Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sye's proof

The comments on Sye's proof of the existence of God (discussed two posts below) have reached 250 in number, so let's start a new page.

To newcomers - Sye, the author of this proof, is here defending it.

My latest response:

Hello again Sye

Well, we are getting somewhere, actually, as I now discover that by “proof” you seem to mean deductively valid argument.

Is that correct? If so - well, Golly, that's a very misleading way of using the term "proof".

"Proof" usually means, argument establishing the conclusion as true beyond all doubt, beyond reasonable doubt, or whatever. People will be very misled by your website's claim to "prove" God exists, if all you are really claiming is to have put "God exists" at the end of a deductively valid argument. We have all been very misled, in fact.

When I suggested that by “proof” we mean, proof beyond reasonable doubt, I thought I was doing you a favour by going with the weakest notion of “proof” I was aware of, but if by “proof” you actually just mean deductively valid argument, then, hey, I agree you have a “proof”!

But then, by your definition, this is a "proof" too:

1. The existence of the Cosmic Wombat is a necessary precondition of the existence of the laws of logic.
2. The laws of logic exist
Therefore, the Cosmic Wombat exists.

See? - deductively valid. So I have a "proof" too! If this wombat argument is not a proof, can you explain why?

My question is: by "proof" do you mean deductively valid argument? If not, what do you mean?

I will do a post on my views about logic next.

15 comments:

Paul C said...

I've long wanted you to address a presuppositionalist, since you have more philosophical chops (and more patience) than I do. While it is clear that Sye is all over the place (while relentlessly projecting his failure to engage onto everybody else, another hallmark of presuppositionalists), it clearly exposes the futility of debate with people such as him, which is why I've stayed out of it.

The reason why this will never get anywhere is that Sye doesn't have a definition of proof. Sye doesn't have a clear definition of anything except in the context of presuppositional apologetics, which is nothing to do with philosophy and everything to do with proselytization. PA is nothing more than a script, and all of his arguments are designed to get people to use his script. Now I am sure that you will not fall for this - but at the same time I am sure that you will not be able to make him deviate from his script.

However it's always worth exposing these fallacious and frankly puerile arguments ("I won't let you play with me until you all agree that we can only play my rules"), so good luck.

Paul C said...

Oh damn, here I go again. Sye says:

"Look folks, whether you agree with me or not, 220 posts ago, I asked how universal, abstract, invariants such as the laws of logic make sense in the atheist worldview. Don't you find it odd that no one has answered that yet?"

Ask him what an "atheist worldview" is, I dare you; the most facile and useless concept I ever heard in my life, and I'm including phlogiston in there.

Sye: they make sense to me because they're the natural outworking of the particular structure of the visible universe.

Stephen Law said...

Just to follow up Sye, please don't just endlessly repeat, "But you are not, as an atheist" entitled to use logic." as I have repeatedly explained why this doesn't get you off the hook.

We both believe in logic, and, I take it, that a deductively valid argument containing contentious, unargued-for premises does not establish the truth of its conclusion.

True, you claim I am not entitled to believe this, being an atheist, but fact is that by your own argument you, having justified logic by appeal to God, are justified in believing it.

Now your original argument, as it appears on your website, does contain a contentious and un-argued for premise. So you are justified in supposing that your argument, as originally presented by you, does not establish the truth of its conclusion.

Whether I happen to be justified in believing this is beside the point.

Do please respond to this specific point, if you get a moment...

Stephen Law said...

I am not giving up just yet, Paul!

But good question: Sye, what is an atheist world view?

I suspect we need to settle that before I answer the question "So how do you justify logic then?"

Sye TenB said...

Sorry folks, was a long say at the Falls, I’ll get to a few post tonight, then more tomorrow.

Stephen said: ”But good question: Sye, what is an atheist world view?”

Allow me to clarify. When I said: “Look folks, whether you agree with me or not, 220 posts ago, I asked how universal, abstract, invariants such as the laws of logic make sense in the atheist worldview.” I was referring to Stephen’s worldview. I had wanted to write that ‘220 posts ago I asked how universal, abstract, invariants make sense in ANY atheistic worldview,’ but that would not have been accurate, and no doubt, one of you would have called me on it.

As far as what I mean, Stephen’s response was bang on: “Simply put, it’s a view of what there is that doesn’t include God. That’s it.”

So that’s what I want to know; How do universal, abstract, invariants make sense in any worldview that doesn’t include God. But, rather than answer me here, I’ll address the comments in the “God and Logic” thread.

Later,

Sye

Steven Carr said...

Could we get a list of the law of logic from Sye?

I have the strange feeling he has no idea what the laws of logic are, and will never give a comprehensive list of them.

For example, is the Axiom of Choice invariantly true or invariantly false, given an alleged god who produces 'universal, abstract, invariants'?

Now that I have asked Sye to demonstrate that he has the first clue what he is talking about, we can guarantee that he will embarrass himself by claiming
1) The laws of logic presuppose God and

2) He doesn't know what the laws of logic are.

Sye TenB said...

@ Steven Carr

”traditionally, the three fundamental laws of logic: (1) the law of contradiction, (2) the law of excluded middle (or third), and (3) the principle of identity. (Britannica online Encyclopedia)"

Billy said...

Oh dear, I've seen this "proof" before - how can you have options that force you to choose between absoluteley true or false?

from the site: You have likely heard that it is impossible to prove that God exists. You have heard wrong.

I'd like to hear his proof that the sun will rise tomorrow.

I went down the moral absolutes dont exist line and saw no refutation of my position. It is full of false dichotomies and does not make sense. There is also the problem of whether we could actually recognise an absolute if one actually existed. It seems he presupposes that they must exist. I'm sure it has all been refuted in the theads.

Good luck with this:-)

Andrew Louis said...

Sye,
nice jod on quoting the three fundamental laws of logic.

But, there seems to be one missing. Do you know the one? It's the one you use most often, and it's not in your list.

Sye says: (and I quote)
"All ultimate authority claims have a necessary element of circularity, but not each (read only one) is valid."

So uhhhh, hm, how come that isn't in your list of laws Sye, don't you find that a bit interesting?

Reynold said...

Note that Sye had to get those laws from the encyclopedia, and couldn't rely on the bible to get them, yet he keeps asserting that his god is the source of logic.

Steven Carr said...

Sye did not answer the question.

Is the Axiom of Choice true or false?

Why are 'laws of logic' sometimes not able to be proved true and not able to be proved false if there is an alleged god who makes things true or false?

Sye mentions the principle of identity.

Why does Sye thinks that atheists are not justified in believing that a cat is not a dog?

Steven Carr said...

Sye believes there are supernatural beings who are highly motivated to attack his senses and reasoning, and are perfectly capable of deceiving him.

As Sye's worldview is that his senses and reasoning are under constant attack by demons, why should anybody take seriously anything he says?

He contradicts his world view everytime he writes a post, as his world view is that there exists demons who can deceive him into thinking he has a computer.

His worldview is exploded with every post he makes. He has no basis in his worldview for using logic and reasoning, as he is convinced that demons exist who can attack his reasoning.


It is Sye who is a walking contradiction, somebody who says one thing and yet whose actions presuppose the fact that he simply does not believe that supernatural beings exist.

Sye TenB said...

Steven Carr said: "Sye did not answer the question.
Is the Axiom of Choice true or false?"


Sorry, I can't offer an opinion on it, as I never heard of it.

"Why are 'laws of logic' sometimes not able to be proved true and not able to be proved false if there is an alleged god who makes things true or false?"

You'd have to provide an example, but I would posit that this is because we are not God.

"Why does Sye thinks that atheists are not justified in believing that a cat is not a dog?"

How do you know that a cat is not a dog, and how do you know that a cat will not be a dog, tomorrow?

Cheers,

Sye

Steven Carr said...

The Axiom of Choice is pretty basic, so basic that people did not realise it existed.

Basically , the Axiom of Choice says that if you have a number of groups of things, you can always choose one member of each group to make a new group of things.

You can either assume it is true or assume it is false.

Both assumptions lead to consistent laws of logic.

But if there are laws of logic which can either be true or false, then there cannot be a god who makes all laws of logic either definitely true or definitevely false.

As for the question of how we know that dogs cannot become cats tomorrow, we don't.

Nobody does. Not even presuppers who declare that nature is uniform and preach a god who can change nature at will (a will they claim they cannot predict)

Sye TenB said...

Steven Carr said: ”As for the question of how we know that dogs cannot become cats tomorrow, we don't.”

I also asked how you know that a cat is not a dog,? Well?

”Nobody does.”

See, now this is what gets me in these arguments, you claim that you cannot know something, but then state definitively what someone else cannot know. How do you know what I can or cannot know?

”Not even presuppers who declare that nature is uniform and preach a god who can change nature at will (a will they claim they cannot predict)”

Well, since you are arguing with me, perhaps you should stick with my arguments. I base my assumptions that nature will most probably be uniform upon the promises of God, on what do you base your assumption that nature is, or even is probably, uniform?

Cheers,

Sye

P.S. As far as your axiom of choice goes, sorry, but I don’t get it, perhaps you can give me an example of a false law of logic, and how you know that it is false?