Bad arguments
Posted: 13 July 2007 06:05 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi,

I am uncertain how to reply to arguments like :


(1) The argument form subjectivity: I feel that there is a god -> there is one.

(2) The arguments against logic -> Hey, emotions are not logical!

(3) The argument from special knowledge -> Not all is logic. There are things above it, you just don’t realize.

(4) Eastern mysticism which talks a lot about “non-dual states of mind, beyond logic, blah, blah, blah… “


How can one refute these arguments? The problem is not with the structure of the argument, but with the premises. So how can one refute those premises? There is no empiric evidence to contradict the premises… Where exactly is the argument faulty? Is there a formal way to show this, rather than just calling the other person “stupid”?

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Posted: 13 July 2007 09:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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(1) Is not an argument, just a statement.  You could just as easily say, “I feel there is no god, therefore there is none.”

(2)  So what?  Of course emotions may not be logical, but as such, they have no place in a logical argument.  You can believe whatever you feel, emotionally, but that doesn’t contribute anything to proof or disproof of a god.

(3)  Logic is merely the mechanics that assists us in examining the validity of statements, ideas, or “things”.  There is no above or below.  If you have special knowledge that I’m not aware of, present it.  If you are so certain of its truth, you should be happy to let logical analysis verify that it’s true.

(4)  “I don’t understand what you are talking about.  Could you clarify or demonstrate?”  Keep asking this question.  It’s a great defense against these high abstraction level, egotistical proclamations (they are not arguments). 

These premises essentially always are based on a hidden, implied argument.  Ask how they arrived at that premise, and keep asking until they expose their pre-argument.  That’s where you’ll find the weakness, or else you can take those earlier premises and go through the same questions.  Eventually you’ll arrive at the primitive statement of their belief by faith.  That’s perfectly acceptable for them to do so, but it’s not a valid basis for an argument.

Occam

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Posted: 13 July 2007 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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HERE is a great, pithy summary of arguments for supernatural entities and their counter-arguments, including several you mention.

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