Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Proof that God Exists"

Andrew Louis commented about this "proof" that God exists on offer over at Sinner Ministries. Here's a quick comment from me. Check out the "proof" first though. It's short, and kind of amazing.... (n.b. choose objective laws, etc. as it saves time).

Stephen wrote: Checked out the "proof". So it runs: if you believe in objective laws of logic and maths and science and moral truths (that are immaterial, by which author means not made out of material stuff), you must believe in God because, er, they couldn't exist if God did not.

Clearly, the author really thinks he's got a "proof". But it is shot full of holes.

First, where's the argument that objective laws of logic, etc. require the existence of God? There isn't one. Just the assertion that they do. Yet, amazingly, this is offered as the "proof".

The author's chutzpah is kind of breath-taking. Only a religious zealot would dare offer this as a "proof" with a straight face.

Note that, even if the laws of logic DID require the existence of some sort of deity to underpin them, we could still ask, why this particular God - the Judeo-Christian God? Particularly as there's overwhelming evidence that there is no such being (see my "God of Eth").

(P.S. notice the quote "He who hates correction is stupid" from Proverbs 12.1 - featured at the bottom of a website that offers a "proof" of God's existence, but that provides no way to respond or, indeed, correct, the egregious errors contained therein. The irony is lost on these guys, I guess...)

257 comments:

1 – 200 of 257   Newer›   Newest»
Robert said...

The strangest thing is that after you wade through the various choices and come to the "exit", it's a link to Disney.com!

John said...

From one mans fantasy to anothers...not that strange really.

The Barefoot Bum said...

Transcendental Argument

Andrew Louis said...

First off,
thanks for your comments on this.

I was most interested in your thought on the initial premise regarding absolute truth (of which I generaly follow a systemic model). To me, "that absolute truth exists" is not even a valid proposition, let alone the fact that to prove such a thing is "systemicaly" impossible. The entire argument flows from that initial premise being true.

What is fundamentaly wrong with that initial statement on absolute truth?

Stephen Law said...

Andrew - I don't have a particular problem with absolute truth (if that means non-relative truth).

Thanks for the link BB. Very enlightening.

Stephen Law said...

I think that the reason this *looks* like a proof to many Christians is that they operate with a very simple conception of our options. Either the Christian god exists, or we inhabit a purely material universe in which all value and meaning, all logic and intelligibility, all mentality, etc. is bleached out. There's just atoms interacting randomly in the void. (Martin also picks up on this in one of the articles to which BB links above.)

You might argue that these are the only possibilities, and then, given the atheists commitment to value, etc. force him to accept the existence of the Christian god. But you can't just *assume* they are.

I note Martin goes on the offensive by arguing that the Christian explanation for logic etc. actually undermines, rather than underpins, logic (Martin uses the euthyphro type argument).

Nutcasenightmare said...

Wow. That site was -- woah. Turns out there ARE two sides to the IQ bell curve.

Let's play 'Count the Fallacies':

-False Dichotomy ("Laws of Logic, Math, Science, and Absolute Morality are all unchanging, or they all are changing." Why not Math, Laws of Logic, and Absolute Morality be unchanging while Science changes? Scientific progress and the scientifc method undoubtedly has changed.)

-Appeal to Authority (Quotes the Bible)

-Reductio Ad Hitlerum ("Why do we condemn the Nazi society for following their self-imposed morals?" ...Well maybe because their prejudice, power, and murder are against the interests of everyone else.)

-Irony (not a fallacy, but it's interesting to note they asked if the laws of logic existed, then commit all these fallacies.)

-Equivocation ("Absolute Truth - True for all people at all times, universally true." Then equates trivial truths like 'I don't know if absolute truth exists' with physical truths like 'Air is mostly nitrogen'.)

-Just Plain Stupidity ("Universal, immaterial, unchanging laws cannot be accounted for if the universe was random..." Quanutm Mechanics much? "...or only material in nature." Laws of Logic, Math, and Science are ABSTRACTIONS of the material world. Jeez.)

-Affirming the Consequent (If God exists, then there are universal laws. There are universal laws, therefore God exists.)

-Circular Reasoning ("The Proof that God exists is that without Him you couldn't prove anything.")



Even if there was a god, maybe even the Judeo-Christian God, this has been the worst way to prove it. And I've been here: http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm

(Yes it's a satire. Funny as non-existent hell, though.)

--------------------

P.S:It's been a while since I've visited this blog. Keep it up, Stephen!

Stephen Law said...

thanks for the link to

http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/GodProof.htm

I especially liked these two, as I seem to come across them alot:


# ARGUMENT FROM INTELLIGENCE
(1) Look, there's really no point in me trying to explain the whole thing to you stupid Atheists — it's too complicated for you to understand. God exists whether you like it or not.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

# ARGUMENT FROM UNINTELLIGENCE
(1) Okay, I don't pretend to be as intelligent as you guys — you're obviously very well read. But I read the Bible, and nothing you say can convince me that God does not exist. I feel him in my heart, and you can feel him too, if you'll just ask him into your life. "For God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten son into the world, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish from the earth." John 3:16.
(2) Therefore, God exists.

Andrew Louis said...

Thats an interesting link BB.

"Christians operate with a simple conception of out options" Yes, never thought of it that way.

Stephen,
yes, by absolute I'd mean not relative. I assumed you'd have a problem with that.


Here is generally my argument (for what it's worth, I'm not up there on the bell curve by any means)My big issue is the absolute part, and I'm sure all this is full of holes as well, and perhaps someone can point out where I go right or wrong.

An absolute truth is what is true for every possible circumstance. The reason why an absolute truth is what is true for every possible circumstance is because if there is any possible circumstance where this truth isn’t true, then it’s possibly false. If something is possibly false, then what makes it absolutely true.

Truth itself is systemic, in other words it needs a system of proof; to prove, it needs a means of decision, a method of resolution, a way of coming to the conclusion that something is true. So this method must exist before the truth in order to be able to prove that it’s true, and this is why there can be no such things as an absolute truth, all truths are systemic (relative to a system). This is different then relative morals; in relative morals we have what is relative to an individuals perspective or what’s subjective. In truth we always have what’s objective relative to a system of proof, not an individuals perspective. So this is a careful thing to the issue of relative truth. Relative truth is vary often misunderstood, many people talk about why truth isn’t relative. People will talk about what is subjective, which is because they’re so concerned with ethics and human behavior, they’re concerne is they come across that morals are relative, then they come across what is subjective, and they here that truth is relative too and it just flips the over the bend.

Anyway, truth is objective, but truth is not absolute. In other words truth is not eternal. As to what is true; well it’s only propositions that are true, it’s only statements in language that are true about objects. For an example if I said that my car was red, well, it’s a statement about my car that is true. My car isn’t true, there’s no part of my car that holds the property truth. Again it’s statements about my car that are true, it’s propositions which are true or false. Furthermore there’s no proposition without a language, but we first need a mind to make up a language, then you need a language, then you have the word truth and you can grant that meaning, then you have a means of resolution to say what is true or false, but you need a whole system to exists before the truth can exist. Therefore no truth is possibly eternal.

It was stated for example (in another argument) that the periodic table was an absolute truth, well a periodic table isn’t even true, the periodic table is an object, statements about the periodic table are true or false, but to say that the periodic table is true is like saying my car is true (it’s not even true or false). Another mistake is calling evolution false, but evolution is neither true nor false, evolution is not a proposition. Evolution is consistent or inconsistent with other known data, but it is not itself a proposition that we can call true of false. In any case, it’s only propositions which are true or false and again propositions are language dependent, which is mind dependent and the entire system needs to exist in order for any truth to exist. So to say that any truth is absolute is wrong, and people will ask, “is it absolutely true that there are no absolute truths?” and you can say, “no it’s systemically true as all truths are, there are no absolute truths.” All truths are systemic, they’re relative to a system, don’t be fooled by the lingo to say, well is it an absolute truth to say there are no absolute truths.That there are no absolute truths again is a systemic truth itself, it’s not an absolute truth.

Lets consider before there was mind, perhaps before the earth existed, it’s a possible circumstance that there was no minds at all during this time. In this possible circumstance there were no truths at all. Nothing was true at a time when no minds existed, even if everything else existed. After theres mind then we can create statements about that period in time before minds existed, but these statements would be belief statements that all this even ever took place.

So for us to talk about absolute truth is what I consider the most dangerous world view that exists. It’s the hall mark of the suicide bomber, this is not just the hallmark of religion itself, but the real strict fundamentalists that will talk about Gods, truth and absolute truth. The core root of dogma is absolutism, and if atheists are to appose anything they should appose absolute truth

Paul P. Mealing said...

I think the most telling aspect of this argument is that there's no allowance for a response. This is a sure sign that the author can't deal with negations. Fundamentalists commonly convince themselves that they are right by refusing any counter-arguments.

I thought Stephen's first 2 points were exactly the same ones I wanted to take up with the author. His 3 premises don't, by default, require a god, and even if you proposed that they did, why the Biblical god? Why does the progenitor of these laws, assuming such an entity exists, have to have a personality at all? These are the questions I would like to put to the author.

Regards, Paul.

Andrew Louis said...

By the way,
I know who the author is. I'd gladly send him over so he can debate it with you guys. I'd like to observe someone take his agruement apart.

Stephen Law said...

Andrew - great ask him over...

Sye TenB said...

This should be fun. Sorry, just heading out now, but in Arnie's famous words: "I'll be back."

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Alright, I’m back.

Hello Stephen et al. Thanks for commenting on my website. At the outset, let’s discard the notion of ‘other gods.’ I would be happy to engage anyone who wishes to posit other gods, but since, as I understand it, you profess atheism, I do not see the sense wasting time debating something that neither of us believe.

You state that my “proof” is “shot full of holes.” I take this to mean that you did a logical assessment of my proof, and found it wanting. This, at least, indicates that you are holding my proof to a standard of logic which necessarily applies to it. By this I take it that you believe logic to be universal. I would also assume that you believe that logic is not made of matter. If I am wrong in this assumption, please correct me. Lastly, I also assume that you believe the laws of logic to be invariant. Again, I would happy to debate these points, but I imagine that we have agreement up to here.

Now, it is the Christian worldview, that God has revealed to us some of His characteristics, some of which are, that He is universal, not made of matter, and He does not change. In God’s own nature, then, we have the elements necessary to make sense of the laws of logic. The question now becomes, how do any of these characteristics of the laws of logic make sense in any atheistic worldview? What I hear from atheists, is that we live in a ‘random, chance’ universe, that is ‘constantly changing,’ yet they profess belief in universal, abstract, unchanging laws. If nothing else, this shows a huge inconsistency in what they profess to believe, and what they actually believe.

Rather than get too deep into the discussion at this point, let me just ask you Stephen, how do you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic according to your worldview?

Cheers,

Sye

Stephen Law said...

Ah, hello Sye. Nice to have you over to the dark side for a visit. We don't get enough visitors from over there.

Now before I start answering your questions, let's be clear - my contention is that your "proof" is no such thing, resting, as it does, on the unargued-for premise that there cannot be objective values, laws, etc. without the Christian God.

What's wrong with my contention? If you cannot find fault with it, then surely you should in good conscience withdraw your claim that you offered a "proof".

Correct?

(You might also, now, attempt to provide the crucial missing argument, of course, which is what, I take it, you are now going to try to do? But let's deal with the above point first. My contention is that, as it stands, your "proof" isn't one.)

Kyle P. said...

I had a long response typed out, then I read Stephen's response and decided to hold off a bit. I do not want to presume too much, as I occasionally do.

I will only state Kyle's Razor again, and hope that we will be careful:

"When discussing something, we should be as clear and precise as possible with our terms to avoid confusion, and promote actually dealing with the issues."

The reason I state this is that I found several ambiguities, or at least odd statements, with Sye's post. Namely, if "god" is "unchanging", then what does it mean that "god" supposedly became flesh, previously having not been flesh? There are other things, but I hope Sye will elaborate for us.

The main thrust of my other post was pretty much dead on with Stephen, only his was terser.

Nutcasenightmare said...

Hi Sye, just elaborating on Stephen's pointing out that you haven't proven the existence of logic requires the existence of the Judeo-Christian God.

--------------------

"Now, it is the Christian worldview, that God has revealed to us some of His characteristics, some of which are, that He is universal, not made of matter, and He does not change. In God’s own nature, then, we have the elements necessary to make sense of the laws of logic."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I read your argument as such:
1) Logic has properties A, B, and C
2) God has properties A, B, and C
3) Logic exists
4) Therefore God exists

I do think there's a leap of logic there... the obvious difference between logic and the Judeo-Christian God is that the Judeo-Christian God is omnipotent.

Let's reuse that argument structure again to demonstrate how fallacious it is:

1) Person A is fat, lazy, and sarcastic
2) Garfield is fat, lazy, and sarcastic
3) Person A exists
4) Therefore Garfield exists

You may want to revise your argument.

----------------------

"What I hear from atheists, is that we live in a ‘random, chance’ universe, that is ‘constantly changing,’ yet they profess belief in universal, abstract, unchanging laws."

Equivocation. Kyle P. was right about being specific about terms.

'Random, chance.' We don't mean that the LAWS are random; but that these laws deal with probabilities. The laws of quantum mechanics, for example, which are well-established facts.

By 'constanting changing', we of course refer to the material world constantly changing, not the laws that force things to change.

You too, Sye, believe that the world changes, but that the laws don't. (Drop your computer onto the floor. Its postion changes, but it follows the constant laws of gravity. It also get smashed in accordance to Newtonian mechanics.)

--------------------

Lastly, I want to address prayer.

From http://www.proofthatgodexists.org/changing.php:
"No doubt, you wake up every morning expecting these laws to be the same as they were the day before."

Of course. We expect these scientific, logical, and mathematical laws to be the same no matter what anyone does. Plus, we both agree that they canNOT be changed.

Then, Sye, I ask you this: what is the point of prayer?

Imagine your loved one gets into an accident. Say, (s)he fell on a chainsaw. If the laws of the universe show that your loved one WILL die, despite modern medicine, what is the point of prayer?

You agreed that the laws of the universe don't change, which means that GOD can't change them.

If God can't change the laws of the universe, then there is NO POINT TO PRAYER. Not to mention God won't be omnipotent, which is a contradiction.

But is God CAN change the laws of the universe, then your argument for God's existence is moot.

----------------------

Sye, as well as Stephen, please tell me what you think about this.

~Thanks from Nutcasenightmare.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”Now before I start answering your questions, let's be clear - my contention is that your "proof" is no such thing, resting, as it does, on the unargued-for premise that there cannot be objective values, laws, etc. without the Christian God.
What's wrong with my contention? If you cannot find fault with it, then surely you should in good conscience withdraw your claim that you offered a "proof".”
Correct?”


If I cannot find fault with it, yes. I do, however, find fault with it. Your very assessment of my proof, fails on the very thing you use to evaluate my proof, in that it rests on the unargued-for premise that your worldiew can account for the very concepts of proof and logic without God. It is my contention, and I state this on the website, that the proof is valid based on the impossibility of the contrary. The Christian worldview can, and does, account for the universal, invariant, abstract, laws of logic, whereas no other worldview does (or can).

If I grant you the ability to use logic, without first accounting for your ability to do so, then I lose at the outset, since it is my contention that logic is impossible without God. That is why I first asked you to account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, according to your worldview before you attempt to use them against my argument. If you cannot account for logic, then it would hardly make sense for me to accept your use of it against my proof.

”(You might also, now, attempt to provide the crucial missing argument, of course, which is what, I take it, you are now going to try to do? But let's deal with the above point first. My contention is that, as it stands, your "proof" isn't one.)”

To which I would reply: 1. How do you know? 2. Is it absolutely true that my proof isn’t one? 3. How do you account for the laws of logic you used to determine that my proof isn’t one, and 4. Why do those laws necessarily apply to my proof? Proof requires knowledge, truth, and logic, none of which can be accounted for outside of God. You may claim that my proof isn’t one, but first you must justify the foundation from which you make that claim.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Kyle said: "I had a long response typed out, then I read Stephen's response and decided to hold off a bit."

I appreciate that since my time is limited, and I won't be able to engage everyone here.

Cheers,

Sye

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Sye,

I’m not an atheist by the way, but I don’t believe you can prove the existence of God for the simple reason that God is an experience that is unique to the individual who has it.

Logic by the way is created by human intelligence, but if you want to talk about cause and effect, that does seem an inherent aspect of the natural world like all the various ‘laws’ and ‘principles’ that humankind has discovered. Examples include: time and space, entropy, evolution, gravity, relativity and quantum mechanics. I’m sure there are more yet to be discovered.

One can argue that mathematics is evidence of a ‘Platonic’ realm, for want of a better term, as I have done, but that doesn’t prove the existence of a Judea-Christian God. The thing is that the biblical God has a definite anthropological personality, which indicates that he’s a projection, created by humanity rather than the other way round. What you are arguing, essentially, is that there has to be a reason for all these laws to exist, but any reason we provide or speculate about, is a purely subjective judgement. The only honest, objective judgement is that we don’t know. The problem with making God responsible for all this is that you give ‘Him’ a distinctly human personality, which is exactly what the Bible does.

Regards, Paul.

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”Hi Sye, just elaborating on Stephen's pointing out that you haven't proven the existence of logic requires the existence of the Judeo-Christian God.”

As I said to Kyle, I won’t have time to engage everyone here, but I’ll hit on some of your highlights.

”Correct me if I'm wrong, but I read your argument as such:
1) Logic has properties A, B, and C
2) God has properties A, B, and C
3) Logic exists
4) Therefore God exists”


Actually the argument goes more like this:

1) God is the necessarly precondition to the laws of logic (by the impossibility of the contrary).
2) Logic exists
3) Therefore God exists

Now, I know that you will have difficulties with premise 1, but, in order to argue against it, you, like Stephen, must justify those laws according to your worldview.

'Random, chance.' We don't mean that the LAWS are random;”

Why aren’t they?

”You too, Sye, believe that the world changes, but that the laws don't.”

The difference is that my worldview can account for the conflicting properties of change and uniformity.

”Lastly, I want to address prayer.”

Alrighty, but I do not discuss this in my proof.

”Of course. We expect these scientific, logical, and mathematical laws to be the same no matter what anyone does.”

Why?

” Plus, we both agree that they canNOT be changed.”

Well, I would say that since logical, and mathematical laws were not created, but reflects God’s nature, and the way He thinks, that they cannot change, but scientific laws were created by God, and He can affect or supercede them. Of course, your next question will be, then on what basis do you proceed with the expecation that scientific laws do not change? Well, I cannot say for certain, that I have witnessed any miraculous intervention by God, and history would indicate that when supernatural events occurr, they are at least rare. So, from my standpoint, based on the promises of God, I can at least proceed with the assumption that nature will very likely be uniform. The thing is though, that the atheists proceeds on the assumption that nature is uniform based on their past observations of nature. The argument from the atheist for uniformity ends up being: I proceed on the expectation that the future will be like the past, based on my observations that the future was like the past, in the past, which is hopelessly circular.

”Then, Sye, I ask you this: what is the point of prayer?”

The point of prayer is that even if God could not change scientific laws (which is not my argument), our standpoint with Him is relational, and we ought to communicate with Him. Prayer is not only supplication, but also praise, honour and worship. Even if your wife knows that you love her, not telling her that would indicate problems with your relationship.

”Imagine your loved one gets into an accident. Say, (s)he fell on a chainsaw. If the laws of the universe show that your loved one WILL die, despite modern medicine, what is the point of prayer?”

To say that someone WILL die in a given situation assumes a certainty which itself is impossible without God. Still, I would probably disagree with how most people pray in these situations. I would pray that God be our comfort and strength in that situation, and that He be glorified in whatever happens, and that HIS will, not mine be done.

”If God can't change the laws of the universe, then there is NO POINT TO PRAYER. Not to mention God won't be omnipotent, which is a contradiction.”

Again, I would argue that God can affect scientific laws, but not logical or mathematical laws, as they are a refelction of His very nature. That God cannot change His nature, however, does not affect His omnipotence as contradicting His own nature, would not be a ‘power,’ but a weakness.

”Sye, as well as Stephen, please tell me what you think about this.”

Hope this is sufficient for now.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Paul said: ”Hi Sye,”

Hey Paul.

”I’m not an atheist by the way, but I don’t believe you can prove the existence of God for the simple reason that God is an experience that is unique to the individual who has it.”

And what would your support be for such an assertion? God is not an experience but a personal, immaterial (not made of matter) being.

”Logic by the way is created by human intelligence”

How then is it law-like? Why does it apply universally? Could humans create laws of logic which violate the current ones? Why aren’t there many conflicing laws of logic created by other humans? Could the sun be both the sun, and not the sun at the same time and in the same way before human intelligence created the law of non-contradiction?

”The thing is that the biblical God has a definite anthropological personality, which indicates that he’s a projection, created by humanity rather than the other way round.”

This is question begging. What is your proof that this anthropological personality was created by humanity, and not God?

”What you are arguing, essentially, is that there has to be a reason for all these laws to exist, but any reason we provide or speculate about, is a purely subjective judgement.”

Apart from God’s revelation that is.

”The only honest, objective judgement is that we don’t know.”

I prefer not to live on faith.

”The problem with making God responsible for all this is that you give ‘Him’ a distinctly human personality, which is exactly what the Bible does.”

Well, I don’t believe in made up gods, and, pardon me, but the one you are positting sounds like it comes from your own mind.

Cheers,

Sye

Timmo said...

sye tenb,

You write,

If I grant you the ability to use logic, without first accounting for your ability to do so, then I lose at the outset, since it is my contention that logic is impossible without God. That is why I first asked you to account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, according to your worldview before you attempt to use them against my argument. If you cannot account for logic, then it would hardly make sense for me to accept your use of it against my proof.

Also, you follow this same line here:

Now, I know that you will have difficulties with premise 1, but, in order to argue against it, you, like Stephen, must justify those laws according to your worldview.

You seem to be claiming here that Stephen cannot appeal to rational norms or laws of logic to dispute your proposed proof of theism until he explains how it is possible for him to apprehend these things or how they could be at all. This is a rather strange requirement. For example, one does not need to understand the analyzing mechanisms of her own visual system before she is warranted in believing the testimony of her own eyes. Or, one does not need to know about the physiological or psychological basis of memory in order to remember things about the past. Why then suppose that Stephen needs to offer an account of how it is possible for him to use his own reason to apprehend logical laws before he engages you in a discussion of his proof? It should be sufficient to say that Stephen does, as a matter of fact, have access to rational norms and laws of logic. If your argument really works, then he should be able to rationally reflect on his own faculty of reason and discover you are correct. There's no need for a prior epistemological or metaphysical theory about logic.

Timmo said...

sye tenb,

Also, there are subtle dialectical moves available to Stephen, even if you refuse to allow him the use of logical laws.

The ancient Pyhrronian skeptics refused to believe any proposition. If someone claimed that p, they would argue for not-p. How could they do this if they suspended every belief? The Pyhrronians argued ad hominem -- they appealed only to those premises and inferences which their opponents accepted, attempting to steer their opponent to not-p from the inside, as it were.

All Stephen has to do is play the Pyhrronian: all he has to show is that you are not entitled to hold that your proposed proof works on your own terms. (Indeed, the way your argument is structured on your website follows a Socratic, ad hominem style.)

Sye TenB said...

Timmo said: ”Why then suppose that Stephen needs to offer an account of how it is possible for him to use his own reason to apprehend logical laws before he engages you in a discussion of his proof? It should be sufficient to say that Stephen does, as a matter of fact, have access to rational norms and laws of logic.”

Well, it is my contention that he is borrowing them from my wordlview. We are not talking about subjective vision or memory here, but about objective laws.

”There's no need for a prior epistemological or metaphysical theory about logic.”

I disagree.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Timmo said: "All Stephen has to do is play the Pyhrronian"

Well, I don't have time to debate positions that none of us hold, but if he professes Pyhrronianism, I would have to show him that he, like the Pyhrronians do not live consistently with their stated beliefs.

Cheers,

Sye

Paul P. Mealing said...

Thanks Sye for your response.

This is not a good forum for this, but I can't let you go unchallenged.

Logic is how we interpret the world and events, and includes things like tautologies and syllogisms, not to mention non sequiturs, which are often contended, depending on context. I don't believe that logic and mathematics are synynomous as some people do, but I believe mathematics and scientific laws are universal, if that clarifies my position.

In regard to the basis for my assertion, the only experience any of us have of God is inside our minds, not out there, which is why I argue that God is a subjective experience. And it is obvious that different people have different ideas of what God is. Do you really believe that George Bush and Osama Bin Ladin believe in the same God? God often represents the prejudices of the people who believe in 'Him', especially towards others. God is the greatest rationale for bigotry and genocide that has ever been alluded to historically.

Regards, Paul.

Nutcasenightmare said...

"God is the necessarly precondition to the laws of logic (by the impossibility of the contrary)."

The Argument from Ignorance: you can't prove not-p, therefore p. We can play by your own rules and equally conclude that logic doesn't need to be created by God.

It's kind of also a False Dichotomy, because it need not be humans or the Christian God the laws of logic came from. It could be aliens, the Hindu gods, Allah, etc.

-------------------------

"Why aren’t there many conflicing laws of logic created by other humans?"

There are. Those who use the ones that don't work are using fallacies.

"Could the sun be both the sun, and not the sun at the same time and in the same way before human intelligence created the law of non-contradiction?"

No, just like the Earth wasn't flat before the Greeks figured out it was round.

----------------------

I think it'll clear up a lot of confusion if we understand that there are two different types of 'laws of logic/math/science'. The ones that ARE true, (True Laws) and the ones we THINK are true. (Our Laws)

"how do any of these characteristics (universal, abstract, and unchanging) of the laws of logic[/math/science] make sense in any atheistic worldview?"

Well, by DEFINITION the True Laws are universal, abstract, and unchanging. No one knows what they are, though. The best we can do is make up Our Laws, then get Our Laws closer to True Laws via experimentation and falsification.

Just like by DEFINITION the most fuel-efficient car would be one that runs on no fuel. It would also be universal, abstract, and unchanging. Likewise, no one knows what such a car would look like. The best we can do is get closer to it via trial and error. (experimentation and falsification)

Logic and Math stem from axioms, such as "x = x". Everything else follows as long as it's consistent with all axioms. We assume that the universe is consistent with itself, otherwise it would fail to exist. And where do we find axioms that work when we test them? We test them to see if they work.

Stephen Law said...

Hello Sye

OK, so you wrote:

1) God is the necessary precondition to the laws of logic (by the impossibility of the contrary).
2) Logic exists
3) Therefore God exists

Now, I know that you will have difficulties with premise 1, but, in order to argue against it, you, like Stephen, must justify those laws according to your worldview.

My reply: sorry - I need to make my point clearer: I am not here (yet) arguing AGAINST 1. I am pointing out that you offer no argument FOR 1. That was my contention.

Now it won't do to say: "But now you, Stephen, are using logic, to which, as an atheist, you are not entitled", as, (i) you have not established this yet (so you are begging the question!), and (ii) that objection is in any case irrelevant as, if you are correct, YOU are entitled to logic, and by that logic, your own argument fails. So, by your own logic (not mine!) if your argument is good, it's bad. And if it's bad it's bad. So it's bad.

That's something that YOU, at least, should be able logically to recognise, right?

Anonymous said...

In minimal form, the argument from logic to God looks very much like creationists' arguments from ignorance to god (you can't explain thunder, eyes, cells, the universe, etc, therefore my god did it)and suffers from similar problems - atheists' alleged difficulties are not evidence that your god did it.

Kiwi Dave

Stephen Law said...

To make one of the same points differently, what's wrong with this argument, Sye:

(1) The existence of the Great Cosmic Wombat is a necessary precondition of there being laws of logic
(2) Laws of logic exist
Therefore: The Great Cosmic Wombat exists.

Now you won't like this argument, I take it. But notice that, if you attempt to find fault with it, I can play the same card you just played: "But unless you accept the Wombat exists, you are not entitled to use logic, and so cannot use it to find fault with my argument."

Tell me a bit about yourself - how do you come to Christianity? Were you raised a Christian, or did you discover it later on?

I'll happily answer your question about how I justify the laws of logic shortly....

Stephen Law said...

Incidentally Sye, if you say:

"If I grant you the ability to use logic, without first accounting for your ability to do so, then I lose at the outset."

well then you also lose. For you yourself will have to use logic without first accounting for your ability to do so, in order to establish that God underpins and justifies your use of logic.

You have now undermined your own justification.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said:

”You have now undermined your own justification.”

It is my position that God is the source of logic, you may not feel that I have supported that position but, nevertheless it is my position. You have not given your justification for the laws of logic, that is why I say that if I allow you to use it, without justification, I lose. For you see, even if you came to the conclusion that God must exist, you could say: “Ya, but I didn’t need God for the logic I used to come to that conclusion.”

I can play the same card you just played: "But unless you accept the Wombat exists, you are not entitled to use logic, and so cannot use it to find fault with my argument."

You could, (and I would be happy to engage anyone who holds such a position), but then you would be abandonning atheism. Since, from what I understand, you profess atheism, let’s stick to the positions we hold.

I wrote: ”Now, I know that you will have difficulties with premise 1, but, in order to argue against it, you, like Stephen, must justify those laws according to your worldview.”

Your reply: ”sorry - I need to make my point clearer: I am not here (yet) arguing AGAINST 1. I am pointing out that you offer no argument FOR 1. That was my contention.”

My argument for point 1, is that it is true by the impossiblity of the contrary (as I stated).

”Now it won't do to say: "But now you, Stephen, are using logic, to which, as an atheist, you are not entitled", as, (i) you have not established this yet (so you are begging the question!),”

From what I recall, I said that you have offered no justification for the laws of logic which you hope to use against my argument. By your statement: ”I'll happily answer your question about how I justify the laws of logic shortly.... “I thought we had agreement there?

”(ii) that objection is in any case irrelevant as, if you are correct, YOU are entitled to logic, and by that logic, your own argument fails. So, by your own logic (not mine!) if your argument is good, it's bad. And if it's bad it's bad. So it's bad.”

Sorry, but you lost me there. I am entitled to use logic, as the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic make sense in my worldview (as I have demonstrated), for the purposes of this discussion, you first need to show us how they make sense in your worldview before you use them.

”Tell me a bit about yourself - how do you come to Christianity? Were you raised a Christian, or did you discover it later on?”

Been a Christian all my life, but my complete profile, and contact information, is actually on my website, one just has to answer the questions right to get to it :-)

I’ll be out most of the day, but I’ll try to get to the posts when I return.

Cheers,

Sy

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”The Argument from Ignorance: you can't prove not-p, therefore p.”

No, it’s more like p is true by the impossibility of the contrary, therefore not p is false.

”It's kind of also a False Dichotomy, because it need not be humans or the Christian God the laws of logic came from. It could be aliens, the Hindu gods, Allah, etc.”

And as I said, I would be happy to engage anyone who holds any of those positions.

I said: “Why aren’t there many conflicing laws of logic created by other humans?"

You answered: ”There are. Those who use the ones that don't work are using fallacies.”

Problem is, you assume that your laws are ‘working’ at the outset in order to determine that theirs are fallacious.

I said: ”"Could the sun be both the sun, and not the sun at the same time and in the same way before human intelligence created the law of non-contradiction?"

You answered: ”No, just like the Earth wasn't flat before the Greeks figured out it was round.”

1. How do you know, and 2. Why not?

”Well, by DEFINITION the True Laws are universal, abstract, and unchanging. No one knows what they are, though. The best we can do is make up Our Laws, then get Our Laws closer to True Laws via experimentation and falsification.
Just like by DEFINITION the most fuel-efficient car would be one that runs on no fuel. It would also be universal, abstract, and unchanging. Likewise, no one knows what such a car would look like. The best we can do is get closer to it via trial and error. (experimentation and falsification)”


My question is though, how do cars that run on no fuel, and universal, abstract, unchanging laws make sense in your worldview?

”Logic and Math stem from axioms, such as "x = x". Everything else follows as long as it's consistent with all axioms.”

But those axioms must be consistent with the worldview you profess. How does your woldview reconcile universal, abstract, invariants such as x = x, with changing particulars, such as science and history?

”We assume that the universe is consistent with itself, otherwise it would fail to exist.”

But why is it consistent rather than inconsistent? If your argument is “That’s just the way it is, then I could counter with “God exists, that’s just the way it is,” but that wouldn’t be much of an argument.

And where do we find axioms that work when we test them? We test them to see if they work.”

How is it that you know when they work, and what do you test them with?

There is a whole other problem with laws of logic being derived through experimentation and falsification though, all you could end up saying is that they ‘work’ as far as we know. They become contigent to those experiments, and lose their universality.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

So how's it going Sye old buddy, I see you doing your usual jod of not actually defending your premise or accounting for anything.


As a vary minor point of interest. Here was how my debate with Sye went:

http://idiotphilosophy.
blogspot.com/

jeremy said...

Now it won't do to say: "But now you, Stephen, are using logic, to which, as an atheist, you are not entitled", as, (i) you have not established this yet (so you are begging the question!), and (ii) that objection is in any case irrelevant as, if you are correct, YOU are entitled to logic, and by that logic, your own argument fails. So, by your own logic (not mine!) if your argument is good, it's bad. And if it's bad it's bad. So it's bad.

God, that was delicious :)

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

Sye,
(food for thought, I don't want to interrupt the flow of the discussion with Stephen; so no need to answer to any of this at this time.)

I believe I’ve already accounted for the propositions of logic in my world view. I realize once again that you do not agree with my world view, but you have also never accounted for it. You simply say, "Why should I believe in your system of truth?" Which is where I respond, because you cannot prove yours. You also say, "Your system of truth is absurd." Yet you've never offered proof as to how and why it is. So following that, Sye does not exists because he is absurd.


That a logical proposition is immaterial MAY be the case, and according to your assertion it MAY even be the case that God exists - but neither has been proven. A logical proposition correlates to objective reality and that it is immaterial can be seen to be somewhat of a misnomer. For example one might say that 1+1=2 is an immaterial proposition. However this proposition is meaningless by itself as it was derived from the experience of reality as in 1[apple]+1[apple]=2[apples]. In this case the law of logic here is not immaterial in that what our language (the proposition) is reflecting is a change of state in reality. 1+1=2 in this case is a mere linguistic affirmation that this was the case. To say that any logical proposition stands by itself in some immaterial way is to suggest that it is the case outside an object in which it applies to. Which means it would be not relative, or absolute. But this is impossible. Truth is [afterall] systemic.

As a result, logical propositions (which are what you call the LAWS of logic) cannot stand by themselves in any absolute sense, so further are not really immaterial at all. If all you mean by immaterial is that thought and language are void of substance, I say that they are contingent (systemically dependent) upon substance. In this way the laws of logic are not derived from God, but systemically from the world. Again (as I’ve said to you before) in order to even put forth a proposition one first needs a method of resolution and in this way your “IMMATERIAL LAWS OF LOGIC” do not stand as being contingent upon God, but relative to the world [system] at large. Furthermore, before there was mind to make propositions, no propositions even existed, therefore no absolute law of logic existed in this instance. The only propositions that exist with regard to the past are ones we make relative to our current position. To put it another way, if the laws of logic are immaterial and absolute (not relative & true for every possible circumstance) then you must show that these laws necessarily existe[d] without mind and without the material world. if you cannot, then it stands that truth is then necessarily systemic.

So what "law of logic" then, is necessarily absolute, and what proof can you offer that it is not contingent [relative to] upon mind and/or matter? Without this, you can throw your proof out the window. If you can't do that, in the vary least offer a proof against systemic truth that doesn't borrow from my world view.


And might I remind you Sye (followng from your tactics) that you struck Stephens argument here:
"(1) The existence of the Great Cosmic Wombat is a necessary precondition of there being laws of logic
(2) Laws of logic exist
Therefore: The Great Cosmic Wombat exists."

Because he was abondoning his world view. So be careful that if you engage my argument that you stay within the confines of your own absolute worldview. So calling it absurde, or reflecting on the possability of other world views is no longer a valid argument in this case.

Kyle P. said...

Sye,

Again, had a longer post typed out, but I bounced it off my wife and she didn't like it much, so here's the shortened, better form:

You said, "No, it’s more like p is true by the impossibility of the contrary, therefore not p is false."

But you have not demonstrated that the contrary is impossible. It is a claim that you have made and not shown any evidence for - you just stated it. This, I believe, is what Stephen meant by saying you simply asserted your position without actually proving anything.

anticant said...

Some holiday, Stephen - traversing the full gamut from the physical heights to the metaphysical depths...

Nutcasenightmare said...

"...but then you would be abandonning atheism. Since, from what I understand, you profess atheism, let’s stick to the positions we hold."

Ever heard of a HYPOTHETICAL scenario? Just for the sake of argument, I'll start worshipping the Great Cosmic Wombat. Due to impossibility of wombats existing without the Great Cosmic Wombat, (which for some reason I will not say WHY it's impossible) there must be a Great Cosmic Wombat.

Wombat design shows there must have been a Wombat Designer. Wombats are friendly, fuzzy, and don't kill each other. Without wombats we wouldn't be moral.

I base my beliefs on the doctrine of ezone.com: http://takegame.com/action/pictures/spacewombat.jpg

ALL HAIL THE GREAT COSMIC WOMBAT!!!

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

"My question is though, how do cars that run on no fuel, and universal, abstract, unchanging laws make sense in your worldview?"

Anything abstract is an IDEA. 'Two' doesn't exist, unless applied to the physical world. ABSTRACTIONS DON'T EXIST like Harry Potter doesn't exist. There doesn't need to be a God in order for people to have an idea.

You asked how universal laws over all space and time makes sense to us? Again, they're ideas. One can imagine that there's something or some things that everything in the universe has in common. We would call this the Theory of Everything.

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

"all you could end up saying is that they ‘work’ as far as we know. They become contigent to those experiments, and lose their universality."

That's why we test our ideas with more and more experiments, with differing variables for each experiment.

With 2 different experiments, we may find a 'law' that applies to those two. With 10 different experiments, we may improve on our idea of the 'law', or discard it for a new one that fits better with the experimental data.

The more experiments we do, the more UNIVERSAL the data. We're still learning the laws of the world. (Currently, we're working on String Theory, supposedly.)

Our ideas of the laws of physics don't LOSE their universality because they weren't universal in the FIRST place. Science, however, makes sure that they become more universal.

Anyway, that's how science works.

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

"Problem is, you assume that your laws are ‘working’ at the outset in order to determine that theirs are fallacious."

No. We test them in the real world and try to come up with counterexamples. Say you think that Affirming the Consequent isn't a fallacy. A-->B means B-->A. Then we come up with a counterexample, like, 'Getting hit by truck follows in death' does not mean 'Death is always caused by being hit by a truck'.

We believe that we shouldn't try to study the universe from studying a 2,000 year old book written by old men.

We believe that the most direct way to study the universe is to STUDY THE UNIVERSE.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "As a vary minor point of interest. Here was how my debate with Sye went:
http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/ "


Um Andrew, I'm thinking that you might not want your friends here to read your argument.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Paul said: ”Thanks Sye for your response.”

My pleasure.

”This is not a good forum for this, but I can't let you go unchallenged.”

No problem.

”Logic is how we interpret the world and events, and includes things like tautologies and syllogisms, not to mention non sequiturs, which are often contended, depending on context. I don't believe that logic and mathematics are synynomous as some people do, but I believe mathematics and scientific laws are universal, if that clarifies my position.”

I don’t see a challenge there.

”In regard to the basis for my assertion, the only experience any of us have of God is inside our minds, not out there, which is why I argue that God is a subjective experience.”

I don’t see how you get from us subjectively experiencing God (which is not my argument, as this begs the question that God could not reveal Himself to us in such a way that we could have objective knowledge of Him) to God being a subjective expereince. How does this in any way show that God is not an objective reality?

”And it is obvious that different people have different ideas of what God is.”

Again, this does not in any way demonsrate that God is not an objective reality.

Just out of curiosity Paul, by what standard of logic are you evaluating my argument, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to my argument?

Cheers,

Sye

Paul P. Mealing said...

I agree, Sye, that my argument doesn’t rule out an objective God, it’s just that everyone’s experience of God is subjective, not objective.

My standard of logic comes from years of practice and application to abstract ideas and real events. It is part of our nature to look for causes and effects – we make predictions then we modify those predictions based on sensory feedback. Neuroscientist, Karl Friston of University College London (New Scientist, 31 May 2008) maintains that we do that at all levels of cognition and called it a model of the brain based on Bayesian probability, which is a reiterative process. So it’s a feature of the human brain that we employ logic when making these predictions and make sense of what we perceive in the world. It becomes a dialectic and it’s how we do science, only the predictions become theories and the sensory feedback becomes experimentation.

In a previous response, you asked me to offer a ‘proof’ that the biblical God is a projection of humanity rather than the converse. I can’t prove it, but I can put forward an argument using logic. We know that people exist, but we don’t know that God exists, and we know that people wrote the Bible, not God, so it’s logical that people who wrote about God would project a human personality onto God. On the other hand, if God wrote the Bible and populated it with fictional beings called humans, then logically ‘He’ would project ‘His’ personality onto the people. But God, according to you is an ‘immaterial being’ so ‘He’ couldn’t write a book. Most Christians argue that God wrote the Bible through people, which means he ‘entered’ their minds, which, as I said at the outset, is the only experience of God we can have.

By the way, if the biblical God created all these mathematical and scientific laws, why isn’t there any mention of them in the Bible?

Regards, Paul.

Sye TenB said...

Kyle said: But you have not demonstrated that the contrary is impossible. It is a claim that you have made and not shown any evidence for - you just stated it.”

Posit the contrary justifiction for the laws of logic, that you hold to, and I will be pleased to refute it.

”This, I believe, is what Stephen meant by saying you simply asserted your position without actually proving anything.”

Problem is, when one says that I have not proven anything, it shows a precommittment to the concept of proof, which has yet to be accounted for outside of God.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”Ever heard of a HYPOTHETICAL scenario? Just for the sake of argument, I'll start worshipping the Great Cosmic Wombat.”

Look, I get enough of this at other blogs, if you wish to argue your position with me fine, but please don’t waste my time arguing something which neither of us believe.

”Two' doesn't exist, unless applied to the physical world.”

Prove this please.

”There doesn't need to be a God in order for people to have an idea.”

Prove this please.

”With 2 different experiments, we may find a 'law' that applies to those two. With 10 different experiments, we may improve on our idea of the 'law', or discard it for a new one that fits better with the experimental data.”

Do the laws of logic apply to unobserved data?

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

I said: "Problem is, you assume that your laws are ‘working’ at the outset in order to determine that theirs are fallacious."

You answered: ”No. We test them in the real world and try to come up with counterexamples.”

What do you test them with?

”We believe that we shouldn't try to study the universe from studying a 2,000 year old book written by old men.”

Either do I.

”We believe that the most direct way to study the universe is to STUDY THE UNIVERSE.”

Problem is, if you study the universe with the presupposition that there is no God, you do so without justification for the very science and logic you are studying it with.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye, (just a reminder)
I posited my contrary justification for logic, but you were never able to refuted it; on 3 different bloggs. Regardless of whether I'm amature at best (if even that), you've never answered to the fundamental questions I asked becasue you couldn't.

And,
if someone else here posits yet another system, chances are they will get the following response from you as I've seen it before (it's a canned response from you):

"What you fail to realize, is that even if your system of truth is valid, it would only be true for the system in which you are working. Anyone could posit another system, and it would necessarily have to be true. I could easily say “Well, you may think that I haven't proven anything according to your system of truth, but according to my system of truth, I have.”

This is hardly a refutation, it's merely a denial of the need for one. Furthermore it beggs the question as to why we should appeal to your system of truth.

You said to Kyle:

"Posit the[a] contrary justifiction for the laws of logic, that you hold to, and I will be pleased to refute it. "

But you won't, so why should Kyle bother?

Kyle P. said...

Sye said,
"Posit the contrary justifiction for the laws of logic, that you hold to, and I will be pleased to refute it."

Justifiction is an apropos typo - apropypo maybe. I do not need to posit a contrary justification. Your claim is that it is impossible to exist. You must show some reason why that is the case, or else your very first premise is unproven, and your whole argument falls apart. Indeed, I need not even claim to have a justification for logic, for it is your own claim to logic which is your undoing, as Stephen pointed out earlier.

Semi-relatedly, I think it's interesting to look at the contrapositive of Sye's proof as stated. You can see pretty much exactly where he assumed his conclusion. It is left as an exercise to the reader. (I always wanted to say that! :)).

Nutcasenightmare said...

Sye said:
"Problem is, if you study the universe with the presupposition that there is no God, you do so without justification for the very science and logic you are studying it with."

Prove it please.
If God exists, you can use logic to prove it, and avoid circular justification.

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

Sye,I've noticed most of your 'arguments' involve:

-circular justification;

-claiming something without proving it; and especially

-dismissing hypothetical scenarios just because neither of us believe it. Hypothetical scenarios are IMPORTANT. If Einstein didn't come up with hypothetical thought-experiments about travelling at the speed of light, general relativity could not have been derived. If one does not consider alternatives, hypothetical or not, it's not a debate. It's stubborness.

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

By the way, my Hindu friend wants to tag along for the debate: so prove it HAS to be the Christian God. Prove that it can't be ANY of the 330,000 gods and goddesses throughout Hindu traditions.

P.S: Don't you dare dismiss it because 'it's something neither of us believe'. My Hindu friend believes that the Hindu gods exist. In fact, 13% of the world population believes it.

Stephen Law said...

Hello again Sye

Thanks for taking time out to respond to these many comments.

Now, I think I went too fast last time, in my enthusiasm, so this time I'll just take one point and do it slow. The most basic point, I think, is this.

My contention is that your "proof" is not a proof, for it contains an unargued for, dubious premise. You might attempt to provide supporting argument for that premise, but until you have done so, your argument fails as a proof.

Your proof is like so:

1. The existence of the laws of logic requires the existence of God.
2. The laws of logic exist.
Therefore: God exists.

Now compare this:

1. The existence of the laws of logic requires the Cosmic Wombat exists.
2. The laws of logic exist.
Therefore: The cosmic Wombat exists.

Now I don't believe in the wombat. Nor do I suppose the second argument is a proof. But the second argument is structurally identical to yours. So why is yours a "proof" when the second is just silly?

I guess you will say: because the premise of the first is true. But you, Sye, can't just ASSERT that, you have to show it. You have to supply a further argument. AS IT STANDS, your "proof" is no better than the Wombat proof.

Now, it won't do to say "But Stephen, you are assessing my argument by the laws of logic, to which you are not entitled".

For notice that

(i) you have not shown this yet. Even if I cannot justify logic, you have not shown that that means I am not entitled to use it. Where's your argument to support that claims?

(ii) in any case, you suppose YOU are entitled to use logic, and the application of logic - in particular, the requirement that an argument won't do if it contains unargued-for and challenged premises - reveals that your argument fails for just that reason. So you should, in good conscience, now acknowledge this (WHETHER OR NOT you think I happen to be justified in using logic).

Anonymous said...

paul said -"By the way, if the biblical God created all these mathematical and scientific laws, why isn’t there any mention of them in the Bible?"

One suspects that His (Holy) ghostwriter knew the publishing dictum that every equation cuts a books sales in half... [brought to popular attention by Stephen Hawking in "A Brief History of Time"].

Its a bit short on diagrams too!

anticant said...

Of course God exists. God exists in Sye's mind, and in that of millions - billions - of other believers. Each of them believes that theirs is the "true" version of God, and that anyone who disagrees with them [whether another believer or an unbeliever] is in error. But when you ask Sye, or any other believer, to describe their God, they tell you that God is unknowable and indefinable unless you already believe, in which case you don't need proofs and definitions - a truly circular argument!

What I want to know is why Sye invests so much energy and ingenuity in arguing in this way? What's in it for him? What is he trying to prove? Why does he so badly need to be 'right'?

Nutcasenightmare said...

Well argued, Stephen Law! I'd like to see Sye squirm his way out of THAT... Sye did some fairly awkward intellectual contortions to try to prove Absolute Truth in Andrew Louis's http://idiotphilosophy.
blogspot.com/

So he argues AGAINST systemic truth, which states truth has proof. ...so basically Sye is arguing against the validity of proof... which probably means that, Stephen, he's not going to provide any proof. Ever. He's quite content with evasion and circular justification.

But still, great arguments, Stephen! (Whether or not you're 'entitled' to logic)

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

Anonymous said: "[The Bible's] a bit short on diagrams too!"

1 Kings Chapter 7, Verse 23:
"And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about."

Round all about. Ten cubits in diameter. Thirty cubits in circumference... That's a good reason why the Bible is short on diagrams...

Let's see if Sye can draw a perfect circle with a PI VALUE OF THREE.

Sye? Still care to explain the universality of MATHEMATICS?

Anonymous said...

A value of Pi = 3 is pretty good considering the accuracy of the rest of it. Not only that if you were talking about an eye witness account from someone who had no knowledge of geometry its excellent. I doubt if Lloyd Grossman gets the width of peoples indoor swimming pools nearly as close without help.

Kosh3 said...

Any argument for the reliability of logic will necessarily employ logic in making that argument, making the argument circular in nature (and thus argumentatively useless).

Logic is not something that can be justified - nor, I think, something that stands in need of justification. We must, and can only, assume its rightful application.

Sye TenB said...

Hello Stephen,

I see that you’ll be mountain biking today, looks like fun.

”My contention is that your "proof" is not a proof, for it contains an unargued for, dubious premise.”

Which shows a precommittment to the concepts of proof and logic, which, as yet, you have not shown how they make sense according to your worldview.

1. The existence of the laws of logic requires the Cosmic Wombat exists.
2. The laws of logic exist.
Therefore: The cosmic Wombat exists.
Now I don't believe in the wombat. Nor do I suppose the second argument is a proof. But the second argument is structurally identical to yours. So why is yours a "proof" when the second is just silly?


The sillines of the argument is not in the structure but in the object, “The Cosmic Wombat.” You see, I say that God is the necessary precondition of the laws of logic, but I have (briefly) accounted for the basic elements of logic in the nature of God. I also have an objective revelation from God in His word, which can be examined for justification of my claim. If you would care to demonstrate how the Cosmic Wombat accounts for universal, abstract, invariant entities, then we could compare our claims, and see which one actually comports with reality.

”Now, it won't do to say "But Stephen, you are assessing my argument by the laws of logic, to which you are not entitled".
For notice that
(i) you have not shown this yet. Even if I cannot justify logic, you have not shown that that means I am not entitled to use it. Where's your argument to support that claims?:


I don’t know what they do in your part of the world, but here they have head to head car races for the ownership (pink slips) of their cars. Now if I were to enter such a race with you, I would demand that you prove ownership of your car. You could say, “prove that I have to provide ownership of my car before I can race against you.” I can’t prove that you require ownership of your car to race against me, but I do believe that your requirement to do so is self evident, and further that it would be foolish of me to enter such a race if you did not.

More accurately though, I have an objective revealtion which tells me that your car is actually stolen. I can’t convince you of the objectiveness of the revelation, however, if you have a precommittment that it is not objective. All I want to do at this point, though, is have us examine our respective pink slips to see if this race can take place. You may not like how mine looks, but where is yours?

”(ii) in any case, you suppose YOU are entitled to use logic, and the application of logic - in particular, the requirement that an argument won't do if it contains unargued-for and challenged premises - reveals that your argument fails for just that reason.”

Problem is, you have already jumped in the car which you claim is yours, and are halfway down the track, when I am in the process of evaluating pink slips. Sure, you can rev your engine, squeal away, and drive anywhere you like but 1. it seems rather pointless, and 2. The cops are waiting at the end of the line :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Kosh3 said: "Logic is not something that can be justified - nor, I think, something that stands in need of justification. We must, and can only, assume its rightful application."

So, what if someone comes up with a law of logic that posits that contradictions in reasoning are allowed, and says the same thing as you just said?

Who would be right, and how would you know?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

I'm not ignoring the rest of you, I'll try to get to more later today. I'm off to church now :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye, (here is my pink slip)
let my contention be(following systemic truth as my proof of ownership of logic), that your proof is not a proof for it contains an unargued for premise.

The statement, "It may be true for your system but not for mine", would be begging the question and not answer as to why I should buy into your system of truth.

This is where you say:
"that the proof is valid based on the impossibility of the contrary."

This too does not prove my claim to logic as being false.

jeremy said...

Stephen (or anyone else),

I'm not a philosopher by any stretch of the imagination - so this may be a very silly question - but wouldn't Sye's argument still be a "proof", formally, even though his first premise is almost certainly totally wrong?

I'm happy to call it a failed proof, or a faulty argument, but I'm not sure why you have to argue for each of your premises in order to have your work labelled as a "proof". Wouldn't that entail an infinite regression, as each of these 'sub-proofs' would have premises to justify?

Sorry if that's a daft question, but I'm genuinely interested!

Anonymous said...

"1. The existence of the laws of logic requires the existence of God.
2. The laws of logic exist.
Therefore: God exists."


Why should anyone accept #1?

Why do the laws of logic require the existence of any sort of god?

After all, don't we agree that the laws of chess exist? The laws of chess are not physical. Is a god required for the existence of the laws of chess?
Likewise, I know that the driving laws in my state exist. Those driving laws are not physical. And I am quite certain that no god brought those driving laws into existence.


Tom

Sye TenB said...

Andre Louis said: "Sye, (here is my pink slip)"

Look Andrew, you don't even believe in absolutes, so how in the world can you justify absolute laws of logic?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

”I agree, Sye, that my argument doesn’t rule out an objective God, it’s just that everyone’s experience of God is subjective, not objective.”

But this begs the question that God could not reveal Himself in such a way that we can know Him objectively, either by, or wholly apart from our experiences.

”My standard of logic comes from years of practice and application to abstract ideas and real events.”

But then, without revelation from God, logic is contingent to your experiences, loses its universality and is not at all law-like. How, for instance, do your experiences have any bearing on anyone else’s experiences or apply to unexperienced events?

”So it’s a feature of the human brain that we employ logic when making these predictions and make sense of what we perceive in the world.”

But everyone’s brain is different, what makes logic universal?

”We know that people exist, but we don’t know that God exists”

Speak for yourself :-) Actually, it is the contention of the Christian worldview, that everyone knows that God exists, and that those who deny Him are merely “suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1: 18-21).

”and we know that people wrote the Bible, not God”

Again, it is the Christian contention that God wrote the Bible through men. It is one thing not to accept the Christian contention, it is another to change it.

”Most Christians argue that God wrote the Bible through people, which means he ‘entered’ their minds, which, as I said at the outset, is the only experience of God we can have.”

Problem is, you have yet to explain how God could not reveal Himself to us in such a way that we can know of Him as an objective reality.

”By the way, if the biblical God created all these mathematical and scientific laws, why isn’t there any mention of them in the Bible?”

It is mentioned that God created everything, that, to me anyways, seems rather all encompassing. God created amoebas and allegators too, but I don’t find them in the Bible either. Still though, the elements of the laws of logic, i.e. universal, abstract, invariants, are mentioned throughout the Bible, as as is the mention of God ‘fixing the laws of heaven and earth.’ I simply want to know how anyone can make sense of universal, abstract, invariant laws outside of God.

Cheers,

Sye

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

Kyle said: ”Justifiction is an apropos typo - apropypo maybe.”

Ha, that’s actually pretty good :-)

”I do not need to posit a contrary justification. Your claim is that it is impossible to exist. You must show some reason why that is the case”

Actually, you’re doing just fine on your own.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”If God exists, you can use logic to prove it, and avoid circular justification.”

All ultimate authority claims have a necessary element of circularity, but not each (read only one) is valid. You see, if I asked you how you know that your ability to reason is valid, you would have to use your reasoning to provide an answer, thus making it circular. If you ask me how I know that my reasoning is valid, I can say that I know this, because God has revealed that to us in His Word. Now sure, I assume God exists in order to support my argument that God gave us reasoning, but if you were intellectually honest, you would be forced to admit that God could give us valid reasoning, and reveal to us that it is, in fact, valid whereas all you have is the visciously circular “I have reasoned that my reasoning is valid.”

”Sye,I've noticed most of your 'arguments' involve:
-circular justification;”


See above.

”-claiming something without proving it;”

Where is the proof for this claim? (Pot meet kettle, kettle – pot :-)

”and especially
-dismissing hypothetical scenarios just because neither of us believe it. Hypothetical scenarios are IMPORTANT.”


I never said that they were not, I just don’t have the time to argue everyone’s hypothetical scenario. You see, if I refute your hypothetical, you could just say: “Well, I didn’t believe that anyway,” and posit another hypothetical, and so on, and so on.

”By the way, my Hindu friend wants to tag along for the debate”

Great! Send him over!

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Anticant said: ” But when you ask Sye, or any other believer, to describe their God, they tell you that God is unknowable and indefinable unless you already believe”

Actually, I don’t say this. I address this on the first answer in the Q & A on the main page on my site.

”What I want to know is why Sye invests so much energy and ingenuity in arguing in this way? What's in it for him? What is he trying to prove? Why does he so badly need to be 'right'?”

It is not a matter of needing to be right. I do this because, among other things, I am commanded by God to ‘contend for the faith,’ (Jude 1:3) Plus, I believe in Hell, and I don’t want anyone to go there.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "Sye? Still care to explain the universality of MATHEMATICS?"

Sure, the laws of mathematics apply to all people, at all times.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Tom said: ”After all, don't we agree that the laws of chess exist? The laws of chess are not physical. Is a god required for the existence of the laws of chess?”

Actually yes, but when we are talking about the laws of logic, we are not only talking about non-physical laws, but also universal, and invariant ones. I’d be interested in hearing how you suppose man made universal, invariant laws (let alone non-physical ones).

Just out of curiosity, since you are not a naturalist, to what philosophy do you subscribe?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”I'm not a philosopher by any stretch of the imagination - so this may be a very silly question - but wouldn't Sye's argument still be a "proof", formally, even though his first premise is almost certainly totally wrong?”

Either am I Stephen, but you are exactly right. No one has a problem with this argument:

All men are mortal.
Socrates is a man.
Therefore Socrates is mortal.

But clearly, no one could ever prove the first premise.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
you stated:
"Look Andrew, you don't even believe in absolutes, so how in the world can you justify absolute laws of logic?"

Yes, that's in my premise which is posted here and at my blogg. You know it, you've read it.

Bottom line: I've posited a counter justification for the laws of logic with my premise on Systimic Truth (which states that the the laws of logic are SYSTEMIC, NOT absolute). In my proof I've shown how your idea of truth is not propositional, and furthermore not valid.

So,
staying within the confines of your worldview, prove me wrong. Recall that this requires you to:

A.)Show how the statement "Absolute truth exists" is propositional.

B.)Give an example of an absolute truth and show how it is not Systemic.

Here's what you're doing Sye.
You state:
"Posit the[a] contrary justifiction for the laws of logic, that you hold to, and I will be pleased to refute it. "

Now that I've done that you say essentially, "well, it doesn't fit with my absolute world view so I'm not going to refute it."

I reminded of this:
http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2008/07/stb-debate.html

Nutcasenightmare said...

I said:
"-claiming something without proving it;"

Sye said: "Where is the proof for this claim? (Pot meet kettle, kettle – pot :-)"

Sye said earlier: "If you ask me how I know that my reasoning is valid, I can say that I know this, because God has revealed that to us in His Word."

Hey, there's something you didn't prove. So prove it now. Prove that the Bible was the word of God, and that Jesus ever existed. My proof Jesus never existed? There are no records of his existence other than in the Bible. No records of Romans exceuting someone named Jesus. No records of miracles. No artefacts.

When someone as important as Jesus is involved, absence of evidence IS evidence of absence. Occam's Razor, too.

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

Sye said: "It is not a matter of needing to be right. I do this because, among other things, I am commanded by God to ‘contend for the faith,’ (Jude 1:3)"

Faith > Truth? Well I guess there wasn't a debate after all, was there?

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

By the way, Sye, the difference between cars and logic? Logic isn't something you can steal. The analogy you made to Stephen about cars and logic fails there.

For if you are right, you can use logic to prove your premises. Hitherto, you have failed to do so. All you have done is shift the burden of proof, and many of us here have already shown that logic does not require the acceptence of the Christian God.

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

I said: "Sye? Still care to explain the universality of MATHEMATICS?"

Sye said: "Sure, the laws of mathematics apply to all people, at all times."

Please don't misquote me. I brought up that question so you could explain why the Bible implies pi is three.

While doing that, please explain why the Bible supports:
-Slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46)
-Heterosexism (Leviticus 18:22)
-Death Penalty to People Who Work on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:15)
-etc.

If anything, the Bible canNOT be interpreted literally.

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

One more thing, Sye, if logic requires the acceptence of the Christian God...

...what about Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and all the other Greek philosophers?

Sye TenB said...

@ Andrew

I said: ”Posit a contrary justifiction for the laws of logic, that you hold to, and I will be pleased to refute it.”

You said: ”Now that I've done that you say essentially, "well, it doesn't fit with my absolute world view so I'm not going to refute it."

Problem is, Andrew, we aren’t even on the same page. You are talking about arbitrary laws that only apply in your made-up system, not universal laws. If you want to get into the debate and posit your justification for the universal, absract, invariant laws of logic, fine, but I could not care less about laws which you claim are only true to you.

Cheers,

Sye

Holy Cow said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "”By the way, my Hindu friend wants to tag along for the debate”

Sye said: "Great! Send him over!"

Hello, I'm Nut's friend. And he was the one who suggested the title 'Holy Cow'. I'm going to get him for that.

Sye, could you please show that it has to be the Christian God that explains the existence of logic? Why could it not be any of the 330,000 gods and goddesses in Hinduism? Why could it not be Brahman, which in Hindu beliefs, is also unchanging, abstract, and infinite?

That would be helpful

~Thanks millions,

"Holy Cow", who is now gonna attack Nutcase severely.

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ” My proof Jesus never existed? There are no records of his existence other than in the Bible. No records of Romans exceuting someone named Jesus. No records of miracles. No artefacts.”

Not only is that blatantly false – see Josephus, but, how in any way is that proof that Jesus never existed?

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

”By the way, Sye, the difference between cars and logic? Logic isn't something you can steal. The analogy you made to Stephen about cars and logic fails there.”

Problem is, the analogy was in regards to stealing the justification for the laws of logic, not logic itself.

”All you have done is shift the burden of proof, and many of us here have already shown that logic does not require the acceptence of the Christian God.”

I have never said anything about acceptance of the Christian God in this blog.

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

”Please don't misquote me. I brought up that question so you could explain why the Bible implies pi is three.”

Sorry, but I don’t take my Biblical exegesis from those who deny its authority.

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

”One more thing, Sye, if logic requires the acceptence of the Christian God...
...what about Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and all the other Greek philosophers?”


Again, where have I ever said anything about acceptance of the Christian God?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Holy cow said: ”Hello, I'm Nut's friend. And he was the one who suggested the title 'Holy Cow'. I'm going to get him for that.”

Well, I don’t believe you, but I’ll play (for now).

”Sye, could you please show that it has to be the Christian God that explains the existence of logic?”

Sure, by the impossibility of the contrary.

”Why could it not be any of the 330,000 gods and goddesses in Hinduism? “

Posit one, and I’ll be happy to explain.

”Why could it not be Brahman, which in Hindu beliefs, is also unchanging, abstract, and infinite?”

Actually the third characteristic of logic is 'universal' not 'infinite,' but before I answer, let me ask you this first: How do you know about Brahman?

Cheers,

Sye

Nutcasenightmare said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendental_Argument_for_the_Non-existence_of_God

Pretty interesting how the Transcendental Argument can be turned against God.

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

And Sye, the Bible does indeed imply Pi=3, and outright ADVOCATES slavery, heterosexism, death penalty to those who work on the Sabbath.

-Pi=3:(1 Kings Chapter 7, Verse 23)
-Slavery (Leviticus 25:44-46)
-Heterosexism (Leviticus 18:22)
-Death Penalty to People Who Work on the Sabbath (Exodus 31:15)

I even gave you the Biblical chapter and verse of each case!

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

I said: ”All you have done is shift the burden of proof, and many of us here have already shown that logic does not require the acceptence of the Christian God.”

Sye said: "I have never said anything about acceptance of the Christian God in this blog."

Sye said later: "Sorry, but I don’t take my Biblical exegesis from those who deny its authority."

Irony aside, if acceptence of the Christian God has been irrelevant so far, why are you saying that Stephen is not entitled to logic, because he does not believe in the Christian God?

...and by the way, exegesis is the CRITICAL ANALYSIS of a text. As I said before...

"If one does not consider alternatives, hypothetical or not, it's not a debate. It's stubborness."

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
you said:
"Problem is, Andrew, we aren’t even on the same page. You are talking about arbitrary laws that only apply in your made-up system, not universal laws."

Eureka! You fail to realize the most fundamental element here Sye.

PROVE that my system is arbitrary and that absolute idealism is true? There is nothing arbitrary about my position. I posited a system for truth, refute it. I think YOUR system is made up, at least in my case I proved why I believe that to be the case, you offer nothing.

The problem is, Sye, is that you've perhaps figured out that the only way to refute my proof is to subscribe to my world view.

Furthermore, the whole point of this is that we're all on different pages and you need to prove that yours is the right page, as I/ME/ANDREW have already done.

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said:” And Sye, the Bible does indeed imply Pi=3, and outright ADVOCATES slavery, heterosexism, death penalty to those who work on the Sabbath.”

As I said, I do not take my Biblical exegesis from those who deny the authority of the Bible, but still, is slavery, heterosexism, or the death penalty for working on the Sabbath absolutely morally wrong?

”Irony aside, if acceptence of the Christian God has been irrelevant so far, why are you saying that Stephen is not entitled to logic, because he does not believe in the Christian God?”

That is not what I said. I said that Stephen (and anyone else for that matter) must tell us how logic makes sense in his worldview, before he is justified in using it.

"If one does not consider alternatives, hypothetical or not, it's not a debate. It's stubborness."

That is only a claim, where is the proof for your claim?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "PROVE that my system is arbitrary"

Um Andrew, if it aint absolute, it's arbitrary. Simple as that.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
You said:
"Um Andrew, if it aint absolute, it's arbitrary. Simple as that."

Sye,
I don't believe in absolute truth, I've already shown it is an impossability. Your proposition above is therefore not valid in my worldview.

So, in light of that, what proof do you have that absolutes exist? Prove to me that, "absolute truth exists" is a proposition, and afterward give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "I don't believe in absolute truth"

I can't believe I'm doing this (again). Andrew, is it absolutely true that absolute truth does not exist?

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye you said:
"is it absolutely true that absolute truth does not exist?"

That is not a valid proposition in my world view, so you must first prove that it is, and afterward give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

Nutcasenightmare said...

Sye said: "Um Andrew, if it aint absolute, it's arbitrary."

First of all, prove it.

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

Second of all, absolute truthism only works for arbitrarily assigned values, like language.
It IS absolutely true that ALL squares have four sides, because a square is DEFINED by having four sides.

I know what you're going to say next. You're going to define God as existent. I'll show you beforehand why defining something as existent doesn't make it so.

Let's define the Pink Invisible Unicorn as pink, invisible,(ORLY?) AND existent. It IS absolutely true that ALL Pink Invisible Unicorns exist. The problem is that there AREN'T any Pink Invisible Unicorns. But if there were, they would exist. But they don't.

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

Last of all,
things CAN be neither absolute nor arbitrary.

Atomic Theory is by no means absolute, for it does not apply to photons, black holes, and a plethora of other things.

But Atomic Theory is by no means arbitrary, for it is not based on whim, but on the nature of the universe, tested and experimented against nature itself.

So what truth does Atomic Theory hold? As Andrew said, Systemic.

So thar.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "That is not a valid proposition in my world view"

It's not a proposition, it's a question.

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
you said:
"It's not a proposition, it's a question." Regarding: "is it absolutely true that absolute truth does not exist?"

You are presenting it for my consideration, and therefore it is a proposal, and systemically invalid.

So I say again:
prove that it is, and afterward give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

Nutcasenightmare said...

Oh yeah, by the way Sye, please name one absolute truth that:

-is NOT based on arbitrarily assigned values like math or language; (e.g '1+1=2' or 'The Great Cosmic Wombat is great and cosmic. Did I mention she's a wombat?')

-is NOT "absolute truth is absolutely true"; and

-has to do with the nature of the universe, and can be absolutely applied to EVERY SINGLE PHYSICAL SCENARIO at ALL TIMES.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "You are presenting it for my consideration, and therefore it is a proposal, and systemically invalid."

Look Andrew, I am only asking you a question, which you obviously cannot answer. Still though, if what you say WERE true, then it would only be invalid in YOUR arbitrary system, and not absolutely invalid.

Sorry man, but you are boring me to tears, give it a rest already. The very owner of this blog has no problem with absolute truth, so go argue this where people are interested in hearing it.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
you said:
Look Andrew, I am only asking you a question, which you obviously cannot answer.

Given that I have proven that absolute truth is no such thing, I have already answered your question. You need only to re-read my proof, which I know you already know quite well.

So I say again:
prove that it is, and afterward give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

And you said:
"Still though, if what you say WERE true, then it would only be invalid in YOUR arbitrary system, and not absolutely invalid."

Prove this to be the case Sye. And understand that in doing so you must:
prove , "that absolute truth exists" is a valid proposition, and afterward give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

You're just mad because I'm out Sye-ing you and you have no way to save face from this.

Kosh3 said...

Sye:
"So, what if someone comes up with a law of logic that posits that contradictions in reasoning are allowed, and says the same thing as you just said?

Who would be right, and how would you know?"

If someone wants to be irrational and called it rational, that is up to them. If people deny the law of non contradiction, claiming that it is logical to do so (because their new principle belongs in logic), there is not much the rest may do. I don't see any obvious way around it. The rest of us don't have to go along with it, of course.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said:” You're just mad because I'm out Sye-ing you and you have no way to save face from this.”

I’m not at all mad, just extremely bored by you.

I said: “Still though, if what you say WERE true, then it would only be invalid in YOUR arbitrary system, and not absolutely invalid."

You said: ”Prove this to be the case Sye.”

Yikes Andrew, this is your very claim. You are the one who believes in systemic truth, by definition, if your argument was valid, it would be only valid in your system. If you claim that your argument is valid outside of your system, you refute yourself. If you can’t see that. I really can’t help you.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Kosh3 said: ”If someone wants to be irrational and called it rational, that is up to them.”

Why would what you believe be ‘rational,’ and what they believe be ‘irrational?’ Who would be ‘right’ and how would you know?

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye:
Lets try this again.

You said: “Still though, if what you say WERE true, then it would only be invalid in YOUR arbitrary system, and not absolutely invalid."

I said: ”Prove this to be the case Sye.”

Perhaps you are having a lapse in understanding. Prove that it's only invalid in my system and that absolutes necessarily exist. Which of course requires you to:
prove , "that absolute truth exists" is a valid proposition, and afterward give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

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

Sye said: "but still, is slavery, heterosexism, or the death penalty for working on the Sabbath absolutely morally wrong?"

There ARE hypothetical scenarios where anyone would accept these usually inappropiate actions. If it just so happens that working on the Sabbath results in the moon smashing into the Earth, the death penalty sounds fine.

Either way, those passages I pointed out in the Bible shows that the Bible isn't a source of morality, unless you're willing to accept killing everyone who works on weekends.

Nutcasenightmare said...

Sye and Andrew, please consider the following.

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

I'm going to play diplomat. I will admit that there ARE some SEEMINGLY absolute truths, but ONLY because these truths are either:

-based on arbitrary linguistics; or
-only absolutely true because the hypothetical scenarios that disprove them don't exist.

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

But it does NOT follow that because there are SOME absolute truths, that ALL truths are absolute. They can be Systemic.

Sye said: "Um Andrew, if it aint absolute, it's arbitrary."

"I am male" isn't absolute, but it's not arbitrary.

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

Sye said:
"is it absolutely true that absolute truth does not exist?"

No. Some absolute truths might exist. (e.g. All humans are primates, by tautological definition.) But the majority of all truths are systemic, and are discovered by science, logic, math, debate, exploration, psycho-analysis, studying, research, and etc.

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

Can we stop playing tennis, using the burden of proof as the ball?

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”First of all, prove it.”

By what standard of logic would you evaluate my proof, how do you account for that standard, and why would that standard necessarily apply to my proof?

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

”Second of all, absolute truthism only works for arbitrarily assigned values, like language.”

Is that absolutely true? If so, prove it please.

”It IS absolutely true that ALL squares have four sides, because a square is DEFINED by having four sides.”

How do you know that your reasoning about this is valid? How do you know that that definition will apply tomorrow?

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

”Last of all,
things CAN be neither absolute nor arbitrary.
Atomic Theory is by no means absolute, for it does not apply to photons, black holes, and a plethora of other things.”


Does it absolutely apply to anything? Your argument would be like saying it is not absolutely true that ALL squares have 4 sides, for it does not apply to squares, circles, and a plethora of other shapes.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "Oh yeah, by the way Sye, please name one absolute truth that:
-is NOT based on arbitrarily assigned values like math"


Please prove that mathematics is arbitrary.

Cheers,

Sye

P.S. It is absolutely true, that the sun cannot both be the sun, and not be the sun, at the same time and in the same way.

Kyle P. said...

Sye said,

"'I do not need to posit a contrary justification. Your claim is that it is impossible to exist. You must show some reason why that is the case.'

Actually, you’re doing just fine on your own."

I take it you agree then that you have not made any kind of case for your premise number 1? Here, let me put it to you this way. Just because you say that my use of logic requires I believe in the Christian "god" does not mean it is so. I'd like you to offer some evidence for that ridiculous claim. Claiming that the opposite is impossible is not a proof - it's merely an assertion. If you're going to say the opposite is impossible, all I ask for is some evidence as to why you think that's the case. I do not have to provide any kind of justification until you have shown at least a little less laziness, I think (at least with respect to proving that claim. Your unlaziness with respect to everyone elses' arguments is admirable, if mildly irrelevant to the original post, which is not your fault).

Here's another shot:
1) If a "god" exists, then logic cannot exist, by the impossibility of the contrary.
2) Logic exists.
3) Therefore, a "god" cannot exist.

There, I've shown that "god" cannot exist.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hi Sye,

I have the problem that I live on the other side of the world to all you guys, so I’m behind the 8 ball. And it's Monday here, so now I have to go to work. Also I apologise I couldn't get your quotes to italicise, though obviously everyone else can.

“Problem is, you have yet to explain how God could not reveal Himself to us in such a way that we can know of Him as an objective reality.”

I don’t have to explain that at all, if it’s never happened. Why or how can I explain ‘how God could not reveal himself to us… as an objective reality’ if he never has?

“But everyone’s brain is different, what makes logic universal?”

Sorry Sye, but even other ‘higher order’ species use logic at a rudimentary level. They make predictions and they act on them just like we do, which requires logic. It’s just that, as with all cognitive abilities, we do it better, and at another level altogether, than any other species. Logic is an inherent attribute of the brain – I was born with the ability to use logic in the same way I was born with the ability to learn a language

Regards, Paul.

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”There ARE hypothetical scenarios where anyone would accept these usually inappropiate actions. If it just so happens that working on the Sabbath results in the moon smashing into the Earth, the death penalty sounds fine.”

So then, how do you know that God did not have morally sufficient reason for imposing that law on the Israelites?

By the way, but what absolute standard are those actions ‘inappropriate?’

”Either way, those passages I pointed out in the Bible shows that the Bible isn't a source of morality, unless you're willing to accept killing everyone who works on weekends.”

I am not an Israelite, and I do not live under a theocracy.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Nutcase:
You said:
"I am male" isn't absolute, but it's not arbitrary.

That's right, it's SYSTEMIC, like all truths.

Nutcase, (I love that name)
You don't understand, I've already offered a proof for systemic truth, Sye knows that (recall that Sye's first condition for being able to argue with him was that you needed to establish a justification for your use of logic). Now that I have, Sye refuses to refute that my claims are invalid and/or offer a proof that absolute truth necessarily exists. So he has nothing.

Absolutism [you see] is the vary foundation of his claim that God exists and I have undermined it. If he CANNOT offer a proof against systemic truth and show that, "that absolute truth exists" is a proposition and give an example of an absolute truth and show how it is not systemic. Then the show is all over, his argument is toast.

Sye TenB said...

Hello Paul,

”I have the problem that I live on the other side of the world to all you guys, so I’m behind the 8 ball. And it's Monday here, so now I have to go to work. Also I apologise I couldn't get your quotes to italicise, though obviously everyone else can.”

That’s not a problem, you can post to your heart’s content when we’re all sleeping :-) (My youngest brother lives in Oz, by the way, and I’ve been down twice to visit him – loved it).

I said: “Problem is, you have yet to explain how God could not reveal Himself to us in such a way that we can know of Him as an objective reality.”

You said: ”I don’t have to explain that at all, if it’s never happened. Why or how can I explain ‘how God could not reveal himself to us… as an objective reality’ if he never has?”

Sorry Paul, but this is question begging. Please prove that God had never revealed Himself in this way.

”Logic is an inherent attribute of the brain – I was born with the ability to use logic in the same way I was born with the ability to learn a language”

Paul, I’m not talking about our ability to use logic, I’m talking about the characteristics of logic, and justification for it. Is logic universal, abstract, and invariant?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "Nutcase:
"I am male" isn't absolute, but it's not arbitrary."


Where is it not true that you are male?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Kyle said: ”I take it you agree then that you have not made any kind of case for your premise number 1?”

Nope, I’ve made a case for it, you just happen to believe that I have not.

”Here, let me put it to you this way. Just because you say that my use of logic requires I believe in the Christian "god" does not mean it is so.”

I have never said this. It is my claim that one cannot account for the laws of logic apart from the God of Christianity.

”If you're going to say the opposite is impossible, all I ask for is some evidence as to why you think that's the case.”

Well Kyle, the website has been up for a little over 2 years now, and no one has yet come anywhere near accounting for universal, abstract, invariants outside of God. Plus, I have an objective revelation which tells me that God is the creator of all things, so any other claim is necessarily false.

”I do not have to provide any kind of justification until you have shown at least a little less laziness”

Kyle, you don’t have to do it at all, but if you want to engage in a logical argument, it behooves you to do so.

”Here's another shot:
1) If a "god" exists, then logic cannot exist, by the impossibility of the contrary.”


How does the non-existence of a god account for universal, abstract, invariant entities?

Cheers,

Sye

Kyle P. said...

By the impossibility of the contrary, Sye-lly!

Nutcasenightmare said...

Sye said: "How do you know that your reasoning about this is valid? How do you know that that definition will apply tomorrow?"

Hey, you're right. I just remembered the day the definition of Pluto changed. Even with arbitrary terms absolute truth fails. That doesn't help your position, though.

Hey, thanks for shooting an own-goal.

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

Sye said: "It is absolutely true, that the sun cannot both be the sun, and not be the sun, at the same time and in the same way."

That of course, is a logical tautology. I should have specified that in my list of not-to-do.

But it is an axiom, which is a definition. I said no defintions.

Besides, IN THE WORLD OF QUANTUM MECHANICS AND PARELLEL UNIVERSES, things CAN be both existent and non-existent. Like Schroedinger's Cat, where the cat is both dead and alive.

So in TWO ways, your 'absolute truth' fails.

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

I said: ""I am male" isn't absolute, but it's not arbitrary."

Sye said: "Where is it not true that you are male?"

The STATEMENT 'I am male' isn't absolute. It would not apply to 50% of the human population. Besides, nothing is stopping me from getting a sex change. That statement was an example of a statment that wasn't an absolute truth.

Anyway, even if there ARE some absolute truths, it does not follow that ALL truths are absolute. (e.g. "I am a man", "Pluto is a planet", etc.) That is not an absolute truth, but is systemic. In a hypothetical world that consists of ONLY tautologies, maybe you would be right. But we know many non-tautologies, so you're NOT right.

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

By the way, the next time you tell us 'how do you know?' or 'prove it', please prove your OWN premises. If you claim your premise must be right due to impossibility of the contrary, prove why the opposite is impossible. Otherwise, it IS an argument from ignorance.

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

Andrew said: "Then the show is all over, his argument is toast."

Yeah. I think so too. But let's revel in his denial for a while.

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
if you are trying to suggest that the proposition, "nutcasenightmare is a male", is absolutely true, then it must be so in every possible circumstance. Was he male before he was conceived. If not then how is that absolute?

Systemically it's true that he's male.

You know what, my proof is there. When you feel like refuting it Sye, and showing that,"that absolutes truth exists" is a proposition, then give an example of an absolute truth and show how it is not systemic, you let me know. You can post it on my blogg.

Sye TenB said...

Kyle said: "By the impossibility of the contrary, Sye-lly!"

You have yet to demonstrate how the non-existence of a god accounts for universal, abstract, invariant entities, whereas I have shown how the existence of God does account for universal, abstract, invariant entities. Nice try though.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "Systemically it's true that he's male."

Andrew, where is it true that HE is not male?

Cheers,

Sye

The person formerly known as Holy Cow said...

Sye the Fundamentalist Guy (Sye! Sye! Sye! Sye!): "Actually the third characteristic of logic is 'universal' not 'infinite,' but before I answer, let me ask you this first: How do you know about Brahman?"

Infinite means no bounds. Kinda the same as universal. How do I know about Brahman, Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, etc? My texts. Like you get your god from your texts.

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

"Sure, by the impossibility of the contrary."

Impossibility of the 330,000 alternatives of Hindu religion, the alternatives of all Greek gods, the alternatives of all gods of all religions, past, present, and future?

The alternative that perhaps logic doesn't NEED a creator, like somehow YOUR God didn't need a creator?

YOU HAVE NOT SHOWN ANY PROOF THAT ALL OTHER ALTERNATIVES ARE IMPOSSIBLE. ANY. AT ALL.

What are you hiding? Spill it.

Kyle P. said...

On the contrary, Sye! My premise one clearly shows that you did no such thing. Until you can show such a thing, you are not allowed to make logical statements, or else I lose from the get go. I demonstrated it by the fact that it is impossible to be otherwise.

Nutcasenightmare said...

I said: ""I am male" isn't absolute, but it's not arbitrary."

Sye said: "Where is it not true that you are male?"

The STATEMENT 'I am male' isn't absolute. It would not apply to 50% of the human population. Besides, nothing is stopping me from getting a sex change in the future. That statement was an example of a statment that wasn't an absolute truth.

I'm talking about the STATEMENT. Please don't resort to equivocation fallacies again, Sye...

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”That doesn't help your position, though.”

Um, is it absolutely true that it doesn’t help my position?

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

”Besides, IN THE WORLD OF QUANTUM MECHANICS AND PARELLEL UNIVERSES, things CAN be both existent and non-existent. Like Schroedinger's Cat, where the cat is both dead and alive.”

Prove this please.

”So in TWO ways, your 'absolute truth' fails.”

Um, is THAT absolutely true?

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

” Besides, nothing is stopping me from getting a sex change. That statement was an example of a statment that wasn't an absolute truth.”

I have never said that all statements are absolute truths, it is my claim that something cannot both be true, and not be true, at the same time and in the same way. If it is true that you are a male, then it is absolutely true that you are a male.

”Anyway, even if there ARE some absolute truths, it does not follow that ALL truths are absolute. (e.g. "I am a man", "Pluto is a planet", etc.)”

Problem is those are not truth claims. If it is true that you are a man, then it is absolutely true, if it is true that Pluto is a planet, then it is absolutely true.

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

”Otherwise, it IS an argument from ignorance.”

By what standard of logic are arguments from ignorance not valid, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to arguments from ignorance?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "I'm talking about the STATEMENT. Please don't resort to equivocation fallacies again, Sye..."

By what standard of logic is 'equivocation' fallacious, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to equivocation?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”How do I know about Brahman, Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, etc? My texts. Like you get your god from your texts.”

What is the authority of your texts?

”YOU HAVE NOT SHOWN ANY PROOF THAT ALL OTHER ALTERNATIVES ARE IMPOSSIBLE. ANY. AT ALL.”

I’m working on the one you positted.

Cheers,

Sye

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

"By what standard of logic is 'equivocation' fallacious?"

YOUR standard, MY standard. Don't act like people can own logic.

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

Listen. The next time you try to evade a statement by saying "is that absolutely true?"...

NO. IT'S NOT. Systemically true, and plus any statement will not apply to a hypothetical universe of inconsistency. We don't even need a hypothetical inconsistent universe to disprove absolutism. Andrew does it just fine without it.

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

Me: ”Besides, IN THE WORLD OF QUANTUM MECHANICS AND PARELLEL UNIVERSES, things CAN be both existent and non-existent. Like Schroedinger's Cat, where the cat is both dead and alive.”

You: "Prove this please."

Me earlier: "By the way, the next time you tell us 'how do you know?' or 'prove it', please prove your OWN premises."

...besides... it's quantum mechanics. There's no way I could prove it, but if you talked to a quantum physicist she could.

Sye TenB said...

@Nutcasenightmare

I asked”"By what standard of logic is 'equivocation' fallacious?"

You answered: ”YOUR standard, MY standard. Don't act like people can own logic.”

My standard of logic is God, yours is not. Please tell me what YOUR standard of logic is, how you account for that standard, and why that standard necessarily applies to equivocation.

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

”Andrew does it just fine without it.”

Um, is it absolutely true that Andrew disproves absolutism?

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

”...besides... it's quantum mechanics. There's no way I could prove it, but if you talked to a quantum physicist she could.”

You made the claim, prove it or retract it please.

Cheers,

Sye

Nutcasenightmare said...

Sye said: "It is not a matter of needing to be right. I do this because, among other things, I am commanded by God to ‘contend for the faith,’"

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

Paul said: "The only honest, objective judgement is that we don’t know"

Sye ALSO said: "I prefer not to live on faith."

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

Sigh... Sye... Sigh...

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

Something also tells me that you're just evading statements by constantly asking US to prove it, and not living up to your own high standard of proof.

Plus, don't prove your own ideas by constantly questioning other ideas, without putting out any cogent arguments. (This is characteristic of people of the Intelligent Design movement. I assume you're a creationist?)

You're Hypochristianity at its worst. Of course, saying you represent the lowest form of Hypochristianity isn't ABSOLUTE for all times. I can count on it that there will be more Hypochristians to come.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: "I'm not going to keep repeating it for you."

Thank goodness.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
you said:
"where is it true that HE is not male?"

I cover this vary explicitly in my proof. You're more then welcome to read it again.

Until you can define the standard of logic which you use to evaluate me, then everything you say is invalid. (your pink slip is suspect)

If your claim is that standard of logic you use is absolute, then surely you can see how it is not consistent with my proof, and therefor you should first refute my claims by:

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

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”Sigh... Sye... Sigh...”

I contend for the fatih, with the knowledge that God exists. How is it possible to know ANYTHING according to your worldview?

”Something also tells me that you're just evading statements by constantly asking US to prove it, and not living up to your own high standard of proof.”

That’s large, coming from someone who has yet to answer my question as to how you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic according to your worldview!

And yes, I am a creationist, and do not believe in ID.

Cheers,

Sye

Nutcasenightmare said...

Andrew Louis said: "I'm not going to keep repeating it for you."

Sye said: "Thank goodness."

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

Hey, you know how WE feel Sye. When you evade statements by hiding behind your mantra of "is that absolutely true?"

Heck, even when I explicitly laid out the answer to that, you merely answered, "is that absolutely true?"

You're like the annoying little kid who will keep asking 'why', not because he's curious, but just because he's defiant.

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

WE HAVE GIVEN YOU EXAMPLES OF non-arbitrary, non-absolute statements. Statements that refer to the world but may not be true when applied to different people at different TIMES.

"I am male", "The world population is 6.7 billion", "Crickets are delicious".

Which clearly demonstrates that, at least, not EVERYTHING is absolute.

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

We have shown SEVERAL possibilities of how universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic can exist without a God.

-Chess rules
-Human ingenuity
-Systemic truths
-Finding a consistent system

Apparently all these weren't good enough to snap you out of denial. Please conform to your own high standard of proof, and provide us with as many explanations to why logic cannot exist without the Judeo-Christian God.

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

Sye: "How is it possible to know ANYTHING according to your worldview?"

What, so now a 2000 year old book constitutes as knowledge?

No one 'knows' anything, Sye. Everyone's beliefs are imperfect in one way or another. But Science is always improving, making lives better, and most importantly, moving away from religion.

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

Whose logic am I using?
I am using the only system of logic we know so far to be consistent with itself. I have already shown that you contradict yourself on the idea of faith.

So drop the facade, lift the white flag. You lost, Sye.

Andrew Louis said...

A debate with Sye is like this

http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2008/07/stb-debate.html

Nutcasenightmare said...

"A debate with Sye is like this

http://idiotphilosophy.blogspot.com/2008/07/stb-debate.html"

Except that Sye keep asking for a warrant to arrest him after he's been shown it fifty-two times.

"Is it absolutely true that it's absolutely true that it's absolutely true that it's absolutely true that it's absolutely true that it's absolutely true that it's absolutely true that it's absolutely true that it's absolutely true that that's a legal warrant?"

"Well if it's absolutely true, then that warrant could apply to ANYONE!"

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ” When you evade statements by hiding behind your mantra of "is that absolutely true?"

Hey, you are the one who has yet to answer my question as to how you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic according to your worldview. Until you do, I can entertain myself however I like.

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

”WE HAVE GIVEN YOU EXAMPLES OF non-arbitrary, non-absolute statements.
Statements that refer to the world but may not be true when applied to different people at different TIMES.
"I am male", "The world population is 6.7 billion", "Crickets are delicious".
Which clearly demonstrates that, at least, not EVERYTHING is absolute.


I have never said that everything is absolute. It is my claim, that something cannot both be true and not be true at the same time and in the same way. If it is true that you are a male, then it cannot also be true that you are not a male at the same time and in the same way. If it is true that the world population is 6.7 billion, then it cannot also be true that the world population is not 6.7 billion at the same time and in the same way. If it is true that you find crickets delicious, then it cannot also be true that you do not find crickets to be delicious at the same time and in the same way. If those things are true, then they are absolutely true. If you care to demonstrate how they can be both true, and not true, at the same time and in the same way, the floor is yours.

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

”We have shown SEVERAL possibilities of how universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic can exist without a God.
-Chess rules
-Human ingenuity
-Systemic truths
-Finding a consistent system”


Huh? You haven’t started drinking have you? How do any of those demonstrate that universal, abstract, invariant laws can exist without God?

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

I asked: "How is it possible to know ANYTHING according to your worldview?"

You answered: “No one 'knows' anything, Sye.”

C’mon, you can do better than that! DO YOU KNOW THAT NO ONE KNOWS ANYTHING??? If you do, you are refuted, if you don’t then someone may in fact know something, and again, you are refuted.
===================

”Whose logic am I using?”

”I am using the only system of logic we know so far to be consistent with itself.”

And how, pray tell did you find that out? Not with that very system of logic I hope.

” I have already shown that you contradict yourself on the idea of faith.”

Well, you haven’t, but just out of curiosity, why are contradcitions not allowed according to your worldview?

”So drop the facade, lift the white flag. You lost, Sye.”

Riiiiiiight. :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Nutcasenightmare said...

Me: ”We have shown SEVERAL possibilities of how universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic can exist without a God.
-Chess rules
-Human ingenuity
-Systemic truths
-Finding a consistent system”

Sye: "Huh? You haven’t started drinking have you? How do any of those demonstrate that universal, abstract, invariant laws can exist without God?"

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

Chess rules, universal to chess, abstract, and unchanging, are formed by humans, not God.

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

Human ingenuity means we can observe the universe and derive laws from them. Contingent to the experiments, maybe, but your transcendental argument is contingent to the Christian God. (why the Christian one you yet have not shown)

The more universal our experiments get, the more universal our results. Is the phase of the universe not an experiment of the universal laws? This way, the laws of the universe are contingent on the universe.

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

Systemic truths? Andrew already explained. Proof for truth.

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

Me: ”I am using the only system of logic we know so far to be consistent with itself.”

Sye: "And how, pray tell did you find that out? Not with that very system of logic I hope."

Did you even think about it?
Okay, let's try an arbitrary form of logic. I could easily say "Arbitrary Logic is Wrong". Contradiction.

Now Fundamentalist Logic: the Bible says it's true, end of story. The Bible says to honor thy parents. (Exodus 20:12) The Bible says to hate thy parents. (Luke 14:26) Contradiction.

And you yourself, Sye, believe that contradictions aren't possible. "It is my claim, that something cannot both be true and not be true at the same time and in the same way."

Nutcasenightmare said...

Sye: "And how, pray tell did you find that out? Not with that very system of logic I hope."

I agree. So why are you using your version of logic to, according to you, logically prove that God exists?...

Kyle P. said...

Sye,

I'm starting to understand more and more of what Stephen has mentioned in this conversation, as well as previous conversations, especially the ones with the Muslim character who showed up and argued in much the same way you do. Thank you for bringing me closer to reality, Stephen (and incidentally Sye).

As for your argument, here is why it fails: In order to make the statement, "It is impossible to have the laws of logic if God does not exist", you are required to show why that is the case. It is NOT required that I justify my use of logic - it is only required that I agree that there are laws of logic, and that we (basically) know what they are. Saying that it is impossible for that to be the case simply begs the question. By my previous proof, you have not proved anything at all.

One final example before I let Stephen take over (and maybe make a new post for it so we can stay a little more on topic?), here's one from my wife: "Two plus two cannot equal four UNLESS unicorns exist (by way of the impossibility of the contrary). Two plus two is four, so unicorns must exist."

Justify premise 1, Sye, or forever be illogical.

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "I agree. So why are you using your version of logic to, according to you, logically prove that God exists?..."

I have accounted for the the laws of logic according to my worldview, whereas you have not.

Nutcasenightmare said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "I agree. So why are you using your version of logic to, according to you, logically prove that God exists?..."

Sye: "I have accounted for the the laws of logic according to my worldview, whereas you have not."

-----------------

You. Have. Not. If so, repeat it. The only 'proof' you gave was that the contrary explanations are ALL impossible, and I have already shown them to be possible and maybe even true.

Please repeat how you have 'accounted' for your premises. I cannot find any place in the blog where you have shown evidence that logic requires the Christian God.

Nutcasenightmare said...

...cont'd...

Nutcasenightmare said: "I agree. So why are you using your version of logic to, according to you, logically prove that God exists?..."

Sye: "I have accounted for the the laws of logic according to my worldview, whereas you have not."

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

Furthermore, I HAVE accounted for the laws of logic according to the atheistic worldview.

In fact, in FOUR different ways.

And in fact, in the SAME comment you replied to!

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

Are you DELIBERATELY evading what I've said?...

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”Chess rules, universal to chess, abstract, and unchanging, are formed by humans, not God.”

How do you know that they are universal? How do abstract entities make sense in your worldview, and how do you know that they will not change?

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

”Human ingenuity means we can observe the universe and derive laws from them.”

From what?

”Contingent to the experiments, maybe”

So, what part of universal, abstract, and invariant are you trying to prove here?

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

”Now Fundamentalist Logic: the Bible says it's true, end of story. The Bible says to honor thy parents. (Exodus 20:12) The Bible says to hate thy parents. (Luke 14:26) Contradiction.”

Again, I don’t take my exegesis from someone who does not accept the authority of the Bible, and who clearly does not understand hyperbole.

And you yourself, Sye, believe that contradictions aren't possible. "It is my claim, that something cannot both be true and not be true at the same time and in the same way."

Huh, I believe that they are possible, just that they are not valid.

Cheers,

Sye

Nutcasenightmare said...

...Sye, clarify?

I said: "And you yourself, Sye, believe that contradictions aren't possible. "It is my claim, that something cannot both be true and not be true at the same time and in the same way."

Sye said: "Huh, I believe that they are possible, just that they are not valid."

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

Do you mean you think that the Law of Non-Contradiction can be bypassed? Please clarify.

Sye TenB said...

Kyle said: ”As for your argument, here is why it fails: In order to make the statement, "It is impossible to have the laws of logic if God does not exist", you are required to show why that is the case.”

By what standard of logic am I required to show why that is the case, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to me?

”It is NOT required that I justify my use of logic - it is only required that I agree that there are laws of logic, and that we (basically) know what they are.”

Says who?

”here's one from my wife: "Two plus two cannot equal four UNLESS unicorns exist (by way of the impossibility of the contrary). Two plus two is four, so unicorns must exist.
Justify premise 1, Sye, or forever be illogical.


Huh, I disagree with premise 1, so it’s not up to me to justify it. Just out of curiosity though, by what standard of logic, am I being illogical, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to me?

Cheers,

Sye

Nutcasenightmare said...

Sye to Kyle: "Huh, I disagree with premise 1, so it’s not up to me to justify it."

Cherry picking logic, I see. Can you provide proof that 2+2=4 without unicorns?

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

Sye to Kyle: "Just out of curiosity though, by what standard of logic, am I being illogical, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to me?"

...you know, most of us can sense irony.

Sye, that analogy Kyle made was in perfect accordance with YOUR standard of logic. He didn't justify his first premise like YOU didn't justify YOUR first premise.

It's YOUR standard of logic, Sye. Of course it applies to you.

Kyle's format of argument is IDENTICAL to yours. Either you accept that both unicorns and God exists, or that both the unicorn and god premises are invalid. You can't have it both ways...

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

...Unless that's what you meant when I said: "And you yourself, Sye, believe that contradictions aren't possible. "It is my claim, that something cannot both be true and not be true at the same time and in the same way."

...And you replied: "Huh, I believe that they are possible, just that they are not valid."

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

That's two self-contradictions so far, Sye. (The first was about your faith)

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ” Do you mean you think that the Law of Non-Contradiction can be bypassed? Please clarify.”

It is possible to say: “It is true that my car is in the parking lot, and it is also true at the same time and in the same way that my car is not in the parking lot, but that contradiction cannot be valid.”

” Furthermore, I HAVE accounted for the laws of logic according to the atheistic worldview.”

You really think that you have shown how universal, abstract, invariant entities make sense in your worldview? Perhaps you should go back and answer the questions I posed regarding your claims.

"Please repeat how you have 'accounted' for your premises. I cannot find any place in the blog where you have shown evidence that logic requires the Christian God."

Look harder.


Cheers,

Sye

The Hindu Who Was Double-Dared to Retain the Nickname "Holy Cow" said...

YOu know, Sye, I'm still waiting for you to show that:

-logic even NEEDS a creator.

-that creator can't be Brahman, Brahma, Vishu, Shiva, or any of Hinduism's other gods.

-that creator can't be any of the Greek gods. (Zeus)

-that creator can't be any of the Norse gods. (Thor)

-that creator can't be any of the gods of other religions. (Allah)

-that creator can't be human or a society. (Because it's from a human doesn't mean it's arbitrary. If it's from God, it's just as arbitrary)

-that creator can't be some other universal, abstract, and unchanging entity that is not the Christian God.

~Thanks tonnes, Holy Cow.

Nutcasenightmare said...

Me: "Please repeat how you have 'accounted' for your premises. I cannot find any place in the blog where you have shown evidence that logic requires the Christian God."

Sye: "Look harder."

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

Pushing the burden onto someone else again, I see. All I see is 'impossibility of the contrary', WHICH YOU NEVER JUSTIFIED.

JUST. ANSWER. ME.

WHY are all the other alternatives impossible?!

WHY are the alternatives I presented impossible?!

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

Saying something is so doesn't make it so, Sye. Prove why it's false.

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”Can you provide proof that 2+2=4 without unicorns?”

Do you believe that 2 + 2 requires unicorns to = 4?

Kyle's format of argument is IDENTICAL to yours.

Actually, it’s not, I have shown how the laws of logic make sense in the Christian worldview, Kyle has yet to tell us how 2 + 2 = 4 makes sense WITH unicorns.

”That's two self-contradictions so far, Sye. (The first was about your faith)”

Atually, they were not contradcitions, but even if they were, perhaps you can tell us why contradcitions are not allowed according to YOUR worldview?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

nutcasenightmare said: "YOu know, Sye, I'm still waiting for you to show that:
that creator can't be Brahman, Brahma, Vishu, Shiva, or any of Hinduism's other gods


And I'm still waiting for you to tell me what the authority of your texts is.

Cheers,

Sye

Nutcasenightmare said...

Nutcasenightmare said: ”Can you provide proof that 2+2=4 without unicorns?”

Sye: "Do you believe that 2 + 2 requires unicorns to = 4?"

Ah, so belief means proof to you, eh Sye?

WELL THERE'S YOUR PROBLEM.

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

Sye: "I have shown how the laws of logic make sense in the Christian worldview"

You did no such thing, other than claim on an unargued premise that every other alternative is impossible.

Which I and several others have ASKED to you prove that premise...
which you have not yet done.

Which I and several others have given COUNTEREXAMPLES to you premise, counterexamples you never proved wrong.

You are undoubtedly trying to evade questions. Like my friend back there. What does it matter what his authorities are?! (Besides. His gods outnumber yours 330,000 to one.)

==========





I call your bluff. What is your proof that all other alternatives are impossible? JUST ANSWER THE DAMN QUESTION.

(I think everyone else has come to their senses and given up trying to snap you out of denial... i'm ever the optimist, eh.)

Kosh3 said...

Sye said:
"Why would what you believe be ‘rational,’ and what they believe be ‘irrational?’ Who would be ‘right’ and how would you know?"

Any judgment of rationality (or irrationality) will occur from the point of view of those making that judgment. If you want some ultimate test of rationality that separates the rational from the irrational, you won't find one (any such reason would have to be rationally-strung together in some way in order to be found convincing, which will be question begging, given what it aims to show).

All that we can do (I suspect) is appeal to existing features of rationality (as we determine it) within other people.

If you know of a good argument for being rational that does not utilise anything that it aims to show, by all means I am willing to hear it!!

anticant said...

Sye says "I believe in Hell, and I don't want anyone to go there." Obviously he is a kindly soul.

In reading this thread, I am increasingly reminded of the sage words of the great [but unfortunately not yet late] philosopher-statesman, Donald Rumsfeld:

"The message is that there are known knowns - there are things that we know that we know. There are known unknowns - that is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns - there are things we do not know we don't know. And each year we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns."

He, after all, is one of those who has demonstrated the truth of the saying that "the road to Hell is paved with good intentions".

Stephen Law said...

Hello Sye

Two things. First these two arguments are both deductively valid:

1. The existence of God is a nec precondition of the existence of logic
2. Logic exists
3. Therefore: God exists

1. The existence of the Cosmic Wombat is a nec precondition of the existence of logic
2. Logic exists
3. Therefore: the Cosmic Wombat exists

Of course “proof’ means different things, but in s ay, a court of law it means established beyond reasonable doubt. Let’s go with that. The second argument is deductively valid (if the premises are true, then so too must be the conclusion) but clearly not a proof, because of its unargued-for, contentious and no doubt challenged first premise.

Now exactly the same is true of the first argument, as it stands (which is not to say the first premise could not be supported in some way, thus making it a “proof”). And my initial claim was that the first argument is not a proof. You maintain it is. But actually, your way of defending as a proof is to now start providing supporting argument for 1 (you have supplied an account of how God can underpin logic; you have had an objective revelation). So it seems to me you have simply conceded that I was right all along.

Now, what of your supporting argument for 1? It would be nice if you could provide the objective revelation that 1. is true, as your argument otherwise turns out to be:

1. God would explain the existence of the laws of logic.
Therefore, the existence of God is a nec precondition of the existence of logic.

This is clearly a bad argument: the fact that flying saucers would explain the indentations in my lawn doesn’t entail that flying saucers are the only possible explanation or cause.

So, to summarize, you have now, in effect, admitted I was right all along– your original “proof”, as it stands, isn’t one.

Worse, your tacked-on attempt to justify the first premise has failed. Can you do better?

Now the second thing. Let’s go to your racing car analogy. Point about use of racing cars is that they are not used to support conclusions (normally) as logic is. So here’s a better analogy:

You have an enormous telescope. You won’t let me use it, despite the fact that I believe I can use it to show something you don’t believe. So one day, I steal the scope, tie you up and sit you in front of it, and reveal to you the fact you don’t want to accept. There’s no ambiguity – the scope clearly reveals you were wrong.

Your response? You say – “But you have no entitlement to use the scope, so you have not shown I am wrong!’

Fact is, whether I am entitled to use it or not is beside the point. It shows you are wrong in any case. And even if entitlement were relevant here, well, you are entitled to use the scope, so you certainly are in a position to see that you are wrong.

The same is true of logic. Whether or not I am entitled to use logic is irrelevant, and, even if it were, you should recognise you are being illogical.

Why? Because an argument that rests on dubious and inadequately supported premises is not a “proof”. So yours isn’t. Of course, you can choose not to recognise this. But it remains the case.

The real mystery, for me, is how on Earth you ever managed to convince yourself that the argument was a proof. The thing I would reflect on, if I were you, is: how could such a blatantly terrible argument have seemed so compelling? Your thought processes, I am going to rudely suggest, are more like those of someone in the grip of a wacko cult than of a philosopher. Has that not occurred to you?

Stephen Law said...

p.s. We could now move on to my answer to your question "but how do you justify logic, then?"....

Paul P. Mealing said...

Hello Sye,

“Paul, I’m not talking about our ability to use logic, I’m talking about the characteristics of logic, and justification for it. Is logic universal, abstract, and invariant?”

We have an epistemological difference of opinion here. Logic is something one performs – it’s an attribute of intelligence – even machine intelligence performs logic, along with animal and human intelligence. If you are talking about universal laws, then that’s scientific laws and mathematics (not logic per se), which I would argue are independent of human intelligence, though not everyone agrees with me. You can speculate that God created these laws along with everything else we observe and sense in the universe, but you can’t prove it, and I can’t prove that it can’t be proved. But you seem to have a fixation with logic, and logic is an activity - it is performed by anything with intelligence (humans, animals, machines) – just like we’re doing now. Logic can and is disputed, all the time, so I don’t see it as being universal in the way that the laws of nature and mathematics are.

I find this very strange, that I have to prove, or explain, that ‘God could not reveal Himself that we can know of Him as an objective reality’. All along I’ve said that the only evidence we have of God is as a subjective experience. The corollary to this is that there is no evidence of God as an objective entity. I can’t prove something, either way, for which there is no physical evidence. If there is no physical evidence, then God as an objective entity is nothing more than an abstract idea. You are asking me to prove that an abstract idea can’t exist. I admit I can’t. Is that the end of the argument?

Regards, Paul.

Paul C said...

Stephen - welcome to the wonderful world of presuppositional apologetics.

anticant said...

There is no evidence for God's existence. There is only assertion.

If Sye disagrees, will he please produce the evidence?

Sye TenB said...

anticant said: "There is no evidence for God's existence. There is only assertion."

Um, what is the evidence that there is no evidence? You are only making an assertion.

"If Sye disagrees, will he please produce the evidence?:

Your ability to reason for one. Of course, all evidence is interpreted subject to our presuppositions, and you will interpret this subject to your presupposition that God does not exists.

Cheers,

Sye

Paul P. Mealing said...

Yes, I too am interested in Stephen's answer "but how do you justify logic, then?"....

He's been keeping it up his sleeve.

You won't believe this: I got 'god' in the password verification.

Paul.

Kyle P. said...

Good morning from my neck o' the woods. I hope you've had enough time to think upon your error, Sye. Stephen pointed it out pretty clearly, but I'll still respond.

Sye said,
"Kyle said: 'As for your argument, here is why it fails: In order to make the statement, "It is impossible to have the laws of logic if God does not exist", you are required to show why that is the case.'

By what standard of logic am I required to show why that is the case, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to me?"

The common standard of logic that we agree exists, irrelevant, and because you agree that standard of logic exists.

"'It is NOT required that I justify my use of logic - it is only required that I agree that there are laws of logic, and that we (basically) know what they are.'

Says who?"

The standard of logic that we both agree exists.

"'here's one from my wife: 'Two plus two cannot equal four UNLESS unicorns exist (by way of the impossibility of the contrary). Two plus two is four, so unicorns must exist.'
Justify premise 1, Sye, or forever be illogical.'

Huh, I disagree with premise 1, so it’s not up to me to justify it. Just out of curiosity though, by what standard of logic, am I being illogical, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to me?"

Of course, what I meant is that you justify YOUR premise 1, not mine. I'm not trying to do like you do and shift the burden of proof onto someone else. In any case, you are extremely illogical by the standard of logic that we both agree exists, it is irrelevant as to what the basis of that logic is, and that standard applies to you because you agree it exists and are trying, however badly, to use it.

Sye continued,
"Nutcasenightmare said: 'Can you provide proof that 2+2=4 without unicorns?'

Do you believe that 2 + 2 requires unicorns to = 4?"

Irrelevant, as usual.

"Kyle's format of argument is IDENTICAL to yours.

Actually, it’s not, I have shown how the laws of logic make sense in the Christian worldview, Kyle has yet to tell us how 2 + 2 = 4 makes sense WITH unicorns."

You have done no such thing, of course! This was shown very specifically by my proof. You have to show why my premise 1 is wrong, while yours is correct. You have made no effort, so I think it's safe to declare me the winner.

Sye TenB said...

Paul C. Mealing said: ”We have an epistemological difference of opinion here. Logic is something one performs – it’s an attribute of intelligence – even machine intelligence performs logic, along with animal and human intelligence.”

What are the laws of logic, and how are they law-like? Are contradictions in reasoning allowed? If not, why not? What if 2 people perform logic differently, how do you determine who is right?

”If you are talking about universal laws, then that’s scientific laws and mathematics (not logic per se), which I would argue are independent of human intelligence, though not everyone agrees with me. You can speculate that God created these laws along with everything else we observe and sense in the universe, but you can’t prove it, and I can’t prove that it can’t be proved.

Sure I can, no other worldview accounts for the laws of science or mathematics, whereas Christianity does. You use them, how do you account for them?

”But you seem to have a fixation with logic, and logic is an activity - it is performed by anything with intelligence (humans, animals, machines) – just like we’re doing now. Logic can and is disputed, all the time, so I don’t see it as being universal in the way that the laws of nature and mathematics are.”

Is there a proper way to ‘do’ logic? If so, how do you know this?

”I find this very strange, that I have to prove, or explain, that ‘God could not reveal Himself that we can know of Him as an objective reality’.”

That’s right, you’ve made the claim, prove it please.

”All along I’ve said that the only evidence we have of God is as a subjective experience.”

I know, that is what I am asking you to prove.

”The corollary to this is that there is no evidence of God as an objective entity.”

Just an assertion of which you have no proof. Interestingly enough, you assert a universal negative by saying that there is no evidence, but you would have to be omniscient to know this, a very characteristic of the God which you deny can be proven.

”I can’t prove something, either way, for which there is no physical evidence.”

Surely you see that this is question begging? Prove that there is no physical evidence. (Plus an assumption that a non-physical being requires physical evidence as proof is to misunderstand the nature of proof. What for, for instance, is the physical evidence for love?

” If there is no physical evidence, then God as an objective entity is nothing more than an abstract idea.”

Again, prove this please. We are back to square one. You are putting characteristics onto God, based on what YOU claim our perception of Him must be.

”You are asking me to prove that an abstract idea can’t exist. I admit I can’t. Is that the end of the argument?”

I am asking you to prove your claims, one of which, that God is merely an abstract idea.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Kyle said: "The standard of logic that we both agree exists."

Wonderful, since my standard of logic is the thinking of God, I guess I'll see you in church!

Cheers,

Sye

Kyle P. said...

Again, very silly of you, Sye. Of course I can agree that the laws of logic exist without believing your basis for those laws of logic, especially when your basis directly contradicts said laws. Your view contradicts the laws of logic, not only by my proof, but by everything everyone has shown previously. (e.g. I cannot account for how lightbulbs are made, but that does not prevent me from using them and buying them and even understanding how they work.)

Your inability to do anything but repeat yourself is making me wonder if you're not mildly retarded, or more likely have an obsessive compulsive disorder. There's nothing wrong with that, but a person so obstinate and unable to see the error of their own ways when it is very clearly pointed out to them must have something psychologically wrong with them. Actually, recalling a lecture I once saw on psychopathy, I would believe that you are a psychopath: They, too, are unable to understand that they did something wrong just after killing someone. You didn't kill anyone except the laws of logic, though, unless I'm mistaken...

Anyway, that's beside the point. Do we want to have a vote to see who won? That would be fun!

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
you never answered to Stephen yet.

Sye TenB said...

Stephen said: ”Of course “proof’ means different things, but in ,say, a court of law it means established beyond reasonable doubt. Let’s go with that.”

Why? That is not at all what is meant by logical proof.

”The second argument is clearly not a proof, because of its unargued-for, contentious and no doubt challenged first premise.”

Do you have any problem with this argument?

All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Therefore Socrates is mortal.

”So it seems to me you have simply conceded that I was right all along.”

Not at all. It is a valid argument, just like the Socrates argument.

Now, what of your supporting argument for 1? It would be nice if you could provide the objective revelation that 1. is true

It’s in the Bible. If you would like to delve further into the objective revelation, our Bible study meets on Tuesday nights, and you are more than welcome (we are in summer hiatus now though).

”1. God would explain the existence of the laws of logic.
Therefore, the existence of God is a nec precondition of the existence of logic.

This is clearly a bad argument: the fact that flying saucers would explain the indentations in my lawn doesn’t entail that flying saucers are the only possible explanation or cause.”


Perhaps not, but the lack of an explanation coming from you or anyone else for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic, sure helps.

”So, to summarize, you have now, in effect, admitted I was right all along– your original “proof”, as it stands, isn’t one.”

I have admitted no such thing.

”Now to the second thing. Your racing car analogy. Point about use of racing cars is that they are not used to support conclusions (normally) as logic is.”

So here’s a better analogy:


Well, I’d ask by what standard of logic your analogy is better, how you account for that standard, and why that standard necessarily applies to my analogy, but I suspect you would not answer that – again.

”You have an enormous telescope…Your response? You say – “But you have no entitlement to use the scope, so you have not shown I am wrong!"

We are arguing the use of a universal, abstract, invariant laws, not limited, material, changing telescopes. I can show how they exist in my worldview, whereas you cannot show how they exist in yours. You want to use something that cannot exist in your worldview.

”The same is true of logic. Whether or not I am entitled to use it is irrelevant, and, even if it were, you should recognise you are being illogical.”

How do the universal, abstract, inariant laws of logic make sense in your worldview? How can you possibly use something that cannot exist in your worldview?

”The thing I would reflect on, if I were you, is: how could such a blatantly terrible argument have seemed so compelling?”

Huh? Again, you are using something which cannot exist in your worldview, to tell me that something in my worldview is terrible. Still though, I know of God’s existence through His revelation, not through argument.

”Your thought processes, I am going to rudely suggest, are more like those of someone in the grip of a wacko cult than of a philosopher. Has that not occurred to you?”

I guess we can judge that once you tell us how universal, abstract, invariant laws make sense in your worldview.

”We could now move on to my answer to your question "but how do you justify logic, then?"

Logic comes from the mind of God, and is a reflection of how He thinks. Again, you may not like my justification, but, don’t you think it’s about time you give us yours?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "Ah, so belief means proof to you, eh Sye?"

Nope, just want to know if you believe that 2 + 2 requires unicorns to equal 4. Nice dodge though :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Kosh3 said: ” Any judgment of rationality (or irrationality) will occur from the point of view of those making that judgment. If you want some ultimate test of rationality that separates the rational from the irrational, you won't find one”

I already have one, the thinking of God, as He has revealed to us in His Word.

”(any such reason would have to be rationally-strung together in some way in order to be found convincing, which will be question begging, given what it aims to show).”

Um no, you are begging the question by assuming that God could not reveal some things to us, I such a way that we can be certain of them.

”All that we can do (I suspect) is appeal to existing features of rationality (as we determine it) within other people.”

And how would you know whether those existing features are themselves rational?

”If you know of a good argument for being rational that does not utilise anything that it aims to show, by all means I am willing to hear it!!’

By what standard of logic would an argument that utilizes anything that it aims to show be fallacious, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to those arguments?

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Kyle said: ”Again, very silly of you, Sye.”

By what standard of logic is my argument silly, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to my argument?

”Your view contradicts the laws of logic, not only by my proof, but by everything everyone has shown previously.”

Naturally I disagree, but why are contradcitions not allowed in your worldview?

”(e.g. I cannot account for how lightbulbs are made, but that does not prevent me from using them and buying them and even understanding how they work.)”

Difference is, we are talking abut something that cannot even exist according to your worldview. If you claim that universal, abstract, invariant laws can exist according to your worldview, please tell us how.

”Your inability to do anything but repeat yourself is making me wonder if you're not mildly retarded, or more likely have an obsessive compulsive disorder.”

That would be like you with a pea-shooter going into a fight with someone with a gun saying: “The fact that you want to keep using your gun, makes you retarded.” The thing is, I keep asking the same question, cause none of you are answering it.

”You didn't kill anyone except the laws of logic, though, unless I'm mistaken...”

Well, then I killed something which to you cannot even exist, so you shouldn’t be too upset.

”Anyway, that's beside the point. Do we want to have a vote to see who won? That would be fun!”

Well, if it helps your mutual admiration society, be my guest :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Recall Sye,
youve never refuted my world view.

You've never answered to the questions:
prove , "that absolute truth exists" is a valid proposition, and afterward give an example of something that is absolute and how it is not systemic.

Yet by my proof (and in the string) I've answered ALL of your questions.

According to my world view the logic that your using to evaluate everyone is invalid unless you prove the above.

Once again YOU HAVE NOTHING.

Paul P. Mealing said...

Sye, you said:

“Sure I can, no other worldview accounts for the laws of science or mathematics, whereas Christianity does. You use them, how do you account for them?”

Sye, the Bible, which is where you get your proof of God from, your worldview, makes no mention of mathematical or scientific laws, so they are not accounted for in Christianity at all.

The Greeks used science and mathematics without a belief in a Christian God, the Chinese and the Indians used mathematics with no belief in a Christian God, so obviously there are other worldviews that account for them in complete contradiction to your assertion that there are ‘no other worldview accounts for the laws of science or mathematics.’

The only evidence we have of God is inside our minds, is a statement of fact. No one has had any contact with a god outside their minds. There is no physical evidence of God as an entity is a statement of fact. God does not exist physically is something you’ve said yourself. ‘Absence of proof is not proof of absence’ so I’m not trying to prove that God does not exist. The onus of proof is on you if you want to prove that God exists, not the other way round.

God is an abstract idea is a statement of fact, whatever God may be in whoever’s mind. If God is the progenitor of all the scientific and mathematical laws then that is an abstract idea – it can’t be anything else.

Where do I get them from? Well, on my blog I wrote a post titled: Is mathematics evidence of a transcendental realm? It actually discusses mathematics and the theories of Godel and Turing; it’s really about the epistemology of mathematics if you want to read it. So I argue that mathematics is a Platonic realm, based on the ideas of Pythagoras (500BC) so well before Christianity, similar to Roger Penrose’s philosophical viewpoint. This worldview may or may not include a god, or all the gods that have ever been envisaged. As I said right at the beginning: we don’t know.

This is really all I can say on the subject.

If I have no further correspondence, I want to say that very early on, before you came on board, I suggested disparagingly that you may avoid argument. On that score, at least, you proved me wrong.

Regards, Paul.

Scott said...

Sye, is your God bound by the laws of logic?

Nick said...

Sye,

With all the posts here, I have rather lost track of your argument. Perhaps you could remind me why you contend that God's existence is a necessary precondition for the existence of the rules of logic?

Brian F said...

Sye, how does one have an "objective revelation"? Are you, in fact, a committee?
Brian F

The Celtic Chimp said...

Stephen and other rational folk,

I have only just seen this thread. If I had seen it sooner I would have given you warning. Myself and others have tried engaging with Sye on this before. You will get no-where. Sye will simlpy repeat himself ad-nauseam. He thinks he has the Atheist community stumped with his impervious "Goddidit" argument. I hope you have a lot of patience.....

Andrew Louis said...

Sye, (good)
You said: (not to me, but...)
"Do you have any problem with this argument?

[1.]All men are mortal
[2.]Socrates is a man
[3.]Therefore Socrates is mortal."

So, Sye, compare this to:
1. The existence of God is a nec precondition of the existence of logic
2. Logic exists
3. Therefore: God exists

So uhhh, do I have to point out the obvious? Perhaps I will anyway.
1.)That men are mortal can be shown to be true by itself.
2.)That Socrates is man can also be shown to be true by itself.
3.) Therefore we can conclude that 2 is 1.

So,
if you're suggesting that both arguements are the same. Then surely you have the missing proof for 1 that Stephen has been looking for and that shows it is true.

Also, you stated early on that "All ultimate authority claims have a necessary element of circularity". Following that, where is the necessary element of circularity in the Socrates arguement? If there isn't one, then surely the two arguements are not the same afterall.

Paul C said...

Guys, give it up. Presuppositional apologetics as practiced on the web is not about philosophy, although it dresses itself up in shabby philosophical clothes. It's about sticking to a script - that's why Sye (and others like him) continually repeats himself, claims that others are not allowed to enter the argument unless they agree to his preconditions, refuses to recognise clearly-made counter-arguments of analogy and comparison, and so forth. Just give up. You'll never make any headway with him, and anybody reading this thread will see the vacuousness of his arguments for themselves.

On the other hand, I should practice what I preach. I regularly engage (well, try to engage) with a similar type on another blog.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew Louis said: ”you stated early on that "All ultimate authority claims have a necessary element of circularity".”

Yip

”Following that, where is the necessary element of circularity in the Socrates arguement?”

Um, it is not an ultimate authority claim, but I’ll be glad to point it out to you anyway.
Premise one states “All men are mortal” and it begs the question that all men are in fact mortal. Of course you changed it by saying that it can be shown that men are mortal, but I’d love to see how it can be shown that all men are mortal.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Paul C said: ” Just give up. You'll never make any headway with him, and anybody reading this thread will see the vacuousness of his arguments for themselves.”

Well, hopefully everyone reading this thread will see that not one professed atheist has told us how universal, abstract, invariant laws make sense in their worldview. And I ain’t holdin’ me breath :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

The Celtic Chimp said: ” Stephen and other rational folk,”

By what standard of logic is Stephen rational, how do you account for that standard, and why does that standard necessarily apply to Stephen?

Cheers,

Sye

anticant said...

Sye asks me to produce the evidence that there is no evidence for God’s existence. I have no interest in attempting to prove a negative, and do not claim there is absolute proof that God does not exist. But to repeat, Sye has yet to produce evidence – apart from mere assertion – that God does exist. He has repeatedly failed to do this. His statement that my ability to reason [thanks for that, Sye!] is proof of God’s existence is just another assertion. Where is the evidence?

I am not in fact nearly so interested in the type of abstract argument being pursued here as in the practical and social consequences of belief. Whether or not God exists, billions of people round the globe believe he, she, or it does exist in one form or another; and it is the actual behaviour of these people in this world that concerns me. Using the hypothetical Jesus’ test of “by their fruits you shall know them”, the consequences of belief appear pretty dismal – indeed, horrendous - to me, and I think humanity would be better off without it.

How’s that, Sye?

Sye TenB said...

Brian F. said: "Sye, how does one have an "objective revelation"?

That is Brian, a revealtion which one can know to be objectively true.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Anticant said: ”the consequences of belief appear pretty dismal – indeed, horrendous - to me, and I think humanity would be better off without it.”

Well, that’s just it anticant, things appear horrendous to you but absent an absolute standard, they cannot be ‘horrendous,’ they just happen to be against your personal preference. Child molsetation is not ‘wrong’ in any atheistic worldview, it may be painful, distasteful, or unpleaseant, but without an absolute standard it cannot be ‘wrong.’ If morality can be stipulated, then anyone can stipulate their own, and you lose all argument against anything you happen to personally dislike. What is your standard of ‘horrendousness’ and why does it necessarily apply to anyone other than you?

Cheers,

Sye

Reynold said...

The problem of the source of logic has been discussed with Sye by some people before, only he dismisses it by saying that neither case is true; instead "logic" is "part of God's nature", whatever that means...he also loves to ask questions like this

He claims that "divine revelation" is how one can tell what's real, but he never explains it except with more assertions.


Sye's been CT Valley Atheists, at the The Church of Adherence to Scientific Evidence (CASE), and I, among others, try to deal with him here:

None of the laws of logic are described there. If biblegod can't even enumerate or describe the laws of logic, what makes you think that he's the basis for them?



I think you get the idea...just read through the threads in those links...you'll see everyone try to straighten Sye out, and you'll see him resort to the same questions over and over again.

Sye TenB said...

Reynold said: "I think you get the idea...just read through the threads in those links...you'll see everyone try to straighten Sye out, and you'll see him resort to the same questions over and over again."

And you'll see professed atheists avoid the same questions over and over again :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Scott said: ” Sye, is your God bound by the laws of logic?”

God is bound by His nature. The laws of logic are a reflection of that nature.

Andrew Louis said...

INDEED SYE! PROOF!

And I would like to see you prove that, “that absolute truth exists” is a proposition, and show me an example of an absolute truth and how it is not systemic.

But you’re not going to do that because you can’t. Which is why, from my perspective, your argument is a failure from the start.

Sye TenB said...

@ Andrew,

Don't take this the wrong way Andrew, but do you do drugs?

Cheers,


Sye

Sye TenB said...

Paul P. Mealing said:

”Sye, the Bible, which is where you get your proof of God from, your worldview, makes no mention of mathematical or scientific laws, so they are not accounted for in Christianity at all.”

The Bible mentions universal, abstract, invariants, and also that all things are made by God, which, at least, makes those laws intelligible in the Christian worldview. Not you, or anyone else here, has shown us how they can be intelligible according to yours.

”The Greeks...the Chinese...the Indians...so obviously there are other worldviews that account for them in complete contradiction to your assertion that there are ‘no other worldview accounts for the laws of science or mathematics.’”

Interestingly though, in your assertions, you do not include how any of those other worldviews account for universal, abstract, invariant laws.

”The only evidence we have of God is inside our minds, is a statement of fact.”

Then you should be able to prove this. Prove it please.

” There is no physical evidence of God as an entity is a statement of fact”

Then you should be able to prove this. Prove it please.

”The onus of proof is on you if you want to prove that God exists, not the other way round.”

The onus is on you to prove that universal, absract, invariant laws can exist without God, since you are trying to use them against my argument.

”God is an abstract idea is a statement of fact”

Then you should be able to prove this. Prove it please.

”If God is the progenitor of all the scientific and mathematical laws then that is an abstract idea – it can’t be anything else.”

Prove this please.

”As I said right at the beginning: we don’t know.”

Just because you claim to not know, in no way proves that it cannot be known.

Look Paul, I have taken my time to answer your posts. I have posed many questions which I hoped would helped you understand better the difficulties with your position. You avoided most, if not all of them. You also neglected even an attempt at proof of any of the assertions you made, which I asked you to prove. Most of them are listed in this post, so I don’t need to repeat them, but I’ll list a few of questions you ‘missed,’ so that even if you still choose not to answer them, it will be easier for you to find them:

1.What are the laws of logic, and how are they law-like?
2. Are contradictions in reasoning allowed? If not, why not?
3. What if 2 people perform logic differently, how do you determine who is right?
4. Is there a proper way to ‘do’ logic? If so, how do you know this?
5. Are the laws of mathematics and science universal?
6. How do you account for the laws of science or mathematics?

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
When you can prove me wrong you have my blogg address, drop me the proof anytime.

He's all yours you guys.

Sye TenB said...

Andrew, it was a simple question. A simple 'yes' or 'no' would suffice.

Cheers,

Sye

P.S. Just for your future consideration,'blog' is short for "web log," hence the one 'g.'

Nick said...

Sye,

Please explain to me why you think that God's existence is a necessary precondition for the existence of the laws of logic?

Also, how do you know that your 'objective revelation' was not just a delusion, or some other purely natural mental abberation? By what means are you discriminating between these possibilities?

Even if we suppose, just for the sake of argument, that you did receive some sort of 'revelation', how can you be sure that you have not just been deceived by some evil demon? How would you ever know the difference?

How can you be sure that you are not just a 'brain in a vat', with all of your experiences - including your 'objective revelation' - being merely illusions?

Apart from your 'objective revelation' and your 'laws of logic require God to exist' arguments, do you have any other arguments to suggest that God exists? If so, then what are they?

Nutcasenightmare said...

Stephen: "”The second argument is clearly not a proof, because of its unargued-for, contentious and no doubt challenged first premise.”

Sye: "Do you have any problem with this argument?

All men are mortal
Socrates is a man
Therefore Socrates is mortal."

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

Stepehen said PREMISE. Not argument format, PREMISE. Garbage in, garbage out. Prove. Your. PREMISE.

Your premise was that there is no way logic can exist only with Brahma, Allah, Thetans, humans, Zeus, Thor, Buddha, or ANY of the other gods.

Prove it. Stop evading the question, Sye...

Reynold said...

Sye TenB said:
The Bible mentions universal, abstract, invariants, and also that all things are made by God, which, at least, makes those laws intelligible in the Christian worldview. Not you, or anyone else here, has shown us how they can be intelligible according to yours.
No Sye, the bible just asserts the laws. It doesn't explain what the laws of logic are unlike what the Greeks did.

Again, if your god doesn't even bother to list out what the laws of logic are, what makes you think that he's responsible for them?

Therefore one could say that xianity borrowed from the grecian worldview in order to make sense of the laws of logic.

The Anti-Sye said...

Nutcase here. Just wondering what would happen if I played by Sye's rules.

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

Sye claimed:
1. The existence of God is a nec precondition of the existence of logic (Due to impossibility of all 330,000 + alternatives)
2. Logic exists
3. Therefore: God exists

By what system of logic is your argument based on? Whose logic are you talking about in premise 2? How do you prove logic exists? Not with your version of logic, I hope. Yup, these questions sure aren't distracting us away from your unproven first premise.

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

What the Anti-Sye claims:
1. The NON-existence of God is a nec precondition of the existence of logic (For if God exists, he can change logic, which will no longer be universal)
2. Logic exists
3. Therefore: God does not exist

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

Beers,

The Anti-Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
sorry I wasn't clear the first time.

When you can prove my proof wrong, "SYSTEMIC TRUTH", by showing, "That absolute truth exists" is a valid proposition and give and example of an absolute truth and how it's not systemic....

(as I said before, all your questions are already answered via what I've already stated and within my proof itself)

So drop me a line at my bloggggg when you have it, But you’re not going to do that because you can’t. Which is why, from my perspective, your argument is a failure from the start.

So,
he's all your guys.

anticant said...

Sye – I did not say “things appear horrendous”: I said :”the CONSEQUENCES OF BELIEF appear pretty dismal – indeed, horrendous - to me, and I think humanity would be better off without it.” You attempt to counter this by asserting [again!] that “absent an absolute standard, [things] cannot be ‘horrendous,’ they just happen to be against your personal preference. Child molsetation [sic] is not ‘wrong’ in any atheistic worldview, it may be painful, distasteful, or unpleaseant [sic], but without an absolute standard it cannot be ‘wrong.’

What grounds have you for saying that “child molestation is not ‘wrong’ in any atheistic worldview”? This is a preposterous statement, and illustrates the frivolity of your mode of ‘argument’. What right have you to tell atheists, or anyone else, what their codes of morality are? How do you know – otherwise than by monotonously reiterating that only Christians are entitled to authentic morality because it derives from God. What impudence!

What kind of God DO you believe in? You have several times said you do not believe in the kind of God some posters have assumed you do, but you have never stated the attributes of the God you do believe in, except to say that he must exist because he is the fount of absolute values. You have not given, and cannot provide, any proof of this assertion.

You say you know there is a God because you have received a revelation which you know to be objectively true. What do you mean by objective truth? And how do you know that your revelation – whose nature you coyly conceal – is in fact “objectively true”?

You say: “God is bound by His nature. The laws of logic are a reflection of that nature.” Prove this assertion.

I am, of course, wasting my time discussing with you, because by your rubric I am entitled to neither morality nor logic. As Christianity – and your brand of it, whatever that may be – is professed by only a minority of the world’s population, that makes a huge number of us benighted infidels and heathens who are destined for the Hell you believe in, although you graciously say you don’t what anyone to go there. So you certainly have your work cut out!

Finally, please answer the contradiction that if God is omnipotent he can’t be benevolent, and that if he is benevolent he can’t be omnipotent. And don’t wriggle out of it by saying that because I have no absolute values I am not entitled to enquire about or make judgements on such matters.

Anonymous said...

Sye says:

Logic can only be justified in a fundaMENTAList christian worldview.

A very Sye style answer:

Ha! So logic did not exist before christianity! Neat! Well done!

BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Another Bizzaro-Sye

Anonymous said...

based on the promises of God, I can at least proceed with the assumption that nature will very likely be uniform.

So:

Since god has kept his promise in the past, you assume that he will keep his promise in the future, because in the past he has kept his promise in the future, which is hopelessly circular ...

Bizzaro-Sye

Sye TenB said...

anonymouse said: ”Ha! So logic did not exist before christianity! Neat! Well done!”

Um no, logic is derived from the God of Christianity, who has always existed, and is indeed, beyond time.

”Since god has kept his promise in the past, you assume that he will keep his promise in the future, because in the past he has kept his promise in the future, which is hopelessly circular ...”

Um no, my knowledge that God WILL keep His promises, has nothing to do with the fact that He has kept them in the past, but has to do with His nature.

I find it amusing (read sad) how you people accuse me of circularity, when your argument for the assumption that the future will be like the past amounts to this: The future will be like the past, because the future has been like the past, in the past. :-)

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Anticant said: ”Sye – I did not say “things appear horrendous”: I said :”the CONSEQUENCES OF BELIEF appear pretty dismal – indeed, horrendous - to me, and I think humanity would be better off without it.”

The ‘consequences of belief’ are the ‘things’ I was implying, I was just shortening it.

”What grounds have you for saying that “child molestation is not ‘wrong’ in any atheistic worldview”? This is a preposterous statement, and illustrates the frivolity of your mode of ‘argument’.”

So, how is it ‘wrong’ then?

”What kind of God DO you believe in? You have several times said you do not believe in the kind of God some posters have assumed you do, but you have never stated the attributes of the God you do believe in,”

I said that I have stated this on the main page of my website, the first answer in the Q & A.

”You say you know there is a God because you have received a revelation which you know to be objectively true. What do you mean by objective truth?”

True, apart from personal opinion.

”And how do you know that your revelation – whose nature you coyly conceal – is in fact “objectively true”?”

Because God has revealed it in such a way that we can be certain of its truth (and I also discuss revelation briefly on my site).

”I am, of course, wasting my time discussing with you, because by your rubric I am entitled to neither morality nor logic.”

Why don’t you just tell me how you account for the universal, abstract, invariant laws of logic and morality according to your worldview then?

”As Christianity – and your brand of it, whatever that may be – is professed by only a minority of the world’s population, that makes a huge number of us benighted infidels and heathens who are destined for the Hell you believe in, although you graciously say you don’t what anyone to go there. So you certainly have your work cut out!”

No kidding. The Bible teaches that one day, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I just hope and pray that you folk join me in doing this as His friend, rather than as His enemy, but I don’t like how it’s looking.

”Finally, please answer the contradiction that if God is omnipotent he can’t be benevolent, and that if he is benevolent he can’t be omnipotent. And don’t wriggle out of it by saying that because I have no absolute values I am not entitled to enquire about or make judgements on such matters.”

God is all good, and all powerful and has a morally sufficient reason for the evil in this world, known at least, to Him.

Cheers,

Sye

Sye TenB said...

Reynold said: "Therefore one could say that xianity borrowed from the grecian worldview in order to make sense of the laws of logic."

How did the Greeks make sense of universal, abstract, invariant laws?

Cheers,

Sye

Anonymous said...

Um no, logic is derived from the God of Christianity, who has always existed, and is indeed, beyond time.

Peoples before Christianity could not have used logic because god could not have revealed to them in a way they could be certain!

(wonder how the greeks came to use logic then)

Um no, my knowledge that God WILL keep His promises, has nothing to do with the fact that He has kept them in the past, but has to do with His nature.

you know his nature because someone has known his nature in the past, described it to you, and you found it consistent because you have found in the past that he would keep his promise in the future because you observed the uniformity of the future in the past, which is hopelessly circular.

Sye TenB said...

Nutcasenightmare said: "Your premise was that there is no way logic can exist only with Brahma, Allah, Thetans, humans, Zeus, Thor, Buddha, or ANY of the other gods.

Prove it. Stop evading the question, Sye..."


I was in the process of refuting the worldview of your alter ego, but it (you) stopped answering me.

What is the authority of the Hindu worldview? It can't be a personal revelation, because they don't believe in a personal God. It's just stuff made up by the 'sages of old,' and sorry, but I don't believe in made up gods. If you want to make up an alter ego that posits one of the other gods you listed, go ahead.

Cheers,

Sye

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
I just caught this as I was trolling through.

Is it really your defense that systemic truth is invalid because I’m on drugs?

Perhaps you’d like to point out how Systemic Truth is invalid according to your world view. That would be the sane, non-drug induced thing to do. You seem to be really good at refuting everyone else here, but as of yet you have not refuted me, and in terms of intelligence I can assure you I’m the dummy here. So what does that make you Sye?

I’ll give it to you that you made an attempt, but you continually fail at:
Proving, “that systemic truth exists” is a valid proposition, and stating something that is an absolute truth and how it is not systemic.

If your world view is correct, you should have no problem with this. I fail to understand why you cannot answer those fundamental questions. If you cannot, the system of logic you use on everyone else is invalid, and you have no claim to truth of your proof.

Then what Nietzsche said was true, “[Sye’s]God is dead”.

Kyle P. said...

Anti-Sye said,
"What the Anti-Sye claims:
1. The NON-existence of God is a nec precondition of the existence of logic (For if God exists, he can change logic, which will no longer be universal)
2. Logic exists
3. Therefore: God does not exist"

Hey, I'M the one who wrote that! Almost verbatim. And I used it to prove Sye wrong. :) It's good though that others are repeating it, because I can't keep up with the ridiculous amount of repetition that Sye can - again, this is typical psychopathy or an OCD-complex to the maximum.

Sye, a quick question. What is your "god" made of?

Sye TenB said...

Anonymouse said: "Peoples before Christianity could not have used logic because god could not have revealed to them in a way they could be certain!"

Huh? Why not?

"you know his nature because someone has known his nature in the past, described it to you,"

Nope, because He has revealed it to all of us. For a philosophical forum, you sure are erecting alot of straw men!

Not that you will answer, but on what basis do you proceed with the assumption that the nature is uniform?

Cheers,

Sye

Anti-Sye said...

Sye: "How did the Greeks make sense of universal, abstract, invariant laws?"

They made sense of logic because "logic is derived from the God of Christianity, who has always existed, and is indeed, beyond time."

...even though no Greek knew let alone accepted the Christian God, and Jesus wasn't even born then... Yet they contributed a lot to geometry, physics, astronomy, mathematics, science in general and most importantly, formalized LOGIC.

Oh, and claiming the Greeks are able to use logic while Stephen Law can't even though neither accept the Christian God...

is TOTALLY NOT PREJUDICED BIAS, SYE.

(/sarcasm)

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