-5 are examples of that. So I’ve been attacking your idea of absolute truth with systemic truth, and you’ve never been able to refute or give an example of an absolute truth and how it is not systemic.

So I refrased the question in the following way:
"Name one THING, LAW, whathaveyou, that exists "INDEPENDENTLY" and NOT in RELATION to other THINGS, is "NOT RELATIVE" and is true for "EVERY POSSIBLE CIRCUMSTANCE".

And finally you responded with this:
“The law of non-contradiction.”

To which I pointed out that:
For things to contradict, there exists things IN RELATION to contradict with, and therefore it is NOT INDEPENDENT. Therefore it's systemic and relative to a system of proof and requires a method of resolution to come to a conclusion.

You ready for this Sye, You responded by saying:
“The law of non-contradiction exists in the absolute, independent mind of God.”

Do you see it? Yeah, you do don’t you Sye:
So in other words, the [laws of logic] are not absolute in the world (they’re systemic), but, it’s absolute in the mind of God. This is shown by the fact that you could not refute what I said and simply retreated to God. Above Sye, you said that the laws of logic were absolute just by themselves. That we can see and prove that, and that falls into the argument for God.

But now, you can’t do that. I’ve shown that you cannot prove that absolute laws of logic exist and as a result you fold up into merely one point. GOD EXISTS, with no proof at all that he does and no claim or proof to absolute laws in the world.

So Sye’s argument now looks like this:
1.) God exists.

OH SNAP

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Sye,

You said: "Um Paul, I fully agree with Stephens [sic] definition of an atheist worldview."

If we agree then there is nothing to argue about. 'absolutely true' is an expression of speech. Sorry to confuse you, it's merely me expressing my personal opinion of a statement, which, apparently we agree upon.

Regards, Paul.

anticant said...

“Anticult”? Nice one, get_education! Yes. I certainly am that as well as anti-cant, and Sye’s version of the Christian cult is a prime example of the canting casuistry, quibbling, and sophistical argument which proponents of God’s existence through “reason” have employed down the ages.

Yes, I give Sye the benefit of the doubt as regards sincerity – as if he were simply a troll who doesn’t really believe in his crazy carousel of a ‘world view’, he would be mad to expend so much time and energy in pushing it.

But one can be devious as well as sincere, and Sye has abundantly earned the former tag on these threads. A while back I said: “If God's mind is absolute and independent, it surely has the freedom to break the rules of logic, including the law of non-contradiction.” Sye hasn’t responded to that, because he can’t. If he claims that yes, the absolute and independent-minded God can break the law of non-contradiction, he then has to give a convincing explanation of why God never does so [and I don’t believe that Sye is really privy to the mind of God, as he claims to be], or else he has to admit that God is not omnipotent.

Sye’s entire repetitive, exhaustive – and exhausting – “argument” is a load of Godswallop!

get_education said...

Hey anticant,

I found your latest points against Sye quite good. I think the best counter-arguments I have seen agains Sye'ntology are in these posts. Mixed with other not as good.

Yep, as you read, I semi-agreed with you, I also think he might be sincere in his belief, but the treachery is, to me, intriguing. It just does not let me make a firm conclusion about the guy.

Someone pointed out a passage in the bible where lying is allowed if it is to help get people to "the right side." I lost track, but I think maybe the presups train under this rule.

I still find it puzzle that they still won't see their problems when they are clearly stated in a way that they should see them. Sye just jumps over to find a sentence he can use to re-state his original question.

Anyway, thanks for those excellent arguments you used to debate with Sye. They have helped me understand the guy's strategy even better.

G.E.

anticant said...

Thanks, G.E. Your kind comments are appreciated. If you want to know more about my views, browse around 'anticant's arena':

http://antarena.blogspot.com/

I've done numerous posts on various aspects of religion and the nature of 'faith'.

One of the best demolitions of the "reasonable" arguments for the existence of God is: "Atheism: the Case Against God" [Prometheus Books] by George Smith. You can buy it online via Amazon.

Keep on Getting Education!

Cheers,

Anticant

Sye TenB said...

Papilio said:

Is it not a valid inference that, since we (all of us who have not been in space) have experienced gravity for our entire lives, we should expect that situation to be maintained?”


On what basis do you proceed with the assumption that the future will be like the past? To say that the future will probably be like the past, because the future has been like the past in the past, is question begging. Probablity assumes uniformity, the very thing you are trying to prove.

”It would rather be illogical to announce the contrary, that we should expect gravity to flip 180 degrees or disappear altogether.”

Why? What bearing do past events have on future events?

”It's a law in the sense that it accurately describes what has been observed and further experiments confirm the predictions it makes.”

Well, even if I granted you the validity of your reasoning, which I do not, on what basis do you proceed with the expectation that these predictions will be accurate in the future?

”the rest of us know we'll fall.”

How do you know that you WILL fall?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Anticant said:

“A while back I said: “If God's mind is absolute and independent, it surely has the freedom to break the rules of logic, including the law of non-contradiction.” Sye hasn’t responded to that, because he can’t.”


Um no, Sye hasn’t responded to that because he was at the movies with his relatives from overseas :-) God cannot break the rules of logic, because they are a reflection of His mind and the way he thinks, and God cannot be not-God.

Cheers,

Sye

anticant said...

Sye,

You know perfectly well that the proposition that "God" is what keeps the sun from falling out of the sky instead of rising tomorrow morning is a load of rubbish. The prospect of the sun not rising tomorrow morning is so improbable that it can be safely discounted.

You must be pretty desperate if all you can do is resort to idiotic arguments such as this!

get_education said...

Keep on Getting Education!

I sure do and will anticant, it is a lifestyle commitment.

Thanks for those recommendations.

G.E.

Sye TenB said...

Anticant said:

”The prospect of the sun not rising tomorrow morning is so improbable that it can be safely discounted.”

On what basis do you assume that the sun will most likely rise tomorrow?

Cheers,

Sye

anticant said...

Sye,

Stop asking other people questions, and answer at least one or two of the many you have been asked.

Your failure to do so is not merely boring - it is cowardly.

And please don't ask me whether I am accusing you of being a coward. The answer is "yes"!

Stephen Law said...

I have a new post up on Sye's arguent, in case any of you missed it.

Stephen Law said...

Sam, I have stuff on MacIntyre etc. in The War For Children's Minds.

Andrew Louis said...

Here's an off the wall question for you Sye, on the nature of things being self evident.

It's clear that we don't see people roaming around preaching the good news that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. Whether or not you agree that people find this self evident, clearly all people do.

On the other hand people DO go around preaching about God. Why do you suppose this is? If he is so self evident and he reveals himself in much the same way as the sun rising in the morning, it would be trivial to discuss the matter, let alone go around preaching about it.

To paraphrase Nietzsche:
when a thing becomes known, it is no longer a concern.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "On the other hand people DO go around preaching about God. Why do you suppose this is?"

Perhaps because they are obeying God's command.

People have nothing to gain by denying that the sun will rise, but denying the existence of God, allows them (temporarily) to be their own gods.

Cheers,

Sye

Paul C said...

People have nothing to gain by denying that the sun will rise, but denying the existence of God, allows them (temporarily) to be their own gods.

This would make sense if, in addition to denying the existence of God, the same people proclaimed themselves God. Since almost none of them in fact do this, we can safely conclude that your argument is baseless.

Paul C said...

Also, Sye's counter-argument fails to address Andrew's actual point, which is that the existence of the sun is self-evident, whereas the existence of Sye's God is not at all self-evident.

This seems particularly strange to me because as well as allegedly being the grounding for all physical and non-physical phenomena, Sye's God is supposed to be omnipresent and omnipotent.

Anonymous said...

Reynold said he "Can't find any bible verses to show that your god even knows what the laws of logic are?"
I can find plenty of evidence that, if the Jewish/Christian god does know them, he doesn't follow them.
The list of contradictions in the Bible in a long one - see, for example
http://tinyurl.com/yu33x5 for
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/by_name.html

Sye TenB said...

@ Paul C,

I said: ”People have nothing to gain by denying that the sun will rise, but denying the existence of God, allows them (temporarily) to be their own gods.”

You said: ”This would make sense if, in addition to denying the existence of God, the same people proclaimed themselves God. Since almost none of them in fact do this, we can safely conclude that your argument is baseless.”

Why would being one’s own god, necessitate proclamation of same? Watch this: Paul C. what is your ultimate authority?

Cheers,

Sye

Reynold said...

Sye TenB
People have nothing to gain by denying that the sun will rise, but denying the existence of God, allows them (temporarily) to be their own gods.
Why do you assume that we are all "denying" the existence of your god as opposed to actually not believing he or she exists?

Sye TenB said...

Reynold said: "Why do you assume that we are all "denying" the existence of your god as opposed to actually not believing he or she exists?"

A couple of reasons, 1. That is what the Bible teaches, and 2 EVERY atheist that I have ever met who has become a Christian, that I have asked whether or not they knew all along that God existed has said "Yes." I did not need that confirmation of God's Word, but it don't hurt :-)

Cheers,

Sye

anticant said...

Sye says: EVERY atheist that I have ever met who has become a Christian, that I have asked whether or not they knew all along that God existed has said "Yes."

EVERY ex-Christian that I have ever met who has become an atheist [a good many], that I have asked whether or not they knew along along that God didn't exist has said "Yes".

Sye TenB said...

Anticant said: "EVERY ex-Christian that I have ever met who has become an atheist [a good many], that I have asked whether or not they knew along along that God didn't exist has said "Yes"."

Well, I guess you didn't ask Get_Education then:

"I am saying that my a priori position was Christian Theistic"

(Logic and God II - July 31, 2008 2:35 PM)

:-D

Cheers,

Sye

CASE - now with holiness said...

Sye - clearly you don't understand the difference between an absolute truth and a systemic one. Thats ok - you can still get educated, there is still hope.

When are you going to learn that all logic is the result of human reasoning and is subject to the flaws of human beings? Just because you "think" something is absolutely true makes no skerric of difference to the universe as a whole.

PS - you got snapped on here, again. And you got posted onto Fundies say the darndest things(www.fstdt.com)

anticant said...

I haven't MET Get_Education, Smartypants!

Paul C said...

Why would being one’s own god, necessitate proclamation of same? Watch this: Paul C. what is your ultimate authority?

What do you mean by "ultimate authority"?

Sye TenB said...

anticat said: "I haven't MET Get_Education, Smartypants!"

Well, if you ever do, you best not ask him :-D

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Paul C. said: "What do you mean by "ultimate authority"?

What is your highest authority when making decisions?

Sye TenB said...

CASE said: "When are you going to learn that all logic is the result of human reasoning and is subject to the flaws of human beings?"

Could the sun have been both the sun, and not the sun, at the same time, and in the same way, before humans existed?

Cheers,

Sye

Stephen Law said...

New posts are available!

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
first off the SUN is not TRUE. Secondly, without a method of resolution your proposition is merely a relative statement about the past and not an absolute (not relative) one.

The "law of non-contradiction" is a language game that applies to your experience, not the world. In other words, before there was mind there were no objects to contradict eachother or themselves. There was nothing being proposed. Therefore the law is systemic, not absolute.

All the law of non-contradiction says is that you cannot have contradicting propositions (A cannot be -A). And again, where are the propositions without mind? What you say about the world is relative to you, what you say (your language), and what your saying it about, and contingent upon the means of coming to a given conclusion.

Answer me this Sye, what color was your hair before you were born?

Paul C said...

What is your highest authority when making decisions?

Please define exactly what you mean by "highest authority" (is it the same as "ultimate authority"?) and which decisions you're referring to (what time to have dinner?).

Sye TenB said...

Paul C. said:

"Please define exactly what you mean by "highest authority"

What word are you having difficulty with?

Cheers,

Sye

Paul C said...

What word are you having difficulty with?

We have already established via our gracious host that when you use words (such as "proof"), they somehow take on meanings that most people would not expect. I am therefore interested to clarify exactly what you mean before I answer the question, in the interests of providing you with an accurate answer.

So once again - please define exactly what you mean by "highest authority" (is it the same as "ultimate authority"?) and which decisions you're referring to (what time to have dinner?).

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