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Logic and God
Posted: 20 November 2006 10:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Is Scriven wrong ? Platinga makes use of the argument that we have to posit God in order to trust our minds and states that God is his own warrant- sefl-evident.I figure he justs beg the question. Am I right? We learn to trust our minds through trial and error. Icannot trust my mind when it has paranoia . :wink:

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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 21 November 2006 01:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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[quote author=“Occam”]I believe dougsmith mentioned in some post a few weeks ago that he had a PhD in Philosophy.

That’s right ... a few years back now, but I don’t think I’ve forgotten everything yet!

LOL  LOL

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Posted: 21 November 2006 01:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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[quote author=“sotoman”]these are all perceived by the senses through secientific instruments and bones.
you can see quarks with instruments, you can see fossils that show evolution, and the history of ancient greece has written records and artifacts. the first stirrings of life on earth has some empirical evidence that leads scientists to this conclusion. none of these are made up out of the imagination.
these are all percieved by the senses of the people who study them, etc. very clearly, all these examples exist, since someone, somewhere has seen them.

What we see are the blinking lights on the instrument panels. What we see are rocks in the shapes of bones, and yellowed manuscripts. We infer from this evidence that quarks exist, or dinosaurs existed, or ancient Greece existed. Inference is necessary.


[quote author=“sotoman”]Locke’s criterion is not too restrictive at all! all he is saying is that if something doesnt have a physical body, and cannot be measured by any instrument, then it does not exist. i challenge anyone to prove that something exists which cant be observed or measured in any way. this is precisely what theists are claiming, and what Locke was trying to abolish.
if something cant be measured or observed, Locke said, then there is no reason at all to believe it is real!

It’s an inference to go from sense perception to measuring by instruments. Clearly, if we can’t give physical evidence that something exists, we shouldn’t believe it.

[quote author=“sotoman”]we are not metaphysical beings, we are physical beings. we have bodies.
Metaphysics refers to the studies of what cannot be reached through objective studies of material reality.
this means that any metaphysical argument is based on subjectivity- opinion, feelings, etc- and not logical. and Locke would say, that since nothing metapyisical can be observed thru objective studies, then nothing metaphysical is real.
Ontology studies conceptions of reality, which can be different for everyone. how can this be logical if it can mean anything?

Well, I’m afraid this is quite confused, sotoman. Saying “we are physical beings” is a metaphysical claim. It is, in fact, an ontological claim about the nature of the stuff in the universe: viz., that it is physical stuff.

... and yet this conclusion is reached by “objective studies of material reality”, so it can’t be that “metaphysics refers to the studies of what cannot be reached by objective studies of material reality” as you claimed. Science is an investigation into the metaphysical reality of our universe.

[quote author=“sotoman”]the term ‘reasonable’ is one that i wouldnt use in a logical discussion, its way too flexible and can mean almost anything.

Well, it often happens that just saying “so and so is reasonable” doesn’t help advance the discussion. Then you will have to say why it is that you find so and so reasonable. What is the argument for so and so?

But other times (like in the discussion of certain religious issues) everyone agrees that it’s more reasonable to assume that the Bible isn’t literally true, and yet your opponent may believe his religious stuff on faith, i.e. in conscious opposition to reason. Then it seems perfectly OK to say “what you believe is unreasonable”. However, it is always better to give an argument for why it is unreasonable rather than just to say so.

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Posted: 21 November 2006 04:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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as far as what you said of blinking instruments, and your views on metaphysics, the only difference between what im saying and what youre saying is semantics.

are you saying that quarks dont exist? or are you saying that we shouldnt trust our own senses? youre saying that we arent physical beings? or are you using that to back up a metaphysical view that you feel exists?

anyway, i hate debating semantics, it goes nowhere.

but i dig what you said about ‘reasonable’.
who decides what is reasonable? you may feel it is reasonable to not believe the bible, yet your fundie pal would feel it is perfectly reasonable. you could come up with quotes, a perfectly constructed argument why it is unreasonable, yet the fundie could do the same.
so reasonable, is relative. the way that one would reason is also relative. how do you address that?

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Posted: 21 November 2006 04:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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[quote author=“sotoman”]are you saying that quarks dont exist? or are you saying that we shouldnt trust our own senses? youre saying that we arent physical beings? or are you using that to back up a metaphysical view that you feel exists?

Quarks exist. We are physical beings. All we know about metaphysics comes from science.

We also shouldn’t always trust our senses. They can deceive us. The example of dreams, among a million other examples, proves the point.

What I’m saying is that Locke and the early empiricists had a na憊e view of epistemology. This isn’t an issue of semantics, BTW. It’s an issue of epistemology and evidence: not all evidence comes directly from the senses. Reason, inference, induction are also necessary.

[quote author=“sotoman”]but i dig what you said about ‘reasonable’.
who decides what is reasonable? you may feel it is reasonable to not believe the bible, yet your fundie pal would feel it is perfectly reasonable. you could come up with quotes, a perfectly constructed argument why it is unreasonable, yet the fundie could do the same.
so reasonable, is relative. the way that one would reason is also relative. how do you address that?

Reasonableness is not relative; there are good and bad arguments, that is, arguments based on evidence and valid logical form, and arguments that are not. Nobody gets to ‘decide’ what is a good argument. It either is or it is not.

There may be disagreement about this, but that is not important. There is also disagreement about whether or not the earth is flat. The existence of flat-earthers does not change the fact that the earth is spherical. The existence of people who accept bad arguments doesn’t change the fact that they are bad.

BTW, biblical fundamentalists may well have reasons for their beliefs, but the reasons typically end with the question as to why they believe the Bible to be the word of god. For that, typically they have no reasons, they have “faith”. And faith is something that is explicitly done contrary to reason. If it were not contrary to reason (or at least without the use of reason), it would not be faith.

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Posted: 21 November 2006 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Reasonableness is not relative; there are good and bad arguments, that is, arguments based on evidence and valid logical form, and arguments that are not. Nobody gets to ‘decide’ what is a good argument. It either is or it is not.

a valid argument is different from a reasonable one. and youre right, a valid logical argument is a good argument, and only logic can determine. but unfourtunately, a reasonable argument is one that is achieved using the processes of reason. it may not be the strict philosophical reason that you use, but a more lax lay-reason that still uses mental reasoning, however sloppy it may be. who knows where they get their reasoning from, but many times, its far from being a valid logical argument.

youre also right about the flat earthers. there are people who belive it is flat, and theyve founded their opinion on their own reasoning. their arguments are not valid tho. so how could one say that reason is not relative, when people come up with all sorts of weird stuff by reasoning? this is why i say it is relative.

i also agree that faith is the absence of reason. how do you come to atheism? by reason. was your reasoing valid? i bet it was. but what about the xtian who can reason and convince others that god exists? were his arguments valid? maybe not, but i bet he thinks theyre reasonable.

i get what youre saying about reasonableness, unfourtunately its not that way. people tend to think that as long as they put any mental effort into a question, theyve reasoned as well as the best of em. i also see what youre saying, that a valid logical argument may or may not agree with the theist’s ‘reasonable’ beliefs, but i dont think that using the word ‘reason’ to the theist would win you any ground.

this is exactly why i choose to make the distinction between ‘reasonable’ and ‘valid or logical’.
which brings me back to my question in my last post.

p.s. ~you should come on down to freethinkers’ forum, we’d love you there!~  :D

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Posted: 21 November 2006 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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[quote author=“sotoman”]but unfourtunately, a reasonable argument is one that is achieved using the processes of reason. it may not be the strict philosophical reason that you use, but a more lax lay-reason that still uses mental reasoning, however sloppy it may be. who knows where they get their reasoning from, but many times, its far from being a valid logical argument.

Yes, and there is a big vague area in the middle, with some arguments that are poorly expressed but that can be tweaked and made reasonable, others that one would have to do quite a bit of work with, and still others that cannot be fixed by anybody.

But the point is that an argument’s being good isn’t a matter up for vote. It isn’t up to you, me, Einstein or the Pope to decide. :wink:

[quote author=“sotoman”]youre also right about the flat earthers. there are people who belive it is flat, and theyve founded their opinion on their own reasoning. their arguments are not valid tho. so how could one say that reason is not relative, when people come up with all sorts of weird stuff by reasoning? this is why i say it is relative.

Well ... now this is something of a semantic matter. Sure, what some people call reasonable isn’t in fact reasonable. However, I think it’s less confusing just to say that peoples’ use of the term “reason” or “reasonable” is relative to their own interests and beliefs—and that some of them actually misuse the term.

But in any event that is separate from the objective question as to whether a given argument is in fact good, reasonable, valid, etc., and to what general degree.

[quote author=“sotoman”]i also see what youre saying, that a valid logical argument may or may not agree with the theist’s ‘reasonable’ beliefs, but i dont think that using the word ‘reason’ to the theist would win you any ground.

Well, using words like “reasonable”, “valid” or “logical” won’t win you points with someone who is determined to believe something by faith. They may even agree with you that your argument is reasonable, and then refuse to believe it! (That’s what faith makes you do, after all).

But all we can do in arguing anything is to rest on the most reasonable and valid principles, the evidence, and so on. There is nothing more we can do as rational creatures.

And someone who rejects reasoned arguments simply gives up the right to be taken seriously in a debate.

[quote author=“sotoman”]p.s. ~you should come on down to freethinkers’ forum, we’d love you there!~  :D

Thanks, sotoman, but I’m busy enough as it is!

LOL

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Posted: 25 November 2006 12:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Too busy for a book? There should be enough from these posts for at least a pamphlet. :wink:

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Fr. Griggs rests in his Socratic ignorance and humble naturalism.He might be wrong!His cognitive defects might impact his posting. Logic is the bane of theists.‘Religion is mythinformation.“Reason saves, not that fanatic Galilean!
  ’ Life is its own validation and reward and ultimate purpose.”

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Posted: 04 December 2006 04:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Doug:

I need a philosophy lesson.  In this thread you made a distinction between using our senses and using instruments when you referred to the blinking lights and looking for quarks.  Please elaborate on that difference.

Humble student Wes :D

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Fairness is Justice

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Posted: 04 December 2006 05:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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[quote author=“wesmjohnson”]I need a philosophy lesson.  In this thread you made a distinction between using our senses and using instruments when you referred to the blinking lights and looking for quarks.  Please elaborate on that difference.

Well, we don’t see quarks directly: they’re too small. What we see is blinking lights on the instrument panel. What do those blinking lights have to do with quarks? In order to know this, we have to know about how the instruments are built, etc.; basically we have to do a long chain of inferences.

Now, you may say that this is a difference that doesn’t make a difference; that knowing what we know about the instruments, their calibration, etc., we are able then to experience quarks and have knowledge about quarks. And I think that’s actually the correct thing to say. But it isn’t na憊e empiricism anymore, in that it allows us to have knowledge of things that we can’t experience directly.

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Posted: 04 December 2006 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Doug:

:D Thanks.  If I understand your difference between direct experience and inference it is what we can see with our unaided 5 senses versus with instruments? 

Would any use of instruments qualify as inference as different from direct experience?  Would using a microscope be something other than direct experience?  After all we cannot see (experience) germs directly.  What about X-rays?  You mention a “long chain of inferences.”  How long does the chain need to be to go from direct experience to inference?

I suppose my problem, or lack of understanding, is that inference seems somehow “less” than direct experience.  As a scientist I set up experiments to “measure” things.  Things we cannot see, am I inferring the measurements?  Did the Michelson-Morley speed of light experiments infer or provide a direct experience?

I am clearly missing a subtlety here.  Were you defining “na憊e empiricism” and I missed it? :?

Humble student, Wes

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Posted: 04 December 2006 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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[quote author=“wesmjohnson”] Thanks.  If I understand your difference between direct experience and inference it is what we can see with our unaided 5 senses versus with instruments? 

Well, that’s basically the issue. We also (above) had the question about dinosaurs: we know about them from fossilized bones. We never saw them directly, and arguably our knowledge that they existed needn’t involve instruments per se; but it certainly does involve the use of inference.

[quote author=“wesmjohnson”]Would any use of instruments qualify as inference as different from direct experience?  Would using a microscope be something other than direct experience?  After all we cannot see (experience) germs directly.  What about X-rays?  You mention a “long chain of inferences.”  How long does the chain need to be to go from direct experience to inference?

The short answer is that this is something of a vague issue, so I doubt you will get precise answers. As I recall, some philosophers of science (Like Bas van Fraassen) claim that we have no direct experience of anything that is too small to be seen by the unaided eye. Everything else involves inference. For example, even a light microscope involves inferences about the refraction of light in the lenses, etc., and that all that gives you reliable information about very small objects.

I am not claiming this is a particularly defensible view, but it is a roughly empiricist one.

(Van Fraassen also thinks this is different from the case of knowing about distant galaxies by using telescopes, since we could “in principle” go to see the galaxies with our own eyes. This is also not a particularly defensible difference from the light-microscope case, IMO ... but just FYI).

[quote author=“wesmjohnson”]I suppose my problem, or lack of understanding, is that inference seems somehow “less” than direct experience.  As a scientist I set up experiments to “measure” things.  Things we cannot see, am I inferring the measurements?  Did the Michelson-Morley speed of light experiments infer or provide a direct experience?

I don’t think that inference is necessarily “less” than direct experience. It depends on the case. Often direct experiences can be very misleading: cognitive and perceptual psychology is FULL of experiments that reveal persistent illusions, fallibility of perception and memory.

Speaking in the most general terms, the empiricists, following Descartes, tried to foundationalize epistemology upon sense data, since they felt that this was the “best”, most secure, information possible. But contemporary epistemologists largely reject such a move: no foundationalist epistemology is possible. Sometimes sense data are reliable, other times inference shows them to be unreliable. One cannot found epistemology on any absolute ground.

[quote author=“wesmjohnson”]I am clearly missing a subtlety here.  Were you defining “na憊e empiricism” and I missed it?

Well, I think we were discussing a version of na憊e empiricism, above.  :wink:

I didn’t define it, but roughly it’s the view that we have certain knowledge of those and only those parts of the world that we can directly observe with our senses.

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Posted: 04 December 2006 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Doug:

:D :D Thanks again!

On CFI Forum technical note - how do you get the quotes from a postings and put them in a response?  Again I am missing something.


Wes

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Posted: 04 December 2006 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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[quote author=“wesmjohnson”]On CFI Forum technical note - how do you get the quotes from a postings and put them in a response?  Again I am missing something.

For info about BBCode, click here .

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Posted: 04 December 2006 01:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Geez, I feel sorry for all those scientists who can’t experience things other than inferentially because they have to wear glasses.  8)  LOL

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