Also, a new development has come to light. See my latest post Dan Barker mugs the Atheist Experience and chuckle with me at the shortsightedness of each.
Intellectual dishonesty is akin to hypocrisy.The hyopcrite asserts a double standard concerning morality.The intellectually dishonest man asserts a double standard concerning reason.
I would agree that both Barker and the AthExp people are intellectually dishonest. Barker, from hearing him sustain bludgeonings in debate and never taking the correction, and the AthExp in my own interactions with them. In this case, however, the AthExp comes out intellectually dishonest for their lame "I don't know what the answer is, but I'm just SURE it's not like Slick says!" Barker comes out looking good (until someone quotes this to him in the context of Slick's TAG and then he rejects God again).
Let's translate the practical application of agnosticism into another realm of inquiry:Question: What happens at the biochemical level when a photon hits the retina of the eye?Agnostic answer: I don't know - and that's perfectly acceptable. It's too difficult a question; we can't see what happens. I don't even have a concept of what a photon is. Darwin already told us how the eye was created, and that there was no purpose behind it - let's just leave it at that.
Yay! Ilion is back! Hey Ilion, did you know my remington 870 is made in Ilion New York! I'm glad that all of you are spending valuable time beating the carpets to get minutia to fly in the air long enough to share it with a friend.Idiots like you need to be occupied.
Poor Matt D stepped off on the wrong foot. There was nowhere but down to go from there. "They (the laws of logic) don't depend on anything." is clearly a gaff. They're dependant on the brain, obviously.
When you hear an Atheist talk you can always be confident that there is intellectual dishonesty going on. You can't be an Atheist whithout being intellectually dishonest. It just come with the territory.
>You can't be an Atheist whithout being intellectually dishonest. It just come with the territory.I reply: Indeed one of our Atheist trolls seems to do this on a daily basis & is seemingly oblivious to the scandal it causes legitimate partisians to his non-belief system.But if you deny God then there is no reason to be truthful, just or honest.
-Rhology said... When you hear an Atheist talk you can always be confident that there is intellectual dishonesty going on. You can't be an Atheist whithout being intellectually dishonest. It just come with the territory.-That wasn't me. I'm glad to see that the atheist who impersonates Christians has so many rational answers.MM said:-They're dependant on the brain, obviously.-No, they're not. They're a property of the universe, the way God is and thinks. They're not dependent on the BRAIN at all, unless you think that my law of non-contradiction can be totally different than yours. Slick's point as I understand it is that while laws of logic are a property of the universe, no STATEMENTS are possible w/o a transcendent mind. That's what Matt D didn't catch but viscerally reacted against w/o thinking.
That wasn't you? Well it still proves me right. If you deny God then there is no reason to be truthful, just or honest.>MM said:-They're dependant on the brain, obviously.-I reply: To add my two cents if the above where true then persuant to Plantingia's argument how do we know the "laws of logic" are in anyway trustworthy in truly interpreting the universe?Short answer we don't.
It's not a double standard. The difference is that when an atheist says "I don't know" he doesn't proceed to believe in the thing that is not yet explained or perhaps even unexplainable. He leaves it at the point of "I don't know". When a religious person says "I don't know" they proceed to believe in whatever is unexplained. That's saying "I don't know but I'll believe it anyways." Don't start believing something until you can at least define it or have evidence for it.
"The well-known Atheist Experience apparently thinks "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer to the question of the nature of the laws of logic."So what? Seems like you are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Are the "laws of logic" related to "reality"? Scientists want to understand "reality" and if the "laws of logic" are necessary to that understanding, then they are useful and accepted. What's your point? Sometimes people aren't good philosophers on a real-time radio show? So what?"But it's a big victory for atheism if you don't understand the concept when we tell you the nature of God?"Is the "nature of God" helpful or useful in understanding "reality"? How are "scientific experiments" affected by the "nature of God"? How is the history of the universe or the understanding of evolution affected by the "nature of God"? Why should a scientists care about something that does not seem to have any effect on "reality"?"If you deny God then there is no reason to be truthful, just or honest."This seems like an idiotic assertion to me.
They're not dependent on the BRAIN at all, unless you think that my law of non-contradiction can be totally different than yours.Most (but not all) people can see green, and most (but not all) don't associate the letter 'A' with green. This is because our brains are constructed similarly and so operate similarly and so perceive things similarly. The same can be said about "logical laws". These describe how our brains delimit what we are capable of perceiving, not the other way around.On the other hand, I am not aware of any credible report of someone without a brain ever solving a syllogism. Correct me if I'm mistaken.Taken all together, it seems to me that the brain is in fact critical for logical sense. There's no need to appeal to disembodied notions larking about on ethereal astral plains to explain this "wonder."
To add my two cents if the above where true then persuant to Plantingia's argument how do we know the "laws of logic" are in anyway trustworthy in truly interpreting the universe?In the conventional way. As I've said elsewhere, ±120db works for me. If you insist on ±∞ as your criteria then, no, we dcont know in that sense. The same needs to be said about your assertion that there are such things as nebulous disembodied laws actually "out there" in some strange way. You don't know that either.
It seems that, in one very precise sense, we already know that the the 'laws of logic' are not 100% (or ±∞)trustworthy for interpreting the universe: Godel's Incompleteness Theorem shows that any logical system will either be incomplete or inconsistent. But as a practical matter, science has never put 100% trust in logic, that is why no matter how compelling and logical sounding an argument or theory seems, it is the testing of the conclusions of that logic against reality that matters. If logic works, then great but reality is the final arbiter.
I recommend that readers view the entire AthExp show to see that Dillahunty did an excellent job of dismantling Slick's presentation of TAG, including pointing out a clear logical fallacy in it.Slick hurls bad argument after bad argument and finally one argument (the one highlighted in this post by Rhology) stuck. It's clear that Dillahunty wasn't prepared for it, so he did an inadequate job of defending the atheist position in this case.However, that is not to say that Slick had a good argument. With the benefit of time to think through the arguments outside of a real-time setting, this youtube poster finishes the job of dismantling Slick:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7OgcCrqFpUA key quote from the video: "Things consistently behave a certain way. Things have a nature. To say that an extra thing, with its own nature needs to exist in order for everything else to behave a certain way is already a theistic assumption."There's no disputing that systems of logic are conceptual entities. And there's no disputing that the universe is a physical entity that exhibits a consistent behavior. The problem is the introduction of these extra entities called "the laws of the universe" or the "laws of logic" upon which the universe depends. TAG presupposes these entities without evidence, and thus it fails.The youtube video I cited, and the rest of the videos in that series, do a much more thorough job of making this point, so I encourage those of you that are interested in TAG to check it out.Live long and prosper!
I don't really like Matt's argument, at least the way he presented it. I'm not sure if this has been said before, but the laws of logic are "handles" or (as Matt D put it) they are models of the way reality behaves. The laws themselves are conceptual, as Matt said, but they're conceptual models of universal behavior. The laws themselves don't control the behavior of the universe, they simply are descriptions of the rationality of the universe. The only argument that that the theist might have is that atheists cannot account for the rationality of the universe, but I'll leave that to others.
I think Slick's argument is not about the laws themselves, but about STATEMENTS about the laws. I could be wrong, but I think that's key. Dane said:-A key quote from the video: "Things consistently behave a certain way. Things have a nature. To say that an extra thing, with its own nature needs to exist in order for everything else to behave a certain way is already a theistic assumption."-You don't know that things consistently behave a certain way. You know that as far as you've observed and recorded them, they have behaved that way. But you know nothing about the future, b/c an inductive inference is disproven by only one counterexample, and you have no records from more than 100 yrs ago (or less) for many, many things. This is the problem of induction, a classic problem, and skating blissfully by it doesn't inspire confidence in your solution to Slick's argument.So, what's the 3rd option? They're not conceptual, they're not physical; what are they?
Hi Rhology,You are absolutely right that for much of Slick's argument, he is referring to the statements about the laws of logic. But if you think that that is all that he is talking about, then I need no third option to answer your question. I have already said that the statements about logical laws are clearly conceptual.The problem, though, is that TAG cannot be constructed by just talking about the statements of logic. Those exist in minds and then cease to exist when minds no longer exist. What Slick needs to do is to say that there are logical laws that exist as separate conceptual entities that prescribe how the Universe is to behave. The switch that Slick makes between these two ideas is precisely the logical fallacy that Dillahunty points out. For TAG to work, these two ideas must be confused with one another. So Dillahunty did a great job of pointing this out, but when asked about these "laws" that are distinct from the statements of logic, he made a mistake in conceding that they were distinct entities unto themselves. What he should have said was simply that these "laws" are consistencies that we see in the nature of an entity, not new entities that exist separately from the entity whose nature we are describing.Your charge of unreliability of induction is a non-sequitur. Nothing in my counterargument relies on the consistency of the universe's nature. I just assumed that you would happily agree that reality exhibits consistencies, given that TAG relies on it. The whole point of TAG is to use these perceived consistencies as evidence that they have always existed as laws in the mind of a god. If you think that it would be incorrect to presume that the universe behaves consistently at all, then TAG never gets out of the starting blocks.So, to summarize: 1) statements about logic are conceptual. 2) for the purposes of this argument, I'll happily concede that the future universe may behave completely differently than in the past. It only weakens Slick's argument.
Oops, I posted as "Nate" instead of "Dane". I apologize for any confusion.But now that I'm here, let me just add, "Right on, IrishFarmer!"Cheers all!
Rhology: But you know nothing about the future, b/c an inductive inference is disproven by only one counterexample, and you have no records from more than 100 yrs ago (or less) for many, many things.We know a lot about the future. We know what to expect. These expectations are rational abstractions derived from experience (theories, laws, etc) which go pretty far beyond the simple rote lookup tables beloved by logicians. For example, legend has it that by watching an apple fall from a tree Newton learned how the Moon orbits the Earth and Sun. This is the predictive or generalising aspect of science, and it is no small thing.Because single observations have ramifications beyond the specific context of that particular observation (a single falling apple informs us about moons and planets and galaxies), it is rarely the case that reliable inferences are abandoned after one counter example. The more usual response is to examine the anomaly with an eye toward adjusting our perception of it in order to preserve current understandings rather than abandoning an otherwise useful law at the first whiff of controversy. To give a childish example: we might throw a thousand different things out the window, watch every one fall to the ground below and then conclude that what goes up must come down. But we don't abandon our first inference when we then throw a helium balloon out the window and see that it doesn't fall to the ground. Instead, we reformulate how we think of air and treat it instead as a fluid, like liquid water, in order to invoke Archimedes' buoyancy principle, which then works. The otherwise reliable falling apple paradigm, in which air is just a source of friction that slows descent and apples, moons and bowling balls are all alike, is set aside for the time being in favor of one where balloons, toothpicks and aircraft carriers are all alike. And so the anomoly is absorbed without breaking any laws.It takes a lot more than one counter example to displace an inductive inference. Perhaps that's not how logicians prefer it, but that's how it is done. Inference is not nearly as fragile as I see it depicted here.The book "Changing Order", by Harry Collins, is a very accessible book about how science is actually done and is worth reading.Nate: What Slick needs to do is to say that there are logical laws that exist as separate conceptual entities that prescribe how the Universe is to behave.What Slick also needs to do is show how any hypothetical conceptual entity can prescribe how the Universe is to behave. How might a conceptual entity arbitrarily compel energy to behave one way and not another? Even a bona fide conceptual entity sitting on his desk won't get him where he wants to go if it is impotent.
The thing is that Matt Slick dug himself into a hole. He believes that physical/conceptual is a true dichotomy and since Dillahunty can't come up with a 3rd option, Slick wins. My question is; if the dichotomy is true, which one is God. Based on Slick's logic God is either physical or conceptual
Very sorry to have kept y'all waiting so long.Nate/Dane,-Those exist in minds and then cease to exist when minds no longer exist. -Which is Slick's point. Logical statements, however, like "the universe is" would have been impossible before minds arose from evolution, on naturalism. But such statements were not impossible, b/c God, the transcendent mind, exists.-What Slick needs to do is to say that there are logical laws that exist as separate conceptual entities that prescribe how the Universe is to behave.-Logical laws don't simply describe how the universe behaves, but also how it IS. They're not akin to physical laws, which are inductive, based on repeated observation. The law of NC cannot not be true. It's foundational and thus significantly diff from, say, the weak atomic force.-I just assumed that you would happily agree that reality exhibits consistencies, given that TAG relies on it-I agree BECAUSE the God of the Bible exists. On naturalism, there is no reason to expect such. You still have to answer that, and you can't. Let me recommend Jesus - He's the cure to your epistemological crisis.MM,-We know a lot about the future. We know what to expect. -No you don't. From here: (1) As Bertrand Russell noted, to appeal to the presupposition of a necessary and unchanging feature of the universe such as physical law in order to argue for the high probability that the universe will remain uniform in the future is to beg the question. (2) Some philosophers of science such as Steven Hawking, in his Brief History of Time, have argued that the laws of physics have changed and evolved over the history of the universe. If such is the case (which I don’t think that it is), then we have a defeater for your unchanging natural law feature. (3) We also have another defeater for your position because if the uniformity of nature is dependent upon the constant feature of physical laws, then your position necessarily refutes itself because according to all popular evolutionary cosmologies, the universe began as an infinitely dense singularity of matter that exploded in the big bang, and when you have a singularity with all that exists squeezed into a dot the size of a pinhead, you cannot have physical laws because physical laws by definition cannot operate in a singularity because it doesn’t contain any time or space. The operation of physical laws are dependent upon an extension of space and a successive duration of time, but physical laws cannot operate where there is no extension of space or time sequence, such as in a singularity; therefore, assuming popular atheistic cosmologies, physical laws have not always been a constant unifying feature of the universe and so, your position about the principle of uniformity is wrong even if you assume the popular atheistic cosmologies that undergird your position. (4) Worse yet, if, as some philosophers of science have said, the laws of physics can change and evolve over time, why not the laws of logic, especially given atheistic premises, they are of necessity a contingent feature of the time-space-matter universe? If we take what Hawking has said in light of your statements about the principle of uniformity, is it possible in the future for something to be itself and something else at the same time and the same relationship, thus a clear violation of the most fundamental law of logic, the law of non-contradiction? To presuppose such a thing would be absurdity, and to presuppose what you imply about physical law being the necessary constant feature of the universe by which we can guarantee uniformity is to presuppose that the universe has always been here, which is impossible philosophically and scientifically.Sorry for the long quote, but he said it better than I could.(continued)
-It takes a lot more than one counter example to displace an inductive inference.-For many (though, agreed, not necessarily for all), it takes only one. Say, "donkeys don't speak Hebrew". If we encounter one, we have to change the inference, b/c now we have an observation where one donkey did speak Hebrew. -How might a conceptual entity arbitrarily compel energy to behave one way and not another?-B/c He's all-powerful and created the universe that way. I'm justified to believe THAT my car runs and can propel me forward at high speed without understanding how. We know about Him b/c He has revealed Himself. Otherwise, we know nothing about Him at all. And by extension, we know nothing about reality.George,-Based on Slick's logic God is either physical or conceptual-You're strongly mistaken. Slick is showing how the naturalist position has no answer for this. Slick obviously believes in more than two categories, but the naturalist doesn't. It's a critique of naturalism, this, not of theism. Slick has effectively shown that naturalism is too reductionistic and is self-inconsistent.Peace,Rhology
Rho.: ... Say, "donkeys don't speak Hebrew". If we encounter one, we have to change the inference, b/c now we have an observation where one donkey did speak Hebrew. Was it a donkey? Or, just something that superficially resembled a donkey? There are very good reasons to doubt that it was a donkey.In the real world, beyond philosophy's comfortable cliches and hypothetical absolutes, you would have to verify that before you 'change the inference'. Again,Collins' book will set you straight on many of your misconceptions of how things are.B/c He's all-powerful and created the universe that way.A conceptual entity with tangible physical attributes sounds pretty oxymoronic to me.
Rho: Logical laws don't simply describe how the universe behaves, but also how it IS.This is bluff or delusion. You don't know, and have no way of knowing, how the universe IS much less know that logical laws describe it.Can you give one single example of a logical law that you think you know is true that didn't come from a human mind?-We know a lot about the future. We know what to expect. -No you don't. ...Yes, we do know what to expect. You couldn't catch a baseball otherwise.I never claimed to have absolute 100% certainty about everything, everywhere, and everywhen, just rational expectations about the world I live in. Your points 1-4 don't speak to this. To answer your rhetorical question: Worse yet, if, as some philosophers of science have said, the laws of physics can change and evolve over time, why not the laws of logic, especially given atheistic premises, they are of necessity a contingent feature of the time-space-matter universe?The reason is because the human brain, and hence the human mind, hasn't changed enough in the few thousand years of recorded history to notice a change. We have inter-subjective agreement on the laws of human logic for pretty much the same reason we have inter-subjective agreement on the primary colors. Its because we share similarly structured brains that process information by the same or similar rules. I doubt its a coincidence that our cognitive grounding in logic rests on spacial metaphor. They do in fact appear to be what you say they cannot be, "a contingent feature of the time-space-matter universe."Occasionally alternative logics are encountered, but they are usually dismissed as crazy. We lock up their advocates/practioners, and shun them.